Go Newark. Live Green. Love Pink.

"He who knows his WHY in life can live through any HOW" - Victor Frankl

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Newark: Keep What We Own - WATER!

What would you do if every shower you took cost $45, or each flush of the toilet bowl registered $2 on the water bill? Outraged at the sight of such an invoice, you Google Newark Water bills and return results include comments from dozens of equally outraged Newarkers. You say to yourself, “How did this happen? How is this right? When did this go into effect?"

We are fortunate enough to live in a country where decisions about public property cannot be made without the support of tax payers through our elected officials. While we have not reached $45/shower just yet, it is fast becoming a possibility in Newark.

As protesters gathered today at the steps of City Hall, their message was clear: no Municipal Utility Authority (MUA) for Newark! Unmoved by Ledger language that the proposal had been ‘ditched,’ Newark Water Group founder, Bill Chappel, joined by Weequahaic Park Super Neighborhood Chairperson Brenda Toyloy, and People’s Organization for Progress Newark Chapter President, Debbie Strong lead the coalition of residents, tax payers, educators, and non-profits, for the third time to date saying “No MUA” to Mayor Booker and the city council.

Also vocal and in attendance was former poet laureate Amiri Baraka and former Newark Mayor Ken Gibson, both of whom citied the many civilizations that have gone to war over water rights. “If this goes to pass, you can believe that historians will show this was the downfall of Newark," said Gibson.

The threat of a Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) is real. The City of Newark owns a 38,000 acre watershed in Milford, New Jersey (ever wonder our facet water is so refreshing?) In a proposal to the City Council, Mayor Booker sought approval to franchise (sell a portion of) the watershed to an external governing body (MUA), which would then give them the right to raise rates, adjust purification settings, and make whatever changes they choose to increase profits and lower production costs.

In the May 31st Star Ledger article entitled, “Cory Booker ditches proposal for water authority,” Booker is quoted as saying, "I realized we were rushing this thing in order to get the goal that I wanted, which was more revenue, and that we were rushing too fast." While it is admirable to admit error, it is also questionable why one would give up ownership of an asset as invaluable as water for a short term cash-flow injection. These questions and more were asked inside the Municipal Council Chambers at their monthly meeting.

How important is your civil RIGHT to water?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Yeah, We'll Take a Home W from Sky Who? Sky Blue!

A long-distance relationship has been brewing in New Jersey since the last home game. Over the past seven weeks, fans have relied on FOX Soccer Channel, WPS Fancorner, and the social media sphere to deliver up-to-minute news about Sky who?...Sky Blue!

Photo: Robyn McNeil

As the family reassembled yesterday for the long-awaited game-8 against the Boston Breakers, the stands began to fill with clubhouse jersey's, game-time goodies and loud cheer. The crowd of nearly 3,500 roared when the ladies of Sky Blue FC took the field; the debut match at Yurcak Field clearly underway.

Home turf and a spitfire start galvanized spirits on the field and in the stands, when Natasha Kai scored her second goal of the season, just four minutes into the match. A great assist from midfielder Meghan Schnur, the left side was covered and Breakers keeper Kristin Luckenbill defeated.

“If it’s my job to come off the bench and be that player for the team, then that’s my job and I’m going to do it to the best of my ability. I’m here for my girls – my team, my family. I’ll do whatever it takes to help them win and lift their spirits up,” said Kai.

Kelly Smith answered back for the Breakers with a quick, keen goal, eight minutes after the play. Sky Blue FC keeper Jenni Branum mishandled a toss in, setting Smith up for an easy score just two yards out, thus tying the match. Unfretted by the slipup, Branum showcased a series of impressive saves keeping Sky Blue FC fired up.

"We had a great game but I feel that we have more to give,” said Sky Blue FC defender Christie Rampone, “This team is still on the up and up,” she said.

From a Schnur pass, Kacey White flicked one from the inside of her right foot. In play, the ball blew over Luckenbill and just made it under the cross bar, earning Sky Blue FC the 2-1 lead in the 29th minute. Defenses armed after a hard played first half, Sky Blue FC and the Boston Breaker s remained impenetrable for the remainder of the game.

“Today was a great turnout with great weather,” said White, “…we are lucky in this area to have a lot of committed fans that come see us day in and day out,” she said.

Join Sky Who? Sky Blue! on Saturday, June 13th at 7 PM on Yurcak Field as they welcome back contenders the Los Angeles Sol.

Jersey’s ready for you, Marta!

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