The needler in the haystack.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Two items of interest on Tuesday's Historic Preservation Commission agenda


Yates Real Estate plans to turn the former Abbott Nursing Home
into Veterans' housing.

 

Plainfield's Historic Preservation Commission meets for the last time in 2017 on Tuesday evening (December 19) in City Hall Library at 7:30 PM.

Two items may pique your interest --


YATES REAL ESTATE, 810 Central Avenue
This is the former Abbott Nursing Home. Yates is proposing to convert the building to 25 apartments (for veterans, he says), to include construction of  third floor addition. The matter is being referred to the HPC by the Zoning Board of Adjustment as the property is in the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District.

Though this is a separate matter, this is the same Yates that the Council voted a $396,000 settlement to last Monday for claims against the city in the botched demolition of 117-125 North Avenue in 2015 (see my post here).
EXPANSION OF VAN WYCK BROOKS and NETHERWOOD HEIGHTS DISTRICTS
The HPC will discuss proposed expansion of these two historic districts. 149 properties are being considered for the VWB, and 87 properties for Netherwood Heights.

A survey has been conducted and the HPC is planning to distribute documentation to the public before its February 2018 meeting (that's an ambitious schedule). If either of these topics interests you, plan to be there on Tuesday evening.
The HPC welcomes the public and opportunity for public comment and questions is always given before actions are taken.

City Hall is at Watchung Avenue and East 6th Street. Parking and entrance to the building are in the rear.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Crescent Concerts offers 46th "Yuletide by Candlelight" free concert Saturday


Crescent Avenue Church will be bathed in candlelight
for the annual 'Yuletide by Candlelight' concert.

 
For the 46th year, Crescent Concerts, the musical ministry of Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church offers its annual free "Yuletide by Candlelight" concert Saturday afternoon t 5:00 PM.

The program will feature classical and contemporary Christmas songs and anthems, as well as opportunities for the audience to join in with beloved carols.

There are no tickets for the event; howver, a free will offering will be taken to support Crescent Avenue's feeding ministry -- which provides free lunches every week day.

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church is at East 7th Street and Watchung Avenue. Parking in the church lot on First Place, on the street, or in the Swain Galleries lot.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Second chance for Craft Fair, duCret art sale this Saturday


 

Looking for something unusual or handcrafted for your holiday giving? Your search will be eased if you come out to the Holiday Craft Fair and Fine Art Sale this Saturday (December 16) at duCret School of Art. This second opportunity is to make up for last week's lousy weather.

You will find handcrafted greeting cards, art in various media, decorated gift bags, knit goods, scarves, clothing, jewelry, hand-made quilts, hand-painted plates and mugs and much more.

The fair runs from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM in the exhibition hall at the rear of the school. duCret is at 1030 Central Avenue (across from Cedarbrook School). Take the driveway to the rear parking lot. Entrance is directly off the lot.

For more information, call the Division of Recreation at (908) 753-3097.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Short, if not so sweet, summary of Council hot votes


.. TO INSPIRE ZEAL FOR THE COMMON WELFARE?

 
Here's the concise version of important actions at Monday night's City Council meeting --
  • Mayor's raise to $75,000 per annum. Approved 5-2 after extensive public comment both for and against.

  • Council raise to $25,000 failed on first vote by 3-4. Later reconsidered on a motion by VP Barry Goode to reconsider Councilor Storch's proposed amendment of a raise to $15K per annum. Am ended ordinance passed 5-2, with McRae and Toliver against the motion.

  • Muhlenberg redevelopment tax exemption approved 5-2, with Rivers and Toliver against the motion.

  • Abolishing the existing SID in favor of a new, city-controlled SID was approved 5-2, with Rivers and Toliver against the motion.

  • The proposed settlement with Yates Real Estate for the botched 2015 North Avenue demolition, approved in the amount of $396,000 by unanimous voice vote -- despite considerable opposition from the audience and the revelation of new facts in the matter.
A fuller report will have to wait.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Sunday, December 10, 2017

$396,000 settlement with Yates in North Avenue demolition sure to raise eyebrows at Monday Council meeting


A suspicious fire gutted 117-25 North Avenue
on the night of December 17, 2011. Image by Dan.


The building t 117-25 North Avenue after the fire.
It stood this way until March 20, 2015. Image by Dan.

