Ocean City’s Boardwalk merchants may be severely hurt by the minimum wage hike, opponents say. By Tim KellyNew Jersey’s push to increase the state’s minimum wage, signed into law Monday by Gov. Phil Murphy, could certainly help some workers. However, the collateral damage from the move could also have a devastating effect on the overall economy of the state and actually hurt many workers, and local economies, opponents maintain.Higher prices, less service, reduced or eliminated employment opportunities and shuttered businesses are a few of the pitfalls predicted by business advocacy groups, chambers of commerce and local business owners. Included on the opposition side are many in Ocean City. Legislation to raise the hourly minimum wage approximately 70 percent to $15 per hour previously passed the state Assembly and Senate and the governor made it official by adding his signature at a crowded and raucous meeting hall in Elizabeth. Union officials and supporters of the raise cheered wildly, while opponents jeered and hissed. The governor, who fulfilled one of his top campaign promises with the bill’s passage, grinned, waved and blew kisses in the direction of the crowd.Boosters of the law believe business will increase in the state because people will have more income, many will be lifted from poverty, and increased spending will revitalize the state’s economy.“This is a huge step forward for… workers to be able to more capably provide for themselves and their families,” NJ.com quoted Murphy as saying.Gov. Phil Murphy, right, shaking the hand of a worker, believes the higher minimum wage will make it more affordable to live in New Jersey. (Courtesy of Gov. Phil Murphy Facebook page)The law calls for a five-year phase-in for most businesses. However, exclusions fought for by seasonal resort towns including Ocean City, Atlantic City and environs, and municipalities represented by the Cape May County Chamber resulted in some exclusion from the version first proposed by Murphy and Democrats in both the Assembly and Senate, a flat $15 minimum wage for everyone. It was to be phased in with scheduled increases over the next five years.Under the deal worked out with opponents of the law, the timetable to phase in the increase is extended for businesses employing seasonal workers, and workers at businesses that employ fewer than six employees.Under the terms of the deal, most employees will increase from the current $8.85 minimum to $10 on July 1 – less than four months from today. It will then rise to $11 on Jan. 1, 2020; $12 an hour the following Jan. 1, $13 per hour Jan. 1, 2022, $14 in 2023 and $15 in 2024.An exemption for seasonal workers, which Senate President Steve Sweeney and local legislators fought for, allowed the total raise to be installed by 2026. The same timeframe applies to businesses with less than six employees. Farm workers remained one group which is not assured to reach the top $15 figure in the pay raise. The law calls for an increase to $12.50 an hour in 2024, and it will be left up to the executive branch of the government to decide whether or not to continue the increases up to $15 per hour by 2027. Executive Director Michele Gillian led the effort to organize members of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce to oppose the minimum wage hike, resulting in a compromise version of the legislation. Prior to Murphy’s signing the bill into law, local business advocates were vocal in their opposition.“This is a game-changer,” said Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce. “This really amounts to another tax in a state already overtaxed and over-regulated. In order to survive, some businesses will have to pass the cost along or cut services to make up for it.”The small compromise in the final law is of little solace for the small business already struggling to survive in some cases, business representatives said. Some mocked the state’s definition of a “small business” as one with six employees or less. “The minimum wage is for entry-level, non-skilled employees. It isn’t intended to be a living wage,” said Jon Talese, a proprietor of Jon and Patty’s Coffee Bar and Bistro, and a spokesperson for the Downtown Merchants Association in Ocean City. “We (at Jon and Patty’s) compensate our employees for the skills they bring to the job,” he said. “We’ve never paid our employees (just the) minimum wage, and we’ve been around for 10 years.” “I would understand it more if (Murphy and the Legislature) explained what they based the $15 figure on,” Talese continued. “They haven’t explained if it is to keep pace with the cost of living or any other factor. They just came up with a number. They’re putting the burden on small