PJ BLOGGER

Archive for April, 2007|Monthly archive page

Reduced Window Service Hours at Ridgewood Post Office Remain

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Effective April 2, United States Postal Service (USPS) officials cut window service hours at Ridgewood’s post office by 2 hours each weekday. Attended service now begins at 10:00 AM on weekdays; prior to April 2, these services were available beginning at 8:00 AM. Village Council members voiced their unanimous disapproval of the slashed hours, and directed Village Manager James M. Ten Hoeve to contact Ridgewood’s Postmaster in protest.

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Sunday Afternoon House Fire On Spring Avenue

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2007 at 12:45 pm


Unattended cooking appears to have been the cause of a Sunday afternoon house fire at 478 Spring Avenue. Career and volunteer personnel from the Ridgewood Fire Department quickly extinguished the smoky blaze and held property damage to an absolute minimum. Although volunteers from Ridgewood’s Emergency Services organization were present in force, no injuries were reported. Police personnel were also on the scene providing traffic and crowd control services.

Blog reader praises village employees for storm clean up…

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2007 at 6:54 pm

Personally I think our Parks Dept. As well as every other dept did a great job cleaning up after the storm. The services we get are like no one else’s and we owe it to our town workers. I have been a resident since 1968 and would not ever dream of living any where else. We need to trim the “fat” at the top and get rid of some of the useless bosses and get some management that actually cares. I have seem them all from Irwin, Kendall, Worth to TenHoeve and its the worst ever. Lets get on the ball here.

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Discussion on Municipal Ordinance Regarding Underage Drinking – Wednesday, May 2

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2007 at 10:58 pm

There will be a discussion on whether the Village of Ridgewood should adopt a municipal ordinance prohibiting underage drinking on private property. The ordinance would allow police officers to enter private residences without a search warrant if they suspect underage drinking is occurring. Should Ridgewood adopt the ordinance? Ridgewood Community Center, Village Hall, 7:30 PM. For more information, call Nora Muzio at 201-670-5560, ext. 205. Sponsored by the Community Task Force/Municipal Alliance.

And a reader responds……
What idiot on the Community Task Force/Municipal Alliance is behind this??? I’m not an attorney and I am not in favor of underage drinking. But, theoretically, such an ordinance would give an officer the right to forcefully enter my house, without a search warrant if he or she thought my HS children were drinking.

What if I choose to allow them to have a glass of wine with dinner, like they do at their grand parent’s home in Europe? Guess what…this would allow that, as ridiculous as it sounds. Even if a group of kids are drinking illegally, without my knowledge, I do not want anyone to have the RIGHT to enter my house against my wishes, without proper court ordered procedure. Sorry, but this is a very bad idea, which is full of legal and ethical issues. Why would the village want to go down a path that is clearly going to end badly in court.

The proper procedure is for an officer who suspects underage drinking to ring the doorbell and explain his or her suspicions to the parents, allowing the parents to deal with it. Or, if the parents are not home to follow whatever protocol currently exists. Under no circumstances should any law enforcement officer ever be allowed to forcefully enter a private residence without a warrant.

I’m sure Francis Edwards will have something to say about this?

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Six N.J. counties declared federal disaster areas – No aid yet to cover municipal clean up costs

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2007 at 6:01 pm

President Bush Thursday declared six counties in New Jersey ravaged by flooding federal disaster areas. The declaration makes federal funding available for individual property owners in Ridgewood.

Bush also signed off on a declaration that will enable New Jersey to collect federal money for hazardous waste cleanup caused by the flood. The president did not act on a request by municipalities for federal aid to help defray their cleanup costs because all damage assessments are not complete.

Assistance to individual property owners will be made through grants and loans from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The money can be used for temporary housing and home repairs, plus low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.

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Crest Road Overlook Mulch/Woodchip Controversy Resurfaces

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2007 at 12:09 pm

During the public comment portion of last night’s Village Council work session, Ms. Elizabeth Quinn of 250 Hillcrest Road claimed that last fall’s placement of mulch and woodchips along the Crest Road overlook directly attributed to the recent flooding of her property, which caused $20K in damages.

Ms. Quinn and several of her neighbors have been regular fixtures at Council meetings since the mulch/woodchips were placed late last year (reportedly at the direction of Deputy Mayor Betty G. Wiest). Although there has been much dialogue between Council members and the lower Hillcrest Road homeowners, the controversy over placement and planned removal of the debris continues.

