Thursday, April 28, 2016

City: New park nears final agreement at 7th & Jackson Street

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Thursday April 28, 2016

City of Hoboken

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Community: Hoboken Nears Final Agreement For 2 Acre Resiliency Park At 7th St & Jackson St

Dear Horsey & MSV readers,

As early as June 1st, the Hoboken City Council will consider voting on a redevelopment agreement, amended redevelopment plan, and financial agreement for a PILOT related to a Bijou Properties project at 7th Street and Jackson Street within the Northwest Redevelopment Area. The project will include the creation of 2 acres of public open space with more than 250,000 gallons of underground stormwater detention and infiltration as well as a multi-use public gymnasium.

“This project will bring two acres of much-needed open space to western Hoboken while making our city more resilient to flooding,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “The outdoor amphitheater and plaza for events and seasonal markets will create a vibrant gathering space that will also support the artists and small businesses in the adjacent Monroe Center.”

The Administration and City Council Community Development Subcommittee have worked closely together to negotiate a project that is financially feasible while providing several public amenities. The public benefits from the project including land acquisition and remediation, flood prevention infrastructure, and construction of the public park/plaza and gymnasium with stormwater system are valued at over $26 million. The agreement requires that the remediation and development of the public park area south of 7th Street and construction of the gymnasium be completed first.

Elements of the project include:

• Construction and conveyance of amenities to the City of Hoboken for recreation and open space, including:
- Approximately 1 acre public park consisting of an open grass area in the manner of a “Quadrangle” on a college campus; public seating area; and children’s play area, including age appropriate play equipment set on a rubberized safety surface with modern fencing;
- Approximately 1 acre public plaza including step seating, with a tilted lawn panel for relaxing and passive gatherings, and a large plaza area designed to accommodate vendors and seasonal markets;
- A 6,835 square foot multi-use public gymnasium with a classic field house design;

• Significant stormwater detention under the public park and plaza areas to help address the flooding issues in the area;

• Improvements to 7th Street utilizing Belgian block-style accents and a tabled roadway to create visual continuity between the properties to the north and south of the street, to encourage vehicle calming in the area, and enhance the sense of community that is intended;

• Extensive soil and groundwater remediation;

• Construction of a mixed-use residential and commercial structure; ranging heights of structure with a maximum of 14 stories and a maximum 60 ft. base;
- 424 rental residential units, including 42 (i.e. 10%) on-site affordable housing units to be deed restricted for a minimum 40 year period;
- Between 23,700 and 33,000 sq. ft. of retail space;
- 415 on-site parking spaces for residential, commercial and transient uses
- 75 parking spaces to be made available on a shared-parking, non-reserved basis for use by tenants of Monroe Center

Additional project documents are available on the City website:

• Project Update Memo from Director Forbes: www.hobokennj.org/docs/communitydev/Memo-Project-Update-Monroe-Center-Redevelopment-4-27-16.pdf
• PILOT Fiscal Review: www.hobokennj.org/docs/communitydev/Fiscal-Report-on-Monroe-Center-PILOT-4-21-16.pdf

Sign of the Times: Mister Carmelo's self promotion tour


MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE



Being out of elected office doesn't mean you can't be part of the in crowd.

Just ask Carmelo Garcia, a recent election casualty awaiting office in search of an election.

After last fall's November City Council races, Carmelo Garcia was put on ice by that Jen Girl, the indomitable City Council President Jen Giattino who absorbed more mud flung at her than any other candidate that election cycle.

Mister Carmelo's campaign with thousands of filthy mailers regurgitating previously failed Masonic lies is not yet officially tabulated. NJ ELEC must be scratching their head wondering why his campaign which featured 7-11 coffee giveaways and a block party can't file its campaign expenditures.

Look the law is for other people and when the voices in your head say you are "destined for greatness" they must know what they're talking about.

If you have to tell a few whoppers to the public, the courts and law enforcement along the way, surely the Almighty will understand.

Speaking of whoppers, here's a little announcement on behalf of self-promotion a charity walk in Jersey City this weekend.

Look at the first photo of political figures listed on the bottom left.

Why it's the one and only Carmelo Garcia. He calls himself "Assemblyman Emeritus."
Is that a degree you get via mail correspondence course from Harvard?

We're going to take a wild guess the actual elected officials lining the bottom are not exactly thrilled being associated with Mister Carmelo, Hoboken's infamous Ethic Cleanser.

