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Scotch Plains – Fanwood THE TIMES
OUR 40th YEAR – ISSUE NO. 4899 Published Every Thursday USPS 485200
Periodical – Postage Paid at Scotch Plains, N. J. Thursday, December 2, 1999
— Serving Scotch Plains and Fanwood Since 1959 —
CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
A& E............... Page 19 Classifieds ..... Page 18 County .......... Page 2
Editorial ........ Page 4 Mountainside Page 3 Obituary ........ Page 10
Religious ....... Page 11 Social ............ Page 6 Sports ............ Page 13
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Fanwood Committee Moves Forward on Plans to Launch
Local Business Association By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
Believing it will unify and strengthen the business district, the Fanwood Downtown Revitalization Committee (FDRC) is forging ahead with development of a business and professional association in the borough.
The committee, which meets monthly for regular business, has been working to establish the Fanwood Business and Professional Association for some time, according to FDRC Chairman Jim Lamca. Mr. Lamca said his committee envisions the association playing the same role as business groups in Scotch
Plains and Westfield. During an organizational meeting November 10 at The Chelsea in Fanwood, FDRC members, along with several business owners and Borough Council representatives, shared ideas for recruiting members to the association and discussed future leadership positions.
Also on hand were members of the Scotch PlainsFanwood High School DECA Chapter, an association of marketing students, and their advisor, Donald Cababe. DECA students have done publicity for the FDRC and recently distributed a survey doortodoor to local businesses. Business owners are asked to return their completed questionnaires as soon as possible.
The survey, which seeks input on merchants' concerns and priorities, was a followup to one mailed out a year ago to all Fanwood households. That questionnaire asked residents' opinions on how to improve communication between municipal government and the public and how the downtown could be enhanced.
The original survey captured a first place award for the Scotch PlainsFanwood High School Chapter at DECA's annual state competition last February in Cherry Hill.
Merchants and professionals, as well as other interested members of the community, will have another opportunity to network and discuss a plan of action for the association at a meeting next Tuesday, December 7, between 7: 30 and 9 a. m.
The gathering will take place at A Tasteful Touch Bistro, 42 South Martine Avenue in Fanwood. Complimentary continental breakfast will be provided.
"We're trying to get the businesses to be interested in forming an association," Mr. Lamca told The Times
last week, saying such an organization would give its members strength in numbers when working to achieve goals or seeking support from the governing body on downtown issues.
"We're trying to show what could happen with it (being part of a group) as opposed to everyone going on their own," he commented.
He added that while response to the association from Fanwood's downtown community has been mixed, about a dozen businesses so far have appeared "very interested" in joining the organization.
FDRC members, while optimistic about the influential role the association could play in the community, have emphasized that plans and goals for the organization are still in the discussion stage. However, membership forms and dues are currently being accepted, and may be brought to the December 7 meeting or mailed to DECA at Scotch PlainsFanwood High School, 667 Westfield Road, Scotch Plains, 07076.
Although several earlier attempts to form a business and professional association in Fanwood were unsuccessful, Mr. Lamca said he believes the climate may be right this time. He remarked that borough officials have been more responsive to the idea than in past years. "They're frankly willing to do a lot for the business district," he said.
In addition, he observed, Fanwood was recently awarded $400,000 in state and county grants to initiate downtown improvements.
"It's a slow process, we understand
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State Delay on Grade 4 Foreign Language Testing May Enable SPF to Refine Its Elementary Program
By SUSAN M. DYCKMAN
Specially Written for The Times
Word has it that the State Commissioner of Education's office may put off testing of foreign language proficiency among fourth graders until the 20012002 school year. As a result, Scotch PlainsFanwood school administrators and the Board of Education will take some time to refine the elementary World Languages program under consideration to ensure that the time required to implement such a program does not detract from the existing curriculum.
The administration appeared to be favoring introduction of foreign language in both the second and third grades beginning in September 2000.
At the November 23 board business meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carol B. Choye said for eign language study could be "naturally
integrated" into the curriculum, particularly in music, art and, possibly, physical education, through a collaborative effort by the respective teachers.
At present, the proposal calls for instruction of a different language (French, German, Italian or Spanish) at each of the five elementary schools, with Spanish being taught at two schools. While several board members have repeatedly expressed major reservations about this approach, the topic was not discussed at any length during the meeting.
Discussion on the World Language program will resume in January.
In other business, the board discussed the rising costs associated with tuition for special needs' students who must be placed out of district. As
of the November 23 meeting, with 64 students in outofdistrict placements, district tuition expenditures have already exceeded the $2 million budgeted for the 199900 school year.
"I am really concerned about the tuition account," stated Director of Pupil Services Eleanor Henry. "I am more than a little overwhelmed by the number of threeyear olds who need to go out of district because of serious disabilities."
Once a child who has been identified as needing special services turns three years old, a school district is required to take responsibility for that child's educational needs, regardless of whether they are met indistrict or outofdistrict. This responsibility usually includes a variety of support services as well as transportation. The state funds only
about 30 percent of the cost of outofdistrict placements. With respect to the facilities issue, Dr. Choye announced that the community survey results would be released at the Thursday, December 9 agenda meeting, which will begin at 8 p. m. In the meantime, administrators are reviewing the priority items and associated costs set forth by The Thomas Group in its November 9 feasibility study report. The report provides the district with several options and costs estimates to provide additional capacity in the district's schools to handle an increasing student population.
During the meeting, board member Jean McAllister updated board members and the public on the SchooltoWork Initiative aspect of
Township Council to Look into Conditions At Scotch Plains Gardens Apartment Complex
By FRED ROSSI
Specially Written for The Times
The Scotch Plains Council promised to look into conditions at the Scotch Plains Gardens apartment complex after two township homeowners expressed their concerns about the Front Street property's condition.
During its regular meeting November 23, the council heard the two homeowners talk about the uncollected garbage, abandoned cars and broken windows and overcrowded units in some of the buildings they have observed at the complex.
One homeowner expressed some concern about a large amount of roofing repair supplies left on the roofs of some of the buildings, which, he said, could pose a safety threat if the materials were to slide off the roof and onto the ground.
One of the homeowners, Harold Brody, told the council he had spoken
with the complex's management company, but received little positive feedback about his concerns.
Councilman Tarquin Jay Bromley said it was important for the Council and the local residents to continue communicating with Scotch Plains Gardens' management company to find solutions to the local residents' concerns.
On another matter, the council authorized the Township Environmental Commission to submit a $2,500 grant request to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. If approved, the township will match the grant, which will be used to assist in an environmental analysis of the land in the Ashbrook reservation that is slated to be turned into a park and ballfields.
On a related issue, Union County is currently studying whether to
establish a dedicated trust fund to be used for open space and parks. All municipalities in the county, which is one of five in the state not to have such a trust fund, are being asked to submit comments on the proposal, under which onetothree cents per $100 of assessed property value would be earmarked for the fund.
A recentlyappointed county committee plans to hold public hearings on this topic early next year.
The council also gave permission for downtown businesses to hold sidewalk sales on the three weekends preceding the Christmas holiday. Outdoor sales will be held on the weekends of December 4 and 5, 11 and 12 and 18 and 19.
On another matter, the council is likely to give further consideration to
approving a second street designation for Senger Place between East Second Street and Front Street.
The two options are to give the street a secondary name of either Meyer Boulevard or Meyer Place, in recognition of the Meyer family's decades of contributions to the Scotch Plains Fire Department.
Under the proposal currently being considered, the official name of the street would remain Senger Place.
Separately, the council congratulated Jeffrey Reichman on achieving the rank of Eagle Scouts in the Boy Scouts of America. The council also recognized the winners of the downtown Halloween Window Painting Contest.
The Township Council's next meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 14.
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Planning Bd. Completing Revisions To Update Fanwood's Zoning Code
By DEBORAH MADISON
Specially Written for The Times
The Fanwood Planning Board is in the process of revising the borough's zoning code. The code has not been updated in over 20 years, according to Planning Board member and Borough Councilman Joel Whitaker.
Mr. Whitaker is also Chairman of the Land Use and Historic Preservation Committee and the Planning Board's liaison to the Borough Council of which he is a member.
The reasons for revising the code, according to Councilwoman Karen Schurtz include outdated ordinances that are unnecessarily burdensome to homeowners, as well as architectural and technological ad vances that must be incorporated into
the code. The most significant changes to the code for homeowners is the elimination of the need to make an application to the board for certain types of housing additions.
According to Mr. Whitaker, if a new addition is constructed along existing property lines and does not impede any closer to property lines than what codes allow, then an application may no longer be necessary.
