All Blog Posts Tagged 'News-Clip' - Media Hookup 2013-01-28T19:11:00Z http://mediahookup.com/profiles/blog/feed?tag=News-Clip&xn_auth=no News Clip: Abducted by his mom: Son of Jersey City man overseas for four years tag:mediahookup.com,2010-04-05:5403302:BlogPost:711 2010-04-05T21:30:00.000Z Melissa Hayes http://mediahookup.com/profile/MelissaHayes <p><a href="http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/jerseycity/index.ssf?/base/news-9/126863438612930.xml&amp;coll=3">From the March 15, 2010 edition of the <em>Jersey Journal</em>:</a></p> <p></p> <p>Flipping through photographs of his son Brendan, Brian McGinley smiles as he shares stories of trips to Wildwood, ice skating at Pershing Field and visiting the Intrepid.</p> <p></p> <p>McGinley, 45, of Jersey City, explains that even though he was an avid Rangers fan and grew up across the street from…</p> <p><a href="http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/jerseycity/index.ssf?/base/news-9/126863438612930.xml&amp;coll=3">From the March 15, 2010 edition of the <em>Jersey Journal</em>:</a></p> <p></p> <p>Flipping through photographs of his son Brendan, Brian McGinley smiles as he shares stories of trips to Wildwood, ice skating at Pershing Field and visiting the Intrepid.</p> <p></p> <p>McGinley, 45, of Jersey City, explains that even though he was an avid Rangers fan and grew up across the street from Pershing Field, he did not learn to ice skate until Brendan was born in July 1998.</p> <br/> <div style="Z-INDEX: auto; xg-p: absolute; WIDTH: 1px; HEIGHT: 1px; OVERFLOW: hidden"><img id="StoryAd/NJONLINE/Spacer_NJ_RoS_12/Spacer_SpanMJX.html" class="OAS_counter" src="http://ads.nj.com/RealMedia/ads/adstream_lx.ads/%3Ca%20href=" name="StoryAd/NJONLINE/Spacer_NJ_RoS_12/Spacer_SpanMJX.html"/><a href="http://www.nj.com/xml/story/jersey_journal/nj/njc/L10/1511522587/StoryAd/NJONLINE/Spacer_NJ_RoS_12/Spacer_SpanMJX.html/3050474a5545744c696c594144556549?_RM_EMPTY_&amp;">www.nj.com/xml/story/jersey_journal/nj/njc/L10/1511522587/StoryAd/NJONLINE/Spacer_NJ_RoS_12/Spacer_SpanMJX.html/3050474a5545744c696c594144556549?_RM_EMPTY_&amp;</a>;;" width=2 height=2&gt;</div> <p></p> <p>But the happy memories abruptly stop in Christmas 2005, when McGinley's ex-wife Monika McGinley Mikeczova took their son Brendan to Slovakia - and never returned.</p> <p></p> <p>Brendan turns 12 this year.</p> <p></p> <p>McGinley, a supervisor for NJ Transit's Hudson/Bergen Light Rail who had visited his ex-wife's family in Slovakia, allowed Mikeczova to take their son to visit family over Christmas break.</p> <p></p> <p>At the time, the couple had been divorced three years and living separately. But McGinley said his wife had taken his son to visit relatives before and returned.</p> <p></p> <p>He still remembers receiving her phone call Jan. 4, 2006 saying she wasn't coming back.</p> <p></p> <p>"I was heartbroken," he said.</p> <p></p> <p>McGinley said the Hague Convention, an international treatise that governs international parent child abductions, failed him.</p> <p></p> <p>Although Hague mandates that cases be heard immediately, McGinley didn't get his first court date in Slovakia until September 2006. He won the right to bring Brendan back to New Jersey. But Mikeczova appealed and got to keep Brendan during that process.</p> <p></p> <p>In June 2007 the appeal was heard and McGinley again won, but Mikeczova filed yet another appeal.</p> <p>In February 2008, McGinley said the case went to Slovakia's Supreme Court, which interviewed Brendan and allowed him to decide which parent he wanted to live with. After two years in Slovakia, Brendan chose his mother.</p> <br/> <div style="Z-INDEX: auto; xg-p: absolute; WIDTH: 1px; HEIGHT: 1px; OVERFLOW: hidden"><img id="StoryAd/NJONLINE/Spacer_NJ_RoS_11/Spacer_SpanMJX.html" class="OAS_counter" src="http://ads.nj.com/RealMedia/ads/adstream_lx.ads/%3Ca%20href=" name="StoryAd/NJONLINE/Spacer_NJ_RoS_11/Spacer_SpanMJX.html"/><a href="http://www.nj.com/xml/story/jersey_journal/nj/njc/L10/441649877/StoryAd/NJONLINE/Spacer_NJ_RoS_11/Spacer_SpanMJX.html/3050474a5545744c696c594144556549?_RM_EMPTY_&amp;">www.nj.com/xml/story/jersey_journal/nj/njc/L10/441649877/StoryAd/NJONLINE/Spacer_NJ_RoS_11/Spacer_SpanMJX.html/3050474a5545744c696c594144556549?_RM_EMPTY_&amp;</a>;;" width=2 height=2&gt;</div> <p></p> <p>"It's supposed to work expeditiously. They dragged it out for two plus years," he said. "Of course he's going to say he wants to live with his mom. He hasn't seen me in two years."</p> <p></p> <p>The decision devastated McGinley.</p> <p></p> <p>"I just don't want Brendan to feel that I didn't turn over every stone," he said.