Op-Ed: Atlantic City and the American Dream 2.0

The emails and phone messages from Atlantic City native Reese Palley were punctuated with a sense of urgency for the city’s survival. His pitch was simple: reinvent the image of a summer resort, promoting second homes within financial reach of young families. Before Reese passed away in 2015, he advised the highest and best use for the city is recreation. We should forgo other industries; get rid of our high-tech ideas, “What are you going to do, screw it up a second time? Atlantic City has used up its God-given chances!”

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Op Ed: Out and About AC

Congrats to Atlantic City for shining bright with Pink on July 12th and kudos to all involved, including the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority! I spent the time walking all over town. Everywhere I went was mobbed, and full of smiles, except on Bart Blatstein’s Playground Pier. There, the restaurants were packed: yet, below is the last picture taken before staff on the pier lowered hurricane shutters so you could not see the crowd outside. Additionally, the Pier’s observation decks were closed.

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Op-Ed: Stand Together to Fight State Takeover

Ben Franklin said it best at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” These words are very applicable in Atlantic City and Atlantic County today, with the unconstitutional state intrusion, taking of tax revenue and giveaways in Atlantic City. County Executive Dennis Levinson has been authorized by the Freeholder Board to sue the state in federal court over the flawed PILOT program. The city and county residents must lobby to support those efforts and expand the cause of action to include the necessary constitutional and civil rights claims against the state. How would this be done?

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Op-Ed: From the Boardwalk in Atlantic City – The Reckoning

The city and county are mad at the other over taxes, the Governor and his cohorts seemingly lied to both about many things, and New Jersey’s bureaucratic presence known as the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) voted to adopt a new master plan. It is understandable that much of the local populace seems mad at them all. Years ago, we learned the world isn’t flat… it’s round. Round worlds don’t have corners.

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Op-Ed: “If Dorothy was a Hooker”

 

“If Dorothy was a hooker.” I laughed out loud when I received that private message. It was sent from a former resident of Atlantic City in response to my public post on Facebook, with a wonderful picture of Atlantic City, wherein I stated our beloved city is like “Oz on the Ocean”. It doesn’t matter how much I love AC – the truth is the truth. Our city, to outside eyes is ugly, unsafe, and a place that begs you to be careful.

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Op-Ed: It Seems To Me

As an Atlantic City and Atlantic County resident there are things I’ve noticed:

It seems to me, the state takeover did not become unconstitutional within the county offices until it impacted negatively on the amount of money the county would receive.  What was it before? It seems to me, people in Atlantic City are getting tickets and don’t even see the meters. To many, they don’t look like meters, and aren’t at every spot. We should  take lessons from successful towns up and down the coast and suspend parking fees in the winter, with possible exceptions, like the walk area, or holiday weekends. In winter, we inhabit a virtual ghost town and have few visitors.

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Op-Ed: Chris Howard, the new face of the CRDA

We all know the problems. To date, I can count on one hand how many locals agree the $2 million being spent on the renovation of unused bathrooms in Boardwalk Hall is a good idea, or at the least, where we should start. I can also count on one hand how many local people like the CRDA. I had the opportunity in January to meet with Chris Howard, the new Executive Director of the CRDA. I found a bright man hoping to bring change. The idea behind the CRDA remains noble.

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Takeover Tango

New Jersey’s sinister Department of Community Affairs (if that is, in fact, its real name) has hired Jason Holt to assist in its work of taking over and fixing the grave mess that is the Atlantic City municipal government. This is a curious hiring decision, since, up until a few days ago, Holt had been business administrator for–wait for it–the municipal government of Atlantic City itself, which raises a question or two. Was the Atlantic City government really incompetent, as Governor Christie has repeatedly asserted? And if so, why is the State Department of Community of Affairs hiring the city’s allegedly incompetent personnel to staff its takeover team? By sheer luck, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Amy Rosenberg seems to have wondered the same thing and reports that a spokesman for Christie, “declined to answer a question about whether Holt’s hire undercut repeated assertions by Christie that Atlantic City’s government was incompetent.”

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No Joy in Shoobietown

We drove to Vermont last Friday, nine hours in the car with the kids, as you do, then turned around and drove home and when we got back the seasons had changed. There was an unmistakable charge in the air, big waves thumping into the beaches, and the wind blew steadily, crisply, offshore, to the delight of the surfers. Our rental house filled up with black flies from the salt marshes. They had followed us in the back door when we tried to have dinner on Labor Day outside, and they now take turns attacking my ankles, then copulating on the kitchen table. But underneath the weather, a more palpable change had taken place.

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Only Stupid People Pay Taxes

Donald Trump got an 83% ($25 million) discount on his tax bill after “longtime friend” Chris Christie graduated from U.S. attorney for New Jersey to governor of the state, the New York Times reports, citing public records. Christie and his big mom pants are now top advisers to the Trump campaign, which as we all know is a false-flag operation to drumpf up publicity for the Trump TV media empire, meaning we may see Christie in the barber’s chair at Wrestlemania 2018. A Christie spokesman said the small matter of $25 million, which the state had been fighting with Trump over for years, was too inconsequential and “routine” for Christie to have even noticed at the time. The Times says Christie has known Trump since 2002, Christie was invited to Trump’s third wedding (2005) and that, “They have double dated with their wives.”

… The Atlantic City airshow happened Wednesday.

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