News

October 2017 VVPA Monthly Meeting Minutes

21 Oct 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

Slate for VVPA candidates

Ben Bernouy – President
Katie Brennan – 2nd VP
Joanna Arcieri – Secretary

Events

Poltergeist – Martin Casella, actor in the film will talk about his experience making the movie with Steven Spielberg; on Oct 20th

Halloween Party on Oct 31st

Candidate Forums

DCNA held Ward E debate last night (10/17); about 200 people; moderated by Terrence McDonald with a list of 15 people

Yvonne Balcer is videotaping and editing the events so that the downtown neighborhood associations can post them

There is a FB Live video on the VVPA page

JCAST

VVPA participated with a show in Barrow Mansion; they sold some art this year (vs. none last year); Maria curated a great show with help from great volunteers

Holiday Party will be at Barrow Mansion on Dec 9th

Construction and Planning Update

328 Montgomery (Sol Azteca): they need another set of architecture plans so they are likely

380 Montgomery (St. Bridget’s Renovation): all the comments have been passed on to their lawyer; what are the community givebacks – hard to do that for a project that is as of right, particularly one that is a contributing part of the historic district – doing that alone is basically a giveback; where we can make an impact is where they asked us to give feedback – how do they use the lower floor (as a community space? An event space? A grocery store?) – there are no dumb ideas; send an email to the VVPA website; Gary is the main contact on that particular project

108 Wayne Street: that project is on hold

102 Wayne Street (Old bodega on Wayne street): gonna turn into a cafe; we may see this in the next month or 2 but they are doing everything in accordance with the ordinance; they cannot be open beyond a certain time period

Sol Aztec’s old spot: there is a new tenant there with a temporary certificate of occupancy but they’re in violation of the historic district ordinances; if this continues to be a problem, we will escalate this within the city

198 Wayne Street: an amendment to the Dixon Crucible study area

Scattered site RDP: made and designed to save and preserve old buildings from being demolished

Liberty Harbor North: they’re going to start next phase of construction at 88 Regent; everything they’re doing is in the redevelopment plan; Tom has asked him to give an update to VVPA and also on the corner building (debris falling into people’s yards).

At Large Representatives

Esther Wintner

Esmerelda Trinidad

Joyce Watterman

Rolando Lavarro

Brian Lane

Assemblypersons

Nick Chiarovallotti

Angela McKnight

October 2017 VVPA Monthly Newsletter

21 Oct 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in News You Can Use, Updates

Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  Stop by and have a glass a wine on us, while you meet neighbors and learn about what’s going on here in your historic neighborhood!  Wine tasting to be provided by our friends at Jersey Wines & Spirits! As usual, our agenda is full of awesome guest speakers and great topics.  This month’s meeting features a meet & greet with Jarod Neal Bernstein, SVP of Communications for CarePoint Health System.  Additionally, we will have updates from Assembly persons Chiaravalloti & McKnight as well as meet & greets with the at-large candidates.  And, we will be providing an update on the elections for VVPA board positions.

Agenda:

7:00pm – 7:10pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore

7:10pm – 7:25pm – Officer & Committee Reports

  • Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan
  • Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

7:25pm – 7:35pm – Old Business/New Business

  • Community input is welcomed for any other new issues/concerns affecting our community, as well as ideas for topics or speakers at upcoming meetings

7:35pm – 7:45pm – VVPA Elections update

  • Elections Officer – Dan Webber

7:45pm – 8:50pm – Guest Speakers & Presentations

  • 7:45pm – 7:55pm – Jarod Neal Bernstein
  • 7:55pm – 8:05pm – Assemblyman Chiaravalloti
  • 8:05pm – 8:15pm – Assemblywoman McKnight
  • 8:15pm – 8:50pm – At-Large Candidates

8:50pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking


Community Events Below is just a partial list of the many, many wonderful events happening in the Van Vorst neighborhood and throughout our city.  If you have a community event that you’d like featured in our newsletter, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.  And, as always, if you’d like to get more involved by becoming part of the events committee, the VVPA always welcomes volunteers.  Contact vvpanews@gmail.com to join in the fun!

VVPA Sponsored Events JC Art & Studio Tour – Saturday, October 14th & 15th The Van Vorst Park Association and the Historic Barrow Mansion invite you to a weekend of art and music as we join the Jersey City Art & Studio Tour (JCAST) to showcase pieces by local artists.  Please join us for this show entitled Motion: Emotion with over 50 works of art, dance (the Kennedy Dancers), music (The Sensational Country Blues Wonders & Forget the Whale) and poetry (JC Writers).  Complimentary wine and light fare will be served.  For more details, click here.  Volunteers welcome!!

Haunted Halloween in Van Vorst Park – Tuesday, 10/31 The VVPA and Friends of Van Vorst Park present a haunted Halloween in Van Vorst Park!  Candy, cookies & costumes!  Hot cider for the adults and fun for all!  Stay tuned for additional details.

VVPA/DCNA Annual End of Year Holiday Celebration – December 9th, 7pm It’s never to soon to mark your calendars for this fabulous end of year tradition!  The Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (DCNA), of which the VVPA is a part of, will once again be partnering with the Barrow Mansion for an annual end of year holiday celebration.  There will be festive cheer, music, food & drinks, and as usual, a wonderful gathering of friends and neighbors in a gorgeous setting.  Stay tuned for more details about this awesome event! ************************************************************************************** Other Community Events

JC Mayoral Streets Forum – October 4th, 7pm – 9pm Safe Streets JC and Bike JC are co-hosting the first JC Mayoral Streets Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Incumbent Mayor Steven Fulop and challenger Bill Matsikoudis, who will compete in the local elections on Nov. 7, have agreed to participate in the forum which will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 7-9 p.m. at MLK PS 11 (886 Bergen Ave, near Journal Square).   The Forum will address how the mayoral candidates will make our streets safer and more accessible to all citizens over the next four years. Overall traffic safety is becoming a chronic public health issue city-wide as the city continues to grow in density.

Con Vivo Music String Quartet Concert – October 6th, 7pm – 8pm Con Vivo Music returns to Cathedral Hall (380 Montgomery St.) for an evening of beautiful string quartet music.  This event is FREE and open to all!  For more information, click here.

Hurricane Maria Relief Fundraiser – October 7th, 3pmAbre Latas Social Club, with the American Red Cross, is hosting a fundraiser for Hurricane Maria relief.  Fundraiser will be held at 656 Grand St, Jersey City.  In addition to donations (made out to the American Red Cross), items being collected include water, toiletries and non-perishable food items.  Let’s all show our generosity and support this very worthwhile cause.  For more information, click here.

Grand Street Concept Development Study/Community Workshop – October 12th, 4:30pm – 8pm Grand Street Study workshop at Dr. Lena Edwards Charter School on Thursday October 12 from 4:30 – 8:00 pm.  utilizes advanced street redesign techniques to enhance safety conditions along Grand Street, to improve the balance between all transportation modes, including vehicles,pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users, and to make Grand Street safer and more accessible for all users!  For more information, click here.

Election Debates, Sponsored by DCNA – October 16th & 18th The Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations will be sponsoring debates for candidates running for councilperson for Ward E as well as the Mayor’s Office.  Ward E Councilperson Debate, hosted by Terrence McDonald of the Jersey Journal, will be on 10/16/17 at 7pm at MS4 on Bright Street.  The Mayoral Debate, also hosted by Terrence McDonald of the Jersey Journal, will be on 10/18/17 at 7pm, will be at MS4 on Bright Street. ************************************************************************************** Seasonal Events

  • The farmer’s market, brought to you by Friends of Van Vorst Park, is up and running on Saturday mornings at the gazeebo in Van Vorst Park.  The Farmer’s Market runs Saturdays, from 8am – 3pm, through December 23rd.
  • The Historic Downtown Farmer’s Market, brought to you by the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District (HDSID), is up and running on Monday’s at the Grove PATH Plaza.

