Page 4 Thursday, August 26, 1999 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION
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ARTS and ENTERTAINMENT
Letters to the Editor
COUTH AND UNCOUTH
Whichcamefirst? Ifyousaidcouth, you were wrong. Couth is actually an excellent example of back formaPOSTMASTER: tion, which is defined as "a new word created by removing from an exist ing word that which is mistakenly thought to be an affix." So, while we must talk about uncouth, we shall try to be couth about it.
Uncouth stems from the AngloASSISTANT Saxon word cunnan, meaning "to know." Related words include ning, ken, can, kith, kin and keen.
(Those people you knew were kith, while those who did not know were unkith.)
In medievaltimes,thingsunknown were deemed strange and, therefore, uncouth. The unfamiliar customs of people who came from foreign coun tries often appeared to be odd or clumsy to the local inhabitants, and, so, these people were termed couth.
Today, however, we do not sarily so label such people. Rather, uncouth has been modified in to its current definition of "crude or unrefined," while its back forma tion, couth, is defined as "suave or
So, what happened to -un? We it "un" good authority that it went to Uncola, and that is where this 'un stops!
Social Security Statements Help Keep Track of Lifetime Earnings; Benefits
By DENNIS MASS
It's not your high five years of earnings or your high three years that determine the amount of your monthly Social Security retirement benefits, as is the case with most government and private industry pensions. Your benefits will be based on your lifetime earnings. And ing track of the earnings posted on
your Social Security record is about to become much easier.
On October 1, Social Security will begin mailing Social Security state ments to the approximately 125 lion workers or self- employed sons who are 25 or older and not
already receiving Social Security benefits. You can expect to receive your statement each year about three months before your birthday. For example, if you were born in you should receive your ment in November.
Your statement will display a by- year record of earnings your employer( s) has reported to Social Security and estimates of the benefits you and your family may be eligible for now and in the future. If you are self- employed, the earnings you ported to the Internal Revenue vice will also show up on your state
ment. some people plan
their retirement finances around a benefit that's based on their highest five, or even three, years of earnings. If that is the case, it's likely that your calculation will not be correct.
When Social Security calculates your benefit amount it's based on your average earnings over most of
the 35 years in which you earned the most money. That is not, however, the case with most government and private industry pensions. Benefits are often based on the employee's
milhigh five or high three years.
perRead your Social Security ment carefully and be sure to check
your earnings history as it appears on the statement. If you think there's a mistake, please let us know right away. That's important because your
stateon your lifetime earnings.
If you have questions about Social Security benefits, please call, write yearor
visit your local Social Security office or call this toll- free number, (800) 772- 1213. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (800) 325- 0778. You also can reach
reSocial Security at this Internet Web
Sersite: www. ssa. gov.
* * * * *
Dennis Mass is the manager of the Social Security office in Elizabeth.
Editor's Note: The following is part of a weekly series of columns aimed at educating gardeners on how best to deal with what has been called New Jersey's most severe drought on record.
* * * * * When the New Jersey's drought is over, garden centers and landscape con tractors will have an economic bonanza. A word of caution, however, think be fore youbuy.Perhapsit istimetocorrect the landscape errors that were made in the past.
Consulting with a reputable garden center and landscape design firm is es cunsential.
Make sure you are talking with someone with a degree in landscape architecture or design, horticulture or a certified tree expert. A few dollars spent up front could save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in mistakes.
There are a lot of landscape compa niesouttherewho areignorantofproper horticultural practices.
Here's whattowatchout forifyouare hiring someone to replace your plants, or what not to do, if you are doing it yourself.
Improper planting is the first mistake many homeowners and contractors make. Dig the hole twice the size of the root ball, both in width and depth. Break up the clods of hard soil and roughen up the sides of the hole. This will enable
to penetrate the surrounding soil as the tree roots grow, avoiding root girdling.
Root girdling is when roots of trees have nowhere to grow, so they begin to grow in circles around the base of the tree, eventually choking and killing the tree that the roots are trying to feed.
Be sure to remove wire cages around the root balls and cut off or slice open the burlap. I have seen numerous cases of trees that appeared to be stressed and dying, only to find when I dug them out, that the wire cages and/ or nylon cord still was left on the root balls by the contractor when they were planted.
Do not leave any burlap around the root collar or trunk. This will invite borers and other insects to feed on your newtree.Ifyour plantiscontainergrown, gently loosen and spread out any roots on the outsides of the ball.
