The column that says they stopped making Mercury Mountaineers in 2009 and everybody who has owned one is sorry they ended, so when you see a rare one for sale on Centerton Road, you call the phone number on the window and find out it’s a 2003 with 106,000 miles, so it’s not broken in yet because ours has 270,000 miles and still runs like a top, but, darn, we’ve misplaced Dwayne Hemple’s phone number for a second opinion.
By Jack Hummel
Radio: 92.1 FM WVLT Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.
U.S. Army: RA1381j5980
Google all columns at jackhummelblog
Outstanding news from 92.1 FM because on Saturday, May 20, we’ll be at Vineland Founders Day at Main Road and Landis Avenue on remote with Chris Randazzo and the guests will be Cumberland County College Prez Yves Salomon-Fernandez and Lou Magazzu, the president of the CEO Group once headed by the late Fran Reilly.
Second former politician we’ve had on our show in four years, with the other being Bill Bowen from Hubert Humphrey days.
But we’re not going to talk politics. And we’re not going to talk success in Cumberland County, because we’re not doing a great job because we’re still 21st in the county rankings so let’s not urinate on anybody’s leg and tell them it’s raining.
We have too many great people working hard to change things in the county, and we’re looking for those not just interested in themselves, and we know Prez Yves (pronounced Eve) is not one of those because we grilled her today on radio and we hugged her, and we got all the real answers after we went off the air.
She’s genuine, people. She’s the girl you go bowling with, go to dinner with, the girl who sits down with your student wrapped up in a PhD explaining what it’s like with six people living in a third-floor apartment in Boston after leaving Haiti at the age of 12.
We need education badly in Cumberland County, but we need for all the figures to be accurate to know where we’re starting, so don’t think it’s another pretty face swooping in to stay a while, then flee.
And if she does flee, she will have eliminated most of the things that badly need correcting. She has already said that if you believe knowledge is power and you want to go to college, but can’t afford it, she will find a way.
She also stressed that the college needs more counselors for keeping students on track, and she believes she can almost double enrollment in five years while raising the graduation rate significantly.
Freeholder Jim Sauro is a plumber. His daughter received her PhD this week. See what we mean? He’s going to have Prez on his 8 to 10 a.m. show on June 3 on 92.1 FM.
A little history
May 5, 2017
Sporting a fresh, student-inspired hairstyle and new neon orange sneakers, Yves Salomon-Fernandez easily stood out Friday at her installation ceremony as seventh president of Cumberland County College.
The stage inside the school’s George P. Luciano Sr. Theatre was filled with those who helped shape Salomon-Fernandez’s journey from Haitian immigrant to higher-education leader. Dignitaries on hand talked of her energy, passion and work ethic, but above all else, they spoke on Salomon-Fernandez’s dedication to students.
It was evident she stood out to them as well.
“You’re passing the torch to an individual who is really poised to manage, to respond and to lead Cumberland through what I call a revolution in higher education across this country today,” Union County College President Margaret M. McMenamin said. “Your new president, Salomon-Fernandez, you know it, she’s energetic. You can see it, she’s young, she’s modern, but she’s innovative.
“And most important of all, president Salomon-Fernandez is student-centered. She knows why she’s here. She’s committed to ensuring that the environment and the culture of Cumberland County College is welcoming to all Cumberland County residents, to students of all backgrounds, so that every citizen of this great county has the opportunity to achieve the promise of a better life through higher education.”
Pamela Ann Sjogren, chair of the college’s Board of Trustees, was one of the first to speak during the event. The board in March 2016 chose Salomon-Fernandez from among three candidates to take over for Thomas Isekenegbe.
“She is an inspiration and a motivator for the college and all of our students,” Sjogren said. “We truly appreciate and value all of the amazing contributions that she has already made and will continue to make for Cumberland County College in the years to come.”
When Salomon-Fernandez finally stepped to the podium to address the crowd nearly two hours into the ceremony, she quickly showed off her school pride by pulling open her robe to reveal she was wearing a No. 7 Dukes baseball jersey.
Next to marrying her husband, Stephen Fernandez, Salomon-Fernandez called Friday’s ceremony the “best moment of my life.”
“The kids are great, but it took a lot of work to get them out,” Salomon-Fernandez joked of her son Zavier and daughter Ziomara, both of whom joined their mother at the celebration.
Salomon-Fernandez quickly shifted her focus from humor to CCC’s outlook as the college prepares to move forward under her leadership. Among other things, she touched on graduation rates, full-to-part-time faculty ratio, securing students paid internships and improved campus life.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” Salomon-Fernandez said. “We achieved a lot in the last 11 months, and there’s so much more to achieve on the horizon.”
And as CCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Salomon-Fernandez was direct in describing her devotion to building on the school’s legacy.
“This is not a stepping-stone job for me,” Salomon-Fernandez said. “Cumberland is my passion.”
— Anthony V. Coppola
You have no idea how good this news is from the No. 1 VA critic …
“Had to go to Vineland to new VA building yesterday for the first time.
“I fell through the cracks when they moved, was out of meds. Same peolle, but nicer now.
“Miss Pat is one helluva good lady.”
Miss Pat, you have cracked the code. You are magic. You are Women of the Year east of the Mississippi. You will now be called St. Pat.
It is snowing in the Sahara Desert.
“Nelson, today was the worst day I had in 10 years at the market.
“Next week, cream of broccoli soup.”
— Bob Barber,
Bob, get a stand at the Bridgeton Amish Market and your fans will follow you and the hundreds already there will learn quickly.
They add a fantastic year last year and, trust us, it’s only going to get better.
YOU CAN BOOK IT: When the cable goes out and in trying to fix it, the Internet goes out along with the phone, it’s time to get off.