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Scotch Plains – Fanwood THE TIMES
OUR 40th YEAR – ISSUE NO. 20-99 Published Every Thursday USPS 485200
Periodical – Postage Paid at Scotch Plains, N.J. Thursday, May 20, 1999
of of of of of
— Serving Scotch Plains and Fanwood Since 1959 —
INDEX INDEX INDEX INDEX INDEX
Arts................Page 23 Classifieds ..... Page 22 Editorial ........ Page 4
Honor Rolls .. Page19 Mountainside Page 3 Obituary ........ Page 10
Religious ....... Page 11 Social ............ Page 6 Sports ............ Page 13
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Dean Oil Site Developers Renew Application As Council Introduces Referendum Ordinance
By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
The partnership eyeing Fanwood’s Dean Oil site for residential apartments last week resubmitted its application for 24 units, despite the prospect of a non-binding referendum which may eventually lead the municipality to pursue acquisition of the property.
Borough Council members unveiled an ordinance last Thursday supporting a referendum which would permit voters to tell elected officials whether or not they felt the borough should purchase the property through the right of eminent domain.
If the ordinance is adopted prior to Sunday, August 1, the question can be included on the municipal ballot in the General Election on Tuesday, November 2. Council members expect to adopt the ordinance on second reading on Thursday, June 10.
During last week’s three-hour regular meeting, officials and audience members discussed the legal and financial aspects surrounding possible condemnation of the 1.3-acre property, located at LaGrande Avenue and Second Street, which has been vacant for more than a decade.
The renewed application by LaGrande Realty Associates, LLC was under review by Zoning Officer Nancy Koederitz earlier this week, with a public hearing before the Fanwood Planning Board tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, June 23. It is expected that the hearing will be held at a local school in order to accommodate the large public turnout anticipated for the controversial petition.
A group of residents known as Fanwood Citizens for Responsible Development (FCRD) is opposed to the proposed two-story apartment
complex, arguing it is currently not a permitted use in a general-commercial zone.
They also maintain the multi-family building would have a negative impact on traffic, parking, local schools and recreational facilities, and emergency services.
The applicants, who originally proposed a three-story complex with 36 units, subsequently reduced the scope of their project by a third. A Planning Board hearing on their revised concept was set for March 25, but the partners withdrew their bid several days beforehand.
Following a concept hearing before the Planning Board last month, developers John D. Mollozzi and Vincent Bontempo indicated they would resubmit their application for 24 units.
In the interim, Council President and Democratic Mayoral candidate William E. Populus, Jr. proposed the ordinance calling for a referendum on the acquisition question.
The measure was discussed during the council’s May 5 agenda session, which Mr. Bontempo attended, and Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly confirmed last week that the partners were aware of the pending ordinance before resubmitting their application.
The applicants, who are seeking a variance to build the apartments, have a contract to purchase the Dean Oil property from its current owner, which Fanwood tax records have identified as Savers’ Shares of Morristown.
Borough Attorney Dennis Estis said the resubmitted application will proceed before the Planning Board “at a normal course” and that the anticipated referendum would be “independent of whatever action is taken by the Planning Board.”
Noting that the right of eminent domain mandates the property in question be acquired for public use, Republican Councilman Stuart S. Kline asked whether officials had a legitimate basis for pursuing this option if they chose.
Mr. Estis responded that the state’s Redevelopment and Housing Law, adopted in 1992, does permit a town to pursue condemnation if a property is in need of rehabilitation.
He said, however, that an investigation would first need to be done by the Planning Board to determine if the site met the legal criteria for the borough to take this course of action.
Mayor Connelly remarked that the applicant “has a right to apply for a variance,” observing that the matter
must be handled fairly. She said the referendum does not mean the property is for sale, or that the borough is definitely going to purchase it.
Councilman Kline recommended that the interpretive statement accompanying the proposed public question contain further language regarding why the borough may seek to purchase the property.
Officials approved as part of the ordinance an amendment expanding the language of the interpretive statement defining the purpose for the proposed property condemnation.
