OUR 109th YEAR – ISSUE NO. 42-99 FIFTY CENTS 232-4407
The Westfield Leader — Serving the Town Since 1890 —
Thursday, October 21, 1999 USPS 680020 Periodical – Postage Paid at Westfield, N.J.
Published Every Thursday
INDEX INDEX INDEX INDEX INDEX
Arts................Page 20 Business ........ Page 19 Classifieds..... Page 18
Editorial ........ Page 4 Mountainside Page 3 Obituary ........ Page 10
Religious ....... Page 11 Social ............ Page 6 Sports ............ Page 13
CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
Candidate Forums in Begin in Scotch Plains; Set For Westfield, Mountainside and Fanwood By HORACE R. CORBIN
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
The week of televised Candidate Forums 1999 sponsored by The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains/Fanwood and The League of Women Voters started on Monday night in Scotch Plains where Republican Council Candidate Frank Rossi and Democrat Council Candidate Phillip Wiener squared off for over an hour in debate over property taxes and municipal budget issues.
The Westfield Candidate Forum was held Wednesday night as this newspaper went to press. The Mountainside Forum will be held this Thursday night, and the Fanwood Forum will be held tomorrow night.
All events, which are open to the public, begin at 8 p.m. in their re
spective Council Chambers. The Candidate Forums will be aired several times in the evenings on local access television stations prior to the elections on Tuesday, November 2. The public can view their local access channels for posting of the schedules for showings of these debates.
TV-34 is the local access channel for Scotch Plains, TV-35 covers Fanwood and Mountainside and TV-36 represents Westfield. A detailed report of these events will be published in these newspapers next week, October 28, in the special election issue.
On Monday night in Scotch Plains, both Mr. Rossi and Mr. Wiener were well-prepared and articulate in expressing their differing views over a wide range of issues pertinent to the township.
The issues discussed covered taxes, budgets, open space referendum, direct election of the Mayor referendum, grant monies, flood prevention, improved services, business district development, inter-government cooperation, the former Terry Lou Zoo property, the hedge property and Ash Brook development.
In his closing statement, Mr. Rossi stated that he has the experience, credibility and accountability to best serve the public. Mr. Rossi expressed that he has respect for the process and for the people traits, he said, that have been lacking this year in the existing Democratic majority.
Mr. Wiener closed by saying that Democrats closed the deals for grant monies and other initiatives to move Scotch Plains ahead. He stated that the Republicans had not been fiscally responsible in their past proposals for the budgeting surplus.
“What can be done? Be responsible,” Mr. Wiener said.
In Westfield, eight candidates are vying for four council seats currently
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
Mr. Bagger Opts Not To Run for Congress
The doors to Washington, D.C. opened a little wider this week with the announcement by Republican Assemblyman Richard H. Bagger of Westfield that he will not seek his party’s nomination in 2000 for the Seventh Congressional seat.
Mr. Bagger was on the list of those officials considered for the nomination which opened up when current seat holder Republican Congressman Bob Franks of Berkeley Heights announced the formation of an election campaign committee to run for the U.S. Senate.
He will run for the seat currently held by Frank Lautenberg. The three
term senator announced that he will retire when his term expires at the end of next year.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Franks said a formal announcement on that campaign kickoff is expected within the next few weeks, after the Tuesday, November 2, General Election.
“After consulting with several present and former members of Congress, I concluded that campaigning for and serving in the House of Representatives would take me away from my young children both during the week and on weekends for most of the year,” said Mr. Bagger, the father
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Village Supermarkets May Still Face Roadblocks in Bid to Build ShopRite
By KIM KINTER
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
The construction of a large ShopRite supermarket on North Avenue in Garwood finally moved forward a step last week, but attorneys representing those objecting to the project still may put up some more roadblocks.
Superior Court Judge Edward W. Beglin, Jr. ruled from the bench in the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth on October 14 that the Garwood Planning Board had been right in granting approval in 1995 to Village Supermarkets of Springfield to construct a grocery store on North Avenue.
It is estimated that the store will be about 60,000 square feet in size. It is
earmarked for what is known as Plaza Properties and part of the Westfield Lumber and Home Center property that is located in the Borough of Garwood.
