The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The answer to Bernice's question

Mystery solved. There is no fourth letter.

It is eye-catching.

Bernice wondered if this sign being painted on Plainfield's former Crown Cadillac dealership on East 5th Street at Cleveland Avenue was a message to humanity from another universe.

Turns out it's a new sign for the building's longtime occupant, Bradford's Wreck-A-Mended Auto Repair shop. Crown still uses some of the large lot behind the building as overflow parking for new vehicles it can't fit on its cramped highway location.

The Queen City's downtown was once sprinkled with automobile dealerships. Besides Crown Cadillac (now on Route 22 in Watchung), there was Queen City Oldsmobile (Oldsmoble and 'Qeen City' are long gone, but the dealership is on Route 22 in Green Brook) and Romond Jeep -- now being replaced by a Cretella project.

I have long smiled at this shop's name. Probably the wittiest in Plainfield, it is at least a double pun, if not a triple.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

PSEG substations progress

The new substation at South Second and Clinton.
The photo doesn't really convey its size.

On West 2nd Street across from the parking deck,
the narrow lot makes the site look quite crowded
with new construction.

Plainfield's section of PSEG's statewide 69KV infrastructure upgrade is proceeding apace.

I don't usually go out South Second Street to Clinton Avenue, but when I did happen to on Friday, I was struck by how large the rebuild of that substation is.

The entire project in Plainfield is designed to replace the existing 39KV lines with the newer high-voltage 69'KC lines. These will be carried on the new taller phone poles you may have noticed along Clinton Avenue, West 2nd, South Second and East 3rd Streets.

You can read more  from PSEG about the entire project here, and the Plainfield section in particular here.

The new taller telephone poles, here along Clinton Avenue.

As anyone attempting to drive through downtown knows, the project has involved a complete tear-up of 2nd Street from the substation across from the county parking deck to Church Street by Union County College.

My guess is this portion of the work is drawing to a close. After the new substations are up and running, look for PSEG to withdraw the temporary equipment on the vacant lot at West 2nd and Madison and a portion of the nearby city parking lot.

Then comes the (promised) rebuild and repave of Second Street.

After which, no doubt, we can expect someone to come before the Council with a proposal for a street opening exactly where the new road work has been done.

It will be urgent, of course. And whoever it is will clean up behind themselves. Of course.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Free showing of 'Selma' rescheduled for tonight

Plainfielders get a special summer treat with a FREE showing
this Thursday at 8:30 PM.

NOTE: Thursday's evening showers prevent the FREE showing of the movie 'Selma', and it has been rescheduled for tonight (Friday) at 8:30 PM at Aristacare on Norwood Avenue.

Plainfielders will have a special summer treat with a FREE showing of the movie 'Selma' this Thursday evening as part of the Recreation Division's Thursdays at the Movies series. This comes after a twisted path in bringing the movie to Plainfield viewers. You can view Mayor Mapp's promotional annoucement here.

Nominated for an Oscar as 'Best Picture', the film tells the story of three dangerous months in 1965 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the push for voting rights for Blacks.

In the face of violent opposition, Dr. King led an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama's state capital, to advocate for equal voting rights.

After being attacked and having the attack broadcast nationally on TV, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (a significant section of which was set aside recently by the Supreme Court).

The film features a remarkable portrayal of King by Nigerian-born British actor David Oyelowo as well as a strong supporting cast. With four Golden Globe nominations and two for Oscars, the movie won an Oscar for Best Original Music.

The strong supporting cast includes Oprah Winfrey and rapper and actor Common.

Mayor Mapp originally planned a special free showing of the movie for March, in cooperation with the Plainfield Public Schools, which offered the Plainfield High School Auditorium as the venue. The auditorium, which seats 1,300, would have been ideal for an expected large community turnout.

Arrangements were handled by the Recreation Division. An employee contacted the distribution company and negotiated a detailed agreement on date, price and a showing to as large an audience as could be assembled, but one time only.

Plans went ahead to work out arrangements with the school district for the auditorium and a ticket distribution scheme was devised which woul have given residents and District students fair access to free tickets. Tickets were even printed up.

Then, at the last possible moment, just as the Mapp administration was about to issue a press release on the event, word came that the 'suits' in Los Angeles had put the kibosh on the project.

Business people at the L.A. studios advised the New York distribution folks that they would not allow a community showing in Plainfield. Specifically, their marketing rollout included a period during which the movie would only be allowed to be shown at college campuses.

So, Plainfield was the loser.

Or was it? We are getting to see themovie -- even if somewhat delayed -- but the studio forfeited invaluable publicity which a timely showing to an audience in a largely Black community would have generated.

You tell me who was the real loser.

'Selma' will be shown at 8:30 PM (it needs to be fairly dark for outdoor movies) this Thursday, July 30, outdoors at Aristacare Rehab Center, on Norwood Avenue. Aristacare, formerlyknown as Norwood Terrace is located directly behind United Presbyterian Church which is across the street from Richmond Towers.

Entry to the parking lots can be from Front Street at the church, or Norwood Avenue, which is well-posted with signs.

Be sure to bring lawn chairs or blankets -- the movie is being shown outdoors. Popcorn will be provided.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Union County Dem campaign expenditures

Plainfield Assemblyman Jerry Green
is also chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

ELEC has released campaign expense figures for county party organizations for the 2015 Primary Election (see story here).

Plainfield Assemblyman Jerry Green is chair of the Union County Democratic Committee, which weighed in as follows --

Funds Raised
Monies Spent
$109, 567
Cash on Hand post-election
Net Worth

The difference between Cash on Hand and Net Worth reflects any unpaid bills or loans outstanding.

With a little over 31,000 Democratic votes cast in Union County, this means the party spent an average of $3.51 for each vote.

These figures do not reflect the election of County Committee members (same a municipal committee members), which are outside the purview of ELEC -- hence Jerry Green's mailings from "Union County's Committee" -- and constitute an entirely separate campaign cost structure.

Ain't cheap, this politics business.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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