The following is the WeekenderNJ (WNJ) weekly news roundup, highlighting some vital stories from around the state and nation.
Good Morning Weekend Readers!!
EXCLUSIVE NEWS (WNJ)
Lawrence ‘Larry’ Hamm, one of the most respected community leaders and organizers in America announced his intention to run for the U.S. Senate for a second time in 2024 as a progressive Democrat. Hamm broke the news to WeekenderNJ earlier this week during a close up interview with Alie Pierce. You can read the entire interview here.
NEW JERSEY COVID19 UPDATE
As of yesterday afternoon
1,455 new positive PCR tests
74,256 total positive PCR tests
44 new positive antigen tests
24,556 total positive antigen tests
36 new confirmed deaths
22,963 total confirmed deaths
2,625 probable deaths
NJ VACCINE UPDATE
Administered over 7,000,000 COVID-19 doses
Surpassed over 3,000,000 fully vaccinated individuals
ACCEPTED AT SIX IVY LEAGUE SCHOOLS
Christopher Butcher, is a senior at Dwight Morrow HS Class of 2021,
the president of both the Black Student Union of Englewood and the NAACP Youth and College Division in Englewood. He is also one of the 2021 Princeton Prize recipients in race relations.
Englewood Mayor Wildes has been appointed to the New Jersey - Israel Commission by Governor Murphy.
Jonathan Michael of Springfield, NJ was indicted for tax evasion and not filing tax returns from 2014 through 2018.
CENSUS – NJ house representation will remain ast 12 per U.S. Census Bureau.
The new population data released on Monday, reapportioned congressional seats in a shift that could boost Republican chances of recapturing the House of Representatives from Democrats in next year's midterm elections.
ACLU - Announced this week that they are defending five people whose First Amendment rights are being violated by Hudson County officials, who are trying to silence opposition to the county jail's ICE contract.
One of the defendentants, Hector Oseguera, Esq., had this to say to County Executive Tom DeGise who somehow was under the impression that no one will notice the slight modification to the First Amendment in Hudson County.
ACLU also added that “our clients aren't putting up with this unconstitutional misuse of power. And neither are we.” You can read here more about this case.
NJ MVC - NJ Licences for All Residents
New Jersey became the 15th state in the nation to offer driver licenses to ALL residents, regardless of immigration status.
NJ ATTORNEY GENERAL GURBIR SINGH GREWAL
The office of the Attorney General is cracking down on businesses flouting COVID-19 public health measures. A Wildwood Bar by the name of Shamrock Beef and Ale (“Shamrock”), located on Pacific Avenue, had it’s liquor license suspended for the entire summer season after multiple violations. Read more here.
NJ LABOR DEPARTMENT 13 MONTHS OF ONGOING FAILURE TO SERVE NEW JERSEYANS
After a year of people struggling with their NJUI applications and collections (there have been hundred of thousand of people facing hurdles in collecting their unemployment in the last 13 months and counting.), this week there was another NJUI nightmare; people either found themselves with a $0.00 to claim, or receiving an error message stating that the NJUI benefits have expired, and if ‘they returned to work, they may be able to file a new claim,’ raising eyebrows on how the hell one who returned back to work may randomly apply for NJUI.
Under the American Rescue Plan, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and PEUC are extended through Sept. 4, which also includes the supplemental $300 weekly check to all claimants.
Meanwhile the NJ Labor Commission, Robert Asaro-Angelo continued to blame everything under the sun except taking responsibility for his continuing shortcomings and failures to handle his job.
Let’s talk about it:
Should Robert Asaro-Angelo remain employed as the NJ Labor Commission?
Would your job keep you employed if you can't perform your job duties?
How the hell is any of this possible?
Why is Asaro-Angelo still employed with a reported $141,000 salary in 2019?
Who is in charge of the NJUI IT?
Where are the NJUI employees?
Why is no one answering the phones at NJUI?
Why is no one answering emails from NJUI dating back to 13 months ago?
Are NJUI employees disabling accounts deliberately and intentionally?
Where is the accountability?
After 13 months of incompetent leadership, there is no excuse anymore for failing to pay New Jerseyans. People deserve better. They deserve a NJ Labor Commission public employee who is competent, transparent, serving the people, not whatever the hell this guy has been doing, or rather hasn't been doing.
WeekenderNJ has reached out to Governor Murphy's Deputy Press Secretary & Communications Strategist who put us in touch with a DOL employee, but have not recieved an answer at the time of this publication. We will continue to monitor this issue.
