Notable: Fresh Air, Corzine, Political Intrigue, and Unemployment

Great story that reflects how the Newark Fresh Air Fund has uniquely been helping Newarkers raise their children by sending them to summer camp: Greater Newark Fresh Air Fund helps Newark woman keep old promise.

To Frazier’s delight, the Fund agreed to send the two youngest boys to day camp, and to pay for Iyana to spend two weeks at sleep away camp — news Frazier kept from the girl as a surprise until school ended this week.

Iyana said she was thrilled when “Nana” gave told her she’d be going to camp.

“I gave her a hug and a kiss and I said, ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ I was jumping and laughing,” she said. “I’m very excited to go to camp, and stay there for two weeks. I have friends, but I want more. I’ll get their number so I can call them and we can be friends.”

In a recent town hall meeting with Mayor Booker at Metropolitan Baptist, NJ governor Jon Corzine is pressed about his performance in office and delivering on his promises to help urban areas. His Republican contender, Chris Christie, has made urban transformation a cornerpiece of his campaign: Gov. Jon Corzine, other leaders, talk about urban issues.

Urban issues figure prominently in the 2009 gubernatorial race. Christie, a former U.S. attorney who was born in Newark, has made urban revitalization a campaign priority. When he announced his candidacy at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center earlier this year, he listed revamping the tax code and regulatory environment to attract jobs to the state’s urban centers, as well as demanding accountability in public education.

Speaking of Corzine, Max Pizarro teases out some of the political intrigue behind the decisions being made about the available Lieutenant Governor position. Mayor Booker was an early candidate for the job, which he turned down flatly to run for reelection in Newark. Sources say Redd back in Corzine LG mix

With those two names – Weinberg and Buono – already taking up a lot of oxygen as LG prospects, state Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Newark) last month had complained publicly about the absence of African American candidates for the LG job.

And that didn’t mean he wanted his old nemesis, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who’d already taken himself out of the running.

On the contrary, not only did Rice not care to see Booker in the mix, he wanted to be sure Corzine did not discard as an LG candidate any long-toiling African American public servant simply because he or she might impede Booker’s four-year runway to his own 2013 gubernatorial candidacy. People started talking about the problem of amplifying an African American into a statewide presence in advance of Booker’s own Cape May to High Point live-shot as Corzine’s successor.

Not good for Newarkers: Newark unemployment rate soars to 13.5 percent in May

The U.S. Labor Department says the unemployment rate in New Jersey’s largest city surged to 13.5 percent in May, the highest level in nearly six years. That compares to 9 percent for the same period a year ago and 12.7 percent in April.

City jobless data are not adjusted for seasonal variations, making year-ago comparisons more meaningful than comparisons to the preceding month.

Newark Restaurant Week Kicks Off TODAY

Newark’s Restaurant Week kicks off today with savings on local restaurants: Mayor Booker Announces City of Newark’s Second Restaurant Week

Go Newark Restaurant Week is produced by the Greater Newark Convention & Visitors Bureau, a business unit of Brick City Development Corporation. Building on the success of the October 2008 inaugural program, the summer installment highlights the quality, diversity and authenticity of Newark’s vast dining establishments with the presentation of thirty participating restaurants and the distribution of the Zagat “Spotlight on Newark Restaurants”

Sponsored by TD Bank, participating restaurants are offering either a prix-fixe menu or a savings of at least 15 percent, n be presented for lunch, dinner or both. “TD bank is proud to partner with premier organizations to launch Restaurant Week and showcase the Newark Region. TD works with community-focused organizations that positively impact area residents and this is a unique and fun way to do that,” said Michael Petrucci, TD Bank’s Newark Manager.

Check out the site for details on participating restaurants and savings vouchers. Bon appetit! Go Newark Restaurant Week