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  • January 2008 – The Daily Newarker
    have developed a xenophobic habit of flashing their born and raised in Newark credentials When I parked my car too slowly on my street one day the driver behind me shouted Go back to where you came from When I had an argument with my more qualified neighbors even some radical liberal white professionals would often choose to be absent or keep silent to avoid taking sides politically incorrectly It took many years for people to stop saying just hello to me and then switch to politics with my white wife Therefore serving position in local organizations calling city officials and even contacting the Rutgers police department about on going crime have been my wife s job I was told It is only in your mind In 1996 my family finally had its first born and raised in Newark privilege My son and then my daughter were among the first children on James Street after my neighbor Linda Epps the president of the New Jersey Historic Society brought her sons here 20 some years ago Finding a school for children was a challenge Logistics finance and my guilt of not attending the neighborhood Burnett Street School My friend a professor of education who has lived in Harlem for over 30 years scolded me Think the best for your children nothing else After searching high and low close and far we embraced a parent owned small progressive school in Montclair My children became proud Newark children attending school by NJ Transit from the Broad Street Station For their school fund raising auction our children used to donate applesauce that we made with our Victory canner from apples that grew on a vacant lot off Bleeker Street before Rutgers built its new student dormitory We named it Forgotten Apple Last year after much talk of Newark s renaissance we gathered courage to pursue a school fundraising idea by selling a historic walking tour in Newark for suburban parents Liz Del Tufo the prominent Newark preservationist generously led the tour followed by dinner in our favorite Ironbound restaurant Campino s Only three brave suburbanites showed their curiosity towards Newark its history and its ethnic food The challenge facing our children to grow up in Newark is even greater than what their parents face They rarely have play dates because we cannot reciprocate with their classmates whose parents have many ideas about our city Like their parents my children have grown their roots in the city Last fall we even found another forgotten apple tree to gather over four hundred pounds of apples to can On the applesauce labels we wrote Christian Feigenspan was the first in the nation to make canned beer His Pride of Newark was among the best This old apple tree still stands in front of his mansion turning the bitter Newark soil into these forgotten apples Four years ago in a rare occasion the city went to court to challenge a large property s out of town owner for installing mechanical car lifts in the historic district without a permit We later learned that a Sharpe James confidant who was also a county freeholder member failed to get a commission from the owner In the first court hearing the state superior court judge sarcastically challenged every argument of the city s Assistant Corporation Council My wife and I decided to spend 12 000 of the children s school fund to join the case with an amicus brief under the neighborhood s name For many months children attentively listened to their parents arguing about the legal battle and watching them writing papers for the attorneys To raise a few hundred dollars of extra fund for the legal costs with a few neighbors we bought and sold a truckload of oranges and grapefruits from Florida A year later after winning the case and negotiating with the owner and his architects for dozens of hours we actually stopped an assault on the district s historic assets for the first time since 1980 Early last year when I was picking up the street garbage as usual a large black car pulled up next to me Mayor Booker jumped out to say Thank you for cleaning up our city Is Rutgers still refusing to talk to your neighbors about its construction plans The mayor then asked What can I do to help Yes Rutgers Newark our neighborhood institution where my grown up daughter got her bachelor s degree After over 20 years effort to destroy a residential community the school was is planning its last blow to the last downtown neighborhood by planning to insert an eight level parking deck with 1 600 cars in the heart of the city s first historic district without any community input After months of talk with the school s administrators we were told nothing but to accept heavy traffic in a downtown area The two children often went to these meetings with us waiting outside the conference room with their books and eavesdropping on some revealing conversations with the office staff I could care less about what is going on in their fxxking neighborhood my daughter reported hearing to me In October 2006 they went to the university campus to distribute leaflets to Rutgers guests at the new dormitory ceremony urging the university to contribute to a sustainable and equitable community in our city From time to time their deepest fear has not been run down buildings or crime such as shooting on our street in the night of June 30 2006 We just washed off the blood stains next morning The state university and its urban expert Provost have been terrorized them with a monstrous parking deck and foul fumes They know that life is not a beach here but more meaningful if they do not take our sidewalks trees and flowers or even the air breathe for granted Day after day the children offered their own versions of parking plans for Rutgers or tricks they

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  • December 2007 – The Daily Newarker
