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Summer Reading Series 2016

The Summer Reading Series — it’s become a tradition at NJ Spotlight. While we’re on summer hiatus, we want to make sure that our readers have plenty to think about, so everyday we’ll be posting an excerpt from a recent book — from nonfiction to novels to poetry – with a New Jersey connection. We’ll be back tanned, rested, and ready on September 6. Read more
Katz on Christie Governor Christie Might be Trump's Fair-Weather Friend
New Jersey auditors and lawyers had been fighting for several years to collect overdue taxes owed by Donald Trump's casinos by the time Chris Christie took office ...
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NJ Spotlight Daily News

August 18, 2016

No Credit Downgrade for NJ, Although Ratings Agencies Say Budget Problems Linger
John Reitmeyer | Budget, Politics
Christie takes credit for the good news and downplays talk of high debt, slow growth, and low reserves
Struggle to Sustain Needle-Exchange Programs After Governor’s Veto
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
An online campaign has been launched to help raise cash and awareness for programs that are scrambling to keep going
Lawmakers Consider Doubling Up on Money for Shore Protection
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Beach restoration projects — which have become increasingly necessary in recent years — would be funded to $50 million
Short of a Quorum, ELEC Unable to Meet for Five Months
NJTV News Online | Politics
Agency continues to investigate allegations of campaign finance misconduct, but cannot issue sanctions or levy punishments
NJ Spotlight Duo Discuss Their Meadowlands Hospital Investigation on WNYC
NJ Spotlight Staff | Healthcare
Reporters talk about the three-part investigation of Meadowlands, its controversial healthcare and business practices, and its history of hefty political donations
Op-Ed: In Education Olympics Politicians Promise Much but Fail at First Hurdle
W. Steven Barnett | Opinion
As the U.S. falls behind in the quality of education, politicians are doing little to get it on track, certainly not when it comes to preschool
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August 17, 2016

Critics of PennEast Get Chance to Speak Out — Behind a Black Curtain
Tom Johnson and Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Members of public only allowed to talk directly to FERC official and stenographer, ostensibly to ensure all comments are ‘heard’
State Pension Banned from Investing in Companies Boycotting Israel
John Reitmeyer | Politics
ACLU says the law may violate the First Amendment by restricting freedom of speech
Profile: Helping Black and Hispanic Students Make a Career in Medicine
Nikita Biryukov | Profiles
For more than 30 years, Kamal Khan has been providing the rigorous training and support underrepresented students need to get into and succeed in medical school
Op-Ed: Sustainable Beach Development Is Possible on the Jersey Shore
Melissa Friedhoff | Opinion
First, we need to reform lenient coastal land use regulations that allow reckless development in vulnerable areas
NJ Spotlight Reporter Talks ‘AmeriMama’ Backstory with NJTV
NJTV News Online | Healthcare
Lilo Stainton and NJ Spotlight team spent nine months reporting and writing three-part series on Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center

August 16, 2016

NJ Activists Want More Transparency for Police-Related Shootings
Hank Kalet | Social
One proposal would put state attorney general — rather than county prosecutor — in charge of sending cases to grand jury
Conservationists Move to Stop Shift of Public Beach to Private Developer
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
DEP agrees to swap Green Acres property in Seaside Heights for antique merry-go-round, parking lot, inexpensive wetlands
‘Other’ School-Funding Plan Promises Fast Relief, but Does It Have a Chance?
John Mooney | Education
Two Essex County legislators try again with a school-funding proposal, knowing the odds against it are high
Building Awareness About Vaccines, Offering Help If Things Go Wrong
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Little-known program compensates people for problems that can be traced to inoculations
NJ Legislative Leaders Can’t Even Agree to a Sit-Down on Transportation Funding
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Prieto has called for a summit, but Sweeney remains hopeful of bypassing Gov. Christie
Opinion: It’s Past Time for Comprehensive Approach to Protect Children from Lead
Daniel J. Van Abs | Opinion
There is a sense that lead exposure is an issue that has been resolved. But while significant improvements have been made, they are not enough
Bergen County Uses Drones to Help Emergency Responders
NJTV News Online | More Issues
Drones will be used more and more in emergencies. They have already helped to find a missing person and to search for a homicide suspect

August 15, 2016

Menendez, Booker Try To Expand Access To Addiction Treatment
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
New Jersey’s senators are part of a bipartisan group seeking a more flexible Medicaid approach to spending on treatment facilities
Power Grid Keeps Its Cool Despite Being Hammered By The Heat
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Aside from an occasional glitch, the grid has consistently delivered power to customers despite exceedingly high demand
Could Lack of Neighborhood Input Stall Progress on New Port Authority Terminal?
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Port Authority officials pledge to listen to neighborhood representatives, but unsympathetic to calls to move site to Jersey side of Hudson
Turning Trash into Solar Treasure
Courtney McCormick | Energy & Environment, Sponsored Content
By generating solar energy on old landfills and brownfields, PSE&G is helping to put historically ‘dirty’ spaces back to work in an environmentally friendly manner.
The List: Top 10 Counties Where New Jersey Voters Mail in Their Ballots
Colleen O'Dea | The List
Getting the word out about casting ballots by mail could help drive up voter turnout, but it’s pretty much treated as a secret known only to the few in the Garden State
Op-Ed: Privatizing public school custodians and facility management
Jerell Blakeley | Opinion
NJ school districts would be wise to think twice about privatization, which often means substantial hidden costs and reduced performance

August 12, 2016

Meadowlands Hospital and NJ Politicians: Perfect Together?
Colleen O'Dea | Healthcare
Some critics claim for-profit hospital and its business network have made close to $900,000 in political contributions to ensure favorable treatment
State To Expand Medicaid Waiver Affecting Long-term Care
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
State wants to build upon program that has delivered efficiencies in healthcare and given patients more choices
Supporters, Detractors of Casinos Outside Atlantic City Gear Up For Fall Fight
John Reitmeyer | Politics
TV ads are already trying to sway voters on November referendum over go-ahead for casinos in north Jersey
Interactive Map: NJ Colleges Where Students Pile on the Most Debt
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
It may seem counterintuitive, but Ivy League Princeton University had the smallest percentage of students in debt and lowest amount of loans, $8,577 per borrower
Op-Ed: Earned Sick Leave A Lifeline for Survivors Of Domestic Violence
Amy Dunford | Opinion
But with efforts stalled to advance sick leave legislation in New Jersey, survivors continue to be put in danger
‘It’s Not A Gotcha Game’ -- Newark Police Department’s Independent Monitor
NJTV News Online | More Issues
The newly appointed monitor has until early next year to come up with a plan for how to oversee and improve the city’s police department
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