The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Plainfield celebrates on Saturday with parade, concert, fireworks


Mayor Mapp distributing flags to youngsters
along Independence Day Parade route.



Onlookers enjoy the parade in the shade of their umbrellas.



Plainfield
celebrates Independence Day on Saturday (July 2) with its annual parade, concert and fireworks. This year's theme is "Our Seniors, Our Foundation" and the grand marshals are Dr. Inez Durham and Mr. Robert Wilson.

The parade steps off at East Front Street and Johnston Avenue at 10:15 AM. The day is expected to be sunny, with temperatures around 80° -- perfect parade weather.

In addition to the marching units, there are always vendors hawking everything from Italian ices to (if you know where to look) delicious barbecue.

The free concert in the afternoon gets under way at 5:00 PM in Cedar Brook Park. The concert is headlined by famed soul group The Delfonics and hip-hop artist Rahzel (formerly of The Roots). Local acts will also perform. Food vendors will be on hand. Bring blankets or lawn chairs to enjoy the concert.

Fireworks get under way at about 9:25 PM, always a thrill for the young ones.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

(Board of Ed) Board needs to crack the whip on meetings, notices, agendas


C'mon!

A special meeting of the Plainfield
Board of Ed is set for Thursday (June 30) at 8:00 PM in the Plainfield High School cafeteria.

As of Wednesday morning, the agenda is still not posted to the District's website.

The Board needs to crack the whip with the Superintendent.

The items to be taken up at the special meeting must be published in the notice for same, which appeared in the Courier on Saturday. There is no reason for the agenda not to be on the District website at the same time.

Also, members of the public are expressing dismay that the Board seems unable to correct the bad habit of starting its announced meetings late (past 9:25 PM last week).

I am told that one of the reasons the executive sessions are taking so long is that Board members are pressing the Superintendent with questions about, and challenges to, items she has proposed.

Former board members remind me of two practices from past board experience that could help the situation --

  1. Questions about any proposed resolutions are relayed to the Superintendent in writing before the executive discussions; and

  2. The Board always convened the public portion of the meeting on time, returning to closed session AFTER the public portion of the meeting if necessary.
These two practices would help greatly.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Free outdoor movies begin Thursday


Mayor Mapp and the City Council once again make
this popular summer program available through
the Plainfield Division of Recreation.

Plainfield families will once again be able to enjoy free outdoor movies courtesy of the Recreation Division, beginning this Thursday evening at 8:30 PM (dusk).

Last year's movies were expanded by adding the front yard of United Presbyterian Church as a site, thus including residents from Richmond Towers in the program.

This year, the program is expanded further by adding an outdoor location on the Plainfield High School campus.

All the movies are shown on Thursday evenings, beginning at 8:30 PM and are free to the community. In case of rain, movies will be shown on the next night (Friday).

Here's the lineup--

June 30
AVENGERS Rushmore Field
West 3rd Street and Rushmore Avenue

July 7
MINIONS Rushmore Field
West 3rd Street and Rushmore Avenue

July 14
JURASSIC WORLD Seidler Field
North and Garfield Avenues

July 21
INSIDE OUT Seidler Field
North and Garfield Avenue

July 28
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM United Presbyterian Church
525 East Front Street

August 4
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Hannah Atkins Playground
West 3rd Street and Plainfield Avenue

August 11
SPONGEBOB: SPONGE OUT OF WATER Hannah Atkins Playground
West 3rd Street and Plainfield Avenue

August 18
DADDY'S HOME Plainfield High School
950 Park Avenue

Bring the kids, bring lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy!


  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Monday, June 27, 2016

Congratulations to Olddoc and the PHS Hall of Fame Class of 2016


PHS Hall of Fame, Class of 2016
(l. to r.) Cliff Holmes ('78), Frank Coit ('65), Patricia Ann (Pompano) Malin,
Harold Yood, MD ('36), 'Geri' Agurs ('66) and Martin Cox ('79)
(Photo, Brian Cole for PHS Hall of Fame)

Congratulations to Olddoc (also known as Harold S. Yood, MD) on being inducted in the Plainfield High School Hall of Fame, class of 2016.

