F rom Plainfield City Hall
  Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
One Plainfield.  One Future.

Halloween comes at a time of year when the days are getting shorter, the air is getting crisper, and for many younger Americans the excitement is building as they anticipate the darkest, spookiest but conversely sweetest day of the year.
Everyone delights in the fun of picking out the perfect costume, scary, superhero, princess or villain...  and dreams of bringing home the biggest bag of treats.
 
That's not to say that parents and adults don't get in on the action as well, many parents admit to sneaking treats from their kids Halloween "Trick or Treat" bags, and, will spend hours selecting a costume or decorating the house.
 
The administration reminds all "trick or treaters" to be safe as they head out on to the streets this year. Be vigilant when crossing streets, don't accept open candy, try to move around in groups as much as possible and don't approach unlit houses.   As an alternative to traditional door-to-door trick or treating we will be hosting a Halloween party here at City Hall on Friday, October 30th at 6 PM.  All are encouraged to wear their best costumes to this Trunk or Treat event as prizes will be awarded a nd there will be enough treats on hand to ensure that all bags are filled.
 
As we make preparations for the children to enjoy the holiday, we are reminded that parents can get scared too but for slightly different reasons...  In a recent Survey by Chapman University it was uncovered that the top ten (10) things Americans fear most are: Corruption of government officials, Cyber terrorism, Corporate tracking of personal information, Terrorist attacks, Government tracking of personal information, Bio-Warfare, Identity theft, Economic collapse, Running out of money in the future and Credit card fraud.
Unfortunately, these are not fears that can be alleviated with a bag of candy or which magically disappear the morning after Halloween. The fact is that a corrupt governmental organization has the potential to make many lives miserable, whereas good solid leadership can change lives for the better. It would seem that the biggest fears are related to those that appear to be out of our control... I say appear because the fact is that Americans do have a voice when it comes to selecting leaders and this freedom of choice when exercised with jurisprudence is one of the best things about this country.

Plainfield residents have one less thing to worry about this Halloween as this administration remains solidly committed to making decisions which will increase the quality of life for every resident, and continue to seek ways to ease the financial burden of ratepayers wherever possible.   Plainfield had one of the largest decreases in crime in Union County in 2014 and the rates continue to fall in 2015 as we engage the fight to make our City safer for everyone. We arrange for informational workshops, and provide resources for those amongst us who are job searching because we realize that not being employed can be one of the scariest things to deal with. Of all the things that will scare you this holiday season, your government here in the Queen City should not be one of them; we are committed to standing with you.
 
Happy Halloween!
 
 
Creating One Plainfield - One Future,
 


Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman Visits the Plainfield Senior Center
Plainfield Senior Center Visit

Congresswoman Watson Coleman at Plainfield Meet and Greet
  
Bonnie Watson Coleman (D), who has served as the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 12th congressional district since 2015, visited The Plainfield Senior Citizens Center for an educational Meet & Greet on  October 16 2015. The event was well received by the Plainfield Seniors, and various elected local and county officials including Freeholders Vernell Wright and Bette Jane Kowalski.

Some of the more salient points of interest addressed by the Congresswoman include the following:

A.  Citizen voting rights
B.  Medicare / Medicaid reform
C.  Gun control laws
D.  Affordable Senior Housing  

A question and answer period was held at the end of Congresswoman Watson Coleman's presentation.  Her assistant offered personalized attention to interested seniors after the program. 
 
Union County College Health Sciences Building Grand Opening
Ribbon Cutting
Union County College President Margaret M. McMenamin cuts the ribbon at the UCC Health Sciences Program at the new location in Plainfield surrounded by dignitaries and Union students. Standing behind the ribbon are Union County College Trustee Abubakar Jalloh, Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp, President McMenamin, Assemblyman Jerry Green, Freeholder Vernell Wright, Union County College Board of Trustee Chairman Victor Richel, Union County College Governor Chester Lobrow, Louise Thul, Larry Thul, and James Thul. (courtesy photo)

on October 21, 2015 at 2:43 PM, updated October 21, 2015 at 2:45 PM

Tuesday, Oct. 20, was a momentous day for Union County College President Margaret M. McMenamin, as she held a ribbon cutting event at the new location of the Health Sciences programs at the college's Plainfield campus. 

Joined by Assemblyman Jerry Green and Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp, all three agreed that the day marked a new beginning for the educational opportunities available in the City of Plainfield. President McMenamin was also joined by Freeholder Vernell Wright and many members of the college's board, including Board of Trustees Chairman, Victor M. Richel, who addressed the audience. Richel reflected on the opening of the Plainfield campus, more than 20 years ago, and how this addition and upgrade will help fulfill the demands in healthcare training today. 

Also present were members of the Thul family. Louise Thul, was joined by sons, Larry and James Thul, to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration of the new use of the building that formerly served as Thul Auto Parts. The property was originally acquired by the college in November 2013 from the Thul family. James Thul spoke on behalf of the family and expressed how pleased he was to see the building in use again and serving those in the community, just as his family did for more than 100 years. The college's Practical Nursing, Emergency Health Sciences, and Paramedic programs are in this building located at 225 Roosevelt Ave. 
 
BREAKING My Heart NEWS BRIEF:  Mayor Mapp Calls Emergency Meeting


City of Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp called an emergency meeting with HOPES Mini Council yesterday morning regarding the shortage of cookies at the neighboring HeadStart programs.  Mayor Mapp's executive secretary, Cynthia Blake tried to cover up the shortage by producing large delicious cookies at the mini council meeting.  One of the mini council members continuously shouted out "MORE COOKIES" as the executive business administrative secretary, Marilyn Nieves, filled the mini council's cups with water. Mayor Mapp's administration laughed off the demand, while Rick Smiley, the business administrator disseminated state of the arts-N-crafts cardboard drones.  Chief of staff, John Stewart pinned the Mayor's Award on the lapels of the mini council and the finance director, Ron West said it was within the budget.  A major crisis was averted.
 
The Mayor's Youth Summit: Education and Employment
Youth Summit

 
US Gun Control
994 mass shootings in 1,004 days: this is what America's gun crisis looks like.
The Oregon school shooting is evidence that the US response to gun violence 'has become routine', Barack Obama says. The data compiled by the crowd-sourced site Mass Shooting Tracker reveals an even more shocking human toll: there is a mass shooting - defined as four or more people shot in one incident - nearly every day.

 
SUN Foreclosure Prevention Program Now Available in New Jersey  
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 20, 2015                            
CONTACT:
Alex Tucciarone
646-200-5282
 
SUN Foreclosure Prevention Program Now Available in New Jersey
 
Program praised nationwide as nonprofit solution that keeps hundreds of families in their homes now coming to state with highest foreclosure rate in U.S.
 
Building on its success in Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Illinois, Boston Community Capital (BCC) today is announcing that its groundbreaking foreclosure relief program, the Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods (SUN) Initiative, is accepting applications from homeowners across New Jersey. The state recently overtook Florida to post the highest foreclosure rate in the country, with foreclosure filings listed on one out of every 171 housing units, according to housing data firm RealtyTrac.
 
The innovative, non-profit SUN program, which has kept over 600 families facing foreclosure in four states in their homes, buys troubled homes from lenders at fair market prices and sells them back to the original homeowners with mortgages they can afford. The program is financed primarily through foundations and private investors.
 
"Seven years after the start of the Great Recession, we've had a tale of two recoveries," BCC CEO Elyse Cherry said. "Far too many homeowners remain underwater and at great risk of foreclosure. Often entire neighborhoods have never recovered from the artificial inflation of their housing prices. We see that clearly in New Jersey, where the foreclosure rate is more than double than the national average.
 
"Our track record shows that the SUN program can make a meaningful difference in communities where new solutions are badly needed," Cherry said. "And we've proven that many struggling homeowners are ready and able to be good solid borrowers, if they have a mortgage that makes sense."
 
Cherry made the announcement at the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey's 2015 Conference & Meeting in East Windsor, as part of a panel entitled, "Getting Out from Underwater: Tools for Helping NJ 
Families Facing Foreclosure." The Network is a statewide association of more than 250 affordable housing and community development corporations, individuals and other organizations that support the creation of affordable homes, economic opportunities, and strong communities.
 
"New Jersey has continued to lead the nation in home foreclosures for far too long," said Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of The Network. "We need policies, programs and resources to fix this crisis that is harming families, damaging neighborhoods and holding back the economy for everyone. We're pleased to introduce the SUN Initiative to our members who are working with New Jerseyans facing foreclosure, and hope that this innovative approach can help keep more families in their home in an affordable way."

Families interested in learning more about the SUN Initiative in New Jersey can contact SUN directly at the toll-free number, 855-604-HOME (4663), via email at info@sunhomehelp.org or on the web at   www.sunhomehelp.org. There is no fee to apply.
 
Started in 2009, the SUN Initiative has been praised by community, elected and financial leaders as a pioneering, sustainable, and scalable strategy for tackling the foreclosure crisis that continues to ravage communities and put a drag on the economy. The Washington Posttouted BCC's SUN program as a "model to save foreclosed homes." Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called SUN an innovative strategy to prevent occupied homes from becoming vacant and creating a strain on the community.  Salon calls the program "a win-win that people in power should have been doing all along." It has also been featured on television programs like PBS NewsHour, NPR's All Things Considered, CBS Evening News and MSNBC's All in With Chris Hayes, and in print outlets such as   The Wall Street Journal,   The New York Times and t he Los Angeles Times.
 
The SUN Initiative has provided $94 million in mortgage financing for 460 properties to help more than 600 families remain in their homes. Borrowers' original outstanding mortgage principal has been reduced in the aggregate by nearly $50 million. The program is growing rapidly; and of the hundreds of mortgages SUN has renegotiated, nearly all of them pay on time.

"With the assistance and guidance of knowledgeable and dedicated professionals, the SUN Foreclosure Prevention Program helps homeowners facing extraordinary hardships," said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage of Elizabeth. "Through these efforts, residents have the opportunity to access resources and receive valuable information about the foreclosure process. I encourage the community to learn more about our partnership."

"Unfortunately, the state of New Jersey and our city have been affected greatly by the foreclosure crisis," said Mayor Jose 'Joey' Torres of Paterson. "It is imperative that we help homeowners and working families not lose their hard earned investment. The SUN program offers an opportunity for many to stay in their homes, and we encourage residents facing difficulties to look into it."

"Many New Jersey residents have found themselves struggling with housing issues," said Mayor Adrian O. Mapp of Plainfield. "The program offered by Boston Community Capital may be a viable solution for homeowners who are late on their mortgages and have a stable income, even Social Security or disability. I encourage our residents in need to explore the program."
 
The SUN Initiative is not a bailout or charity.  Here's how it works:
  • Through housing counseling programs, local media, and other community partners, Boston Community Capital connects with homeowners facing foreclosure who genuinely want to stay in their home and responsibly pay an affordable mortgage that reflects the current fair market value of their home.
  • SUN qualifies potential borrowers by carefully analyzing their finances and employment situations and employs strong underwriting standards to assure that borrowers have the ability to pay a properly sized and priced mortgage. Applicants must show they fell behind on payments because they had a predatory loan or experienced a demonstrable hardship, such as illness or job loss.
  • Using primarily money raised from private investors and foundations, SUN negotiates with the lender to buy a home at the current distressed market value - which is substantially less than the amount originally paid by the homeowner during the housing bubble.
  • SUN resells the home, typically at current fair market value, to the existing occupants with a new fixed-rate 30-year mortgage they can afford.
  • Homeowners' monthly mortgage payment and principal balance are reduced on average by close to 40 percent. 
  • To guard against fraud and speculation, SUN institutes a shared appreciation program requiring that BCC receive a portion of the gain if the value of a home appreciates over time.  Any gain will be reinvested in the communities BCC serves.
  • To further protect investors, the Initiative maintains strong loan loss reserves.
Boston Community Capital (BCC) is a non-profit community development financial institution dedicated to building healthy communities where low-income people live and work. Since 1985, BCC has invested more than $1 billion in projects that provide affordable housing, good jobs, and new opportunities in low-income communities, connecting these neighborhoods to the mainstream economy.
 