Thomas P. Ryan, Jr. of Marian Avenue, a Republican candidate for the Borough Council and a member of FCRD, said during the public por
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Board of Education, Parents Discuss Leveling In District’s Middle Schools At PTAC Forum By SUSAN M. DYCKMAN
Specially Written for The Times
During the May 13 agenda meeting of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education, attention focused on continuing commentary from parents and, for the first time, board members on leveling (grouping by ability) in the district’s middle schools.
The public was first invited to speak on the subject at a May 6 educational forum sponsored by the ParentTeacher Association Council at Park Middle School. Approximately 200 people attended that event. A transcript of the comments and questions posed by the audience (with subse
quent answers from the administration) is currently available to the public.
The May 13 meeting saw a smaller crowd in attendance, but no less vigorous opinions being expressed. The new transcript will be available to the public on Thursday, May 27.
At present, Terrill Middle School groups students into Levels One and Two in both Math and English across all three grades. Park Middle School has two levels of Math at every grade, but no leveling in English. It was the disparity between the two schools that gave rise to the current debate.
The leveling proposal on the table from Dr. John R. Crews, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, recommends the following program for both schools. In Math, grade six would have heterogeneous classes with flexible grouping; grade seven would have two levels of instruction in Pre-Algebra; and grade eight would have two levels of instruction in Algebra.
In English, grades six and seven would have heterogeneous classes with flexible grouping; grade eight would provide two levels of instruction.
According to Dr. Crews, flexible grouping would see students “regrouped by ability and interest to work on a (project-based) extension unit every fifth class day.” Composition of the groups would vary from unit to unit.
In defense of the heterogeneous approach, the proposal reads, “Heterogeneous grouping with flexible regrouping will allow the teacher to better manage the affective and social aspects of classrooms made up of young adolescents.”
Behind the administrator’s proposal to not level in sixth grade are the “developmental changes” that occur in young adolescents. The proposal also points to the “inequity in placement” created by “varied perceptions with respect to criteria for level recommendations” on the part of the district’s 17 fifth-grade teachers.
The proposal acknowledges that waivers, which regularly allow parents to move their child(ren) into Level One classes, have already watered down the higher level to a more heterogeneous mixture, and skewed Level Two classes to “low ability.”
In opening the comment portion of the meeting, Board Member August
Ruggiero criticized the absence of back-up materials supporting ability grouping in the information originally distributed to the board.
In referring to the materials supplied by Dr. Crews in February, Board Member Jessica M. Simpson said, “The proposal does seem to back up the research that higher achieving students won’t be hurt.”
Her colleague, Thomas Russo, disagreed.
“The February information was not at all balanced,” he said. “Since then, we’ve received more balanced information. I’m far from convinced that the research is clear.”
Mr. Ruggiero called it “strange” that the proposal made no provision for leveling in sixth grade when both schools already have it in all grades in Math.
Board Member Richard Meade asked Dr. Crews to “explain the extent to which parents would have the right to waive up or down.”
The assistant superintendent said, “It would be more ideal to avoid waiving with the proper criteria” for placement. For Language Arts, he
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Councilman Louis Jung’s Invitation to Debate Is Declined by Opponent in Upcoming Primary
By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
Republican Councilman Louis C. Jung last week challenged his opponent in the GOP primary for Mayor of Fanwood, Daniel P. Valentino, 3rd, to a debate, although it now appears unlikely such an event will take place.
Mr. Valentino, who had earlier made his own offer to debate Mr. Jung, declined the invitation based on a difference of opinion over the format to be used.
Councilman Jung, the longestserving member of the current Borough Council, suggested the debate be hosted by the Fanwood Junior Woman’s Club, which has tradition
ally sponsored debates among political candidates in Fanwood.
In a press statement issued May 11, Mr. Jung said he believed a debate “would let Fanwood Republicans judge for themselves” the qualifications of both candidates to serve as Mayor.
