CHEER—Gloucester City Fire Chief George Huston (above) retired last month after 29 years of service to the community. George started as a firefighter and worked his way up to captain. In 2009 he was named battalion chief. Born and raised in Gloucester City he is a Gloucester High School alumnus. Congratulations George!
JEER—We pay among the highest property taxes in the nation. Last year, the average homeowner paid $8,500 per home, a 2.35 percent increase over 2015, according to the most recent state calculations. Both the Christie administration and the Legislature agree the annual increases would have been worse had they not passed a 2 percent spending cap on most local expenses. (7 reasons why N.J.'s property taxes are the highest in U.S.)
JEER—To whoever threw decking material loaded with long nails all over the field across from the Cold Springs School. Not only do people walk their dogs there, but kids also use it as a walkway to and from the school. Those nails make it especially dangerous. We have trash pick up every week...couldn't you just throw the boards away??? ~signed Anonymous
JEER—There is always one or two people at Planet Fitness in Brooklawn on a daily basis who think that the machine they are using is a bench for them to sit on to make phone calls and send text messages. They show no courtesy to others that are waiting for them to move on so they can use the equipment. Do us all a favor leave your phone in your car when you are exercising, stop so being so rude.
CHEER—The doors of the landmark Westmont Theatre are finally open again, but anyone who saw a concert or film here in decades past won't recognize it if they step inside. The building is now home to Westmont Planet Fitness, which had its ribbon cutting in February. On the outside, the building does not look that different. The name on the marquee is now outlined in purple neon lights and the gym's name is on the marquee sides.Inside, space is a modern, spacious gymnasium with a new partial second floor and multiple pieces of medical equipment.
"It would have been easier and more cost effective for us to start with an empty space in a standalone or plaza type environment," said franchise owner William Cassotis. But the Westmont Theatre building, he said, "had so much potential and offered a unique look.”
JEER--Gloucester City had several movie theaters at one time but instead of saving them for tourist attractions and for the sake of history those in charge decided to demolish them instead. The last one the City destroyed was the King Movie, on King Street in the 1980’s. The only thing wrong with the concert structure was it needed a new roof. Now the site is just an asphalt parking lot.
JEER—People who park their car next to their neighbor's bedroom window and let it idle each morning for 15 minutes or more starting at 7 AM. If your window is open the carbon monoxide from their car comes streaming into your house. And then there are some with the dual exhaust who like to rev their engine. Some people like to sleep in the morning. Use some common sense and show consideration for others.
CHEER—Two New Jersey school districts were among a small number recognized nationally as "Districts of Character" for their work teaching kids what it means to have good character. Cherry Hill Public Schools in Camden County and New Providence School District in Morris County made Character.org's list of Districts of Character for 2017, while 23 schools in the state were named Schools of Character. SEE ARTICLE
CHEER—Gloucester City resident Miguel Perez completed an intensive six-month program to earn his certification, with Honors, through Brother of Wolf's apprenticeship program. He is now a certified dog trainer. He will be working with Dawn Watson as an Associate Trainer and Director of Marketing at the school, located on Market Street in Gloucester City. While the school has been in operation since 2008 it relocated from its Berlin facility to its current location in 2009. Since that time a large part of its operations has been focused on outreach for the city's canine population. Perez will also continue his duties as Captain of Love on a Leash' South Jersey chapter, a position he has held for the past year.
CHEER—A $343,000 grant was awarded to the City of Gloucester for infrastructure and pedestrian safety improvements near the new middle school at Market Street bordered by 5th and 6th Streets. The NJ Department of Transportation, Delaware Regional Planning Commission, and SJ Transportation Planning Organization awarded over $2.1 million in grants for the Safe Routes to School program for municipalities in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden and Salem counties. Besides Gloucester City schools in Maple Shade, Pemberton, Eastampton will benefit from nearly $1.5 million in grants from the Delaware Regional Planning Commission. Additional grants for a total of $608,000 were awarded by the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization to Margate and Woodstown.
CHEER—The Camden County Freeholders Board presented the Borough of Brooklawn Brooklawn with a Community Block Development Grant in the amount of $21,000, which will be used for improving the Borough’s sidewalks.
JEER—Have you heard the one about Rutgers turning students away from a job fair because they wore dark blue suits instead of black? Oh, wait, that’s right, this wasn’t a joke. Students arrived on February 10th at a Rutgers career fair and were turned away for wearing dark navy blue suits instead of black. According to the dress code Rutgers issued for this job fair, only “dark gray or black professional suits” were allowed. Students were told they would have to leave and go change before being allowed back in. Many were too far from home to have that time. Others didn’t own a black or gray suit. (see article)
CHEER--Long-time Gloucester City resident Irene Sherry celebrated her 100th birthday on Thursday, February 16, surrounded by her family and friends. Irene is a member of St. Mary's Parish, Gloucester City. Presently, Irene is living at St. Mary's Catholic Home, 210 St. Mary's Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003. She has been a resident there for two years. In an interview for the nursing home's newsletter, she was asked her secret for her resilience and replied, “Know what you want in life. It’s that simple.” (see article)
CHEER—The Gloucester City Police Department K9 Unit was officially reinstated in February. Patrolman Blaise O’Donnell and his partner, Demo, along with Patrolman Mike Calzonetti and his partner, Blitz, graduated from the Atlantic County John “Sonny” Burke Canine Training Academy after 22 weeks of rigorous training. Both teams received Patrol Certification and Narcotics Detection Certification. K9 Demo is a 1.5-year-old Belgian Malinois and K9 Blitz is a 1.5-year-old German Shepherd.
JEER—Happy to report that Philadelphia District Attorney Seth William wont be seeking another term. Williams is leaving the office in disgrace. In the summer news about Williams' failure to report the gifts and payments—many from prominent defense attorneys and firms was reported by the media.Williams received strong public criticism for the reporting failures, including the Philadelphia Bar Association urging the state General Assembly to ban gift-giving to public officials. In January, Williams agreed to pay more than $60,000 to the Philadelphia Board of Ethics for the related ethics violations—a record sum for the watchdog agency, according to several news outlets. The donation scandal was one of many that dogged Williams throughout his career.
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