Atlantic County isn’t known for its small businesses or entrepreneurs. But in between the casinos, small business owners are working together to create new services and products.
Sometime before 4 p.m. on January 23, 2016, the day the worst nor’easter in recent memory destroyed his house, Sven Peltonen, an Atlantic City fireman and amateur Facebook weatherman, addressed his home audience via video camera with a bandage above his lip. The dog had bitten him. Sven was speaking, at this point, in Australian-accented English, I want to say (he’s since taken down the video), with occasional outburst of pirate speak. At different times during the preceding 20-plus hours, he’d delivered his regular weather reports in a variety of dialects and accents, including, by my count, Standard Pirate, Eastern European Pirate, Southern Bumpkin, Stoked Aussie and a kind of classic Surfer Speak reminiscent of Fast Times at Ridgemont High’s Jeff Spicoli. Meanwhile the dog—a fuzzy little animal named Cha-Cha (I think), which may have been a little high-strung to begin with—had been visibly unimpressed with its owners at their decision to stay put and ride out the storm from the comfort of their bayside bungalow, rather than retreat to the relative safety of the mainland.