...serving up your daily dish.
It turns that high-noon showdown between Bloomfield health sheriff Weigle and Bloomfield schools deputy Dowd took place today -- not yesterday, as we'd reported. Not only did these two meet, they brought their posses, um, consultants.
Weigle is guardedly satisfied that the measures agreed upon during the several-hour meeting will stop, or at least amelioriate, the fume problem at Bloomfield High School.
"We've accomplished more today than we have since it started," Weigle said. "If these practices are put in place, I don't think there will be a public health nuisance."
Since late last year, the health department has responded to several dozen complaints that construction-related diesel fumes had leaked into classrooms at Bloomfield High, requiring temporary evacuations.
The most recent complaint came this morning.
Next week, terrorists will unleash the pneumonic plague in Union County ... and victims will rush to Mountainside Hospital for treatment.
Well, not real terrorists or the real pneumonic plague or real victims. It's all part of a disaster simulation called TOPOFF3 mandated by the Office of Homeland Security.
Mountainside will participate in the weeklong drill for two days -- next Tuesday and Wednesday. And preparations have been going on for months.
Erroll Brudner, who heads security at the hospital, said Mountainside expects between 20 to 50 actor-patients during those two days. "Some will have sympoms similar to the disease. Some will be the worried well. Some will be non-symptomatic," he explained. "They'll be examined, put in isolation rooms."
Mountainside is bringing in extra emergency doctors for the two days so that regular emergency department traffic won't be disrupted.
Although Mountainside and the other drill participants know what's coming, Homeland Security will throw some curve-balls during the exercise to keep everybody on their toes. Known as "prompts," these are scenarios that would intensify the emergency -- like a traffic tie-up that prevents ambulances from reaching the hospital, or news that the emergency department has become contaminated.
"It's Murphy's Law," Bregner said. "A lot of things can go wrong."
During the exercise, an emergency press briefing room will be set up at Mountainside's Nursing School, across the street from the hospital's main entrance. Mountainside's communications staff will be challenged to create two sets of news releases as the event goes on -- real releases explaining the exercise and fake ones detailing the pneumonic plague outbreak as if it were real.
The stop-sign pictured above, by the way, is real. It reads:
If you believe that you have been exposed to a biological agent or chemical agent, notify the POLICE OFFICER or SECURITY OFFICER outside of the Emergency Department and follow the officer's directions. If you have a suspicious item, secure the item in the vehicle you have arrived in and proceed to the Emergency Department. PLEASE DO NOT BRING SUSPICIOUS ITEM(S) INTO THE HOSPITAL.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Moving right along ... Just about any story that follows the news of Terri Schiavo's death is going to seem petty and absurd. So we'll just prance right in with the latest Anwar update.
Anwar Robinson, the West Orange schoolteacher vying for the title of American Idol, held on last night, but just barely. Apparently his performance Tuesday night of "I Believe I Can Fly" didn't. He was one of the bottom three vote getters this week, and dropped from number one to number two among Vegas oddsmakers as the likeliest winner.
The blogosphere, meanwhile, is abuzz with reports that Anwar's gay, after somebody noticed a-man-looking-for-man personal on a black dating website. Aside from the fact that he and Paula Abdul probably won't get married and produce a lot of cute babies, as Simon Cowell once suggested, who cares?
New Jersey residents have the third-longest commutes in the country, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau study.
Only residents in New York and Maryland have it worse.
New Jerseyeans spend an average of 28.5 minutes getting to work, which doesn't sound too bad. After all, don't we brag here in Baristaville that Midtown Direct gets us into the city in just half an hour?
We guess the average includes people like the Barista, whose commute involves walking across the room -- although sometimes it does take us 28.5 minutes to get out of bed. For every sluggard like us, some poor soul has to spend 57 minutes getting to work, right?
What's your morning commute? Don't hold back. We want to hear about every boring minute you spend on Decamp.
...serving up your daily dish.
When the weather gets nice, the snappers start snapping. C.J. Griffin and Scot Surbeck were both been inspired by the good weather, but they're seeing two entirely different worlds.
...of the stems and seeds in our breakfast cereal.
Just purchased at (where else?) Whole Foods, Hemp Plus contains real hemp seeds which, the product literature says, contain "a wide variety of minerals, phytosterols, and phospholipids such as lecithin" as well as the "good fat."
It tastes a little like granola that's been poured through a bong. But we just like it for the marijuana flashbacks.
We hear there's a showdown going on right now at Bloomfield High School. According to local cowpokes, Bloomfield health sheriff Trevor Weigle showed up uninvited to Bloomfield's Board of Ed meeting last night, and those rancheros told him to come by Bloomfield High this morning.
Weigle and schools deputy Tom Dowd have been a-working up to a standoff for weeks now on the subject of fumes at Bloomfield High. A Barista mug to anybody over those parts who can tell us later today what went down.
How many guys do you know who have a salad named after them? In Beirut, no less? Well maybe not ordinary mortals. But if you happen to be going to the Bierut Cellar any time soom, be sure to order a JMo, named for the peripatetic Montclair adman Jerry Mosier, who's been traveling all over the Middle East.
JMo, who happened to be calling us from Dubai, told us that during his travels he was feeling a longing for something that might be considered rather pedestrian on Church St: a salad of arugula, pears, walnuts, balsamic vinegar and parmesan. (Personally, we prefer goat cheese.) He asked the kitchen at Bierut Cellar to whip one up and they thought it exotic enough to put on the menu. Mosier, better known as Montclair's token Republican, promises to send us a photo of the JMo later this week.
Now the Barista wants a menu item named after her! The Barista's husband suggests a tongue sandwich. We were thinking baloney on wry. Or why not a whole menu of Barista items. What would an ROC be? A rock of cheddar, a rack of chicken...