When To Cancel and Not to Cancel Your Vaccine Appointment

The state is asking Residents not to cancel vaccine appointments to wait for the J&J vaccine.
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CAMDEN, NJ — The New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner says their office has learned of residents canceling their two-shot Moderna or Pfizer vaccine appointments in order to stand by for a Johnson & Johnson shot, which requires just one shot.

Commissioner Judy Persichilli advised against it Monday afternoon during Gov. Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 press briefing from Trenton.

“As a reminder, our state won't be getting shipments of the J&J vaccine for the next three weeks. If you choose to wait for the J&J vaccine, you will go back into the queue,” Persichilli said. “If that is your choice, we respect that. However, as public health experts, including Dr. Fauci have said, we urge individuals to take the first vaccine that becomes available to them.”

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3 N.J. musicians opened a brewery a year before the pandemic. Now, it’s still rocking.

Posted Mar 06, 2021

If you get a beer from Four City Brewing Company in Orange, you’ll immediately notice some unusual names.

There’s the “Miseducation of Loral Hops,” a not-so-subtle reference to South Orange native Lauryn Hill and her Grammy-winning project from the late 1990s. You can also order the “You Down With FCB?” wheat beer, a play on East Orange hip-hop trio Naughty By Nature’s famous line “you down with O.P.P.?” Other beers honor local landmarks.

It’s what happens when three musicians from the Oranges -- Roger Apollon Jr., Anthony Minervino and Jeff Gattens -- open a brewery. Music, art and history are baked into the place. Local musicians have played there, and there’s always a solid rotation of tunes on. And, Four City partners with a nonprofit community organization called the University of Orange to host an art installation each month.

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Delays by feds added $300M to new Hudson River tunnel costs, official says

Posted Mar 06, 2021

Years of federal government delays in the process to build new Hudson River tunnels have made the massive project more expensive, officials overseeing the project said.

The price to build two new tunnels under the Hudson River and rehabilitate the existing 110-year-old tunnels -- dubbed the Gateway project -- is now estimated at $11.6 billion, a $300 million increase over its last project estimate, said Frank Sacr, Gateway Development Corporation interim executive director. He announced the increase during the inaugural meeting of the new seven-member, bi-state Gateway Development Commission on Friday.

“In 2020, we did add back $300 million in cost, or $1 million a day,” he said at Friday’s virtual meeting.

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Van Drew, after flipping parties, bashes bills he once backed

BY MIKE LILLIS - 

For Rep. Jeff Van Drew (N.J.), swapping party allegiances has also meant reversing course on the top issues moving through Congress.

The second-term Republican, who left the Democratic Party last year to protest the first impeachment of former President Trump, had supported every one of the Democrats' top nine legislative priorities in the last Congress, most of them before he jumped to the GOP. That list featured some of the more controversial issues Congress considers, including gun reform, climate change, immigration and equal pay between the genders.

Yet if Democratic leaders are banking on Van Drew's support this year as they race to move virtually identical bills through a bitterly divided House, they'd better reconsider.

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RGA looking to tie Cuomo, Murphy together on nursing homes

 03/04/2021

Politico

Jack Ciattarelli, the likely GOP gubernatorial nominee, has attempted to draw parallels between the sexual harassment scandal Cuomo is facing to previous Murphy administration scandals.

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Republicans are hoping the stench of scandal from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will waft across the Hudson River and engulf New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy as he seeks reelection this year.

The Republican Governors Association has sent Murphy’s administration a public records request seeking exchanges between the two Democratic governors and their staffs “regarding nursing homes and long-term care facilities.”

“Last month, it was revealed that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo lied to the American people during the COVID-19 crisis. Governor Cuomo and his staff tried to cover up the actual number of those who died because of his policies,” RGA Executive Director Dave Rexrode wrote in the request. “On March 31, 2020, the New Jersey Department of Health issued a directive that mirrored Governor Cuomo’s mandate in New York by ordering nursing homes and long-term care facilities to admit untested COVID-19 patients and prohibiting a denial of admission based solely on a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, among other failures.”