Trees and shrubs should be planted at the same depth from which they were grown. Find where the trunk meets the roots. This is the root collar. This should not be buried, but sit exactly at ground
The entire root ball should be in theground.Planting toohigh,themulch ing leads to drying out too quickly. It also looks like the person digging the hole was too lazy to dig deep enough and just put the tree in when he got tired, then threw some mulch over the ex posed roots.
This is certain death in times of drought, as can be seen around town in some of the new housing developments.
Broad leafed evergreens, such as azaary leas, rhododendrons, mountain laurel, andromeda and leucothoe should never be planted in southwest sun. They are very susceptible to winter dyeback in those locations.
Winter dyeback occurs in the winter when temperatures are below freezing at night, then the warm southwest sun heats up the plant encouraging it to take up water from the roots up into the stems and leaves.
The cells fill with water, then when the temperature suddenly drops to beUnfortunately, low freezing at night, the cells, now filled with excess water, freeze and are killed. Brown and curled leaves, brown stems and many dead shrubs are a result of winter dieback. Broad leafed greens prefer north and east locations
and indirect sun. They love moist sites, so keep them well mulched.
Do not put junipers in the shade. They are sun loving, like well drained soils and don't like wet feet.
Don't plant any variety of white birches in this part of New Jersey. No exceptions. They simply will not thrive
our heavy clay soil. They require sandy, well- drained soils. Our heavy clay soil will stunt or kill them almost every time.
Don't plant trees or shrubs within three feet of the foundation of your house on the north and east sides. They retain too much moisture which could cause mold problems and the roots of many species and could reek havoc on your foundation walls.
On the south and west sides of the building, the plants tend to dry out faster and may not get enough natural watertosustain healthygrowthifplanted
too close. It also makes home mainte nance easier with a little space between the plants and the house.
Lastly, do not plant too many trees right next to each other as foundation plantings.Makesure thegroupofshrubs you plant near your house are really shrubs and not trees clipped like shrubs.
This is a common practice among many contractors. They plant trees right up against the house as if they were shrubs. Five or 10 years later the cute shrub- like trees have grown into full growntreesand aredevouringthehouse, creating a jungle of branches rubbing on and overhanging the house and cause moisture problems along with founda tion damage.
Toomanytreestoo closetoeachother crowd each other, compete for the same food, water and light, and none of them will grow into nice specimens. Trees most commonly used as shrubs or cute bedding accents are eastern white pines, weeping beech, blue spruce and blue atlas cedar. Blue atlas cedar will grow to 150 feet tall and equally wide. Do you really want that tree planted right next to your house?
Look for next week's article on the good and bad mulching practice.
* * * * *
Marcia Anderson is a graduate of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers Uniing versity and is a member of the Scotch Plains Environmental Commission. This fall she will be teaching Horticulknowledgeable." ture and Landscape Design at Passaic Technical Institute and is an Adjunct Professor of Geology at Kean Univerhave sity. Specifichorticulturalquestionscan be e- mailed to marciaasla@ aol. com
Sound Landscape Planning Will Save Gardeners Money
By MARCIA ANDERSON Despite Gaining Right to Vote 79 Years Ago,
Women Still Hold Few Elective Offices
unSeventy- nine years ago this month marked an
event that many now take for granted: the right for neceswomen
to vote. The 19th Amendment to the United meanStates Constitution was ratified on August 18, 1920.
This summeralsomarksthe 151stanniversaryofthe "DeclarationofSentiments,"a productoftheSeneca Falls Convention held July 19- 20, 1848.
The19thAmendmentopened upthevotingbooths for all citizens, regardless of their sex. The amend ment was first introduced in 1878 but, due to the controversyatthe time,ittookanother 40yearstoget this important law on the books. The Seneca Falls Convention consisted of 68 women and 32 men who met to pass a document that listed 16 forms of discrimination against women, including denial of suffrage as well as control of their wages, persons and children.
The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders today, August 26, is observing the ratification of the 19th amendment by celebrating Women's Equality Day. In a resolution passed on August 19 by the board,thefreeholdersrecognized theeffortsofwomen who fought over four decades to gain what today is considered a fundamental right.