"This should eliminate many routine applications that previously had to come before the board and be less of a hassle for homeowners," he stated.
A construction permit will still be required, Mr. Whitaker added.
The other most significant changes to the code are the creation of a
Central Commercial Zone 2 and the elimination of the current designated Light Industrial Zone. The Central Commercial Zone 2 is defined as a retail zone, but with different parking requirements than Central Commercial Zone 1.
The light industrial zone, which ran along South Avenue from Terrill Road to Martine Avenue has been changed to a general commercial zone. The revised code will contain six zones, which include: a general commercial zone, central commercial zones 1 and 2, a professional zone and residential zones 1 and 2.
The two residential zones are differentiated by standard lot sizes: an R75 zone features residential
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Age is No Factor for This Group Of Former Boy Scout Members
By FRED ROSSI
Specially Written for The Times
Old soldiers may fade away, but some old Boy Scouts just keep on serving. At least that's what the Flintlocks, a local group made up primarily of former Scout members, try to achieve.
They're a group of older men, in their 60s, 70s and 80s, who have been together for some 12 years and whose common thread is that they're all former Scouts or were involved in scouting in some way.
The nonprofit Flintlocks work together to support the Scouts by using money raised at the Recycling Center to make improvements to vari ous camps serving the Scouts.
According to Alan Ebersole, manager of the FanwoodScotch Plains Recycling Center on North Avenue and member of the Flintlocks, the group was originally organized "to see if we could do something for our camps, because they were suffering from a lack of available people or were unable to hire people because of funding problems."
The Flintlocks number a few dozen retired men from about 12 communities in a handful of New Jersey counties, primarily Union County.
Mr. Ebersole told The Times the group has "accomplished an awful lot," and a look at the list of their
recent projects bears out this assessment. Once a week, regardless of the weather or the time of year, the Flintlocks travel to Boy Scout camps in the region to do physical work, which includes carpentry, painting, plumbing, digging and other activities.
Lately, the group has been involved in making improvements at Camp Winnebago in Rockaway, and Camp Sabbattis in the Adirondacks in New York State.
They built 26 new latrines, 110 new tent platforms and about 65 picnic tables. The men also designed and built a new 28by36 foot multipurpose building, completed a new rifle range and a 65foot boat dock, and powerwashed and painted a dining hall and repaired the building's roof.
Suzette F. Stalker for The Times SPECIAL INTRODUCTION… Fanwood's new Plumbing Inspector/ Plumbing SubCode Official, Robert S. Cenar, pictured above, was recently introduced to the community by Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly and the Borough Council. He formerly served in the same position in Scotch Plains. GIVING FROM THE HEART… DECA students from Scotch PlainsFanwood High School demonstrated the true
meaning of the holiday season by feeding the homeless at the Black United Fund Community Center Complex in Plainfield on Thanksgiving Day. Pictured, left to right, are: Julie Lowen, Lauren Regenthal, Jennifer Miller, Diane Ferrara, Sarah Vilim, Becky Vilim and Katie Sargent.
Page 12 Thursday, December 2, 1999 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION
CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
SCOTCH PLAINS POLICE BLOTTER
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Committee Plans to Launch Fanwood Business Association
Delay on Foreign Language Testing May Change Program
Age is No Factor for Group Of Former Boy Scouts
Planning Bd. Completing Revisions to Zoning Code
that," stated Charles Lehmann, a lifelong borough resident and former owner of the Corner Store in Fanwood, regarding the effort to get a business and professional association off the ground. "Our intention was to show something in the works. We're seeing it build up."
Mr. Lehmann added that the DECA Chapter is "doing a great job" in supporting the FDRC's campaign to launch the association.
Among the questions contained in the DECA survey sent out last year to
residents was one asking what activities individuals would like to see the Fanwood Business and Professional Association engage in.
Responses indicated that residents felt the association should participate in promotional activities such as a business newsletter; joint promotional efforts and community activities; group sales and advertising and sidewalk sales.
For more information on the December 7 meeting at A Tasteful Touch, please call Mr. Lehmann at (908) 8896515. the state's Core Curriculum Content
Standards. While the proposed implementation code for the standards related to workplace readiness has seen some revisions and the "most obnoxious language" has been eliminated, Mrs. McAllister said she is concerned that the program "is clearly moving forward" in districts around the state. She said that, although students are not mandated to have work experience prior to high school graduation, the state standard for work experience still stands.
