Hudson Reporter

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SERVING HUDSON COUNTY • STORIES UPDATED CONTINUOUSLY AT WWW.HUDSONREPORTER.COM • A PUBLICATION OF NEWSPAPER MEDIA GROUP

THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2022

Hudson officials react to Roe v. Wade decision U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) condemned the decision, noting that it came at the hands of judges appointed by Republicans By Daniel Israel

Controversial Liberty State Park bill advances through state committees Warnings have arisen of potential privatization in the proposed bill

Staff Writer

By Mark Koosau

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Staff Writer

he U.S. Supreme Court has ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that recognized a woman’s right to choose an abortion during the first two trimesters of pregnancy in the U.S. The 6-3 decision was handed down by the court on June 24 as part of a decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case stemmed from a Mississippi law that banned nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Justice Samuel Alito, appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote the majority opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade. He was joined on the court by Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Roberts, also appointed by President George W. Bush, concurred in the judgment only, and would have limited the decision to upholding the Mississippi law at issue in the case, which banned abortions after 15 weeks. Thomas was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, and Gorsuch, Barrett, and Kavanaugh were appointed by Donald Trump. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito wrote. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely — the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ and ’implicit in the concept of ordered liberty… It is time to heed

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controversial bill for Liberty State Park that critics have warned will open the park to privatization advanced through two state legislative committees

within the span of a week, putting it closer to being fully voted on by lawmakers in Trenton. The bill, titled the Liberty State Park Conservation, Recreation, and Community Inclusion Act, would put up $250 see PARK page 13

Weehawken summer programs have something for everyone Pro-choice protestors rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019. Photo by Wild 2 Free via Shutterstock.

the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” Dissenting were Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Justice Elena Kagan. Breyer was appointed by President Bill Clinton and Sotomayor and Kagan were appointed by President Barack Obama. The new decision says that “from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of,” they wrote in their dissent. “A State can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs. An abortion restriction, the majority holds, is permissible whenever rational, the lowest level of scrutiny known to the law. And because, as the Court has often stated, protecting fetal life is rational, States will feel free to enact all manner of restrictions… With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent.” While the move is a devastating blow to women’s see ABORTION page 13

The township has an array of things planned for 2022 By Daniel Israel Staff Writer

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eehawken is planning for a summer full of recreation opportunities, according to Mayor Richard Turner. In an interview with the

Hudson Reporter, Turner outlined the opportunities that will be available to residents in the upcoming months. “We just wrapped up planning our summer programs,” Turner said. see WEEHAWKEN page 14

Future of DeFusco campaign finance complaint to be determined DeFusco has called the complaint a political attack against him, a charge his lawyer echoed in his argument in the hearing

By Gene Ritchings Managing Editor

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est New York Municipal Court Judge Armando Hernandez is expected to rule soon on whether there was cause to issue the complaint

over Hoboken Councilman Michael DeFusco’s alleged 2017 campaign finance violations. DeFusco’s counsel, Steven Kleinman, and Connie Bentley McGhee, the prossee CAMPAIGN page 14


Dem. congressional nominee Rob Menendez Jr. condemns U.S. Supreme Court ruling on N.Y. concealed carry laws

BRIEFS North Bergen DPW rescues kitten from sewer

“Today North Bergen DPW learned of a trapped kitten on social media and kicked into high gear quickly!” said Mayor Nicholas Sacco. “With the advanced technology of cameras and the selflessness of our DPW workers they heroically and safely extracted the kitten from the sewers on Tonnelle Avenue.” The DPW was first alerted to the situation by a resident who posted on North Bergen’s Facebook Community Forum that she could hear a kitten crying from inside a storm drain. DPW proactively monitors this webpage for feedback from residents as well as for circumstances such as these. After learning of the situation, DPW crew members immediately took it upon themselves to investigate. Upon arrival at the scene they lowered themselves into a catch basin to locate the kitten, which they were able to do quickly. However, when they tried to capture it, the frightened feline was understandably spooked and ran from its rescuers into a narrow drain pipe. The workers then brilliantly thought of using

Robert Menendez Jr., the Democratic nominee for the 8th District of New Jersey, condemned a B ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that overturned New York state’s concealed carry gun laws. S “This decision will do nothing to stop the mass shootings that occur more and more frequently across our country, but will make residents of districts like ours feel unsafe in their own neighborhoods,” he said in a statement.

Sacco 5k returns after COVID-19 hiatus

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The annual 5k race to benefit the Nicholas J. Sacco Foundation returned for the sixth time in 2022. According to North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, the charity race saw more participants than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that put the event on pause for about two years. f Read the full story at: hudsonreporter.com/2022/06/21/sacco-5k-returns-after-covid-19-hiatus. F P g see BRIEFS page 12 s t b

For more of this week’s news, be sure to visit our website HudsonReporter.com and read these Web Exclusives:

A kitten was rescued from a sewer by the North Bergen DPW. (SEE BRIEF.)

an automated camera to “nudge” the kitten towards the outlet and into the waiting arms of an animal rescue worker. He is now being cared for and given the appropriate medical treatment necessary before being put up for adoption.

North Bergen reopens renovated 10th Street Park NJ Attorney General issues cease and desist to Secaucus-based NRIA Summer Food Program in West New York to increase serving sites

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North Bergen residents debate 46th Street Field improvements Despite the official support, some residents raised concerns over the loss of open space

By Daniel Israel

Staff Writer

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ayor Nicholas Sacco and the North Bergen Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance at the June 22 meeting to appropriate grant funds for improvements to 46th Street Field. The ordinance would see the use of $500,000 from the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund for the 46th Street Field Improvement Project. The township previously applied for the grant funding back in December of 2021. According to Sacco, the project also has the support of the state of New Jersey. He said that there was approximately $5 million in the state budget for the field improvements.

Alex Shank argued against the proposed additional parking lot.

Planned park upgrades

The park is currently home to a playground, a basketball court, a baseball field, and a pedestrian walkway surrounding the baseball field as well as other amenities. For the park area, the township is looking to: put in new playground equipment; resurface the basketball courts and outfit them with new backboards and rims; install new sheltered park benches; create an expanded splash park; repave the pedestrian walkway; repave the parking lot and add new spaces; install a trench system for draining; renovate the restrooms and storage building; relocate the dog run; create a new regular seating area; install new fencing; repair the existing staircase; and install new in-ground trash receptacles throughout the park. For the ball field area, the North Bergen is seeking to: install synthetic turf for both baseball and softball that includes a synthetic shock absorption for safety; put in a drainage system; replace the light fixtures and fencing; install a press box, covered bleachers, an on-field ball pens and new dugouts. However, despite the planned upgrades, some residents took issue with the new parking lot that is part of the plan. Resident Alex Shank said the open space that would be paved over to make the parking lot was important to residents.

