Secaucus Police investigate pumping station incidents

The Secaucus Police Department has widened its investigation into problems at the Golden Avenue pumping station after a second pumping station encountered similar problems on Monday.
Last week, in the midst of heavy rainstorms, pumps at the Golden Ave. pumping station appeared to have been manually shut off. The shutdown led to early morning flooding in a few homes on Golden Avenue and Humboldt Street last Friday.
Town officials now confirm a similar incident took place Monday, Oct. 4 – another day when heavy rains had been forecast.
In the most recent incident, pumps at the pumping station near Secaucus High School again appeared to have been manually turned off. But, in a new twist, the perpetrator defecated on the floor of the pumping station, according to a police report.
The Secaucus Police Department is investigating both incidents and has interviewed area residents about what they may have seen.
Mayor Michael Gonnelli said Wednesday he does not believe there are any suspects at this time. When asked, Gonnelli said he did not know whether fecal samples were collected for DNA testing should a suspect be identified later.
Until recently, both pumping stations could only be accessed with a key that was kept in the Department of Public Works.
After this week’s incident, however, Gonnelli said a “smart key system” has been set up at pumping stations throughout the town.
“The keys will now tell us the day time and individual person who used the key,” he said.
Other “surveillance,” he said, has also been set up near the stations, although Gonnelli did not elaborate on the type of surveillance that’s being used.
The mayor said the town has put in an insurance claim to compensate four homeowners who are believed to have had some property damage due to floods created by the deactivated pumps in the first incident.

Gov. kills Trans Hudson tunnel

A ccording to the Associated Press, Gov. Christopher Christie has cancelled plans for the Access to the Regions Core (ARC) tunnel, one of the largest and most expensive infrastructure projects in U.S. history, in the making for two decades, out of concern for the eventual cost of the project.
Last month, through NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein, Christie imposed a 30-day suspension on work to reevaluate the tunnel’s construction budget.
The $8.7 billion NJ Transit project, also known as the Trans-Hudson Express Tunnel, broke ground in June 2009. The two-tracks were supposed to nearly double the number of trains traveling between New Jersey and New York from the current 23 per hour to 48 and provide 44,000 permanent jobs. The cancellation of the tunnel could cost as many as 6,000 local construction jobs, according to reports.
The Federal Transportation Authority had pledged $3 billion and the Port Authority has promised an additional $3 billion, leaving New Jersey with a $2.7 billion bill.
In the wake of the freeze, which had allowed North Hudson work to continue, U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez (both D-Hudson), said that if the project were to be halted New Jersey stood to lose the largest amount of federal funding ever awarded to a transportation project. Lautenberg amplified those remarks yesterday in press interviews, saying the cancellation could mean New jersey would owe the federal government as much as $300 million.

Naked Cowboy wants to suit up for the White House

Fifty-eight years after former Secaucus resident Henry Krajewski ran for president, the town gets its second presidential candidate. Resident Robert Burck, better known to Times Square tourists as the Naked Cowboy, has announced plans to run for president in 2010. That’s president. Of the United States.
Burck, who plans to run as a Tea Party candidate, said at a recent press conference that if elected, he’d slash the federal workforce in half and stem the tide of illegal immigrants who are “infiltrating” U.S. borders. And, planting the seeds of the first political scandal of his campaign, Burck, according to several published reports, also touted the sanctity of marriage. An interesting comment from a man who lives with a woman not his wife. (In an interview with the Reporter last month Burck mentioned that he lives in Secaucus with Cindy Fox, his girlfriend of six years.)
Burck most recently ran for New York City mayor, a campaign that lasted less than two months.

Clinical breast exams

The Town of Secaucus, in conjunction with North Hudson Community Action Corp. (NHCAC), will bring NHCAC’s mobile health unit to town on Friday, Oct. 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The medical staff will conduct clinical breast exams that day.
If you are insured, please bring proof of your insurance. However, uninsured residents will also be seen and treated. Should any follow up be necessary, referrals will be made to your regular doctor or at one of NHCAC’s Health Centers. Call (201) 330-2034 to make an appointment. The mobile health unit will be parked in the parking lot of the Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center at 1379 Paterson Plank Rd.

Course teaches birding for beginners

The Bergen County Audubon Society and Teaneck Creek Conservancy will present a course in bird watching. Hudson County residents are encouraged to attend and discover how to identify birds, find out which optics are the best to use for birding, and learn how to use a field guide.
The course will be held on Sun., Oct. 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Teaneck Creek Conservancy, 20 Puffin Way in Teaneck. The course is free for everyone. For more information contact Don Torino at (201) 636-4022 or e-mail

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