Archive for December, 2007|Monthly archive page

Another Victim of TERC math….

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2007 at 11:57 pm

The Fly has learned that some realtors in town are beginning to wonder weather TERC Math is having such a negative impact on the Ridgewood School System that it has begun to depress housing prices in the Village? The combination of high taxes, faltering state finances,scandles like the Village hall and declining academic prowess maybe taking a much shaper toll than has been generally recognized .Apparently many Realtors can do the math and things are just not adding up with TERC Math.

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CT. Begins Offering Online High School Classes…(I told you so)

In Uncategorized on December 28, 2007 at 8:09 pm

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) ― Connecticut high school students can now enroll in online courses taught by state teachers.

The pilot program offers courses in basic subjects for students who need credits to graduate. It also offers other electives, such as Mandarin Chinese and “Shakespeare in Film.”

The idea is to allow students who have fallen behind to catch up online rather than in summer school and also to provide interesting electives that are not widely available.

“We want to use online courses to increase access to high-quality content so that every student in Connecticut will have access to the courses they need when they need them,” said Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

This is the state’s first effort to develop a Connecticut-focused online program staffed by state teachers. The program, called the Connecticut Virtual Learning Center, is funded by an $850,000 state grant and is free for school districts and students.

The Connecticut Virtual Learning Center is offering 21 courses for its first semester, beginning Jan. 23.

Students can only participate if their local school districts are enrolled in the program, and private school and home-schooled students can not yet take courses.

Students will get help with time management from pacing charts that will tell them what work should be completed when.

Vincent Mastaro, senior state associate for policy services at the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, said virtual schools are quickly becoming part of the landscape of American education.

“There are some school systems with very small high schools. That extremely limits what they can offer,” he said. “You can offer it online, it can be offered to so many students in so many schools.”

Florida established the first state-funded online learning program in 1997, and 32 other states now offer them. Michigan requires every student to take at least one online course to graduate high school.

Ridgewood Resident Gets Harassed by Teaneck Cops for Thanking the Troops

In Uncategorized on December 28, 2007 at 12:54 am

Who-o-o-o Rah!

Tonight started so nice. It was so cold but there was no wind and no frozen snow like last week. My 80 year old mom is visiting for the holidays from California. I warned her about the crazies but she insisted on coming with me. I could tell she was a little scared but she loves our troops and vets so much. it makes her so angry to know the wacko commies are protesting the Armory.

As usual we were the first ones there. I checked to make sure she was not too cold, saying “Its not so easy but its not so easy for our troops either”. She assured me she was okay and said,”They go through so much worse than this, it is worth it! And even worse in WWII !”

About 5pm a cop told the wackos on the corner to tell me and Mom we could not stand there. About 15 feet on the property. So we moved to the parking strip near the bus stop, to keep our distance from the corner roudies. Sure enough one of the “vets” came with his wacko sign as soon as we moved. Because he came by us, I figured I would make some friendly conversation and as I started to ask him how many troops have come out and thanked him for showing his “support”. He said angrily, “I’m not speaking to you! I served and my friend died! Not like YOUR president!” I smiled and turned to my mother,”See? Insane asylum escapees” My mom’s eyes became big like,”Are you outta your mind!” He said a bunch of other crap so we just sang “God Bless America” at the top of our lungs. about 20 rounds.

I could swear I heard him say, “Help me,….I’m melting….” Needless to say, he spit on my back. I was ready for him to make a move on me and I would have ripped his throat out. Don’t worry, I would have made sure he threw the first one. Makes me sick. My mom could not believe our little “Thank you” signs could stir up so much animosity from these “Peace” lovers. Afterwards it was cute my mom and me giving high five to each other for serving our Troops at Christmas. hahahaha
This is why I do not stand on the parking strip. I get accosted for displaying my first amendment rights. We stand next to the bush on the corner and this is the second time I get pushed around by the cops! Whose side are they on???? I know one came a few weeks ago with his lights flashing into the parking lot, but I guess he read my signs and then drove away.

Love to you and the Mrs.,

It has come to my attention the Linda is not a Ridgewood resident ,but her story was conveyed to me by some very concerned Ridgewood residents and one has participated with Linda and her “Thank You” campaign.

