In 2002, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority spent $100 million to refurbish and beautify Boardwalk Hall. They did an excellent job and it has received rave reviews from those who have had the pleasure of performing or playing in this marvelous arena. However, there is one area of this building that has not been touched and is in dire need of fixing, but no one seems to care.
Many of you have never been in the tunnel. It is the area set up for people to be able to drive under the Hall to allow their passengers to exit their cars, cabs or limousines and take the escalators up to the Hall’s entrance. It is often people’s first impression of Boardwalk Hall and, unfortunately, it is a sad experience.
A little more than a year ago, I attended a meeting of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority’s board of directors. At that time, I addressed the board and told them of the horrible condition of the tunnel, which has not improved.
Paint is peeling from the ceiling and the walls. The well points — which are necessary because the tunnel is below sea level — are not working and water is not kept out. It is dark, dismal and scary.
The walkway down Georgia Avenue, under the West Hall, to the Boardwalk is awful. It is dirty, smells of urine and is at times used by homeless people openly indulging in alcoholic beverages.
At the conclusion of my informing the board of directors of this horrible condition, there was not one comment from any member of the board or the staff.
Further investigation brought questions about the ownership of the tunnel. Was it owned by the ACCVA or the city of Atlantic City? I called Paul Jerkins, Atlantic City’s public works director, to try to find out. He informed me after thorough investigation that the city owns the tunnel, but the well points that are supposed to keep that driveway dry have not been working for years. No one has paid any attention to them. Further investigation showed that those well points are the responsibility of the ACCVA.
Jerkins also had John Feairheller, the city’s engineer, hold discussions with a representative of the ACCVA relative to what was needed to be done and how to do it.
Obviously, to date, nothing has been done.
Jerkins pointed out they cannot paint the ceiling or the walls until the moisture is removed because the paint will peel shortly after being applied.
At February’s meeting of the ACCVA’s board of directors, I again cited the horrible condition of the tunnel and once again, there was no comment. However, they may be excused as they knew that they would soon be under the jurisdiction of the CRDA.
Last week, I drove through the tunnel during the Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo and saw there was no change and, in fact, it was worse as paint was hanging down from the ceiling and walls and there was more water than normal on the driveway.
The purpose of writing about this issue is to publicly inform the CRDA of the history of the horrible condition that exists in the Boardwalk Hall’s tunnel and that it needs to be attended to as expeditiously as possible.
Rodeo hit the jackpot
The Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo was a success in every way. It was the equivalent of hitting the biggest jackpot Atlantic City has had in a long time. Financially, it was a success. Crowd wise — 17,685 attendees — it was a success. Performance wise, it was better than anyone of us novices expected.
John Barnes, the owner and operator of the show, could be seen raking manure, making sure the horses, calves, steers, bulls, cowboys and cowgirls performed better than anticipated.
Janet Markowitz, the chairwoman, was outstanding in getting everything together in a first-class manner, despite the naysayers. It was a marvelous event and we look forward to its return for many years. Thanks one and all for helping Atlantic City hit the jackpot.
Definition of a veteran?
Last week, I received a letter from Colleen Erbel about New Jersey’s definition of a veteran that was discussed on my radio show. The letter appeared in Monday’s issue of The Press of Atlantic City. The listeners who called my show and, I believe, the readers of the letter to the editor, were in disbelief with what they heard or read. Her husband served in the U.S. Army from August 1975 to September 1978 and was honorably discharged. Much to their regret, the state of New Jersey has, “redefined the word veteran by not acknowledging active-duty service during peacetime. What a disgrace.”
What is the definition of a veteran? According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English language a veteran is, “one who has been a member of the armed forces.” New Jersey does not recognize as a veteran a person who has served in the military when their country was not at war or in a conflict. You heard that expression, “only in New Jersey?” This is one of those situations one would ask, Why is it this way in New Jersey?
Since the ending of the draft, our armed forces have been made up of volunteers. They pledged to serve in time of war, conflicts or peace. They are on call for any and all needs of the armed forces. There should be no differentiation between one who serves in a conflict or war.
I urge you to join in telling candidates for the Legislature that you will not vote for them in November unless they agree to change the definition to include those who served at any time and ensure they will receive all the benefits for veterans the state of New Jersey has to offer.
We owe it to those who volunteer to be on active duty.
Miss America’s board drops two locals
At the most recent meeting of the Miss America board of directors the board voted to replace Corrine Sparenberg and Barrie Jane Tracy from their board. There was no reason given. Prior to the board meeting, it is my understanding that they were requested to resign and both said “no.” Meetings are held across the country by telephone, and at their most recent meeting, before they could say anything, they were told they had been voted off the board.
They were the last two members of the Miss America board of directors from Atlantic County. It is my belief that Sam Haskell, chairman of the board, would like to move their headquarters from Linwood to Las Vegas. Sparenberg and Tracy were associated with the Miss America Pageant for many years and have served it honorably and with dedication. This is a sad way for them to have to end their association with what for most of us had been a most memorable organization.
Pinky’s Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky’s Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. His TV show, “WMGM Presents Pinky,” airs 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC TV40. E-mail Pinky at: email@example.com.