News

Carlos Rodriguez
Alexandra Hill for WBGO News

This coming Wednesday will be another opportunity for WBGO listeners to support their public radio station while helping others in need. 

WBGO is partnering with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey and Stop & Shop to help provide "family packs" of food for the hungry in the area. 

Carlos Rodriguez, President and CEO of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey chats with WBGO's Doug Doyle about the partnership and the hunger issue in New Jersey.

You will be able to help by calling 1-800-499-9246 or making a pledge at www.wbgo.org/support.

WBGO
Doug Doyle for WBGO

The second annual Believe in a Healthy Newark conference at NJIT is set for September 27th.

The initiative is led by leaders of Rutgers Newark , RWJ Barnabas, the United Way and others.

One of the organizers of the conference and chair of the steering committee is Dr. Denise Rogers who is with Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.

You can get the details of the conference by going to www.believeinahealthynewark.org.

Click above to hear the entire interview with Dr. Rogers and WBGO News Director Doug Doyle.

Days To Come
Mint Theater Company

Theater critic Michael Bourne was on Theatre Row again this week to review the revival of Days To Come.

The Mint Theater Company's Days To Come was the second play of Lillian Hellman, first performed in the 1930's.

Click above to hear Michael's review.

New York Stock Exchange
Scott Pringle for WBGO News

This month marks the 10 year anniversary of the start of the financial crisis and market crash.

It was September 15th, 2008 when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. The collapse of the big bank shattered the too big to fail theory setting off the start of a financial crisis and huge plunge of the stock market over the months to come.

Ultimately, the government bailed out the banks. September 29th, 2008. The Dow, Nasdaq and S@P 500 all dropped between roughly seven and nine percent.

Michael Carig who runs a brokerage firm recalls that day.

A bill awaiting action in the New Jersey legislature would require electric companies to request information from residential customers about whether any person living there would suffer a serious impairment to their health of safety it the power was cut off.

Senator Gerald Cardinale says he introduced the legislation in response to the death of a 68-year-old Newark woman in July. She relied on an electric-powered oxygen tank and JCP&L shut off her electric service because of an overdue bill.

This summer will be remembered as one of the hottest ever in New Jersey.

State climatologist Dave Robinson says this was the 5th warmest summer on record in Garden State.

“Our nighttime temperatures were more unusually warm than were our daytime temperatures, in part because it was so darn humid for much of the summer and the humidity helps to hold in the daytime heat during the night. It doesn’t allow that daytime heating to escape.”  

Phil Gregory / WBGO

The New Jersey Legislature is considering bills that could better prepare electric providers during future storms. The bills require the utility companies to better monitor threats to power lines and take steps to get the power back on sooner. 

Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee chairman Wayne DeAngelo says maintenance at aging switch yards and substations has been questionable during power outages.  

Political analysts expect many of the Congressional races in New Jersey will be tight and that Democrats could gain some seats in the November election.

Seven Democrats and five Republicans now represent New Jersey in Congress.

Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray says four GOP seats could flip to Democrats.

“We’re looking at a strong anti-Trump environment.  Trump is not popular across the state. Some of the Republican initiatives such as the tax plan are particularly unpopular in New Jersey.”

75 percent of New Jersey voters surveyed by Fairleigh Dickinson University believe the state should invest more in developing clean energy sources rather than fossil fuels and pipelines.

Tom Gilbert is the campaign director for the advocacy group ReThinkEnergy New Jersey. He says voters are sending a message that they want a change, with 58 percent saying the state is moving too slowing to adopt renewable energy.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is defending the state Education Department’s decision to hire a former Passaic City councilman who served prison time for taking bribes from undercover FBI agents.

The administration determined Marcellus Jackson was eligible for his $70,000 special assistant job after conducting a legal review.

Governor Murphy says people who admit they made a mistake, repent, and paid their price need to get back on their feet in society.

Governor Phil Murphy is announcing the first round of expanded funding for preschool programs in New Jersey.

Murphy says the $20.6 million for 31 school districts will increase or enhance pre-school programs for more than two thousand 3-and-4-year-olds in the Garden State.

“In some cases, improving or expanding means going from part day to full day or providing more services. In other cases, you’re going from not having it at all to a reality.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

The third edition of Ask Governor Murphy aired Monday night on WBGO in Newark, WHYY in Philadelphia and WNYC in New York City.

Ask Governor Murphy hosted by Nancy Solomon is a WBGO News production in collaboration with WNYC and WHYY.  Murphy discussed the latest developments with NJ Transit, college affordability, and other topics on the minds of Garden State residents.

The next edition of Ask Governor Murphy will air on Monday, November 19 at 7PM. Add to your calendar now:

New Jersey lawmakers are trying again on legislation to help increase the stock of affordable housing in the state.

They propose that towns use their housing trust funds to buy foreclosed residential properties and convert them into affordable housing for double credits toward their affordable housing obligations.

Staci Berger with the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey says it’s a creative solution.

A New Jersey lawmaker wants to ban smoking in more outdoor public places.

A law Governor Murphy signed this summer that imposes a statewide smoking ban at New Jersey beaches and parks will take effect in January.

A bill introduced by Senator Shirley Turner would expand the ban to boardwalks, marinas, historical sites, racetracks, amusement parks, and other outdoor recreational and sports facilities.

Pamela's First Musical
Two River Theater for WBGO

What a way to celebrate the 25th anniversary season at Two River Theater in Red Bank with world premiere of Pamela’s First Musical. There’s a combined total of more than 25 Tony Award nominations and 7 wins between the amazing cast and creative team. 

