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NJ Transit shuts off key commuter tip in feud with web developer

NJ Transit shuts off key commuter tip in feud with web developer

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2012
BY KAREN RO– USE
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

For nearly four months, roughly 300 NJ Transit rail customers literally held in their hands a piece of insider information that gave them an advantage in the evening rush out of New York Penn Station.

They knew which track their North Jersey-bound train would arrive on first — as much as 20 minutes before it appeared on the departure screens.

But now these subscribers to CleverCommute.com’s “Insider Track” premium service — who had gotten used to taking a leisurely walk to the tracks instead of making a mad scramble — find themselves “going through withdrawal.”

That’s how commuter Mike Kornstein described the impact after NJ Transit cut off Clever Commute founder Joshua Crandall’s access to the live track data he was supplying to his “Inside Track” subscribers. They pay $3.99 per month, or $39.99 for an annual plan, which has a dozen other features including notice of schedule changes or sales on monthly passes.

NJ Transit Spokesman John Durso Jr. said that after a months-long feud with Crandall, the agency blocked access — starting on Aug. 3 — because the data weren’t always accurate.

The “website now has access to the same free and accurate information we provide to everyone else,” Durso said.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/166221076_NJ_Transit_shuts_off_key_commuter_tip_in_feud_with_web_developer_lose_their_rush_hour_heads-up.html

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Freeholder tells Ridgewood group to develop plan to save Schedler House

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zabriskie-Schedler-House-Ridgewood-NJ/141857895884672

Freeholder tells Ridgewood group to develop plan to save Schedler House

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 15, 2012, 1:37 PM
BY DARIUS AMOS
STAFF WRITER
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS

Bergen County Freeholder John Mitchell advised a group of residents Wednesday morning to develop a concrete plan as they continue a campaign to preserve the 189-year-old Zabriskie-Schedler House in Ridgewood.

Members of the Ridgewood Eastside Development (RED) grassroots organization led Mitchell and fellow freeholders Maura DeNicola and Robert Hermansen on an impromptu tour of the 7-acre Schedler site. The triangular piece of land, sandwiched between Route 17 and West Saddle River Road, is owned by the village and has been the target of future development.

The focal point of the excursion around the mostly wooded area was the dilapidated, tarp-covered building located along the West Saddle River Road curbside. Built in 1823, the home was a part of the Schedler family until Florence Schedler’s death in 2007.

The village has since purchased the home and property. Several public meetings took place this year in an effort to gather input for the future of the site.

One of the suggestions proposed during those sessions was the development and installation of a multi-use athletics field for the village’s youth sports programs. Preliminary plans for the field call for the demolition of the Schedler home and detached garage.

RED members have openly opposed the removal of the home, and they continued their argument on Wednesday.

http://www.northjersey.com/community/history/more_history_news/166284986_Freeholder_tells_Ridgewood_group_to_develop_plan_to_save_Schedler_House.html

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Labor Dept. Attempts to Stop Layoffs by Giving $100 Million to States to Subsidize Payrolls

Labor Dept. Attempts to Stop Layoffs by Giving $100 Million to States to Subsidize Payrolls
By Penny Starr
August 15, 2012

(CNSNews.com) – The Labor Department announced on Monday that it will be awarding almost $100 million in grant funding to states to prevent layoffs by allowing businesses to pay employees as part-time workers and the federal government will pick up the tab for the cost of a full-time paycheck.

The “work-sharing” program was passed as part of a Republican-led bill in the House, H.R. 3630, and Senate Amendment 1465 to extend the payroll tax deduction and unemployment benefits. In February 2012, President Barack Obama signed the bill into law, which included the $100 million in funding.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/labor-dept-attempts-stop-layoffs-giving-100-million-states-subsidize-payrolls

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‘Black box’ standards coming for cars

‘Black box’ standards coming for cars
By Pete Kasperowicz – 08/14/12 09:13 AM ET

New federal standards for “black boxes” that record information leading up to auto accidents will will take effect Sept. 1, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ruled on Tuesday.

The decision means the new standards for the devices will not be delayed by one year, as automakers had requested.

The federal standards will apply only to cars that are voluntarily outfitted with event data recorders (EDRs), also known as black boxes. But while the government does not yet require all cars to have black boxes installed, NHTSA is still thought to be considering a federal mandate as a next step, possibly this year.

