Back-Bay Flooding, Downbeach Invasion – Wednesday’s Roundup

Back-Bay Flooding
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.

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Ventnor Middle School Revives Multicultural Fair

Ricardo Agustin moved to Ventnor six months ago. He’s learning English for the first time. On Friday May 19 he was standing proudly in front of a stall and talking to other students, teachers and parents about his life in the Dominican Republic. He talked in Spanish and a little English. “We didn’t have fairs like this,” he said.

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Teacher Layoffs, PILOT, Brown’s Park – Tuesday’s Roundup

Teacher Layoffs
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.

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Tired Taj, Plan Stan, Coy Roy – Friday’s Roundup

Tired Taj
“The building is tired,” Jim Allen, Hard Rock International chairman told the East Coast Gaming Conference yesterday. He was talking about the Taj Mahal, which is going to need some $400 million (more than previously estimated) to become a Hard Rock Casino. Turning white elephants into giant guitars doesn’t come cheap. The Press of Atlantic City has the details.Speaking at the same event, Jeff Gural, owner of the Meadowlands racetrack, said he can wait six years to build a casino in North Jersey. Plan Stan
Assemblyman Chris Brown wants to know what, exactly, the state officials in charge of Atlantic City are planning on doing with Bader Field.

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Walshy’s Warriors

Nineteen teams had registered for the first annual “Past, Present and Future” flag-football tournament and fundraiser for longtime Holy Spirit High School football coach Bill Walsh Saturday—213 players, according to the organizers. It was an unseasonably cold May morning, though the wind (excessive) was pretty standard for May in South Jersey. The fundraiser was held to raise money to cover medical expenses and general life expenses for Walsh, who was recently diagnosed with ALS. There were teams of current Holy Spirit players and former Holy Spirit players. The Pleasantville Greyhounds fielded a team.

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Primaries, Hep C, Singh – Thursday’s Roundup

Primaries
New Jersey’s 2nd legislative district (AKA most of Atlantic County) is one of the only districts in the state that is split between Republicans and Democrats. This year, Senator Jim Whelen’s retirement means there is a little more to fight over than usual, and it is shaping up to be an expensive fight. NJ Spotlight has a broad look here at the upcoming primaries across the state, with a few details on South Jersey. Hep C
More and more suburban New Jerseyans who are addicted to opioids also have hepatitis C, according to a new study reported by NJ Spotlight. A study in Princeton found that 41 percent of addicts treated in one healthcare network were infected with Hep C.

Singh
There is a little writeup here on NJSpotlight from an interview with Atlantic County’s Hirsh Singh on WNYC yesterday.

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AC Cuts, A Nuclear Mistake, Try a Tiny Home – Wednesday’s Roundup

AC Cuts
Yesterday Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez ruled that the state of New Jersey can cut salaries, change overtime and health coverage and limit terminal leave payouts for Atlantic City police, but he stopped short of allowing the state to proceed with job cuts. As with his previous – similar – decision in the case between the fire department and the state, Mendez found that job cuts before a full hearing would cause “irreparable harm”. Read all the details via Lynda Cohen at BreakingAC. A Nuclear Mistake
Ooops. An alert set out last night that there was an incident at a Salem County nuclear plant was a mistake, officials said.

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How About A Tiny Vacation Home?

Paul St. James has a campground along the Mays Landing-Somers Point road, but he lives most of the year in Phoenix. Over the winter he was watching a lot of tiny-home TV shows. “They have an entire channel. Fifty percent of the time they sell vacuum cleaners and the other fifty percent of the time they show mini homes.”

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Verizon, Escape AC – Tuesday’s Roundup

Verizon
The phone and internet giant has reached a tentative agreement with 17 South Jersey towns that filed a formal complaint against the company over chronic problems with their phone and internet service. Under the agreement, Verizon will have to provide landline telephone service and at least DSL internet for most of the state. The state’s Board of Public Utilities has to sign off on the arrangement. (Most of the towns were in Cumberland County, but Estell Manor and Corbin City in Atlantic County were also included.) Read the details via Newsworks. Escape AC
The Tropicana is home to the city’s first escape room, in which teams have to tackle Atlantic City-themed challenges in order to break out of a room.

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Whither The Chelsea, AC Mayor Is A Popular Job – Monday’s Roundup

Whither The Chelsea
It sounds like a game of monopoly – Carl Icahn, who just recently sold the Taj Mahal, has now acquired the mortgage to Atlantic City’s Chelsea Hotel. We don’t know why – although it’s next to the Tropicana, so maybe he will actually reopen this shuttered Boardwalk property – but we take a look into what went wrong at the Chelsea. AC Mayor Is A Popular Job
Even though the city was taken over by the state last year, there are still five candidates hoping to become Atlantic City mayor – why? Amy Rosenberg for The Philadelphia Inquirer asks the question on a lot of people’s minds – just read the story here. In the rest of the news from the weekend, a 300-acre fire around Shamong has been contained, Somers Point’s Gateway Playhouse is one of two South Jersey theaters reopening this season, Galloway has plans to expand Smithville with a hotel and a residential and retail area, and Longport will accept Ventnor and Margate beach tags during dune construction work this summer.

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