Jan
8
12:00 PM12:00

Pincus and first GOP councilman since early '80s seated in North Brunswick

1/8/1991 - by Alice Gallagher

For the first time in nearly a decade, a Republican was sworn in last night to serve on the Township Council.  William Cook benefited from an anti-incumbent, anti-Democratic and anti-tax revolt that swept the polls in November.  The Democrats have had held a majority on the governing body since 1971 and a Republican had not been elected since 1981.

Cook and Democrat Diane Pincus were sworn in for three-year terms at the annual reorganization meeting. After being sworn in, Pincus said she was reminded of how a a young girl she had held the Bible for her father, the late Jack Pincus, a mayor in the 1970's.  

"I hope someday my daughter will be as proud of me as I was of my dad," Pincus said, referring to her young daughter Juliann.  Cook promised to "avoid petty partisan politics" and work with the council to confront the economic uncertainties of the coming year.   In making his state-of-the-township address before a crowd of nearly 200, Mayor Paul Matacera acknowledged the power of the taxpayer rebellion.

"One of our nation's most popular lawmakers, Senator Bill Bradley came within an inch of losing his Senate seat, because he refused to talk about the issue people cared about -- taxes." Matacera said.  "I don't  plan to make that mistake tonight.'"

The mayor announced that the township would take steps in 1991 to help reduce the municipal tax burden.  Officials had announced in December that a $1.63 million payment from Fashion Plaza Mall to cover back taxes Could reduce municipal tax rate by 13.5 cents -- if the entire amount was applied.

One of the ways the township will attempt to cut costs will through reduced employee salaries.  Matacera said salaries of all township employees receiving more than $40,000 will be frozen in 1991 at 1990 levels.  Those with salaries between $25,000 and $40,000 will recieve a 3 percent raise and those geting under $25,000, a 5 percent raise.

The township has 13 employees who are paid more than $40,000 -- the highest being the Township Engineer Art Vitale, at $62,208 and Township Business Administrator Paul Keller, at $70,000.  Matacera noted that the 1980's were a decade of growth, and then 1990's "would e a decade of management of that growth."

Between 1981 and 1990, the township's population grew by nearly 37 percent, rising to 30,391 residents.  Meanwhile the amount of ratables nearly quadrupled -- from $364.6 million to $1.2 billion -- and the taxes paid by the average homeowner increased from $1,072 to $1,895 according to township records.

"I am confident that by going on a spending diet...we will be able to maintain the high quality of local government services that our people have come to expect and enjoy," Matacera said.  Councilman Joseph Fritsche was selected as the council president, and the council held a moment of silence for the late Councilman Frank G. Paul, who died Oct. 31 from cancer.  Paul's term expired on Dec. 31.

Read original copy of the article here.

View Event →
Nov
8
12:00 PM12:00

Condo Dwellers Oppose Heliport, Condos Next Door

11/8/1989 - by Alice Gallagher

Many residents of the 1,000-unit Governor's Point townhouse development contend they were misled by sales agents, who they say did not fully inform them about a proposed commercial site next to the homes they bought.

The residents claim sales agents never told them about plans to build about 1 million square feet of office space on land adjacent to Governor's Point.  They also maintain no one ever mentioned a heliport planned for the site and expressed safety concerns.  were specifically upset about the proposed heliport, and some residents said helicopters, Many now land at the site.  

About 25 residents recently signed a petition showing their opposition to the heliport and their concern about potential "excessive truck traffic and inadequate buffering" between them and the Commerce Center commercial site. 

"People were irate, they were shocked," said resident John Hubka.  "No one was aware of the extent of the Commerce Center."  A spokesman for Hovnanian noted that the projects plans included the heliport and commercial site, and some residents conceded that they should have looked further into the matter before buying townhouses.

Hubka and Jerry Wahl have spearheaded a movement among residents to fight the proposed heliport and commercial development.  About 50 Governors Point residents attended a Township Council meeting Meeting to seek local official's help.  Many were specifically upset about the proposed heliport, and some residents said helicopters now land at the site.

 "I've seen about two so far," said Governor's Point townhouse development resident Miriam Rubin. "It's very shocking to see a helicopter only a few feet off of your car." A spokesman for K. Hovanian Companies of Red Bank, the developer said he was not aware of any helicopters now landing on the lawn of the Route 1 site, but noted that the did have federal aviation approval for the air traffic.  

The green light for the heliport was granted several years ago when the Planning Board granted preliminary site plan approval for the project.  The project will include 1,000 multi-family units and 1 million square feet of office space, which is expected to include 8-story buildings and the heliport.  Approximately 600 housing units and 130,000 square feet of office space have been constructed.

Mayor Paul Matacera tried reassure residents that the heliport -- actually, he said, it would be a "helipad" - would only be used for corporate business and not commercial ventures.  "We were trying to attract a certain type of corporate client," Matacera said, and stressed he would be opposed to any type of commercial venture at the site.  He added that heliports were now oprating at Johnson & Johnson and Webcraft, both located on Route 1 near Governor's Point, as well as other business sites in North Brunswick.

Hovanian spokesman Peter Reinhart confirmed the heliport would not be a commercial venture and may not even be built for several years because the market for office space along Route 1 is so sluggish.  "When we're starting to finalize plans for that section -- which I don't expect to occur for a few years -- we plan to meet with the residents and try to work out their needs," Reinhart said.

As for the claims that the home-buyers were led astray by sales agents, Reinhart said, "I can't comment on what someone thinks someone said several years ago." "If any comments like that were made, they certainly weren't authorized by the company," he said.  "The site plan clearly shows the plan for the future commercial development."

Read original copy of the article here.

View Event →
Jan
8
12:00 PM12:00

North Brunswick PBA sues on behalf of 2 officers who had drug tests

1/8/1988 - by AnneMarie Cooke

The North Brunswick PBA has filed suit on behalf of two officers who were administered drug screening urine tests, charging that the officers' civil and constitutional rights were violated.  Named as defendants in the Superior Court action in New Brunswick taken last week by Local 160, Policeman's Benevolent Association were Police Director George Lepre, Deputy Police Chief George Magyar, Mayor Paul Matacera and the Township Council.

Lepre, who said he had not received a copy of the suit, noted a copy of the suit, noted that the two officer signed waivers and voluntarily submitted to drug testing.  "We feel any allegation of wrong doing is unjustified" said Township Attorney Thomas Shamy.  The municipality plans to fight the suit, he said.  Additional court papers the township must file will demonstrate that there was probable cause for the urine test,  according to Shamy.  Shamy also hadn't seen a copy of the suit.

The PBA's attorney, Manuel Coreis of Engelwood was vacationing in Europe, according to his secretary. The litigation was instituted on behalf of Patrolman Patrick O'Brien, a 12-year veteran, and Peter Matyas an officer for seven years.  Both called in sick on Sept. 2, 1987 - O'Brien for the 11 p.m.-to-7 a.m. shift and Matyas for the 6 a.m.-to-2 p.m. tour, according to court papers.

Both had cited exhaustion from shift work as the reason for the absence, they were ordered by acting Capt. Melvin Hoiberg to report Sept. 9 for a physical examination at a Lawrence medical group contracted by the department to conduct annual police physicals, the court papers noted.

As part of the exam, they submitted to a drug screening by urinalysis which violates their rights according to their lawsuit.  The results were negative, Lepre said.  He declined to discuss circumstances surrounding the order for physicals.  Departmental policy permits officers 15 sick days annually; after the first 10 are taken they must provide a physician's note when any of the remaining days are used, Hoiberg said.

The suit is one of several filed statewide over the last 18 months contesting urine tests of workers.  In most cases, the validity of random testing was ruled on negatively by the courts on the grounds that it constituted an unreasonable search and and invasion of privacy according to Edward Martone, executive director of the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union in Newark.  He said the outcome of the North Brunswick case will likely depend on whether the township can prove it had sufficient cause.

