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OUR 109th YEAR – ISSUE NO. 3799 FIFTY CENTS 2324407

The Westfield Leader — Serving the Town Since 1890 —

Thursday, September 16, 1999 USPS 680020 Periodical – Postage Paid at Westfield, N. J.

Published Every Thursday

INDEX INDEX INDEX INDEX INDEX

Arts................ Page 22 Classifieds ..... Page 18 County .......... Page 2

Editorial ........ Page 4 Mountainside Page 3 Obituary ........ Page 10

Religious ....... Page 11 Social ............ Page 6 Sports ............ Page 13

CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK

Jennifer Ryan’s Legacy to Youth to be Honored Through Rededication of Bicentennial Square By PAUL J. PEYTON

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

In her short life, Jennifer Anne Ryan touched the hearts of many. Now, through the efforts of the Westfield Bicentennial Commission, one of the legacies she left future generations will now have her name.

The Westfield Youth Bicentennial Square will officially be rededicated as the “Jennifer Anne Ryan Youth Square” during a ceremony this Saturday, September 18, the day that would have been her 29th birthday.

The square, which originally com memorated the town’s Bicentennial

celebration in 1994, is located at Mountain and Lawrence Avenues near the back entrance to Mindowaskin Park.

As a landscape architect, it was Miss Ryan who selected and designed “every aspect of the square, from the trees and benches to the bricks, the bronze plaques, the flagpole and even the tulip bulbs,” Commission Chairwoman Linda Maggio explained in a letter to Town Administrator Edward A. Gottko written shortly after Miss Ryan’s death.

“It was her vision of the end result which developed the project. Now

we want to capture the sunshine of her soul to forever be remembered in this only permanent tribute to our wonderful bicentennial year,” Mrs. Maggio stated in her letter.

Miss Ryan also did the bulk of the landscape drawings for the downtown beautification plan being worked on by the Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC).

“She made a great contribution to the project,” said Michael LaPlace, DWC Executive Director, who said the rededication of the square in her name was “very appropriate.”

In addition to her landscape design business, Miss Ryan was active with the youth at The Presbyterian Church in Westfield’s Youth Fellowship Program.

Mrs. Maggio noted that the Youth Fellowship Program will be represented at Saturday’s ceremony along with the church’s youth minister, The Reverend Tina McCormick, among others.

The rededication ceremony, Mrs. Maggio said, “will be brief but a touching tribute” in Miss Ryan’s memory. The ceremony will begin a 10 a. m.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

County Officials Hope Report Will End Lingering Questions on Light Rail System

By RUSS WATKINS

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

Editor’s Note: The following is the second and final part of a series of articles on the proposed light rail system for Union County.

* * * * *

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders hope a new report will end lingering questions about a proposed crosscounty lightrail system.

The report, to be released within the next two weeks, is based on a Lyndhurstbased Raytheon Engineers & Contractors infrastructure study of the proposed route’s second phase.

County Manager Michael J. Lapolla said the report examines dif ferent ways to deliver light rail service

to western portions of Union County.

Phase 1 of the proposed system, known as the NewarkElizabeth Light Rail Project, connects downtown Elizabeth to Newark International Airport and the Jersey Gardens Mega Value Mall by way of an electric lightrail train system.

A recently completed environmental impact study opened the door for federal funding of the project’s construction phase, which could begin as early as 2001.

Phase 2, conceived by county freeholders in 1997, extends the NewarkElizabeth project west. Proponents say the extension would ease

commuter access to Newark Airport and relieve congestion along North and South Avenues.

Critics say the county has rushed to endorse the use of electricpowered cars and has ignored dieselpowered alternatives.

Mr. Lapolla said the new report will examine all transportation options, including diesel, and will focus on three different transportation methods: electricpowered service between Elizabeth and Plainfield, dieselpowered service between Elizabeth and Plainfield, and a combination that would provide electric service from Elizabeth to Cranford and diesel service thereafter.

Mr. Lapolla said cost would deter mine which alternative is eventually

submitted to the freeholders for approval. “We’re looking to see what is the easiest, least expensive way to make the crosscounty connection,” he said.