 

A resolution on Monday night's Council agenda (R 369-17) proposes to settle all claims in the botched demolition of 117-25 North Avenue, which was damaged in a December 2011 fire, for an eye-popping $396,000.

The whole matter of the demolition of the building caused a huge brouhaha when it was done in 2015 -- the weekend before a special Council meeting that had been called to deal with it.

The late Eric Watson, the Director of DPWUD at that time, was on the hot seat to explain the timeline -- which involved several gaps of time that could have been construed as negligence if there were a true emergency -- and the manner in which the demolition contract was awarded.

The inicdent got extensive coverage on Plainfield Today (see here, here, and here) as well as Bernice's Plaintalker II (see here) and Olddoc's Potpourri (see here). I also posted online a packet of materials supplied by the office of Mayor Mapp containing correspondence, inspection reports, quotes and other matter about this property and the demolition (see here).

The Council -- at that time unsupportive of Mayor Adrian Mapp -- refused in a special meeting on March 23, 2015, to 1) authorize the demolition, 2) appropriate $250,000 for the expected costs as requested by the Administration, and 3) award the demolition contract to Yates.

Plainfield realtor John Campbell, who was present, remarked that he had heard a figure of $50,000 for the complete job (perhaps just for the sub-contractor?).

In the event, the work had already been done, and the Council's refusal to act set the City up for a lawsuit. According to a post on Olddoc's Potpourri (see here), resident Alan Goldstein avers the only invoice the City has received from Yates was for work done up to 3/24/15 for $75,000 (see here).

After Yates' subcontractor caused damage to the adjoining building, the City proceeded to finish the demolition and fill with the services of another contractor -- Yannuzzi.

So, the big question is: How did the City get to a $396,000 settlement when the only records we seem to have are for $75,000? That would equal a markup of 528%.

Not bad from Yates' point of view, I'm sure. But an outrage to Plainfield taxpayers.

Hopefully, all will be explained tonight.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Hot topics guarantee a lively Council meeting Monday


The search for 'just and capable government' continues
Monday evening.

 
Nobody enjoys a boring City Council meeting. Several items on the agenda for Monday's combined agenda setting/business meeting seem destined to create a stir. Note that the combined meetings begin at 7:00 PM, not the customary 8:00 PM.

Also note that most of the interest is liable to be focused on four of the ordinances up for second reading and final passage. Since there are no ceremonial matters listed, it looks like the meeting will plunge right into the ordinances, so be early or you may miss an item of interest.

Also, the second reading of ordinances includes a 'public hearing' section. That is the time to come to the mike if you have something to say. Action (votes) will be taken on each ordinance in order. If you don't speak during the 'hearing' portion, your voice will not be heard before the vote.

Here are the ordinances that seem most likely to give rise to public comment, listed in the order in which they will be taken up --
  • MC 2017 - 36 Muhlenberg Hospital Property -- granting a tax exemption to the developer;

  • MC 2017 - 39 Replacement of the current SID with a new, city-controlled one;

  • MC 2017 - 40 Raising the Mayor's salary (to $75,000 per annum); and

  • MC 2017 - 41 Raising Council member salaries (to $25,000 per annum).
The Council President may set a limit on each person's comments, similar to that for the "Public Comments" section of the meeting (5 minutes per person, non-extendable, non-transferable). Don't say you weren't advised!

The meeting is in the Council Chambers / Courthouse at Watchung Avenue and East 4th Street. Parking in the street or in the lot across from the Police HQ.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Two Holiday Giving Opportunities


You can help make some child's holidays happier.

 
Ever since I have lived in Plainfield (since 1983), I have been struck at how generous Plainfielders are during the Holiday season to their neighbors who may be traveling a rough patch in the road of life.

Let's highlight two opportunities available right now:
LiVAY's 2nd ANNUAL KIDS COAT DRIVE
For the second year, LiVay Sweet Shop owner Stacey Welch is soliciting gently used and new kids winter coats to be distributed over the holidays. The drive will be conducted on Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10.
For your convenience, she has two dropoff locations --
  • LiVay Sweet Shop Plainfield - 104-B Watchung Avenue (near Texas Weiners)

  • LiVay Sweet Shop Watching - 1590 Route 22 East

PBA LOCAL 19 HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE
Plainfield's PBA Local #19 is conducting its annual toy drive. Toys will be distributed to families in need during its Holiday Toy Giveaway event.
Needed are unwrapped gifts suitalble for boys or girls aged infant to 13 years. You may make a donation through December 20, 2017. The dropoff location is Plainfield Police Headquarters, 200 East 4th Street (at Watchung Avenue).
Help your less fortunate neighbors have a happier holiday season!

