Saturday, June 29, 2013

Your questions for Star-Ledger Foodie Pete Genovese

We are going to be interviewing Pete Genovese of The Star-Ledger, 

Mr. Munchmobile, author of numerous
food books and much more. 
So tell us what is your question for Pete? Do tell!

You Can leave your questions in the comments section or email them to

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Toni Yates Eyewitness News ABC 7 New Jersey Reporter

Today we have a very special member of the media Ms. Toni Yates the New Jersey Reporter & anchor for ABC 7 Eyewitness News. Yates who hails from Jacksonville, Florida has been with Eyewitness News since 2005. Yates has three children, Austyn, Alexis, and Gabriel. Take a look and read about ace reporter, Toni Yates and get your Jersey on!!!

 When did you know or realize you wanted to have a career in the media and why?

A:1. When I was in the 6th grade, I had an opportunity to meet the only African American woman in my hometown who was a TV reporter at her studio as she interviewed my parents. I was amazed at how fun it was...and that's when I decided I wanted to do the same be like her.
2: You have worked at a few prominent ,high  profile stations around the country and covered numerous stories. What was the one story that left an indelible impression and perhaps changed you or your way of thinking?

A: My most memorable story was in Baltimore, Maryland. I was working for a station in Philadelphia, and I was covering the story of an 8-year old girl who was going to die unless she received an operation that required half her brain to be removed. I went to Johns Hopkins University Hospital and met the great surgeon Ben Carson, who grew up in the ghettos of Detroit, and overcame a life headed towards become a world renowned doctor. He allowed me and my crew to view the 14 hour surgery from the window outside the operating room. He stood and worked on the child all those hours without ever stopping. He was so confident, he was so passionate and skilled..I'll never forget that. The child is now a college graduate.

3. Hurricane Sandy or Superstorm Sandy is probably going to be the story of this decade that will define the decade. How do you think you and ABC 7 covered this enormous storm? Do you think it could have been covered any differently in hindsight?

A:The storm, in my opinion, got the kind of coverage it needed, and still needs. Key warnings were issued constantly. Any public official that needed to get information out, we got it to the public. Because the media was so thorough, very few lives were lost because people listened, and adjusted early enough. In the aftermath, we told stories of the material things that were lost, and the needs of the victims. Donations continued to pour in: clothes, food, any supplies needed. And we also told stories of how many people came to realize what's important in life, and how materials can be replaced. We are also following how difficult the systems like insurance, are to maneuver through. We need to change as a world, and focus more on making sure everyone is okay ABOVE money.

4.Do you feel ABC 7 and the media in general cover New Jersey fairly?

A: I think 'fairness' lies in perspective. There are as many opinions as there are people. Many of us do what we think is fair... many of us realize that what we say and how we say it needs to grow with our understanding of how each person and every story can help change the world. And everyone needs to become aware of that much, much more...not just reporters, but all of us in whatever roles we have chosen

.5. Over the past decade, we have seen Social Media and other technologies such as Skype play a prominent role in the media. How do you see broadcast media evolving even further with all the new technologies ? Do you feel it is good or bad for broadcast media?

A: Growth, in any format, is good. Media in any and all forms, have made it easier for all of us to access the world..t make our say more learn more, grow more...IF we choose to use it in the correct way. We all have a voice now. The question is: What do you want to say? How do you want to improve life for all? Will you choose?
6. What advice would you give communication majors who want to break into the tv news business?

A: Know WHY you want to be a journalist. If it rings true to your heart, you will succeed. If its because you think its glamorous, and will make you money..and those are the only reasons, you may find disappointment.

7. As I know you are very involved in the community at charity events, Town Hall meetings,health awareness fairs and the like. Even animal abuse awareness and protection, Why do you feel as someone well known it is important to be involved in community outreach events?

A: I don't. I follow my heart. Do your passions because you care. Care because it is a Divine Gift to do so. Love is the answer. You can choose to judge and criticize, or you can choose to act and make LIFE lovely for yourself and others. One choice is Higher than the other, and your heart will be your guide.

Exclusive Toni Yates Banana Pudding:
Stay Tuned coming -up our Interview with Eyewtiness News ABC 7  New  Jersey  Reporter Toni Yates.

                                   She'll answer your questions and get an insiders look at her life

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Exclusive Interview with Newark Mayoral Candidate Anibal Ramos Jr.

 Today we have our final Newark Mayoral Candidate, Anibal Ramos Jr.. The North Ward       Councilman has been a councilman for seven years now, a Newark School President, Director Dept. of  Economic Development, Training and Employment and the Department of Citizen Services for Essex County. Learn more about North Ward Councilman and his plans for Newark here.

1. I have asked this question of both Mayoral Candidates and part of it did come to fruition. So here it is if the state were to give back local control of Newark Public Schools what would be your priority, barring in mind last week it was announced that fiscal control will return over the summer to local control?
As a former school board member, including serving two terms as the president, I share the frustration of every Newark resident who feels disenfranchised by the state’s prolonged presence in our district. I look forward to the day when the state returns control of the Board of Education to the people of Newark. However, with local control comes increased local responsibility. After all, we know what our children need. Whether we have control of the district, my priority has always been the children. Our focus must remain on ensuring all of our children have access to a great education, whether in a charter, magnet or traditional public school. As mayor, I will ensure our public school offerings are vastly improved to meet the needs of our students and prepare them for the global, ever-changing demands of the 21st century.
Anibal Ramos Jr. at our Town Hall Meeting on Education
2. Economic Development in your ward, the North Ward has been very important to you. Could you tell us what you are most proud of and what you as Mayor would like to do?
As the councilman representing the North Ward for the last seven years, I am especially proud of the economic development projects that have occurred throughout the ward, specifically the Mount Prospect Partnership. ThePartnership has been invaluable, serving as a community-based non-profit organization that fosters the best possible neighborhood for residents and businesses.  The Partnership has served as a catalyst, laying the groundwork for economic revival in the North Ward.  Moreover, we have seen the development of market rate and affordable housing in the Ward.  

In addition, I am proud in my role on the Council inbringing Panasonic’s world headquarters, Teacher’s Village and other such projects into Newark.  As mayor, I will continue to fight for more economic development opportunities and local job creation in the downtown area and throughout the city.

3. Crime in the city has been on the rise recently and of those crimes domestic abuse rates high in the North Ward can you tell me what you would do city wide for crime in general and what programs would you enact or support to quell domestic violence?
Every time I hear that someone has been shot or murdered in our city, my heart breaks and my blood boils. The hard-working men and women of our police department are doing in incredible job, but our department is understaffed.  I have worked with the department to establish partnerships with other law enforcement agencies and have fought to get them access to the technology they need to better fight crime. As mayor, I will find the funds to put more officers on the streets, increase foot patrols in high-crime areas, and give our police department the tools they need to prevent crime in the first place. And I won’t stop there. As mayor, I will make it my priority to securefunding for adult-supervised programs after school and on weekends to ensure our children have viable alternatives to a life of crime on the street. Domestic violence is a scourge on our community. I will work closely with our Family Success Centers throughout the city to provide resources to families in crisis and give women alternatives to staying in an abusive relationship.

4. It has recently been reported that Barringer (3 oldest High School in The United States) High School will break up into separate schools, but many are also worried about keeping the name Barringer. What is your opinion on the name? 
Barringer High School has a rich history of graduating some of Newark’s most recognizable figures, such as the late Congressman Donald Payne Sr., former NFL star Andre Tippet and current Essex County Executive Joseph N. Divincenzo.  However, over the past few years, the school has not performed at a level worthy of the talents of our students.  

I support the concept of breaking up the school into twosmaller, more manageable schools in which students can get more individualized attention under the Barringer name, while enhancing the school’s fine tradition. I also believe the new schools will provide more resources for these 1,500 students. One of the schools is based on hands-on inquiry and experiential education principles such as teamwork. The other focuses on using history to understand ourselves, with an emphasis on civics.

It is important to note Newark students have more choices for attending excellent, free public high school than in any other city in New Jersey. We offer magnet schools to charter schools to one that even offers free college credits.Students and parents at Barringer High should be afforded quality education, course selection opportunities and a safe environment that other high schools students are offered.

We need to ensure all kids receive an excellent educationfrom pre-K through high school, with the full expectation that every Newark graduate will be prepared to pursue college or trade school.

5. Our property taxes under the current administration has gone up considerably and yet our services such as sanitation, street cleaning, walking police officers have been on the decline. What would you do to help the citizens of Newark?
For too long, we spent more money in Newark than we collected in tax revenue.  Moreover, the c has relied on one shot revenues for a greater part of the last 10 years leading up to 2006 to balance its budget.  This is a structural deficit. If you did this with your household finances, eventually you’d find yourself in bankruptcy court. Every year,Newark went to the state with our hands out. However, over the last few years, the City Council has imposed fiscal discipline on the administration. For the first time this year, we will have a budget that is balanced and without the need for additional state funding. We are now on solid financial footing. The city weathered the storm of the worst economic downturn of our lifetime.  

