Monday, April 29, 2013
Report says cost to repair all 908 spans would exceed $874 million.
Essex County’s aging bridges are in need of repair, but the cost to do the work would exceed $874 million, a new report released Monday shows. Of the county’s 908 bridges, about 4 percent have been rated structurally deficient, according to a report on the issue-driven website NJ Spotlight. Additionally, 1-in-5, or 20 percent of the bridges are considered to be functionally obsolete and not in line with current lane and shoulder standards, or occasionally flood, according to National Bridge Inventory data. The average age of an Essex County bridge is 50 years old. About one in four bridges in the state are either in poor condition or unable to handle current traffic loads, the data shows. Each bridge was rated based on structure, …
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Montclair State University's School of Communication and Media has formed an alliance with six of the top news organizations in the state.
Wednesday, March 20
Six of the state’s top media organizations can now be found at Montclair State University. The university’s School of Communication and Media announced Wednesday a newly formed alliance with AOL's Patch New Jersey sites, NJ.com, NJ Spotlight, North Jersey Media Group, Reuters and WBGO, who will join with existing on-campus news operations established by New Jersey Public Radio and NJTV. The school will provide the news organizations with full operational news bureaus and access to student internships. General Manager of NJTV John Servidio said in a press release that "... the new Center for Cooperative Media promises to further enhance our content-sharing opportunities with the school and other news outlets, resulting in more …
Monday, May 14, 2012
Data shows Essex County staying even with recycling, while many counties are recycling less waste than in mid-1990s.
Residents in Essex County are doing a pretty good job recycling their waste. In a county where 1.57 million tons of waste was generated, 61.6 percent was recycled, according to NJ Spotlight's latest interactive map. Overall, New Jerseyans are recycling less of their waste than they did in the mid-1990s, data from the state Department of Environmental Protection show. At the peak, residents across the state were recycling 61 percent of what they discarded in 1996 and 1997. That number dropped to 57 percent statewide in 2009. Prior to the enactment of the state’s mandatory recycling law a quarter of a century ago, 10 percent or less of waste was recycled. The law initially set a goal of recycling 25 percent of the municipal solid waste …
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Under new formula, the number of seniors at Montclair H.S. receiving diplomas is 89 percent.
Editor’s Note: The graduation rate at Montclair High School was 89 percent, according to new state data. The New Jersey Department of Education yesterday released 2011 graduation rates for high schools that were largely lower, in some cases significantly lower, than prior years. Statewide, the rate calculated using the “four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate” formula now required by the federal government was 83 percent for last spring’s high school seniors. For the Class of 2010, the graduation rate -- largely self-reported by schools -- was 94.7 percent for New Jersey. Last year, nine of the state’s 392 schools had perfect graduation rates. That’s almost 90 percent fewer than the 82 schools that reported all seniors had graduated in …
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
To earn high school diploma, end-of-course exams are coming, but may take awhile.
Friday, April 27, 2012
In Essex County, we mailed in an average $2,382 to the NJ government.
Last Tuesday was tax day, one of the most universally hated days of the year by citizens. But the New Jersey government loves it. Or, at least, needs it. NJ Spotlight’s latest interact map looks at the tax stats -- the number of returns, total income and the change from 2008, taxable income, the total tax liability and average incomes and tax bills per return and per capita. Read the story here and use the map to learn more. Here are the Essex numbers: Essex County Returns: 325,672 Total Income: $24,772,530,600 Change from 2008: $(675,823,200) Percent change: -2.7% Taxable Income: $22,538,945,200 Tax Charged: $775,750,000 Average Total Income: $76,066 Average Taxable Income: $69,208 Average Net Tax: $2,382 Total Income Per Capita: $31,900 …
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
If NYC brings back the commuter tax it will affect Essex County's 30,000-plus commuters.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Ridership on the state's public transit systems is on the rise, but will public funding catch up and keep up?
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Essex County ranks the highest for crashes despite tough cellphone law.
If accident data is any indication, New Jersey’s tougher cellphone law does not appear to be having much effect. (See NJ Spotlight's latest interactive map here). The state passed its first ban on using a handheld cellphone while driving in 2004, but at the time it was a secondary violation, meaning drivers could only be ticketed if they were pulled over for another motor vehicle violation. With nearly 3,600 crashes linked to cellphones in 2006, lawmakers made New Jersey the fourth state in the nation in which the use of a handheld cell phone is a primary violation. That law took effect March 1, 2008. But it has not resulted in much of a reduction in the number of traffic accidents in which cellphone usage was a factor, according to data …
In highly watched case, Cerf sides with school districts battling boutique charter