The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Solving the Rubik's cube of Plainfield politics


There are more than 43 quintillion possible positions...
 


...but the Rubik's Cube puzzle can be solved in under 100 moves.


Solving the Rubik's Cube of Plainfield politics will determine whether the city moves forward at all under soon-to-be-sworn-in Mayor-elect Adrian Mapp.

As Plainfield Today predicted, Gloria Taylor, retired educator and widow of the late mayor Rick Taylor, was selected by the City Council in a 5-1 vote at Monday evening's special Council meeting to fill Mapp's vacant Ward 3 seat until the next general election.

The other two items on the agenda -- appointing members to the African-Caribbean Commission and to the Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) -- were passed as proposed by outgoing Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs without any changes.

The alignment of the Council majority (now expected to be enhanced with Taylor on board) puts the issue of learning to live with compromise on the front burner.

In my thirty years of watching and participating in Plainfield politics it seems that the three major forces -- Mayor, Council and Democratic Party chair -- have never been on the same page more than momentarily. The result has been that Plainfield lags behind other New Jersey communities in developing economic opportunities and taking care of the needs of its residents for jobs and services.

It all reminds me of Rubik's Cube, the popular twisty puzzle invented in the 1970s. A cube with nine boxes in six different colors on each side, and twistable in every direction, the point is to rearrange the boxes so that each side of the cube is composed of boxes of one color (read more about Rubik's Cube here).

There are more than 43 quintillion individual positions for the little boxes  (that's 43 followed by 18 zeroes). Despite the mind-boggling number of combinations, it is possible to solve the puzzle in under one hundred moves.

And that seems to me to be a good metaphor for the challenge now facing Mayor-elect Mapp, the newly aligned Council and Democratic Party chairperson Assemblyman Jerry Green.

Will they solve it successfully?

Only time will tell.




-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Monday, December 30, 2013

Council vote tonight will set tone for Mapp's first year


What does Magic 8-ball say?

Plainfield's City Council gathers in a special meeting tonight with three items of business -- filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Mayor-elect Adrian Mapp from his Ward 3 council seat, and the appointing of members to the newly created African-Caribbean Commission and the Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Attention will naturally be focused on the Council seat, where the Plainfield Democratic City Committee is offering three names arrived at at a meeting this past Friday: Don Davis, Gloria Taylor and Veronica Taylor (no relation).

Davis is a former Councilor for Ward 3. Gloria Taylor is a retired educator and the widow of the late mayor Rick Taylor. Veronica Taylor, known to all as Roni, campaigned tirelessly for Assemblyman Green's slate in the 2013 primary and general elections.

The smart money is betting (Attention! Spoiler alert for Mr. Spear!) on Gloria Taylor.

If the retired educator is selected, the Council would have a veto-proof block of five Councilors (Brown, Greaves, Reid, Rivers and the expedted newcomer) closely aligned with Plainfield Democratic Party chair Assemblyman Jerry Green.

This would leave Councilors Storch and Williams as the only New Democrats, down from high of four seats just over a year ago.

It would also make Plainfield unique for having women filling five of the seven seats. That fact alone, however, would not guarantee a more irenic atmosphere.

Which leads us to the other items of business tonight.

One of the complaints about the original CERT nominations was that the nominees were mostly from the same neighborhood (coincidentally that of outgoing Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs).

Another concern expressed by some was that the African-Caribbean Commission, heavily weighted toward African members, seemed to be intended as a political vehicle for Charles Eke,  a PMUA commissioner who has shown an interest in elected office.

If these nominations move forward in their original form with no adjustments, it would be fair to wonder whether a modus vivendi has been worked out between the new mayor and the new Council.

And that would suggest the tone of relations between the executive and the legislative branches in Mapp's first year.




-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Area student to speak on sex trafficking at St. Mark's Youth Sunday


Westminster Choir College senior Ashante Taylorcox
will speak on her efforts to combat sex trafficking
at St. Mark's Church on Sunday.

Ashante Taylorcox will speak at Youth Sunday December 29 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, addressing the issue of sex trafficking and abuse and her efforts to combat it through her charity, The Akun Project.

A senior at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, Ashante herself is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

Ashante will be making her second trip to Cambodia the following day to do some serious work that she will share in her talk. She is developing a new program for survivors of sex trafficking.

