Spectra Energy fights back regarding pipeline
Spectra Energy, the Houston-based company that wants to build a natural gas pipeline through Bayonne, downtown Jersey City, and near the Hoboken border, is pushing back against opposition to the project.
The company last week is sending out a two-sided flier that states, among other things, “Spectra Energy Puts Safety First.”
The flier gives the company’s spin on the pipeline project, which Spectra states on the flier “will create more than 5,000 regional jobs…including more than 2,300 in Jersey City alone.”
Elected officials, community groups, and other residents have opposed the pipeline during several hearings – partly due to safety reasons, and partly due to the fact that it would provide natural gas to customers in New York, not New Jersey.
Residents have used the Sept. 10 natural gas explosion in San Bruno, Calif. – which killed eight people, injured dozens, and leveled an entire community – as an example of the dangers of high pressure gas pipelines running through residential neighborhoods. On Spectra’s new mailer, however, the company writes that the pipeline “will be made of thick, modern steel [and will be] monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure safety.”
Spectra’s 15.5-mile pipeline is currently planned to carry 800 million cubic feet of natural gas per day through Hudson County to New York City customers of Con Edison.
The company, which is obviously gearing up for a big public relations battle to win public support for the pipeline, includes a toll-free number on the flier so interested residents can learn about “additional information and ways to support the project.”
Although Spectra recently changed the pipeline’s route, public opposition remains high.
Public works complex will cost $56.5M
A new 150,000-square-foot public works complex on Linden Avenue in Jersey City is expected to cost $56.5 million, architects told the City Council at a caucus meeting on Monday.
The city will save nearly $2 million by not creating a separate entrance on Caven Point Road, according to a report in a daily newspaper. Moving the public works facility will allow the cleanup of 40 chromium-contaminated acres nearby on Route 440, which is expected to pave the way for $5 billion in development over the next three decades.
Brian Stack, ex-wife put to ‘shame’ in TV report
Fox 5 News’ popular “Shame on You” investigative program ran a segment Wednesday night looking at the use of Union City vehicles by local officials, at least one of whom did not officially work for the city.
The segment began by pointing out that Katia Stack, ex-wife of State Sen. and Union City Mayor Brian Stack, uses a city-owned vehicle in her job working for a Union City day care facility and for personal use. The day care facility is private, but rents space in a city building at no charge.
Stack said in the segment that the vehicle is used by the day care for the benefit of the children. He said that he and the commissioners set the example by not being assigned city cars. However, the segment stated that they had footage of Stack using a city car many times, and that he was being driven around by a city employee.
The segment was part of an investigation the program said it conducted in the fall, including several days of surveillance. Reporter Arnold Diaz said in the segment that after Stack found out they were using surveillance, Union City police approached his producer.
Stack said in the segment that the complaints were political, likely coming from political opponents who couldn’t beat him at the ballot box.
Katia Stack also served as a city finance officer in Hoboken for a time.
To watch the segment, go to myfoxny.com.
Is it curtains for Jersey City Museum?
After cutting back hours and trimming staff, the Jersey City Museum closed its doors last week. A cutback in city funds and lack of donor dollars contributed to the closing of this popular arts institution.
The museum opened at its current location at 350 Montgomery St. in 2001. A June 23 fundraiser in the Hamilton Square Condominium building apparently was not enough to keep the museum afloat. It is unknown when or if it will reopen.
Report: Christie suspends sewage commissioners, including Jersey City’s Czaplicki
According to various newspaper reports, Gov. Christopher Christie has suspended six members of the Passaic Valley Sewage Commission, including Carl Czaplicki Jr., who also works as the director of the Jersey City Department of Housing, Economic Development & Commerce.
Czaplicki and the others were suspended without pay and have been given until Jan. 27 to resign from the commission. According to NJ.com, those who do not step down must appear before the Office of Employee Relations on Jan. 31 where they will be told of the charges pending against them.
Christie has accused the six suspended commissioners of nepotism and has alleged that they hired several family members to work for the sewage authority and awarded no-bid contracts.
The Passaic Valley Sewage Commission oversees the sewage processing for 48 northern New Jersey municipalities, including in Hudson County. With an annual budget of $161 million, the commission runs New Jersey’s largest sewage treatment plant.
Gov. Christie’s action comes on the heels of an investigative report by the Newark Star-Ledger earlier this month.
The other five people who were suspended Tuesday along with Czaplicki were, according to the news website, Passaic Valley Sewage Commission Chairman Anthony Luna, Frank Calandriello, Angelina Paserchia, William Flynn, and Thomas Powell. Commissioner Kenneth Lucianin was the only commissioner who was not suspended by the governor.
Gov. Christie launches Illinois ad campaign to lure businesses to NJ.
Gov. Christopher Christie has launched an ad campaign in Illinois to attract Illinois-based businesses to the Garden State. Under the campaign, dubbed “New Jersey Means Business,” the Christie administration is “asking Illinois businesses to relocate and invest in New Jersey,” according to a release issued by his office.
The governor has decided that Illinois-based businesses are ripe for recruitment because that state allegedly passed a 67 percent income tax increase and a 46 percent increase on corporate property taxes, according to the release. The campaign, which will include radio and print advertisements in six Illinois media outlets, targets both large and midsize corporations headquartered in that state, including Abbott Laboratories.
“In New Jersey, we mean business. We’ve said ‘enough is enough’ and made the tough choices to cut spending,” Christie said in a released statement Tuesday. “By providing a positive, pro-growth climate we are making it easier for businesses to choose New Jersey and welcoming jobs and economic growth for our residents with open arms.”
Dublin named vice chair of NJAC
Jersey City Freeholder Jeff Dublin was named vice chairman of the New Jersey Association of Counties last week. NJAC serves as an advocacy group for county governments and their taxpayers, promotes federal and state legislative initiatives that advance county interests, fosters cooperation and coordination among New Jersey’s 21 counties, and aids county officials in providing efficient and effective service to their constituencies.