Although he refused to say in advance which alternative the report would recommend, Mr. Lapolla did say that some options were better than others.

Among those not favored is an electricpowered system that would run from Elizabeth to Plainfield without any transfer points.

“Because of the costs involved, I think electric service all the way to Plainfield is something we could never get the funding for, so that’s really not on the table,” he said.

Estimates for such a system ran as high as $1 billion because extensive renovations would have to be done along the NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley line to accommodate the new system.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

School Enrollment Continues to Rise; District Test Results Concern Superintendent of Schools By MICHELLE H. LePOIDEVIN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

Superintendent of Schools Dr. William J. Foley expressed his concern over a significant increase in enrollment and the school district’s test results during a regular meeting of the Westfield Board of Education on Tuesday.

While the official enrollment figures will be released on Friday, October 15, Dr. Foley revealed that a total of 170 more students were enrolled on opening day, September 8, compared to the last enrollment count of May 28.

In summary, there are 28 more elementary students, 81 additional intermediate pupils and 61 more high

school students compared to last year’s enrollment numbers.

“The most surprising difference, however, was at the kindergarten level, where 63 less students enrolled than anticipated,” reported Dr. Foley. He surmised that parents have opted for private, fullday kindergarten classes.

“What is also interesting is that 40 more students than had been projected enrolled at the first grade level, illustrating that more families didn’t begin enrolling their children until first grade,” said Dr. Foley.

He added that a greater amount of kindergartners (342) have entered the school system compared to the number of seniors (330) who will

graduate. “This is an enrollment trend that the Westfield Public Schools expects will continue,” he noted.

Board Member and Chairwoman of the Long Range Planning Committee Annmarie Puleio asked Dr. Foley about area Catholic schools’ enrollment.

Dr. Foley reported that to his knowledge, Holy Trinity Elementary School in Westfield was also experiencing overcrowding, adding that the class sizes at the school are fairly high. He also told Ms. Puleio that the number of students opting to attend the Union County Magnet School has increased.

Turning to the school district’s test results, Dr. Foley compared fifth grade results only of the 1997, 1998 and 1999 results of the IOWA or ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills), which is administered to students in the second, third, fifth, sixth and

seventh grade. The exam measures reading, language and math skills.

Through overheads depicting bar graphs, Dr. Foley proved that all six elementary schools are “very comparable” with regard to the test results in reading and language.

The math results of the IOWA in 1997 differed between schools by 14 percent, while in 1999, the gap was only 4 percent. “Kids are doing rather well on this type of test,” noted Dr. Foley.

Fourthgrade students who took the ESPA (Early Warning Proficiency Assessment) in October 1998 and are currently sixthgrade students, produced “fairly close” scores throughout the district, according to Dr. Foley. “The kids are above the state standards,” he said.

Eighthgrade pupils were well above the norm in the GEPA (Grade

Rec. Commission Faces Decisions, Complaints

On Play Equipment By KIM KINTER

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

As the Westfield Recreation Commission tackles the maintenance of playing fields at various town parks, the public board now faces what to do about some playground equipment.

At its regular meeting Monday night, the board heard from a group of neighbors near Sycamore Field who asked for the installation of additional playground equipment and from residents near the former Lincoln School on Westfield Avenue who offered mixed reaction to new play structures erected there earlier this summer.

Janis Fried Weinstein, Recreation Commission member and Fourth Ward Councilwoman, said a number of residents of the Manor Park area of Westfield near Sycamore Field appeared at the meeting Mon day to ask the status of an earlier

request they had made to erect new playground equipment at the field.

The field, which is used heavily as a playing area for soccer and other sports, currently is being upgraded. The field also contains a small playground area.

Mrs. Weinstein said that she advised the group to do research on what type of equipment they would like and to come back to the commission with a recommendation. A tentative price tag of $1520,000 has been put on the purchase and erection of the equipment, and Mrs. Weinstein said that the commission would “dig deep” to try to come up with the money to erect the new equipment.

