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Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Westfield Leader and The Scotch Plains ­ Fanwood TIMES


Charity Groups Sponsoring Food Drives for Holidays


COSTUME CONTEST...On Sunday, October 26, children were invited to trick or treat downtown Westfield businesses and participate in the sixth annual Halloween Costume Contest held by the Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC). More than 50 winners were announced due to the generous gifts given by downtown merchants in sponsoring each category. Winners in each category received a medal from the Downtown Westfield Corporation and a gift from the sponsoring business.

DWC Announces Halloween Costume Contest Winners

WESTFIELD ­ The Downtown Westfield Corporation announced the following winners and sponsors of the annual Halloween Costume Contest: Alyssa Milrod of Westfield by Ahrre's Coffee, Java Jolt; Patric Hannon of Westfield by Blue Tulip, Something Blue; Katelyn Gaulin of Fanwood by Boogie's Tickets, Boogie; Francesca Davenport of Westfield by Bovella's Pastry, Sweetest; Alivia Clark of Springfield by Brunner Opticians, Cutest Animal; Matthew Davis of Fanwood by Capital One Bank, Football; Olivia Orlando of Roselle Park by Castle Bootery, Ballerina; Audrey Davis of Fanwood by Citibank, International; Ethan Yucetepe of Westfield by Coldstone Creamery, Creation; Anna Qiang of Westfield by Cool Vines, Coolest; Kari Jean of Westfield by Douglas Cosmetics, Glamorous; Lily Gaulin of Fanwood by DWC, Colorful; Katie Trich of Westfield by Esprit, Spirited; Tyler Mackey of Westfield by Evalyn Dunn's Gallery, Artistic; Tomohto Saito of Westfield by Farmhouse Store, Handcrafted; Tia Lemberg of Westfield by Ferraro's, Traditional; Mike & Valerie Cardenas of Westfield by Flower Zone, Magnificent; Sharify & Senu Green of Westfield by Golden Bee Antiques, Clown; Emily Mordkovich of Westfield by Hi 5 Candy, Sweetest; Julia Mackey of Westfield by J. Winthrop & Co., Dazzling; Paul Vlkovic of Scotch Plains by Just Bead Yourself, "Beadiful"; Giovanna DeRobertis of Rahway by Knit-ABit, A Stitch; J. D. Twilley of Westfield by Leader Store, Sportiest; Georgia Frank of Mountainside by Learning Express Toys, Creative; Stephanie Piesco of Westfield by Limani Seafood Grill, Pirate; Emily Kearney of So. Plainfield by Lord & Taylor, Trendy Girl; Jasper Lemberg of Westfield by Lord & Taylor, Trendy Boy; Kalea Calugay of Westfield by Mademoiselle, Princess; Sophia Perone of Green Brook by Manhattan Bagel, with Holes; Morgan Taylor of Scotch Plains by Maria Candida's Hair, Beautiful; Allison Vlkovic of Scotch Plains by Melinda Lane, Witch; Bridget Davis of Fanwood by Michael Kohn, Brilliant; Sara Barshap of Scotch Plains by New Jersey Workshop for the Arts, Musical; Peter Youssef of Westfield by Paw House, Frightful; Sara Perlin of Westfield by Poppyfields, Wizard of Oz; William Bryson of Westfield by Rita's Water Ice, Chilling; Kylie Rivera of Edison by Robert Treat Deli, Delicious; AJ Wisniewski of Springfield by Rockn' Joe Coffeehouse, Rock `n Roll; Darien Gomez of Scotch Plains by Running Company, Athletic; Sofia Lemberg of Westfield by Score Educational, Intelligent; Sean Vlkovic of Scotch Plains by Smith & Hawken , Down to Earth; Emily Piesco of Westfield by Sole, Soul; Frank Martielli of Somerville by Staples, Easiest; Jacob Dobrowski of Springfield by Subway, Meatiest; Jacqueline Storms of Westfield by Success Express, Magical; Rebecca White of Westfield by Tamar Jewelry, Sparkly; Olivia Orlando of Roselle Park by Thinka Dinka, Entertaining; Nicole Bidillo of Roselle Park by Tinga Taqueria, Spicy; Zoe Urbano of Westfield by Town Bank, Sweetest Baby; Marlo Avidon of Westfield by Town Book Store, Characteristic; Max Martin of Westfield by Trader Joe's, Food; Harry Goldenberg of Westfield by Westfield Fitness, Superhero; Michael Marshall of Westfield by Westfield Health &, Rehabilitation, Skeleton; Ethan Jaffee of Westfield by Windmill, Wild and Wacky; Damian Napodano of Green Brook by Xocolatz Restaurant, Yummiest.