Ashante is the founder and president of The Akun Project, which works with the Cambodian Kids Foundation to put an end to this heinous crime and bring new life to its victims. A music major, Ashante will be doing research on the role that music can play in the healing of human trafficking victims, specifically sex trafficking victims, and the way music can be used to address their trauma.

Her focus is twofold:

  • To start and manage a song-writing group to help survivors address their past trauma and abuse through song, empowering them to reclaim their voice that was once trapped in a world that so persistently silenced them; and

  • To lay the ground work for the nonprofit organization she hopes to establish, utilizing art-based music therapies for sex trafficking survivors.
Ashante plans to move to Cambodia after she graduates in May 2014 to continue the project and to work on her nonprofit which will be based in Cambodia.

St. Mark's Episcopal Church is at 1430 Park Avenue (at the South Plainfield town line). Parking is available in the church lot. The service starts at 10:30 AM.




-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dems meet Friday to deal with Mapp vacancy


With the resignation by Mayor-elect Adrian Mapp of his Council seat expected momentarily, the Plainfield Democratic City Committee will meet at 7:00 PM Friday at the YWCA of Plainfield/North Plainfield to deal with the matter.

Under New Jersey law, the local party committee of the resigning Council member can propose three names to the City Council, which then selects one of those three to serve until the November general election, at which time a duly elected candidate will be seated for the balance of the councilmanic term.

While these sorts of choices have in the part had local political types on tenterhooks, there is not much angst this time around.

Word in the street is that the three names to be proposed are former Councilor Don Davis, whose previous term ended under something of a cloud; Veronica (Roni) Taylor, a former Board of Ed member who campaigned hard for Assemblyman Jerry Green's ticket in both the Primary and the General elections; and Gloria Taylor, a retired educator and widow of former Mayor Rick Taylor.

Guests must sign in, but are always welcome, though they do not vote and may not speak without permission (in advance) of the Chair, Assemblyman Jerry Green.

The YWCA is at East Front and Church Streets, with parking in the YWCA lot on Church Street and on the street.







-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Kwanzaa celebration Saturday


Plainfield's 2013 Kwanzaa Celebration will be held Saturday, December 28, from Noon - 6:00 PM at Washington Community School. The free event is sponsored by the Recreation Division through and will mark the final time that Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs will host the annual event.

Kwanzaa is a season of celebration, meditation and recommitment.


Saturdy's event will feature --

  • African Dance & Drumming
  • African Market Place
  • Storytelling
  • Traditional Candle Lighting Ceremony
  • Musical Performances
  • Poetry
  • Karamu (Free Refreshments)
Free Admission.



FREE 2013 KWANZAA CELEBRATION
Saturday, December 28 
Noon - 6:00 PM
WASHINGTON COMMUNITY SCHOOL

427 Darrow Avenue
(Parking available in the Spooner Avenue lot)



-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

¡Feliz Navidad!

¡Feliz

Navidad!


-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Netherwood Heights luminary extravaganza tonight


Thousands of luminaries make neighborhood sparkle.

Make sure your Christmas Eve plans include a drive through Plainfield's historic Netherwood Heights neighborhood (see the map for general locations).

Every year since 2006, residents along the neighborhood's winding roads join to line the streets with these festive holiday lights.

By 2012, the number of luminaries put out had reached 4,000, with 350 homes participating. This year's total is expected to reach nearly 5,000 luminaries, and has become one of the largest displays in the state.

'Preparations begin in early December, purchasing bags and luminary candles.  Martoccia Landscape Services of Watchung, graciously donates the sand each year, too,' notes Jennifer Popper, president of Netherwood Heights Neighbors.  'On Christmas Eve adults and children come together to assemble the luminaries and place them across the neighborhood.  Many homes are decorated with holiday lights and this, coupled with the luminaries, makes for a remarkable sight.'

The display starts at dusk on Christmas Eve and brings many visitors to the area.

The Netherwood Heights Historic District is named for the Netherwood Hotel which stood at what is now the block bordered by Denmark Road, Park Terrace, Belvidere Avenue and Berkeley Avenue. The 99 homes are located along winding roads believed to be the original horse paths of the hotel, which was built in 1878.




Map indicates Netherwood Heights Historic District.


