The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

An open letter to the Mayor and Council on the Deer Management resolution passed by the Council

Not every hunter is successful in killing deer.

The Animal Initiative Committee of Plainfield, which sponsors the annual blessing of animals at Leland Avenue Park each October, forwarded to me the following open letter to the Mayor and Council concerning the resolution (R 381-17) to "implement a deer management program in the City of Plainfield" passed at last Monday's Council meeting.

In response to questions posed by resident Nancy Piwowar, the audience learned that the proposed program will focus on the catch basin on Cushing Road. Union County will supervise a culling by hunters using bows and arrows only.

The management of deer in suburban areas by hunting is widespread and controversial (for more see here). Many suggest that the problem of overlarge deer populations is a result of encroachment on their habitat by development and the consequent extirpation of their natural predators.

After minimal discussion at the Council meeting, the resolution was passed by unanimous voice vote.

While I do not agree with all of the letter's ideas (and certainly not some of its tone), it does seem to me that Plainfield would benefit from a deeper discussion of the issues involved than was given in the adoption of the resolution. -- DAN

Here is the letter --

Open Letter to Plainfield (NJ) Mayor and Council: December 12, 2017

The City of Plainfield has worked hard to change the negative image that has followed Plainfield for decades. Despite a beautiful housing stock, diverse population, and active business district, with the reelection of Mayor Mapp in November 2017 a series of reckless, one-sided and arrogant decisions were made.

Among the three most recent, and divisive, decisions pushed through against the will of residents/voters are as follows:

1. The takeover by city/council of the SID, the very active and financially independent association of business owners that has thrived for decades, bringing positive attention to business development and reaching out to residents with activities for all ages. The many accomplishments of the SID were disregarded, and will cost taxpayers dearly as this becomes a government, rather than private, entity

2. The increase of Mayor and council salaries was introduced one day post election. Despite cogent arguments made by residents, the Mayor will now receive $75,000, up from $35,000, for his part-time job. Council is $25,000 from $10,000 for part-time positions.

3. At the same December 11, 2017 meeting, a deer kill was announced with no previous notice to the public, based solely on the desire of council members to mollify a handful of residents whose main complaint was that deer are eating their shrubs. This action is over the will of the majority who have enjoyed the biodiversity of wildlife, with children and adults alike delighting in watching these graceful creatures as part of the overall peaceful living environment.

We, as the Animal Initiative Committee, are responding to the last matter.

Union County is always looking for more outlets to satisfy hunters, and they found a mark in Plainfield.

The catch basin (watershed) on Cushing Road has long been off-limits to human interference. It protects wildlife that has been displaced from surrounding areas due to development and destruction of environment. The development on Cushing Road has done the damage to environment, why are we not addressing that?

No creature should be killed for eating flowers. There are many ways to live peacefully, and still enjoy the beauty of nature.

The council has refused to reach out to the very resources in their own districts that help resolve issues in a humane, non-lethal manner. We also have access to outside resources willing to come in to address concerns.

For over 18 years, the Animal Initiative Committee has presented a yearly Celebration of Animals that attracts people from the City and surrounding areas. It is a joyous time, filled with educational programs on how to live in harmony with all beings. We have a flyer for distribution on living with wildlife. Despite invitations each year, neither Mayor nor council attends.

We received positive feedback last year with the plight of a dog left in the elements. As a result, an ordinance that brings attention to care for animals was established. Plainfield was praised for its animal friendly resolution.

This deer kill will divide community and neighbors, and is in direct opposition to the Mayor's “One Plainfield” theme. Nothing divides like animal issues, as evidenced in the past by the dog situation. This decision to kill will have far reaching effects outside of Plainfield.

We urge you to rescind the invitation to the County for this kill. We do not want the county dictating how our animals are treated, as they have a singular method that is killing.

We are available to discuss and recommend other methods, and end with the following Mission Statement, which should be a resolution of Plainfield:

"Be it resolved, the Animal Initiative Committee is opposed to any violent or lethal methods designed to target wildlife and other animals on any properties: private, municipal, state or county in and around the City of Plainfield".

And finally,

“Never, never be afraid to do what is right, especially if the well
being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are
small, compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the
other way. “ (Martin Luther King, Jr)

Animal Initiative Committee of Plainfield Marie Ansari Gloria Binkowski, VMD MaryEllen Chanda Shirley Edwards Thomas Kaercher Shannon Pacheco

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Two items of interest on Tuesday's Historic Preservation Commission agenda

Yates Real Estate plans to turn the former Abbott Nursing Home
into Veterans' housing.


Plainfield's Historic Preservation Commission meets for the last time in 2017 on Tuesday evening (December 19) in City Hall Library at 7:30 PM.

Two items may pique your interest --

YATES REAL ESTATE, 810 Central Avenue
This is the former Abbott Nursing Home. Yates is proposing to convert the building to 25 apartments (for veterans, he says), to include construction of  third floor addition. The matter is being referred to the HPC by the Zoning Board of Adjustment as the property is in the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District.

Though this is a separate matter, this is the same Yates that the Council voted a $396,000 settlement to last Monday for claims against the city in the botched demolition of 117-125 North Avenue in 2015 (see my post here).
The HPC will discuss proposed expansion of these two historic districts. 149 properties are being considered for the VWB, and 87 properties for Netherwood Heights.

A survey has been conducted and the HPC is planning to distribute documentation to the public before its February 2018 meeting (that's an ambitious schedule). If either of these topics interests you, plan to be there on Tuesday evening.
The HPC welcomes the public and opportunity for public comment and questions is always given before actions are taken.

City Hall is at Watchung Avenue and East 6th Street. Parking and entrance to the building are in the rear.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Crescent Concerts offers 46th "Yuletide by Candlelight" free concert Saturday

Crescent Avenue Church will be bathed in candlelight
for the annual 'Yuletide by Candlelight' concert.

For the 46th year, Crescent Concerts, the musical ministry of Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church offers its annual free "Yuletide by Candlelight" concert Saturday afternoon t 5:00 PM.

The program will feature classical and contemporary Christmas songs and anthems, as well as opportunities for the audience to join in with beloved carols.

There are no tickets for the event; howver, a free will offering will be taken to support Crescent Avenue's feeding ministry -- which provides free lunches every week day.

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church is at East 7th Street and Watchung Avenue. Parking in the church lot on First Place, on the street, or in the Swain Galleries lot.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Second chance for Craft Fair, duCret art sale this Saturday


Looking for something unusual or handcrafted for your holiday giving? Your search will be eased if you come out to the Holiday Craft Fair and Fine Art Sale this Saturday (December 16) at duCret School of Art. This second opportunity is to make up for last week's lousy weather.

You will find handcrafted greeting cards, art in various media, decorated gift bags, knit goods, scarves, clothing, jewelry, hand-made quilts, hand-painted plates and mugs and much more.

The fair runs from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM in the exhibition hall at the rear of the school. duCret is at 1030 Central Avenue (across from Cedarbrook School). Take the driveway to the rear parking lot. Entrance is directly off the lot.

For more information, call the Division of Recreation at (908) 753-3097.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.