Dear Editor:After reading the letter to the Editor about Jersey City’s contradictory housing policy in the last issue, I am prompted to ask about affordable housing in all of the new residential towers and low-rise housing developments. Was there not some affordable housing mandated along with the tax abatements? I believe that I would qualify, but I have called all over Jersey City government and was told that there are some, but “you have to go there in person, and ask”. But no one could even tell me which buildings have such apartments. How many units of affordable housing were created in the past 25 years, and where are they? In the interest of transparency and honesty I think that there should be an on-line database of all tax abatements, and what the terms were. Any apartments at affordable rates in those buildings should be in a separate database with income requirements and an on-line application. New York City has this. Over the years I have read about some abatement which had some affordable units as part of the deal, but what happened to them? I never had a chance to get one.Did they go to cronies, or friends of friends, or what? I do not qualify for Section 8 housing, but after 36 years in Jersey City, I am priced out of middle-income housing since landlords can ask for as much as they can get. It is literally an apartment auction where those who can pay the most get to stay in Jersey City. Sincerely,Laird Ehlert
Indianapolis, In. — The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs is accepting letters of intent for the Stellar Communities Program. Beginning in January 2018, the program evolved into to a regional partnership design which emphasizes collaboration in planning efforts between neighboring towns, cities and counties.“I want to encourage all communities and counties to apply and especially those with past Stellar Designees and Finalists,” said Jodi Golden, Executive Director of OCRA. “We received positive feedback from the 2018 finalists that the regional approach allowed for more collaborative possibilities and growth opportunities and we’re excited to continue that in 2019.”Overseen by Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, the Stellar Communities Program is a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment initiative led by OCRA. This program works with communities in developing regional development plans, promoting local and regional partnerships and increasing economic development.The letter of intent submission process is completed through an online grant management system. All regions must submit the required documentation in order to be considered. Letters of Intent are due by April 5, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. ET. A demonstration video is available to help familiarize applicants with the program.Eligible participants include local units of government that are a county, city or an incorporated town that participate in the Indiana Community Development Block Grant program. Those that are considered a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recognized entitlement community are not eligible.This collaborative effort brings together mentorships and partnerships to advance comprehensive solutions to regional and local challenges throughout rural Indiana. All participating communities must commit at least four years to the project.Golden said to reach out to the agency to help provide assistance with the program.The Stellar Communities Program dedicated program manager, Michael Sinnet, is also available for consultation and assistance. An informational video on the overall program will be available on Jan. 30. Click here for more information.
As of late yesterday afternoon, a registered nurse and three other clinical staff have died at the C.H. Rennie Hospital in Kakata, Margibi , and 11 others working at the facility are said to be showing symptoms of the Ebola disease, the hospital’s Medical Director has disclosed.Dr. Adolphus Yeiah told the Daily Observer Wednesday that as the result of the ongoing deaths of the nurses and other support staff,his administration is contemplating shutting down the hospital if results of specimens taken from other nurses and sent for testing in Monrovia prove positive.In a brief exclusive interview with this newspaper, Dr. Yeiah added that the decision to close the hospital down “is intended to be awarning sign to the public and other institutions that the situation could go from bad to worse, as there are other sensitive health-related issues that we are closely monitoring as well.”The situation has left the hospital partially abandoned by the nurses, “because they have been complaining about the lack of personalprotective equipment (PPEs), but to no avail.”According to Dr. Yeiah, one of the Ebola victims, a lab technician, Steven Blamah, contracted the virus along with the other 11 othernurses (not named) from one of their late colleagues, John Quaye. The late Mr. Quaye worked with another public health facility in Kakata, but died recently of Ebola.”After contracting the virus, the late Quaye concealed the information from his colleagues, and was working alongside them, while secretly treating suspected patients of the virus at the same time at his private clinic and also at his residence.”The late Mr. Quaye’s wife and sister (not named) are also down with the virus and are refusing to show up at the hospital, after doctors had advised them to do so following Quaye’s death.Meanwhile, it is being reported that residents of Kakata City are now gripped with fear as the Ebola virus spreads its tentacles in thatdensely populated part of the country. The city center and other public areas that usually attract huge numbers of people are becoming virtually empty, according to one of our sources.It is reported that a group of health workers on the Ebola Team is now in Kakata to evacuate the infected victims to Monrovia to bequarantined in a better environment where they would be properly monitored. That exercise, Dr. Yeiah said, will also help to stop thespread of the virus in the densely populated city of Kakata and its environs.But our Kakata-based source said that the medical facility at the City Clinic, where the first victim contracted the virus has beenclosed for 34 days. Accordingly, the process of chlorinating all public facilities as well as some ‘sensitive’ private areas in the county are well underway.Observers see the Ebola attack on Kakata as extremely disturbing, given the city’s central location. Most travelers up country, especially to Bong, Lofa, Nimba, Grand Gedeh and other parts of southeastern Liberia not only pass through Kakata, but also stop there for refueling, rest, food and shopping.Kakata lies in the heart of Liberia’s rubber belt. It is adjacent to three major concession areas, Firestone, Salala Rubber Corporation situated in Weala near Salala, Bong County, and China Union, the mining concession operating the former Bong Mines in the densely populated Fauma Chiefdom. Closer to Kakata is the country’s largest privately owned rubber plantation, Morris American Rubber, formerly known as Morris Farm.There are also many major educational institutions in Kakata, the biggest being the Booker Washington Institute (BWI), the Lango Lippaye High School, St. Augustine High School and the Cuttington Community College, which also trains nurses.In a related development, the Christian church, Full Gospel Ministry, has declared a five-day Fast and Prayer in Kakata to appeal for God’s divine intervention to heal the land. “We have gathered at the Philadelphia Church on Kakata’s main street to pray for God’s intervention in our situation,” a member of the church has said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)