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NEWARK PUBLIC SAFETY DIRECTOR BLASTS “REVOLVING DOOR” SYSTEM

NEWARK - A 17-year-old juvenile who was arrested on gun charges then twice violated the terms of his electronic monitoring program, led police to the recovery of two handguns at the same house where he was originally arrested.


“The revolving door of the juvenile system is putting the public and the police at risk,” said Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose. “The age of the offender must be considered, of course, but so should their patterns of criminal behavior. When is enough enough? The citizens of Newark deserve better.”


The juvenile, who turns 18 in a few months, was originally arrested on May 30 outside a home on South 19thth Street near Avon Avenue. In that incident, the juvenile was in the back seat of a late model Lincoln sedan when police approached the vehicle due to an emanating smell of marijuana.


While police were checking the vehicle, the juvenile’s hands went to his waistband. Police moved quickly to control his hands and found a gun tucked in his pants. The juvenile was arrested and charged with several weapons offenses, but was released with an electronic monitor bracelet.


The juvenile apparently cut off the bracelet and a warrant was issued for him on June 10 for the monitoring violation. He was arrested on July 16 on the warrant, and was released the next day with a new monitoring bracelet and ordered to stay away from the South 19th Street house.


Within hours, the juvenile was back at the house, where police found two guns as they detained him for his new monitoring violation. He was released again by the Essex County juvenile courts.

NEW MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE NOW IN EFFECT

TRENTON - Effective July 1, 2019, New Jersey’s minimum wage has increased from $8.85 per hour to $10 per hour.


“Today marks a monumental step on our path to a stronger and fairer New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “Our economy grows when everyone can participate in it - every hardworking New Jerseyan deserves a fair wage that allow them to put food on the table and gas in their car. Together, we are making New Jersey more affordable and giving over a million New Jerseyans a pathway to the middle class.”


Under the law Governor Murphy signed in February, after this increase, the statewide minimum wage will continue to increase by $1 per hour every January 1st until it reaches $15 per hour on January 1, 2024. 


For seasonal workers and employees at small businesses with five or fewer workers, the base minimum wage will reach $15 per hour by January 1, 2026. By January 1, 2028, workers in these groups will receive the minimum wage inclusive of inflation adjustments that take place from 2024 to 2028, equalizing the minimum wage with the main cohort of New Jersey workers.


For agricultural workers, the base minimum wage will increase to $12.50 per hour by January 1, 2024. No later than March 31, 2024, the New Jersey Labor Commissioner and Secretary of Agriculture will jointly decide whether to recommend that the minimum wage for agricultural workers increase to $15 per hour by January 1, 2027, as specified in the bill. If they cannot come to an agreement, a third member, appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, will break the tie. If there is a recommendation to disapprove of the scheduled increases or suggest an alternative pathway, the Legislature will have the ability to implement that recommendation by passage of a concurrent resolution.


“Today’s minimum wage increase to $10 per hour gives low-wage families firmer ground on which to stand and moves us closer to Governor Murphy’s vision of a stronger, fairer economy. The law’s multi-year phase-in to $15 per hour gives the state’s businesses the time they need to adjust to the higher wage requirements,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.


"The fight for a living wage takes a step in the right direction today, when New Jersey's minimum wage will be raised to $10,” said Sue Altman, CEO of Working Families. “This is a long-fought victory by labor, grassroots activists, and advocates, and we commend Governor Murphy and legislative leadership for taking action. With every raise in the wage toward our fight for $15, we secure greater economic justice for working people across New Jersey, who can now support their families by covering the basics and buying goods and services from New Jersey businesses."


“New Jersey small business owners understand what’s good for their employees and businesses, and that starts by putting New Jersey workers on the road to be paid a livable wage,” said Raj Bath, Business Representative for the New Jersey Main Street Alliance. “Paying workers a decent livable wage means they will play a vital part in the local economy which is a win-win for Main Street. New Jersey will have a thriving economic future as long as we continue to invest in our middle-class workers and our Main Street.” 


“As SEIU’s flagship campaign, 32BJ SEIU worked tirelessly for years to see the minimum wage in New Jersey begin its rise to $15.00,” said Kevin Brown, SEIU 32BJ Vice President and New Jersey District Director. “Today our uphill battle finally pays off as the lowest paid people in our community earning $8.85/hour take home $10.00/hour instead. This is a real and meaningful change for the lives of over one million working families who will benefit from the long-lasting economic impacts of this legislation. Our union sisters and brothers rallied, canvassed and fought to raise the bar for the entire state because we know that a rising tide lifts all boats, and it starts from the bottom. We thank Governor Murphy, the legislature, and the support of labor allies behind us. We will celebrate again when the minimum wage increases to $11.00 on January 1, 2020, and 32BJ will continue to lead in the fight for working people, immigrants and people of color who deserve better.”

PROLIFIC FILM AND LITERARY CRITIC KAM WILLIAMS DIES

PRINCETON - It is with great sadness that “Local Talk” says goodbye to one of our closest friends, who kept our readers informed and entertained for years.


Over the past two decades, film and literary critic Kam Williams published nearly ten thousand articles and reviews.


Throughout his nearly 22-year career as a writer, he was most known for his film reviews and celebrity interviews for websites such as RottenTomatoes.com and over 100 publications around the world, ranging from local papers like Princeton, NJ’s Town Topics to international news chain Metro.


A prolific journalist, he also wrote countless book reviews, editorials and a novel that will be published posthumously later this year.


Mr. Williams, who was a resident of Princeton, NJ, died Thursday, May 30 from prostate cancer. He was 66 years old.


Born Lloyd Joseph Williams in New York City and raised in St. Albans, Queens, Mr. Williams was commonly referred to as “Kam,” a nickname short for “Kamau,” a name given to him while he was a student at Brown University, by famed Jazz musician Sun Ra.


Mr. Williams’ path to a career in writing was circuitous. He was a graduate of Brooklyn Tech High School in New York City and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Black Literature in 1974. While receiving his Master’s in English from Brown University in 1975, he first attempted a career in screenwriting at Chicago’s WTTW, a PBS affiliate TV station. 


However, Mr. Williams, had a diverse set of interests and diverted his attention from writing for business and entertainment law, receiving his J.D. from Boston University in 1978 (along with Bar membership in MA, PA, CT, NY and NJ) followed by an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1980.


Mr. Williams’ first wife, the late Kristina Barbara Johnson (who had previously been married to sculptor J. Seward Johnson II, the grandson of Johnson & Johnson Co-Founder Robert Wood Johnson I) introduced him to art dealing and the antique business in which he subsequently deployed his corporate and legal knowledge for over a decade.


Mr. Williams had a colorful personality and a commanding presence, according to friends and family. He was a tall African American man with freckles and wore his bright-red hair in a large Afro hairstyle that was immediately noticeable in a crowd.


His diverse life experiences and base of knowledge (he was a polymath who read a book a week) made him a compelling conversationalist and lead to a brief but recurring guest appearance on the radio show, The Howard Stern Show


It was that experience that later sparked his career in journalism when a family friend and writer at the Princeton Packet, a local newspaper in his hometown Princeton, NJ, recommended Mr. Williams write a film review of Howard Stern’s 1997 biographical film “Private Parts.”


Mr. Williams’ intense work ethic and glowing journalistic reputation lead to extensive work interviewing celebrities associated with upcoming film and book releases, including Quentin Tarantino, Denzel Washington, Mel Brooks, Russell Simmons, LeBron James and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, among many others.


Mr. Williams was also a staunch supporter of civil rights-related causes, publishing countless Op-Eds on the topic and later joined the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee.


Outside of his writing career, he had a deep passion for music and boasted a large collection of albums. He enjoyed long daily walks in nature, was an avid sports fan and a passionate Little League baseball coach. He was also an enthusiastic participant in weekly trivia nights with a large group of friends at a local bar in Princeton, NJ.


“He was one of the first people who gave me the motivation to write my own novel,” said "Local Talk" Content Editor Kristopher Seals. “Anytime you needed advice, he was always happy to give it to you. Rest in Power, Kam.”


He is survived by many friends, four siblings (Lawrence, Daryl, Teresa and Rod) and his 2nd wife of 25 years, Susan, and stepson, Nicholas.