Jennie Wagner, Mr. Valentino’s wife and a member of his campaign team, said last Friday her husband had been willing to debate Councilman Jung, adding such an overture had been made several weeks ago to Fanwood Republican Municipal Chairman Theodore “Ted” Trumpp.
Mr. Trumpp, himself a former Mayor of Fanwood, heads the Fanwood Municipal Republican Committee, which has endorsed Councilman Jung to succeed Democratic Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly. Mrs. Connelly recently announced
her decision not to seek reelection. Ms. Wagner said Mr. Valentino wanted the debate to be facilitated by individuals not affiliated with any local organization, but claimed the proposal was turned down by the Municipal Chairman.
While confirming that Mr. Valentino did initiate the first offer to debate, Mr. Trumpp told The Times
he “would not have objected to” an independent facilitator conducting the program. He stated that it was unclear to him at the time, however, who Mr. Valentino had in mind to host the debate.
As an alternative to the Fanwood Junior Woman’s Club, Mr. Trumpp said he suggested as a debate sponsor the Westfield Area League of Women Voters (LWV), whom he called “about as impartial as you can get,” but that the offer was declined by Mr
Valentino. Councilman Jung said either the Junior Woman’s Club or the LWV would have been agreeable to him as sponsors for the debate.
Mr. Trumpp said he had proposed two Thursday debate dates, on May 20 and June 3. While one of these appeared agreeable to Mr. Valentino, according to the Municipal Chairman, neither one was ever settled upon.
The primary, to take place on Tuesday, June 8, marks the first time in many years that two Fanwood candidates have vied for their party’s nomination, borough officials confirmed.
Councilman Jung said he had hoped to highlight his experience as a two-term council member during the proposed debate, as well as his achievements since joining the governing body. The candidate was
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Franklin Donatelli’s Sudden Death Sets Up Election in Nov.
By FRED ROSSI
Specially Written for The Times
The sudden death on Monday of Scotch Plains Democratic Councilman Franklin P. Donatelli won’t lead to any immediate change in the political makeup of the governing body, which has a 3-2 Democratic majority, but will force a special election to be held in November that could alter the balance of power that switched hands less than five months ago.
The procedure for filling the vacancy calls for the Township Democratic Party Committee to submit three names to the Township Council within 15 days, according to Township Manager Thomas E. Atkins. The individuals must be Democrats, he told The Times.
The council then has 30 days to act on and appoint, by a majority vote, one of the three individuals. If the council does not act or is unable to agree on a candidate, then power reverts to the party committee, which then would appoint one of the three submitted names to the council.
Township Attorney Andrew Baron told The Times that he was still looking into the details of the appointment process.
The new member would serve only until November, when a special election will be held. The winner would then take office immediately and serve out the remaining three years of Mr. Donatelli’s fouryear term. The special election provides the Republicans with the op
portunity to reclaim the majority status they lost last year after 25 years in power.
There wasn’t any discussion earlier this week about possible names to be submitted to the council.
It remains to be seen whether Mr. Donatelli’s replacement will be a low-key, independent-minded individual like himself, who managed to stay somewhat above much of the rough-and-tumble of local politics, or a forceful party activist who will want to play more of an active role in governing.
A new council member in the latter mold, if victorious in November’s election, might want to have a turn to serve as Mayor during the Democrats’ four-year term in power.
After their election last year, Mayor Geri M. Samuel and Deputy Mayor Tarquin Bromley had planned to take turns as Mayor each year. There was also no mention during the early part of this week about possible Republican candidates in November.
Mr. Donatelli, 65, died less than five months into his first term on the governing body. Just three weeks ago, he stunned his council colleagues and many residents by abstaining during the vote on the 1999 municipal budget, which had called for an unpopular six-point tax increase.
It was a move that drew him loud cheers from the several dozen resi
WHERE IS THE FIRE?…Prianka Kumar and Jeremy Lipstein received an education first hand from the Scotch Plains Fire Department. Volunteers from all area departments visited Terrill Middle School on “Volunteer Day” and spread the spirit of volunteerism.