In concluding his decision last week, however, Judge Beglin opened the door to attorneys to further hold up the project. The judge gave the attorneys who represent three residents opposing the plan one week — until today — to decide whether to further challenge specific aspects of the borough’s zoning ordinance that Judge Beglin had not considered when he handed down his ruling last week.
Brian Fahey, a Westfield attorney who represents Dr. and Mrs. Ulf Dowling also of Westfield, said he
was still considering the matter late Wednesday as to whether to challenge the remaining areas of the Garwood zoning ordinance in question.
Similarly, William Butler, a Westfield attorney representing Garwood resident John Weidel, said on Wednesday he was still considering whether or not to challenge additional elements of the zoning ordinance and may not make a decision until today.
Both attorneys have raised objections to Garwood’s zoning ordinance that pertained to the North Avenue project, but the Judge bifurcated, or divided, some of the points of the ordinance and considered only some of the elements in question. The judge subsequently ruled in the borough’s favor, but told the two attorneys that they if they still wanted to argue against the remaining points of the zoning ordinance that the men needed to notify the judge by today.
In addition, both attorneys also have 45 days to appeal Judge Beglin’s decision in favor of the ShopRite plan to the state New Jersey Superior Court-Appellate Division.
While Mr. Fahey said he had the highest respect for Judge Beglin, he said he did “have problems with two or three legal conclusions the judge reached. “I’m going to have to scratch my head and study the law.” He said he would have a decision in a few weeks.
Mr. Fahey said that he still has major questions about the wording of the Garwood ordinance allowing the construction of a commercial structure and also questioned the fact whether a sound decision could be made without the benefit of a written transcript of six of the eight borough
planning board meetings in which the proposed project was discussed. Of eight Garwood Planning Board meetings, only two of the meetings had audible tapes. Professional court stenographers were not present at any of the meetings to directly record proceedings.
While Judge Beglin said when he released his decision that the planning board’s method of meeting record keeping “left something to be desired,” he said there was adequate information available through other means and that the lax record keeping was insufficient grounds for reversal.
Mr. Butler has ordered a copy of Judge Beglin’s October 14 decision and wants to review that before making a decision on an appeal. He declined much further comment about the possibility of an appeal except to say that he thought the judge’s decision was “well reasoned.”
But despite any further roadblocks the opposition might throw in the way, those in favor of the project view the judge’s decision as good news.
Garwood Mayor Michael Crincola, who also sat on the Garwood Planning Board when the hearings were going on four years ago, said he was very happy about the decision. “I know that nothing was done that should not have been done.”
“These meetings were always publicized so there was ample opportunity to be heard,” he added. “We did not have any residents from Garwood who were officially upset. We knew it was a good thing for Garwood and we acted correctly.”
Robert Renaud, a Cranford attorney who serves as Garwood’s counsel, said that Garwood officials are
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State DOT Monitors Impact of Yield Signs
At Westfield Circle By PAUL J. PEYTON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
If the Westfield traffic circle is free of internal congestion, traffic will flow more efficiently. That is the intent behind the installation of yield signs at the South Avenue/Broad Street traffic circle.
While officials say that state law dictates that motorists in a traffic circle have the right-of-way, no signs had ever been placed stating this law at the circle.
A state traffic consultant is monitoring the impact the new signs are having on improving traffic flow in the circle, Police Chief Anthony Scutti said.
The Westfield Leader first reported on the signs in the October 7 issue. Since then, officials say they see an improvement in traffic flow. Letters
submitted to this newspaper, however, continue to be critical of the newly-enforced procedure.
One writer described the circle as a NASCAR track where motorists must bully their way for a position to get through the circle.
Yet another reader wrote, “it (the circle) is broke, but the fix is worse.”
Following the requests originally made by Chief Scutti and then by the town, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) installed the signs in late August.