Probable cause is determined "on a case-by-case basis," Martone said.  But "it's damaging to their (the officers') case that they signed waivers," he said.  "...They also didn't lose standing in the way of pay or job status."  

The urine test is most successfully challenged on invasion of privacy and illegal search grounds -- both constitutionally based -- by those who test positive for the presence of illegal drugs and who lose standing as a result, Martone added.  The issue is further complicated because employers have a right to know whether workers are impaired on the job.

"There are other testes for impairment -- eye tests, coordination tests, Breathalyzer tests.  If you want to check for impairment, use those," Martone said.  Patrolman Kevin McNamara the PBA local's president, acknowledged that the two officers signed waivers but they said they had no real choice and they would have faced disciplinary action otherwise.

Although the incidents took place in September, McNamara said the PBA delayed the suit against township officials so as not to jeopardize the official's political support for the November 1987 pension referendum.  North Brunswick voters overwhelmingly approved the referendum that allowed the transfer of police pension funds to a system that provides a better financial return.

Dodie Wagner, public information officer for the state Division of Division of Civil Rights, said the hearings were held by her agency last year but that no statewide policy has yet been established regarding drug testing in the workplace.  However the attorney general working with advice from New Jersey aw enforcement groups such as the state PBA, established guidelines in November dealing only with applicants for police jobs, police recruits and veteran police officers, according to Fred Devesa, assistant director for the state Division of Criminal Justice.  

Under the guidelines, veteran officers, he said should be tested only when there is evidence that would lead "a reasonable person to conclude the officer was involved in illegal drug use."

Read original copy of the article here.

View Event →
Dec
10
12:00 PM12:00

North Brunswick OK's temporary helistop

12/10/1985 - by Evelyn Agpar

Despite the objections of some nearby residents, the Township Council last night approved a temporary helistop sought by Webcraft Technologies. The Route 1 firm needs a letter from the township to accompany its application to the Aeronautics Division of the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The temporary helistop already has the approval of the Federal Aviation Agency. 


But the approval came with a set of stipulations concerning the nature and frequency of the flights, along with the flight patterns the company will use. Benjamin Wax, a Webcraft spokesman, agreed that flights would be restricted to daytime hours and would average no more than one round-trip flight a day, with a maximum of three flights a day. He and pilot William Kamm also agreed to use a flight pattern over railroad tracks, not residential areas. Wax also agreed to confine use of the helistop to "non routine" flights.

During testimony, Wax said the firm used helicopters to transport engineers and possibly executives to a plant in Doylestown, Pa., a 25-minute trip from North Brunswick. lie said the high cost of renting the helicopter would limit the number of trips. Wax said the company planned to use an existing rear parking lot as a temporary helistop, clearing it of parked cars when it is needed as a helistop.

In a year, the company must file an application to build a permanent helistop, which would require Planning Board approval. Helistops are currently in operation in the township at Johnson & Johnson, E. R. Squibb and Sons and Fidelity Union Bank. Pat Murphy, whose property is located behind Webcraft, said the helicopter flights would "be in my back yard" and would "rattle my windows." She asked why Webcraft couldn't use an existing J&J helistop, three minutes' walking distance from Webcraft. 


Murphy, one of six residents opposed to the helistop, also said the permanent helistop would contribute to drainage problems in the neighborhood.  In reply, Wax said the company would improve drainage when built the permanent helistop. Resident Mary Pinkham, however, pointed out that the homes were located in an industrial zone, and said the helistop was a "new arrival" that she "welcomed." 
 

Read original copy of the article here.

View Event →
Nov
26
12:00 PM12:00

North Brunswick Public Input Wanted on Landing Pad

11/26/85 - by Matthew Goldstien

The Township Council Last night decided not to consider the Webcraft Technologies Inc. proposal to build a helicopter landing pad until nearby residents comment on the plan. During the next two weeks, about 30 households in an area bounded by Route 1, Elizabeth Street, Felicia Street and Excelsior Avenue will receive a letter asking for local reaction. The council will hold a public hearing on the matter Dec. 9. Benjamin Itlax, a project manager for Webcraft, last night told the council that the nearest home would be 400 feet from the 150 square-foot landing pad. Max said the pad would be used occasionally to transport personnel from its Pennsylvania facility. He couldn't say how often the landing pad would be used or whether it would be used at night. He said that since Webcraft would be using rented helicopters, the company would minimize their use to reduce its own costs. The state Department of Transportation's Division of Aeronautics has already approved the landing site, pending the township's final approval. If the township approves, the landing pad would be used until Webcraft receives permanent landing rights from the Federal Aviation Administration. Squibb & Sons and Johnson & Johnson already have private helicopter landing pads within the town-ship. 

Read original copy of the article here.

View Event →
Sep
13
1:00 PM13:00

Township gets its act together for Heritage Day

9/13/1985 - by John McKeegan

The third annual Heritage Day celebration kicks off tomorrow afternoon with high flying and down-to-earth spectacles. Among the attractions for the day are skydivers, a hot air balloon, two distance races and hay rides. There will also be booths selling food, arts and crafts, and lots of entertainment. The day will be celebrated on the North Brunswick Township High School grounds on Raider Road, off Route 130. Department of Human Services Director Thomas H. Seilheimer said Heritage Day started three years ago as part of Middlesex County's 300th anniversary celebration. "We had such a good time at ours, we wanted to make it an annual event," said Seilheimer.

This year's event is much more ambitious than last year's which attracted about 2,000 people. "This is easily three times as big as last year, so we're hoping to get three times the people," he said. The township advertised the event across a much greater area than last year.

That publicity managed to attract the McDonald's blimp, which will fly over the site some time during the day. McDonald's officials "called us out of the blue the other day," Seilheimer said, "literally out of the blue." The cost of advertising has been defrayed by a state grant, which will reimburse the township for half the cost of publicity, Seilheimer said.
The day will start with a 5 kilometer run at 8 a.m., followed by a Button
Run at 9 a.m. and a 10 kilometer run at 9:30 a.m. The official opening of Heritage Day will be at noon, followed by a performance by the First Highland Watch Bagpipes. The day ends at 8 p.m. with fireworks over the football stadium.

Among the entertainment scheduled to perform are the Sweet Adelines, German Folk Dancers, the George Krauss Oompa Band, the Peppermint Puppeteers and Italian
Folk Dancers. Seilheimer said there would be 23 crafts booths, 12 game booths, 17
food booths, as well as other types of displays. 

Read original copy of the article here.

View Event →
Jan
8
12:00 PM12:00

North Brunswick to Review Mall Plan

1/8/1984 -  by John Ward 

The Planning Board may decide tomorrow whether to proceed with bearings on the proposed Fashion Plaza Shopping Mall application, following an attorney's objections to plan revisions.  The hearings are scheduled to resume at the board's public meeting tomorrow night.  Attorney Jerrold N. Kaminsky representing a group called Citizens for Orderly Progress, objected to revised mall plans filed on December 30 as incomplete, and requested that no further meetings be held on the matter until complete plans are submitted and nearby landowners are given new hearing notices.

Kaminsky's objections came in the form of a letter to the board, read at last Thursday's business session. No public hearing is held at such meetings. Planning Board attorney Robert Lecky said he and Township Planner J. Paul Keller would review the letter, with a possible determination on whether to continue the approval process to come at tomorrow's hearing.  Testimony about the proposed $10 million shopping center had already been scheduled to continue that night.

Kaminsky, writing on behalf of the citizen's group, said the revised site plan, calling for a reduction of the 51,275 square feet from the 442,000 square feet structure, failed to include new engineering and drainage plans, as well as other documents

Read original copy of the article here.

