Fire in illegal apartment on O’Brien Court
Two firefighters were injured while fighting a blaze that started in what city officials allege was an illegal apartment on O’Brien Court on Oct. 28.
The Bayonne Fire Department arrived shortly after midnight and were confronted with flames gushing out of the basement window and up the east side of the building. Heavy smoke billowed from the attic three floors above.
The fire had traveled through the interior walls of the building to the attic, according to city officials.
Firefighters broke out the basement windows to relieve the heat and pressurized smoke, and advanced hoses into the basement to extinguish the fire. The basement suffered substantial water and fire damage, while the remaining structure was permeated by smoke. Twenty five firefighters fought the two-alarm blaze, which resulted in the displacement of nine building occupants. One of the tenants reportedly smelled smoke, and warned the other occupants to flee the building. The Red Cross was at the scene to assist the displaced. Two firefighters suffered lacerations from broken glass, were treated at Bayonne Medical Center, and released from duty. Captain John Garrity received two stitches to the finger and Firefighter John Cleary a laceration to his ear.
According to Fire Chief Gregory Rogers, the fire investigator determined that the fire originated in the bedroom of an illegal apartment located in the basement. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Body is found in water off Bayonne Dry Dock
The water-soaked body of a still-to-be identified man was spotted in the water just after 11 a.m. Oct. 27 and pulled from the water near the Bayonne Dry Dock around noon at the tip of the former Military Ocean Terminal.
A worker at Dry Dock said the body was first spotted floating near the area where cruise ships pass at the foot of Harbor View Park.
A spokesperson for the Port Authority said the body was brought in by the Emergency Services Unit for the Port Authority and the state Marine Bureau and has been sent to the Hudson County Medical Examiner’s office.
Doctor has to pay in 2006 patient’s death
A jury at Hudson County Superior Court in Jersey City last week awarded $1 million to the widower of a 46-year-old Bayonne woman who died in November 2006, after going through surgery at Bayonne Medical Center.
Cecille Videa underwent lymph node and lung biopsy and died five days later. The jury said Dr. Margaret Engel, the surgeon, was partly responsible for the death and had to pay the patient’s husband, Vincent Vida, who has already settled with other doctors involved in the case.
Bayonne Library announces trustee meetings for 2011
The Board of Trustees of the Free Public Library and Cultural Center of Bayonne has announced the following dates on which it will hold meetings in the Conference Room of the library at 697 Avenue C. The meetings will start at 7 p.m. and will be held on first Tuesdays in 2011: Jan. 4, Feb. 1, March 1, April 5, May 3, June 7, Sept. 6, Oct. 4, Nov. 1, and Dec. 6. There are no meetings scheduled for July and August.
Veterans Day events scheduled
A series of events will be held on several days leading up to Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11.
On Nov. 11, a flag raising will be held at Bayonne City Hall at 10 a.m. to celebrate the 235th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps. This will be followed by a ceremony at 10:30 p.m. at the “B” Company Monument Memorial near the Bayonne Local Redevelopment offices on the former Military Ocean Terminal in memory of the eight Marines from “B” Company who died in Korea in 1951 and 1952.
On Nov. 11, veterans will gather at the “Candles of Life” Monument at the foot of Washington Street in Jersey City at 9 a.m. to honor the memory of the 135 Hudson County residents who died in the Korean War. At 10:30 a.m., Veterans will gather at the Korean War Monument located at Dennis P. Collins Park. This is being done in memory of the Bayonne residents who died in Korea. At 7 p.m. the same day, the 12 Bayonne veteran’s posts that make up the Bayonne Memorial Day Parade Committee will hold the Annual Veteran’s Day ceremony in Bayonne City Hall.
Assembly passes women and minority construction bill
A bill sponsored by the chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D-Newark) and caucus member Sen. Sandra Bolden Cunningham (D-Jersey City) which would require the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) to report on the number of contracts awarded to minority and women-owned businesses was approved by the Assembly last week by a vote of 73-5, receiving final legislative approval.
The bill, S-95, would direct the SDA to examine and compile biannual reports detailing the number of school construction contracts that have been awarded to minority and women-owned businesses. The reports would have to include information on the total value of the contracts, and the percentage of those contracts as they relate to the total number that have been awarded by the SDA over the six months prior to the issuance of the report. Under the bill, the information compiled in the reports would be required to be submitted to the Governor, the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, the Senate President and the Speaker of the General Assembly.
“Women and minority-owned contractors bring a different perspective to their work, and deserve fair treatment under our State’s contracting guidelines,” said Sen. Cunningham. “New Jersey’s set-aside rules exist particularly to combat the entrenched prejudices which often deny opportunities to hard-working and capable contractors. This bill ensures that we honor New Jersey’s contracting rules when going out to bid for work on much-needed repairs and renovations to our public schools.”
The bill, which was unanimously approved by the Senate in February, now heads to the governor to be signed into law.
NJ Transit gets $2.5 million federal grant
Rep. Albio Sires (D-13th) said that New Jersey Transit has received a grant award of $2,484,766 from the Department of Transportation’s TIGGER (Transit Investment for Greenhouse Gas & Energy Reduction) II grant program. Last August, Sires sent a letter of support for the project that will allow New Jersey Transit to install energy efficient electric rail heaters.
“I was proud to write a letter of support for NJ Transit’s application for this innovative grant program,” said Sires. “This Department of Transportation grant program prioritizes projects that save energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions, and through the award of these funds, NJ Transit will be able to be more energy efficient.”
New Jersey Transit will replace hundreds of existing electric rail switch heaters with energy efficient rail switch heaters. Energy efficient rail switch heaters have a flat shape that conforms to the rail and provides more surface contact area.