Pinelands Pipeline II, ‘Wetlands’, Boost! – Friday’s Roundup

The Pinelands Commission on Thursday approved a second natural gas pipeline through the protected pinelands, even as some of the commissioners said it went against their oath to safeguard the area, NJ Spotlight reports. The 30-mile ‘Southern Reliability Link’, run by New Jersey Natural Gas, will run across the state through the northern part of the Pine Barrens.

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Producers Raise Funds to Film “48 Blocks – The Series” in Atlantic City

A Ventnor-based team of producers is hoping to shoot a one-hour dramatic series in Atlantic City this fall. Little Rock Films + Studios is fundraising to pay for a pilot episode that would be filmed in the city in November and offered to networks after post-production next year.

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Meet Mario

Meet Mario. He lives on Bellevue and is one of the community gardeners who cares for the plot between Bellevue and Texas on Pacific. The residents have been gardening in the area for a while – although the garden has moved recently from across the street. Now it is sheltered on three sides from the wind and is a refreshing slice of greenery along Pacific. Everyone gardens their own corner.

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Atlantic City Beer Garden Work Update

There was shoveling and other work going on at the future site of the Boardwalk beer garden in Atlantic City on Wednesday, after weeks of little action. Some demolition work was completed in May, when the project was first approved by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which oversees planning in the city’s tourism district. Since then, though, there has been little news about the project that had originally been slated by the owners for a July 4 open. The company behind the project, Dectrinity, already runs the Bungalow beach bar and the Boardwalk bar next door to the proposed beer garden site at the corner with California Avenue. According to the plans, The Biergarten AC will have an outdoor kitchen area, two bars, three fire pits and a game area.

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Tanger CEO Promises New Stores in Atlantic City As Occupancy Falls At The Walk

The company that manages the retail outlets at The Walk in Atlantic City is working on bringing in new tenants after occupancy dropped to a more than five-year low earlier this summer.

The Walk, which has received just shy of $60 million* in funding from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority since 2000, was a keystone of efforts to help diversify the city’s economy.

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Prescription Probe, Offshore Wind, Opioids – Wednesday’s Roundup

Prescription Probe
There are a couple of new details on the federal – and now state – investigation into the cost of public employees’ prescriptions in Margate, Ventnor and Atlantic City. Lynda Cohen of BreakingAC reported that state grand jury subpoenas issued yesterday likely mean that alleged lower-level suspects in the case would be charged by the state and not federal prosecutors. Meanwhile, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said hundreds could be charged in a late Sunday interview with NBC’s Ted Greenberg. Tyner also said the investigation involves anyone “who played a role in deceiving the insurance companies.” The insurance companies have fraud detection units.

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Atlantic County School Enrollment Still Falling

School enrollment across New Jersey has recovered from lows reached after the recession, but in parts of South Jersey including Atlantic County, enrollment is still falling. Enrollment in Atlantic County dipped to a new low of 43,515 in the last school year, with small districts such as Margate and Ventnor as well as larger districts including Buena Regional leading the declines. The area more broadly has been experiencing a population decline – but the school enrollment numbers show that it is not just older people and childless millennials who are moving away. Families are moving too. In districts such as Margate and Ventnor the decline in school enrollment has been compounded as the communities become dominated by second-home owners.

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Mapping New Jersey’s Shrinking School Districts

More than half of New Jersey’s school districts have shrunk in the last six years, reflecting wider population moves toward urban areas as well as net migration from the state. School districts are shrinking at a rapid rate in the Northwest of the state, as well as in Southern shore communities such as Avalon, Margate and Ventnor.

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