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Scotch Plains – Fanwood THE TIMES
OUR 40th YEAR – ISSUE NO. 28-99 Published Every Thursday USPS 485200
Periodical – Postage Paid at Scotch Plains, N.J. Thursday, July 15, 1999
of of of of of
— Serving Scotch Plains and Fanwood Since 1959 —
INDEX INDEX INDEX INDEX INDEX
County .......... Page 2 Editorial ........ Page 4 Mountainside Page 3
Obituary ........ Page 8 Religious ....... Page 9 School News . Page 16
Social ............ Page 6 Sports ............ Page 11
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State and County Grants to Give Boost To Downtown Revitalization in Fanwood
By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
A total of $400,000 in combined state and county grants – described as the largest sums ever awarded to Fanwood at one time from either level of government – will pave the way for major improvements to the borough’s downtown, local officials have confirmed.
Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly and Council President William E. Populus, Jr. told The Times last week that Fanwood has been awarded $300,000 through Union County’s Department of Economic Development, and another $100,000 from the Governor’s Special Projects program.
The Special Projects program enables New Jersey legislators to submit what Mr. Populus described as a “wish list” of projects for the towns they represent.
Councilman Populus noted that this is the second consecutive year
that Fanwood has received funding from the state. He and the Mayor credited State Senate President Donald T. DiFrancesco, along with Assemblymen Richard H. Bagger and Alan M. Augustine, with getting the borough approved for grants.
Last year, Fanwood was awarded $40,000 from the state, of which $15,000 went to the Fanwood Memorial Library. The remaining $25,000 benefited the Fanwood Volunteer Rescue Squad.
Borough officials had asked the county for $400,000 from a $5 million pie that was divvied up among 14 municipalities which had applied for funds earlier this year through the “Project Downtown Union County” program to help communities fulfill streetscaping, landscaping and other downtown improvement projects.
The combined state and county funds received by Fanwood will be
channeled toward streetscape enhancements along Martine Avenue between South and LaGrande Avenues, and possibly additional work between South and First Street and between First and Third Streets.
Mayor Connelly noted that up until now, the borough has typically made improvements “one at a time” because of funding limitations. The new grants, she revealed, will allow the municipality to make greater strides toward its overall revitalization goals for the business district.
She attributed the borough’s success in obtaining grant money to
Councilman Populus, Chairman of the council’s Administration and Finance Committee and the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Fanwood, who she said has done much to “build good relationships with county and state legislators.”
Mrs. Connelly also emphasized that the grant money would allow Fanwood to give the downtown an economic boost “at no cost to taxpayers.”
In addition to these grants, Councilman Populus said Fanwood has requested $817,312 in funding from
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Fanwood Squad Seeks Council Endorsement
Of Pension Program By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
Members of the Fanwood Volunteer Rescue Squad appealed to the Borough Council last Thursday to implement a Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) as a pension plan for the community’s emergency service volunteers.
Established through a law signed by Governor Christine Todd Whitman on January 19, 1998, LOSAPs offer tax-deferred income benefits to active members of volunteer emergency service organizations, and are implemented by the jurisdiction in which these agencies operate.
These organizations, according to information from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Division of Local Government Services, typically include “all forms of fire and first aid organizations.”
Under the state statute, LOSAPs call for a municipality to contribute between $100 and $1,150 annually for each volunteer who meets active service criteria. Eligibility can be calculated through a point system based on an individual’s level of ac
tivity within an emergency service organization.
Participants would not be able to withdraw the money until they turned 65, but would become vested after five years, meaning that if they left the organization after that time, their pension would remain intact.
Calling the Fanwood Rescue Squad a “critical element” in the borough’s network of community services, Squad Captain Jeff Downing told the council he believed the proposed LOSAP would serve as a membership incentive, while also rewarding veteran volunteers for their longtime service.
He recommended an annual contribution of $1,000 per qualifying volunteer. According to the Captain, there are currently about 15 members who meet the criteria based on their level of activity with the squad.
