Friday, August 1, 2014

How Did the Town Meeting Go?

"What did I miss?"

I was unable to attend the Town Meeting but will take comments, impressions, reactions, whatever - from anyone who attended and can respond in a civil tone.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Remembering Margot Adler

It was with great sadness that I heard of Margot Adler's passing at age 68 on Monday.

As the author of "Drawing Down the Moon," she did a lot, in my opinion, to explain and document the interest in pagan spirituality that emerged in the late 20th century. She was a mainstay at WBAI before becoming a reporter for NPR.

Her outlook on life was one of curiosity. She embraced the cycles of nature and seemed to retain the delight in discovery that too many of us lose as adults.

If you don't know of her and her work, see more here.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Google and Ye Shall Find - Netherwood Pointe

I have been sticking close to home while recovering from surgery, but people have been asking what is going on down on South Avenue with the new construction. I planned to get over there and take some photos, but meanwhile I looked online and found some timely and interesting information.

Number one, there is an open house at Netherwood Pointe on Aug. 3.

Number two, there is a nice brochure online. See the Netherwood Pointe brochure here.

These are rental units and occupancy is expected this fall.

Now as for the deconstruction right across from the train station, I am still in the dark and will have to find out more.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Seven Seek Three BOE Seats in November

Candidates for the Nov. 4 school board election include one incumbent seeking re-election, a 2013 contender trying again and five first-time participants.

The seven candidates are vying for three three-year seats. Winners will take office on Jan. 1, 2015.

Incumbent Dorien Hurtt is completing an extended term caused by the switch from April to November elections in 2012. He and fellow 2011 winners Jameelah Surgeon and Alex Edache are the last group to have an extra eight months added to their three-year terms. Surgeon and Edache are not seeking re-election.

David Rutherford came in fifth out of six candidates last year, though his running mates Wilma Campbell and Frederick Moore both won. Since then, Rutherford has gained visibility with his blog, Plainfield View, where on Monday he announced his reasons for running again. He is on a slate with Terrence S. Bellamy Sr. and Carletta B. Jeffers.

Other candidates are Norman E. Ortega, an original member of the Plainfield Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs; Michael Horn, who served on the 2014 Citizens Budget Advisory Committee; and Tania Center, who is listed on the Stillman School roster as a teacher.


Remembering Shirley Rutherford

In lieu of a Plaintalker post today, I suggest you read David Rutherford's post on why he blogs.

It is a very touching piece having to do with mentorship and encouragement by his grandmother to write. It made me think of the unconditional support I received as a young person from my Aunt Kay, who subscribed to my high school newspaper even though she lived far away in Pennsylvania. I had a column in the paper that one year was recognized by the Scholastic Press Association as best in the state.

My own recollection of David's grandmother, Shirley Rutherford, was that she engineered a near-coup of Plainfield political leadership many years ago. As I recall, the Democratic City Committee at the time had 84 seats, a male and female for each of the 42 voting districts. (Through lack of voter turnout, the number has since dwindled to 34 districts and 68 members).

Party leader Jerry Green did not normally fill every seat, possibly because a smaller committee was easier to control. With Shirley Rutherford's organizing skills, Harold Mitchell filed a full slate. The value of having all committee seats filled was that the committee chose the party chairman at the reorganization.

Mitchell had enough votes to take the chairmanship, but made up with Green, who seldom thereafter filed less than a full slate of committee nominees.

If I have any points wrong in this story, please feel free to correct me, but that's the way I remember it. Green seemed surprised if not stunned by this political bolt from the blue and, I think, learned a lesson not to take power for granted.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Eid Mubarak

Greetings to all our friends and neighbors
who are celebrating Eid al-Fitr!

Eid Mubarak!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mayor Holds Town Meeting Thursday

Given the fiscal situation he inherited upon taking office on Jan. 1, I hope Mayor Adrian O. Mapp will devote part of his "Mid-Year Update" to describe some of the ways his administration has improved the city's bottom line, including special tax lien sales and re-purposing unused .bond funds for road repairs.

If you plan to attend the Town Meeting (7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Senior Center, 400 E. Front St.), you may also want to get an update on the Muhlenberg study or learn more about the status of  negotiations with the city's numerous bargaining units.

Maybe your issue is holdovers on the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority or whether the ShotSpotter program is still in effect.

Development seems to be on the rise - perhaps the public can have a quick summary on that topic. And what's going on with the Comcast franchise renewal process?

If your issue is more particular to your neighborhood, you can also sign up to meet with the mayor at one of his regular Wednesday sessions, 6 to 8 p.m. in his City Hall Office.