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The GOP playbook for New Jersey: Attack voting rights | Editorial

Posted Mar 04, 2021

There has been a recent avalanche of bills introduced by Republican state lawmakers across the US designed to make it harder to vote, triggered by a pretext that election fraud played a role in the national humiliation of Donald Trump.

So it is no surprise that a Trump supporter endorses two restrictive voting laws for our state, and the fact that this acolyte could be our next governor cannot be dismissed casually.

Jack Ciattarelli, the clubhouse favorite for the GOP nomination, is too genteel to be a Trump sock puppet, but he insists that “a great many people have lost faith in the voting system, and we have to restore that faith.”

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Pope picks N.J.’s Cardinal Tobin for big Vatican appointment

Posted Mar 04, 2021

Pope Francis has tapped New Jersey’s highest ranking Catholic leader to be one of the few Americans sitting on a powerful Vatican committee that helps him appoint bishops around the world.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin, head of the Archdiocese of Newark, was named Wednesday to the Congregation for Bishops, according to a Vatican announcement. The group’s duties include advising the Pope on which priests should be selected to be bishops in dioceses around the world.

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Developers Selected to Head Redevelopment of West Ward Properties

331-335 South 11th St.
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NEWARK, NJ — Nearly three acres of city-owned property near West Side High School is planned to receive major redevelopment improvements after several decades of neglect. 

As a result of contributions from various community stakeholders and a competitive bid process which evaluated proposals submitted by 12 developers, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced on Wednesday that two developer partnerships - RPM and Urban League of Essex County and MCI Development Inc. and Richman Affordable Housing Corporation - will head the city’s Fairmount Commons Redevelopment Plan. 

The redevelopment area is a grouping of city-owned lots in addition to lots transferred to the city by the New Jersey School Development Authority, which consists of two blocks in the West Ward’s Fairmount Heights neighborhood between South Orange Avenue and 13th Avenue, from South 11th Street to West Side High School and Fairmount Cemetery.

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It’s not over: NJ food banks brace for persistent demand even when pandemic fades

JON HURDLE, CONTRIBUTING WRITER | MARCH 5, 2021

NJ Spotlight News

Staff and volunteers for the Food Bank of South Jersey handed out about 600 food boxes at a recent distribution in Lindenwold, Camden County.

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Twelve months of surging demand for emergency food assistance from pandemic-hit workers made for a grueling and unprecedented year for New Jersey’s food banks. And now they are bracing for more of the same over the next two years even if unemployment drops in line with declining COVID-19 infections.

The economic damage wrought by mass layoffs and business closures is expected to persist long after vaccines become widely available and that means demand for food assistance will remain at the current high level for months or years to come, food bank executives said.

Leaders of the state’s three biggest food banks said so many people have built up debt, including rent or mortgage arrears, just to survive the pandemic that they will continue to rely on the emergency food network for some time even as they start to return to work and rebuild their finances.

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U.S. House passes election reform bill targeting campaign finance, automatic registration and more

Posted Mar 03, 2021

WASHINGTON — House Democrats passed sweeping voting and ethics legislation Wednesday over unanimous Republican opposition, advancing to the Senate what would be the largest overhaul of the U.S. election law in at least a generation.

House Resolution 1, which touches on virtually every aspect of the electoral process, was approved on a near party-line 220-210 vote. It would restrict partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, strike down hurdles to voting and bring transparency to a murky campaign finance system that allows wealthy donors to anonymously bankroll political causes.

The bill is a powerful counterweight to voting rights restrictions advancing in Republican-controlled statehouses across the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s repeated false claims of a stolen 2020 election. Yet it faces an uncertain fate in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it has little chance of passing without changes to procedural rules that currently allow Republicans to block it.

The stakes in the outcome are monumental, cutting to the foundational idea that one person equals one vote, and carrying with it the potential to shape election outcomes for years to come. It also offers a test of how hard President Joe Biden and his party are willing to fight for their priorities, as well as those of their voters.

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