January 2015 VVPA Meeting Minutes (Revised)

19 Feb 2015, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

January 20th, 2015 Meeting Minutes

  • Guest Speakers
    • Bill Matsukoudis & Fanciullo LLC & Studio V Architecture presenting on Metropolis Towers
      • Requesting revision of an existing approved redevelopment plan for the coop (Metropolitan Towers). The residential towers approved by the existing plan would be similar to the existing towers and would be aligned along Christopher Columbus. Jay Valgora, architect from Studio V, described the new plan as essentially that the overall goal is to reintegrate the new development back into downtown, including green roofs.
      • Redevelopment plan existing for ~40 years. Within plan, got approval to build 2 new towers. None of stakeholders like the tower ideas, so want to scrap it and get a revised redevelopment plan that will help to reintegrate this property back into the community. Site originally encompassed first city hall and park. Want to bring in elements of how city originally was. Will take 8-10 years to complete, in phases. First phase will be the parking and supermarket.
      • Proposing: narrower towers with a light & airy feel, structured parking within the interior (3), a new street within the property, a new park/green area/green roofs, carry pedestrian walk of Newark Ave into the property, and include retail along the edges (no more fences) so that it leads into Newark Ave.
      • Sustainable strategies / storm water strategies (storm water retention that will help this site and surrounding community)
      • Community concerns
        • High Winds – you address it by breaking up massing of site
        • Rentals vs Coops? Will be decided as project advances and as market dictates
        • Why difference in heights of bldgs.? To be able to incorporate green space, need to go up in height. And, this fits in with the surrounding bldgs.
        • Could this storm water solution carry over to other projects? Possibly – this will be a pilot and hopefully a model for other developments.
        • Permeability and Retention: Today 100% impermeable; future: 32% is green space which will be permeable + green roofs.
        • Today: 800 units. Approved for 1200+ units total. Developer looking to do 1883 units (which is ~600 additional units above approval). Retail – 160K sq ft proposed.
        • Impact of additional ridership on PATH with new towers – have met with Port Authority (PA) to address concerns. Can’t force PA’s hand, but
        • Next step: Drafting redevelopment plan, then will put up website with all the info/renderings. Will do mailing (with email address for questions and the date for the planning board meeting). Bob and Jeff are the planners involved in the project.
    • Derk Garlick, Architect for 518 Jersey Ave
      • The project is the Carolinas Laundromat located at 518 Jersey Avenue. They have filed an application with the HPC and will file one with the Zoning Board shortly.
      • Owner wants to move family into top 2 floors and put retail space below (possibly restaurant instead of Laundromat)
      • Proposing two separate retail stores with a more historic detailing
      • Looking to get on the February Historic Meeting, board of Adjustments in March and Construction in the spring. Will also need planning variances for increasing bulk over existing non-compliance, building & lot coverage, and maintaining existing non-conforming parking
    • Elena from Pasta Dal Cuore – 527 Jersey Ave –
      • “Pasta Dal Cuore began as a dream born in Colorno, a small town outside of Parma, Italy in 2010 while attending culinary school at ALMA. After traveling extensively thru Italy researching the best restaurants known for their fresh pasta, I returned home to Jersey City with the goal of owning my own pasta shop. It is our mission to make fresh pasta with all-natural quality ingredients. In the near future we are planning on adding cheeses, butters and home-made sauces to accompany our fresh pastas.”
      • Opened in November, 2014 – fresh pasta sold up front, soon will have restaurant in back
    • New Business
      • In the spirit of volunteerism, we ask for folks to help out in any way that they can
      • Planning & Development sub-committee – need help! See Tom to join committee. This is an opportunity to learn about the process and shape the committee around you
      • Liberty State Park – looking for conditional veto for language in a bill which, if allowed in the bill, would allow for the park to be run by concessionaire and allow development on the land
      • Events Committee – community builders, fundraisers, movies, etc.
      • Bright & Varick – VVPA has filed appeal of automatic approval that was granted by Judge via NJ Appleseed (non-profit). Will need help from volunteers, and will continue to need to do fundraisers to pay for this
      • Pedestrian Plaza – Harsimus Cove is running the show on this issue – it really should be a DCNA issue for a more collaborative voice. Oona will bring it up at next quarterly DCNA meeting.
      • Change of use/ownership of real property proposed amendment at the City Council’s 1/20/15 meeting. As realtor, redundant system in place to ensure that property is used as zoned – don’t need this additional fee – adds unnecessary time and month. Community was opposed to it, issue was tabled pending revision.
      • Events: North River Sing at St. Matthews; Art House Productions Snowball on 24th; City Council Meeting on 28th – see for details

