Newark police partner with company that allows them to access customers’ security cameras with permission
March 21, 2012
NEWARK — Mayor Cory Booker launched his police department into the information age today, announcing a series of technology upgrades for New Jersey’s largest police agency.
The Newark police department has installed dashboard cameras in 52 of its 400 cruisers.
The department has installed dashboard cameras in 52 city cruisers, and formed a partnership with a New York City security company that could allow detectives to view live feeds from security cameras at private businesses around the city, Booker and Police Director Samuel DeMaio said during a press conference this morning.
“We needed to go from the age of the Flinstones to the age of the Jetsons,” Booker said.
Paid for by more than $300,000 in federal grants, the long-ago promised dashboard cameras will be placed in patrol and traffic cruisers, where DeMaio says they will help protect citizens from possible officer misconduct and protect officers from frivolous Internal Affairs complaints.
Booker also announced the city’s partnership with SecureWatch24, a company that provides police with access to their customer’s security camera feeds, as long as the property owner agrees to let detectives watch. The network, which has 23,000 subscribers in New York City, currently has 20 customers in Newark but they are looking to expand, according to Jay Stuck, SecureWatch24’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Despite concerns about privacy, Stuck said the company meticulously tracks who accesses the video streams and when. Police are only allowed to tap into the cameras as a crime is being committed or during the course of an active investigation, Stuck said.
DeMaio also announced an online service that allows residents to report non-violent crimes via the department’s web site. Booker said the move will allow residents to file complaints and help the short-staffed department save “literally thousands” of man hours.
DeMaio applauded the cameras and a locator system that allows police leaders to track the location of department cruisers, saying he’s doing his best to make the state’s largest police agency more open to the public.
“One of the things we committed to back in May was making the Newark Police Department more transparent,” he said.
March 11, 2012
NEWARK — Newarkers looking for jobs have a new online tool that could prove decisive for thousands in the work-starved city.
Newark Jobs Connect, an online program that matches applicants with openings, kicked off in Newark with roughly 35,000 job openings for residents. But unlike other sites, the program, powered by Tweet My Jobs, matches positions with seekers based on their individual profiles, proximity and even their friends.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced the Jobs Connect online employment matching program in his State of the City address earlier this month.
Newark has been struggling with high unemployment for years, and while the rate declined slightly in 2011 it still hovers around 14 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Job creation starts locally,” said Tweet My Jobs CEO Robin Richards, adding that the tool will “help Newark citizens get back to work whether they’re in need of entry level jobs or seeking executive management positions.”
Applicants can go to the site www.Newark.TweetMyJobs.com, and enter the type of jobs they are seeking. They will be matched with companies from Citibank to Wendy’s looking for workers in the area, with the option to receive notifications instantly, daily, or weekly either through e-mail, social networks, or text message.
Newark Jobs Connect also features the option to scrub a user’s social media profile and see if they have friends or acquaintances already working in the industry, which, proponents said, boosts the applicant’s chances significantly.
“It uses your Facebook network, to figure who on your Facebook platform is working for the companies that are out there,” said Mayor Cory Booker who announced the program in his State of the City address. “That business will be accepting references from its own employees about friends of friends. It’s a very powerful platform.”
February 9, 2012
NEWARK — Elected officials, real estate developers and international investors will gather in the heart of downtown Newark today to break ground on the city’s most ambitious project since the Prudential Center, one Mayor Cory Booker says will transform the entire downtown.
A view of a section of the new Teachers Village development site under construction on Halsey Street in Newark.
Teachers Village is a nearly $150-million mixed-use development that will rise along four blocks of Halsey Street, between the Prudential Center and University Heights. Once completed, the site will have eight buildings, including three charter schools, a daycare center, more than 200 apartments for teachers and 70,000 square feet of street-level retail and restaurant space.
The project is largely being built through public financing, and funding for the first building — which includes two schools, a gymnasium and retail — closed last Friday.
“This is yet another game-changing project for the city of Newark,” Booker said, citing the Courtyard by Marriott hotel that is under construction downtown and Panasonic Corp., which will move its North American headquarters to the city next year. “And in a down economy like we’re experiencing globally, Newark is having its greatest economic development period in generations.”
