NJ Transit May Request Extension for Positive Train Control

By Christian Hetrick • 

New Jersey Transit is at risk of missing a federal deadline to install a mandatory safety system on its tracks and may ask for a two-year extension to complete the work, the head of the agency told state lawmakers on Monday.

The railroad must install Positive Train Control—a system designed to prevent collisions and high-speed derailments—by Dec. 31 or potentially face hefty federal fines. During a hearing before the Assembly Budget Committee, NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett said the agency is behind in its work and may ask the federal government for permission to finish the job by the end of 2020.

“We are making that evaluation, but if we are going to go that way, we will have to move fairly quick on that,” Corbett told reporters after the hearing.

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Newark's leading the way and other N.J. cities should follow, Murphy says

Gov. Phil Murphy came to Newark on Monday and reeled off a few phrases that could easily be new slogans for New Jersey's most populous city. 

He called it "a city clearly on the rise" and "a model for urban revitalization." 

That, Murphy explained, is largely because Newark has been bolstered by what he calls "the innovation economy" -- in which technology companies, especially startups, move in to an area and help reinvigorate it.

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GOP WANTS TO YANK GATEWAY FUNDS OUT OF TRUMP’S SIGNED 2019 BUDGET

JOHN REITMEYER | APRIL 30, 2018

NJ Spotlight

Amtrak train exiting the north tube of the outmoded Hudson River Tunnel from New York into New Jersey

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Just weeks after celebrating a significant appropriation for the Gateway transportation program and its trans-Hudson rail tunnel, New Jersey’s congressional delegation is back on high alert thanks to a new push by some Republicans to cancel the infrastructure spending.

The threat to the Gateway funding comes from a group of 27 GOP representatives that is encouraging the use of a parliamentary procedure known as “rescission” to remove an estimated $541 million that was just allocated for the infrastructure project in a more than $1 trillion federal spending bill signed into law by President Donald Trump late last month

While it’s far from certain the rescission gambit will work, members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation are taking it seriously, forming a bipartisan front to defend the approved Gateway spending. Part of their response involves highlighting how many of the representatives who signed an official rescission letter hail from states that, unlike New Jersey, receive more funding from the federal government than their residents typically pay in taxes. Some of the representatives’ own states also just a received a significant amount of aid from the federal government — with the support of New Jersey’s delegation — after recent natural disasters.

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Newark and Camden just got $400k each to clean up dirty land

What do a meat processing site, an abandoned gas station and two abandoned industrial sites have in common? They're all getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grant money dedicated to cleaning them up.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Wednesday that four New Jersey brownfield sites, two in Newark and two in Camden, were each being awarded $200,000 in federal grants to help cover cleanup costs.

Going forward, the cities will be primarily responsible for cleaning up the sites while the EPA will hold an oversight role.

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Newark finally released its Amazon HQ2 proposal. Read all the juicy details, including proposed locations.

Newark's closest held secret is finally out.

The city released the bid it submitted for Amazon's new HQ2. Read the document below. (It is just over 200 pages.)

Want a full idea of how Newark pitched to Amazon? Check out this website titled, 'Yes, Newark'. The website, a sleek marketing tool, is designed to give Amazon representatives an idea of what it would be like to live and work in Newark.

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NEWARK MAY GO TO COURT TO DEFEND LEAD LEVELS IN ITS DRINKING WATER

TOM JOHNSON | APRIL 25, 2018

NJ Spotlight

The city of Newark and the acting commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection are facing a court battle over unsafe levels of lead in drinking water.

With lead levels in supplies nearly twice the federal action level for the contaminant, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Newark Education Workers Caucus yesterday announced plans to sue the government for violating the federal safe drinking-water law.

In 2017, more than 10 percent of samples collected by the Newark Water Department show lead levels in excess of 26 parts per billion (ppb), nearly double the federal action level of 15 ppb under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Approximately 20 percent of the samples exceeded the 15 ppb federal action level, according to the groups.

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Will this N.J. teacher be deported by ICE, then hanged? | Editorial

Posted Apr 23, 2018

Ahmed Abdelbasit, a physics teacher at Rising Star Academy in Union City, was detained by ICE agents outside his home in Jersey City, HuffPost reported.

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Immigration agents have refused to say why they are moving to deport a New Jersey physics teacher and father of three - a man sentenced to death in Egypt.
 
But Ahmed Abdelbasit says he knows exactly what will happen if he's sent back.
 
"The Egyptian government will not wait one minute to kill me," he told WNYC's Matt Katz, on a phone from the Elizabeth detention center.

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Gov. Murphy announces proposed NJTransit funding increase

April 23, 2018

TAPintoNEWARK

Gov. Phil Murphy announced a proposed $242 increase in spending on NJTransit bus service. Murphy said the increase would lead to jobs at NJTransit and would improve the lives of commuters.

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Newark, NJ – Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday spread a message of hope regarding future improvements to NJTransit services and infrastructure due to a proposed $242 million increase in funding for NJTransit for the 2019 fiscal year. 

At a press conference held at NJTransit’s Central Maintenance Facility on Doremus Avenue in Newark, Murphy, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, and other officials spoke about how vital the bus service is to the lives of people in their communities. 

“For far too long, NJTransit  bus customers have had to face some harsh challenges in their daily commute to and from work,” said Murphy. “Today, I am pleased to announce we are continuing to deliver on our commitment to turn NJTransit around with improvements that will minimize delays, alleviate overcrowding, and invest in workforce capital to support bus services and enhanced customer service.” 

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Gov. Murphy's first 100 Days delivers . . . normalcy | Editorial

Posted Apr 22, 2018

New Jerseyans pretty much agree that tens of thousands of women who cannot afford mammograms and cancer screenings should have access to them.

By a considerable majority, we think that medical marijuana should be available for people in ceaseless pain from migraines or lupus and other musculoskeletal nightmares.

We want to live in a state where workers are not only given the dignity to earn their own bread, but also not forced to choose between keeping their jobs and nursing an illness or a sick child.

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MURPHY ACCUSES TEXAS GOV. ABBOTT OF TRYING TO RUSTLE GARDEN STATE COMPANIES

JOHN REITMEYER | APRIL 20, 2018

NJ Spotlight

 

Gov. Phil Murphy has gotten into his first tussle with a governor of another state, reacting to an appeal by the governor of Texas to New Jersey residents and business leaders to relocate to the Lone Star State if they are concerned about high taxes.

Murphy’s wrangling with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began after the Star-Ledger newspaper published an op-ed written by Abbott that criticized Murphy for proposing tax hikes. Abbott’s missive portrayed the Lone Star State as a place that’s on the rise economically, due largely to low taxes.

“Come to Texas and be a part of our economic success story,” wrote Abbott.

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