Baraka, Chaneyfield Jenkins spar at Newark mayoral debate

April 20, 2018

TAPintoNEWARK

Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins at a debate sponsored by WBGO.

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Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and his mayoral race challenger, Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, waged a war of words at a packed debate in the city's downtown on Thursday night, less than three weeks away from Election Day.

"I believed in Ras Baraka, and I'm disappointed," said Chaneyfield Jenkins, wearing her trademark black glasses and black-and-gold earrings as she led off the hour-long debate following a coin flip. "I thought we were going to have a united city, people who were working with each other, and with competent people. I believe that the people who were selected, a great many of them, unfortunately, are not doing the job that they need to do for the people of the city of Newark."

"That's completely ridiculous. If our folks are incompetent, we wouldn't have $4 billion of development happening. If there's incompetence, Amazon wouldn't want to come here," said Baraka, dressed in a blue suit with a sliver tie, referring to the potential construction of the retail giant's second headquarters in the city. "I think that we're doing a heck of a job."

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Assemblywoman's son will spend 3 years behind bars

Kiburi Tucker leaves the courthouse with his family after being sentenced for tax evasion and wire fraud at the Federal Courthouse in Newark on April 18, 2018. 

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The son of a state Assemblywoman and a close friend of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka was sentenced to more than three years in prison Wednesday for cheating the government of taxes and defrauding a now-defunct nonprofit.

Kiburi Tucker, of Newark, pleaded guilty to tax evasion and wire fraud charges in November, admitting he embezzled $332,116 from The Centre, Inc., a nonprofit started by his late father -- a hailed civil rights leader and longtime Newark City Council member. 

Tucker, 43, also underreported his income, including money he earned from his political consulting firm, Elite Strategies LLC, that provided services to Newark, the city's redevelopment agency, and Baraka's campaign. 

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Election made history in Newark, even though the results weren't a surprise

Tuesday marked a historic day for Newark schools.

For the first time in 22 years, residents voting in the local School Board race were electing candidates who will have actual decision-making power over the district -- like the authority to hire and fire the next schools chief

But despite the momentousness, turnout -- as usual -- was dismal. And the likely winners, according to preliminary results, were largely expected. 

With 98 of 110 districts reporting, about 6,700 ballots were cast, appearing to sweep the "Moving Newark Schools Forward," slate into power. Candidates Asia J. Norton, Yambeli Gomez and Dawn Haynes appeared to clinch the majority of the vote among a 13-candidate field, preliminary results from the Essex County Clerk's Office show.

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Parkland student survivors bring anti-gun violence message to Newark

April 15, 2018

Jaclyn Corin and Alfonso Calderon, both survivors of the Parkland Massacre in Florida, spoke on a panel at Science Park High School on Saturday.

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High schools students from across Newark converged at Science Park High School on Saturday for a forum against gun violence featuring Jaclyn Corin and Alfonso Calderon, both survivors of the Parkland Massacre in Florida. 

The forum, which was attended by hundreds of Newark youth, was designed to allow New Jersey students to dialogue and develop coalitions in New Jersey and across the state to stop the spread of gun violence and to demand stricter gun laws. 

This student-led conversation on gun violence is aimed at strengthening the student voice and identifying solutions nationally and locally.  The visit from Parkland students comes just two weeks after a massive rally in Newark as part of the March For Our Lives demonstrations across the country.

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Legislation reinstating Urban Enterprise Zone in Newark awaits governor's signature

April 12, 2018

TAPintoNEWARK

Businesses along Halsey Street in Newark are among those that would benefit from the passage of S3549, which cleared the Assembly today.

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Newark's popular Urban Enterprise Zone, which expired under Gov. Chris Christie's administration, is close to making a comeback.

Legislation co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin that would extend Urban Enterprise Zones for 10 years—including reviving the one in Newark—received final approval from the Assembly Thursday. 

The bill, S-3549, previously cleared the state Senate and now heads to Gov. Murphy's desk. If signed into law, the legislation would reactivate five UEZs that expired: Bridgeton, Camden, Newark, Plainfield and Trenton. 

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Shaq is opening a $79M apartment tower in N.J.

Former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal is making his mark on his hometown skyline. 

And much like the 7-foot-1-inch sports legend, the 22-story apartment complex -- colloquially called "Shaq Towers" -- will hover over the city's downtown as its first high-rise in more than 50 years

"I remember when I was growing up (the city) used to be beautiful like this so the older I get, I want it to be a little more beautiful," O'Neal told NJ Advance Media. "I invest in things that are going to make a difference."

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Don't let the Starbucks fool you. We're not gentrifying, and this is how.

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50 years after the riots: Confronting Newark's ills head on have paid off | Opinion

By Sanford M. Jaffe

Posted Apr 8, 2018

 

Fifty years removed from the riots in Newark, it's a good time to reflect on the content and impact of the report of the Governor's Select Commission on Civil Disorders that was appointed by Gov. Richard Hughes in 1967 and issued its final report in 1968. That history helps us understand where the Brick City is today.

The commission -- I was its executive director -- studied the circumstances that led to the violence, including the deaths of 26 people that consumed Newark in July 1967; produced significant findings and issued a wide range of recommendations for change. 

The riots culminated a period of decline in the city, particularly for African-Americans. For five days, looting and gunfire had attracted State Police and the National Guard to put down the violence. More than 700 people were injured and some $10 million in damage was suffered.

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Newark's Center for Autism joins North Ward Center to expand services for people with autism

April 3, 2018

TAPintoNEWARK

The new Center for Autism boasts a fully furnished apartment to teach pre-vocational and activities of daily living skills, along with a sensory integration room, kitchen and lounge.

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Newark, NJ—North Ward Center CEO and Center for Autism founder Michele Adubato was once asked whether she had anyone with autism in her family.

Adubato's response was immediate.

“I said, ‘Yeah, about 400,’” Adubato said.

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Convicted ex-mayor loses pension fight in what he calls an 'insult to justice'

An appeals court has refused to reinstate a year of retirement benefits for a former Newark mayor who worked as an Essex County Collegeprofessor, ruling that it was reasonable for the pension program to strip Sharpe James of those earnings because of his federal conviction

James, Newark's mayor for 20 years who served 18 months in prison, called the Appellate Division decision "ludicrous and an insult to justice and fair play," he told NJ Advance Media in an email. 

At issue was James' yearlong service as a senior fellow and municipal government professor for Essex County College's Urban Issues Institute between 2006-07. He earned $150,000 in a position created specially for him, according to the case. 

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