The banquet and induction ceremony was held recently at Giovanna's on South Avenue. You can read more and see other photos on Olddoc's blog (here).

This year's inductees include --


  • Clifford R. Holmes, PHS Class of 1978
    • (Nominated, Presented & Inducted by PHS Class of 1978 Classmates- Patricia Barksdale, Chandra Jackson and Robin Miller.

  • Frank E. Coit, PHS Class of 1965
    • (Nominated by Stone Square Lodge #38 Presented & Inducted by Martin P. Cox, PHS Class of 1979).

  • Patricia Ann (Pompano) Malin, Non-Alumnus Staff (1967-1997)
    • (Nominated by Mary Anne Lozak, Presented by Mary Anne Lozak & Kathleen Conroy).

  • Harold Stanley Yood, MD, PHS Class of 1936
    • Nominated & Presented by Johanna Marshall. Dr. Yood waited 80 years between his graduation from PHS to his election 2016 into the PHS Hall of Fame. This is the 2nd longest wait for living Inductees into our our HOF. Only Mills Barnes, PHS Class of 1919, Inducted in 2001 (82 years) was a longer wait for a living Inductee.

  • Geraldine "Geri" Agurs, PHS Class of 1966
    • (Nominated by Barbara Rubin-Presented & Inducted by Patricia Fields, PHS Class of 1964 & PHS Hall of Fame Class of 2004 Inductee).

  • Martin P. Cox, PHS Class of 1979
    • (Nominated, Presented & Inducted by Charlene (Giejda) Terraglia-PHS Class of 1965)

Not Pictured: Julie Hodge & Donald Jones. Julie Renee Hodge, PHS Class of 1979, Posthumously Honored. Nominated by Vincent Nelson, PHS Class of 1979, Presented & Inducted by Martin P. Cox, PHS Class of 1979. Donald Jones, PHS Class of 2006. Nominated by Anthony "Prince" Graham. Presented and Inducted by Martin P. Cox, PHS Class of 1979. Award accepted by Mr. William Worley, PHS Principal.

Congratulations to all this year's honorees!



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Enjoying the NJ State Bicycle Races Sunday (or not)


Route is outlined in red.
(Graphic, City of Plainfield.)

Beginning at 9:00 AM Sunday, Plainfield will be the site of the NJ State Bicycle Races. The route is shown in the map at top of story.

By dusk on Saturday, most of the route had been demarcated by yellow police tape strung from light poles, parking meters and trash cans to indicate both the race route and to prohibit pedestrian traffic across the streets.

Mayor Adrian Mapp is scheduled to present awards at an 11:00 AM ceremony, though the races are billed as running through 4:00 PM.
The races are comprised of several categories and awards will be made in each.

The course starts in front of City Hall and goes north on Watchung Avenue to East Front Street, west to Park Avenue, south to Seventh Street, east to Watchung Avenue and ends at Ciy Hall. The course is 1.1 miles in length.

Spectators will be able to view the races from any point along the route, but the area near City Hall will be prime space. Those interested in the best camera angles may seek a little elevation, as perhaps the steps of the YMCA, the front lawn of the Friends Meeting House or the Raritan Valley Line rail embankments.

If the bike races are not your thing, you should avoid downtown. Traffic patterns will be affected by street closings to make the route possible. If you are not attending the races, plan on alternate routes.

Central Avenue will be open as well as Richmond Street. If you are traveling east or west, be sure to use 9th Street/Franklin Place, as Crescent Avenue will be closed off at 7th Street.

Also, be aware that vehicles parked inside the parade route after the roads are blocked will not be allowed through until after the races are finished (posted signs say until 5:00 PM).

The weather is expected to be perfect. Bring your camera along and enjoy!



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Friday, June 24, 2016

SID Block Party, Jazz at Shiloh, NJ Bike Races, more this weekend


Route of Sunday's NJ State Bicycle Championships
is marked in red. Downtown traffic patterns will be affected.

Saturday and Sunday will see Plainfield rocking with activities for all.

SID BLOCK PARTY

The SID's 8th annual Block Party takes place Saturday from Noon to 4:00 PM on Front Street between Park and Watchung Avenues.

This free event draws larger crowds each year.

