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New Jersey Financial Literacy Education Bill Signed?

money

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Jersey City NJ, does anyone find the humor in the very idea that the financial illiterates in Trenton have signed a bill requiring “financial literacy” to be taught in schools?

Perhaps it should be a required coarse for the Governor and the state assembly . Dare we even go so far as to say even ex-governors should be forced to take the starting with former governor Whitman.

Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed legislation (A-1414) requiring school districts to provide financial literacy education to middle school students in grades six through eight. The financial literacy instruction will emphasize budgeting, saving, credit, debt, insurance, investment, and other issues associated with personal financial responsibility to ensure New Jersey’s youth have access to the tools and foundation needed for sound financial decision-making.

“Financial responsibility is an important acquired and learned life skill and with the increasing financial challenges millennials face, it is a skill that must be a necessary part of our educational curriculum,” said Acting Governor Sheila Oliver. “Governor Murphy and I are happy to partner with the Legislature by signing this bill today to help New Jersey students learn how to effectively manage their personal finances and help set them up for success in life.”

Primary sponsors of the bill include Senators Dawn Marie Addiego and Ron Rice; and Assemblymembers Angela McKnight, Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Eliana Pintor Marin, Jamel Holley, Benjie Wimberly, and Annette Quijano.

“I am delighted the financial literacy bill was signed into law, so students can receive education on key topics that they will need for the rest of their lives,” said Senator Addiego. “We must reach people early on in life so they can plan ahead and build a foundation of financial knowledge that will help them live an independent lifestyle.”

“One of the most important lessons a person can learn is how to manage their money. Many young people go into adulthood knowing little about finances, and end up making decisions that cost them in the long run,” said Assemblywoman McKnight. “Teaching our kids early about the importance of managing their money and making sound financial decisions can prevent them from making costly mistakes and set them on the right financial path.”

“This bill would allow financial education to be infused into currents subjects, helping younger students in Jersey City and across the state get a head start on understanding the very things that will impact them every day,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop. “Learning about credit, investing, savings and other financial aspects are critical tools to building a foundation and setting our students up to succeed. Financial literacy is already being taught at the high school level, and we’re excited to expand this to younger students at the start of the new school year in September.”

Acting Governor Oliver signed the bill at President Barack Obama Elementary School – PS 34 in Jersey City.

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MS-13 killers Use New Jersey Sanctuary Status to hide from the law

photo by RH

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

TRENTON NJ,  Fulfilling its statutory mandate to keep the public informed about the operations of organized crime in New Jersey, the State Commission of Investigation today introduced a new project, “Organized Crime Spotlight,” that will periodically provide up‐to‐date profiles of significant criminal groups impacting the State and region. The inaugural report focuses on La Mara Salvatrucha, commonly referred to as MS‐13, a criminal street gang known for extreme violence.  

The State Commission of Investigation is an independent New Jersey watchdog agency  established in 1968 to investigate organized crime and corruption, waste of tax money and  other abuses of the public trust. Copies of public reports are available at the Commission’s  offices or via its Web site at www.state.nj.us/sci.index.shtm  

The Commission found that while aggressive law enforcement efforts and prosecutions at the state and federal levels have been somewhat effective in suppressing MS‐13, it remains a persistent threat in New Jersey, preying primarily on immigrant communities through extortion, robbery and street‐level drug sales.  With a ceaseless thirst to command respect through fear, its trademark ideology of advancing in rank through violence and its rivalries with other groups, murder is always just a spark away for MS‐13 members, the SCI found.  

The most infamous example of MS‐13’s savagery in New Jersey was the slaying of three individuals – and the grave wounding of a fourth – in a Newark schoolyard on the night of Aug. 4, 2007. Six of the gang’s members, including the leader of the Newark clique, are serving long prison sentences for the grisly attack. Such vicious incidents of violence have been less frequent in recent years, and some policing experts believe elements of MS‐13 may be intentionally lying low to avoid law enforcement scrutiny.  

Further, the Commission learned that New Jersey is a central command post for the gang’s operations on the East Coast.  Over the past decade, an effort by MS‐13 leaders in El Salvador to exert greater control over U.S.‐based cliques, or sets, has taken root. These cliques take orders directly from compatriots in El Salvador for killings and pay tribute by wiring cash to leaders in the Central American nation.  New Jersey has played a prominent role in this movement with leaders in Monmouth and Hudson counties directing operations along the East Coast.  

Founded by immigrants fleeing war‐torn El Salvador in the 1980s, MS‐13 originated on the streets of Los Angeles. New Jersey law enforcement officials identified the first MS‐13 members in Elizabeth, Union County, in the mid‐1990s. Today, MS‐13 members are scattered throughout the state from Union City to Morristown, Trenton to Red Bank, and Lindenwold to
Lakewood.

Along with outlining the gang’s origins, expansion, structure and activities, the report also highlights some of the obstacles facing law enforcement as well as approaches some officials have used to tamp down violence and to prevent vulnerable teenagers from bolstering MS‐13’s ranks.  

Combating MS‐13 presents unique challenges to law enforcement due to the insular nature of the gang, which often targets immigrants from El Salvador as both victims and as potential recruits. In some municipalities, outreach is hampered by a lack of Spanish‐speaking officers. Law enforcement officials across the State told the Commission efforts are ongoing to build relationships with these communities but that many people, principally those who are undocumented, are fearful of deportation or of retaliation by the gang.  

