The First Focus Campaign for Children, a national bipartisan children’s advocacy group, recognized Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. as a “Defender of Children” for leadership on issues important to children during 2013.
“Lots of politicians talk about kids’ issues, but few back it up,” said Bruce Lesley, president of the Campaign for Children. “Rep. Payne delivered for kids.”
Payne was one of 100 Members of Congress recognized for their support of policies that advance the well-being of children. In selecting honorees, the First Focus Campaign for Children noted leaders who introduced, co-sponsored, and voted for legislation to meet children’s needs. In addition, the organization considered members who demonstrated extraordinary initiative by spearheading activities such as sponsoring hearings or garnering the support of their colleagues to improve the health and well-being of children.
This is the Campaign for Children’s fourth annual class of Defenders of Children. For more information about this year’s honorees and past classes, visitwww.ffcampaignforchildren.org.
BMC improves carbon footprint over last year
CarePoint Health - Bayonne Medical Center has taken significant steps in promoting recycling, increasing energy efficiency, and reducing its carbon footprint in the past year. The total MTCO2e reduction under the Green MOU is now at 1,375 tons and over $184,000 in savings which is equivalent to reducing carbon dioxide emissions from burning 154,103 gallons of gasoline.
Working with the PSE&G Carbon Abatement Hospital Energy Efficiency Program, an audit was conducted by PSE&G which identified numerous opportunities for reducing CarePoint Health - Bayonne Medical Center's carbon output. The most significant of these, replacement of a 600HP Babcock & Wilcox boiler, has been completed as of October 12, 2012. Additionally, an agreement has been signed with PSE&G to move forward with the energy reduction projects. These include the retrofitting of lighting fixtures throughout the facility, replacing fluorescent with LED lights, the Installation of Premium Efficiency Motors, the Installation of Premium Efficiency motors with VFD's on Municipal Water Booster Pumps and the insulation of steam and hot water piping—all of which are anticipated to be completed by the spring of 2014.
Cunningham pays tribute to Mandela
As the people of South Africa mourn the loss of iconic freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela, the world continues to reflect on his international impact for the cause of human rights. In order to honor Mr. Mandela, State Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham is inviting local residents to contribute written sentiments of his world-changing legacy.
Senator Cunningham announced that her office will place four condolence books throughout the district for those wishing to express their sympathies and or reflections about the late and great former president of South Africa. In two weeks the books will be collected and turned over to the South African Embassy in New York.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to truly appreciate the triumphs of this truly great man and what he had to overcome to become not just the leader of an African nation, but symbol of hope and equality for the world,’’ Senator Cunningham said. “I believe that these books represent an opportunity for many to share their feelings of loss with South Africa and the Mandela family because they are not alone during this time. The world mourns with them.”
Mandela, who died last week at the age of 95, gained world acclaim in his struggles against the racist and dehumanizing government of South Africa, whose apartheid policies treated black Africans as sub human and gave them very few rights. Mandela was jailed for 27 years for his efforts and didn’t gain his freedom until 1990 after world economic sanctions took hold in South Africa. In 1994 Mandela was elected South Africa’s first black president, a post he held for five years. However, despite his world acclaim as the man whose struggles and inspiration led to equal rights for blacks and the end of apartheid in south Africa, the United States didn’t remove him from the ‘terrorist list’ until 2008.
“The world rejoiced when Mandela was freed in 1990 and accepted him with open arms during his world tour, including his visit to New York City,” Cunningham said. “While the world has changed much since then, change overall is agonizingly slow when it comes to racism and it was shameful that 14 years after he was democratically elected as president in South Africa he was still on the terrorist list.”
The condolence books will be in each location for two weeks. On December 23, Senator Cunningham will personally deliver the books to the South African Embassy in New York.
Locations: Cunningham, 31st Legislative District Office, 1738 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Jersey City, NJ 07305; Assemblyman Jason O'Donnell, 31st Legislative District Office, 447 Broadway, Bayonne, NJ 07002; the 31st Legislative District Community Office, 301 Martin Luther King Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07305, City of Jersey City Hall, 280 Grove Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302, and Jersey City Public Library, Main Library Branch, 472 Jersey Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07302.
Historic Loews to feature historic orchestra
On Dec. 21 starting at 7 p.m., the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea conducted by Father Alphonse Stephenson will play a Christmas Concert at the Loew’s Theatre in Journal Square in Jersey City, free to the public. Stephenson, a Brigadier General in the US Air National Guard and music director for the 1980s Broadway run of “A Chorus Line,” provides humorous and personal anecdotes amid a program of holiday classics and carols performed flawlessly by the 42-piece orchestra. Be sure to get your tickets early for this annual event.
A student of the late George Schick of the Metropolitan Opera and Dr. Robert Abramson of the Juilliard School, Father Alphonse has been guest conductor of the Fresno Philharmonic, Delaware Valley Philharmonic, Metro Lyric Opera, the Greater Palm Beach Symphony Orchestra, and the Key West Pops Orchestra.
Angelie law clears transportation committee
Legislation sponsored by State Sen. Nicholas Sacco (D-32nd Dist.) establishing a Bill of Rights for Customers of Certain Autobuses and fines for unlicensed drivers was released by the Senate Transportation Committee.
The bill was introduced in response to an accident that caused the death of Angelie Paredes, an eight-month-old girl from North Bergen. The bill contains many reforms aimed at improving safety for pedestrians, commuters, and all residents of areas where the vehicles operate.
Angelie died after an autobus jumped the curb along Boulevard East in West New York, knocking down a lamppost and striking and killing her. It is alleged that the driver of the vehicle was using his cell phone at the time of the accident and he is facing up to ten years in prison on various charges.
The bill, S-3082, establishes a bill of rights providing customer protections, obligations of the owners and operators of certain autobuses, and a basic level of expectations and guarantees of health, safety, and welfare of autobus operators. Second, it imposes fines of up to $5,000 on the owner of an autobus company for allowing drivers without a valid commercial license. Current law imposes fines on the vehicle operator, not the company. It further requires owners to post telephone numbers on the inside and outside for passengers and pedestrians to report unsafe driving. Last, the bill allows police officers to obtain a blood sample from an autobus operator, if the vehicle was involved in an accident resulting in the death or serious bodily injury of any person.
“It took a horrific tragedy to finally bring attention to this issue. Sadly, an infant had to lose her life to make it happen. [This] action is bringing us a step closer to protecting the lives of those who ride these vans as well as pedestrians on the busy streets of Hudson County,” said Sacco, who also serves as Mayor of North Bergen. “Unfortunately, federal law and regulations make it difficult for us to do more. Working with Congressman Albio Sires (D-8) and New Jersey’s Congressional delegation, I hope that changes in federal laws will make it easier to stop unsafe and unlawful owners and operators.”
Senator Sacco recognized the efforts of Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, West New York Mayor Felix Roque, other local officials, and police departments on their efforts to increase the enforcement of existing traffic and safety laws on the commuter autobuses. He similarly recognized Assembly colleagues Prieto, Jimenez, and Mainor for working with him and the many stakeholders and the public on crafting legislation that protects the residents of New Jersey.
The Senate Transportation Committee passed the bill by a vote of 5-0 and it now heads to the Senate floor for a vote.