Hess plant brings money, sense of unease to East Ward

$11 Million Riding on Council Vote
The council will be voting next month on a change near the site of the coming Hess “Newark Energy Center,” which will net the city a lump payment of $11 million from the energy company.

Great reporting by Paul Milo at Newark Patch details the sense of unease associated with the unpopular but lucrative plant planned for the East Ward.

Hess has also offered a much better deal to the city than other major developers have in the past, Amador added. Along with the $11 million easement payment, the city will get another $3.5 million advance property-tax type payment, $1.5 million for street trees, $5 million to renovate a stadium in the Ironbound, along with the regular “payment in lieu of taxes” the facility will turn over to the city annually once it’s operating.

But even Amador still has reservations. Earlier this week, Hess asked the planning board for additional time to submit final site plans for the Newark Energy Center. The company is also asking that a sound barrier originally included in the plan be scrapped. Amador opposes both requests.

Politicker NJ: In a quiet city, Pantoliano’s energy spills into James territory

Politicker NJ: In a quiet city, Pantoliano’s energy spills into James territory

However, if the city as a whole lacks the edge of a major campaign contest — “quietist I can ever remember an election year at this time,” observes one South Ward insider — Pantoliano, notwithstanding the odds, is undisputably making an enthusiastic effort to unseat incumbent Amador.

Pizarro gives a rundown of the remarkably muted 2010 election politics.

Amador, East Ward Democrats, feel dissed by Booker on Election Day

Amador, East Ward Democrats, feel dissed by Booker on Election Day
I absolutely must hand it to blogger Max Pizzaro at Politicker NJ. He has just brought his A-game to our fair city, scratching together a story from the hard nosed, bare-knuckle politics in this local election.

The videos he’s put together are just priceless — click play below to see some wonderfully awkward moments of a very pissed-off Augusto Amador. Politicker NJ, the Daily Newarker salutes you!

“The mayor told me he wouldn’t run against me, and here we wake up today and these knuckleheads are running around promoting the mayor’s candidates,” says the veteran councilman, who was an ally of Mayor Sharpe James before making the transition to the new Booker era.

“What it tells me is they’re trying to build county committee support here to get me off the ticket in 2010,” Amador says.

Star Ledger: Bar visits put Newark police chief in trouble

Bar visits put Newark police chief in trouble
More details around the Campos charges related to the Indian Knights Motorcycle Club, which looks more and more like a tenacious social club serving alcohol than a seedy illegal bar.

The Indian Knights case stems from a routine raid by the city’s vice squad March 2, when police received a complaint of noise and loud music from the club, located on Lexington Street in an industrial section of the Ironbound, according to police reports. They arrested the president of Indian Knights, Everton Oliveira, for selling drinks without a certificate of occupancy or a liquor license, according to the report.

“With those two things alone, you are automatically in violation of the law,” said Deputy Mayor Ronald Salahuddin, who oversees the city’s vice squads.

Oliveira told police that he was hosting a birthday party and was giving away the drinks for free, according to police reports. But police, noting they’d warned him before to stop selling drinks, shut down the club.

Sciarra said Indian Knights was a charitable organization and was “well known to members of the governing body of Newark at the highest level.” He would not elaborate.

Let me elaborate: last night, I found another clip on YouTube where city council member Augusto Amador was being interviewed at the same Indian Knights Motorcycle Club event where Campos discussed the organization’s fundraising for a disabled little girl.

Unfortunately, it looks as though that video of the event may have been taken down since I posted the Campos interview (YouTube seems a little flaky for me right now), so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Update: The interview with Auggie is here, at around 1 minute, 20 seconds. The Indian Knights are clearly a social club that has ties to the community, and is obviously “well known to members of the governing body of Newark at the highest level.”

Star Ledger: Newark has haven in East Ward office

Newark has haven in East Ward office
The Ledger profiles “Little City Hall” — Augusto Amador’s office on Monroe Street in the Ironbound, which provides services to the community you might otherwise get at City Hall downtown.

Like old friends, Gloria Feijo and Rosa Tavares chatted in Portuguese about the weather, family and the traditional Portuguese pastries Feijo bakes.

Before leaving, Feijo handed Tavares a check for her water bill, then walked the three blocks home.

“We speak her language,” Tavares said as Feijo walked out of Little City Hall on Monroe Street in the Ironbound section of Newark.

Feijo and many others consider it a blessing to have a local office to pay bills, request permits and conduct other business instead of having to stand in long lines, deal with strangers or — more significantly — try to find parking near Broad Street’s City Hall.

It also makes life easier that Feijo can communicate in Portuguese.

“Even if I spoke English, I would still come here,” Feijo said before she left.