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ARTS and ENTERTAINMENT
TAKE MY WORD FOR IT
Now that we have managed to solve this problem, it is time to put our hand to the task of describing the origin of the word, manager. The Latin word manus “hand,” which the Italians fashioned into meneggiare “control by hand, to train horses,” is the source. The Italian word maneggio, “a horse riding school,” ultiHorace mately developedintotheEnglish/ French word manage.
We hope you were not bridled by this etymology.We certainlywouldnot“horse around” with such an important word, especially a word used to describe some one as important as a female manager of a bank of any other entity.
Scotch Plains GOP May be Gleeful Now, But the Road Ahead Could be Rocky
Republicans in Scotch Plains are understandably gleeful over their election victory last month, which returned to them control of the Township Council. After a 10month hiatus, they can now choose one of their own as mayor next year.
It was certainly an unusual and tragic series of events that caused the Democratic Party’s 32 cil majority — and one it expected to retain or even
enlarge through 2002 – to, instead, be reversed. The in May of Democrat Franklin P. Donatelli set thestage forthespecialelection onNovember2.And publicdiscontentoverthe largepropertytaxincrease — supported and approved by Council Democrats just prior to Mr. Donatelli’s passing — handed the GOP the most potent ammunition a political party could hope for.
It’s tough to survive an unpopular tax hike; just ask Jim Florio, for one.
But before Scotch Plains Republicans think their return to power will just be a briefly interrupted continuationoftheir20yearrule, theyshouldkeepin mind that 2000 will be different in several respects.
For one, unlike the 10year period from 1989 to 1998, Republicans won’t have a unanimous, 50 council majority in which all members are singing from the same sheet.
Instead, Mayortobe Martin Marks will have to contendwithtwoDemocrats —outgoingMayorGeri M. SamuelandTarquinJay Bromley.Neitherofthem were exactly shy this year in defending various ters of contention, including the tax increase, the
Democrats’ 1998 election campaign tactics and the manner (a hurried one, according to the GOP) in which the direct mayoral election referendum was approved by the Council this summer.
No oneshouldexpectMrs. SamuelandMr.Bromley, despitetheir minorityrole,tosit bypolitelynextyear. The Republicans, similarly outnumbered this year, certainly didn’t.
the Democrats — after taking partisan and poundings this year on the tax issue, the mayor’s style and a few other matters — are likely to be on the lookout next year for any issues they can holler about.
The initial big test for Mayor Marks — and the Democrats’ first big target — will likely be the 2000
municipal budget and, specifically, the local tax levy that will be proposed. The GOP protested loudly this year’s initial sixpoint proposal and the approved five percent hike backed by the Democrats
and the top professionals at Township Hall. Instead, CounMr. Marks and his fellow Republican, William F.
McClintock, strongly backed a zero tax increase, and favored usingwhattheytermed arecord$3.05million surplus to negate the need for new taxes.
But what will Mayor Marks do if next year’s windfall is lower? What if the professional staff in Scotch Plains again recommends a significant tax increase? Whatever the Republicans end up putting forth, the Democrats are sure to protest. A zero tax proposal would, no doubt, bring cries of “fiscally irresponsible!” from the Democrats, echoing their sentiments earlier this year. And a tax increase of any significance would probably lead to jeers of derision and hoots of “what goes around, comes around” from the Democrats.
There wasnocompromisingon taxesamongthetwo parties this year and it’s hard to see how next year will be any different, given the open wounds left from last spring.
The other issue hanging over the Council in 2000 will be the township’s first mayoral election. Several members ofthecouncilprobably wouldlikethehonor of being Scotch Plains’ first elected Mayor, and the matjockeying forposition willbeginalmostimmediately.
The mayoral campaign could color a good deal of what is said, what is proposed, what is approved and what is accomplished. Decisions will also have to be made fairly quickly, especially by the Republicans, about who is running for Mayor and who is running forreelectiontothecouncil men Marks and McClintock’s terms expire in 2000,
andoneof theirseatswillbe convertedintotheelected mayor’s seat on the council.