View Event →
Mar
10
12:00 PM12:00

Lecky replaces Kollar

3/10/1981 

After two months without permanent legal counsel, the Planning Board last night appointed township resident Robert Lecky, rather than reappoint a nephew of former mayor Charles Nicola. Charles Kollar, the board's attorney for the last three years, was replaced by Lecky on a 5-2 vote with two abstentions.

"I've been the attorney for three years and I've enjoyed it and look forward to representing the township in the future," Kollar said.  "I'm shocked, but not surprised,"  Nicola said afterwards.  "I'm shocked at the gall and disrespect and lack of concern for what's right and best for the township. I find no fault with Lecky, but to take a position away merely because he happens to be related to someone they don't politically get along with, I can't understand. It's all purely political." "An act of that type is what prompt-ed me not to seek re-election," said Nicola, who announced his decision last week. "I'm unsurprised because Sal Mayor Sylvester Paladino, who took Nicola's seat on the Planning Board this year has changed his position several times including this one regarding Mr. Kollar. At 4 in the afternoon he says he'll vote one way and when it comes time to vote, he votes another." 

Read original copy of the article here.

View Event →
Oct
5
1:00 PM13:00

Bills with a message draw fire

10/5/76

Is it electi-oneering to put out V letter telling township residents about senior citizen discount and lunch programs?

Frank Klugerspies believes it is if the letter is mailed with water bills and signed by an incumbent seeking election.

Informational letters frequently are sent out with water bills according to township officials.

Klugerspies was an outspoken critic of zoning board approval of Silvercrest Motel expansion. Approval was recommended with Frank Fuleio was zoning board chairman.
I *    » I*

It was Puleio, a Democratic incumbent, who signed the letter which appeared with this months water bills.

Last night Klugerspies said he Would seek an opinion from the state Fair Campaign Practices Committee.

The critic made it clear he did not object to the information in the letter, or to . the programs which the fetter explained.

But, Klugerspies maintained, the letter should have been signed b| the mayor and not by a committee member who was seeking election.

Mayor Charles Nicola said Klugerspies argument might have merit if
 

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Sep
22
1:00 PM13:00

Hidden Lake plans underway

9/22/76

Plans for developing the last 53 acres of Hidden Lake are being processed, and with them go John Schmidt’s final chance to press his dispute with Hidden Lake developer Michael Kaplan before a municipal agency.

Kaplan and Sons Construction Corp.’s planned unit development proposal for a mixture of condominium townhouses, apartments and a neighborhood shopping center would complete development which sur-rods Schmidt’s property.

As hearings opened last night before the planning board, Schmidt opened his arguments against a plan lie saith would leave him without access to his property.

Access to Schmidt’s property would be through Schmidt Lane, a private road Schmidt claims the Hidden Lake developer has failed to maintain. The road crosses Six Mile Run.

The dispute Schmidt concerns agreements made between his father and the developer’s father. Schmidt has attempted without success to have the township support his claim. Township committee members have maintained the dispute is private

Schmidt’s questions on access to his land remain, in part, unanswered.

Township planner Paul Keller indicated Kaplan would be asked to answer concerns. ‘I think we should spend a lot of time on this,” Keller told the board in referring to the problem development may cause Schmidt.

The first in what will be a series of board hearings on the planned unit development concerned testimony from architect Charles T. DeMas. Cooper, Carry Associates of Atlanta, Ga., the architects Kaplan has used for previous Hidden Lake apartment design, placed apartments and shopping adjacent to an industrial area.

Townhouses are planned for areas bordering single family homes. The planned unit development plans call for 220 town-houses, 110 each of one and two-bedroom units, and 240 apartments, 119 one-bedroom units and 29 two-bedroom units.

The planned unit development proposal is the second to be heard by the board under a three-year-old zoning ordinance.

The first, from North Oaks Development Corp., had been proposed for the only other planned unit development zone in the township and had been opposed by a number of surrounding homeowners and industries.

There has been no development of the initial plan.

A second hearing on the Kaplan planned unit development has been scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Linwood School.
 

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Sep
15
1:00 PM13:00

Dailey starts 'short' term

9/15/76 by Robert Windram

William Dailey, the former township engineer in North Brunswick and East Brunswick, began serving ’a two-month jail term today for income tax evasion amid speculation as to why most of his sentence had been suspended.

Dailey, 45, of 12 Birchwood Court, Princeton Junction, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison by U.S. District court Judge Herbert J. Stern, with all but the two months suspended.

Stern, U.S. Attorney Jonathan Goldstein, and Larry M. Maddock, the assistant U.S. attorney who handled the case, all declined comment on the reasoning behind the sentence.

In addition to the sentence, which Maddock said would be served in a minimum security prison, Dailey was fined $2,500. Dailey will be placed on two years’ probation following his release from prison, Mad-dock said.

Dailey was indicted May 14 on nine counts of income tax evasion. The 12-page indict-
ment charged Dailey without reporting $363,957 he earned between 1970 and 1973 as township engineer in North Brunswick. The U.S. Attorney’s office has a continuing probe into township affairs and Goldstein noted the investigation , which involves corrupt practices”, would seek to determine the ultimate disposition of the funds.

A month and a half later, the engineer pleaded guilty to two of the nine counts, those that charged he did not report $43,676 in earnings from North Brunswick in 1970 andl07,278 in earnings in 1971.

It is not known whether the guilty plea or the sentence was related to the other phases of the investigation, allegations of municipal corruption in the approval of the huge Hidden Lake project and in the awarding of township contracts.

When Dailey pleaded guilty, Stem warned him an admission of guilf would not necessarily result in a lenient sentence. “If s anyone has spoken to you about i your sentence, they are lying to you and deceiving you,” Stem

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Sep
4
1:00 PM13:00

3 inspectors reprimanded

9/4/76 by JeanneMarie Elkins

The township and the Housing in-spector have been reprimanded by Mayor Charles Nicola for “oversights and errors in judgment” while inspecting the Hidden Lake apartments.

Chief Building Inspector Neil Cooke, his assistant Angelo Sansone and Housing Inspector L. Thomas Erwin received the

reprimands written by Nicola Aug. 20 and they were placed in their personnel files. The names of the men were not released until yesterday, officials said, because they wanted to wait until Township Attorney Joseph Burns returned from vacation.

The reprimands stem from the investigation into the construction of the Kaplan and Sons Construction Co.’s Hidden Lake Apartments.
 

The investigation was initiated after J. Paul Keller, the township planner, noticed Kaplan’s site plans did not match the original site plans approved by the township.

The township issued a stop order noting there were too many apartment units and a number of apartments contained a room which had not been designated as living space on the original plans.

Joan Dambach, township tax
assessor, yesterday said she has called in three appraisers from the state Division of Taxation and has initiated a spot inspection of the apartment project.

She said she called in the state apprasiers because she does not have the staff to complete the job by the Oct. 1 deadline.

The reprimands, according to Nicola, each are the result of a July 28 “fact-finding meet-
ing” and a review of various zoning and building permit records.

“It has been found,” he said, “that construction activity at variance with approved building and site plans was not observed.

“Since such work,” Nicola wrote to the three employees, “should have been noticed you are considered to be responsible for oversights and errors in judgment in this matter.”

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Aug
11
1:00 PM13:00

Kaplan agrees to Hidden Lake repairs

8/11/76 by George Dawson

Developer Michael Kaplan agreed yesterday to make final repairs to the central sewer line at his Hidden Lake house and apartment development in North Brunswick. resolving one of the issues that has plagued the five-year-old luxury housing project.

Deputy Atty. Gen. Keith A. Onsdorff said that Kaplan, who is president of Ceran Corp, and Norbrun Corp, of Highland Park, had agreed at a conference here to comply with the remaining items on a checklist of needed repairs prepared by the Department of Environmental Protection. He said he
woulcj ask the courts to lift an injunction against further sewer connections at the 900-unit development, after receiving certification from the department that the repairs have been made.