And Thank You!



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Drake House Tree lighting Friday evening tries something new



Annual Tree Lighitng and Santa's Visit Friday evening.

 

Because of greatly increased attendance and resulting safety concerns, the Historical Society of Plainfield is trying something new at Friday evening's annual Tree Lighting and Santa's Visit. The evening is being segmented into three 30-minute sessions, with 25 children and their parents admitted for each segment. The segments are at 6:30 PM, 7:00 PM and 7:30 PM.

During each segments, the children and their parents will be treated to the lighting of the Christmas Tree, a visit by Santa with the distribution of small gifts to the youngsters, and light refreshments for all.

"We have had such a tremendous turnout in recent years," says HSOP president Nancy Piwowar, that we felt it best to ensure the safety of all by limiting the number of children in attendance at one time. We appreciate everyone's patience so that we can guarantee a good time for all."

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



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Holiday Craft Fair Saturday at duCret


 

Looking for something unusual or handcrafted for your holiday giving? Your search will be eased if you come out to the Holiday Craft Fair Saturday at duCret School of Art.

You will find handcrafted greeting cards, art in various media, decorated gift bags, knit goods, scarves, clothing, jewelry, hand-made quilts, hand-painted plates and mugs and much more.

The fair runs from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM in the exhibition hall at the rear of the school. duCret is at 1030 Central Avenue (across from Cedarbrook School). Take the driveway to the rear parking lot. Entrance is directly off the lot.

For more information, call the Division of Recreation at (908) 753-3097.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Toon: Trump tax bill and the middle class


Cartoon by Toles for the Washington Post.

 
Unless you are an antique train buff, you may not get that the car the engineer is shoveling from is the coal tender, from which coal was shoveled into the firebox of the locomotive to generate the steam that drove the wheels.

It's a pretty close fit to what Trump and the GOP Congress think of the middle class.

Note especially that while the rich and the corporations get permanent tax cuts under the tax bill, the rest of us suckers will find any tax cut disappears in 2025.

Welcome to Trumpworld!



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Why are the media hassling Murphy over the transition team's non-disclosure agreement?


Gov.-elect Murphy takes (or not) questions
at a press conference. (Photo: AP)

 

Why are the media -- PoliticoNJ in particular -- hassling Gov.-elect Phil Murphy over his transition team's signing of a non-disclosure agreement.

Murphy team has said that it allows the volunteers who are serving to have frank and honest discussion about topics of concern to the soon-to-be Murphy administration, development of policy positions and programmatic recommendations, and the vetting of prospective high level state employee appointments.

So, what's the big deal?

I served on the leadership team that recruited the members of Mayor Mapp's transition team in 2013 and compiled the reports and recommendations that became the Transition Committee's final report.

Each participant (there were over 100) on the transition committees signed a non-disclosure agreement -- for just the reasons noted above.

The teams were able to accomplish their assignments in a timely fashion -- developing a list of questions to explore, interviewing current city staff, exploring new policy and program directions and compiling (after several drafts) their final reports.
The compiled report became public when Mayor Mapp was sworn to office in January 2014 2018, and resided on the city's website until it got lost in the shuffle of domain names from "plainfield.com" to "plainfieldnj.gov".  For your convenience, I have uploaded a copy to Scribd here.
Here are some of the stories critical of Murphy's non-disclosure decision --




  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Van Wyck Brooks Historic District's Twelfth Night Dinner brings holidays to a close


The burning of the Yule Log for the last time is one of the
traditional customs of Twelfth Night.

 

An email from Larry Quirk of the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District advises folks to mark their calendars for the VWB Historic District's annual Twelfth Night Dinner.

Celebrated for many years now, it is both a fundraiser and an opportunity for members and friends of the District to enjoy a celebratory meal and close the holiday season.

The 2018 celebration will be on Saturday, January 6, which happens also to be Epiphany, the feast celebrating the presentation of gifts by the Three Wise Men to the infant Jesus. The feast has been observed since established at the Council of Tours in 567 AD.

Over the centuries many customs originated around this holiday, always involving food and merriment. In some places it is considered bad luck to leave Christmas decoration up past Twelfth Night and Christmas trees are gathered and burned in bonfires. It is also the last time the Yule log is lighted.

