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Katz on Christie Christie Courts Iowans, Who Swoon
The courtship began at a restaurant called MJ's in downtown Marion, Iowa. How well did it go? Let's just say Gov. Chris Christie and Iowa will most definitely have a second date . . .
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In The Spotlight

Addressing a Jersey Shore crowd in which 200 protesting police and firefighters outnumbered Long Beach Islanders, Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday asserted that New Jersey has to cut pension and health benefits for retirees or follow Detroit into bankruptcy. “We have to pare back benefits,” said Christie, who promised to unveil a comprehensive plan by the end of August to cut pensions and healthcare costs for both retirees and current public employees. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

July 24, 2014

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July 23, 2014

Feds Investigating Whether 'One Newark' Schools Initiative is Discriminatory
John Mooney | Education
U.S. Department of Education confirms it has opened civil rights probe into city's controversial plan to reorganize public schools
Christie Says NJ Must Cut Retiree Benefits Or Face Bankruptcy
Mark J. Magyar | Politics
Governor kicks off ‘No Pain, No Gain’ summer tour to sell pension reform in front of protesting police and firefighters
Mixed Court Rulings on ACA Add Uncertainty to Future of Tax Subsidies
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Affordable Care Act
Vitale says he would continue push for state insurance exchange if ruling against subsidies is upheld
State Environmental Agency Gives B.L. England Power Plant Another Lease on Life
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Coal-burning facility, sometimes cited as dirtiest in NJ, has two more years -- possibly to convert to natural gas
Profile: Giving a Voice to Those Who Need, Advocate for Affordable Housing in NJ
Selena Handler | Profiles
Staci Berger is raising visibility for community development and helping reform housing policy
Feds Blow Whistle on Abuse of Authority by Newark Police Department
WNYC | Social
Justice Department finds ‘pattern of unconstitutional policing’ and will appoint monitor
Can Atlantic City Beat the Odds and Reinvent Itself for the Future?
WHYY/NewsWorks | More Issues
Pivotal year for legendary resort may end with only eight out of 12 casinos still in business
Podcast: The Inside Story on How State Mishandled Sandy Relief Funds
NJ Spotlight’s Scott Gurian talks about his probe of faulty formula used to distribute state grants

July 22, 2014

Sweeney Calls Sandy-Monitoring Reports ‘Almost A Whitewash’
Mark J. Magyar | Politics, Housing, Sandy
Senate president, housing advocates demand release of full documentation so public can judge Sandy relief efforts
Families of Overdose Victims Call on Doctors to Prescribe Opioid Antidote
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Advocates warn lack of familiarity with medication, new provisions of law could mean more lives lost
PSE&G Initiative Lets Employees at NJ Firms Charge Electric Cars at Work
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Goal is to learn how workplace charging will affect load on power grid
Explainer: Why It's Safe to Ride That Terrifying Roller-Coaster
Colleen O'Dea | Explainer
Before the first person steps aboard a carnival ride, NJ has certified, registered, and inspected it, and made sure it complies with 137 pages of code
Does Obamacare Spell the End of Community Health Centers in NJ Cities?
WNYC | Healthcare, Affordable Care Act
In an ironic twist, funding issues raised by the Affordable Care Act threatens primary-care clinics in urban areas
Newark’s New Mayor May Now Have to Try to Turn His Foes Into Friends
WNYC/NJ Public Radio | Politics
Will Ras Baraka have to make nice to Christie and Booker to get his city much-needed funding?

July 21, 2014

Obama Administration Announces Seismic Testing Off Jersey Coast
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Decision opposed by environmentalists, state lawmakers, and Democratic members of Congress
Military Advocates Join to Fight Possible Closure of Two NJ Installations
Tara Nurin | Politics
In latest round of proposed defense cuts, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and Picatinny Arsenal Could face downsizing or closure
State Recommendations Would Make Hospital Finances More Transparent
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
O’Dowd seeks web posting of reports, rejects executive salary disclosure for private for-profits
The List: 10 Best Places to See Indie Bands in the Garden State
Hank Kalet | The List
New Jersey’s vibrant music scene continues to offer a showcase for bands on the rise
Fine Print: DOE Details Teacher Evaluation After Christie Compromise
John Mooney | Education
Summer training and deadlines for schools following Christie rollback on use of student test scores in evaluations

July 18, 2014

Christie Courts Iowans, Who Swoon
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
The courtship began at a restaurant called MJ's in downtown Marion, Iowa. How well did it go? Let's just say Gov. Chris Christie and Iowa will most definitely have a second date . . .
Feds Want to Lease Offshore Wind Sites On Thousands of Acres Off New Jersey Coast
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Leases are a start, but state has yet to come up with financing mechanism for offshore initiatives
Analysis: Fishman Demurral, Bridgegate Break Gives Christie An Opening
Mark J. Magyar | Politics
While Egea testimony raises further questions, barnstorming Christie now gets window to reframe presidential candidacy
AP Tests Put NJ's Top Students on the Map – and Earn Them College Credit
Colleen O'Dea | Education, Maps, Map of the Week
The results of this year's Advanced Placement exams are in, and three-quarters of the state's high-school students are high scorers
Healthcare Experts Seek Ways to Improve Services for Elderly, Disabled
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
AARP report draws interest from state policymakers and broad range of stakeholders at NJ Spotlight webinar
Amid Debate Over Spread of Charters, State Education Chief Stays the Course
John Mooney | Education
Hespe says NJ should take deliberate approach but touts new approvals for schools in Trenton, Camden

July 17, 2014

State, Environmentalists Clash Over New Rules for Water Quality
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
DEP may change policy for regulating nitrates, pollutant found in fertilizer considered to be harmful to infants
Taking a Bigger Bite Out of Wage Theft in the Garden State
Hank Kalet | Social
Local ordinances let two NJ towns refuse to renew licenses of businesses found guilty of wage theft, while stronger state law is in the works
New Special-Ed Task Force Faces Tough Challenges, Tight Timeframe
John Mooney | Education
One thing that distinguishes group from predecessors is amount of data available to work with
Poll: Was Christie Right to Ease Back on Testing and Teacher Evaluation?
How do you feel about the governor's compromise solution reducing the impact of national tests on teachers and students?