September General Meeting

Saturday, September 3, 2016

 

Happy Labor Day weekend to all! This weekend marks the transition of late summer into fall, and is an especially beautiful time to be outdoors in Harsimus Cove. Not surprisingly, our neighborhood is even more active than usual—and you’ll notice this reflected in the very full “Announcements & Events” section below.

In this spirit, HCA is also trying something new for our next General Meeting. That, of course, will be below, right after this message...
 

Sponsors

HCA encourages our neighbors to shop locally, and we hope everyone supports the businesses that not only contribute to HCA as sponsors, but also make living in Harsimus Cove even better. Please click on the logos below to visit their websites.

 

SEPTEMBER GENERAL MEETING ON PEDESTRIAN PLAZA

SPECIAL LOCATION & DATE: While HCA normally has our meetings on the second Monday of the month in Grace Church, the Board has voted to try something different this time. So, this month’s General Meeting date and time have been pushed up a week and the location will be outdoors. Details are:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 6:30 PM
at the Grove Street Plaza near at the intersection of Newark and Grove (by the Grove St. PATH Station entrance in front of Grove Pointe)

Note that general meetings will resume at their normal date, time and place as of the next meeting in October.

Editor's Note: Because of the uncooperative weather, our September meeting was rescheduled from last week to its regular time, Monday, September 12 at 7:30 PM at Grace Church Van Vorst on 2nd and Erie.


Updates & Discussion: There will updates on trash cans and daylighting parking delineators, as well as announcements from members and HCA. The discussion portion will mainly feature our guest speaker.
 
Guest Speaker: Brian Platt, Director Office of Innovation. A frequent guest of HCA, Brian will return to hear resident ideas and feedback on our experience with the Grove Street Plaza and Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall over the summer. He may also share news related to the future of the Pedestrian Mall.
 
We had originally advertised that Captain Nicholas Scerbo (the new JCPD East District Commander) would be joining us too. Unfortunately, he very recently learned of a last minute conflict with our meeting. However, he is eager to meet residents, so he will be rescheduled for an upcoming HCA meeting. Stay tuned.

 

Announcements & Events

SEPTEMBER
Coffee with a Cop (on the Pedestrian Mall). The JCPD East District will host Coffee with a Cop in our neighborhood on Tuesday, September 13 from 7 to 9 PM on the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall. This is a great opportunity for members of the community to meet our law enforcement officers, discuss various topics of interest, and get to know them in an informal setting. The Facebook event page can be found here.
 
Signature Drive for EPC at Barcade. In support of the Embankment Preservation Coalition (EPC), Barcade is hosting a signature drive to preserve the Harsimus Stem Embankment from demolition on Thursday September 15 from 6:30 to 10:30 PM. Proceeds from drinks sold also go to support the cause. More details below in the “News” section.
 
Jersey City Master Plan Update Meetings. More details in the “News” section below. Meetings are located at the City Hall Council Chambers on Thursday, September 15, 2016 from 6:30 to 8 PM and at The Bethune Center on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 from 6:30 to 8 PM.
 
All About Downtown Street Fair. The Historic Downtown Special Improvement District’s popular street fair returns to Harsimus Cove for its 6th year on Saturday, September 17 from 11 AM to 6 PM. This year, the fair has expanded and will be on Newark Avenue between Grove and Coles Streets. There will be over 300 vendors, live music, kids’ activities, more than 15 mobile food vendors and mobile fashion trucks. See the Facebook event page for further details.
 
Newport Liberty Half-Marathon. This annual race takes place on Sunday, September 18 at 8:30 AM. According to the race website there will be “a post-race celebration at Newport Town Square with plenty of refreshments, music and drawings for a host of exciting prizes” and also “$3,000 in award money will be offered to winning runners in each category, with proceeds donated to the Jersey City Medical Center.”  The course will be mainly along the waterfront; however, we can expect road closures in Downtown that morning. A map of the race route is here.
 
Jersey City Fashion Week 2016. The 5th annual Jersey City Fashion Week takes place from Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25. According to the organizers, all proceeds are donated to charities in the community. The organizers are not only inviting residents to attend, but also seeking local businesses to participate as sponsors. Check JCFW’s website for full schedules, ticketing and sponsorship information.

EARLY OCTOBER
Taste of Hudson (County). On Thursday, October 6 from 6 to 9 PM, the first annual Taste of Hudson will be held in the Atrium of the Harborside Financial Center on the waterfront at 34 Exchange Place. The event organizers advise you to “save the date and your appetite!” Tickets are $50 and will include drinks and sample-sized food from scores of eateries in Jersey City and throughout Hudson County.
 
All proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County. The event is co-sponsored by Mack-Cali and Jersey City Ties. More information, including a list of participating restaurants is available on the Facebook event page and Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County site. Tickets are available here.
 
RECURRING VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
Grace Community Services’ Breakfast Plus Program is looking for volunteers to help prepare and/or cook and breakfast and serve breakfast to fellow community members in need. The 100% volunteer-run program, based at Grace Church Van Vorst (39 Erie Street), serves breakfast to between 60-100+ men and women from 7:30 to 9:00 AM every Saturday & Sunday, year-round (including holidays). Doors open around 6:30 AM and volunteers arrive at 7:00 AM. For more information, please email Jenny at jmeyernj@yahoo.com.

