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Governor Christie once called it the ugliest building in New Jersey. Now he’s saying a multi-billion dollar retail and entertainment complex in the Meadlowlands will be vital to the state’s economy.

Known as Xanadu when it was approved in 2003, the project was plagued by a series of financing problems and construction delays. Christie says what’s now called the American Dream is on the way to becoming a reality.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says President Trump's comments that both sides were equally responsible for the violence in Charlottes, Virginia, were a mistake.

“The people who wanted to cause violence in Charlottesville were the neo-Nazis and the white supremacists who came there to cause violence. And the very underpinnings of their philosophy, if you can call it that, is the use of violence based upon bias and prejudice. And that’s unacceptable in our country.” 

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Jerry Lewis, a comedic fixture on big screens and charity telethons for decades, has died at the age of 91.

His death was first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and confirmed by NPR with his publicist and spokeswoman Candi Cazau.

Cazau provided the following statement:

 

"Famed comedian, actor, and legendary entertainer Jerry Lewis passed away peacefully today of natural causes at 91 at his home in Las Vegas with his family by his side."

Dick Gregory, the comedian and civil rights crusader, died Saturday. He was 84.

His family announced the news on his public Facebook page.

General Longstreet
Gettysburgdaily.com

Scott Hancock is an associate professor of History and Africana studies at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He has some strong opinions on whether or not Confederate monuments and memorials should remain on the Gettysburg battlefield.

He chats with WBGO Journal host and news director Doug Doyle in this in-depth interview.

Hancock came to Gettysburg College in 2001. His scholarly interests focus on the African American experience from the mid-seventeenth century to just before the Civil War.

Van Gogh's Ear
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater Critic reviews the off-Broadway production of Van Gogh's Ear at Pershing Square Signature Center. The show is presented by the Ensemble for the Romantic Century.

UWF
UWF for WBGO

Back in 2014, the City of New York settled a $100 million landmark discrimination lawsuit with the Vulcan Society, the African-American fraternal organization for the FDNY. In that settlement, it committed to a major outreach to achieve diversity in its ranks. As a consequence, the department has had success in hiring more men of color.  Adding women to the ranks remains an even greater challenge.

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An advocate for children's educational rights is conducting an investigation into schools' compliance with New Jersey's anti-bullying law.

John Rue is the president and general counsel of the Innisfree Foundation. He says the investigation is focused on how school officials interpret the law and decide whether to pursue bullying complaints.

Political analysts believe it's likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy's proposed tax increases will be approved if he's elected and Democrats maintain control of the New Jersey legislature.

Nearly half of the $1.3 billion Murphy's tax hikes are expected to raise would come from a millionaires' tax.  Governor Christie has vetoed five attempts by Democrats to impose that levy. Rider University political science professor Ben Dworkin believes Democrats will get it done if Murphy becomes governor.

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai
Allan Wolper for WBGO

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai received a United States Copyright in 1982 crediting him with being The Inventor of EMAIL, a title he earned as a 14-year-old research scholar at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey.

He said he received a copyright certificate on August 30, 1982 , rather than a patent, because patents were not awarded to software discoveries at the time.

Environmental groups and New Jersey officials are urging Congress to reject President Donald Trump's proposed 30 percent cut in the Environmental Protection Agency's budget.

They expressed their opposition to Trump's plan in Brick Township at the base of a bridge that was wiped out by Superstorm Sandy nearly five years ago.

Ed Potosnak leads the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. He says the budget cuts would put the state’s environment in grave danger.

New Jersey officials are standing up against President Donald Trump's offshore oil drilling proposal.

Congressman Frank Pallone says a spill from drilling off the Jersey coast would endanger the shore.

"The problem is that President Trump and the Interior Department seem to think that they should be able to drill anywhere, anytime. They're very oriented toward fossil fuels and they're not big advocates and they don't prioritize renewables."

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Health care advocates in New Jersey say even though efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have failed, uncertainty about potential changes in the health care marketplace is confusing consumers.

The biggest concern is President Trump's threat to cut federal subsidies that reduce costs for low-income consumers who buy coverage in the health insurance marketplace.

It won't be long until ragweed starts causing problems for people with allergies.

Dr. Leonard Bielory is an allergy specialist at the Rutgers Center for Environmental Prediction. He says all the moisture in the air recently has delayed the usual early August onset of the ragweed season.

"As long as it rains, ragweed will not pollinate into any considerable amount at all. Then once it dries up, we're going to blossom. So, we expect the next week to really be the real beginning of the ragweed season."

Ang Santos / WBGO

The magic number so to speak for New Jersey candidates running for Governor is 430,000.  Raising that many dollars is the only way their message will get the exposure brought along with upcoming televised debates.  It’s an uphill climb from the start for third party candidates, fighting for name recognition.

A new bipartisan legislative panel will look into addressing a shortage of middle-skilled workers in New Jersey.

Melanie Willoughby with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association says 80 percent of manufacturers in the nation have a serious shortage of qualified applicants for skilled production positions.

“This is not where we want to be with the manufacturing industry in New Jersey that is worth over $44 billion, paying an average salary of $90,450 without a BA.”

A Monmouth University Poll finds Americans are divided about the impact of President Donald Trump's temperament.

Poll director Patrick Murray says 49 percent of Americans like the way Trump makes Washington politicians uncomfortable, while 52 percent believe the President’s treatment of Republicans in Congress has made it difficult to advance improvements in infrastructure and taxes.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Shooting Clerks is the biographical retelling of how New Jersey filmmaker Kevin Smith bankrolled his first movie and defied the odds to make an American cult classic.

Scottish filmmaker Christopher Downie set out to include the original cast of Clerks in his biopic.  The original films main character Dante Hicks is played by Brian O’Halloran.  He’s making the rounds at film festivals in support of ‘Shooting Clerks’.  He’s an associate producer of the film and one of many actors from the first film to make a cameo appearance.

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.

http://www.montclairjazzfestival.org

Jazz House Kids is a grassroots jazz school for young people which has gained a reputation as one of the nation’s preeminent arts education and performance organizations.

“We use jazz, America’s home grown music, as a teaching tool to develop who we are as people,” said Jazz House Kids founder Melissa Walker

Jazz House Kids was created to provide young people with guidance and a positive influence while teaching them how to play and create music.

Bring the Kids, WBGO Kids Jazz Concert Series

Aug 11, 2017
wbgo.org

  Drummer Jerome Jennings was the featured artist at Saturday’s WBGO Kids Concert Series.

“What I love about performing for kids is their honesty in terms of how they feel.  They don’t withhold their feelings of whether they disagree, bored or tired,” said Jennings.

Jennings, originally from Cleveland, Ohio graduated in 2004 from Rutgers University's Mason Gross School for the Performing Arts. Later on, Jennings became the first jazz studies recipient of the Morse Fellowship at the Juilliard School. Jennings' first album, ‘The Beast’, was released last November.

patticakesmovie.co.uk

Think of summer and you think of escape. It’s built into the architecture. Hot sun, summer in the city, escape to the beach, escape to the Cape. And go to the movies to escape the escape.

How about escape the cops? Traditional summer escape movies have crashed and burned by the dozens this summer. 

redbulltheater.com

Michael Bourne has off-broadway reviews from 'The Government Inspector' and 'Curvy Widow'.  To hear the review, click the link above.

Rafi Kohan
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Author Rafi Kohan spent a year traveling all over the U.S. to give readers a detailed look at the lives of sports arenas.  His new book The Arena: Inside the Tailgating, Ticket Scalping, Mascot-Racing, Dubiously Funded, and Possibly Haunted Monuments of American Sport is published by Liveright.

Kohan talks to SportsJam host Doug Doyle about his fascination with fans and stadiums, as well as what he learned during his trips to places like Lambeau Field, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Beaver Stadium, AT&T Stadium, Prudential Center, Barclays Center and many more.

Thursday is the last day to submit public comment on President Trump's America-First Energy Strategy to allow oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. The New Jersey region has been off limits to drilling and there's an effort to keep it that way.

Trump administration officials say opening up new areas for drilling will help the nation achieve energy dominance.

Cindy Zipf leads the marine-advocacy group Clean Ocean Action. She says opponents believe it would be harmful.

Alexandra Hill

 

Thinking about Catching a Devils game at the Prudential Center, and then heading to the Ironbound for a Brazilian burger, or even exploring the breathtaking architecture of the Cathedral Basilica of The Sacred Heart, these are just a few of the things in a new comprehensive guide to New Jersey's largest city titled, 100 Things To Do In Newark Before You Die, and WBGO's Alexandra Hill recently caught up to the books author Lauren Craig to talk all things Newark.

 

New Jersey lawmakers held a hearing in the shore community of Lavallette to examine the potential impact of climate change.

Professor Anthony Broccoli of the Rutgers Climate Institute says, depending on future carbon dioxide emissions that warm the ocean and melt ice sheets, sea level along the Jersey Shore is expected to rise 17 inches by 2050 and up to 41 inches by 2100. And studies indicate tropical storms intensity is likely to increase.

monmouthfilmfestival.org

Over forty films are screening at Two River Theater in Red Bank from August 11-13.  Movies from all over the world says Nick Marchese, founder of the Monmouth Film Festival.

“You can sit through every film, even if you aren’t interested in the particular topic.  You will say ‘wow, that was a really well done film.’  That’s one of the biggest thing that we focus on at the festival.  We receive tons and tons of submissions and it works down to a program of about 38 shorts and five features.”

One of those films tells the story of a famous Jersey Shore filmmaker.

Gregory Pardlo
Vaughan Fielder for WBGO

The Poetry Foundation calls Gregory Pardlo, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, “a different kind of Derek Jeter.” Pardlo is the second African American male poet to win the Pulitzer and the sixth African American poet overall to capture the highly coveted honor.

Pulitzer judges praise Pardlo’s prize winning book, “Digest” as literature that is “rich with thought and ideas” and provides readers with a clear vision of the 21st Century. Pardlo’s prose also debunks the theory that African American fathers are disinterested parents.

Legislation signed by Governor Christie is strengthening New Jersey's laws against animal cruelty.

Senator Jeff Van Drew says the measure defines prohibited conditions so law enforcement can intervene.

“To really ensure that those animals that are tied up cruelly with a very small lead line in very cold weather and in very hot weather without any of the proper care, that that no longer hopefully is acceptable.”

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