Feds Give SEPTA $87 Million for Infrastructure

The Federal Transit Administration is giving $87 million for infrastrature repair, the agency announced Monday — part of a broader $3.59 billion effort to recover from Hurricane Sandy and prepare for the region’s next big storm.

“While no one can predict the future with certainty, we believe these investments will help to harden transit facilities against future storms that Mother Nature dishes out,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a press release, “supporting President Obama’s call to address climate change now and reducing the risk of service disruptions and future damage to some of the nation’s busiest rail and bus services.”
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Chris Christie, Complaining of Leaks, Says “Bridgegate” Investigation Should End

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with reporters at the National Governors Association convention Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo | Mark Humphrey)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks with reporters at the National Governors Association convention Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo | Mark Humphrey)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday it was time for a state legislative committee to end its investigation into the so-called “Bridgegate” controversy, saying the committee had leaked information designed to embarrass him without uncovering information he had committed wrongdoing.

“I’ve known all along that this has been a partisan pursuit,” Christie said, “and the leaking that’s being done by the legislative committee is just further evidence to the fact that this is a partisan pursuit.”
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Interview: David Sirota on New Jersey’s Risky Pension Investments

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David Sirota has a name familiar to many on the left — he became known first as a Democratic political consultant, then as a columnist and radio host. These days he’s aiming for a different job description: Muckraker.

Sirota, now with the International Business Times, last week published a story saying that under Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey had increasingly invested state pension funds in high-risk Wall Street investments — often with politically favored firms — but without standard Wall Street results: New Jersey’s “alternative” investments underperformed the stock market by a total of nearly $6 billion in returns, Sirota said.

Now state union officials are demanding more information, two firms have dropped the state’s bond rating in the last week, and Christie administrators are trying to blame Sirota for inflammatory reporting:

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Jersey Lawmakers Call for Review of Ray Rice Case

New Jersey lawmakers are calling for a review of a prosecutor’s actions — and possibly changes to state law — to discover why suspended NFL player Ray Rice was shown leniency despite video showing the viciousness of his attack on his then-fiancée. The video was released to the public this week by TMZ.

Rice entered a “pre-trial intervention” program after the incident, allowing him to avoid charges and eventually to expunge his record of the arrest. The process must have the approval of a judge, and Atlantic County prosecutors say Rice was treated no differently from other first-time offenders.

The Courier-Post reports that Senate President Stephen Sweeney “asked Acting Attorney General John Hoffman ‘to look at the law itself to see if it should be re-written or revised. This should include a review of who qualifies for PTI and when it is allowed.’”

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Another Report Suggests Taj Close to Bankruptcy

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The drumbeat of bankruptcy is getting louder for the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City.

The New York Post reported last week that bankruptcy is near for the casino. Today, CBS Philly confirms that report:

A source confirms to CBS 3 Eyewitness News that the Taj Mahal has already begun the process for bankruptcy and layoff notices could go out to workers next week. As of August, the casino hotel had more than 2,800 employees.

In August a Deutsche Bank forecast that Atlantic City’s gambling market will shrink from 11 to 6 casinos by 2017 with the Trump Taj Mahal joining the list of closed properties.

“I can’t imagine less than eight casinos down here. I hope not,” Taj Mahal customer Rob Handzo said.

Official confirmation is not yet available.

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