FIFTY CENTS 232-4407
Scotch Plains – Fanwood THE TIMES
OUR 40th YEAR – ISSUE NO. 11-99 Published Every Thursday USPS 485200
Periodical – Postage Paid at Scotch Plains, N.J. Thursday, March 18, 1999
of of of of of
— Serving Scotch Plains and Fanwood Since 1959 —
CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
Fanwood Council Reviews Protocol, Options As Hearing on Dean Oil Site Approaches By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
A proposal by developers to construct a residential apartment complex on the Dean Oil site at LaGrande Avenue and Second Street was high on the minds of those in attendance at last Thursday’s regular meeting of the governing body in Fanwood.
Borough Attorney Dennis Estis, in response to inquiries by Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly, outlined the roles and responsibilities of elected officials in dealing with applications such as the one involving the Dean Oil property, as well as the borough’s options in the event apartments are not built on the site.
LaGrande Realty Associates, LLC is seeking approval from the Fanwood Planning Board to erect a two-story building containing 24 units on the property, having scaled back their original proposal for a three-level complex housing 36 apartments.
A residents’ group is opposed to the project, arguing it would be an inappropriate use of the acre-and-aquarter site. They maintain the proposed development would negatively impact traffic and parking, as well as local schools, recreational facilities
and emergency services. The Planning Board is scheduled to hear the application next Thursday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Park Middle School in Scotch Plains. LaGrande Realty Associates is seeking a use variance, among others, because apartments are currently not a permitted use for the site, which is zoned as general-commercial.
Both Mayor Connelly and Councilman Joel Whitaker sit on the Planning Board, but are not eligible to participate in public hearings or vote on use variances like the one sought by the applicants, Borough Attorney Dennis Estis confirmed.
He said the reason they are asked to refrain from taking part in such cases is that residents may later appeal the approval of an application by the Planning Board to the Borough Council. Had they taken part in the original board hearing, Mr. Estis said governing body members’ votes on an appeal of the board’s decision might be seen as “tainted.”
Mr. Estis advised the Mayor and members of the council not to voice opinions on the pending application, saying this could also lead to perceptions that officials were less than
objective if the Planning Board’s eventual decision was appealed.
Per a recent request by the Mayor, Mr. Estis reviewed the procedure for condemning a piece of property through eminent domain, defined as a government’s right to appropriate private property for public use, usually with compensation to the owner.
He said the governing body would first have to make a decision to condemn it, then retain an appraiser to study the property and determine a fair price. The next step, Mr. Estis said, would be an attempt to amicably purchase the property from the owner.
In the event the two sides failed to reach an agreement, however, the borough could then file condemnation action, the Borough Attorney maintained.
If they were to attempt to acquire the property, Mr. Estis advised that officials would first have to “demonstrate they’ll use it for a public purpose,” as opposed to selling it for commercial development.
Tom Ryan of Marian Avenue, who with several of his neighbors recently formed the Fanwood Citizens for Responsible Development to protest the apartment application, asked whether the council was authorized to take a “proactive role” in developing the property for commercial use, and also if officials had held any discussions on the condemnation issue.
Mayor Connelly stated that condemnation is not an option officials could pursue at the present time, since the Dean Oil site is private property, and such action would interfere with the contract between LaGrande Realty Associates and the current owner of the site, which has been on the market for a decade.
She said that in the years since Dean Oil closed its operations there, governing body members have discussed an array of development prospects for the land, including mixed retail and apartments, retail alone, and senior citizen housing. The Mayor added that potential purchasers ultimately decided the site wasn’t right for their needs.
She said the job of the Planning Board is to ensure the applicant receives a “fair and equitable hearing,” while also considering the “best interests” of the borough. Mayor Connelly stressed that officials “strictly enforce” planning, zoning and licensing regulations.
The Mayor told The Times after the meeting that she had requested the information about the condemnation process to learn what the borough’s alternatives were in the event that, for whatever reason, the proposed apartment complex failed to materialize.
One option which officials have long considered ideal, she said, is development of the Dean Oil site as part of a block-long commercial “village,” possibly including second-floor apartments and with a parking area in the middle of the complex.
