January 2008 VVPA Meeting Minutes

15 Jan 2008, Posted by admin in Minutes

VVPA Minutes for January 15, 2008

Treasurer’s report No report this month.

Police report

Accompanied by patrol sergeant Tim O’Brien, East District Captain Brian McDonagh reported:

1. creation of new JCPD newsletter called “Jersey City Watch” which is distributed at community meetings and can be found online at

2. success of JCPD Christmas party with about 1500 children in attendance and 2000 toys distributed [Laura Fraschilla added thanks to Pershing for their generous contribution via the VVPA]

3. drop in citywide crime in 2007 by 15 to 20%

4. drop in East District car theft from 272 in ’06 to 199 in ’07

5. two arrests from rash of violent muggings in June, 2007; 16-year-old actor will be tried as adult

6. downtown “tight unit” has been set up; 1-2 officers patrol on bike or scooter

7. East District Community ComStat meeting occurs on 4th Tuesday each month, 7:00 pm at Public School 4 on Grand Street at Varick; Police Chief Comey and the detective commander discuss cases pending and closed and invite the public to work together to mitigate and eliminate problems; all are encouraged to attend

Questions from attendees:

1. Explain the mugging at Carry Drug on Jersey & Bright Streets. Man carrying briefcase of money was held at knife point and mugged; believed to be cased out and not a random act.

2. What is the update with security cameras throughout the city? JC has the largest CCTV system in the state. There are 90 cameras linked into Central Avenue headquarters. Most cameras are along the waterfront; these are from a grant from the federal government through Homeland Security. More cameras are proposed for Jersey and Newark Avenues and Grove and Grand Streets.

3. Have the police gotten new radios recently?

Yes, state of the art. A new Communications Center is being built to house and link communication of all emergency services.

4. What is the JCPD non-emergency number?

201-547-5477; also there is an updated email address: Either of these is used to communicate non-urgent safety concerns.

Margaret O’Gorman, executive director, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ The ten-year-old foundation supports rare and imperiled wildlife in New Jersey. There are over 300 species of birds and over 70 species of reptiles in NJ; over 1000 species of wildlife.

NJ is unique for the following reasons:

1. at a bio/geographical crossroads – southern-most state some northern species can survive in; northern-most for some southern species

2. huge diversity of habitat – coastal, pinelands, highlands, beaches, forests, cities, farmlands, wetlands

3. on the Northeast Flyway for migratory birds – more birds pass by Cape May Point than any other point in the USA

The peregrine falcon is an endangered species of NJ. This bird is a raptor that mates for life. The most notable identifying physical characteristics are its “sideburns” and its long wings. It survives in all environments except rainforests. In cities, the birds feed on pigeons. In the 1950s, there were no peregrine falcons whatsoever east of the Mississippi. Through conservation efforts, the number of pairs in NJ currently is 18.

The foundation has installed a nesting box for a pair of peregrine falcons at 101 Hudson Street, Jersey City. This location is closely monitored by two cameras. They constantly capture the birds and the nest from the laying of eggs (usually in March) through fledging, 8 weeks after birth when the newborn birds leave the nest. The public is invited to tune in through the foundation’s website: Support for the foundation in appreciated: PO Box 400, Trenton, NJ 08625. Margaret welcomes contact through her email: or phone: 609-292-1276.

A few words from VVPA President Tony Sandkamp

Thank you to Dan Webber, VVPA First VP for his efforts in organizing the January senior outreach night featuring food and entertainment. Thanks, also, to the Ressurection Parish for donating the school hall for the event.

Thank you to Pershing for their contributions to the JCPD toy drive and to Laura Fraschilla for her efforts in organizing that contribution.

Peter Brennan, Jersey City Municipal Councilman at Large

Brief introduction and thank you to Captain McDonagh for hard work and to Chief Comey for lowering crime numbers in the South District. July saw 22 new recruits graduate from the Police Academy. July, 2008 should have over 50 grads. Chief Comey would like to graduate over 100 recruits in upcoming years to re-supply the force after many anticipated retirements.

