Sustainable Jersey for Schools and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) announced that Bayonne High School has been awarded a $10,000 Sustainable Jersey for Schools grant. Ten $10,000 grants were distributed to fund a variety of projects throughout the state, though Bayonne High School is the only recipient in Hudson County.
The grant, proposed and written by Bayonne High School Academy for Fine Arts and Academics Biology teacher Alex Kuziola, will fund the installation of filtered water bottle filling stations throughout the entire Bayonne High School complex to improve water drinking quality, reduce the risk of contamination, and reduce plastic waste generated by BHS students and staff by encouraging the use of refillable water bottles.
Proposals were judged by an independent Blue Ribbon Selection Committee. The Sustainable Jersey for Schools grants are intended to help school districts and schools make progress toward a sustainable future in general, and specifically toward Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.
Alex Kuziola, accompanied by Supervisor of Special Programs Laura Craig, attended the grant awards ceremony in Trenton on Thursday, February 2. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patricia L. McGeehan said in a statement, "The Bayonne Public School District is pleased to put the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Grant award to good use for Mr. Kuziola’s worthy project to encourage healthy water drinking habits at Bayonne High School. This grant supports our continued district mission to build a cleaner, greener, and brighter future for the students and families of the Bayonne Schools community.”
With this contribution NJEA has provided $500,000 to support a sustainable future for children across the state through the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program. “NJEA is proud to continue to work with Sustainable Jersey on this important program that directs resources into our schools,” said NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Sean Spiller. “It is our job to help create a new generation of engaged citizens and leaders. By emphasizing the value of sustainability, we also help ensure that we leave a better world for our students.” In addition to the grant funding, NJEA supports Sustainable Jersey for Schools as a program underwriter.
“Sustainable Jersey grantees help advance our continued goal to create a more sustainable New Jersey and world,” said Donna Drewes, co-director of Sustainable Jersey. “We look forward to the innovative projects and work that these schools and school districts will accomplish and we will share the tools, models and activities with other schools across the state.”
Cashless tolling at the Bayonne Bridge
The Bayonne Bridge will become a cashless tolling facility in the coming weeks. The old toll booths that accept cash will be replaced with overhead equipment that will either read drivers’ E-ZPass sensors or send the driver a bill in the mail by photographing drivers’ license plates. The mail service is called Tolls By Mail, and drivers will have 30 days to pay the toll online, by mail, phone, or at certain retailers. Bills not paid on time will incur a $5 late fee for the second due date, while a $50 fee will be imposed for each unpaid toll thereafter.
The majority of people use cash to pay bridge tolls, according to data provided by the Port Authority. Without motorists stopping to pay tolls, crossing the bridge is likely to become more efficient. The Bayonne Bridge will be the first crossing managed by the Port Authority to implement cashless tolling.
New law restricts correctional facilities ability to deny drug treatment to inmates
Legislation to help NJ inmates overcome substance use disorders was signed into law last week. The law (A-2619) was sponsored by 31st District Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti, along with Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora, Benjie Wimberly, Jamel Holley, Elizabeth Muoio, and Shavonda Sumter. They hope the new law will help reduce recidivism rates and improve the health of the many New Jerseyans suffering with substance abuse.
Right now, many inmates are not allowed treatment for substance abuse while in prison. In order to participate in a drug treatment program as part of the residential community release program, the mutual assistance program or the therapeutic community substance abuse disorder treatment program, an inmate is required to meet eligibility criteria, including a requirement to be classified as “full minimum custody status,” which requires having no detainers or open charges.
The new law changes all that. State correctional facilities are now prohibited from denying an incarcerated person access to a drug treatment program solely because the individual has a detainer or open charge issued against him or her and thus does not have full minimum custody status.
“The purpose of a correctional facility should be to make sure people leave better than they were when they came in,” said Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson). “Drug treatment should be regarded as a necessary part of rehabilitation for those who need it, not a reward based on custody status.”
“A person with a chronic disease like addiction should not be barred from receiving drug treatment simply because of his or her custody status,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). “In the same way that all inmates can receive dental or pharmacy services in a correctional facility, they ought to be able to receive treatment for substance abuse.”
