Thursday, March 11, 2010

Police Athletic League and other wholesome activities

One way to help fight crime is to encourage your kids, and the youth from your neighborhood to participate in the Police Athletic League (PAL)

Millville PAL meets on Friday nights monthly with healthy and educational activities. Meeting dates through Summer are: March 12, April 23, May 14 and June 11.

Contact Judith Kessler at Silver Run School, or Heather Santoro at Millville City Hall during working hours for more information.

In addition to PAL, the Center City Neighborhood Group (CCNG) hosts functions for neighborhood children periodically. Tuesday, March 30 (Rain Date March 31) is our annual Easter Egg Hunt open to all Silver Run students. Contact Judith Kessler for a permission slip (slips must be signed by parents for children to participate).

The Egg Hunt will be at the Culver Center parking lot beginning at 6:30PM. A short CCNG meeting will take place in the boardroom immediately following the egg hunt.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Millville to host 2nd Landlord Training Seminar

The Millville Weed and Seed program is hosting the second Landlord Training Seminar.

The city is continuing its push to educate landlords on their rights and responsibilities regarding code enforcement, evictions and crime with a second training session for property owners.
The session, sponsored by the Millville Weed and Seed program, is scheduled for Saturday, March 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lakeside Middle School. According to Weed and Seed Coordinator Liz Nicklus, the second training seminar will largely be a rehash of the first session, hosted in September 2009.

"A lot of people let us know that they wanted to come out to the last session, but didn't get a chance to - so there's not going to be any new information here, since we're not trying to make landlords come back again and again," said Nicklus on Tuesday. "We're always looking for new people to participate in this."

What property owners found most interesting was the city's crime-free lease addendum, which allows landlords to add stipulations to their leases giving them greater authority over what is considered acceptable conduct at their properties.
Landlords were also briefed on their own obligations to keep their properties safe and within municipal housing codes, as well as how to request police reports for calls made to their tenants residences.

"Many of them, at first, did not want to come out for something like this, but they eventually came up to us saying that this is really about protecting their assets," said Nicklus. "This is, really, for their benefit."

According to city officials, a "zero-tolerance" policy regarding code enforcement, spearheaded by Public Works Commissioner Dale Finch, had resulted in 700 violations handed out to property owners between January and September 2009.
There is still time for landlords to register for this informative program. It is more than just propaganda, landlords in every case came away with new knowledge and the tools to help them manage their properties effectively. Good landlords make good neighbors, and one bad landlord can destroy an entire neighborhood.

Contact Liz Nicklus at 825-7000 ext 7299 to register.

What NOT to do

I have written previously on common sense ideas on how not to be a crime victim. This morning is trash collection day, and one of my neighbors committed and act that screams out "rob my house".

Just a note that last year his house was robbed of everything - and I mean everything. His family was away for an extended period, and the culprits took their time taking everything including the wall brackets for his plasma TV.

He is now replacing the items piece by piece, one at a time.  You ask, what was this he did to make himself a potential victim? He just bought a 32" High-Definition Flat Screen LCD TV. He put the box on the curb for everyone in the 'hood to see.

Rule #1 when you buy expensive electronics that are easily moved and sold, never advertise that you have them! Break the box up, and fold it so the unmarked inside is facing out. It is little common sense things that you do - the things that don't cal attention to yourself that often count.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shooting in the 3rd Ward

There as a shooting in the 3rd Ward late Monday night:

A 24-year-old man was found shot in the neck in an incident late Monday night at Dock and Foundry streets in the city's 3rd Ward, police reported Tuesday.

Police did not release the man's name.

Officers responded at 11:41 p.m. to the scene for a report of gunshots. They found the victim with a wound in the left side of his neck.

Monday, March 8, 2010

These shoes were made for walkin' - Dottie's Walk

It is that time of year again - time to take to the streets to take back the streets. Join Dottie Wilkerson in her decades old tradition - Dottie's Center City Neighborhood Walk. Meet us at the Culver Center parking lot, 2nd and Sassafras Sts. at 5:30 next Monday, March 15. Everyone is welcome.

Dottie plans on walking every Monday evening, weather permitting. Please mark Monday nights on your calendars now!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More Slum Rentals on the way?