NHTSA standards for black boxes were proposed in 2006, but have been delayed since then. In 2009, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers suggested a delay to Sept. 1, 2013, arguing that this would give auto companies more time to work with original equipment manufacturers to ensure the standard can be met.

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/243529-nhtsa-says-black-box-standards-for-autos-will-take-effect-september-1

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Former Obama campaign co-chair to stump for Romney

Former Obama campaign co-chair to stump for Romney
mug.steinhauser
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser

(CNN) – A former four-term Democratic congressman from Alabama and one time strong supporter of President Barack Obama will campaign for Mitt Romney Wednesday.

A Romney campaign aide confirms to CNN that Artur Davis will stump for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in the battleground state of Virginia.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/15/former-obama-campaign-co-chair-to-stump-for-romney/

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NY Times does hatchet job on Chris Christie

NY Times does hatchet job on Chris Christie
August 15,2012
PJ Blogger

Ridgewood NJ, The NY Times does hatchet job on Chris Christie while omitting the McGreevey / Corzine follies that proceeded Christie , looking to lay all the blame for New Jersey’s down fall on the current Governor .While this blog has issues from time to time with the Governor the NYT piece is so one sided and so inaccurate it almost boarders on offensive.

While criticizing New Jersey’s 47th place in economic growth the author ignores all the effort since the Kean administration by incompetent ,clueless and corrupt state politicians that has killed the golden goose for job growth in the state . New Jersey now ranks last of near last in almost every business environmentally survey .

Some years ago this blogger had the opportunity to meet with Tome Kean Jr. and while I told him of my fears that North Jersey had become too Wall Street dependent with no home grown private sector job growths , Tom was focused an banning smoking at the time .

The truly scary fact is that New Jersey had not created one new private sector job since before McGreevey untill recently and the state was left perilously insolvency by the ethically challenged Corzine. How is that for candor.

Little candor from Gov. Christie before keynote

It didn’t take long for the watch-it, buster, I’m-a-bodacious-truth-teller verbiage to start flowing.

Mitt Romney publicly tapped Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey as the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention, and within hours, Mr. Christie promised to deliver “very direct and hard truths” to the American people.

“Fixing these problems is not going to be easy for any of them,” he warned USA Today.

If the governor is in a mood for genuine candor about the economy, he could make one hell of a speech. His once prosperous state has lately become a national laggard.

Last year, New Jersey ranked 47th in economic growth, and as The Record newspaper noted, its economy shrank by 0.5 percent, even as the economies of 43 other states grew. State employment figures also do not offer much comfort.   (Powell, The New York Times)

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/nyregion/expect-little-candor-from-gov-chris-christie-in-keynote-speech.html?_r=1

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Garrett move to Prevent the Spread of “Too-Big-To-Fail” to Non-Bank Financial Institutions

Garrett move to Prevent the Spread of “Too-Big-To-Fail” to Non-Bank Financial Institutions
Aug 2, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises and Senator David Vitter (R-LA), member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs today introduced the Terminating the Expansion of Too-Big-To-Fail Act, which would prevent the spread of “Too-Big-To-Fail” to non-bank financial institutions. In particular, the bill would remove the government’s authority to designate non-bank financial institutions as “systemically important financial institutions” as outlined in Title 1 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Garrett issued the following statement after introducing the bill in the House:

“I believe we have a virus in our banking system that is stifling competition and innovation. It protects incompetent management and insulates antiquated business models from market discipline. It incentivizes the largest banks to grow even larger and makes these mega-banks captive to government influence. This “Too-Big-To-Fail” virus is now poised to spread beyond banks to other types of financial firms. Not surprising, it is the government that is preparing to label other financial firms “Too-Big-To-Fail” by designating them as systemically important and spreading these market distortions.

“This is why today I am introducing the Terminating the Expansion of Too-Big-To-Fail Act. This would remove the authority for the government to designate non-bank financial institutions as “systemically important financial institutions” as contained in Title 1 of the Dodd-Frank Act. The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), created under the Dodd-Frank Act, published a rule setting forth the procedure for designating non-bank companies as systemically important that is unclear and provides no understanding about what standards will be used to make these designations. Chosen companies will be subjected to enhanced regulation by the Federal Reserve System.

“While the Federal Reserve proposed a rule that would apply the same regulations for the largest banks to the designated non-banks, in testimony before the Financial Services Committee last week, Treasury Secretary Geithner also indicated that the designations of non-bank financial institutions would happen this year. It is now time for Congress to act.

