Death Rates, Cleanup Costs and More – Monday’s Roundup!

South Jerseyans are significantly less healthy than their North-Jersey counterparts and it’s correlated with poverty, Carla Astudillo reports. Cape May, Salem and Ocean Counties have the highest death rates in the state. Phil Murphy has annoyed the environmentalists who want to challenge in court the state’s $225 million settlement with ExxonMobil over its contamination of hundreds of acres of wetlands, AC Press alum Christian Hetrick reports. Originally the state wanted $8.9 billion, but Governor Christie agreed to the “much smaller amount” probably because he wanted to be president. Now the new A.G. is blocking attempts by environmentalists to appeal that settlement. David Danzis, the new reporter at the Press of AC, has a piece about nonprofits in the city that are currently “in limbo” as officials spar over how the MGM/Mirage Corp.

Tiny Bottles, Absent Owners

Here is a small plot of land in Atlantic City’s Tourism District that happens to serve as a collection point for a lot of disused liquor bottles. Before we get ahead of ourselves, I have nothing against park-drinking.

CRDA Auction, The Talented Mr. Menendez and a Pocket History of Steve Sweeney – Thursday’s Roundup

Your friendly neighborhood development authority raised just over half a million dollars yesterday selling off some Atlantic City property that, actually, it decided isn’t useful for development after all (after some years of tax-free ownership that prevented anyone else doing anything with it). The Press of Atlantic City’s new reporter David Danzis has the details.

Needles, Class, Science & PR – Wednesday’s Roundup

Last fall we did a story on the problem of discarded hypodermic needles across the Tourism District, and now one City Councilman says he has considered a proposal to pull the rules allowing the needle exchange on Tennessee Avenue.

For the record, it’s the editorial position of Route 40 that well-run needle exchanges are humane, save lives and save money. But we also think if the state uses “unsafe” and “unclean” conditions as an occasion to take over local government functions, it should
acknowledge the needle exchange is in the Tourism District that it administers.

Where To Find Free Trees In South Jersey

Come and get your five free trees! There’s no catch. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Forest Service has teamed up with Arbor Day Foundation to offer five trees to each New Jersey resident this spring. Each year they give out more than 100,000 seedlings. Each New Jersey resident can receive five one- to two-foot tall bare root tree seedlings in a bundle, according to the Forest Service’s Facebook page.

Narcan, Sales Tax, Did Everyone Move To Florida – Friday’s Roundup

A couple of Narcan stories in the news, since that’s so depressingly timely. Matt Skoufalos at NJ Pen has a piece on Camden County health systems teaming up to buy the opioid antidote in bulk, which could reduce costs on the list price by 50%. Meanwhile Assemblyman Herb Conaway said prison inmates who are addicted to opioids should be given Narcan when they get out of jail, since they’re often very susceptible then to OD-ing. Phil Murphy proposed raising the state sales tax, and Fitch Ratings called that idea a “positive step.” Never forget bond traders run the world.

Not Crazy Or Extreme – Thursday’s Roundup

The blogger formerly known as Wally Edge has an informative thing on the Republican contest to replace Frank LoBiondo, calling that process a “train wreck.” He says a deal was struck to get Hirsh Singh to run for Congress so he’d get out of the race for state senate. But the R establishment hasn’t gotten behind Singh and instead the race for the LD2 nomination has splintered. It’s kind of fascinating to read about the Republican contenders and count how many spent their careers in the public sector, or made their money as defense contractors or whatever. That’s how you know they’re the party of small government.

The PolerCoaster Is Behind Schedule

This time last year, everyone was abuzz with the next hot thing to save Atlantic City: a massive, vertical, Boardwalk-fronting amusement-park ride known as the PolerCoaster.

Labor Committee, Walking The Walk, Self-Serving Promos – Tuesday’s Roundup

The state assembly’s Labor Committee had a busy day yesterday, advancing two bills, the first a piece of equal pay legislation that would require women be paid the same as men when they do “substantially similar work.” Naturally that would be a calamity for the Republic. The Labor Committee also advanced the Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act that ensures “union representatives” have “greater access to the public employees they represent” including by talking to them on their breaks.