The new rules for the traffic circle are as follows:
· Westbound traffic entering the circle from South Avenue must yield at two yield signs and 10 painted yield markers on the roadway. Motorists are to separate into two lanes
William A. Burke for The Westfield Leader
YIELDING RESULTS?...Motorists headed eastbound on South Avenue must now yield to vehicular traffic in the circle. The yield signs on South Avenue and East Broad Street were installed by the Department of Transportation. ROADBLOCK…State Superior Court Judge Edward W. Beglin, Jr. ruled last
week that the Garwood Planning Board was correct in approving the development of Westfield Lumber and Home Center property in Garwood for a ShopRite supermarket. The ruling does not pertain to the portion of the property which lies in Westfield. Two attorneys are expected to file an appeal of Judge Beglin’s decision.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
Teacher Institute Aims to Give Support to New Colleagues; Still Remains ‘A Work in Progress’ By MICHELLE H. LePOIDEVIN
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
Representatives of the new Westfield Teacher Institute Committee used a squeaky black rat toy to time a presentation to the Westfield Board of Education on the goals, objectives and progress of the Institute, which provides a three-year program for new, non-tenured teachers. These teachers comprise 25 percent of the school district.
Under the Superintendent’s Report, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Janie P. Edmonds explained that the Institute, which strives to provide professional development of new teachers and cultivate excellence associated with the district, will be ever-changing and growing in its structure and purpose.
“It really is a work in progress and it always will be,” she noted. Ms. Edmonds told the board that the Institute met twice in August and again on Columbus Day, and will continue to meet one day each in December, March and May, and for the next two years.
Each year, the Institute’s Committee will have a new batch of teachers to assist.
Cheryl O’Brien, a member of the committee, told the board that the program is “more systemic,” “a shared event” and one which “continues to evolve and change with teachers’ needs.”
The mission statement established by the Institute’s Core Committee asserts, “The Westfield Teacher Institute aims to foster optimum success of each Westfield student by supporting each teacher’s goal to continually advance as an accomplished and vital educator within a dynamic learning community.”
The committee has already received a small compilation of feedback from new teachers on the progress of the Institute. Ms. Edmonds reported that most of the feedback has been “positive and appreciative.” However, she added that suggestions for improvement will help the committee plan for future sessions.
In other business under the Superintendent’s Report, Coordina
tor of Elementary Education and Assessment, Elizabeth Willett, offered an analysis of the Quality Assurance Annual Report (QAAR).
This report, which was developed by the New Jersey Department of Education, monitors the objectives, plans
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
Town Council Expected To Introduce Ordinance
Regulating Newsracks By PAUL J. PEYTON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
The Town Council is expected to take final action within the next two weeks to regulate the placement of newsracks in the town’s business district.
An ordinance, which is expected to be adopted by the council within the next month, represents the governing body’s intent on addressing what is described in the decree as “the uncontrolled placement of newsracks in the public right-of way.”
The ordinance states that this has caused both an “inconvenience and a danger to the safety and welfare” of pedestrians and motorists trying to access sidewalks and driveways in town.
While not limiting the number of newsracks in one location, the ordinance does restrict each publication to no more than one box per location.
The allowed distance between newsboxes and crosswalks, public right-of-ways and bus stops are all specified in the ordinance.
Once adopted into law, publications will have to obtain a permit at a cost of $25. Each permit for subsequent boxes will cost $10. An enforcement officer, still to be determined, will be responsible for granting or denying the permits.
Newsrack owners also will have the option of signing an indemnification agreement with the Town Clerk, according to Planning Board Attorney Paul Strauchler, who began working on the ordinance in 1997 while serving as Assistant Town Attorney.
Mr. Strauchler said the newsrack owners who sign this agreement essentially will be responsible for notifying the town if they wish to relocate an existing box or add another newsrack.
Fourth Ward Councilman Lawrence A. Goldman, Chairman of the council’s Laws and Rules Committee which released the ordinance, said the intent of the decree is “to set a baseline” for the placement of the newsracks.
He said the ordinance, which is expected to be introduced this Tuesday, October 26, is “not carved in stone.” It merely identifies where the boxes are currently located and the most likely sites for additional boxes in the future.
A newsrack location map is included with the proposed ordinance. Twenty-one current rack locations are identified on the map, with another 10 potential sites also listed.
Representatives of the various publications which have news boxes in the downtown were given a tour of the areas identified for boxes on the map over the summer. The tour was conducted by Michael La Place, Executive Director of the Downtown Westfield Corporation.
During their review of the ordinance, council members agreed to remove one regulation that would have required at least four feet of “unobstructed” sidewalk space be made available for pedestrians upon placement of a newsrack.
Due to the fact that the downtown has some areas of narrow sidewalk, the governing body agreed that less specific language would actually be better in this case.
