The number of bald eagles is soaring, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection, with the annual Midwinter Eagle Survey in 2013 having counted 297 of them -- 264 in South Jersey and 33 in the northern part of the state.
There were 148 territorial pairs, up from 135 in 2012. Of these, 119 pairs actively nested, meaning they laid eggs. Ninety-six nests produced 176 young.
Peregrine falcons are also experiencing record productivity rates. There are 26 pair, with 24 nests having produced 57 young for a success rate of 92 percent. These nests are often found on bridge towers, watertowers, and high buildings.» Click here for the full post
The future of the Legislature’s Bridgegate investigation is in the hands of a Superior Court judge who will decide whether Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien, the deputy chief of staff and campaign operative who are the only two staffers Gov. Chris Christie has fired, must turn over emails and other communications related to the infamous George Washington Bridge lane closures.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), the cochairs of the Joint Select Committee on Investigations, had reason to be pleased that the ruling will be issued by Mercer County Superior Court Assignment Judge Mary Jacobson, who frequently rules on state government open public records cases.
In a case that pits Kelly’s and Stepien’s Fifth Amendment right against the legislative committee’s right to subpoena documents as part of a duly constituted investigation, Jacobson zeroed in on the fact that public employees like Kelly know they have an obligation to preserve and produce public records, including private emails, related to public business.» Click here for the full post
Tesla Motors Inc. is bit of a darling on Wall Street. The manufacturer of high-priced electric vehicles saw its stock price rise to a record $248 per share last month, even with only modest growth in the sales of its cars at a pace of about 5,000 a year nationwide.
Relations with the Christie administration are not as affectionate, however. The state Motor Vehicles Commission yesterday adopted new regulations that a Tesla executive said will effectively close down its two New Jersey dealerships in Paramus and Short Hills.
The new rule was surreptitiously pushed, according to Diarmuid O'Connell, a vice president of business development at Tesla. His company had been in discussions with the governor’s office and the Legislature to block the rule, he said. They only learned about the pending rule adoption when its lobbyists spotted it a few days ago on the agenda of the MVC, he said.» Click here for the full post
Just 18 hours before the NJ Council on Affordable Housing was to hold a court-ordered meeting, which would have been its first in 10 months, the agency cancelled that meeting after the state Supreme Court issued a temporary stay of the order late yesterday afternoon.
The stay issued by the state's highest court’sput a hold on last Friday's extraordinary Appellate Division ruling that COAH meet by 9:30 a.m. today to begin working on rules for municipalities to provide their "fair share" of housing for low- and moderate-income residents as required under the state Supreme Court's so-called Mount Laurel rulings.
Soon after the Supreme Court issued its temporary stay, the state Department of Community Affairs posted a» Click here for the full post
More than 350 people with serious disabilities are being moved out of the state’s large residential developmental centers into community group homes
State officials are emphasizing that these residents will still receive a good level of care. But some residents’ families say the relocations are happening too quickly and are dangerously reckless.
State Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez visited a group home in Howell Township yesterday, touting the the benefits of having those with intellectual disabilities live closer to their families.» Click here for the full post
It proved to be a quieter setting for debate over Newark’s controversial school reorganization plan – but it was not any less contentious.
The Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Public Schools yesterday hosted a Statehouse hearing on the plan known as “One Newark,” which calls for closing or consolidating a half-dozen city schools next year and the potential layoffs of up to 1,000 teachers in three years.
The hearing in Trenton was far less raucous than public forums on the “One Newark” plan that have been held in Newark over the last several months. Hundreds of activists and others have turned out to express strong opposition to the blueprint for the city’s schools, which are run by the state. Yesterday, no more than a few dozen people were on hand.» Click here for the full post
The agency overseeing the drinking water supplies for 15 million people in the region, including three million in New Jersey, needs to extend a temporary moratorium governing natural gas drilling to a permanent ban, according to environmentalists and U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12th).
With a new executive director coming on board at the Delaware River Basin Commission this week, it is time to ratchet down on drilling efforts, which involve the injection of huge amounts of water into shale deposits to recover natural gas, the groups said.
The practice, known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,’’ has emerged as one of the top environmental issues in the region at the same time that industry is extracting new natural gas from Pennsylvania and neighboring states, which has driven down energy bills for customers in New Jersey.» Click here for the full post
Who he is: Randy Mastro, Gov. Chris Christie’s lawyer in the Bridgegate scandal.
What he does: Partner in high-powered New York law firm, also co-chairs the firm's crisis management group.
What they say about him: He will "fight you to the end." You don’t want to "meet Randy down a dark alley." Going up against him is like "wrestling an alligator." All this is what he wants you to know about him, as these quotes are taken directly from his website.» Click here for the full post