There are miles and miles of wide (more than six feet) firebreaks in the pinelands, often built and maintained by local residents as well as paid contractors. But the Pinelands Commission is considering a change to its Comprehensive Management Plan that would require a permit for the construction and maintenance of any firebreak wider than six feet. Some concerned residents spoke with Jacqueline Urgo of The Inquirer.
The next mayor of Atlantic City, Frank Gilliam, stands to benefit from a turnaround begun under outgoing Mayor Don Guardian, writes Wayne Parry for the Associate Press. Mayor Gilliam will also inherit the city’s lingering troubles: a weighty debt load, high unemployment and a stalled development project at Bader Field. Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University, said continuing Mayor Guardian’s work to diversify AC’s economic base will be key to further strengthening the city and region.
Dozens gathered this weekend at a newly-restored 189-year-old Quaker meetinghouse in Galloway Township, reports The Press of Atlantic City’s Jack Tomczuk. The meetinghouse was originally built in Salem County and had a stint in Historic Smithville before the Atlantic City Area Friends Meeting moved it to its current location, next to a more modern meetinghouse on Pitney road.
Atlantic County Freeholder Board Shakeup?
The Atlantic County board of elections is meeting today to count hundreds of provisional ballots that could lead to more change for the county freeholders’ board. After votes were counted last week, the Dem. candidate for freeholder-at-large Thelma Witherspoon is just 285 votes behind incumbent Rep. John Risley. “If she is able to defeat Risley, the freeholder board will be comprised of five Republicans and four Democrats, a drastic change in the board’s makeup. The last time there was more than one Democrat on the board was in 2015, when Ernest Coursey and Colin Bell were both in office,” wrote John DeRosier for The Atlantic City Press.
In the rest of the headlines from the weekend and this morning, the downward spiral of the $21-million Camden baseball stadium built on taxpayers’ backs, teachers expressed disinterest in politics at the Atlantic City convention last week, New Jersey has started a pilot program that will reduce in-home triggers for children with chronic asthma, Affordable Health Care signups are surging in the Philadelphia area, this summer’s cancelled Wildwood and Atlantic City beach concerts were the result of poor communication and how does new-to-NJ convenience store chain Royal Farms stack up against Wawa? All that and more below:
Remediation Underway After Mold Found At Egg Harbor Township School–While students and teachers were out of the district this week, the Egg Harbor Township School District went to work to clean up mold found at an elementary school. On Wednesday, parents and staff were notified via letter that penicillium surface mold and spores were found in two classrooms at the Slaybaugh School. www.pressofatlanticcity.com
South Jersey Rich in Coastal Strongholds–South Jersey is home to some of the best places on the East Coast for marshes, plants and animals to survive sea level rise, according to a new study by The Nature Conservancy funded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The study looked at more than 10,000 coastal sites in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to see where conditions are right for marshes to migrate inland as sea level rises. www.pressofatlanticcity.com
Mt. Laurel Firm Seeks $15.6M Tax Break For Camden Project–A Mount Laurel firm wants a $15.6 million tax break for a Camden project, according to the state Economic Development Authority. The EDA’s board will consider the request from Corporate Synergies Group LLC at its monthly meeting Tuesday, according to a preliminary agenda for the session. www.courierpostonline.com
Monarch Butterfly Numbers Up Dramatically This Year–The average hourly count of migrating monarch butterflies through Cape May Point increased to about 95 this year from about 15 last year, according to the Monarch Monitoring Project. “It certainly was encouraging to see numbers higher than the last 4 lean years,” said Project Director Mark Garland. www.pressofatlanticcity.com
Did The NJEA Waste $5M Trying To Oust Sweeney? Here’s What Union Members Said.–The state's largest teachers union went all in on its bid to push out state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, spending more than $5 million to help defeat the powerful Democrat in his home district. It didn't work. www.nj.com