Archive for August, 2008|Monthly archive page

New sod at Hawes Field

In Uncategorized on August 31, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Netflix, Inc.


Weekly Math Comic

In Uncategorized on August 31, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Office Depot, Inc

A brief history of the celebration of Labor Day

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2008 at 9:28 pm


“Labor Day differs in every essential from the other holidays of the year in any country,” said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. “All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man’s prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day…is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation.”

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, l883.

In l884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in l885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 2l, l887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

[Source: United States Department of Labor]

How many admin. does it take…?

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2008 at 11:29 am

The Ridgewood Public School system employs at least 3 people, that the Fly can ascertain, who oversee the implementation of our math curriculum. This does take into account the Superintendent of schools. They are the Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment, the Supervisor of Curriculum, and the District Mathematics Supervisor.

There may be more like a Director of Mathematics, but since the district does not provide this information on its web site, and short of filing a request for it under the Freedom of Information Act, this is what we could gleam from the district’s own Newsline publication.

So, for approximately $400,000.00 a year (including benefits) there are at least 3 people in charge of our district’s math program and on top of this we’re paying outside consultants to help us determine the future of our math curriculum?

This should raise doubts about the competency of the people employed to serve our community, that it costs so much and takes so many to get it wrong.


I will lump CAC, AERA, and ASCD together as radical political organizations masquerading in education-related clothing

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2008 at 8:45 pm


An interesting article about journalist Stanley Kurtz’s experience in spelunking through the recently-released records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, founded by Bill Ayers, and chaired by Barack Obama, can be found at http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2008/08/obama_campaign_confronts_wgn_r.html

The reason I’m bringing it to your attention is the point raised in the following comment left by a reader of the article:

“Missing from the comments so far is any discussion of what Stanley Kurtz talked about finding in his search of the archives. One item he mentioned concerned an organization that applied for money to fund a program promoting the celebration of the Juneteenth holiday. Apparently Juneteenth is an event that began in 1865 to mark the end of slavery. This request was approved and funds were provided from the Annenberg money. Another request for money from an organization dedicated to improving math skills of its participants was turned down. According to Dr. Kurtz many other academically oriented applications were also rejected. This information was taken directly from documents in the archive. Now I don’t have a problem with people celebrating and remembering their cultural heritage but if your goal is to improve academic performance it seems funding programs to improve math skills would be far more important. It is also apparent that Senator Obama was instrumental in determining which requests for grants were accepted and which were rejected. His priorities in this example do little to inspire confidence in his message about hope for a better future.”

You would think that the Chicago Annenberg Challenge would leap at the chance to fund projects designed to improve the math skills of public school children. Unfortunatlely, to read the above comment is to conclude that Bill Ayers and his ilk only assume roles in an education-related organization if they think it will be an easy mark to pilfer money to fund their radical political priorities.

Fast forward to this year, and we learn, upon reading this blog, that Bill Ayers was recently elected vice president for curriculum of the 25,000-member American Educational Research Association (AERA), the nation’s largest organization of education-school professors and researchers.

Surely the AERA knew what it was getting in electing Bill Ayers to such a position. Since Ayers was “elected”, there must be a majority of people in that organization who share his radical outlook, which as we now know, does not coincide with the best interests of public school children.

The official State of New Jersey Education websites have links to only two national education-related organizations, namely: Bill Ayers’ American Educational Research Association (AERA), and Assistant Superintendent Botsford’s Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

Guilt by association?

Not necessarily, but readers of this blog are also aware of the radical positions held and tactics used by the ASCD to advance their agenda, which seems to have very little to do with improved educational outcomes, and much more to do with social engineering. Unless I’m shown otherwise, I will lump CAC, AERA, and ASCD together as radical political organizations masquerading in education-related clothing.

Little shift in teacher salary hikes

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Star-Ledger Staff

With New Jersey’s public schools soon to open, teacher contract talks are so far seeing little shift in salary increases, but they are yielding some cost savings around health benefits, according to the state’s school boards association.

In about 80 contracts settled since January, salary increases are averaging about 4.57 percent, a little less than the 4.61 percent average last year, according to the association. Still, including contracts previously settled, the average increase for 2008-09 is so far roughly the same as last year’s.

But the association’s annual back-to-school report said more than 80 percent of the new pacts have provisions that reduce the public’s cost for teacher health benefits, from less expensive plans to requiring teachers contribute toward their premiums.

Among the latest contracts with cost-cutting moves were Kingwood and Tewksbury in Hunterdon County, Washington Township in Morris, and Newton in Sussex, according to the association.

In Newton’s new contract, salary increases average less than 4.4 percent over three years, and new hires will only be offered managed care plans while deductibles will rise in the traditional plans.

The estimates are sure to change, as more than 125 contracts are still outstanding going into the school year, a pretty typical number for the end of summer.

The New Jersey Education Association, the statewide teachers union, downplayed the salary averages or other contract developments with so many talks unresolved. “It’s a little too early to tell what the trends are,” said spokesman Steve Wollmer.

Of the contracts talks under way, neither side reported any impasses that are likely to lead to disruptions in the start of school. The state’s last teacher strike was in North Warren Regional in 2003.

But some are getting testy, including in the state-run Paterson schools where talks have been going on for nine months and are now in their third session with a state mediator. The union’s leadership said the district has proposed no salary increases, along with a longer school year and further givebacks in benefits.

