The needler in the haystack.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Re-imagining the Plainfield Public Schools" forum offered by PEA Thursday

Header from the PEA flyer for tonight's meeting.

Concerned about the high turnover rate in the Plainfield Public Schools, the Plainfield Education Association (PEA), the union representing the district's teachers and staff, has set a Community Forum for Thursday evening (October 19) in the cafetorium at the District Administration Building. The meeting gets under way at 6:30 PM.

The meeting is intended to provide an opportunity for parents, families and Plainfield residents to engage in a conversation about the state of the Plainfield school district, including problems such as high staff turnover.

The public is warmly invited. Translators will be on hand, and food will be served. No reservations are necessary.

The District Administration Building is at 1200 Myrtle Avenue. Some parking is available down the driveway and behind the building, with entrance directly to the cafetorium. There is also parking on Myrtle Avenue, with entrance through the front door.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

Plainfield offers new residents bus tour of Queen City highlights Saturday

The tower of Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church
from the City Hall rooftop. Both are historic sites.

With the steady improvement of the real estate market and recent development of apartment opportunities in the city's Transit Village zones, the numbers of people moving into Plainfield has noticeably increased.

This Saturday (October 21), Plainfield's Division of Parks and Recreation is hosting its first ever bus tour of the Queen City for new residents.

Recreation Superintendent Veronica Taylor will conduct a tour covering the highlights of the city's historic sites, its parks and recreation opportunities, and its shopping districts.

The tour is free, but reservations are requested because of limited seating.

The bus will leave from the parking lot at the rear of City Hall at 11:00 AM and return about Noon. There is plenty of parking in the lot. City Hall is at the corner of Watchung Avenue and East 6th Street.

Gift bags and light refreshments will be provided.

To reserve your seat now, call Recreation at (908) 753-3097. Not available this weekend? Call and get on the Recreation mailing list to get announcements of future activities.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

Monday, October 16, 2017

We reach a fork in the road: Vision 2025, Board of Ed

Like they say, we've reached a fork in the road.


Sooner or later it had to happen. Plainfield is just too full of meetings and activities for a scheduling conflict not to arise. Take Tuesday, October 17, for example.

Tonight, residents have a choice between a Vision 2025 listening session and the Board of Education's October business meeting.


The Vision 2025 Listening Sessions continue this evening with a focus on Workforce Development and Adult Education.
The meeting begins at 7:00 PM and once again will be in the Cafetorium at Washington Community School.
The session will give residents an opportunity to focus in on issues that are important to improving job prospects for our residents: workforce training and adult education in a lifelong learning setting.
Washington Community School is at 427 Darrow Avenue. Parking is available in the Spooner Avenue lot. The facility is handicap accessible.

The Plainfield Board of Education meets for its Octobber business meeting at 8:00 PM in the Plainfield High School cafeteria.
This is the final business meeting before the November 7 Board election. The agenda is online and can be viewed or downloaded here.
The PHS cafeteria is directly accessible from the Kenyon Avenue parking lot.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Power outage at Cedarbrook Apartments on Saturday raises safety concerns

A view of Cedarbrook Apartments from the Park. Senior
residences are among Plainfield's tallest structures.

Tall buildings offer unique challenges to public safety officials. Especially tall buildings that house special populations like Senior Citizens.

Older tenants may have health and mobility concerns that make constant availability of power an issue, and for whom non-working elevators mean being imprisoned far from the ground and safety.

So, when tenants reported a power outage at Cedarbrook Apartments to emergency officials early Saturday evening, Plainfield's first responders were at the site within minutes.

Those responding included the Plainfield Police Division, Union County Police, the Fire Division (Deputy Chief McCue, Battalion Commander 3, Engine Co. 3, towers, lights and generators), Elizabeth EMS, Plainfield Rescue Squad, JFK Ambulance and EMTs, and the Union County OEM.

The building's offices were locked up tight when first responders arrived. A call by tenants association president Beverly Calland to the manager at home helped officials determine where a list of residents with special needs (such as oxygen) was kept, and a building maintenance man was able to open the office where the binder was kept.

Problem is that the information in the binder was not up to date: some people on the list had moved away, some had moved elsewhere in the building, and some were deceased.

Safety officials were finally able to determine which residents were using oxygen and assisted two who were having problems.

On the insistence of public safety officials, the manager finally from her home in the Freehold area up to Plainfield to be of assistance.

Union County Police made floor-by-floor checks of the building every hour until power was restored.

Two PSE&G crews were needed and dug for hours to determine the source of the problem (a broken cable that supplies a transformer for the building).

Power was finally restored to the building at 6:09 AM.

Many thanks to all our first responders for bringing the incident to a safe conclusion.

But we are still left with the question of just who is responsible for keeping the records on special needs tenants updated, and how can the City enforce the requirement effectively?

In addition, is it proper for a managment representative of a large building (120 units) to treat the job as 9-5, Mon-Fri?

Is this also the case in our other high-rise Senior residences

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Vision 2025 continues Monday with final Public Safety session at Washington School

Participants in Public Safety listening session
pose for a group photo.


The Vision 2025 community listening sessions continue Monday (October 16) with the third and final session focused on Public Safety. The meeting will take place at the Washington Community School cafetorium and gets under way at 7:00 PM.

The purpose of these sessions is for community members to brainstorm ideas for action items in the subject area -- both large and small -- as well as to identify stakeholders, resources (including funding sources) and next steps.

Each session follows a similar pattern: Attendees are invited to jot down one idea on each of three Post-It notes provided when they arrive; the action team then sorts the notes into groups with a similar theme, and participants gather around tables (one theme to a table) to further discuss and refine the suggestions on the Post-It notes. To close the evening, each table reports out its ideas to the whole group.

Records are kept of all suggestions, which will then be incorporated into a public presentation to be made on November 4 at Plainfield High School.

Attendance has averaged about 50 residents per meeting, plus members of the organizing committee. I have noticed that there is a broad response from throughout the community, with many different faces at each meeting.

Washington Community School is at 427 Darrow Avenue. Parking is available in the school's lot on Spooner Avenue and on the street.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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

Encore presentation of Cedarbrook Towers Yard Sale Sunday

Get a second bite of the Yard Sale apple Sunday.

Sunday's sunnier weather will offer an opportunity for an encore presentation of the Cedarbrook Apartments annual Yard Sale on SUNDAY (October 15) from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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 activities and events for residents of the age-restricted tower throughout the year.

The Yard Sale will be outdoors at the rear of the building. In case of inclement weather, it 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]
View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.