    Walker Posted on December 26 2007 Categories Uncategorized Tags Crime Safety Ironbound East Ward News Clips 14 Comments on 7Online Deadly shooting outside Newark diner Star Ledger Duo seek to bring sparkle back to West Ward Star Ledger Duo seek to bring sparkle back to West Ward The West Ward initiative is a pilot program that is designed to rebuild a neighborhood using a grassroots approach That means selecting local developers who hire Newark residents to build and restore homes Officials have vowed that community input will play a large role and have emphasized they do not plan to gentrify the neighborhood rather spruce it up and reestablish a community feel to it Drawing residents in all parts of the process officials say will instill a sense of pride and engender community empowerment The city plans to expand the idea to other parts of the city This is just the beginning Booker said This is my pledge It s going to be replicated in other areas of the West Ward It s going to be replicated in the East Ward It s going to be replicated all over the city Author Ken Walker Posted on December 26 2007 Categories Uncategorized Tags Business Development News Clips West Ward Leave a comment on Star Ledger Duo seek to bring sparkle back to West Ward Star Ledger Victim critical after drive by shooting in Newark park Star Ledger Victim critical after drive by shooting in Newark park The victim whom detectives have yet to identify was standing in the park near South 17th Street at 10 30 a m when a red Jeep approched and someone inside opened fire Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura said Author Ken Walker Posted on December 19 2007 Categories Uncategorized Tags Crime Safety News Clips West Ward Leave a comment on Star Ledger Victim critical after drive by shooting in Newark park Star Ledger Suits target lots sold on the cheap in Newark Star Ledger Suits target lots sold on the cheap in Newark When the market cooled some developers sat on their lots city officials charge and engaged in land speculation which is prohibited in redevelopment contracts Most contracts call for developers to build within 18 months of purchase Booker who has long criticized the discounted land deals is expected to unveil a new policy today for the sale of city owned land which would eliminate discounted prices unless it benefits the city Some of the developers said the lawsuits took them by surprise City Hall begins the process of bringing developers to task for not meeting their development commitments and land speculation Tamika Reilly who has been indicted on federal charges in conspiring with Sharpe James on shady land deals owns one of the companies being sued Author Ken Walker Posted on December 18 2007 Categories Uncategorized Tags Business Development Government News Clips Leave a comment on Star Ledger Suits target lots sold on the cheap in Newark New York Times Keeper of an Unlikely Trove

    Original URL path: https://dailynewarker.com/2007/12/ (2016-04-27)
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  • November 2007 – The Daily Newarker
    without backroom deals with political cronies Equitable Process The project aims to effectively build a 24 7 mixed use city within the city which will spur the addition of thousands of new residents in a few years The university has unequivocally declared that it will not use the power of Eminent Domain to condemn any property Future developers alone must negotiate with property owners to obtain any private property needed Also the university does not seek its campus expansion into the city s commercial and residential neighborhood Affordable Housing Development The NJIT Gateway Project will result in hundreds of affordable rental units for young professionals Working closely together with the Newark Housing Authority the success of the NJIT Gateway Project makes the prospect of a truly mixed income development more feasible and attractive in the Baxter Terrace area Without the Gateway Project to first establish a link to the downtown and the Broad Street Station and to provide necessary amenities a publicly financed mixed income housing project is unlikely to succeed In the 1950 s Mies van der Rohe s Colonnade and Pavilion Buildings and NHA s Columbus Homes were done in a reversed order and therefore doomed without needed mutual complement among other pitfalls Public Impositions NJIT and Saint Michael s Hospital are all institutions exempted from local taxes With large pieces of under used and non performing properties the project will create a viable community with hundreds of new jobs without much further cost of the city as incentives The project is completely different from building a business school in a formerly fully occupied building leading a permanent loss of the city s tax revenues Transit Village The state s transit village plan has strangely excluded the city The NJIT Gateway Project nevertheless will be the first in the city to obtain a transit village designation It will be a key to truly explore the mass transit assets of the city and overcome many practical obstacles to urban development in an automobile culture The project will serve an experiment for a progressive maximum not the minimum parking ordinance for the city High Design Requirement At a time when Bayonne Boxes are proliferating in the city the NJIT Gateway Project engages one of the most reputable developer and an architecture firm who both have good nationwide record for urban university initiated community projects The project will feature mixed income housing ground floor quality retail a gourmet supermarket and parking structures instead of surface lots and individual Bayonne Box garages as well as possibly LEED certified green buildings NJIT has the unique asset of involving its own prestige design expertise Meaningful Public Participation From the beginning the NJIT Gateway Project has engaged local residents as well as the university community as stakeholders the highest form of mutually beneficiary participation Dr Altenkirch initiated many unscripted open dialogs with the community Concerned private citizens sit in stakeholder meetings on all aspects of decision making