February 2015 VVPA Meeting Minutes

19 Feb 2015, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

Meeting Minutes – February 17th, 2015

Call to Order

Guest Speakers

  • Jeff Zak – Revised Plans from 333 Grand St. (Liberty Harbor)
    • Revised redevelopment plan to switch buildings around in plan to accommodate community input.   Looking to be in front of planning board in next month or two. Corner of Jersey & Grand will be resident entrance – the Jersey Ave and Grand Street sides will have retail.
      • “Wet Flood proofing” – allows retail to remain on ground level by using waterproof construction materials inside the retail spaces and utilities located above ground level.
      • Parking – amended zoning to allow VVP residents to park in there (internal ~160/month, external ~100/month). Jeff Zak to send information regarding parking.   Eventually looking to have parking authority create a liberty harbor zone when streets are dedicated.
      • Looking to attract a large, upscale, gourmet “food market” to the location, not a giant supermarket (101 spots allocated for retail market)
  • Ed Ciolko – Construction Manager for 274 Barrow Street (at Montgomery St.)
    • Dr. Florence Chan (owner) – would like to put carriage house on top of 3 garages that are located on Montgomery St. to improve neighborhood, and improve own property aesthetics. Haven’t spoken to Historic Commission yet (formally) about this.
    • Carriage house will be two 1-bedrooms apartments with common means of egress/ingress. Building will be brick with small Juliette balconies that don’t protrude into the neighborhood.
    • Community generally in agreement with idea, with some concerns about stairs and roofline. Concern is about awkward stairs which will be eyesore to neighborhood/not consistent with historic standards and that roofline is not consistent with the neighborhood. Community also wants to know which variances are needed for this project.
  • Angie Szani of United Rescue Recruitment –,, 201.294.5479,
    • Community based Emergency Care sponsored Mayor Fulop & JCMC. Volunteers (18+) are trained to respond to health emergencies in JC. Can stabilize people, not administer medication. Pilot program will be the model for the United States.
    • 60-90 hours of training for first aid care until first responders can get there. Volunteers given equipment and app on phone to respond. Goal is to cut response time in half, and looking to recruit ~100 volunteers by July (throughout JC). Training expected to begin in next 3 months.
    • Concern regarding liability Issue – United Rescue volunteers are covered under the JCMC for liability issues.
  • Councilwoman Joyce Watterman – Community Update – Postponed for future meeting.

