Study Shows How Newark's Lead Problem Got So Bad

NEWARK, NJ - It's "not possible" to pin down exactly when lead started dissolving from pipes and into Newark's water because of possible inconsistencies in testing, according to a city-commissioned report.

The city had CDM Smith, an Edison-based engineering firm, investigate what was causing elevated levels after Newark received its first notice of noncompliance from the state in 2017. Preliminary results from the 143-page study were received by officials last month and prompted the city to distribute lead filters.

The report mirrors what Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has been telling reporters and residents. City officials on Oct. 12 held a press conference to announce what the report had found, but the mayor was unsure when the chemical that is used to prevent lead from dissolving in pipes had stopped working. 

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How Leaves, Icicles and an Old Bridge Can Complicate Commutes

By Patrick McGeehan

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Nov. 9, 2018

 

Every day this week, New Jersey Transit has heaped more frustration onto its customers by warning them that their morning trains could be delayed by “slippery rail” conditions.

To some beleaguered riders, that explanation sounded like a concocted excuse for the railroad’s continuing struggle to operate on time. A few even challenged it.

Slippery rails is, in fact, a problem and is just one of the reasons New Jersey has cited to explain the delays and disruptions that have plagued its service. Others have included “manpower shortage,” annulments, a malfunctioning Portal Bridge and the mysterious “ice patrol.” (One explanation that veteran commuters take seriously is “trespasser incident,” which they know means someone was hit by a train.)

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All eyes are on Newark as mayor insists he didn't hide lead problem from residents

Posted Nov 8, 2018

As the city of Newark faces heightened national attention over elevated lead levels in its drinking water, Mayor Ras Baraka on Thursday defended the city's actions and messaging before a crush of media. 

He said it was "BS" that he deliberately misled residents. 

Responding to allegations that the city spent months downplaying the issue, Baraka said he didn't know it was a "widespread problem" until last month when outside experts found the city's water treatment wasn't working.

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MURPHY SIGNS LAW BANNING ‘GHOST GUNS’ IN LATEST EFFORT TO CONTROL FIREARMS IN NJ

COLLEEN O'DEA | NOVEMBER 9, 2018

NJ Spotlight

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a prohibition on “ghost guns” yesterday.

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Moving closer to his goal of giving New Jersey the toughest gun-control laws in the nation, Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday signed a prohibition on “ghost guns” — firearms that are homemade, 3D printed or otherwise undetectable by security scanners.

The new law is the latest by the Murphy administration, working with the Democratic-controlled Legislature, enhancing firearms regulations in New Jersey. And it is not likely to be the last, as he and lawmakers unveiled a new bill package just last week.

“We want to be the number-one state in the nation as it relates to commonsense state gun safety laws,” Murphy declared during a signing ceremony in Trenton attended by activists from a number of gun-control organizations, “and we think there is no reason we can’t be that and still respect the Second Amendment.”

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A Trump-Fueled ‘Wipeout’ for House Republicans in Northeast

By Shane Goldmacher and Nick Corasaniti

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Nov. 7, 2018

Mikie Sherrill, a Democratic candidate who captured a House seat in New Jersey that had been held by a Republican for decades, was part of a Democratic wave that swept across the Northeast.

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In New Jersey, voters slashed the number of Republicans in Congress from five down to two, and possibly only one.

In New York, Democrats declared victory in three congressional races in President Trump’s home state, ejecting the last remaining Republican from New York City.

And in the six other states in the Northeast, the lone remaining Republican congressman, Representative Bruce Poliquin of Maine, was clinging to his seat on Wednesday, his fate to be decided by the second choices of third-party voters through ranked-choice voting.

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Bob Menendez Wins Senate Race in N.J., Beating Back a Challenge From Hugin

By Nick Corasaniti

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Nov. 6, 2018

Mr. Menendez leaving a voting booth after casting his vote Tuesday in Harrison, N.J.

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Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, was elected to a third term on Tuesday amid a surge of support from the suburbs that remade the state’s congressional delegation, sending at least three new Democratic representatives to Washington.

Mr. Menendez was able to withstand a public backlash over his federal corruption trial and the official Senate criticism he received for misusing his office for personal gain to turn back a spirited challenge by his Republican opponent, Bob Hugin, a pharmaceutical executive who poured more than $35 million of his own wealth into his campaign.

Mr. Hugin’s funds largely went toward incessant negative advertising, a blanket reminder of the ethical cloud surrounding Mr. Menendez that saturated the airwaves for months.

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Amazon has picked 2 cities for its HQ2 locations, report says

Posted Nov 5, 2018

Amazon reportedly plans to split its second headquarters between two sites in Queens and a Washington, D.C. suburb, dashing hopes of Newark hosting the online shopping behemoth's new base.

The company is working to finalize a deal that would divide 50,000 employees between Long Island City and Crystal City, Virginia instead of a single HQ2 site, the New York Times reported Monday night, citing sources familiar with the process.

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I was shocked to be turned away at the polls. 3 things N.J. can do to fix early voting.

Posted Nov 5, 2018

By Alexis Karteron

 

I was especially excited about voting this year because my county made early voting an option on a weekend.

As a busy working parent, a leisurely trip to a county building about 20 minutes from my home on a weekend morning sounded like a much better idea than heading to my polling place at 6 a.m. -- the only time on Election Day I could be sure the polls would be open and I wouldn't have competing work and family obligations.

So I was shocked and dismayed when I arrived at Essex County's early voting location on Saturday-- 30 minutes before it was supposed to close -- only to be informed by sheriff's deputies that I and at least a dozen others would not be allowed inside to vote because the clerk's office couldn't handle the volume of people. (Turning away people who get in line to vote while the polls are open on Election Day is unquestionably illegal.)

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N.J. Transit Commute Mess: ‘A Level of Incompetence I’ve Never Quite Seen Before’

By Patrick McGeehan

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Nov. 2, 2018

Another weekday, another issue with New Jersey Transit.

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New Jersey Transit faced another round of major delays on Friday that infuriated thousands of commuters, capping a week of problems that symbolized its descent from one of the nation’s best railways to one of its most troubled.

The cascade of problems increased pressure on Gov. Philip D. Murphy, who has made revitalizing the railroad a priority after taking office this year.

Just as the Friday commute was starting, an Amtrak car derailed in one of the two single-track tunnels under the Hudson River between Pennsylvania Station and New Jersey, officials said. No injuries were reported, but the effect on the commute was significant.

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'Newark is not Flint.' Mayor pushes back as water problems rise

Posted Nov 2, 2018

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka had an emphatic message Friday for Brick City residents who are concerned about the water they drink.

"Newark is not Flint."

The mayor said he decided speak out to rebut "deliberate misinformation circulating in the media."

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