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Newark Today

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A bill introduced in New Jersey's Legislature would establish a system to track and analyze EMS crews' response to medical emergencies.

Assembly Health Committee chairman Herb Conaway is a doctor. He says the tracking system could help identify what procedures improve patient outcomes in emergency situations.

thestephencranehouse.org

Author Stephen Crane and Asbury Park’s paths intertwined at birth.  Asbury Park was founded in 1871. Stephen Crane was born the same year. 

“He was born in Newark; his father was the head of all of the Methodist churches in Newark at the time.  His father had written pamphlets on the evils of reading novels, dancing, and things like that.  All of the things that Stephen liked to do,” said ​Frank D’Alessandro, owner of The Stephen Crane House.

New Jersey officials say the beaches are in good shape for the start of the summer season and the ocean water quality is excellent. 

But President Trump's proposed budget would eliminate federal funds for the program that tests the water at more than 200 bay and ocean beaches in the state.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin says the state has all the money it needs to do that testing this year.

President Trump's budget proposal to increase premiums to preserve the federal flood insurance program is meeting with plenty of criticism in New Jersey.

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty says a sharp increase in flood insurance premiums would be a mistake.

Phil Gregory / WBGO

Martin Robins with the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University says diverting access to New York City on only one train line is a simple plan.

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.”

Governor Chris Christie says an agreement between Amtrak and New Jersey Transit will limit disruptions for commuters this summer as aging tracks and equipment are replaced at New York's Penn Station.

Christie says only the Morris and Essex Line's Midtown Direct train service will be affected by the work that will be done over an eight-week period from July through Labor Day.

"For three-quarters of the New Jersey Transit customers travel patterns will not be modified in any way including the Trenton to New York Northeast Corridor Line."

Advocates are praising Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto's plans to improve New Jersey's paid family leave program.

Prieto's bill would increase the maximum family leave from six weeks to 12, raise the current $633 cap on weekly benefits to as much as $932, and expand the family members who qualify for paid leave to include siblings, grandparents, and parents-in-law.

Eric Richard with the New Jersey AFL-CIO says the current paid family leave law does not provide job protection for workers at firms with fewer than 50 employees.

New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition / Center For Food Action

President Trump’s proposed budget would cut $190 billion dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 

“Some of the people in the program now would no longer be eligible and no longer have access.  There won’t be enough money,” said Adele LaTourette, director, New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition.  “Basically we’re talking about gutting the SNAP program.  Which is the frontline of defense against hunger.   I don’t know what the thinking is behind this except there isn’t much thinking.”

Drug users desperate to kick the habit are now turning to some New Jersey police departments for help.

Brick Township police chief James Riccio says about 150 drug users showed up at police stations in Brick and Manchester Township since the Heroin Addiction Response program was launched in January

Governor Christie insists his proposed $300 million renovation of the New Jersey Statehouse is going to happen.

Several lawmakers concerned about the expense have filed a lawsuit to block the work. They say only the repairs needed to ensure the safety of the building should be done.

Christie says it won’t be scaled back while he’s the governor.

The New Jersey Assembly has passed a bill intended to strengthen protections against employment discrimination.

Assemblywoman Joann Downey says it would prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their employment history.

“There’s only one reason for that and that’s to be able to pay a person less if they can. If a job is worth something, it’s worth something to each and every person who comes in, especially a woman.”

Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt says the measure is another opportunity to take down a barrier toward equal pay.

Broadway
Michael Bourne for WBGO

 

It’s time for the theater awards. Theater critic Michael Bourne looks at the nominees for Best New Play on Broadway.

Click above to hear his choices.

Gulliver's Gate
Jon Kalish for WBGO

Times Square has been called the crossroads of the world. A new tourist attraction that opened there this month displays much of the world under one roof in miniature form.

Models of Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas comprise the new exhibit, Gulliver’s Gate.  WBGO's Jon Kalish went to check it out. Hear his report by clicking above.

Alexandra Hill

The city of Newark recently celebrated the opening of the Shani Baraka Women’s resource center for women in crisis, to provide emergency services for women affected by domestic violence. The center has a personal connection to both the city itself and its mayor.

“You never think your going to be that person you never think your going to be that woman.”

28-year-old Newark native Christina Bright is a domestic violence survivor, she says she hopes the center will be able to reach those women who are often afraid or even ashamed to go out and get the help they need.

New Jersey might ban the use of smokeless tobacco on school grounds.

Legislation to prohibit the use of that product in any area of a public school building has been advanced by the Assembly Education Committee.

Frank Belluscio with the New Jersey School Boards Association says the bill is in the interest of students’ health and safety.

