Thursday, April 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, October 31, 2013, 1:05 PM
Cafe Gallery, a landmark eatery in Burlington City, closed this week.

After being a staple on the Burlington City riverfront for 34 years, Cafe' Gallery closed this week. 

Sigh.  It has long been a popular destination for family celebrations, a savory Sunday brunch, and romantic dinners.  

 The elegant restaurant, with windows that display the scenic Delaware River, was shuttered suddenly on Tuesday, due to the effects of the recession and dwindling customers. 

POSTED: Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 5:14 PM
Vivian Wilson was issued a medical-marijuana card and became the youngest patient in New Jersey to obtain cannabis this week.

Cops were on patrol outside a medical marijuana clinic in South Jersey when a fashionable 2-year-old with hot pink sunglasses got out of a car to pick up an ounce.  Her dad joked that he was a bit fearful when he came out carrying the drug, in plain view, for the little gal in the polka dots and stripes. 

"I expected them to pull us over when we left," said Brian Wilson, explaining that it felt somewhat "weird" to see three police officers in the parking lot of the Compassionate Care Foundation dispensary in Egg Harbor Township.  "They were nice, and compassionate," he quickly added.

Wilson's daughter, Vivian, has a severe life-threatening form of epilepsy and has been approved by doctors to use cannabis to control seizures.  The child, who was wearing an eyepatch to reduce stimuli that could trigger an attack, was among the first nine patients to get a supply of cannabis on CCF's opening day on Monday.  CCF is South Jersey's first dispensary, and the state's second.  

POSTED: Monday, October 14, 2013, 3:01 PM

When Sarah Palin visited NJ, she waxed poetic over tweets, prohibition, the shut-down, and the tightening Lonegan-Booker race. 

Though the tea party celebrity is known for making some outlandish remarks, her comments about Cory Booker's prolific tweets were surprising given her own love of Twitter. 

"We need a leader not a tweeter...That was poem-worthy - I've got to remember that one," she said in her stump speech for candidate Steve Lonegan at the New Egypt Speedway on Saturday.  Lonegan and Booker are running for U.S. Senate in a special election Wednesday to fill the vacancy created by the death of Frank Lautenberg.  

POSTED: Monday, October 7, 2013, 5:50 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in a case involving minority residents in Mt. Holly who say a housing redevelopment plan has the effect of discriminating against them because they are being forced to leave. (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg)

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in a long-simmering dispute over whether Mount Holly Township's redevelopment plans are unfairly affecting low-income minority residents who are being forced out of their homes.

The high court has scheduled arguments for Dec. 4. The matter is one of several social issues the court will consider as it begins its fall session.    

Mount Holly Mayor Richard Dow says he hopes that there will be a settlement before that time.  He favors ending the litigation that the township initiated under the previous administration by offering the 20 families who live in the Mount Holly Gardens "replacement homes" similar to their rowhomes.     

POSTED: Monday, September 30, 2013, 4:46 PM
At Friendship Firehouse in Woodbury, John Tierney exits the voting booth in the June primaries. In November, the ballot in Burlington County will separate the political races from the school board elections. MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer

Political and school board candidates were placed on the same ballot for the first time last year, sparking complaints from a few Burlington County candidates who said the new format was confusing and had cost them votes. 

Some school board candidates in Willingboro and Edgewater Park complained that their names appeared in the same column as political candidates.  They feared voters went straight down the column, based on the party they favored, without realizing the school board candidates were non-partisan.  

This year the ballot will use the public questions as a buffer between the political and the school board races to make the distinction clearer to voters.  The crowded ballot will include the gubernatorial, legislative, municipal and school board races.  

POSTED: Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 11:33 AM
A giraffe looking over the fence at Animal Kingdom Zoo last week. The site is now for sale for $629,000. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer)

The giraffes caused a sensation soon after the small zoo opened in sleepy Springfield, NJ, 25 years ago.  They would pop up their heads and peer over their wooden fence when motorists passed by on a rural road.  For a few extra bucks, visitors to the Animal Kingdom Zoo were invited to feed them.      

What joy!  The gentle giants would slowly lower their heads and come face to face with you, their black tongues twirling around the leafy branch in your hand, their eyes twinkling.  I have fond memories of my encounter with both a female adult and a baby who immediately came over to me when I approached them.     

But behind the scenes, inspectors found the giraffes and other animals were being neglected.  Years ago, some were euthanized and inspectors said a veterinarian was not called in to treat them when they were sick. 

POSTED: Friday, August 30, 2013, 1:33 PM
Bellmawr Mayor Frank Filipek

 A small borough that rejected plans for a marijuana clinic more than two years ago now will become the home of South Jersey's second dispensary. 

The Compassionate Sciences dispensary is expected to open early next year in Bellmawr in Camden County, four years after the Garden State legalized the drug for medical use.  

Bellmawr, a 3-square-mile town with 12,000 people, situated along a popular South Jersey shore route, had been approached by another dispensary operator, Compassionate Care Foundation, in 2011.  At that time, Mayor Frank Filipek said that he and the police chief and other officials had grave reservations and told the operator they would not support the proposal.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 28, 2013, 4:06 PM
Frank Fulbrook's fights included one for (nonpartisan elections and one for legal medical marijuana and a Camden dispensary.)

Frank Fulbrook was a community activist who pushed hard against corporate forces to try to get a medical marijuana dispensary open in Camden.  He failed that fight, but left his mark advocating various good government initiatives and holding Camden officials accountable for decades.  

Frank died Tuesday.  He was 64.

When I had my first conversation with Frank nearly two years ago, he spoke passionately about his plans to open a dispensary in the shadow of Campbell's Soup's corporate headquarters and the Cooper University Hospital campus.  

About this blog

Written by Inquirer staff writer Jan Hefler, the Burlco Buzz blog covers breaking news in the the county, as well as its quirky characters, crime cases, politics, outdoor recreation and environment. Contact Jan at

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