Currently, the city has about 1,500 less employees than it had prior to 2006 and many contract areas such as legal have been reduced.  As a council member, I led the charge to eliminate the Council’s public relations contract and reduce other wasteful perks.  I do not drive a city car nor have a city phone.

As mayor, I will work to increase revenues by continuing to attract new investments, while taking a close look at every department in city government to determine how we can more efficiently serve the residents of the city.
 6. Name three people you admire and why?
My parents remain my inspiration. My father, who worked for more than 30 years at a factory in the East Ward, taught me work ethic. My mother focused on academics, pushing me to focus on schoolwork and embrace opportunities to learn.

I was fortunate to get into Our Lady of Good Counsel in Newark, but we did not make enough to pay the tuition. Without hesitation, my mother took a part-time job at a store in downtown Newark just so I could go to school.

My parents’ commitment made it possible for me to attend Rutgers, Newark, where I met another person who changed my life: Professor Clement Price. I took his graduate course in African American history and was fortunate to have him as my senior year adviser. There is no better teacher or role model in the educational community; Dr. Price is one of Newark’s scholarly treasures.

And, finally, I must note my admiration for Roberto Clemente, who played 18 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a humanitarian who always had a sense of civic responsibility. He gave his life trying to help victims of a tragic earthquake in Nicaragua rather than just live the life of an idolized celebrity athlete.   

One of the largest Little Leagues in the city is named after him, as well as a school in my ward. There is also a statue of Clemente in Newark, celebrating his civic responsibility.

7. If youre elected Mayor, your number 1 priority is?
I want to ensure the safety of our residents. Fighting crime has been my priority as councilman and will be the central focus of my administration. Newark can never achieve its full potential when our residents are being gunned down oncity streets in broad daylight, when parents are afraid to let their children play outside or when our hard-working business owners are being robbed at gunpoint. My administration will continue to raise private money toprovide our police with every resource they need, such ascameras and gunshot detection devices, to prevent crimeand take criminals off the streets. My administration will enforce truancy laws and curfews and fund afterschool and summer programs that positively engage our kids.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Send in Your Questions for North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr.

We continue our interviews with Newark Mayoral Candidates and up next North Ward Councilman,
Anibal Ramos Jr. You can leave your questions here or e-mail me @
Pictures above with Bon Jovi and Mayor Cory Booker @ a housing ceremony.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Exclusive Interview with Newark Mayoral Candidate Shavar Jeffries

                                           Eva Longoria endorses Shavar Jeffries

Send in Your Questions for North Ward Councilman and Mayoral Candidate for Newark Anibal Ramos Jr. @

As we continue our exclusive series on the Mayoral Candidates for Newark- our next Candidate is Shavar Jeffries the father of two children, Naomi and Kaleb and husband to Tenagne. Jeffries has been a past board member on the Newark School Advisory Board, former Assistant State Attorney General and current Seton Hall Law Professor. We recently interviewed him in the North Ward, so take a read and look at our video of Shavar and gain some new insight.

My first question is looking directly into the future and as a former board of education member you would be the perfect person to answer. It looks like the state is really making a concerted effort to give control back to the city. If this should happen, you as Mayor would have more of say in how our school system moves forward. What would be your priority and why?

A: My first priority will be to ensure that we have an effective teacher in every classroom in the city of Newark, whether district or public charter. Research consistently shows that teachers are the most important in-school factor in improving student achievement.  I will work to ensure our teachers have the support and resources they need to be successful.  I have a long record as a civil-rights lawyer and advocate in ensuring that our educators have the resources they need.  I have successfully sued the state to provide greater funding to educate our children, working during my time as board president to bring back over $30 million after the state illegally cut our budget and successfully sued the state to provide additional special-education resources for Newark children.  I also strongly support and have advocated for universal pre-school programs, the construction and renovation of dilapidated Newark school facilities, extended learning time for our children, and expanded high-quality school options for Newark families.
2. Recently it has been reported that the homicide rate has fallen slightly, but 1 murder is still 1 to many and every life is precious, what would you do differently to combat the homicide rate and crime in general?  
A: Crime in our city is entirely too high and our residents do not feel safe.  The council approved a budget in 2010 that increased taxes by 16% and laid off 170 cops.  The safety of our city has not been the same since.  We had 92 murders last year, about 350 carjackings, and hundreds of robberies, shootings, and aggravated assaults.  I will pursue the same strategies that we successfully implemented throughout the state of New Jersey during my time as Assistant Attorney General, when I helped to oversee the state's crime plan.  We implemented a crime plan that focused on prevention, enforcement, and re-entry.  We expanded drug courts, recognizing that treatment is cheaper and more effective than imprisonment; we used modern technology and close oversight and management to ensure our officers were aggressively focused on the right things; and we invested in job training and academic programs so that ex-offenders had a meaningful opportunity to effectively re-enter society.  Through this strategy and hands-on management, we reduced violent crime throughout the state of New Jersey for three years straight, and reduced recidivism through our re-entry programs by almost 30 percent.  As the only candidate running with a law-enforcement background, I will bring this record with me to City Hall.