Fanwood Council and Police Union Reach Agreement for New Contract
By KIM KINTER
Specially Written for The Times
After five months of contract negotiations, the Fanwood Borough Council and the Fanwood Policeman’s Benevolent Association (P.B.A.) have reached an agreement.
Negotiators declined to reveal details of the three-year pact until attorneys have drawn up a formal contract that can be considered by the Borough Council in June.
Members of P.B.A. Local No. 123 agreed to terms of the contract during a special meeting Tuesday night, according to Fanwood Borough Council President William E. Populus, Jr.
Councilman Populus said negotiations during the last five months had centered around economic issues.
Talks began in January, but after only one meeting the P.B.A. asked that negotiations be sent to arbitration. After an arbitrator became involved in the talks, Borough Police Commissioner and Councilwoman Karen M. Schurtz asked Mr. Populus to help in the talks.
Mr. Populus said that the hang up in negotiations occurred over the issue of pay increases for police officers.
“We ended up with something that both sides thought was a fair pay increase,” he commented, adding that policemen are aware that Fanwood is
trying to keep its taxes down. The union’s attorney, David DeFillippo, of Klatsky & Klatsky in Red Bank could not be reached for comment.
The last police contract, which was passed and adopted on July 2, 1997 and was retroactive to January 1, 1996, called for a pay scale differentiated by length of service and rank.
Under the contract, a captain received a salary of $63,769 in 1996, $66,638 in 1997, and $69,637 in 1998. A patrolman Class A received $51,573 in 1996, $53,893 in 1997, and $56,319 in 1998.
A patrolman Probationary B, which indicates the first six months of service, received $31,479 in 1996, $32,895 in 1997, and $34,376 in 1998.
Fanwood has a police force of 21, compared to the surrounding communities of Scotch Plains, which has 46, and Westfield, with 58.
The next step in the process will be for the contract to be put before the Fanwood Borough Council at its agenda meeting on Wednesday, June 2. An ordinance will then be prepared for the council’s regular meeting the following Thursday, June 10.
The ordinance must have two readings before it is passed.
Once the ordinance is passed, the new contract will become effective as of Sunday, August 1.
Suzette Stalker for The Times
TRIBUTE GIVEN…Fanwood Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly, left, presents a proclamation to Borough Clerk and Administrator Eleanor McGovern in recognition of her years of service to the borough. Mayor Connelly proclaimed May 2 to 8 as Municipal Clerks Week during the Borough Council’s regular meeting last Thursday evening.
Page 12 Thursday, May 20, 1999 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION
CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
FANWOOD VOLUNTEER RESCUE SQUAD BLOTTER
Statistics for April 1999 Most Common Emergencies In-Town Emergency Calls: 40
Out-of Town Mutual Aid Calls: 12 Total Calls: 52 Trips Made to Area Hospitals: 34 Advanced Life Support (Paramedics) 17 Total Volunteer Hours: 200
Sudden Illness Cardiac/Respiratory Distress
Injuries Motor Vehicle Accidents Pediatric
Of Special Note: Our semi-automatic defibrillator was used successfully during the month to save a patient’s life. The patient has been discharged from
the hospital and is recovering at home. Fanwood TV-35 Weekly Schedule Friday, May 21, 7:00 P.M.
COP TV “Children, Guns, and Gun Safety
Friday, May 21, 7:00 P.M.
Memorial Day Parade ’97
Sunday, May 23, 7:00 P.M.
Sunday, May 23, 8:00 P.M.
Three Seasons in The Sun A bee’s eye view of Fanwood’s flowers
Tuesday, May 25, 7:00 P.M.
FYI-Fanwood Mayor Connelly’s Show highlighting Fanwood’s Rabies Clinic
Tuesday, May 25, 8:00 P.M.
May 13th Council Meeting
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
tion of the meeting that while he was “very happy to hear” about the ordinance, he was concerned it equaled “closing the barn door after the horse was out” since a purchase contract was already in place.
Harry McNally of Second Street called it “intriguing” that the borough had before it both an application to develop the property and a proposed referendum dealing with prospective condemnation of the site.
