Mayor Bill de Blasio is remembering former Mayor David Dinkins.  De Blasio was an aide in the Dinkins Administration.

“I am feeling like a loss and an emptiness because he is gone but I also really feel his guidance still.”

Dinkins served one term after being elected as the city’s first black mayor in 1989.

“and he made things happen for this city that he’s really never gotten the credit for including putting us on the pathway to becoming a much safer city.”

New Jersey reported another 3,592 cases of coronavirus Monday, bringing the state’s cumulative total to 309,588 lab-confirmed infections since the pandemic began.

Another 11 New Jerseyans died from COVID-19 complications. There have now been 14,960 lab-confirmed fatalities and another 1,812 probable deaths connected to the virus.

Wikimedia Commons

The history of jazz in Greenwich Village is in danger of disappearing -- so many buildings important to jazz history have not gotten landmark status.

Twitter/GovAndrew Cuomo

 Coronavirus is becoming a serious problem for Staten Island.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the number of coronaviurs hospitalizations has skyrocketed in Staten Island over the last three weeks

“And the hospitals have contacted us and they say the need emergency beds on Staten Island and we are going to open an emergency COVID patient facility at South Beach on Staten Island."

It was inspired by Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and is set to ballet.

The dance film "WILD" is the work of Emmy-nominated choreographer Jeremy McQueen and his Black Iris Project. It tells the stories of Black and Brown young people in New York City who have grown up in juvenile detention centers in the Bronx.

Dr. Lewis Porter
Bill May for WBGO News

Jazz historian, pianist and retired Rutgers-Newark Professor of Music Dr. Lewis Porter plans to spend more time on his own music these days.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says it’s only a matter of time before there’s tighter restrictions and business closures in New York City.  

With coronavirus surging, the mayor is predicting in the next week or two the entire city will be in the orange zone.

“It’s not if, it’s when”

That means indoor dining will shut along with gyms and salons.

NJ Lawmakers Hear From Public on Weed Bill

Nov 19, 2020
Wikimedia Commons

The bill that will set the framework for the legal recreational marijuana industry in New Jersey advanced Thursday. A vote by the full Assembly is set for Monday.

But before the Assembly Appropriations Committee voted to release the bill for a full vote, members heard from the public, especially those looking to enter the industry.

New Jersey on Wednesday reported an additional 4,063 new COVID-19, cases bringing the cumulative total — since the first case was reported in March — to 289,563. Officials reported 27 additional deaths, raising the overall number of fatalities to 14,843. The number of probable deaths from the virus has risen to 1,812.

The Garden State’s positivity rate now stands at 10.88%, while the rate of transmission crept up to 1.43; for every 100 cases, the virus will spread to another 143 people.

On this month's edition of Newark Today, host Michael Hill is  joined by  Mayor Ras J. Baraka along with Director of Health and Community Wellness Dr. Mark Wade.

They discuss the the latest COVID-19 restrictions in New Jersey's largest city. 

New Jersey Children's Foundation

The first statewide poll of New Jersey parents this school year finds many families are struggling with remote learning particularly amongst low-income and minority families. 

Wikimedia Commons

As cases of Covid spike across the country, they have hit a record high in nursing homes.

The industry is urging Congress to pass a Covid relief bill focusing on nursing home residents and workers -- and urging all of us to do our part too, especially now.

School funding in New Jersey back at 1994 levels

Nov 17, 2020

State funding for New Jersey schools has not only failed to recover from the Great Recession of 2008, but has retreated to 1994 levels.


That is among a series of findings in a report released Tuesday by New Jersey Policy Perspective. In their second annual report examining the School Funding Reform Act, first implemented in 2008, the nonpartisan think tank said New Jersey still has yet to fully fund its school aid formula.


Roughly four in 10 Garden State residents say they would not take a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, according to a new survey.

The Rutgers-Eagleton poll released Tuesday found that between 36-47% of respondents vowed not to get vaccinated against the virus.

Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling, said the results mirror national trends that showed more backing for a vaccine earlier in the pandemic.

New Jersey reported another 2,232 cases of coronavirus Monday. The state saw 14,566 new infections in the past four days alone, Gov. Phil Murphy said.

Another 14 people died from coronavirus. All told there have been 14,779 lab-confirmed fatalities and another 1,801 probable deaths connected to COVID-19. 

Tighter restrictions on gatherings

Murphy announced via Twitter Monday that he is “retightening” restrictions on gatherings to slow what state officials have called the second wave of COVID-19.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is sticking with his plan to shut New York City schools if the coronavirus seven day infection rate average hits three percent.  Right now it’s slightly below that.   

The mayor was asked why he is not being flexible on the three percent city infection rate triggering a school shutdown given coronavirus is not a problem in schools and also following the governor’s comments that he would like schools to stay open.

When New Jersey voters opted to legalize recreational marijuana by a 2-to-1 margin last week, all that was left to do was set up the new marketplace.

But social justice advocates say they were dismayed by lawmakers’ first attempt at enabling legislation, which was pulled this week amid criticism.

“The bill that was introduced was an egregious, audacious, insidious white man money grab,” said Charles Boyer, director of the group Salvation and Social Justice and pastor of Bethel AME Church in Woodbury.

