Thomas Swartz Dear Editor:A cruel pall has descended upon the taxpayers of downtown Jersey City. This week downtown homeowners are waking up and learning the results of the tax reval. They are learning that for most – taxes will increase maybe 40%, 60%, 100% or in some instances 200%. The tax reval was required under the idea that some taxpayers were overpaying their taxes and others were underpaying their taxes because property values have changed. Property values in downtown have risen so much, some say, that they are not paying enough in taxes; they are not paying their, “fair share.” In other words its origin was in the idea to pit one neighborhood against another or one taxpayer against another. Well, the tax reval has truly accomplished its goal. The level of acrimony and anxiety in the City has increased tremendously. But let’s make one thing perfectly clear.The notion that anyone was not being taxed enough before the reval is simply preposterous. We live in one of the highest taxed jurisdictions in the nation. This is not a recent development, but one of long standing obvious reality. The amount of taxes you pay are determined by one thing and one thing only, and that is the amount that the City, County, and School District spend. Your taxes would not be as high, either before or after the reval, if these entities did not spend so much money.That is the fundamental reality that all taxpayers need to come to grips with to in order to reverse this perverse paradigm of trying to get people to pay, “their fair share.” Is there anything that taxpayers can do? Yes. First and foremost every taxpayer needs to tell every City, County and School Board elected official that they want their respective budgets cut. Tell them that you want workforce and salary reductions, and tell them you want them to eliminate all unnecessary projects and programs. Second, every landlord who has seen their taxes increased should pass the increases onto their tenants while telling that them their rents have had to be increased because the City, County, and School District spend too much money. Third, every taxpayer whose taxes have gone up should decrease the equivalent amount of money they spend on Jersey City businesses explaining to them that they now have to patronize their businesses less because the City, County and School District spend too much. This will happen quite naturally as when your taxes double, you simply do not have as much to spend on discretionary items. This will activate the business community to convince local officials to reduce spending and taxes.Finally, every taxpayer should change their voting party registration from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. We all know that the Democratic Party has held a stranglehold on all elected positions in this area for decades and decades. Nothing will send shivers down the spines of every Jersey City and County Government elected official more than a large switch of voter registration from the Democratic Party to the Republic Party. And when the next round of elections comes around, whether at the State, City or County level, vote for Republican candidates. Republicans will cut government spending and cut your taxes.
Natalie Weber Paul Kempf, ND assistant vice president for utilities and maintenance, speaks on the University’s energy efforts on Tuesday in Bond Hall.Kempf said efforts trace back to 2010 when the University decided to make energy a main focus of its sustainability initiatives. Working towards carbon reduction, Notre Dame has depended on a number of strategies, Kempf said.“I think our perspective was that we wanted to take advantage of the assets the University already owned, and that we had invested in, and get our value out of those, but at the same time reduce in carbon,” he said. “And like a good investment portfolio, diversification is always a good practice.”One such way the University plans to reduce its carbon output is through the construction of a new hydroelectric plant in South Bend, for which the University broke ground on Aug. 19.“Hydro will actually produce, based on today’s usage, 7% of electricity we use on campus, and it will reduce our carbon foot by 9,700 tons,” Kempf said. “Our carbon footprint today is probably about 190,000 pounds. So it will reduce our carbon footprint by 5 or 6%. Not a huge number. But there isn’t a home run here, folks, there are a lot of little projects that go together to reduce their carbon footprint.”Kempf also explained how the University’s East Plant — which houses the geothermal fields’ mechanical equipment, water chillers and a thermal energy storage tank — functions. He said the water chillers work at night — a time when power is cheaper, or the University has excess power because of a lower energy demand. Using this load shifting, Notre Dame has been able to increase its energy efficiency, Kempf said.The University also uses energy from a solar array it owns near the local airport. According to the South Bend Tribune, Notre Dame estimated the array would reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 2,000 tons over the course of about 20 years.