He said he felt voters ought to have an idea of how the property would be assessed in the event the borough did pursue acquisition, since the cost would have an impact on Fanwood taxpayers.
Councilman Louis C. Jung said the Fanwood Downtown Revitalization Committee, of which he is council Liaison, is hoping to hold a public forum, possibly in June, where members of the community would have an opportunity to “brainstorm” about ideas for revamping the
downtown, and the Dean Oil site in particular.
Mr. Jung, one of two candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Mayor in next month’s primary, told The Times
he believes the governing body should definitely look at “all the options” for the property, including the condemnation proposal.
He stated that of 40 or 50 people he has spoken to while on the campaign trail, he hasn’t encountered “one person who’s in favor” of the proposal by LaGrande Realty Associates, saying most would like to see it developed as retail-commercial, possibly with second-floor apartments.
Daniel P. Valentino, 3rd, who is challenging Mr. Jung for the GOP Mayoral nomination, has proposed the building of a community center on the site as a gathering place for youth, senior citizens and non-profit organizations, and as headquarters for the local Police Athletic League. SCOTCH PLAINS
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Dean Oil Appeal Renewed As Ordinance Is Unveiled
mentioned student-created portfolios of sixth and seventh grade work would serve as proof of a student’s ability to do Level One work.
Dr. Crews indicated that placement in Math is “less critical” because all seventh graders take pre-algebra. He said, “It’s the same curriculum, the same proficiencies, a level field.”
Mr. Russo suggested parents could respond to their perception of the district’s inability to challenge academically-talented youngsters by removing those students from public schools.
“That’s where staff development comes in, where extension activities come in,” countered Dr. Crews. “Students can experience significant challenges.”
Board Member Lance Porter questioned the effectiveness of “teaching to the top.” He asked, “How do we implement that without leaving some kids in the dust?”
He also asked if any comparison had been done of Park and Terrill students’ achievement, given the difference in practice between the schools.
“That was our original concern,” he noted.
Board Member Edward J. Saridaki, Jr. had a number of concerns, among them: grading in heterogeneously-grouped classes; how to encourage participation of academically-talented students within heterogeneous classes if they are not placed with their peers; and teacher training.
“The largest failure for students in lower levels is that there are not the same expectations, not the same teacher qualifications,” he stated.
Board Vice President Dr. Donald E. Sheldon asked Dr. Crews to explain the “safety net” procedures referenced in the proposal.
Dr. Crews listed “Basic Skills, homework clubs and guided study time” as elements already in place. When he mentioned “cooperative learning” opportunities, the audience collectively groaned.
Board Member Jean McAllister wanted specifics on how long it would take to develop staff to effect “this dramatic a change,” and how much it would cost.
Mr. Meade suggested the board hear from teachers on the pros and cons on homo versus heterogeneous classes.
From the audience, parent David Livingston stated, “If you have teachers here, I don’t want them picked by Dr. Crews. They should be selected at random for an unbiased view.”
After expressing her support for leveling, Board President Theresa Larkin listed a number of concerns about the proposal. They included: the need to identify the problems with sixth-grade leveling; how the curriculum would be handled; group-based extension activities; and assessment.
Dr. Sheldon’s questions included: the need to modify existing curriculum; individualizing instruction; mandating and delivering teacher development; and monitoring teachers and students.
Overall, parents wanted more details about the proposal, which Mr. Livingston called a “pie-in-the-sky approach.”
A resident of Scotch Plains attacked called the administration’s “agenda” of separating students a form of “segregation.”
One Fanwood parent said he was embarrassed that the proposal had gone so far “based on a few Internet articles.”
“We need to know what’s going on here, in our high school and our elementary schools, with this curriculum and these teachers,” he stated.
Another Fanwood resident, Diane Cameron, spoke to the waiver system.
“It’s an absurdity,” she said. “It’s created havoc with teachers because parents who believe their students belong in Level One also believe they should get A’s.”
Deborah Asher of Scotch Plains was the lone supporter of the proposal.
