Saturday, November 28, 2015

POSTED: Monday, April 14, 2014, 7:37 PM

A grassroots education group, frequently and oftentimes fiercely critical of the state’s charter laws, is questioning whether Camden’s process of bringing two more Renaissance Schools to Camden violated state statute.

On Monday Save Our Schools sent a letter to Comissioner David C. Hespe at the Department of Education raising concerns over promotional materials mailed home detailing Mastery and Uncommon Schools and a letter explaining enrollment at Mastery. The letter to the commissioner also takes issue with the district's application of the Urban Hope Act, which created the district-hybrid schools in Camden.

The Department of Education did not return calls for comment.

Julia Terruso @ 7:37 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, April 3, 2014, 3:54 PM

Happy videos. Everyone’s doing them. Car dealerships. Colleges. Now Camden.

On Thursday morning, outside an abandoned building on Federal Street, Nohemi Soria, of the Camden Children’s Garden, danced in a bright peach shirt, flower crown in her hair, toward a camera-man panning with her as she strutted to Pharrell’s hit song.

Some cars slowed, passersby stopped. It’s not every day a mini-film crew descends on the city.

Julia Terruso @ 3:54 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 10:52 AM

The public hearing and second vote on a tax abatement for an affordable housing complex in Camden will be Tuesday April 8, not tonight.

A judge last week ordered Camden City Council re-open the ordinance, which grants Broadway Townhouses a 20-year tax abatement, for public debate. Judge Lee Solomon said the council must also re-vote on the issue since the first vote in April 2013 was held at a meeting which was not properly advertised to the public.

An article published Monday said the hearing would be today, Tuesday April 1 but that meeting is a caucus and will be closed to public comment.

Julia Terruso @ 10:52 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 5:24 PM
he historic 12-story Wilson Building, vacant since the mid ’90s was purchased by LEAP Academy Universal Charter school last month.

Camden's first skyscraper has a new owner.

In today's paper I reported LEAP Academy Charter was looking into buying the Wilson building at 130 North Broadway, adjacent to its campus.

It turns out, they already did.

Julia Terruso @ 5:24 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, March 24, 2014, 4:33 PM

Rita Bianchi teaches language arts at St. Anthony of Padua in Camden. In her sixth grade class she has a student with great potential but who lacks any kind of drive. When she approaches him, tries to pump him up or get him engaged, he shrugs her off with a heart-breaking answer.

“What do you expect from me, I’m from Camden?”

Bianchi, new to the city herself – she taught at St. Mary’s in Bordentown before the school closed – asked a panel of education experts Monday what she could say to the student and how educators in the city can overcome the helplessness that often weighs down the children who come through their brightly-decorated doors.

Julia Terruso @ 4:33 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 5:11 PM
Emilio Ortega talks with Camden police chief Scott Thomson about pulling a neighbor from a Saturday fire. The injured man, Emilio Ortiz, is in critical condition at the Temple burn unit. (Camden County Metro Police)

Police today thanked a North Camden man for rushing into a burning home to help save a neighbor, now in critical condition.

Wilfredo Ortiz is in the burn unit at Temple University hospital suffering from burns on more than two-thirds of his body. Authorities said he may not have made it out at all had it not been for neighbor Emilio Ortega, and the two rookie police officers who helped complete the rescue.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Julia Terruso @ 5:11 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, March 13, 2014, 3:23 PM

Calling all lifeguards. The city is accepting applications for summer employment now through May 23rd.

Camden's Summer Recreation Program and Summer Food Service Program are offering temporary seasonal employment paying between $8.25 and $15.00 an hour.

City spokesman Robert Corrales said there are about 170 positions available for adults and 150 for city youth.

Julia Terruso @ 3:23 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 2:58 PM

You read that right.

Germany's version of "Good Morning America," has a date at the Camden Children's Garden tomorrow morning.

RTL Television, a primary station in Germany, will tape a segment for its top-rated morning show from the butterfly house at the waterfront attraction Wednesday morning.

Julia Terruso @ 2:58 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

Allison Steele writes about Camden’s schools, government and businesses. Most importantly, she writes about the city’s residents. She is a former crime reporter who covered the Camden and Philadelphia police departments for the Inquirer. A Philly native, she has been with the Inquirer since 2008.

Send comments, tips and story ideas to, call 856-779-3876, or reach out on Twitter @AESteele.

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