The Planning Board had originally scheduled its public hearing on the LaGrande Realty Associates application for February 24, but postponed it after approximately 100 people packed the Borough Council Chambers and adjoining vestibule, exceeding the permitted room capacity.
Although another application was on the board’s agenda that night, it is believed the majority of those in attendance had come for the Dean Oil petition.
The board arranged to hold the upcoming hearing, which will be telecast but not broadcast live on Fanwood’s TV-35, at the school in order to accommodate the large crowd which is once again anticipated.
Ordinances Unveiled, Tributes are Offered, By Fanwood Council
By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
It was a busy agenda Thursday evening for the Fanwood Borough Council, as elected officials unveiled a half dozen new ordinances, presented a handful of tributes and held a public hearing on a renewal application from Comcast Cablevision of New Jersey.
Three proclamations and three resolutions were issued at the top of the meeting by Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly on behalf of the governing body.
Two of the proclamations acknowledged March as National Middle Level Education Month and Women’s History Month, while the third recognized March 1 to 5 as National Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week.
Resolutions were presented to Carol Kraus, who has been selected as the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Club’s Volunteer of the Year; The Arc of Union County on its 50th anniversary, and School One Elementary in Scotch Plains on the 25th anniversary of the current school building.
Frank Caragher, Executive Director, was on hand to accept the resolution for The Arc, which provides workshops, day care programs, group homes and other services to developmentally disabled individuals and their families.
Barbara Cronenberger-Meyer, President of the School One Elementary Parent-Teacher Association, accepted the resolution for the school. The Willow Avenue facility replaced the original School One, which stood
on Park Avenue from 1890 through 1973.
Later in the meeting, Robert F. Smith, Director of Public and Government Relations for Comcast’s Northeast Area cable television systems, appeared before the governing body for a public hearing on the company’s application for renewal of its non-exclusive franchise.
Comcast is currently in the final stages of its three-year renewal process with several area municipalities, including Fanwood, Scotch Plains and Mountainside, in accordance with state and Federal regulations. The company reached a renewal agreement with Westfield dur
CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
Removal of Home Economics Class Among Parents’ Budget Concerns
By SUSAN M. DYCKMAN
Specially Written for The Times
During the March 11 agenda session of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education, members briefed each other and the public on the comments and concerns voiced by parents during recent budget presentations at local schools.
Board member Jean McAllister noted that, at Park Middle and Brunner Elementary Schools, there was discussion about electives; the removal of home economics from the middle school curriculum; and the proposed addition of supervisory staff at the elementary level to support and evaluate the growing numbers of new, untenured teachers in the district.
According to board member Lance Porter, parents at Evergreen Elementary School and at Park questioned the dollars being spent on technology instead of books in those schools’ library/media centers.
“They’re concerned about the average age of the books,” explained Mr. Porter.
Parents cited the average published date as 1973.
A bit surprised by Mr. Porter’s report, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carol B. Choye emphasized that additional moneys were “specifically earmarked for books, not technology” over the past few years.
Board member Edward J. Saridaki, Jr. elaborated on the issue, saying, “The general concern is that there are not enough funds available to have a substantial impact on collections.”
With respect to Park, Mr. Saridaki indicated that the newly-organized “Friends of Park Library” were working with Principal Rocco Collucci to
create a five-year plan for improving that school’s media center.
Mrs. McAllister asked the administration to “check on where the allocations went at Park.”
According to Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. John R. Crews, a study of all the library/ media centers will be presented this spring. The report will identify the average age of book collections as well as a five-year plan to improve these facilities.
Board President August Ruggiero announced that he recently spoke to parents at McGinn Elementary School. During the board meeting, he listed the drop in eighth-grade Early Warning Test reading scores at Terrill Middle School; classroom space; funding for additional staff members; and individual school bud
gets for technology among parents’ spoken concerns.
Mr. Ruggiero went on to say that McGinn parents suggested forming a task force to assess how the district can improve students’ reading ability.
Board member Richard Meade replied that exploring ways to better reading and improve scores “is what we hire people to do. It’s not the role for parents.”
Mr. Saridaki disagreed. “Anytime we want to talk about the effectiveness of the curriculum, we need parents’ input,” he stated, calling parents “objective observers.”
During the meeting, Mr. Ruggiero noted that budget presentations are continuing, with the public hearing on the budget scheduled to take place
CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
Engineering, Traffic Experts Testify on Magnolia Gardens
By DEBORAH L. MADISON
Specially Written for The Times
A special meeting of the Scotch Plains Board of Adjustment was held Monday as the public hearing continued on an application to build a multi-care facility called Magnolia Gardens on Martine Avenue.
The site plan proposes a 58,000square-foot, two-story, 95-bed assisted living/nursing home care facility on the two lots adjacent to the YMCA on Martine Avenue.
Lapid Laurel, LLC, based in Mount Laurel, has applied to the board for permission to construct the facility. Approximately 35 residents turned out to ask questions and voice their
concerns and objections regarding the proposed building.
Westfield attorney William Butler, representing the applicant, called on civil engineer Peter Steck, a professional, independent planning consultant, as an expert witness on the appropriateness of building the facility in a neighborhood zoned as residential.
Mr. Steck characterized the neighborhood around the property as primarily residential with a “comfortable compatibility” existing between homes and semi-commercial, public use buildings.
He described many of the existing semi-commercial sites along Martine Avenue as having similar landscaping characteristics to those proposed for the Magnolia Gardens site, such as front yard parking and display signs.
Mr. Steck visited the property earmarked for the Magnolia Gardens facility and took photographs from all sides, which were on display during his testimony before the board.
The engineer testified that despite two other nursing home facilities existing within a two mile radius of the site, the state has determined that there is a growing need for this type of specialized senior citizen housing in Union County.
Mr. Steck cited the township’s “1994 Re-examination Report of the Master Plan,” which also supports the findings that there is a growing need for senior citizen housing in Scotch Plains.
He pointed out that when a municipality’s master plan has become old and outdated, it needs to be re-examined. The matter also calls for a reevaluation of the zoning code, as is the case in Scotch Plains, he said.
Furthermore, he maintained that the residents of the proposed facility would be considered handicapped and therefore protected against housing discrimination by the Federal Fair Housing Act, which mandates that handicapped citizens be integrated into existing neighborhoods.
Mr. Steck stated that, in his opinion, the proposal is of inherently beneficial use to the community, with minimal detriment to the surround
ing neighborhood. Mr. Butler pointed out that, according to state zoning laws, if a proposal is deemed to be of “inherently beneficial use” to a community, then this relieves the burden of proving that it is appropriately suited to this type of zone.
Mr. Steck argued that the proposed facility, assessed at approximately $3,750,000, would generate $188,000 in taxes, of which $34,125 will go to the county and $153,875 would accrue to the township.
The site would not pose any burden on the schools and would only minimally impact other community services, he added.
Susan Kimball, of Kimball & Kimball Professional Planning Associates, hired as the board’s planning expert, asked Mr. Steck if he was aware that the township’s Reexamination Report also called for protecting and preserving the residential, park-like setting of all noncommercially developed neighborhoods in the community.
Mr. Steck replied that current local zoning ordinances do not specifically allow for this type of facility anywhere in the township, but also do not specifically prohibit it.
He reminded the board that the proposed facility would embody residential-type landscaping and residential-type architecture. The engineer remarked that Magnolia Gardens would, in fact, constitute a residence, albeit a multi-unit dwelling.
During cross-examination by board members, Mr. Steck admitted that the inherently beneficial use is only generic because there cannot be any slating of beds specifically for township residents.
However, he estimated that many of the residents, as well as employees of the establishment, would come from the immediate neighborhood based on the examples of similar facilities of this type.
George Tomkin, a resident of Brandywine Court and Chairman of the Scotch Plains Planning Board, asked Mr. Steck if a sewage treatment plant would also be considered of “inherently beneficial use,” but
CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
RESOLUTION FOR 1998 SOCCER CHAMPIONS…Governor Christine Todd Whitman recently presented a resolution to the 1998 Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Raider Boys Varsity Team in recognition of their outstanding season. The team won the State Group 3 Championship, the North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 Championship, and the Watchung Conference Championship. Accepting the resolution was the team’s coach, Tom Breznitsky. On hand for the presentation were members of the soccer team, as well as Assemblyman Alan M. Augustine, at left, and Senate President Donald T. DiFrancesco, at right, who along with Assemblyman Richard H. Bagger sponsored the resolution.
