The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Prof. Cornel West appears on behalf of Children First team tonight


Tonight at Spain Inn.
 

Plainfield voters are reminded that Princeton University professor Cornel West will join the Children First Team of Board of Ed candidates in an event this evening from 7:00 - 9:00 PM at Spain Inn.

Children First Team Board of Ed candidates are David Rutherford, Carletta Jeffers, and Terrence Bellamy.

Tickets at the door tonight are $65/person and $125/person for the VIP reception, which begins at 6:30 PM.

For more information, call Wilma Campbell at (908) 727-0264.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Trunk or Treat Halloween event for kids on Friday


Kids' Halloween event is Friday evening.

Plainfield youngsters ages 12 and under are invited to take part in the city's first-ever 'Trunk or Treat' event Friday from 6:00 to 8:00 PM in the City Hall Parking Lot.

Communities across the country are finding this a safe and fun way for youngsters to enjoy the Halloween festivities with other kids of their age in a safe environment and without the dangers of crossing dark streets at night.

Here's the deal: Load up your trunk with the candies, fruits and other goodies you would distribute to kids trick-and-treating and bring the kids and the car over to the City Hall parking lot.

There, the cars will be arranged so kids can go from one to another with their treat bags.

All are invited to come in costume (no scary costumes or weapons) and to decorate their vehicles for the event, too.

The Recreation Division is sponsoring the event, along with the business community and other local organizations.

There will be awards for Best Dressed Car, Best Family Costume and Best Costume Overall.

Judging will take place at 7:00 PM. The event is free and open to Plainfield residents. For more information, contact the Division of Recreation at (908) 753-3097.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

LWV candidate forum tonight at Emerson School





Plainfield's chapter of the League of Women Voters will host its candidate forum this evening at Emerson School, starting at 6:30 PM.

Since the nonpartisan school board elections have been moved to the November general election date, the forum will feature two segments -- one part for the Board of Ed candidates, and a second for the contested local Council races.

All candidates for both Council and Board of Ed were invited to submit biographical profiles and answers to questions posed by the LWV in advance. For those who chose to respond (not all did), the material has been posted on the Plainfield League's website (see here).

Though they will not be debated, the public questions on the November ballot (including one for funding open space acquisition and management in Plainfield) are also on the website (see here).

Emerson School is at East Second Street and Emerson Avenue. Parking available in the school lot or on the street. Please be considerate of residents' driveways.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Monday, October 27, 2014

One-seat Ride to NYC: Special meeting tonight in Cranford


A special public meeting to discuss the ONE-SEAT RIDE is set for Monday.

Plainfield commuters who use the NJ Transit Raritan Valley Line to travel back and forth to New York City each day will be interested in Monday's special evening meeting of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition.

The meeting has been called specifically to deal with the surprise news from NJT that it will not be rolling out the extension of the one-seat ride as previously outlined.

The use of combination diesel-electric engines on the line has been a goal of the Coalition for years in its bid to ease the daily commute and shorten the ride.

A trial of the one-seat ride on off-peak hours that began last spring has been hailed enthusiastically by commuters from towns along the Raritan Valley Line -- including Plainfield's two stations, downtown and Netherwood.

The meeting is set for 6:00- 8:00 PM October 27 in the Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Avenue, Cranford (see map here). For more information, check out the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition website (here) or its Facebook page (here).



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Sunday, October 26, 2014

El Centro celebrates 30 years of service


El Centro celebrates 30 years of service.
 

Friends and supporters of El Centro Hispanoamericano, known to all as El Centro, gathered at Spain Inn on Friday evening to celebrate the nonprofit's thirty years of service to residents in the Central Jersey area.

Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp and his wife Amelia were among the guests and the mayor delivered a proclamation honoring the organization's achievements in helping immigrants.

El Centro was begun as an outreach to those fleeing civil war, violence and human rights abuses in Central America during the 1980s.

El Centro continues to provide services and assistance to immigrants and their families. In the most recent year, nearly 1,800 turned to the agency for assistance in legal and immigration matters -- including 30 cases seeking asylum.

I am printing below remarks by Ivan Flores, longtime Plainfield and El Centro activist, as delivered in English and Spanish at the celebration --
During the late 70”s and early 80”s the headlines in America were not much about the Middle East but about how the Soviet Union was trying to extend their hold in the Americas by supporting the guerrilla movement in Central America, right where many called America’s backyard. With that argument the US supported barbaric right wing governments that were killing their own citizens. Mostly in Guatemala and El Salvador.

