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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Not gone, Yvonne strikes again

A toolkit for 'Yvonne'?

The mysterious 'Yvonne' has now made an appearance at Plainfield Today.

After Bernice called 'Yvonne' out for fronting Jerry Green's line on the Park Hotel and wishing her 'Yvonne begone' (see her post here), someone using that moniker has made a return.

I say 'someone' because I'm not sure it's the same person.

Bernice's 'Yvonne' uses infelicitous phrasing that sticks out like a chartreuse polyester pantsuit --
...the place is a rat hold (instead of 'rat hole')...

...the people there [serve] no purpose or need to the residents of Plainfield...

...besides, the word out is that (instead of 'the word is out that')...

Bernice also notes that 'Yvonne' submitted previous comments, including one with a link to Jerry''s blog.

The comment at Plainfield Today is somewhat different (and there is no link or outright reference to Jerry Green). The post (see here) was about the last meeting chaired by Councilor Bill Reid, at which Director Eric Watson's acting appointment to DPWUD was extended.

Here is what 'Yvonne' had to say --
If you quickly skim through your article, one would think Williams and Storch were correct in voting “no” on the extension of Watson as the Director of Public Works and Urban Development for the City of Plainfield.

I mean, c’mon. Of course the man is not right for the job.

He has pocketed thousands of dollars from Plainfield tax payers and now he wants to make more????

Williams and Storch make it appear as they are doing something worthy, but what they are really doing is putting politics before the well being of the people.

They want to picture the other council members as bad public servants, clearly voting for someone who has no business working in Plainfield.

I guess if a snow storm were to approach, we would all just have to fend for ourselves.

Good thing council members Reid, Rivers, Brown and Greaves were there to keep the guy-- at least until they find his replacement.

The real test will be when Mr. Watson’s contract is brought forward for a full term.

I can bet money that Williams and Storch will vote yes to keep Watson on board.
'Yvonne' overlooks the fact that Councilors Storch and Williams have been chilly to the Watson appointment all along -- Storch even said at the Council meeting of Watson's initial appointment and then in a Courier News story that he would not be voting for Watson's appointment.

'Yvonne' seems to take a dim view of Watson, too; but is really more interested in making digs at Storch and Williams.

You will notice that the writing is much better -- even if the logic seems bizarre -- in this 'Yvonne' selection as compared to Bernice's.

Does that suggest there are multiple Yvonnes?

Or that 'her' style has simply improved -- though 'her' logic has not?

Who is this 'Yvonne'?

We might get some clues from a close reading of 'her' comment.

Who's mantra is critiquing 'dirty politics'?

What kind of people talk about 'bringing contracts forward for a full term'? (Hint: Think school district administrations.)

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A celebration of (non-political) dirt

What is housework, anyway? And why do it?

Plainfield Councilor Rebecca Williams' humorous Facebook post (see here) of the famous 'A clean house is the sign of a wasted life' graphic tickled a memory.

Just so you should know, gay households have just as much baggage around housework as any other kind of household.

But the image did make me remember my mother on her hands and knees, cleaning not only the tub, but the rest of the bathroom.

And I recalled the distress she felt when she had to go to work full-time after my father left us and she filed for divorce. After all, when would there ever be time to iron the sheets (and all the underwear) and vacuum the drapes? And, without my dad around, who would take care of the yard?

Forced by her circumstances and the fact that, at 10, I was the older child, I was delegated responsibility for the daily dishes and keeping the kitchen clean and picking up the living room and doing the yard work. Small wonder my teen rebellion took the form of hating housework.

But what Rebecca's image really triggered was a search for a New York Times OpEd from a year ago that tackled the issue of housework and held out a promise of redemption for all who are oppressed by it -- of whatever gender or orientation.

'The Case for Filth' by Stephen Marche can be found here.

And here is a sample of his conclusions --
...Caring less [about housework] is the hope of the future. Housework is perhaps the only political problem in which doing less and not caring are the solution, where apathy is the most progressive and sensible attitude. Fifty years ago, it was perfectly normal to iron sheets and to vacuum drapes. They were “necessary” tasks. The solution to the inequality of dusting wasn’t dividing the dusting; it was not doing the dusting at all.
It is serious and funny at the same time, and can help you get your priorities straight. I seriously recommend a read -- before you make those New Year's resolutions.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Monday, December 29, 2014

North Avenue property sells for $1.45 million

This Plainfield industrial property recently sold for $1.45M.
(Image from Google Maps.)