The effort to gain voting rights began after the Civil War, when the National Suffrage Associa tion was formed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizalevel. beth Cady Stanton and others to work for suffrage at the federal level of government and to press for more extensive rights changes for women. Lucy
stateStone, Julia Ward Howe and other suffragists
formed the American Women Suffrage Associa tion to begin to secure women's right to vote by working at the state government level. The two organizations merged in 1890 as the American Suffrage Association.
In1994,PresidentBill Clintonsaidtheratification of this amendment followed a "painstaking struggle
and hard work by courageous suffragists." He said the right for women to vote "recognized and affirmed the fundamental principle upon which this nation was founded — equality."
Yet, with this in mind, women are still pushing to make strides in elective office today. Christine Todd Whitman is New Jersey's first woman Govroots ernor in the history of the state. And, of the 21 mayors in Union County, only three are women: Scotch Plains Geri M. Samuel, Fanwood Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly and Hillside Mayor Bar bara L. Rowen. Out of the 129 council seats county- wide, only 26 are filled by women, includ ing Janis Fried Weinstein in Westfield, Karen Schurtz and Katherine Mitchell in Fanwood and Lorraine Donatelli in Scotch Plains.
Of the nine members serving on the freeholder board,threearewomen: MaryRuotoloofWestfield, formerFanwoodMayorLinda d.StenderandDeborah P.Scanlonof Union.Afewyears ago,therewerefour women on the board, the most in the body's history. Of the 21 county freeholder boards in the state, however, only 29 percent of these 135 seats are occupied by women. Of the constitutional officers statewide, such as county clerks and sheriffs, the same percentage holds true.
Joanne Rajoppi, a former Mayor in Springfield, is the first woman to serve as Union County Clerk. She also serves as President of the New Jersey Women's Political Caucus. Carol Cohen of Westfield is the first womantoserveas CountyCounsel.Inaddition, former Union County Manager Ann M. Baran was the first woman to serve in that role.
As more women advance to top executive and other leadership spots in the today's workforce, we expect the number of women in elective and ap pointed government positions will also continue to rise.
Mountainside Democratic Club Head Claims Article Didn't Cover All Facts
The Westfield Leader's report of the Mountainside Borough Council meeting on August 17 did not cover all of the facts regarding the commit evertee
appointed by Mayor Robert Viglianti to study the question of salary/ expenses for the governing body.
In all public statements on this subject and in letters to the nine appointees (I am on the committee) the Mayor said he would appoint three each of registered Republicans, Democrats and Independents to form a true non- partisan committee. He never announced publicly any other conditions for appointments.
In briefing the committee at our first meeting, the Mayor revealed for the first time that he had deviated from this public position and had disqualified all 400 signers of the petition calling for a referendum, except for me. The petition signers were broadly representative of all political views.
He never announced publicly any other conditions for appointment.
IchallengedtheMayor cil meeting on this radical change to four Independents, three cans and only two Democrats, and he gave the incredible excuse that he
could not find a third Democrat to fit his new criteria of demographics, residential location and one who had not signed the petition to put this issue on the ballot in November.
Your article does not mention this exchangebetween meandtheMayor.
Your article also does not report that a Mrs. O'Keefe, a registered Republican, also spoke and pointed out that many petition signers did not have a firm opinion on this issue. They wanted to stimulate public inin terest and discussion of the salary question and to have a chance to express themselves through the lot box.
If this committee is a substitute for the referendum, why should 400 dents, about 20 percent of registered
voters, be denied consideration for appointment to this committee by the Mayor?
For his own purposes, Mayor Viglianti disqualified the over 400 citizens who signed a non- partisan petition to have a vote on this major change in the volunteer character of atthecounour town.
Louis J. Thomas, RepubliPresident
Mountainside Democratic Club 4- H Master Tree Program
Now Accepting Applications
WESTFIELD — The sixth an nual 4- H Master Tree Steward Pro gram of Rutgers Cooperative Exten sion is accepting applications for its training classes.
The Master Tree Steward Pro gram is an enjoyable, educational program. Adults concerned about the nature and life of trees will learn about the germination, growth and reproduction of trees; how to plant them; their importance to the envi ronment and fun ways to share this knowledge with children.
Homework includes easy reading and a simple project. There are no
exams or quizzes. In return for this free training, participants will be asked to volunteer 30 hours of time to teach school children about trees. All teaching materials will be supplied.