In her comments, Mrs. McAllister chastised the New Jersey School Boards Association for not acting on a resolution passed last May which
stated the organization would bring pressure to bear on state legislators to act on this issue.
In another matter, the board acknowledged the efforts of community volunteers and ParentTeacher Associations who have worked to wire their elementary school buildings for Internet access.
Those recognized for their "donated resources of time, expertise, and labor" were: Steve Esposito, John Thompson, Jihjye Twu, Felicia Levine, Suzanne Nagourney, Caren Goldberg, Nancy Guiffre, Sally DeVries, Janet Mann, Clarice HoweJohnson, Lisa McNally, Barbara CronenbergerMeyer and Gale Miller.
lots of 7,500 square feet or under, while an R150 zone is for lots larger than 15,000 square feet.
All residential neighborhoods fall into one of these two categories depending on the predominance of the standard lot sizes in that neighborhood. Except for the elimination of routine applications, most of the residential zoning ordinances will remain the same. A preponderance of the code is mandated by the state and cannot be modified.
One of the major issues being reviewed by the board is business signage. According to Mrs. Schurtz, the state's Beneficial Use Law mandates that a town cannot prohibit something that is deemed to be of a beneficial use to a great number of people, such as a cellular telephone tower or a business sign.
The borough can, however, dictate the conditions of where that tower will be located and set the standards for signage, Mrs. Schurtz explained.
"It is the job of the board to find a balance between what is commercially lucrative and what is aestheti cally pleasing," Mrs. Schurtz stated.
According to Mr. Whitaker, the board is considering the formation of a sign committee to deal with this complex issue. There are many aspects of signage that must be taken into account when devising the standards, such as illumination intensity and appropriate size, officials noted.
"A dedicated committee that focuses exclusively on sign applications is something that other towns are doing and is something that we will be considering in the near future," Mr. Whitaker stated.
The next step in the revision process is a review of the final draft by the borough's attorney, Dennis Estis. Then, the final draft will go to the Borough Council for action.
"Because the draft must be introduced and adopted in the same year, it will most likely not be done until after the new year," Mr. Whitaker stated. "A more detailed list of the specific changes will be published at that time."
FANWOOD POLICE BLOTTER TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23
· A Meadowview Road resident reported the theft of several blank checks. The theft came to light when an area check cashing business became suspicious during a transaction and seized the check. It is unknown as to when the theft occurred.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24
· A Hunter Avenue resident reported finding the word "SEAS" spray painted in white on her car.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25
· A Mountain Avenue resident reported finding pry marks on a rear window to the house. Entry was not gained.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 27
· James Gordon, 24, of Newark, was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property, automobile theft and hindering his own apprehension. Gordon was found to be in possession of a stolen motor vehicle during a motor vehicle stop on Route 22. The vehicle was stolen on October 29 in Marlboro Township. Gordon also provided a false identity to police at the time of his arrest resulting in the additional charge.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28
· A side view mirror was reported broken off a vehicle parked on Parkwood Drive.
They also installed handicap ramps to all the buildings to make them compliant with federal regulations.
The Flintlocks benefit from the diversity of their membership, Mr. Ebersole said, noting the varied educational, business and income levels of the men.
"We have people who were scientists and we have people who were plumbers," he said. This range of experience means that "everyone learns from the others" and "we are all able to lean upon one another."
Flintlocks won't let older members, who are not as physically capable as some of the others, rest. They're put to work assembling birdhouse and bird feeder kits as well as other novelty items that are then sold at Scout stores.
Every Saturday, the Flintlocks work at the North Avenue Recycling Center, during its normal operating hours from 9 a. m. to 1 p. m., helping to
empty cars and carrying various recyclables. Along with other volunteer organizations, the Flintlocks "man the center and make it work," Mr. Ebersole said.
The money the Recycling Center raises from selling off the collected recyclable materials is itself recycled back into the volunteer organizations that lend a hand.
Robert Sommerich, President of the Recycling Association, calls the group "a great bunch of people who do an enormous amount of good."
While still a strictly local organization, Mr. Ebersole told The Times
he would love to see the Flintlocks become a national service group. One problem the group constantly fights is, perhaps obviously, the age factor.
