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NJ Spotlight Daily News

December 23, 2016

The Best Op-Eds of 2016
NJ Spotlight Staff |
While we’re on winter break we want to make sure you can still count on us for thought-provoking content
Op-Ed: Fix NJ’s Social Studies Standards, Let History Take a Backseat
Brian Rock | Opinion, Winter 2016
How can students learn civics, economics, and geography when they’re expected to cover so much history?
Op-Ed: Deeper Debt Waiting for Taxpayers Due to Pension Irresponsibility
Robert D. Klausner | Opinion, Winter 2016
After Christie is long gone from the State House, taxpayers will have to pay $3 for every $1 he skipped in pension payments

December 22, 2016

Mortgage Relief for NJ Homeowners Still Dealing with Sandy Damage
John Reitmeyer | Sandy, After Sandy
Thousands of victims of the superstorm are paying rent on temporary housing while struggling to make their mortgage payments
Christie Calls for Action on Addiction Recovery at Candlelight Vigil
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Public opinion of the governor’s performance is at a historic low, but he still gets high marks from those working to end drug addiction in New Jersey
2016 Education Recap: Policy Debates More Fizzle than Pop
John Mooney | Education
Politics, personalities, and other weighty issues contribute to stalled agendas
Poll: What Does the Coming Year Hold in Store for NJ?
Polling
Peer into the crystal ball or read the tea leaves, what’s going to be the top topic of 2017?
NJ Spotlight’s Top Coverage of 2016
Paula Saha | More Issues
Ever wonder what our readers and members were paying attention to in the past year? Here’s a look at the Top 10 stories and subjects

December 21, 2016

Obama Bans Drilling in mid-Atlantic Ocean, Portions of Arctic Ocean
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
President bases restrictions on 60-year-old law, should be harder to overturn than executive order
Doctors and Healthcare Execs in NJ to Work on Their Leadership Skills
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
End-of-life care is first focus for new academy that aims to get different groups to collaborate
Opinion: Memo to Gov. Chris Christie — What Were You Thinking?
Carl Golden | Opinion
Huddling with legislative leaders to craft secret deals, one of which would relax ethical guidelines so the governor could sign a book contract, understandably outraged the public
Renewing Aged Water Infrastructure in New Jersey, One Street at a Time
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Antiquated leak-prone systems are being upgraded in some parts of the state, but water industry advocates argue that much more needs to be done
Fine Print: What’s Coming For New Jersey Taxpayers As New Cuts Take Effect
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Phasing out the estate tax gives big breaks to the richest, while cutting the sales tax benefits everyone a little
Keeping Safety First for New Jersey’s Ridesharing Passengers
Colleen O'Dea | Transportation
New regulations for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft would require driver background checks, bump up insurance coverage, among other protections
The American Dream Megamall on the Small Screen
NJTV News Online | Planning
The trio of reporters behind “Mall Madness,” the five-part series on the American Dream, talk to NJTV’s Mary Alice Williams

December 20, 2016

Leading Democratic Lawmakers Derail Fast-Track Bills Favored by Christie
John Reitmeyer | Politics
The governor’s not going to get his book deal, and government websites won’t cut into the revenue newspapers earn from publishing official legal notices
Constitutional Amendment Coming on Natural-Resources Damages
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Voters this fall will be asked to dedicate damages in pollution cases to restoring natural resources, while Highlands takes another step toward greater protection
Amendment to Boost Minimum Wage Not Likely on 2017 Ballot
Hank Kalet | Social
Disagreements among Democratic sponsors prevent bill from being posted to last legislative agenda for this year
Is Medicare Paying Too Much For Inpatient Procedures?
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Meanwhile, are patients overburdened by outpatient costs that add up?
Op-Ed: Debt Is the Biggest Threat to National Security
Richard F. Keevey and Annelisa Steeber | Opinion
Smart, small changes could have a big impact on and maintain fiscal responsibility — for New Jersey and for the country as a whole
Snowy Owls Making Another Winter Appearance On NJ Beaches
Newsworks | Energy & Environment
The birds migrate from the Canadian tundra when food supplies there drop
Phil Murphy Releases Returns Showing He Paid $2.4M In Income Tax in 2015
WNYC News | Politics
Murphy’s income was $7.3 million for the year, and he paid $202,000 in property taxes on his home in Middletown

December 19, 2016

New Jersey Tissue Bank Plays Key Role in Global Organ Donation Network
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
A young Australian who received skin provided by the Edison-based Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation said it was ‘lifesaving’
Does Letting Legal Notices Be Published Solely Online Punish the Press Financially?
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Critics argue Christie wants payback for Bridgegate coverage; administration says move could save local governments, businesses $80 million — though estimate remains unverified
Rhode Island Breaks the Tape on Offshore Wind, but Where’s New Jersey?
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
The first offshore wind turbines are generating power for the Ocean State, while the Garden State has yet to deliver needed finance mechanisms
Will NJ’s Undocumented Students Be Punished for Following the Rules?
Hank Kalet | Immigration
They signed up for a program that deferred deportation — one that President-elect Trump wants to dismantle. Will the government use their personal data to track them down?
Going After Bad Guys Remains Immigration Agency’s Priority, Official Says
NJTV News Online | Immigration
Newark-based ICE director has no word on what Trump administration could mean for application of immigration law
In New Jersey, Independent Hospitals Becoming Increasingly Rare
NJTV News Online | Healthcare
President of Holy Name in Teaneck — one of 11 independent institutions — says pressure to increase bargaining power, cut costs is driving the trend

December 16, 2016

Who Benefits from the American Dream?
John Reitmeyer, Ilya Marritz, and Susan Berfield | Planning
Since Triple Five took over the megamall project, it has made generous contributions to Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign coffers, as well as to his political allies
Public School Teachers Earn Mostly High Grades on Evaluations
John Mooney | Education
But will fewer top scores be seen as student performance is weighted more heavily?
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