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Letters to the Editor

Synopsis of a Westfield Board of Education Meeting

April 16, 2015

VIOLENCE, VANDALISM, SUBSTANCE ABUSE & HIB REPORT The State requires school districts to report on Violence, Vandalism, and Substance Abuse and Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HI...

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Today's Events

Police Blotter

Burglaries Reported at Two Westfield Homes

April 15, 2015

April 15, 2015 1:24 a.m. Officers Bruno and Carrero arrested Marcin Krepula, age 38, of Clark for driving while intoxicated subsequent to a motor vehicle stop in the area of Nevada Street an...

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Columns

ViaNutrition

Partnering With a Health Coach to Achieve Personal Transformation

Many people find themselves in the grocery store, enticed by sugary treats or purchasing the same processed foods every week. Yet, they still find themselves with a mid-afternoon energy crash, u...

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Westfield Area Y

Westfield Area Y Thanks Volunteers in Honor of National Volunteer Week

In honor of National Volunteer Week, the Westfield Area Y is pleased to announce there were 504 individuals who donated their time and talent in 2014. The Y applauds their efforts. A special &ld...

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In the Schools

Westfield High School Donates to Good Cause

Westfield High School recently donated more than $2,000 to The Good Project to help construct a school in a remote village in Costa Rica. David Good, founder of the non-profit, The Good Project,...

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Monday with Millicent

Let’s Visit the Westfield Diner

309 North Avenue, Westfield Call: 908.233.5200 Hours: 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday to Thursday 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday FYI: Casual dress. ...

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Connecting Commerce and Community

Young Entrepreneurs from GWACC Awarded Funding to Launch Startups

On Wednesday, April 1, 14 student entrepreneurs took to the stage to present their business plans before a panel of local leaders of industry and a public audience. The students were dressed as ...

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Experts of H.O.M.E.

National Window Safety Week is April 5-11

The Window Safety Task Force works year-round to promote window safety awareness, and every April it sponsors National Window Safety Week. For 2015, Window Safety Week is observed April 5-11. ...

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Take Five

Resources for a Rocky Marriage

If you’ve been married for more than two years, odds are, you’ve had several “moments” when you started thinking that the only way you could honor Til Death Do Us Part wo...

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Guest Column

Eating Fresh Made Easy

Sign-up time is here! The team at Just Farmed is busy prepping for our 2015 farm box season, which starts the week of May 4th and ends in December. Our mission is to deliver fresh...

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Westfield Town Council Changes Liquor Law for Restaurants with Conditional Licenses

By JACKIE LIEBERMAN

June 3, 2014 at 10:55 PM

WESTFIELD, NJ — Beginning Thursday, Westfield restaurants holding conditional liquor licenses will be allowed to serve patrons alcohol without necessarily seating them at a table or serving them food, and they will be able to serve at a bar. Only Councilwoman Vicki Kimmins voted no during the final vote on the ordinance, No. 2017, which was held at Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting. Councilman Keith Loughlin was absent.

Restaurants holding conditional liquor licenses are Ferraro’s Restaurant, Sweet Waters Steak House, Fujiyama Mama, Akai Japanese Sushi Lounge and a new, to-be-named restaurant listed as UT Westfield LLC. These restaurants are still required to make at least 50 percent of their money from food sales. (Councilman James Foerst explained before the vote that this could be determined from sales tax records.)

The ordinance also changes the limitation on the number of musicians who can entertain at these establishments any given time from one to five and raises the town’s annual liquor license fees.

About 30 residents attended the meeting, and many spoke both for and against the ordinance before the vote was held.

Some asked council members to consider how the change would affect Westfield years from now. Several told the council they felt there should be more research into how this would affect the town and how voters felt about the change.

One opponent said that changing the law could result in more DWI arrests, while another called that “fear mongering.”  (He was answered with boos and applause as he sat down.) One resident said the option to go out for a drink in town could result in people walking home instead of driving after drinking.

This woman praised Kimmins for voting against the ordinance during the preliminary vote two weeks ago:

“I do believe that this was very quickly done and there was a push to do it quickly,” Kimmins said before Tuesday’s vote. She told the audience that she believed this was done for the benefit of one or two places that were pushing for the change.

Councilwoman Jo Ann Neylan responded that she did not feel rushed, and that she did not believe that anyone on the council was approached or pressured “in any way, manner or form.”

Councilman Frank Arena said the town clerk had contacted the liquor control board in Trenton and discovered that Westfield was the only town with an ordinance like this one. He called the change “common sense.”

“We’ve done a lot of research into towns all around us,” said Arena. “Have they suffered from not having what we have on their licenses? My answer is no.”

The ordinance was one of several that were carried 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 2021 requires anyone filming in Westfield to pay a fee. (Filming for educational purposes is exempt, and students would pay a reduced fee.) Other ordinances pertained to exterior property maintenance, streets and sidewalks and trees, shrubs, weeds and other plant growth.

A land use ordinance that would restrict any medical marijuana dispensary opening in Westfield to one approved zone and would limit hours and manner of operation will likely get a hearing and final vote at the next town council meeting on June 17, after the planning board has had a chance to approve it.

Related stories:

Westfield Restaurant Owners Speak Out on Proposed Change to Liquor Law: http://thealternativepress.com/towns/westfield/articles/westfield-restaurant-owners-speak-out-on-proposed

Westfield Town Council Votes on Liquor License Laws, Medical Marijuana Dispensary Restrictions and More: http://thealternativepress.com/towns/westfield/articles/westfield-town-council-votes-on-liquor-laws-mari

Westfield May Revamp Liquor License Laws, Limit Medical Marijuana Dispensary Locations: http://thealternativepress.com/articles/westfield-may-revamp-liquor-laws-limit-medical-m