projects.shtml. Val Hoffman, Evan Rosenburgh and Jenna Strauss, the chairs of "Donate a Smile" at Westfield High School, are asking area residents, as well as WHS students, for monetary donations to their program, which helps foster homeless and DYFS children who are part of the YMCA of Newark. "Donate a Smile" purchases gifts that these children have asked for on their wish lists. Last year, the organization raised more than $2,700 and, this year, aims to go above and beyond this goal. Cash or check donations made payable to Linda Heroux are welcome. Donations should be brought or mailed to 187 Lincoln Road, Westfield. The Westfield Area Y Black Achievers Program and the Leaders Club are adopting three families for Thanksgiving as part of their Giving Back to the Community Project. Donations of canned or non-perishable items can be dropped off in the donation box located at the Robert and Virginia Bauer Family Branch, 422 East Broad Street in Westfield, no later than Friday, November 21. Evangel Church, 1251 Terrill Road in Scotch Plains, is participating in "Operation Christmas Child." Area residents are asked to fill shoeboxes with small toys and toiletries, and drop them by the church during business hours up to Sunday, November 23. Evangel Church will distribute the boxes to needy families within its congregation as well as within the broader community. For more information, call Evangel Church at (908) 322-9300. The Social Outreach Ministry of St. Bartholomew the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Scotch Plains, 2032 Westfield Avenue, is holding a Thanksgiving Turkey and Food Drive after all masses the weekend of November 22 and 23. All food collected will be donated to the CFBNJ. The deacons of the Presbyterian Church in Westfield are holding a

frozen turkey drive until Monday, November 24. The turkeys, which can be dropped off at the church's Parish House at 140 Mountain Avenue, Westfield, will be distributed in Elizabethport. On Wednesday, November 26, the evening before Thanksgiving, the Presbyterian Church's Agape Soup Kitchen will provide dinner and an extra bagged lunch at the First Presbyterian Church, 42 Broad Street in Elizabeth, from 5 to 6 p.m. Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Westfield will be collecting frozen turkeys, hams and nonperishable foods up until noon on Monday, November 24. These can be dropped off at the Rectory, 315 First Street. Volunteers are also needed to assemble the food baskets, which will be distributed to those in need through different Union County agencies. Volunteers should report to the pantry in the Holy Trinity Interparochial School at 336 First Street, Westfield, between 9 a.m. and noon on Monday, November, 24. Members of the Knights of Columbus Council 1711 Columbian Club and the sisters of the Northern New Jersey Alumnae Association of Theta Phi Alpha have collaborated to have the council hall at 2400 North Avenue in Westfield (next to Charlie Brown's) as a dropsite for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program. A collection box is available in the club's front entry hall downstairs next to the Food Pantry drop box. The collection will continue until Tuesday, December 16. Contributions of new, unwrapped toys may be dropped off between 4 and 9 p.m. daily. Multiple Boy Scout troops associated with the Community Presbyterian Church in Mountainside will sponsor a frozen turkey and canned food drive through Sunday, November 23. Donations, which can be dropped off at Deer Path and Meeting House Lane in Mountainside, will be sent to the Presbytery in Elizabeth. Paul J. Peyton contributed to this story.

