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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Plainfield double-header: Liquor license hearing, YOU vigil

Violations galore at West End liquor store.

Plainfielders had a double-header Wednesday evening with a special meeting of the City Council to hear a liquor license matter and a candlelight vigil sponsored by the youth group Y.O.U. Fortunately, both events took place at City Hall, so intrepid observers could shuttle between both.

Sitting as the local Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, four members of the City Council (Council President Bridget Rivers and councilors Mapp, Reid and Williams) heard testimony from representatives of the Police Division on problems at the 1314 West Front Street location known as the Arlington Liquors/Clinton Deli.

Three officers presented detailed information on infractions at the liquor store or on its substantial property, including sales of drugs inside and outside the store, sales to minors, and employee consumption of alcohol while on duty.

Among other things, the owner's daughter, Williamah Naicken, was caught in a drug transaction inside the store and drugs were found in her purse; further, she was in defiance of a court order barring her from frequenting the premises.

The owner, Vadrajan Naicken, was not represented by counsel. When asked by hearing officer John Motta if he had any questions or statements in his own behalf, he replied 'No'.

This is not the first time Naicken has run afoul of the Council in the annual license renewal process. Evidence was also introduced that Naicken had not complied with previously agreed-to conditions place on his license renewal: surveillance cameras and dusk-to-closing security guards to patrol the large lot.

The police noted there had been 136 calls for service in the July 2012-June 2013 license year. That is an average of more than one call every three days. The cost to the Police Division has been a concern of the Council's at each license renewal period.

To my mind, Naicken's appearance without counsel indicates an attitude that even if the Council takes severe action by refusing to renew his license or placing even more restrictive conditions on it, he will win the day on appeal to Trenton.

Sadly, Plainfield's experience with trying to tighten up on liquor licenses has often been reversed on appeal to the state, and Naicken seems to believe his luck will hold in that regard.

The four councilors deliberated as the ABC behind closed doors. Naicken's license renewal will be up for a vote at the Council's next regular business meeting August 19.

This is how word reached me via FaceBook.


Meanwhile, about 150 young people and adults gathered on the steps of City Hall in a candlelight vigil organized by the Plainfield youth organization Y.O.U. (Youth Organization for Unity).

Coming in the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin, the Plainfield vigil focused on remembering 'hundreds of unarmed youth killed without justice' (see the event's FaceBook page here). Emily Butler posted a story about the vigil on the Plainfield TAP page (see here).

Once again, it became clear to me that young people use social media in relation to events like the vigil in a way that us older folks just don't think of. I got the first word of the vigil yesterday morning on my FaceBook page, and subsequently received several Tweets on my cellphone as the message was tweeted and retweeted by supporters throughout the day. What remains is for the young people to find a way to bridge the communications gap to those who are not so hip. Suggestions?


To my mind, ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council, see here, which began life as the 'Conservative Caucus of State Legislators') bears the responsibility for Florida's 'stand your ground' law, under which this travesty of justice was orchestrated.

ALEC is an organization funded by conservative business leaders like the Koch brothers that invites legislators from all 50 states to join in supporting a variety of conservative goals on business and social policy issues through state legislatures.

ALEC is directly responsible for the 'stand your ground' law, which it crafted in partnership with the NRA, and which now is exposed as a license to kill Black men and other minorities.

Over the long haul, exposing and defeating the ALEC agenda is what is needed (including the repeal of the 'stand your ground' law in Florida and elsewhere) to turn back this tide of bigotry and hatred.

Here are some resources to help understand and combat ALEC:

ALEC is truly a hydra-headed monster and a threat to American democracy which must be defended against and dealt with.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Pat Turner Kavanaugh said...

Dan: a friend of mine who was outraged by the Zimmerman verdict made an interesting point - all three of the city's pools are closed. Made we should turn some of our anger into doing something for kids here in Plainfield. I'll work on it.

Anonymous said...

A 2007 special report released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, reveals that approximately 8,000 — and, in certain years, as many as 9,000 African Americans are murdered annually in the United States.

This chilling figure is accompanied by another equally sobering fact, that 93% of these murders are in fact perpetrated by other blacks. The analysis, supported by FBI records, finds that in 2005 alone, for example, African Americans accounted for 49% of all homicide victims in the US — again, almost exclusively at the hands of other African Americans.

Where is the outcry for these murdered individuals?

Unknown said...

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liquor store license