‘Newark Must Not Become Another Brooklyn,’ Baraka Says After Announcing Commission on Gentrification

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka today unveiled a new commission aimed at preventing gentrification in the city.
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NEWARK, NJ - Newark Mayor Ras Baraka stood at a lectern today that was adorned with a sign that had one, simple message: “NO GENTRIFICATION.”

In the hopes of meeting that end, the city has created a new Equitable Growth Advisory Commission. It will draw up to 15 members from the community, academia, businesses and nonprofits to make recommendations to the city on topics about land use laws, housing, public housing and bidding.

“We do not want to wait for the market to dictate to us how to develop and move in our city,” Baraka said at a press conference today unveiling the commission. “We want to influence the market, but we also want to use some of those market forces against itself. So we're going to use some of those market forces to create something different than what the market kind of anticipates.”

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Ethics Complaint Says Newark Municipal Judge Had Woman Jailed for 23 Days Over Being 'Disrespectful'

A judge at the Newark Municipal Court, pictured above, faces an ethics complaint from the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct.
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NEWARK, NJ - A municipal court judge in Newark faces ethics charges over allegedly incarcerating a woman who he said was "disrespectful" during a court appearance that involved a landlord-tenant dispute.

The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct last month filed the complaint against Newark Municipal Court Judge Marvin Adames. The complaints says Adames ultimately had the woman jailed for 23 days while she awaited a contempt of court hearing.

In 2016, Linda Lacey appeared before Adames to face a petty disorderly persons charge in a landlord-tenant dispute, the complaint says. As attorneys were discussing an issue about how Lacey did not allow the landlord to show the property, which was listed for sale, the complaint says Adames remarked that she should have a psychological evaluation.

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Newark Mayor Calls for Shakeup at University Hospital After 2 More Babies With Bacterial Infection Die

Two more infants have died at University Hospital after the state began investigating four cases of a bacterial infection there in October.
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NEWARK, NJ -- Newark Mayor Ras Baraka called for a change in leadership at University Hospital after two more infants died at University Hospital amid a state investigation of four bacterial infection cases. 

The state Department of Health yesterday confirmed that two premature babies with the bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii died last week after receiving care at the hospital. A third baby with the same bacteria died at the end of September after being transferred to different hospital, the health department said.

The three babies that have died were part of four confirmed cases that the health department began investigating at the in October. The fourth infant was discharged at the end of last month. No new infections have been confirmed since last month, the health department said. 

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New MX-3 Proposal Postponed by Newark City Council

The shaded areas show the proposed areas that would be affected by the MX-3 zone.
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NEWARK, NJ - Council members on Thursday postponed voting on a new draft of a land use ordinance -- one that could potentially allow buildings in the Ironbound to increase to 20 stories -- because they did not have enough time to review it. 

The original MX-3 ordinance was approved last year, but was overturned in court last month after an advocacy group known as PLANewark filed suit over the changes. The summary judgment ruled that any project approved under the MX-3 ordinance was null, putting a 12-story residential development at 28-50 McWhorter St. in jeopardy.

Hundreds have previously protested the changes to the long-standing Portuguese community near Penn Station, which is filled with many bodegas, churches and three-family homes. The measure on Thursday only appeared on the city's website as a last-minute starter resolution after the meeting, making it difficult for people to know that it would come up for a vote. 

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WITH AMAZON HQ2 NOT LIKELY TO LAND IN NEWARK, TALK TURNS TO TAXES, INCENTIVES

JOHN REITMEYER | NOVEMBER 13, 2018

NJ Spotlight

 

Although it hasn’t been officially announced, it appears that Amazon has chosen to split its East Coast headquarters between New York’s Long Island City and Northern Virginia — leaving Newark as an also-ran in the closely watched competition.

Nevertheless, Gov. Phil Murphy and other New Jersey officials believe the state has already benefited by having Newark listed among the top 20 finalists that were announced earlier this year, bringing invaluable attention to the city’s ongoing revitalization. The Garden State could also profit indirectly by having residents within close commuting distance of some of the new Amazon offices if they end up in Queens. And some wishful thinkers still believe Newark may not be altogether out of the running for a small slice of the action.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s prolonged site-selection process has also rekindled a debate about the role that taxes — and corporate-tax incentives — play in the broader competition among states when it comes to landing the biggest corporate fish.

