The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Assemblyman Jerry Green's obituary

Assemblyman Jerry Green, on the floor of the Assembly,
where he was Speaker Pro Tempore.


I had heard through a source that Assemblyman Jerry Green's arrangements were not being entrusted to a Plainfield funeral home, but to the Woody Funeral Home in Roselle.

That makes sense when you consider that Jerry, after all, was a Roselle native.

Checking Sunday evening, I find that the funeral home has posted a lengthy obituary to its website (see here). As of late Sunday no obituary had appeared online on either the Ledger or Courier websites.

Plainfielders will no doubt be disappointed to learn that there will be no public viewing or service. That also fits well with Jerry's intense sense of privacy.

The obituary does say, however, that a memorial service is being planned.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Two Earth Day events in Plainfield this weekend

The five R's of responsible care for the planet.

Plainfielders have two opportunities to observe Earth Day this weekend --
The First Unitarian Society of Plainfield (FUSP) will host an Earth Day Fair and Craft Show on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm in the church’s Parish Hall. Admission is free.
The growing list of eco-info vendors include Food and Water Watch New Jersey, Plainfield Animal Adoption and Rescue, Rutgers Extension Master Gardeners, Plainfield Municipal Utility Authority (PMUA) and Wagner Farm Arboretum.
One-of-a-kind upcycled crafts such as jewelry, purses, hair accessories, glass totems and rain barrels will be available for purchase. Natural skin care products, nature photography, essential oils, flower bulbs and hand-crafted holistic snacks will also be on sale.
Guitarist/singer-songwriter Elan Varner and the Marafanyi Drummers will perform live. Chef Brian Bunton of Comfort Kitchen will be selling healthy gourmet wraps and sandwiches as well as signature coffee and teas inside the church’s Stevens Lounge.
Children are invited to join retired educator Judy Fisher in the church’s early ed classroom for a fun-filled day of Earth Day-centric crafts and activities.
FUSP is at 724 Park Avenue. Parking is available across the street from the church. For more information, contact the First Unitarian Society at (908) 756-0750.

The Animal Initiatives Committee will be hosting an Earth Day celebration in Leland Avenue Park (adjacent to Cook Elementary School) on Sunday, April 22nd, at 1pm.
The event will feature a nature walk with a member of Plainfield's Shade Tree Committee who will discuss the animals and plant life that call the park home.
Shaman Ellie Campoli will lead the group in a Native American blessing for the earth.  Seeds for milkweed plants, which attract and help to sustain Monarch butterflies, will be planted in the park and distributed to attendees.  Information about veganism, as well as a list of deer-resistant plantings, will also be available.
Lastly, light vegan refreshments will be served after the blessing.  For additional information, please see the attached flyer or call (908) 256-3858.
For more information, call Shannon Pacheco at (917) 204-2112.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Assemblyman Jerry Green dies

Jerry Green, Speaker Pro-Tem of the Aseembly and
its longest-serving member passed away Wednesday evening.


Word came about midnight Wednesday that Assemblyman Jerry Green passed away that very evening.

The longtime Plainfield Democratic legislator -- who also served for many years as chair of the Plainfield Democratic City Committee (PDCC) -- has been ill for months, and was spotted twice while I was in JFK by visitors as a patient on my same (cardiac) ward.

A long, well-researched story just this last Friday in the Union News Daily (see here) went into great detail about his long absence from the Assembly and questioned many party and legislative officials about his status -- but without any responses.

Jerry was always very private about his personal life (including his health issues) and even in his final illness was able to pretty much fend off scrutiny -- even though he was a highly visible public figure whose absence mattered.

The matter of Jerry's succession became a side issue in the contest between Sen. Nick Scutari and Fanwood mayor Colleen Mahr this past February, after Jerry resigned suddenly as the Union County chair.

At that time, there were media reports of Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp as a possible replacement should Jerry's Assembly seat become vacant.

Chairman Mapp disclosed his desire to fill the seat if and when the time came during a meeting of the Plainfield Democratic City Committee at which both Scutari and Mahr made their pitches for the county chairmanship.

Now that Jerry has passed, the Union County Democratic Committee will have to convene to select his replacement, who will serve until the November general election, at which time the balance of Jerry's term will be filled by the District's voters.

In the event that Mayor Mapp gets the nod, the Plainfield mayor's seat will be vacated, and that vacancy will have to be filled as per the city's special charter.

I will post details on services for Jerry and his obituary when they become available. In the meantime,my condolences go out to his family.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Community Forum on Islam Saturday

The mosque is where Muslims gather for prayers.
This is the famous Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
To view Five Marvels of Islamic Architecture,see


Our friends at Masjidullah are sponsoring a community forum this Saturday (April 21) from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at Emerson Community School.

Titled "What Is Islam and Who Are The Muslims?", the forum will feature presentations on Islam in general and the evolution of Islam in the African-American community.

Individual speakers will make presentation on "Growing Up As A Muslim" and "Discovering Islam in Newark, NJ".

There will also be a roundtable discussion focused on the theme "We Are More Alike Than Different".

Worldwide, Islam counts about 1.8 billion adherents, or nearly one in every four persons alive on the planet today. In the US, there are an estimated 3.3 million Muslims, according to a Pew Research Institute study (see here).

Plainfield's Muslim community has grown over the years and many have found careers in public service, as well as small business owners.

While many Plainfielders may know Muslims as friends, workmates or public servants, there are probably few who know much about Islam itself.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about another strand in Plainfield's celebrated diversity, and I hope readers will take advantage of it. It would be a pleasure to see you there.

For more information, contact Community Outreach chairperson Maxine Salaam at (908) 337-0889.

Emerson Community School is at East 3rd Street and Emerson Avenue and is an accessible facility. Parking is available on the street or in the school lot. (Mind not to block neighbors' driveways, please!)

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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