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Thursday, August 11, 2005Past Issues - S | M | T | W | T | F | S
 
South Jersey

Home Port Alliance brought battleship home to Camden

SHAWN SULLIVAN/Courier-Post
Former Home Port Alliance President Capt. David McGuigan stands next to the USS New Jersey after the battleship reached its final berth on the Camden Waterfront on Sept. 23. McGuigan was responsible for the winning application that brought the warship to its home state.

By CAROL COMEGNO
Courier-Post Staff
CAMDEN

The Home Port Alliance scored a victory in bringing the USS New Jersey to Camden.

The alliance, the nonprofit group in charge of the battleship project, has a diverse board of 14 trustees.

Among them are politicians, leaders of local and state governments, business leaders and retired military personnel. Most live in South Jersey and represent both major political parties.

The alliance was formed in 1998 so that a South Jersey group could make an application to the Navy to donate the historic battleship for conversion to a museum on the Camden Waterfront. The group succeeded in winning Navy approval in a competition with the state battleship commission.

Heading the trustees are two co-chairmen Patricia Jones of Barrington, a Democrat, and the Camden County surrogate, and state Sen. John Matheussen, R-

Gloucester, of Washington Township. They replaced its first president, retired Capt. David McGuigan of Haddonfield, who resigned in late 2000.

The vice president is Donald Norcross, president of the Southern New Jersey Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and chairman of the Camden County Democratic Party. Joseph Balzano, executive director of the South Jersey Port Corp., is secretary. Philip Rowan, executive director of the Camden County Improvement Authority, is the finance officer and Philip Norcross, brother of Donald, serves as a trustee and the board's lawyer.

Other members include Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison; Camden activist Joan Davis; Norman Sooy, a Vietnam War veteran and Camden County director of veterans affairs; and Frank Fulbrook, president of the Camden Empowerment Zone Corp.

Also members are Thomas Corcoran, executive director of Coopers Ferry Development Association; Glenn Paulsen, Delaware River Port authority vice chairman and chairman of the Burlington County Republican Party; Andrew Sinclair, state Department of Transportation representative; and Col. Michael Warner, director of veterans affairs for New Jersey.

The board meets bimonthly and is not required to have public meetings. However, in response to a call for public meetings from several officials, the board schedules a public meeting on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Each public meeting is at a different venue.

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