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Page 4 Thursday, October 28, 1999 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION


Letters to the Editor

David B. Corbin


The Westfield Leader

Member of: New Jersey Press Association National Newspaper Association Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce

Periodicals – Postage Paid at Westfield, New Jersey

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


POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the offices of the newspapers at P. O. Box 250, Westfield, New Jersey 07091 P. O. Box 250 • 50 Elm Street

Westfield, N. J. 07091 P. O. Box 368 • 1906 Bartle Avenue Scotch Plains, N. J. 07076

F. Stalker


Karen M. Hinds


Horace R. Corbin

PUBLISHER Gail S. Corbin


Paul J. Peyton



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of Scotch Plains – Fanwood

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Following Yield Signs at Traffic Circle Is Way to Avoid Disastrous Results

My last letter to you concerning the increasingly dangerous situation at the Broad Street/ South Avenue circle was written in a rather sarcastic, tonguein cheek style, because I had been observ ing driving habits in the area only as an interested third party. However, today I became more personally involved than I wished to.

While approaching the circle from South Avenue East during the evening rush hour, I and the driver in front of me and one lane over to the left first slowed and then stopped at the yield sign and corresponding roadmarks to allow traffic on the circle to exit onto Broad Street East.

A car immediately to my rear almost slammed into me, and I viewed his obvious fury in my rearview mirror.

Am I crazy or don’t people know what the traffic department is trying to accomplish here? Perhaps they do not know what “yield” means. Maybe they don’t realize how dangerous this circle is, especially at rush hour. Or even more scary, perhaps they just don’t care!

Trust me — there are going to be some really bad accidents here in the near future. This will be the natural result of half the people following the

rules while the other half ignore them. Until the traffic department put up the yield signs and marked the lanes clearly indicating who was to yield and who didn’t have to, it was pure chaos driving around this circle.

There is no need for this to be the state of affairs now as long as every driver follows the yield rules and recognizes the danger he or she introduces by ignoring them.

Richard A. Wilson Westfield

Boosters Association Thanks Supporters

On behalf of the Scotch Plains High School Music Boosters Association, I would like to express

appreciation to all of those who contributed to the success of our first annual Marching Band Festival on Sunday, October 10.

Althoughthe weathermovedtheevent indoors, all nine bands participating in the “stand still competition” gave out standing performances enthusiastically received by our capacity audience.

of this would have been pos sible without those who supported us in countless ways, and we offer them a heartfelt “thank you.”

We look forward to our second an nual Marching Band Festival next year!

Judith Klimowicz, Corresponding Secretary Scotch Plains Boosters Association

BRAKES Group Member Suggests Ways to Improve Safety in Westfield

During this election season the BRAKES Group (Bikers, Riders And Kids are Entitled to Safety) wants to reiterate that we are a nonpolitical, non partisan organizationwhoseprimarygoal is to improve safety conditions for bik ers, runners and walkers, many of whom are kids.

Improving safety for the people who live and work in our town is not and never could be an issue that draws party lines. Our efforts have benefited from thecooperation andcommitmentofthose

individuals with whom we have worked to try to improve the quality of life in Westfield.

This cooperative effort has come not only from our elected officials but also from individuals who have added our agenda onto their already full plates.

It is gratifying to witness the synergies that occur when people like Westfield Superintendent of Schools Dr. William J. Foley; Police Chief Anthony J. Scutti and his staff; Town Engineer Kenneth B. Marsh and his staff; Planning Board Chairman Martin Robins; Town istrator Edward A. Gottko and town Westfield Corporation Executive

Director Michael LaPlace work with our elected officials and paid consultants to produce complete, comprehensive plans that will improve the physical safety of everyone in our town.

And while these persons demonstrate personal commitment, they represent townwide institutions. Institutional change can accomplish only so much. The biggest change must come from the biggest group out there; the one group that contributes most to both the lems and the solutions.

This group is the public — composed of individual citizens. Individuals who walk or drive and share the roads with each other.