“Our plan was, we weren’t going to try to produce more solar energy than we needed for [the] facility,” Kempf said. “We really wanted to be able to have some amount of power we bought all the time and have the full benefit of the solar array to the facility.”Notre Dame also purchases about half of its electricity from Indiana Michigan Power, Kempf said.“What they do on their side of the ledger matters to us as well,” he said. “They have a partner on that side that’s doing things to try to reduce their carbon footprint.”As a whole, the University is continuing to look for more cost-effective and carbon-reductive strategies, Kempf said.“There’s a whole series of different projects, some of those ones that I just mentioned,” he said. “So we have a roadmap [but] we’re always looking to see if we can make a better roadmap.”Tags: carbon reductions, coal, East Plan, Energy Week, Geothermal Field, hydroelectric plant, renewable energy, solar power, sustainability, Utilities and Maintenance Notre Dame’s coal pile is dwindling as it focuses on taking advantage of other fuel sources and works towards its goal of stopping coal combustion by the end of 2020.Assistant vice president for utilities and maintenance Paul Kempf gave updates on the University’s progress towards this goal during a presentation Tuesday afternoon. During the talk, he focused on Notre Dame’s hydroelectric plant, purchased power, geothermal fields and a number of other strategies the University is employing to work on carbon reduction.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-TEXAS-SMART STAYSUT athletic director: Shaka Smart to remain for next seasonAUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Head coach Shaka Smart is getting another season to elevate the Texas men’s basketball program.Longhorns athletic director Chris Del Conte has confirmed that Smart will be back for a sixth season with the team, telling the Austin American-Statesman, “Shaka’s our coach.”Smart gained national attention by rebuilding VCU’s program, going 163-63 over six years and reaching the NCAA Tournament during his last five seasons at the school. The Rams went to the Final Four in 2011 and never won fewer than 26 games under Smart before he left for Texas in 2015. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS4th NHL player tests positiveUNDATED (AP) — The number of NHL players who have contracted the coronavirus continues to grow. Update on the latest sports UNDATED (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have re-signed veteran guard Dakota Dozier.The Furman product played in 16 games last season with a career-high four starts. He originally joined Minnesota as a free agent last April.Dozier was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft. He has appeared in 54 career games with 11 starts.In other NFL news:— The Giants have reached a one-year contract agreement with tight end Eric Tomlinson, who split last season with New York, New England and Oakland. Raiders. He appeared in eight games and had one catch. The Giants won’t confirm the deal until Tomlinson passes his physical. Shivaree was second after going off at 80-1. Shivaree picked up 50 points to likely clinch a spot in the field.Fountain of Youth winner Ete Indien was third in a most unusual race at Gulfstream, where fans were banned, and even owners were told to stay away from the track because of the coronavirus pandemic.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 — The postponement of the Tokyo Games has catapulted the sports organizations that make up the backbone of the U.S. Olympic team into crisis. At least one has already started layoffs and others are desperate to stay solvent. Some are expecting a major downturn in membership dues, while others are reeling from event cancellations totaling more than 8,000 across all sports. A database analyzed by The Associated Press shows combined projected losses of more than $121 million in revenue between February and June for 43 of the 50 national governing bodies that responded to a survey from the NGB Council in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.— Naomi Osaka says she is disappointed that the Olympics in her native Japan were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but she supports the decision to delay the Summer Games to 2021. In a posting today on social media, the two-time Grand Slam champion wrote: “Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time is not now.” She also addressed “the people of Japan,” saying, “stay strong, hang in there and let’s show the world our beautiful country when the time is right.”