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NEWS
April 13, 2016 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Staff Writer
In the contentious battle over Gov. Christie's desire to build dunes along the entire coast of New Jersey, a judge in Atlantic County ruled Monday that the state may seize 87 municipally owned parcels in Margate needed to restart a $40 million shore protection project. Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez said the state's use of eminent domain was "not arbitrary and capricious" or an abuse of the state's power. In the 65-page ruling, Mendez wrote that the Army Corps of Engineers' plan had been developed over six years, involved numerous experts working thousands of hours, and was adopted by Congress.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 2002 | By Steven Rea INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
One of the out-and-out debacles of David Lynch's film career, Dune - the director's extravagant, way-long 1984 adaptation of the Frank Herbert sci-fier - is nonetheless a fascinating, fun thing to behold. Set on a desert planet in the year 10,991 and featuring wild sandstorms and giant, wormy monsters, the movie is an unsuccessful blend of Dino DeLaurentian spectacle and Lynchian dreamscapes. Watch Kyle MacLachlan, Brad Dourif, Linda Hunt, Sean Young, Virginia Madsen, Patrick Stewart, and Max Von Sydow go overboard in a big way. I wish that I could say Dune unlocks the enigma that is Mulholland Drive, but it doesn't.
NEWS
November 10, 2013 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Inquirer Staff Writer
MARGATE, N.J. - Voters in this resort south of Atlantic City have rejected a plan for a dune project, despite Sandy's thrashing of the Jersey Shore a year ago - when in hours, one storm washed away as much sand from the beaches and dunes as it normally would take a decade to remove. In Tuesday's election, 65 percent of the 2,292 residents who cast ballots said no to the $20 million Army Corps of Engineers' fully federally funded project. The corps wants to construct 12-foot-high dunes along the 1.5-mile-long beachfront.
NEWS
May 2, 2013 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Inquirer Staff Writer
LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP, N.J. - On this barrier island, hard-hit by Sandy six months ago, oceanfront property owners had exactly one day to finally sign over easements to allow the government to build a new dune system or face public ridicule, Gov. Christie told a packed auditorium Tuesday. The administration intends to build a fortified dune system along New Jersey's 127-mile coastline, Christie said at his 107th town hall meeting. Stubborn homeowners spreading false information to their neighbors won't stop him, he added.
NEWS
February 10, 2016 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - As a new-moon high tide Monday pushed flood waters into nearby streets again, a judge listened to final arguments over whether he should allow the state to condemn 87 lots owned by the City of Margate in order to proceed with a Shore-protection dune project. "The state made use of the best technology, the best advice," attorney Stephen Eisdorfer argued before Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez. "It made rational decisions that maximize the benefit and minimize the harm, both to Margate, and to Ventnor and Longport.
NEWS
December 6, 2014 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
Score one for the beach bums of Margate in their quixotic fight against Gov. Christie's 127-mile sand dune. In court in Camden on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb told the state it can't just take Margate's land with an administrative order to expedite its shore protection project. She ordered her temporary restraining order continued until at least Dec. 17, a setback for the state that, in effect, allows Margate to stand in the way of a $74 million portion of the project ordered by Christie.
NEWS
January 16, 2015 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Inquirer Staff Writer
VENTNOR, N.J. - The message was clear Wednesday morning from the mayors of Ventnor and Longport to Margate, the beach town that sits between them: Get out the way and allow a protective dune to be built. After filing suit against the state Department of Environmental Protection, Margate will appear in federal court on Thursday to continue to plead its case to prevent the DEP and the Army Corps of Engineers from proceeding with a $74 million project that would build a contiguous dune along the length of Absecon Island from Atlantic City south to Longport.
NEWS
July 7, 2013 | Associated Press
TRENTON - New Jersey's top court said Friday it will issue its opinion Monday on whether homeowners should be compensated for losing ocean views when dunes are built. The high court's decision will come in the widely watched case of a Long Beach Island couple who sued and won a jury verdict for $375,000 to make up for the view they lost when their town built a dune in 2010. The town, Harvey Cedars, appealed, saying that a house protected from a flood is more valuable than one that is not. The house at the center of the case, belonging to Harvey and Phyllis Karan, survived Sandy in October.
NEWS
November 26, 1989 | By William H. Sokolic, Special to The Inquirer
As dune grass goes, sea oats has a lot going for it. It takes root quickly, covering a dune in 18 months, and is not bothered by the insects and diseases that play havoc with other dune grass. But it has a minor flaw: It can't stand the cold. Good for Florida's beaches; not so good for New Jersey's. On the other hand, Sea Isle Japanese Sedge doesn't mind the cold. Or the bugs. But the stuff takes so darn long to grow - nearly three years to cover a dune. The garden variety dune grass, Cape American, can cover the same dune in less than a year, even in cold weather.