Some cultures also have "king cakes" into which a bean and a pea have been baked (the 'king' here referring to Christ the King). The man who gets the slice with the bean becomes "king" for the evening and the woman who gets the pea becomes "queen".

The homes of four District members will be open as diners move from one to the next for appetizers, entrée, desserts and ending with after-dinner cordials.

I do not yet have ticket information, but in the past they have been offered at $30 for members and $40 for non-members.

For more information, contact VWB member Larry Quirk by email at  qman56@comcast.net. For more about the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District, visit their website here.



Van Wyck Brooks Historic District
Annual Twelfth Night Progressive Dinner

Saturday, January 6, 2018
6:00 - 11:00 PM

Information: Larry Quirk at qman56@comcast.net
Dress: Business attire preferred;
soft-soled shoes; ladies -- no spike heels, please.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Holiday Lights Celebration Friday night features Plainfield Community Choir


Celebration is tonight at City Hall Plaza.

 

Plainfield will be treated to a new version of the annual tree lighting ceremony at City Hall Plaza tonight.

For decades, the annual ceremony centered on the lighting of the Christmas tree in front of City Hall, followed by a visit from Santa and refreshments.

Over time, in sensitivity to Plainfield's diversity, with residents who adhere to many other religions such as Islam and Buddhism, the ceremony was renamed the "Holiday Tree lighting".

During Mayor Mapp's first term, the lighted tree was joined by a Menorah and a Kinara.

This year will unveil a new seasonal tree in the middle of the plaza, which will help keep the event focused on the plaza.

The Menorah is a religious symbol, representing the solid gold 7-branched candlestick inaugurated by Moses in the desert and later kept burning in the Temple at Jerusalem.

The Christmas tree and the Kwanzaa Kinara (candlestick) are not religious symbols, but cultural icons denoting the customs they represent.

The one thing all have in common is light, so it seems fitting to rename the event "Holiday Lights".

The evening will also be marked by the debut of the Plainfield Community Choir. The volunteer singers have been rehearsing for weeks under the direction of Wendell C. Woods, the music director at Shiloh Baptist Church.

The event gets under way at 6:00 PM, with Santa's arrival via fire truck expected at 6:45, at which the event moves into the City Hall Library (transformed into a winter wonderland), where families get a complimentary photo with Santa and a small gift. Hot cocoa will be provided during the event.

Parking is available in the lot behind City Hall.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Harriet Tubman’s Canadian church seeks help for repairs



The church Harriet Tubman attended when she lived in
St. Catharines, Ontario. Photo courtesy of
Salem Chapel British Methodist Episcopal Church.

 
By Adelle M. Banks

(RNS) — A century and a half ago, a new Canadian church gave fleeing slaves a place to worship. Now the sanctuary that welcomed Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman and other escapees needs help itself.

The dwindling membership of Salem Chapel, a British Methodist Episcopal church just north of Niagara Falls, has started a crowdsourcing campaign (their gofundme page is here) in hopes of raising C$100,000 — the equivalent of $77,486 in U.S. currency.

The congregation wants to shore up the building, which is in an area where heavy traffic has contributed to its shifting foundation.



Harriet Tubman portrait. Photo courtesy of
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons


Dedicated in 1855 by runaway slaves and free blacks, the church needs cable wires to secure the log frame of the building ahead of expected nearby construction and wants to replace parts of the building that are deteriorating or damaged.

Salem Chapel is in St. Catharines, Ontario, a spot known as an end point of the Underground Railroad, the multi-pronged clandestine route through which slaves escaped to freedom. Some of the people Tubman helped escape became members of the church.

Rochelle Bush, one of the 11 remaining members who launched the campaign, is the great-great-great-granddaughter of the Rev. James Harper, who was the minister in charge of the congregation when Tubman attended and when it changed its affiliation from the African Methodist Episcopal Church to BME.**

“We became British Methodist Episcopal in 1856 because nobody wanted to go back for conference (in the United States) because of the fugitive slave laws,” Bush said, adding that about 10 churches in Ontario remain British Methodist Episcopal and consider the AME Church their parent organization.

After the Civil War, the church, which began with 195 members, began to dwindle as members returned across the border, decreasing to about 40 in 1970. Most of its members now are age 80 and older.

