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Letters to the Editor

Synopsis of a Westfield Board of Education Meeting on March 17

March 19, 2015

2015-2016 BUDGET PRESENTATION Technology Paul Pineiro, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, led the discussion regarding how technology affects our classrooms and ult...

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Today's Events

Police Blotter

In Westfield, Vehicle Reported Stolen, Drug Arrest

March 25, 2015

Mar 24, 2015 5:38 p.m. A resident in the 0-100 block of Gallowae reports an identity theft by unknown actor(s). Actor(s) fraudulently filed a tax return using the victim’s social secur...

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Columns

NJ Perfect Home, Your Real Estate Source

Spring 2015 Real Estate Market Update

Although temperatures outside might not be exhibiting warmth, spring is here, and the real estate market is heating up! If you’re thinking about selling your home, now is a great time to a...

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Weltman Home Services

Want Under The Kitchen Counter Lighting?

Call 888 WELTMAN to set up your appointment today!

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In the Schools

Pi Day a Real Treat at Westfield Elementary School

A variety of pies were served by parents to third, fourth and fifth graders at Franklin Elementary School on March 13.  The occasion was national Pi Day, and besides a slice of pie, student...

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The Innovative Classroom

A Week in the Life of PARCC

During the month of March, Westfield High School, along with schools in 13 other states, participated in one of the most controversial educational moves to date — the implementation of of ...

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ViaNutrition

Getting Your Body in Balance for Optimum Fitness Results

What is going on? You eat pretty well, you exercise and still nothing is changing. Does this sound vaguely familiar? Well, the body is a complex machine, and the right balance of energy is neces...

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Westfield Area Y

Westfield Area Y's 'Fun for Fours' Class Enjoys the Study of Animals

Children in Mrs. Zarember’s “Fun for Fours” class at the Y’s Preschool located at the Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Avenue in Cranford recently finished their stu...

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The Academic Coach

Strong Finish

All long distance runners know that a marathon doesn’t really start until the 20 mile mark. That’s the point at which the race gets really tough and many competitors “hit a wal...

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Ince Landscape Construction & Management

Did Winter Burn Compromise Your Trees and Shrubs?

Oh, winter!  It has been a long, cold winter this season, but spring is here and I am sure you are seeing the affects winter had on your trees and shrubs. As prepared as our landscape i...

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Experts of H.O.M.E.

Make your Home Spring-Ready

Here are some tips to get your home ready for Spring as we start to thaw: As the snow and ice finally melt, check along the foundations for any cracks or signs of damage. Small crac...

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Employment Law

Super Lawyers Magazine Chooses Fred Shahrooz-Scampato

The firm is proud to announce that Fred Shahrooz-Scampato, Esquire, has been chosen for a second year in a row, to receive the distinguished honor of Employment Litigation: Plaintiff by Super La...

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BH Sports Training/BrawlHouse: The Water Cooler

Mobility Clinic for CrossFit Athletes

CrossFit Westfield and FLO Fitness are excited to announce a special mobility clinic on April 19th from 9:00 am to 10:30 am.  Chris Flores will spend 90 minutes going through his R.D.A. Pro...

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Talking About Grief

Talking about Death and Dying at Local Conversation Cafe - Sponsored by Summit Medical Group, My Gift of Grace and Atlantic Health System

Ever considered a dinner conversation about end of life but haven't been able to have it? Ever consider that this conversation could actually be fun and interesting? Then consider joining Im...

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Monday with Millicent

Easter Sunday Dining Options

Perhaps you’re looking for a place to dine on Easter Sunday or any other Day? Enclosed is a group of restaurants for your dining pleasure. Do let me know if you’ve enjoyed your e...

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What’s Keeping Westfield’s Real Estate Market Hot

By JILL D'AMBROSIO

December 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM

WESTFIELD, NJ – For many years, Westfield has been a destination for young families moving from cities to the suburbs and, increasingly, for those who grew up here to return to and raise their own children.

A vibrant business community, a top-notch school system, ease of commutability to New York City and charming neighborhoods have drawn new homeowners to the town for decades and have kept the real estate market here booming this year, even during months that are traditionally slow.

