PLAINFIELD AND ITS WATER SYSTEM.
The people of Plainfield, N. J., having voted for the municipal ownership of the local water system, the common council has taken up the matter, so as to study the question in all its phases and decide what should be done. The vote of the people was not final by any means, as the common council has discretionary powers. That body may decide to purchase the plant of the Plainfield Water Supply company, which at present owns the plant; or, if failing to make satisfactory plans, may move to buy the plant through condemnation proceedings. Or it may decide to build an entirely new plant or abandon the plan altogether. Senator Kean is one of the stockholders of the Plainfield Water Supply company, and it is feared in some quarters that political influences may be at work to prevent the consummation of municipal ownership, since the senator is not only very popular personally as well as very wealthy, but has, also, a big pull with the Republican party, which is in the majority in the State and in the neighborhood of Plainfield. ‘The vote for municipal ownership was 1,145 for and 418 against—a majority of 272 for the city ownership.
On November 16, early in the morning, a fire broke out in the big five-story tenement house, No. 221 East Seventy-third street, Manhattan, New York, in which five lives were lost and many were injured. It was probably the work of an incendiary, as the fire was lit just outside the door on the ground-floor opening into the apartments of an Italian named Lotresti, who had received four letters threatening him and his family with death unless he paid over $1,000. The flames penetrated to the basement, and then up the stairways to the top of the house, cutting off the means of escape from 120 people—all Italians. The firemen and police saved many lives. The house was gutted.