NJ Court rules insurance co must pay PSEG for Sandy’s damage

downed wires on highway - sandyNew Jersey property insurance holders were fortunate that Superstorm Sandy was downgraded by the National Weather Service to the classification of a post-tropical tornado shortly before it made landfall. Had Sandy been classified as a more severe weather event, insurance companies might have been relieved of much of their obligation to pay on the damage claims that were filed. Courts have made it clear to insurers that they must pay those claims.

But, it has taken until now for the question of whether PSEG’s insurance company must pay for the $500 million damages the energy utility incurred as a result of the storm. The insurer wanted to cap payout at $100 million but on March 23 legal judgement was emphatically entered in favor of the utility:

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Politico’s attempt to make fun of Baraka is an utter #fail

Ras BarakaMatt Bonamo tried pretty hard to discredit Ras Baraka in his March 19 Politico Magazine article. He failed, because Ras is good at being good – but not for lack of trying.

Ras with finger alongside noseFirst, look at the photo Mark chose as his lead: why is Baraka’s face contorted, and his finger laid alongside his nose? Only one logical answer: the photo is meant to be demeaning. In the article’s wrap-up, Bonamo quotes Ras using syntactically regional language. Again, why? Why list every one of Booker’s impressive educational credentials and then contrast that with a quote showing Baraka being loose with his grammar? Again, the reason is clear: Bonamo obviously meant to discredit Mayor Baraka.

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Newark students – heroes in spite of being deprived of books and food

Support Newark studentsThe Student Heroes of Newark is a phrase coined by Daniel Katz in a Huffington Post article on how Newark, New Jersey students are handling the challenges of being starved by the Christie Administration and Cami Anderson, Newark Schools superintendent for classroom books and even food.

One student explains that there may be four textbooks in a classroom of over 30 children. Another, that there isn’t enough food in the cafeteria for both lunch and breakfast: if the staff serve one meal, they run out of food for the other. Take a look for yourself at this 3 minute video – these young people are powerful advocates and know how to tell their story.

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One Newark concocted by Cami, Christie, BFF Cory Booker & Zuckerberg

The Newark-eteersLast year, the New Yorker magazine reported that the One Newark Schools plan – which was fully implemented this year and has wreaked tragedy and havoc on Newark students’ lives – is the brainchild of Cami Anderson, Chris Christie and their close friend Cory Booker … and was implemented with the suport of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

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Much more about Christie than he wants you to know

Christie and croniesWNYC Radio is keeping an eye on Christie. If you’d like to know if the governor is in New Jersey or the latest and greatest update on Bridgate (that rhymes), head over to their Christie Tracker project and find out.

Of particular interest to anyone who wants to see Christie go down, is all the juicy information just posted in Bridgegate Fall Guy Was Inside Man on March 12.

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Irish dancing flash mob

Irish folk dancingI love these expressions of pure joy! 40-youth flash mob takes over the Lakeside Shopping Center in Essex and what they do is spellbinding.

Thanks for the share, Judy!

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Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias: the tendency to search for, interpret, or recall information that confirms one’s beliefs. Also known as Myside Bias.

I always forget what this term is. Thanks Jeff Buffington for reminding me :)

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Blogger Bob Braun rips testing giant Pearson’s privacy invasion practices wide open

Creepy Parson spying on meWith amplification from Diane Ravitch (where you can also read the text of Bob’s original post if his website is still inaccessible), Washington Post, Daily Kos, a growing number of local news portals and now The War Report radio show, Bob Braun has busted wide open the practice of standardized testing giant Pearson Education to spy on and oppress students using Pearson Streamlines Social Media Listening and Monitoring With Tracx. It’s more than shocking.

Bob Braun’s Ledger reported the exclusive story that Pearson is monitoring students’ social media accounts during PARCC testing … and that both Pearson and the NJDOE called for the punishment of a student who had tweeted after taking the test, although school authorities knew – and had reported – that the student did not share any sensitive information. This Watchung Regional High School District Superintendent’s letter was leaked to Braun and started the snowball rolling.

