Should the State Offload Teacher Retirement Benefits Onto Local School Districts?

IMG_3106In New Jersey, school districts pay the salaries of their teachers, but it’s the state that picks up the costs of their retirements. Cities and towns, meanwhile, cover their employees’ salaries as well as their retirement costs. That split responsibility is at the heart of one of the core elements of the… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 2nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Pensions | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Christie Refuses to Release Credit Card Records with Breakdown of Travel Costs

Chris Christie is refusing to release nearly $800,000 in American Express credit card bills for the travel costs of his state police security details. The governor’s office denied public records requests for AmEx monthly statements and related documents that would show how the money was spent. His staff said release of… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 2nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Christie Administration Reportedly Settles $8.9B Exxon Lawsuit in a Hurry — For Only $250M

2323In a move stunning to lawmakers and environmentalists, the Christie administration is reportedly settling an 11-year-old pollution lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp. for $250 million, a fraction of the $8.9 billion it originally sought. The settlement, first reported by The New York Times on Friday, aims to address the contamination of 1,500 acres of marshes, wetlands,… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 2nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Environment | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Superstorm Sandy victims must pay for taller utility poles

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) – It just doesn’t seem fair. Bridgewater resident Kathy Gerndt elevated her small one-story summer cottage on Moonrise Lane in Toms River, which was wrecked by Superstorm Sandy, eight feet to bring it into accordance with Federal Emergency Management Agency rules. Now Gerndt has a problem that’s not her fault but will… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 1st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Hurricane Sandy, JCP&L, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Seeking FEMA Money For ‘The Full Universe Of Victims’

assetContent (51)New Jersey’s two U.S. senators say the number of Hurricane Sandy cases currently in federal court doesn’t begin to represent all the victims harmed by the government’s “unfair” process to recover insurance claims after the storm. Those victims, lawmakers say, are entitled to FEMA settlements. On Friday, Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker wrote to… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: March 1st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Bob Menendez, Cory Booker, FEMA, Flooding, Hurricane Sandy, National Flood Insurance Plan, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Menendez aides attemp to avoid testifying in grand jury probe of senator, report says

assetContent (50)TRENTON — A current aide and a former counsel to U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez are refusing to testify in front of a grand jury about alleged favors the senator did for a political donor by citing a constitutional clause, according to a report. According to court documents obtained by the New Jersey Law Journal, the aides… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 28th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Bob Menendez | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Christie touts a familiar subject at CPAC

CPAC 022615

OXON HILL, Md. — There were subtle jabs at Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, but the subject New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent most of his time discussing at a conservative convention on Thursday was one he presumably knows best: himself. Christie touted his willingness to take unscripted questions from voters, even when that means having… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 27th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Congressional elections, Chris Christie | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act Will Improve Mental Healthcare for Veterans

By Congressman Chris Smith

Rep_Chris_Smith_addressing_House_subcommittee (800x508)As the former chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the author of more than a dozen laws to modernize, expand and improve the services provided by the Veterans Administration (VA), I see the need to review and evaluate existing programs to ensure that they align with the promise a grateful nation makes to those who wear and have worn the uniforms of the United States military. As President Lincoln so eloquently said at the end of the Civil War: “Let us strive…to care for him who shall have borne the battle…” a phrase later adopted as the motto of the VA.

 

That is why I co-sponsored and twice voted for the “Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act.”  This bipartisan legislation is named in honor of the late Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran whose story is not unfamiliar to many who have attempted to navigate the VA’s bureaucracy to receive the care they have earned. Clay Hunt was one of the many veterans who experience some form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their service, yet he did not receive adequate mental health care in the VA system and took his own life at the age of 28.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 26th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Smith, Veterans | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Fort Monmouth marina expansion violates environmental regs, state stays

assetContentOCEANPORT —Developers looking to open a restaurant and bar at the Fort Monmouth marina in Oceanport have been cited for expanding the building without obtaining state environmental permits. The violation notice from the state Department of Environmental Protection says the developers, Asbury Park Development Partners LLC, expanded the former boathouse at the marina by 1,750 square… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 26th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: FMERA, Fort Monmouth, Monmouth County, Oceanport | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Unlawful weapons charges dropped against N.J. man stopped with antique pistol

assetContent (49)Weapons charges against a Maurice River Township man found to be in possession of an antique handgun have been dropped, the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday. Gordon Van Gilder, 72, of Port Elizabeth, had been returning home Nov. 19 after retrieving a nearly-300-year-old flintlock pistol from a Vineland pawn shop when his vehicle was pulled… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 26th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , | No Comments »