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Katz on Christie Chris Christie's Millions
With gubernatorial elections looming in 36 states, Gov. Chris Christie has so far helped to raise $90 million for the Republican Governors Association, with money coming from conservative millionaires ...
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In The Spotlight

This will be a pivotal year at the polls, even though it’s an off-year with no presidential race, and no gubernatorial contest in New Jersey. A lot is at stake in Congress, as Democrats fight to keep control of the Senate while Republicans, who already control the House, seek to gain seats – and possibly a majority – in the Senate. And New Jersey’s right in the thick of it, with a U.S. Senate contest and races in all 12 of the state’s congressional districts. Election ballots in the Garden State will also include dozens of local school board races and two public questions – including an important dealing with how the state will fund its open-space and historic preservation programs. NJ Spotlight’s guide, Election 2014 will help you make sense of it all. It includes interactive maps with links to information about all of the races and all of the candidates, as well as clear and complete explanations of the state ballot questions. In addition, the site includes links to various resources, including the websites of all key political parties, a polling-place locator, campaign finance data, information about local races via the Rutgers Eagleton School of Politics, and much more. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

October 17, 2014

Merger of Two Hospitals Could Increase Quality, But Also Concentrate Power
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Analysts see potential for gains from new giant, but say regulatory review is in order
New Jersey’s Congressional Races: Mapping the Money
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week, Elections 2014
The Garden State is grabbing some attention during the run-up to November 4, including for some surprisingly expensive races
Long-Discussed Charter-School Reform Bill Finally Gets Legislative Hearing
John Mooney | Education
But debate is likely to take months, as hurdles ahead include Christie administration content with status quo for reviewing, approving new charters
Opinion: For Gov. Chris Christie, October's Been the Cruelest Month
Carl Golden | Opinion
Does the governor’s recent drop in the polls indicate that New Jerseyans want him to pay more attention to the Garden State
Op-Ed: Wells Fargo and Other Big Banks Bear Blame for NJ's Foreclosure Crisis
Ken McNamara | Opinion
How is it that a bank can violate the terms of its own mortgage modification whenever it wants to?
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October 16, 2014

Chris Christie's Millions
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
With gubernatorial elections looming in 36 states, Gov. Chris Christie has so far helped to raise $90 million for the Republican Governors Association, with money coming from conservative millionaires ...
Newark School Chief Paints Picture of Bright Future on the Horizon
John Mooney | Education
But harsh reality of community opposition to reforms and state-aid crunch casts shadow over upbeat presentation
Measure Would Mandate Smart-Growth Policies in Town Master Plans
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Planning
Critics argue municipalities are already addressing these issues voluntarily, obviating the need for new law
Round Two of ACA Sign-Ups to Focus on Lessons Learned, Data Gathered
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Affordable Care Act
With 30 days until second open enrollment, organizations highlight tax credits, website improvements
Poll: How Can NJ Schools and Districts Most Effectively Fight Bullying?
Polling
Sayreville has made hazing a national issue, but how do New Jersey schools fight the problem and prevent another incident?
Op-Ed: Adaptive Reuse Can Help Towns with Affordable Housing, Property Taxes
Peter S. Reinhart | Opinion
Conversion of older buildings can help meet the preferences of so-called millennials for urbanized locations and proximity to transit
Talking About Many Issues Raised by Football Scandal in Sayreville
John Mooney | Education, Social
NJ Spotlight education reporter and radio host discuss anti-bullying law, how it came into play, and whether it goes far enough

October 15, 2014

Texas Nurse’s Ebola Infection Worries NJ Healthcare Workers
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Nurses group call for infected patients to be transported out of state, CDC is reviewing options
Measure Ratchets Up Targets for NJ’s Offshore-Wind Industry
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Backers say bill, which calls for 4,500 megawatts by 2050, isn’t meant for the Christie administration but for one friendlier to renewable subsidies
How ‘Big Data’ is Transforming Today’s Healthcare Sector
Meir Rinde | Healthcare
Correlating patient data from a broad variety of sources can help reveal patterns of illness, identify individuals most likely to use emergency services, cut healthcare costs, and improve patient outcomes
NJ Teacher of the Year Puts Theory into Practice with Autistic Preschoolers
John Mooney | Education
Hoboken-based educator touts data-driven, technology-heavy approach and individual attention at young age
Profile: A Leader of New Jersey’s Environmental Movement
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Profiles
Michael Catania has spent much of his professional life protecting the Garden State’s land and water

October 14, 2014

Bill Would Let Teens in NJ Get Counseling Without Parental Knowledge
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Legislation's supporter says, ‘. . . the youth’s right to care outweighs the parents’ right to know.’
Legislation Could Speed Sale of Public Water Facilities to Private Companies
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Ratepayer Counsel, environmentalists argue legislation could drive up prices for consumers
Explainer: How New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Law Works
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare, Explainer
Governor opposed to medicinal-pot program has now implemented it, but critics see it as country’s most restrictive
Hammonton Cuts Water Use Through Education, Overhaul of Rate System
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Residents of Pinelands town learn they can restrict their use of water without sacrificing their lush green lawns
NJ Tries to Address Questions, Concerns About Alternate Routes to Diploma
John Mooney | Education
Minimum score on SAT, appeals process to demonstrate proficiency will be among possible paths to graduation

October 10, 2014

Sayreville High School Case Spotlights NJ's Landmark Anti-Bullying Law
John Mooney | Education, Social
Alarms sounded after revelation of allegations that young football players were abused by older teammates
Bill wants 80% of NJ’s Power to Come from Renewable Sources by 2050
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Aggressive energy goals draw the ire of large manufacturers, questions and concerns from Rate Counsel
Interactive Map: Home Values Drop Again in NJ – But Mortgage Payments Drop Too
Colleen O'Dea | Housing, Maps, Map of the Week
While homeowners fare well, renters face high monthly payments and shortage of affordable units
State Lawmakers Aim to Close Gap for People With Drug Addiction Problems
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Boosts to Medicaid reimbursements, telemedicine are seen as ‘one step in the right direction’
Opinion: Getting by (in College) With a Little Help from My Friends
Roland V. Anglin | Opinion
Creating a cohort, or ‘posse’ of disadvantaged students can help ease the socioeconomic shock of postsecondary education.

October 9, 2014

Christie and Clinton Just Began Their 2016 Fight For Pennsylvania
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
When Gov. Chris Christie travels the country campaigning for candidates, he's usually the warm-up act at rallies — he bashes the opponent, rallies the faithful, and then introduces the candidate . . .
Audit Finds Room for Improvement at Department of Community Affairs
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment, Politics
Problems with inspections and check deposits not as serious as those uncovered in earlier audits, particularly with DCA weatherization program
Fine Print: Bill Would Study Possible Benefits of Later Start Times for Schools
John Mooney | Education
Sen. Richard Codey to ask for study of school schedules and impact of sleep deprivation on learning
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