Kim Sokol, an Irving Avenue resident and mother of a 2yearold and 4yearold, said that the SyCONTINUED

ON PAGE 12

Zoning Bd. Denies Request to Let Broad St. Home Be Used as Doctor’s Office for First Time Since ’90 By KIMBERLY A. BROADWELL

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

The Board of Adjustment voted Monday night to deny a use variance request made by Richard Roberts to continue to use part of his 705 East Broad Street home as a physician’s office.

From 1956 to 1990 his father ran a doctor’s office out of that location, as

it was zoned for both residential and commercial use when the practice first started.

According to board attorney Robert Cockren, the current zoning laws in Westfield, the residence is no longer within the zoning allowed for both uses. Also, according to the laws, any property that was originally zoned for residential/ commercial use can,

under a grandfather clause, remain the use as long as it is active.

Mr. Cockren explained that once a practice is not in use for a period of 12 months or more it is considered abandoned.

Richard Roberts, who lives in Palmyra, Pa., is currently the executor of the estate, after his father, Dr. Dudley Roberts, who operated the pediatric practice at that address for over 30 years, died in 1997.

Mr. Roberts testified that his father converted the twocar garage that was attached to his home into a fourroom doctor’s office in 1956 and continued to see patients until December, 1990. The pediatric practice consisted of a waiting room, two examining rooms and a receptionist area.

Mr. Roberts also stated that his mother died in 1991 and his father remained in the home until his death in 1997. Mr. Roberts testified that his father retired at the age of 70, but wanted to stay in his home for “sentimental reasons, especially after his wife passed away.”

Mr. Roberts also stated that his son, David, who attends a local college, is the only person who presently resides in the residence.

During his testimony, Mr. Roberts stated that the home was listed in 1998 and was on the market for some time without being sold because of the “small backyard, location on a busy street and office space within the home.”

He noted that many other houses in the immediate neighborhood were

selling for much more than the listed price of $350,000, which was then lowered to $280,000. Mr. Roberts also stated that of the total 2,500 square feet that makes up the home, 665 of it is the pediatric practice that occupies approximately 27 percent of the home.

Mr. Roberts further stated that his father added a another twocar garage in 1960.

He further explained to the board that the reason he was requesting the use variance was to enhance the marketability of the home. He told members of the board that many local Realtors told him that being able to sell the home as a residence/ business would make the home more appealing to buyers.

Mr. Roberts noted that the house was also in need of some repairs and currently he was trying to find a contractor to fix the roof. He also stated that rooms inside the home, including those in the office portion, were currently getting a fresh coat of paint and that some landscaping debris was recently removed from the front of the home.

During the testimony portion of the meeting many of Mr. Roberts neighbors spoke out against his request. One by one neighbors reiterated their concerns for their neighborhood in terms of safety issues due to increased traffic for a doctor’s office and the value of their homes.

Neighbors such as Millie Penders and Allen DeRose stated that they

CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader STEEPLE WORK… The Presbyterian Church in Westfield is currently undergoing the first portion of construction included in its capital campaign project. Workers are reshingling the church’s steeple, replacing shingles which have been in place since 1863.

Teachers Union Reaches Agreement With Catholic Principals Group By SUSAN M. DYCKMAN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

The Regional Principals Association (RPA), the administration that oversees eight Catholic high schools in northern New Jersey, has reached an agreement in principle with the Lay Faculty Union. Lay women and men compose more than 90 percent of all Catholic school teachers.

Union Catholic Regional High School of Scotch Plains and Mother Seton Regional High School of Clark

are represented by the union. Negotiations between the RPA and union officials have concluded, according to attorney Jeff Corradino, of the law firm Jackson, Lewis, Schnitzler and Krupman in Roseland. Mr. Corradino’s firm represented the RPA.

At press time, he could not confirm if union membership had ratified the contract. Union attorney Barbara Mehlsach, of the Newark firm Gorlick, Kravitz

and Listhaus, could not be reached for comment on the contract’s ratification.

The new agreement provides for a nearly 19 percent increase in salary over three years. It also includes an increase in the teachers’ annuity program and provides for a retirement bonus that will pay up to 100 percent of one year’s pay, according to a teacher’s age and length of service.

