Contact Us

ABOUT GRASSROOTS GROUNDSWELL

Grassroots Groundswell is an online journal of local news, views and information written by and for North Plainfielders.

EDITORIAL POLICY

Editorial Policy – recently revised: Write anything you want, as long as you provide evidence (documents or written, verifiable accounts of your personal experiences) to back up your claims and arguments. Unfounded, undocumented allegations will not be published. Pretty much everything else will be published.

STAFF CONTACTS

Blog Editors: Hal Hirsch and Linda Darge- communityrights@gmail.com

NPCCR Co-Chair: Frank D’Amore-frankdsr@comcast.net

CONTRIBUTORS

Barbara Habeeb, Jerry Jacala, Norman E. Ortega, Mark Williams, Frank N. D’Amore, Antoinette Rinehart, Gary Lewis, Mike Castro, Jenny Flynn, Nathan Rudy, Hal Hirsch, Josh Levine, Douglas Singleterry, Heather DeGeorge, Oleh Kaniuka, David Branan, Robert Gatto, Marie Kushnir, Josh Lambert, Michele Wallace Ixim, Morgan Shevett, Greg Hatala, Quanae Palmer Chambliss, Larry LaRonde, M. Emory Layne and various Little Birdies.

Add your name to the contributors’ team…send in a post!

BOROUGH COUNCIL MEMBERS

Here are the Borough Council membersaddresses, in case you have issues you’d like to write to them about. Theoretically, they work for you!

President Frank Skip Stabile: s_stabile@yahoo.com

Frank Righetti: rocco97@hotmail.com

Robert Hitchcock: bhitchco@aol.com

Michael Giordano Jr.: mgior59203@aol.com

Douglas Singleterry: dougsingle@aol.com , dsingleterry@dhplaw.net

Mary H. Forbes: maryhforbes@excite.com

Barbara Habeeb: barhab@aol.com

RECOMMENDED READING ON COMMUNITY ORGANIZING

A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, by James W. Loewen

The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies, by Richard Heinberg

The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, by Thom Hartmann

The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs

Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America, and How We Can Take It Back, by Jane Holtz Kay

Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, by Saul Alinsky

Going Public: An Organizers Guide to Citizen Action, by Michael Gecan

Civic Revolutionaries: Igniting the Passion for Change in America’s Communities, by Douglas Henton, John Melville and Kim Walesh.

Blessed Unrest, by Paul Hawken

Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights, by Thom Hartmann

The Elite Consensus: When Corporations Wield the Constitution, by George Draffan (foreword by Richard Grossman)

When Corporations Rule the World, by David C. Korten

Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age, by Michael H. Shuman

Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, by Bill McKibben

Feeding the Future, by Andrew Heintzman and Evan Solomon

Doing Justice: Congregations and Community Organizing, by Dennis A. Jacobson

The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, by Jeffrey Sachs

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8 responses to “Contact Us

  1. This is non-partisan? “And, although they’re not affiliated with NPCCR and cringe at the very sound of the letters, here are the Borough Council members addresses, in case you have issues you’d like to write to them about. Theoretically, they work for you!” Clean-up your language for a little more respect.

    Editor’s Response: It is nonpartisan. They’re incompetent and cowardly because they’re incompetent and cowardly, not because they’re Democrats.

  2. I think it is wonderful that Michele has taken up the cause of defending that which can not be defended. She should continue to address each and every slight she believes to find. By presenting a factual response to all of her concerns, it will only result in changing the minds of those brainwashed into thinking the NPCCR is partisan.

    I think the terminology for this is called blowback. Can Michele provide us with some more insight into the plans of Allen and Company? It seems that phase 1 of get Giordano in isn’t working out too well. The NPCCR is non-partisan, but anti-incompetent.

  3. Quanae Palmer Chambliss

    Under the Cloak of Godliness

    Mrs. Ixm seems to have a track record of being a cheerleader of causes that she has not properly investigated. She called the place where I work to let my employer know that certain members of the Board of Ed and the Council are not pleased with me questioning them on their practices. They were concerned with the way I questioned board member David Branan about referring to the District’s special needs population as RUBBER ROOM KIDS…. this is in the minutes by the way and I encourage parents of Special Needs Children to speak out against his remarks.

    When I asked her if she thought this term was appropriate she responded, “I don’t know what that term means.” This young lady has political aspirations and after a failed attempt to gain a seat on the Board of Ed, maybe defending the nonsense of elected officials is her ticket in.

  4. David Branan

    I feel compelled to write in on Ms. Chambliss’s concerns. Please note that I am writing this entirely as an individual Board member and that my remarks or statements that follow in no way reflect those of the entire board as I have not been authorized by the Board as a whole to make any statements on their behalf.

    I feel that both my remark of the night in question, and the action of someone contacting her employer were both inappropriate. However, the issue concerning the remark did receive what I thought was closure at the second board meeting in which Ms. Chambliss raised the issue, but evidently did not, perhaps because of this action regarding the contacting of her employer.

    As Ms. Chambliss said, the statements made can be verified by the audio and written records kept by Board Secretary Don Sternberg. The first meeting took place on March 5. The discussion in question was not concerning the District’s special needs population as a whole. The discussion in question involved a new program that is being established by the Department of Pupil Services in which a segment of the population of kindergarten students has been identified and will be provided a separate environment. This small group has been identified as having issues which cause them to be a possible safety consideration to other students; at times being manifested through violence.