This year's music will highlight a reggae group, a mariachi band, and Bolivian dancers as well as other groups.

More than 30 local vendors and nonprofits will have tents and tables, and the Army Recruiting Center will host the ever-popular rock-climbing wall.

QCBL CLOTHING DRIVE

Plainfield's Queen City Baseball League (QCBL) is holding a clothing drive on Saturday, from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM at the Rock Avenue ballfields.

This is an opportunity to clean out your closets of unwanted clothing, shoes, sheets, blankets and comforters. All items must be clean, wearable and usable. Put in large plastic trash bags.

This is an important opportunity to help support youngsters who want to learn and play baseball.

Queen City Baseball League is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Donors will be given a tax donation letter at the event.

ABC's OF BLACK ECONOMICS

Frontiers International is presenting the annual Westry Horne Lecture on Saturday from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at Washington Community School, 427 Darrow Avenue.

This year's topic is "The ABC's of Black Economics and Entrepreneurship," and will be presented by economist Richard Barber, and Jeffery Dunn, president of the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Parking available in the Spooner Avenue parking lot.

JAZZ AT SHILOH

"Jazz in The Sanctuary" will be presented at Shiloh Baptist Church on Saturday at 4:00 PM.

This year will celebrate "Steelpan Jazz", featuring Victor Provost on steelpan (from St. John), Herman Burney on bass, Nasar Abadey on drums, and Anthony E. Nelson Jr. on reeds.

As always, admission is free. (A freewill offering will be taken; suggested donation is $20.)

Shiloh Baptist Church is at West 4th and Liberty Streets. Parking available on the street or in the 5th Street lot.

NJ STATE BICYCLE RACES

Plainfield will host the NJ State Bicycle Races on Sunday, beginning at 9:00 AM. Mayor Adrian Mapp will present awards at an 11:00 AM ceremony.

This is a special honor for the Queen City to host this statewide bicycling event. The races are comprised of several categories and awards will be made in each.

The course starts in front of City Hall and goes north on Watchung Avenue to East Front Street, west to Park Avenue, south to Seventh Street, east to Watchung Avenue and ends at Ciy Hall. The course is 1.1 miles in length.

Spectators will be able to view the races from any point along the route, but the area near City Hall will be prime space.

Notice to drivers: Downtown traffic patterns will be affected by street closings to make the route possible. If you are not attending the races, plan on alternate routes.

GAY PRIDE AT UCC

The United Church of Christ-Congregational invites all to its annual Gay Pride Worship Service at 10:30 AM on Sunday.

This year's service will be dedicated to the memory of victims of the Orlando shooting, says Pastor Damaris Ortega.

The United Church of Christ is at West 7th Street and Madison Avenue. Parking available in the church lot on Madison Avenue and in the street. The church is an accessible facility.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Michael Popper dies in kayaking accident


Michael and Jenn Popper, active in Netherwood Heights Neighbors.
Word comes from Plainfield's Netherwood Heights Neighbors Facebook page that Michael Popper has died in a kayaking accident in Maine. Jennifer was rescued by the Coast Guard, suffering from hypothermia. She is in a Maine hospital. (The news was reported briefly in the Boston Globe and more fully in a local newspaper -- see here.)

Here is the post from the Facebook page --




Post from Netherwood Heights Facebook page.

I will post more information as details become available.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Why Christie's school funding plan should alarm Plainfielders


Gov.Christie's proposal would reduce per-pupil funding
for the Plainfield public schools by 59%.

Plainfield taxpayers should be alarmed over Gov. Christie's proposal to change school funding. Very alarmed.

Christie is proposing a flat per-pupil allocation of state aid to school districts of %6,500 per pupil.

The Star-Ledger estimates this would REDUCE state aid to the Plainfield public schools by 59% (see story here).

The gross state aid for the Plainfield school district was slated to be slightly over $124M for the fiscal year 2017.

Even though Christie says that funds for special needs students will not be cut, you can see that Christie's proposal would be disastrous for the Plainfield schools.

In the event Christie's plan succeeds, making up the difference by raising local property taxes would be on the table.

