Want to Airbnb your home in this city? You’ll have to ask all your neighbors first.

Posted Feb 7, 2019

Newark is considering clamping down on home rental services like Airbnb, in a move officials say will help regulate the growing industry and allow the city to cash in on the profits.

A group of proposed ordinances will require homeowners to collect the signatures of everyone on their block in order to apply for a $300 annual permit that allows short-term rentals (28 days or less). The names and ages of all guests must also be provided to the city. Only homeowners will be permitted to participate.

“People are operating Airbnbs in the city, unregulated as far as we’re concerned,” said Kenyatta Stewart, the city’s corporation counsel. “If there’s an incident that happens, the city needs to have a sense of what’s going on."

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Newark Parking Authority Enters into Lease Agreement for Massive Parking Deck Near Prudential Center

The surface parking lot at 47-73 Green St. (left) will soon be home to a new parking deck. The 515-space garage will be about one block over from the Prudential Center.
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NEWARK, NJ - City council hesitantly entered into a lease agreement last week with the Newark Parking Authority that will push forward the creation of a massive 515-space parking deck near the Prudential arena.

The city entered into a redevelopment agreement with the parking authority in 2017. The agreement called for the agency to construct a six-story, mixed-use office building with ground floor retail space and a 515-space parking deck at 47-73 Green St. There property is currently used as a surface parking lot for city employees. 

City employees during regular Monday-Friday business hours would have access to 258 parking spots in the deck, which is located behind city hall and about a block away from the Prudential Center. The parking garage would then be open to the public for a fee. The parking authority did not respond to a request for comment seeking how much the rates would be for the public, especially during Devils games. 

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Rutgers-Newark Receives $1.5M Grant to Create Scholarships for Humanities Students

The Rutgers - Newark Honors Living-Learning Community received the three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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Newark, NJ - A Rutgers University - Newark program aimed at cultivating overlooked talent has received a $1.5 million grant to help students get their undergraduate degrees in the humanities.

The Rutgers -Newark Honors Living-Learning Community program received the three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which works to protect the humanities and arts. The grant will be used to create a new Clement A. Price Humanities Scholars Program that will accept students in fall 2019.

Rutgers- Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor said the humanities help people to better understand the past and present, which she says is important at “a time when divisions among us appear to be growing and hardening.”

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Newark Wants to Teach Children About Water Treatment

The classes will be held at the Pequannock Watershed in West Milford.
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NEWARK, NJ - Middle and high school students will get a hands-on opportunity to learn about water infrastructure and treatment at the Newark Pequannock Watershed.

The program is part of the city’s Department of Water and Sewer Utilities' watershed management plan. Students who graduate from the program will be eligible for paid internships with the city’s water department.

Department of Water and Sewer Utilities Acting Director Kareem Adeem said the program is academically progressive and socially empowering.

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‘Zero student achievement’ at Newark schools backed by Facebook money

Posted Jan 16, 2019

This story was originally published by Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization covering public education. Sign up for their newsletters here: chalkbeat.org/newsletter.

Three years ago, Newark unveiled a high-profile experiment: Rather than close low-performing schools in the city’s impoverished South Ward, the district would try to revive them with an infusion of extra services and staffers.

It was a major victory for Mayor Ras Baraka, who convinced the district’s state-appointed superintendent to devote $10 million in private funds to the effort, and for local activists and teachers unions who had long endorsed this “community-school” approach — transforming schools into service-rich hubs able to treat the many ailments, from hunger to asthma to mental-health crises, that can impede some students’ learning.

Now, with the program still in its infancy, Newark’s new superintendent — a homegrown educator who is close to the mayor, the union, and those same activists — is declaring it a failure.

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Century-old Properties in Newark's 'Billion Dollar Triangle' to Get Face Lift

NEWARK, NJ - A developer who has renovated several properties in Newark announced new plans for an adaptive reuse project in the city’s Downtown.

Paramount Assets purchased two properties at 30-32 and 36-40 Clinton Street that will add to the city’s “Billion Dollar Triangle,” an area that is surrounded by Newark Penn Station, the Prudential Center and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Both buildings will be updated as mixed-use residential spaces with new interior spaces, including upgrades to the entrance, lobbies and elevators.

“The premier location of these properties made them very attractive to us,” said Richard Dunn, senior vice president of Paramount Assets. “30-32 Clinton Street and 36-40 Clinton Street meet all the necessary criteria for creating today’s successful adaptive reuse projects.  We saw this as an excellent opportunity to reposition two historically significant assets to the benefit of both the City and residents alike.”

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Newark Exceeds Lead Levels Again, Receives 3 Other Water Violations

This is the fourth time 2017 the City of Newark has exceeded federal regulations for lead levels.
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NEWARK, NJ - The city has exceeded allowable lead levels again and also received three other violations since last month for other water issues, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection website.

This is the fourth time since 2017 the city has exceeded lead levels in its water. About 43 percent of the 244 samples the city reported exceeded the federal action level of 15 parts per billion for lead between July and December last year. The previous round of samples, collected between February and June, showed that about 13 percent of 129 samples exceeded acceptable levels.

The latest numbers come amid a federal lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that alleges city and state officials violated regulations that caused lead levels to increase. NRDC Senior Director for Health and Food Erik Olson today called the newest increases “concerning.”

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City Council Approves Ironbound Building Height Ordinance Despite Residents' Concerns

Ironbound Community Corporation Director Joseph Della Fave speaks during today's city council meeting, saying MX-3 will have a "negative impact of livability" for the neighborhood.
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NEWARK, NJ - City council today passed an ordinance that will increase allowable building height in the Ironbound despite concerns from the planning board and dissent from over a dozen residents.

The so-called MX-3 ordinance creates a new zone that affects several lots near Penn Station, allowing developments to be built up to 145 feet or about 12 stories. Previously, buildings in the area were only permitted to go up to eight stories.

Members from community-based groups like PLANewark and the Ironbound Community Corporation, which has been a partner with the city on past programs, reiterated objections to the ordinance today. About 15 residents also implored the council to vote no, citing concerns with parking, higher rents, gentrification and sewerage issues.

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Ironbound Building Height Ordinance Stirs Up Gentrification Concerns

The MX-3 ordinance would affect several lots east of Penn Station in Newark's Ironbound section.
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NEWARK, NJ -  A final vote draws nearer for a zoning ordinance that would allow for taller buildings in the Ironbound, but some community groups have raised a hot-button concern about the measure, saying it will cause gentrification in the neighborhood. 

The Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) and PLANewark say residents in the low-lying Portuguese neighborhood with several surface parking lots could be pushed out should the creation of a new MX-3 zonebe approved on Wednesday. The Ironbound Business Improvement District and the city administration say there are other measures in place that will prevent gentrification and the area needs to be redeveloped.

The latest iteration of the proposed MX-3 ordinance would allow for buildings in an area near Penn Station to increase in height from eight to 12 stories

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'He’ll make a good president, but he’s not going to help us.' What Newark really thinks of Cory Booker.

By Barry Carter | Posted January 06, 2019

NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Booker in September 2018.

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It’s no secret. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is thinking about running for president, having already visited 24 states during midterm elections, including stops that would be key in early primaries.

But in Newark, where he was mayor for seven years, there are mixed opinions on whether or not the politician should seek the country's top job.

We hit the streets of the Brick City to see what those back home think of the politician's potential aspirations. 

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