A memorial service will be held at the Princeton Garden Theater on June 29.

NINE LOCAL NAMES ON SCOUTS' "PERVERSION LIST"

By Walter Elliott


NEWARK - Various legal firms in and around the "Local Talk News" area have been posting names and details of the contents of Scouting's Ineligible Volunteer File's "Perversion File" folder since their April 23 release.


Attorneys Jeff Anderson and Greg Gianforcaro, for example, came from their respective Minneapolis and Phillipsburg practices to hold a press conference here at the Courtyard by Marriott downtown to reveal some of the 7,819 scout leaders' names nationwide who are in Scouting's IV Perversion File.


Those Cub Pack, Scout Troop and/or Explorer Post leaders, according to the file's contents, sexually abused 12,254 children nationwide 1944-2016.


Those 7,819 leaders - whom Scouting revoked registration or refused renewal - included 52 leaders from 68 packs, troops, posts and/or district offices among 53 New Jersey towns.


Nine of those leaders served 11 packs, troops or posts in East Orange, Maplewood, Newark and/or Nutley.


Reading the file's documents, correspondence and newspaper clippings may trigger a reader's recollections - which is the reason for Anderson and Gianforcaro's Tuesday conference.


They and other legal firms who have posted the material on their websites are looking for other victims of other Scouting leaders - on or not on the list - to come forward.


The lawyers said they were aware of Scouting's list since 2012.


The Boy Scouts of America, founded Feb. 8, 1910, has kept an internal IV list since 1920. That list included the name of those people who were accused and/or convicted of financial, leadership, criminal, theft, moral and/or perversion offenses.


The BSA kept that list while headquartered in East Brunswick and in its present Irving, Texas, location. A federal court order has prompted its release.


The file's release and attorneys' posting comes after the state relaxed a statute of limitation on reporting sexual assault or abuse in March. The amendment, which Gov. Phil Murphy signed, allows sex crime victims to sue individuals and/or institutions in civil court until either they reached 55 years old or up to seven years after "making a discovery" linking the abuse to emotional or psychological injury.


The file's publication may be similar to the Feb. 19 release by various Roman Catholic dioceses and archdioceses in method and objective. Both institutions are declaring "Here's who we have on file - and they will never harm anyone again."


"We believe victims, we support them and we have paid for unlimited counseling by a provider of their choice," said Scouting in an April 22 apology letter. "Nothing's more important that the safety and protection of children in Scouting. We're outraged that there have been times where individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children."


The attorneys' April 23 response: Scouting has not done enough.


"The minimize, they deny and sometimes they blame others," said Anderson in the late lunch hour conference. "Our hope is that kids are protected better, that survivors are given a voice and that those who are responsible are held accountable for their actions."


Survivor advocates Mark Crawford and Janet Warren flanked Anderson and Gianforcaro that Tuesday afternoon. Crawford talked about his abuse while growing up in Bayonne. Warren, who was victimized in Brooklyn, testified for Anderson's client about abuse in a Minneapolis theater.


Anderson told "Local Talk" that there may be more victims from adjacent towns, given that Scouting has loosened its "hometown" pack, troop and post membership requirement. Some of the said groups, over the years, may have moved, merged or disbanded.


The pack, troop and post's sponsors were advised of the allegations, suspensions and/or convictions somewhere in the reporting process. Some sponsors include churches who also hosted meetings and activities.


The following accounts are from Scouting's files. "Local Talk" knows of one named abuser having died in 2000 but not the status of the other local eight. Nor does "Local Talk" know if all of the file's cases were brought to trial.


The deceased name belongs to Fr. Richard M. Galdon, whose Funeral Mass was held July 2, 2000 in Bayonne's St. Vincent de Paul Church. He died while at a church-approved Jemez Springs, N.M. treatment facility.


Galdon was ordained here in 1959 and served our Lady of Good Counsel for 27 years before resigning in 1986. He resigned to start serving a 25-year prison term in the state's Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel Oct. 28, 1987.


Galdon, on March 4, 1987, plead guilty to sexual assault of one boy and sexual contact of two others. He confessed that he engaged in relations while playing strip card games or while watching television 1980-83.


