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With just five days before the election, the GOP candidate for New Jersey governor is on the road, taking her message to the people.

On a bus bound for 50 stops throughout the state, Kim Guadagno says the tour is allowing her to talk directly to voters about lowering taxes and keeping New Jersey from becoming a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants.

Supplies at the Food Bank warehouse in Hillside
Community Food Bank of New Jersey

The holiday season is approaching and food pantries in New Jersey are appealing for donations.

Julienne Cherry with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey says many residents can’t afford to buy the food their families need.

“In the state of New Jersey we still have one million people that are food insecure. And of that almost 300,00 of them are kids, and that’s one in seven kids. So, the need is still there. For every dollar that someone donates we’re able to actually provide three meals.”

Cherry is appealing for donations of turkeys and supplies.

Just days before the election of a new Governor, a Monmouth University poll finds Democrat Phil Murphy holds a 14-point lead over Republican Kim Guadagno among likely voters in New Jersey.

Poll director Patrick Murray says that margin is the same as it was in early October.

A New Jersey Congressman is introducing legislation to combat price gouging after natural disasters.
 
Democrat Frank Pallone says his proposed Stand Up Act would empower the Federal Trade Commission to issue regulations to prohibit excessive pricing of consumer goods or services within 180 days of the declaration of a major disaster and determine the fines for violators.
 
He says no one should have to pay abusive prices for essentials such as food, water, and gasoline when they’re a victim of a natural disaster.

A New Jersey lawmaker is proposing legislation to prevent convicted sex offenders from living near their victims.

Assemblyman Ron Dancer hopes lawmakers will act on his bill in the lame duck session.

“I think this should have priority for the protection of any of these victims so they do not have to think about their molester, their convicted offender, living either next door or within 1,000 feet.”

Republican Kim Guadagno is hoping to be the second woman elected Governor of New Jersey, but female voters are showing more support for Democrat Phil Murphy.

Only 29 percent of likely women voters surveyed by Quinnipiac University favor Guadagno while 65 percent support Murphy.

Debbie Walsh, the director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, says that fits with the gender gap observed since 1980. 

Irish Rep
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne talks about some works with Irish connections. 

The Irish Repertory Theatre presents the Brian Friel play The Home Place, meanwhile New York cabby John McDonaugh talks about 35 years of “driving New York crazy”.

For almost 30 years, The Irish Repertory Theatre has been presenting classic and new Irish plays. They renovated the theatre on 22nd Street last year, and WBGO theater critic Michael Bourne reviews these two shows opening the new season.

Click above to hear Michael's complete review.

Alexandra Hill / News

As the debate around Immigration continues to dominate headlines around the country and as the Trump administration continues to roll out stricter policies around the issue, Ellis Island, known as the gateway to America, is celebrating immigrants and their families at the annual Family Heritage awards where this years honorees include an NBA basketball legend, a prominent philanthropic family, and a television news anchor. 

The Square
Harlan Jacobson for WBGO

There’s plenty to see in this run up to the Oscar qualifying season. Both good and bad.  Here's how to zig and zag through it all.

You’ve lived a good life. Made a few bucks. Are on a few boards, because you gave some of those bucks to the opera, maybe a cancer fund, the art museum. You look good in a tux. Woman you came with fills out a dress, and it costs some money for hair like that. Not to mention the ear rings.

Damon Rich
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Hector partner Damon Rich is one of the 24 people to be awarded a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, a "no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential."

Hector is a Newark-based urban design, planning, and civic arts studio.  Damon Rich sat down recently with WBGO's Doug Doyle to talk about the award, his outlook on urban design, his experiences working with three different Newark Mayors and his future opportunities. 

Holyrood Church
Brandy Wood for WBGO

Amanda Morales Guerra has spent the last two months inside the Holyrood Church in Washington Heights. Community members ferry her children back and forth to school. Volunteers come in several times each week to teach her English. Earlier this month, Amanda came out to the steps of the church to greet a group from a local synagogue. She could not venture further, for fear of deportation and separation from her family.

Many of the 11,000 voting machines in New Jersey are old and will soon have to be replaced. Amid concerns about hacking, state lawmakers are examining how to make sure new machines will be more secure.

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker says while there’s no evidence of hacking, the machines are hackable.

Princeton computer science professor Andrew Appel say he could quickly break the security seals on a voting machine, replace the chip that records the results, and reseal it so the tampering would be undetectable.

Free Press Action Fund / newsvoices.org

The Civic Information Consortium would allocate $100 million from New Jersey’s sale of two public broadcasting licenses over a five-year span to promote local journalism.

“Right now, New Jersey is suffering from a local news crisis,” said James Thompson with the Free Press Action Fund, a journalism advocacy organization.  “There’s been cutbacks in journalism staffs around the state.  We see this as a way to transform the way people get their news and information.”

Many New Jersey survivors of Superstorm Sandy are still suffering psychological distress.

Dr. Christine Hatchard is director of the Clinical Psychology Research Center at Monmouth University. She says five years after the storm 15 percent of Sandy victims they’ve been tracking have serious emotional distress. And of those still not back in their homes, 40 percent say they’re stressed out.

