The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Free screening of "Hidden Figures" Saturday at PHS


The Black women who were indispensable to NASA's space flights.


Plainfield residents of all ages are invited to a free screening of "Hidden Figures", the recently released film based on the true story of three African American women whose contributions were crucial to the successful launching of astronaut John Glenn into space.

The women, Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle MonĂ¡e)- were three brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history.

Nominated for a slew of awards, including three Oscars (Best Picture, Best adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor -- for Spencer) and two Golden Globes (Best Supporting Actor -- for Spencer, and Best Original Score).

The movie is especially timely for Plainfield as we are in the midst of a discussion on how to improve chances for success for our young people.

The showing is being made possible by Plainfield Now, in partnership with the City of Plainfield and the Plainfield Board of Education.

The screening is set for Saturday, April 1, at Noon at the Westry Horne Auditorium of Plainfield High School. Doors open at 11:30 AM.

The PHS Auditorium is at the corner of Park and Stelle Avenues, with parking in the high school lots and on the street.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Plainfield Mayor's Race: Rivers counting on "alternate facts" approach


Mayoral candidate Bridget Rivers adopts Kellyanne
Conway's "alternative facts" strategy.


Plainfield mayoral candidate Bridget Rivers is borrowing a page from the Trump playbook: relying on "alternate facts" to bamboozle voters.

(You will recall that the first brouhaha of the Trump administration was his assertion more people attended -- later changed to "saw" -- his inauguration than ever before. In the blink of an eye, the media produced photos from the same perspective that showed Obama's crowds were much larger. Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway went on TV to defend Trump, saying he had access to "alternative facts", consciously misrepresenting the facts and exposing herself and the president to derision.)

Saying that "this is the last time that I will respond [to Mayor Mapp], because I need to get focused on this election," Rivers ran down a list of her complaints in speaking with New Jersey's newest political website InsiderNJ (see the story here).

Rivers claims that Mayor Mapp cut the basketball program when he came into office (in 2013). In the first place, that is not true, in the second place the matter came to a head much later, in 2015.

Here is some background
on Recreation and the basketball program, from a much longer blog post of Monday, November 9, 2015 (full post here) --

THE REC DIVISION AND BASKETBALL As you will recall, the Recreation Division was found to be a mess when it was taken over by Veronica Taylor as Superintendent in April 2014, which was after the 2013-14 basketball season. The Rec Division had basically operated without adult supervision ever since its former director resigned in disgrace after being faced with the possibility of having his alleged misconduct referred to the Union County Prosecutor's office. Taylor found records were missing or not kept at all, programs were favored or punished at the former Superintendent's whim (including a fake ordinance used to justify some policies), facilities had fallen into disrepair, and fiscal affairs in the Division were in complete disarray. The popular basketball program was not exempt from the mess. Taylor's first order of business was to bring some order and accountability into the Division's affairs -- including the basketball program. Coordinators of various programs -- including basketball -- are seasonal employees, as are the coaches. Seasonal employees are not full-time or permanent employees of the city and do not have the status that such employment would give. They are hired on an as-needed basis and the length of employment may not exceed six months. Taylor found abuse of these personnel parameters upon assuming her responsibilities and took steps to put an end to them. Among issues Taylor discovered in the basketball program were these --

  • Lax supervision. The coordinator is expected to put in 15 hours per week with hands-on supervision of the program at the various sites when in session. Out-of-town trips prevented Mr. Cathcart from fulfilling this obligation completely.

  • Failure to file coaching plans as required. The justification for spending taxpayer dollars on the program is predicated on helping youngster progress in their skills at the sport. Coaching plans are an essential component of program accountability to the taxpayers. Throughout the 2014-15 season, Taylor pressed for these. Only two coaches complied.

  • Failure to keep complete attendance records as required. This is really a no-brainer. The city is liable for the safety and well-being of program participants. Accurate and complete records are part of the city's risk management strategy. Nevertheless, Taylor found it impossible to achieve complete compliance by the program in her first season.

