Newark

Ang Santos / WBGO

  A pair of industrial fans blow in the gymnasium at West Side High School in Newark.  A yoga instructor introduces the mountain pose to about one-hundred members of the school’s staff.

“We’re going into our ninth year in some city schools,” said Debbie Kaminsky, founder of Newark Yoga Movement.  “We found that after a twenty-minute session of yoga, that 64 percent of students were more peaceful and less stressed.  So with that, we started bringing yoga to more schools in Newark.  It really has traction after we taught over 26,000 students and over 3,000 educators.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

From exhibitions spotlighting Brazilian culture, to a film festival hosted at the Newark Public Library, there’s a little something for everybody during Brazil week 2017. 

“I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years.  It’s a great thing for the city of Newark because a large population of the Brazilian people here want to show the city who we are.”  said Jose Moreira, president of Newark’s Brazilian Day Festival.  “

Silvana Magda is the curator of various special Brazilian exhibitions around Newark.  In city hall this year, it’s all about female empowerment.

Ang Santos / WBGO

If your landlord knew your apartment infested with rodents and roaches, moldy from water leaks and did little to nothing about it, would you pay your rent?  That was the question for one Newark resident when the bathroom ceiling of her apartment collapsed.

“We’re living worse than squatters.  It’s not fair to us, it’s not fair to our kids, it’s not fair to our neighbors, it’s not right.”

Because of poor living conditions, Yanira Cortes started withholding payments to her landlord.  She’s been in and out of court for several years.

Baraka
Sylvia Brewer for WBGO

The Abyssnian Baptist Church hosted a commemoration of the 1967 Newark Rebellion on Tuesday night. The prayer service offered interfaith clergy the opportunity to come together.

 

The event featured Junius Williams, director of the Abbott Leadership Institute, and Mayor of Newark Ras J. Baraka. Both Williams and Baraka spoke about the need for an accurate depiction of Newark prior to and during 1967.  To Baraka, Newark would not be the city it is today without the unrest 50 years ago.

 

Mayor Baraka, announces 2017 Summer Youth Program

Jul 10, 2017

On Monday, July 3, City Mayor, Ras Baraka, announced his ‘2017 Summer Youth Employment Program’. For the third straight year, Mayor Baraka, has reached out and provided jobs for the young adults in the City of Newark.

Newark's Jewish Community: Pre and Post 1967 Rebellion

Jul 10, 2017
Synagogue
The Jewish Society of New Jersey

The population of Newark, and the Jewish Community in particular, dwindled drastically after the 1967 Newark Rebellion. While some call it “white flight,” others say the national push towards suburbanization pulled them away.

Over 65,000 people once made up Newark’s Jewish community. William Helmreich, author and educator, says an undue amount of blame is placed on the 1967 Newark Rebellion for pushing them out. 

Alexandra Hill / 4323619530

The city of Newark recently celebrated it’s third class of Hire Newark graduates. The unique job readiness program, in partnership with Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and RWJBarnabas Health, that is giving unemployed residents a fresh outlook on life.

“We are so immeasurably different than people think we are by just looking at us.”

Fatima Hargrove is one of 20 graduates of Hire Newark, an employment boot camp and job readiness program that helps chronically unemployed residents re-enter the workforce.

Ken Downey Jr. / WBGO

When Newark manufacturer Amos Van Horn died in 1908, his will ordered to set aside part of his fortune for erecting three sculptures in Newark.  One of those, the iconic 'Seated Lincoln'.

"This statue was the dream of Amos Van Horn, who owned a store right down the street on Market Steet where the statue stands," said city historian Guy Sterling.

New Look Newark Museum Coming in 2018

May 24, 2017
Newark Museum

 

A 5.5 million dollar renovation to the Newark Museum will restore its original entrance on Washington Street.  Museum CEO Steven Kern says it will expand the capacity for more exhibits.

“By opening these doors and reconnecting with the community, replacing big bronze doors with glass doors so people so people can see what is happening in the museum as they walk by.  [It] means that we can also redistribute space on the inside so we can grow the size of our special exhibition space to make us more competitive nationally.”

Alexandra Hill

The Newark Police Department is rolling out its body and dash cam pilot program, as the embattled department continues to implement reforms as part of its five-year federal consent decree.

Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose says 80 body worn cameras and 15 dashboard cameras, donated by Newark based tech giant Panasonic, will be outfitted to officers in the city’s south ward beginning Monday.

Newark Today

Apr 20, 2017

On this edition of Newark Today we talk policing and federal consent decrees in New Jersey's largest city with Mayor Ras J. Baraka, activist and leader of The People's Organization For Progress Larry Hamm, and former U. S. District Attorney for the state of New Jersey Paul Fishman. 

Alexandra Hill

In the wake of the numerous deaths of young black men at the hands of police, the rise of the black lives matter movement, and the mass incarceration epidemic, tensions have been at an all time high in recent years. A new program being launched in the city of Newark is working to change all that. The All Star Project’s Cops and Kids program is working to break the stereotypes that often lead to tension between young people and the police.

“Their cousins, their family members, fathers have been locked up before so it makes them have that negative outlook.”

Alexandra Hill

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka delivered his third annual State Of The City address earlier this week. Baraka focused his speech on changing perceptions about New Jersey’s largest city, as a city plagued by violence and poverty, to a place of growth and innovation.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The city of Newark openly invites every resident to take a ten to fifteen-minute paper survey of questions addressing their thoughts on Newark-police community relationships, based on personal experiences.  The site in central ward felt sort of like a school testing area, but the participants didn’t fill out their questionnaires in silence.  Many were openly voicing their support for the federal monitor over the Newark Police Department.

