Bryan Real another time; Too many strays, pick on SPCA; Heroin drop in the bucket; Goldie Wulderk’s angel needs some help; Bridgeton’s downtown in 2003


The column that says Bryan Real had a pounding headache today and could not make 92.1 FM at noon, and we are the loser because his cause had one heckuva week with the Back to School bash on Thursday at the Riverfront in Bridgeton, and if he had to miss one or the other, let it be delaying telling the world.

By Jack Hummel

Radio: 92.1 FM Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.


Phone: 856-237-6645

U.S. Army: RA13815980

Google all columns at jackhummelblog

Good evening!

Once again, anger is misplaced with the problem of too many stray cats and dogs in the county.

Not to mention pit-bull fighting.

“Counties have SPCA except Salem.

“Why is Cumberland County contracting for Waterford Township, which is Camden Conunty, and other towns when they have to kill for space.

“How about sticking to Cumberland County ONLY and not try to be a big shelter. Less animals will be killed. SPCA is NOT a business and should not, and never be run like one.

“Just for the year 2015, 1,451 cats were killed at Cumberland..The statistics are shocking.”

— Gail Ward

Why shocking, Gail?

It’s a reflection of your county, that has 2 million stray cats running around.

Apparently, your quest to end this lopsided statistic isn’t working.


You blame the SPCA?

That’s like blaming the prisons for criminals.

“But the main problem is people not spaying/neutering their furbababies.

“And your backyard breeders and puppy mills. Write your legislators and DEMAND breeders be licensed by the state and shut down ALL puppy mills.

“Write your congressmen and DEMAND this all over the country. We can all make a difference by emailing, calling our lawmakers and demand they introduce these bills.

“They work for us, remember? We need these laws to better protect and help the furbabies.

“Be their voice … WE ARE THEIR VOICE!”

— Gail Ward

Mobilize, Gail!

Use your feet and your mouth.

Two New Jersey state troopers discovered nearly $3 million worth of heroin in a tractor-trailer.

They had stopped the truck for a safety inspection on Interstate 78 in Greenwich Township, Warren County. They found 36 kilograms of heroin inside the trailer.

How many millions do you think were coming across the Delaware Memorial Bridge at the same time?

Across the Mexican border?

By ship?

Three million isn’t even a dent in the country.

When you see addicts rioting in the street, you’ll know the fight against the influx of drugs has had an effect.

“On July 25, a handwritten settlement agreement was drawn up calling for a $250,000 settlement payment to be made to a Pittsgrove man who sued Vineland Police for allegedly beating him into unconsciousness and recklessly driving him around unrestrained causing him to bounce around inside the police car and injure himself.”

— John Paff

Insurance companies do not pay all of this money to the victim.

When do the mandatory classes begin?

Who’s speaking for Goldie Wulderk and her Senior Thrift & Caring Center in  downtown Bridgeton.

Well, the Bridgeton Professional Firefighters continue to wage war against rotting timbers and a leaking roof to keep Goldie giving out tons of fresh vegetables to the hungry in the area.

After a lot of dead ends, Goldie now is set to put on her new roof.

But she needs $5,000 to do it. We don’t have it. You don’t have it. But maybe we can all give a little.

Goldie Wulderk

1 Emerald Lane

Bridgeton, NJ 08302

The problem is, Goldie has outlived everybody who was around when he accomplished enough to be awarded three times in one year a while back.

 A little history

A little history

Sept. 28, 2011

His name is Jeff Belum.

