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©2000 AT& T. Credit approval required. AT& T Advantage Plus Plans required a oneyear contract and a Digital multinetwork phone and a subscription to AT& T Wireless Services long distance. $25 activation fee promotion is available to new activations only on AT& T Advantage Plus Plans $29.99 monthly and above for the first 6 months of service. Promotional minutes apply only to airtime used in your home calling area, applicable long distance charges additional. Domestic calls only. Airtime for each call is measured in full minutes and rounded up to the next full minute. Included and promotional minutes cannot be carried over to any other month. Included and promotional minutes cannot be carried over to any other month. Included minutes are for airtime only. Outofbucket minutes range from 43 to 60 cents each. Wireless long distance and roaming charges may apply and are set forth in your calling plan. Coverage available in most areas. Other charges, surcharges and taxes may apply. Digital PCS features not available in all areas. Full terms and conditions are contained in the AT& T Wireless Services Guide, Rate Sheet or Calling Plan brochures. Promotional offer expires March 31, 2000 and may not be combined with any other promotional offer. Other restrictions may apply. Rate plan package must be purchased if requesting additional $9.99 per month 100 nights & weekend minutes. See store for details.
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(908) 7899000 INJURY CASES Jim Hely
SPF BOE Member Need to Show Respect to Public, Reader Says
Again, at an open Scotch PlainsFanwood Board of Education meeting (Thursday, April 6), board member Richard Meade has humiliated a taxpayer who expressed his opinion. This time, it was in the form of a Letter to the Editor (April 6 The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood), which apparently set off Mr. Meade’s short fuse!
Mr. Meade feels that a 42year resident of Scotch Plains does not have the right to express his thoughts, especially if they differ with his. After speaking with the public, their reaction to Jerry Meola’s Letter to the Editor has been very positive and they agree with Mr. Meola’s thoughts and opinions.
As a member of the SPF Board of Education, even if you disagree, you most accept the opinions of others in
the community and not humiliate them! As in this case, Mr. Meade disagreed with this Letter to the Editor and, therefore, Mr. Meade openly attacked Mr. Meola at the board meeting. This is not the first time Mr. Meade has openly criticized a taxpayer at a public board meeting.
The Scotch PlainsFanwood Board of Education complains that the attendance at these meetings is always low. Now after being there and witnessing, I understand why. Who would want to be humiliated like this?
Mr. Meade, being an attorney, you should understand the freedom of speech and it’s a shame that you don’t. I suggest: “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
Patricia A. Romano Scotch Plains
Letters to the Editor
SP Resident Pleased With Handling Of Recent Park Place Diner Case
It was truly a wonderful thing to observe and participate in the coming together of our citizenry and our Zoning Board of Adjustment to defeat an attempt to commercialize a portion of prime, residentiallyzoned Scotch Plains.
Site Development, of Mt. Laurel, was going to tear down the Park Place Diner and construct facilities for a Commerce Bank and a CVS pharmacy.
A large group of residents volunteered their time to print and distribute notices alerting others to the Board of Adjustment hearings. As a result, the meetings were well attended and the audience posed intelligent, well thought out questions of
the applicant and the board. It was very impressive to see how the Board of Adjustment members reviewed the presentations of the applicant’s experts and listened to the comments of the local citizens.
Especially impressive was the way Board Chairman Tom Barth conducted the meetings in an open and evenhanded manner.
The results were a unanimous reaction to any effort to compromise the Zoning Ordinances protecting the residents in residentially zoned areas of Scotch Plains from incursion by commercial developers.
Marc Friedenberg Scotch Plains
which will focus on providing buses to municipalities to transport senior citizens. This is an addition to the Paratransit system, which provides medical transportation to doctors’ offices. Senior Scholars will offer senior citizens an opportunity to continue to their education.
Also new is the Newark Museum Connection, whereby the county will collaborate with the Newark Museum to open its galleries, collections and stareofart facilities to students in Union County schools. Visits will be made available to bring the museum’s natural science labs, portable planetarium and mini zoo into classrooms.
A second seniors program, Senior Focus, will provide funds to establish senior centers around the county.
The Freeholders Scholars Program, which pays for a twoyear degree for county residents at Union County College if they meet the criteria, will be included for a second year. Recipients must be Union County residents, be fulltime students and maintain a “B” average and have a household income of $75,000 or less.
The HEART (History, Education, Arts Reaching Thousands) grants are also being continued. The program distributes grants to artists, musicians, actors and historians in the county.
In past years, programs such as Pocket Parks and Downtown Union County were funded as part of the county’s annual bond ordinance.
“We are at the point right now where we all can be very proud,” said Freeholder Vice Chairman Alexander Mirabella, a member of the Finance Committee.
He said the freeholder board “is addressing people’s needs by holding the line on taxes.”
The spending plan includes a $28 million capital budget, including funds for more than $15 million in road, bridge and signal improvements. Of those funds, six million are from state
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
Freeholders Introduce Budget With Flat Tax Levy
grants. A total of $4.3 million in improvements are planned for Union County College, with another $1.1 million earmarked for the Union County VocationalTechnical Schools.
The freeholders passed a resolution urging the state Legislature to repeal a provision from 1991 that would result in a switch from a 4cent per gallon tax on gasoline to a rate of 2.75 percent of the total sales price once gas has exceeded $1.44 per gallon.
