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Branch Brook park in Newark has a larger collection of cherry blossoms than Washington DC

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, An NJ Transit Police officer took this photo after patrolling Branch Brook Park Station during the week. One of the great things about being New Jersey Transit Police Officers is that our area of patrol spans the entire state. No matter where we go, there’s always something interesting to see.

Here’s a little known fact: New Jersey has more cherry trees than Washington D.C. Every spring, residents and visitors alike can see the largest cherry blossom collection in the United States.

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Newark to Study Universal Basic Income

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says the city is going to study a pilot program to provide a universal basic income, or basically guaranteeing income for all residents whether they have a job.The Newark mayor made his comments during his annual State of the City address Tuesday night at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.Newark has launched a taskforce to see if the program is feasible with help from the Economic SecurityProject and the Jain Institute.

In an effort to appeal to millennial voters  Baraka said , “We believe in Universal Basic Income, especially in a time where studies have shown that families that have a crisis of just $400 in a month may experience a setback that may be difficult even impossible to recover from,” 

While He noted that a third of the city still lives in poverty no  details on the plan, like how it would be funded or when a final decision would be made.

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Why Amazon Didn’t Choose NJ

Amazon Introduces New Tablet At News Conference In New York

The following editorial by Senator Robert Singer (R-30) on Amazon’s rejection of New Jersey’s proposal to host a new headquarters was published on Feb. 25, 2019 in the Asbury Park Press:

A whopping 238 cities across the United States sought to be the home of Amazon’s second headquarters, dubbed “HQ2.” Of all city applicants, Newark, New Jersey offered Amazon the largest tax benefits in the country. Regardless of being one of twenty cities to make the final cut, Newark was passed over by Amazon not once, but twice. It speaks volumes that a package of tax incentives totaling $7 billion could not entice Amazon to choose New Jersey.

Our state’s prime geographic location, diverse workforce, state-of-the-art infrastructure, convenient transportation, and best-in-the-nation schools should have made the Garden State an easy sell. The New Jersey Legislature’s successful bipartisan effort to top all other competing tax incentive offers nationwide should have made the Garden State an easy choice. The competition was fierce to court HQ2, and New Jersey was in play.

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ,  A New Jersey Transit Police Officer on foot patrol in Newark is credited with arresting a man wanted for the murder of a South Jersey resident.

Lonnie Arrington, 48, of Newark, was arrested by Officer Michael Hooks on Tuesday, October 16 in the bus lanes at Newark Penn Station.


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New Jersey Attorney Admits Role In Multimillion-Dollar Mortgage Fraud Scheme

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, A New Jersey attorney today admitted running a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme that involved properties in Jersey City, Clifton, Union, and elsewhere in New Jersey and caused losses of millions of dollars, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of YOURGHI TURKMANY (DOB: 5/15/98; single; and unemployed) of 31 Kent Street, Apt. 1, Newark, NJ. The arrest is the result of a month-long investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Milford, Washington Township, Oradell, Ridgewood, Ramsey, Franklin Lakes, Rutherford, Montvale, Piscataway, Newark, and Middlesex Borough Police Departments.


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Port Newark–Elizabeth Marine Terminal Prime beneficiary of European Trade concessions with the Trump Administration

July 26,2018
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, after immense pressure by the Trump administration ,the European Union says that it has agreed to a series of concessions that would avoid a costly trade war with the US. The EU has agreed to:

• Increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports from the United States;
• Lower tariffs;
• Align regulatory standards on medical products;
• Import more US soy beans.

The European Union delegation, led by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his top trade officials, met with President Donald Trump in a bid to level the field on trade. The official said the EU has agreed to work with the Trump administration to lower tariffs on both sides of the Atlantic .The delegations are still fine tuning language in a common statement on car tariffs. There will be no further tariffs as the details are worked out.

Port Newark–Elizabeth Marine Terminal in New Jersey could be the prime beneficiary or any trade agreement lowering tariffs and promoting trade .The Port Newark–Elizabeth Marine Terminal, a major component of the Port of New York and New Jersey and perhaps the most successful component . Port Newark–Elizabeth Marine Terminal is the principal container ship facility for goods entering and leaving New York metropolitan area and the northeastern quadrant of North America and is one of the few areas of job creation success in New Jersey .

The port is located on Newark Bay, the facility is run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Its two components—Port Newark and the Elizabeth Marine Terminal (sometimes called “Port Newark” and “Port Elizabeth”)—sit side by side within the cities of Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, just east of the New Jersey Turnpike and Newark Airport

As of 2004,Port Newark–Elizabeth Marine Terminal was the largest container port in the eastern United States and the third-largest in the country.Since 1998, the port has seen a 65% increase in traffic. In 2003, the port moved over $100 billion in goods. In 2006, it handled more than 20% of all US imports from Germany a major European trading partner .

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The Gun Violence Archive is an online archive of gun violence data


April 20,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Gun Violence Archive is an online archive of gun violence data . The GVA claims :

“the Gun Violence Archive an online archive of gun violence incidents collected from over 2,000 media, law enforcement, government and commercial sources daily in an effort to provide  near-real time data about the results of gun violence. GVA in an independent data collection and research group with no affiliation with any advocacy organization.”

The organization maps gun violence at a micro level. in 2015 New Jersey 252 gun-related deaths occurred. The results for New Jersey are as one would expect,  the data shows that New Jersey’s gun violence was mainly concentrated in Newark and Camden. Well no surprise there.

Over all according to the Guardian News Paper ; “Using this data, the Guardian found that half of the United States’ gun murders in 2015 were clustered in 127 cities . We also found that violence was concentrated even further than simply the city level: census tract areas that contain just 1.5% of the country’s population saw 26% of America’s total gun homicides.”

There was no data on the gun ownership ,be they legal owners or unlawful owners  a fact that seems conspicuously absent from this and other attempts to collect gun data.

Disadvantaged communities seemed to suffer the most pronounced impact from the violence, such as in Essex County, where gun violence fluctuated by the percentage of minority residents. The data for 2015 shows particularly low-income, disadvantaged neighborhoods can become hotbeds for gun violence.

There was also no tracking of the impact of sanctuary cites and immigration status although both Camden and Newark are considered sanctuary cities .

Anti gun groups can not glean much from the data , since it suggests that most gun violence is perpetrated on and by a very small portion of the population with no coloration to stringent gun restrictions. Causes seem as uncorrelated as well and solutions seem almost non existent.

more data :

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Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million donation to Newark public schools failed miserably — here’s where it went wrong


By Abby Jackson

In 2010, Mark Zuckerberg donated $100 million to Newark, New Jersey’s failing public-school system with the intention of turning around the schools in five years.

The goals Zuckerberg set out to achieve — to enact a number of reforms that would make Newark a model city for education reform — are widely seen as a failure, journalist Dale Russakoff told Business Insider.

So where exactly did that $100 million go if the turnaround was a failure?

Russakoff mapped the money trail in her new book “The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools,” which tracked the five years since Zuckerberg’s donation.

The $100 million from Zuckerberg actually became $200 million under the agreement other sources would match his contribution. Here’s where that money went: