Dodge Poetry Festival to return to Newark, Oct 11-14

Dodge Poetry Festival 2012 will be held in Newark, NJ again

The event will be held for 4 days from October 11 to 14, 2012 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (PAC Center) along the Passaic River in downtown Newark. It promises to be even better than last year, continuing for the second year at this world class venue.

With a tradition of excellence, the event draws about 18,000 to Newark, and has brought attention to the galleries, restaurants and historical offerings of NJ’s largest city. It is the largest poetry event in North America and autumn should be a relaxing, and cooler time to enjoy the plethora of cultural offerings.

NJPAC is one of the jewels of this city.

The Dark Knight spends $2 million filming in Newark

Chicago Tribune: Chicago stand-ins steal revenue but not thunder in new ‘Dark Knight Rises’

“The Dark Knight Rises” has already been a blessing for Pittsburgh and Newark, N.J., two non-traditional film locations that replaced Chicago as Gotham City in the third Christopher Nolan-directed Batman film.

“There was so much attention and media for Newark,” said Gorelick. “We estimated they dropped $2 million during their time here. They created a lot of sets in City Hall and were here weeks before and a number of days after. … We were thrilled. Newark is enjoying this renaissance. Any attention and positive publicity is a good thing. We got a lot of good PR out of it.”

Expecting City Hall to shine on film.

The new Newark CityPlex theater is featuring a marathon of the Dark Knight trilogy tomorrow night for $20/ticket.

DOJ: Newark misused $3.5 million community policing grant

Washington Examiner: DOJ says Newark mis-used $3.5 million on $3.7 million COPS grant

Auditors with the Justice Department’s Inspector-General say Newark, NJ, officials improperly used every penny of a $2.8 million Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) plus most of an addition $987,000 in local funds.

The DOJ-IG’s lengthy list of deficiencies in how Newark officials spent the COPS funds unusually blunt and deserves being quoted at length.

The report is brutal in its analysis of misuse of the funds.

It’s great that the Mayor can bring in outside support like the COPS grant, but unless proper governance is in place to administer the funds, progress will take one step forward, two steps back.

Four charter schools to open in Newark

Lia Eustachewich: Four New Charter Schools to Open in Newark

Paulo Freire Charter School, 100 Legacy and virtual charter schools Merit Preparatory of Newark and Newark Prep will open their doors this upcoming school year, bringing the total number of charters in the state to 86 and joining nearly two dozen already existing schools in the city.

The just-approved schools, as well as existing ones, will be measured against new Performance Frameworks designed to improve oversight and accountability for the schools by setting clear expectations, DOE said in a press release. The schools will be evaluated in three comprehensive areas: Academic, organizational and financial performances.

“Charter schools are granted autonomy in exchange for accountability, and we at the state level will continue to hold all charter schools accountable for results to ensure that they offer all students a high-quality education and an equality of opportunity,” said Acting Commissioner Chris Cerf in a statement.

Protesters respond to heartbreaking violence

Mark Di Ionno: Newark Anti-Violence Coalition trying to do its part to stop killings
Di Ionno profiles the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition, which has been protesting violence in the city since 2009.

The latest protest took place at the site of the shooting that claimed Kendal Spear, a Newark student who grew into a life any parent would be proud of. Spear was gunned down trying to break up an altercation.

His mother, Kelley, is quoted here.

Kelley Spear grew up in Weequahic, and came home after college to raise her family.

“Her motivation was her two sons,” Schuppe said. “Like most Newark parents, she struggled to balance two competing instincts: to let her children be children, and to protect them from the streets. This is a theme of the book. I’ve met many mothers and fathers who, like Kelley, seem to be doing all the right things, but live in constant fear that their work will be extinguished by one bad decision, one slip of fate.”

Schuppe said the last time he talked to Kelley, “she told me with pride – and some relief — that her son Kendal was attending technical school in Florida. He’d made it.”

Heartbreaking.

Booker’s lack of face time in the city has residents grumbling

David Giambusso: The absentee mayor? Cory Booker’s endless travel schedule pulls him away from Newark

Arguably the most prolific tweeter in American politics, Booker has mastered the art of having a presence without being present. And while his detractors take issue with Oprah Winfrey’s characterization of Booker as a “rock star mayor,” based on his touring schedule she might be right.

Great in-depth piece on the psychological impact to Booker’s national agenda in Newark. Less face time in the community means less trust, and it brings to mind early criticisms of the Mayor’s being an “outsider.”

More like this, please: Newarker does get part to beautify her neighborhood

Brick City Love: Because Somebody Cares
Newarker Carrie does get part to beautify her neighborhood.

One of the main impetus for putting in a spigot out front was my stoop. Come the spring & summer, I enjoy sprucing up the stoop with flowers. It all started in 2010 when my mom decided the large planter on the sidewalk needed some flowers.

More like this, please.

Bike lanes come to Newark

Transportation Nation: Newark Gets Its Very First Bike Lane

Newark, New Jersey now boasts 277,000 residents and one bike lane. Six more green textured bike paths are set to open by the end of 2012.

Mayor Cory Booker issued a car-metaphor as encouragement to cyclists. “I commend the Department of Engineering and Rutgers-Newark on this partnership, and urge residents to put the pedal to the metal on Washington Street.” We assume he means bike pedal.

More lanes planned for later in the year. For more on Newark’s car-oriented history, check out Zemin Zhang’s piece, “Newark’s Autopia.”

Proposed Hess plant construction vote faces opposition, terms of deal may be revisited

Paul Milo: Newark Energy Center Vote Postponed; $23 Million in Limbo

The national debate about pollution and climate change played out in microcosm during a special meeting of the Newark Municipal Council Wednesday night, when environmentalists squared off against citizens favoring more development and the jobs it would bring.

“In my opinion, the goodies they’re giving mask the effects of the plant. It’s 30 pieces of silver,” said West Ward Councilman Ron Rice.

Construction of the plant is already approved by the council; this is an implementation detail.

Detractors are attempting to use it as leverage against Hess for further concessions, but it’s not a very long lever: Hess will reroute lines through Kearny if the council declines to approve this measure.