Committee Reports

  • Events/Cultural Affairs Committee – Eric Carter
    • 80’s Prom in Barrow Mansion on April 11th – Van Vorst Boogie Facebook Page will be updated soon, and looking for people to submit pictures of themselves in the 80’s.Will go on sale 3/1/15 on EventBrite
    • Salsa Merengue outdoor in park – Summer
    • Country Western Hoedown – Fall
    • Meetball – No date yet – still need to find place
    • Always looking for volunteers!
  • Bright & Varick Committee – Ceci DeLeon
    • VVPA gave Rushman points of what we would negotiate for, but for now negotiation is off the table. Full steam ahead on appeal.
  • Construction & Planning Committee
    • Had 1st planning meeting tonight – some folks on committee following up on Metropolis Towers that was discussed at last month’s VVPA meeting
    • Historic Preservation meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, 2/18/15) – City Hall, 6:30pm. All are encouraged to attend. Items scheduled for tomorrow’s HP meeting:
      • 265 York St- Hasn’t addressed majority of changes community requested
      • 124 Bright St. – Not much controversy when it was presented to VVPA in 2014, the Planning + Development Committee reviewed some recent revisions to the materials for the building and did not have any problems with the changes.
      • Grove Street Synagogue – controversy regarding taking lions down when it was presented to VVPA. No idea what they are going to present on or if they incorporated our feedback into the plans.
      • 11 Wayne St. – existing non-conforming issues.
    • Planning issue in Hamilton Park – looking to put a restaurant with liquor license in a location that does not allow this use. There is also an issue with respect to proximity to school. City looking to make this a part of restaurant row overlay to allow the liquor license at this location. The project will need to go to Board of Adjustment for a Use variance first to make this happen. If this mechanism gets used in this location, it can be copied in other neighborhoods. This issue came up at the DCNA meeting – some people want this, but neighbors recognized that if they support it, it can be precedent setting for all of Jersey City.
    • Planning issue – Tom & Ceci (in an advisory role) gave help to planning board to draft Café ordinance.

Officer Reports

  • President – Oona Moore
    • No pressing concerns
  • Treasurer – Tom Ogorzalek
  • At-Large Members – Ben Bernouy (Parking Issues Meeting with Candice Osborne)
    • February 4th meeting with Candice Osborne with Parking Enforcement and Safety. Attendees identified top 5 issues, along with potential solutions:
      • Capacity(abated builders to contribute to fund to build municipal lots; unused spaced in public housing spaces, reach out to retailers to create drop off/pick up zones {e.g. Pathmark, Hospital}; angled parking for double wide streets
      • Day lighting (bumping out curb to prevent parking too close to curb)
      • Enforcement (parking meter through phone – free for residents)
      • Expanding zone hours (make past 5pm)
      • Street sweeping (change time and/or frequency, or hire a person to manually sweep sidewalk).
    • Will create poll on Facebook page to have community vote on top 2 issues they want addressed from the list brought forth at this meeting.
    • Community also very concerned about traffic lights issue that was brought up several times but hasn’t been addressed yet (timing of lights for pedestrians to safely walk)

Other Business/Events

  • Killing Lincoln Movie at 5 Corners Library
  • City Council Meeting – 2/15/15
  • Newark Ave pedestrian experiment from last summer – Early March for community input
  • Safety concerns – attend the Captain’s Meeting for East District – typically 4th Tuesday of the month, but for this month only meeting was moved to 4th Monday of the month at 7pm in the MS4 Library


Mayor Steven Fulop has sent out the following communication to invite residents to his State of the City address. We are sharing it with you:

“I am pleased to invite you to join me for my second State of the City Address, which will take place on Tuesday, February 24th at 6:00 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers, 280 Grove Street, Jersey City, New Jersey. The State of the City Address allows me share with you the goals we have for the coming year as well as a review of 2014. I truly hope to see you there.”

December 2014 VVPA Meeting Minutes (Revised)

