Spearhead Project Earth plans to clean up Burlington Island


Burlington Island sits almost unnoticed in the Delaware River between Bristol and Burlington City, silently healing from decades of human abuse. 

The island is large, roughly 396 acres and even includes a 100-acre lake. For thousands of years, the island was used by the Lenni Lenape people, who refer to the island as Mattenecunk (usually translated as “the island of the pines”) and the Delaware River as Lenape Sipu. The tribe’s sacred sites have been disturbed for centuries by the settlers who first came in 1623. 

Today, visitors, the few allowed with permission and permits, are more likely to encounter artifacts from the island’s last century.

Now, the forest grows around, and sometimes within, the ruins of a century-old amusement park that burned down in the 1920s. It winds around a set of long-forgotten mid-century vacation homes. The interior of the island is marked with piles of rusting scrap, discarded bicycles and cars, and even a Depression-era stone bathhouse. The island has been uninhabited since 1976, when several makeshift summer homes were demolished. 

A lake that sits on Burlington Island is seen on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. Local not-for-profit Spearhead Project Earth committed to cleaning single use plastics from the 300-acre island located in the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Buildings in Bristol are seen on the shore from Burlington Island on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. Local not-for-profit Spearhead Project Earth committed to cleaning single use plastics from the 300-acre island located in the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Left more or less alone for the last 50 years, as the island is not freely accessible by the public, woods have overtaken much of the island, except for a few sandy spots marking the deposits of infertile dredge spoils. Hardwoods like maple and hickory, rather than pines, dominate the island now. Herons, deer, and even eagles are occasionally spotted. It is quiet compared to the historically industrial towns that border it on either side of the river.

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Best Places to Stay in New Jersey: 15 Perfect Vacation Rentals


Looking for your next Garden State getaway? New Jersey may be a small state, but there’s a lot of variety to be found in its vacation rentals, from riverfront homes to beachfront cottages and mountainside cabins. We’ve found the best places to stay in New Jersey for all sorts of occasions and budgets, whether you’re traveling with a big group or looking for a quiet couples’ retreat.

Best Affordable Places to Stay in New Jersey

It can be challenging to find budget-friendly accommodations that still have lots of character and comfort. If you’re looking for vacation rentals in New Jersey that won’t break the bank, these are some of the best options on the more affordable end of the scale.

Best Places to Stay in New Jersey for Families

Families have their pick of where to stay in New Jersey, with lots of great rentals that make for a memorable family vacation. We’ve chosen some of our favorites to feature.

Best Romantic Places to Stay in New Jersey for Couples

These Garden State getaways offer peace and quiet along with plenty of beautiful scenery and activities to enjoy. Waterfront views, mountainside solitude, and more await.

Best Places to Stay in Atlantic City

Whether you’re there to check out the casinos, visit the amusement park, or just stroll the historic boardwalk and relax on the beach, Atlantic City has something for everyone. Families can enjoy Steel Pier Amusement Park along with beautiful beaches that are free to the public, and there are always plenty of options for entertainment.

Best Places to Stay in Cape May

Famous for its pristine beaches and Victorian architecture, historic Cape May is one of the best vacation towns in the state. Visitors from all over the world come here to the southernmost point of New Jersey to enjoy the surf, sand, and unique charm of this enchanting resort town.

Have you spent the night at any of these one-of-a-kind accommodations in New Jersey? What are your favorite New Jersey rentals?

For more ideas about where to stay in the Garden State, check out these eight unique cabins in New Jersey.

Address: Stockton, NJ 08559, USA

Address: Seaside Heights, NJ 08751, USA

Address: Villas, Lower Township, NJ, USA

Address: Hewitt, West Milford, NJ 07421, USA

Address: Ocean Grove, Neptune Township, NJ 07756, USA

Address: Highlands, NJ 07732, USA

Address: Vernon Township, NJ, USA

Address: Atlantic City, NJ, USA

Address: Cape May, NJ 08204, USA

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The Best Places To Stay In New Jersey

December 06, 2022

Meghan Byers

What are the best unique hotels in New Jersey?