Alexandra Hill

City officials and members of Newark’s arts community gathered at city hall this week for the release of the NC350 year-end report. The detailed report highlights the yearlong celebration of the city’s 350-year history and its impact on the community.

Sarah Vrablik / Speckle Photo

A New Jersey woman has found a unique way to raise awareness of her heart condition. 

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a genetic condition, thickens the walls of the heart and disrupts blood flow in the body.  If it goes undetected or mistreated, it becomes life threatening.  Such is the case for Lisa Salberg of Rockaway Township, whose family has battled HCM for generations.

Ishmael Martinez / WBGO

There were 163 reported protests, riots, rebellions, and uprisings across the United States in the summer of '67.  No communities more impacted than Detroit and Newark.  Max Herman is the author of ‘Summer of Rage: An Oral History of the 1967 Newark and Detroit Riots’.  He says that year is difficult for many residents of both cities to revisit.

“In Newark it has been commemorated but in Detroit, I think for the first time they’re having a program this summer,” Herman said.

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.

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.

Faith Leaders Open Doors To Fearful Immigrants

Feb 9, 2017
Ken Downey Jr. / WBGO

“Build community. Not a wall,” was what echoed down Broad Street, Thursday morning, as a bit over a hundred people gathered in protest of President Trump’s executive order, in front of Grace Church in Newark. Grace Church, which stands on the corner of Broad Street and Walnut since 1837, is directly adjacent to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services building. The rally that began around 9 a.m. brought in several members from various religions that offered their support to immigrants. 

Ang Santos / WBGO

The hometown of Grammy Hall of Famers Paul Simon, Whitney Houston, Sarah Vaughan, and Franki Valli will now be directly connected to the music world’s most prestigious award.

Newark's four elected living Mayors join host Michael Hill for a historic discussion about the hurdles they've faced and the victories they each achieved as leaders of the city for last 5 decades.

Newark Public Library

Programming Note: Cory Booker will join us this Friday, February 3rd at 8pm as Newark Today Presents "The Four Living Mayors". He will be joined by fellow former mayors Ken Gibson, Sharpe James and current mayor Ras Baraka for what will be a historic night.

NJ Advance Media

Programming Note: Sharpe James will join us this Friday, February 3rd at 8pm as Newark Today Presents "The Four Living Mayors".  He will be joined by fellow former mayors Ken Gibson, US Senator Cory Booker and current mayor Ras Baraka for what will be a historic night.

Mayor Sharpe James served as Newark’s south ward councilman before defeating Ken Gibson in a close 1986 election.  It would end up being his closest election as city mayor.  He was such a presence he ran unopposed in 1990.  James went on to serve five terms, eventually becoming a state senator.  

NJ Advance Media / Courtesy of Newark Public Library

Programming Note: Ken Gibson will join us this Friday, February 3rd at 8pm as Newark Today Presents "The Four Living Mayors".  He will be joined by fellow former mayors Sharpe James, US Senator Cory Booker and current mayor Ras Baraka for what will be a historic night.

Ken Gibson was elected as Newark’s first African American mayor in 1970.  A transitional period for Newark; the city was in recovery from the 67’ rebellion.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Mayor Ras Baraka says planning and investment is ready to complete Newark’s long awaited park project to revitalize the space in front of Prudential Center.

It’s been talked about for eleven years but now it finally looks like the 'Triangle Park Project' is ready to bring new retail and public open space to the Prudential Center.  Newark Deputy Mayor Baye Adofo-Wilson says there’s been a change in design.

“At one time the project was a triangle, but because of a street and some realignment it became more of a rectangle.  So we ended up changing the name,” said Wilson.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Newark’s Department of Public Safety is introducing its first class of school crossing guards to their ranks.  Twenty-eight vetted and trained residents are being assigned to the most traffic burdened areas of the city.   

“We had a group of people, we went through 500 people to get these 28.  They are the first point of security that these kids will see going to school and out of school,” says Anthony Ambrose, Director, Newark Department of Public Safety.

Mayor Ras Baraka says hiring more crossing guards has been a request from city parents since he took office.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Ever dream of securing that law degree but didn’t have the time to pursue it?  Seton Hall is launching a program to make entry level law degrees more accessible to working professionals. 

Kathleen Boozang, Dean of Seton Hall University School of Law says they’re launching a weekend program at the Newark campus to work around people’s family and work schedules.

“Two-thirds live, one-third online, so each semester the students attend in person classes eight weekends a semester, every other weekend.  Then in the off week they work in small groups with the professor online.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

The Archdiocese of Newark welcomes Cardinal Joseph Tobin as its new archbishop.   His installation ends the fifteen-year tenure of John Myers, who father Brian Gonzalez of St. Aloysius Parish in Newark’s Ironbound is grateful for.

“Sad in a sense for the loss of Archbishop Meyers.  He was very dear; I knew him since I came here.  He was the one who ordained me.  I love him very much, but happy to see also that God has given us a new shepherd,” said Gonzalez.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Newark’s overall crime rate has decreased over the last year.

Crime statistics from the Newark PD Comstat Unit show drops in almost every category.

“We have 1,300 less victims this year.  We have 400 less violent crime victims.  It’s good, but it’s still high.  But we can say that Newark is a safer city from 2015 to 2016,” said Anthony Ambrose, Director, Newark Department of Public Safety.