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Bergenfield Mayor and Bergen County Executive Candidate Norman Schmelz Says Other Bergen County Officials Did Nothing During Saudino’s Tiraid

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Bergenfield NJ, In a statement Bergenfield Mayor and Bergen County Executive Candidate Norman Schmelz said , “Michael Saudino’s resignation is a step in the right direction for residents of Bergen County and New Jersey. Unfortunately his derogatory and offensive statements concerning women and minorities were already something that was reported in the public sphere and press many times as of late, and many of those who clamored for his resignation in the past few days had no hesitation accepting his support over the past few months. None of his co-partners in Bergen County government seemed shocked at the veracity of his statements, only by its contents; it is a stain on our county that County Executive Jim Tedesco did nothing while all of this hate was spewing and stood by the disgraced Sheriff. Tedesco’s actions may be worse than Saudino. Saudino may not know better, Tedesco does.”

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Man Arrested In Paramus for Allegedly Grabbing a Woman’s Buttocks

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Paramus NJ, A 53-year-old New Jersey man has been arrested on a sex-crime charge after he allegedly groped a young woman’s buttocks as she was shopping with her mother in a Marshalls department store in Paramus over the weekend.

Continue reading Man Arrested In Paramus for Allegedly Grabbing a Woman’s Buttocks

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3 Alarm Fire in Oradell Tuesday Leaves at least one Victim Hospitalized with Serious Burns

photo by Jim Arakelian

June 14,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Oradell NJ, a multi-story house 3 alarm fire at 240 Kinderkamack Road became engulfed Tuesday evening. There were no fatalities reported, at least one victim was hospitalized with serious burn injuries after being pulled out by an Oradell police officer and an off-duty firefighter in the fast-moving Tuesday night house blaze.

Firefighters from Oradell, Haworth, Westwood, Paramus, Bergenfield, New Milford, River Edge, and Dumont responded.

Jim Arakelian , “It’s my understanding that the members of Company One in River Edge Fire went far and beyond the call of duty at yesterday’s horrific fire in Oradell. Congratulations and thank you for your bravery.”

 

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ICE arrests 91 in New Jersey operation targeting criminal aliens

June 13,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

NEWARK NJ,  An Salvadoran national in the country illegally, who has an Interpol warrant for being a member of MS-13 and trafficking in firearms and narcotics, is among 91 foreign nationals taken into custody during a five-day operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last week in New Jersey, targeting at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and other immigration violators. The operation was supported by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) New Jersey Field Office.

Of those arrested during the operation, which was spearheaded by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), 77 percent were convicted criminals and 70 percent of them had prior felony convictions.

“The remarkable results of our officers and law enforcement partners highlight ICE’s ongoing commitment to public safety,” said John Tsoukaris, Field Office Director of ERO Newark. “This operation focuses on the arrest of individuals convicted of serious crimes and are a threat to public safety. Because of the targeted efforts of these professional officers, there are 91 fewer criminals in our communities.”

These individuals will go through removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge or for those under a final order of removal, arrangements will be made to remove them from the U.S.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection is extremely proud to have assisted in this operation,” said Frank Russo, Acting Director New York Field Office. “It is through collaborative efforts that law enforcement agencies can combat illegal acts and apprehend criminals who pose a threat to the Homeland.”

The individuals arrested throughout New Jersey were nationals of Anguilla (1), Bangladesh (1), Cameroon (1), Colombia (4), Cuba (3), Dominican Republic (14), Ecuador (4), Egypt (1), El Salvador (10), Ghana (1), Guatemala (3), Guinea (1), Guyana (2), Haiti (3), Honduras (4), Jamaica (3), Korea (2), Macedonia (2), Mexico (12), Nicaragua (1), Pakistan (2), Philippines (4), Peru (4), Poland (1), Spain (1), St. Lucia (1), Trinidad (3), and Venezuela (2)

These individuals were arrested in the following counties in New Jersey: Atlantic (3), Bergen (5), Burlington (3), Camden (3), Cumberland (6), Essex (19), Hudson (15), Mercer (7), Middlesex (7), Monmouth (1), Passaic (10), Union (8), and Warren (2). Also, one individual was arrested in New Castle county in Delaware and one individual was arrested in Bronx county in New York. They range from age 19 to 78 years old and all were previously convicted of a variety of offenses. Some of the convictions included sexual assault on a minor, child abuse, possession of narcotics, distribution of narcotics, money laundering, DUI, fraud, domestic violence, theft, possession of a weapon, burglary, larceny, aggravated assault, aggravated assault on law enforcement, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child, kidnapping and illegal reentry.

