Newark will launch LinkNWK (pronounced Link Newark), a citywide network of kiosks that offer free public Wi-Fi and other digital services. It joins New York City, the United Kingdom, and Philadelphia as the fourth Link smart city program in the world.
The city will partner with Intersection to install the communications network of sidewalk kiosks that will provide residents and visitors free gigabit Wi-Fi, mobile device charging, phone calls to anywhere in the United States, access to municipal services, maps and directions, and realtime local information at no cost to taxpayers or users. Advertising on Link display will pay for the service.
The program will run on Newark Fiber, the City’s public-private gigabit-data network
Adults in New Jersey are split over whether marijuana should be made legal for recreational use, but one in four say they would try it or use it if it were legal, according to a recent.
According to the poll of 728 adult New Jersey residents, 49 percent support legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Forty-four percent oppose legalization, with 5 percent unsure.
Seventy-five percent say they do not currently use marijuana and would not even if it were legal.
Gov. Phil Murphy supported legalizing marijuana for people ages 21 and older during his gubernatorial campaign as a social-justice issue and as a way to raise an estimated $300 million in sales-tax revenues.
Medical marijuana is currently legal in the state.
Fifty percent of sexually active people will contract a sexually transmitted disease at some stage — and most won’t even know it. That unnerving nugget is being highlighted by Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central and Southern New Jersey (), as it encourages New Jerseyans to get tested for such diseases.
This is national STD Awareness Month. In concert with that campaign, the PPNCSNJ is hosting a Free STD Testing Week from April 16 to 21 at its 16 health centers. The organization provides free testing to people under the age of 24 as a matter of course, but during the special testing week will give free tests for HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia to people of any age. People who want to get tested will be accommodated during normal business hours that week.
The group is also planning other ways to heighten awareness of STDs and the importance of early treatment. One will involve Friday-night “condom crawls” through April at downtown bars and restaurants in places like Asbury Park, New Brunswick, and Princeton where volunteers will hand out “goody bags” of condoms along with STD-testing information.
The construction of new offshore wind farms in New Jersey and other coastal states could lead to more than 75,000 clean-energy jobs. That’s the estimate of a newfrom the Center for American Progress and the New Jersey Work Environment Council.
“The state-level offshore wind requirements in place along the eastern seaboard totaled 4.5 gigawatts before Gov. Murphy’s 3.5-gigawatt commitment nearly doubled the sum in late January, note the authors of “Offshore Wind Means Blue-Collar Jobs for Coastal States.” And they suggest that “New Jersey’s electoral shift adds significant momentum to a burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry, with major implications for the coastal state labor force.”
The potential for 75,000 jobs comes, they say, from the fact that in 2014, when 7.5 gigawatts of total generation capacity was achieved from offshore projects in the European Union, “The manufacture, installation, and maintenance of offshore wind facilities supported approximately 75,000 full-time-equivalent workers across the continent that year.”
New Jersey CPAs figure the best way to keep millennials in the Garden State is to reduce taxes, all taxes. According to the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA), 34 percent of the accountants who took part in the society’sbelieve New Jersey’s high taxes contribute mightily to millennial outmigration, which lately has become a preoccupation for business interests in the state; millennials generally are categorized as those born between 1981 and 2000. The result was reinforced by the fact that 35 percent of millennials who took part in the survey also listed lowering taxes as their principal idea for persuading their peers to stay.
The CPAs’ other main suggestions for ways to entice younger folk not to abandon New Jersey include bringing more businesses to the state (16 percent) and building more affordable housing (14 percent). They also reprise the sorts of ideas that have long been discussed in the state: improving mass transit and decreasing its cost, making colleges more affordable, increasing technology jobs, creating more open space. But here’s one idea you might not have expected from the CPAs — legalizing marijuana for the business opportunities it could provide.
The Rutgers School of Public Health has been awarded a $345,587 grant from the National Cancer Institute. The grant will go towards researching the impact of advertising on tobacco usage and public health.
Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-06) announced the award.
“The dangers of tobacco and its link to cancer are a well-known danger to our country’s public health and to our children,” said Pallone. “Rutgers is one of the leading research institutions in the world, and I know that its research on tobacco advertising and its impact will be indispensable and could even save lives.”
More than two-thirds (72 percent) of New Jersey high schoolers believe the minimum age to buy assault weapons should be raised to 21. An even greater percentage (77 percent) take the view that gun laws in the United States need to be stricter in general. The results come from a nationwideof 25,000 9-12th grade students on the subject of gun policy and school safety; more than 1,300 New Jersey students took part. (The survey was conducted by , an instruction-content platform for students and teachers.)
The results come, of course, in the tragic context of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL and the subsequent stream of marches for gun control across the country. One flashpoint of the debate unleashed by those events has been the arguments for or against arming teachers. The New Jersey students who responded to the survey came down heavily against that prospect, with 64 percent opposed to teachers being allowed to carry guns.
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission is makingin election security improvements available to the State of New Jersey.
The commission, created as a result of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2018, is administering federal grants through the 2018 Help America Vote Act Election Security Grant Program.
U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (NJ-7) supported the fiscal year 2018 spending measure in part because of the funds made available for election security.
The purpose of a grant is to assist states improve the administration of elections, including enhancing election technology and upgrading election security in accordance with the bipartisan Help America Vote Act. Funding can be used for the following:
Replace voting equipment that only records a voter’s intent electronically with equipment that utilizes a voter-verified paper record;
implement a postelection audit system that provides a high level of confidence in the accuracy of the final vote tally;
upgrade election-related computer systems to address cyber vulnerabilities identified through the Department of Homeland Security or similar scans or assessments of existing election systems;
facilitate cybersecurity training for the state’s chief election official’s office and local election officials; and
implement cybersecurity best practices for election systems and other activities that will improve the security of elections for federal office.
The Omnibus Appropriations Act makes $9,757,451 available to the state of New Jersey. Completion of the grant package will go through the office of the New Jersey Secretary of State.
According to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates released last week,of New Jersey's 21 counties lost population between 2016 and 2017. All nine of these counties also lost population in the previous year (from 2015 to 2016), although in most cases the 2016-2017 loss was smaller. Only Cumberland County lost more people from 2016 to 2017 than it had from 2015 to 2016.
"The state's more urban counties are generally faring much better than the exurban ones, as has been the case since the Great Recession of 2008," said New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach. "While Ocean County was the fastest-growing county this year, as it was last year, the next five top positions are all held by counties of the North Jersey urban core, all of which grew faster than the statewide growth rate of 0.3 percent.
"This is further evidence of a move to, or back to, more compact walkable places with existing infrastructure and vibrant downtowns," Kasabach continued. "These places are reaping the benefits of accelerated economic growth, and counties that are helping to support this trend are benefiting as well."
Hudson County hit a milestone as of 2017 — with its current population estimate sitting at 691,643. It has now surpassed its previous population peak of 690,730, which it had achieved in 1930. The county has gained back all of the population it lost during the era of suburbanization and de-industrialization, after falling to a low of 553,099 in 1990. Union County also earlier this decade surpassed its previous population peak, which it had achieved in 1971.
The New Jersey counties losing population over the past year include all of the counties that are farthest from the state's two core urban areas: Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem in the south, and Sussex, Warren and Hunterdon in the north. These northern counties represent the formerly fast-growing exurban fringe of the New York metro area, now faltering as millennials increasingly opt for more walkable urban areas.
According to previous legislative proposals to address this most common – but still rare – bleeding disorder, some 800 men suffer from hemophilia. The disease is attached to the X chromosome, making males more vulnerable., 1 in 5,000 male infants are born with the most common form of the disease, one of several in which the blood does not properly clot, leaving the individual vulnerable to hemorrhaging and other issues.
On Friday, Gov. Phil Murphythat designates March as “Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month” in an effort to increase awareness and understanding about these diseases and create a greater sense of community for those who suffer. The resolution was sponsored by Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-Mercer) and Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), who has worked for more than a decade to expand care for these conditions.
Census data out Thursday for 2017 finally puts New Jersey’s population over the 9 million mark. We’ve been hovering around 8.9 million for the past four years. Total population is 9,005,644 (estimated). That's 2.4 percent higher than the 2010 estimate and 0.3 percent more than the 2016 count.
Growth is not uniform. Nine counties lost population since 2010 (Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Hunterdon, Monmouth, Salem, Sussex, Warren); six of those lost from 2016 to 2017 (Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Monmouth, Salem, Sussex). The greatest growth was in Hudson County, which was up 9 percent since 2010, with Union second at 5.1 percent, and Bergen third with 4.8 percent.
The new governor is a big fan of the word “innovation,” which makes the results of the latest WalletHub ranking of the most and least innovative states particularly germane. The Garden State takes(for all 50 states and the District of Columbia), which includes a fifth-place finish for highest share of technology companies.
A state’s overall score is the weighted average of 22 metrics, which fall into two categories: human capital and innovation environment.
New Jersey does well with human capital, earning a 10. This category includes share of STEM professionals, projected STEM job-demand by 2020, and percent of graduating seniors who take AP exams (among other metrics).
Where New Jersey falls down — and this ranking is worrisome — is its score of 17 for innovation environment. The category includes business churn, jobs in new companies, inbound migration, and (inevitably) tax friendliness (again, among other metrics).
If New Jersey is going to become a national hub for innovation, it has some work cut out for it.
Two horses in Union County have been quarantined by the state Department of Agriculture after they developed the highly infectiousmyeloencephalopathy, EHM — which is the often deadly neurologic form of the equine herpes virus, EHV-1. They’re the first reported cases in New Jersey in 2018. The animals are on the same property and are being kept in an isolation barn there, while the entire property remains under quarantine. The Department of Agriculture says that, because no horses have moved onto or off the property in several weeks, exposure to horses outside the area is considered unlikely.
EHM is a reportable disease in New Jersey. Clinical signs in horses infected with it typically include mild incoordination, hind-end weakness or paralysis, loss of bladder and tail function, and loss of sensation to the skin in the hind end. The problem is these symptoms are common to many other diseases. The Department of Agriculture advises concerned owners to consult with their veterinarian before taking any action.
The NJDA Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory tests for EHM. There'savailable online; people can also call 609-406-6999.
The virus does not affect humans and other domestic animals, except for llamas and alpacas.
It can’t compete with Alaska’s Dalton Highway, which is both the quietest road in the United States and offers astonishing scenery and the possibility of spotting a polar bear, or Maine’s Old Canada Road, as it winds its way through historic towns and villages and incandescent fall foliage, but New Jersey’s own Route 49 has been determined to be the quietest road in the state.
The determination was made by Geotab and posted, appropriately enough, to the company’swebsite.
To find the quietest roads in each state, Geotab gathered the latest available (2015) traffic count data from the Highway Performance Monitoring System. Quietness was calculated as the annual average daily traffic (AADT, measured in number of vehicles). Routes with the lowest AADT in each state were deemed the quietest.
New Jersey is regularly hammered as a state where residents pay too much in taxes and get too little for what they’re shelling out. Take comfort in this: It could be worse. RewardExpert recently analyzed Census Bureau data to determine how much value residents of all 50 statesin terms of government spending on services, infrastructure, education, and public safety. New Jersey took the 43rd slot. Hawaii was at the bottom of the heap, while Alaska took first place. New York was at 5; Pennsylvania, 22; and Connecticut, 48.
RewardExpert is a free service that helps users take full advantage of credit card points and travel rewards.
Sixty percent of New Jerseyans believe the state is going down the wrong road. Another 30 percent live on the sunny side of the street — and think the Garden State is bobbing along nicely in the right direction. These are among the findings ofin the Rutgers-Eagleton 2018 State of the Garden State series.
