News Roundup & Open Thread — Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Good morning, Blue Jersey fam. It’s Pi Day and Stephen Hawking is dead. What’s it all mean? 

Deep thought to kick it off. We’re not sure what’s more surreal: the fact that we had a Secretary of State representing the interests of Russia and Big Oil or that he somehow too reasonable even for our president, who apparently is not interested in Russian or Oil’s interests, but rather his own.

National School Walkout: Florida Shooting Spurs Protests Today

Thousands of students, emboldened by a growing protest movement over gun violence, will stand up in their classrooms on Wednesday and walk out of their schools in a nationwide demonstration, one month after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Florida.

Not all New Jersey schools are embracing walkouts

Students at several schools throughout New Jersey schools are participating in Wednesday’s National School Walkouts — prompting vastly different responses from their districts.

And many districts supporting walkouts have concerns about safety

There have been more than 600 copycat threats since the Parkland massacre and educators are working to protect students during the demonstrations, while at once allowing them to have their say.

N.J. has too many damn towns. Here are 25 that need to go.

Here’s a listicle I can get on board with. Not sure there’s a whole lot of rhyme or reason, but why the hell not? NJ DOES have too many towns and the rent is too damn high.

Murphy’s Budget: What he told us.

From Oscar Wilde to free community college, Blue Jersey staff writer Bill Orr breaks it down.

And let’s right the ship on sales tax, ‘kay?

One of the most moronic things the governor and previous legislature did was to reduce the sales tax by a few hundredths of a percentage point in its estate and gas tax compromise. Gov. Murphy thought it was nonsense and corrected that in his budget address.

CD-7: Weber Out

I mean, for a minute it seemed like Linda Weber, a strong contender against incumbent Rep. Leonard Lance was gaslighting CD-7 Dems by trying to make them think rival Tom Malinowski of a felony. Spoiler: It didn’t work. Blue Jersey editor Rosi Efthim reports.

N.J. added 43K jobs in 2017, but it’s not great news

New Jersey is still lagging the nation.

Three oil companies are ponying up for pollution.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced Monday that settlements reached with Sunoco, BP and Shell in lawsuits over methyl tertiary butyl ether (or MTBE) totaled $196.5 million.

Strong storms are the new normal.

Rutgers researchers find that as global climate change continues to warm the Arctic region, New Jersey will be subject to colder and snowier winters.

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