The idea to incorporate teachers came after the developers realized many of the city’s current educators worked long hours and lived far away. By living closer, they would in turn would bring energy and ideas to the area, and possibly attract more business.
The project includes an unlikely cast of characters. Its lead developer, Ron Beit of New York-based RBH Group got his start in Newark nearly two decades ago managing a commercial building in the South Ward while he was in law school. Nicolas Berggruen, an early partner, is an investor with ventures in Europe and Asia and is known as the “homeless billionaire” because he lives in hotels. And world-renowned architect Richard Meier, who was born in Newark, created the project’s overall design.
• Newark ‘Teachers Village’ progresses as state clears way for financial incentive package
“This area has tremendous potential, and this is the first phase to catalyze that neighborhood,” Beit said earlier this week. “We have an opportunity to build a community here for the 21st century that will serve as an economic engine for the city for decades to come.”
Teachers Village was conceived seven years ago when Newark rose to the top of a list of places to invest in real estate. Beit and several New York colleagues were interested in the city for its development potential and proximity to New York. Since then, everything the group has done has been with an eye toward the vision of Teachers Village. What starts today is part of a master plan that will include 15 million square feet of office buildings, retail, residential units and a hotel spanning 12 blocks.
“We always had a big vision,” Beit said. “The vision certainly got a lot larger over time.”
The project was awarded nearly $40 million in Urban Transit Hub tax credits from the state Economic Development Authority and allocated $60 million in federal New Markets tax credits for the school portion. Other public financing came from the city of Newark, the state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, and federal Qualified School Construction Bonds, according to an EDA memo. Private financing came from Goldman Sachs, Prudential Financial Corp., TD Bank and New Jersey Community Capital, Beit said. In the early months of the recession, Beit said, Berggruen’s unwavering commitment to the project — Berggruen said he considers his investment “long-term” — brought everyone else together.
For Meier, who designed the Getty Center in Los Angeles, Teachers Village was as much a personal project as it was professional.
“I’ve always felt my roots were in Newark,” he said in an interview. “To be able to in some way contribute in an ongoing way to help to the city grow and change and prosper was important to me.”
The project extends for four blocks on both sides of Halsey Street and will rise primarily from surface parking lots, creating 500 construction and permanent jobs. The buildings range from 4 to 6 stories, with one renovated 9-story residential tower. The apartments will be pre-marketed to teachers and were designed with their salaries in mind, with rents ranging from $700 for a studio to $1,400 for two bedrooms.
One restaurant, Booker’s Diner — named not for the mayor but for educator Booker T. Washington — has already signed a lease, and Beit said a grocery store chain has also expressed interest. Retail is what will tie the buildings to the community and draw people to the neighborhood, Beit said.
“The single point we made when doing this master plan was we wanted as many people on the street, because that will ultimately be the success of this project and the long-term sustainability of it,” Beit said.
The first building is expected to open in May 2013 and the first residential units could open as soon as September 2013.
The Prudential Center and New Jersey Performing Arts Center have proven people will come to Newark after work and on weekends, and Christian Benedetto, a longtime real estate broker, said Teachers Village will breathe a “24/7 environment” into downtown.
“They have location, location, location, (and) they can draw tens of thousands of people from any side of their building,” Benedetto said. “It just further legitimizes the market.”
February 1, 2012
NEWARK — A controversial ordinance limiting the hours of late-night eateries in Newark has passed unanimously after months of debate.
The motion, floated early in the summer of 2011 by South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka, originally called for the late night pizza stores, bodegas and chicken shacks to hire armed guards during nighttime hours.
A bullet hole scars the wall by the front door to the Texas Fried Chicken and Pizza on Lyons Avenue in Newark, where off-duty Newark police officer William Johnson, 45, was killed in May.
Mayor Cory Booker vowed to veto that legislation but after months of back and forth, the council and administration struck a compromise that will call for the eateries, known in some areas for loitering and crime, to close at 10 p.m. On weekdays and midnight on weekends.
“We made a list of streets throughout the city that we thought were problematic,” Baraka said. “Each council member gave in a list.”
Now the affected eateries will have to prove to the city that they do not attract loiterers and are not locales for crime.
“A good way to prove it is to get the residents to say the store isn’t a problem,” Baraka said.
The Booker administration did not immediately comment on the bill.
