Mayoral candidates Dr. Mitchell Brown, Mayor James Davis, and Jason O’Donnell participated in a debate at the Hudson Reporter office on 20th Street and Broadway on Tuesday, April 10. The candidates debated policies on redevelopment, local business, public transit, water infrastructure, waste management, and other topics.
On a lighter note, in response to a question about swimming, Davis said that he swam frequently in Newark Bay as a kid despite having a pool in his backyard, much to the chagrin of his mother. Meanwhile, O’Donnell swam in the water surrounding Bayonne only on occasion, while Brown never learned to swim. As a doctor, Brown recommended against the practice.
Bayonne to lease PANYNJ land for ferry terminal
The long-promised ferry that would take commuters from the former Military Ocean Terminal Base to Manhattan requires land on which to build a terminal. The most suitable site on the base, about 1.5 acres of land and an acre of berth a mile east of Route 440, is currently owned by the Port Authority of NY and NJ. To free up the land, the city plans to sign a ten-year, $2 million lease agreement with the agency, according to Bayonne Law Director John Coffey III. The agreement, which begins in June, is contingent on the city contracting a ferry operator.
A parking facility on the leased land is expected to generate revenue for the city, 15 percent of which will be paid to the PANYNJ. The Bayonne City Council is expected to start the bidding process for a ferry terminal operator at a regular meeting on April 18.
Groundbreakings on MOTBY
Projects for a 525-unit residential building and a Costco are breaking ground this week on the former Military Ocean Terminal Base (MOTBY). Atlantic Realty of Woodbridge purchased 30 acres of land on the southern shore of MOTBY at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor. The developer is contributing to constructing the MOTBY extension of the Hudson River Walkway. A ferry terminal is expected to come to the area directly west of the development. The city plans to bid out for ferry terminal operators this month and lease the land, owned by the Port Authority of New York andf New Jersey, for 10 years. Less than a half mile east of the development, next to Route 440, a Costco is expected to break ground this week where the BCB Bank Pavilion (a large, white tent structure) once stood.
HCCC holds open house on April 14
Hudson County Community College will hold an Open House at the College’s North Hudson Campus, 4800 Kennedy Blvd. in Union City, on Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with check-in beginning at 9:30 a.m. Attendees will be able to experience the Hudson County Community College campus culture and meet with educators, students, and administrators.
Activities are planned to help acquaint prospective students with the college’s two campuses, academic programs, and the services and programs available to HCCC students. The April 14 Open House attendees will be able to obtain information on the College’s degree and certificate programs, including the acclaimed STEM, Nursing, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management, Criminal Justice, Business, and other course offerings. Attendees may also tour the North Hudson Campus.
Representatives from the college’s award-winning student support services team will provide information on how the team assists HCCC students in reaching their academic and career goals.
More information can be found by emailing email@example.com. Those who wish to attend the April 14 Open House are encouraged to RSVP at www.hccc.edu/openhouse.
30-year-old Bayonne resident killed in Irvington
Mina Ghaly, a 30-year-old Bayonne resident, was the victim of a fatal shooting in Irvington on the evening of Monday, April 2. In a statement, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and the Irvington Police Department said Ghaly was found on the ground with gunshot wounds at 9 p.m. in Irvington and was pronounced dead 31 minutes later. Ghaly is survived by a wife and a 5-year-old son in Florida, according to an online report. The death remains under investigation, according to police.
Relay For Life to be held on April 19
The American Cancer Society will “Paint the Town Purple” for the month of May in celebration of its annual Relay for Life event.
On Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Relay for Life committee will be at the old 27th Firehouse on Broadway at 597 Broadway with purple ribbons and lawn signs to decorate homes or businesses. Also, there will be a bake sale at the Firehouse. On Saturday May 19 at noon, participants will run in the annual Relay For Life of Bayonne at 16th Street Park.
For information on how to organize your own team for the Relay for Life event or the requirements to participate in “Paint the town Purple,”please contact Joanne Baran at (201) 858-2380 or Austin DeSavino at (973) 285-8028.
For more information, to register and/or to make a donation, visit www.relayforlife.org/bayonnenj.
Urban League launches Hudson County Child Care Resource Fairs
To highlight the importance of high-quality early childhood programs in Hudson County, the Urban League of Hudson County (ULOHC) is hosting a series of childcare resource fairs to educate families about the many programs offered in each municipality.
With a nod to the “Week of the Young Child” which has been observed nationally each April since 1971, ULOHC has provided childcare program providers with a free booth to provide parents a one-stop opportunity to meet providers and see the various programs offered in their communities. Providers are also asked to demonstrate an activity parents can use at home to engage their children in creative play. (There will be face painting as well for those who dare).
