Day: October 19, 2021

Trenton Mayor and First Responders Ask City Council to Advance Proposals to Keep Trenton’s Emergency Communications Online

City has a Deadline of Oct. 31, 2021 to Pay Radio Service Provider

October 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora – flanked by clergy, city residents, union representatives and his police, fire, and EMS command staff – today called on Trenton City Council to approve payment to the City’s radio service provider and advance the Administration’s proposal to upgrade Trenton’s outdated emergency communications equipment at no additional cost to city residents.

Currently, Trenton is on a trajectory to have its entire radio system shut off by the end of the month. City Council has indefinitely tabled a September 2021 resolution to pay the city’s current radio service provider, MPS Communications, for services rendered. The vendor has stated it will shut off service on Oct. 31, 2021.

As a result, the Trenton Police Department (TPD), Trenton Fire and Emergency Services, Trenton Water Works and other city personnel will suffer reduced capacity to dispatch emergency communications to responders in the field or talk with one another during an active crisis.

“The first responsibility of any government is to secure the safety of its people,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Yet here we are on the eve of our radio service being shut off for all city entities including police and fire and Council leadership has refused to advance our proposals to pay what we owe and fund badly needed police radio updates. One thing is certain: our residents and first responders will be at greater risk if our radio service is terminated with no alternative course in place.”

Keeping the MPS system running is only a temporary fix. The Gusciora Administration has proposed a resolution allocating $4 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to replace the police radio equipment and 911 dispatch center so they are compatible with the Mercer County radio system, which Trenton can use at no additional cost.

Unfortunately, that resolution has also been tabled by Council beyond the October 31 deadline, but the Administration expects that a member of City Council will attempt to walk the resolution back on the agenda at tonight’s City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m.

“This is exactly the type of project the American Rescue Plan is meant to support,” said Acting Trenton Police Director Steve E. Wilson. “This $4 million-dollar proposal would allow us to make a badly needed investment in public safety without taking on additional debt. And the fact that this upgrade will also allow us to use the Mercer County radio system for no additional cost makes it an even better deal for Trenton residents.”

TPD has been trying for years to obtain funding to upgrade and replace its radio systems and equipment. A study commissioned by City Council concluded in May 2020 that the systems are outdated and not compliant with industry safety standards. However, Council has not approved any additional MPS bids and most recently tabled a resolution on Sept. 16, 2021 to authorize payment of Trenton’s outstanding balance with MPS.

Meanwhile, TPD has been working with Mercer County since August 2021 to explore moving to the county system. A memo circulated by the Biden Administration in July 2021 encouraged police technology investments using ARP funds, of which Trenton will receive $73 million. The $4 million proposal to update the TPD radio system is included in Mayor Gusciora’s ARP spending plan at www.talktrenton.org.


Marty’s Place In Upper Freehold Township To Join Senior Dog Rescue Organizations Nationwide In Celebrating “Saving Senior Dogs Week”

National Senior Dog Awareness Campaign to Benefit Senior Dog Rescues in the United States October 25 – 31, 2021

October 19, 2021

UPPER FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Marty’s Place Senior Dog Sanctuary is pleased to announce its participation in the third annual Saving Senior Dogs Week from October 25 – October 31.

Presented by Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary in California, Saving Senior Dogs Week is a week-long national social media and PR campaign to increase public awareness of the struggles of homeless senior dogs, the joys of adopting them, to reduce unnecessary euthanasia, and to provide existing senior dog rescues across the country with much-needed funding to carry out their missions. www.savingseniordogsweek.org

“We are excited to be joining forces with senior dog rescues nationwide in raising awareness and funds for senior dogs,” said Doreen Jakubcak, Marty’s Place founder and executive director.

NEW FOR 2021: Saving Senior Dogs Week is thrilled to partner with the New York Dog Film Festival™ for their 2021 campaign. The New York Dog Film Festival™ supports animal welfare organizations across the country that focus on the most vulnerable dogs: the older ones. A portion of every ticket sold across the country will benefit all the participating rescues of Saving Senior Dogs Week. Marty’s Place will be featured in this year’s Festival. The Festival Premiere on October 24th kicks off Saving Senior Dogs Week, but, of course, the life-saving rescues and adoptions take place all 52 weeks of the year, as does the festival’s support of their work.

