goleader.com - Union County, NJ Newspapers

7/24/97 Editorial

College Students Honed TalentsThis Summer With Leader, Times

One of the biggest joys in the newspaper business is seeing the development of college students who will soon join our business. This summer we had the opportunity to work with two students.

Suzanne Markert was one of just four students in the state awarded New Jersey Press Foundation scholarships this past spring. A student in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York State, she utilized her desktop computer skills to play a major role in the production of the first fully electronic publication published in the 107-year history of The Westfield Leader. The publication, This Is Westfield, a supplement to The Leader, was published in June.

Suzanne did everything from basic copy editing and coverage of municipal meetings to scanning incoming copy and pictures. She also provided her input as our office’s computer system was fully networked.

May Anderson, wife of late Newark Evening News Editor, Harry Anderson presents (and donated) the award for the NJ Press Association to Suzanne Markert. Dave Corbin of the Westfield Leader is in attendance at the ceremony in New Brunswick.

A graduate of North Plainfield High School, in the fall she will enter her junior year at Syracuse, where she has a dual major in magazine and political science. At Syracuse, she is Co-Managing Editor for the online magazine Orange Source and a staff writer for Equal Time magazine.

Earlier this month, Suzanne did an interview with the recently-retired Westfield Fire Chief Walter J. Ridge, which was published in the July 17 edition of The Leader.

Also helping us out this summer is Westfield resident Justin Bridge. Justin is serving as a stringer (newspaper lingo for freelance writer) this summer. He currently is working on a series of articles on low to moderate housing relating to the Mount Laurel 1985 court decision. Municipalities in our region are currently in the second round of certification from the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). The second article in the series appears in today’s copy of The Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood.

Justin also has been covering the Scotch Plains Planning Board as well as working on several feature stories which will appear in our newspapers over the next few weeks. He will be joining the staff of Boston University’s student newspaper, The Daily Free Press, in the fall. He currently writes articles for the school’s Department of International Affairs newsletter. An international affairs major, he will enter his senior year at Boston University in the fall.

Suzanne’s internship ends on July 31, while Justin will be going back to school late next month. We wish both students success in their future endeavors. It has been a pleasure working with them.

7/17/97 Editorial

Lane Changers Creating Serious Dangers for Summer Vacationers

Now that the summer months are here, many of our readers will be headed to their favorite beach at the Jersey shore, to the mountains or to an out-of-state resort -- perhaps Myrtle Beach in South Carolina or Cape Cod in Massachusetts. No matter where vacationers are traveling, they should drive carefully. There seems to be an increase in drivers who think our highways are the Indianapolis Motor Speedway while others, driving long distances for vacations, are not aware their drowsiness has hampered their driving ability.

One can observe sports cars and even family-sized vans darting in and out of lanes -- deciding the 55 to 65 miles per hour speed of traffic is about 20 to 30 mph less than they wish to go. If these drivers wish to drive this way why not get a motor bike and head to those facilities which offer this type of activity? To drive recklessly on a public highway such as the Garden State Parkway or I-95 up to New England puts the lives of other motorists and families, who are traveling during this peak vacation season, at risk.

Coming upon oncoming traffic at such high rates of speed can cut the driver’s reaction time to a split second: is there room on the right, the left, the shoulder? What happens if there is no place to go? The penalty for such actions should be an immediate revocation of driving privileges for several years at least, and significant increase in insurance rates.

In a related matter, The American Automobile Association (AAA) New Jersey Automobile Club is warning motorists to avoid being distracted when driving. In a recently released survey, driver distraction, not roadway congestion, was cited as the leading cause of automobile accidents. Daydreaming and the use of cellular telephones topped the list of common distractions. Interestingly, these types of accidents increase when roadways are relatively empty.

Excessive speed and fatigue are among the factors for these types of accidents. Drowsy drivers are more likely to be encountered during the early morning and late evening hours.

Drivers should be alert to the factors we have mentioned. Drowsy drivers should pull over to the shoulder or get off the road at the nearest exit before a tragedy occurs. As far as the excessive speed weavers, the New Jersey State Police has begun to go after aggressive drivers. We encourage other states to follow suit. Lets try to save lives this summer by staying alert and driving defensively. It could save a life: perhaps yours.

Letter to The Editor

Reader Combines Dining, Shopping

I'm not quite sure why reader Doris Jackson is complaining about restaurants. In my experiences in other towns, people who use restaurants during hours when stores are open either live and work in the neighborhood or are coming in to eat and shop. I know that's the case when I come in.

True, I often come in at night just to dine, but that’s because there are few stores open, then. In New York, I frequently combined dining and shopping, because the stores were open.

Ivan Berger, Fanwood

Letter to The Editor

Without a Variety of Stores, Town Will Suffer Slow Death

I am concerned and saddened by what I am seeing and reading: 43 restaurants!?

People have been saying that our town is turning into a "mall." I suggest that what is happening to our town is much worse. Mall developers look to create a variety of stores as well as restaurants. Developers would never allow a mall to be overrun by restaurants as they would not allow it to be overrun by card stores or any other concern.

Granted, we are in a free economy and those who can afford the rents are those who will have the space, but what is happening to our town is slow death. I have always tried to keep my business in town, but that is becoming more difficult every year, as the choice and variety of stores is getting smaller and smaller. Also, I cannot imagine why another restaurant would want to come into such a saturated market. I for one will not frequent the 43rd restaurant in Westfield. I'm too busy spreading my money around to the 42 restaurants already here.

Francesca Boone, Westfield

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TheWestfield Leader.
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