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Friday, October 31, 2008

Guidelines for a Happy (and safe) Plainfield Halloween tonight

Throughout Plainfield early this evening, homeowners will welcome children celebrating this favorite holiday.

Representatives of neighborhood groups citywide met recently in a meeting set up by Councilor Rashid Burney and attended by Police Director Martin Hellwig to outline some steps to ensure a good time for the kids and a hassle-free evening for the householders who hand out the treats.

Here are the recommendations, as outlined by both the Netherwood Heights Neighbors (NHN) and FOSH. In addition, NHN has posted a flyer on its website (see here) which you may want to print out and tape to your front door.

Two weeks ago, Councilor Rashid Burney invited neighborhood organizations citywide to join the Netherwood Neighbors general meeting, to which Police Director Martin Hellwig was also invited.

The meeting was an opportunity for the public to have input into the 2008 Halloween safety preparations.
As many know there have been some some incidents of vandalism, homeowner intimidation, and stealing of candy in recent years. Director Hellwig assured attendees there would be an extra police presence Halloween evening.

Following are the safety procedures outlined for this year's Halloween celebration --

1. Curfew is 8:00... plan to stop handing out candy by 8:00 that night. It is also recommended porch lights be turned off at this time (though use judgment if your porch light is the only outdoor lighting at your home).

2. Report any/all incidents! Director Hellwig provided direct numbers to police dispatch: (908)753-3107 and (908) 753-3108. Use these numbers for reporting suspicious activities and/or incidents that night (of course use 911 in an emergency).

3. If you see any van-type vehicles dropping off groups of teenagers/adults, get the license number and alert the police using the above numbers.

Halloween is meant to be a fun time for kids and adults alike and this should not spoil the fun for most. Just follow the recommended guidelines and report any incidents as necessary...most of all HAVE FUN!

In addition, FOSH is having an early celebration for neighborhood young ones (ten and under) at Leland Avenue Park --
Just a reminder that FOSH is celebrating Halloween and we are inviting all our Little FOSH neighbors to come join us at Leland Avenue Park on Friday the 31st from 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., before or after they trick-or-treat.
  • It will be an informal trick-or-treat gathering for children ages ten and under, along with a supervising adult(s).

  • We'll have apples, cider, and some other treats to share and we'll have a little fun parading around the park together.

  • If there is anyone who wishes for more information or to contribute please contact me at
Homeowners are asked to help the effort by observing the 8:00 PM voluntary curfew for the end of trick-and-treating by turning out their porch lights.

Finally, the Recreation Division is hosting its annual Community Halloween Party and Haunted House event this evening also, at Washington Community School, beginning at 6 PM. See the notice below --
Today- October 31. 6 PM. Community Halloween Party & Haunted House. The Recreation Division's annual family party includes a haunted house, a costume contest, prizes, snacks and lots of fun for all. A safe and fun alternative for children ages 5 - 10. Parents MUST accompany children. At Washington Community School, 427 Darrow Avenue (parking in Spooner Avenue lot). Info: (908) 753-3097.

Illustrations courtesy Netherwood Heights Neighbors.

-- Dan Damon

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