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D.C. Red-Light Cameras Fail to Reduce Accidents

The District's red-light cameras have generated more than 500,000 violations and $32 million in fines over the past six years. City officials credit them with making busy roads safer.

But a Washington Post analysis of crash statistics shows that the number of accidents has gone up at intersections with the cameras. The increase is the same or worse than at traffic signals without the devices.

Three outside traffic specialists independently reviewed the data and said they were surprised by the results. Their conclusion: The cameras do not appear to be making any difference in preventing injuries or collisions.

"The data are very clear," said Dick Raub, a traffic consultant and a former senior researcher at Northwestern University's Center for Public Safety. "They are not performing any better than intersections without cameras."

RED 'EYE' TICKET PLAN IN WORKS Hoboken wants cameras at intersections

Hoboken is planning to use clandestine traffic light cameras to catch drivers running red lights and to improve pedestrian safety.

The ordinance approved unanimously by the City Council Wednesday night sets up the legal framework to place cameras at traffic signals and stop signs around the city.

Council members said the Police Department will set up a pilot program, placing a handful of cameras at secret locations around the city. Hoboken Police Chief Carmen LaBruno could not be reached for comment yesterday.

"It's a public safety issue and these are the kind of complaints we receive all the time," said Council President Theresa Castellano. "You can't have a cop on every corner."

Corzine said he got it, but he didn't

Gov. Jon Corzine admitted voters sent Trenton a strong message about no more massive borrowing, then in the same breath said he will continue with building stem cell research facilities because borrowing for them was approved previously. Huh?

He really doesn't get it. The governor also said the $450 million stem cell measure failed in part because of low turnout. Guess he thinks the 70 percent of registered voters that didn't bother going to the polls were for it. That's a stretch.

How the Fourth Ward Voted by District

Wednesday November 07, 2007, Jersey Journal

Just in case you didn't get enough election news last night, here's the breakdown of votes in the Fourth Ward by district, from Hoboken City Clerk Jimmy Farina:

1st District: 137 Campos; 265 Zimmer
2nd District: 49 Campos; 474 Zimmer
3rd District: 178 Campos; 131 Zimmer
4th District: 384 Campos; 56 Zimmer

So again, for machine votes, that's a total of 748 for Campos and 926 for Zimmer. In absentee ballots, Campos got 208 and Zimmer received 144, bringing the total votes to 956 for Campos and 1,070 for Zimmer. There were 41 provisional ballots - too small a number to have any effect.

So, Campos conceded, Gerry McCann called Dawn to say congrats, you know the story...This time around, Zimmah really is the winnah!

Third time's the charm for Zimmer

HOBOKEN - Dawn Zimmer was elected to the 4th Ward City Council seat in the "do-over" balloting last night, defeating Christopher Campos in a special election called after both candidates agreed to set aside the results of the June runoff.

Zimmer got 1,070 votes to Campos' 956, including absentee ballots. There are 41 so far uncounted provisional ballots, not enough to affect the outcome.

"I did it! I'm stunned," Zimmer said by cell phone last night on her way to her victory party. "I can say that I truly didn't know that this would happen when I gave up my seat. I'm grateful to my supporters, I'm overwhelmed by the amount of support I received by everyone in the 4th Ward and Hoboken."

Feisty councilman wasn't the butt of goof, Norwegian comics claim

Feisty councilman wasn't the butt of goof, Norwegian comics claim

Pia Haraldsen
Producers of the Norwegian entertainment show that sent a comedian to interview Staten Island Councilman James Oddo about next year's presidential election did not mean to offend him or take advantage of his known habit of speaking his mind, the television network said earlier today.

Yeah, right.

In a profanity-laced tirade, Oddo recently threw Pia Haraldsen and her camera crew out of his City Hall office after she asked him about Hillary Clinton's chances in the race because of "that embarrassing situation with the cigar" and whether Barack Obama can run for president because he's African-American.

Court finds ordinance open to referendum

Supreme Court of New Jersey
Supreme Court Justices
Top row, L to R: Justice Roberto A. Rivera-Soto; Justice Barry T. Albin; Justice John E. Wallace, Jr.; Justice Helen E. Hoens; Front row, L to R: Justice Virginia Long; Chief Justice Stuart Rabner; Justice Jaynee LaVecchia.

A New Jersey Supreme Court's ruling will be felt around the state because it is likely to give voters more opportunities to overthrow ordinances they oppose with properly certified petitions, officials say.

The ruling affects the 125 municipalities governed by the Faulkner Act, which includes all major cities such as Trenton and large urban and suburban areas like Hamilton and New Brunswick.  Hoboken is also governed by the Faulkner Act.

In 39 years of case law rulings, state courts have made a distinction between municipal ordinances that are administrative in nature and ones that are legislative.

Legislative ordinances that addressed more permanent issues were subject to voter referendum, but administrative ordinances that addressed more temporary or general issues were exempted from referendums.

Yesterday's high court ruling cleared that up, saying there was no distinction, and reverted to state statutes that say, "the voters shall also have the power of referendum which is the power to approve or reject at the polls any ordinance submitted by the council to the voters or any ordinance passed by the council, against which a referendum petition has been filed. ..." 

Corruption on the run in N.J.

The crimes have been outrageous -- like the Port Authority commissioner who admitted trying to silence a witness by setting him up with a prostitute and secretly taping their tryst. Or the judge who traveled to Russia to film himself having sex with a teenage boy.

They've also been mundane, like the MVC workers who ran their own driver's license mill.

But the list of government officials and employees arrested by federal agents in New Jersey the past several years shows a spectrum of public servants -- from state senators to building inspectors -- who authorities said were eager to sell their offices for cash.

For U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie, it's a never-ending well.

"Our approach is that there really is no act of corruption too small," said Christie, in an interview with The Record.

Hoboken Fourth Ward election vacated

Hoboken City Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer has agreed to vacate the June election she won in the face of a court challenge to the results by Christopher Campos, whom she defeated, and the two will run against one another again in November.

The stunning announcement, made as both sides were gearing up for a trial, came today and leaves the Fourth Ward City Council seat vacant.

Famed Italian tenor Pavarotti dies at 71

Famed Italian tenor Pavarotti dies at 71

Opera star succumbs at home after fight with pancreatic cancer

Thursday, September 06, 2007
Star-Ledger Staff

Luciano Pavarotti was the epitome of the Italian tenor, but he was bigger than opera itself, a vocal icon to classical peers and rock stars alike. His voice's sweet tone and ringing fluidity was as beloved by aficionados as it was by millions of listeners who didn't know Puccini from Verdi. He was one of The Three Tenors, but a first among equals to many.

Pavarotti died today at home in Modena, Italy, according to his manager, Terri Robson. The singer had battled pancreatic cancer since undergoing surgery for the disease last July. He was 71.