The column that says the pink elephant at Washington and North Laurel streets looks even worse now on the front — if that were even possible with the patchwork pieces of plywood covering the windows — with the door area having an opening and a 2 x 4 stuck down in the hole, and it’s a disgrace, like nobody cares except Mike Abbott and Bridgeton Main Street, and the building next to it on Washington Street is falling down.
By Jack Hummel
Radio: 92.1 FM WVLT Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.
U.S. Army: RA13815980
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Speaking of Bridgeton Main Street, we had our weekly go-round with director Steven Paul and he told us the focus is on getting downtown businesses up to date, or involved in online purchasing. It’s the new wave.
He also said wouldn’t it be great if all the restaurants downtown were Latino?
The former S.R. Riley’s is ready to reopen, he said, and Mike Allen is getting “a more desirable location for his M & B clothing store.”
The B stands for “Blue,” as in Blue’s Spot, owned by Ronald “Blue” Bowman, who was found murdered in 2010. The case has never been solved. Allen hasn’t forgotten him.
This is what happened to Blue’s Spot.
A little history
Aug. 23, 2011
Countywide reports of structural damage were mostly unfounded following Tuesday afternoon’s 5.9-magnitude earthquakecentered in Virginia.
However, hours after the tremor traveled more than 200 miles north through Bridgeton, city officials were weighing their options in bringing down one vacant Laurel Street business and the wall of a neighboring one.
The section of North Laurel Street between Commerce and Washington streets was closed Tuesday afternoon for fear of structural damage at the Rovner’s and Blue’s Spot buildings due to the earthquake.
“An ordinance calls for a 24-hour imminent hazard designation to take corrective action,” Business Administrator Dale Goodreau explained on the scene just before 7 p.m. Tuesday.
A cement wall on the north side of the Rovner’s building, which faces Washington Street, became partially separated from the rest of the structure. According to Bridgeton Fire Chief Dave Schoch, the wall had been separated prior to the earthquake, but not nearly to the extent it was after the tremor.
By Tuesday evening, engineer Mike Henry of Watson & Henry Associates, in coordination with Bridgeton construction official Bob Mixner and Schoch, had determined the north wall at the Rovner’s building should be removed.
Schoch said the owner of the building will be responsible for putting up a replacement wall “on our time table, not his,” as the interior of the Rovner’s structure was anticipated to be exposed to the elements after Tuesday night’s removal.
“We’d likely put a lean against the property owner to recoup incurred expenses,” Mayor Albert Kelly said when asked about demolition costs to the city.
Schoch said the removal of the wall at Rovner’s was expected to be completed to the point of safety by either Ricky Slade Construction and South State Construction before daybreak.
In addition, neighboring vacant business Blue’s Spot, where the late Ron “Blue” Bowman operated his clothing store, was also deemed unsafe by Mixner.
“The structural integrity on the front face and on the third floor are bad,” Schoch said, noting it could not be determined what damages existed prior to the earthquake, but, regardless, it had been deemed unsafe afterward.
A sinkhole, located in the adjoining parking lot, had been discovered and attributed to water in the basement of the business, according to Kelly.
He said the “salvageable” goods from the store had been removed, were stacked in boxes behind the building and would be “moved to a secure spot.” Kelly was in conversations with Bowman’s widow and former business partner on what to do about the building.
Public Works Department Director Dean Dellaquila said action would need to be taken on Blue’s Spot if the building showed any changes during demolition of the Rovner’s wall.
As of 8:50 p.m. Tuesday, a few bricks had fallen from Blue’s Spot. Kelly said it wasn’t clear what action would be taken on the building at that time.
Martina Bowman, who is the property owner of record, was given a 24 hour notice of possible demolition.
— Greg Adomaitis
In the mail today came a colorful brochure from DiLisi’s Ristorante in the Upper Deerfield Shopping Center, and brochures in the mail are taking the place of newspaper ads.
DiLisi’s has its menu on one side with special coupons and some really good looking food on the other side, including a pizza. Go to dilisi.com to drool all over your computer.
