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Conagra Brands Moves Jobs Out of New Jersey

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Parsippany NJ, Conagra Brands, the food giant that purchased Parsippany-based Pinnacle Foods for nearly $11 billion in October, is the second company in as many weeks looking for greener pastures . The company is closing a pair of Pinnacle facilities, according to a federal WARN notice — potentially costing 500 people their jobs.

Conagra, Chicago-based maker of products such as Healthy Choice and Orville Redenbacher’s, said in two separate notifications that it is closing office facilities at 399 Jefferson Road in Parsippany and 121 Woodcrest Road in Cherry Hill. The Parsippany property had served as headquarters for Pinnacle, maker of brands such as Duncan Hines, Vlasic and Birds Eye.

WARN Notice :  offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union); to the State dislocated worker unit; and to the appropriate unit of local government.

Conagra Brands, Inc.  Parsippany  Date 03/22/2019   layoffs 308
Conagra Brands, Inc.  Cherry Hill  Date 05/24/2019    layoffs 196

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Murphy Plays the Fool on Brennan Rape Testimony


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton N J, Governor Phil Murphy continues to play , “I knew nothing card”  as to why he hired an accused rapists ? The Murphy Administration has been rocked by a series of high profile blinders hiring career criminals to the ethically challenged.

The New Jersey Select Oversight Committee kicked off its investigation into the Murphy administration’s hiring practices with the testimony of Kate Brennan .

Brennan in chronological order related what did – and did not – happen after she said she was raped by Al Alvarez in Jersey City in the early morning hours of April 8, 2017. Both had been involved with what was then Murphy’s election campaign for governor.

Continue reading Murphy Plays the Fool on Brennan Rape Testimony

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Reader says It is The Garden State no more


I grew up in Ridgewood during the 40s, 50s, and early 60s. Ridgewood is an entirely different town now. I feel sad about the changes. When my generation passes on, no one will be left who remembers what it was like. Some of the comments replying to this post clearly reflect what Ridgewood has become.
I think that entire part of the country has been ruined both by developers and by the ever expanding levels of government required to manage the tangled mess they create and leave behind.. There is no going back to the standards and values of a bygone era. My Dad used to say we lived there at the last good time. From what I have seen firsthand and from what I have read on this blog, I think he was right.
Those who can do so are leaving New Jersey; it is not hard to see why. It is The Garden State no more.

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Reader says NJ Politicians should Stop Yelling about Trump and Clean their Own House


New Jersey State Assembly and Senate has been controlled by the Democrats for decades. Never mind who is the Governor, there lies the root of all of the state’s problems. All of the political payback to supporters has left New Jersey in this condition. So clean your own house Congressman Pascrell.

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Trenton Continues to Drive Residents From the State


July 7,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, around two years ago, New Jersey’s richest resident , hedge fund billionaire David Tepper decided to move himself and his business to Miami Beach. Tepper, who personally earned more than $6 billion from 2012-2015, was tired of paying New Jersey’s top income-tax rate of 8.97% for the 20 years he lived there, in addition to the country’s highest property taxes, the estate tax and inheritance tax. By moving to Florida, a state with ZERO income tax, Tepper stood to save hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Tepper’s departure left an enormous hole in the New Jersey budget .

Anyone with an ounce of common sense would have at least acknowledged the possibility that a guy like Tepper would consider moving to save a few hundred million dollars , anyone that is except ,”stuck on stupid ” Trenton .

Tepper is not the only one to leave , according to the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, the State of New Jersey lost a whopping 2 million residents between 2005 and 2014, earning a combined $18 billion in net adjusted gross income, i.e. income that would have been taxed by the state.

With those out flow numbers Its not just the masters of the universe that are tired of paying sky-high taxes. It’s also the regular wage earner and small business owners. A whopping 60% of these folks went to Florida, with a state income tax of zero.

So the message from New Jersey’s residents (well, now former residents) is loud and clear: taxes are too high!

Now, what do you think New Jersey is doing to solve this problem?

New Jersey residents elected a governor that promised to raise their taxes, so instead of making the state friendlier to productive people and businesses , New Jersey has embarked on a program of driving out tax payers and replacing them with tax takers .

New Jersey now taxes residents making more than $5 million will now pay 10.75%, up from 8.97%.The corporate rate on businesses with more than $1 million in net income was also increased from 9% to 11.5% (Proportionally, that’s a potentially 27% increase in the amount of tax a business might pay).

This will simply exacerbate the problem even more ,chasing more businesses and people out of the state .

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New Jersey lost $18 billion in net income over nine years thanks to a net outmigration of 2 million residents.

