Remember when MRSA was a big deal and scared people, but it just takes a stronger antibiotic to knock it out, like when you get infected by a dog bite, but when are we going to force our government to use whatever money it takes to conquer cancer instead of piecemeal fundraisers that make us feel good, but take so much of the money raised for fundraising expenses?
By Jack Hummel
Radio: 92.1 FM WVLT Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.
U.S. Army: RA13815980
Google all columns at jackhummelblog
What’s happening at Campani’s Legacy Lanes …
|WEEKLY RESULTS OF 03-20-17|
|MONDAY NIGHT MEN’S|
|TUESDAY NIGHT MIXED|
|BRIDGETON CHURCH LEAGUE|
|SUGIE HENRY SR||201-224-193||618|
|IRV GANDY III||212-194-180||586|
|DARLINGTON HENRY JR||192-214-169||575|
|GENE RICHARDS III||219-160-143||522|
|GOLDEN AGE LEAGUE|
|PHIL PROCIDA JR||192-186-243||621|
|COFFEE AND DONUT|
|J AND J MEMORIAL|
|PHIL GANNON JR||201-243-233||677|
|MARK COUCH JR||204-256-212||671|
|PHIL GANNON III||177-237-191||605|
|SUGIE HENRY SR||214-225-165||604|
|FRIDAY CHURCH LEAGUE|
|FRIDAY MIXED SOCIAL|
|SUGIE HENRY JR||199-236-221||656|
Notice that the Miller family has taken over the church league.
Also, did you see the 806 rolled by Alfred Pierce in the Tuesday Night Mixed? Johnny Campani would be proud.
Anybody got any newspaper clippings of Tommy Seeley playing soccer at Cumberland Regional? He wants to show them to his son.
As you know, we’re fed up with the way education is provided to all children everywhere in the state the same way, when the graduation rate is 35 percent in Newark, but what about Princeton?
“Princeton’s overall graduation rate was 95.47 percent in 2014, up from a rate of 92.52 percent in 2013. Princeton hit its four-year high.
“In 2012, it had a graduation rate of 94.79, with a 92.71 graduation rate the year prior.
“NJDOE only provided numbers going back the previous four years.”
First of all, if you think Newark’s students can’t learn, drag that bull out of here. It may take a different path, but they can learn, and the fact that 65 percent aren’t learning is a travesty.
When a Cumberland County teacher tells us he watches students counting the days until they are 16 and drop out, it’s a failure that must be addressed.
And don’t blame the teachers. They are simply like the Perdue chickens of yesteryear boxed into cages with no room to move. They are penned in by the state.
You wonder why the mothers of the students performing woefully don’t march against the system, except maybe they’re the main reason.
Another view …
“In my 50 years in education, I have witnessed much change in public education.
“Every president since the early ’60s has come up with a plan. Always sounds like it will work. The plan goes to the states to develop and managed in very different ways with different rules, environments, and, in many cases, with poverty-driven children who are unable to overcome so many different factors it would make you head spin.
“We have made progress ensuring our poor children can think because they aren’t hungry with school breakfast and lunch. Teachers today teach math, manners, hygiene, how to survive in a drug-filled environment.
“Some live alone while patents wander the night. Some were blessed with disease and deformation that hampers learning. And, like it or not, Cumberland County does not have the tax base of Princeton.”
— Darlene Barber
Throwing money at the problem is typical for all state solutions.
They’ll give you a $150,000 grant the the person chosen to oversee it will make $50,000. It’s called rain that never hits the ground.
We take exception to one thing Darlene said. “Teachers today teach … how to survive in a drug-filled environment.”
Not even close! How can a teacher in Newark teach how to avoid the main income in the projects? You don’t learn. You survive.
The education base for these kids should be just that — a base that may take a long time to develop, but it will be something to build on. It has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with going into the projects and seeing and seeing the problems for what they are.
Another view …
“My point exactly, Darlene.
“If counties cannot manage the extraordinary needs of its students, then the federal government never will. You are in a position to make a difference, placed there by your contemporaries.
“One county at a time would be a good place to begin with Cumberland at the top of the needs list. Your exemplary career in education places you in particular at the right place and the right time.”
— Cheryl Mather
Let’s not pass out the kudos until the problem is fixed.
Bridgeton passes out awards like we’re a model city, but the members can’t be the judges.
If we don’t agree education is broken, we’re never going to fix it.
Who’s dropping out? Ask them why they are dropping out? Who’s getting pushed along like the Millville graduate who never learned to read?
What are the common threads that need to be addressed by people who can understand them because they’ve either lived them or studied them, and not because they have a whole alphabet after their names.
Rich Hoch up to date …
“Oh, it’s a great day when you see Jack Hummel’s column and you are featured. Jack, you went back into the archives for that solution for Bridgeton. It may take an act of God to make real changes to the city we love. We used to have pride in this place. Now, it’s harder to be proud of what it’s become.
“Thanks for the mention.”
— Rich Hoch,
92.1 FM talk show host 6 to 8 or 9 a.m. every Saturday when the rooster crows and the early birds get the worms and the cows get milked and the bacon sizzles at EMS Cafe.
On Bridgeton’s future from a Camden native …
“I’m optimistic and continue to encourage people to help to be part of the solution. Maybe some day it can be great and made anew.”
— Jorje Romero
Rich Hoch responds …
“It’s a ‘money where their mouth is’ situation. No one wants to put the money into buildings and homes. The infrastructure of retail buildings need too much to make them shine. If it’s not the roof, it’s the foundation or the heating systems or the façades or the windows or the lack of parking (convenient parking) … you get it.
