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David B. Corbin
The Westfield Leader
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The Official Newspaper of the Town of Westfield and the County of Union Official Newspaper of the Borough of Fanwood
and the Township of Scotch Plains
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Michelle H. LePoidevin
ARTS and ENTERTAINMENT
Letters to the Editor
We frequently find several theoPeriodicals ries for the origin of a word or phrase. When this happens, we normally select the consensus opinion of our mostrespectedsources. Inthecaseof the ham actor idiom, we shall depart from this policy so that you can make your own selection.
Many etymologists, including the late H. L. Mencken, insist that ham is simply a shortened version of amaPUBLISHER Next on stage is the “hamfat” theory, which proposes that the term
comes from the popular 19th century song, “The Hamfat Man.”
song described the life of second rate actors. Hamfat was comSUBSCRIPTION monlyusedbyactors ofthatperiodto
grease paint. Our final act comes from gist, Rosie Boycott, who suggests
ham comes from the nickname ofHamishMcCollough(18351885), who toured the U. S. midwest with his acting troupe. According to Ms. Boycott’s interesting theory, this group became known as “Ham’s” actors.
They were also known for their weak actingperformancesand,there fore, a ham actor took on its current meaning of “poor actor.”
you paid your money (for this newspaper) What is your choice?
poll taken recently by a national group asked the following question: Do you have heroes and who are they? Indi viduals of all ages were interviewed and the results were interesting. The top 10 individuals in descending order were:
10)Mother Theresa,9)PrincessDiana, 8) President Clinton (although several qualified that his personal morals were a problem), 7) Michael Jordan, 6) Ghandi, 5) grandparents, 4) a child, 3) Pope John Paul, 2nd 2) father, 1) mother.
I find it interesting that so many indi viduals feel that their role models are not famous persons, but family members. Most studies show similar results (and this includes the teenage group), that we see our parents, and now our children and our grandparents, as those “heroes” whom we favor and perceive as special.
This should tell us, again and again, thatparentsand familymembersdocount in our children’s lives; we do make a difference! And it is up to us to reach out to them, to communicate, to help them define a sense of secure identity, to help them feel comfortable as they explore different experiences in life, without being judgmental and condemning, to help set proper limits and controls.
Let us be there for them. Eventually, they will want to identify (be like us) and continue our priorities and moral sys tems. Listen to Mariah Carey’s “He roes,” which addresses this concept in modern terms.
* * * * * Regarding last month’s column, sev eral letters were received from parents who shared problems regarding camp decisions. I encouraged the parent to find a copy of an old song which offers some humor to the situation.
If, in the future, you have a child who has mixed feelings about going to camp and you find yourself in a state of stress, try to relax. Many children feel separa tion anxieties, and once the child experi ences camp with others, he or she feels comfortable and everything works out.
But I did some homework and here is the song. Enjoy! (To the tune of “Dance of the Hours”).
“Hello, Muddah, Hello Faddah” by Allan Sherman:
“Hello Mother, Hello Father, Here I am at Camp Granada. Camp is very entertaining and they say we’ll have some fun if it stops raining.
I went hiking with Joe Spivey, he developed Poison Ivy.
You remember, Lenard Skinner, he got ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner.
All the counselors, hate the wait
HUNG UP!! HUNG UP!! HUNG UP!! HUNG UP!! HUNG UP!!
By Milt Faith, Executive Director
Youth and Family Counseling Service
Parents Named as Heroes For Making a Difference
NEEDS TO BE CHANGED
ers, and the lake has, alligators, and the head coach, wants no sissy’s, so he reads to us from something called Ulysses.
Now I don’t want this to scare you, but my bunk mate has Malaria.
You remember Jeffrey Hardy, they’re about to organize a searching party.
Take me home, Oh Mother Father, take me home, I hate Granada.
Don’t leave me, out in the forest, where I might get eaten by a bear...