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Yale sponsors 1st African Arts & Culture Festival

Africa Salon at Yale
Africa Salon, Yale’s first annual contemporary African arts and culture festival — featuring some of today’s top artists from the continent and diaspora — will take place on Friday and Saturday, March 27 and 28.

Hosted by the Yale Africa Initiative, the interactive event will include a series of panels, readings, exhibits, and performances.

The event will open on Friday evening with a panel moderated by Michael Veal, professor of music and African American studies. Saturday’s events will include a series of panels — each accompanied by a performance or visual presentation — highlighting key artists and their work in contemporary African literature, visual art, film, music, fashion, and dance. At each panel, faculty and students who are producing artistic work on Africa will be featured.

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Uptown Funk is good! – in both original & viola flavors

Uptown Funk!Uptown Funk song & video are just plain good. And Brother Jeremy Green does it up nice on viola too. Here’s the original by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars.

But for now to see Jeremy Green’s version on viola, you need to visit I Love Being Black’s Facebook Page:

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Post by I Love Being Black.
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New federal sign regulations drive change on the Garden State Parkway

exit shuffle at GSP woodbridge
On the GSP, New Exit 41 opens in Atlantic City area today to provide direct access to Jimmie Leeds Road. Until now, Motorists have accessed the road by driving through the AC service area.

And in a few days, Woodbridge area drivers in the low 130s will get a bit of an exit shuffle on either side of the highway. NJ.com’s @LarryHiggs explains:

What’s changing? On the northbound parkway, Exit 131 will become Exit 132, Feeney said. On the southbound parkway, Exit 131 will become Exit 132 and Exit 131A will become Exit 131, Feeney said.

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Footballer Striker has harsh words for SAE Frat

SAE Frat gets closedU of Oklahama footballer Striker posted a furious Snapchat rebuttal to SAE fraternity’s racist chant.

Politics USA posted this transcript:

“You’re the same mother f*ckers telling us racism don’t exist… f*ck you phony-ass, fraud-ass b*tches. I’m so mother f*cking fierce right now, SAE you’ve f*cked it up for all white fraternities. The same mother f*ckers sitting out here giving us hugs … telling us you really love us. F*ck you!”

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Thriving local economies means more health & resilience

walmart never respectsWalmart and Target say they help communities overcome health issues and the ill effects of poverty but the reverse is true.Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Stacey Mitchell writes about the difference between communities with thriving local economies and those dominated by Big Box retail giants:

study found that counties dominated by a few big firms have … less engaged citizens than those in which economic activity is dispersed across many locally owned businesses. “We find that residents of communities with highly concentrated economies (ed note: where big box stores predominate) tend to vote less and are less likely to keep up with local affairs, participate in associations, engage in reform efforts or participate in protest activities at the same levels as their counterparts in economically dispersed environments (ed note: where small businesses proliferate)…”.

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Laws making it illegal to feed homeless in 33 cities must be reversed

not crime to feed homelessOn HuffPo, Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz writes about the 90 year old man arrested for feeding the homeless: “Arnold Abbott in Fort Lauderdale was arrested twice for publicly helping feed the vulnerable in his community.” And adds:

Astonishingly, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 33 American cities passed new restrictions on feeding the homeless between January 2013-April 2014.

Jews are commanded against following these laws, since we are obligated to feed and tend to the most vulnerable in our midst. The Shulchan Aruch writes:

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America’s war on compassion – and cellphone charging?

Street Roots Newspaper, PortlandAdd this story to the growing evidence that a war is being waged in America to make compassion a crime and to deny the most basic services to our #neighborswithnoaddress – the vast US homeless population of over half a million people. Which by the way ‘but for the Grace of God‘ could be you or me. Emily Green of Street Roots News reports on the plight of “Jackie”, whom police arrested for theft for charging her cellphone in an outside receptacle located in a planter box in Old Town, Portland. This story was reported by Street Roots, a Portland newspaper that serves the poor and homeless.

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