Among those arrested during this operation include:

  • In Jersey City, a 39-year-old previously removed Venezuelan national, who has convictions of Aggravated Assault, Resisting Arrest by Force, Possession of a Weapon, and Distribution of Heroin;
  • In Saddle Brook, a 46-year-old Bangladeshi national, who has convictions of Aggravated Assault, and pending charges for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Minor;
  • In New Brunswick, a 47-year-old Honduran national, who has convictions of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, who was released by Middlesex County Jail and rearrested by ICE;
  • In Passaic, a 24-year-old Jamaican national, who has convictions of Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Lewdness;
  • In Perth Amboy, a 32-year-old Dominican national, who has convictions of Possession of Cocaine, Domestic Violence Assault, and Trespassing;
  • In Newark, a 45-year-old Pakistani national, who has convictions of Money Laundering and Theft by Deception;
  • In Elizabeth, a 42-year-old Colombian national, who has a conviction for Homicide
  • In Bergenfield, a 58 year old Philippines national, who has convictions for DUI, Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Assault;
  • In Jersey City, a 54-year-old Dominican national, who has convictions for Kidnapping and Aggravated Assault;
  • In Bridgeton, a 41-year-old Mexican national, who has a conviction for Criminal Sexual Contact;
  • In Pleasantville, a 21-year-old Honduran national, who has been convicted for Endangering the Welfare of a Child;
  • In Plainfield, 22 & 23-year-old El Salvadorian nationals, who are members of MS-13;
  • In Lindenwold, 27 & 29-year-old El Salvadorian nationals, who are members of MS-13;
  • In East Orange, a 23-year-old Anguillan national, who is a member of the Bloods;
  • In South Brunswick, a 31-year-old Venezuelan national, who is a member of MS-13;
  • In West New York, a 26-year-old El Salvadorian national, who has an Interpol warrant for being a member of a terrorist organization (MS-13), trafficking in narcotics and trafficking in firearms;
  • In Bridgeton, a 22-year-old Mexican national, who is a member of the gang Los Pelones

ICE deportation officers conduct targeted enforcement operations every day in locations around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls.

During targeted enforcement operations, ICE officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE.

ICE continues to focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy. However, as ICE Director Thomas Homan has made clear, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.

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Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival Continues May 9-10

May 9th 2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The 8th Annual Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival continues Wednesday and Thursday, May 9-10 in downtown Ridgewood. This year’s theme The Impact of Film showcases human rights films, international subjects, women’s issues and how film impacts American culture.

Headlining the Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival on May 10, presented by the Ridgewood Arts Council as part of their Artists Talk Series, is a conversation with Hollywood producer Scott M. Rosenfelt. Rosenfelt is known for Home Alone, Mystic Pizza and Teen Wolf among others. Also on May 10, actress/director Cady McClain (All My Children, As the World Turns) will show her documentary on famous female filmmakers and will be part of a panel discussion entitled Women Behind the Camera Forecast: 2018. Foreign Film Night will be held at the Ridgewood Library on May 9 and 10. Admission to Foreign Film night is free.

On May 9, opening night starts at the festival’s base, the Art Deco Bow Tie Cinema on Ridgewood Avenue. The evening begins with a red carpet event with the filmmakers. The night will include a variety of student films, both foreign and American as well as foreign and American shorts. There will also be Q & A’s with New Jersey award-winning writer/director, Anthony Marinelli and Bergenfield High School film teacher, Ashley McKee talking about the roles and possibilities for young filmmakers.

The final night of the Festival, May 10, starts with a red carpet event with filmmakers and celebrities. Featured films of the evening include Butterflies, The Last Visit, and Silk City Artists and Musicians. The film Breaking Point will also be shown. This is the premiere screening of this film. Breaking Point was filmed in New Jersey and stars Real Housewife of New Jersey, Dolores Catania in her movie debut.

The Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival will also feature panel discussions, including Q & A’s with documentary filmmaker, Vince Parrillo , former Ridgewood resident and first time filmmaker; Brad Forenza (Breaking Point); and New Jersey director/producer Joe Paul. Six-time award winning Actor Jack Mulcahy (Brothers McMullen, Porkys, Sex and the City) will host a Q & A about his new short and his roles.
An after party and awards presentation will be held on the final night of the festival, May 10, at the Steel Wheel Tavern, 51 N. Broad Steet, Ridgewood. Festivities start at 10:45 and the public is invited to attend. After party admission is $15 per person.

Festival tickets are $10, $5 for those over age 62. Admission includes all films being shown that evening. Purchase tickets here. Tickets can also be purchased at Mango Jam, 41 North Broad Street, Ridgewood or at the door. View a complete schedule of films and get more Festival news. For more information, contact Tony Damiano at 201-493-9911.

