TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Health is reminding residents to get their annual flu vaccine as part of National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW). While flu vaccination is recommended before the end of October, NIVW was established to remind people that getting vaccinated can be beneficial through the holiday season and beyond.

“As the holiday season is beginning, increased travel and close family gatherings can create a great opportunity for illnesses to spread,” Acting Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “Getting vaccinated now can help protect yourself and your loved ones.”

For millions of people every season, flu means a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, fatigue and miserable days spent in bed. Millions of people get sick, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu each year.

There is a vaccine that can help reduce the risk of flu and its potentially serious complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine to everyone six months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal flu viruses.

Certain people at greater risk for serious complications if they get sick with the flu:

· Children younger than 5 years old, but especially children younger than 2 years old

· People 65 years of age and older

· Pregnant women and women up to 2 weeks after the end of pregnancy

· American Indian and Alaskan Natives

· People who have medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes

“Flu vaccine also has been shown to save children’s lives, prevent serious events associated with chronic lung disease, diabetes and heart disease, and prevent flu-related hospitalization among adults and older adults,” Persichilli said. “Getting vaccinated isn’t just about keeping you healthy; it’s also about helping to protect others around you who may be vulnerable to becoming very sick, such as infants, older adults, and pregnant women.”

Flu vaccines are safe, effective and offered in many locations including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, urgent care centers, and pharmacies.

The Department has two ongoing initiatives to promote flu prevention. The New Jersey Influenza Honor Roll recognizes institutions that are striving to promote influenza prevention at their facilities. It is open to four categories of honorees: business, community-based partners, education, and healthcare facilities. In addition, the Department is challenging students at 10 participating colleges and universities to engage in a friendly competition to improve flu vaccination coverage on their campuses through the New Jersey College & University Challenge.


This gentleman, going by the moniker 242 initially barred Munirah Bomani from entering Newark City Hall according what he was instructed

NEWARK - After serving a 60-day suspension from speaking at Newark City Council meetings, activist Munirah Bomani got an unwelcome surprise upon a recent visit to City Hall.

On the night of Nov. 18, Ms. Bomani went to a city council meeting at City Hall. However, she was stopped at the metal detector and denied entry.

“Turn out after Corporation Council Kenyatta Steward came down and said the security guard was given misinformation. I never was banned from the building. I was banned from speaking. Yesterday the ban was lifted bcuz the 60days was up,” Ms. Bomani texted to “Local Talk” Nov. 19. “I ask him who gave him special instruction to ban me from the building. He told me it was confidential information.”

The 60-day stemmed from an altercation in September, in which Luis Quintana, vice president of the council and presiding officer, alleged that Bomani was disrespectful to the Council at the pre-conference meeting the previous day, September 17. Because of this, Bomani was barred from speaking on September 18. Video and photos taken by “Local Talk” at the meeting show Bomani screaming that her free speech rights are being violated as she is surrounded by four police officers from front and back. Members of the public were seen taking videos and photos of the confrontation, which lasted about five minutes.

In an October interview with “Local Talk” Bomani said, “If the court is evicting someone out of their home, they have a certain amount of time to serve the person, before they are evicted from their apartment. They hand deliver it, and they put an eviction notice on the person’s door, and also they mail it to you. None of that happened. The incident happened on the 17th at the pre-council meeting and I was hand delivered a letter when I was scheduled to speak at 7 PM (18th). They gave me no time, no notice, no warning. They just outright took my right to speak without any kind of protocol.”

Bomani sent video of the latest incident in question to “Local Talk.” The video can be seen on the “Local Talk” Facebook page here:


By Thomas Ellis II

(The photo in this story was taken by a bystander and went viral on Facebook and social media.)

It's really a shame when people who are a part of the city of Newark are attacked. According to sources, it is being reported that the owner of a Downtown business hit Gary with a pole or some sought of blunt object Tuesday morning (Nov. 12) after an argument.

Gary is well known in the Downtown Newark and City Hall area, not only by City Hall staff, but the many people who shop and take care of their businesses from Broad and Market to Lincoln Park.

When I first saw the bloody photo and the huge knot on his face, it almost moved me to tears. I spoke with several people to ask them if they hear about what happen to Gary, and they all told me the same story; he got into an argument at the restaurant and the owner hit Gary over the head.

One person I spoke with who works for one of the Newark council members stated to me that she was shocked that this happened to him, and that it's a shame.

Several people in the city that know Gary are asking people to boycott the restaurant, and not to spend their money at that business. It’s also being said by others that the owner of the business has another business in the city, and they are asking the public to boycott that establishment as well.

No matter what the argument was over, it truly did not warrant Gary being attacked, and abused in such a way. Many in the city are praying for Gary and hope that he gets well soon.

As of deadline for this story, there are reports of an arrest being made, but no name has been given. I will be doing a follow up story in the near future, and hopefully I can speak to Gary personally.

Let’s all hope for a speedy recovery for my friend Gary, and that he gets the support he's going to need to get home through such a traumatic experience.


On October 27, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the leader of the biggest terror organization in the world has met his demise.

ISIS founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was terminated in an operation led by U.S. Special Operations. The nighttime raid into Northwestern Syria would lead to al-Baghdadi being surrounded, and eventually committing suicide.

In a White House press conference, Trump shared the news with his fellow Americans and the world.

