Philadelphia developer Bart Blatstein borrowed more than $30 million at the start of last year and he has made a string of purchases since, including Garden Pier at the northern end of the Boardwalk. A sign on Garden Pier’s locked gate says “PierAC – Coming July 2017” but there is no sign of any development. We called Blatstein to ask about his plans. SPOILER ALERT – he didn’t say a whole lot, but if you’re interested in Atlantic City developments, read our exclusive.
Norcross CRDA Contract
In another revealing look at how the state uses casino taxes (and debt financing backed
Photo of Lake Lenape via @darleenstamps on Instagram.
by those taxes), Amy Rosenberg reports for The Philadelphia Inquirer on an insurance contract that the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority awarded to George Norcross’ Conner Strong & Buckelew, in spite of paperwork irregularities. CRDA, which has seen a chunk of its funding diverted to shore up Atlantic City’s budget, supported its selection of the Norcross firm. For more, read our reporting on CRDA’s decision to award thousands in back pay to board members, the Authority’s pay raises to a third of its staff after it cut more than a dozen jobs, and the impending state audit that has taken longer-than-expected.
Governor Chris Christie on Friday signed a law that will boost access to naloxone or Narcan, which can work as an antidote to opioid overdoses. Under the new law, more pharmacies will be able to offer Narcan without a prescription. NJSpotlight has the details.
In the rest of the news from the weekend and this morning, find out more about this week’s two-day Millville photo and video event, read our report from the Brown Park double dutch contest, there’s a Wall Street Journal story on Atlantic City (behind a paywall), the state increased the Atlantic City Fire Department’s work week by 14 hours with less than 48 hours’ notice, the Garden State’s solar sector is expanding (still), and NJ Rep Tom MacArthur raised more than $800,000 after President Trump helped tee off his golf fundraiser this weekend. All that and more below.
Is The Political Makeup of the NJ Legislature Set to Shift?–Republican are hoping to pick up a Senate seat in south Jersey's 2nd district -- which includes parts of Atlantic County -- now that Whelan is retiring. Republican Assemblyman Chris A. Brown, who became a local champion for fighting against Christie's state takeover of Atlantic City, is battling Democrat Colin Bell, a former county freeholder. NJ.com
Local Community Roots for Special Olympics Athletes–A kick-off celebration for the Special Olympics was held in Egg Harbor Township Friday, June 9th, to wish the athletes luck at this year's competition.
The Arc of Atlantic County and members of the community came together to cheer on and send off this year's athletes competing in the Special Olympics of New Jersey this weekend at The College of New Jersey. www.snjtoday.com
Hammonton-Based Company Makes Food Bank Donation–Jeff Hyman cares enough about children in need having food to eat this summer that he rallied his employees and customers to help the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
Hyman stopped by the organization’s Southern Branch on Thursday with 415 pounds of perishable food items packed into 57 bags and stuffed into his Ford Escape SUV. Press of Atlantic City
Ex-Car Lot Manager From Vineland Going to Prison for Stealing Nearly $3M–The former general manager of a now-defunct Berlin car dealership who got nearly $3 million through a fraud scheme has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Richard Pepe, 70, of Vineland, had pleaded guilty to bank fraud and filing a fraudulent federal income tax return. Press of Atlantic City
Paddle Boarders Take to the Water to Raise Money to Fight Cancer–Last month, Matt Zappone, 51, of Margate, lost one of his Mainland Regional High School friends to brain cancer.
The death made him want to take part Saturday in the 10th annual Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation’s Paddle for a Cause at Frank S. Farley State Marina at Golden Nugget Atlantic City. Press of Atlantic City
Tech Center Held Back By Washington, LoBiondo Says–The current Washington, DC, dysfunction hurts the FAA Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township, says Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd. LoBiondo made an opening statement Thursday during a meeting of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He is the chairman of the aviation subcommittee. Press of Atlantic City
State Increases ACFD Work Week by 14 Hours–The state increased the Atlantic City Fire Department’s work week by 14 hours with less than 48 hours’ notice, the fire union said in a statement. Despite the fire chief asking for eight days’ notice on any shift changes, the notice came 4 pm Friday that the new 56-hour work week would begin Sunday, Union President Bill DiLorenzo said. BreakingAC
Margate Bicyclist Hit in Egg Harbor Township–A bicyclist was hurt Friday when a car hit him on Longport Boulevard, police said Saturday. Edward Gerhardt, 59, of Margate, was riding his bicycle west on the shoulder about 10 am when he entered the westbound lane and was struck by a Subaru driven by Mary Etta Hornbeck, of Ventnor, police said. Press of Atlantic City
Open House Wednesday at New Volunteers in Medicine EHT Clinic–Volunteers in Medicine of South Jersey will hold an open house Wednesday to introduce the public to its new, second location of free clinics in Egg Harbor Township.
Uninsured Atlantic County residents can receive free medical assistance at the new clinic. The organization has operated in Cape May Court House for 15 years. Press of Atlantic City
Indoor Cycling Creates Internal Competition in a Group Atmosphere–This indoor cycling community is hard at work — 20 minutes into a 50-minute workout — laboring through a group exercise that brings large crowds together, both locally and nationally.
Indoor cycling — or “spinning” — is a high-energy cycling class with different intervals and gears where participants do climbs and descents resembling that of a traditional, fast-paced bike ride. Press of Atlantic City
Atlantic County Looks For Tax Incentives to Bolster Atlantic City Airport–Separate bills by Assemblymen Chris Brown and Vince Mazzeo seek to do essentially the same thing — designate the airport and a one-mile radius around it as a Garden State Growth Zone to entice businesses to move to the area.
Atlantic County wants to get more use out of Atlantic City International Airport beyond just adding flights and airlines, an effort that has seen limited success in past years. Press of Atlantic City
Stockton’s Brian Jackson Taking the Lead in Atlantic City–The parking garage for the Gateway project in Atlantic City is taking shape quickly, as workers install huge panels in what looks a little like a giant Lego project.
“They’re bringing in 15 pieces a day,” Stockton University's Brian Jackson said as he watched a worker nimbly climb the side of the structure. Press of Atlantic City