Newark, Camden to get high-speed Internet under federal program

By Jonathan D. Salant | NJ Advance Media for
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on July 15, 2015

President Barack Obama visits The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Camden, Monday, May 18, 2015. Obama spoke about Camden and its designation as a promise zone, which allows the city to use grants and other federal help to address issues such as crime, health and jobs.


WASHINGTON — Newark and Camden are two of the 27 U.S. cities and one Indian nation to get high-speed Internet connections under a program being announced Wednesday by President Obama.

The communities were chosen through a competitive basis by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Known as ConnectHome, the program includes both private and public support for broadband connections, plus training and educational software.

While most low-income households have computers, they don't have Internet access at home, and the program at the beginning is designed to bring broadband connections to 275,000 families, including nearly 200,000 children.

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Gubernatorial Sketches: Checking in with those Running for Gov in 2017, Part I

By Max Pizarro | 07/19/15


Murphy, left, and Sweeney.


Miles Davis had Sketches of Spain and we, with apologies, have Gubernatorial Sketches in honor of Wayne (DeAngelo). Political junkies look for this updated list with the same rabid expectation that Parthenon Huxley fans await the maestro’s next album.

But while those latter listeners most continue to have faith, look no farther than below, ye devotees of PolitickerNJ.

What follows is a casual mid-summer, mid-Sunday dissection in two parts of the latest ramblings and rumblings of those competitors seeking the governor’s office in 2017…

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After Clashing with Rice in Trenton, Sweeney Takes a Victory Lap in Newark

By Max Pizarro | 07/17/15



Baraka welcomes Sweeney.


NEWARK – First it was a post-budget Kim Guadagno appearing with Mayor Ras Baraka and today it was Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), the surreality enhanced by the presences of state Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29) and state Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28), long members of local dueling political factions, all discussing higher education funding while encumbered with the reality of a developing 2017 gubernatorial contest.

Running to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie, Sweeney of Gloucester is laboring hard up here to beat a two-fold perception: one that he’s spent too many years in close proximity to the governor and two, that the city of his home region, South Jersey’s Camden, has supposedly flourished as the great urban incubator of the Christie era while Newark, conversely from an establishment standpoint, gave birth to Baraka, who came to the political party trailing longtime anti-establishment origins.

In recent weeks, both President Barack Obama and Christie have used Camden as that set-piece for national and statewide storylines, leaving Newark to gradually grind through the growing pains of local politics, which it’s clearly doing with Baraka at the helm. It’s somewhat complicated. Backed by Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop in last year’s mayor’s race while much of the rest of the state supported his opponent, the Newark mayor has gradually vibed with those who originally bucked him, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo and now Sweeney among them.

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Promise Neighborhoods Act provides community-based support for disadvantaged N.J. kids | Opinion

By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist
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on July 11, 2015

By Donald M. Payne Jr.

Promise Neighborhoods is a federal program that supports this community-level approach to education.


For too long, Newark parents, students and teachers have lacked a voice in critical decisions over the direction of the city's public school system.

The problem became more acute under superintendent Cami Anderson's administration, as the traditional Newark public school system was dismantled and the erosion of educational opportunities was masked as reform.

Superintendent Anderson's departure has been met with continued calls for the restoration of much-needed local control over the public school system. Newarkers want the authority to ensure that all students benefit from structured learning environments that meet the needs of each child and young adult and prepare them to succeed inside and outside the classroom.

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First in a Series: Booker and 2016: ‘Cory flip flops too much,’ says old foe Rice

By Max Pizarro | 07/10/15




There is considerable continuing rumbling within the ranks of the Democratic Party in New

Jersey about the vice presidential viability of U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), whose appearance at a Red Bank fundraiser with 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton renewed that conversation within the political establishment.

Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo put a punctuation point on it at his swearing-in ceremony earlier this year. At that event, DiVincenzo said Clinton would consider both Booker and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) as potential VP picks. Since that time, Menendez has had to eat a federal indictment on corruption charges, which removes him from the conversation.

That leaves Booker, the former mayor of Newark, whose closeness to Republican Gov. Chris Christie leaves some in the party fearful of an 11th hour general election lip lock a la Obama-Christie in 2012  Others dismiss Booker as either a. not Latino; or b. too regionally close to the New York-based Clinton.

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Unusual Mystery and Drama Mark Meeting Today of State Board of Education

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Video Appears to Show Essex County Democratic Chairman Assault Blind Senior Citizen has obtained a video that appears to show Leroy Jones, the Essex County Democratic Party Chairman, punch an elderly East Orange resident in the face in a senior citizen building on June 2 of this year.

Jones can be seen entering the lobby of 777 Springdale Avenue where he encounters Bill Graves, 75, a retired Army Veteran. The men appear to exchange words before Jones purportedly strikes Graves twice about his face with his fist. Graves, who suffers from severe glaucoma and who is completely blind in one eye and legally blind in the other, was taken to the local Veteran Administration Hospital where he was treated for injuries to his face and eye.

Leroy Jones was not arrested at the scene but was later charged with disorderly conduct.

The case has been moved from Essex County to Hudson County

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Explainer: Control of Local School Districts Comes Under Fire in Third Decade

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After 14 years of watching Christie, a warning: He lies | Moran

By Tom Moran | Star-Ledger Editorial Board
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on June 27, 2015


Most Americans don't know Chris Christie like I do, so it's only natural to wonder what testimony I might offer after covering his every move for the last 14 years.

Is it his raw political talent? No, they can see that.

Is it his measurable failure to fix the economy, solve the budget crisis or even repair the crumbling bridges? No, his opponents will cover that if he ever gets traction.

My testimony amounts to a warning: Don't believe a word the man says.

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Chris Christie’s Uphill Run for President Relies on His Brash Touch

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