Noticias en español
p . 19-20
HSH honors Hispanic Heritage Month
p . 35
Fall Guide for the Bride & Groom
p . 23-34
Jersey Video Games opens downtown
p . 9
Wednesday , September 20 , 2023
Volume 27 • Issue 38
Recycling Central a success
Photo courtesy of Donald Yamasaki
Members of the Hammonton Education Foundation stand in front of the DocuVault Mobile Paper shredding unit during the 15th annual Recycling Central event on Sept . 16 . For story and more photos from Recycling Central , see Page 14 .
HAMMONTON — The Board of Education approved a letter of retirement from Superintendent of Schools Robin Chieco during the Sept . 14 Board of Education meeting at the Samuel A . Donio Memorial Library .
Board President Sam Mento III called the meeting to order and all board members were present at the Samuel A . Donio Memorial Library . Jordyn Colasurdo , the new student representative , joined the meeting later because she was cheerleading at the football game .
During the superintendent report , Chieco thanked the Hammonton community .
“ On this evening ’ s agenda , you will see my letter of retirement effective June 30 . I just want to take a few moments to express my gratitude to the Hammonton community for the opportunities that I have been given in my 36 year career in this district ,” Chieco said . “ To say the role of superintendent is challenging is a bit of an understatement , but I cannot imagine doing this job in any other district .”
During the meeting , Assistant Superintendent Tammy Leonard presented the Spring 2023 New Jersey Student hammontongazette . com
Town council addresses public spaces ordinance
HAMMONTON — At the special town council meeting on Sept . 11 , council members opened public discussion to a new general ordinance that would make sleeping or camping in public spaces illegal .
First introduced at the town council meeting on Aug . 28 , ordinance # 013-2023 would change the law to make sleeping in any public area , including benches , parks and streets , a prosecutable offense . Chief of Police Kevin Friel said in the Aug . 28 meeting that police officers would offer resources and support to any homeless residents that they are called for , going so far as to offer them transportation to shelters and other facilities .
Mayor Stephen DiDonato said that the ordinance is the first step in combatting the issue of homelessness in Hammonton . It gives the police the power to enforce laws against loitering and curb the
School board approves Chieco ’ s letter of retirement
by Kristin Guglietti GAZETTE STAFF WRITER
Environmental Commission discuss tree trimming
by Donald Yamasaki FOR THE GAZETTE
HAMMONTON — The Hammonton Environmental Commission had a lengthy conversation about the way Atlantic City Electric is going about trimming trees around town during their meeting at town hall on Sept . 13 .
Matt Gerwien was at the meeting on behalf of Atlantic City Electric . An application for tree trimming was submitted by Atlantic City Electric to trim and or prune trees , whose growth interferes with the power lines . Directional pruning is when a tree is cut to avoid
growing a certain way , they use this to try and avoid having the tree grow towards the power lines .
Councilman Jonathan Oliva asked Gerwien an extensive number of questions on behalf of residents . Oliva has listened to multiple complaints about the work that Atlantic City Electric has done while doing their maintenance on the trees .
When they trim or prune the trees , they leave the remains at the location of the trimming , according to complaints . The most common complaints were that the trees were unpleasant to look at after the
See COMMISSION , Page 3 by Delaney Smith FOR THE GAZETTE
Learning Assessments ( NJSLA ) Results . The NJSLA is administered to students grades 3-9 in English language arts ( ELA ) and math . For science , the NJSLA is given to students in grades 5 , 8 and 11 .
According to the data , the school district ’ s NJSLA results in ELA and math meet or exceed the state ’ s percentage .
Board member John Lyons asked Leonard what the district is doing to address the science course .
“ None of these tests have been graduation requirements , none of them . And partly I think the reason behind this ,
See SCHOOL , Page 12
A grape-stomping good time
Photo courtesy by Joseph Andress
Frank DiMatteo Jr . ( left ), Tina DiMatteo-Mauro ( middle ) and Frank “ Booper ” DiMatteo III at DiMatteo Vineyards ’ Grape Stomp on Sept . 9 . For story and more photos , see Page 10 .
SUBSCRIBE TO The Gazette • hammontongazette . com • 609-704-1939
amount of people who are sleeping in the street .
“ What it stops is somebody that appears to be camping without a home and has a lot of belongings there ,” DiDonato said . “ The chief , men and women are going to have to make a determination and talk to them and try to offer them help also .”
Residents say that the ordinance isn ’ t enough . Several residents came forward to tell stories about how they consistently felt unsafe in the town , how the homeless residents make them fear for their children or how they worry it will impact their businesses .
Hammonton resident Stacey Cornelius told a story about how she witnessed police being called on homeless residents two times in one day : once in front of her gym , and once at her place of employment .
“ I have kids in this town . I moved back here from Orlando because I loved Hammonton as a family community ,” she said . “ I
See HOMELESS , Page 4