Ang Santos

Reporter

Ang Santos began his career in news journalism at WBGO in January 2014 as an intern. His love for telling stories about Newark's history landed him a position as a feature reporter. Before his time at WBGO, Ang was an overnight jock at Brookdale Public Radio on the Jersey Shore.

Since joining the news team, Ang prides himself on the ability to report on everything in any situation; hyperlocal stories, political conventions, major league sports teams, music. He's contributed reports to WHYY in Philadelphia and NPR news.

Outside of WBGO, Ang enjoys vegan cuisine with his loving girlfriend and tends to the needs of his many cats.

Ways to Connect

Ang Santos / WBGO

Charles Richman with the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency says the state is setting aside $1 million to provide counseling assistance to homeowners.

“That million dollars ought to carry us through 17 to 1,800 families,” Richman said.  “If you can get to mediation early, the amount of debt they may own is manageable.  If they wait for that whole process to cycle though, and it takes several years often, the debt is so high there’s no way to ameliorate it.  The key is the first 60 days.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey Transit needs around 290 train engineers on a daily basis to run the operation. Department of Transportation commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti says the state-run agency is short on engineers.

“This is an organization ran on human capitol. I can have all of the brand-new cars I want, but if I don’t have engineers, it does not matter.  The record is very clear.  There was very little done to recruit engineers and train them in a timely fashion.  We are trying to make up for that today.”

monmouthfilmfestival.org

The Monmouth Film Festival brings over 50 short and feature length films to Red Bank.  

“This is an experience. These are movies before they get onto Netflix or before they go to the Oscars,” said Nick Marchese, founder and president, Monmouth Film Festival.  “You get to talk to people.  I’m sure there’s times you go to a movie and say, ‘I wonder why they did that or maybe they should have done this.’  You get to talk to that filmmaker on the red carpet and basically break down the barriers between you and the storyteller.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

The Newark Department of Public Safety is upgrading its fire vehicle fleet, while also preparing for future winter storms.  Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says the new trucks are a cost-effective investment in the city’s public safety and public works departments.

“Three custom 110-foot aerial ladder trucks, seven hazmat fire vehicles, eleven sanitation dump trucks, and nine street sweepers.  The sanitation trucks are equipped with snow plows in the front of them, thank god,” Baraka said.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Ever ask Siri the answer to zero divided by zero?

"Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn't make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies, and you are sad that you have no friends."

Ang Santos / WBGO

  

Newark’s city run extreme weather shelter won’t close at least until the end of August, but Mayor Baraka is looking into other ways to support the homeless.

“Every month is not a rough weather event so don’t have justification for keeping the shelter open 365 days a year.  There are providers who can do that and will do that.  We will support them, so they continue to do that.”

Baraka is creating a city-wide commission to help the homeless.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The Wells Fargo Regional Foundation is giving a grant of $100,000 to a pair of Newark non-profit organizations that advocate for the Lincoln Park neighborhood in the city’s central ward.      

The community organizations will hold several meetings to hear how residents would like to use the grant. Anthony Smith of Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District expects an insightful response.

Phil Gregory / WBGO

Restructuring New Jersey’s school funding formula has been a longtime plan for Senate President Steve Sweeney.  His plan increases the total amount of state aid to schools, but also changes the amount of aid districts receive.  

“Trying to find a solution to end the unfairness going on in this state.  Actually, the injustice where you have two classes of kids; the haves and the have nots,” Sweeney said.

In 2016, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Newark Public Schools sent out a joint statement calling for additional testing, monitoring and remediation of Newark's water supply in schools after discovering levels of lead that exceed the allowable state and federal levels. The city says they are complying with recommendations to address lead in Newark's water. Two groups have filed a lawsuit against the city claiming enough hasn't been done.  

Percussionist Chief Baba Neil Clarke is performing on Sunday July 1 at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn as part of the International African Arts Festival, a celebration that kicks off Saturday June 30 and goes until the 4thof July.  

caunj.org

Community Access Unlimited provides support services for individuals with special needs.  Organization Assistant Executive Director Joanne Oppelt says the CAU Community Players program gives everyone involved a fun opportunity to work together.

Reg Burkett / Getty Images

Nearly 1,000 artifacts connected to the life of Count Basie life will eventually be available to view at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers Newark.


Ang Santos / WBGO

The Regional Plan Association (RPA) proposes a thirty to forty year long, $50 billion overhaul of Newark Airport.  The plan includes a third runway and a transportation hub connecting PATH train service.  

Incumbent democratic US Senator Bob Menendez is seeking a third term in office.  He’s a former mayor of Union City, turned congressman, now senator.  Menendez says he’s always fought for New Jersey families.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Toys R Us employees are getting ready to move on from their jobs, all stores are expected to close by June 30th. 33-year employee Cheryl Claude of South River, New Jersey has never worked anywhere else.

“I spent every holiday, leaving my kids home for the holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, everything to be at work and give my one-hundred percent to get nothing is incredible.”

Other Toys R Us workers like Shkeanah Best are left with concerns.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Of the hundreds of thousands of American student-athletes that hope to break into professional sports, about one-percent make a living out of it.  

“Out of all of the people in here, how many do you think will actually make it to the pros?” asked a student from West Side High School. 