Advocates are launching a statewide effort to protect a program that provides food assistance for about 800,000 thousand New Jersey residents.

Adelle LaTourette is the director of the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition.  She says the budget Congress is considering could cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that helps low income workers and senior citizens buy the food their families need.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says his administration learned a lot during Superstorm Sandy and the five years of rebuilding.  The recollections of his senior staff and cabinet members have been put in a recovery playbook for the state.

Christie says the book will bring back some tough memories for victims and first responders but it also highlights what’s been accomplished.

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey says debates in several legislative districts aren’t being held this year because candidates aren’t willing to participate.

Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray says avoiding debates is a political strategy for some candidates.

“If you are running ahead, the status quo is your best friend. So you don’t want to upset that by engaging in a debate where something is out of your control.”  

Murray says incumbents might prefer to skip debates.

Ntozake Shange
Kenny Miles for WBGO

The art scene in Newark continues to grow. One of the exhibits featured in the city’s annual festival will be up through November.  The 16th annual Open Doors Citywide Arts Festival is Newark’s biggest celebration of the arts.

Sponsored by Newark Arts, the festival was designed for the public to discover artist studios, galleries, and pop-up events in the downtown area. Lauren Craig, Marketing Manager for Newark Arts council believes Open Doors offers something for everyone.

Advocates for opposite sides of the political spectrum are urging New Jersey lawmakers not to approve subsides to get Amazon to consider locating its second headquarters in the state.

Jon Whiten with New Jersey Policy Perspective says offering Amazon huge subsidies distorts the state’s tax policy and economic development efforts.

“With a proposal like this and $7 billion in tax breaks we’re acting as if we’re South Dakota, we’re begging companies to come here. We’ve got a lot of other reasons for companies to want to be here.”  

Five years after Superstorm Sandy, many New Jersey residents are still feeling the effects.

Waretown resident Nancy Caira and her husband live a short distance from the Barnegat Bay.  She says they used a $30,000 insurance payment to make enough repairs to get back home three months after the storm.

But a few months later when new flood maps came out, they learned that the house was certified as substantially damaged, which meant it had to be elevated.

New Jersey's State Commission of Investigation says waste and abuse are still a big problem for the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
 
Commission spokeswoman Kathy Riley says problems investigators identified 17 years ago are getting worse.
 

roundabouttheatre.org

The Broadway season is underway, but theater critic Michael Bourne is looking back -- way back -- You can listen to Michael Bourne's review by clicking the link above.

Jonterri Gadson
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Bloomfield College's Assistant Professor of Creative Writing/English Jonterri Gadson will be attending the New York Television Festival's Scripts Competition as an Official Artist.

Gadson's half-hour pilot comedy script was named an Official Selection of the festival that runs from October 23rd to October 28th in Manhattan.

Ken Downey Jr. / WBGO

After more than two decades under State control, Newark will soon regain local control of its schools. On this live broadcast of Newark Today tonight at 8pm, we will look back and look forward to the course for the state's largest school district. 

Keanna Faircloth

Democrat Phil Murphy says he’d never be in position to run for New Jersey governor if he never knew Barack Obama.

“He’s always had our backs and New Jersey will always have his back,” Murphy said.

Obama kept his focus mostly on the New Jersey Governor’s race.

A New Jersey lawmaker wants to limit the use of motor vehicle surcharges.

Senator Shirley Turner says her bill would restrict the surcharges to drunken driving offenses.

"If it's for reasons like a moving violation or parking tickets, then there would be no surcharges. Now with DWI that's a whole different category."

The surcharges assessed on drivers who have excessive points for traffic violations can amount to thousands of dollars.

Turner says many drivers have their license suspended because they can't afford to pay.

A new group in New Jersey wants to make it easier for voters to get information about candidates for legislative and local offices.

Yael Niv helped start the Good Government Coalition of New Jersey.

Some information is available on government and candidates' websites, but she says the state doesn't offer a centralized way to find out who is running for office and where they stand on important issues.

A Fairleigh Dickinson poll finds there’s a Trump Effect in New Jersey’s race for governor.

Poll director Krista Jenkins says 25 percent of likely voters say the way they believe President Donald Trump is handling his job is a factor in deciding the candidate they support in next month’s gubernatorial election.

We’ll be discussing local control of Newark Public Schools during our live broadcast of Newark Today Thursday October 19 at 8PM.  We invite the community to be a part of the audience at Express Newark in the downtown district’s historic Hahne’s building.  Your host, NJTV’s Michael Hill will be joined by city Mayor Ras Baraka and a panel of guests.  Doors open tonight at 7:15. Newark Today live October 19 at 8PM on WBGO and wbgo.org

Now that Newark Public Schools are in position to regain control of governance from the state, parents are asking if the city is ready. 

With just three months left in his term, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is naming a new Superintendent of the State Police.

Superintendent Rick Fuentes is retiring on November 1st. He enlisted in the State Police in 1978 and served as is leader since 2003.

“I would sum up my 40 years probably in two sentences. There were days and there were times when I wanted to go home from work early. There was never a single day I can remember when I didn’t want to come to work.”

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