  • Fundraising issues. When fundraising is done in support of Recreation Division programs, those doing so are required to provide proof to the Rec Division of their IRS certification as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and that their annual reporting requirements are met and kept current. Taylor was never able to get the necessary certifications from Mr. Cathcart during the 2014-15 season.
At the end of the 2014-15 basketball season, Mr. Cathcart publicly stated to employees in the Rec Division that this was his "last season" and that he would not be returning to the program in the 2015-16 season. I am told he even posted that sentiment to his Facebook page, though such a post seems to have been withdrawn if it was made. In accordance with Mr. Cathcart's statements, Taylor laid out other plans for the 2015-16 season. Her hiring decisions in the program are based on the individual's experience, interest, performance and her professional evaluation. As a consequence of Mr. Cathcart's stated decision not to continue with the program, Taylor interviewed replacements. The two coaches who had submitted coaching plans were considered. Both had been recruited by Mr. Cathcart and had served in the program for many years. Taylor felt both were qualified, experienced and familiar with the program and its participating families -- and hired them for the 2015-16 season. Mr. Cathcart now changed his tune. He was interested, after all. Taylor met with Cathcart on Thursday, November 5, and explained that a hiring decision had already been made for the current season. She did, however, suggest an alternative. Mr. Cathcart had previously expressed an interest in setting up and coaching a "traveling" basketball team. This would broaden the scope of the program, include more children and allow participation by families that could not afford the expense of an AAU program. Taylor offered Mr. Cathcart the Recreation Division's support for two years to set up the program, with the proviso that he would provide proof of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to which it could then be spun off. The city's support for the two years would include stipend support, uniforms, partial underwriting of facility costs, and payment for referees. Mr. Cathcart asked to think about it overnight, to which Taylor agreed. In a text message to Taylor sent after hours to her city cellphone, Cathcart declined the offer.
In the meantime, the Rec Division's offerings for young people have grown and prospered under Ms. Taylor's leadership, with more offerings than ever before.

It would be nice -- in this campaign season -- if candidate Rivers held herself to a higher standard.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Will setting up ABC board be on Plainfield Council's April agenda?


Notorious liquor store at West Front and Clinton showed support
for Bridget Rivers and John Campbell, Jr. The store eventually
lost its license (a move which Rivers opposed) when the owner's
daughter was found to be selling drugs on the premises.


The annual renewal of Plainfield's thirty-plus liquor licenses will take place in June.

The Council voted earlier this year to give up its prerogative to sit as the local Alcoholic Beverage Control Board by passing an ordinance creating a standing ABC board which will assume its functions with this year's renewal season.

The ABC Board will work with the Municipal Clerk, who oversees the administrative aspects of license renewal and the Police Diivision, which generates reports and recommendations for penalties for licenses. Among the reasons a licensee may be penalized are sales to minors, not having employee documentation in order, after-hour sales, fights or other disturbances on the premises, and sales or use of drugs on the premises.

In the case of proposed penalties, licensees have the right to an evidentiary hearing, representation by counsel, and appeal to the state, which may uphold, modify or overrule the local ABC Board's decision.

The ABC's meetings and hearings are subject both to the "Sunshine Law" (requiring adequate public notice) and the Open Public Meetings Act.

Establishing the local ABC Board should do a great deal to ease the Council's business load at this time of year.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Rummage sale Saturday at Cedarbrook Apartments



The tenants association at Plainfield's Cedarbrook Apartments will hold their first ever Rummage Sale on Saturday (March 25) from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. (No early birds, please.)

Among items offered are jewelry, glassware and china, kitchen wares, lamps, bric-a-brac, crafting supplies and craft items, and gently used men's and women's clothing (including plus sizes for women).

Proceeds will benefit the Cedarbrook Apartments Tenants Association, which provides activites and events for residents of the age-restricted tower throughout the year.

The Rummage Sale will be in the Community Room on the ground floor at the rear of the building.

Cedarbrook Apartments is at 1272 Park Avenue. Proceed down the drive to the parking lot at the rear of the building. Please use the area reserved for visitors at the rear of the lot. Entrance to the community room is directly off the parking lot.

