Flood-Area Home Buyouts
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. Read more via NJ Advance Media here, or read the full NRDC report here.
Counties are on the frontlines of the cyber war, according to Route Fifty. “Retired four-star Marine Gen. John Allen has seen the cyber threat in action and believes it’s targeted at counties,” the news site wrote. Allen spoke about his experience in more detail in a Route Fifty interview, after he told a recent National Association of Counties Tech Town Hall this weekend that the fundamental operations and values of our democracy live in our electoral system, and “it exists and it lives at the county level . . . an awesome responsibility for you, frankly.”
We didn’t know a whole lot about the pressures on county-level IT services but we recently spoke with Atlantic County’s IT department and learned a little about the incredible traffic that their servers experience. Various data-collecting companies (ourselves included, on occasion) run crawlers and other programs that scan county pages as often as every second for updates on electoral data, contracting, official records and other services. The Atlantic county site gets an awesome number of pageviews each day and it has limited resources for monitoring who exactly is scanning its data and figuring out how to defend it. It’s a local slice of security infrastructure that’s mostly hidden from public view but is worth thinking about as national cybersecurity issues stay in the headlines.
“I had to give up a job I worked so hard to get.” Read the other side to the story of the 2014 fatal police chase in Atlantic City, via Lynda Cohen at BreakingAC. Video footage of the chase was released this week and shared thousands of times on social media. Cohen writes: “For officers involved in fatal shootings, the incident doesn’t end with the suspect dead. Only about a quarter return to work, says retired FBI Special Agent Mark Johnston. The number is even lower in South Jersey over the past three years.”
Looking for some upbeat news? Read about and watch two South Jersey siblings who are champion Irish dancers (via SNJ Today).
In the rest of the day’s news, some Ventnor and Atlantic City beaches have elevated bacteria levels at the moment, a reminder that your county freeholders are well-remunerated, the Pinelands Commission meets today to discuss a new gas pipeline project, there is more dunes controversy after recent storms brought flooding to Margate beaches near the dune construction project and President Trump’s cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency in our region may not be as harsh as in other areas. All that and more below: