News

In conjunction with the Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, The Harsimus Cove association welcomes Mayor Steven Fulop as their guest speaker for their March general meeting.  Since time is limited, we are taking questions for the Mayor in advance of our meeting.  All downtown neighborhoods will be submitting questions. Please help us by filling out the form below.

The meeting will be Monday, March 10, 2014 from 7:30- 9:00 at Grace Church Van Vorst, 39 Erie Street @ 2nd Street. Enter through the red doors on 2nd Street. All are welcome, please invite your neighbors.

PATH CONGESTION SURVEY

27 Feb 2014, Posted by admin in News You Can Use

Recently we welcomed Port Authority representatives to our February monthly meeting.  Over 60 people attended and voiced their frustrations to Stephen Kingsberry, the Director/General Manager of PATH. He listened and assured us he would take all the suggestions and issues and discuss with his colleagues at PATH.  He encouraged the crowd to let him know of problem times & congestion issues with the  current weekend service.

The VVPA is “unofficially” doing a PATH CONGESTION SURVEY.

We will be sharing our results with Councilwoman Osbourne as well as the Port Authority reps who attended our meeting.  Feel free to comment as well and fill out our survey as often as you wish.

Thanks to Victoria for setting up our survey.

 

 

January 2014 VVPA Newsletter

18 Jan 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

A brief update on the latest developments as of Friday January 17th for the Bright & Varick Redevelopment Plan:

The Office of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce issued a letter to Michael Rushman and his lawyers stating that the “proposed 87 micro unit project at 268 Varick is denied based on ambiguity pertaining to density”. He cited the letter our lawyers wrote to the city on our behalf saying that it “raises important questions and presents me with doubt as to whether or not your application would require a “d” variance for density under this redevelopment plan” (Read the full letter here). He goes on to say that they can appeal and have 20 days to do so.

So…GOOD NEWS!

HOWEVER…..We are not sure what happens next but we know the fight is NOT OVER…will they appeal? Will they take the city to court? Will they apply for a variance? We continue to retain our lawyers. We can use your continued support. We will be having a series of fundraisers soon. In the meantime, any donation will help us with our legal fees. You can donate online at vvpa.org. Or bring your check books to the meeting on Tuesday!!

Onward!!!
MEETING AGENDA:

Ryan Strother- Director of Recreation for Jersey City

Ryan will join us Tuesday to talk about his vision for the Department of Recreation. He has been working hard on this years upcoming events around town and will take questions and suggestions from our members.

Jeff Zak-Liberty Harbor North

Jeff has joined us in the past trying to keep us up to date on the latest developments in Liberty Harbor North. On Tuesday, he will be sharing with us preliminary plans and ideas for the property across from the Brownstone Diner and is hoping for a discussion with our insight and input.

BULLETIN BOARD

SNOWBALL-Saturday January 25th Truly a great time—get your tickets now! There is still time to find that fabulous outfit!! http://www.arthouseproductions.org/

HUDSON RESTAURANT WEEK:
Celebrating 10 years… Hudson Restaurant Week returns with 40+ participating restaurants in Jersey City, Hoboken, Bayonne, and Edgewater/Weehawken areas. For participating list – visit: http://www.hudsonrestaurantweek.com

CON VIVO CONCERT:
Our resident VVP chamber music group performs Sunday January 19th at the Barrow Mansion. Check out all the information at: http://www.convivomusic.org/

SUPER BOWL KICKOFF IN LIBERTY STATE PARK
Get your free tickets for a concert and fireworks in LSP on Monday January 27th from 7:30- 9pm. Bundle up and head on over. Check out: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/super-bowl-kickoff-spectacular-concert-starring-macys-fireworks-tickets-10071019691

UPDATE BRIGHT & VARICK

16 Jan 2014, Posted by Oona Moore in News You Can Use

Happy New Year!

This is an update on the latest developments in the Bright & Varick project.

