Hundreds showed upto the Third Annual Bayonne Coptic Festival that took place the last weekend of July at St. Abanoub and St. Antonious Coptic Orthodox Church on 1325 Kennedy Boulevard. The three-day event featured games, prizes, and food, including gyros, falafel, and ice cream.
Charities such as Coptic Orphans, Take Heart, and Bless USA joined in, while guestswere entertained by live music and a parade.
The theme for this year’s festival was “Ask Me About My Way.”“My Way” is related to following the footsteps of the saints of the church in relation to the recent events that have taken place in Egypt’s Coptic Churches. The congregation set aside time for a live video conference with the Coptic Pope Tawadrous II.
“This year has far exceeded the community’s expectations,” said Hadir Fahim, a member of the church. “This event is a great approach to bridging the gap between the church and community as well as taking a peak into Coptic culture and history. Lookout next year for more entertainment and fun as they approach their fourth annual round.”
Man arrested in 2014 cold case bank robbery in Bayonne
A 2014 cold case bank robbery in Bayonne may have been solved after the Bayonne Police Department received new information in late July, which led to the arrest of Raul Brigantti, 39, on August 10, according to a statement from the Bayonne Police Department.
Brigantti, a resident of West 14th Street, allegedly robbed the Chase Bank at 650 Broadway on December 5, 2014, when he allegedly passed the bank teller a note informing her of the robbery and allegedly requested that she give him all the cash in the drawer. The teller gave him approximately $5,475. The unknown male was allegedly last seen walking down Broadway. Brigantti was arrested at his residence without incident on August 10 at 11:36 hrs and charged with the robbery, according to police
Mayor Davis hires new aide
Former third-ward councilman and Board of Education Trustee Ray Greaves was hired as an aide to Mayor James Davis this week, handling job functions such as constituent services, scheduling, and working as a liaison for local businesses, developers, and the Board of Education. With a salary of $55,000, Greaves, who is also the Amalgamated Transit Union NJ State Council chair, starts his new position immediately.
Meanwhile, the Mayor has been without an official chief of staff since his nephew, Andrew Casais, resigned in February for another position in municipal government in the Borough of Roselle Park in Union County.
Bayonne native serves on Navy ship in Japan
A 2016 Bayonne High School graduate and Bayonne native is serving in Japan in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Germantown.
Seaman Javon Sims is a culinary specialist aboard the ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan.
He is responsible for operating and managing Navy messes and living quarters to accommodate Navy personnel.
“The best part of my job is knowing that my shipmates appreciate what I do for them," said Sims. "It makes me feel that I am doing a good job."
With more than 50 percent of the world's shipping tonnage and a third of the world's crude oil passing through the region, the U.S. has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world.
"Our alliance is rooted in shared interests and shared values," said Admiral Harry Harris, U.S. Pacific Command Commander. "It's not hyperbole to say that the entire world has benefited from the U.S.-Japan alliance. While our alliance helped stabilize the region after the Second World War, it also enabled the Japanese people to bring about an era of unprecedented economic growth.”
Commissioned in 1986, the Germantown is the second Navy ship named after the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown. With a crew of more than 900 sailors and Marines, the Germantown is 609 feet long and weighs approximately 16,000 tons. Designed specifically to operate landing craft air cushion small craft vessels, Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships have the largest capacity of any U.S. Navy amphibious ship.
“This command shows that they care for you personally, and I love being able to work in that environment,” Sims said.
Sea duty is inherently arduous and challenging, but it builds strong fellowship and esprit de corps among crewmembers. The crew is highly motivated and quickly adapts to changing conditions. It’s a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.
“Serving in the Navy means that I can do something that means more than myself while helping myself at the same time,” Sims said.
NJ DEP to curb two toxic chemicals in drinking water
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announced a new plan to limit two carcinogenic chemicals in drinking water, making the state a leader in the nation in regulating the chemicals. The DEP proposed maximum contamination limits for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and 1, 2, 3 trichloropropane (TCP), which are both classified by the federal government as likely carcinogens.
New state law requires annual audit of unspent funds
A new state law aims to ensure tax revenue is spent less wastefully. The legislation requires the state auditor to make an annual report to lawmakers on unspent funds in the accounts of each state agency at the end of the previous fiscal year.
Bernards Township approves mosque
After Bernards Township tried denying the construction of a mosque in town, and was later sued by the Department of Justice for discrimination, the Bernards Township committee voted unanimously last week to approve the mosque’s construction. The decision was required as part of the settlement agreement. Bayonne is currently embroiled in a similar DOJ lawsuit after the zoning board denied the construction of a mosque on East 24th Street in March. The Muslim community in Bayonne has been searching for a location for its own place of worship for years, and increasingly has difficulty finding a property in the city.
Government warns of “extremely active” hurricane season
The Climate Prediction Center, which is run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, warns of an “extremely active” hurricane season this year, anticipating 14 to 19 named storms by the end of the hurricane season. Hudson County residents remember all too well the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which is approaching its five-year anniversary. Cities in Hudson County are still dealing with those effects, from remediation issues to infrastructure damage.
Union takes Christie to court over cybersecurity laws
The Communication Workers of America, the state's largest union of state workers, is seeking to block the state from implementing a series of changes to the government's technology infrastructure, which the government says are necessary to protect against cyber attacks. The CWA is challenging the order in court, claiming parts of the administration's cybersecurity changes amount to gubernatorial overreach, reports NJ Spotlight. Bayonne is home to numerous CWA members.
Property tax bills due
Third quarter property tax payments are due Monday, August 21. While the nominal legal due date for property tax bills was August 1, the City Council authorized a grace period through August 21 in which payments made by that date will incur no late fees.
Property tax bills were mailed in July, but some tax bill mailings were delayed in Bayonne due to the state needing more time to calculate school funding figures.
Taxes can be paid by mail or in person at City Hall, or at Bayonne branches of BCB Community Bank, or through the City of Bayonne website at bayonnenj.org.
The average property value assessment in Bayonne is $133,400, while the average tax bill is $10,990, according to the Tax Collector’s Office. Property tax as a percentage of median income ($55,000) is about 20 percent.