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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains - Fanwood Thursday, February 11, 1999 Page 5


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Letters to the Editor Post Office Recycling Addressed By Resident

Within a one mile radius of Fanwood’s recycle center, there are five post offices that do not recycle their lobby’s paper waste.

In each of these post offices, there are between 500 to 1,000 postal boxes, and the patrons daily, dutifully sort through their mail and throw away junk mail, catalogs and circulars.

In each of these post offices, there is a maintenance man or two who ties up the green bags of recycled waste paper and then carries these bags to a dumpster that is picked up daily by a garbage hauler who probably dumps this perfectly clean waste paper onto a barge headed for Virginia or a long haul truck headed for Iowa! What a waste!

It would seem to me that we could save a few trees given the number of post offices nationwide, and the ever increasing volume of grocery store fliers, junk mail times the number of daily patrons who throw away potentially tons of good reusable paper.

Fanwood receives payment for the same waste the post offices throw away and property taxes are reduced. Is this not a better use of our resources?

Clayton S. Pierce Fanwood

Removing Brightwood Park Trees Is Temporary, Irreversible Solution Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to Westfield First Ward Councilman Gregory S. McDermott regarding last week’s story on Brightwood Park in

The Westfield Leader.

* * * * * As a 30-year resident of Westfield and former school board member, I write to oppose cutting down irreplaceable trees in Brightwood Park for ball fields.

In addition to the many uses of the park mentioned in The Westfield Leader,

one Westfield naturalist spotted 220 species of birds in one year in Brightwood Park during migrations. Another Westfielder’s grandchildren fish there.

Westfield artists paint the lake, capturing the change of seasons. Cyclists use the mountain-bike trails. Everyone

who walks there savors the beauty of a totally natural woodland and lake.

According to the article in the February 4 edition of The Westfield Leader, in a year or two the current ball fields will be back in operation, but when trees are removed from Westfield’s “one natural park” they are gone forever.

Doing something irreversible to deal with a problem that will pass in a year or two is shortsighted at best or irresponsible at worst.

The trees and flowers of Brightwood Park were once saved for use by the wise leaders of the past. Let’s conserve “our one natural park” for future generations. It’s a treasure.

James P. Johnson Westfield Town Studies of Traffic Problems

Deserve Our Full Attention, Concern

The Westfield Police Department’s recentjaywalking ticketblitzofWestfield rail commuters walking to the Lord & Taylor’s lot on North Avenue and Clark Street is equivalent to punishing the victims.

Westfielders, such as these train commuters, are the victims of past inattention to dangerous pedestrian safety conditions that have developed at this location.

The dangerous pedestrian safety conditions at the west end of the train station are not unique in the town. Similar conditions exist at other unavoidable midblock pedestrian crossings.

Three obvious and worrisome examples are between adjacent parking lots and the Westfield “Y” across Clark Street, at the Post Office across Central Avenue, and at Westfield High School across Rahway Avenue.

Fortunately, under Mayor Thomas Jardim’s leadership, the town has under

way two relevant studies, one on pedestrian safety and another on traffic calming. Both could offer solutions to these dangerous conditions.

The studies, while trying to balance the interests of motorists and pedestrians at such locations, will suggest physical andoperational solutionsthatcouldmake pedestrian movementsafer.Theoutcomes of these studies deserve our serious consideration.

Martin E. Robins Chairman Westfield Planning Board Resident Offers Resources To Aid

Columbian Earthquake Victims

It is unlikely that anyone in the United States is unaware of the mounting death toll and desperate shortage of food, water, shelters, medical supplies and hospitals available to survivors of the devastating earthquake that has struck and ravaged Columbia, South America.

Asthemounting deathtollnears1,000, thousands of homes have been reduced to rubble. Anarchy has broken out as hordes of starving citizens and looters ransack stores and Red Cross emergency supply locations.

Homes in Columbia, like other developing nations, are often made of unreinforced masonry, adobe or mud rather than modern, reinforced wood framed structures. Consequently, the Columbian residences crumbled, leaving thousands homeless.

Presumably, as the news media bring this heartrending situation to our attention, we are appalled and feel the pain of these suffering victims. Despite an impressive influx of emergency assistance from a number of groups, Columbia’s

recovery will require considerably more aid.

If you would like to help, here is how to do it. Get out your checkbook and send a contribution to one of the local organizations listed below, right now.

· American JewishWorldService,989 Avenue of the Americas, New York, 10018.

· Doctors Without Borders/MSF, 6 East 39th Street, 8th Floor, New York, 10016.

· Lutheran World Relief, 390 Park Avenue, South, New York, 10016.

· Presiding Bishop’s Fund For World Relief, 815 Second Avenue, New York, 10017.

· US Committee for UNICEF, 333 East 38th Street, New York 10016.

Maurice Fenichel Fanwood

Resident Hopes School Bd. Candidates Will Not be Hostile Toward Teachers

Now that the campaign for the Board of Education is upon us, I wish to express my hope that the election will attract candidates who do not share the hostility towards teachers and the Scotch PlainsFanwood Education Association expressed by some current board members in the aftermath of the recent contract settlement.

As a 30-year resident of Scotch Plains, I have often watched with dismay as negotiations predictably turned acrimonious. Particularly disheartening this last time around were the comments made by one board member who voiced regret at not-being able to exact reprisals against teachers who exercised their rights un

der rules of collective bargaining. It seems to me that this kind of attitude is counterproductive, and perhaps even politically motivated. Teacher bashing is a popular sport today in some political circles.

