NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

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April 2011

Bucks County Doctor Pleads Guilty to Running Northeast Philadelphia Pill Mill

PHILADELPHIA—Christopher Vassalluzzo, D.O., 47, of New Hope, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to participating in a conspiracy to operate an office that was, in fact, a “pill mill” that distributed millions of prescription controlled substance diet drugs outside a professional practice. Vassalluzzo’s office, where he had others operate the pill mill while he worked at local hospitals, was located at 3000 Holme Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia. In addition to the conspiracy to distribute controlled substances charge, Vassalluzzo pleaded guilty to mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud, structuring, aggravated structuring, conspiracy to commit tax evasion, and tax evasion. Vassalluzzo was... Read more →

Why You Should Belong

The American Legion - April 6, 2011 Each year, American Legion department service officers help thousands of veterans receive VA benefits they earned through service to their country. The Legion conducts, promotes and supports hundreds of career fairs for veterans and transitioning servicemembers, bringing employers face to face with job hunters. Through Operation Comfort Warriors, the Legion raises funds to provide comfort items for U.S. troops recovering in military hospitals and transition units worldwide. Legion staff lobbies Congress for better quality of life for U.S. military personnel. Through American Legion Baseball, nearly 100,000 young men get to experience teamwork and... Read more →

Joann Lila Sickles, of Hammonton

On March 30, 2011. Age 67. Of Hammonton. Formerly of Pleasantville and Point Pleasant. After a long illness, Joann has returned home to Heaven with the Lord. Loving Daughter of the late Frank and Beatrice Sickles. Beloved sister of Frank Sickles, Jr. and Betty Reese. Survived by many cherished caregivers and friends. Joann participated with the Special Olympics especially enjoying track and field. She loved to read, do puzzles, listen to music, sing, and go to the beauty salon. Religious Service and Graveside Burial will be Thursday at 1 pm in the White Lawn Cemetery, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ where... Read more →

Schmidts letter to Mayor James Re: Comments on ClearysNoteBook

April 2, 2011 Mayor William P. James 512 Monmouth Street Gloucester City, NJ 08030 (VIA E-MAIL ONLY) Dear Mayor James: I am writing this letter to you in follow-up to your letter dated March 24, 2011. Your claim that I support, advocate and find humor in your car getting keyed is not true at all and you should know that. I have known you for a long time and respect you very much as a person and have many good memories of my interactions with you growing up in Gloucester City. However, I do not support your actions as Mayor... Read more →


By Bill Cleary Two public figures, Gloucester City Mayor William James, and John Schmidt, once friends are now at odds because of comments made by Schmidt on ClearysNoteBook three months ago. Photo: John Schmidt at Gov. Christie's Town Hall meeting in Gloucester Township In February the mayor’s vehicle, a black hummer, parked in front of his home, was keyed. The vandal (s) who committed the crime was never identified or arrested. A day or two after it happened Schmidt wrote an anonymous comment on ClearysNoteBook referring to an article about the Compost/Recycling facility to be built in Gloucester City. Using... Read more →

Why Am I Running for the Board of Education? Spotlight on Gina Levins

My name is Gina Levins and I am a candidate for Gloucester City’s Board of Education. I would like to take this opportunity to share a little about who I am and why I hope you will consider me to be a Board Member. I moved to Gloucester City after marrying my husband Wil eleven years ago and absolutely love being a resident of our wonderful community. I grew up in nearby Bellmawr and attended Annunciation School and Triton Regional High School, where I graduated from in 1991. I worked as an office administrator for over ten years before deciding... Read more →

Why Am I Running for the Board of Education? Spotlight on Amelia Stebner

My name is Amelia Stebner and I am a candidate for the Gloucester City Board of Education. I am a resident of Somerset Street, a proud mother and an experienced educator and counselor. I believe the many experiences throughout my 14-year career in private education, as both a School Counselor and as a tutor, have given me a valuable perspective by working with students who have struggled academically. In my years as a Guidance Counselor, I have worked with parents, children, teachers and administrators to help establish and achieve desired academic goals. I currently work with students one-on-one in the... Read more →

