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Thread: Newark Development

  1. #856

    Default wow 9:30 am!!!

    Off-duty Newark police officer stops attempted carjacking of his vehicle

    by Guy Sterling/The Star-Ledger Friday December 26, 2008, 12:40 PM


    Police are investigating an attempted carjacking of a Newark police officer this morning as he was driving home in his own car after completing his shift.
    Authorities said the unidentified officer was followed at around 9:30 a.m. by two vehicles on South Orange Avenue in Newark, one an Acura and the other a Toyota 4-Runner that was reported stolen out of Elizabeth this morning.
    At one point in the pursuit, the Acura struck the officer's car in the rear while the 4-Runner approached from the side and tried to run the officer's vehicle off the road, said Paul Loriquet, spokesman for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.
    The officer opened fire on the 4-Runner, shooting twice and causing the SUV to crash in the front yard at 20 Grand Ave. in East Orange, Loriquet said. No one was hit and East Orange police apprehended one of the two occupants in the Toyota in a backyard several blocks from the crash site, while the other fled on foot, Loriquet added. The Acura, with four occupants, sped off.
    Loriquet said the officer was shaken up and taken to University Hospital in Newark for observation, while the suspect was being questioned at police headquarters in East Orange and was expected to be charged sometime today.
    See more in Editors' Picks, Essex County, Newark law and order, News

    Tags: Star-Ledger

  2. #857

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    The New Jersey Chapter of AIA Announces Winners of "Live the Box: An International Design Competition" By Betsy Kraat

    NEWARK-- With thousands of unwanted shipping containers clogging our ports and the land around them, the American Institute of Architects' Newark and Suburban Architects chapter challenged innovative designers to "re-invent the box" in the "Live the Box: An International Design Competition" by using shipping containers as the primary design element in urban, multi-family, mixed-use projects for Newark.

    The designers were asked to use standard shipping containers as the main building blocks. The containers could be used in any configuration or quantity and in whole or in part. One hundred and fifty participants from 13 countries, including those as far away as Turkey, South Korea and Romania, and from 26 states responded to the first Web-only international design competition.

    The proposed site was located at the tip of Newark's Central Ward, once known as the Central Business District, near Broad Street Station. The site, which is within walking distance of the downtown and major cultural centers, was originally home to a Westinghouse Electric Corp. facility, which has since been demolished.

    The winners were announced at an awards ceremony held at the NJIT School of Architecture Gallery last month. The first prize of $10,000 went to Felix Heidgen and Thomas Nagy for their design of "NewPark Station." Both are associates at RMJM Architects in Princeton, though they worked independently of the firm on this project. Noting the many neighborhoods that make up Newark, Haidgen said their goal was to create a project celebrating the "community within the community." Second place of $7,000 went to Modulaire of Miami, FL, and third place of $3,000 to Tang & Yang Architects of Savannah, GA.

    Moving beyond the boundaries of familiar urban architecture, the competitors stacked the multi-hued containers in imaginative designs that took advantage of the modular nature of the building material by creating repetitive themes. Many of the designs aimed to reflect the cultural diversity of the city. The desire of urban residents for green space and places to exercise was expressed in the incorporation recreational elements and rooftop gardens. Sustainable elements included solar panels,
    wind turbines, rainwater harvesting and compost chambers.

    Unlike most architectural competitions, the computer served not only as the drafting tool but the presentation tool as well. Without boards to embellish, designers had to translate the significance and power of their projects through the screen of a juror's laptop.

    Juror Raymond Nadasky, FAIA, a principal of NK Architects in Morristown said he was excited to see competitors use the shipping containers as building blocks, much as traditional construction uses brick.

    The competition was the brainchild of Christopher Stone, AIA, vice president of AIA Newark and Suburban Architects. The view from his window, he said, is of the containers near Newark Liberty International Airport, seemingly waiting to be used for a new purpose. The competition was a reflection of the mission of AIA Newark and Suburban, which for more than 100 years has worked to develop public awareness of the value of good design.

    The competition was held in conjunction with NJIT and "platinum" sponsor, Skanska USA Building. Other sponsors included "platinum" sponsor, National Portable Storage Association (NPSA); "gold" sponsor, Feury Image Group; "silver" sponsors, Allied Building Products Corp., NK Architects and Palin-Westerhold Properties; "bronze" sponsor, Benjamin Moore & Co.; and "steel" sponsors Extech Building Supply and GRA Architects.

