Grand Marshal of St. Patrick’s Day Parade announced
George Delaney, a youth soccer coach and founder of a youth rugby program, will be grand marshal of the 37th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 18 at 1 p.m.
Delaney, who has lived in Bayonne since 1992, emigrated to the U.S. in 1990 from his home in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, Ireland after working in New York for several summers. He is now a reinsurance underwriter working in downtown Manhattan.
Delaney has served as the chairman of the Bayonne St Patrick’s Parade Committee since 2014. He is also a member of the Shamrock Society, the Bayonne Donegal Association, and the All Saints Academy Golf Committee.
First Ward Councilman Tommy Cotter will run for re-election
First Ward Councilman Tommy Cotter will run for re-election on Mayor James Davis’s ticket in the municipal elections in May against Sharma Montgomery, a former Board of Education candidate and Air Force veteran, who is running on mayoral candidate Jason O’Donnell’s ticket.
The First Ward Councilperson represents residents living south of 17th Street and 16th Street Park, including the Bergen Point neighborhood. Since being elected in 2014, Cotter has been a strong advocate for improvements to parks in Bergen Point and spearheaded the return of the Bergen Point Fall Festival.
Both mayoral campaigns have now announced complete slates of council candidates, with the current city council members all seeking re-election on Davis’s ticket.
“Four years ago, the Davis team was elected to turn this city around, and that’s’ exactly what has happened,” said Cotter in a press release. “I’m so excited to hit the streets and work toward victory in May because our city is finally on the right track, and we can’t let anyone stop our progress.”
“Tom Cotter understands how important it is to fight for our city’s future, which is why he’s always been an advocate for improving our parks and our programs for kids and families,” said Davis in a press release. “I’m excited to run again with Councilman Cotter and to have our full team now in place.”
Silk Lofts sold, new owner plans more units
Silk Lofts, the former Avenue E Maidenform Factory turned luxury housing, was recently sold for $32 million to a New York-based real estate investment firm, according to a report from NJ Advance Media. The investment firm reportedly plans to add 125 units to the 85-unit building.
Studio units at Silk Lofts cost between $1,900 and $3,400 a month, while one-bedroom apartments go for $1,850-$2,300 and two-bedroom units are $2,200-$2,700, according to the website. Details other than how many additional units planned are not available.
Residents can purchase commemorative bricks to support BEOF
The former all-girls Holy Family Academy, which closed in 2013, will soon be the headquarters for the Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation (BEOF) after the city council purchased the building for $2.5 million in February. The BEOF will offer commemorative brick pavers that residents can purchase to honor the Holy Family site, which was open from 1925 to 2013. The BEOF expects the renovations to the Holy Family building to be complete by the end of the summer.
Holy Family will house the BEOF’s various programs, including Head Start, a preschool program for low-income and special needs children ages 3 to 5. Many children who have been on waiting lists for the program will see spots open up with the added space the Holy Family building will provide.
Woman dies after being struck by light rail train
Alexis Perez, 21, of Bayonne, died on the evening of Friday, January 26 after she was struck by on oncoming light rail train just north of 22nd Street, according to NJ Transit Police, who called the incident a “trespasser fatality.”
Shortly before 9:45 p.m., Perez allegedly entered an area of the tracks where civilians are prohibited for safety reasons.
Emergency responders found Perez with severe injuries and pronounced her dead at the scene, according to NJ Transit Police.
Officials did not report what caused Perez to enter the track, but suicide has been speculated.
Frelinghuysen will not seek re-election
U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, a 12-term Republican congressman from Harding Township, announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election. Frelinghuysen, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, is the second Republican congressman from New Jersey to announce his retirement, joining Frank LoBiondo, who made his announcement in November, and 28 other Republicans in the House of Representatives who are either retiring, resigning, or running for another office. That’s compared to just 14 Democrats leaving. Democrats would need to flip 24 seats to take back the House this year.
Frelinghuysen voted against the Republican tax bill, citing the removal of state and local tax deductions as cause, likely upsetting the Republican establishment, which has the power to remove him from his powerful post. He joins a parade of committee chairs who are leaving at the end of the year.
New investigative unit to probe fatal car crashes
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office announced last week a new investigative unit to probe all fatal crashes in Hudson County.
The Regional Fatal Collision Unit, which is currently active, consists of two dozen officers from the prosecutor’s office, sheriff’s department and nine of the county’s 12 municipalities. The unit will use new technology, such as drone imaging, to investigate fatal crashes.
“The most recent events in the past few days where we’ve had two fatal pedestrian incidents demonstrates the need for a regional collision unit, where we combine the resources and expertise of the participating agencies,” Suarez said at a press conference last week.
Some charges against Menendez dismissed
Responding to a defense request to dismiss the corruption case against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, (D-NJ), a federal judge in Newark threw out seven of the most serious bribery charges related to campaign contributions but allowed the case to proceed on other charges involving gifts and trips given to Menendez.