Village Manager James M. Ten Hoeve directed Ms. Quinn to file a claim for damages with the Village. Mr. Ten Hoeve also advised Ms. Quinn that there were approximately 150 Village home owners who experienced flooding on a first time basis after last week’s storm, so she was not alone in her plight.

Meeting Highlights – Village Council Special Public Meeting/Work Session, 4/25/2007

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2007 at 11:52 am

Susan F. Witkowski was sworn in as the new Deputy Village Clerk. Ms. Witkowski previously served as Deputy Borough Clerk of Northvale. She replaces Laura J. Graham, who left Ridgewood to become the Borough Clerk in Oradell

A community task force on underage drinking, chaired by BOE member Shelia Brogan, asked Council members to consider adoption of a municipal ordinance that would prohibit underage drinking on PRIVATE property (existing laws already prohibit such activity on public property). Councilwoman Kim Ringler-Shagin voiced her strong opposition to introduction of such an ordinance. All other Council members seemed to be okay with it.

Plans to construct a permanent concession stand/restroom facility at Vets Field were officially scrubbed. The estimated construction price of $600K was too much for the Council to stomach. Tom Thurston, representing the Jon C. Vandevander Foundation, indicated that he would now be pursuing purchase of a prefabricated concession stand that could be placed on wheels and moved. An alternate restroom facility plan is still under development.

It was revealed that $27K has been spent to date in 2007 for the repair of 2 sanitation truck transmissions.

Fees associated with police related towing will increase significantly. The minimum tow charge will jump from under $50 to $125.

Village department heads/directors will be getting 4% salary increases this year. Councilman Jacques Harlow suggested that it was time to prevent directors from carry over and unlimited number of sick days, and also appropriate to now start asking the directors to contribute to health care premiums. Further discussion on these topics will be held in closed session.

New signage will be installed along the driveways of Village Hall. Several residents have previously noted that the police department is difficult to find.

No FEMA Money Yet!

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Ridgewood officials are still waiting to hear whether federal funds will be made available for the recovery effort associated with last week’s devastating flooding. If that happens — a declaration by President Bush is expected within days — the Village would be eligible for recovery grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As of now though, all damages not covered by insurance policies must be paid for with local tax dollars.

The most significant damage reported thus far is a shifted water main along the Saddle River between Linwood and Ridgewood Avenues. The estimated costs to remediate that one condition is $400K.

BOE Reorganizes for 2007-2008 Term

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2007 at 12:11 am


At its annual reorganization meeting on April 23, 2007, the Board of Education reelected Mark Bombace to his third one-year term as president and elected Joseph Vallerini to his first term as vice president. Both won in a 5-0 vote.

The 2007-2008 Ridgewood Board of Education, left to right, Mark Bombace, president; Sheila Brogan, Bob Hutton, Michele Lenhard, and Joseph Vallerini, vice president.

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Congressman Garrett Tours flood Damage in Bergen County

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2007 at 2:38 pm

Dear Friends:

This weekend, I toured some of the flood damage in Bergen County. Accompanied by local elected officials, police and fire chiefs, and emergency management officers, I visited communities in New Milford, Rochelle Park, and River Edge. And, as the rivers begin to recede to pre-flood levels, there is little doubt that the damage is severe.

I have joined with all of my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation to ask the President to declare parts of New Jersey a federal disaster area. These letters echo the official requests by Acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey. I have also written to FEMA to encourage them to make assessments and disaster declaration recommendations as swiftly as possible.

FEMA is continuing to work with local emergency management offices to assess the damage from last week’s nor’easter. FEMA had Preliminary Disaster Assessment Teams and resources such as generators pre-positioned in New Jersey before the storm to facilitate quick assessment. I am hopeful that actual aid will be available to residents, municipalities, and businesses soon.

As soon as the preliminary assessments are completed, the President will be able to determine if the threshold for a federal disaster declaration has been met. Once such a declaration is made, FEMA will set up regional disaster recovery centers at which citizens will be able to apply for relief. As soon as more information becomes available, I will be certain to get the word out. In the meantime, if you would like to get an idea of what may be available, you may want to visit http://www.fema.gov/assistance/index.shtm.

Furthermore, you may be interested to know that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extended the deadline for tax filings for those directly impacted by the storm. The IRS initially extended the deadline by 48 hours, but it then extended the deadline a second time to Thursday, April 26th. For more information on this extension, visit the IRS’ website, http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=169543,00.html.

Sincerely,

Scott Garrett

Member of Congress