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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ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER ATTENDANCE CAMPAIGN FOR NEWARK SCHOOLS

 | SEPTEMBER 28, 2018

NJ Spotlight

Like his predecessors, Superintendent Roger León is taking on Newark's "epidemic" of absenteeism. It won't be easy.

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As the final days of summer melted away last month and Newark families began stuffing backpacks and straightening uniforms, district officials commenced their own back-to-school tradition: They launched a new attendance campaign.

In late August, the new superintendent, Roger León, summoned the district’s entire workforce to a hockey arena to announce, among other initiatives, a plan to achieve perfect attendance in every school — an audacious and improbable goal in any district but especially so in a system where nearly one in three students is considered chronically absent. It’s part of an age-old battle — as well as a new push locally and nationally — to ensure students show up daily for class.

Before long, families were fielding calls from district employees, who had each been assigned five households to remind of the school year’s September 4 start date, and from León himself, who recorded a back-to-school message. At a local principal’s request, the manager of a ShopRite supermarket even spread the word over his store’s loudspeaker.

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City to build a new police and fire safety training complex in the South Ward

April 30, 2018

TAPintoNEWARK

Mayor Ras J. Baraka (center) announced the building of a state-of-the-art police and fire safety training complex to be placed in the South ward.

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Newark, NJ—Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose, and Executive Director of the Newark Housing Authority Victor Cirilo on Monday unveiled plans for a new state-of-the-art police and fire training complex.

The proposal calls for a complex to be built on the former grounds of the William H. Brown Academy that would train 1,700 police and fire personnel annually.

The facility will include a computer lab, classrooms, an auditorium, a 1-mile track on the roof, a room for community engagement meetings and a basement for tactical training for police and fire personnel.

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Ras Baraka talks race, politics, and Newark's progress | Moran

Ras Baraka became mayor of Newark four years ago, and here's what has happened since.

Crime is way down, setting records, even as cops have pulled back on the number of arrests and frisks. Kids are doing much better in school, with test scores up and drop-outs down. Wall Street in January issued its first "positive" outlook for the city's finances in more than eight years. And private investors are pouring money into new building projects at a pace the city has never witnessed.

Those are the big items, but the list goes on.

Granted, all that started under Cory Booker. But Baraka has built on those successes more effectively than anyone expected. After a militant campaign in 2014 marked by street protests and bullhorns, he's turned into a civic peacemaker.

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Racial tensions flare at Newark’s elite Science Park High School amid debate over admissions policies

BY PATRICK WALL  

April 25,2018

Chalkbeat

Science Park students who are calling for admissions changes (from left): Azé Williams, Wendy Huang, and Bradley Gonmiah.

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For months, a racially charged debate has been raging behind the scenes at Science Park High School about how one of Newark’s most elite schools selects its students.

Last week, it erupted into full view.

Science Park is the district’s most popular public high school, a selective magnet school that was the top choice for students applying to high school last year. But the National Blue Ribbon School’s enrollment does not reflect the district’s: A disproportionately small share of its students are black and a disproportionately large share are white, while relatively few hail from certain city wards with many black residents — including the Central Ward, where it’s located.

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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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