This is a great sign for Atlantic City. The Revel crane - which has towered over the building and the city for how long? - is being lowered. Its work is finally done. When you consider how it once looked like this building would loom over the resort half-finished for years, bringing down this crane is a major milestone. (And it also means the crane contractor got paid.)
It's always interesting to see what other people are saying about Atlantic City, so I pass this along from NJSpotlight.com, a well-done issues-oriented website that many of you may not be familiar with.
OK, folks, here's some astute political analysis that you won't get from the big boys at the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers or the Hughes Center for Public Policy at Richard Stockton College.
Who says there is no good economic news — did you see this? Revenue from the sale of state lottery tickets increased 1 percent last year. Yeah, I know ... doesn’t sound like much. But it meant an additional $31 million in ticket sales — nothing to sneeze out — and it means lottery sales are now at a record $2.64 billion. (Of that, $1.54 billion is paid in prizes, leaving $930 million for the state budget after overhead.)
Unlike some people, I don't think the "Boardwalk Empire" façade on the Boardwalk is lame. It's cute. And nearly every time I run by it, someone is having their photo taken in front of it. People seem to like it.
So what’s with the lovefest between Gov. Chris Christie and President Barack Obama?
Frank Rizzo famously said, "A liberal is a conservative who hasn't been mugged yet."
This isn't so much a post from me, as it is a post from my friend Dave, today's guest blogger. Or is that ghost blogger?
I really don’t want to be yet one more voice railing against New Jersey’s pedestrian law, but ...
How pissed is state Senate President Stephen Sweeney? Well, he has called Gov. Chris Christie “a rotten prick.”
With something like the Dave Matthews Band Caravan (do you know how hard it is for an old guy like me not to type Dave Mason?), what the out-of-town papers are saying is more important than what we are saying at The Press. If the idea is to build Atlantic City's brand, it's critical that people elsewhere hear about how well this show went.
There’s one thing in the mammoth pension and health-benefit bill that should please public worker unions, and I haven’t seen anyone make note of it.
I like Christine Petersen, the director of public safety in Atlantic City. And I think she had no idea what she was getting into when she came to the resort after a 25-year career as a Jersey City police officer. Atlantic City chews up outsiders. Always has. It’s just that kind of place.
I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to shill for other newspapers here, but The Star-Ledger has entered into a partnership with PolitiFact, a national fact-checking organization. And the result is PolitiFact New Jersey — politifact.com/new-jersey/.
Well, I’m back from four days off. Beautiful weather meant lots of Boardwalk time, and here’s what I noticed.
Folks distressed by the high salaries some public-safety employees make in New Jersey might want to check this out.
Have you been following the story about the mysterious hole found in a Bernards Township yard last week?
Atlantic City should have a monorail!
Interesting Associated Press story on the national wire this morning. Not great news for Atlantic City, but not all that bad either.
There’s an interesting and ironic backstory to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno’s decision to overrule an administrative law judge and declare that Olympic gold-medalist Carl Lewis is ineligible to run for state Senate in the 8th Legislative District because he doesn't meet the state's residency requirements.
The Pew Center on the States has released a study on the nationwide shortfall in the states’ pension and health care plans for retirees. Gov. Chris Christie will no doubt seize on the study — “The Widening Gap: The Great Recession’s Impact on State Pension and Retiree Health Care Costs” — as further proof of a “crisis” that New Jersey must address immediately.
I had forgotten about Grete Waitz until I read the story on the AP wire this morning saying she had died at age 57 of cancer.
I’m not really sure what I like so much about Paul Carr’s current blog at huffingtonpost.com or what it has to do with Atlantic City — except that it’s about living in hotels, and I like hotels, and Atlantic City has lots of hotels.
Sure, Gov. Chris Christie’s speeches at the Brookings Institution and other big public-policy think tanks and institutes in Washington are impressive. (To some, anyway.)
Carmen DeGregorio, a retired police officer from Millville, was killed after stopping a man who was trying to shove a woman into the trunk of a car in 2007. Today, he was posthumously honored with a Carnegie medal for heroism.
