The needler in the haystack.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Does Plainfield need a new Chamber of Commerce?


What you get when you try to visit the Chamber's website.

I got stuck in traffic briefly Monday afternoon across from 320 Park Avenue, home of the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce, The Incubator/BOSS, and office space of the Special Improvement District (SID).

The front windows were dark, and I started wondering what has become of the Chamber, which at one  time seemed like it had a robust future, and which hosted several memorable networking events at the Park Avenue branch of the former United National Bank.

When I got home, I decided to do a little checking.

The link on Plainfield Today, which is listed for the Chamber of Commerce now goes directly to the SID's website, where if you look closely, you can find a link to the Chamber of Commerce website. Clicking on the link brings up a "404 error" page -- which means that a webpage once existed, but is no longer there.

I thought to check LinkedIn for Jeff Dunn's profile; Dunn has been the longtime president of the Plainfield Chamber. But his LinkedIn profile (see here) indicates his occupation as "Senior Vice President" with the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (their website is here). There is no mention of any connection to the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce.

I thought next to check the Chamber of Commerce Facebook page (see here), since so many organizations are active on FB these days. Not really that active: the most recent post was for a "Taste of North Plainfield" event hosted by the North Plainfield Chamber last December; the post before that was in October 2016, by Sharon Robinson-Briggs, beseeching readers to vote for her in the November elections. A political post on a Chamber website? Hmmm. Never mind.

The SID actually does perform many of the functions of a Chamber of Commerce, lobbying for the interest of its members, conducting community events, publishing a newsletter.

But, the SID only covers a small fraction of the total business community in the Queen City.

Under Mayor Adrian Mapp, new life is taking shape in other parts of the community besides the Central Business District and South Avenue/Plainwood Square.

We have a resurgence of the Clinton Avenue/West Front/South Second area with the location of a new Dunkin' Donuts and several other area businesses.

And the East Second Street development area is beginning to bustle with new activity from the financial investment that is being made there.

So, where is the umbrella organization to help promote these new areas of growth and activity?

Should there be a new Plainfield Chamber of Commerce to accommodate the changed conditions?


Theresa Ann Moroney Teacher and Plainfield bookstore owner was an avid reader and adventurous cook Theresa Ann Moroney of Plainfield, N.J., died on Jan. 19, 2017, from complications of breast cancer. Family and friends are invited to join together to honor Terry's life at The Landing, 311 Amwell Rd., Hillsborough, N.J., on Sunday, Jan. 22, for brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Terry was born on March 24, 1944, in Summit, N.J., to Mary Gallagher and David Moroney, the seventh of nine children. She graduated from St. Teresa's Grammar School, Summit, in 1958, and attended three high schools: Summit High for two years, followed by a year at Madison High, before graduating from South Plainfield High in 1962. Terry attended Fairleigh Dickinson University while working night shifts at her sister Catherine's diner, becoming the first member of her family to graduate from college with a B.A. in English in 1967. While at FDU she served as editor for the school newspaper. After graduation, Terry and her sister Grace travelled across the country. Terry began her teaching career at Westfield High in 1967 and continued at Plainfield High. In 1972 the call of the highway beckoned once more, and she and Grace continued their cross-country exploration. Upon returning to New Jersey, Terry met and married the love of her life, David Beck, and soon welcomed two sons into her world. In 1980 she reentered the work force, teaching adult education in Plainfield and New Brunswick, N.J., a vocation in which she took tremendous pride. In 1992 Terry returned to high school, teaching at North Plainfield until her retirement in 2009. In 1997 Terry opened "Another Look Books" in Plainfield. A labor of love, the used book store served the downtown community until closing its doors in the early 2000's. Terry was active in the Cook School PTA, and while at North Plainfield she served as advisor for the school newspaper and lent her aid to countless students; she took particular joy in helping her ESL students apply to college. She was an active member of the Plainfield Historical Society and the Democratic Committee in Plainfield. Terry was an avid reader and adventurous cook; the two pursuits birthed an extensive and lovingly used library of cookbooks and personal recipes. Terry was predeceased by her husband, David Michael Beck, in 2014. She is survived by her sons, Andrew David and Richard Evelyn; her daughter-in-law, Christine Beck, and grandsons, Damien Carter and Alexander David. The seventh of nine children, Terry is survived by her sister, Constance Costello Rooney. She was predeceased by her brothers, David, Richard, and James, and her sisters, Margaret, Catherine, Rosemary, and Grace. In New Jersey, Terry will be missed by her sister-in-law, Kathleen Moroney; nephews, Charles Femminella and his wife, Charlotte Ryden, Christopher (Gretchen), Sean (Karen), and Mark Moroney (Kelly); nieces, Regina and Renee Femminella, Maureen Pena (Joseph), Sandra Roberts (Steve Kosciolek), and Jennifer McBride (Sean); in Virginia, by Moyra Moroney; in Arizona, by her brother-in-law, Paul Beck and, in Hawaii, by John Beck; and many grand-nephews and grand-nieces. - See more at: http://obits.nj.com/obituaries/starledger/obituary.aspx?n=theresa-moroney&pid=183660148#sthash.mSuRxaeS.dpuf

Theresa Ann Moroney Teacher and Plainfield bookstore owner was an avid reader and adventurous cook Theresa Ann Moroney of Plainfield, N.J., died on Jan. 19, 2017, from complications of breast cancer. Family and friends are invited to join together to honor Terry's life at The Landing, 311 Amwell Rd., Hillsborough, N.J., on Sunday, Jan. 22, for brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Terry was born on March 24, 1944, in Summit, N.J., to Mary Gallagher and David Moroney, the seventh of nine children. She graduated from St. Teresa's Grammar School, Summit, in 1958, and attended three high schools: Summit High for two years, followed by a year at Madison High, before graduating from South Plainfield High in 1962. Terry attended Fairleigh Dickinson University while working night shifts at her sister Catherine's diner, becoming the first member of her family to graduate from college with a B.A. in English in 1967. While at FDU she served as editor for the school newspaper. After graduation, Terry and her sister Grace travelled across the country. Terry began her teaching career at Westfield High in 1967 and continued at Plainfield High. In 1972 the call of the highway beckoned once more, and she and Grace continued their cross-country exploration. Upon returning to New Jersey, Terry met and married the love of her life, David Beck, and soon welcomed two sons into her world. In 1980 she reentered the work force, teaching adult education in Plainfield and New Brunswick, N.J., a vocation in which she took tremendous pride. In 1992 Terry returned to high school, teaching at North Plainfield until her retirement in 2009. In 1997 Terry opened "Another Look Books" in Plainfield. A labor of love, the used book store served the downtown community until closing its doors in the early 2000's. Terry was active in the Cook School PTA, and while at North Plainfield she served as advisor for the school newspaper and lent her aid to countless students; she took particular joy in helping her ESL students apply to college. She was an active member of the Plainfield Historical Society and the Democratic Committee in Plainfield. Terry was an avid reader and adventurous cook; the two pursuits birthed an extensive and lovingly used library of cookbooks and personal recipes. Terry was predeceased by her husband, David Michael Beck, in 2014. She is survived by her sons, Andrew David and Richard Evelyn; her daughter-in-law, Christine Beck, and grandsons, Damien Carter and Alexander David. The seventh of nine children, Terry is survived by her sister, Constance Costello Rooney. She was predeceased by her brothers, David, Richard, and James, and her sisters, Margaret, Catherine, Rosemary, and Grace. In New Jersey, Terry will be missed by her sister-in-law, Kathleen Moroney; nephews, Charles Femminella and his wife, Charlotte Ryden, Christopher (Gretchen), Sean (Karen), and Mark Moroney (Kelly); nieces, Regina and Renee Femminella, Maureen Pena (Joseph), Sandra Roberts (Steve Kosciolek), and Jennifer McBride (Sean); in Virginia, by Moyra Moroney; in Arizona, by her brother-in-law, Paul Beck and, in Hawaii, by John Beck; and many grand-nephews and grand-nieces. - See more at: http://obits.nj.com/obituaries/starledger/obituary.aspx?n=theresa-moroney&pid=183660148#sthash.mSuRxaeS.dpuf


  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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