“Homes are not being maintained proper enough to improve the neighborhoods. As a result, the ‘hoods deteriorate. Pride in ownership simply isn’t there. Only a few of you are left to make it shine and that’s not enough.”
— Rich Hoch,
former Bridgeton jeweler
Jorje agrees …
“I understand and agree with everything you said, Rich.
“The problem is that people are too quick to leave and give up the fight for the town that they so-called love. If folks love the town so much, why not fight to save it?
“I left Camden because the citizens truly don’t care to save it, from internal and outside influences. But, in Bridgeton I see and feel the true love for this town from those that call or called it home at one time.
“If all the good folks leave, who will be left? We have great gems and treasures of homes that can be bought at great deals. It’s the perfect time to invest in the this town. Not doing so now is foolish. Small and big businesses can buy and rehab in our town with the backing of government. We as a town should encourage or foster these types of endeavors.”
— Jorje Romero,
owner of stone house on West Commerce Street
Another view …
“Jorje, whenever I think of the aesthetic issues that Bridgeton has, I need think only about the Bertini building at Laurel & Irving. If they can’t raze that building after 20+ years of neglect and danger issues, nothing can get done.
“That’s one of the problems (the Historic District).”
— Dan Mourning Sr.
Dan, that building is privately owned, bought by a do-gooder who was told there would be state funds available to fix it up.
They still haven’t been made available decades later.
Maybe the perfect time was when Realtor Bob Thompson sank over $1 million into the one downtown building and held before and after tours so people could see what can be done.
A little history.
Bob Thompson remembers one of the promises the current city administration made.
An advisory board.
Not a group with power, but a group of stakeholders with a vision for Bridgeton.
A history group meets once a month to discuss the legacy of the city, but who meets to brainstorm about a city in distress?
“I haven’t seen it yet,” said Thompson from a nook in his realty office.
He’s adamant about the advisory board.
“Are you serious?” he said. “We’ve got the Hankins boys and we’ve got the Woodruff boys. We’ve got Joseph Ross at Smith and Richards.
“What around Randy Colle and Billy Sharp?”
He calls them really sharp people who have a vested interest in Bridgeton, but who haven’t been asked for input.
Thompson is also a major stakeholder, the biggest taxpayer in Bridgeton.
He has 450 rentals in the city and the entire wall of a stairwell covered with keys to his properties.
He donated $1 million to the stadium project in town.
How can the man who owns 450 rentals in the city not be involved in meetings on some level with the police chief and code enforcement and city council?
“It’s never happened,” said Thompson. “I don’t know why it hasn’t happened.”
It still hasn’t happened.
Dan continues …
“Over 10 years ago (before I retired from BPD), I tried to get Code Enforcement interested in the idea of actually enforcing the overcrowding problem we so obviously have in Bridgeton.
“As usual, my idea was ignored and we’re worse off than we were back then now. Here’s the problem: You can’t have people living in the attic (3rd floor) of a residence in the city of Bridgeton unless there’s a fire escape. Period.
“Here’s the solution, or at least a start to one: During the summer, Code Enforcement should be looking for fans and air conditioners in 3rd floor attic windows. That is prima facie evidence that the attic is occupied.
“LANDLORDS should strictly enforce this themselves, no matter how many houses they have in the city. With some cooperation from the landlords and participation from code enforcement, the overcrowding issue at least could be addressed.”
— Dan Mourning Sr.
Dan, we think you’ll find that the no-attic rule is no long in effect.
And more from Bob Thompson …
There are at least 100 abandoned houses in this city.
“You have a house that falls into disrepair and you’re on a fixed income and you walk away.”
He just bought two on South Pine Street.
“They’ve been abandoned for 25 or 30 years,” he explained. “I bought each one for $1,000. They don’t even have kitchens.”
His full-time crew of 30 will fix them up. He does that to all properties he buys.
“I spend $450,000 a year locally on lumber,” he revealed.
On Parker Street, there is a double house where one side is burned out and the windows are broken and people go in there and do drugs.
“And the other side is perfect and occupied. It makes you want to cry.
“How would you like to be the person living next door?”
“Give somebody $10,000 or tax breaks to take it and fix it up and put it back on the tax rolls,” he said.
Here is what Jorje wants to do.
He wants to buy Angie’s Bridgeton Grill, fix it up and run it with his girlfriend. Even if only his kids eat there, it will turn a profit.
Can the city make it available even though it sits on a riverbank that is owned by the city. It didn’t seem like the last sale ran into problems until the owners tried to burn it down.
Can he get the financing from Century Savings Bank?
Penny Watson, school us. Are grants available to fix it up to preserve it?
Burned-out Angie’s Bridgeton Grill
In its heyday.
Somebody is making money or things would change.
“Carolscatz will be running to people for animals with feral cats beginning Monday, April 2017. Cost is $45 inclusive of transportation to and from.
“Ferals must be in traps.
“To schedule an appointment for spay/neuter, contact carolscatz @ 856-506-5572.”
— Carol Hickman
“I received a request for help with stray cats at 2 properties, 1 in Stow Creek and 1 in Hopewell. There is funding available for spay/neuter, but they are seeking help with transportation and trapping.
“If anyone can help or knows organizations that may help with this, please let me know. Thank you!”
— Maria Stoerrle
Too late for a multi-colored cat on Gravelly Hill Road. Maybe a pink collar.
YOU CAN BOOK IT: Prayers for Trevor Ward in surgery needing billions to be appropriated NOW to find a cure for cancer.