The New Jersey UASI (Urban Area Security Initiative) Neptune Task Force conducted a big water flow exercise on Thursday, June 8, that offered a valuable training experience for emergency responders while providing an opportunity to break a world record for water flow volume in gallons per minute.
The event was held at Port Newark Berth 25 near the intersections of Gilligan and Navy Street.
Fifteen area fire departments and other agencies collaboratively participated in the event, producing a fire fighting water flow scenario collectively resulting in a total water flow of well over 49,000 gallons per minute from a distance of about 500 feet utilizing various pumps, including the FDNY Fire Boat “343.”
Participating fire departments, agencies and industry representatives included: Elizabeth Fire Department, Union Fire Department, Linden Fire Department, Roselle Fire Department, Rahway Fire Department, Milburn Fire Department, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Kearny Fire Department, Kenilworth Fire Department, Phillips 66, International Matrix Tank Terminals, FDNY, Ferrara Fire Apparatus, US Fire Pump, and the NJ Division of Fire Safety. The big flow drill showcased the mutual aid collaboration of NJ-NY area emergency responders. Chief Fred Fretz, spokesperson for NJ UASI said, “Having a strong working relationship between industry and municipal fire departments is critical to effective emergency response.”
The primary reason for this drill is practice and training. Area fire departments and industry emergency responders take these drills seriously as they provide opportunities to really experience emergency response situations which add big value to their training programs and big benefits in developing prepared responders. The drills offer coordination practice with other departments and responders. Practice makes perfect is a concept embraced by area responders, who share a common dedication to saving lives.
Equipment used in the drill includes two very large pumps, each bigger than three fire engines, 8,000 feet of 12-inch Large Diameter Hose (LDH), capable of delivering eight times the amount of water than standard 5-inch LDH use on fire engines can. It also includes almost 60,000 gallons of foam concentrate that is critical for fighting flammable liquid petroleum fires, and two water cannons each, also three to four times bigger than any conventional fire engine.
String of car thefts
Five incidents of car theft and multiple incidents of car break-ins were reported in Bayonne over a five-day span, according to police. Two cars were stolen from the area of West 44th Street on Wednesday May 31, as well as a reported car burglary on Colonial Drive. On June 1, a car was stolen on West 52nd Street, followed by a car break-in on 44nd Street later that evening. On June 2, two vehicles were stolen, this time in the area of West 5th Street.
A car stolen from West 44th Street, a silver Honda Civic, was recovered by the owner, who spotted his car on the road and allegedly forcefully removed the person from the car and reportedly assaulted him. Two bystanders caught the interaction on video. Police said that the car thief was apprehended a few blocks away and charged with motor vehicle theft.
Before the current string of thefts, two car burglaries were reported on May 28, one on Prospect Avenue and the other on Chase Court. The following day, another car burglary was reported on West 24th Street.
Mayor James Davis and the Bayonne Police Department issued statements urging residents to lock their vehicles. A number of young men, mostly in their late teens, have been apprehended for various car burglaries throughout the city, according to police.
According to the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report data, a car was stolen every 45 seconds in the United States in 2015, with the Honda Civic and Honda Accord the most common stolen models. Overall, the number of motor vehicle thefts has declined dramatically in the last decade. In 2006, about 1.2 million vehicles were stolen across the country. Today, that number is down to around 700,000. However, the rate of car theft increased by 1 percentage point from 2014 to 2015. The reason for the overall sharp decline, experts say, is anti-theft technology in cars and a surveillance system on roads that make it much easier for police to track the vehicles down. The rate of criminal apprehension from motor vehicle theft has increased dramatically in the last decade.
BBOED is encouraging residents to tweet legislators for equitable funding
In response to perpetual underfunding, according to an agreed-upon school formula, the Bayonne Board of Education (BBOED) is attempting to harness the collective social media power of its community. Those interested in participating can use the hashtag #SOSBay1 to help bring attention to the issue.