The VVPA requested all documents from City Officials regarding this project via OPRA (Open Public Records Act). We were finally given a portion of documents weeks after they were due from the City Clerks office the day after Christmas. What was included though was eye opening to say the least. But what was clear to us and our lawyers was that Steve Fulop seems to be on our side now agreeing that the density will require a variance from the Board of Adjustment. And there was a letter from Corporate Counsel informing the developer of the same. We’ve uploaded some of the documents, including those mentioned above on brightandvarick.blogspot.com.

However, yesterday neighbors in the vicinity of Bright & Varick started receiving mail from Michael Rushman’s lawyer informing us the Bright & Varick Urban Renewal Co (The Developer) clams approval of its application for preliminary and major site plan by reason of failure by the Jersey City Planning Board to grant or deny their application within the statutory time period after submission. We were not surprised by this attempt in light of Michael Rushman’s post on JCList in December. We’ve emailed Steve Fulop and others for comment. Steve emailed us back and verifies that “it is NOT approved”. There are now emails unanswered to Bob Cotter and the Planning Department on what actions are being taken. We hope to hear from them shortly and will update in an email this weekend.

In the meantime, we have been keeping in touch with our lawyers. Since they sent our letter to the City they have been on hold waiting to appear on our behalf for whatever action needs to happen, whether it’s Zoning or Planning Board agendas. They’ve been updated on the latest news and are researching the next steps for us to take.

We encourage you to reach out to us if you have received any notification from the Developer. vvpanews@gmail.com We will be diligently trying to find out what the City’s stance is on this latest tactic by Michael Rushman.

Oh, and get ready for some more fundraisers…..!

Thanks to all

December 2013 VVPA Newsletter

17 Dec 2013, Posted by Oona Moore in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

Last meeting of 2013!!

LAST MINUTE UPDATE:

Rob Luckritz, Director of EMS services at JCMC will speak to us regarding the upcoming City Council resolution to turn over JCMC’s Ambulatory services for the city of JC  to Bayonne based McCabe Ambulance.  Rob has been a guest with us twice in the past and is quite informative.

We will be voting on our new Board of Directors:

The slate is as follows:
Marlene Sandkamp: President
Yolanda Foley: First Vice President
Sheridan Bell: Second Vice President
Oona Jackson Moore: Secretary
Cecilia DeLeon: Treasurer
John Ross; At Large
Jeff Agnew: At Large

BRIGHT AND VARICK UPDATE

There is a Planning Board meeting tonite (December 17th). The Developer is NOT ON THE PLANNING BOARD AGENDA as originally thought. We ask that someone attend and report back to us if the project was mentioned. Email vvpanews@gmail.com if you can attend. We will be discussing the latest information from our lawyers. We will have copies of the legal brief as well.

28 BRIGHT STREET REDEVELOPMENT PLAN

It’s back! Our Councilman at Large, Rolando Lavarro has informed us that the JCRA is voting to designate a developer for the property at 28 Bright Street. They will be discussing it at their Commissioners meeting this Tuesday December 17th. We will be reviewing what our opposition was to the Plan back in May of this year when an amendment to the plan was scheduled to be voted on by Council (and was tabled). We will have a copy of the plan and discussing it at our meeting. Also if you care to attend the JCRA meeting it starts at 5pm at 30 Montgomery 14th Floor and is open to the public.

STAY AND JOIN US FOR SOME HOLIDAY BEVERAGES AND TASTY TREATS AFTER THE MEETING!!!

 

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS!

Not to late to get into the Holiday Spirit–check out:

JCITY THEATER’S A Tuna Christmas
Back after a hiatus last year, check out this not to be missed Holiday Tradition from our very own Van Vorsters, Clay and Sandy Cockrell. Show run Wednesday-Saturday 8pm performances with the last performance on Saturday December 21st at 8pm. Check here to purchase tickets in advance and for more information:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/517261