Suzett F. Stalker for The Times
MARKING A MILESTONE…Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly presents a resolution during the March 11 meeting of Fanwood’s governing body to Frank Caragher, Executive Director of The Arc of Union County. The organization, which provides a variety of programs and services to developmentally disabled individuals and their families, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Kimberly A. Broadwell for The Times
DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT…Union County Freeholder and former Fanwood Mayor Linda d. Stender, left, honors Scotch Plains Mayor Geri Samuel for her work on behalf of women’s advocacy during last week’s “Women of Excellence” dinner.
Page 10 Thursday, March 18, 1999 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION
CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Ordinances are Unveiled, Tributes Given by Council
ing the middle of last year. According to Mr. Smith, the company filed its application for renewal of municipal consent with Fanwood on November 24. The municipal consent agreement allows the company to operate its cable system in the borough.
He said Comcast has met or exceeded all the criteria on which local governments are asked to base their decision on a franchise renewal.
Mr. Smith told officials that “a decision to renew our franchise, under terms and conditions that we will negotiate over the next few weeks, ensures that cable television customers in this community will continue to benefit from all of the new technology, products and services” that Comcast offers.
As part of its existing municipal consent agreement, the cable operator provides Fanwood’s governing body with an annual update on its services.
Mr. Smith said Comcast is currently exploring the prospect of restructuring the three channels (Channels 34, 35 and 36), which serve Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Westfield and Mountainside, in an effort to provide these towns with additional local access channels.
While Comcast does offer digital cable service, Mr. Smith advised Fanwood officials against purchasing digital equipment for local programming because, he said, it would not be cost effective for the municipality at the present time.
He said the cable operator would continue to accept programming from Fanwood in the future with the traditional analog television equipment presently used by Channel 35.
Under other business, the council debuted an ordinance approving reallocation of funds from previous ordinances to defray the cost of capital projects in 1999.
A bond ordinance was introduced appropriating $533,500 and authorizing issuance of $506,825 in bonds for various general improvements including road reconstruction and resurfacing; curb and sidewalk repairs and replacements; sanitary sewer and storm water improvements; expansion of a local park building and other projects.
An additional two ordinances dealt with salaries for non-union municipal employees and for members of the Fanwood Department of Public Works.
Also introduced was an ordinance supporting the purchase of various
pieces of equipment for the municipality through the Union County Improvement Authority capital lease program, and another waiving permit fees for disabled individuals seeking to obtain certain construction permits.
Public hearings on these ordinances will be held during a special meeting of the governing body on Monday, April 5, when officials are also expected to formally adopt their 1999 municipal budget.
Eight resolutions were passed, among them a temporary emergency appropriation of $39,166 to cover expenses pending adoption of the municipal budget. Other resolutions approved tax payment refunds and the transfer of funds.
Mayor Connelly was authorized in resolutions to apply for grant money through the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders’ 1999 Project Pocket Park Program and through a neighborhood preservation program.
A resolution was passed supporting pursuit of a Bikeway and Pedestrian Grant from the state Department of Transportation. These funds would be used as part of the borough’s implementation of its long-range improvement campaign, which is aimed at enhancing downtown, commuter and recreation areas, as well as the municipal complex.
Another resolution authorized Mayor Connelly to sign an agreement with Metricom that will permit the California-based company to install six modules on utility poles in the borough.
These devices will enable computer users to access their units via radio wave transmissions. Mayor Connelly said recently that Fanwood will receive $300 annually in administrative fees from the firm, plus two free subscriptions for the service and a modem to access radio wave transmissions.
The package, which is expected to include funds for the borough to purchase a second modem, will advance the technology available to the municipality, Borough Clerk Eleanor McGovern confirmed.
Finally, a resolution was passed urging the state to provide municipal fire departments, including the Fanwood department, with thermalimaging cameras which enable firefighters to search for casualties in dense smoke conditions.
Tuesday, March 23, at 8 p.m. at the board offices located at Evergreen Avenue and Cedar Street in Scotch Plains.