William Honachefsky, Raritan Basin water pollution manager for the Department of * Environmental Protection, said that Kaplan Jiad already performed 65 per cent of the repair work, and estimated it would take about two weeks to do the remainder.

“We’ve made substantial progress,’’ he said. “When we’re done, the sewer system will be one of the best in the township.”

The agreement was reached
atameeting(yestei|day morning between Onsdorff, Honachefsky and officials of both the Kaplan development firmland North Brunswick. Kaplan and his attorney Frederick Becker, as did and North Brunsw|ck township attorney Joseph Burns and township engineerArthur Vitale.

It ends one of the issues raised by government agencies in investigations of the controversial planned unit development, since homeowners and apartment tenants began publicizing complaints on construction standards two years ago.

Kaplan was scheduled to appear in Superior Court today for a hearing on his petition to set
aside a township-imposed stop work order. The order had been lifted temporarily by Superior Court Judge C. John- Strotmsos.    |

That hearing was postponed until Sept. 24.    

The township ordered a halt to construction at both the apartment and home sites il Hidden Lake after discovering an additional apartment in two buildings and additional rooms! in many of the apartments. 

Kaplan, according to the township, also began to construct a second recreation building without approval from the township and built a pool where tennis courts were tp have been constructed.

He later attempted a land swap with the township in order to construct the tennis courts.
It was the differences between that swap site plan and original plans which brought the additional construction to the township attention.

An investigation by the U.S.

. Attorney's office dealing in part with the Hidden Lake approvals has brought an indictment against William A. Dailey, township engineer at the time the project was begun, for failing to pay federal taxes on $472,000 in fees paid him by the township between 1970 and 1974. Dailey, who was replaced as engineer this year by Vitale, pleaded guilty to two of the counts in the indictment, and faces sentencing Sept. 14.

The federal investigation is continuing. 

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Aug
8
1:00 PM13:00

Diving team fishes booty from lake

8/8/76 by Jack Lutton

A two-hour search by seven members of the fire department’s underwater search and recovery team in Farrington Lake yesterday resulted in the discovery of a safe, cash register, radio and tape recorder.

The search was instituted by Police Chief Carmen Canastra in the hope of locating a safe stolen Feb. 3, 1975 from Anthony Bellania of 1108 Stockton Place.

Questioning of Joseph Randazzo, who was convicted of stealing the safe and its contents of $18,000, led police to believe the safe was discarded in the lake.

However, Bellania, on viewing the recovered safe, told police, “That is not my safe.”

The safe was found in about 12 feet of water on the east side of the Ryders Lane Bridge, according to Assistant Chief Barry Watson.

“The water was so dirty and there was so much debris that the search was very difficult. We had to do everything by feel because we were unable to see,” said Watson.

Other firemen participating in the search were Thom-
as Erwin, Edward Drew, Mark Cafferty, Brian Cafferty, George Maurer and George Long.

Police believe that all the articles recovered from the lake were dumped there after being stolen. Teletype descriptions have been sent to other police units in the hope of determining ownership of the items.

Canastra said he plans to resume the underwater search for Bellania’s stolen safe next week.

The recovered safe, which measured two feet square and weighed was pulled from the lake by a wrecking truck, about 200 pounds,
 

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Aug
6
1:00 PM13:00

North Brunswick has jitters

8/6/76

A two-year-old plan to give the county garage site to the township for a police headquarters is “alive and well,” according to Freeholder Frank Pelly.

But the township, it seems, is going to be looking for some reassurance in light of the plan to relocate the juvenile home from the county workhouse annex on Route 130 to the former youth facility next to the county Hospital for the Chronically Ill at the Route 1-130 circle. The garage site is behind the former juvenile home.

Mayor Charles Nicola said last night that he and other members of the township committee would be at the next freeholders meeting to find out just what was going on with the planned transition.

Municipal officials appeared piqued last night over county submission of a site plan for consideration.

Paul Keller, the township planning director, reviewed the application last night during a planning board conference meeting.

The county, Keller explained, wanted to pave part of the parking area, create a gymnasium and bring in trailers to be used for offices and classrooms at the former juvenile home site.

“I don’t like trailers, whether they’re temporary or not. They’re against our ordinance. Why we should lower the standards for the county is beyond me,” commented Frank Zorn, the planning board chairman.

Board member Frank Puleio also said he considered it ludicrous that the board was being asked to review plans when newspaper articles stated the move was “almost definite.”

Local officials are concerned the county move might signal a change which would make it impossible for the county later to deed the two acres behind the former juvenile home to the township for its police headquarters.

Last night Pelly said the county was continuing to reserve the parcel designated for the township police headquarters.

However the freeholder, who is a former member of the township committee here, said the county must yet obtain a new garage site before it -ean turn the land over to the township.

Plans for construction of a new county road department facility have been prepared and are ready for presentation to Washington, D.C. for funding he said.

The county intends to determine if its plans to pave an access road from the former juvenile home to Cranbury Cross Hoad are compatible with township plans for the police facility, Pelly said.

The potential police building site is adjacent to Cranbury Cross Road behind the former juvenile home, which fronts on Georges Road.
 

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Jul
2
1:00 PM13:00

Engineer admits tax guilt

7/2/76

William A. Dailey, the former township engineer in North Brunswick And East Brunswick, yesterday pleaded guilty here to federal income tax evasion charges.

Dailey, 45, of 12 Birchwood Court, West Windsor, entered pleas of guilty to two of nine tax evasion charges on which he was indicted May 14 for failing to report a total of $872,308 paid him by the township between 1970 and 1974.

The guilty pleas before U.S. District Court Judge Herbert J. Stem were the latest development in a two-year federal investigation of alleged municipal corruption in North Brunswick.

Sources close to the investigation have said Dailey’s tax returns, approvals for Hidden Lake housing development an contracts between the township and its vendors are the focus of the inquiry/ Although a spokes man for tbe US. Attorney declined to comment whether Dailey agreed to cooperate in the investigation, there was evidence prosecuters intend to move text on  township contracts. Dailey was indicted for not reporting money paid to the township.

he spokesman said the money was for “claimed performance’’ of professional engineering services.

In addition, U.S. Atty. Jonathan Goldstein has said the investigation will continue to discover “the ultimate disposition of those funds.”

Dailey was also the North Brunswick township engineer when the controversial Hidden

Lake development was approved during the early 1970s Hidden Lake residents have questioned some of Dailey’s engineering judgments during the approval process for the 325-acre development.

Before accepting Dailey’s plea, Stern warned him an admission of guilt would not necessarily result in a lenient sentence. “If anybody has spoken to you about your sentence, they are lying to you and deceiving you,” Stem said. Dailey said he had received no promises of leniency.

Stem scheduled sentencing for Sept. 14.

Dailey’s indictment charged he failed to report $43,676 in earnings from North Brunswick in 1970; $107,278 in 1971; $83,222 in 1972, and $129,781 in 1973. In addition, it charged he failed to 

report $108,250 in corporate in tax income during the 1974 fiscal year. . Dailey is president of Technical Testing Inc. and Brunswick Engineering, firms which did business with the township.

If the engineer had reported all the income, he would have s been liable for about $78,000 more than he paid in federal  income taxes.

1 The maximum sentence he could have received if convicted of all nine counts would have been 33 years in prison and $70,000 in fines. By pleading guilty, Dailey reduced his maximum liability to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

Before serving as engineer for the two townships, Dailey was an elected city commissioner in New Brunswick, where he formerly lived, and a member of the Middlesex County Sewerage Authority.

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Jun
25
1:00 PM13:00

$13 million for Okonite aid received

6/25/76

A $13-million check, part of a $38-million financing package to save the jobs of 1000 Okonite Co. employes— including those at the company's North Brunswick NJ plant -- was presented to state officials here yesterday.

The grant is to be used by the N.J. Economic Development Authority to establish a revolving loan fund for businesses and industries threatened by plant closings and loss of jobs.