Nevertheless, the ordinance, prepared by Mr. Strauchler, stated that newsracks cannot “unreasonably interfere with or impede the flow of pedestrians along the public rightof-way.”
Several council members voiced their concerns as to the measurements included in the ordinance. For instance, boxes cannot be placed within five feet of a fire hydrant and emergency call boxes used by the police and fire departments.
Mr. LaPlace said the newspaper representatives were concerned as to the setback requirements, noting in some cases the boxes would wind up in the middle of the sidewalk.
Mr. Goldman said he does not envision that specific measurements of where the boxes are to be located will be enforced by the town. He said, held by the Republicans seeking re
election. In Mountainside, two Republican Councilmen are seeking reelection. They are opposed by one Democrat.
Mountainside Republican Mayor Richard F. Viglianti is running for re-election and is unopposed. In Fanwood, four candidates are seeking two council seats.
Fanwood Councilmen William E. Populus, Jr. and Louis C. Jung are vying for the mayoral position.
State Assemblymen for the region, Richard H. Bagger and Alan M. Augustine, are seeking re-election and are unopposed.
Voter turnout is expected to be as low as 34 percent this year due to the lack of state and national races. Both political parties, the Westfield Area League of Women Voters and these newspapers urge all citizens to vote on November 2.
For more information or voting locations, please call the local municipal clerk’s office or read this newspaper next week.
Page 12 Thursday, October 21, 1999 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION
CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
WESTFIELD POLICE BLOTTER
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
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Roadblocks May Remain For Building New ShopRite
DOT Monitoring Impact Of Yield Signs at Circle
Council to Unveil Ordinance On Regulating Newsracks
New Teacher Institute Aims To Assist New Colleagues
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 12
· Police reported that someone attempted to pry open the rear door of a business on South Avenue, West.
· A Springfield Avenue restaurant reported the theft of an employee payroll check.
· A Ripley Avenue resident reported that someone unlawfully entered his vehicle and stole a laptop computer, among other items.
· Sediqua J. Brown, 18, of Westfield was charged with theft by deception, according to police, after allegedly attempting to return items for credit to a North Avenue department store which had not been purchased there. She was released on her own recognizance.
· An Elizabeth resident employed at a local care facility reported that she was assaulted by a female suspect, police confirmed.
No one had been arrested in connection with the incident as of Tuesday, and no further information was available on the alleged assailant.
· Cynthia Thomas, 39, of Westfield was charged with shoplifting clothing from an East Broad Street store, according to police. She was released with a summons.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12
· Danielle M. Scizak, 18, of Scotch Plains was charged with shoplifting $268 worth of merchandise from a North Avenue department store, authorities said. She was released on her own recognizance.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14
· Two bicycles were reported stolen from a garage on West Dudley Avenue.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15
· A Springfield Avenue resident reported the theft of approximately $630 from his jacket at his home.
· A Park Street resident reported that $1,000 in cash was taken from a kitchen cabinet in her home.
· A Westfield resident reported that he was assaulted on Forest Avenue during an altercation with another man. No one has been charged in connection with the incident.
· A resident of South Avenue, West, reported that power tools were removed from the basement of his house.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16
· An Elm Street resident reported that $1,000 in camera equipment was taken from his car while it was parked in the rear of Elm Street.
· Police received a report that eggs were thrown at a home in the 500 block of Rahway Avenue.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17
· An attempt was made to burglarize a 1996 Ford which was parked in a driveway on Shadowlawn Drive. The lock on the vehicle was damaged in the process, police said.
· The burglary of a local dry cleaning business was reported in which $100 in cash and cash register drawers valued at $800 were removed from the premises. Entry was gained through a window on the north side of the building, police said.
· The interior garage door of a Kimball Circle residence was damaged through criminal mischief.
of three daughters, a six-year-old and two-year-old twins.
“While I would be honored to serve in Congress and am confident I could wage a successful campaign, my family simply must come first. This vacancy occurs at a time in the life of our children when I want to spend time at home, and need to spend time at home, rather than working and campaigning essentially seven days a week,” the Assemblyman continued.
He concluded by stating, “To the many people who encouraged me to
run and pledged their support, I am honored by your confidence in me and grateful for your offer to help. I look forward to continuing to represent the 22nd Legislative District in the General Assembly and building on the things I have accomplished in the State Legislature.”
