Solar in the Pines
An appeals court on Monday upheld a decision that conveyed a chunk of deed-restricted Pinelands to be developed as a solar farm, NJ Spotlight reports. The solar project, first proposed 11 years ago, was contested by environmental groups who said it went against the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan. It was not immediately clear what kind of ramifications the appeals court opinion might have for the controversial gas pipelines that have also been challenged by local environmental groups.
The lake that formed between the recently-constructed (and long-protested) dunes and beach houses in Margate after heavy rain over the weekend has now been dubbed Lake Christie. And Margate Commissioners will be meeting tonight to discuss legal action, reports Amy Rosenberg for The Philadelphia Inquirer. The lake’s development was forecast by a civil engineer who testified in court last year on behalf of residents who launched a legal battle to challenge the dunes. The engineer’s prediction of a 100-foot-wide pond of water that would accumulate mosquitos, oil, grease, car parts and pesticides was dismissed as “fantastical” by the judge who allowed the project to proceed, Rosenberg writes.
In the rest of the day’s news, South Jersey will see the sun about 75 percent eclipsed on Aug 21 (that link is to the National Weather Service which also has details on which companies make certified safe filters through which to view the eclipse), the Atlantic City Rail Line is suspended for two weeks between Cherry Hill and Philadelphia after a bridge was damaged (there’s a replacement bus service in effect) Hobby Lobby is moving in to Hamilton Commons next year, it’s now up to Gov. Chris Christie to sign a bill that would require the state to offer early retirement incentives before laying of Atlantic City public safety employees, lawmakers and advocates say there’s a nursing crisis in NJ but Christie disagrees, and US Sen. Bob Menendez was in Atlantic City yesterday to tour the Stockton site. All that and more below:
A History-Making Night at Dutch Hoffman Lifeguard Races–The Sea Isle City Beach Patrol scored in four of five events to claim victory at the 48th annual Frank “Dutch” Hoffman Memorial Lifeguard Championships on the Lincoln Avenue beach Monday. Sea Isle scored 14 points to enjoy a comfortable five-point victory over Margate, which finished second on a tiebreaker over Avalon. Press of Atlantic City
Petuskey Appointed as Acting Atlantic County Sheriff–Michael Petuskey has been appointed acting Atlantic County sheriff. Petuskey, who was a county undersheriff, assumed the role Monday, a day after former Sheriff Frank X. Balles officially left office. Press of Atlantic City
Ballance Leaves Behind Legacy at Borgata–Well before Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was the highest revenue-generating property in the city, it was only a concept in the dining room of Tom Ballance’s Egg Harbor Township home. Press of Atlantic City
Years of Construction Produce Resiliency for Shore Town South Jersey Gas Customers–Crews from South Jersey Gas huddled around an open gas main Monday for a group photo to cap off a $103.5 million construction project intended to better protect shore-town gas customers during major weather events. The project, called the Storm Hardening and Reliability Program, or SHARP, converted natural gas distribution mains from a low-pressure to a high-pressure system in several shore towns to prevent utility failures that many customers experienced during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Press of Atlantic City
NJ Lawmakers Approve Bills Regarding State Shutdowns–New Jersey lawmakers have approved a number of bills in response to the state government shutdown that affected New Jersey during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. One measure would force the governor's beach house to close during a shutdown, and the other would keep state parks open during a shutdown. www.snjtoday.com
Weekend Storms Leave Sinkhole in Vineland–The weekend storms in Cumberland County caused a few headaches in Vineland after what appeared to be a sinkhole opened up, causing a section of Panther Road to collapse. www.snjtoday.com