The check will be used to fund the first authority project, a loan to Okonite’s Employe Stock Ownership Trust, which hopes to purchase the company from bankrupt Omega- Alpha, Inc. of Dallas, Tex., Okonite’s parent firm.

New Jersey Hep. Robert A. Roe. D-8th. chairman of the House subcommittee on economic development, presented the check to state officials

The authority will loan the $13 million together with an additional $4 million loan guarantee to employes of one of the nation’s major corporations manufacturing high-tension wire and cable products.

The remaining $21 million needed to purchase Okonite is to come from a line of credit from a banking syndicate headed by the Bank of America.

The $4 million which the state is guaranteeing comes from private financial institutions.

About 360 employes’ jobs would be saved at the North Brunswick plant.
 

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Jun
22
1:00 PM13:00

Inmate was likely to be freed in August

6/22/76

Theodore DiMontova, an inmate found hanged Sunday afternoon in the Middlesex County Workhouse, could have been released in late August and possibly sooner because he was a good prisoner and a trusty, according to workhouse officials.

The 39-year-old, who lived at 38 Adams St., Old Bridge, tied a necktie to an overhead pipe in the jail basement and hanged himself, police said.

At the time, a decision was pending on a petition he had made Friday for a reduced sentence. Superior Court Judge Charles M. Morris Jr. was expected to rule on his request yesterday or today.

With DiMontova and his seriously ill wife in the Middlesex County courtroom, the defendant’s attorney, Vincent Verdi-ramo of Jersey City, claimed Friday that DiMontova became involved in gambling because of
money problems which his confinement was increasing.

The attorney claimed DiMontova was needed at home to care for his wife and their two young children.

The man had been committed to six months in the workhouse April 12 for conspiring to make book on horse races and basketball and football games between Nov. 7 and 19, 1974.

Even if Morris had ruled against his request, DiMontova probably would have been released in late August because of his good standing.

An autopsy yesterday by Dr. Marvin Shuster, chief Middlesex County medical examiner, showed the victim died of asphyxiation by strangulation, according to New Brunswick police detective John Mandeville.

Investigators said DiMontova left a suicide note in which he claimed his wife and children would be better off without him. His wife had visited him before his death Sunday.

The victim lived in New York City before moving to Old Bridge four years ago. He was employed by Mutual of Omaha. He had served in the Army and was a communicant of St. Ambrose R.C. Church.

DiMontova is survived by his wife, the former Marie Belinc; two sons, Ted Anthony and John Joseph, both at home; his mother, Mrs. Irma DiMontova of Astoria, L.I., N.Y.; a brother, Dominic of Douglaston, L.I., N.Y., and three sisters, Mrs. Esther Bellini of Flushing, N.Y., Mrs. Barbara Cornelia of North Miami, Fla., and Mrs. Patricia Crosby of Miami, Fla.

Services will be held at 10:15 a.in. Thursday at the Rezem Funeral Home, 457 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, with an 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial in St. Ambrose Church.

Burial will be in Holy Cross Burial Park, South Brunswick.
 

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Jun
21
1:00 PM13:00

Inmate found hanged in workhouse cell

6/21/76

n inmate who was apparently despondent over his wife’s illness, was found hanged yesterday afternoon in the Middlesex County Workhouse, police said. The victim, Theodore Di-Montova, 39, 38 Adams St., Old Bridge, used a necktie which he tied to an overhead pipe in the basement of the jail to hang himself, police said.

Correction officers had seen Montova only 10 minutes before they found him hanging, according to county prosecutor C. Judson Hamlin.

DiMontova, who was an inmate trusty — a prisoner usus-ally given extra freedom on the basis of merit — was delivering laundry when last seen, Hamlin said.

The victim left a note, Hamlin said, but the prosecutor did not reveal its contents.

Hamlin said DiMontova had been despondent over his wife’s serious illness. He had been in Middlesex County Court on Friday asking for a reduction of his six-month jail term because of his wife’s illness. Decision was reserved at the time, Hamlin said.

"Montova, the father of two young children, had served two months of the prison term that resulted from a gambling offense, according to Hamlin.

Hamlin said Montova’s wife, whose name was not disclosed, had visited her husband earlier yesterday.

Correction officers freed Montova and tried to revive him when they found him hanging, Hamlin said. Montova was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy was to be performed today by the county Medical Examiner’s office.
 

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Jun
16
1:00 PM13:00

Fireman has burning memories of old-time blazes

6/17/76 by Jeanmarie Elkins

There was a time when fighting fires simply meant, in the words of Howard Hulick, “hose laying and water throwing,”

Now, he says, his avocation has turned into “a scientific business.”

Hulick has been with Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2 since 1938. The only older member is his father-in-law, Paul “Pappy” Bannier, who at 83 is a charter member of the 50-year-old fire company. Bannier still shows up ’for meetings. He lives across from the original firehouse and Bannier Boulevard, the road connecting the old and new firehouses, is named in his honor.

In a way, Bannier is responsible for showing Maple Meade residents they needed their o fire company. It was Bannier, in his 1925 Ford touring car, who rushed to Berdines Corner to sound the fire alarm when Applegate Bros, garage burned.

That trip, in 1925, led to formation of the fire company the following January, There were 43 members.

Route 130 didn’t exist 50 years ago. Members built the firehouse Road, on Old Georges They solicited funds from passing motorists.

This year the fund drive will be kicked off by an open house June 27.

Saturday there will be a dinner party at the Ramada Inn, East Brunswick, to mark fire fighters’ 50 years of dedication to the community.

In its first year, the fire company's volunteers answered 28 fire calls and held 11 drills. By comparison, the firemen of 1975 answered 379 calls, put in 2,633 man hours on those calls, another 725 hours in training and 600 in drills. They also answered 285 community assistance calls.

Things are more sophisticated now — and more expensive. A walkie-talkie can cost $1,000.

A single truck tire, which must be changed at a truck company garage, can cost $200 including the labor of installation.

‘ Equipment has grown from a peanut wagon up to a real
truck," says Hulick.

There was a time when firemen simply went into a burning building with their hoses and put. the fire out. Not so today. ‘You have to know how to do it," Hulick says. Some fires require foam; some a stream of water; and others, a fog spray.

“You didn’t have to contend with all those gases “ 50 years ago, he adds.

But Hulick remembers vividly some of the more grueling battles he's fought.

There was a time when Ma-
ple Meade covered the territory now protected by the Brookview Volunteer Fire Co. in East Brunswick.

“Manny Patrick's ‘cider farm’,” as Hulick slyly called it, burned in 1941. There was no available water supply so firemen drove their truck right into Farrington Lake and began pumping.

There also were a number of major fires along Route 130 when it was still a three-lane road and was called “suicide highway,” Hulick recalled. That was in the early 195)s
when, on numerous occasions, trucks collided and then exploded.

Hulick says the department had to contend with oil trucks, gasoline trucks and ammunition trucks. At one accident nearly 21 years ago, he pulled a fire truck alongside a burning truck at Route 130 and Adams Lane. Only later, when firemen broke the seal on the truck to hose down the interior did they discover it carried ammunition. “Everybody scattered,” Hulick remembered.

There was the 1949 fire at Route 130 and Workhouse Road when a 2 Fa-story barn burned. The nearest fire hydrant was in Colonial Gardens and firemen had to set up a relay system with trucks traveling back and forth from the fire to the hydrant. It took three days to put that fire out.

Hulick also remembers being at a Route 18 fire when so much water cascaded from the building that Steve Skaritka and Robert Rasmussen simply dug a pit to catch the water and ‘recycle’ it back onto the fire.

Read the original article here.

View Event →
May
27
1:00 PM13:00

Loan Oks to save jobs at Okonite

5/27/76

The federal government has approved a $13-million grant as part of a $38 million financing package to save the jobs of 1,000 employees of the Okonite Co in New Jersey.  The company has a plant in North Brunswick.