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Bergen Sheriff’s Office target of a lawsuit Alleging a plan to use $7.5 million in federal money “to keep the budget flat during County Executive James Tedesco’s reelection campaign.”

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino

April 27,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hackensack NJ, 5th District Republican candidate Steve Lonegan said he was stunned today to learn of allegations of possible illegal actions at the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office.

As reported in northjersey.com, the Sheriff’s Office is now the target of a lawsuit brought by former finance director, Omid Bayati, who says he was retaliated against after blowing the whistle on alleged unlawful activities, including “inappropriate vendor deals” and a plan to use $7.5 million in federal money “to keep the budget flat during County Executive James Tedesco’s reelection campaign.”

In a lawsuit, filed on April 20, 2018, in Bergen County Superior Court, it is alleged that in violation of State Law, that a meeting was held in “late 2017” in which “ a meeting was called by the County for all Department heads in relation to the budget. At that meeting, the County CFO noted that it was an election year for the County Executive and therefore there needed to be a zero percent increase in the budget. In order to accomplish this, they decided to rely upon funding from ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to partially fund the Sheriff’s Office

Bergenfield Mayor, and Bergen County Executive candidate Norman Schmelz has asked the United States Department of Justice to investigate the Bergen County Executive’s Office, including the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of Bergen County, for conspiring to use Federal Funds to aid in the reelection of Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco.

Lonegan noted ,“John McCann was the right hand man of Sheriff Michael Saudino, a Democrat, while these alleged activities were going on. He was his chief counsel and he is implicated in all of this,” Lonegan stated. “If Mr. Bayati is telling the truth, it means John McCann disregarded the evidence presented to him and failed to investigate his claims. His job was to protect taxpayers, not the Democrat he worked for and not the Democratic County Executive.”

“A disturbing pattern seems to be emerging here regarding John McCann. Is it incompetence or is it corruption? The people in District 5 deserve answers. What did John McCann know and when did he know it?”

Mayor Schmelz, wrote, “If these allegations are true, then the public needs to know, who was involved, what was agreed upon, and how much taxpayer dollars are being used for political purposes.”

Schmelz continued, “The allegations are clear that Federal Tax dollars (and possibly state and local tax dollars as well) are being used for political purposes, instead of providing essential services in a proper manner.”

The Schmelz letter continued, “It is inconceivable and outrageous that such illegal activities are taking place in the offices of the Bergen County Executive. Each person who had knowledge of such activities should immediately come forward, divulge what they know, and resign forthwith. Anything less than that is unacceptable.”

Schmelz concluded, “I ask that the Department of Justice investigate these allegations presented in a court of law, that if true contain a clear and compelling picture of illegality at the highest levels of government. This breach of trust, is devastating to hard working taxpayers who demand their tax dollar be spent on essential government services, not for political agendas as is alleged.”

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Ridgewood School Rankings ,the Good ,the Bad and the Ugly

tradition of excellence

US NEWS STATE of NJ RANK:
.
Eleven (not even the TOP 11 BTW) of the top 25 on the list are magnet or Vocational schools (which is not “more than half the top 25” but I guess math is hard for you)
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Also these PUBLIC (non-magnet) Schools are ranked AHEAD of Ridgewood:
#5 – Elizabeth High School
#6 – Princeton High School
#7 – Chatham High School
#10 West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North
#11 – Livingston High School
#12 – Summit Senior High School
#13 – Millburn High School
#14 – Glen Ridge High School
#15 – Ridge High School, Basking Ridge
#18 – West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South
#19 – Mountain Lakes High School
#20 – Tenafly High School
#23 – Northern Highlands Regional High School
#25 – Montgomery High School
#26 – Ridgewood High School
.
.
US NEWS NATIONAL RANK:
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RIDGEWOOD IS RANKED #583 (almost below 600) in NATIONAL Rank
.
.
US NEWS COLLEGE READINESS (arguably the most important ranking)
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RIDGEWOOD HAS A 53.6% COLLEGE READINESS rating (barely half of the students graduate as ready for college).
.
.
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———————————
STATE OF NJ’s OWN SCHOOL RANKINGS
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You are also ignoring that THE STATE OF NJ ranked Ridgewood High School as 83 out of the 385 NJ high schools.
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Neighboring Glen Rock was ranked #13