January 18, 2012
Most school kids were off Monday, but not fifth-grader Izzy Silver and other students of Hartshorn Elementary School in Millburn.
For Silver, the holiday honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was about helping her community and thanking those who embody service face-to-face.
Well, sort of face-to-face — via Skype.
Art work on display at the school as students at Harshorn Elementary collected goods for Operation Shoebox that sends goods to troops overseas and had a Skype conversation with soldiers at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on Monday, January 16, 2012. Ed Murray/The Star-Ledger TO PURCHASE THIS PHOTO, CALL THE STAR-LEDGER PHOTO LIBRARY AT 973-392-1530
Across the state, New Jerseyans honored King’s legacy in various ways, from packing boxes of goods for military personnel overseas, to holding an interfaith service promoting nonviolence, to rolling up their sleeves and applying fresh coats of paint to school hallways in Newark.
About 100 youths who showed up at Newark’s West Side High School said they volunteered, rather than relax, on their day off, to honor the late civil rights champion.
“He (King) did a lot of great things for our nation, so I wanted to reflect what he did,” said Brittany Bone, 16, of Maplewood.
Newark held a networking and job fair to King at a local church where Mayor Cory Booker greeted job-seekers. The event drew an estimated 2,500 people and 21 businesses and agencies to Metropolitan Baptist Church. On Twitter, Booker used the hashtag “kindness” and asked people to tweet simple acts of kindness, which he retweeted to his 1.1 million online followers.
In Millburn, students packed 25 large boxes of donated goods such as woolen socks, toiletries and jerky to send to soldiers deployed overseas.
The district held classes on the holiday to make up for a snow day taken after the Halloween weekend snowstorm closed schools for five days.
To make the day a bit more fun, teachers and parents organized Operation Shoebox, said Principal Ronald Castaldo, whose niece is stationed in Afghanistan.
At the 11 a.m. school assembly, a half-dozen students asked pre-submitted questions to a group of soldiers, who are assigned to a bomb disposal squad based in Afghanistan.
In the unit, the Command Joint Task Force Paladin at Bagram Air Base, the reality of sacrifice stings from a recent loss. On Jan. 5, the unit lost three airmen killed when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Shir Ghazi in the Helmand province.
Sitting crisscross in the multipurpose room, students cheered and waved hand-colored American flags and signs reading “Thank You” and “U.S.A.” as Castaldo introduced his 28-year-old niece, U.S. Army Capt. Karen Berggren, and the soldiers joining her on screen.
“Hi Uncle Ronny,” Berggren said to Castaldo via Skype, sending the students into a wave of laughter.
Standing in front of an American flag at 8:30 p.m. local time, the soldiers took turns answering questions for the rapt students leaning towards the slightly pixelated display screen.
“What do you do in your free time?”
“Do the soldiers in the unit consider each other family?”
“Why did you join the military?”
Teacher Lynne Russo said the 30-minute video chat helped students, even kindergartners, better understand the idea of service.
“For them to see soldiers that they’ve been hearing about, to see their uniforms and faces, it’s important,” she said.
Silver, 10, said she didn’t mind not getting to sleep in Monday.
“I didn’t really care because we got to talk to the soldiers and it’s such an honor to talk to them,” she said.
The same spirit of gratitude and reflection were found elsewhere, too. The Princeton Clergy Association hosted its 26th annual interfaith service to honor King. About 100 people were expected at a sermon last night titled “Holistic Prophet of Nonviolence,” by Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Coalition for Peace Action and a part-time pastor in East Brunswick.
More than 2,000 volunteers spent the day painting murals and refurbishing various locations throughout New Jersey as part of the fourth Annual “Day of Service” organized by Jersey Cares, said the nonprofit agency’s senior director of external affairs, Sherry Fazio.
Star-Ledger staff writer James Queally contributed to this report.
January 11, 2012
NEWARK — A swarm of Essex County politicians, led by Newark Mayor Cory Booker, will host a community service Thursday night to discuss possible financial relief for struggling city residents at the New Hope Baptist Church.
Booker, the Newark Municipal Council and State Sens. Ronald Rice and Teresa Ruiz (both D-Essex) will meet with community leaders for the event, titled “Newark United,” on Jan. 12 at 7 p.m., according to Pastor Joseph Carter.