For more information, call Tenants Association president Beverly Calland at (908) 361-8533.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Two persistent Plainfield Public Schools rumors


A portrait of Larry Leverett
when he led the Plainfield schools.


Two rumors about the Plainfield Public Schools have been circulating for weeks now, and enough people have spoken to me about them that I've concluded it's time to put them out there.

Note, these are rumors -- not confirmed facts -- but, if true, their impact on the Plainfield Public Schools, the district's students, teachers and other staff, as well as the community would be huge.

The first concerns the tenure of Superintendent Anna Belin Pyles, who began taking short leaves of absence for 'personal' reasons in February, and now no longer is mentioned.

Dr. Debra Sheard, the assistant superintendent for educational services is now listed on the District's website as the "acting superintendent".

Initially, I was hearing buzz from employees that Belin-Pyles would be stepping down. I have not heard anything official and certainly not a press release from the district. But, when a parent got up and spoke about the matter at a Februry meeting -- without any denial by the Board or staff, the rumor took on more substance.

The second rumor was that Dr. Larry Leverett, who was superintendent from 1985 through 2003, is being approached about being an interim superintendent while the Board of Ed conducts a search for a new superintendent.

Many regard his tenure as the "golden days" in the District.

One thing I will say for sure: Larry was a ball of energy (I hope he still is) and adept at at morale building with staff, and with the community.

I remember very clearly his recruiting me to a panel of staff and community members to work on a vision for an alliance between community arts organizations and the school district.

I also remember that he orchestrated the campaign for the bond issue which made possible the new Washington Community School. It was the only school bond issue that passed in the entire state that year.

Larry would be a most impressive interim.

All I can say is: Stay tuned.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Monday, March 20, 2017

School budget process moves forward

 



In a special Plainfield Board of Education meeting last Wednesday (March 15, the Ides of March), the Board acted to pass a resolution on its preliminary 2017-2018 budget.

The preliminary budget is being submitted to the Executive County Superintendent of Schools. After approval there, the final budget for the coming school year is scheduled to be given a public hearing on May 8 at Plainfield High School.

The regular March business meeting is slated for Tuesday, March 21, at 8:00 PM at Maxson School Auditorium, 920 East 7th Street.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring on over to Dairy Queen for a free cone Monday


Celebrate the arrival of Spring with a free cone at DQ.


Donna Albanese and the Krew at the Plainfield Dairy Queen invite everyone for a free cone Monday, March 20 -- which also happens to be the first day of Spring.

Dairy Queen is offering a free small vanilla cone at the South Avenue store all day Monday. (Note: vanilla only, limit one free cone per person).

Plan to stop by any time during the day and share a Spring greeting.

Dairy Queen is at 1367 South Avenue. While you're there, check out the progress on the new apartment complex across the street.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Council President Williams calls special meeting for Tuesday


Cement crusher at the site of the apartment building.


Concrete slab chunks from old factory building waiting to be crushed.


CORRECTION: Note the proposed apartment building is NOT age-restricted.

Plainfield C
ity Council President Rebecca Williams has called a special meeting for Tuesday March 21.

The purpose is to consider an ordinance amending the financial agreement with South Second Street Redevelopment Urban Renewal II, LLC concerning a portion of the site across from Ruth Fellowship Church where an apartment building is proposed, though construction has yet to begin.

It is not unusual -- as we have learned with the South Avenue Gateway project -- to tweak the financial agreements enabling these projects, often by including new partner(s) in the venture.

At any rate, since an ordinance can only be taken up and passed on first reading at Tuesday's special meeting, it looks like this gambit will allow for second reading and final passage at the April business meeting, thus shortening the timeline for passage.

The meeting gets under way at 7:00 PM in the City Hall Library.. Parking and entry at the rear of City Hall.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Annual Festival of Organists at Crescent Church Sunday


Each white button (called a stop) produces a different sound
when drawn by the organist.



Crescent Concerts' music director Cliff Parrish has put together an outstanding selection of area organists for this year's annual Festival of Organists at Plainfield's Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church this Sunday (March 19) at 3:00 PM.