Multiple Redevelopers Although the success of the NJIT Gateway Project largely relates to other development projects in the area Dr Altenkirch insists on realistically taking a project that we can put our arms around financially and politically With the leadership of the city administration and the coordination of the Department of Community Development this approach in fact benefits the city greatly With the university s governance structure and credibility as reserve the NJIT Gateway Project can move first with provisions for a strict timetable to be met Other privately sponsored redevelopers will have a better chance to proceed particularly in the precarious financial period of our economy Moreover multiple developers rather than a single development authority are more efficient and less subjected to political cronyism Obviously the NJIT Gateway Project has its weaknesses For instance the University of Pennsylvania s ten year approach to develop West Philadelphia had the university s own investment of over 200 million Newark has much less resources to attract investment than a city of a million people Furthermore the city has missed the most favorable development time busily plopping up those Bayonne Boxes on cheap public land However all the weakness only makes the unique approach of a 125 year old local university more respectable Also it gives more reasons for the city administration to mindfully take decisive leadership and immediate action We learned that Dr Altenkirch was a good sprinter just as our mayor a star football player who should know that timing and speed are the essence of the game Without putting this project with all its undisputable merits as the highest priority we will miss yet the last train forward Author Ken Walker Posted on November 29 2007 Categories Featured Tags Architecture Business Development Featured Zemin Zhang 2 Comments on Out of the Ivory Tower and Into the Streets Community Profile the Ironbound Community Corporation The Ironbound Community Corporation has been partnering with residents since 1969 In this community profile I discuss with their Director of Family Services Jonah Gensler how the ICC is helping to build a better Newark Jonah Gensler Director of Family Services at the Ironbound Community Corporation ICC walked me one of ICC s new Family Success Centers in the heart of the Ironbound He apologized for the sparse rooms as he pointed out childrens play areas counselling stations a commercial grade kitchen and the occasional room he remarked was room for growth This is the first in a two building expansion of the publicly funded community services organization which has been growing by leaps and bounds in part due to new state funding Jonah sat me down in his office and painted the picture of the ICC as an organization that pairs community advocacy and services and described how they are applying this model to two Ironbounds the East and West neighborhoods It s the Forgotten Ironbound Jonah said of the East side an area physically and economically cut off from the bustling Ferry Street nightlife closer to Penn Station He went on to describe the danger and neglect that residents of the Hyatt projects for example experience on a day to day basis Regulars at TDN may recall the story of a pastor at a local church who was nearly shot in this area and the recent article in the Times about how some Port Newark shipping companies have been using a tract of riverfront property to store empty shipping containers obscuring the view of residents ICC staff worked with that Times reporter We brought her into those projects he said she was horrified The ICC in addition to providing services such as family counseling education and job placement has been advocating for Ironbound quality of life issues for years The ICC fought City Hall s initial placement of the Bears baseball stadium over Riverbank Park Despite significant momentum from the city administration the ICC won and preserved one of the few open spaces provided for Ironbound residents The holistic approach towards improving the neighborhood closely aligns with the pillars of Booker s plan to solve the city s ills Given this and the administration s use of non profits to catalyze community improvement programs it should come as no surprise that the Mayor s office has scheduled a press event at the new ICC building this week I asked Jonah how individuals can help the ICC and found out that nearly all of the organization s work comes from paid staff rather than from volunteers He did note that they are looking for help in January providing tax guidance The 4 or 5 needed volunteers don t necessarily need a particular skillset but they will need mandatory training which the ICC will host through December If you d like to help and want more information please contact me at ken dailynewarker com I ll be meeting up with Jonah for a podcast interview soon so stay tuned Author Ken Walker Posted on November 27 2007 Categories Uncategorized Tags Community Helping Non Profits Ironbound East Ward Leave a comment on Community Profile the Ironbound Community Corporation Bayonne Box Symbol of Newark s Ill Planning The three family triple decker aluminum sided front garage dominated housing type known as the Bayonne Box has become the default housing type for new construction in Newark Even the 2004 Land Use Element of City Master Plan urged to provide more land which allows two three and four family detached housing which has become the housing choice for both public and private sector builders Meanwhile the city has started to suffer from the devastating effects of the Bayonne Box proliferation In its 2006 Newark Vision Plan the Regional Plan Association called for alternative designs In his first State of the City address on last February 8 Mayor Booker requested the city to identify and encourage design alternatives to the Bayonne Box model for two and three family houses The new Director of Community Development Toni Griffin is organizing a housing design symposium next