By Bill Cleary
(cnbnews.net)JEER-There was a shooting outside of the D’Place nightclub, Rt. 130 and Market Street on December 21. A 24-year-old male from Willingboro suffered multiple gunshot wounds. There have been numerous crime incidents that have occurred at this establishment since it first opened in 2009. D’Place has become a nuisance bar, as such, the City is looking to place sanctions against the owners. The bar is located near the entrance of Meadow Brook, a $200,000 plus single family home complex. It is also a few feet away from the city-owned housing project, Meadow Mews formerly Chatham Square. The City has spent $5 million of our tax dollars on that project. No doubt this bar is one of the reasons the City is having trouble selling those properties. With people getting shot who would want to live in that neighborhood?
JEER-The Delaware River Port Authority announced in December it was going to divvy out the unspent $29.9 million in economic development funds on non-transportation projects. The DRPA money mostly comes from expensive tolls to cross Delaware River bridges, some of which are in need of repair. The biggest part of development funds, $6 million, went to a center at Copper University Hospital whose board chairman just happens to be South Jersey Democratic Party boss George Norcross.
JEER-Gloucester City Council approved a resolution on December 15 to reimburse employees who waived their health benefits in 2011. Included among those listed were part-time council members. Specifically, Mayor William James ($4161),Councilman John Hutchinson, ($4398) Councilman Jay Brophy ($4398), Councilman Nick Marchese ($4398) and former councilwoman Kellie Ferry ($3000). If council feels they are entitled to more money (each member receives a $1,000 stripend, the mayor receives $2500) then they should pass a referendum and place it on the ballot. Let the voters decide the issue.
JEER-One of Gov. Chris Christie’s key advisers has received three golden parachutes from taxpayers during the past nine years. Cabinet Secretary Louis C. Goetting IV raked in $1.1 million from two severance payouts and an early retirement deal. In addition, Goetting collects $219,000 a year from the state – a $130,000 salary plus $89,000 in pension payments. Christie hired Goetting in 2010 as a budget guru to help trim the cost of government. But Goetting resembles a problem, not a solution, according to a New Jersey Watchdog analysis of his employment history.
CHEER-The Common Sense Shared Service Act (S-3104) sponsored by Sen. Donald Norcross, D-5 will help reduce property taxes by making it easier for some of the state’s 566 municipalities and 601 school districts to eliminate redundancy by sharing a position. Presently most public employees gain lifetime tenure after just 5 years on the job. Norcross’s bill allows a tenured employee to be laid off if two towns agree to share. This measure is expected to become law before the legislative session ends January 10.
CHEER-The Gloucester County Special Services Board of Education has voted to certify tenure charges against Steven Roth, a Bankbridge Regional School teacher who was videotaped verbally bullying a student. The student, Julio Artuz, 15, recorded a video in Roth’s class in which he repeatedly asks the teacher to stop calling him “special,” provoking responses from the teacher like, “What does the title on the front of that school say? ‘Special education,’” and “You want me to call you normal, and you don't even know what it is.” At one point, the teacher is also heard saying, “I will kick your a** from here to kingdom come.” The move by the school board could lead to the dismissal of Roth.
CHEER-LS Power Group announced on November 30 that West Deptford Energy Holdings, LLC has completed financing for the construction of its 738 megawatt (nominal) natural gas-fired, combined-cycle electric generating facility in West Deptford Township. The plant will produce enough power to fuel more than 300,000 New Jersey households. This project is expected to generate 650 construction jobs.
CHEER-The U.S. Department of Education announced that New Jersey has been selected as a winner of its Race to the Top 3 grant competition. New Jersey will receive $38 million in federal funds, half of which will go to participating districts, and half of which will be used to support the state's bold education reform agenda.
CHEER-Armand F. D’Auria, Jr. of Westville, who is the grandson of Big Jim and Betty McNamee Sr., was honored by the State Police for helping State Trooper Barry Aldridge. D’Auria a tow truck driver was called by the trooper to the Atlantic City Expressway to remove a vehicle. Two of the occupants of the vehicle physically attacked the trooper. The citation reads, “With the trooper obviously outnumbered, and without hesitation or regard for your own safety, you assisted Trooper Aldridge in gaining control of the incident”.
CHEER-The new owners of Pats Select Pizza, located at the intersection of Broadway and George Street, Gloucester City did a fabulous job fixing up the building. It looks great! Glad to see a Gloucester City business owner with Community Pride!
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