Newark Public Schools to host Newark Enrolls school fair on Saturday, 1/30 at Central High School

education cardThis Saturday, Newark Public Schools will host a school fair for all district schools and most charter schools. The fair is open to all Newark families with students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12 who are exploring school options for the 2016-2017 school year through Newark Enrolls.

The deadline to file an application for Newark Enrolls is Monday, February 29, 2016. 

The school fair will feature school performances, detailed school information, as well as informational sessions where families can learn more about the Newark Enrolls application process.  Families will also receive onsite support in the application process.

Families that are unable to attend the fair and still have to file an application may submit one online at http://www.newarkenrolls.org or complete an application in person at any district or participating charter school or at the NPS Central Office located at 2 Cedar Street prior to the February 29 deadline.

The fair will take place Saturday, January 30th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central High School (246 18th Ave., Newark).

New acquisitions featured in Newark Museum galleries devoted to arts of global Africa

art cardThe Newark Museum is preparing for the 2017 reinstallation of the arts of Global Africa collection in the museum’s main gallery on the first floor, which coincides with the centennial of the collection. But in the meantime, there are new works to see in the current galleries located on the second floor, including recent acquisitions. The reinstallation is part of a two-year celebration of the museum’s collection of African art.

“This project builds upon and extends our long history of collecting and exhibiting the arts of Africa,” said Steven Kern, CEO and Director of the Newark Museum, who initiated “100 Years/African Art” last year with the opening of Royals & Regalia: Inside the Palaces of Nigeria’s Monarchs and Hassan Hajjaj: My Rock Stars. “The new galleries will transform the way we think about, view and engage with African art. These acquisitions give visitors a look at what is to come.”

The most dramatic addition is a new gallery dedicated to video art, featuring A Land So Far (2010) by artist Zak Ové, which was acquired by the museum last year. Based on contemporary celebrations of Carnival in Trinidad, Ové combines footage in mirrored frames to create a kaleidoscopic landscape of intertwining masqueraders. The video begins with daytime parades of masked characters dancing through the streets of the city of Port of Spain, accompanied by the sounds of drumming. It then shifts to the nighttime performances in the hills of Paramin where battling “blue devils” – performers with bodies covered in indigo blue dye – spout streams from lit cans of aerosol, ending with an explosion of flames in the sky.

More new acquisitions are on view in Present Tense, a gallery devoted to the museum’s collection of contemporary arts of global Africa. The tight rectangular geometry of Serge Nitegeka’s abstract painting Fragile Cargo XV, Studio Study V (2015) captures the shapes and sharp lines of shipping crates, seemingly commonplace objects used in human trafficking, economics and movement. They are a metaphor for physical and psychological displacement, which he himself experienced when his family fled from their home in Burundi to Rwanda due to a civil war and then migrated again because of genocide.  Personal history is also mined in a group of photographs by Amalia Ramanankirahina from her 2013 series Portraits de Famille (Family Portraits). These haunting images digitally manipulate family photographs from colonial-era Madagascar, shrouding their faces in a symbolic gesture to traditional Malagasy cultural practices. These works are joined by earlier acquisitions of paintings, including Wosene Worke Kosrof’s Berkeley III (2003) and Sokey Edorh’s Les Gendarmes d’Afrique(1996-2006).

Featured elsewhere in the gallery are recent gifts to the collection. A factory print textile collected in Monrovia, Liberia, circa 1969 celebrates the impact of “swinging sixties” fashion on the continent. This work is part of a larger donation of 25 factory print textiles, an important addition to the museum’s internationally known collection of African textiles. It complements one of the first textiles collected by the museum, an exceptional example of weaving by a Dyula artist from Côte d’Ivoire acquired by Newark Museum founder John Cotton Dana in 1928, now on view as well. At the entrance to the galleries are another gift to the collection: a group of puppets representing the diversity of characters in Sogo bò, a puppet tradition performed in south-central Mali. Sogo bò – translated as “the animals come forth” – is inspired by the everyday world and examines the human condition, often in a humorous way, through performances organized and performed by young men in youth associations.

The reinstallation was curated by Dr. Christa Clarke, senior curator of Arts of Global Africa, with the assistance of Curatorial Fellow Kimberli Gant and Research Associate Roger Arnold.

SHE Boutique offers area a women a taste of contemporary trends on Halsey Street

business cardSurrounded by new restaurants, businesses and ongoing construction, Halsey Street is a microcosm of Newark’s growth potential. The street is located in one of the city’s most desirable locations and serves as a prime area for economic and cultural growth. For SHE Boutique owners Tina Owugah and Lanel Lundy-Pascal, a window on Halsey street serves as an introduction of their brand to the blooming city.  

With a 25 year friendship between them, Owugah, a clinical trial head at Novartis pharmaceuticals, and Lundy-Pascal, a former executive secretary at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, are match made in small business heaven. Both women had the itch to start a business, but couldn’t decide on what to do.

“My partner [Lundy-Pascal] and I had been thinking about opening a business for a while, but we weren’t sure what to do, until this opportunity just fell in our laps,” said Owugah.

