Morning News Digest: April 28, 2010

Devils’ Move Paying Off for Team, and Newark

An hour before a recent playoff game, Jeff Vanderbeek, the owner of the Devils, was mobbed as he gave away red towels to fans at the train station, a short walk from the team’s home, Prudential Center. (Belson, New York Times)

DiVincenzo on Christie: ‘I agree with 95% of what he’s doing’ 

When the minister at today’s Delaney Hall ceremony asked everyone to hold the hand of the person in the neighboring chair, Gov. Chris Christie and Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo reached for each other with no discomfort. In fact, a friendly history accompanied the gesture: friendliness uninterrupted by Christie’s aggressive early days in office. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

Drewniak: Students should get ‘impartial’ view of reasons for education cuts 

After published reports put the number of New Jersey high school students who staged walkouts today to protest school budget cuts, a spokesman for Gov. Christopher Christie said he hopes students “were motivated by youthful rebellion or spring fever – and not by encouragement from any one-sided view of the current budget crisis in New Jersey.”

”Students belong in the classroom, and we hope all efforts were made to curtail student walkouts,” said Michael Drewniak, the governor’s press secretary.
 (Editor, PolitickerNJ)

In New Jersey, a Civics Lesson in the Internet Age

It was a silent call to arms: an easy-to-overlook message urging New Jersey students to take a stand against the budget cuts that threaten class sizes and choices as well as after-school activities. But some 18,000 students accepted the invitation posted last month on Facebook, the social media site better known for publicizing parties and sporting events. And on Tuesday many of them — and many others — walked out of class in one of the largest grass-roots demonstrations to hit New Jersey in years. (Hu, New York Times)

NJ Governor and NJEA React to Student Walkout

Thousands of New Jersey high school students got together over social networking sites and decided to walk out of class – en masse – this morning.  Skyfox was over Pennsauken High School, Rancocas Valley High School, Eastern Regional High School in Vorhees, and Burlington County Institute of Technology in Medford where students poured out of the school by the thousands. (Gordon, Fox29)

To protest budget cuts, area students cut class

Students staged walkouts yesterday morning at the public high schools in Lawrence, Hightstown, Trenton, Hamilton and beyond as part of a statewide protest against Gov. Chris Christie’s cuts in financial aid to public education. (Abdur-Rahman, Trentonian)

Oliver finds common ground with gov on prisoner re-entry 

Gov. Chris Christie arrived here today just as 1,000 students walked out of East Side, Arts, and Science Park high schools in protest of school aid cuts. But students weren’t on the agenda today. The governor’s sport utility vehicle revved out to the industrial outskirts of the city to a trucking terminal turned barbed wire-enclosed prisoner catch basin called Delaney Hall. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) 

North Jersey Tea Party Congressional hopeful once a Democrat

 A Tea Party candidate for Congress in North Jersey registered to vote as a Democrat in New York City in 1992, contributed $1,000 to Democratic Senate candidate Robert G. Torricelli in 1996 and did not officially declare himself a Republican until April 2009. Gregory John Aslanian is running as the “Tea Party Conservative Republican for America” candidate in a three-way Republican primary for the nomination to face Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn. (Jackson, The Record) 

Clinton, Cheney to speak at AC Hilton’s pol series 

They’re as different and diametrically opposed as red and black, odd and even. So maybe it makes sense that former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Dick Cheney will speak this summer at an Atlantic City casino. The Atlantic City Hilton is hosting a political speakers series that will include the former leaders — on separate days, of course. (AP) 

Shake-up may pave way for Xanadu deal 

More than a dozen Xanadu marketing and tourism executives were let go last week by project developer Colony Capital, according to three sources familiar with the project’s management operations. Among those departing, the sources said, is Gary Hanson, the project’s general manager since 2007 after holding a similar role at the West Edmonton Mall — the largest mall in North America. (Brennan, The Record) 

Bergen pastor to lead charge against Arizona immigration law 

A national Latino clergy group headed by a Bergen County pastor intends to file a federal court petition today in Phoenix challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, which is the toughest in the nation. The Rev. Miguel Rivera, a Ridgefield resident and founder of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders, said the law — which was signed Friday by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and requires police to check identification of people they suspect may be illegal immigrants — is unconstitutional because it will lead to civil rights violations and racial profiling, and because it would encroach on a matter that is federal. (Lorente, The Record) 

Schundler pitches reforms to Budget Committee

 In his first Statehouse hearing since most school budgets went down in defeat last week, Education Commissioner Bret Schundler told lawmakers yesterday that voters had sent a resounding message. “They are tired of school salaries and benefit costs rising rapidly while the incomes of other New Jerseyans are falling and 10 percent of state residents are out of work altogether, and they are not going to support increased property, income, and sales tax rates to pay for it,” he said. (Rao, Inquirer) 

Stile: North Haledon mayor at odds with Governor Christie’s message 

An oversized “Keep Kids Alive — Drive 25” road sign sits in a corner of North Haledon Mayor Randy George’s office, a leftover from a public-safety campaign. George recently issued his own “go slow” message to fellow Republican Governor Christie, urging him to take his foot off the pedal of his budget-cutting crusade. (Stile, The Record) 

Ingle: Enough with the “war on teachers” already

 Can we move on from this perceived war on teachers? There isn’t one and the propaganda saying there is makes it worse for all sides. Over the weekend a teacher named Michelle wrote an open letter to Gov. Christie on my blog: “I am the enemy,” she began. “I never realized this until your election to governor. A large portion of your budget address was about my profession, and how we have caused the problems this state now faces.” (Ingle, Gannett) Morning News Digest: April 28, 2010