Saturday, December 31, 2011

301 N 5th St LLC - SLUMLORDS

Fifth and Mulberry Streets have become a hotbed of nuisance activity. Residents lives are in danger from stray bullets as gunfire is a regular, nightly occurrence in this area. It is only a matter of time before an innocent bystander is hit.

The Daily Journal reports that the source of some if this activity is 301 N 5th Street.

A street brawl and gunfire in a Center City neighborhood Friday morning led to the arrests of five men on unrelated charges.
It was the third time in three days police were called to the area of North 5th and Mulberry streets for reports of shots fired.
Bystanders to Friday’s fight directed officers to an apartment house at 301 North 5th Street to find some of the people involved in the incident, police said.
This property is a rat's nest of nuisance activity. The building is an eyesore, but unfortunate that is not a crime.  But it is indicative of the contempt the owners hold of Millville residents and taxpayers. The owners are too cowardly to list the property under their own names, but hide behind an LLC. Their LLC is listed as the highly imaginative
133 Stratford Place
Lakewood, NJ 08701.

They relax in their quaint neighborhoods, collecting easy money while our neighborhoods turn into ghettos. I did a search on 133 Stratford Place, and discovered that it is owned by Avrohom and Judith Goldberg. Apparently this property consists of condominiums, so it is not clear of the Goldbergs are behind the 501 N Fifth St LLC or not.  I will continue to dig.

5th and Mulberry Criminal Hot Spot

Fifth and Mulberry Streets mark Millville's newest hot spot of criminal activity. While law abiding citizens are denied the right to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense, and Commissioner David Vanaman states that he opposes the right of citizens to defend themselves, guns carried by felons and criminals are a fact of life in Center City.

The same city intersection is now the scene of three shooting incidents in just over 36 hours after a resident called police Friday morning to report a gunshot, leading to five arrests.

Residents standing outside about an hour afterward were either mum or claimed nothing had happened at all. 
It is no wonder that by-standers are keeping mum. Just ask Arnold Bell of the 3rd Ward.

Days after Arnold Bell complained that police are not doing enough to protect him from neighborhood teenagers who are attacking him and trying to burn down his house, city officials either said his protection was someone else’s responsibility, that enough was already being done, or were simply not available.
It was in regard's to Bell's situation, a man who has been harassed and threatened since speaking to authorities about a recent murder, that Vanaman claimed he had no right to defend himself in public,

Bell suggested that he should be allowed to carry a gun to defend himself, but Vanaman disagreed with this personally and said any changes to the law were out of his hands.

“That’s not even in our control. That would be the state’s responsibility. I don’t think it’s gotten anywhere near that state of things though,” he said.

“My personal feelings are, I don’t think there should be a general open carry law.”
Here are the facts - if the State of New Jersey is going to deny citizens the right to self-defense, then it is incumbent that every citizen receive 100% police protection, so that they are completely protected from the predatory criminal element that the court systems deem worthy of being allowed to roam free our streets. Dave Vanaman lives in a safe neighborhood, as do his followers. Of course he is going to claim that citizens do not have the right to protect their property of their lives, he is safe and secure in his house.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mary Messick heading crime watch efforts

Mary Messick  from Center City Millville is heading the efforts to create a new crime watch.

Messeck is taking the bull-by-the-horns and distributing a newsletter each month that lists upcoming meetings within the city where residents can voice their support against violence and crime.
“It’s a newsletter, plain and simple,” Messeck said. “But it tells the facts.”
Facts like “(in) 2010, 65 percent of Millville’s crime was located in the Center City/3rd Ward area.”
But it’s not worth anything if people refuse to speak up, Messeck said.
 Those interested in joining Millville’s neighborhood crime watch, or supporting Messeck’s initiatives, should contact her at (856) 982-7323, by email at or on Facebook by searching for “Mary Messeck.”

Millville resident denied the right to defend self and property

With all of this talk in the county recently encouraging residents to "snitch", we have a situation where a resident is willing to talk, and now suffering retribution while law enforcement is ignoring his plight.

A city resident who called police with tips immediately after a teenager was murdered in October said that neighborhood teenagers are terrorizing him, and that the law enforcement agencies that so desperately ask for tips are doing little to stop them. 
This resident even has photographs of the juveniles that are terrorizing, and that allegedly attempted arson. They are roaming free today.

