New Jersey Real-Time News




    Trump won't denounce American thuggery. Will he punish Turkey? | Editorial


    The very least the President can do is make some sort of distinction between what is tolerated here and in Turkey. Time to take stock of our rights of free speech and peaceful protest in this country, and what - if...

    The very least the President can do is make some sort of distinction between what is tolerated here and in Turkey.

    Time to take stock of our rights of free speech and peaceful protest in this country, and what - if anything - President Trump has done to protect them.

    He's been noticeably silent on the brutal beating of peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C. by the Turkish President's thuggish bodyguards, on public property, right in front of our own police, fully caught on video.

    The violence was completely unprovoked, and happened shortly after Trump welcomed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Oval Office. Among others, a young woman from East Rutherford, Ceren Borazan, was put into a headlock and choked - popping a blood vessel in her eye - by a man who threatened to kill her.

    N.J. woman says Turkey president's bodyguards beat her during D.C. protest (VIDEO)

    This is common practice in Turkey - which is why Trump needs to make it clear that it isn't acceptable here.

    But perhaps the real problem is that it is increasingly acceptable here. Not just verbal and physical attacks against peaceful protesters, but against journalists, whom Trump has called "the enemy of the people."

    In the past month alone, reporters have been arrested, slapped, pinned against a wall and choked for trying to do their jobs; most recently by newly-elected Montana congressman Greg Gianforte, accused of body-slamming a journalist.

    He's faced no real consequences. "Elections are about choices and Montanans made their choice," Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday. Trump, who had lavished praise on Gianforte - "a wonderful guy" - added: "Great win in Montana."

    Perhaps this is why the former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields, who was grabbed roughly by Corey Lewandowski last year when she tried to ask Trump a question, said some Republicans "have put party over civility."

    PLEASE JOIN ME by asking 4 justice for those of us who were attacked yesterday by Erdogan's bodyguards. #ArrestErdogansBodyguards pic.twitter.com/NQWN8gV5Dx

    -- Ceren Borazan (@CerenBorazan) May 17, 2017

    The casualty isn't just civility. Trump's hostility toward the press - like his attempt to use the FBI to muzzle journalists - has led Reporters Without Borders to lower America's ranking on press freedom, measured by government restrictions and threats against the news media.

    We're now ranked right below Burkina Faso, one of the world's poorest countries.

    This failure to speak up for peaceful protesters and journalists began at Trump's rallies, where his supporters threatened and committed actual violence against them. Since then, the United Nations has warned that the basic principle of peaceful protest is under attack in the United States. At least 19 states have introduced measures that would criminalize such protests.

    The very least the President can do is make some sort of distinction between what is tolerated here and in Turkey. Yes, it's a NATO ally, and we have a complex relationship. But this is about protecting the freedom of speech and assembly, and basic rules of law in our own country.

    The New York Times has publicly identified the culprits, and New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell is among those leading the bipartisan charge to hold them accountable. If we can't get to the thugs in Turkey, then the Trump administration should hold the diplomats here to account.

    Think about the message it sends if the Turkish government escapes this without so much as a slap on the wrist. A truly populist President, a defender of American freedoms, would stick up for the people - not the jack-booted thugs.

    Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook.

    Is the post office open today on Memorial Day (5/29/2017)? Will there be mail, UPS or FedEx delivery?

    Is the post office open today on Memorial Day (5/29/2017)? Will there be mail, UPS or FedEx delivery?


    Today is Memorial Day. Looking for a mail run today or wondering if the post office is open? And will UPS or FedEx deliver today? This year, Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 29 (5/29/2017). The holiday is observed by local, county, state and...

    Today is Memorial Day. Looking for a mail run today or wondering if the post office is open? And will UPS or FedEx deliver today? This year, Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 29 (5/29/2017). The holiday is observed by local, county, state and federal agencies. Most banks also will be closed and the stock markets are closed.

    Monday, May 29, 2017, is Memorial Day 2017 -- a federal holiday, which often leaves a lot of people wondering if there will be mail today. A federal holiday means local, county, state and federal offices and agencies are closed. As for the mail and postal schedule:

    Is the post office open today, Monday, May 29, 2017?