Groove on Grove, a weekly local music series at the Grove PATH Plaza, is back for its 10th season!  Performances on Wednesdays from 6pm-9pm.


Give Back to your Community!

Periodically the VVPA receives inquiries from civic-minded folks like you looking for ways to get more involved in their community.  Below are a few ways to accomplish this:

VVPA Sponsors – In order to bring you free and low-cost events throughout the year, the VVPA depends on fundraising and sponsorships from local businesses and community members.  For more information on the benefits of becoming a sponsor, as well as the various sponsorship levels that are available, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

Charitable Donations – For those looking to make financial contributions, you can go directly to the VVPA website and click on the Donate button!  Don’t forget: VVPA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit group, so be sure to ask your Company to match your charitable contribution!  And, we are registered as a non-profit at Amazon Smile, so every time you shop through Amazon Smile, select the VVPA as your charitable organization of choice, and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the VVPA.

VVPA Board & Committee Positions – The VVPA is always looking for people to lend a hand by becoming active on the VVPA board or on one of its many committees: Construction & Development Committee; Events Committee; Membership Committee; Special Projects Committee.  There are no formal requirements other than a genuine desire to help to move the community forward in a positive direction.

Donate Your Professional Services – Throughout the year, there are numerous opportunities to help the VVPA streamline costs and make our efforts more efficient through donating your professional services.   And, if you have a professional skill you can share with your neighbors at an upcoming event, that would be valuable as well.  All types of talents and expertise are welcome!

Spread the Word – Make a commitment to bring a new friend, relative or neighbor to an upcoming association meeting or event.  The VVPA welcomes all!


News You Can Use As always, we try to bring you as many items of interest that affect our community.  If you have any items that are important to share, please email us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

  • East District Captain’s Meetings, which are regularly scheduled for the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm (typically in MS4 Library on Bright St., but location subject to change), are a great opportunity for community members to discuss crime/crime trends, quality of life issues, and other safety/security concerns with the JCPD.  For more information on upcoming meetings, reach out to the JCDP East District Community Relations Officer, Dina Lionakis, at 201.547.4370 / dlionakis@njjcps.org.
  • The City of Jersey City has partnered with the Governor’s Office of Puerto Rico and the US Customs Service to aid those in Puerto Rico who were affected by the devastating hurricane.  New personal hygiene items (acetaminophen, aspirin, batteries, Clorox, dental floss, diapers, feminine hygiene products, hand sanitizer, mouth wash, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste) and water are being collected at the following locations: Cocoa Bakery (JC), Journal Square Plaza Information Kiosk (JC), Half Time Bar (JC), Light Rail Cafe (JC), Mo Kinberg HQ (JC), Scotland Yard (Hoboken) and Stanlaw Fitness (Bayonne).

This hurricane season has been very active and has caused severe damage and devastation to several states as well as many islands in the Caribbean.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.  In planning for disasters, Continuity of Operations Plans are critical to continue to operate and/or perform essential functions.  In this spirit, the Hudson County Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) is presenting Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) on Friday, October 27, 2017 from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm at the Hudson County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).  To register, please go to Eventbrite Registration.  


Stay Connected, Stay Informed……

  • In addition to receiving news you can use from VVPA, we encourage all residents to sign up to receive Community News / Updates from your elected officials. Sign up for updates from Candice Osborne , Jermaine Robinson and Steven Fulop by clicking on the links provided.  Or, you can reach out to your committee person for assistance on local matters.  Please reach out to vvpanews@gmail.com for additional information on how to reach out to your local committeeperson.
  • Jersey City Resident Response Center is a resource available to all to find answers to commonly asked questions or to report non-emergency concerns/problems to the City of Jersey City (potholes, failure to pick up trash, fallen tree branch removal, etc.).  In addition to utilizing the JCRRC website, residents may also download the app on their phone (JerseyCityConnect) and can attach photos to any request to help clarify the concern (note: directions to download the app have been added to the VVPA website, www.vvpa.org).  We encourage all to utilize these resources to help resolve issues in their community.
  • Stay Informed and Active in your Community by signing up for the NextDoor and Swift911 applications and monitoring local news through NJ.Com/hudson, and the Jersey Journal and Hudson Reporter newspapers.  Nextdoor is a private social network that connects neighbors to talk online and makes communities stronger, better and safer. The City uses the Swift911 platform to send citywide emergency and non-emergency alerts through a variety of channels including voice, text message, email, fax, pager, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.  Registration is free, so join today.
  • JC Parking Authority – To get daily updates on whether or not parking rules are in effect in Jersey City, you can follow @JCParking on Twitter.  Due to a computer error, the Parking Division has not been able to issue permit renewal notices on a regular basis. They are working on correcting this issue. Please check your permit expiration date, and if you have not received a renewal, please call 201-547-5538 or ext. 2115,2117, or 2119.

Important City Public Meetings For the full schedule and location details of Important City Public Meetings, please refer to the Public Meetings Calendar found on the City of Jersey City website.  Remember, it’s YOUR COMMUNITY, so stay informed and stay involved!


We’d like to thank our sponsors Dixon Leasing: a subsidiary of Dixon Advisory and Barrow Mansion Development Corporation for their generous donations and Jersey Wine & Spirits for their sponsorship.  And, we always love working with Friends of Van Vorst Park!  Without our sponsors and friends, we would not be able to bring you so many FREE or low-cost events throughout the year.  We encourage all of you to support these businesses and let them know that you appreciate their donations!  If you are a local business that would like to become a VVPA sponsor, please reach out to the VVPA sponsorship committee at vvpanews@gmail.com.


 




 

September 2017 VVPA Monthly Meeting Reminder

18 Sep 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Meeting Agendas, Updates

Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  Stop by and have a glass a wine on us, while you meet neighbors and learn about what’s going on here in your historic neighborhood!

As usual, our agenda is full of awesome guest speakers and great topics. This month’s meeting features a meet & greet with Ward F candidates well as a developer presentation.

Agenda:

7:00pm – 7:10pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore

7:10pm – 7:25pm – Officer & Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan

Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

7:25pm – 7:45pm – Old Business/New Business

Call for Volunteers

Events committee – Please sign up at vvpanews@gmail.com or let a board member know that you are interested in volunteering

Board elections will be coming soon!  Please let us know if you are interested in running for a board position.

7:45pm – 8:30pm – Guest Speakers & Presentations

7:45pm – 8:15pm – Ward F Candidates meet & greet

8:15pm – 8:30pm – Developer presentation

8:30pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking

The next VVPA monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 19th at 7:00pm in The Barrow Mansion (83 Wayne St.). As a reminder, the VVPA monthly meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, so be sure to mark your calendars in advance!

Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda
Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY. Stop by and have a glass a wine on us, while you meet neighbors and learn about what’s going on here in your historic neighborhood! Wine tasting to be provided by our friends at Jersey Wines & Spirits!

As usual, our agenda is full of awesome guest speakers and great topics. This month’s meeting features a meet & greet with Ward F candidates well as a developer presentation.

Agenda:

7:00pm – 7:10pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore

7:10pm – 7:25pm – Officer & Committee Reports
Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan
Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek
Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp
7:25pm – 7:45pm – Old Business/New Business.

VVPA Sponsored Events

Haunted Halloween in Van Vorst Park – Tuesday, 10/31
The VVPA and Friends of Van Vorst Park present a haunted Halloween in Van Vorst Park! Candy, cookies & costumes! Hot cider for the adults and fun for all! Stay tuned for additional details.

