Friday, August 20, 2010

Julio Fernandez and Friends Rock Hoboken

Julio Fernandez is a national treasure.  Perhaps that's unfair as his band Spyro Gyra has reached much international acclaim.  Here's a clip of his rousing show last night at Sinatra Park with an original classic from Traffic - "Glad."

And glad the crowd was.  After the show, a very glad horsey went to Moran's for a celebration.  Some of you already know why.

The celebration didn't end until closing time.  It's a victory for all of Hoboken.


Luis Acevedo, Director of STY speaks to young people at a recent event

Hoboken Teens to Compete in High-Profile Aug. 27 Event

HOBOKEN -- The Hoboken Police Athletic League, Save the Youth Academy, City of Hoboken and Hoboken Housing Authority are proud to present the STY Academy’s Third Annual Summer Youth All Star Game at 5 p.m. Aug 27 on the basketball courts at Church Square Park/Fourth Street Park.

We invite the Hoboken community, including parents, friends, city officials and sponsors to come show support as our neighborhood’s children compete and showcase their talent. Participants ages 12 to 14 years old will play starting at 5 p.m., and 15- to 18-year-olds will play at 6 p.m.

The games are an integral component of the STY Academy’s “Summer Fun” league series in which teens participate in daily matches and get to build friendships while working off energy while they are out of school for the summer. STY co-founder and director Luis Acevedo runs the program with help from PAL director Bobby Gohde and funding and support from the City of Hoboken and Health and Human Services Department Director Leo Pellegrini.

“A strong team brings great success and a brighter future for our children and community,” Acevedo said.

The program has been effective at keeping Hoboken youth off the streets and actively engaged in generating positive energy during the dog days of summer.

“Programs like this are key to providing empowerment and focus for our neighborhood youth during the long, hot summer months, and to strengthening our community,” said STY Vice President Jake Stuiver, a member of the Hoboken Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.

The event’s rain date will be Aug. 31. PAL and STY Academy would like to thank its sponsors:

Mayor Dawn Zimmer, state Assemblyman Ruben Ramos Jr., Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano Jr., Leo Pellegrini, Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia and the HHA Board of Commissioners, Fourth Ward City Councilman Michael Lenz, HHA Commissioner Jake Stuiver, Mike Novak, Joe Branco, Hudson County Jaycees, Nepperhan Community Center, LoPiano Kenny & Stinson, Zog Sports, Angel and Wanda Alicea, Artesian Design Group, I-9 Sports, Hoboken Volunteers, Travel Car Service, Hoboken Business Center and Boys & Girls Club of Hoboken.

City introduces modernized, flexible meter parking

City of Hoboken announces:


This week, the City of Hoboken has begun to switch on its first group of cutting-edge parking meters.  These ten multi-space meters will soon substitute for the 90 single-space meters that are currently in use along the east side of Washington Street between Observer Highway and Eighth Street. They replace decades-old meters with new, convenient technology that has been proven in thousands of cities across the country.

"These meters will instantly create an additional twenty parking spaces in our City," said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “They are not only much more convenient for the community, but they also provide the City with dramatically improved accounting capabilities at a time when every quarter counts."

Multi-space meters will use a "pay and display" system whereby patrons pay for time increments of parking at the meter and display the receipt showing an expiration time on their dashboard. The meters accept credit cards and coins, and in the future can be programmed to accept smart cards or cell phone payments. When leaving, patrons may take their receipt with them to other metered areas of the city or pass the remaining time on their receipt on to a neighbor or friend. The first ten meters will serve as a pilot for a broader replacement of all single-space meters throughout the City.

“These meters provide more payment options, break down far less often, and their solar panels make them an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional parking meters,” said Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs. "With the auditing features of these meters, there won’t be any questions about how much money is being collected."

By providing an additional two to three parking spaces on every block, the multi-space meters are expected to benefit local businesses as well as ease parking demand in neighboring residential areas.

"Flexibility is a major benefit of these meters,” said Councilman David Mello, Chairman of the Transportation and Parking Subcommittee. “I love that residents will be able to buy a set amount of meter time, for example on their way home from work, and then use that receipt at more than one location along Washington Street. They'll be buying time throughout the meter system, instead of at one specific meter."
During the roll-out, which is expected to be completed within a week, the Parking Utility is distributing informational flyers and warnings to drivers to inform them about the new payment system.

"While streamlining City operations and reducing operating costs, this cutting edge technology will maximize revenues, protect City assets from fraud, and provide enhanced user conveniences," said 5th Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham, a former member of the Transportation and Parking Subcommittee.

The roll-out is part of the Department of Transportation & Parking's efforts to modernize the Hoboken Parking Utility and streamline operations. Fewer meters means fewer break downs, and the on-board technology allows for instant audits and significantly stronger controls on cash flow through the system.  A summary of the benefits are provided below:

Additional parking spaces created on each block

Greater convenience of being able to pay with coins or credit card

Far fewer broken meters and much faster repair times

Vandal-resistant hardware and instant failure messaging software

Reduced street clutter by consolidating multiple meters at one location

Significantly improved accountability with instant audits and overflow

Operational reliability reduces maintenance, repairs, and enforcement costs

More environmentally-friendly: No need to replace single meter batteries
on weekly basis


Judge on temporary garage, "Common sense better prevail"

The Superior Court in New Jersey  granted  access Wednesday to Hoboken Unleased on the site of the City of Hoboken's temporary garage in preparation for the dog day care company's eventual occupancy.  As reported earlier by Hoboken Patch, the judge is seeking a middle ground when the owner of the disputed leasing agreement at 1714 Willow Avenue leased the property to both Hoboken Unleashed and the City of Hoboken with the city holding a valid 60 day lease. 