    No. All post offices on Monday are for Memorial Day. There will be no mail run or delivery of ordinary mail. Your local post office will resume its normal hours on Tuesday, May, 30. If you need to find a post office close to you, use this lookup tool.

    Will there be mail delivery on Monday, May 29, 2017?

    No. Your normal mail won't be delivered again until Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

    When does the post office reopen?

    Normal postal service resumes Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

    What about UPS and FedEx? Are they open today?

    Like the United States Postal Service, UPS observes the Memorial Day on Monday. But UPS also has its premium express critical delivery option available on Monday.

    FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx SmartPost are all closed today, Monday, May 29, according to the FedEx website.

    Spencer Kent may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent. Find the Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

    11 things to know about the 2017 Tour of Somerville


    The iconic Tour of Somerville Kugler-Anderson 50-mile race, long described as the "Kentucky Derby of Bicycle Racing," is the oldest competitive bicycle race in the United...

    The iconic Tour of Somerville Kugler-Anderson 50-mile race, long described as the "Kentucky Derby of Bicycle Racing," is the oldest competitive bicycle race in the United States.

    2 from Hunterdon charged after narcotics investigation, prosecutor says

    2 from Hunterdon charged after narcotics investigation, prosecutor says


    Two Union Township residents - Blake C. Bachert, 20, and Brent R. Bachert, 18 - were charged with possession of drugs with intent to sell them, Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III...

    Two Union Township residents - Blake C. Bachert, 20, and Brent R. Bachert, 18 - were charged with possession of drugs with intent to sell them, Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III announced.

    FLEMINGTON - Two Union Township residents were charged with possession of drugs with intent to sell them, Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III said.

    Blake C. Bachert, 20, and Brent R. Bachert, 18, were arrested on Tuesday.

    They were charged with second- degree possession with intent to distribute cocaine, third-degree possession with intent to distribute Xanax and third-degree possession with intent to distribute marijuana, Kearns said.

    They were also charged with one count of possession of marijuana, a disorderly person offense, Kearns said.

    Blake Bachert was released on his own recognizance and Brent Bachert was held in the Somerset County Jail. Both men are scheduled to appear in the Hunterdon County Superior Court for a pre-indictment conference, Kearns said.

    Their arrest was jointly announced by Kearns, Chief of Detectives John J. Kuczynski and State Police Station Commander Lieutenant Colin Frinzi. It was part of a joint investigation by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office Gangs, Guns, & Narcotics Task Force and the State Police Perryville Barracks.

    WATCH: Riders show off horsemanship on Memorial Day weekend

    WATCH: Riders show off horsemanship on Memorial Day weekend


    Youths from ages 9 through 18 show their control of horses at the Watchung Stables owned and operated by Union County. MOUNTAINSIDE -- Jenny Kirian sat high in the saddle explaining the effort of controlling a...

    Youths from ages 9 through 18 show their control of horses at the Watchung Stables owned and operated by Union County.

    MOUNTAINSIDE -- Jenny Kirian sat high in the saddle explaining the effort of controlling a horse.

    "It's a lot of hard work. It's a full body work out. You got to use your legs. You got to use your arms, feet, everything," the Scotch Plains teenager said. Yet asked why she does it, Kirian has a simple response. "It's a great experience."

    After months of lesson, Kirian and dozens of other youths showed off their riding skills this weekend for the spring Troop show at Union County's Watchung stables, located in the Watchung reservation.

    "It's our 84th spring troop show," said Cheryl DiDomenico. She has been teaching riding lessons at the stables for nearly 40 years, starting in early each spring.

     "They start usually in March," DiDomenico said. Training was a bit abbreviated this year. "It's been a bit rainy, so most of them are on lesson eight or nine," she said. Still, the show must go on. "We always traditionally do this on Memorial Day weekend."

    Children start getting in the saddle from age 9. Some continue through age 18. It's not just for the young. Adults also ride each week and also compete in the show.

