Fifty Years Out, the Graduates of ’64 Have Much to Reflect On

Fifty year anniversaries offer special opportunities for public reflection. For those old enough to remember, there is always the chance for gaining perspective over past experience and its consequences. For younger people, there is the opportunity to learn about the ways the past has helped shape contemporary life. 2014 has supported a particularly robust series … Read more …

Hopes Boosted for “Eds and Meds” in Camden

Well before “eds and meds” became a primary focus for revitalization strategies in post-industrial cities nationally, the State of New Jersey was placing a big bet on such institutions in Camden. Under recovery legislation enacted by the legislature in 2001, Cooper Hospital and Rutgers-Camden were singled out for major investments, as anchor institutions that could … Read more …

Governor Plays Blame Game, but it Could Come Back to Haunt Him

Oh what a difference a bridge scandal can make.   Seeking to make a return to his comfort zone, Gov. Christie held forth in his first town hall meeting of 2014 Friday in Port Monmouth.  Seeing blood in the water, the New York Times chose to emphasize what a hard time the crowd gave the governor. … Read more …

Behind a sensational story, serious issues in Camden

Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi has stirred the pot on the tribulations of a city mired in extreme poverty by producing yet another sensationalist story on Camden, “Apocalypse, New Jersey: A Dispatch From America’s Most Desperate Town.” In doing so, he adds one more link in a chain of damning national exposes that go at least … Read more …

What Affordable Housing Can Do: The Ethel Lawrence Homes

Affordable housing, and particularly the Mount Laurel doctrine that mandates that every community in New Jersey has an obligation to provide its “fair share” of affordable housing, is under attack. While Governor Christie has been rebuffed by the courts in his effort to eliminate by executive order the Council on Affordable Housing established by the … Read more …

If Demolition is the “Price for Progress,” Where’s the Larger Vision?

As the recession passes all too slowly into memory, building activity is picking up even in the most distressed communities, including Camden.  Renovations of housing are proceeding around Cooper Hospital, work on the impressive Kroc Center in Cramer Hill is coming along nicely, and a new charter school located off Linden Street seemed to appear … Read more …