Newark Live: Newark City Hall will get plush loo

Newark City Hall will get plush loo
Too funny. I’ll actually get to visit City Hall today to get a first-hand account of just how bad these bathrooms really are. 😉

Last week, some members of the Newark Council lamented the state of the bathrooms in City Hall, saying they were unfit for the public and bad for employee morale.

They took a stance, demanding that city architects offer up plans for bathroom renovations before they proceed with $1 million in additional work to the building’s facade.

Dooley said his office is still getting the paperwork together to seek bids for the $1.1 million project. He said he hopes to start looking for contractors by July 15 so that work can start in August. The entire bathroom project is expected to take 10 months.

Star Ledger: Bar visits put Newark police chief in trouble

Bar visits put Newark police chief in trouble
More details around the Campos charges related to the Indian Knights Motorcycle Club, which looks more and more like a tenacious social club serving alcohol than a seedy illegal bar.

The Indian Knights case stems from a routine raid by the city’s vice squad March 2, when police received a complaint of noise and loud music from the club, located on Lexington Street in an industrial section of the Ironbound, according to police reports. They arrested the president of Indian Knights, Everton Oliveira, for selling drinks without a certificate of occupancy or a liquor license, according to the report.

“With those two things alone, you are automatically in violation of the law,” said Deputy Mayor Ronald Salahuddin, who oversees the city’s vice squads.

Oliveira told police that he was hosting a birthday party and was giving away the drinks for free, according to police reports. But police, noting they’d warned him before to stop selling drinks, shut down the club.

Sciarra said Indian Knights was a charitable organization and was “well known to members of the governing body of Newark at the highest level.” He would not elaborate.

Let me elaborate: last night, I found another clip on YouTube where city council member Augusto Amador was being interviewed at the same Indian Knights Motorcycle Club event where Campos discussed the organization’s fundraising for a disabled little girl.

Unfortunately, it looks as though that video of the event may have been taken down since I posted the Campos interview (YouTube seems a little flaky for me right now), so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Update: The interview with Auggie is here, at around 1 minute, 20 seconds. The Indian Knights are clearly a social club that has ties to the community, and is obviously “well known to members of the governing body of Newark at the highest level.”

Woman with child carjacked in Newark

Woman with child carjacked in Newark

Three youths were arrested after carjacking a woman with a child in Newark tonight, police said. Neither victim remained in the car, and neither was injured, Detective Todd McClendon said.

The incident began shortly after 7 p.m. on Hawthorne Avenue, the detective said. A short time later, officers observed the stolen vehicle at Frelinghuysen Avenue and Victoria Street and pursued it.

The three were apprehended a few blocks away on South 11th Street, McClendon said. The names and ages of the suspects, all of whom are juveniles, were not released.

Indian Knights MC – Ironbound Ambulance Run

Indian Knights MC – Ironbound Ambulance Run
So, when NJ.com mentioned that “investigators found online photos” of the police chief in an illegal Ironbound bar, I couldn’t help but search for them — what kind of blog would this be if I hadn’t?

While the photos didn’t turn up, I was able to find this video. It’s in Portuguese, right up until around 1 minute, 47 seconds, where Anthony Campos, “2nd Comandante Policia de Newark” is being interviewed.

Actually, after seeing this video and watching Campos talk about raising funds to help out the family of a disabled little girl, I kind of feel bad for the chief. The Indian Knights seem like a decent organization, even if they don’t have a liquor license.

Officials say Newark police chief facing disciplinary charges

Officials say Newark police chief facing disciplinary charges

Newark Police Chief Anthony Campos, suspended earlier this year in a spat with the city’s police director, is facing a new string of disciplinary charges for allegedly patronizing an illegal bar, law enforcement officials familiar with the case said.

Campos admitted numerous visits to the Indian Knights Motorcycle Club on Lexington Street in the city’s Ironbound section after investigators found online photos of him in the bar, said the law enforcement officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case remains a personnel matter.

Star Ledger: Feds give struggling N.J. schools poor marks on tutoring, transfers

Feds give struggling N.J. schools poor marks on tutoring, transfers
One of the key tenants of No Child Left Behind is to provide options for children who are in failing school systems: either they are entitled to receive tutoring, or they should be allowed to transfer to another district.

Neither of these are happening effectively in NJ at large, and in Newark in particular. The Ledger chronicles some of the inefficiencies preventing kids from getting the help they need to succeed.

Transfers and tutoring were meant to be prime consequences for schools that consistently fall short of benchmarks for improvement on state reading and writing tests. Last year, more than 400 public schools in New Jersey missed the achievement marks.

U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings announced a series of reforms last month designed to tighten the system. They’ll require states to better account for district efforts to initiate and advertise the programs.

New Jersey is among the states under greater scrutiny since the federal education department’s inspector general in 2005 criticized it for failing to ensure that districts follow rules about notifying parents in a timely fashion. The state has responded with new rules for districts, and some, like Newark, are instituting their own reforms.

In Newark, where officials have pumped more money into tutoring programs and students now account for one-third of all kids served, Assistant Superintendent Gayle Griffin said just one employee is responsible for reviewing 7,000 applications for tutoring.

“That just not right,” she said.

Politicker NJ: Corzine presses for statewide schools construction funds in the Ironbound

Corzine presses for statewide schools construction funds in the Ironbound

Gov. Jon Corzine stood with Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Newark), Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D-Newark) and other lawmakers in the East Ward today and promised to back legislation to pay for new urban schools construction.

“We need action before June 30th, so that we can fulfill our Constitutional obligation to provide our children with a thorough and efficient education,” said the governor, moments after taking a tour of the Oliver Street Elementary School.

“What we saw today were tremendously energetic teachers teaching a special education class in a closet,” said Coutinho, in an address to students and reporters in the school parking lot following the governor’s tour. “What we saw was a school that is 40% over the student population limit, which is the average in the East Ward.

Corzine said Coutinho’s legislation would carve $2.5 billion out of income tax receipts to replace schools such as the Oliver Street School.

“Let’s put the pressure on Trenton to fight to get these schools built,” Corzine said to applause.

Teen shot outside apartments in Newark

Teen shot outside apartments in Newark

A youth believed to be 14 years old was shot outside the Georgia King Village apartments in Newark tonight, and police were searching for possible suspects.

The victim, who was not identified by authorities, was hospitalized in stable condition following the 9:30 p.m. shooting on Fairmont Avenue, Detective Todd McClendon said.

The shooter fled north in a red Pontiac, according to information provided to police, McClendon said. No further details were immediately available.