Bayonne Briefs

Anthem returns and is greeted with new problems

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s battered Anthem of the Seas returned to the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne on Wednesday, Feb. 10, and encountered more public relations problems over the course of the next couple of days.
After arriving back at 9 p.m. on Feb. 10, crew members smelled marijuana smoke, which led to two arrests by Port Authority Police Department officers, who patrol the port, according to The two Massachusetts men arrested were allegedly in possession of more than 11 grams of marijuana in their cabin.
Then on Friday, Feb. 12, as various agencies were involved with ship inspection, it was revealed that the damage to Anthem of the Seas was more extensive than originally thought, including a burned out component of the ship’s propulsion system, reported.
The two events capped a tough week for the ship and its passengers, including one who described what felt like an earthquake at sea.
Anthem left port on Feb. 6, on its way to the Bahamas, and encountered at least 75-mile-per-hour winds and 30-foot waves off the coast of North Carolina before turning around and heading back.
Four people were reported injured.
While hundreds left the ship after arriving back in Bayonne on Feb. 10, thousands more stayed onboard to disembark on Thursday, Feb. 11. One likened his experience to a natural disaster.
“It was like an earthquake, but in the water,” said Nick Luca of Santiago, Chile, who took the cruise with his mother. “You could see the waves come to the window.”
Kseniia, a woman from Ukraine, said the bad weather caught passengers by surprise.
“It was scary,” she said. “We were playing games, and then the storm began. It was all of a sudden. Everyone was afraid.”
Meteorologists and former cruise ship captains have questioned why Anthem left port with forecasts of intense bad weather. A Florida legislator has called for an investigation.

Sopranos star to headline Masons’ comedy event

The Hudson County Bar Association and Foundation and Catch a Rising Star will present a night of music and comedy with Vincent Pastore, Salvatore Bonpensiero on “The Sopranos,” at the Bayonne Masonic Hall, 888 Avenue C, on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m.
Pastore played Bonpensiero on the Sopranos for two seasons before his character was killed off. He is known for other roles playing organized crime figures, including in the movies “Goodfellas,” “Gotti,” and “Carlito’s Way” and the television shows “Law and Order” and “The Practice.”
Pastore performs with the “The Gangster Squad,” the band he started, which will also be featured in the program.
Local comedians will be part of the evening as well.
Tickets are $25, and available at There is also a $25 food/drink minimum per person.
All ages are welcome (16 and under with adult supervision).
For more information call (609) 987-8018 or email

‘Music at the Museum’ to be presented Monday, Feb. 22

Bayonne residents are invited to the “Music at the Museum” program with a free performance by the Blue Dawg Band on Monday, Feb. 22.
Doors will open at 6:30 and music begins at 7 p.m. There will be light refreshments.
The Bayonne Community Museum is located at 229 Broadway, the corner of 9th Street.
Music at the Museum is sponsored by Mayor James Davis and the Bayonne Urban Enterprise Zone.
For more information, call (201) 858-6357.

Black History Month celebrated through new art exhibit

Black History Month is being commemorated in the county by the display of African-American works of contemporary art in the Justice William J. Brennan Courthouse, 583 Newark Ave., Jersey City.
The celebration is honoring the past, the present and the future, according to spokesman Edgar Martinez. It is being curated by Ibou Ndoye and Daniel Kordeq Morteh.
The exhibit is being sponsored by Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise, the Office of Cultural Affairs/Tourism Development, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
“Chairman Tilo Rivas and the Board of Chosen Freeholders are committed to educating county residents about the contributions that African-Americans have made to society,” Martinez said.

Congressional delegation makes case for Sandy recovery funding

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez led the full New Jersey Congressional delegation in a Feb. 9 letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Federal Transit Administration Acting Administrator Therese McMillan requesting robust funding for New Jersey in the final federal allocation of Superstorm Sandy transit recovery funding.
The letter was signed by Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.), and the state’s U.S. Representatives.
“New Jersey Transit’s remaining total cost of repair and rebuilding stands at $809 million, leaving a shortfall of $467 million in unmet needs. These unmet needs encompass transit projects that are necessary for mobility, congestion relief, and quality of life throughout the State of New Jersey,” the delegation wrote.
In 2013, President Barack Obama signed the Superstorm Sandy Supplemental Appropriations bill into law, bringing the total Sandy aid enacted by Congress to $60.2 billion. The funding package included federal aid to help homeowners, businesses, and communities recover, and resources to rebuild coastal, transportation, and water infrastructure.

NY/NJ Baykeeper releases results of NY-NJ Harbor study

NY/NJ Baykeeper has released the results from a plastic collection study detailing the sizes, types, and concentrations of plastic pollution within New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary waters.
The Harbor Estuary encompasses the Ports of New York and New Jersey, as far north as the Tappan Zee Bridge and as far south as Sandy Hook Bay. NY/NJ Baykeeper’s results represent the first examination of plastic pollution within waters surrounding New York City.
Based on NY/NJ Baykeeper’s estimates, at least 165 million plastic particles are floating within NY-NJ Harbor Estuary waters at any given time. The average abundance of plastic particles is more than 250,000 per square kilometer.
Eighteen samples were collected from New York City and New Jersey waters, including the East River, Upper New York Bay, the Passaic River, the Morris Canal, the Arthur Kill, Lower Newark Bay, and Upper Newark Bay.
“We can’t keep using throwaway products that are used for a few minutes, but take decades to break down.” said Sandra Meola, NY/NJ Baykeeper communications and outreach associate.

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