Prior to SHE Boutique becoming a reality, 83 Halsey street was home to Luxe Boutique, a women’s consignment clothing store. Owugah, who patronized the braiding store below her current location, was intrigued when she encountered the store boarded up on more than one occasion.

“I have been taking my kids to the braid shop here for  years. And one day, I came to visit and I asked ‘What’s going on with the boutique upstairs, why is it always closed?’” said Owugah.

“I asked the landlord to call me, and he said that they were in the process of moving the former tenant out. I said as soon as that’s sorted out, please call me. Just knowing the construction that was going on, with Prudential and the growth on Halsey Street and the growth in Newark, period, especially in the downtown area, the space was perfect,” she continued.

Decorated with a plush zebra skin rug and racks of figure-hugging dresses and custom-made ankara ensembles, SHE Boutique posits itself as the fashion destination for anyone looking for original clothing pieces from local Newark designers, as well as affordable, trend-driven contemporary options.

After a seven-month wait for the former occupant to completely vacate the location, Owugah and Pascal-Lundy were tasked with making SHE Boutique the destination it is now in a very short time.

“It took us literally like two months to kind of get in here paint, do what was necessary, like get some equipment and supplies, get things going, promote, and open.” said Owugah.

In nine months, the location quickly transformed from a space in transition to a fully stocked clothing boutique and fashion destination.

In addition to serving as a boutique, sometimes Owugah and Lundy-Pascal transform the Halsey location into a miniature runway to promote local designers like Anthony Eastwick and Bariel Dean. The owners plan to expand the store, but not in the way most will expect from a fashion boutique. SHE, which is also an acronym for Spiritual Healing and Empowerment, moonlights as a women’s group that aims to work with women “from the inside out”.

According to a statement released by the owners, fashion is only the beginning of SHE boutique’s journey.

“We want to not only be a boutique, but also a very strong presence in the community that offer promotions and special events to help uplift and support all women.”


SHE boutique is located on  83 Halsey St. Newark, NJ. For more, visit their Instagram page.

New Jersey Department of Transportation official joins Mayor Ras Baraka to provide update on snow removal effort

neighborhoods cardThis morning, Mayor Ras Baraka held another daily briefing about Newark snow removal efforts, this time joined by Assistant Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, Andrew Tunnard.

Baraka opened by thanking Newarkers “for their patience,” and acknowledging residents who assisted with the dig-out.

“Our residents have been a great strength to us during this storm, digging out their neighbors, looking in on the elderly, disabled, calling the OEM [Office of Emergency Management], making sure that we responded to their concerns, and even providing their own plows,” he said.

As for where the operation stands now, Baraka said the city had made “significant process,” but added: “We know there’s more that needs be done.” As the city undertakes those efforts, he said, residents should moderate their expectations about what the result would look like. “’Safe passageways’ does not mean the streets will look like they did in July,” he said. “But there will be a safe way in and out [of city streets] for citizens and emergency vehicles.”

Baraka said city officials have been tuned into residents’ calls, emails, and social media feedback about the city’s response. “People have a right to be angry,” he said, adding that he understood the inconveniences that come with being trapped on snow-logged streets, particularly in terms of some residents’ inability to get to work.

Baraka said the city had responded to, and will continue to prioritize, emergency situations, including transporting dialysis patients and elders requiring assistance to care facilities, and underscored that the city had not experienced any snow-related fatalities to date due to the storm or its aftermath.

Between them, Baraka and Tunnard provided updates on progress-to-date and their go-forward plan since the Department of Transportation joined the removal effort last night. Highlights:

  • Baraka said that since yesterday evening, more than 600 complaints for snow clearing had been resolved (more than one complaint can be resolved by clearing a single block)
  • Baraka said the city had removed 148 of 152 vehicles that have been disabled and blocking public passageways, emergency vehicles, and snow plows
  • Two hours after receiving the call for assistance from Essex County yesterday, Tunnard said, the state and city met at OEM on Clinton Avenue to coordinate state workers to assist with snow removal. Within six hours of the call, he said, the first state workers were on the ground and beginning to assist with snow removal
  • As of 10 a.m. this morning, said Tunnard, there were five snow removal teams dispersed throughout the city.
  • Department of Transportation resources by the numbers, according to Tunnard: 54 snow trucks, 17 front-end loaders, 27 skid steers (often referred to as “bobcats” in reference to a popular manufacturer of the machines), and 89 personnel (including operators and managers) working 12-hour shifts
  • Results as of 10 a.m. by the numbers, according to Tunnard: 213 truckloads of snow removed from an estimated 20 to 25 streets. That equates to about 1,704 tons, said Tunnard.

Baraka said one of the issues complicating snow removal was the layout of city streets in some neighborhoods. “I think there’s a lot of side streets in the city that we’re trying to hit,” he said, that aren’t off main roads and can be tough for some snow equipment to get to. Addressing the city holistically requires “putting together a strategy that involves everybody” – meaning several layers of vendors and response teams with adequate equipment for addressing the various configurations of city streets.

Baraka said there would be a focus on some of the “lower West Ward and Central Ward sites that have those small streets.” He denied that any particular ward of the city had been neglected wholesale.

