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Cheers and Jeers

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On the list this week: Morgan Stanley, Maxine Ballen, Internet gambling and more …

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

FACE TIME: CAMERA SHY

For about 24 hours, at least. Christie’s office clammed up in a hurry last week after it posted a Hollywood-movie-style “trailer” about his push for pension reform — then suddenly took it down hours later. Reports quickly surfaced that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wasn’t happy about one of his movies being used in the production. The video came back the next day — but without The Rock.

CHEERS

Hobby Lobby

This isn’t about its recent Supreme Court victory — more about the retailer’s decision to continue opening stores in New Jersey even though it’s being met by picketers and controversy. Two opened this month, and another is on the way.

Morgan Stanley

The bank is putting $500,000 toward funding the state’s biggest city, earmarked for healthy food choices for Newark children, a nutrition education program and a playground built by its employees last month.

Maxine Ballen

We learned last week who will succeed her as CEO of the New Jersey Technology Council, so it’s a good time to salute the woman who founded it 18 years ago, well before most people thought about the potential for a Garden State tech industry.

JEERS

Affordable housing

The Christie administration and Rutgers fired back last week in a legal battle over how they calculated the state’s affordable housing needs. As long as this continues, affordable housing advocates and developers are on the losing end.

Internet gaming

Atlantic City has had enough bad press lately. So it was insult to injury when Fitch Ratings cut its already-conservative forecast for New Jersey’s online gaming revenue by more than half. Not that Fitch is wrong — iGaming has been a disappointment so far.

Scammers

Four more people were charged with filing bogus Sandy claims for N.J. homes, making it 12 total since March. Kudos to the state Attorney General’s office for cracking down.

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