This weekend’s rare July nor’easter dumped loads of rain across South Jersey, and in one Absecon Island town, it also dumped an opportunity for civic outrage. A crowd of about 60 people (the Press of Atlantic City reports) collected on the beach at Delavan Avenue Sunday to demand public officials “Fix our beach!” after stormwater runoff, blocked by the unpopular and probably vindictive dune project, formed a pop-up swamp on their formerly pristine sands. Beachgoers now had to wade through “Lake Margate” as it was being called to get to the ocean. Margate homeowners–many of them–didn’t want the dunes in the first place.
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.
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.
More than half of New Jersey’s school districts have shrunk in the last six years, reflecting wider population moves toward urban areas as well as net migration from the state. School districts are shrinking at a rapid rate in the Northwest of the state, as well as in Southern shore communities such as Avalon, Margate and Ventnor.
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.
A national environmental group is urging FEMA to create a voluntary buyout program that would help homeowners in flood-prone areas reduce their insurance costs. The current program, which pays out taxpayer funds to rebuild homes, ‘traps’ homeowners, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. The NRDC proposes buying out homes that have frequently flooded.
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).
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.”
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