“The design of the event is to bring together civic government, clergy, business owners and community activists, as well as residents of the City of Newark for a time of sharing and at the same time, provide some sort of tangible relief to those struggling to make ends meet,” Carter said.
Anyone looking to attend should contact the church at (973) 622-4547, ext. 236.
January 5, 2012
Brick City Development Corp. — Newark’s economic development arm — has been certified as a Community Development Financial Institution by the U.S. Treasury Department, BCDC will announce today.
Newark’s Brick City Economic Development Corporation received a federal designation today that will allow it to apply for grant money to help local nonprofits and entrepreneurs. In this file photo, houses are under construction in a Newark neighborhood.
The designation will serve as a credential and allow BCDC to apply for federal grant money that can be used for small business and community development lending, said the organization’s CEO, Lyneir Richardson.
“It really legitimizes our efforts to provide loans to Newark businesses and entrepreneurs,” Richardson said.
“We now have access to additional resources,” he added. “We will continue to provide good loans and seek good entrepreneurs and businesses in Newark that need loans, but this will help us do more.”
The federal program invests in various organizations that are focused on community development in economically distressed communities, according to a news release. The federal fund was created in 1994 and has awarded more than $1.4 billion to CDFI groups.
BCDC was founded five years ago and has provided more than $13 million in loans and financial support to a variety of businesses and projects in Newark, Richardson said.
December 21, 2011
NEWARK — Dipping a wooden spoon into a multi-colored mound of cherries, raisins and nuts, Neil Criste-Troutman is preparing to bake an organic fruitcake that redefines the divisive holiday dessert.
Retired piano teacher and voice coach Neil Criste-Troutman, who quickly concedes that “the store-bought stuff is horrible,” shows how a true fruitcake should be made as he prepares some using his mom’s handwritten recipe. He’s been making them for more than two decades.
For two decades, the Newark native has been cooking up cakes as gifts for skeptics, creating big batches from scratch that sometimes tally 150 pounds. He hopes his confections counter clichés of old loaves laden with mummified sweets.
“The store-bought stuff is horrible,” says Criste-Troutman, 66, a retired
For two decades, the Newark native has been cooking up cakes as gifts for skeptics, creating big batches from scratch that sometimes tally 150 pounds. He hopes his confections counter clichés of old loaves laden with mummified sweets.
“The store-bought stuff is horrible,” says Criste-Troutman, 66, a retired piano teacher and voice coach wearing a novelty apron that reads, “Sophisticated, seductive, complex and full bodied. (… And the wine’s not bad either).”
Criste-Troutman adds, “If people knew what real fruitcake tastes like, they’d be more interested in eating it. It’s good that I only make it once a year because otherwise, I’d be eating it all the time, and it is not a light food.”
Criste-Troutman’s life partner, Bob, once frowned upon fruitcake. His whole perspective shifted after he met Neil in 1981 and sampled a sliver. Now, Bob helps craft cakes, drizzling brandy and rum on loaves that soak in linen for weeks before the holiday.
“The cakes I remembered from childhood didn’t taste good,” says Bob, 60, an Episcopal priest. “You’ll have that story about people who don’t like fruitcake, so they’ll send it to their cousin and it just gets passed around.
In the past, I would have been one of those people.”
Fruitcake was once a staple, not only during the holidays but also for weddings. The high-density dessert devolved into a perennial punch line during the mid-20th century as fast food eclipsed home cooking and mass manufacturing yielded leaden desserts that could double as doorstops in metallic packaging. Diet culture also contributed to fruitcake’s decline.
“Tastes have changed,” says culinary historian Liz Driver, curator of the Campbell House Museum in Toronto. “Fruitcake comes to North America through the British influence. It was part of a broader medieval European tradition. Fruitcake used to be a part of those big, multi-course, 19th-century meals. It would go with a glass of port or sherry. We don’t eat like that anymore.”
A notable piece of fruitcake, baked in 1886, is on display in Caldwell at the Grover Cleveland Birthplace. He got married at the White House back when fruitcake was a wedding favorite. In Canada, the dessert continues to be served after couples exchange vows, and guests put clumps under their pillows for good luck.