Take me home, I promise I will not make noise and mess the house with other boys.
Please don’t make me stay, I’ve been here one whole day.
Dearest Father, darling Mother, how’s my precious, little brother?
Let me come home, if you miss me, I would even let Aunt Bertha hug and kiss me.
Wait a minute, it stopped hailing, guys are swimming, guys are sailing, playing baseball, gee that’s better. Mother, Father kindly disregard this letter.”
A bewildered mother writes:
Help! My 28 yearold daughter has moved in bag and baggage with her chil dren, ages 6 and 3. She left her husband who was unfaithful to her and was ad dicted to smoking pot.
My husband and I disagree on how to handle this. He feels “Carrie” (disguised name) “made her bed” by marrying him and he is a strong believer that marriage is forever. He wants her to return to her husband and work things out.
Carrie said “Bob” is disinterested and has been abusive to her in the past. I feel we owe it to our daughter to take care of her family. Carrie has a teaching degree and when the children are older, she can go to work. Right now she needs to rest from her ordeal.
I feel guilty because I encouraged Car rie to date Bob. I have agreed to take care of the children until Carrie gets on her feet again. I am not healthy but I feel this is what family is about. Agree?
Answer: No. Your inappropriate feel ings of guilt do not help you see the situation more objectively. She should not return to her abusive husband nor should you become the caretaker for the family. I would encouragehertolook forajobnow, settle down, and then you can all decide whether her children should stay with you, with Carrie being in charge of her family, or whether she should start look ing for an apartment. You did nothing wrong, youdonotfeel wellandyoushould do what is in your (overall) best interest.
Proper Mulching Helps Plants Survive Elements
By MARCIA ANDERSON
Editor’s Note: The following is part of weekly series of columns aimed at educating gardeners on how best to deal with what has been called New Jersey’s most severe drought on record.
* * * * *
summer’sdroughthasbrought forthmany questionsonmulchingand basictree placementinthelandscape. Here are a few do’s and don’ts.
Mulch works wonders when it comes to water conservation and it modifies themicroclimatearoundthe plants it protects. Mulch helps retain soil moisture by reducing tion, helping the soil to absorb rainThis
fall and it lessens runoff and erosion. It will keep the soil cooler in the summers and warmer in the winters.
Insummer, mulchabsorbsthesun’s etymoloultravioletrays
andconvertstheminto longwave rays and reduces the zonetemperaturesup to12degreesas
comparedtolawnareas. Inthefall,the mulched soil looses heat more slowly and warmer winter soil temperatures result in less root loss due to freezing andminimizesfrostheaving.
Innature,the forestflooriscovered byleaves,twigs, posing plants which, with the aid of
animals, bacteria, fungi and seasonal weather changes, will create a layer that improves soil texture, will sup press weed growth, conserves water and protects the soil from erosion and weather extremes. We spread mulch andwoodchipsin ourgardenstomimic this natural process.
Toomuch mulch,however,islethal fortreesandshrubs andwillkillthem. Those mulch volcanoes that you see growing around trees throughout our community,areone oftheworsthorti cultural practicesaround.Anyonewith adegree inhorticulture,landscapearA chitecture or design or a certified tree expert will verify this fact.
Mulcharoundthe trunkofanywoody plant keeps moisture at the trunk, at tractingborers, otherinsects,andmice to makeamealor homeofyourfavor ite tree or shrub. It also encourages shallowroot growtharoundthetrunks which will eventually lead to root gir dling and subsequent death.
Thetreeswill notdieovernight,but will be stunted then go into decline over a number of years, long after the landscaperthatdid thedamageisgone. Pull that mulch away from the trunks and spread it out to about three inches thick, under the tree, as far as the dripline. Replenishmulchwhenthere is one inch or less of it.
Bulkmulchisjust asgoodasbagged mulch for trees and shrubs. The wood chips delivered free from the town or tree companies may contain chopped leavesbutthatis fineformostgardens, however, some people prefer pure chips for aesthetic reasons.
