Single-use plastic ban to be considered by the Bayonne City Council

A ban on single-use plastic bags and plastic straws that would take effect in January was passed by the Bayonne City Council on June 19 as similar bans are going into effect across the country, including in Jersey City and Hoboken.

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Exceptions to the rule include plastic for loose produce, dry-cleaning bags, newspaper bags, bags that wrap meat or fish and frozen food, and waste bags for garbage and organic yard waste. Food trucks are exempt from the ban, but brick-and-mortar food service are not.

Mural celebrating Bayonne diversity on display on 8th Street

A mural of photographs was posted on the wall near the 8th Street light rail station that separates 8th Street from Route 440. The visual art installation, curated by the Bridge Art Gallery, is part of the international art organization, Inside Out Project, that posts similar installations in 140 countries. Local photographer, Stephanie Petersen, photographed Bayonne residents with varying ethnic identities to be posted on the wall.

George R. R. Martin inducted into Hall of Fame

Bayonne native and “Game of Thrones” author, George R.R. Martin; Jersey City native and famed chef personality, Martha Stuart; and Hoboken native, Elizabeth Allen, an education activist and first female president of the NJ Education Association, are among this year’s inductees into the N.J. Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held October 27 in Asbury Park. Gov. Phil Murphy announced the candidates on June 10 at Newark airport.

$374 M Hudson County budget means tax increase for Bayonne residents

Tax bills for Bayonne residents will rise slightly, $39 for the average property tax bill, as the Hudson County Board of Freeholders voted last week to approve a $374 million budget.

$3.3 million of the budget will go to increase funds for Hudson County Community College and the Hudson County Schools of Technology, and a $1.6 million increase for medical services at the Hudson County jail in Kearny. Another $2 million will go to fund the county’s contribution to pensions and contractual increases in salaries.

The Hudson County Sheriff’s Office will receive more funds for overtime after the Hudson County Assignment Judge mandated more officers be assigned to the Hudson County Administration Building and its courtrooms.

Former Bayonne fire captain to be Prospect Park’s first fire safety director

Former Bayonne Fire Department captain, Daniel Cabrera, was appointed by the Prospect Park mayor and council on June 17 to be the town’s first fire safety director. The Borough of Prospect Park is in Passaic County. Cabrera is the first to hold this position in Prospect Park and the first of Latino descent in the town’s history.

NJ, NY have new tactic for rail tunnel

The entity in charge of the Gateway rail tunnel under the Hudson River — the Gateway Development Corporation — is currently a “small agency” staffed by representatives from both sides of the river plus the federal government, according to NJ Spotlight. Twin bills in our state and New York could change that by tripling the size of the three-member board. The bills would also enable the project to be eligible for government grants and loans. The Obama administration had agreed to cover $10 billion (then half of the cost), but the Trump administration has taken the opposite position.

Meadowlands landfill will stay closed, awaiting court ruling

In a one-page decision issued June 12, the state Supreme Court announced that the Keegan Landfill in Kearny will close. The site has disrupted the lives of Kearny residents who say the fumes have damaged their health. The emissions from the 110-acre landfill, which is operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, have caused residents to experience a “toxic nightmare,” New Jersey Sierra Club President Jeff Tittell told The Record. Recent inspections found levels of hydrogen sulfide gas over 30 parts per billion, which exceeds safety standards. The next step is a July 25 hearing at the Superior Court in Hudson County.

Unions march in Trenton, call for millionaire’s tax

Last week, hundreds of people showed up outside the State House to rally for lawmakers to bring Gov. Phil Murphy’s millionaires tax, a marginal tax rate on income over $1 million, to the floor of the state Legislature. His proposal doesn’t have a sponsor or a bill number yet.

“Only in Trenton during budget season will you find a coalition of progressives and labor unions cheering a former Goldman Sachs executive and denouncing a fellow union member,” wrote NJTV News reporter and former Hudson Reporter staff writer, David Cruz. “But such was the case Thursday as public employees showed up by the hundreds to call for the passage of a millionaire’s tax, supported by the millionaire governor, and adamantly opposed by iron worker Senate President Steve Sweeney.”

The budget lawmakers introduced on June 17 did not include the proposed tax, setting up a political game of chicken between the governor and the legislature.

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