A Day in Kindergarten at St. Mary School

SAINT MARY SCHOOL 341 Cumberland Street Gloucester City NJ 08030 A Day in Kindergarten Mrs. Mae Canestri (Teacher) NJ Certified K-5 Mrs. Marge Dantonio (Assistant) NJ General Elem. Ed. Cert. and Early Childhood Certified 8:00 AM – 8:20 AM Morning check in (attendance, lunch count), morning prayer, student work in skills review, printing and writing exercises (assisted by 8th grade students). 8:20 AM – 9:00 AM Pledge of Allegiance, morning greeting, morning meeting that consists of calendar, math building activities, thematic songs and activities. Language Arts 9:00 AM – 10:10 AM - Practice of letter recognition and letter sounds, blending,... Read more →


The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program is making small matching grants available for projects directly related to wildlife diversity and education. The funds are from the Conserve Wildlife License Plate renewal fund The maximum amount available per proposal is $3,500 ($1,000 is the minimum amount). The Conserve Wildlife matching grant is a 50:50 cost share grant - therefore, grant funds cannot exceed 50% of the total project cost. At least 25 percent of the grantee's share of project funding must be in a dollar amount and the remainder may be in-kind support of the... Read more →

Mt.Ephraim School Board Approves Budget 2011-2012

Press Release The Mt. Ephraim Board of Education approved the proposed 2011-2012 school budget with a tax levy of $5,234,116 on Monday 3/28/11 during it's public budget hearing. The Board was able to keep the proposed budget below the state mandated tax levy cap. The proposed $102,630 increase will allow the District to maintain existing programs and staff. The Board and Administration worked closely on the proposed budget to ensure that the no programs or staffing will be sacrificed as in past years. The Mt. Ephraim School District has taken many cost saving measures to ensure that our children are... Read more →

Eleanor Daisey, of Gloucester City; GCHS Class of 1944, Devoted Parishioner of St. Mary Church

Surrounded by her loving family, on April 5, 2011. Age 84. (nee Stiles) Lifelong resident of Gloucester City. Loving wife of 35 years to the late James R. Daisey, Sr. Loving mother of Marilyn Hill, Janet Walsh (David), Kathryn Capritti (Chris) and James Daisey (Nicole). Loving grandmother of Regina (Matt), Charles, Melissa (Damon), Jamie (Greg), Kacy, Chris, Kimberly, Samuel, Nicholas and Ashley. Loving great-grandmother of 6. One of 7 children, Eleanor is survived by her sisters, Peg Angus and Madelyn Dorris. Eleanor was a graduate of Gloucester Catholic class of 1944 and actively participated in her class reunions over the... Read more →

Peter Monti, age 91, of Medford; World War II Army Veteran

On March 28, 2011. Age 91. Of Medford. Loving Husband of 50 years to Irene Marguerite (nee Nelson). Dear Father of David Monti (Beverly) of Roebling. Beloved step-father of Judith Ann Tivald (Julius G.) Voorhees. Beloved of 3. Cherished Brother of Mary Manzo of Levittown, PA. Peter was born in Bristol, PA and proudly served our country in the U.S. Army during World War II. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend his viewing on Friday from 10 to 11 AM at the Catholic Church of the Assumption: CHAPEL: 76 Evergreen Road, New Egypt, NJ 08533. Mass 11 AM... Read more →

Patricia "Pat" Cunningham, age 58, of Gloucester City

On April 5, 2011. Age 58. (nee McKernan) Of Gloucester City. Loving wife of 32 years to John E. Cunningham. Loving mother of Melissa Cunningham. Loving grandmother of Angel, Christopher, Johnny, Stephanie, late Christina and late Joyce. Dear sister of Peggy Lee-Bangle (Gene). Relatives and friends are invited to attend her visitation on Monday morning from 10 to 11:30 AM at St. Mary’s R.C. Church: 426 Monmouth St. Gloucester City. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30 AM in the church. Cremation will be private. The family strongly requests, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Patricia... Read more →

