When you get the boot ...
One morning last March, Downtown Jersey City resident Daniel Weiss got the boot on a car he'd borrowed while his own car was in the shop.
For car owners, nothing's more dreaded than the boot, a steel contraption that the city clamps on car tires as punishment for parking without proper permits. A veritable ball and chain, the boot portends hours of bureaucracy and red tape. A boot will take you for a whopping $152-$110 to remove, plus a $42 ticket.
Weiss got the boot for parking beyond the two-hour limit in one of Jersey City's nine parking permit zones.
He quickly learned what won't work-leaving a note on your car requesting the Jersey City Parking Authority (JCPA) not boot or ticket it. Weiss tried going the note route because he was unable to get a one-day permit.
Parking in a permit zone requires getting a one-year permit from the JCPA office at 394 Central Ave. Be sure to bring your driver's license, vehicle registration, and $15 in cash. A one-day visitor's permit costs $3.
For more information on parking permits, call the JCPA at (201) 653-6969 or visit www.jcparking.org.-Ricardo Kaulessar
How many city officials does it take to change a light bulb?
Lorenzo Richardson spends many a night driving home from community meetings.
An accountant for the Urban League of Hudson County and an aide to City Councilwoman Viola Richardson (a relative), he often looks up at the streetlights to see if they're out.
"I drive down main strips like Martin Luther King Drive and Kennedy Boulevard, and I make a note of how many lights are out and where those lights are located," he says.
How does he get them fixed or replaced?
He contacts PSE&G, which spokesperson Richard Dwyer says will repair streetlights in three to five business days.
Dwyer also says if the public sees a streetlight out they should:
-Note the nearest cross street and the pole number, usually located on a metal strip attached to the pole.
-If an address is not available, note the nearest landmark or wrap a yellow tape around the pole five to six feet above the ground.
-Call (800) 436-7734 or visit www.pseg.com, go to the orange banner "Frequently Visited Links," and click on "Report a Streetlight Out."
If the lamps are not repaired after five business days, call Dwyer at (201) 330-6629 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also call the Mayor's Action Bureau at (201) 547-4900, report the streetlight out, and it will be logged into a database to be slated for repair.-RK
Parking spaces for the disabled
Jersey City's development boom means there are more folks with cars and fewer parking spaces on streets.
For people with disabilities, designated parking spaces in front of their homes are more important than ever.
Getting one means contacting Patricia Logan, supervising traffic investigator for Jersey City who coordinates the city's Disabled Parking Program.
Applications are available both for the disabled person and the driver who may be chauffeuring the person around. The application requires information about the severity of the disability and how often the disabled person will be driven. Logan warns that the process takes about six months, and there are no guarantees that the space will be granted on the first try. Logan, City Councilman Michael Sottolano, and an independent physician review each application.
To apply for a personal disabled parking space, call (201) 547-4492.-RK
Cat on 10th life
The sight and sound of a dying animal on a Jersey City sidewalk or street is heart wrenching.
What's the fastest way to get help for an animal in trouble?
Bob Vogt, assistant health officer with the Jersey City Health Department, recommends calling the Animal Control office at (201) 547-4888 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After 4:30 p.m., call the police at (201) 547-5477 and they will page an animal control officer.-RK
No flow of H2O?
Water is one of the Earth's most precious resources and makes up about 80 percent of the planet.
Some 11 billion gallons of the life-saving liquid are supplied to Jersey City residents through the Jersey City Reservoir, and the Split Rock Reservoir in the Parsippany and Boonton areas.
Ever wonder what to do if one day, you turn on the faucet, and you hear that hiss and sputter of a dry pipe? It could be a breakdown in the water distribution system due to pipe damage, or worse, a dried-up reservoir.
How would Jersey City deal with such a contingency?
The Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA), in partnership with United Water, operates both the sewage and water systems of Jersey City. MUA Director Dan Becht advises calling MUA's 24-hour main number at (201) 432-1150 to report a water shortage.
He says United Water drives vans filled with bottled water, known as "water buffaloes," to affected areas.-RK