Bayonne to re-submit bid as Gov. Christie recommends Newark for Amazon’s second headquartersNewark has been chosen by the governor’s office to be the state’s official recommendation for Amazon’s second headquarters. ROI-NJ reports Gov. Christie joined Senator Corey Booker and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka at the Rutgers Business School in Newark on Monday, October 16, announcing a $7 billion incentive package to lure the online retail giant.Cities such as Bayonne that are also planning proposals to Amazon can still make those proposals, but the bid would not come with the state’s official recommendation. The state will be responsible for designing incentives to lure the major online retailer.Mayor James Davis said that he will submit Bayonne’s proposal directly to the company. “Either way, at the end of the day, Amazon will be choosing.”Environmental remediation of Rutkowski Park underwayAfter Honeywell International was court-ordered to remediate a 34-acre chromium site in Jersey City in 2003, chromium was detected at Rutkowski Park in 2005. Now, Honeywell will perform an environmental remediation of the park, mainly along the Bayonne sewer pipeline between 48th and 52nd Streets. The process began in early October with site surveys, but the company will soon begin excavating some areas of the park. The city will plant some new vegetation and replace the dug-up asphalt along the walkway. Some sections of the park will be closed for a limited period of time. Gateway project breaks ground in KearnyU.S. Senator Robert Menendez was on hand for the cutting of a ribbon that will reconstruct a key bridge as part of a larger Gateway rail tunnel system.A key element of the new Gateway rail tunnel broke ground in Kearny on Oct. 13 when Gov. Christopher Christie joined U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker as well as other officials.The Portal North Bridge is a $20 million portion of the larger Gateway project, and will raise the height of the bridge in order to accommodate trains along the Northeast Corridor. This is the first leg of a larger project that will have new tunnels dug through the Palisades and under the Hudson River to provide more up-to-date tunnels. The current tunnel system, which was damaged in Superstorm Sandy in 2012, will be rebuilt after the new tunnel system is complete.“The replacement of the aging Portal Bridge is the first step toward ensuring a sound and efficient rail transportation system that will serve millions of riders now and well into the future,” Christie said.Of the $20 million needed for this project, $16 million is expected to come from the Transportation Investment Generating Income Recovery grant program. The New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund contributed the remaining $4 million.Phone scammers posing as police officers, targeting seniorsHudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari is issuing a warning to local citizens about a telephone scam that is targeting local residents, particularly senior citizens.The Sheriff’s Office has received complaints from residents who report that someone claiming to be a police deputy has called them and requested money in order to avoid arrest for Jury Duty violations or other outstanding warrants. These calls first started popping up in Essex, Morris, and Bergen counties and have now spread to Jersey City and Hudson County.Other callers have told residents that they owe back taxes and face arrest if the amount isn’t paid. Phone scammers are asking victims to retrieve money on a money card, which is a prepaid credit card. After initially asking to meet them at a certain location, scammers will then ask them to just give the money card information over the phone.Some have even referred to a captain or other officer to make the call appear legitimate.“I want to make it clear to all Hudson County residents that our office does not make such calls,” said Sheriff Schillari. “Our department is working diligently to find these scam artists who victimize working people and seniors and bring them to justice. We ask all residents to be on alert and let us know if they receive a call like this. People should be extremely careful about sharing any personal information on the telephone with someone whom they do not know.”Anyone with further information about these calls or to report receiving one is asked to contact the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office at (201) 369-4330.RWJ Barnabas Health donates $10,000 to Puerto Rican relief fundRWJBarnabas Health has donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross New Jersey Region for the Hurricane Maria Relief Fund for Puerto Rico, sponsored by Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz and Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka.Mary Ellen Clyne, president and chief executive officer of Clara Maass Medical Center, presented the check at the ARC fundraising event in Newark at the Flamboyan Manor on Sunday, Oct. 8 hosted by community leaders.U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and Rep. Albio Sires also attended. Across the RWJBarnabas Health system, monetary and non-perishable goods, toiletries, and medications continue to be collected and sent to areas that are experiencing devastating destruction.Mayor Davis expresses support for Staten Island-Bayonne Aerial GondolaBayonne Mayor James Davis has signed on to support the proposed Staten Island to Bayonne Aerial Gondola. Recently, Mayor Davis and Assemblymen Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-31) and John Wisniewski (D-19) met with representatives from the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) to discuss the project and how to advance it to the next phase –an engineering and feasibility study for the system.“The City of Bayonne is always looking for innovative ways to improve our mass transit and when the SIEDC presented this idea to me I was intrigued. Thanks to their flexibility and adaptability, aerial gondolas really do present the next frontier of regional transit for the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area and are ideal for an urban environment such as Bayonne” said Mayor Davis.SIEDC initiated the gondola effort over two years ago with the idea of connecting Staten Island to the rest of the region via an aerial cableway. During that time, SIEDC has conducted significant research and developed a network of supporters that believe the project is not only feasible – but essential. The addition of Mayor Davis to the list of supporters is a significant step forward for the project.According to Cesar Claro, President and CEO of the SIEDC “SIEDC is thrilled that Mayor Davis has signed on to support this effort. Staten Island and Bayonne share a number of economic and transportation similarities and we look forward to a prosperous partnership focused on how our communities can work in tandem to create a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship.”SIEDC recently conducted a global design competition to determine the best system type, ideal route and proposed cost for the aerial gondola. Leitner-Poma of America and their Staten Island to Bayonne route was selected as the winner which would connect Elm Park on Staten Island to Bayonne. The estimated cost for the project would be $62 million and estimated ridership is as high as 4,000 people per hour during peak periods.Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti noted that “Hudson County has been the economic engine of New Jersey. Part of our strength is our commitment to mass transit such as buses, ferries and light rail. As we look to the future, the potential development of an aerial gondola is a natural fit.”Mayor Davis’ support is critical in advancing the engineering study which will include information related to vehicular traffic changes, connectivity opportunities to mass transit, enhancements of services for commuters, residents and tourists. There are also opportunities for catalytic development in the neighborhoods surrounding the stations.Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Chairman of the NJ Assembly Transportation Committee, who helped organize the meeting added “By virtue of our geography, New Jersey has always served as a vital link in the movement of people and goods along the East Coast. The proposed Bayonne – Staten Island Aerial Gondola is an innovative and low cost way to link communities and people. I believe we should embrace the future of transportation and economic development than by linking Staten Island and Bayonne with this reliable, cost-effective and modern means of transport”Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteersLearn 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 Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St, Hoboken, NJ on Wednesday, October 25th at 7:00 p.m. Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit 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.Chamber seeking nonperishable donations and gift cards for Thanksgiving food driveThe Bayonne Chamber of Commerce is enlisting the help of city residents and visitors for its annual “Give Thanks” food drive.The drive runs from now through Oct. 30.“We’re proud to be one of the 25-strong partners working with the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce to help feed our neighbors in need this Thanksgiving,” said Catherine Shull Fernald, Chief Operating Officer of CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center, a chamber member.“Join us by dropping off non-perishable food items or food gift cards at one of the many participating locations,” she added.Food and gift card drop-off sites are the 8th Street Diner & Bistro, A Plus Personnel, Allstate, Amobelge Shipping, Bayonne Community Bank, Bayonne Exterminating Co., Bayonne Public Library, Broadway Diner, CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center and Delta Holdings.Also, European Day Spa, Exit on the Hudson Realty, Hendrickson’s Corner, the Bayonne Community News, Little Family Dentistry, Midtown Auto Repair, Nutrition Health Restoration, Planet Wings, Provident Bank, Suez Environmental, Triangle TV and Winners.Mayor Davis’s Tuesday evening office hours suspended for NovemberTuesday evening office hours at the mayor’s office will be suspended for the month of November 2017 due to holidays and conflicting events. On Tuesday, November 7, City Hall offices are closed for Election Day. On Tuesday, November 14, Mayor Davis and other officials will be attending the New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference. During the last two weeks of November, the schedule is crowded with various events related to Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season.Anyone requesting a meeting with Mayor Davis in November should ask for an appointment during daytime business hours by calling 201-858-6010.Mayor Davis’s evening office hours will take place again on Tuesday, December 5, at the special time of 5:30 p.m., following the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Fitzpatrick Park. Seven works of art unveiled on streets in downtown BayonneOn Thursday, October 12, local artists and City officials unveiled a series of seven works of art that are located on utility boxes and former fire alarm boxes between 5th Street and 9th Street. The art program is administered by Bayonne’s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ).Speaking