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OUR 108th YEAR – ISSUE NO. 28-99 FIFTY CENTS 232-4407

The Westfield Leader — Serving the Town Since 1890 —

Thursday, July 15, 1999 USPS 680020 Periodical – Postage Paid at Westfield, N.J.

Published Every Thursday

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

Edison School Begins Cabling For Computers

By MICHELLE H. LePOIDEVIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

Edison Intermediate School in Westfield began computer cabling and integration for the classrooms and library this month and will continue the project through August.

The project is one component of the $11.7 million bond referendum for classroom improvements ap

Edison Intermediate School

proved in December. The cabling and integration, which carries an estimated price tag of $159,800, will actually cost $146,768, according to data provided by Business Administrator and Board Secretary Robert A. Berman.

The project will be handled by Elcom Services Group, which maintains corporate offices in Pennsylvania and local offices in Edison. Approximately 371 workstations will be cabled for computer usage.

This October, invitations to bid will be taken for lavatory renovations for the first and second floors of the school. Although these projects will be bid on together, it is estimated that each renovation will cost about $155,000 for a total of $310,000.

The projected construction timeline for first-floor renovations is this November to January 2000. The school board also calculates the timeline for second-floor renovations to be February 2000 to April 2000.

The replacement of 206 windows in the front of the school building will take place from January 2000 to March 2000. All construction will be done after 3 p.m.

Bids for window construction will be taken this October. The estimated cost of the project is $318,200.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

Recreation Commission Meeting Yields Explanation for Pool Membership Sell-out By DEBORAH MADISON

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

Several Westfield residents turned out for the Monday night Recreation Commission meeting to voice concerns about the town’s decision to sell no more Memorial Pool memberships this summer.

For the first time in its 29-year history, the pool reached a maximum capacity of 1,900 families, and cannot accept anymore memberships.

Westfield Recreation Department Director Glenn S. Burrell explained that the maximum capacity number of 1,900 was reached in accordance with New Jersey State Pool Codes, and must be adhered to due to safety issues.

“The state has a formula for determining maximum capacity and we cannot accommodate any more families,” Mr. Burrell stated.

Lewis Seigel, a Westfield resident who was a member of the town pool last year and was unable to renew his membership this year, expressed dissatisfaction with what he feels is the Recreation Commission’s lack of compassion for the reported 150 Westfield applicants who have been shut out of obtaining memberships this year.

“There must be some compromise that the Recreation Commission can come up with to accommodate those of us who have been shut out,” Mr. Seigel told the committee. “The whole purpose of the pool, as a facility to serve the community, seems to have been lost,” he said, referring to the fact that many non-residents were able to obtain memberships, while many residents were shut out.

Dr. Seymour Koslowsky, Chairman of the Recreation Commission,

pointed out that because Memorial Pool was built on Memorial Park property, which has accepted Green Acres funding from the State of New Jersey, the pool is obliged to open its membership to residents and nonresidents alike.

According to Mr. Burrell, about 80 percent of the pool’s members are Westfield residents.

Mary Camacho, an East Broad Street resident whose property is adjacent to the facility, told the com

mission that, like Mr. Seigel, she was unable to obtain a membership before the close out date, and was not given timely notice by the commission.

Dr. Koslowsky stated that all prior members were sent notification in February, giving everyone ample time to renew.

Ms. Camacho said that she hoped that the commission would consider issuing conditional memberships as

CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

Media Advisory Board Works on Plan Details For Revamped Westfield TV-36 Cable Station

By LILLIAN DUGGAN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

The Westfield Community TV (WCTV) Media Advisory Board is working out details for the new and improved version of Westfield’s cable

channel, TV-36. At a meeting held on July 8, the WCTV board met to discuss a draft plan by the board’s Business Unit Subcommittee. The draft is a detailed effort to outline the nature, content, funding and operation of the station.

The Westfield Community TV Media Advisory Board was formed in April by Mayor Thomas C. Jardim to revamp community programming and operations on TV-36. The group’s Business Unit Subcommittee was formed in late spring and charged with developing a nuts and bolts organizational plan for the station.