VVPA/DCNA Annual End of Year Holiday Celebration – December 9th, 7pm
It’s never to soon to mark your calendars for this fabulous end of year tradition! The Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (DCNA), of which the VVPA is a part of, will once again be partnering with the Barrow Mansion for an annual end of year holiday celebration. There will be festive cheer, music, food & drinks, and as usual, a wonderful gathering of friends and neighbors in a gorgeous setting. Stay tuned for more details about this awesome event!

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
Other Community Events

St. Matthew’s Church Annual International Potluck Event – September 24th, 1pm – 4pm
Mark your calendars for the Annual International Potluck luncheon brought to you by St. Matthew’s Church & The Barrow Mansion! Bring a dish to share with your neighbors, and celebrate your heritage or learn about some new cultures. There will be music, food, kids activities and fun for all! And, its FREE! Additional details forthcoming!

JC Library Hawaiian Luau Fundraiser – September 21st, 6pm – 10pm
The Jersey City Free Public Library Trustees invite you to their Hawaiian Luau Fundraiser in support of the Jersey City Library system. Tickets are only $20 and can be purchased via emailing chesq@hotmail.com.

Election Debates, Sponsored by DCNA – October 16th & 18th
The Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations will be sponsoring debates for candidates running for councilperson for Ward E as well as the Mayor’s Office. Ward E Councilperson Debate, hosted by Terrence McDonald of the Jersey Journal, will be on 10/16/17 at 7pm at MS4 on Bright Street. The Mayoral Debate, hosted by David Cruz of NJTV News, will be on 10/18/17 at 7pm, also at MS4 on Bright Street. To submit questions for the moderators to ask the candidates, click here. Deadline to submit questions is 9/15/17, so get them in asap!

JC Art & Studio Tour – Saturday, October 14th & 15th
The Van Vorst Park Association and the Historic Barrow Mansion invite you to a weekend of art and music as we join the Jersey City Art & Studio Tour (JCAST) to showcase pieces by local artists. Please join us for this show with two days of wine tasting and live music during the exhibit, as well as the sale of inspirational exceptional art! Additional details forthcoming!
****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
Seasonal Events
The farmer’s market, brought to you by Friends of Van Vorst Park, is up and running on Saturday mornings at the gazeebo in Van Vorst Park. The Farmer’s Market runs Saturdays, from 8am – 3pm, through December 23rd.

The Historic Downtown Farmer’s Market, brought to you by the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District (HDSID), is up and running on Monday’s at the Grove PATH Plaza.

Groove on Grove, a weekly local music series at the Grove PATH Plaza, is back for its 10th season! Performances on Wednesdays from 6pm-9pm.

 

Give Back to your Community!
Periodically the VVPA receives inquiries from civic-minded folks like you looking for ways to get more involved in their community. Below are a few ways to accomplish this:

VVPA Sponsors –
In order to bring you free and low-cost events throughout the year, the VVPA depends on fundraising and sponsorships from local businesses and community members. For more information on the benefits of becoming a sponsor, as well as the various sponsorship levels that are available, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

Charitable Donations –
For those looking to make financial contributions, you can go directly to the VVPA website and click on the Donate button! Don’t forget: VVPA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit group, so be sure to ask your Company to match your charitable contribution! And, we are registered as a non-profit at Amazon Smile, so every time you shop through Amazon Smile, select the VVPA as your charitable organization of choice, and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the VVPA.

VVPA Board & Committee Positions –
The VVPA is always looking for people to lend a hand by becoming active on the VVPA board or on one of its many committees: Construction & Development Committee; Events Committee; Membership Committee; Special Projects Committee. There are no formal requirements other than a genuine desire to help to move the community forward in a positive direction.

Donate Your Professional Services –
Throughout the year, there are numerous opportunities to help the VVPA streamline costs and make our efforts more efficient through donating your professional services. And, if you have a professional skill you can share with your neighbors at an upcoming event, that would be valuable as well. All types of talents and expertise are welcome!

Spread the Word –
Make a commitment to bring a new friend, relative or neighbor to an upcoming association meeting or event. The VVPA welcomes all!

 

News You Can Use
As always, we try to bring you as many items of interest that affect our community. If you have any items that are important to share, please email us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

East District Captain’s Meetings, which are regularly scheduled for the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm (typically in MS4 Library on Bright St., but location subject to change), are a great opportunity for community members to discuss crime/crime trends, quality of life issues, and other safety/security concerns with the JCPD. For more information on upcoming meetings, reach out to the JCDP East District Community Relations Officer, Dina Lionakis, at 201.547.4370 / dlionakis@njjcps.org.

Pedestrian Enhancement Plan – The City of JC launched a study to understand how to make streets better for pedestrians. The end result of the study will be a Pedestrian Enhancement Plan which contains recommendations to improve specific streets in JC. The success of the study depends on all of our participation, so you are encouraged to provide your thoughts and feedback at one of the pop-up meetings throughout the city. For more information, click here. Questions and comments about this initiative can be directed to Michael Ahillen at mahillen@fhiplan.com.

 

Stay Connected, Stay Informed……

In addition to receiving news you can use from VVPA, we encourage all residents to sign up to receive Community News / Updates from your elected officials. Sign up for updates from Candice Osborne , Jermaine Robinson and Steven Fulop by clicking on the links provided. Or, you can reach out to your committee person for assistance on local matters. Please reach out to vvpanews@gmail.com for additional information on how to reach out to your local committeeperson.

Jersey City Resident Response Center is a resource available to all to find answers to commonly asked questions or to report non-emergency concerns/problems to the City of Jersey City (potholes, failure to pick up trash, fallen tree branch removal, etc.). In addition to utilizing the JCRRC website, residents may also download the app on their phone (JerseyCityConnect) and can attach photos to any request to help clarify the concern (note: directions to download the app have been added to the VVPA website, www.vvpa.org). We encourage all to utilize these resources to help resolve issues in their community.

Stay Informed and Active in your Community by signing up for the NextDoor and Swift911 applications and monitoring local news through NJ.Com/hudson, and the Jersey Journal and Hudson Reporter newspapers. Nextdoor is a private social network that connects neighbors to talk online and makes communities stronger, better and safer. The City uses the Swift911 platform to send citywide emergency and non-emergency alerts through a variety of channels including voice, text message, email, fax, pager, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Registration is free, so join today.

 

July 2017 VVPA Newsletter

24 Aug 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda
Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  Stop by and have a glass a wine on us, while you meet neighbors and learn about what’s going on here in your historic neighborhood!  Wine tasting to be provided by our friends at Jersey Wines & Spirits!

This month’s meeting features a meet & greet with councilperson candidates James Solomon, Rebecca Symes and Jake Hudnut.  Additionally, a representative from Traffic & Engineering will be attending to continue the discussion on viability of some of the proposed parking enforcement remedies.

Agenda:

7:00pm – 7:10pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore

7:10pm – 7:25pm – Officer & Committee Reports

  • Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan
  • Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

7:25pm – 7:45pm – Old Business/New Business

  • Volunteer Survey Update
  • Civic Actions Activities Fair
  • Community input is welcomed for any other new issues/concerns affecting our community, as well as ideas for topics or speakers at upcoming meetings

7:45pm – 8:35pm – Guest Speakers & Presentations

  • 7:45pm – 8:15pm – Councilperson candidates meet & greet
  • 8:15pm – 8:35pm – Traffic & Engineering

8:35pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking


Community Events
Below is just a partial list of the many, many wonderful events happening in the Van Vorst neighborhood and throughout our city.  If you have a community event that you’d like featured in our newsletter, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.  And, as always, if you’d like to get more involved by becoming part of the events committee, the VVPA always welcomes volunteers.  Contact vvpanews@gmail.com to join in the fun!

VVPA Sponsored Events

Films In Van Vorst – June – September
The 13th season of Films in Van Vorst, a FREE bi-weekly outdoor film series is kicking off June 21st!!!!!!!  For those of you new to the area, the VVPA, in partnership with Friends of Van Vorst, hosts a FREE bi-weekly film series at the gazeebo in Van Vorst park.  For those veterans who know the tagline by heart: bring a chair, bring a friend, we’ll supply the popcorn!  For this year’s awesome lineup, click here!