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Merry Christmas

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2007 at 10:19 pm

I would like to take this time to wish everyone a healthy, happy and prosperous Christmas and New Year

The Ridgewood Blogs 2007 Naughty or Nice list

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2007 at 11:30 am

Naughty – Emerson based architect Jeff Wells who, with several business partners, purchased the Town Garage property on Franklin Avenue for $1.245 million, and then reportedly offered it for sale to Village officials at an asking price of almost $1 million more

Nice – Marty Brooks for declining the job offer as Ridgewood Public Schools Superintendent
Naughty – Mayor David Pfund for claiming he did not know Mr. Wells had purchased the Town Garage property until he’d read about it in a local newspaper

Nice – Board of Education President Mark Bombace for donating part of his liver to an ill relative

Naughty – NJ Transit for planning a $40 million renovation of Ridgewood’s train station

Nice – Former Mayor Jane Reilly for finally retiring from public service

Naughty – The Valley Hospital for attempting to gain favor with Ridgewood officials by agreeing to fund construction of a parking deck at the Route 17 Park & Ride

Naughty – PSE&G for not fixing street lights in a timely fashion while billing in full for said service

Nice – Resident Frank Giordano for raising almost $1 million in private donations to fund installation of synthetic turf at Maple Park

Naughty – Local architect Barry Poskanzer for self nominating his firm to receive a “Golden Trowel” award for their work in designing a the “flood proof” renovations to Village Hall

Nice – the “math moms” for their tireless research throughout the year

Naughty – Village Tax Assessor Mike Barker for his party-line “revenue neutral” public commentary relative to the on-going property revaluation; that is, the revaluation will NOT result in an overall increase in collected tax revenue

Nice – Resident Dom Nizza for constantly reminding us that the Graydon Pool infrastructure should be updated

Naughty – Deputy Mayor Betty Wiest for insisting that personal compensation was due her for officiating at civil union and wedding ceremonies

Nice – Village CFO Dorothy Stikna for suggesting ways in which budgets could be slashed, even though the suggestions were known to be politically taboo

Naughty – Councilwoman Kim Ringler-Shagin for suggesting the Ridgewood Police Department deploy a uniformed officer at Village Hall’s parking lot on an overtime basis to prevent athletic field users from parking there

Naughty – Councilman Jacques Harlow for boasting “if we build it, they will come” in regards to a proposed $9 million parking garage on North Walnut Street

Nice – Councilman Pat Mancuso for singlehandedly terminating the “intent to lease” agreement between Wells Associates and the Village of Ridgewood for a proposed rent free 10-year use of the Pease Library building

Naughty – Village Manager Jim Ten Hoeve for continuing the annual shell game referred to as “budget transfers”

Naughty – Village Attorney Matt Rogers for his repeated use of the “copy and paste” method for drafting new ordinances

Naughty – Building and Zoning Officer Tony Merlino for his continued insistence that yellow pads are more efficient to use than personal computers for record keeping project tracking

Nice – Village Engineer Chris Rutishauser for always telling it exactly like it is without regard to potential political consequences

Naughty – The United States Postal Service for slashing weekday window operating hours at Ridgewood’s only post office

Nice – Retired Ridgewood Police Lieutenant Phil Weiler for always taking a hands on approach to his responsibilities as a uniformed police tour commander

Naughty – Ridgewood Police Captain of Patrol John LiPuma for making only rare appearances outside of his office (know to insiders as the “bunker”)

Nice – Ridgewood Fire Chief James Bombace for leading what is, perhaps, the most effective and cost efficient department in the Village

Naughty – Director of Ridgewood Water Frank Moritz for his public statements to the effect that virtually no “blended” water will be pumped to Ridgewood residents

Naughty – Not paying the RBSA Umps for the Baseball season

Naughty – People who don’t shovel there sidewalks

Nice – Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce for “Down Town for the Holidays”

Naughty – Andrew and Sue for flogging the party line

Naughty-Charlie Riley for making the internet unsafe for children

Naughty-Chief Bombace for saying he wanted to stay out of his brothers business, then showing up in dress blues uniform at a BOE meeting

Naughty — Regina Botsford attempting to misuse The Common Ground Document as a sign of support of dumb dumb math (luckily for the villagers, a Ridgewood mom was in communication with one of the authors who unequivocally stated, TERC IS THE SECOND MOST MATHEMATICALLY ILLITERATE PROGRAM, the first one, mathland, is now exstinct).

Nice — Travell Music Teacher for the December 20th show by the children, beautifully done. well taught.

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Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

In Uncategorized on December 23, 2007 at 5:02 pm

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I don’t believe in Santa Claus…..