The BRAKES Group will continue to work with as many facets of the nity that are willing to devote their time

to building consensus and solutions. In the meantime, as the daylight grows shorter and your schedules of events grow longer please fill in the missing piece; your individual responsibility to change Westfield.

Here’s how you can start: 1. Just Say NO to activities that quire you to race from point A to point B

at breakneck speed. Choose your priori ties and let the others go. You’ll be more relaxed and others will be safer because you have the time to get there.

2. Anticipate and watch for pedestri ans at al intersections. When you are a pedestrian, use the crosswalks. In non marked intersections cross at a 90de gree angle to the curb. Let’s close out the century fatalityfree!

3. Change Others! Drive 25 mph and everyone behind you does too.

4. Try a little courtesy. When someone letsyou crossormotionsyou togoinyour car, wave a thank you. Shown a little gratitude, they just might do it again.

Westfield works because many, many people are willing to be part of the solu tion. We hope you will be too.

Jane Goodman Westfield

Westfield Girl Scouts Prepare For Various Holiday Projects

With the holidays around the corner, Westfield Girl Scouts will be busy with two important community activities.

The Westfield community of Girl Scouts,in conjunctionwiththeWestfield/ Mountainside Red Cross, will conduct the fourth annual TROOPS project from Monday, November 1, through Tuesday, November 19.

TROOPS is a community project that collects various items to be sent to ser vicemen and servicewomen overseas.

itemsforcollectioninclude: nonperishable drink mixes, such as cof fee, tea and hot chocolate; individually wrapped hard candy; cookies, well wrapped in tins; paperback books; video and audio tapes to add to troop libraries; seasonal decorations to display in mess halls and tents; blank seasonal greeting cards for service members to send; mi crowave popcorn; small games and play ing cards.

Collection boxes will be located in all elementary and intermediate schools in town and at the Red Cross office.

The public is requested to remember our service members who are overseas by contributing to this collection.

All school representatives and Senior Scout leaders are asked to bring their collection boxes to the American Red Cross office before 4 p. m. on Friday, November 19.

Carol Snyder and her Junior Troop No. 295 are organizing and implementing this project.

The 8th annual Mitten Tree project will begin Monday, November 22, and conclude Friday, December 10.

Thisprojectserves tohelpNewJersey’s needy by providing them with new tens, gloves, hats, scarves and socks.

Collection boxes will be located in all elementary and intermediate schools in

town. Westfield Girl Scouts sincerely appre ciate the support given to these projects by the residents of Westfield.

On Wednesday, November 3, the Westfield Service Team will meet from 9: 15 to 11: 30 a. m. at the Washington Rock Girl Scout Council. Service Team members are requested to bring any extra unused patches to this meeting for future recycling.

Nut sale delivery dates are from Wednesday, November 17, to Monday, November 29. The final date for troop payments is Tuesday, November 30.

All Girl Scouts are invited to enter the Environmental Awareness Project poster contest. The design of the poster should focus on the promotion of environmental awareness in the new millennium and should include “WESTFIELD 2000” in the design.

Designs should be submitted to Pam Orbach by Wednesday, December 1.

Designswillbe judgedbytheWestfield Service Team at the December Service Team meeting.

Leaders are requested to provide Liz Fallon, town organizer, with their email addresses.

New Leaders in need of the New Lead ers Community Organization program can contact Betty Riker at (908) 2335705.

The Westfield Girl Scouts would like to thank Horace R. Corbin, Publisher of

The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood for all the time he has volunteered in helping the Girl Scouts with their Web page.

* * * * *

mitEditor’s Note: This article is written

monthly by Westfield Girl Scouts for Westfield Girl Scouts and for the public.

Letters to the Editor

Soccer Association Challenged To ‘Get Their Facts Straight’

Editor’s Note: The following letter is in response to the letter to the editor from the “Girls Softball League of Westfield” (GSLW) and the letter sent to Glenn S. Burrell, Director of the Westfield Recre ation Commission, and copied to The Westfield Leader by the Westfield Soccer Association (WSA), both printed in the October 13, edition of The Westfield Leader.