    It is a competition in each age group for the riders who demonstrate their knowledge of staying atop a horse, getting the animal to walk, cantor and gallop, and take small leaps over low-jumps. Occasionally a horse will refuse to go over, and then the rider must show the ability to circle back and take the jump.

    Ribbons are awarded for the top riders in each group.

    Union County has operated its stables since the 1930s. They have been located in the complex on Summit Lane in Mountainside, opened in 1985. It was previously in another part of the Watchung Reservation.

    Currently, the county owns 60 horses, all kept at the stable. Privately owned horses are also boarded at there.

    Last year the county spent $2.3 million to upgrade the stables, including the construction of an indoor arena for practice during the winter and in bad weather.

    Staff members groom the horses daily.

    Other shows are performed during the year, including one in October. Union County also has equestrian trails through the Watchung Reseration. 

    Tom Haydon may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_HaydonSL. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Memorial Day 2017: What's open, what's closed, banks, stores, UPS, mail delivery, stock markets


    Memorial Day 2017 is May 29 (5/29/2017), a state and federal holiday to honor those who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces. There will be no mail delivery and you can't renew your license. The next federal holiday is July 4th...

    Memorial Day 2017 is May 29 (5/29/2017), a state and federal holiday to honor those who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces. There will be no mail delivery and you can't renew your license. The next federal holiday is July 4th (7/4/17).

    Hundreds attend Memorial Day ceremony in Gloucester County

    Hundreds attend Memorial Day ceremony in Gloucester County


    The Gloucester County Veterans Memorial Cemetery was the site of a ceremony held annually to remember veterans. WILLIAMSTOWN -- Hundreds of people gathered at the Gloucester County Veterans Memorial Cemetery in...

    The Gloucester County Veterans Memorial Cemetery was the site of a ceremony held annually to remember veterans.

    WILLIAMSTOWN -- Hundreds of people gathered at the Gloucester County Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Williamstown Sunday for the annual Memorial Day ceremony.

    Spectators watched as speeches were made and memories were shared of veterans who sacrificed their lives for the country. Wreaths were also laid by various organizations to honor those who lost their lives and have passed away.

    At the end of the event, family members of people buried in the cemetery were given a carnation to place on the grave of their deceased loved one.

    2017 Memorial Day services and parades in South Jersey

    One of the people who gave a speech during the event was Congressman Donald Norcross (D-1st Dist.)

    "It's a great honor to be part of this ceremony where we are honoring the veterans," said Norcross. "This is a weekend that reflects on all the men and women that have given their lives for their country and made it able for us to be free and live with the liberties we have today."

    Another person who spoke during the event was New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney.

    "If it weren't for our men and women in the military, we would not have the country that we have today," said Sweeney during the ceremony. "When you see a veteran, just say thank you. You don't have to wait until Memorial Day Weekend."

    The ceremony also marked the debut of a monument dedicated to the D.J. Bentz Chapter 3335 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

    Part of the pageantry of the event involved the Semper Fidelis 204 Marine Detachment. One of the members of the Detachment who took participated in the event was James Karlesses.

    "It's quite an honor," said Karlesses. "It's an honor to be part of the Marine Corps and it's an honor to be here today at this Memorial Day ceremony. It's a very solemn affair. "

    Karlesses himself served the Marine Corps in the late 1970's.

    "It's nice being here today. There were a lot of great folks out here today and it was made special by a lot of different organizations."

    Also highlighted was the announcement of a ceremony for Private Walter Piper. Piper, who was born and raised in Williamstown, was a Glassboro High School graduate in 1949. He was a member of the Army who was taken as a prisoner of war during the Korean Conflict on Feb. 13. 1951.

    Piper later died June 18, 1951, from wounds he sustained. His remains were not identified until April of this year. Piper, who no longer has any living relatives, will be buried with full military honors Saturday, June 17 at 11 a.m.

    Chris Franklin can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @cfranklinnews. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    U.S. Navy Seal dies in parachute accident over Hudson

    U.S. Navy Seal dies in parachute accident over Hudson


    A Navy Seal team member has died when his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration over the Hudson River. JERSEY CITY -- A Navy Seal team member has died when his parachute failed to open during a...