Mr. Bagger was first elected to the Assembly in 1992. He was reelected in 1994, 1996 and 1998.
He served as Westfield Mayor in 1991, a position he resigned from upon his election to the Assembly. Prior to that, he served six years on the Town Council.
Assemblyman Bagger Opts Not to Run for Congress
pleased with the judgment and that what the borough had done was valid and enforceable. “We had maintained that all along and we are pleased,” said Mr. Renaud.
He added that ShopRite still has some minor conditions to meet, but if the two attorneys do not file appeals the grocery chain could get construction under way soon.
Stephen E. Barcan, an attorney with Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer of Woodbridge and who is representing ShopRite in this case, said that risking an appeal, ShopRite could actually proceed with the project now.
He added, however, that since the ruling he has not had a chance to talk specifically about ShopRite’s next step in the case.
Norman Sevell, owner of Sevell Towing of Westfield and who also owns the Westfield Lumber and Home Center property, pointed out, however, that ShopRite still has not purchased his property. ShopRite has purchased the Plaza Property.
He said that before he agreed to ShopRite’s interest in buying the property eight years ago, Mr. Sevell approached Westfield officials and “got their blessing” to enter into an agreement with the grocery chain in 1992. He received a deposit for the property at the time.
But shortly after that when discussions began on the proposed grocery store, people began objecting to the plan. That continued until 1994, when Mr. Sevell said he asked ShopRite officials to withdraw the agreement to buy his property. Mr. Sevell said that ShopRite officials, however, said that they still wanted to buy his property and not withdraw its agreements.
Additionally, The Westfield Leader has learned that Mr. Sevell filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in late August against ShopRite claiming that the supermarket chain had not lived up to the contract and that the fact that the deal had never closed had caused him hardship.
Mr. Sevell declined comment on the lawsuit and ShopRite officials did not
return phone calls about the matter. The saga of the ShopRite supermarket began more than six years ago when Village Supermarkets announced plans to build a ShopRite on the site of the Westfield Lumber and Home Center property.
That original plan called for 30 percent of the store to cross into neighboring Garwood, but created a stir in the Westfield community among people concerned about traffic and how the store would change the nature of the town.
The proposal ultimately was rejected by the Westfield Planning Board in May of 1995 after 45 meetings and transcripts that totaled more than 5,000 pages. ShopRite officials subsequently filed a lawsuit against the town of Westfield’s Planning Board in an attempt to overturn its 1995 decision.
ShopRite’s attorney, Mr. Barcan, told
The Leader this week that if the plan in Garwood finally goes through and construction begins, ShopRite will drop all other legal matters against Westfield.
After Westfield rejected the plan, ShopRite officials began discussions with the Garwood Planning Board about opening a grocery store in Garwood only. When those discussions began, a number of citizens and others, such as the owner of Reilly Oldsmobile on North Avenue, then stepped forward and vocally opposed the new plan.
After the plan was approved by Garwood in the summer of 1995, lawsuits spawned from the opposition centered on such arguments as traffic concerns and that the Garwood Planning Board had acted improperly in several areas including not sufficiently notifying the public about meetings and record keeping during those meetings.
When Judge Beglin rendered his decision last week, however, he very methodically for more than 90 minutes addressed each of the arguments presented in the various suits and concluded that nothing improper had occurred and the plan could continue.
· Southbound traffic on East Broad Street passing under the train bridge overpass must yield at two yield signs and eight yield markers for traffic in the circle, and separate into two lanes of traffic.
· Motorists traveling eastbound on South Avenue into the circle area must yield at two yield signs and eight markers. Traffic then divides into two traffic lanes, the northern most lane of which is to make a left turn to proceed into the circle en route to East Broad and under the bridge. Traffic continuing eastbound on South Avenue should continue straight in the southern lane marked by dotted lines.
Chief Scutti said the town has been asking for state intervention for the circle for several years. South Avenue is a state highway.
He said the signs are seen as a short-term approach to solving the traffic backups at the circle. DOT officials have recommended a T-intersection for the circle area as a long-term solution.
The chief said traffic signals are probably the best method to create better traffic flow, but for now he doesn’t foresee any major reconstruc
tion of the intersection “in the foreseeable future.”