PICKED...Scotch Plains Police Sergeant Ted Conley is put off balance by Kelly Mahoney during a self-defense program held recently at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. The program, for college-bound girls, teaches participants how to avoid or handle potentially dangerous situations.

Linden Teachers Arrested For Record Tampering on Pay

COUNTY -- Prosecutors filed criminal complaints against two teachers in the Linden Public School system last week after an investigation revealed that they tampered with records to increase overtime pay. Kimberly DeMatteo, 38, of Howell, a teacher at Linden High School and her husband, Michael Maurer, 34, a teacher at Linden Middle School, are each charged with one count of third-degree tampering with public records and one count of fourth degree for altering reports, announced Union County Prosecutor Ted Romankow. According to the investigation, led by Union County Prosecutor's Office Detective Cassie Kim, both DeMatteo and Maurer were authorized to work afterschool programs for overtime pay. Between August 22, 2007 and January 30, 2008 DeMatteo regularly submitted paperwork suggesting that she was in two places at the same time. "There were times she submitted work saying she was tutoring one student at the library while, at the same time, she was at another student's house on a separate tutoring session," Mr. Romankow said. Maurer, who also worked after-school security, allegedly altered documents saying he was both tutoring and monitoring hallways. Linden Board of Education officials were notified by a concerned parent who said DeMatteo kept an irregular afterschool teaching pattern. After reviewing the paperwork, authorities said the BOE passed the investigation onto the prosecutor's office. The couple is scheduled to make its first court appearance before State Superior Court Judge Joan Robinson Gross in Elizabeth on Friday, December 5.


Westfield Tuesday, November 11, Olmedo Idrovo, 41, of Irvington was arrested at the intersection of Grandview Avenue and Virginia Street on traffic warrants out of Elizabeth, for $280, Perth Amboy, for $159, and Newark, for $250. He was released after posting bail for each jurisdiction. Tuesday, November 11, Erika Lytell, 25, of Plainfield was arrested at the intersection of Marcellus Drive and St. Marks Avenue on a traffic warrant issued by Fanwood. Lytell posted $89 bail and was released. Wednesday, November 12, Johan Ramos-Pietrahita, 24, of Elizabeth was arrested on two outstanding criminal warrants out of Elizabeth, with total bail of $1,500, after a motor vehicle stop at South Avenue and Livingston Street. He was turned over to the Elizabeth Police Department. Scotch Plains Monday, November 10, Kristie Murphy, 39, of Garwood was arrested and charged with theft of property after an investigation. According to police, she admitted to taking money from a business on Lamberts Mill Road on eight separate occasions over a three-month period. She was processed and released, police, said. Tuesday, November 11, a resident on Sunset Place reported that someone entered her vehicle and removed her radio valued at $800. Wednesday, November 12, police received a report of a hit-and-run accident on Mountain Avenue after the victim reported that someone struck his vehicle while it was legally parked and caused damage to the rear of the vehicle. Friday, November 14, Geeeta Trikha, 32, of West Orange was arrested for an outstanding warrant after a motor vehicle stop. She was processed and released. Friday, November 14, Danny Fernandez, 21, of South Plainfield was arrested for an outstanding warrant after a motor vehicle stop. He was processed and released. Saturday, Shawn Williams, 24, of Avenel was arrested for an outstanding warrant after a motor vehicle stop. He was processed and released. Saturday, November 15, Jean Cardona, 21, of Piscataway was arrested for an outstanding warrant after a motor vehicle stop. He was processed and released. Sunday, November 16, Anthony Malczanek, 23, of Scotch Plains was arrested for obstruction of justice. According to police, officers responded to a report of an intoxicated individual at which time they attempted to question Malczanek and he allegedly refused to answer questions and attempted to flee. He was transported to headquarters where he was processed and released, police said. Mountainside Wednesday, November 12, David L. Hill, 55, of Newark was arrested for an outstanding warrant in the amount of $1,100. According to police, he was processed and transported to the Union County jail. Friday, November 14, a resident of Summit Road reported that she had received several harassing letters in envelopes with no return address. According to police, the victim stated that a possible suspect was an employee she had fired this past July. Saturday, November 15, Helen B. Smith, 51, of Newark was arrested for driving with a suspended license after a motor vehicle stop on Mountain Avenue. Monday, November 17, a resident of Poplar Avenue reported that someone damaged the driver's side door lock of her vehicle while it was parked in her driveway. According to police, the lock was broken and the area around it had been pried open but access to the vehicle was not gained. Fanwood Friday, November 7, Yaacov M. Atta, 20, of Brooklyn, NY was arrested on various motor vehicle violations after failing to produce identification when police stopped him in the 100 block of South Avenue after receiving a county-wide broadcast about an erratic driver, according to police. Atta was processed and released after providing police with proper identification. Tuesday, November 11, Courtney Sharp, 30, of Edison was arrested for an outstanding Highland Park warrant after a motor vehicle stop on Terrill Road. She was processed and released. Wednesday, November 12, Rui J. Azevedo, 35, of Linden warrant after a motor vehicle stop on Midway Avenue. He was processed and released. Wednesday, November 12, Glenn L. Butler, 46, of Plainfield was arrested on an outstanding North Plainfield warrant after a motor vehicle stop in the 100 block of South Avenue. He was processed and released. Friday, November 14, Joshua B. Levine, 27, of Clark was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after a motor vehicle stop on Terrill Road. According to police, he was processed and released to a responsible adult. Friday, November 14, Kevin K. Derricotte, 51, of Linden was arrested for an outstanding Roselle warrant after a motor vehicle stop on Martine Avenue. He was processed and released.