“It’s a modest proposal, not a dramatic change,” she said. “It brings the two middle schools together.”
Janet Killeen of Fanwood questioned flexible grouping, the district’s ability to adequately assess students and the impact on special education students.
Working from a letter recently addressed to the board, Scotch Plains resi
dent Heidi Sweeney asked the administration to specify the reasons for the proposed change in the leveling system.
“Nowhere did it (proposal) say Level One or Two wasn’t reaching students,” she stated.
The board will continue to discuss leveling at its May 27 meeting. In the meantime, Dr. Crews indicated that packets of background information on ability grouping are available at the elementary and middle schools and board offices.
In other business, Deborah Madison of Scotch Plains, a freelance writer with
The Times spoke on behalf of the local “Committee for Parental Choice,” whose members support neighborhood school choice as opposed to “forced school assignment and forced busing.”
She claimed to represent “hundreds” of parents in the district.
Also discussed were the timing of the Elementary School Proficiency Assessment (ESPA) test in spring 2000. Parent Lisa McNally indicated that students were scheduled to return from spring break on May 1, the same day that ESPA testing is scheduled to begin.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carol B. Choye explained that the state would allow one day’s grace to allow students to become reacclimated to the classroom before beginning the mandatory state testing.
In looking ahead to September, Dr. Choye indicated she would be recommending the board to approve one additional first-grade section at both Coles Elementary and at McGinn Elementary Schools.
Her office is projecting first-grade enrollment of 105 students and approximately 97 students at Coles and McGinn, respectively.
BOE and Parents Discuss Leveling At PTAC Forum
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
appointed to fill a vacancy in 1993 and was elected to his first full term later that year. He was reelected in 1996.
Mr. Jung chairs the council’s Public Works Committee and is also a member of the Administration and Finance and Public Safety Committees. He was named as Fanwood’s Fire Commissioner this year.
A first-time candidate, Mr. Valentino serves on the Board of Health and is a former Vice-President of the Fanwood Republican Club. He has also been a delegate for Union Township in Union County elections.
Whichever candidate gets the Republican nod in the primary will run against Council President William E. Populus, Jr., the unchallenged Democratic candidate for Mayor, in the General Election on Tuesday, November 2. Mayoral terms are for four years each.
Mr. Populus, also in his second full term on the governing body, succeeded fellow Democrat Bruce H. Walsh as Council President this year, following the latter’s retirement from the council at the end of 1998.
Councilman Populus is Chairman of the Administration and Finance Committee, and serves as a member of the Public Works and the Education, Health
and Welfare Committees. The candidate is also Fanwood’s representative to the Plainfield Area Regional Sewerage Authority.
Elected in 1995, Mrs. Connelly is a former longtime councilwoman and also served as Police Commissioner. Last month, she announced she would not seek a second term as Mayor because she is considering another run for the Seventh Congressional District seat in the year 2000. She challenged incumbent Congressman Bob Franks in last year’s race.
The Democrats currently have a 4-3 majority on the governing body, with Mayor Connelly serving as tie-breaker when necessary. Mayor Connelly is only the third woman and the third Democrat to serve as Mayor of Fanwood.
In the race for two open council seats this year, the Republican ticket includes Councilman Stuart S. Kline in his bid for a second term, with newcomer Thomas P. Ryan, Jr. seeking to fill Councilman Jung’s position.
They will face off in the General Election against Democrats Patricia Plante, a 1997 council contender, and Adele S. Kenny, recently appointed as Director of the borough’s Cultural Arts Committee, who is making her debut run for the governing body.
Election Planned to Name Mr. Donatelli’s Successor
Mr. Jung’s Debate Offer Is Declined By Opponent
dents who attended the council’s meeting that evening.
Mr. Donatelli told The Times afterwards he had made up his mind on the budget and tax proposals after listening to residents speak out for more than three hours.
It was just last week that he voted in favor of the amended 1999 budget, which contained a five-point increase in taxes, a move that resulted in displeased residents jeering him at the meeting.
