Archive for March, 2013

Ohio Tax Credit

March 26, 2013

“The Ohio Tax Credit Authority is a five-member independent board consisting of taxation and economic development professionals from throughout the state. The Authority is charged with reviewing and approving applications for tax credit assistance. In addition, the Authority and its compliment of staff provided by the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) have oversight responsibilities that include annual monitoring and reporting the progress of approved tax credit projects.” (Ohio DSA website) Christiane Schmenk is chairperson by virtue of being Director, DSA. Two members are appointments made by Governor Kasich — Emmett Kelly of Frost Brown Todd LLC, Cols. and Rodney Crider, President Wayne Economic Development Council, Wooster. Jamie N. Beier Grant, Director Ottawa County Improvement Corporation, Oak Harbor was appointed by House Speaker William Batchelder and David Smith, Director, Economic Development, Duke Energy, Mason was appointed by State Senator Tom Niehaus. This week The Newark Advocate (and others) reported that the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved tax credits for SpeedFC which leases space from ProLogics on US 40 in Etna township. Prologics offers to build to suit for its tenants with a 15 year 100% Real Estate Tax Abatement. Licking County Real Estate tax collected is spread out to pay for schools, fire protection, county service, road maintenance, senior citizens, library, mental health, children services, township, parks, etc. WCLT reported the authorized tax credit to be 50% for 8 years in exchange for the creation of 250 new jobs. ProLogics has agreed to custom build and lease a new 770,000 square foot facility for SpeedFC. It is unclear whether this is in addition to what SpeedFC has been leasing to date. SpeedFC located in Columbus in 2006. What the terms of their startup were (with regard to tax abatements/job creation credits) is unclear. They are a private corporation founded by Jeff Zisk, chairman, and three other members of the board. The Newark Advocate has Dan Evers (Licking County Chamber of Commerce economic development director) of Grow Licking County Community Investment Corporation claiming that the current annual payroll of $5.5 million will eventually increase to $11.5 million. Employee payroll taxes are unaffected by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority decision. The W-2 form that workers receive at the start of every year shows the total of Federal taxes withheld (income, Social Security, etc.), State (the part SpeedFC got a 50% credit for over the next 8 years), and Local (regardless of where the worker resides). In addition to this, the worker may need to pay the income tax in the “Local” municipality in which they actually reside. A school income tax may also be withheld if the worker’s school district is funded by this in addition to the Real Estate property tax (for which SpeedFC pays none). Bottom line is that the worker, through their payroll and Real Estate tax will be paying for the municipality, roads, county services and schools in the area in which their employer, SpeedFC generates its earnings that ultimately go out of state. Dan Evers gives credit for this coup to the concerted efforts of the chamber, Etna township officials, Licking County Commissioners, Columbus 2020, ProLogics and Southgate Corporation. “Columbus 2020 is a bold, new, regional public-private partnership that will leverage Central Ohio´s research and academic institutions, diverse industries to position the State Capital to become the fastest growing economy in the country and one of the nation´s leaders in economic development.” (Cols. 2020 website). ProLogics is a subsidiary corporation of AMB Property Corp. ProLogics is a world-wide land developer of primarily industrial property with ownership or control of over 554 million square feet in 21 countries. Hamid Moghadam, one of three co-founders of AMB is CEO of ProLogics, a publicly traded company. Southgate Corporation, a private company founded by John O’Neill, now headed by Robert O’Neill, originally acquired the property on US 40 in Etna township for development. Grow Licking County Community Investment Corporation is a public/private enterprise headed by the Licking County Chamber of Commerce. Tom Cummiskey, Park National Bank, is chairman of the Licking County Chamber Board. Etna Township trustees include John J. Carlisle, Randy Foor and Jeff Johnson. Licking County Commissioners are Tim Bubb, Doug Smith and Duane Flowers. Of all the people involved in this tax credit decision, only the last six represent (through being elected) some of those whose payrolls will be taxed. It should be noted that Etna township does not include the city of Newark, and that the only benefit Newark would receive from this arrangement is any taxes on residents employed directly or indirectly because of SpeedFC. “SPEED FC is a privately-owned, leading provider of end-to-end e-commerce services headquartered in Dallas, Texas” (SpeedFC website)