He’s a member of the Bridgeton Professional Firefighters Association.
“We’re the labor union for the firefighters,’’ he’ll tell you. “We’re not connected to the city or the fire department.’’
To Goldie Wulderk, he’s a big, young, strapping angel.
Wulderk runs the Senor Thrift and Caring Center in downtown Bridgeton.
It’s used to help the needy.
It’s an old building, but well-built.
Except for the roof.
And the cellar.
The problem in the cellar is the dirt floor at one end running into the sump pump at the other end.
It has needed a barrier to contain the dirt for some time.
The roof is a new problem.
The recent storms left water running down into the inside in the back of the building.
It left piles of merchandise mildewed.
This is a match made in heaven.
Belum and Wulderk met at fire scenes.
Before that, he remembers she brought fresh peaches to the fire house every year.
“Long before my time, she would always help the firemen out,’’ said Belum. “I was always told the stories about her providing coffee and food.’’
At fire scenes, Belum was putting out the fires and she was helping the victims.
When she didn’t make a fire scene, she always called the next day to see what the victims needed.
Belum couldn’t help but notice.
“We know what she’s done for the community and for fire and rescue,’’ he said.
So, when the woman who runs the thrift center put out a call for help, he responded.
There are 18 members of his union.
They can put a block wall in the cellar to help the sump pump.
They can install a new roof right down to the plywood and including a rubber cover.
And because of what Goldie Wulderk does, they will do it free.
All they need is the materials.
First will come the cellar.
Belum’s wish list includes at least 65 concrete blocks.
Any luck with donations so far?
“Josh Wymbs, another member, answered a call today for some concrete blocks,’’ he said. “He should be coming in any minute.’’
Belum figures the basement wall materials will cost $200.
Then will come the roof.
It will take 100 sheets of plywood and a rubber cover.
“The price on the plywood alone is $2,600,’’ he said. “We haven’t gotten a price on the rubber material to go over it.’’
Among the 18 members are some with roofing experience. They also have contact with companies.
“In the fire service, we studied building construction,’’ said Belum. “To stop a fire, you have to know how a building is constructed.’’
Josh Wymbs for a number of years did full-time construction.
Belum did plumbing.
The third leader of the committee is Elvin Beardsworth, also savvy in construction.
“The permits alone for the basement cost $207,’’ said Belum. “When we do the roof, we will have to have engineer drawings.’’
A friend of Josh’s came in and looked at the roof.
“He said the building is well-constructed,’’ said Belum. “Once we get the plywood down and rubber on top of it, it should be OK.’’
Goldie said work on the building was done in 1986.
“We put building jacks and 2 by 6s in the cellar,’’ she said. “They’re all rotted out now.’’
Belum won’t be denied.
“We’ve got the permits for the basement,’’ he said. “When we get the materials, we’ll set up a couple of workdays and get it done. Get the water stopped and a couple of other little things.’’
Goldie Wulderk said her biggest need right now is a Dumpster for the water-soaked rubble.
“I need somebody to intervene for me with Don Rainear at the Improvement Authority,’’ she smiled.
Belum can be reached at (856) 455-725o.
His committee needs:
For the basement:
65 8 by 8 by 16 block.
10 4 by 8 by 16 caps.
10 50-pound bags of mortar mix.
6 10-pound bags of concrete mix.
40 feet of 2-inch rebar.
Sump pump/pit (2).
11 2-inch and 2-inch PVC pipe and fittings.
For the roof:
30 rolls of GAF rubberoid or similar materials.
10 rolls of GAF Base Sheet or similar materials.
10 sheets of 3/4-inch T+G plywood sheathing.


Inquirer staff writer Jacqueline Urgo wrote the following on Jan. 13. 2003:

Once the storefronts stood cheek by jowl, housing the commerce of the small Cumberland County seat for nearly two centuries.

Now the gaps make Bridgeton’s main street look like a bad set of teeth.

Three fires in the last 14 months have ravaged seven buildings along quaint Laurel Street, where residents and officials have counted on the historic fabric of the town to boost revitalization efforts.

About 35 miles southeast of Philadelphia, Bridgeton boasts New Jersey’s largest historic district, with an inventory of more than 2,000 buildings dating to the colonial, Federal and Victorian periods.