Music Boosters Thank Sponsors for Golf Success

SCOTCH PLAINS ­ The second annual SPFMBA (Scotch PlainsFanwood Music Boosters Association) Golf Outing, held in October, was a success. It featured the Moonglowers Jazz Ensemble and the Scotch Plains Fanwood High School Chamber Choir providing the dinner entertainment. SPFMBA officials thanked all local sponsors for their support and to all of those who participated in this year's event at Shackamaxon Country Club. Specifically, officials thanked the following hole sponsors: Schiller and Pittenger, counselors at law; Scotch Plains Democratic mayoral and council candidates, Kevin Glover and Theresa Mullen; Scotch PlainsFanwood High School's Trombone Line, The Music Shop, The Danik Family, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Shulman, Dr. and Mrs. Frank Besson, Sr., Double D Printing, The Lettieri Family, The Bagdonas Family, V & V Landscaping, Fanwood Dental Group, Memorial Funeral Home, R.J. Michaels & Co., The Bertoldi Family, Scotch Plains Mayor-elect Nancy Malool, Elefante Music, Vokes Piano, Decker Tape, PNC Bank, Go Au Pair and Espo Tree Service. Officials also thanked the following local business who supported the event by donating items and gift certificates to raffle baskets: Apple Blossom Flower Shop, Bella Bronze Tanning Salon, John's Meat Market, Spazio Nails, Sovereign Bank in Fanwood, Famous Dave's, Stop and Shop in Watchung, Shop Rite of Garwood, SPF Athletic Boosters, Levon Graphics, Origins Natural Resources, Panera Bread, The Paper Mill Playhouse, Scotch Plains Music Center, Bensi's Restaurant, Tarantella's Restaurant, Olive Garden in Springfield, Red Lobster in Springfield, Arirang Restaurant, Aliperti's Restaurant, Scoops, the Ice Creamery, Charlie Brown's in Scotch Plains, Trader Joe's, Chili's Restaurant, Applebee's, Friday's, New Jersey Jackals, Loews Theaters, Sports Place in Fanwood, Modell's, 16 Prospect, Bed Bath and Beyond, Swiss Pastry Shop and the Westfield Symphony Orchestra.