-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Monday, December 23, 2013

Sharon gives Council a Christmas present


8 Ball knows!

Plainfield politics watchers were somewhat on pins and needles after City Council's December 9 meeting as to whether Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs might veto any of the ordinances adopted.

There were a large number of ordinances (7), but most were unobjectionable tidying-up of zoning regulations (4). There were, however, three ordinances that the Mayor could have contested.

MC2013-18 is an ordinance to change (increase) the salary band for the Chief Financial Officer to a new maximum of $155,000. The argument has been advanced by several Council members that Plainfield's finances are complex, and that attracting an experienced and competent CFO requires paying a more 'competitive' salary.

That may well be, but I have had my suspicions all along that the two main reasons Plainfield has had trouble getting a full-time permanent CFO since 2007 are 1) the Robinson-Briggs administration has not really been all that interested in solving the problem, and 2) that well-qualified candidates have been chary of Plainfield because of the Robinson-Briggs administration's dysfunctionality.

All of that is expected to change momentarily.

The other two ordinances (MC2013-19 and MC2013-20) established the new position of 'Chief of Staff' to Mayor-elect Mapp and a salary band for the job.

With the Council passing the ordinances, the only question was whether Mayor Robinson-Briggs would see fit to veto them.

The deadline was this past Thursday, at close of business.

The deadline passed without incident, which means the Councilors will not have to worry about interrupting their holidays with a special meeting to override any vetos.

Call it a Christmas present from the mayor.




-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Why not a decorated Plainfield homes contest?


Outrageous... or Traditional...?

A lot of Plainfield homes get gussied up for the holidays with everything from strings of lights to action figures on the front lawns.

A brief item in the Ledger the other day caught my eye. In Clark, they conduct an annual Holiday decorations contest (see the story here).

Homeowners may be nominated by themselves or others. The list is put online, and residents may vote by email or by putting a paper ballot in a box at the Town Hall.

A local merchant donates $50 gift certificates, which are awarded to winners in three categories: Most Outrageous, Most Traditional, and All-Round Favorite. Plus, winners get a lawn sign for bragging rights.

Seeing a lot of homes around town nicely decorated, it seems to me this could be a fun and positive Holiday activity for the Queen City.

What do you think?



-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Jazz at Shiloh Saturday



Plainfield's Shiloh Baptist Church offers a special holiday treat Saturdy afternoon with 'Jazz In The Sanctury', a celebration including songs for the season.

The
program features the Psalm 150 Quartet, consisting of Anthony E. Nelson, Jr. on sax, Corcoran Holt on bass, Victor Jones on the drums, and Paul Odeh at the piano. Special guest vocalist is Deborah M. Ford.

The program gets under way at 4:00 PM. The public is warmly invited. A free-will offering will be taken.

Senior Pastor Dr. Gerald Lamont Thomas welcomes all to the event. Shiloh Baptist Church is at 515 West Fourth Street (at Liberty Street). Parking available in the lot on West 5th Street. Visit Shiloh on the web at www.shilohplainfield.org/.



-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Toy Drive deadline nears


The toy drive for children of
Plainfield's Elm-West Neighborhood Association is drawing to a close.

Unwrapped toys and/or gift cards are most welcome and may be left at 1083 Hillside Avenue (Carol and Jim's home) through Friday evening.

The party for the kids, sponsored by the New Democrats political club, will take place on Saturday, December 21, from 2:00 - 4:00 PM at the Elm-West Community Center, 543 West 4th Street (driveway is directly across from Shiloh Baptist Church).




-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

City Hall open half day on Christmas?


Visitors to the City website got this news Tuesday mid-day...
 
Checking Plainfield's official website Monday, I was surprised to see the image above as the new first item in the 'slideshow' on the front page. I did a double-take: City Hall would close at Noon on Christmas Day?




... look closely...
Was the City truly vying with Scrooge? Or was it a mistake?

By evening, the graphic had changed to the following --



...which was 'corrected' by evening to this.

Better, but not exactly enlightening. Was someone actually expecting the City to be open for business on Christmas Day or New Year's?

My suspicion is that the reason for the notice in the first place was to let folks know City Hall would close at Noon on THE DAY BEFORE THE HOLIDAY, which in both cases falls on a Wednesday this go-round.

A good news brief meets the TAC test: it is timely, accurate and clear.

This little item gets one of three right, meaning 'no cigar'.

Hopefully, communications from the City will improve after January 1st.