“No U.S. personnel were lost in the operation, while a large number of Baghdadi’s fighters and companions were killed with him,” Trump said. “He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming. The compound had been cleared by this time, with people either surrendering or being shot and killed. Eleven young children were moved out of the house uninjured. The only ones remaining were Baghdadi in the tunnel, who had dragged three children with him to certain death. He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast, but test results gave certain and positive identification.

“The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, panic and dread - terrified of the American Forces bearing down. We were in the compound for approximately 2 hours, and after the mission was accomplished we took highly sensitive material and information from the raid.

“Baghdadi’s demise demonstrates America’s relentless pursuit of terrorist leaders, and our commitment to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS!

“The reach of America is long. As you know, last month we announced that we recently killed Hamza Bin Laden, the very violent son of Osama Bin Laden, who was saying very bad things.

“He was the heir apparent to Al Qaeda. Terrorists who oppress and murder innocent people should never sleep soundly, knowing that we will completely destroy them. These savage monsters will not escape their fate - and they will not escape the final judgement of God.

“Baghdadi has been on the run for many years, long before I took office. At my direction, as Commander-in-Chief, the United States obliterated his ‘caliphate’ in March of this year. Today’s events are another reminder that we will continue to pursue the remaining ISIS terrorists to their brutal end.

“Baghdadi and the losers who worked with him - in some cases people who had no idea what they were getting into and how dangerous and unglamorous it was - killed many people. Their murder of innocent Americans Jim Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller were especially heinous. The shocking publicized murder of a Jordanian pilot who was burned alive in a cage for all to see, and the execution of Christians in Libya and Egypt, as well as the genocidal mass murder of Yazidis, rank ISIS among the most depraved organizations in history.

“The forced religious conversions, the orange suits prior to many beheadings, all of which were openly displayed for the world - this was all Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s work. He was vicious and violent, and he died in a vicious and violent way, as a coward, running and crying. This raid was impeccable, and could only have taken place with the acknowledgement and help of certain other nations and people.

“I want to thank the nations of Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iraq, and I also want to thank the Syrian Kurds for certain support they were able to give us. Thank you as well to the great intelligence professionals who helped make this very successful journey possible.

“I want to thank the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines involved in last night’s operation. You are the very best there is anywhere in the world. I want to thank General Mark Milley and our Joint Chiefs of Staff, and I also want to thank our professionals who work in other agencies of the United States government and were critical to the mission’s success.

“Last night was a great night for the United States and for the World. A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death, was violently eliminated - he will never again harm another innocent man, woman or child. He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place. God bless the United States of America!” 


NEWARK - Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose is requesting the public’s assistance in locating Za-ahira Jimenez, 16, of Newark, who was reported missing from the 100 block of Dewey Street on Saturday, September 28, 2019.

Za-ahira is described as Hispanic/Black, 5’10” tall and 115 lbs. She has a light brown complexion, blonde hair, brown eyes and a birthmark on the back of her neck. She was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, black pants and a pair of Vans.

While police are actively searching for Za-ahira, we seek the public’s help in quickly locating her so she can be returned to her family.

Director Ambrose urges anyone with information about the whereabouts of Za-ahira Jimenez to call the Department's 24-hour Crime Stopper tip line at 1-877-NWK-TIPS (1-877-695-8477) or 1-877-NWK-GUNS (1-877-695-4867). All anonymous Crime Stopper tips are kept confidential and could result in a reward.

Anonymous tips may also be made using the Police Division’s website at: or through the Newark Police Division Smartphone App available at iTunes and Google Play. 


For years, people have demanded that college athletes be paid, and now, one state has effectively agreed.

On Sept. 30, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act (SB 206) by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena). SB 206, which gives college student athletes in California the ability to benefit financially from their name, image and likeness, was announced during an episode of Uninterrupted’s The Shop. 

The bill, which passed the California Legislature with unanimous bipartisan support, becomes the first law of its kind in the nation to allow college student athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness, as well as hire agents. Newsom was joined by bill co-sponsor Senator Skinner, Lakers star LeBron James, Uninterrupted’s CEO Maverick Carter, UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, WNBA star Diana Taurasi, Rich Paul, and former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, who famously sued over his likeness years ago.

“Colleges and universities reap billions from these student athletes’ sacrifices and success but block them from earning a single dollar. That’s a bankrupt model - one that puts institutions ahead of the students they are supposed to serve,” Newsom said about the situation.

Currently, student athletes are barred by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from earning compensation from their association with college sports even though their respective college or university can make millions from their athletic performance. That participation often comes at great risk to students’ health, academic success, and professional prospects. Nationwide, colleges and universities make $14 billion each year from student athletics and the NCAA takes in $1 billion annually.

As of now, the law takes effect Jan. 1, 2023. It is more than likely that the NCAA will fight the law in the courts. If SB 206 does go into effect, California schools are believed to have a great advantage in recruiting, as unlike in other states, players can make money off their athletic exploits. However, Newsom said that he expects other states to follow his example, which would therefore even things out across the board.

If New Jersey were to pass a law similar to this, it could help ailing Rutgers. After a 52-0 loss to Michigan, the Scarlet Knights football program fired head coach Chris Ash and the team’s offensive coordinator. 


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 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.


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.