    To view the entries on the Web, go to www.livethebox.org.
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  3. #858

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    Essex Legal Services on 5 Commerce street (next to 1180 and the market) officially closed on Dec 24 th. Another closing in the ongoing trend. I don't think the building was owned by Cogswell either.

  4. #859

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    Quote Originally Posted by block944 View Post
    Authorities said the unidentified officer was followed at around 9:30 a.m. by two vehicles....At one point in the pursuit...
    Does this strike anyone else as an odd incident? Like some central fact is missing?

    Maybe only because the news story is not very clear. But my immediate reaction is to wonder if this was a 'road rage' incident that escalated into (or is being called) a carjacking.

    Possible these carjackers picked the wrong guy though. It happens. A kid tried to hold up a guy getting out of his car to go in the Dunkin Donuts near me in Yonkers a few weeks ago. The guy -- an off-duty Yonkers cop -- reportedly said, "You gotta be kidding me" adding, "Throw down the weapon you're under arrest."

  5. #860

    Default Container homes...

    Hmm some interesting designs although I don't know if I am a fan of the selected one. Either way, I don't think Im expecting to see that site developed any time soon.

  6. #861

    Default New Hunts Point market could get federal funds

    Business owners at the Hunts Point produce market are working with city and state officials on plans for a new facility that could be built with the help of federal economic stimulus funds.

    “We’re very close to agreeing on a design for a new market,” said Matthew D’Arrigo, co-president of the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative Association, which represents the market’s 50 vendors. “There’s a goal of getting the project as complete as possible so when the new administration takes office we have something that is ready to go.”

    Owners have long complained that they have outgrown their current 420,000 square-foot home, which opened in 1967 and relies on diesel-powered trailers for more than half of its refrigeration needs. Their lease runs out in 2011 and they’ve been negotiating with the city’s Economic Development Corp. to build a $450 million environmentally friendly facility that would provide modern refrigeration and additional space.

    “NYCEDC and representatives of the Hunts Point Produce Market are continuing to make significant progress towards formulating a plan for a new, expanded facility,” said an EDC spokesman. “We are aggressively pursuing various sources of funding for the project, including federal money.”

    On Monday, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli issued a report saying a new produce market would fit perfectly with the goals of President-elect Barack Obama’s economic stimulus initiative. The report called the market the largest of its kind in the world and a vital economic engine for the South Bronx.

    Each year, 3.3 billion pounds of produce are sold at the market, generating $2 billion in revenue and accounting for 8,500 jobs, the report said. Wholesale grocery jobs in the Bronx pay an average salary of $56,130, nearly 40% higher than the average for other industries in the borough,

    “New York needs help to get this facility built,” Mr. DiNapoli said. “It should be at the top of the list of federal economic revitalization projects.”

    Mr. Obama’s stimulus plan is expected to save or create 3 million jobs over two years and could cost nearly $1 trillion. Congress will debate its merits in January and the president-elect hopes to have a bill to sign shortly after taking office Jan. 20.

    Business owners hope federal dollars will help them remain in Hunts Point, but they are also considering a move to New Jersey in case a deal for a new building in the Bronx can’t be reached. They’ve met with New Jersey and Newark economic development officials about a building a facility in Newark.

    “We have to do the correct thing and look at all our options,” Mr. D’Arrigo said. “We’d prefer to stay where we are, but the option of moving to New Jersey is a real one.”

  7. #862

    Default Newark murders decline as police focus on drug-related shootings

    by Jonathan Schuppe/The Star-Ledger

    Wednesday December 31, 2008, 8:27 PM


    About a year ago, as Newark's murder rate was dropping for the first time in half a decade, Police Director Garry McCarthy remained worried about a category of killings that remained stubbornly high: targeted shootings driven by the narcotics trade.

    These murders, which McCarthy labeled "drug assassinations," would be key to cutting the city's murder rate further. At that point, he had already put in place many of the strategies that he'd helped develop as a commander in the New York Police Department--putting more cops on the street when most violent crime happens, going after fugitives, cracking down on quality-of-life offenses. So he started something new.


    TONY KURDZUK/THE STAR-LEDGERNewark Mayor Corey Booker speaks during a press conference in October at the Newark Police and Fire Communications Center. Also shown are Police Director Garry McCarthy (left), Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow (2nd from right) and Police Chief Anthony Campos.

