North Jersey News Roundup for Nov. 16, 2020

OPINION: Time to Shut Out Extremists in Both Parties. The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is a win for those in the political arena looking for governing not tied to the extremist wings of either party. The democracy best practiced in the U.S. has been built on a two-party system that looked to work together for the common good of the nation. The truth is that one party is now run by extremists who have a nihilist view about governing and building coalitions to better the country we all love. If the Democratic party is not careful, this could happen to them as well.

Moderna said its coronavirus vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data from the company’s still ongoing study. The news comes a week after Pfizer announced its own COVID-19 vaccine appeared similarly effective—news that puts both companies on track to seek permission within weeks for emergency use in the U.S. News12 New Jersey

New Jersey recently committed $60 million in CARES Act funding to fulfill small business grants. The funds will be through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA’s) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. This monies will enable the NJEDA to fulfill grants for the entire pipeline of eligible businesses that applied for Phase 3 funding prior to the application deadline. Without this supplemental funding, approximately 13,000 of the nearly 22,000 businesses that applied for the grants would have been declined based on the program being oversubscribed.

Gov. Phil Murphy and governors from four neighboring states held a meeting Nov. 15 to discuss how to protect the region from the coronavirus as new cases and hospitalizations continue to climb. Murphy met with Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Ned Lamont of Connecticut, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, and John Carney of Delaware to discuss “how we can continue working together to beat back the second wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic but no new restrictions or other initiatives were announced.

State officials recently detailed the data that lead to restrictions on interstate youth sports competition. Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli said since the beginning of October, the state was able to trace 14 outbreaks among hockey teams in seven counties—including Bergen, Morris and Passaic—leading to more than 70 positive cases. “Youth sports continue to be a challenge,” said Persichilli. “The goal of these revisions is to slow the spread of the virus among our youth participating in these activities.“

Glen Rock High School will shut down in-person learning for the second time in less than a month after a teacher tested positive for COVID-19. Both the high school and middle school will close for at least two weeks and shift to virtual instruction due to the positive test, while Fall athletics and other after-school activities will remain unchanged. The Record

All schools in the Morris County School District will be closed to in-person instruction until Nov. 30. The district employs around 440 teachers and serves about 5,200 students from Morristown, Morris Township and Morris Plains. The Daily Record

Rep. Bill Pascrell is demanding an “immediate” explanation from the General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator as to why the agency has not yet acknowledged the results of the 2020 Presidential Election, a step required before a transfer of power can begin. The congressman wants the GSA to immediately release congressionally-appropriated funds for the incoming Biden Administration and “cease obstructing the transition to our 46th Presidential Administration.

Fair Lawn is weighing an ordinance that would limit public assemblies on the property of the Borough Hall. The move comes months after clashing protests between supporters of Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter had a tense standoff, mediated by police. Some demonstrators at the rally carried Proud Boys flags. The ordinance, which is still in the preliminary stages, would make the lawn and steps of Borough Hall off-limits to future protests and rallies. The Record

Jersey City Director of Finance John Metro has been appointed the city’s interim business administrator. Current Business Administrator Brian Platt has accepted a position as city manager of Kansas City, Missouri, and will start that job in January 2021. The Jersey Journal

The Jersey City Council adopted the Laurel Saddlewood Redevelopment Plan. The project will transform the dead-end streets of Saddlewood Court and Laurel Court where small deteriorating homes currently stand into 807 residential units, a 12,000-sq. ft. public park, and a 50,000- sq. ft. public elementary school for children in Pre-K through Fifth grade. Hudson Reporter

A Republican and a Democrat have retained their seats on the Paramus Borough Council, leaving the six-member governing body evenly split and setting the stage for further conflict over police hiring. Democrat MariaElena Bellinger and Republican Chris DiPiazza were reelected with 7,447 votes and 7,523 votes respectively as of Nov. 14. Democrat Dominick Minervini and Republican Michael Rohdieck received 7,152 votes and 7,116 votes. The Record

Strong wind gusts swept through North Jersey on Nov. 15, downing trees and powerlines which left  2,000 people without power. As of 7 a.m. Nov. 16, PSE&G, Jersey Central Power and Light and Orange and Rockland Utilities reported 1,560 Bergen County residents without power, 603 in Essex, 418 in Morris, 350 in Sussex and 31 in Passaic. New Jersey Herald

And finally…Ridgewood native Kim Ng was named general manager of the Miami Marlins, the first woman and Asian-American to hold that position in major league baseball. The Record

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