THE NEW YORK TAXI WORKERS - NYTWA, a 21,000-member strong union of NYC professional drivers, protested several days this week for debt forgiveness.
Graduate students at New York University go on strike
2,000 graduate students at New York University (NYU) began a strike on Monday, the eve of the finals period. The students organized under the Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC), which is affiliated with the United Auto Workers (UAW). The graduate students are demanding higher wages, better health care, and child care benefits. They also demand that the New York Police Department (NYPD) be removed from campus and that international and immigrant students receive better protection. You can view more in our 'This Week in Photos: NYC School-Walk-Out (4/26-5/2)' series by Julian Leshay.
Federal agents on Wednesday raided the Manhattan apartment of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Trump’s onetime personal lawyer, as part of a criminal investigation into his activities in Ukraine.
NYC mayor De Blasio says he expects a full, 100% reopening of New York City by July 1st. "We are ready," said the mayor, despite his authority to lift business restrictions being somewhat limited. He also introduced a free mental health for all New Yorkers.
Prosecutors charged three Georgia men with federal hate crimes and attempted kidnapping charges in connection with last year’s killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black jogger.
Let's talk about it
No federal murder charge?
Will they be sentenced to a life of service to Ahmaud’s family and community?
A FAMILY AFFAIR
WASHINGTON – Robert Evans, 33, of New York, N.Y., along with his ex-common-law wife and members of his family, including his parents participated in a $4 million extortion, fraud, and money laundering scheme. While the maximum sentence for interference with interstate commerce by extortion is twenty years in prison, the likely recommended sentence for Evans on that charge is 57 to 71 months in prison.
The Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan, who accepted his guilty plea, scheduled sentencing for September 30, 2021.
NORTH CAROLINA - Are you looking for a new job?
Apple will build a new $1 billion technology campus in Wake County, including establishing a campus in Research Triangle Park where it will create at least 3,000 high paying jobs with a starting salary of $187,000 a year. North Carolina approved $845M in economic incentives over 39 years.
Police shot and killed a Black man named Andrew Brown in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
The family attorneys say he had hands on the steering wheel, and was shot in the back of the head. Before the family and lawyers were allowed to view a 20 second edited footage of the shooting that killed Brown, the mayor of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, declared a state of emergency.
The family of Andrew Brown Jr. is demanding answers. Meanwhile, a judge in North Carolina declined to release police body camera footage showing last week’s fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.
FBI announces federal civil rights investigation.
Officials released footage of an officer fatally shooting Anthony Alvarez, 22 who had his back turned, after a foot chase in March. This comes just days after Chicago police fatally shot 13-year-old Adam Toledo with his hands up.
MINNESOTA – Kimberly Beer & her husband, Paul Gorder (a 30 year veteran of the MN Dept. of Corrections & Attorney Pete Orput's neighbors) called a group of peaceful demonstrators outside Orput's home 'f’ing n*ggers.'
The Minnesota Department of Correction tweeted a brief statement saying that ‘the employee is currently on investigatory leave.’
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has announced an investigation into the Louisville Metro Police Department after Breonna Taylor’s death.
This comes a week after the AG’s office announced a similar probe into the Minneapolis Police Department.
The law office of Sarah Schielke 'released' the video of a 73-year-old woman who was brutalized by cops for walking out of Wallmark without paying $13.88 worth in items due to dementia, as reported by WNJ on 4/18.
Video shows police officers laughing at footage of arrest in which they allegedly injured a 73-year-old woman with dementia.
Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan announced on Monday that he'll run for Ohio's open U.S. Senate seat in 2022.
There are now sufficient signatures to recall Gavin Newsom and trigger special election
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER J. KALANI ENGLISH (Democratic party) ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT FROM HAWAIʻI STATE SENATE due to “long-haul” Covid-19 effects
DHSgov has pushed the deadline for federal REAL ID air travel requirements back to May 3, 2023.
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
The Department of Homeland Security released a final report earlier this month pointing out that while DHS had authority to deploy federal law enforcement officers to protect ‘federal facilities in Portland,’ they lacked planning and execution.
This is one line that we had to read over and over again:
"Other officers said there were not enough less-lethal devices and munitions to respond effectively." (p.12)
Took up a landmark gun rights case this week, testing how far states may go in regulating whether an individual may carry a gun outside the home.
Mahanoy Area Schools District v. B.L. Oral Argument
After a 14-year-old girl didn't get the spots she wanted on her high school teams, she posted on Snapchat: "F*** school" and "f*** cheer."