The mayor also reiterated his point from previous briefings that abandoned cars impeded the initial removal operation, saying the emergency vehicles that tried to remove those cars sometimes got stuck themselves, turning the snow removal operation into a partial “rescue mission” for cars and emergency vehicles.

As for schools, Baraka said the decision about whether to open tomorrow is the superintendent’s call. Complicating school openings is the fact that streets to and from school sites, safe passageways for students who walk, and parking lots where teachers and administrators park must all be addressed.

Baraka said Newark was not an “anomaly” in its struggles with clearing snow for residents, citing Washington, D.C., Baltimore and, more locally, Edison, North Plainfield, and Somerset, as places that have also had a tough time with the task after the historic blizzard.

As for the timing of snow removal, the mayor declined to cite an exact timeline. “We assess this every single day,” he responded to a question about how long it would take before all streets are cleared. “We are a lot better off today than we were yesterday.”

Watch the full press conference below:

This morning’s map of unplowed streets, based on reader comments:

The city asked residents who need their streets clear to call the Office of Emergency Management at (973) 877-9260. BrickCityLive.com has success getting through to the line this morning, although we weren’t given an estimated time of arrival for a plow. Some of our readers have had success getting through and getting plowed; others have gotten through but not yet been plowed hours later; and still others have had a hard time getting an OEM staff member on the phone.

“Bending the Grid: Pat Lay: Myth, Memory and Android Dreams,” showing now at Aljira, explores what it means to be human

art cardAljira, a Center for Contemporary Art is now presenting Bending the Grid: Pat Lay: Myth, Memory and Android Dreams. This major survey exhibition highlights more than four decades of sculptor Pat Lay‘s career. It presents, for the first time, a broad view of Lay’s expansive vocabulary in a range of various media and styles, influenced by her extensive travels and informed by her overlapping art and non-art interests.

The exhibit tracing the trajectory of her development from 1969 to the present, with the emphasis on more recent work, Lay’s commitment to the experimental, and her interest in working with a wide range of materials.

“From the beginning, it seems, Pat Lay has been fascinated by the unfamiliar, by cultures other than her own, especially from distant regions of the world. She was never dismissive of art that was free from European and American formulations, but was intrigued, instead, by its rich, often curious imagery and venerable histories, by its differences,” notes guest curator Lilly Wei. “Lay was also inspired by the many astonishingly talented, innovative women artists of the 1960s and 70s whose work broke new ground, addressing the same divide between the handiwork of what might be called ‘feminized’ pre-industrialized cultures and those of ‘masculine’ industrialized nations, between what was considered low and high art.”

In the past decade, Lay’s artwork has focused on technological metaphors of the human experience. Her sculptures, made of fired clay, computer parts and other ready-made elements, are hybrid, post human power figures that have cross-cultural references and question what it means to be human.

Aljira’s commitment to Lay is two-fold: first, to make the full range of this artist’s oeuvre more widely known; second, to acknowledge the generous contribution she has made to educating and promoting the work of young artists as a founder of the Master of Fine Arts program at Montclair State University.

Bending the Grid: Pat Lay: Myth, Memory and Android Dreams is documented by an illustrated catalog, including an essay by the guest curator Lilly Wei and an interview with independent art curator, writer and chairman of the board of Independent Curators International, Patterson Sims. Three limited edition prints by Lay, donated by the artist to benefit Aljira’s exhibitions and programs, will be available for purchase for a limited time during the exhibition. On sale at shopAljira (www.aljira.org) beginning January 21. The exhibition will be on view at Aljira through March 19, 2016.

A graduate of Pratt Institute and Rochester Institute of Technology, Lay is a retired Professor of Art at Montclair State University. Lay has received two grants in sculpture from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and a grant from the American Scandinavian Foundation. She has been awarded three public art commissions including the installation of a large-scale site-specific sculpture in the sculpture park at the Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter in Oslo, Norway. She has had solo exhibitions at the Jersey City Museum; New Jersey State Museum; and Douglass College, Rutgers University, and her work has been included in group exhibitions in countries all over Europe and Asia, as well as at top-tier museums in the region.

Which streets and intersections are our readers saying are unplowed?

Updated January 26, 2016 at 12:39 p.m.:

Some users continued to report their unplowed intersections in various Facebook comments on our page. The markers in red correspond to those recently streets and intersections, and a corresponding list is below. (Gray markers may or may not have been addressed since they were reported yesterday.)

