Talking To Trees

“We’re gonna talk to them!” says Robert Preston, Atlantic City’s interim planning director, when I ask him how the city is going to make sure 45 young trees survive planting in Uptown Park. One of the side effects of being a city that is constantly in the cross hairs of some or other developer is that the city is a sort of mausoleum to dying and dead landscaping. The buildings go up, the trees go in, the ribbon is cut, and then everyone forgets about watering the plants. There’s probably a metaphor there somewhere.

Supermarkets, Sandy and #MeToo – Tuesday’s Roundup

The sexual assault scandal in the Phil Murphy administration is spiraling quickly, seemingly. “Furious, disgusted,” said Sen. Teresa Ruiz, “and then empowered to have read the story of a survivor that lends her name and her face to how the system appears to have let her down in a very dramatic way.”

Worker Safety In Hotels

Assemblymen Mazzeo (Vince) and Armato (John) are sponsoring a bill requiring hotels with at least 25 rooms to provide portable emergency contact devices or “panic buttons” to employees (i.e. housekeeping) to protect against inappropriate conduct by guests that make work conditions unsafe.

Excessive Force, Opioids, Dead Malls – Friday’s Roundup

An Atlantic City police officer, Sterling Wheaten, was indicted for civil rights violations and filing a false report over the 2013 incident in which Wheaten put his K9 dog on David Castellani after Castellani had four other police on him and one hand in a handcuff, per the indictment.

The city has already paid $3 million over this incident.

Let It Not Collect Dust – Wednesday’s Roundup

Everyone reports on the NJ Transit audit, which Governor Murphy released yesterday at a train station in Metuchen. The system’s a mess, but “fixable” Murphy said, while pledging not to let the report collect dust. It’s like he read our minds.

Prosecutors, Courts, Layoffs – Tuesday’s Roundup

The Press of AC and Breaking AC have stories on Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner, specifically that three employees (one current, two former) have accused Tyner of futzing with evidence in the April Kauffman murder case, hiring unqualified relatives and committing mortgage fraud.

Lucy Had a Credit Card? – Friday’s Roundup!

Phil Murphy who used to work for Goldman Sachs talked a lot about forming a state-run bank when he was campaigning for Governor, but hasn’t talked about it much since, the valuable Spotlight reports, apropos a report by the Citizen Action Education Fund, which you can read here.

A Plan, A Poll, A Raise – Tuesday’s Roundup

Everyone covers Phil Murphy’s speech on his plan, or something, for the economy, in which he proposed a $500 million venture capital fund, to replace the tax-incentive programs which are up for renewal next year.

Kim v. MacArthur, Opioids, Fireworks – Monday’s Roundup

The indefatigable Amy Rosenberg has a fun story on the race between Tom MacArthur and Andy Kim for the 3rd Congressional District, which has entered the Twilight Zone, with MacArthur simultaneously calling Kim a “Washington insider” (!) and “Not one of us” (Kim’s a second-generation American).