You may express your concerns or raise questions with members of Plainfield's legislative representatives --


PLAINFIELD'S LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION

Senator Nicholas P. Scutari Democrat
1514 E. Saint Georges Avenue, 2nd Floor,
Linden, NJ 07036
(908) 587-0404
Email: senScutari@njleg.org

Assemblyman Jerry  Green Democrat
200 West Second Street, Suite 102
Plainfield, NJ 07060
(908) 561-5757
Email: asmGreen@njleg.org

Assemblyman James J. Kennedy Democrat
34 East Cherry Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 943=2660
Email: asmKennedy@njleg.org

Tip: When emailing legislators, always 'CC' or 'BCC' yourself so you keep a record of when and what you wrote.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

PAAAS praise reprised by Council


PAAAS Principal Angela Bento (r.) and valedictorian
Tammia Rosero at Monday's Council meeting.

T
he Plainfield Academy for the Arts and Advances Studies (PAAAS) was praised at Monday's Council meeting for receiving a bronze award from US News in its annual ranking of best high schools in the United States.

The council action follows on a recognition ceremony by Mayor Adrian O. Mapp a month ago (see my post here) that drew throngs of students, teachers and parents to City Hall for a ceremony and reception.

Monday's resolution on behalf of the City Council reprised the points made by Mayor Mapp in his prior proclamation.

On hand Monday were many students and their families, as well as current members of the Board of Ed and several who had voted for the creation of the school in 2011 under then-Superintendent Steve Gallon III.

Principal Angela Bento and valedictorian Tammia Rosero made brief remarks. The resolution on behalf of the entire City Council was read aloud by Councilor Bridget Rivers.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Council 'discussion' items: Would better questions give better answers?


A hobby-horse that really goes somewhere?
An idea whose time has come?

About an hour of Monday's Plainfield
City Council meeting was taken up with three 'discussion items' put on the agenda by Council President Cory Storch. At the end of it, I was left wondering if better questions would give better answers?

Under former Council President Bridget Rivers, these 'discussion items' were used to harass Mayor Adrian Mapp or his initiatives. So, under new and more friendly Council leadership, one could be forgiven for expecting such 'discussions' to advance Mapp's policies and programs or at least to shed light on an important subject.

In my mind, last night's 'discussion' failed to deliver the goods on either count.

Let's take a closer look --

WATER QUALITY

Representatives of NJ American Water made a brief presentation about the quality of the utility's water supplied to Plainfield residents.

They pointed out water quality is regulated by NJ DEP and the federal EPA requirements, all of which the company (and its predecessor Elizabethtown Water) have met ever since there were government requirements.

As for lead contamination -- which was prominent in the news a few months ago with regard to water in NJ public school buildings -- the issue is not with the water supplied by the company, but with lead pipes and lead soldering in older homes, which can leach into the home's water. Solution: Run the water a few minutes every day to clear the pipes.

(Aside: When I asked a couple of months ago about whether the water had  been tested in the school district's buildings, I was told that it has been, recently, and that there are no issues with lead. The District has yet to make any public statement on the matter.)

Councilor Taylor took the opportunity to engage in a rant about sewer rates, which are set by the PMUA and have no connection to NJ American's supplying the water for the system. Councilor Goode sought clarification on the switch of billing from quarterly to monthly. (Answer: Cash flow; the practice squares up with other utilities such as gas, electric and landline telephone service.)

While the segment presented useful information, I couldn't help but think that it would make a far better presentation at a Town Hall meeting, where NJ American could also have an informational table and answer resident questions on a one-to-one basis. I also wondered if they have informational videos on the issues, whether these are being run on PCTV as standalone public service announcements.

All in all, the need and benefit of this 'discussion' item struck me as underwhelming.

BROWNFIELDS

Ms. April Stefel, Plainfield's longtime -- and sole -- brownfields honcho was next up. Billed by Council President Storch as 'a brief update', it looked to become anything but as Stefel worked her way into a PowerPoint presentation she nicknamed 'Brownfields 101'.

Stefel made a point of clarifying the difference between 'brownfields' and toxic sites -- they are not the same.

With hundreds of brownfield sites in the city, it was impossible to make out any detail in the maps that were projected. Storch, who had come down from the dais to sit in the audience for the presentation, eventually seemed to whisper to Stefel to cut it short and focus on the maps.