NEWS
September 27, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
A Harvey Cedars, N.J., couple locked in a long-running legal battle with the borough after it built a protective sand dune on part of their property have settled the case for $1, state officials announced Wednesday. Meanwhile, Gov. Christie ordered the state Attorney General's Office to "immediately take action" to obtain easements from landowners to build more protective dunes along the shoreline in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. "We can no longer be held back from completing these critical projects by a small number of owners who are selfishly concerned about their view while putting large swaths of homes and businesses around them at risk," Christie said in a statement.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 2, 2016 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Staff Writer
AVALON, N.J. - It's now the season before the season, when towns along the New Jersey coast ready their beaches for the post-Memorial Day crowds who will be clamoring for a spot on the sand as soon as ambient and ocean-water temperatures soar. Armed with heavy equipment and detailed plans - that mostly center on moving beach sand that over the winter migrated from one place to another because of shifting tides and ferocious winds - places like this Cape May County beach town send public-works crews and private contractors to the strands to do the work.
NEWS
April 13, 2016 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Staff Writer
In the contentious battle over Gov. Christie's desire to build dunes along the entire coast of New Jersey, a judge in Atlantic County ruled Monday that the state may seize 87 municipally owned parcels in Margate needed to restart a $40 million shore protection project. Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez said the state's use of eminent domain was "not arbitrary and capricious" or an abuse of the state's power. In the 65-page ruling, Mendez wrote that the Army Corps of Engineers' plan had been developed over six years, involved numerous experts working thousands of hours, and was adopted by Congress.
NEWS
February 10, 2016 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - As a new-moon high tide Monday pushed flood waters into nearby streets again, a judge listened to final arguments over whether he should allow the state to condemn 87 lots owned by the City of Margate in order to proceed with a Shore-protection dune project. "The state made use of the best technology, the best advice," attorney Stephen Eisdorfer argued before Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez. "It made rational decisions that maximize the benefit and minimize the harm, both to Margate, and to Ventnor and Longport.
NEWS
February 7, 2016 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - Expert witnesses for the state, testifying in favor of building a dune system that Margate opposes, told a court Friday that the plan is based on current technologies and data. They contradicted two experts for Margate who argued Thursday that state and federal officials were relying on stale data and old modeling to reach their conclusion. Margate filed suit against the state to prevent it from using eminent domain to seize 87 city-owned beach lots and proceed with a plan by the Christie administration to build dunes along the entire 127-mile New Jersey shoreline.
NEWS
February 6, 2016 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - The City of Margate bellied up to the no-dunes bar in an Atlantic City courtroom Thursday, arguing that the state and the Army Corps of Engineers improperly relied on 20-year-old data and old models of the coastline to justify a beachfront dune project ordered by Gov. Christie. "It's almost the perfect storm in reaching the wrong decision," civil engineer Charles Rooney, a former Army Corps employee, testified. Margate, one of the trio of "selfish" towns singled out by Christie during his recent trip back to New Jersey during last month's winter storm, does not want the state to be allowed to use eminent domain to seize 87 city-owned lots along the beachfront it needs to proceed with building the dune.
NEWS
December 25, 2015 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Staff Writer
New Jersey's contorted efforts to build Gov. Christie's sought-after dune along the coast has hit another snag as the dredging contractor stationed on Long Beach Island is making plans to remove equipment to work on another project, the state said Wednesday. The City of Margate is apparently to blame for this, at least in part, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, which holds the $128 million contract with the dredging company. Margate is fighting the state in court over the dune project, which it does not want, and has been called "selfish" by Christie.
NEWS
December 10, 2015 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
Score another round to the City of Margate in its fight against Gov. Christie's efforts to construct a dune the length of New Jersey's 127-mile coast. Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez ruled Tuesday that Margate is entitled to a hearing in February on whether the state abused its eminent domain power in attempting to take 87 city-owned lots needed to construct a beachfront dune in the Shore town. He ruled that Margate had made a "sufficient showing of arbitrariness" on the part of the state to warrant a hearing on whether the state abused its power in trying to force the dunes on the city.
NEWS
November 22, 2015 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - The recalcitrant City of Margate continued its efforts Friday to bollix the state's plans to move ahead with Gov. Christie's touted coastal dune system. Outside counsel for the Department of Environmental Protection asked Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez to approve eminent domain seizure of 87 city-owned lots needed for the project. But outside counsel for Margate argued that the city was at least entitled to an evidentiary hearing on whether the state is abusing its power by building the dunes against Margate's wishes.
NEWS
October 10, 2015 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
MARGATE, N.J. - A week after calling this well-heeled beach town "selfish" for refusing to give up land needed for the state's dune project, Gov. Christie on Thursday moved to give Margate no choice. The state said it had filed an eminent domain action against the City of Margate to gain access to city-owned beachfront easements needed for the project. The city's opposition has caused the Army Corps of Engineers to abort plans for dunes for Ventnor, Margate, and Longport. Prior to the filing, the state had offered Margate $29,000 for nine beachfront easements, based on an appraisal, the city said.
NEWS
October 7, 2015 | By Jacqueline L. Urgo, Inquirer Staff Writer
AVALON, N.J. - Despite the sunny sky on Tuesday - a contrast to the dismal weather brought by a weekend nor'easter that chewed up beaches and pulled tons of sand offshore - the surf along the Ninth Street beach here remained kicked up as a crew of coastal geologists began assessing the damage from the storm. "This is really the best time to be out here," said Crist Robine, chief sedimentologist and geoscience specialist at the Stockton University Coastal Research Center in Galloway Township.
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