‘Don’t pave this portion of the park’

Normally meetings are devoid of any public comment, sometimes with attendance only consisting of the board and members of the media, this time was different. The chambers were packed with residents, although few actually spoke. “I’m here with several other residents of 46th Street Park,” Shank said. “I understand that you have a plan that has some really great things in it… However, we have a few concerns because there’s a beautiful space there.” According to Shank, the green area currently defined by a path and shade trees is a valuable space to those who use the park. “The issue is, if you pave over this space and you chop down the trees there, you’re going to eliminate some really joyful moments that kids have,” Shank said. “Kids play soccer, play baseball with their parents, and play tag there. It’s

Schematics of the planned upgrades to 46th Street Park.

really a matter of urban justice. We live in an urban area, so some kids don’t have backyards to play in. For some kids in this neighborhood in particular, that’s the only green space they can play in.” Shank argued there was already a parking lot there for the baseball field, and that the lot should be more strictly enforced against residents in the neighborhood who park there regularly. “I understand that that the baseball community… they want to park there,” Shank said. “They want to park in that area, but we already have a parking lot there… The township can do a better job of managing that park lot to make sure that our guests have the space that they need to park. The current parking lot has about 30 to 40 spaces… Parking enforcement there would mean that our baseball field would have the space that they need to park and we wouldn’t have to destroy that beautiful incalculably valuable green space. We live in an urban area. If we destroy this green space, as a township we’re going to regret it.”

More Green Acres issues?

In addition, Shank said he spoke with Green Acres about the site, and that they told him that a public hearing may be necessary. The township is currently involved in the diversion of Green Acres’ park land in Braddock Park to allow the permanent existence of the preschool on the site. “The park falls under the Green Acres program, and they said that really needs a public hearing,” Shank said. “For this type of move that the township is planning, there should be a public hearing. I’d ask you to consider that. It’s called a change in use public hearing. I think that’s what the state asks that we do so that we

can really hear the voice of the residents.” “No they don’t,” Sacco said. He later added that Green Acres had looked at the plans and been okay with them. “Oh I’m sorry, I must have misunderstood from the Green Acres representative,” Shank retorted. “I look forward to clarifying that.“ Shank continued, adding that creating more parking would only bring more cars and worsen the parking problem. “If we build another parking lot, it’s not really going to solve the problem,” Shank said. “It’s called induced demand. If you build another street or parking lot in an urban area, it’s just going to fill up and we’ll have the same problem that we have now in the current existing parking lot. I think if we manage what we have now, this big parking lot that’s at the top of the park, we can solve the problem and maintain the green space for residents.”

Officials support park renovations

Shank also contended the plan had been modified as early as the morning before the meeting. However, officials noted the plans will continue to change, Commissioner Hugo Cabrera said. Shank thanked him hoping it was in response to residents’ concerns, but Cabrera noted the parking lot was still there. “There’s still a parking lot there, because you actually do need a parking lot for the people,” Cabrera said. “We’re actually going to increase the spray park by twice the size… It’s not really fair for the people that have to walk all the way up to the other parking lot when they can park closer. So you actually do need a parking lot there.” “It’s a relatively small park,” Shank said, arguing the extra parking was not needed.. “Peo-

Resident Joe Lombardi defended the proposed parking lot.

ple can park at the current parking lot and walk down to where the spray park is. I don’t think any resident I’ve talked to… has expressed that concern. But I look forward to discussing that further, if that’s what the town’s motivation is. I just don’t think another parking lot at the sacrifice of our green space is worth it.” Cabrera noted that while nine trees were being removed, 15 were being added. But Shank took issue with the trees lining the road instead of the green space they do now. He then delivered a petition to the board with 150 signatures, in addition to a letter penned by environmental group the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club.

Defending the parking situation

In response to the claims about parking enforcement, Sacco invited North Bergen parking Authority Executive Director Bob Basilice to address the subject. “We enforce the parking lot,” Basilice said. “We’ve been asked to kind of balance with the residents as well as the park goers… If there are events, we tend to issue a warning. There is signage that says from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. the spaces are for the park and for events. If there’s no event, my officers will allow them to remain parking there.” Another resident, Ryan Hughes, also spoke against the plans: “I’m a lifelong resident of North Bergen. My children live in the facility that overlooks this park… North Bergen does not have a lot of green space. I believe taking this away is going to be bad because not a lot see NORTH

BERGEN page 4

The Hudson Reporter • June 30, 2022 • 3


Jersey City cannabis board approves two applicants, tables two others Representatives of Saint Peter’s University and the Board of Education voiced reservations

The Jersey City Cannabis Control Board tabled Medusa NJ after educational leaders were concerned about it’s proximity to schools. Photos by Mark Koosau.

Jersey Leaf was one of the two applicants approved by the board.

Saint Peter’s University president Eugene Cornacchia voiced concerns the university had over Medusa NJ.

Local Modiv was the second applicant that had their application tabled by the board.

By Mark Koosau

the city’s first consumption lounge, and Local Modiv, were tabled.

“What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is the unicorn,” said their attorney, Fruqan Mouzon. “They fit all the boxes. They’re not wealthy, they’re not all white, they’re from the community, they’re socially impacted.” Two of the principles of the dispensary are George Margetis and William Pena, who are both lifelong Jersey City residents. Margetis’ family owns the Miss America Diner, while Pena runs his own truck company, and said that he had gotten into trouble in the past but was able to turn his life around through the drug court. With both Decades Dispensary and Jersey Leaf having received Planning Board and Cannabis Control Board approval, they will need approval by the City Council before heading for state approval.

cipal, Haytham Elgawly, is a lifelong Jersey City resident who’s owned and operated a number of businesses, and is looking to convert his Clearpoint clothing store into a cannabis store. Elgawly pitched his experience in running parties, events and crowd control towards creating the location. He said that the street level will be a 600-700 square foot dispensary, while the downstairs level will be the consumption lounge. Medusa’s attorney, Rosemarie Moyeno Matos, added that the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission has not promulgated any rules regarding consumption areas, and that they’re currently referring to the current state cannabis laws and the local ordinances. Eugene Cornacchia, the president of Saint Peter’s University, said that the university had concerns about the dispensary’s potential impact on crowd control and security for students in residence halls, including a new one that they’re building close by to it. “I’d point out we were left out of this process early on, and the social impacts that I mention were missed in this process,” he said. “Even

Staff Writer

T

he Jersey City Cannabis Control Board has approved two cannabis retail applicants and tabled two others after various concerns were brought up. The two approved applicants, Decades Dispensary and Jersey Leaf, are looking to locate two recreational dispensaries in the Heights and the West Side respectively, while two others, Medusa NJ, which is also proposing

JERSEY CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING JULY 6, 2022 PLEASE NOTE: THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING WILL BE HELD ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2022, AT 6:00 P.M. AT THE CENTRAL OFFICE, THIRD FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM, 400 U.S. HIGHWAY #1 (MARION GARDENS), JERSEY CITY, N.J. TO VIEW AGENDA ITEMS PLEASE GO TO (WWW.JERSEYCITYHA.ORG).

4 • The Hudson Reporter • June 30, 2022

NORTH BERGEN from page 3 of people want to trek up to 80th Street Park or can they. Having a place where people can go and sit in the shade and actually feel like they’re outside of North Bergen for a little bit, I think it’s important.” Sacco and Cabrera noted cars park in the area for baseball games all the time and that grass does not grow in the area because of that. In response, Hughes quipped: “So because it doesn’t grow very well, we just pave over it?” “People park there because they have to,” Cabrera hit back. “It’s not enough parking. And now, when we open up the spray park, You’re going to need parking. That’s the biggest problem.” NM-00497141

ALL PUBLIC SPEAKERS MUST SUBMIT A WRITTEN REQUEST TO THE JCHA 48 HOURS PRIOR TO THE BOARD MEETING BY EMAILING CCARRILLO@JCHA.US.

