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Summer Reading Series 2018
The writers and editors at NJ Spotlight like to take advantage of the August slowdown to ease back on the throttle themselves and spend more time with family and friends. While we’re recharging, however, we’ll be posting an excerpt from a book or author with a New Jersey connection every day as part of our Summer Reading series. We’ll be back rested and ready on September 4. Have a great Labor Day and keep reading. More Summer Reading
NJ Spotlight Daily News

August 17, 2018

Sweeney Says It’s Time to Get Serious About Consolidating Schools in New Jersey
John Mooney | Education
It’s not just about saving money, Senate President maintains, but delivering better education at a lower cost
Lawmakers Discuss Easing Residency Requirement for NJ Transit Workers
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Shortage of engineers has added to agency’s troubles this summer. Governor supports hiring workers from neighboring states
Wind Power in New Jersey: How Big and How Soon?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
New report suggests Garden State is uniquely placed to make hay with wind, but critics have doubts and developers say state must push the process
Explainer: Platinum Versus Gold Health-Insurance Plans for NJ Public Workers
Lilo H. Stainton | Explainer
Bipartisan panel suggests going to less expensive health insurance could save taxpayers $1.4 billion within a few years
State GOP Leader Not Worried About Key Congressional Races
NJTV News | Politics
While New Jersey Democrats think they can flip five critical seats in November election, GOP party chairman disputes the possibility
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August 16, 2018

NJ Gas Tax Likely to Increase Because Revenue Is Coming Up Short of Target
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Final decision a couple of weeks away, but tax is likely to be raised by a few pennies to maintain the Transportation Trust Fund
Move in Congress to Weaken Clean Water Act Could Have Big Impact in New Jersey
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Opponents of PennEast pipeline say if law is revamped, it would make it ‘extremely difficult’ to fight such projects
Gearing Up for the Future: New Jersey Gets its First Innovation Chief
Carly Sitrin | Budget, Politics
Veteran of Obama administration, tech and academic worlds, is given job of harnessing tech to update government in New Jersey
Explainer: How New Jersey’s Court-Approved Plans for Affordable Housing Work
Colleen O'Dea | Explainer
NJ’s plans for affordable housing are blueprints that do not require municipalities to build a single home
Incidence of Driving While Drugged Has Risen Sharply on NJ Roads
NJTV News | Social
Report says more drivers who were killed on New Jersey’s roads in 2015 and 2016 tested positive for drugs than for alcohol
Op-Ed: Shifting Services for Seniors, Disabled People in NJ Away from Nursing Homes
Lowell Arye | Opinion
How New Jersey has gradually moved the focus of Medicaid care for seniors and people with disabilities from nursing homes to their own homes and communities
We Are Not America’s Enemy
Politics
NJ Spotlight stands with the hundreds of other news organizations across the country that today are contesting the accusation that they are an ‘enemy of the people’

August 15, 2018

Trump Tariffs Squeeze New Jersey Manufacturers, Disrupt Supply Chain
John Reitmeyer | Budget
The tariffs ‘have been pretty much a nightmare,’ one executive tells lawmakers, who want to help but are not able to do much to protect local industry
Owner Guilty of ‘Extreme’ Violation of Law that Preserves NJ Farmland
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Supreme Court rules that alterations to field destroyed it for other agricultural uses, criticizes state for failing to give clear guidelines on what’s allowed on preserved agricultural land
The List: Taking the Measure of New Jersey’s Ten Tallest Lighthouses
Colleen O'Dea | The List
The lonely job of lighthouse keeper has been eliminated by automation, but visiting one of the state’s historic lighthouses — and in some cases climbing to the top — is a great summer outing
Op-Ed: Ban Cars from Lincoln Tunnel at Rush Hour to Make It through Route 495 Repairs
Axel Hellman | Opinion
The logical way to ease congestion is to reduce the number of vehicles entering the tunnel
Three Friends and the Rise of Sikh Political Power
WNYC News | Immigration
From a tent pitched on a patch of dirt in Bergen County to a beautiful temple in Glen Rock, Sikhs are coming into their own
Murphy Signs Legislation to Expand Range of Public-Private Partnerships
NJTV News | Politics
Senate President Sweeney concurs that bipartisan bill could help NJ lead the nation in infrastructure investments
DOT’s Prescription for Route 495 Repair Headaches: Patience
NJTV News | Transportation
We’re facing two-and-a-half years of major disruption into and out of the Lincoln Tunnel as repair work on the Route 495 Viaduct goes into high gear this week
Medical Care for NJ’s Poor, No Insurance Needed
NJTV News | Healthcare
The federally qualified health center in Jersey City, like the 133 other satellite locations across the state, delivers care to the uninsured and the underinsured

August 14, 2018

New Jersey Expands Stigma-Free Healthcare for LGBTQ Residents
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Clinics, support groups, hospitals are adopting policies designed to promote equitable and inclusive care
FERC Rebuffs Requests to Reconsider Approval of PennEast Pipeline
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Opponents to take their case to federal courts, where they believe they have still a chance to stop the natural-gas project
Tougher Ethics Rules for Council that Guides Public Pension Investments
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Questions raised about some previous decisions have led to new restrictions on panel that determines broad strategies and asset allocation for public-worker pension system
Op-Ed: Learn from Europe, Keep Wind Generation and Transmission Separate
Wilfried Breuer | Opinion
Building an offshore grid for New Jersey separately from wind farms is the key to creating fair competition
Immigrant Advocates Tell Pols, Don’t Ignore Detainees in County Jails
NJTV News | Immigration
Elizabeth Detention Center gets the most press, but the majority of undocumented immigrants rounded up by the Trump administration are in county facilities

August 13, 2018

State Actions Help Keep Lid on Health Insurance Rate Hikes in NJ
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Prices will increase but by far less than for consumers in most other states, as New Jersey is ‘working aggressively’ to counter federal changes to Affordable Care Act
Making More of — and from — NJ’s Revolutionary Heritage
John Reitmeyer | Social
State urged to do more to promote New Jersey’s central role in American Revolution as 250th anniversary approaches. Future economic benefits are emphasized
Map Zeroes in on Pollution in Delaware River Watershed
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
A new interactive map shows threats, old and new, to vital water source. It underlines challenges that remain for river that ‘has come back from the brink’
Opinion: Few Municipalities in NJ Will Create Stormwater Utilities, But Some Should
Daniel J. Van Abs | Opinion
The need to improve stormwater management is increasing every year. Costs will rise, putting pressure on local government budgets

August 10, 2018

Cut Public-Worker Benefits, Merge School Districts — Sweeney Panel Recommends
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Commission assembled by Senate President proposes aggressive measures to address New Jersey’s fiscal problems. Teachers union responds in the negative, governor noncommital
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