From quirky boutique hotels to charming inns to luxury resorts with hot tubs and indoor pools, there are plenty of New Jersey hotels that aren’t your typical Marriott, Hilton, or Hyatt. Whether you want to be close to NYC or Newark, stay at the Jersey shore, or explore the New Jersey countryside, there’s something for everyone.

Some of the most unique hotels in New Jersey include:

  • The 1856 Historical Rowhouse, Jersey City
  • Nassau Inn, Princeton
  • Grand Cascades Lodge, Hamburg
  • Whistling Swan Inn, Stanhope
  • Feather Nest Inn, Cherry Hill


Visit this article for even more unique New Jersey hotels.

Where are the most unique getaways in New Jersey?

Whether you prefer the shore, the mountains, or city life, there are plenty of unique places to escape to in New Jersey. Some lesser-known New Jersey getaway locations include:

  • Sussex County: a rural setting that’s home to tons of outdoor recreation opportunities
  • Morristown: rich in history and with plenty of fun dining options, and just an hour by train to NYC
  • Lavallette: a smaller beach town located between the more popular Point Pleasant and Seaside

If you’re looking for more ideas, check out these
five best places to visit in New Jersey to get started on planning your next trip. And if you’re looking for a unique and possibly quieter getaway in New Jersey, try visiting one of these charming New Jersey small towns.

Address: Stockton, NJ 08559, USA

Address: Seaside Heights, NJ 08751, USA

Address: Villas, Lower Township, NJ, USA

Address: Hewitt, West Milford, NJ 07421, USA

Address: Ocean Grove, Neptune Township, NJ 07756, USA

Address: Highlands, NJ 07732, USA

Address: Vernon Township, NJ, USA

Address: Atlantic City, NJ, USA

Address: Cape May, NJ 08204, USA

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Amid Rising Seas and Flooding, Atlantic City Has No Plans for Retreat


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Some cities around the world are pulling back from shorelines, as rising seas from climate change increase flooding. But so far, retreat appears out of the question for Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The breezy getaway town is on the water on a barrier, which was once reachable only by boat but in modern times via a causeway. The city fully occupies a small piece of land, water on either side, just above sea level.

“We love our residents,” said Barbara Woolley-Dillon, former Atlantic City Planning and Development Director. “We have one of the most diverse populations. it’s a great place to be, and we have such a thriving community that we want to do everything we can to keep it intact.”

The city, popular with vacation goers in the Eastern U.S., particularly in the summer, brings in billions of dollars in revenue, another incentive to keep it intact as long as possible.

“Atlantic City is a seven billion dollar a year economic engine” that benefits all of southern New Jersey and must be maintained, said Jim Rutala, an Atlantic City planning contractor.

Still, the flooding is getting deeper and more frequent. In 1910, researchers installed a tide gauge at the end of Steel Pier Amusement Park. The gauge shows the sea has risen a foot and a half since then, more than double the global mean sea level rise.

City leaders have no plans to take state offers to buy and demolish homes in flood-prone areas, according to Rutala.

Instead, officials are spending $100 million, from 2016 through next year, to “fortify and armor” the city from rising sea levels by installing sea walls, pump stations and bulkheads, according to Rutala. Unseen by most tourists, a newly built pump station in Fisherman’s Park pushes ocean water that has come ashore back into the bay. It is common to hear construction crews at work building structures with entrances elevated to strict new height requirements.

Other cities in New Jersey have taken a different route to confront flooding. In Woodbridge, about 100 miles north of Atlantic City, in recent years the state has bought and torn down more than 150 homes to remove people and property from the danger of future floods.

In Atlantic City, tourists and residents walk along street names that inspired the Monopoly board game, such as Baltic Avenue and Park Place. Casinos pull in people hoping to win big at the poker table or slot machines. And outside are wide-open beaches and boardwalk amusement park rides.