 
Economic Development: Update
New Plainfield Business Grand Opening


On Wednesday, October 8t h , 2015, I attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the Grand Opening of Sandy Hair Salon.  The owner, Sandy, was born in Ecuador.  She has been in the beauty business since she was 14 yrs. old. She has three beautiful kids that have been her inspiration to become a business owner. Sandy stated that "any dream can become reality, if you persevere".  She also believes that any mother can advise her children to focus and not let obstacles get in the way. She became a role model herself by letting her own actions speak louder than her words.


Community Development Events            



 
Administration & Finance
            
Theta Phi Omega Hosts Annual Clothing Distribution
Contact:                                                                                                                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Brenda Woodbury-Williams
Cell Phone: 908-397-6864
Email: nccjfk@aol.com
 
(Plainfield, NJ). Theta Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® and its charitable arm Ivy Visions, Inc. 501 C3 are hosting its Annual Free Clothing Distribution.  The event will take place Saturday, October 31, 2015 from 10am to 2pm at the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, 716 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, NJ.  This is event is open to the general public.  There will be clothing, shoes, and accessories in various sizes for men, women, and children plus a lot more!  Everything is FREE! Tell a friend, bring a friend! For additional information, please contact Lonzella Brice (LPBrice@aol.com) 908-812-8630.

 
Public Affairs and Safety: Update
            
The Plainfield Department of Public Affairs and Safety wishes to advise all city residents to be especially watchful for any signs of abnormal activity regarding Halloween Festivities on October 30 and October 31, 2015. 
 
City Residents are asked to observe a voluntary juvenile curfew of 8:30 pm on both days.  Additionally, parents and guardians are advised to accompany their children during any "Trick or Treating" ventures.   It is strongly recommended that those activities cease by 8:30 pm on Halloween Night. 
 
There will be extra Public Safety Personnel patrolling the city in both marked and unmarked vehicles.   Residents are advised to immediately contact the police if they encounter any activity that is a cause for concern.  Be assured, both our police and fire divisions will work diligently to prevent or address any challenges to an orderly festive event.   The public's support and cooperation, as always, is the key component to the success of our mission.
 
Have a happy and safe Halloween!
 
Workforce Development

2015 Health Career Fair
October 28th (Wednesday) - 
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center - Toms River
815 Route 37 West * Toms River, NJ 08755 * Directions


COMPANIES ATTENDING: 
* Seabrook Village * Bayada Home Health Care
* The New Jersey Institute for Disabilities * HealthSouth Rehab Hospital of Toms River
* Revera Health Systems / Whiting Healthcare
* Meridian at Home* Preferred Home Health Care 
* AMIB, Inc. * Epic Health Services * Rose Garden Nursing and Rehabilitation
* Barnabas Health Monmouth Medical Center* ALLIES, Inc. 

For more information please contact Guide Publications.
(732) 263-9675 * Email: stacey@njguidepublications.com
 
Jersey Job Club
The Jersey Job Club gives you the tools and support you need to find a job. We will help you develop new skills and build upon skills you already have. There are 23 local Job Clubs and six statewide industry-specific talent network Job Clubs throughout New Jersey.

T o find a good job in challenging times, successful job seekers look for opportunities to get an edge. The Jersey Job Club is just such an opportunity - and the sooner you start, the sooner you'll get results.


