Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Friday, October 19, 2018

Fruitful discussion at Marijuana Town Hall


The economics of medicinal and recreational marijuana
were major focuses of Wednesday's Town Hall.

Wednesday night's Marijuana Town Hall at Washington Community School was perhaps the best town hall I can ever remember attending.

The topics were well-focused (medicinal and recreational marijuana, the business and legislative aspects and one community's experience with a medical marijuana dispensary), the speakers knowledgeable and the moderator kept everything under control and moving along.

The panelists included a Montclair councilman (Robert Russo) and its Police Chief (Todd Conforti), as well as three recreational marijuana-focused businessmen (Alex Stone, Alex Santana and Scott Rudder) and a nurse with 40+ years experience in medical marijuana (Ken Wolski).

Sen. Nick Scutari (who represents Plainfield) was scheduled to participate, but was unable to make it. He is a prime sponsor of the pending legislation which would both legalize recreational marijuana and expand the number of licenses for medical marijuana.

I thought the most important aspect of this very informative evening was the amount of information made available about the economic impact of legalization.

Colorado was cited as an example of the kinds of job opportunities that legalization opens up: from growing to processing, distribution to retail operations, plus the production of cannabis-related or -derived products (oils, edibles, etc.)

Montclair's police chief allayed fears about any crime increase with his presentation and the Montclair councilman came out in favor of legalized recreational marijuana at this event, joking that he may not get re-elected in 2020.

Norman Deen Muhammad, with whom I sat, had the same concerns as I did and we both filled out question cards about them: What kind of opportunities will be open for minorities (Blacks, Latinos and women)? and what will be done about the impact (reduction) on the black market?

Rudder assured the room that a significant portion of the opportunities would be set aside for minorities.

Participants were given the opportunity to fill out a questionnaire that included the manufacturing and disseminaton of medicinal marijuana products in Plainfield and the retail sale of recreational marijuana in Plainfield.

Mayor Mapp kicked off the evening with remarks that indicated his interest in the positive economic impact legalization could have for Plainfield if marijuana is legalized -- which everyone expects to happen soon.

Although the meeting got off to a slow start in attendance (mostly staff in the beginning), the room filled further as folks arrived a little bit later. In the end, I would say there were about 75-80 people there.

It was disappointing not to see clergy or young people represented, as these are two key constituencies in the conversation, but overall the event (which also included considerable conversation around expungement for those with simple possession records) was well-conducted and made a valuable contribution to Plainfield's discussion of marijuana.




 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]


View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.


About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.








Thursday, October 18, 2018

Marijuana Town Hall post is coming


A good deal of Wednesday's talk was about
economic opportunities.

I want to write up Wednesday night's excellent Marijuana Town Hall, but I'm just too pooped tonight. Will try to put it together tomorrow. -- Dan
 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]


View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.


About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.







Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mayor Mapp sets Town Hall on marijuana for tonight


I have always wondered if this toon by Tex Avery,
who created the Bugs Bunny cartoons,
was a coded message. (See more here.)

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp has called a Town Hall meeting for Wednesday evening (October 17) at 7:00 PM at Washington Community School to hear and discuss marijuana in New Jersey: both its medical use and the proposed legalization of recreational marijuana.

Here is the notice in the Mayor's weekly email newsletter --
On Wednesday, October 17, a town hall meeting will be held at the Washington Community School in Plainfield at 7 PM to discuss potential marijuana legislation in the City of Plainfield.

Medical marijuana is legal in the state of New Jersey with medical dispensaries located in Woodbridge, Secaucus and Montclair, among other areas. The ultimate goal of this town hall meeting is to get input from residents regarding potential involvement by Plainfield and to hear from an expert panel discussing the pros and cons of the legislation.

The panel at this meeting includes Scott Rudder of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association; former Montclair Township Mayor Robert Fusso; Chief of Police of Montclair Township Todd M. Conforti; Executive Director for the Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey Ken Wolski; Senator Nick Scutari and other government officials.

Washington Community School is at 427 Darrow Avenue. Parking and entry available from the Spooner Avenue side of the building.

 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]


View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.