</p> <p></p> <p>The last time he spoke to his son was in July, when he called to wish Brendan a happy birthday. Otherwise McGinley said Mikeczova's family doesn't answer the phone when he or his family call.</p> <p></p> <p>McGinley recently received Slovakian court documents and was contacted by the federal State Department that informed him that his ex-wife is pursuing child support through the Slovakian courts.</p> <p></p> <p>McGinley said he plans to file his own paperwork, seeking parental rights to his son, whether that comes in the form of phone calls or visitation.</p> <p></p> <p>McGinley's situation is not unique.</p> <p></p> <p>Jeremy Morley, a New York attorney specializing in international divorce and familiar with McGinley's case, said he works on hundreds of abduction cases a year.</p> <p></p> <p>"It's very common," he said. "Here in the tri-state area, there are so many marriages where people are from different countries. When relationships break down, parents want to 'go home' with a kid. Often that means the other parent is deprived of the child."</p> <p></p> <p>He said about 80 countries have signed on to the Hague Convention. Some, such asCanada and Australia, are very good about abiding by the rules, but others, he said, including Slovakia, Honduras and Brazil, don't abide by it.</p> <p></p> <p>"Just because countries sign the convention doesn't mean they'll abide by their treaty obligations," he said. "Quite a number of them don't."</p> <p></p> <p>McGinley understands that he is out of options under Hague but hopes that sharing his story will help others.</p> <p></p> <p>"Even if I could prevent somebody else from maybe having this happen to them, I've got to believe there's something positive," he said. "Nobody can repay me for those years I've lost with Brendan."</p> News Clip: Jersey City is losing scores of firefighters eager to retire to protect benefits tag:mediahookup.com,2010-04-05:5403302:BlogPost:710 2010-04-05T21:30:00.000Z Melissa Hayes http://mediahookup.com/profile/MelissaHayes <p><a href="http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2010/02/jersey_city_losing_scores_of_f.html">From the Feb. 25, 2010 edition of the <em>Jersey Journal</em>:</a></p> <p></p> <p>The <b>Jersey City Fire Department</b> has <b>lost 26 members</b> since the start of the year and will <b>lose 20 more</b> March 1 as firefighters rush to retire <a href="http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/02/gov_chris_christie_praises_pen.html">before the Legislature caps payouts.</a><br></br></p> <p>"All of a sudden, I've…</p> <p><a href="http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2010/02/jersey_city_losing_scores_of_f.html">From the Feb. 25, 2010 edition of the <em>Jersey Journal</em>:</a></p> <p></p> <p>The <b>Jersey City Fire Department</b> has <b>lost 26 members</b> since the start of the year and will <b>lose 20 more</b> March 1 as firefighters rush to retire <a href="http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/02/gov_chris_christie_praises_pen.html">before the Legislature caps payouts.</a><br/></p> <p>"All of a sudden, I've got all these people that are retiring," said Fire Director Armando Roman.<br/>Across the state, municipal and school employees are making a mass exodus, fearful of state legislation that would cap their payouts for unused sick time at $15,000.</p> <p><br/>The Senate <b>approved the bill,</b> S-4, 36-0 Monday. The bill would only apply to those hired after the bill is signed into law, but it has employees nervous enough to leave before it becomes law.<br/></p> <p>The Assembly is expected to introduce its version of the bill today. If approved, Gov. Chris Christie, a proponent for pension reform, is expected to sign it.<br/></p> <p></p> <p>Not only does it mean the city is losing firefighters, but retirees are walking away with large payouts for unused sick and vacation time.<br/></p> <p>The payouts to firefighters amount to about $5 million, said Jennifer Morrill, a spokeswoman for Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy.<br/></p> <p></p> <p>The city allotted a total of $7 million for "accumulated absence" payouts in the proposed current year budget. That's up from $4.5 million for that line item last year.<br/></p> <p>"If this continues, this is obviously going to exceed the allotted amount in the budget and the city is just not in the position to pay out any additional lump sum than what is allocated -- namely $7 million," Healy said in a statement.<br/></p> <p></p> <p>"We will instead have to develop a plan where we can pay these amounts out over a number of years.