One of the stars of the show is three-time Tony nominee Carolee Carmello.  Carmello, who has appeared in 14 Broadway musicals, gets to sing and have fun in the role of  Aunt Louise.  WBGO News Director Doug Doyle spoke with Carmello about the show and her amazing Broadway career.

Heartbreak House
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews the off-Broadway production of George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House.

Click above to hear the review.

Harlan Jacobson
TIFF

The serious fun season of movies kicks off just after Labor Day with the Toronto International Film Festival that closes this weekend.

Now in its 43rd year, Toronto, or TIFF, as it’s known has become increasingly one of the most important sales and marketing conventions in the film industry.
 

With nearly 260 films, that’s pared down from as recently as two years ago when there were some 350—Toronto is the dominant festival in North America and quite possibly the world.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The John Lennon Educational Bus Tour was created by Brian Rothschild and Lennon’s life partner Yoko Ono. Rothschild says it’s a non-profit mobile recording studio that provides young people with free hands on opportunities to record.

New Jersey plans to use the state’s database to better predict where the next opioid overdose might happen. 

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal says the state already has a lot of data about the locations of overdoses and first responders’ use of the Narcan antidote to save lives.

“We are starting to take that information to identify overdose hotspots or to integrate that with pawn shop data to see where stolen goods are being sold and who’s selling them and to marry all that up to have profiles of our next potential overdose victim.”

The Partnership for Policy Integrity says energy companies in Pennsylvania are refusing to identify potentially harmful chemicals used for drilling and fracking.

New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel hopes the dangers of fracking waste will convince Governor Murphy to ban it in New Jersey.

“You can’t treat it because, one, you don’t even know what you’re treating. Two, the facilities in the Delaware Basin can’t take out all these different chemicals. So if you can’t treat it, then you have to ban it”

Governor Phil Murphy is advising New Jersey residents to prepare for the potential impact of Hurricane Florence.

Murphy says the remnants of Florence are expected to move into the area sometime between Saturday and Tuesday.

“If you look at the models that are predicting the track of this, we’re not going to get a direct hit. So it’ll be some about of rain and some amount of high winds and obviously you get concerned high tides as well mixing in that.”

The Governor says he’s hoping for the best, but the state is taking precautions.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s’ executive order that puts state owned lands off limits for this year’s bear hunt got mixed reviews at a meeting of the Fish and Game Council.

Janet Piszar is the founder of Public Trust Wildlife Management, a bear protection group.  She’s upset that Governor Murphy did not fulfill a campaign promise to completely ban the bear hunt.

“When does eliminating land for the bear hunt constitute a ban? Murphy has lost credibility.”

A new study finds millennials in New Jersey are not fleeing the state at a greater rate than young people in the past.

Cliff Zukin, a professor at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, says 18-to-39-year-olds are the most likely to move out of state, but only a small percentage of them leave. 

Karl Towns
Doug Doyle for WBGO

A big fundraiser for UNCF on Saturday, September 22nd at Brookdale Park in Bloomfield. It’s the first annual UNCF New Jersey 5K Walk/Run for Education in partnership with the KAT Team foundation.

Joining WBGO Journal host Doug Doyle in the studio was UNCF Development Director Ngozi Emenyeonu and Karl Towns, long-time educator and coach who runs the KAT Team Foundation.  Karl is the father of NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves who will be attending the event.

WTC Plaza
Bob Hennelly for WBGO News

It has been seventeen years since the September 11th attack and from all outward signs it appears that lower Manhattan, the physical place, has fully rebounded and that history has moved on. But thousands of 9-11 first responders and survivors are battling WTC related diseases in a daily struggle that all too often is fought in isolation. 

New Jersey Governor Murphy says there will be an average 9.3 percent reduction in health insurance rates next year for consumers who purchase coverage from the state’s individual marketplace.

Murphy says the reduction results from laws he signed in May. They implement a reinsurance program next year and make New Jersey the first state to continue the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to buy health insurance or pay a penalty after that requirement was repealed at the federal level last year.

One-and-a-half million dollars in criminal forfeiture funds are being used to equip New Jersey State Police with body cameras, and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal all road troopers should have them by the middle of next year.

Grewal says when law enforcement officers and citizens know their encounters are being recorded, they behave better. He says there are thousands, maybe even millions, of those interactions in the state each year.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Before the non-profit Sea Turtle Recovery hospital opened at the Turtle Back Zoo, there was no long-term care available for sick and injured sea turtles in New Jersey.  Bill Deerr and Brandi Biehl are the dynamic duo that run the operation.  

“All sea turtles in the world are either threatened or endangered.  That means there’s not many left and we have to do everything we can to save them,” Deerr said.

Taking a tour of the treatment facility with Deerr and Biehl, they talk about the rehab tanks and some of their current patients.

Hundreds of New Jersey residents rallied outside the Statehouse in Trenton urging lawmakers to pass a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license.

Johanna Calle, the director of New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, says it’s frustrating that the legislature has not acted on the measure.

Governor Phil Murphy and Democratic legislative leaders in New Jersey say one of their priorities this fall is enacting legislation that would boost the state’s $8.60 an hour minimum wage to $15.

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin says lawmakers are formulating a bill to do that but haven’t worked out all the specifics.

“We need to take a look at everything. There are differing views from all sorts of phases of the economy and segments of the population. We’re going to try to put together a bill that we know will pass.”

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