The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mark Spivey gets his new assignments

There was a public education campaign to get users to adopt the newfangled ZIP codes.
Whiling away the time waiting for the Plainfield City Council's agenda session to start on Monday evening, I learned from Courier reporter Mark Spivey that he has been given his new 'beat' assignment by the editors of

He has had Plainfield and North Plainfield, to which have now been added Watchung, Warren and Green Brook, he said.

I am sure Mark will find it interesting developing the new contacts and sources necessary to cover the news in these additional communities, though I am sure the bulk of the breaking news stories for his expanded beat will come from Plainfield.

Though the assortment may appear as an agglomeration to Mark, those with long memories may find it has a certain naturalness to it. (I can remember being surprised when first looking through the Courier's 1926 picture book of Plainfield homes, that Warren, Watchung and North Plainfield homeowners self-identified as 'Plainfield' homeowners.)

Back in 1963, when Plainfield was still the Queen City for the region, the United States Post Office introduced ZIP codes, the five-digit identifiers devised to speed the delivery of the nation's mail (more here, and here).

At its inception, the ZIP code 07060 was assigned to Plainfield, North Plainfield, Warren and Watchung. Warren since petitioned for, and received, its own ZIP code -- 07059. Plainfield and North Plainfield are further subdivided with 07062 (in the east end of both towns) and 07063 (in the west end of both towns). The 07061 ZIP code is reserved for the main Post Office on Watchung Avenue.

Green Brook?

Green Brook doesn't fit the ZIP mold though, having had 08812 since the beginning. Turns out that we live right along the boundary between New Jersey's two large ZIP divides: 07--- and 08---.

But those with really long memories will recall that Green Brook was created from the former North Plainfield Township in 1931.

So, we're all just one big happy family.

Good luck, Mark!

Even Dick Tracy was enlisted.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Looking back to the 1930's you will also find that Plainfield, North Plainfield and Dunellen considered becoming one, as their drainage system for sanitary sewers were so tied in. At that time sewers were a BIG deal [as they are to those in rural areas with leaking septic systems can report] but the only agreement was the old joint meeting, called PJM which morped into present day PARSA.

Jackie said...

When I first moved to NJ in 1994, I lived in North Plainfield. I had the same 07060 zip code I have now in Plainfield. While living in my first residence, I received jury duty summons for both Union and Somerset counties. At least now I only get the Union County ones.

Pat Turner Kavanaugh said...

Dan: we've seen what this means. Mark was forced to create an ackward comparison between Maxson and the middle school in Green Brook. There will be no Plainfield stories any more, except murders probably. It's all "regional" now. I'm one of those 3,000 people who buy The Courier in Plainfield, but not for much longer. Comparisons are of questionable value. Not Mark's fault - it's what Gannett announced would happen.

dr. e=mc2 said...

He will do an excellent job as he has always done!