While wecertainlywishnext year’scouncilwelland hope that partisan rancor and disagreements are kept to a minimum, Mr. Marks faces some tough roads as he prepares to serve as the first mayor of the nium and the last mayor of Scotch Plains not directly
elected by Township voters.
Public Has Reason to Celebrate As Attitudes About Drugs Change
By Senator Donald T. DiFrancesco
As the season of good tidings and family celebrations begins, there is news that the families of our state and nation can celebrate — and accept as a chal lenge for the new year.
As a member of the Executive Board of the Partnership For A DrugFree New Jersey (PDFNJ), I was pleased by the findings of a study recently released by the PartnershipForADrugFreeAmerica. The Partnership For A DrugFree America works with New Jersey Partner ship on the national level.
This study indicates that young people’s attitudes about illegal drugs are changing — and changing for the better.
The 12 th annual Partnership Attitude TrackingStudy, whichmonitorstheopin ions of young people from across the United States about drugs, shows that more young people don’t think that drugs — or those who use them — are “cool.” The number of teens who said, “Kids who are really cool don’t use drugs,” increased from 35 percent to 40 percent over the past year. The number who agreed with the statement “in my school, marijuana users are popular,” dropped from 17 to 10 percent.
Changes in attitudes slowly lead to changes in outcomes. The same survey shows that uses of illegal drugs such as marijuana, inhalants, amines, LSD, cocaine and crack have all
dropped slightly. I firmly believe that this progress is a ultimatelyresult of support for successful tion efforts from every segment of our
community. I am proud of PDFNJ’s work with the media to communicate effective antidrug messages to young people. Since 1992, New Jersey newspapers, radio and sion outlets have donated more than $30
million in advertising for the PDFNJ’s public service announcements that effec tively “unsell” drugs to our kids.
kids surveyed in the Partnership study can cite specific ads, and more than a third of survey respondents say that these ads make them less likely to try drugs.
Schools, governments, law ment, notforprofit agencies, commu nity volunteers, and business leaders are doinggreatwork toeducateyoungpeople of our state.
From D. A. R. E. Programs to the Governor’sCouncil onAlcoholandDrug Abuse’s municipal alliances across our state, the number of organizations ing drugs is a measure of the commit
ment of New Jerseyans to drugfree munities. However, the family is still the stone of prevention efforts. In the Part nershipstudy,30 percentofyoungpeople say that they “learn a lot about the risks of drugs” from their parents or ents more than from their friends, more
than from the streets. That is why the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey sponsors “15 Minute Child Breaks” – communitybased seminars to help par ents learn methods for talking with their kids about drugs.
We are rightfully proud of these forts. But there is so much more to do. nextNovember.CouncilIn the Partnership study, more than 54
percent of teenagers say that they have been offered drugs — 30 percent say they have been offered drugs in school. While drug use may have moderated it is still far, far too high.
The greatest weapon we have to fight drugs in New Jersey is information and we must arm our young people with the
millenfacts and skills they need to survive and
thrive. The Partnership for a DrugFree New Jersey provides great resources for ents, educators, and the communityat large that can be obtained by calling
(201) 7987171. Every day that a child is drug free is a great day for our state and nation. But every day that children are exposed to drugs and lies about them is a day we must work to tell our kids the truth about drugs and help them resist temp tation. As 1999 draws to a close, let’s recommit our energies to fighting this good fight for the future of our children and the future of our state.
* * * * *
State Senate President Donald T. DiFrancesco is a member of the execu tive board of Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey. He wrote this column about the group’s efforts to teach chil dren about the dangers of drugs and challenges for the future.
Reader Suggests Open Public Debate On Issue of Fluoridation of Water
Before sanctioning the proposed of our water supply, the public needs to be properly informed
there are possible health risks as as the purported benefits. Onerecently voicedconcernisthat fluoride has been associated with an increase in children’s blood lead lev els. This research was performed at Dartmouth College and published in the September issue of the Interna tional JournalofEnvironmentalStud ies.
