Changes include the democratization of information
It is hard to believe that 24 years ago, a group of 20-somethings put together a new newspaper for Hammonton.
Twenty-four years later, four of us originals continue to work together for the residents, businesses and the community itself.
I want to thank all of our staff members, contributors, dedicated readers, loyal advertisers, patrons, friends and sources. You are invaluable to us and each one of you is appreciated.
The world has changed greatly in 24 years. There is more information freely available to people then there ever was.
As a newspaper editor and a journalist, I am supremely grateful.
So many questions can be answered with quick Google searches. Documents that were once locked up in file cabinets in government offices are available online.
Want to know who owns a property? Or if there is a mortgage? Look it up online, for free.
Go to the Atlantic County Clerk Official Records Public Search: at 220.127.116.11/ClerkSearch/. Click on Basic Search.
Click the appropriate tab and fill out the fields.
If you need a block and lot for the town of Hammonton, go to https://wipp.edmundsassoc.com/Wipp/?wippid=0113. Put in the street address and you will get the block and lot.
You can learn a lot this way. Who owns a property, who has a liens against them and more.
Why is this needed? I don’t know. Sometimes it is helpful.
You can sometimes find out who is behind an LLC by reading mortgages or other documents with that LLC’s name on it.
It is just one way that information in this world has become more democratized.
Thinking about having some work done at your house? Look up the contractor or subcontractor at https://newjersey.mylicense.com/verification/Search.aspx?facility=Y. You can check and see if their license is valid.
The same goes for hairstylists and other N.J. licensed professionals.
Curious or need information about a lawsuit? Visit https://portal.njcourts.gov/webcivilcj/CIVILCaseJacketWeb/pages/publicAccessDisclaimer.faces.
It’s what you do with the information that makes the difference.
Use it to make informed decisions about the professionals in your life.
Information is a tool. Information helps you make all sorts of informed decisions.
The internet has allowed more public access to information in a quick and easy manner. People can learn more and do not have to remain in darkness.
Information lights the way.
Disinformation and ignorance will always be in the dark.
The Hammonton Gazette prints information. That is our job. We want you, the reader, to have as much information as you can read.
Not all of the information is happy or good. It is sometimes sad or bad or infuriating. And that is OK too. You cannot live your life with your head buried in the sand.
We do not stop learning once we leave the classroom.
This newspaper will continue to print information about the town of Hammonton.
What you the reader, business leader and advertiser do with that information is up to you.
All we ask, is that you work to make Hammonton a better place than when you first arrived.
That has been our goal since 1997 and one we work towards each week and each edition.
Happy anniversary to my fellow Gazette team members. Thank you for the information we provide the public each week.
Gina Rullo is the editor-in-chief of The Hammonton Gazette.