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Scotch Plains – Fanwood THE TIMES
OUR 40th YEAR – ISSUE NO. 3999 Published Every Thursday USPS 485200
Periodical – Postage Paid at Scotch Plains, N. J. Thursday, September 30, 1999
of of of of of
— Serving Scotch Plains and Fanwood Since 1959 —
INDEX INDEX INDEX INDEX INDEX
Arts................ Page 22 Classifieds ....... Page 21 County .............. Page 2
Editorial ............ Page 4 Mountainside .... Page 3 Obituary .......... Page 10
Religious ......... Page 11 Social ................ Page 6 Sports .............. Page 13
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Scotch Plains Day/ StreetFest Celebration On Tap This Saturday in Towne Centre By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
Township residents will celebrate their heritage anew this Saturday, October 2, with the arrival of Scotch Plains Day/ StreetFest ’99. The event will take place from 8 a. m. to 5 p. m. in the Towne Centre.
An autumn tradition for 18 years, the festival has been sponsored for the past five years by the Scotch Plains Business and Professional Association (SPBPA) in conjunction with the Scotch Plains Parks and Recreation Department, the Health Department and the Scotch Plains Lions Club.
Kicking off the day’s activities will be the 11th annual Health Fair at the Scotch Plains Municipal Building, located at 430 Park Avenue, from 8
a. m. until noon. A Pet Clinic will be held simultaneously at the Northside Fire House directly behind the Municipal Building. Both the Health Fair and the Pet Clinic are sponsored by the Scotch Plains Board of Health.
Rabies vaccinations and licenses for both dogs and cats will be available at the clinic. Cats will be inoculated between 8 and 9 a. m., and dogs between 9 and 10 a. m.
Included on the Health Fair itinerary are vision, hearing, dental and high blood pressure screenings, blood tests and various other procedures. The Lions Club Eye/ Ear Mobile will once again be stationed in the Municipal Building parking lot as part of the program.
Flu shots will be available to town ship residents age 55 and older and to
those with chronic medical conditions. Individuals are asked to bring their Medicare cards if they have them.
The Board of Health will also sponsor flu shot clinics on Thursday, October 7, from 10 a. m. to noon at the Scotch Hills Country Club on Plainfield Avenue, and on Thursday, October 21, from 10 to 11: 30 a. m. at St. John’s Baptist Church on Morse Avenue.
The township’s Senior Citizen Bus will be available to transport senior citizens to the Health Fair. Arrangements may be made by calling the Health Department at (908) 3226700, Extension No. 222.
An annual highlight of the Scotch Plains Day/ StreetFest bash is the 5
Mile USATFCertified Road Race through the township, which is open to everyone and will begin at 9 a. m. in front of the Municipal Building.
Trophies will be awarded to first-, secondand thirdplace winners in various age categories at the Village Green gazebo after the race.
Participants may register up until Saturday morning for a $15 fee. Registration prior to the day of the race may be done in Room 113 of the Municipal Building. Maps of the race route will be available.
Individuals may register between 7: 30 and 8: 30 a. m. on Saturday in the rear area of the Municipal Building parking lot adjacent to police headquarters.
All participants will receive a sou
Clock Debut Highlights Fanwood Fair
By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
Borough residents could not have asked for a better day than last Sunday for the fourth annual Fanny Wood Day festival and the longawaited unveiling of the community’s Millennium Clock.
Brilliantly sunny skies and mild temperatures made for a spirited celebration, which drew some 10,000 people to Fanwood’s business district throughout the afternoon.
Named for a popular folklore figure, the street fair serves as a showcase for the downtown and is sponsored by the borough’s Fanny Wood Day Committee.
Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly presided at the official debut of the Millennium Clock, which stands 16 feet high at the entrance to the Fanwood Train Station at the corner of South and Martine Avenues in the heart of the business district. Prior to Sunday, the face of the Victorianstyle
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Suzette F. Stalker for The Times PATRIOTIC MOMENT… Members of the Scotch PlainsFanwood High School Junior ROTC conduct a flag ceremony prior to the debut last Sunday of the Millennium Clock at South and Martine Avenues in Fanwood. The clock dedication was the crowning event at the borough’s fourth annual Fanny Wood Day festivities.
