The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

BREAKING: Bill Clinton campaigns for Hillary at Union County College Wednesday

Bill campaigns for Hillary Wednesday at UCC Cranford campus.

Former President Bill Clinton will be at Union County College in Cranford on Wednesday to campaign for Hillary Clinton for President as we draw close to next Tuesday's Primary Election.

Bill and daughter Chelsea have made several appearances in New Jersey recently stumping for the former Senator and Secretary of State.

Bill will discuss Hillary's plans to break down the barriers that hold too many New Jerseyans back.

The rally is being organized and sponsored by the Union County Democratic Committee. This is the closest event you are likely to find for Hillary in our area.

While the event is free and open to all, you should RSVP (here) before going. UCC's Cranford campus is at 1033 Springfield Avenue. Doors open at 2:30 PM.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Mayor Mapp leads simple, dignified Memorial Day ceremony

Mayor Mapp and veterans placed a wreath at the War Memorial
at the flagpole.

Mayor Mapp is joined by Schools Superintendent Anna Belin Pyles (l.)
and Freeholder Linda Carter (r.) in recognizing
Plainfield Buffalo Soldier Donald Van Blake.

Plainfield High School ROTC cadets formed the color guard.

Councilor Barry Goode delivers the invocation.

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp led Plainfield veterans, residents and friends in a simple and dignified observance of Memorial Day Monday morning.

The mayor and veterans present marched from City Hall to the War Memorial at the flagpole in front of Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, where a wreath was placed.

After returning to City Hall, the remainder of the observance was conducted in front of the Veterans Memorial there.

The began with the national anthem, sung by Blessing Babayemi, and an invocation by Councilor Barry Goode.

After recognizing elected officials, Mayor Mapp singled out Donald Van Blake, Plainfield's only surviving Buffalo Soldier, for special mention.

PAAAS student Matthew Branch plays "Taps".

Brief remarks by Cornell Hawkins of American Legion Post 219 and Mayor Mapp were followed by a rendition of "Taps' by PAAAS student Matthew Branch, bringing the commemoration to a close.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Plainfield cemeteries on Memorial Day

Plainfield's Civil War veterans are buried in a circle known as
the 'G.A.R. Bivouac' at Hillside Cemetery.

Plainfield will commemorate those who made the supreme sacrifice for their county at Monday's annual Memorial Day Commemoration, which gets under way at City Hall at 10:00 AM.

It is a longstanding custom to decorate the graves of fallen service members with small American flags, placed there by veterans and community service organizations. In fact, Memorial Day was first known as Decoration Day, from the custom of strewing flowers on the graves which grew up after the Civil War (it was still known by this name when I was a child).

I visited Plainfield's cemeteries on Sunday and photographed some of the displays.

A grave in the Methodist Cemetery on Plainfield Avenue.

...and one in the adjacent Baptist Cemetery. Both cemeteries
suffered from vandalism and neglect in the 1980s and 90s.

Gravesite in the Presbyterian Cemetery on Brook Avenue
in North Plainfield. These three cemeteries hearken back
to a time when denominational sensibilities were very strong,
and each major denomination had its own cemetery.

The Friends cemetery, adjacent to the Meeting House has no flags.
Quakers, who are pacifists, do not serve in the armed forces.
However, one Friend told me there is a Civil War veteran
buried here who served in the military, much to the scandal
of the local Meeting.

A grave at St. Mary's Cemetery on Berckman Street. Like the
other cemeteries (except for Hillside), it is surrounded by a
chain link fence and is not open for the public to visit.

Plan to bring an umbrella in case of showers, which have been predicted. The Ceremony will take place in front of City Hall.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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[Date corrected] Groundbreaking for South Second Street development Thursday

Rendering of the new warehouse facility for
ABC Supply Company on South Second Street.

Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp and city officials will gather with principals of J. G. Petrucci and tD+Partners on Wednesday for the groundbreaking on the South Second redevelopment project.

The five-acre site between Grant Avenue and Muhlenberg Place, known to many as "the Oliver Brown site" has been vacant since a 1983 fire destroyed an indstrial building on the site.

While the site will accommodate a residential complex and a new warehouse for ABC Supply Company, it is expected that work will begin on the warehouse building planned for the Muhlenberg Place end of the site immediately, as ABC wants to be in the new building by the end of the year.

[NOTE DATE CORRECTION] The groundbreaking will take place at Noon on Thursday and the public is warmly invited. Catering for the event is by The Gumbo House and LiVay Sweet Shop.

Parking on the street.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Saturday is goddaughter Alexa Storch's wedding day

Alexa Storch and Pete Montenaro will wed today.

Saturday afternoon my goddaughter Alexa Storch will wed her sweetheart Pete Montenaro at Christ Episcopal Church in Newton, New Jersey.

Alexa, a budding artist now living in Chicago, is the daughter of Lois Mattson and Council President Cory Storch.

Fr. Robert Griner, formerly rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Plainfield, will officiate.

My best wishes to the newlyweds.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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City pool opening; Community Cookout set for Saturday

Hannah Atkins pool opens Saturday!

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of "summer" and this year is no exception in Plainfield.
The city's public pool at Hannah Atkins Playgroudn opens Saturday (My 28) for the summer season. Youngsters may swim from Noon to 5:00 PM. With temps in the high 80s, this will be a real treat!

Kids will meet Finn the Dolphin and enjoy free popcorn and popsicles. The first fifty to arrive will receive a free pair of goggles.

Hannah Atkins Playground is at 508-52 West 3rd Street, corner of Plainfield Avenue.

The 5th Avenue Social Club is sponsoring a community cookout, also on Saturday -- from 2:00 to 8:00 PM at Bryant Park.

There will be food and fun for all. Music by DJs Fatt Rodney and Raheim, face painting for the kids, and free health screenings.

Fire Division trucks will be on hand for kids enjoyment. the Police Division will offer public safety tips and the Red Cross will offer smoke detectors.

Bryant Park is between East 5th and East 6th Streets, near Richmond Street.

There will be an after party at Club Cosmos on South Second Street from 9 PM - 2 AM.
Be sure to check the City of Plainfield Recreation Division's web page (here) for complete information on summer activities.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

(Board of Ed) Agenda for tonight's special BOE meeting posted, at last

Screenshot shows tonight's agenda was only created
late Wednesday afternoon. Not acceptable! (Click to enlarge)

The agenda for tonight's special Board of Ed meeting was posted -- finally -- late Wednesday afternoon (see here).

Two items will be taken up --
  • Roof repairs and replacements for Cook, Evergreen, Maxson and Plainfield High Schools, and

  • Out of District travel for Board members Morgan, Jeffers and Bellamy to Board-related conferences.
The meeting is being held -- inexplicably and annoyingly -- in the PHS Auditorium at 7:00 PM (note the time!).

The agenda was only posted to the District's website late in the afternnon. The screenshot above shows it was created at 4:25 PM on Wednesday (and which is not the fault of the person who created it).

I certainly hope Board President Morgan snaps the Superintendent to attention in the matter of public notices.

The call for special meetings must include the items to be acted upon and only those items may be taken up at the meeting. This was not done in this instance.

And the District could take a lesson from Municipal Clerk "AJ" Jalloh, who manages to get the Council's agendas online and in an email distribution by 72 hours before the meeting in the case of regular meetings and at least 48 hours before special meetings.

There is simply no excuse for the District to be so sloppy about such matters.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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