Ownership Of Downtown Newark

March 23, 2013

Downtown Newark property is news. The Jerry McClain Company resurfaced recently with the sale of the North Third Street Tower to Park National Bank (Newark Advocate 3-18-13). He had previously obtained the majority of the property north of Locust Street. Having leveled all the previous development that existed there, it is now vacant in anticipation of future potential investment. The Tower sale points in that direction. The new Heartland Bank building (of which Mr. McClain is on the board of directors) is an indicator of the new. Newark Development Partners Community Improvement Corporation hired Fred Ernest to be its director. From the 3-22-13 Newark Advocate: “Ernest will be tasked initially with leading redevelopment planning and improvements for downtown Newark” The Advocate goes on to quote Dan DeLawder , chairman of the Community Improvement Corporation as well as chairman of Park National Corporation (a 5.5 billion dollar corporation according to Wiki): “This is an exciting time for the City of Newark. This hire shows our commitment to helping our existing businesses expand and thrive as well as the priority of having a long-term plan in place to further improve the business, industrial and residential living areas of our vibrant and attractive city.” As pointed out in this blog’s Vital Statistics posting, almost half of Newark’s residences are non-owner occupant. On April 8 a group of citizens will petition the City Council to enact rental registration along with inspection/certification based on safe and life sustaining standards.

In English/American culture the “commons” disappeared long ago. It is confused with the state and what is considered “public”. We assume the state (Federal, State, County, Municipality, etc.) to be akin to what originally meant “the commons” in that these entities are, in theory, accessed by all the citizens as well as are meant to serve all the citizens of the state. Unlike the commons, they also stand outside the citizens who make them possible through the authority of law. Square footage distinguishes “real” property from personal property. With the absence of any commons, all real estate (real property) must be declared as having a title of ownership. This declaration is made to the state (recorded) to establish rights and privileges (of ownership) as well as duties, responsibilities and liabilities before the law. Newark’s downtown has a natural limit on the east side (the Licking River) and man-made one’s on the others – the RR tracks on the south, the freeway immediately on the north and again eventually on the west. An area bounded by Locust street on the north, First street on the east, Fourth Street on the west and Market Street on the south forms a neat square, approximately a third of a mile on each side. To many, this is downtown Newark. According to the state, someone has title to every square foot of this 3,082,132 square feet of downtown Newark. Likewise, to be owned, it must be declared (recorded with the County). The names appearing on the titles of properties within this area in downtown Newark fall into 3 separate distinctions – individuals, corporations and associations, and government. Though each parcel of property is distinguished by Title, all are interconnected by the 5  (or so) miles of public roads and alleys and the water and sewers lines below as well as the private utilities of gas, electric, telecommunications lines throughout. Within this area individuals’ names appear on the titles to approximately 12.7% of the square footage recorded by the County. Government appears on approximately 18.5% of the recorded square footage, while corporations, associations and trusts appear as owners of the remaining 68.8%. Individuals are one or more individuals stated as such (Manuel R. Vela). Government can be City of Newark, State of Ohio, etc. Corporations, associations and trusts can be readily identified as a business (Park National Bank), Foundations (Evans Foundation), churches or entities set up primarily and solely for recording purposes; the address of the real property given as an LLC or LTD, i.e. 17-19 S. Park LTD.( a corporation, by definition, being an entity that exists solely in contemplation of the law).  Rights and privileges along with the duties, liabilities, and responsibilities of ownership may (or may not) be addressed by an individual whose name appears on the title, will receive a bureaucratic response from titles showing government ownership, but most likely will always solicit legal representation in the case of the majority of titles (the 68.8%). Within this group, churches make up about 6% of all the real property ownership in this portion of downtown Newark while banks own more than double that – 13%. Park National Bank, headquartered in Newark, owns 9% of the real estate in this downtown area.

The words ownership and development mean different things to different entities (people or corporations). Students are asked to “take ownership” of a project or task, assume responsibility. For a corporation, ownership can be an asset or a liability, something to be either capitalized or disclaimed. For a resident of a neighborhood, development can be less trash on the street, lighting for their children’s safety, maybe sidewalks to walk to schools or a recreation center, maybe even just a community center to begin with. For a corporation, development means greater return on investment, more profit. The economy of those who live in Newark (of which almost half do not own the real estate they reside on) is not the same economy as that of those having title to Newark real property.  One is an economy of sustaining life, the other is one of business and the market.