A North Avenue industrial property in Plainfield has recently been sold for $1.45 million, according to Edison-based Bussel Realty Group.

The fully-leased 19,400 square foot property is at 1280 North Avenue and has 18-foot ceilings,40-foot column spacing, two loading docks and two drive-in doors.

Bussel brokered the sale between seller TJK Associates and buyer 1280 North Avenue Associates.

Bussel is a commercial real estate firm that handles more than 3 million square feet of corporate and industrial real estate in New Jersey. For more information, see their website here.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Suspicious fire at historic Plainfield building

This 1914 ad for the Rushmore Starter
included a customer's endorsement letter.

Plainfield firefighters responded early Saturday evening to a suspicious fire in a historic factory structure at South Avenue and Berckman Street.

The complex of three buildings, parts of which are over a hundred years old, most recently housed the Royal Apex Company, a manufacturer of gutters and other metal and plastic extruded products. The buildings have been vacant since 2007, when Royal Apex was bought out by Berger Building Products, Inc., and operations were moved to Pennsylvania.

The historic structure once housed the Rushmore Dynamo Works.

Originally, the buildings housed the Rushmore Dynamo Works, owned by Plainfield entrepreneur and inventor Samuel W. Rushmore. Rushmore made his fortune in patents and manufacturing several key improvements in automobile technology.

Among his notable inventions -- or improvements on those of others -- are the automatic starter, cooling systems for internal combustion engines, the flared automobile headlamp, a searchlight, and locomotive headlights. At one time, half of all the automatic starters used in American automobiles were manufactured in the Plainfield location.

Rushmore sold the business in 1914 to the Bosch Magneto Company, with the proviso that the Rushmore name be used on its products for a number of years. When Bosch violated the terms of the agreement, Rushmore successfully sued (see here) for $100,000 (which would be over $2 million today).

Bosch, a German company with a U.S. branch, established a separate U.S. corporation, headquartered in New York City. Because of suspicions of its owners' loyalty, Bosch was nationalized in both the First and Second World Wars -- with control returning to private hands in 1948.

Though several area fire companies responded to the blaze, it was quickly brought under control. A source told me the fire is suspected to be arson, a determination that will be made officially by arson investigators.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dan gets a Christmas gift

A manual for the blogosphere?

My Plainfield godchildren's parents gave me a surprise Christmas gift (a book, of course!) -- Robert Baer's The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins.

A former CIA assassin who never actually killed anyone, Baer has become a best-selling author (one of whose books was made into the movie Syriana).

He has provocatively analyzed the assassin's craft and distilled these '21 laws' -- including 'Don't Miss', 'Don't Shoot Everyone In The Room', and 'Always Have an Encore In Your Pocket'.

It was suggested that I might find some of these useful in the blogosphere.

In Plainfield? You kidding me?

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Kwanzaa event Saturday

Brilliantly colored Kente cloth will be among articles offered
for sale in the African marketplace.
Plainfield's Division of Recreation will mount the city's 14th annual Kwanzaa celebration Saturday, December 27, from 1:00 - 4:00 PM at the Washington School cafetorium (Doors open at Noon).

There will be music, dance, poetry, African storytelling and a traditional candle ceremony. Attendees will also be able to shop an African marketplace of vendors offering crafts and other items.

The event is free and open to the entire community. Doors open at Noon.

At Washington Community School, 427 Darrow Avenue (parking in Spooner Avenue lot).

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Greetings!


  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Weather nixes Netherwood luminaria

No luminaria this year, owing to expected wind and rain.

With rain and blustery winds expected through Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day, Plainfield's Netherwood Heights Neighbors has decided to cancel the annual luminaria extravaganza.

2014 would have been the ninth year of this dazzling offering to the community. It has become a well-known holiday attraction, drawing visitors not only from Plainfield but also from surrounding communities for a slow, pleasant drive through one of the Queen City's charming neighborhoods.