Al final de los anos 70 y al principio de los 80, las principales noticias no eran mucho acerca del medio oriente. Los noticieros reportaban como la Union Sovietica trataba de extender sus garras en el continente Americano al ayudar a los movimientos guerrilleros en Centroamerica, el lugar que muchos llaman el patio trasero de Estados Unidos.

 Civilians caught in the middle of the fighting, people accused of sympathizing with the guerrilla movement, and peasants made the bulk of the thousands of death during the 1980”s. Among the worst cases was when they killed Bishop Oscar Romero while saying mass, the death of four American nuns in their way back from Nicaragua, and the killing of the six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter inside the Central American University where they lived and work.

Civiles atrapados en el fuego cruzado, personas acusadas de simpatizar con la guerrilla, y campesinos fueron la mayoria de las muertes que costo miles de vidas en los anos 80. Entre los peores casos se encuentra el asesinato de Monsenor Oscar Romero mientras daba misa, la muerte de cuatro monjas estadounidenses cuando regresaban de Nicaragua, y la muerte de los seis curas Jesuitas, su sirvienta y la hija de ella en la Universidad Centroamericana donde vivian y trabajaban.

All this violence made parents being terrified about their kids being killed or disappeared, and all of the sudden you noticed all these mostly young people fleeing El Salvador and Guatemala by the thousands escaping a war in their own home, a war where the victims were seen simply as collateral damage of the conflict. That made thousands to flee to many countries, but mainly to the United States a stable country well known for its freedom, and also a country where many of us had relatives already living there.

Toda esta violencia sembro terror en los padres de familia quienes temian que sus hijos o hijas fueran ser asesinados o desaparecidos. De repente uno se da cuenta que miles de personas, la mayoría jóvenes están huyendo esa guerra que se esta dando en sus propias comunidades. Una guerra donde las victimas eran vistas simplemente como daño colateral normal del conflicto.
Most of us arrived to the United States by crossing the southern border, those who could, would come to the States by plane on a visa permit. We just needed to get out. Once we got here, we found ourselves in a foreign place where we did not understand the language, a place with a very different climate, and it was also the country that was helping the governments of El Salvador and Guatemala kill their own citizens.

La mayoria de nosotros llegamos a los Estados Unidos cruzando la frontera Sur, aquellos que podian, lo hacian por avion con visa. De cualquier manera, teníamos que salir del país. Una vez llegamos aquí, nos encontramos en una tierra extraña donde no entendíamos el idioma, un lugar con clima diferente, y también era el país que estaba ayudando a los gobiernos de El Salvador y Guatemala a matar sus propios ciudadanos.

 We felt somewhat isolated. We were in need of knowing what was going on in the countries we left and where we still had our families. We also felt the need to tell people in the US what really was happening in Central America to counter what the US government was feeding the US media. Some of us started going to New York City to a place called Casa El Salvador to get updates on the war, but after going to a forum on El Salvador , we met a Maryknoll priest who helped us get in touch with some residents of the Plainfield area who were receptive to what was going on in Central America.

Nos sentiamos un poco aislados. Necesitabamos saber que estaba pasando en nuestros países que habíamos dejado atrás y donde aun vivian nuestras familias. Tambien necesitábamos decirle a las personas aquí en los Estados Unidos lo que realmente estaba pasando en Centroamerica para contrarestar la propanda del gobierno Estaounidense. Algunos de nosotros empezamos a ir a un lugar llamado Casa El Salvador en la ciudad de Nueva York para enterarnos sobre la guerra, y después de ir a un fórum sobre El Salvador, un sacerdote Maryknoll nos ayudo a comunicarnos con algunos residentes del area de Plainfield quienes entendían la realidad de lo que estaba pasando  en Centroamerica.
 
  This same group of local residents was concerned about the war  impact here at home, in the Plainfield area, with more war refugees coming from Central America. Most of the members of the group were leaders of local churches who were already familiar with the real causes of the war in Central America, and decided to get together and form a more formal entity to educate the American people and take a stand against the US support for those military dictatorships. That is how the Plainfield Area Committee on El Salvador and Central America in born in the early 1983.

