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The Westfield Leader
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ARTS and ENTERTAINMENT
Barnstorm is currently defined as “going about the country performing plays, giving lectures or campaign speeches, and playing exhibition games in small rural districts.” The word’ssecond element,storm,isused in its figurative military sense of “a strong sudden attack on a place.”
Barnstorming,however,originally described the peaceful exploitation of a barn for non-agricultural purposes.
The first use of the word barnstorminprint wasbyCharlesDickens in “Nicholas Nickleby,” in which he described a barnstormer “as one of a troop of actors.” It had long been the practice of itinerant bands of roving actors to use barns for theaters. Later, aviators would use barns to shelter their planes when not providing joyrides to the locals.
Barnstormer was eventually used as a figure of speech to describe professional athletic teams who traveled the countryside in search of competition. The term is also used today to describe politicians “on the stump” (campaigning) in search of rural votes.
A professor writes:
Several months ago you devoted part of your column to music; that is, you identified songs and spoke about our desires and priorities and how to achieve them. I am an assistant professor in a local college and used that particular list of music to teach my class on how we can achieve personal happiness and contentment. Could you give us some more “therapy through music?”
Thank you for adapting my writing into your course. Per your request, here is another list to strengthen your self-image and gain better control of your life:
1. ‘”Respect” — Aretha Franklin. Expect respect (that’s a tongue twister) in any relationship. If you have a good self-image, you want to be respected and accepted by others.
2. “ILoveYouJust TheWayYouAre” — Billy Joel. Isn’t it wonderful to be involved with someone who cares about you and does not want to re-do you into his/her image?
3. “Believe” — Cher. A current big commercial hit by Cher, who keeps reinventing herself. Cher sings about hope and faith and although she’s been hurt and ended a loving relationship, she feels one should not give up: “there is love after love.” We should continue to seek new, fulfilling relationships.
4. “I Will Survive” — Gloria Gaynor. Despite adversity, this singer says she will survive a difficult relationship and move on; don’t give up passively in life.
5. “The Last Day” — Marilyn Scott. A current hit song which says (I am paraphrasing) “Don’t live today as if it’s the last day of your life; live and enjoy every day because of the beauty of life and have the desire to enjoy the good things in life.”
6. “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” — by the late Dusty Springfield. Dusty tells her love that she doesn’t care whether he loves her or not; she needs him and so she’ll settle for his availability. Don’t repeat this in your relations. If you love someone, you should want to be loved in return, and not end up dependent on someone else for your strength.
7. “You Don’t Own Me” — Lesley Gore.Nobody ownsanyone.Clarifyyour values, your goals and try to accomplish and fulfill them.
8. “You Are So Beautiful” — Joe Cocker. Express your feelings; let those you care about know how special they are. Too often we don’t express our affections. How sad!
9. “Those Were The Days” — Marianne Faithfull. Life passes by too quickly. Don’t live with regrets in terms of feeling, “What I should have done.”
10. “Doggie In The Window” — Patti Page. Yes, you’re reading me right! Often, when I’m with my granddaughter, I sing this song which I sang to my children. And there I am, barking like a dog, meowing like a cat (she’s too young to know the difference anyway). It’s wonderful to “let loose,” act silly, let your heart and warmth pour out. I stopped being this responsible, solid citizen for a while. We should all do it more often. I use the song as a symbolism to “let it all hang out and become natural and open. It is a wonderful feeling; it is the most wonderful feeling!
A teen writes:
Is there anything wrong with having
HUNG UP!! HUNG UP!! HUNG UP!! HUNG UP!! HUNG UP!!
By Milt Faith, Executive Director
Youth and Family Counseling Service
Music to Soothe the Ravaged Soul Strikes a Chord With Professor
dark brown hair, wearing glasses and being a little overweight? Ever since I was a little girl, my mother stressed the importance of being physically attractive, or, as she put it, “presentable.” She wanted everyone to feel that I was a beautiful child or, rather, that a beautiful child would reflect her motherhood. She always made a big issue of my eating too much, wearing “just the right clothes,” putting a blondish tint to my hair. I resented it. I have always dressed well, wear attractive glasses and try to work with my family doctor to watch what I eat. Basically, I feel good about myself, but then when my mother starts in, and she still does, I begin to doubt myself and the way I look. Is there no way of stopping her?
First, I want to commend you for your intelligence and awareness. You have every right to be whomever you want to be, and that includes your physical appearance. In fact, you seem comfortable in that, except for your mother’s obsession into making you appear the way she wants you to look. It does sound as if your “presentability” (if there is such a word) validates her effective and adequate role as a mother. Try to not doubt yourself and be proud of who you are — and your appearance. Tell mother again and again that it is inappropriate for her to attempt to control you in these ways. Do not let her influence your self-image feelings. Go on with your life; you have a lot on the ball.
