October 2015
DPW Headlines RNA Meeting
NJ Transit Gets an Earful
Ogden's End Community Garden Hosts Fundraiser
Over $3000 raised at this years Flea Market & Park Fest
A Busy Summer for RNA
Urban Oasis Photography Show
LOCAL COMMUNITY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
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Next RNA Meeting:
Tuesday, October 13th at 7:30 PM

 

Location:
Harbor View Health Care Center
178 Ogden Avenue
1st Floor Cafeteria
 
Agenda:

Membership Dues
Membership dues and donations help sustain the RNA. Annual dues are $10. Please contribute on our website, at an RNA meeting, or make checks payable to Riverview Neighborhood Association and mail to:
RNA
PO Box 7176 
Jersey City, NJ 07307

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Greetings!

Riverview Neighborhood Association's (RNA's) monthly meeting will be held this Tuesday, October 13th at the Harborview Health Center, 178 Ogden Avenue (at Franklin) at 7:30PM.  Our guests this month will be Sonia Dublin, the Operations Manager from the Jersey City Department of Public Works, and architect Lee Levine, who will present the rehabilitation plans for 417 Palisade Avenue with a review the requested variances related to the project. Representatives from the Resident Response Center and the Jersey City Police Department will also be present to address your concerns. Everyone is welcome. 
DPW Headlines RNA Meeting
 
The Department of Public Works is one of the most important agencies in Jersey City government and sometimes one of the most vilified. It is responsible for maintaining Jersey City's streets (potholes, paving), city-owned buildings, traffic signals and signage, and the maintenance and upkeep of our city's parks. Soon, DPW will be absorbing the Jersey City Incinerator Authority and taking on oversight of waste management. 
 
Sonia Dublin, the Operations Manager at the DPW, will be our guest at the October RNA meeting. She will be updating our community and addressing our concerns about:
  • Riverview-Fisk Park
    • The long awaited results of a the Tree Study conducted by a certified arborist. (Many of our beloved trees are dying or unsafe due to age, nature or neglect and plans need to be made now to address the transition. We will have a copy of the report at the meeting)
    • The Gazebo rebuild project and the Riverview Park rehabilitation/redesign project. (FYI, the Gazebo bid package will be submitted to the RNA Board from the Division of Architecture for final review by Wednesday 10/14).
    • Playground repairs
  • Holland Street, adjacent to Riverview Park and one of the only remaining cobblestone streets in Jersey City. Specifically, she will address the cleanup and improvements already in motion and planned for Holland Street including removing rubble and the installation of a vehicle barrier.
  • Other areas of DPW responsibility
This is your opportunity to ask questions of the DPW and express your desires for our community and your concerns. 
 
At this month's meeting will also provide details about a project initiated with other Heights groups and New Jersey Community Capital to use the Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act (APRA) to convert abandoned properties within the Riverview Arts District into ground floor arts and community spaces and some affordable live/work housing units above.
NJ Transit Gets an Earful about Poor Service
 
The NJ Transit 119 bus line, whcih runs to/from New York City and the Heights, slipped again into horrible service during the month of September. RNA raised its concerns about the importance of reliable service and the specific service issues on the Heights bus routes to the City Council, State Senators, State Assemblymen, New Jersey Transit officials, and the Mayor's office. In the last couple of weeks we have seen significant improvement with 119 service and we have setup weekly calls with NJ Transit officials to make sure the root causes of the issues are being fixed and that NJ Transit is monitoring the performance of  Academy, the third party operator of the route, comprehensively and proactively. Here is the response we received from senior director Rae Hutton at NJ Transit:
 
We reached out to Academy for an explanation of the missed #119 trips and directed them to take corrective action to ensure more reliable service. In addition to some labor issues, we have been advised that an individual bus operator was responsible for failing to make the trips into the PABT for the scheduled departures that our customers reported as missing. The operator has been terminated. NJ TRANSIT also became aware of the notice that was posted near the Academy gate at the PABT advising customers that certain trips are cancelled. Academy claims they did not post the notice. However NJ TRANSIT informed Academy that this notice is unacceptable and must be removed ASAP.
 
In light of the service issues, our Private Carrier Affairs Division has also taken the following first steps in an effort to improve reliability of service, accountability by Academy and communications with customers. This is a work in progress, and modifications and improvements will be made as needed. 
 
Reliability
Private Carrier Affairs (PCA) Staff is reviewing GPS data daily to monitor trip reliability.  Academy was advised that beginning Monday, September 28, NJT will require a dispatcher at the PABT departure and arrival gate supporting the #119 service.
 
Accountability
PCA will reconcile dispatch sheets, which much show all arrival and departure trips along with passenger loads, with the tracking system to ensure that all trips are reported and correctly identified on the dispatch sheet.
Academy has been directed to report any known missed trips based on operators not reporting or completing an assignment directly to NJ TRANSIT and identify which trips will be effected. Any trips that cannot be identified would result in a notice being forwarded to Academy immediately for an explanation.
NJ TRANSIT imposes penalties beginning at $150 for a missed trip and reduces the monthly contract payment by the number of hours and miles attributed to the missed trip.
 
Communications
The presence of a dispatcher at the gates will enable up-to-date information to be shared with customers.
 