About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.







FUSP closing sparks massive estate sale


FUSP's magnificent "Robinson Window".

The First Unitarian Society of Plainfield is closing its building and is offering the contents in a massive estate sale Friday and Saturday, October 26 and 27.

This sale will appeal not only to individuals but groups and organizations which may be in need of classroom, office or professional kitchen equipment.

The congregation has been in existence for 128 years (since 1890) and worships in a building on land that was donated by Job Male, who was the driving force behind Plainfield's incorporation as a city out of the original Plainfield Township (which also included what are now Scotch Plains and Fanwood).

The contents for sale include the oak pews (30), the pipe organ and an upright piano.

Kitchen items include equipment and restaurant-grade china, glassware and stainless flatware.

Of interest to schools and preschools will be all the classroom and nursery desks, furniture and equipment as well as office furniture and equipment.

The furnishings -- sofas, chairs, lamps -- of the Stevens Lounge will also be available for purchase.

The sale offers something for everyone including home and garden tools, many books, toys, holiday decorations, art work, televisions and other unique items.

As well as the sale, visitors will be able to view the church's historic worship space, which includes the magnificent and brilliantly colored "Robinson Window," the work of glass maker Oliver Smith, which floods the sanctuary with light.

While closing the building, the congregation intends to move to another Union County location and continue a Unitarian presence and mission.

The congregation’s last Sunday Service at Park Avenue will be held on November 4, 2018 at 10 am. The final Plainfield holiday service will be on Christmas eve at 5 pm. All are welcome.

The estate sale is Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. FUSP is at 724 Park Avenue, just off West 7th Street.

Parking is available in the public lot across from the church and on the street.

For more information, contact Sharon McGuire, Parish Administrator of the First Unitarian Society at (908) 756-0750 (Mon-Fri, 9 AM - 3 PM).


 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]


View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.


About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.







Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Free Newcomer Bus Tour hosted by Recreation this Saturday


Participants in May's first ever Newcomer Bus Tour
posed before the tour began.

Plainfield's Division of Recreation is hosting its second Newcomers Bus Tour of the Queen City this Saturday (October 20), starting at 11:00 AM.

Begun last Spring to introduce newcomers to some of Plainfield's recreational, historic and architectural highlights, the first tour was a smashing success (see a writeup about that tour here).

Once again, new residents are invited to take the tour. Everyone who attends will receive a goody bag with Plainfield-centered merchandise, coupons and information.

On the first tour, several long-time residents joined in and were highly appreciative of new things they learned about Plainfield from Recreation Superintendent Veronica (Roni) Taylor, who acted as tour guide.

The tour starts in the parking lot behind City Hall, where cars may be left for the duration.

Wear comfortable clothing and shoes (there is a possibility of getting off the bus at the Drake House, where Union County's "Four Centuries in a Weekend" celebration will feature live musicians playing Revolutionary War fife and drum music).

To reserve a seat (there are still some left), call the Recreation office at (908) 753-3097.

Plainfield City Hall is at Watchung Avenue and East 6th Street. Parking is in the lot behind the building. Please no children under 12 years. The tour will last approximately one and one half hours.

Call now to reserve your seat and come along and have fun learning more about your hometown!


 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]


View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.


About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.







Monday, October 15, 2018

Is Plainfield doing away with Civil Service?


Magic 8 Ball is having trouble getting a clear answer.

NOTE: This post has been edited to remove references to a local bargaining unit. -- Dan

For some time now, rumors have been floating around that Plainfield might try to do away with civil service.

Finally a firefighter brought the matter up at the employee meeting Mayor Mapp hosted this past Wednesday to explain the new departmental organization set up by Council ordinance recently.

I am told that instead of straight out saying the City would not consider such a move, Mayor Mapp explained that he had been considering it earlier this year by way of a ballot referendum but that such a change would require action by the Legislature.

I had been taught from grade school up that civil service was almost sacred, and has saved American governments at all levels from incompetence, fraud and graft. While not in our founding documents, it is regarded as one of the pillars of good government and is securely knit into the thinking of American citizens.