    A Navy Seal team member has died when his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration over the Hudson River.

    JERSEY CITY -- A Navy Seal team member has died when his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration over the Hudson River.

    A Navy spokesman said the accident occurred shortly after noon Sunday near Liberty State Park. The parachutist was a member of an elite Navy parachute team called the Leap Frogs.

    The victim wasn't identified pending notification of family.

    EARLIER: Parachute lands in Jersey City parking lot

    The Navy says the parachutist was rescued from the water by Coast Guard and local fire department responders who were on standby, but was pronounced dead at a hospital at 1:10 p.m.

    The cause of the parachute malfunction is under investigation.

    "Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, and I ask for all of your prayers for the Navy SEAL community who lost a true patriot today," Rear Adm. Jack Scorby, commander of the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, said in a prepared statement.

    Wanted: A governor who's smart about charter schools | Editorial

    Wanted: A governor who's smart about charter schools | Editorial


    The irony here is that Republicans are more supportive of charter schools, even though the Democrats supposedly care more about poor kids. In Newark and Camden, where parents have fled failing district schools by the...

    The irony here is that Republicans are more supportive of charter schools, even though the Democrats supposedly care more about poor kids.

    In Newark and Camden, where parents have fled failing district schools by the thousands, charter schools have been one of the great social successes of the past decade.
     
    They solidly outperform the district schools, in some cases by a huge margin. And their success is measured not just by tests and graduation rates; but also by the fact that poor, minority families have shown consistent preference for charter schools. Leading charters North Star Academy and KIPP (formerly known as TEAM) remain the top choices of Newark parents, out of all the schools in the city.
     
    We've also seen progress in the conventional schools in Newark and Camden, where both superintendents believe this mixed portfolio is good for the district as a whole.

    On charter schools, Newark is no Detroit | Editorial
     
    Yet the Democratic candidates in our governor's race are all curiously skeptical about charter schools. Each is departing from former President Barack Obama's courageous support for charters that defied the teacher's union, which is a real threat to this progress in our cities.
     
    Their main criticisms of charters are that they skim the best students from the district and draw money away from district schools. But Newark's universal enrollment system puts a firm hand on the scale to ensure that charters take their fair share of harder-to-educate kids. And in Camden, charter leaders run neighborhood schools that guarantee enrollment to all area students. A kid's fate is not left to a lottery.
     
    When it comes to finances, charters actually get less public money than district schools do. Under state law, the money follows the child, and charters get only 90 percent of the operating costs of traditional schools; many receive much less. And they get no capital funds.
     
    The key threats now facing charters in New Jersey are a moratorium on all charter growth, and a local vote being required to open any new charter school.

    Newark schools superintendent: Why charters succeed | Opinion
     
    Because top charters in Newark and Camden expand year by year, a moratorium would force sixth graders to transfer back to the district schools, rather than being allowed to continue on to 7th grade. That would clearly hurt kids. And since the teacher's union dominates school board elections with low turnout, giving the board veto power is akin to strangling any new charter in its crib. The better gauge is clear parental preference.
     
    The irony here is that Republicans are more supportive of charter schools, even though the Democrats supposedly care more about poor kids. Frontrunner Kim Guadagno, Christie's lieutenant governor, supports charters, but seems unfamiliar with the lay of the land.
     
    She says she wants to double the number of high quality charters where district schools are failing, as if that were solely a function of state government. And it's best to expand these schools gradually, with a careful focus on quality.
     
    Her opponent, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, appears to back a more careful strategy. He says charters should be approved only if certain conditions are met - generally, if there's evidence that the local district schools are failing, and the student population is closely representative of the district's.
     
    Just as we don't want a governor who approves too many charters regardless of quality, as if they are magic, we don't want one who is anti-charter either. That could kill the growth of even top-performing charter schools. Our best hope is a happy median.

    Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook.