With the overcrowding issues we are experiencing with the #119 service, any missed trip compounds the problem and creates a snowball effect on the balance of the peak rush hour service. I want you to know that we are committed to finding a long-term solution to the overcrowding problem within the limitations of the PABT and our own constrained resources. Going forward, we will step up monitoring of Academy to ensure its compliance with the terms and conditions of its contract. Academy Senior Management has ensured us they will cooperate to in seeing that all service issues are appropriately addressed and service is provided at the level maintained several months ago. Academy has also assured us that the driver issues have been corrected and all trips moving forward will be covered.
 
I apologize for the inconvenience the #119 customers have experienced the last few weeks and ask your patience as we attempt to address both the short and long-term challenges on the #119 service.
 
RNA encourages all bus riders to report any service issues to NJ Transit (on their website or using their mobile app) and to copy RNA so we can continue to advocate on your behalf. This step of reporting all service issues is critical for these efforts to get better service.
Ogden's End Community Garden Hosts Fundraiser
 
RNA and Farms in the Heights are hosting a block party fundraiser for the Ogden's End Community Garden on Saturday, October 17th from 2-6PM. Come enjoy some great food, seasonal beer and excellent company while supporting a good cause. The $20 suggested donation includes local food from Natures Own Farm, homebrew crafted from Robert Boudreau's fresh JC Heights hops, an autumnal beer sampling sponsored by Fox and Crow and Palisade Liquors, traditional Octoberfest fare and more.
While at the garden, see the results of this season's volunteer efforts to water, weed, add flower beds, plantings, and reshape parts of the garden. Special thanks goes to 102 Ogden Ave resident Dan McAvoy for his persistent work, and of course RNA board member's Roger Heitmann and Nick Buffum who are on duty every week. We have seen hummingbirds and Monarch butterflies back in the garden, which were two of the goals for this year. 
 
Over $3000 raised at this years Flea Market & Park Fest
 
On September 12th, RNA sponsored the 29th Annual Flea Market and Park Festival in Riverview Park. This year's flea market  featured over 100 vendors--many of them new to the market this year--live music, free yoga, and more. In addition to being a fantastic time for all participants and visitors, this is RNA's major fundraiser for the year. Over $3,000 dollars was raised to cover our annual operating expenses and activities. We thank all of the volunteers who helped make this event a success. We would also like to thank the professionals who lent their talent and skills to make the day go off without a hitch but also made for a fun day in the park: DJ DeReal, Nick Ciavatta of Friggin Fabulous Productions, Tom Unish on sound, and Larry Heinemann for bringing his excellent band, The Get It, to the Heights for the first time. Also, thank you to Mission Burrito and Gino's Pizza for the excellent food.
A Busy Summer for RNA

While some organizations may go dormant in the summer, RNA kept very busy. 
  • The Perennial Garden, just north of the basketball court in Riverview Park, was expanded in Riverview Park. The project was spearheaded by board members Roger Heitmann and Nick Buffum 
 
  • Our outdoor music series,  Live At The Lumberyard, had a very successful fourth season. We had larger turnouts, a bigger stage, video projections on both sides of the stage featuring creative projections and video art by local artists, and more food trucks. A special shout out to Palisade Lumber for again opening their working lumberyard to this popular music series and to Friggin Fabulous Productions for booking the bands and providing the sound. And, like all of our activities, we could not have done it without the support of our dedicated volunteers. We're all looking forward to next year. To that end, we have submitted for the Hudson County Local Artist Program grant again for 2016 and will endeavor to expand the visual arts programming elements of the events and offer a wider and more diverse range of music.
Still time to Catch the Urban Oasis Photography Show
 
As part of the Jersey City Artist Studio Tour (JCAST), RNA and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji presented Urban Oasis: Photography in the Jersey City Reservoir--a one woman show featuring the photographs of Erin A. Delaney.  If you missed the opening reception or the JCAST dates, have no fear; The show will be open throughout the month of October . Stop by 433 Palisade Ave weekdays 10AM-5PM or by appointment. A portion of all sales (Five pieces sold so far!) will benefit the Jersey City Reservoir.
LOCAL COMMUNITY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
 
Oktoberfest Block Party & Fundraiser for Ogden's End Garden: Saturday 10/17 from 2PM to 6PM (rain date 10/24)
 
Urban Oasis Photography Show: Up through October at 433 Palisade Ave. (weekday viewing or by appointment)
 
Fox And The Crow Parlour Room is now open; Look for live music, movie screenings (Mondays), and other events.
 
The Lincoln Inn: Blues Jam Every Thursday at 8PM and LIVE MUSIC every Saturday from 9PM to Midnight. 
 
Riverview Farmers Market, free Pumpkin Patch event in the park during the market on 10/18. This event is sponsored by Sawyer-Smith Residential Brokerage, Farms In The Heights and RNA. We'll have spiced cider and treats available.
 
Riverview Farmers Market--Every Sunday from 10AM-3PM through November 1. Special Halloween/Day of the Dead activities on November 1st including the Annual Halloween Dog Parade! 
Keep up with the latest news and activities

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Kern Weissman
Riverview Neighborhood Association
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Riverview Neighborhood Association | PO Box 7176 | Jersey City | NJ | 07307