The congregation, which continues to meet for worship each Sunday with a pastor and a pianist, has been sustained by tourists, who increased from about 2,500 annually to 4,000 this year, Bush said. Visitors pay a $5 admission to learn about “the who’s who in the abolitionist movement” — including Frederick Douglass and John Brown — who have visited the church.


The church Harriet Tubman attended when she lived in
St. Catharines, Ontario. (Photo courtesy of
Salem Chapel British Methodist Episcopal Church)

“That’s what helps us keep the church doors open and it pays the bills throughout the winter season,” she said.

But now, the church’s members say they need more assistance to keep their building available for future generations.

“(W)e want to ensure that it continues to serve as a religious institution and because it is an important treasure in North American history,” they said.


Reprinted from Religion News Service, November 3, 2017.

About Adelle M. Banks



Adelle M. Banks, production editor and a national reporter with Religion News Service, joined RNS in 1995. An award-winning journalist, she previously was the religion reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and a reporter at The Providence Journal and newspapers in the upstate New York communities of Syracuse and Binghamton.

**Explanatory Note: The reference to "conference" may need some explanation for those not of the Wesleyan tradition. I grew up in a Wesleyan church (the Evangelical United Brethren, who merged with the Methodist Church to form the United Methodist Church).

The local church is governed by a board elected by members of the congregation. The District Superintendent visits this board four times a year in his or her supervisory role. These meetings are called the "Quarterly Conference".

Once a year, representatives of all the congregations in a designated area (a part of a state, or the whole state in some cases) gather in an "Annual Conference", at which business affecting all the congregations is transacted -- most importantly receiving annual reports, setting financial assessments for each congregation and the announcement of clergy transfers. Attendance by congregational representatives at these annual conferences is considered mandatory.

During the period when the church in this story was formed, it would have exposed delegates to slave catchers were representatives to be sent across the border to the U.S. -- hence the affiliation with British Methodism.  -- Dan



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Council sets combined meeting for December 11


Notice in an email from the Municipal Clerk's office today.

 

Per an email from Municipal Clerk 'AJ' Jalloh on Tuesday, City Council's agenda meeting set for Monday, December 4 has been cancelled and is being replaced with a combined meeting on Monday, December 11, starting at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers/Courthouse at Watchung Avenue and East 4th Street.

This is sure to set Olddoc's teeth on edge, as this is now the fourth month this year in which the deliberation meeting has been collapsed into the business meeting. What has happened in practice is that there is almost no deliberation, giving rise to the impression of "rubber stamping".

My kvetch is with the notice, which refers to a "joint meeting". To my mind, a joint meeting would be like when a foreign poobah addresses a joint session (meeting) of both houses of Congress; or when the Council meets with another body -- such as the PMUA commissioners or the Board of Education.

When two of the Council's own sessions -- agenda-setting and business -- are combined and no other body is meeting with the Council, it seems to me that grammatically that is a "combined session".

But as the Holy Father says, "Who am I to judge?"



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Where Dems need to pay attention



Two of the 36 towns that voted for both Trump and
Murphy are in Union Count. (Images from NJ.com)

 
The Ledger has an interesting story on its NJ.com website about the 36 New Jersey towns that voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election and Phil Murphy in the 2017 gubernatorial election (see here).

Of course, disgust with Chris Christie could have influenced the results, at least in part.

But there are towns here that I think demonstrate the success of Trump's populist appeal (especially on jobs and immigration) that would have been considered traditionally Democratic.

By way of illustration, consider the two Union County towns that are on the list -- Garwood and Winfield Park.

Time for the Democrats to pay attention.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Sunday, November 26, 2017

NJPAC presents "Firebird" program for kids Saturday at Plainfield Library


Ballet star Misty Copeland's picture book
inspires youngsters.

 
The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) is bringing a family program to the Plainfield Public Library this Saturday (December 2) -- featuring an inspirational telling of the story of a young girl whose confidence is fragile and who questions her own ability but learns how she too can become the Firebird.

That girl is inspired by Misty Copeland, the first African American Principal Dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, who danced the lead role in Firebird.

NJPAC teaching artist Wincey Terry will lead a reading of Copeland's picture book on Firebird, with listeners role playing parts in the famous ballet.

Terry will also lead the kids (and adults) in completing arts and crafts activities.

