City Council passes resolution to help keep power going during storms

The City Council last week passed a resolution in support of PSE&G’s Energy Strong proposal, a $3.9 billion 10-year plan to strengthen and protect its gas and electricity delivery systems from severe weather.
In February, PSE&G filed a funding request with the New Jersey Board of Utilities for $2.6 billion to cover the first five years of improvements, and said it later will seek another $1.3 billion to cover the last five years of its improvement plan.
In short, the Energy Strong proposal will protect switching stations and substations from water damage, reinforce utility poles and overhead wires, replace gas lines in flood-prone communities, and use new technology to improve how the energy grid functions.
Twelve switching stations and substations that PSE&G plans to either raise or fortify are located in Hudson County, including six in Jersey City.
The agency plans to allocate $1.7 billion to raise, relocate, or fortify/protect a total of 31 switching stations and substations statewide. Another $454 million will be spent to implement so-called “smart grid” technology. About $200 million will go towards creating back-ups within the energy system so secondary sources of power can be accessed if primary sources fail. About 20 miles of overhead electrical lines will be relocated underground, an undertaking that will cost an estimated $60 million. Nine natural gas metering stations and a liquefied natural gas station will be fortified to better protect against natural disasters, with an estimated price tag of $140 million. Finally, $1.04 billion will be spent to replace and upgrade about 750 miles of low-pressure gas mains that are currently located in or near known flood areas.
PSE&G claims the $3.9 billion investment needed to upgrade the power infrastructure will have only a modest impact on customer bills since the price of natural gas has dropped approximately 40 percent over the past three years.
Five New Jersey counties, including Hudson County, and 55 municipalities have adopted resolutions supporting the utility’s Energy Strong initiative.

Longtime school board trustee, current board president Mack to resign

According to comments made to Reporter senior staff writer and columnist Al Sullivan, Suzanne Mack plans to resign from the Jersey City Board of Education this fall to assume new responsibilities at her job as a city planner in Bayonne.
Mack is the longest serving member on the Jersey City School board, currently in her sixth term.

Coupon book fundraiser

United Cerebral Palsy of Hudson County, Inc. in North Bergen is raising funds to support programs for the developmentally disabled by selling Entertainment Books.
The price is $25 for the Monmouth, Bergen, Essex, Morris and Middlesex counties books. Each edition includes hundreds of discount coupons.
For more information, or to order a book, call Peter LaBarbiera at (201) 662-8120.

Help children by attending CASA information session Aug. 6

Are you interested in helping children in the foster care system? If so, Hudson County CASA (court appointed special advocate) is recruiting volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children.
An information session to learn more about the program and the role of its volunteers will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 6 from 6 to 7 p.m. in Room 400 of the Hudson County Administration Building, 595 Newark Ave., Jersey City.
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.
CASA and its volunteers speak for children in court, serve as fact finders for judges, and safeguard the interests of the children while they are in the foster care system.
Hudson County has nearly 700 children in foster care; most have been removed from their homes for abuse or neglect.
For more information, call (201) 795-9855, e-mail, or visit

Soxcess founder recognized by Do Something, a national not-for-profit that recognizes and assists the work of young grassroots activists, recently announced that Jersey City resident Jeremy Garriga, 17, has been named a 2013 Seed Grant winner. This grant will help fund Garriga’s annual Soxcess sock drive initiative to provide socks and other warm clothes to the homeless and people living in shelters.
Garriga, now a senior at County Prep High School, founded Soxcess in 2011 after learning that Hudson County shelters were often in need of socks for their clients. Through a collaborative effort between Jersey City and Hudson County, Garriga was allowed to place sock collection bins in libraries, municipal buildings, county buildings, two hospitals and a golf course in Newark for the past two Christmas holiday seasons. Since 2011, more than 2,200 pairs of new socks have been donated along with many other winter accessories and distributed to St Lucy’s Shelter, the York Street Project, the Hoboken Shelter, the Palisades Emergency Residence Corporation, and one Hudson County psychiatric hospital.
The Seed Grant will help cover the costs of purchasing additional collection bins, signage, and supplies. For more information about Gariga’s Soxcess project, visit

‘Macbeth’ with Steampunk twist

The Hudson Shakespeare Company returns with the third and final installment of the “Bard on the Boulevard” summer series with a new twist on an old favorite. William Shakespeare’s classic “Macbeth,” directed by Noelle Fair, gets the Goth treatment in this production starring David C. Neal in the title role, and Rachel Alt as Lady Macbeth.
This production incorporates the Gothic style known as “steampunk.” This fashion and comic-con staple combines styles of English Victorian dress with sci-fi tropes of gears, machinery and technology, adding to the play’s already dark and Halloween-like elements. Black and red palettes, phantasmagorical music and disjointed imagery dominate the scene as murder plots are hatched and executed with every mounting regularity and tension, ever egged on by three mysterious women simple known as “the weyard sisters,” played by Emily Dalton, Siobahn O’Loughlin and Lisa LaGrande.
The play will be performed on Thursday, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m. in Hamilton Park, in Jersey City; Friday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. at Van Vorst Park in Jersey City; Monday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. in Frank Sinatra Park, 410 Frank Sinatra Dr., in Hoboken; Saturday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Historic Jersey City and Harismus Cemetery, in Jersey City; and Monday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. in Frank Sinatra Park, 410 Frank Sinatra Dr., Hoboken.

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