Firefighters deal with car plunging to Kill Van Kull and with sinking boat

A 2003 Nissan Altima jumped the curb; careened across the sidewalk and park; and tore through a fence, small trees, and brush before finally crashing on to the rocks along the shore of the Kill Van Kull shortly after 10 a.m. on Nov. 10.
A large boulder kept the car from plunging into the waterway. A 35-year-old woman was found conscious behind the wheel after Bayonne firefighters lowered a 35-foot ladder down the embankment to reach her. She complained of pain in her back, neck, and legs. She was strapped to a backboard and lifted up to street level via a Stokes basket, and then transported to the Jersey City Medical Center for treatment.
Firefighters used a high capacity steel cable come-along device to secure the vehicle. After the incident, a large commercial tow vehicle was used to pull the damaged car away from the water and up the embankment.
“Our firefighters have recently completed a grueling program of water-based rescue techniques, and this accident was within feet of having to exercise advanced tactics. It is very fortunate that the tide was out, and that the vehicle did not continue to travel into the bay waters. We are prepared, and accidents such as this validate our efforts to continue water rescue and technical rescue preparation,” said an official.
On Nov. 12 at 2:36 p.m., the Bayonne Fire Department was notified of a sinking boat in Newark Bay, about 100 yards south of the Robin’s Reef Yacht Club. Firefighters launched the Rescue Boat and encountered a 28-foot wooden Jersey Skiff partially submerged in the bay. The vessel was unmanned and tied to a Mooring Ball about 100 yards south of the Yacht Club. A portable generator and water pump were used on the Rescue Boat to pump the water out of the sinking vessel’s hull. The vessel was secured and towed to the Yacht Club dock. It was determined that the vessels bilge pump failed. The tide at the time was low, making for difficult operations.

Truck driver charged with DWI after multiple accidents

Herminio Lopez, 48, of North Bergen, was charged with three counts of driving while under the influence after his truck allegedly struck two parked cars and a car waiting at a traffic light on Nov. 5.
A police spokesperson said the department received a call shortly after 5 p.m. that a commercial truck had struck a parked Nissan after turning the corner from Broadway on to 18th Street. About five minutes later, the department received a call saying that a commercial truck struck a parked van near 21st Street and Kennedy Boulevard. About five minutes after that, a call came in saying that a commercial truck had struck a car waiting for the light to change at Avenue C and 16th Street.
The police stopped a truck near North Street and Kennedy Boulevard and arrested the driver after questioning him. A police spokesperson said Perez’s speech was slurred and he allegedly smelled of alcohol. A search of the vehicle subsequent to arrest discovered a bottle of brandy in the cab, police said. Perez faces one count of DWI for each accident, a separated charge of DWI within 1,000 feet of a school, careless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident.

Fundraiser for Bayonne veterans’ museum

The Joyce-Herbert VFW Post 226 will hold a fundraiser on Sunday, Nov. 20, from 1 to 5 p.m. at 16-18 West Ninth Street. Master of ceremonies will be Lt. Colonel Jack Smith. The event will feature the 17-piece Jordan Thomas Orchestra, which plays legendary songs from the 1930s and 1940s made famous by people like Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa, and others. The band also features vocalists and dance music from later eras.
Glen J. Flora, commander of VFW Post 226, said this is an effort to raise money to keep open a quality educational tool for kids throughout the area.
He said students and other kids from Bayonne, Dover, Paterson, Camden, Newark, Jersey City, the Sea Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other community groups have come to the museum to learn about veterans and the role they played in history.
“This special event will be our first benefit for our veterans’ museum,” Flora said.
The event will also feature guest speakers such as Jackie S. George, a weather forecaster and radio announcer during the Vietnam War, who will talk about VFW scholarships available for young people: Patriots Pen, Vice of Democracy, and others. A donation for $25 is requested for each ticket.
Tickets can be ordered through, at the post, or at the door. For more information, call (201) 858-1416.

