Friday, September 4, 2015

McDonalds on Chambers Street in Trenton NJ

Many conversations, discussions, debates and more have been created by the building of a McDonalds on Chambers Street across from Trenton Central High School – TCHS.

I have heard conversations regarding the zoning of the area, the quality of the food they serve, the health implications around a diet that includes their food, MCD being a big business that will hurt the local economy, the wages they pay, the implications it will have on students “cutting class” to hang out in the building under the golden arches and more.

I am of the opinion that an area zoned as “business” is open to any business that falls into the guidelines of a “business” as defined by the City of Trenton Zoning and Planningdepartments.  

This area is zoned BB-Business.

Instead of fighting MCD coming into this location I would like to suggest we share our concerns and work towards a joint solution a win-win of sorts for MCD and Trenton.

I think a better approach would be for a group of citizens from this neighborhood along with members of the Planning and Zoning Departments of Trenton, TCCA-Trenton Council of Civic Associations and others in this area to meet with the MCD franchisee and share concerns and brainstorm about ways to make this a success.

Some things I have suggested to others are as follows:
·       The creation of Restaurant Management Program with TCHS
·       Educational efforts in partnership with the likes of the Trenton Health team and others around nutrition and exercise
·       Creation of a Ronald McDonald house in partnership with St.Francis Hospital
·       A buy local campaign with a sourcing component
·       Creation of a 24 hour security initiative
·       Creation of an Environmental program that focuses on anti-litter
·       Improvements to the area including lighting, signage, biking and walking lanes, and other traffic calming measures in partnership with TCR-Trenton Cycling Revolution
·       Creation of a Hamilton and Chambers Business District with the other businesses in this neighborhood (BTW businesses around the corner include a Bar, Liquor store, Chinese restaurant and 3 fried chicken restaurants
·       To become a sponsor in Original Trenton St. Patrick’s Day Parade
·       Creation of another event to promote the City of Trenton

I believe we need more businesses to come into Trenton.  Sure we would like to have Apple open a store in Trenton, a Cheesecake Factory, Wholefoods or Trader Joes, all of them would be nice.  The reality is that McDonald’s sees this area as an opportunity to make money; I would like to see us welcome them into our City (really our Town) and have them satisfy our goals while making money.

In closing I believe that most people enjoy something from MCD at least some of the time.  If they want to be here and legally we can not prevent them from coming here then why not have them meet some requirements that will set a precedent for future businesses.  This is an opportunity to remove a vacant, abandoned building that was an eyesore from a prime real estate location and to have it bring in ratables, employ residents and more.

Have a look at some links regarding this subject. 

This link actually had a comment I made in 2012.

Trenton 365 Show
Tuesday ~8:00-9:00pm  WIMG1300 AM and (live radio)
3rd Tuesday 7:30-8:00pm WIMG 1300 AM and (live radio) WPHY Mercer County (taped for television)
Wednesday 6:00-7:00pm WWFM-JazzOn2 89.1 HD2 and 
Thursday 6:00-7:00pm WWFM-JazzOn2 89.1 HD2 and

Images from demo day at the MCD site Chambers St. and Hamilton Ave. Trenton NJ

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Kelly Strycharz-Thompson Master Gardener and Diabetes Spokesperson

Hello friends I would like for you to meet Kelly Strycharz-Thompson.  We graduated from Ewing High School together.

It was nice to reconnect with her later in life and to catch up.  She and her husband Jay are residents of Trenton and fans of the Art & Culture scene of New Jersey's capital city.

Kelly is a Mercer County Certified Master Gardener and spokesperson for diabetes.  Have a listen to our chat and see some of her home garden.