High lead levels in children is as sociated withnumerousserioushealth consequences, abilities, attention deficit disorder
(ADD), hyperactivity, lower IQ, and other neurological problems. Do we really want to prevent cavities so bad that we are willing to put them at a higher risk for these serious prob lems?
The same authors have also found, in another study, higher rates of vio lent crime and substance abuse in fluoridated communities.
Rather than the typical rhetoric extolling the virtues of fluoride, we need a free and open debate on the issue, where all sides of the issue can be heard.
Westfield Fanwood Couple Extends Thanks For Help During Son’s Recent Illness
Our youngest son, Ryan, suffered a catastrophic illness on October 30 and eventually needed to be hospital ized out of state. He is now home, and we want to express our gratitude to those who helped and continue to help us during this difficult time.
Wehave beenoverwhelmedbysup port from our family and friends. You took time out of your lives to help us
for Ryan, and enable us to pro videasenseof normalcyforourother children. Your gifts of love, prayers, phone calls, cards and meals gave us the strength to stay positive and work towards our son’s recovery.
To Doctors Haymond and Flanzman, and the staff of Westfield Pediatrics,we can’tthankyouenough for your efforts on behalf of our son and our family. Your compassion and dedicationmean morethanyouknow.
Wealsowant tothankNancyBantz and the staff of Westminster school, and the FanwoodScotch
Plains Newcomers Club. It is a privi lege to belong to a community of such wonderful, giving people. We areamazed byyourgenerosity.Thank you all.
Donna and Jamie Tannenbaum Fanwood
Letters to the Editor
By MARYANNE S. CONNELLY
methamphetOn December 31, 1999, I will clude my mayoral term and 18 years of
involvement on boards and commissions for the Borough of Fanwood. I am prevening on and running for the United States Congress.
I made a conscious decision not to run for Mayor again because I could not tell the people of Fanwood that I would be around for four more years when I televiknew I would be in the Congressional
race. It was a difficult decision, but the right one for me and for the people of Fanwood.
My local involvement started with the belief that “you have no right to complain unless you are willing to do something about it.” I faced a land development problem and challenged the Fanwood Planning Board application. enforceAs a result I was asked to become a
Planning Board member and a member of the borough’s Environmental mission and eventually ran for the
Fanwood Council. This chapter in my life has been one of learning, service and challenges and the conviction that “you can do anything in life if you set your fightmind to it.”
AsPolice Commissionerfornineyears, comI dealt with public safety issues such as
community policing, gun safety, rescue cornersquad calls and fire safety. As the tiator for Fanwood’s settlement with the
Council on Affordable Housing, I im proved my negotiating skills and ex grandparpanded my knowledge of planning, land
development and engineering. As the Mayor for four years, I have had
some unique experiences that I will never conforget. The ritual of tribute and farewell
performed by Chief Roy Crazy Horse for the historic Fanwood Oak, which had to
movbe removed during the first year of my
term. The natural disasters we faced, starting with the record 24inch snowfall in 1996, our very own tornado in 1998 and the nor’easters in 1997. I have been with our public works force, riding with them in snow storms and disasters. The work they do is critical to our borough.
Meetings, meetings and more meetdeath ings — over 1,000 in the past 13 years! Would I do it again? Absolutely. The opportunity to serve and make a differThe ence in the lives of the people in my community was worth every minute. Every face and every phone call, every compliment and every complaint, every employee and every volunteer was worth it. The lives I’ve touched and those that have touched me. I consider myself
Comblessed. Thank you for the opportunity. It is a
privilege to serve and I hope to build upon my experiences by being elected to the U. S. Congress.
Everyone has something to give. Take advantage of the opportunities and get involved. You can make a difference.
As we close 1999 and move into the new millennium, I wish all of you a
negohealthy and happy New Year!
