Information session on waterway blasting scheduled for April 29

The Army Corps of Engineers will hold a public-information session on Monday, April 29, to inform the public about blasting and dredging that will take place in two areas off Dennis Collins Park in the Kill Van Kull.
The session will be held in the Bayonne Senior Center, 16 West 4th Street from 6 to 8 p.m. but it is not a public hearing. Rather, it is to advise the public about the upcoming dredging and blasting. This work will be performed to enhance navigational safety by easing a bend in the channel. To remove underlying bedrock in the channel, this contract involves precision- controlled underwater, staggered detonations to fracture the rock in order for it to be dredged.
Blasting in a localized area is expected to begin no earlier than mid-May 2013 for approximately two weeks.
Residents of Bayonne, particularly those south of 3rd Street between Humphrey and Ingham Avenues, and those near Richmond Terrace between Port Richmond and Heberton Avenues, Staten Island, New York, are encouraged to attend to learn more details about the project.
There will be opportunities to ask questions and obtain information directly from representatives of the Army Corps and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company. Topics include the purpose and description of the Harbor Deepening Project, why drilling and blasting is imperative for the safety of ship navigation and how it’s being accomplished, the voluntary residential Property Inspection Program, and independent noise-and-vibration-compliance monitoring.
For residents unable to attend this meeting who have concerns related to this work, particularly those within the 1,500-foot zone who have received notices about the work, are encouraged to call the hotline number at (201) 339‐6470.

Royal Caribbean’s latest ship will sail from Bayonne

The Quantum of the Seas is scheduled to begin sailing out of Bayonne’s Cape Liberty terminal in late 2014 and will offer seven or eight day trips to places such as Port Canaveral, Coco Cay, and Nassau, as well as an eight-day trip to places such as Labadee, Haiti; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Samana, Dominican Republic.

Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin to serve at Temple Beth Am

Jeffrey Salkin will become the rabbi of Temple Beth Am after serving in the New Jersey office of the Anti-Defamation League. He will succeed Rabbi Gordon Gladstone on July 1.

Sires wants President to intervene in mortgage-relief backlog

Rep. Albio Sires and 28 of his colleagues in the House of Representatives sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to issue an executive order, directing the U.S. Department of Treasury to carry out the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) and keep families in their homes.
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) established the Hardest Hit Fund in 2010. This program, administered by the Treasury Department, provides $7.6 billion to states hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. Through the Hardest Hit Fund, states are able to offer mortgage-payment assistance, principal reduction, and funding to eliminate a homeowner’s second lien loans. However, three years after the inception of this fund, only 9.8 percent of this promised funding has reached homeowners. According to the most recent September 2012 data, more than half of the amounts drawn by states are being held by the Treasury Department as unspent cash-on-hand or used for administrative expenses.
“The Hardest Hit Fund was created with the purpose of providing direct relief to homeowners so families can stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure” said Sires. “These funds were promised to our nation’s homeowners, and it is critical that we take advantage of solutions that protect our fragile economic recovery.”
“The key to economic recovery begins at home” he said. “The purchase of a home is the largest investment most families will ever make, strengthening our communities and helping to boost our economy.”

Payne asks DOJ to review lottery privatization plan

Rep. Donald Payne Jr. was among a number of U.S. Congress members asking Attorney General Eric Holder to request that the Department of Justice (DOJ) conduct a formal review of New Jersey’s proposal to privatize the state’s lottery to ensure the plan complies with federal law.
“It is very troubling that there are still so many questions surrounding this proposal,” said Rep. Payne, Jr. “The DOJ’s review will provide some much-needed answers for the people of New Jersey who are concerned about the integrity of a lottery that generates more than $2.6 billion in revenue for the state, which could be compromised under this new proposal. We are looking out for the people of New Jersey by asking for a simple review to ensure the state is doing its proper due diligence.”
The state announced its intention to award the contract on Friday, April 12, and the deadline for interested parties to protest the state’s plan ends around April 25.

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