It’s 40 years since the referendum was passed to legalize casino gambling in Atlantic City, and the town has been completely saved and rejuvenated by the sainted industry.
Anyway, the Press of Atlantic City has a neat interview with Steve Perskie, ‘father of casino gaming’, looking back on those 40 years. Probably a good time to remind everyone that Perskie was found to have committed serious ethics violations as a judge and to have lied to a senate panel a few years ago. Also, for those with time on their hands, we have a neat document that shows how the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has spent all that tax money. (We’re working on a long-term project looking at where all that money went… Get in touch via email@example.com if you’re interested in helping us out with that.)
Meanwhile, a Notorious Ice Cream Smackdown was held this weekend to raise money for Josh Vadell, the cop who was shot on duty a few weeks back. Apparently it turned into a kind of guns vs hoses rematch, with a firefighter taking home the top honors. You should check out the video via Cat Country 107.3’s site, just to see how serious the looks were on the competitors’ faces – that was some earnest ice-cream eating.
And totally unrelated to either of those things, our very own Route 40 has the lowdown on an exciting new bathroom facility coming to Lake Lenape Park. That is news you can use, folks.
Here’s the rundown on the rest of our reads today:
‘Ice Cream Smackdown’ for ACPD’s Vadell–Cat Country's Joe Kelly was at the "Ice Cream Smackdown" fundraiser for Atlantic City Police Officer Josh Vadell, who was shot while on duty and critically injured in September. Firefighter Keith Coursey endured brain freeze to win glory. Cat Country
Dem Frontrunner “Hedges” on Charter Schools–Likely Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy said the question of charter schools was "complicated." The NAACP (Murphy's a national board member) and the NJEA (who endorsed Murphy) have called for a moratorium on charter expansion. www.njspotlight.com
Marijuana’s Coming–The Star-Ledger Editorial Board argues legalized recreational marijuana is coming to New Jersey, citing three bipartisan bills wending their way through the statehouse. The SLEB says we spend $127 million a year arresting people for petty pot posession and in the four years since Colorado legalized, marijuana use among teens has declined. NJ.com
State To Probe NJ Transit–Trenton lawmakers announced a probe into NJ Transit after a study declared the rail and bus system the most dangerous in the nation and two weeks after a train crashed into the Hoboken Terminal. Politico PRO
Christie Signs Gas Tax–Governor Christie signed a bill to fund $16 billion in infrastructure spending, much needed, and people have been bitching about it all weekend (I listened to them!) because it raises the gas tax 23 cents. "Some conservatives" have been "railing" about the tax because it will hurt "families." And I don't blame them. The gas tax is a regressive tax and everyone knows conservatives are the new populists. On the other hand, some "liberals" objected too. Maybe we need a new way to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Politico PRO
Were Casinos Worth It?–The Press of Atlantic City's Christian Hetrick talks to Steve Perskie, architect of the casino gaming law 40 years after the referendum. Press of Atlantic City