P.S. Show her this column — she may want to communicate with me to find out what her needs are.
A guilty mother writes:
My mother died two months ago. My daughter, age 8, wanted to go to the memorial services and to the cemetery. My husband and I had talked about it and we felt “Amy” was close to her grandmother and since Amy wanted to be present at the services, we would allow it. Many in my family felt this would traumatize the child and cautioned me against this. Amy is a bright, sensitive child and I felt this would help the mourning process and bring the loss to a healthy closure.
Since then, Amy asks many questions about loss and death, and we try to answer her questions truthfully and with great sensitivity. She seems fine. However, I sometimes wonder if I made the correct decision. Any comments?
Each situation, each relationship, is different and unique. Each parent must evaluate the emotional maturity of the child, the emotional readiness to experience the sadness and grief in the loss of a loved one — and the celebration of joy in the life of the deceased.
The support of the family and the openness to respond to questions and upset feelings should make this experience meaningful and helpful as we go through life encountering various losses. Amy seemed ready to, and wanted to, share in her grandmother’s loss; I feel you made the correct decision.
MSNBC Broadcast Should Have Had More Focus on Westfield Instead of Vice President
Last week’s MSNBC special from Westfield High School,dubbed“Lessonsof Littleton:ATownMeeting,” could have been telecast with the same result as a program aired from NBC Studios at Rockefeller Plaza.Only thefacesofthe audiencewouldhavebeen different.
While the discussion was on a very serious topic – safety in our schools following the result of last month’s tragedy in Columbine High School in Colorado, the “on air” time for both our state and local officialsandresidents,not tomentionWHSstudents, fell far short of the expectations of the many people who attendedorwhowatched theprogramlocallyon Channel 68.
The concept of a “Town Meeting” is a good one provided that the audience gets a chance to actively participate. Why didn’t our Mayor get to speak? After all, he was seated in the front row. Why wasn’t UnionCountyProsecutor ThomasV.Manahanasked to be a member of the panel? Also, those people watching theprogrammaynot haverealizedthattwo of the parents who spoke (Arlene Gardner or Eileen Satkin) actually sit on the Westfield school board.
The format would have been better served had the audience gotten a chance to ask questions during the panel discussion. Also, why was there no discussion on securityissuesinNew Jerseyschools?Webelieve this meeting was put together at the last minute with the location literally decided days before the broadcast. Also, why wasn’t the press — specifically the community newspapers — allowed to ask questions during the forum? After all, wouldn’t our questions addressed specifically to New Jersey and Westfield have generated more interest from the audience? Also,why wasVicePresidentAl Goregivensomuch air time? It seemed as though it was more like the
2000 Presidential Campaign. Also, why weren’t more of the 2,000 questions emailed into the show read for the audience?
The forum did bring home a very important point – noone factorisgoingto solvetheincreasingviolence in our public schools. First and foremost, the issue of behavior starts with parents along with teachers, clergy and community leaders, DYFS (Division of Youth and Family Services) and, lastly, our law enforcement people. Together we must educate our kids of the dangers of guns and knives.
Perhaps a program similar to D.A.R.E. (Drug and AlcoholResistance Education)couldbeimplemented to educate kids at an early age of the danger of guns.
We would recommend that the topic of school safetywouldbea greatforumtoair onourlocalcable access channels. Organized by local officials and residents, thistypeofprogram wouldprovideamuch better forum. It could be held in one of the schools, town halls,etc.,possiblyon aweeknightorweekend.
More discussion is needed on this topic. The one “lesson” we believe that has come out of Littleton is thatwe shouldnotforgetwhat happenedtothesekids and their teacher. There must be communication between students and their parents and teachers and quick response to any threat of violence involving weapons.Arrestsmustbe madefollowedbyprosecution and strong penalties handed down by our courts.
Wecan’t letthegunsused inLittleton,asdisplayed by Westfield Police Chief Anthony J. Scutti at last week’s MSNBC telecast, continue to get into the hands of kids. We also have to stop placing blame on others. If each parent, teacher and student does their job to educate themselves on the dangers and availability of guns, we will go a long way to reducing the possibility of more Littletons.
School Safety Issue Must Be Priority For Entire Community, Not Just Schools
School safety must be a priority not only for our schools but for the entire community. The recent tragedies suffered by the communities of Springfield, Oregon; Edinboro, Pennsylvania; Jonesboro, Arkansas; West Paducah, Kentucky; Pearl, Mississippi and, most recently, Littleton, Colorado, have left scars on the minds and hearts of all Americans.