-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Giving opportunities for the Season



Plainfield's Netherwood Heights Neighbors is circulating an email with a list of opportunities to brighten the Holiday season for fellow Plainfielders in need.

Please see below --

As snow falls on this Saturday, we thought it was the perfect time to reach out and let you know about some philanthropic holiday giving opportunities.  We realize that there are so many ways you can donate these days, but these, in particular, benefit Plainfield-area families directly. 

Please consider clicking the social links above to share on Facebook and Twitter, too, so other neighbors to whom we're not connected can help, too. 

As always, neighbors, thank you, thank you, thank you for your incredible generosity. 

Christmas Food Baskets

This will be the 7th year Netherwood Heights Neighbors will sponsor food baskets to be given to Plainfield families at Christmas.  NHN buys both a turkey and a ham for each family.  The rest of the items in these baskets filled with holiday cheer are donated by you, our generous neighbors.

Requested items include, but are not limited to: 
  • Canned goods (fruit, vegetables, drinks, soups, sauces, etc.)
  • Rice and Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Baking items, i.e. cake mixes, pancake mixes
  • Tea and Coffee
  • Candy and Cookies
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Other non-perishable food items
  • Reusable grocery bags like the cloth or plastic ones you buy at the supermarket to help us deliver the food.

Bring food items to Laura's house, and leave them on the front doorstep if she's not home.  Donations accepted through Saturday afternoon, December 21st.  New/non-expired items only, please. 

Baskets will be delivered Sunday, December 22nd.  If you would like to volunteer to help assemble or deliver baskets, send us an email:  info@netherwoodheights.com.


Toiletries Collection for Park Hotel Residents

Once again, David, our Committee Chair, is collecting toiletries for the people who reside in the Park Hotel. Items such as, but not limited to the following, will gladly be accepted:
  • Shampoo
  • Soaps/lotions
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Socks
Please put toiletries in a plastic bag or box, and drop them off at David's home, 1355 Denmark Road, or contact him at deb1234@verizon.net.
 
New items only, please.  Download the flyer here.

Deadline:  Tuesday, December 17th.

Winter Coat Drive

Winter is upon us... and it's even colder if you don't have a coat to keep you warm and dry.

Please help us help our Committee Chair, Louise, in gathering Winter coats - children's sizes are especially appreciated - for our neighbors in need in Plainfield.  Louise will be bringing donations to be given out at Grace Church.
 
You can put the coats in a plastic bag and drop them off on her front porch at 701 Belvidere. 

Toy Drive

Toys and gift cards are being collected to provide a wonderful holiday for the children of the Elm-West Residents Association at a special Holiday Party, right here in Plainfield.

Unwrapped toys for any age and gift cards usable in area stores are most welcome. Donations may be left at 1083 Hillside Avenue (the home of Carol & Jim) up until Friday, December 20th. You can call Rebecca at (908) 447-6268 for more information, or she can come and pick up your gift!

All look forward to a fun afternoon with the children, where toys will be distributed, and there will be music and refreshments.  Everyone is welcome! 
You can download the flyer here.







-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Monday, December 16, 2013

Stocking stuffers with a Plainfield twist


Winter night in the Netherwood Heights District
is featured as a card design.



 Looking for interesting stocking stuffers or small gifts for friends, neighbors, family (or maybe yourself)? Check out these Plainfield-themed items from the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District, Netherwood Heights Neighbors, and Rebecca Williams' Baked By A Negro Cookie Company.




The 2014 calendar features District homes.

Van Wyck Brooks Historic District Calendar

The District's 2014 wall calendar features color photos of a dozen architectural gems from Plainfield's largest historic district. Some are well-known, others are little gems that you may have passed by without noticing. All are delightful reminders of Plainfield's architectural treasures.

Calendars are available by emailing District VP Larry Quirk at QMAN56@COMCAST.NET to make arrangements. They are $12/each if picked up and $15 if you want them mailed. Tax is included.

Proceeds benefit the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District's progrms and events, among which are its biennial House Tour and the ever-popular Twelfth Night Progressive Dinner.


Netherwood Heights Neighbors Holiday Cards

Netherwood Heights Neighbors is offering a set of 25 Holiday Cards (with envelopes) featuring this Historic District's distinctive homes and winding lanes. The interior greeting reads 'Happy Holidays' and the cards are perfect as a gift or for yourself if you -- like me -- are a retro person and still appreciate a card with a personal note.

