Weekend Reading - A Lot Covered


Happy Belated Labor Day / End of Summer / Start of Football Season / Back to School / Back to Work / Official Local Election Season... 

I always feel like this is more like the beginning of a New Year than January is.
There is a lot going on, and a lot to cover and update you on, so let’s get started.  You may need the entire weekend to read this one… In this newsletter:
  • 9/11 Interfaith Memorial Service
  • NYWW / UDD / Maritime Park Update
  • Hoboken District Schools Theater Program & Harry Potter
  • Rebuild By Design / Cove Park Update
  • Hoboken Italian Festival – 9/7-9/10
  • 14th & 15th Street Intersection Updates
  • New Little Restaurant Coming to 2nd Ward
  • More Steps for a Rat Free Hoboken
  • Hoboken Youth Advisory Committee
  • 15mph School Zone Speed Limits
  • Kings Monthly Specials
  • Save the Date for Howl-a-Ween!
  • Small Business Spotlight – Rat Free Hoboken Edition
  • Small Step / Big Impact – Round2Resources
On Monday, September 11th, Hoboken will have its annual memorial service commemorating the tragic events of 9/11 and honoring the 53 Hoboken residents who lost their lives that day.  It is always a moving service and I hope you will join me in attending.  It will be at 5pm, at Pier A.  Leaders representing many different faiths join together to provide words of remembrance, prayer and comfort.  If you have never taken the time to view Hoboken’s 9/11 memorial, this is a great opportunity to do so as well. 
Last week, NJ.com published an article about a large, planned residential waterfront development in Weehawken.  Weehawken offers 20-year tax abatement for developers of long-vacant waterfront property - nj.com  
Several neighbors reached out concerned about the impact on NYWW’s occupation of the former Union Dry Dock site.  Why?  Because the proposed residential project is being built on the land adjacent to Weehawken’s 9/11 memorial, but more relevant to this discussion, also to NYWW’s current maintenance and refueling operations.  This begs the question on whether this impacts the site where NYWW are supposed to be building their new maintenance terminal.
The simple answer is, we still do not know.  But IMHO, it does.
The city had a meeting with NYWW last week where NYWW confirmed:
  • they still had not submitted their application to the Weehawken Planning Board for their new maintenance facility, but hoped to in a few months (which is what they said last Spring when I asked them at the Hoboken Planning Board),
  • they were close to securing all the permits they need to move their operations to Hoboken, and
I am glad they continue to say they will be a good neighbor while here and we will hold them to it.  But I would say my concern has now elevated about the chances of them leaving Hoboken.  I will be asking at my Environmental Services Committee meeting next week for the administration to provide monthly status updates to the entire City Council and public so we are best positioned to ensure NYWW will leave. 
On the positive side, Fund For A Better Waterfront shared in their newsletter today the results of the Maritime Park - Survey #2.  If you remember, at the July meeting the planners presented three alternatives for the public to consider.  The winning alternative with approximately 44% of the votes, was the “Waterfront Promenade Approach” with most people wanting the walkway to follow the water’s edge.  This is not really a surprise to me – if you look at what our most successful parks are:  open laws, beautiful views, and not over programmed.  My guess is the city will be releasing the full results and next steps soon.
THIS!!!!!  Hoboken’s award-winning District Schools Theater program has been selected to be the first school in the nation to perform Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which is still being performed on Broadway! 
If you have not been to a Hoboken High School or District Wide Theatre Production, you are missing out.  They are as good as shows you would see On and Off Broadway.  This is a pretty big deal so please read Caren Lissner’s ENTIRE Patch article about the exciting news.  The one part I will quote from her article is from the man who owns the rights to the production on why he selected Hoboken: 
"It's the most diverse, loving, creative community we could have found, and it was right in our own backyard."
Yup, that's us!
