U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of same sex marriage

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday upholding the rights for all people to marry, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
This voids laws in 13 states that prohibit gay marriage.
The justices ruled that the right to marriage is protected under the 14th amendment, and that all states must issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, and must recognize such unions when they are performed in other states.
Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the majority opinion with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen G. Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor in the majority.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) applauded what he called a historic Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges which ruled that same sex marriage bans are unconstitutional.
“This is a tremendous day for the LGBT community, their families, and their friends who have stood beside them,” said Menendez. “The Supreme Court has ended one of the blatant forms of discrimination that keep loving families apart based solely on who they love and where they live. This decision brings us closer to our nation’s promise of equal rights for all, and this victory belongs to those who can now marry who they love across America.”
But Menendez said this does not mean the fight is over.
“Already we are seeing efforts to categorically deny LGBT individuals protections against unjust firings, unlawful evictions, or even refused service in restaurants,” he said.
Menendez is a cosigner of the Congressional brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans as violating the equal protection guarantee. He previously cosigned the Congressional brief in U.S. v. Windsor urging the Supreme Court to strike down the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. In addition, Senator Menendez has been a consistent supporter of the Respect for Marriage Act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Student Non-Discrimination Act, and the Every Child Deserves a Family Act.
Rep. Donald Payne (D-10th Dist) also applauded the decision.
“I am thrilled that the Supreme Court made the correct decision in affirming the right of same-sex couples to marry,” he said. “Every person should receive equal treatment and protection no matter whom they love, and the Court’s decision is a critical step toward fulfilling our promise of fairness and equality. Today is a tremendous triumph for American families who have fought long and hard for basic civil rights and true equality.”
Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop called it a historic day for equality.
“We are proud to raise the Rainbow Flag over Jersey City’s City Hall,” he said.
The flag was also raised moments after the decision in front of Hoboken City Hall.
“Today we took another proud step towards fulfilling our nation’s founding principle that all of us are created equal,” Mayor Dawn Zimmer said in a statement. “Our communities and families are stronger when everyone is treated fairly, which is why as mayor, it was a privilege to perform Hoboken’s first marriage between a same-sex couple, and to join a friends-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to end marriage discrimination. Today we raise the rainbow flag at City Hall to celebrate with everyone who no longer faces discrimination from their government because of who they love.”
Rep. Albio Sires (D-8th Dist.) also celebrated the ruling.
“Today’s decision is a victory for equality and for love,” he said.

Ex girlfriend indicted for alleged murder of New York man

Cheryl Nisbett, 39, of the Bronx, has been charged with the Aug. 5, 2014 murder of Robert Ashbourne, 46, of Mt. Vernon, N.Y.
On June 16, 2015, a Hudson County grand jury returned an indictment charging Nisbett with murder, according to Gene Rubino, spokesperson for the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.
Ashbourne was found in a vehicle with a gunshot wound at the intersection of Palisade Avenue and Waverly Street in Jersey City.
Nisbett, who was the ex-girlfriend of Ashbourne, was arrested without incident on June 23, 2015 in Brooklyn. She is currently pending extradition proceedings.

Menendez, Booker announce $1.3M in federal funding for Jersey City’s Sandy recovery

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker announced the award of a $1,289,231.10 Sandy relief grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority (JCMUA) to repair the Clendenny Avenue outfall and drainage ditch damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The grant covers 90 percent of the project’s total cost.
“This federal funding will provide critical support to Jersey City as it works to make its neighborhoods and infrastructure more resilient to withstand future storms,” said Sen. Menendez. “While our state continues on its path to full recovery from Superstorm Sandy, we must recognize there is still much work to be done. I will not stop fighting until New Jersey homeowners and local communities receive the resources they need to rebuild better, stronger than before the storm.”
Two JCMUA outfall pipes that service Clendenny Avenue were damaged by Sandy’s storm surge and tidal action. Approximately 600 linear feet of the 60-inch steel outfall pipe became misaligned and impacted with sediment and debris brought in from the surge. The entire end of the outfall was buried under sand, stone and debris to the point that should a rain event occur, a discharge would cause upstream flooding in residential and commercial properties.
In addition, the banks of a drainage ditch eroded and its embankment collapsed in several locations blocking the flow of water. Proper operation of the outfall and drainage ditch is a crucial part of the JCMUA collection system, which prevents residential and street flooding during wet weather.
“This substantial federal grant will assist us in both the repair and enhancement of critical infrastructure,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop. “We are thankful to Senator Menendez and Senator Booker for their support and advocacy for Jersey City’s continued recovery from Superstorm Sandy as we work to create a stronger and more resilient city.”
The work involved to restore the JCMUA facility to pre-existing condition included the installation of approximate 600 linear feet of new 60-inch pipe and the removal of debris blocking the drainage ditch. The ditch was also relined with stone to prevent further erosion.