The list of civil service jurisdictions in New Jersey fills nine single-spaced pages; in Union County alone there are 21 civil service jurisdictions (these include municipalities, libraries, and housing and other kinds of authorities) -- heavily weighted to Democratic towns.

Reaction among some city workers was swift, wondering whether their local bargaining unit would benefit from affiliating with a national union such as AFSCME (American Association of State, County and Municipal Employees).

The police and fire divisions already belong to national unions and benefit from the muscle that gives them in negotiations over wages and working conditions.

Public Works employees were also at one time members of the Teamsters, a fearsome national union.

Why would anyone even consider getting rid of civil service?

The principal reason would be to end employee job security and replace it with serving totally at the pleasure of the appointing authority.

Now, you have to understand that civil service employees can be disciplined (and often are) and can even be fired for cause after due process. The difference abandoning the civil service system would make is that employment would be at the whim of the boss.

CIVIL SERVICE

Civil service began with the federal government in 1871 with the passage of the first civil service bill, requiring examinations for competence and merit-based appointment. Up until that time, hires for the federal government did not have to have ANY qualifications at all, and government jobs were sources of immense graft and corruption.

In 1873, the new law was strengthened by preventing the firing of civil service employees, removing them from the influence of political patronage and partisan behavior.

Up until then employees could be fired when there was a change of administrations, a falling out with a superior, and even getting married or pregnant (Imagine that!).

In 1978, the federal civil service law was revised once again, giving the Commission the power to oversee the right of employees to form unions.

Not long after the federal civil service was established, states began to see the wisdom of stabilizing their own workforces.

CIVIL SERVICE IN NEW JERSEY

New Jersey, in 1908, was the 6th state to adopt civil service. In 1918, NJ classified positions and standardized compensation rates.

In 1930, New Jersey updated the law, providing for work times, annual vacation and sick, military and other leaves.

The 1947 New Jersey Constitution, which still today governs what can and cannot be done, included a "merit and fitness" provision enshrining civil service.

So there is a long history both nationally and in New Jersey and civil service has been of inestimable benefit to every level of government and curbed abuse of employees.

AFSCME and CIVIL SERVICE

We should also know a little of the history of AFSCME (the abbreviation for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees).

The union began among state workers in Wisconsin in 1932, who were worried that the new Democratic administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt might want to get rid of civil service (they did not yet know that he -- and the Democratic Party -- would become among its staunchest supporters).

By 1936, the union had grown to include county and municipal workers in Wisconsin and had joined the American Federation of Labor (the formation of the more militant Congress of Industrial Organizations being still somewhat in the future).

By 1968, the union (now AFL-CIO) had expanded greatly and led a strike of New York City workers over pay and working conditions that virtually shut the city down.

After that, its membership surged to 450,000 after the militant Local 1199 healthcare workers affiliated.

In 1968, AFSCME represented the Memphis sanitation workers in their strike against appalling working conditions and pay.

It was in support of these striking sanitation workers that Dr. Martin Luther King came to Memphis, where he was slain by an assassin's bullet.

In the 1990s, AFSCME's big fight -- which they won -- was against the drive to contract out public service jobs, thus undermining working conditions and pay.

Since 1998, 350,000 new members have joined AFSCME, many from small independent bargaining units -- like Plainfield's.

In July of this year, NJ Gov. Phil Murphy signed a new contract with the state's 6,500 AFSCME employees. You can learn more about AFSCME in New Jersey here.

All of this ought to give one great pause.

But even greater than this, one would lose credibility with his fellow Democrats for even considering such a move.

Not to mention the backlash among Plainfield voters, many of whom are City employees or have relatives, neighbors or friends who are.

This matter merits everyone's closest attention.

It could be the "3rd rail" in Plainfield politics.




 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]


View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.


About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.







Sunday, October 14, 2018

St. Oscar?


As of Sunday, St. Oscar Romero.

St. Oscar?

Yes, St.Oscar.

Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, slain in March 1980 by a right wing death squad while celebrating Mass will be made a saint in the Roman Catholic Church on Sunday, along with Pope Paul VI. (We Episcopalians have revered Romero for years.)