What the teachers did not get was

CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

Town Council Funds Projects For Special Improvement District

By PAUL J. PEYTON

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader

In an effort aimed at keeping downtown Westfield clean, the Town Council Tuesday night adopted an ordinance to appropriate $140,000 in funding for new trash receptacles, entry signs into town and further funding for the Downtown Improvement Plan.

Approximately 100 new, decorative trash receptacles will replace 65 existing models which downtown officials have deemed as “obsolete and unsightly.” In addition, 12 “Westfield — 1720” signs will be posted at locations along major road ways leading into Westfield.

Downtown Westfield Corporation Executive Director Michael LaPlace explained that the town has budgeted $75,000 for the receptacles and $25,000 for the entry signs. The remainder of the funds will be used for downtown improvements such as benches, bicycle racks and an information kiosk behind the Rialto Theatre, as well as a red bricked crosswalk at the intersection of Elm and East Broad Streets.

Included in the $1.2 million proposed Downtown Plan, these projects are known, respectively, as Rialto Park and Bank Square.

Mr. LaPlace said town officials have indicated they would like to get moving on Rialto Park since it will not cause any disruption in traffic flow as is the case with some of the other aspects of the improvement plan.

In terms of outside funding, the town has been approved for a $450,000 grant as part of the Downtown Union County program from the Board of Chosen Freeholders, which is earmarked for improvements along the Central Avenue corridor.

Another $10,000 has been approved as part of the county’s Downtown Planning Grant program for Rialto Park and Bank Square, as well as for streetscape improvements along

CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

Page 12 Thursday, September 16, 1999 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION

CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK

WESTFIELD FIRE BLOTTER

WESTFIELD POLICE BLOTTER

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Request to Turn Home Into Doctor’s Office Denied by Bd. Enrollment, Test Results

Concern Superintendent TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

· Police received a report that glue was squirted into a side door lock at a physician’s office on East Broad Street.

· A Virginia Street resident reported damage to her home, including a small crack in the aluminum siding and a piece of molding having been removed from a doorway. Police said there are currently no suspects in the case.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9

· A Lincoln Avenue resident reported the theft of a lawn ornament.

· Reginald Williams, 42, of Roselle was arrested and charged with the theft of cigarettes from an Elm Street supermarket. He was held in lieu of $500 bail.

· Police received a report of criminal mischief in Municipal Lot No. 5, located between Elmer Street and Central Avenue, in which a dead goose was placed on the hood of a vehicle in the lot. The surface of the vehicle was scratched as a result of the incident.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

· A representative of an Elm Street shoe store received two checks for the purchase of children’s shoes which were

drawn upon a closed account. Police said the incident remains under investigation.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11

· A North Plainfield resident reported the theft of his 1985 BMW from East North Avenue. The vehicle was recovered on Monday in Elizabeth, and an investigation was continuing at press time.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

· A Bridgewater resident reported the theft of her pocketbook and its contents at a local funeral home. The value of the missing items was approximately $380, according to police.

· Luz Herczegh, 42, of Kenilworth was arrested at the South Avenue traffic circle and charged with driving while intoxicated, authorities said. She was released on her own recognizance.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

· A Bell Drive resident reported the theft of more than $2,000 worth of items from his home, including a refrigerator, washing machine, computer, television and two twin beds. No one had been charged in the case as of press time, police confirmed. Federal regulations prohibit light

rail trains and heavy rail trains from sharing the same track. As a result, an entirely electric rail system would have to run along side Raritan Valley line track.

In places like Westfield, where station improvements have been built on top of the existing track bed, an electric system would require that those improvements be dismantled in order to make way for new, light rail track.

Mr. Lapolla said that was unacceptable. “Raritan Valley line service is a very important service to our residents and we don’t want to interfere with it,” he said. “No one’s trying to reinvent the wheel.”

However, Mr. Lapolla said any light rail system would require restoring direct rail service between Elizabeth and Cranford. Direct service was discontinued in 1964, and Mr. Lapolla said a large portion of the report will be devoted to looking at whether diesel or electric service is best suited for that portion of the route.

