Interview: Diesel Siedel of United Initiatives for Peace

This weekend, Diesa Siedel’s organization, United Initiatives for Peace, will be hosting an open 3-on-3 girls basketball tournament called Scholars for Ballers to promote athletics and education. The tournament will take place Saturday at 10:00 AM at St. Peter’s Recreational Center on Lyons Ave (map below) and is open to the public. Girls interested in competing must be high-school students or 2008 graduates.
Players will be competing for scholarships and other prizes to be presented at the awards ceremony on Sunday. On the podcast, we discuss eligibility for competing in the tournament, what brought UIP to Newark for this event, and how a high school girl might potentially get a shot to challenge Mayor Booker to a little 1-on-1.

The podcast is about 15 minutes. Click the play button below to listen.


Schollars for Ballers

Schollars for Ballers
United Initiatives for Peace, a non-profit organization that “collaborates with a variety of institutions (charitable, governmental, religious, educational, medical, corporate) to establish philanthropic and humanitarian service projects” is hosting a 3-on-3 girls’ basketball tourny in Newark.

The tournament will provide opportunities to earn college scholarships. Registration is open for the event: click here to download the registration form (doc).


Mayor Cory A. Booker announced today that the City of Newark is supporting a 3-on-3 girls’ basketball tournament, Scholars for Ballers, for Essex County high school females, to be held at St. Peter’s Recreation Center, on Saturday, August 30th. Registration/check in is at 9 a.m., and games begin at 10 a.m.

Scholars for Ballers is sponsored by United Initiatives for Peace in partnership with the Newark Department of Neighborhood and Recreational Services’ Division of Recreation/Cultural Affairs.

The purpose of this tournament is to provide a safe and positive environment for inner city high school girls, while encouraging higher education by providing an alternative means to earn college scholarship funds.

An Awards Reception is scheduled at the John F. Kennedy Recreation Center on Sunday, August 31st at 2:00 p.m. to honor all participants, volunteers, and sponsors.

Continue reading “Schollars for Ballers”

Nets Arena May Not Be Finished Until 2011, Ratner Says

Nets Arena May Not Be Finished Until 2011, Ratner Says
This in from a tipster: the New Jersey Nets arena planned for Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards will not be completed now until 2011 — three long years from now.

Seriously, Nets? Newark can get this done for you by next season. The arena is here and ready for you. Do New Jersey proud and stay here, do something good for a city that will welcome you here, and maintain your current fans.

Newark is a win-win for everyone except Forest City Ratner, who is just totally screwing with you guys.

The planned new Brooklyn basketball arena for the Nets now may not be ready until 2011, according to developer Forest City Ratner, as the company acknowledges that the time to build the structure may take it past its current completion goal of calendar year 2010.

Got a tip for the Daily Newarker?

Breaking racial barriers on radio

Breaking racial barriers on radio (Oct 15, 1998)
Newark native sportscaster, Sherman “Jocko” Maxwell, passed away this morning. He leaves the legacy of his coverage as the first black sportscaster, reporting on the Negro League Newark Eagles. His radio career lasted thirty-eight years.

But Maxwell did more than announce. Perhaps his greatest contribution to sports was his almost-religious devotion to black baseball. He covered the Newark Eagles and gave stories to The Star-Ledger, which published them at a time when most major newspapers ignored the Negro leagues.

Without Maxwell, much of the history of the Negro Leagues and black baseball would have been lost, said Jerry Izenberg, longtime sports columnist at The Star-Ledger. “He got the scores out to people. He was one of the few people who kept records.”

In recognition of Maxwell’s efforts, Izenberg supported the sportscaster’s 1994 induction into the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame.

Booker attempts to woo new-look Nets

Booker attempts to woo new-look Nets
After some initial jousting, it appears that Mayor Booker is getting more aggressive about keeping the New Jersey Nets in the garden state — and bringing some more nightlife to downtown Newark.

“I’m going to work very hard to make it happen,” Booker says. If the deal were to go through, the team would play at the Prudential Center, the newly built Devils’ home arena. Both teams played at the Izod Center, the former Continental Arena, in East Rutherford, N.J., before the Devils moved to the new facility in Newark last season.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a fight,” Mr. Booker said. “I think it’s going to be settled in an amicable way.”

He sees the Nets as a centerpiece to the continued revitalization of the city.

