Local Beat: Reopening of historic Hahne’s building a sign of the ‘new Newark’

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

REOPENING OF HISTORIC HAHNE’S BUILDING, WITH WHOLE FOODS, A SIGN OF THE NEW NEWARK
Mark Bonamo of NewarkInc reports on the reopening of the historic Hahne’s department store building in Newark, which was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting earlier this week. The building, opened in 1901, has been shuttered for the past three decades. Among the expected tenants in the mixed retail and residential complex is a highly-anticipated Whole Foods.

AFTER FIVE-HOUR MEETING, BAYONNE ZONING BOARD STILL CAN’T DECIDE ON MOSQUE
A five-hour meeting with 500 people ended without a decision from the Bayonne Zoning Board earlier this week over the conversion of an East 24th Street building into a Muslim community center and mosque. Hudson County View reports that the concerns discussed were mostly related to traffic and parking and there were no protests or “rowdiness” this time. Votes and hearings on the proposal have been pushed back several times.

COLUMBIA HIGH STUDENTS WALK OUT OF CLASS IN PROTEST OF TRUMP INAUGURATION
Students at Maplewood’s Columbia High School left class on Friday and marched to the Maplewood Town Hall to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump, Village Green reports. Police closed a portion of Valley Street to allow the students to walk safely. Several school administrators also accompanied the students, who were back in class by noon.

THOUSANDS TURN OUT IN NJ FOR WOMEN’S MARCH; OTHERS TRAVEL TO DC TO MARK INAUGURATION
People gathered in several New Jersey towns on Saturday as part of the Women’s March, including Westfield, where TAP into Westfield reports a larger-than-expected crowd marched through downtown. Meanwhile, MyVeronaNJ put together a large photo gallery of the various ways its residents celebrated or protested the inauguration of Donald Trump. 

ETHNICNJ LAUNCHES RESOURCE LISTING PAGE FOR NJ IMMIGRANTS
EthnicNJ has launched a new resource page listing organizations working to protect immigrants and their rights in New Jersey. The site lists such organizations as the ACLU and New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. 

CHERRY HILL BOE ‘RAGTIME’ CENSORSHIP RAISES SHADES OF LOCAL PREJUDICE, CHALLENGES THEATER DEPT.
A decision by Cherry Hill Public Schools to censor harsh language in the Cherry Hill High School East upcoming production of Ragtime: The Musical has garnered national attention, reopened old wounds from the community’s uncomfortable history with race, and challenged the artistic integrity of its acclaimed drama department. Matt Skoufalos of NJ Pen says two generations of township residents found common cause at a school board meeting over the desire to teach history without repeating it.

NEWLY-ELECTED EAST BRUNSWICK MAYOR GIVES STATE OF THE TOWNSHIP REPORT
Brad Cohen, the recently-elected mayor of East Brunswick, gave a “State of the Township” report this week, focusing on taxes, redevelopment and millenials, according to TAP into East Brunswick. One of the things he prioritized was the possibility of redeveloping large portions of commercial corridors to attract younger residents. Cohen is also hoping to hire a full-time economic development officer. 

STATE OF THE ARTS EPISODE TO FOCUS ON SPRINGSTEEN PHOTO EXHIBITION
This weekend’s new State of the Arts episode takes a look at the Bruce Springsteen photo exhibit at the Morven Museum & Garden in Princeton. The show airs Sunday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. on NJTV and 11 a.m. on WHYY. The exhibit runs through May 21.

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