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

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Cheers & Jeers 




by Bill Cleary


CHEER-To the new owner of the former Red Mill Tavern building, 500 unit block of South Broadway, Gloucester City for taking that run down property and fixing it up. A big improvement! Thank you for showing Community Pride. 


JEER-The 2010-11 Gloucester City School District budget totaled $38.8 million. The 2011-12 budget was $45 million and the 2012-13 budget totals almost $48 million or approximately $10 million more than two years ago. Yet school enrollment, around 2000 students, has remained the same for a number years. So why does the budget continue to climb? Those in charge will point to the fact that City residents are only paying a small portion of the school budget. For example this year because of state and federal monies the estimated amount is $18 million. “Why should any City resident complain? “It is not coming out of their pockets,” is the normal chant we hear. That money is coming out of our pockets. (emphasis author). We are the state and federal government. This is why our state taxes are the highest in the nation and the federal government is $16 trillion in debt. Our School Board and administrators need to realize they don’t have a carte blanche just because they get this annual infusion of government cash. If other school districts can keep their budget under control with no increase ( for example Brooklawn for three straight years) then Gloucester City should be able to do the same.



JEER-To those using the parking lot at Proprietors Park in Gloucester City, to change the oil in their vehicles. Likewise, a big Jeer to the manager of the City marina for not calling the police when a recent incident was reported to him. (submitted by a reader).


CHEER-Former Rowan/Glassboro State track and field coach Oscar Moore was honored by the South Jersey Track Club at a luncheon on April 29. His teams won the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship 19 straight years. Moore produced over 130 All-Americans and 24 NCAA individual champions. In addition, he had one NCAA Division I champion in the javelin and a total of five athletes that qualified for the NCAA Division I Championships. He was named the NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year five times (1980-84). 


JEER-To our City leaders for allowing a compost plant to be erected in the Southport area. For many of us who have been following this up and down waterfront development saga over the past 30 years a compost plant is the furthest thing we wanted for this prime Delaware River acreage. To think we went from town homes, condos, shopping outlet and a major marina being built to a fertilizing plant and a dirt dump is such a big letdown it is just incomprehensible. 


CHEER-The Gloucester City Board of Education (BOE) approved a motion at the April meeting to appoint Joseph Rafferty as the new Superintendent of Schools. Beginning July 1 Rafferty, who lives in Gloucester City, will serve as superintendent for the next three years, conditional upon an acceptable contract to both parties. Rafferty will replace Superintendent Paul Spaventa, whose contract was not renewed last year. Since 2006, Rafferty has been the Mount Ephraim Superintendent of Schools. A 1979 graduate of Gloucester Catholic High School, Rafferty had been a teacher at both Gloucester Catholic and Gloucester City high schools. Also, he had been the Assistant Principal at Mary Ethel Costello School in Gloucester City.


JEER-New Jersey State law enforcement authorities are continuing the investigation into the unauthorized escort by state troopers of a group of sports cars down the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway. Troopers allegedly escorted a “Death Race” convoy of Porsches, Lamborghinis and Ferraris speeding at 100 miles per hour. Sergeant First Class Nadir Nassry, 47, assigned to Totowa Station, has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. Nassry has been a trooper for 25 years. Additionally, Trooper Joseph Ventrella, 28, assigned to the Troop B Tactical Patrol Unit, has been suspended without pay. He has been on the force for 6 years.

JEER-An Environmental New Jersey report reveals industrial facilities dumped 8.5 million pounds of toxic chemicals into New Jersey’s waterways, making New Jersey’s waterways the 12th worst in the nation. The Delaware River is ranked 5th in the nation for highest amount of total toxic discharges, with 6.7 million pounds discharged in 2010.  DuPont Chambers Works was the biggest polluter in New Jersey, dumping 5.4 million pounds of toxic pollution into the Delaware River. Furthermore, DuPont was the 4th biggest polluter in the country. 

Wasting Our Waterways: Industrial Toxic Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act also reports that 226 million pounds of toxic chemicals were discharged into 1,400 waterways across the country.


JEER-To those young men walking down Broadway in the middle of the day with their shirts off, pants hanging down to their knees, drinking beer. That includes their wives, girlfriends, wearing PJ bottoms and baggy shorts, along with strapless tops with their stomaches showing, pushing baby carriages. (submitted by a reader).


JEER-To the New Jersey State Department of Transportation for not installing a delayed left hand turn signal at the intersection of Route 130 and Browning Road in Brooklawn. As it is now, that intersection is a traffic nightmare during the evening rush hour. (submitted by a reader).