Christie Signs Order to Speed Sandy Recovery

The Star-Ledger reports: “Calling Hurricane Sandy-damaged homes that have not yet been torn down an “ongoing emergency,” Gov. Chris Christie signed an executive order aimed at speeding up the process of razing unsafe properties. … The order gives the Community Affairs commissioner the authority to “commandeer Sandy-impacted eligible structures,” as well as take possession of rights of way on any property needed to facilitate demolition. According to the governor’s office, state code enforcement officials have been surveying private properties to identify homes that need to be razed. Property owners will be notified when that determination is made and then will have the opportunity to challenge it.” The demolition program will be focused in Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties.

 

NJ Senate President to Run Troubled Philly Union

CBS Philly reports: “New Jersey state senate president Steve Sweeney has taken over administration of Philadelphia’s ironworkers’ local, after its president and nine members were indicted for strong-arming non-union contractors. … He takes on the role because he’s the regional vice president for the Ironworkers International, and says his job is to restore the local’s reputation.”

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Princeton Meningitis Vaccine May Be Backfiring

After getting an FDA-unapproved meningitis vaccine (like the rest of the meningitis-stricken campus) one 18-year-old Princeton student fell down with a very strange illness called rhabdomyolysis, which the Princetonian describes as “an acute breakdown of muscle tissue that causes muscle fiber and protein to be transferred into the bloodstream, risking severe kidney damage.”

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Chris Christie Still Hoping Springsteen Will Be His Buddy

The Star-Ledger reports that N.J. Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday rejected town hall advice that he give up his love for Bruce Springsteen.  “I don’t think I ever been under the illusion as a Bruce fan, of his music, that that meant that he and I were necessarily simpatico on a number of other issues,” Christie said. “I still live in hope that someday, even as he gets older and older, he’s going to wake up and go, ‘Yeah, maybe he’s a good guy. He’s alright, you know. We can be friends.’”

Christie Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Legalize Sports Betting

The Star-Ledger reports:Gov. Chris Christie and the leaders of the state Legislature have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a 22-year-old federal law preventing them from legalizing sports betting at New Jersey’s horse racing tracks and Atlantic City casinos. The state’s appeal, filed last week and made public today, is a last-ditch effort by the governor and lawmakers. They have been rebuffed at every turn, losing three times in federal court to the NCAA and the nation’s professional sports leagues, which originally brought the high-profile case.” The sports leagues have until March 17 to respond.

Jersey Congessman Rush Holt Won’t Seek Re-Election

Princeton-environs U.S. Rep Rush Holt, who ran against Cory Booker for Senate last year, will step down at the end of his term. Most famous for being a five-time Jeopardy! champion and an actual rocket scientists, he was not only championed scientific research funding, but was also among the more progressive members of the Democratic caucus.

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