 

Help Us Spread The Word About HCA

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to spread news about a local organization. So, HCA is calling on members to help us spread the word. Social media is an important first step. We ask those who have not already to “like” our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
 
We invite you to join the discussion happening in our Facebook group, as it's a great way to keep up on neighborhood happenings and discussion among members and neighbors between meetings.


News

 

Embankment Preservation Coalition Continues Signature Drive at Barcade

On Thursday, September 15 from 6:30 to 10:30 PM, Barcade will host the Embankment Preservation Coalition (EPC) in support of its mission to preserve the Harsimus Branch Embankment. 
 
HCA has supported the EPC in its efforts to gather signatures for a comment to be sent to the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the agency that is currently conducting a historic preservation review (mandated by the National Historic Preservation Act) of the Harsimus Branch. The STB will consider public opinion on this issue in its decisions on the fate of the 150-year-old railway corridor and historic stone Embankment on Sixth Street. The forum presents residents with a key opportunity to oppose demolition of a key piece of historic downtown fabric located right in our neighborhood.
 
EPC will be collecting resident signatures at the event. Additionally, Barcade will show its support by donating $1 from every beer sold all day long (12 PM to 2 AM) to the EPC. So any drinks you buy will go for a great cause! For more information about the Embankment Preservation Coalition, or to get involved, please visit the EPC's website.

Demolition of 143 Newark Avenue

An historic building on the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall is in the process of being demolished. According to the Jersey Journal, “a city official on October 14, 2014 filed a report saying excavators working on 141 Newark Ave.” owned by Five Star Investment, a Del Forno Company, “dug down at least three feet below the footings of 143 Newark Ave, causing the eastern wall of 143 Newark Ave. to slide down and the interior floors and walls to shift.”

In late August of 2016, after almost two years standing while buttressed, the building owners, C&E Developers (who own Hard Grove Café), deemed that the damage necessitated tearing down 143 Newark Ave. C&E had previously been given approval by planning officials in May 2013 to renovate the historic facade of 143 Newark Ave. They reportedly planned to house 17 units of residential housing plus a new version of Hard Grove Café. The situation is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit over who is responsible for excavation damage.
 
Though its architecture and history of the structure were deeply appreciated by residents who expressed profound disappointment at the decision, 143 Newark Avenue was itself not within the Harsimus Cove Historic District.
 

1 Republik to Replace Rainbow

On August 5, the blog Jersey Digs confirmed that 1 Republik/26 Below will replace the Rainbow clothing store at 145 Newark Avenue on the Pedestrian Mall.  There is currently no timeline for Rainbow’s closing or when the new restaurant and bar will open. 1 Republik currently has two locations, one in Hoboken and the other in North Arlington.  According to its website, it bills itself as “your premiere sports bar” with a menu from casual pub fare to fine dining.

A majority of online commenters in the HCA Facebook Group reacted negatively overall to the news of a sports bar. [Examples of comments included “Stay in Hoboken! Don’t bring that vibe here,” and concerns of more “loud, annoying clientele on Newark Avenue.”]. However, there were a few positive views expressed [for example “a place to relax while eating” and “like a place we need.”]
 

Jersey City Master Plan Update

After years of lobbying from community groups and the Downtown Coalition of Neighborhoods Associations (DCNA), of which HCA is a member, the City has agreed to “comprehensively” update its master plan. The plan drafting will involve collaboration between city staff, specialized consultants, and community leaders and members. 
 
City Planning has invited interested residents and community leaders to participate in two Kickoff Public Meetings, to be held at the following times and locations:
 
City Hall Council Chambers
Thursday, September 15, 2016 from 6:30 to 8 PM
280 Grove Street, Floor 2
Jersey City NJ 07302
 
The Bethune Center
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 from 6:30 to 8 PM
140 MLK Drive
Jersey City NJ 07305
 
HCA encourages all interested residents to attend these meetings. For more information, go to www.jerseycitynj.gov/MasterPlan. To further engage with community organizations working on this, please contact us at HarsimusCoveAssociation@gmail.com
 

Two Recent Violent Crime Incidents Reported on 2nd & Jersey

Although our neighborhood is fortunate to have a comparatively low rate of violent crime in relation to most of Jersey City, there have been a couple of incidents recently on the same corner that bear mentioning.
 
Mugging Incident
As reported in the Jersey Journal, a 41-year-old victim was attacked and robbed by three men in their 20s on August 14 at approximately 10:40 PM in the area of 2nd Street and Jersey Avenue. The victim said his attackers punched him in the face, knocked him to the ground and robbed him of his Apple iPhone and $20. They then fled the scene on bicycles, according to a police report. Several police units then swept the area, arresting Eric Crawford, 20, of Martin Luther King Drive in Jersey City, and charging him with robbery. The other two men believed to be involved in the attack were not immediately apprehended.

Physical Attack Incident
According to resident posts on Nextdoor.com and the HCA Facebook Group, near the same corner on August 28 a couple reported that they witnessed what they described as a “mentally disturbed” man chase an older woman and punch her. Posters described him as “between 5'5 and 5'8, stocky, probably of Latin/Hispanic descent—was speaking in Spanish to the older lady” and “with curly dark hair.” Although the couple initially believed the incident to be a domestic dispute, the victim reportedly said she did not know the man.
 
According to the accounts, the woman apparently ran toward the couple who reported the incident and hid behind the husband, until two younger women came down the street and threatened to alert the authorities, at which point, the man began to chase them. The police were called and came to take a report but did not catch the man. 
 
If you have information regarding this case, please report it to the JCPD East District at 201-547-4370.
 
 

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