• MARGATE – New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin is planning to meet with local officials early next month to discuss alternatives to the pending dunes construction project.

    Mayor Michael Becker said he received a call from Martin last week to arrange a meeting or two to discuss “unresolved issues with the specification of the plan, including drainage.”

    Becker said the 15-minute conversation was cordial and that Martin suggested a second meeting in mid-November to meet with the city’s technical consultant about the project.

    “I think it is a big step forward for the commissioner to call us,” Becker said. “He is aware of our issues and will set the time and place for the meetings.”

  • VENTNOR – The Board of Education agreed Wednesday, Oct. 22 to partner with Atlantic City in its effort to win the Georgetown University Energy Prize national competition, which carries a $5 million prize for the community that most effectively reduces its per-capita energy consumption over a two-year period starting Jan. 1, 2015.

    Action taken at the meeting will pave the way for other Downbeach communities to join Atlantic City in an interlocal agreement that benefits residents and helps the environment.

    Atlantic City is one of 52 municipalities nationwide that made it to the quarter-finals of the competition, which is designed to create a more energy efficient America. The prize challenges communities to incorporate innovative ideas to reduce energy consumption.

  • VENTNOR – The Board of Commissioners Thursday, Oct. 15 introduced an amendment to the city’s salary ordinance to set into motion an intergovernmental transfer that would allow the city to hire an Atlantic City employee as its next emergency management coordinator.

    Longtime Emergency Management Coordinator William Melfi will retire in two weeks, Mayor Michael Bagnell said. He is currently using up his sick days and his last day of employment will be Nov. 1.

  • Margate engages DEP and Army Corps to discuss options to building dunes

    MARGATE – The Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Thursday, Oct. 16 that preserves the city’s rights in fighting the dunes project. The commission entered a “tolling and standstill” agreement with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which will allow the municipality to negotiate alternatives to building sand dunes on Margate’s beach.

    Assistant Attorney General David C. Apy filed with the Atlantic County Clerk three administrative orders to effectuate a taking of partial easements not voluntarily granted by shorefront property owners, including the City of Margate, to build the dunes. The state will use its powers of eminent domain to negotiate good faith compensation due to 10 shorefront property owners and 16 riparian grant owners.

Parrotheads welcome Buffett to Atlantic City [slideshow]

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  Members of the Jersey Shore Parrot Head Club got a good spot for the show. From left are Kate Newcomer of Brigantine, Steve Petrozza of Glassboro, Lynne Dubler of Stone Harbor, Lisa Westog of Ocean City, Lance and Kathy Landgraf of Ventnor and Beth Zoller of Ocean City. Members of the Jersey Shore Parrot Head Club got a good spot for the show. From left are Kate Newcomer of Brigantine, Steve Petrozza of Glassboro, Lynne Dubler of Stone Harbor, Lisa Westog of Ocean City, Lance and Kathy Landgraf of Ventnor and Beth Zoller of Ocean City.

ATLANTIC CITY - "Build it and I will come," Jimmy Buffett told the 75,000 people who flocked to the beach for a free concert hosted by Resorts Casino Hotel Saturday, June 15.

Andy Grammar opened Salt & Sand Fest at 1 p.m on LandShark Beach at North Carolina Avenue while the crowd stretched to Steel Pier from the boardwalk to the ocean and beyond, where boats were anchored in the surf.

Inspired by Buffett's music and lifestyle, Resorts recently opened the Margaritaville themed casino and restaurant. Buffett could clearly see patrons of LandShark Bar & Grill on the beach from the stage.

"I have found a home," Buffett said.

Buffett joined Coral Reefer Band member Mac McAnally for the second act at 4 p.m. Headlining act, Wilson Phillips, played at 7 p.m. Many devoted fans, dubbed "Parrotheads," were camped out early so their beach chairs could be dug in close to the stage.

Among them were members of the Jersey Shore Parrot Head Club including Kate Newcomer of Brigantine, Steve Petrozza of Glassboro, Lynne Dubler of Stone Harbor Ocean City residents Lisa Westog and Beth Zoller and Lance and Kathy Landgraf of Ventnor.

Since 1999, the group has raised more than $60,000 for local charities and organizations. "Partying with a purpose," Landgraf said.

Two old friends from the Claridge, Jill Alexander of Egg Harbor Township and Patti DeFrancisco of Hammonton got a spot near LandShark Bar for the concert.

"It's nice being out on the beach," Alexander said. "We just wanted to come out and have fun."

McAnally said he was happy to see the Jersey Shore recover after Hurricane Sandy. Being from Mississippi, he said he understands the recovery process before playing, "When the Coast is Clear," a song he co-wrote with Buffett.

"Mississippi and New Jersey aren't that far apart," McAnally told the crowd. "Our hearts go out to you. It brings the whole country back together."

Buffett, who was announced as a special guest performer, joined McAnally during "Back Where I Come From." Between songs he told the crowd how much he was enjoying the show.

"We'll have to do this more often," Buffett said. "I like this latitude," he said before launching into "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes."

Buffett dubbed his bandmates; McAnally, Jim Mayer on bass, Peter Mayer on guitar and Roger Guth on drums; all members of his touring Coral Reefer Band, as his "Beatles Band."

Mixed throughout songs and while talking to the crowd, Buffett referenced Atlantic City, Philadelphia and even Brigantine. On stage, McAnally wore a T-shirt from the Windrift Hotel in Avalon.

They played a set of fan favorites including "Margaritaville," "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," "Grapefruit, Juicy Fruit," "Volcano," "Cheeseburger in Paradise," "A Pirate Looks at 40," "Southern Cross" and "Fins." He played two cover songs that the crowd knew well: "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Under the Boardwalk."

For an encore, Buffett played a third cover, "Another Saturday Night" and a solo acoustic version of "Come Monday."

"We'll be back in Camden before you know it," Buffett said.

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band will play 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 25 at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden. See margaritaville.com for information. 

Photos by Shaun Smith

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