Society NEWS

ICYMI: Governor Murphy, NJ Transit Announce Atlantic City Rail Line and Princeton Dinky to Resume May 12th

Posted on April 18, 2019 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)


Restoration Nearly Two Weeks Ahead of Target Date

                                                                                              

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – NJ TRANSIT has accelerated the restoration of service on the Atlantic City Rail Line (ACRL) and Princeton Branch (Dinky), announcing that both rail services will resume on Sunday, May 12th.  The new date is nearly two weeks ahead of the agency’s target date and fulfills the commitment to have these services operating prior to Memorial Day weekend.

“Our economy relies upon our residents getting where they need to go reliably and safely, and Governor Christie’s nearly decade-long mismanagement of NJ TRANSIT undermined the capacity of NJ TRANSIT to fulfill that responsibility,” said Governor Murphy. “That is why I’m so pleased to announce the early restoration of the NJ TRANSIT Atlantic City Rail Line and the Princeton Branch Dinky Line, which will allow our commuters to get to work, school, and back again, free of disruption. I applaud NJ TRANSIT’s leadership for their efforts to improve safety and restore service. Our residents and commuters deserve nothing less.”

“The importance of these rail lines was made abundantly clear during our town hall meetings. The needs of our customers remain our highest priority. I am pleased that we were able to restore reliable services to these regions ahead of schedule,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.

“I am pleased we are able to restore service sooner than projected.  I know how critical these services are to those who rely on them,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Kevin Corbett.  “I did not want these rail lines to remain out of service for a minute longer than necessary, and I’m grateful that we’re able to resume service nearly two weeks ahead of schedule.  I want to acknowledge our employees’ hard work that made this possible, and thank our customers for their patience while we were able to successfully meet our interim 2018 Positive Train Control (PTC) requirements and complete necessary track replacement work on the ACRL.”

As part of an effort to provide more reliable and frequent service for Atlantic City area commuters, the ACRL will resume with an improved schedule to better match service with customer demand. In response to customer feedback gained through NJ TRANSIT’s listening tour and enhanced customer focus, the new schedule includes an adjustment to a weekday a.m. peak period roundtrip which fills a gap in arrivals at Philadelphia 30th St. Station during the morning rush hour. The Agency will now offer five trains that arrive in Philadelphia prior to noon, up from three, and reduce wait times between trains to a maximum of two hours throughout the service day. Similar adjustments have been made to the weekend schedule. 

Princeton Branch (Dinky) service will resume with a schedule similar to its previous operation prior to the temporary suspension.

Full schedule for the Atlantic City Rail Line:

Full schedule for the Princeton Branch (Dinky).

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE:  In advance of both the ACRL and Dinky resumption dates, test trains and rail equipment will begin to operate on the tracks.  The NJ TRANSIT Office of System Safety (OSS) urges the public to stay alert, remain cognizant that railroad equipment can operate at any time, in any direction and at various speeds.  Pedestrians and vehicles should only cross railroad tracks at designated crossings, while paying attention to crossing gates, lights and bells that warn of the potential presence of a train or other railroad equipment.    

During the temporary suspension on the ACRL to meet the 2018 year-end federal PTC requirements, NJ TRANSIT installed 266 transponders, 17 poles, 20 wayside interface units, and nearly 60 miles of ground based network, including fiber optic cable to link all signal bungalows.  NJ TRANSIT also utilized the temporary suspension to perform state-of-good repair work on the ACRL by replacing 7.5 miles of track.  While NJ TRANSIT was at just 12% PTC completion in early 2018, the agency was able to meet this critical safety milestone in December 2018 to qualify for an alternative schedule for the remainder of the PTC installation process. NJ TRANSIT now has until the end of 2020 to ensure its PTC system is fully functional.

Statement from Mayor Baraka on the Governor's Task Force on Youth Justice

Posted on April 18, 2019 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (0)


“I applaud the Governor’s commitment to the future of our young people in creating the Task Force on Youth Justice in New Jersey. We know this task force will be a part of any process involving how to best rehabilitate youth. In addition, it is my hope that the Task Force is looking at reinvesting current youth incarceration funds in alternative policing strategies that can end the systemic problems created by jailing children. Let’s work together to ensure that no child is incarcerated."