“The Nets were made for Newark,” he said. “It’s the comeback city. And I think the Nets will be the comeback team in the NBA, and they should do it here.”

We would love to see the Nets play in downtown Newark. It seems that it would be win-win for just about everyone. Except for maybe Ratner’s pride.

An even playing field for Newark

“An even playing field for Newark”:

A new $24 million sports complex will be built to replace the crumbling and partially condemned Schools Stadium, which has sat along Bloomfield Avenue since the early 1900s. Two baseball/softball fields, concession stands, locker rooms, and a football/soccer turf field will be built.

The project will be paid for with money from a $64 million bond, which was first approved by the Newark City Council in 2006. Thus far the bond has paid for recreational improvements at a number of city schools. The sports complex should be completed by early 2010.

City of Newark Launches Brick City Bike Tour

City of Newark Launches Brick City Bike Tour
Time to dust off that 18-speed and fish your helmet out of the closet! The city is sponsoring a bike tour this Saturday that tours through most of its scenic neighborhoods this Saturday.

Mayor Cory A. Booker announced today that the City of Newark is launching “Team Newark,” a city bicycle team that will compete in next year’s national Race Across America. To raise awareness and support for the June 2009 race, the City of Newark is sponsoring a non-competitive bike tour of the city on Saturday, June 28th at 9 AM.

The Bicycle Tour of Newark is free and open to the public. The first 100 children and 100 adults to register will get a free bike helmet, and the first 500 registrants will get a free t-shirt. Rest stops, food, and beverages, and full police escort will be provided along the route.

The ride consists of a 5-mile and a 15-mile “Family Fun Ride,” as well as a 25-mile ride for skilled cyclists. Both rides will start on Broad Street in front of City Hall, and finish up with a health fair, live entertainment, and food at the John F. Kennedy Recreation Center, located at 211 West Kinney Street.

Official Portugal Day 2008 Program

Official Portugal Day 2008 Program
Ironman at the Ironbound Blog has posted the schedule of events leading up to this weekend’s Portugal Day parade and festival. Judging by the discussion in our 2008 Festival Survival Guide, if you really want to experience Portuguese culture, a good bet would be to check out a mid-week art exhibit or the soccer tournament going on in the Ironbound.

Entrepreneur’s Act of Faith Bred on the Gridiron

Entrepreneur’s Act of Faith Bred on the Gridiron
Profile of a local sports hero-turned-businessman, Altarik White.

When Mayor Cory A. Booker gave his State of the City speech in February, some of the loudest applause came when he announced something far less dramatic than the drop in the number of murders: a loan to Mr. White from the Brick City Development Corporation that would allow him to open the Subway he had long been planning. Not downtown, where there were already several others, but in a neighborhood where national chains, and foods that haven’t been fried, were in short supply. Mr. White’s Subway opened in April, an act of faith in his city as much as of entrepreneurship.

“In our community, there’s not a lot of healthy places to go — no Whole Foods, no Stop & Shop, just a bunch of Chinese stores, hamburger joints and fried chicken places,” said Mr. White, whose Subway is on the other side of Weequahic Park from the school where he coaches and works as a substance awareness counselor. Next door is Seth Boyden Terrace, a public housing project where a triple shooting took place last year.

“Who’s to say that people, because they live in Seth Boyden, that they don’t deserve good food at an affordable price,” he said. “What I say to people who say, ‘That’s a tough place,’ is, ‘Yeah, well, guess what – it’s a tough world we live in.’”

City Hall: Mayor Booker to Commemorate NFL Great Andre Tippett’s Return Home to Newark

Mayor Booker to Commemorate NFL Great Andre Tippett’s Return Home to Newark
NFL Hall of Fame Inductee Andre Tippett will lead this year’s African American Heritage Parade.

His induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August will make Tippett the first athlete ever from the City of Newark to receive such an accolade. He is the Patriots’ second player to be inducted into this national shrine.

“Andre is a pioneer, a leader and a role model for young people across our great city,” said Mayor Booker. “His stirring manifestation of personal excellence on and off the field is truly an inspiration for future generations, and we are proud to join him in celebrating his triumphant return home to Newark.”

“We are so proud to have Andre come home to celebrate his Hall of Fame honor with us”, stated Newark Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Marion A. Bolden. “We are even more delighted that he is a product of Newark Public Schools and chose to celebrate this milestone with our students and this great city.”