businesses that can least afford it.”Jon and Patty Talese, proprietors of Jon and Patty’s Coffee Bar and Bistro, are two leading voices for the Ocean City business community and outspoken critics of the movement to raise the minimum wage.Talese’s association represents the more than 100 small shops, restaurants and cafes located mostly along Asbury Avenue and a few side streets between 6th and 14th streets. The downtown shopping district is a major drawing card for visitors, and a prominent focus of Ocean City’s marketing and promotional efforts.Another merchants group, which represents Boardwalk stores and shops, also strongly opposes the wage hike. Boardwalk Merchants Association representatives could not be reached in time for inclusion in this article.But Gillian believed all of the merchants groups agreed with the Chamber’s position earlier Monday.“Our downtown and Boardwalk shopping is something that makes Ocean City unique,” Gillian said. “If you put more financial pressures on some of them, some won’t be able to survive. You will end up with nothing but chain stores and businesses. You’ll take away that uniqueness, limit the options for shoppers and take away part of our identity.”The Chamber communicated with all of its 550-plus members and urged them to voice their opposition to the bill as reportedly proposed. Members were given sample letters and the addresses of legislators representing them.According to an internet posting, the Chamber in 2016 contacted then-Gov. Chris Christie and then-Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, then-Congressman Frank LoBiondo, then-state Sen. Jeff Van Drew, who is now a congressman, then-Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak, who is now a senator, and Assemblyman Bruce Land, encouraging the lawmakers to not support the wage increase.“We believed then, as still believe now it will severely hurt small businesses,” the Chamber memo stated.It went on to say that Chamber representatives met more recently with Van Drew and Sweeney to discuss and consider the minimum wage issue and its potentially disastrous effects to the small business community in Ocean City, other shore towns and all over the state. “Now more than ever we need to continue expressing our opposition. We will continue to voice our concerns …” the statement said. It went on to urge members to write elected officials “to let them know this is bad for business and our tourism economy. Together, we can we can make our voices heard.”Business leaders believe the wage hike could also threaten the livelihood of small shops in downtown Ocean City, shown here decorated for the holidays.Ocean City was not alone in its opposition. The Cape May County Chamber of Commerce and the New Jersey Business and Industry Association also opposed the law and urged members to lobby against it. Atlantic County Republican state Sen. Chris Brown had already publicly opposed the bill and voted against it. He predicted its passage “will end up hurting the very families it is supposed to help,” according to a statement his office released last week.New Jersey joined New York, California and Massachusetts as the fourth state to enact a $15 per hour minimum wage hike. These states are among the most expensive to live in, proponents say.On the other hand, critics claim the law is also an acknowledgement the economies of these states are not doing well enough to support naturally-occurring wage increases. In published reports, Sweeney said he would reserve the right to propose changes to the law “if there are unintended consequences.” Published reports said a provision to freeze or slow the timetables in the event of a severe economic downturn or natural disaster, and to widen the scope of groups exempted from the law was rejected. Teenage workers, for example, were originally to be excluded from the law. However, workers 18 and over are on the road to $15 per hour under the general timeframe.“They are legislating (against) people’s lives,” Jon Talese said on Monday. “The young person hoping for a job on the Boardwalk to work and help pay for his or her college education, the people looking to help their families to make it, will, in some cases lose the opportunity to do that.”Gilligan concurred. “Ocean City’s economy is dependent on seasonal workers,” she said. “Young people working on the Boardwalk or around town won’t just have the opportunity to earn money (at the new minimum wage).”“In addition to the money, they will lose out on valuable life lessons: being part of a team, working, talking and relating with people, the value of money and much more,” Gillian added. “This law, no matter how well-intentioned, is going to take much of that away.”