Over the next month, the city and I will be setting up various meetings with stakeholders and the public concerning the beginning of the Rebuild by Design / Cove Park construction.  In particular, the residents of the buildings that will be most affected in the 2nd Ward throughout the project including Park & Garden, 1500 Garden, Elysian School, 1425 Garden, The Madison and Bin 14, Soul Cycle, 1450 Washington and others.  For those who may have forgotten, this is the northern “alignment” of the structure:
This is both exciting and daunting for my neighbors on 15th street.  The end result will be the stunning Cove Park on the waterfront that all of Hoboken will enjoy, and that will have a critical flood barrier that will protect most of Hoboken from devasting storm surge events.  But the 2-3 years of construction that will weave through the area will be incredibly disruptive at best, including temporarily eliminating a park that is heavily used by multiple schools in the area.  Right now, the project plan has not yet been established, but the best guess is that construction will not begin until early 2024.  The details of the project and the plan to mitigate the disruption are what matter most to my neighbors’ quality of life until the project is completed.  More to come soon…
Come down to the downtown waterfront for the Hoboken Italian Festival, the premier Italian American festival in the New Jersey tri-state area.  It is 85 years old, and derived from a festival in Italy that is over 600 years old.  If you have never witnessed Feast Day, you have missed out on an incredible tradition where the 800lb statue of the Madonna Dei Martiri or Madonna of the Martyrs is carried through the streets of Hoboken.  It will be held on Saturday and will follow this path from St. Francis Church:
You can learn all about yet another Hoboken traditions, it’s history and the schedule for this year’s festival here: About — The Hoboken Italian Festival
14th & Bloomfield Traffic Light
Thank you to all who have reached out about this light and in particular my neighbors who sent through these pictures showing how the pedestrian signal does not automatically turn white/walk to cross 14th street when the traffic light turns green.  It does turn white if you press the button on the pole, but not if you don’t.  This seems to have been a recent change by the County that is creating confusion and uncertainty for all involved, making the intersection less safe.  I personally experienced this just a couple of days ago – crossing on the red and almost hit by a car turning left from Bloomfield like what you see in the upper left photo.
I forwarded these pictures to Commissioner Romano and the Hudson County Engineer to clarify what we are looking for and have spoken with Hoboken’s City Engineer as well.  I am hoping to resolve this soon.  Please definitely continue to reach out on this until it is resolved.
14th and Hudson – Everything…
The only meaningful update is that I raised the concern expressed by neighbors about the traffic light – specifically that the green arrows are covered, but still activated causing confusion for all users.  I suggested that if the County was not going to change the lights anytime soon, they should probably at least uncover the arrows so the timing and the visible lights match.  In terms of the rest of the intersection, completion is still dependent on the installation of the new traffic poles and lights which I am told, again, is forthcoming… no timing given. 
14th & Sinatra - Drop Off Zone
We approved at the Council meeting this week an update that will ordain the area on N. Sinatra, directly in front of the uptown ferry, as an official drop off zone.  It was always meant to be this, but our ordinance didn’t reflect it.  Functionally, without this clarity, it has often served as a place for vendors and others to park as well, inhibiting the safe drop off and pick up of neighbors.  This change will make it exclusively for drop off and will allow for better enforcement.  Thank you to the HPU administration for discovering this and suggesting this fix.
15th & Washington – Possible New Traffic Light/Moved Loading Zone
As I have mentioned, I have requested the city brush off old studies and / or do a new warrant analysis for a traffic light at 15th and Washington.  There has always been contemplated having one there someday, since the six building Hudson Tea Planned Development was approved back in the late 90’s.  This intersection is a growing problem, exacerbated by the opening of a new school this week right at the corner bringing many more young kids and strollers directly into what is already a chaotic intersection.  It will only get worse once the grocery story opens in early 2024.
The warrant analysis and new traffic light will take a year or so and cost around $450,000.  In the near term, I got feedback from about 50 neighbors who supported the idea of moving the loading zone that is at that corner, on the east side of Washington, to a location midblock on the same side.  Technically, this is where the loading zone is supposed to be – so it aligns with the sidewalk ramp – it was just striped incorrectly at the time.  By doing this, it will shift some of the movement that happens at that loading zone – contractors and now drop offs of young children - away from the intersection.  I am working with our Parking and Transportation Director and City Engineer to facilitate this.  The picture below shows the two locations. 
The biggest challenge for this intersection is the combination of it being a main thoroughfare combined with cars just not stopping at the all way stop signs - in the middle of one of the most densely populated area of Hoboken.  I think the only thing that will help is a traffic light.  But, I am also looking at other measures in the interim that could help address this.
The four handicapped parking spots along N. Sinatra are often the subject of complaints I receive from neighbors who witness abuse of these spots by people without handicapped placards.  These are the only spots for handicapped residents and visitors at the uptown waterfront which is critical to make our waterfront accessible for everyone.  Enforcement has primarily been more in response to people who have called in. 