* * * * * Up until this writing there has been very little printed on where we the resi dents surrounding the Memorial Pool and Park Complex stand on the proposed improvements other than we are against it.

Yes, we are against “The Plan” as a whole, but we have also taken steps to see what parts of the plan the surround ing residents like and dislike. We are all for improving the conditions at the play ing fields, which include new backstops, regrading the fields so that they drain properly and improved infields. We are also for the addition of restrooms on the site.

As for the lighting, we feel that the park is to close to the adjacent homes to support them. At the first meeting, it was suggested that lights be placed at the ballfields located on the far side of Tamaques Park in the vicinity of the Conservation Center.

It should also be noted that, at the Recreation ing, we were informed that they never

intended to put lights in Memorial Park. They were simply looking for a price for their information.

We also object to the destruction of our woods between Drake Place and the ballfields for a parking lot and stand seating at Field No. 3. We the

residents are well aware of the parking situation at the park.

Duringsporting events,thecutthrough at Hort Street seems to be the favored entrance to the park. Being the favored entrance creates a parking situation on both Scotch Plains Avenue and Hort Street.

While this appears to justify a parking on Drake Place, one only has to drive Admina short distance to the pool parking lot

Downadjacent to the Broad Street to see that it

remains half full. The parking lots at the park have a total capacity of 275 vehicles. In the lot adjacent to Broad Street, there are 150 parking spots. Half of those spots, or 75 available parking spaces, are not being used weekly. That is more than the 62 spaces proposed for the Drake Place lot.

As for the roller hockey rink, not only would this be an invasion of the adjacent residents privacy (top rows of the stand are level with bedroom windows),

probbut to suggest taking needed parking

spaces just so it can be implemented is very shortsighted.

I assure you that we agree that the Memorial Park ballfields need rework and restroom facilities are a must. Our children are beside your children playing commusoccer and softball as well. You can help

with our parking and traffic woes by using those 75 empty parking spaces in the Broad Street lot.

When the fields have been improved, you can help keep them in good playing condition by carrying your equipment to the fields rather than driving on the fields. reMr. Burrell was in attendance at all

the meetings held thus far on the subject of the Memorial Park plans (there have been four). He knows what the ing residents are for and what we are

against. WSA has valid concerns, which are obviousbytheir letter.Mr.Burrellshould respond to this letter, if he hasn’t already done so, to assure WSA that we the residents agree with their concerns and would like the improvements mentioned to move forward.

WSA wants the Recreation tee to move full steam ahead without any regard for the residents surrounding the Memorial Pool and Park. We are posed to accept these changes without

any fuss. I wonder how many of the WSA members live around Brightwood Park or Tamaques Park.

The Westfield Recreation Commis sion has introduced plans for improve ments at these parks as well, and was

met with a fight from the local residents. The WSA says that typically we are small groups and that the entire commu nity should be considered not just the views of the local residents. The WSA has named a number of parks across town. Each of those parks has a “small group” representing it.

I think the WSA will find that if you put all those small groups together you have covered the entire community.

The residents surrounding the rial Pool and Park have come forward to workwiththe mission, not fight them. New plans will be generated that will please not only the residents, but WSA and GSLW as well.

As stated above, there have been four meetings to date. Had the WSA been in attendance at just one of these meetings they would have had their facts straight.

John Korunow Westfield

Resident Counters Letter Written By Soccer Association President

I would first like to thank the Westfield Recreation Commission for their efforts to develop, maintain, and improve the recreational programs and facilities in Westfield. Commission’sOctobermeetGiven the tight fiscal, geographic,

and political constraints within which we are forced to operate, I think that the Commission has done a good job of balancing the needs of the community withtheneeds ofthesportscommunity. grandIn a recent letter submitted by Steve

Rothschild, the president of the Westfield SoccerAssociation,headvo cates that Westfield improve the exist ing sports field facilities and increase the number of sports fields in Westfield by using open undeveloped park lands at Brightwood Park, Clark Park and the Memorial Field as well as installing lights at Houlihan Field and Tamaques Park and probably expanding the parklot ing at Tamaques.