According to Alice Mayn, executive director of Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary, and creator of Saving Senior Dogs Week, support for the campaign has grown each year.  “The continued and growing support from our sponsors and rescues has been phenomenal. We still have a long way to go but I feel incredibly positive about the progress and difference we are making.”

It is estimated that approximately 670,000 shelter dogs are euthanized each year in the United States. Senior dogs are the least likely to be rescued or adopted from shelters and are most at risk of being euthanized. Although there are an estimated 14,000 animal rescue organizations nationwide, approximately 50 of them are dedicated exclusively to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing senior dogs.

Seventy-five percent of the proceeds from the fundraising campaign will be divided equally among the participating senior dog rescue organizations. The remaining twentyfive percent of the funds will go into the Saving Senior Dogs grant fund to provide veterinary care and dog supplies for new 501(c)3 senior dog rescues. 100% of the funds will go towards saving thousands of homeless senior dogs.

Current partnering Saving Senior Dog Week rescue organizations include: Albert’s Dog Lounge Dog Rescue – Wisconsin; Daisy Lu – Southern California; Dog Lodge – Texas;  Forever Dream Senior Dog

Sanctuary – North Carolina; Forever Loved Pet Sanctuary – Arizona; Frosted Faces Foundation – Southern California; Gray Face Acres Senior Dog Rescue – Maryland; Grand-Paws Senior Sanctuary – Southern California; Gray Paws Sanctuary – Pennsylvania; Homer J’s Senior Dog Sanctuary – Nevada; Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary – Northern California; Lionel’s Legacy – Southern California; Marty’s Place Senior Dog Sanctuary – New Jersey; Muttville – Northern California; Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary – Tennessee; Peace of Mind Dog Rescue – Northern California; The Roland Senior Dog Rescue Gang – Florida; Senior Dog Haven & Hospice – Delaware; Senior Dog Sanctuary – Maryland; Senior Paws Rescue – Indiana; Tails of Gray – Northern California; Top Dog Foundation – Minnesota; Vintage Paws Rescue – Florida; Vintage Pet Rescue – Rhode Island; Whispering Willows Senior Dog Sanctuary – Missouri.

Special thanks to the 2021 Saving Senior Dogs Week Sponsors:  Jonathan and Germaine Heiliger, Canna-Pet, Healthypaws Pet Insurance & Foundation, Subaru Marin, Zoetis, Mezzetta Family Company, Fairfax Veterinary Clinic, Radio Pet Lady Network and New York Dog Film Festival.

ABOUT MARTY’S PLACE SENIOR DOG SANCTUARY

Inspired by a senior dog adoptee named Marty and the plight of other aging canines with nowhere to safely and comfortably live out their “golden” years, Marty’s Place Senior Dog Sanctuary was founded in 2015. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization provides a permanent and protected environment for dogs aged seven and older when their owners or other animal rescue/shelters can no longer care for them.

While adoption may be an option for some residents, when it is not, Marty’s Place provides senior dogs a loving home for life in a cage-free, family-like environment with full, personalized attention given to their needs for the rest of their lives.

Situated on 25 acres, the 8,000-square-foot facility in Upper Freehold, N.J., also offers a swim program for its residents and non-resident dogs of all ages in its indoor, saltwater pool.  

For more information visit:  www.martysplace.org or call 609-259-1278.


Opinion: Mercer County To Spend $1.88 Million Replacing Abandoned Railroad “Bridge To Nowhere”

October 19, 2021

Opinion:

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County sent a press release this morning informing us that Parkside Avenue in the City of Trenton will be closed for approximately 5 months for a replacement of a “bridge carrying an abandoned railroad trail” This abandoned “trail” is blocked off on several sections and has signs saying “No Trespassing” and that the property is owned by CSX Transportation, Inc. This “trail” runs Parallel to Oakland Street and Homan Avenue. A quick Google measurement shows that the current worn foot path or “trail” runs just less than a 1/2 mile from Maple Avenue in a southerly direction ending approximately at Edgemere Avenue. On the north end at Hillcrest the railroad right of way is gone and houses have been built over it so there could be no expansion for a “rail to trail” for the neighborhood north into Ewing Township. In the southerly direction the right of way is less clear since it appears that others have built over it, paved sections for parking lots or fenced the right of way. There appear to be no CSX signs south of Ellsworth Avenue.