William A. Burke for The Times WELCOME, FRIENDS…“ Fanny Wood,” alias actress Tonya Francesca Cama, is introduced to festivalgoers by Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly shortly before the unveiling of the Millennium Clock during Sunday’s Fanny Wood Day celebration in Fanwood. She also portrayed the borough’s favorite lady at last year’s event.
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PLANNING BOARD WAS SLATED TO WRAP UP CASE LAST NIGHT
Applicant’s Expert Is Challenged During Fourth Dean Oil Hearing By DEBORAH MADISON
Specially Written for The Times
The Fanwood Planning Board held the fourth in a series of hearings September 22 on a proposal to build a 25unit apartment complex at the Dean Oil site at LaGrande Avenue and Second Street.
In order to accommodate the large public turnout for the controversial application, the hearing was once again heard in the Park Middle School auditorium in Scotch Plains.
The proposal has met with staunch opposition from area residents, some of whom have formed the Fanwood
Citizens for Responsible Development (FCRD) to fight the application put forth by LaGrande Realty Associates, LLC.
FCRD members and other residents feel the proposed complex would have a negative impact on quality of life and home values in the surrounding area.
Betty Lynch, a Coldwell Banker real estate Broker who cited 26 years of experience in the Union County area, testified last week as an expert witness on behalf of the applicant, giving her opinion as to why the planned building would be a benefit to the borough.
Ms. Lynch told the board that the four affordable housing units included among the 25 dwellings would qualify toward meeting Fanwood’s affordable housing obligation as mandated by the state. She also maintained that this type of housing is drastically needed in Union County.
Attorney John Mollozzi, a principal with LaGrande Realty Associates, questioned Ms. Lynch regarding the type of renters that the apartment complex would attract. The Broker responded that, in her opinion, these apartments were suitable for young professionals with or with out children, senior citizens and perhaps
some single adults. She anticipated the apartment dwellers’ income range as being between $28,000 and $58,000.
In her opinion, Ms. Lynch stated, the twobedroom units would not be suitable for couples with more than one child, adding that most parents would want to purchase larger homes before increasing the size of their family.
For this reason, she did not see the apartments putting a big strain on the already overcrowded Scotch PlainsFanwood school system, as opponents of the project have feared.
During the public portion of the meeting, resident Amy Hibble of King Street addressed the board and Ms. Lynch by stating that these apartments were not “beautiful,” as the Broker had described them, but rather looked like army barracks.
Ms. Hibble stated that most apartment complexes are occupied by numerous families with many children. She maintained that this was something the applicant would, most likely, not be able to control.
Resident Peter Sayles, who cochairs the FCRD, questioned Ms.
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Board of Education Okays Parameters Regarding Increasing Enrollment and Academic Class Size By SUSAN M. DYCKMAN
Specially Written for The Times
During the public business meeting last Thursday, the Scotch PlainsFanwood Board of Education concluded its dissection of the wording of the Guidelines for Decision Making on the use and/ or expansion of district facilities.
Approval of these guidelines would allow the board to take definitive action on resolving the issue of how to manage the growing student population in Scotch PlainsFanwood schools.
Following the semantics debate over the guideline regarding academic class size, Scotch Plains resident Lisa McNally stated in frustration, “You are losing sight of what you are doing here by getting tied up with every word and sentence.”
Ultimately, members unanimously approved the following parameters:
· Longterm solutions to enrollment growth (5 to 8 years) while maintaining and improving the quality of education in the district.
· Equity in delivery of programs among schools of the same grade levels.
· Maintain racial balance among schools of the same grade levels.
· Strive to maintain academic class size generally below 23 (students) for grades kindergarten through 2; below 26 for grades 3 to 6 and below 30 for grades 7 to 12.
· Maintain or improve budgetary priorities for instructional over noninstructional uses.
· Provide space for improvements currently under development for all schools.
