The degradation of Penns Grove, NJ

The degradation of Penns Grove, NJ

Posted in the Pedricktown Forum

John H Davis

Willingboro, NJ

#1 Sep 30, 2008
My family moved to Penns Grove from Wilmington, DE when I was three. I have resided here on and off for the last 57 years. I can still remember how clean and prosperous this little town was and how respectful the residents were of their environment, homes and businesses. It almost seems like a dream now, as Penns Grove is no longer that clean, respectful little gem on the Delaware River.

I am not naive to the fact that this metamorphosis to the dark side is not exclusive to Penns Grove. But rather, I am stunned to the fact that our local and state elected officials are more worried about political status and greed rather than the quality of life for all. I find it rather disheartening to hear our current mayor use the US Constitution as a shield when he feels threatened or when he replies that this is how poor people live when confronted regarding over stuffed section 8 housing choice voucher rental properties that are supposed to house a single mother and one or two children. This type of reply holds up the revitalization of a community. There should be a collective understanding that increasing property taxis is disheartening to homeowners who try to keep their property and surroundings clean and orderly while an army of thugs and gang bangers live at one of those before mentioned rentals across the street. And Mr. Mayor that is not how poor people live, I know, for I am poor. And I know many poor people of all creed, color and religion, who do not live the way of the less than desirables, that have infected our once proud hamlet.

Our state is money poor and taxpayers are moving out to the surrounding ones like rats on a burring ship. I would believe that state leaders should and could use their political powers to stimulate industry and commerce to create tax revenue. Of course, this would include the use of hard work and brain storming along with strong project management skills to accomplish. Several other thoughts come to mind and few would be to utilize the state and local law enforcement groups to write tickets to those living and utilizing the NJ roads to actually have a NJ registered vehicle and drivers license within the state motor vehicle rules of residency. Other thoughts are to site those who would litter discriminately and use vulgar language in public. Site households for disorderly and negligent upkeep and fine those parents for their lake of supervision of offspring destroying property and utilizing the streets as playgrounds. Isnít that why Penns Grove borrowed money for playgrounds?

Just a final thought. Penns Grove is just 7/8 of a square mile in size yet we have a virtual army of police and support personnel. And yet, they complain they are always short handed!!?? I say, look at the leadership and your questions are answered.

If there are people who understand I do not write this not for just criticism, but rather for the passion of what could and can be again, please contact me at [email protected]

Philadelphia, PA

#2 Oct 14, 2008
Do what I do. If the parents don't control their kids, call DYFS. Eventually, the parents wise up, and keep their kids away from my property.

As far as the local police are concerned, when there is law in this state requiring minors to wear helmets on bicycles, I'd like to know why they refuse to enforce it?

Somebody from the attorney general's office really needs to come down here, because this police department needs to be cleaned up.

Woodbury, NJ

#3 Nov 16, 2008
Your right the police department is corrupt, because they don't write enough tickets for failing to wear a helmet. I guess the 80+ arrests a month in 8/10's of a mile don't count. I would love to see the statistics on the helemet citations written state wide.

District Heights, MD

#4 Nov 19, 2008
Strongly disagree with the above. Penns Grove is on the way to recovery and it will only be a short while before this metamorphesus takes place. Look carefully and you will see the beginnings of these changes occuring as we speak....

Bailey, NC

#5 Dec 11, 2008
I'm optimistic by nature but have to agree with Mr Davis. I grew up there and left for the military when I turned 18. I returned briefly while assigned at McGuire AFB and was excited about the buzz with the mid to late 90's riverfront development and "What could have been".
I eventually transferred out 4 years ago and do not regret the decision to do so. Of course there are many things I do miss about the area, but raising a family and looking at the big picture--it's a no brainer.
Unless the leadership can solve the "Slum lord" dilemma it wont change. I'll never forget the PG I knew in the 70's and early 80's--even with the decline there were still ligitimate businesses and a sense of community. It's dying out with the diehards.
Going back to the riverfront: I can only imagine if things had turned out differently. At least its an improvement and the infrastructure is there for further development--get a Marina built and see what happens...
use to live there

Ashburn, VA

#6 Nov 10, 2009
cant you people think of more things that need to change then a child riding a bike without a helmet? i guess when you was a kid you wore one? maybe they cant afford one. and what is wrong with kids playing in the streets? i would rather them play there then somewhere they might not be safe. it sounds to me that you all are so full of it you cant see past yourself. you are probably some old farts that have nothing better to do then pick on kids . oh just let them sell drugs instead of playing in the streets /// would that make you happy?lol. get a life and get over it. focus on getting a neighborhood clean up crew -get you some garbage bags and go help your neighbors clean their yards organize a neighborhood crime watch group for your street and help a senior citizen out once a week. do all of this and see the crime rate go down and your neighborhood look great it is people like you who sit back running your mouth and not do anything to help the community that has made that place turn out the way it has. may god bless you and have a nice day

Brooklyn, NY

#7 Feb 20, 2010
Glad I left Penns Grove, best move and decision I ever made, The town is a ghost town, no growth and i wasn't going down with it
Anti Dani

Muncie, IN

#8 May 16, 2010
Local police are aware of the drug areas. I almost stepped on a hypodermic needle the other day while playing with some local kids after the peaceful peace march. Police are in place to protect & serve, and there needs to be accountability. "wet" or "Waki" is a local drug problem which needs to be addresed. THey should stalk funeral homes because that is where embombing fluids come from.

