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Candidate Statements

Wishing Everyone a Happy and Safe 4th of July Weekend

July 2, 2015

I would like to wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July weekend. Following is a speech I gave when I was first elected to the Westfield Town Council: It is a real honor and privilege for me to ...

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Letters to the Editor

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Meeting on June 16

June 19, 2015

RECOGNITION OF ACADEMIC SCHOLAR Board President, Richard Mattessich, presented a Board of Education certificate of achievement to Westfield High School graduating senior, Jorge Ledesma.  ...

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Today's Events

Police Blotter

In Westfield, Car Damaged, Bikes Reported Stolen

July 1, 2015

July 1, 2015 1:31 a.m. Officers McCarthy and Martinez arrested Zenasia Bowers, age 20, of Elizabeth subsequent to a motor vehicle stop in the area of Mountain Avenue and Kimball Avenue on an ...

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Columns

In the Schools

Westfield Grad Earns Gold Medal in National Latin Exam

Westfield High School recent graduate Jameson Maher earned a gold medal on the National Latin Exam for four consecutive years, it was announced by the University of Mary Washington, which administers ...

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Lost in Suburbia®

Getting Under My Skin

“What do you think this is?” my husband asked me, pointing to his elbow. “That is your elbow,” I stated matter-of-factly. “No, these red spots,” he ...

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JCC NEWS

Camp Yachad is in Full Swing

Summer 2015 is here, and Camp Yachad is in full swing. We had an exciting first day.  Our brand new zero-entry pool is open and our youngest campers had a great time splashing around in ...

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The Floor Plan

Indoor Comfort, Outdoor Living

It's that time of year. The time when we get to expand our living spaces and spend more time outdoors. When you're looking to decorate an outdoor space, you want to have all the comforts of ...

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ViaNutrition

What is the Difference Between Infrared and Traditional Saunas?

I love, love, love the infrared sauna. It is so peaceful and makes you feel shut off for a half an hour. The benefits of that alone are brilliant. The benefits are far-reaching for your well-being ...

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Experts of H.O.M.E.

Tips for Backyard Entertaining

Summer is in full swing. Is your home ready for entertaining? It’s time to enjoy your home, inside and out. Here are some of our favorite hacks for backyard fun this summer. To chill ...

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Monday with Millicent

Westfield Art Association (WAA) Members Exhibit Artwork at Mulberry House in Westfield

Come View the Exhibit and Stay for Lunch or Dinner Westfield, New Jersey, is buzzing about the first in a series of exhibitions that will be presented by Members of the Westfield Art Association ...

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Personal Fitness: In the Studio

What is Personal Training? First in a 4-Part Series

After the brutal winter we had this year - which was almost immediately followed by mid-summer-esque temperatures - we weren't left with much spring time to gradually shed off our heavy winter ...

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Lindabury Legal Corner

Shareholder and COO of Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper Named Chairman of LEGUS Law Advisory Board

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper is proud to announce that shareholder William R. Watkins has been named Chairman of the Advisory Board of LEGUS. To read about it, click here.   ...

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Westfield Area Y

Westfield Area Y's Summer Enrichment Class Makes Camouflage Hats for Wild Animal Day

The Westfield Area Y’s Summer Enrichment Class at the Robert & Virginia Bauer Branch located at 422 East Broad Street in Westfield recently made a special project for Wild Animal Day. The ...

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Point View WealthPoints

Take Advantage of the Greek Tragedy

Concerns of a Greece banking failure and an exit from the European Union have dominated the news headlines once again, and have helped take the global financial markets on a roller coaster ride.

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The Academic Coach

The Summer Plan

The 2014-2015 Academic year is done! Now families can take a deep breath, celebrate successes, and enjoy some free time. But there is one last thing to do and we can help. Chyten Millburn ...

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In Westfield, Lightning Wheels Paralympic Athletes Reach for Their Goals

By JILL D'AMBROSIO

April 24, 2014 at 11:23 PM

WESTFIELD, NJ – Nine year-old Sarah Maher is a busy girl. She takes piano lessons, participates in Brownies, swims, plays baseball in the Buddy Ball league and, on Thursday nights, takes to the field at Kehler Stadium in Westfield to practice track and field events with Lightning Wheels, a paralympic sports club sponsored by Children’s Specialized Hospital.

“I like making new friends and having fun with them, and connecting as a team,” said the Franklin Elementary School third grader of Lightning Wheels.

Maher, who has spina bifida, is one of about 30 athletes between the ages of five and 22 in the club, which accepts children and young adults who have a primary diagnosis of a physical disability.

At Thursday’s practice, Maher and her mother Karen said she is trying to qualify in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m wheelchair race events so she can attend the National Junior Disability Championships to be held this July in Iowa.

She has already qualified for NJDC in several swimming events and is eager to take the bus with her teammates to the competition.

“Swimming is my favorite sport,” said Maher, who swims during the winter with Lightning Wheels at an indoor facility in Cranford.

Among the club’s goals are increasing independence and self-esteem of an athlete with a disability, improving an individual’s physical skills through instruction and varied activities and developing a peer group for the athlete and her family.

Head coach Trisha Yurochko expects the athletes to attend practice regularly and to qualify for national competition in six events.

“It’s opened up new worlds for them,” she said.

Stephen Koziel, a 17 year-old high school junior from Kearny who has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, was focused and fast on Thursday as he zipped around the track, arms pumping, in his chair.

“My main goal is to go to the Rio Paralympics in 2016,” he said after his workout.

To do this, Koziel knows he needs to improve his times, expose himself to national coaches and get his name recognized on a wider stage.

Koziel, who also swims with Lightning Wheels and does shot put, javelin and discus, is dedicating his Eagle Scout project to raising awareness of Paralympic sports. He says the club has taught him that “if you put your mind to something, nobody can stop you from doing what you want to do.”

For nine year-old Kiko Mina of Lake Hopatcong, the best part of practice is running around the track. He loves being outside and seeing his friends.
 
"I like running. I practice a lot," said Mina, who had multiple brain surgeries as a baby to cure a seizure disorder.

His dad, Joseph, sees many benefits to Lightning Wheels.

"Aside from the social aspect of it, it gets him to burn all the energy he has," he said.

On Saturday, April 26, Lisa Natale, owner of Michele’s on Prospect, will hold a fundraiser to benefit Lightning Wheels.

With the help of a group of Maher's older sister’s classmates, Natale has organized a parents-versus-kids basketball game at 11 am at Franklin. Participants are invited to have breakfast on the house at Michele’s beginning at 10 a.m., and then are invited back for a free lunch after the game. Several Lightning Wheels members will be at the deli-cafe, near the school at 760 Prospect Street in Westfield, and donations are welcome.

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