Allow me to take on this all-important question of the moment in Atlantic City:
Forgive me, I'm a natural pessimist, but it seems pretty smart of Local 54 to base its misguided lawsuit against the Revel Entertainment Group tax deal on the procedural grounds that the Economic Development Authority did not properly advertise the meeting at which it approved the deal.
“Atlantic City needs to be fixed. It’s not a safe city. Right now, people don’t want to go to Atlantic City because it’s not safe.”
For the record, I have never e-mailed or texted a photograph of any naked part of my anatomy to anyone. (Truth is, no one has ever asked for one. But that’s another story.)
To pick up on my last post about Gov. Chris "Candid, Blunt Talk" Christie making up stuff and not getting called on it by the fawning national media ... it looks like folks are finally getting wise to him.
I'm not sure why my brothers and sisters in the media haven't given this Associated Press story a better ride. It's an interesting article and, if you ask me, actually could have been even stronger. We have a governor with a truth problem.
I read in The Pinkster’s column that Atlantic City has finally fixed the rolling-chair problem. That’s huge.
If you were a fan of eating and drinking in Atlantic City in the old days, check this out.
Anyone else shocked that no one in Trenton apparently has any idea how much money will be saved because of casino “re-regulation,” how the savings will be counted and audited and how the money will actually get to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to fund the new Tourism District?
So the governor finally said it. Tom Carver is out as the head of the new super-CRDA. That's a shame. If you were starting the process from scratch right now, Carver is the kind of guy you would look for. He's smart, knows where the levers and buttons are that get things done in Atlantic City, and he's always had a charming ability to tell people the things they don't want to hear. That's crucial.
I’m a little ashamed to admit that I hadn’t been to Wildwood in probably 15 years until Thursday night, when I drove down the Parkway for one of The Press’ town-hall meetings with readers.
I find screwups fascinating. Not mundane, run-of-the-mill screwups caused by people who are just too stupid to know better. No, I’m fascinated by screwups caused by intelligent people who, presumably, know what they are doing. I particularly enjoy it when snooty jerks screw up. And let me tell you, congressional aides in Washington are, from my experience, among the snootiest jerks on the planet.
So at 7:18 p.m. last night, the governor’s crack press office, which never makes a move that is not politically calculated to the max, sent out a release that said Gov. Chris “Fiscal Responsibility” Christie was asking the federal government for $53 million in emergency aid because of the winter storm that hit the state Dec. 26.
Regular readers know I think Gov. Chris Christie goes too far in his attacks on public workers. But I do know where he is coming from. Consider this story about the Egg Harbor Township schools:
Most governors have kept their distance from Atlantic City. It was probably a good idea. The good ones — the ones who were good for the city — helped behind the scenes. But face it, no smart governor would want to be too deeply or too publicly involved in the snake pit of Atlantic City.
I like language. I like its power to inform, as well as its power to obfuscate, when that is the goal. And probably because I come from a family of lawyers, I actually like reading legal opinions and statutes. Lawyers take language very seriously, as indeed they should.
My wife and I had lunch on New Year's Day at Sack O' Subs in Ventnor (what can I say? I'm a big spender), and the place was packed with clots of hungover and still-drunk 20-somethings. After partying all night for New Year's Eve, they were loud and obnoxious and full of themselves ... as 20-somethings are. But that's not my point.
The flap over Gov. Chris "Watch Me Humiliate and Threaten My Constituents on YouTube" Christie wasn't all that substantive. I don't think it really matters where the governor is. He can govern without being here.
I have to say, the criticism of our Dec. 24 editorial on cops and steroids surprised me.
Ah, the war on Christmas has begun — at least in the minds of those who believe this myth as much as they believe the myth about the holiday itself. The letters have already started to come in. All it takes for some is to see the words “holiday” or “Xmas” on a sign — and there it is, proof that “political correctness” is busy taking Christ out of Christmas.
If I really knew anything about the business world, I’d be in it, making the big bucks, instead of standing on the sidelines taking potshots. But hey, everybody has to do something for a living, right?
With all the talk of laying off casino inspectors, toll takers and other midlevel government employees, I’ve begun to wonder about the wisdom of taking thousands of workers making around $50,000 to $60,000 a year and dumping them on the unemployment line.