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Here are some things from our inbox today

By Ricky Suta, September 15 2023 6:34 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy gave the keynote address at the Southern New Jersey Development Council’s (SNJDC) 41st annual Sound Off for South Jersey Legislative Conference today in Atlantic City. Assemblyman Don Guardian (R-Atlantic City), Assemblyman William Spearman (D-Camden ), Assemblywoman Carol Murphy (D-Mount Laurel), and Assemblyman Brandon Umba (R-Hainesport) were all also in attendance and gave their perspectives on issues ranging from infrastructure to the opioid crisis.

James R. Lisa, a Jersey City attorney, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and tax crimes. He stole more than $2 million dollars from his clients. “James Lisa used his law license to execute a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme and rip off clients who placed their trust in him,” Says U.S. Attorney Phillip R. Sellinger: “James Lisa used his law license to execute a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme and rip off clients who placed their trust in him… Lisa’s guilty plea should reassure the public that our office will bring the full weight of the justice system on attorneys who violate federal law.”

2024 Republican Senate candidate Shirley Maia-Cusick is backing the House Impeachment Inquiry into President Joe Biden, and criticizing the President’s son, Hunter Biden. Says Maia-Cusick: “The House impeachment inquiry into President Biden must move forward so the American people can see all the facts surrounding the President’s involvement in Hunter Biden’s questionable foreign business activities. Rampant corruption and nepotism must be rooted out both in the White House and in the United States Senate, which is why I am running to unseat New Jersey’s corrupt Senator Bob Menendez once and for all.”

State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) hosted a meeting between various local stakeholders and Netflix executives yesterday at Monmouth University. The meeting allowed for discussion of the development of the production studio at Fort Monmouth. Says Gopal: “I wanted to ensure that the leadership from Netflix understood how important it is to engage with local businesses and labor unions as their project moved forward. This project will bring in significant revenue and boost our local economies, and it is of the utmost importance that this money goes to our small family-owned businesses within the county.”

On Monday, Shawn LaTourette, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, will kick off Climate Week at Cheesequake State Park by unveiling a Climate Change Learning Station. This is the first of five such stations, in select state parks, throughout the state. LaTourette will be joined by Cheesequake State Park Superintendent Jon Luk and Amanda Archer, a Coastal Training Program Coordinator for Rutgers University’s Jacques Cousteau Reserve.

The New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC) will host its seventh annual immigration conference tonight at 6:30 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Union City. The city’s mayor and State Sen. Brian Stack (D-Union City), will deliver opening remarks; former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will give the keynote address.  The conference will be divided into two panels. The first, titled “Becoming an American,” features immigration attorneys discussing the path to citizenship; the second, titled “Protecting Your Family,” will go over local, state, and federal benefits available to individuals with questions of status.   The NJRC is run by former Gov. James E. McGreevey, a possible candidate for mayor of Jersey City in 2025.

Bergen County celebrated the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month at Bergen County Community College today. Hispanic Heritage month goes from today through October 15. When announcing the start of the month, Bergen County Executive James Tedesco presented a Key to the County to Consul General of the Consulate General of Mexico in New Brunswick, Mariana Diaz and Consul General of the Consulate General of Dominican Republic in New Jersey, Angel Pichardo Acosta. Bergen County Commissioner Vice Chairwoman Germaine Ortiz delivered closing remarks at the event.

Congregation Ahavat Achim, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Fair Lawn, was evacuated last night after a bomb threat. Upon investigation, no bomb was found. Says State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus), Assemblyman Chris Tully (D-Bergenfield) and Assemblywoman Lisa Swain (D-Fair Lawn): “The bomb threat targeted at Congregation Ahavat Achim in Fair Lawn last night was a disgraceful act of cowardice. While we are relieved that no evidence of a bomb or related materials was found, this threat – which came just ahead of Rosh Hashanah – is deeply troubling. ” They added: “Last year, antisemitic incidents increased 36 percent. We are committed to working with federal, state, and local partners to address rising extremism.”

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) will host their third annual Energy Policy Conference on October 10. The event will honor former PSEG Chairman and CEO Ralph Izzo, former Senate President Steve Sweeney, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, State Sen. Bob Smith (D-Piscataway). Says Ray Cantor, the NJBIA Deputy Chief of Government Affairs: “This event will provide ample opportunity to discuss the current state of climate science, the risks of acting and of not acting, as well as the upgrades to our energy grid and other potential energy solutions to help New Jersey reduce emissions.”

The Animal Protection League of New Jersey will hold a protest against proposed bear hunts next Saturday, September 23 at the Paramus Borough Hall. Earlier this week, bear advocates told voters not to vote for Democratic legislative candidates, unless the hunt is canceled.

Steve Adubato’s conversation with Tamara Payne, co-author of The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, will air tomorrow at 7am on NJ PBS; at 7:30am on WNET; and on Sunday at 11am on NJ PBS. Payne co-wrote the book with her late father, Les Payne. Adubato’s conversation about artificial intelligence with David A. Baeder, Ph.D. will air tomorrow at 8am and 5:30pm on NJ PBS; and 8:30am on WNET; and on Sunday at 8am and 12pm on NJ PBS.

Finally, a somber and important note. Today is the 60-year anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, in Birmingham, Alabama. Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Denise McNair – all just 14 – were killed after the Ku Klux Klan planted and detonated dynamite in the church. The bombing left dozens injured, including Collins younger sister, Sarah Collins Rudolph, who was only 12. The bombing is seen as a pivotal turning point for the Civil Rights Movement – but the day’s immense personal and human tragedy cannot be overlooked. Says Collins Rudolph: “I don’t know what had happened. I just wondered why people put a bomb in the church and kill innocent people? We came in the church to praise God.” May the memory of Collins, Robertson, Wesley, and McNair be a blessing.

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