Residents are encouraged to call the board’s Budget Hot-Line at (908) 889-9665 to pose questions regarding the tentative $44.5 million school spending plan. Callers should leave a message at that number, and their call will be returned by a member of the board or administrative staff.
The board plans to vote on the final budget during its 8 p.m. March 25 regular public meeting.
Prior to the close of last week’s agenda meeting, Mr. Porter commented on parents’ positive response to the decision to move the “D.A.R.E.” (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program from sixth grade to fifth.
In place in the district since 1990, the program enables students to meet
weekly with a designated officer of the Scotch Plains Police Department.
Seventeen lessons are designed to educate students about consequences, and what happens as a result of the choices people make. Issues for discussion include peer pressure, risks, self-esteem and assertiveness.
The program includes a parent’s night, and concludes with a graduation ceremony.
“I was concerned about D.A.R.E. moving from sixth to fifth grade,” admitted Mr. Porter, “but it’s been well received.”
In other business, it was noted that a report to the board from the administration regarding middle school leveling (grouping by ability) would be made at the April board meeting.
Parents Express Concern Over Budget Matters
Fanwood TV-35 Weekly Schedule
March 20-26 Saturday, March 20, 7:00 P.M.
Union County Freeholders Forum
Saturday, March 20, 8:00 P.M.
Cop TV, (Community Oriented Policing). First telecast of a new show featuring Fanwood & Scotch Plains Police Depts.
Monday, March 22, 7:00 P.M.
Fanwood’s ’98 Easter Egg Hunt
Monday, March 22, 8:00 P.M.
FYI-Fanwood First telecast of a new show which is a sit-down with mayor Maryanne Connelly
Wednesday, March 24, 7:00 P.M.
Fanwood’s ’98 Easter Egg Hunt
Wednesday, March 24, 8:00 P.M.
Fallen Flags a history of railroading in Union County, produced by TV-35
Friday, March 26, 8:00 P.M.
Broadcast of the March 25th public meeting of the Fanwood Planning Board at Park Middle School Park & Mountain Ave., Scotch Plains, NJ
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from obviously not appropriate for
placement in a residential neighborhood.
Keith Gillman, who also lives on Brandywine Court, asked Mr. Steck if the site was ideal for such a facility. The latter re-iterated that the facility would be a permanent residence for the occupants, and therefore appropriately placed.
The engineer stated that no site is ideal in every respect, but added the Martine Avenue location would be adequate and sufficient.
Mr. Butler next called on David Horner, a civil engineer and traffic flow expert. The witness, who has extensive experience in assessing traffic flow patterns at similar facilities, described traffic volume and flow patterns on Martine Avenue in detail.
Mr. Horner testified that Martine Avenue, at the location of the proposed access driveway for the facility, has a two-directional flow volume of approximately 18,500 cars
per day. During peak hours, which would be 7 to 9 a.m. and 5 to 6 p.m., the proposed site would add only 19 additional vehicles (less than 1 percent) to existing traffic volume, he stated.
He estimated that there would be only seven truck deliveries each week to deliver food and other needed items. These would be single-unit small trucks (United Parcel Service size), and no deliveries by tractor trailers would be necessary, Mr. Horner said.
In his opinion, he remarked, the proposed facility would not significantly or negatively impact existing traffic flow patterns.
Mr. Horner testified that, according to industry standards, one parking space for every employee and one space for every five beds is considered sufficient, based on similar facilities.
He estimated that a maximum of 20 employee parking stalls would be needed, plus an additional 19, for a total of 39. The 19 spaces would represent one fifth of the 95 beds at Magnolia Gardens. Mr. Horner said 40 parking stalls have actually been proposed.
Harold Maltz, who was retained by the board as a traffic expert, asked Mr. Horner if calculations were obtained during a typical month or a slower than average month, and if any holiday traffic volumes were studied. Mr. Maltz is the President of Hamal Associates, Inc., a West Orange traffic and transportation consulting firm.
Mr. Horner said that in his opinion, January and February are typical traffic volume months, and that holiday studies done at other facilities showed that the differences are minimal.