· Provide appropriate accommodations for special needs students.
· Provide flexibility to enhance the district’s ability to meet future unforeseen needs.
· Consider tax impact. A proposed timeline laid out by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carol B. Choye calls for the board to put a bond referendum up for a public vote 12 months from now in October of 2000. The referendum would be required to finance the broad scope of changes being considered by school officials.
These include installing elevators in the middle and high schools, possibly reconfiguring grade levels in the elementary and middle schools, upgrading the school fields and addressing the changing demands of special education.
The first step in the process will be for the board to hear reports on district facilities from The Thomas Group of Princeton and ServiceMaster of Downers Grove,
Ill. on Monday, October 18. The Thomas Group was hired by the board in August to conduct a feasibility study of facilities. ServiceMaster is the new management services company which oversees the custodial and maintenance operations of the district.
Also on October 18, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. John R. Crews will present a new program design for the fifth and sixth grades. His presentation is likely to address some of the opportunities and challenges posed by reconfiguring the elementary and middle schools in an effort to resolve the space issue.
One recommendation suggests moving fifth grade up into the middle school; another proposes moving sixth grade down to the elementary level, converting Terrill Middle School into a sixth elementary school and consolidating all seventh and eighth graders at Park Middle School.
During October and November,
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SP Council Addresses Need to Renew Efforts Regarding Flood Control
By FRED ROSSI
Specially Written for The Times
Hurricane Floyd may be gone, but it was not forgotten at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Scotch Plains Township Council.
Mayor Geri M. Samuel led the council in expressing appreciation for the long hours and hard work put forth two weeks ago by members of the township’s police, fire and Public Works departments, the Rescue Squad and other emergency management personnel.
Several residents questioned the council about the status of the Green Brook Flood Control Project, a decadesold plan to prevent the Green Brook and other floodprone streams in the area from overflowing during heavy rainfalls.
Completion of the project has been delayed at both the federal and local levels by bureaucratic snags, environmental concerns and other matters. Two water retention basins have already been put into place, but two upper basins proposed for the Watchung Mountains have yet to be approved.
It was proposed that these upper basins be placed in Berkeley Heights, but local opposition killed that idea. At Tuesday night’s meeting, Councilman William F. McClintock, Jr.,
criticized Berkeley Heights for rejecting the proposal. Mayor Samuel said that, in the wake of severe flooding caused by Hurricane Floyd, state and federal legislators plan to intensify their efforts to bring together local municipalities to determine a fair way to finish the flood control project, “because this can’t happen again.”
While expressing his hope that local communities could work together on the matter, Councilman Martin Marks said he “wouldn’t rule out the possibility” of Scotch Plains taking legal action against those towns who appear to be creating roadblocks to a permanent solution.
The council also approved a resolution to retain Waste Management Inc. to assist with emergency cleanup work necessitated by Hurricane Floyd. Some $7,000 in emergency funding will be appropriated for this purpose.
On a lighter note, Councilman Marks spoke about Scotch Plains Day, which will be held this Saturday, October 2, in the Towne Centre from 8 a. m. to 5 p. m. Among the attractions will be a flea market starting at 8 a. m., the annual USATF Certified 5Mile Road Race at 9 a. m., sidewalk sales and children’s activities. There
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Northeastern NJ Bird Tissue Tested for West Nilelike Virus
By SUSAN M. DYCKMAN
Specially Written for The Times
It will be at least two weeks before the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) learns if bird tissue collected from specimens in Northeastern New Jersey is infected with the West Nilelike virus that was identified in birds in New York City and Westchester County, N. Y. and in 37 New York state residents. Four people have actually died from the virus.
The state health department, however, has already begun to take precautionary action. On Monday, it issued a public health alert to eight of New Jersey’s northeastern counties to educate the public about the need to guard against mosquito bites, and to eliminate backyard opportunities for mosquitoes to breed.
Counties on alert include Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris and Passaic.
The state health department was notified last Friday, September 24, by the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Georgia that a West Nilelike virus
had been identified in birds, including a wild crow, that died in New York City and Westchester County. This is the first time this virus has been identified in the U. S.