School violence has become a complicated societal problem which, while not insurmountable, has caused schools to work diligently to overcome the influences of violence through programs and strategies such as zero-tolerance policies for drugs and weapons and through community cooperation.
Fosteringand maintainingasafelearning environment requires a climate of tolerance in which all students are comfortable and secure. Adolescents have a strong need to be accepted by their peers but unfortunately, due to stereotypes and ignorance, certainindividualsandgroups feel alienated from their fellow students. This appears to have been the case in Littleton.
Recently, Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley and Attorney General Janet Reno produced the “Annual Report on School Safety.” In the summary of the report, it is stated that, “Most schools are safe.” Clearly, this finding is one that should be disturbing not only to those engaged in law enforcement but to parents and educators as well.
Last Fall at the Annual Mayors Conference, the subject of school violence resulted in numerous proposals and strategies to provide safer schools. The state’s mayors, at their recent conference, announced that they will form a task force that will offer specific recommendations for local officials and parents to consider.
Last week the State Juvenile Officers held a conference in which school safety was the principal topic.
No single program or strategy can meet the needs of all students. Successful school safety plans must involve a variety of broad-based strategies, poli
cies and programs that focus on improving the overall quality of the school environment. This must include the involvement of the students.
Moreover, it is imperative that parents, educators and those in law enforcement gather from our students “appropriate intelligence” that will provide adults with a better understanding of the nature and extent of youth problems that can result in violent conduct.
One strategy that appears to be at the forefront is school uniforms. Although not a panacea to the varied problems which give rise to the violence that has spilled over into our schools, uniforms can play a role in eliminating alienation.
In Union County, the Plainfield Board of Education has taken steps to implementa“Uniform Policy”whichtheboard believes will help promote a climate in which all students feel comfortable and secure and hopefully will reduce estrangement.
It is a strategy to be seriously considered by all school districts, and I believe it will remove the peer pressure that drives students to compete in a fashion contest that adds nothing to the quality of their education.
Although I write this letter in my official capacity as the Union County Prosecutor, I also write as a parent of high school students. Like every parent, I want my children to attend school free from the fear and concern of violence. Simply stated, when it comes to our children, any school crime is too much.
Thomas V. Manahan Prosecutor Union County
Friends of Library Thankful For Support
At Recent Book Sale
The Friends of the Westfield Library thank the residents of Westfield for supporting the annual library Book Sale. We would like to thank those who supported the sale by donating books, those who purchased books and especially those who gave their time and labor during the sale.
Once again, the sale was a huge success and all of the profits will be donated to the library so that all Westfield residents will benefit from your generosity.
Barbara McIntyre President Friends of the Westfield Library Symphony Lauds Friends For Support
During Tour of Notable Homes Event
Our town was arrayed in her most perfect spring blooms last Saturday for A Tour of Notable Homes produced by The Friends of Westfield Symphony Orchestra to benefit its programs and
outreach. On behalf of the symphony family, our heartfelt gratitude to the ultimate co-chairwomen Deirdre Malacrea and Renee Trabert and their outstanding committee.
Special appreciation goes to the homeowners who so graciously opened their homes to the public: Mr. and Mrs. Louis Francz, Joseph P. DeAlessandro, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Harbaugh, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Buehler and Ms. Jeneane Willyard.
Thank you to the many businesses in Westfield and surrounding towns who provided gifts for the raffle, services and sponsorships — their spirit it was makes our area a great place to live and work.
No American orchestra can operate on the proceeds from its ticket sales alone. Thanks to our Friends and their friends for their efforts to assist the WSO to bring the world’s greatest music home for all to hear and enjoy.
Nancy N. Jackson Executive Director Westfield Symphony Orchestra Apology Demanded
Of Mr. Spera for His Comment at Meeting
Reading the article in April 29 issue of
The Times on the Scotch Plains Municipal Budget, I was startled to read that former Republican Mayor Gabe Spera termed the budget’s calculations “Chinese mathematics.”
As a Chinese-American, I found this characterization offensive. Does Mr. Spera mean to imply that Chinese cannot do accurate calculations, or that Chinese people are somehow dishonest? I wonder what outcry there would have been if Mr. Spera said “black mathematics” or “Italian mathematics.” Using ethnic or racial characterizations in situations like this is inappropriate, furthers stereotyping and increases racial divisiveness. He should be ashamed, and should issue a public apology.
Sandra Gong Scotch Plains
Letters to Editor
Westfield Foundation Congratulates Leader
For This Is Westfield
I have read The Westfield Leader’s
1999 edition of This is Westfield, and I congratulate you on an outstanding job. It is well done and full of interesting news and features about Westfield.
