WBGO Journal

Saturday 6am - 6:30am

Hosted by Doug Doyle

The WBGO Journal is an award-winning half-hour news magazine that airs Saturdays at 6 am. Reports and analysis, informative interviews and features.

Workers install solar panels at project being constructed at Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown.
Phil Gregory

Nationwide employment in the solar industry increased 25 percent last year, but solar employment in New Jersey fell 15 percent. There are still plenty of projects underway in the Garden State, but a slowdown may be on the way.

You can see solar panels on many rooftops, utility poles, and in fields in New Jersey.

There are 66,000 solar installations in the state that generate 2 gigawatts of electricity.

And more are being put up.

The Penitent
Michael Bourne for WBGO

WBGO's Theater Critic Michael Bourne reviews David Mamet's The Pentinent, which is running off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater.

Zachary Carter
NYC Law Department for WBGO

Recently when Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked by reporters how he planned to defend the city’s law abiding undocumented immigrants from President Trump he turned to his top lawyer Zachary Carter, the city’s Corporation Counsel to explain the city’s legal strategy. WBGO’s Bob Hennelly has this one on one with Carter who also has the distinction of being the first African-American to serve as the US Attorney for New York’s Eastern District, where he prosecuted the NYPD officers who were involved with the brutal assualt of Abner Louima.

Ang Santos / WBGO

An influential music venue set to close in New York City is moving to a revamped performance space at the New School’s College of Performing Arts.

The Stone was founded by multi-instrumentalist composer John Zorn, an experimental music extraordinaire who’s saxophone stylings have graced the stage alongside thousands of musicians over the last twelve years.  He opened the East Village hub so musicians wouldn’t need to depend on venue income to get booked.

Hudson Theatre
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne enjoys the Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George now playing at the revamped Hudson Theatre.

Roger Sherman: In Search of Israeli Cuisine

Mar 2, 2017
Roger Sherman
Roger Sherman for WBGO

Roger Sherman has produced a documentary that makes an extraordinary journey through Israeli kitchens, restaurants and vineyards. The movie, In Search of Israeli Cuisine, explores the ancient and modern farming and cooking techniques created by the polyglot of people who migrated to Israel or never left.  The film will open March 24th at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York and in theaters around the country.

Sherman says he found a wealth of tasty treasures in Israel:

Ang Santos / WBGO

There wasn’t much love for President Donald Trump from the hundreds of people who came to Republican Congressman Leonard Lance’s town hall meeting at Raritan Valley Community College.  A little ironic considering Trump’s Bedminster golf course sits only a few miles away.

“We actually have gone to his office his office to demand a town hall meeting, and it was kind of nice because a couple of days later there’s a town hall meeting.  I like to feel that we had something to do with it but I don’t think so,” said Michelle de Mico, a constituent of Lance’s.

Immigration
William Alatriste/NYC CIty Council

In the first several weeks of Donald Trump's presidency one of the hottest controversies has been sparked by the President's use of executive orders to make good on his campaign promises to crack down on illegal immigration here in the United States. How is New York City, a sanctuary city that has historically welcomed immigrant , responding?

Academy Awards
oscarwinners2017.com

A recent Hollywood Reporter poll, however, shows that 66% of Trump voters turn off the show when it goes political, but 43% of Clinton voters want speechifyers to slam Trump. And 60% of the country can’t name one best picture nominee. Well I can, and that’s Barry Jenkin’s Moonlight, and it’s the film of the year. Superbly made, with pitch perfect performances, in a script that began as a play and continually plays with our notions of black life and character.

The Future of NYC's Homeless Hotels

Feb 24, 2017
Hotel
Topher Forhecz for WBGO

New York City and its mayor Bill de Blasio are sending mixed signals over plans to end the controversial practice of renting out hotel rooms to house its homeless population. This comes as the number of people sleeping in city shelters reached record numbers last year. De Blasio says he wants to end the practice, which critics call disruptive and expensive.  Documents show the city may continue the practice for up to nine years.

