Sunday, May 26, 2013
Disaster-specific damage coverage among concepts aired at Rutgers conference on impact of climate change
The impact of climate change goes far beyond the obvious issues of public safety and disaster planning, participants stressed during a conference held yesterday at Rutgers University. New Jersey should be considering future costs, long-term health risks, and even social justice issues when considering how to deal with a warming climate, they said. The good news is that there are some creative ideas on how to deal with the varied effects of climate change, regardless of its cause. For instance, New Jersey could protect itself against the vast cost of future disasters like Superstorm Sandy by taking out insurance that would pay in the event of hurricanes or other natural calamities. State or county governments could buy policies that would …
Monday, April 29, 2013
One Bergen County bridge fell to the bottom of the list of structurally deficient bridges in New Jersey. Check out the interactive map below from NJ Spotlight.
Monday, April 29
The most structurally deficient bridge in New Jersey is right here in Bergen County, according to a new study. The Court Street Bridge a mile north of I-80 in Hackensack, which has been recently repaired, sits at the bottom of the list of deficient bridges across the state, according to a NJ Spotlight analysis of data from the National Bridge Inventory. The analysis looked at infrastructure across the state and found that one in four bridges "is in poor condition or inadequate to handle modern traffic loads." The price tag to fix the deficiencies across Bergen County comes in at approximately $400 million, while the cost to fix bridges across New Jersey is approximately $6 billion. According to NJ Spotlight, however, the ultimate cost to …
Thursday, April 11, 2013
The Christie Administration released its new School Performance Reports for the 2011-2012 school year Wednesday.
Less than one-quarter of Saddle Brook High School students met the state's SAT benchmarks last school year, fewer than any of the school's 30 school group peers with similar demographics, according to the Christie administration's 2011-2012 School Performance Reports. Released Wednesday, the reports are a new version of the long-running School Reports Cards that have measured school performance on a variety of metrics since the 1990s. The new reports use many of the same sources of data like student achievement, graduation and dropout rates, demographics and class sizes, but they also match each school up with 30 peer schools from across the state. Schools are matched based on demographics, percentage of low-income students, percentage of …
The Christie Administration released its School Performance Reports for the 2011-2012 school year Wednesday.
Fewer Fair Lawn High School students reached the state's SAT benchmarks than their school group peers, according to the Christie administration's 2011-2012 School Performance Reports. Released Wednesday, the reports are a new version of the long-running School Reports Cards that have measured school performance on a variety of metrics since the 1990s. The new reports use many of the same sources of data like student achievement, graduation and dropout rates, demographics and class sizes, but they also match each school up with 30 peer schools from across the state. Schools are matched based on demographics, percentage of low-income students, percentage of special needs students and percentage of limited English-speaking students. Once …
Friday, April 5, 2013
Buybacks, like the one planned in Fair Lawn next weekend, take thousands of guns off New Jersey streets, but critics argue the millions spent on programs could be put to better use.
In an effort to reduce gun-related crimes, state officials, with the help of local authorities, have been conducting a gun buyback campaign in several cities across the state. Gun buybacks are scheduled next weekend at 11 locations across Bergen County, including on Sunday, April 14 at Fair Lawn synagogue Temple Beth Sholom, from 1 to 5 p.m. Since December, the state has spent $1.2 million on five buybacks. They’ve collected a record haul of more than 9,000 firearms, including rocket launchers, assault weapons, and submachine guns. No one seems to dispute that it's a good idea to get those items off the street. But some question whether the effort is truly effective or worth the cost. Critics like Jon Vernick, a researcher at Johns Hopkins…
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Areas with lower per-household income tend to have fewer insured residents, more illness.
New Jersey’s healthiest counties are also its richest, and have the greatest number of residents who are insured, according to new county health rankings. The reverse tends to be true, as well, although the correlation is not as strong. Bergen County, where 12 percent of adults are considered to be in "fair/poor" health, ranks fourth out of 21 New Jersey counties on both "Health Outcomes" and "Health Factors," according to an analysis performed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, which publishes the health rankings every year. Compared to their immediate county neighbors, Bergen county are heavier drinkers, but typically smoke less, are less likely to be obese, are less likely to …
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Therapists would be required to report patients who present a threat to themselves or others to state attorney general
Mental health professionals are raising concerns about a bill that would require them to report to the attorney general any patients they feel are likely to harm themselves or others, allowing authorities to seize firearms from those who are registered gun owners. The proposed legislation is a possible step that Gov. Chris Christie and the state Senate could take as they mull what to do to address guns in the wake of the Newtown, CT, mass shooting. The Assembly has passed a series of bills focusing on guns, including A-3754, which would apply to psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, nurses, clinical social workers, and marriage counselors. Many of these professionals argue that the bill could do more harm than good. The measure would …
Monday, March 18, 2013
State data shows number of homes damaged by Sandy and the average cost of that damage across New Jersey by municipality.
- PUBLIC SAFETY
Monday, March 18
Superstorm Sandy inflicted damage on a combined 94 homes and rental units in Fair Lawn and Saddle Brook, according to an analysis of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs data by NJSpotlight.com. Eighty Saddle Brook homeowners reported minor damages from the historic storm, while four suffered "major" damage, defined as between $8,000 and $28,800 in storm costs. Damage under $8,000 was considered "minor." Two Saddle Brook rental units took damage in the storm -- one suffering minor damage and the other suffering severe damage, defined as over $28,800 in storm costs. Fair Lawn, by contrast, had only seven homes damaged in the storm, but all suffered major damage. One rental unit in Fair Lawn took minor damage. The average Federal …
Friday, March 1, 2013
The average home sold last year in Fair Lawn and Saddle Brook went for an almost identical amount, according to New Jersey Division of Taxation data.
By Colleen O'Dea, NJ Spotlight The national housing market may be on the rebound, at least for new-home sales, but prices in New Jersey are still dropping in most communities, state data shows. According to an analysis of the average residential sales price for New Jersey communities over the last five years, the typical sales price dropped between 2011 and 2012 in almost three-quarters of towns. In 21 municipalities, the decline was more than 25 percent from year-to-year. And nine in 10 municipalities logged an average home sales price in 2012 that was lower than five years earlier. Average home-sale prices in both Fair Lawn and Saddle Brook have dipped more than 20 percent since 2008, with Fair Lawn real estate having fallen slightly …
Monday, February 25, 2013
BPU proposal calls for quarterly reports about equipment failures, more aggressive tree trimming
By Tom Johnson, NJ Spotlight The state is looking to step up reporting requirements for New Jersey’s four electric utilities in the aftermath of the recent major storms that left millions of homes and businesses without power, many for a week or more. Beyond requiring more frequent and detailed reports of what and how often equipment fails during power outages, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities also may implement more aggressive efforts to trim trees and vegetation, which can also contribute to outages. The proposal, still a work in progress, is the latest undertaken by the regulatory agency in response to the huge storms that blasted New Jersey over the past 18 months, blacking out large portions of the state. The outages have led …