Pipeline Payback! Papa Smurf! And the Latest in Our Crumbling Infrastructure, in Wednesday’s Roundup

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Pipeline Payback
Historically unpopular lame-duck governor Chris Christie is replacing a guy “considered one of the strongest conservationists” on the Pinelands Commission with Ed McGlinchey, who is not. Environmental advocates say the ousting of environmental lawyer Ed Lloyd, who’s served on the panel since 2002, is retaliation for Lloyd’s votes against the pipelines. Where would they get that idea? The Burlington County Times reports.

Remember when candidate Donald Trump promised a $1 trillion infrastructure initiative to build “new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways gleaming across our beautiful land” and create millions of jobs in the process? I haven’t heard much about that lately either. Maybe they needed to crank up the federal deficit by a trillion dollars first.

Anyhow, in local news: NJ Transit, a “once-model commuter system” has fallen “into a safety and financial crisis,” Bloomberg reports, though that’s not really the news. What is news is that a state legislative committee is investigating this crisis, and NJ Transit is “suppressing internal documents subpoenaed by state legislators” including eight years of reports by the auditor general. Also records about the emergency-override technology that’s supposed to prevent derailments, like the one in Philadelphia in 2015.

Elsewhere in infrastructure: NJ Transit paid $6.13 million to the family of “longtime New Jersey garbage magnate” Carmine “Papa Smurf” Franco over land that the blue, bearded one owned that NJ Transit condemned for the ARC tunnel project that Christie later canceled. Got that? NJ.com reports.

The Sporting Life
Big John Russo at the Press of AC has a great profile of Shadrach Asadu, who moved from Ghana when he was in eighth grade and scored 34 goals this year for the Atlantic High soccer team. He finished his Vikings’ career with 81 goals. I don’t know how many games they play, but that seems like a lot.

$670 a Day
The well-compensated yet embattled interim superintendent of the Pinelands Regional school board has resigned, effective December 15, the Asbury Park Press reports. There are problems with contamination, etc. there, and they need someone to fix the situation.

Elsewhere across our gleaming and beautiful land:

Lynda Cohen reports on a rooming-house fire on North Indiana in Atlantic City that displaced 15 people.

A private beach in Point Pleasant is challenging the governor’s dune-building plans, Wayne Parry reports.

Vineland Poultry is opening a facility and getting state tax credits under the Grow NJ program, the Press of AC reports.

The NJSIAA voted to allow football teams to schedule 10 games, moved the season start date to the day after Labor Day and let larger schools enter co-op programs.

For even more news, see below…

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