The Route 40 Howler is back with a piece here looking at how the state’s lawyer in court (against the firefighters) this week suggested that one reason the state wanted to take over Atlantic City was so that it could “come after” the firefighters. The police and the county’s public employees are also in the state’s sights. “We have to be able to go after everybody,” explained the state’s lawyer.
Atlantic City Optimism
Away from the firefighters’ lawsuit, there was a tangible dose of optimism injected into the city with the news of the Taj Mahal purchase. Read Amy Rosenberg’s piece for The Philadelphia Inquirer here and The Press of Atlantic City piece, from Nicholas Huba and Erin Serpico, here.
NJ Lobbying Dollars
It’s that time of the year – the release of the annual lobbying reports. There was a turnaround in 2016, with the teachers’ lobby NJEA being pushed to second place behind Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative in the ranking of top spenders, NJ Spotlight reports. You can access the data here, via ELEC. For those following South Jersey lobbying, and our story on the Casino Association’s meetings with CRDA to discuss “economic development”, the filings show that the Association paid Philip Norcross’ Optimus Partners $175,500. Pier Renaissance, Bart Blatstein’s company, paid Optimus $90,000 for lobbying services last year before CRDA, the NJEDA and the NJDEP, the filings show. The PennEast Pipeline company – which is building the pipeline through the pinelands – spent $180,270.00 on its lobbying effort last year.
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The rest of the headlines from the last 24 hours include news on Marty Small’s Atlantic City mayoral race kickoff, an AC native running for governor and disciplinary action against four South Jersey medical providers over opioid prescriptions. All that and more below:
Small to Kick off Campaign for Atlantic City Mayor Monday–Atlantic City Council President Marty Small will kick off his campaign for mayor Monday and introduce his slate of council running mates with a rally at a park. Press of Atlantic City
Atlantic City Native Singh Announces Run for Governor–Atlantic City native Hirsh Vardhan Singh announced Wednesday at Kennedy Plaza that he is running for governor.Singh is a Republican. According to his LinkedIn page, he is a senior director of operations at Hi-Tec Systems Inc. in Egg Harbor Township. Press of Atlantic City
Why Food Processing is Key to Reviving Manufacturing in South Jersey–Another part of a push to resurrect manufacturing jobs in South Jersey will likely involve an already notable industry in the region – food processing.While the plan is still in its formative stage, its developers said it will include the Bridgeton-based Rutgers Food Innovation Center, a sort of incubator for new food-related businesses. Press of Atlantic City
State Disciplines Four South Jersey Medical Providers to Combat Opioid Crises–New Jersey disciplined 31 medical providers in 2016 for allegedly over-prescribing painkillers and other addictive narcotics, the state Division of Consumer Affairs announced this week.The actions resulted in eight license revocations, five long-term suspensions and a voluntary retirement which settled allegations against 14 doctors. Four South Jersey providers were punished. PhillyVoice
Egg Harbor Township Man Arrested with 120 Pounds of Marijuana–An Egg Harbor Township man was charged Tuesday with possession and intent to distribute cocaine and 120 pounds of marijuana found in his shed, police said. Press of Atlantic City
Anglers Plead for Access to Lower Bank and Green Bank Bridges–The Lower Bank Bridge which connects Washington Township in Burlington County to Egg Harbor City in Atlantic County has served as one of the most prized fishing locations for anglers in Southern New Jersey for over 20 years. pinebarrenstribune.com
Savitch explodes for 27 points to lead Mainland into South Jersey Group 3 semifinals–LINWOOD — It took a little while for Mainland senior Brandon Savitch to find his shot Thursday night, but when he did there was no stopping him — or his team — in the South Jersey Group 3 quarterfinals. www.glorydaysonline.com
Lobbying Dollars Down a Tad in 2016, Biggest Spending on Funneling Gas Tax to TTF–Lobbyists spent slightly less money last year trying to sway New Jersey lawmakers, government officials, and the public on topics ranging from funding road repairs to health insurance to wages and benefits, according to a study by a state watchdog. www.njspotlight.com
Op-Ed: Jim Hughes Predicts NJ’s Postsuburban Economy, and It Isn’t Pretty–New Jersey is known for many things, not all of them wonderful. Since World War II, with apologies to Bruce Springsteen and Tony Soprano, it is best known as being the most suburban state in the country. www.njspotlight.com
Casino union rep: Can’t tell you how happy Taj sale makes me–As news of the blockbuster sale of the former Trump Taj Mahal casino hotel to Hard Rock International spread Wednesday night, the view from the union whose acrimonious and stubborn strike was blamed by some for shutting the place down was, well, striking. Philly.com
Longtime Northfield businessman Ben Mazzeo dies–NORTHFIELD — The American flag outside B.F. Mazzeo Fruit & Produce flew at half-staff Wednesday in honor of founder Ben Mazzeo, who died Tuesday night at the age of 83. Press of Atlantic City