Iagreewith Mr.Rothschildthatmore could be done to maintain our existing facilities. For example, the fields are often in poor condition. I also think we could use better restroom facilities at Tamaques Park.

I strongly disagree with the concept of encroaching on what little open park lands that we have left in town by turning them into sports fields or by grandinstalling lights or additional parking

facilities, which would disrupt sur rounding neighborhoods.

I don’t believe that any of these ex treme and expensive measures are essaryorworththe money.Ispeakfrom

experience. I have coached PAL ball in Westfield for three years and I have coached baseball for six years.

The fields are sometimes crowded and we, as coaches, sometimes have to really stretch to get all of our practices

in and scheduled games played, par ticularly if we get rained out. But the fact of the matter is that the games get played, the kids become proficient in thesports,andthe seasonscomeandgo with good results.

Wouldit bealittleeasier foruseifwe had more facilities? Yes – but at what cost to the taxpayers and the neighbor hoods that would be negatively im pacted by the expansion that Mr. Rothschild advocates?

What I find particularly annoying about his letter is when he insinuates thatresistanceto theproposalstospend lotsoftaxpayer dollarsandencroachon various parks and neighborhoods in town is orchestrated by “a small group of vocal partisans.”

With all due respect, the Soccer Association seems to be a rather vo cal partisan as well! Mr. Rothschild implies that the people who object to expansion of the recreation facilities have sort of a “not in my back yard” attitude.

That might be true, but at least they have back yards in Westfield. Mr. Rothschild doesn’t even live in Westfield! So I thank him for his vol unteer efforts to promote the Soccer Association, but I submit he should let the residents of Westfield decide how to utilize what little open park space that we have left.

Bill Risberg necWestfield COMPTROLLER


Which is correct? Both comptroller and controller are acceptable spellings for this word that is defined as manager of corpo rate or public funds and expendiSuggested tures. It is necessary, however, to travel back into the history of writing and bookkeeping to unravel the conSuzette fusion surrounding these two words.

Some time after clay tablets and before wood pulp paper were used as writing materials, papyrus was the primary writingsurface.Papyruswas harvested from a water plant of the River Nile that yielded our first orthe ganic writing material, as well as our word for it paper.

The key point to remember in this story is that papyrus was kept on rolls. The French word controlle, meaning a register kept in duplicate, originally came from the Latin words contra, meaning against, and rotulus, roll or register.

Therefore, the present word troller actually describes an ancient auditor who rolled out the scrolls of papyrus to check debits and credits against a duplicate roll.

Where did comptroller, with the “mp” in place of the “n,” originate? Thefirstderivation troller) was nearly lost or forgotten in

15th century England. The English erroneously assumed that the first syllable of this word stemmed from the Latin word computare, to pute.

The prefix “comp-“ was tuted for “con-,” and thus the nate word comptroller was born. A simple case of mistaken prefixes.

Government Owes Veteran Decrease In Property Taxes; Please Vote ‘Yes’

After World War II, when the service men came home, started families and boughthomes,theState ofNewJerseywas quicktoshow itsappreciationbyproviding a $50 property tax deduction. This sum has not increased in over 50 years.

During my four years in the State Assembly, serving with two different Governors, I strongly supported increas ing the $50 veterans deduction. With everincreasing property taxes and an agingveterans population,itisextremely important to increase this deduction.

While I had some success in helping to secure funding for a new Veterans facil ity in Menlo Park, we in the Legislature were not successful in increasing the veterans rebate at that time.

Now, with unprecedented prosperity and a record budget surplus, an increase in the veterans tax deduction is an idea that’s time has come.

Last June, a number of bills sponsored by Assembly members Joe Azzolina, MarionCrecco, NeilCohen,JackGibson, Richard H. Bagger and Paul DeGeatano were combined into a single bill that calls for increasing the veterans property tax deduction to $250, on $50 increFanwood surroundments,

by the year 2003. These legislators also passed the necour essary resolution establishing a ballot question to amend the New Jersey State Constitution to allow for this increase. These bills were then passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor.