One Jersey City official reportedly had their photo attached on an earlier version and blew a gasket. The aspirational official was rumored to say something along the lines of 'I don't want to be associated with that guy. He could be arrested tomorrow,' a reference to the former Garcia Chief of Staff, Chris Campos and his wire and bank fraud troubles.

Here's the gist of what's goin' round:




Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Arts & Music Festival with Voter Registration drive this weekend

From the desk of Councilman Ravi Bhalla:




Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The nice weather, baseball season, and so much more is finally here!  I hope you’re enjoying Hoboken, and all it has to offer, as much as I am.  One of the best Hoboken outdoor events is right around the corner - the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival is May 1 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Washington Street (from Observer Highway to 7th Street).
Please stop by our table and say hello as we kick off our 2016 Voter Registration Drive, which will run until October so that residents are able to vote in the upcoming Presidential and the local school board elections. Please also make sure you register to vote or update your registration in time this Saturday for the June Presidential primaries and the November elections.
Our table at the festival will offer an opportunity to register new voters, meet with residents to answer questions, discuss issues and offer assistance.  As part of our voter registration efforts, we can also assist with voters who have moved within Hoboken since the last election so they are registered at their new polling location.
Also, if you’re interested in helping volunteer by staffing the table, please let me know as we can use your help!  This is a great way to meet your friends and neighbors, discuss what matters to you in Hoboken, while also helping register new voters. Please email me at councilmanbhalla@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering for an hour or two at the festival.
I’ll post the location of my table on my Facebook page on the morning of the festival. I look forward to seeing you, and as always, please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you with city issues – I’m always happy to help!
Sincerely,
Ravinder S. Bhalla
Councilman-at-Large

Councilman Mike DeFusco: 'Let's use Lackawanna Terminal now'

From the desk of Councilman Mike DeFusco:


Councilman DeFusco proposes interim use at 109-year-old Hoboken Terminal 

Hoboken Councilman Mike DeFusco will introduce an ordinance to expedite temporary usable space at the historic Lackawanna Terminal. 

“The redevelopment process takes a significant amount of time and I don’t want our historic terminal to sit underutilized, potentially for decades, when we can make the building productive now,” said DeFusco.  “On the terminal’s second floor, there’s a sprawling area where artist galleries and a European-style market can flourish; and, just outside, a blighted parking lot where food kiosks and green space could naturally coexist.”
Retail, art galleries, and sidewalk kiosks are all permitted under the approved 2015 redevelopment plan and the councilman’s ordinance aims to expedite these uses, on a temporary and conditional basis, while redevelopment planning continues.

“Having such a grand, centrally located, building sit underutilized as the legalities of the development process carry on is of no benefit to our community,” according to DeFusco.  “We need to make it easy for business to thrive in downtown Hoboken and I believe with City Council support, our terminal can be the next Chelsea Market or Reading Terminal Market.”

Built in 1907, Lackawanna Terminal is the second largest transit hub in New Jersey and is owned and operated by New Jersey Transit.  The proposed ordinance is being fleshed out in Council’s southern development subcommittee and will be introduced to the full council in late spring. 
For more information: Mike4Hoboken@yahoo.com


First Ward Councilman Mike Defusco seen here being sworn-in last January proposes the underutilized Lackawanna Terminal be used now, offering a temporary plan. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

BREAKING: Welcome Trader Joe's to Hoboken!

The Hoboken City Council approved Trader Joe's coming to Hoboken.

The special meeting tonight featured weightng the issue and terms as part of an off schedule meeting.
The location will be upper Clinton St. at 13th.



9:33 PM - A number of Hoboken residents report power outages. Maxwell Place and upper Hudson among them.

While power is returning, PATH service is reported down too.

Horizon on hospital contract termination: Hold on a second!

An announcement from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey:



SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT:
CarePoint Health Terminated Bayonne Hospital and Hoboken University Medical Center Contracts With Horizon



(Newark, NJ, April 26, 2016) – Two hospitals owned by the for-profit CarePoint Health company, Bayonne Hospital and Hoboken University Medical Center, will end their longstanding relationship with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) in the next 45 days. CarePoint Health terminated, without cause, both contracts and refused reimbursement increases offered by Horizon BCBSNJ, the state’s largest health insurer.

CarePoint Health withdrew Christ Hospital in Jersey City from Horizon BCBSNJ’s network on June 1, 2015. CarePoint is terminating Bayonne’s in-network status effective May 1, 2016 and Hoboken University Medical Center effective June 1, 2016.  As of that date, all of CarePoint Health’s facilities and providers will be out-of-network.

