Bankston: ‘We Need a Political Beast’ in the Newark South Ward Seat

By Max Pizarro | March 27, 2022

Insider NJ

NEWARK – Ok, the South Ward looks competitive. That’s what can happen when someone retires, and in this case, South Ward Councilman John Sharpe James decided not to pursue a third term this year, choosing instead to back recreation director Pat Council, Mayor Ras Baraka’s choice for the seat.

Terrance Bankston has other plans.

The former Director of Constituent Affairs for the City of Newark and former Director of the Newark Youth One Stop Career Center, who now works full time as an environmental justice coordinator for Clean Water Action, is running an aggressive campaign for the South Ward seat as he tries to pry power out of the hands of the powerful – and popular – mayor.

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Half of wells tested exceed limits for ‘forever chemicals’

JON HURDLE, CONTRIBUTING WRITER | MARCH 28, 2022 

NJ Spotlight News

Almost half of the private water wells tested by New Jersey officials over the past few years contained toxic “forever chemicals” at levels that exceeded state health limits, according to new data from the Department of Environmental Protection.

Over the past four years, the DEP tested 678 wells in 15 counties. It found 320 wells where water samples did not meet standards for three kinds of the PFAS chemicals now regulated by the state, according to data obtained by NJ Spotlight News.

The data includes previously released test results for the Pennington/Hopewell area. But the tests cover many other areas that were not specified before, showing the widespread nature of the contamination and highlighting what officials say is a threat to public health.

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4 Key Takeaways from Newark Public Schools’ Proposed 2022-23 Budget

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IRS owes nearly $40 million to N.J. taxpayers who haven’t filed tax returns, agency says

Published: Mar. 25, 2022

The deadline is looming for more than 39,000 New Jerseyans who didn’t file a 2018 tax return.

The IRS said it has some $40 million of refunds due to residents who didn’t file that year. The midpoint refund is $872, meaning half the people would get more and half would get less, the IRS said.

Taxpayers can’t wait much longer to get the money. By law, there is only a three-year window to claim late refunds, and that runs out on this year’s April 18 filing deadline.

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How This Newark School Aims to Empower Women Beyond the Classroom

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Supreme Court Stops New Jersey From Dissolving Watchdog Agency

Cargo ships docked in Elizabeth, N.J., one of the ports under the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor’s control. Credit...
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The U. S. Supreme Court on Thursday temporarily halted New Jersey’s plans to unilaterally shut down an agency that has policed the busy ports around New York City for nearly 70 years in an effort to stem organized crime’s influence.

The court’s order came in response to a lawsuit filed by New York officials seeking to block a push by their New Jersey counterparts to disband the agency, the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, which was formed in 1953 via a bistate compact.

New Jersey officials argue that the commission — a product of the “On the Waterfront” era, when the mob exerted major control over the local docks and the unions that work them — has become obsolete. New York officials disagree.

Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey had vowed to pull the state’s representative off the commission by next week, a move that would leave the agency unable to operate and end its seven-decade run of fighting to keep the mob off the docks.

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In a surprise, N.J. legal weed sales delayed again as state panel says big applicants not ready

Published: Mar. 24, 2022

In a surprise move, a state commission on Thursday delayed approving the expansion of eight medical marijuana dispensaries to start selling recreational weed in New Jersey as soon as late April.

The Cannabis Regulatory Commission that oversees the nascent industry did approve 68 cultivators and manufacturers for conditional licenses. However, those operations are not expected to launch until the fall at the earliest.

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Formerly homeless mentor is one of 7 candidates in Newark’s April 19 school election

Published: Mar. 24, 2022

Growing up in Newark, Allison James-Frison was a good student, but she had to work so hard in math-related classes that she felt something was wrong.

Despite her difficulty, James-Frison wasn’t failing, and no adult ever asked about her struggles. So she kept her learning problem to herself and just worked harder, but with the added stress and damage to her self-esteem.

Now, after suffering family traumas, an abusive domestic situation, and bouts of homelessness, James-Frison is running for one of three open seats on the Newark Board of Education in the April 19 election, hoping to make sure problems like hers don’t get overlooked in today’s students.

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Booker just brought Ketanji Brown Jackson to tears at her confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court

Published: Mar. 23, 2022

His voice cracking and his eyes tearing, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker spent his time at Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing touting Ketanji Brown Jackson’s the historic nomination to be the first Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court justice.

His words left Jackson wiping her eyes as well.

“When I look at you, this is why I get emotional,” Booker said. “It’s hard to look at you and not see my mom, not to see my cousins, one of them who had to come here and sit behind you. She had to have your back.”

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How ready is NJ if COVID-19 surges again?

LILO H. STAINTON, HEALTH CARE WRITER | MARCH 24, 2022 

NJ Spotlight News

People waited in line to get tested for COVID-19 in Newark on Oct. 26, 2020.

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With COVID-19 case numbers down significantly since the January peak, and public and political tolerance ebbing for the pandemic and measures to control it, New Jersey is scaling back its pandemic infrastructure.

More than 1,000 COVID-19 testing locations still exist statewide, including pop-up and permanent clinics that provide free screenings, and nearly twice as many immunization sites, according to the state Department of Health. But just two of the six testing mega-sites the department ran at the height of the pandemic remain, one of which is open just a single day a week. Counties have also reduced the days and hours testing and vaccinations are available through their programs.

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