In Uncategorized on December 22, 2007 at 11:43 pm

Paul Harvey says:
I don’t believe in Santa Claus, but I’m not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don’t agree with Darwin, but I didn’t go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his Theory of Evolution
Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game.

So what’s the big deal? It’s not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They’re just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.

But it’s a Christian prayer, some will argue.

Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect — somebody chanting Hare Krishna?

If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.

If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.

If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.

And I wouldn’t be offended.
It wouldn’t bother me one bit.
When in Rome …

But what about the atheists? Is another argument.

What about them?
Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We’re not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that’s asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of earplugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer!

Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don’t think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world’s foundations.

Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating; to pray before we go to sleep.

Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying.
God, help us.
And if that last sentence offends you, well . .. just sue me.

The silent majority has been silent too long. It’s time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority doesn’t care what they want. It is time the majority rules! It’s time we tell them, you don’t have to pray; you don’t have to say the pledge of allegiance; you don’t have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right . But by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back.
and we WILL WIN!

God bless us one and all .. especially those who denounce Him, God bless America, despite all her faults. She is still the greatest nation of all.

God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.

2008 will be the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions … and our Military come home from all the wars.

Keep looking up.

(a local resident)

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Plans to construct parking garage on North Walnut Street move forward

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2007 at 11:03 pm

Despite Councilman Patrick A. Mancuso’s expressed desire to abandon plans for the construction of a multi-level, estimated $9 million (including property acquisition) parking garage on North Walnut Street, the following legal notice was published in today’s Ridgewood News:


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Some Village Sidewalks Still Covered By Ice & Snow – Why?

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2007 at 2:41 pm

The Fly wants to know why some residents and business owners refuse to comply with the Village’s law concerning ice & snow removal from sidewalks. Should the Village hire part-time employees to issue summonses post every major snowfall? What do you think? And what about those pesky contractors who plow driveway snow into the street? Shouldn’t they be issued summonses?

§ 249-1. Snow and ice removal. [Amended 7-8-1975 by Ord. No. 1582; 3-10-1987 by Ord. No. 2084; 11-9-1993 by Ord. No. 2435]

A. The owner of any land abutting upon the streets or public highways in the Village, if such land is owner-occupied or vacant, otherwise the tenant or occupant of such land situate in all zones of the Village of Ridgewood as shown on the 1990 Zoning Map, with the exception of the B-1, B-2, P and P-2 Zones of the Village, shall remove all snow and ice from the abutting sidewalks of such streets or highways within 24 hours after the same shall fall or be formed thereon. No snow or ice so removed, however, shall be deposited or placed in the street or highway in such a manner or location so as to impede the flow of traffic. For purposes of this section, such land shall be deemed owner-occupied if occupied by either the owner or owners of record or any agent, servant or employee thereof.

B. Owners, tenants and occupants of any land abutting the streets or highways of the Village situate in the B-1, B-2, P and P-2 Zones of the Village are subject to the following snow removal regulations. Special regulations are adopted for the business and office zones in order to maintain an attractive and safe environment in the business and professional office zones of the Village by assuring that the snow will be removed from the sidewalks in and around the central business district on a timely basis.

C. Snow is required to be removed in the B-1, B-2, P and P-2 Zone Districts from the sidewalks concurrently with its fall. To assure compliance with this section, more than one clearing may be required to keep the sidewalks as free of snow as is practical. The following specific regulations are hereby adopted. Snowfalls commencing during the evening, that is, after 6:00 p.m., will be cleared by no later than 9:00 a.m. the following morning, Sundays and holidays included. During weekday storms, Monday through Saturday, occurring during business hours, sidewalks shall be cleared to a five-foot minimum width to provide access from the storefront to the curb, between meters, if meters are installed. After 6:00 p.m. and on Sundays and holidays, sidewalks will be completely cleared into the street.

D. A court appearance will be required to answer any summons issued for a violation of this section occurring in the B-1, B-2, P and P-2 zones of the Village. A court appearance will be required to answer any summons issued for a second or subsequent violation of this section in all zones of the Village. [Amended 7-11-1995 by Ord. No. 2533]

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Texas Football Succumbs to Virulent Staph Infection From Turf

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2007 at 2:37 pm

Texas Football Succumbs to Virulent Staph Infection From Turf

By Victor Epstein

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) — Missy Baker recalls the moment when she realized that her football-playing son, Boone, didn’t just have the flu.

