Dead whale spotted off Jersey City coast
The Army Corps of Engineers confirmed last week that they have disposed of a whale struck by a container ship in New York Harbor.
Kevin Chen of Bayonne was out fishing in New York Harbor when he saw something odd in the distance. So he steered his boat towards it. This was his first time fishing this season, and the last thing he expected was to come upon a dead whale floating in the water.
It had been dead for a while, he figured, because it had already started to stink.
“I never saw anything like it, only on TV and the internet,” he said later. “I didn’t expect to find it there.”
The location was south of Liberty State Park and north of Global Terminals and the Liberty Cruise Port.
He called the Bayonne Health Department, leaving a message. Officials from the Army Corps responded to the site, saying that the whale had been struck earlier, and that it posed a navigational hazard, and would be weighted down for disposal underwater.
While not a common event, whales do come to New York Harbor from time to time, said Jersey City Councilman Richard Boggiano.
And they also die here.
Last year, a dead whale was struck by an outgoing ship, and later resurfaced in the Hudson River.
Live whales apparently are more abundant than the general public believes, and a not-for-profit in New York City even offers whale watching tours during warmer seasons.
There were a number of sightings in 2014, and several dead whales were found in the area in 2015.
Graduate student found dead in NJCU dorm
A 54-year-old New Jersey City University graduate student was found dead in a dorm room on May 17, a week after security recorded his key card being used to enter the room.
An official from the university apparently found Jerome Hill on his bed wearing a breathing mask after attempts to reach him had failed.
The Hudson County Medical Examiner is expected to conduct an autopsy but the death does not appear suspicious, officials said.
Fulop joins Mayors for Climate Coalition
Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced that Jersey City is one of more than 82 U.S. cities who have signed on with the Mayors for Climate coalition, representing 39 million Americans, to adopt, honor and uphold the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement. This is in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement that the federal government would withdraw from the Paris Climate Change agreements signed by most countries in 2016.
“While there is no doubt that the actions by the president are a step backward, Jersey City and cities across the country will continue to be leaders on climate change,” said Mayor Fulop. “We have the ability at the local level and in cities to make significant impact in the area of climate change. In Jersey City, we will continue to invest in green infrastructure, clean energy, expanded open space and innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint.”
PSE&G to close coal-fired plants
PSE&G said it will close two aging power plants this year, one of which is located in Jersey City. The coal-powered PSEG Hudson Generating Station power plant in Jersey City was at one point considered one of the most polluting in the nation.
The two plants currently burn coal rarely, switching instead to natural gas when put into service. But although the two plants have installed expensive pollution controls at a cost of nearly $2 billion to meet tougher environmental standards, the company still considers them less competitive with newer natural gas units.
Since 1906, The Hudson Generating Station in Jersey City has occupied 250-acres north of the intersection of Duffield and Van Keuren Avenues on the east bank of the Hackensack River.
In 2015, Mayor Steven Fulop joined the New Jersey Sierra Club and a diverse coalition of community leaders in the hilltop park overlooking the power plant to support President Obama’s plan that calls for a 32 percent reduction of carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.
Coal-fueled plants also have a significant local impact on health, Fulop said, noting that these facilities are usually located in impoverished areas and contributed to a number of respiratory ailments.
One report by a not-for-profit called “Toll from Coal” estimated that 531 people in New Jersey die each year from coal-related deaths. Coal also contributes to 445 hospital admissions yearly, and is connected to about 987 heart attacks.
Jersey City man arrested by Narcotics Task Force
Following a two-day investigation, members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Narcotics Task Force arrested a Jersey City man for the possession and distribution of controlled dangerous substances in Jersey City on May 16, said Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.
Task Force Officers arrested Hasung Christopher Lee, 28, of Grand Street in Jersey City, and charged him with alleged possession of cocaine, marijuana, liquid THC, N-BOMe oral tabs and Xanax pills with the intent to distribute. Liquid THC is a concentrated form of the active ingredient in marijuana. N-BOMe, commonly referred to as N-bomb, is a hallucinogen.
Lee was arrested after a search of his residence led to the recovery of suspected controlled dangerous substances including more than 900 grams of cocaine, 50 pounds of high-grade marijuana, 1,000 tabs of N-BOMe oral tabs, approximately 200 doses of liquid THC, and more than 100 Xanax pills.
The Task Force also seized approximately $125,000 in United States currency and three vehicles. The street value of the total quantity of narcotics seized is approximately $300,000.
Prosecutor Esther Suarez also credited the Jersey City Police Department for assisting with the arrest.