The draft plan is now being reviewed by the entire advisory board and may be discussed and considered for final approval at the group’s next meeting.

Once finalized, the proposal will be presented to the Town Council for approval.

When approval is granted, responsibility for operation of the station will likely shift from the Westfield Board of Education to a local board of directors. The station is currently housed in Westfield High School.

According to the draft plan, “WCTV shall be an independent nonprofit organization” that “shall manage and administer all Westfield TV activities.” Further, the plan states that “WCTV shall operate in a business enterprise fashion and will not function as a government agency.”

In the plan, the Business Unit Subcommittee describes its vision for station programming as “content produced by the public or for the public.”

Called for in the plan is a stationproduced portion of programming that will consist of “education, government and public service announcements,” including emergency response information and Westfield High School and Board of Education productions.

Board members in attendance at the meeting also discussed their interest in broadcasting various town meetings from the Westfield Town Council chambers. Some impediments to airing town meetings are poor lighting and a lack of available space in nearby rooms.

Other station content is to be produced externally and submitted to WCTV. As cited in the draft plan, such programs “will embody the diverse culture and activities of Westfield and the surrounding area.”

Specifically, the subcommittee plans to “promote the production of creative content of others for airing to include talk shows, community events, arts, music, history, cultural, sports, general interest and like material.”

A sports wrap-up show, programs on the history of Westfield and aired house tours were examples mentioned by board members at the meeting.

As a means to create new content to air on TV-36, the Advisory Board is seeking programming partnerships with local non-profit organizations.

In an effort to determine these groups’ capacity for and interest in television programming, it has issued surveys to 125 community organizations.

The board also plans to disseminate viewer surveys, which it will make available at the Westfield Memorial Library, the town Web site and the train station, among other places. The board plans to announce the availability of the surveys in The Westfield Leader and on TV-36.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 11

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 Westfield Leader

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 onplanned 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.

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader

RUGGED TERRAIN…Jolly Trolley’s Tom Jogis and Rob Rowland of the Mattress Factory battle the rugged terrain at Tamaques Park in Westfield.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

Planning Board Postpones Hearing Proposal for Café on Elm Street

By KIM KINTER

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

A plan to turn the former Elm Delicatessen and Back Room Antiques downtown storefronts into a café was put on the back burner Monday by the Westfield Planning Board, as it grappled with what to do with a request for a six-home subdivision proposed for a parcel of land located off of Rahway Avenue near Willow Grove Road.

Details of the proposed subdivision sought by Westfield resident

George M. Harbt, who plans to retain his residence at the development site at 931 Rahway Avenue, were heard by the Planning Board for the first time this week and immediately drew criticism from a number of area residents in attendance.

But the four-and-a-half hour, sometimes contentious, hearing ended at midnight without conclusion, and will be continued at the board’s next meeting on Monday, August 2.

Likewise, the plans to turn the storefronts at 37 and 39 Elm Street into a café may be heard at that time. Another informal meeting is also expected to take place between the café developer and his architect, along with Westfield Zoning Officer Jeremiah P. O’Neil and the Planning Board’s Site Plan and Subdivision Committee, to discuss parking issues prior to the August meeting.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

Bd. of Adjustment Okays Variances For Community Center Addition By KIMBERLY A. BROADWELL

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

Eight months after filing a formal application with the town, the Westfield Community Center has received approval from the Board of Adjustment on several use variances needed to pave the way for construction of a day care and adult care annex facility to the Westfield Community Center.

Westfield Community Center’s (WCC) Executive Director Ernestine Howell happily exited the Westfield Town Council Chambers Monday evening after members of the Board of Adjustment approved the WCC’s application by a 6-0 vote.

The new building will house a WCC day care program for pre-school aged children as well as a medical day facility for seniors.

It will be located at the corner of Palsted Avenue and West Broad Street. It will stand across from the current WCC building, located at 558 West Broad, and will serve as an additional facility for the WCC.

Variances attained for the new building included front and rear yard set backs, as well as on-site parking. Use variances were also needed because the annex building is to be constructed in a residential area.

