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NJ Spotlight Daily News

October 2, 2015

‘Camden Commitment’ Will Soon Face Big Test with Revamped Enrollment Rules
John Mooney | Education
School chief’s reform plan will include ‘universal’ system similar to one that met dissent inNewark
Interactive Map: Do Top Colleges Really Cost More? Which Grads Earn the Most?
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
New online tool lets students and parents compare schools using key financial markers, including average salaries after earning degree
Op-Ed: Email, the Trump Phenomenon, and the Politics of Anonymity
Douglas R. Forrester | Opinion
‘News source’ shapes, nurtures, and intensifies the prejudices of recipients by appearing to validate them
Lost in the Outcry Over OMNIA: Tiered Insurance Plans Should Mean Savings
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Critics want to know how Horizon designed its new plan; company says it will reveal more next week
Would Lowering Tax on Boat Sales in NJ Turn Tide for Struggling Industry?
John Reitmeyer | Budget, Politics, Transportation
Critics say it would mostly benefit the affluent while advocates say it would boost marinas, repair shops and other maritime-related businesses

October 1, 2015

Feds Focus on Northern New Jersey as Third ACA Enrollment Period Looms
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Region is one of top five targeted for outreach due to number of eligible residents who are still uninsured
Federal Lawmakers Urge Christie to Get the Lead Out on Offshore Wind
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Elusive financing mechanism remains linchpin of state’s efforts to capitalize on wind power along coastline
The Magic of Power: Gov. Chris Christie’s Transparency Disappears
Mark Lagerkvist/New Jersey Watchdog | Politics
The case of the incredible shrinking media directory continues to wend its way through the courts
Drinking-Water Panel to Renew Call for Regulation of Toxic Chemical
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Panel collecting new evidence on 1,2,3-TCP, a substance know to cause cancer in humans
NJ Transit Fare Hikes In Effect Today, More Increases Could Be Coming Down Pike
John Reitmeyer | Transportation
Given state’s seemingly intractable transportation-funding problems, no easy answers for agency or commuters that rely on its trains and buses
Poll: If a Hurricane Hits, Will New Jersey Be Ready This Time?
Forecasters say we may see some rough weather in the next few days…Did Sandy teach us anything about staying safe?
Op-Ed: Expanding Preschool Would Be Wise Investment in New Jersey’s Future
W. Steven Barnett | Opinion
Studies clearly show benefits – including improved quality of life, skilled workforce -- far outweigh initial expenditure

September 30, 2015

Critics Accuse Horizon of Snubbing Catholic Hospitals For OMNIA Tier-1 Slots
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Head of Catholic hospital group says Horizon’s Tier-1 choices do not follow industry safety scores, despite insurer saying quality was considered
Angry About PennEast Project, Opponents Rally Outside PSEG Offices
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
One foe of proposed natural-gas pipeline calls the 118-mile project an ‘ecological scar across our lands’
Fine Print: Senate Passes Measure to Tighten Limits on Development Subsidies
John Reitmeyer | Politics
New legislation would prevent companies that have accepted tax incentives from making campaign contributions in New Jersey
Opinion: Weak-Kneed GOP Helps Christie Sustain Perfect Record for Vetoes
Carl Golden | Opinion
Republican lawmakers refuse to override governor’s veto on bill that would keep guns out of hands of people with history of mental illness
Common Core ‘Listening Tour’ Hears From Just a Handful of Witnesses
John Mooney | Education
Few turn out for sessions scheduled after Gov. Christie backed off from previous support of controversial education standards
Profile: She's Fighting the Good Fight Against Poverty, Hunger, Homelessness
Colleen O'Dea | Profiles
For Serena Rice, the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey that she heads up is just the latest platform for easing the life of the poor

September 29, 2015

New Medical Codes for Diagnoses Increase Accuracy -- and Chances for Errors
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
With implementation just a few days away, some are concerned that NJ’s smaller practices will suffer, patient claims will be delayed
What’s the State of the Arts in New Jersey’s Public-School Classrooms Today?
John Mooney | Education
Most students have access to arts offerings, but advocates worry about cutbacks – including time taken away to prepare kids for PARCC exams
War of Words Over NJ’s Affordable-Housing Needs Sparked by Two New Reports
Colleen O'Dea | Housing
Consultants argue that calls for hundreds of thousands of affordable units around state are skewed by invalid assumptions, impossible to achieve
Explainer: Monitoring the Impact of the Highlands Regional Master Plan
Colleen O'Dea | Explainer
The NJ Highlands Council is supposed to issue a monitoring report every six years. Is it living up to its responsibilities?
Talks Accelerate Over Hiking Gasoline Tax in Tradeoff for Cutting Other Taxes
John Reitmeyer | Politics, Transportation
Deal would eliminate or reduce estate, inheritance levies in exchange for raising revenue to fund transportation projects
Opinion: Making Laws vs. Making a Point -- Lessons From Boehner’s Retirement
Dick Zimmer | Opinion
The departing Speaker of the House made a mistake given today’s political climate: He was willing to compromise to move things ahead
With Choppers, PSE&G Flies High to Build New Towers for Transmission Upgrade
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Investment in transmission enhances capacity and service in northern part of state, complies with requirements of operator of regional grid

September 28, 2015

Sources: United Lobbyist, Now Christie Cabinet Member, Tried to Stop Bridgegate Probe
Matt Katz NJPR/WNYC | Katz on Christie
Jamie Fox is a Democrat with Republican friends, a cabinet member in the Christie Administration who worked for three out of the last four Democratic governors ...
Expanded Requirements for Teachers-to-Be Concern Higher-Education Leaders
John Mooney | Education
College and university presidents call mandating additional half-year in classroom too expensive, overly burdensome
NJ Hospitals Improve Care for Thousands of Patients Through ACA-Funded Effort
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Partnership for Patients drives decline in hospital-acquired conditions, readmissions
Lawmakers Aim to Help County Governments Raise More Money, Spend Less
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Package of bills would open up new revenue streams, ease regulations on the spending side of the ledger
Garden State Is Wasting Its Waste, Should Better Utilize Biomass, Report Says
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Tapping into 4 million tons of organic trash NJ produces each year could help state reduce reliance on fossil fuels, curb greenhouse-gas emissions
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