Mayor announces summertime safety efforts

Newark to hire 100 civilians, use helicopter to help squelch summer-time violence
Curfews, helicopters, officers on the streets and thermal imaging are measures the Mayor’s office is taking to suppress violence this summer.

Facts as they are, I don’t imagine the Mayor’s Office likes this lede.

As Newark heads into the dangerous summer months, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Police Director Samuel DeMaio announced a series of old and new approaches to curb city violence.

After laying off more than 160 police officers three years ago, Newark is now in the midst of hiring 100 civilians to fill dispatch and jailhouse guard duties, freeing up uniformed officers to patrol the streets between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. between June and August.

Christie-Obama Friendship, Deconstructed

For Chris Christie, Obama Connection Has Risks, Rewards
Old pals.

The president said that next time Christie was in town to do a Sunday show, [he should] bring the kids. President Obama gave them a personal tour of the White House. There was that friendly relationship before the storm. Christie is the kind of guy who is not going to dislike you just because you’re a member of another party.

Shop-Rite Comes to Newark

Shop-Rite to build new store in Newark
Good news all around for Newark. The Mayor claims to continue to court Whole Foods. Maybe we should talk him into joining a food co-op?

Wal-Mart is out. ShopRite is in.

The supermarket chain has signed a lease to be the anchor tenant at the Springfield Avenue Marketplace in Newark.

Wal-Mart had been rumored to be considering the vacant 11-acre site but faced criticism from dozens of community groups opposed to the box store’s low wages and its potentially harmful effect on local businesses.

Quitman Street School Struggles

Schooled By Substitutes at Quitman Street
Heartbreaking chapter in the multi-part story (this is no. 7 in the series) on the struggles of Quitman Street school in the Central Ward.

Quitman is one of eight “renew schools” in Newark this academic year, part of a showcase turnaround initiative that gives principals autonomy and additional resources in exchange for results. Although initial internal testing shows progress among the youngest students, the state exam scores will come this summer. No one, however, expects a quick fix.

In giving Glover unprecedented authority to select his staff last spring, Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson said she expected it would take a few years for him to get the right people in place. “I think he and others will take a real step forward, and just like recruiting any team, you make some picks you thought were great that turn out to be not so great,” she said in a June 2012 interview. “It’s a process.”

Booker Touts Newark’s Start-Up Potential

Booker Talks Newark’s Dark Fiber, Startups and Gov. 2.0 at TechVoice Breakfast

Booker explained that when Newark builds market-based housing, many residents who buy are “net” new residents of the state. He added that New Yorkers have told him they can go to a hip place [in Newark] with restaurants, sports events, galleries and concerts and “can also buy a house for the cost of a doorknob in New York City.

“And if I need to go into New York [for business, a concert, a show or dinner], I can beat my friends who live on the Upper East Side.” He said he believes Newark has the competitive advantage due to its position as a transportation hub.