Questions from attendees:

1. What are JC’s biggest challenges?

Crime (JCPD is doing great job, but crime is not ever going away entirely; new JCPD group formed specifically to combat gang activity) and

managing the exploding development (the West Side is being heavily re- developed).

2. What is JC doing to contend with the increasing street congestions as well as increased ridership on the PATH?

Mayor and county executive just met with dept. of transportation to increase bus service in JC. However, regular bus ridership is down due to jitney buses which are generally considered to be problematic due to difficulty in regulating. JCPD does what they can to manage the menacing traffic behaviors by the jitneys (stopping randomly, not pulling to the curb). The Light Rail service is also heavily used with daily passengers up to 40,000.

[from Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop: the PATH is expanding service to 10 cars over next couple of years.]

3. Do you have any updates about the Power House?

JC officials want the Port Authority to move the transformers.

4. What about the Toll Brothers project?

The proposed building may go up to 40 stories. There is a planning board hearing regarding this tomorrow evening.

5. {One member of the VVPA calls on Councilman Brennan to be instrumental in requiring a good design of both the building and surrounding grounds from Toll Brothers. Asks him and fellow city officials to use good forethought and call in official and community organizations for their input in design. Member cited example of construction of PS4, a school between Grand and Bright Streets at

Monmouth Street. Located across the street from a major hospital and a shopping center, it’s no wonder emergency vehicles have trouble getting through traffic. This was not a well-thought-out plan. Please don’t make similar mistakes through oversights in planning the Power House Arts District neighborhood.

[Councilman Fulop adds that Toll Brothers has invited input from the


6. What is your position on the Sixth Street Embankment? This is a battle that’s been dragging on for years and it’s always in and out of litigation. Councilman Brennan grew up 2 blocks from the embankment and it was always an eyesore. Doesn’t want the Light Rail going in but there are many questions surrounding what conversion to a park would cost the city. The acquisition of land alone is at least $3 million but could be as high as $10-20 million. Then the construction of a park could be another $10-20 million. JC has no money earmarked for this project as it has for Van Vorst Park in the past and Hamilton Park currently. The city could get tax revenue from a developer. However, Councilman Brennan has no official position on this.

7. How is the city’s budget?

In the next couple of weeks the budget will be released. JC is inheriting $45-50 million of debt from previous mayors.

Councilman Brennan welcomes communication from the community through his office (P: 201-547-5204, F: 201-547-4678, email:

Alice Deupree, architect for 307 Barrow Street, LLC

Ms. Deupree was joined by Charles Harrington, attorney and Joe Gianforte both from the developing company for a proposed 12 unit residential structure with parking at the corner of Wayne and Barrow Streets. This lot is the downtown JC historic district and is oversized at 75 x 100 feet. Developers are seeking variances for the following areas:

1. multi-family dwelling (construction of this building will not, however, increase population density)

2. height of building to match surrounding structures (intended to look like continuous townhouse from street)

3. lot coverage (86%)

4. rear yard

The primary fa├žade will be on Wayne Street with entrance for the parking on Barrow St. It will have four 2-bedroom units over 3 floors; units will have communal terraces at the back.

There have been on soil tests as of yet. Developer intends to do screw pilings to minimize inconvenience to neighbors. Will take at least one year to build.

Announcements from members

Line Dancing at Grace Van Vorst – beginning Friday, February 1 from 6-8pm, $7/adult, kids under 16 free; contact Joyce Davison: 201-659-2211/201-451-5107,; ALL WELCOME


(click on link above for a fun short scene from tonite’s movie!)

Tonight’s film “Tootsie” was directed by Sidney Pollack. In 1983 it was nominated for 9 Academy Awards. In 1998 the AFI included it in it’s list of the 100 best films ever made. Come and see why it’s on the fast track to becoming a classic. If you’re going to sweat, you might as well sweat under the stars, laughing and watching a great movie!

