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Cheers & Jeers

On the list this week: Merck, Verizon, cigarettes and more.

Each week in Face Time, NJBIZ editors approximate Chris Christie's mood and facial expressions based on the news.


There’s no way to make the latest revenue numbers look good. There comes a time when politicans need to own the facts, regardless of the tough economics situations.   An $800 million budget shortfall combined with pressures on pension payments is something no politician wants to deal with. Christie, however, has no choice.



We salute CEO Kenneth Frazier’s statement that “our commitment to innovation remains strong.” Lost in (necessary) cost-cutting measures is that the nothing will help rebuild a company and a very important industry in the state than new products. Here’s hoping the company (which reported a higher-than-expected profit) will hire more of the highly skilled people needed to produce them.


The long-running dispute between the state and Verizon finally came to an end with the Board of Public Utilities agreeing Verizon has lived up to its requirement to provide high-speed broadband service to the state. There certainly are pros and cons to the agreement, and then there’s this: Why are we basing any technology issue in 2014 on a document produced in 1993?

N.J. School Boards Association

We applaud the willingness to revise their social media policy. But we have to question: Do adults really need a policy to know they shouldn’t be “friending” and connecting with minors on the Internet?


Planes and plans

BRRAM (Bucks Residents for Responsible Airport Management) has filed a suit against the increased use of the Trenton-Mercer Airport because it didn’t perform an environmental impact study before adding more routes. Not sure we see the merit, since the airport only did renovations and not expansion. And we wonder how much suits such as these hurt true environmental causes.

Selling smokes

We get the whole pharamacies-shouldn’t-sell-cigarettes-because-they’re-a-health-hazard argument made by Rep. Frank Pallone and others. But it’s a slippery slope to tell people how they can operate their business. Soda and chips are having a huge health impact, too, so why are they OK? And since everyone knows how bad cigarettes are, perhaps Pallone should bring up a bill to ban them in the state altogether.


We’re not here to discuss the merits of the idea, or how it is administered. This is about coming to grips with the idea that it has to be done, so let’s compromise and get it done rather than have the endless political delays.

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