Two recent real estate sales in center city have concerned citizens worried. 412 E. Vine St sold to Ji Associates in January for just over $50,000. This was an apparent foreclosure going to the highest bidder who will obviously turn it into yet another rental property in what is one of our bad neighborhoods.

More disturbing is the sale of 526 N. 6th Street to Bad Real Estate LLC. It is one thing to be in the business of rehabbing and renting properties, and it is quite another to purposely name your business with an offensive name that is an affront to the residents that live in the neighborhoods that you are planning to trash. This property sold for $45,000.

We urge the city of Millville to adhere VERY STRICTLY to ALL codes when inspecting these properties for rental certificates. I am pushing for an ordinance that would prohibit a landlord that has been found guilty of maintaining a nuisance from renewing any existing, or getting any new rental certificate for any property within the city.

Slumlords, be on notice that we are watching, and will be reporting every infraction. Millville has an "Excessive Use of City Services Ordinance" that is being enforced.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Neighborhood Groups Meeting

The Center City Neighborhood Group and the 3rd Ward Neighborhood Group will have their monthly meeting at the RRCA Wednesday at 7pm, immediately following the Weed and Seed steering committee meeting.

The public is invited to attend all neighborhood meetings.

Millville Weed and Seed Summit

The Weed and Seed Program's annual Neighborhood Summit is scheduled for Saturday, March 13. You are invited, and urged to attend. Please get involved.

The theme is "Survival in Hard Economic Times."

Moderators from local organizations will be working with attendees to provide information on topics such as job training, childcare and utility assistance, money saving ideas and coping with stress.

Sidney Hargro, executive director of the Community Foundation of New Jersey, will be this year's keynote speaker.

Representatives from various county and city agencies will be on hand to answer questions, provide information and take applications.

The summit is open to all Millville residents at Millville Memorial Junior High School, 504 E. Broad St., from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

A continental breakfast and light lunch will be served, and there will be giveaways for the first 50 people who register and attend.

To register or ask questions, contact Liz Nicklus, Millville Weed and Seed site coordinator, at 825-7000, ext. 7299 or send an e-mail to

Drug Bust on S. 2nd St

I heard that there was a drug bust on a nuisance property located on S. 2nd Street last week, and the particulars are in today's Daily Journal.

The city is taking legal steps against the owner and a tenant of a South Millville apartment house that was the site of recent drug arrests.

Several people were arrested Feb. 18 at the six-unit rental property at 143-145 S. 2nd St.

The arrests were part of a joint investigation by the city Police Department's Narcotics Unit and the Cumberland County Organized Crime Bureau.

Narcotics Unit Sgt. Jody Farabella said Friday the names of those arrested were not being released because of a continuing investigation. One person was in Cumberland County Jail.

Police have responded to the apartment house 99 times since July 2006, when its current owner acquired it, Farabella said.
This is a slum rental owned by a slumlord that has refused to abide by even our most basic laws and regulations pertaining to properties. The owner is:




The owner has illegally named a tenant as building manager rather than use, as required by law, a management company. The contact information on the unit registration is outdated, as if these slumlords are doing everything possible to ensure that they cannot be contacted by city officials.

They live and reside in PA and NY, but come to our city and feel that they have the right to destroy our neighborhoods, allow drug activity to take place in their rentals, and profit off of our misery. Apparently their "corporation" is a fake, I can find no information on it with an internet search. If and when info is found, I will publish names, and addresses if possible, of the slumlords responsible for this travesty that has destroyed the peace and quiet of decent residents in that section of town.

As you can see, the "Excessive Use of City Services Ordinance" is being put to use in more ways than one, alerting our narcotics task force of problem areas and giving them the legal force necessary to arrange for this type of raid.

This is why it is so important to not become discouraged when you don't see faster progress. It is critical that the undercover work be done completely and properly to ensure a clean raid, and that the courts will not be able to toss it out on technicalities.

This is also why you must attend city commission meetings, write to your commissioners, write letters to the editor, and get involved in your local neighborhood groups. The city is facing a budget crisis this year, and police services WILL be cut unless we speak up now.