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Quick Hits: Our take on the week's top headlines

Headlines include NJ Transit's "Summer of Hell", a New Jersey hospital ranked No. 1 and Gaudagno with Trump.

It's good to be bad

For New Jersey’s commuters, NJ Transit’s so-called “Summer of Hell” hasn’t been nearly as hot as advertised, according to various reports. Commuting workarounds appear to be going smoothly, and on-time performance has actually improved over the norm. Hard-working employees and travelers showing un-Jersey-like patience are receiving kudos for alleviating the pressure of much-needed work.

Our take: This is all Amtrak’s fault, of course. Wait, sorry, that was just the knee-jerk reaction kicking in. Seriously, though, everyone involved in what could have been a disaster of biblical proportions deserves a hearty round of applause for making it work … so far.

Who's No. 1?

For the sixth year in a row, Hackensack University Medical Center topped the U.S. News & World Report ranking of New Jersey hospitals, beating out contenders than included the similarly well-known Morristown Medical Center and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. No Garden State facilities made the national list of the best-of-the-best, though.

Our take: Co-CEO Robert Garrett made an excellent point when he told NJBIZ that a good reputation can be a real asset for a hospital — when it comes to recruiting, for instance. After all, who doesn’t want to work in a great place? And rankings, while not an end-all, be-all, are certainly a good metric.

No kissing the ring here

When asked about the chances she would meet with President Donald Trump during his vacation in New Jersey, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the Republican nominee in the gubernatorial race, had a blunt answer, according to NJ.com: “None.”

Our take: Guadagno already faces long odds of winning, even according to internal — and not necessarily objective — polls, so it would be easy to imagine her currying favor with the top man in the GOP. But she has spoken out against Trump in the past, and appears to be sticking to her guns now.

FACETIME: Outta here!

President Donald Trump, as mentioned, is in New Jersey on as much of a golf break as a president can take, and that means his close confidant, Gov. Chris Christie, is … in Italy on a family trip. Not sure that’s how this was supposed to go, but it’s not like the governor is known for his well-timed vacations these days.

QUOTE MARKS

“Thank the Lord he chose New Jersey. We’ve had some real presidents here. … Jersey is a place you pass through to get somewhere else.” — A minor Massachusetts official quoted in a local newspaper’s opinion piece dissing the president’s vacation plans.

“We have produced Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Frank Sinatra; we have more than 100 miles of pristine shore that look nothing like the TV show; and we offer high-tech industries a place to call home.” — The response from an upstanding civic hero from the superlative township of Ocean, in a letter to the editor.

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