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Author: Ed Sheppard

Bringing Jobs to South Jersey: Veteran Care

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

The James J. Howard Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in Brick, New Jersey

The James J. Howard Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in Brick, New Jersey

This is part five of my “Bringing Jobs to South Jersey” series, Save Jerseyans. Read parts one (cutting taxes and red tape), two (natural gas), three (wind power unit production) and four (aquaculture) if you haven’t already.

For the benefit of those of you who don’t have South Jersey’s population demographics data memorized, Southern New Jersey is home to large percentage of New Jersey’s nearly half-million veterans, significantly more than most areas of the state. This is a direct result of 1) indigenous individuals from the area who serve and decided to come back and 2) veterans from other parts of the country who retire to South Jersey, often to the Shore points.

They haven’t found a strong job market.

Currently, many of these same veterans must travel to VA facilities and hospitals in Delaware or Maryland for certain vital kinds of treatment, as much as 5 or 6 hours away. That’s ridiculous. And there’s a simple win-win solution staring us right in the face…

CONTINUE READING….

Bringing Jobs to South Jersey: Aquaculture

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

aquacultureAtlantic, Cumberland and Cape May Counties have, historically, had the highest unemployment in the state. And now things are likely going from bad to worse with casino closures in Atlantic City. That’s the situation on paper. On the ground, living here, it pains me, every time, when I hear people my age and younger refer to this area as “a black hole”, and whose plans for a prosperous future start with them moving out of the area. All this means that in South Jersey, we need to figure out how to bring jobs back to the area. By writing a series of posts full of concrete, actionable ideas for job growth in South Jersey, it is my hope to inspire and influence key decision makers, in both the public and private sectors, to turn this “black hole” into a shining beacon.

This is part four of my “Bringing Jobs to South Jersey” series, Save Jerseyans. Read parts one, two and three if you haven’t already.

As part of their 1st District Economic Task Force announcement, Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1) and Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak (D-1) mentioned only one industry they see as a potential area for growth: aquaculture.

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Bringing Jobs to South Jersey: Wind Turbine Production Plants

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

Wind TurbinesAtlantic, Cumberland and Cape May Counties have, historically, had the highest unemployment in the state. And now things are likely going from bad to worse with casino closures in Atlantic City. That’s the situation on paper. On the ground, living here, it pains me, every time, when I hear people my age and younger refer to this area as “a black hole”, and whose plans for a prosperous future start with them moving out of the area. All this means that in South Jersey, we need to figure out how to bring jobs back to the area. By writing a series of posts full of concrete, actionable ideas for job growth in South Jersey, it is my hope to inspire and influence key decision makers, in both the public and private sectors, to turn this “black hole” into a shining beacon.

This is part three of my “Bringing Jobs to South Jersey” series, Save Jerseyans. Read part one and part two if you haven’t already.

I think that South Jersey has the potential for becoming a manufacturing hub of offshore wind turbines. If we act now, that potential could result in a huge of infusion of jobs into the region.

Some background…

CONTINUE READING….

Bringing Jobs to South Jersey: Natural Gas Power Plants

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

The Tatan Power Plant in Taiwan, that country's largest of its kind.

The Tatan Power Plant in Taiwan, that country’s largest natural gas facility of its kind.

Atlantic, Cumberland and Cape May Counties have, historically, had the highest unemployment in the state. And now things are likely going from bad to worse with casino closures in Atlantic City. That’s the situation on paper. On the ground, living here, it pains me, every time, when I hear people my age and younger refer to this area as “a black hole,” and whose plans for a prosperous future start with them moving out of the area. All this means that in South Jersey, we need to figure out how to bring jobs back to the area. By writing a series of posts full of concrete, actionable ideas for job growth in South Jersey, it is my hope to inspire and influence key decision makers, in both the public and private sectors, to turn this “black hole” into a shining beacon.

This is part two of my “Bringing Jobs to South Jersey” series, Save Jerseyans. Read part one if you haven’t already.

Moving forward: in my opinion, there are not one, but two opportunities to create jobs via natural gas power plants in South Jersey. The first you have heard about before. Let’s build the BL England Pipeline and convert the coal plant into a natural gas plant. It means jobs, lower emissions, and lights staying on in Cape May County. So let’s build it.

