Hudson kids win in fire safety poster contest
Three Bayonne and one Jersey City student won awards in the 2012 Fire Safety Poster Contest. Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Acting Commissioner Richard E. Constable III announced that Alissa May Garilao of Bayonne is the grand prize winner of the contest. The poster contest is cooperatively organized by the DCA’s Division of Fire Safety and the New Jersey Fire Prevention and Protection Association.
“The goal of the poster contest was to encourage fire safety awareness in the home and Alissa’s poster accomplishes that,” said Acting Commissioner Constable. “Her wonderful artwork and the important message behind it will now be seen in public buildings around New Jersey. I congratulate her on a job well done.”
Garilao, a seventh grader at Henry E. Harris School, beat out approximately 10,000 other contestants and six other division winners from across New Jersey. Her poster will now be distributed throughout New Jersey carrying the message of “Protect Your Family From Fire,” which was the theme of the contest.
About 5,000 copies of the winning poster will be printed, compliments of Atlantic City Electric and its Emergency Services Partnership Program. Other major sponsors include the New Jersey Chapter of the American Fire Sprinkler Association, the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors, and the Joshua Marcus Group. The contest’s seven division winners received laptop computers and printers.
Along with Garilao, Xavier Marquez, a second grader from John M. Bailey School in Bayonne, Morgan Zygmund, senior at Holy Family Academy in Bayonne, and Christian Zapata, a fourth grander in Jersey City Public School Number 11 won.
Bayonne assistant prosecutor arrested in court
On Monday, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit arrested assistant municipal prosecutor Rakesh Desai, 42. The arrest took place inside the Bayonne Municipal Court after Desai allegedly accepted a cash bribe in exchange for reducing the penalties on an outstanding charge, according to a release from the prosecutor’s office.
The investigation began several months ago when Bayonne detectives contacted the prosecutor’s office. Preliminary investigation indicated that Desai, who is also a former municipal prosecutor for the Secaucus municipal courts, was allegedly meeting with defendants prior to court appearances and soliciting cash payments. In return, Desai would allegedly agree to lower their exposure to fines, and dismiss or reduce charges that might carry a greater penalty.
With the assistance of Bayonne officials, undercover detectives observed Desai during court proceedings and Desai’s interactions with defendants. During Monday morning’s court session, Desai allegedly solicited a cash payment from a defendant acting on behalf of the prosecutor’s office while detectives observed from the court room. The defendant was allegedly promised favorable treatment and a reduction in fines in return for a cash payment of $500. Desai allegedly instructed the defendant to get the cash and return it to him in an envelope provided by Desai, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Members of the Special Investigations Unit then arranged for a controlled delivery of the cash as allegedly requested by Desai. Once he allegedly accepted the payment, Desai was immediately arrested and the cash was recovered by detectives.
Desai is charged with bribery in violation of section 2C: 27-2, a second degree charge that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said the investigation is ongoing. Anyone who has information regarding similar incidents involving Rakesh Desai in the Secaucus or Bayonne Municipal Courts is asked to contact the Hudson County Prosecutors Office, Special Investigations Unit at 201-795-6400, Extension 6775.
BMC healthcare workers agreed to new contract
Healthcare workers represented by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE) at Bayonne Medical Center voted on May 31 by 98 percent to ratify a new 26-month contract starting on June 1, 2012. 800 nurses, technicians and healthcare workers are represented by the union.
Some of the highlights of the new contract include: expanded orientation for new staff and additional educational opportunities; increased sick time policy to seven days per year, with no restriction on usage of single sick days; employer match for retirement account from one to two percent; tuition reimbursement increase by $1,000; committee established for workplace change including HIT; improved staffing ratios in specialty units; new policies to limit down staffing of regular and full-time staff; wage increases of two percent on June 1, 2012, and a half percent in 2013, with annual experience credit averaging two percent a year.
“We reached a strong agreement that will ensure safe staffing for our patients, help retain qualified staff, and enable health care workers to set a standard for care in Hudson County in the future,” said Donna Benjamin, president of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees Local 5185.
Scianni named acting police chief
Mayor Mark A. Smith announced that he has named Deputy Police Chief Ralph Scianni Acting Chief of the Bayonne Police Department, effective May 31. Scianni’s appointment as acting chief follows the retirement of Police Chief Robert Kubert, who had served as chief since 2004.
Scianni, who previously served as deputy chief, was named acting police chief on May 31. Although there was no official swearing in, the transition took place hours before Kubert was set to step down. “Scianni will serve until we determine who will be named as chief,” said Public Safety Director Jason O’Donnell.
At various times during the last eight years, Scianni served as acting chief when Chief Kubert was on vacation. Mayor Smith said, “Acting Chief Scianni has had an outstanding police career. The depth and breadth of his experience will help ensure a smooth transition for the Bayonne Police Department.”
Acting Chief Scianni is a 32-year veteran of the Bayonne Police Department. He took his oath as a police officer on September 6, 1980. He was promoted to sergeant in 1989, lieutenant in 1994, captain in 1997, and deputy chief in 2005. During his police career, Scianni has served in Uniformed Patrol, the Detective Bureau, and the Narcotics Squad. He has specialized in community policing, and served for eleven and a half years in the Community Oriented Policing (COP) Unit. His leadership of the COP program also included supervising the Cops In School Unit. As deputy chief, Scianni’s responsibilities included Uniformed Patrol and the Traffic Division.
Scianni is a graduate of Bayonne High School; St. Peter’s College, and Seton Hall University. He has participated in continuing education programs at the West Point Leadership and Command School, the community policing certificate program at Delaware State University, and the community policing training program at Michigan State University.
He is a New Jersey state-certified instructor in various policing programs, and a certified DARE instructor.
Scianni serves on the Fireworks Task Force in conjunction with the New York City Police Department. He has coordinated numerous grant programs for the Police Department. While he was a captain, Scianni chaired the Police Community Partnership Grant Committee. Currently, he is a member of the City of Bayonne’s Insurance Commission.
Scianni is the recipient of various awards from the Police Department. These include two Commendations, ten Excellent Police Service Awards, four Unit Citations, a Citation for 9-11, and a Valor Award for a fire rescue. Scianni has received a Meritorious Service Award from the New Jersey Police Benevolent Association, a Valor Award from the 200 Club of Hudson County, and awards from the Knights of Columbus and the Concerned Citizens of Bayonne.
Scianni is a lifelong Bayonne resident. His father, Angelo, is a decorated veteran of World War II. His late mother, Rose, was a homemaker. The acting chief is married to the former Judith Stewart. They have two sons.
BIOX Corp inks deal for biodiesel facility in Bayonne
BIOX Corporation (BIOX), a renewable energy company that designs, builds, owns and operates biodiesel production facilities, today announced that it has signed definitive agreements with International-Matex Tank Terminals (IMTT) to secure the site and related infrastructure for the construction of its second biodiesel production facility. BIOX’s second facility will have a 100 million litre capacity per year, 50 percent larger than its existing facility in Hamilton, Ontario.
Steve Gallo, business administrator for the City of Bayonne, said the project is still in the development stage.
In a release issued on June 4, BIOX said the new facility will be located within the IMTT terminal in Bayonne, New Jersey, at New York Harbor. The agreements include a long term land lease agreement for the plant as well as long term leases on existing storage tanks at IMTT.
“With this second facility our production capacity will grow by almost 150 percent from existing levels. This expansion reflects our view that the fundamentals within the North American biodiesel sector have evolved due to the mandated minimum volumes such that long-term demand exists for quality product from reliable suppliers, like BIOX,” said Kevin Norton, CEO of BIOX Corporation. “IMTT is an ideal partner for our next facility. We have been working with them for more than five years using their Bayonne terminal as a distribution and blending site for product produced in Hamilton. Based on that long-standing relationship, we have already conducted the early stage planning for this next facility including the design tie-ins and site specifications prior to signing these agreements. We are now proceeding ahead with the detailed planning and permitting phase with the expectation that construction will be completed in December 2013.”
The IMTT terminal at New York Harbor is a 600 acre facility within which BIOX has secured 3.5 acres for its second plant. New York Harbor is a major petroleum distribution hub. The selection of this site is consistent with BIOX’s strategy to locate facilities adjacent to large scale petroleum storage and diesel distribution infrastructure as well as users of petroleum diesel and blenders of biodiesel in order to minimize transportation costs to them. BIOX estimates the cost of the 100 million litre facility will be $60 million which includes the core process area, infrastructure, utilities, engineering and indirect cost. BIOX believes that its current financial resources combined with its future cash flow from operations and debt financing should be sufficient to enable it to construct and commission the second BIOX facility.
Open Space Advisory Board members reappointed
Massiel Ferrara, who replaced Stephen Marks as the director of Division of Planning for Hudson County, was among six people appointed or reappointed to the county’s Open Space Advisory Board in a vote taken by the Hudson County Board of Freeholders in late May.
This group is the body responsible for reviewing annually those projects for possible funding out of the county’s Open Space Trust fund.
Earlier this year, County Executive Tom DeGise asked the Hudson County Freeholders to restore the Open Space Trust Levy that had been cut in half two years ago to provide short-term tax relief. Taxpayers pay into the levy, which generates funds for purchases or upgrade of parks and other facilities, as well as historic preservation.
DeGise said that its historic preservation component aided in restoring and supporting heritage sites such as the Apple Tree House and the Bayonne Museum.
The other members approved to the board include Joseph Liccardo of Secaucus, Henry Sanchez of Bayonne, Kernal Thomas of Jersey City, Thomas McCann, the director of the county Division of Parks, and William La Rose, director of the county Office of Cultural Affairs.