Local schools get federal grant for food service equipment

Jersey City, West New York, and Union City received federal grants this month to upgrade their food service equipment.
Jersey City’ Dickinson High School received $ 12,569, West New York’s Harry L. Bain School, $ 22,773, and Union City’s Union Hill Middle School, $ 14,217.
The grant funding provides needed assistance for schools to upgrade their food service equipment that in some cases has never been upgraded or replaced. Equipment to be purchased with the grants include refrigerators, freezers, hot and cold holding cabinets, convection ovens, ranges, tilting skillets and walk-in refrigerators and/or freezers.

Jersey City student named as a fire prevention poster winner

Navdeep Sanghera, a student of PS 11 Martin Luther King School in Jersey City, was named one of the winners of the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety and New Jersey State Fire Prevention and Protection Association Annual fire prevention poster contest.
New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Acting Commissioner Charles A. Richman and Acting Director and State Fire Marshal William Kramer, Jr. announced this week the winners of the Scholastic Fire Prevention Poster Contest for the 2014-2015 school year. The poster contest is cooperatively organized by the Division of Fire Safety (NJDFS) and New Jersey State Fire Protection and Prevention Association (NJSFPPA).
“The poster contest is creative way to teach children important fire prevention and safety lessons and to encourage fire safety awareness in the home,” said Acting Commissioner Richman. “Additionally, the Fire Safety Calendar will serve as a tool to keep fire safety at the forefront year round.”
Beginning with last year’s contest and now every year, the student artwork becomes the central feature of the yearly NJSFPPA and NJDFS Fire Safety calendar that provides elements of prevention awareness. The calendar includes reminders such as the annual time change to check and replace smoke alarm batteries, the dates for significant fire safety events such as National Fire Prevention Week, and seasonal cautions concerning fire safety throughout the year. The calendar is distributed statewide in order to advance community risk reduction awareness. The contest itself has been conducted annually for over 25 years and is among the oldest continual scholastic competitions in the state.

Interior designer Courtney Sloane opens retail show room in Jersey City

International and award-winning Interior Designer Courtney Sloane opens Sloane Square, a lifestyle retail showroom in the Powerhouse Arts District in downtown Jersey City on Saturday, June 27. The event will start at 11 a.m. with the ribbon cutting ceremony starting at 11:30 a.m. with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. Sloane Square is located at 150 Bay St., facing Marin Boulevard. Sloane’s 20-year flagship company Courtney Sloane Design will also share space at the same location.
Sloane Square retail hours are Wednesday through Sunday; on Wednesday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Design services and consultations are made by appointment only. For more information on Sloane Square, please call (201)878-4536.

Hudson County has youngest population in the state

In a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau detailing the counties with youngest and oldest population, Hudson County is rated as the youngest population with a median age of 34.8.
Based on median age, the U.S. Census Bureau reported on which counties in New Jersey had the oldest populations and which had the youngest. The U.S. median age ticked up from 37.6 on July 1, 2013, to 37.7 on July 1, 2014.
These estimates examine population changes among groups by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin nationally, as well as in all states and counties, between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2014.
The counties in New Jersey with the highest median age on July 1, 2014, were Cape May at 48.6, Hunterdon at 45.5 and Sussex at 43.9. This means that half the population was older than this age and half younger.

Christ Hospital receives Lifeline Achievement Award< CarePoint Health-Christ Hospital has received the Mission: Lifeline Silver Receiving Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks. Each year in the United States, approximately 250,000 people have a STEMI, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication. The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call and continuing through hospital treatment. “CarePoint Health–Christ Hospital is committed to improving the quality of care for our patients who suffer a heart attack, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that goal through nationally respected clinical guidelines,” said CarePoint Health-Christ Hospital Chief Medical Officer, Dr William Holubek “We are excited to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care, and I am very proud of our entire team.” “We commend CarePoint Health-Christ Hospital for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to the highest quality of care for their heart attack patients,” said James G. Jollis, MD, Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group and President of the North Carolina Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. “Achieving this award means the hospital has met specific reporting and achievement measures for the treatment of their patients who suffer heart attacks and we applaud them for their commitment to quality and timely care.” CarePoint Health-Christ Hospital earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients by providing emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries when needed. Eligible hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period to receive the awards.

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