Van Vorst Boogie’s Disco In the Park – August 19th
Get ready to once again break out your dancing shoes!!!  Stay tuned for information on this always highly anticipated FREE dance party in Van Vorst Park!

White Party/Summer Sendoff – August 26th
Last year’s White Party / Summer Sendoff, a dinner party in Van Vorst Park modeled after the Dinner en Blanc in Paris where everyone dresses in white and comes to a dinner party, was a huge success.  So much so that our events committee are planning a repeat party this year!  Stay tuned for details on how to purchase tickets to this special event!

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
Other Community Events

North River Sing Community Chorus Tryouts – July 25th & August 1st
North River Sing is having tryouts!!  For any budding stars looking to participate in a community chorus, now here’s your chance!  For more information about the group or the tryouts, click here.

Hudson Restaurant Week – July 24th – August 4th, 2017
Looking for a reason to try a new, local restaurant?  You can at the Hudson Restaurant week, where you can enjoy food from participating restaurants via their special prix-fixe menus at a discounted price!  For more information, click here.

JC Department of Recreation’s Free Bootcamp Classes – Tuesdays, 7:15am
Join your neighbors in this free, hour-long bootcamp class sponsored by the JC Department of Recreation.  Meet at the gazeebo in Van Vorst Park.

Election Debates, Sponsored by DCNA
The Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations will be sponsoring debates for candidates running for councilperson for Ward E as well as the Mayor’s Office.  Ward E Councilperson Debate, hosted by Terrence McDonald of the Jersey Journal, will be on 10/7/17 at 7pm at MS4 on Bright Street.  The Mayoral Debate, hosted by David Cruz of NJTV News, will be on 10/18 at 7pm, also at MS4 on Bright Street.  To submit questions for the moderators to ask the candidates, click here.

****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
Seasonal Events

  • The farmer’s market, brought to you by Friends of Van Vorst Park, is up and running on Saturday mornings at the gazeebo in Van Vorst Park.  The Farmer’s Market runs Saturdays, from 8am – 3pm, through December 23rd.
  • The Historic Downtown Farmer’s Market, brought to you by the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District (HDSID), is up and running on Monday’s at the Grove PATH Plaza.
  • Groove on Grove, a weekly local music series at the Grove PATH Plaza, is back for its 10th season!  Performances on Wednesdays from 6pm-9pm.

 

News You Can Use
As always, we try to bring you as many items of interest that affect our community.  If you have any items that are important to share, please email us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

  • Update: 328 Montgomery – This project will be on the Historic Preservation Commission meeting TONIGHT.  Meeting starts 6pm in City Hall.  Applicant is looking for a new/revised Certificate of Appropriateness for deviations from previously approved drawings and existing Certificate of Appropriateness.   Make sure you come out to voice your opinion on this very significant matter.
  • Grand Street Redevelopment & Jersey Avenue Bridge Traffic Study – Information and plans related to the Grand Street Study can be found on www.grandstreetstudy.org.  You may also provide comments and feedback related to this project via a direct email to Stephanie Brooks, the Study’s Public Outreach Manager – sbrooks@fhiplan.com.  To submit comments, questions and feedback related to the City’s study of the traffic impact of the Jersey Ave Bridge on Jersey Avenue, you should email Andrew Vischio from JC Traffic & Engineering directly – AVIschio@jcnj.org.
  • East District Captain’s Meetings, which are regularly scheduled for the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm (typically in MS4 Library on Bright St., but location subject to change), are a great opportunity for community members to discuss crime/crime trends, quality of life issues, and other safety/security concerns with the JCPD.  For more information on upcoming meetings, reach out to the JCDP East District Community Relations Officer, Dina Lionakis, at 201.547.4370 / dlionakis@njjcps.org.

 

 

Give Back to your Community!
Periodically the VVPA receives inquiries from civic-minded folks like you looking for ways to get more involved in their community.  Below are a few ways to accomplish this:

VVPA Sponsors –
In order to bring you free and low-cost events throughout the year, the VVPA depends on fundraising and sponsorships from local businesses and community members.  For more information on the benefits of becoming a sponsor, as well as the various sponsorship levels that are available, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

Charitable Donations –
For those looking to make financial contributions, you can go directly to the VVPA website and click on the Donate button!  Don’t forget: VVPA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit group, so be sure to ask your Company to match your charitable contribution!  And, we are registered as a non-profit at Amazon Smile, so every time you shop through Amazon Smile, select the VVPA as your charitable organization of choice, and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the VVPA.

VVPA Board & Committee Positions –
The VVPA is always looking for people to lend a hand by becoming active on the VVPA board or on one of its many committees: Construction & Development Committee; Events Committee; Membership Committee; Special Projects Committee.  There are no formal requirements other than a genuine desire to help to move the community forward in a positive direction.

Donate Your Professional Services –
Throughout the year, there are numerous opportunities to help the VVPA streamline costs and make our efforts more efficient through donating your professional services.   And, if you have a professional skill you can share with your neighbors at an upcoming event, that would be valuable as well.  All types of talents and expertise are welcome!

Spread the Word –
Make a commitment to bring a new friend, relative or neighbor to an upcoming association meeting or event.  The VVPA welcomes all!


tay Connected, Stay Informed……

  • In addition to receiving news you can use from VVPA, we encourage all residents to sign up to receive Community News / Updates from your elected officials. Sign up for updates from Candice Osborne , Jermaine Robinson and Steven Fulop by clicking on the links provided.  Or, you can reach out to your committee person for assistance on local matters.  Please reach out to vvpanews@gmail.com for additional information on how to reach out to your local committeeperson.
  • Jersey City Resident Response Center is a resource available to all to find answers to commonly asked questions or to report non-emergency concerns/problems to the City of Jersey City (potholes, failure to pick up trash, fallen tree branch removal, etc.).  In addition to utilizing the JCRRC website, residents may also download the app on their phone (JerseyCityConnect) and can attach photos to any request to help clarify the concern (note: directions to download the app have been added to the VVPA website, www.vvpa.org).  We encourage all to utilize these resources to help resolve issues in their community.
  • Stay Informed and Active in your Community by signing up for the NextDoor and Swift911 applications and monitoring local news through NJ.Com/hudson, and the Jersey Journal and Hudson Reporter newspapers.  Nextdoor is a private social network that connects neighbors to talk online and makes communities stronger, better and safer. The City uses the Swift911 platform to send citywide emergency and non-emergency alerts through a variety of channels including voice, text message, email, fax, pager, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.  Registration is free, so join today.
  • JC Parking Authority – To get daily updates on whether or not parking rules are in effect in Jersey City, you can follow @JCParking on Twitter.  Due to a computer error, the Parking Division has not been able to issue permit renewal notices on a regular basis. They are working on correcting this issue. Please check your permit expiration date, and if you have not received a renewal, please call 201-547-5538 or ext. 2115,2117, or 2119.