It is no wonder that people are afraid to talk and report criminal activity.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gunfire at 5th and Mulberry

There were reports of gunfire at 5th and Mulberry Tuesday night, December 20. One person said they counted eight shots, after which the Millville Police descended en-masse on the area. I see nothing in the papers about this as of yet.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jeff van Drew a friend of Slum Lords

This is worrisome - and I have to wonder who paid Van Drew off? Jeff Van Drew wants to prohibit municipalities from inspecting apartment complexes for safety violations.

New Jersey is about to make its rental units less safe.
That will be the result of a bill approved recently by the state Senate and headed to the Assembly. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, would prohibit local municipalities from carrying out routine periodic inspections of apartment buildings.
 If Van Drew had his way, the now demolished Millville Gardens would still be standing, as he defends the slumlord owners.

It was the inspections, along with police calls that led to a victory for Millville residents. But Van Drew wants to spit in your face, and allow other atrocities to go unchallenged - above the law.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Adopt-A-Block Neighborhood Cleanups

Date/Time: Saturday, July 16 from 10:00am-12:00am
Place: St. Paul's Lutheran Church
Corner of 3rd & Mulberry
Millville, NJ
Event: Clean-up of Millville City Blocks

Mark your calendars for the third Saturday of every month!
Saturday, August 20
Saturday, September 17
Saturday, October 15
Saturday, November 19
These clean-ups will be held from 10:00am-12:00pm at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church with food and drinks for everyone who participates following the clean-up.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Good Website a new site began by the deparment of justice. The site has areas where you can research all kinds of crime matters, ranging from prevention techniques, dealing with juveniles etc ... A useful resource!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Potential Gang Turf Battle?

Several weeks ago I noticed graffiti on the side of the small neighborhood store located at 5th and Broad Streets. I wanted to comment on this graffiti but have had little time. The black spray painted graffiti contained the letters G and D, a pitchfork and an upside down #5, also with a pitchfork coming off it. The meaning of this all translated points to a gang known as Gangster Disciples marking their territory. This gang originally is Chicago based but well established nationwide in various areas. They fall under the Folk nation, and are represented by a pitchfork, 6 pointed star, the colors black and white among others. The upside down #5 with a pitchfork coming off it is to disrespect the People's nation, most likely the Bloods gang, which has a strong presence in Center City and represents under the #5 and color red as most people know.

What I found more interesting is this building again caught my eye a few weeks ago. It seems somebody came along and painted over the Gangster Disciple graffiti! Yep, now a #5 was upwards and I believe there was a 5 pointed star - The Bloods gang was answering the "disrespect" and reclaiming their turf.

Long story short - there are two rival gangs in Millville openly disrespecting each other and laying claim to criminal activity/drug trades etc... in the city. This will only lead to one sure bet as the summer months are upon us, and that is a big increase in street/gang violence. Hopefully law enforcement is keeping tabs on local graffiti and the known gang members. This post is to let the community know what is going on and to be more vigilant in keeping your own children safe while being aware of your neigbhorhoods.

Fortunately, the store owners finally removed and scrubbed off the graffiti a week or so ago, but the damage is already done on the street, because the people involved will surely act out against one another.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Stop it already with the "home invasion" nonsense

A pet peeve with the editors of local newspapers is with the misleading attention-grabbing headlines. A common example, especially with the Daily Journal, is the use of the wards "Home Invasion" regarding the reporting of some recent incidents.

These words are are intended to generate apprehension and fear in the general public, and hence to sell more newspapers. This culture of fear is not healthy for the community or well-being of the neighborhoods. God knows we need all of the positive reinforcement and support we can get as citizen-groups, the city and churches work diligently and cooperate to stem the tide of blight that threatens our neighborhoods.

Yes, we do have a gang problem. Yes we do have a problem with nuisance activities such as prostitution and drugs plaguing our city. Our neighborhoods have a litter problem, and we cannot sleep at night due to nuisance activity that is not quite criminal.

However - we do NOT have a problem with innocent bystanders being shot in drive-by's. We don't have an epidemic of innocent people having their doors kicked in, and housed robbed at gunpoint by complete strangers.

The wanton use of the term "home invasion" by our local press creates visions of roving gangs preying upon the innocent. This is just not so. in every case of a "home invasion" that I have discussed with our law reinforcement, drugs were involved. Almost every incident involves a drug deal gone bad.