“In many cases, young people just might not be aware. They’re not inhaling smoke and they might feel that chewing tobacco is like chewing bubble gum when in fact it does run the risk of both oral and throat cancer.”

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Sotheby's and 2017 Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s powerful 1982 painting of a skull brought $110.5 million at Sotheby’s yesterday, to become the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction.  There were gasps in the crowd when the auction ended.  According to various reports, only 10 other works have broken the $100 million mark.

The painting, “Untitled," was forged from oil stick and spray paint and had been expected to sell for $60 million.  The New York Times reported at least four bidders on the phones and in the room went way beyond that price tag.

Ang Santos / WBGO

On the morning of April 19th, 1995, Kathy Sanders dropped off her grandchildren at the daycare center located in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.  Hours later her life would change forever.

“Twenty-two years ago, the morning of the bombing, I became a victim.  I didn’t have any choice.  When I began to pray for the men who killed my grandchildren, I don’t know what it did for [Timothy] McVeigh or [Terry] Nichols but it began to change my life.”

Kathy Sanders found forgiveness in an unexpected way.

Creating a false public alarm in New Jersey could mean decades behind bars if a bill advanced by an Assembly committee becomes law.

Assemblyman Gordon Johnson says his bill is a response to the string of bomb threats aimed at Jewish Community Centers, temples, and schools earlier this year.

'It's something that we as elected officials cannot accept and must do something in response. We can't allow anyone to be targeted because of their faith."

A bill advanced by a New Jersey Assembly committee would allow people convicted of driving with a suspended license to perform community services instead of going to jail.

Current law allows for a jail sentence up to 180 days.

Assembly Judiciary Committee chairman John McKeon says the intention is to make sure the penalty is appropriate.

mlebear.com

The opening track to Emily Bear’s latest release, “Into the Blue” earned her a Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award, presented by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers to honor talented young jazz artists during the earliest stages of their careers. 

Three lawmakers have filed a lawsuit to block the Christie administration's renovation of the New Jersey Statehouse.

Republican Senators Kip Bateman and Mike Doherty and Democrat Ray Lesniak claim the administration initiated the project without legislative or voter approval.

Bateman says that's just wrong.

The New Jersey Senate's Environment Committee will hold a hearing Monday on a plan to phase out the diversion of money intended for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.

The so-called societal benefits charge on electric and natural gas bills is supposed to be used for those programs, but over seven years New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel says about $1.5 billion of that money has funneled into the state budget for other uses.

Curvy Widow
George Street Playhouse for WBGO

Nancy Opel stars at the George Street Playhouse in Curvy Widow, a musical with a book (from a book) by Bobby Goldman.

Opel returns to GSP after her hilarious, show-stealing performance as Ma/The Mayor in The Toxic Avenger to star in this sassy, frank and witty musical comedy that follows the daily exploits of a feisty fifty-something widow. Her adventures inspire laughter and -- in the least expected places --  reveal unexpected truths about life, love, survival and sex.

Black Infant Mortality
Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey

The Partnership for Maternal & Child Health of Northern New Jersey and the SIDS Center of New Jersey will hold a conference next month on Black Infant Mortality (focused specifically on New Jersey). The conference is set for June 2nd at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark.

It’s been more than 20 years since a Blue Ribbon Panel was created under the former Governor of New Jersey Christie Whitman to address the issue. The Partnership was a part of the panel then and is now leading efforts to resurface this important public health issue.

The Christie administration is providing more details about a plan to turn over New Jersey's lottery to the public employee retirement system.

State Treasurer Ford Scudder says a steady stream of revenue from the lottery would generate about $37 billion in pension funding over the next 30 years and reduce the general fund obligation to the system.

More patients might become eligible for New Jersey's medical marijuana program.

The state Medicinal Marijuana Review panel has voted to recommend that chronic pain related to muscular skeletal disorders, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, Tourette's syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome be added to the qualifying conditions for the program.

Roseanne Scotti, the state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, is thrilled with the decision.

Trump National
USGA

The 2017 U.S. Women's Open will be the third USGA championship conducted at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.  It will take place July 10th through the 16th.

Matt Sawicki, Director, U.S. Women's and Senior Women's Open Championships, is the latest guest on the podcast SportsJam with Doug Doyle.

Sawicki is thrilled the championship is headed back to New Jersey for the first time since 1987.

A New Jersey Congresswoman is re-introducing legislation calling for more stringent federal review of proposed pipeline projects.

Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is rubber stamping pipeline projects with little regard for the public or the environment.

She says her proposed Safer Pipelines Act would assess regional needs for additional pipeline capacity and the environmental impact of proposed projects.

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