Brooklawn Council Approves Fresh Look for Water Tower; To Cost $243,100

By Sara Martino Gloucester City News Brooklawn Mayor Theresa Branella and Borough Council members discussed the bids received for the painting of the water tower during last week’s meeting. A total of five bids were received for the much needed scraping and painting of the water tower. Beckett Enterprises of Malaga was awarded the bid at the cost of $243,100. The same contractor previously has painted the water tower in Westville. “This amount was lower than what we expected,” said Donna Domico, Public Works Manager. The borough engineer’s earlier estimate figured the cost to exceed $300,000. The start date for... Read more →

Mt. Ephraim Commissioners Meet with Residents for Friendly Chat

By Andrea Vinci Gloucester City News Long-time Mount Ephraim residents Fred and Diane Vilardo recently op-ened their home to neighbors and friends to discuss plans for the town’s future and brainstorm about budgeting to +reduce taxes. The Vilardos also invited Mayor Joseph Wolk and Commissioners Greenwald and Gilmore. All three attended, as well as a mixture of residents of various ages and interests. Among them were members of the Mount Ephraim Board of Education, teachers, local business owners and retired citizens. Vilardo said he wanted to initiate a friendly discussion, during this election year, between Borough residents and officials. The... Read more →

Hunting and Fishing: Opening Day of Trout Season Saturday, April 9

(11/P45) TRENTON - More than 180,000 freshly stocked trout will be awaiting anglers when they cast their lines on the opening day of trout season this weekend thanks to the efforts of the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife, which for the past two weeks has been stocking nearly 200 streams, lakes and ponds across the state. The season officially gets under way at 8 a.m. Saturday. An estimated 100,000 anglers statewide are expected to participate. "Opening day of the trout season is truly a remarkable event, one that connects families and friends in a cherished tradition of spring," said... Read more →

Once Again Municipal Taxes Will Increase in Gloucester City; Budget Totals $17.6 Million

By Sara Martino Gloucester City News Gloucester City Council introduced the proposed 2011 Municipal Budget March 24 that stays under the 2 percent cap, but raises taxes $39.20 per year on the average assessed home of $70,000. Councilman Nicholas Marchese Jr. presided at the Council meeting in the absence of Mayor William James. Also absent were Councilman Jay Brophy and Councilman Daniel Spencer, who is recovering from throat surgery. The $17,612,722.16 bud-get will be advertised, in summary form, in the April 7 edition of the Gloucester City News. There will be a public hearing on the budget Thursday, April 28,... Read more →

Bellmawr Mayor to Meet with Owner of Potential "Pot Spot"

By Chris Concannon Gloucester City News A potential medical marijuana center being located in Bellmawr fueled the Borough Council Meeting March 24. Recent media articles indicate that the State of New Jersey has designated Bellmawr as a potential site for such an outlet. The actual medicinal benefits of marijuana have been heavily debated from both sides of the issue. People suffering from certain forms of cancer, as well as glaucoma, have testified as to the plant’s pain-relieving qualities over the years. Pastor Vincent Kovlak of Bellmawr Baptist Church had questions on the matter, and was met with the following responses:... Read more →

NOTARFRANCESCO Muriel of Glendora

On April 1, 2011. Age 86. Of Glendora. (nee Wormer) Peacefully passed away in the loving care of her family. Survived by her daughters, son-in-laws, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Muriel will be sadly missed by her entire family. At the request of the family, services will be private. Condolences and memories may be shared at under the obituary of Muriel M. Notarfrancesco. Funeral Arrangements and Inquiries may be made through: McCANN-HEALEY FUNERAL HOME: 851 Monmouth Street, Gloucester City. Ph: 856-456-1142 Read more →

Official Gives Reasons for Privatizing City Ambulance; SJ Pot Shop Looking for a Spot