But you haven’t heard about the second opportunity…

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Bringing Jobs to South Jersey Starts with Making Jersey Business Friendly

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

south jersey mapAtlantic, Cumberland and Cape May Counties have, historically, had the highest unemployment in the state. And now things are likely going from bad to worse with casino closures in Atlantic City. That’s the situation on paper. On the ground, living here, it pains me, every time, when I hear people my age and younger refer to this area as “a black hole,” and whose plans for a prosperous future start with them moving out of the area.  All this means that in South Jersey, we need to figure out how to bring jobs back to the area. By writing a series of posts full of concrete, actionable ideas for job growth in South Jersey, it is my hope to inspire and influence key decision makers, in both the public and private sectors, to turn this “black hole” into a shining beacon.

Here’s my first offering:

Before we can start to lobby companies to invest in South Jersey, we need to make sure the stage is set for such an endeavor. It be pointless to convince businesses to come here if we aren’t ready to accept them. So my first post will focus on New Jersey’s business environment.

CONTINUE READING….

Christie Responds to Showboat Employees

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

governor christie speaks in ocean cityGovernor Christie brought his “No Pain, No Gain” tour to Ocean City on Thursday, Save Jerseyans. So I biked on up to the Music Pier to see him speak.

Now, if you’re reading this blog, you’re obviously familiar with our pension and benefits situation. So I am not going to focus on that.

Because if you read this blog, you’re also aware that I am a staunch supporter of forward-thinking strategies geared towards turning Atlantic City around and saving/creating as many jobs as possible.

The Governor was met with a handful of protesters. Some oppose his pension plan and there were a few granola types protesting the BL England Pipeline. There was also a group of Showboat employees (the casino slated to close on August 31st unless a buyer is found) demanding that Gov. Christie save their jobs by forcing Showboat to remain open.

Before delving into his pension-related remarks, the Governor took the time to address these employees. Below is video of what he said (sorry, my phone is not a TV studio). I’m not going to include any commentary; watch and arrive at your own conclusions…

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Two Pressers, Two Visions for A.C.

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

atlantic_city_boardwalk_NJThe contrast was dramatic.

Republican Assemblyman Chris Brown (D-2) led a press conference on Tuesday with Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, Republican Mayor Don Guardian and various Atlantic County leaders at the Steel Pier on the Atlantic City Boardwalk to express their optimism that Atlantic City is not finished and, contrary to what you’re hearing in the news, has a bright future ahead of it.

The NJ GOP leaders stressed the fact that there are many good indicators out there which suggest that Atlantic City is actually on the upswing, but they also insisted that Trenton keep its word and give Atlantic City its promised five years:
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LD1 Jobs Report Card

How Have My Legislators Been Doing on the Jobs Front?

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

LD1From some of my previous posts, Save Jerseyans, you might have picked up that I live in the 1st Legislative District. And in the 1st District, jobs was the number 2013 campaign issue, as it still is today. As a result, I have closely been following what my three legislators have been doing to bring jobs to the region.

Why am I doing this? Because I love where I live, and it pains me whenever I hear that people are planning on moving away because they feel the area does not offer them a future. I want my home’s future to be bright. Unemployment in “deep” South Jersey remains at the highest levels of anyone in New Jersey.

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5 Ways to Get South Jersey Working Again

My Roadmap for Spurring Round #1 of New Job Growth in Atlantic, Cumberland ans Cape May Counties

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

unemployment mapFrom some of my previous posts, Save Jerseyans, you might have picked up that I live in the 1st Legislative District. And in the 1st District, jobs was the number 2013 campaign issue, as it still is today. As a result, I have closely been following what job creation is happening our region.

Why am I doing this? Because I love where I live, and it pains me whenever I hear that people are planning on moving away because they feel the area does not offer them a future. I want my home’s future to be bright. This part of New Jersey also happens to consistently suffer the state’s highest unemployment rates.

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Why Are Dems Eager to Declare A.C. Dead?

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog 

Sandy damage to the Atlantic City boardwalk

Sandy damage to the Atlantic City boardwalk (2012)

Save Jerseyans, Atlantic City is down, but not out notwithstanding its Moody’s credit rating setback.

Which makes me wonder why Democrats in New Jersey are so ready to declare Atlantic City dead and give up on the place?

