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NJ Spotlight Daily News

December 10, 2014

Doctors, Optometrists Battle Over Right to Write Hydrocodone Prescriptions
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Medical Society sees giving ability to prescribe dangerous drugs running counter to efforts to prevent addiction

December 9, 2014

Analysis: With Bridgegate Panel At Standstill, All Eyes On U.S. Attorney
Mark J. Magyar | Politics
Fishman denies report that indictments are imminent, as Democrats and Republicans issue dueling reports in Bridgegate investigation
Explainer: How Tax Breaks and Funds Might Put Bounce in Camden’s Rebound
Tara Nurin | Explainer
NBA team and three mega-companies lured to troubled city by Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 incentives, but critics says resulting jobs come at too high a cost
Open-Space Fight Pits Farmland Preservation Against Environmentalists
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
With a smaller pie to divvy up among open-space advocates, arguments are starting to flare up about where money should be spent
Roulette Wheel, Slots May Keep on Spinning at Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal
Meir Rinde | Planning
New tax-payment scheme, other legislation could help struggling Shore community regain its feet, without shutting down more casinos
Medical, Healthcare Professionals Split on Physician-Assisted Suicide
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
While leading doctors’ group opposes measure, some physicians and other health providers back it
Timeline Shows Christie and Aide Texting About ‘Bridgegate’ Testimony
WNYC/NJPR | Politics
Exchanges took place one month before governor says he began really paying attention to lane-closure scandal involving his administration
New Curriculum Emphasizes Italian Role in New Jersey, American History
John Mooney | Education
A decade in the making, lesson plans and study guides explore everything from Roman law to Pinocchio
Administration Defines High-Performing School Districts By the Numbers
John Mooney | Education
As part of its attempt to speed state monitoring for some, Department of Education spells out specific new targets to be hit

December 8, 2014

FEMA Responds to Complaints From Sandy Victims, Agreeing to Consider Reforms
Scott Gurian | Sandy
Agency announces plan of action, including new advocate, and will reopen nearly 300 closed claims
Delaware Estuary Partners Renew Pact to Protect Fragile Environment
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
One goal of new pledge is to counter growing threats from climate change, especially inundation of coastal wetlands by rising sea levels
Fine Print: Trying to Set a Fair Price for Use of New Jersey’s Public Lands
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Senate committee takes up bill that could change the rules governing how the state is compensated for use of protected land
With Confirmation Hearing After Lengthy Delay, Hespe Finally Gets His Day
John Mooney | Education
On the job nine months, education chief is almost certain to be confirmed – but here are three tough questions he’s likely to be asked
Home Health Agencies Want Warning Before Reimbursement Cuts
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Managed care organizations oppose bill that would impose advanced alerts about cuts, dismissing it as flawed, impractical
Op-Ed: In His Defense of Newark’s Superintendent, Cerf Missed the Mark
Joseph Del Grosso | Opinion
The failures of Cami Anderson’s One Newark plan can be summed up in three words -- blindsided, buses, and books

December 5, 2014

Democratic Findings: New Bridgegate Docs Add to the Mystery
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Most of the material in the New Jersey Legislature’s brand-new Interim report on Bridgegate is already known to the public, having been disclosed by journalists, Gov. Chris Christie’s lawyers and the witnesses themselves ...
Proposal Would End Sharing of Taxes by Communities in the Meadowlands Region
Tara Nurin | Politics, Planning
New scheme would merge two agencies and subsidize environmentally sensitive towns by increasing hotel taxes
Census Survey’s Employment, Housing Numbers Reflect NJ's So-So Economic Picture
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
While incomes have gone up in aftermath of recession, housing costs keep climbing while home values keep falling
Legislation Would Let Families Record Activities in Nursing-Home Rooms
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Advocates say measure would safeguard residents but nursing-home owners and workers contend it would undermine trust and violate privacy
Lawmakers Aim to Protect Consumers from Rip-Offs by Third-Party Suppliers
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Three-bill package would help make sure energy customers aren’t hit with huge price increases and can understand complex contracts
Legislature Sets Sights on Rescuing Atlantic City from Financial Brink
Meir Rinde | Planning
Senate President Sweeney introduces package of five bills intended to address city’s ‘fiscal nightmare’
Probe Raises Red Flags About Efficiency of Spending by American Red Cross
Pro Publica/NPR | Social
Charity claims less than 10 percent of donated money goes toward expenses, but real overhead costs have been much higher
Opinion: Forget the Pig-Crate Bill, Christie Faces Real Policy Issues
Carl Golden | Opinion
The only thing significant about governor’s veto is how it was immediately framed in terms of his undeclared national ambitions
New Jersey, Among Most Affluent States, Still Sees Rise in Poverty Rate
NJTV | Social
Advocates for the poor cite NJ’s high housing costs and economic recovery that’s lagging behind rest of nation

December 4, 2014

Private Donations Fuel New Jersey’s Long-Term Recovery from Hurricane Sandy
Scott Gurian | Sandy
Two years after the storm, a look at where the money went and what lessons we can learn
Report Contains Good News About New Jersey’s Graduating Class of 2014
John Mooney | Education
Overall graduation rates are up slightly, as are those for African-American and Hispanic students
Moody’s: New Jersey’s Pension Funds Could Run Dry in Just 10 Years
Mark J. Magyar | Budget, Politics
Bond-rating agency cites NJ Treasury admission in bond prospectus that puts unfunded liability at $83 billion under new federal standards
Now Comes the Hard Part: Divvying Up Funds for Saving New Jersey’s Open Space
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Open-space preservation was a divisive issue among environmentalists – and deciding what programs get funded could prove equally divisive
Higher-Performing Schools May Escape Tangle of State-Monitoring Red Tape
John Mooney | Education
Proposed waivers would give districts break from mandated periodic reviews if they maintain specific standards
Community Involvement Called Crucial in Fighting Childhood Obesity
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Experts at conference in Edison note importance of tailoring efforts to target different social groups, coordinating public-health efforts
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