The box of 20 cards and envelopes is $25 and can be purchased by emailing the following: info@netherwoodheights.com. Tax included.

You can check out Netherwood Heights Neighbors' website (here) and see photos of their many activities, including the Holiday Luminaria, OktoberFest and the annual Blessing of the Animals.



Mmm... mmm... good!
Rebecca Williams' Baked By A Negro Cookies

What's Christmas without cookies? If, like me, you do not bake (or bake well), you will really appreciate these handcrafted goodies from the kitchen of Plainfield's college professor and City Council member, Rebecca Williams.

Check ouf her website here, where you can drool over the descriptions of the nine varieties of scrumptious cookies she offers (don't miss the Southern Sweet Potato Praline Crumbles). Those readers who have tasted her delicious at various community events will be pleased to see some new ones have been added (view the cookies here).

Cookies are $13/lb, with free local delivery. Discounts are available on larger quantities of one flavor.

If you're watching your waistline (or if you just couldn't bear to actually give the cookies to someone), you can load up on Baked By a Negro gear here -- including Tees, mugs, caps and more.



-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Sunday, December 15, 2013

HERITAGE Show Choir at Bethel today; FUSP Crafts Fair continues


Plainfield's famed Gospel choir performs this afternoon.

Plainfield's Bethel Presbyterian Church will host a concert of the famed H.E.R.I.T.A.G.E. Chorale Show Choir this afternoon.

The three-time McDonald's GospelFest-winning Plainfield-based choir performs under the direction of its founder, Donavon P. Soumas.

The concert is offered to the public as part of Bethel's Evangelical Concert Series. A freewill offering will be taken.

Bethel Presbyterian church is at 300 East 5th Street, corner of Roosevelt Avenue. Parking available on the street.

FUSP Crafts Fair winds up

Also today, the annual FUSP Crafts Fair winds up, running today from 11 AM to 4 PM.

Items offered include jewelry, pottry, gourmet food, natural personal products, stained glass, knit accessories, Fair Trade products and special accessories for the season.

Raffle tickets will be available for purchase at the door for 9 items donated by crafters to be awarded today. (You need not be present to win.)

FUSP (First Unitarian Society of Plainfield) is at 724 Park Avenue.  Parking available on the street or in the public lot across Park Avenue.







-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Plainfield-Westfield football rivalry has chance at national title -- if you help


You can help the Cardinals and Blue Devils win
this national title.

The 109-year-old Plainfield-Westfield football rivalry has a chance at the national title in the contest sponsored by USAToday, but to succeed, fans of the two teams will have to roll up their sleeves and get to work -- voting.

The
Plainfield-Westfield rivalry won its regional first place designation this past Tuesday. Supporters have until next Wednesday, December 18 at noon to cast their ballots. (Yes, you can vote more than once, and no, you don't have to live in one of the two communities.)

The Cardinals and the Blue Devils have their work cut out for them. The rival teams won their divisional title with a vote of 42,013 -- besting their nearest rivals (Allegany vs. Fort Hill in Maryland) by nearly 7,000 votes.

But the Jersey duo will have their work cut out for them in the national challenge: the top voter getter in the regionals was the rivalry between Las Cruces and Mayfield in New Mexico, which logged in 220, 459 votes.

You know what to do!

Go to the USAToday contest website to vote (see here) and vote, and vote, and vote. And get your friends to vote. And your Aunt Millie and anyone else you can think of.

Over and over.

Starting now!




Saturday, December 14, 2013

FUSP Crafts Fair, SID Wagon Rides today



Two favorite Plainfield holiday events are set for today, even as snowflakes lightly fall: the First Unitarian Society's annual Crafts Fair and the SID's Horse-and-wagon rides.

FUSP Crafts Fair
Smart shoppers have kept this annual event on their calendar for years. Area craftspersons -- including many from Plainfield -- offer their best creations for holiday gift giving (or as a gift for yourself) in the Parish Hall and the educational wing. (I never miss the opportunity to sample the delicious homemade baked goods offered as snacks in the Stevens Room.)

Items offered include jewelry, pottry, gourmet food, natural personal products, stained glass, knit accessories, Fair Trade products and special accessories for the season.

Raffle tickets will be available for purchase at the door for 18 items donated by crafters. (You need not be present to win.)

The Crafts Fair runs Saturday (10 AM - 4 PM) and Sunday (11 AM - 4 PM).

FUSP (First Unitarian Society of Plainfield) is at 724 Park Avenue.  Parking available on the street or in the public lot across Park Avenue.



SID Wagon Rides, Santa's Visit today
The Plainfield SID's 9th annual horse and wagon ride takes place today, from Noon - 3:00 PM.

There are two staging locations: Downtown at the Parklet near McDonalds on West Front Street and on South Avenue at Plainwood Square Park (between Leland and Terrill).

Join in this community fun day of an old-fashioned horse & wagon ride, with goody bags for all participants courtesy of Plainfield SID merchants.

Bring your camera and take pictures of the kids with Santa (Downtown: Noon - 1:15 PM; South Avenue: 1:45 - 3:15 PM).

The rides are free and open to all. Entry forms at both locations will be put in a drawing for a Giant Toy-Filled Christmas Stocking, to be awarded at Plainwood Square Park at 3:30 PM.


-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Friday, December 13, 2013

18th Annual Drake House Tree Lighting tonight


A visit from Santa, tree lighting, refreshments and more
at the Drake House tonight.


Plainfield's Drake House museum will host its 18th annual Christmas Tree Lighting tonight.

The festive evening of caroling, gift-giving and refreshments has become the Museum's main family event over the years, eagerly looked forward to by youngsters from the neighborhood as well as residents from all parts of the city.

A highlight, as always, will be a visit from Santa Claus, who will distribute gifts to each child and pose for photos.

The event will feature three themed trees in the first-floor period exhibit rooms and a grand decorated tree in the second-floor Ballroom, where the event is held.

A special treat will be the drawing for a decorated gingerbread house, which will become one family's to take along home.

Refreshments will be offered to all to conclude the festive evening.

The Tree Lighting gets under way at 6:00 PM.

The Drake House Museum at 602 West Front Street (at the foot of Plainfield Avenue) is open to the public Sunday afternoons from 2:00 - 4:00 PM, and at other times by appointment. For more information, call (908) 755-5831 or visit the website at www.drakehouseplainfieldnj.org/.



-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cretella projects getting rolling?


Fences have suddenly sprouted on two projects
at the corner of Gavett Place and East Second Street.


Plainfield development-watchers have been puzzled in recent months by the apparent withdrawal of Frank Cretella and his Landmark Developers entities with regard to the plethora of downtown projects the restaurateur-cum-developer had planned.

The perplexity only increased after Cretella lost out on the public bidding for a scarce-as-hen's-teeth liquor license recently by a mere couple of thousand dollars.

On a chicken soup run Thursday evening, I noticed that the two small parking lots on the corners of Gavett Place and East Second Street were sporting brand new chain link fences, fences which I did not recall seeing there on Wednesday.

The lot on the southwest corner has been used by attendees at the mosque adjacent to it and facing North Avenue for several years now. It was unusual in that the mosque members had developed a system of tandem parking which allowed for maximum vehicles on the cramped little space.

Cretella has plans for loft apartments in both the former Boise's warehouse and the former Romond Jeep dealership.

A pile of debris removed from the Boise's building lay next to the structure and behind the fencing, indicating workers had been active in the past day or two.

Progress on these two projects would be the first since Cretella developed the old United National Bank annex and the former Courier News building, both on Park Avenue, into rental apartments.

Is this a sign of things to come under a long-awaited Mapp administration?




-- Dan Damon [follow]


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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mayor making fire division promotions today


Plainfield's historic Fire Division headquarters
building in a 1972 photo by Thom Lowe.

Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs is scheduled to make ten promotions in the Fire Division this morning, according to sources in City Hall. The ceremonies are said to be taking place at Fire Headquarters instead of the usual location at City Hall Library.

No public announcement has been made, so the names and ranks to which the firefighters are being promoted will not be known until after the fact.

Unaddressed is the issue of funding the salaries of the newly promoted personnel. In a recent spate of police promotions, the Robinson-Briggs administration came to City Council after the fact seeking a swap of budget monies to cover those promotions.

Robinson-Briggs has artfully taken the 'lame' out of lame duckness, that is for sure.




-- Dan Damon [follow]


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