Joint Statement from Governor Murphy and Newark Mayor Baraka on Establishing a New Secure Youth Residential Center in North Jersey

NEWARK  – Today, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka released the following joint statement on establishing a new secure youth residential center in North Jersey for young offenders:

“Over the past two decades, a bipartisan coalition of New Jersey leaders has worked to transform our juvenile justice system and make it a model for the rest of the country. And yet we still have much more work to do. Despite recent progress, New Jersey still owns the shameful distinction of having the largest black-white youth incarceration gap in the nation. To help reduce this disparity, we believe in the continued transformation of our juvenile justice system to prioritize treatment, rehabilitation, and positive reinforcement for young people.

“In October, Governor Murphy signed an executive order creating a Task Force for the Continued Transformation of Youth Justice in New Jersey to ensure that our juvenile justice system reflects our values, including safety, dignity, and fairness. The Task Force is comprised of people directly impacted by the criminal justice system, juvenile justice agencies, and key community stakeholders and is charged with promoting strategies to reduce recidivism and provide recommendations to improve our juvenile justice system.

“New Jersey’s Juvenile Justice Commission is and will continue to be a national model for progressive reform. Since New Jersey began partnering with the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 2004, New Jersey has reduced the number of juveniles detained in both county and state facilities by 80 percent – and youth of color account for more than 80 percent of this reduction. We remain committed to working with community stakeholders and various law enforcement agencies to ensure we employ best practices in continuing the tremendous work that the JJC has done to transform youth justice.

“These reductions in the juvenile detention population have allowed New Jersey to make significant progress towards its goal of closing the Jamesburg facility and moving towards a decentralized, community-based model that allows youths to receive best-in-the-nation rehabilitative and treatment services while being housed closer to home. The fact remains that a small number of juveniles engage in serious, violent conduct, and we must find a safe, secure way to house them – one that ensures public safety while also departing from the more punitive practices of the past.

“We look forward to the opening of smaller regional centers to allow young people the ability to be closer to their families and home communities. These regional sites will provide a secure residential setting for young offenders while providing treatment, rehabilitative services, and community space. Unfortunately, there has been misinformation spread over the past few days by those who are opposed to any sort of secure youth residential center.

“We remain deeply committed to transforming our juvenile justice system in New Jersey and look forward to working with advocates, community members, and partners in law enforcement to address the disparities in our incarcerated youth population. 

Annual Spring Cleanup at Atlantic County Parks - April 27

Posted on April 13, 2019 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Atlantic County Parks is looking for community volunteers to participate in its 9th annual cleanup on Saturday, April 27, 8:30 AM to 12 noon.

“Since the start of this program, a total of 15.5 miles of roadways and trails have been cleaned and approximately 46 cubic yards of trash and 30 cubic yards of recycled materials have been collected,” reported County Executive Dennis Levinson. “To put that in perspective, it is the equivalent of 76 washing machines.”
 
This year’s cleanup will cover a nearly one-mile portion of Somers Point-Mays Landing Road (Rt. 559) from Miry Run to the end of the Pine Forest Tract in Egg Harbor Township. If time permits, volunteers will proceed to the RIverbend Tract to collect additional trash and debris from a half-mile section around Perch Cove.
 
Atlantic County Parks provide essential habitat for trees and wildlife. The cleanup locations were chosen due to their proximity to the Great Egg Harbor River and its tributaries. Keeping these areas clean helps promote a healthy ecosystem.
 
Last year’s spring cleanup removed 30 bags of trash and 35 bags of recycled materials from Lake Lenape Park in Hamilton Township.
 
Volunteers will meet at 8:15 AM at the Atlantic County Green Tree Golf Course, 1030 Somers Point-Mays Landing Road, Egg Harbor Township and are asked to dress for the weather. They should bring gloves and drinking water. Lunch will be provided at the conclusion of the cleanup.
 
