A crowd packed Middletown’s meeting room Monday night rallying against a recently opened medical center that dispenses methadone. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
The tiny community near Apple Farm Road, off Route 35, was a place where kids could roam free, homeowners could decide not to lock their front doors without worry and every face you saw was somebody you knew.
Because at the only entrance and exit to that community sits the medical center, which is not the place to go for a check-up or to look into a nagging cough. Middletown Medical is a methadone clinic, dispensing the synthetic pill just a stone’s throw from a bundle of homes and school bus stops. Methadone, in addition to treating chronic pain, is a popular and controversial drug used to treat opiate addicts to help wean them off drugs like heroin and morphine.
And nobody’s happy about the new dispensary opening its doors to the town’s surprise so close to the residential neighborhood. Neighbors share fears that the business will open up the neighborhood to a seedy cohort prone to stealing, robbing or getting a fix or drug money by any means necessary. One woman who said she goes walking through the neighborhood each morning fears she could be mugged, thrown in a ditch and left unnoticed for hours.
Within the law, though, there nothing anybody can do about the clinic, town officials maintain.
Middletown’s police department will stay intact, after the second and last remaining police union in contract negotiations with the township came to an agreement on a four-year deal over the weekend.
Policeman’s Benevolent Association Local 124, following the lead of the department’s other union, Superior Officers Association, struck a deal with the township that will save six jobs that were on the chopping block.
Brisk business at MJ’s Pizza Bar and Grill is causing traffic to jam up a nearby residential area, neighbors say. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Here’s a problem merchants these days might like to have: a business so hopping that the parking lot can’t keep up with demand.
Recently-opened MJ’s Pizza Bar and Grill, on Route 35 north in Middletown, is having such a containment issue. A lack of available real estate isn’t deterring customers, but the parking spaces they’re finding have got neighbors of MJ’s all riled up.
Neighbors say bar patrons are using the area of nearby Rosewood and Melrose terraces as an alternative parking area, making noise late at night and using private driveways as U-turns to get back out onto the highway.
“There’s a major problem with my privacy and my neighbors’ privacy and traffic. You can’t even pull your car out to Route 35,” said Vito Nigro, of Melrose Terrace. “Roseland Terrace is like a parking lot.”