    Biden vouches for front-runner Murphy as primary day draws near

    Biden vouches for front-runner Murphy as primary day draws near


    Former Vice President Joe Biden headlined a get-out-the-vote rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy. LYNDHURST - Former Vice President Joe Biden vouched for gubernatorial candidate Phil...

    Former Vice President Joe Biden headlined a get-out-the-vote rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy.

    LYNDHURST - Former Vice President Joe Biden vouched for gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy Sunday, saying the Democratic front-runner knows how to reach those voters who shunned the party last fall.

    Biden said Murphy, who, like he did, grew up in a working-class household, could address the fears of those who have seen their jobs move overseas or replaced by automation, the same people who voted for President Donald Trump last fall.

    "There are a lot of people out there who are frightened," Biden told an estimated 1,200 people at the Lyndhurst Recreation Center. "Trump played on their fears. We haven't spoken enough to the fears and aspirations of the people we come from. There's so much we can do. And Phil's spoken to it."

    Who is Phil Murphy?

    Biden was the featured speaker the get-out-the-vote rally for Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and U.S. ambassador to Germany, in advance of the June 6 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

    "We've got to get up and put one foot in front of another," Biden said as he stood next to Murphy in front of a sea of blue and green signs. "We are no longer going to stand around and wait.''

    They left the stage to Bon Jovi's "We Weren't Born to Follow."

    Murphy served as finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee and contributed the maximum $4,600 to President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and $100,000 to his inaugural committee before being tapped as an ambassador.

    Biden said he traveled to Germany at the suggestion of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) in advance of the 2013 gubernatorial election to urge Murphy to get involved in New Jersey politics.

    "I went because I thought, and Frank insisted, that this guy had all the stuff not only to be our ambassador but to be a great political leader for us," Biden said. 

    Murphy declined to run at that time but has emerged this year as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination to succeed Gov Chris Christie.

    As he took the stage with Biden, Murphy pledged to stand up to Trump, who has moved to defund the women's heath care provider Planned Parenthood, increase the use of fossil fuels such as oil and coal, and cut taxes for wealthy Americans while reducing spending for food stamps, Medicaid and children's health coverage.

    "We're going to have to deal with a hostile administration coming out of Washington," Murphy said. "We're going to need a governor - and I will be that governor - with a steel backbone who says, 'Mr. Trump, not in New Jersey will you do that.'"

    Biden said the race has attracted national, as well as international, attention as one of only two gubernatorial contests this November. The other one is in Virginia.

    "This is the single most important race in the country in the next three years before the presidential race," Biden said. "The whole country - and without exaggeration, the world - is going to look at it. They're going to see if America bought into this crass and uncomfortable rhetoric or whether we are able to re-establish and reassert who we are."

    Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-9th Dist.), who spoke at the rally and is backing Murphy, said he was buoyed by the size of the crowd for Murphy.

    "Primaries are usually lightly attended, " Pascrell said. "This is a good sign for Murphy."

    A recent Stockton University survey gave Murphy - who has spent $18.4 million on the race, nearly four times as much the other 10 major-party candidates combined - 34 percent in the Democratic primary race.

    He was followed by former U.S. Treasury official Jim Johnson with 10 percent and state Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) with 9 percent. The poll had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

    Murphy has the endorsement of all 21 Democratic county organizations, giving him the top line in the June 6 primary. 

    Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JDSalant or on Facebook. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.

    4 teenagers arrested after police pursuit in Trenton

    4 teenagers arrested after police pursuit in Trenton


    Officers initially tried to stop the vehicle because it was reported stolen, police said. TRENTON -- Four teenagers were arrested early Sunday after they led officers on a car chase that ended in Ewing, police...

    Officers initially tried to stop the vehicle because it was reported stolen, police said.

    TRENTON -- Four teenagers were arrested early Sunday after they led officers on a car chase that ended in Ewing, police said.

    Trenton police officers with the department's Street Crimes Unit observed a reported stolen vehicle just before 2 a.m. in the area of Chambers and Forrest streets, Lt. Stephen Varn said.

    Officers attempted to pull over the vehicle but it did not stop, Varn said. Officers chased the vehicle but lost sight of it, the lieutenant said. 