 

July 2017 VVPA Meeting Minutes

19 Jul 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes, News You Can Use

VVPA Meeting 07/18/17

Call to Order – 7:10 pm

Officer/Committee Reports

  • Treasurer
    • All accounts in good standing
      • Golf outing raised over $4,500! Next year’s Golf outing already booked – June 8th, 2018
  • Planning and Development
  • Will meet w/ developer re: 102 Wayne St soon regarding their proposed work at this location.
  • 328 Montgomery last night’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) meeting – owner/developer wanted amendment to their proposed plan. Issue ended up being tabled due to unavailability of expert testimony and unavailability of drawings at that meeting, will be on the 8/21 HPC meeting. All encouraged to attend again and speak out! Even if it isn’t on your block, it is in your neighborhood. We all need to support one another as issues develop in the community that may impact any or all of us.
  • 219 Montgomery St. – potential Restaurant? Location currently has COO for 3 commercial spaces. Developer asked if community would be amenable to location being included in restaurant overlay zone, in Cat 1/2 zone, which means it could get liquor or cabaret license. This is a mainly residential street, so committee told developer that it would most likely not be well received by community, but instead suggested a café license would be more amenable.
    • Tip: can check City portal to see if permits have been applied for a construction project
  • Bright & Varick Update
  • Motion to appeal applied, petition to Supreme Court filed. City supporting. Met w/ JCRA who are also supporting our efforts. State courts have up to 90 days to respond, may also have some back and forth between Lawyers in between.
  • We will continue to fundraise to pay Attorney’s bills. We also accept donations from community to help offset costs! Have also reached out to league of municipalities to sign on with us —- we want them to understand that this is a bad precedent being set.
  • Events
  • Movies in the Park – www.filmsinvanvorst.com.
    • July 26th: Audience Choice Movie – check the link to vote via the online poll!
  • 4th Annual Disco in the Park – August 19th , 7pm – 10pm
  • Dinner en Blanc/Summer Sendoff Party – August 26th, dress in all white, bring food! Planning for this event is next Monday, 7/24/17. More details and Eventbrite link to come.
  • March, 2018 – Fundraiser in Barrow Mansion – Irish Band, Dance lessons – more info to come

 

New Business/Old Business

  • Volunteer Survey – Events throughout the year you can volunteer for. Let us know about what skills you have, what availability you have, etc. Will post volunteer survey again on website.
  • Civic Action Committee – groups sprung up all over JC post November 2016 election. Idea: bring civic action groups together to learn more about them and to sign up for the various groups.
  • Barrow Mansion call for gardeners! Anyone interested in volunteering, reach out to vvpanews@gmail.com and we will get you in touch with the Barrow Mansion.
  • Amazon Smile – set VVPA as your charity of choice so that a portion of the cost your purchases will be donated to VVPA.
  • Parking
    • Increase in parking fine from $60 to $110 for cars parked w/o zone stickers has been approved
    • Will keep 8 zones for now.
    • Special Requests:
      • St. Bridget’s (Montgomery & Brunswick) – currently not in a zone, want to be included in a zone to be able to park near their residences
      • Residents on Center St. want to be included in a zone – there are homes interspersed between businesses there and need resident parking.
      • Montgomery St. – Resident’s only parking on one side of the street proposed (Montgomery between Jersey & Grove). Andrew Vischio working on a draft. Will be presented to VVPA.

Guest Speakers

  • Election Candidates
  • James Solomon
  • Rebecca Symes
  • Jake Hudnut
  • Pat Dugan

Announcements & Community Networking

  • November Elections
    • Ward E Councilperson Debate – October 16th, 7pm, MS 4
    • Mayoral Debate – October 18th, 7pm, MS4
    • Jcprogressives.com – website where you can find consolidated info on candidates running for election Nov 7th
  • Reminder to provide comments on both the Grand Street Redevelopment and Downtown Traffic Study! Emails to provide feedback are in the July newsletter.

Adjournment – 8:50 pm

June 2017 VVPA Meeting Minutes

24 Jun 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes, News You Can Use

Meeting Minutes – June 20th, 2017

7:10 pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

  • Thanks to Councilwoman Candice Osborne for her service to and support of both Ward E as well as Ward F
  • 2nd Annual Golf Outing & Martini Party – Was a hit! Thanks to the committee who put it together, the volunteers, the sponsors/donors, and all the attendees!  Next year’s date is Friday, June 8th, 2018!

Officer/Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan

  • Tabled

Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • No projects to present, no significant updates on old projects

Events Committee Report – Oona Moore

  • Movies in the Park – starts 6/21 ~8:30pm. Schedule at filmsinvanvorst.com
  • Disco in the Park – August 19th – FREE Event – bring your kids, family members, neighbors
  • Dinner en blanc / White Dinner Party – Friday, August 25th: Wear all white, bring your own dinner and wine, VVPA supplies decorations, entertainment and dessert – limited tickets will be made available!
  • Feedback/ideas for new events

o   Bring back the Meetball dinner – possibly in the Armory?

  • End of year holiday party – December 9th is the possible date

Guest Speakers

Andrew Vischio, Director, Traffic & Engineering, City of JC

Jersey Ave Bridge Project – No city website yet this project; Turnpike Authority has project on their site, but hard to find. Need links on City website to the available information on this project.

Purpose of bridge is to connect diff parts of city, direct route to JC Medical Center, etc.  Current design is to have 1 lane in each direction with a bike lane (~40’ total width) – since only lane, natural traffic calming mechanism is built into the design. Footbridge will remain in place.  Traffic signal at Johnston & Audrey Zapp and Regent St. & JC Medical Center – metering effect on how much traffic gets to Grand street during travel hours.  Andrew participates in weekly conference calls to coordinate w/ Turnpike Authority.

Fire, Police, Emergency Services – bike lanes are “surface”, not protected so that emergency services can use that lane as well as the shoulder area for travel if needed.

 

Traffic study was conducted in 2010, and was redone this spring.

Community Concerns:

  • Make the roads safer for all – how will this be achieved with the projected additional influx of cars
  • Traffic – streets in downtown are already at/near capacity during peak hours. What is the plan for addressing any overflow of traffic into the nearby streets (“traffic shift”)?
  • Traffic enforcement – has enforcement been budgeted for?
  • Quality of Life – huge impact on quality of life for residents of the area
  • Noise
  • Congestion
  • Pollution – It is unknown if an environmental Impact Statement was performed for this project
  • Money – Turnpike Authority paid for bridge to be built – $10M, but JC residents will not be paying for maintenance in perpetuity

Suggestions:

  • Work with Turnpike Authority to collect data from EzPass to assess who uses this route as a cut-through to the Holland Tunnel and increase the fees for this.
  • Traffic restrictions – reverse traffic flow during peak commuting hours, force traffic down Grand only through no turning signs, and minimize size of vehicles that can use the roadway (or other combinations of ideas to minimize impact)
  • Introduce lights, speed humps, circles, etc. to dissuade this from being a cut through to the Holland Tunnel

 

Grand St Redesign – Highest profile roadway corridor redesign project which incorporates road diet and safe streets concepts.  Incorporates impact of Jersey Ave Bridge into the design

Road Diet – one lane in each direction with striped median turning lane for large portions of corridor – Emergency vehicles can travel in this median if needed.

Study conducted this spring along entire length of roadway to make safer for all modes of transportation, pedestrians and bikes.  Study to be completed in September 2017, started public outreach effort.  Booth to be set up at Farmer’s Market this Saturday and at Arlington St. Farmer’s Market.  Will have two workshop meetings to get comments/feedback to modify concepts. Will present changes /responses in another public session in Mid-July/August.

Will present preferred alternative / one comprehensive plan.  Phased project.  Goal: safer corridor for all users.  Connecting bike lanes (E-W “spine” connector).  Participate in community meetings!  Info on project will be on Grandstreetstudy.org

Can provide input via website, studies will be forthcoming in the future.

