On Dec. 23, at 1:40 a.m., the Bayonne Fire Department responded to 150 Pulaski Street on report of a tractor fire. Upon arrival, firefighters were confronted with three trucks fully involved with fire, and additional parked tractors being threatened by the quickly moving flames that were fanned by heavy winds blowing from the west. Firefighters were able to complete extinguishment at around 2:45 a.m., and a total of four trucks were severely damaged by fire with an additional two tractors scorched by heat. The trucks were reportedly parked in APA Logistics parking lot at the time of the fire, and the security guard at the scene reported the fire. The fire investigator determined that the fire originated in one of the six tractors involved, and extended to the remaining trucks. The cause is under investigation. There was no reported damage to the warehouse. The Police Department was also at the scene.
Legislation approved to boost eco-friendly building development
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Ruben Ramos Jr., John McKeon, Wayne DeAngelo, and Connie Wagner to boost the development of environmentally-friendly buildings was approved by an Assembly panel on Dec. 20.
“It’s time to start making forward-thinking, eco-friendly solutions a priority for today, not a promise for tomorrow,” said Ramos. “When you consider the record amount of flooding we’ve received in recent years, it’s critical from both an environmental and fiscal sense that we incorporate measures that help regulate storm water runoff. Blue and green roofs are a smart approach that will help save money in the long-term while also protecting our environment.”
The bill (A-710) would require, to the extent feasible, that any new state government building, facility, or structure with at least 15,000 square feet in total floor area be designed, constructed, and managed to include a functioning green roof or blue roof.
Green and blue roofs use vegetation or mechanical devices, respectively, to prevent roof water from draining too quickly, not only improving storm water management but also providing cost saving opportunities, such as more efficient energy usage for heating and cooling.
The bill would also allow buildings to have solar panels, provided that the solar panels do not interfere with the functions of the green roof or blue roof.
The measure was approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee and now awaits consideration by the full Assembly.
Low income kids get federal money for health coverage
U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) recently announced that the State of New Jersey will receive $23 million in federal funding for improving children’s access to quality healthcare and increasing the number of children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The funding, through the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS), is a performance-based bonus from the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA).
“This federal funding will help ensure that all children in New Jersey, regardless of their families’ income, have access to quality health care,” said Senator Lautenberg. ”We have made strides to improve access to health care for low-income families, but there is more work to be done to ensure that more children and all New Jerseyans receive the basic care they need.”
Senator Menendez added, “In New Jersey, we understand that providing children access to health care isn’t simply a matter of allocating resources to a program. It is also being proactive enough to enroll eligible children in Medicaid and S-CHIP and making sure they receive the benefits that will provide the health care they need. This bonus could not have come at a better time to New Jersey, and I thank all who made this additional funding for our children possible.”
The reauthorization allowed Congress to offer bonuses to states that enroll significantly more children in Medicaid and CHIP than expected. New Jersey will receive this additional funding after exceeding federal performance benchmarks and after making Medicaid and CHIP enrollment simpler for lower income children. With increased enrollment and renewal in both programs, the funding will help New Jersey continue to expand health care to low-income children and their families.