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Pinky's Corner: It's time to fight casino expansion in N.J.

Pinky's Corner: It's time to fight casino expansion in N.J.

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Pinky Kravitz

Pinky Kravitz, local personality on the deck at the Pier at Caesars. Kravitz will begin writing a new column for At The Shore. Wednesday July, 07 2010.

Legislators in North Jersey will be conducting hearings to change the state constitution to allow casinos in North Jersey. According to NJ TV, hearings are scheduled to start Thursday.

Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, chair of the Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee, said he hopes lawmakers will be able to change the state constitution to allow casinos in other areas throughout the state. Please note he said in other areas, not just in one county. This obviously means that there would be more than one casino in the future of North Jersey if the Legislature approves the plan and the people vote for it.

Ramos said the hearings have already begun and will serve as a spark to allow gaming outside Atlantic City. “We want to lay down the foundation to have a greater conversation down the road to make it a reality,” he said.

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo has a resolution to amend the state constitution, but Ramos said that won’t be a part of the discussion at the hearings. The voters of New Jersey will make the decision, not the Legislature. It would be necessary to have the approval of the full Senate and Assembly and the signature of Gov. Christie to get this resolution approved.

There is little doubt in the minds of those of us in southern New Jersey that casinos in North Jersey would be detrimental to Atlantic City’s future. This column has spoken about it previously. But with the above news, it is time to begin an organization that will put forth the effort needed to defeat that referendum.

We need the same type of an organization that was put together to get the support necessary for the establishment of casinos in Atlantic City. It was a diversified group of people from all walks of life who were willing to go across the state and get the assistance of those who voted the approval of casinos in Atlantic City.

We need all of our various organizations to get ready for the battle, and, believe me, it will be one. Is Atlantic City worth fighting for? It is obvious that I believe so. I hope the vast majority of those who will read this column feel likewise.

A.C. needs signs

For several years, this corner has been battling to have a WELCOME TO ATLANTIC CITY sign at the three main entranceways to Atlantic City. Recently, Las Vegas spent thousands of dollars to upgrade their sign so that people can take pictures standing in front of it. They will either send them to their friends at home or take them home and put them in their memento book.

There should also be signs denoting the wonderful number of firsts for which Atlantic City has been noted. You didn’t know we had a lot of firsts?

Let’s start with the Boardwalk. In 1870, two hotel men were tired of their clientele bringing sand into their lobbies, and they put wooden planks on the sand. At high tide, the sales would wash away. They decided to raise the wooden planks and thus came our Boardwalk. It was the first in the world.

We also had a site for landing aircraft on what is known as Bader Field. In that era, they developed pontoons for airplane so they could land on the water. We had planes on land and in the water. Thus came the first “airport” in the United States. Did you know that?

The Miss America contest was started on the beach in Atlantic City and has grown to be one of the most highly recognized contests in the nation. To my recollection, it was the first.

Boardwalk Hall was the first building of its magnitude that was built without any supporting beams for the roof. As it s result, it was the site for America’s first indoor football game.

At Boardwalk Hall , there is the MidmerLLosh organ, the largest in the world.

And don’t forget the naming of the streets and railroads of the first Monopoly game were all from Atlantic City.

Without a doubt, there are more, and I will leave that to those of you who are aware of them to make note so may be included when we get around to putting up the signs.

Many who live in this area are unfamiliar with the above facts. Having a sign on each would make people aware we are proud of our history. and the role it is played in New Jersey.

Notes of interest

* It is finally going to happen. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has hired two companies to start at each end of Pacific Avenue for its repaving. It is expected to take several weeks to complete the refurbishing of the second-most-traveled street in Atlantic City.

The mayor has stated that, when the job is finished, he will invite residents to join him skating, riding a bike or walking down the long-awaited, newly paved road.

* When Bass Pro began the construction of its building, it was noted the Mississippi Avenue side was blank and ugly. A suggestion, from this corner, was to have murals painted on the walls. Eric Clements, Atlantic City’s Bass Pro’s general manager, agreed that something should be done. It was a week later that this corner was notified that a mural artist had been hired to create a beautiful wall.

Take a couple of minutes the next time you’re in that area and see the beautiful murals that have been created.

The murals depict scenes that have you out in the ocean, amongst the fish, and looking at Atlantic City skyline. It is quite an achievement and we are happy to express our sincerest appreciation to Bass Pro for their willingness to liven up Mississippi Avenue. I know those who go to St. Michael’s Church or Dante Hall and the people in the neighborhood will enjoy the beautiful murals.

Pinky’s Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky’s Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. Email Pinky at:

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