Twenty-seven million people visit the resort town annually. For some, it’s a place to escape from their daily lives. For others, it’s a way to live a simple life by the ocean.

For many residents, it’s unbearable to contemplate a future without the city.

“This part of Atlantic City is just very tightly knit and we are a nice little neighborhood,” said elementary school teacher Abby Moul, 47, as she played with her dog in the north part of the island. “It is kind off the beaten path and that’s what I love about it.”

Under current projections for global emissions, Rutgers University estimates that New Jersey is likely to experience another one to three feet of sea level rise between now and 2070, according to Robert Kopp, Rutgers climate scientist. And the land here is sinking from what scientists call the “see-saw” effect of melting glaciers much further north.

It’s unclear if the city’s new fortification projects will be enough to confront the projected sea level rise. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that New Jersey’s 950 square miles of beaches and back bays will sustain more than a billion dollars in annual flooding damage in a few years.

Atlantic City is the one of the poorest and most densely populated part of the New Jersey coastline. More than two dozen different languages are spoken in city schools.

Many people here have what locals call “back-of-the-house” jobs at one of the nine casinos, preparing food, cleaning rooms and other work.

It can cost $150,000 in the denser, older parts of the city to raise up an $80,000 home to protect it from “nuisance” flooding, periodic flooding, sometimes from high tides or backed up drainage systems. That cost is simply out of reach for many.

On a recent afternoon, lifelong Atlantic City resident Zakiy Abdullah, 45, a forklift operator, did his best to keep his three-year-old daughter Jamaarah Wells from riding her tricycle through flood waters in the street.

“Flooding it is a constant problem,” said Abdullah. “As you can see, the water has not evaporated from the other night.”

Kimberly McKenna, of the Stockton University Coastal Research Center, says most of the increased flooding in Atlantic City happens in the part of the island that faces the mainland, called the back bay. That also happens to be where many people live in poverty.

Residents often move their cars to higher ground during high tides and full moons.

“Those floods, what we may now call nuisance flooding, will turn into regular flooding,” said McKenna. “And that’s going to be persistent flooding. People won’t be moving their cars. They will be moving their homes.”

Local coastal governments like Atlantic City will have to decide whether to manage a retreat from the coastline over several years, or to stay and only leave when and if the flood waters become unlivable.

“You don’t need to give up a community right now because of the risk of three or five feet of sea level rise,” said Kopp, the Rutgers climate scientist. “But you need to think about how redevelopment plans you are making today will fare in the future. There is no simple solution.”


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N.J. amusement park accidents reports plummeted this year, but there’s a catch


Despite some serious incidents at New Jersey amusement parks that drew significant attention, the overall number of accidents reported by ride operators to the state this year plummeted like the first drop on Kingda Ka. But there’s a catch.

The state Department of Community Affairs, which inspects rides and collects incident reports, changed the definition of what is considered a “serious injury” that must be reported to the state agency in 2022.

“The intent of the code change was to improve data accuracy by excluding certain injuries (previously designated as serious and thus requiring immediate reporting) that only require same-day treatment, or injuries initially reported to DCA as a ‘transport’ by the park owner when, in fact, the injured party was not transported by ambulance to a hospital but rather stated their intent to self-transport to a medical office for further treatment,” state DCA spokeswoman Lisa Ryan said in an email to NJ Advance Media.

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Jersey Shore church saved from demolition as city weighs future of Gothic ‘work of art’


Just blocks from the boardwalk of one of the Jersey Shore’s most visited beaches, the Holy Spirit Church towers over Asbury Park as a vestige of another age.

Almost as old as the city itself, the 142-year-old Catholic church is the oldest in the Trenton Diocese and is filled with stained glass, marble statues and elaborately carved stations of the cross.

“It’s a work of art, it’s an absolute work of art,” said Thomas De Seno, an Asbury Park resident, former parishioner and graduate of Holy Spirit’s long-closed grammar school.

