Dog & Pony Show
Wayne Parry’s Associated Press piece does a nice job of contrasting the fanfare and showbusiness of Gov. Christie’s Atlantic City visit yesterday with the somewhat harsher realities of the state takeover that were presented at a follow-on press conference by the president of the NAACP and others. Meanwhile, the Press has a look at the possibility of a lawsuit over the PILOT payments the county was shorted on (and Christie’s response), and The Inquirer’s Amy Rosenberg writes about Christie’s – possibly – softening stance on selling the water authority. It was a busy day.
Picture of Hammonton’s town clock via @memorieslostintime on Instagram.
Geek Amusement Park
Bill Barlow, writing for Newsworks, got some more insight into developer Bart Blatstein’s plans for The Showboat, after he announced the launch of weekly mini-conventions dubbed the Atlantic City Fan Expo. It all hinges around professional sports gaming – but there will be some live music thrown in too, for fans of the former House of Blues. “We have the opportunity to create a geek amusement park; a three-ring circus for geeks and millennials,” said millennial Shawn Smith, who’s working on the project.
Dollar Store Layoffs
I’m not even sure what kind of a bellwether it is for the local economy when a dollar store is closing, but that’s what’s happening. The Press reports that Dollar Express is closing stores in Brigantine, Vineland and Pleasantville which means 24 local jobs will be lost.
Remember when it was cold and snowing and a video of a homeless guy called Alex who lives behind an Atlantic City gas station went viral? Eric Fischetti of Atlantic City Crust has been able to use money raised from the #AlexforPresidentAC campaign to help Alex stay in hotel room, as well as get him food and clothes. Here’s an update, via Cat Country.
In the rest of the news from the last 24 hours, Ocean County has smog problems, according to this report, which also says that Atlantic, Cape May and the rest of South Jersey have OK air conditions, an investigation into stolen electricity helped police uncover a marijuana farm in an Egg Harbor Township house, and LoBiondo says EPA cuts are not OK with him. All that and more below:
Bye, Bye, Beach Cottages–Ten years ago, dozens of single-story beach cottages dotted the streets of Merion Park, a low-lying neighborhood in Ocean City’s southend. Then Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012 and the quiet residential neighborhood was flooded with more than two feet of water. Press of Atlantic City
Nail-Throwing Biker Damages More Than 30 Tires in South Jersey–Vineland authorities released surveillance photos of a motorcyclist who threw roofing nails on some driveways, causing more than 30 tires to be damaged. Vineland police said they’re looking for a while man who threw the nails into the driveways of Gallagher Drive and 1942 North Mill Road. Press of Atlantic City
Shore Schools are Top Spenders in Annual State Report–mall in enrollment but rich in property value, the small beachfront school district of Avalon, Cape May County, is again at the top of the list for per-student spending, according to the 2017 Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending released Thursday.
With just 75 students, Avalon is budgeted to spend $48,935 per student this year — more than three times the statewide average of $14,939 spent in 2015-16. Press of Atlantic City
First Pitch to be Thrown at South Jersey Field of Dreams Saturday–Sure signs of spring include flowers blooming, the days getting longer and opening day at the ballpark. Saturday is Opening Day for the South Jersey Field of Dreams, as they begin their 14th baseball season for children with physical and cognitive disabilities. Press of Atlantic City
NJ American Water Cleans New Camden Sprayground–For dozens of New Jersey American Water employees, Spring cleaning isn’t just something done at home. They proved that on Thursday morning, April 20th, by sprucing up one Camden City park. www.snjtoday.com
Land Donation to Expand Vineland High School Now Official–A land donation to the Vineland Public School District, offering new athletic and academic opportunities, is now official.
Last July, the school board accepted four contiguous lots to expand the Vineland High School campus to the south side of East Chestnut Avenue. The Daily Journal
Best Trails in South Jersey–South Jersey is full of some beautiful trails, and Cat Country takes a look at five of them. Cat Country 107.3
LoBiondo: Drastic Cuts to EPA Budget Are ‘Non-Starter’–As a child exploring Parvin State Park with my cousins to walks on the beach today with my dogs, South Jersey’s diverse environment is one I have long cherished. Countless residents and visitors have similar fond memories. The Daily Journal