Prior to the installation of the signs, First Ward Councilman Carl A. Salisbury, Chairman of the council’s Transportation, Parking and Traffic Committee, explained that traffic flow was a “free for all.”
“It’s much better than it used to be,” he said of the six new yield signs and 26 yield markers painted on the roadway.
Prior to the signs, he said traffic in the circle wound up stopping for traffic on South Avenue and East Broad Street causing a backup in the circle.
The councilman, who uses the circle twice a day during the week, said traffic flow has improved as motorists become accustomed to the signs.
“As soon as everyone obeys the yield signs the way they do at other intersections, it will be a very effective and efficient way to move traffic,” Councilman Salisbury stated.
He said eventually, the new signs will be more of a matter of routine for motorists.
In the meantime, Chief Scutti advised that “it will take people some time to get used to different traffic patterns.”
Mindowaskin Friends Hope To Deter Geese
With New Plantings By MELISSA BETKOWSKI
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
In an effort to improve the overall health of Mindowaskin Park, the Friends of Mindowaskin Park, along with the Urban Conservation Action Partnership (UCAP), are sponsoring a planting in the park on Saturday, October 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
According to Friends Secretary Susan Debbie, the project is not aimed at improving the beauty of the park, but is an environmental issue that concerns all those who enjoy the open area.
Kenneth B. Marsh, Westfield Town Engineer and President of UCAP, said that the geese eat the grass and strip away the erosion control around the lake.
Mr. Marsh said that the planting on Saturday will be the first phase of the plans for the park. He said that the plantings will go from the beginning of the lake at East Broad Street and along the municipal building, for about 200 feet.
The first phase will include mixed plantings, Mr. Marsh said.
These plantings will discourage the geese from their usual activity around the lake, since they do not like having to cross through plants or bushes.
Mr. Marsh added that there will be a temporary fence put in place around the area of the plantings until the plants can take root. This fence will further deter the geese from congregating on the lawn in front of the municipal building.
Randy Brockway, landscape architect with UCAP, said that the plants will be native plants to the area, including trees, shrubs and wildflowers. Mr. Brockway said that by the spring, following a second phase of this project, he hopes that the goose population in the park will be significantly reduced.
“There are too many (geese) and they are wreaking havoc and making the park unusable,” Mr. Brockway said.
UCAP is a program that encourages urban conservation of soil, wa
ter and natural resources, Mr. Marsh said.
UCAP is funded by a state grant from the Department of Environmental Protection. The grant, a Chapter No. 319 grant, is part of the Clean Water Act and pays for planting materials.
In addition, the federal government provides technical assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Robert Sherr, Westfield Health Director, said that there is also an issue about sanitation in the park due to all of the geese droppings.
“They create quite a nuisance because of all the droppings,” Mr. Sherr said.
Mr. Sherr noted that there has been an issue of botulism in the water from bacteria from geese droppings, which has led to the occasional death of the waterfowl in the park.
The geese have a very good life in the park, Mr. Sherr said. However, with the passage of an ordinance that penalizes those who feed the geese, the town has begun to take steps to remove the geese from the area.
However, according to Mr. Marsh, the town should not be the only one trying to control the goose problem.
“The state needs to take control and step up its efforts,” he said.
The Friends of Mindowaskin, according to President Nancy Priest, became involved in order to help alleviate the problems and health issues in the park. Several members of the Friends performed a study of the goose situation, which was spearheaded by Mrs. Debbie.
For Saturday’s event, Mrs. Priest said that the Friends are still looking for about 30 volunteers to come to the park any time between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and help with the planting.
Volunteers are asked to bring work gloves and solid shoes. All tools will be provided.
She said that donations of refreshments have been provided by Manhattan Bagel and the Mountainside Deli.
Westfield Soroptimists Begin Fall Membership Campaign
WESTFIELD — Soroptimist International of the Greater Westfield Area invites all businesswomen to attend its fall cocktail party on Wednesday, October 27, at 6:30 p.m. at B.G. Fields Restaurant in Westfield.
Complimentary hot and cold hors d’oeuvres will be served.
Marie Kennedy, the North Atlantic Region Governor of Soroptimist International of the Americas, will be the guest speaker. She will speak about the advantages of membership in this worldwide organization at the local level.
Ellen Ramer, Chairwoman of S.O.L.T. (Soroptimist Orientation and Leadership Training) will speak about the history of the club.
