Schools, Weekend Weather – Friday’s Roundup

Schools
School enrollment across New Jersey is flat, but more than half of the state’s school districts are in decline, particularly in the Northwest and South. We have mapped school district enrollment change in percentage terms from 2010 through the last school year and found some interesting details – read our analysis and check out the interactive map. The story of a shrinking population in Atlantic County since the recession and casino closures is well known. But did you know that districts such as Buena Regional, Avalon, Margate and Ventnor are still declining? It is also interesting to look at how districts such as Haddonfield, with its train station and walkable downtown, are seeing a rise in enrollment.

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.

Pinelands Pipeline II, Beaches – Thursday’s Roundup

Yesterday the Pinelands Commission heard public comments on (a second) proposal to build a gas pipeline through the northern section of the protected pines. As Joe Hernandez reports for Newsworks, the Commission had previous rubber-stamped the pipeline with no public comment, so this was the first time residents were getting an opportunity to have their say.

Online Gaming Story, Jewish Farmers – Tuesday’s Roundup

The Brigantine local who won the World Series of Poker on Sunday attributed his success to practice on New Jersey’s legal online gaming sites. “Two weeks ago, I was just a New Jersey online grinder and nothing’s really changed,” Scott Blumstein, a 25-year-old with an accounting degree from Philadelphia’s Temple University, told reporters (the Associated Press).

Singles, Beach Water Testing, Airbnb – Monday’s Roundup

Atlantic City ranks higher than Nashville, New Orleans, San Diego and a whole lot of other destination cities in a new Travel & Leisure magazine survey of the best cities and towns for singles. Kudos to PhillyVoice for picking up on this and noting that the magazine also credited AC with being “a favorite destination for girlfriend getaways.”

CRDA, Revel Settle Tourism-District Fee Dispute

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the Revel’s holding company have settled a dispute over unpaid tourism-district fees that led to CRDA filing a lien on the shuttered casino property at the northern end of the Boardwalk in May. Documents filed with the Atlantic County Clerk show the lien tied to the dispute over $64,604.30 in unpaid 2015 Special Improvement District Assessments was discharged on June 30. Reports of a possible sale of the Revel have swirled in the last few weeks. The Press of Atlantic City reported that a $220 million offer for the property was made earlier this month. Revel’s owner Glenn Straub last year leased the property to a group of developers who rebranded it as TEN.

Beach Spreading, Foreclosures, Atlantic City Crust – Thursday’s Roundup

We’ve all been on the beach next to the group that just – you know – keeps spreading. Chairs, towels. Maybe tents, and even tables have been witnessed. Amy Rosenberg covers the phenomenon of beach spreading in Sea Isle, where she encountered “a stretch of beach dotted with 6-by-6 portable cabanas, 10 by 10 canopies, half-moon baby tents, folding end-tables, a 12-by-12 canopy, wading pools, rafts the size of a twin bed and other elements of these elaborate compounds.”

The Crust View of Atlantic City

“Maybe if people see what’s going on to our f*cking beautiful home, they’ll want to do something about it,” says Erik Klemetti, at the start of an Atlantic City documentary he and friends from the @AtlanticCityCrust Instagram feed have put together. It’s a 40-minute mashup of videos Klemetti and the Crust crew filmed in Atlantic City, including interviews with all of your favorite AC characters. And in amid the chaos and confusion there are some wise words spoken about the Queen of Resorts. We’ve written about Klemetti before. Earlier this year, he set up a GoFundMe page to help out Alex, who was sleeping rough behind an Atlantic City gas station for more than a decade.

Pinelands, NJ Startups, Oxycodone – Wednesday’s Roundup

A proposal before the New Jersey legislature could weaken conflict-of-interest laws would make it easier for Pinelands Commission members to vote on issues in which they have a direct and indirect financial interest, Joe Hernandez reports for Newsworks. There are currently two major gas pipeline proposals at different stages of play in the 1-million-acre Pinelands and numerous other development plans come before the commission.

Tenn Ave, More Art? – Tuesday’s Roundup

Could Atlantic City’s arts district (around Ducktown) soon be getting some new space? The Parish of Saint Monica is working to reopen the old St. Michael’s School on Mississippi Avenue (it’s been closed for 30 years). “I want to bring some life back to it. We want the parish … to be a part of the (city’s) arts corridor,” Rev. Jon Thomas told The Press of Atlantic City’s Vincent Jackson. Rev. Thomas and the St. Michael’s Church Preservation Society hope to refurbish the rooms and former school offices for use by the church, the parish, the city and the neighborhood, he added.