Severe Thunderstorm watch in effect today

27 07 2008

Passaic New Jersey- Severe thunderstorm watch is in effect today throughout the day. Conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to develop. Stay alert, and be prepared to seek shelter if a warning is issued.

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Did Oxygen Tank Explode on Jet?

27 07 2008

Qantas jet with hole in fuselage, July 25

MANILA, Philippines (July 27) – Australian investigators are focusing on the possibility that an oxygen cylinder could have exploded mid-flight on a Qantas jumbo jet that made an emergency landing in the Philippines with a giant hole in its fuselage, officials said Sunday.

 

 

Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority said Qantas has been ordered to urgently inspect every oxygen bottle aboard its fleet of 30 Boeing 747s.
“At this stage, there is no evidence whatsoever that this is a security-related event,” Neville Blyth, senior investigator from the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau, told a news conference in Manila. “This is being treated as a safety investigation.”
Blyth said tests for bomb residue were negative. Philippine bomb-sniffing dogs went through the aircraft, particularly the cargo hold and the passenger baggage, and found no indication of explosives.
He said the focus is now on an oxygen bottle missing from the cargo hold that was left exposed when a section of the 747-400’s metal skin ripped away at 29,000 feet over the South China Sea on Friday.
“I can’t speculate as to indeed the probability of that cylinder having caused the damage,” Blyth said, when asked if there were indications that the scuba tank-like cylinder had exploded and damaged the plane.
“In the vicinity of the damage, we are missing one cylinder. The areas around the damage will be inspected. We’re obviously looking for evidence on where that cylinder may have gone,” he said.
Peter Gibson, spokesman for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, said an inspection of all oxygen bottles in Qantas’ fleet will take several days. He said bottles located near the hole contained emergency oxygen for the flight deck. aol.com




New York – Israeli IDF Vets Train NY Jewish Paramilitaries In Catskills

27 07 2008

New York – Yonatan Stern, the “Sgan Mefaked Hakita” (deputy squad commander) of Kitat Konenut New York, insists his “paramilitary emergency armed response team” is no “group of vigilantes or a JDL “The goal of the organization is to have a competent and professional group of armed volunteers ready to respond to a threat at a moment’s notice in any area where Jews reside,” explains the Israeli combat veteran.“We do not carry out demonstrations or political activity of any kind as we have no political agenda. Our agenda is to protect Jews wherever and whenever necessary and by any means needed.”

On Friday, the third session of the group’s training camp will begin in the Catskills woodlands of upstate New York, on land belonging to a Jewish supporter of the organization. With tuition at $400, the group expects 15 participants and five instructors for the 10 days of training. Participation has doubled since the group began three years ago.

Kitat Konenut New York is modeled on the rapid response teams in the West Bank settlements that are often the first to act when terrorist attacks or other emergencies take place. The group bills itself as religious-Zionist but nonpolitical.

American Jews have “felt a false sense of security in the United States,” Stern believes, “because historically there has been less anti-Semitism than in other countries. But there have been incidents – neo-Nazi terrorist attacks, Arab terrorist attacks. Jews have to be vigilant.”

“The threat is not from the American people or government,” he adds, but from “terrorist sleeper cells that want to target Jews. These people are very dangerous and the FBI issues warnings against them very often,” he said, citing the FBI’s warning, after the killing of Hizbullah operations chief Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus in February, that the Lebanese group might carry out terror attacks on Jewish communities.

“The average American is friendly to Jews, but we’re worried about those individuals on the periphery of society,” Stern says.

 

The group was founded in the summer of 2006 in response to the shooting attack at the Jewish federation of Seattle premises by local Muslim Naveed Haq.

 

“We realized there is a need for this kind of organization, and as Israeli combat veterans living in the US, we have the skills and ability to respond to this,” Stern says.

The group’s MySpace page details the camp’s regimen, which includes training in the IDF’s Krav Maga martial art, use of non-lethal weapons and identification of suspicious objects, but also sharpshooter and assault rifle training, infantry exercises and endurance marches. Explanatory literature lists a large number of weapons with which participants can expect to train.

“We believe all Jews in the US must be legally armed and trained,” Stern says, “and towards this goal we hold paramilitary training camps to train and equip Jewish American youth.”

The group’s literature notes emphatically that all firearms used in training “are 100% legal and in compliance with all federal, state and local laws.”

“We strongly believe in the constitutional right to bear arms and we express this right to its fullest,” it adds.

The group claims to be “well-connected with the New York police and fire departments” and it invites “all members of the law enforcement community to join in our life-saving activities.”

Stern says, “We are all legally armed and carry radios and cellphones” during all hours of the day, and even on Shabbat, “as we need to be constantly ready to respond to any incident.”

The camp literature also promises discussions on Torah and Halacha, understanding and confronting terrorism, fighting anti-Semitism, the history of the Zionist movement in the Land of Israel, and encouraging participants to “know your rights and learn how every American can and must be legally armed and how to express the Second Amendment” – the right to bear arms.

