IHOP Monday and Thursday, one entree is free; CBK sees lipstick on a pig; The mayor cares; So does council; City going Latino; Warren Robinson Park dedication Tuesday, 5p.m.; Melissa Helmbrecht & Co., CBK, is the immediate answer


The column that says if you go to IHOP at the Ramada Inn in Vineland on Mondays and Thursdays and you’re a senior citizen living on a tight budget, whoever’s entree costs the least eats free. so, for example if your spouse gets the crepes at $8.99, and you get double turkey and triple broccoli, with no mashed potatoes and no stuffing, it’s $11.99 and the bill including coffee will come to $18 and change, so beat that other than Wendy’s apple pecan chicken salad for $6.49.

By Jack Hummel

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

Email: jhummel9794@gmail.com

Phone: 856-237-6645

U.S. Army: RA13815980

Google all columns at jackhummelblog

Good evening!

Many people care about Bridgeton, but most of them are not in a position to do anything to get it uprighted on its wheels and driving toward prosperity.

The fact that it’s the largest historic district is the state is merely words with no meaning behind it. An example is the state turning a blind eye to the Bertini building after promising monetary help long before the 2008 depression.

We don’t know who CBK is, and if she is loaded, but we relish her comments because, actually, nobody else comments.

“It is really funny/strange how you keep repeating that so few care in Bridgeton when you have a sitting council member with their house on the market ready to leave town.

“Hmmm, I’d say start with them, asking why they no longer care. You rail against those who have left the city for the townships and Florida — why not this council member?

“Or maybe they know something that the very few of the middle class that remains in Bridgeton don’t, I can’t even. They have to be the most childish group ever. I can’t believe that you so blithey ignore that some of these council members/current mayor have been together since 2006/2009 and, at the very least, a majority of them since 2010!

“And now it has all gone sideways for what, the last 1 1/2? And NOW you’re upset? It has been in decline forever and continues to decline. Again, I will ask what happened to cause all this discord and disfunction? Anyone know?

“The last thing I actually saw published at council was on the ID program that I can’t even see around. A worthless feel good exercise that won’t achieve a thing. A City ID will not get you a bank account at this time. A passport and proper paperwork will. No need for a City ID. I Can’t imagine a foreign national attempting to open a bank account with a City ID.

“Ask yourself, if you were improperly emigrated to a country, would you show up to be ‘documented?’ I hope you’re smarter than that. This really won’t do anything except spend tax dollars in an already strapped city.

“This is for the all important appearance of accomplishment, lipstick on a pig, this Mayor and Council are expert at this (the ‘facade’ program, one example — don’t fix it right, just make it passable for a couple of months so we can get more funds — revolting, and falling apart — or fake like that coffee shop.

“Even the way the photo ID was presented by the mayor, ‘only $2,500’ to begin implementation shows that he either has no respect for your tax dollars or falls into the category of politicians who don’t think money is real unless it pertains to their personal money.

“Maybe they will make it a requirement to ride the local bus, make them feel like it really does mean something after all. lol. Oh, and by all means, free kayaks, because why not? Who cares? Most definitely not your Bridgeton City Council.”


CBK, we promise you the mayor cares. We covered him all those years he was working on Code Blue, calling community meetings to talk about crime and the condition of the Villas and Burlington Manor.

His office made call after call to the owners of the Villas when the roofs leaked and mold formed. He went there to see for himself and he promised results. Now, there is an $18 million refurbishing project going on at no cost to the city. Had one of the many detractors on Facebook pulled this off, they would be renamed Houdini.

Nobody tried harder to stop the violence in the projects — even when Burlington Manor didn’t want to cooperate. He didn’t let that stop him.

He went to the sites of murders at all hours of the night and knocked on doors looking for anybody who saw anything.

He organized door-to-door walks distributing information of where to go if you needed help with anything. He has held senior proms. He brought a splash park to the city park that has been more popular than any other venue in the history of the city.

He has brought experts from colleges to come down here and conduct seminars on crime, poverty and drugs.

He wanted the city park turned into a destination site in three years.

This is us listening to him, no second hand.

What is ironic is the two council members who oppose him wanted all these same things — especially the city park upgrade. Councilman Bill Spence gave everything he had to that project, from getting planners Land Dimensions to come down from Glassboro and give a talk on what the park could be, and it at least drew a man sitting next to us wearing a Rolex and a photographer who might be the last professional living in the city.

