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NJ Spotlight Daily News

July 22, 2014

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?
Bill Asks Experts to Assess If NJ Is Training Enough Doctors
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
"Strategic summit" would address shortfall of primary-care physicians and what can be done to remedy situation

July 16, 2014

Tennessee's Combined Behavioral, Medical Care Grabs NJ's Attention
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Advocate wants to see state draw lessons from care coordination provided by TennCare
Advocacy Group Pursues COAH and the Case of the Missing Documents
Colleen O'Dea | Politics, Housing
State, Rutgers both claim they can't find the files used as the basis for latest rules regarding affordable-housing obligations
Can 'Decoupling' Utility Sales, Profits Deliver Cleaner Energy?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Consumer advocates argue decoupling will only drive up customer bills, already far too high in New Jersey
Gov. Christie and State Teachers Union Not at Odds on All Fronts
John Mooney | Education
Administration, NJEA hammer out compromise on how much new online testing will count toward teacher evaluations
Profile: He's the Only Director NJ Holocaust Commission Has Ever Known
John Mooney | Profiles
Paul Winkler enters 40th year leading the nation’s first Holocaust education program
Reports by NJ Spotlight and NJ Public Radio Help Correct Sandy Funding Foul-Up
NJ Spotlight & NJPR | Sandy
State’s bungling of aid formula left storm-damaged municipalities without fair share of cash

July 15, 2014

Bridgegate Committee Can't Call Any More Major Witnesses
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
The U.S. Attorney's Office has asked the New Jersey legislative committee investigating Bridgegate to refrain from calling a range of potential witnesses out of concern that their testimonies could interfere . . .
Christie Sticks to Middle of the Road in Arriving at PARCC Decision
John Mooney | Education
Task force will study effectiveness of Common Core-linked test, scores will carry less weight in evaluating teachers
GOP Assembly Leader Calls for Reforms to Create Competitive Districts
Mark J. Magyar | Politics
Constitutional amendment proposed by Bramnick mirrors goals of California, Arizona, and Iowa initiatives
BPU Questions PJM Plan to Route Power Line Through Wildlife Refuge
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
State agency indicates proposal will cross three environmental management areas, argues viable alternative exists
Union Criticizes State’s Handling of Meadowlands Hospital’s Finances
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Hospital leader defends approach, while health commissioner is asked to appoint temporary manager of facility
Explainer: What It Really Takes to Keep the Lights On in the Garden State
Tom Johnson | Explainer
Aging power plants, pipelines blocked from crossing protected land, financing schemes that won't fly -- it's not just a matter of throwing a switch

July 14, 2014

Casino Expansion Proposal Riding On North-South Political Deal
Mark J. Magyar | Politics
Constitutional amendment to add casinos in North Jersey is a good bet, but Sweeney wants Atlantic City to get a bigger cut