The approved

The first applicant the board unanimously approved that night was Decades, who are looking to open their location at 404 Central Ave. in the Heights. Bakula Patel and Neel Patel are two of the principles of Decades. Bakula is a physical therapist who grew up in the Heights after immigrating in 1983, and also co-founded the TOTZ Play n Learn daycare in the city. Neel is a Connecticut resident who operates a recreational dispensary outside of Worcester, Massachusetts. “Given the regulations in New Jersey being very similar, almost being copied from Massachusetts, I think I bring great value to this team and to city of Jersey City to run a compliant business,” said Neel. “As we all know, cannabis can be very tricky and you got to stay compliant to stay open.” The second applicant approved unanimously (with Vice Chairman Jeffrey Kaplowitz recusing himself) was Jersey Leaf, who are looking to open a dispensary at 554 West Side Ave..

Board advances park plans

Sacco ridiculed the idea of not utilizing

Stonewalled

Most of the discussion at the meeting was about Medusa NJ, who were eventually tabled after concerns were brought up by education leaders over its proximity to nearby schools. Medusa is looking to open a cannabis retail and a consumption lounge on 759 A Bergen Ave. in Journal Square, which is one block away from Saint Peter’s University. Their prinmoney from the state to redo the park: “The state is giving us between $4.6 and $4.9 million, that I requested from the governor and it’s in the budget. We don’t have to match it. The county is giving us a half a million dollars from the Open Space Trust Fund. This is the first time in history, someone is saying don’t take the money from the state and don’t fix the problem.” Hughes said he was all for the park renovations minus the parking lot. Officials said that they have presented these plans to the community at multiple events to only positive feedback, with one official noting those in attendance were “in the minority.” Following that, resident Joe Lombardi spoke in favor of the proposal. “I think adding the additional parking lot right next to all of the expanded amenities would be a big improvement,” Lombardi said. “It would be more of a welcome to everybody

see JERSEY

CITY page 10

to come and enjoy all the new improvements. It would be a far walk from where the other parking lot would be. I think accommodations were made on both sides already about replacing the trees. If there is going to be all this nitpicking on little things, this won’t get done and that’s unfair to the kids of North Bergen. They deserve this project… I don’t think there should be any hold up.” The board then voted unanimously to introduce the ordinance. A public hearing on it will be held at the board’s July 13 meeting at 6 p.m. in the municipal chambers in Town Hall at 4233 Kennedy Boulevard. For more information, go to northbergen.org. For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.


MAYOR NICHOLAS J. SACCO & THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS would like to congratulate North Bergen High School’s Top 25 Students on being accepted by the colleges of their choice and wish all 2022 graduates a1.successful future! Kelly Cho 2. Edwin Ortez Arevalo 3. Denish Patel dwin Ortez Arevalo dwin Ortez Arevalo Technology Technology

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The Hudson Reporter • June 30, 2022 • 5


It’s summer in Jersey City! Cultural events will also take place, include the upcoming Fourth of July Celebration and the Movies in the Park series By Mark Koosau Staff Writer

J

ersey City is rolling out all the sports balls and other recreational events for this summer, with the city offering programs such as basketball clinics, soccer programs and other non-sports events. The basketball clinics will be taking place from July to August in various locations such as Audubon Park, Bayside Park, Berry Lane Enos Jones Park, Pavonia Park and Pershing Field. Soccer youth programs are also available, with Shoot for the Stars Recreation Soccer taking place at Leonard Gordon Park From July to August. A number of other sports programs that the city is planning to do according to Recreational Director Lucinda McLaughlin include swimming lessons, water polo, and streetball, also known as street hockey. The Jersey City Summer Swim Championship will also be taking place on August 10. McLaughlin also said that there’s a number of non-sports activities that the city has on offer

such as a roller skating rink, yoga and bucket drumming. There are also park splash pads available in a number of parks. There will also be cultural events that will be taking place, include the upcoming Fourth of July Celebration and their Movies in the Park series. There are also fitness programs taking place at the Bethune Center, including tai chi, Zumba Gold, and taekwondo for kids. All classes are free and open to the public. The following starting schedule is: • Tae Kwon Do for Kids: Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (Instructor Sensei Darren Drain) – happening now. • Tai Chi: Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Fridays from 10a.m. to 11 a.m. (Instructor Lawrence Rivers) – starting July 20 • Bootcamp Fitness: Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. (Instructor Sensei Darren Drain) – starting July 24 • Practical Self Defense: Saturday 10 a.m. -11 a.m. (Instructor Sensei Darren Drain) – starting July 24

Make All the Right Moves

Jersey City is holding a number of basketball clinics this summer.

• Zumba Gold: Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 11:30a.m. (Instructor Denise Rose-Booker) – starting July 29 Registration for the sports events can be found at jcrec.recdesk.com.

For updates on this and other stories, check hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Mark Koosau can be reached at mkoosau@hudsonreporter.com or his Twitter @snivyTsutarja.

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Rate current as of publication date and subject to change. 6 • The Hudson Reporter • June 30, 2022

LakelandBank.com ▪ 866-224-1379 *Annual Percentage Rate (APR) effective as of May 18, 2022. Welcome Home assumptions and disclaimers are based on: $150,000 loan amount, a minimum credit score of 660, 95% LTV, primary residence, single family detached property, first lien mortgage. 30-year fixed mortgage monthly payment example is 360 equal and consecutive monthly payments of $782.47. Payments do not include amounts for taxes and insurance premiums, and the actual payment obligation may be greater. Rates are subject to change. The terms of repayment, which reflect the repayment obligations over the full term of the loan, including any balloon payment. **Welcome Home Loan available only in the following counties in New Jersey and New York: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, Warren, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester. Income restrictions apply. Borrower may be required to complete an accredited homeownership course to qualify. Subject to credit approval. 1Property being purchased or refinanced must be located in a low or moderate income census tract within Lakeland Bank’s assessment area. NMLS #530634


HAPPY MEN’S HEALTH MONTH from Hackensack Meridian Health

For the men who have been there for the big things, little things and everything in between - we encourage you to make your health a priority so you can continue to enjoy those special moments. Schedule your regular screenings, including prostate, colon, and lung cancer screenings, when you meet the criteria or are at an elevated risk.

To book your screening appointment today, call 844-HMH-WELL. Visit us online: HMHCancerScreening.org

Scan with your phone’s camera for more information.

NM-00497126

The Hudson Reporter • June 30, 2022 • 7


Here’s just a bit of what’s coming up a Have you signed up for Mile Square Summer Reading yet?

LIVE EVENT:

Poetry Healing Group Thursday, July 14 at 6:30pm Small Program Room Join us for our monthly poetry group. We promote a sense of belonging, critical thinking, and the opportunity for communal healing through connectedness. Sessions focus on a specific theme with poems and prompts that complement the group discussion. You have the opportunity to read poems aloud, discuss craft elements, analyze, and brainstorm ideas for free writing.

