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Realtors Association Seeks School Supplies for Drive
WESTFIELD — New and gently used school supplies are being sought by the Community Service Committee of the Greater Union County Association of Realtors for distribution to the homeless or those in need. The drive will be held through Friday, August 20.
Writing implements (pencils, pens, markers, crayons), rulers, scissors, glue sticks, tape, erasers, loose leaf paper, folders, binders, zipper pouches and book bags are all sought for the drive.
This is the second year the Community Service Committee is conducting this drive, hoping that once again donations will be received from people
who find they have collected or purchased more of these items than they can use in their normal routine.
Recipients of the articles are to be St. Joseph’s homeless program in Elizabeth, the Plainfield Area Y for the homeless, the Interfaith Council, the United Way of Union County and other local community programs assisting the less fortunate.
All items may be brought to the Realtor Association offices at 767 Central Avenue, Westfield, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information, please call (908) 232-9000. Caregivers to Meet
At SAGE Center
BERKELEY HEIGHTS — People Responsible for Elderly Persons, a support group sponsored by SAGE, Inc., will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21, at the SAGE Spend-a-Day Center, located at 550 Springfield Avenue in Berkeley Heights.
For information, please call (908) 273-4598.
Literacy Volunteers Sets Open Meeting
SCOTCH PLAINS — Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. (LVA) Union County Affiliate will be holding their quarterly open meeting at the Elizabeth Public Library on Thursday, July 22, from 7 to 9 p.m.
This meeting will be held for all interested potential or current tutors.
For more information please call the LVA office at (908) 490-0333.
them through turbulent times as they fled from Italy in the late 1800s.
The annual procession actually originated in their homeland, and dates to July 16, 1251, when the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to Saint Simon Stock in Kent, England, telling him that by keeping her close to his heart, he would be lead on the path to Jesus.
This year’s procession will start at 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Plainfield and Berkeley Avenues, across from the Little Flower Church. Members of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Society, family members and friends, and the John Terreri Band of Newark — playing Italian and patriotic songs — will accompany the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel along a 3.8-mile route — through many of the township’s oldest streets.
Fireworks, known as “reports,” will burst overhead in conjunction with the procession to honor deceased loved ones, many of whom were involved in the Society.
At the conclusion of the procession, which will wind up at the Little Flower Church, a mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. A “feast,” or picnic, will then follow in the center of the township.
The Mount Carmel Society itself is a local active Catholic organization that contributes money to Berkeley Heights and to local scholars, and carries on the tradition of the annual procession and feast, Mr. Bosefskie said. It has no affiliation with a particular
Catholic church, he pointed out. Louie DiPasquale, 30, the current President of the organization, is the great-great grandson of one of the original founders of the group.
“It (the annual procession) is real old-fashioned. We enjoy keeping the tradition. We enjoy what it has become, but, absolutely, the procession is the most important — to honor the saint,” he remarked.
Mr. DiPasquale pointed out that many Italians settled in the Berkeley Heights area, and that the township was once known as “Pepper Town” because of all the lush gardens the Italian families maintained.
Although much has changed in the township over the years, he said there are those who want to keep some of the older traditions alive.
Vito Mondelli, 68, is one of those people. He decorates the float every year that carries the statue of the Virgin Mary, and said he has seen the procession change throughout the many years he has been involved with the event. He said women used to walk barefoot through the town singing in the procession. “That has changed, but it is still about faith and believing,” he said.
Parking on Friday is available in the downtown area, including at the train station. Event organizers, however, suggest attendees consider using NJ Transit trains for transportation. The fairgrounds are about three and a half blocks from the train station.
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Procession and Fireworks To Cap Mt. Carmel Festival
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Diesel Cars Proposed For Light-Rail System
the needs of all residents in their recent letter to The Westfield Leader
and The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood.
“We could get our piece done faster than Phase One,” said Ms. Moore, during a telephone interview. “We would need an environmental impact study, but it’s already a railroad right-of-way. The port piece is starting from scratch.”
“It would provide everybody in the county with a connection to the Northeast Corridor Line. It’s certainly likely that transit access to the airport would boost property values. It means added mobility,” added Ms. Moore, who recalled her initial reaction to the cross-county rail link idea in 1994: “Wow, a way to get to jury duty.”
In addition, said Ms. Moore, “It means economic benefits to the towns along the line. It enhances existing business and brings in new business. That enhances property values.”
“It just makes so much sense,” she concluded, “and it won’t cost that
much money, a fraction of what the other (Raytheon plan) would cost.”
Under either plan, the old Central New Jersey tracks that run between Elizabeth and Cranford would need to be rebuilt, but the DMU alternative would eliminate the cost of electrification.
County administrators are expected to comment on the TAB’s position this week. After that, the resolution will be forwarded to the freeholders for review.
“Westfield would be best served by a combination of both — DMUs on heavy rail, then a connection with the light rail,” said Assemblyman Bagger.
“The first objective for me, as it should be for Westfield, Scotch Plains and Fanwood, is to enhance and improve our commuter rail service,” he added. “No matter what we do in improving transportation around the county, nothing should have the impact of harming our rail commutation to Newark and New York City.” vidual veterans. Veterans must have
their situations evaluated by someone at the VA who can then tell them what benefits they qualify for.
Mr. Brown has been campaigning for some time for better benefits for veterans. He has prepared suggestions for national leaders to follow called “A Bigger Bang for the VA Buck.” His proposal has gained the support of Congressman Bob Franks (R-7th).