Despite the disappointment of missing the spectacle, the Netherwood Neighbors offer plenty of other year-round activities. Check their website here -- and don't forget they are offering a 2015 wall calendar featuring historic photos of Plainfield's four railroad stations (see more here).

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gentrification: A shameless plug

Opening screen of Nat's niece's documentary on gentrification.

As Plainfield
pursues development, most of the activity has been around residential construction and raises the issue of gentrification. Though the city's Transit Village designation is supposed to mean mixed use development, the two largest projects to date -- both on South 'Avenue -- have been residential only.

The obvious hope of these developers is to attract new residents, with higher incomes to fill the upscale apartments. As an engine, that can drive gentrification, which I find concerning.

New York has become so expensive that only the very well to do can afford Manhattan. A niece who is in college in the city shares a 2-bedroom apartment in Bed-Stuy with two roommates -- the rent is $3,500 a month.

And New York is not alone. My partner Nat's brother and family long ago settled in Toronto, Canada, where his job took him. Toronto is another city with gentrification in full swing. Nat's niece, Katrina, is a student in film studies at Ryerson University -- roughly equivalent to Rutgers in size and scope -- located in downtown Toronto.

Now word comes that she is the director of a documentary on gentrification in Toronto's Parkdale neighborhood -- hence the 'shameless plug' of this post's title.

She and her colleagues have formed Bellboy Pictures to produce and distribute the film (much of which has already been shot) and are using to raise the (meager) $2,500C they estimate they need to finish production.

According to Bellboy's pitch, they have a unique perspective on gentrification --
We’ve found that much of the attention paid to gentrification has come from a detached, academic lens. Instead, This House is Not a Home hopes to create an intimate and cinematic portrait of Parkdale, focusing on the human condition and vividly capturing the stories and memories of our subjects. Rather than using formal interviewing techniques, the documentary will allow its subjects to share in an intimate and conversational tone. The film will follow the day-to-day connections, the stories, and experiences of the people in the Parkdale community.
Take moment to check out their pitch and the trailer here. The campaign is similar to a Kickstarter campaign -- asking for pledges of support from many people at many different levels within a stated time period.

Maybe some Plainfield Today reader(s) will also have concerns about gentrification and this project will resonate with them.

If so, the shameless plug will help these deserving students deliver a documentary on the issue with a unique perspective. And we can get it screened right here in the Queen City to promote our own discussion on the topic.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Caution: Operatives at work?

It may be the holidays, but operatives are still at work.

As Plainfield church choirs sing of peace on earth and goodwill toward man(kind), those faint rumbles you hear in the background remind us that politics persist and a gubernatorial campaign is in the offing.

For starters, I received the following anonymous comment the other day after posting an item about two new Plainfield blogs --

If we’re going to be fair, I came across another website for you to view. There are lots of interesting things beings said about state and local issues, especially as they relate to Plainfield. Go ahead and give it a gander: I started following them last week. I’m looking forward to finding out what they will have to say during next year’s elections. on Two new blogs for Plainfield?
So I checked out the suggested link and found an unsigned item recounting Jerry Green's get-together at the NJ League of Municipalities conference with Middlesex and Mercer Dems in an effort to put together a power bloc in the face of the growing likelihood of a Sweeney-Fulop-Murphy Dem primary race. You can read it for yourself (see here), but beware -- this stingy site only lets you view a couple of articles before you are locked out unless you pay. So much for rallying support for Jerry Green as a mover and shaker.

Over the weekend, the Jersey Journal's Augustin Torres lit into guv hopeful Phil Murphy, portraying him as a rich, out-of-touch Corzine clone. It makes pretty sizzling reading (see here). PolitickerNJ extracted some of the juiciest bits to festoon its own story (see here) and also included the tin-eared holiday card, photo and chatty newsletter from the Murphy family. Jetting to Europe to watch the World Cup? Celebrating a daughter's birthday in Paris? Shuffleboard? You get the drift.

What does any of this have to do with Plainfield?