    The remark I made specifically involved my concern for the safety and capacity of district personnel to address these children properly from a training/capacity standpoint, and also the safety of the other children. The characterization of the students involved was completely inappropriate on my part.

    Ms. Chambliss failed to mention that I apologized to the audience and board that same night within a few minutes of the remark and then elaborated on my concerns for the other children in the kindergarten environments. Ms. Chambliss expressed concerns over the remark at the second pubic comment section of the meeting acknowledging the apology statement I had made, and rightly condemning the remark for it’s insensitivity, but saying she was concerned that my remark might reflect in a general way on how the District treats these children or the attitude of the District toward children in this category, particularly the Department of Pupil Services. I tried to assure her that this was not the case and that the fault was entirely mine for the characterization.

    Ms. Chambliss attended a subsequent Board meeting on April 2. During the first public comment section she raised the topic of the remarks I made at a prior meeting and asked for another apology. This surprised me somewhat in that no subsequent comments had been made at the first meeting, and none had been raised at the meeting of March 19, but I again said I was sorry for the remarks.

    She also raised concerns at this point over the District’s hiring practices with respect to racial balance. At the second public comment section of this meeting, Ms. Chambliss did not offer any further comments on the subject of the remark, but rather raised concerns over the situation with respect to her employer’s desire to take over the Klubhouse Kids program and also the desire to have materials distributed advertising her employer’s summer program for children through the schools per District policy.

    I can understand and sympathize with Ms. Chambliss’s resentment concerning the contacting of her employer with regard to the things she is doing on her own time as a concerned member of the community. This seems highly inappropriate and I do not condone such measures.

    Regards,
    David Branan

  5. Quanae Palmer Chambliss

    [Editor’s Note: Ms. Chambliss is the director of the Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church Afterschool Program and a Borough resident.]

    Mr. Branan,

    I want to thank you for your remarks and apologize for mispelling your name in the initial post. Also congratulations on your re-election to the Board!! Mr. Branan, you are correct, as far as I was concerned the Rubber Room issue was put to the rest on the last meeting, when you not just apologized if you offended the audience, but you took ownership of the remark and admitted that it was not a very sensitive term to use. That shows a lot of integrity and is a great sign of true leadership!

    You can imagine how shocked I was to see the issue resuface again in the form of a complaint from Mrs. Wallace-Ixim, who cloaked it under a concern for the reputation of my employer. She was contacted by a Board of Ed Member, and a Borough Council member who she described as a person that always attends the Board of Ed meetings.

    According to her they say I have an “attitude,” which I find to be very funny and very typical of certain groups in our society. Next they will be calling me an “elitist!” Perhaps they thought that by filling Mrs. Wallace-Ixim’s head with old news, distortions and outright lies, that they were helping the cause of the Board and other elected officials in the town… it appears that they were wrong.

    Before I close, I need to correct one of your statements and this is the referring to my employer wishing to take over Klubhouse Kids. Neither I nor my employer have any intention of taking over Klubhouse Kids. I have made that clear in private meetings with Dr. Birnbaum and the Assistant Superintendent as well in public meetings.

    MY and I do repeat MY (as I am a resident of North Plainfield and free to have a voice about what happens in the community) concern about Klubhouse Kids is 3 fold:

    Number 1: I have received a number of complaints from parents who are not pleased with the level of service district children receive from Klubhouse Kids Inc., but because of the limited care options in the city they feel like they don’t have a choice. As a mother, a concerned citizen, and a person that has been working in child care for over 20 years, that comment pulls at my heartstrings.

    Mr. Branan, this has nothing to do with politics, power or money… I have NO desire to take over that program, or take over that contract with the Borough, I really like it where I am, and the families that I serve like it where I am too… I left a large program and took a pay CUT, to work in North Plainfield so I could begin to make a difference in the community where I lived… because I understand that charity (service) begins at home.

    Number 2: I questioned the relationship between Klubhouse Kids Inc. a for-profit business, and the Public Schools who claim oversight of the program. I asked because if the level of service could not be improved then perhaps another organization should be given the chance to provide the service.

    However I was informed by Mr. Sternberg that the District lawyer said that becasue the District claims oversight, the Distirct DID NOT have to put the afterschool contract out on bid like other services provided by other private contractors. I am still investigating that finding and I will get back with the Board very soon.

    My third and final issue is one of ethics. The owner of Klubhouse Kids Inc. is also an employee of the school district. Is it ethical for an employee of the district to also have a contract with the district? Couldn’t that come across as a conflict on interest? I understand from many people that the owner is a wonderful person and this is not a personal attack against her, not at all. I want to make sure that ALL of the children of North Plainfield are entitled to the best services that we can offer as a community…. and that those services are performed with the highest form of integrity.

    Again, Thank you for your comments and see you at the next board meeting.

    Q

  6. concernedcitizen

    I have lived in the boro for many, many years on a limited income. What will your NPCCR candidates do for me to bring me tax relief? Is there anything that you can do, given the tax laws, overhead of schools, police and fire budgets. I need relief. Please help.,

  7. NPCCR isn’t a political party and has no candidates. However, the current crop of Democratic and Republican candidates are being urged, by NPCCR (as a nonpartisan citizens empowerment organization), to address just this question in detail, with specific plans.

    We’re waiting on their answers, and will keep you posted as those answers come in.

  8. Congratulations on forming a grassroots community group that can protect residents especially with communities controlled by one political party. I would like to see key meetings be broadcast on the cable channels to include the municipal and county government and board of education. These community channels already exit and programming be expanded.

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