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Peyton and Me Meandering: Gloucester City, Brooklawn and Westville (Chapter 17)


William E. Cleary Sr. I CNBNewsnet





A RECENT WINTER DAY IN GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ-Have you given any thought to what job you like to do if you make it to heaven? I have. I like to be in charge of moving the clouds around in the sky. You would get to travel the universe. And, if you get tired just lay down on one of those soft fuzzy clouds. 



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POTHOLE SEASON--Watch out, pothole season is here. These two beauties are slowly turning into craters near the intersection of Market Street and Lane Avenue, across from Gentlemen's Den and Anyzek Fuel. (A little plug for friends Frank Anello and Ed Anyzek, no charge)





TICKLE BELLY BRIDGE TRAFFIC ACCIDENT-We were told by nearby residents that a van crashed into the guard railing on Nicholson Road just before crossing over Tickle Belly bridge. The sidewalk appears to be nothing but cinders and loose stones. It might be a good time to replace the walkway at the same time they fix the guard railing.  Police Lt. Jason Flood, said there was only one car involved. "There were no injuries, and the driver was not cited."





GRAFFITI IS A BAD SIGN-Someone has tagged the back of the dilapidated Filmore Street garages with graffiti. The garages are located across from the Gloucester City Library and are a few feet from the Monmouth Street business district.  


According to the Dodge City, Kansas website,  

Graffiti sends the signal that nobody cares, attracting other forms of crime and street delinquency to the neighborhood. Graffiti drains tax dollars. Funds that could be used for schools, roads, parks, and other community improvements, are used for graffiti clean up. Graffiti decreases a residents' feeling of safety. Neighborhoods with graffiti see a decrease in property values, loss of business growth and tourism, and a reduced ridership on transit systems. What is the best way to prevent graffiti?  Remove it promptly. Studies show that removal within 24 to 48 hours results in a nearly zero rate of reoccurrence."




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A SAD SIGN OF THE TIMES?--Everywhere we walk, but especially here in Gloucester City, we see more and more of  these  small bottles of FireBall whiskey. The above photo was taken a few feet from the Lane Avenue Playground, at the railroad tracks. So many people are having a hard time in dealing with Covid and other problems. They look for the answers at the bottom of a bottle. There is help available. AA meetings are held in this community at 465 S. Broadway.

For More Information on Meetings and Times Call 866-641-9190


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NEW BUSINESS COMES TO TOWN--A new business opened at 124 South Broadway recently, named CALI DISTRO which is a wholesale warehouse that sells only online. Prior to the new tenant moving in the building was used to sell used furniture. Decades ago the building was owned by the Gannon family who also sold furniture. Besides selling furniture the Gannon's owned a jewelry store at the corner of Market and Fourth Streets. 

Cali Bistro sells a wide variety of products. See the images below to view some of those  products . Also, visit their website CLICK here

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CREEPY, SLIMY VANDALS STRIKE AGAIN--For whatever reason, it appears that someone didn't like the electrical box that contained the mechanism for the nearby crossing light at 430 South Broadway, in front of the senior citizen's apartments. The individual ripped out the inside of the box and left it hanging on the pole. We first saw it on a Saturday. Four, five days later the box was still in the same condition.

We contacted Lt. Jason Flood, of the Gloucester City Police Department, who said CNBNews was the only report the police received about the box being vandalized. 

"We have no reports and the dispatcher has no calls for the last week about that box. An officer will take a report and notify the County Highway Department."

The Camden County Highway Department is responsible for the care of Broadway.

We found it odd that the apartment building had no security cameras on it. These days when so many senior citizens are being beaten up you would think that would be a priority for the landlord. It is also odd with all the foot and vehicular traffic that passes that location in a given day, including the police and the city highway department that no one reported it being vandalized. Why didn't one of the 500 plus tenants who live in that building pick up the phone and call the police? 



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-The soffit on the top of the Wiggington Law Office building 34-32 South Broadway was damaged a few months ago by a strong wind storm. We purchased that building in December 1984 from the Brophy family.  And sold it to Chuck Wigginton in 2005 or thereabout. For nearly 30 years it was the home of the Gloucester City News. That newspaper was an institution in this city from the day it was established in 1929.  It was in the Cleary family for 57 years or from 1948 until it was sold to Al Countryman in 2005.  A few years ago the Gloucester City News was sold to a corporate interest located in either Haddonfield or Cherry Hill. We had always wanted to paint that rusty sewer pipe and rusty downspout on the side of the building but never got around to it. 