    The vehicle was spotted again on West Hanover and Calhoun streets, Varn said. Police continued to chase after the vehicle until the pursuit ended at Buttonwood Drive and Allison Avenue in Ewing, Varn said.

    The four boys -- two 15-year-olds from Trenton, a 14-year-old Trenton boy and a 16-year-old from Yardville in Hamilton -- were arrested and each charged with receiving stolen property. Their names were not released because they are under the age of 18.

    During the pursuit, a police vehicle was damaged after crashing into the stolen vehicle, Varn said. He did not have information on the make and model of the stolen vehicle. 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     
    Leinaweaver top money-winner as Cowtown Rodeo opens 2017 season

    Leinaweaver top money-winner as Cowtown Rodeo opens 2017 season


    Saturday night was the opening of the 2017 season at Cowtown Rodeo. PILESGROVE TWP. --  John Leinaweaver was the top money-winning cowboy during the season opener at Cowtown Rodeo Saturday night. This marks the...

    Saturday night was the opening of the 2017 season at Cowtown Rodeo.

    PILESGROVE TWP. --  John Leinaweaver was the top money-winning cowboy during the season opener at Cowtown Rodeo Saturday night.

    This marks the beginning of the 63rd season for the rodeo, billed as the oldest weekly rodeo in the United States.

    Leinaweaver, of Orrtanna, Pa., placed first in the steer wrestling and second in the bull riding to take home an evening's total in prize money of $1,159.33.

    Here are the results from Saturday night's performance. They include the contestant's name, score or time, and winnings:

    Bareback Bronc Riding: First, Tim Kent, 74 score, $402.32; Scott Bevins, 66, $301.74; Dalton Jones, 64, $201.16; Brian Leddy, 60, $100.58.

    Saddle Bronc Riding: First, Ray Hostetler, 67 score, $522.17; Will Stiles, 63, $427.23. (Each cowboy received $142.41 in ground money)

    Bull Riding: First, Seth White, 81 score, $676.80; John Leinaweaver, 70, $507.60; Mike Adams, 69.5, $338.40; Austin Beaty, 68, $169.20.

    How rodeo became a New Jersey tradition

    Steer Wrestling: First, John Leinaweaver, 6.4 seconds time, $651.73; Chad Stoltzfus, 12.9, $501.33; A.J. Williams, 14.5, $350.93.

    Tie Down Roping: First, Matt McKinstry, 12.9 seconds time, $646.72; Robbie Erck, 13.0, $485.04; Carmine Nastri, 14.3, $323.36; Chris Brennan, 14.4, $161,68.

    Team Roping: (Tie for first), Waylon Cameron and Ryan Whetham, 6.9 seconds time, $925.38 each and Ross Clatterbuck and J.R. Myers, 6.9, $925.38 each; Lavern King and Ty Miller, 8.1, $663.48 each; Terry Shetron and Anthony L. Wenger, 10.2, $488.88 each; Andy Bennett and Jason Martindale, 12.2, $314.28 each; Carmine Nastri and Ty Rumford, 13.3, $174.60 each.

    Barrel Racing: First, Wendy Chestnut, 17.38 seconds time, $648.60; Joyce Stoltzfus, 17.70, $564; Kristin Weber, 17.77, $479.40; April Masterson, 18.04, $394.80; Lisa Barone, 18.09, $310.20; Karly Stoltzfus, 18.18, $225.60; Jennifer Romriell, 18.26, $141; Rebecca Weaver, 18.28, $56.40.

    The rodeo continues every Saturday, rain or shine, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cowtown Rodeo arena, on U.S. Route 40 through September.

    Bill Gallo Jr. may be reached at [email protected]. Follow Bill Gallo Jr. on Twitter @bgallojr. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Net neutrality under attack by corporate hacks | Editorial

    Net neutrality under attack by corporate hacks | Editorial


    It will take a national expression of outrage to get the FCC and its telecom masters to back off. Watch video As of Friday, there were 2.87 million comments from internet users on the FCC's website,...