Westfield-based architect Robert Algarin submitted an amended rendering of the new building that included a two-foot decrease in the front of the building on West Broad Street that will allow a landscape strip for planting.

Also, Mr. Algarin included a gold earthtone color on the drawing of the building that will be similar to the color of stucco to be used.

Members of the Board of Adjustment stipulated that the variances would be granted under conditions that the lights on the outside of the building be turned off at 9:30 p.m., that the color of the outside of the building be a natural earthtone similar to the color depicted in the rendering and that the food waste from the center’s food programs be refrigerated in an internal dumpster.

Board members also commended the architects who worked on the project, Mr. Algarin and Albert Schleifer, who is also based in Westfield, on their work in creating the planting strip in front of the building and scaling the facility back two feet in order to create the strip.

According to Ms. Howell the property, which was acquired by the WCC in the 1940s, includes a dilapidated two-family home, which was the scene of a recent fire and will be torn down to make room for the new center.

The WCC application was first made in November of 1998 and testimony was heard in April and May.

James Flynn of Westfield, an attorney representing the WCC, led testimony in those months in support of the project.

Ms. Howell testified to the needs assessment done late last year to verify that additional day care was needed in the area as well as an increasing need for elder care.

Cheri Rogowsky for The Westfield Leader

SOUNDS OF JAZZ…Members of the Scarlett Blue Band display their talents Tuesday before an appreciative audience at the jazz festival in Westfield’s downtown. Pictured in the inset is the group’s vocalist.

Cheri Rogowsky for The Westfield Leader

GREAT SOUND DOWNTOWN…The musical group Joel Chassan performs on Quimby Street during the Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival in downtown Westfield on Tuesday. Pictured, left to right, are: Joel Chassan, Tim Givins and Ed MacEachen.

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

WESTFIELD VOLUNTEER RESCUE SQUAD BLOTTER

Statistics for June 1999 Top 10 Response Categories 1. General Illness (20) 6. Falls (8) 2. Cardiac Pain (16) 7. Head/Neck Injury (7) 3. Suspected Fracture (11) 8. Transportation (5) 4. Motor Vehicle Accident (10) 9. Unconscious (5) 5. Respiratory Distress (9) 10. Stroke (4) In-Town Emergency Calls: 132

Out-of Town Mutual Aid Calls: 8 Non Emergency Calls: 7 Total Calls: 147 Total Hours Out: 110:45 Total Volunteer Hours: 1,952

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

WESTFIELD FIRE BLOTTER MONDAY, JULY 5

· Six hundred block of Arlington Avenue – power line down.

· Two hundred block of Lynn Lane – unintentional alarm.

· Four hundred block of Poets Place – unintentional alarm.

· Eleven hundred block of East Broad Street – brush fire.

· One hundred block of Fair Hill Drive – carbon monoxide detector activation.

· Two hundred block of Virginia Street – gas odor investigation.

· One hundred block of Tudor Oval – power outage.

TUESDAY, JULY 6

· Two hundred block of East Broad Street – system malfunction.

· Three hundred block of South Avenue West – mulch fire.

· Central Avenue and Grove Street – gas odor investigation.

· Two hundred block of Seneca Place – carbon monoxide detector activation.

· One hundred block of East Broad Street – system malfunction.

· South Avenue and Central Avenue – assist police.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 7

· Four hundred block of Poets Place – system malfunction.

· Four hundred block of Poets Place – system malfunction.

· Two hundred block of Scotch Plains Avenue – wire down.

· Five hundred block of Washington Street – power line down.

THURSDAY, JULY 8

· Two hundred block of East Broad Street – system malfunction.

· Two hundred block of East Broad Street – system malfunction.

· Two hundred block of East Broad Street – system malfunction.

· Ten hundred block of Coolidge Street – system malfunction.

· Five hundred block of Colonial Avenue – system malfunction.

· Two hundred block of Sinclair Place – carbon monoxide detector activation.

· Three hundred block of Wychwood Road – unintentional alarm.