I am unaware of any plant diseases transmitted by bulk mulches, and ter mitescannotsurvive inwoodchipsas they need much larger pieces to nest. Bythetimea termiteorinsectinfested tree has been chopped down, and the wood converted to chips, the termites aredestroyedand mosteggsaredesic cated.
Both baggedandmunicipalmulches have usually begun to break down by the time they are available. It is wise, however, not to put large amounts of mulchofanykind tooclosetofoundaThis tions where the wood framing is low and close to the ground. Your best protection against any pest, is to use mulch that has begun to decompose.
Not all soil covers make good mulches. Rocks,gravelandlimestone are not true mulches. They do not imteur. prove the rooting environment of the plants, in fact, they do just the oppoham evaporasite.
They retain cold and heat longer which makesthesoiltoo hotorcoldfor the plants.
Grass clippings, if used as a mulch, will decompose too quickly to be efremove fective, mayharborresidualherbicides, belethaltosome woodyplants,and,if rootmounded
toothick, willbecomeabarthat rier, sealing the soil surface.
* * * * *
Marcia Anderson is a graduate of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers University and is a member of the Scotch Plains Environmental branchesanddecommission. This fall she will be teach ing Horticulture and Landscape Design at Passaic Technical Insti tute and is an Adjunct Professor Of Geology at Kean University. SpeWell, cific horticultural questions can be emailed to marciaasla@ aol. com
A variety of financial experts re cently shared investment insights with over 100 participants at Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s fourth MONEY 2000 state conference. Be low are some highlights:
· Keynote speaker, William Ster ling, author of “Boomernomics,” spoke about implications of the ag ing baby boom generation, and tech nological advances, on investors. He noted that, between now and 2010, boomers will enter their peak years of income, productivity and saving. There will be market downturns over the next 15 to 20 years, but the gen eral market trend will be upward. Sterlingpredicted thattheDowJones Industrial AverageStockIndexcould rise to 25,000 by 2010.
· Mr. Sterling also noted that a “big chill” period will follow, starting around2011 whenboomersstartturn ing 65 and liquidate financial assets and real estate. Whenever a large number of people (e. g., 76 million boomers) do something at once, the laws of supply and demand prevail. The “baby bust” generation is 45 per cent smaller than boomers. While home prices probably won’t collapse, they won’t keep pace with inflation.
· Other trends that will affect in vestment performance in the new millennium are the rapid speed of improvements in computer chips and Internet use, reduction of telecom munications costs, and advances in research pertaining to human genes. The Internet will revolutionize the services industry, which will hurt “middlemen” like stock brokers and travel agents.
· According to Mr. Sterling, the cardinal rule of “Boomernomics” is “get there before the boomers.” At tractive market sectors currently in clude financial services, health care (e. g., hearing aids), consumer prod uctssuchas cruisesandherbalsupple ments and second homes in desirable locations.
· In response to a question about where people should put their money
in 10 to 15 years, Mr. Sterling noted that “there aren’t that many places to hide.” Basically the choices are stocks, bonds, cash, or real estate. While some economists are predict ing a prolonged market downturn affecting all assets, Mr. Sterling be lievesthat“there willalwaysbesome great companies” and that stock prices will depend more on company earnings than the flow of money into stocks. Investors might also see a prolonged period of low returns on stocks (like 19681982) instead of the 20 percent plus growth we’ve enjoyed lately.
· Luncheon speaker, Laurie Goodman, of the New Jersey Bureau of Securities warned participants about investment fraud and cited examples of New Jersey cases. Her office can be contacted at (973) 5043600tocheck ifpeopleareregistered to sell securities or if investments are approvedfor sale.Ms.Goodmanalso warned about online “pump and dump” schemes, where an invest ment is touted and sold at a profit after duping others. Claims of “guar anteed returns” or “inside informa tion” are other “red flags” of invest ment fraud.
