September 30, 2015
WNYC has learned that the Port Authority kept secret four meetings between Governor Christie's former top staffer at the bi-state agency and representatives of United Airlines when it initially made his calendars public. The hidden meetings were between then-Port Authority Deputy Director Bill Baroni and Jeff Smisek, who was CEO of United at the time, and Jamie Fox, a former United lobbyist and current Christie transportation commissioner.
NJ TRANSPORTATION CHIEF DENIES ETHICS VIOLATIONS
A former director of the state's ethics commission says NJ transportation chief Jamie Fox violated ethics laws by sitting in on a closed-door meeting in November that included discussions about United Airlines, a company Fox represented as a lobbyist a month earlier. The Record says Fox's office vehemently denies that any violation took place, but two former commissioners of the State Ethics Commission, in separate interviews Tuesday, said the fact pattern laid out in news reports this week presents strong evidence to the contrary.
TROPICAL STORM JOAQUIN EXPECTED TO BECOME HURRICANE, NJ EFFECTS UNCLEAR
Tropical Storm Joaquin strengthened unexpectedly on Tuesday and is now expected to become a hurricane as it makes its way up the East Coast later this week. NJ.com says Joaquin now has sustained winds of 65 mph, up from 40 mph on Tuesday morning, throwing off afternoon forecast models. Forecasters now expect Joaquin to move more slowly than anticipated, but what will happen over the next 48 hours remains unclear.
PROGRAM FOR ILLNESSES TIED TO 9/11 ENDS TODAY; MENENDEZ CALLS FOR EXTENSION
Unless Congress acts, today will be the last day people will be able to enroll in the federally funded health care program for people with illnesses caused by exposure to the toxic substances released when the Twin Towers collapsed on September 11, 2001. The Record says the Zadroga program, named after the late NYPD detective James Zadroga, is set to expire today unless Congress renews it. Senator Bob Menendez has been leading the charge to renew the program, along with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
ANGRY ABOUT PENNEAST PIPELINE, OPPONENTS RALLY OUTSIDE PSE&G OFFICES
Opponents of a natural gas pipeline that would cut through portions of Hunterdon and Mercer counties tageted one of the project's sponsors yesterday. NJ Spotlight says a group of protestors gathered in front of the PSE&G offices in Trenton to call on the company to withdraw its application to the Federal Energy Regulation Commission to build the more than $1 billion, 118-mile pipeline project.
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