Plain talk like that is welcome news for diesel proponents, but suspicion still runs high among some who have followed the rail system’s progress.

Phyllis Mason, a diesel advocate and former member of the county’s Transportation Advisory Board (TAB), said she is still surprised that the freeholders ignored a resolution passed by TAB in June supporting the use of dieselpowered cars between Elizabeth and Plainfield.

“We usually get some type of feedback,” she said.

Mr. Lapolla, who is in charge of daytoday county operations, said he did not know what happened to the resolution.

Cranford officials said a resolu tion passed by their Township Council

last year opposing an electric light rail system suffered similar neglect.

Ms. Mason believes the lack of response from county officials has shrouded the public planning process in unnecessary secrecy. It has certainly created confusion.

“I want the light rail system to go through Westfield because that benefits Westfielders,” said Mayor Thomas C. Jardim, “but I am a little unsure as to how all this is going to shake out.”

Mayor Jardim said he believes a light rail system would make it easier for Westfield commuters to reach Newark Airport, but added that a switch from electric to diesel in Cranford could create parking problems for Westfield.

New parking applicants already have to wait three years for a permit. Mayor Jardim believes the new system could make the situation worse.

“In that case, we would want assistance from the county to ameliorate our concerns,” he said.

Mr. Lapolla said that despite the different concerns and approaches most people support the project.

“We all have the same goal, it’s just a question of how we’re going to get there,” he said.

Ms. Mason agrees, but said she prefers to wait and see what the report recommends.

“I hope it looks at the whole route, the various modes of transportation and the various alignments,” she said. “I hope it evaluates the alternatives and makes it clear what they are.”

Should the report fail to do that, Ms. Mason said she is not sure what her next move would be.

“I’d certainly raise questions about it,” she said.

Officials Hope Report Ends Questions on Light Rail

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 5

· Two hundred block of Clark Street – system malfunction.

· Four hundred block of Mount Avenue – lock out.

· Two hundred block of Seneca Place – wires down.

· One hundred block of Jefferson Avenue – carbon monoxide detector activation.

· Ten hundred block of Central Avenue – good intent call.

· Seven hundred block of Mountain Avenue – system malfunction.

· Five hundred block of Summit Avenue – electrical short.

· One hundred block of Settlers Lane – system malfunction.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6

· Eight hundred block of Tice Place – power line down.

· One hundred block of New Providence Road – system malfunction.

· Seven hundred block of East Broad Street – smoke scare.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

· One hundred block of New Providence Road – system malfunction.

· Four hundred block of North Avenue West – system malfunction.

· Six hundred block of Stirling Place – good intent call.

· One hundred block of Scotch Plains Avenue – carbon monoxide detector activation.

· Five hundred block of Some Avenue West – emergency medical call.

· One hundred block of Brightwood Avenue – service call.

· One hundred block of Tudor Oval – power line down.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8

· Two hundred block of Clark Street – unintentional alarm.

· Four hundred block of North Avenue – unintentional alarm.

· One hundred block of New Providence Road – unintentional alarm.

· Seven hundred block of Norman Place – service call.

· Three hundred block of South Av enue West – electrical short.

· Five hundred block of First Street – system malfunction.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9

· Twelve hundred block of Boulevard – service call.

· Two hundred block of Watchung Fork – unintentional alarm.

· One hundred block of Madison Avenue – electrical short.

· Eight hundred block of Standish Avenue – carbon monoxide detector activation.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

· Two hundred block of Linden Avenue – wires down.

· Seneca and Forest Avenues – power line down.

· Fourteen hundred block of East Broad Street – gasoline spill.

· Seven hundred block of Knollwood Terrace – wire down.

· Dudley Avenue and Elm Street – assist police/ power failure.

· Eight hundred block of Carleton Road – carbon monoxide detector activation.

· Five hundred block of Colonial Avenue – electrical short.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11

· Four hundred block of Central Avenue – smoke odor investigation.

