Bayonne Briefs

A band played at the Bayonne Elks Lodge’s annual “Blessing of the Bikes” ceremony on a sunny and warm Saturday, April 21, to kick off its motorcycle riding season. The normal joy of the annual event was subdued by the group’s loss of a member, Michele Levinson Matos, who died on Friday after battling a long illness. Levinson Matos was integral to the lodge’s resurgence in the mid-2000s and was a valued member of the Bayonne community.
A band played at the Bayonne Elks Lodge’s annual “Blessing of the Bikes” ceremony on a sunny and warm Saturday, April 21, to kick off its motorcycle riding season. The normal joy of the annual event was subdued by the group’s loss of a member, Michele Levinson Matos, who died on Friday after battling a long illness. Levinson Matos was integral to the lodge’s resurgence in the mid-2000s and was a valued member of the Bayonne community.

City bids out for a ferry operator

At an April 18 meeting, the Bayonne City Council took an integral step toward bringing a ferry terminal to the former Military Ocean Terminal Base where thousands of new residents are expected to live by next year. A request for proposals will be issued within the week for a ferry operator; there is really only one game in town – NY Waterways.
Last month, the city agreed to lease a piece of land from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for $2 million over 10 years. The site of the potential ferry would be about a half mile east of the 34th Street Light Rail station on the southern shore of the base.
Some residents expressed concern that fares to ride the ferry, combined with possible paid parking, would be unaffordable for many Bayonne residents commuting to Manhattan.
“Whoever the provider is going to be would set the price, and they’ll obviously make it so that people can use it,” said Bayonne City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski. “They’re not going to come in and make it astronomical. … It would be prudent for them to make it affordable.”

Bayonne mayoral candidates debate

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 to view the debate.

10-year-old robbed of book bag

A 10-year-old boy was robbed of his book bag while walking down Avenue C between 21st and 23rd Streets at around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, according to the Bayonne Police Department.
The boy told police that another boy pushed him against a wall and demanded his bag. The suspect then allegedly grabbed the bag and fled the scene, police said.
No arrests have been made, and the incident remains under investigation.

Massive cranes stuck at Verrazano, will also pass under Bayonne Bridge

A 247-foot heavy-lift ship from Shanghai that is carrying the world’s largest container cranes was waiting on Tuesday near the Verrazano Bridge before it can pass under, through the Kill Van Kull, and under the Bayonne Bridge to Port Elizabeth, where the cranes will be installed, according to
The gigantic ship will be anchored for a three-day process of lowering the arms of the “super cranes” down and waiting for low tide to gain a meagre eight feet of clearance between the top of the crane and the bottom of the Verrazano, which has a 228-foot clearance – nine feet more than the Bayonne Bridge.
How can such tall cranes be able to pass underneath the shorter Bayonne Bridge after barely squeaking under the Verrazano. Engineers are ahead of the game. The Kill Van Kull was recently deepened by 50 feet to allow for just this kind of scenario.
“This is about the fifth ship that came through with cranes, but these are the biggest,” New York president of the NY/NJ Sandy Hooks Pilots Association, John DeCruz, told “They’ve only gotten bigger. …These are the largest to ever come through here.”
The cranes are expected to be operational within weeks of delivery and may be the largest cranes on the East Coast.

Residency requirement ordinance repealed

The Bayonne City Council was forced to repeal a residency requirement ordinance after a Hudson County judge ruled in March that the city must certify a referendum petition that the council tried circumventing in August 2017. That ordinance granted amnesty to non-resident employees hired before October 1, 2017.
Now, the City of Bayonne will have to enforce the original ordinance, which multiple mayoral administrations have treated informally. All city employees not protected by state statute must now either live in Bayonne or move to Bayonne within six months in order to maintain employment in Bayonne’s municipal government.

Dedication of Douglas O’Neill Point in Bayonne

The ceremony for Douglas O’Neill Point has been moved to Thursday, April 26, at 11 a.m. The event will take place by the diner at 9th Street and Broadway. CWO Douglas O’Neill of Bayonne served in the U.S. Army with the HQ Detachment, 37th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade. He was declared missing in action (MIA) April 3, 1972.

NJ transit to hire 40 bus drivers, Murphy says

In an effort to reduce crowding and to improve on-time arrivals, NJ Transit will hire 40 bus drivers, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday, according to WNBC. The agency’s executive director, Kevin Corbett, said more buses would be added to routes in Bergen, Hudson, and Union counties.

Exotic tick species invades Hunterdon County

A tick species never before seen in the United States has been found on a farm in Hunterdon County, according to How the East Asian tick arrived in New Jersey is unknown, a state Department of Agriculture news release says. The tick, also known as the Longhorned tick, was found last November and was identified by the Center for Vector Biology at Rutgers University, the Hunterdon County Department of Health and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory. Tests on the tick and the animal on which it was found did not find any tickborne diseases.