Many of us have hoped for this day ever since he was martyred. (I have kept a small icon of him for meditation for years.)

But it was not always thus.

Oscar Romero came from a carpenter's family and his father had hoped he would follow the craft, but young Oscar had an interest in the priesthood. His brilliance at his studies led him to Rome's Gregorian University where he graduated cum laude.

Back home in El Salvador, he became known as a conservative stalwart and was ascending the Catholic Church career ladder, showing the potential to reach the very highest ranks.

But on the way, something happened.

He was appointed bishop of the rural diocese of Santiago de Maria in coffee country. There, traveling around his diocese he saw the conditions of the campesinos, who were treated like animals by the plantation owners and led harsh and work-shortened lives.

He began to understand the liberation theology that young post-Vatican II priests in his diocese were teaching lay people. After five farmworkers were brutally murdered, he consoled their families and wrote in a private letter to the country's president that their tears had broken his heart.

But the turning point really came in 1977, when his friend Fr. Rutilio Grande was murdered for being a leader of the liberation theology faction, less than a month after Romero himself had been appointed Archbishop of El Salvador.

He made the funeral mass for his friend Grande the only service in the archdiocese on that Sunday (thus drawing attention and enormous crowds), and announced he would effectively boycott the inauguration of the new president (meaning he would not bless the new government) until the murder was investigated.

For the next three years, until his own murder, he relentlessly preached justice for the poor and his popular Sunday sermons were broadcast to the nation on radio.

As Michael Lee of Fordham University has said,
Rather than fleeing the world, Romero discovered that it is precisely in the world where God’s presence is discovered. 'The element of transcendence that ought to raise the Church toward God,' he wrote, 'can be realized and lived out only if it is in the world of men and women.'”

Romero's realization of structural sin in society and his firm faith have made him an inspiration to me and countless others.

After many years of foot-dragging and obstacles by conservatives -- even bishops in his own country -- Romero will finally officially be joined to the ranks of heroes and heroines of the faith.

Part of the debate over canonizing him was whether he was truly a martyr or just the victim of a political murder. With the canonization, the Church is finally and formally acknowledging liberation theology as
an important way for modern believers to live the faith.

As Romero said, “Those who want to be co-partners in the promises of eternity have to collaborate with God in establishing justice, peace and love in this kingdom on Earth.”

And elsewhere,
“Aspire not to have more, but to be more.



 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.






URGENT: Trump administration plans to curtail 1st Amendment expression in DC. Public comment needed NOW!


Americans exercising their 1st Amendment right
outside the White House. In danger!

If you have ever been to a march, demonstration or rally in Washington, DC (MLK's March on Washington, the Million Man March, last year's Women's March, etc.), you should be concerned about the Trump administration's proposed new regulations affecting such events in Washington, DC.

Public comment on the proposals closes EOB Monday, October 15. You can comment online and let the Trump administration know you don't want your First Amendment rights curtailed.

Here is the opening of a blog post from the ACLU (you can read the complete assessment, including details on the proposed changes, charges, etc. here) --

President Trump has a record of attacking the rights of protesters, from suggesting that protest be illegal to praising dictators who crush any kind of dissent.
Now,proposes the Trump administration to dramatically limit the right to demonstrate near the White House and on the National Mall, including in ways that would violate court orders that have stood for decades. The proposal would close 80 percent of the White House sidewalk, put new limits on spontaneous demonstrations, and open the door to charging fees for protesting.
Fee requirements could make mass protests like Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic 1963 March on Washington and its “I have a dream” speech too expensive to happen.
The public has until October 15 to comment on the plans, and on Monday, we submitted our formal written comment explaining why the planned changes are unconstitutional.
Please add your voice to the comments and share this with your friends (Facebook, Twitter, email, text -- whatever).


 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.




Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sorry folks, too pooped tonight!



Sorry, gonna veg tonight, folks.


Just too pooped tonight. Seeya on Sunday.


 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.





Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Plainfield Symphony opens 99th season with 'Passion and Poetry' selections from Wagner


A romantic rendering of the winged Valkyries.