Glenn Close Shines Again in Revival of Sunset Boulevard

Feb 24, 2017
Glenn Close
Michael Bourne for WBGO

WBGO Theater Critic Michael Bourne reviews the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's revival "Sunset Boulevard."  Glenn Close returns to Broadway to star in the role she wowed audiences 23 years ago.

Lamoureux
USA Hockey for WBGO

Many refer to two-time Olympic silver medalists Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux as just "The Twins."  They seem to be okay with that even though they are both married now.  They realize people will group the Team USA hockey players together for obvious reasons, especially since they've been teammates all their lives.  The twins from Grand Forks, North Dakota joined Hilary Knight and Meghan Duggan on a recent promotional tour of New York City.

Ang Santos / WBGO

It’s been over twenty years since the state took control of Newark Public School’s because of low graduation rates and overall poor student performance.  It’s been a rocky road for the city’s education system since, and many residents believe not much has changed over the course of time.

At First Avenue School in Newark’s North Ward, about 100 city residents gathered to hear Mayor Ras Baraka’s latest updates on regaining local control of schools.  They had their own concerns.

Indian Head
Luna Stage for WBGO

Indian Head is a provocative play by Obie Award-Winner Nikkole Salter.   Indian Head was commissioned in partnership with the NJPAC Stage Exchange, a program of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.  It is currently wowing audiences at Luna Stage in West Orange, New Jersey.

UNCF's Vaughn McKoy chats with WBGO's Alexandra Hill about the organization's efforts to address the current crisis in black education, and their ongoing mission to provide college scholarships and opportunities to African-American students. 

Hilary Knight
Fox Sports

The USA Women’s National Hockey team is now less than a year away from the Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea.  The team's goal is clear, WIN THE GOLD MEDAL. Two-time Olympic silver medalists Hilary Knight and twins Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux sat down with me during their media tour of NYC last week…Meghan Duggan was also on the trip.

Ang Santos / WBGO

When the city of Newark announced the Mulberry Commons Project last month, transforming lot and warehouse space on Prudential Centers Mulberry St. side into a 22-acre park, was it possible for something to outshine the ambitious project.  I guess that depends on if you like music more than shops and recreational activity.  The Grammy Museum Experience will use 8,000 square feet of Prudential Center space to bring its history to New Jersey.  Daniel Cherry is the Chief Marketing Innovation Officer for the New Jersey Devils.  He says they’re a perfect match.

Mark Krasovic
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The 37th annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series is February 18th at the Paul Robeson Campus Center at Rutgers University-Newark.  The series was founded by the late Dr. Clement A. Price and Giles Wright. 

This year's MTW is once again being put together by Mark Krasovic, an assistant professor of history and American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark.  Krasovic is also the interim director of the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience.

The theme of this year's one-day event is City Moves: Black Urban History Since 1967.

John Bolger and Suzzanne Douglas
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Stage and screen stars Suzzanne Douglas and John Bolger return to George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ for the award-winning play American Son, which runs through February 26th.

Douglas is returning to GSP for the sixth time.  She plays Kendra Ellis-Connor.  Bolger plays her estranged husband, Scott Connor.  Their son Jamal's car has been pulled over in the middle of the night and the Connors can't get any answers about his whereabouts. 

Douglas says her character fights like a tiger to save her son:

Chapter & Verse

Feb 3, 2017
Chapter and Verse Partners, LLC

The film is directed by 64 year-old Jamal Joseph, a former Black Panther who is now a professor at Columbia University. Joseph spent several years behind bars himself after being convicted of a variety of crimes including the sheltering of members of the Black Liberation Army and Weather Underground involved in the infamous Brinks robbery and murders in 1981. During a prison stint in Kansas he became a playwright and has been active in film and theater since he was freed. His focus has very much been on the plight of black men in America.

Ang Santos / WBGO

With the tolling of flag poles all around, and a backdrop of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, top lawmakers from New York and New Jersey huddled together in opposition to President Trump’s travel ban.