Earlier this year, it appeared the now-unused church might be demolished to make way for a cluster of single-family townhomes with elaborate roof decks looking out toward Asbury Park’s beach. But, the local planning board shot down the idea in August by rejecting the developer’s application.

That saved the 19th century church. But for what? The church’s supporters, developers and local officials say the future of Holy Sprit Church remains unclear and may be headed for a fight in court.

The church’s precarious position has brought renewed attention to an absence of local ordinances protecting historic structures in Asbury Park, a city residents say has already lost too much history as more developers move in to build luxury buildings and houses along its famous beach.

The Holy Spirit Church, founded in 1879, was built in a late Gothic-revival style. When it opened its doors in 1880, the church was a bustling place of worship for the increasing number of Catholics settling near the Jersey Shore. Holy Spirit also operated a rectory, convent and its own school for grades K-8 in a building behind the church.

Future of Holy Spirit Church is uncertain

The Holy Spirit Church in Asbury Park was known for its stained glass, marble interior and statues, as well as its carved stations of the cross (pictured here).

For decades, the church functioned as a community hub, hosting Ladies Guild luncheons, Rosary Society, a Couple’s Club and regular school dances, according to archived newspaper clippings. But, eventually church attendance began to decline.

In 1980, the Holy Spirit School closed due to shrinking enrollment. The building, sold by the Diocese of Trenton, was converted into a 16-unit residential apartment building in 2005, records show.

Parishioner numbers also began steadily decreasing. Mass attendance at Holy Spirit Church dropped 45% between 1990 to 2010, according to the Trenton Monitor, which reports on the Diocese of Trenton.

Behind the scenes, the Diocese of Trenton, which oversees the parish, was also facing financial problems and difficult decision about combining parishes.

New Jersey’s other four Catholic dioceses — the Archdiocese of Newark and the dioceses of Metuchen, Paterson and Camden — have all faced financial hardship in recent years, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, clergy sexual abuse lawsuits and settlements reached through the New Jersey Independent Victims Compensation Fund.

Holy Spirit Church’s pastor, Rev. Miguel Virella, announced in late October 2021 that the church would be closing and the building would be sold. De Seno said alumni and the community-at-large was shocked.

“Nobody knew a thing,” De Seno said.

In letters sent to parishioners, Virella said the sale of the property would allow the parish to pay all its debts and complete renovations at Our Lady of Carmel Church on Asbury Avenue, which combined with Holy Spirit to form Mother of Mercy Parish in 2014.

Virella did not respond to requests to comment.

Last summer, residents learned the Asbury Park Planning Board was holding a hearing to review an application submitted by Mountain View Developments, a subsidiary of JLD Investment Group, to demolish the church on Second Avenue and subdivide the property into six lots.

When residents turned up at local meetings to ask officials how a building with such rich history could be at risk of demolition, many were surprised to learn the building had no designation that protected it from being purchased and bulldozed.

Future of Holy Spirit Church is uncertain

A rendering of the single family townhomes, center, proposed by Mountain View Developments. The six lots will consist of multi-level housing, multiple bedrooms, garage space, rooftop spaces, and a backyard.

“The Holy Spirit Church property is not listed on the National and N.J. Register of Historic Places, nor is it identified by ordinance as a local historic property,” said historic preservation architect Daniel Lincoln, who was asked by Mountain View Developments to write a report on the historic status of the church. His report is available on the city’s planning board website.

But even if the Holy Spirit Church was listed on the historic register, it still wouldn’t be safe because in Asbury Park “there are no restrictions on private property owners who own listed buildings,” Lincoln said.

Asbury Park has no specific ordinances related to the protection of historic properties and has not created a Historic Preservation Commission to review changes to historic buildings, he explained.

The former Palace Amusement building, a historic structure that housed an indoor amusement park, is among the historic structures that have been demolished in the city. Only the iconic “Tillie” mural on the building’s exterior was saved.

The planning board rejected the application submitted by Mountain View Developments in a 4-2 vote on Aug. 1, but the decision didn’t necessarily save the Holy Spirit Church.