Job Seekers - Click on Link Below for a Listing of Local Job Fairs
Division of Parks & Recreation: October Events
           
 
On Friday, October 30, 2015 Parks and Recreation will host Trunk or Treat in the parking lot behind City Hall.  Trunk or Treat is an alternative to traditional door to door trick or treating.  There will be a costume parade and then various prizes awarded.
 
Senior Citizens Center: Events
HEALTH PROGRAM 
BLOOD PRESSURE: Nurse Debra Hayes from JFK Hartwyck will be at the center on Monday, October 26 th at 10:00 a.m. for blood pressure screenings.
 
SAGE ELDERCARE / MEDICARE PART D
Elyse Drucker, of Sage Eldercare, will be at the center on Monday, October 26th at 11:00 a.m.to provide information to anyone who would like to change or modify their Medicare Part D plan.
 
The Medicare open-enrollment period begins on Thursday, October 15th and lasts through Monday, December 7th.
 
MS. BEY'S TAI CHI CLASS
Tai Chi is a low-impact, relaxing form of exercise that can be completed in about 45 minutes a day.  Tai Chi is a Chinese art form that focuses on the mental and spiritual aspects of movement. This meditative form of exercise consists of a series of movements that's slow and gentle and doesn't leave you feeling breathless. It addresses numerous key components of fitness:  Muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and low-aerobic conditioning. Join her Tuesday, October 27 th from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the fitness room.
 
MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE?
Belly-dancing and ball room dancing classes have resumed at the center every Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please see Judi Johnson to sign-up.
 
10TH ANNUAL SENIOR COUNCIL
HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE FAIR
Senior Citizens Council of Union County will hold its 10th Annual Senior Health and Lifestyle Fair on   Thursday, October 29th at L'Affaire Restaurant located in Mountainside. A continental breakfast will be served, followed by demonstrations. Special door prizes will be provided throughout the day. The bus will depart from the center at 9:00 a.m. This trip is limited to eighteen updated members only.
 
B-I-N-G-O
Join the center membership as they play Bingo on Thursday, October 29 th at 10:30 a.m.                                
 
SENIOR CENTER OPEN-MIC NIGHT
The center will showcase an open-mic night on Thursday, October 29th. Anyone interested in   being a part of the show please contact Randy Wilson in the pool room at (908) 753-3506.
The doors open at 4:30 p.m. for refreshments and the show starts at 6:00 p.m.  Come enjoy Sizzling Thursday with us at the center. Cost is $3.00.
 
HIDDEN TREASURES THRIFT SHOP
Hidden Treasures Thrift Shop will be holding a sale on all store items priced from $.50 to $25.00 during the month of October. Store hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every Tuesday through Thursday. Come and enjoy the savings.
 
PRAISE MOVES YOGA
Deep Stretching, Gentle Movement and Strong Scripture combine for Weight Loss, Stress Relief, Flexibility, and Strength on Friday, October 30 th at 10:45 a.m. with Kim Todd, Praise Moves Instructor.
 
HALLOWEEN PARTY
The center will be hosting their annual Halloween Party on Friday, October 30 th at 11:00 a.m.
Plan to attend and wear your favorite costume.
   
SAVE THE DATE:  THE HOLIDAY PARTY IS COMING
The annual holiday party will be held on Friday, December 11th from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Washington Community School. Due to a lack of participation in our large catered events, the center staff requests that all updated Plainfield residents leave a $10.00 deposit to reserve their seat. Once you attend the event, your deposit will be refunded to you on the following Monday. To attend, non-Plainfield residents must pay $20.00 which is non-refundable. In order to ensure accurate attendance, all guests are asked to sign up in advance. If you require transport, please print your name, address and phone number on the East or West End ride list.
 