19 Feb 2015, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

Meeting Minutes – December 16th, 2014

  • Call to Order / introduction of board
  • Old Business
    • Review of Putting on the Ritz Soiree
  • New Business
    • The Lincoln Park West Golf Course – Norman Guerra, Chief Executive Officer , Hudson County Improvement Authority
      • Norman Guerra, Michel Cohen, Dale Wesselmen
        • Autonomous agency partners with towns in Hudson County: Re-development work, solar projects, recreation
        • Landfill/wetlands restorations project and capping of landfill
        • Vision: 9 hole golf course
        • Created public walkway and restoration of marine life in the area
        • Eventually (next phase 3-4 years) will get a permanent club house and mini golf
        • Will be open 7 Days a week, will offer tours starting in April, 2015
        • Irrigation system in place, no need to use potable water
        • Target opening date: May, 2015
        • Public Transportation: Busses at corner of Duncan Ave.
        • First public golf course – projected fees of $21 (without cart); will offer in-county and out-of county rates
        • Company called Kemper will maintain/operate course
        • Cost to build? Some of costs financed by DEP for wetlands restoration. In total, approx. $25M
    • 265 York Street – Phillip Gesue will present a design for a new townhouse at 265 York Street with a 4′ height variance
      • Phillip Gesue and Jeff Jordan, Misa Odanaka
      • 12 unit condominium currently with large gravel parking lot
      • Will add a 4 story building, 4 units + site improvement to address drainage and parking issues on site
      • Vision: showpiece for neighborhood with a lot of landscape architecture
      • Plan: reduce parking lot area (~15 parking spots) to allow for landscape architecture to buffer between buildings. Plan is that condominium owners will be allotted a space, except the owner
      • Will additional landscape in front of building will have to be a franchise? Probably, as the existing landscape is franchised
      • Flooding concerns will be addressed as per FEMA. Outside of historic district, can raise to allowable limit plus FEMA elevation. Inside historic district, not clear cut, but overall building height is currently taken from street level. FEMA flood zone is 30”, have to be 1’ above it. Need to figure out how to address windows to complement surroundings – presenters gave 2 options
      • Balance: respect tradition and history, yet be true to yourself and where the profession is going
      • Community concerns: factory looking – do something with the windows to address it? Where is the design at the top of the building (cornice) – building is lacking without it. One comment is that it’s not historic, and yet it’s not modern……it’s too much in the middle and it “doesn’t’ work”. Another comment: put a requirement for mandated uniform window treatments.Brick color is jarring – consider going back to grey option.
      • What specific elements make it fit with the neighborhood? Being brick, proportions of windows, rhythm of windows, overall mass of buildings, and proportions of openings. Building should be “of its time”, and as an architect you need to build something that will “stand the test of time”
      • Going for height variance due to flood issue.
    • Eric Flemming – Lacrosse Program March – June, K-8. No experience or equipment required. FREE CLINICS!
    • Potluck Dinner Celebration!

February 2015 VVPA Newsletter

17 Feb 2015, Posted by Oona Moore in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

Brrr!  Baby, it’s cold outside!  Brave the cold and join us on February 17th for our monthly VVPA Neighborhood Association meeting 7:30 pm at the Barrow Mansion 83 Wayne Street.  Whether you are new to the neighborhood or long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  Find out what’s going on, how it impacts your quality of life and meet your neighbors!  We look forward to seeing you there!

Guest Speakers:
Councilwoman Joyce Watterman:
Councilwoman-at-Large Joyce Watterman will be coming to our meeting to discuss issues affecting our community.  Councilwoman Watterman was born, raised, and educated in Jersey City. After graduating from William L. Dickinson High School, she worked for 13 years at the Former Medical Center Clinic. A proud wife of over 35 years, Joyce is the mother of three, and a loving grandmother.
After graduating Somerset Christian College with a Degree in Organizational Leadership and Biblical Studies, she founded The H.O.P.E Summer Program for children, the purpose of which is to establish safe and caring environments which promote individual and social growth. Joyce has served as a volunteer at Rahway State Prison for over 20 years and Clinton State Prison for eight years, as well.

Jeff Zak – Liberty Harbor:
After gathering your input on the Liberty Harbor project, Jeff will be returning to present to us the revised plans for 333 Grand Street.

274 Barrow Street:
Will be presenting preliminary design plans for an addition to the garage behind the building along Montgomery St.

Officer Reports:
President – Oona Moore
Treasurer & Construction Liaison – Tom Ogorzalek
At-Large Board Members – Ben Bernouy and Jon Ross

Standing Committee Reports:
Events/Cultural Affairs – Marlene Sandkamp and Eric Carter
Bright & Varick – Ceci de Leon

Other issues for the good of our community
Jersey City Winter Storm Information Page – Stay informed! –



2/25, 6pm – 9pm: CITY COUNCIL MEETING

January 2015 VVPA Newsletter

19 Jan 2015, Posted by Oona Moore in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

Happy New Year!  We look forward to your attendance!  Whether you are new to the neighborhood or long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY. Stop by, and have a glass of wine on us. Find out what’s going on, how it impacts your quality of life and meet your neighbors!