Comments:

  • Suggested that more specifics be given to public on how their comments are being incorporated
  • Suggested that a terminology of concepts/phrases be shared to enhance understanding
  • Safe streets JC – nonprofit organization – can get information here on urban planning concepts

Other General Traffic/Safety Issues:

  • Light up crosswalk to help pedestrians be able to safely cross
  • Timing of lights on Jersey Ave not yet synchronized
  • Intersection of Varick & York – unable to see walk sign without stepping out into traffic to look over shoulder at traffic light

 

Old Business/New Business

Parking Changes – committee spoke w/ Mayor and committee and came up w/ some proposals

  • Initial phase: Improve enforcement – this is underway and reaping results already
  • Items to go before council for vote – voice your opinion at the meeting when it is scheduled!

o   Phase II: Increased hours: 8am – 11pm (2 hour limit); Parking fines will be increased from $60 to $110 for parking w/o valid permit (at $60 it isn’t much of a deterrent); bootable 1st offense for certain areas

o   Phase III: develop mechanism for out of town visitors parking

o   Future: Develop mechanism for addressing how residents in high rises are monitored for parking in building vs. allowing them to get zone permits

  • Parking directors of Hoboken & JC, along with vendors for meter machines will meet to develop best approach and practices for parking in JC
  • Put concerns regarding this issue on email to vvpanews@gmail.com, copy Candice Osborne

Citibike Stations – more needed

  • Citibike will be using demand data to determine where to put more stations (demand, density, ridership); contact Citibike to make suggestions

Summary of First Committeeperson meeting

  • JC Democratic Committee responsible for increasing voter registration, turning out the vote and deciding who gets endorsement
  • Group typically meets 1ce/term
  • Introduced amendment to meet more frequently to serve community better – 4x/year
  • Introduced By-Laws
  • Introduced amendment to have at least 50% of officers of committee be elected officials (vs an appointed officer) – a lot of power flows through the officers
  • Increased quorum from 10% to 25%
  • Introduced a number of caucuses to help serve the community better

Sol Azteca

  • Will be moving into 328 Montgomery St., looking to open 4th of July weekend, but there is no COO. Façade not built according to planning – they may be looking to get TCO??
  • Plan is to be BYOB, will be closed Mondays, open 10am -11pm other days

DCNA – October Mayoral and Ward E Candidate Debates will be planned (on separate nights)

JC Unity Walk – Well attended event, large cross section of people throughout the City

Adjournment – 9:05 pm

June 2017 Monthly Meeting Reminder

20 Jun 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

June 2017 Monthly Meeting Reminder

Just a friendly reminder that the next VVPA monthly meeting is tonight, Tuesday, June 20th at 7:00pm in The Barrow Mansion, located at 83 Wayne St.  We’ve got a great agenda and some important updates to share with you, so see you there!


Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda
Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  Stop by and have a glass a wine on us, while you meet neighbors and learn about what’s going on here in your historic neighborhood!  Wine tasting to be provided by our friends at Jersey Wines & Spirits!

As usual, our agenda is full of awesome guest speakers and great topics.  This month’s meeting features a meet & greet with the owners of Sol Azteca, who plan to move into the space at 328 Montgomery St.  Additionally, Joe Cunha, City Engineer and Andrew Vischio, Director of Traffic & Engineering will discuss the downtown traffic study and how traffic will be mitigated in connection with the Turnpike extension project.  Assemblywoman Angela McKnight and Wards E & F Councilpersons Candice Osborne and Jermaine Robinson will be present to listen to community concerns regarding traffic/safety.  Additionally, Tony Borelli and Katie Brennan from Bike JC will be available to comment on how the Grand Street redesign will intersect with the extension project.

Agenda:

7:00pm – 7:10pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore

7:10pm – 7:25pm – Officer & Committee Reports

  • Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan
  • Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

7:25pm – 7:45pm – Old Business/New Business

  • Call for Volunteers
    • Events committee
    • VVPA Farmers Market Welcome Table
    • Please sign up at vvpanews@gmail.com or let a board member know that you are interested in volunteering
  • Community input is welcomed for any other new issues/concerns affecting our community, as well as ideas for topics or speakers at upcoming meetings

7:45pm – 8:50pm – Guest Speakers & Presentations

  • 7:45pm – 7:55pm – Sol Azteca
  • 7:55pm – 8:20pm – Downtown Traffic Study, Traffic impact – Turnpike extension project: Joe Cunha, Andrew Vischio
  • 8:20pm – 8:45pm – Open Discussion Turnpike extension project, Downtown Traffic Study and Grand Street Re-Design
  • 8:45pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking

June 2017 VVPA Monthly Newsletter

20 Jun 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

The next VVPA monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 20th at 7:00pm in The Barrow Mansion (83 Wayne St.).  As a reminder, the VVPA monthly meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, so be sure to mark your calendars in advance!


Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda
Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  Stop by and have a glass a wine on us, while you meet neighbors and learn about what’s going on here in your historic neighborhood!  Wine tasting to be provided by our friends at Jersey Wines & Spirits!

As usual, our agenda is full of awesome guest speakers and great topics.  This month’s meeting features a meet & greet with the owners of Sol Azteca, who plan to move into the space at 328 Montgomery St.  Additionally, Joe Cunha, City Engineer and Andrew Vischio, Director of Traffic & Engineering will discuss the downtown traffic study and how traffic will be mitigated in connection with the Turnpike extension project.  Assemblywoman Angela McKnight and Wards E & F Councilpersons Candice Osborne and Jermaine Robinson will be present to listen to community concerns regarding traffic/safety.  Additionally, Tony Borelli and Katie Brennan from Bike JC will be available to comment on how the Grand Street redesign will intersect with the extension project.

Agenda:

7:00pm – 7:10pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore

7:10pm – 7:25pm – Officer & Committee Reports

  • Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan
  • Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek
  • Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

7:25pm – 7:45pm – Old Business/New Business

  • Call for Volunteers
    • Events committee
    • VVPA Farmers Market Welcome Table
    • Please sign up at vvpanews@gmail.com or let a board member know that you are interested in volunteering
  • Community input is welcomed for any other new issues/concerns affecting our community, as well as ideas for topics or speakers at upcoming meetings

7:45pm – 8:50pm – Guest Speakers & Presentations

  • 7:45pm – 7:55pm – Sol Azteca
  • 7:55pm – 8:20pm – Downtown Traffic Study, Traffic impact – Turnpike extension project: Joe Cunha, Andrew Vischio
  • 8:20pm – 8:45pm – Open Discussion Turnpike extension project, Downtown Traffic Study and Grand Street Re-Design

8:45pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking


Community Events
Below is just a partial list of the many, many wonderful events happening in the Van Vorst neighborhood and throughout our city.  If you have a community event that you’d like featured in our newsletter, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.  And, as always, if you’d like to get more involved by becoming part of the events committee, the VVPA always welcomes volunteers.  Contact vvpanews@gmail.com to join in the fun!

VVPA Sponsored Events

Special thanks to Skyway Golf as well as all of our sponsors and business who donated to the 2nd Annual VVPA Golf Outing, and to all of you who volunteered at and attended this fabulous event!

Films In Van Vorst – June – September
The 13th season of Films in Van Vorst, a FREE bi-weekly outdoor film series is kicking off June 21st!!!!!!!  For those of you new to the area, the VVPA, in partnership with Friends of Van Vorst, hosts a FREE bi-weekly film series at the gazeebo in Van Vorst park.  For those veterans who know the tagline by heart: bring a chair, bring a friend, we’ll supply the popcorn!  For this year’s awesome lineup, click here!

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
Other Community Events

Yoga for the Park – Saturday, June 7th – August 13th
Flor Yoga is binging Yoga back to the park this summer!  Classes are Wednesdays at 6:30pm and Sundays at 5:30pm.  All profits go to the Friends of Van Vorst Park.  For more information, click here.

Mercer + Varick + York + Wayne + Bright Streets and Paulmier Place Stoop & Sidewalk Sale – Saturday, June 17th, 10:30am – 3:30pm
On June 17th and June 18th, come on out to this huge multi-family, multi-block stoop and sidewalk sale!  There will be all sorts of goods for sale at excellent prices, including vintage picture frames, kids toys, books, home goods, clothes, flatware, and much, much more.  And, if you would like to join in on the festivities (you will be added to the event’s official map), email: mercerstreetdesign@mac.com.  For more information about this fun annual event, click here.

