The prospect of a ferry terminal in Bayonne is growing after the city and the Port Authority of NY and NJ signed a nonbinding term sheet that should pave the way to formal negotiations to build the terminal on the southern side of the former Military Ocean Terminal Base (MOTBY), according to city officials.
For public transit riders, the ferry would be best accessible by the 34th Street light rail station. Current plans are to have a pedestrian walkway over Route 440 that will extend from the current walkway that takes pedestrians only over the rail tracks and into a parking lot.
The next step will come in April when the city is expected to issue a request for proposals for ferry operators to bid on the right to build and operate the terminal. Submissions will be due later in the spring, according to city officials.
The city has long lobbied for a ferry, but low commuter demand over the years couldn’t support it. That seems to be changing now that thousands of residential housing units are breaking ground this year on MOTBY and residential redevelopment is expected to attract more young commuters. Last April, the City and the PA performed an impact study to gauge commuter interest and determine likely locations.
“This is a true game changer for Bayonne that will help us continue with the development of MOTBY and it will give our residents another option to commute into Manhattan,” said Mayor James Davis in a press release. “We are finally beginning to deliver on the promises made decades ago, that will mean millions of dollars in new tax revenue, expanded transportation and more investments in the things residents need, like renovations to our parks and expanded services."
75 municipalities, including Bayonne, to be designated Opportunity Zones under new tax code
Gov. Phil Murphy is recommending that portions of 75 distressed municipalities be designated as Opportunity Zones by the U.S. Treasury Department, NJ Spotlight reports. The federal program is intended to encourage capital investments in low-income or distressed communities.
The program allows investors to create an opportunity fund for a city and save tax dollars. Watch for a future story.
Bergen County has the most towns on the list with eight. Hunterdon, Mercer and Warren counties each have only one. In Hudson County, Bayonne, Kearny, Jersey City, North Bergen, Union City, and West New York will be designated.
Bayonne Chamber of Commerce hosts Fourth Annual Peninsula Gala
The Bayonne Chamber of Commerce hosted its Fourth Annual Peninsula Gala at the Bayonne Golf Club on Thursday, March 22, where it honored four individuals and groups for their service to Bayonne. Joe Barbero of Joe’s Deli and Catering was honored with the Business Person of the Year Award; Shoprite of Bayonne with the Business of the Year Award; local boxer and founder of San Vito’s Restaruant, Luciano Ventrone, with the The Dan Kane Legends Award; Patricia Murphy with the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame Award.
“It was an excellent evening. It always is,” said Jack Kennedy, Quality Manager at International Matex Terminal.
At the start of the evening, CarePoint Health COO Peter Daniels said, “At CarePoint we, too, believe community partnerships are the cornerstone to great service, which is why we’ve made partnering with organizations like the Chamber, the Bayonne PAL, the Bayonne Public Schools and the Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation, amongst others, a part of our mission.”
CarePoint Health, which includes Bayonne Medical Center, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.
Luciano Ventrone, a boxer and founder of San Vito’s Restaurant, was awarded the Dan Kane Legends Award.
“We are especially prout tonight to recognize the legacy of Dan Kane, the former CEO of Bayonne Medical Center, for his role leading the hospital and his years of tireless dedication to the Bayonne community. While he is greatly missed, this award in his name is a great testament to his compassion and care for Bayonne.”
The gala’s major event sponsors were CarePoint Health and BCB Community Bank. Other sponsors were Inserra ShopRite of Bayonne, Provident Bank, Investors Bank and Delta Self Storage.
Liquid cocaine found in Bayonne home
A Bayonne couple may face charges of drug distribution after $70,000 worth of liquid cocaine was seized from their home, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office.
Following an investigation with assistance from the Bayonne Police Department, the HCPO's Narcotics Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations arrested Yasira Reyes-Santana, 32, and Melvin Alcantara-Dominguez, 31, both of Lexington Avenue. Authorities allegedly found roughly 1,000 grams of liquid cocaine, as well as more than $65,000 in cash.
Each were charged with possession with intent to distribute; possession with intent to distribute within 500 feet of certain public property; conspiracy to distribute drugs; and money laundering, according to the HCPO.
Tyler Seller’s Day tricky tray
Nov 2, 2018 will mark three years since the tragic death of local skateboarder Tyler Sellers who was killed while crossing Route 440, by a 23-year-old driver speeding at 104 m.p.h. Tyler’s parents, Jason and Mary Sellers, are holding a tricky tray fundraiser to help raise money for their annual “Tyler Sellers Day”they host every September at the skate park on First Street, a park now named for Tyler.
The tricky tray will be held on May 12 at Moose Hall in Jersey City. Tickets are $25 and include a pasta dinner, soda, coffee, dessert, and one sheet of small prize tickets.
To purchase tickets or donate to the event, contact Mary Sellers (201-737-3239) or Jay Seller (551-580-1200).
News around the state: Marijuana, DREAMers, voting
Lawmakers are considering two bills that would make it easier to register to vote, WHYY reports. A measure sponsored by State Sen. Joe Vitale would automatically put residents on voter registration rolls when they apply for or renew their driver’s license. Another bill, sponsored by State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, would allow voters to register online. “It will make it easier for people to register to vote and certainly young people who are used to doing everything online,” Weinberg said.
Meanwhile, the fate of young, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children remained unresolved after Donald Trump signed the $1.3 trillion budget bill on Friday, The Record reports. Trump had threatened to veto the measure because it did not include full funding for a border wall and did not extend deportation protections to “DREAMers.” Immigrants protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals said they were frustrated that their status remains in limbo.
Also, attorney General Gurbir Grewal has ordered all police departments in the state to carry out mandatory random drug testing on law enforcement officers, the Asbury Park Press reports. He has also issued a directive setting up a “statewide early warning system” that identifies “problematic officer conduct that presents a potential risk to the public, to the agency and to the officer.” The attorney general action comes on the heels of the Press’ investigation into police brutality and rogue cops.
Also, an Assembly committee was scheduled to consider a bill Tuesday that would expand access to medical marijuana for New Jersey residents, the Observer reports. The measure, if enacted, would triple the number of dispensaries for medical marijuana, allow patients with prescriptions to buy edible marijuana and add chronic pain as a condition for cannabis may be prescribed.
As a key part of his budget, Governor Phil Murphy proposed launching a no-questions-asked recreational marijuana sales to adults by the start of 2019, reports the Record.
A brief that appeared in the March 14 edition of the Bayonne Community News reported that one and two-family homes will no longer require building permits. Actually, only detached one and two-family homes will not require building permits for roofing and siding. Other types of buildings will need building permits for roofing and siding. Among the types of buildings that need building permits for roofing and siding are attached oneand two-family homes; multi-family residential buildings; industrial buildings; commercial buildings; and other types of structures.
Please call the Bayonne Building Department at 201-858-6073 with any questions or concerns about building permits and the legal definitions involved in the rules for permits.
Max Challenge opens in South Cove Commons
On Monday, April 2 Max Challenge will cut the ribbon on their new location at South Cove Commons Shopping Plaza on Route 440. As an introduction to the community, they will be offering a free trial class on April 5. According to owner, Susan Varca, "Every day, more than 6,500 members are taking fitness classes together in our 10-week program and their lives are radically changing.This program is about fitness, nutrition, motivation and results.”