 Funded by tuition money and a handful of private donors, the group does not exclude secular Jews, Stern says, but asks that they respect the Orthodox nature of the camp by observing Shabbat in public and refraining from bringing non-kosher food.

“We wouldn’t have a problem with non-Jews coming either,” says Stern, “but no non-Jew has applied thus far. Vinnews.com





Reminders of Jersey greeted Corzine throughout Israel trip

27 07 2008

New Jersey Governor Corzine

As he soaked up the sights and culture of Israel during a five-day trade mission halfway around the world last week, Gov. Jon Corzine often felt like New Jersey was just a Turnpike exit away.

From the first day of his journey to the last, Corzine stumbled upon reminders of his home state in all corners of the country.

Tourists recognized him during breakfasts at the hotel. Summer interns in the Knesset government headquarters told him they hailed from the Garden State. A cluster of Jersey schoolteachers descended on him at the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem.

“It feels like I’m in New Jersey most of the time when I am in a public forum,” Corzine said early on in the trip.

New Jersey and Israel often invite comparisons over their similar size and population, as well as specializing in some of the same industries. New Jersey’s large Jewish community also makes for strong cultural ties.

But for the governor and his traveling posse, last week took the link to another level.

Bradley Abelow, Corzine’s chief of staff, took to calling the New Jersey state Legislature “our Knesset,” after the famously combative Israeli legislative branch.

Parallels popped up when driving around the country. Spotting a nasty traffic jam on the main north-south highway leading to the urban center of Tel Aviv, Ambassador Asaf Shariv, consul general of Israel in New York, pointed to the green exit signs and grinned. “It’s like the Turnpike, no?”

The governor’s motorcade – led by a blue stretch limousine provided by the Israeli government — was itself an attention magnet. Curious passers-by who were told the governor of New Jersey was inside sometimes asked if he was the one who romanced an “Israeli guy,” Shariv said.

Corzine’s predecessor, former Gov. James E. McGreevey, resigned from office after admitting a homosexual affair with Israeli national Golan Cipel, who claims McGreevey sexually harassed him.

One-on-one connections were equally bizarre. Visiting Israel’s leading technical university on Tuesday, Corzine made small talk with a professor showing off a surveillance camera embedded in a miniature helicopter. Soon they found common ground: both used to live in Summit.

Another random encounter brought Corzine face to face with Kenny Kleinerman, who said he worked with former Gov. Thomas Kean on developing E-ZPass.

By Thursday morning, it was hardly a surprise when Tal Brody – the Trenton Central High School graduate who achieved Israeli basketball superstardom – stopped by Corzine’s hotel.

“It was like musical chairs in terms of people coming to meet with him,” said Abe Foxman, a Bergen County resident and national director of the Anti-Defamation League who stumbled upon the governor in the hotel dining room one morning. “He’s so comfortable, you’d think he was in Jersey.”

The constant stream of connections clearly amused Corzine as he hawked Jersey as a home for Israeli business. On a tour of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot Thursday afternoon – the last public stop on his official trip – Corzine was shown an exhibit of dangling mirrors meant to portray chaos.

Want chaos? “Come to New Jersey,” he said.

“You’re from New Jersey?” asked his young tour guide, Hadas Cahalla.

“Yes,” said the governor. “Are you?”

For once, the answer was no. NJ.com





Vehicle rear-ends jitney bus, injuring 7

27 07 2008

PASSAIC – Seven people were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, after a car rear-ended a jitney bus on Friday, police said.

At 3:16 p.m., Jorge Lesmes Jr., 23, of Bloomfield was driving a two-door Acura on River Drive at Elliot Street, when he hit a jitney carrying 16 people plus the driver, said police Detective Andy White.

Lesmes was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson with facial injuries. The jitney driver, Gil Abreu, 51, of New York, was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital, along with five of his passengers.

The jitney bus had been headed to Union City, then New York, White said.

According to jitney passenger Priyank Rana of Passaic, the jitney was parked at a bus stop on River Drive when the accident occurred. Rana’s friend, Badal Rana, was among those injured. Northjersey.com





Passaic Police Ticket Cars Out Side Shul

27 07 2008

The Passaic Police Dept. this morning was out this morning at approximately 8am ticketing cars outside of the Ahavas Israel. In recent days the Passaic Police Dept. has been giving out a lot of ticket’s in the Passaic Park area. It might have something to do with our “Mayor”. All residents should be aware you may not park with in 50 feet of a stop sign or with in 25 feet of any corner or cross walk. Please be advised it does not matter if it is marked or not. Also all ways remember to wear your seat belts. PCJN





Gasoline prices in NJ dip down

25 07 2008

TRENTON, N.J. – Motorists in New Jersey should be seeing lower prices at their gasoline stations.

AAA-Mid-Atlantic spokesman David Weinstein says the average price for regular is $3.92 a gallon Friday. That’s down two cents from Thursday and eight cents from the state record of $4 a gallon that was set on July 8.

The auto club says the state’s highest average price is now $3.95 in Bergen and Passaic counties. Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties have the lowest, $3.87.

The prices pale compared to the state’s lowest for the year of $2.82 set on Feb. 15.   Newsday.com