The resource fairs highlight childcare programs that accept subsidy payment from infancy through the 13th year, and up to 19 for adolescents with special needs who qualify. These programs include before and after school care, summer camps, infant and toddler programs, and pre-K.
Among the participants are school districts, Head Start and Early Head Start, licensed childcare centers, and registered home care providers, all of whom meet mandated health and safety standards. Many are part of Grow NJ Kids, a voluntary quality rating system for childcare programs in New Jersey.
ULOHC is the Childcare Resource and Referral agency for Hudson County. They administer childcare subsidy programs that support working families who qualify. For example, a family of four with both parents working, in school or in a training program fulltime may qualify if they earn $49,200 or less.
“This opens the door to great opportunities for a child’s development, which might not otherwise be possible” Kevin Jones, a consumer educator explains. “And we planned these resource fairs with enough time to apply for subsidy before summer camps begin.”
Subsidy applications will be available at each event as well as great resource partners like Family Success Centers, which provide free programs to support children and families regardless of income.
Find the childcare resource fair for programs in your community below:
- North Hudson (program providers from Guttenberg, North Bergen, Secaucus, Union City and West New York) April 7 at Jose Marti Freshman Academy from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- East Hudson (program providers from Bayonne, Hoboken, Jersey City, and Weehawken) April 21 at County Prep High School (525 Montgomery St., Jersey City) from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- West Hudson (program providers from East Newark, Harrison, and Kearny) May 5 at Harrison High School (401 Kingsland Ave., Harrison) from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
For further information or to reserve a booth for your childcare program, please contact
Kevin Jones, Consumer Education, Urban League of Hudson County at (201) 451-8888 ext. 128.
Fulop and legislators push for dedicated arts and culture fund
Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop, Senator Joe Cryan, Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight, and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji have announced the introduction of a bill to both houses of the New Jersey Legislature which will allow municipalities to adopt an ordinance establishing an annual tax levy to be dedicated to local arts and culture funding, which would be deposited into an Arts and Culture Trust Fund. The proposed bill requires that the tax levy be approved by voters as a public question in a general or special election.
“We have worked to encourage the continued growth of our arts and culture community in Jersey City, and know that our city has become the unique and vibrant place it is today thanks to the work of local artists and art organizations,” Mayor Fulop said. “This bill will allow residents to choose whether they want to see a sustainable source for arts funding in Jersey City, so that we can continue to work with these organizations to bring art, music, dance, film, and culture into all neighborhoods.”
The Arts and Culture Trust Fund bill is modeled after the Open Space Trust Fund bill that became law in New Jersey in 1997, allowing municipalities to adopt an ordinance through public question, which would dedicate tax revenue to the preservation or creation of open space. In 2016, Mayor Steven Fulop and the Jersey City Council presented this option to voters in the form of a referendum and received overwhelming approval for the creation of this dedicated funding source. The Jersey City Open Space Trust Fund levies $0.005 per household per year and collected $623,000 in 2017.
Once the Arts and Culture Trust Fund bill becomes state law, Jersey City plans to place a public question on the ballot this November for Jersey City to have such a fund.
Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteers
Learn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be held at Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St. in Hoboken on Wednesday, April 18, at 7 p.m.
Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a nonprofit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s wellbeing. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.
For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org.
Bill would ban marriage for anyone under 18
New Jersey could become the first state in the nation to ban marriage for anyone under the age of 18 if a bill pending in the Legislature is passed, according to the Asbury Park Press. Last year Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a similar measure. But one of the bill’s sponsors, State Sen. Nellie Pou of Passaic County, says she expects Gov. Phil Murphy to support the legislation, which is intended to prevent families from forcing young people into marriages.
NYPD settles lawsuit over surveillance of Muslims
The New York Police Department has barred religious-based surveillance and has dismantled its Demographics Unit that monitored Muslims in New Jersey as part of the settlement of a lawsuit, according to NJ Spotlight. The lawsuit, which includes a settlement payment of $1 million, was filed by New Jersey Muslims who contended that New York police officers kept tabs on them at mosques and through Muslim Student Associations at colleges after 9/11.
Environmentalists rally to urge passage of oil train bill
Environmental activists rallied in Bergenfield on Sunday to urge state lawmakers to pass legislation to protect communities along train lines that carry oil trains, according to The Record. “These trains go through many of our backyards, and this bill would force the train companies to be more transparent about what they’re carrying so that first responders can be prepared to respond properly,” said Paula Rogovin of the Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains. The legislation would require railroads to develop oil spill response plans and increase transparency from railroads about shipments of flammable liquids.