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New Jersey News Commons: BIGGEST U.S. WIND FARM, WILL POWER 500K HOMES

 

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on Friday approved a $1.6 billion project proposal from Ørsted, an energy firm based in Denmark that has applied for several similar approvals in other states. Called Ocean Wind, it's set to be the largest offshore wind-energy project funded by a state government in the U.S. so far, with an anticipated power-on date of 2024. It's partnered with PSEG, which will lead energy management efforts onshore. Once it's up and running, the 1,110-megawatt wind farm — not too far offshore, just 15 miles from Atlantic City — will produce enough power to keep the lights on in more than 500,000 homes. Gov. Phil Murphy's clean-energy goal is for the state to secure 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2030. (Asbury Park Press)

PROGRESSIVES TELL BOOKER TO CANCEL FUNDRAISER

Is this a Jersey story or is this a Jersey story? At a $2,800-a-person lunch in Belleville on Friday, South Jersey political kingpin George Norcross is teaming up with Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo to raise funds for Sen. Cory Booker's 2020 bid for the presidency. That's the same Norcross who "took unfair advantage" of the Economic Development Authority's tax incentive programs "by leveraging unethically obtained access and influence," resulting in a $11 billion loss for the state (and significant fraud, according to a new report), a coalition called Take Back NJ told Booker in a letter on Friday. The group also rebuked Booker's link to DiVincenzo, who runs the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark. This month, a federal report found immigrant detainees suffered "egregious violations of detention standards" at the facility. (Patch)

GROUP SAYS EDA PROBE PANEL HAS TIES TO NORCROSS

On Friday, an activist group called New Jersey Working Families submitted a letter of complaint to the Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards, alleging that several members of the committee charged with investigating the Economic Development Authority's tax incentives programs should be removed from their posts. Five of the seven people on this committee hold a conflict of interest, the group says, through a personal or political connection to George Norcross, whose affiliated companies benefited handsomely from the EDA's payouts. (Norcross is also the subject of a separate investigation.) Who put this committee together? Senate Pres. and Norcross ally Steve Sweeney. (NJ.com)

TENANTS DESERVE LEASES IN SPANISH, GROUP TELLS CITY 

On Wednesday, members of the Central Jersey Democratic Socialists of America attended New Brunswick's City Council meeting with a request: landlords should make leases available in both English and Spanish. It's a "severe issue," the group said, because English-only leases enable landlords to exploit and intimidate tenants without recourse. When Council members suggested the group contact the Office of Rent Control, one member said, "They don't pick up the phone very often." (TAPinto New Brunswick)

 

👀 Stories we're keeping an eye on...

Education
  • 400 bilingual students would be ‘segregated’ in new, separate school in Trenton. That’s not okay, opponents say (NJ.com)
  • 1,000+ students at watershed science, leadership academy (Newark)
  • High school seniors relive an elementary graduation (TAPinto Wetsfield)
  • Hackensack teen gets early grad ceremony before Marines (The Record)
Environment
  • Ban would allow plastic bags as thick as a garbage bag (TAPinto Newark)
  • How to cope with NJ's "#1 natural hazard": stormwater (CivicStory)
  • DEP issues about 40 idle vehicle violations in Newark (TAPinto Newark)
Health
  • Medical marijuana bill survives budget day scrum (NJTV News)
  • How your lawmaker voted on bill to expand medical marijuana (NJ.com)
  • New Jersey gives away more than 32,000 doses of naloxone (CBS Philly)
  • Officials issue warning about toxic clinging jellyfish — see map (NJ.com)
Policing & Public Safety
  • NJ could crack down on DWIs, without suspending licenses (NJ.com)
  • Mysterious Little League thefts expand to seven NJ counties (Patch)
  • Baraka blasts slated ICE raids as ‘political stunt’ (TAPinto Newark)
  • United cancels EWR flights to India amid tensions with Iran (The Record)
Politics
  • Murphy on Legislature’s budget: ‘pork and Christmas trees’ (NJTV News)
  • Tolls, political appointments: Gateway commission details (The Record)
  • Menendez touts HEAR Act on gun control in Trenton (Trentonian)
  • 100 billboards with a strange message for Gov. Murphy (NJ.com)

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