Este mismo grupo de personas del area local estaban preocupados del impacto de la guerra aquí mismo, en el area de Plainfield, ya que mas refugiados llegaban de Centroamerica. La mayoría de los miembros del grupo eran lideres de iglesias locales y ya estaban familiarizados con las causas reales del conflicto en Centroamerica, decidieron unirsey formar una entidad mas seria para asi poder educar al pueblo Estadounidense y poder también abogar en contra de la ayuda Estadounidense a las dictaduras militares de la zona. Asi nace el Comité del Area de Plainfield sobre El Salvador y Centroamerica a los principios de 1983.
 
At the beginning the committee focused on educating the American people about the US military aid to the region , how this military aid was impacting  human rights in Central America, and how that in turn was making many of us flee that hell and come to the US.. Educating was done by sponsoring movie forums, home video showings of material about the war, having speakers going to high schools and churches, picketing members of Congress offices, participating in marches against the US military aid to El Salvador and Central America, writing letters to elected officials etc.  As the war continued, more refugees kept coming in to this area. They  were in need of clothing, food, jobs, housing, medical care, etc  The committee decided that opening a Center for Refugees was the best way to meet the needs of the newcomers, and El Centro de Refugiados Centroamericanos opened its doors, in Plainfiield, on November of 1984 within the grounds of Grant Avenue Community Center.

Al principio el comite se enfoco en educar al pueblo  sobre la ayuda militar estadounidense en la región, como esta ayuda estaba impactando los derechos humanos en Centroamerica, y como esa situación estaba obligándo a muchos de nosotros escapar ese infierno y llegar a los Estados Unidos. La educación se daba patrocinando fórums con películas, demostrando videos sobre la guerra en las casas, enviando representantes a hablar sobre la guerra a escuelas e iglesias, organizando demostraciones frente a las oficinas de miembros del congreso, participando en manifestaciones en contra de la ayuda militar a El Salvador y Centroamerica, escribiendo cartas a los miembros del gobierno elegidos por voto, etc. Mientras la guerra continuaba, mas refugiados venían al area de Plainfield. Ellos necesitaban ropa, trabajo,housing, cuidado medico,etc. El comité  decide que el abrir un centro de refugiados es la mejor manera de lidear con los refugiados, y asi El Centro de Refugiados Centroameicanos abre sus puertas en Noviembre de 1984 dentro del edificio del Centro Comunitario de Grant Avenue

Most of the refugees settled in the city of Plainfield as it already had a small group of Spanish speaking residents, some of us had friends or relatives in the city, but Plainfield  also offered easy access to public transportation, it is close to cities with a large manufacturing industry, and its residents welcome us. After all these years, many of those refugees and their extended families still call Plainfield home. Plainfield is a city where it does not matter your where you are from, what the color of your skin is, or what your sexual orientation is, you will always feel welcomed.

La mayoria de los refugiados se quedaron en Plainfield ya que habia un grupo pequeno de residents que hablaba espanol, algunos de nosotros teniamos amigos o familiares en Plainfield, pero tambien nos quedamos aqui porque en la ciudad había transporte publico, Plainfield esta cerca de otras ciudades donde habían muchas fabricas, y los habitantes de Plainfield nos recibieron bien. Despues de todos estos anos, muchos de estos refugiados y sus familias aun viven en Plainfield. La ciudad de Plainfield es un lugar donde no importa de que país es uno, o el color de la piel uno o la orientación sexual de la persona, uno siempre se siente bienvenido.
Congratulations to El Centro and best wishes for the next thirty years!


  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Volunteers will build new playground at Queen City Academy Saturday


The nonprofit KaBOOM! will lead volunteers in building a playground Saturday. You can help.
 

Parents, friends and community supporters of Plainfield's Queen City Academy charter school will rally Saturday in an all-day volunteer effort that will result in a brand-new playground for the school's 400 students.

The project gets under way at 8:30 AM at the school's location at West 7th Street and Grant Avenue and concludes at 2:30 PM with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The project is part of 'Basketball in the Boroughs and Beyond', a Knicks community outreach program sponsored by Chase Bank that works to deliver playgrounds with balanced and active recreation on a safe and accessible site to at-risk students.

Volunteers registered with the nonprofit KaBOOM! program will be supervised in constructing the playground which will be ready to go by the time of the ribbon-cutting. You can help by volunteering -- just go to the KaBOOM! website (here) to register.

