Friday, September 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 2:33 PM

A playful gust of wind kicked up during the suspenseful unveiling of a three-story Marilyn last week in New Jersey, as if it could compete with the breeze that famously lifted the “blonde bombshell’s” skirt in "The Seven Year Itch."

“Forever Marilyn,” created by renowned New Jersey sculptor Seward Johnson, will tower over the Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton Township until Sept. 21.  Also on display are other Johnson works, including a 25-foot-tall interpretation of a snapshot that captured a sailor in Times Square passionately kissing a nurse as World War II officially ended.

But the big draw is Marilyn, a painted 17-ton figure that was forged of steel and aluminum in New Jersey four years ago for display in the hip downtown of Palm Springs.  She recently returned to the East Coast on flatbed trucks in awkward pieces – a head and torso, a piece of her wavy skirt, legs – as crowds gathered along the highways to gawk.

POSTED: Thursday, May 1, 2014, 5:49 PM
Delanco mayor Bill Dillenbeck walks through the Delaware River area in his township known as the "Dunes." A judge recently decided the area belongs to the state of New Jersey, not Delanco, and can be cleared of its woods and hiking trails so that a dumping ground for dredge spoils can be created. TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

Though a judge recently ruled that much of Delanco's Dunes belongs to the state of New Jersey - and not the township - the town's recreation commission is holding its third annual nature celebration on Saturday, May 3.  

"Our solicitor told us to proceed as usual," said Township Committeewoman Marlene Jass, adding that the town is appealing last month's court decision. 

State Superior Court Judge Karen L. Suter upheld the "riparian rights" of the state to claim lands that are submerged by tidal waters or that were underwater in the past, and based her decision on a 1946 aerial map of the Dunes.  The 35-acre area sits on the banks of the Delaware River.  Riparian claims can date back to the '40s. 

POSTED: Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 3:49 PM
Numerous rowhouses in the Mount Holly Gardens were bulldozed after town officials declared the area blighted and asked property owners to move out so a new housing development could be built. Ed Hille/Staff Photographer)

The Castle Coalition, a non-profit that fights eminent domain abuse nationwide, is turning its attention to Mount Holly - again. 

In recent years, the coalition lobbied for 27 property owners whose homes were being bulldozed by the township so that a new housing development could be built.  The mostly poor Latinos and African Americans who lived in the Mt. Holly Gardens sued for discrimination and the coalition filed a brief supporting their position.  That case settled last year as it headed for a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Now, a mixed zone with businesses and homes is about to be designated as another redevelopment area that would be subject to condemnation.

POSTED: Monday, February 3, 2014, 6:43 PM
Marijuana plants grow under special lights inside the grow facility at Medicine Man marijuana dispensary in Denver, where weed is legal. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

A new poll says New Jerseyans would rather legalize pot, following Colorado's lead, than allow online gambling, a vice that is now legal in the state. 

A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind survey revealed 41 percent would support the recreational use of marijuana if it became legal.  But only 32 percent of those surveyed were okay with the practice of gambling over the Internet.

In November, New Jersey began allowing online gambling.  More than 150,000 gambling accounts have been established, according to AP.

POSTED: Thursday, January 30, 2014, 4:01 PM
Employee Lara Herzog harvests marijuana buds for sale in Denver. The recreational sale of marijuana is legal only in Colorado but other states are looking into following suit. (BRENNAN LINSLEY / Associated Press)

As the debate over the legalization of marijuana gathers steam, newly-invigorated pro and anti-weed groups are erecting catchy billboards outside the MetLife Stadium as the Big Game nears.

The Marijuana Policy Project is launching two billboards Thursday night near the stadium to tackle a billboard put up on Wednesday by Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a group  that wants marijuana to remain illegal.   

The competing billboards play with images of footballs, the brain, weed and alcohol to score  points on the eve of the Superbowl. 

POSTED: Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 6:00 PM
Diane Fornbacher. (Photo: Denise Guerin)

Diane Fornbacher, a nationally recognized marijuana legalization activist from Collingswood, is moving her family to Colorado. She says she needs cannabis to alleviate a health condition that NJ's medical marijuana program doesn't cover.

Fornbacher, who sits on the national board of NORML, an organization that has fought for legalization for decades, says she has complex PTSD, which is not one of the dozen ailments that qualify for cannabis in N.J.

POSTED: Thursday, January 2, 2014, 6:21 PM
Employees help customers at the crowded sales counter inside a legal recreational marijuana retail outlet in Denver on Jan. 1. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Legalizing recreational marijuana is expected to inject $208 million into Colorado’s economy this year, but New Jersey will have to settle for the potential $1 million it could get by taxing the 1,500 sick people who qualify for the medical version of the drug.

Gov. Christie has promised to veto any legislation that would expand the state’s four-year-old medical marijuana program and has said he would never approve the complete legalization of cannabis.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 4:41 PM
The Tacony-Palmyra Bridge sits in the background of the River Route. (ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer)

Burlington County officials want to know the public’s views on revitalizing the Route 130 corridor, a 17-mile swath along the Delaware River. But beware: The survey the freeholders recently posted online is no easy pop quiz. Its 13 questions require a profound assessment of life in the burbs and much soul-searching, or at least more patience than I suspect many residents will be able to muster.

In the end, you find out whether you should marry the River Route. That’s the new name marketers gave the corridor while it went through a much-needed makeover.

About this blog

Written by Inquirer staff writer Jan Hefler, the Burlco Buzz blog covers breaking news in the the county, as well as its quirky characters, crime cases, politics, outdoor recreation and environment. Contact Jan at jhefler@phillynews.com.

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