The needler in the haystack.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Plainfield planning official elected to state planners group leadership

Ron Scott Bey, chair of Plainfield's Planning Board,
with Brian Kasler, executive director of
NJ Planning Officials, at the 103rd League Conference.
(Photo courtesy Siddeeq El-Amin.)


Ron Scott Bey, chairman of Plainfield's Planning Board, was elected treasurer of New Jersey Planning Officials, the association of NJ planning and zoning officials, at the 103rd annual conference of the NJ League of Municipalities in Atlantic City this past week.

Scott Bey, who is currently serving on the organization's board o f directors, will now take a seat on the Executive Board. Elected by the organization's general membership, Scott Bey will serve in the office for three years.

Ron was appointed to the Planning Board by the late Mayor Al McWilliams, and has served for fifteen years.

When his length of service was remarked upon, he pointed out that both former chair Ken Robertson and current member Gordon Fuller have service records of at least thirty years -- a sign that the volunteers who serve on Plainfield's land use boards (including the Zoning Board of Adjustment) relish their duties and the contribution they make to the community.

When asked about high points during his term of service, Scott Bey pointed to the re-examination of the city's Master Plan and the designation of two Transit Village zones, for the design of which the city won an award.

Looking to the future, Ron is excited about the prospects for continued development activity downtown, particularly in the block bounded by West 2nd Street and Front Street between Madison Avenue and Central Avenue.

One of the possibilities for that area is  banquet hall, a facility that would be a boon to the city, the lack of which has been an embarassment every time a special event needs to be located elsewhere because Plainfield lacks a venue.

Another prospect he finds exciting is the possibility of attracting a microbrewery or brewpub to the downtown area.

Since the laws changed in 2012, loosening restrictions on  craft or microbreweries ane brewpubs, there has been a surge of growth throughout the Garden State.

Craft breweries are those that produce less than 6 million barrels a year. Whereas formerly they were limited to giving free samples to those who toured the facility and could only sell two six-packs to a visitor, they now can sell beer by the pint and customers can by up to a full keg to take home. The changes have helped microbreweries expand greatly.

Brewpubs on the other hand are restaurants with a brewery attached. Brewpubs may now produce up to 10,000 barrels (as opposed to 3,000 formerly), may hold up to 10 licenses, and may sell their beer to wholesalers -- ensuring distribution throughout the state and to restaurants other than their own.

Ron is very upbeat about the prospects for continued improvement of the business climate throughout the Queen City under the leadership of just re-elected Mayor Adrian O. Mapp.

The Planning Board meets on the first and third Thursday of each month (there are some exceptions) at City Hall Library. Meetings start at 7:30 PM and the public is welcome and may ask questions during the conduct of the board's business. For more information, call the Planning Division at (908) 753-3391.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Road paving will disrupt three streets Thanksgiving week

Drivers were alerted to road work on Cedarbrook Road
a few years ago.

Plainfield is racing the onset of winter weather to get as many streets paved as possible.

Here are the streets that will be affected during Thanksgiving week (November 20 through 24) --
  • Stelle Avenue runs from PHS at the corner of Park Avenue to Hobert Avenue.
  • Stillman Avenue begins at Sherman Avenue and runs behind the former Wardlaw-Hrtridge campus to the South Plainfield line.
  • Paving on Grant Avenue will be done from the South Plainfield line to West 7th Street.
Work will take place weather permitting -- meaning that the air temperature must be warm enough for crews to work the asphalt.

The affected streets will be closed from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Residents are advised to plan alternate routes to avoid delays. Though Thursday is Thanksgiving Day and there will be no work, the condition of the streets may offer users a rough ride.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pacemaker performing perfectly, I'm outa here

This diagram shows three types of pacemakers.
I have the "dual chamber" type.
(Image: Cleveland Clinic)


Thursday, my next to last day in rehab, was spent on the bike in the morning, with the resistance kicked up so that it felt like I was pedaling uphill for 15 minutes nonstop. Some workout!

Little did I know I would put the new level of endurance to the test later in the day.

The post-op checkup on my pacemaker was for noon at the Newark office of the doctor who implanted it -- Victor Mazza, an assistant professor of cardiology and electrophysiology at Rutgers NJMS.

Despite leaving plenty of time (we thought) to get there, we were foiled by finding the inner drives by University Hospital all closed (probably today only) for paving. This meant parking in the deck that was farther from the building I needed to get to.

The walk from the deck to the building was perhaps a thousand feet, putting my endurance training to the test. The last couple hundred feet I had to use the walker and was seriously winded by the time we got to the doctor's office. But the wait in the office gave me plenty of time to cool down.

A very personable and remarkably young looking man for a medical professorship, Dr. Mazza took the time to explain every step to me as he evaluated the pacemaker.

fter an electronic "handshake" that allowed his equipment to communicate with the chip in the pacemaker, he meticulously checked each of its functions. At one point, he sped up the electrical pulses to the leads (wires) in both the right atrium and right ventricle. That was a weird feeling, as I could feel my heart pumping faster. After the check, he dialed the pulses back to the normal level -- once again I could sense the changes in the heart rate.

When completely done working his way through the computer screens, he pushed a button and the machine began to print out its report on a long (about 12 feet) strip of paper. He explained that many of the folds (or pages) had no data in them now, but would begin to fill up as I went through future checkups.

Pronouncing the pacemaker to be working "perfectly", he sent me on my way, with another checkup in about four weeks.

This means that I will be leaving Aristacare in the morning, as soon after breakfast as I can get my things together.

Can't wait.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Bassist Gary Karr headlines Plainfield Symphony Saturday

Famed double bassist Gary Karr
will perform with the PSO Saturday.

The Plainfield Symphony continues its 98th season this Saturday (November 18) with an encore performance of a work commissioned for its 50th anniversary by the artist who performed it at that celebration.

Famed double bassist Gary Karr, who began his musical studies at Plainfield's French School of Music, will return to the Queen City for a performance of Manuel Serbrier's "Neuve: Concerto for Double Bass and Chamber Orchestra", which he premiered in 1974. Karr, who has performed and conducted worldwide rarely makes public appearances any more, and this is just one of two performances on the East coast in 2017.

Serebrier is a Uruguyan-born composer and conductor of Russian and Polish Jewish extraction. His music is described as "energetic, colourful and melodic" and he has someetimes composed for startling combinations -- including accordion and chamber orchestra. "Neuve" was commissioned by the Plainfield Symphony to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Joining Karr in the performance will be Elmira Darvanova, violinist, whose credits include having been the first and only woman Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York.

Plainfield Symphony concerts begin at 7:00 PM at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. Regular seating is $30/person and tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance on the PSO website here.

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]
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