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In The Spotlight

NJ Spotlight was at this year's annual meeting of the League of Municipalities, which gave us a chance to interview mayors from across New Jersey. One of the topics we touched on was regionalization vs. home rule. Here's what they told us.
Katz on Christie There But for the Grace of God Goes Christie
In the beginning, Gov. Chris Christie’s Catholicism was a personal affair. When he was famously asked in 2011 why he sends his four kids to Catholic school instead of the public schools he oversees, Christie said this: "Ya know what? First off, Gayle, that’s none of your business ...
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NJ Spotlight Daily News

November 20, 2014

Q&A: Prominent School Superintendent Joins Exodus to Greener Pastures
John Mooney | Education
James Crisfield leaves helm of Millburn schools and heads to Pennsylvania rather than accept 25% salary cut
States, Advocates Ask Grid Operator to Go Slow on Winter Reliability Plan
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
New Jersey and Division of Rate Counsel -- among others -- argue that PJM Interconnection proposals would cost consumers billions
At Newark School Striving for Turnaround, a 12-Year-Old’s Fragile Success
Sara Neufeld, The Hechinger Report | Education
Grateful for Grandma, longing for Mom, a boy pours his heart into studying
Health Commissioner: New Jersey Leads the Way on Ebola Precautions, Response
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
O’Dowd asserts state is ‘extraordinarily prepared’ thanks, in part, to experiences with H1NI virus and two hurricanes
Poll: Is It Time to Revise New Jersey’s Public-Employee Health Insurance Plan?
Polling
Before you answer, take a look at the numbers and see if they add up to ‘time for a change’ or ‘status quo’
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November 19, 2014

Multistate Agency Will Need to Sign Off on PennEast’s 100-Mile Pipeline Project
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Delaware River Basin Commission tasked with making sure natural-gas pipeline doesn’t imperil drinking water for 15 million people
Ocean County Targets Opioid Overdoses, Hopes Others Will Follow Its Lead
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
New approach stresses saving lives, then intervening to break cycle of addiction
NJ Public School Teachers Assess Garden State’s Smallest Scholars
John Mooney | Education
Schools wrap up pilot round of kindergarten-entry assessments (KEA), start to compile data
Senators from NJ and NY Accuse Insurers of Shortchanging Sandy Victims
Sandy
Judge finds that one flood insurance company has been deliberately underestimating homeowners’ claims
Profile: Hailing from the Lone Star State, She Celebrates the Garden State
Paula Saha | Profiles
President and CEO of Choose New Jersey boosts state’s economy by attracting businesses to NJ
Op-Ed: Why New Jersey Needs to Examine Benefits to Kids of Delaying School Day
Terra Ziporyn Snider | Opinion
Bill requiring a study of later school start-times could be just what doctors have ordered to ensure safe, healthy school hours

November 18, 2014

There But for the Grace of God Goes Christie
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
In the beginning, Gov. Chris Christie’s Catholicism was a personal affair. When he was famously asked in 2011 why he sends his four kids to Catholic school instead of the public schools he oversees, Christie said this: "Ya know what? First off, Gayle, that’s none of your business ...
High-Profile Couple Will Have to Tiptoe Through Ethical Minefield
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
As Kevin O’Dowd takes executive post at Cooper health network, Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd recuses herself from issues related to Camden hospital
Analysis: NJ Public Employees Pay High Percentage of Healthcare Costs
Mark J. Magyar | Healthcare
Under 2011 law, employee healthcare contribution are based on ‘ability to pay’ with sliding scale ranging from 3 percent to 35 percent of premium
Preliminary Report Provides Glimpse of First Year of New Teacher Evaluations
John Mooney | Education
While key data is still not available, survey suggests that new rating system based on ‘student growth objectives’ is mostly working well
Opinion: The Seven Deadly Myths of Renewable-Energy Naysayers
R. William Potter and Lyle Rawlings | Opinion
There’s only one way to combat the arguments of people and politicians who oppose renewables -- with the truth
Explainer: 'American Dream' Project -- Is It Really Happening This Time?
Tara Nurin | Explainer
Long and winding road filled with fiscal detours may finally lead to completion of sprawling entertainment and retail complex formerly known as ‘Xanadu’
BPU Slated to Decide Fate of Offshore Wind Farm Project This Week
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
State agency told by appellate court to reconsider Fishermen’s Energy proposal for 25 megawatts of offshore capacity

November 17, 2014

Size Doesn’t Matter -- Study of NJ Municipal Government Costs Concludes
Mark J. Magyar | Budget, Planning
Rutgers analysts question ‘conventional wisdom’ that consolidation of state’s 565 municipalities would produce property tax savings
Expanded Availability of Epinephrine In Schools Called Potential Lifesaver
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Rise in food allergies adds urgency to federally backed effort for undiagnosed children
The List: 10 Energy Questions in New Jersey That Need to Be Resolved
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, The List
From congestion on the grid to energy efficiency and renewable sources of power, the Garden State faces a number of pressing issues
Regional Plan Association Puts Tri-State Area’s Future in Its Sights
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Planning
Revitalization and technology’s effect on marketplace are high on the list of concerns to be addressed
Tribute: Clement Price Leaves His Mark on Newark and Beyond
John Mooney | Education, Social
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Rutgers Chancellor Nancy Cantor honor the late historian of the city and its people

November 14, 2014

Backlash by Kids, Parents Among Obstacles to Later Start to Classes
John Mooney | Education
As Senate panel OKs study, one school chief describes how short-lived change in his district impacted after-school jobs and sports teams
Analysis: Are We Truly Serious About Improving New Jersey’s Water Quality?
Daniel J. Van Abs | Energy & Environment
The state has definitely made advancements in meeting water-quality standards, but more -- much more -- needs to be done.
State Appeals Court Chides DEP for Exceeding Authority in Landfill Takeover
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Decision could make it difficult to deal with noxious odors seeping from Fenimore Landfill in Roxbury
Deep Budget Cuts, Emergency Manager Only Way to Save Atlantic City, Report Says
Meir Rinde | Planning
If necessary, shuttered casinos would be torn down to improve access to beach and boardwalks for tourists
Opinion: Was It Something We Said About Garden State's Charter Schools?
Mark Weber | Opinion
Straightforward analysis of the data concerning charter schools and the children they serve draws the ire of supporters
Online Help for New Jersey's Uninsured, Just in Time for Open Enrollment
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
New Jersey for Health Care coalition relaunches its website to help Garden State residents who are in search of coverage
Interactive Map: Unemployment among NJ Vets Exceeds Civilian Rate
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
State ranks worst in nation for joblessness among former members of military
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