3. Our property taxes under the current administration has gone up considerably and yet our services such as sanitation, street cleaning, walking police officers have been on the decline. What would you do to help the citizens of Newark? 
Answer: The council approved budgets in the last four years that raised residents taxes 40% on average, while laying off 170 police officers and gutting city services.  That is unacceptable.  I will first seek to cut the fat in our budget, from too many out-sourced consultant and law-firm contracts for matters we can handle in-house, to the exorbitant number of taxpayer-funded cars and other perks at taxpayer expense.  We will examine salaries for political appointments and seek to manage our spending more responsibly. My administration will streamline city government so that residents, as well as business owners who want to contribute to our city's economy, have a much more efficient and user-friendly experience.  We will leverage our anchors -- particularly our university community, sports and entertainment resources, and core commercial anchors -- to generate resources that can help neighborhood-based businesses grow.  My administration will incubate existing Newark-based businesses and entrepreneurs, providing them with the resources and technical support to assist them in accessing financial and business services.  Through these approaches, we will seek to increase revenue, while at the same time manage expenses.

4.Speaking of our municipal services our Newark Water Department has been at the center of attention for years now and the Newark watershed Conservation Development Corporation is going to be dissolved. What is your opinion on that and what would you do with Newark Water Department? 
A: I would approach the water department like I'd approach other departments in municipal government: I would demand effectiveness, accountability, and respect for taxpayer dollars.  This is the same approach I took as school-board president; as Assistant Attorney General with oversight for the Juvenile Justice Commission, the state Civil Rights Division, and several other initiatives; and as board president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark and Team Academy Charter Schools.  Water is one of the few remaining assets we have. If managed well, it can also be another source of additional revenue.  We need to repair our infrastructure, yet at the same time make sure we collect our bills from those that owe payments to the city.  We should not be looking to sell off such a precious asset; we should be using it effectively to provide water services to our residents and to generate revenue to invest in the future of our city. 
5.It has recently been reported that Barringer (3 oldest High School in The United States) High School will break up into 3 separate schools, but many are also worried about keeping the name Barringer. What is your opinion on the name? 
A: Barringer is a Newark landmark.  My grandmother, who raised me, graduated from Barringer in 1948.  Our city has a beautiful and glorious culture, and we should cherish and maintain that legacy, not discard it.  Some of Newark's icons are graduates of Barringer and we must respect that history. So while I absolutely support efforts to reform and improve the quality of education received by the students Barringer serves, we should preserve the name and the heritage it represents. 

6. Name 3 people you admire and why?
Answer: I admire so many people.  But to name three, I'd start with my grandmother who took in my sister at six-months old, and me at 11, after my mother was killed and my father abandoned us.  She thought she'd be headed for retirement, but she voluntarily took on motherhood again.  Second, would be Diane Nash.  After segregationists had stopped the Freedom Riders in Birmingham, Diane Nash (only 23 years old at the time) and other young people, after signing their will, engaged the heart of the segregated south and pursued justice in the face of violence.  She is an inspiration.  Finally, my pastor, Michael A. Walrond, Jr., who is a brilliant thinker on faith, purpose, and Christianity.

7. If you're elected, your number 1 priority is?  
A: Safety.  We have too much crime, and too few residents feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods.  As the only candidate with a law-enforcement background, I will bring this experience with me to City Hall.  I also have substantial experience in after-school programs and youth development as president of the Boys and Girls Clubs, and school board president both for Newark Public Schools and Team Academy Charter Schools. I also know the importance of providing opportunities, education, job training, and after-school programs as the ultimate long-term approach for fostering safe streets and neighborhoods.

Stay-tuned to our Exclusive interview with Newark Mayoral Candidate, Shavar Jeffries

Coming-up later today an Exclusive interview with Newark Mayoral Candidate, Shavar Jeffries.
What are your questions?