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file photo by Boyd Loving

July 3,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Wyckoff NJ, Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney R- 40  comments on the latest tax increase from Trenton .
Rooney said last Thursday during the state budget battle ,”People moving out of New Jersey are having a significant economic impact, according to a report released by NJBIA. Outmigration by the Numbers: How Do We Stop the Exodus? Concludes that New Jersey lost $18 billion in net income over nine years thanks to a net outmigration of 2 million residents.
The exodus leads to $8.4 billion in lost household spending; $11.4 billion in lost economic output; 75,000 lost jobs and $4 billion in total lost labor income.
This year Democrats are fighting with Democrat Governor Phil Murphy over two spending plans: their plan to spend $36.5 billion and Murphy’s plan of $37.4 billion. Except this time it is over which taxes to hike to fund their irresponsible spending increase. When will New Jersey Democrats stop the insanity?”

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Trenton Declares War on Business and Jobs


June 22,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Following failed talks with Governor Phil Murphy, the state Senate this evening proceeded with passage of its own $36.5 billion budget as an alternative to Murphy’s version. The cornerstone of the budget would be a hike in corporate taxes .

The budget passed 21-17.Republican Senators Kristin Corrado and Kip Bateman voted yes on the budget and Democratic Senators Dick Codey, Nick Sacco, Nia Gill and Ronald Rice opposed it.

Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi summed it all up for New Jersey ,”Tonight the NJ Legislature passed a bill which increases our corporate business taxes to the highest in the nation. Here is a floor speech I gave highlighting some of the reasons I voted no. Representing a district that has recently lost Sony, Hertz and Mercedes, among other corporations, to more business friendly states I could not in good conscience vote to further eliminate our ability to compete.”

“This budget at the end of the day does nothing to make New Jersey more affordable,” said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21).

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New Jersey is one of the most unappreciated states in the whole United States


photo by ArtChick

June 17,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, New Jersey is one of the most unappreciated states in the whole United States. People who live in New Jersey are proud of their state. What makes New Jersey ,is truly a riddle. Everything bad that is usually said about New Jersey can be blamed on New York City in the north and Philadelphia in the South .

New York city one of the world’s greatest and biggest cities full of energy and drive and a huge international destination for business and tourism . Philadelphia is a city of great historical importance ,central to the founding the United States.

New Jersey with its sprawling suburbs is often viewed as a bed room community for New York City and Philadelphia . Where many commuters head to the cities for work and retire to the quite low crime suburbs at night.

New Jersey is officially called the garden state. New Jersey’s biggest city is Newark. The capital city is Trenton. There are many attractions to see in New Jersey. The Paterson Falls and historic district, the Ironbound Section of Newark ,the Jersey Shore , gambling in Atlantic City, Historic Cape May, Six Flags Great Adventure ,Met Life Stadium , Thoroughbred Racing at Monmouth Park , the Pine Barons and there are also many far more rural and farm like settings to visit .

There is easy access to both New York and Philadelphia via Mass Transit . You can even visit the statue of Liberty and Ellis Island via ferry from Jersey City. There can be heavy traffic for drivers but you never have to pump your own gas.

Another reason to visit New Jersey is its beautiful and plentiful beaches . In New Jersey the beach is called “the shore” . People from New York and Philadelphia come to New Jersey for a swim , enjoy and sunbath.

Coastal Living magazine ranks the best small waterfront communities for its annual “Happiest Seaside Town in America” issue, and for 2018, the happiest of them all is Ocean City, N.J. In the report Coastal Living calls out the classic Jersey Shore town for its “Residential Historic District full of Victorian bungalows and beach cottages making year-round life feel like an old-fashioned vacation.”

The biggest museum in New Jersey is the Newark Museum. It has a large collection of American and, surprisingly, Tibetan art. The Newark museum is a cultural cornerstone of New Jersey. It has different sections devoted to history, natural sciences, art, music, etc. It doesn’t have so many rarities like the museums in New York but it definitely has its own heart.

In New Jersey they debate “Taylor Ham” vs “Pork Roll “, the pizza is excellent and good food is plentiful . The State is filled with shopping malls and an American classic , “Diners” stand at every cross road.

Don’t hesitate to visit New Jersey with your girlfriend(which you can find on . There are many benefits waiting for you that you can enjoy visiting the garden state as well as easy access to both Philadelphia and New York City.

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Reader says Perfect – just operate that way all the time and we have a chance!

trenton nj

“To facilitate this review, the Governor directs each of you to submit updated plans describing the essential activities of
your department, meaning those necessary to maintain the health,safety, and welfare of the citizens of the State, and to prevent
the damage, loss, or destruction of property, if any. As you know, these activities should be limited and directly related to the
preservation and protection of life, safety and property; the care of those in State facilities, hospitals, centers, and homes; child
welfare; disease prevention and control; emergency and disaster response activities; transportation safety; the preparation and
adoption of the State Budget; and similar activities.”

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Governor Phil Murphy offers a STEM Loan Forgiveness Program

May 30,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  To re-ignite the promise of New Jersey’s innovation economy, Governor Phil Murphy today announced two initiatives – the STEM Loan Forgiveness Program and the NJ Career Accelerator Internship Program – to encourage individuals in STEM fields to make a long-term commitment to building and maintaining a career in New Jersey. The initiatives were part of the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget message.