Bike Training/Safety Training & helmet drives. Refuel the local & greater economy via employing locals thru green trust programs to begin farming the land again since GMO's have been linked to organ failure, infertility, and now cancer. I would love a water sample. My sink smells like a sewer both here & several places in the community.

Children get bullied on the streets, parents are addicted to drugs that are infiltrating the streets & this drugwar is a massive failure that remains being funded. Wake up people. The real war is adding to the problem, or adding to the solution. What are u doing to help/change things? I don't know about you all, but, i don't need any wars I need peace. I don't need genetically altered corn, I need to get corn growing here, by the people to build the greater economy & the local economy & 2 provide jobs. I see a lot of talk & little about real resolutions. Keep it Real.

Lively hoods are illigitimized via the system leaving little to do for money but sell drugs. I knew a homeless 15 yr old who lived in a baseball duggout. He sold drugs to buy a new clean shirt when he couldn't afford one and had no place to wash up. He learned to sell drugs from his mother who ran him for her addiction since he was a little kid. He was emancipated at 15. A HS dropout who re-signed himself into school with the right encouragement, graduated this last June. I learned today he no longer sells anything & is ready to graduate automechanic school. Couch surfing his way through school he graduates in less than 40 days. His friends bailed him if he was jailed, hustling to keep the kid close to home. The kids reminded me of Oliver twist kids. They lack proper leadership & proper leaders need to be in places to make authoritative/executive decisions in terms of these things...

Wilmington, DE

#9 Mar 29, 2011 comments posted here by people who actally live in Penns Grove. It's a scary place to raise a family. No economy to speak of...and God forbid a marina is developed in this area (check out the Salem "marinas" for a view of the spectre of problems yet to be). Water sports in this area are only viable for maybe 6 or 7 months; the rest of the time this would be a hang out place for the people who are involved in questionable activities. It already is.

The only thing we have going for the area is a view of the Delaware River and Twin Bridges. A marina and a Hi & Dry will eradicate the view. A commemorative plaque and flag poles were ereceted to celebrate the servies of the US New Jersey battleship which currently serves as a maritime museum in Camden. The flag poles have never seen a flag (as a matter of fact parts of the poles have been stolen) and the plaque has been desecrated with spray paint. The aluminum rail that runs along the walkway at the riverside has had many finials removed out of sheer, pointless vandalism. They have no value beyond their intended function.

My car was broken into last night. Parked *behind* my house, less than six feet from my back door. Happened before. RE taxes are excessive. Services (i.e. street) have been outsourced to other municipalities. Yes, I could move but in the current economy I would take a big loss. My children are not allowed outside at any time without my supervision - they are ages 13 and 11.

I do help my neighbors. I do maintain my yard and surrounding areas. Absentee landlords do not. Owners are allowed to let their properties decline to the point that they are no longer habitable. Renters live in these properties and the State, through HUD, pays for their rent at inflated rates. The renters have no vested interest in the appearance and maintenance of the property in which THEY LIVE FOR FREE. Young, employed Americans can't afford to pay the inflated rents so they have to look elsewhere. We will never be able to revialize the community under the burden of this scheme.

My mother grew up here - she says she wishes we could see for our own eyes what she remembers Penns Grove used to be. Why do I stay? Because my husband and I had a happy life here. He passed away eleven years ago and the house is our only connection for his sons. But I'm at the point where I can visualize my husband giving me permission to let go. I don't know if I can.
it doesnt matter

Mullica Hill, NJ

#10 Oct 4, 2013
Screw PennGrove and their crooked cops


#11 Feb 20, 2014
Perhaps theyre just trying to hide their identities. Smart people should learn to do so online.

Changsha, China

#13 Feb 24, 2014
That Miguel Ocasio is still moving coke too.
Pride in Progress - Haha

Sewell, NJ

#14 Mar 29, 2014
The slogan for PennsGrove is "Pride in Progress". We have been involved in the area for about 14 years now and there has only been regress. It's terrible. There are beautiful homes that could be restored to preserve the history of the town and having the waterfront is such a huge asset. But the local government seems to want to keep the area down. Seeing the large beautiful buildings literally fall down is heart breaking. As far as the quality of people. There has been much laziness move into the area. There are still a lot of good hard working people, but more and more there seem to be single mom's with lots of babies and men with no focus. What are these babies going to become. Why do these women just keep having more babies when they can't take care of the ones they already have? So many questions I will never get answers to. Why would you want to litter in your own front yard and down your street? Its disgusting!!!!! HAVE SOME FREAKING PRIDE in where you live. How hard is it to throw your bottle or wrapper away or bend over and pick up something that you dropped????? Pure laziness, no other excuse. There is no pride and definitely no progress in PennsGrove. I feel bad for the hard working people of the area and the lowered real estate values because of the laziness that has moved in.
The Truth replies

Fort Wayne, IN

#15 May 31, 2014
Stefanaccio wrote:
Strongly disagree with the above. Penns Grove is on the way to recovery and it will only be a short while before this metamorphesus takes place. Look carefully and you will see the beginnings of these changes occuring as we speak....
WRONG, you must be a slum lord who owns property in P.G.

Lakeland, FL

#16 Jul 5, 2015
Local Government/Law Enforcement : Never have so many, been exploited so often, by so dam few! People of Penns Grove wake-up and smell the corruption !

Lakeland, FL

#17 Jul 14, 2015
Topix, What became of my letters addressed as an open letter to the residents of PG,NJ ? Are the letters i wrote commenting on the current situation too much of the truth to be published in the public domain or are they being deleted by those who would not want the ( on target ) comments and observations to reach the people of Penns Grove ? please let me know one way or another.

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