But it was in the heart of downtown – an area roughly four blocks long and three blocks wide, bordered on one side by the meandering Cohansey River – where townspeople saw the greatest potential for turning the economic tide.

Many have envisioned the storefronts, some ornate and fanciful, others derelict and vacant for years, being converted into boutiques, offices and other businesses. The Bridgeton Main Street Association has been working to attract commerce with the aid of state and federal grants.

“What has happened here with the fires is very tough from a preservation standpoint,” said Michael Henry, an adviser to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a partner in a local architectural and engineering firm, Watson & Henry.

“Now we have a choppy, gap-toothed look to downtown, when before we had a cohesive fabric of buildings that took us from the town’s beginning right through the 20th century that were very useful in telling the story of the town.”

Bridgeton’s story didn’t always include economic depression. The glory days spanned the 18th century – when one of New Jersey’s first newspapers, the Plain Dealer, was published at Potter’s Tavern and talked of revolution – through the 19th century, when dozens of glass, clothing and canning factories essentially built the downtown and helped continue that prosperity long into the 20th century.

“There was a time in the 1930s and ’40s that Bridgeton was the place to be on a Saturday night,” recalled Edwin Connor, who grew up in here and never left. “So many people would come into town from all over that you couldn’t move in the streets.

“There were three or four movie theaters, nice clothing stores, hat shops, tobacco shops, big department stores. You name it, we had it here.”

But, as in many small towns across the nation, Bridgeton’s downtown began to falter when mainstream America shifted its focus – and buying habits – from the main streets to the malls.

At the same time, in the 1970s and 1980s, factory closings, soaring unemployment, and high interest rates began to sap Bridgeton’s economy.

Perhaps the most devastating blow came in 1984, when Owens-Illinois closed its local glass plant and left hundreds of workers without jobs.

What happened next in this town of 23,000 people was, basically, nothing, said longtime resident Goldie Wulderk, who retired 10 years ago from running Cumberland County’s Office on Aging.

And that nothing – no demolishing of old buildings to make way for high rises or strip malls – may be Bridgeton’s saving grace.

“What we’ve ended up with is this incredible stock of historic buildings,” Wulderk said. “No place else can really say they have that, and I think that’s why these fires hurt the hearts of so many people.”

“These building have stood here, some of them more than 150 years, and now they are gone,” said Wulderk, standing across the street from the latest fire-damaged building, once Bacon’s Store, a men’s fine-clothing store. The structure had been renovated into several smaller shops and called Laurel Place.

The first fire, in November 2001, swept through four buildings along Laurel Street, about a block north of the site of the latest fire, which occurred Jan. 5.

A block south of Bacon’s Store, two buildings burned on July 20.

The first fire has been ruled accidental, and the two others remain under investigation.

Rehabilitation projects in recent years have turned the derelict waterfront area into a park called the Riverfront. And state and federal programs have brought in new businesses and homeowners over the years. One offers the services of historic preservationists to help homeowners in the historic district decide how to renovate the facades of their houses, and it gives them free paint to complete the project.

“I think the biggest obstacle Bridgeton has always faced is that people refuse to realize its potential,” said Miguel Roman, director of the Bridgeton Main Street Association. “There is so much potential here in the availability of affordable real estate, the city’s proximity to other places, and the unique character that it has in its historic buildings.”

In light of the fires, Roman sees his job as part innovator and part cheerleader. He is working to persuade officials to change an ordinance so that shop owners can live above storefronts downtown – an economic-stimulus tool being used elsewhere to repopulate and revitalize downtowns.

“Ultimately what Bridgeton needs,” Roman said, “is a cohesive vision and officials willing to take people by the hand and show them that vision and help them help the town achieve it.”

YOU CAN BOOK IT: Goldie will be on 92.1 FM Saturday at noon.

Bryan Real another time; Too many strays, pick on SPCA; Heroin drop in the bucket; Goldie Wulderk’s angel needs some help; Bridgeton’s downtown in 2003

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