FRIDAY, JULY 9

· Five hundred block of Boulevard – system malfunction.

· Two hundred block of Scotch Plains Avenue – wires down.

· Five hundred block of Dorian Road – system malfunction.

· Five hundred block of Carlton Road – unintentional alarm.

SATURDAY, JULY 10

· One hundred block of East Broad Street – system malfunction.

SUNDAY, JULY 11

· One hundred block of East Broad Street – system malfunction.

· One hundred block of East Broad Street – mulch fire.

WESTFIELD POLICE BLOTTER TUESDAY, JULY 6

· The windows of several local properties were defaced with green magic marker, according to police. The incidents occurred at a Ross Place business, in the lobby of a Carleton Road apartment complex and at Westfield High School.

· A Columbus Avenue resident reported the theft of three pieces of jewelry, with a total value of $20,000, from a bedroom in her home.

· Police received a report that someone climbed onto the roof of a Carleton Road apartment complex and damaged sections of the roof cover coating, as well as a dumb waiter at the building.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 7

· A resident of Central Avenue reported the theft of a bicycle from her garage.

· A Wickom Drive resident reported that a “Hero” brand, 20-inch chrome bicycle was stolen from the Westfield Memorial Pool Complex.

· A South Avenue bank reported that a woman attempted to cash a fraudulent check, according to police. The suspect, described only as a black female, fled the bank, leaving the check behind, when a teller asked for identification.

· A Settlers Lane resident reported the theft of his 26-inch, 21-speed bicycle from the northside Westfield Train Station lot.

THURSDAY, JULY 8

· A Dickson Drive resident reported that someone smashed the rear wind

shield of his 1999 Mercury.

· Two individuals reported that someone wrote on their cars with soap on Fanwood Avenue.

FRIDAY, JULY 9

· A local nursery reported the receipt of a counterfeit $10 bill.

· A Hort Street resident reported the burglary of his 1989 Jeep and the theft of his wallet and other items.

· A representative of a North Avenue department store reported that an employee was suspected of under-ringing a transaction, according to police. No charges had been filed in connection with the incident as of press time.

SATURDAY, JULY 10

· A Lenox Avenue resident reported that an unknown individual rummaged through her vehicle and removed her registration and insurance cards.

SUNDAY, JULY 11

· Joseph R. Young, 19, of Westfield was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly attempting to enter a home on Twin Oaks Terrace through a rear sliding glass door, according to police. Young was issued a summons and released on his own recognizance.

MONDAY, JULY 12

· An Oak Avenue resident reported the theft of a 1991 Honda Civic sometime between July 8 and 12 from in front of her house. Authorities subsequently learned the car had been recovered in Newark on July 10.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Peter and Allen Yu Attend Medical Leadership Forum

Allen Yu Peter Yu

WESTFIELD — Peter Yu and Allen Yu of Westfield participated in the 1999 National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) on Medicine July 4 to July 14, in Philadelphia.

Peter and Allen, who are brothers and are both members of the Class of 2001 at Westfield High School, were among a select group of high school juniors and seniors from across America and around the world who met the qualifications required to participate in the forum.

The Yu brothers were selected because of their academic achievements and interest in the profession of medicine.

The forum featured 11 days of discovery and mentoring at medical institutions such as Jefferson Medical College, Temple University School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Fox Chase Cancer Center and the Philadelphia College of Physicians.

Full day concentrations at these and other institutions allowed stu

dents to examine state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and future medical specialties in detail.

Topics to be discussed included breakthroughs in genetic research, cancer research, AIDS, sports medicine, neonatal and pediatric research, computers-in the world of medicine, public health, clinical decision-making and bioethics.

The NYLF is a non-profit educational organization, which sponsors highly specialized, career-oriented programs for outstanding secondary youth with demonstrated leadership abilities. The NYLF conducts annual forums on medicine, law, defense, intelligence and diplomacy.

Many students are nominated to participate in these forums by high school teachers and guidance counselors.

