Flu Rate Rises, Jingoli and AC, Philly Mag Thinks NJ Shore Towns Need Watchdogs – Monday’s Roundup

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Flu Rate Rises
If the snow on the ground wasn’t enough to remind you winter is really here, NJTV adds to the seasonal feeling with this look at how flu cases are up from last year. The state’s department of health data (if you prefer your information direct from the source, it’s here) shows there were 145 new cases in December, with the worst of the outbreak in the northeast of the state. NJTV has both good and bad news about the particular strain causing the illness this year, H3N2. Edward Lifshitz, director of the state’s Communicable Disease Service, told the TV station it is a close match to the vaccine but it is a strain that can cause more severe illness, particularly for young children and the elderly.

Jingoli & AC
After Bill Sprouse’s Route 40 story last week looking into why an entire Atlantic City neighborhood is filled with vacant lots, councilman Marty Small gave us some more insight into what happened when New Jersey construction and real estate moguls Joseph Jingoli and Jack Morris approached the council with a plan for some of the land. Small said the vote against their plan was “nothing against Jingoli” but the councilman who represents that neighborhood didn’t get a chance to meet with the developers and hear details of the plan before the project was “shoved down city council’s throats.”

“This is totally against the process,” Small said, adding, “It’s unfathomable that we have all that prime real estate empty. So we’re open for business. But we just want the process to be correct.” You can read details from the interview with Small at the end of the piece here.

Shore Towns Need Watchdogs
Live in a shore town? In case you didn’t see it already, you should read this piece from David Gambacorta at Philadelphia Magazine which looks at how towns including Ventnor, Margate and Avalon spend money like every month is July and their towns are full of tourists… Kind of. What the piece really seems to try and say is that these towns maybe have an overspending problem since swathes of their property owners don’t get to vote locally. Gambacorta looks at the New Jersey shore from another angle too: “It’s also possible to see this story through another lens — namely, as an income-inequality tale with a Robin Hood twist, one in which, at least for now, the have-nots are taking the haves to the cleaners.” Read it and make your own minds up, but there are some colorful details in there for water-cooler discussions about where your tax money is going.

The rest of today’s headlines include the weather (yes – it snowed), community college credits for coast guards, and a preview of Gov. Christie’s state of the state address tomorrow. You can check out all the local news you need here:

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