All Hoboken Public Library facilities will be closed Monday, July 4, for the Independence Day Holiday.

For the full schedule of events and classes, please visit HobokenLibrary.org. 8 • The Hudson Reporter • June 30, 2022

Please email hplwriters@gmail.com if you have any questions or to let us know you plan to attend.

Story & the Bo at a Park N

11 am –

Elysian Park: Harborside Park: Pier A Park: Southwest Park:

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Catch the BookB Time on Monday one of Hoboken Sign up for a libr out and return bo a special childre Time, right ther Weather permit


at your Library in July

Time ookBike, Near You!

Meet Your Library’s Community Service Worker

Garden State Jazz Greats on Zoom featuring Sonny Greer

at The Learning Center 401 Harrison Street

Wednesday, July 6 at 6:30pm

Fridays: July 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29

Come and join Jazz scholar Ben Young as he explores the majesty, style, and genius of New Jersey’s own jazz greats. Many of these names you may already know and all of them you should know as each of these innovators have left their indelible imprint on world culture through the great African American creation of Jazz.

– 1 pm

Fridays, July 1, 15 & 29 Friday, July 8 & 22 Monday, July 18 Mondays, July 11 & 25

Bike and Story ys and Fridays at n’s lovely parks. rary card, check ooks, and stay for en’s 11 am Story re in the park. tting, of course.

Noon to 2 pm

We can help you with: • •

• •

Finding community resources Paperwork for taxes, SSI, SNAP, Medicare, Medicaid, health insurance, and other benefit programs Getting an ID, birth certificate and other vital documents And more!

July’s featured artist will be drummer and Long Branch native Sonny Greer. While Mr. Greer may not be a household name, his artistry has been heard by millions as he held the drum chair in the Duke Ellington Orchestra from the very beginning. Listen to almost any of Ellington’s classic recordings and you hear the distinctive and masterful drumming of Sonny Greer. We’ll explore Mr. Greer’s recordings both with the Ellington Orchestra and outside it as well. Please register at HobokenLibrary.org The Hudson Reporter • June 30, 2022 • 9


County’s Vaccine Task Force to begin pediatric vaccinations for newly eligible Those younger than 5 years old up to six months old can now get the jab By Daniel Israel

Staff Writer

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JERSEY CITY from page 4 though we’re going to have our own security cameras and security force at the residence hall, it means more costs, money, time and wary on the part of the already existing challenge of drug use in college campuses.” A delegation of Board of Education trustees including President Gerald Lyons, Vice President Gina Veridbello and Trustee Lorenzo Richardson also spoke out against Medusa, with Lyons himself warning that the dispensary is located near three schools. “I’m really not fond of where they’re being located,” said Richardson. “I see that not being located in the expensive high rises. They’ll be located in neighborhoods where people are economically depressed.” Kaplowitz attempted to make a motion to approve with conditions, but did not get any second. Chairwoman Brittani Bunney then made a

10 • The Hudson Reporter • June 30, 2022

A state law and local referendum are needed to authorize a new voting system By Mark Koosau

Staff Writer

udson County Executive Tom DeGise and the Hudson County Vaccine Task Force have announced that they are ready to begin distributing COVID-19 vaccines to children ages six months and up beginning Wednesday, June 21. The move follows the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on June 18 to expand vaccine eligibility to children 5 years and younger. Parents in Hudson County can begin registering for an appointment today, June 21, and county officials urge them to make sure that all eligible members of their families get vaccinated as soon as possible. To make an appointment or obtain additional information, including the County Distribution Center’s hours of operation, visit the vaccine task force’s website at hudsoncovidvax.org. Walk-in vaccinations will also be available. “The CDC’s approval of vaccines for children six months and older is a huge step forward in our fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep Hudson County healthy,” said DeGise. “Our Vaccine Task Force has had great success in getting older kids vaccinated, and we are ready to hit the ground running to make sure that we are able to vaccinate as many children in this newly eligible age group as possible.” County officials are urging parents of kids six months and older to bring them in as soon as possible to get vaccinated, and to get boosted themselves if they haven’t done so. “It is so important that parents of newly eligible children bring them in to get vaccinated,” said Carrie Nawrocki, Executive Director of

Ranked choice voting could come to Hoboken, but hurdles remain

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Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise (left) and Carrie Nawrocki (right) at the Hudson County Vaccine Distribution Center in Kearny.

Hudson Regional Health Commission. “As Hudson County continues to work to make the transition back to in-person learning and work, getting our community’s young people protected will make a big difference in ensuring that we are able to keep everyone healthy and stop the spread of COVID-19.” The Hudson County Vaccine Distribution Center is also continuing to offer free vaccines and booster shots to all eligible groups at the Hudson County Vaccine Distribution Center in Kearny, and recommends that anyone who hasn’t yet been vaccinated do so. The center is located at the USS Juneau Center at 110 Hackensack in Kearny. For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

motion to table, saying that her concerns were that Medusa didn’t speak to Saint Peter’s or Hudson Catholic. “I do feel that we can’t just disregard these institutions who have been there, and that it may have some impact on them,” she said. “Finding a way to work together so that you can move forward, because I do think that that’s important.” Her motion got a second, and the board voted 3-1-1 to table Medusa, with Kaplowitz voting no and Commissioner Stacey Flanagan recusing herself.

A temporary nap

The other applicant unanimously tabled was Local Modiv, who are looking to create a dispensary at the former Sleep Cheap shop at 155 Newark Ave. in Downtown. The two principals, Chelsea Duffy, an entrepreneur and the Vice Chair of the city’s Wom-

ack in December, the Hoboken City Council adopted a trigger ordinance that could bring ranked choice voting to the Mile Square City. But the specific triggers that are needed for it to become a reality make it unknown when it could happen. Ranked choice voting, also known as instantrunoff voting, is a voting system that has been catching on in recent years in the U.S. Voters choose and rank their candidates in order of preference instead of choosing only one candidate. The results then calculate the first choices of all candidates; if a candidate wins a majority of the votes, they will win outright. But if no candidate receives a 50 percent majority, the instant runoff system begins. The candidate with the least amount of first choice votes gets eliminated, and that candidate’s votes gets redistributed to the next choice of the candidate on those ballots. The system continues until one candidate receives a majority or is the one with the most votes at the end. Under the ordinance, the city would have to wait until the state Legislature passes a law allowing the usage of it, and hold a referendum on the first November after such legislation to decide whether or not they’ll use it for local elections. “I think [ranked choice voting] provides a lower barrier to entry for somebody who’s not necessarily like a mainstream candidate,” said Council Vice President Emily Jabbour, who was one of the sponsors of the ordinance. “It gives you the opportunity to better express your preferences rather than just picking one person in a universe of multiple candidates.”

en’s Advisory Board, and Matthew Cimiluca, an IT engineer and the founder of his own IT consulting company, are Jersey City residents who said that they previously attempted to gain licensing for medical cannabis back in 2019, but were disqualified. “Since that process, we have retained a different level of commitment,” said Duffy. “We’ve been able to move forward in securing something that will be suitable for this venture.” Frank Vitolo, a lawyer on behalf of Oceanfront Holdings, said that they’re looking to open their own cannabis dispensary nearby on 141 Newark Ave., and had asked if the close proximity will be an issue in the future. The board took that into consideration, with Commerce Director Maynard Woodson saying that it will be treated as if a continuation of a non-conforming use. “Because when the the application is granted, there is no license within 200 feet, and you’re

The Hoboken City Council approved a trigger ordinance for ranked choice voting, but the triggers make the timeline for actual implementation unknown. Photos by Mark Koosau.