It seemed that Stefel had interpreted her assignment in one way and that Storch had something different in mind. Working on sharpening the question in the first place would surely have made for a more focused presentation, to the relief of both parties.

At the end, I don't know that the audience (or the Council for that matter) learned anything substantial from the presentation. While the 'discussion' may have been well-intentioned, it failed to deliver the goods, in my humble opinion.

AT-RISK YOUTH

This 'discussion item' appeared to be an opportunity for Councilor Taylor to ride one of her favorite hobby-horses.

Despite the fact that Mayor Mapp has taken the lead in establishing Youth Summits to gather young people together to deal with issues as they perceive them, and has expanded recreation programming throughout the City, as well as developing community outreach efforts by the Police Division under Police Director Carl Riley, Taylor continues to imply nothing is being done.

When pressed however, she brings no new ideas to the table.

Director Riley pointed to the dramatic drop in both violent crime (27%) and shootings (40%) since Mayor Mapp has taken office. He also noted that the Police Division is planning 'Community Cookouts' between the Division and residents to be held in all four wards. This is in addition to a summer program (later explained by Officer Bernal Harrison) that is taking place at the Plainfield Public Library.
Bottom line: These 'discussion items' would be much more useful if they were better planned and more pointed.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Monday, June 20, 2016

'Discussion items' added to Council agenda


Council President Storch has added some discussion
items to tonight's Council agenda.
 

'Discussion items' are a normal feature of Plainfield
City Council's agenda-setting sessions, but it is a little unusual to find them placed in the agendas for the business meeting. That said, it is the Council President's prerogative to do so.

Council President Cory Storch has added three items to tonight's Council agenda --
  • Water safety and quality
  • Brownfields
  • Youth initiatives
Storch has asked NJ American Water (formerly locally owned Elizabethtown Water) to present on the quality and safety of the city's drinking water. While lead contamination has been in the news in recent months, the issue has been one of lead from pipes within buildings (especially schools), rather than the mains of the water company.

Plainfield has been at work on brownfields remediation for over a decade now, but there is always more to report on cleaning up these former industrial sites where toxic substances (often oil and heavy chemicals from manufacturing processes) have seeped into the soil.

The third item is rather vague -- "Initiatives in support of at-risk city youth" -- and may provide an opportunity for the Mapp administration to highlight ongoing youth efforts, and looking to more cooperation with the school district. Those interested in what Storch has in mind will have to attend the Council meeting.

City Council meets for its business session this evening at 8:00 PM in the Courthouse / Council Chambers at Watchung Avenue and East 4th Street. Parking available on the street and in the public lot across from the police station.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Photos from Friday's Orlando Vigil




City Hall cupola in the twilight as the Vigil begins.


Here are some photos from Friday's Plainfield vigil
for the Orlando shooting victims. You should also check Bernice, David and Jackie's blogs for more.




  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Orlando and Plainfield: Bonding and Acting


Councilor Rebecca Williams speaking at the Vigil.


Pastor Damaris Ortega of UCC-Congregational
and Fr. Gideon Uzomechina of Grace Episcopal Church.
 

Friday's Plainfield vigil for the victims of last weekend's Orlando massacre was an extraordinary event.

A large crowd gathered in the plaza in front of City Hall to commemorate the victims, declare their solidarity, express their anger and frustration and expound what a just and loving society would look like.

Several people spoke, including Mayor Mapp, Councilors Goode, Williams and Taylor and others.

I was swept up in the moment, and, while I took many photos, I did not take any notes. (However, I have posted the remarks by Siddeeq El-Amin, a representative of Plainfield's Muslim community, online here. A thank you to Siddeeq for sharing them. Also, you will find more photos on Bernice, Jackie and David's blogs.)

I am always struck at events like this at how powerful they are, how they draw together so many from the community who may have different views and interests, but who acknowledge a common solidarity and hope.

That being said, we can sometimes go home from such events feeling that our virtue has been vindicated, our anger assuaged, that the heavens have heard us.

But I was struck in particular by the remarks of Rev. Damaris Ortega, pastor of the United Church of Christ-Congregational. Besides heartbreak, anger and frustration, she brought a message that things must also CHANGE.





