N.J. jazz radio station hires new president after racial diversity concerns

Posted Nov 07, 2020

WBGO, a non-profit jazz radio station based in Newark, has picked a new president and CEO after its former leader resigned earlier this year amid concerns about diversity among its executive staff.

Steven Williams, who once worked as director of programming for WBGO, will take the helm on Jan. 4, 2021. Bob Ottenhoff, the founder of WBGO, has been serving as interim president and CEO after Amy Niles resigned from the position in January following concerns - both internally and from Newark leaders - about the station’s leadership being mostly white.

Williams was hired after a national search that was conducted by a committee that included current and previous WBGO board members, the station said in a release. He noted that diversity would be one of his goals as leader of the station.

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Van Drew the projected winner in New Jersey's 2nd District

11/06/2020

Politico

Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.), who switched parties and pledged his "undying loyalty" to the president, is projected to have won reelection. 

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Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the party switcher who pledged his “undying loyalty” to President Donald Trump, has been reelected in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, The Associated Press projected.

Van Drew, who changed parties in late 2019 after losing Democratic support for his refusal to vote to impeach the president, defeated Democrat Amy Kennedy, an Atlantic County native who married into the famous political dynasty.

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In Torrent of Falsehoods, Trump Claims Election Is Being Stolen

By Peter Baker and 

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Nov. 5, 2020

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” President Trump said Thursday night in an unusually subdued, 17-minute televised statement from the lectern in the White House briefing room.Credit...

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WASHINGTON — Even for President Trump, it was an imagined version of reality, one in which he was not losing but the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy stretching across the country in multiple cities, counties and states, involving untold numbers of people all somehow collaborating to steal the election in ways he could not actually explain.

Never mind that Mr. Trump presented not a shred of evidence during his first public appearance since late on election night or that few senior Republican officeholders endorsed his false claims of far-reaching fraud. A presidency born in a lie about Barack Obama’s birthplace appeared on the edge of ending in a lie about his own faltering bid for re-election.

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Mr. Trump said Thursday night in an unusually subdued, 17-minute televised statement from the lectern in the White House briefing room, complaining that Democrats, the news media, pollsters, big technology companies and nonpartisan election workers had all corruptly sought to deny him a second term.

“This is a case where they’re trying to steal an election,” he said. “They’re trying to rig an election, and we can’t let that happen.”

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New Jersey’s vote-by-mail election wasn’t a disaster. Top officials now looking at early voting.

11/05/2020

Politico

A man walks past a vote-by-mail drop box for the New Jersey primary election outside the Camden, N.J., Administration Building, Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

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New Jersey’s first ever mostly vote-by-mail general election didn’t turn out to be the disaster some had feared. There were few reported problems at the polls, most lines weren’t long and more people voted this year than in 2016.

“It actually wasn’t as bad as I anticipated it to be,” Hunterdon County Clerk Mary Melfi said.

But vote counting has been slow in some counties. Several elections officials told POLITICO they still don’t have a grasp of how many provisional ballots filled out by voters at polling places on Election Day were turned in. Those ballots won’t be counted until next week at the earliest.

Elections officials from both major parties are now looking at what went right, what went wrong and what future elections in New Jersey should look like after the pandemic led Gov. Phil Murphy and the Democrat-led Legislature to change the process.

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New Jersey ‘close’ to announcing new steps to combat spread of Covid

11/05/2020

Politico

Gov. Phil Murphy speaks at a press conference. 

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy indicated Thursday that he’s preparing to roll out new statewide restrictions to combat the increased spread of Covid-19 in the state.

“How close are we to doing something? Close,” he said in response to a reporter’s question during his regular briefing in Trenton. “We will be clearly taking action, and I hope it will be action that balances all the various challenges and interests that we have. But right now, we’ve had really good success with the hot spot teams.”

Murphy did not offer any details as to what steps might be taken.

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Brick City’s Impending Bike and E-Scooter Share Aims to Supply Freedom of Mobility

White Fox, the only New Jersey-based e-scooter company, took Central Ward Councilwoman Lamonica McIver on a ridealong in October.

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NEWARK, NJ — For the first time in 100 years, a new mode of public transportation will be tested in Newark, and its chassis is one whose use has become almost as ubiquitous as masks during the pandemic. 

This coming spring, the city will launch its six-month pilot for NewarkGo, an affordable e-scooter and bike share that will be accessible throughout the city. Newark joins New York City, Chicago, Atlanta and others in embracing docking stations as city slickers across the United States look for safer alternatives to mass transportation. 

“A bike and scooter share promotes physical distancing in this time of COVID. More and more people are reluctant to get on a bus because of COVID concerns, so a program like this allows for the public transportation option to still be there while providing a safety net,” said Chris Watson, City Planning Officer for Department of Economic and Housing Development. 

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Murphy signs plastic bag ban

By Nikita BiryukovNovember 04 2020

New Jersey Globe

Gov. Phil Murphy.

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Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill banning single-use plastic and paper bags in all New Jersey stores and eateries Wednesday, delivering environmentalists a long-sought victory that saw repeated hurdles on its path to the governor’s pen.

“Plastic bags are one of the most problematic forms of garbage, leading to millions of discarded bags that stream annually into our landfills, rivers, and oceans,” Murphy said. “With today’s historic bill signing, we are addressing the problem of plastic pollution head-on with solutions that will help mitigate climate change and strengthen our environment for future generations.”

The law won’t kick in until May 2022, but once it does, disposable bags and polystyrene cups and containers will go the way of cease to be a part of life in New Jersey. Plastic straws will still be available, though residents will have to start requesting them starting next November.

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Joe Biden could join an exclusive club in N.J. presidential election history

Posted Nov 04, 2020

Only six U.S. presidential candidates in history have ever captured 60% or more of the vote in New Jersey.

Joe Biden could become the seventh.

The Democratic challenger was swiftly declared the winner Tuesday night over President Donald Trump in the increasingly blue Garden State, with the Associated Press making the projection only moments after the polls had closed here.

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Trump tries to claim victory, despite having not secured enough electoral votes, in early morning speech

Posted Nov 04, 2020

President Donald Trump claimed “we did win this election” in an early morning speech, even though neither he nor former Vice President Joe Biden reached the 270 electoral votes needed to secure Tuesday’s presidential election.

Biden earlier said he believed he was “on track” to win.

Trump went even further and claimed victory, saying that the ongoing count of mail-in ballots disenfranchised his voters.

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New Jersey goes mostly blue, with wins for Booker, Biden; Van Drew, Kim, Malinowski, Gottheimer, Sherrill headed toward re-election

By David WildsteinNovember 04 2020

New Jersey Globe

In an election contested mostly through vote-by-mail ballots during a global health pandemic, New Jerseyans delivered huge margins to Joe Biden and Cory Booker, approved a ballot referendum to legalize marijuana, and left three incumbent freshmen congressmen strongly positioned to win second terms – but with victories just slightly uncertain as a result of a large numbers of uncounted ballots.

Jefferson Van Drew, who switched parties late last year after refusing to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump, leads Democrat Amy Kennedy by 9,563 votes, a 52%-48% margin, in the 2nd district.

Democrats Andy Kim and Tom Malinowski, who ousted Republican congressmen in the 2018 mid-term elections, are on their way to re-election to second terms.

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