NYC’S NEW POLICY ON MEASLES VACCINE PROMPTS RENEWED FOCUS IN NJ

LILO H. STAINTON | APRIL 11, 2019

NJ Spotlight

 

New York City’s decision to threaten fines and legal citations against those who have not been vaccinated against measles could indirectly benefit New Jersey’s immunization efforts, although experts here agreed such measures are not necessary to address the measles outbreak on this side of the Hudson River.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency on Tuesday that requires unvaccinated individuals in the largely Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg — where 285 people have been diagnosed with measles since last fall, and nearly two dozen hospitalized — to get the measles vaccine or face citations or fines of up to $1,000.

“I’m not sure we need to do what New York City is doing, but I’m happy they are doing it,” said Dr. Puthenmadam Radhakrishnan, a pediatrician with a practice in Ewing. Close monitoring, plus education and outreach to further boost vaccination rates, are what currently make sense for the Garden State, he and others said Wednesday.

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Businesses with $10B in N.J. public contracts gave $9M to political campaigns last year

Posted Apr 9, 2019

Private companies doing business with the state of New Jersey and local governments donated $9 million last year to political organizations and political candidates, according to a new report by the state Election Law Enforcement Commission.

Roughly 1,900 companies held public contracts worth $9.8 billion in 2018, ELEC said. Only firms with at least $50,000 in public contracts have to report their political contributions.

They weren’t as generous in 2018 as they were in 2017, when the governor’s race topped the ballot. But candidates for federal office and federal political action committees drew $763,000 in contributions from contractors, though the majority of that money went to a committee funding candidates outside of the Garden State, according to ELEC’s analysis.

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Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric inspires white supremacists and should be condemned, says this Jersey Democrat

Posted Apr 9, 2019

WASHINGTON — A resolution introduced Tuesday by New Jersey Rep. Tom Malinowski “rejects the hateful propaganda of white supremacist terrorists” and “condemns political leaders who legitimize white supremacist ideology."

That includes President Donald Trump, said the first-year Democrat and former assistant U.S. secretary of state.

“We’ve always had Nazis. We always will,” Malinowski, D-7th Dist., said at a Capitol Hill press conference. “We’ve never had to question whether the president of the United States stands on their way of thinking. We’ve never had these people echoing the words of the president of the United States before.”

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The Trump Contingency: Exploring new ways to stave off a Hudson tunnel disaster | Editorial

Posted Apr 8, 2019

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

The ASCE, which publishes that report every four years, also gave U.S. infrastructure an overall grade of D-plus, which matched New Jersey’s grade and the national mark given in 2013.

Trump said he’s got this. He campaigned on a pledge to rebuild the country as only a developer can. During his first year in office, he promised to deliver “the biggest and boldest infrastructure investment in American history.”

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Where Dreams Take Flight


From left to right: Dr. Khadijah Ismael, Jatasha Sharif, Khalilah Ismael, and Tiffani Harris

By Lee Shenkman

On April 13, 2019, a number of girls and young women will gather at Central High School in Newark to compete for the title of Miss Glitz, Glamour, and Brains in STEM USA. There, they will compete against one another not only on the basis of the beauty of the mind and presentation skills, but also on their abilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The winners in each of the divisions will be those who combine their skills and abilities to excel in all areas.

The road to Central High School in Newark, as it turns out, was long and difficult. And it came about only because of the vision and determination of two sisters who believed passionately in one core principle: We all have the ability to do extraordinary things and be extraordinary people. Often, all we need is a belief in ourselves coupled with a firm conviction that we can do almost anything if we work hard enough. And, sometimes, we need support and encouragement from others.

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CLEAN WATER PROJECTS: DEP AGREES ADDITIONAL STATE FUNDING NEEDED

TOM JOHNSON | APRIL 8, 2019

NJ Spotlight

 

Within the next few years, the state will run out of matching funds to obtain hundreds of millions in federal dollars for crucial clean water projects, according to projections by the Office of Legislative Services and state Department of Environmental Protection.

By fiscal year 2027, the need for water infrastructure improvements is expected to outpace available funding for clean water projects, according to the DEP’s responses to OLS staff on the former agency’s fiscal year 2019-2020 budget. For the state’s drinking water infrastructure, the situation is even more urgent given that needs will surpass funding by this fiscal year, the DEP said.

The projected deficit is hardly a surprise; state and federal environmental officials have long projected that infrastructure improvements for an aging system of drinking water and wastewater treatment plants in New Jersey will cost as much as $25 billion.

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Booker brings civil rights activists to their feet: ‘It’s time for us to dream again.’

Posted Apr 5, 2019

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, called on a group of civil rights activists to “dream again” as he brought them to their feet.

Speaking before the annual convention of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in New York City on Friday, Booker invoked slaves dreaming for freedom, women for the right to vote.

“It’s time for my generation," Booker proclaimed. "It’s time for us to dream again. Bold dreams and defiant dreams.

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Murphy’s latest job approval poll is out, and the number of unhappy N.J. residents is rising

Updated Apr 4, 2019

Gov. Phil Murphy’s standing with New Jerseyans has slipped a bit, with those who don’t believe he’s doing a good job rising by double digits since the fall, according to a new poll released Thursday.

Most people — 52 percent — approve of the job he’s doing, while 43 percent disapprove of his performance, according to the first joint Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics and Fairleigh Dickinson University poll.

In a November Rutgers poll, 43 percent approved of the job Murphy was doing, compared to 28 percent who disapproved. An October FDU pollfound 49 percent saying he was doing a good job as governor, with 31 percent saying he wasn’t.

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STATE DEP: GETTING LEAD OUT OF NJ WATER PIPES COULD COST $2.3 BILLION

TOM JOHNSON | APRIL 5, 2019

NJ Spotlight

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe

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It could cost up to $2.3 billion to replace all of the estimated 350,000 water-service lines in New Jersey with lead issues, according to projections by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Where the state is going to find the money to tackle the problem remains a mystery, one that popped up as DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe was questioned yesterday by lawmakers during the agency’s annual appearance before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

“That’s a statewide problem,’’ said Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), referring to lead service lines that contribute to unsafe levels of the heavy metal in drinking water, not only in urban areas, like Newark and Trenton, but all over the state.

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Companies that accept tax subsidies must create good, safe jobs, worker advocates say

Posted Apr 3, 2019

By Alberto Arroyo and Debra Coyle McFadden

 

These days, New Jersey plays a major role in the multi-billion dollar e-commerce economy.

The workers who make this economy possible deserve a fair shake.

E-commerce warehouses that support online retailers, national chain stores, and top apparel brands are expanding in New Jersey because of our large ports, our highway system, and our proximity to millions of customers in the New York City metro area.

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