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VIDEO SURFACES OF RUTGERS-NEWARK UNIVERSITY CHANCELLOR FLEXING POWER

By Dhiren Shah


NEWARK - Rutgers-Newark University Chancellor Nancy Cantor was going to the airport and was in the rear seat of a car back in March. Now, a video has been released recently from Campus police. I have seen the video and realized that she was in a hurry to reach to the airport.


She lost her temper and threatened the officers that if she missed her flight, they would be sorry. When they asked who she was, she said, “I’m the chancellor!” Locally and throughout the state, there have been other incidents of authority figures flexing their power.


Former Newark Councilwoman Dana Rone flexed her power at one point and eventually had to resign from the council. Before leaving office, then-governor Jon Corzine pardoned her on the condition she would not run for council again. Five years ago, she ran for Essex County Register and won. This year, she did not contest for reelection in the Democratic Primary election earlier this month.


In August 2006, Zulima Farber, who was New Jersey Attorney General at the time, ran to aid her living boyfriend for a routine traffic stop. She violated the code of ethics and resigned from her post. 


In April 2018, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Commissioner Caren Z. Turner used profane language against two Tenafly police officers and show her Port Authority badge. This was all recorded and became public, which forced her to resign due to the abuse of authoritative power. Because of this incident, people in that department no longer have badges.


Nowadays, bodycams, police officers’ dash cams, and cell phone recordings are bringing many stories out, which was not possible a few years ago. Video recording is acceptable proof in a court of law. 


We have called the Chancellor’s office, and they have not given any statement by Ms. Cantor. However, we have been informed that Ms. Cantor is on leave for few days. According to reports, she did reach out and apologized to the officers not long afterwards. Rutgers University leadership at the main campus in New Brunswick were satisfied.

STATUE OF KENNETH A. GIBSON DEDICATED IN LINCOLN PARK

By Lev D. Zilbermints


NEWARK - On June 17, 2019, about 200 people gathered in Lincoln Park for the unveiling and dedication of a statue to former Newark Mayor Kenneth Allen Gibson. Gibson, who died March 29 in West Orange at the age of 86, was the first African-American mayor of Newark.


The statue dedication was held at the intersection of Clinton Street and Broad Street, in Lincoln Park. A huge white tent was set up to shield people from the occasional rain. There were 120 seats in the back for the public and about 40 seats in the front for dignitaries.


The ceremony opened with a prelude and a fanfare by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet.


Gwen Moten, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Arts, Cultural Development and Tourism, and Shakira McKnight, Director, Youth and College Affairs, opened the dedication ceremony.


In her remarks, Newark City Council President Mildred Crump remembered the past. Crump said that it was Mayor Gibson who started Crump’s political career by giving her an award in 1981. The council president said she still had the award, 38 years later.


Central Ward Councilwoman Monica McIver said, “We all should be excited to be here. I am excited to be here today.”


Emanuel Lobo de Andrade, Deputy Consul, Consulate General of Brazil in New York, told the assembled dignitaries that “it is a great honor to share this this moment. It is a source of inspiration.”


Ligia DeFreitas, Senior Aide to Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, introduced Valmir Francisco de Sousa Rocha, the project artist. Mr. de Sousa Rocha, speaking through an interpreter, said that he was honored to have the statue he made statue dedicated in Newark.


Camille Gibson, wife of Mayor Kenneth A. Gibson, gave thanks on behalf of the Gibson family for the statue. A photo of Kenneth A. Gibson playing a musical instrument was unveiled as she finished speaking.


After all the speeches were done, the unveiling of the statue took place. As the drums beat, the statue was unveiled. Mayor Baraka, Deputy Consul Lobo de Andrade, Council President Crump, Councilwoman McIver, artist Francisco de Sousa Rocha all took part in removing the covering with which the statue was covered.


According to the event program, several city representatives made an official visit to Brazil, South America, and were introduced to the work of Brazilian artist Valmir Francisco de Sousa Rocha who was contemplating a visit to Newark to participate in the Brazilian Festival. In Newark, a statue was being considered for a public art project and Mayor Baraka suggested a statue be done of Mayor Kenneth A. Gibson.


Ms. DeFreitas told Local Talk after the ceremony that community donations were raised for the statue. The event program agrees, stating that “community funds were raised to bring Mr. Rocha to Newark to participate in the International Artists Exchange Program developed by the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Cultural Development and Tourism. Mr. Rocha, with the assistance of the Brazilian Consulate in New York and local sponsors, came to Newark and began construction of the statue.”


Consul General told Local Talk, “(Creation of the statue) started in 2018. In 2018, a small gathering for family to see it with the mayor. The project artist came as part of an International Artists Exchange Program. (He) Did the statue in America 1 month, then went to Brazil, then came back.


Ms. DeFreitas confirmed this, saying that it took Mr. Rocha one month last year and three weeks this year to complete the statue.


According to the event program, “Multimedia artist Valmir Francisco de Sousa Rocha’s unique talent was showcased during his one-month stay in Newark in September 2018 through the creation of a life-size statue to commemorate and honor Newark’s Mayor Kenneth A. Gibson, the first African-American Mayor of a large U.S. northeastern city. The entire statue is made of cement.” 


Also, according to the program, the International Artists Exchange Program allows artists to present and showcase their unique talent through creation of a work of art, workshops and seminars for fellow artists and students in their classrooms in Newark. This program is produced by the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Cultural Development and Tourism.”