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The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood

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Page 8 Thursday, September 30, 1999 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION


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Neil F. Sullivan Calls Sunday ‘Family Day’ at Town Library IT’S STORY TIME... Westfield Republican Third Ward Councilman Neil F.

Sullivan, who is seeking reelection to the Town Council, reads a story to his daughter, Katie, 5, while enjoying a sunny day in Mindowaskin Park.

WESTFIELD – Westfield Republican Third Ward Councilman Neil F. Sullivan this week called the beginning of Sunday hours on September 26 at the Westfield Memorial Library “the start of a great tradition for families in Westfield.”

Earlier this year, Councilman Sullivan, who is seeking reelection, said he had proposed that the Town Council not only support the library’s full budget request, but also include sufficient funds to open the Westfield Memorial Library on Sundays.

“Delivering Westfield residents the greatest value for their tax dollar is what I have done, and will continue to do as a member of the council,” Mr. Sullivan said.

The council added the $14,000 to cover the costs of the extra day’s operations.

“We have now made this valuable community resource available on a day especially suited to families,” Councilman Sullivan said. “Opening

on Sunday will give parents and grandparents the opportunity to share fun and enjoyment with their children.”

Mr. Sullivan praised the library’s staff and its Board of Trustees for its work in expanding services.

“Expanding the hours is not done without a great deal of work – much of it unseen by the public. Our library administration worked through the summer to hire and train the Sunday staff,” Councilman Sullivan explained.

“Our library has something for residents of every age – from picture books to videos to Internet access; from the latest best seller to the classics of literature. It also has a tremendous wealth of local history. Sunday can become ‘Family Day’ at the Westfield Memorial Library,” he said.

Mr. Sullivan can be reached at (908) 2328609, or via email at nsullivan@ home. com. His campaign Web site is www. homestead. com/ westfield.

Campaign Forum ’99 Letters to the Editor

Resident Thanks Leader,

And Fire Department For Tree Removal

I’m embarrassed about not being able to direct this to the person who so efficiently, and promptly, helped us out when I phoned The Westfield Leader on September 20 – I neglected to request the name of the person to whom I spoke.

We are very appreciative of the action taken by you, regarding the removal from the street and crosswalk of a large tree which had fallen during Thursday’s storm. My calls to the Westfield Public Works Department were unheeded for three days. Onehalf hour after I called you, the Fire Department was here – they cut and removed the tree from the street and opened up our crosswalk.

Both The Leader and the Fire Department are to be commended for their community services.

Lyn Kole Westfield

Because people were busy doing their jobs — well.

The article further asserts that “with no access, police drove around town…” There was access. I came in before and after hours, as soon as I was called. All messages were up within 3060 minutes after first contact. Once, the mayor himself came and got me and stood by my side while I typed. Another time they found me (after one phone call) at the WHS football game videotaping for the channel.

And, in spite of a quote in the article that claims we were behind other access channels in posting the information, we were also well ahead of still others.

However, there’s a much more important issue here than who put on which message first: can the town depend on its access channel to inform all residents of emergencies? No. Cable TV reaches approximately 70 percent of Westfield homes. Cable TV only works as long as electricity and the television cables themselves are still up and running.

It is very probable that, during the storm, our messages reached less than half the population. Therefore, although WHSTV 36 is a quick way to reach many people, and a valuable resource, it cannot be thorough. It cannot substitute for a bona fide emergency messaging system, such as broadcasting locally on an AM radio frequency.

Considering that our bulletin board system does not have the capability of being updated remotely, getting that information up as quickly as we did helped effectively inform the community. Now, if the community wants that information posted more quickly, an excellent idea by

Westfield HS Teacher Says TV36 Was Misrepresented in Story

the way, then we need a new system such as those I have proposed several times.

One particular misstatement in the article asserts “that the emergency message was placed on TV36 [sic], then taken off the air.” That is wrong. We never took any emergency message off the air. If someone had taken the time to contact any of us associated with the channel before writing an article which spotlights the channel, then the accurate version of this story would be the only one.

That statement most likely refers to the time I moved the information from the crawl (the moving line on the bottom of the screen) to the regular bulletin board. The message stayed on.

Unfortunately, there is also a mistake in the article concerning the purchase of new equipment for the channel. As those involved know, this equipment will not change our bulletin board system.