7th Street and 15th Avenue
South 13th Street and Avon Avenue
Wakeman Avenue and Nursery Street
Dover Street and Cliff Street
Governor Street
South 6th Street and 12th Avenue
South 10th Street and Central Avenue
Norman Road and Mount Vernon Place
Kenmore Avenue and Holland Road
Yates Avenue
Cortlandt Street
Astor Street and Mulberry Street
Weequahic Avenue and Parkview Terrace
Humboldt Street
Grant Avenue
St. Paul Avenue and Cliff Street
Littleton Avenue and Springfield Avenue
Hawthorne Avenue and West Peddie Street
Hartford Street and Hudson Street
Woodbine Avenue and Midland Place
Norman Road and Ivy Street
Clinton Street

 

Here is where readers are reporting unplowed streets based on this morning’s Facebook thread. We’ll be adding to this list as readers update us with more reports:

Map and list updated January 26, 2016 at 12:39 p.m.:

 

List (updated 3:32 p.m.):

Yates Avenue and Osborne Terrace
Wintrop Street and Summer Avenue
Wakeman Avenue and Nursery Street
Vassar Avenue and Maple Avenue
Varsity Road and Richelieu Terrace
Union Street and Hamilton Street
South Munn Avenue and South Orange Avenue
South 7th Street and 12th Avenue
South 13th Street and Madison Avenue
South 13t Street and 15th Avenue
Schley Street and Keer Avenue
S 10th St & Belgium St
Rope Street and 5th Street
Rome Street and Niagara Street
Pine Grove Terrace and South Orange Avenue
Pennsylvania Avenue and Parkhurst Street
Pacific Street and McWhorter Street
Norman Road and Ivy Street
N 10th St & Berkeley Ave
Mount Vernon and Eastern Parkway
Midland Place and Mount Vernon Place
Lincoln Avenue and Delavan Avenue
Leslie Street and Keer Avenue
Leslie Street and Chancellor Avenue
Lake Street and Montclair Avenue
Lake Street and Grafton Avenue
Isabella Avenue and South Orange Avenue
Hobson Street and Hawthorn Avenue
Hawthorne Avenue and Hunterdon Street
Halsey Street and Bank Street
Goldsmith Avenue and Hobson Street
Eastern Parkway and Ivy Street
Eastern Parkway and Cameron Road
East Kinney Street and Jefferson Street
Columbia Street and Green Street
Bragaw Avenue and Wainwright Street
Ann Street and New York Avenue
4th Street and Sussex Avenue
2nd Avenue and Sussex Avenue
12th Avenue and Bergen Street
11th Avenue and South 11th Street
Springfield Ave & S Jacob St, Newark
Parker Avenue and Parker Street
291 N 7th St
Columbia Avenue and Plymouth Street
Dewey Street and Lyons Avenue
Goldsmith Avenue an Pomona Avenue
13th Street and Norfolk Street
North 5th Street and 3rd Avenue
Goldsmith Avenue and Aldine Street
Nichols Street and Jefferson Street
Warwick Street and Jefferson Avenue
Scott Street and Orchard Street
Ridge Street and Abington Avenue East
Hawthorne Avenue and Birks Place
Eastern Parkway and Putman Street
Longworth Street and Lincoln Park
Ivy Street and Sanford Avenue
Peshine Avenue and Grant Avenue
Chapman Street and Ivy Street
Hillside Terrace and Ivy Street
Pine Grove Terrace
Saint Paul Avenue and Cliff Street
Littleton Avenue and 13th Avenue
Norfolk Street and 13th Avenue
Custer Place and Custer Avenue
Alexander Street and South Orange Avenue
Treacy Avenue and Clinton Avenue
Littleton Avenue and 12th Avenue
Crane Street and Webster Street
James Street and Washington Street
Beverly Street and Fabyan Place
North 12th Street and Second Avenue
North 11th Street and 7th Ave
South 12th Street and 15th Ave
Livingston Street and 18th Ave
Vincent Street and Horatio Street
Van Buren Street and Ferry Street
Pehine Avenue and Grant Avenue
Leo Place and Vernon Avenue
James Street and Essex Street
St. James Place and Wiloughby Street
Irvin Turner Boulevard and West Runyon Street
Gifford Place and Stuyvesant Avenue
Mount Prospect Place and Second Avenue
Fairmount Avenue and 12th Street
Bock Avenue and Osborne Terrace
Livingston Street and Seymore Avenue
Woodside Place and Summer Avenue
Sanford Avenue and Kenmore Avenue
Edwin Place and Dewey Street
South 16th Street and 14th Avenue
Watson Avenue and Jelliff Avenue
Holland Street and Springfield Avenue
Dover Street and St. Paul’s Avenue
Hillside Avenue and West Bigelow Street
Astor Street and Goble Street
South 13th Street and 15th Avenue
South 14th Street and 15th Avenue
Lake Street and Verona Street
Dayton Place and Dayton Street
Arsdale Place and Grand Avenue
Rose Terrace and Treacy Avenue
Mount Prospect Avenue and Victoria Avenue
Treadwell Street and Clifton Avenue
South 13th Street and Avon Avenue
Peck Avenue and 1st Avenue
Burnet Street and Orange Street
18th Avenue and 12th Street
Ridge Street and Montclair Avenue
North 11th Street and Springdale Avenue
Taylor Street and Garside Street
Cypress Street and Fabyan Place
North 9th Street and Davenport Avenue
St. Paul Street and South Orange Avenue
Tichenor Street and Orchard Street
Vesey Street and McWhorter Street
Prince Street and Court Street
Garrison Street and New York Avenue
Colleen Street and Stuyvesant Avenue
Wickliff Street and West Market Street
North 6th Street and West Market Street
Fleming Avenue and Brill Street
14th Avenue and Morris Avenue
14th Avenue and Hunterdon Street
Parker Street and Bloomfield Avenue
Hecker Street and Sussex Avenue
Gotthardt Street and New York Avenue
Vailsburg Terrace and South Munn Avenue
Littleton Avenue and Springfield Avenue
Broad Street and 3rd Avenue
Wainwright Street and Field Place
Halleck Street and Summer Avenue
Kent Street and Brenner Street
Monticello Avenue and South Orange Avenue
Crawford Street and Lincoln Park
Bergen Street and Vassar Avenue
Madison Street and Downing Street
Livingston Street and Muhammad Ali
2nd Street and 7th Avenue
3rd Street and 7th Avenue
Dover Street and Cliff Street
South 19th Street and Clinton Avenue
9th Street and Park Avenue
Crescent Court and Stuyvesant Avenue
Poinier Street and Elizabeth Avenue
South 12th Street and Woodland
Sherman Avenue and Parkhurst Street
St. Paul Avenue and South Orange Avenue
Lock Street and Sussex Avenue
Kerrigan Boulevard and Sanford Place
Parkhust Street and Goble Street
Astor Street and Mulberry Street
Humboldt Street and Orange Street
Abington Avenue and North 6th Street
Palm Street and South Orange Avenue
Cedar Avenue and South Orange Avenue
Parker Street and Park Avenue
2nd Street and Sussex Avenue
Millington Avenue and Leo Place
Vernon Avenue and Leo Place
Milford Avenue and Clinton Avenue
Greenwood Lake Street and Ruby Place
Mount Prospect Avenue and Bloomfield Avenue
Mount Pleasant Avenue and Third Avenue
Palm Street and Sanford Avenue
Nye Avenue and Hungtinton Terrace
Grafton Avenue and Beaumont Place
18th Avenue and 19th Street
Hartford Street and Hudson Street
Vassar Avenue and Clinton Place
Custer Avenue and Elizabeth Avenue
13th Street and 11th Avenue
Elm Street and Pulaski Street
South 6th Street and South Orange Avenue
Highland Avenue and Bloomfield Avenue
10th Street and Springfield Avenue
8th Street and South Orange Avenue
Elm Road and Lang Street
Ridgewood Avenue and Clinton Avenue
Grumman Avenue and Parkview Terrace
Chelsea Avenue and Mountainview Avenue
13th Avenue and South 9th Street
South 9th Street and Sprinfield Avenue
9th Avenue and 12th Street
South 12t Street and Avon Avenue
7th Street and 3rd Avenue
South 15th Street and 15th Avenue
Barbara Street and Niagara Street
16th Avenue and Springfield Avenue
Tremont Avenue and Eastern Parkway
St. Paul Avenue and Cameron Road
Van Buren Street and Polk Street
Pomona Avenue and Maple Avenue
Dayton Street and Ludlow Street
Schley Street and Chancellor Avenue
Homestead Park
South 7th Street and 11th Avenue
South 11th Street and 13th Avenue
South 11th Street and 14th Avenue
South 11th Street and 15th Avenue
Riverside Court and Grafton Avenue
Verona Avenue and Highland Avenue
Eckert Avenue and Seymour Avenue
Monstrose Street and South Orange Avenue
Wright Street and Avenue B
South 13th Street and 16th Avenue
South 13th Street and 18th Avenue
Soutn 9th Street and 11th Avenue
Richelieu Terrace and Fortuna Street
Stuyvesant Avenue and Schofield Street
Halstead Street and Norwood Place
North 5th Street and Dickerson Street

The Newark Public Library celebrates black history with a special exhibit and programs

culture cardThe 2016 Black History Celebration exhibit, We Found Our Way: Newark Portraits from the Great Migration, centers on the narratives of the Krueger-Scott African-American Oral History Collection.

This collection, assembled in the late 1990s under the direction of Catherine J. Lenix-Hooker, captured the stories of Newark’s African-American citizens who migrated to the city between 1910-1970. The result is over 100 interviews with brave men and women who left the segregated, Jim Crow South to make better lives for themselves and their families. Ms. Lenix-Hooker emphasizes the importance of these interviews as not only “eyewitnesses to the city in the 21st century,” but also as a “solid body of evidence” documenting “the major contributions African-Americans have made to the city [in] over eight decades of Newark’s rich history.”

Guest curator Dr. Samantha J. Boardman has combined striking photo portraits of interviewers and narrators by photographer Bill May, never-before-seen images from the Al Henderson portrait studio archive from the Newark Public Library’s Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center, and select fine prints from the library’s own world-class special collections to evoke the lives and times of these courageous history makers. These different modes of portraiture, along with the digital audio collages composed from the interviews themselves, and short documentary videos based on stories from the collection produced as part of the Newest Americans project at Rutgers Center for Migration and the Global City, make We Found Our Way a joyful and intimate celebration of Newark’s Great Migration legacy.

Also included are stunning works from the GlassBook Project: Provisions exhibition. This exhibit, by GlassBook Project founder and artist Nick Kline, Artist-in-Residence Adrienne Wheeler, Endless Editions, Samantha Boardman, and the Rutgers University-Newark Book Arts Class, features artist books made of glass inspired by narratives from the Krueger-Scott collection.