“We cannot allow “Too-Big-To-Fail” to take root in our non-bank financial institutions. These institutions must not be allowed to be captured in the same regulatory scheme that will protect them from market forces, stifle innovation and creativity in the broader financial sector, and ensure taxpayers remain on the hook for their failure. We have seen in our banking system the impacts of “Too-Big-To-Fail” over the last several decades. Consolidation of our banking system into fewer and larger institutions continues and has accelerated during the last crisis. And as we saw in the last crisis, these institutions become the tools of government intervention at the behest of the Treasury and Federal Reserve.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to prevent the spread of “Too-Big-To-Fail” and I thank Senator Vitter for all of his hard work on introducing this legislation in the Senate.”

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Many Factors at Play as the Council tries to remake Ridgewood

Many Factors at Play as the Council tries to remake Ridgewood
August 15,2012
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ , Not since the renovation of the Village Hall has the Village Council embarked on such an ambitious project .As long term resident and readers know the Village Hall renovation  or “fiasco” as it is known was marred with lengthy delays and massive cost over runs . In the end  the project failed to produce the results promised  and some observers would say made the flooding problem in the Village is worse..

While no one was prosecuted to many the Jane Reilly “Taj” Hall marked the begging on the decline of the Village of Ridgewood. So now when a new Mayor  Paul Aronsohn and his supporters pursue Paul’s “Xanadu” garage project for Ridgewood , the red flags are once again raised.

Has Ridgewood really learned anything form the Village Hall fiasco ? We are not so sure : Construction over runs are part of life , especially given the rule of giving the “lowest bidder” the job, which is immediately followed by revision after revision  in cost estimates once the project is awarded.  The recent $400,000 golden toilet episode at Vets field is a stark reminder as to the reality of the lowest bid system at work.

Next is the problem with congestion , can current Village merchants really sustain another couple of years of constant construction ? Was not the Train station project enough of a problem ? Some suggest these type of projects  contribute to so many stores staying vacant,

Then there is the wisdom of the project it self . The main promoters of this project is the Village Chamber of Commerce which seems to have a rather checkered past with promoting the Village . These are the same guys after all who came up with the idea of banning banks ifrom downtown Ridgewood , thinking it would leave room for other merchants .

And as resident on Grove street keep pointing out  ,what about the Villages seemly inability to ever finish a job,  What ever happened to the landscaping on the island on Grove Street?

Finally there is the “Ed Sullivan ‘ factoror Urbanization noting against Ed but do residents really want Ridgewood to be like Hoboken or some might suggest Irvington .

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Where does Bob Menendez stand on Judges’ pension?

Where does Bob Menendez stand on Judges’ pension?

Putting politics first: Bob Menendez tries to block efforts to force judges to pay what others do into their pension plans

Another day and still no answers. Senator Menendez needs to explain to New Jerseyans why he opposes commonsense reform that would save taxpayers money. According to news accounts, Senator Menendez became enraged that a bipartisan resolution allowing voters to decide whether state judges should pay the same amount as other state employees toward their health and pension benefits would be placed on the November ballot. One day after Senator Kyrillos called on him to explain why, the people are still awaiting his response…..

“It was a crass, disgraceful political maneuver that would have hurt taxpayers across New Jersey all in the name of political expediency,” said Kyrillos Campaign Manager Chapin Fay. “Bob Menendez owes us an explanation.”

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Firm plan is sought for Ridgewood shade tree policy

Firm plan is sought for Ridgewood shade tree policy
Tuesday August 14, 2012, 10:07 AM
BY  DARIUS AMOS
STAFF WRITER
The Ridgewood News

Ridgewood will hire a senior tree climber as a stopgap measure as the Village Council continues to craft a new shade tree policy and weigh the options of replacing several employees who are slated to retire this fall.

The last of three retiring shade tree workers is expected to leave the village payroll at the end of October, and Ridgewood officials have pushed and pulled with the idea of hiring new staff or outsourcing those jobs.

Following the recommendation of Village Manager Ken Gabbert, the governing body struck an accord over the first hiring during last Wednesday’s work session, with council members agreeing that having a senior staff member is ultimately necessary.

“We spent about six months finding the right tree climber, and we have that person identified. It’s not that easy to find that person,” said Gabbert, whose advice was seconded by Tim Cronin, director of the recreation department.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/166109746_Firm_plan_is_sought_for_Ridgewood_shade_tree_policy.html