Category: Uncategorized


Jim Pathe

Jim Pathe, a veteran photojournalist who worked for decades at The Star-Ledger, has died.  He was 83 and succumbed to thyroid cancer on Jan. 13.

Pathe, a Navy veteran who joined the submarine service, came late to mainstream journalism. He had worked in construction, built lobster boats, served as coordinator and spokesman for an organization of veterans who opposed the Vietnam War.


LADY LIBERTY: Why is Murphy covering up Christie’s $10 million loan to failing charter school?

Lady Liberty Academy Charter School

The New Jersey state education department has refused to release public documents that might  shed light on former Gov. Chris Christie’s loan of $10 million in state funds to a failing Newark charter school and its partner, a private, for-profit real estate developer that was receiving more than $800,000 in public funds as annual rent from the school.


Lady Liberty Academy Charter School

The collapse of Newark’s Lady Liberty Academy Charter School hurt  the nearly 500 inner-city children who attended the privately-run, publicly-funded school–but the debacle also exposed a reckless  financing scheme used by former Gov. Chris Christie to help political allies in the charter school movement.

Memorial Day: It’s about not forgetting, even 50 years later

Dick Riley

Before New Jersey bought the property in Union as the site for Newark State Teachers College, the land was a farm owned by the Kean family. The Keans were from South Carolina but, in the 18th Century, one of them married a Livingston– Livingston, as in Robert Livingston, the first governor of New Jersey.  All of that is unimportant except for this: I met Dickie Riley on what we called Kean’s Farm and he became my friend. He was my friend until he was killed in a helicopter crash in Vietnam  50 years ago. October 24, 1968.

Newark schools: An illusion of local control, an illusion of democracy, an illusion of reform

Johnnie Lattner–an independent Newark school board candidate

The Newark school board election is scheduled for tomorrow–but the results already are already  in. Two winners: Ras Baraka, the city’s mayor. And the other winner–Christopher Cerf , the charter school champion,  Chris Christie pal, and former city schools superintendent and state education commissioner whose snake oil consulting show continues to play–and pay–in Newark.

THE LONG SLOW GOOD-BYE: Cerf says transition to local control will take 2 years.

Cerf: Bye-bye –but not for a while yet

Under the Christopher Cerf plan, full autonomy won’t be granted to the elected Newark school board until a two year transition is completed. A transition in which many consultants will get rich and high paid administrators, appointed by Cerf, will continue to earn their six-figure salaries and follow the pro-charter, anti-public, union-shredding school plans for Newark. That will make it official–the state will have controlled the city schools for 25 years–a quarter century.

Newark schools: The only loyalty should be to children


Are adults who report safety problems at the Wilson Avenue School “disloyal”? To whom?

Faculty members, staff, and others  associated with Newark’s Wilson Avenue School were called to a meeting Friday and told it was “disloyal” for anyone to raise questions about safety at the Ironbound school, according to sources attending the meeting.

NEWARK CHURCH LEADER: Essex County College’s closing could mean another 1967


Bishop Jethro James–he remembers 1967

A prominent Newark clergyman raised the spectre of disorder in the city’s streets unless Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo acts quickly to restore the academic independence of Essex County College , plug a budget shortfall at the school, and help the two-year college remain open and fully accredited.

Pictures from a museum

A lynching, Marion, Indiana, August 7, 1930.

I don’t intend to describe the National Museum of African American History and Culture here, or even to try to describe my reaction to it. I will simply post the pictures I took. I only took a few. The choices of those pictures represent my reaction.


Caliburn and its designers Manish Parashar and Ivan Rodero from a RU photo used by The Star-Ledger.

New Jersey’s largest supercomputer–considered one of the largest computing systems in the world–was quietly shut down a month ago by Rutgers University just weeks after a much ballyhooed celebration of what was then called “the most powerful system in the state” that would be made available to government, private industry, higher education, and other organizations.