The shootings are either drug related, or gang related, or in some sad instances the results of domestic situations that should have been dealt with long ago.

I am a firm believer in confronting issues head-on. I don't advocate sticking our heads int he proverbial sands and pretending there are not crime issues. However, it is critical that we understand clearly the causes and factors.

For years our local law enforcement and even members of city commission denied we had a gang problem. If you refuse to admit a problem, you cannot begin to solve it. Only upon recognizing this plague have we begun taking action. And so it is with all areas of nuisance and criminal conduct. We must recognize, acknowledge and attack.

This of course, does not negate the responsibility of every citizen to take action to ensure their own security and the security of their households. With only 80 or so police in a city of 27.000 chances are law enforcement will arrive AFTER the fact. Your eyes are the most important, if we want to make headway.

Millville Curfew for Juveniles Changed

The city commission approved a change in the city ordinance changing curfews from 10PM on school nights to 9PM. Here is the story in the Daily Journal.

The time change is the only change to the ordinance.  Juveniles commuting to or from work, church, or school or social event are exempt.

This ordinance was proposed by members of CiPAC (Citizen-Police Advisory Council), and the Weed and Seed Steering Committee.

It is not intended to harass individuals, but rather to give police one more tool in curtailing nuisance activities now that summer is upon us.

We had unanimous support from city hall and from law enforcement. Apparently the only vocal opposition has come from an anti-government group of grumpy old men that hate anything and everything that would make Millville better and increase the quality of life. I can't understand why one of their prominent members, bob Tesoroni, would blame police for the nuisance problems in the neighborhoods.

With a police force of 80 people more or less in a city of 27,000 we need, and law enforcement needs every tool possible to fight this cancer that was wrought and perpetrated on the city by members of that very same group with their urgent support of low-income housing projects in the 70's, and with their continued "investment" in rentals in the city, as opposed to supporting home-ownership.

At the same city commission meeting, commissioner Jim Quinn urged support for a resolution requiring police presence at city commission meetings after members of this very same group became disorderly and refused to abide by the rules of order. Their antics necessitated the premature closure of the commission meeting.

Quinn cited a recent example of a gun-toting person shooting up congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords as reason. I will note that there are some people that I truly believe are unstable carrying concealed weapons in Millville. This is a common sense move on the commission's part.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


On Wednesday afternoon several black SUV's with flashing lights and at least one Millville Police Car were seen heading east on Main Street toward Wade Blvd. Raid or investigation someplace?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Home invasion and shooting

In today's Daily Journal:
A 24-year-old Millville man was shot Sunday during an early morning home invasion, according to police.
Officers were called to the 300 block of West Foundry Street at 4:40 a.m. for the break-in. Witnesses told police two masked men, armed with guns, entered the house.
The 24-year-old resident, awakened by the intruders, walked out of a bedroom to investigate who was in the house and was shot once by one of the gunmen, police said.
 There is scuttlebutt about Millville becoming unsafe, about "all these shootings" etc. First of all, except for this incident and the jury's still out, the shootings and attacks are the element exacting revenge on the element.

However, this incident should be a lesson for all. First of all, secure your house even when you are in it. Lock the doors, secure windows even if you have them cracked for ventilation on a warm night. Get a pet dog - a barking dog is the BEST defense you can get for the money, plus they make good friends. And finally, if you hear a noise in your house, the first thing to do is contact the local constabulary. If you hear someone in your house and you know it is not you, then be smart.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


I neglected to post this the other day. On April 28, 11:15 PM I heard a volley of gunfire from my back deck. It had to have been within a 3 block radius of 4th and Sassafras, judging from the loudness. There was a "crack", a second pause, and then "crack, crack, crack, crack" and maybe a sixth - all within two seconds. It was as if somebody emptied a clip of a semi-automatic - probably .32 caliber or lesser, judging from the sound.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Assault on High Street

There is an article in the Daily Journal today, albeit with incorrect information that is easily checked, and so once again leads me to doubt the veracity of their reporting.

A 38-year-old Center City woman suffered abdominal lacerations in an assault at High and Mulberry streets. Lt. Edward Zadroga said the woman was flown from Millville Airport to a hospital.

The incident happened at about 11:45 p.m. Friday. After the victim was assaulted, she made her way to the China Wok restaurant at Main and South High streets to seek help, Zadroga said.
There is no restaurant called the China Wok at Main and High Sts.  There IS a China Wok at High and Mulberry.