· Ms. Goodman also warned about pyramid schemes, where people put money into deals and recruit others to join. Using a handson activity with the audience, she showed that such deals quickly run out of new recruits and collapse. Most pyramid schemes only need about 12 layers to exceed the entire U. S. population.
* * * * * This MONEY 2000 message is sponsored by Rutgers Cooperative Extension. MONEY 2000 is a pro gram designed to increase the finan cial wellbeing of New Jersey resi dents through increased savings and reduced household debt. For further information aboutMONEY2000and other educational programs, please contact Dr. Karen Ensle at (908) 6549854.
By KAREN ENSLE
Conference Speakers Share Insights on Investment Trends County Must Account for Overall Impact
During Open Space Tax Discussions
The question of open space is getting a lot of attention this days. In a state as populated as New
ComJersey, anygreenland,such asparksandrecreational grounds, is precious for all who call this state home.
JustlastNovember, votersapprovedareferendum for the state to establish a $98 million fund to create and preserve one million acres of open space and farmland. Scotch Plains voters will be asked to support a similar question this fall to establish a 10year fund to help the township acquire additional land for recreational purposes, besides developing and maintaining land for open space purposes.
Last month, Union County officials announced that they, too, are now considering a ballot question in 2000 for an open space tax at the county level. A committee hasbeenappointedto studythisissue.As part of their deliberations, it is imperative that com mittee memberslookcloselyat theimpactthiscould have on the overall property tax picture – not just the increase ofdollarspertaxpayer neededtosupportan open space program.
Over the past few years, the county’s tax levy has been declining, although the amount of money the county borrows has been growing as it takes advan tage of the county’s Aaa bond rating. In July, the UnionCountyBoard ofChosenFreeholdersadopted abond ordinanceof$44.35million tofundanumber of programs, including the “Pocket Park” initiative. This matching grant program has helped towns upgrade existing parks or acquire land to dedicate as park land.
While we are all for preserving the precious open space we have in New Jersey, our elected officials must start looking at the overall tax burden in this county. This newspaper just completed a series on Scotch Plains’ property taxes in The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood issues of August 5, 19 and 26. Township residents pay on average $5,600 a year in taxes, a little over $1,000 of which goes into the county’scoffers.In Westfield,residentspayroughly $7,100inpropertytaxes, witharound$1,400headed to support county government programs. Fanwood homeowners pay an average of $5,345 a year in taxes, of which $900 is turned over to the county.
Oneofthefirst impressionsapotentialhomeowner has of a county is its parks system. So the county’s
$46 million plan to upgrade the parks over the next 10 years is encouraging. However, having another tax could present a problem when placed on top of existing taxes. While Scotch Plains residents will vote on a twocent tax proposal to support an open space fund (remember, taxes rose 15 cents per $100 of assessed valuation this year for a $173 hike), Fanwood will decide whether to start a pension program for volunteer rescue squad and fire depart ment members. The proposal calls for an annual contribution of $500 per qualified volunteer.
When one buys a house or condo, they must factor in their monthly mortgage payments and mainte nance, along with costs such as utilities, groceries andother bills.Thesameapproach needstobetaken byourelectedofficials. AlthoughtheScotchPlains’ open space tax and Fanwood LOSAP issues will be decided by voters, the county has an opportunity to sit down and look at the overall picture faced by taxpayers before deciding “yes” or “no” on whether a referendum is in order.
Westfield, for instance, is looking at a pretty big increase inmunicipaltaxesthis year,duetodeferred costsfromlast yearrelatedtosuch thingsasthe1998 LaborDaystorm andthepurchaseof anewfiretruck andPublicWorksequipment. Theschoolsystemhas taken on new debt as part of its $11.7 million bond program that was approved last year. Downtown property owners pay an annual assessment to sup port a special improvement district. This year, the Downtown Westfield Corporation, which runs the district, has an operating budget of more than $281,000.
