Victims of 300 Washington St. fire release thank you letter to city of Hoboken
HOBOKEN – The victims of the fire at 300 Washington St., which occurred in February, have released a letter thanking the city for its support. The letter is on behalf of various residents and owners.
“The list of supporters spans pages,” the letter reads. “While we can’t name them all here, we are eternally grateful for each and everyone’s help.”
The letter also mentions the intent of the owners and residents to restore the building, which has since been entirely demolished.
“As numerous Hoboken residents have mentioned to us, our building was one of beauty that embodied the life blood of Hoboken. We hope to rebuild and bring back the splendor of it for everyone to enjoy again, as we once did.”
In related news, the unions of the Hoboken Fire Department issued a letter in February requesting that the city hire more firefighters. The letter says that the initial response to the fire was “severely limited.”
Three families homeless after ‘suspicious’ fire in JC
JERSEY CITY – A fire classified by fire officials as ‘suspicious’ displaced three families from a house on Virginia Avenue off West Side Avenue on Sunday, sending a firefighter and resident to Jersey City Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
NJ.com reported the fire was called in just after noon and brought under control within one hour.
Matthew Kelleher of Rescue 1 was treated for a lacerated hand at Jersey City Medical Center and released, and the owner of the property was taken to JCMC with respiratory problems, Fire Director Armando Roman was quoted as saying.
Three families were evacuated. The building is reportedly a legal two-family, but a family was living illegally in the basement, Roman said.
The fire has been classified as “suspicious,” he said.
This fire is the latest in a series that began in mid-February in Jersey City, though none of the earlier fires have been called suspicious.
Read our report about some of the conditions in old housing that can cause fires in this week’s Jersey City Reporter or in the Jersey City section of our website, www.hudsonreporter.com.
Two Jersey City hospitals receive state grants
TRENTON – Two hospitals in Jersey City are among eight financially distressed hospitals that will receive a portion of $30 million in grants, the state Department of Health and Senior Services announced on Friday.
Christ Hospital in Jersey City Heights will receive $7 million and Jersey City Medical Center will receive a grant of $6 million.
The financially troubled Christ Hospital filed for bankruptcy and a federal bankruptcy judge awarded the hospital to one of two bidders on March 27, paving the way for that bidder, Hudson Hospital Holdco LLC, to buy the struggling medical facility.
Hudson Holdco owns and operates the Hoboken University Medical Center and the Bayonne Medical Center.
Senate Appropriations Committee approves $20 million for Gateway Tunnel
HUDSON COUNTY – New Jersey Senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez announced Thursday that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $20 million for Amtrak to continue work on the Gateway Tunnel project as part of the FY 2013 THUD appropriations bill.
The bill must now be approved by the full Senate.
A major state-funded project, the $8.7 billion Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) tunnel was canceled by Gov. Christopher Christie in late 2010. Christie blamed cost overruns and the expense in general. The project has since been taken over by Amtrak and renamed “The Gateway Tunnel.”
“The Gateway Tunnel is critical to addressing our state’s transportation crisis, and I will continue working to secure federal funds to advance the project,” said Lautenberg. “A new trans-Hudson tunnel would dramatically increase access to commuter trains for a growing population of transit riders, and help to break the gridlock on our congested roads. I am proud to work with Amtrak on a new rail tunnel that will create jobs, provide sustainable transportation options, and improve high-speed rail in New Jersey and the Northeast Corridor.”
In November 2011, Congress approved an initial $15 million for Amtrak to begin design and engineering work on the Gateway Tunnel project. This additional $20 million would be used to continue working on the project, according to a release from Launteberg’s office.
The Gateway Project is expected to increase NJ Transit commuter rail capacity into New York by 65 percent, the release says.