Bayonne loses a beloved citizen
Mayor James Davis announced on his Facebook page on June 24 that John Nicaretta had died. Mr. Nicaretta was a member of the Catholic War Veterans. Mayor Davis wrote, “He has been front and center in our community for his entire life. In 2016, I named him Veteran of the Year for his decades of service, beginning with service to country and ending with service to community … ours! Rest in peace, John!”
Bayonne Municipal Courtroom named for John Hughes
The Bayonne Municipal Courtroom will be named for John Hughes, who died in 2017 and served as the city’s public defender and was scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 25 for more than 45 years. The city held a ceremony on June 17.
PILOT granted to MOTBY developer
A 25-year payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreement was granted to Mahalaxmi Bayonne Urban Renewal by the Bayonne City Council on June 18. The development would be near the corner of Chosin Few Way and Goldsborough Drive, in a section known as Harbor Station South, and include seven buildings with a combined 1,600 units. Two of the buildings would be 25 stories tall, and three would be 12 stories. The Bayonne Planning Board has yet to approve final plans.
Heavy trucks restricted from parking on Bayonne streets
Trucks over 16,000 pounds were restricted from parking on public streets in an ordinance passed by the Bayonne City Council on June 18. Resident complaints have been piling up for years about large trucks idling uptown at night, occupying scarce parking spaces. Trucks will still be allowed to be parked in commercial lots and in driveways when the vehicle is registered by the resident of that building.
“There’s a problem with commercial vehicles that should otherwise be parked in a lot or in a garage that should not be parked on city streets,” said Bayonne Law Director, John Coffey III. “This should alleviate that problem across the entire city.”
Baby peregrine falcon falls to death after being sprayed by window washer in Jersey City
Several young peregrine falcons, which are endangered species, that hatched in May and were nearing flying ability fell from the roof of a 41-story building at 101 Hudson Street in Jersey City after window washers sprayed the nest on June 16, according to the Record. One young falcon remains missing, another that glided to the ground was sent to the Morris County bird rehabilitation center, and another was later found on a lower ledge on the 36th floor, according to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ. The incident was captured on webcam.
The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife is investigating why window washers sprayed the nest.
Peregrine falcons have been nesting on the roof of 101 Hudson St. for nearly two decades, and they have a global webcam following.
School bus aide says mom allegedly attacked her, inadvertently hit child
A three-year-old child was inadvertently hit in the face when a parent allegedly attacked a school bus aide on 50th Street and Avenue E in Bayonne, according to Bayonne police. The 28-year-old aide told police the child’s eyeglasses were knocked off and broke upon hitting the floor. The incident remains under investigation. No arrests were made.
Child-luring incident reported
A 16-year-old female reported to police that on the morning of June 20, she was approached by a middle-aged male in a gray sedan while walking in the area of 14th Street and Avenue C who allegedly beeped and motioned for her to get into his vehicle, according to Bayonne police. The woman did not enter the vehicle. The man drove away, and the woman reported the incident. The incident is under investigation by the Bayonne Police Detective Bureau.
More New Jersey kids living in poverty, with single parents
A report released last week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, titled the 2019 Kids Count Data Book, ranks New Jersey near the top in the nation across a few metrics: New Jersey was ranked second for education, and third for health. But the “economic well-being” data suggests families across the state face an increasingly unequal economic divide with race and gender gaps, including new mothers. A related report on Trenton found that 40 percent of children in Trenton live in poverty as of 2017, compared to 35 percent in 2013. The statewide trend was the opposite: it fell to 14 percent in 2017, from 17 percent in 2013, according to NJ Spotlight.
Bill would dramatically change affordable housing
A much-debated affordable housing bill that would significantly change the requirements for new construction was approved by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee last week. Committee members voted along party lines: Democrats said yes, and Republicans said no.
The legislation would require every new high-density housing development to set aside 20 percent of its units for low- or middle-income tenants. For example, six affordable homes would be required for a 30-unit development. Or a municipality could charge a developer to pay a fee instead of building the units, which would go into a trust fund.
State law that protects Sandy victims expires July 1
In 2017, former Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill to protect New Jersey homeowners devastated by Superstorm Sandy from slipping into foreclosure. The bill prohibits banks from taking the homes of Shore residents through a foreclosure process known as mortgage forbearance. The bill expires on July 1. The state reports hundreds of families are still rebuilding from the 2012 storm. The program has already helped 475 homeowners. Last week, the budget committee unanimously approved the bill, but it hasn’t cleared the full Legislature yet, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Two New Jersey anchors sue NY1 for age, gender discrimination
The New York Times reported last week that five news anchors are bringing a lawsuit against NY1, alleging the channel unlawfully discriminated against them based on their age and gender. Two of these anchors live in New Jersey: Roma Torre, 61, who lives in Montclair, and Kristen Shaughnessy, 50, who lives in Scotch Plains. A NY1 spokesperson told the Times, “We take these allegations seriously […] we have not found any merit to them.” The five anchors wrote an open letter on the web writing platform, Medium, and they’ve also launched a #BroadcastWomen campaign.
PATH set to improve service for rush-hour commuters
PATH leadership has announced that it has all but cleared the approval process for its massive, multi-year capital plan to improve stability and reliability along its tracks. There’s just $80 million left to approve, but changes will take a while, according to NJTV News. In September, work will begin on tackling two priorities: expanding service for rush-hour commuters riding two lines: Newark to the World Trade Center and Journal Square to 33rd Street.