    Since then, representatives of local, county and federal law enforcement agencies have gotten together every couple of weeks to divvy up the city's worst drug spots. The initiative, called Violent Enterprise Strategic Targeting, focused on busting lots of street-level crews and their managers--picking up four or five at a time on whatever charges would stick, from murder and assault to carrying drugs or holding a gun.

    "It seemed to follow that if you reduce the number of narcotics-related shootings, you'll reduce the number of murders," McCarthy said.
    And it seems to be working. The number of shootings, including drug-related attacks, dropped significantly last year, driving the murder rate further down. As of today, Newark had 67 murders in 2008, compared to 99 the year before, and 107 in 2006. Of this year's 67 murders, 36 percent were drug related, compared to nearly half of 2007's killings, police say.

    Newark's steep murder reduction led New Jersey cities, most of whom either saw more modest drops or slight upticks. The troubling exception was Camden, a city of 80,000 people where there were 53 murders, up from 42 in 2007, and nearly a record.

    Law enforcement authorities in Camden have said that most of the murders are targeted attacks involving drug dealers and gang members, the same forces that Newark has tried to contain.

    Among the cities that saw slight increases in murders were Irvington (up one, to 24), Jersey City (up five, to 25), Paterson (up three, to 17) and Plainfield (up one, to five).

    "We're still trying to get a handle on the gunfire," Paterson police Lt. Anthony Traina said.

    Non-fatal shootings have also increased in Paterson, Traina said. Authorities attribute the added violence in part to the closing of the Alexander Hamilton public housing complex, a hub in the local heroin trade. That may have dispersed drug dealers into other parts of the city, leading to turf wars, he said.

    "I think the key is to focus on getting intelligence (about criminals' movements) before the violence happens," Traina said.

    Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio blamed the widespread availability of illegal guns on the streets, which he called "a national disgrace." Despite Jersey City's jump in murders last year, DeFazio said killings have slowed since October, when authorities rounded up several violent members of the Crips street gang.

    The cities who enjoyed a small decrease in murders include Elizabeth (down three, to 13), and Trenton (down six, to 19).

    Four years ago, murders in Trenton spiked at 31. Then came a crackdown on gangs, including a partnership with federal authorities that snared gang members in murder-conspiracy cases, police said. Last year, the number of gang-related killings declined, said Capt. Joseph Juniak, commander of the Trenton Police Department's Criminal Investigations Bureau.

    "We took down an umber of individuals involved with the gang, not just the shooters," he said. "We're going after everyone involved. That takes a lot of violent offenders off the street."

  8. #863

    Default

    Newark population: 281,402 (2006) - 67 murders
    Jersey City population: 242,839 (2007) - 25 murders
    ** That's a big difference! I'm proud of Newark for making such strides and for reducing the murder rate so much in one year, but it's important to compare the statistics for New Jersey's two largest cities. Something else I had to point out as well...

    Irvington population: 56,920 (2007) - 24 murders! YIKES! That's one less murder that JC but with a fifth of the population!!!!

    Camden population: 78,675 (2007) - 53 murders! DOUBLE YIKES! Over TWICE as many murders as JC with a little less than a 3rd of the population!!!

    Seriously, there must be funds somewhere to raze both those cities and just start all over again. I promise, last time I tried to drive thru Camden, my car gained consciousness, took control and circumnavigated the entire city.

  9. #864

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    Just to get the apples to apples comparison numbers:

    Newark murder rate /100,000 pop - 23.81

    Jersey City murder rate /100,000 pop - 10.29

    Irvington murder rate /100,000 pop - 42.16

    Camden murder rate /100,000 pop - 67.37

    So, while you're a little under half as likely to be murdered in Jersey City as you are in Newark, you're almost double as likely to be murdered in Irvington and nigh on three times as likely in Camden.

    Of course, these numbers are fairly skewed seeing as how the population numbers for Newark and Jersey City don't take into account the thousands of people that come into those cities to work every day whereas Irvington and Camden don't come close in terms of commuter populations, so in all actuality, people in Irvington and Camden are even more likely to be killed than people in Newark or Jersey City.

  10. #865

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NewarkDevil5 View Post
    So, while you're a little under half as likely to be murdered in Jersey City as you are in Newark, you're almost double as likely to be murdered in Irvington and nigh on three times as likely in Camden.
    I think the reality behind these numbers is, they really only apply if you're a gang member or involved in the drug trade. Also true in Irvington and Camden.

    One accomplishment that gets lost is, there's about thirty Newark drug dealers/gang members that literally owe their lives to the efforts of the Newark PD -- whom I'm sure the gangbangers routinely despise -- to reduce the violence.

