New Jersey Schools Under Pressure as Demand Increases for Bilingual, ESL Classes

There was a time a little over a decade ago when Claudia Velasquez was in the seventh grade and she didn’t speak any English. She is now attaching paper on a flip-board, preparing to give a class in English, in the same red-brick Pleasantville school on Washington Avenue where she learned the language.

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Former Rodeway Inn Could See Revival As Affordable Housing

The Rodeway Inn along the Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township could be revived as garden apartments and townhouses, according to a developer’s plan that will go before EHT’s planning board on Monday. Eastern Pacific Development is seeking preliminary site plan approval for an affordable housing project that would turn the existing 77-unit motel into one-and two-bedroom garden apartments. Nine additional townhouses with two- and three- bedroom units would also be built, according to the planning board agenda. The developer is also proposing to demolish an existing office building on the site and add a children’s play area and a community area. “There’s a significant need for affordable housing right now,” said Hans Alpert, chief executive of Eastern Pacific Development.

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Atlantic City Seeking Sculpture for Brown Memorial Park

Atlantic City has published a request-for-proposals for a sculpture to go in the renovated Harold R. Brown Memorial Park along Dr Martin Luther King Blvd. The city is requesting proposals to design, supply and install a sculpture, according to the bid notice. Sealed proposals should be submitted before the purchasing division’s meeting on Tuesday May 9 at 11 am. Artists interested in submitting a proposal should contact the purchasing department for bid specifications. Brown’s park has been transformed this year, since Councilman Kaleem Shabazz and others launched a campaign to try and find funds to clean it up:

Help Needed To Rebuild Atlantic City Memorial Park

Atlantic City Development Corp, the developer behind the Stockton University campus on Absecon Island, came forward to help out after the county said it couldn’t provide the funds.

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South Jersey Wunderkinder Plan Pop-Up Dining Experience For New AC Charity

A group of young talents from the Atlantic City area has come together to form an ambitious new charity that they will kick off with AC’s first ever pop-up restaurant – outdoors, under the stars, and for 200 to 300 people. The nonprofit is called For Atlantic City By Atlantic City and it is the brainchild of Michael Brennan, the award-winning chef of Ventnor’s Cardinal Bistro, and friends including Carl Fleck and Lenny Schafer of the Iron Room in Atlantic City. For the first pop-up extravaganza, Brennan will be the kitchen mastermind, while Fleck and Schafer will craft cocktails for the guests. There is a kickstarter to fund the project and Brennan said he hopes to send $30,000 of the fundraising proceeds to the Atlantic City Boys and Girls Club. “Basically, having grown up in this area and watching the steady decline of not only our economy but the environment around us, I wanted to be able to help,” Brennan said via Facebook.

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Meet the ARTeriors Artists

Heather Deegan Hires stands under some industrial lighting and looks from her phone to the wall in front of her and back to the phone again. She’s trying to show me her vision for transforming the sterile space with graying baby-blue walls and institutional floor tiles into a topsy-turvy wonderland. She first saw the room a couple of weeks ago and, at this point, she has just over a week before it will become one of the installations at Atlantic City’s third ARTeriors project.  

“The whole theme of our room is an upside down, sort of Alice in Wonderland, but a dark version of it,” said Deegan Hires (@bodypaintingbyheather). “So we still – we have a lot of work to do.”

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Atlantic City Mayor Optimistic Skate Park Can Be Rebuilt, Soon

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian is optimistic the city’s skate park, mysteriously demolished on Wednesday, can be rebuilt for the summer. Mayor Guardian met earlier on Thursday with Jason Klotz, one of the original architects of the informal park known as Back Sov, to talk about how the project can be rebuilt to code. The park, which had been used by skaters from in and around the city, was assembled over the course of a few years on an old street hockey rink on Sovereign Avenue, overlooking the bay. Klotz and his colleagues will attend the city’s planning board meeting next week to present their plans for the new park, Mayor Guardian said. The Mayor was impressed that Klotz already had funding and volunteers organized to do the work.

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