Queen City Academy is Plainfield's oldest charter school, established in 1999 through the efforts of my late friend, Deputy Commissioner of DYFS and Plainfield resident, Paula DiVenuto and others. It is housed in the former Temple Sholom complex and serves students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade. For more information visit the QCA website (here) or call (908) 753-4700.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Special meeting on one-seat ride to NYC Monday


A special public meeting to discuss the ONE-SEAT RIDE is set for Monday.

Plainfield commuters who use the NJ Transit Raritan Valley Line to travel back and forth to New York City each day will be interested in Monday's special evening meeting of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition.

The meeting has been called specifically to deal with the surprise news from NJT that it will not be rolling out the extension of the one-seat ride as previously outlined.

The use of combination diesel-electric engines on the line has been a goal of the Coalition for years in its bid to ease the daily commute and shorten the ride.

A trial of the one-seat ride on off-peak hours that began last spring has been hailed enthusiastically by commuters from towns along the Raritan Valley Line -- including Plainfield's two stations, downtown and Netherwood.

The meeting is set for 6:00- 8:00 PM October 27 in the Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Avenue, Cranford (see map here). For more information, check out the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition website (here) or its Facebook page (here).



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Plainfield Assemblyman Jerry Green absconds


Hand-lettered sign on door of old office advises Jerry has moved.


Has Plainfield Assemblyman and Democratic Party chairperson Jerry Green absconded?

A reader asked me at an event this past Saturday if the Assemblyman had moved his office from the Watchung Avenue location where he has been for dogs' years.

I was stumped, but a visit cleared things up. He has indeed absconded (to leave quickly and secretly).



So, is the move a secret? Here's the address on Jerry's blog.


According to a handwritten sign posted on his former office's front door, Jerry has indeed absconded -- to the County Office Building at West Front and Park Avenue.

Jerry has a ground floor suite (number 102) in the signature building -- which has been unable to keep its ground floor spaces filled since it opened nearly a decade ago. (I am told prospective tenants consider the rents very high -- but then, that's not a problem to agencies using taxpayer dollars to pay them.)

The only real questions for me are whether Jerry is getting a space inside the parking deck -- which is supposed to be available for resident use, but for which access is still denied -- and where visitors are supposed to park.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Plainfield Recreation's fall/winter activities announced


Fall/Winter 2014 Recreation Activities for
Young People, Adults and Families are planned.
 

The Plainfield Division of Parks & Recreation's Fall/Winter 2014 schedule of activities has been released. The lineup includes more adult and family-related activities than ever.

You
can view and/or print out the complete schedule here.

Through an arrangement with the Plainfield Public Schools, several swim programs are being offered at the PHS pool, including classes for ages 6 - 17, adult lap swims, water aerobics and parent/child swim classes.

Basketball is offered in a series of five age-graded groupings in various elementary and middle school gyms, as well as a wrestling program for ages 5 - 14.

Zumba classes will be offered from December through May at two locations: Cedarbrook and Evergreen Schools.

Free Yoga classes offered at the Plainfield Public Library are scheduled to run through the end of November.

Dance (ages 5 -14) and an Intergenerational Community Choir (grades 3 and up) round out the programs. Each of these will end with a public performance -- the choir will sing at the Community Tree Lighting on Friday, December 5.

Special events in the fall/winter season include a Halloween Trunk or Treat event at the City Hall Parking Lot on October 31, and a Kwanzaa Celebration on December 27.

You can see from the lineup that Roni Taylor, the Division's new director, is expanding offerings to include more adult and family activities and at locations throughout the community,

For more information with times, locations and fees, print out the complete schedule (here) or call the Recreation Division at (908) 753-3097.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blast from the past: Victorian Accents


An envelope, addressed to a business we shut down in 1986, arrived yesterday.

You can't imagine my surprise yesterday when I found the envelope pictured above among the bills and circulars in the mailbox.

It's an order envelope addressed to Victorian Accents, which is the reason we moved to Plainfield
from Brooklyn back in the early 1980s.

Victorian Accents was a mail-order business we had started and operated out of our small apartment in Brooklyn Heights. It sold books and technical materials for folks interested in restoring and/or renovating vintage homes -- Victorian, but also other homes that were built before World War II.

The timing had been just right. Clem Labine had turned his mimeographed restoration tips newssheet into the glossy and upscale Old House Journal.

