In the South Jersey suburbs, people are turning to gardening to relieve lockdown boredom and produce the fresh food that is in short supply in local stores. But what can you do in an impoverished city that is already classed as a food desert and that suffers from flooding, soil contamination and other gardening hazards?
This time of year, Lucky Dog Custom Apparel should be printing out piles of T-shirts for high school seniors, baseball teams and graduation parties, but as the coronavirus pandemic spread in March and events were postponed and sports cancelled, owner Cindy Pitts realized she and her six employees would have to find a new way of doing business.
Of the 23 confirmed Atlantic County fatalities from COVID-19 complications in Atlantic County, 10 were residents in long-term care facilities. Five of the recent fatalities were at Egg Harbor Care Center, a for-profit rehab center in Egg Harbor Township. New Jersey figures released on Wednesday showed 12 other residents at Egg Harbor Care Center tested positive for the coronavirus. An official at the Egg Harbor Care Center did not respond to a message seeking comment. In a 2017 Medicare inspection report, the center was cited for failing to follow appropriate hand hygiene, but its most recent inspections have been clear of deficiencies.
On a recent afternoon, Friday before the Super Bowl, a group of workers at the Atlantic City Contact Center stood in a low-ceilinged office in a corner of The Claridge’s parking garage. The place smelled of onions and pasta salad.
Street flooding in Atlantic City has never been so bad, according to fire chief Scott Evans. Evans and others are working on a plan they hope will help the city tackle some flooding by raising houses, improving bulkheads and installing stormwater pumps. The “Atlantic City Floodplain Management Plan”, unveiled at a public meeting earlier this month, is designed to help city residents qualify for a bigger discount on flood insurance premiums.
The Hispanic Association of Atlantic County wants to know why the Atlantic City Board of Education plans to transfer the city’s first Latina principal to an elementary school, according to a letter sent by the Alliance to the board.
You’d be hard pressed to say it was a thriving Main Street, but the barbershop, Mexican restaurant, pizza place, tobacco store, mini-mart and even the closed-looking gift store are all open on the short span of Atlantic City’s Ventnor Ave, between Harrisburg and Trenton. In an age of dying malls and online shopping, something is working here.
Laurie Egrie is walking down the hallway of Sovereign Avenue School carrying a cardboard box filled with odd little balls and popsicle sticks with notelets stuck to them, and she’s wedged an easel-sized writing pad under one arm. The corridor is half dark. School let out 15 minutes ago.