The Plainfield Symphony steps off it 99th season this Saturday (October 13) with selection of favorites from the operas of Richard Wagner entitled 'Passion and Poetry'.

The program will feature orchestral and vocal music from Die Walküre, Tristan und Isolde, Tannhäuser and more.

Special soloists for this program are baritone Steven Scheschareg, tenor Adam Herskowitz and dramatic soprano Othalie Graham.

The PSO's music director, Charles Prince, has a YouTube video online discussing the program here.

Tickets are $45/general, $30/senior and students (with ID), and $65/reserved, and may be bought online here or at the door.

The concert starts at 7:00 PM sharp. The Plainfield Symphony Orchestra performs at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, at East 7th Street and Watchung Avenue. Parking available in the church lot on First Place, on the street or in the Swain Galleries lot across from the church.




 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.






Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Political surprise at Sunday's Blessing of the Animals


Tom Kaercher, one of the organizers, with his moose cap.

Tom Kaercher speaks to the crowd.

Some of the pets (and horses) at the event.

This handsome fellow was more interested in the grass
than anything else throughout the whole afternoon.

My new best friend Jett, visiting from Bridgewater with
his family. At 6 months, everyone is a friend to play with.


There was a political surprise at Sunday's Blessing of the Animals event at Leland Avenue Park.

About forty people and their animal companions (including three horses) gathered at the park for the nineteenth year of celebration organized by the Animal Initiative Committee.

A low-key and friendly event that celebrates our animal companions has become more "political" over time in advocating for better ways for humans and undomesticated animals to coexist.

This was the case Sunday as residents Mary Ellen Chanda, Tom Kaercher and Eli Campolei addressed the crowd.

Mother Joyce Sceyer of Grace Episcopal Church and Rev. Damaris Ortega of the UCC Church offered blessings. (Fr. Frank Rose of St. Bernard's Church, who has been at every celebration since the beginning, was not there this year.)

Though not a partisan political event, occurring as it does in the height of each year's political seaon it has always attracted Plainfield City Council representatives and candidates.

Attendees are primarily (though not exclusively) 2nd Ward residents and the 2nd Ward figures in 4 out of 4 election years (including the mayoral year) in the cycle, so it has been a natural event for candidate schmoozing.

With a usual turnout of between 40 and 50, it is bigger than any meet-and-greet a candidate is likely to ever encounter.

That is why it was quite a surprise to see only challenger Ron Johnson in attendance, though Regular Democrats Elton Armady and Joylette Mills-Ransome are also on the November ballot. My bet is that Johnson considered it an hour well spent.




 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.






Monday, October 8, 2018

Plainfield road closures for Monday, October 8


Screenshot of notice with
Monday's road closures.


Above screenshot is an alert received from the Plainfield Police Division concerning road closures for Monday, October 8.

Milling and paving will take place on various streets between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM while weather permits.

Note these streets will be closed or have limited access or local traffic only while work is being done.

I will say it is about time the city paid attention to upper Arlington Avenue (along Cedar Brook Park), where I have seen absolutely no road work for the past 35 years.

Now that the County is investing big bucks in the artificial turf soccer/football field at the park (when will that ever be finished?), it has the possibility of helping improve the value of properties facing the park. (You'd think this would be one of Plainfield's most desirable neighborhoods.)




 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.






Sunday, October 7, 2018

A man was burned at the stake to bring you Sunday afternoon's program at Grace Church


Thomas Cranmer, burned at the stake for composing
The Book of Common Prayer. The book he is holding
is probably a Breviary, from which Evensong is derived.
(Portrait by Gerlach Fricke, 1545.)


A man was burned at the stake to bring you Sunday afternoon's program at Grace Church.

Thomas Cranmer, who singlehandedly compiled the text of the Book of Common Prayer, was burnt at the stake in 1556 as part of the see-saw religious struggles in England between reformers and traditionalists at the time of the Protestant Reformation.

One of the services in the book for which he was burned is Evensong, the service at the end of day in preparation for the night.

This is Cranmer's distillation of the service of Vespers, as observed by English Benedictine monks in their abbeys.