Council Vice President Emily Jabbour said that part of the reason for the ordinance was to get state legislators behind ranked choice voting.

Proponents of ranked choice voting argue that the system prevents spoiler votes by allowing voters to choose a candidate that they prefer, and also promotes more moderate candidates. Critics of it argue that it can be complicated and confusing for voters, and that it encourages see HOBOKEN page 14 not going to stop a concurrent application when they’re 50 to 75 percent from the application,” he said. “So more than likely, it appears that they both will be granted the license.” “In other words, since the council hasn’t adopted a resolution for either one, there’s no pins on the map,” said board attorney Rob Mondello. The board eventually voted to table Local Modiv so that they can get more evidence of a relationship with the Special Improvement District. After all the applicants were heard, the board voted to hold a special meeting on June 27 at 5 p.m.. For updates on this and other stories, check hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @ hudson_reporter. Mark Koosau can be reached at mkoosau@hudsonreporter.com or his Twitter @snivyTsutarja.


West New York announces full line up of summer recreation Block parties, Zumba, the farmer’s market, Movies in the Park, and more By Daniel Israel Staff Writer

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ayor Gabriel Rodriguez, Commissioner Margarita Guzman, and the West New York Board of Commissioners have announced a full line up of recreation offerings for the summer. While the Hudson Reporter already covered some of the opportunities, the town has since announced a slew of more events. Things started at the beginning of June. On June 4, the town hosted a Cuban Block Party on 52nd Street between Park and Broadway from 12 to 4 p.m. The fun continued with Zumba at 56th Street and Boulevard East at the Gazebo “Bird House” at 6 p.m. More Zumba will continue throughout the summer at the same time and place on June 22, July 6, July 20, and August 3. The Farmer’s Market opened on June 10. It will be held every Friday at 60th Street and Boulevard East at Donnely Park from 2 to 6 p.m. The next day, on June 11, the town held a Multi-Cultural Festival at 54th Street and Boulevard East from 12 to 4 p.m.

Town pool is now open

The West New York Swim Club, the town’s swimming facility, opened for the 2022 Summer Season on June 11. The pool is located on Anthony M. DeFino Way also known as 60th Street, between Boulevard East and Port Imperial Boulevard. The pool is open to West New York residents only and free of charge. Proof of residency must be presented by all attendees ages 13 and up. Individuals that are under the age of 13 do not need to show proof of residency, but must be accompanied by an adult. The facility will be open weather permitting on weekends from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. only until

The town pool is open to residents only until September. Mayor Rodriguez DJs the 80s Themed Block Party in 2021.

June 26. Then it will be open every day from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and the same time on weekends starting on Monday, June 27 until Labor Day on September 5.

“The Mitchells vs. The Machines” at the same time and place. The rain date is July 29. Movies in the Park continues into August with “Cruella” on August 5 at the same time and place. The rain date is August 12. And on August 19, Movies in the Park culminates with “Encanto” on 54th Street and Boulevard East at 6 p.m. The rain date is August 26.

On June 15, West New York held a SportsThemed Block Party on 65th Street between Park and Broadway at 6 p.m. Rounding out the month is the start of Movies in the Park on June 24. “Spiderman No Way Home” will be shown at 54th Street and Boulevard East at 6 p.m. The raindate is July 1. Movies in the Park continues with “Raya & The Last Dragon” at the same time and place on July 8. The rain date is July 15. On July 22, Movies in the Park continues with

On July 19, there will be a Sip and Paint of the skyline at 54th Street and Boulevard East at 6 p.m. August 2 is the National Night Out. West New York will be celebrating at the Little League at 54th Street between Park and Broadway from 6 to 9 p.m. On August 4, the town will celebrate Bohemian Night at 64th Street and Boulevard East at 6 p.m. Another Block Party, no theme for this one,

Many performers dazzled attendees at West New York’s annual Multicultural Festival in 2022.

Block Party and Movies in the Park

The fun continues in July

Fundraiser started for family of teens who drowned in Bayonne pool The 19-year-old and 16-year-old brothers drowned at the Lincoln Community School pool By Daniel Israel Staff Writer

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GoFundMe fundraiser webpage has been started to help support the family of the two teenage brothers who recently drowned at the Lincoln Community School pool. The brothers, 19-year-old Chu Ming Zheng and 16-year-old Jack Jiang, were pronounced dead by authorities on the evening of June 8. Jiang was a junior at Bayonne High School and Chu Ming Zheng was an alumni who recently graduated.

GoFundMe aims to help family

The fundraiser was started by Chu Ming’s best friend and neighbor Eliass Nid-Youssef. “On June 8, 2022 we all lost two brothers who are very dear to us and hold a special place in our hearts and forever will,” Nid-Youssef wrote. “They left this world and left their two loving parents and their 11 year old sister. Many of us loved these two boys and they both loved us. The memories we have of them will never be enough to match the energy that they brought into a room and the way they lit up a room every time they entered one.”

Chu Ming Zheng and Jack Jiang. Photo courtesy of Eliass Nid-Youssef.

Nid-Youssef is asking for donations to help the family with funeral costs and other associated expenses. “I write this and create this page as Chu Ming’s best friend and neighbor to ask you, the people who they loved and the people who loved them, to please help us in trying to support Chu Ming and Jack’s family in this time that they are facing by raising some money to help cover the funeral service and for any other

will be held on August 10 on 64th Street between Bergenline and Palisade at 6 p.m. Rounding out the summer is the Western Themed Block Party on September 10 at 54th Street and Boulevard East at 6 p.m.

Register now for other offerings

Meanwhile, registration is open for a number of summer activities hosted by the Division of Recreation. Registrations for the 2022 Summer Action Day Camp, Youth Football Program, and Youth Football Cheerleading Program, as well as for Yoga are now being accepted. Other programs available through the Division of Recreation include: Arts and Crafts, Babe Ruth Baseball, Open Gym Basketball, Yoga, Chess, and Outdoor Soccer, For more information, please contact Cultural Affairs at 201-295-5270. Or go online to westnewyorknj.org. For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

expenses the family deems right,” Nid-Youssef continued. “I plan to take all the money raised and hand it to the family as a check so they can spend it however their hearts desire whether that be funeral service, bills, etc.” Donate online at: gofundme.com/f/chu-mingjacks-family?qid=16e0222b1fedc4ca38f024f0 bc38eb39. As of June 27, $27,846 from 455 donations had been raised, exceeding the $25,000 goal.The community has undoubtedly shown an outpouring of support since the fundraiser was established on June 10. In addition to the fundraiser, gift card donations for the family were accepted at the Korpi Ice Rink up until June 13.

