North Jersey News Roundup for Aug. 18, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy believes the outdoor Fall high school sports season can go on as planned.  State Sen. Paul Sarlo and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly joined the governor in supporting a Fall sports season, but the final determination rests with the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJISAA) and local school boards if school will field teams during the COVID-19 crisis. Murphy reiterated NJSIAA are to permit student-athletes whose schools are conducting remote instruction to participate with their teams, provided their Boards of Education approves.

Senate Republicans are planning to introduce a “skinny” coronavirus relief bill, amid an impasse in negotiations between the White House and top Democratic leaders. The latest GOP coronavirus relief bill is expected to include $300 in boosted weekly federal unemployment benefits until Dec. 27, another round of money for the Paycheck Protection Program, an additional $10 billion for the U.S. Postal Service and liability protections. The proposal is  expected to include money for education and testing as well. PoliticoNJ

Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. has made a criminal referral to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to empanel a state grand jury to look at alleged electoral subversion by President Donald Trump and U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Pascrell states the inquiry is needed as “American democracy is today in question. What we do today can make a difference in our future. Please act decisively.”

Former Gov. Christie Todd Whitman spoke at the Democratic convention Aug. 18 to endorse Joe Biden for president. Whltman was the first of four Republicans to speak under the theme, “We the People Putting Country over Party.” “This isn’t about a Republican or Democrat,” Whitman said. “It’s about a person, a person decent enough, stable enough, strong enough to get our economy back on track, a person who can work with everyone, Democrats and Republicans, to get things done. Donald Trump isn’t that person. Joe Biden is.”

The Democratic National Convention keynote speaker was Michelle Obama. The former first lady praised Joe Biden as a “profoundly decent man” and urged Americans to see President Trump as “clearly in over his head…Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us.” The New York Times

North Jersey Republican lawmakers are leading the charge against Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to allow voters to cast ballots by mail this November. State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-40) called it “an unnecessary overreaction and an affront to hard-earned voting guarantees,” while State Sen. Steven Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths stated “Plain and simple, this is an abuse of power.”

Hoboken residents are invited to fill out a survey on a proposed ordinance fining individuals $250 fine for not wearing face masks in outdoor situations. The proposed ordinance mirrors the current regulation in place in New Jersey, which currently mandates that face masks be worn in outdoor situations when social distancing is not possible.

PSE&G will reimburse customers for spoiled food and medication because of power outages caused by Tropical Storm Isaias. Customers who lost power for at least 72 hours are eligible for the reimbursement of up to $250, and commercial customers up to $5,000 for the spoiled food if power service was out between Aug. 4 and Aug. 12.

Newark will start the year virtually when public schools reopen Sept. 8 and remain remote through at least the district’s first marking period. Officials of New Jersey’s largest school district say the health and safety of their students, teachers and staff was the top priority as well as concern after seeing failed reopenings in other parts of the country. News12 New Jersey

The Teaneck Township Council approved the reorganization of its 12 advisory committees by ordinance. The committees were abolished under the ordinance and reestablished with new guidelines, including rotating two-year terms, limited to five to nine members, minimum 50% meeting attendance required, and requiring annual reports to be filed. The Record

Warnings were issued for two more toxic algae blooms in Lake Hopatcong. The heightened levels triggered an “advisory” for residents in a spot north of the River Styx bridge and a section of the lake accessible by private docks along Hudson Avenue in Crescent Cove. Under an “advisory,” residents are told to not swim or step in the water in the affected area, advises against the use of kayaks, and fishing is allowed but fish caught should not be consumed. New Jersey Herald

And finally…  Six Flags Great Adventure introduced Hallowfest, the park’s COVID-19-era take on Fright Fest for this Fall.

One comment

  1. Re: “North Jersey Republican lawmakers are leading the charge against Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to allow voters to cast ballots by mail this November. ” The quote from the various state assembly-people – “Plain and simple, this is an abuse of power” – is applied to the wrong party. This kind of voter suppression, truly an abuse of power, is what happens when it looks like your guys will lose and you’re desperate to keep that from happening by any means necessary, legal or otherwise. Sorry, Republicans; this kind of naked partisanship no longer flies.

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