On Thursday, February 4 the Newark Public Library will begin its annual celebration of Black History with an exhibit opening reception and program at the Main Library on 5 Washington Street from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The keynote speaker, John Franklin, is the senior manager of the Office of External Affair at The National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. He will be joined by Catherine J. Lenix-Hooker and Samantha J. Boardman.

Additional programs organized by guest producer Celeste Bateman & Associates include a discussion “White Balance: Distortion of Black Images on Television” by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart. Mr. Capehart, who was born and raised in Newark and is a graduate of Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School, is a Washington Post editorial board member, PostPartisan blogger, and MSNBC contributor. The talk will be on Saturday, February 6 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. in Centennial Hall.

The documentary film I Am Ali, the life story of Muhammad Ali, will be shown in the James Brown African American Room on Thursday, February 25 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

On Saturday, February 27 from 12:00-4:00 p.m. the library, in collaboration with the City of Newark, Department of Health and Community Wellness and the NAACP-Newark Chapter, will present, in Centennial Hall, #BlackLivesMatter-Newark, a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Hanaa A. Handi, director of the Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness on the #BlackLivesMatter movement from the perspective of community activists and social service practitioners. In conjunction with the discussion, senior citizens are invited to document their experiences in the city. These oral histories will be recorded by the Newark chapter of the NAACP in the auditorium. (Please call 973-624-6400 to reserve one of the eighteen spots.)

At We Lift Up Your Voices on Saturday, March 12 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. in Centennial Hall, Five Women, a performance ensemble, will recognize Women’s History Month by celebrating in verse and song eight highly successful female singers from Newark.

On Tuesday, March 22 from from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the auditorium, Dr. Linda Caldwell-Epps will present “Open Up the Door: I’ll Get It Myself: Migration Stories of Newark’s African American Women” and Danielle Cooper will perform a spoken word poetry. In addition, Krista White, the Digital Humanities Librarian at Rutgers-Newark’s Dana Library, will demonstrate the Krueger-Scott Collection web portal.

Screenings of A Place of Entry and We Came and Stayed, short documentaries inspired by the narratives of the Krueger-Scott Collection, will be followed by a discussion hosted by Tim Raphael, Executive Producer of Newest Americans and Director of the Rutgers Center for Migration and the Global City, at The Legacy of the Krueger-Scott African-American Oral History Collection on Tuesday, April 5 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the auditorium. There will be a closing reception for the exhibit at this program presented in collaboration with the Center for Migration and the Global City, Rutgers-Newark.

The library will celebrate National Poetry Month on Saturday, April 9, 2016 from 2:00-5:00 p.m. in the auditorium with Our NewArk: Poetry & Jazz, hosted by The Breathing Poets Society’s founder Breya “Blkbrry Molassez” Knight, at which several of Newark’s outstanding young poets “spit” their poems and rhymes accompanied by the Arts High School Jazz Band.

The exhibition We Found Our Way: Newark Portraits from the Great Migration, opens on February 4 and runs through April 9, 2016 in the Main Library’s second floor gallery during regular Library hours.


 

All programs are at the Main Library, 5 Washington Street. To RSVP for any program or for more information please call 973-733-7793. To check whether the Library is open in the case of inclement weather, call 973-733-7800.

Cities in arms: Residents of other Northeast cities just as agitated with snow removal as Newarkers

The City of Newark has had quite a day in the snow removal department, with tempers flaring as many Newarkers have taken to social media to express their anger at the fact that their streets hadn’t been plowed after this weekend’s record-breaking blizzard dumped more than 28 inches of snow on the city.

(For a sampling of residents at the end of their rope about street conditions, look no further than our Facebook thread about the snow removal process.)

This is no trivial matter. In addition to the heightened danger posed by emergency situations – which are tougher for first responders to get to with blocked streets – and people’s concerns about getting to work, particularly when they are essential employees, snow removal performance often has well-documented consequences for people in power. Get it wrong, and public trust is majorly put to the test.

Following a press conference this morning where Mayor Ras Baraka explained that stuck cars and other emergencies (including car fires and accidents) had hampered snow removal efforts, the city has since called for small businesses to volunteer snow removal equipment for the effort, and cancelled normal city operations tomorrow.

Because their streets are still piled high with snow, many Newarkers we’ve heard from are, to use the local verbiage, done. But is our situation here unique? How are other cities that have been hit with the record-breaking blizzard dealing with its messy aftermath?

It seems that when it comes to the struggle of managing snow removal after a significant weather event, Newark is in good (or bad) company among other cities in the region. And residents up and down the East Coast are as unamused with this fact as our Newarker neighbors are.

New York is calling for hourly snow removal workers

Meanwhile, New Yorkers aren’t happy about the plowing situation

Mayor Bill deBlasio announced Sunday afternoon that the city needed “emergency snow laborers” to pitch in and help its uniformed sanitation workers with snow removal. “This was one of the worst storms to ever hit New York City, and we need all hands on deck to dig us out,” deBlasio said, according to NBC New York.