— Athletic trainers across the country are changing their routines and joining the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The National Athletic Trainers Association put together an app aimed at helping trainers assist understaffed hospitals. The app was intended to give health care providers a database to look for help nationwide. More than 950 athletic trainers have signed up over the last week.— A Canadian hockey goalie equipment manufacturer has begun producing medical supplies for hospitals in and around southwestern Ontario. Brian’s Custom Sports in Kingsville initially was approached by public health officials about its surplus of double-sided tape and foam. But when the Ontario government closed nonessential businesses to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the company was asked to change its production.— USA Curling says additional participants at a tournament this month in Laurel, Maryland, have tested positive for the coronavirus. The United States Curling Association Club National Championships were held March 7-14 at Potomac Curling Club. Fox 5 DC reported that at least 20 people who participated in the event are sick. USA Curling also canceled the 2020 Arena National Championships scheduled for April 27 to May 2 in Gillette, Wyoming. The event will be held there in 2022 instead. — Athletes and musicians took part in an online global music festival organized by the Spanish soccer league that raised about $690,000 for the fight against the coronavirus. Barcelona’s Gerard Piqué, Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos and tennis star Rafael Nadal were among those who participated in Saturday’s charity event organized to raise funds for the purchase of medical supplies and to support fans confined to their homes.— Spain’s Barcelona soccer team has delivered 30,000 masks to the Catalonia government to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. The club says the masks were made in China and donated by insurance company Taiping, a regional partner of the club. Barcelona said the “daily use” masks will be distributed to nursing homes.— Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his girlfriend have resumed their efforts to raise money for those affected by the new coronavirus. The two had set up a GoFundMe page earlier this week until told by Clemson the site violated NCAA rules against using an athlete’s name, image and likeness for crowd funding. But the NCAA later said Lawrence and other athletes could use such sites to raise money in this case. NFL-NEWSVikings re-sign veteran guard Dakota Dozier A second Colorado Avalanche player has tested positive for COVID-19. The team says it was informed Friday night, and the unidentified player is in self-isolation.A statement from the Avalanche on Saturday says those who came in close contact with the player have been informed and remain isolated. The team says no other Avalanche player or staff member has shown symptoms at this time.There are now four NHL players known to have tested positive — two with Colorado and two with Ottawa.In other news related to the coronavirus pandemic:— A deal worked out between Major League Baseball and the players doesn’t include details of what a reconfigured schedule would look like. The agreement calls for play to resume “as soon as is practicable” with a goal of completing “the fullest 2020 championship season and postseason that is economically feasible.” It also says there must be no legal restrictions on mass gathering and travel. The two sides agreed to consider playing past the usual end of the postseason in late October, even if it involves using neutral sites and domes. Details were divulged to The Associated Press by people familiar with the agreement. Associated Press March 28, 2020 Figueroa started 32 games in each of his two seasons with the Red Storm, averaging 14.5 points and 5.4 rebounds.HORSE RACING-FLORIDA DERBYTiz the Law wins Derby prepMIAMI (AP) — Tiz the Law ran away in the stretch to easily win the Florida DerbyTiz the Law wrapped up a spot in the Kentucky Derby field based on the points standings that are used to determine who qualifies for the Run for the Roses. The win at Gulfstream Park was worth 100 points, far more than what will be needed for a chance to run at Churchill Downs if the rescheduled Kentucky Derby goes off as planned in early September. But the Longhorns have been a heavier lift, reaching the NCAA Tournament twice in four tries. Texas went 19-12 this past season without any seniors in the lineup. But the team is just 40-50 in the Big 12 under Smart, who is 90-78 overall with the Longhorns.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-ST. JOHN’S-FIGUEROARed Storm player leaving earlyNEW YORK (AP) — St. John’s wing LJ Figueroa has declared for the NBA draft.School officials say he hasn’t hired an agent and still has the option to return to school. Figueroa can return to school for his final season of eligibility if he withdraws from the draft pool by June 3.