Multiple investigations underway

Mayor James Davis offered his condolences on the deaths of the brothers on the night of their passing. “The City of Bayonne is in mourning tonight, as we learn of the passing of two teenage brothers, who drowned this evening at our Lincoln Community School Pool,” Davis said. “I ask see FUNDRAISER page 13

The Hudson Reporter • June 30, 2022 • 11


to the editor

The Hudson Reporter welcomes letters to the editor on all subjects of interest to our readers. To submit a letter, visit our website, hudsonreporter.com, and in the Opinion pull down, click on Submit a Letter. Once you’ve filled in the boxes our content management system notifies us, and we’ll call you for verification before it’s posted on the web and scheduled for our newspapers. Please limit your letter to 500 words or less. We reserve the right to edit letters for length, and to reject any letters we feel are inappropriate.

North Bergen Resident Parking is a mess Dear Editor: I just want to point out that living in North Bergen for the past 28 years has changed. Up until three years ago, you were able to find parking on the street given any time of day, if you don’t own a house with parking. Today, however, its gotten ridiculously out of control. I live in a building with 20 other families, and 19 of those families have cars which they struggle to find parking. Being situated between two churches, in the race track section of town, people can’t move their cars on a Sunday morning because out of towners come and scoop every spot available. They even park illegally on the yellow lines and block the fire hydrant. As a resident here this situation has definitely filled me with doubt and anger towards the town’s politics. I feel that permit parking should be stricter and enforced seven days a week. The fact is there is no true benefit to living here anymore, rents are too expensive, parking is horrible and taxes are through the roof. All for nothing. I hope Town Hall reads this and does something productive for the residents of North Bergen. Arnaldo Martinez

At its June 22, 2022 Board meeting, the Golden Door Charter School Board of Trustees has approved the following Extraordinary Unspecified Services (EUS) appointments for the 2022-2023 school year: (a) Centric Benefits as Broker for Employee Benefits Broker (b) Cedar Risk Management as Broker for Property/Casualty & Risk Management NM-00497427

12 • The Hudson Reporter • June 30, 2022

Capitaine Cousteau Brought the Life beneath the Seas into Our Living Rooms

splendid biological and ecological mosaic; and, more importantly, we, as humans, are part of that breathtaking tapestry of life. John Di Genio

Dear Editor: This June 25 marks the 25th anniversary of the passing of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, oceanographer, inventor, author, and filmmaker. Jacques Cousteau charmed and mesmerized us to the mystical wonders of the deep seas. His dulcet tone was soothing and sympathetic to the frailty and wonderous mystique of the sea, while, simultaneously, sharing our awe and fascination for the oceanic beauty and the perfect, syncopated harmony of nature below the surface of the earth’s seas. Our eyes were amazed at the wonders that lay beneath the waters while we were soothed by Capitaine Cousteau’s comforting words. It was as if that great French singer, Maurice Chevalier, had taken us on a journey beneath the surface to entertain us with his fine voice. Even the name of Cousteau’s ship, the “Calypso,” reminds us that Capitaine Cousteau’s adventures into the depths of the world’s oceans were magnificent, mystical, magical; and, indeed, truly musical. Jacques Cousteau’s documentaries brought the spectacular world that lays beneath the seas into our living rooms. He showed us that life on this planet is intricately stitched together in a

Board Meeting Dates July 27, 2022 @ 3pm* No August meeting September 28, 2022 October 26, 2022 November 30, 2022 No December meeting January 25, 2023 February 22, 2023 March 22, 2023 April 26, 2023 May 24, 2023 June 28, 2023

One Way to Add NJ Transit Penn Station Capacity Dear Editor: There is still time for NJ Governor Phil Murphy to use his influence with NY Governor Kathy Hochul. He needs to insist that the New York State Empire State Development Corporation issue an addendum to the RFP to also include Penn Station South (four new platforms and eight tracks at Penn Station, New York to serve NJ Transit) as an option to any future contact for the basic $7 billion Penn Station redevelopment proposal recently announced by both governors. NJ Transit can work with the Federal Transit Administration and request that Penn South gain official admission into FTA’s national competitive discretionary Capital Investment Grant New Starts Core Capacity program for future funding. This federal funding source previously helped finance several major New Starts projects New Jersey. These include New Jersey Transit’s Hudson Bergen Light Rail Minimum Operat-

ing Segment One ($992 million), Segment Two ($1.2 billion), Newark Elizabeth Light Rail ($694 million) and Secaucus Transfer ($450 million.) Murphy can also negotiate an agreement with Hochul to obtain future funding for NJ Transit’s Penn South under the MTA’s planned Congestion Pricing. The latest schedule calls for implementation of tolling to start in December 2023 or some time in 2024. The MTA estimates it will generate $1 billion annually. This is supposed to raise $15 billion that which will help pay for the MTA $51 billion 2020 – 2025 Five Year Capital Plan. Both NJ Transit and the Port Authority have similar multi year Capital Plans. New Jersey residents should consider asking for a fair share of revenues generated by these new tolls that they will also be paying. Many Metro North Port Jervis and Pascack Valley line riders change at Secaucus for NJ Transit trains bound for Penn Station via the Hudson River Tunnels. Thousands of New Yorkers are reverse commuters, traveling to jobs, colleges, entertainment, sporting events or shopping in New Jersey. They also benefit by any capital or operating improvements to NJ Transit. Larry Penner Larry Penner is a transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously worked for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office.

BRIEFS from page 2

The Golden Door Charter School Board of Trustees will conduct its regular board meetings for the 2022-2023 school year starting at 5:30pm (except for July which will begin at 3pm) in the Main Floor Conference Room of the Administration Building located at 3040 Kennedy Blvd in Jersey City on the following dates:

Three Thirds Café Hoboken Office of opens in Jersey City’s Constituent Services launches monthly open West Side Three Thirds Café opened their doors at the office hours 3 Acres ground floor retail space at 400 Clare-

Hoboken’s Office of Constituent Services will be launching their new open office hours, which will take place in each ward on a rotating basis beginning this month in the 1st Ward. Residents must book a required appointment via email at ndebendetto@hobokennj.gov or by calling 201-420-2000 ext. 1311 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays.

mont Avenue, where they will offer coffee and baked goods, as well as a community space on the West Side. The cafe will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

New North Hudson tradition for Flag Day

The first Flag Day ceremony in Braddock Park was held on Tuesday, June 14. The event was sponsored jointly by the municipalities of North Bergen, Guttenberg, and West New York. Read the full story at: hudsonreporter. com/2022/06/15/a-new-north-hudson-traditionbegins-on-flag-day. NM-00497425

LETTERS

North Hudson communities celebrated Flag Day differently in 2022.


million to permanently create a task force to create short-term actions and a long-term master plan for the park. The short-term actions would look to improve public use and the “enjoyment” of conservation and recreation areas, while the long-term master plan would be for improvements for park facilities, programs and amenities, and new transportation and mobility services to the park. However, the bill has been criticized by environmental activists for allowing the park be privatized, such as language in it that says that revenue has to be generated by the park, and that there is no protections from such privatization in it. The bill has also been accused of being orchestrated by Paul Fireman, the billionaire who owns the nearby Liberty National Golf Course and had

sought to privatize Caven Point for it. On June 16, the state Senate version of the bill, introduced by state Senator Brian Stack, unanimously advanced through the Senate’s Energy and Environment committee, along with amendments such as one that removed a requirement for the park’s master plan to generate revenue. A week later on June 22, the Assembly version of the bill, sponsored by Hudson County Assembly members Angela McKnight, William Sampson and Annette Chaparro, also unanimously advanced through the Assembly’s State and Local Government committee, but did not have any amendments added. After the Assembly version cleared the committee, McKnight, Sampson and Chaparro said in a joint statement that the park “must continue to be preserved and enriched as a national treasure for the enjoyment of generations to come.” “The park offers an abundance of beautiful views and free, recreational areas for everyone to

ABORTION from cover

until full reproductive health care access is fully restored, I stand ready to fight with you.”