· One hundred block of Mohawk Trail – smoke condition.

· One hundred block of Willow Grove Parkway – carbon monoxide detector activation.

· Three hundred block of South Avenue West – system malfunction.

· Three hundred block of Woods End Road – lock out.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

· Fourteen hundred block of Grandview Avenue – unintentional alarm.

· One hundred block of New Providence Road – system malfunction.

· Sixteen hundred block of Rahway Avenue – unintentional alarm.

· Four hundred block of East Broad Street – system malfunction. Eight Proficiency Assessment), according

to the Superintendent. Eighth graders used to be tested by the Early Warning Test (EWT). However, Dr. Foley revealed that the GEPA “is a very different assessment,” testing different elements compared to the EWT.

For example, the students scored 8.8 in the Geometry portion while 5.0 is the average level of proficiency. The Algebra portion showed Westfield’s eighth graders scoring 10.3 compared to the average 6.5.

For the 341 students who took the GEPA, Dr. Foley offered the following breakdown:

·163 students are proficient, 133 are advanced proficient.

·Of the 45 students who are limited proficient, 14 are special education students, two are limited English speaking pupils and 29 are enrolled in regular education.

·The biggest difference between Roosevelt and Edison Intermediate Schools exists in math. At Edison, 14.9 percent are limited proficient, while 4.7 percent are limited proficient at Roosevelt.

“We have a gap there. I don’t think this gap should exist. It should be able to be closed,” stressed Dr. Foley, regarding the math results. “This gap is a function of instruction and instructional strategies and it is something we are going to have to address.”

He added that the GEPA results will now force all school districts in the state to take a hard look at their results, preparing the students to “get more test savvy.”

Beginning in May 1998, the ninth grade testing was changed from the ITBS to the HSPT (High School Proficiency Test) 1992 version. The exam tested reading, writing and mathematics.

Dr. Foley revealed that in the Regular Education math portion of the HSPT, 50 students achieved the minimum level of proficiency. Approximately 93 percent of the students passed this portion with 7 percent below standards.

In the Regular Education reading assessment, 96.4 percent of the students passed with 3.6 percent of the pupils below standards. Dr. Foley noted that typically, 97 to 98 percent of the pupils passed this portion. Approximately 83 students achieved the minimum level of proficiency.

The Regular Education writing portion of the HSPT proved that the test has increased its standards, according to Dr. Foley. Approximately 63 percent earned the minimum level of proficiency. While 99 percent of the pupils used to pass this portion, 98.7 passed when it was distributed in May.

The school board received a sneak peek at the SAT results of juniors and a handful of sophomores who took the test last term. Dr. Foley received the test results Tuesday afternoon. The average verbal score is 545, which is six points below the previous results. The average math score is 572, which is 10 points above the previous results.

How does this compare with the nation’s scores? Dr. Foley noted that the average verbal score is 505, while the average math score is 511.

Superintendent Foley explained that he is concerned about the emphasis on state testing which he calls “high stakes” testing. He added that the state has increased its standards so greatly that it results in struggles and stress.

“Just because you raise the bar doesn’t mean everyone is going to go over it,” he said. Although he said he is not opposed to “high stakes” testing, he said that “the emphasis, which almost seems like punishment, is not effective.”

Superintendent Foley added that the administration at Edison Intermediate is particularly concerned about the math results in state testing. “We are puzzled about our lack of success,” he noted, adding that the faculty has worked so hard and is frustrated by the results.

Board Member Thomas Taylor thanked Dr. Foley for his “candor and leadership” in presenting the test results, noting his appreciation for the fact that the superintendent did not “gloss over” the facts of his concerns.

“The real test is to make more of our kids proficient,” concluded Dr. Foley. “We’ve got work to do.”

In earlier business, School Board President Darielle Walsh reported that 48 new teachers and four new administrators helped to welcome back students on opening day.

While the first grade students at Franklin School are temporarily being bused to another school while construction is taking place, the board anticipates that those students may return to their Franklin classrooms in October.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 camore Field playground area serves much of the south side, including the Manor Park area, Central Avenue apartments and residences on Boulevard.

