Saturday, May 27, 2017

More On The Shiloh Forum

A lot of the talk at Thursday's candidates' forum had to do with young people.

One of the questions from the audience was on what youth services each mayoral candidate planned.

Mayoral candidate Bridget Rivers said, "Our youth, our millennials are important," but quickly added, "Our youth are lost" and said a community center is needed.

Rev. Tracey Brown, also running for mayor, said she has a background in counseling. She said young people need a place to go and while other youth centers close before dark, young people 18 and over are still on the street, so a center needs later hours and also job counseling.

Making  his first foray into Plainfield by running for mayor, Dr. Henrilynn Ibezim chided the others for "talking about things that should have been done 20 years ago" and said it is time for change and a new direction.

Incumbent Mayor Adrian O. Mapp said $1.7 million will be invested in a "multi-service sports facility" and also hailed a new skate park for youth. He mentioned job training and nanotechnology and said, "We are focusing on the whole person."

On combating crime and gang violence, Brown and Ibezim both said jobs would help keep young people off the streets. Mapp noted he had 62 students shadow City Hall staff last Monday (with an eye to future careers) and also held "Mayor for a Day" sessions for students.

Among council candidates, Steve Hockaday advocated coding and STEM education, noting the film "Hidden Figures," and said he wanted Plainfield to become the "Silicon Valley of the East." Elliott Simmons said children should be educated about gang violence, but also be shown love.

"It sounds kind of corny, going back to the '60s," he said, calling for "love and understanding."

Cameron Cox mentioned the Boys & Girls Club as a resource.

In response to a question on helping young girls at risk of incarceration, Joylette Mills-Ransome said there are sororities "that reach out very early to young ladies."

"The engagement piece is very important to them," she said.

"Reach out to the resources we already have," Terri Briggs said.

Briggs, Simmons and Hockaday are all running for the Fourth Ward seat. Cox, Mills-Ransome and Alma Blanco are vying for a one-year unexpired term representing the Second & Third Wards at-large. (Blanco was ill and did not attend the forum.)

See the Shiloh Baptist Church Facebook page for videos of the mayoral and council forums.

The League of Women Voters candidates' forum is 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 31 at Emerson Community School, 305 Emerson Ave. All the candidates are Democrats running in the June 6 primary.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Regarding Safe Haven

A couple of candidates mentioned the Safe Haven program at Thursday's forum and one blamed the city for its demise. As I recall, the Safe Haven program was initially based on a five-year grant. When the grant expired, I believe the city helped out for a time, but could not fund it indefinitely. I wondered at the time why, if there was a five-year grant and five years elapsed, why was it a big surprise and dilemma that there was no more funding? As I recall, a city that received the grant could not just reapply, so the logical thing would have been to look for other outside funding sources in time to assure continuity.

I hope anyone who remembers the situation will add factual information about what went down.

Meanwhile, here is a very good description of "Project Vision" in Plainfield, a 2005 program meant to deter young people from gang involvement. The elements of this program can still be applied by any other organization today, on whatever scale possible.

Posting on Forum Later Today

Last night a thunderstorm broke out while I was trying to do a blog post on the candidates' forum. I turned off the computer to wait it out, but when I got back on, I was too tired to compose a post. After nodding off a few times, I gave up.

These forums are difficult to report on, because there is so much content packed into a short time.As promised, there is video of the forum up on Facebook at Shiloh's FB page. I suggest taking a look at that and I will post later. Thank you.


Initial Post on Forum, More Later

About 150 people came out Thursday to hear mayoral and council candidate pitches at Shiloh Baptist Church, but if you missed it, a video may be up soon.
videos are up on Shiloh Baptist Church Facebook site
Pastor Hodari K. Hamilton welcomed the crowd and gave a prayer before the four mayoral candidates and five of the six council candidates spoke.

The mayoral field includes incumbent Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, seeking a second four-year term; first-time candidate Dr. Henrilynn Ibezim, a former Citywide at-large Councilwoman Tracey Brown, pastor of Ruth Fellowship  Ministries; and Fourth Ward Councilwoman Bridget Rivers.

Running with Mapp are Fourth Ward candidate Steve Hockaday for a four-year term, and Councilwoman Joylette Mills-Ransome, who was appointed in January to the Second & Third Ward at-large seat and is seeking the balance of the unexpired term;to Dec. 31, 2018. Ibezim's running mates are former Councilman Elliott Simmons for Fourth Ward  and Cameron Cox for the unexpired term. Brown is running with Terri Briggs for Fourth Ward. Rivers will be on the ballot with Alma Blanco for the unexpired term. Blanco was ill and did not attend the forum.

Reminder: Candidates submitted bios to the League of Women Voters - see here

Issues included public safety, redevelopment, gun violence, need for a community center and the type of medical facility desired for the Muhlenberg site.
Bridget Rivers
In opening remarks, Rivers said, "I understand politics," and promised a "full-services community center for our youth."

 Dr. Henrilynn Ibezim
Ibezim mentioned Psalm27 and said, "I am running to make a difference."
Rev. Tracey Brown
Brown gave a long list of credentials, including leading 30 churches, and said the city needs a youth center that is open late.
Mayor Adrian Mapp
Mapp said when he came into office, he found "a city in need of being remade," lacking a chief financial officer for seven years, among other things. Now, he said, crime is down 25 percent and economic development is at an all-time high.

Regarding the 10-acre Muhlenberg tract, Brown, Ibezim and Rivers said the city needs a full-service hospital. . Mapp said, "We are returning health care services to the Muhlenberg campus," saying it had been "abandoned" for the past eight years.

To be continued tomorrow

 Terri Briggs, Cameron Cox, Steve Hockaday

Hockaday, Joylette Mills-Ransome, Elliott Simmons

Ramadan Mubarak

Ramadan Mubarak
to all our
Muslim friends

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Stepping It Up

Looks good, eh? Never mind that the device considered my gyrations while sifting compost to be "steps."

My daughter gave me the little step counter a while back and I used it until the battery died. I forgot about it while we were enduring the most recent dislocations in the apartment. In fact, I wasn't even sure where it was with all the shifting of possessions since the November squirrel invasion, January's Friday the 13th massive leak and six weeks of repairs starting in March.

This month, I took action! Looked up the kind of battery needed and ordered it from Amazon. It arrived in a box plastered with warnings about lithium batteries (land shipment only, not by aircraft, etc. etc.). I had to mummify the old one in tape lest it get wet or touch another one in the trash and explode.

Next task, unearth that set of tiny Phillips screwdrivers and pick the right size, Unscrew the back, replace battery, screw it shut. It didn't want to line up - I nearly said "screw it" but persisted until it took hold.

Since then, my step totals have varied wildly but never reached 10,000 until I did some errands on foot and then spent an hour shaking compost through a large sieve (or riddle, as the English say). The result made me think a 1950s belt massager would have shaken out those last thousand steps, or in these times a Big Freedia tutorial might help. But I do love sifting compost, so I'll just keep it in mind for back-up to get those "steps" when I don't feel like traipsing down to the bank or the P.O.


Shiloh Community Forum Tonight

From the Shiloh Baptist Church calendar:

Shiloh Community Forum

When: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Where: Sanctuary

The church is located at 515 West Fourth Street. According to Dan, this forum is for mayoral and council candidates.