The ex-priest also confessed to having assaulted children for 17 years. Ten of those years was while as chaplain for Troops 18 and 35. The Essex County Prosecutor's Office dropped 12 other charges he was indicted on in exchange for the plea.


A contemporary newspaper report said that Galdon was a friend of Arnold Edward Codispoti.


Codispoti, 45, was a 19-year Essex County Police sergeant who was also scoutmaster for Cedar Grove Troop 65, adviser for Newark's Essex County Government Services Explorer Post 654 and was on the BSA Essex Council's Executive Board in Orange or Newark. The Vietnam War veteran was once named "Policeman of the Year" for his Scouting work, including running the Essex Council's Order of the Arrow program.


Codispoti was arrested in the county police headquarters and held on $1 million bail Dec. 20, 1984. A county grand jury indicted him on 45 counts of sexual assault and child endangerment. He pleaded guilty to 29 of those counts for a 25 year sentence in Avenel in February 1986.


Codispoti confessed to abusing eight different boys, 11-to-15-years-old, 1981-83. He would take them to his home in Cedar Grove, the Essex County Police Academy and/or on campouts in Roseland or Oakland. Codispoti served alcohol before abusing them.


Pasquale Joseph Bartiromo was arrested by Newark police on two charges of child molestation July 31, 1974. He had been an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 62 here 1981-82.


The same FBI charge record sheet found in his BSA IV file included arrests for possessing stolen property, arson and making a false bomb threat in Newark or Harrison in the 1960s. He served four months in Caldwell's Essex County Jail on the possession charge in 1969.


The Essex Council refused Bartiromo's renewal applications in 1986.


Peter Kistner was accused by a member of Robert Treat Cub Pack 529 of molesting him Feb. 13, 1991.


The boy said that Kistner had him sit on his lap to help steer the car on their way home to his home in Irvington. He said that the assistant cubmaster slid beneath him while driving.


An internal Essex Council investigation resulted in Kistner's "removing based on our right to uphold the privilege of membership" Feb. 28, 1991.


Scouting and county prosecutors handled the cases of Nutley's Michael J. Abdiwan and John Sileo simultaneously. Abdiwan, 19, an Eagle Scout and Troop 147's assistant scoutmaster and Sileo, 22, Pack 146 Cubmaster and Troop 146 assistant scoutmaster, were arrested Nov. 16, 1984.


A search of Sileo's apartment yielded "three rifles and two handguns-legally purchased." Nutley police also netted handcuffs, chains, whips, capes, "sexually-oriented material, plastic skull candle holders, a dog collar, a satanic bible and the book, 'The Mark of Lucifer.' "


Prosecutors, based on several victims' testimonies, accused Sileo and Abdiwan of luring 35 local boys and girls, 15-to-17-years-old, with drugs and alcohol to the former's place 1981-83. They would whip, beat and burn their victims and make them act like dogs.


One girl testified at "I realized we were becoming a cult." 


Three of the victims were Abdiwan and Sileo's scouts.


BSA's Tamarak Council in Lyndhurst had long suspended the duo when a grand jury indicted each of them June 1, 1984 on two counts of sexual assault plus child endangerment. Abdiwan's Eagle Scout award would be deleted from Scouting's records.


Abdiwan, who pleaded guilty June 7, 1984 to two sex abuse counts, was placed on probation. Sileo, who pleaded to two sex assault charges, served an up to 10-year prison term.


East Orange resident Alexander John Gooding's fall from Troop 6's grace began when a scout called the assistant scoutmaster "a queer" during a troop "rap" session at East Orange's Church at the Crossroads in May 1972.


The boy, on June 7, 1972, told other Troop 6 and church leadership plus Orange City Commissioner Frank Hayes that Gooding had him share a sleeping back with him naked during an earlier campout.


BSA's South Mountain Council, then of Orange, promptly revoked Gooding's Scouting registration and placed him in their IV file. Troop 6 was registered in Orange and was sponsored by Church of the Crossroads.


A second East Orange man, Paul Kenneth Stokes, had his membership with Essex Council's Troop 1008 put on 1978-79 probation when a July 29, 1967 incident at Camp Ken-Etiwa-Peo was retrieved from the IV file.