San Francisco's 'Painted Ladies' -- outrageously colored Victorians in the Haigh-Ashbury and Castro neighborhoods -- were everywhere in posters, TV shows and movies, and in a book of photos by Mike Larsen and Elizabeth Posada.

Young Bruce Bradbury had persuaded his father to invest in his hand-screened wallpaper venture and Bradbury & Bradbury wallpapers was born in Benicia, California.

Using my experience in the bookselling business, we launched Victorian Accents as a mail order catalog. Our first ad was a tiny classified in the back of Smithsonian magazine, which turned out to be an excellent conduit to interested customers.

By the early 1980s we were faced with needing to find a space for the business as it had completely taken over our apartment.

A friend from Plainfield invited us to a house tour in the Van Wyck Brooks District and the rest is history.

A realtor lurking on the edges of the tour (no, it was not John DeMarco) latched on to us and showed us around. The Cones, who eventually became our next door neighbors, invited is to relax on their back porch with gin and tonics after looking at the wreck next door (which we eventually bought).

Plainfield seemed a perfect match -- a town with a lot of history, a lot of charm and friendly people.

We moved in and tackled restoring the house and growing the business at the same time.

By Christmas 1985, we were mailing half a million catalogs at a time, four times a year. The business was generating about $1 million in sales and had three employees (Evelyn, Tina and Patty) plus me.

There was no internet, no Amazon, no Borders bookstores. Barnes & Noble was still selling used textbooks and academic press remainders. We had a corner of sorts on this little niche market.

Then the bottom fell out.

Our 1985 Christmas season catalog had been printed and labelled at the bindery in Brooklyn and delivered to the USPS regional center in Deer Park, Long Island to be dropped into the mail stream.

But the orders never came. Weeks passed and no orders. Frantic calls were made and everyone in the chain showed they had done their part.

Finally, after Christmas, word came from the bindery that the USPS folks had found our catalog in a parked trailer in the back of the huge lot.

It was too late, we had lost the season and could not recover. We learned customers have no recourse against the postal system in a situation such as ours.

We shut the business down, laid off the employees and I went to work selling real estate. Gradually, Victorian Accents receded into the past.

But every once in a while, as yesterday, one of those order envelopes will arrive. It is now twenty-eight years since we closed the business and a customer had kept a catalog all that time!

The nice lady from Ansted, West Virginia is asking for an updated catalog.

I shall write her a note thanking her for her interest but suggesting that her best bet is to check Amazon.com or Google whatever she is looking for.

How the times have changed!



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Jerry Green turns Rutherford team Fish Fry into a success


"For whoever exalts himself will be humbled..."

Plainfield Dem chair Jerry Green may have done the Board of Ed campaign of candidates Rutherford-Jeffers-Bellamy an incalculable favor this past Saturday.

When I wrote on Friday of Danny Dunn's unseemly attack on the team at least week's Council meeting (see here), the attack seemed inspired by Jerry, who is promoting his own slate of candidates (Horn-Ortega-Center).

I suggested the Rutherford team would have revenge of sorts by holding its second Fish Fry brunch at a Kenyon Avenue home not far from Dunn's house.

Seems that someone -- Jerry Green? -- thinking to play a trick, produced a flyer purporting to be from the Rutherford team inviting recipients to the Fish Fry. The flyer was then distributed to residents of the Park Hotel and the YMCA's homeless shelter.

Now, it is no secret that Jerry despises the services rendered by these two Plainfield institutions to those on whom Fortune has not smiled as well she has on Jerry himself. He has ranted and raved for years on wanting to get rid of these residents.

So, from Jerry's point of view, this would be an appropriate dirty trick -- one in which he could snicker up his sleeve. After all, who in their right mind would think of inviting Parkies and the homeless to take part in the school board elections?

On the contrary, those who chose to attend after the ruse was explained to them were greeted warmly. They were not looked down upon or despised for their misfortunes.

Rutherford may also have known something which eludes Jerry Green (and not just the human decency issue) -- many of these people are registered and do vote (Jerry should check the voter rolls for 123 West 7th Street in the Third Ward.)