Well, as I suggested before, the guv struggle is likely to have a local tug-of-war scenario, with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop looking to Mayor Adrian Mapp for support, and Jerry Green trying to play kingmaker -- or should I say 'guvmaker'?

And if you think Phil Murphy is a name you won't hear much of, consider the behind-smooching bread-and-butter note the guv hopeful penned to Jerry after the League of Municipalities conference, which Jerry proudly posted on his blog along with a transcription (see here) and I am including below --

Bread-and-butter note to Jerry Green (click to enlarge).
Like a summer thunderstorm, those rumbles and flashes of heat lightning signal a storm on its way.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Advent Musical Celebration at Shiloh


Plainfield's Shiloh Baptist Church's music department is presenting an Advent celebration titled 'It's All About Jesus' on Tuesday, Decvember 23 at 7:00 PM.

The program will feature the Shiloh Mass Choir, God's Gift of Praise, Rejoice, Daughters of Miriam, and CHOPS, as well as the combined liturgical dance ministries of Shiloh.

The evening will include special guest Quincy Pronker and Work of Art Dance Theater and Justin Coleman.

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

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Looking for unique last-minute gifts?

Unique jewelry, alpaca items and calendars...

Plainfielders looking for last-minute gifts for the holiday season! Here are a couple of choices --
Reader Gayle and friends support an Ecuadorian women's cooperative by selling their handmade items to U.S. buyers.

Today and tomorrow (Saturday and Sunday), they are offering some 100% alpaca sweaters, alpaca felted blankets, a wide assortment of Tagua jewelry, and other colorful items. (Tagua, also known as 'vegetable ivory', comes from a South American tree.)

Here is an opportunity for last minute shoppers who are still looking for that unique gift, or who find driving or parking a hassle.

At: 512 Stelle Avenue (between Field and Plainfield), 1:00 - 5:00 PM, December 20 and 21.
You can still get copies of the brand-new Netherwood Heights 2015 wall calendar, featuring Plainfield's four railroad stations, along with historical information. The calendars are $20/each and available for pickup locally.

For more information, see my previous post here, or call Harold at (908) 668-0388.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Dave Beck, founding New Dem, former BOE member, PMUA commissioner, dies

Dave Beck
Democratic activist, Board of Ed member,
PMUA Commissioner.

Dave Beck, longtime Plainfield activist and a founding member of the New Democrats political club passed away Monday from complications of myelodysplastic syndrome after a long struggle (see the full Ledger obituary here).

Dave was first elected to the Democratic City Committee (PDCC) in 1978 for Ward 2, District 10 and served in that capacity continuously up to his death. He was a supporter of Mayor Al McWilliams' first run for mayor and joined with him and many others in the founding of the New Democrats political club in the early 2000s.

New Dem candidates for City Committee, April 2003.
Dave Beck is tallest person in rear row, center.
Dave served as Sergeant-at-Arms for the PDCC during McWilliams' term as chair from 2003-2005.

After serving as president of the Cook School PTO for several years, Dave was elected to the Plainfield Board of Education, serving two terms from 1987-1993.

When the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority (PMUA) was created in the late 1990s, Dave was appointed a commissioner by Mayor McWilliams and served for two terms -- one of them as treasurer.

Dave is survived by his wife of 41 years, Terri Moroney and sons Richard and Andrew and their families. Terri retired as a much-beloved English teacher at North Plainfield High School. For several years after retiring, she fulfilled a dream by operating a used bookstore on Watchung Avenue (at which I spend many pleasant hours and found countless interesting books).

Terri and family are inviting friends to join with them in celebrating Dave's life at a brunch this Sunday (December 21) from 11 AM to 1 PM at the Netherwood Bar & Grille, 1370 South Avenue.

The family suggests donations to the Plainfield Symphony (see their website here) as a way to memorialize Dave for those who wish to do so. Condolences may be sent to Terri and the family at 1120 Helene Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07062.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Artificial turf, night lights set for Hub Stine

Original Hub Stine Complex proposal. Areas in dark green
were to be artificial turf. In the revised plan, all the fields
in the upper left corner will remain grass. Night lights
are now proposed for the football field. (Image courtesy Maria Pellum.)

Plainfield's school district looks to finally be ready to do a makeover at the Hub Stine Athletic Complex.