“My name is Senator Michael Gianaris.  I’m from New York, not New Jersey but we’re happy to be here on the New Jersey side today.”

Gianaris is the deputy democratic leader of the New York State Senate and author of legislation that would prevent the Port Authority from using its resources to support Trump’s Executive Order.

Nick Davidson
Bloomfield College Athletics

The Bloomfield College men's and women's basketball teams are rolling, both on top of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.  The captains of the Bears men's team got here via different paths.  6-foot-6 junior forward Nick Davidson had a brilliant senior season at Rancocas Valley High School and has emerged as this year's leading scorer on the Bears.  Rakwan Kelly, a 6-4 junior forward, transferred to Bloomfield after playing at Division 1 Mississippi Valley State.  Davidson, Kelly and women's 6-1 sophomore forward Bobbi Floyd are all pursuing degrees in the communications field. 

Martin Brodeur
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Former New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur was no surprise to make the NHL's 100 Greatest Players List released this past Friday night.  Brodeur is a certain hall of famer and is the assistant general manager of the St. Louis Blues.

In his 21-season tenure with the New Jersey Devils, he won three Stanley Cup championships and five Eastern Conference titles in 17 postseason campaigns. He finished up his career in St. Louis.  Brodeur also won two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada in the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games. 

The Crypto Party Phenomenon Hits Brooklyn

Jan 27, 2017
Crypto Party
crypto_party.org

We're going to take you now to a crypto party. It's really more of a teach-in than a party. Privacy advocates and political activists have been organizing crypto parties to foil efforts by corporations and governments to collect data.

The phenomenon started in Australia in 2012 and has since spread around the world.  Reporter Jon Kalish recently went to a couple of crypto parties in Brooklyn.

Click above to hear the story.

The Liar Completes Its Comedic Mission

Jan 27, 2017
The Liar
Classic Stage Company

Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews the Classic Stage Company's The Liar, a new David Ives translation of a French comedy.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey could become the first state to ban veterinarians from declawing cats.  Feline advocates are split over whether the legislation is a good idea.

A bill passed by the Assembly and awaiting action in the state Senate would fine veterinarians as much as $2000 for declawing a cat unless it’s considered medically necessary.  Kathleen Schatzmann, the state director of the Humane Society, supports the proposed ban.

Harlan Jacobson
Susan Jacobson for WBGO

What a work of man Sundance is, namely Robert Redford. It’s his legacy, after all, far more than the Way We Were or All the President’s Men or that near-silent film he starred in, ALL IS LOST, as a sailor adrift at sea. The 33rd Sundance Film Festival wraps up this weekend.

If you stop thinking of film as art—the 7th art, in fact—which the majority of Americans don’t anyway—and think of it for a second as a product, Sundance didn’t invent the independent film. But it did find a way to make it a business.

Hurricane Diane Blows People Away At Two River Theater

Jan 27, 2017
Becca Blackwell
Cassie Galisetti for WBGO

Becca Blackwell is making audiences laugh as "Diane" in Two River Theater's latest production Hurricane Diane.  In this wild comedy, the Greek god Dionysus takes form as "Diane", a lesbian permaculture gardener from Vermont.  She's on a mission to gather followers and restore the Earth to its natural state. Where better to begin than a Monmouth County cul-de-sac and the women who live there?

Blackwell is enjoying working with Two River's playwright-in-residence, Madeleine George:

President Donald Trump
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The nation's new president is continuing to sound the themes of economic populism and nationalism that fueled his campaign.  In his inaugural speech in Washington, DC, President Donald Trump painted a dark picture of a country he vowed to take in a new direction.

Click above to hear more of the President's remarks and the oath of office.

Protestors
William Alatriste/City Council

Now that Donald Trump has been sworn in as the nation’s 45th President battle lines have been drawn over the confirmation of his controversial cabinet nominees like his pick to lead the Department of Labor Andrew Puzder, who is a fast-food tycoon.

Puzder is an ardent booster of free and unfettered market capitalism. At an economic policy forum he described how the founder of his global empire got started with just one hot dog stand in California:

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