The grant is to be used by the N. J. Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to establish a revolving loan fund for businesses and industries threatened by plant closings and loss of jobs.

The first project to be funded by the NJEDA will be a $13-million loan to Okonite’s Employe Stock Ownership Trust, which hopes to purchase the company from bankrupt Omega-Alpha, Inc., of Dallas, Tex.. Okonite’s parent firm.

The remaining $25 million needed to purchase Okonite is to come from a $21-million line of credit from a banking syndicate headed by the Bank of America and a $4-miition loan from private financial institutions.

The line of credit will be used to satisfy Okonite creditors. Half of the $4~million loan will be guaranteed by NJEDA.

Okonite employs roughly 1,000 persons at its four locations in New Jersey. In addition to the plant in North Brunswick with 360 employes, there are facilities in Passaic. Paterson and Ramsey.

The federal grant, announced by Rep. Edward J. Patten, D-15th Dist., and Sen. Harrison A. Williams Jr., D-N.J., was approved by the Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration.

It is being funded under a provision of the Public Works and Economic Development Act authorizing money for special economic development and adjustment purposes.

In applying for the federal assistance, state officials said Okonite has experienced problems in recent years stemming from a series of changes in ownership.

The wire and cable-manufacturing company, which was started in Paterson in 1878, was purchased by Omega-Alpha in 1971 for $40.5 million.

The parent company is disposing of Okonite as part of its reorganization under Chapter 10 of the federal bankruptcy laws.

Okonite’s employe-owned trust was formed earlier this year after Omega-Alpha announced its reorganization plan in February.

The trust is to repay the NJEDA loan over a 25-year period, with interest rates of 1 per cent for the first five years, 3 per cent for the next seven years, and 5 per cent for the last 13 years.

No payment on the principal is required during the first. 30 months,

NJEDA is to use the repayment of interest and principal to continue the revolving loan plan for other New Jersey industries.
 

Read the original article here.

View Event →
May
17
1:00 PM13:00

OK seen on ordinace giving tenure to planning director

5/17/76

A controversial ordinance granting tenure to planning director Paul Keller is expected to be approved at tonight’s committee meeting.

The committee was to have voted on the ordinance two weeks ago but decided to give the proposal further consideration following a rash of criticism
ment were sanitary sewer lines that later were determined to have been constructed without

Consequently, the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is suing the Ceran Corp., developers of Hidden Lake, for $3.5 million and the Township of North Bruns-
wick for $1,800, for the violation.

Last week, Keller said the controversial stream-encroachment permit had been approved by the DEP.

“All the information we discussed at that time was thought to be accurate and there was nothing to indicate that we shouldn’t give approval,’’ Kell-
er said at a committee agenda session last week. “There may have been a mhsinterpretation, however, because the late Nathan Kaplan, head of the Ceran Corp, at the time, never signed the permit so it was never validated by the state.”

Keller said he didn’t know why Kaplan never signed the permit.
Several committeemen and Mayor Charles Nicola have praised Keller for doing an excellent job during his 22 years as planning director.

At last week’s agenda session, Committeeman Frank Pu-leio said Keller’s qualifications and attitude are unquestionable. Puleio was responding to residents’ charges that in addi-
tion to the controversy over the stream-encroachment permit, Keller is not qualified for the position.

The proposed ordinance will strengthen the planning director’s position by promulgating strict guidelines by which he may be removed. Those guidelines pertain to the director’s physical and mental competency.

Nocola and township committeemen have siad the primary purpose of the ordinance is to remove the job of planning director from the realm of politics.

According to Nicola, the position should not be changed with the changing of administrations. Criticism of Keller’s performance by township residents — primarily those living in and around the Hidden Lake apartment complex.

The residents contend Keller was responsible for approving a non-valid stream-encroachment permit at the Hidden Lake site in 1974. Within that particular stream encroachment.

Consequently, the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is suing the Ceran Corp., developers of Hidden Lake, for $3.5 million and the Township of North Brunswick for $1,800, for the violation.

Last week, Keller said the controversial stream-encroachment permit had been approved by the DEP.

“All the information we discussed at that time was thought to be accurate and there was nothing to indicate that we shouldn’t give approval,’’ Keller said.

at a committee agenda session last week. “There may have been a mhsinterpretation, however, because the late Nathan Kaplan, head of the Ceran Corp, at the time, never signed the permit so it was never validated by the state.”

Keller said he didn’t know why Kaplan never signed the permit.
Several committeemen and Mayor Charles Nicola have praised Keller for doing an excellent job during his 2V2 years as planning director.

At last week’s agenda session, Committeeman Frank Pu-leio said Keller’s qualifications and attitude are unquestionable. Puleio was responding to residents’ charges that in addi-
tion to the controversy over the stream-encroachment permit, Keller is not qualified for the position.

The proposed ordinance will strengthen the planning director’s position by promulgating strict guidelines by which he may be removed. Those guidelines pertain to the director’s physical and mental competen-
cy-

Nocola and township committeemen have siad the primary purpose of the ordinance is to remove the job of planning director from the realm of politics.

According to Nicola, the position should not be changed with the changing of administrations.
 

Read the original article here.

View Event →
May
12
1:00 PM13:00

Plans advance for county road department

5/12/76 by John Phillips

Plans for designing a new Middlesex County road department complex in North Brunswick were given preliminary approval yesterday.

The freeholders’ highway and bridges committee agreed yesterday to recommend to the full freeholder board a proposal to draw up architects’ plans for the $2,328,566 complex.

If the freeholders approve, they will authorize $121,000 to pay for the design plans, ac-| cording to Freeholder John Phillips, chairman of the committee.

Phillips said he hopes the present federal public works bill, now in a House-Senate conference, will be voted out, approved and signed by President Gerald Ford.

If that happens, the complex, to be located adjacent to the county workhouse on Route 130, would be completely funded by the federal government according to John McHugh.

But if the plans are approved or if McHugh is not eligible for the freeholders  could get bonds to pay for the complex or part of it. "If we have this year, we would be paying it until 1977."

The complex building could be done in stages, Phillips said. The entire complex would contain an administration building, a maintenance building, a vehicle storage building and a material storage shed.

By deleting the administration building and the vehicle storage building and by eliminating the planned macadam parking lots for employes, the project would cost $1,416,203, according to an estimate submitted by the architects, James Thompson and Barrett Davies of Franklin.
But the freeholders probably will want the entire complex built at one time if federal funds pave the way, Phillips said.

That is why the architects’ plans must be ready if the bill is signed, he added.

“If anything is available, I would hope it would be first-come, first-served,’’ Phillips said.

The road department until now has been housed in small garages scattered throughout
the county, and, if built, the complex would be part of a plan to centralize road department operations. Phillips proposes one major headquarters building on each side of the Raritan River.

The North Brunswick site would be one, and the Raritan Arsenal in Edison, now used to store some road department equipment and for other operations, could become the other, he said.
 

Read the original article here.

View Event →
May
3
1:00 PM13:00

Cultural arts group will present 'Godspell'

5/3/76

The North Brunswick Cultural Arts "Committee will present the Rutgers University production of “Godspell,” Saturday, at 8 p.m. at the North Brunswick Township High School.

Tickets are $3 and available at the door, or may be obtained by sending a check , or money order with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the North Brunswick Cultural Arts Committee, North Brunswick Township Municipal Building, 711 Hermann Road. For further information, call (201) 247-0922.

The Rutgers University production of “Godspell” was performed earlier this year in ten performances at the Philip J. Levin Theater. “Godspell” is a modem musical based on the Gospel of St. Matthew. The show uses pantomime, comedy, narrations and songs such as “Day by Day” to relate the parables of “the good news” revealing the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

“Godspell” is being directed by Rutgers’ alumnus.
David Ardao, who as an undergraduate performed leading roles at the Little Theater at Douglass College in the productions of “The Fantastiks,” “Marat Sade,” “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and as master of ceremonies and choreographer in “Cabaret.” Since graduating he has appeared in that same role in dinner theater.

