Sunday, February 7, 2010

Week's top environmental news in NJ, PA & NY: February 1-5, 2010

Below are just a few of the environmental and political news stories for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and beyond that appeared in
EnviroPolitics during the week of February 1-5, 2010.

New Jersey Politics

Prosecution rests case in Jersey City corruption trial Federal prosecutors rested their case today in the corruption trial of a Jersey City deputy mayor after six days of testimony anchored by black-and-white videos secretly made by the informant at the center of last year’s massive FBI sting Star-Ledger

At corruption trial, ripping Solomon Dwek’s credibility After three days of combative exchanges, a lawyer for a Jersey City deputy mayor accused of bribe-taking ended his cross examination of the informant at the center of last year’s epic FBI sting today by trying to cast him as an unbridled huckster who once bilked $100 million from his own uncle Star-Ledger

N.J. residents take concerns to Statehouse hearings A favorite pastime among cranky New Jerseyans is grumbling about state government: it’s too expensive, it’s too corrupt and nobody listens. Today, residents had a chance to air their complaints directly to lawmakers Star-Ledger Inquirer SHB NJNR

Trial resumes with defense playing luncheonette video The federal corruption trial of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy's campaign treasurer resumed this morning with the defense playing the March 13, 2009, video of government informant Solomon Dwek meeting with Healy, defendant Leona Beldini and others at a luncheonette Jersey Journal
> Dwek: A dozen politicians refused my bribes Star-Ledger

Christie comes out swinging If there has been a theme to Gov. Christie's first two weeks in office, it has been this: Get ready for a fight, especially when it comes to money Inquirer

NJ loses billions as residents depart

More than $70 billion in wealth left New Jersey between 2004 and 2008 as affluent residents moved elsewhere, according to a new report that marks a swift reversal of fortune for a state once considered the nation’s wealthiest Star-Ledger

New Jersey Environment

A change of course in Trenton on agriculture Two years ago, 500 angry farmers and their supporters paraded tractors and horses through the streets of Trenton to protest Gov. Corzine's plan to eliminate New Jersey's Agriculture Department. Now, Gov. Christie's transition team makes recommendations to strengthen the department and hike Jersey Fresh marketing funds Inquirer

Gov says agency hired lobbyists to 'tone down' criticism The Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission regularly spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on lobbyists, and now Gov. Chris Christie says the agency is directing its paid advocates to get him to "tone down" his criticism of its spending SHB

Highlands preservation funds doubled in federal budget The federal budget unveiled this week includes $5M for Highlands preservation, double what was approved last year and halfway towards a hoped-for $11 million annual allocation Star-Ledger

N.J. Senate panel considers plan to transfer housing The state Senate began work today on a bill to transform the way affordable housing is handled in New Jersey, including transferring control to towns and abolishing a council that has been criticized as ineffective SHB Inquirer
> Opinion: Gut affordable housing? Gov. says whoa! S-L

Governor's team report on DEP draws flack Supporters say it’s a badly needed overhaul of a troubled agency that acts as one of the biggest deterrents to economic growth. Enviros say it’s a giveaway to developers and polluters The Record EP Blog

Calls for stricter oversight ring out at Statehouse Gov. Chris Christie's reaction to a report that the $313,000 annual salary of Bryan Christiansen, the director of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority, is outrageous, has led legislators to call for a state takeover of the operation NJNR

Pennsylvania Environment

Gas drilling meeting draws lots of interest Members of the gas-drilling industry acknowledged on Thursday evening a failure to inform the public about their procedures, and the audience at the WVIA call-in show reminded them of that often Times Leader

Penn State probe into climate-change researcher's work Fearing erosion of public confidence in research climate-change scientist Michael Mann conducted, university officials say they will formally investigate the co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Tribune-Review Gant Daily
>Groups blast PSU investigation of Mann Centre Daily Times

Drilling prompts DEP to get Scranton office For some time, local legislators and environmentalists have complained that local oversight of natural-gas drilling is too difficult because the closest inspectors are in Times Leader

Pa. among top in tackling waterway pollution An Environmental Protection Agency list has the state as second nationally in the sections of waterways that have been restored to health, behind only Tennessee. With seven separate waterways on the list, Pennsylvania is tied with Wyoming Times Leader

Fortuna fined for gas drilling violations in Pennsylvania Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has fined Fortuna Energy of Big Flats $3,500 for violations discovered last year at three of the company’s natural gas wells in Troy Township, Bradford County Elmira Star-Gazette Williamsport Sun-Gazette

Energy firms pumped money into gas tax fight Energy companies spent at least $1 million on lobbying and contributed thousands of dollars to various state lawmakers last year, partly in an effort to extinguish a proposed tax on the natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale in rural PA, state records show Morning Call

Pennsylvania Politics

Bonusgate witness tried “to hide things” The star witness against former state Rep. Mike Veon admitted today that he once deleted files from his state computer "to hide things," and used his clout to put a girlfriend in state job Inquirer

Through e-mails, witness links Veon to Bonusgate As star witness Michael Manzo wound down his testimony for prosecutors in the Bonusgate theft trial of his onetime role model yesterday, a ragged heap of papers grew behind witness stand Inquirer

Casino association's not a lobby? For more than two hours, two dozen legislators grill veteran Philadelphia lawyer Richard A. Sprague, wanting to know just what his group - the Pennsylvania Casino Association - was up to Inquirer

Veon trial opens with DeWeese blamed for Bonusgate It was all Bill DeWeese's fault. That was what a lawyer for former State Rep. Mike Veon, DeWeese's longtime second-in-command, spent the better part of three hours telling jurors yesterday as Bonusgate trial got under way Inquirer

Former Pa. legislator to pay $10,000 in ethics case Matthew Wright, 51, a Republican who served in the House from 1991 to 2006, allegedly used legislative staffers, equipment, and material to help run three reelection campaigns Inquirer

New York Nation World

Activists want cleanser contents revealed Environmental advocates want to know, and they asked a court Thursday to use a 1971 New York State law to force such manufacturers as Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive to reveal just what makes up household staples like Ajax, Ivory soap and Tide AP

Judge says state must pay farmer’s legal fees State judge ruled that the Adirondack Park Agency will have to pay the legal fees and expenses of Salim B. Lewis, a former Wall Street executive who is one of the state’s largest organic farmers NYT

A boom in ‘distributed’ solar projects In recent weeks, some 1,300 megawatts' worth of distributed solar deals and initiatives have been announced or approved NYT

Gov. Paterson vetoes ethics bill, saying it's not reform NYT

High lead levels found in IBM water Kingston Freeman

Nike makes environmental strides A new report issued by the shoe and apparel manufacturer highlights the progress the company has made in reducing its environmental footprint NYT

Solar brokering firm assesses first year A co-founder of the San Francisco solar-purchasing brokerage One Block Off the Grid, or 1BOG, says his business model is proving effective NYT

Our most recent posts:
Sam Wolfe exits NJ-BPU for private sector
1600 more acres preserved in NJ Pinelands
NJ's DEP needs radical change--yes or no?
Enviro-Events in NJ & PA - February 2010

Recycled tires: Where the rubber is the road


Like this? You'll love our daily newsletter,
EnviroPolitics - Try it free for 30 days

Subscribe here to view all our YouTube videos

Repost this article