Now, she's at the center of a Supreme Court case on whether schools can punish students for off-campus speech. You can hear the oral argument here.
Penneast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey
In ‘PennEast’ Case, SCOTUS Will Decide The Future Of PennState Pipeline Co. Development – PennEast Pipeline Co. obtained federal approval to build a pipeline through Pennsylvania and New Jersey and sued under the NGA to gain access to the properties along the pipeline route, of which the State of New Jersey owns 42. New Jersey sought dismissal of PennEast’s lawsuits for lack of jurisdiction based on the state’s sovereign immunity and, separately, because PennEast failed to satisfy the jurisdictional requirements of the NGA. You can view the proposed PenEast route on the map here.
Does the Natural Gas Act delegate the federal government’s eminent-domain power, and does it abrogate state sovereign immunity in such cases?
You can hear the argument here.
A Queens man by the name of Brendan Hunt took to social media two days after the insurrection posting a video saying, "kill your senators...slaughter them all."
Although Hunt was not in the U.S. Capitol on January 6, but got caught up in the FBI sweep following the insurrection, being arrested for allegedly making online threats against elected officials per court documents that showed he allegedly threatened House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Charles Schumer, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez under the online name "X-Ray Ultra."
Hunt an employee of the New York State Office of Court Administration.
Hundreds of immigrant workers and families from across the country mobilized in D.C. this weekend to demand ‘papers, not crumbs.’
The multiple organizations said that they were done with President Biden and Democratic’s party empty promises and demand permanent protection for all 11 million undocumented immigrants.
On Friday, April 30th the Secret Service Arrests 33 After Undocumented Immigrants & Allies who blocked the entrance to the White House. You can read here more about it.
President Biden signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment
The White House says the U.S. will restrict travel from India starting Tuesday, May 4, citing a devastating rise in COVID-19 cases in the country and potentially dangerous variants of the coronavirus. This will apply mostly to non-US Citizens.
THE AMERICAN ENDLESS WAR & TERROR ON OTHER NATION(S)
Two decades after George W. Bush's "war on terror" declaration, May 1 marks the official start to bring back home the remaining US troops from Afghanistan. Around 3,000 soldiers and some 7,000 NATO troops are also set to depart. However, there is also fear over the Taliban gaining ground after the departure of the troops from Afghanistan.
A day after the first set of judicial nominee confirmation hearings, the Biden administration sends out three more names per Tana Lin and Christine O’Hearn (of New Jersey). This brings Biden up to 14 judicial nominees so far.
'Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President': Harris, Pelosi make history at Biden speech.
“I can report to the nation, America is on the move again,” Biden said in his first address to Congress.
Biden called on Congress to invest in infrastructure, education, child care and science, calling them programs that “propel us into the future” and would allow the U.S. to win a competition with China.
Biden’s plans add up to more than $4 trillion in spending. Here is the full transcript.
One Republican rebuttal by Sen. Tim Scott made a lot of people wonder what parallel universe he and the GOP is on –
Under the American Families Plan, Biden proposed giving the IRS an extra $80 billion and more authority over the next 10 years to crack down on tax evasion by high-earners and big corporations.
Officials believe the crackdown could raise at least $700 billion over 10 years.
This would mean:
More agents; more technology; more tools to go after wealthy tax cheats.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission with NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) returned back to our home planet yesterday, Saturday, May 1, off the coast of Florida.
Michael Collins, one of the three crew members of Apollo 11, which was the first mission to the Moon in 1969, has died aged 90.
Collins stayed in lunar orbit as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon. His mission was just as important, bringing them back safely.
Astronaut Michael Collins,
Apollo 11 command module pilot
Australia suspended direct flights from India following a surge in COVID-19 cases in the world's second-most populous nation. The suspension will remain until May 15, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
North Koreasays Biden made a "big blunder" in his first address to Congress by characterizing the nation's nuclear arsenal as a foreign threat, and warns of “a very grave situation” in response to "hostile policy."
IN OTHER NEWS
Six years ago this week, Bernie Sanders announced his first run for President of the United States.
Boeing fired 65 workers for hateful words or actions and disciplined another 53 for racist, discriminatory and hateful conduct since Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun vowed “zero tolerance” in June.
The workers at New Yorker, Ars Technica and Pitchfork took to twitter yesterday to announce that ‘they have had enough of the bad-faith bargaining and the hypocrisy.” “We’re telling Condé Nast managers and David Remnick with a 98% strike authorization that we’re done with the lip service.”
Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy Public Schedule
May 1, 2021 - May 2, 2021