The option of placing the access driveway at the nearby three-way traffic signal was suggested by Sergeant James Rau of the Scotch Plains Police Department, but rejected by the traffic experts because, in their opinion, it would not improve traffic flow patterns.
Neighborhood residents also questioned Mr. Horner, while expressing their opinions on how the multi-unit dwelling might impact the area. They related concerns that the facility would generate overflow parking onto nearby streets, and that the number of vehicles entering and exiting the site would cause traffic delays and congestion.
After six and a half hours of testimony, the meeting concluded with the scheduling of another special meeting on Wednesday, March 24, to hear additional witnesses.
The board is expected to make its final determination before Thursday, April 1. According to Board Attorney Anthony Rinaldo, Jr., the applicant would have the opportunity to appeal the decision to a higher court if the board declines the application.
Experts Offer Testimony On Magnolia Gardens
Fanwood Announces Plans For 10th Annual Cleanup
Fanwood will celebrate it’s 10th annual Clean Communities Day on Saturday, April 24, with residents once again invited to “Think Globally and Act Locally” by participating in a community-wide cleanup.
Members of the Fanwood Clean Community Committee are organizing the upcoming event in conjunction with the Fanwood Department of Public Works. The day’s activities are being funded through a state grant.
Earth Day T-shirts, gloves and bags will be furnished to all volunteers, and refreshments from local mer
chants will be served at the completion of the cleanup. Business owners will be asked to pledge their cooperation in keeping their properties clean.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the event, or merchants who wish to support the volunteers, are urged to call Raymond Manfra, Director of Fanwood Public Works, at (908) 322-7404.
Fanwood Clean Community Committee members include Peter Sayles, Pamela Sayles, Gregory S. Cummings, Bob McCarthy, Linda Talcott, Eleanor McGovern and Mr. Manfra.
Philithalians Sets Auditions For Next Play, Chapter Two
FANWOOD — Philathalians of Fanwood will hold open auditions, with a call for backstage personnel, for its upcoming production, Chapter Two, on Monday and Tuesday, March 22 and 23, at 8 p.m. at the Patricia M. Kuran Cultural Arts Center in Fanwood.
This will be the third and final production of the theater’s 67th season.
The play, which was written by Neil Simon, is a comedy/drama based on the playwright’s life, when he met and married actress Marsha Mason shortly after the death of Joan Simon, his first wife.
There are only four characters, two men and two women. The Neil Simon character (played on Broadway by Judd Hirsch) is mid-30s to mid-40s; his new bride is in her late 20s to mid30s. His brother is anywhere from late 20s to mid-40s; her best friend is
in her mid-20s to early 30s. Also sought are technical people, experienced, novice and in-between.
Producer Dennis Freeland, Director of Philathalians’ recent production, Play it Again, Sam, can be reached at (908) 317-9793, or through voice mail at (908) 322-8686. The theater can be reached via fax at (908) 317-0363.
FANWOOD POLICE BLOTTER
Scotch Plains Democrats Set Organizational Meeting
SCOTCH PLAINS — The annual organizational meeting of the Scotch Plains Democratic Club will be held at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24, at the United National Bank, 45 Martine Avenue in Scotch Plains, according to David B. Littman, President of the club.
“Any Scotch Plains resident interested in becoming a member of the Democratic Club is welcome to attend,” he remarked.
“We plan a number of social and political events throughout the year, and are anxious to receive any potential new members,” Mr. Littman added.
He explained that officers for 19992000 will be elected, including a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and a sergeant-at-arms.
Dr. Walter E. Boright, Democratic Municipal Chairman, also reported that a straw poll will be conducted regarding potential candidates for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Frank S. Lautenberg. A presidential straw also will be conducted.
Mr. Littman reported that the Democratic Club generally meets
on the fourth Wednesday of each month except during December, June, July, and August.
Individuals who can not attend the meeting but who are interested in joining the Democratic Club may call Mr. Littman at (908) 754-7575 or send a note to 1557 Ashbrook Drive, Scotch Plains, 07076.
FRIDAY, MARCH 12
· Keith Habel, 38, of Edison was charged with driving while intoxicated after he was stopped for a motor vehicle violation at Terrill Road and Stewart Place, authorities said. Habel was released on his own recognizance.