“People used to eat fruitcake year-round, but during special occasions like Christmas and weddings, they aimed to shove in the most possible dried fruit and nuts,” Driver says. “The ideal is all fruit and almost no flour. If you look in 19th-century British cookbooks, you will see tiered wedding fruitcakes. It’s a feat of engineering to support the heaviness of those layers.”
The Criste-Troutman fruitcake cake was a yuletide hit at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Washington, where Bob led Sunday services.
“The flavors meld together in an appealing way,” says Pam Goodwin, 60, a parishioner from Washington. “Getting a fruitcake from Neil is a gift of love because of the effort he puts into it. Fruitcake can be a Christmas joke but this is no joke.”
JoAnn Risko, senior warden at St. Peter’s, says that she had been accustomed to dry fruitcake, slices so bereft of moisture that they couldn’t be swallowed without a swig of coffee or milk.
“Neil has a gift,” says Risko, 67, of Washington. “He makes so many kinds of fruitcake. There was one with peach that was out of this world. Usually, the fruit in fruitcake is hard. Neil’s cakes actually taste like real fruit.”
Neil’s fruitcake recipes date back to the Great Depression, when folks who were short on sugar, eggs and butter made substitutions. Some mixed in molasses, applesauce and pork fat for richness. “Depression cake” gave way to “war cake” during the 1940s as the nonperishable holiday loaves were shipped to troops overseas.
“One of my earliest memories is eating fruitcake at Christmas,” says Neil, who moved in October from New Jersey to Mount Pocono, Pa., where Bob is the priest at the Trinity Episcopal Church.
Neil adds, “My grammy made German fruitcake that had citron but it didn’t have the candied fruit that swims in that sticky stuff. I remember coming home from school and cracking nuts with my parents for the fruitcake. My pop did a range of silly songs. Some were in German. He’d sing ‘Home on the Range’ but change the lyrics, ‘Oh, give me a home that’s a mess …’ ”
Neil grew up sheltered from fruitcake scorn.
“I never knew anyone who didn’t like it until I got to college,” he says. “My mom would send fruitcake and nobody wanted to try it. If they did try it, they’d insist, ‘That’s not fruitcake.’ ”
Traditionally, Neil starts fusing fruit and flour during the last week of September. But this year he has been unable to bake en masse because of illness. He prepped a few loaves last week for a holiday meal that he and Bob are hosting at home.
“I’m constantly on the go but now; every day I need a nap,” says Neil, who learned he had recurrent cancer during the summer. “That’s how my kids know I’m sick.”
Supermarket fruitcake is not an option for the Criste-Troutman family, which includes seven children – three adopted and four from previous marriages – as well as nine grandchildren and two great-grandkids.
The two met at an ecclesiastical store in Philly run by the Lutheran Church of America. Early on, Neil told Bob about his fruitcake fervor.
“I said, ‘Oh, that’s nice, good, enjoy,’ ” Bob says.
Now he’s become a fruitcake aficionado, and when he sees loaves on store shelves, “I roll my eyes and keep walking,” Bob says.
December 15, 2011
NEWARK — It didn’t seem to matter that the plane ended up having to taxi all the way to Santa’s Workshop.
United Airlines Flight 1859 from Newark to the “North Pole” never got off the ground as planned, but the 39 children touched by serious illness and on board the Boeing 767-400 Wednesday for a “Christmas Fantasy Flight” had a voyage they won’t soon forget. At least not judging from their smiles, hand-clapping, dancing and just plain jumping for joy, as United employees volunteering for the event donned elf costumes and a Santa suit and passed out presents, served ice cream and did whatever else they could to spread some healing holiday cheer.
Kayla Foster, 3, of Union, hugs Santa during a United Airlines charity flight to the North Pole, held at Newark Liberty Airport.
“It’s all about the smiles,” Jennifer Eidelbach, a United flight attendant in clown garb with monstrous size 26 sneakers, said as she greeted passengers. “It’s a fabulous thing.”
The plane was supposed to spend an hour or so in the air as the kids ate snacks and watched a live magic show. It would then land at a Newark Liberty Terminal C gate area was transformed into a polar fantasyland with a towering lighted Christmas tree, red and green curtains and a snowy landscape scene. But the flight was scrubbed when a cockpit display malfunction could not be repaired quickly enough, said Rashaan Johnson, a spokesman for United Continental Holdings, the parent company of the merged airlines
So instead, after about an hour on the tarmac with “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and other Christmas classics piped into the cabin, the plane simply taxied over to the North Pole. On the way, pilot Mike Bowers gunned the engines to simulate takeoff, then eased up on the throttle and executed a textbook fantasy landing.