Flags in the township flew at half-staff in honor of Mr. Donatelli, and Mr. Atkins told The Times that employees at the Municipal Building were “pretty devastated” by the death of the lifelong township resident.
Mayor Samuel, who was elected along with Mr. Donatelli last November, said she had met him a year ago when he joined the Democratic ticket.
“He was the kind of person you can feel like you’ve known your whole life. I
really feel like I’ve lost someone special,” she said. “He was an easy person to like.”
Republican Councilman William F. McClintock, Jr. said that, while he knew Mr. Donatelli for many years, “I never got to know him as well as I did in the past four or five months. He was a nice guy and I liked him a lot.”
“Politically, he was kind of a wild card,” Mr. McClintock said, alluding to Mr. Donatelli’s budget vote abstention in April. He noted, however, that the late councilman could also “occasionally cut to the chase” during political discussions.
Mr. Donatelli is survived by his wife, Lorraine McDede Donatelli, seven children, 10 grandchildren, a sister and four brothers. An obituary appears on page 10 of this newspaper.
Funeral services will be held today, Thursday, May 20, at 10 a.m. at the Rossi Funeral Home in Scotch Plains.
MONDAY, MAY 10
· A Stout Avenue resident reported seeing three young men enter her garage and take two bicycles.
· A Front Street service station reported a man driving a Cherokee Jeep drove off without paying for $17 worth of gasoline.
TUESDAY, MAY 11
· A Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School student reported the theft of approximately $60 from a wallet left in a backpack unattended.
· A Redwood Road resident reported that at approximately 8 a.m. she found that her cat was shot in the abdomen with a pellet gun. The cat was taken to a vet.
· It was reported that a cellular telephone was taken from a vehicle parked on Front Street.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 12
· A Concord Road resident reported the theft of a tray of impatience flowers from the backyard.
· A patron reported the theft of a wallet at a local recreational facility which was left in an unlocked locker.
· Juanita J. Cottinghan, 36, of Scotch Plains was arrested for possession of stolen license plates reported in Plainfield on May 7. Cottinghan was stopped for a
motor vehicle violation on East Second Street at approximately 10:15 p.m.
FRIDAY, MAY 14
· A Park Avenue barber shop reported a burglary which occurred some time Friday night. Entry was gained through a unlocked rear window. A large amount of barber equipment was taken.
SATURDAY, MAY 15
· A Dogwood Drive resident reported damage to a fence located on the side of the house. The resident reported that the same fence was damaged about 1-1/2 weeks ago. A Golf Street resident reported a fence on their property was also damaged in a similar manner.
SUNDAY, MAY 16
· An amusement park located on Route 22 reported the theft of approximately 2,000 ride tickets. The tickets are serial numbered.
· A Jackson Avenue resident reported vandalism to a light fixture located in the driveway.
· Anthony M. Flores, 22, of Little Falls was arrested for possession of cocaine pursuant to a motor vehicle stop on Route 22. Flores, a passenger, was observed dropping a glassine bag out of the window of the vehicle. Sergeant James Cassidy was the arresting officer.
FANWOOD POLICE BLOTTER TUESDAY, MAY 11
· A bicycle valued at approximately $200 was reported stolen after it was left unlocked in a rear yard in the 200 block of Marian Avenue, according to police.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 12
· Police received a report that a bicycle of unknown value was stolen from an unlocked garage in the 10 block of Oak Court.
THURSDAY, MAY 13
· Emory Jones, Jr., a 42-year-old Plainfield resident, was charged with attempting to shoplift several cartons of cigarettes from a South Avenue supermarket, according to police. Jones was released on his own recognizance.
CELEBRATING POETRY…April was National Poetry Month. Susan Staub, children’s librarian of the Fanwood Memorial Library, recently invited the students from Joan Costello’s third grade at McGinn Elementary in Scotch Plains to participate in an evening of poetry reading. It was an opportunity for the children to present their favorite poems in front of an audience of family and friends. Pictured, left to right, are: Julia Joseph, Annie Smith, Lindsay Zuber and Elizabeth McMillion reading a favorite poem of the class as their teacher looks on.