Classes are held every Wednesday (except holidays) from September 15 to December 8, from noon to 2 p. m.Secureand safeparkingisavail able. Monthly field trips will be from 9 a. m. to 2: 30 p. m.
For more information and a com plete schedule of classes, please call Jim Nichnadowicz at (908) 654- 9854 or e- mail nichnadowicz@ aesop. rutgers. edu.
Fishing Derby Set For Saturday, Sept. 18
ROSELLE – The Fall Fishing Derby for People with Disabilities, an annual event sponsored by the UnionCounty BoardofChosenFree holders and the Newark Bait and Flycasting Club, will be held on Saturday, September 18, from 10 a. m. to 2 p. m. at Warinanco Park in Roselle.
Participants may bring their own fishing pole, or borrow one. ment will be provided for those who
need it. Everyonewhoispre- registeredwill be treated to lunch. Hot dogs will be
provided by WaWa Food Stores and snacks by Nabisco and Mars.
Each participant will also receive a hat donated by The Sports Authority, a tee shirt donated by radio station Y107, and a soccer ball donated by Sunoco.
Pre- registration is required for this free event. In the event of rain, the derby will be held on Sunday, Sep tember 19.
Information and registration ma terials may be obtained by contacting the Union County Division of Parks and Recreation at (908) 527- 4900.
People for Animals to Hold Fundraiser
WESTFIELD — People for Animals, a non- profit animal welfare organization serving New Jersey, will sponsor a "Tricky Tray" fundraiser on Friday, October 1, at the National Guard Armory in Westfield. Doors will open at 6: 30 p. m.
People for Animals is in immediate need of prizes for this event, including jewelry, decorative items, electrical appliances, toys, holiday decorations, handmade craft items and baskets of goodies.
proceeds from the event will go toward the People for Animals pet rescue and adoption program. This program provides food, shelter, veterinary services and care for many homeless cats and dogs.
A donation of $5 for admission is requested. For information, tickets to donate prizes, please call (908) 688- 5280 or (908) 688- 1073.
balA front page story in last week's
WestfieldLeaderincorrectlyreported that Edward A. Gottko is the town's resisecond Town Administrator.
Mr. Gottko is actually the third administrator succeeding Edward A. Ehlers and John J. Malloy.
In addition, Mr. Gottko is serving a one- year term as appointed by the governing body. He served a three term from 1996 through 1998.
Freeholders' Show to Focus On Development Initiatives
ELIZABETH – The latest installment of the "Freeholders Forum" television show, presented by Union County, will focus on the Board of Chosen ers' efforts regarding quality of life and
economic development programs. Entitled "Union County: We're nected to You," the show will air on
local cable channels through Sunday, September 5.
Freeholder Chairman Nicholas P. Scutari and Freeholder Linda d. Stender will discuss how the Freeholder Board recently received $260,000 in federal grants to advance two major tion projects — the Routes 1 and 9 portation Development District and the
Route 28/ South Avenue Corridor study. Through these projects, county cials hope to ease traffic congestion,
promotemasstransit nomicdevelopmentandredevelopment. Freeholders Stender and Scutari will discuss the board's key initiatives in 1999, including the Freeholder Scholars Program, which provides free tuition to Union County College for eligible Equipdents; Downtown Union County, which offers grants for improvements to local shoppingdistrictsand nizationClinic,whichwill nateallschool- age hood diseases.
"The public has really responded to these initiatives. We're addressing isAll Freeholdsues of importance to the lives of every
UnionCounty resident,"saidMr.Scutari, a Linden resident. ConIn each biweekly, 30- minute "Freeor
holders Forum" program, Freeholder Scutari and guests discuss news events and issues affecting the lives of Union County residents. The program is made possible through the facilities and techAnnual nicaldirection ofUnionCountyCollege.
The show will be broadcast according transportato the following schedule:
Union County (except Elizabeth and Plainfield): Channel 57, Mondays at 6: 30 p. m.
BerkeleyHeights,NewProvidence, Springfield and Summit: Channel 36, andencourageecoTuesdays and Thursdays, noon.
· FanwoodandMountainside:Chan nel 35, check cable listings
· Scotch Plains: Channel 34, check cable listings.
· Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood stuand Mountainside: Channel 36, check
cable listings. Forfurther informationortocomment theMobileImmuabout "Freeholders Forum," please call
helptovaccithe Office of Public Information at (908)
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