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Chamber of Commerce Names
Leader Business of the Year
WESTFIELD — The Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce has announced that The Westfield Leader has been named “Business of the Year” for the 1999 “Faith In Westfield’ Awards.”
“We are pleased to be honoring Horace and Gail Corbin for the outstanding job The Leader does each week delivering news about the Westfield area,” said Darryl Walker, Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.
The Leader has served Westfield since 1890. The paper, published every Thursday, is one of the few newspapers in Union County designated for legal advertising. It also publishes The Times of Scotch Plains Fanwood.
Mr. Corbin noted that that having such a designation requires The Leader
to follow certain rules and U.S. Postal Service regulations, and also gives the paper a level of credibility with readers.
Mrs. Corbin began working for The Leader in 1991 as a part-time employee, when Katherine and Kurt Bauer owned the newspaper. She attended Union County College, earning a 4.0 average and selection into Who’s Who.
In June 1996, Mr. and Mrs. Corbin purchased the newspaper, and Mrs. Corbin became the General Manager as well as owner.
At that time, and for many years prior to the Corbins’ purchase of the paper, the layout of The Leader was done each week in a “cut and paste” fashion. The office had one main computer for running off news articles and several small desk-top computer units used for typing in the stories.
Mr. and Mrs. Corbin developed a four-year plan to change every operation of the business, from accounting, communications and production, to journalism, advertising and staff responsibilities.
“Our four-year plan is reviewed and revised as needed, and we’re right on track with our new computers, auto
mated accounting, staff training, faxing and e-mail capabilities,” Mr. Corbin said. “The paper is now printed completely from (computer) disk.”
The newspaper also can be read over the Internet, a Web site that has doubled the readership of The Leader. People all over the world now read about Westfield at www.goleader.com.
“Many people who used to live in Westfield and those who are thinking of moving to Westfield, find our newspaper on line,” said Mrs. Corbin.
“Ours is one of the most modern newspapers because the entire newspaper is on the Internet,” added Mr. Corbin.
Mr. Corbin, as Publisher of The Leader, handles the financial responsibilities of running the business. In addition, he owns a chemical engineering business in Parsippany.
He spends evenings and weekends at the newpaper’s Elm Street, Westfield office, and even when he’s traveling he can stay in touch through the “cyber world” with e-mail and the newspaper’s Web site.
The Leader staff was honored when Governor Christine Whitman officially announced her candidacy in their office in 1993 when the Bauers owned the paper. She visited the office again when she was running for re-election
in 1997. The staff of The Leader
includes Paul J. Peyton, Managing Editor; Suzette F. Stalker, Assistant Editor; Peter Billson, VicePresident of Operations; Michelle H. LePoidevin, Arts and Entertainment Editor; David B. Corbin, Sports Editor; Joanna B. Marsh, Marketing Director, and Karen M. Hinds, Office Manager.
The paper also has a professional group of 10 freelance writers who write stories on different topics as assigned. Local politicians will write specifically for The Westfield Leader, and community organizations submit articles about ongoing activities and projects.
“We invite the community to be a part of this gala celebration,” said Mr. Walker.
A dinner honoring The Leader will be held this Monday, October 25, at The Primavera in Stirling. Tickets are $50 per person, and include beer and wine, a cocktail hour, dinner and dancing. The dress is business attire, with black tie optional.
To make reservations for the dinner, please call the Chamber office at (908) 233-3021.
Westfield Police Collar Car Burglary Suspects
By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
WESTFIELD – Westfield authorities arrested two Scotch Plains residents last week who they believe may be responsible for at least 25 motor vehicle burglaries in three communities over the past two months.
Christopher Steibing, 19, and Jeremy McDonald, 20, were arrested at their respective homes last Thursday following an investigation initiated by Detective Sergeant Robert Compton and Detective Nicholas Norton of the Westfield Police Department.
Sergeant Compton said searches by police of each of the suspects’ homes turned up between 40 and 50 items alleged to have been stolen from unlocked vehicles in Westfield, Scotch Plains and Fanwood.
The recovered items, he revealed, included laptop computers, cellular telephones, radar detectors, tools, cameras, portable compact disk players and disks. Sergeant Compton placed the total value of the recovered items between $5,000 and $10,000.
Westfield police charged both suspects with four counts of burglary to a motor vehicle and theft in connection with incidents which occurred on Aus
tin and Downer Streets, Dorian Road and Shackamaxon Drive, Sergeant Compton said.
It was unknown if Scotch Plains police intended to charge the pair, and no charges were pending in Fanwood as of press time, a police spokesman there said.