The BBOED posted a video on Twitter asking NJ Gov. Chris Christie (@GovChristie) to provide Bayonne with Fiscal Year 2018 aid immediately. The BBOED and administration, and teachers, encourage parents and residents without kids to take to social media to bring about positive change. “We urgently need our teachers back! Please share, post, like, and retweet this video on social media. Let the powers that be, know that Bayonne kids count, too,” reads a statement from the BBOED. “For the last 10 years the Bayonne School District has been the most underfunded district in the State of New Jersey, almost to a tune of 100 million dollars.”
The social media campaign comes after a 100-day window closed to decide on a new school formula plan on Saturday June 10, despite efforts from both the State Senate and the Assembly.
Bayonne master plan released
Bayonne has released its final Master Plan seven years after releasing its last plan. It is available for free download on the city website and outlines the city’s comprehensive urban planning goals for Bayonne’s future.
The plan suggests changes to zoning rules that determine what developers can build and where, and how much parking to provide. The city welcomes all input and feedback from the community. A Master Plan Workshop will be hosted at City Hall on Monday, June 26.
23 percent of eligible Bayonne voters took to the polls on Tuesday
While 37 percent of Bayonne voters are unaffiliated with a party, restricting them from voting in primary elections, 23 percent of all eligible voters turned out to vote in Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary election. Twenty-eight percent of Democrats and only five percent of Republicans cast ballots. About half of Democrats voted for Phil Murphy with John Wisniewksi coming in second. Meanwhile, 44 percent of the 196 Republican voters in Bayonne voted for Kim Gudagno. Republican candidate Joseph Rullo, who visited Bayonne in March, garnered less than five percent of the Republican vote statewide but came in second in Bayonne.
Jitney bus regulations pass the State Assembly
The NJ State Assembly passed legislation sponsored by 31st District Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti that would place stricter regulations on privately owned commuter shuttles by requiring the vehicles to be registered with and receive approval from each municipality in which they operate.If the legislation passes the State Senate intact, violators of the registration and consent provisions of the bill would be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for a first violation, $2,000 for a second violation, and $5,000 for a third or subsequent violation.
Chiaravalloti, Mayor James Davis of Bayonne, Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari, and Freeholder Kenneth Kopacz announced a joint meeting for June 21 to discuss stronger enforcement of current laws and future actions that can be taken.
The legislation was introduced after an 11-year-old boy was killed in Jersey City on JFK Boulevard in October, incidents of jitney buses catching on fire, and general safety issues.
Bayonne campaign worker files police report after being hit by political t-shirt
A campaign worker filed a police report last week alleging that Bayonne Business Administrator Joseph DeMarco hit him in the back with a t-shirt.
Police were dispatched to Kuhl’s Tavern – which has become an unofficial hangout for political dissidents in Bayonne -- on the report of harassment.
Pat Desmond, who was involved with the Christopher Munoz primary campaign for state Assembly, claims that DeMarco threw a t-shirt at him Tuesday.
In the police report, Desmond said he was standing outside the tavern talking to former Public Safety Director Jason O’Donnell when he heard someone say, “Here, have the shirt of a winner,” after which Desmond said he was struck in the back of the head with a yellow t-shirt that displayed the campaign slogan for the candidates Desmond opposed.
The incident occurred shortly after election polls closed at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, by which time the results showed Desmond’s candidate had lost. DeMarco supported Nicholas Chiaravalloti, the winning candidate.
Ill-feeling between Desmond and DeMarco had percolated since the successful election of Mayor Jimmy Davis in 2014. Desmond and DeMarco both worked on the Davis campaign, but Desmond became a Davis opponent a short time later, and has been extremely critical of DeMarco.
Desmond said, “I was talking to Jason O’Donnell through the car window when someone threw a shirt out the window of a car at me. It hit me in the back of the head. I called for him to come back, I said, ‘Come back, tough guy,’ he didn’t come back. He’s just a clown.”
Desmond said he will be filing charges this week. DeMarco did not have a comment on the incident when contacted.
Earlier this month, Desmond filed charges against another campaign worker for Chiaravalloti, claiming a violation of the federal Hatch Act. In the suit, he claimed an employee of a local congressman was allegedly campaigning for Chiaravalloti while working as a federal employee.