News Roundup and Open Thread for Tuesday, August 11, 2015

TRANSPORTCLUSTERF*

Eyewitness news: Heading toward but not into the Lincoln Tunnel this morning, there were 100’s of busses stalled trying to get into the single bus lane leading toward the tunnel. On the way back 2 miles from the GW Bridge a sign indicated 34 minutes to cross the bridge. Yes, rain was a problem, but our system can’t handle rain or much of anything out of the ordinary.

Amtrak exec to Legislative Oversight Committee: Train delays in the tunnel may become more common. A new tunnel is needed like yesterday and might have been completed by 2018 had Christie not reneged on ARC. In the interim, there is no viable plan if one of the two tubes in the tunnel has to be taken out of service, Amtrak’s VP told the legislators – a virtual doomsday scenario.

After Labor Day: about a third of commuters rushing to the Port Authority Bus Terminal after work will have to get used to racing toward different bus gates. An improvement or just more chaos and unpleasantness?

CHRISTIEOLOGY – a weird science

Christie finds time to act on some of the 116 bills awaiting his action. Yesterday he vetoed S3107 which would have appropriated $300,000 for prepayment of a portion of FY 2016 employer contributions to the State Pension Plan, and S3100 which would have required the state to pay its pension contributions on quarterly basis. The latter bill would have not allowed Christie to hold all pension payments until the last moment and then claim he lacked sufficient funds. Both bills would have provided earlier payment which would help increase investment earnings of the plan. He also vetoed a transgender and a gun bill. In total he vetoed 13 bills. He signed 27 bills including ones to help those impacted by drug abuse and addiction. See a listing of each bill here.

Christie can tell a Boy Scout at a Town Hall about his security detail, but “Christie’s safety would be jeopardized if the state released a breakdown of more than $1 million in expenses his security guards have billed to state taxpayers,” Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ruled yesterday. She reached her decision after reviewing evidence presented in private by the head of Christie’s Executive Protection Unit. It’s hard to contest a decision reached in secrecy.

Burning through money and dropping in rank to 12th in an NBC poll after the debate, Christie has scheduled a four-day fundraising blitz from New York to Massachusetts starting Thursday. The Star-Ledger article continues, “Chris Christie is hoping to cash in on what longtime supporters called a successful debate performance.” Oh really?

First Public Hearing on State Energy Master Plan is today: “Clean-energy advocates criticize the EMP for not doing enough to promote renewable energy, such as solar and wind, and for relying too heavily on fossil fuels to meet demand.” Plus it does not mesh well with President Obama’s plan. The hearing takes place in Newark at Seton Hall Law School from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

As if we haven’t heard enough about him: Press of Atlantic City writes about the Donald’s history in AC: voters will “find a record marked by questionable casino management and episodic corporate bankruptcy – a fractious know-it-all who brought publicity, tax dollars and thousands of decent jobs to South Jersey, but whose manic and myopic dealmaking ultimately yielded a moribund casino empire, mined into exhaustion and left to wither.”

Yummy! It’s high season for Jersey tomatoes. For more information on Jersey Fresh go here.

Comment (1)

  1. Jersey Jazzman

    Deci said this yesterday, but it can’t be repeated enough:

    Christie’s abandonment of the ARC tunnel will haunt this region for years. Even if there was a legitimate concern about where the tunnel ended (I don’t think there was), simply abandoning the project without another plan to cross the Hudson was unbelievably reckless.

    When one of the crossings fail — and it WILL happen, probably sooner than we’d like to admit — this region is going to suffer a brutal economic consequence. Let’s just hope no one loses their life when it occurs.

    Reply

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