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Saraceno Tells Village Council: “There Will Be Fist Fights To Rent Space In Your Building!” – Feels “Personally Demonized" by Blog Posters

In John Saraceno, Onyx Equities, Parking, Ridgewood NJ on March 26, 2009 at 9:02 pm

John A. Saraceno, a principal of Onyx Equities, LLC and a resident of Coventry Court, Ridgewood, appeared before Village Council members in public session last night to answer questions about his firm’s proposal for the construction of a multi-million dollar parking garage/commercial complex on North Walnut Street. Village Council members had previously selected Onyx as the project’s sole developer.

In response to a statement made by Councilman Paul Aronsohn that the parking garage/retail complex project should not move forward, Saraceno said:

“Even in today’s economic climate, if that space were now available, I could rent it in one hour or less.”

“There will be fist fights among quality tenants to get space in your building.”

“Stores such as Brooks Brothers, J Crew, and Aeropostale want to be in Ridgewood badly and will likely sign letters of intent as soon as it is known space will be available.”

“The retailers likely to want this space are national retailers who will stay open until 10:30 PM Monday through Saturday, and draw nighttime business into your Central Business District.”

Mr. Saraceno made mention of The Ridgewood Blog in his opening comments to Council members. He said that although he does not read The Ridgewood Blog, he had received phone calls from several friends about his name being mentioned within, and had concluded that he was being “personally demonized” by Blog posters.

Further discussion regarding Onyx’s proposal has been scheduled for the Council’s April 22nd Open Public Meeting.

Questions for Mr. Saraceno:

If retail space in Ridgewood is such a hot commodity, how come your building at the corner of Ridgewood Avenue and North Maple Street (formerly Sealfons) is not completely rented out? And don’t tell The Fly that you can’t rent it because you have no parking there; the building is surrounding by parking lots!

Also, The Gap, Ann Taylor, and other national retailers in Ridgewood do not stay open anywhere near 10:30 PM on weeknights. What do you know that we don’t?
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Summons to parents picking up their children outside of Willard School

In Parking, Petty Policing Practices, Ridgewood Police on February 10, 2009 at 11:40 pm

First I was very suspired when I got this email, this blogger has always found the Ridgewood Police to be very professional even under the most trying circumstances and even though from time to time this blog has taken issue with local authorities, I have never had any reason to believe that the Ridgewood Police did anything but a superb job of protecting and serving the community. Unlike some other towns the Village Police seem to have avoided resorting to the petty policing practices of so many other towns

I wanted to bring to your attention a questionable practice of a Ridgewood Police Officer (P.O.) that has been writing Summons to parents picking up their children outside of Willard School. Please understand that the parking at Willard is a mess and they had put up signs in front on Morningside that state no parking or standing, so there is some debate on the validity of him writing Summons but the problem is that the P.O. has been very rude and arguably stepping over the line of abuse of power.

He has been issuing Summons for petty violations such as obstruction of view for air fresheners and the like hanging from mirrors, or obstruction of license plates if someone has those plastic frames from the auto dealers around their plates. There has been several complaints made to the police department Captains and Chief about this officer and his unwarranted demeanor to the parents (mostly) mothers picking up their children. Case in point, I was there this past Friday dropping off my drums for the school play that evening and I had pulled in front after dropping off my instrument and pulled over and my son and daughter had entered my car. Well the P.O. came to the car was rude, and refused to listen to the fact that I was dropping off my instruments to volunteer to play for the school instead of them having to pay $400 for a hired musician. His response was “you can tell it to the Village Prosecutor” and walked away. Needless to say I was NOT happy by this and contacted James Tenhove with no avail (imagine that?).

In any event he wound up writing me 3 summons for “Improper pick up of passengers”, “obstruction of view” because of a 2 inch by 1 inch translucent glass cross on my rear view mirror and “obstruction of my plates” because of the dealer frame. As it turned out I had been approached later that evening at the school play by 3 mothers that had been ticketed by him and also received the additional bogus tickets along with the nasty and unprofessional attitude.

This level of frustration is compounded by the fact that it seems to be an everyday occurrence at Willard School that the P.O. singles out one or two cars of the many parked along the curb and basically treats them like garbage and issues frivolous tickets. As an attorney, I have researched this issue and have found a few flaws in the summons he has issued and have every intention of having them dismissed, however the people of Willard School are fed up of being, well simply put, harassed by the P.O. when, in all honesty all they are guilty of is watching out for their children’s safety by not making the kids have to cross Morningside in order to be picked up on Bedford. When in reality there is a “cut out” that allows for cars to park without interfering with the normal flow of traffic on Morningside.*editors note the Ridgewood blog has removed the officers name from the post.

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