“I hope you enjoyed your short flight to the North Pole,” Bowers announced to the young passengers, who cheered and applauded. “It’s a rather cold 15 degrees, and I understand there is a 100 percent chance of reindeer.”
The children and a parent or guardian were invited on the flight by social workers at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and University Hospital in Newark, where most of the kids had recently been treated or are undergoing treatment for a wide range of illnesses.
“I’m gonna’ get a Barbie house!” said Melissa Benitez, 5, of Newark, who had suffered a kidney infection but Wednesday was dancing to salsa music with five of Santa’s elves.
In some cases, the passengers were siblings of children who were either too ill to fly or had not survived their illness.
Eric Rollins Jr., a 2-year-old Newark resident, occupied the aisle seat next to his mother, Fontaine Rabb.
“I want to go there!” Eric repeated, pointing around the cabin excitedly.
Eric’s sister, Assatta Rollins, a 9-year-old third-grader, died of a brain tumor in October, nine months after being diagnosed.
“He’s always saying, ‘I want to go see Assatta,’ ” said Rabb, who hasn’t yet explained to the toddler what happened to his big sister.
Seated in the next row were Francelys Meola and her 4-year-old daughter, Sophia, whose hair was thin from the chemotherapy she has received since being diagnosed with leukemia last spring.
“This is pretty amazing,” said Meola, 23, of Elizabeth. “It’s a unique experience. A lot of the children are happy.”
Sophia, who has two years of chemotherapy ahead of her, was a ball of energy and precocious chatter.
“I love Santa. He’s my favorite guy,” she said before unwrapping an Easy Bake Ultimate Oven she got from the man in red velvet. “I’m gonna make everything you could bite!”
Eric’s mom said the sight of Sophia enjoying herself was bittersweet.
“When I saw her, I thought of my own daughter,” she said.
But Rabb’s sadness melted away like October’s early snowfall as Eric’s attention was captured by Jeff Grossman’s sleight of hand. Grossman, known as Jeff the Magic Man, is professional magician whose sister, Debbie Wall, is a United human resources manager who helped organize the fantasy flight.
“It feels good from the heart,” Grossman said of Wednesday’s performance.
Even the mandatory pre-flight safety instructions were turned into something fun. United flight attendant Virginia Orosz read a special version, a la Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem “The Night Before Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas to all,” she said, “and to all a good flight!”
December 12, 2011
It’s the holiday season and three young elected officials from three different counties are getting ready to rumble.
Participants can go to the contest’s Facebook page and upload pictures of their holiday decorated homes for a chance to win $3000 towards their local library system.
Councilman Steven Fulop of Jersey City, Councilman Anibal Ramos of Newark, and Mayor Janel Holley of Roselle, are using social media to create a competition to help benefit struggling public libraries.
“Personally, this is a new thing for us leveraging social media for pure charity so hopefully we can get people engaged,” Said Councilman Fulop.
“The great thing about social media is that it is still evolving and we are learning different ways to use it and interact with residents. This type of competition is definitely a first,” added Councilman Ramos of Newark.
The long time friends have created a Facebook page in which each city can upload photos of holiday decorated residences. Each municipal leader has agreed to donate $1,000 to the library system of the city who has uploaded the most pictures. In addition to the $3,000 grand prize, the officials are also offering a holiday gift basket valued at $500 to the individual picture with the most amount of “likes.”
“It is a great time for a positive and friendly competition that will engage these communities in the holiday spirit to help their libraries” said Fulop in regards to the tough budget situation of each of the city’s library systems.
The Jersey City councilman is confident in taking on the challenge, “We are neck and neck with Newark in size but I think it has less to do with size and more to do with spirit.”
When asked about Roselle’s own disadvantages, Mayor Holley replied, “We may not be as big as Newark and Jersey City but we are the little engine that could and we fully intend on winning this.”
Residents from each city can upload photos to the “HOME Decoration Smackdown: Jersey City vs. Newark vs. Roselle” Facebook page from now until December 23rd at noon.