PARK from cover

reproductive rights, it comes as no surprise after a draft of it was leaked in May. Now, in the wake of the ruling, several states led by Republicans are poised to enact complete abortion bans.

Menendez ready to fight

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) condemned the decision, noting that it came at the hands of judges appointed by Republicans. “After years of crusading, Republicans have succeeded in plunging our nation back to the dark days where women lived without bodily autonomy and access to safe reproductive care,” Menendez said. “The Supreme Court’s failure to uphold Roe v. Wade is a devastating and disastrous decision that will impact millions of American women and will forever remain a stain on our country’s history.” Menendez said that this was an issue that extends beyond health care and into human rights. “With today’s decision, the conservative majority on the Court has thrown out nearly 50 years of precedent — jeopardizing long-established progress on civil rights, voting rights, and LGBTQ+ rights,” Menendez said. “Make no mistake, the justices who struck down Roe have callously turned their backs on women and families all across America. As a result, where a woman lives will now determine her ability to access a full range of reproductive health options. The wealthy, the powerful, and the well-connected will still have access to any and all care they choose. But lower-income women, especially of color, will not. This is more than just a health care issue, this is a human rights issue.” Although this battle was lost, Menendez noted that the war for women to have the right to choose was not over: “Today, I share your anger and disappointment. I share your frustration and your outrage. Tomorrow, and every day after

FUNDRAISER from page 11 that we all respect the privacy of the family, as they deal with this unspeakable tragedy. We all pray for comfort for our neighbors.” Following that, in his weekly COVID-19 video update on June 9, Davis said investigations into the “unspeakable tragedy” were underway.

Menendez Jr. stands for reproductive rights

The son of Sen. Menendez, Robert Menendez Jr., was quick to blast the decision ending Roe v. Wade. Menendez Jr. is the Democratic candidate for the 8th Congressional District which encompasses much of Hudson County and will be left vacant after the retirement of Rep. Albio Sires. “While today’s decision by the Supreme Court was expected, it does not dull the disappointment nor concern that I, like so many Americans, have for our country and for the reproductive choices of all Americans,” Menendez Jr. said. “Let’s be extremely clear: the Court’s decision represents the theft of a right that women have had for half a century to bodily autonomy and the right to make decisions about their own lives and futures. Today’s ruling will not prevent abortions from occurring in states that ban them, but will prevent access to safe abortions by licensed providers.” Menendez Jr. touted the steps New Jersey has taken to enshrine the right to choose, adding that he would work to apply that on a federal level in Congress, if elected. “While in New Jersey Governor Murphy and the Legislature have provided women the security and safety they are owed by codifying the right to choose earlier this year, it is clear that we will need to fight harder than we ever have before to do the same on the national level,” Menendez Jr. said. “The House and Senate must act urgently to pass legislation to ensure that abortions remain accessible to those seeking them across our country – and, if I am fortunate enough to be elected, I pledge to put all my efforts into this fight.”

Pascrell condemns Republicans

Rep. Bill Pascrell, who represents the 10th Congressional District of New Jersey including “We are all numb as we try to process this tragedy,” Davis said. “I ask that everyone please say a prayer for our neighbors who are suffering so much at this time. I spent time at the emergency room last night and spoke to our police chief who is leading the investigation into what happened. Please be patient as the police and the Board of Education investigate exactly what occurred.”

Liberty State Park has been caught in a battle for years over potential privatization. Editorial credit: ms_pics_and_more / Shutterstock.com.

enjoy,” they said. “Families love making memories in Liberty State Park. We must plan for its future is in place to ensure it’s around for the next generation.”

While some critics agreed in some parts that there should be some recreational opportunities in the park, they pushed back against large-scale developments and advocated for legislation that would protect the park from privatization, as well as protections for Caven Point. But state Senator Bob Smith, who chairs the Senate Energy and Environment committee, told New Jersey Monitor that he would not advance a bill supported by advocates that would protect the park from privatization. Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli, who chairs the Assembly State and Local Government committee, also told the Monitor that he doesn’t know if he’ll move on it. For updates on this and other stories, check hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @ hudson_reporter. Mark Koosau can be reached at mkoosau@hudsonreporter.com or his Twitter @snivyTsutarja.

Secaucus and Kearny, also condemned the overturning of Roe v. Wade. “A woman’s health care must be guided solely by her own decisions in private consultation with her doctor,” Pascrell said. “No judges or politicians should have their hands on a woman’s bodily decisions. For the last 49 years, women in America have enjoyed these rights as settled law and today five unelected judges destroyed that precedent. Their decision will have catastrophic impacts on our nation both immediate and longterm.” Pascrell noted that this would disproportionately impact women of color, especially in states poised to instate a total ban on abortion. “This partisan decision will directly endanger the health of millions American women, especially women of color and impoverished women,” Pascrell said. “Already, at least 22 states are finalizing laws to criminalize a woman’s control of her own body. Outcomes that threaten women’s health care and would lead to criminal charges against women and medical providers are unacceptable in a civilized society. But that is precisely what will soon happen.” Additionally, Pascrell concluded that this was a result of Republican appointments to the Supreme Court. He urged the Senate to pass legislation already passed by the House of Representatives codifying abortion into federal law. “For decades, Republicans have packed the courts with right wing ideologues to achieve this outcome today,” Pascrell said. “Terrified to eliminate Roe at the ballot box, Republicans have relied on partisan judges to do it behind closed doors. Republicans have succeeded in their sinister quest and Republicans are the cause of this decision. In lifetime seats, these so-called jurists have done something deeply opposed by most Americans. Women will die because of what the Supreme Court has done, and our national divisions will badly worsen. The House has already

voted to codify Roe into hard law. The Senate should move with urgency and do whatever it takes to pass it. We must never lose our urgency to erase this decision and reverse this dark day in America.”

In addition to the Bayonne Police Department, the Bayonne Board of Education as well as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as the school district insurance carrier, according to Superintendent of Schools John Niesz. “This is an active investigation at this time,” Niesz said in a letter to the community. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and to

all of our community.”