The Rutgers production will utilize a six-piece band under the musical direction of Gloria Curcio and Alan Semok. The cast consists of five actors and five actresses whose roles change rapidly from one scene to the next. Jim Slatkowski, a Rutgers theater arts graduate student and teaching assistant, plays Jesus. He appeared earlier this season in “One flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” Tom Frascatore. a Rutgers sophomore will play John and Judas. The other members of the cast include students from Douglass College, Livingston College and Rutgers University: Joanne Strunk, Larry Rosen, Stephen Innocenzi, Dana Eleanor Hollowell, Carol Ann Gatlin. Marion Cooper. Julia A. Brothers and Kevin Andrews

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Apr
25
1:00 PM13:00

'Godspell' production in North Brunswick

4/25/76

The North Brunswick Cultural Arts Committee will present the Rutgers University production  of “Godspell,” on May 15 at 8 p.m. at the North Brunswick  High School, Route 130.

All tickets are $3 and may be obtained by sending a check or money order with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the North Brunswick Cultural Arts Committee, North Brunswick Township Municipal Building, 711 Hermann Road, North Brunswick, N.J. 08902. For further information, call 247-0922.

The Rutgers University production of “Godspell” was performed earlier this year in 10
sucessful performances at the Philip J. Levin Theater. “Godspell” is a modern musical based on the Gospel of St. Matthew. The show uses pantomime, comedy, narrations and songs, such as “Day by Day,” to relate the parables of “the good news” revealing the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

“Godspell” is being directed by Rutgers’ alumnus, David Ar-dao. The production will use a six-piece band under the musical direction of Gloria Curcio and Alan Semok. The cast consists of five actors and five actresses whose roles change , rapidly from one scene to the next. Jim Siatkowski, a Rutgers theater arts graduate student and teaching assistant, plays Jesus. Tom Frascatore, a Rutgers sophomore will play John and Judas. The other members of the cast include students from Douglass College, Livingston College and Rutgers University: Joanne Strunk, Larry Rosen, Stephen Innocen-zi, Dana Eleanor Hollowell, Carol Ann Gatlin, Marion Cooper, Julia A. Brothers, and Kevin Andrews.,
 

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Mar
31
12:00 PM12:00

'You're my boy'

3/31/76

helly Gluck, left, and Ken Titus sing duet “You’re My Bow’ as they portray two con men in the North Brunswick Recreation Adult Drama presentation “High Button Shoes.” Tonight’s performance at 7:30 is free to all senior citizens from Middlesex and Somerset counties. The shqw continues at North Brunswick Township High School tomorrow at 8 p.m., Friday at 8:30 p.m. and two performances Saturday at 1:30 and 8:30 p.m.

helly Gluck, left, and Ken Titus sing duet “You’re My Bow’ as they portray two con men in the North Brunswick Recreation Adult Drama presentation “High Button Shoes.” Tonight’s performance at 7:30 is free to all senior citizens from Middlesex and Somerset counties. The shqw continues at North Brunswick Township High School tomorrow at 8 p.m., Friday at 8:30 p.m. and two performances Saturday at 1:30 and 8:30 p.m.

View Event →
Mar
27
12:00 PM12:00

Musical stars '13 Knights

3/27/76

If Sidney Weiner had grown up in New Brunswick in the 70s. rather than in the first quarter of this century, “High Button Shoes” might have become “High Flying Knights.”

But he didn't — and his hit proadway musical of the late '40s features the Rutgers football team of 1913 rather than the undefeated Scarlet Knights basketball team playing today in the NCAA semifinals against the University of Michigan.

When you read the credits for the play, the playwright is listed as Stephen Longstreet, the name Weiner chose after he left New Brunswick. But old-timers remember him as Sidney, whose family ran a tailor shop and who lived “in the house on Redmond Street at Codwise Avenue.”

A graduate of New Brunswick schools, he attended Rutgers for two years and his early life had to do a lot with his play, being performed Thursday, Friday 

and next Saturday at North Brunswick Township High School.

“Scarlet Fever” has swept the cast and an early rehearsal was held from 10-2 today so that everyone could get to watch Rutgers on television.

In fact, the rehearsals last week were filled with stand-ins since one of the leads and other cast members were in Greensboro attending the Eastern Regional playoffs won by Rutgers.

Longstreet’s story revolves around a con man, Harrison Floy, who has run out of places to play his games so he returns to his hometown, New Brunswick, where people think of him as an honest man.

Floy and his partner, Mr. Pontdue, takei the community by storm and before you know it, they are selling swampland in an adjoining community to the townspeople. For all one knows, the land, called Longs-treetville, really could have been North Brunswick.
Also brought into play is a fictitious football player, Hubert Ogglethorpe, the Rutgers football team and a Rutgers-Princeton football game.

Although the musical is being produced by the North Brunswick Recreation Adult Drama group through the cooperation of the township Bicentennial Commission, the cast is drawn from throughout Central Jersey.

Floy is portrayed by Ken Titus of Belle Mead who works in New Brunswick at Xaloy Inc., while Pontdue is played by Shelly Gluck, a veteran' performer of amateur productions in the area. He owns and operates Gluck Shoes in East Brunswick.

The family is an educational rainbow from Papa — Stacy Holmes, elementary school principal in South Brunswick; Mama — Lynne Weinstein, a teacher at Livingston Park School in North Brunswick; to Stevie — Bob Bergamasco, a
student at Middlesex County College, Edison. Oggle, the football hero, is played bv Warren McClure, another MCC student.

Mama's sister Fran is played by Katherine Leary, a research analyst at Econ, Inc; in Princeton, while Willie, Bob McBride, is a computer repairman in New York City.

Candie Harrington, a dental laboratory office manager in Edison, plays the family maid, and newly elected board of education member Joseph Fritsche plays the football coach. Young Kevin Chandlee is Junior.

Although the production has been under way for three months, the most difficult task is being undertaken this weekend. There were 10 days in which the staging could be accomplished at the high school and there are 70 pair of fingers crossed that the carpentry and painting will be completed by Wednesday when the cast gives
a performance for senior citizens.

However Jack Sanchez and Annemarie Chandlee, production and stage managers, feel the job will be done. Summer recreation director Bruce Chandlee is directing the show and Carol Chenoweth, who moved to the area from Iowa last year when her husband began attending Rutgers, is accompanist and music director. The choreography for the show was arranged by George Warren.

A late addition to the cast was the arrival of 10 members of the Rutgers University Glee Club who will play football players and sing “Nobody Ever Died For Dear Old Rutgers” and “On the Banks of the Old Raritan.”

This is one show where the chorus has as much to do as the leads? They perform “The Castle Walk,” Model T,” “Sunday by the Sea,” and “Papa, Won’t You Dance With Me?”
 

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Mar
17
12:00 PM12:00

State saves 1,000 jobs at Okonite

3/17/76

A $38-million rescue plan to save the Okonite cable manufacturing company for New Jersey was announced yesterday by Gov. Brendan T. Bvrne.    

The plan, which includes a state loan of up ta $4 million, would allow Okonite to retain opeation of its four plants within the state, saving the jobs of 1,000 workers. The plants include one in North Brunswickwhich employs 360 workers.

Okonite, owned by the bankrupt Omega-Alpha, Inc. of Dallas, Texas, had previously announced plans to sell its stock to an employe-owned trust for $38 million, if the financing could be secured.

The plan described yesterday includes a $21-million line of credit from a banking syndicate headed by the Bank of America, a $13-million 25-year loan from the federal Economic Development Administration, and $4-million raised either through the sale of tax-exempt bonds by the state Economic Development Authority, or a direct loan from a financial institution with 50 per cent of the loan guaranteed by the state authority.