72 Wing Street

March 13, 2013

The 3-13-13 Newark Advocate runs a front page story stating that the city’s Development Director (Mark Mauter) recommends that the city repay close to $34,000. It is either that or spend $50,000 to fulfill a 2009 Community Housing Improvement Program grant. The grant was to cover the rehabilitation of 72 Wing St, a Newark rental property. As mentioned in this blog’s initial postings re: Vital Statistics, the recent US census shows 43% of Newark properties are non-owner occupant. In the case of 72 Wing St, the Advocate quotes the owner, a James J. Washburn of Pataskala, as saying “The city is responsible for repaying the state, and there is nothing I have to repay. We’ll have to figure out between me and the tenant how to take care of the issues that remain.” The Licking County auditor’s tax card shows the market value of the residence as being $37,500. It also shows that although there was a joint survivorship deed issued with the initial property purchase by the Washburn’s in 2002 (for $34,000), in 2009 there was an exempt conveyance of the deed to James J. Washburn Trustee (of a trust, corporation or association). Although the Advocate may be technically correct, the same year the Community Housing Improvement Program grant was utilized, Mr. Washburn put some legal distance between this non-owner occupied property and any liabilities or responsibilities he (and his family) may have. He was correct in stating “The city is responsible for repaying the state, and there is nothing I have to repay. We’ll have to figure out between me and the tenant how to take care of the issues that remain.” His tenant, the people who actually live there (the residents of 72 Wing St.),  now find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

Percs And Perks

March 13, 2013

The 3-12-13 Newark Advocate reports that the Newark Council’s Finance Committee will be forwarding a request to spend $500,000 to clean up the former Quality Chemical site on South 21st St. That money will be provided through a Jobs Ready Site Fund grant. The Jobs Ready Site Fund was instituted under the Ohio Revised Code in 2006 and is not to be confused with the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka the Stimulus). A “Current Brownfield Project Update” for the Economic Development Committee of the Newark City Council (12-13-10) showed the former Quality Chemical site to be at 217 south 21st St. It listed the presence within the ground, groundwater and concrete of Tetrachloroethane, trichloroethylene (variants of “Dry cleaning fluid” or Percs), and Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) at low levels. Exposure to these is considered hazardous, whether as windborn dust, water run off or accumulated vapor. The cost of that assessment was just shy of $119,000 (paid for by the Clean Ohio Assistance Fund).  It shows the history of the property use being that of auto repair in the 1960’s, followed by janitorial supply/chemical storage from 1970 to 1996 when it became Quality Chemical. The property changed ownership in 1980 and again in 1996. The property has not transferred ownership since. Auditor’s records don’t indicate owner occupant or landlord tenant in terms of ownership/use responsibility. Records also show a Small Business Administration loan made to the owner of Quality Chemical in 1996. In that year, the Republican led U.S. House of Representatives worked to eliminate the SBA which held a cabinet level position under the Clinton White House. The SBA provides government backed guarantees on the larger part of a loan in the event of default. Currently the property at 217 S. 21st St. is in foreclosure with the market value on the tax card being listed at just under $46,000 and showing close to $7,000 in unpaid taxes and penalties outstanding.

