Officials meet at Hoboken Train Station to discuss transportation bill
HOBOKEN AND BEYOND – Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, U.S. Rep. Alibio Sires, and other local officials held a press conference on Monday to discuss the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act,” or MAP-21, the surface transportation bill that was passed by the Senate last Wednesday in a 74 to 22 vote. Officials called upon the House of Representatives to move on the bill, which seeks to create or maintain 2.8 million jobs, lower mass transit commuting costs, and repair major roads and bridges.
The conference was held along the waterfront in the Hoboken Train Station. Forbes.com recently named Hoboken a top public transportation city in the country.
Officials are hoping the bill, which is fully paid for, will be passed by Congress and signed by President Obama by March 31, when the surface transportation extension expires. The surface transportation program provides funding to transportation projects and facilities.
“We have some of the most crumbling infrastructure in America,” said LaHood. “It needs to be fixed up.”
According to officials, New Jersey will receive a 14 percent increase in transit funding, if the bill is signed into law. The bill will also create 54,000 jobs in New Jersey.
“Secretary LaHood will tell you that President Obama is eager to sign the bill,” said Lautenberg, later adding, “Let’s not allow the House Tea Party to hold jobs hostage.”
Sires said that he was “not optimistic” the bill would be passed before March 31st. (For more, see the story in this week’s Hoboken Reporter).
Latest Hoboken fire likely caused by a candle; most families will be able to return after 5 days
HOBOKEN - A fire on Friday night at 917 Clinton St. in Hoboken was likely caused by a candle, said Senior Vice President for Applied Housing Management Raul Morales on Sunday afternoon. Morales said management would meet with the Fire Department on Monday for more updates.
The fire on the fourth floor of the building damaged at least two apartments, and smoke and water affected many more. No one was seriously injured, but several firefighters and tenants were treated for minor injuries. Fifty-one families were displaced.
Besides smoke and water damage, several doors were damaged by firefighters gaining entry to the area, Morales said. “We have 25 doors to replace,” he said.
He said that as long as a safety inspection allows it, tenants of the first through third floors will probably be able to return after five days. He said he could not give an estimate for the fourth and fifth floors.
Morales said that some of the tenants are staying with relatives or friends, and the rest are being put up in hotels by the Red Cross. He said that Applied will donate money to the Red Cross to help.
Morales said that there was no connection between this fire and another one on the same block in the 1990s.
A source said that the Hoboken Rotary Club is organizing a fundraiser for the fire victims. Updates, as always, will be published at hudsonreporter.com when they are received, and comments can be left below.
This is the third major fire in Hoboken in the last month.
No Gas Pipeline to hold community meeting March 26
JERSEY CITY - The membership-based Jersey City activist group No Gas Pipeline will hold a community meeting on the proposed Spectra Energy pipeline on Monday, March 26 at 7 p.m. The purpose of the meeting, co-hosted by the Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, will be to update Jersey City residents on the status of the pipeline project.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s recently released Final Environmental Impact Statement (see above) will be among the agenda items discussed, as will various plans to fight the pipeline if FERC approves the project later this year.
The program will include a panel discussion with Dale Hardman, co-founder of No Gas Pipeline; Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy; City Attorney Derek Fanciullo; William Schulte, Eastern Environmental Law attorney and counsel for No Gas Pipeline; Ward E Councilman Steven Fulop; and Marlene Sandkamp, a member of the Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations. There will be time for Q&A with the audience.
The meeting will take place at City Hall, 280 Grove St.
Easter Egg Hunt is March 24
HOBOKEN – The 3rd Annual Easter Egg Hunt FUNdraiser will be Saturday March 24 (rain date Saturday March 31) from 1 to 5 p.m. at Holy Innocents Church Yard, 6th and Willow Avenue, Hoboken. Tickets are a $10 donation for kids and adults are $5. Every child will get an Easter Basket filled with goodies when they arrive and every adult will get a gift bag with goodies. There will be craft tables and sand art tables and every child will be able to color their real own egg. Face painting, Easter Basket raffles, Ben & Jerry's of Hoboken and much more. The Ester Bunny will be joining us so be sure to bring your camera. All proceeds will go to Walk Now for Autism Speaks team "A WALK FOR PAIGE" Please contact Danielle at (201) 669-5179 for tickets or donations to Autism Speaks.
Multimedia for humanity
JERSEY CITY - On Friday, March 23 there will be a multimedia show and fundraiser at Art House Productions to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Hudson County. The show will feature live musical performances of the scores for “Alice in Wonderland” (1903 version) and two other silent films from the early 1990s. The show will also include live music performed to original videos shot in New Jersey, Sweden, and India by Pontus Gunve.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advanced tickets can be purchased through the web site BrownPaperTickets.com.