Stewardship Grant Received

On 12/31/19, The NJ Department of Environmental Protection, through The New Jersey Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, awarded $122,500 in grants to 11 municipalities to promote the stewardship of urban and community trees and forests. Resiliency planning grants totaling $76,500 have been awarded to eight municipalities: Merchantville Borough, Camden County ($10,000); Byram Township, Sussex County ($10,000); City of Trenton, Mercer County ($10,000); Pennsauken Township, Camden County ($10,000); Teaneck Township, Bergen County ($10,000); Ridgewood Village, Bergen County ($10,000); West Cape May Borough, Cape May County ($10,000); and Park Ridge Borough, Bergen County ($6,500). Funding for the 2019 grants comes from the “Treasure Our Trees” state license plate sales and the No Net Loss Compensatory Reforestation program.

Town Chef Makes His Mark

Mayor Brennan sent congrats on Twitter to Merchantville’s own Phil Manganaro, Chef/Owner of Park Place Cafe & Restaurant, for his well deserved recognition as one of the 24 most important people on the NJ restaurant scene. We’re lucky to have such talent and shows that Merchantville is a great place to work play and live! In a recent US Today article on eating your Christmas tree they noted that at Park Place Restaurant in Merchantville, you can enjoy seared scallops with roasted porcini, essence of White Pine and pine ash. Or turbot, poached in olive oil and served with the ash of White and Pitch pines. "It's about tying it all together, for me," said Chef/owner Phil Manganero. "Mushrooms grow under the pine trees, so it makes sense to me." As one of the decade’s 24 most influential people in the NJ restaurant scene Phil has made an indelible mark on New Jersey's ever-evolving dining experience. Our food scene is as good as any in South Jersey and looking to grow soon! 


DWI Ignition Locks Take Effect

Starting Sunday, December 1st, anyone convicted of DWI in the Garden State, even for a first offense of .05%, which is below the legal limit of .08., will have to install a so-called “ignition interlock device” in their car to prevent them from driving with alcohol on their breath.The law also eliminates license suspensions for first-timers whose blood-alcohol level was only slightly above the legal limit, or between .08 and .10 percent. Up to now, only those convicted of a second DWI offense or more, or first-timers convicted of having a blood-alcohol level above .15 were subject to installation of the locking devices, including the cost of their installation and monthly monitoring charges that could amount to several hundred dollars. The law, signed by Gov. Murphy in August has been hailed by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and other supporters as a common-sense alternative to mandatory suspensions without ignition lock requirements. 

Sweeney Speaks at PMAC

Senate President Steve Sweeney addressed the Pennsauken-Merchantville Area Chamber of Commerce on October 9th about the state of New Jersey, where he spoke of the need for the state to promote economic prosperity, government efficiency and investment in public priorities. PMAC holds a luncheon every month. For October’s luncheon, they invited the Senate President to speak about legislation or policies that will affect the businesses of Pennsauken and Merchantville. Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland said that residents need more affordable services, "deserve to see real progress, and now is the time to deliver.” PMAC chair, Matt Gaskill, owner of Gaskill-Brown Funeral Home in Merchantville commented, “Senator Sweeney understands the importance of a thriving business community and how essential that is to the economic growth of surrounding communities."

Jersey-Friendly Yards

Did you know that you can rethink your lawn, create a Jersey-friendly yard and reduce your environmental impact? NJ native plants help conserve and filter water, provide habitat for native wildlife, protect soil resources, and reduce the costs and environmental impacts associated with fertilizers and pesticides.This year’s Jersey-Friendly Yards conference will be on Saturday, October 19th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Ocean County College’s Gateway Building in Toms River, New Jersey. There will be two fantastic featured speakers and “choose a workshop” sessions to learn how to put your Jersey-Friendly Yard into practice! Fall is the perfect time to add native plants to your landscape and New Jersey growers will bring a great selection of native plants ready for fall planting.

Inquirer Offers NJ, DE Beach Guide

The Philadelphia Inquirer provides a guide to which beaches are open, closed or under advisory, from Atlantic Highlands to Cape May based on live water quality monitoring data from New Jersey and Delaware (Here’s what that means.) You can also use this tool to save your favorite beaches, get driving directions and check the weather before you head out. Please note: Local beach patrols can close beaches for other reasons, such as surf conditions. The state’s data may not reflect these closures; check lifeguard stands for flags before you take a dip. This year, The Inquirer’s Ultimate Shore Guide also gives you a town-by-town look at the best of the Shore’s old routines and new additions. You’ll never have to worry about finding something fun to do – even on a rainy day.

Best Burger in the County

There's a reason why nearly every restaurant — from fast to fine — has a burger on its menu. It's because they're universally adored. It's the same reason I ate 44 burgers at 44 restaurants in the past two months — to find the absolute juiciest, most flavorful version in each county in the Garden State. The following burgers are so good that even after eating 44 burgers in a very short time, I'm still dreaming about them. The Blue Monkey Burger from Blue Monkey Tavern in Merchantville is Camden County's best burger.

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