Remember–bring a friend & bring a chair–movie starts at sun down (around 8-8:30).


DREAMGIRLS directed by Bill Condon

Tonite’s film is a musical masterpiece….crowds gave it standing ovations in movie theaters….Come hear music fill Van Vorst Park. We start around 8:15, when darkness falls!!! Bring a chair, bring your dinner, bring a friend and ENJOY!!

September 2007 Newsletter

10 Jul 2007, Posted by admin in News You Can Use

Barrow Mansion

83 Wayne Street, Jersey City



We meet the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

Everyone is welcome!

September Meeting Agenda

Tuesday September 18th, 2007, 7:30pm

Barrow Mansion

Police Report

Representatives of the East District will give their monthly report

Elizabeth Lorenzo

The Government and Community Relations representative from the Liberty Science Center will give us an overview of the all new Liberty Science Center. It’s taken 10 years of planning and nearly two years of expansion and renewal to bring you the reinvented Liberty Science Center. Learn about new exhibits, the new fall schedule, and more.

Steve Fulop

Our Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop will update us on Restaurant Row Redevelopment

Entertainment & Noise Ordinance and other initiatives


Sat. September 22 — Caven Point Bird Walk at Liberty State Park Come explore Caven Point beach and the diversity of birds and other wildlife species on a guided tour. Meet at Liberty State Park Interpretive Center on Freedom Way. For more information: 201-915-3409, Free, pre-registration required. 9AM -11AM.

Fri. October 5 – 2007 Jersey City Artists Studio Tour Kick-off Celebration Canco Lofts, 50 Dey Street, For more information visit 6PM – 10PM

Sat. & Sun. October 6 & & – 2007 Jersey City Artists Studio Featuring hundreds of artists, studios, galleries, performances and exhibitions. Free Tour Guides available at tents at Grove and Journal Square PATH Stations. For more information visit 12PM – 6PM

Sat. October 18 — Embankment Preservation Coalition Celebration The Coalition invites its members, supporters, and the general public to join in a Celebration. An August ruling by the STB gives city, county, and state governments a second chance to acquire the Embankment on reasonable terms. This win is an inspiring example of citizen collaboration. The event will include children’s activities, music, refreshments, and an Embankment tour highlighting gardens that back up to the Embankment. Resurrection School Gymnasium (Holy Rosary Church Complex), 189 Brunswick St at Sixth St. 12PM – 4PM,

Van Vorst Park Association Newsletter September 2007

October 2007 Newsletter

10 Jul 2007, Posted by admin in News You Can Use

Barrow Mansion

83 Wayne Street, Jersey City



We meet the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

Everyone is welcome!

October Meeting Agenda

Tuesday October 16th, 2007, 7:30pm

Barrow Mansion

Police Report

Representatives of the East District will give their monthly report

Steve Sanders, Diane Kaese and Kevin Kilbane

Members of the Downtown Construction Committee will present the DPA rules and the construction committee guidelines for coordination of construction projects in Downtown Jersey City. There have been numerous incidences of dangerous construction conditions affecting our neighborhood recently including fires, falling debris, traffic management and other concerns. Learn more about this committee’s current and future efforts.

Pattie Giordan or Colin Egan

Friends of the Loews Theater will give us an update on the theaters’ current and planned renovations, events and happenings.

Van Vorst Park Association Board of Directors Elections


Sat. October 20 — Make it Spoooky! Family Project Day at Jersey City Museum –Enjoy a family afternoon celebrating the season of creepiness! Jersey City Museum opens its doors for a Halloween inspired bash with all the fun you would expect. Make creepy costume crafts in the classrooms and use them in a dance workshop for families in the atrium. Take a scary tour of our exhibitions. Fun for the whole family! FREE