The West Nilelike virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has acquired the virus by feeding on an infected bird. The virus, which can also affect horses, is not directly transmitted from one person to another, or from birds to humans.
This virus was, at first, mistakenly diagnosed as Saint Louis Encephalitis (SLE) because of the similarity of symptoms. According to New Jersey’s health department, however, the West Nilelike virus generally causes a milder illness than SLE in humans.
Symptoms of the West Nilelike virus are fever, headache, body ache, and, often, a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. More serious cases will experience neck stiffness and disorientation.
“There is no cure,” said Dennis McGowan, spokesman for the DHSS. “It’s more of a maintenance treatment.”
Though there has been no report of the West Nilelike virus in humans or
birds in New Jersey, officials have discovered more than 100 dead crows since Saturday in Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Morris and Passaic Counties.
The state will analyze specimens of these birds, whose deaths are likely related to infection rather than traumatic injury. While most sightings have been reported in Bergen County, Mr. McGowan reported specimens were collected from all eight northeastern counties.
Once the bird tissue specimens have been prepared by the state’s Public Health Laboratory, they will be shipped to the CDC for analysis.
From Trenton, Mr. McGowan confirmed the state would begin to ship specimens to the CDC on Friday, October 1.
“As of now,” stated Summit Health Director Stuart Palfreyman in a telephone interview on Tuesday, “there is no known virus in New Jersey.” He said three to four birds had been found in Union County thus far.
One such sample came from Westfield, according to Robert M. Sherr, head of the Westfield Regional
To Help Flood Victims: See Page 18 To Help Flood Victims: See Page 18 To Help Flood Victims: See Page 18 To Help Flood Victims: See Page 18 To Help Flood Victims: See Page 18
Page 12 Thursday, September 30, 1999 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION
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SCOTCH PLAINS POLICE BLOTTER
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Northeastern NJ Bird Tissue Tested for Virus
Applicant’s Expert Testifies At Fourth Dean Oil Hearing
Millennium Clock Debuts During Fanny Wood Day
Township Council Addresses Flood Control Efforts
venir Tshirt donated by the SPBPA and member businesses. Additional information may be obtained by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at (908) 3226700.
Following the race and trophy presentations will be the Civic Awards Ceremony, also at the gazebo, at 10 a. m. Township officials will salute area residents, including retirees, for their contributions to the community. Memorial tributes will also be presented. In addition, the winners of a youth posterandessay contest, entitled “What Scotch Plains Means to Me,” will be announced.
From 11 a. m. to 3 p. m., a potpourri of merchant wares will be on display at sidewalk sales throughout the downtown, while “Raffi the DJ” provides a varied musical backdrop to the day’s festivities.
Several musical performers will also be lending their talents to the celebration in front of the Scotch Plains Music Center on Park Avenue. Among those scheduled to appear are local blues guitarist Alvin Madison.
Throughout the day, visitors will also have a chance to sample foods from local restaurants and vendors and enjoy a lively entertainment lineup.
The Moderne Academie of Fine Arts on East Second Street will present a noon dance exhibition, and
Scotch Plains Day/ StreetFest Is Scheduled for Saturday
members of Chun’s Black Belt Academy on Terrill Road will show off their moves during a martial arts demonstration at 1 p. m. For young visitors, there will also be pony rides, a petting zoo and face painting.
As in past years, the Lions Club will hold its Giant Flea Market in the Municipal Building parking lot from 8 a. m. to 4 p. m. Over 100 vendors, including crafters, are expected to take part in this year’s event, with proceeds benefiting local charities.
Visitors will also be able to purchase fresh produce from Garden State growers during the weekly Farmers’ Market that will be part of the festival. The Farmers’ Market is sponsored by the SPBPA, which was founded five years ago to support and promote local businesses.
For the first time this year, a football rally and bonfire will take place tomorrow night, October 1, at 7 p. m. on the Evergreen Elementary School field – directly behind Scotch PlainsFanwood High School (SPFHS).
