Carbon monoxide is culprit in at least two deaths at JC apt. building
A 24-year-old woman, Rosario Ferraras-Matos, was found dead in her studio apartment at 446 Baldwin Ave. in Jersey City on April 4. Tenants told fire officials that she was the third person to die at the building in the past year. According to a story in NJ.com, heating units and water heaters were allegedly not installed with the proper permits and were ordered shut off.
The owner of the building was issued 15 violations. An autopsy determined that carbon monoxide was the cause of her death, as well as that of Arthur Galloway, 48, who died at the same location on March 12, 2010.
Ferraras-Matos had moved into the building the same day she passed away.
No criminal charges were filed, but investigators are continuing to look into the situation.
Company settles suit, agrees to chromium clean-up
Under a settlement agreement reached this week in federal court, PPG Industries has agreed to clean up one of the last remaining chromium contamination sites in New Jersey, according to a national environmental organization that filed a lawsuit to get the clean-up completed.
Under the settlement agreement, PPG has agreed to remove 700,000 tons of chromium waste from Jersey City’s Lafayette neighborhood, and will likely spend an estimated $600 million to complete the remediation, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
PPG, a Pittsburgh-based company, will clear a nearly 17-acre site of hexavalent chromium, a cancer-causing toxin that has plagued the Lafayette area for more than 50 years. The area to be remediated includes a former PPG chromium plant site on Garfield Avenue and the surrounding community, including groundwater. Wherever possible, the cleanup will involve the excavation and removal of chromium wastes, and disposal in offsite hazardous waste landfills. Strict dust control measures will protect residents and workers during the cleanup.
PPG first began investigating the possibility of chromium contamination in 1982, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) began enforcement efforts at the PPG complex soon thereafter. In 1990 the company reached an agreement with the DEP to clean up the contaminated areas, but the agreement was never enforced.
In 2009, NRDC – in conjunction with Interfaith Community Organization (ICO), and GRACO Community Organization (GRACO) – filed a lawsuit in federal district court on behalf of Jersey City residents. PPG twice tried unsuccessfully to have the lawsuit dismissed and was refused both times by the court.
“After decades of foot dragging, we now know this cleanup is going to happen, and it’s going to happen right,” said NRDC Senior Attorney Nancy Marks in a release issued Tuesday. “What could have been a Swiss cheese approach to the cleanup is now a comprehensive removal of the contamination – no holes to be found. This Jersey City community should never have been stuck living on top of someone else’s toxic waste in the first place. They’re finally receiving the justice they deserve and will be soon free from this poisonous legacy.”
The settlement ensures the cleanup will reduce chromium levels to 5 parts per million (ppm), which reflects the best available science about the health effects of exposure to the chemical and is much more stringent that the state’s enforceable limit of 20 ppm. PPG will also test residential properties near the Garfield Avenue site upon request and clean up any contaminated properties to the 5ppm level. Since this agreement was reached in federal court, it also includes binding deadlines that cannot be delayed by the state.
Gilbert Gottfried to appear at Michael Anthony’s
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried will appear at Michael Anthony’s restaurant on the Jersey City waterfront at 7:30 p.m. on April 14. Gottfried, noted for his raunchy jokes, recently made headlines for joking about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. He was a Saturday Night Live cast member in 1980. A late-night regular, he has also appeared in a number of movies, including The Aristocrats.
The producer of the show is president and partner of Catch a Rising Star Comedy Clubs and Productions, Suzy Yengo, a lifelong Jersey City resident.
Watch for a story on Michael Anthony’s comedy night in this Thursday’s edition of the Midweek Reporter, found on doorsteps in Jersey City and Hoboken and at www.hudsonreporter.com.
Michael Anthony’s is located at 502 Washington Boulevard. Reservations are required. Call (631) 591-3042.
Destination Jersey City wins award
D estination Jersey City, the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation’s destination marketing organization, has won an honorable mention for its website, www.DestinationJerseyCity.com. The award was presented at the New Jersey Governor’s Conference on Tourism last week.
The site features integrated social media, language translations, interactive mapping, top picks, tours, itineraries, deals, incentives, and an events calendar.
“We eagerly await the release of our mobile version, which is scheduled to launch next week,” said JCEDC Director of Tourism Laruen Hall.
Asians boost Jersey City population
A ccording to recent analysis of census data by The Washington Post, more than half of the country’s 100 largest cities relied on Hispanics and Asians to increase their populations and would have seen population declines without them. Asians boosted the count in Jersey City, as well as in Anaheim, Calif.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Baton Rouge, La. Without Asians, 11 cities would have shrunk.
A disappointed Quigley won’t run for reelection to represent 33rd District
Assemblywoman Joan Quigley announced that she will not seek reelection in the upcoming primary and general election after redistricting shifted her Jersey City location from the 32nd district into the 33rd. Apparently, local Democratic leaders want someone else to run instead.
The 33rd District includes Hoboken, Union City, part of Jersey City, Guttenberg, and Weehawken.
“It is with disappointment and a bit of relief that I tell you I will not seek the Assembly seat in District 33, Hudson County,” she said in a statement issued last week. “Disappointment because I greatly enjoyed serving my constituents and think I did that well, but the party leaders of District 33 have selected another candidate. Relief, because while I once thought I had all the answers, I have learned that no one does and I find the questions are getting tougher.”
Quigley said she harbors no bitterness about the outcome.
“I wish the new candidate not only success but also joy in its pursuit,” she said. “During the 18 years I represented District 32 in the New Jersey Legislature, I had the great good fortune of working with the incomparable Senator Nicholas Sacco, who has been my ally, mentor and friend since the day we met, and with two excellent legislative partners, Vincent Prieto and the late Tony Impreveduto. I’ve worked with many wonderfully dedicated public servants and a few possibly not as dedicated as they seemed. I was able to help many people and I’ve met quite a few real characters. All of them will live forever in my memory – and maybe someday in a book. It was a wild ride in a rough arena, and I enjoyed every minute of it!”
LibertyHealth’s Scott inducted into NJ Business Hall of Fame
On April 14, the president and CEO of LibertyHealth and Jersey City Medical Center, Joseph F. Scott, will be inducted into the NJ Business Hall of Fame. Scott, who has been president since January 2008, has been credited with restoring the hospital’s fiscal health. The award is bestowed by the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce. The Hall of Fame dinner begins at 6 p.m. at the Bridgewater Marriott. Visit www.hudsonchamber.org.