Wednesday to introduce better design models and higher design standards see below What is wrong with the popular Bayonne Box Is it just aesthetic embarrassment and construction defects To find out the genesis of the box I called the reference librarian of the Bayonne public library last summer She responded angrily People like to make fun of Bayonne Only after learning that I am a Newark resident she pointed out We have moved away from that kind of development It is true that the small town of 61 842 residents has become much more forward looking in its physical development For instance its redevelopment of the former naval base alone will create over 6 700 high density housing units 750 hotel rooms 340 000 square feet of retailing space and 242 000 square feet of civic space Many apartment developments have long included underground parking Newark Box That s what you should call it the librarian added with some satisfaction Automobile Obsession Over the course of last century the American home as well as all aspects of the society has been designed to focus on automobile usage The treasured machine takes a great space in repose as well as in motion As soon as technology improvements made the automobile less explosive and flammable architects moved it out of the old carriage house and into the integrated living space Frank Lloyd Wright was among the first in the 1920 s to design attached garages for his beloved Lincoln Continentals in his Chicago Oak Park house Architects Keck and Keck s 1926 modern structure a forerunner of the Bayonne Box featuring a dominant three garage front with a wide curb cut was even named as a Chicago landmark in 1994 The garage has become the most massive exterior feature of new homes Some New Urbanists call it garagescape The impact of a brutal garage a paved front driveway and a twenty foot curb cut in front of every new home can be devastating In the case of Bayonne Box planning for the most direct vehicular access the frontal driveway location and obtrusively parked vehicles destroyed the fabric of a healthy pedestrian oriented neighborhood In Ironbound s Sumo Village while negotiating with big cars on the sidewalk pedestrians are often forced to witness the selfish display of a junk closet through those open garage doors Furthermore the Bayonne Box loudly promotes a destructive way to organize all aspects of life in our city and beyond through automobiles Some design remedies might try to mitigate the visual impact of the Bayonne Box through such means as a rear access lane or alley However the popularity of the box design among Newark developers is related to antiquated city ordinances for the minimum parking requirement which required five to six parking spaces for a three family structure Many city planners call for adoption of a maximum parking standard which restricts one parking space per 1000 square feet development compared to four spaces now in Newark Jersey City currently has an even lower ratio than the suggested maximum ratio for Newark Given the mass transit advantages enjoyed by the city homes with transit village designs will not only break the Bayonne Box model but will also attract many different home buyers who tend to commute to work by train Urban Sprawl With land of only 24 square miles Newark is among the cities with the highest density in the country even after the drastic decline of its population in past decades However those who pass by Newark along the Northeast Corridor are often amazed by row after row of Bayonne Boxes plopped up swiftly in the Ironbound section Another missed opportunities for higher density urban redevelopment which is ideal for creating jobs bolstering city revenue and improving the state s energy efficiency if replacing these structures with sufficient office capacities Some prominent transportation planners such as Martin Robins and Jeffrey Zuppan predict Nearly 11 5 million gallons of gasoline a year would be saved by increasing the number of jobs in downtown Newark essentially doubling them instead of locating them in the suburbs The city has to immediately stop building Bayonne Boxes here and to establish financial and zoning incentives for developers to build higher density units and encourage companies to those locations where public transportation is readily available to their employees Risky Finance These expensive Bayonne Boxes rely on risky finance and count heavily on rental income for the owners Some Ironbound developers are known for delivering a secret extra rental unit with all water and gas pipes hiding behind sheetrock for an easy do it yourself conversion According to recent census figures Newark is among the highest percentage over 40 percent in the nation where homeowners spend more than half their income on housing Attracted by the American Dream in these multifamily Bayonne Boxes working families have taken various risky loans to buy much more housing than they need betting unrealistically on continuing increase in value of their properties and personal income When these conditions failed to materialize and rental incomes fell short many owners of Bayonne Box multifamily homes suffered from ruined credit foreclosures and broken hopes Visionless Uniformity Jane Jacobs espoused that a vital urban life rests on preserving neighborhoods of mixed uses mixed users and mixed styles with active residents and pedestrians as eyes and ears of a safe community Newark has its own example of a lively neighborhood along Ferry and Wilson Streets with vertical mixing uses in buildings with a focus on retail on the ground floor and street level and residential on the upper floors The enlivened community creates an exciting presence of economic and social activities not only during the day but also in the evening and on weekends Some early Bayonne design such as the 1940 s garaged row houses on Holland Avenue of Bronx at least paid great attention to the Tudor gables façade details chimneys terraces and stoops in order to establish an individual identity for