“More than half of all people imprisoned in the United States have a history of substance abuse and addiction. For many of them, incarceration is a result of an attempt to feed that addiction,” said Holley (D-Union). “We know that substance abuse is the underlying problem. Refusing to treat someone because he or she has a detainer or pending charges doesn’t solve it.”
“Keeping people out of drug treatment hurts those individuals directly, but they’re not the only ones affected. Taxpayers pay the price for high recidivism rates, and the criminal activity associated with the sale of illicit drugs is a threat to public safety,” said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “In addition to saving the lives of those who struggle with substance abuse, giving more inmates the opportunity to get on the road to recovery while they’re in prison ultimately would have a positive effect on all residents of New Jersey.”
“Within criminal justice populations, access to drug treatment can be a major determinant of an individual’s ability to lead a successful life after leaving prison,” said Sumter (D-Bergen/Passaic). “No one would deny the necessary medical care to someone with diabetes or hypertension, due to custody status. Addiction also is a health condition, and access to treatment should be available accordingly.”
Free diabetes program at Bayonne Medical Center
CarePoint Health, in conjunction with the Diabetes Foundation of New Jersey and ShopRite Inserra Supermarkets, invites area residents to a free program offered for those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to be held on Thursday, April 6 at CarePoint Health at Bayonne Medical Center.
There will not be another program held in March.
The CarePoint diabetes program is comprised of monthly seminars to help attendees manage diabetes. Meetings are usually held the first Thursday of each month, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at Bayonne Medical Center, 29th Street and Avenue E. Dinner is included.
Individuals who would like to attend should register with CarePoint Diabetes Educator Maureen Williams at (201) 858-5319 or with the Diabetes Foundation at (800) 633-3160. Preference will be given to first-time residents.
This comprehensive program often begins with the response of McCabe Ambulance, a CarePoint partner. It continues with care from the Bayonne Medical Center Emergency Department, diagnostic departments, and inpatient and outpatient services.
NJ PTA to hold leadership conference
New Jersey PTA has announced its’ 116th Annual Leadership Convention, which will be held at the Ocean Place Resort & Spa in Long Branch, NJ on Friday, March 3 through Saturday, March 4, 2017.
This is an important time for New Jersey PTA delegates to help set PTA policy, guiding advocacy and the organization’s focus. Delegates will be voting on resolutions and discussing critical issues facing New Jersey’s children, families, and educators. Delegates representing their local PTAs will be educated and better equipped to help shape the future of education and to support our children.
NJPTA will be presenting a variety of training workshops, keynote presentations, including four College and Career Readiness Initiatives aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of the College and Career Readiness Standards, Aligned Assessments and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
PTAs across the state will be asked to take significant action to help drive the College and Career Readiness movement forward, and will receive significant support from National and NJPTA.
The Mexican Consulate will hold a satellite office from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bayonne City Hall from Tuesday, February 14 through Friday, February 17, to assist Mexican-Americans who may be inconvenienced by traveling to the consulate in Manhattan on 37th Street.
The Mexican Consulate provides protection services to aid Mexican nationals abroad. The consulate issues Mexican identification cards, passports, officially stamps and notarizes legal documents to be used in Mexico, and shares information about protections afforded to Mexican nationals in the U.S.
For more information on services offered at satellite consulate offices, contact the Mexican Consulate in NYC at (212) 217-6400.
Zoning Board to vote on mosque March 6
The Bayonne Zoning Board is scheduled to continue its hearing to vote on major site plan approval for a new Muslim Community Center. The meeting will be at Bayonne High School on March 6 at 6 p.m. The last meeting, held on January 23, ended after five hours with one expert witness left to testify, along with the public comments portion.
Bayonne Muslims, a nonprofit organization, has been renting the basement of St. Henry’s School on Avenue C for community and prayer services for six years. The group proposed to convert what is currently an unoccupied warehouse on the East Side at 109 East 24th Street into a community center, including a mosque, classrooms, and a soup kitchen.
At the meeting on the 23rd, opponents of the plan cited concerns about traffic and noise. Residents asked how long and frequent prayers might be, how much traffic increase they can expect, and whether mosque-goers will be walking through their yards.