H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Case counts, vaccine delivery estimates, edging out seasonal flu Down Under, Sanofi begins vaccine production
Jun 26, 2009World novel flu tally approaches 60,000The global number of novel H1N1 cases climbed to 59,814 cases, including 263 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today. The total reflects a 3,947 increase from the last update on Jun 24. Jurisdictions appearing on the list for the first time are Indonesia, Iran, Serbia, and the UK crown dependency of Guernsey. Countries reporting the highest increases since the last report include Chile, the UK, Mexico, Australia, and Canada.[WHO update 54]US pandemic flu count nears 28,000The nation’s number of novel flu cases rose to 27,717 cases and 127 deaths, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today. The tally represents 6,268 more cases and 40 more deaths than the last update a week ago. States reporting the highest number of cases include Wisconsin, Illinois, Texas, New York, California, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. New York has the most fatalities, 35, followed by California with 16.[Current CDC numbers]US may have 1 million pandemic flu casesA surveillance expert from the CDC said yesterday at the agency’s immunization group meeting in Atlanta that the true number of pandemic H1N1 cases in the United States could be as many as 1 million, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. Lyn Finelli said the projection was based on mathematical modeling and surveys from health officials. She told the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that 6% or more of the population from some urban areas could be infected with the virus.[Jun 26 AP story]Vaccine experts differ over vaccine delivery estimateRobin Robinson, an official from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) who addressed the ACIP group yesterday, projected that as many as 60 million doses of the pandemic H1N1 vaccine could be available by September, the AP reported today. However, others at the meeting said the estimate may be too optimistic.[Jun 26 AP story]Novel flu edging out seasonal strains in Australian stateThe pandemic H1N1 strain is dominating seasonal flu strains in Victoria, according to a report from the Victoria Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) that covered last week. Of 138 influenza A samples tested, 60 were novel H1N1, 3 were H3N2, and 2 were seasonal H1N1. Victoria is the state with the most confirmed novel flu cases, 1,560 of Australia’s 3,519. Experts predicted that the new flu strain might push out seasonal strains as the southern hemisphere’s flu season progresses.[VIDRL weekly flu surveillance report]Part of UK moves away from pandemic flu containmentHealth officials in England said pandemic flu response in two parts of the country will shift from a containment to a management strategy, the London Daily Mail reported today. The change, which affects London and West Midlands, means that schools will no longer close and that antiviral medication will no longer be given to close contacts of flu patients, only those who have illness symptoms. Also, most illnesses will be diagnosed clinically rather than through lab testing.[Jun 26 Daily Mail story]Sanofi begins pandemic vaccine productionSanofi Pasteur, one of the five companies that are developing a novel H1N1 vaccine for the US market, said it began large-scale production on Jun 23, according to the company’s Web site. The company will still need to conduct clinical trials, which it said in an earlier statement could take place as early as August. In late May the company received a $190 million order from the US Department of Health and Human Services to make bulk vaccine and conduct other activities.[Sanofi timeline of novel flu vaccine developments]Two workers were sick at Argentine pig farmAnimal health officials from Argentina said yesterday in a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) that two workers at a pig farm where the animals tested positive for novel H1N1 were sick between Jun 7 and 9, but did not seek medical care or undergo testing. The report said pigs started getting sick on Jun 15. The virus sickened 30% of the 5,586 pigs, but none have died. The facility has its own restocking system, and no pigs have entered from outside the farm since July 2008.[Jun 25 OIE report]
