A Feb. 26 Bayonne Zoning Board meeting was postponed after an erroneous date of the meeting was mailed on notices to neighbors of the site of a proposed Muslim community center. The meeting was supposed to be a hearing for residents to comment on the city’s $3 million settlement proposal that resulted from the board’s rejecting the Muslim group’s zoning application in March 2017. No revised meeting date has been announced. When that meeting occurs, the Bayonne Zoning Board will formally approve the city’s settlement agreement, which entails the application’s approval.
The non-meeting was held at the Bayonne Board of Education auditorium to accommodate neighbors speaking before the vote. In an empty auditorium, Zoning Board Chairman Mark Urban said, “This was a notice case, and there was a defective notice. Therefore, the board doesn’t have jurisdiction over an effective notice.”
According to city officials, the letter was written by Bill Finnerty, the zoning board attorney for Bayonne Muslims, the nonprofit that applied to convert the 24th Street warehouse.
Bayonne Community Bank robber sentenced to 46 months in prison
A federal judge in Newark imposed a sentence on Feb. 20 on Patrick O’Boyle, 60, from Bayonne, for nearly four years in prison and three years of supervised release for robbing a Bayonne Community Bank branch in Jersey City in 2016, according to court records. O’Boyle entered a guilty plea in November to one count of bank robbery
Holding his left arm to his side as if holding a gun, O’Boyle demanded the BCB bank teller on Washington Street in Paulus Hook to give him “your 100s, 50s, and 20s, and make it quick because my car is double parked outside,” on May 25, 2016. O’Boyle walked out of the bank that day with $1,200 but was apprehended the same day.
It wasn’t the first Hudson County bank O’Boyle robbed. According to previous reports, O’Boyle held up a Chase bank for $6,000 on the same street in 2010 and was arrested walking onto the light rail soon after. Two days later, he robbed a Capitol One, also on Washington Street, which later landed him in prison for 31 months with three years of supervised release. His last release was June of 2015.
Man chases accomplices of dirt bike thief
A 33-year-old Prospect Avenue resident chased down a 25-year-old and 17-year-old from the Bronx who accompanied a man who made off with a stolen dirt bike from the Prospect Ave. resident on Wednesday, Feb. 21. The dirt bike, advertised for $2,500 on “Letgo,” an online marketplace app, was stolen after the thief allegedly gave the Prospect Ave. resident a cash envelope full of monopoly money as collateral. By the time the resident realized the money was fake, the thief was out of sight and his two friends fled in a car.
When the victim tried to stop the man and the teen, they "suddenly accelerated" and tried to strike him with the vehicle, according to police. The resident then pursued the accomplices down Port Terminal Boulevard on the former Military Ocean Terminal base until the two men struck an elevated curb, which caused heavy frontend damage to the car and effectively ended the chase, police said.
The two Bronx men were charged with aggravated assault, two counts of theft by deception, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, two counts of conspiracy, and one count of being a fugitive from justice, according to police.
The case is under investigation while the dirt bike thief is at large. Whether one can ride a dirt bike to the Bronx remains uncertain; dirt bikes are allowed through tunnels or over bridges traversing the Hudson.
Camden County files racketeering suit against oxycontin makers
In what is being called a legal first, Camden County has filed a racketeering lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, the company that makes the opioid drug OxyContin, and three members of the Sackler family, who own the company, ROI-NJ reports. The defendants “executed an epic scheme to deceive doctors (and the public at large) into believing that opioids can be prescribed for long periods of time, with little to no risk of addiction; a blatantly false premise,” the suit contends. Overprescribing of opioid drugs has led to the heroin epidemic, and Camden County says its police have been left to deal with addicts and overdoses.
Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteers
Learn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be held at the Hudson County Courthouse, 595 Newark Ave. Rm# 901 on Tuesday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m.
Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a nonprofit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s wellbeing. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.
For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org.
NJCU published policy brief on impact of charter schools
The New Jersey City University (NJCU) Urban Education and Teacher Unionism Policy Project has published a new policy brief to spark conversation about tensions and controversies concerning the role of charter schools in serving historically underserved communities of color.
In the report, President of the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) Barbara Madeloni, candidate of the reform caucus, Educators for a Democratic Union (EDU), responds to questions about the union’s involvement in the campaign to “lift the cap” on the number of charter schools in the state. Dr. Marilyn Maye, NJCU Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at NJCU, has written the commentary.
Dr. Lois Weiner, NJCU professor of Elementary and Secondary Education, is project director.
Winefest at Harborside slated for March 10
Harborside in Jersey City is welcoming back Jersey City Wine Fest for the second year. Wine aficionados can travel around the world of wine at its waterfront walkway property on Saturday, March 10 from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
This festival will sample hundreds of new wines from around the world: the United States, Australia, Chile, Germany, South Africa, Spain, and many more. Participating wine importers and wineries will highlight their selection of world-class styles, including Cabernet, Chianti, Malbec, Moscato, Pinot Noir, Torrontes, and more.
Live music, access to delicious food, and interactive games will also be available onsite along with views of the beautiful NYC skyline from Harborside’s Atrium. General Admission ($60) and Designated Driver ($15) tickets along with additional information can be found at https://www.ticketfly.com/event/1624731-jersey-city-wine-fest-jersey-city/.
The event will be held at Harborside 3 Atrium. The entrance is on Christopher Columbus Dr. at the Hudson River Waterfront walkway next to the PATH station.
Head of Archdiocese of Newark mistakes Twitter for text message
Cardinal Joseph Tobin posted on his seldom used public Twitter account last week, "Supposed to be airborne in 10 minutes. Nighty-night, baby. I love you,” in an apparent message originally meant as a text message to his sister. Some social media users and internet observers chided the cardinal over the mistake, while most seemed less speculative about Tobin’s personal life.
Tobin, 65, who was appointed last year as the Sixth Archbishop if Newark, took the post down immediately and issued an apology via Twitter.
“However, the tweet continues to be widely diffused and has sown some misunderstanding,” Tobin tweeted Friday. “I want to apologize to the priests and faithful of the Archdiocese of Newark, if my carelessness has caused any confusion or embarrassment. I promise to be more careful with future use of media.”