Hudson County receives $3 million in DOT grants
Eleven Hudson County municipalities have been awarded Local Aid and Economic Development grants from the NJ Department of Transportation as part of $78.5 million distributed to 373 municipalities across the state. The grants are for various roadway improvements and to help facilitate and assist transportation projects. The county’s share of the total grant funds are determined by population and geographic length. The NJDOT gives some preference to municipalities that adopt Complete Streets policies as part of their transportation plans, and considers past performance of projects completed efficiently and on time.
Jersey City received $470,000; Hoboken and Harrison each received $330,000; West New York, $315,000; Bayonne, $314,687; and North Bergen, $310,000. Kearny received $290,000, while Weehawken, Union City, Secaucus, and Guttenberg each received $290,000.
Metropolitan Transit Authority plans study for potential Staten Island light rail
The 2015-2019 amended capital plan for the MTA has included $4 million to study a much-discussed light rail on Staten Island’s west shore. The potential 13-mile route would take commuters from Richmond Valley to Elm Park and over the Bayonne Bridge connecting to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail at 8th Street. The “Raise the Roadway Project” also includes infrastructure improvements to the bridge that would accommodate the light rail.
The MTA committed to studying the proposal last year, but only now is putting its money where its mouth is with the newly amended capital plan.
Two studies were previously conducted, the last in 2009 to gauge the idea’s feasibility. The Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) and local officials have long supported the idea. Like many infrastructure projects envisioned long ago, the financial crisis in 2008 severely delayed them. The SIEDC has been promoting public transit recently by holding a design contest for a conceptual gondola to carry passengers across the Kill Van Kull. The winner of that contest was Leitner-Poma, the same company that designed Bayonne’s wind turbine.
Dark comedy about financial crash to premier at JCTC
“Subprime,” a dark comedy about the personal consequences of the financial crisis, has its world premier in Jersey City next week. Written by Beck Lee, a veteran publicist well known in New York theater circles, and directed by Jason Jacobs of Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and a Master Teaching Artist with Roundabout Theatre, “Subprime” will be featured in a limited four-show engagement at JCTC’s Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Ave., on June 8- 10.
Tickets cost $25 general admission ($18 Students & Senior Citizens, with valid ID)
To purchase tickets or for more information visit http://www.jctcenter.org.
CarePoint Health supports Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
More than 100 staff members of CarePoint Health showed their support for the 10th Annual Susan B. Komen North Jersey Race for the Cure by running, walking, and volunteering at Liberty State Park on May 21.
Activities included a five-kilometer run and a five-kilometer walk, which Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop cut the ribbon to launch.
Iris Montanez of the Christ Hospital Prearrangement Call Center was there, and happy to be participating.
“It’s a nice thing to do with the people I work with,” Montanez said of the walk. “I support it 100 percent.”
Bleselda De Leon of Jersey City, also of the PACC Department, participated for a more personal reason.
“My best friend died of breast cancer, so any time there is a walk, I make sure I join,” De Leon said.
Dr. Meika Roberson, Chief Medical Officer at CarePoint Health, decided to participate by running her first 5K race, which she completed in 27:23.
“This is a way of supporting all of the survivors that are here,” Roberson said. “There are a lot of men and women from northern New Jersey coming together.”
The annual Race for the Cure event brings together thousands to raise funds that support life-saving breast cancer screening, breast health/breast cancer education, survivorship programs, and other services for women and men in the affiliate’s nine-county region, which includes Hudson.
CarePoint Health was a sponsor of the event.
Unity Walk scheduled for June 10
The second annual Unity Walk, hosted by the Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement, will take place on June 10 starting at 9 a.m.
This event is designed to highlight the potential for violence that usually increases during the summer months.
Starting at McAdoo Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive, the walk will conclude in Lincoln Park, where there will be a number of events and other activities.
For more information contact Pamela Nicole Johnson at email@example.com.
HCCC Foundation to hold golf outing fundraiser
The Hudson County Community College Foundation invites area residents and businesses to participate in its Fifteenth Annual Golf Outing on Monday, July 10. The event will be held at Forest Hill Field Club in Bloomfield. The schedule for the event is: check-in from 8 to 8:45 a.m.; continental breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m.; shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. sharp (refreshments will be served on the course); and cocktails, luncheon and awards at 2 p.m.
“Cutbacks in funding and financial aid are taking their toll on our students and the college,” said HCCC Vice President for Development Joseph Sansone, who noted that more than three-fourths of the college’s students receive financial assistance of some sort.
Sansone indicated that the Annual Golf Outing, one of four major fundraisers sponsored by the foundation, has activities for golfers and non-golfers. A limited number of tickets are available.
Complete information on the July 10th Golf Outing, including sponsorship and donor opportunities, registration, and dress code details may be obtained by phoning the college’s Office for Development at (201) 360-4006 or emailing Sansone at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit www.hccc.edu/foundation/golf to make online payments and donations.