Come Back To Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard

March 8, 2013

The Newark Meijer is set to close in May. Thursday one of the employees was out near the entrance trying to fill a large pothole with a shovel and cold patch asphalt from a bag. Layoffs begin tomorrow. The north 21st Street neighborhood is occupied by three other supermarkets – Aldi, Kroger and Walmart. The present Connell’s/Ollie’s/etc. building further north once housed a Columbus based food retailer named Big Bear. That location was their attempt at a hypermarket (Harts and Big Bear under one roof), something the Michigan based Meijer pioneered and mastered. Big Bear also had stores in Heath at Southgate and downtown Newark (now Lil Bear). Big Bear folded taking down all its retailers. Giant Eagle, out of Pennsylvania, swept in revitalizing many of the supermarkets, including the Southgate store but not the 21st St. one. That location remained essentially neglected and vacant. It has only recently recovered full tenancy after extensive renovation. Going way back in the “way back machine” one finds a large strip mall at the southwest corner of Mt Vernon Rd. and Deo drive. It housed, among other things, a Kroger, Plaza Hardware, and even a Cinema. On north 21st St. was a discount retailer named Twin Fair. To get a feel for what a shopping experience was like there and then, visit LS Sales in Lancaster. The west side of 21st St south of Goosepond was a vast, unintentional wetlands – monoculture farming when it was dry, enormous amounts of ducks, geese, and amphibians when it was wet (this time of year). Indian Valley Plaza was built with Kroger committing as an anchor tenant. Plaza Hardware moved to where the new Mt. Vernon Rd. Goodwill outlet will soon open. Eventually the strip mall left behind sat empty and deteriorating for the longest time until finally being demolished. Meijer bought out Twin Fair and turned what was, at that time, a relatively new building into a hypermarket. This was quite exceptional for Meijer. Like Aldi, Meijer builds new, always promoting a consistent brand identity through its architecture. Arkansas based Walmart decided geese, ducks, and frogs look better on fabric and as lawn ornaments so they put up a parking lot. Aldi was the last to move in. Altogether, 48,000 residents can, within Newark itself, bring home the groceries from 3 large hypermarkets and one “efficiency” model supermarket on the north end of town, and one smaller store downtown. In addition, a smattering of small grocery stores throughout the other neighborhoods enables those without transportation to do likewise. Outside the city proper are the 4 large retailers (and Aldi) in Heath with Giant Eagle being the closest. For those wanting to leave an even larger carbon footprint, there is always the Aldi owned Trader Joes, etc. miles away (but “only minutes away” via the new freeways).

Walmart sits on 22 acres, is the largest retailer and the third largest corporation in the world. It offers banking services and green groceries. According to Wiki, “in 2009, it generated 51 percent of its $258 billion sales in the U.S. from grocery business.” It is a publicly traded company with just under half the shares owned by the managing Walton family. It actively resists any representation or organization by its employees. It is the biggest private employer in the world. Cincinnati based Kroger is one tenant of the Indian Valley Plaza that displaces 16 acres. It is a publicly traded company, the largest grocery chain and 2nd largest retailer in the US, and the 4th largest retailer in the world. Its employees are organized and represented by the UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers). Recently it has posted higher than expected earnings in the 4th quarter of 2012. It has shown continuous growth for the past 37 consecutive quarters. Meijer is a private family owned and run corporation. The 21st St. location owns approximately 16 acres. The company was the first to offer self-service and shopping carts. It originated the super center hypermarket. It consistently ranks in the top 20 grocery retailers in the US. Giant Eagle is likewise privately held. In 2012 it ranked 21st among American Food Retailers. The employees in a limited number of its stores are organized and represented. Aldi is a private German discount supermarket chain. It predominantly offers a single label product line (store brand) with minimum labor being required to multi task at multiple positions. The owner of the branch of Aldi that is in America is the richest man in Germany having a worth of 17.2 billion Euros. The two co-owners (his relatives) of the branch that owns Trader Joes do not lag far behind with 16 billion.

Food in Newark. Surrounded by intensive monoculture industrial style farming that results mostly in inedible grain, Newark gets the vast majority of its food from outside, from companies likewise located outside. It is all trucked in, and all the retailers tout it as “the freshest available”. The monoculture farming surrounding Newark produces a harvest that can be used as food, or feed for animals utilized as food, or for ethanol to fuel the vehicles that get most of the residents to the food that they eventually put on their table, or to make the plastics within which they will carry that food through their entry door (most hypermarkets provide outlets for vehicle fuel). The produce of this industrial form of agriculture becomes comparable to steel, plastic resin, wood or bolts of fabric, a “raw material”. It can be “processed” into an entire array of things. One almost wonders whether someone like McDonalds won’t utilize it with 3D printers. As a commodity, it is the perfect stuff of corporate retailing. The Meijer store mirrors American juris prudence. The property owner can receive the benefits of incentives to locate and “improve” a parcel while bearing no responsibility for its demise, ultimately even benefiting in the end by having public funds used to demolish the discarded resource. Newark is uniquely positioned to illustrate this whereby corporate entities, “existing only in contemplation of the law”, receive all the benefits and rights of personhood, without any of the responsibilities. When the neglected shell of an enormous building or shopping plaza sits abandoned and deteriorating surrounded by a crumbling parking lot, it is only the “real” persons, the alive residents, who must negotiate its shabbiness and tolerate its aridity. Time passes and the resource is either redeveloped not as intended, or destroyed and left vacant. What Meijer discards could be the North 21st St. Market, ala’ the Columbus North Market (and other such “under one roof” diverse food retail centers). The monoculture thinking of the hypermarket with its international importation of processed food would receive very real and genuine competition. A single location under one roof would offer a diversity of food and locally produced retail products from equally diverse origins. Produce from area hoop houses, truck farms as well as from Amish biodiversity agriculture, all within close proximity to Newark, would really be “the freshest available” (Amish buggies often were spotted outside Meijer). Einstein is reported to have said that you cannot solve the problems you face through the same mindset that caused those problems. Diversity – something to consider.