Resident John DeMarco.

Residents Siddeeq and Fahemmah El-Amin.

Part of the crowd at the Vigil.
 

Homemade sign features a quote from Maya Angelou.


I wonder what CHANGE in this regard would really involve here in Plainfield.

After the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles in 1991, a small group of Plainfielders, led by Rev. LaVerne Ball and Rev. Margot Campbell-Gross began meeting to discuss an appropriate response for Plainfield's situation.

After much talk and investigation, the group settled on housing -- particularly putting abandoned houses back into shape for residents. And thus was born Faith, Bricks and Mortar, which is now nearing a quarter century of housing advocacy in Plainfield.

But that was then, this is now. These are new times, with new challenges, new generations of residents, and Plainfield has become a much different community.

We will soon become a majority-Latino community. We have a sizeable LGBT community. Officially, Plainfield is a very open and welcoming community.

But there is still homophobia. Some churches still preach condemnation. Some families -- just as those in Orlando -- still have their own sort of "don't ask, don't tell" culture.

As Rev. Ortega asked, when will we be ready to simply accept and love everyone?

And what will we do to help get there?

I, for one, am ready to help, but it seems like time for a new, younger crew to begin the push.

Who will that be?


  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Friday, June 17, 2016

Vigil forOrlando shooting victims tonight


Participant in a Los Angeles vigil displays a rainbow fist.
(Imge: Religion News Service)

A vigil for the Orlando shooting victims is set for tonight, 7:30 PM on the steps of City Hall.

The vigil is being sponsored by S.T.A.G. and the City of Plainfield.

Residents are invited to bring their own candles or light source. Candles will be available at the vigil, courtesy of the United Church of Christ-Congregational.

Brief remarks will be offered by Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, his chief of staff John Stewart, Jr., and Siddeeq El-Amin, a representative of the Muslim community.

The Rev. Damaris Ortega, pastor of the United Church of Christ-Congregational will offer a prayer, and the vigil will conclude with the reading of the names of the 49 victims. Anyone interested in helping to read the names should email plainfieldstag@gmail.com.

Organizers are also suggesting that members of Plainfield's LGBT community fly a Pride Flag this weekend.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Residents turn out for FEMA flood insurance Open House


Semi-annual DPW mailers used to include an approximationof the City's flood zones.

Plainfield residents turned out in force for face-to-face meetings with FEMA representatives Wednesday at the Plainfield High School cafeteria.

Folks were lined up and waiting when the doors opened at 4:00 PM, after FEMA responded to a request by Mayor Adrian O. Mapp for the event.

About twenty FEMA representatives sat at cafeteria tables arranged in an "L" along two walls of the cafeteria and met with property owners who brought along surveys of their property and insurance documentation.

Attendees were given a six-pge brochure outlining the National Flood Insurance Program's coverage. They also received a tip-sheet listing five ways of reducing flood insurance premiums.

While premiums are based on the amount of risk of flooding involved, FEMA does not require flood insurance -- that is required by mortgage issuers, FEMA points out.

Attendees also learned that the FEMA flood maps are now based on a new standard,the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD 88),which replaces an earlier,now obsolete, measurement.

If you missed the Open House, you can find needed information at these two websites--

or call (800) 427-4661.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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Orlando shooting victims vigil update


A memorial for victims of the Orlando massacre.
(Image: Reuters)

Here are more details on the vigil for the Orlando shooting victims set for Friday evening, 7:30 PM on the steps of City Hall.

The vigil is being sponsored by S.T.A.G. and the City of Plainfield.

Residents are invited to bring their own candles or light source. Candles will be available at the vigil, courtesy of the United Church of Christ-Congregational.

Brief remarks will be offered by Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, his chief of staff John Stewart, Jr., and Siddeeq El-Amin, a representative of the Muslim community.

The Rev. Damaris Ortega, pastor of the United Church of Christ-Congregational will offer a prayer, and the vigil will conclude with the reading of the names of the 49 victims. Anyone interested in helping to read the names should email plainfieldstag@gmail.com.

Organizers are also suggesting that members of Plainfield's LGBT community fly a Pride Flag this weekend.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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