I recently received probably the most “colorful”, for lack of a better word, email of my entire time on the City Council from a neighbor who witnessed some late night “romance” followed by a picnic at one of the spots.  In responding to the email, I connected our County Commissioner Romano, Hoboken’s Police Chief Aguiar, our Public Safety Director Ferrante, and HPU Director Sharp to better understand what the jurisdiction is and how best to improve enforcement.  Through this we confirmed the spots are on a county road, were approved by Hudson County a while back as part of the Shipyard Planned Development, and can be enforced the Hudson County Sherrif, the Hoboken Police and the Hoboken Parking Utility.  Since then, our HPU team has also reached out to Ironstate / Applied to talk about how best to ensure these spots are used as intended – for handicapped residents and visitors.  Hopefully we will see less abuse of these spots going forward and more proactive enforcement.  Thank you to all who have reached out on this issue.
Don’t be fooled by the name – The Little Bar - it is actually a new, tiny restaurant helmed by the owners of Halifax (at the W), coming soon to the NW corner of Shipyard Lane and 14th And they aren’t kidding that it is little … taking over the former Proven Poke space, I peeked inside this week and the new restaurant has a small, probably 6’ bar, and room for maybe 8 people… The Hoboken Girl did a story on what to expect – small plates and creative, upscale drinks.  Click here to read:  Details Emerge About New Bar Coming to Uptown Hoboken - Hoboken Girl.
Some have asked where the liquor license came from for this small space given they are so expensive.  My understanding, although I have not confirmed, is that it is the one that was used for the former Lua / McCloone’s on the waterfront which makes sense because the landlord who owns the liquor license is the same.  Otherwise it would have needed approval by the City Council to move a license from another area in Hoboken into the 2nd Ward.  Additionally, for those unaware, our zoning code prohibits “bars” in this location – meaning drinking establishments that do not serve food - so notwithstanding the name, it is most definitely a restaurant that happens to serve alcohol.  The Little Bar should open this fall!
There are two new pieces of legislation that the city introduced to help combat the growing rat crisis in Hoboken.
Hopefully this is just a commonsense reminder to our restaurants about being a good neighbor.I know many, but not all, are already trying.On the vein of “they say a picture tells 1,000 words”, below is a picture taken by a neighbor and posted on the Rat Free Hoboken FB group I started last week about what is below one of the Streateries in town.  This Streatery was taken down to facilitate road repaving and clearly shows the need to clean them.
If you haven’t yet, I would encourage you to check it out and join the group.It already has 359 members and the input has been constructive and helpful.I’ll give you an example below…
  • Prohibiting Burrows and Require Filling of Burrows – this is an amendment to our existing “nuisances” ordinance that will prohibit property owners from allowing any rat holes, burrows or other evidence of infestation and require property owners to fill in burrows within 10 days of extermination.  Otherwise, the owner is subject to fines, like with other nuisances, of $250 for the first offense; $500 for the second offense; and $1,000 for the third and all subsequent offenses.
The response I received to my Rat Survey Results, and specifically the Rat Map, was overwhelmingly positive.  It has drawn out even more constructive ideas and feedback. My theory is it is because people want to be able to visualize the issue and be part of the bigger discussion.  And the simple map, does just that.  I think our neighbors want to be invited to engage on this issue and contribute to the solution, not just told what to do by a distant voice. 
And importantly, the map has gotten people to identify even more locations that were not previously identified – like some areas at the HHA.  Because the Rat Survey – Take 2 was embedded at the bottom of my Rat Survey Results newsletter, I wanted to bring awareness to it again here.  So please take a minute to fill it out if you haven’t already.
For the 2nd year, the Administration and City Council are looking for youth between the ages of 13 and 18 who are interested in learning more about our local government to apply to Hoboken’s Youth Advisory Committee.  There are twelve spots – one appointed by each City Council member, and three appointed by Mayor Bhalla.  The commission will meet twice monthly and serve for the entire 2023-2024 school year.  Applications are due Friday, September 15th by 4PM.  If you are interested, you can apply online here: [City of Hoboken] App for Appointment to Boards and commissions (seamlessdocs.com)
The City Council passed a new ordinance that reduces the speed limits near all K-12 schools in Hoboken.  Although we have been told by Hoboken PD that enforcing speed limits anywhere in Hoboken is not achievable due to limitations of speed devices, except on main roads with long stretches without stop lights / signs, what this new ordinance does do is provide signage of reduced speeds which has its own value of slowing traffic.  I believe even the speed signs that you see – the ones that show you how fast you are going – may not work in low speed limit areas, but I have asked that these be considered as they are very effective at slowing traffic. 