TUESDAY, MARCH 16
· Police reported that a burglary occurred at a home in the 200 block
of South Martine Avenue. Jewelry and a television were stolen after someone gained entry by smashing a rear first floor window. The value of the stolen items was undetermined at press time.
No one was at home at the time the incident occurred, authorities confirmed. The homeowners discovered the burglary upon returning to their residence.
SCOTCH PLAINS POLICE BLOTTER
BOROUGH OF FANWOOD NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 1999 at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 430 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, the Scotch Plains Zoning Board of Adjustment will hold a special meeting to CONTINUE the hearing of the application of LAPIDLAUREL, LLC t/a Magnolia Gardens for permission to construct and operate a skilled nursing care/assisted-living facility, a prohibited use in the R-1 Zone, at the properties located at 1290 and 1310 MARTINE AVENUE (BLOCK 11905, LOTS 13 & 14),
Scotch Plains. All interested persons may be present and be heard.
Linda M. Lies Secretary to the Zoning Board of Adjustment
Township of Scotch Plains 1 T – 3/18/99, The Times Fee: $18.87
MONDAY, MARCH 8
· A wallet containing cash and credit cards was reported stolen from the kitchen of the Evangel Church on Terrill Road during the morning hours.
· A rear lens was smashed on a vehicle parked on Orchard Lane, according to police.
· Eggs were reported thrown at a house on Ramapo Way, authorities confirmed.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10
· It was reported to police that someone tampered with the hubcaps
of a vehicle parked on Country Club Lane.
· A Seneca Road resident reported that an antenna was broken off and the passenger side of a vehicle was scratched with a sharp object.
SUNDAY, MARCH 14
· Someone entered the Public Works building on Plainfield Avenue by forcing a panel on a bay door. A soda machine on the premises was forced open, though it was unknown at press time if cash was removed. The incident occurred sometime over the weekend.
Rutgers Slates Gardening Event
WESTFIELD — Master Gardener, Steven Schoeman, will discuss vegetable gardening as part of a special lecture series by Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County on Thursday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the Union County Administration Building Auditorium, 300 North Avenue, East in Westfield.
Mr. Schoeman will discuss bed preparation, seed selection, varieties, spacing, watering, fertilizing, harvesting, proper garden hygiene and reducing pesticide use. Flowers and herbs to accompany the vegetable garden will also be discussed.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County provides information and educational services.
To register for this free seminar, please call (908) 654-9854.
SCIENCE STUDENTS…The PTA of J. Ackerman Coles Elementary School recently sponsored its 18th Annual Science Fair, “Dive Into Science,” for over 360 students from kindergarten to fifth grade. The fair gave students the opportunity to learn everything from family pets to germs and mold. Nearly 1,000 individuals attended the fair. Pictured, left to right, are: fifth graders Jonathan Katz and Chris Barry who demonstrated their K’NEX Rollercoaster.
GEOGRAPHY EXPERT…Kelley Prestridge, a fourth-grade student at Evergreen Elementary School in Scotch Plains, poses with his diorama of the Maine coast. Working in pairs, all fourth graders completed a project on the state of their choice. Using their research skills and a variety of sources, including the Internet, the students found the answers to three pages of questions regarding their state’s geography, history, and economy. The students designed an original cover for the report and created an art project, such as a diorama or poster, to illustrate what they had learned and appreciated about the state.
Sunday Equestrian Courses Continue at Watchung Stables
There are still openings available for adult equestrians in the Troop Program at the Watchung Stables in Mountainside, a facility of Union County.
To be in the adult troop, riders must be 18 years of age or older.
Classes are available on Sundays at 12:45 p.m., Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. and under the lights on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. The spring session for daytime classes begins the week of March 21; evening lessons begin the week of April 6.
Riders are grouped according to ability as determined by the stable
management: beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate, advanced intermediate or advanced. Applicants with previous experience may be asked to demonstrate their riding ability. Beginners are encouraged.
The fee for the eight-class session is $170 for Union County residents; $218 for out-of-county participants.
All registrations and fees must be submitted in person at the Watchung Stables, 1160 Summit Lane, Mountainside.
For further information, and to obtain registration materials, call (908) 789-3665.