Multiple fences and signage in the area of Hoffman Avenue indicate that this “trail” is indeed on private property and users are currently trespassing by going around the fences. This area is known to some of the most serious gun violence and shooting deaths in the City of Trenton the past few years. A visit to the site and “trail” today showed the area covered with trash, empty beer and liquor bottles, needles and used condoms strewn about the area.

According to the press release a $1,885,277.00 bid was awarded at the Mercer County Board of Commissioners meeting on October 7.

In our opinion this is a “Bridge To Nowhere” because the current “trail” is illegal because it is currently on private property and clearly marked “No Trespassing” Instead of a bridge replacement the County should perform a bridge removal at a lower cost to the taxpayers. If indeed one day the City or County does acquire the property for a trail a lower cost pedestrian type bridge could be used similar to many used in County and State Parks for foot traffic. I can think of a lot better projects that Mercer County could have spent $1.88+ Million Dollars on that would have done a lot of good for the County.


Mercer County Press Release 10/19/2021

The Mercer County Department of Transportation and Infrastructure will start the replacement of the bridge carrying an abandoned railroad trail over Parkside Avenue in the City of Trenton on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. It is one of 17 County bridge projects in progress, including those in the design stage, according to County Executive Brian M. Hughes.

Officially known as Bridge #180.1, the structure is located between Oak Lane and Oakland Street. This project is to be completed in 150 calendar days, weather permitting.

During construction, Parkside Avenue between Oak Lane and Oakland Street will be closed to vehicular traffic on a 24/7 basis. Pedestrians will be provided a safe passage through the site during construction. A detour will be posted directing motorists to West State Street to Sullivan Way to Lower Ferry Road and Parkway Avenue, ending on Parkside Avenue.

The existing bridge carrying an abandoned railroad trail over Parkside Avenue is a concrete-encased steel girder bridge. The structure is in poor condition, extremely deteriorated and poses a hazard due to the potential of falling concrete debris.

The replacement bridge will be a single-span structure supported on full-height concrete abutments. The superstructure will consist of precast prestressed beams with a composite reinforced concrete deck. The substructure will be full-height reinforced concrete abutments founded on cast-in-place spread footings. The proposed structure was designed to identically match the aesthetics of the existing structure while being upgraded to meet current New Jersey Department of Transportation standards.

The successful bidder for the project was Rencor Inc. of Somerville, which submitted a bid price of $1,885,277. Rencor Inc. has successfully completed similar projects in Mercer County and provided the lowest bid price for this project. The contract was approved by the Mercer County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 7.



Ocean State Job Lot Opens New Store in Freehold, NJ

Discount Retailer Opens 6th New Jersey Store in Former Toys”R”Us Location

October 19, 2021

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Ocean State Job Lot (OSJL), the region’s premier discount retail chain with store locations across the Northeast, is pleased to announce the opening today of its 147th store, its sixth in New Jersey, at 600 Trotters Way, Freehold. The store is across from the Freehold Raceway Mall and is the 11th Toys“R”Us OSJL has purchased and opened since 2017.

This 44,784 sq. ft. location restores vibrancy to the formerly vacant retail space. Nearly 50 full- and part-time associates have been hired for the store, which will offer customers a big, bright shopping space. “We’re looking forward to sharing Ocean State Job Lot’s unique shopping experience with our new neighbors in Freehold,” said Jeff Greene, Store Team Leader, Ocean State Job Lot. “From seasonal items and home essentials, including fall lawn clean-up supplies, to pantry staples, paper goods, holiday wrapping, and a wide array of cleaning products, Ocean State Job Lot offers unbeatable prices and selection.”

