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. Visit hudsonreporter.com to view the debate.
Thousands show up for Food Truck Festival
Thousands came out on a sunny Saturday on April 28for afood truck festival on Avenue E between 22nd and 24th Streets. The eventwas hosted in partnership with Bayonne’s municipal government.
Twenty-four food trucks and tents sold a variety of foods including coconut bowls, cheese steaks, meatballs, zeppoles, empanadas, ice cream, grilled cheese, kettle corn, crab and lobster rolls, hamburgers, shrimp fried rice, glazed doughnuts, cupcakes, pizza, and ices. Thai, Cuban, and Italian foods were also on the trucks’ mobile menus.
The festival also hosted bounce house rides for children, a beer and wine garden for adults, and three musical acts, including the Nerds, a Jersey Shore band that has played in Bayonne’s Summer Sounds concert series. The Suyat Band and Rated Fresh also performed.
So many people came to the event that several food trucks ran out of food by 5 p.m. Having started at noon, the event ran until 6 p.m.
Mayor Davis concluded, “The 2018 food truck festival was a great success. I would like to thank everyone who worked at the festival and those who came to the event for making it a fun and memorable afternoon. We look forward to inviting the food trucks back in the future.”
Prosecution deferred for Bayonne police officer
The U.S. Attorney General’s Office deferred prosecution of Francis Styles, who was charged in a federal court of falsifying records of a 2013 police brutality incident and misprision of a felony. That December 2013 incident involved another Bayonne police officer, Domenico Lillo,who allegedly struck a Bayonne resident named Brandon Walsh in the face with a steel flashlight and pepper sprayed him. Styles spent more than two weeks in federal court in December of 2017, where Lillo, who pleaded guilty in May, 2017 to using excessive force and illegally obtaining a $20,000 loan intended for low-to-moderate income residents, testified against him.
If Styles adheres to the conditions of his pre-trial release, he may get off. In December, the jury could not reach a unanimous decision.
Jersey City resident gives birth in Uber outside Lincoln Tunnel
Jersey City resident Sathya Priya Senthil gave birth to a six-pound, three-ounce daughter in the backseat of an Uber car on Monday, according to media reports.
The car was stuck in traffic outside the Lincoln Tunnel toll booths, and the family did not have time to make it to Tisch Hospital in Manhattan.
The driver pulled over, and three Port Authority officers helped deliver the baby. Her husband Karthik Lakshmanan cut the umbilical cord before the family was detoured to Hoboken University Medical Center.
“It has been a nerve-wracking day, an exciting day,” said Lakshmanan on TV. “I don’t think we’ll ever forget this day.”
Autism spectrum disorder diagnoses jump 15 percent
Diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder have jumped 15 percent among eight-year-olds since 2012, according to stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is no explanation for the increase at this time, but some experts suggest that New Jersey’s autism detection and early intervention programs might have caused the numbers to skew higher when compared with 2012’s findings, according to NJ Spotlight.
Bayonne has long been at the forefront of the issue. The school district began providing special services for children with autism in the early 2000s.
Republican lawmakers seek to block gateway tunnel money
Although the recently approved 2019 federal budget includes $541 million for the Gateway Tunnel project, a group of Republican congress people may move to block the allocation, according to NJ Spotlight. Use of a parliamentary procedure known as “rescission” is being encouraged by 27 GOP members of the House to remove an appropriation. But New Jersey’s delegation is defending the financing for the tunnel, pointing out that New Jersey receives less federal money than it sends to the U.S. government in taxes.
NJ Transit mum on condition of rail bridges, behind on positive train control
NJ Transit is responsible for maintaining hundreds of rail bridges in the state, some of them built more than a century ago, but it will not make public the conditions of the spans, according to The Record. Information about the condition of roadway bridges is publicly available. But NJ Transit denied requests under the Open Public Records Act for the conditions of the rail bridges, citing security concerns.
The agency’s executive told the Assembly Budget Committee on Monday that the commuter railroad is seriously behind schedule in installing a safety system known as positive train control, according to NJTV News. As of last December, the system was 11 percent complete. The federal government has set a deadline of Dec. 31, 2018, for installing the system. Missing the deadline could result in fines and a ban of NJ Transit trains from Hudson River tunnels.
EPA unveils $332 million plan to clean up Berrys Creek
The federal government will spend $332 million to reduce the risks of high levels of mercury, PCBs and chromium in Berrys Creek in the Meadowlands, The Record reports. Mercury levels in BerrysCreek, a tributary to the Hackensack River, are among the highest ever recorded in a freshwater ecosystem in the United States. The cleanup will involve dredging 100 acres of waterways and marshland, the Environmental Protection Agency said.
East Asian tick found in second NJ county
The presence of a tick species that previously had never been found in the United States has been confirmed in a second New Jersey county, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The tick, also known as the longhorned tick or bush tick, was found on the Watchung Reservation in Union County, the state Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday. The tick was first found on a farm in Hunterdon County, which is about 40 miles from the reservation.
NJ ranks high on list of marijuana arrests, professor says
People in New Jersey are more likely to be arrested on marijuana charges than people in every other state except Wyoming, according to Jon Gettman, a professor at Shenandoah University in Virginia who analyzed data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program. The data for 2016 show that New Jersey law-enforcement authorities arrested 35,700 people on charges of marijuana possession or distribution.