The county’s 1999 operating budget for its Divi sion of Parks and Recreation is $8.5 million, with another $2.38 million appropriated for capital im provements.Thecounty hasalsoappropriatedaround $3 million over the past two years, which has been matched by the towns, as part of the Pocket Park program.
So, while we are all for upgrading the more than 5,500 acres of recreational land in the county’s publicparksystem,let’s notforgetourshareholders, which in this case are the taxpayers.
Reader Encourages Citizens to Purchase Special New Jersey Tree License Plates
As a member of the Westfield Tree Commission, I was delighted to learn recently that the state of New Jersey offers a special license plate named “Treasure Our Trees.” This part of Union County is often praised for its many tree lined streets and beautiful treefilled yards and gardens.
I write to urge your readers to pur chase this special license plate as an investment that will benefit our commu nities by providing funds that support New Jersey’s Shade Tree and Commu nity Forestry Program.
Moneys from the sale of these plates will fund tree planting projects, improve wildlife habitats, promote clean air and
water, reduce energy costs in cities, fund hometown beautification projects and educate New Jersey citizens on the im portance of trees and forests and their role in the maintenance of a clean and healthy environment.
It’s easy to purchase this special li cense plate. Just go to any motor vehicle agency with your current plates and reg istration and request the “Treasure Our Trees” plate. Or you can call (888) 4863339 on weekdays between 8: 30 a. m. and 4: 30 p. m. to order by mail. The initial fee is $50, with a $10 annual renewal.
Ronald J. Burkett Westfield
United Fund Announces Start of Newest Campaign
WESTFIELD — The United Fund of Westfield is about to commence its newestcampaign,with thegoalofrais ing $620,000. Darielle Walsh is re turning for her second year as the event’schieforganizer.
“She will lead a team of volunteers to solicit support for the 21 agencies thatreceiveUnited Fundhelp,inwhat istraditionallythebroadestbasedvol unteereffort inWestfield,”statedLinda Maggio, United Fund Executive Di rector.
Mrs.Walsh,who hasservedaschair manofthe ResidentialandMajorGifts Divisionsforpast campaigns,isacur rentmemberof theUnitedFundBoard ofTrustees.Anative ofNewYork,she has resided in Westfield for 20 years with her husband, Michael, and their two sons.
Mrs.Walshis PresidentoftheWest fieldBoardof EducationandisSecre taryoftheWestfield YBoardofDirec torsand theWestfieldEducationFund. She is also active with the Westfield Service League and the Rotary Club.
“Mrs. Walsh has demonstrated a great commitmenttoWestfielders,and we are delighted to have her continue as Chairwoman of this year’s general campaign,”remarkedAlanGutterman,
President of the United Fund of West field Board of Trustees.
With each of the 10 divisions in the campaign structure having a dollar goal, all of the 1999 Campaign Cabi net members have their teams ready for the kickoff, according to Mrs. Maggio.
This year’s cabinet is as follows: Pillars Club, H. Emerson Thomas; Special Gifts, Roger D. Love, Jr.; Ad vance Gifts, John C. Lesher; Major Gifts, Lynne Pomerantz; Business, Frank Isoldi; Dentists, Dr. Ralph G. Maines; Doctors, Dr. John F. Tabachnick; Lawyers,FrankJ.Sahaj; Residential, MerylChertoffandJoanne Muldoon, and Public Employees Charitable Campaign, Dr. William J. FoleyandEdwardGottko.
“Itisaprivilege toworkwithpeople who contribute their talent, enthusi asmandleadership totheUnitedFund campaign efforts,”Mrs.Walshnoted.
“Continuing with our twoyear theme — A Community United By Caring — we have pledged to reach our goal of $620,000 and we will, withthehelp ofWestfieldersandtheir generoustradition ofresponseinsup port of our 21 member agencies,” she added.
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