Officer Reports:

President – Oona Moore
Treasurer & Construction Liaison – Tom Ogorzalek

Standing Committee Reports:
Events/Cultural Affairs – Marlene Sandkamp
Bright & Varick – Ceci de Leon

Old Business/New Business

Guest Speakers:

Bill Matsukoudis & Fanciullo LLC & Studio V Architecture presenting on Metro Towers:
Requesting revision of an existing approved redevelopment plan for the coop that was originally called Gregory Park and is now Metro Towers.  The residential towers approved by the existing plan would be similar to the existing towers and would be aligned along Christopher Columbus.  Jay Valgora, architect from Studio V, described their goal is to essentially reintegrate the new development back into downtown, and to include green roofs.

Rita McKenna, attorney & Derk Garlick, Architect for 518 Jersey Avenue: 
The project is the Laundromat located at 518 Jersey Avenue.  They have filed an application with the HPC and will file one with the Zoning Board shortly.

Elena from Pasta Dal Cuore:
“Pasta Dal Cuore began as a dream born in Colorno, a small town outside of Parma, Italy in 2010 while attending culinary school at ALMA. After traveling extensively through Italy, researching the best restaurants known for their fresh pasta, I returned home to Jersey City with the goal of owning my own pasta shop. It is our mission to make fresh pasta with all-natural quality ingredients. In the near future we are planning on adding cheeses, butters and home-made sauces to accompany our fresh pastas.”

Other issues for the good of our community


Sam Pesin, President of Friends of Liberty State Park requests that you take a minute to familiarize yourself with this issue and take action:
Please call Governor to keep Liberty State Park (LSP) under full control of Department of Environmental Protection(DEP) with public participation. Please call 609-292-6000 and urge Governor to Conditionally Veto “Assembly Bill 3969 – the Hackensack Meadowlands Agency Consolidation Act until the LSP amendment is removed as it put LSP under Planning Control of this autonomous Commission!


1/24, 8pm:  SNOW BALL

1/25 Van Vorster Liz Morrill’s North River Sing Chorus performs @ St. Matthews Church next door to the Barrow Mansion!  3pm— Wine & Cheese & Song–$10 Suggested donation–


Bright & Varick Update 1.12.15

14 Jan 2015, Posted by Oona Moore in News You Can Use

We wanted to reach out and update you about a significant development in your neighborhood.   It is about the proposed micro-unit project located on the corner of Bright St. and Varick St. in the Van Vorst Park neighborhood.  Although this is about one specific project, the procedural precedent, if allowed to proceed, can impact many other development projects in Jersey City and we hope you will consider contributing to our efforts in any way you can.

Bright & Varick Microunit Status:
The VVPA has been actively involved with this project since it first came to our attention in July of 2013.  With your help and  a lot of hard work, we were successful in having the City agree with our position. The City instructed the developer to proceed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for clarification on the proposed density.  Instead of following the City’s directive and process, the developer immediately chose to sue the City to avoid public presentation to the board. This was an obvious and calculated effort to circumvent the possibility of public comment.  And contrary to the allegations made by the developer,neither the City or the VVPA ever blocked the Planning Board from holding a hearing.  The VVPA would have welcomed any opportunity to comment on this project in an official public forum.

However, the Superior Court Judge granted an automatic approval of the project based only on the developer’s interpretation of the procedural deadlines not the facts or merits of the case and disregarded the City’s directives.

There is strong legal ground and precedent to overturn the automatic approval in this situation.We are going to continue to fight to keep the public voice relevant in the development in Jersey City. To assist us, we have secured the services of local attorney, Cynthia Hadjiyannis, Esq. and Renee Steinhagen, Esq. of NJ Appleseed, a Public Interest Law Center and have filed an Appeal for the automatic approval.