New York Giants safety Michael Thomas told students it starts with a strong work ethic on the field and in the classroom.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New York City is ranked 9th on The Trust for Public Land annual ParkScore index.  They rate park systems based on access, size, investment, amenities.

“How many residents live within a ten-minute walk of a park, spending per resident, and a bunch of what we call amenities, basketball hoops, dog parks, playgrounds, recreation and senior centers, and splash pads,” said Adrian Benepe, Senior Vice President with The Trust For Public Land.

Jersey City fell 13 spots to 53rd.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey State Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal says check for ticks after being out in wooded areas.  Tick-borne illness is on the rise. 

“Ticks that transmit Lyme disease are active during the spring, summer, and the fall.  But May, June, and July are the peak seasons, the peak months rather for transmission of tick-borne illness,” said Elnahal.  “5,000 cases of Lyme disease were diagnosed in New Jersey last year.  The highest total since the year 2000.  Morris and Hunterdon County top the list in terms of the number of cases.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

The Carteret Ferry Terminal is part of a redevelopment project on the borough’s waterfront along the Arthur Kill Channel.  Mayor Dan Reiman says the terminals construction won’t be complete until 2022, but the ferry can start operating as soon as they acquire a boat with help from NJ Transit.

“We have an existing 1,200-foot pier.  In fact, last year, two years ago when we did the test runs we operated off of this existing pier.  The infrastructure in town is in place.”

Alexandra Hill / WBGO

Incumbent Ras Baraka wins a second term as the Mayor of NJ’s largest city in a near landslide victory beating out Central ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins. Baraka credited the progress his administration has made over the past 4 years, particularly when it comes to economic development.

Alexandra Hill / WBGO

The Student’s 2 Science Technology Center is outfitted with commercial grade STEM research instrumentation.  S2S President Paul Winslow hopes they’ll serve every age appropriate student in Newark schools.

“We will service every student in the district through the Virtual Laboratory Program from the 5th grade though the 12th grade,” said Winslow.  “With as many as eight to ten sessions per year.  Every two to three weeks, kids will be doing a hands-on experiment under out direction through the Virtual Laboratory Program.”

WBGO Theater Critic Michael Bourne looks back on his favorite musicals of the 2017-2018 Broadway Season and reveals some of his picks for the Outer Critics Circle Awards.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is planning to further expand the NYC Ferry service.  He says it has far exceeded annual ridership expectations.

“We thought the most we could possibly see with the existing lines was about 4.5 million riders a year.  Now we have a new projection.  In just a few years, that number will double to 9 million a year.”

De Blasio wants to invest $300 million in capital funding into NYC Ferry over the next five years.

Ang Santos / WBGO

  Mayor Baraka says nearly 78 percent of Newark residents are renters, and the most financially vulnerable of them would have no access to a lawyer, even for an illegal eviction.

“We’re going to start off immediately dealing with folks that are disabled, our seniors, and the undocumented immediately for the first year,” Baraka said.

Baraka is counting on the local non-profit and pro bono legal community to roll out the program. 

“McCarter & English and other law firms like that have said they are already interested in being a part of this.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

What could have once been a waiting room in the vacant St. Michaels Hospital building, will be a traditional glass blowing studio, known as a hotshop.

“This is 2,500 square feet of 23,000 square feet,” said GlassRoots CEO Barbara Heisler.  “GlassRoots has the chance to work in partnership with the city of Newark and others to be a catalyst for the development of the entire neighborhood.  Attracting other creative businesses, galleries, restaurants, small shops leading to redevelopment and economic growth through our creative economy.”

passaicfilms.com

The short film Passaic is a flashback to gritty times in northern New Jersey.  It’s centerpiece, two murders that resulted in what would be the longest murder trial in state history at the time.  There's still unanswered questions.  The case remains unsolved.  

“To this day people that are involved in the case know that the truth never came out,” said Michael Klausner, writer and producer of the film Passaic. 

Ang Santos / WBGO

St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson implemented a program in 2016 that researches and uses certain pain management methods, as an alternative to prescription opioids. 

“At a time where we have a national crisis, at a time where we have models some of which are here in New Jersey that we know work.  We should be funding those models and expanding those lessons learned,” New Jersey US Senator Cory Booker said. He’s calling for federal funding to create alternative pain management programs in hospital emergency departments nationwide.

Ang Santos / WBGO

A New Jersey Assemblywoman is introducing legislation to help bridge the gap between incarcerated parents and their children.  WBGO’s Ang Santos reports…

Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez says her bill specifically targets incarcerated women.  She says often times they struggled with abuse and financial instability before their convictions.

VINCEPARRILLO.COM

Near the Great Falls in the Historic District of Paterson, New Jersey sits the Essex and Phoenix Mills.  An industrial center of buildings that were once meant to harness the cascading water power, now transformed into an area where artists can live and create their work.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Shaquille O’Neal already has a high-rise apartment building working in downtown Newark.  The 7-foot 1 retired basketball star calls it ‘Shaq Tower.’

“In 1992, me and my mother were visiting some relatives and my mother said to me, ‘I remember when this city used to be beautiful.  Somebody needs to come by and invest in this city and make it beautiful again.’ She gave me an elbow to the chest like I’m that somebody.”

O’Neal announced he’ll financially back another apartment project at 777 McCarter Highway near 2 Gateway Center.

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