Mr. Downing stressed the importance of maintaining the ranks of the volunteer squad, arguing that a private ambulance service would cost the borough “in excess of $200,000” annually.
Delinquent Court Fines In Fanwood May Drop If Credit Cards Get OK
By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
Officials in Fanwood indicated their support last week for a recentlyinaugurated state program which offers individuals the option of paying their municipal court fines with credit cards.
Court Administrator MaryAnn Corcoran, who made a presentation about the program to the Borough Council at its July 7 agenda meeting, said she strongly favors implementing the system in Fanwood, where it
has been proposed as a one-year pilot program.
The credit card system for paying fines was approved last November by the Administrative Office of the Court in Trenton, which oversees all New Jersey courts, although it is up to individual municipalities whether or not they wish to implement it in their own courts, Mrs. Corcoran told The Times.
She said Fanwood is presently owed $215,000 in uncollected fines dating back to the early 1980s. The unpaid fines, Mrs. Corcoran said, are owed by people who have forgotten the debt, are in jail, have left the state, or, due to other obligations, have been unable to keep up time payments.
Time payments are often approved by municipal judges for individuals who are unable to pay the full amount at the time of their court date.
According to Mrs. Corcoran, the credit card system would allow the Fanwood Municipal Court to collect fines right away. It would also likely reduce the number of time payments, as well as the necessary paperwork if payment schedules have to be revised, she said.
Based on tickets issued in Fanwood in 1998, Mrs. Corcoran explained that the program would cost the borough about $3,500 annually. She reported that the system has already been successfully implemented in the municipal courts of Mountainside, South Plainfield and Lacey Township.
Mrs. Corcoran told the council the program would involve a mass mailing to all those who still owe money
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Township Library Gets New Look to Match Technology Advances
By DEBORAH MADISON
Specially Written for The Times
Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the State Library in Trenton, the Scotch Plains Public Library now has a brand new look, coupled with new technology, that will make it an even greater community resource in the new millennium.
This is the first major overhaul for the 31-year old facility since its inception in 1968, according to Norbert Bernstein, who has served as the library’s Director for 27 years. The renovations include new carpeting, tile floors, lighting fixtures and furniture, as well as a computerized tracking and catalogue system.
Upon entering the newly refurbished library, patrons will immediately notice that three new computer monitors have replaced the old card tracking system at the front desk.
“The updated system allows much greater access to information than the previous card system,” according to Head Librarian Vivian Marek. “It is a great time saver for both patrons and staff.”
The old card catalogue system, in the adult section, has also been replaced with five public access catalogue (PAC) computers. Besides being able to locate books by author, title and subject, these computers have the new feature of allowing access to books via key words.
Library customers can also access their own records on the PACs to view outstanding or overdue books, as well as the status of books on reserve.
Mrs. Marek has found the computerized system to be very user friendly. “Most people are able to use the system with minimal assistance,” she stated. The PAC work station desks are also a new addition.
The front desk and reference desks were replaced with matching modular sectional units that offer better height access for children and handicapped, wheelchair-bound patrons. A custodian’s closet was renovated into a handicapped-accessible bath
room. In addition, the carpeting and lights in the downstairs meeting room are also new.
“The new lighting fixtures use less bulbs, but give off more reflective light and are therefore more economical and efficient than the old lights,” Mr. Bernstein explained.
Patrons might find only a portion of the lights in use, especially during the summer months. This partial usage has been found to be sufficient lighting for comfortable reading, while saving on energy costs and keeping the indoor temperature cooler.
According to Mr. Bernstein, the new fluorescent lighting was funded by a special township bond.
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Poor Condition of Westfield’s Softball Fields is Fast Becoming Main Topic of Conversation Around Union County Leagues By DAVID B. CORBIN
Specially Written for The Times
Editor’s Note: This is the first part of a two-part series on the condition of Westfield’s parks and fields. The first part focuses on the adult league players which use the fields. The second story will include information on planned town upgrades to some of the town’s parks, as well as proposals put on the table by officials. The leagues’ players are from around Union County, including the Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Westfield area.