So our fight to allow the public a voice on this development continues. We cannot let developers and Redevelopment Plans continually change and manipulate the existing zoning laws in order to bypass public input.

We have updated our blogspotwith our reasons to fight this unprecedented development in our historic neighborhood. We have also updated it with our recent correspondences with the developer.  Take a minute and check out

We still need donations as well and can really use your help.  Donations are tax-deductible and can be done with a click of the keyboard on our website at

Stay in touch.  Keep checking our emails for updates. There will be a meeting soon where you will have a chance to speak with our lawyers and find out all the details of the case. In the meantime, please feel free to email us at with any questions or concerns.  AND…one last favor….

Continue to check out our website at for all the latest meeting agendas and events. We continue to meet the third Tuesday of every month with a variety of speakers and presentations.

December 2014 VVPA Newsletter

15 Dec 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

Meeting Agenda: 

The Lincoln Park West Golf Course –
Norman Guerra, Chief Executive Officer , Hudson County Improvement Authority  

265 York Street –
Phillip Gesue will present a design for a new townhouse at 265 York Street with a 4′ height variance

Community is invited to bring a main/side or dessert to share.  VVPA to provide tableware and beverages.  Happy Holidays!

November 2014 VVPA Newsletter

16 Nov 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

Meeting Agenda:

Jorge Mastropietro

227 Montgomery is an existing 3 story dwelling that was abandoned mid renovation.  JMA would like to revitalize this property and make it a beneficial addition to the neighborhood.  The project will entail a full face-lift of the aging historic facade including a new door, paint, railings, and windows. Along with this will be expansion of the square footage to create three new living spaces with 2 bed/2 bath and a modern, open floor plan.

Derk Garlick, Architect & Ashraf Elshazly owner 294 Grove &
11 Wayne Street

Rita McKenna, attorney and her clients, Derk Garlick & Ashraf Elshazly will present plans under consideration for two properties in our neighborhood

294 Grove Street:  Owners of the Mosque would like to remove the lion statues from the front facade of their building
11 Wayne Street: Asking for variances in lot depth, rear yard set back and building coverage.  The proposed renovation of the living space includes adding a 2-story addition above a pre-existing 2-story rear addition to increase the habitable living space.  The interior will be extensively rehabilitated and converted to one 2-story 2 bedroom duplex and two larger 1 bedroom units for a total of three residential units.  The footprint of the existing building will not be increased and the number of units will be decreased from 4 to 3.

CENTRADE 260 Newark Ave
Owners will give a brief introduction to their Financial Services and Wealth Management office here in JC!

We will give a brief update on Microunit project slated for the corner of Bright & Varick.  Recent judge’s determination, current status of the project and treasurer’s update for attorney’s fees.

Voting will take place for new board members. The election slate is as follows:
Oona Jackson Moore – President
Sheridan Bell – First Vice President
Jeff Agnew – Second Vice President
Yolanda Foley – Secretary
Tom Ogorzalek – Treasurer
John Ross – At Large
Benjamin Bernouy – At Large

Ordinance allowing front yard parking
Read ordinance here


Saturday December 12th 8-Midnight @ Barrow Mansion
Van Vorst Park Association’s


Brothers, won’t you spare a dime? We promise you a swell time!! Charleston with us as we raise $$ for our Van Vorst Boogie nights in the Park next summer. If you thought Disco was fun..wait till you see what we have in store for 2015. We will be raising money as we are raising the roof, 20’s style. A spectacular night all for $25!!   Here’s what’s in store at our speakeasy soiree…
Listen to the smooth jazz music of Vespertine as you sip a champagne cocktail, then roll up your stockings and start swinging to the dance music of DJ Dancing Tony. Nibble on some light fare while you belly up to our bar for some bootlegged beer & wine at a fair price. Get your Gatsby on and you may take home best dressed man or woman….This party will be the bee’s knees in Van Vorst!!

