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Local Garden Club to Present ‘Spring In Bloom’ Workshop
SCOTCH PLAINS — Anthony Brown, owner and operator of Visions Floral Decorations of Scotch Plains will present a workshop, “Spring In Bloom,” on Tuesday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. to the Scotch Plains -Fanwood Garden Club.
The program will be presented at the garden club’s meeting place, the Community Room at the Fanwood train station corner of North and Martine Avenues.
The presentation will feature unusual arrangements celebrating the Easter season.
Among these will be Ikebana, a floral art form refined by the Japanese, which utilizes branches stems and leaves to convey the continuation of growth.
Mr. Brown has created designs in Europe and New York City. He has been the exclusive decorator for the Short Hills Hilton and the Somerset Marriott Hotels. He has also created designs for celebrities.
EXOTIC ARRANGEMENTS…Anthony Brown, owner and operator of Visions Floral Decorations of Scotch Plains, will present his program and workshop, “Spring In Bloom,” on Tuesday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. to the Scotch Plains Fanwood Garden Club. Pictured, above, are Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Brown.
The garden club meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Room in the Fanwood train station located at North and Martine Avenue.
Membership is open to the public. For more information, please call Shirley Farkas at (908)889-6208.
UNICO Gives Scholarship To Benefit Township Man
SCOTCH PLAINS — The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Chapter of UNICO National, a civic organization dedicated to assisting fellow members of the community, recently funded a $2,500 scholarship for Community Access Unlimited’s Community Support Program (CSP).
UNICO’s contribution will help Scotch Plains resident Ronald Vigliano, reach his goal of independent living in the community. Chapter President Rocco Cornacchia presented the check to Community Access Unlimited on January 26.
Community Access Unlimited’s Director of Development, Amy Van Pelt, accepted the donation on behalf
of the CSP and Mr. Vigliano. The CSP is a unique fee for service program that provides assistance to people with disabilities in New Jersey, according to Community Access Unlimited spokeswoman Eileen Carroll.
The program offers in-home support services involving daily living skills, budgeting skills, and vocational counseling. Acquisition of these skills empowers individuals with disabilities to reach their potential for being self sustained, the spokeswoman said.
For more information on Community Access Unlimited or the CSP, please call Tricia Lobdell at (908) 354-3040, Extension No. 272.
Annual Rally Walk Slated By Coalition To End Hunger
SCOTCH PLAINS — The Coalition for Hunger Awareness of Union and Somerset Counties has announced its seventh annual Rally Walk to End Local Hunger on Sunday, May 2, in Mindowaskin Park in Westfield.
The walk will offer three routes of varying lengths: five miles to start at 1 p.m., three miles at 2 p.m. and one mile at 2:30 p.m.
Westfield Mayor Thomas C. Jardim will serve as Honorary Chair of the 1999 Walk. In 1998 while serving as honorary chair, he completed the five mile route.
The rally in Mindowaskin Park will feature free entertainment and refreshments. There will also be an appearance and autograph signing by a surprise National Football League celebrity. Among the entertainment this year will be a barbershop quartet and a DJ as well as a magician for the children.
The 1998 Walk had more than 200 walkers and raised a record level of
funds which enabled the coalition to distribute $14,000 to 10 local soup kitchens and food pantries. In addition to contributions from the walker sponsors, corporate sponsors made a large difference in the fundraising effort.
The Coalition For Hunger Awareness of Union and Somerset Counties is an interfaith group of congregations, non-profits and civic organizations located in Union and Somerset Counties and was organized in 1992 by the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey in order to raise funds to alleviate hunger by supporting local food pantries, soup kitchens or other food programs.
For further information about the coalition or for participating as a walker or corporate sponsor, please call Luis Fleischman at (908) 8895335.
Mountainside School Board Passes $8.8 Mil. Budget With Flat Tax Rate By KIMBERLY A. BROADWELL
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
MOUNTAINSIDE The Mountainside school district’s 1999-2000 school budget of $8,810,156 will keep the tax rate flat at $1.64 for the school portion of residents’ bills.
