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Westfield, N. J. 07091 P. O. Box 368 • 1906 Bartle Avenue Scotch Plains, N. J. 07076
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ARTS and ENTERTAINMENT
Letters to the Editor
A recent article in a local newspaPeriodicals per featured a list of new slang words currently in vogue among the teenage set. The word “giggin” was included in the list and was defined as “having agoodtime(as inwe’regiggin).”Join us for this giggin word search.
Giggin is a cognate of gig, musiPUBLISHED cian jargon for “an engagement for a musician or musicians playing jazz, dance music, and so on.” Gig, in turn,
from the middle French words “a fiddle,” and giguer, “to hop dance about” and is also the source of the English word jig (dance).
It is interesting that a nearly obsoSUBSCRIPTION lete word source should produce this modern version, giggin. When all is said and done, it still means dling around,” but without the fiddle.
By KAREN ENSLE
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
An Early Education in Finances Goes a Long Way for Children, Teens
You can begin a child’s financial education at a very tender age. The steps you take now can go a long way toward making your offspring be come responsible teens and young adults.
Here are some ideas suggested by Adriane Berg, financial author and broadcaster, for different age groups:
· FourFive Year Olds — Use a traditional piggy bank to teach ings. Be sure to add interest in the
form of a few pennies for every quarter children save. Begin this around the time they are able to distinguish among coins or when they start to count. Also select toys that help teach savings. To get some ideas, check the Web site www. redrocket. com/ shop/ toptoys/
· FiveEight Year Olds — A dential Insurance Company survey found that even preschoolers can pick out corporate logos almost as well as a control group of adults. Starting at about kindergarten age, when you buy children a hamburger and fries or a new toy, explain that these items are made by companies that sell pieces of itself to anyone who wants to buy a share. These buyers are called shareholders. Around age 7, kids should find the concept of stocks easy to stand when they are explained in
terms of ownership of a part of a business. Tell them that when you own stock, you own a share in that company that is called a tion.” One way to make it “real” to
a child is to ask him/ her to pick a favorite soda or toy. Then partici pate in the Dividend Reinvestment Program (DRIP) at the company that makes the soft drink or play thing.
· NineTwelve Year Olds — When a child turns 10, you can go another step further and explain just how the stock market works. This is also a good time to put together a makebelieve stock folio, pretending it is rea1 Together
with junior, select some stocks he or she can relate to. Then follow them in your daily newspaper. A little later, you may want to make this portfolio real. Be sure to call the broker with your child ing in. If you trade online, have
him/ her near you when you make the transaction on a computer. It’s
good idea to call the stocks they own, whether imaginary or real, a “portfolio.” Using the right nology makes a youngster feel
grownup and in control A terrific teachable moment occurs when you make a profit. Actually show your child the money in cash. It doesn’t make any difference whether it is $5 or $500 and it’s your choice whether to give your child the money to spend or reinvest. show them that cash credited
to their account represents real money.
· Teens — By the time children reach the teenage years, the growth in value of their account will sink in as “real” money. Your teenager will finally see that investing increasing
At this point, you can ex plore further. All stock exchanges
can be accessed at their own web site. Over 100 can be visited through www. savoystocks. com/ exches. htm. Other web sites worth visiting are Cash University, (www. cashuniversity. com) and Edustock, which is created by teen agers (www. tgd. advanced org/ 3088).
* * * * *
savThis MONEY 2000 message is
sponsored by Rutgers Cooperative Extension. MONEY 2000 is a procomes gram designed to increase the finangigue, cial wellbeing of New Jersey resior dents through increased savings and reduced household debt. For further information aboutMONEY2000and other educational programs, please contact Dr. Karen Ensle at (908) 6549854.
SP/ F Group Against Aircraft Noise in on Candidates’ Positions
Scotch Plains/ Fanwood Citizens Against Aircraft Noise (SP/ FCAAN), a nonpartisan advocacy group, recently completed its first report on the air craft noise public policy positions of all Fanwood and Scotch Plains candi dates.
Every prospective mayoral and coun cil candidate in both towns offered his or her written endorsement of a sixmonth live test of ocean routing.
1999 was a banner year for our organi zation.SP/ FCAAN lution support of the Scotch Plains cil for a live sixmonth test of ocean
routing. This longsought breakthrough unified our towns’ public policy position in support of ocean routing.
