Jackie Robinson, who helped break the racial barrier in professional baseball, played in Jersey City. A statue in his honor stands in Journal Square.
Jackie Robinson, who helped break the racial barrier in professional baseball, played in Jersey City. A statue in his honor stands in Journal Square.

New restriction will ease stress on Portal Bridge

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member of the Senate’s transit subcommittee, announced that the U.S. Coast Guard has granted his proposal for marine traffic restrictions on the Hackensack River. The restrictions are designed to mitigate the risk of a Portal Bridge failure that could cripple the entire Northeast Corridor affecting hundreds of thousands of commuters.

Under the Coast Guard order, all marine traffic on the Hackensack River that requires Amtrak’s Portal Bridge in Kearny to open has been halted between 5 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 8 p.m., with only limited exceptions due to tidal restrictions and with a minimum two hours’ notice. The restriction remains in effect for six months and can be extended

The request was made after two separate bridge failures on Oct.30, 2018 during the morning and evening commutes that forced the delay and cancellation of 164 NJ transit and AMTRAK trains, affecting more than 155,000 passengers. Last year alone, the 108-year-old rail span, which is forced to open to marine traffic on the Hackensack River, failed to properly close five separate times causing major disruptions.

HCCC signs agreement with Ramapo College

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) recently held the official signing of an agreement between HCCC and Ramapo College of New Jersey (RCNJ) for a new transfer initiative known as the “Archway to Ramapo College” program.

HCCC President Dr. Chris Reber said the agreement allows for the seamless transition of students who earn an associate degree at HCCC and wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree in any of nearly 60 majors at RCNJ. Students enrolled at HCCC who are a part of the program will be assigned an RCNJ adviser who will be onsite at HCCC. The RCNJ advisers will assist students with decisions about course equivalents, the availability of financial assistance/scholarships, and more. Under the agreement, RCNJ will waive application fees for students in the program.

Once-homeless boy accepted to 17 colleges

Dylan Chidick, 17, a student at Snyder High School, has been accepted to 17 colleges or universities.

Chidick, whose parents emigrated from Trinidad when he was seven, was for a time homeless. His twin brothers were born with serious heart defects.

Women Rising, a local charity, helped the family find permanent housing.

Chidick serves as class president at Snyder and is a member of the National Honor Society.

Goldman Sachs to distribute reusable bags ahead of city ban on plastic

Jersey City Public Schools announced that online voting has opened today for the student artwork submitted to the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) K-2 Reusable Bag Challenge.

Votes can be submitted at through Wednesday, March 20. The winning artwork will be featured on free, reusable bags provided by Goldman Sachs, sponsor of the Jersey City Public Schools STEAM initiative. Thousands of bags will be distributed throughout Jersey City in June when Jersey City’s Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban goes into effect.

Mayor Steven M. Fulop said this is one of the events that will be part of the 2019 Year of Sustainable Neighborhoods for Jersey City.

This year will include events and programming designed to increase awareness, identify where sustainability can be implemented within the city’s many neighborhoods, and connect residents to community initiatives that foster sustainability on a local scale. The Office of Sustainability will also be attending community meetings and hosting events.

“Our goal is to get feedback from residents about what sustainable neighborhoods mean to them, and to share information about ongoing local initiatives and opportunities,” Fulop said.

Sustainable STEAM Challenge with Problem-Based Learning (PBL) uses science and visual arts to address environmental challenges.

This citywide initiative is being offered to all students grades K-12. Student teams in Grades 3-12 are challenged to identify and present solutions to sustainability-related issues they identified in their own neighborhoods. Students will pitch their solutions to a panel of city officials and local stakeholders at city hall on May 3 for an opportunity to be awarded funding to implement their projects. More information on the Sustainable STEAM Challenge can be found at

Other projects for the Year of Sustainable Neighborhoods include a themed art show at city hall in May in collaboration with the Office of Cultural Affairs, educational presentations on the upcoming bag ban and bag giveaway events, and community meetings to gain feedback from residents about sustainability needs and goals in their neighborhoods.