TIPS AND SNIPPETS by BILL CLEARY The City of Gloucester City switched its ambulance service over to a private contractor on Friday, April 1. Our Lady Lourdes Health System was awarded the three year contract by mayor and council in February. For decades the ambulance had been operated efficiency by volunteer firemen and later on by the paid fire department. The James administration never made a formal announcement on why the service was put out for bid. As such residents have been left to wonder what the reasons were for the move. The contract with Lourdes was negotiated by Mayor... Read more →

ramscrosscountry: The Power of Positive Coaching

“Too many kids are getting turned off to a great sport (running) when they should just be getting started.” George Sheehan Doctor George Sheehan wrote these words to me in a letter I received shortly before he passed away in the fall of 1993. His concern about the number of kids getting discouraged and quitting early in their running careers is just as valid today. Sports participation in general in America peaks near the age of 10-12 and declines precipitously to the age of 18. I have often wondered why some runners are “hooked” for life while others are turned... Read more →

Easton-Bell hopes 'The Dome' will prevent sudden injuries - San Jose Mercury News

IMAGE: Pitcher's helmet manufactured by Easton...see video By Daniel Brown - San Jose Mercury News SCOTTS VALLEY - As he slipped on the helmet that could some day be standard equipment for youth baseball leagues, Gunnar Sandberg had a message for those who thought it looked uncool. "Wouldn't you rather wear this than be in the hospital for two months?" Sandberg, who recently returned to the diamond for Marin Catholic High School, nearly died from a line drive off his skull a year ago. Armed with an increasing body of alarming medical research on the scope of brain injuries, the... Read more →

WHEN EAST MEETS WEST: Earthquake still felt all over Japan

Commentary by Hank F. Miller Jr. When friends back home contacted me to see if we were OK after the March 11,2011, disaster I told everyone the same thing. "We're OK. We live about 1,200 kilometers from the disaster zone.We haven't been affected at all." PHOTO: HANK MILLER We didn't feel the earthquake , not even slightly. We have had no blackouts. We continue to have food,water and daily necessities. But of course this is not all true. The disaster has everyone in Japan, including the people living here in Kitakyushu. People collect food, batteries for flash lights, clothing blankets... Read more →

NECman joins elite baseball group

The American Legion - March 18, 2011 Photo by James V. Carroll American Legion National Executive Committeeman Jerry Hedrick joined an elite group of more than 200 Legionnaires on March 12. The commander of Post 8 in Lexington, N.C., was inducted into the Department of North Carolina’s American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame, which was established in 1967. “I am humbled and honored that I was selected,” Hedrick said. “I do think there are more people deserving than me, but I’m very appreciative of this honor.” Hedrick’s involvement in Legion Baseball began in 1977 at Holt-Moffit Field, where he sold... Read more →

Rain postpones Greenville race

By James V. Carroll - March 31, 2011 76 Freedom Car driver Jerick Johnson signs autographs for veterans and staff at Greenville, S.C., VA Outpatient Clinic Photo by James V. Carroll Jerick Johnson and The American Legion/David Law Firm 76 Freedom Car team traveled to Greenville, S.C., last week to compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Greenville Pickens Speedway. But Mother Nature had other plans. A steady downpour last Saturdaypostponed the race a week. The 150-lap competition will get under way at 8 p.m. April 2, weather permitting. “We were really excited to try out the... Read more →

#17 Lions set to open NJAC baseball schedule at #5 Kean on Saturday

press release April 1, 2011 Ewing, NJ … The College of New Jersey baseball opens its New Jersey Athletic Conference schedule this weekend at Kean University. The two teams are slated to square off in a doubleheader beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday in Union, NJ. The #17 Lions (13-3) will send staff ace Connor Henderson (Monmouth, Jct., NJ/South Brunswick) to battle the #5 Cougars (16-3). Henderson (4-0, 0.47 ERA) has been the epitome of consistency throughout his career at TCNJ and will take his arsenal of talents with him to open conference action on Saturday. TCNJ enters its conference... Read more →