Portfolio.com has reviewed the results of the American Community Survey for 2008 and has listed the country’s 420 wealthiest cities. The top city is Newport Beach, CA while Reading, PA brings up the rear. This interactive map will assist you. Representing New Jersey are Edison and Newark.
Archive for February, 2010
A new report from the Pew Foundation – Trillion Dollar Gap – examines the parlous state of pension funds. $3.35 trillion is necessary to fund current obligations, but the funds only contain $2.35 trillion. According to this report, New Jersey has seriously underfunded its pension plans and the report rates New Jersey as one of eight states “…having failed to make any meaningful progress toward adequately funding their pension obligations.(p.12) On p.25, there is a special section on New Jersey outlining the state’s decline in annual contributions: “…the state never exceeded 30 percent of the required contribution.” Additional information can be found at: States Sink in Benefits Hole (Wall Street Journal), US States Face Wide Gap in Benefits Funding (Financial Times), States Short $1 Trillion to Fund Retiree Benefits (CNN), and Eight States Have Shortchanged Pensions (New York Times). A one-page fact sheet on New Jersey is here.
Much press has been made of late of four bills introduced into the State Senate which would modify existing penion, sick leave, and health benefits policies. Herewith are the full texts with some highlights: SCR1 requires the State to pay into the pension funds; S2 changes the pension eligibility by restricting pension benefits at the state level to those who work a 35-hour work week and at the local level to those who work a 32-hour work week; S3 requires all state, school, and local employees to contribute 1.5% of their salary to their healthcare plans; and $4 caps sick leave payout at $15,000. Some relevant information can be accessed at History and Future of New Jersey Pensions, a December 2008 report put out by the Hall Institute of Public Policy; Public Employees Benefit Reform (2006 Special Session Joint Legislative Committee); State of New Jersey: Postemployment Benefits(Aon, 2007); With Gov. Chris Christie Targeting Benefits, Some N.J. Public Workers Consider Retirement (Star-Ledger); and Lawmakers Unveil State Pension Reform Plan (NJ Today).
Want to see how well your school is performing against others in the same district? In the state? How many students are considered proficient or advanced after taking the HSPA? How many AP students there are? SAT results? Dropout rates? Average faculty salaries? These and other questions are answered in this year’s New Jersey School Report Card. Past reports can be accessed as well.
With so many of us either digging out or hunkering down because of the snow, Governor Christie’s speech may have escaped us. You can watch a video of the speech as well as read the transcript of his utterances. This, is combination with his Executive Order No.14, does not bode well for higher education. Please read this informative section from The Star-Ledger which also contains an FAQ. Additional reportage is available: “NJ Schools, Colleges Brace for State Aid Cuts.”
Representing New Jersey (along with their biographies and career accomplishments), we have: Chris Burgress (bobsled, Glen Gardner); Jazmine Fenlator (bobsled, Wayne); Bobby Ryan (hockey, Cherry Hill); and Kyle Tress (bobled, Ewing). Profiles of all the USA Olympians are contained here, and you can limit to a specific sport; i.e., curling, etc.
The headlines from the March 13, 1888 issue of The New York Sun say it all: “Blizzard Was King.”" Fifty Train Loads of Passengers Stuck on the Main Lines – Where They Are, Heaven Knows.” Such was the ferocity of the Blizzard of 1888 or as it is also called, The Great White Hurricane. Descending on the New York area, an area which had been so warm in previous days that people were out on picnics, this storm dropped 40-50 inches of snow between March 11 and the 14th. As NOAA labels this, it was “The blizzard by which all others are measured.” It took the New York environs fully two weeks to recover from this disaster and led directly to the building of the underground subway system as well as putting all electric/telegraph cables below street level. A great site to re-visit this calamity is the Virtual New York Blizzard of 1888 site which contains excellent essays as well as “Stories and Memories of the Blizzard.” Infoplease has an informative essay on “The Great White Hurricane.” NOAA has images of The Great Blizzard of March 12, 1888 , and there is a well-produced image slideshow on YouTube. Other sites worth visiting: a collection of New York Times articles from 1888; “Recalling the Blizzard of 1888” from the 1998 NYT; “The Blizzard and the Telegraph” from the April 1888 issue of Manufacturer and Builder; “With a Bang: Not a Whimper: The Winter of 1887-1888“(which details the whole winter season throughout the country, including the Schoolchildren’s Blizzard); and New York in the Blizzard: Being an Authentic and Comprehensive Recital…, which is an 1888 compilation of articles first appearing in The New York Sun.
This report – Migration of Wealth in New Jersey and the Impact on Wealth and Philanthropy - states that from 2004-2008, New Jersey lost $70 billion due to out-migration, reversing the previous years’ gains of $98 billion. Two other reports are mentioned in this study: Where Have All the Dollars Gone? An Analysis of New Jersey Migration Patterns(Rutgers, October 2007) and Trends in New Jersey Migration: Housing, Employment, and Taxation(Princeton, September 2008). Commissioned for the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, this newest document shows that unlike previous years, wealth is not being replaced in New Jersey but rather New Jersey is hemorrhaging monies to other states like New York and Florida. Please read this Star-Ledger article.
A previous blog entry on this topic enumerated many useful sites. Consider this entry an update featuring new resources: African Americans (Federal Resources for Educational Excellence) highlighting almost 70 sources of relevant information; Black History Month (Smithsonian); African American History (National Park Service); Black History Month (National Endowment for the Humanities); African American Sites in the Digital Collections (Library of Congress); and Celebrate Black History Month (NJ Dept of State) which lists many New Jersey exhibits and ongoing presentations associated with this month.
This document outlining a $3.8 trillion budget has just been released. Read the informative chapter entitled “Rescuing the Economy.” The Congressional Budget Office has already published its Budget Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020. Additional media reports are available from the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, The New York Times, and Forbes. And watch this C-SPAN video of the physical delivery of the budget to the Senate. A live YouTube interview with President Obama will begin at 1:45 PM today during which he will answer viewer questions about the budget and its implications. Early “winners and losers” in the budget are detailed in the Washington Post. Much more information will be found at the Office of Management and Budget site.
Global Risk Report 2010 (World Economic Forum); Policies for Increasing Economic Growth and Employment in 2010 and 2011 (Congressional Budget Office); Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission(hearings); Beige Book, January 2010 (Federal Reserve); Impact of the Global Economic and Financial Crisis (Asian Development Bank); 2009 African Economic Conference. Papers (African Development Bank); Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee (Treasury Dept.); Choosing the Nation’s Fiscal Future (National Research Council); 2009 Joint Economic Report (U.S. House); Global Economic Prospects 2010: Crisis, Finance, and Growth (World Bank); Wall Street Pay: A Primer (Brookings); Global Employment Trends 2010 (ILO); Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010-2020 (Congressional Budget Office); and The Financial Crisis: Reform and Exit Strategies (OECD).