Mr. Brown’s proposal includes the following: have VA cards issued to all 25 to 27 million eligible veterans; make it mandatory that these VA cards, like Medicare cards, be accepted by all medical practitioners and hospitals in the country instead of veterans being required to go to VA hospitals for benefit care.
If all medical personnel were required to accept VA cards, Mr. Brown said, then the VA hospitals such as Lyons Hospital could be converted to long-term care facilities for veterans.
As part of the evening’s events, a flag which was flown over the U.S. Capitol Building at the request of Congressman Franks was presented to the VA to be displayed in the lobby
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of the hospital in East Orange. The flag was presented by Warren Victor on behalf of Mr. Franks who was unable to attend the event due to a Congressional vote being held Tuesday night.
“As a veteran myself, I understand the special feeling of patriotism and duty exemplified by this flag,” Mr. Victor said.
The flag will be displayed in the hospital “to honor those veterans who have paid the greatest price in defense of our liberties,” he said.
“Congressman Franks is aware of the needs of the veterans and their ongoing medical care and is working hard to draft and support legislation which will ensure the quality of care this special group of citizens deserves,” Mr. Victor said.
Westfield Mayor Thomas C. Jardim said, “I’m hopeful that people in Congress will start listening to the needs of veterans.”
“I would like to thank the mayor, the council, and the citizens of Westfield for their support,” Mr. Brown said.
For further information about VA benefits, please call (888) 954-3553.
VA Registration Drive Deemed Big Success
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second reading Tuesday an ordinance to amend the existing clothing allowances for members of the borough’s volunteer fire department.
At last month’s council meeting, Councilman Werner C. Schon, who serves as Mountainside’s Fire Commissioner and also chairs the council’s Fire Committee, introduced on first reading an ordinance to amend the stipends paid to Mountainside’s volunteer firefighters to cover clothing costs.
According to Councilman Schon, the clothing allowance ordinance would amend an existing ordinance passed in 1989.
Under the amended Borough Code, the clothing allowance would give the Fire Chief $1,500; the Assistant Chief, $1,400; the Deputy Chief, $1,300; the Captain, $760, and the Lieutenant, $660, for this year and for every subsequent year.
According to the ordinance, a firefighter responding to between 60 to 100 percent of fire calls annually will receive $560 toward their clothing expenses. A firefighter attending 50 to 59 percent of calls would be given an annual allotment of $448, while those who respond to between 40 and 49 percent of fire calls would receive $336.
Additionally, individuals in training to become a member of the department, described as probationary firefighters
under the ordinance, would receive allowances of $360, $288 and $216, based on the percentage of calls answered, as defined in the fire call response section of the ordinance.
The amended ordinance will also provide a new “pay-per (fire) drill” allotment, in addition to the amounts given for response to actual fire calls, in an effort to increase department recruitment.
This provision will enable firefighters to earn extra money for their clothing allotments based on the number of fire drills they attend.
The scale starts at $200 per year for attending 10 drills, and rises by $20 per drill before reaching the $440 for 22 drills, which is the maximum amount of money a firefighter can earn under the new provision. The provision also notes that a firefighter must attend at least 10 drills to be eligible for the program.
The amended ordinance also states that the Fire Department’s executive officers, which include the chief, assistant chief and deputy chief, are not eligible for the “pay-per drill” allowance.
The council also noted Tuesday night that a bid of $199,822 for the construction of a new municipal parking facility, to be located on the westbound side of Route 22 and adjacent to the Mountainside Borough Library, was accepted in early July.
Once the contract has been signed, R. Mellusi & Sons, Inc. of Berkeley Heights will start work on the new lot, giving Mountainside commuters over 30 extra parking spaces.
Currently, Mountainside commuters park their cars in the firehouse or Borough Hall lots. The work will also include walkways and wooden railings leading to the pedestrian bridge over Route 22.
Borough Hall Engineer Michael Disko reported that moneys from a New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) grant of $180,000, received by the borough, will be appropriated to help pay for the project. He also noted that the awarding of the contract was pending approval by the NJDOT.
Mr. Disko stated that another bid has been awarded to DiMilia, Inc. for the resurfacing of the borough’s tennis courts. It was noted that the local company was the low bidder, at $35,490, for resurfacing of the four tennis courts located adjacent to Borough Hall.
Before the start of the meeting, the council observed a moment of silence for Union County Surrogate and Mountainside resident Ann P. Conti who died of cancer July 10.
Mayor Robert F. Viglianti noted that Mrs. Conti served the borough as a representative to the Union County Chamber of Commerce and was also a founding member of Mountainside’s Board of Ethics Committee.
“For all of us that knew her, she was a wonderful, true lady; for those that didn’t know her, you missed knowing a wonderful person,” the Mayor concluded.
Borough Attorney John Post represented the borough at Mrs. Conti’s wake Tuesday night in Westfield. A funeral Mass was held yesterday, July 14, at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in the borough.
Area Residents Named To Honor Rolls At Blair Academy
WESTFIELD — Westfield residents Christopher, Jay and Logan Garrels, the sons of Mr. and Mrs. James Garrels, and Joanna Richardson, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Richardson, have been named to the Honor Rolls at Blair Academy in Blairstown.
Christopher and Jay Garrels were named to the Headmaster’s List for maintaining a 5.0 average on a 6.0 scale in their courses during the spring term. Logan Garrels and Joanna Richardson were named to the Commended List for maintaining a 4.5 average.
Mtside. Council to Vote Tuesday on Cable Pact