    The other thing is, why is it now okay to trash Camden in this thread? I've been to Camden several times recently on the light rail. Last summer I saw many suburban-type families on the train headed to the waterfront. Coming back they seemed like they had a pretty good day. At least, they didn't appear to have any visible gunshot wounds.

  11. #866

    Default Robert Treat honored as model school

    High expectations for all is part of formula for success

    Sunday, January 04, 2009 BY CARMEN JURI
    Star-Ledger Staff

    In a city with struggling schools, the Robert Treat Academy in Newark is an oasis.

    Its test scores are higher than any other K-8 school in the city. School days are longer, as is the school year, and students go on to attend the most prestigious secondary schools in America.

    Children from all over the city apply for entry and are selected by lottery. The waiting list is 1,000 students long.

    It's no wonder the charter school is the only school in New Jersey and one of only eight nationwide that will be featured on the U.S. Department of Education's website in 2009 as a "high poverty, high achieving" model school. The others are in Texas, California, Illinois, Virginia and West Virginia.

    Principal Michael Pallante said high expectations for students, parents and teachers is part of the school's formula for success. Parent meetings, a requirement, boast an 80 percent attendance rate, he said.

    "We want parents to understand this charter fully. They need to know what their participation in their children's education should be," Pallante said.

    Longer school days, coupled with an after-school program and Saturday classes is just what kids need, he said. Some 70 percent of students stay for the after-school program.

    "In inner cities, children really don't have the type of experiences that wealthier children have. When they're off from school, they travel, have experiences. Kids in the city don't have that much to do," Pallante said.

    Robert Treat was picked from among 329 schools named 2008 No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Education Department. The school is part of The North Ward Center, a community service center that includes an early childhood development program, a charter school, adult medical day care and other services.

    Stephen Adubato, the school's founder, said Robert Treat defies all odds because it is guided by principles other schools should model. He believes throwing money at schools will not solve the nation's educational crisis, and Robert Treat helps make the point.

    Its per-pupil spending of $11,067 is about 40 percent less than the $18,580 the public schools spend in Newark, according to the New Jersey Department of Education Comparative Spending Guide. Statewide, the per pupil cost is $12,720.

    The average class size of 25 at Robert Treat is larger than the state average of 19, yet that has not resulted in a negative outcome, as some may have predicted, he said.

    "We're so far ahead than any school in Newark," said Adubato, adding there are plans to open another school in the city's Central Ward. "People are used to hearing how Newark can fail," Adubato said. "There's an answer, and it can be duplicated."

    Adubato said better hiring practices and accountability of teachers is key to success.

    "We have to have educational institutions, not employment agencies. That'll change everything," he said. "If a teacher here shows disinterest, they stick out like a sore thumb."

    U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings commended Robert Treat during a 2007 charter schools conference.

    "I've been to Robert Treat Academy in Newark, where students attend school six days a week, participate in community service, and 100 percent of third-graders are proficient in math and reading," she said. "These schools are breaking apart the myth that some children can't learn. By acting as laboratories for best practices, they are changing attitudes about education and they're getting great results for kids."

  12. #867

    Default Critics say Newark barbed wire ban helps criminals

    By DAVID PORTER – 2 hours ago

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Some business owners in this crime-plagued city say recent enforcement of a decades-old ordinance prohibiting some types of barbed wire and razor wire is making Newark more attractive — to thieves.

    Burglaries are up 17 percent from 2007 through November in Newark, which has a young, charismatic mayor who has vowed to help the city rebound from decades of official inaction, incompetence and outright criminality.

    The city is aggressively courting new investment and development, but people who have been ordered to downgrade their fences say officials are worried more about aesthetics than security.

    John DeSantis, owner of a lot used by an auto repair business in Newark's West Ward, says his property has been the site of more than a dozen burglaries since the summer, when the city forced him to remove razor wire on top of the 7-foot-tall fence that surrounds the lot.

    "The bottom line was, they said, 'It doesn't look good and we want to create a new image for the city of Newark,'" DeSantis said.

    The order was backed up by a previously little-used 1966 ordinance that states: "No barbed wire fence or other fence or wall having barbed or sharp projections facing outward, or otherwise endangering the traveling public, shall be permitted adjacent to or along the line of any street or public place."

