McNair Academic High School ranked in U.S. News top 50 list
U.S. News recently revealed its Best High Schools list for each state, and four Hudson County schools placed among New Jersey’s top 50. Jersey City’s McNair Academic High School placed within the top five high schools in New Jersey.
Of 21,776 U.S. high schools, 82 New Jersey schools made the national list. Twenty-eight state schools were awarded gold medals, 23 received silver medals, and 31 received bronze.
According to usnews.com, Jersey City’s McNair Academic placed third in the state and 78th in the nation.
Hudson County’s High Tech High placed 30th in the state and 508th in the nation, and Weehawken High School placed 44th in the state and 1,297th in the nation. West New York’s Memorial High School ranked at number 50 in the state, and 1,773rd in the nation.
The web site reports that New Jersey has a total of 389 high schools, 294 school districts, 30,807 full-time teachers, and 421,215 enrolled students.
Hudson Chamber partners with United Way for May 14 benefit
The Hudson County Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Hudson County are joining efforts to present “We Are Hudson – The Live Benefit” on Monday, May 14, at the Roxiticus Golf Club in Mendham at 10 a.m. Two leaders, who have embodied the spirit of Mary T. Norton, New Jersey’s first Congresswoman, will be honored: Joanne Bruno, vice president for Academic Affairs at New Jersey City University; and Jean Quinn, vice president of Public Relations at The Provident Bank. Both honorees will be recognized for making outstanding contributions to the success of United Way programs in Hudson County.
“The Chamber believes that a strong non-profit community is imperative to making the county a great place to do business,” said Maria Nieves, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “We’re pleased to join efforts with the United Way and support their mission to provide critical resources to the underserved in our community.”
Founded in 1888, the Chamber currently represents more than 340 members, facilitates forums with local, state and federal officials, and provides a platform for business networking and partnerships.
In its 76th year of service, the United Way mobilizes resources to affect positive, long-term change in the lives of homeless and impoverished men, women and children in Hudson County. The benefit event, proceeds from which will support both organizations, will include a day of golf and tennis. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the Mary T. Norton Awards Dinner is scheduled for 6 p.m. Individual dinner tickets are available.
To register for this event, contact the chamber at email@example.com.
Fulop announces partial slate for 2013 council race
Jersey City 2013 mayoral candidate and current ward E City Councilman Steven Fulop last week announced three candidates on his slate for ward E. The slate will include current Ward B Councilman David Donnelly, current At-large Councilman Rolando Lavarro Jr., and local activist Candice Osborn.
“I am excited to have these first three terrific partners who are willing to be part of the team,” Fulop said in a prepared statement. “My goal is that the eventual complete ticket will reflect the true diversity of the city giving more opportunities to women and minorities. This is an important first step while we continue to interview candidates who are interested in running for the remaining six council seats.”
Fulop, who is running against incumbent Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, must still select candidates for wards A, C, D, F, and for the city’s two other at-large seats.
The 2012 Jersey City municipal election will be held in May.
Fulop’s announcement may raise a few eyebrows.
Since winning his current at-large seat on the council last November, Lavarro has been moving closer to Fulop. He worked as a ward captain for three Board of Education candidates who were backed by Fulop and two weeks ago Lavarro formally endorsed Donald Payne Jr. for the 10th District U.S. Congressional seat long held by Payne’s father, Donald Payne Sr. The younger Payne is also Fulop’s pick for the 10th District seat. Lavarro and Fulop also jointly introduced a limited living wage ordinance that would affect certain workers employed by city contractors and developers that receive city abatements.
The Lavarro-Fulop partnership, and Lavarro’s inclusion on the Fulop slate, could separate the at-large councilman from Viola Richardson, the ally who helped him get elected.
Lavarro first ran for the Ward A City Council seat in 2009 against Michael Sottolano and won enough votes to force a runoff. He lost the runoff race to Sottolano. But last year Lavarro joined forces with Richardson in the 2011 special election to fill two open at-large seats on the council. Richardson and Lavarro were, respectively, the top two vote getters in that race and Lavarro became the first Asian-American to be elected to the Jersey City Council.
Lavarro, however, is the only at-large candidate Fulop has announced thus far.
When asked what she thought of Lavarro’s decision to join the Fulop campaign and whether the partnership with Fulop would affect her political plans in 2013, Richardson said, “I have not made a determination yet as to if I’m going to run or what I’m going to run for. I haven’t decided yet.”