* * * * *
“These fields are the worst in Union County,” has been just one of the numerous comments made by men who play in the Westfield Men’s Softball League (WMSL), the Jewish Community Center (JCC) Softball League and the Union County 50+ (UC 50) Softball League regarding the field conditions at Tamaques Park and Memorial Field in Westfield.
Many of the men who participate in the WMSL also play in several Union County leagues. In addition, the UC 50 League plays on at least 12 county fields from Elizabeth to Scotch Plains. The JCC Softball League also plays at Tamaques Park and on fields in Scotch Plains on
Sunday mornings. Each league is comprised of players who reside throughout the county, and members of all the leagues say they are baffled at why a town of Westfield’s status would not take pride in caring for its softball fields.
Whether it be from a school teacher, policeman, high school baseball
coach, small business owner, an engineer or a federal agent, the remarks all reflect the same sentiment: These fields are in terrible condition.
Is there really a problem with the fields? If so, what is wrong and how long has the problem existed? Who is responsible? Is there a simple solution? A significant number of league members have expressed their concerns and have offered their suggestions.
Westfield Recreation Director Glenn S. Burrell has indicated, “Our (Public Works) department just schedules the fields. We charge no fees nor receive any revenue from the leagues. Any fees go directly to the leagues.”
Choppy infields and rutty outfields characterize the complexion of the fields at Tamaques Park. A recent sports article which appeared in The Westfield Leader about a game played between the Red Thunder and C. B. I. of the JCC League on June 27, described the field as a hitter’s paradise. Routine infield ground balls
would suddenly hop just past the infielders’ noses, and balls deflected off the ruts in the outfield definitely tested the outfielders’ reactions, resulting in more hits.
Greg Hobson, a lifetime Westfield resident who plays for A. J. Jersey, has competed in the WMSL for seven years and expressed his concerns.
“The fields are in poor shape compared to other fields I’ve seen in other towns. The bottom line is that the fields are being overused. There is too much activity and not enough space,” he remarked.
Mr. Hobson pointed out that the Westfield High School varsity and junior varsity girls lacrosse teams and soccer teams have used the Tamaques Park field daily this year during their respective seasons.
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David B. Corbin for The Times
RUGGED TERRAIN…Jolly Trolley’s Tom Jogis and Rob Rowland of the Mattress Factory battle the rugged terrain at Tamaques Park in Westfield.
Township Council Votes Down Fogging Plan to Get Rid of Birds
By FRED ROSSI
Specially Written for The Times
Citing potential legal ramifications as well as lingering health concerns, the Scotch Plains Township Council decided at its Tuesday meeting to forego a plan to fog trees in the Golf Street-Wood Road neighborhood in an effort to rid the area of thousands of birds which have roosted there each summer for several decades.
The decision puts the matter — and the search for a solution — back to square one after several months of discussions between the neighborhood residents and the governing body.
The council voted unanimously to reject a bid by Ehrlich & Company, headquartered in Redding, Pennsylvania, to perform the fogging after Township Attorney Andrew Baron said he was informed by the municipality’s insurance carriers that, in the event the fogging application negatively impacted anyone’s
health and a lawsuit were filed, “it’s possible the township would not be covered.”
Mr. Baron said he also spoke with an official at the New Jersey Department of Health, who urged caution in proceeding with any fogging plan, noting that this type of bird dispersal had been tried primarily in open areas like airports, and not as much in more closed residential areas.
He pointed out that the Department of Health presently considered the flock of birds, which consists of starlings, blackbirds and grackles, to be more of a public nuisance than a health hazard.
Township Manager Thomas E. Atkins had urged the council to reject the bid “because of some of the issues raised and the lack of much experience in applying (the fog) in residential areas.” He added that, while the fog may not ultimately pose a health risk, “there’s not enough research on it.”
