Former Councilman Returns to Newark as Fighter for Charter Schools

Ron Rice, Jr. was a councilman under Cory Booker’s administration and now lives in the Washington D.C. area where he advocates for charter schools.
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NEWARK, NJ - The first thing people usually ask when looking to move to a new neighborhood?

How are the schools?

In the case of Newark, building up the school system may be one way to attract newcomers to the city while also providing for long-time residents. The best way to do that starts with choice, according to a city councilman-turned-charter-school-advocate.

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Newark Tenants Can Call This Hotline if Heat or Hot Water Isn't Working

Landlords in Newark are required by municipal ordinance to keep homes at 68 degrees between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. from Oct. 1 to May 1.
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NEWARK, NJ - Residents who live in apartments without heat or hot running water can reach out to the city for help, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka reminded tenants. 

Landlords in Newark are required by municipal ordinance to keep homes at 68 degrees between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. from Oct. 1 to May 1. Between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., the temperature must be maintained at 65 degrees.

Landlords who don’t meet the minimum temperature requirements could face legal action in municipal court. Fines could exceed $1,000 per day until the heat is fully restored.

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Group Suing Newark Over Lead Levels Says City is 'Misleading' Residents

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on Oct. 12 told reporters that the East Ward was not impacted by the city's ineffective corrosion control method.
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NEWARK, NJ - An environmental group that is suing Newark officials over elevated levels of lead in the city’s drinking water is alleging that statements made by the mayor at a Friday press conference about the issue were "misleading."

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) alleges there are numerous homes in the East Ward with elevated levels of lead, contrary to what Mayor Ras Baraka on Oct. 12 told reporters.  

The mayor’s statements came during a press conference announcing that lead filters would be distributed to certain homes after a preliminary study found that the chemical used to prevent lead from dissolving into pipes was no longer effective. The process is known as corrosion control.

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IN NEWARK, REPORTING LAPSES HIDE THOUSANDS OF STUDENT SUSPENSIONS FROM PUBLIC VIEW

PATRICK WALL | CHALKBEAT | OCTOBER 17, 2018

NJ Spotlight

The state says Weequahic High School suspended no students in 2015-2016. Federal data show it gave 233 students in-school suspensions.

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Newark schools are suspending thousands of students, the majority of them black, according to 2015-16 federal data collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

But because of reporting lapses, those suspensions are nowhere to be found in the state’s published school report cards, where parents typically turn to seek out such data. Instead, the reports give the false impression that Newark has all but eliminated suspensions.

The flawed reports reveal the district’s longtime struggle to track suspensions — a data challenge that has impeded efforts to stop schools from inappropriately removing students or punishing students of one race more harshly than others.

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Newark mayor unsure how long drinking water contained unsafe lead levels

Lead filters will be distributed door-to-door while a new lead corrosion method is implemented, Newark officials said today.
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NEWARK, NJ - Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka today said he was unsure exactly when the chemical used to prevent lead from dissolving into pipes stopped working, but it will be fixed in about six to eight months.

In the meantime, Baraka said the city will begin handing out water filters to homeowners who have lead service lines—the pipe that connects the water main under the street to the meter in a house—to reduce the risk of exposure.  

The announcement comes after the city received preliminary findings this week from a Lead and Copper Rule Compliance study conducted by CDM Smith, an Edison-based engineering firm. The study recommended the city use new corrosion control measures to inhibit the release of lead from service lines into drinking water.

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Newark to Distribute Filters as Lead Persists in City's Drinking Water

Tests results show that the corrosion control used in Newark's water system is no longer effective at reducing lead levels in drinking water and the city will begin distributing filters to residents in areas where homes have lead service lines.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has scheduled a press conference Friday morning to discuss the results of a study the city received last week known as a "lead and cooper rule compliance study."

The study recommended that the city take new corrosion control measures to inhibit the release of lead from service lines into drinking water.

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AUDIT OF NJ TRANSIT IS IN, GOVERNOR PLEDGES IT WON’T ‘COLLECT DUST’

JOHN REITMEYER | OCTOBER 10, 2018

NJ Spotlight

Homebound New Jersey commuters waiting for NJ Transit trains in New York City's Penn Station, on a typical rush-hour evening.

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A long list of New Jersey Transit’s operational flaws was laid bare in a much-anticipated audit of the agency that was released by Gov. Phil Murphy yesterday, but several key findings won’t come as a surprise to regular commuters.

Highlighted in the review are NJ Transit’s declining reliability, lax communications, and an overall lack of vision and planning. The auditors, consulting firm North Highland, also point the finger at poor asset management and a revenue stream that is “inadequate, uncertain, and unsustainable.”

Murphy — who took office earlier this year and ordered the audit of the beleaguered mass-transit agency in one of his first actions as governor — was joined by the state’s top transportation officials and two key lawmakers as he went over the auditors’ major recommendations during a morning news conference in Metuchen. He promised the recommendations — which include making the agency a more data-driven organization with a simplified management structure and recommitment to customer service — would not “collect dust.”

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Newark CEDC CEO Steps Down to Take Top Job at Newark Alliance

Aisha Glover
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The head of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation has stepped down to take the top job at the Newark Alliance, a non-profit group charged with promoting the city.

Aisha Glover was named the CEO of the Alliance, replacing Kimberly McLain, who has "moved on to a new opportunity."

“Aisha is a Newark rock star, and her commitment, experience, and record of achievement makes her the perfect leader to realize our vision of Newark as an economic engine for the region,” said Alliance Board of Trustees Chair Dennis Bone, a retired Verizon executive who serves as director of the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship at Montclair State University.

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Officials Celebrate New South Street School, Say More Facilities Are Needed in Newark

By REBECCA PANICO
October 1, 2018
TAPintoNewark
South Street School Principal Sandra Cruz holds scissors to cut the ribbon to herald in the new facility
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NEWARK, NJ - Diana Freeman, a seventh and eighth-grade science teacher at the newly constructed South Street School, said good teachers often make do without the latest technology or facilities.

Still, she appreciated her state-of-the-art science lab at the brand new South Street School, which was today heralded in with lawmakers and district officials during a school assembly.

“You do whatever you have to do,” said Freeman, who has been a teacher for over 30 years in the district. “But this is refreshing.”

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Newark Arts Festival opens eyes to social change

By MARK J. BONAMO
September 30, 2018 
TAPintoNewark
Deborah Willis' Carrie at the Euro Salon is part of the "Mirror Mirror" exhibition included in the Newark Arts Festival
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NEWARK, NJ - For Armisey Smith, art is not just a way to see the world. It's a way to change the world. 

"Women are always put on the sidelines regarding their intellect or creativity. We're not always looked at as seriously as we need to be," said Smith, a Newark artist whose installation Nice/Nasty and Everything In Between, featuring female artists only, will be part of the Newark Arts Festival this week.

"People take art for granted, but I feel that art is something that can empower and inspire. I think we have a responsibility," she said.

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