Superintendent Anna Belin Pyles and business administrator Gary Ottman brought representatives of their engineering firm to Thursday's Planning Board meeting for a 'capital project review'.

The Board of Ed in 2012 voted against moving forward with the project as originally conceived (and approved), putting the $3.5M project on the shelf. At the time, Maria Pellum posted about the original plan on her blog (see here) and I weighed in (see here) on the apparent confusion and disarray among the Board members and between the Board and the district's administration over the plan. Funding for the project has been held in reserve since that time.

The review given last night revealed changes to the proposal -- primarily restricting the artificial turf to the football field only (it had originally been proposed for the lower fields also); installing new stone drainage at several points; and installing four large night lighting poles for the football field.

Planning Board attorney Michele Donato noted that the Board review was one where the applicant (the school district) was 'required to sit but you do not have to listen' -- suggesting it was a courtesy review.

Board members zeroed in on the proposal for night lighting -- new to this version of the plan -- and asked many questions about the level of lighting, its control and whether there would be  low-level option for community use for walking or jogging in the evenings.

Two of the proposed light poles would be 70' high and two at 80' high, with banks of high-powered metal halide lamps rated at 1500 watts. This would bring Hub Stine up to the measure of other fields at which night games are played. That is a good thing.

When the board asked if the neighbors had been notified of the change, the engineer seemed stymied. Business Administrator Ottman said that their had been no opportunity for neighborhood input since 'the last time'. Board attorney Donato pointed out that it was not necessary for this particular review, but that the Board of Ed should conduct a public hearing on the proposal.

There was also some discussion of improvements in artificial turf that have become standard since the original proposal, with the suggestion by Planning Board chair Ron Scott Bey that the district look into the turf issues carefully.

Asked about the timeline, the District responded that it expects to begin work immediately after graduation (which takes place at Hub Stine) and to have it completed in time for the first home game in September 2015.

In the end, the Planning Board voted 4-1 to approve the review of the plan, pending receipt of the report from the city's engineers. Attendance was light, perhaps because of the holidays but also because this was a pro forma review of a previously thoroughly discussed project.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Codey, Kean oppose proposed Pilgrim Pipeline

Proposed pipeline would pass near environmentally sensitive
Cushing Road Retention Basin.
The proposed Pilgrim Pipeline controversy continues to ooze toward Plainfield as Senators Richard Codey (D-West Orange) and Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield) jointly propose a resolution opposing the building of the pipeline (see Ledger item here).

Their effort would block the pipeline (about which I wrote earlier here) planned to connect a Linden refinery with an Albany, NY distribution terminal.

If allowed to proceed through Somerset and Union counties, the pipeline is expected to make use of the right-of-way under the PSEG high tension lines that run parallel to Terrill Road.

That would put the Cushing Road Retention Basin in harm's way in case of an environmental incident. The retention basin is a natural wetlands area and gives rise to the Robinson Brook, one of the headwaters of the Rahway River, as I also have noted before (see here).

In a globalized economy, even out-of-the-way Plainfield is no longer disconnected.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Good news for American nuns is good news for all

Sister Sharon Holland, IHM, current head of the Leadership Conference of
Women Religious at Tuesday's Vatican press conference. (Vatican image.)

Catholic and non-Catholic Plainfielders alike can rejoice at the conclusion of a Vatican investigation into America's women religious that was marked by Tuesday's release of its final report (see US media coverage here and here).

Some 57,000 women are members of U.S. women's religious congregations, serving in every kind of profession and ministering among some of the country's most vulnerable populations -- the very poor, prisoners, the sick (especially those with HIV/AIDS) -- and struggling for economic and social justice.

Catholic or not, there is probably not one among us whose life has not been touched -- and benefited -- in some way by these dedicated women.

It was a shock to many when, under Pope Benedict XVI, an investigation was launched in 2008, led by conservatives in the male hierarchy who have long resented changes in the Church brought about by the reforms by the ecumenical council known as Vatican II.

The orders of American nuns, and the Leadership Group of Women Religious (the umbrella organization which represents about 80 percent of American women religious) were accused of being too independent and failing to uphold Catholic teachings, especially on birth control, sexuality and other hot button issues.