For more information, please call the NYLF Office of Admission at (202) 628-6090 or e-mail info@nylf.org or contact the Web site: www.nationalyouth.org. she would be willing to restrict her atten

dance to off-peak hours. The commission is considering conditional memberships, which would restrict users to offpeak hours, or would be based on capacity at the discretion of the pool manager.

Mr. Burrell pointed out that staffing issues were also a problem that must be taken into consideration before any more memberships, even conditional ones, could be considered.

He explained that many of the pool’s staff are college students, who leave their jobs in August to return to school, and that it has always been a big problem in prior years.

According to Mr. Burrell, 1,900 family memberships translates into over 8,300 individual members, all of whom could not be accommodated at one time. Adding conditional memberships to this number, would have to be carefully considered in terms of safety issues.

Dr. Koslowsky said that the commission would discuss the issue, and look into other options for next year. However, even though the commission is sympathetic to the families, a decision could not be made Monday without further research.

Other commission members expressed concerns that next year a mad rush could occur to register and renew pool membership early, and a system would have to be devised that was fair to everyone.

Other options suggested by commission members included: raising the capacity number, opening memberships to residents first and guest passes on slow days at the discretion of the pool manager.

All of these options would be researched by the commission, according to Dr. Koslowsky.

In other business, Westfield Avenue resident Terry Scanlan addressed the commission regarding the noise and overcrowding at the new Lincoln School playground, which borders his property.

The playground, which is located on Westfield Avenue, was upgraded and renovated the week of July 5 with new playground equipment.

Mr. Scanlan described the situation as “dire” and “a nightmare for my wife and myself,” since new playground equipment installed there has drawn daily crowds of children.

“They arrive as early as 7 a.m. and scream all day long, only seven feet from my backyard,” he stated. “The noise is so unbearable that we can no longer use our backyard, our deck or even our kitchen.”

According to Mr. Scanlan, teenagers have occupied the new playground equipment late at night, leaving beer bottles and yelling obscenities at him on several occasions. Other problems caused by the playground are dust in his house from the wood chips and rocks being thrown at his house.

It is Mr. Scanlan’s opinion that the equipment installed is too large, too close to his house and should be moved to a

larger park. He requested that the park be restored with its old equipment.

Jackie Francis, who lives three doors down from the park on Westfield Avenue concurred with Mr. Scanlan’s statements that the park has become a noise nuisance for all of the residents who live nearby.

Mr. Scanlan also stated that he was not given ample notification regarding the dimensions and proximity of the equipment to his yard. He said that if he had known that the equipment was going to be so large and so close to his yard, he would have objected to this project in the planning stages. He also believes that if other residents had been told of the exact dimensions, they would have objected as well.

Dr. Koslowsky said that he would ask the Westfield Town Engineer to assess the situation and the commission would discuss how these problems could be alleviated.

Mr. Burrell said that a sign with park hours and a fence would be erected.

Janis Fried Weinstein, a Recreation Commission member and Fourth Ward Councilwoman, suggested that large hedges be planted as a noise and dust buffer.

In other business, the preliminary plans for modifications to Memorial Pool were unveiled.

The main modification would be doing away with the old diving tank, which has outlived its expected life-span, and replacing it with a competitive-sized pool for laps and exercise.

Other changes include: adding pool slides, moving playground and table games and relocating the back fence to incorporate land currently not in use.

The new land would accommodate a new pool, for adults only, which will be separate from the one for competitive swimming. Mr. Burrell called it, “a serene escape for our older members.” He expects to see all of these plans implemented in a few years.

A tentative date of Monday, September 27, for a public meeting regarding Memorial Park’s master plan was discussed. Final announcements regarding this date will be forthcoming.

Gumbert Park’s building plans also have been finalized and will go before the Planning Board for approval. Neighbors will be notified shortly. And work will begin next week for Sycamore Field’s reconstruction. The picnic shelter project in Tamaques Park will not begin until after Labor Day.

Commission member Melvyn Coren observed that all of these projects require the need to notify neighboring residents of the intended plans, which may affect the quality of life in their yards. He suggested a clarification regarding the notification process so as to avoid future conflicts that occur when residents feel they were not notified.