Members of the council were clearly caught in what Councilman Tarquin
Bromley called “the archetypal rock and a hard place” on the issue, with one set of residents, primarily those with young children, urging drastic action to rid the neighborhood of the birds, and another group of residents pleading with the council not to disturb the neighborhood’s wildlife.
After the vote to reject the fogging bid, Mayor Geri M. Samuel told the handful of residents attending the meeting that “we’ll keep talking,” and promised to continue the monthslong dialogue between the council and residents on both sides of the issue.
In other matters, the township will sign an agreement for receipt of a $50,000 grant that will go towards the resurfacing of the Hetfield Avenue Bridge between North and South Avenues, a project that Councilman William F. McClintock, Jr. called “much needed.”
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Cheri Rogowsky for The Times
MUSIC FOR A SUMMER NIGHT…Members of the Hanover Wind Symphony perform in concert last Thursday on the Village Green in Scotch Plains, before an enthusiastic crowd of area residents who turned out to enjoy various musical selections and the company of their neighbors.
William A. Burke for The Times
NEW TECHNOLOGY…Vivian Marek, one of the librarians at the Scotch Plains Public Library, and Ted Czarnomski, President of the Friends of the Library, admire new computers at the facility’s front desk. The units are part of recent renovations and technology additions made to the library to enhance it as a resource for the community.
Page 10 Thursday, July 15, 1999 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION
CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
Fanwood’s TV-35 Weekly Schedule Thursday, July 15, 8:00 P.M.
Monthly Council Meeting
Friday, July 16, 8:00 P.M.
Children’s Art Show
Friday, July 16, 9:00 P.M.
Fanwood a Reporter’s Dream
Sunday, July 18, 8:00 P.M.
Fanwood 100 Years Later
Sunday, July 18, 9:00 P.M.
Tuesday, July 20, 8:00 P.M.
Rebroadcast of July 15th Council Meeting
Thursday, July 22, 8:00 P.M.
Nature Center, Three Seasons in The Sun & the Police Auction
Thursday, July 22, 9:00 P.M.
FYI Fanwood Mayor Connelly’s Show
SCOTCH PLAINS POLICE BLOTTER
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
the New Jersey Department of Transportation for additional municipal projects.
According to the application, the grant money is being sought for comprehensive improvements collectively entitled “Downtown Fanwood Historical Enhancement.” This work would include “streetscape, landscape, parking and pedestrian walkway improvements to be in harmony with the Victorian-style historic train station.”
The projects to be covered by the state and county grants were among those proposed both in a five-year plan submitted by The RBA Group of Morristown in 1997, and the borough’s long-range plan, called “A Future for Fanwood,” which was unveiled by local officials in January.
“Residents will be able to see the results of the work thats been going on for several years,” Mayor Connelly observed during the governing body’s July 7 agenda session.
Mr. Populus said officials have applied for an additional $10,000 grant from the county specifically for the cost of having an urban economist conduct a regional market survey to determine the best use of the Dean Oil property at LaGrande Avenue and Second Street, should that site become available.
During last week’s agenda session, the Council President described the community’s chances of receiving this grant money as “extremely good.”
In a written overview of the proposal, Mr. Populus explained that the analyst “will conduct a regional highest and best use study that will expose the highest property yield with the lowest possible risk. This study will develop two or three hypotheses to be tested in the market with unrestrictive zoning regulations and
Fanwood’s zoning.” He said the survey would additionally “focus on the clientele to be served and the best way to motivate developers, thereby increasing the potential for private investment in business and/or residential development and creating the possibility of new jobs or housing.”
An application to develop the 1.3acre site for residential apartments is currently before the Fanwood Planning Board. The board’s hearing of the appeal opened on June 23, and is scheduled to resume on Wednesday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. at Park Middle School in Scotch Plains.
Last month, Fanwood’s governing body adopted an ordinance supporting a non-binding public referendum which would allow voters to tell elected officials whether or not they should pursue acquisition of the Dean Oil site through the municipality’s right of eminent domain.
Members of the governing body have emphasized, however, that the land is still privately owned and that the referendum is considered separate from the petition presently being heard by the Planning Board.
State and County Grants To Aid Fanwood Downtown
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to the municipality, informing them of the new payment alternative.
She noted, however, that use of credit cards to pay fines would simply be an option, and that people would still be able to pay their fines in the traditional manner as well.
She said she believes the credit card program would generate a positive response among many still in debt to the Fanwood Court – perhaps as many as half.
A particular incentive for people to pay outstanding fines, she noted, is the prospect of losing their driver’s license if they neglect to do so. Individuals with delinquent fines may be served with municipal court warrants reminding them of the unpaid debt, and if they still fail to make payment, their license may be suspended.
In addition, people who have moved out of state cannot renew their New Jersey driver’s license, or obtain a new driver’s license in most other states, if they still have outstanding court fines, Mrs. Corcoran observed.
The Administrator stated that the credit card program has the support of Fanwood Municipal Judge Susan M. MacMullan, and that a survey of individuals who came to court to pay fines found that 80 percent were in favor of the credit card program.
Councilman Joel Whitaker voiced tremendous support for the initiative, saying he did not understand
why it had not been instituted already. He urged that funds be appropriated to start up the program, adding he felt the option should be available to other borough departments as well.
“I’m absolutely in favor of this and the sooner the better,” he remarked.
While not opposed to the concept, Council President William E. Populus, Jr. felt it would be prudent for the council to “slow down and take a look at the total program,” since elected officials are also considering financial requests from other sources, among them Fanwood’s emergency service units.
The governing body gave Mrs. Corcoran the green light to contact three area banks to find out how much they would charge the borough to service the program. She said she had already received a proposal from Summit Bank, and planned to speak with representatives of two others later in the week.
She told The Times that use of credit cards to pay court fines remains a relatively new process. An email survey conducted by Deputy Court Administrator Martha Marino of more than 300 municipal courts in New Jersey indicated that 95 percent do not have the credit card program in place, although some are just waiting for municipal government resolutions to implement the system, Mrs. Corcoran said.
Delinquent Court Fines May Drop If Credit Cards OK’d
The Children’s Room was also renovated with new carpeting, lighting, tables, chairs and computers. The three new computers will be loaded with educational software in a variety of subjects, as well as catalogue access, by the end of this month.
Children’s Librarian Ann Luerssen, will be on hand to show youngsters how to use the new software.
Renovations that are still in the works include new signs for the various desks, and catalogue number signs for the non-fiction shelves.
Mr. Bernstein commended the Friends of the Scotch Plains Public Library, a local organization that was started a year ago to promote the library, for raising funds for projects at the facility. The library is located at 1927 Bartle Avenue in Scotch Plains.
The “Friends,” who donated the World Book Encyclopedia to the Children’s Section, will meet next on Tuesday, September 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the library. Book donations may be made to the library on Tuesdays between 5 and 8 p.m.
SUNDAY, JULY 4
· Christopher D. Parello, 19, of Middlesex was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and ketamine, also known as “Special K,” on Westfield Road.
MONDAY, JULY 5
· Police found a window broken and a lock tampered with at Park Middle School early Monday morning. Entry was not gained.
· Report of the theft of approximately $500 worth of tools and numerous business related items from a Park Avenue business. The incident occurred over the weekend.
· A Maple Hill Road resident reported that his unlocked car was entered and his wallet containing cash and personal effects were taken. The incident occurred over the weekend.
TUESDAY, JULY 6
· A Jerusalem Road resident reported the theft of several graduation cards containing cash and checks.
· A Rahway Road resident reported that someone had entered the house through a sliding glass door and had taken a fax machine.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 7
· Arraffi Lamar Boston, 19, of Plainfield was arrested and charged with providing false information to a police officer pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Boston was released on a summons.