This year's lineup includes --

  • Brian Preston Harlow, organist and choirmaster of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Gladstone and music theory teacher at Newark Boys Chorus School;

  • Colin MacKnight, C.V. Starr doctoral fellow at the Juilliard School and assistant organist at New York City's Church of the Resurrection (Episcopal);

  • Thomas Rodgers is the director of music at the Bound Brook Presbyterian Church, where he has served since 1976; and

  • Barbara Thompson, who is Voorhees Chapel organist at Rutgers, organist and director of music at the Congregational Church of Westfield as well as Temple B'nai Abraham in Livingston.
Together, they will put Crescent Avenue's acclaimed 97-rank Gilbert Adams organ through its paces. One of the things that I find exciting about the organ is that the organist has really got a sort of symphony at her or his fingertips -- each rank of pipes represents a unique sound -- and part of the magic is the skill with which each organist selects the sounds to go with the music being played -- from the softest whisper to the mighty roar of a "tutti" registration.

The organ festival also brings out a spirit of -- oftem playful -- competitiveness as each organist demonstrates their skill in both performance and registration, sort of a "can you top this?" challenge from each to the others.

The title for this year's festival -- "Pipe Dreams" -- is a nod to a popular syndicated organ program heard on public radio stations across the US and Canada. It is produced by American Public Media and can be heard in our area on WQXR (105.9 FM) and WNYC (93.9 FM), at 11:00 PM Sunday evenings. For other stations, see list here.

Tickets are $20/person, $15/seniors and $5 for students, and may be bought at the door. A reception will follow the program.

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, March 15, 2017

Correction: Dem City Committee members running with Mayor Mapp in breakfast meeting Saturday to turn in petitions


A special breakfast meeting to turn in
City Committee petitions.


Post is corrected: this is NOT an official PDCC meeting, it is a meeting of City Committee candidates running with Mayor Mapp.

Candidates for the Plainfield Democratic City Committee who are running with Mayor Mapp will have a breakfast meeting this Saturday (March 18) to turn in petitions for city committee seats for 2017-2019.

Each of the city's 34 voting districts may have a male and female representative on the Democratic or Republican city committees. In New Jersey, the two parties elect their committees in alternate years and members serve a two-year term. (The Republicans will elect their city committee members in June 2018.)

At the recent City Committee meeting at which Union County Dem Chair Jerry Green announced the official Democratic slate for Union County and mayoral offices, Plainfield chairman Adrian O. Mapp emphasized the importance of getting the petitions filled out in a timely fashion (they are due to be filed April 3).

The breakfast meeting gets under way at 10:00 AM at Plainfield Democratic Headquarters, 31 Watchung Avenue (next to Antojito's Restaurant). Parking available behind the office and in the public lot next door.

Coffee and light fare will be available as well as opportunities for committee candidates to socialize.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Monday, March 13, 2017

One more thrashing of the taxi matter


Amendments to the taxi ordinance are up
for final reading and passage tonight.


The drama over revising the taxi ordinance may come to an end tonight, though the consequences probably will not.

Ordinance 2017-10 is up for second reading and final passage at tonight's Plainfield City Council meeting.

The changes to the ordinance would give Plainfield police the discretion of having out-of-town taxis (which are not licensed in Plainfield) towed at the owner's expense if they are caught picking up fares in the city. (They are allowed to deliver passengers picked up in other towns to locations in Plainfield, but no pickups in the Queen City.)

Public comment on the ordinance will probably bring out supporters and opponents in large numbers -- as previously -- so be early if you want a seat.

The City Council's business meeting starts at 8:00 PM at the Council Chmbers / Courthouse, East 4th Street at Watchung Avenue. Parking on the street or in the public lot across from the Police Station.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Curious 'coincidences' about the rally on the school budget


PHS students crowd City Hall Plaza to protest possible
school budget cuts. Photo by Councilor Bridget Rivers.


A cop I know swears there's no such thing as coincidences.

That thought came to mind as I read the Courier's story on the Plainfield High School students' march and rally over the impending school budget shortfall -- and the consequences which may follow. Read the Courier story here.