ACLU seeks to expand abortion rights

In New Jersey, advocates and lawmakers have taken steps to safeguard abortion rights by passing the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act earlier this year, but there is much more to do to expand abortion access for all, according to reproductive rights advocates. The ACLU of New Jersey said it remains committed to ensuring reproductive health care, including abortion, is accessible for all New Jerseyans regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, income, or insurance, and has called on lawmakers to pass legislation to ensure meaningful access to reproductive autonomy in the state. “The decision of when and whether to have a child is a fundamental human right, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade upends core autonomy and privacy rights in many parts of our country,” said ACLU-NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha. “This moment calls for bold action; anything less is unacceptable. We urge lawmakers to immediately take action to ensure New Jersey expands access to abortion for all as nationwide bans loom.” Now abortion rights are left up to the states. While New Jersey has already protected the right to abortions for its residents, women in other states across the U.S. led by Republicans will likely no longer see the same access to reproductive health care. For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

Details continue to emerge

Many questions remain regarding the incident which occurred when the pool is regularly open to the public during after school hours. The pool is now closed until further notice and crisee FUNDRAISER page 14 The Hudson Reporter • June 30, 2022 • 13


WEEHAWKEN

from cover

FUNDRAISER from page 13

“We’ll be making the announcement sometime this week.” While a full list of programs has not been announced by the township yet, Turner gave a brief rundown of some of the summer offerings in Weehawken. He started with programs geared toward youth. “At different times of the summer, we have baseball clinics, basketball clinics outdoors, soccer clinics,” Turner said.

Residents enjoy a concert in Hamilton Park, sponsored by Mayor Richard Turner and the Township Council. File photo.

Plenty of fun for kids

In addition to the sports clinics, there are also field trips throughout the summer months. “We have about a half a dozen field trips,” Turner said. “We take six trips and anybody who wants to go to different amusement parks and beaches around the state.” For those looking for fun closer to home, there are a range of opportunities at each of Weehawken’s parks each day. “We have our arts and crafts,” Turner said. “Every park and playground has arts and crafts. We have arts and crafts in the morning, then games throughout the day.” While at a park participating in arts and crafts or games, kids can also get free lunch. “We also have the summer food program, sponsored by the state on all our parks and playgrounds,” Turner said.

Summer concerts

For adults, there is a lot to do, especially when it comes to concerts. The township hosts the Weehawken Summer Concert Series in Hamilton Park. “Then we have our summer concerts in Hamilton Park on Boulevard East on the waterfront,” Turner said. “We have concerts uptown on Sunday nights and Thursday nights I think. Then we have the big concerts on the waterfront. We have a big concert series in the Lincoln Harbor Park.” On top of the township’s concerts, there is also the concert series in Lincoln Harbor Park. Run by Bruce Sherman, the Summer Concerts

CAMPAIGN from cover

ecutor for New Jersey, argued in a virtual hearing before Judge Hernandez on June 21 over whether the city ordinance under which City Clerk James Farina charged DeFusco was subject to a statute of limitations that would have made the charges against DeFusco moot. In 2019 Farina alleged that DeFusco had violated the city’s finance laws by going over the $500 contribution limit during his 2017 mayoral campaign. DeFusco has called the complaint a political attack against him, a charge Kleinman echoed in his argument in the hearing. Kleinman argued that if DeFusco was found culpable for the alleged violations he faced a potential $330,000 in penalties and “potential financial ruin” for accepting contributions that were legal under state law. DeFusco has asked the court to dismiss Farina’s complaint. “My client has had to live every day and every night for three years with this,” Kleinman said. Kleinman criticized the prosecutor for not dropping the case despite his offering numerous examples of “dispositive” binding case law, in-

HOBOKEN from page 10 horsetrading between candidates. Ranked choice voting is currently used statewide in Maine and Alaska, as well as in cities such as New York City, San Francisco and Minneapolis. Jabbour said that part of the impetus for passing the ordinance back then was to get state legislators behind ranked choice voting. She referenced 14 • The Hudson Reporter • June 30, 2022

on the Hudson 2022 lineup features an array of talented musicians. And of course, there is the pool, which open to Weehawken residents only for now. In terms of the rest of the summer recreation opportunities, the township will make the information available soon on its website at weehawken-nj. us and social media pages. “We’ll post everything,” Turner said. “It’ll go out this week with all our different activities that are available.” For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

sis counselors and guidance counselors will be available for students in the wake of the boys’ deaths. With three lifeguards on duty at the time of the drowning, many questions still remain as to how the tragedy was allowed to occur. According to NBC News, the teenagers allegedly drowned in a secondary pool intended for diving which was apparently closed at the time. Lifeguards pulled both teens from the pool and began life-saving measures until authorities arrived. EMS, police, and firefighters immediately responded to the scene and also administered CPR before transporting the boys to the hospital, but brothers were declared dead at Bayonne Medical Center. A third sibling, their sister who is in the fourth grade at Horace Mann Community School, was present at the pool during the incident, but was not involved, according to police. Additional details to continue to emerge in the wake of the tragedy at the Lincoln Community School pool. For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

cluding decisions supporting his argument that the statute of limitations on the ordinance ex-

pired after one year. He also cited a letter about the case from the Hoboken’s corporation counsel calling the penalty provisions in the ordinance “nonsensical and impossible to enforce.” He criticized the substance of Farina’s complaint, which he said “listed a bunch of contributions my client received without even documenting any information as to whether they even fall under the ordinance.” He added that the prosecution had also failed to document the relevance of the complaint under the ordinance, which, since its adoption in 2011, has never been enforced despite “multiple instances when it could have been enforced.” He pointed out that complaint against DeFusco was sworn and distributed to news media two weeks before the 2017 mayoral election, which DeFusco lost. McGhee said the city based its complaint on election contribution reports provided by DeFusco, and that Farina acted on his obligation to enforce violations of the ordinance. She argued that probable cause existed for the complaint and it should not be dismissed. “There is no one year statute of limitations,”

she argued. She said, addressing Kleinman’s prediction of financial ruin, that if DeFusco is found guilty there are many possible ways a penalty could be “worked out” between the defendant and the state. McGhee contended the case law Kleinman cited does not explicitly state that a town has only one year to issue a city ordinance violation. “That’s left up to the town.” “This is not even a plausible argument to make,” Kleinman replied. Judge Hernandez told both sides he would render his decision and they’d be notified of the date. One side effect of a decision on the complaint could determine whether or not the city’s own campaign finance laws itself would change. An ordinance adopted would allow labor unions an exemption from the laws, but will only go into effect if the court rules in this case that the laws are unenforceable or unconstitutional. For updates on this and other stories, check hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @ hudson_reporter..

a bill that was introduced by Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro, who is from and represents Hoboken in the 32nd District, but the bill didn’t go anywhere in the previous legislative session. There is currently one bill for ranked choice voting in the current legislative session that would create ranked choice voting for federal and state elections, but does not establish it for local municipalities. Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, who also rep-

resents the 32nd District, said that while he would have to give ranked choice voting more thought and that he hadn’t discussed it with his colleagues, he is open minded to it. “I guess it’s probably something we should give some more thought to and deliberate,” he said. Jabbour said that she hopes that more people will continue to learn about it. “I think on its face it seems like it’s a complicated process, and then when you sit down and

look at the benefits of it, I think people appreciate that it really addresses a lot of the long standing concerns that people have had about of some of the structures of party politics in Hoboken,” she said. For updates on this and other stories, check hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @ hudson_reporter. Mark Koosau can be reached at mkoosau@hudsonreporter.com or his Twitter @snivyTsutarja.

The judge heard arguments as to probable cause and any statute of imitations in the complaint against Councilman Michael DeFusco.


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16 • The Hudson Reporter • June 30, 2022