January 22, 2008
New Jersey's Senate Minority Leader wants the state Attorney General to investigate the arrest of former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan. Tom Kean, Jr. wants to know if Lonegan's first amendment rights were violated when a state trooper ordered his arrest outside Middle Township High School in Cape May County where Governor Jon Corzine was holding a town meeting.
Lonegan was taken into custody after he refused to remove signs from outside the school. Kean said "the right to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances is the foundation of U.S. democracy." He suggested that the Corzine administration was trying to intimidate opponents into silence.
The governor has been holding town hall meetings on his proposal to raise tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway as a means to bring down the state's debt and pay for infrastructure upgardes. But he has been criticized for requiring audience members to pre-register to attend. Here's what happened to the usually contentious Lonegan last week. - David Cruz
© 2008 WBGO
January 15, 2008
Residents of a Bronx building where hip hop was born say they have a plan to buy it so that they can keep it affordable. Tenants at the building on 1520 Sedgwick Avenue got word last year that the owners wanted to opt out of a state affordable housing program, which could mean big rent increases for them. They want to buy each apartment for a few thousand dollars each.
During the 1970s, DJ Kool Herc spun records at parties in the basement rec. room, ushering in the the hip-hop era. While a lot of today's hip hop annoys me, the stuff that came out of the Bronx in the late 70's and early 80's is forever ingrained in my mind (and soul.)
I was never at one of Herc's basement parties or any of those classic sets in abandoned buildings in the Bronx of the early 1980's. But I can remember my utter amazement at seeing break dancers and rappers for the first time in pre-Disney Times Square (circa 1980.) I'm sure I had no clue at the time that I was witnessing the birth of a nation.
Here's a clip of Herc from a European documentary on the birth of hip hop. Dig it. - David Cruz
© 2008 WBGO
January 8, 2008
It may be time to re-examine the French, y'all.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in Egypt today and the paps have been on his tail, not because he's the prez of France or because he's doing anything especially earth-shaking. Nowadays, the recently-separated Sarkozy, 52, is attracting attention for the company he's keeping, one lovely and talented former super-model and heiress Carla Bruni.
Bruni, 39, is not only quite beautiful (she's a super-model, for goodness sake.) but the Italian-born French citizen sings pretty good, too. She released an album in 2003 that was actually quite well received. So, I looked her up. Here's some of Carla Bruni on a Euro TV show. It ain't jazz but I could listen to this. - David Cruz
© 2008 WBGO