at a gathering at the Bridge Art Gallery, Mayor Davis thanked all of the artists for their work. He also pointed to the growing popularity of the arts in the community. He cited the large crowds at Bayonne’s Summer Sounds concert series as proof of the increasing support for the arts in Bayonne. Mayor Davis said that “talented and theatrical people are here. All they needed was for someone to say, ‘Express yourself.’” Mayor Davis described Bayonne as “a special place, and that it’s going to become even more special.” He said, “We are Bayonne. We can say it with pride again.” He concluded his remarks by saying, “We have a lot more work to do.”UEZ Coordinator Terrence Malloy thanked the Hudson County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs for funding the art program. Koren Frankfort, the Acting Director of that division, credited Bayonne resident Bill LaRosa, the former Director of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, for his enthusiastic support for the utility box art. She congratulated gallery owner Cheryl Mack and the participating artists for the work they have done in Bayonne.Malloy credited Jersey City’s Central Avenue Improvement District for developing the idea for utility box art in a commercial area. He thanked the UEZ staff and BCB Community Bank for helping to make the program possible. Malloy expressed gratitude to Verizon for allowing art to be painted on some of its utility boxes, and to Conrail for allowing a mural to be painted on its railroad overpass property.Citing the role of Mayor Jimmy Davis, Malloy said that it took “a person of vision to turn Bayonne around.” Malloy described art and music as being part of that vision. In the near future, Malloy said, the art portion of Mayor Davis’s vision will be expanded to include more utility box art and statues in commercial areas.A crowd of about 100 went with City officials and artists for the unveilings of each new work of street art. There were seven works of art on utility boxes and decommissioned fire alarm boxes.1) A painting by Tiffany Dancy called Dance of a Beautiful Friendship graces a utility box at 5th Street and Broadway.2) A painting by Jeff Ware (also known as Klone Killa) called Day Glow Djinn’s covers an old fire alarm box at 7th Street and Broadway.3) A painting by Maria Lupianez depicts a little girl holding a popsicle. That painting is featured on a utility box at Broadway and Cottage Street.4) A second painting, Serenity Now, by Jeff Ware (also known as Klone Killa) brightens an old fire alarm box at Broadway and Cottage Street.5) Aquarium, a painting by Gary Wynans, depicts fish on a utility box on Cottage Street.6) A photographic painting by Stephanie Petersendepicts a locomotive in front of the old 8th Street Station. That painting is located on a utility box at 8th Street and Broadway.7) The Archway, a painting by Samantha Llanes, depicts local buildings. It is painted on a utility box at 9th Street and Broadway.The art project also includes a new mural by Billy Zyblut on a railroad overpass. The Zyblut work serves as a welcoming gateway to the Bergen Point neighborhood. His new mural replaced an advertisement for the Burger King restaurant that used to be located in the 8th Street neighborhood.NJ loses federal funding to expand healthcare enrollmentA new report released Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that New Jersey will lose more than 60 percent of the federal funding it expected to receive this year to help enroll vulnerable people in health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. The cuts are part of $26 million in reductions at the national level that are scheduled to go into effect in September, 2018.Novelist offers one-shot writing class to get your story onto paperDo you have a piece of writing, or an idea for a piece of writing (memoir, novel, script), and you need feedback on it or ideas on how to get it published? Now you can learn how in your own back yard. Local novelist (and Reporter editor) Caren Lissner is doing a one-shot writing (and publishing) class at Little City Books in Hoboken on the evening of Nov. 2, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The store is five blocks from the Hoboken light rail station. The class is open to all stages, ages, and genres – from memoirs to fiction to scripts.Those who’ve written their story, essay, poem, novel excerpt, or screenplay can bring 1 to 5 double-spaced pages, or those who just want to participate in discussion (auditors) can come and sit in. But space is limited, so register using the link below or go to “events” for Nov. 2 at littlecitybooks.com.Lissner won awards from the Bayonne Writers’ Group years ago. Her funny first novel, “Carrie Pilby,” was just turned into a comedy movie starring Nathan Lane, currently available for viewing on Netflix. She has also published articles, essays, and satire in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, and National Lampoon.Lissner has run publishing/writing seminars for adults and teens at local libraries and bookstores, and as part of a Scholastic Inc. program in New York. Find out more at carenlissner.com.There is a nominal fee for the one-shot program, and it’s lower for those who are just auditing. For more information, click here: http://www.littlecitybooks.com/event/get-it-out-writing-and-publishing-workshop-caren-lissner × Bayonne student to appear in ‘Annie’Bayonne resident Gabby Beredo, who was featured in the Summer 2017 issue of Bayonne: Life on the Peninsula, will appear in the Paper Mill Playhouse production of “Annie.” Gabby played Lavender in the Broadway hit musical “Matilda.” The show opens on Nov. 21 and runs through Dec. 31. Visit papermill.org or call (973) 376-4343.