She said that, in addition, when the field is being used for games, younger siblings of children playing the sport often use the equipment. The park area consists of a set of swings and climber with two slides.

She said that she and other neighbors believe that there is room for at least one other piece of equipment.

Mrs. Sokol pointed out that she took a petition to Town Council about a year ago saying that residents would like some new equipment in the play area. She was recently told by Council members when the next Recreation Commission meeting was and that she should talk to commission members.

Mrs. Sokol said that she has agreed to research equipment needs and already has begun gathering information. She added that she would move as fast as she can to present a plan to the Commission.

“If they can come up with funds, the sooner the better,” Mrs. Sokol said, referring to the purchase and erection of equipment.

She added, however, that the neighbors are not asking to take funding from any other projects that have already been approved and will have to continue to work with the commission to see what is possible.

Meanwhile, the commission is grappling with what to do with equipment that has already been erected at the former Lincoln School. Since new equipment was erected June 28, children have flocked to the park, prompting some neighbors to complain about the noise and dust.

Terrence Scanlan, a Westfield Avenue resident, has a backyard that abuts the new playground equipment and has asked the town to remove it.

He appeared before the commission on Monday, again asking what could be done.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Rec. Commission Discusses Playground Equipment

did not want Mr. Roberts’ request to be granted because they thought it would be an added traffic danger to the small children in the surrounding area.

Michael Zensky said that granting the variance would “devalue the other houses in the neighborhood.” The residents on the block “put a lot of capital into their homes” and stated that the Roberts home “has been abandoned for nine years.”

Noreen Yurkon testified by saying that she moved into the neighborhood a year ago. While she did indeed purchase her home for much more than Mr. Roberts was listing his home for. She emphasized that her house had been 90 percent remodeled prior to her purchase.

Ms. Yurkon noted that the fireplace and the staircase were the only original portion of her home. She stated that Mr. Roberts should update his home in order to sell the property. She also focused on the safety of her son in terms of an anticipated amount of increased traffic.

Neighbor Steve Noonan hired Westfield lawyer Michael Bonnor

to pose questions of intent to Mr. Roberts asking if he planned to expand the practice.

Mr. Roberts explained that he had no plans for expanding the practice, but that he was simply trying to offer the property as a complete package for a prospective buyer who wanted to start their own business.

Members of the board, as well as Mr. Cockren, explained that if the request for certification was requested, it had to be used exactly as it was when it was originally granted, which was to be an exclusive private doctor’s practice within the same 665 square feet that was originally used. The practice would have been allowed to be expanded under these terms.

Citing reasons such as not having a prospective buyer and having an “abandoned” practice for almost 10 years, the board did finally rejected Mr. Roberts proposal.

When asked if the house was currently on the market, Mr. Roberts said it wasn’t and stated that some “upgrading” would have to be done first. Mrs. Weinstein told The Westfield

Leader that the Commission and Recreation Department has been inundated with letters from people supporting the park and asking that the equipment not be removed. She acknowledged, however, that the equipment was close to Mr. Scanlan’s house and that the commission was trying to figure out what could be done.

“I’ve said that we as the Recreation Commission saw the actual schematic (of the park), but it was never placed on a survey,” Mrs. Weinstein said. “It is very hard to imagine it on paper.”

Mrs. Weinstein said she, Town Administrator Edward A. Gottko, Third Ward Councilman Neil F. Sullivan and Recreation Director Glenn S. Burrell met at the park this summer to talk about what could be done, but no decisions were made. They talked about everything from moving pieces to erecting bushes to act as sound barriers.

To move pieces could cost $6,0007,000, and may not be an option, Mrs. Weinstein said.

But Commission members will meet again at the playground at 12: 30 p. m. Saturday, September 25, to try to make a final decision on what can be done to appease both those who like the new equipment and those who have been affected by the noise and dust, she said.

the second pension — a national pension program — they had sought through much of the negotiation process.

“At the end of the day,” said Mr. Corradino, “the annuity increase and retirement benefit was enough.”

