PierAC – Probably Not Coming in July

There’s a sign on the locked gate of Garden Pier at the far end of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk. It reads “PierAC – coming July 2017”. The pier’s landscaping is unkempt. Nothing seems to be going on in the way of development.
Property records show Bart Blatstein borrowed millions of dollars backed by his Atlantic City properties at the start of last year. The developer’s purchases since then have not been costly, which would suggest he has money to spend on building and renovation. But Blatstein has been keeping quiet about his plans.

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Double Dutch

There were more than a hundred people gathered in Brown Park on Saturday for a double dutch competition. While kids swarmed the park’s brand-new play equipment, their parents gathered around swishing jump ropes. More than the official ribbon-cutting two weeks ago, this event marked the rebirth of a park that had become synonymous with so many of Atlantic City’s problems.

After a $1.5 million renovation, the park reopened last month and it is now being used by families. Many of the parents in the park on Saturday never played there themselves – Brown Park had that kind of a reputation for over three decades. “We’re 35 years old – no one ever played in Brown’s Park, because of the infestation of drugs and alcohol and violence,” said Indra Owens, co-founder of a girls’ mentoring group called Princess Inc. When Owens and her Princess Inc co-founder Automne Bennett learned the park was being renovated, they got together with managers of the nearby housing developments.

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Longport Installs Beach Tag Vending Machine

Longport, Absecon Island’s hinterland of smoke-free beaches and elevated mansions, now has a beach-tag vending machine. “This is a new concept for the Borough so please have patience (as) we learn how to operate and maintain this machine,” read a message posted to the Borough’s website on Tuesday. The machine is located in the police department foyer and available 24 hours. If you’re considering buying a Longport beach tag, you should probably get down there to check it out quick since tag prices are soon going up. Regular seasonal tags are available for purchase at $15 through June 16. Then the price will go up to $30.

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Pay Raises at CRDA, Predictive Policing – Monday’s Roundup

Predictive Policing
Vacant lots near laundromats are areas that draw crime in Atlantic City, according to a new policing model of the area. Rutgers Professor Joel Caplan has been working with the city’s police on ‘risk terrain management’ – a new way of looking at crime in cities. Lynda Cohen has the details for BreakingAC.com.

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Ventnor Middle School Revives Multicultural Fair

Ricardo Agustin moved to Ventnor six months ago. He’s learning English for the first time. On Friday May 19 he was standing proudly in front of a stall and talking to other students, teachers and parents about his life in the Dominican Republic. He talked in Spanish and a little English. “We didn’t have fairs like this,” he said.

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How About A Tiny Vacation Home?

Paul St. James has a campground along the Mays Landing-Somers Point road, but he lives most of the year in Phoenix. Over the winter he was watching a lot of tiny-home TV shows. “They have an entire channel. Fifty percent of the time they sell vacuum cleaners and the other fifty percent of the time they show mini homes.”

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Postcards From The Other Ventnor

I grew up not far from the original Ventnor. It’s also on an island. Unlike Absecon Island, the Isle of Wight has gravely beaches and cliffs and winding roads. The weather isn’t reliable. It’s a 22-minute catamaran ride to Portsmouth on the mainland. It was the punchline to a lot of jokes where I lived.

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