Copies of Copeland's picture book "Firebird" will be presented to the first 50 families to register for the FREE event. Just visit the NJPAC website here, and scroll down to the Plainfield listing (it's about 2/3 of the way down the page). Click on the Plainfield listing and you can register.

Note that the program is free and registration is only required if you want to get a FREE copy of the book (first 50 families only). The program runs from 2:00 - 4:00 PM in the Anne Louise Davis Room on the library's ground level.

The Plainfield Public Library is at Park Avenue and West 8th Street and is an accessible facility. Parking is available in the 8th and 9th Street lots. For more information about library hours and programs, visit the library's website at www.plainfieldlibrary.info/.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Is Fox News making romance impossible?


Cartoon by Horsey for the Los Angeles Times.
(Click on image to view full size or print.)

 
Los Angeles Times cartoonist Horsey thinks Fox News is making romance impossible.

Or is it MSNBC?



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Friday, November 24, 2017

Mayor Mapp: A season of giving



It is the season of giving.

 
Thanksgiving is just behind us which means that we are officially in the midst of our holiday season. Most people look forward to this time of year as it brings families and friends together, it reminds us of the things that are important, and it lights the spark of giving in our hearts.

Taking care of those who need a helping hand is something we should embrace all year round, but during the holidays we want to ensure that no family goes without, that every child has a toy to enjoy, that there is food on every table and a warm place to offer comfort.

Outreach to those in our community who are in need is a pivotal part of my administration's mandate. This is why we partner with generous organizations to distribute book bags throughout the year. It's why we provide turkeys for those who need to have something extra on the table. It's why we have a coat drive to collect and distribute jackets to those who need additional warmth. It's what drives our annual toy drive as we strive to ensure that all the little ones among us receive something to make the holidays brighter.

Our ultimate goal is to ensure self-sufficiency for every resident of our city, but we recognize some need practical help from time to time. It only takes a spark to get a fire going, and we can each be the spark which ignites our community and starts a fire of giving.

This holiday season let's spread some joy, let's share the blessings and let's give love abundantly in our beautiful city of Plainfield and beyond.

Creating One Plainfield - One Future...

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Laundry daze


Innovation strikes the laundromat business.

 
One of the chores of being an amputee is that the socks that bulk up my stump to fit in my prosthesis need to be washed -- separately.

These consist of a thick woolen sock which goes on first over my 'gel sock' (a silicone lined sheath that goes directly over the stump, cushioning it), and then a variable number of elasticized white cotton socks that bulk up the whole to fit snugly inside the prosthesis, making for comfortable walking.

I started out hand washing all these socks, but that soon grew old. So I began taking them to the Laundry Factory at 576 Route 22 East just east of the Watchung Avenue ramp, before the 7 Eleven.

A small mchine cost $2.00 and could be set for gentle washing and spin dry and I could read a book for the 25 minutes it all took.

On Tuesday I go in with a load of socks and proceed to the quarter machine with a $5 bill only to find the 'insert bill here' slot taped over. I went looking for the nice lady who works there on weekdays and she told me, "no more quarters, use the machine over there."

Well, the machine over there turned out to be dispense what they are calling a "Laundry Card" which can be loaded with any amount of cash you put into the machine. She suggested $3 would cover the small machie I use.

OK.

Then I see that the old machines have been totally replaced by new machines equipped with card readers. I insert my card and the little window shows it is going to be debited $2.19 for a load of wash.

I press 'Start', am prompted to select my wash cycle, put some detergent in and away we go.

The card is for keeps and cash may be added as needed. It's simple and easy, with no more pockets bulging from unused quarters (though I always kept them in my unused ash tray for parking meters -- which are also going electronic).

The card indicates the business has changed hands and is now the "Triple Clean Laundromat" and open 24 hours a day.

The system also allows the establishment to set rates (like $2.19) flexibly, not a bad idea from the owner's point of view.

No matter, it still beats the drudgery of hand washing.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Enjoy Turkey Day -- the post on charter schools will wait a couple of days


What on earth is that sprig (Rosemary?) doing there?

 
What was I thinking when I said a post on the issues with charter schools would appear "tomorrow". Well, "tomorrow" is Thanksgiving Day and only hardcore Plainfield Today junkies will be checking in (thank you for those who do!).

I will defer the post for a couple of days -- at least until the turkey leftovers are mostly consumed.

Enjoy Thanksgiving family, food and fun. And remember to be thankful.

This year, I certainly am.

See you tomorrow!


  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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