The vacant building in legal limbo. Despite the planning board vote, Mountain View is proceeding with the purchase of Holy Spirit Church, according to church officials.

“The contract with JLD Investment Group LLC and Mother of Mercy Parish (which oversees the Holy Spirit Church) is still in effect,” said Rayanne Bennett, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Trenton.

“No further details will be provided until the sale is complete,” said Bennett.

Mountain View has 45 days from Sept. 12, when the planning board passed its resolution of denial, to challenge the decision in court, said Irina Gasparyan, administrative secretary for the city’s department of planning and redevelopment.

It’s an unfortunate predicament, said Elisabeth Wendel, the listing’s real estate agent. She said the buyer’s original plan was to use the original Holy Spirit Church structure and turn it into housing.

“Their main basis is to maintain the integrity of that church, refinish it, and make it into townhomes. They don’t want to tear down the structure. It is not what they want to do,” Wendel said.

When asked why the developer submitted an application to demolish the church to make way for single-family houses, Wendel said city officials had previously rejected Mountain View’s plans to put condominiums in the church with affordable housing units.

So, the developer decided to submit a plan to demolish the church, “which they’re allowed to do, but don’t want to do,” Wendel said.

But that plan to build single family houses on the site was rejected, too.

Joseph Hanna, co-founder and president at Mountain View, said he could neither confirm nor deny whether there would be a legal challenge to the planning board’s decision.

“While it would be tragic to demolish another landmark in Asbury Park, the fact is that there is currently no review process, or ordinance to prevent this private property owner from doing so,” Lincoln said.

“Sometimes demolition like this is necessary to galvanize the local government into taking some definitive action to prevent further historic destruction,” he added.

When asked if there are plans to update the local land use ordinances to include the protection of historic properties, Asbury Park Mayor John Moore said he had “no comment, at this point in time.”

Several planning board members, including President Barbara Krzak, expressed interest in addressing the protection of historic buildings in town.

“Unfortunately, it does take applications like this to spark a movement — also for our citizens to work with our government to say ‘OK, what happens to the next one? How can we prevent it from happening and make the ordinances for historic preservation tighter?’” Krzak said.

Holy Spirit Church in Asbury Park

The Holy Spirit Church at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Bond Street in Asbury Park on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.John J. LaRosa | For NJ Advance

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Jackie Roman may be reached at jroman@njadvancemedia.com.

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The late Denyse Thomasos, a star of the latest Whitney Biennial, lives again in Toronto


One of the stars of the 2022 Whitney Biennial, the late Denyse Thomasos, has symbolically returned to Toronto, where she moved with her family as a youngster after being born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1964. Though she died a decade ago at just 47, she lives on at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), where she has taken over the museum’s spacious fifth floor. The exhibition, Denyse Thomasos: just beyond (until 20 February 2023), features more than 70 paintings and works on paper, many of them sizeable, others rarely seen.

It’s a bit of a twist that her work is being shown in such a cavernous spot, as much of her work, described as “semi-abstract”, is concerned with confinement. As she wrote in one of the sketchbooks included in the show, “My work is about cages, about enclosures, being enveloped.” Black culture, history and politics were other areas Thomasos explored.

Denyse Thomasos. Metropolis, 2007. Art Gallery of Ontario. © The Estate of Denyse Thomasos and Olga Korper Gallery.

She wasn’t holding back with brush in hand, as she liked to work very large, many of her canvasses being 11ft by 20ft, the size of her studio wall in New York’s East Village, where she later resided. “She was obsessed with scale,” co-curator Renée van der Avoird explains. “We needed the fifth floor to show [the works] because you need that space to back up and look at them.”

Others who played a big part in making the Thomasos exhibition happen were the Art Gallery of Guelph’s Sally Frater, and Michelle Jacques, who is chief curator at Saskatoon’s Remai Modern, where the show will travel next spring. Jacques, who like Thomasos has Caribbean roots, previously worked at the AGO and got to know the artist, who created a large wall mural for the gallery during renovations in 2005. “She wanted the world to be a better place for herself and her daughter,” Jacques says. “She could just see beyond the world as it is.”

