Trump to Visit Wildwood

President Donald Trump is to visit Wildwood, NJ at the end of the month.  His campaign rally will take place at the Wildwoods Convention Center. Irrespective of one’s political leanings, this is proving good for local businessmen.  According to Days Inn & Suites manager, Chris Falcone, within 24 hours after the event’s announcement, all 50 rooms were booked out.  Located right across the arena, Falcone said he is still getting calls about reservations.

The timing couldn’t be better for local business owners since mid-January is typically very slow for tourism, etc.

Peter Byron, local Wildwood Mayor pointed out:

“This isn’t about whether you’re Republican or Democrat. It isn’t even about the man. It’s about the position. … Check your affiliation at the door, and let’s just all participate in this monumental [and] exciting time for Wildwood.”

In general, when such a powerful political figure visits a city, local businesses benefit hugely.  This is the hope for Wildwood, New Jersey with Trump’s upcoming visit.

Connecticut: New 2020 Laws

Two days ago as we saw in the new year (and new decade), for people in Connecticut there were some new laws as well.  Indeed, 24 new laws have now been put in place and impact industries from technology to taxes, health policies and licenses. In this article we take a brief look at some of the new laws.

There is an existing 6.35% sales tax but this will now be expanded into other areas: dry cleaning, interior design, parking and safety apparel.  The new taxes are estimated to bring in around $25 million in the first year of collection.

The two year $250 business entity tax will be eradicated for all companies doing business locally.  While this will be pricey for the state (approximately $44 million in revenue in the next fiscal year), the extension of the sales tax will compensate this.

There is good news for CT drivers who will be given an extension of licensing renewal and registration for vehicles.  Instead of having to renew driving licenses every 6 years, it will now be eight years and motor vehicle registration is becoming every 3 years (instead of every two) with a proportional escalation in accompanying fees.

The state Department of Public Health has instituted a new certification program (to be renewed every 3 years) for community health workers.  They will now need to pay $100 fee and come with at least 1,000 hours experience to be recognized as public health professionals

Free training for state and local police will be expanded by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.  This will help those working with those police who have to work with individuals on the autism spectrum.

These are just some of the new laws that will impact Connecticut residents and business owners.

Jersey City’s Educational Election Costs

It’s a case of the good news and the not-so-good news.  On the one hand spending tons of money on anything political seems crazy but on the other hand, can one really put a price on education?

More money was spent on the most recent Jersey City Board of Education elections last month than has been in years.  The figure was over $590,000 for the five seats open (out of a total of nine on the board). 

According to Executive Director of Jersey City’s Election Law Enforcement Commission Jeff Brindle:

“Education is obviously a major concern to everyone. Also, you got to take into account the issue of property taxes which is related to school districts … property taxes are pretty high in New Jersey.”

Thankfully though the financial issue does not have to impact the kids themselves.  The
Back 2 School Illinois endeavor is always on hand to help kids from less wealthy families thrive in the classroom.

Organization CEO Matthew Kurtzman explained how they provide ‘back to school kits’ for kids in September.  However, since then, more supplies are needed so they are now collecting more.  For $18 a kit can be provided to one of the 1.2m Illinois kids from low-income families.  Apart from the actual necessary supplies that are provided, this also comes with a “boost to self- esteem by letting the student know they are worthy of learning.”

Creation of NJCWST

The New Jersey Center for Water Science and Technology has just opened.  In an effort to improve the quality of water in New Jersey as well as maintaining the condition of aquatic terrains, the center will serve as a crucial system for the residents of New Jersey.  It will also facilitate the management of the region’s current water sources.

Montclair State University will take a leading role in this new center, vis-à-vis the capacity it will be given to provide research, QA, and other assistance for the enhancement and management of local lakes, reservoirs, rivers etc.  Indeed, according to Biology Department Professor and New Jersey Center for Water Science and Technology Director, Meiyin Wu:

“The NJCWST is committed to keeping New Jersey’s drinking and recreational waters safe, and preserving the health of aquatic habitats. We hope to continue our work and remain an important resource for the state and its residents, and bring new data to the forefront that will help better manage our valuable water resources.”

To date, the educational institute has already taken a key role in water conservation efforts in the region.  It hosts some of the largest entities in this vein including the NJ Department of Environment Protection (where it is a partner) -certified Water Analysis Laboratory; the NJ Phytoplankton Lab, Habitat Connectivity Project and the Passaic River Institute.

But with the establishment of the NJCWST, Montclair State University will expand the work that it is engaging in, bolstering its services so as to offer water quality testing and tech assistance to conservation groups. it will also sponsor workshops to encourage education on this issue for K-12 students and the community at large.

Recognition for CT Vets

The Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame began honoring individuals following their completion of honorable military service in 2005.  It was set up in order to “recognize Veterans for their countless contributions to society after their service.”

Next week will see the inauguration of 10 new veterans into the Hall of Fame.  They are known as the class of 2019.  There will be an event in Hartford at the Legislative Office Building whereby each honoree (or family member for those who are honored posthumously) will be presented with a certificate and commemorative medallion in recognition of their dedication over the years, in particular, post-military service.

The honorees past and present are individuals who have: assisted fellow veterans; given their time to participate on various committees; mentored youth and volunteered in the medical field.

Recent Local Festivals

Kids Halloween Festivities

Local community festivals have the potential to have many positive impacts on the region. This includes: 

  • A boost to the economy
  • Bolstering relationships between individuals and local organizations
  • Cultivating pride in the community

At the end of last month Downtown Milford put on some great activities for Halloween for kids.  The Halloweekend Fall Festival.  Parents were invited to bring their kids for some safe and monitored – but fun and spooky – Halloween event.  Kids were offered ghoulish makeovers from students at Platt Tech High School, story time (that wasn’t too scary), Brian Smith DJ and lots more. And of course there were trick-or-treaters!

A couple of weeks later witnessed the first ever Hard Cider Festival in Wallingford, CT.  Attendees were able to sample cider from more than a dozen local cideries, listen to live music, purchase local food from food trucks and partake in an apple cider doughnut-eating competition!

On November 2nd, performances were held at the University of Saint Joseph’s Autorino Center.  The festival was held in order to celebrate the 5×5 Dance Festival’s diverse CT dance performers.  This cultivates a unified climate for dance.  As well, it provides both audiences and artists with knowledge of upcoming events. 

So stay tuned for more upcoming local CT events.

New York Fashion Trends

During Fall’s New York Fashion Week (that took place between 6 and 14 September), it seems that one of the most impactful trends to emerge had little to do with style and much more to do with the non-color meaning of green.

Sustainable fashion seemed to be the trendiest look in New York (echoed throughout the European Fashion events). It was Uruguayan’s fashion designer Gabriela Hearst who displayed what she described as the first ever carbon-neutral fashion show, upcycling prints from previous collections. 

That happened right in the middle of the Week – and at the same time as the British Fashion Council brought in its entity that seeks to establish a coalition to set green business standards – the Institute of Positive Fashion.

Others jumping on this sustainable fashion bandwagon included Gucci (with its carbon neutral fashion show as well as getting rid of any carbon emissions it creates); Missouni (with its solar powered sun lights for guests and Green Carpet Awards) and Stella McCartney (with her updates on the LIFE program – LVMH initiatives for the environment).

One possible trend that could be seen as sustainable in New York was the underwear being worn as outerwear…as that could definitely be argued as an item that can be worn more than once! In addition, New York fashion week displayed lots of oversized clothing which is also a very good step in the direction of sustainability.