This event will serve as a prelude to both the Scotch Plains Day festivities and Saturday’s varsity football game between rivals SPFHS and Westfield High School. The game will begin at 1: 30 p. m. in Scotch Plains.
The SPFHS football team will be introduced at tomorrow night’s rally, and the high school’s Marching Band will perform.
clock was kept under blue plastic wraps.
The fourfaced, internallyilluminated timepiece, along with its chime system and surrounding wall, were paid for with more than $35,000 raised over the past four years from previous Fanny Wood Day celebrations and donations by individuals and businesses.
The clock unveiling, which was witnessed by an enthusiastic crowd gathered near its base, was preceded by a flag ceremony conducted by the Scotch PlainsFanwood High School Junior ROTC.
Festivalgoers were also treated to a demonstration of the clock’s carillon, which rendered patriotic selections such as “America the Beautiful” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic” during the dedication.
Describing the clock dedication as “my dream come true,” Mayor Connelly expressed appreciation to all who helped bring the project to fruition, including those who contributed funds toward purchase of the clock.
“I can’t thank them enough,” she remarked, saying they were “part of something that will be a special event for my life.”
Mrs. Connelly also called the clock inauguration “a great kick off to our downtown revitalization.” Later, replicas of the timepiece were presented to benefactors, and others were raffled to supporters.
In addition to the Millennium Clock Committee members, Mrs. Connelly recognized the Borough Council representatives for their support and Fanwood Public Works Director Raymond Manfra and his employees for their efforts toward installing the clock.
She also gave kudos to Borough Engineer Richard Marsden, who designed the clock site and drew up the engineering plans for the project; Dominick and Michael Mastroianni of Bravo Landscaping and Construction, which did the wall and pavers and donated shrubs and flowers for the site, and Fred Sockwell, who installed the electricity in the clock and set up the chime system.
The Mayor also acknowledged Chief Robert Carboy and the Fanwood Police Department, which aligned the ingress and egress to the train station parking lot, led the caravan which brought the clock to the site from the Public Works Garage and maintained public safety while work was being done.
Among those in attendance for the clock dedication was Tonya Francesca Cama, an actress with Fanwood’s Philathalians theater troupe, who portrayed Fanny Wood in full Victorian costume. Ms. Cama was introduced as “Fanny Wood” during the ceremony and mingled with residents attending the street fair.
Throughout the day, browsers and shoppers strolled along South and Martine while checking out colorful merchant displays, swaying to music provided by “DJ Nick” and enjoying such perennial favorites as hamburgers, hot dogs and sausage, among other refreshments.
Among other Fanny Wood Day highlights were a classic car show sponsored by the Cougar Club of New Jersey, the second annual “Little Miss Fanny Wood” contest; a pie baking contest, a fire engine display, a volunteer fair and a demonstration of the borough’s new Internet site.
“Little Miss Fanny Wood” contestants, decked out in a colorful array of 19thcentury fashions, stepped up to a stage at the center of the festival, where they each answered a few questions about themselves.
Fourandahalfyearold Antonia Goehren won the crown, and each of the runnersup received prizes as well. The event was sponsored by the Enchantments gift shop in conjunction with the Scotch PlainsFanwood Newcomers Club.
Members of the Millennium Clock Committee included Neil Schembre, Helen Ling, Tricia Scarlata and Pamela and Peter Sayles.
Mr. Schembre, who said he was pleased with the turnout for the celebration, said his committee was interested in hearing from any new volunteers who may want to become involved in planning next year’s event. Lynch regarding her testimony that
apartments of this type do not lower the value of homes in the surrounding area.
Mr. Mollozzi objected to some of the crossexamination of Ms. Lynch. He claimed the opposition was “harassing” his witness with what he felt were “irrelevant questions and comments.”
Planning Board Chairman Gregory Cummings had to admonish several angry residents more than once during their questioning of Ms. Lynch.
He instructed them to restrict their crossexamination to questions which pertained to the Broker’s previous testimony and not to antagonistically harass Ms. Lynch with their opinions about the complex.