GW Teachers, BOE At `Tentative' Agreement


Specially Written for The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Times

SP-F Schools Help Identify Special-Needs Children

SCOTCH PLAINS ­ The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public School District recognizes the importance of identifying children with special needs in conjunction with Project Child Find. The district provides evaluation services to resident children from 3 to 21 who appear to have significant special needs related to speech/language, gross/fine motor skills, social-emotional and learning areas. Screening and evaluation services are also available to preschoolers, ages 3 to 5, to highly mobile students with disabilities, such as migrant and homeless students, and to students who may be disabled even though they are advancing from grade to grade. Children found to be eligible for special education and related services are entitled to a free and appropriate special education program and related services. Information is provided to parents of children from birth through two years through Project Child Find at (800) 322-8174 or by contacting the county supervisor of child study at (908) 654-9860. Parents of children with significant delays should contact Thomas Beese, director of special services. Significant delays include: delays in acquiring language; delays or difficulty walking, running or manipulating small objects; frequent health problems (birth handicaps, trouble seeing or hearing); excessive anxiety or shyness, and/or significant learning, social and attention disorders. All information regarding referrals and evaluations is kept confidential. Please direct inquiries to [email protected] or by fax at (908) 889-1812.

Santa Comes to Westfield On November 30 at 5 p.m.

WESTFIELD ­ The annual Westfield Christmas tree lighting ceremony and the arrival of Santa will be held on Sunday, November 30, at 5 p.m. at the train station on North Avenue. The event is sponsored by the Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce. Santa will arrive in Westfield on a fire truck to join Mayor Andy Skibitsky in lighting the Christmas Tree. Goody bags will be handed out along with coloring books and crayons. Sweet treats, such as hot chocolate, cookies and candy canes, will be in abundant supply and every child will walk away with a gift from Santa. Those who attend are asked to remember those in need by bringing non-perishable food items for the First United Methodist Church's food pantry. Also, the Girl Scouts of Westfield will be holding their 16th Annual Mitten Tree Collection. They are asking for donations of new mittens, gloves, scarves and socks to donate for the care of the homeless. Tree lighting sponsors are Ron Bansky Allstate Insurance (hot chocolate), Burgdorff ERA (stage), TD Bank (crayons and cookies), Drug Fair (candy canes) and Town Bank (coloring books). For more information, e-mail Chamber of C o m m e r c e : [email protected] or call (908) 233-3021.

New Charter School Set To Open in Plainfield

PLAINFIELD ­ The Ellen Pressman Charter School (PCS), a new free public school, is set to open September 2009 in Plainfield. The school is presently accepting applications for students entering sixth and seventh grade in September 2009. PCS will enroll 160 students in grades six and seven with 80 students per grade for the 2009-2010 academic year. Through artist-in-residence programs, as well as partnerships with orchestras, music schools and other groups, the PCS curriculum will provide opportunity for students to achieve at their peak academic, creative and physical potential. The school will have small class sizes where students will develop and apply critical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving skills; develop and demonstrate self-management skills; learn to use information and technology; develop career planning, workplace readiness, and personal finance skills and learn to apply health and safety principles. A choral program will also be featured. Before-school programs will offer supervised activities for parents and students including an at-school breakfast plan. The period from 3:40 p.m. to 5 p.m. will be allocated for a variety of education-related activities including individualized instruction, service clubs, academic, athletic and musical activities, as well as teacherparent conferences and professional meetings. Students will be well prepared for the academic challenges they will encounter in the application and success required by competitive secondary schools and in the world beyond 12th grade. Norman Pressman, Mrs. Pressman's brother, serves as president of the PCS Board of Trustees. The PCS will begin the 2009 school year with 160 students and plans to expand to 240 students with 80 students per grade from sixth through eighth grade by the year 2010. For more information, please call (908) 668-7770 or see