On The Rocks
Harlan Jacobson for WBGO News

You don’t have to go to the movies—or pull them up online—to get a sense of the generational discontent that drove the election this week. Our film critic, Harlan Jacobson, goes to the movies to read what’s been on the kid’s minds.

Ronald Rice, one of Newark's state senators, has written to New Jersey's top lawmakers urging a racial impact study on the legalization of marijuana.

He reminded them that the issue only went to a referendum because a majority in Trenton could not support it, and pointed out that he co-sponsored a bill to decriminalize weed three years ago that went nowhere.

He said there is more enthusiasm for legalization because of the money it will bring into the state.


When New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy instituted new restrictions to mitigate a further spike in COVID-19, bars and restaurants in the state were just starting to get used to operating indoor dining again with seating at just  25% of the dining room’s capacity. Murphy has kept the capacity limit in place, but has prohibited dine-in service between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and has prohibited bar seating.


Some establishments will be less hampered by the new restrictions.


Natalie Hinds and Lia Neal
Jerry Milani and Doug Doyle

Natalie Hinds and Lia Neal, two of the greatest swimmers in U.S. history, are competing for the Cali Condors in the International Swimming League (ISL) which is taking place in the "Budapest Bubble", the Dunn Arena in Hungary.  

The two African-American standouts join SportsJam host Doug Doyle from Hungary for this special edition of the podcast.  The video version of the show can be seen here.

Jerry Izenberg
Zoom/Doug Doyle

Newark native and legendary sports writer Jerry Izenberg is already in 16 Halls of Fame but he had never written a novel, until now.  

In a Zoom chat from his Henderson, Nevada home, Izenberg spoke to SportsJam host Doug Doyle about his new novel After The Fire: Love and Hate in the Ashes of 1967 (Admission Press) and share some treasured stories about growing up in Newark, watching the Newark Bears play baseball at Ruppert Stadium and the day he surprised Don King during a dispute with the legendary boxing promoter.

  Leaders of six northeastern states are holding an emergency coronavirus meeting this weekend.  

New York Governor Andrew believes the coronavirus situation will continue to deteriorate in the coming weeks because of the cold and holidays coming, so he’ll be meeting with leaders from five nearby states.

“We believe we’re going to have to take additional steps and to the extent we can share information and align action, we’ll do that.”

Jim Overmyer
Jim Overmyer

Jim Overmyer is a baseball history author who specializes in the Negro Leagues.  In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues, Overmyer is out with two new books this year.

In April of 2020, Overmyer released an updated version of Queen of the Negro Leagues: Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles.  Earlier this year he wrote Cum Posey of the Homestead Grays: A Biography of the Negro Leagues Owner and Hall of Famer.

New Jersey reported another 3,517 cases of coronavirus Thursday, for a cumulative total of 266,986 infections since the start of the pandemic.

Another 18 residents died from COVID-19. There have now been 14,694 lab-confirmed fatalities and another 1,801 probable deaths from the disease.

The state reported 1,827 hospitalizations as well as 360 people in intensive-care units, numbers not seen since early June.

There was a 12% positivity rate for coronavirus tests taken Sunday, and the state’s rate of transmission stood at 1.3.

Eyes Like Mine /

Krystle Allen, a Newark native, founded Eyes Like Mine Incorporated, a nonprofit organization established in March of 2014. The organization was founded with the help of Naquela Wright and Ihsaan R. Muhammad Esq., to introduce a unique pattern of advocacy for individuals who are vision impaired or blind. Their goal is to empower, enlighten, and innovate communities in New Jersey about vision loss and make resources available for people with vision loss.

Alexandra Hill / News


Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is sounding the alarm as cases in the city rise to levels not seen since the height of the pandemic back in April. Baraka is now defending his decision to implement even stricter COVID restrictions across New Jersey’s largest city.

Baraka says all non-essential businesses in Newark must now close at 8pm two hours earlier than the state’s 10pm shut down order. Baraka says he has received push back from business owners to elected officials but says for him its about saving lives.

With coronavirus data continuing to head in the wrong direction, Governor Andrew Cuomo is putting in restrictions for New York State.

The governor points to several problematic areas. So starting Friday, he’s mandating all indoor dining stop at 10 pm, licensed bars and gyms must close indoors at 10 p.m. and private home gatherings are limited to 10 people.

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation honored those who have served with a virtual ceremony.

Governor Phil Murphy spoke, and remembered two servicemen who gave their lives. “With a heavy heart we recall two New Jersey heroes who gave their final measure for our nation over the past year,” said Murphy. “Staff Sergeant Vincent P. Marketta and Sergeant First Class Michael Goble. To them and to you I say thank you.”


On November's edition of Ask Governor Murphy,  New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced a new statee initiative to provide assistance to small business owners who have been hurt by COVID-19.  

The Governor also gave his reaction to last Tuesday's Presidential Election and the vote-by-mail process in New Jersey.

Governor Murphy also took calls on the legalization of recreational marijuana and what are the next steps now that New Jersey voters approved the ballot question.

The show was hosted by WNYC's Nancy Solomon.