Tyler Soppe led early on but Brayton Carter stormed into the lead on lap six and went on to the easy $1,000 win in the Friday Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod headliner. Soppe held on for second with Johnathon Logue third. Hobby Stocks – 1. Corey Madden; 2. Cox; 3. Jason Kohl; 4. Hemmingsen; 5. Bennett; 6. Hidlebaugh; 7. Ayers; 8. Chuck Madden Jr.; 9. Dixon; 10. Fusselman; 11. Jerry Richards; 12. Korbin Nourse; 13. Nick Foster; 14. Wahl; 15. Pahlka; 16. Leonard Loftus; 17. Coady. Bunch made his move on lap four and went on to the $400 Friday win over Jake Benischek and Fiebelkorn. Stock Cars – 1. Elijah Zevenbergen; 2. Damon Murty; 3. Brad Derry; 4. Jay Schmidt; 5. Keith Simmons; 6. Mike Albertsen; 7. Brandon Pruitt; 8. Buck Schafroth; 9. Devin Smith; 10. Dallon Murty; 11. Josh Daniels; 12. Marcus Fagan; 13. Corey Piffer; 14. Anthony Goldsberry; 15. Kellie Drury; 16. Bob Daniels; 17. Brian Blessington; 18. Chad LeGere; 19. Brock Badger; 20. Chris Pruitt; 21. Jeremy Getler; 22. Ben Walding; 23. Jeffrey Larson; 24. Robbie Merkle. Zevenbergen worked the bottom side of the track Saturday and on lap 19 it would pay off as he took over the top spot and drove off to weekend sweep. Jay Schmidt finished second with Dallon Murty third. Dennis and Braaksma ran up front before Rust raced ahead for the $1,500 checkers. Already on the All-Star ballot, he was chased across the stripe by Braaksma and Dennis third. By Josh Reynolds Curtis Miller didn’t make it easy for Bunch to repeat as they were door-to-door at the white flag in Saturday’s Mach-1 Sport Compact finale. Derry and Damon Murty put on quite a battle for second but it was all Zevenbergen out front in the Friday IMCA Sunoco Stock Car show. Todd Shute earned opening night IMCA Modified honors, along with $1,000 and a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot berth, at Stuart Speedway’s Fever Heat 100. (Photos by Jim Zimmerline) Sport Compacts – 1. Bunch; 2. Curtis Miller; 3. Fiebelkorn; 4. Lange; 5. Caine Mahlberg; 6. Richards; 7. Masterson; 8. Shawn Hein; 9. Ryan Brown; 10. Owen Richards; 11. Ashton Blain; 12. Tim Cude; 13. Kimmel; 14. Pinckney; 15. Austin Barnes; 16. Hurley; 17. Casen Keller; 18. Keaton Wenzel; 19. Mills; 20. Jeriray Croy; 21. Josh Modde; 22. Nathan Castellano; 23. Michael Love; 24. Benischek; 25. Zander Steiner. After a late caution erased his Saturday pass for the front, he was fastest in a two-lap shootout and crossed the stripe in front of Cox and Jason Kohl. He worked his way into the lead Friday on the 10th circuit and won ahead of Brandon Cox and Chuck Madden Jr. Sept. 20 Feature Results Miller made a run but it was Bunch at the line by about two feet for the $600 prize. Miller settled for second with Fiebelkorn third. Madden left town with a pair of $1,000 IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock checks. Zevenbergen earned $1,000 on opening night and $1,500 on night two. Cody Thompson grabbed the lead near midway and drove off to the $1,500 Saturday win. Tyler Inman finished second with Soppe third. Modifieds – 1. Todd Shute; 2. Jesse Dennis; 3. Ethan Braaksma; 4. Jeremy Mills; 5. Joel Rust; 6. Matthew Meinecke; 7. Josh Gilman; 8. Jimmy Gustin; 9. Nick Roberts; 10. Kenny Wyman Jr.; 11. Scott Simatovich; 12. Scott Bash; 13. Tony Hilgenberg; 14. David Brown. Shute used the top side of the track to lead all 25 laps and take the dominating win on Friday, putting his name on the 2020 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot with the $1,000 victory. Stock Cars – 1. Zevenbergen; 2. Schmidt; 3. Dallon Murty; 4. Mike Nichols; 5. Brandon Pruitt; 6. Schafroth; 7. Damon Murty; 8. Josh Daniels; 9. Bob Daniels; 10. Daniel Hilsabeck; 11. Todd VanEaton; 12. Matthew West; 13. Dusty Van Horn; 14. LeGere; 15. Piffer; 16. Bryan Snell; 17. Chris Pruitt; 18. Derry; 19. Calvin Lange; 20. Gettler; 21. Badger. Northern SportMods – 1. Brayton Carter; 2. Tyler Soppe; 3. Johnathon Logue; 4. Doug Smith; 5. Tyler Inman; 6. Jake Sachau; 7. Mitchell Morris; 8. Dusty Masolini; 9. Cam Reimers; 10. Cody Thompson; 11. Brandon Patava; 12. David Schwartz; 13. Dustin Lynch; 14. Ryan King; 15. Chris Burke; 16. David Johnson; 17. Colton Nelson; 18. Jeremy Van Ede; 19. Tommy Hensley; 20. Bryan Morris; 21. Brett Vanderheiden; 22. Blair Simmons; 23. Jeremiah Reed; 24. Robert Moore. Jesse Dennis finished second and Ethan Braaksma third. Modifieds – 1. Rust; 2. Braaksma; 3. Dennis; 4. Shute; 5. Mills; 6. Gilman; 7. Casey Skyberg; 8. Simatovich; 9. Garett Wilson; 10. Scott Bash; 11. Hilgenberg; 12. Austin Paul; 13. Ashley Schaaf; 14. Chris Snyder; 15. Roberts. STUART, Iowa (Sept. 20-21) – Todd Shute and Joel Rust were IMCA Modified winners while Elijah Zevenbergen, Corey Madden and Mitchell Bunch each swept Fever Heat 100 feature events at Stuart Speedway. Sport Compacts – 1. Mitchell Bunch; 2. Jake Benischek; 3. Tyler Fiebelkorn; 4. Logan Richards; 5. Curtis Masterson; 6. Jade Lange; 7. Terry Hurley; 8. Kristopher Pinckney; 9. David Kimmel; 10. Bruce Hower; 11. Trey Mills; 12. Bubba Brown. Northern SportMods – 1. Thompson; 2. Inman; 3. Soppe; 4. Cam Meyer; 5. Masolini; 6. Reimers; 7. Matt Webb; 8. Patava; 9. Lynch; 10. Mitchell Morris; 11. King; 12. Hensley; 13. Moore; 14. Matthew Munton; 15. Bryan Morris; 16. Simmons; 17. Reed; 18. Logue; 19. Colton Nelson; 20. Carter; 21. Zach Hovell; 22. Vanderheiden; 23. Garrett Nelson. Sept. 21 Feature Results Hobby Stocks – 1. Corey Madden; 2. Brandon Cox; 3. Chuck Madden Jr.; 4. Miciah Hidlebaugh; 5. Zach Hemmingsen; 6. Shane Butler; 7. Kevin Bruck; 8. Tanner Dixon; 9. Eric Knutson; 10. Shane Palmer; 11. Richard Pahlka Jr.; 12. Jason Fusselman; 13. Jamie Coady; 14. Rusty Gyles; 15. Solomon Bennett; 16. Matthew Wahl; 17. Adam Ayers.