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Newark Residents Choose Elected School Board; Dems Win Big in Essex County

NEWARK, NJ - Newark residents chose to have an elected school board rather than members appointed by the mayor, according to unofficial election results at this time.  

Newark Public Schools regained local control this year after the state ran the district for about 22 years. The transition plan included having Newark voters decide if the district's designation should be a type I (appointed) or type II (elected).

Polls closed at 8 p.m. Unofficial results from the county clerk’s office show 12,218 residents have voted so far to have an elected school board, while 4,005 cast a ballot to have the mayor appoint members to the nine-member school board.

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Newark's North Ward Gets Second Police Precinct

The 7th police precinct is located at 159 N. 10th St. and sits adjacent to the Newark Schools Stadium.
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NEWARK, NJ - The city's North Ward and parts of the West Ward will get the police's undivided attention with the addition of a new precinct that was unveiled today by city officials.

The new 7th precinct will cover the Roseville section of Newark between Branch Brook Park and the East Orange, Bloomfield and Belleville borders. The facility is the second for the North Ward, which was formerly served by the 2nd precinct alone.  

“It is an opportunity to kind of consolidate what we're doing, make the geographic area smaller to provide more services and opportunity for the folks in this area,” said Mayor Ras Baraka at the new precinct's grand opening.

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Newark councilman: Trump's immigration policy will hurt our city | Opinion

By Augusto Amador

Immigrants Memorial Monument at Peter Francisco Park on Ferry Street in Newark on May 05, 2018. 

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As councilman for Newark's East Ward for the last 20 years, I've been proud to witness our city's economic and cultural resurgence. As a native of Portugal, I'm also proud of the role immigrants from all over the world have played in Newark's prosperity. Immigrants in our Congressional district, contribute almost $2 billion in taxes and wield nearly $5 billion in spending power, according to the bipartisan nonprofit, New American Economy. We are also 63 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs than native-born Americans, which means we're not just providing vital services to the entire community but creating jobs for our American neighbors.

For these reasons, I was dismayed to learn that the Trump administration is considering a new policy that would dramatically reduce the number of immigrants who are eligible to obtain green cards, resulting in the possible deportation of millions of people across the country and loss of up to $164 billion, according to NAE.

The proposed policy would make any immigrant who uses more than 15 percent of the poverty line in public benefits for themselves or their non-American children a "public charge"-- and bar them from permanent residency. Of course, we want people to be self-sufficient. But by this standard, according to the conservative-leaning Cato Institute, an immigrant who uses just $2.50 in benefits a day -- i.e. is 95 percent financially independent -- would be considered a "public charge."

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City skipped payments in shelter dispute, now animals' futures are threatened

Posted Oct 31, 2018

Once under fire for its failed state inspections and reports of gruesome conditions, Newark's independently-run animal shelter announced on Wednesday it will no longer accept animals from the city or its residents beginning Nov. 8.

John Bergmann, acting executive director of Associated Humane Societies, said the city has not paid its bills since July and the shelter could no longer afford to continue their services.  

"By not paying what is due, the city of Newark is acting contrary to the interests of its own citizens and animals," he said in a statement. "It's not right that the city expects to get our services for free."

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Baraka, Ex-Campaign Treasurer Still Face Campaign Finance Accusations

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka (left) and his ex-campaign treasurer Frederick Murphy (center, in right photo) both still face a civil complaint from the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.
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NEWARK, NJ - Newark Mayor Ras Baraka still faces a civil complaint from the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) alleging he and his ex-campaign treasurer incorrectly reported campaign contributions.

The case is still ongoing despite the conclusion of a separate federal criminal case against Baraka’s ex-campaign treasurer, Frederick Murphy.

Murphy in May pleaded guilty to embezzling about $223,000 in campaign funds with forged checks. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison last week for the scheme, which lasted from 2014 to 2017. 

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