And, remember, Byron Hitchner is back to grant your every wish in the dining room.
The Caribbean food truck that was at Sunset Lake has been moved to a spot between the splash park and zoo, so the sign says
Maybe we can talk LA Male and Larry Leonelli of Vineland to open a second store in Bridgeton’s downtown, much cheaper than strip mall rent.
Oh, and bright lights are “not needed” in the downtown, according to Steven Paul.
What do you think?
Let the former Laurel Theater marquee rust into oblivion? Let STEAMWORKS hide in the shadows trying to market Bridgeton as a college town? Let the new Ashley-McCormick sign simply be vertical letters?
Somebody must be copying this from a successful endeavor elsewhere, but we can’t tell you who or where.
Historic is brick sidewalks and trees and hand-carved signs, except for the loud J & J Realty signs that shine bright red on vacant store windows.
If you’re depressed, lord, don’t drive through Salem. It’s a ghost town. Those new crosswalks haven’t worked.
We need Cindy Zirkle to invest in downtown Bridgeton, using her affluence to form a Community Development Corporation that will use all bank loans to buy and save, refurbish, re-do, upgrade and bring back to life the quaint town with the big clock John Ewing raised money to fix and the Angie’s Diner Councilman Doug Van Sant saw fit to purchase and the Feinstein building that once had a Rudy Carnegie Dance Studio on the top floor.
But the Ashley is already taken.
“We have strayed so far from God. I cannot wrap my head around the indifference all around me. I do not understand the acceptance of violence in society. I am frustrated by racism, judgement and flat-out hatred. I am tired. I need some alone time with my Creator.”
— Shaun Connors,
Millville SHINE program
Instead of dozens commiserating with her, how about some help? How about volunteering?
Carolscatz trapping kittens at Dorchester Wawa.
The last time we went, Mayor Albert Kelly unveiled a double truck of the new splash park in the Vineland Daily Journal to the audience and they oohed. Did anybody ever tell the Journal about that?
Hopefully, Bruce Riley — the man who commissioned a documentary about the area to send out to prospective industry — will announce something the chamber is working on that will spell success.
Nobody else has a George Linen …
“I grew up on Howard St/Lincoln St. in Newark, NJ during a time when everyone treated each other like family. We went outside to play, we got dirty and we ate whatever our mom cooked, or we didn’t eat.
“We slap-boxed, cracked on each other or just sat on a porch and chilled. We played Red Light,HOT PEAS & BUTTER, TOPS, 2 HAND TOUCH FOOTBALL, BASEBALL, BASKETBALL, Green Light, Tag, Hide & Seek, Hopscotch, Double Dutch, and we even made up some games. MY FAVORITE: CATCH A GIRL GET A GIRL.
“We weren’t AFRAID OF ANYTHING BUT STRAY DOGS (and most of them knew us, and left us alone) or our friends’ mean parents. If someone had a fight, that’s what it was, a fistfight! Kids didn’t have guns when I grew up. The street light was our reminder that it was time to come in the house when your mama yelled your name from one corner and you heard it down on the other corner.
“School was mandatory and back then, the teachers were allowed to punish us by popping us with rulers, making us stand in the corner, or having us write, ‘I will not _________” 100 times.
“We watched our mouths around our elders, because we knew If we DISRESPECTED any grownup, we’d get HIT with whatever was close by. A brush. A shoe. An apple. We had grownups look after us and made sure we weren’t doing anything stupid.
“We had unofficial block parties. We were safe and we knew it. Re-post with your block if you’re proud that you came from a close-knit community and will never forget where you came from!”
If you have a student entering 9th grade at BHS, make sure they are in Sgt. Linen’s JROTC class right from the get-go. Doesn’t matter if they think they might not like it. Insist on it.
This is the one time you make the decision for your child. To have your child go through high school and not be associated with this man is unconscionable.
Dan Mourning Sr. down 30 pounds since June 1. Making his whole body a weapon, but for good.
YOU CAN BOOK IT: Wendy’s still out of apples!