Therefore, it is very important to vote on Tuesday, November 2.

With this type of offyear election, it is Commitestimated

that perhaps less than 35 perNone cent of those registered will vote. Keep in mind that a number of people go to the

suppolls and automatically vote against all ballot questions regardless of merit.

This makes it all the more important that we all get out to vote in support of the Constitutional Amendment to increase the property tax deduction for veterans.

During the dark days of World War II, after Pearl Harbor was bombed, little stood between world domination by the Japanese and the Nazi’s. It was this generation of Americans who stepped forward and literally saved the world from this unspeakable tyranny.

We owe them a debt, as we owe a debt to the veterans of more recent conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Granada, Panama, the Persian Gulf and Somalia. They were there for us when we needed them and it is now our turn to stand up for them.

Veterans fought and died for our right to free and open elections and it is impor tant that we experience that right by voting yes for the constitutional amend ment to increase property tax deduction for these veterans.

Stephen A. Mikulak Former Asesmblyman

Colonia Flood Coverage Lauded

By Water Co. President

As Elizabethtown Water Company continues to recover from the flooding of our RaritanMillstone Treatment Plant, I want to stop and take the time Memoto express, on behalf of all of us at

Elizabethtown, my appreciation and WestfieldRecreationComgratitude to you for your assistance.

You went above and beyond the call of duty in reporting the events surHow rounding Tropical Storm Floyd. You provided an important service to this community and Elizabethtown.

Thank you again.

Andrew M. Chapman, President Elizabethtown Water Company The Age of Sound Bites:

Information, Disinformation or Blur?

Henry Kissinger said that the hardest part of his job was to recognize what reality was. Bruce Springsteen said, “Fiftyseven channels and noth ing on.” That pretty much sums up the situation

confaced by the public with today’s media.

It’s all about money and power. A battle is raging to determine who controls you: what you know, what you perceive and what you’ll do.

There aremoretoolsavailable todaytoreachyou, to influence you, to steer you. There’s junk mail, cable TV, email notices, newspapers, the Internet,

andspelling(conpropaganda in school kids’ backpacks, billboards, street signs with logos, plus newsletters, hats, pens andTshirts.There’s TheContinentalAirlinesArena and The PNC Bank Arts Center.

We’re selling advertisements now on our toll comtickets.

Can we imagine what’s next? Is it to be the Pepsi Parkway and the Tina Turner Turnpike?

substiAnd think about the untapped potential of the road

altersurfaces for logos. Just cleverly install a few traffic calming devices. As you slow down, one rolls over the Pillsbury Dough Boy. As you apply your brakes,justthinkof thepotentialfor“Scratch and Sniff!”

We all go through daily rituals such as unloading our mail box next to the trash can, deleting junk e mail, dodging Internet banner ads and clicking

through infomercials on the boob tube looking for something to watch.

The older generation just shakes their heads and bemoans thatit’simpossibleto stop.But,thechildren think this is the way things have always been.

Evening news programs are becoming entertain ment events. It’s essential to have the right team, chatty and politically correct. The choreographing is king; content seems incidental.

The weatherman reports in scuba gear one day and on a polo pony the next day. The day must be portrayed in extreme measures such as with impend ingdisasteror asthemostbeautiful dayoftheseason. If it comes across as a typical day for the season, the air time has been blown.

Legitimate media must work harder to earn your respect, and you must work harder to demand it.

Unfortunately, you must work even harder to keep disinformation and propaganda out of your homes andawayfromyour children.Disinformationismuch more dangerous than trash, as trash is easier to spot.

“What’sinaname? thatwhichwecall arosebyany other name would smell as sweet” from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. But too often today, “If it smells, it sells.”

There’s aplaceformost everything,butthe“selling off” of integrity is intolerable.

footPlease send all

Letters to the Editor to: press@ goleader. com
Copyright 1999 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)