I was reminded of a rabbi's parable, perfectly appropriate for the situation --


He spoke a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the best seats, and said to them, “When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, don’t sit in the best seat, since perhaps someone more honorable than you might be invited by him, and he who invited both of you would come and tell you, ‘Make room for this person.’ Then you would begin, with shame, to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may tell you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”


He also said to the one who had invited him, “When you make a dinner or a supper, don’t call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbors, or perhaps they might also return the favor, and pay you back. But when you make a feast, ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind; and you will be blessed, because they don’t have the resources to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous.” [Luke 14:7-14, World English Bible.]
Perhaps that blessing will also include the results of the November 4 election?


  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Soumas and students in recital at Crescent Church today



Students of Plainfield musician and teacher extraordinaire Donovan Soumas will join their leader in a program entitled 'Serenade by Soumas and Students' this afternoon at 3:00 PM in the Guild Room of Crescent Aveue Presbyterian Church.

Soumas, whose H.E.R.I.T.A.G.E. Gospel Choir has been a winner of the McDonald's Gospel Fest in several recent years, will present students in a fourteen-selection program, including his own performances of two Gershwin Preludes for piano.

The event, sponsored jointly by HERITAGE Inc. and the New Covenant Christian Association will benefit New Covenant's scholarship award grants.

Tickets are $20 per person for general admission, and $30 for reserved seating, payable at the door. For more information visit the HERITAGE website here.

The Guild Room is accessed from the office entry at 716 Watchung Avenue. Parking available in the church lot on First Place, on the street or at Swain Galleries across from the Church.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Plainfield native in Chicago art show this weekend


Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood hosts an annual Art Walk.


Alexa Storch, daughter of Plainfield Councilor Cory Storch and his wife Lois Mattson will be showing her paintings this weekend at Chicago's Lincoln Park Art Walk. (I am also Alexa's godfather.)

Alexa, who moved from Plainfield to Chicago this past spring, is one of seventeen artists showing in the annual juried art showcase. The artists live in the geographically defined Lincoln Park neighborhood and work in a variety of mediums. Works are displayed in a number of venues throughout the neighborhood and identified in the walk-around brochure.

An exhibition of the best of show pieces is displayed at Dank Haus, a German cultural center in the neighborhood.

You can see a brochure from the event (and leave words of encouragement) on Alexa's Facebook page (here).

In case you are thinking of jetting out for a peek, bear in mind that President Obama is also slated to be in the Lincoln Park neighborhood for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser on Sunday.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Friday, October 17, 2014

Green-inspired attack on Board of Ed candidates?


Resident Danny Dunn brandished one of the team's lawn signs
at last Tuesday's Council meeting.
Did Plainfield Dem party chair Jerry Green inspire resident Danny Dunn's tirade against the Rutherford-Jeffers-Bellamy Board of Ed slate at Tuesday's Council  meeting?

Dapper and imposing, Dunn came to the mike during public comment after Council business was finished, brandishing one of the BOE team's lawn signs. Dunn complained that his remarks at a previous meeting were obscured when televised on PCTV, and he wanted to make sure they were heard and seen properly.

He then launched into a harangue concerning the team's tagline: 'Keep politics children the priority' as seen on its billboard over Pete's Fish Market at East 2nd Street and Watchung Avenue.




The tagline to which Dunn objected is on the billboard
above Pete's Fish Market at Watchung and East 2nd Street.

Dunn insisted the Rutherford-Jeffers-Bellamy team is fronting for Republican operative John Campbell -- whose wife Wilma is president of the Board of Ed.

At the same time, he conveniently ignored mentioning that Jerry Green is backing an alternate Board of Ed team composed of Michael Horn, Norman Ortega and Tania Center. In fact, as I pointed out in an earlier post (see here), Green's BOE team's signs were prominently stacked at the Dem headquarters on Park Avenue and posted in its windows.

Rutherford's team will exact its revenge with a free fish-and-grits breakfast for the community tomorrow (Saturday) morning starting at 10:00 AM and running until the food is gone.

The revenge? The get-together will be at the home of Terrence Hooker, 1086 Kenyon Avenue -- just steps away from Danny Dunn's residence.




  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Thursday, October 16, 2014

No PT today, special Library board meeting


The Plainfield Public Library has served residents since 1892;
after WWII (as shown above) it was key in helping returning vets re-enter the workforce.

No Plainfield Today post this morning, owing to a special meeting of the Plainfield Public Library board of trustees.

The trustees are meeting with City Administrator Rick Smiley and Director of Administration & Finance Ron West to discuss a crisis in library funding.