    It will take a national expression of outrage to get the FCC and its telecom masters to back off. Watch video

    As of Friday, there were 2.87 million comments from internet users on the FCC's website, most of them wondering why they must now fight for something that was settled two years ago.

    They believe that the web has a bedrock principle: The mighty broadband providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon shouldn't be allowed to selectively slow down or block websites, and all internet data must be treated equally. This code, known as net neutrality, has been upheld in court.

    But the FCC is under Republican management these days, and its chairman believes these internet service providers should make their own rules. That includes allowing ISPs to charge websites such as Netflix higher fees for faster streaming, and shove lesser-known websites and free content into a slow lane - or, if they choose, block them entirely.

    It's not only about money, though consumers can expect subscription rates to rise for those websites that will pay higher tolls for using more bandwidth.

    It's also about these large corporate interests choking off content they don't like, and fast-tracking the content they support. For example, an ISP such as Verizon will favor Yahoo (which it owns) over Google, and subject Google to a toll hike to drive in the fast lane.

    ISPs would also be able to manipulate choices you make online by undermining the startups that cannot afford to compete in this new, fast-lane economy.

    That isn't about keeping the internet open and free or inspiring innovation, which should be everyone's aim.

    This is about giant telecoms with massive lobbying budgets creating a pay-for-play culture that will result in consumer gouging, and if anything merits public outrage and Congressional attention, this is it.

    Net neutrality preserved, but the game's afoot | Editorial

    FCC chairman Ajit Pai says he expects the ISPs to act responsibly, so regulations shouldn't be imposed on them because of hypothetical risks of abuse.

    Spoiler alert: Pai is a former Verizon attorney, and his perspective on this issue is that of a disingenuous corporate lackey with a short memory.

    Before the current rules were imposed, Comcast deliberately slammed the brakes on Netflix's streaming speed in 2013, leading to an exodus of customers until the movie website paid "an arbitrary tax," as the Netflix CEO called it.

    And yes, ISPs restrict information because of politics: Verizon once blocked texts from NARAL, the pro-choice advocacy group; AT&T cut off the streaming audio of concerts that were critical of President Bush.

    Pai also leaves out the part about cable/internet companies being monopolies in the regions they serve: Americans have no alternative to the mostly lousy service they pay for.

    Your privacy is now for sale, thanks to N.J.'s GOP reps | Editorial

    Now the open internet is in the crosshairs of another president, one elected as an economic populist, who promised to fight for the little guy against corporate interests.

    Little did his voters know that they were voting for higher cable and internet bills.

    This issue is not really partisan, but the rules will likely change with every new occupant in the White House. The solution could be legislative compromise, but it's not likely to happen in the current environment: The Republicans don't believe in ceding authority; the Democrats say there is no need for compromise because net neutrality was affirmed by the courts 11 months ago, and the public demands it by a 61-18 margin.

    Still, Pai will ram this through, because he's a corporate shill masquerading as a public servant, and it will likely end up back in court. But Congress should not wait for the courts to reestablish the ground rules: It should listen to its voters, including the 4.4 million internet users who carpet-bombed the FCC website back in 2014, which led to the current regulations.

    The public has 80 more days to comment on the FCC proposal, but that's only half the job: It must remind its representatives in Congress that corporations shouldn't be allowed to decide what we do online, and reaffirm that the FCC's duty is to enforce that principle. This is too important a fight to leave to political hacks.

    Are your interests served in Congress? Use this tool to keep track.

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    PHOTOS: African-American Heritage Parade in Newark

    PHOTOS: African-American Heritage Parade in Newark


    The parade made a return to Newark after a seven-year hiatus. NEWARK -- After a seven-year hiatus, the state's largest celebration of African-American heritage and culture returned to Newark on Sunday. The featured...

    The parade made a return to Newark after a seven-year hiatus.

    NEWARK -- After a seven-year hiatus, the state's largest celebration of African-American heritage and culture returned to Newark on Sunday.

    The featured event of the African-American Heritage Festival in Weequahic Park, the parade kicked off at noon at Lincoln Park and made its way up Broad Street to Lafayette Street, down Lafayette to Mulberry, before it ended at Edison Place.