In accordance with New Jersey state regulations, Horizon BCBSNJ has sent notices to members in the Hudson County area advising that the facilities will no longer be in Horizon BCBSNJ’s hospital network.  Horizon BCBSNJ members will be subject to higher out-of pocket costs when using the CarePoint facilities as a result. 

“There has been some confusion about who is responsible for the termination, but the facts are clear: CarePoint Health notified us last year that they were exercising their right to terminate the contract without cause,” said Kevin McArdle, Public Affairs Manager for Horizon BCBSNJ. “We have put forward a number of reasonable offers to CarePoint and continue to hope that they will return to the negotiating table,” McArdle added.

Horizon BCNSNJ is committed to lowering healthcare costs for New Jersey residents and remains open to discuss an acceptable rate structure with CarePoint.



About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.8 million members.

JC - Hoboken clash: It's about pah-kin'

Yesterday's grist smoked them out in the open. That's the official story and we're sticking to it.

It's rare being on the wrong side of the accuracy ledger, even in the popular rumor column "Grist for the Mill" but the brewing enchilada of conflict between Jersey City and Hoboken as it turns out may actually be about differences in bike share programs after all.

A source close to the Jersey City mayor's office came out of the cold to rue over the dynamics of Horse's grist and pointed to the conflict between the selection of two different bike share companies for the Hudson neighbors.

"Zimmer decided to go with the cheaper one," said the source referencing Hudson Bike Share.

When push came to shove, Mayor Steve Fulop in Jersey City opted "out" some will say but he elected it would be better to have residents have the option of using the same bike share program: Citibike, as the one available in Manhattan.

Apparently the allure of Citibike led to Jersey City changing its initial plan to join Hoboken and roll out with Hudson Bike Share as originally announced in 2014.

The scuffle apparently ensued when the neighboring towns saw each of its respective bike share companies seek parking access at each of their downtown PATH stations.

No one thought it a problem but when Jersey City asked about allowing access to Hoboken's PATH station, Hudson Bike Share reportedly said no. It placed Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer with a difficult hand asking for a one-sided agreement.

Which led to a reciprocal response recently enacted by the Jersey City City Council. Hoboken's Hudson Bike Share is not allowed to park its bikes in Jersey City bike racks.

Hoboken City Hall declined comment.

Talking Ed Note: Perhaps it really is too soon to talk about the NJ governor's race and the conflict is all about "pah-kin," the bike share kind.

Who would've thunk it?

Unrelated: It's a good day to schedule a mani and pedi, no? Well this horse thinks so.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Special meeting set for tomorrow night

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Monday April 25, 2016

City of Hoboken

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Community: Hoboken to Hold Special City Council Meeting to Consider Trader Joe's Agreement & Health Care Contract

Dear Horsey & MSV readers,

The Hoboken City Council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 7:00 pm to consider a developer’s agreement to facilitate the opening of a Trader Joe’s grocery store and agreements regarding the City’s health care plan.

An agreement between the City of Hoboken and Advance at Hoboken LLC, the developer of a mixed use property at 14th Street and Willow Avenue, would remove 24 parking spaces from 13th Street and Clinton Street in order to address pedestrian safety concerns and safely accommodate the turns of delivery trucks for Trader Joe’s, the ground floor tenant of the property. The agreement would only apply for as long as Trader Joe’s occupies the space. The developer already has the Zoning approvals for the grocery store, however the large delivery trucks are currently unable to safely access the loading docks which are located on Clinton Street between 13th Street and 14th Street. The Zoning Board approval also provides for 1,000 square feet of space for the City’s use as well as five parking spaces in the garage.

“Trader Joe’s is one of America’s favorite grocery stores, and I look forward to welcoming them to Hoboken,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “My Administration has worked to ensure that they can open in a way that their truck deliveries are safe for everyone, especially the seniors, families, and all residents who live nearby and walk in the neighborhood.”

The City Council will also consider two agreements related to health insurance with CarePoint Health and United Healthcare/UMR focused on improving access to healthcare and reducing costs for employees and the City. The agreements would avoid dramatic cost increases, estimated at $5 million in additional claims, and ensure in-network access to CarePoint Health facilities. Effective June 1, 2016, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, the City’s current third-party administrator, will drop CarePoint Health from in-network care and refused to continue processing the City’s insurance claims. As a result, the City has negotiated with United Healthcare/UMR to provide the current level of benefits while retaining in-network access to all CarePoint Health facilities, and gaining access to 687 more in-network doctors and facilities. A letter to City employees with additional information is available at: www.hobokennj.org/docs/Letter-Zimmer-Employees-4-22-16.pdf.