Sun. Oct 21 – “Bark in the Park” — The Liberty Humane Society’s 4th annual Dog Walk and Fair! “Bark in the Park” will be lots of fun for pets and people too! Please join us for an afternoon of fun and games whilst raising money and awareness for the Liberty Humane Society. Liberty State Park 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Fri. & Sat. October 26th – 27th Spend Halloween with Boris Karloff and the Loews Theater — Friday Double Feature : “The Black Cat” at 7:45 PM followed by “The Old Dark House” at 9:10 PM – This is the first known screening of the “Old Dark House” in New Jersey since the film’s premiere 75 years ago. Admission for BOTH films is $9 for adults, $6 for seniors, children under 12, and students with ID. Saturday “The Mummy” at 3:30PM; “Frankenstein” at 7PM; “The Bride of Frankenstein at 8:45PM. Each screening is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors & children 12 years old and younger. Combo discounts are available for multiple screenings.

Van Vorst Park Association Newsletter October 2007

November 2007 Newsletter

10 Jul 2007, Posted by admin in News You Can Use

Barrow Mansion

83 Wayne Street, Jersey City



We meet the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

Everyone is welcome!

November Meeting Agenda

Tuesday November 20th, 2007, 7:30pm

Barrow Mansion

Police Report

Representatives of the East District will give their monthly report

Louis Manzo

Our District 31 State Assemblyman will speak about eminent domain and other issues effecting our district

Jenny Spiegel

Superintendent, Liberty State Park will speak to the VVPA about the park’s Past, Present and Future.


Sat. Nov 24 – Help Plant 60,000 Flower Bulbs in Liberty State Park – Last day to volunteer. Gardeners of all ages, individuals or groups, are welcomed and needed to help plant over 60,000 flower bulbs throughout Liberty State Park. For info about the specific location, please call LSP horticulturist Maria at 201-915-3418 during the week or email her at or ask the staff person at 201-915-3403. No experience is necessary. 8 AM to 11 AM

Sun. Dec 9 – Liberty Humane Society Tree Lighting — Join the Liberty Humane Society in celebrating our 4-legged best friends – past and present as we honor our shelter pets still awaiting their forever homes. Donation to hang tributes: $10 each

No charge to attend the event. Call the shelter to receive an ornament, or make your own and send them with a $10 donation to: Liberty Humane Society 235 Jersey City Blvd. 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM


— Annual Christmas Arts and Crafts Bazaar. Crafters and artists that are interested in being vendors at the annual Christmas Bazaar should visit: . Grace Church Van Vorst Parish Hall 39 Erie St. 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Van Vorst Park Association Newsletter November 2007

July 2007 Newsletter

10 Jul 2007, Posted by admin in News You Can Use

Barrow Mansion

83 Wayne Street, Jersey City



We meet the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

Everyone is welcome!

July Meeting Agenda

Tuesday July 17th, 2007, 7:30pm

Barrow Mansion

Police Report

Representatives of the East District will give their monthly report

Mayors Action Bureau

Representatives from the Mayors Action Bureau a “one-stop-shopping” center where constituents can get help with problems related to city services will meet with the neighborhood. Complaints? Housing code issues? Neighborhood concerns? Tenant/landlord issues? Bring your concerns directly to the Mayors Action Bureau.

Update on the recent Van Vorst Park Community Rallies

Organizers will update the VVPA on recent crime and safety rallies.


Wed. July 18 and alternate Wednesdays all Summer – Films in Van Vorst present 3rd annual outdoor film series. Bring a chair, bring a friend. Free Popcorn!! This Wednesday’s movie Young Frankenstein. Van Vorst Park 8PM (rain dates are the following Wednesdays).

Tues. July 24 – The Attic Ensemble Readings at the Merchant present “Actor!” Written by Frederick Stroppel. Directed by Paul Zeller. The Merchant, 279 Grove Street, 7PM $5

Sat. Aug 4 – Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance KAYAKING DAY Don’t know how to kayak? Experts will be on hand to show you how. Special thanks go to Hoboken Cove Boathouse and NYC’s Downtown Boathouse for providing everything you need to get out on the water. 11AM

Van Vorst Park Association Newsletter July 2007