“He told me he was paralyzed,” Baker said. “I said, `What do you mean? I just saw you walk to the bathroom two hours ago.’ And he said, `Mom, I can’t move my arms or legs.”’

Sixteen-year-old Boone, a wide receiver for Texas’s Austin High School, was suffering from a recurrence of methicillin- resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, which his doctor said he got through an abrasion from playing on artificial turf, Baker said.

Texas has artificial turf at 18 percent of its high school football stadiums, according to Web site Texasbob.com. It also has an MRSA infection rate among players that is 16 times higher than the estimated national average, according to three studies by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

“This is a disease that can kill you,” said Carolina Espinoza, a graduate epidemiology student at the University of Texas in Houston, who helped conduct one of the studies. “If I were a football player, I would be alarmed.”

MRSA is a virulent strain of drug-resistant staph bacteria that plagued hospitals for decades and migrated into the general population in recent years, said Edward Septimus, an infectious disease specialist at Methodist Hospital System in Houston. Without proper treatment, it can spread to internal organs and bones after reaching the bloodstream, causing organ failure, he said.

In October, the deaths of a Brooklyn boy and a Virginia youth were blamed on MRSA infections.

Infection Rate

At least 276 football players were infected with MRSA from 2003 through 2005, a rate of 517 for each 100,000, according to the Texas studies. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta reports a rate for the general population of 32 in 100,000.

Football players often become infected at the site of a turf burn and are misdiagnosed, said David Smith, co-author of a study showing that MRSA-related hospitalizations in the U.S. more than doubled from 1999 to 2005.

“The turf burns themselves are just the kind of minor skin injury that MRSA can exploit,” said Elliot Pellman, medical liaison for the National Football League, which also has had infections among its players.

Football dominates high school sports in Texas, which has more participants than any other state. Seventy-four schools have stadiums seating more than 10,000. The sport provides 22,041 full-time jobs and generates $2.88 billion in annual spending, said Ray Perryman, president of Perryman Group, a Waco economic and financial analysis firm.

Football Risk

Football also produces more MRSA infections than any other sport, said Marilyn Felkner, the epidemiologist who led the Texas studies. The department wasn’t able to obtain enough data to establish a statistical link between artificial turf and MRSA infections, she said.

“So many schools had at least one case,” Felkner said of a 2005 report showing 76 high school athletic departments with MRSA infections. “It was more schools than we would have thought.”

In Collin County, which includes parts of Dallas and Plano, six high schools had more than two infected athletes this fall, said Janet Glowicz, county epidemiologist.

MRSA causes more deaths than any of the 51 infectious diseases tracked by the CDC, including AIDS, according to CDC data. The agency doesn’t require medical professionals to report MRSA cases.

Texas plans a pilot program next year making MRSA a reportable illness in three regions, said Bryan Alsip, assistant health director for San Antonio.

Epidemic Proportions

Researchers including Septimus blame MRSA’s spread on overuse of antibiotics. A CDC report in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that MRSA caused three times more infections than previously thought.

“This is an epidemic,” Smith said. His report was published by the CDC in the December edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases. “It’s a big problem, and it’s likely to get bigger.”

Smith said the public needs to hear more about MRSA. There is no benefit in alarming people, but they have a right to know that it is a serious situation, he said.

Spreading MRSA can be prevented by frequent hand washing, covering scratches and turf burns, disinfecting whirlpools between uses, and not sharing towels or razors, the Texas health department advises.

Mike Carroll, head athletic trainer at Stephenville High School near Fort Worth, said he tells coaches to avoid saying “staph” when they see a possible infection.

“You want people to be educated, but you don’t want to create a sky-is-falling mentality,” Carroll said.

Lasting Fear

Baker said she was shocked to learn how pervasive MRSA is. It’s also persistent: Boone was originally diagnosed in October 2006, and the infection returned last January. He had three surgeries to remove infected tissue and spent three weeks in the hospital.

While Boone resumed playing football this season, fear of another relapse haunts the family. Some survivors continue to carry the bacteria, according to doctors and the CDC.

Baker said she and her husband spent a sleepless night when Boone developed a skin infection that looked like a spider bite.

“We were both wide awake and shaking with fear,” she said. The wound cleared up the next day.

To contact the reporter on this story: Victor Epstein in Houston at vepstein@bloomberg.net .

Last Updated: December 21, 2007 01:06 EST