Clamming has served as a viable source of income in South Jersey since time immemorial, although the work becomes harder and harder with each passing year. Waters once teeming with shellfish are now depleted and a way of life for many has become an economically sound career for a relative few. While fulltime baymen still exist, many who clam do so on a part-time basis. In spite of these challenges, Michelle and Gary Lubaczewski, who own and operate Lower Bank’s River Road Clam House, have kept going for almost two decades.
DCO Energy, a company controlled by the Jingoli family, won a six-month contract to report on the feasibility of establishing a “microgrid” to support Atlantic City facilities in the event of a regional electrical grid failure.
Captain Carl Wants a Parking Lot
Buried in the middle of the Press of AC’s story on why redevelopment of the Trump Plaza is “critical” to the future of Atlantic City, comes an announcement from Nick Talvacchia on plans for the vacant lot that will be created when the casino is torn down. Nicky T. is serving as attorney for billionaire Carl (“Friend of Donald”) Icahn who wants his $5.6 million back, so he can do site work on his moldering casino. He should get that money, the Press of AC reports, citing “industry watchers” who note that while Captain Carl may be unpopular, knocking down the Plaza is in the best interest of the city. So what’s Carl going to build on the old Plaza? 160-space parking lot! I’m told Millennials love parking lots.
Longtime Bridgeton residents Oscar and Humberta Campos are being deported after last-minute appeal efforts failed. They’ve lived here almost 30 years, have a house and a small biz, The Courier-Post reported. They also have three kids–ages 24, 22 and 15–who are citizens and will stay. The oldest son is going through the legal process to take care of the 15-year old. Oscar and Humberta had a flight this morning at 5 a.m. out of Newark.
You’re in the Wrong Business
If you’re an insurance broker, you can make a bundle selling plans to “public entities” like school systems or fire departments, which “employ hundreds of thousands of workers across the state.” So it makes sense that you should report your campaign contributions–and the value of those public contracts–to election officials, so we can all calculate your return on investment. But what if you don’t WANT to disclose those payments, because they’ll look funny for your industry, or for the elected officials who are supposed to be not-corrupt? Well turn’s out there’s a loophole that will get you out of that disclosure! Problem solved, citizen, Problem solved.
Historically unpopular lame-duck governor Chris Christie is replacing a guy “considered one of the strongest conservationists” on the Pinelands Commission with Ed McGlinchey, who is not. Environmental advocates say the ousting of environmental lawyer Ed Lloyd, who’s served on the panel since 2002, is retaliation for Lloyd’s votes against the pipelines. Where would they get that idea? The Burlington County Times reports.
I do not believe the overwhelming sweep of democrats into office is an acceptance and endorsement of all their policies. I believe it is the ongoing repudiation of the things we don’t like about politics and politicians.
With this in mind, I thought I would give impressions of a recent meeting with Sean A. Thom, Democratic Candidate for LoBiondo’s seat in NJ’s 2nd congressional district.
The Atlantic City site that has housed an airport, a minor league baseball team and played host to numerous Thanksgiving Day rivalry games has been left vacant for years while city and state officials scratched their heads to determine its “highest and best use.” Finally, it has a new use: storage. Atlantic City council last week signed a resolution to allow Steel Pier to park 10 trailers on Bader Field for three months, for 0.18 cents per square foot. It’s a temporary use, but it could be extended under the contract terms.
Bader Field was used as a bargaining chip in the state’s emergency loan to bail out Atlantic City, and the city’s failure to find a buyer for the land was one of the triggers for the state takeover a year ago. The future of the site is still unclear: the lawyers hired by the state to oversee the takeover have had multiple discussions about Bader Field but a buyer remains elusive.
Ted Sherman reports on the dude behind the medical fraud conspiracy believed to have netted “the largest number of medical professionals ever prosecuted in a federal bribery case.”
David Nicoll, the guy behind Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services, “provided prostitutes to at least five physicians in exchange for blood work orders.” Other doctors he just sent to Key West to go fishing. Or they got fancy cars. Or Katy Perry tickets or Super Bowl tickets. Etc.
Seventy-nine people (a loose designation) were arrested on charges ranging from “child trafficking to sexual assault, and manufacturing child pornography to possession of child pornography,” Matt Arco reports. Arrests include a Trenton police officer and an Air Force Captain. AG Chris Porrino said child sexual abuse was a “horrific problem” that doesn’t “appear to be subsiding.”
True Fact about Route 40: We have a bona fide earthquake-story reporter on staff in the form of Elinor, who was Reuters correspondent in Mexico City for five years and reported on many, many “sismos” as we used to call them down there.
El’s job was to stay in the big, swaying skyscraper and write “snaps” as the building was evacuated. I know because I once rode my bike over to the office three miles to make sure it was still standing, after our apartment started rocking and the power went out.
At the end of October we sat down with Mark Ganter of Little Water Distillery for a live interview. It was the second episode in our Business Bootcamp series, which showcases the stories of local business owners and provides networking opportunities for entrepreneurs in the South Jersey area. In this recording of the event, you’ll hear Ganter talk about the challenges that Little Water Distillery faced in finding their Atlantic City location, bringing their first products to market and balancing their need to follow their business plan with their interest in supporting community events. Ganter also has a lot of useful tips for others looking to start a business in the area, particularly when it comes to analyzing local loan and grant opportunities. Route 40 is grateful to Jake Perskie of Fox Rothschild for sponsoring the event.
It’s A Small Town Thing
Local business person and all-around man about town Mike Einwechter has been charged by Ventnor police with stealing funds raised at a benefit concert he organized for the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The outrage on Facebook was deafening (and ongoing). Einwechter – who has a large social media presence – apologized there and said he was talking to a lawyer, before logging out of his account. This is your daily reminder that South Jersey is a Small Town place. And that it’s always worth questioning nonprofit organizations. There are nonprofits running our hospitals and bidding for government contracts that receive much less scrutiny than some guy everyone in a small town has a story about.
Let Us Now Praise Transparent Men
Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has asked members of his transition team to sign a non-disclosure agreement and promise not to speak to the press. Also they can’t talk about the agreement itself, Politico reports. Also, he worked for Goldman Sachs. Seems like a great start! $600 Million
The U.S. Dept.
Senate President Steve Sweeney said our beloved CRDA should not, repeat NOT, be giving Carl Icahn $5.6 million to pay for site work at the Trump Plaza he closed and let molder for 3+ years, the Observer’s Christian (“We miss you”) Hetrick reported. In a “harshly-worded statement” (Christian’s words) Sweeney said Icahn was “no friend to Atlantic City” and that he had “serious questions about allowing him to take $5.6 million in funds intended to promote economic development for the city and its residents and instead use the money for his own property.” “But that’s EXACTLY what CRDA’s for!” the Howler said. Icahn, the noted populist billionaire and Princeton University Snowflake, has been in Atlantic City only a short time, but he’s already left a mark.
A week ago ROI-NJ reported that Melissa Orsen, the chief executive of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, had resigned and was expected to be named general counsel for South Jersey Industries, whose headquarters are moving right here to Albany Avenue (aka Route 40!). Today Politico follows up with the fun addendum that SJI subsidiary South Jersey Gas was awarded $12.6 million to move from Folsom to A.C. in August 2015, a few months after she became EDA chief. Everyone sees that looks weird, right? Apathy is the disease. Corruption is the symptom.