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New Jersey gas prices move higher



file photo a sing of things to come ?

New Jersey gas prices move higher
April 26,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Motorists are seeing sharply higher prices at the pumps in North Jersey.

According to AAA Mid-Atlantic the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the state on Friday was $3.53, up 8 cents from last week. That’s also much higher than the price from a year ago, when motorists were paying $3.29.

AAA says the the national average price was $3.69, up 3 cents from last week. That’s much higher than the national average from a year ago, when motorists were paying $3.51.

While many analysts say the rising prices are due in part to higher crude oil prices spurred by ongoing tensions in the Ukraine.

Others see a colder than normal winter , higher gas taxes , environmental regulations  as well as global tensions as the chief culprit .

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New Jersey’s heroin crisis worsens


New Jersey’s heroin crisis worsens

Flimsy regulation, outdated drug education, irresponsible prescribing practices and myriad barriers to treatment have enabled and exacerbated a growing crisis of heroin and opiate addiction among New Jersey youth, according to an ambitious — and long-delayed — state task force report released Tuesday.

The 88-page report, the result of two years of research, public hearings and official review, offers a wide range of policy recommendations, from public awareness campaigns and strengthened oversight of doctors to insurance reform and expanded treatment programs. It also firmly places New Jersey among a group of northeastern states, from Pennsylvania to Maine, grappling with an alarming surge of heroin addiction.

“The skyrocketing use of heroin and other opiates has become the number one health care crisis confronting New Jersey,” the report says. And the numbers are stark: Nearly two-thirds of the state’s 1,294 drug-related deaths in 2012 involved opiates, including heroin. In 2012, there were more than 8,300 admissions to state-certified substance abuse treatment programs for prescription drug abuse — an increase of nearly 700 percent over the past decade.

The Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse received the report Tuesday and posted it on the council website later in the day. But despite enthusiasm among lawmakers and officials, it remains to be seen whether the proposed reforms will gain traction.

The report and its 18 recommendations do not differ substantively from a confidential October draft of the report obtained and written about by The Record in December: at the time, the council and Governor Christie’s office exchanged blame for its delayed release.

New Jersey’s task force report appears to be the first of its kind and scope, but other states across the Northeast have raised alarms about the rise in heroin addiction. (O’Brien/The Record)

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Maritime industry: New Jersey responsible for own salt shortage


Maritime industry: New Jersey responsible for own salt shortage

The maritime industry is suggesting New Jersey’s transportation commissioner concocted an elaborate snow job when he blamed a nearly century-old shipping law for bottling up a 40,000-ton supply of roadway salt.

The salt, which had been stuck in a Maine port and is needed for New Jersey’s roads this snowy winter, is now being shipped to Newark by a barge. But the barge will need three more trips to complete the delivery, the state Department of Transportation said.

“The barge was our Plan B,” department spokesman Steve Schapiro explained.

Last week, state Transportation Commissioner James Simpson complained the salt was stranded on the docks of Searsport, Maine, because the federal government had refused to grant New Jersey’s request for a waiver from the 1920 Merchant Marine Act. Also known as the Jones Act, the law bars foreign ships from making domestic deliveries to U.S. ports.

Simpson said he wanted the waiver so that a foreign-flagged ship, already in Searsport, could pick up New Jersey’s salt supplies and deliver them to the port of Newark. When the federal government denied the waiver request, finding it unwarranted, Simpson asserted that bureaucratic red tape was jeopardizing the lives of New Jersey motorists.

“I’m just ticked,” Simpson told reporters while discussing the salt crisis after a New Jersey Turnpike Authority board meeting Feb. 25. “This is a serious public safety issue.” (Wittkowski/Press of Atlantic City)…

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Homeland Security blocks road salt delivery for New Jersey


no salt for you

Homeland Security blocks road salt delivery for New Jersey 

NJ salt shortage continues

Posted: Feb 17, 2014 5:57 PM ESTUpdated: Feb 18, 2014 9:07 AM EST

The salt shortage persists in New Jersey. Officials have failed to get permission for a barge with 40 tons of salt to set sail for the tristate region

Angel Morales, a resident of Jersey City says her car just won’t go anywhere.

“Look, you see I went up and I started sliding back,” she said.

N.J. officials were hoping a barge with 40 tons of salt would arrive from Maine.  But the vessel wasn’t flying the American flag and officials couldn’t get clearance from Homeland Security to come to the Port of Newark.

The problem is because of the 1920 federal Maritime Act. It prevents foreign vessels from moving cargo from one U.S. port to another. It was designed to protect the U.S. shipping industry from foreign competition.