Thomas P. Ryan, Jr. a Republican candidate for the Borough Council and coChairman of the FCRD, stated that the applicant’s assertion that the apartment complex would only add approximately six children to the school system was “absurd.”
He added that the cost to educate a student is $10,000 per year, and that the apartment complex would only be contributing $45,000 per year in taxes, as previously testified to by Vincent Bontempo, also a principal with LaGrande Realty Associates.
The total cost of the project, according to Mr. Bontempo, would be approximately $3.1 million, and would net a profit, after expenses, of roughly $30,000 per year. The $3.1 million includes the cost of sidewalk replacements, landscaping and design plans, as well as construction expenses for the entire complex.
When asked by the board why he would invest $3.1 million to reap a profit of only $30,000, Mr. Bontempo explained that the tax benefits, as well as the depreciation and the deduction of the negative cash flow, would also be a financial benefit to himself. When asked why he couldn’t reduce the size of the proposed complex, he said building fewer apartments would not be economically feasible.
Mr. Bontempo also testified before the board that there was some
evidence of runoff contaminated ground water from adjacent sites found by an environmental technical firm which assessed groundwater quality.
Borough Engineer Richard Marsden asked the applicant to provide the board with clarification as to the source of the contaminated water and the extent to which this runoff may affect the proposed site.
Mr. Mollozzi stated that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) gave the Dean Oil site a clean bill of health two years ago, with no building restrictions, and that he was satisfied with the DEP’s approval of the site.
Mr. Cummings, however, insisted that the board needed additional verification that this runoff from adjacent sites would not pose a health threat to the complex, and said the applicant may choose to hire a consultant to evaluate this issue and present a report to the board in order to bolster LaGrande Realty’s position that the land is safe.
If the applicant could not hire a consultant and furnish a report by last night, September 29 – when the final hearing in the case was set to take place — then the board would have to make a determination based on what information they had.
By state mandate, the board must render a decision in the case by tomorrow, Friday, October 1, or the application will be approved by default.
Mr. Bontempo stated that the technical firm concluded that as long as there would be no basement or drilling of wells, then there was no danger of fumes or contamination impacting the proposed complex.
Mr. Marsden pointed out that there would be a fourandahalffoot deep retention basin on the property and that additional reports would be necessary to insure this was not adversely affected by the contaminated runoff.
Last night’s hearing, including public testimony and comments, was expected to once again take place at Park School. A final summation by each side was also scheduled.
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the board will survey the community by mail to assess feelings about the issues associated with the prospective bond referendum.
As the timetable now stands, Dr. Choye is scheduled to make her facilities recommendations to the board in January. That will be followed by meetings in January and February with staff and community members that will allow the board and administration to hear public reaction to the proposal.
During the meeting, Dr. Choye set forth her assumptions in preparing to ask for public support of a bond referendum. First among these is that “Facility recommendations will be based on maintaining and enhancing teaching and learning in our schools PreK through grade 12 for all our students, with careful consideration of the financial impact on taxpayers.”
Other assumptions were: a grade 9 to 12 configuration is best for high school age students; all available classroom space is currently being utilized and “any additional classroom needs from this date on will necessitate art and/ or music on a cart;” September 2002 is the earliest possible date for completion of construction concerning changes or additions to existing facilities; the need to consider fullday kindergarten programs and create one solution that would fulfill the district’s facilities needs for five years.
Under other business, Business Administrator and Board Secretary Matthew A. Clarke addressed the busing nightmare that plagued the district during the first few weeks of school.
“To say it was a disaster for the opening would be a nice comment,” said Mr. Clarke, referring to bus delays and noshows on the first day of school September 8.
He added, however, that the Vogel Bus Company had “stepped it up” and its service was expected to be running without problems beginning this past Monday. Vogel is one of four companies the district employs for indistrict
bus transportation of students. The board revisited the issue of class size for Level One Math at Park Middle School. Dr. Choye explained how the existing waiver system (which allows parents to move their child from Level Two into Level One) can cause inequity among class sizes between Park and Terrill.