One of the planners, who has developed 10,000-acre parks, said that the Sunset Lake Amphitheater could be better than Fairmount Park in Philly and that big park in NYC.

What the hell! Outside money rebuilt the Raceway to include a walking path that is second to none. The dam is fixed.

The Cohanzick Zoo was perfect until we learned today that the newest member of the staff who handled education has gone back to doing miracles with hair at Hair Barn.

Are you kidding us? From working with kids to cutting hair? Was it because the zoo  budget constraints forced her to accept more responsibilities not in her original hiring?

How long do things like this have to happen until the zoo starts charging $3 for adults going through the zoo? Maybe after they hire her back, they can fix the famous waterwheel so it turns again. We know there is a fundraiser for that.

Bill Spence put all his emotion into fixing the city park. He gave a speech before the Land Dimensions presentation that was worthy of Gettysburg back in the day. But his emotions spilled over in work sessions and he got personal with some other members, and those cuts can last a long time.

Councilman Mike Zapolski has been hot and cold working with the administration, with matters as simply as the city has no plan and as complicated as he stopped getting notified about what the mayor’s office was doing and was not included in things like hiring a new business administrator.

Don’t run it by him and get chastised at the next meeting.

Council President Gladys Lugardo-Hemple has always been in the middle on this council. There is nothing she won’t try to do to advance the city, and he has pleaded for cooperation as early as the day she was elected to as late as last week.

She has always been the deciding vote between the two sides — Spence and Zapolski vs. Jack Surrency and Curtis Edwards. Things were so contentious when Edwards replaced a departing councilman, they made him council president when he had not idea about city government, having been on the board of education.

A bond ordinance needs four votes to pass. Where are they going to get four votes without compromise? We’ll give the bond vote if you give us this. So far, “this” isn’t winning.

Mayor Aitken Drive needs to be paved in order to bring in the heavy equipment to cap the landfill. Once the landfill is capped, the park plan, which we hope Zapolski has read by now, can move forward — if we can agree on a plan.

Can we agree on Cindy Williams’ 401-page park plan that calls for her to get a percentage of the profits. At this point, we would give the devil a percentage of the profits.

Just produce profits! Those who don’t want this to happen, present an alternate plan to city council involving your plan — not Cindy’s. You don’t like it, you fix it your way with your plan.

The business administrator, Dr. Stephanie Bush-Baskette, works at the will of the mayor. He sets the programs and she carries them out, or Kevin Rabago, the mayor’s special assistant, introduces and carries them out.

The ethanol plant is dead. A new $10 million office for the county clerk will fill the empty space from Pearl to Laurel Street where the combined library was supposed to go.

The city is quickly going Latino. Most of the stores and all of the eateries are Latino, although Carmelo’s Ristorante has a dining room in the Hancock Shopping Center, as does McDonald’s and Wendy’s nearby.

The takeout across Laurel Street from Tracy’s Corner was once Greek, but is now Latino with an outdoor grill.

The empty Bridgetowne will no doubt reopen Latino. To say that so many Latino businesses are a reason the city is now distressed is ridiculous. Gringos turned their wheels away long before this.

“Warren Robinson Park, at Commerce and Pearl streets, will be dedicated by Mayor Kelly at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8. Please come.”

— Mike Abbott,

609-774-6571 if you have a problem you can’t solve, but Warren Robinson could, and Mike Abbott will try now.

United Advocacy Group, CBK.

Remember that name and what they will be doing for Bridgeton under the “thinker” title of Melissa Helmbrecht, who will speak to any group interested in the welfare of the city if she’s not at Rowan, in California, Princeton or Pittsburgh, and that’s just the first half of this month.



United Advocacy Group executive director

driving out poverty in Bridgeton



United Advocacy Group CEO

Back from four-week First Star experience at Rowan

YOU CAN BOOK IT: She’s connected to resources only dreamed about by you.



IHOP Monday and Thursday, one entree is free; CBK sees lipstick on a pig; The mayor cares; So does council; City going Latino; Warren Robinson Park dedication Tuesday, 5p.m.; Melissa Helmbrecht & Co., CBK, is the immediate answer

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