“The catalyst to reclaiming New Jersey’s innovation economy is our ability to attract and retain the scientific talent New Jersey businesses require to succeed in a 21st century economy,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “By implementing these two STEM initiatives, we’re making a critical investment in human capital – one that will fuel the growth of innovation at businesses across the Garden State and recapture New Jersey’s reputation as a pre-eminent leader in science and technology.”

The STEM Loan Forgiveness Program will encourage those in high-growth STEM occupations to work in New Jersey by reducing their student loan obligations.
After certification that an employee has worked for at least four years in a designated high-growth STEM occupation in New Jersey, the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) will redeem eligible student loan expenses for up to four years. The State would provide eligible employees with $1,000 annually to defray outstanding loans and employers would be required to at least match this award – or otherwise partner with the State – to provide a total benefit worth at least $8,000.

Eligibility requirements for the STEM Loan Forgiveness Program include:

Being a resident of the State of New Jersey and maintaining residency during participation in the program;
Having a degree from an approved STEM degree program;
Working full-time in an approved high-growth STEM occupation at a New Jersey employer for a minimum of four years before applying to the program;
After applying for the program, working for an additional one to four years of employment in an approved high-growth STEM occupation at a New Jersey employer;
Receiving annual certification from his or her current employer to attest the employee is working in an approved high-growth STEM occupation,
Having an outstanding balance with a State or Federal student loan program and not being in default on any student loan.

To support current students, Governor Murphy also announced the NJ Career Accelerator Internship Program, a paid internship program to be administered through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The Department will target first-time interns enrolled in New Jersey high schools, colleges, and universities with offers in STEM industries such as IT/Software, Life Sciences and Healthcare, and Energy. Participating employers will be reimbursed for up to 50 percent of wages paid to new interns for up to $1,500 per student.

Over time, internships have become a necessary credential for employment and are essential to learning an industry’s relevant skills.
“Stevens Institute of Technology enthusiastically supports Governor Murphy’s proposal to reclaim New Jersey’s innovation economy through a multi-faceted suite of initiatives including a STEM loan forgiveness program to attract and retain top talent in fast-growing technology-based occupations in the State,” said Nariman Farvardin, president of Stevens Institute of Technology. “The unprecedented pace of technological advancement in fields as diverse as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity to biomedicine and finance demands a multi-pronged approach to stem the ‘brain drain’ from New Jersey to other states. Governor Murphy is to be commended for taking bold action to build and retain a highly-skilled, technology-savvy workforce upon which our State’s economy depends.”

“I am very excited and encouraged by the Administration’s strong focus and efforts to reignite the innovation economy here in New Jersey, and truly believe initiatives like the STEM Loan Forgiveness proposal and STEM internship grant program will provide for significant movement toward that goal,” said WorkWave CEO Chris Sullens. “As one of the state’s fastest growing technology businesses, WorkWave needs a rich pool of technology-savvy employees to choose from to fuel continued rapid growth. Providing incentives for New Jersey students to choose STEM majors through internship grants and pairing that with a loan forgiveness program that helps them better afford that education and provides an incentive for those students to stay in New Jersey and apply that knowledge in one of the growing technology companies will pay dividends for the state in both the short and the long run while helping revitalize the critically important innovation economy here in New Jersey.”

“Fidelity supports the Governor’s efforts to grow the state’s economy and attract a highly skilled workforce from which we can draw the quality talent needed to continue to drive our commitment to innovation,” said Natalie Brathwaite, Fidelity Regional Director of Public Affairs. “Innovation begins with the employee experience, so we provide benefits and programs designed to help people thrive in and out of Fidelity. As part of our approach to tackling the growing student debt issue, Fidelity is proud to be one of the first employers to offer our own student loan benefit as well as develop solutions and education for our workplace clients to help address their employee’s student loan debt concerns.”
“As a New Jersey-based technology employer, Cognizant appreciates these efforts to spur New Jersey’s innovation economy and to address the STEM skills gap,” said James Lennox, Executive Vice-President & Global Chief People Officer, Cognizant Technology.

“We see great value in the Governor’s efforts to incentivize individuals to pursue STEM professions as it aligns with the EY purpose of building a better working world,” said Jackie P. Taylor, EY’s Government & Public Sector Leader for the State of NJ.“Creative efforts to address skill gaps in the market, foster innovation and increase employee retention are the levers that will ultimately differentiate New Jersey’s workforce. The heightened focus should also increase student interest in STEM related studies and strengthen the pipeline of talent amongst graduates entering the workforce. This will be helpful to EY, and many of our clients, who frequently hire individuals with solid backgrounds in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to support our organizations.”
The STEM Loan Forgiveness Program will be contingent upon State lawmakers passing legislation to implement the initiative.