“For if heartaches were commercials, we’d all be on TV”

John Prine

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The Right To Look

March 7, 2013

February 28, 2013 at the Honda Classic Serena Williams got busted for using her phone to make an image of Tiger Woods. On 3-5-13 the Newark Advocate ran an Op Ed piece entitled Who Owns The News by Gene Policinski, vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. In it Policinski uses the recent NASCAR Daytona race crash/YouTube video (made from a cell phone like Serena did) to introduce the notion of “owning” the news. As Gene points out, many events, places, people and products own the right to their image, to reproduction and dissemination. An image of Obama or Mickey Mouse, the recipe for KFC chicken or Chanel no. 5, the NFL design of the Dallas Cowboys star, or a Beatles’ song can be owned. Reproduce it and you are liable to be accused of theft. Policinski connects this with the freedom of the press. That the ownership of this “planned” news has limits. It does not include accounts made of “unexpected” news. His view is that unexpected news (news that is not owned) should fall under our constitutional right to freedom of the press. Policinski does not consider the various disclaimers of liability that purchasers, employees, etc.  sign that free the seller of any responsibility for “unexpected” happenings. Such an interpretation could likewise be used to insure ownership of the news, expected or unexpected.

Globally this question is considered in a completely different manner, one we Americans don’t care to consider. The right to look does not appear anywhere in our constitution. When there is a crime scene, be it one of violence to individual or property, a white collar crime or one of government abuse and corruption, the yellow crime tape goes up. It allows only those “owning” the proper credentials or press pass to enter and look. For the rest of us, the officer standing outside the tape will say “Move along now, there is nothing to see here.” As Policinski points out, the realpolitik is that “the freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one.” But considered from the perspective of a right to look, is ownership a justification for who can look? When it comes to a community of 48,000 people, like Newark (or Mansfield), does the community have a “right to look”?

The Newark community has limited outlets that own a press pass and have the right to look. The preferred outlook, the one taught in grade school civics and government classes, is that this is so because “the market” of supply and demand makes publishing and disseminating news and information possible – ownership is what makes for possibility. Currently Newark is supplied by The Newark Advocate, and 2 commercial radio stations (WCLT, WNKO). The Advocate is not locally owned while the two radio stations maintain they are. The Advocate is owned by the Gannett Company, Inc. a publicly traded media holding company headquartered in Tysons Corner, Virginia which also owns the newspapers in Lancaster, Coshocton, etc. Outside the geographic area the Newark population can obtain local news from Columbus outlets such as The Dispatch Company which is primarily owned by the Wolfe family originally of Columbus (that also owns the CBS news affiliate), the ABC news affiliate which along with the Fox news Affiliate is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group in Hunt Valley Maryland and the NBC affiliate owned by Media General Communications Holdings out of Richmond Virginia. Ownership of CBS  by CBS Corporation (formerly Viacom) is murky. Wiki has “Sumner Redstone, owner of National Amusements, is CBS’s majority shareholder and serves as executive chairman.” Disney is claimed to own ABC, Rupert Murdoch possesses Fox, and GE is touted as NBC’s owner. In addition to that, residents may access “news” from outside sources such as radio, internet, subscription print publications, etc. that may or may not include news specifically pertinent to Newark.

Who owns the news? Who owns the right to look? Who owns the right to look in Newark Ohio? Does a community of 48,000 people have a right to look?

Updated Vital Statistics

March 6, 2013

Unreferenced Wiki figures in the last post proved to be unfounded. From the US Census website, figures:

Per capita income for 2011       $21,951

Median Household Income between 2007 and 2011       $37,927

Persons below the poverty level 2007 – 2011        20.1%

The figures from the 2010 census show that 24% of the population of Newark was under the age of 18

Some figures given for the US Census 2007 – 2011 American Community Survey 5 Year Estimates (margin of error indicated on survey) fill out the economic portrait of the population of Newark.