Combined with its unique mix of amenities is Westfield’s low crime rate (one of the reasons Movoto Real Estate ranked Westfield its third-best “city” in New Jersey).

Though the effect of the overall economy can’t be overlooked, The Alternative Press dug deeper into why Westfield’s real estate, in particular, is so hot right now:

Thriving Local Businesses

“There are weeks that go by that I don’t leave town,” said Lorena Barbosa, broker and owner of David Realty Group, who has lived in Westfield for 10 years. “My doctors are here, my kids’ doctors are here, both supermarkets—Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop."

In addition to the businesses located thorughout the town, Westfield’s downtown gives shoppers the opportunity to visit a variety of national chains, smaller boutiques, an independent bookstore and a plethora of restaurants in a very walkable and charming setting.

 “Westfield is unique in that we have large square footage spaces in our buildings that attracted national retailers that brought a lot of investment to the downtown revitalization effort,” said Sherry Cronin, the executive director of the Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC).  “Nevertheless, one-third of our retailers and restaurants have been in business in downtown Westfield for 25 years or more – a testament to the strength of our customer service.”

In addition, the DWC—the management entity of the special improvement district—works with merchants to adapt their brands in their buildings. For example, it often encourages businesses to conduct historic restorations on their buildings’ facades to further enhance the look of the SID.

Downtown Westfield has the fortune to be anchored by such stores as Lord & Taylor and, most recently, Urban Outfitters, Cronin said.

Great Schools

In the Westfield school district’s most recent survey, 86 percent of those who responded said the school system was an important factor in their decision to live here.

“Our enrollment remains one of the largest in 30 years,” said Dr. Margaret Dolan, Westfield’s superintendent of schools. “What I see more and more often are our graduates returning to Westfield to live and raise families.”

Westfield's school district has 6,200 students in pre-K through grade 12 this year. The district has 10 public schools.

At the core of the district’s success is a strong partnership among students, teachers, administrators, parents and an entire community who value education.

“A deep vein of volunteerism runs throughout the Westfield schools, as in the town itself,” Dolan said. “Our high school community service club was singled out this year in a ceremony held by the Department of Education in Trenton.”

One of the challenges for educators today is preparing students for jobs of the future. Westfield teachers help their students to become critical thinkers, and they use variety of instructional methods to keep kids engaged.

Westfield High School, with its focus on college preparatory courses, offers 170 courses, including 19 Advanced Placement classes to its students. In 2012, Westfield High School ranked 17th statewide in combined SAT scores, Dolan said.

Friendliness—Family and Otherwise

“It’s a very family-oriented community,” said Jodi Luminiello, a sales associate at Coldwell Banker and the woman behind the Facebook phenomenon 365 Things to do in Westfield.

One Sunday in October, the downtown was packed with costumed children and adults alike enjoying trick-or-treating at local businesses. Families from Westfield and surrounding towns flock to the yearly Spring Fling and FestiFall street fairs, sponsored by the Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce. The library offers children a spacious, cheerful room for children to explore books, and Memorial pool is a friendly meeting place in the summers.

For green space, you can’t go wrong with the town’s many beautiful parks, such as Mindowaskin, which is located next to the municipal building near the downtown shopping district.

Like Dolan, Luminiello also sees a strong sense of volunteerism among all ages in Westfield, such as with Greta’s Run, a 5K run/walk held in September to raise funds for special needs programs at the Westfield Area Y in memory of a Westfield High School student. After Superstorm Sandy, the community banded together as well.

“A lot of people opened up their houses to others, to come in and get warm, charge up their phones, computers,” said Luminiello.

Easy Commuting

Workers who commute to jobs in New York City can take the train from Westfield or can opt to catch a bus. Proximity to major highways is also a plus, residents say.

In March, NJ Transit plans to test out a “one-seat” ride during off-peak hours on the Raritan Valley Line, the train line that runs through Westfield, using new dual-powered locomotives. Currently, riders who commute into New York must transfer from a diesel-powered train to an electric-powered train in Newark.

While the one-seat ride could be a big advantage for Westfield real estate—significantly raising home values if the town ever gets a direct ride during peak hours, according to the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition— it will ultimately be just “one more reason people want to come to Westfield,” said Luminiello.