 

 

Allentown, Pennsylvania went ahead and announced that snow removal will take until at least Monday night

Meanwhile, Allentowners are less than amused with the plowing situation

Allentown, which is about two-thirds the size of Newark in square miles, announced a three-part snow removal schedule that won’t begin until 7 p.m. Sunday night. Workers will remove snow from one pre-determined section during that shift until finished, one from another section of the city on Monday morning until finished, and one from a third and final section of the city starting Monday night. Like Newark, the city also suspended its upcoming trash collection due to the storm, according to The Morning Call.

 

Baltimore shut down government offices on Monday, officials say clearing the mess could take “days”

Meanwhile, Baltimorians weren’t having it with the sanitation situation

By Sunday after sundown, the city had cleared the vast majority of its primary streets, but still had about 40 percent of its secondary streets and more than half of its neighborhood streets left to clear. The city’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, declined to even given an estimate for when the project would be completed. “It’s going to take time…this is not business as usual,” Rawlings said, according to The Baltimore Sun. In a separate account, The Sun quotes a city official as saying it could take “days” to clear the historic powdery pileup, considering the effects of snow drift on the record-breaking accumulation.

 

Virginia is expecting the most expensive snow removal effort in history

Meanwhile, Virginians affected by the snow really just want to get to work

Northern Virginia was hit hard by the blizzard. So hard, according to Governor Terry McCaullife, that removal will cost $2 million to $3 million per hour, and might well top $100 million total by the time the cleanup is complete. Some parts of the state saw more than 30 inches of snow.

 

Finally, a government shutdown in Washington D.C. that is not due to political pettiness

The Office of Personnel Management announced Sunday evening that the federal government would close on Monday due to the storm. Per Arlington, Virginia-based publication ARL-Now, streets in the area’s neighborhoods “remain treacherous, covered with snow and ice that plows have yet to remove.” Additionally, northbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway will remained closed until Monday at least. D.C. officials are calling in reinforcements for snow removal equipment.

 

Where are the snow plows?

Updated 1/25/2015 at 1:19 p.m.:

“We will be getting to you. It’s not ‘if’ we get to you. We will get to you.” – Mayor Ras Baraka

The city posted a video blog recorded by Mayor Baraka at the Office of Emergency Management on Clinton Avenue just a short time ago.

“I know you’re frustrated and aggravated,” he said, but assured Newarkers that crews were “working around the clock” to clear the streets.

Thanked small trucks with moving more then 280 weather related cars.

“We’ve been out all night long with front loaders and duck trucks” trying to remove snow, which takes longer than plows, Baraka explained, thanking small trucks, snow removal workers, and emergency responders for helping to move more than 280 cars stuck for “weather-related reasons”.

As for progress to date, Baraka said: “All of the major arteries – all of the emergency roads – have been done. They were done by 12 noon yesterday.”

“Wave been moving” on secondary roads, he said, but they’ve been more difficult to get to because of their narrow size, and because of abandoned cars that have blocked some roads.

“We will be getting to you. It’s not ‘if’ we get to you. We will get to you,” he said, adding that his team is working “tirelessly” to clear the snow and would complete the job “with your help. your patience, and your endurance.”  and said they’re working “tirelessly”.

As for the assessment that the city was not prepared, Baraka said, “We were prepared for 14 to 20 inches,” of snow, and added that “most of the cities around us are in desperate shape” due to the ferocity of the storm. He also called again on vendors two help with removal efforts. “If you have a truck with a plow, please we can use you as well,” he said.

Baraka told Newarkers to call the Office of Emergency Management at 973-877-9260 to report emergencies and streets that are not plowed.

Updated 1/25/2015 at 10:20 a.m.:

We compiled a list and map of unplowed streets on a Facebook thread this morning and forwarded that list to Mayor Baraka. Earlier, the mayor said that the North and South Wards saw plow activity overnight, and that the West, East, and Central wards would be serviced today.

Updated 1/25/2016 at 8:15 a.m.:

We asked Mayor Baraka for an update on the prioritization of snow plowing for today. He told us that the city addressed streets in the North and South Wards overnight, and will next head to the East, West, and Central Wards. After higher priority streets in those areas are addressed, plows will go back for “missed streets”.

 

  Updated 1/24/2016 at 9:16 p.m.: Mayor Baraka posted an update to his public Facebook page:

We were hit hard by this storm. Almost 3 feet of snow. I want to thank Newarkers for all of their help and their patience. We will keep working until this is done!

Posted by Ras J. Baraka on Sunday, January 24, 2016

 

Updated 1/24/2016 at 8:17 p.m.:

We’re hearing in particular from essential employees, including medical professionals and transportation workers, who are concerned about not getting to work, and from people who have medical needs or are caring for those who do.

“It’s not the ppl fault their stuck. Some might be medical professionals trying to get to work. We have no days off,” posted one Newark resident to a neighborhood Facebook group, in response to the city’s insistance that stuck vehicles are impeding the snow removal process.

Another: “I’m very concerned about it because I have a disabled child, and if need be the paramedics or myself need to be able to get in and out of my street.”

Yet another: “I’m an essential employee for NJT and can’t make it into work tomorrow because of this. I pray something gets done tomorrow at least.”