NJ tax amnesty program under discussion in legislature

Democratic legislators are proposing a three-month period of amnesty for people delinquent on their state taxes, according to NJ Spotlight. Such a program could raise millions of dollars, lawmakers say, because people would be encouraged to pay tax bills if some fees and penalties were waived. The amnesty period would begin on July 1 and apply to anyone behind on taxes owed for 2014 through 2016.

NJ medical marijuana program now on mobile platforms

Participants in the state’s Medical Marijuana Program can use mobile phone and tablets to register, submit documents and make payments, according to Jersey Shore Online. The state Department of Health is also spending $50,000 on a public awareness campaign. The state is working to make medical marijuana more accessible even as lawmakers and Gov. Phil Murphy are talking about making recreational marijuana legal in New Jersey.

Secaucus gym accused of racial discrimination

Two black men were repeatedly asked to leave an LA Fitness gym in Secaucus on Monday even though one man had a membership and one had a guest pass. One of the men, Tshyrad Oates, posted videos to Facebook showing that police had been called to the gym and that the two men were the only black people in the gym at the time. reports that three gym employees were fired after the incident.

NJ Supreme Court rules no taxpayer money for churches

Taxpayers’ money cannot be used for houses of worship, even if the money is intended for historic preservation, the state Supreme Court said Wednesday in a unanimous decision. The case centers on Morris County’s awarding of $4.6 million from its Preservation Trust Fund to a dozen churches for historic preservation work, according to NJ spotlight. The decision does not seek to force any of the religious organizations that received money to return it.

American Lung Association: NJ has most polluted air in nation

A study from the American Lung Association finds that New Jersey’s air is among the most polluted in the nation, according to The Record. Much of the state, including large portions of North Jersey, the Jersey Shore and the Camden area received failing grades for smog over the three-year period of 2014 through 2016. Ozone, the main ingredient in smog, can trigger asthma attacks in the 650,000 state residents who have the condition.

State senator proposing licensing of dog groomers

After recent deaths of dogs during grooming at pet stores, state Sen. Kip Bateman, a Republican from Somerville, is planning to introduce legislation to require licensing of dog groomers, reports.

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, May 1 at 6:30 p.m.
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. 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

Hudson Chamber partners with local organizations to better serve county businesses

The Hudson County Consortium for Business Growth and Development has been newly formed by five county organizations dedicated to building the capacity of local area businesses. The consortium intends to support business growth and development through the design, planning and coordinated delivery of educational programs to better serve entrepreneurs, startups, early-stage, and mature businesses.
The consortium, which will provide access to educational programs throughout Hudson County, is composed of the following founding partners: Hudson County Chamber of Commerce, Hudson County Community College Center for Business and Industry, Hudson County, Economic Development Corporation, the Hudson County Office of Business Opportunity, and NJ Small Business Development Center at New Jersey City University.
The consortium also intends to support the Hudson County Office of Business Opportunity in its efforts to assist businesses in becoming eligible for certifications and in gaining access to procurement opportunities at the county, state and federal levels and in the private sector.
“The chamber is excited to partner with organizations that have a proven track record of delivering excellent educational programming for area businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Maria Nieves, president & CEO of the Hudson County Chamber. “This partnership enables us to be true to our mission to provide our members with access to the best resources in the community, assist them in becoming certified, and at the same time, support the good work of our partners.”
The consortium’s first initiative is the launch of spring educational programs that include classes in basic financial management, accounting fundamentals, QuickBooks, and Excel for business and finance professionals. Spring classes began in March and will continue through June and are open to the public. Information about class offerings, dates and locations, as well as how to register is available at For information about the Hudson County Chamber, please call (201) 386-0699x 220 or visit

HCCC will feature award-winning ABC Journalist Martha Raddatz on May 2

ABC News acclaimed Global Affairs Correspondent and Co-Anchor of ABC’s This Week Martha Raddatz will share firsthand accounts of her career during an appearance at the next installment of the Hudson County Community College Lecture Series.
The free event takes place on Wednesday, May 2, at noon at the College’s Culinary Conference Center, 161 Newkirk St. in Jersey City two blocks from the Journal Square Transportation Center. Tickets are required and may be obtained at
Raddatz’s career includes providing coverage from the Pentagon, the State Department, and the White House, as well as Africa, Europe, Asia, the former Soviet Union, the Philippines, Haiti, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.
A veteran foreign policy and conflict zone reporter, Raddatz’s news experience features exclusive coverage, which is also detailed in her bestseller, “The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family.” The memoir is about the Sadr City, Iraq ambush in 2004 that turned the U.S. mission from peacekeeping to fighting insurgents. Raddatz also covered a combat mission in an F-15 fighter jet over Afghanistan in 2004. Other exclusives include her reporting on the U.S. air strike resulting in the death of former al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2006, and the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.
Raddatz’s work as a moderator in political debates has been praised for her pointed questions and assertive control over conversations on domestic and global issues. In 2012, she moderated the only vice-presidential debate between Rep. Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden. During the 2016 election, Raddatz co-moderated the Democratic and Republican primary presidential debates, as well a presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.