Former USC quarterback Todd Marinovich was arrested for possession of marijuana after police found him naked in a backyard in Irvine, according to the Orange County Register.Police reportedly received a call around 9 p.m. last Friday about a naked man on the Venta Spur Trail, and found Marinovich in a backyard nearby.The 47-year-old was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and trespassing. According to police, he was carrying the items in a brown bag.Marinovich, who spent two years at USC, started at quarterback in 1989 — his freshman season — becoming the first freshman to do so since World War II. A talented high school recruit, Marinovich was pressed into action right away with the Trojans after starting quarterback Pat O’Hara suffered an injury. Marinovich led USC to a 9-2-1 record and a Rose Bowl victory in 1990. He has had numerous incidents involving drugs throughout his playing career, including an arrest for possession of cocaine shortly after the Sun Bowl in 1990. Drafted ahead of Brett Favre by the Los Angeles Raiders in the first round in 1991, Marinovich again struggled with drug addiction and was released before the 1993 season. Marinovich never played in the NFL again, and a brief stint in the American Football League in 2000 with the Los Angeles Avengers was derailed after he was arrested for possession of heroin. Marinovich continued to run into trouble with drugs and the law following his football career, with incidents in 2004, 2005 and 2007. In recent years, he has made attempts to clean up his image, starting a career in art. In 2011, he told TMZ that he had been sober for three years. An ESPN documentary titled The Marinovich Project that same year chronicled the quarterback’s fall from grace. In part, it described how Marinovich’s father, Marv, worked relentlessly on turning his son into a “perfect” quarterback.Last year, Marinovich spoke with the Daily Trojan on a story about concussions. He admitted that he suffered from concussions during his career and described his feelings after former teammates Junior Seau and Scott Ross passed away. “Something broke in them,” Marinovich said. “We need to figure out how to keep these players from being broken.”In 2014, Marinovich reflected on his career struggles to the Los Angeles Times.“If I make it to my 70s,” Marinovich said, “I will be surprised.”
Outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been branded “a hypocrite and a liar” by the Korean billionaire who is running to succeed him in the office.Outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been branded “a hypocrite and a liar” by the Korean billionaire who is running to succeed him in the office.Chung Mong-Joon, a former FIFA vice-president, also claims he plans to sue Blatter in court for “embezzlement” for being paid a secret salary which was not even agreed by FIFA’s executive committee.Chung said he is facing suspension from FIFA’s ethics committee for promoting a 777million US dollar development fund proposed by South Korea’s 2022 World Cup bid. He said that was a “travesty of justice” after no investigation was lodged against UEFA president Michel Platini’s support for Qatar.Speaking at the Leaders sport business summit in London, Chung said: “FIFA has become a badge of shame. To call it a mafia is almost insulting to mafia, so blatant and arrogant is its corruption.”At FIFA money and power have blinded Blatter in the virtues of sportsmanship. “For his payment without executive committee approval, I plan to sue Mr Blatter for embezzlement in court. Mr Blatter in short is a hypocrite and a liar.”Chung pointed out that Chilean Harold Mayne-Nicholls was banned for seven years by FIFA’s ethics committee after asking Qatar for placements for family members while he was in charge of the technical inspectors looking at the World Cup bids. Mayne-Nicholls last year said he wanted to run against Blatter for the presidency.He added: “Mr Platini voted for Qatar and his son landed a job a with a Qatar company as chief executive. The ethics committee did not even start an investigation, this is a travesty of justice.”–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports