Dear neighbors and friends:
It has been a while, and there is a lot to discuss, but for right now I wanted to remind you of some important dates / events that are right in front of us. :
Tuesday, February 27 at 7:00 PM at the Wallace School Cafeteria, 1100 Willow Ave (please enter on 11th St. behind the playground).
Please join me tonight for a public meeting that I encourage you to attend to hear an update from the planning team and discuss design alternatives for the proposed Northwest Park. The planners prepared a pre-design analysis report that is filled with a lot of great information – I have to say it is one of the better reports I have seen in terms of both content and how presented. You can find the report here. The main report is 118 pages long, but is easy to read with a lot of descriptive graphics. A few sections that you may find interesting (I did): p.24 existing Hoboken park conditions, p. 34 a discussion of our area streets and specifically the concept of an “urban major collector” (which was new to me…), p. 37 – accident history in the area (mainly sideswipes and rear ends, none involving pedestrians thankfully), pp 49-50 – environmental history of the site (which is critical to the design), p. 57 – sun and shade analysis of the site, and pp 66-70 the results of the survey completed by ~1,100 people.
Union Dry Dock –TOMORROW! Special City Council Meeting.
Wednesday, February 28 at 7:00 PM at City Hall
Mayor Bhalla has called a special meeting for the City Council to vote on an ordinance to acquire what is commonly known as the Union Dry Dock site. The Council will be voting to approve the $11.63M appraisal of the property as well as to reserve funding for the acquisition. As most know, Hoboken residents have been fighting for a public waterfront with a contiguous park for decades. The southern part of the waterfront – where Pier A and Pier C are now – resulted from the “Waterfront Referendum” when Hoboken residents successfully fought off Port Authority from building a 2M+ square foot luxury residential / mixed use development. The UDD site has been the focus of many locally to acquire as and when Union Dry Dock vacated the property. City Council approved by ordinance in November, and I remain supportive, the abiliy to use eminent domain as a tool to acquire the site. Unfortunately, UDD sold its site to New York Waterway who want to move their maintenance and fueling operations to the site. Additionally, NJ Transit are considering acquiring the site from NYWW and leasing it back so they can block Hoboken's ability to exercise eminent domain. In January, just before Governor Christie left office, as a result of our community's and Mayor Bhalla's advocacy, the NJ Transit Board delayed the vote. This provided Mayor Bhalla and other stakeholders to continue dialogue about a different solution for NYWW. Unfortunately, NYWW has just re-submitted their application with the NJDEP so they can move their equipment to the site and it is rumored the NJ Transit may be voting on the acquisition at their next board meeting in mid-March.
Shout out to our neighbors:
Little City Books / Diana Henriques – Meet the Author and hear about Black Friday!
Wednesday, February 28 at 7:00 PM at Little City Books (1st & Bloomfield)
If going to council meetings is not your thing (but I hope it will be someday!), you can instead get close, and just stop by Little City Books, kitty corner from City Hall, to meet Hoboken 6th Ward resident Diana Henriques and hear about her new book “A First Class Catastrophe: The Road to Black Monday, the Worst Day in Wall Street History”. If you are not familiar with Diana’s work, among others, she wrote the NY Times Bestseller "The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust" and was the only author who had access to and interviewed Bernie Madoff for the exclusive account. The book was made into an HBO film starring Robert De Niro. Diana actually played herself in the move and did a great job!
I will write a more lengthy update (or two) in the next day or so touching on Washington Street, Elysian Park, upcoming Municipal Budget, Hoboken St. Patty’s Day (this Saturday), Hoboken as a “Smart City”, and the Mayor’s new lucrative 2nd job.
Feel free to email or call me (201/208-1674) in advance if you have any questions on these, or if there is any other topics you want to discuss.