Yesterday's report (see the official Vatican English version here) mainly lauds America's nuns, and brought a wave of relief to tense relations between the sisters and the Church. For an overview of the investigation from the sisters' point of view, see the website The Power of Sisterhood here.

Benedict's successor, Pope Francis has brought a breath of fresh air to the Church and the report may be a sign of his influence on the investigation. It also points the way to the possibility of a greater role for women in the leadership of the Church -- though even Francis has shied away from discussion of women's ordination.

Good news for America's nuns is good news for all of us.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

In last Council meeting, Reid slyly tweaks Administration

The famous 'Bridge of Spies' over which Russian and American
spies were exchanged during the Cold War. (Image from Wikipedia.)
Though there were no fireworks at Plainfield's last Council meetings of 2014 Monday evening, Council President Bill Reid did manage to slyly tweak the Mapp administration as he presided over his final meetings as chair of the committee of the whole.

There was a special meeting called for 7:00 PM by Mayor Mapp and the regular agenda-setting session for the 2015 reorganization meeting (set for January 5).

The Mapp administration proposed ten resolutions, including switching telephone and internet service providers (at a savings) and implementing finally an electronic time, attendance and payroll system (we're still paper-based). Reid's questions mainly elicited that savings were to be made.

But, on the resolution to extend the acting position of Eric Watson as Director of DPWUD, Reid engaged in a little tail-tweaking. He asked City Administrator Smiley why Watson was only being put forward for another 90 days as acting department head.

After a brief back-and-forth, Reid concluded the exchange with 'Well, it just seems crazy to me...', and then called for the vote.

Watson was approved 4-2, with Councilors Storch and Williams voting 'no', and Rivers, Reid, Brown and Greaves in support. Councilor Taylor had not yet arrived.

Reid's banter implicitly acknowledged the buzz that Watson's permanent appointment is being held back in exchange for Council approval of Mapp appointees to the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority (PMUA).

Whether or not that is true, it all reminded me of the famous 'Bridge of Spies' from the Cold War. This is the bridge from the American Sector of West Berlin to Potsdam in the Russian Sector, and was famous for being the swapping point for several exchanges of captured spies between Russia and the U.S. over the years.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Need stocking stuffers? Think Netherwood Neighbors calendar

The 2015 Calendar features all four Plainfield train stations.

With the holidays upon us and bringing the search for stocking stuffers, Plainfield's Netherwood Heights Neighbors 2015 Calendar comes to the rescue.

Netherwood Neighbors produces an annual wall calendar illustrated with historic photos of Plainfield sites and activities. They have become quite collectible over the years and become scarce as hen's teeth shortly after issued.

The 2015 calendar is now available and features historic photos of Plainfield's four train stations -- including the Grant Avenue and Rock Avenue stations.

Special treats include a rare interior photo of the Netherwood Station and images of Plainfield's two club cars.

Calendars are $20/each and may be picked up locally. The group will also mail them for an additional $3 per single mailing address (up to three copies to one address). For more information or to arrange to pickup your calendars, call Harold at (908) 668-0388 or visit Netherwood Neighbors on the web here.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Two new blogs for Plainfield?

Sensible advice from our British cousins.
The world of Plainfield bloggers has grown. Two further blogs have come to view, and I am considering including them in the daily CLIPS roundup.

Dr. John A. Carone, who celebrated his 90th birthday in November, was profiled in a recent Courier News story (see here). I am reaching out to him via snail mail to see if he is interested. His blog is titled Giovanni's Random Thoughts -- check it out.

Norman Ortega, whose recent bid for a Board of Ed seat came up short, has joined with a group of other Plainfield residents to produce the blog Plainfield Latino in Spanish and English. Check it out.

In an email to Mr. Ortega, I explained that my policy for including a blog on the daily CLIPS roundup was that it not be anonymous. (I did make one exception with a blog by a Plainfield Public Schools employee who was worried about retaliation; that person is no longer blogging.) Ortega is checking with his co-writers and says he will get back to me. If they agree to put their names to their posts, I will be happy to add them to the list.

The more the merrier.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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