Morning News Digest: May 18, 2010

More than 100 people attend final public hearing on budget to petition lawmakers 

 Community activists, town officials, union officials, school administrators, college presidents and others came to the University of Medicine and Dentristry in Newark today to plead with lawmakers to restore funding to programs that would be cut under Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed budget. A total of 111 people signed up to speak at the third and final public hearing of the Assembly Budget Committee in three sessions that will last all day. (Friedman, The Record) 

Gov. Christie takes his tax cap plan to the people New Jersey

 Gov. Chris Christie is taking his plan to stem the nation’s highest property tax to the people. And he started on Monday in an unusual place: Corzine country. The Republican governor held his first town hall meeting in Hoboken … home of former Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine … to talk about his push for a 2.5 percent limit on property tax increases that would require voter approval to exceed. A majority of the 40,000 people living in the 1-square-mile city, where Corzine has a waterfront condo, supported the former governor during the election. (AP) 

NJ Gov. Chris Christie calls for faster action on plan to keep NYC garbage trucks out of Jersey 

Governor Christie wants faster action on a plan to curb the amount of New York City garbage trucks passing through New Jersey. Christie called on the Port Authority Monday to move quicker on plans to barge New York’s trash to New Jersey, and then ship the solid waste out-of-state by rail. (Davis, The Record) 

2 sides sum up at Van Pelt trial; case in jury’s hands 

Former Assemblyman Daniel M. Van Pelt may be guilty of being naive, but he is not guilty of being a crook, a federal district court jury was told Monday. The panel at Van Pelt’s corruption trial was also told that he well knew what he was doing when he accepted $10,000 from FBI informant Solomon Dwek, who had posed as a corrupt developer seeking to buy the defendant’s influence to win approval for a project. (Larsen, AP)

 In solar power, N.J. shines

 If NFI Industries’ calculations are right, the three acres of solar panels just installed on the roof of its Cherry Hill headquarters will save $750,000 in energy costs over 15 years and become a green feather in its cap. The 1.32-megawatt project could also be a launchpad. It is the first renewable development designed and installed by NFI Solar, a new division in the 77-year-old trucking and logistics company, which the Brown family started as a coal-hauling operation in North Jersey. (Conaboy, Inquirer)

Christie tells Rutgers grads to follow passion 

After proposing massive financial cuts to education, Gov. Christie on Sunday received a muted reception when he accepted an honorary degree at Rutgers University’s commencement. When Christie was introduced to an audience of about 12,000 graduates and their families, who sat on folding chairs beneath tall shade trees, there was scattered enthusiastic clapping, followed by a few jeers and then a shout to “sit down.” (Hefler, Inquirer)

 Ingle: Christie on a roll 

Gov. Christie’s reputation continues to grow across the nation. His “this is who I am” remarks in answer to an editorial page editor’s question if his tone were hindering negotiations only added to his fame. The video of the news conference went viral and was played on radio stations across the nation. (Ingle, Gannett) Morning News Digest: May 18, 2010