The column that says when the station manager calls your call-in radio program and tells the audience he believes what Mike Abbott says about Bridgeton, but not us and we ask for an example and he says there’s not enough time to think of one, we’re not getting anywhere and the tide is rusting the pitchfork used to throw back the sand.
By Jack Hummel
Radio: 92.1 FM Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.
U.S. Army: RA1381265980
Google all columns at jackhummelblog
Sometimes you wonder how the people in Bridgeton who do all the complaining without coming up with solutions believe they are any different from the people who don’t seem to care or have given up on the city, because they haven’t accomplished anything, either.
If you don’t schedule an audience with Mayor Albert Kelly, and get his take on any ideas you might have, you’re not going to get anywhere because he holds all the cards in this form of government.
If you really want to understand rentals in the city, you have to talk to Realtor Bob Thompson because his family owns over 600 of them, and he told us he’d like to see them converted back into single-family homes if you want to buy them.
But he also said, he is the one sought out when the last owner of a home dies in a neighborhood that has become blighted, the children can’t sell it because the people who can afford don’t want it, and the people who want it can’t afford it by not qualifying for bank financing.
But Bob Thompson does have the money, so they go to him and another rental is born. But he will not divide it into apartments.
Despite what Thompson told us while we were writing a three-part series on him, Jorje Romero said on Saturday things have changed, with people coming into the city with cash to spend on a home without the bank’s help.
“I’ve talked to these people,” said the part-time Century 21 Realtor.
Once again, North Pearl Street came up in phone calls, and how “dirty” it looks as one of the main gateways into Bridgeton.
The street is lined with former grandiose Victorian structures that, on the outside, look tired, peeling and beaten down, and inside have been chopped up into money-making apartments.
Detractors say it is not the city putting its best foot forward. But what can you do?
Twenty-five years ago, a juvenile justice program put kids to work painting houses with the owner’s permission under the direction of someone appointed by the state.
They painted Charlie Kishpaugh’s home on Taylor Street.
We maintain that if you’re not going to take the house down to bare wood, you’re wasting your time because it’s only going to peel. And the damaged gingerbread should be fixed, o what the use of having a historic district?
We think teenagers looking for summer jobs could do the scraping, even as college groups from other states have come to Bridgeton to repair porches and railings.
But Mike Abbott said today and regulations would make it impossible to pull that off, citing insurance needed for climbing ladders and maybe using chemicals to remove paint.
Because if you’re going to do a good job, ALL the old paint must go.
But can you imagine North Pearl Street coming to life as you get closer to the downtown and the railroad trestle becomes a really, really impressive introduction that no one even imagined?
The businesses already look good.
And there are blueprints for new Victorian homes that could replace the ones over 50 percent dilapidated that need to be torn down.
The county landfill over the years has forgiven some of the cost for disposing of the rubble from tearing down structures, but that, too, didn’t get anywhere today.
So we’ll let the experts take over 34 years into the departure of Owens-Illinois that ripped the middle class out of Bridgeton. Maybe it was only a little over 2,000 workers, but they were the glue that made everything work from recreation to a bustling downtown that blitzed the Bridgetowne every weekday for lunch.
If you were not part of the bankers, men’s stores, women’s stores, department stores, tire stores, jewelers and furniture stores feeding frenzy, the piped outdoors Christmas music and caroling by the Salvation Army and the sidewalk sales, you really can’t comprehend what was.
When downtown churches go up for sale, you really have to wonder.
Meanwhile, out on the hustings …
“A lot of states are broke because of mismanagement of funds. Our federal government technically is bankrupt, for they spend more money than they take in and borrow money from China to make up the deficit.
“As long as we re-elect greedy politicians that make no positive changes, don’t expect improvements. Ramah Road is literally falling apart and we pay some of the highest taxes in the country.
“Pretty damn disgraceful.”
— William Adams
“i live on Ramah Road.
“Try riding a motorcycle up and down it like I do. It looks like it was carpet bombed except for the Millville side.”
— Brian Magee
Spaces are still available for the state sterilization funding program for qualified residents. The program begins on April 1, 2017 (while funds last) at various participating veterinary offices in the state to help qualified residents spay or neuter their pets for only $10.
Because spaces go quickly, Shore Veterinarians is encouraging residents to sign up early in March for the program before all the slots are taken.
Shore Veterinarians participates in this state program at all three of their locations in Seaville, Hammonton and Egg Harbor Township.
Residents in the state can spay and neuter their pets at various veterinary offices for only $10 if they qualify for the state sterilization funding program. Animals must be current with their rabies shot, or will be required to vaccinate the day of the surgery.
These residents must receive one of the following:
· Food Stamps
· GPA: General Public Assistance
· Rental Assistance
· AFDC: Aid to Families with Dependent Children
· LUC: Lifeline Utility Credit
· Tenants Lifeline Assistance
· SSI: Supplemental Security Income or
· PAAD: Pharmaceutical Assistance to aged & Disabled.
But it doesn’t even touch the problem of feral cats.
Hey, Shep, did you see the film “Coming Home” in 1978?
The plot follows the drama between a young woman, her Marine husband and the paralyzed Vietnam War veteran she meets while her husband is overseas. Fonda and Voight won Academy Awards for their performances, while Dern was nominated for an Academy Award.
“For all of you who aren’t sure, it is possible to be gay and Christian. It’s also possible to believe in God and science. It is possible to be pro-choice and anti-abortion.
“It is equally possible to be a feminist and love and respect men. It’s possible to have privilege and be discriminated against, to be poor and have a rich life, to not have a job and still have money.
“It is possible to believe in sensible gun control legislation and still believe in one’s right to defend one’s self, family, and property, it’s possible to be anti-war and pro-military.
It is possible to love thy neighbor and despise his actions. It is possible to advocate Black Lives Matter and still be pro police. It is possible to not have an education and be brilliant. It is possible to be Muslim and also suffer at the hands of terrorists. It is possible to be a non-American fighting for the American dream.
“It is possible to be different and the same.
“We are all walking contradictions of what ‘normal’ looks like. Let humanity and love win.”
— Pastor Rob Weinstein
YOU CAN BOOK IT: Enough said.