Population over 16 years old     37,474

In the labor force       23,926

Unemployed      2,354 (approximately 10%)

Quantity of households (total 20,328) with incomes (including benefits) in 2011 dollars:

0 – $10,000     2,217

$10,000 — $14,999     1,573

$15,000 — $24,999     2,894

$25,000 — $34,999     2,748

$35,000 — $49,999     2,932

$50,000 — $74,999     3,738

$75,000 — $99,999     1,946

$100,000 – 149,999     1,601

$150,000 — $199,999     440

$200,000 – more       239

Households receiving Food Stamps/Snap benefits equaled the figures given for below the poverty line (20%)

Households can be one or more people, family or individuals. Some points of interest: the figures match the 2012 election issue of the 1% and the 99%. In this respect Newark is a microcosm of what is claimed on some unsubstantiated, and some referenced statistics regarding ownership and income disparity. The Newark Advocate, in previous stories, cited figures of 60% owner occupant housing and 40% non-owner occupant housing. The 2010 Census gave the figure at 57% owner occupant, more than 10% below the overall Ohio owner occupant rate of 69%. Another figure which jumps out but is little acted on is that 24% of the population is less than 18 years old. Of course, they can’t vote. Were that the case, politics might be significantly different. However, they seem to be “accounted” for within school budgets, over which the state and local districts battle. Newark has no public municipal community center or recreation center. The pool at Hollander was shut down for some time and has reopened under YMCA management. The 24% of Newark’s population drop out of any democratically determined policies or actions, leaving the majority rule aspect to the 76% of the population eligible to vote. However, this segment (the under 18 years of age) does contribute to the consumer based economy. Even more important, the allotment received from school budget considerations only occupies a nominal amount of time while school is in session – a rather limited part of the entire year’s calendar. This is the fly in the ointment of democracy and budget debates based on who votes, who earns and who decides what is of importance. Obviously, if 24% of the population continuously have someone else speaking on their behalf, what represents the majority is not so clear.

Vital Statistics

March 5, 2013

The official website for the city of Newark, Ohio ( fails to indicate the vital statistics of the municipality that pays for and runs the website. Wikipedia shows the city to encompass 21.37 square miles and gives the population of Newark Ohio to be 47,573 as of the 2010 census (their source). Of the 6 satellite cities within the periphery of Columbus Newark is the largest followed by Lancaster which is roughly 20% smaller than Newark. Mount Vernon is roughly a third the size of Newark.  The same census sited showed there were 21,976 housing units, a little less than one unit for each two people.  Wiki claims that “The per capita income for the city was $17,819. About 10.1% of families and 13.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.9% of those under age 18 and 9.0% of those age 65 or over.” but does not offer any reference for such statistics (2010 US Census?). Another city of almost identical size in Ohio would be Mansfield which is double the distance (of Newark) from any large metropolitan area like Columbus or Cleveland. Wiki shows “The per capita income for the city was $17,726. About 13.2% of families and 16.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.5% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over” and sites the 2000 census as the source for these figures. If Wiki’s Newark figures were likewise from the 2000 census then the two cities would be comparable as the number of housing units from the 2010 census are about the same. Newark would appear to have a somewhat lower poverty rate. Lancaster, the next largest city within the same distance of Columbus as Newark showed 17,685 housing units in the 2010 Census. Again wiki states “The per capita income for the city was $17,648. About 8.7% of families and 10.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.8% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.” without any reference as to source. Per capita figures are easily bandied about when speaking of some impoverished third world country. They begin to look different when considered intimate to one’s neighbor and one’s self. Assuming some consistency with Wiki’s non referenced sources, it would appear there is a certain homogeneity to cities such as Newark, Mansfield or Lancaster.

In the final analysis, the lack of any such vital statistics being made readily available on the official City of Newark municipal website is more telling than had these vital statistics appeared and revealed the actual composition of the city to begin with. The size of a city, both in terms of geography as well as population, is rather basic and fundamental information. Given the homogeneity with other cities of the same size or proximity to large urban centers, this lack of basic information on the part of the City of Newark’s official website indicates an ambivalence or denial in terms of defining the City of Newark’s own identity.