“It is the worst proposal I have ever gotten from management: very, very severe and very, very anti-union,” said Peter Tirri, president of the 3,900-member Paterson Education Association. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.”

Second New Jersey Teen Football Player Dies This Week

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A second teen football player in New Jersey has died this week from events that occurred during football practice.

Cliffside Park Police Chief, Donald Keane, told FOXNews.com that Douglas Morales died Tuesday night at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck from injuries sustained in practice.

The 17-year-old Cliffside Park High School athlete was rushed to the hospital from practice on Friday.

“We received a call at the police station at 11:50 on Friday,” Keane said. “The caller said there was an unconscious football player on the field. He (Morales) was unconscious when we got there and we got him into the ambulance right away.”

Right now, Morales’ body is at the Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office where an autopsy will be performed to determine a cause of death.

What police do know is that the practice was authorized and coaches were present during the activities, Keane said.

The teen’s death came only a day after a Waldwick boy died during football practice on his 13th birthday.

Sean Fisher’s mother told The Record of Bergen County she was home making cupcakes for her son’s birthday when he lost consciousness Monday.

An EMT rushed onto the field and paramedics used a defibrillator. They were unable to resuscitate him. Fisher was pronounced dead at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.

Officials are awaiting the results of Sean Fisher’s autopsy. The school superintendent says an undetected heart condition is suspected.

Dr. Merle Myerson, a cardiologist and director of St. Luke’s Roosevelt Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Program in New York City, said if an athlete suddenly dies, it is generally from a cardiac cause.

“It can be from a fatal irregular heart rhythm, an abnormality of the heart muscle, a problem with the structure of the heart or how the heart is working, or how the electrical condition of the heart is working,” Myerson said. “The thing is, it’s usually unusual, so when it does happen, it’s tragic.”

Myerson said more preventative screening is needed for student athletes.

“In Europe, they do it more, the doctors will give the athletes an electrocardiogram, and ask for the family’s history, along with a physical exam,” she said. “In this country, the whole issue is that sports are being cut, so forget health screenings. They probably just listen to your heart with a stethoscope, but shouldn’t we be doing more?”

A funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday for Sean.

The boy was due to enter eighth grade next week.

“These were hometown kids — part of an extended family,” Keane said. “The town is in mourning right now.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Child dies at football practice on 13th birthday

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Readers request information on football tragedy ………

PJ please post some of the news coming out of Waldwick given the tragic death of a 13 year old boy. I know much of Ridgewood would appreciate a place to post condolences and talk about the situation. A frequent visitor to the blog the occassional mention of our surrounding communities gives us context and comradelier for all that we discuss.

The Associated Press

WALDWICK, N.J. – A Waldwick teen collapsed and died during recreational football practice on his 13th birthday.

Sean Fisher’s mother tells The Record of Bergen County she was home making cupcakes for her son’s birthday when he lost consciousness Monday.

An EMT rushed onto the field and paramedics used a defibrillator. They were unable to resuscitate him. Fisher was pronounced dead at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.

The cause of death isn’t known.

The boy was due to enter eighth grade next week.

The school district is offering counseling services and a meeting for parents is scheduled for at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the high school.


Report: Great Ridgewood NJ Chinese–Bamboo House

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 at 11:15 am

I wanted to post a recc for a fantastic Chinese (actually Taiwanese) place in Ridgewood, NJ. We just went last week for lunch after not having been there for awhile and everything was as wonderful as we remembered.

We had:

– Dumplings. These are out of this world. IMHO, better than any I’ve had in NYC or on the west coast. The owner makes them herself every day with thin skins and generous pork and shrimp filling. They’re steamed rather than pan fried. They also have a pork and chive option. I’d have to say that these are probably the best dumplings I’ve had anywhere, including Asia (with maybe an exception for two especially fantastic Shanghainese soup dumpling places in Shanhai and Taiwan…but those are a different type of dumpling).

– Eggplant and garlic sauce. The owner recommended this because my girlfriend loves eggplant. I’m not a big eggplant fan but have to admit this was delicious. Perfectly garlicky with a smooth brown sauce and fresh chunks of eggplant.

– We had a daily special dish that I think was called ‘Stir-Fried Filet Mignon with yellow and green onions”. Think it was maybe 10 bucks and was blown away. Very generous tender chunks of filet with a great onion sauce and the onions themselves.

The place itself is very non-descript and has maybe 7 tables. It’s also off the main drag of Ridgewood but not far from it. And, tremendous value. I think we spent around $40 for three of us with the dishes above, a few others I’m forgetting and soups. We also took some dumplings home frozen and they were almost as good as the ones we had freshly made a couple of days prior.

I remember the noodle dishes here also being really good but we didn’t get those this time. This is one of those places that a lot of people probably keep secret since I didn’t see much on it on this board.

Do others know this place? What do others think?


Improvements to Upper Citizens go on ….

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2008 at 4:17 pm

As one can plainly see, the Village Parks & Rec. Dept. is making only minor improvements to Upper Citizens “softball” field. However, any one with a discerning eye can tell the improvements are neither minor or for a softball field.

This is a baseball field with a raised mound, clay base paths and soon to be sodded infield. If one looks out to left field, they can see where the hill’s slope is being built up to level the field. That is why that huge pile of dirt is on site.

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