'Dirty Little Secrets' Launches with Probe of Vulnerable Coastal Contamination

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December 8, 2015

 

'DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS' LAUNCHES WITH PROBE OF VULNERABLE COASTAL CONTAMINATION
We begin at the Jersey Shore. These first two stories highlight the vulnerability of New Jersey's oft-overlooked industrial coastline. Scott Gurian of NJ Spotlight/WNYC says this part of the Jersey Shore gets much less attention than its more tourist-friendly counterparts, yet many of the facilities that operate there are essential to the region's economy. When they flood – as they did during Hurricane Sandy – they have the potential to affect the health, safety, and livelihoods of thousands of people throughout the area.
Colleen O'Dea of NJ Spotlight also put together an interactive map that shows thousands of contaminated sites along NJ's sinking coastline – all of which are within 5 feet of sea-level and are vulnerable to sea-level rise and storm surges. With sea levels projected to rise at least three-and-a-half feet by the end of the century, the surrounding areas are at an even greater risk of further contamination. 
These are the first dispatches in a collaborative effort called "Dirty Little Secrets," a series investigating New Jersey's toxic legacy. Participating news partners include New Jersey Public Radio/WNYCWHYYNJTVNJ SpotlightJersey Shore Hurricane NewsWBGONew Brunswick Today, and the Rutgers Department of Journalism and Media Studies. The collaboration is facilitated by The Center for Investigative Reporting, with help from the Center for Cooperative Media.
Stay tuned for more stories from this series all week – and in the coming weeks. You can join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #ToxicNJ.
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HOW TO PAY FOR GATEWAY TUNNEL? LAWMAKERS GIVE COMMUTERS MORE ANSWERS
Federal lawmakers have put forward a 5-year transportation bill that includes three possible funding sources to build the $20 billion Gateway Tunnel under the Hudson River. NJ.com says officials believe the legislation puts the region closer to getting the cash to pay for it. US Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) applauded the bill and said that New York and New Jersey now have "the best possible environment to fund Gateway."
RUTGERS BOARD APPROVES FIVE-YEAR, $11M CONTRACT WITH NEW FOOTBALL COACH
The Rutgers University governing board on Monday unanimously approved a five-year deal worth more than $11 million for its new head football coach, Chris Ash. The Record says Ash will be paid $2 million in the first year of his contract, and the agreement includes other raises and incentives that could boost Ash's compensation considerably. Ash is due to receive a $100,000 annual bonus and is eligible for a range of incentives, including a $500,000 bonus if the team wins a playoff championship.
NJ LAWMAKERS ACT TO PUT A 'SMART GUN' IN EVERY GUN SHOP
The NJ Senate on Monday voted to replace New Jersey's longstanding and controversial law on "smart guns" with one that lawmakers hope will finally kick off the sale of guns that can only be fired by their owners. NJ.com says the bill would require retailers that sell guns to carry at least one smart gun in their inventory, three years after they're vetted by state authorities and are on the market.
ADVOCATES URGE ACTION ON IMMIGRANT DRIVER'S LICENSE
Advocates in New Jersey are urging state lawmakers to take action in the final weeks of the legislative session to pass a measure that would allow undocumented immigrants to get a driver's license. WBGO says advocates believe it would generate revenue for the state, improve safety on the roads, and ease fears about foreigners. Governor Christie has vowed to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
TONIGHT: Come tell us your story about Atlantic City. On Tuesday, Dec. 8, Free Press will be bringing together community members, journalists, media makers, activists, and others at the Noyes Arts Garage in Atlantic City to brainstorm about the future of local journalism and its role in the community. Click here to RSVP and find out more.    CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: We've extended the deadline for submissions to our statewide undergraduate reporting contest, which boasts a grand price of $650. We will now be accepting submissions until April 1, 2016. The best submissions will be included and published as part of our Dirty Little Secrets project with the Center for Investigative Reporting.  

MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY - NJ NEWS COMMONS

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