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Thank you for your input. -3 Vote up Vote down guest · 365 weeks ago as stated above “Lincoln Elementary Principal John Walton said his class sizes are up about 10 students per class”- This statement seems a bit stretched considering there are 2 classes per grade-that would mean roughly 20 more students per grade just for Lincoln!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 365 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down 20white92 · 365 weeks ago He said per class, not per classroom! Nice math skills though. Einstein Report Reply 0 replies · active 365 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down john Hannan · 365 weeks ago JP Buellesfeld would have been a great asset to the WRC Board. He has great experience including business analysis and raising money for many organizations at the University of Notre dame. He has had a great involvement in the University of notre dame Athletic Department. He has been a great contributor his entire life in many different ways to the University of notre dame Sorin society, University of notre dame Badin Guild and the Notre Dame Rockne Athletic Heritage Fund. Report Reply 0 replies · active 365 weeks ago -1 Vote up Vote down WellingtonProud · 365 weeks ago Guest… What that statement went was “10 per class” and the class is considered the grade level… for example 1st grade had an additional 10 kids this year. Not per class. Seriously, out of the whole article, that’s what you picked out to comment about? No wonder you just have your name as “guest” instead of “uneducated citizen.” Report Reply 0 replies · active 365 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down ConcernedDad · 365 weeks ago David Peck and Bob White using their oh so amazing “power” again? Go figure. Good thing the rest of the board decided to use their brains to allow the WRC to make their own decisions instead of trying to boost their ego with moving people in and out like pawns. First you move teachers around if they tick you off or put them in positions you know they don’t want even after years of teaching and now you’re trying to jack up the WRC board? Come on Wellington, next time these two “gentlemen” are up for re-election we need to find to fresh and open-minded individuals to make these decisions for the city instead of making decisions to boost their egotistical male egos (no offense to all males, just the Harry & Lloyd of the school board). Report Reply 0 replies · active 365 weeks ago +10 Vote up Vote down Concerned Dad · 365 weeks ago David and Bob just need to get their own TV show or soap opera so they can keep their drama contained to an hour TV show and you can tune in if you want to see some idiots making fools of themselves. Quit playing dirty on the school board and just go back to being farmers and stick to the dirt you guys know best. Report Reply 0 replies · active 365 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down Girlie Girl · 365 weeks ago Who the hell does that Mr. Peck think he is overruling the rec commission board? Report Reply 0 replies · active 365 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down Girlie Girl again · 365 weeks ago Is this the same school board guy who had his campaign sign in the front yard of the superintendent’s yard? Report Reply 0 replies · active 365 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down NomorePeckinhere · 365 weeks ago Yeah that’s the same ol David Peck who put a sign in WEISS’ yard. Get Peck outta here! I’m seeing walmart greeter in his near future. Report Reply 0 replies · active 365 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down onewitness · 365 weeks ago How can an appointed WRC board member serve one yr beyond their term and vote on decisions concerning citizians tax dollars,state statues governs this process of appointments to WRC, and their voting count as biding for that entire year!! Unless that board member had their own agenda to complete!! Comments made by GG & CD are correct concerning the BOE members ,they have their own vendettes concerning the WRC ( just look at past yrs & their voting on WRC issues) Report Reply 0 replies · active 365 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” After a split decision, the Wellington school board appointed two Wellington Recreation Commission members at its Thursday meeting at the administration building.Matt Barton will serve a four-year term with the rec board while Betty Zeka will serve a three-year term. The WRC, although acting independently of USD 353, is technically part of the school system’s umbrella.By a 4-2 vote, the school board took the recommendations of the WRC board and appointed Barton, currently serving on the board, and Zeka, who will be replacing Amy Jenkins.Wellington board member David Peck went against the WRC board recommendations and nominated J.P. Buellesfeld for the position instead of Barton. It was seconded by Bob White.WRC board member Hankie Holefelder was in the audience and addressed the school board urging it to go with Barton due to his accounting and board experience.“We are in the middle of a building project, and Matt has been such a part of that,” Holefelder said. “Even though we are bringing Betty Kay in, we’ll have two new members coming in midstream (if going with Buellesfeld). J.P. is a wonderful person. But for right now, Matt is the person we should stick with.”Wellington board president Jackie Berryman said the WRC Board had worked hard in the nomination process and that it should go with its recommendations.“We still have the power to appoint whomever we want to,” Peck said. “We still have a motion on the floor.”The motion failed 5-2. Board member Angie Ratcliff then nominated Barton. That motion passed 5-2.â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢New hirings:Â There were no resignations at USD 353 for this month.New hirings are as follows:â€¢Sarah Garcia: Title 1 teacher at Lincoln Elementary.â€¢Sara Osborne: WHS Physical Science.â€¢Samantha Gandy: Eisenhower Special Education teacher.Zane Aguilar transferred from Roosevelt Education Center to kindergarten and first grade physical education for Lincoln and Eisenhower Elementary schools.â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢In other board news:â€¢The board will hold a listening tour again this year. The dates will be on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 25, Nov. 20, Jan. 15, and April 16.â€¢The board approved the purchase of playground equipment for Roosevelt School. This project is in conjunction with similar action from the Wellington City Council and Wellington Recreation Commission board of directors. The equipment will be set up by the city of Wellington.â€¢On September 27, a group of 20 people associated with Moonlight Ghosts Hunts Inc. in Wichita wants to tour the old junior high school and search for more ghosts. The board gave its approval.â€¢Gary Hassenflu has made another offer for the old junior high building. He had originally offered to purchase the building the year before to turn it into an apartment complex, but funding fell through. He was not in attendance Thursday so the board tabled the matter until next month. In the board packet, Superintendent Rick Weiss stated there is another prospective developer from Wichita who is also interested in the building.â€¢USD 353 administrator Jerry Hodson reported both the high school and Kennedy roof leak problems are being addressed. After tests at the high school, it was determined that the leaking is not coming from the flat roof but somewhere in a wall. They will be also be putting a rubberized seal on the roof at Kennedy.â€¢Hodson said technology wise, there have been several hiccups in the school’s conversion to a new computer system. First, the hardware came in late, and then there were several syncing issues with the school’s infrastructure. Hodson said, though, that new servers and access points will be set up next week and ready for the school year.â€¢WHS Principal Dale Adams said enrollment went well but there were a lot of people still needing to get enrolled. Lincoln Elementary Principal John Walton said his class sizes are up about 10 students per class.â€¢The board went into executive session for non-elected personnel.
YinYang/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not on the bench for oral arguments Wednesday due to a stomach bug, according to the court.The court’s oldest justice, 86, is recovering at home, a spokesperson said.“But she will participate in the consideration and decision of the cases on the basis of the briefs and the transcripts or recordings of the oral arguments,” Chief Justice John Roberts said from the bench at the open of the day’s court session.Notably, Ginsburg is missing the justices’ Wednesday conference to discuss and decide cases argued Tuesday — which were those challenging President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which President Barack Obama created in 2012 to provide temporary legal status and work permits to immigrants.At issue in the DACA case is whether the Trump administration followed federal law requiring agencies to base policy changes on sound reasoning that is explained to the public. Lower courts ruled that the decision to end DACA was “arbitrary and capricious,” in violation of law.During Tuesday’s oral arguments, the court’s conservative members — including the newest members of the court, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch — seemed inclined to overturn the lower court decision. Overturning the decision would allow the Trump administration to carry on with canceling DACA.Ginsburg and her fellow liberal colleagues, however, pushed back. Ginsburg herself argued with the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security’s assumption that DACA is unconstitutional, as outlined in two memos by two now-former homeland security secretaries.“Her whole memo is infected by the idea that this is, one, illegal. It leaves substantial doubt about its illegality,” she said, referring to the memo by Kirstjen Nielsen. “If we take that out, then — the independent ground that you’re asserting, then she would be saying, we stand up and say this is the policy of our administration. We don’t like DACA and we’re taking responsibility for that, instead of trying to put the blame on the law.”Trump Solicitor General Noel Francisco replied that he “very much disagree[d]” with that assessment.Justice Stephen Breyer, meanwhile, suggested a possible middle ground by crafting an opinion that buys time for policymakers to address DACA recipients’ status.This is Ginsburg’s second absence from a public court session in the past year. Last December she took leave after undergoing cancer surgery, which was the first time in her 26 years on the bench she missed an argument. She was also treated for a localized malignant tumor on her pancreas in August before the court convened for the new term.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
A Polk County man is now behind bars after he attempted to steal a Pepsi from a convenience store and became trapped inside the establishment by the clerk.The incident occurred last week at a convenience store in Mulberry, Florida.According to the sheriff’s office, the suspect 49-year-old Gabriel Tillman, walked into the store, grabbed a the drink and attempted to leave without purchasing it. A quick acting clerk, however, remotely locked the doors of the store and prevented Tillman from leaving.Instead of admitting defeat, surveillance video shows Tillman hip checking and bull rushing the door repeatedly in an attempt to get out before picking up a fire extinguisher and trying to use that to break down the door. Eventually the clerk released the doors and Tillman fled the scene.Authorities were able to locate Tillman two blocks away drinking the stolen Pepsi. He was then arrested and taken to the Polk County jail on theft charges.