Our statewide unity campaign is plete. We now have agreement on ocean routing by every elected official repre senting Fanwood and Scotch Plains –
our Senators to our town councils. Since 1987, many communities found themselves in a war zone of Newark International Airport jet noise caused by the single most massive restructuring of air routes in the history of the United States.
Two years later, and in response to noise complaints from neighboring towns, the Federal Aviation tion (FAA) tweaked the routes. Fanwood
and Scotch Plains found themselves the newest in what was to become a musical chairs game of moving the noise from one community to another by the FAA and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. SP/ FCAAN was conceived to protect our communities.
In 1993, an Ocean Route Plan was proposedby thestatewidecitizens’group the New Jersey Coalition Against Air craft Noise (NJCAAN). This plan was designed by Glenn Bales, an ally respected air space designer and
planner and a former employee of the FAA. The NJCAAN Ocean Route Plan is a safe and efficient plan and will reduce noise and air pollution for New Jersey at a cost of less than $1 a ticket to the carriers.
The NJCAAN Ocean Route Plan will redirect all of Newark’s Runway No. 22
trafficaway fromFanwoodandScotch Plains by flying planes over the Arthur Kill out to the ocean.
The plan benefits all of northern and central New Jersey. It directs Kennedy International Airport air traffic over the ocean,away fromMonmouthCountyand the shore, which is currently affected by airplane noise.
SP/ FCAAN will be mailing its annual newsletter to its members in the next few weeks. For more information on this citizen advocacy group, please contact SP/ FCAAN at P. O. Box 162 in Fanwood, 07023. Membership is free.
CounPresident SP/ FCAAN
Condition of Municipal Building Calls For Greater Attention; Needs Repair
Members of the Westfield Commu nity have become aware of the active interest in, and development of, our business district which is replete with festivals, fairs and shows.
We have also glimpsed improve ments in our school plant which is being brought up to date for the new school year.
Sadly for Westfield residents, our elegantly designed Municipal Build ing is crumbling.
Paint is falling from the rotting exte rior windows and doorways. The veair randaover theCommunityRoomlooks
unsteady. The doorway to the right of the police department looks like part of a newly discovered ancient ruin.
The bathrooms attached to the Com munity Room desperately need refur bishing.
One wonders why the condition of the building has been allowed to dete riorate and what should have been done to prevent it. Taxpayers might see an other bond issue in the future, but presentday residents should start ask ing a few questions!
Barbara Zietchick Westfield Stolen Cane from Supermarket Holds
Sentimental Value for Area Resident
On Saturday, August 28, I was shop ping at the Edwards Supermarket on Elm Street in Westfield. I had taken my cane into the store with me, having parked in the handicap spot near where
Administraall thecartsareavailable. Itwas11a. m.
At 11: 30 I put my groceries in my car and forgot to take my cane out of the cart.Arrivinghome, Irealizedsuchand made a quick reverse and went back to Edwards. There was no cane in the cart that I had used so I asked the gentleman that was handling the carts if anyone had mentioned finding such. He said no and checked all the carts that were there.
I then went to the courtesy counter and asked if anyone had turned in a
internationcane and the answer was also no. I have still been checking but still no cane.
I can easily buy another, but it is, or was, a sentimental treasure to me and was given to me by Ann Long as it was her husband, Gene Long’s, who was a FanwoodCrossing Guardformanyyears whom I have known all of my life. I’m sure he would have been happy to know I was traditionally using it.
It is hard to believe that someone is that unconscionable to take a lonely
cane out of the cart. Thank goodness there is only a small percentage of such people and this is a very rare incident. Also,thankyou forhearingmethrough.
James F. Denny Fanwood
PruUnless Basic Questions are Answered, Issue
Of Deck is Destined to Linger in Westfield
Certainlocalissueskeep comingback.Theylinger unresolved andstayinstudy becausetheyareimpor tant but complex. There are no simple answers or easy solutions.
In Scotch Plains, the Green Brook flood control project,thebirdnuisance problem,airplanenoiseand the Scotch Plains Zoo property development are some oftheseissues.In Fanwood,thedevelopmentof theDeanOil siteisofkeen concern.InWestfield,the parking deck, downtown traffic congestion and the high costofleasingbusiness space,alongwithclean liness and trash removal in the shopping area, are all high on the list.
Anotherstudyofparking indowntownWestfieldis underway at the cost of $25,700, to be paid for by funds from Union County. This time, the town has hired a consulting firm from Michigan. The consult ing firm is charged with the tasks of completing a detailed report that is to recommend the location for a parking deck, performing a construction cost esti mate, listing financing options and itemizing costs associated withdailyoperation.This report,duetobe
latefall,willjoin manyotherstudieson the same issue done over the last several decades.
Many people believe that it’s a good idea to have a parkingdeckindowntown Westfield.Maybeso.For now, proponents are just focusing on where to put it. But we wonder if the primary question has been answered. That is, “Is it a sound idea and of overall benefit to the town and to the residents to have a parking deck in downtown Westfield?”
Someof theargumentsinfavor oftheparkingdeck include satisfying the desire for more parking for downtown shoppers and for commuters. It’s also been said that the parking deck is necessary to attract more national chain stores to downtown Westfield.
Some of the arguments against the parking deck include: who’s going to pay for it? Will it add to the traffic congestion? Where to put it? Will it be useful for shoppers downtown and are more national chain stores in the best interest of Westfield?
The cost to build a parking deck is reportedly about $15,000 per space. There are many vari ables. In 1985, the Town of Westfield received a bid of $1.5 million for a 285space garage which the Town Council decided not to pursue. Costs have almost doubled since then. With a proposed garage capacity of 400 cars, as is being considered today, the cost may be about $5 million to $6
in the year 2001. Assuming 5 percent for and operation and 12 percent for interest and debt retirement, the annual cost may be about $1 million per year.
On a per car space basis, this comes out to about $2,500 per car space. On a monthly basis, this is about $200 per space. Commuters now pay about $30 per month to use the Westfield train station parking lots. This is a huge financial gap — making
difficult to justify a parking deck for commuters at the current pricing.
Parking meters in downtown Westfield cost 25 perhour.Atthis rate,onaneighthourbasis,six days per week, a parking deck space could yield revenue of about $52 per month. This is still far from theapproximate costof$200per monthperspacefor the parking deck.
So, it seems impractical to charge the users of the parking deck an amount high enough to cover the
total cost. Much of the cost for a parking deck will needtobepaid forbysomeoneelse. Whowillthatbe?
If each of the 10,000 homeowners in Westfield wereassessedaonetimetaxof $500,then$5million could be collected to pay for the parking deck con struction. Userfeeswouldthen payforoperationand maintenance oftheparkingdeck. Wedon’tknowany politician who would dare propose this.
Of course a bond could be proposed, such that the cost to the homeowner is spread out as yearly pay ments equivalent to the cost of a cup of coffee each week for the next 15 years. Still, the real cost is the same,and thehomeownerstillpicks upthetab.Some saythis isokaybecauseit drivesupthehomeowners’ property values. Others say that this is a problem because it has a tendency to force existing residents to cash in their homes and move on.
The downtown property owners could be taxed to payfor theparkingdeck,in themannerthat$300,000 per yearisgatheredto fundtheDowntownWestfield Corporation. In reality, such a tax gets passed on directly to the businesses who lease the space. In our view, this frequently forces out small businesses and creates a bigger need for national chains stores. We’re not sure this is good, if pursued beyond a certain point. But, this is a subject for a future editorial.
So, it seems that Westfield must get NJ Transit, the county, state or federal government to pay for the parking deck construction through a grant. But, who pays the government? The taxpayer, of course.
Maybe Westfield can jump ahead of the race and grab more government money than its neighbors. However, there are always strings attached to gov ernment grants, and the amount of grants have a way of evening out over the long run. And many believe that it’sinefficienttogive thegovernmentmoneyfor the purpose of getting it doled back. Somehow, each $1 of tax money gets chewed up by the system, such that only about 70 cents returns as a grant.
If the national chain stores or a private business thought theparkingdeckwas agoodinvestment,they would be the first to build it at their expense. They’re realists. They want someone else to pay for it, too.
The true financial facts shouldn’t be ignored. And if the financial aspects of the Westfield parking deck canbe overcome,thenotherissues, suchasimpacton traffic and crime potential, need to be addressed. We believe there are other issues not brought to the forefront, and we intend to keep you informed as matters unfold. In our view, there’s very little way to beat the financial requirements and the mitigating realities. They can’t be masked by a bond to push off the cost to the future. They can’t be paid for by someone else through grants because that someone else is you.
