After 15 Years, Dream Mall Finally Becomes a Reality

By Michael Corkery and 

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Oct. 25, 2019

The American Dream mall will open Friday on a former swamp in the Meadowlands, though there will be no retailers until next year.

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — It has taken 15 years, three owners, two names and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of taxpayer incentives, but a giant mall built on a former swamp in the Meadowlands — and less than 10 miles away from the shopping haven of Manhattan — is finally opening on Friday.

Sort of.

The $5 billion development, formerly known as Xanadu and now called American Dream, will eventually feature roughly 3 million square feet of stores, water slides, a caviar bar and an indoor ski slope that promises man-made snow even in the height of a New Jersey summer. It is an attempt to lure crowds to a spot not easily accessible by public transportation and which most people know primarily from visits for National Football League games or concerts at MetLife Stadium.

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N.J. judge who jailed woman for 23 days for disrespecting him could face 2-month suspension

Posted Oct 24, 2019

A Newark Municipal Court judge is facing a possible suspension after he sent a woman to jail for 23 days following her appearance in front of him for a landlord-tenant dispute because he believed she didn’t respect his authority.

The judge also told the woman she had a “mental condition.”

Linda Lacey spent Christmas and New Year’s in a cell during her three-plus weeks in jail — a period which the judge who put here there, Marvin C. Adames, acknowledged in court was “longer than [she] probably should have” been incarcerated.

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If Trump Shoots Someone on 5th Ave., Does He Have Immunity? His Lawyer Says Yes

By Benjamin Weiser and 

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Oct. 23, 2019

Lawyers for President Trump argue that he is immune from criminal investigation while in office.

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A federal appeals panel on Wednesday expressed skepticism that President Trump had a right to block state prosecutors in Manhattan from enforcing a subpoena that sought his personal and corporate tax returns for the last eight years.

The judges on a three-member panel in Manhattan peppered a lawyer for Mr. Trump with questions, expressing skepticism about the president’s argument that he was immune from criminal investigation. A lower court judge earlier this month rejected Mr. Trump’s claim, which has not previously been tested in the courts.

Carey R. Dunne, the Manhattan district attorney’s general counsel, cited the president’s famous claim that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue without losing political support.

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Booker Introduces Legislation to Address ‘Neglected Diseases of Poverty’

LILO H. STAINTON | OCTOBER 24, 2019

NJ Spotlight

 

Presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has proposed a first-of-its-kind national plan to address — and possibly eliminate — parasitic infections and other diseases associated with poverty, conditions he said affect an estimated 12 million Americans.

The legislation Booker introduced Wednesday would target what are considered “neglected diseases of poverty” that, while commonly associated with developing countries, also sicken residents of underserved communities in the United States and take a disproportionate toll on racial minorities.

According to the George Washington School of Medicine’s Research Center for Neglected Diseases of Poverty, these include certain sexually transmitted diseases and infections caused by parasites, including several that are transmitted from animals. All are more likely to flourish in neighborhoods without clean water or sanitary sewer systems.

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Senate Dems to force vote on overturning Trump to save your property tax break

Posted Oct 22, 2019

WASHINGTON — When New Jersey and other states tried get around the Republican tax law’s $10,000 cap on deducting state and local taxes, the Trump administration said no.

Now the U.S. Senate will vote on overturning that decision.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said Tuesday that he will force a vote to reject the Treasury Department ruling that basically prevented efforts to set up municipal charitable funds for homeowners to pay into in lieu of property taxes.

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Sen. Rice: Legalizing pot won’t stop social injustice in the black and brown community

Updated Oct 22, 2019

By Ronald L. Rice

Understanding how marijuana legalization will impact the health, education, economic, business, liability and litigation complexities of our densely-populated, metropolitan-bookended state, I fully oppose it, state Senator Ronald Rice says. Above, Rice addresses the Senate.

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In the 400 years since the first slave boat unloaded human cargo in Virginia, African people and their descendants have helped build America from a ragtag collection of fledgling colonies to a powerful nation envied worldwide for its defense of liberty and justice.

Along the way, the sweat and blood of African Americans have yielded slow, incremental concessions toward the “restoration” of their rights and dignity as human beings. With every inch forward, they have cemented the foundation of liberty for all Americans, regardless of race, sex, gender, gender identity, age, ability and economic or other status. Step by step, black Americans and people of color are sculpting our nation into the true democracy referenced by our founders – outlawing racism and all the other “isms” that have stained our history.

On paper, it looks good. But we don’t live our lives on paper. I live mine as a black man on the streets of Newark – the city I’ve called home since 1955. I live it in the State House in Trenton where, for the last 33 years, I’ve represented Newark, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Irvington and Nutley as a state senator for the 28th Legislative District.

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NJ Drinking Water Contaminants Increase, Survey Says

JON HURDLE | OCTOBER 23, 2019 

NJ Spotlight

The latest tally of contaminants was 26 more than in the last report by the Environmental Working Group.

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Drinking water supplied by New Jersey utilities between 2012 and 2017 contained 107 contaminants — some of which were at levels that advocates say are harmful to human health, according to a survey published on Wednesday.

The advocacy organization Environmental Working Group used data from the state Department of Environmental Protection on drinking water quality at New Jersey’s 579 utilities, as part of its national U.S. Tap Water Database, a biennial report. The latest tally of contaminants was 26 more than in the last report, covering the years 2010-2015, which was released two years ago.

In New Jersey, the report found some samples from larger utilities contained contaminants at levels that exceeded health limits as recommended by other states or by the nonprofit itself, although nearly all samples met standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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The List: New Jersey v. Trump, on a Case-by-Case Basis

COLLEEN O'DEA | OCTOBER 22, 2019

NJ Spotlight

 

Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey’s attorney general, is the state’s top law enforcement official, responsible for prosecuting major criminal and corruption cases, as well as providing rules and guidance to county prosecutors and local police.

In the Murphy administration, that job also includes being part of the anti-Trump resistance movement.

By its own count, the attorney general’s office has been or is involved in some 50 multistate lawsuits against actions taken by the Republican president and members of his administration. The cases fall into a host of categories, including the environment, immigration, consumer protection, civil rights and health care.

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N.J. is close to killing two standardized tests for 100K students. Here’s why

Posted Oct 20, 2019

When your typical 10th grader enters sophomore year in New Jersey next school year, Gov. Phil Murphy wants two fewer standardized tests to be waiting for her. Sounds great for the student — and presumably for test-fatigued parents and educators, right?

Yet it will only happen if state officials can find consensus on an issue that’s long stoked division.

Murphy’s administration says it wants to eliminate the math and English exams formerly known as PARCC for about 100,000 students, as Murphy seeks to fulfill his signature education campaign promise to reduce standardized testing. The state Board of Education, however, has yet to sign off — and some state board members remain unconvinced that less testing is actually better.

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Pelosi just put patients over profits. Will Trump? | Editorial

Posted Oct 20, 2019

One of the main knocks on the impeachment inquiry, from the few remaining holdouts like Jeff Van Drew, is that it will prevent Congress from taking up crucial issues like soaring prescription drug prices.

But here’s the irony: Van Drew’s Democratic colleagues have had to keep reintroducing legislation to address this problem, because Trump still hasn’t fulfilled his promise on the issue.

It’s not the Democrats who can’t get anything done. It’s the president.

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