Prices are anticipated to hit the $2 per gallon mark this summer. The law was implemented by former Governor Jim Florio.
In other business, Freeholder Chester Holmes, a retired Rahway police detective, noted that the county has received several grants to assist in public safety efforts at the county level.
The county received a federal grant of $32,000 for the John H. Stamler Police Academy in Scotch Plains. The grant will be used for training new police recruits and for equipment. He said 54 recruits will graduate on Tuesday, May 23. Thirtytwo of the recruits will go to Elizabeth, the county seat.
The county also will receive $31,550 from the New Jersey Division of Traffic Safety to fund pedestrian sign projects on county highways. Freeholder Holmes said the county’s Bureau of Traffic and Maintenance is working with the county’s traffic officers’ association “to address the most dangerous intersections in Union County.”
Onehundredandtwentyfive pedestrian crossing signs, featuring a strong green color visible day or night, will be installed.
In addition, the county has a Twelve Member Continuation Grant for the MultiJurisdictional Narcotics Strike Force. The $240,149 grant, representing an increase of $29,882 over previous years, will fund a countywide Narcotics Strike Force. First New Jersey Workshop Gala
Deemed Successful by Exec. Dir.
After months of planning, organizing and anticipating, the first ever gala for New Jersey Workshop for the Arts happened last week. “A Movable Feast” was truly a magical night filled with the wonderful sounds of music, laughter and conversation. Guests totaling 175 consumed fabulous gourmet food and drink as they reveled in the wonderful music presented by a most talented and inspired cast of professional performers.
The Grand Summit Hotel proved to be a perfect setting for the gala as cuisine and entertainment were superbly matched in seven different locations. Audiences had the opportunity to move from room to room to
sample the abundant food and listen to varied and eclectic sounds offered by our dedicated, talented and enthusiastic performers.
We would like to thank the many friends in the community who generously supported our efforts and contributed to the success of our event. Plans are underway to outdo ourselves for next year’s event, which will celebrate the Workshop’s 30th anniversary. We hope friends of New Jersey Workshop for the Arts will again join us and experience a fantastic special evening.
Theodore K. Schlosberg Founder and Executive Director New Jersey Workshop for the Arts
Local NY Commuters To Reap Benefits After
Overturn of City Tax By MARYLOU MORANO
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
Several thousand Westfield, Scotch Plains and Fanwood commuters are among the estimated 240,000 New Jersey residents slated for commuter income tax refunds by the state of New York.
On April 4, the New York State Court of Appeals New York’s highest court ruled unconstitutional the taxing of earnings of residents of neighboring states who commute to places of employment in New York City.
New York City had been collecting as much as $360 million annually from all commuter taxes. Approximately $110 million of this is from New Jersey residents.
New York City’s commuter income tax had been in effect for 33 years. In July 1999, New York State eliminated the tax for state residents who work in New York City, but did not rescind it for commuters of neighboring states.
Most of New York City commuters come from New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
New Jersey filed a legal suit on behalf of its commuters, calling the commuter tax “unfair, unconstitutional and discriminatory.” About $80 million has been collected since the
initiation of the lawsuit 10 months ago.
Commuters are taxed approximately $45 for every $1,000 in income.
In a letter to New York Governor George Pataki written immediately after the ruling was announced, New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman urged him to provide an “effective, efficient and speedy return of this unfairly collected income tax.”
Commuters should receive letters from their employers detailing how they can receive tax refunds, which will involve filing amended income tax forms for earnings from July 1 December 31, 1999.
Reaction to the appeal of the income tax was, as expected, favorable.
Commuters polled by The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood
at the Westfield train station late last week expressed reactions ranging from surprise to delight.
Tom Snivel, a Westfield resident who commutes daily to the Times Square section of New York City summed up the general consensus by saying, “I didn’t miss the money when they took it out (of my paycheck) but I surely won’t turn it down.”
Westfield Foundation Board Reveals Grant Recipients
WESTFIELD — During its first quarterly meeting of 2000, the Board of Trustees of the Westfield Foundation voted to award $27,655.50 in community grants.
The Interfaith Caring Community of Westfield, which assists two families from Kosovo, was granted $2,000 for expenses, such as job training, to help the families prepare for independent living in the United States.
The Student Tutorial and Mentoring Program was awarded $2,050 to help underwrite costs of this student assistance program.
A $10,000 matching grant was given to the Education Fund of Westfield. This grant will be used to stimulate participation in a townwide fundraising campaign by the Education Fund.
The Westfield Neighborhood Council received $1,500 to underwrite the expense of producing its annual Street Fair Souvenir Journal, described as an important part of the success of the annual event. This year, the fair will be held on Saturday, June 17.
The United Fund of Westfield requested $1,605.50 to repair base ment damage caused by Tropical
Storm Floyd. The Board of Trustees approved that amount to complete the cleanup task. A second award of $5,500 was granted for a new copier machine.
The Visiting Health Services of Union County was granted $4,000 to purchase a voicemail system for its office. This new system will greatly increase efficiency in dealing with the many telephone calls the organization receives each day.
A grant of $1,000 was received by Women for Women of Union County to help the group purchase new office equipment.
The next quarterly meeting of the Westfield Foundation will be Tuesday, May 9.
For information on submitting grant applications to the Westfield Foundation, please call (908) 2339787 or write to: P. O. Box 2295, Westfield, 07091.
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)