Monday, April 29, 2013
One Bergen County bridge fell to the bottom of the list of structurally deficient bridges in New Jersey. Check out the interactive map below from NJ Spotlight.
Monday, April 29
The most structurally deficient bridge in New Jersey is right here in Bergen County, according to a new study. The Court Street Bridge a mile north of I-80 in Hackensack, which has been recently repaired, sits at the bottom of the list of deficient bridges across the state, according to a NJ Spotlight analysis of data from the National Bridge Inventory. The analysis looked at infrastructure across the state and found that one in four bridges "is in poor condition or inadequate to handle modern traffic loads." The price tag to fix the deficiencies across Bergen County comes in at approximately $400 million, while the cost to fix bridges across New Jersey is approximately $6 billion. According to NJ Spotlight, however, the ultimate cost to …
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Areas with lower per-household income tend to have fewer insured residents, more illness.
New Jersey’s healthiest counties are also its richest, and have the greatest number of residents who are insured, according to new county health rankings. The reverse tends to be true, as well, although the correlation is not as strong. Bergen County, where 12 percent of adults are considered to be in "fair/poor" health, ranks fourth out of 21 New Jersey counties on both "Health Outcomes" and "Health Factors,"according to an analysis performed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, which publishes the health rankings every year. Compared to their immediate county neighbors, Bergen county are heavier drinkers, but typically smoke less, are less likely to be obese, are less likely to be…
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The utility disputes a claim that projects will substantially increase bills for residential and industrial customers.
Public Service Electric & Gas is facing mounting opposition to its plan to spend nearly $4 billion to harden its power grid to prevent widespread outages during major storms. In a letter sent late yesterday afternoon to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, five of the state’s most prominent lobbying organizations urged the agency to reject out of hand or delay indefinitely PSE&G’s proposal, submitted to the agency in February. They said it would spike utility bills for both residential and industrial customers. Do you support PSE&G's plan? Click here to take part in a Patch readers' poll and make your voice heard. The concerns raised by the groups underscore how difficult it will be for the agency and the state’s utilities to …
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Upgrades aimed at modernizing electricity grid after Sandy left widespread outages in the area.
Thursday, February 21
By Tom Johnson, NJSpotlight.com Is it time to invest nearly $4 billion in ratepayer subsidies to help modernize the power grid to avert widespread outages from extreme weather, such as Hurricane Sandy? If the state’s largest utility gets its way, the answer is "Yes," at least according to a filing yesterday with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. The proposal -- courtesy of Public Service Electric & Gas -- is likely to kindle a fiery debate over how the state should respond to Sandy and at what cost to consumers. The filing comes at a time when the state’s utilities are under enormous pressure to reduce long outages caused by extreme weather, while the Christie administration is struggling to find ways to reduce energy bills, which …
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
According to data from the Federal Indicators Warehouse, 18.3 percent of adult Bergen County residents engaged in excessive drinking in 2010, down from 21.9 percent in 2009.
Tuesday, February 19
After receiving the dubious distinction of being the hardest drinking county in New Jersey in 2009, fewer adult Bergen County residents engaged in "excessive drinking," in 2010, reports NJ Spotlight according to a study by the federal government's Health Indicators Warehouse that used the most recent available data. In 2010, just under one-fifth (18.3 percent) of Bergen residents attested to "excessive drinking" during a 30-day period, which is defined as regularly drinking at "excessive" amounts or binge drinking on any occasion. That's down from 21.9 percent in 2009, which was higher than any other county in the state. Women who regularly knock back more than one drink at a sitting during the course of a month are engaging in "excessive …
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Media specialists argue that guidance and research skills are needed more than ever in the Internet age
Once the staple of nearly every school, the school librarian and media specialist is feeling a bit underappreciated -- if not under siege -- these days. Over the past five years, the number of certified library/media specialists in New Jersey’s public schools has dropped by almost 15 percent, according to the statewide association, and its own membership has been cut almost in half. There were 1,580 certified specialists statewide last year, down from 1,850 in 2007-2008, serving roughly 2,500 schools. The biggest contributor to the drop was the state’s budget crisis two years ago. Library positions were some of the first to be cut by districts looking to trim staff, association officers and local officials said. There has been little …
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
TEACH-NJ is landmark legislation, but signing brings questions — like who will be on hand?
More than a month after the Legislature approved the tenure reform bill without a single dissenting vote, Gov. Chris Christie will sign Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey into law today. Christie's office announced the scheduled signing late yesterday, after weeks of speculation of when and even if he would sign the sweeping measure. He always indicated he would, but questions mounted as to whether he would be adding any new proposals. The signing will take place at the Von E. Mauger Middle School in Middesex at 10:50 a.m., following by a press conference. Christie also plans to meet with students beforehand. But even with the fundamental uncertainty resolved, that doesn’t end all the questions. Here …
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Report attributes rising number of severe storms to global warming
Saturday, August 4, 2012
By Tom Johnson, NJ Spotlight If it seems like when it rains, it pours these days, it apparently is more often the case. At least that is the conclusion of a new study by Environment New Jersey, which analyzed reams of state data from the National Climatic Data Center dating back to 1948 through 2011. The new report found that heavy downpours that used to happen every 12 months on average in New Jersey now occur every nine months on average. Moreover, the biggest storms are getting bigger. The largest annual storms in New Jersey now produce 22 percent more precipitation, on average than they did 65 years ago, according to the study. To Environment New Jersey, an advocacy group that has been pushing for more controls on greenhouse gas …
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
With all eyes on the 9th, a handful of tough Congressional battles are being raged in local districts
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
By Colleen O'Dea, NJ Spotlight While the presidential race may top the ballot in today’s primary, the most prominent race is happening in a small section of New Jersey — the 9th Congressional District, covering portions of Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties. That’s where two seasoned veteran Democratic representatives, Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman, have been battling for the right to stay in the House. Most people believe the race is too close to call, although Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray is giving Pascrell the edge. That’s largely due to the greater weight he is giving to former President Clinton’s trip to Paterson last Friday to stump for Pascrell, while Rothman had a much lower key visit with President Obama at the …
Monday, May 14, 2012
Data shows NJ counties are recycling less waste than in mid-1990s
Monday, May 14, 2012
By Colleen O'Dea, NJ Spotlight New Jerseyans are recycling less of their waste than they did in the mid-1990s, data from the state Department of Environmental Protection show. And while rates had started climbing again since sinking to just above half in 2003, the rate dropped again in 2009 to 57 percent statewide, from 59 percent in 2008. The typical resident generated 2.3 tons of waste in 2009, the most recent year for which data is available, for a total of 19.4 million tons. At the peak, New Jerseyans were recycling 61 percent of what they discarded, in 1996 and 1997. Prior to the enactment of the state’s mandatory recycling law a quarter of a century ago, 10 percent or less of waste was recycled. The law initially set a goal of …