Newark Task Force Making Some Progress

Newark Star Ledger Update: Newark task force rounds up 190 fugitives. The Ledger reports that Newark police have made some inroads towards picking up repeat offenders and major criminals inside the city. The update reveals that the police are targeting those criminals who have committed crimes and remain on the streets.
This seems like an 80/20 approach to managing crime, and should be effective if the statistics hold up: reduce the hard-core criminal population to make a big dent in crime. It stands to reason that crime would follow a power curve with a few individuals responsible for most of it (especially when gangs are considered), but we’ll see. Many of the murders that have taken place in the city seem to be between individuals with personal grievances rather than career criminals.

The next step, of course, is for the city to work on prosecuting criminals quickly and effectively. There have been too many high-profile cases that have fallen apart because the witnesses have themselves been killed or otherwise motivated to be silent, which has hamstrung police effectiveness in the city.

Newark police have picked up 190 criminals, including an accused murderer, since its new Fugitive Apprehension Team was formed Nov. 27, officials said today.

The team was created by Police Director Garry McCarthy to put more attention on the dozens of people on Newark’s streets who are wanted for serious crimes. Officials say most of the city’s violence is committed by a small population of hard-core criminals. So by rounding up the fugitives, officials believe they can prevent other crimes.

Last year, Newark recorded 106 murders, the most since 1990. So far this year, eight people have been murdered in the city.

Amiri Baraka on NPR

NPR: Author Amiri Baraka: ‘Tales of the Out & the Gone’

Writer Amiri Baraka joins Farai Chideya to talk about his life in literature, and his latest book of short stories called Tales of the Out & the Gone.

Baraka has been a politically controversial figure in New Jersey. The once-poet laureate of New Jersey expresses his views on his work, Cory Booker, 9/11, and his family. Among his softer criticisms of the Booker administration:

Booker comes in here and in 90 days he raises our taxes eight percent. He fires or sets in motion to fire 1,200 workers, both city workers and people working in the housing authority. He hires a police director from New York City who worked with Giuliani. And, you know, the fact that he’s a white police director makes it even wilder because we had sworn in 1970 that we would never, you know, go outside of the city and we certainly would never hire a white police director because we’d have such bad police – experience.

NYTimes on MLK Boulevard

I’m surprised Ken hasn’t blogged on this already, but the NYTimes has a really long, well-done article up about Newark’s Renaissance. This article is on Martin Luther King Boulevard (my favorite street in Newark, see my tours Martin Luther King Blvd: 1 and Martin Luther King Blvd: 2)
Check it out the Times article.

Did anyone here know that Barnes & Noble was looking to set up shop downtown? The article also contains the crucial bit of intelligence that Cogswell is looking to start renovation work on the Hahnes and Griffith buildings next year. Once Hahnes is refurbished, how long will it be before something can be done with the old Lincoln Motel site? Does anyone know if anything is happening with the old Westinghouse factory by Broad Street Station?

Anyway, everyone who knows Newark knows that the Renaissance is both real and hyped. In the late 1950s/early 1960s, people were talking Newark about a Newark revival with exactly the same vocabulary that they’re talking about a Newark revival now.

In the July 31st, 1961 issue of the NYTimes, the Times said the following about the Colonnade Apartments:

[the Colonnade is] attracting young professional and white collar families. The group had previously been drifting to the Newark suburbs or commuting to the city from New York and other places.

The development has also been attracting older couples and families with homes in the suburbs, whose children have grown and moved away.

As evidenced by all the fine apartments built on Mt. Prospect Ave and Elizabeth Ave then, there was certainly more redevelopment going on in Newark in the 1950s and 1960s than there is today.

Manischewitz Expands Newark Operations

A common misperception some people have about Newark is that the city’s industry is a thing of the past. Well-informed people know that Newark used to be an industrial colossus, but knowledge that Newark still has a great deal of industry is something of a secret.
Well, if you live in the Northeastern US and you drink Rolling Rock or Budweiser, chances are that your beer was Newark brewed. If you build a house in New Jersey, it’s a decent possibility that some of your building materials, like sheetrock, were made in Newark.

This may not affect all readers of this site, but Newark is gaining another jewel for its industrial crown: a new $15 million expansion for the Manischewitz matzah factory!!! That’s right, the Passover staple is now going to be made in Newark!

According to an article in the New Jersey Jewish News (The article is in the Dec 28 Jewish News, the article is online, but the NJ Jewish News website uses frames, and I cannot link to it. To find the article, go to the Jewish News website’s list of articles and go to the article “With one last matza run . .. “), Manischewitz is selling its 75 year old matzah factory on Bay Street in Jersey City to Toll Brothers, who plan to build a high rise apartment building on the site.

Manischewitz actually has a long history in Newark. The company operated a factory on Clinton Avenue until the 1970s. Beryl Manischewitz used to be active in Newark Jersey issues in the 1940s and 1950s. Manischewitz already has a factory in Newark, in the Industrial Meadowlands, but up until now this factory has produced non-Passover matzah, gefilte fish, soups, and sauces under the Rokeach, Season, and Guiltless Gourmet labels. With this expansion, all Manischewitz matzah, Passover and non-Passover, will be Newark made. Manischewitz had, at peak season, 100 employees at its Jersey City factory, so
Newark may be gaining 100 jobs from this.

Jersey City Mayor Jeremiah O’Leary sees the move in the historical context:

“Manischewitz is a company that has been a good corporate neighbor. But it is part of the changing Jersey City. . . . The old manufacturing days have left and we have new types of businesses coming in – IT and computer-type things. Real estate is obviously more valuable now than when they purchased this land for probably next to nothing 75 years ago.”

As Jersey City has gained from New York becoming red hot, maybe Newark will gain from Jersey City’s rise.

Other comments on Newark industry and Newark-Jersey City links are very welcome.