The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Plainfield Symphony wraps up 97th season with Ravel

Maurice Ravel. Would you have guessed he was a
perfectionist -- and probably gay?

The Plainfield Symphony's music director Charles Prince leads the orchestra in closing out its 97th season this Saturday (April 29) with a program focused on French composer Maurice Ravel.

Three Ravel masterpieces are on the menu -- the 'Daphnis and Chloe Suite No. 2', 'le Tombeau de Couperin' (his homage to that famed Baroque composer), and the mesmerizing 'Bolero'.

Helen Shen, YPCNJ gold medal winner, rounds out the program with a performance of Chopin's 'Piano Concerto No. 2 in f minor'.

Immediately following the concert, Peter and Libby Price will be honored at the Conductor's Circle after party at the home of Vickie White and Michel McCarthy at 1440 Prospect Avenue.  Tickets to the after party are $50/person, payable at the door.

The concert is a 7:00 PM at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, East 7th Street and Watchung Avenue. Tickets are $25/person at the door. Parking in the church lot on First Place, on the street, or in the Swain Galleries lot.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Monday, April 24, 2017

DuCret Annual Spring Student Show and Sale Friday

The duCret School of Art is housed in a distinguished
Plainfield mansion.

duCret's annual student art show and sale takes place this Friday (April 28), with some exciting new wrinkles!

Members of the public who attended Monday evening's Planning Board hearing on the draft Muhlenberg Redevelopment Plan got a sneak peak at some of the student pieces for Friday's event.

Many students make the first commercial sale of their art careers at these student shows, so there is always an air of excitement as the budding artists show their work.

Students work in a variety of media, including oil, acrylic, and mixed media; digital art, ceramics, jewelry and sculpture. Juried winners will be announced and their works highlighted.

Among the new twist this year: a raffle of an original painting from the 'duCret Collection' (raffle proceeds will benefit the Ceramics Department), a live jazz band, cash bar and "tasty bites". Table will be available for seating.

The event runs from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM in the Auditorium at the rear of the complex. Parking and entry from the rear parking lot. duCret School of Art is at 1030 Central Avenue (across from Cedar Brook School)

For more information, visit the school's website here, or call (908) 757-7171.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Sunday, April 23, 2017

(2017 Dem Primary) Did Tracey Brown break the law by not reporting 2016 billboard?

A billboard in support of Tracey Brown from last year's
Dem primary. She has never reported it on her campaign

The required "paid for" declaration says the billboard
was paid for by Tracey Brown's campaign. What gives?
(click image to enlarge)

Did Tracey Brown break the law by not reporting a billboard used in her 2016 campaign to ELEC?

New Jersey has some of the strictest requirements for reporting political campaign expenses and contributions in the country. And considerable fines when candidates or their proxies fail to abide by the rules -- which include not only truthfulness, but timeliness in making the required reports.

I noted during the 2016 Democratic primary -- in which Councilor Brown ran against Coundilor Williams for the citywide at-large Dem nomination -- that Tracey had a large billboard atop the store at the southeast corner of East Front Street and Watchung Avenue (see above).

I kept waiting as her ELEC reports dribbled in to see the disbursements for billboard design, production and space rental. The total for a month's exposure could come to as much as $2,500 (or more, depending on the designer's fee).

Nothing ever came through.

I checked all Tracey's 2016 filings again over this past weekend. Nada. She was quite scrupulous about reporting expenses -- except for the billboard and a number of mailings (at at least $3,400 each).

So, we have a mystery. Did Tracey fully and completely declare all her campaign donations and expenses?

Even if the billboard and some of the mailings were paid for by a donor or donors, Tracey was required by ELEC to report those items as in-kind contributions, whe she evidently did not.

Right away, we are starting off the campaign season with a trust issue.

Has Tracey Brown knowingly misled not only the ELEC officials, but her supporters and the community at large.

Trust is what makes it all work. Can Tracey Brown be trusted?

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Revised draft Muhlenberg Redevelopment Plan to be taken up Monday

The striped area is the subject of the proposed
Muhlenberg Redevelopment Plan.

The Plainfield Planning Board will meet Monday (April 24) in the auditorium of duCret School of Art at 7:30 PM for another look at the proposed Muhlenberg Campus Redevelopment Plan.

There are TWO versions of the draft plan online. The first (see here) is numbered 033117; the revised draft (see here) is numbered 042417.

Bernice has done an excellent job comparing the two (see her post here), noting several items to which attention should be paid.

Though questions about the housing component have dominated public discussion so far, attendees should note there are other issues of importance.

Monday's meeting is a Planning Board meeting to discuss the draft redevelopment plan. The developer will not be present. The Planning Board must adopt a redevelopment plan for the former hospital campus in order for the project to advance.

The public will have opportunity to ask questions and express concerns.

duCret School of Art is at 1038 Central Avenue, across the street from the Cedarbrook School. Follow the drive around to the rear of the complex. Parking is in the rear lot, with direct entrance from the lot into the Auditorium.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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