The Atlantic City-Hammonton metropolitan area is – finally – seeing some job growth. There were 2,700 more jobs in the area this August compared to the same month last year, an increase of 2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (not seasonally adjusted) nonfarm payroll numbers (spotted by Jim Kennedy – follow him on Twitter at @ACEconPolicy). The Vineland and Bridgeton area is also on a roll, with an increase of 2,100 jobs or a gain of 3.7 percent in August from the same month in 2016. Across the state on average job growth was just 1.4 percent this August from the year earlier, while the nonfarm payroll increased 1.5 percent in August in the New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area. As Kennedy noted on Twitter, South Jersey has added jobs over the last year after a decade of staggering job losses.
NJEA v Sweeney
The grudge match between the New Jersey Education Association and Senate President Steve Sweeney is heating up as we barrel ever closer to the elections on Nov. 7. NJInsider today has a piece saying the whole debacle should signal the end of taxpayer subsidies for the teacher’s union, while columnist Tom Moran for the Star Ledger calls it the “stupidest mistake in this election by far.”
Ventnor Producers’ Horror Film Debuts On Demand
American Gothic, a horror film by a team that includes Ventnor-based producers Sherry McCracken and Dina Engel, will be available on demand on cable from Tuesday. We spoke with McCracken last week about her hopes for the film – their third feature – and for more filmmaking in the Atlantic City area. Read more here.
“Hanging at Gardner’s Basin” by Grace Zambelli. Find more by Grace and Michael Zambelli on Instagram @zambelli_art or via their website www.graceandmichaelzambelliart.com
In the rest of the headlines from the weekend and this morning, voter turnout next month will be determined by local races (since no one seems to be too fired up by the gubernatorial campaigns), meet the LGBT candidate for state assembly for LD2, the Atlantic City mayoral race is boiling down to an assessment of the last four years in the resort town, forecasters expect a warm winter for New Jersey, the South Jersey Times’ editorial board says Camden is still a contender for Amazon’s HQ2, local resident and Montclair Prof Brigid Callahan Harrison writes an op-ed on #metoo (including a brief discussion of harassment within the context of the tourism economy), and read about a pipe organ built in Rome that’s on loan to a church in the Pine Barrens. All that and more below:
Forecasters See Warm Winter Ahead For NJ, But What About Snow?–New Jersey is likely to see a warmer than usual winter this year and there's a 50-50 chance of getting more snow than normal, according to forecasters from the US Climate Prediction Center.
In their first national outlook issued for the 2017-2018 winter, the government forecasters said on Thursday that the biggest factor shaping the upcoming winter will be the likelihood of a La Nina weather pattern developing.
Natural Gas Bills Going Up In South Jersey–South Jersey Gas announced Friday its customers’ bills will rise this winter.A typical customer using 100 therms of natural gas during winter will see an almost $15 increase on their monthly bill, the utility said. www.courierpostonline.com
A Calm Opening For South Jersey School After Days Of Racial Unrest–Classes resumed as scheduled, students of the month were recognized at breakfast, preparations were made for a 5 pm homecoming spirit parade, and the football team was set to play a powerhouse rival at 7.
Friday was part of Spirit Week at Washington Township High School, and except for the unusual police presence and reverberations from an emotional gathering of parents and school officials the previous night, apparent normalcy descended on the school community after days of tensions sparked by racially charged social media messages exchanged by some students. www.philly.com
Dredging Window Opened Wider–The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has extended the season for dredging of shallow bay waters, according to Ocean City officials.A requirement for work to stop in November is being changed to March 1, an city spokesperson said last week. www.pressofatlanticcity.com
Phil Murphy, Kim Guadagno Favor Expansion Of Casino Gambling–New Jersey appears likely to reconsider expansion of casino gambling to North Jersey, no matter whom voters elect as the next governor.Both Democrat Phil Murphy and Republican Kim Guadagno voiced support for the concept during their final debate Thursday, with Murphy describing himself as a strong supporter, and Guadagno saying the issue should be returned to the ballot once Atlantic City is stabilized. www.burlingtoncountytimes.com
Unusual Pipe Organ On Loan To Pinelands Church–The historic Batsto-Pleasant Mills United Methodist Church here, built in 1808, has great acoustics for instrumental music.
But until now it didn’t have a pipe organ. www.pressofatlanticcity.com
Closed Properties Present Issues For Atlantic City–On Sept. 27, a portion of the ceiling of the covered entrance at the Atlantic Club collapsed onto the closed casino’s driveway. No one was hurt, but the incident raised concerns about the conditions of Atlantic City's closed casino properties. www.pressofatlanticcity.com
Two Friends Join To Host Event Feeding 300 In Atlantic City–More than 300 people in need got a hot meal Saturday, thanks to two local friends who say they wanted to give back to their community.Elder James Pressley Sr., 32, and Jason Smart-El, 26, friends since they were children growing up in Pleasantville, said after hearing about negativity, unemployment and homelessness in the area, they wanted to be proactive to help hands-on. www.pressofatlanticcity.com
Pinelands Regional School District Split Sessions To Continue Until At Least December, Super Says–Split sessions began this week at Pinelands Regional Junior High School, where the seventh- through 12th-grade students will share a building until at least December, school officials said. Pinelands Regional has been closed five days in the past month, all related to a roofing project at the high school. www.pressofatlanticcity.com