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OUTDATED AND A EYESORE--Sources differ as to whether the peak number of pay phones in the United States was 2.6 million in 1995 or 2.2 million in 2000. Since 2007, the number of payphones in the United States in operation has declined by 48%. In July 2009, AT&T officially stopped supporting the Public Payphone service.

For those counting the last time this payphone actually worked was 13 years ago. So why doesn't the owner of this property remove it? Most will agree, we feel, that this displeasing-looking payphone has become an eyesore and a magnet for graffiti.


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DOESN'T THE PUBLIC HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW?--We received several phone calls about a supposed meeting between a developer and the Gloucester City governing body scheduled for early evening on Monday (January 17) at  Elizabeth's Ballroom, Highland Blvd., and Sylvan Avenue. The developer, name unknown, is proposing another restaurant idea with condominiums on Freedom Pier. For some strange reason, the meeting is not public, but some selected organizations did get invited to it. They are the Gloucester City Business Association and the Gloucester City Lions Club.  For whatever reason, the general public and members of the press have been excluded.



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SUCH A PRETTY BIRD--A male cardinal seeking shelter from one of the recent snowstorms that hit South Jersey landed in the holly tree in our backyard to wait until some of the snow melted. 


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WESTVILLE/BROOKLAWN BRIDGE BREAKING APART--THE pedestrian walkway over Timber Creek that sits on the borderline between the communities of Brooklawn and  Westville needs some tender loving care. Looking through that hole in the photo you can see the water below. The cement on the walkway has buckled, and the iron that keeps the structure together is in desperate need of paint and repair. This past November we posted an article about New Jersey having the fourth highest gas tax in the United States. The money from that gas tax is supposed to be used to fix a bridge like this one.

RELATED: Despite Having the Fourth Highest Gas Tax in the U.S., New Jersey's Roads Are Named The Worst

A few miles away in Gloucester City repair work on the 1-76 Klemm Avenue overpass will start on Saturday, January 22. That bridge is listed as one of the most dangerous in the United States.  Below is a photo of the underpass with support panels hung temporarily on the steel supporting the I-76 highway. 


BELOW the concrete supporting the steel lays broken under the highway

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RELATED: Klemm Avenue I-76 Overpass Work To Begin; Repairs Will Close A Major Gloucester City Highway


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18 WHEELER ROAMING THROUGH GLOUCESTER CITY--Today, Sunday, January 16, Peyton and I followed the driver of the truck above as he tried to find his way out of the City.  We first saw him coming off US 130 and driving under the Klemm Avenue I-76 Overpass. Eventually, he makes his way down Klemm Avenue to Johnson Blvd. and heads east towards the intersection of Highland Blvd., and Orlando Avenue. As he makes a left from Highland Blvd., onto Orlando he drives up on the curb and hits the stop sign. He backs up a little and then drives forward knocking the sign to the ground and cracking the corner concrete. He speeds away never stopping to look at the damage he did. 



A LACK OF COMMUNITY PRIDE--We saw this trash piled behind a Monmouth Street property as we walked down Bergen Street towards  Sussex Street. It can be seen from Broadway. Sadly this isn't a rare scene, in fact it is more common in our community than you can imagine.  


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GOD'S LITTLE ACRE LOOKING GOOD--Last week construction crews were installing new concrete sidewalks and curbing on Browning road, Brooklawn.  The sidewalks and curbing on Second and Third Streets was also getting an upgrade. The mayor and governing body deserve much credit for maintaining the infrastructure in their community. Just wish nearby communities would do the same. 


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SPRING BASEBALL NOT THAT FAR AWAY--Joe Barth Field, Brooklawn, Gloucester Catholic opens the season against Saint Augustine Prep on April 3. The varsity team from Gloucester City has a neutral non-conference game vs. St. Augustine Prep (Richland, NJ) on Sunday, April 3 @ 2pm

Game Details: Mainland Varsity BB Field Coaches vs Cancer

For the full schedule click here