A Florida man does a good deed after he decided to pay for the power bills of 36 families with past due accounts.Mike Esmond tells the Pensacola News Journal that he once spent a Christmas without electricity. Esmond recalls spending the Christmas of 1983 with his 3 daughters without heat and power because he could not pay his bill. He says it was one of the coldest days on record in Pensacola at only 9 degrees and remembers there were icicles hanging off the window.Esmond who is now 73 runs a successful small business and this Christmas he wanted to make sure no one spends Christmas like he did in 1983. He went to the city of Gulf Breeze this month and requested a list of all utility accounts that were past due and at risk of having their gas and water turned off.Then he paid off all 36 of them which ended up totaling about $4,600.One woman posted her gratitude on Facebook. Angela Cascio, a mother of four who was struggling to choose between paying bills or buying presents for her kids, posted “angels absolutely walk among us.
Prosecutors revealed on Thursday that a 60-year-old jailed sex offender’s DNA has been matched to at least 25 rape victims that date to the early- and mid-1980s.Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle named Robert Eugene Koehler as the Pillowcase Rapist at a news conference. He is believed to have sexually assaulted more than 40 women in South Florida between 1981 and 1986, and possibly longer.Rundle added that she believes numerous cases against him will be prosecuted and said, “This offender will never, ever be free again.”The break in the case happened after Koehler’s son, 29-year-old Robert Koehler, was arrested last September and charged with attempted burglary, domestic violence assault and criminal mischief in Melbourne, Florida.Since the charge was a felony, Robert Koehler’s DNA was taken and then entered in a national database, where it was connected to a 1983 Miami rape case.That led investigators to his father, who lived in Miami during the early 1980s, when the younger Koehler was not born yet.They tracked the 60-year-old in Brevard County and tailed him to a grocery store, where they collected evidence from a grocery cart he had used, as well as a door handle. The initial DNA provided enough evidence to give prosecutors probable cause to arrest Koehler last Saturday at his home in Palm Bay.He was moved to Miami on Wednesday, where a judge issued a search warrant to collect additional DNA from him. That DNA was analyzed and produced a 100 percent match to the DNA found on at least 25 of the women who alleged they were raped by the Pillowcase Rapist during the 1980s.The judge decided at Koehler’s first bond appearance that he will remain jailed without bond.UPDATED: Alleged South Florida “Pillowcase Rapist” was Caught and Freed in 1990
By Chris Rotolo |MIDDLETOWN – In the wake of Super Storm Sandy much of the north side of the township went dark for at least two weeks, with others forced to live without power for nearly a month.It was a trying time, and with that in mind, last November the governing body moved toward establishing a more stable future by awarding a $150,000 grant from the State Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to Leidos Engineering for a 12-month feasibility study. The goal of the study is to test the viability of a waterfront location at Naval Weapons Station Earle in Leonardo for the installation of a community microgrid.So far, the study’s authors have found that a microgrid at Earle is technically feasible, but no further conclusive recommendations could be made until the final stages of the study are completed in December, said Paul Heitmann, an independent consultant contracted by Leidos, who spoke at a Sept. 27 public information session at the Middletown Township Public Library.Township administrator Anthony P. Mercantante said a microgrid could enhance the reliability of distribution, which would benefit public safety by eliminating the need for costly generators and diesel fuel to power critical community facilities.During a severe weather event, a community microgrid of this magnitude could be used to power critical community facilities like NWS Earle’s Waterfront Administration Area, the Township of Middletown Sewage Authority, NY Waterways Ferry Terminal, Middletown Public Works and CNG Fueling Facilities, Middletown’s municipal complex, Leonardo Elementary School, Bayview Elementary School, Bayshore Middle School, Monmouth County Highway Department, Middletown Fire Stations 3 (Belford Engine), 4 (Community, in Leonardo) and 7 (Belford Independent) and the Monmouth County Bayshore Outfall Authority.Traffic signals on coastal evacuation routes like State Route 35, 36 and Leonardville Road could also be powered by the microgrid, as well as the $110 million Port Monmouth Flood Wall, which is in Phase II of construction, and will serve as an important defense against severe flooding upon its completion, Mercantante said.In order to make a determination about the naval base site, Heitmann said the researchers will be seeking a better understanding of energy use at the facilities and roadways, the kinds of technologies at these sites – such as installed gas-powered generators – and what legislative hurdles, environmental restrictions and regulatory barriers must be overcome for such a project.In terms of these obstacles, Heitmann said the tide is turning in New Jersey thanks to a new regime led by Gov. Phil Murphy.