Andrew Elko Spends Break Working on Eagle Project
READY FOR SERVICE…Andrew Elko gets ready to plant one of the 30 shrubs donated by Truesdale Nursery and Garden Center for use in his Eagle Scout landscaping project to benefit Acadia House in Scotch Plains, one of several sites used by the Linden-based Center for Hope Hospice.
SCOTCH PLAINS – Fifteen-yearold Andrew Elko recently spent spring break working toward his Eagle Scout award with a project on behalf of the Center for Hope Hospice, based in Linden.
With 10 fellow scouts from Boy Scout Troop No. 33 in Fanwood, Andrew logged more than 90 hours clearing and landscaping a parcel of property at Acadia House, one of five sites used by the Center for Hope, from April 2 to 8.
The building and property, located off of Glenside Road in Scotch Plains, serves as a meeting place for interdenominational retreats, and as a site for bereavement counseling sponsored by the center.
Andrew devised the project last fall, submitting detailed plans that included landscape renderings to the Center for Hope and to the Watchung Area Council of Boy Scouts of America.
The scouts cleared the site, forged a pathway between two foot bridges, built a retaining wall from rocks along a natural stream, and planted shrubbery.
Once his plan was approved, Andrew sought help from area businesses, which he described as “very generous” in their support of the landscaping project.
Donations were received from Truesdale Nursery and Garden Center in Berkeley Heights, Parker Greenhouse in Scotch Plains, and Bartell Farm and Garden Center in Clark.
Andrew revealed that the contributions were greatly appreciated by the Center for Hope, which has recently been forced to scale back its budget for maintenance and groundskeeping.
Helping Andrew in his endeavor were fellow scouts Peter Bassman, Matt Hassett, Eric Konzelman, Jonathan Lorenzini, Matthew Richers, Brian O’Neil, Jeff Reichman, Chris Smith, and Ed and Brian Williams.
A sophomore honor student at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, Andrew is also a member of the varsity track team, junior varsity soccer team, high school band and DECA.
He observed that digging holes and hauling rocks is hard physical work, but also fun when done as a team.
“Plus, the site is really shaping up,” he noted, adding that spreading mulch, hauling wood chips and planting flowers is still on the project agenda. “It feels good to see such a positive result,” he said.
Erika Blechinger Interns for Office Of N.J. Congressman
SCOTCH PLAINS — Erika Blechinger, a resident of Scotch Plains and a senior at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, is spending the spring term in Washington, D.C., serving as an intern in the office of Congressman Frank Pallone, a Democrat from Monmouth County.
A second-year student at the coeducational, independent secondary school, Erika is one of 16 Academy students participating in the 34-year-old program.
As an intern, she has an opportunity to participate in the democratic process in the broadest sense — from the mailroom to the signed pieces of legislation — while researching, writing, and performing office tasks daily in her assigned office, according to school spokeswoman Janice Reiter.
Erika is a former student at the Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison and the daughter of Flavia and Peter Blechinger of Scotch Plains.
Area Residents Achieve Dean’s List Recognition At Columbia University
Several local students were named to the Dean’s List at Columbia University’s two undergraduate schools.
They include Michael Feldman of Westfield, Ehrlic Lo of Scotch Plains and Katharyn Boyle of Mountainside.
To achieve deans list status, student have to have received a grade point average of 3.33 or higher.
Paige Maderer Earns Dean’s List Status
SCOTCH PLAINS -Scotch Plains resident Paige Maderer was recently named to the Syracuse University’s School of Education Dean’s List for the 1998 fall semester.
To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours and earn at least a 3.4 grade point average on a 4.0 scale during the semester.
Paige is a senior majoring in inclusive elementary and special education.
Effective June 1, 1999 The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood will be adjusting the annual subscription price. Anyone wishing to renew their subscription or start a new subscription at the old rate of $20 is invited to call our office before June 1. There is no limit to the number of years you may renew at the old rate. The new rates are:
1 Year $24 • 2 Years $46 • 3 Years $66