On average residents will pay $3,280 of the total property tax bill to support the local school system based on the average borough assessment of $200,000.
Introduced by the Board of Education by a 5 to 1 vote in February, a total of $7,657,622 will be raised through local property taxes if voters favor the tax levy the school election on Tuesday, April 20.
According to School Board Secretary Francis Tolley, who gave a full presentation of the budget, local taxes account for 87.1 percent of the revenue portion of the spending plan, with the remainder coming from state aid, tuition reimbursements, surplus and miscellaneous revenue.
Mrs. Tolley devoted the rest of her presentation to the expenditure portion of the budget, noting that the biggest changes from last year’s spending plan came from instructional expenditures, educational media services and capital outlay equipment.
Mrs. Tolley went on to show that an increase of $71,532 in instructional expenditures in the 1999-2000 budget was primarily due to last year’s negotiation of a 3.7 percent increase in salaries for all 41 full-time instructional staff members in kindergarten through grade 8 in the Deerfield Elementary School.
She explained that a $67,000 decrease for educational media services was largely due to the fact that $204,500 had been allotted in the 1998-1999 budget for the library’s newly-refurbished computer lab, as well as upgrades in software.
The school board secretary explained that the capital outlay decrease of $415,860 was due to last year’s budgeting for a new roof project.
Chief School Administrator, Dr. Gerard Schaller, remarked that he was proud of this year’s budget, saying it showed the district’s commitment to upgrading curriculum as well as technology.
Dr. Schaller noted that the budget will bring more computers to the kindergarten through second-grade classes, upgrade the sound system in the Deerfield gymnasium, equip the science areas with more labs, and upgrade the wood and metal shops into a technology lab featuring robotics and flight simulation.
According to Tom Predale, a technology teacher at Deerfield School, if
the school tax levy is passed by voters, modular units will be available to students which will include video production technology, satellite weather stations for tracking weather patterns, and technology for mechanical gears and robotics.
Board President Patricia Taeschler stated that the flat rate was largely due to the full dissolution of the regional school district, and the obligation that board members felt to the taxpayers, to keep promises made during the deregionalization process.
Under the deregionalized system, Mountainside sends its high school students to Governor Livingston in Berkeley Heights.
In concluding her presentation, Mrs. Tolley noted that Randy Palmer, a computer teacher at Deerfield, had made the budget available on the Internet. Individuals may access the web site mountainsidenj.com/ deerfield.
She also reminded audience members that the date for school elections, which will include a public vote on the budget, is Tuesday, April 20, from 2 to 9 p.m.
In other business, Mountainside resident William Sanders, Executive Director of Portraits of Patriots, presented the school board with a copy of a famous portrait of George Washington, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the President’s death.
The picture, which will be hung in the Media Center at Deerfield School, was originally done in 1862 by William A. Marshall.
Mr. Sanders said he presented the painting because of what he described as a decline in recent years in how much students are taught about famous Presidents.
“I remember seeing pictures of George Washington all over when I was a kid; now its much harder to find his portrait in schools or municipal buildings,” Mr. Sanders stated.
He added that “no other individual affected our country more than George Washington. He was our country’s first General as well as our first President.”
Assemblyman Richard H. Bagger, who presented the school board with some educational materials from the Mount Vernon Association about the first President, stated that although Washington was from Virginia, he spent more time in the State of New Jersey than any other state during the time of the American Revolution.
He also thanked Mr. Sanders for his “public spiritedness.”
In other business, the board also took time to officially thank Linda Schneider for the many years she
served as one of its members. Mrs. Schneider resigned from the board last summer, after purchasing a home in another town.
To commemorate her 18 years of service, the board presented Mrs. Schneider with a plaque. The board also donated a handful of new books to the Deerfield Media Center in her honor.
Mental Health Group Seeks Performers
The Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ) is currently seeking volunteers interested in joining the Project Return Players Program in the Union County Area.
The Players’ purpose is to help educate the community about mental health issues using improvisational role-play techniques.
Those interested in joining the group or obtaining more information may call Marie at the MHANJ office at (973) 7442500, Extension No. 17.
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