· David G. Smith, 19, of Fanwood was arrested and charged with eluding police on a motorcycle after an officer attempted to stop the cycle on Hunter Avenue. After a short pursuit Smith was apprehended on North Avenue, Fanwood, attempting to flee the area on foot. He was released on a summons.
THURSDAY, JULY 8
· A Myrtle Avenue resident reported finding his vehicle’s four tires slashed and car doors kicked in early in the morning.
· A Country Club Lane resident reported that someone threw a rock and damaged his car door while it was parked overnight near the residence.
SUNDAY, JULY 11
· Godofredo Garcia, 31, of Plainfield was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. Garcia was traveling westbound on Route 22 East.
Township Library Receives New Look and Technology
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Luigi Carulli Participates In Presidential Competition
SCOTCH PLAINS — Luigi Carulli, a senior at Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, recently took part in the Presidential Classroom Scholars Science, Technology and Public Policy Program in Washington, DC.
Luigi joined over 400 high school juniors and seniors from 45 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico. The students spent a week meeting with government leaders and learning about the democratic process first hand.
Luigi has had numerous leadership opportunities in his high school career including president of the Italian Club, homeroom representative
for the Environmental Club, commander for the Big Brothers/Big Sis
ters Program and vice president of the Class of 1999.
He is also a member of the Service and Ambassadors Clubs and has been honored by the Hugh O’Brian Youth Foundation and is included in this year’s Who’s Who Among American High School Students.
Participating students are juniors or seniors who hold a “B” average or higher or rank in the top 25 percent of their class and must show commitment to community or school involvement through participation in co-curricular activities.
Luigi Carulli Memorial to Honor Three Who Gave Lives in Vietnam
SCOTCH PLAINS — Students at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School are developing a memorial for the three Fanwood residents who were casualties of the Vietnam War.
The memorial will be three custom-made, glass enclosed lockers
displaying their medals from the armed services, along with their high school memorabilia.
The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 10122 recently made a donation to the students to help defray the expenses for the memorial.
IN THEIR MEMORY…Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School history teacher Dave Bello, pictured at left, accepts a check for a special remembrance project from Joe McCourt, Adjutant/Quartermaster of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 10122. Mr. Bello is advisor to students who are planning a memorial to honor three Fanwood residents who lost their lives during the Vietnam War. The memorial will feature the trio’s armed services medals, as well as high school memorabilia from that era. Scotch Plains Library Friends
Purchase Youth Encyclopedias
SCOTCH PLAINS — The Friends of the Scotch Plains Public Library have purchased a set of 1999 World Book Children’s Encyclopedias for the Children’s Library.
“Friends” President Ted Czarnomski described the contribution as “the culmination of the first ‘Friends’ fundraising project, which we have undertaken through our old book recycling drive.”
“Thanks to the support we’ve been receiving from area residents, we have collected more than $1,000 via this effort, and have been able to make this purchase,” he added.
“The ‘Friends’ have only been in existence for the past year and a half, and this is their first financial contribution,” Mr. Czarnomski continued. “We expect to make many more contributions in the future.”
The old book recycling drive is continuing, and plans are underway for the next “Friends” acquisition, according to the group’s President. Old books may be brought to the library during the summer on Tuesdays between 5 and 8 p.m.
The Scotch Plains Public Library is located at 1927 Battle Avenue in Scotch Plains.
A WORLD OF KNOWLEDGE…Scotch Plains Children’s Librarian Ann Luerssen receives a set of 1999 Children’s World Book Encyclopedias from Ted Czarnomski, President of the Friends of the Scotch Plains Public Library. The recently-formed “Friends” organization purchased the encyclopedias as their first contribution to the library.
JCC To Present Program For Member Appreciation
SCOTCH PLAINS — The Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Central New Jersey will hold a member appreciation program on Sunday, August l, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Wilf Jewish Community Campus, 1391 Martine Avenue, Scotch Plains.
The JCC will offer a “Double Dip Event,” where members are invited to swim and make their own sundaes. There will be pool games and prizes. There is no charge for attending.
