Jersey City beefs up emergency alert system with new Twitter feed
JERSEY CITY - The next time Hudson County gets hit by a major hurricane or other emergency, Jersey City will have a new tool to communicate with residents.
City officials announced Monday a new Twitter feed which can be accessed by visiting www.twitter.com/jc_gov. In a release the city stated the new Twitter feed is “part of the city’s expanding use of social media as a means of communicating with residents.”
The feed can give instructions regarding what residents should do to protect themselves, but the city will also use the feed to notify residents of upcoming public meetings, cultural events, and recreational activities, and public emergencies like water main breaks and power outages.
To receive “Tweets” from Jersey City, log onto www.Twitter.com and create a free account. After creating a Twitter account, residents will need to select the “Who to Follow” option from the Twitter menu and search for JC_Gov, then select the “Follow” option.
Alternately, residents can also visit www.CityofJerseyCity.com and click the Twitter logo on the city’s municipal web site.
In the meantime, the C3 Alert system remains in effect. To register for C3 visit https://my.c3alert.us/jerseycitynj/home/welcome. - E. Assata Wright
Creditors file objections in Hoboken hospital bankruptcy case
HOBOKEN -- Discussions between attorneys for the city-owned Hoboken University Medical Center and the creditors in the bankruptcy of the hospital’s operator fell apart on Monday, according to sources, and court documents show that at least three creditors filed objections to the debtor’s proposals.
More creditors were expected to file objections on Tuesday.
Sources say the city, which backed $52 million in bonds to keep the hospital open in 2007, was being asked to pitch in approximately $9 million toward a bankruptcy settlement.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who sits on the board that is selling the hospital, has five allies on the City Council. The council needs six votes to approve a bond ordinance. In order for a sixth member to vote in favor of the bond ordinance, there had to be concessions, such as a release of depositions and a deed restriction on the hospital property, according to sources. After an agreement couldn’t be reached, the talks fell apart, according to one source, and the creditors filed objections.
As of Monday night, the bankruptcy hearing was expected to be moved from Wednesday to Thursday, sources said, so that a judge can read the many objections that are expected to be submitted by various creditors to the court.
PSE&G, MedAssets, and Waste Management are the three creditors who filed objections on Monday, according to court documents.
The Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority, a city board, is in the process of selling Hoboken University Medical Center to a group that also owns Bayonne Medical Center, to relieve the city of the $52 million bond guarantee. On Aug. 1, Hudson Healthcare Inc., the non-profit operator of the hospital, declared bankruptcy. The financial claims must be settled before the sale is complete. The filing became controversial. In the Aug. 28 edition of The Hoboken Reporter, it was first reported that allegations were stirring about the bankruptcy. Click HERE to read that story.
Last week, the Star Ledger quoted court papers from a former hospital attorney alleging that he believes the bankruptcy was fraudulent. Officials from the HMHA have repeatedly denied the claim, calling it “unfounded and false” in one report.
For more information on this story, keep reading HudsonReporter.com. - Ray Smith
Public hearings announced for proposed natural gas pipeline
HUDSON COUNTY - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Friday announced four public hearings that will take place next month on the proposed natural gas pipeline that Spectra Energy wants to build through parts of Hudson County into New York.
If approved by FERC, the proposed pipeline would include the construction and operation of 19.8 miles of new and replacement 42- and 30-inch-diameter pipeline, six new metering and regulating stations, and other related facility abandonments and modifications in Linden, Jersey City near the Hoboken border, and Bayonne. The pipeline would then cross the Hudson River into New York to connect the company’s existing pipeline infrastructure in the region to Manhattan and Staten Island.
Before FERC can render a decision on the project it is required to hold public hearings, the schedule for which was announced Friday.
Two of the four public hearings will take place in Hudson County, while the remaining two public hearings will take place in New York.
One hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Bayonne, at 669 Avenue C. The next evening, on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. there will be another public hearing in Jersey City at Ferris High School, at 35 Colgate St.
Public hearings will be held on Mon., Oct. 17 on Staten Island and Thursday, Oct. 20 in Manhattan. Those meetings will also be held at 7 p.m.
FERC recently released its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed pipeline project and is now seeking public comments.
FERC officially refers to the pipeline project as the New Jersey - New York Expansion Project proposed by Texas Eastern Transmission, LP and Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (Docket No. CP11-56-000).
To read the full draft Environmental Impact Statement, visit http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis/2011/09-09-11-eis.asp. Written comments are due by October 31, 2011. - E. Assata Wright