A 13-year-old scout told other Troop 114 leadership that Provisional Scoutmaster Stokes had masturbated him under his shorts the night before. Stokes, who initially denied the account, let the camp voluntarily. His 1967-68 registration was revoked.


The Essex Council had also pulled Maplewood Troop 2 assistant scoutmaster Steven Michael Ripley's card June 7, 1984 just after he was indicted on a count each of sexual assault and sexual contact.


Ripley, according to court and BSA records, was accused of touching a 16-year-old boy's genitals sometime between Jan. 1 and May 31, 1983. He would plead guilty to the first count May 8, 1985, serve 364 days in the county jail and four years' work release probation.

NAMES OF ALLEGED CATHOLIC CHURCH SEX ABUSERS REVEALED

NEWARK - On Feb. 13, 2019, Cardinal Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, has disclosed the names of Archdiocesan clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors dating back to 1940. The list of clergy names, a letter and video from Cardinal Tobin, answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and additional information is posted on the archdiocesan website: healing.rcan.org


In a statement, Cardinal Tobin said, “The revelations of clergy sexual abuse of minors throughout this past year have provoked feelings of shock, anger, shame, and deep sorrow throughout our Catholic community. In an effort to do what is right and just, we are publishing the names of diocesan clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors in the Archdiocese of Newark. This list of names is the result of an extensive review of Archdiocesan records dating back to 1940. It is our sincerest hope that this disclosure will help bring healing to those whose lives have been so deeply violated. We also pray that this can serve as an initial step in our efforts to help restore trust in the leadership of the Catholic Church.”


In bolstering his position, Tobin also released a letter on the Archdiocese of Newark’s Web site.


“…The Archdiocese of Newark has a zero-tolerance policy for any type of mistreatment or misconduct involving children and young adults. No member of the clergy with a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor remains in ministry.


“It is our sincerest hope that this disclosure will help bring healing to those whose lives have been so deeply violated. We also pray that this can serve as an initial step in our efforts to help restore your trust in the leadership of the Catholic Church.


“I wish to express my genuine sorrow to the victims and their families who were so profoundly betrayed. On behalf of our Church, I beg your forgiveness. You have my solemn promise of prayers and support as you continue on your healing journey.


“As a sign of our commitment and support, a new Independent Victim Compensation Program has been established. This program will allow those sexually abused as minors by clergy to seek compensation in a compassionate, expeditious and transparent manner. While no degree of financial compensation can adequately address the suffering endured, we want this to be a genuine expression of our remorse and our desire to comfort and compensate those victimized by this abuse.


“The disclosure of this list of names is not an endpoint in our process. Rather, it is an expression of our commitment to protecting our children, and a new level of transparency in the way we report and respond to allegations of abuse. We must protect our children, first, foremost, and always.


“Significant progress has been made to ensure that children are safe in today’s Church.


“Since 2002, we have implemented Safe Environment programs and measures that have positively impacted how we create and support safe environments throughout the Archdiocese of Newark.


“Moving forward, vigilance must be maintained. We all must be committed to protecting our children, the most vulnerable members of our community.


‘As such, I urge anyone aware of suspected sexual misconduct by any cleric, employee, or volunteer of the Archdiocese to report it immediately to law enforcement and to the Archdiocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator: 201-407-3256.


“While these are difficult times for all of us, prayer is critical to maintaining our faith. Let us place our anger, shame, sorrow and disappointment at the feet of Our Lord, asking for the healing that only His grace can provide. We pray that we may be a source of strength and compassion for the victims of abuse and their families. We also pray for all members of the Catholic community who suffer from these tragic wounds in the Body of Christ. And we offer encouragement and fraternal support to the many faithful priests who are so deeply hurt by the failings of their brothers.


“I pray that the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Sorrowful Mother, but also the Mother of Holy Hope, may heal our hearts and light our way so that we will see the Church rise again renewed. Thank you and may God bless you.”


The names of the credibly accused can be found on the Archdiocese’s Web site here:


https://healing.rcan.org/uploads/1/2/4/3/124309864/newark_clergy_credibly_accused_list_02_13_2019.pdf