We’re notnecessarilyforor againstaparkingdeck indowntownWestfield.We’d justlikesomeanswers to the basic questions. We’re looking forward to reading the expert report from Michigan. In their report, we presume that they will tell Westfielders that it is a good idea to have a parking deck and why, wherethedeckshould goandhowyou willpayforit. If not,theparkingdeck indowntownWestfieldseems destinedtoremainone ofthoselingering,unresolved issues because it is complex with no simple answer.
Last week’s editorial, incor rectlystatedWestfieldPlanning Board Chairman Martin Robfrom ins is a law partner with former Governor Jim Florio.
Mr. Robins has retired from the practice of law. He and Mr. Florio are both employed at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Planning.
to the Editor
Mrs. Lazarowitz Says Courier Article On Westfield is ‘Lopsided’ Depiction
I feel compelled to write this letter after reading two articles in the August 24 edition of The Courier News, en undertitled “A Day In The Life of Westfield,”
because I’m concerned about the lop sided picture they paint of Westfield.
One of the headlines reads, “Are all sides alike? South side wonders.” I
“corporareally find the opening paragraph that
states, “There are no bad neighbor hoods in Westfield, but there is the south side…” to be offensive and mis leading.
I live on the “south side” and this north side versus south side position ing is based on old, narrow views that are outdated and only promote nega tive feelings.
We Westfieldians do not contribute to or believe in this separateness. We take pride in our diverse community. Sure, we have our problems, as other towns do, and we are working on them. That’s one of the reasons I’m running for Town Council in the Third Ward — to be a part of the solution.
I’m waving the flag for all of Westfield, I’m supporting all of our diverse neighborhoods. I’m convinced that the only thing that separates the south side from the north side is the delineation on the map, and not in our hearts or minds.
Claire Lazarowitz Westfield
Letters to the Editor
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WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION Fanwood Residents Must Stand Firm
Against Dean Oil Proposal at Meeting
portThe last and most important ningBoardmeeting ments proposed for the former Dean
Oil site will occur at 7: 30 p. m., on Wednesday, September 22, at the Park Middle School.
At this meeting, the developer, John listenMolozzi, will himself testify on why he
thinks that the proposed development is good for Fanwood. We urge our fellow concerned citizens to attend and speak out during the public comment period.
termiThe Fanwood Citizens for sible Development (FCRD) has made a
concerted effort over the past several months to keep the citizens of Fanwood informed of the meetings concerning this poorly planned development.
The meeting on September 22, how ever, will be the last and most impor tant one because the planning board must vote to either accept or reject the Howproposeddevelopment onorbeforeOcever,
tober 1. We believe that the citizens of Fanwood know why this development is a terrible idea. This development would increase congestion and further strain our schools, community structure and parks. The development
would also alter the landscape of Fanwood forever.
Its design and size would stick out Planfrom
the surrounding community and regardingtheapartwould squelch further commercial decompletedin
velopment on the only commercially zoned block in Fanwood.
Further, the development’s approval would encourage similar structures in Fanwood. This development is nothing more than a cramped building with a parking lot that offers no benefit to our community.
Therefore, the FCRD urges the citia zens of Fanwood to show up at this last planning board hearing on the Dean ResponOil site apartments. We must stand
together as a community, come out in force and voice our opposition to this development.
Eric W. Hess Peter Sayles Members of Fanwood Citizens for
Responsible Development Weather Cancels
September 17 infraPOW and MIA
ELIZABETH— Duetotheforewealth. cast of high winds and rain for Friday, September 17, the fifth anmillion nualUnionCountyPOW/ MIAReLetters membrance Day ceremony, previmaintenance ously scheduled to take place at 11: 15 a. m. on the steps of the County Courthouse in Elizabeth, has been canceled.
Freeholder Linda d. Stender, liWeighs aison to the Vietnam POW/ MIA CitizensCommittee,organizedthe ceremony with representatives from county veterans’ organizait tions to honor prisoners of war and the missinginaction of all wars.
Meteorologists expect weather conditions associated with Hurricents cane Floyd will reach the area by Friday and are forecasting strong winds and rain for that morning.
For more information, please call Freeholder Stender’s office at (908) 5274116.