The next Recreation Commission meeting is set for Monday, September 13.

Rec. Commission Gives Reason for Pool Sell-Out

Funding sources called for in the plan include $50,000 of capital input from the Town of Westfield; an annual operating stipend given to Westfield by Comcast based on the percentage of local cable company revenues, and “other revenues as may be agreed to with other agencies, public and non profit organizations.”

The $50,000 capital investment is money received from Comcast last year as part of the re-franchising agreement between the town and Comcast. The 15-year agreement stipulated that the money be spent on public television.

The town currently receives $40,000 per year from Comcast in franchise fees, the plan points out.

The plan also provides that “WCTV may solicit and receive gifts and donations from all sectors of society and business as permitted by law” and “may collect fees for services.”

The Advisory Board hopes that operating space for the station will be donated, but plans to set aside funds to rent or purchase a facility in the event that such an offer is not made.

Darielle Walsh, a member of the WCTV Board and Board of Education President, suggested the Board of Education’s Administration Building on Elm Street as a potential home for the station. However, the issue of limited access to the building would have to be resolved.

The station’s Board of Directors will be chosen by the Town Council. The

plan calls for seven directors who will serve initial terms ranging from one to three years.

Subsequent members will be appointed by a nominating committee and serve terms of two years. The nominating committee will consist of the Mayor, a representative of the public school system and three at-large members selected by the WCTV Board.

Neil F. Sullivan, Jr., Third Ward Councilman and Town Council Liaison to the WCTV Board, envisions TV36 as a “separate entity” from the council. However, he likened the manner in which spending decisions will be made to the cooperation that exists between the Westfield Library and the Town Council.

A component of the plan that garnered mixed comment from WCTV Board Members was the proposal that the WCTV Board of Directors serve as an advocate for the cable subscriber in matters that come up between Westfield and media providers, such as Comcast.

Some at the meeting felt that the language in the plan translated into too great a responsibility for the board.

According to Councilman Sullivan, the board would not have decisionmaking power over such contracts. He did suggest that the language in the plan be changed to stipulate that the Board of Directors only “give advice” in these matters.

Media Board Working On Plans to Revamp TV-36

Planning Board Chairman Martin Robins said it is possible the parking issues may be ironed out and that there will be no need to meet again in August.

Plans for the café have been approved by the town’s Architectural Review Board, but the Planning Board must consider the application because of an ordinance that requires new restaurants and other downtown businesses to account for where employees and patrons will park.

Local zoning ordinances require that the entire Elm Street building, which will include the first-floor restaurant and unrelated second-floor offices, must provide 63 parking spaces in the downtown, according to plans on file in Town Engineer and Planning Board member Kenneth B. Marsh’s office.

D. J. McCutcheon, Jr., an architect with DJM Associates of Secaucus, who is working on plans for the café, said that he and his clients will argue that less than half of that is actually needed.

Mr. McCutcheon said that plans call for removing the wall between the two former Elm Street businesses to make room for a café-style eatery that will serve Continental cuisine.

The café will be operated by Joseph Mortarulo, who runs The Brick Oven restaurant in Palisades Park — which Mr. Mortarulo said is not part of the chain of similarly named Brick Oven establishments, one of which is located on Quimby Street in Westfield.

Mr. Mortarulo said the café will be open weekends for breakfast and every day for lunch and dinner. Several times a week, the restaurant may feature the cooking of a New York chef.

He said he chose Westfield because it “is up and coming.”

The proposal by Mr. Harbt for the sixhouse subdivision was described by his attorney, Charles H. Brandt, as a “significant application. It is probably the largest, privately-owned parcel I am aware of in Westfield.” Mr. Brandt is a former Westfield Town Attorney.

Mr. Harbt told the Planning Board that the parcel has been in his family for more than 70 years. His father operated a furniture repair business on the site for years. Mr. Harbt subsequently purchased various parts of the parcel from his father in 1966, and from his mother in 1969.

His subdivision application calls for the development of six new lots capable of being built on, and the construction of a 40-foot-wide, dead-end street and culde-sac that will be built directly off of Rahway Avenue.

