The needler in the haystack.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Missing child notification shows improvements in Plainfield Mass Communications System (PMCS)

From the Plainfield system's vendor's website.

After an August post (see here) on issues with Plainfield's emergency notification system, Mayor Mapp forwarded to me a portion of an email from the vendor suggesting a 'workround' for the problem: the City would simply broadcast two copies of the notice at the same time.

If the first message is clipped, the immediately following copy will be played complete.

Mayor Mapp advised the City would use the workaround pending the vendor's being able to provide a better fix.

Immediately after the Mayor's email, I noticed a definite improvement in the messages that came from the (908) 251-9137 number.

With today's notice of a Missing Person Alert for an 11-year-old girl last seen leaving her house for Maxson School Monday morning, I witnessed the full benefit of the workaround.

The first part of the notice was clipped and I only got the "last seen leaving for school" portion, but at the end the full message was repeated, with all details included.

Somewhat after 10:00 PM, there came another message from the alert system that the girl had been found and was safe.

Congrats to the Police Division for straightening the glitch out (and Thank You, Detective Green).

If you are not currently getting the city's emergency alerts, you should go at once to the city's website (here) and sign up for the PMCS. You will be glad you did.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mayor Mapp's 'Vision 2025' project launches this Thursday

City Hall cupola under restoration, 2001.

... And today.


Mayor Adrian O. Mapp's ambitious 'Vision 2025' project launches this Thursday with the first of nine planned 'listening sessions' in which residents are invited to share their thoughts and ideas on ways to improve Plainfield in seven focused areas of concern and opportunity.

"We are in the midst of an economic renaissance." said Mayor Mapp, "In order to sustain our momentum and provide a city filled with opportunity and promise for our youth, we need a strategic roadmap."

The process provides an opportunity for every member of the community to be engaged in charting the best future for Plainfield.

The seven focus areas are (Note: three sessions -- in different locations -- will be devoted to Public Safety; and Arts & Culture and Connecting Community will be combined into one session) --

Public Safety
  • Crime prevention, safety, fire protection, and natural disaster preparedness and responsiveness.

Health, Human & Social Needs
  • Community access to health services, outdoor spaces, and recreation.

Economic Development & Vibrancy
  • Creation of new economic development projects, attracting new businesses and industries, helping existing business thrive within community, and fostering destination opportunities for neighboring communities to visit and spend money in Plainfield.

Workforce Development & Adult Learning
  • Creation and support of local employment opportunities, access to workforce training and continuing education opportunities (i.e. English as a Second Language).

Childhood & Youth Education
  • Improving the local educational system to provide a quality education that will prepare our youth for continuing education and to succeed in the new economy.

Community Arts & Culture
  • Development, encouragement, and continued support of Plainfield based cultural organizations, programs, and activities for those involved in the arts.

Municipal Government & Essential Services Performance
  • Ef ficient, productive, and responsive services for Plainfield residents through municipal services as well as independent agencies and corporations, including but not limited to, PMUA, NJ Transit, New Jersey American Water, and PSEG.

Connecting Community
  • Creating a culture that breaks down barriers and shares community expertise across multiple dimensions such as socio-economic, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and political a liation. The goal is to celebrate our rich diversity and connect community groups and assets for the strengthening of Plainfield.

The first Listening Session is this Thursday (September 20), and gets under way t 7:00 PM sharp at Hubbard School, 661 West 8th Street. (There is no indication of what room; I am guessing the Auditorium and will check and update this post.)

The topic of this first session is 'Health, Human and Social Needs', including community access to health services, outdoor spaces, and recreaton. Note this is the only session scheduled to take up these specific topics, so if you have concerns or ideas in these areas, best to make plans to be there!

Mayor Mapp has charged his chief of staff, John Stewart, Jr., with spearheading the project, with a final report to e delivered to the Mayor on January 15, 2018.

Stewart advises that an online survey will be posted to the city's website by the end of September for resident input, and also that there will be a 'community playback' on November 4, as a mid-point checkup on the process.

Look for more information and updates on the city's website here as the project progresses, or contact John Stewart, Jr., at (908) 226-2509.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Urban League collecting for Hurricane Harvey relief

There is a collection box in the rotunda
at City Hall for your convenience.

Though Hurricane Harvey has passed, the damage done in the Houston area is tremendous and recovery will take a long time.

Meanwhile, people who have lost their homes and all their possessions are still desperately in need of assistance.

The Young Professionals section of the Urban League of Union County is helping with a continuing collection of needed items through next Saturday, September 23. There is a collection box located in the rotunda at City Hall.

The organization's wish list includes --
  • Men's/Women's/Children's clothing
  • Toothpaste/Toothbrushes
  • Towels/Washcloths
  • Toys
  • Shoes/Socks
  • Blankets
  • Diapers/Baby Wipes
  • Baby formula
  • Deodorant/Lotion
  • Feminine Hygiene products
  • Phone chargers
  • Batteries
  • Cleaning supplies
This collection is accepting clothing, which is often not the case.

Donations may be dropped off Monday through Friday, between 9 AM and 5 PM.

City Hall is at Watchung Avenue and East 6th Street. Parking and access in the rear of the building.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Friday evening celebration kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month

Flag-raising Ceremony kicks off Plainfield observance
of Hispanic Heritage Month.

For more than twenty years, Plainfield residents have joined with their Hispanic friends and neighbors in the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15.

This year's celebration will take place at City Hall Plaza at 6:00 PM on Friday (Sept. 15) with a flag-raising ceremony recognizing the seven countries which celebrate their independence in September -- Mexico. Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama.
Though these countries are highlighted for their September independence dates, the month celebrates Latino culture, history and contributions throughout the hemisphere.

Council President Rebecca Williams said, "We are very excited about this year's flag raising event. Flor Gonzalez, Chairwoman of the Plainfield Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs (PACHA), has worked with the rest of the commissioners to create a wonderful evening of celebration."

"During these tumultuous times, Williams continued, "it is important that Plainfield, as a welcoming city, stands with our Latino residents to honor their contributions to our city and our country. As the Plainfield City Council liaison to PACHA, it remains my honor and privilege to work with my fellow commissioners."

Plainfield City Hall is located at Watchung Avenue and East 6th Street. Parking is available in the parking lot at the rear of the building.

The ceremony will be followed by a reception and entertainment in City Hall Library.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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