The story featured a photograph of the crowd in City Hall Plaza, with a credit to Councilor Bridget Rivers. The story mentions her running mate Alma Blanco and the fact that they met in the City Hall Library with a group of the students. Along with Richard Wyatt, a school board member who happens to also be a City of Plainfield employee.

I got several texts, phone calls and emails as the event happened but wasn't able to get over to City Hall before things had gotten back to normal.

But the incident raised some questions.

Both Mayor Mapp and Councilor Rivers have full time government jobs. The mayor was at his job in Orange. But Councilor Rivers, who works for Union County in the Westfield offices was instead in Plainfield?

Question: Did she take the time off properly?

Question: How did she know to be there at all?

Question: Why was Rivers' running mate there? Was this supposed to be a campaign event?

The same question could be asked of Mr. Wyatt, who works in the tax collector's office. Did he take time off properly to engage with the students? And why were there no other board members present?

Lastly, where did the PHS students get the idea to march from the school to City Hall, since the City has no direct responsibility for the school budget?

I can hear the voice of former Councilor Gloria Taylor now, saying "This smells of dirty politics".


  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Cocktail reception for Mapp mayoral campaign Thursday


The Marsh Mansion will be the scene of a reception
for Mayor Mapp's re-election campaign.


A cocktail reception in support of Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp's re-election campaign will be hosted this evening (Thursday, March 9) from 6:00 - 9:00 PM by John Stewart Jr. and Craig Bowman at their home, 308 West 8th Street.

Mapp is the candidate of the Regular Democratic Organization of Union County, which is chaired by Assemblyman Jerry Green.

Attendees will also be able to speak with the other official Plainfield candidates in the June Democratic Primary -- Joylette Mills-Ransome who is running for the Wards 2/3 at-large seat and attorney Steve Hockaday, who is running for the 4th Ward seat being vacated by Councilor Bridget Rivers.

Donations can range up to $2,600 per individual, but Mapp has always made a point of welcoming Democratic supporters on the Mapp team to these events without regard to the size of their financial contribution.

Checks should be made payable to "Mapp for Mayor 2017".



  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Hundreds jam PHS cafeteria for BOE budget presentation


$8 million shortfall must be resolved.


A last-minute move of the Plainfield Board of Ed's work/study session from the PHS conference room to the cafeteria caught many people by surprise (including me, guided by the location on the online agenda).

By the time I got from Park Avenue to the Kenyon Avenue lot, found a space, and hoofed it to the cafeteria, Business Administrator Gary Ottman was just finishing up on the budget presentation.

Walking in, it was clear why the meeting had been moved. The entire cafeteria was packed, with only a few spaces at tables in the rear of the room. My estimate: between 500 and 600 attendees.

Ottman was ending with the growing bite out of the district's resources taken by charter schools, basically concluding that without legislative or structural relief by the state, the fiscal picture for the Plainfield school district was grim indeed.

This year's shortfall is $8 million and is projected to grow each year.

When the public was given an opportunity to speak, there were about a dozen or so questions and comments. Among the most powerful was that of Plainfield Education Association (PEA) president Eric Jones, that "if things keep going the way they are, we'll be broke in four or five years."

The District has hired a consultant, who spoke briefly, outlining the approach they are going to take with the state: to appeal to the state through what is called a "waiver request" for relief from the burdens put upon the district by the city's charter schools.

When one speaker criticized the Board for not having taken stronger action against the charter schools, Board President Emily Morgan reminded the audience that last year, her first as President, she had signed a strong letter to the state urging the denial of a charter to yet another school slated for Plainfield -- and that Plainfield prevailed when the State denied that application.

Ottman said that a balanced budget proposal must be submitted to the County Superintendent of Schools by next Tuesday. The District will have to make that document available to the public.

The final budget must be adopted by the June business meeting. Look for more information on the district's website here.

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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President Williams works to keep Council focused


Councilor Williams recognizing some of Plainfield's mothers.


Plainfield City Council President Rebecca Williams worked at keeping the body focused on moving through its agenda last evening. As usual, the two cats needing herding were Councilors Rivers and Toliver.

