A HIKE IN THE GAS TAX? WE’LL KNOW BY THE END OF THE MONTH

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Lead in the water has Newark in crisis and our mayor has done nothing, ex councilman says

Updated Aug 15, 2019

By Oscar James II

Mayor Ras Baraka should have declared a state of emergency and notified our neighborhoods immediately to the urgency of this issue. And most of all, create a formal transparent plan for city council to approve, former Councilman Oscar James II says.

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Newark has a treasured history for political activism and social consciousness. Those of us who were born in Newark, and stayed through adulthood, take pride in the lessons told to us by our grandparents and caregivers. During difficult moments, rather than accept existing social and political structures, we as a community fought to create needed change. Even in recent days, while politicians in Trenton ruled our school system, we joined together to fight for local control.

Yet, after decades of continued crime, crooked politicians, unemployment, and poverty, there is still considerable work to be done. The fight for fairness and equity continues, and nowhere is this issue more immediately seen than in the water we drink.

Let us be clear and let us be honest - our city is in a crisis.

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Lead Crisis in Newark Grows, as Bottled Water Distribution Is Bungled

By Nick Corasaniti, Corey Kilgannon and 

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Aug. 15, 2019

People lined up outside a recreation center in Newark on Tuesday, where officials began giving out bottled water out of concerns about elevated lead levels in tap water.

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NEWARK — A growing crisis over lead contamination in drinking water gripped Newark on Wednesday as tens of thousands of residents were told to drink only bottled water, the culmination of years of neglect that has pushed New Jersey’s largest city to the forefront of an environmental problem afflicting urban areas across the nation.

Urgent new warnings from federal environmental officials about contamination in drinking water from aging lead pipes spread anxiety and fear across much of Newark, but the municipal government’s makeshift efforts to set up distribution centers to hand out bottled water were hampered by confusion and frustration.

State and local officials said they were making free water available to 15,000 of the city’s 95,000 households, and hundreds of people waited in long lines in the summer heat to pick up cases of water. But officials had to halt the distribution temporarily after discovering that some of the water exceeded its best-by date.

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State’s emergency supply of bottled water was expired. Was it safe to drink?

Posted Aug 14, 2019

The water was finally starting to be distributed to affected residents, but it was expired.

The distribution of bottled water to more than 14,000 households at risk for lead contamination was temporarily halted in Newark on Tuesday, after the city noticed the bottles were past their “best by” dates.

But is bottled water unsafe to drink if it’s technically expired?

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ESTIMATE REVISED UP OF NEW SHORE HOMES IMPERILED BY SEA-LEVEL RISE, STORM SURGE

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Feds have 'responsibility’ to help Newark pay for bottled water during lead crisis, Booker says

Updated Aug 13, 2019

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker who once led New Jersey’s largest city, co-authored a letter to the federal government on Tuesday urging “immediate assistance” for Newark as officials there distribute bottled water to protect residents from potential lead exposure.

The mass distribution of bottled water began Monday, three days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asked Newark to do so. The quick decision was based on surprising test results that showed water filters at two homes were not eliminating enough lead. About 38,000 filters have been distributed in the city.

“We urge EPA to identify additional resources to offer assistance in providing bottled water to Newark residents in order to ensure a sustained source of clean drinking water while further sampling is conducted,” Booker, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, and Reps. Albio Sires and Donald Payne, Jr. said.

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New brawl erupts as top Dem demands Murphy treasurer testify on gov’s spending freeze

Updated Aug 12, 2019

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney plans to call Gov. Phil Murphy’s state treasurer to testify under oath about a state government spending freeze of $235 million that Sweeney has condemned as political retribution after a dramatic budget dispute between the top Democrats, NJ Advance Media has learned.

Murphy issued an executive order in July to freeze the spending, including aid for New Jersey’s distressed cities, cancer treatment and four-year colleges, rather than risking his plan to sock away nearly $1.3 billion in surplus.

The governor froze programs in all corners of the state, with big ones hitting South Jersey, the home base of Sweeney, his political rival.

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Frustrated Newark residents line up for bottled water in lead crisis

Updated Aug 12, 2019

Frustrated, hot and confused, Newark residents lined up on Monday afternoon to pick up bottled water as the city’s ongoing lead crisis reached new heights -- and raised new questions.

The wide-scale water distribution of 247 pallets of water is the first time the city has taken such drastic action since the lead crisis began in 2017. City officials, meanwhile, continue investigating why new samples show filters at two of three tested homes weren’t removing lead from the water as expected.

The surprising test results prompted immediate action by the state and city, after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requested Newark provide bottled water.

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MORE NJ RESIDENTS WILL QUALIFY FOR HELP TO PAY THEIR GAS, ELECTRIC BILLS

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Booker says his presidential campaign is winning where it counts. That doesn’t include polls.

Updated Aug 11, 2019

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Cory Booker insists that his 2020 presidential campaign is alive and well, despite recent polls showing him far off the pace.

Booker, D-N.J., polled just 1 percent in the latest Monmouth University survey of likely Iowa caucus goers and 2 percent when Quinnipiac University asked Democratic voters and independents who lean Democratic across the country. He also trails the early frontrunners in fundraising.

“I’m actually surprised that these small polls where the margin of error is so high is capturing so much attention when history shows that the polls aren’t predictive,” Booker said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

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