In a last act before withdrawing from the case, U.S. District Judge William Walls – who served as judge during the 2017 Menendez trial, tossed out the most serious charges, saying federal prosecutors failed to prove that campaign donations given to Menendez influenced his decision to help his friend and co-defendant Salomon Melgen navigate the federal bureaucracy in behalf of his business.
Menendez’s defense team is expected to request that the other charges also be dropped. But if such a request is made, it’ll have to be before a new judge, once one is assigned, now that Judge Walls has removed himself from the case, said sources with knowledge of the situation.
Menendez is accused of corruption because he received sizable campaign contributions from Melgen as well as trips and gifts.
Walls declared a mistrial in the 2017 case when the jury reported it was deadlocked 10 to 2 in favor of acquittal.
The Department of Justice announced earlier this month it would seek a retrial.
In an event scheduled for Friday, Jan. 26, Hispanic civic and elected leaders from across New Jersey were expected to gather on the steps of Elizabeth City Hall to denounce the U.S. Department of Justice for accusing Menendez, the nation’s highest-ranking Latino elected official and leading immigrant rights advocate, of “racializing” the legal proceedings in court.
“Given the Trump Administration’s continuous attacks on immigrants, voting rights and other crucial issues, the state’s Hispanic community fears the decision to retry Senator Menendez is the latest example of the DOJ being weaponized to target minorities,” said a Democratic release issued by the Hispanic leadership.
Out of control, and out of network, NJ lawmakers taking on healthcare costs
The Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee listened to comments from groups representing patients, business interests, physicians, hospitals, and insurance providers as the issue of high out-of-network health care costs gained renewed prominence in Trenton, NJ Spotlight reports. Meanwhile, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, which all have operations in New Jersey, announced that they would form an independent health care company to serve their employees in the United States, The New York Times reports.
An end to superintendent salary cap is hoped to attract better talent
When Chris Christie was governor, he placed a salary cap on school superintendents to contain costs. But this week, the State Senate Education Committee will consider a bill to overturn the limit on pay for superintendents, according to a report from The Record. Senate President Stephen Sweeney said the salary had the effect of sending talented school administrators to other states, creating a “brain drain” for New Jersey schools. Bayonne is due to hire a new superintendent by June of 2019.
Public presentation set for LSP marina plan
Suntex Marinas has announced that company officials will hold a public presentation to outline details of a proposed marina at the southern edge of Liberty State Park.
Although activists and officials from Jersey City sued to stop the project, a Superior Court ruled in mid-January that it could proceed.
The presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 10:30 a.m. at Liberty House restaurant, located at the northern end of the park, adjacent to the existing Liberty Landing Marina.
The event will include a presentation from Suntex officials as well as renderings of the proposed marina. There will be a question and answer period to follow.
“This is an opportunity for people to come and learn about the proposal first-hand,” said Suntex Senior Vice President Ron TenEyck. “There has been a lot of misinformation spread about our plan for the southern marina and this is a chance for people to hear exactly what we have proposed.”
Along with the marina, Suntex plans to refurbish the dilapidated public boat launch as well as construct a public fishing pier at the park’s south side. Suntex also will update the popular picnic area at the south end, which over the years has fallen into some disrepair.
Meanwhile nearby Liberty National Golf Course is seeking permission from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to leave a peninsula just south of the proposed marina development to expand the private club.
Exclusive golf club seeks to expand into LSP
Liberty National Golf Club, which charges its members $300,000 to join, has submitted plans to the state Department of Environmental Protection to relocate three of its holes to Liberty State Park in Jersey City, The Record reports. But park advocates say the 21-acre peninsula on the Hudson River is used by hundreds of schoolchildren each year to learn about nature. In its waning days last month, the Christie administration put out a bid request for leasing the land. The golf club was the sole bidder.
HCCC hosts ‘Valentine’s Date Night’ dinner class
Hudson County Community College (HCCC) invites individuals to work alongside one’s date, spouse, friend or significant other at the HCCC “Valentine’s Date Night” culinary class on Friday, Feb. 9 from 6 to 10 p.m. The event will be held at the College’s Culinary Arts Institute, located at 161 Newkirk St., Jersey City, two blocks from the Journal Square PATH Transportation Center. The class is limited to eight couples (two people must register together), and the price is $55 per person.
Those interested in participating should know it doesn’t matter whether they or their partners barely know how to boil water or if they’re cooking pros. The evening will begin with a glass of champagne. Then, attendees will be able to enjoy working alongside their valentines for a night of romance and delightful food. In addition to preparing a tasty, quality dinner that will be paired with wine, couples will be served molten lava cake for dessert.
Registration may be handled online at www.tinyurl.com/hcccculinaryspring2018 or by phoning (201) 360-4262. Credit card, money order, cash, or check payments are due at time of registration. Additional information may be obtained by calling HCCC Community Education at (201) 360-4224 or emailing email@example.com.
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 the Hudson County Courthouse, 595 Newark Ave. Rm# 901 on Tuesday, February 6 at 6:30 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 well-being. 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.