Reservations are required. Please respond by Monday, July 26, by calling (908) 859-8800.
The JCC of Central NJ, at the Wilf Jewish Community Campus, is a constituent agency of the United Way and the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey.
Erika Blechinger Earns Graduate Diploma From Phillips Exeter
SCOTCH PLAINS — Erika Blechinger, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter H. Blechinger of Scotch Plains, was one of 314 members of the Class of 1999 to receive a diploma at the 218th commencement exercises at Phillips Exeter Academy on June 6.
She was a two-year student at the coeducational, independent secondary school in Exeter, New Hampshire.
She will attend Oberlin College in the fall. The long-delayed project, which
will also involve Fanwood, NJ Transit and the State Department of Transportation, is expected to get underway later in the summer. In a related matter, Mayor Samuel also announced that resurfacing work on Terrill Road was set to begin soon.
Separately, the council approved a slightly amended version of the proposed open space referendum, which it hopes to place on the November ballot. The change, accepted unanimously, involves a rewording of the proposal so that, if approved by vot
ers, money for open space in the township could be earmarked not only for outdoor recreational facilities, but indoor facilities as well.
Councilman Bromley made an appeal for donations to the Township Welfare Department’s food pantry for indigent residents. The stock of non-perishable foods, he said, is running low. Donations can be dropped off at the Municipal Building at 430 Park Avenue.
Finally, the council also witnessed the swearing-in Tuesday of two new police officers, Thomas O’Brien and Regina Penny.
SP Council Votes Down Plan to Get Rid of Birds
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
He added that a local squad also offers borough residents the “personal care and friendship” created by neighbors helping neighbors.
To implement a LOSAP, local officials must initially adopt an ordinance or resolution endorsing it, although the decree cannot take effect until it is approved by voters through a public referendum, since the cost of the program would be included in the municipal budget and have a tax impact.
LOSAP contributions “are deposited in a plan similar to the deferred compensation plans permitted for county and municipal employees,” according to a state document outlining the program.
Under these plans, the local governing body or volunteer may direct the funds toward various investment options, such as mutual funds or annuities, the document revealed.
Mr. Downing, one of a half dozen squad members in attendance at last week’s meeting, noted that if the proposed LOSAP won council and voter approval, it would be the first such program in the local area. He added that it would perhaps inspire neighboring communities to institute programs of their own.
Council President William E. Populus, Jr., who is Chairman of the council’s Administration and Fi
nance Committee, confirmed that Fanwood’s governing body must adopt a resolution by Friday, August 20, in order for the LOSAP proposal to be placed on the ballot in the Tuesday, November 2 General Election.
Mr. Populus told The Times that officials would only participate in a LOSAP if it would cover members of both the Fanwood Volunteer Fire Department and the rescue squad.
Information on the number of firefighters who meet the criteria as active volunteers, and the proposed annual contribution for each firefighter, was still being compiled as of last week.
As prescribed by the state, an ordinance or resolution for a LOSAP must contain an overview of the program, including the point system, which will be used to determine eligibility for benefits, along with statements outlining the proposed estimated total cost of the program and the proposed maximum annual contribution for active volunteer members.
In addition, if the program is to include credit for prior years service – an option that Mr. Downing said is favored by the Fanwood squad — the ordinance or resolution must include the number of years to be covered by the LOSAP.
Fanwood Rescue Squad Seeks Support on Pension Program
Lucy Zhao Receives Merck Scholarship
FANWOOD — Lucy Zhao, the daughter of Zheng Yang and Dalian Zhao of Fanwood, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Merck Employees Federal Credit Union.
Lucy, a graduate of FanwoodScotch Plains High School, will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in September where she plans on majoring in Management and Computer Science.
Her father, Mr. Zhao, is employed in the Process Research Department at Merck & Co.
Other Merck Employees Federal Credit Union scholarship winners were Nicholas White of Clark, Nicole Hoff of Jackson, Lauren Stanley of Cranford and Sarah Drake of Mountainside.