Staff were still in the process of stretching some of the large works during the exhibition’s press preview on 4 October, and it looked like they were going to be at it for some time. One even had a few tears and so needed mending.

Denyse Thomasos, Untitled (Self-Portrait), 1984-85. Art Gallery of Ontario. © The Estate of Denyse Thomasos and Olga Korper Gallery.

Thomasos travelled widely, too, to Peru, Southeast Asia, India, China, Mali, Senegal and South Africa, all the while snapping photographs that she would refer to in her work. There are several of her photo albums on display at the AGO, as well as her paint-spattered shoes.

Amazingly, if you were lucky enough to have visited the Canada’s Wonderland amusement park, which is just north of Toronto, or the entertainment venue Ontario Place, in 1983 or 1984, you could have sat for the artist and had your portrait done by her for a small fee. Two years later she was commissioned to paint murals for the University of Toronto, where she was studying art. She later attended Yale University, where she first made work addressing slavery. After another five years in Philadelphia it was on to Rutgers University in New Jersey, where she was an associate professor of art.

Denyse Thomasos painting a mural © The Estate of Denyse Thomasos and Olga Korper Gallery.

Thomasos’s early influences included Theodore Gericault, Anselm Kiefer and Eric Fischl. But as she matured she began to move on from doing figurative works. There were other factors. “The immediate experience of urban collapse had a psychological effect on my work,” she said in 2012.

“My whole life has been about this idea of developing a language out of line,” she is quoted in the AGO catalogue as saying. “There was something very tedious about the technical aspect of figuration that I was not interested in. The moment I actually had to make a hand look like a hand, I was not connected to my concept. […] Whereas line, this sort of constant line, was like the recording of time.”

She added: “I could not be disconnected from my canvas emotionally, not even for one minute, and line allowed me that.”

Denyse Thomasos, Maiden Flight, 2010. Art Gallery of Ontario. © The Estate of Denyse Thomasos and Olga Korper Gallery

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New Jersey Eyes Gun Carry Legislation Including Insurance Requirement


New Jersey Democrats say they are going to take a shot at passing new gun legislation similar to New York’s even thought that state’s law is facing a court challenge.

Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin and Senate President Nick Scutari, both Democrats, have unveiled legislation that they contend would establish New Jersey as the “toughest in the nation” when it comes to concealed-carry laws.

New Jersey legislative leaders said they expect there will be legal challenges if New Jersey enacts a new gun-carry law. A June ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated certain restrictions on state gun-carry laws like those New Jersey has had including requiring citizens to show a justifiable need for carrying a gun in public. New York revised its similar law following that high court ruling and now that revised law is under review by courts.

The New Jersey Democrats’ latest proposal seeks to require more comprehensive background checks before a permit is issued; prohibit permit holders from carrying handguns in certain public areas; and impose a new insurance requirement, among other measures.

Supreme Court Voids New York Gun Law, Establishes Right to Carry Outside Home

The New Jersey proposal would prohibit permit holders from carrying handguns in schools, government buildings, polling places, bars and restaurants, theaters, sporting arenas, parks, airports, casinos and childcare facilities.

“Previously, application of the justifiable need standard minimized the serious dangers of misuse and accidental use inherent in the carrying of handguns in a public place. Given the likelihood that a much greater number of individuals will now qualify to carry handguns in public, it is now both necessary and appropriate to clearly identify in the law those sensitive places where, due to heightened public safety concerns, carrying a weapon of any kind, including a handgun, is not permissible. These prohibitions are based on common sense principles and historical analogues,” the bill says in its introduction acknowledging the changed gun control landscape following the Supreme Court ruling.

Assemblyman Joe Danielsen, an author of the proposed legislation, believes the new measure strikes a balance between public safety and protecting constitutional rights. He said the state should be able to promote “responsible gun ownership, gun safety, gun education, and gun training while upholding the Second Amendment.”