each house However the quick construction of Bayonne Boxes in Newark deliberately stands for a soulless uniformity which leaves out any architectural details and street amenities As the result these houses effectively turn streets solely for automobile storage and movement In one of the Sumo Villages off South Street a great number of identical multifamily houses share a small corner play area for children with dusty and broken equipment Oh Bayonne Boxes what a community killer Political Corruption A majority of Bayonne Boxes in the city were built by three politically connected large real estate developers who acquired public land with a deep discount together with easy zoning variances tax abatements and other perks Other crony turn developers such as Jackie Mattison Emilio Farina and Tamika Riley who had little or no development experience all had a hefty share of the 5 000 parcels of cheap city land These cookie cut shoddy constructions were often done by workmen under the condition that they got paid only after the houses were sold While the current city administration is ready to lift the moratorium of land sales and to settle with developers future public subsidies should not be on the land but rather directly on affordable and sustainable housing that agrees with the city s strategic plan and high design standards A Chinese proverb says It is not too late to mend the fold even after some of the sheep have been lost Some cities such as Portland Oregon have adopted strict ordinances to guide development For instance three quarters of a house façade must be house but not garage Some economists and planners have long argued that the property tax is antiquated for reasons that not only is wealth now held in many intangible forms but also development in depressed urban center has been discouraged Instead some forms of land tax may encourage proper urban land use policies discourage land speculation and prevent shoddy constructions on cheap land Obviously the city has to go far beyond toothless and suggestive design alternatives to battle the Bayonne Box phenomenon TRANSFORMING THE BAYONNE BOX INTO A NEW HOUSE FOR NEWARK Wednesday November 28 6 pm 9 pm Newark Museum Auditorium Sponsored by City Division of Planning Community Development Regional Plan Association Urban Land Institute Author Ken Walker Posted on November 25 2007 Categories Featured Tags Business Development Featured Government Zemin Zhang Leave a comment on Bayonne Box Symbol of Newark s Ill Planning Associated Press Relative of Newark man killed by rookie cop doubts he had gun Associated Press Relative of Newark man killed by rookie cop doubts he had gun Sevillie Sumler is no stranger to funerals not after holding services last year when two of her sons were shot to death in separate incidents But with 4 000 still due to the undertaker and an ache still in her heart she s not sure she can deal with yet another young relative shot down in the street This time however the killing was done by a rookie

    Original URL path: https://dailynewarker.com/2007/11/ (2016-04-27)
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  • October 2007 – The Daily Newarker
    artists are geography communication and explicitly for the first time violence Global violence and local violence and the effect of each on the urban community will be addressed A fully illustrated color catalog with essay will be available here and at the opening Gallery Aferro is a participant in Newark Open Doors 2007 The artists Bami Adedoyin Becca Albee Scott Andresen AWG Ryan Barone Michael Paul Britto Lori Brown Alexander Conner Patricia Dahlman Peter Feigenbaum Asha Ganpat Dana Hanmer Travis Hanmer Michael Itkoff Katarina Jerinic Maureen Kelleher John Maters Sarah McCann Stephen McKenzie Traci Molloy Lucas Monaco Owen Mundy Joelle Dietrick Leah Oates Deborah Orloff Joan Pamboukes Mike Pare Jean Gabriel Periot Elisa Pritzker a href http rs6 net tn jsp t emw4ofcab 0 sad7ofcab qb6haecab 2 ts S0286 p http 3A 2F 2Finse curespaces net 2Fterritorialimaginations html Sara Ross Anne Schiffer Calla Thompson Joe Waks Barbara Wallace Michelle Wilson Author Ken Walker Posted on October 22 2007 Categories Uncategorized Tags Arts Culture Media Community Emma Wilcox Events Film Newark Leave a comment on In the Country of Last Refuge at Gallery Aferro 10 27 Normative Behaviors New Video by Michael Paul Britto 10 27 Normative Behaviors New Video by Michael Paul Britto Aferro New Media Room October 20 November 17 2007 Opening Reception Saturday October 27 6 9 30 PM Gallery Aferro proudly presents Michael Paul Britto s solo show Normative Behaviors in the New Media Room New and unseen work will be premiered in addition to acclaimed works such as Ghetto Games Authenticity of a Smile and Super N Word Britto says that he has always been fascinated by the creativity spawned from not having or being deprived Ghetto Games explores such resourcefulness the ability to modify one s surroundings to be more conducive to one s amusement I like to challenge the viewer to remember the past and pay close attention to what we accept in our everyday lives as being acceptable behavior from popular culture Britto s work has been shown internationally including in Uncomfortable Truths The Shadow Of Slave Trading On Contemporary Art Design Victoria and Albert Museum South Kensington London Frequency Studio Museum of Harlem New York NY Black Panther Rank File Yerba Buena Center for the Arts San Francisco CA and S Files El Museo del Barrio New York NY He is also a 07 Smack Mellon studio recipient Author Ken Walker Posted on October 22 2007 Categories Uncategorized Tags Arts Culture Media Emma Wilcox Entertainment Film Newark Race Leave a comment on Normative Behaviors New Video by Michael Paul Britto 10 27 Prudential Center Continues to Generate Buzz We re just days away from Bon Jovi s opening night at the Rock and Devils owner and Pru Center dealmaker Jeff Vanderbeek is gladly showing the press through the arena in this piece by the New York Times Devils