Monday, February 8, 2016

Archive: January, 2012

POSTED: Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 6:58 PM

Anyone looking for a new house that’s near a waterfront and small park and designed to use at least 20 percent less water look no further than Camden.

The city will soon be the site of the first urban, single-home community in the nation to boast an Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense certification, officials announced today.

Construction of 10 two-story homes, each with three bedrooms, will begin in the Cramer Hill section in March, according to Manny Delgado, executive director of the Cramer Hill Community Development Corporation, which is the project developer. The price of a house: $155,000.

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POSTED: Monday, January 30, 2012, 7:49 PM

Camden’s local hip-hop scene has produced what they have called “Camden Anthem.”

The 6-minute song, LISTEN HERE, led by Big Lou and various other local rappers, touches on everything from drugs and violence to politics.

“Once a proud city of 80,000 deep, now a brittle shell of what it used to be,” one raps, comparing Camden’s ruins to the Mayan's.

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POSTED: Friday, January 27, 2012, 6:20 PM

Camden County is the newest member of the bilingual club in New Jersey.

Because of the high number of Latinos in Camden County (not just city) who don’t speak English well enough to participate in the electoral process, the federal government has sent the county a letter stating it must provide all voting information in English and Spanish.

Camden joins Cumberland, Essex, Middlesex, Passaic, Union, and Bergen in having ballots in both languages, having Spanish-speaking poll workers and other voting information. Across the river, Philadelphia County also has been doing this for some time (although the city did get sued for not following the rules a few years ago-- read settlement here. )Camden City is the only municipality that has been providing voting information in English and Spanish for many years, said John Schmidt, aide at the County Clerk’s office. But now that more than 10,000 voting-age citizens with limited English proficiency are spread all over Camden County and not concentrated in Camden City, the whole county has to follow the city's lead. For example, Cherry hill saw a 125 percent increase, to 4,005, in its Hispanic population from 2000 to 2010, according to census figures.

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POSTED: Thursday, January 26, 2012, 10:09 AM

ICYMI, highlights of Tuesday evening's Camden School Board meeting:

Two of the four people who addressed the Camden school board last night wanted to talk about the Lanning Square School(s), specifically the lack of a proper school and how young students are still waiting for the bus without any security or crossing guards.

Lanning Square is the elementary school that was found structurally unsafe and in need of demolition and whose students sent to Fetters and Broadway schools. The neighborhood was promised a new school, but it hasn’t happened. See my story here

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POSTED: Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 10:58 PM

Here is the full list of the community meetings to discuss public safety and the regionalization plans. These meetings are not related to the "Community Congress" announced earlier today. The next congress meeting will be announced at a later date.
  •   9:00am on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at Our Lady of Lourdes old Nursing School Auditorium (Vesper Blvd)/ contact Mayor Office 856.757.7200
·       6:00pm on Monday, January 30, 2012 at Malandra Hall on New Jersey & Merrimac Rds./ contact Mayor Office 856.757.7200
·        5:30pm on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at Antioch Baptist Church (Fellowship Hall) @ 700 Ferry Ave/ contact Rev. John O. Parker, Jr. or Clarence Bagwell 609.315.2565 ***light refreshments will be served
·        5:30pm on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at Sacred Heart Church (Cafeteria) @ Broadway & Ferry Ave/ contact Fr. Michael Doyle or Helene Pierson 856.966.1212 ***light refreshments will be served
·        5:30pm on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at St. Joseph (school cafeteria) @ 2907 Federal St/ contact Fr. McDermott or Rosa Ramirez 856.237.3446***light refreshments will be served
·       5:30pm on Thursday, February 9, 2012 at First Refuge Baptist Church @ 1584 Kaighn Ave / contact Rev. Eugene Gilbert or Connie Jackson 856.803.8262***light refreshments will be served
*Hosted by Evelyn Morton /Women 2001
·        5:30pm on Monday, February 13, 2012 at El Salmisda Church @ 731 State St / contact Rev. Isiah Martinez 856.924.3835 ***light refreshments will be served
·       5:30pm on Thursday, February 16, 2012 at Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church (Community Hall) @ 831 Kaighn Ave / contact Rev. Britt Stargill 856.365.4496***light refreshments will be served

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POSTED: Monday, January 23, 2012, 7:55 PM

The state Department of Education and Camden Mayor Redd are losing patience with the lack of progress in the Camden School District.

The list of failures is long, starting with low graduation rates, high drop-out rates, and the 23 schools (out of a total 26 in the district) that were placed on the state’s new priority list, which features the worst 70 schools in the state. Those schools on the list will likely see intense state intervention next school year.

“We need all hands on deck,” Redd said yesterday when I asked her about her plans to turn the tide in the school district. Many in the district are saying the current leadership is not working (check out my story Tuesday). The state chimed in too.

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POSTED: Sunday, January 22, 2012, 11:06 PM

After several months of being out on medical leave, Camden School District Superintendent Bessie LeFra Young says she is planning to return to her post Feb. 1.

"I should be in full-form when I get back," Young told me over the weekend when reached at home. 

Young's return will be up for a vote at the School Board's Tuesday meeting.  

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POSTED: Friday, January 20, 2012, 1:59 PM

A man who founded a nonprofit to help minority students further their education. A great-grandfather walks Town Watch in one of Camden’s toughest neighborhoods. And a nun who annually honors Camden’s homicide victims.

These three Camden City residents will be among 13 Camden County residents honored  tonight with at a county Freedom Medal ceremony. The award was established in 2011 to recognize civic leaders who demonstrate the ideals of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Atnre Alleyne, along with his wife, Tatiana, co-founded Teen SHARP (Successful in High-Achieving and Reaching their Potential). The program,  designed for minorities ages 10 through 17 in Philadelphia and South Jersey, offers academic guidance, college assistance and summer preparation.  The idea is to “increase college awareness and student leadership,” said Alleyne, 27, who has lived in Camden’s Cooper Plaza neighborhood since attending Rutgers-Camden for his master’s degree in public administration and political science in 2007. Since Teen SHARP’s inception in 2009, Mr. Alleyne has raised almost $15,000 to take students on tours of colleges from New York to Washington, DC.                      

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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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