Plainfield Learning Center
A fast-growing fraud is swindling seniors out of their life savings.   And a program that gives health care super-users the support they need to stay healthy. Nurses and social workers in Plainfield are demonstrating it, one patient at a time.
 
A fast-growing fraud is swindling seniors out of their life savings. The Bureau of Securities holds a safe investing summit to help those over 60 identify financial predators before they strike. A program that gives health care super-users the support they need to stay healthy. Nurses and social workers in Plainfield are demonstrating it, one patient at a time. And we'll show you the cutest creatures in the world and explore the science behind what makes us think they're cute. Hint: the survival of the species depends on it. 
Union County Update:  Union County Sheriff's Officers Conduct Child Support Sweep
For Immediate Release: October 16, 2015 - Union County NJ
By Union County Press Office: http://ucnj.org/press-releases/public-info/2015/10/16/union-county-sheriffs-officers-conduct-child-support-sweep/

During the early morning hours of Friday, October 15, members of the Union County Sheriff's Office Investigations Division-Family Violence Unit conducted a child support sweep in Union, Linden, Rahway, Roselle and Hillside, Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan announced today.

The Sheriff's officers arrested 15 people for failure to pay child support for arrears totaling $419,890.42. As a result of their investigation, an additional 7 people surrendered to the Sheriff's Office for arrears totaling $171,792.98.
"Time and time again we are seeing parents struggle because someone has shirked their responsibility," Sheriff Cryan said.

"We want to send a message that if you are not paying your obligation for child support, we will pursue you and we will catch you," the Sheriff added. "If this type of enforcement coerces other parents to pay what they owe, it is worth it."

The round-up was led by Family Violence Unit Commander Lt. Jeffery Coon and Unit Supervisor Sgt. Clifford Meros. All the arrests were made without incident.

Those who were arrested were committed to the Union County Jail pending a Superior Court appearance. The people who surrendered were processed and brought for a Superior Court appearance.

State of New Jersey: Transportation Trust Fund
Speaker of the House Vincent Prieto is on to discuss with Larry about transportation infrastructure in the state of New Jersey. He also discusses a potential gas tax to possibly stimulate our economy.
Senator Cory Booker: Booker, Colleagues to FCC: End Exorbitant Phone Rates for Prison Inmates and Their Families
Press Release from Senator Cory Booker's website: https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=319

Senators say: The FCC's proposed rule change will better enable families to stay connected and allow inmates to prepare to reenter society once their time has been served.

WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) today led a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Thomas Wheeler applauding the Commission's proposal to cap intrastate prison phone rates.  Joining Sen. Booker on the letter are Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Casey (D-PA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Gary Peters (D-MI).
 
The Senators commended FCC Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn for their leadership and encouraged the Commission to move forward with its proposal, while continuing to monitor the prison telecommunications market.
 
"Keeping incarcerated people connected with their family support systems reduces recidivism and prison violence. Currently, 2.2 million Americans are incarcerated and more than 2.7 million children in the United States have an incarcerated parent. These children are often only able to connect with their parents by phone, as prisons and jails are often far away from where family members live. Despite falling telecommunications costs, phone calls between inmates and their families remain unreasonably high. In many states, a 15 minute call has an average cost of more than five dollars. In extreme cases, when all associated fees are incorporated in the aggregate cost, a phone call can cost as much as fourteen or fifteen dollars for a single minute," the Senators wrote.
 
The Senators concluded, "It is of utmost importance that the FCC move forward with its proposal to curb intrastate calling rates for inmates. We applaud the FCC's discouragement of commissions paid by phone providers to institutions and continued oversight of this matter. We also are encouraged by the Commission's decision to review the market again in a few years, including a review of potential abuses in the video visitation telecommunication services market. These changes will enable families to stay connected and  allow inmates to be better prepared to reenter society once their time has been served."
 
President Obama: Working for Meaningful Criminal Justice Reform
Published on Oct 17, 2015
In this week's address, the President highlighted the problems in our criminal justice system.


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Volume 2 - Issue 41