Win the Race to be First It was Jeffrey Vanderbeek the Devils owner who was giving a tour yesterday of the 375 million Prudential Center nicknamed the Rock in Newark six days before its opening Thursday with a Bon Jovi concert The arena includes an austere and capacious white concourse slick 222 000 to 285 000 luxury suites restaurants and club lounges that overlook the ice intimate seating 17 625 for hockey 18 500 for Seton Hall basketball and 19 500 plus for concerts displays of New Jersey high school hockey jerseys hockey themed artwork and an enormous outdoor L E D screen that will emit high definition images allegedly visible in Manhattan This is clearly the Devils building built by the Devils with 210 million in Newark money for the Devils There is no N B A team there is an indoor soccer club the Ironmen to deflect attention or to add revenues from the Devils As Vanderbeek skillfully gave a tour for dozens of reporters it was difficult not to think of McMullen He loved this team He hated the Continental Airlines Arena now the Izod Center and only considered migrating to the country music capital of Nashville to make the money he couldn t make in the state run Meadowlands Heck he was an owner but a delightfully cantankerous and bluntly candid one He would have loved to have beaten Steinbrenner to the finish line with the first arena or stadium to open in this market since the Continental Arena in 1981 Instead it was Vanderbeek the former Lehman Brothers investment banker who opened his building before the Yankees and Mets whose new ballparks are to open in the spring of 2009 the Giants and Jets whose joint 1 3 billion stadium beside Giants Stadium is scheduled to open in 2010 the Nets who haven t broken ground near downtown Brooklyn on a Frank Gehry designed arena that is still expected to open in 2009 and the Red Bulls 140 million soccer stadium in Harrison N J I ve always felt it was important to be first Vanderbeek said not the least because of the edge it gives him in selling luxury suites and club seats before the other teams flood the market with the elite seating from their new arenas and stadiums This is different than anybody in this area is used to he said Author Ken Walker Posted on October 19 2007 Categories Prudential Center Sports Tags Prudential Center 1 Comment on Prudential Center Continues to Generate Buzz The Conversation Has Changed The Rock s First Light Originally uploaded by asterion1 Have you noticed it The not so subtle change in conversation about Newark in the past few weeks Two months after Newark s worst tragedy in recent memory conversation about Newark has taken a hopeful tone towards the launch of the new Prudential Center one week away There s an open house this Saturday if you re interested in checking it out On the way home from a meeting in University Heights I walked past the arena It s just immense Asterion s other photos do the massive

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  • September 2007 – The Daily Newarker
    to serve On the latest installment of Newark Today broadcast last night on WBGO the mayor again delved into the issue along with Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Ron Salahuddin We can all argue exhaustively about why young people go of track in the first place and why it is so hard to take former juvenile offenders and make them over into productive citizens I think most of us can agree that the breakdown of solid family units and the absence of reliable fathers are largely to blame for the broken way that some of these kids see the world Others say that if the city had more enrichment and recreational programs available to children and their families then young people would not wax idle and destructive Whatever the case the city finds itself with a huge job on its hands when it comes to guiding its young people The administration has been steadily calling for everyone from all walks of life in Newark to take an interest in young people through mentoring tutoring and any other way in which we can share our time and experience with children outside our own families I think that all of us that live in Newark and know a kid on our block that might have one parent take them to the movies take them to a ball game Ask them if they need a ride somewhere Salahuddin says on the program That includes folks like Angelina who phoned in last night under the pretext of airing grievances about DYFS She briefly aired some petty and vague complaints and then she got to the real purpose of her call supporting the Recall Booker campaign I suppose that odd off topic comments from people with motives other than constructive comments about what is best for Newark are to be expected on a radio call in show That doesn t make the pettiness any less annoying It was particularly galling during last month s program There was the administration and the city still stunned after the triple homicides in Vailsburg when a couple of of people called in to sing the recall tune and complain about job cuts at city hall Honestly I have to give the administration credit for dealing with those types of aggravating distractions that counterproductive foolishness in a restrained and civil way Don t forget If you like Newark Today and other programming at WBGO support the station with a contribution Author Ken Walker Posted on September 22 2007 Categories Featured Tags Children Community Donna Mitchell Featured 1 Comment on Mobilizing the Village To Raise the Young Verizon s Downtown Headquarters Marked for Sale This is an ambiguous sounding story Verizon Communications expects to transfer more than 600 jobs outside the city after consolidating its state call center operations somewhere in North Jersey and selling its headquarters building here What a setback this could turn out to be for the city and for the Booker administration More so this would be

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  • August 2007 – The Daily Newarker
    Monday We are continuing to move forward with our plan to balance this budget on time and in a way that provides the least amount of pain for residents and avoids a tax increase for 2008 said Mayor Booker While we are looking at additional ways to close the remaining budget gap we have begun to separate municipal employees from the city The move saves the city 12 5 million Another 4 4 million will be saved by eliminating 95 vacant personnel positions and the 203 employees who accepted a voluntary buyout earlier this summer saved the City 13 million One time revenue streams from the Port Authority 40 million and state aid 45 million as well recurring revenue in the forms of 20 million in special taxes and 20 million in reduced expenses i e overtime and health care savings have all helped the city work to close a 180 million gap However the City is still short approximately 15 1 million The Administration is exploring various ways to reduce costs by coming up with ways to generate savings and do more with less The state now has 30 days to approve the City s plan reject it or ask for modifications Vulnerable employees will be notified next month with layoffs planned for mid November The Administration has avoided reducing the number of positions that directly impact city services such as sanitation and recreation All civilian titles and administrative jobs are impacted including those in the Office of the Mayor and Business Administrator The Administration will not guarantee that city services will not be affected by this reduction The Star Ledger is also covering the story noting that we still have a 20 million budget gap to close before the start of the next fiscal year Newark layoffs to hit 200 workers It will be interesting to see what other tactics City Hall employs to cover this gap one hopes that it will be a major announcement about a commercial retailer before the end of the year Combining the layoffs and eliminated positions with the 203 employees who accepted a voluntary buyout at a savings of 12 8 million for the city Newark will save a total of about 30 million That s still 20 million short of the 50 million in savings Kemp says is needed to close the budget gap Kemp said his staff will comb the 2007 budget with the hopes of cutting an additional 20 million in the fourth quarter of this year Instead of laying off an additional 200 people we will look toward operations to insure we lay off the minimum number of people said Kemp This puts us in a position where we will have to find the savings elsewhere In short we are going to have to spend less money on anything that doesn t impact revenues The majority of the 200 people laid off will come from the support and administrative side Kemp said as opposed to service providers like sanitation or traffic enforcement Rahaman Muhammad president of Service Employees International Union Local 617 which represents 600 city workers said the cuts will hurt Newark Whether it s 1 000 jobs or 200 jobs the city should find other ways to plug a budget deficit than on the backs of working people Muhammad said Two hundred unemployed in a city with already high employment is a lot of people Kemp said Newark s shortfall is the result of a long standing structural deficit where the city has spent more money than it has brought in The city has filled that gap for several years by using money from the settlement of a lawsuit against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to balance the budget Booker used 115 million from the lawsuit settlement in the 785 4 million 2007 budget the same amount the city expects to raise in property taxes Author Ken Walker Posted on August 28 2007 Categories Uncategorized Tags Finances Government 1 Comment on City Hall Layoffs Continue Controversy Over Immigration Status Yields State Wide Policy The New York Times reports today that immigration checks of criminal suspects are now a state wide requirement in New Jersey Immigration Checks Ordered in New Jersey NJ attorney general Anne Milgram seems to have made a helpful reasonable call here we need a standardized way to deal with illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a crime The New Jersey attorney general Anne Milgram on Wednesday ordered local law enforcement agencies to inquire about the immigration status of criminal suspects and notify federal authorities whenever they believe someone arrested is in the country illegally The directive comes amid growing debate across the state over the role of local officials in immigration questions since the Aug 4 schoolyard slayings of three friends in Newark One of the prime suspects in the murders Jose Lachira Carranza is an illegal immigrant from Peru who was out on bail despite three prior felony arrests in part because the authorities never checked his immigration status There s a need that was brought home to us all recently with the tragic events in Newark for a uniform state policy Ms Milgram the state s top law enforcement officer said at a news conference here promising random compliance checks to ensure that local officials are following the policy effective immediately A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement the federal agency praised the new policy Wednesday saying We welcome this newly expanded cooperation throughout the State of New Jersey Ms Milgram has talked often about helping local law enforcement officials deal with illegal immigrants in a manner that promotes public safety without treading on human rights That has become more precarious for politicians since the shooting On the one hand Mayor Cory A Booker of Newark has repeatedly said that he opposes the notion of involving city police in immigration matters and Paula T Dow the Essex County prosecutor whose office was one of several that

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  • July 2007 – The Daily Newarker