    The Rev. C.H. Thomas of the Church of Christ, which sits across the street from DeSantis' lot, told The Star-Ledger of Newark that thieves have broken into several cars in the church's lot since barbed wire was removed from a fence over the summer at the city's behest.

    In some respects, the dispute is a microcosm of the changes under way in New Jersey's largest city, viewed, as always, through the prism of crime.

    Newark is a city struggling to forge ahead as it grapples with its past, with neighborhoods in which new housing is sprinkled across a landscape teeming with aging or abandoned properties.

    Crime remains the broad brush that colors perceptions of the city: Despite a steep drop in homicides in the last year, robberies and aggravated assaults rose along with burglaries in 2008.

    DeSantis said he was surprised when a city official told him that the ordinance was being enforced to prevent passers-by or anyone climbing the fence from being injured by the barbed wire.

    "I said that maybe if a few of these thieves were injured the word would get around that 'Hey, we can't do this anymore," he said.

    Melvin Waldrop, director of the city's department of neighborhood and recreational services, which oversees code enforcement, did not respond to a request for comment, but his office said 132 properties were cited for violating the 1966 ordinance in the city last year. It was not known how many of the property owners had removed the wire from their fences as a result.

    Mayor Cory A. Booker said, through a spokeswoman: "We understand the concerns of local business owners and will continue to work with property owners to resolve this matter. The city will be reviewing the ordinance to come up with a solution that addresses all concerns."

    For now, enforcement of the ordinance appears to be spotty.

    Around the corner from DeSantis' property, barbed wire topped a fence around a vacant lot behind the Yes Lord Ministry, and two auto repair shops within a few blocks also had barbed wire or razor wire atop their fences.

    Joe Nyamekye, who runs Joe's Collision Center on Central Avenue, said a city representative told him a few months ago he might have to remove the barbed wire and razor wire that tops the fence surrounding his lot. He said he hadn't heard anything since then.

    "We are hoping we can work with the city so we can hold on a while longer," Nyamekye said. "I know of other cities that meet businesses halfway, and we hope that happens here."

    West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice has met with local business owners in the wake of the burglaries, and said he would meet with Newark's corporation counsel to discuss solutions.

    "We're not ignoring the problem," he said. "Maybe we do change this law or make an exception. We're amenable to doing that, but we have to work out what that's going to be."

    In the meantime, Rice said, "We have to be a city that follows its own laws."

  13. #868
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyguy View Post

    The other thing is, why is it now okay to trash Camden in this thread? I've been to Camden several times recently on the light rail. Last summer I saw many suburban-type families on the train headed to the waterfront. Coming back they seemed like they had a pretty good day. At least, they didn't appear to have any visible gunshot wounds.
    I have found through trial and error that it's best to take the light rail in the A.M. The few times I have tried it in the afternoon/evening it was pretty bad thanks to a drunk or two in each car that thought it would be cute to start acting out.

  14. #869

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyguy View Post
    I think the reality behind these numbers is, they really only apply if you're a gang member or involved in the drug trade. Also true in Irvington and Camden.

    One accomplishment that gets lost is, there's about thirty Newark drug dealers/gang members that literally owe their lives to the efforts of the Newark PD -- whom I'm sure the gangbangers routinely despise -- to reduce the violence.

    The other thing is, why is it now okay to trash Camden in this thread? I've been to Camden several times recently on the light rail. Last summer I saw many suburban-type families on the train headed to the waterfront. Coming back they seemed like they had a pretty good day. At least, they didn't appear to have any visible gunshot wounds.
    The waterfront is not camden, other than those lofts and the aquariam there is nothing there. The real camden (the parts where you live and get shot) are past rutgers a block from those lofts. Saying camden is safe by hanging in the waterfront is a crock. Go down a few blocks where the people/stores/homes/schools(rutgers) and you will see the real camden and where those high murder numbers come from.

  15. #870

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    Quote Originally Posted by stache View Post
    I have found through trial and error that it's best to take the light rail in the A.M. The few times I have tried it in the afternoon/evening it was pretty bad thanks to a drunk or two in each car that thought it would be cute to start acting out.
    Pretty bad? We're talking about the Trenton-Camden Light Rail train, right?

    I think you've been unlucky then because I've ridden a dozen times or more in late afternoon and early evening and, asides from a few trips where the train was absolutely packed, I've never seen any problems.

    One thing I can suggest, if you're traveling alone, sit (or stand) in the front of the first car. If someone harasses you, tap on the train operator's window and ask for assistance. I've seen people do that on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and the operator's always responded.

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