For reservations, please call Lucy Wilson at (908) 232-2800 by Monday,
October 25. Soroptimist International is a volunteer service organization for business and professional women.
For further information about the club, please call Lenore Scurry, President at (908) 232-4759.
Westfield Library Sets Mouse Training Session
WESTFIELD — The Westfield Memorial Library will offer training on how to use a computer mouse on Tuesday, October 26, and Monday, November 1, from 10 to 11 a.m.
Each 20-minute hands-on session is limited to four participants. A valid Westfield library card is required. Advanced registration begins Thursday, October 21.
Westfield Health Department To Conduct Flu Inoculations
WESTFIELD — The Westfield Regional Health Department will be conducting Flu inoculation programs, which are strongly recommended for all persons, children and adults who are at increased risk of infections of the lower respiratory tract due to pre-existing conditions.
The conditions include:
· Acquired or congenital heart disease;
· Any chronic disorder or condition affecting respiratory function
· Chronic kidney disease;
· Chronic anemia,
· Conditions or therapy which would lower an individual’s resistance to infections.
The shots are also available for senior citizens, particularly those 55 years of age or over, who are at increased risk to medical problems as a result of flu infection.
These programs will be open exclusively to residents of Fanwood,
Garwood, Mountainside, Springfield and Westfield.
Registration will be conducted on site, on a first come, first serve basis. All individuals participating in the program, who are Medicare or Medicaid eligible, must present their cards at the time of registration.
Location and dates for the programs:
· Thursday, October 21, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Westfield Municipal Building, Court Room, 425 East Broad Street, Westfield.
· Wednesday, October 27, from 6 to 7 p.m., Springfield Municipal Building, 100 Mountain Avenue, Springfield.
· Thursday, October 28, from 6 to 7 p.m., Garwood Municipal Building, 403 South Avenue, Garwood.
· Wednesday, November 3, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Mountainside Municipal Building, Court Room, 1385 Route 22 East, Mountainside. and standards of the school district
as a whole. Ms. Willett explained that the state mandates that “assessment is the cornerstone in charting a district’s progress.” Therefore, each school in the district must evaluate its objectives from past years while setting new goals.
The elementary and intermediate schools, according to Ms. Willett, have chosen a new Spanish mastery goal which complies with the state mandate for foreign language proficiency.
Other elementary school goals include honing listening skills, mathematics problem solving, reading comprehension, technology skills and promoting respect.
Westfield High School has established a goal for physical fitness, as well as measuring the quality and effectiveness of its Web site.
Also in the QAAR, the district must report the results of state tests such as the Elementary School Proficiency Assessment (ESPA), Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment and High School Proficiency Assessment. An evaluation of professional development activities, including the Teacher Institute, must also be reported to the state.
The QAAR requires an evaluation of state mandated programs, the integration of technology and curricula and the condition of upgrades, new construction, maintenance and longrange plans. The submittal of surveys, links to social service agencies, environmental conditions, community participation and parental involvement in schools is also included.
The 35-page QAAR, which was reviewed by the board’s Curriculum Committee, has evolved greatly, according to the committee’s Chairwoman, Annmarie Puleio.
“It has moved from special projects to very substantive goals,” she noted.
Board Vice President Arlene Gardner concurred, adding that the QAAR was once only a state-required report and has now given the district real opportunity to assess and review its needs.
Under Curriculum, Instruction and Programs, the school board approved Sections I and II of the QAAR, which is comprised of eight sections. A full copy of the QAAR is available in each school, the Office of Instruction, the Superintendent’s Office and the Office of Elementary Education and Assessment.
In other business, the school board accepted, with regret, the retirement of Ms. Willett. The 25-year veteran of the school district will leave her position on Friday, December 31. Ms. Willett will remain employed for six months as a consultant, however, following her retirement.
Dr. William J. Foley, Superintendent of Schools, called Ms. Willett “one of the most indispensable people” he worked with, especially during his first few years in the district.
Board member Thomas Taylor added that Ms. Willett “fosters a culture of excellence” which is expected in the district.
Board President Darielle Walsh presented Tom Morabito, President of the Westfield Education Fund, with a resolution thanking and honoring the organization for a $25,000 donation which made possible the purchase of a color laser printer, scanner, digital camera and a Macintosh Computer Lab for the Westfield High School Art Department.
