Community Newark

Community Newark's blog focuses on our community and the events, people, groups and institutions that shape it. Check out our Community Calendar for events here.

Bergen Street Cleaning

posted Jul 26, 2012, 5:58 PM by Natural Newark   [ updated Jul 26, 2012, 6:09 PM ]

Councilman Ras Baraka, members of the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition and local residents visited businesses on Bergen Street between Lyons Ave and Scheerer Ave to remind them about the requirement to keep the street in front of their stores clean, as well as to help prevent loitering and to hire local young people; four promised to do so and four more said they'd try. Some pictures below...

5,000 Milepost

posted Jul 23, 2012, 7:53 PM by Natural Newark

Today we got our 5,000th visit. We estimate about 1,500 unique visitors have come to Natural Newark since we launched on July 16, 2011. We didn't start counting visitors for and Community Newark on July 24th, the Natural Product Review site on August 27th, Green Newark on August 30th and the Pop Tarts Revue on September 3rd. We've got more than 200 blog posts over our five blogs and just launched Naturally So on our one year anniversary. Thanks for making one of the websites you visit! 

Year One

posted Jul 15, 2012, 8:54 PM by Natural Newark

Today is the one year anniversary of Natural, and we’ve launched a new feature, “Naturally So,” to coincide with the occasion! Over the last year, we hope we’ve brought you some interesting information about Newark and the world around us. As always, you can give us recommendations or even submit your own work for us to post on our site by e-mailing us at! Thanks for your continued contributions, in the form of e-mails, tips and Facebook event invites. We’re excited about year two of Natural and hope you stick with us!


R & E co-founders

Cory Booker appointed to Platform Committee

posted Jul 12, 2012, 3:50 PM by

Newark's Mayor Cory Booker was among the 15 people appointed by the national Democratic party to sit on the Platform Committee, which will craft the Democrats' policy proposals for the next four years. The appointment shows previous talk of Booker's diminished role with national Democrats after he criticized Bain attacks as much exaggerated. 

American Idol in Newark

posted Jun 24, 2012, 7:09 AM by

 "American Idol" held its NYC-area auditions in Newark yesterday. The show has been holding its NYC-are auditions in New Jersey since season 6 because its easier to organize the auditions in New Jersey than in New York City itself. More than 5,000 people showed up to Prudential Center yesterday. According to the Star Ledger, show producers prompted contestants to say "welcome to the greatest city in the world" on camera, which is great, because we just might be. If you made it to the next round yesterday e-mail us at to share your story with Newark!

Ban Red Light Cameras?

posted Jun 22, 2012, 1:08 PM by

A  few days ago we pointed out Newark's red light cameras would be temporarily suspended. Now a Democrat and a Republican have teamed up in Trenton to ban the devices for good, arguing they don't increase traffic safety and so are just used to squeeze revenue out of people, which is wrong!

Tenure Reform Bill: Seniority Preserved

posted Jun 21, 2012, 7:09 PM by   [ updated Jun 21, 2012, 8:10 PM ]

So it seems that the school teacher tenure system as we know it will be undergoing some major changes soon. A tenure reform bill has cleared the state NJ Senate but there are still plenty of complaints swirling around. Some folks in the debate feel that the seniority protections (which were kept in the bill) need to be eliminated.  Still, no matter what your position on the tenure issue, almost everyone can agree that every educational decision that we make must directly support higher educational standards and outcomes for children in our state -- especially in Newark. Teachers who want to do their best work should be supported, respected, and paid well.  I don’t think that’s negotiable.

Bye-Bye Red Light Cameras?

posted Jun 19, 2012, 7:04 PM by   [ updated Jun 19, 2012, 7:11 PM ]

Not too long ago, I started to get tickets in the mail that reportedly showed me violating various traffic laws. Usually there were 2-3 shots of me inside of my car, both hands on the wheel, no cell phone in sight.  The first time I got “busted”, it was for turning left on a amber light at a familiar intersection near Penn Station.  A couple months later, I received the same kind of ticket with a notation that claimed that I had been guilty of “avoiding a traffic control device”. It just so happened that I did remember the exact circumstances under which I had been driving on the morning in question. And even after seeing the pictures, it was not at all clear to me what I had done wrong. So in case you are wondering, I actually paid the ticket instead of fighting it because I was scheduled to leave town soon after. But I was pretty irritated about having been photographed and ticketed for a very confusing offense. I am glad that enough people have complained enough about these kinds of mishaps, and now it seems that in many places in our areas, these will be suspended.  

Integrity House Has a Place Just for the Ladies!

posted Jun 18, 2012, 8:32 AM by   [ updated Jun 18, 2012, 8:33 AM ]

Women (whether they are mothers, daughters, or wives) are very important for communities. I have read many social scientific studies that suggest that improving the lives of women through education and other opportunities has a ripple effect on the broader community. Women may have distinctive needs, but women’s issues are in fact community issues. In light of that, the news about a new facility for women operated by the The Integrity House in Lincoln Park is really good news. There are a lot of women who know they need to get clean. And now there is another place for them to go.

UMDNJ Merger Protest

posted Jun 12, 2012, 8:34 PM by   [ updated Jun 12, 2012, 8:39 PM ]

Community leaders and labor union activists are holding a meeting against the proposed merger of UMDNJ at New Hope Baptist Church Wednesday night. Under the proposal, the UMDNJ system would be absorbed by Rutgers. Activists say the move could jeopardize healthcare in the city, since many residents rely on UMDNJ's charity care, as well as jobs. The UMDNJ system is $600 million in debt and not opposing the merger.

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