Rivers took great exception to the spending of money on headsets and a Spanish translator for the Council meetings, which President Williams had authorized based on 2015 action taken by the Council. At that time, Rivers was council president, but she never made an effort to put the translation service into effect. Now she complains when it is finally being done.

The amendments to the taxi ordinance took up almost all the public comment period. You would think Councilor Rivers was running for mayor of North Plainfield the way she defended that borough's Soria Taxi company. Both Rivers and Toliver raised the question of whether more cab companies could be authorized in the city.

After items concerning improvements at Seidler Field were passed to the agenda, Toliver wanted to go back and discuss the need for further environmental testing.

The city engineer, who was present, came to the mike to explain that the initial study had revealed some areas of concern and that the terms of the grant required these to be cleared up. He noted the areas were not where the field work would be done and thus would not interfere with the lighting and artificial turf projects. The improvements will be made this spring.

Toliver asked for a copy of his report when finished, though, as she said, "[she] probably won't understand a word of it."

Mayor Mapp interrupted his attendance at Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman's town hall, to speak briefly to the Council about his Plainfield Promise proposal, announcing that he was appointing a 7-member committee to study the proposal and report back to him in six months with recommendations on how to move forward.

Councilor Barry Goode was elected vice president of the Council on a 5-2 vote (I'll let you guess who the 'nay' votes were) and promptly sworn in by Mayor Mapp. The Vice President will automatically assume the chair whenever the president is absent.

Plainfield City Council's business meeting is next Monday, March 13, at 8:00 PM at the Courthouse/Council Chambers, East 4th Street and Watchung Avenue.

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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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Council moves Monday agenda session to Courthouse



An email from Municipal Clerk 'AJ' Jalloh received on Friday contained the legal notice advising Monday's Council venue was being changed from City Hall Library to the Council Chambers/Courthouse at Watchung Avenue and East 4th Street.

Since the taxi ordinance amendments are on the agenda to have their second reading at the business meeting next Monday evening, this is a wise move -- last month's meeting at City Hall Library was uncomfortably jammed. Even the larger courtroom will no doubt be filled, so don't dawdle.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Congresswoman Watson Coleman holds Plainfield Town Hall Monday evening


Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman on the floor
of the House of Representatives.



While Republican members of Congress have been dodging town hall meetings with their constituents all over the country, Democrats are welcoming them as an opportunity for ordinary people to express their concerns -- especially about the future of the Affordable Care Act -- under a Trump presidency.

Plainfield's congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman will be in the Queen City Monday evening to host a town hall to which the public -- from Plainfield and other towns she represents -- are warmly invited.

The event gets under way at 6:00 PM at the Plainfield Senior Center, 400 East Front Street.

Bring your questions and concerns, but do mind the parking. On the street or in the Bank of America lot are best. Do not park in tenants' parking spaces.

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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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Land Use boards offer the public overviews, time for feedback on Saturday


There will be an update on the status of the Muhlenberg
Hospital tract at Saturday's meeting.


Filled out by citizen-volunteers, Plainfield's four land use boards (Planning, Zoning, Historic Preservation and Shade Tree) tend on a monthly basis to a myriad of issues bearing on how Plainfield looks now and will (hopefully) function in the future.

Saturday morning, the four boards will meet jointly to get an overview of projects currently under way and discuss issues and concerns with the public.

After remarks from chairs and elected officials, the group will review current status of active projects, including --

  • Cedar Brook Park sports facilities (turf field, lighting and other improvements)
  • Seidler Field (a turf field is in the works)
  • South Avenue and South Second Street projects (status updates)
  • Muhlenberg Hospital tract (status)
  • Development Maps
  • Redevelopment Plans (what's coming)
  • Master Plan re-examination
In addition, a section of time is being set aside for the public and board members to discuss matters such as --

  • Technical Review Committee
  • Board jurisdiction
  • Annual Zoning Board of Adjustment report
  • Discussion of group homes / historic districts
  • Future planning and zoning initiatives (including ordinance changes)
The meeting is in City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Avenue. Parking and entry at the rear of the building. It gets under way at 9:00 AM and is scheduled to wrap up at Noon. The public is welcome.

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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