I note that This is Westfield contains feature articles about 12 Westfield nonprofit organizations that are or have been recipients of grants from The Westfield Foundation.Theseorganizationsinclude: First Night Westfield, Genealogical Society of the West Fields Musical Club of Westfield, New Jersey Workshop for the Arts,United FundofWestfield,Westfield Art Association, Westfield Community Players, Westfield Historical Society, Westfield Symphony Orchestra, Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad, WYACT (Westfield Young Artists’ Cooperative Theatre) and, Youth and Family Counseling Service.
Foundation grants provide funds for nonprofit organizationsinsocialservices, arts, education, health and civic improvement. During the past 18 years, the Westfield Foundationhasprovidedgrants to 93 different organizations. Grants in excess of $200,000 were made to Westfield community organizations in 1998.
It is an exceptionally good feeling to be able to offer grants to these nonprofits and it was gratifying to see a dozen of these 93 non-profits featured in the 1999 issue of This Is Westfield.
Frank A. MacPherson President Board of Trustees The Westfield Foundation
Right of Children Must Stay Alive Over Freedom of Expression
I, for one, believe as strongly as any American in the need to protect our rights to express opinion and to speak freely on any subject. However, I am also sick beyond words of allowing the need to protect a person’s right to speak or express themselves without accountability over all of our rights to live that I must speak out myself.
I challenge any thinking person to stand on the side of freedom of irresponsible expression over the right of the children of this country to stay alive. Who can look into the eyes of one of the parents of the dead in Colorado and tell them that they would protect a person’s right to design and promote video games, who’s sole purpose is to stalk and kill people,beforethey wouldprotectaschool child’s right to retain their life?
Teri Gerson Westfield
More Letters On Page 5
Violence in our schools, it’s a crisis of the “heart.” That’s what keeps ringing in my mind as I reflect upon MSNBC’s production of the National Town Meeting of Westfield High School last Wednesday night.
This view was offered by Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham. He didn’t get much play in the telecast, and they immediately switched to a commercial, and when they returned to the production, the show returned to the thumping of the more popular themes those of gun control, violence in entertainment and dangers of the Internet.
The early part of the program kept switching to Des Moines and Vice President Al Gore. This, I think, lost most of the audience.
We of the press had a unique perspective of the television production. We were seated behind the cameras amidst the cabling and heat exhaust vents. It was the “cheap seats” as Tom Brokow called it when he came over to speak with us.
When asked what we could do as community journalists,Mr.Brokowsaid, “Get into the schools and write about what you see, about what you think.”
MSNBC was quite gracious to their cousins, we of the printed word. A press room was provided, and we were kept informed of all the plans and schedules. The private press confer
ence with Governor Christine Todd Whitman was very helpful. She comes across quite well.
I arrived early that evening through the back door and was given a guided tour of all the marvelous tools and setup, the satellite dishes as big as highway signs and cables as big as your fist. Multi-million dollar trailer trucks spewed electronic gear in a skillfully entwined manner by the highly trained crew.
And from the “cheap seats,” we could see it was a highly choreographed affair. Each audience seat was carefully hand picked to be filled with the politically correct array of what supposedly represented the average American small town. It didn’t seem like Westfield, but that wasn’t the intent.
The questions seemed “staged” and the answers appeared rehearsed. But it was all very interesting.
Tom Brokow was in complete command and is a consummate professional. Jane Pauley seemed to be having a “bad hair day.”
So, if it takes a village to raise a child and to avoid this “Crisis of the Heart,” I think the real Westfield is on the right track.
By HORACE R. CORBIN
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
horace@ goleader. com
Violence in Our Schools Is a Crisis of the Heart
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Another Column On Page 5
Nebraska Kids Thank Town Resident for Help On Westfield’s History
Editor’s Note: The following letter was received by Nancy Priest, President of the Friends of Mindowaskin Park in Westfield. The letter was in response to information Ms. Priest sent the children from Nebraska after reading their request in The Westfield Leader.
* * * * *
Below is a copy of a letter that I received from two young students from Nebraska. The letter from them was in your paper several weeks ago asking for information about New Jersey. I sent them several things from our local organizations on history, Mindowaskin Park post cards, Westfield Symphony Orchestra, etc.
In the light of all the violence we have experienced recently, it was refreshing to hear from students with a positive attitude. I hope you will print this note in the paper.
Nancy Priest Westfield
* * * * *
Thank you for taking the time to respond to our Letter to the Editor requesting information about your state. The friendliness and generosity of you and all the people who wrote to use was overwhelming! The information you sent will help us write an interesting report about your state with a more personal touch than we could have gotten from using just the encyclopedia.
Thank you for the postcards, information and booklet. We are for sure to get an “A++.”
Jessica Daley and Hailee Sahs Fifth Graders St. Isidore School