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Unemployment Tumbling in New Jersey as Many Leave Labor Force


Unemployment Tumbling in New Jersey as Many Leave Labor Force 

The unemployment rate in parts of southern New Jersey dropped the sharpest in the country over the course of 2013, though it was likely because more people dropped out of the workforce rather than found new work.

Unemployment in the three metropolitan statistical areas around Atlantic City, Ocean City and Vineland remained above 10%, according to a Labor Department report released Wednesday. A slowdown in the casino industry in Atlantic City could be one reason for higher unemployment there. Newer gambling spots outside Atlantic City, including in neighboring Pennsylvania, have taken business from New Jersey.

But even though the rates are high, they were down by four percentage points or more in each area in December 2013 from a year earlier. Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged much of the Jersey shoreline in October 2012, could be partly to blame for the areas’ particularly elevated unemployment rate in 2012, said Patrick O’Keefe, director of economic research at CohnReznick, an accounting and advisory firm.

The overall decline also is likely because so many people in New Jersey have dropped out of the labor force. Some 63.9% of people in the state were working or looking for work in December 2013, down from 66.4% at the start of the year. That 2.5 percentage point drop in what is called the labor force participation rate compares to just a 0.8 point drop in the national rate. (Portlock/Wall Street Journal)

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Rentals on historic pace in New Jersey


Rentals on historic pace in New Jersey
Sunday, February 2, 2014    Last updated: Sunday February 2, 2014, 11:05 AM
The Record

New Jersey’s got a new pattern of home construction, and it’s much denser and more urban.

In a state long dominated by single-family development, multifamily construction — especially rentals — last year accounted for 57 percent of home permits in the state, and helped to propel home building to its strongest year since 2007.

“It’s probably the biggest rental housing boom in the state’s history,” said James Hughes, a Rutgers economist.

– See more at:

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Governor Chris Christie Declares State of Emergency As Severe Winter Storm Hits New Jersey


Governor Chris Christie Declares State of Emergency As Severe Winter Storm Hits New Jersey

Trenton, NJ – With severe winter weather expected to last through Wednesday morning, Governor Chris Christie today declared a State of Emergency, authorizing the State Director of Emergency Management to activate and coordinate the preparation, response and recovery efforts for the storm with all county and municipal emergency operations and governmental agencies.

“Today’s winter storm is expected to produce heavy snow, dangerous conditions and travel hazards throughout the state,” said Governor Christie. “I’ve authorized state officials to take all necessary action to prepare, and my Administration will continue monitoring conditions throughout the remainder of the storm. I encourage all New Jerseyans to stay off the roads if possible so that our first responders and public safety officials can safely respond to any emergency situations.”

Already affecting parts of the state, the storm is expected to continue into the evening, bringing high winds, heavy snow, mixed precipitation, storm surges and sub-zero temperatures throughout the state. A potential mixture of hazardous travel conditions, fallen trees and power outages and coastal, stream and river flooding are anticipated.

A copy of the Governor’s Executive Order declaring the State of Emergency is attached to the release.

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Vincent Loncto is sworn in as Ridgewood schools trustee


Vincent Loncto is sworn in as Ridgewood schools trustee


RIDGEWOOD – A former chief financial officer for major corporations was sworn in Monday night as the school district’s newest trustee.

Vincent Loncto took his seat as a trustee at Monday’s school board meeting at the district’s Education Center on Cottage Place.

The certified public accountant was one of six candidates interviewed for the trustee post after Charles Reilly resigned earlier this year.

“The school budget is in the process of being developed, so I’m coming in at the right time,” said Loncto, who retired earlier this year from a 40-year career in financial management.

“It has to be done collaboratively,” he said. “What we are talking about here is enhancing the quality of the school system under budgetary constraints. It is detail-intensive work.”

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Ridgewood school board interviews six candidates for open seat


>Ridgewood school board interviews six candidates for open seat


The Board of Education (BOE) interviewed six candidates this week for the seat left vacant by trustee Charles Reilly’s departure last month.

Six candidates applied and were each questioned by board members on Monday night regarding their professional backgrounds, reasons for applying for the position, and goals as a potential BOE trustee. The decision on Reilly’s replacement will be announced at a public meeting on Nov. 7.

Among the candidates – James Morgan, Gwen Sullivan, B. Vincent Loncto, Janice Willet, Rei Shinozuka and Eric Gross – several themes were consistent across the six interviews. All expressed a desire to contribute to the reputation of the Ridgewood school district, which was a primary reason behind moving to the village for many of the candidates.

Issues of communication, whether relating to complex technical matters such as yearly budgets or simple instances of parent feedback, were also paramount in candidates’ responses.