Now that I think back, I remember seeing emergency lights at that location Friday evening around 12:20 PM on my way home from work. I just assumed it was another bar fight at Bojos.

The Press and the News have no coverage, as far as I can see. As to the identity of the victim - my first instinct is to think, at that location at that time of night, it is a local prostitute or druggie. From the scant information we have available, the attack didn't occur on High Street, but elsewhere. That section of 2nd St., a block away, is a well known area for prostitutes. until the Millville Police start stings that target the johns, not the whores, and publicizing their identities, this activity will continue unabated.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


There is a rumor about a rape/murder in the vicinity of Sharp St on Fri PM/Early Sat AM - anyone hear anything? Nothing in the papers online yet.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A tool to get rid of nuisance properties

Pinky Kravitz has an interesting piece in today's Atlantic City Press. He references a New Jersey state statute that allows municipalities to adopt ordinances citywide that allow for radical action against slumlords and abandoned properties.

New Jersey has an Abandoned Property Rehabilitation Act. Six months ago, Atlantic City approved an ordinance implementing the state law that allows municipalities to take possession of a property even in the absence of tax delinquency on the basis of a finding by a public officer that the property is in need of rehabilitation. The public officer must also prove the property owner has not taken action to rehabilitate the property in six months.

The act applies to all properties - residential and commercial - and may be enacted throughout the entire municipality.
This is something that the City of Millville needs to seriously consider. Center City is full of abandoned properties that the slumlord owners have walked away from. The banks, usually from Texas or elsewhere, are content to leave the properties boarded up, yards littered with debris.

These properties absolutely detract the neighborhood, and cause surrounding property values to plummet even more, if that is possible.

We have slumlords such as Dennis Ingraldi of Vineland, with rental properties that are just plain ugly, with tenants that deal drugs ans participate in other nuisance activity.

It is far past the time that Millville uses these laws for the benefit of the city overall. Take these abandoned properties, and sell them to homeowners that have the ability to repair them, and who have the resolve to live in the neighborhoods and participate in true efforts of rejuvenation.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Adopt a Block

Anyone that knows me, or has read enough of my rants knows that in addition to being an advocate for stricter code enforcement and harsh punishment for violent (and potentially violent) criminals, I am an ardent voice for stronger neighborhoods.

Walking with Little Dottie on Dottie's walks for several years, and participating in the twice annual neighborhood cleanups, I have always wished that somehow the works would pay off in cleaner streets.

I advocated an adopt-a-block program for Millville, especially Center City. I have discussed this at length with commissioner Dale Finch, and more recently with Ed Einhaus of AHOME. I asked how do we get the residents involved, and the local churches, and other groups.

It all came together this past Saturday. The Greater Millville Ministerial Association has a new member, Paster Elizabeth Nees of St. Paul's Lutheran on 3rd and Mulberry. This is her first church as a pastor, she hales from Wisconsin. When she came to Millville, she insisted on living in the community that her church serves. She located in Center City.

Elizabeth began attending local meetings, the CCNG, CiPAC, Weed and Seed, looking for ways to get involved.

Thanks to Ed and Dale, Elizabeth took this idea and ran with it. she presented it to the GMMA, and has taken the lead on creating an extensive network of churches and community groups in the One Block at a Time initiative.

The various churches adopted a block, and showed up en masse on Saturday to do a major cleanup. About 250 people showed up, wearing Adopt a Block tee-shirts.I only wish that I didn't have to work that day.

From all reports, local neighborhood residents saw what was happening and joined in - which is the main thrust of the program.

What does this have to do with crime? When residents care about their neighborhood enough to maintain it, it sends a message to the criminal element that we care about our street. They will tend to migrate to other areas where they will be less conspicuous. It does work, and the concept is to clean up Millville, one block at a time.

Friday, April 8, 2011

More on the recent shooting

Bridgeton News has a story with two eyewitness accounts of the idiocy that occurred in Millville yesterday.

On Thursday, two Third Street residents who witnessed the shooting and its aftermath related what they had seen Wednesday night.
Both wished to remain anonymous because they were concerned for their safety in the neighborhood.
The woman who witnessed the shooting from the third floor of her home said she had been falling asleep when she heard yelling outside.
"I looked out of the window and there were 8 to 10 people gathered in a group. They were all yelling at one another, and then I heard gunshots.
It comes down to idiots shooting idiots - probably juveniles that have been coddled by the court system, or young adults (I use the term adult in the very loosest sense) that have been coddled by the system and now have learned to work the revolving door to their own benefit.