While the Vespers were intended for monks and clergy and were not easy for layfolk to follow (Latin being only one impediment), Cranmer's intent was to make it a service "understanded of the people" (that is, in the vernacular) and easy to follow.

This departure from the Catholic Breviary is one of the things that cost him his life in those turbulent times. (Ironically, this very service was sung in St. Peter's Basilica in 2017, on the fourth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis.)

The Choirs of Grace, under the direction of Andrew Kilkenny, will offer a choral version of this traditional Anglican service with responses, anthems and short scriptural readings. Mother Joyce Scheyer (who has a remarkable singing voice) will officiate.

Join us on Sunday afternoon (October 7) at 5:00 PM as evening approaches and the light through Grace's Tiffany stained glass windows shades into violet, in this quiet, reflective service which reminds us that whatever burdens and cares the day brings, rest at night is with the Lord of heaven and earth.

In an age when much religious practice seems designed to get God to give folks more stuff, Anglican worship takes a different posture.

Services at Grace Church are always open to all and free of charge. The Evensong service begins at 5:00 PM and will be followed by a reception in the Parish Hall.

Grace Church is at East 7th Street and Cleveland Avenue and is an accessible facility. Parking available on the street or in the public lot across 7th Street from the church.



 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.





Friday, October 5, 2018

Annual blessing of the animals this Sunday


Pets, their companions and friends are welcome Sunday.


This Sunday marks the 19th annual Celebration of Animals, according to a press release from the Animal Initiative Committee:

The Animal Initiative Committee is holding its 19th annual Celebration of Animals on Sunday October 7, at 1:30 PM at Leland Avenue Park, (next to Cook Elementary School).

The event is free of charge and open to everyone, with or without pets, to celebrate the importance of animals in the lives of human beings.

“Anatole France’s quote ‘Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened,’ says it best,” said Maryellen Chanda, Animal Initiative Celebration event chairwoman.

Held in conjunction with the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals, representatives of local religious and spiritual traditions will offer blessings for all animals.

In addition, the Union County Mounted Police will bring three horses to participate in the celebration.

“All are welcome to bring their pets to receive a blessing,” said Ms. Chanda.

Birds must be caged, cats must be in carriers, and dogs must be on a leash or in a carrier. Pets that are uncomfortable around other animals should be left at home. A photo can be brought to represent them for a blessing.

The theme of this year’s blessing will be ‘First Do No Harm’ to raise people’s awareness of how-to live-in-harmony with the animals in our area.

Water will be available for the animals and light vegan refreshments provided by Ester’s Treats and The Coffee Box will be served after the blessing. For more information about the Celebration please call 908.256-3858.

The Animal Initiative Committee (AIC), formed in 2000 , is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to increasing people’s awareness of their responsibility for the well-being of all animals.

The AIC has always focused on the problem of overpopulation of dogs and cats, especially community cats. It implemented a very successful trap, neuter, and return (TNR) program for the latter.

“We are much in need of volunteers to help with this important effort”, Ms. Chanda concluded. For more information about the Animal Initiative Committee, please call 908.256-3858 or email plainfieldaic2000@gmail.com.




 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.





Dan's excellent (if somewhat gory) adventure at the Muhlenberg Campus ER


No treatment without a patient ID wrist bracelet.


This is a somewhat gory story, so if that's bothersome you should just pass this one by.

When I needed to go on dialysis, the first medical step, taken at JFK back in late March, was to insert catheters in my chest to allow for hooking up to the dialysis machine.

For most patients, these are only meant to be temporary (though there are a few who have been on them for years), and are removed after an operation on their arm to link a small artery and a vein for the infusion needles. (That was the surgery I reported on last summer.)

That joining of an artery and a vein is called a fistula, and once a patient's body adjusts to the infusion taking place through it, the catheters are removed.

And that was what happened Thursday morning when I showed up at the office of my vascular surgeon, Dr. David Richmond. (Great guy, turns out he's known by many medical people and Plainfield folks for his many years of excellent care.)

So, Dr. Richmond injects me with a serious local anesthetic and I am numb within seconds -- a numbness that lasted for hours.

