Pleasantvile, Absecon Current | Opinion, Letters

The sands of time: the saga of our efforts to have the state dredge Absecon Creek

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Written by From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:19 am

The sands of time: the saga of our efforts to have the state dredge Absecon Creek The sands of time: the saga of our efforts to have the state dredge Absecon Creek Last May, I wrote a column about the impact of the Sandy-related siltation on the channel from Absecon Creek to the bay. It included a photo of a depth finder showing 14 inches of clearance in the channel two hours before dead low tide. I warned our local boaters to be careful of this navigational hazard. I advised that the city was in contact with state representatives about dredging the channel, and that Absecon Creek was scheduled for dredging sometime in mid-June. Since that time, I have spent countless hours on this problem, but to no avail as of yet. The problem remains, if not worse today. We have become accustomed to the chest-thumping of state officials who claim that we are “Jersey Strong” and “Stronger than the Storm.” Judge for yourself as I tell a story that has more twists and turns than Absecon Creek itself.

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Letter: Include meat industry in climate change discussion

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Written by Staff Reports Thursday, June 12, 2014 12:00 am

To the editor:

I am delighted that EPA has finally moved to abate the disastrous impacts of climate change by regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. But, given the adverse reaction from the coal industry, the agency should have issued parallel regulations on emissions from meat industry operations. Each state could then determine its own optimal strategy for curbing greenhouse gases.

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Going, going, gone

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Written by From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:25 am

From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong

Last Saturday, I stopped into the Serenity Boutique on New Jersey Avenue to buy my wife a Mother’s Day present. Although I knew that the owners had been struggling to hold on, I was still shocked to find them packing up their inventory and moving out. What a shame! I remember when the young couple who owned the store moved onto the Avenue about 2 years ago. They were excited about the location. They said that New Jersey Avenue had a special feel to it, a sense of community. They planned to hold special events to draw new customers to their store and to help revive a general interest in shopping along the Avenue. Well, they are gone now, and they are part of a larger migration. Earlier this year, Parker and Partners moved out, along with the British Connection. This morning as I drove to City Hall, I counted as many as eight to 10 vacant stores along a two block stretch of New Jersey Avenue. Of those businesses that remain, some show disturbing signs of financial stress.

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Letter: Ranchers are living on welfare

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, April 30, 2014 12:00 am

To the editor:

It’s perversely ironic for rancher Cliven Bundy to excoriate poor people for collecting government subsidies, while ripping off the federal government of a million dollars in grazing fees. But, even if he were to pay up, Bundy and his fellow ranchers would still be living on government welfare.

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Protecting our children

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Written by From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Monday, April 14, 2014 10:25 am

From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Over the years, Absecon’s youth athletic programs have given our children the opportunity to experience the thrill of competition while also learning many valuable life skills under the supervision of dedicated coaches and other volunteers from our community. Although City government has maintained an excellent complex of recreational fields at Pitney Park, supervision of the day-to-day field conditions and control over access by organized teams has been left to the coaches associated with the Absecon Social and Athletic Club (ASAC) for baseball and soccer and the Absecon Blue Devils for football.

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Absecon city government’s budget remains flat this year

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Written by From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Tuesday, April 01, 2014 01:05 pm

From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Over this past year, I have tried to communicate how much aware we in city government are of the financial stress all of us are under because of the collapse of the casino industry. We see it in the drop in real estate valuations, the growing local tax delinquencies, the properties we see that are in foreclosure, and the reports of our neighbors of lost jobs and reduced business activity.

City government has responded by reducing the costs of government wherever possible. Over the last year, we moved to a part-time city administrator and reduced a clerical position to part-time also, saving approximately $100,000 a year. We settled responsibly certain litigation against the city which was costing us over $150,000 a year, and we negotiated necessary concessions to our police contract which will save the city additional hundreds of thousands over the next ten years. We do not intend to stop reducing costs, and our proposed 2014 budget reflects that commitment.

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Joe Mangeruga – Absecon’s Employee of the First Quarter

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Written by From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Tuesday, March 25, 2014 02:42 pm

Absecon Mayor John Armstrong names Joe Mangeruga as City’s Employee of the First Quarter while announcing Spring Leaf Pick-up dates and times./Submitted Absecon Mayor John Armstrong names Joe Mangeruga as City’s Employee of the First Quarter while announcing Spring Leaf Pick-up dates and times./Submitted Along with his fellow workers in the Absecon Public Works Department, Joe Mangeruga has been a busy man this past winter. Among his other duties over the course of the year, Joe is responsible for salting and plowing a part of town which includes my neighborhood of Absecon Shores. I ran into Joe early one morning recently, or rather he almost ran into me. I was walking my dogs in the pre-dawn hours through a driving snowstorm. Joe turned the corner in his truck and suddenly found me in his headlights. Fortunately, he was able to stop in time. He got out, and we had a good laugh about the impression he tried to make on the Mayor.

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A welcomed warm breeze

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Written by From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Tuesday, March 11, 2014 03:55 pm

From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong The warm breeze this morning may be a sign that this seemingly endless winter is actually ending. With that comes equally optimistic news from our county and state officials. Both County Executive Dennis Levinson and Senator Jim Whelan have recently spoken about the urgent need for diversification of our local economy. While efforts continue to stabilize the casino industry and improve operations of Atlantic City government, there is a bi-partisan push to provide alternatives to gaming and tourism as a means to produce jobs for our area.

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Absecon's PTO Supports Our Schools

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Written by From the Mayor's Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Wednesday, March 05, 2014 12:41 pm

Over this past year, I have been impressed by the variety of volunteer organizations which contribute to the life of our community. One such group is Absecon's Parent-Teacher Organization. Over this past year, I have been impressed by the variety of volunteer organizations which contribute to the life of our community. One such group is Absecon's Parent-Teacher Organization. Over this past year, I have been impressed by the variety of volunteer organizations which contribute to the life of our community. One such group is Absecon's Parent-Teacher Organization. The PTO is made up of hundreds of parents of Absecon schoolchildren who support our teachers and administration, encouraging them to do their best and offering them activities and program supplements which enrich the educational experience for our children. Examples of this assistance include teacher appreciation luncheons and special requests for classroom materials, student projects, special assemblies and other activities which are outside of the school budget. The PTO also sponsors class parties and school dances.

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School Board officials to address City Council regarding bond referendum

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Written by From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong Wednesday, February 12, 2014 07:48 am

From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong From the Mayor’s Chair by Absecon Mayor John Armstrong

A few weeks ago, I reported that City Council President Chris Seher and I had discussed with the Absecon School Board a possible joint meeting to discuss publicly a number of pressing issues.

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