    Recoleta Buenos Aires Argentina He is also the founder of the Fease art collective which took over abandoned Bloomfield storefronts with performance and exhibitions A recent reviewer wrote of American Watercolor Movement It s hard to imagine this amalgam of junkyard technology unabashed artiness multiculturalism and high theory coming from anywhere else but New Jersey Their songs have been described as confusing sleazy foggy threatening decayed usually sexy sometimes dangerous always alluring Motivated by a self described affinity for lost causes Masuelli has assembled a ragged army of volunteers to create a strangely seamless alternate world within Gallery Aferro s Newark space A ghostly aura of idealism and artistic production past hangs over the entire undertaking Please join us this August 1938 Author Ken Walker Posted on July 26 2007 Categories Uncategorized Tags Arts Culture Media Concerts Emma Wilcox Entertainment Events Film 5 Comments on For 2 Nights only at Gallery Aferro Newark Community Foundation Established Non profits must be one of the biggest sectors of enterprise in Newark Well the sector is about to get even bigger now that the Newark Community Foundation has joined the army of alliances conservancies and coalitions that are dedicated to raising the quality of life here The Newark Community Foundation is different because apparently it is the first citywide organization dedicated to being a platform for wide reaching and varied charitable operations There are dozens of ways that it can support Newarkers So maybe a local neighborhood association can apply to the foundation to help improve their park a recreation center can get funds for a huge neighborhood party or a local business can co sponsor a scholarship with the foundation Maybe it could provide scholarships for a few girls who want to attend the science and math oriented summer enrichment program at NJIT FEMME This is awesome and if I could be a bit selfish here I would like the foundation to look northward to support the Branch Brook Park Alliance That organization raises funds and works with Essex County to keep Branch Brook Park attractive as well as promote historic preservation I mean the springtime cherry blossom displays are wonderful and all but I d really like to see the drainage problem solved in that park Certain areas practically turn into lakes after a robust rain and some areas of the park seem permanently waterlogged We ll leave it to the NPD to clean up its um unsavory reputation as a place for covert drug dealing and other creepy goings on The foundation is good news really good news I hope the foundation and Newark s citizens and outside supporters can really pull off some wonderful things Author Ken Walker Posted on July 24 2007 Categories Uncategorized Tags Donna Mitchell Helping Non Profits Newark Leave a comment on Newark Community Foundation Established James Pleads Not Guilty to Charges New York Times Ex Newark Mayor Pleads Not Guilty to Corruption The Times covers some additional detail about the trial which is set

    Original URL path: https://dailynewarker.com/2007/07/ (2016-04-27)
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  • June 2007 – The Daily Newarker
    to help residents stave off the soaring temperatures in air conditioned environments The city s Department of Health and Human Services has opened the facility at the main offices located at 110 William Street for seniors and other residents who do not have access to air conditioning The cooling site will be opened from 8 30 a m to 4 p m while the high temperatures continue Additionally Newark has 12 multi purpose senior citizen centers and nutrition sites that will welcome Newark residents seeking relief from the heat This Friday Mayor Booker will officially launch Newark s Super Summer Initiative by hosting the grand re opening of the newly renovated Boylan Street Recreation Center one of six that have undergone major work which boasts an Olympic size swimming pool air conditioning new tennis courts and a state of the art computer lab for residents Mayor Booker urges all residents to take precautions stay hydrated avoid exertion and keep cool Author Ken Walker Posted on June 28 2007 Categories Uncategorized Tags Environment Leave a comment on Cooling Centers Open Throughout the City Deputy Chief of Staff Cleared of Cronyism Suspicions We noted this story from the Star Ledger earlier when we wondered whether cronyism is alive and well at City Hall We re glad to discover that James has been cleared by police and that they are continuing their internal investigation into a strange series of phone calls seeking the release of Timothy Jones during his questioning Man denies calling ally of Booker in cop matter A man who was being detained by Newark police said yesterday he did not make a call to Mayor Cory Booker s deputy chief of staff in an effort to secure his release Timothy D Jones 26 said he didn t call anyone looking for help on June 15 when he was being checked for outstanding warrants by Newark police and issued two summonses I didn t call anybody said Jones a resident of Scranton Pa who volunteered for Booker s 2006 mayoral campaign Shortly after Jones was detained someone claiming to be Deputy Chief of Staff Jermaine James called police several times asking a records clerk to take care of Jones Take care of the individual being looked into and I will give you a call Take care of it you follow my drift said the man who identified himself as James The copy of the recording was obtained by The Star Ledger On Tuesday James denied making the calls saying he was on vacation in Ocho Rios Jamaica at the time the calls were made James said he felt vindicated after hearing the recording Police Director Garry McCarthy said that it was clearly not James on the recordings McCarthy has confirmed the police department s internal affairs unit has launched an investigation to determine who made the call Author Ken Walker Posted on June 28 2007 Categories Uncategorized Tags Government Newark Police Department Politics City Hall Leave a comment on Deputy Chief

    Original URL path: https://dailynewarker.com/2007/06/ (2016-04-27)
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