The Education Fund has been a supporter of the Westfield school district since 1992.
Denis McMorrow, former Administrative Supervisor at Roosevelt Intermediate School, was named its Assistant Principal for 1999-2000.
The board also agreed to renew a Uniform State Memorandum of Agreement between Education and Law Enforcement Officials. This contract, which was established three years ago, enables the school board to confer and work with these officials on matters such as weapons, drugs, violence and sexual assault.
The Washington Elementary School Parent Teacher Association donated $4,500 for the purchase of classroom computers and $300 for school enhancements, including an entrance rug with the school’s logo, a hallway banner promoting school excellence and a school flag.
Dr. Foley reported that he has drafted a letter, which the board requested at last week’s meeting, to express concern regarding the results of the ESPA, which was administered to fourth graders within the Westfield school district for the first time this year.
The letter, which will be circulated to school board members throughout the county, also asks for a speedy compilation of the test results throughout the state.
In final business, Eric Dawson, the parent of a student enrolled in the half-day kindergarten program at Franklin Elementary School, told the board that the program is not “sufficient enough to meet her needs.” He has requested that his daughter, who was enrolled for two years at Montessori School of Scotch Plains, be moved up to the first grade at Franklin.
Dr. Foley told Mr. Dawson that he would review the student’s educational background and school policy to determine if she could be moved. The district’s policy requires proof of kindergarten graduation before placement in first grade. Mr. Dawson asserted that his daughter meets that requirement.
Mr. Dawson, a graphic artist currently employed in art design and production for Grammercy Book Services, offered his time and skill to aid high school students with the new materials donated by the Education Fund. though, that officials may call the owner of a box to have it moved so as not to
impede public safety. “So I don’t think we will have people out on the street with rulers and tape measures trying to figure out where these things should go,” Councilman Goldman said.
Fourth Ward Councilwoman Janis Fried Weinstein questioned whether the ordinance could put limitations on the number of newsracks at any one location.
First Ward Councilman Carl A. Salisbury, a member of the Laws and Rules Committee, explained that once a “saturation point” has been reached for newsboxes, the town would simply not grant a permit for another box at a specific site.
Mrs. Weinstein said she would like to see a comparison between the number of boxes in town before the ordinance is adopted and a year from the date the law is put on the books to see how many boxes have been added in that time frame.
“We have addressed all the legal major concerns that the newspapers have raised and I think we still retained some teeth that we wanted in here (the ordinance),” Mr. Goldman explained.
Mr. Strauchler said all publications with boxes in town will be notified of the public hearing on the ordinance, which is expected to be held on Tuesday, November 9, in the Town Council Chambers.
In other business, Third Ward Councilman John J. Walsh, Chairman of the Public Works Committee, reported that Board of Education President Darielle Walsh is preparing a letter regarding a request by the town to utilize Board of Education fields for town-sponsored sports leagues.
Mr. Walsh had asked, at the request of his committee and the council, whether the school district fields would
be available to alleviate overcrowding at Tamaques Park. The main issue at the park, the largest in Westfield, is lack of parking during the peak sports season.
A plan to pave over a portion of the lawn area was pulled by the council last year after strong opposition was received from neighbors.
The councilman said the school board President has indicated that school board fields are booked for events, although the facilities are not always in use during these times.
“They (school officials) cannot predict when they are not going to be used and when they are going to be used,” Councilman Walsh said.
He said Mrs. Walsh indicated she did not feel the school district could have “any significant impact” on the Tamaques parking situation.
Councilman Walsh said the district is likely to try to “squeeze” some hours into its sports schedule to add some league games scheduled by the Recreation Commission.
“But it’s not going to be significant enough” to alleviate the parking problem, he indicated.
Based on his assessment, Councilman Walsh said he believes the town needs to move forward if it wants to add spaces at the Tamaques lot this year.
Mr. Walsh said he believes around 10 to 12 spaces will be needed — spaces which could be added in the area of the basketball court.
“So we have totally exhausted the idea that there is any chance of any field scheduling, any which way, that would alleviate the situation over at Tamaques,” he said.
Councilman Walsh said that statement was accurate, to the “best of his knowledge” based on his conversation with the school board President.
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)