* * * * *
Editor’s Note: Maryanne S. Connelly has been Mayor of Fanwood for the last four years and is expected to formally announce her candidacy for U. S. Con gress in January.
Says Town Officials Should Further Their Study on Fluoridation
to a recent article (“ Health Board Recommends Fluoridating Town’s Water”, Westfield Leader, De cember 9, 1999), the Westfield Regional Board of Health unanimously passed a resolution recommendingthattheMayor and Town Council pursue fluoridation of the town’s water supply. While this recommendation is surely wellinten tioned, I believe it is seriously mis guided.
Mayor Jardim’s October 27 letter, is referenced in the article, suc cinctly states the standard argument in favor of fluoridation. The mayor states that “fluoridation of the water supply assists in preventing dental cavities in children.” Although he acknowledges that some people are concerned about adding fluoride to the water supply, he concludes that “we feel that the benefits of fluoridation outweigh the remote health risks.”
Had I been aware of the public hear ing re: this issue I would have attended. Since that was not the case, I would like to take this opportunity to raise a few points that I believe would be of interest to both the people of Westfield and to anyone involved in the decisionmaking process re: the addition of fluoride to our drinking water:
· The fluoride being added to drinking water is an industrial waste product of the aluminum and fertilizer industries and is used in the production of rat poison and insecticide.
· In the 1920’s and 1930’s, as the amount of fluoride pollution in Precreased due to industrial growth, indus
try needed to find a convenient way in which to dispose of large amounts of fluoride.
· In the 1930’s, an industry sci entist named Gerald J. Cox conducted research and announced that fluoride was safe in low doses and could prevent cavities in children. In 1939, Cox pro posed that the U. S. should add fluoride to its water supplies. It is interesting to note that Cox’s research was funded by Alcoa, which was threatened by fluo ride damage claims.
· Public support for fluorida tion was achieved only after a massive government public relations campaign headed by public relations pioneer Ed ward L. Bernays.
· While it is often noted by pro ponents of fluoridation that communi ties with fluoridated water have experi enced drops in dental decay, it must also be noted that there are communities without fluoridated water that have exCYAN perienced equal drops. These are not
isolated examples and are backed up by decades of research conducted through out the world by major health organiza tions, universities and governments.
· Even assuming fluoride is safe at the recommended levels of between .7 and 1.2 parts per million, adding controlled levels to the water supply does not ensure that everyone will con sume “safe” amounts of fluoride. Dif ferent people with different lifestyles and health problems are likely to con sume different amounts of water.
· Fluoride is not only found in drinking water. It is found in many places, including bottled drinks, canned food and toothpaste. Further, cooking food which contains fluoride in water that also contains fluoride dramatically increases a food’s fluoride content. It should be noted that fluoride is also an ingredient in pesticides.
· Unsafe levels of fluoride con sumption have been linked to skeletal anddental fluorosis,bonefractures,fluo ride poisoning, genetic damage and can cer.
It is ironic that although children are purported to be the primary benefactors of fluoridation, they are precisely the segment of the population that is likely to incur the greatest harm. Any parent of a young child can attest to the devotion a child often displays towards a particu lar food or brand of fruit juice, consum ing it day after day. In addition, children are far more likely than adults to swal low toothpaste, further elevating the levels of fluoride they consume.
We are already consuming irradiated, pesticideladen vegetables, steroidcare laden meats and genetically engineered foods (currently the FDA does not re quire foods to be labeled as such). It is often argued that in small enough quan tities, there is no real threat from these substances. Even if this were true, I believe one would be well advised to consider the cumulative effects of intro ducing these toxins into our food sup ply.
Given the existing situation, the pros pect of compounding this problem fur ther by intentionally adding fluoride to our drinking water seems absurd.
I would ask that the Mayor, the Town Council and Board of Health consider all available information on fluorida tion, along with public input, before pursuing this effort further.
