Local Beat: Plans under way for greenway connecting Jersey City with Phillipsburg

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

PLANS UNDER WAY FOR STATEWIDE GREENWAY CONNECTING JERSEY CITY WITH PHILLIPSBURG
There is an effort under way by the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority to link recently developed properties along the route of the former Morris Canal to create a statewide greenway stretching from Jersey City to Phillipsburg. Jared Kofsky of Jersey Digs says the NJTPA recently announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) “to support development of a continuous greenway along the historic Morris Canal right-of-way.”

CHARGES AGAINST LIEUTENANT DISPUTED AMID ONGOING LAWSUIT WITH BOROUGH OF CALDWELL
The battle between Lt. Michael Geary and the Borough of Caldwell continues. Conor McCloskey and Danielle Santola of TAP into West Essex say charges of insubordination against Lt. Geary are being disputed. The Chief of Police will have to decide whether to dismiss the charges or proceed with the legal process.

COOPER RIVER ‘INDIVISIBLE’ CHAPTER KICKS OFF WITH OVERFLOW CROWD IN COLLINGSWOOD
More than 200 people crowded into the Collingswood Public Library for the kick-off of the Cooper River Indivisible chapter, a grassroots movement that describes itself as a practical toolkit “for resisting the Trump agenda.” Matt Skoufalos of NJ Pen says the Indivisible playbook seeks to place strong pressures on elected officials at every level of government “by jamming their phone lines, demanding accountability at town hall meetings, and running progressive challengers for their seats.”

BLACK LIVES MATTER BANNERS ADORN MAPLEWOOD, SOUTH ORANGE PUBLIC SPACES
Local residents have been noticing two new “Black Lives Matter” banners that appeared around town in Maplewood and South Orange last week. The banners are the work of the group SOMA Addressing Race and Inequality, which was formed in response to previous racially-charged incidents that occurred. Village Green says the group used to exist primarily online, but has become more action-focused in the current political climate.

WHERE’S RODNEY? HUNDREDS PACK BOONTON MOSQUE ASKING FOR THEIR CONGRESSMAN
More than 350 people packed into the Jam-E-Masjid Islamic Center in Boonton on Tuesday for a town hall meeting with their congressman, Rep. Rodney Frelignhuysen of the 11th District. The problem was, Rodney never showed up. Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green says the 12-term lawmaker issued a statement indicating that he preferred “telephone town halls” instead of in-person sessions.

IT’S NO LONGER THE ‘TRUMP’ TAJ MAHAL
Donald Trump’s name is no longer associated with – or plastered all over – the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. Bill Sprouse of Route 40 has pictures of the recently-closed casino comparing the way it looked in August 2016 to the way it looks today.

KIDS’ SLIME-MAKING CRAZE CAUSES LOCAL GLUE SHORTAGE
Local residents in Westfield may have had some trouble finding glue locally after a slime-making craze caused area shortages at local arts and crafts stores – even Target was sold out. Jackie Lieberman of TAP into Westfield says the slime-making extravaganza is sweeping elementary and middle schools in the area.

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