Vo-Tech Schools Win Natl. Fundraising Award

AREA ­ The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced that the American Cancer Society has awarded the 2008 Highest Per Capita Fundraising Award to the Magnet High School and The Academy for Allied Health for their Relay for Life event. The two high schools are part of the Union County Vo-Tech school system. They raised the most money per participant out of all the high schools in the nation involved in the fundraiser. An overwhelming majority ­ approximately 70 percent ­ of the student body in the two schools participated in Relay for Life, which raised approximately $80,000. "We at the Union County Vocational-Technical School District are extraordinarily proud of the achievements of these wonderful young people," Thomas Bistocchi, district superintendent, said. "Their commitment to community service is exemplary." In Relay for Life, teams camp out overnight and take turns walking or running around a track or path continuously for up to 24 hours, to raise money for cancer research. The Academy for Allied Health Sciences was founded in 2005. Its first class will graduate in June 2009. Magnet High School, founded in 1997, is the winner of the Governor's School of Excellence Award. It is a designated New Jersey Star School, and a National Blue Ribbon School. For more information about Relay for Life, contact the American Cancer Society at (800) ACS-2345 or visit


A press release submitted by the Township of Scotch Plains should have stated a public hearing will be held on the HUD Revenue Sharing Block Grant, XXXV Year funding on Monday, November 24, 2008, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 202 of the Scotch Plains Municipal Building, located at 430 Park Avenue,

GARWOOD -- During Tuesday night's meeting of the Garwood Board of Education, board member John Sullivan said the negotiations committee has reached what he termed a "tentative" agreement with the Garwood Education Association regarding a new contract. "We're waiting for wording for a few items that are still outstanding in the contract, and we hope to have a settlement shortly," Mr. Sullivan said. The prior three-year contract expired in June, and the board and teachers' union have been in negotiations since January. The parties jointly applied for mediation in July. Starting salaries under the old agreement were $41,789 and covered 40 teachers and staff members. Mr. Sullivan, who is chairman of the negotiations committee, was unable to discuss specifics of the proposed contract since a final agreement has not yet been reached but said, "hopefully, [negotiations will] be wrapping up in the next few weeks." In other business, Superintendent of Schools Teresa Quigley and Board of Education President Adele Lewis said they have had discussions with Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds Thomas Spera and Chief of Police William Legg regarding an issue with teenagers "hanging out" at Washington School after hours. Ms. Quigley said there have been problems with trash, graffiti and broken windows at the school. The board said police have stepped up enforcement in the area and that Mr. Spera is looking into the possibility of installing fencing or a security camera at the school. "We don't want to go that route," Ms. Lewis said. "But if this continues, we may not have a choice." The board also heard its annual audit report during the meeting from Bob Swisher of Suplee, Clooney and Company, an accounting firm located in Westfield. According to Mr. Swisher, the auditors reviewed Garwood's finances and compliance with state rules and regulations. He said the district is healthy financially but did make three "comments and recommendations" regarding compliance. These comments included that all vouchers to be paid are signed before payment and that the district conduct an analysis of its student activity account and organize the monies by grade level. The report also recommended that all monies due to the state be paid promptly. Mr. Swisher said this situation typically occurs when there are small amounts of money that are unused from state grants. "We're not talking about huge amounts of money, but it is a state compliance issue," Mr. Swisher said. Mr. Swisher said this issue, which was noted last year, is likely related to the turnover in the district's business office after School Business Administrator Julia DePinto-Perez stepped down earlier this year. School administrators have met with Mr. Swisher to review the audit, and he said he expects the matters that were brought up to be addressed quickly. Tuesday was the first board meeting for Russell Graham, appointed to fill the unexpired term left by the resignation of Lisa Marano earlier this year.


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