<br/></p> <p>"There may be some people who are happy about this because of the potential savings, but the serious downside is that we are losing some of our most knowledgeable and experienced personnel from the ranks of the civilian workforce and the Police and Fire departments," Healy added.<br/></p> <p>Roman is not surprised people are retiring.<br/></p> <p></p> <p>"You saved your time. You were told legally that you could accumulate your sick time," Roman said. "People have made plans with that money. It's been like a savings account for their retirement almost."<br/></p> <p>Roman said not too long ago he had 12 deputy chiefs. The department will be down to five deputy chiefs, 17 battalion chiefs, 132 captains and 372 firefighters.<br/></p> <p></p> <p>"We've been out to do more with less, and that's what we're trying to do," he said. "You have to manage with what you have for now, but inevitably something has to give. You can't just keep losing people at the record amounts you're losing them."</p> News Clip: Jersey City honchos receive huge payouts, stay on payroll tag:mediahookup.com,2010-04-05:5403302:BlogPost:709 2010-04-05T21:30:00.000Z Melissa Hayes http://mediahookup.com/profile/MelissaHayes <p><a href="http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2010/02/jersey_city_honchos_receive_hu.html">From the Feb. 21, 2010 edition of the <em>Jersey Journal</em>:</a></p> <p></p> <p>Legislation backed by the governor that would cap retirement payouts didn't come soon enough to stop two longtime Jersey City employees from leaving with large checks.<br></br><br></br>Assistant Business Administrator <b>Roger Grego</b> and Chief of Administrative Services <b>Kathy Dealy</b> retired Feb. 1.<br></br><br></br>Grego walked…</p> <p><a href="http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2010/02/jersey_city_honchos_receive_hu.html">From the Feb. 21, 2010 edition of the <em>Jersey Journal</em>:</a></p> <p></p> <p>Legislation backed by the governor that would cap retirement payouts didn't come soon enough to stop two longtime Jersey City employees from leaving with large checks.<br/><br/>Assistant Business Administrator <b>Roger Grego</b> and Chief of Administrative Services <b>Kathy Dealy</b> retired Feb. 1.<br/><br/>Grego walked away with $238,138.11 for 127 unused vacation days, 356 sick days and six personal days. Dealy was paid $133,447.26 for 60 unused vacation days, 269 sick days and six personal days.<br/><br/>But even through they are retiring from their current jobs with hefty pensions, they will continue to bring home city paychecks.<br/><br/>The Jersey City Council approved resolutions Wednesday to create shared services agreements with the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority and Jersey City Library, which have hired Dealy and Grego as consultants.<br/><br/>Councilman <b>Steven Fulop</b> and Councilwoman <b>Viola Richardson</b> abstained from voting on the resolutions, which passed 7-0-2.<br/><br/>"I like both as employees and they are great assets, however if you retire and take the payout, then you retire," Fulop said. "I don't believe one can have it both ways regardless of how good of an employee one is, especially when they are laying other employees off."<br/><br/><b>Business Administrator Brian O'Reilly'</b>s memo to the council said that Grego, who worked on labor contract negotiations, the budget and capital project development for the city, will be paid by the library as a consultant, but through the agreement will continue to work for the city. City officials didn't immediately say how much Grego was to be paid as consultant. <br/><br/>Daniel Becht, executive director of the MUA, said Dealy, who worked on the budget, capital accounts and fiscal matters related to the MUA, would work on financial issues and on the city's budget through the shared services agreement.<br/><br/>He said she would be paid hourly, for no more than 20 hours per week for a total of 90 to 120 days. Becht said the rate of pay has not been set.<br/><br/>Grego, who worked for the city for just over 38 years, was earning $127,104 when he retired and will be paid a $83,024.55 pension annually, city officials said.<br/><br/>Dealy, who worked for the city for 27 years, was earning $103,969 and will be paid a $62,972.16 pension annually.<br/><br/>In a memo to the council, O'Reilly noted that pending state legislation pushed by Gov. Chris Christie would cap retirement payouts at $15,000.<br/><br/>"As a result...the city is experiencing a sudden loss of knowledgeable senior employees," O'Reilly said, adding that the city hasn't had time to train replacements. "The shared services agreements will address the immediate needs," he said.<br/><br/>The city budgeted for the payouts after the legislation was introduced last year. The current fiscal year's budget, which will be voted on Wednesday, contains $7 million for accumulated absence payouts.