Mr. Ebersole is looking to recruit new members, and not being a Boy Scout alumnus should not stand in the way of any potential volunteers, he said.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24
· A purse snatching was reported at a South Avenue supermarket, according to police. The victim said a small red car, possibly a Toyota, pulled up in front of her in the supermarket parking lot. An individual, described only as a black male wearing a black coat, then partially exited the passenger side of the vehicle and took her purse.
According to police, the suspect then reentered the car, which fled west on
South Avenue. No description of the driver was available and no one had been apprehended as of press time, authorities confirmed.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29
· The owners of a Kempshall Terrace residence returned home to find their front door open. Authorities said a police search revealed that a burglary had taken place, with a couple of items taken, although no one was found in the house.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Fanwood Planning Board Gives Approval To Petition to Conduct Home Business By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
FANWOOD – Just one new appeal was heard during the November 23 regular meeting of the Fanwood Planning Board. The board also memorialized five resolutions of cases that were decided last month.
Following a brief public hearing, Claudette Bardwil of 40 Laurel Place was granted permission for a home occupancy to conduct business as a travel agent from her residence.
Ms. Bardwil said she does all business by telephone, fax machine or email and that clients would not be coming to her house. Only a small area of her home would be utilized for the business, the applicant confirmed. She added that she would mail or personally deliver materials to clients.
Observing that these types of home businesses are becoming more common, Board Chairman Gregory Cummings told his colleagues he would like to see the process for approving such requests speeded up in the future.
Councilman Joel Whitaker, who serves as governing body Liaison to the Planning Board, said such matters would likely be addressed under the revised Fanwood Zoning Ordinance. The ordinance – roughly 200 pages long – is expected to be introduced by the council either later this month or in January.
All the resolutions memorialized last week were approved by the board on October 27. Tomas Frias of 115 Cray Terrace was awarded a bulk variance to increase the kitchen area of his singlefamily home. He said he intended to accomplish this by using a portion of his existing garage space.
Carl Monopoli of 107 Willoughby Road received a bulk variance to erect
a detached, twobay garage on his property. Mr. Monopoli's application was approved with the condition that he install a storm water detention system to compensate for the reduced amount of pervious surface on his lot once the garage is built.
Borough Engineer Richard Marsden, who offered the applicant some guidelines on storm water management during the public hearing on his appeal last month, will have to approve whatever option Mr. Monopoli chooses.
The board approved four bulk variances for Stephen and Janet Siegal of 211 Coriell Avenue, who sought permission to construct a deck and an addition onto their home for a playroom.
In the fourth petition heard last month, Harsh and Aruna Bhargava of 6 Crest Lane were granted bulk variances to create a sun room in their singlefamily home and to expand their kitchen area and deck. The renovations are expected to boost impervious coverage on the property by 5 percent.
As a condition of approval, the couple was asked to channel runoff water into their backyard until road and storm sewer improvements are implemented by the borough next year on nearby Coriell Avenue, which is expected to relieve flooding in backyards on Crest Lane and Carson Street. Runoff water from the Bhargavas' residence may then be directed into the regular system.
The final resolution memorialized last week confirmed the board's approval of a petition by David Jaxheimer for mixed residential and commercial use of 38 South Avenue. Mr. Jaxheimer is the contract purchaser of the site.
The applicant had asked the board to amend its decision last August that transformed the status of the lot from a
nonconforming residential use to a conforming commercial use.
Mr. Jaxheimer plans to rent a single family home on the property to tenants
and use the back portion of the lot to park two vehicles for his business.
Revamp of Westfield's TV36 Becoming Reality
By PAUL J. PEYTON
Specially Written for The Times
WESTFIELD – In what is seen as the first step in the development of a communitywide cable television station in Westfield, the Town Council has introduced an ordinance to form a television advisory board.
The 11member board, which will consist of nine atlarge members along with representatives from the Town Council and the Board of Education, resulted from an ad hoc committee that was created by Mayor Thomas C. Jardim earlier this year.
Third Ward Councilman Neil F. Sullivan, who served as council liaison to the ad hoc committee, referred to the establishment of the TV advisory board as the "first step towards ultimately having a very robust community television within our community."
Mr. Sullivan said the town will be making a "quantum leap" in the way it communicates with its residents through the restructure of the TV36 operation, the town's local cable television access channel.
Noting that the station, currently known as TV36, reaches 80 percent of Westfield households, Mr. Sullivan said the council will be "called to the plate next spring to put some money behind this (ordinance)."