According to Dr. Crews, the district’s new mathematics supervisor, Dan Simon, will establish betterdefined criteria for entry into Level One mathematics classes. These should be in place for the next school year.
Scotch Plains resident Deborah Asher stated, “You need to be up front with parents. The message is: a select few (students) go into Level One.”
Board President Theresa Larkin reported that board members and the Scotch PlainsFanwood Education Association (SPFEA) held their first monthly communications meeting. The board President said the goal is “more open, constant communication” beyond what occurs during contract negotiations.
The most recent negotiations between the board and the SPFEA concluded with a threeyear contract in December 1998 after nearly 12 months.
“Thankfully, there has been enough change in the attitude of staff and (union) leadership that allows this,” said Mrs. Larkin.
In other board business, members unanimously approved revisions to the policy regulating public comment during board agenda meetings, which are held the second Thursday of each month.
Going forward, there will be a 15minute period for public comment immediately following discussion of Board Priority Items, and a second 15minute comment period following the Approval of Minutes.
Speakers addressing items on the agenda will be heard first. Public comments are usually limited to two minutes per speaker.
BOE Okays Parameters For Enrollment, Class Size TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
· A Church Street resident reported someone entered his vehicle and had taken a radar detector.
· A William Street resident reported someone entered his vehicle and had taken a cellular telephone.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
· Police responded to a report of an alarm at a Plainfield Avenue business and found a panel from a garage door missing. Entry to the building was not gained.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
· A Parkwood Drive resident reported finding the rear windshield to his vehicle smashed.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
· A 13yearold Plainfield boy was taken into custody at approximately 6 p. m. He was in possession of a bicycle stolen from a residence in the 1700 block of Mountain Avenue.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
· An employee of Shackamaxon Country Club reported being assaulted by another employee. Complaints are pending.
· The theft of cash and jewelry was reported from within a patients room at the Ashbrook Nursing Home.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
· An Old Farm Road resident reported his house was vandalized by eggs and toilet paper.
will also be a Civic Awards Ceremony at 10 a. m.
A Health Fair will be held at the Municipal Building from 8 a. m. to noon, and a Pet Clinic will take place at the Northside Fire House from 8 to 10 a. m.
As a kickoff to the following day’s festivities, a football pep rally and bonfire will be held on the Evergreen Elementary School field behind Scotch PlainsFanwood High School at 7 p. m. tomorrow night, October 1.
Mayor Samuel said the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders passed a resolution of intent to enter into a 99year contract with Scotch Plains to allow the township to lease 22 to 25 acres of land behind the Park Place Diner on Raritan Road and con vert it into a park.
Given that the lease is for 99 years, Township Attorney Andrew M. Baron pointed out that state law requires a public hearing be held before the agreement can be finalized.
Mayor Samuel proclaimed the week of October 3 to 9 as Fire Prevention Week and also announced that the Mayor’s Charity Gala will take place on Sunday, November 7, at the Twin Brooks Country Club in Watchung.
Councilman Tarquin Bromley announced that the Union County Commission on the Status of Women will sponsor a symposium on Saturday, October 16, at the Municipal Building on “MotherDaughter Relationships.”
The council’s next meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 12.
Scotch Plains Woman’s Club Meets With Guest Speaker WELCOME GUEST… Amy Mitchell, a senior at Scotch PlainsFanwood High
School, was a delegate sponsored by the Scotch Plains Woman’s Club to the Girls Career Institute at Douglas College in June. She spoke to the club September 8 about her experience. Pictured are: Celeste Krowicki, Education Chairwoman and new Recording Secretary and Amy.
SCOTCH PLAINS – When the Scotch Plains Woman’s Club met on September 8 at the Scotch Hills Country Club, Amy Mitchell, a senior at Scotch PlainsFanwood High School, spoke.
Amy, who was a delegate sponsored by the club to the Girls Career Institute at Douglas College in June, spoke about her experiences at the twoday conference.
Paula Barry, a former coowner of Barry’s Frame Shop in Scotch Plains, also presented “There’s An Art to Good Framing.”