What else did the poll discover about our view of home? Well, while 61 percent think that New Jersey is an “excellent” or “good” place to live, 30 percent would leave if they could. Probably the least surprising revelation is that 82 percent of New Jerseyans are “somewhat” or “very” dissatisfied with the way the state government has handled taxes, and 75 percent think their property taxes are “somewhat” or “very” unfair.
As a new administration takes over in Trenton and tries to put its stamp on the Garden State, the poll has a piece of good news for Gov. Phil Murphy — there’s 68 percent support for raising taxes on households making more than $1 million annually, something the governor proposed in his first budget this week. (The poll also delves into what New Jerseyans think about healthcare, education, and transportation.)
Damn Yankees! They always find a way to win, don’t they? It turns out they’re top of the heap among baseball followers in the Garden State, 47 percent of whom give their allegiance to the gents in pinstripes. This is according to the Quinnipiac University New Jersey, which was released yesterday. So, how ‘bout them Mets? Or Phillies? Well, the Phillies are the favorite team of 20 percent of New Jersey baseball fans. And the Mets, they manage to scrape up love from just 18 percent. And here’s the salt in the wound for Mets and Phillies fans: the Yankees' number is an improvement over last year, when they rated 39 percent support to 21 percent for the Phillies and 20 percent for the Mets.
“None of the other major league teams even comes close when it comes to winning the hearts of Jersey guys, or gals,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll — as if that’s any comfort to Mets and Phillies fans.
But, as Yogi Berra said, “It ain't over till it's over.” There’s always next year.
New Jersey voters favor U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez by a margin of 49 percent to 32 percent over his Republican challenger, former pharmaceutical executive Bob Hugin. That’s according to areleased yesterday. And that’s despite the fact many voters believe that Menendez was involved in serious wrongdoing — arising out of the corruption charges he recently beat. The poll reveals far more lopsided levels of support when people’s party affiliation is taken into account: Democrats stand by Menendez 85 percent – 3 percent, while Republicans back Hugin 81 percent – 7 percent. Independent voters go for Menendez 41 percent – 36 percent. Thirty-eight percent of voters believe Menendez was involved in “serious wrongdoing,” 20 percent say he was not involved, and 37 percent say they haven’t heard enough to decide.
“New Jersey voters are sending Sen. Robert Menendez a mixed message,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, said. “They far prefer him … over Republican challenger Bob Hugin... But they are skeptical about his guilt or innocence regarding federal corruption charges that were dropped after a hung jury.”
Other numbers from the poll: New Jersey voters approve 44 percent – 23 percent of the job Gov. Phil Murphy is doing. (The approval rate for him is 72 percent – 6 percent among Democrats, and 41 percent – 22 percent among independent voters, with Republicans disapproving 54 percent – 12 percent.) Voters approve of the job U.S. Sen. Cory Booker is doing 59 percent – 31 percent.
released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates the New Jersey labor market added 43,400 jobs in 2017. Preliminary estimates for January 2018 show the trend continuing, with a monthly total nonfarm job gain of 13,000, with the state's unemployment rate holding steady at 4.7 percent.
The revised data shows that over the December 2016 - December 2017 period, five of nine major private-industry sectors added jobs: education and health services (+20,300); trade, transportation, and utilities (+15,300); leisure and hospitality (+8,500); manufacturing (+3,200); and other services (+2,000). Sectors that recorded job losses were construction (-2,800), information (-2,600), and professional and business services (-1,000). The financial activities sector was unchanged. Government employment was higher by 500 jobs.
Preliminary nonfarm wage and salary estimates for January show an increase in total nonfarm farm employment of 13,000 jobs over the previous month, reaching a seasonally adjusted level of 4,159,800. The majority of the gain was recorded in the private sector (+11,100).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded more than $8.7 million to replace or retrofit 452 older diesel school buses. The funds are going to 141 school bus fleets in 32 states, each of which will receive rebates through EPA's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding. In New Jersey, rebates are going toward replacement or retrofitting of 27 buses in Iselin, Toms River, Bayonne, and Tabernacle. The new and retrofitted buses will reduce pollutants that are linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage.
