Chris Christie Somehow Involved in Second Bridge Scandal

AP Photo | Mel Evans

AP Photo | Mel Evans

Chris Christie is being investigated in a second bridge scandal, according to a report from the New York Times. The investigation — which the Times sourced to “people briefed on the matter” — centers on renovations to the Pulaski Skyway.

The Skyway, which opened in 1932, is notoriously unreliable. (“Unpredictable traffic congestion and its functionally obsolete design makes the Skyway one of the most unreliable roads in the United States,” Wikipedia helpfully notes.) The bridge closed to Northbound traffic as part of a massive overhaul in April. In 2010 and 2011, Christie wanted to use Port Authority money for repairs on the obsolete bridge. The problem? The Port Authority doesn’t own the bridge, the state does, and so it couldn’t.

But Christie persisted, and the authority justified the use of the money by calling the Skyway an access route to the Lincoln Tunnel. The Skyway actually connects to the Holland Tunnel, which is not eligible for Port Authority funds. The money for Skyway repairs was coming from the $3 billion in Port Authority money freed up when Christie killed the ARC trans-Hudson tunnel project in 2010.

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Real Estate Website Ranks New Jersey Third Most Stressed Out State

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

According to a new ranking released by Movoto, a real estate website, New Jersey is the third most stressed-out state in the county, beating out both California and New York. Pennsylvania scored pretty much smack in the middle, at 25 out of 48. So why so stressed, Jersey? Two reasons that shouldn’t shock you: population density and housing prices.

The analysis used data from the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey and scored each state based on six criteria that reflect some of the most common causes of stress, including unemployment, population density and commute time. These scores were then averaged together to determine where each state fell in the overall ranking. Jersey came in closely behind Florida and Georgia, at first and second, respectively. Read more »

Woman’s Bobcat Escapes for Third Time

A New Jersey woman was cited once again after her bobcat escaped for the third time, the Press of Atlantic City reports.

Yeah, you know that friend in grade school who told you about his uncle’s neighbor who owned a wolf? This woman actually owns a bobcat.

Ginny Fine, of Stafford Township, will appear in court next Friday. The bobcat, named Rocky, was missing for about an hour.

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Battered by Sandy, Ocean Grove Boardwalk Finally Returns

ocean-grove-boardwalk-rebuild-940x540

In the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, even as millions of dollars in donations poured in for her victims, I said that things were going to get a whole lot worse before they got better.

The Ocean Grove boardwalk is an example of that.

Ocean Grove is a small town in New Jersey’s northern beaches between Asbury Park and Avon by the Sea. Ocean Grove calls itself “God’s Square Mile at the Jersey Shore.” The town can get away with putting church and state together because the town is owned by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. If you buy a home in Ocean Grove, you don’t own the land. You’re signing a lease with OGCMA, most of which have terms of “99 years in perpetuity.” They own the beaches, too, which is why they’re closed on Sunday morning. (Side note: Despite their religious bent, you can still BYOB in Ocean Grove while the practice is still banned in Ocean City.)

During Superstorm Sandy, Ocean Grove lost a chunk of its fishing pier, and its boardwalk was destroyed.

Ocean Grove, like many distressed Jersey Shore towns, applied for $1 million in aid from FEMA to rebuild its boardwalk.

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SOLD: Whitney Houston’s Offensively Marketed NJ House

What a lovely property description. Listing photo via CarProperty.com.

What a lovely property description. Listing photo via CarProperty.com.

After five years on the market, Whitney Houston’s Roundhouse-resembling New Jersey mansion finally sold to an ER doctor who moonlights (successfully) in real estate. A self-described Houston fan, he nabbed the enormous, untended five acre estate for $1.5 million — which isn’t bad for all that land plus 13,607 square feet of a five bedroom home. Oh, plus a tennis court, a swimming pool, two Jacuzzis (do people Jacuzzi anymore?), soundproofed recording studio, media room with retractable screen, and all the other stuff you might expect of a home that was built in 1987, hosted a Houston-Bobby Brown wedding in ’92, and was the setting of the couple’s short-lived reality show in 2005.

It’s hard to say why it took so long for the house to sell, but some of the marketing was truly offensive. As Denver Westword’s Dave Herrera reported in 2012:

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New Jersey Pride Breaks Records, Likely Foreshadows a Massive Celebration in Philly

new jersey pride

Photo by Kevin Jordan via Twitter.

If this weekend’s Pride celebration in Asbury Park, New Jersey is any indication, we can expect a hell of a turnout when Philly’s festivities roll out on Sunday, June 8thAsbury Park Press reports a record number of folks turned out to party in the nearby gay mecca, a showing Jersey Pride President Laura Pople (aka the Franny Price of NJ) attributes to the state’s recent passage of marriage equality:

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Report: Much of South Jersey Town’s Residents Got Sick After Train Derailment

Image via NTSB

Image via NTSB

A new report form the New Jersey Department of Health says that most of the town of Paulsboro, New Jersey, was sickened by a train derailment that released vinyl chloride in 2012.

The report, which was posted on the National Transportation Safety Board’s website last week, says “58% of participants in the In-Person Survey and 66% in the Mailed Survey reported experiencing new or worsening symptoms in the week-long period after the train derailment and vinyl chloride release.” Vinyl chloride is a chemical primarily used to make the polymer PVC.

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Backroad Stops on Your Way to the Shore

pies-alex-tewfik-940

Photo by Alex Tewfik

There’s something special about the stops we make when going to the beach. Jose Garces composed a single course of the Volvér menu around that concept: the KFS, or Kentucky Fried Squab, inspired by the fond memory of his family stopping at KFC while headed to Chicago’s Belmont Harbor. For many Philadelphians, this stop is a quick one at Wawa, and for many others, it’s some quirky shack on the side of one of the Horse Pikes that vein through New Jersey towards the coast. But to whomever and to whatever it may be, these shore stops are tradition, they are habit, and most of all, they are important.

To those who don’t know the lay of the land, here are some options you’d might want to consider:

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