I know the Revel is now Ten, but I still come over all Bowie when I start writing about it. Anyway, in no big news to anyone, Glen Straub won’t be opening the former casino anytime soon, The Press of Atlantic City reports. Other investors are still interested in buying the property, the article says. Read Route 40’s Bill Sprouse on the last time Revel wasn’t opening in June (2016). AC Guide
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It’s going to be a beautiful weekend (sunny, 80-83 F) and there’s a lot going on. In Atlantic City you can kick off with a full moonrise climb at the Absecon Lighthouse tonight before heading over to Gardner’s Basin to support the AC Arts Foundation with a strawberry-moon cruise, then tomorrow morning watch the round-the-island paddle race (it kicks off at 8 am on Saturday from the marina outside Golden Nugget), watch or take part in the double dutch skipping event at Brown’s park in Atlantic City on Saturday,
Downbeach, Ventnor is hosting a food truck festival on ski beach all weekend, then Porchfest will kick off from 1 pm on Sunday, followed up by Funk Daddy playing the beach concert on Newport Ave. In Linwood, there will be music at the farmer’s market on Saturday and over in the Pines, there’s a Blueberry-themed art contest at Whitesbog (kids enter free) all weekend and on Sunday (also at Whitesbog) you can enjoy a lunchtime music jam. Over in Hammonton on Saturday there is another food truck festival from 4.30 pm. All that and more on our Route 40 Events page. Want to send us an event?
Tidal flooding in the South Jersey area is set to be slightly worse than usual this year, due to rising sea levels and a potential El Nino pattern, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, citing a new federal report. Areas further inland and Philadelphia are also seeing more flood days each year, the report shows. Models show that an El Nino effect is expected to develop this year, between now and April 2018, and that would compound tidal flooding in coastal areas.
Local Campaign Finance
The Atlantic City fight for mail-in ballots turned out to be the make-or-break in yesterday’s mayoral primary. Council President Marty Small won at the polls, but lost to Frank Gilliam when the mail-in ballots were counted, the Press of Atlantic City’s John DeRosier reported. That difference comes down to money and out-of-town contacts. Gilliam had raised a whopping $87,105 ahead of the election, according to his most recent campaign finance filing. More than double the $36,673 Small raised over the same period.
Atlantic County has some interesting primary elections today and The Press of Atlantic City’s John DeRosier has the rundown on the last few weeks of campaigning in the Democratic primary for mayor of Atlantic City, and the Democratic primary for a spot on the party ticket for New Jersey Assembly (District 2). Then, of course, there’s the race for governor (NJSpotlight has all the details on that race you ever needed to know). We’ll be covering the results as they come in on our homepage and Twitter. Atlantic Coast Drilling
President Trump yesterday opened the door to possible drilling off the Atlantic Coast, by five permits to allow companies to conduct seismic surveys with air guns, a technology used to explore for oil and gas, NJSpotlight reports. Conservationists have long fought drilling off the Atlantic Coast, which they say would harm marine wildlife.
Yesterday there was a mysterious event in Trenton featuring Governor Chris Christie and executives from Caesars Entertainment and MGM. Nothing much was said, but there were some hints at some kind of potential collaboration and investment, with details to be announced soon, the Press of Atlantic City reported. This is interesting. The sixth-most-valuable package of land in Atlantic City (according to 2017 assessments it is worth $153.5 million*) is a parcel in the marina district, including land between the Borgata and Harrah’s (owned by MGM and Caesars respectively). Once upon a time, Steve Wynn had plans for it – the Mirage Atlantic City.
South Jersey Politics
There’s a battle going on between George Norcross’ South Jersey Democrats and their North Jersey brethren over who will lead the State Assembly next year as Speaker. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Andrew Seidman has the details. Maybe it seems like yet another childish political fight but it should matter to Atlantic County residents at least, since current Speaker Vincent Prieto has not been afraid to cross swords with Norcross’ man in charge of the Senate, Stephen Sweeney, over issues such as the Atlantic City takeover. And if you want more details, read Tuesday’s Politico piece by Matt Friedman on the speaker fight and how the prospect of (independently wealthy) Governor Phil Murphy will do little to water down Norcross’ influence. Crime Reporting
The 2014 disappearance of an Egg Harbor Township man is now being investigated as a homicide after his remains were found this year.
Not enough attention is being paid to “insidious” back-bay flooding, which plagues thousands in New Jersey who live on waterfront areas behind or on the bay side of barrier islands, Wayne Parry reports for the Associated Press. Many studies are being conducted, as government slowly seems to be realizing that flooding from bays is as much of a problem as the somehow sexier beachfront flooding. And municipalities are starting to invest in dredging, pumps and renovating drains. According to the article, Ocean City is also investing in raising roads – something that has not yet had much traction around Longport, Margate, Ventnor and Atlantic City. Downbeach Invasion
Absecon Island’s year-round residents are used to the annual invasion of the Memorial-Day-to-Labor-Day crowds, but it was a little different this weekend in Margate, reported Amy Rosenberg for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Here’s a look via NJ.com at the school districts that are likely to lay off staff next year – none are in Atlantic County, but some of South Jersey’s bigger districts are featured. If you’re interested, you might want to revisit our interactive map that showed how immigration is propping up school enrollment in New Jersey, as the wider population exodus from the state continues. PILOT
Tea Party-affiliated activist group Liberty & Prosperity is suing New Jersey over its PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreements with Atlantic City casinos and other big businesses. Lawyer Seth Grossman, who leads the group, likes to call the PILOT peanuts in lieu of taxes. He says the arrangement helps the casinos avoid tax increases in the future, putting the burden on homeowners and small businesses around the county.