The Snooki problemA bill sponsored by Senator Sandra B. Cunningham would establish a new policy limiting the amount of state funds that can be used by a public institution of higher education to pay a commencement speaker, cleared the Assembly and will head to the governor’s desk. ×PROTEST MOVEMENT – Protestors are seeking to eliminate tax breaks for the Kushner family, a family that has become instrumental in the revitalization of areas in the city outside of the waterfront. The target of their protest is Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Donald Trump, who has become a close advisor to the president. While Jared Kushner is responsible for some development in Jersey City, none of his properties have received tax abatements from the city. Family members with ties to the Democratic Party, however, have. Cocktail party will benefit autism researchThe sixth annual Blue Cocktail Fundraiser to benefit autism research is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., at the Elks Club, 1005 Washington St., Hoboken. Tickets are $20 pre-sale person, or $25 at the door. All proceeds go to Autism Speaks on behalf of Xavier’s Trailblazers. The bill (S-2355) would prohibit a public institution of higher education from using state funds to pay an individual to deliver guest speaker services for any event, including the commencement address at any graduation ceremony, in excess of $10,000.This legislation was partly inspired by outrage when “Jersey Shore” reality TV star Snooki was paid $32,000 to speak before a commencement ceremony at Rutgers, more than Nobel Laureate Tony Morrison or even film maker Spike Lee – both of whom also earned well in excess of the $10,000.The purpose of this bill is to eliminate the use of state funds to pay these individuals in light of the reduction in state funding to public institutions of higher education and increase in tuition and fees at these institutions in recent years.“Our colleges and universities should not be spending exorbitant amounts of money for a graduation speaker, nor do I believe a speaker should be influenced to speak at a college just because of the amount of money they will be paid,” said Sen. Cunningham (D-Hudson). “This is legislation that will set the appropriate guidelines so schools aren’t spending excessive amounts to secure a graduation or any other kind of speaker. This just makes sense, especially at a time when students are finding it increasingly difficult to afford the cost of a higher education and we are working on various proposals aimed at reform.”A film for our timesThe Jersey City Free Public Library and Friends of the Loew’s will host a joint screening of the film ”1984” on Tues., April 4, 7:30 p.m. at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City. The screening is part of a nationwide event taking place on April 4, with over 180 independent and art house cinemas presenting “1984” in support of the National Endowment for the Arts and other federally funded arts and cultural programs, such as the Institute for Museum and Library Services.Immediately following the screening, there will be a panel discussion featuring local arts and community leaders, who will explore the challenges and possibilities for the arts in the coming years.Tickets are $10 ($5 for students and seniors). The first 100 attendees will receive a copy of George Orwell’s “1984,” compliments of the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation. Tickets may be purchased at Eventbrite (https://1984loews.eventbrite.com). All proceeds will benefit equally the JCFPL and FOL.NJCU announces cultural events for AprilThe New Jersey City University Department of Music, Dance, and Theatre presents the NJCU Jazz Ensemble with award-winning composer/saxophonist Chris Byars (April 10) and Maurice Duruflé’s masterful Requiem, performed by a 175-member chorus and full orchestra (April 30) .In the NJCU galleries, the group show Self Reimagined (on view through April 26) explores the creative ways artists reflect on their own identity. The BFA Exhibition, held off-site at Kearny Point (April 15 – May 14), features work by the class of 2017 – NJCU’s largest ever crop of art department graduates.Throughout the spring, the NJCU writing community celebrates two decades of memoir writing with a series of events featuring students, alums, faculty, and guest writers.As part of a larger effort to support local arts organizations and artists, and encourage dialogues to shape the cultural landscape of the arts in Jersey City and the region, NJCU and its newly-formed Arts Advisory Board are sponsoring a series of free workshops this spring. “Raising Dollars and Your Social Media Profile” (April 21) will feature presentations by marketing and social media guru Jamie Benson; Doris Cacoilo, founder of Gaia, the women’s art collective, and Maria Gatewood, director of Marketing and Development for the Newark Arts Council. This workshop is free with RSVP, and hosted by &Co in downtown Jersey City.For the full calendar of events and additional information on NJCU performing, visual, and literary arts, visitwww.njcu.edu/arts or call (201) 200-3426.All events are open to the public, and for most, admission is free.Reservations and advance tickets may be purchased online at www.njcu.edu/arts or in person at the box office, which opens one hour prior to performances. For group sales and reservations, please contact the box office directly: [email protected] education programTwo nine-month long series of free community diabetes education program events will begin in April, 2017. These classes will be held once each month from 5:30 – 7 p.m. and a “teachable” dinner will be served at each session. The community of people affected by diabetes is welcome (including Type 1 and Type 2), but registration is mandatory.The event will be held at two locations: Bayonne Medical Center, 29 East 29th St., Classroom 2B, Bayonne, in conjunction with CarePoint Health and Inserra ShopRite. Classes will be held on the first Thursday of each month, beginning Thursday, April 6; and Mary Bethune Center, 140 Martin Luther King Drive, Jersey City, in conjunction with CarePoint Health, Inserra ShopRite, and AngelaCares. Classes will be held on the third Thursday of each month, beginning Thursday, April 20.Both Bayonne Medical Center and the Mary Bethune Center generously provide giveaways for use by participants, as well as free blood pressure, cholesterol, and A1C blood sugar screenings.Registration is mandatory for the Community Diabetes Education Program and classes fill up quickly. Register by calling the DFI at (201) 444-0037.3 Journal Square to launch leasingLeasing will officially get underway soon for 3 Journal Square, a new 240-unit luxury rental building located just steps from the PATH Station in this resurgent Jersey City neighborhood.In readying for the leasing launch, development partners Hartz Mountain Industries and Panepinto Properties have opened a temporary leasing office adjacent to the building at 1 Journal Square Plaza where prospective renters can preview information and visuals of the building’s residences and amenities, and take advantage of pre-leasing opportunities. The developers have also launched a website at www.threejournalsquare.com, unveiled exterior and lobby renderings and announced that initial move-ins will start mid-to-late-April.Featuring an ultra-convenient location, a full suite of indoor and outdoor lifestyle amenities and prices starting in the $1,600s for spacious and well-appointed studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments spread throughout 12 floors plus a Penthouse level, 3 Journal Square is aimed toward renters looking for a new modern living experience in a burgeoning neighborhood at prices that are attractive for Jersey City.For more information on 3 Journal Square or to schedule an appointment, call 201-617-5818 or visit www.threejournalsquare.com.Dress for Success fundraiser on April 19The Dress For Success annual fundraiser will be held on April 19 at Liberty House, 76 Audrey Zapp Drive in Jersey City from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets cost $150 per person. The event will honor founder Lillian Hernández, Francine LeFrak of Same Sky, and Angela V. McKnight, of AngelaCARES, Inc. PROTEST MOVEMENT – Protestors are seeking to eliminate tax breaks for the Kushner family, a family that has become instrumental in the revitalization of areas in the city outside of the waterfront. The target of their protest is Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Donald Trump, who has become a close advisor to the president. While Jared Kushner is responsible for some development in Jersey City, none of his properties have received tax abatements from the city. Family members with ties to the Democratic Party, however, have.