Proposed Insurance Requirement
Every private citizen who carries a handgun in public in this State shall maintain liability insurance coverage, under provisions approved by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, insuring against loss resulting from liability imposed by law for bodily injury, death, and property damage sustained by any person arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation or use of a firearm carried in public wherein such coverage shall be at least in:
(1) an amount or limit of $100,000, exclusive of interest and costs, on account of injury to, or death of, one person, in any one incident;
(2) an amount or limit, subject to such limit for any one person so injured or killed, of $300,000, exclusive of interest and costs, on account of injury to or death of, more than one person, in any one incident; and
(3) an amount or limit of $25,000, exclusive of interest and costs, for damage to property in any one incident.

The bill would also increase the number of non-family references who must vouch for applicants for concealed carry permits, as well as allow disqualification of candidates for reasons of “character of temperament” and past violations of restraining orders and convictions.

The Democrats’ legislation would further require handgun owners to have liability insurance to compensate victims of an accidental discharge. Failure to carry insurance would be grounds for revocation of a permit to carry a handgun. (See sidebar for legislative language on insurance.)

Also, property owners would have to opt into allowing people to carry on their premises and concealed-carry permittees would have to undergo safety training, including a gun range qualification.

Republican Senator Ed Durr criticized the latest Democratic proposal.

“Protecting public safety also includes protecting the individual right to self-defense, yet Democrats take every opportunity to prevent people from protecting themselves,” Durr stated.

“Let’s be real. Criminals are the problem, not law-abiding citizens who have rights. The bad guys won’t go out and buy gun insurance before they carjack a family or shoot up a neighborhood.”

Democrats see their approach as enhancing public safety. They argue that expanding handgun carrying creates safety risks, citing a study by Johns Hopkins that the estimated average rate of officer-involved shootings increased by 12.9 percent in 10 states that relaxed restrictions between 2014 and 2020 on civilians carrying concealed firearms in public.

“This legislation is designed to make New Jersey safer in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling that, left unaddressed, would undoubtedly hinder public safety for the more than nine million residents of our state,” said Speaker Coughlin.

The legislation also says the Supreme Court decision recognizes that the carrying of firearms in sensitive places can “be prohibited consistent with the Second Amendment.”

Supreme Court

In a 6-3 ruling in June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York law that required citizens to show they had a special need to carry a handgun in public. It was the first ruling to hold that the Second Amendment protects gun rights outside the home.

New York and New Jersey were among a handful of states, along with California, Massachusetts, Maryland and Hawaii, with laws that tightly regulated who could carry guns and where and that gave local officials broad discretion to deny licenses to carry a handgun in public. Several states have rewritten their laws but those are now the targets of court challenges from gun rights advocates.

Last week a federal district judge in Syracuse declared various provisions of New York’s revised gun law unconstitutional and placed a temporary hold on their enforcement. This week, a federal appeals court allowed New York to continue enforcing the new gun law as it considers the lower court ruling and its objections to multiple sections.

New York’s new law requires applicants for a concealed carry permit to complete classroom and live-fire training. It also prohibits most people from bringing guns to schools, churches, subways, theaters and amusement parks —among other places deemed “sensitive” by authorities.

Republicans in New Jersey have introduced several gun bills of their own. Durr introduced five gun rights bills in May before the Supreme Court ruling, as part of what he said would be 15-bill package to “advance safe, responsible firearm ownership for law abiding citizens.”

Durr. who has said he decided to enter politics after being denied a concealed carry permit despite having a clean record, has sponsored legislation to allow certain persons to carry a handgun on private property unless expressly prohibited by the property owner. His measure would also remove the statutory justifiable need requirement, which was effectively invalidated by the Supreme Court ruling.