Sergeant Compton added that police were alerted to the suspects after McDonald was arrested the previous weekend for allegedly burglarizing a car in Winfield.
The suspect had a credit card in his possession at the time which police believe was taken during one of the Westfield incidents, according to Sergeant Compton.
Steibing was released on $1,000 bail on the Westfield charges, while McDonald was released on his own recognizance.
Sergeant Compton said that 90 percent of the recovered items have not been claimed, adding that police believe many individuals did not report that their vehicles were burglarized.
Anyone who believes that their possessions may be among the items confiscated by police are asked to call Detective Norton at (908) 789-4012.
Mountainside Council Approves Proposal To Merge Local Boards By KIMBERLY A. BROADWELL
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
MOUNTAINSIDE — An ordinance to combine Mountainside’s Planning Board and Board of Adjustment was approved on first reading by the Borough Council Tuesday evening.
Mayor Robert F. Viglianti noted that the council and members of both boards discussed the proposed merger for the past couple of months in an attempt to “streamline government and expedite paperwork.”
The Mayor also noted that this merger would save the borough money by requiring a secretary and an attorney for just one meeting rather than two. With Mountainside now about 90 percent developed, he said “there is not the need to have two separate boards as there was years ago.”
Mayor Viglianti also stated that in recent years, other small boroughs such as Kenilworth had combined both boards successfully.
During the council’s agenda meeting last week, Councilman Paul Mirabelli, who serves as Council Liaison to the Planning Board, announced that he, Mayor Viglianti and Borough Attorney John Post recently met with Planning Board Chairman John Tomain and Board of Adjustment Chairman Fred Picut to discuss the merger.
During the agenda meeting and again Tuesday night, Mr. Post noted that in order for the boards to merge, each representative from the two bodies must resign his or her position, thus giving the Mayor the job of reappointing board members. He noted Tuesday evening that almost all representatives had resigned their positions.
In other business, it was revealed that a Community Development Block Grant of $75,000 will enable Mountainside to develop a Community Bus to help transport the borough’s senior citizens who are currently unable to travel to medical facilities or stores.
Mayor Viglianti noted that the bus is expected to be running by late winter or early spring of next year and would also be available for recreational purposes. He added that the council is currently looking at similar programs in Berkeley Heights and Long Valley to see how these programs are operated.
In other business, Councilman Glenn Mortimer announced that Mountainside held a volunteer cleanup day on October 2, in which 200 people took part. Under the direction of Ruth Reese, participants cleaned up over 700 pounds of trash from the borough.
Mr. Mortimer congratulated all the participants for the hard work done on behalf of Mountainside. He also noted that Mountainside’s Hetfield House will be part of the county-sponsored event entitled “Four Centuries in a Weekend,” to be held this Saturday and Sunday, October 23 and 24. The Hetfield House is under the direction of the Mountainside Historic Preservation Committee.
During the public portion of the meeting, resident Dave Ferrell stated that he has been watching broadcasts of borough council meetings on the local access channel and said he was disenchanted with some of the proceedings during public segments of the meetings.
Mr. Ferrell expressed his displeasure with residents who only came before the podium with criticisms of the work that the council does. He commented that he was very tired of seeing the same people complaining about the local government.
Saying he felt these people did not have much understanding of all the work the Mayor and council do, Mr. Ferrell asked why, if they are so displeased with how their local government operates, did they not run for office themselves.
“If these individuals want to put their beliefs on the line, then why don’t they run?” he asked.
Joseph Chippa also addressed the governing body, commending the job the Mayor and council had done in initiating the move to combine the Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment.
Rutgers Cooperative to Offer Retirement Planning Seminar
WESTFIELD — Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County will be sponsoring retirement planning workshops for individuals who have retirement plans, are retired, or are about to leave their employers, on Wednesday, October 27, and Tuesday, November 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. at 300 North Avenue, East in Westfield.
Participants will learn their options regarding their company’s retirement plan. The workshop will specifically address the following topics:
· Things to consider when deciding between a lump sum pension or traditional pension options.
· Learn how to get the most from a traditional pension by utilizing a tech
nique known as pension maximization.
· Understand your rollover options for IRA, 401k, 403b, lump sum pension and other retirement plans.
· Considerations in determining whether conversion of a retirement plan to a Roth IRA makes sense for you.
· Understand the IRS minimum distribution rules for IRA’s when you reach age 70 1/2 and the associated tax consequences of various choices.
The courses will be conducted by experienced financial planners, John Prokop, and Bill McCahill, from the Tilson Financial Group.
There is a minimum fee of $10 to cover the cost of materials. To register, please call (908) 654-9854.
Horace and Gail Corbin
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)