Marijuana, Wind Energy Farm Hot Topics at Second Ward Meeting

first_imgBy MADDY VITALEOcean City Councilman Tom Rotondi expressed his concerns about the recent legalization of recreational marijuana at his Second Ward Zoom meeting Saturday.The Second Ward encompasses the south side of Fourth Street to the north side of 12th Street.On Monday, Governor Gov. Phil Murphy signed three bills to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older and to decriminalize it for people under 21.The married father of three and former police officer said he was “extremely frustrated over the law.”“I think from the city and countywide perspective, the law is bad. Adults will do what they are going to do and the people of New Jersey spoke and it passed,” Rotondi said. “It is here to stay but if kids are caught with marijuana parents should be notified.” A direct rebuke of the bill(A5342) Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law on Monday.*Bill (A5342) prohibits law enforcement from notifying parents if their minor child is found in possession of or using marijuana and alcohol.In another topic, Rotondi said he is not in favor of the proposed wind energy farm by the Danish company Orsted that would be built 15 miles off the southern New Jersey coast, including Ocean City.Like some other City Council members concerned about the project, Rotondi said that the wind farm could negatively affect tourism, small business, taxes and our seniors and families that are on fixed incomes. Specifically, he said, because the towering wind turbines would be visible on the horizon during clear days. The other issue is how it could impact property values.Orsted’s proposed wind farm 15 miles off the New Jersey coast is drawing objections from City Council. (Image courtesy City of Ocean City)Jim Edwards, a commissioner on the city’s Environmental Commission, asked Rotondi’s views on the issue during the Zoom meeting.“Environmentally, I am for it,” Edwards said.However, after hearing Councilman Rotondi explanation on his views on the wind farms, Edwards noted that there is a lot more that needs to be researched on the topic.“My understanding is this is a state-mandated program,” Edwards said. “Unless we take some legal action, we will have these off the coast anyway.”Rotondi said the city has $11 billion in ratables and losing any of the ratables because of the wind farm, or causing problems for the fishing industry, would be detrimental to Ocean City.“There could be a ripple effect,” he pointed out. Rotondi reference property value declining, taxes raising, cost of doing business for our local restaurants and harming people on fix incomes.  “I don’t think it is worth it.”When it comes to green energy, Rotondi said he believes there are better ideas out there to explore.“I’ll fight it tooth and nail until the end,” he said about the wind farm. “They (Orsted / Wind farms) aren’t really offsetting the carbon footprint.”He also spoke about dredging and how the city is going to examine Ocean City’s dredging contracts.“I took a hard look at drainage and flooding and our capital improvement plan with the CFO (Chief Financial Officer Frank Donato) and as you could tell from public meetings, we gave one particular company a big contract,” he noted.Rotondi brought forth a resolution to address citizens and other Council member’s concerns around contracting for engineer services and it was passed 5-0.  The resolution will create a pool of potential contractors to determine the best suited company for a particular project the city needs to get done.Everywhere we look, competition brings better pricing,” he said.He also touched upon the plan for the city’s new $35 million public safety building.“Our police department is antiquated,” Rotondi said. “Ours is probably the worst station I have been in.”The city will replace the antiquated, 130-year-old public safety building, a former school that serves as the police department’s headquarters and location for the municipal court.Construction on the new public safety building is expected to begin in the fall of 2021 and would take about 18 months to complete, city officials said. A series of preliminary steps must first be taken, including finalizing the architectural designs and hiring the construction contractor through the public bidding process.An architectural rendering depicts the front of the proposed public safety building overlooking Asbury Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets. (Courtesy of City of Ocean City) Shown in 2020 with City Clerk Melissa Rasner, Councilman Tom Rotondi holds a Zoom meeting for his Second Ward constituents.last_img read more

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Clippers hold off feisty Lakers, but just barely, winning 105-100

first_imgScott’s Lakers competed way better. But the Clippers still came away with a 105-100 victory before 19,438 at Staples Center. The Clippers (53-26) have now won 11 of their past 12 games. They also swept the four-game season series from the Lakers and have beaten their hallway neighbors seven consecutive times.The Clippers moved into a virtual tie with third-place Memphis (52-25) in the Western Conference, though the standings still show the Clippers in fifth because fourth-place Portland (50-27) won its division.The Lakers were down by just seven points (76-69) after three quarters and by just a point (89-88) with 4:57 left in the game. But J.J. Redick buried a 3-pointer for the Clippers, Redick then made two free throws and Chris Paul threw up a lob pass that was powered down by Matt Barnes, bringing a thunderous applause from the crowd. The Clippers at that point led 96-88 with 3:24 to play and the Lakers (20-57) could not recover.“That’s what I’m talking about,” Scott said. “We competed. We had the effort tonight.”Clippers coach Doc Rivers was not surprised that the Lakers competed much better after what happened Sunday. “Yeah, I mean, you would assume they would,” Rivers said. “And human nature has it the other way. We competed, but we didn’t play very well. But give them credit. I thought they played extremely hard and it was nice to see.”Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 27 points, including two on a 20-footer with 28.3 seconds left for a 100-94 lead, all but sealing the Lakers’ fate. He also had seven rebounds and six assists. Redick also had 27 points and Chris Paul scored 19 points and doled out 10 assists. DeAndre Jordan had eight points and 17 rebounds, and Austin Rivers contributed seven points off the bench.Crawford scored four points on 2-of-7 shooting.“I was OK, I was rusty,” Crawford said. “My legs, I look (at the box score) and it says 19 minutes, it feels like it was 35 minutes. That was to be expected. That was the first time I played 5-on-5 since I actually got hurt.”The Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson, who scored just two points on 1-of-6 shooting Sunday, proved his worth by coming back with a team-high 20 points on 7 of 17 from the field. He also had six assists. Tarik Black scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Wesley Johnson had 15 points and Jeremy Lin scored 14.Paul, who again was on Clarkson, praised the rookie for coming back the way he did after his humbling effort two nights earlier.“Jordan played great,” Paul said. “Last game, I think he had six shot attempts. Tonight he had like 17 or something like that in the third quarter. So he was a lot more aggressive.”Clarkson had 16 shot attempts through three quarters, but the Clippers clamped down on him in the fourth, limiting him to one shot five minutes and 17 seconds.“I was just coming in and trying to learn from last game,” Clarkson said. “I didn’t feel like I had any impact on the game (Sunday). So we watched film and put the time in and tried to rebound from it.”It was indeed a difficult win to come by. But the way Griffin sees it, they all count the same.“We always want to play better than we did, but you have to give them credit,” he said. “They hit big shots. During this time of the year, you have to take every win you can get.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Lakers coach Byron Scott is not the type to sugarcoat anything. On Sunday, his team got behind the Clippers by 43 points in the fourth quarter on their way to a 28-point drubbing.Prior to the teams squaring off again Tuesday, Scott was asked what his team needs to do to avoid that same fate.“(Expletive) compete,” he said. “Simple as that.”Except that in this one, the Lakers would have one more important member of the Clippers against whom to compete — sixth man Jamal Crawford. He was back after missing 17 games with a calf injury.last_img read more

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