Senate President Steve Sweeney has apparently already decided that there will be a ballot initiative to allow casinos in North Jersey. Senator Ray Lesniak has already decided that initiative has passed and is already planning the new casinos in North Jersey.

Sweeney and Lesniak are promising that money from North Jersey casinos will be spirited up the Parkway to fund the new casinos, essentially spitting in the face of South Jerseyans, especially when Atlantic City’s economy would be greatly helped if it wasn’t sending those tax dollars to Trenton.

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Atlantic City: Down But Not Out

atlantic cityBy Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

Atlantic City has been generating some negative headlines recently. There’s no question about that. The Atlantic Club closed in January, Showboat and Trump Plaza will be closing at the end of the summer, and Revel may close if someone doesn’t buy the property by mid-August.

Everyone agrees: the decline in casino revenue that’s forcing these closures is catalyzed by the over saturation of casinos in the Northeast as legalized gambling in Pennsylvania and New York has siphoned away customers and dollars. With these closures, 20-25% of Atlantic City’s casino workforce will lose their jobs. Many are calling this the beginning of the end of Atlantic City.

Well let me tell you something, Save Jerseyans…

Atlantic City is down, but it is not out. (And before you accuse me of being a naïve, unrealistically-optimistic idealist for saying such a thing, let me point out to that you would be the first person to ever call me that).

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6 Reasons to Build the BL England Pipeline

BEd Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

pine barrensNo, I’m not talking about the Keystone Pipeline (though I do think that should also be built already!), Save Jerseyans. I’m talking about the BL England Pipeline Project. You’ve read about Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi’s efforts to get this pipeline built on Save Jersey. You’ve probably heard the loud objections of the Sierra Club and other environmental groups about burying a pipeline along the shoulder of a road that runs through the Pinelands. You’ve probably read about the politics of the pipeline.

What you haven’t read or heard is why this Pipeline needs to be built.

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Facebook Unlikes Cape GOP YRs

Facebook Stops Cape May County Young Republicans from Promoting Shooting Event

BEd Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

Author’s Note: I am a member of the Cape May County Young Republicans, helping to organize ATF Day, and have organized ATF Days for other organizations in the past.

Vintage Cape May County MapWhat the hell, Save Jerseyans?

In order to promote its 2nd Annual ATF Day (Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms), Cape May County Young Republican President Tom Rotondi paid to “boost” a Facebook post the group made asking prospective attendees to save the date for the event.

According to Rotondi, Facebook predicted that between 5,000-9,000 “boosts” would occur, i.e. appear in 5,000-9,000 news feeds. The post reads “Save the Date CMC Young Republicans 2nd Annual ATF day is coming!” and includes a link to the email blast that CMCYRs sent out to its membership.

Supposed to is the operative phrase…

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LoBo: CD2 Won’t Make Pelosi Speaker

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

lobo busFueled by 3 cups of coffee on Saturday morning, Save Jerseyans, I headed over to the first stop of Congressman Frank LoBiondo’s bus tour in Ocean City.

Stop #1 was a well attended event despite the early hour and pouring rain. There were numerous elected and Cape May County officials present, so I’ll just try to highlight a few (I needed 3 cups of coffee to get there, so I may not have seen everyone who was there and don’t want to unintentionally leave anyone out): Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi, Freeholder Kristine Gabor, Sheriff Gary Schaffer and Ocean City Council members Mike DeVlieger and Michael Allegretto were among the elected officials who came to show the Congressman their support.

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Bridgegate Recap: Week of the Emails

By Ed Sheppard | The Save Jersey Blog

George_Washington_Bridge,_HAER_NY-129-66This will be my one and only post on Bridgegate for the time being, Save Jerseyans. Not because I don’t have thoughts on the matter, but at this point, so many people are yelling their opinions at the top of their voices that there’s a good chance you could all have an eardrum ruptured.

So I’m gonna throw my thoughts out there once, let people agree/disagree with them, and let the others resume shouting:

I Still Support Chris Christie

Let’s get that on record. He has built enough credibility where I believe him when he says that his staff lied to him. There is no evidence that shows that he knew. And I’m a logical person who makes his decisions based on available facts. And the fact is, since no evidence exists as of now showing Christie knew, I fall back to the credibility factor. Were these facts to change, I would re-evaluate…

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