Four out of five New Jerseyans said they pay too much in taxes for what they got, according to aconducted for its "2018 State of the Garden State" series. Less than 20 percent disagreed with the majority, saying they get their money's worth for the state and local taxes they fork over. And by a margin of 64 percent to 6 percent, residents said they got a worse deal than taxpayers in other states.
Property taxes remain the third rail of state politics; three-quarters of all residents said they are unfair, while a whopping 55 percent called them "very unfair." Despite that, residents are willing to consider new taxes: There is widespread support for a tax on legalized marijuana, as well as a millionaires tax.
Narcan, the lifesaving drug that is used to rapidly reverse opioid overdoses, was used 14,357 times in New Jersey last year. Also known as Naloxone, its use has increased significantly here as the opioid epidemic continues to take a toll. Now, two state Assemblymen, John Armato and Vince Mazzeo, want county prosecutors to instruct law enforcement offices to be equipped with the drug. “Too many souls have been taken from us due to these harmful opioids,” Armato (D-Atlantic) said. “Police officers are oftentimes the first to arrive at a scene, and they should have the means to save a human being’s life,” he said.
New Jersey’s Department of Transportation has more than 207,000 tons of salt at the ready to help in the latest nor’easter to hit the state. That nugget wasout yesterday by Gov. Phil Murphy, who also wants residents to know that the DOT is revving up 2,500 plows, spreaders, and loaders for the battle against the snow. The governor declared a statewide emergency yesterday in preparation for the storm. If it seems like only last week that the Garden State was walloped by a nor’easter, that's because it was only last week — something tens of thousands of New Jerseyans are painfully aware of, given their homes are still without power since that last big storm.
Sixty-one is the average age at which adult New Jerseyans would like to retire. But, bowing to the economic realities that bind them, New Jerseyans think it’s more likely they’ll be working until they’re 66, with a fair number thinking they’ll be closer to 70 by the time they stop laboring. The figures come from the most recent Fairleigh Dickinson University, which focuses on the attitudes of people in the Garden State toward saving for the future.
As well as underlining the gap between residents’ desired retirement age and what many think is in store for them, the poll highlights a sense of anxiety among residents when it comes to retirement saving and financial planning in general: The majority (62 percent) are unsure about how much money they need to save in order to have a secure retirement, while just over one-third (35 percent) are “very sure” about what’s needed. A large majority (72 percent) say they’re not up to speed on basic investment tools — stocks, bonds, and other investments; only 28 percent say they know what’s what in that realm.
Tellingly, a significant number (72 percent) believe that living in New Jersey makes it harder to save for the future.
The New Jersey Rare Disease Alliance is holding its annual Rare Disease Day today, starting today at 8:30 a.m. at thein Trenton. The program, "A Better World for People Living with Rare Diseases: State, National, and Global Action, "features Republican Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-7), co-chair of the Rare Disease Caucu, as the keynote.
The alliance estimates there are 800,000 rare-disease patients in New Jersey. The group's mission is to bring attention to the issues these patients face and to work with advocates, legislators, biopharmaceutical and life-science industry executives, healthcare professionals, and academia to address these issues.
The event is co-sponsored by the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD), HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ) and BioNJ, which represents the biotechnology industry in the state.
The state Senate justthat would make Rare Disease Day the last day in February.
to register for Rare Disease Day 2018.
That "paltry" percentage - almost shockingly so given that women constitute more than half of the state's population - comes courtesy of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Worse, the number has edged down 1 percentage point since 2017.
Women fare better when it comes to freeholder positions (29 percent, compared with 26 percent in 2017) and council seats (25 percent, compared with 24 percent).