<br/></p> News Clip: Census fails to reach newer residents tag:mediahookup.com,2010-04-05:5403302:BlogPost:708 2010-04-05T21:00:00.000Z Melissa Hayes http://mediahookup.com/profile/MelissaHayes <p></p> <p><a href="http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2010/04/census_didnt_know_to_send_form.html">From the April 2, 2010 edition of the <em>Jersey Journal</em></a></p> <p></p> <p>Yesterday was National Census Day, the day all residents were asked to return their completed forms.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>But several high-rises in Jersey City - which is working hard to outpace Newark as the state's largest municipality - never received Census forms.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>A resident of The Regent…</p> <p></p> <p><a href="http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2010/04/census_didnt_know_to_send_form.html">From the April 2, 2010 edition of the <em>Jersey Journal</em></a></p> <p></p> <p>Yesterday was National Census Day, the day all residents were asked to return their completed forms.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>But several high-rises in Jersey City - which is working hard to outpace Newark as the state's largest municipality - never received Census forms.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>A resident of The Regent in the Liberty Harbor North development called The Jersey Journal yesterday after reading a story in yesterday's paper about Jersey City's low Census response and said she never received a Census form.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>As it turns out, neither did her neighbors at the Zenith building in Liberty Harbor and nearby Gull's Cove, as well as Metropolis Towers and Grove Pointe on Marin Boulevard.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>These buildings represent thousands of residents.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>"It's bad and it's not just here, it's all over. I know New York has had complaints, Newark has had complaints," Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said last night about the no-Census form dilemma as he handed out palm card reminders to fill out the federal tally sheet at the Pavonia/Newport Path Station.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>Aaron Eckenthal, president of the 'A' Condominium Association, at 389 Washington St., said he doesn't think anyone in his 250-unit building received forms.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>Eckenthal estimates 1,000 people live in the building and said several residents contacted the U.S. Census Bureau only to be told to call back at a later date.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>"I suspect many other Downtown buildings have also been left out," he said. "This could have a significant impact on the population count in Jersey City and the federal and state funding the city receives."</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>When Healy kicked off the 2010 Census count at City Hall in January, he said the city, and specifically Metropolis Towers, was "grossly undercounted" 10 years ago. The site has over 800 units, but only 40 residents were counted, he said.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>While a number of Downtown residents didn't get a Census form, they said they got other notices from the U.S. Census Bureau including post cards with a phone number to call with questions and a reminder to return completed forms.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>John Theiroff, a resident at Gull's Cove who didn't get a Census form, said he was able to pick one up at the Main Branch of the Jersey City Public Library, on Jersey Avenue.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>Mike Gregorio, a spokesman for the Census Bureau, acknowledged that the Bureau might not have had some of the newer developments on its mailing list, which he said the Bureau is updating.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>Gregorio said he expected Census workers to make follow-up visits once they realize the omission.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>Healy told Brian Lehrer on WNYC radio yesterday that only about a third of the city has returned forms.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>"The way we feel, it's late in the third quarter, so it's not over," he told Lehrer. "We can still pull out this victory. We want to get everybody to fill out those forms and send them back in."</p> <p></p> <p><em>Journal staff writer Patrick Villanova contributed to this story.</em></p>