He noted that this funding will be accomplished by designating all franchise fees received by the town from Comcast, the town's cable television provider, into the station's operations.
The ordinance was introduced at the town council's meeting on November 23.
Under the ordinance, the station will be designated as Westfield Community Television or WCTV. The advisory board also will recommend to the council the name of a candidate to serve as Director of Operations, a paid position to be created by the council.
Mayor Jardim said a public hearing and council adoption vote on the ordinance is scheduled for Tuesday, December 7.
He asked council members to give him the names of individuals who might like to serve on the board. He also invited residents to contact the town of their interests of serving on the board.
The initial board will consist of three members appointed to oneyear terms, three members who will be appointed for a period of two years, and three members who will serve for terms of three years each.
The council and school board representatives will be appointed annually. Darielle Walsh, Board of Education President, has said she will appoint herself as the board's representative on the advisory panel.
Once formed, the new board will appoint a Chairman and Vice Chairman. The board will have the authority to form standing committees, the members of which will be appointed by the board's chairman.
According to the ordinance, the board's purpose will be to recommend to the council policies that will insure the station "is used in the best possible manner to serve the needs of the community with programs which would cover community events, cultural and athletic events, and other programs which would be of interest to the community."
The board would also create and establish a system to place emergency announcements on the station. The board will plan promotional activities for the WCTV as well as apply and receive grants and donations to support the station.
The board would be responsible for producing local programming on a regular basis, to review program proposals and tapes submitted for broadcast and decide whether or not they should be aired.
The board would set quality control guidelines for programming.
Third Ward Councilman John J. Walsh said approval of the ordinance will "open a number of possibilities for the town" of an otherwise "underutilized" local cable TV access channel.
He said the establishment of the TV advisory board will help in the creation of programming that enhance "a robust of public faith" while increasing the broadcast of local entertainment programs offered in the town.
First Ward Councilman Gregory S. McDermott, noting that volunteers will
be sought for all aspects of the newly revised station, urged the board to seek out Westfield High School students to volunteer their time. Currently, TV36 is located at the high school and uses students in all aspects of production as part of their academic studies.
In other business, the council unanimously approved a resolution to purchase 10 "Town of Westfield" entrance signs at a total purchase price of $20,737.
Seven signs will be located at strategic borders with surrounding communities. An additional three signs will be placed in storage. The signs will be purchased from Hastings Designs of Pittstown.
Michael La Place, Executive Director of the Downtown Westfield Corporation, said the signs will be placed at the following locations: Mountain Avenue at the Mountainside border; one sign each at the Scotch Plains and Garwood borders on both North and South Avenues, for a total of four signs; Central Avenue at the Clark border, and Springfield Avenue near the Echo Lake Country Club at the Springfield border.
Mayor Jardim said the new signs will "demonstrate who we are and what we are all about well into the next century."
The council also reappointed Town Engineer Kenneth B. Marsh for a threeyear term. Mr. Marsh, who also serves as Director of Public Works, has been employed by the town for six years.
During the public comments segment of the meeting, North Chestnut Street resident Anthony M. LaPorta asked the council for its support of legislation pending in the state Senate which would enable towns to restrict the hours of operation of disposal companies collecting garbage in their communities.
Assembly Bill No. 1853 is sponsored Assemblyman Richard H. Bagger, who served as town mayor in 1991, and has passed the Assembly by a vote of 740, according to Mr. Laporta. Mr. LaPorta chaired the council's Solid Waste Committee when he was on council in 1993 and 1994.
The Assembly bill has been assigned to the state Senate's Community Affairs Committee.
The legislation follows an ordinance enacted by the council a number of years ago that was aimed at restricting hours of operation of haulers who were picking up trash in Westfield during the early morning hours.
The town, however, lost a legal challenge brought by several of the haulers. Mr. Laporta noted that the court ruled the state and not municipalities have jurisdiction in this issue.
While noting most haulers who operate in Westfield are now collecting at later hours, Mr. Laporta said passage of the legislation by the Assembly "is a positive move and I hope you (the council) can all support it."
Mayor Jardim responded that he believes the legislation is "worth supporting."
Third Ward Councilman John J. Walsh, who ran on the Democratic ticket headed by Mr. Laporta, the mayoral candidate, in 1994, said residents were "constantly complaining" to him about early morning pickups during his council campaigns.