(the top twelve on the NJ State list are specialized “academies” and vocational schools which have academic standards for acceptance)
.
Here’s some other (local) schools that are ranked higher than Ridgewood:
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#20 – Pascack Hills (Pascack Valley)
#25 – Northern Valley – Demarest
#28 – Tenafly
#29 – Mahwah
#45 – Northern Valley – Old Tappan
#46 – Pascack Valley
#48 – River Dell
#52 – Indian Hills
#55 – Emerson
#56 – Fair Lawn
#60 – Northern Highlands
#61 – Fort Lee
#72 – Waldwick
#73 – New Milford
#76 – Bergenfield
#82 – Ramapo
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Then Ridgewood at #83
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But at least we beat out Dumont (ranked #84)
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—————————-
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No Matter how you look at the data, it IS NOT good news for Ridgewood.
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Phil Murphy Appoints Bob Gordon (D-38) to the Board of Public Utilities

Senator Bob Gordon (D-38)

April 4,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Fair Lawn NJ, State Senator Bob Gordon (D-38) is going to the Board of Public Utilities (BPU).Bergen sources had speculated for some time on this eventuality and today a source confirmed it.Gordon represents Hawthorne, Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Bergenfield, Hasbrouck Heights, Maywood, Lodi, Oradell, New Milford, Paramus, Oradell, Rochelle Park, Paramus, River Edge, and Saddle Brook.

As chairman of the N.J. Senate committee responsible for overseeing public transportation issues Gordon came under criticism ,for seeming out of touch with New Jersey Transits problems and failing to act until far to late.

The departure of the battleground district senator sets up the most likely potential for Assemblyman Joe Lagana (D-38) and Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-38) to challenge for it. Republicans have long eyed the district and have come close to taking it several times.

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Reader asks Who is Responsible for the Dramatic Decline of Ridgewood Schools

My God… we’re not even better than Bergenfield? Waldwick? etc…
Maybe we need a bigger budget. How about $125 million and a goal to break into the top 75…
Bergenfield, Dumont, Ramapo… Those towns must have massive budgets

 

The State of NJ ranks Ridgewood High School as 83 out of the 385 NJ high schools.
Apologies for being off by 1 in the original post (was counting the “header row” by mistake)
.
Lets see how bad Ridgewood #83 ranking really is…
.
Neighboring Glen Rock was ranked #13
(the top twelve are specialized “academies” and vocational schools which have academic standards for acceptance)
.
Here’s some other (local) schools that are ranked higher than Ridgewood:
.
#20 – Pascack Hills (Pascack Valley)
#25 – Northern Valley – Demarest
#28 – Tenafly
#29 – Mahwah
#45 – Northern Valley – Old Tappan
#46 – Pascack Valley
#48 – River Dell
#52 – Indian Hills
#55 – Emerson
#56 – Fair Lawn
#60 – Northern Highlands
#61 – Fort Lee
#72 – Waldwick
#73 – New Milford
#76 – Bergenfield
#82 – Ramapo
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Then Ridgewood at #83
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But at least we beat out Dumont (ranked #84)
.
.

Embarassing.
.
But let’s approve the $110 Million budget.
It’s money well spent.
We’ll keep deluding ourselves that we have great schools.
It’s all part of the “Tradition of Excellence”

What a dramatic decline. Fishbein and Gorman should take responsibility for this. Who holds their feet to the fire? In the meantime parents are oblivious as long as they feel good about “the new leaders (their kids)” being “vocal” about national issues

 

 

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The State of NJ ranks Ridgewood High School as 83 out of the 385 NJ high schools

RHS 2017

The State of NJ ranks Ridgewood High School as 83 out of the 385 NJ high schools.
Apologies for being off by 1 in the original post (was counting the “header row” by mistake)
.
Lets see how bad Ridgewood #83 ranking really is…
.
Neighboring Glen Rock was ranked #13
(the top twelve are specialized “academies” and vocational schools which have academic standards for acceptance)
.
Here’s some other (local) schools that are ranked higher than Ridgewood:
.
#20 – Pascack Hills (Pascack Valley)
#25 – Northern Valley – Demarest
#28 – Tenafly
#29 – Mahwah
#45 – Northern Valley – Old Tappan
#46 – Pascack Valley
#48 – River Dell
#52 – Indian Hills
#55 – Emerson
#56 – Fair Lawn
#60 – Northern Highlands
#61 – Fort Lee
#72 – Waldwick
#73 – New Milford
#76 – Bergenfield
#82 – Ramapo
.
Then Ridgewood at #83
.
But at least we beat out Dumont (ranked #84)
.
.

Embarassing.
.
But let’s approve the $110 Million budget.
It’s money well spent.
We’ll keep deluding ourselves that we have great schools.
It’s all part of the “Tradition of Excellence”