Daily Archives: January 29, 2015

Steven Hart, Author of Pulaski Skyway Book, Dies

last-three-miles-coverWith great sadness, we note the untimely passing of Steven Hart, a native New Jersey writer and journalist of keen wit and sharp intellect. Steven’s meticulously researched book, The Last Three Miles, published in 2007, tells the tale of tangled ambitions and political intrigue surrounding the construction of the Pulaski Skyway, often called America’s First Superhighway. It reads like a thriller.

Hart’s 2012 book, American Dictators, published by Rutgers University Press, expands on that theme, examining the legacies of two of the most powerful New Jersey politicians of the early twenty century; Jersey City’s Frank Hague, and Atlantic City’s Enoch (Nucky) Johnson. Johnson is the inspiration for the character of Nucky Thompson, played by Steve Buscemi, on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.

Hart also published two fast-paced noir-inflected novels and, most recently, a book of biting essays, all under the banner of Black Angel Press, which published other NJ writers and poets as well. His unique voice will be missed by many.

2010 Review of The Last Three Miles

Steven Hart’s blog

A Vintage Year for Leachate

DSCN9368-001One of the great things about retiring from the NJMC, if you’re lucky, is that you get a jar of vintage leachate. (If you don’t know what leachate is, consider yourself even luckier.)

This sample is from 1998, apparently, a very good year if you can get past the bouquet.

(Thanks, NJMC!)


Testing…1, 2, 3

This is a test of the changing-of-the-guard at the Meadowlands Nature Blog.test

This is only a test. Had this been an actual blog post, you would have received a beautiful photo of a bird, a report on what’s blooming in DeKorte Park, a bit of local lore, or perhaps a quiz about animal droppings.

Please tune in for actual blog posts daily.

Ron Shields’ Eagle Extravaganza

You just can’t beat Ron Shields’ photos of Bald Eagles in the Meadowlands. Ron took these on Wednesday somewhere in the region and was nice enough to share them today.

We saw at least five eagles Wednesday morning in a spot near the Hackensack River — and Alice and Al or the other two local adults we’ve been seeing were not among them. A lot of eagles around!


River Barge Icebox

DSCN9360Stopped by River Barge Park yesterday. The park is open but kayaking looks a tad dubious. Restrooms are still a no-go, so to speak, in case you are wondering.

Our New Bergenite Column: Welcome, Lisa

IMG_0408Jim Wright, who created this blog, also writes a monthly nature column for the South Bergenite. In his last column, Jim turns over the reins of the blog, and this column, to his colleague Lisa Cameron:

When I started writing this column for the South Bergenite 5½ years ago, seeing a Bald Eagle or Peregrine Falcon in the Meadowlands was a major event.

Now, as I write my final column before retiring on Friday, both of these endangered raptors have made amazing comebacks in the region, to the point where I counted five Bald Eagles and a Peregrine during a guided walk at Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus last week.

The first time on the job I saw a Bald Eagle  — through a window at the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) offices in DeKorte Park — I raced through the building and out the door in vain hopes of getting more than a fleeting look.

Last week at Laurel Hill, two adult Bald Eagles soared directly above me for almost a minute before taking their leave. Breathtaking. We have come a long way.

During my stint at the NJMC, it has been my honor to Lisa Cameron head shotchronicle and celebrate the eagles’ recovery as well as the region’s rebound — begun many decades ago and still continuing.

Through the Meadowlands Nature Blog, our frequent guided nature walks, and annual events such as Butterfly Day and Moth Night, I have helped the NJMC get the word out that the region’s wildlife is back in a big way.

Although I am retiring, the NJMC’s public outreach will proceed, full speed ahead.

My colleague, Lisa Cameron, will continue this column, the blog and — with the Bergen County Audubon Society —  continue our walks and nature events. Continue reading