photo credit CNBNewsnet
by William E. Cleary Sr.
JEER-- This jungle of weeds and trash shown above can be found at the intersection of Lane Avenue and Powell Street. The photo below was taken at Little Somerset Street near Victoria Place. The weeds and overgrown trees have taken over the sidewalk. Nearby property owners should not have to put up with conditions like these. Drive around the city and you will find many similar homes. Grant you Gloucester City is inundated with abandon properties. A local official told us there are 450 of them. However, it seems to us that there are enough Public Works employees available to be assigned to correct this blight. And if not hire an outside contractor and charge the responsible parties for the cost. To just let them remain in this condition and do nothing depreciate the homes in the surrounding neighborhood and reflects badly on Gloucester City. City officials should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this blight to ruin our community. WE WONDER, if these deplorable conditions were next to the mayor’s house or the house of a councilman would they still exist?
photo credit CNBNewsnet
CHEER—Good luck and success to the Brooklawn Diner and the Petrogiannis Family. Seeing the diner (a south Jersey landmark for many years) restored and returning to our community is really nice. The transformation of this property has been amazing and it's absolutely beautiful right up to landscaped grounds and parking areas.
JEER—NJ Lawmakers for failing to acknowledge any law abiding citizens right to be legally armed and protected at all times. While law enforcement does it's best they cannot protect a citizen fully at all times. Making stricter laws regarding firearms does little to help, criminals don't obey those laws. The same politicians making these laws are themselves, along with their family members protected around the clock, by heavily armed guards at the tax payers expense. Yet the average citizen is left to defend himself. Hypocrisy at its finest.
CHEER—To retiring Brooklawn Police Chief Fran McKinney for his many years of service and protection to the community. He will be missed, but we wish him the best and continued great success in his future. Thank you, Chief!
JEER—To the "politicians" who have turned our government into a cesspool of corruption, scandal, and investigations. Self-serving agendas and nepotism are largely responsible for making these politicians synonymous with organized crime. Even sadder is that our voting choices have dwindled to little more than deciding "which bad choice can you live with". Having choices that are controlled by media, big business and money is really no choice at all.
CHEER-Eric Cassidy, a Gloucester City resident and Gloucester High alumnus, was named the head basketball coach at Cherokee High School. For the past six years Cassidy, who was a 1,000-point scorer at Gloucester, has coach basketball at Schalick High School. “I’m really excited,” Cassidy told Courier-Post reporter Kevin Minnick. “It’s an opportunity for me to step into a great program with great kids. Lucky for me, the position re-opened and I’m thrilled.”
JEER—Seven potholes on Market Street, Gloucester City from U.S. Route 130 west to Greenwood Avenue. Once again, the people in Gloucester City get forgotten. Betcha that condition would not be allowed in Haddonfield or any other more affluent community.
CHEER—Tawanda Jones, who founded the Camden Sophisticated Sisters drill team, announced last Saturday night at the team's Annual Showcase performance that she is buying a property at 2204 South Seventh St. to fulfill her dream of a place for CSS to practice. The team will be closing on the property at 2204 S. 7th St. this coming week, she said. Jones said the 25,000-square-foot structure will be a future recreation center with a soundproof studio, a costume room, classrooms, a kitchen, office space, a store full of CSS merchandise and a media room where the kids she calls her "babies" can do their homework after school. See Courier Post article
JEER—Why do some mailmen (aka letter carriers) get a thrill out of throwing packages marked Fragile on the steps or porches of the recipients? Surely they can read and understand the English language. It is so inconsiderate and unnecessary. If you don’t like your job quit, don’t take it out on your customers.
CHEER—Literacy Volunteers of Camden County was organized many years ago to provide free one-on-one and small group tutoring in reading, math and English for County adults at the lowest level of literacy. Literacy Volunteers of Camden County addresses this problem by training local volunteers to instruct these adults using a flexible, learner-centered approach. This year LVCC has over 160 volunteer tutors working with 200 students. Call Literacy Volunteers of Camden County at (856)772-1636 ext. 7331 for more information.
JEER—People who park in spots designated for customers with a child and have no children with them are despicable. Also a “BIG RASPBERRY” to those individuals who leave their empty shopping carts in a parking space. Take a moment and walk it back to the store, you need the exercise.
KUDOS TO members of the Brooklawn Police Department and to the caller who provided updates on the path of a fleeing robber leading to the apprehension of the suspect who allegedly just robbed a gas station. If you read the police reports from any community you will realize what the men in ‘Blue’ face on a daily basis. Police throughout the country deserve our support, appreciation, and respect. Great job as usual Brooklawn PD!!!
JEER—Even as it careened toward bankruptcy, the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, approved $3 million in bonus pension payments for a handful of city employees. Those extra payments effectively doubled the retirement pay of 35 city workers and were given without a proper analysis of the cost to the city’s taxpayers, according to a state audit released in June.
JEER—The Gloucester City Board of Education on June 23 approved a $5,602 salary increase for the school superintendent. They also approved pay raises for 15 other administrators. Eleven of those 15 are making over a $100,000 each. In April the school board laid off 30 people because of a $5 million budget deficit. They also cut bussing along with other services. They spend your money like the well will never run dry. Consider these facts: The community of Gloucester City is so poor it has the unflattering distinction of being labeled an Urban Enterprise Zone (only 32 in NJ) and an Abbott School District (only 31 in NJ). The state's UEZ Program attempts to rejuvenate "distressed commercial districts" by charging only half the state sales tax. The Court in the Abbott II ruling of 1990 explicitly limited the Abbott programs and reforms to a class of school districts identified as "poorer urban districts" or "special needs districts." In 1997, these districts became known as "Abbott districts."
HOW DO YOU BECOME AN *ABBOTT DISTRICT? The Court identified the specific factors used to designate districts as "Abbott districts." These districts:
2 "evidence of substantive failure of thorough and efficient education;" including "failure to achieve what the DOE considers passing levels of performance on the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA);"
3 have a large percentage of disadvantaged students who need "an education beyond the norm;"
4 existence of an "excessive tax [for] municipal services" in the locality where the district is located.
Contributing to this month's column, Earl Foster and Mildred Stubbs. If you have a Cheer or Jeer for the July column, send it to CNBNews1@gmail.com. The deadline is July 31, 2015.