Carl Scariati Westfield Erratum
A frontpage story in the December 9 issue of The Westfield Leader
incorrectly reported the vote by the Westfield Recreation Commission on acceptance of the recommendations of a subcommittee’s report for changes to the Memorial Park and Pool expansion proposal.
The story reported the tally was 54 when it was actually a unanimous 90 vote. The commission did vote 54 for acceptance of a threemeter diving board included in the pool expansion plans.
The conceptual report will be redrawn and submitted to the commission in January by Kinsey and Associates, the architectural firm completing the work. If the commission approves the final document, the plans will be submitted to the Town Council for action.
FROM THE DESK OF MAYOR CONNELLY
– MAYOR OF FANWOOD –
Mayor Connelly’s Last 18 Years Packed Full of Varied, Memorable Experiences
Suggestions for Making efYour Home Safe for Holidays
By JOYCE STRENOVIC
The holidays are coming, and people are planning trips to visit far away ily. While you’re heading off to a holiday
dinner or a family reunion, burglars may be planning a visit to this year’s hot destination: your neighborhood.
Apart from digging a moat and ing the walls, what can you do to deter breakins at your castle? Take tions by preparing for your home’s rity as thoroughly as you plan the details
parof your trip. Here are some tips to follow
when leaving your home unoccupied: 1. Make your house look livedin. This overriding strategy can be accomplished in various ways, the easiest being to ask a friend or relative to house sit. If this isn’t possible, read on.
2. Keep pets at home. They’re more comfortable, and they act as a builtin deterrent, especially if your dog has a big bark. Hire a dog walker or cat sitter to come by every day to feed, water and walk or let out your pets.
3.Leave blindsandcurtainspositioned where you would normally have them. Refrain from the temptation to close up the house so passersby can’t see inside.
4. Use timers on lights, a television and a radio throughout the house. These inexpensive devices build on the illusion that someone’s home.
5. Do not change the greeting on your answering machine. If possible, call in for messages and erase or save them. A caller hearing a pause followed by a long series of beeps (indicating unheard mes sages) will assume you’re away.
6. Cancel mail and newspaper deliv eries or have a trusted neighbor or friend collect them daily.
7. Asksomeone tomoveanungaraged vehicle occasionally, especially if you’ll be away more than a few days.
8. Keep up your lawn. Continue the gardening service or ask someone to cut the grass. Offer to reciprocate with a neighbor.
9. Arrange for snow removal. Keep the walks, driveway and vehicle snowfree
as when you’re home. fam10. Hide garbage cans. This may seem
odd, but think about it. When people are home, they produce garbage. Empty garInstead, bage cans advertise your absence.
11.Donotleave anitineraryormarkedpublic fortifyup calendar hanging conspicuously on
the refrigerator or anywhere else within precaua stranger’s view.
secu12. Never hide a key outside under the
mat. Burglars know that trick, too. 13. Tell a trusted neighbor your plans and leave an itinerary so you can be reached.Consider givingthissameneighResident bor a spare key and the access code to your home alarm in case it accidentally goes off.
14. Test your home alarm system. AfAccording ter a breakin is not the time to discover the system is malfunctioning.
15. Some police departments have a home check in which an officer will periodically check on a deserted house. Police departments feel that it’s not in your best interest because having a pofluoridation lice officer at an empty home can tip burglars off. Consider this option carethat fully before you sign up for such a prowell gram.
16. List all valuables with serial numwhich bers, dates of purchase and prices. Keep the list in a secure place. It’s a good idea to update the list periodically.
17. Store jewelry or furs outside your home. Leave jewelry in a safedeposit box, and arrange for a local fur salon or dry cleaner to store the furs.
18. Check that all doors and windows have been locked. Obvious, but worth adding to your list.
The holidays should be filled with happy memories, relaxation and fun, free from everyday stresses. Taking the time to prepare your home for your absence will help safeguard against any unwanted company dropping in while you’re away.
* * * * *
Joyce Strenovic is with Prudential New Jersey Realty in Westfield.
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)