Other gun bills filed by Durr in May would allow members of the military to carry a firearm at all times; repeal the “Extreme Risk Protective Order Act of 2018,” which allows legally owned guns to be seized by the courts; remove capacity limits for ammunition magazines; and eliminate the 30-day waiting period between handgun purchases.

“These measures, and the 10 more I will be introducing, benefit residents who do not defy the laws of the state,” Durr said at the time. “I’m standing up for the right of self-protection. It is time for Trenton to stop penalizing upstanding citizens for the irresponsible, life-threatening actions of criminals.

Democrats have also advanced other gun legislation. In July, Gov. Phil Murphy signed laws requiring training for those seeking firearms purchaser identification cards and permits; requiring firearm retailers to sell microstamping-enabled firearms when they become available; and upgrading certain crimes related to manufacturing firearms from third degree to second degree.

New Jersey
Gun Liability

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Storytelling with Gripping and Rousing Hip Hop Tracks- TheRapperAK Drops Original Debut EP ‘Introduction’ – World News Report


Wayne Kennedy

Wayne Kennedy

A stunning debut EP by TheRapperAK, ‘Introduction’ is a look inside the artist’s ingenious mind, with noteworthy features from Minus and C-Mob

WYNNE, ARKANSAS, UNITED STATES, October 14, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — A phenomenal debut by TheRapperAK, the ‘Introduction’ EP, is slated to drop for audiences on October 14th, 2022. The new album was recorded at Young Avenue Sound Legendary Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, and features the unbridled musical prowess of the artist.

Offering audiences a glimpse into the artist’s life, the new EP displays several dynamic tracks and an anthem for his hometown football team. ‘Introduction’ also features contemporary artists Minus and the legendary C-Mob on the track, ‘Expectations.’

A brilliant and stunning new EP, ‘Introduction,’ focuses on the artist’s many goals and beliefs as well as the struggles he has had to grapple with throughout his life. A unique standpoint in Hip Hop, TheRapperAK’s music has been carefully crafted to mirror his life. Each track represents an intriguing new tangent underscored by a storytelling flow.

TheRapperAK remains inspired by renowned Hip Hop artists with clean flows and storytelling abilities, such as Eminem, Hopsin, Joyner, NF, and Kendrick. With hopes of enthralling listeners with live shows, the eclectic artist aims to book a tour within the next year while also working on new and original tracks.

“As a white kid growing up in the “hood,” Hip Hop music made way for me to express myself and show that I was able to fit in. It helped me deal with the struggles of others knowing I had a family of people just like me- even if we weren’t the same shapes, sizes, and colors, we all had one thing in common,” says TheRapperAK.

Stream TheRapperAK’s stunning new EP, ‘Introduction,’ all set to drop on October 14th, 2022, on all his official music platforms! Follow the artist on social media for updates on new music and buy the new album on iTunes. You can reach out to the artist through therapperak@therapperak.com for business inquiries and collaboration opportunities.



Wayne Kennedy, also known as TheRapperAK, is a 30-year-old artist, dad to an autistic baby, and a carpenter by trade. TheRapperAK grew up moving from one city to another with his mother, going through several formative experiences with different people, which his parents never found out about.

Through the times he spent exploring, TheRapperAK learned a lot about life and music and the struggles of being an inhabitant in low-income housing. The artist remained inspired by musical greats such as 2Pac and Bone Thugs, as he truly understood and related to the struggles they lived. Growing older, TheRapperAK failed to find authentic and relatable music, so he began making his music.

Inspired by his own life and journey, the talented artist composes tracks that focus on who he is and what he is going through, delivering a uniquely personal perspective. TheRapperAK hopes to provide listeners with meaningful tracks, honoring the value Hip Hop music had for him.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRapperAK

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/TheRapperAK/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/therapperak_

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrMpLxF3T1bloZW21HDN7Vw

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5MayGrOw8uO1yRoJfIyi9g

LastFM: https://www.last.fm/music/TheRapperAK

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wayne-kennedy-9a930a87

Wayne Kennedy
+1 800-983-1362

My Day (official music video) by A.K.

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