On the 85th Anniversary of the opening of the Bayonne Bridge, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) announced the near completion of the “Raise the Roadway” project, which aims to raise the bridge by 64 feet for more navigational clearance under the bridge, making way for larger container ships to reach ports in Elizabeth and Newark. The announcement comes after the PANYNJ announced in September the completion of the 50-foot harbor deepening project also intended to allow larger ships to travel through the channel.
The two-lane roadway just completed is intended as the northbound road, but the PANYNJ said one of the lanes will allow for southbound traffic while two additional lanes are installed. The road is expected to be open to motorists by the second quarter of 2017.
The old road underneath is due to be removed in 2017, allowing more navigational clearance, while a two-lane southbound roadway is due for completion in 2019. The completion date was postponed in 2015 due to inclement weather in the winters of 2014 and 2015 as well as unanticipated repairs and modifications to the bridge.
Teachers contract negotiations draw out, teachers demonstrate
Teachers in the Bayonne School District protested outside their respective schools for 30 minutes prior to the district-wide open house events on Wednesday, November 15, distributing fliers asking residents to reach out to their board members to demand a “fair” settlement. The Teachers Union has been without a contract since July of 2015 when the previous contract expired, and the Bayonne Board of Education (BBOED) agreed to increase the frequency of negotiations from once per month, to once per week. The district has made offers to the Bayonne Teachers Association, but no agreement has yet been reached. Until a new contract is agreed upon, terms of the previous contract continue to apply. The next BBOED meeting is Wednesday, November 30 at 6 p.m.
NRA members shoot 1,000 Henry Golden Boy rifles in celebration
NRA members in Arizona shot 1,000 Henry Golden Boy rifles simultaneously in a “1,000 Man Shoot” celebrating the victory of Donald Trump, who the NRA endorsed. The rifles, made in Bayonne, were fired at targets by a long line of members standing shoulder to shoulder in the desert north of Phoenix.
“We made history last week,” Pete Brownell, First Vice President of the NRA, told the crowd, according to an NPR report. “And I have to tell you it feels great to be on offense again.”
The NRA supports national concealed carry permits, so that any state’s permit applies across state boundaries, new background check laws, laws allowing the purchase of suppressors, and making it permissible to carry a weapon in military zones. Currently, only state and local police and on-duty military can carry firearms on a base.
Local community leaders honored at NAACP dinner
At its 89th Annual Freedom Fund dinner on Sunday, November 20, themed, “The Struggle Continues,” the Bayonne branch of the NAACP honored five community members in five categories: civic, church service, education, and community service.
31st District Assemblywoman Angela McKnight and Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti were honored for their civic service serving in the State Assembly. McKnight operates the nonprofit organization, AngelaCares, and Chiaravalloti is involved in numerous organizations in Bayonne, including Boy Scouts and Bayonne Little League.
Reverend H. Gene Sykes was honored for his church service as the minister of Friendship Baptist Church. Sykes is a Vietnam veteran, a former engineer, founder of the Bayonne Community Action Project, and currently serves on the board of the Bayonne branch of the NAACP.
Lydia Megale was honored for her education service in the Bayonne School District, where she works as an advanced placement music theory and piano teacher. She is the founder of the Bayonne High School Bee Sharps and was a top 10 finalist for the Princetonian Teacher Award.
Sakeema James was honored for her community service, helping to create the Girls Rock mentoring program, volunteering at the BEOF with Girl Scout Troop 12045 in Jersey City, and for her work as a professor.
Two men arrested in plastic-stealing ring
After a four-month investigation, the New Jersey State Police announced that Yih Tan, 38, of Staten Island, and Rong Wu, 41, of Brooklyn, were charged with allegedly selling and shipping stolen plastic to China to be repurposed as raw material for other plastic products.
According to the State Police, the men allegedly bought the stolen plastic in the form of large plastic containers used for storage and transportation, at a recycling facility in Bayonne. They’d then shred the plastic into smaller grinds for shipment to China. Authorities recovered 45,000 pounds of plastic at the facility, valued at more than $67,000.