Changes in the way the City funds the library have already led to reduced hours and the endangerment of state aid. Now the Library may have to consider a layoff plan.

The special meeting is set for 11:00 AM at Plainfield City Hall Library. Library board meetings are open to the public. Parking available in the City Hall lot and on the street.



Note: I sit on the Library Board as the Mayor's designee.
 


  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Friends of Library wine-tasting set for Saturday



Friends and supporters of the Plainfield Public Library will gather Saturday from 5:00 - 8:00 PM for a wine-tasting event titled 'Un Gusta di Italia' -- a taste of Italy -- featuring a selection of fine Italian wines served with a variety of Italian fare.

This year's event is being hosted at the home of Michael Mattevi, 966 Hillside Avenue, which has recently undergone significant and dramatic renovations.

Music will be provided by Plainfield's jazz legend, pianist Ernie Scott (and my neighbor!).

The annual event is sponsored by the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library, a volunteer support organization which has a dual purpose of providing interesting activities for its members and raising funds to supplement the Library's programming.

The fundraising activities have assumed a more important role as libraries everywhere face pressures to offer expanded services -- especially job training and literacy skills -- in an era when these services are more important than ever and government support is constrained.

Tickets are $75/person and may be purchased at the Plainfield Public Library, 8th Street at Park Avenue, online at the FOPPL page (see here), or at the door on Saturday. (Make checks payable to FOPPL.)

Come on out and support Plainfield's premier cultural institution -- free and open to all since 1892.

I'll be pouring at one of the stations and will be glad to see you and chat for a while.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Memorial gathering for Donna Vose set for Saturday


Donna Vose and husband Greg Palermo at Martha's Vineyard.

Friends, neighbors and associates of former Plainfield councilor Donna Vose will gather this Saturday (October 18) to remember and celebrate her life.

The service will be at 3:30 PM in the All Saints Chapel of Grace Episcopal Church. The chapel may be reached through the Parish Hall entry on Cleveland Avenue near East Sixth Street.

Here is the obituary that was published when Donna passed in May of this year --

Donna Vose, 80, died at her home in Edgartown on May 16 after a long illness.

Born on  Martha's Vineyard, Donna  graduated from Saint Mary's Academy in Burlington, NJ, following which she attended Radcliffe College.  She obtained bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing at the University of Florida, where she went on to teach psychiatric nursing.

While living in Florida, Donna was very active in the 1960s Civil Rights movement.  She was often one of only two white people marching in demonstrations; the other white person was her young daughter. She did an expose on the inequality of separate-but-equal, using photographs of the "colored" elementary school's decrepit facilities .  Following the clean-up of the school, she sent her son to attend it, where he was the only enrolled white student.  She opened her backyard pool to the American Red Cross so they could provide swimming lessons to children of color, because those children were not allowed to swim in the pool where white students took lessons.

Donna moved to Connecticut in 1976, becoming Executive Director and lobbyist of the Connecticut Nurses Association and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Nursing at Yale University.  In 1980 she served as interim Director of Patient Care Services at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital, charged with recruiting a permanent occupant for her position.  Her task complete, she spent the next 6 months in Paris, working on her French at the Alliance Francaise.  Donna returned to the United States in 1981 to become Director of Nursing at Passaic General Hospital in New Jersey.  She later served as Director of Quality Assurance at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  She finished her career in the private practice of psychiatric nursing in Plainfield, New Jersey, where she lived for 26 years before moving to Martha's Vineyard full-time in 2012.  In Plainfield she served on the boards of the Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center and the Plainfield Health Center.  She was elected to the Plainfield City Council and  also served on the Plainfield Planning Board.

Donna enjoyed gin and tonics on the front porch, harpooned swordfish, her family boathouse on Edgartown harbor, sailing, garden parties, watching birds on her backyard feeder, shopping for the new season's Lillys, operas at the Met, the Plainfield Symphony, the smells of a salt marsh, travel to exotic places, learning to cook the foods she ate while traveling, and influencing world affairs from her chair in front of the television set.

She is survived by her husband, Gregory Palermo of Edgartown; her daughter, Julie Anne Rowell of Miami; her son, James K. Rowell of Edgartown; and grandchildren.  She is also survived by her siblings, Dennise Croft and her husband, Louis, of Hubbardston; Dianne Durawa and her husband, Thomas, of Edgartown; and Warren Vose and his wife, Anne, of Edgartown.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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