Girls of Summer Fundraiser – Saturday, June 24th, 2pm – 6pm
Join Chilltown United for an afternoon of fun and sun on Porta’s rooftop for their GIRLS OF SUMMER feminine hygiene product fundraiser.  Welfare programs consider the most basic necessities like tampons and pads to be luxury items for women living in poverty and many struggle to afford this basic necessity.  Drink, dance and donate: all proceeds will go toward feminine hygiene products for women in need through the York Street Project.  For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Jersey City Puerto Rican Day Parade – August 19th & 20th
Jersey City Puerto Rican Heritage, Arts and Culture, Inc., is busy planning for an exciting JC Puerto Rican Heritage Festival and Parade!  In order to help fund the parade as well as to sustain the organization to continue providing benefits to the community, organizers are looking for sponsors and donations.  For more information on this, please click here.
****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
Seasonal Events

  • The farmer’s market, brought to you by Friends of Van Vorst Park, is up and running on Saturday mornings at the gazeebo in Van Vorst Park.  The Farmer’s Market runs Saturdays, from 8am – 3pm, through December 23rd.
  • The Historic Downtown Farmer’s Market, brought to you by the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District (HDSID), is up and running on Monday’s at the Grove PATH Plaza.
  • Groove on Grove, a weekly local music series at the Grove PATH Plaza, is back for its 10th season!  Performances on Wednesdays from 6pm-9pm.

Give Back to your Community!
Periodically the VVPA receives inquiries from civic-minded folks like you looking for ways to get more involved in their community.  Below are a few ways to accomplish this:

VVPA Sponsors –
In order to bring you free and low-cost events throughout the year, the VVPA depends on fundraising and sponsorships from local businesses and community members.  For more information on the benefits of becoming a sponsor, as well as the various sponsorship levels that are available, please reach out to us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

Charitable Donations –
For those looking to make financial contributions, you can go directly to the VVPA website and click on the Donate button!  Don’t forget: VVPA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit group, so be sure to ask your Company to match your charitable contribution!  And, we are registered as a non-profit at Amazon Smile, so every time you shop through Amazon Smile, select the VVPA as your charitable organization of choice, and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the VVPA.

VVPA Board & Committee Positions –
The VVPA is always looking for people to lend a hand by becoming active on the VVPA board or on one of its many committees: Construction & Development Committee; Events Committee; Membership Committee; Special Projects Committee.  There are no formal requirements other than a genuine desire to help to move the community forward in a positive direction.

Donate Your Professional Services –
Throughout the year, there are numerous opportunities to help the VVPA streamline costs and make our efforts more efficient through donating your professional services.   And, if you have a professional skill you can share with your neighbors at an upcoming event, that would be valuable as well.  All types of talents and expertise are welcome!

Spread the Word –
Make a commitment to bring a new friend, relative or neighbor to an upcoming association meeting or event.  The VVPA welcomes all!


News You Can Use
As always, we try to bring you as many items of interest that affect our community.  If you have any items that are important to share, please email us at vvpanews@gmail.com.

  • East District Captain’s Meetings, which are regularly scheduled for the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm (typically in MS4 Library on Bright St., but location subject to change), are a great opportunity for community members to discuss crime/crime trends, quality of life issues, and other safety/security concerns with the JCPD.  For more information on upcoming meetings, reach out to the JCDP East District Community Relations Officer, Dina Lionakis, at 201.547.4370 / dlionakis@njjcps.org.
  • Call Before You Dig!  In order to prevent accidentally damaging an underground utility while you are digging – to plant new trees or a install a new deck, for instance – you are required to call 8-1-1 in order to have the underground utilities located and marked out before you start digging.  The call and markout services are free and critical to preventing damage, serious injury, and disruption of service.  For more information, click here.
  • PSE&G has offered Tips for your Air Conditioner’s Spring Debut to help ensure your air conditioner is ready for the summer!  The tips are:
    • Clear your outdoor unit of grass, dirt and leaves.
    • Make sure there is nothing obstructing airflow into the unit.
    • Replace or clean your air filters once a month, or as directed by the manufacturer.
    • Check that all vents in your home are fully open and not blocked by furniture or drapes.
    • To keep a safe, high performing and efficient system, have it checked regularly by a qualified air conditioning and heating contractor.

Stay Connected, Stay Informed……

  • In addition to receiving news you can use from VVPA, we encourage all residents to sign up to receive Community News / Updates from your elected officials. Sign up for updates from Candice Osborne , Jermaine Robinson and Steven Fulop by clicking on the links provided.  Or, you can reach out to your committee person for assistance on local matters.  Please reach out to vvpanews@gmail.com for additional information on how to reach out to your local committeeperson.
  • Jersey City Resident Response Center is a resource available to all to find answers to commonly asked questions or to report non-emergency concerns/problems to the City of Jersey City (potholes, failure to pick up trash, fallen tree branch removal, etc.).  In addition to utilizing the JCRRC website, residents may also download the app on their phone (JerseyCityConnect) and can attach photos to any request to help clarify the concern (note: directions to download the app have been added to the VVPA website, www.vvpa.org).  We encourage all to utilize these resources to help resolve issues in their community.
  • Stay Informed and Active in your Community by signing up for the NextDoor and Swift911 applications and monitoring local news through NJ.Com/hudson, and the Jersey Journal and Hudson Reporter newspapers.  Nextdoor is a private social network that connects neighbors to talk online and makes communities stronger, better and safer. The City uses the Swift911 platform to send citywide emergency and non-emergency alerts through a variety of channels including voice, text message, email, fax, pager, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.  Registration is free, so join today.
  • JC Parking Authority – To get daily updates on whether or not parking rules are in effect in Jersey City, you can follow @JCParking on Twitter.  Due to a computer error, the Parking Division has not been able to issue permit renewal notices on a regular basis. They are working on correcting this issue. Please check your permit expiration date, and if you have not received a renewal, please call 201-547-5538 or ext. 2115,2117, or 2119.

Ten Things You Can Do to Improve Your Neighborhood

1.  Clean up your sidewalk and curb
2.  Ask your neighbors if they need help
3.  Be quieter after 10pm every day
4.  If you have a driveway, do not park on the street
5.  Curb and clean up after your dog
6.  Attend community meetings
7.  Get involved in your local neighborhood association, or start one!
8.  Download Jersey City’s See Click Fix app and use it to report any problems
9.  If you see something – say something – report it to the police hotline (201) 547-5477
10.  Vote in your local elections!

Thanks to Councilman Yun for sharing his simple, yet effective ideas on how to make a difference in our communities.


Important City Public Meetings
For the full schedule and location details of Important City Public Meetings, please refer to the Public Meetings Calendar found on the City of Jersey City website.  Remember, it’s YOUR COMMUNITY, so stay informed and stay involved!


Thanks to our Generous Sponsors!

We’d like to thank our sponsors Dixon Leasing: a subsidiary of Dixon Advisory and Barrow Mansion Development Corporation for their generous donations and Jersey Wine & Spirits for their sponsorship.  And, we always love working with Friends of Van Vorst Park!  Without our sponsors and friends, we would not be able to bring you so many FREE or low-cost events throughout the year.  We encourage all of you to support these businesses and let them know that you appreciate their donations!  If you are a local business that would like to become a VVPA sponsor, please reach out to the VVPA sponsorship committee at vvpanews@gmail.com.
Thank you to all of our donors, sponsors, and partners that made the VVPA’s 2nd Annual Golf Outing a huge success!