In fact, since the issue of having a modern bulletin board has just now resurfaced in public, it is very important to note that the equipment in question may be incompatible with a system upgrade that provides remote message entry.

All told, during tropical storm Floyd and its aftermath, WHSTV 36 made itself available at the ring of a phone. We did what we were asked when we were asked to do it. Our equipment, such as it is, performed without a hitch. The messages got out.

Finally, I would like to thank the Westfield Police Department and Mayor Thomas C. Jardim for their help in getting us the information and getting me to the studio during these difficult days. Good work.

David Davis Fanwood

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 Leader Lauded for Floyd Coverage And Arts & Entertainment Section

As a recipient of your online notification system at my home address, I want to thank you and your staff (in particular, Pete) for the excellent coverage you provided of the effects from Hurricane Floyd.

Your timely notifications regarding the possibility of losing all water pressure were greatly appreciated. It seemed that The Westfield Leader was the only media outlet giving the true story.

I couldn’t understand why we were not hearing more information about what was a very serious problem.

In reading your editorial in the September 23, 1999 edition of the Leader,

I now think I understand. The town leaders and/ or larger news outlets didn’t want to panic the public.

Well, you didn’t instill a sense of panic in either my wife or me. What you did was ensure we used even less water than we were using during the drought emergency. I didn’t rush to fill up the

bathtub, for that would have been irresponsible. Why our elected leaders think the public can’t handle the truth is beyond me. As a frequent flyer, I run into this all the time with the airlines. But that’s another story.

I also enjoyed your commentary on the Web site; quite enjoyable reading.

Again, congratulations on the excellent service you and your staff provided to your subscribers during and after Floyd, and for the excellent coverage of the storm in the paper itself.

Now, if we can only get TV36 to be useful, we’ll have made real progress in the area of communications.

You’ve done a great job with the

Leader since taking over as Publisher. I enjoy your Arts and Entertainment section, and have sampled some of the reviewed restaurants that were praised, with excellent results. Best regards.

Gary W. Kushnier Westfield

Bound Brook Councilman Thanks

Temple EmanuEl

On behalf of the town of Bound Brook and its residents, I would like to express our gratitude to Temple EmanuEl and its members. I originally asked my sisterinlaw, Laurie GoldsmithHeitner, if an announcement would be made during the High Holy Days about our need for clothing.

Little did I realize that in one day, over 700 bags of clothing and bedding would be collected and delivered to our town. Please be assured that we will make very good use of each of these items over the next several weeks.

To Rabbi Charles Kroloff, his staff, Laurie, and especially to the many truly generous members, we say thank you and may you have a happy and healthy new year.

Joel Shapiro Councilman, Bound Brook

To Help Flood Victims Please See Page 18

Finderne Resident Urges Westfielders To Aid Bound Brook and Manville

Attention to all the rich people of Westfield and the surrounding area. Bound Brook and Manville need your help. The towns are in ruins and well over 50 independently owned “mom and pop” type businesses are destroyed.

Bound Brook alone faces becoming a ghost town on its Main Street if financial assistance does not come soon by way of grants. Small businesses can’t compete with corporate giants and will not be able to pay back even the lowest interest rates on loans.

God blessed you, whom I address, with an obscene amount of wealth which is a great thing! Amen Capitalism! Still, with that money comes the responsibility to make sure that others don’t fall too far behind. In times like this, that wealth can be put to good use — to a just and proper cause.

Help rebuild Bound Brook and Manville. Many of you have donated thousands of dollars to political campaigns. Why not donate money to help the Americans who have helped you gain your wealth?

I challenge everyone who earns over $200,000 a year to donate $1,000 or more to the Hurricane Relief Fund. Seriously, would you really miss it?

Send checks to St. Joseph Church in Bound Brook or to Sacred Heart Church in Manville. Put Hurricane Relief in the memo section.

Many of you built your own personal lucrative empires with help from people exactly like those affected by the flood. After hours of hard, thankless work, they have helped you to profit. Now help them to get back on their feet.

Brian E. Hoyt Finderne

Editor’s Note: Please write checks to Manville Flood Relief Fund, in care of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, P. O. Box 924, Manville, NJ, 08835. The church cannot accept checks made out to the church for flood relief. To make contributions to St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 124 East Second St., Bound Brook, please call (732) 3560027 to ask how checks should be made out.
Copyright 1999 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood