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Letters to the Editor

Increasing VA Accountability & Economic Opportunity for Our Veterans This Memorial Day

May 22, 2015

Dear Friend, Memorial Day is a time when Americans pay tribute, honor and remember those who have served our country bravely and sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom and democracy. ...

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Today's Events

Police Blotter

$100 in Cigarettes Reported Stolen from Westfield 7-Eleven

May 27, 2015

May 24, 2015 1:16 a.m. An employee of 7-Eleven located at 1200 West South Ave. reported being the victim of a shoplifting. Victim reports that a white male between 40-50 years old entered the ...

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Columns

JCC NEWS

The JCC of Central New Jersey Welcomes Conductor Thomas Elefant for a Music Appreciation Series

During the month of June, the JCC of Central New Jersey is hosting conductor Thomas Elefant who will teach a Music Appreciation series.  Elefant is the Founder and Conductor of The Handel ...

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Weltman Home Services

If You Are on the Fence, the Time is Now!

If you are on the fence replacing your on AC the time is now!  Weltman Home Services is offering a $750 INSTANT CASH REBATE on all new installations but it's only good until JUNE 15th. ...

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BH Sports Training/BrawlHouse: The Water Cooler

BrawlHouse Announces Women's Only Self-Defense Classes

Did you know that 1/5 female college students will become a victim of rape or sexual assault? More evidence rape a significant problem on U.S. college campuses. Women’s Only ...

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Lindabury Legal Corner

Lindabury Participates In Red Nose Day 2015

On Thursday May 21, 2015 the attorneys and staff of Lindabury McCormick participated in Red Nose Day and raised money to provide assistance to children and young people in the United States living ...

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The Seventh District Congressional Report

The Seventh District Congressional Report

Congressman Lance is joined by Congressman Donald Payne Jr. to discuss business before the U.S. House of Representatives.  

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Point View WealthPoints

Soaring Dollar and Your Portfolio: What You Need to Know

Over the last year the Dollar has appreciated nearly 22% versus the world’s currencies.  With forecasts for continuing Dollar strength, what’s the next move for ...

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ViaNutrition

Mindful Eating Tips to Help with Health and Weight Loss

Everyone just wants to feel better, move better, look better and be happy.  Not always in that order but they all rank up there. How we get there is different for everyone. Coming off of a ...

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Westfield Area Y

New Local Mental Health Coaltion Launched

Stress, anxiety and depression are conditions that occur to all of us at various times.  Yet, there is a stigma attached to discussing mental health.  In recognition of Mental Health ...

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In the Schools

Westfield High School Senior Jorge Ledesma Named Presidential Scholar

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has announced the selection of Jorge Ledesma, a senior at Westfield High School, as a 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholar. Ledesma is one of 141 outstanding ...

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Connecting Commerce and Community

The Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce Introduces The Community Street map

The Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce will once again produce its Community Street Map, which includes all of our five towns--Fanwood, Garwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield. ...

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Monday with Millicent

Time to Eat at Fiamma Quimby Street, Westfield

The first Fiamma Restaurant opened about five months ago on the corner of Main and Essex Street in Millburn. Owned by brothers Tony Fetajak, Charlie, and Sam Magjuni, and their friend Sam Bek, ...

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Westfield Town Council Votes on Liquor Laws, Marijuana Dispensary Restrictions and More

By JACKIE LIEBERMAN

May 20, 2014 at 10:56 PM

WESTFIELD, NJ — Only Councilwoman Vicki Kimmins voted no Tuesday night to an ordinance changing Westfield's liquor license laws to allow restaurants with conditional liquor licenses to serve food and alcohol at a bar and serve patrons alcohol without necessarily seating them at a table or serving them food. Restaurants with these licenses would still be required to make at least 50 percent of their money from food sales.

A public hearing on the ordinance, number 2017, will take place June 3 before a final vote is held, after which the ordiance could take effect.

Kimmins told TAP earlier this month that she was totally opposed to the change in the law.

“I believe it will change the fabric of our downtown,” she said. “As lovely as Summit and Cranford are, I am not looking for Westfield to become Summit or Cranford. Westfield has the reputation it has for a reason. I enjoy that our town is not full of ‘bars.’ Our downtown sidewalk cafe tables are currently enjoyed by families, and I would like to keep it that way.”

To read that earlier story, click here.

Before the vote, several Westfield residents told the council that they were in favor of changing the law. But one resident, John Blake, argued against it, as he did at the last meeting. Among his arguments, he said that the availability of alcohol would increase by 150 percent.

Councilman James Foerst, chair of the code review and town property committee, responded that the ordinance would not increase the number of liquor licenses from 10.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7q8NQNjIn0

Later, Foerst argued that people who wish to go out for a drink but not necessarily for dinner are going to other towns to do so. Councilwoman Jo Ann Neylan, Councilman Frank Arena and Councilman Sam Della Fera echoed that.

“We want our downtown to be as successful as possible and in my mind we’re hindering that success,” said Della Fera of the existing law.

The ordinance would also change the limitation on the number of musicians who can entertain at these establishments any given time from one to five and would raise the town’s annual liquor license fees, per state guidelines.

The ordinance was one of several that passed on first reading at Tuesday's town council meeting as part of the code review and town property committee’s efforts to update an antiquated town code.

Ordinance 2022 would restrict any medical marijuana dispensary opening in Westfield to one approved zone, and would limit hours and manner of operation.

Foerst told the council at a conference meeting earlier that evening that the town would not be able to completely restrict medical marijuana dispensaries from opening in Westfield.

Ordinance 2021 would require anyone filming in Westfield to pay a fee. (Filming for educational purposes would be exempt, and students would pay a reduced fee.) Currently, the law only requires a fee for filming on public property.

“The burden upon the town is the same whether on public or private land,” said Foerst.

Other ordinances pertained to exterior property maintenance, streets and sidewalks and trees, shrubs, weeds and other plant growth.

Councilman Keith Loughlin was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.