You can purchase your tickets in advance at Eventbrite: here

Sunday November 23rd 1-4pm
HPHA’s Fall Feast @ St Peters Prep
Food & Music and a dessert bake off!
Go to: to buy tickets & for more information

December 13 & 14th, 20th & 21st
10-5pm @ Tommy Two Scoops 177 York Street
An afternoon of holiday fun for the whole family…dancing, treats, ornament & card making and a chance to meet and get your photo taken with Santa!!
Percentage of proceeds supporting KFM: Making a Difference. You may even think Santa and one of his elves on the 21st looks familiar….

DCNA Holiday Party!  Upcoming in the Hamilton Park Neighborhood!  Check your emails in the next 2 weeks for all the details!!

November 22nd 10am Liberty State Park
Fun for the whole family! Sponsored by NJ Parks & Forest
Come on out to Liberty State Park and join us for a leisurely stroll as you look for and identify the birds that visit for the fall. Please dress for the weather and bring binoculars if you have them, we have a limited number that can be borrowed. We will meet at the Park Office on Morris Pesin Drive. This program is suitable for children ages 5 and older with a caregiver and adults of all ages. For more information or to register, please call 201-915-3402 x109, or email

FARMERS MARKET STILL IN FULL SWING IN VVP!!!  Get your Thanksgiving veggies on Saturday November 22nd!!

October 2014 VVPA Meeting Minutes

22 Oct 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in Minutes

Thank you to all who came out last night.  It was a packed house–

Thanks to Leah Guy from Modern Sage a new wellness, meditation, massage you name it feel good store on Newark Ave.  She kindly brought us a gift bag from her store which we used last night as a door prize.  One lucky gal went home with a bag of goodies!  If you haven’t been to Modern Sage–it’s really a treat for the senses. And Leah knows every product in there…Check it out!  Modern Sage 315 2nd Street.

Dixon Leasing gave us a rundown on their processes and properties in the Van Vorst Park area.  Dixon is an Australian company that bought a number of houses in Hudson County, NY and Brooklyn.  We currently have 22 of their properties in our neighborhood.  They discussed the renovation of a number of those properties and addressed some concerns about the construction and tenants.  Rebbecca Symes  and John Wellendorf are available at anytime if anyone has any issues with their properties.  For a full list of those properties contact us at, Rebecca at or John at John.

We also welcomed a number of school board candidates.  There was plenty of questions raised and some spirited discussions.  The candidates are participating in a forum hosted by Historic Paulus Hook  Association (HPHA) this Thursday October 23rd 7 pm at PS16 96 Sussex Street.  You can check out their FB event page here.In the meantime here are the candidates we met last night.  Get to know them a little better–

The Parents for Excellence Team:  Bertram Okpokwasili, Moncia Kress & Carol Harrison-Aronold.  Betram and Carol are currently Board members and Bertram is a Van Vorster.  Check out

The Children First Team: Gerald Lyons, Gina Verdibello, Lorenzo Richardson.  You can read more about them on their Facebook page:

Joel Torres—Joel is running independent of a ticket. He has his own Facebook page: and website:

Take a few minutes…make an informed vote on November 4th!

Reminder we will be in the park this weekend hanging ribbons on our Breast Cancer Awareness tree.We will also be  ghouling it up on Halloween in the park from 4-8pm handing out candy and hot cider. AND….

SAVE THE DATE!  December 12th–Van Vorst Boogie is back!  In the Barrow Mansion….this one will be a fundraiser for us to continue the free dances in the park next summer.  But wait…it’s going to be a “great” night….food, drinks, live music, DJ Dancing Tony….a very spirited holiday party!

There is still time to get really involved in your community….we are looking for a few good men and women to join our Board of Directors…if you’ve attended at least 3 meetings last year and live in the Van Vorst district you are eligible.  Community service is cool and rewarding…look what it did for Steve Fulop! He was once the president of HPHA!