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The Bayonne Zoning Board held its final meeting and public hearing on Monday, March 6 where it rejected an application for bulk variance relief by Bayonne Muslims, a local religious organization. Four commissioners voted in favor, while three voted against, but the ordinance required five votes in favor to pass. The group was hoping to convert a warehouse on 109 East 24th Street into a Muslim Community Center, a plan opposed by some residents of the East Side neighborhood. The group was seeking land use variances in required parking spaces, in curb width, and a buffer zone. The last zoning board meeting, which was adjourned due to length, heard from the traffic engineer who testified that the neighborhood can sufficiently accommodate the expected increase in traffic and on-street parking demand. Zoning Board Chairman Mark Urban, however, disagreed in the end. After a five-hour hearing,he and three other commissioners voted against issuing a variance for “zoning reasons.” Click here for more.

The Bayonne Board of Education (BBOED) continued its round of layoffs and demotions at a meeting on February 28 in an effort to cut costs amid a reported $2 million budget deficit that increases by $6,000 every day, and is expected to balloon to $6 million by July, according to BBOED Board President Joseph Broderick. After 16 district employees were laid off and six others demoted at January’s meeting, BBOED trustees voted to lay off two teachers and a guidance counselor, while two assistant principals and the Athletic Director were reassigned, saving the district about $42,000 this fiscal year. The layoffs are effective May 1, eight weeks before the end of the fiscal year on July 1. Click here for more.

What happens when you have a heart attack? Heart attacks and heart disease are major life events for so many Americans and members of the community. One in four deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease. That’s 610,000 Americans every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Local medical facilities in Bayonne have innovated over the years to better serve victims of heart attack, which in the U.S. happens every 42 seconds. Join staff writer Rory Pasquariello, as he recounts a joint demonstration of a real heart attack case by the hospital staff at Bayonne Medical Center and EMTs at McCabe Ambulance Service. Click here for more.