“At least tentatively, overcoming all three of those is looking, to some degree, like a possibility,” Heitmann said in an Oct. 2 interview with The Two River Times. “Looking around the country, the biggest factor in overcoming these hurdles is the degree to which the utility is willing to cooperate and collaborate, rather than provide friction to slow the process in order to maintain their current business model.”In Middletown’s case, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) is the service provider that would need to play ball, but Heitmann said it’s not a one-way street.“In areas where the utility has embraced the concept and realized that microgrids can be an asset for them, and where regulators work with utilities to ensure they stay whole on revenues while rewarding them for taking risks to transform their business model, these projects can work.”The Middletown effort is one of just 13 microgrid studies approved by the state and when it’s filed to the BPU in December, the study will be considered for further development. If selected, the project will be elevated from concept plan to design proposal and from that point actual cost estimates can be generated.“That’s when the big questions arise: Who’s funding this? How are we going to pay for it?” Mercantante said of the project, which he speculates will be a multimillion dollar endeavor. “Nobody knows that for sure. But it is well beyond the ability of any single town to finance.”Mercantante said the third phase of the process – funding the installation – is still very unclear. “It’s unknown whether the funding will come from private sector money, current utility companies or newly formed utility companies. It’s certainly not going to be the government.”This article was first published in the Oct. 4-10, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.
Story Highlights The statue — a lasting tribute to the world’s greatest sprinter — was due to be unveiled during Heritage Week in October, but the unveiling ceremony was postponed because of rain. Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, will unveil the statue in a special ceremony scheduled to begin at 5:30 on Sunday afternoon. The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has said that “rain or shine, we will be unveiling the Usain Bolt statue” on Sunday, December 3.The Minister made the declaration on Wednesday (today) after visiting the site on Statue Road in Independence Park where the sculpture will be mounted. “We’re all set to unveil Usain Bolt’s statue,” said Minister Grange.The Minister went to the Independence Park complex (which houses the National Stadium) to observe work on the pedestal on which the bronze statue — to the scale of one and quarter life size — will be mounted. Minister Grange said: “The base is now ready for mounting of the statue. The statue will be mounted and will be in place for Sunday, December 3.”The statue — a lasting tribute to the world’s greatest sprinter — was due to be unveiled during Heritage Week in October, but the unveiling ceremony was postponed because of rain. Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, will unveil the statue in a special ceremony scheduled to begin at 5:30 on Sunday afternoon.The ceremony will be attended by several notable ﬁgures in local and international sports including Victor Lopez, the President of the North American Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association. The IAAF President, Lord Coe, will also participate in the ceremony.“We’re getting a specially recorded message from Lord Coe, who was unable to come,” said Minister Grange. “We have an interesting programme lined up and Usain Bolt is looking forward to this event,” she continued.The sculpture was designed by renowned Jamaican sculptor Basil Watson. It is the ﬁrst of four statues of national sports stars that were commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport under the Jamaica 55 Legacy Programme. Watson is also working on sculptures of Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce, Veronica Campbell Brown and Asafa Powell. The Minister invited the public to attend the unveiling ceremony.Immediately following the unveiling of the statue, there will be a special Reception of Appreciation for Jamaican athletes (a private event). Minister Grange said the Reception was for members of the Jamaican team that participated at the IAAF World Championship in London earlier this year as well as for “our Olympians in general – just to say thank you for how they’ve represented Jamaica over the years and for being good ambassadors.” The Minister went to the Independence Park complex (which houses the National Stadium) to observe work on the pedestal on which the bronze statue — to the scale of one and quarter life size — will be mounted. Minister Grange said: “The base is now ready for mounting of the statue. The statue will be mounted and will be in place for Sunday, December 3.” The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has said that “rain or shine, we will be unveiling the Usain Bolt statue” on Sunday, December 3.