The RollerGirls are Looking for a Few Good Women

The New Jersey all-girl roller derby league, the Garden State RollerGirls, are recruiting this weekend at the Ironbound bar, Hell’s Kitchen.
The RollerGirls’ all-star team is represented by the Ironbound Maidens and they frequently hold public games in Branch Brook Park.

Judging by the website, if you’ve got an affinity for fishnet, are comfortable on eight wheels, and like to crush those that oppose you, you might want to check out RollerGirls. Oh, and if you do, please write in and let us know!

New Jersey’s baddest girls on eight-wheels –- The Garden State Rollergirls — are looking for a few good women to join the ranks of the hottest growing sport in America -– women’s flat-track roller derby.

Come hang out with the Garden State Rollergirls, May 3 at Hell’s Kitchen Lounge at 150 Lafayette St. in Newark, N.J. Learn the derby lowdown: Ask any questions, talk to the all-star derby girls, and learn what makes the game tick. You just might be the next rising star on the derby circuit in New Jersey.

Talk to star jammer Jenna Von Fury of the Northern Nightmares and the indomitable Lady Vengeance of the Jersey City Bridge and Pummel. Learn what it takes to rack up the points in the pack and bring home the glory.

Tryouts will be held June 2 and 4. To sign up for practice sessions and tryouts, email or visit

Rollergirls must:

  • Be 21 years of age or over
  • Have basic skating skills and an interest in derby
  • Can attend at least 2 practices each week
  • Have quad roller skates and all protective gear
  • Can pay monthly dues of $35

Rental skates are available for use during the first practice.

Referees DO NOT have to pay monthly dues and may use inline skates

New Jersey Jewish News: Booker’s ‘d’var Torah’ ties religion and renewal

Booker’s ‘d’var Torah’ ties religion and renewal

A Jewish audience in New Brunswick expected Newark Mayor Cory Booker to share his vision of how his city could overcome the challenges of poverty and crime.

Instead, he gave them some wisdom from their own religion while explaining how crime had been reduced in Newark and sharing ideas about economic renewal in New Jersey’s largest city.

“I’m going to give you a bit of d’var Torah,” said Booker after pushing the podium to the back of the stage at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick April 6 so he could stride back and forth. But “before I go into this week’s Torah portion I want to tell you why this goy is talking about Torah.”

In a wide-ranging speech that relates the Book of Leviticus to America’s founding ideals, Booker compares our ideals of “under God, indivisible” to outmoded policy decisions that have a negative impact on Newarkers.

Although the state budget has earmarked more than $1 billion for corrections and it was the largest part of his city’s budget, the state continues “to grease the slopes of recidivism” by failing to address cyclical poverty and other factors perpetuating crime.

Moreover, the state doesn’t fund halfway houses, despite evidence that counseling and supervision to those reentering society “dramatically” cuts the rate of recidivism.

“They’d much rather have the taxpayers pay much more on the back end,” said Booker. “We’ve got to stop the insanity.”

The Mayor was once the first non-Jewish president of the L’Chaim Society while studying at Oxford University. (Hat tip to Miss Tam-Tam at Newark Speaks.)

New York Times: Seeking the Key to Employment for Ex-Cons

Seeking the Key to Employment for Ex-Cons

With Newark’s unemployment rate stubbornly stuck at twice the state average of 4.9 percent — and criminal history and lack of education leaving many chronically unemployable — Mayor Cory A. Booker has tried to make prisoner re-entry a signature issue, aware that his twin promises of safety and economic vitality depend on it. He is part of a growing national movement of local and state politicians trying to tackle the problem; earlier this month, President Bush signed the Second Chance Act, allocating $165 million annually to their efforts.

“Up until now, the focus has been putting ex-offenders back in jail,” complained Fred Davie, president of Public/Private Ventures, a nonprofit group based in Philadelphia that has created prisoner rehabilitation programs in 15 cities and advised the Booker administration. “We need a national approach to what has become a national crisis.”

New York Times: As Newark Rebuilds, Help From Beyond City Limits

As Newark Rebuilds, Help From Beyond City Limits

A number of the city’s new benefactors are wealthy individuals who say they are motivated by the messenger as much as by the message. Mr. Ackman described his first meeting with Mr. Booker as one of the most inspirational of his life. Mr. Katz was charmed by him when they met at a Bruce Springsteen concert six years ago.”

Cory Booker’s charisma allows him to make things happen in a civic community in a way that someone with a lower profile can’t,” said Frederick M. Hess, an expert on philanthropy with the American Enterprise Institute.

Newark’s Lethal Traffic: February 19, 1903 to April 25, 1972

Evidently, Newark had the most centralized downtown in the nation, making it extremely fragile and debilitating. The businesses, however, held a firm belief that people would always bring prosperity to Downtown, no matter where they lived, as long as accessibility was provided. In the above short period of ten years, as the figures indicate, American people’s understanding of “accessibility” shifted drastically from mass transit (e.g., trolley cars) to their beloved private motor cars. This meant not only could they drive to Downtown Newark, but also they had to find a place to park. As Miller McClintock of Harvard told the National Association of Building Owners in 1926, it would not profit a central business district with even the most convenient arteries of travel if there was not sufficient parking. After Raymond Boulevard was created above the old Morris Cannel in 1930, the corner near Military Park turned into the most congested spot and, a few years later, came the corner of Broad, Orange, and Bridge Streets. After the 1970s, the deadly congestion moved to Penn Station.

On the icy morning of Thursday, February 19, 1903, over 100 noisy children were tightly packed in trolley car no. 291 of the North Jersey Street Railway Co. on their way to Barringer High School. When the streetcar passed Orange Street to approach the “G-grade” intersection of Clifton Avenue and Lackawanna Railroad, the motorman, Pete Brady, found that the long brass handle could not stop the trolley, as there was no sand on the track. In seconds, the approaching train smashed into the trolley. Eight girls and one boy were killed, including Rosebud, a 14 year-old girl from James Street, and more than 20 were desperately injured. Their severely mutilated young bodies, without heads and arms, were laid side by side on the blood-stained snow for hours. Mayor Doremus proclaimed the coming Sunday one of public mourning.
Continue reading “Newark’s Lethal Traffic: February 19, 1903 to April 25, 1972”

Updates in the Recent Spike in Violent Crime

Burst of bullets kills 3, wounds 6 in Newark

As of yesterday, there were 16 murders in the city in 2008, a drop of more than 40 percent from the same time last year, and shootings also were down overall.

Already troubled by several recent daytime shootings, McCarthy retooled his deployment plan last week by assigning 20 officers from administrative positions to day patrol shifts. By the end of May, he’ll have more than 60 recruits to participate in the local version of New York City’s Operation Impact, in which rookie officers are deployed en masse into crime hot spots.

“We’re not panicking,” McCarthy said. “We’re concerned, obviously, but we’re taking steps to address it.”

McCarthy called this week’s shootings an “anomaly” that had little — if anything — to do with the warmer weather. The primary source of Newark’s gun violence remains the same: feuding drug crews who often engage in retaliatory attacks, he said. Throw in a robbery and some other less explainable violence, he said, and you’ve got a streak.

“Every once in a while we have a spasm of violence in places where it wasn’t occurring,” he said. “Sometimes there’s an explanation, and sometimes it’s bad luck.”

A friend relayed that Opie and Anthony referred to the corridor between Penn Station and the Prudential Arena as the Green Zone in Baghdad — a comment that would have been totally absurd a week ago, but now gets play because of the uptick in violence.

McCarthy’s been on the job and collecting data long enough that he can speak authoritatively on the stats, so I believe him that this is a statistical outlier. He’s quick to note in the video that shootings are down 17% and murders are down 40% over the same time a year ago. We’ll see in the next couple of weeks if we’re, indeed, looking at a trend or an anomaly.

Related Stories

Newark man arraigned for Irvington crime spree that left 1 dead

A 27-year-old Newark man was arraigned today on murder, kidnapping and assault charges stemming from an Irvington crime spree, but authorities still were not able to explain why he allegedly fired on a series of random victims.

Rapper Treach Released by Police After Newark Shootings

NAUGHTY BY NATURE rapper TREACH has been released by police after he was arrested following a spate of shootings in Newark, New Jersey.

The 37-year-old was detained for several hours by Newark authorities, who are investigating a double murder, but was released on Wednesday after being handed a fine for driving with a suspended licence.

A spokesman for Newark Police Department confirmed his release and admitted he was only “a potential witness” in the alleged shooting case, reports

Newark’s Relative Calm Ends in Hail of Gunfire; 2 Dead and 5 Wounded

Newark’s Relative Calm Ends in Hail of Gunfire; 2 Dead and 5 Wounded

Two young men killed each other and five other people were wounded here, the police said, in a spate of shootings that the authorities called the most violent 24-hour period of what has generally been a relatively calm year in New Jersey’s largest city.

A bloodied shirt, left, is collected by crime scene investigators, as police tape keeps bystanders away from Bloomfield Avenue, one of Newark’s busiest streets.

There have been 16 homicides in Newark so far this year, down from 26 by this time in 2007, a year that saw a total of 99 killings.

The summer comes as a mixed blessing. The weather has been beautiful, but inspires a lot more violent crime in the city. Oddly enough, the recent shooting in North Newark is being blamed on a member of hip hop group Naughty by Nature (wtf?).

The police also questioned Anthony Criss, known as Treach from the rap group Naughty by Nature, after a report of gunshots on West Runyon Street Tuesday afternoon. Officers pulled over a dark Hummer being driven erratically and found Mr. Criss inside wearing a bulletproof vest. Mr. Criss told the officers that he was not being shot at, Chief McCarthy said. The chief added that there was no weapon found in the car, although a pistol was recovered nearby on the street.

“Officer, I’m just taking a casual drive through Newark in a bulletproof vest, what’s so suspicious about that?” Riiiiiight.

Violent Crime Heating Up with Warm Weather

Three shot in Newark, continuing violent week

Two men and a woman were injured in a shooting this morning on a busy street in Newark’s North Ward.

Today’s shooting followed a string of shootings in the city in the past several days.

Two men were shot and killed Monday night. The victims were found less than a half mile from each other. Police haven’t said whether those shootings were related.

Star Ledger: Newark comes to the rescue of Portugal Day Festival

Newark comes to the rescue of Portugal Day Festival

Organizers threatened to cancel the state’s largest ethnic festival due to lack of communication and support from Newark officials, but council members approved an ordinance last week that changed that.

Councilman Augusto Amador introduced the ordinance, which calls for organizers to pay an initial 20 percent of the total potential cost of the festival the first year, then 5 percent more toward police and sanitation expenses within 12 months.

I’m excited the festival is moving forward, but am just a little skeptical as to whether the organizers make good on the deal.

New York Times: On a New Jersey Block, a Second Bright Student Is Mourned

On a New Jersey Block, a Second Bright Student Is Mourned
Shooting in Irvington by an individual high on Ecstasy claims the life of another young Newarker who recently finished a degree at Rutgers. The suspect was captured and is also accused of two other shootings within a short time of this one, one of which hit an Irvington police sergeant in the hip.