Bayonne scouts to hold annual ‘Scouting for Food Drive’

Members of Bayonne’s Boy Scout Troops and Cub Scout Packs will fan out collecting food donations from the community on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. All donations will be used at local Bayonne food pantries. The annual food drive is planned to help fill up the local food pantries for the holidays. Each year, the Bayonne Scouts collect thousands of food items.
Residents who wish to support the food drive are asked to leave their non-perishable food donations in a bag on their doorstep by 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19. Items needed include canned goods, pasta, cereals, soups, mac and cheese, and canned meats like spam (do not include glass packed items). All donations must be visible from the street, otherwise they will not be picked up. Scouts are not permitted to enter into anyone’s homes.
Scouting in Bayonne is alive and thriving at over 10 different programs sponsored by St. Andrew’s Church, St. Mary’s Church, Our Lady of the Assumption Church, St. Henry’s Church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, and St. Vincent’s Church. Among the many skills and values that scouts learn, citizenship and concern for others rank high on the list.
For more information or to join a Pack, Crew or Troop, visit or contact Troop 20 and Pack 20 at Saint Mary R.C. Church, Victor Badaraco, at (201) 437-7729; Troop 19 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel R.C. Church, Joseph Brzuszkiewicz, at (201) 436-3631; Troop 27 and Pack 27 at Our Lady of the Assumption R.C. Church, Larry DeLong, at (201) 436-5034; Troop 25, Pack 25, and Crew 25 at St. Vincent de Paul R.C. Church, John Hughes, at (201) 437-9500; Pack 25, Larry Sangi, at (201) 339-2072; Crew 25 Advisor Fred Creswick at (201) 745-6543; or Troop 35 at St. Henry R.C. Church, Lynn Burbank, at (201) 823-8436.
Residents whose donations are not picked up by 1 p.m. can call (201) 339-1845 to arrange for a special pick up. For more information, call Steve Gallo at (201) 339-1845.
Scouting for Food 2011 is sponsored by Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell and
Mayor Mark A. Smith.

Reporter columnist Matthew Amato passes away

Matthew F. Amato Jr., a columnist for several of the The Hudson Reporter newspapers, died on Nov. 9 at age 64.
Amato wrote a biweekly “On the Streets Where We Live” column, which contained colorful items about local families, public officials, and students.
The youngest of six children, Amato was born in Jersey City. He boasted that his father, Matthew Sr., introduced him to Hudson County politics at age 13. His father was a Democratic ward and district leader in Jersey City’s “Little Italy Village” section of Jersey City, where Matthew Jr. grew up. The family moved to the Greenville section later.
Amato wrote for the former Hudson Dispatch, where he worked with people like Nat Berg. He later said he often took inspiration from columnists such as Earl Morgan and Peter Weiss. Amato was also a source for the Hudson Reporter’s political column, Between the Lines.
Columnist Al Sullivan said, “I talked with Mattie daily. His knowledge of Hudson County’s political past was amazing, and the loss of his memories is immeasurable. I also considered him a friend, and I will miss hearing his voice.”
A close friend of Amato’s, Nicholas Mastorelli, called Amato “a truly good man.”
Mastorelli said former Jersey City Mayor Thomas F.X. Smith introduced them, and they remained close friends ever since.
Over the last several decades, Amato volunteered for a number of civic, ethic, and political associations, and served as a Greenville Democratic Party Zone Leader from 1973 to 1977.
Amato, who had a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from St. Peter’s College, and a Master of Arts Degree in Political Science from Jersey City State College, published his masters’ thesis in 1980 called Jersey City, a city in socio-economic and political change, which influenced Smith’s later very successful publication The Powerticians, viewed as one of the first books to actually detail the way politics was done in the county.
A devout Catholic, Amato served as a communicant at Our Lady of Mercy R.C. Church in Greenville and later regularly attended services at Saint Michael’s Church in downtown Jersey City.
Reporter Co-Publisher Dave Unger said, “Matt was a man with a big heart. That kindness was evident in every column he wrote for us and was the source of much of his popularity. We will all miss him.”
Co-Publisher Lucha Malato said, “Matt has a long history of writing and helping at the Hudson Reporter. We are all saddened by his passing.”
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the visitation at the Parow Funeral Home, 185 Ridge Road, North Arlington on Wednesday, November 16 at 11 A.M. thence to Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington for the Funeral Mass at 12 Noon. The interment will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312.

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