NIMBUS DANCE WORKS’ The Nutcracker
Another wonderful tradition from Van Vorster extraordinaire, Samuel Pott. Check out the retelling of this holiday ballet with a Jersey City flavor. Featuring fulls sets, costumes and over 100 professional and youth performers. At MS #4 107 Bright Street December 21 @ 1pm & 5pm and December 22nd @1pm & 5pm. Check here for more information and to purchase tickets:
http://nimbusnutcracker2013.brownpapertickets.com/

OLC’s ELF FACTORY
A new funraisers in town! Bring your little ones to meet Santas elves and have fun with them at their factory! Cookie and oranment making, dancing, and even a chance to meet the big guy himself!! SANTA….you may recognize one or two of your favorite VVPA former and present Board members—as an elf and one in a Jolly Red Suit next Saturday the 21st. You can also sponsor a child to attend or buy your own tickets here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/santas-elf-factory-and-vendor-village-holiday-event-tickets-9037349957

November 2013 VVPA Newsletter

15 Nov 2013, Posted by Oona Moore in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

Van Vorst Park Association Meeting
Meeting Tuesday November 19th , 7:30PM at the Barrow Mansion
83 Wayne Street  All are welcome! Snacks will be served!

AGENDA:

Captain Daniel Sollitti- East District Commander
7:30-8:15pm
It’s been some time since we’ve had a representative from our Police District at one of our monthly meetings and we are so pleased to welcome the Captain to our neighborhood. He will give us a little background and then take questions and concerns from the membership. Now is the time to come and speak up on the issues that are most concerning to us….PLEASE DON’T MISS THIS IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY!

UPDATES: Bright & Varick Street Redevelopment
8:15–8:45PM

BRIGHT & VARICK REDEVELOPMENT :
Latest update and strategy meeting for the Bright & Varick Redevelopment project.
The Townhall meeting with the Mayor answered few questions and raised even more as did the response from his office this week to our first letter outlining legal options. You can read their letter here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0hEELfyg1AHbzJ3dzl1VFlidm8/edit. In short, they have decided that “the Project is simply too far along to effecuate any substantial change” and that there is a “revised plan” that “reflects a good faith effort” to address our concerns.
We have not seen this revised plan. Our next step is to present our Legal Case at the next Planning Board Meeting (when they are on the agenda). If we do not receive a satisfactory decision, we will have to appeal to the higher courts.
The Town Hall Meeting was filmed by our 1st Van Vorst Park Association president Yvonne Balcer and can be seen here: http://vimeo.com/78964791. THANKS YVONNE!!

PRESENTATION OF ELECTION SLATE-
8:45-9PM
FUNDRAISER TIME!

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 20th 7-11pm
Brightside Tavern, 141 Bright Street

As you know, lawyers are preparing a brief for us and will hopefully be presenting on our behalf in the upcoming weeks at the Planning Board. We have raised money, but we need to continue building our legal defense fund. So please join us for a fundraiser that promises to seriously raise some FUN….and FUNDS!!

$20 contribution at the door.
Complimentary appetizers
Happy Hour drink prices all night long!
a Game of “I dare you” Karoke
a guaranteed good time

PLEASE tell your friends & neighbors–let’s pack the house like we did back on October 8th….ALL ARE WELCOME!!!!

We will see you there!

If you are unable to make it feel free to donate online at
www.vvpa.org or brightandvarick.blogspot.com

Special thanks to Tom Parisi for his generosity…

Sunday November 17th 3-6pm
Victory Hall Drawing Room 180 Grand Street

Opening Reception for The BIG Small Painting Show! Featuring a number of VVP residents!! Free and open to all!

Saturday December 7th 7-11pm
DCNA HOLIDAY PARTY!!!!
Iron Monkey–All are invited–more details to come in our events section!

NIMBUS DANCE WORKS:
Save the date!! Nimbus’s annual Nutcracker presentatation is happening on December 21st & 22nd, 1 & 5pm shows at MS#4 on Bright Street. Check out www.nimbusdanceworks.org for all the information. A wonderful Jersey City tradition starring local children and celebrities!! NOT TO BE MISSED!!