    The parade's grandstand was located at the steps of City Hall. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka was this year's grand marshal.

    The African-American Heritage Festival continues on Monday. It offers family entertainment and activities, including carnival rides, a petting zoo, pony rides and other vendors. 

    At 100, South Jersey barber has no plans to retire

    At 100, South Jersey barber has no plans to retire


    Elmer barber Joe Baraca Sr. was honored May 26, 2017, with a large community celebration marking his 100th birthday. ELMER -- Retirement is not something barber Joe Barca Sr. is considering. He's been cutting hair...

    Elmer barber Joe Baraca Sr. was honored May 26, 2017, with a large community celebration marking his 100th birthday.

    ELMER -- Retirement is not something barber Joe Barca Sr. is considering.

    He's been cutting hair for 90 years, since he learned the trade at the age of 10, and has no plans to put down his scissors and comb.

    "It all depends on what you want to do in life," Barca said Friday as hundreds turned out for a party marking his 100th birthday. "I love to deal with people. By being among people you still feel alive."

    The celebration on Barca's milestone birthday, billed as an Italian festival, was held in the borough park across the street from Barca's barber shop. There was a huge feast and music under large tents.

    "Wonderful, very nice," Barca said, beaming as he surveyed the crowd.

    For his birthday, congratulatory letters and proclamations came from officials around the region, and there was even a letter from the White House.

    "He's always positive," said Barca's grandson Brian Eachus. "... his wit. That's what people love about him."

    Barca's shop on South Main Street is a throwback to earlier times. Two barber chairs -- one for the customers of Joe Sr. and one for his son Joe Jr. 's clients -- are there. There are large mirrors found at older shops and plenty of seats for waiting customers and those those friends who just stop by.

    The walls are covered with photographs and newspaper clippings which chronicle Barca's life.

    He was born in Glassboro on May 26, 1917, and at age 3 his family immigrated back to Italy. It was there he learned the barbering trade in Sicily and by the age of 10 was cutting hair professionally, his family says.

    At age 14, alone, he returned to the U.S. where he would work with a brother cutting hair before he bought his the shop in Elmer in 1952 where he still works today.

    In the early 1960s his son, Joe Jr., now 68, joined his father in the business and they still work as a team.

    "As long as his health holds up and he feels good he's going to be here. He just thrives on this," Joe Barca Jr. said.

    "He's amazing," his daughter, Anne Young, said, adding her dad has always been health conscious, watching his diet and exercising. "He's positive and he loves with what he does."

    Among the many family members on hand Friday also was another of Barca's daughters, Mary Bogush.

    "I think he gave everybody in town their first haircut," said Ken Camp, who had his ponytail trimmed off by Barca on Friday. Camp is commander of Elmer VFW Post 1259 where Barca is a member.

    Barca hadn't planned to do any haircuts Friday because of the big birthday celebration, but he relented and trimmed up Camp, and also gave Eachus a cut.

    David Cloak, who has been coming to Barca's shop for 30 years, came out to congratulate his longtime barber on his milestone.

    "There's great conversation and always a good haircut. You can't beat it," he said.

    Cloak's father, Al, has been a customer for four decades.

    "You take your time. There is no hurry. It's done properly, with consistency."

    Often customers will stop by the shop, which is open five days a week, just to chat. They'll discuss the news of the day and the stock market and investments, something that is Barca's "obsession," his family says.

    His family says Barca is proud of his Italian heritage, his service to in the U.S. Air Force in World War II and is a man of strong faith.

    During his time in Elmer, many longtime businesses have come and gone, but Barca's salon has remained a constant.

    "You are part of Elmer," said borough Mayor Joseph Stemberger.

    As for Barca's son, Joe Jr., he doesn't have any plans to retire, either.

    "No," he said as he watched well-wishers pour into the barber shop to greet this father. "Only God will retire me."

    Bill Gallo Jr. may be reached at [email protected]. Follow Bill Gallo Jr. on Twitter @bgallojr. Find NJ.com on Facebook.