 

Updated 1/24/2016 at 8:17 p.m.:

We wanted to see how unique Newarkers’ anger with their local government’s handling of the blizzard’s aftermath is. As it turns out, the agitation is widespread.

 

Updated 1/24/2016 at 6:28 p.m.:

Many Newarkers’ patience is wearing thin as night falls and residents start contemplating how they’ll get to work, and some have taken to social media to voice their frustrations. Mayor Baraka answered some of those residents’ concerns directly on the social platform.

Another resident said a main street hadn’t been plowed, though Mayor Baraka insisted that they had, and reiterated that cars are still blocking plows from getting to some streets.

 

He later told another Newarker that cars are still in the way.

 

Though Mayor Baraka said earlier that the city was hoping to have all secondary streets addressed by 5 p.m., many residents we’ve heard from said they haven’t yet seen or heard plows.
Updated 1/24/2016 at 4:51 p.m.: 

The city announced agency closures in a press release a short time ago:

The City of Newark announced that City Hall and its agencies, to include municipal courts and medical clinics, with the exception of essential services and Public Safety will be closed on Monday, January 25. Newark Public Schools will also be closed and garbage collection and street sweeping will be suspended.

“As the City continues to shovel itself out from a near record-breaking snowstorm, we appreciate the spirit of cooperation we have received from most Newark residents,” said Mayor Baraka. “We have heard your concerns and we ask for your continued patience as we continue to shovel our way out and make it easier for citizens to move around the City again.”

The Director of Neighborhood and Recreational Services Patrick Council also cautioned against citizens who disregard the suspension of vital City services.

“As our crews are clearing the streets, they should not have to contend with garbage bags and other debris piled on the snow,” said Director Council. “Those who violate this ordinance will be subject to a fine. We will resume these services as soon as our trucks can move around without impeding cleanup efforts.”

 

Updated 1/24/2016 at 2:24 p.m.: We asked Mayor Baraka via Twitter whether the city’s request for help with snow clearing equipment indicated that the city was underprepared for the storm. Mayor Baraka said the city was prepared, and reemphasized his point from today’s press conference that failure by some Newarkers to heed the travel ban exacerbated removal efforts, with “200 cars stuck, 14 fires, etc.” hampering emergency vehicles and snow plows. Baraka added that the city will be ticketing and towing cars that are obstructing the removal process.

 

preparedness blizzard 2016

Update 1/24/2016 at 1:32 p.m.: Mayor Baraka put out a call to small businesses to assist with the city’s snow clearing effort:

The City of Newark is requesting Newark area small business operators with City with snow clearing equipment to assist with the citywide cleanup effort.

“This is an opportunity for a unique public-private partnership,” said the Mayor. “We can all come together to do well for the citizens of Newark at a time when assistance is greatly needed.”

Interested Newark-based businesses can report to the Department of Sanitation at 62 Frelinghuysen Avenue. For more information, call (973) 877-9313 or (973) 877-9314 between the hours of 1pm – 5 pm. After 5 pm and on Monday, contact: (973) 733-5830.

Original post:

Mayor Ras Baraka sought to clarify the city’s plans and procedures for city snow removal during a press conference earlier this morning.

The city’s online snow plow tracker (also below) shows that as of 1 p.m. Sunday, the city’s plows had serviced most major thoroughfares, but that many secondary streets have yet to be plowed. According to Newark’s Snow Removal Guide, the city prioritizes the following areas for plowing:

  • Hills
  • Bridges
  • Emergency routes and all major arteries in and out of the city limits
  • Snow in and around catch basins (to avoid flooding and sewer backups)

Snow removal in the neighborhoods and on secondary streets is prioritized after emergency routes and major arteries.

During this morning’s press conference, Baraka said snow removal on secondary streets would commence at noon Sunday, and that the city plans to be finished at around 5 p.m. He also admitted to being frustrated with some Newark residents who he said had not taken the travel ban seriously in the wake of a record-breaking snow storm.

“You’re preventing our cars, our plows from getting through,” Baraka said. “It’s becoming very difficult for us to do our job because people have not listened to the travel ban,” he continued. (The travel ban was lifted at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.) Baraka said the city suffered a ripple effect from cars being stuck on main roads, which caused emergency vehicles to become stuck, which caused some plows to become stuck in turn. In all, there were also 12 vehicle fires and 29 accidents that required a police response.

Patrick Council, the city’s Director of Neighborhood Services, reminded Newark property owners that they’re responsible for removing snow on their property, including 18 inches out from the curb. “But we also want to make sure that you’re not throwing it on the street,” said Council, adding that code enforcement will be “very vigilant” about ensuring residential snow removal doesn’t hamper the city’s own removal efforts.

So where is the city in terms of clearing neighborhood streets? For a view of where plows are in real-time, and where they’ve been in the last six, 12, and 24 hours, take a look at the city’s online plow trackers below. (Source: City of Newark website)

Current plow locations:

Streets previously serviced:

Watch Mayor Baraka’s full press conference:

Winter Storm Jonas updates

We’re tracking feeds from the City of Newark, Mayor Baraka, Governor Christie, National Weather Service, Weather.com and others about Winter Storm Jonas. Stay tuned for a consolidated feed of storm updates.