Various residents whose properties surround the proposed development site, however, have expressed concerns. Their concerns center mostly on what they feel has been the removal of too many trees on the now heavily wooded lot; a change

in drainage as a result of clearing the property, which has a higher elevation than neighboring lots, and resulting changes in traffic that may occur once the homes are in place.

Two couples, Carmen and Kelly DiMaria of 915 Rahway Avenue, and Carl and Janet Bredlau of 909 Rahway Avenue, have retained the law firm of Stanton, Hughes, Diana, Salsberg, Cerra & Mariani in Florham Park to represent them in the matter.

Their attorney, Matthew Giacobbe, questioned the developer extensively about drainage, traffic, the cutting down of trees, and maintenance of the property.

But it was another resident, Arthur Feibush of Amy Drive, which abuts the side of the property to be developed, who revealed to board members that the developer had not submitted the necessary tree plan as required under the town’s fairly new tree preservation ordinance.

The tree ordinance, which was passed more than a year ago, is designed to preserve as many trees as possible, particularly when a new development is being built.

The question of the necessary tree plan resulted in lengthy discussions throughout the meeting between the board and Mr. Harbt, Mr. Brandt and James Watson, a representative of EKA Associates, the Scotch Plains engineering, surveying and planning firm retained by Mr. Harbt for the project.

Mr. Harbt and Mr. Watson were asked by the Planning Board to present a revised tree plan in time for the August meeting.

Mr. Feibush, Jeffrey Bush of Amy Drive and George Gross of Tice Place all testified about water runoff from Mr. Harbt’s property, which slopes downward toward their backyards, and questioned whether the proposed development will only increase that problem.

John DuPont, an engineer from EKA, testified that, in accordance with the plans, the high point of the property to be developed will be taken out and the land will be regraded. As a result, he said, much of the water will be redirected to flow toward the new proposed street in the direction of Rahway Avenue.

Underground sewer pipes will hold the water and let it trickle out slowly into the existing town sewer pipes, he added.

As for traffic, several of the residents questioned whether a traffic impact study was necessary. While the board did not ask Mr. Harbt to conduct such a study, Mr. Marsh said there were some socalled traffic calming devices which may be applicable to the proposed development.

Comments from the public and the applicant will continue to be heard at the August 2 meeting.

Planning Board Postpones Hearing for Café on Elm

According to the testimony presented, the new building will accommodate up to 60 children as well as serve “an ever increasing aging population.”

In those months, testimony was also given by both architects on the project describing the specifics of the building. In the spring, Mr. Schleifer testified that the main floor of the new building would house the day care area, as well as a full kitchen used for cooking meals for both programs.

The second floor, according to Mr. Algarin, will house the senior program and include a lounge, an eating area, a serving kitchen area, a medical examination area and an area for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s.

At the conclusion of testimony given in May, Henry Kelly, a member of the Board of Adjustment, asked the architects to submit a more “detailed” drawing of the building. Also, board members expressed their concern about not having a planting strip in front of the building for trees or other greenery.

In June, members of the WCC’s Board of Directors decided to wait until the July meeting for a vote because there were only five of the seven board members in attendance who heard the application and, subsequently, who could vote on the proposed use variances.

At that June meeting, Donnell Carr, the WCC’s newly-voted Board of Directors’ President, who was not in attendance at the July meeting, said the WCC decided to wait until the seven members were available so that they would have “a better chance at attaining our variances.”

In attendance Monday were six of the seven original members who heard testimony on the proposed WCC annex building. In total, there are nine members on the board.

Now that the building has been approved, Ms. Howell said the next big step in making the building a reality will be to “launch a major campaign to raise the needed $1.3 million for the project.”

Community Center Variance Okayed by Adjustment Bd.

Courtesy of the Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce

JAZZ IN JULY…Soul Jazz Trio, pictured during a performance last year at the corner of East Broad and Elm Streets in Westfield, will return on Tuesday, July 20, for the Westfield Jazz Festival. The group will be one of five bands featured at the event, which will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. along the sidewalks of the community’s downtown.

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