Reporter July 4 deadlines
The Hudson Reporter offices will be closed Wednesday, July 4 for Independence Day. Display advertising and classified deadlines have been moved up a day to Tuesday, July 3 at noon.
Please call (201) 798-7800 for more information. Watch www.hudsonreporter.com for up to the minute breaking news and information.
City gets COPS grant for new officers
After months of complaints about crime in the city and four town hall-style meetings on public safety, the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded Jersey City a $1,875,000 COPS grant. The money will allow the Police Department to hire 15 new officers.
At the town hall meetings on public safety, residents throughout the city said they wanted more officers on foot patrol to help curb crime. Police Chief Tom Comey said he would try to accommodate this request, but it would be difficult given the JCPD’s current staffing levels.
The Police Department had about 802 members in April. Due to the number of people eligible to retire this year, it is possible the Jersey City police force could for a time dip below 800 officers. Approximately 185 Jersey City police officers are eligible to retire by July 2013.
Comey has told residents the city often does not receive grants for more officers because there haven’t been any layoffs in the JCPD. Such money, he said usually goes to cities that have had to cut their police force.
Activist Esther Wintner began a letter-writing campaign in February to encourage residents to lobby U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (both D-NJ), Rep. Albio Sires, and Rep. Steve Rothman for a COPS grant.
Wintner, a possible Ward B council candidate next year, estimates that she personally collected and mailed about 200 letters to the politicians. Other people said they were planning to write and mail letters on their own, although she doesn’t know how many independent letters were mailed.
“I’m happy we got the money. But this is just the first step,” said Wintner. “Now we have to make sure that we see the impact of these 15 people where they’re needed. We have to make sure they’re deployed in the communities that have the most need for more police presence.”
Federal government gives Spectra ‘notice to proceed’ order
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week gave Spectra Energy permission to begin construction on the natural gas pipeline the company plans to build through Jersey City, Bayonne, and Linden into New York.
This approval was expected and rather perfunctory since FERC has already approved Spectra’s overall plans to build the pipeline. Last week’s approval essentially gives Spectra the right to begin actual construction of the pipeline, even though an official groundbreaking is still months away.
Jersey City officials said last week the company is also taking steps in court to condemn city-owned property that sits on the pipeline route. The council unanimously approved a legal services contract on June 27 to Ansell, Grimm & Aaron to fight the condemnation of this city property on the city’s behalf.
Two weeks ago the city also filed an appeal with FERC asking the agency to reconsider its approval of the pipeline’s current route.
Public meeting for chromium cleanup at Metropolis Towers
On Tuesday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m., the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and PPG Industries will hold a meeting at City Hall to discuss the planned chromium contamination cleanup at Metropolis Towers. Land remediation at the two-building downtown development is scheduled to begin sometime this fall.
At the July 17 meeting residents can learn more information about the contamination and planned clean up from NJDEP staff, representatives from PPG, and the court-appointed site monitor who will oversee the process.
Noted realtor Robert De Ruggiero passes away at age 69
Local real estate agent Robert De Ruggiero, born July 16, 1942, passed away Thursday at age 69. He was the president & owner of Robert De Ruggiero, Inc. Realtors, and founded the company that began in Hoboken in 1969.
Headquartered in Union City, the company has offices, land, retail and investment properties in Jersey City, Weehawken, North Bergen, Hoboken, West New York, and other surrounding Hudson County towns.
He is survived by his wife Norma, children Alec, Jason, Erin, Felice, and stepson Jonathan, his five grandchildren, and his sister Ann.
Visitation will be held at Leber Funeral Home, 2000 Kennedy Blvd. at 20th Street in Union City on Saturday, June 30, from 7 to 9 p.m. and Sunday, July 1, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral service at Leber is scheduled for Monday, July 2 at 11 a.m. He will be buried at Hillside Cemetery in Lyndhurst.