On another matter, John Cannizzaro of Fourth Avenue commented on a recent meeting, hosted by Second Ward Councilman Matthew P. Albano. The meeting was held in the aftermath of the recent court victory by Village Super Markets to build a ShopRite Supermarket on the Westfield border in Garwood.
Mr. Cannizzaro asked the council to consider a legal challenge of the recent Superior Court decision that found the Garwood Planning Board's 1995 approval of the ShopRite store was correct.
Mr. Cannizzaro also asked the council to give their support to Assembly Bill No. 301 which addresses proposed developments that may impact surrounding communities.
The legislation, introduced by Assemblyman Bagger in January 1998, would establish cross acceptance of master plans by bordering communities. The bill also would setup a review of major applications in bordering towns which may be impacted by them in terms of increased traffic and other environmental concerns.
The legislation is currently sitting in the Assembly Government and Housing Committee.
ShopRite Store Discussed By North Side Residents
By KIM KINTER
Specially Written for The Times
WESTFIELD – A group of residents on the north side of Westfield have begun meeting to discuss ways to deal with the proposed ShopRite grocery store planned for North Avenue in Garwood.
The residents met on November 22 with Town Councilman Matthew P. Albano, who represents the Second Ward. Mr. Albano's ward is located closest to the proposed store complex.
The councilman, who organized and planned the meeting, said that about 100 residents filled the Municipal Building's Community Room and that talk centered mainly on ways to deal with the traffic that could be created by construction of the new store.
Town Attorney William Jeremiah, 2nd, and Anthony J. Scutti, Westfield Police Chief, were among those in attendance at the meeting.
Councilman Albano said that as a result of the meeting, "at the very least," he is requesting that the Town Council pay
for a traffic study of the "grid" area bound by Gallows Hill Road and Saint Paul Street and North Avenue and East Broad Street, which Mr. Albano believes will be most affected by increased traffic due to the proposed store.
The councilman added that he will "seriously request that they (Town Council) move quickly to conduct a study. This is something that we want to stay in front of."
A subcommittee of interested residents who attended the meeting is also being formed to develop plans and set goals, he said. That subcommittee has not yet met.
Mr. Albano first contacted his constituents in a letter during his recent reelection campaign, in which he revealed that a Union County Superior Court decision was handed down in October in favor of construction of the ShopRite on North Avenue in Garwood.
Construction of the proposed ShopRite had been in litigation for years when two residents claimed that Garwood Planning Board officials had not correctly followed procedures and that their decision allowing the construction of the store was invalid.
The two Westfield attorneys representing the residents have until midDecember to file an appeal of the Superior Court decision in state Appellate Court. One attorney, William Butler, said his client still has not made a decision about whether to file an appeal, while the other, Brian Fahey, did not return telephone calls.
Mr. Albano said that he wrote in the letter to his constituents that, essentially, he "felt strongly that while we can't stop ShopRite, we can take action to improve" the quality of life and preserve property value in the area around the store.
He admitted, however, that there were several residents at the meeting who did question whether there was anything legal that the town could do to halt the construction of the store. Mr. Jeremiah told the group that there was nothing that could be done by the town, Mr. Albano said.
David Owens, a Saint Mark's Avenue resident who attended the meeting, told Mr. Albano he believed there may be some legal recourse and that he was planning to investigate the matter.
Contacted at home by The Westfield Leader, Mr. Owens said, "Ideally, we would like to not have it (the store) at all." But, he acknowledged, the group was at the very early stages of development and it was unclear what exactly its goals would be.
Mr. Owens, however, said he is planning to contact Al Norman, a Massachusetts resident who operates the organization SprawlBusters and has been successful in fighting the construction of such large stores as WalMart and Home Depot in various municipalities throughout the country.
A Web site, www. sprawlbusters. com, contains information about the organization. Mr. Owens has referred the residents to it for information. Fanwood
TV35 Schedule Friday, Dec. 3, 8: 00 P. M.
Millennium Clock Dedication
Friday, Dec. 3, 9: 00 P. M.
Sunday, Dec. 5, 8: 00 P. M.
Autumn in Fanwood
Sunday, Dec. 5, 9: 00 P. M.
Cultural Arts Festival
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 8: 00 P. M.
Veteran's Day Ceremony
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 9: 00 P. M.
50th Anniversary of Lions\ Club and Lions Club
Thursday, Dec. 9, 8: 00 P. M.
LIVE Broadcast Fanwood Council Meeting
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