During the summer, teachers picketed the offices of Newark Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. The threat of a strike hung over the most recent negotiations as the contract expired August 31.

In addition to Union Catholic and Mother Seton, the union represents lay teachers at the following schools: Immaculate Heart Acad emy, Washington Township; Bishop

Francis Essex Catholic Regional High School, East Orange; Hudson Catholic Regional High School, Jersey City; Paramus Catholic Regional High School, Roselle Catholic Regional High School, and St. Joseph Regional High School, Montvale.

The Lay Teachers Union is aligned with the Laborers International Union of North America, an AFLCIO affiliate. The New Jersey alliance was established in 1997.

Catholic Principals Group Finds Accord With Teachers

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Central Avenue in front of the Banana Republic and Bombay stores, and improvements at the intersection of South Avenue and Boulevard.

In addition, the county has approved another $10,000 in funding for Westfield for a commercial facade program along Central Avenue on the south side. The council authorized Mayor Thomas C. Jardim to sign the agreement with the county Tuesday night.

Town Administrator Edward A. Gottko explained that the facade program is being funded through a Community Development Block Grant program that is issued by the federal government and passed along to county governments.

“I think it’s a good sign that we are doing something with the commercial properties in that area,” said Third Ward Councilman John J. Walsh, Chairman of the Public Works Committee.

The council also took action to accept an additional $10,000 in Development Block Grant funds for a neighborhood tree planting program along an area bounded by Cacciola Place, Grove Street and Grandview Avenue.

Mayor Jardim noted that this area is in need of shade trees to help in upgrading the neighborhood.

On another matter, the governing body approved a oneway fee of $1 for a proposed jitney service currently being implemented by the town through the Union County Paratransit program.

Mr. Gottko said he will be meeting with county officials this week to try to hammer out a plan with the county that will include scheduling of shuttles to deliver commuters to and

Town Council Funds Projects For Special Improve. District

from designated points townwide. As proposed by the town, the service would run between 6 and 9 a. m. and from 5 to 8 p. m. The service would cost Westfield $63,000 per year?.

The council also appointed Real Estate broker Bernadette Houston, of Degnan Boyle, to the Downtown Westfield Corporation Board of Directors. The board oversees the town’s special improvement district.

She replaces jeweler Thomas D. Cherin, who has moved his business from Quimby Street to Mountain Avenue, which is outside the district. Mr. Cherin’s seat on the board must be filled by a business operator.

The council also approved resolutions to enable the town to move ahead with purchase of a communications system for the fire department, as well as Public Works Department equipment.

The purchases, totaling over $500,000, are being funded through the Union County Improvement Authority Lease Program.

First Ward Councilman Gregory S. McDermott, the former Chairman of the Improvement Authority, said the governing body believed the communication system for the fire department was one of the most important pieces of equipment needed by the town.

The council also introduced an ordinance that will enable residents to replace sidewalks in disrepair with the same type of materials.

The change, which coincides with the town’s new sidewalk repair program, specifically addresses asphalt sidewalks which, under the current town code, may only be replaced with concrete.

As part of the new program, the town has included $100,000 in this year’s municipal budget, to be split equally between the town and residents. The town will be accepting bids for the project on Monday, September 27.

Councilman McDermott said the town hopes to complete sidewalk replacements or repairs (such as leveling of walkways) this fall. Those sidewalks not replaced this year will move to the top of next year’s program.

Officials have indicated that the program may be expanded to twice a year.

Recreation Commission To Hold Public Meeting On Memorial Park Plan

WESTFIELD – A public meeting to discuss the master plan for Memorial Park and the Memorial Pool complex will be held on Monday, September 27, at 8 p. m. in the Community Room of the Westfield Municipal Building, 425 East Broad Street.

The public is invited to attend the meeting, which is being held by the Recreation Commission.

Copies of the plan will be available next week during regular business hours in the Recreation Office, located on the second floor of the Municipal Building on East Broad Street.

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Governor Declares State of Emergency

As this newspaper went to press, Governor Christine Todd Whitman had declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Floyd.

This action will enable the state to deploy the National Guard and close schools should it become necessary.

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