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Firm gets second shot behind the wheel at Hoboken garage

The Hoboken City Council is putting its faith in an Israeli company to run the robotic Garden Street garage, which has been plagued by problems since it was built three years ago.

The council voted Wednesday to award Unitronics a $2 million contract to replace and fix mechanical and electrical problems and replace software that controls the 314-space garage at 916 Garden St.

MENENDEZ: Grand jury probing deal linked to Menendez

NEWARK — Sen. Robert Menendez's office today continued to defend his real estate transaction with a nonprofit organization as a published report said a federal grand jury was hearing testimony regarding the deal.

The Record of Bergen County reported in today's newspapers that two witnesses were questioned by a panel the day before.

Michael Drewniak, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, would not comment today.

The newspaper said one of the people questioned was Lourdes Lopez, who bought a Union City building from Menendez in 2003. Lopez then became landlord to the North Hudson Community Action Corp. Menendez had rented to the nonprofit group for nine years and had helped it obtain federal funds.

Menendez case before grand jury

A federal grand jury has begun hearing testimony in an investigation of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's relationship with a publicly funded community group.

Two witnesses linked to Menendez's onetime home and law office were questioned behind closed doors in Newark on Thursday, a month to the day after the Democrat's election to the Senate. Three knowledgeable sources described the panel as a special grand jury, a type usually assembled for a single extensive investigation.

The grand jurors heard from Edgewater restaurateur Lourdes Lopez, who bought the building from Menendez in 2003 and took over as landlord to the North Hudson Community Action Corp. Menendez had rented the building to the agency for nine years, during which he helped it get some of its federal money in his capacity as the area's congressman.

HPU: City Council to vote on $1.9 million fix for Garden St. garage

HOBOKEN - The City Council will vote Wednesday whether to award a $1.9 million contract to Unitronics, Inc. to fix problems with the automated garage at 916 Garden St.

If approved, the Massachusetts-based firm will be contracted to fix mechanical, electronic and software problems to make the troubled garage run smoothly.

MHA: Report: Over a third of N.J. hospitals are running in the red

TRENTON — Nearly 40 percent of New Jersey hospitals lost money in 2005 and the rest had relatively small profit margins on average, continuing a nearly decade-long trend, their trade association reported today.

Last year, hospitals across the Garden State had an average operating margin, similar to a profit margin, of only 1.6 percent, while their long-term debt rose and cash on hand to continue operations declined, according to the "Financial Status of New Jersey Hospitals Report."

The report, prepared by the New Jersey Hospital Association, is the ninth in a row to find hospital operating margins of just 2 percent or less. Last year's 1.6 percent average operating margin was less than half the national average for the same period: 3.7 percent, according to the American Hospital Association.

The Golan Cipels Official Web Site

The Golan Cipels Official Web Site

My name is Golan Cipel, and this website is dedicated to telling my story.  The release of Jim McGreevey's book, The Confession , is the unfortunate reason why I feel I must speak, as nearly everything in that book that pertains to me and my relationship with him is a complete fabrication. 

McGreevey has spun a tale about his struggle to come out of the closet as a gay man, and his realization that he could no longer run from himself.  However, the reality is that this was never an issue of sexual orientation or a secret romance.  The fact is that I was the victim of several sexual assaults and ongoing sexual harassment by Jim McGreevey.  For now I will only describe the three main incidents of sexual assault, although in the near future I intend to post my entire story here – from the time we met, through all of the assaults, threats and lies, up to my ultimate decision to stand up and confront the Governor.

Santiago releases crime document. Police director criticized for withholding reports

TRENTON -- In a display of détente, Police Director Joseph Santiago yesterday made public the department's daily crime report, an internal document generated each morning for department commanders that summa rizes major crimes from the prior 24 hours.

The release of the report followed a faxed request by The Times for detailed information from the police for the past day, as directed by Executive Order 69, the 1997 state order that requires timely release of information to the public, within a maximum of 24 hours from a request being received.

Politicians double-dip to earn 6-digit paychecks. Social Security paychecks? Fuggedaboutit.

A large number of Hudson County pols are bankrolling a career in public life into cozy, taxpayer funded retirement plans thanks to spreading themselves out in a number of different jobs, according to The Jersey Journal's review of state pension records.

The Journal review shows that 13 elected officials in Hudson County earn six-figure salaries - and a host of others below that threshold - through a combination of different public jobs, including two pols who rank third and fifth in the state when it comes to prolific pension takers.

"Brazen act of violence in broad daylight" Jersey City man, 21, arrested in shooting death in Hoboken

A 21-year-old convicted drug dealer from Jersey City turned himself in to the Hudson County prosecutor's office on Wednesday following the fatal shooting on Fourth and Jackson Streets in Hoboken that left 22-year-old Ronald Dixon, also of Jersey City, dead. The incident occurred on Friday Nov. 10 shortly after 12 p.m.

According to Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio, witness testimonies as well as surveillance tapes recovered from the scene of the crime led investigators to believe that Carlos A. Myrie is the alleged shooter.

"It was a brazen act of violence in broad daylight," said DeFazio, who added that Myrie was released from prison in March of this year after being convicted of distributing drugs within 1,000 feet of a school in Jersey City.

Roberts seeks to reduce size of city council

HOBOKEN Mayor David Roberts is looking to slash the number of City Council members, saying it would make government more efficient and take some of the politicking out of the process.

Although the mayor said he wants to open up the idea for public debate, any change would likely be timed for the next mayoral election, in 2009.

"The amount of politics that goes on in Hoboken becomes unmanageable," said Roberts. "There should be less."