Wednesday, January 28, 2015

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.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 1:24 PM
Porta restaurant in Asbury Park, N.J., attracts throngs on weekends. Another is planned for Burlington City in 2014.

A group of Asbury Park entrepreneurs who plan to launch a hip restaurant district in Burlington City are also buying homes there.  Some of them are relocating - the group's architect, a head chef at one of their bustling eateries at the Jersey Shore, and a project manager.  Future plans call for a culinary school or test kitchen in the Delaware River community.

The group, which simply calls itself Smith, owns and operates six trendy restaurants, mostly in Asbury Park, known as the place where Bruce Springsteen got his start and now as a popular destination.  Smith also has plans to open two other restaurants in that area over the next six months.  After that, it hopes to open three to four restaurants in Burlington City, now a depressed community with many vacant storefronts and several boarded-up homes. 

The group sees Burlington as ripe for revitalization and wants to tap into its scenic waterfront and rich colonial history.

POSTED: Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 11:27 AM
The multi-alarm blaze at the Dietz & Watson warehouse in Delanco was destroyed in a spectacular Sept. 1 blaze that smoldered for weeks. RON CORTES / Staff Photographer

After a blaze gutted a Dietz & Watson meat warehouse in Delanco, company officials are recommending neighbors submit claims to the firm's insurance carrier to get lingering stench and soot cleaned up. 

Weeks after the Sept. 1 blaze, residents were complaining that the neighborhood near the warehouse in the tiny riverfront community smelled like burnt hot dogs and rancid meat.  Some  complained about a haze that hung over the smoldering plant for several weeks and about blobs of  burnt debris and broken solar panels that had landed on their properties.  

But now that the building's remains have been completely removed, after more than 35 tons of spoiled meat were hauled away, the company is reaching out to neighbors to offer help with any issues they still may have.  In a message posted on the Delanco Township website, the company announced it had set up a system for neighbors to contact one of two preferred cleaning companies to evaluate any problems the blaze caused and to provide an estimate to be submitted to the company's insurance company.  A liason will help in processing the claims.   

POSTED: Thursday, October 31, 2013, 1:05 PM
Cafe Gallery, a landmark eatery in Burlington City, closed this week.

After being a staple on the Burlington City riverfront for 34 years, Cafe' Gallery closed this week. 

Sigh.  It has long been a popular destination for family celebrations, a savory Sunday brunch, and romantic dinners.  

 The elegant restaurant, with windows that display the scenic Delaware River, was shuttered suddenly on Tuesday, due to the effects of the recession and dwindling customers. 

POSTED: Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 5:14 PM
Vivian Wilson was issued a medical-marijuana card and became the youngest patient in New Jersey to obtain cannabis this week.

Cops were on patrol outside a medical marijuana clinic in South Jersey when a fashionable 2-year-old with hot pink sunglasses got out of a car to pick up an ounce.  Her dad joked that he was a bit fearful when he came out carrying the drug, in plain view, for the little gal in the polka dots and stripes. 

"I expected them to pull us over when we left," said Brian Wilson, explaining that it felt somewhat "weird" to see three police officers in the parking lot of the Compassionate Care Foundation dispensary in Egg Harbor Township.  "They were nice, and compassionate," he quickly added.

Wilson's daughter, Vivian, has a severe life-threatening form of epilepsy and has been approved by doctors to use cannabis to control seizures.  The child, who was wearing an eyepatch to reduce stimuli that could trigger an attack, was among the first nine patients to get a supply of cannabis on CCF's opening day on Monday.  CCF is South Jersey's first dispensary, and the state's second.  

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

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