"CAWP has trained record numbers of women to run, and they're eager to serve now," said director Debbie Walsh. "But until the powerful county party chairs on both sides of the aisle make it a priority to include more women on their tickets, our best efforts won't alter the picture significantly," she added.
The Garden State has done better electing women to the Legislature, Walsh reported. Women constitute 29.2 percent of the state's senators and assembly members, besting the national average of 25.3 percent and placing New Jersey 16th among the 50 states.
Although black students make up 16 percent of total school enrollment in New Jersey, they were 43.7 percent of those who received one or more out-of-school suspensions during the 2013-2014 school year, according to a new report.
The, "Bring Our Children Home: A Prison-to-School Pipeline for New Jersey's Youth," released on Wednesday by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, shows that black students are disproportionately represented in numerous types of disciplinary actions reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. For instance, the report found that African-American students made up 35.3 percent of students getting an in-school suspension, 37 percent of those expelled, 34.5 percent of school-related arrests, and 31.4 percent of referrals to law enforcement.
"These racial disparities do not reflect greater culpability of black children than their white peers, as black and white youth commit most offenses at similar rates," said Andrea McChristian, the primary author of the report and the institute's associate counsel. "Rather, these disparities exist, in part, because of our schools' inability to see black children as children. Our new youth justice system must view all children as children, and provide them with the grace, compassion, and support they need."
In issuing the report, the institute again called for the immediate closure of the state's only youth prison for girls, the Female Secure Care and Intake Facility, or Hayes, which is now on the site of the former Bordentown School, which was an elite public boarding school for blacks for more than 50 years before being closed by the state in the 1950s.
Shortly before leaving office, former Gov. Chris Christie announced plans to close Hayes and the New Jersey Training School for Boys, also known as Jamesburg, and replace them with two smaller youth rehabilitation centers. NJISJ is seeking to speed up this closure.
The institute's report also seeks to have the state build a modern, racially diverse Bordentown School whose curriculum would center around racial and social justice, study the "school-to-prison" pipeline in New Jersey with an emphasis on school districts with high rates of disciplinary actions, and provide more detailed data about suspensions and expulsions by race and gender. A New Jersey Department of Education spokesman said the DOE plans to include that data on next year's school report cards.
New Jersey plods in atoverall on a new ranking of the best states. U.S News & World Report magazine used more than 75 metrics to rank the states for things like the quality of their healthcare, education, and economy, as well as the quality of their infrastructure, public safety, fiscal soundness (or otherwise) and, yes, of their life — to come up with a list of the best.
The section on which New Jersey scores best is education (2nd); U.S. News analyzed a raft of data — on preschool enrollments, Pre-K quality, graduation rates from high schools and colleges, math and reading scores, college readiness, among others, to reach the result. New Jersey scores well on “Crimes & Corrections” too (3rd), with the lowest rate of sexual violence in prisons of any state, and relatively low rates of incarceration and of juvenile incarceration specifically. The state’s rankings for other key indicators are: opportunity (10th), healthcare (12th), and infrastructure (28th).
But, then, things go south for the Garden State. According to U.S. News, New Jersey’s economy performs poorly relative to the economies of the other states (41st). As for its fiscal stability, that earns a not unexpected terrible grade, (49th). But, as bad as some things are in New Jersey, the state's ranking for quality of life (49th) is a bit of a puzzler.
While thousands of New Jersey homeowners are still examining — and ruing — the new federal tax changes for how they will affect their bottom line, many New Jersey corporations could do nicely because of the legislation. According to a newby the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA), close to 50 percent of CPAs who were polled said that either “many” or “most/all” of their corporate clients would benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. A similar percentage who work for New Jersey companies said their own company will have “moderate” to “significant” tax savings. Of those CPAs who said their clients will benefit, more than 50 percent said the clients haven’t decided what to do with the tax windfall, more than 30 percent said their clients plan to reinvest in the business, more than 25 percent said their clients plan to expand the business, and more than 20 percent said the clients will either hire extra employees or give their employees a raise.