On Wednesday, October 13, Norbert Bernstein, Director of the Scotch Plains Public Library, will present “What Else is Good at the Library,” at 1: 30 p. m. at the Scotch Hills Country Club. Visitors are welcome. Health Department, which also serves
Fanwood, Garwood, Mountainside, Roselle Park and Springfield.
Mr. Sherr said he received three to five calls on bird sightings on Tuesday morning. Despite this, he explained, “Other than the one bird in Westfield, they’re really concentrating their efforts in Bergen County.”
The state has asked local health departments to log reports from residents of dead bird sightings. Officials want to know the resident’s name, address, phone number, time and date of sighting, type of bird and any observations of the bird’s behavior.
In addition, the Garden State has stepped up mosquito surveillance statewide. There are active mosquito control centers in every county in New Jersey, except Hunterdon.
Carolyn Vollero, chief inspector of Union County’s Bureau of Mosquito Control, is one of 17 fulltime employees of the bureau, which works yearround on mosquito surveillance and water management.
Water management reduces mosquito breeding grounds around the county.
“We do mosquito control every day,” said Ms. Vollero, who also serves on the state committee for public relations regarding mosquito control. “At locations throughout the county, there are designated areas, which are surveyed every day. We try to treat mosquitoes in the larvae stage.”
In Union County’s known “hot spots” for breeding, Ms. Vollero said that ground spraying has been increased.
Upon inspection and treatment, samples of mosquitoes are brought back to Ms. Vollero for identification.
There are 63 species of mosquitoes in New Jersey. Union County’s Bureau of Mosquito Control has the capability to identify mosquitoes in both the larvae and adult stages.
The mosquito carrying the West Nilelike virus is the “Ades Vexan,” which is particularly active at present, thanks to the rains of Hurricane Floyd and subsequent flooding.
Beginning in March, the bureau also collects samples of mosquitoes from light traps in 30 locations across Union County, at least one in each municipality. Bug samples from the traps are collected three times per week and returned to the bureau for identification.
Though the program would traditionally be approaching its conclusion for the season, Ms. Vollero confirmed heightened surveillance would continue for as long as the weather remains warm and the mosquito alert is on.
In an effort to reassure residents concerned about mosquito breeding near their homes, the chief inspector said, “The county bureau of mosquito control will come out and check neighborhoods and yards to see if there are breeding grounds.”
Residents can call the bureau, which is part of the county public works department, at (908) 7893660. There is no charge for the inspection.
Earlier this month, with news of Saint Louis Encephalitis making headlines in New York, the Mosquito Research and Control program at Rutgers University placed sentinel flocks of chickens in counties (not Union) around the state to see if chickens become infected when bitten by mosquitoes.
Health officials can detect the presence of a virus through blood samples that are drawn from the chickens and tested weekly. No evidence of SLE was found.
The primary responsibility for mosquito control rests with county agencies. However, if officials decide that more aggressive efforts to eliminate mosquitoes are required, the state’s aerial spray program within the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) could be activated.
A decision to spray would be made jointly by the DEP, State Mosquito Control Commission, Rutgers University, the Department of Agriculture and the DHSS.
State health officials have asked hospital emergency room staff and infection control practitioners to immediately report suspect cases to the DHSS.
Citizens are encouraged by the New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services to take the following precautions.
· Do not touch a dead crow or other bird with bare hands. Using a shovel or gloves, place the dead animal in a double bag before discarding it in the general trash.
· Eliminate local sources of stagnant water where mosquitoes breed, including clogged rain gutters, neglected backyard swimming pools and old tires.
· When outdoors, wear clothing such as longsleeve shirts and pants that cover the skin. Spray clothes and exposed skin with insect repellent containing DEET, which is a colorless, oily liquid that effectively repels insects.
· Curb outside activity at dawn, dusk and during the evening.
Avoid mosquito habitats, including areas with heavy underbrush. For further information, please contact the Westfield Regional Health Department at (908) 7894070 Monday through Friday between 8: 30 a. m.4: 30 p. m.
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