Then he tugs and pulls to remove the two catheters (one to an artery, one to a vein) and after a few minutes says, "That's it." Done. He wipes away some blood and he and the nurse apply a dressing. Over.

The nurse secures the dressing with tape and tells me to sit in the waiting room for five minutes to make sure there is no seepage.

I waited ten minutes, just to be sure, and she gave me the green light after peeking down my shirt to make sure the dressing was dry.

And so things remained all day long.

I lay down for a nap about 5:00 PM and was awakened about 6:30 PM with a sensation of wetness.

My dressing was saturated with blood and it had trickled down my side onto the bed. And it was clearly not stopping. Every time I wiped it up, within seconds there would be a trickle out from under the dressing and down my side.

I got up and fetched a batch of 4x4 sponges and some tape and went into the bathroom. There I took off the bloody dressing and washed myself down. I could see the two minor punctures from which the blood was flowing and jerry-rigged a new dressing by watching myself through the bathroom mirror (try doing that sometime!).

It was a mess, and clearly wasn't going to do the trick. By this time, Nat had gotten home and applied another -- and better -- dressing. The bleeding continued.

So, choosing a shirt I didn't mind throwing in the trash, I drive myself to the ER on the Muhlenberg Campus of JFK.

In all my 35 years in Plainfield, I had been in Muhlenberg visiting friends and taking people to the ER, but I had never been in the new Satellite Emergency Department (SED).

I park in the lot and enter, only to be faced with a blank wall. A security officer is sitting behind a glass window and I say to him, "I need help."

He jumped up and came out into the entry and asked if I needed a wheelchair. "No," I said, "just where do I go?"

He pointed me down a hall where the admissions counter was at the end.

The nurse behind the counter briskly walked me through the routine. As a JFK patient, I was on the computer -- but without any medical history. After asking why I was there and seeing no obvious bleeding (yet), she went into intake mode.

She quickly went through the intake: medical history, meds, height, weight, contact numbers, medical directive, etc.

I was then shown into a curtained alcove (no "rooms") and told someone would be right with me. Two nurses arrived and one checked my vitals while the other took my insurance cards and led me through the five necessary electronic signatures to allow for treatment.

Then up onto the bed. After making me comfortable and draping me with a small absorbent plastic-backed sheet (reminded me of an adult diaper), they departed, saying the doctor would be right in.

Sure enough, within a minute or two, a 60ish doctor appeared. He pulled up a corner of the dressing, assessed the situation briefly and announced that he would put in a couple of stitches to close up the holes through which the blood was pouring.

The nurse set out a tray of instruments and dressing materials. The doctor gave me a few shots of a novocaine-like local anesthetic and within minutes the stitches were in.

While he was working, I made small talk by asking if he liked ER medicine. "Yes," he said, "I've been doing it for thirty years." He works most of the time at JFK, but all the ER doctors rotate to the Plainfield SED every so often and then go back to JFK.

Leaving the nurse to clean me up and apply the dressing, the doctor went out to print out my discharge instructions.

Reappearing in a few moments, he handed me a copy for my signature and I was on my way.

All told, I was there probably thirty minutes at most. Very well organized, calm, professional but pleasant experience.

The bays on either side of me had fresh occupants as I was beginning to leave and I had the sense the hum of the place was increasing.

As I passed the intake desk, I noticed the shifts had changed and there was a fresh crew. I stopped to chat for a second and complimented them on the entire experience -- to which they reacted with great surprise. Evidently, no one ever says "Thank you."

I hope that is not a sign of the times.

The SED is not equipped for serious problems (I was told if the bleeding started again not to come back, but to go to the JFK ER), but you should feel confident that you will be well cared for with minor issues -- and with more serious ones that they will stabilize you before you are transported to JFK.

Kudos to the SED staff!

End of gory story.



 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.





Thursday, October 4, 2018

Mills-Ransome and Armady fundraiser is on for Friday

Friday night fundraiser is on for Armady
and Mills-Ransome.


Candidate Mills-Ransome advised me at noon on Thursday that after the fundraiser originally planned for the Prospect Avenue home of Mark O'Donnell was cancelled, Mills-Ransome and running mate Elton Armady arranged to have their fundraiser at Plainfield Democratic Headquarters, 31 Watchung Avenue, this Friday evening (October 5) between 6:00 and 9:00 PM.

If this all seems a little strange, be reminded that per the instructions of Chairman Mapp the night that the PDCC designated candidates for the 2018 election cycle, the candidates were to organize and fund their campaigns separately. This is a departure from how it was ever done while the New Democrats were in existence, and has made for some bumps in the road.

As they used to say when the TV stations had broadcast problems, "Please bear with us."




 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.





"Due to circumstances beyond our control," Friday is cancelled (Dem fundraiser)


Even the Simpsons sometimes encountered
circumstances beyond their control.


I received word from the campaign of Ashley Davis Thursday afternoon that "due to circumstances beyond our control," Friday's reception for Plainfield City Council candidates Elton Armady, Ashley Davis and Joylette Mills-Ransome has been CANCELLED.

Originally scheduled for the gracious home of Mark O'Donnell on Prospect Avenue, the event was relocated to the First Unitarian Society, only to discover on Thursday that that venue was not available.

Davis extended her apologies to those who were planning to attend and said she was planning a "Victory Reception" later which would come off without a hitch.

In the meantime, you may support your favorite candidate -- Elton Armdy, Ashley Davis or Joylette Ransome-Mills -- with donations or by volunteering.

Contact them through Democratic Headquarters at 31 Watchung Avenue, now open afternoons from 5:00 to 8:00 PM.




 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.





Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Friday's Dem Council candidates fundraiser is relocated


Friday's Reception for Council candidates is relocated.


Friday's reception for Plainfield City Council candidates Elton Armady, Ashley Davis and Joylette Mills-Ransome has been relocated to the First Unitarian Society (FUSP) at 724 Park Avenue.

Originally scheduled for the gracious home of Mark O'Donnell on Prospect Avenue (whom many remember as the former partner of ex-Governor Jim McGreevey), Mr. O'Donnell has had an emergency arise that makes his home unavailable.

The featured guests will be candidates Elton Armady, who is running for the Citywide at-large seat; Ashley Davis, who is running for the Ward 1 seat; and Joylette Mills-Ransome, who is running for her own 4-year term as Wards 2/3 at-large.

The reception will feature hors d'oeuvres and wine and will be held in FUSP's Parish Hall.

Contributions may be made payable to the individual candidate's campaign committee.

FUSP is at 724 Park Avenue, just off West 7th Street. Parking available in the lot across from the church or on the street.




 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.





Councilor Barry Goode honored by Libraries of Union County


Honoree Councilor Barry Goode with Janice People (l),
Children's Librarian, and Mary Ellen Rogan, Director
of the Plainfield Public Library.

Plainfield Councilor Barry Goode was honored by the Libraries of Union County Consortium (LUCC) on Wednesday, September 26, at an awards ceremony at the group's meeting in the Clark Public Library.

Councilor Goode, who represents Wards 1 and 4 at-large, has long had an interest in young children and literacy.

After he was elected to the Council, Goode volunteered to read to young children in the Plainfield Public Library's Children's Room.

The monthly readings soon began to attract a standing-room only crowd, including parents and older siblings and has become so popular that the Library is pondering expansion.

Good was honored by the library consortium as "Elected Official of The Year" and received a plaque from LUCC as well as a Joint Resolution from the New Jersey Senate and Assembly and a Certificate of Congratulations from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Incorporated in 1985, LUCC serves to promote cooperative library activities and informational, recreational and education programs at the County level.

The original impetus for the consortium was the beginnings of converting from paper card catalogs to electronic records of books and other collection items.

Plainfield is among the founding libraries of the group, which now includes Union County's twenty public libraries, plus the MacKay Library on Union County College's Cranford campus.

For more information about LUCC, visit their website here. For more information on the Plainfield Public Library, see its website here.

 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

About Cookies: This blog is operated by Google, which uses cookies to improve the user's experience. By continuing to read this blog you agree to their use.