Inside scoop on shooting on 4th St

The following was in this morning's Ben Column:

Off The Record:
Wednesday night in Millville, shots went off at 222 S. 4th Street.
One guy was hit in the face, with a report of two shooters.
Black males, one in a red hoodie, one in a black hoodie.
Police and EMS responded to South 4th Street.
At the same time, a 911 call came in for a gunshot victim to the face in the first block of McNeal Street.
A female caller reported her brother had been shot.
Police responded to McNeal Street and the squad was down the block staging.
It turned out that the caller on McNeal was the sister of the guy who got shot on 4th Street and was trying to call that in.
Meanwhile, back at the original shooting scene, the man who was shot got in a private vehicle and was taken to Regional Medical Center.
About 20 minutes later, shots rang out in the first block of West Green Street.
Multiple 911 calls reported it. There were reports on the radio about a woman screaming for help, and a man carrying a woman into a house on Dock Street.
Both were unfounded.
Police arrived and found a window had been shot out on Green Street, and bullet holes in the house. No one was injured.
Keep an eye on this one.
The Bloods in town are getting edgy.
One of the younger street lieutenants lives near me, and he’s been getting a bit flighty.
Good luck with the story.
I’ll be holding the 3rd Warzone down.
— the tipster
222 S. 4th St is owned by David Augustine, 7120 English Creek Rd, Egg Harbor Twp, NJ. Davide and  Brianne Keller won eight rental units in Millville. See below. It'll be interesting to check out the police calls to these properties.

Block Lot Qual Location Owner
More Info 412 23 204 2ND ST N AUGUSTINE, DAVID P & BRIANNE

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Shooting at 3rd and Oak - the scoop

Here is the scoop on the shooting at 3rd and Oak Sts.
According to police, Thompson said he and Cook were walking on 3rd Street near Oak Street when they were shot. Several rounds were recovered from the scene, police said.
Police said that "no suspects could be identified at this time."
The AC Press and The News of Cumberland County are the only two papers to have the story, so far today.

Shooting at 3rd and Oak?

I heard there was a shooting at 3rd and Oak last night, three people injured. It is rumor so far, and nothing in the papers. Updates will be forthcoming.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Arrest after armed robbery in Millville

The Atlantic City Press has the details on an arrest in center City, Millville this morning.

An hours-long standoff between authorities and a robbery suspect ended peacefully Wednesday morning when the suspect surrendered to State Police.

Authorities said the incident began after Carl A. Cundiff, 28, of the 500 block of North Second Street, allegedly shot at a man he tried to rob near the Save-a-Lot market parking lot on High Street around 1:35 a.m.
The property, yet another slum rental in Millville, is 502 N 2nd Street. It is owned, of course, by absentee landlords. It is owned by ALEX GEORGE & ANITA B HAMBLETON,1211 1/2 MCKENNANS CHURCH RD., WILMINGTON DE 19808. The Hambletons own four rentals in Millville.

I am glad that they rented this unit to such a fine upstanding citizen!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring is here

The warmer weather brings out the fools. A shooting on 3rd Street this week injured a bystander.

Gunshots rang out Tuesday night in a residential neighborhood a couple blocks from the city's downtown, leaving a woman injured, apparently from shattered glass, police said.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Annual Martin Luther King Service

The Greater Millville Ministerial Association will be holding their 5th Annual Martin Luther King Service on Monday, January 17th, 2011.  The event this year will be a recognition luncheon at 12Noon instead of the traditional evening service.  The event will take place at Bethel AME Church located at 113 South 5th Street in Millville.

The theme of this year is “Honoring the Dreamers” and will recognize members of the community who have continued to give back to the residents of Millville.  Some of those being honored are:  Kim Ayres – Millville City Planner; Ms. Jean Lewis; Ms. Hannah Wesley; Keith Walters – SHINE Program; Judy Kessler – Center City Neighborhood Group; Sam Herdman – Help & Hope Ministries Food Closet and Don Fauerbach – NJ Motorsports Park.  The key note speaker will be Dr. Thomas Isekenegbe, President of Cumberland County College with participation from members of the Ministerial.  Lunch will be immediately following the service for a nominal cost of $5.00 per person.