Speed Sign Example
For my uptown neighbors in particular, in case you were unaware.  Kings has each month, different daily specials that are awesome.  I regularly wait in line and partake in the $6.99 Rotisserie Chicken specials on Tuesday!  It is tough to find a bargain at Kings, so take advantage when you see them!  I am definitely trying Shrimp Gremolata Bake tonight!
Halloween talk already??? What a fun event, and a way to support the Hoboken Community Center at the same time! Click here to get early tickets:  Howl-O-Ween Tickets, Sat, Oct 28, 2023 at 2:00 PM | Eventbrite
My little "lion" Brownie is excited and already ready to go so I am going to get a discounted, early bird ticket! 
I probably would have gotten around to spotlighting Il Tavolo, because I love this restaurant.  I have been a few times and have had a delicious meal each time – most recently their Short Rib Ragu which was to die for.  It is one of those restaurants with a menu where I want to try everything – take a look for yourself: IL TAVOLO (iltavolohoboken.com)
But what is prompting me to spotlight Il Tavolo and its owner Frank Palmisano today, is for a different reason - rats! Frank is one of growing number of community members who are actively looking to help solve this public health crisis in Hoboken.  He posted on the Rat Free Hoboken group a detailed description of what his efforts have been to keep his restaurant and kitchen rat free – sharing the positives and some of the challenges (like neighbors less excited to help).  He then offered to work with other restaurants to share his experience. TapInto did an article on his efforts - As Hoboken Fights Rat Crisis, Restaurant Owner Takes Action | Hoboken, NJ News TAPinto
What was most magical though, was when one of my 2nd ward neighbors responded to his post with: 
“Never have tried it, but now I want to support this owner. “
BAM! That is what this is all about.  And what Hoboken is all about.  So support Il Tavolo not just because the food is awesome, but because the owner is being a great neighbor. 
I had planned on a different post, but one of my neighbors reached out today asking me about that “non-profit group that helps connect individuals looking to donate furniture with individuals in need of the same.    I am a big fan of this organization, and at its core is a “save the environment” focus by recycling, so I am bringing back my inaugural Small Step / Big Impact post about:   Round2Resources.
When you think about getting rid of items in your home that you no longer need, my guess is, you don’t necessarily think about the environment.  But you should.  Think of the big impact you can make if instead of putting old silverware or a microwave you no longer use in the trash, you actually find it a new home where someone else can use it and love it a little longer and keep these items out of landfills for a little longer.
Round2Resources acts as an intermediary for those that have these items and those that need them – think about recently housed people, refugees, or those displaced due to domestic violence.  These people may have found a new roof over their head, but don’t necessarily have the means to fill the rooms and make it a home.  R2R is connected with many non-profits across our
So, one way you can help the environment and help your community is re-homing items that are still in good condition, but that you no longer need.  Think about baby and children’s items that your kids outgrow – strollers, car seats, clothing and toddler beds.  Or design changes – a neighbor recently donated a table and chair set after she bought a new one that my dad and I delivered to a woman who had been a victim of domestic abuse.  Or even those Wayfair deliveries that you don’t want, and Wayfair has said you don’t need to return and they will give you a refund anyway. region who help these people and they turn to our local community to source needed items.
Round2Resources does not currently have storage for items, so it is more of a matchmaking effort at this time.  But they can arrange for pick-up and delivery.  If you do not already, please follow them on Instagram and Facebook where they post stories daily about what is needed.  And you can always message them and ask if they need items you may have.  If you ever have trouble getting in touch with them, just let me know.

Well, we covered a lot, and believe it or not, there is more.  But I will include those in my next newsletter.  As always, please share this with everyone you know who may be interested and reach out any time on any issue important to you: 201-208-1764 or [email protected].      
Tiffanie Fisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
Engage. Inform. Advocate.
“More Voices are Better”
If you like this newsletter, please donate to my re-election campaign via website or paypal
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