  • GOLD Sponsors – Dixon Leasing, Fields Development Group
  • SILVER Sponsors – Carepoint Health, Steven Fulop, Rolando Lavarro, Jermaine Robinson
  • BRONZE Sponsors – Village West Gallery, PBA local 334
  • Hole sponsors – Morlees, ten Marc Building, cdstudio, Sandkamp Woodworks, JMA Architects, Joyce Watterman
  • Prize/Goody Bag Sponsors – Atlas Public House, Todd Shelton, Latham House Restaurant, Feed Your Soul, Pasta dal Cuore, Journal Square Dental, Hudson County Improvement Authority

May 2017 VVPA Meeting Minutes

16 May 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes, News You Can Use

Meeting Minutes – May 16th, 2017

7:05 pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

  • Welcome to all, welcome spring

Officer/Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Oona Moore

  • All accounts in good standing

Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • 198 Wayne St
    • New owner.  Empty property currently.  Have to amend redevelopment plan (Dixon), wanted VVPA thoughts on approach for this.  City Planning will have to re-open the redevelopment plan and send any proposed changes to VVPA
    • June or July there will be a presentation to whole community
    • Not in historic district, but concerns raised by construction committee on how developer will deal with adjacent properties, light/air and parking, etc.
    • Concern: if we change density standards for this property, how will this impact development of adjacent properties
  • 328 Montgomery
    • Moved over to Harsimus Cove — what are the owners planning on doing with the building?  Unknown at this time.  Will follow up with City to get more information if possible.
    • Will need to continue to monitor this to see if a tenant comes in and what planned use they have (not a nightclub)
  • Mercer St Rooftop ordinance/decks
    • Ordinance on the books which protects historic district, but not buildings outside the historic district.  Tried to work on city-wide ordinance.
  • Marco & Pepe will be a French Lebanese Restaurant – will be BYOB

Events Committee Report – Oona Moore

2nd Annual Golf Outing & Martini Party – Friday, June 9th, tee off @ 5pm @ Skyway Golf Course, JC. Tickets available via Eventbrite

  • Non golfers welcome too!  Putting contest & putt-putt game
  • Drinks, food, music, prizes and fun!
  • Discount prices available through 5/26/

Movies in the Park

  • Estimated to start June 14th; runs every other Wednesday throughout the summer @ the gazeebo in Van Vorst Park
  • If you have ideas for movies, email vvapnews@gmail.com

Arts Events Happening around JC

  • Volunteers for Arts Committee welcome!
  • JC Fridays – 1st Friday in June – art, music, etc. all throughout JC
  • Riverview Jazz Festival – Ogden Ave @ Palm St. Stage – June 3rd – June 10th
  • Brightside Tavern – First Mondays Jazz Performance
  • Victory Hall Drawing Room art shows, artist talks & reception, other events
  • JCAST October 14th/15th

Guest Speakers

Nick Grillo – Running councilman of Ward E; Democrat running as Independent Candidate

  • Born & raised in Village/Hamilton Park area
  • Piano player è pipe organist è Funeral Director è Purchased own funeral home in Bloomfield, NJ è Music Director @ Holy Rosary Church è Co-chair of La Festa Italiana since 1999
  • Political concerns: Quality of Life.  Has seen JC blossom over the years (construction debris, delivery trucks, noise).  Smart development – don’t overbuild, especially in/around historic areas, parking, etc.
  • Reval is a concern.  He is working to help encourage seniors to enroll in senior freeze.  And, has been working with JC Safe Streets
  • Abatements is a concern for him as well, ensuring the abatements are contributing to school funding
  • Embankment – supports making this the “highline” of JC, wants space for artists
  • Contact Info: Njgrillo.com; Twitter: @grillo4jc; Facebook: Nick Grillo
  • Questions from Community
    • Litter in front of properties – ideas for addressing this?
      • Solution: hire more workers, be sensitive to budget; grassroots campaigns
    • Balancing his own business with needs of being available for meetings as a councilperson?
      • Bec he owns his own business, can hire funeral directors as needed to attend necessary meetings
    • Why running?
      • Likes to help and serve people, loves JC, in very involved in JC, wants to continue to see this neighborhood blossom

Bright & Varick micro-unit project update

  • Background:
    • Project in Ward F.  Blighted site in 2011, at same meeting they adopted a new re-development plan.  Was supposed to be similar to neighborhood with parking.  VVPA not aware of plan.
    • Came to light to VVPA in 2013 – Developer never came to community to present.
    • Redevelopment plan didn’t have statute for density (how many units you can put on a parcel).  VVPA tried to re-open redevelopment plan – two weeks prior to us officially asking, application filed by developer with planning.
    • Developer didn’t want to meet w/ community.  VVPA hired lawyer.
    • Mayor’s office said there is ambiguity on density è need to go to planning
    • Developer wants automatic approval since planning presentation wasn’t scheduled
    • City tried case and lost @ local Hudson County Court.  VVPA got approval from court to take over case from City.
  • Current Status:
    • VVPA filed motion of reconsideration.  Met w/ City this afternoon and they said they will support and file a petition of certiorari.   Big deal: precedent setting – gives way for developers to have a mechanism for circumvent public process and zoning laws.    This has ramifications throughout the state.
    • City is now working in conjunction w/ VVPA attorney – looking to have JC and VVPA legal team work w/ league of municipalities
    • JCRA still owns the property
    • Continue to support – donate online or come to upcoming fundraisers
  • Strength in Community when you decide to do something together!  Simple things make a big difference!

Angela McKnight – Running for Assemblywoman for 31st District: all of Bayonne and parts of JC

  • Born and raised in JC.  Runs Angela Cares – Non-profit that works w/ seniors.
  • Ran for assemblywoman 2 years ago and won!  Has introduced legislation for seniors, disabled, animals, environment, and veterans.
  • Wants to win again!  Workaholic, will roll up sleeves and dig in.  Wants to partner with VVPA and community.
  • Need good person down in Trenton to look out for JC!  She likes to facilitate change.

Old Business/New Business

Announcements

  • Recognition for Board Member Angelo Estrada’s Community Leadership Awards
  • Reval – go to City’s Website for Property Tax Reval Map for information on who will be coming to do reval in your home
  • JSQ Farmers market on Fridays – Plan 2045 for Transportation Infrastructure will have table up there; For more info: www.njtpa.org/plan2045
  • JC Dept of Recreation – Free Boot Camp in VVP @ gazeebo – Tuesdays @ 7:15am
  • Sandra Lovely – Greenville Neighborhood Alliance
    • Board fully formed, Block Association workshop on Thursday
    • Goal: Want to create block associations in Ward A and F and want to bring them together to deal w/ issues.  Accomplishment: have created ~15 so far and have been making progress
    • Unity Walk – 6/10 – get community united to deal w/ violence.  Will have workshops following the walk (Go Fund Me Page).  Newstreetba2016@yahoo.com
  • North River Sing – Concert @ St. Matthew’s Church – Sun 6/11 @ 5pm. Theme: “Around the world in 80 minutes”.  $20 suggested donation.
  • Committee people looking to set up meeting with Jermaine Robinson councilman Ward F @ Dixon – will provide info to VVPA
  • Call for Volunteers for events committee and VVPA Farmers Market Welcome Table; Need to continually infuse organization with new members to expand the forces
  • Introduction of all VVP Committee-Persons candidates – Election June 6th
    • Andrea & Patrick Ducas – want to be more vocally connected to political platform; wants neighbors to have a voice.  Want candidates to work for endorsements.  Running for Ward E District 4
    • Bertram Okpokwasilli – current district person for District 28 – have tried to help people with traffic issues.  An attorney in JC, coach @ Roberto Clemente, sings in a group called the Prom Dates.
    • Loraine G – running with Bertram
    • Ben & Lynda Bernouy – Ward F District 30 – Longtime residents; Ben is on Board of VVPA.  Available for questions and very willing to help.
    • Joanna Arceri – E4 – JC resident 4 years, worked on Dan Levin’s campaign

Adjournment – 9:20 pm