Before winning her current at-large seat on the council, Richardson was the Ward F council representative for nearly 10 years. She could conceivably run for a full at-large term or for her old Ward F seat. Richardson has also been mentioned as a possible candidate for mayor – a decision that could draw votes away from Fulop.
The exclusion of Ward E activist and Fulop ally Daniel Levin from the ticket is another surprise.
The founder of Civic JC and One Jersey City, Levin has twice run for office. In 2009 he ran for mayor and he also ran in the November 2011 special election to fill two at-large council seats.
Well-liked and well-known throughout Ward E, Levin is cut from similar cloth as Fulop and the two have worked together to advance some local public policies. For example, the city’s pay-to-play law, which Fulop introduced, grew out of work that had been advocated by Civic JC. Next month, Fulop is expected to introduce an ordinance to make Jersey City friendlier to bicyclists. The ordinance is already being supported by Bike JC, an advocacy organization on which Levin is a board member.
Levin said he may run in the 2013 race for Fulop’s current Ward E seat.
“We never really had any conversations about me joining his slate. If that was an option I certainly would have considered it…But it doesn’t necessarily surprise me that he would want someone that’s more in synch with his campaign,” Levin said. “I will be deciding whether to run over the summer.”
Donnelly was appointed to the City Council to fill the seat of Philip Kenny, who resigned after pleading guilty to corruption charges. Donnelly eventually went on to win a 2010 special election to serve out Kenney’s term. He has been in poor health over the past 16 months. Although he has regularly attended meetings throughout his illness, he has not been much of a presence on the council during this period.
A spokesperson for Healy recently said the mayor has not made any decisions regarding who might run with him on his 2013 slate.
Fulop vs. O’Dea: All for show?
Wasn’t it just three weeks ago that Hudson County Freeholder William O’Dea was all hot and bothered about a proposal to eliminate the Jersey City Incinerator Authority and merge its functions into the Department of Public Works – a plan that had been proposed by Councilman Steve Fulop? Well, guess which two pols where seen chatting it up at some city event just days after O’Dea skewered Fulop for allegedly not knowing the ins and out of civil service rules?
And then, just last week, Fulop and O’Dea were scheduled speakers at a rally hosted by the Service Employees International Union.
“Oh, yeah, I think they’re friends,” said one activist said when the Reporter mentioned these moments to them.
Are they? If they are, then what was with that performance at the April 25 City Council meeting? If they aren’t, then the fast friendship is interesting for other reasons. O’Dea could be Fulop’s first major inroad into the Hudson County Democratic Organization.
JCPD Headquarters moving from downtown to JSQ
The headquarters for the Jersey City Police Department is in the process of being relocated from its current home downtown to another site at Journal Square. The move, which is already underway, was announced Monday evening during the City Council’s bi-weekly caucus meeting and came as a surprise to several members of the governing body.
The JCPD headquarters is moving from 8 Erie Street, a city-owned building, to a rented space on the fourth floor of One Journal Square. According to Rosemary McFadden, chief of staff to Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, the city is paying approximately $10,000 a month in rent for the new space.
Last year the council approved a redevelopment plan that will allow the city to sell 8 Erie Street, a move that would require the JCPD headquarters to relocate. The Police Department’s Public Information office would also have to relocate. The financially strapped city sees the Erie site as a lucrative cash cow that can fetch much needed dollars on the real estate market.
The entire site could accommodate as many as 30 residential units of housing, according to the city’s Planning Board, and sale of the site could generate $1.35 million or more. Last year the city Tax Assessor stated that preliminary numbers indicate that redevelopment of the JCPD site could garner $160,000 or more annually in property taxes.
Under the redevelopment plan proposed by the Healy administration and approved by the council in May 2011, a mixed-use development will be built on the site which will include a parking garage.
But on Monday evening at the City Council caucus meeting several members of the council were surprised to discover that the Police Department is moving to a new home at Journal Square.
“This is the first I’m hearing about this,” At-large Councilwoman Viola Richardson said of the JCPD move.
“Have we seen a lease for this,” Councilman Steven Fulop asked, referring to the Journal Square office space. “I don’t believe we have. Wouldn’t we need to see that before they could start moving? Is there a lease agreement?”
No one from the administration who attended the caucus meeting knew whether or not a lease has been signed for the One Journal Square office space for the JCPD. Business Administrator Jack Kelly, who McFadden was theperson handling the logistics of the lease, was not present ant the caucus meeting.
Councilwoman Nidia Lopez, who represents Ward C, which includes the Journal Square area, said she only learned of the JCPD move to her ward in a conversation with Police Chief Tom Comey.