Rolando Lavarro wrote:

We are hosting a fundraising drive to provide aid to the Philippines, which was hit by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, the strongest recorded typhoon to make landfall. 9.5 million people are affected, with approximately 250 casualties to date, a number which is projected to rise in the thousands.

We ask that you stop by Port-o Lounge this Thursday, 6pm-9pm, and write a check to American Red Cross, with memo designation of “Philippines Typhoon and Flood”. A representative from the American Red Cross will be available to accept donations.

A percentage of sales will be donated on behalf of Port-O Lounge’s patrons to the American Red Cross.

If you are unable to join, you can donate online or mail your check to the nearest American Red Cross. You can find that information at http://www.redcross.org/.

No donation is too small. Thank you for your generosity.

Fall Clean Up in the Park

08 Nov 2013, Posted by Oona Moore in Events

From Friends of Van Vorst Park:

Although we maintain Van Vorst Park by ourselves all year long, the Friends of Van Vorst Park could really use your help now that fall has fallen. The park is covered with leaves and they must be removed in order to protect the lawns and prevent fungus from forming on next spring’s growth on the trees and plants.

Tomorrow (Saturday, Nov 9th), between 11:00am-2:00pm, we will be providing rakes, leaf bags, and gloves to anyone that can put in an hour or more to help with this clean-up. School kids may use this volunteer effort towards community service hours.

We only ask twice a year for additional help in making this, what we think is, one of the most beautiful places in Jersey City. Please join us tomorrow, meet your neighbors, help your park, and get a little exercise at the same time.

RECAP:
Mayor Fulop arranged a Town Hall Meeting regarding the Bright & Varick Redevelopment Plan and the 87 Micro Units planned for 268 Varick Street this past Monday evening. Despite the last minute nature of the meeting, the council chambers was respectfully crowded and neighbors voiced their dissatisfaction with the project. The Jersey Journal reported on the evening. Please read this article for the full recap.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2013/11/downtown_jersey_city_residents_flay_fulop_over_microunit_development.html

GOING FORWARD:
The last 2 days we have met with and retained a lawyer who will be preparing a brief in the coming days outlining the legal basis that this project is not possible without density variances. We will be sending the brief first to the Mayor and will await his response. According to our legal counsel, the density standards of the R1 district (8-9 units) are still in effect for this property. We must encourage the Mayor and Council to hold off any approvals or the sale of the property until they fully read and understand the brief. This week we ask that you reach out to our At Large Council Members–

Call Rolando Lavarro: 201.547.5268
Call Joyce Watterman: 201.547.5134
Call Daniel Rivera: 201.547.5319

Make sure to leave a message and ask them to return your call–
And Tell them: “Please encourage the Mayor to hold off any approvals or the sale of the property until he fully reads and understands the brief coming his way.”

DONATE:
Here– use our donate button on the Homepage or go to brightandvarick.blogspot.com–

FUNDRAISER:
We are organizing a fundraiser for our legal defense…check your emails for the date soon to be announced! We promise to make a it a fun night!!

KEEP AT IT:
Phone calls, talking to our neighbors and local businesses, posters–
THIS IS NOT A DONE DEAL–WE’VE SHAKEN UP THE POWERS THAT BE
STAY THE COURSE!!!!!!

KEEP US IN THE LOOP:
If you are emailing Steve or Council as was requested at the Town Hall Meeting, please cc us in your emails as well. VVPANEWS@gmail.com. We would like to keep a record of all the opinions of our neighbors.

THANKS!!!!!

Our Mayor decided after our hundreds of phone calls last week to schedule a Town Hall Meeting regarding the Bright & Varick (268 Varick Street) 87 Micro Unit Plan.

Candice Osbourne tweeted last night that the meeting is indeed being held SOMEWHERE in City Hall (no location set as of yet) and at 6pm

The VVPA is aware this is a difficult time for many of our working neighbors to attend a meeting but we have not been involved in the setting the time or date or location. Our only hope is that many concerned citizens will come and voice their opinions directly to our Mayor.

Thanks. We will see you there.