Okonite has agreed to pay the employes’ trust enough money each year to cover the principal and interest on the various loans, deducting the money as a business expense.

Byrne said the deal, which was the largest of its kind involving the state Economic Development Authority, prevented the sale of the four plants to other investors and the removal of the jobs from New Jersey.

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Mar
3
12:00 PM12:00

Probe centers on 3 targets

3/3/76 by Bob Sullivan

The federal investigation into North Brunswick affairs is a three-pronged probe encompassing former township engineer William A. Dailey’s tax returns, the Hidden Lake development and contracts between the township and vendors.

Reports from sources indicate the scope of the investigation is larger than originally believed. The probe was first revealed two years ago, but was confirmed only last March by U.S. Attorney Jonathan Goldstien.

Previous reports indicated the federal grand jury was Studying either municipal corruption in generator the approvals for Michael Kaplan’s Hidden Lake complex off Route 27;

Sources now say the probe does include Hidden Lake, Criley’s tax returns and township-vendor contracts. In keeping with his practice, Deputy U.S. Atty. Richard Hellstem refused comment on the latest reports.

Dailey’s name has been connected with the federal probe frequently. Last summer, Dailey’s partner Mario Bartolone said he had been before the federal grand jury answering questions about the Hidden Lake development.

Bartolone said then that he couldn’t provide any informa- i tion because he hadn’t done any work on the housing complex.

Hellstem, who is haniffing the investigation, refused com-, ment on a later report that employes of Technical Testing Inc.,-an East Brunswick engineering firm headed by Dailey,
had been before the grand jury.

Since that investigation, Dailey has left his engineering duties in both North and East Brunswick which have hired full-time engineers.

From the outset, Hidden Lake has been reported as the center of the investigation. The large apartment-housing complex was approved in early 1971. It followed a long and bitter fight that stretched back to 1967, when Kaplan’s father, Nathan, under the name Ceran Corp, first applied for the development seeking a reduction in lot sizes from 30,000 to 15,000 square feet.

The issue quickly developed political overtones, with then-Mayor George Luke supporting the proposal. Former Mayor Jack Pincus, then the lone committee Democrat, opposed the idea.

Luke lost a Republican primary in 1968 to Fred Gilbert, who went on to become mayor while campaigning in opposition to the Hidden Lake proposal. The development went nowhere.

In 1970 Nathan Kaplan asked for zoning changes that would have allowed him to develop the area. Nicholas Kehayas, then the township’s planning consultant, told the committee allowing Kaplan to develop 375 single-family homes on the 30,-000 square foot lots, as he threatened, would cost the township about $400,000 a year for services.

So the GOP went, for the smaller-lot zoning, with Pincus and Frank Pelly, now a county freeholder, opposing. They argued the development would force the township tax rate upwards until it would equal the New Brunswick levy.

In June 1970, Pincus made a last effort to halt the proposal by introducing a rezoning proposal to allow light industry in the area. The Republicans blocked it. In July, the GOP suggested the mix of apartments, town-houses and small-lot, single family homes.

That rezoning plan was unanimously approved in August. This indicated the federal probe is studying that change of mind.

While the federal probe continues, Kaplan and the Hidden Lake area are coming under state Department of Environmental Protection scrutiny for alleged intrusion into the Six Mile Run floodplain.

The township-vendor probe goes back to 1974, when Gilbert testified to the grand jury about a contract he signed with American Air Surveys of Pittsburgh, Pa., a firm which prepared tax maps and did a township-wide property revaluation.

Gilbert said then he was questioned about a campaign contribution “made by those . people, by them to us.” He said he told the jury “it went into the political campaign.”

According to Gilbert, two firm members made unsolicited $1,000 contributions. “They offered to make a political contribution if they got the job. Naturally, • if they didn’t they wouldn’t have, I’m sure,” he said.

In December 1969, the firm won a contract for the tax map work and the following February it was awarded a contract for the revaluation.

Township officials indicated they were dissatisfied with both jobs. In 1973, the township voted to sue the firm for $80,158, plus damages. The status of that suit is unknown.

After the revaluation, 180 tax appeals were filed and 154 were successful, according to news reports. A May 1971 letter from county tax board president William Shelly to Gilbert indicated the interiors of some of the homes were not inspected. Shelly said “this is a serious omission.”

It is not known when the federal probe will be completed, though indications are it will not be in the immediate future. The grand jury is reported to have interviewed many past and present township officials, including Gilbert and Luke and former township committeemen Richard Levine and Thomas Canonico.

Last summer, the U.S. Attorney subpoenaed a large number . of township records. Township . officials say some of those documents have been returned.

Bank records of some of the township officials reportedly also have been subpoenaed by the grand jury.

Read the original article here.

View Event →
Feb
22
12:00 PM12:00

Okonite employees may have chance to own corporation

2/22/76 by Joan Hirtz

 NORTH BRUNSWICK The 360 employees of the Okonite plant on Route 1 here may find themselves on the opposite side of the corporate fence by June 30 — They could be among the owners of this company instead of just working for it.

They are among the approximately 1,590 Okonite employes in plants throughout the United States, moie than half in New Jersey.

If the employees proposal is approved, Okonite, would be the
largest employee owned firm in the United States, under the Employee Stock Ownership Trust (ESOT) plan, a company source said.

Okonite’s parent company, Omega-Alpha Co., is bankrupt. Okonite, its only operating asset, manufactures wire and cable.

In Dallas, Texas, where Omega’s headquarters are located, bankruptcy referee Dean Gandy is studying a request to allow the Okonite employes to purchase the firm for $38 million. Gandy; the Securities and Exchange Commission and stockholders, must give final approval to the reorganization plan filed Feb. 13 with Gandy. If the plan is approved, sale of stock to a still-to-be formed Okonite Employes Stock Ownership Trust would have to take place by June 30.

In addition to the $38-mi!lion cash transaction, a $3-million claim by Okonite against Ome-ga-Alpha on an unfunded pen-' on liability would be canceled. 'The claim would be assumed by Okonite.

The proposal is one of several under consideration, among them a joint .venture involving companies in Luxembourg and Switzerland. The employe bid, however,-apparently is receiving favorable consideration.

According to the company source, the court-appointed trustees of the bankrupt parent company said continued interest by several parties resulted in substantial increases being made over previous offers. The trustees said they regarded the employee offer as “superior to any other received the Okonite spokesman said. That offer was made through a trust composed of officers of Okonite and their legal counsel.

New Jersey Rep. Robert A. Roe, D~8th Dist, chairman' of the House Economic Development Committee, said government funding is involved if the employes take over the firm. He said the federal government wbuld provide a ’ grant to the State of New Jersey for the purpose of lending $$13 million sd employes can purchase the firm.

In addition, $2 million would be guaranteed by New Jersey's State Economic Development Authority, The rest of the money would be raised by the employees.

Roe noted the $13-miliion loan would be paid back over 25 years to the state and the money would go into an economic development revolving fund, according to provisions of the federal grant.

This would be the largest such economic development grant ever issued to any state, Roe said,

The money would be returned to the state for the express purpose of establishing this revolving development fund to provide monies for other economic development projects throughout the state.

Roe said the reasons for governmental concern with Okon-ite are threefold: fear of loss of jobs, loss of a firm from the state and the desire to keep a company with advanced technology in wire and cable manufacturing in New Jersey,

We’ve got to stabilize the economic base of the older cities in our state,” Roe noted, adding that jobs in urban centers need to be protected.

He applauded this involvement of state and federal government with private enterprise because “everybody is participating and coming up with something tangible.”

The congressman pointed out Okonite has plants in Paterson and Passaic as well as North Brunswick and Ramsey, where its headquarters are,

Okonite plants also are in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Kentucky and California

Read the original article here.

View Event →