As part of its Three Square Meals program, the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation (OSJLCF) will make a donation of non-perishable food items to Fulfill, the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. In addition, a pallet of food will be donated to Freehold Open Door Food Pantry as part of the OSJLCF’s Pallets to Pantries program. Lastly, a $500 OSJL gift card will be provided to Freehold’s All Fur Love Animal Rescue, a donation made possible through the OSJLCF’s To The Rescue initiative to aid animal welfare organizations.

Shoppers throughout New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania know Ocean State Job Lot for its Crazy Deals, Insider Club, fantastic prices, friendly customer service, and wide range of merchandise.

Ocean State Job Lot has made its mark in the discount-retail segment through opportunistic buying, which allows it to offer a wide selection of first-quality name brands and closeout merchandise at unbelievable prices. Shoppers find an ever-changing array of household goods, apparel, pet supplies, seasonal products (such as holiday, lawn and garden supplies, heating and cooling), kitchen pantry staples and a broad offering of gourmet and international specialty foods.

Store hours are currently 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day.


Aggravated Sexual Assault Suspect Being Sought; Similar Incident In Duke Island Park, Bridgewater

October 19, 2021

PLAINSBORO-SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone, Chief Fred Tavener of the Plainsboro Police Department, and Chief Raymond Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announce authorities are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying an individual believed to be involved in an aggravated sexual assault that occurred in the area of Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park on the border of Plainsboro and South Brunswick Townships.

A joint investigation has determined that on September 28, 2021 between 4:30 P.M. and 5:00 P.M., an adult woman was walking on a path adjacent to the canal where she was approached by a male armed with a weapon and moved to a secondary location on the Plainsboro-South Brunswick border where she was sexually assaulted.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, age range of 40’s-50’s, approximately 5’5” – 5’6” tall, wearing dark colored clothing and a dark baseball cap. The individual is believed to have been riding a bike.

This incident has similarities to a sexual assault that occurred in Duke Island Park in Bridgewater Township, Somerset County on Sunday evening, July 18, 2021.


Hamilton Township Council to Vote on Demolition of East State Street Properties Damaged in 2015, 6-Alarm Fire

October 19, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Hamilton Township Council is set to vote on the demolition of East State Street properties damaged in a 2015 six-alarm fire. 

If approved by Council at their meeting on Tuesday, seven of the eight condemned properties damaged in the fire that tore through the 1700 block of East State Street, displacing dozens of residents, will be demolished. A private developer purchased the eighth property prior to the acquisition of the other vacant properties in 2021 by the Township. 

When stepping into office, Mayor Martin promised to address the vacant and abandoned properties within the Township. By acquiring the East State Street properties, the Township will look to convert the vacant properties to affordable housing units.  

“For six years, the residents of Hamilton have been reminded of the awful fire that took place in 2015,” stated Mayor Jeff Martin. “Moving to tear down the vacant buildings and convert the properties into new affordable housing is the right thing to do after all of this time. We have more work to do on many other vacant and abandoned properties, but this is a great place to start.”

The Hamilton Township Council will meet this evening at 6:30 pm at the Hamilton Township Senior Center located at 409 Cypress Lane. 






Mentioned at a June 16, 2020 Black Lives Matter Protest in Hamilton:


“I am going to mention one more thing about the Bromley Section of the city. We know that structure racism exists, houses burned down in the Bromley Section almost 5 years ago, those houses are still sitting there, that would happen in no other neighborhood in Hamilton but Bromley. That has to change. That’s racism. That’s separation. That’s underclass and we must speak up against that. We have some action items that we are going to demand Hamilton and Mercer County hold to before this is over.” –Black Lives Matter protester Tracey D. Syphax


Mentioned at the Black Lives Matter Protest in Hamilton Township, June 16, 2020:

7 minutes 25 seconds in this video you can hear the statement about the fire 5 years ago in the Bromley Section:


Jackson Firefighters Extinguish House Fire

October 19, 2021

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Jackson Township Police and Jackson Township Fire Departments responded to the 400 Block of 4th Street for a house fire around 11:12 p.m. Upon arrival of police it was reported heavy smoke coming from a manufactured home. The fire department arrived and extinguished the fire. The fire appeared to be a couch on fire that was inside the home. No further information or official cause of the fire.