Registration is requested before April 13 by email to: pleis_kathleen@aclink.org or by calling the Parks at (609) 625-1897.

Additional sponsors include Great Egg Harbor River Council, Great Egg Harbor Watershed Association, Atlantic County Friends of the Parks, Atlantic County Utilities Authority, NJ Clean Communities Council, and the Atlantic County Parks and Environment Advisory Board.

First 2019 Rabies Case Identified in Absecon Raccoon

Posted on April 13, 2019 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Atlantic County health officials are reminding residents of the importance of protecting their pets with a rabies vaccination after reporting the first confirmed case of rabies in Atlantic County this year in a raccoon found on a property located in the 500 block of Delaware Avenue in Absecon.

Animal Control was called to the property to collect a raccoon that appeared sickly. The raccoon was humanely euthanized due to its poor condition and sent to the state lab for testing where it was confirmed positive for rabies on March 20.

An investigation by the Atlantic County Division of Public Health could not rule out possible contact and exposure by the property owner’s dog. The dog is current with its rabies vaccination but was placed under a 45-day informal confinement as a precautionary measure.

In 2018, Atlantic County had a total of 3 rabies cases involving two raccoons and a bat.

Rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated. Pet owners are advised to protect their pets with a rabies vaccination.

The Atlantic County Animal Shelter provides a free rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats once a month at 240 Old Turnpike Road in Pleasantville. The next clinic will be in April.Dogs must be brought on leashes and cats in carriers. For more information call (609) 485-2345 or visit www.aclink.org/animalshelter.

Dogs and cats who receive an initial rabies vaccination are not considered immunized until 28 days after the vaccine has been administered, therefore it is strongly recommended that any animal newly vaccinated or those too young to receive the vaccine (less than three months) not be left outdoors unattended. Situations have arisen where pet owners have left unvaccinated or newly vaccinated pets outdoors where they have sustained exposures to known or suspect rabid animals, resulting in euthanasia or four to six months strict confinement.

Public health officials also advise residents to teach your children to stay away from wild, stray or aggressive animals. Never feed or touch wild animals or try to keep them as pets.

If you are bitten by an animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water and seek medical attention. Report all animal bites to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health at 609-645-5971.

For more information about rabies control and precautions to protect your family and your pets, please visit the county web site at www.aclink.org/publichealth or call 609-645-5971.


NARTP Partners with Embry-Riddle to Advance Aviation Innovation

Posted on April 13, 2019 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The National Aviation Research and Technology Park has announced yet another positive step in the development of an aviation innovation hub with its signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to promote academic and research opportunities in aviation and avionics.

The National Aviation Research and Technology Park is an industry, academia and government collaboration focused on research, innovation and commercialization of emerging technologies for aviation. It is ideally located adjacent to both the Federal Aviation Administration’s William J. Hughes Technical Center, the nation’s premier air transportation systems laboratory, and the Atlantic City International Airport, a Smart Airport Research Test Bed facility. Together the three facilities comprise a state-designated Aviation District.

“With this MOU, Embry-Riddle will now serve as an academic partner of NARTP to help advance the aviation sciences through research activities to enhance the safety, security, efficiency and capacity of air transportation,” stated NARTP Board President Dr. Edward H. Salmon.

As a key member of NARTP’s academic consortium, Embry-Riddle will also assist in the creation and delivery of academic programs related to engineering, aeronautics, aviation and avionics.

Embry-Riddle is recognized as the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace. Embry-Riddle is also working with Atlantic County to develop an operational plan for an aviation and technical academy at Atlantic City International Airport and most recently met with Atlantic County high school superintendents to discuss an aviation STEM initiative that would provide high school students with opportunities to earn college credits and industry certifications prior to graduation.

“We are honored to partner with the NARTP to accelerate the pace of innovation in aviation and avionics through education and research initiatives,” said Dr. Alan Stolzer, dean of Embry-Riddle’s College of Aviation in Daytona Beach, Fla. “Aviation safety and workforce capacity are top-priority goals, which will be supported through this collaborative venture.”