This led to a dispute over the City being in the space with the Hoboken Unleashed owner, Mike Stigliano looking for both access and the City's removal from the property to eventually set up his business on the same space.  Judge Thomas Olivieri found a middle ground in the dispute.  Who can be on the disputed leased space and when is resolved for the moment, by granting Hoboken Unleashed access and instructing the city to move vehicles when necessary with 24 hours notice.

What the public had yet to understand leading into the original Court appearance last Monday is who is at fault in a possibly overlapping lease situation on the uptown Willow Avenue property.  Based on the Claire Moses' first hand report, the owner, Frank Savino of Willow Enterprises LLC executed a lease with both Hoboken Unleashed and the City.  Hard core opponents of the mayor's administration sought to blame the mayor and her council coalition for the situation by springing news of the other lease's existence during the last City Council meeting.  The City while aware of the overlap gave assurances a resolution would be found.  To this point, it hasn't and Hoboken Unleashed went to court to force the issue.

The owner of the Willow Avenue property states he intends to allow Hoboken Unleashed to assume use of its lease after it obtains the necessary paperwork from the Hoboken Zoning Board.  Typically, such an application would take several months at a minimum, but Mike Stigliano, a partner in Hoboken Unleashed said he would pay to expedite the matter.  

There's just one problem.  In a phone interview earlier Wednesday afternoon with Hoboken Zoning Board President Tony Soares, no such application had been filed.  
"When working in the zoning office signing plans today, I asked our secretary when we could expect to hear the much mentioned Canine Day Care center- I was told  in fact  they have received  telephone calls on the application but they had yet to receive anything in the Zoning Board office.

"It may very well be the applicant submitted plans to the building dept or Zoning official, however that process must take it's normal course before we can legally schedule them on any agenda.  We will treat this application objectively, fairly and the lease issue as well as the litigation between the applicant and the city should have no bearing on the merits of the application.  The two issues are totally separate."

In a chance meeting Wednesday evening with Hoboken resident and yet unannounced fifth ward council candidate Perry Belfiore, he described the court appearance earlier that day as another problem for the City in its quest for a stable garage space.  On the ultimate trump card the city hold with its eminent domain powers, he felt the case could linger in court for  a year and a half.  

Belfiore is the Hoboken resident who originally brought the leasing situation to light during the last City Council meeting.

The litigation parties are scheduled to meet again October 12th back in Jersey City.  The judge's comment should be ringing in everyone's ears leading in, "Common sense better prevail."

Talking Ed Note:  The Municipal Garage saga is a long and painful story in recent years.  Many people have exploited this situation sometimes more than once in that time.  Today, it's no different.  City Councilman Peter Cunningham spoke about the frustrating process over recent months on the situation.  

On this matter, MSV wants to see what the judge is asking and a resolution to the problem for both the City and Hoboken Unleashed, the sooner the better.  The voices of negativity can then move on to playing their gotcha games on something else.  No doubt they will.

Stay tuned.  There's some whispers floating in the air more news is in store soon. 

Hoboken Seniors get their bus back

City of Hoboken announces:


In response to community feedback and to further enhance service, the City of Hoboken is reinstating the Senior Shuttle and making route and technology adjustments to the Hop network.

Despite much positive feedback, some seniors have expressed concerns, including the difficulty associated with sometimes needing to transfer to a second Hop bus to reach their desired destination. Through a series of community meetings, Councilman David Mello, Chair of the Transportation Subcommittee and 4th Ward Councilman Michael Lenz worked with the Administration and with seniors to discuss and identify solutions to these concerns. As a result, the City will be reinstating the Senior Shuttle route between the hours of 10am and 4pm effective Thursday, August 19th.

“We have high goals for residents, including providing them with the best transit access possible, and we’re willing to try new approaches and take some chances to reach those goals,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “On the other hand, we’re always willing to listen to feedback and make adjustments when necessary, and that’s what we’re doing today.”

In order to accommodate this change, the Red Hop will continue to operate during peak hours -- from 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm -- but will run the Senior Shuttle route from 10am to 4pm. Seniors will continue to ride for free on both the Senior Shuttle and Hop routes. The Blue Hop and Green Hop lines will continue to run as previously scheduled.

"I'm very proud of all the forward-thinking and progressive transportation and parking solutions we’ve instituted this year," said Councilman Mello. "I believe that if we never institute a plan that requires some revision, we're likely not pushing ourselves hard enough as a city."

“This Administration is willing to try new things,” said Councilman Lenz. “Mostly it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, and when it doesn’t they listen and fix it.”

The response to the Hop has been extremely positive. In order to meet the strong and growing demand for public transportation, the City is exploring acquiring additional buses in order to run all three Hop lines uninterrupted, lengthen the hours of the Senior Shuttle, and improve reliability and consistency in the case that a bus needs repairs. Based on ridership trends, it is anticipated that adding additional buses to the Hop system would be cost-effective for the City.

The live location of the Hop shuttles can be tracked online and via text messaging. In addition, the City is continuing to implement state-of-the-art technology to enhance the Hop service. An LCD has been installed in the Multi Service Center which displays the route maps and the live current locations of the shuttles via GPS technology. The City is exploring installing electronic signs at other locations, including the PATH station, to notify riders when the next bus will arrive.

Updated route maps and time schedules can be viewed and downloaded on the Hop website,