But the teacher’s union is here to stay. I therefore think it would be in the best interests of the district if the board were to accept this as a fact of life, and move on. We ought to support candidates for the Board of Education who promise to work with teachers for the greater good of the students.

Dr. Joseph M. Felser Scotch Plains

Human Services Dept. Thankful For Donations

Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I thought this would be a most appropriate time to say “thank you” to all those wonderful caring hearts out there in the Westfield community who gave so generously over this past holiday season.

Thanks to your efforts, hundreds of Westfieldmen, womenandchildrenwere assisted in helping to make their holidays bright and by restoring their faith in our community through this caring and sharing program.

So to all the service groups, schools, churches and religious organizations, social and civic group members, I thank you. And to the private individuals and families who donated to The Caring Neighbor Fund, your donations will enable this department to provide emergency assistance throughout the year, not just at holiday time.

Again, a huge “thank you” from my hear to yours!

Lillian W. Corsi Director of Human Services

Town of Westfield

More Letters On Page 20

Town Should Strive for Progress, Not Perfection on Safety Issues

Sara E. Strohecker of BRAKES (Bikers, Runners, and Kids are Entitled to Safety) has suggested that ticketing more drivers and cars for speeding and parking violations will result in Westfield becoming “a better place to live.”

Clearly, Ms. Strohecker and her organization do not go far enough. Why not make Westfield into a perfect place to live? A place where no accidents occur at all. Of course, draconian measures would be required to turn Westfield into such a safety utopia. And the Westfield police have taken up the challenge!

Ticket thepedestrians!Disallowmothers to pick up and drop off their children infront ofRooseveltIntermediateSchool! Create new traffic flow and safety prob

lems as a result! And don’t warn residents of these sudden policy changes — after all, as an officer has said, “We don’t give warnings in Westfield.”

I suggest that BRAKES, the Westfield police, and the mayor’s office join forces to make Westfield into a real dream come true: Simply ban all cars and turn the town into a traffic-free zone.

On the other hand, as a community we have the option of exercising common sense and the benefit of long experience to maintain Westfield as a “good enough” town, and to strive for progress and not perfection in regard to safety regulations.

Kathy Hull Westfield

Congressman Franks Slates Hearing on Bus Safety

Congressman Bob Franks has announcedthatCongress willholdahearing on bus safety this spring in response to an outbreak of bus accidents on New Jersey highways.

The Congressman has asked the Ground Transportation Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to hold this hearing in either Washington, D.C. or New Jersey. Mr. Franks is the Vice Chairman of the Ground Transportation Committee.

The hearing will focus on safety concerns arising from the four bus accidents in New Jersey over the last two months.

“If the hearing is held in Washington,the subcommitteeintendstoinvite theNew JerseyAttorneyGeneral,representatives of the State Police and other officials involved in enforcing New Jersey’s bus safety program,” Congressman Franks stated.

The congressman made his announcement at the Cheesequake serviceareaon theGardenStateParkway, which is less than a mile from the site of a Christmas Eve bus crash that killed eight people. The accident is currently under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Recently, Congressman Franks wrote to NTSB Chairman James Hall to urge the agency to expedite its investigation into the crash and to include intheirreportrecommendations for changes in the law that would enhance bus safety.

“The subcommitteehearingandrecommendations of the NTSB will enable us to identify and correct any shortcomings in our regulations that may pose a threat to the safety of bus passengers and, in turn, all motorists on the road,” stated Congressman Franks.

The Congressman also announced thathewillspearhead aneffortinCongresstoput theNationalHighwayTraffic Safety Administration in charge of bus safety. Currently, the Department of Transportation sets the safety standards for the nation’s 450,000 interstate buses through the Office of Motor Carriers.

“Just last month, the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General

concluded that there was an improper relationship between senior officials at the Office of Motor Carriers and the trucking industry they regulate,” said Congressman Franks.

“Moving the Office of Motor Carriers to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is necessary to ensurethatthe public’sinterestinsafety comes first,” he concluded.

Woman’s Club to Host Scholarship Card Party

SCOTCH PLAINS — The Scotch Plains Woman’s Club will hold its Nursing Scholarship Card Party benefit at the Scotch Hills Country Club on Wednesday, April 14, at noon.

The scholarship is awarded to a boy or girl student at public and private high schools in Scotch Plains. The recipientwillattend theschooloftheir choice.

The nursing program has awarded $90,000 in scholarships since its inception in 1941.

Tickets are $5 each and may be obtained by calling (908) 889-5081 or (908) 322-8345.

Whenyouattend thecardparty,bring your own cards and scorepads.

SPBPA Announces Special Workshop

SCOTCH PLAINS — The Scotch Plains Business and ProfessionalAssociationwillsponsor a workshop,“IsEmployeeLeasing for You” at its regularly scheduled meeting onThursday,February25, at 7:30 p.m. at CEO Executive Suites at 1812 Front Street in Scotch Plains.

Mike Jaronsky, a representative of Abel Leasing in Cranbury, will speak about some of the advantages of employee leasing includingpersonneladministration,group medical coverage, 401(k) retirement plans, and other employee benefits.

The workshop is open to the public. Forreservations,pleasecall Steve Goldbergat(908)322-5733.
Copyright 1999 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood