William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews
GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (February 6, 2024)(CNBNews)--The other day, we had a hawk perched on the deck railing in our backyard. Based on the information we found on the Bird Feeder Hub website https://birdfeederhub.com/hawks-in-new-jersey/, we believe it is a Red-tailed hawk. The Red-tailed hawks are the most common hawk found on the North American continent, living year-round in almost every state, including New Jersey. Their population increases even more during the winter, when birds that have spent their summer in Canada come down to join the others in the U.S. Red-tailed hawks are most active during the day or early morning and are commonly seen soaring looking for prey with their amazing vision or perched along the roadside on telephone poles. Their diet is mainly small to medium-sized mammals like mice, rats, rabbits, and squirrels.
MOTHER NATURE IS AMAZING- It's truly fascinating to see how wildlife can adapt to life in the suburbs. Over the years, we've received photos from people in Gloucester City of a deer wandering through the 700 block of Hunter Street, wild turkeys perched on rooftops, turkeys attacking cars that were stopped at the Route 130 and Market Street traffic lights, and even a dead beaver hit by a car on Thompson Avenue. It's incredible to think about how these animals make their way into our neighborhoods, especially when they're so far from their natural habitats. The nearest water for that beaver found on Thompson Avenue is Little Timber Creek, which is about a mile away.
Living in the Riverview Heights area, we've had our own experiences with the wildlife that surrounds us. We've had a pair of mallard ducks nesting in our flowers, rabbits, and skunks sleeping under our porch deck, a pheasant hiding in our evergreen tree, and even a Canadian goose taking a dip in our pool. It's a reminder of how closely we can coexist with nature, even in the most unexpected of places.
Most recently, a neighbor shared a photo with us of a dead deer that her grandson found in a patch of woods somewhere in Westville. That deer had a 9-point rack. It's wonderful to know that these animals are still thriving in our community, and it's a testament to Mother Nature's resilience and adaptability.
THE BROKEN WINDOWS THEORY--My best friend Peyton and I walked by the former Gloucester Catholic Boys High School building the other day and was surprised to find it in such poor condition. Vandals have broken a number of the windows in the empty school, and graffiti is showing its ugly head on the building and nearby sidewalks. Some of the windows are boarded up. We found an interesting article about broken windows in an urban environment on Wikipedia called the Broken Windows Theory.
From the article:
Under the broken windows theory, an ordered and clean environment, one that is maintained, sends the signal that the area is monitored and that criminal behavior is not tolerated. Conversely, a disordered environment, one that is not maintained (broken windows, graffiti, excessive litter), sends the signal that the area is not monitored and that criminal behavior has little risk of detection. The theory assumes that the landscape "communicates" to people. A broken window transmits to criminals the message that a community displays a lack of informal social control and so is unable or unwilling to defend itself against a criminal invasion.
A successful strategy for preventing vandalism, according to the authors of Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities, is to address the problems when they are small. Repair the broken windows within a short time, say, a day or a week, and the tendency is that vandals are much less likely to break more windows or do further damage.
Since Saturday, February 3, 2024, the trash above has been lying in front of the Cold Springs Elementary School. A successful strategy for preventing vandalism, according to the authors of Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities, is to address the problems when they are small. "Clean up the sidewalk every day, and the tendency is for litter not to accumulate (or for the rate of littering to be much less. Problems are less likely to escalate, and thus, respectable residents do not flee the neighborhood."
BILLIONS SPENT ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS--Traveling through Gloucester City, Brooklawn, and Westville, we have been seeing more and more Trump signs. Billions of dollars were spent on the Biden vs Trump 2020 election. Political spending in the 2020 election totaled $14.4 billion, more than doubling the total cost of the record-breaking 2016 presidential election cycle. That’s according to OpenSecrets’ analysis of Federal Election Commission filings. OpenSecrets previously estimated that the 2020 election would cost around $14 billion. The extraordinary spending figure makes the 2020 election the most expensive of all time by a large margin. The pricey presidential showdown between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was funded by an unprecedented number of small donors giving online and billionaires who wielded tremendous political influence over the last decade.
FIRE DESTROYED MULTIPLE PROPERTIES ON RIDGEWAY STREET--During the month of January, there were two fires in the 300 block of Ridgeway Street. Those fires damaged six properties, some beyond repair. The addresses of the homes include 348 and 346 Ridgeway and 318-316-314-312 Ridgeway. Back in the 90s eight row homes in the 200 block of Ridgeway Street were completely destroyed.
Many of the row homes on the west side of Gloucester City have no firewall between them. As a result, if one-row house catches on fire, there is a good chance the others will also. In the 50s and 60s, the federal government introduced a program called Urban Renewal. Using eminent domain, the feds would pay to have the row homes demolished and replaced with single-family homes. There was a strong push here in Gloucester City to give the program a chance, but it never got beyond the talking stage. Eminent domain was used to build the Cold Springs school property in Gloucester City and also the Gloucester City Middle School.
NEW BUSINESSES MOVING INTO GLOUCESTER CITY--Recently we noticed that a company named DECOFRUT has opened an office at 4 South King Street. We remember the property when it was Casey's Funeral Home. According to information found in a computer search, Decofrut has been in the fruit business since 1988 and has been performing Quality Control Services at origin and destination for exporters and importers, with permanent offices in Europe (Rotterdam, Sheerness, Barcelona, Vado (Italy) and San Petersburg), Asia (Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou) and in North America (Philadelphia, Miami, Wilmington, McAllen and Los Angeles).
The Bank Bar, 1 South King Street, is across the street from the Decofrut office building. The building's original owner was the Security Trust Bank, which opened in 1887. In 1930, it was converted into a Jewish Synagogue.
The rumor on the street: The Bank Bar has great-tasting chicken wings.
CORNER STORE OPENS--A few blocks from Decofrut at 300 Somerset Street, we found CHINO'S GROCERY STORE. Besides selling groceries, CHINO'S also offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials for the longest while the corner store was known as Brambles.
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