Rutgers University-Newark, National Urban Leaders Unveil Action Plan for Historic Preservation

Rutgers University-Newark, National Urban Leaders Unveil Action Plan for Historic Preservation

Rutgers hosted a summit in which the Hahne building was identified as a national model for historic preservation last week.

During that summit, some of the broad plans for the collaborative art space in the building were shared. It sounds amazing.

The challenge to legacy cities, says Cantor, is to preserve the stories of past generations while incorporating the voices of new generations, which is “precisely what we have in mind with our university-community collaboratory we are developing in the Hahne & Company building and precisely why we think the name of our collaboratory, ‘Express Newark,’ is so apt. We are thrilled to be working with the Preservation Rightsizing Network to advance this shared agenda.”

Cantor detailed plans for Express Newark, including a community media center, a gallery, studios for portrait photography, book arts and printing, and performance space. A 2017 opening date is envisioned.

(Photo credit: Rutgers-Newark)


This Week: Newark Pop Up Downtown Holiday Market

Newark Pop Up Downtown Holiday Market

This looks really awesome, especially for Newarkers looking for locally crafted gifts.

This week, an eclectic group of local designers, artists and creatives set up shop at 744 Broad Street and introduced shoppers to the Downtown Holiday Market. The market is the brainchild of residential and commercial real estate agent Melvin Sykes, who regularly arranges for vacant retail spaces to be transformed into pop-up boutiques for burgeoning fashion brands.

ll host a “sip-and-shop” launch event today from 6–9pm. Open from 11am–8pm Monday through Saturday and running through January 1, the market offers downtown shoppers fresh alternatives for winter fashion and holiday gift giving. In addition to exclusive collections from area designers, shoppers can purchase handcrafted personal care products, jewelry, music and more.

Dedicated teachers can’t provide the whole answer, says Newark’s mayor

Dedicated teachers can’t provide the whole answer, says Newark’s mayor.

Mayor Ras Baraka’s name is on the byline of this piece, so I’m led to believe he either wrote it or heavily influenced it’s writing. So, two things.

Continue reading “Dedicated teachers can’t provide the whole answer, says Newark’s mayor”

Drug trade turf disputes at center of spiking Newark homicide rate, officials say

Drug trade turf disputes at center of spiking Newark homicide rate, officials say

Some will mourn the passing of Darel Evans today, but sadly street violence in Newark has taken the lives of so many more.

The driving force behind the recent surge in violence that’s helped push the city’s homicide total past the 2014 tally is the illegal drug trade, said the city’s police director.

It’s currently unclear how, if at all, the killings are related. While declining to elaborate on the details of the incidents, Venable said that much of the violence is being caused by gang members in the city’s central and south wards.

Newark recorded 111 homicides in 2013, before the annual tally declined in 2014 to 93. But the Monday fatal shooting of Darel “Creep” Evans, who was featured in a Sundance Channel documentary series set in Newark, ensured that the slide will not continue. With Evans’s death, the homicide count now stands at 94.

Brick City Cast Member Shot Dead in Newark

‘Brick City’ Cast Member Shot Dead in Newark, New Jersey


A former gang member turned anti-violence activist who was featured in “Brick City,” a Sundance Channel documentary series set in New Jersey’s largest city, has been shot to death, authorities said Tuesday.

Evans, a reformed Crips gang member known as Creep, was profiled in the Peabody award-winning TV series for turning his life around and for his relationship with a woman from the rival Bloods gang.

“It’s hard to extract yourself from the level of violence in urban America,” said Mark Benjamin, who created both shows along with partner Marc Levin. “As hard as he tried, it caught up with him. He was writing, he was doing comedy and sketches and he had different jobs. He had different children from a few different women. He had lots of love to give. The street caught up with him.”

Noted Newark Schools Seek State OK to Go Charter Route

Noted Newark Schools Seek State OK to Go Charter Route

Technically not a conversion to a charter school: the plan is to formally close the two schools in question in the South Ward and open as a new charter school.

Still, a remarkable change, especially given last week’s announcement planning to broaden the use of the $100M Zuckerberg donation for the public school system.

If the new Achieve Community Charter School is approved, it would be the first time that a public school in New Jersey is converted to a charter school.

The change would add fuel to the ongoing and sometime acrimonious debate over the relationship between public schools and charters – a debate that it perhaps most intense in Newark. What’s more, the proposed switch comes at a time when school district leaders are looking to improve the city’s South Ward schools – including BRICK – to better serve their neighborhoods.

Sale of Newark’s Saint Michael’s Medical Center Clears Major Hurdle

Sale of Newark’s Saint Michael’s Medical Center Clears Major Hurdle

“Prime’s plan to invest $50 million into upgrading Saint Michael’s is a game changer for our community,” Chaneyfield Jenkins said. “Not only will this investment create jobs in our community, but our residents will have a world-class, modern medical facility for their healthcare needs. If this sale doesn’t go through, the alternative would be catastrophic to our community.”

On August 10 of this year, Saint Michael’s voluntarily filed for Reorganization under Chapter 11, an action Prime agreed was necessary to preserve the medical center’s financial viability following the protracted application process. Last month, the U.S Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey approved Prime Healthcare’s $62 million offer to buy the hospital; the Honorable Judge Vincent F. Papalia issued an order to proceed with the acquisition.

Both Ricci and Leon credited the community’s involvement in maintaining pressure on the state to preserve the hospital. A coalition of residents, patients, clergy, union members, community leaders, clergy and elected officials led by Chaneyfield collected more than 40,000 signatures urging the state to approve the sale.