Notwithstanding these challenges, law enforcement in some jurisdictions, particularly in Hudson County, have adopted strategies that have successfully headed off potential violence and muted the gang’s predatory behavior. Most notably, law enforcement officials in Union City, Hudson County, told the Commission that while many MS‐13 members are present in the city, the gang does not conduct overt criminal activity there because of a zero‐tolerance approach that involves multiple city departments and the school system.  Some measures taken in Union City include a midnight curfew on those under 18 and a requirement that building owners swiftly remove graffiti, such as gang‐related tags, or face significant financial penalties.  

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New Jersey is Now limiting the ability of law enforcement officers

ridgewood police

Heather Darling, Heather is a layer from Morris County 

Trenton NJ, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3, the Statute recently amended to further limit the capacity of gun magazines is being interpreted to include that law enforcement officers are not permitted to possess “large-capacity magazines” capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition to be fed continuously into semi-automatic firearms, unless while on duty or travelling to or from an authorized place of duty. The statute is applicable to all law enforcement officers, including those subject to on-call status.

The notion that this could possibly be designed to keep citizens safe is ludicrous. While an on-duty officer is considered capable of safely possessing and operating a gun with a so-called large capacity magazine, this statute proposes that, from the moment that an officer is off-duty, he or she is no longer able to safely possess and operate a firearm with a so-called large capacity magazine.

Additionally, where law abiding citizens have been ordered to turn in the so-called large capacity magazines, criminals with illegal guns will certainly not be turning in theirs.

New Jersey already prohibits carry permits for citizens in all but the most exceptional circumstances. This places the protection of our citizens squarely on the shoulders of law enforcement officers.

It is unlikely the legislature forgetting that police officers are often aided by off-duty law enforcement personnel until back-up can arrive and, at times, it is off-duty personnel initially addressing situations until on-duty officers arrive at the scene.

Now New Jersey is limiting the ability of law enforcement officers, normally having carry permits by virtue of their training, knowledge and having passed a rigorous background check, to protect our citizens. This act of limiting the capacity of magazines in the guns carried by off-duty law enforcement officers certainly seems to demonstrate that the amendment of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3 is to further disarm citizens, including police, and remove their ability to protect themselves rather than to prevent mass casualty situations as those pushing this legislation would have us believe.

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ICE arrests 105 in New Jersey operation targeting criminal aliens and public safety threats

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

NEWARK NJ,  Four individuals in the country illegally who have Interpol warrants based on crimes they committed in their home countries were among 105 foreign nationals taken into custody during a five-day operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last week in New Jersey.  The operation, which was spearheaded by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), targeted at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and other immigration violators and 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, 80 percent had prior criminal convictions and/or pending criminal charges.“These outstanding results, which were made possible by our officers and law enforcement partners, highlight the tremendous commitment that ICE ERO has to public safety throughout the state,” said John Tsoukaris, Field Office Director of ERO Newark. “Our focus has been and will continue to be on arrests of illegal aliens who have been convicted of serious crimes or those who pose a threat to public safety.”          

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.  

The individuals arrested throughout New Jersey were nationals of Brazil (6), Canada (1), Colombia (1), Costa Rica (1), Cuba (2), Dominican Republic (10), Ecuador (4), Egypt (1), El Salvador (8), Guatemala (13), Honduras (7), Jamaica (4), Korea (2), Mexico (28), Peru (4), Philippines (1), Poland (1), Russia (1), Serbia (1), Slovakia (2), Spain (1), Taiwan (1), Trinidad (1), and Venezuela (4).

These individuals were arrested in the following counties in New Jersey: Atlantic (1), Bergen (4), Burlington (1), Camden (1), Essex (6), Gloucester (2), Hudson (24), Hunterdon (1), Mercer (12), Middlesex (10), Monmouth (14), Morris (3), Ocean (2), Passaic (11), Somerset (1), and Union (10). Also, two (2) individuals were arrested in New York. They range from age 18 to 65 years old and most 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, extortion, DUI, fraud, domestic violence, theft, possession of a weapon, robbery, promoting prostitution, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, shoplifting and illegal reentry.

Among those arrested during this operation include:

  • In Palisades Park, a 59-year-old Korean national, who has an Interpol warrant to serve his sentence for the crime of indecent acts by compulsion causing bodily injury;
  • In Palisades Park, a 44-year-old Korean national, who has an Interpol warrant to serve his sentence for the crime of distribution of psychotropic drugs;
  • In West New York, a 34-year-old Ecuadorian national, who has an Interpol warrant for the crime of fraud;
  • In Paterson, a 54-year-old Russian national, who has an Interpol warrant for the crime of large scale fraud;
  • In Union City, a 35-year-old Ecuadorian national, who has a conviction of forcible touching on a child;
  • In Jersey City, a 35-year-old Venezuelan national, who has a conviction of distribution of narcotics;
  • In Union City, a 52-year-old Mexican national, who has a conviction of promoting prostitution with a child.
  • In New Brunswick, a 34-year-old Honduran national, who has a conviction of Endangering the Welfare of a Child;
  • In Bayonne, a 43-year-old Canadian national, who has a conviction of distribution of narcotics on school grounds;
  • In Jamesburg, a 25-year-old previously deported Guatemalan national, who was arrested for aggravated assault and possession of a weapon. An ICE detainer was lodged with Middlesex County Jail but they refused to honor the ICE detainer and released the subject;
  • In Toms River, a 28-year-old Egyptian national, who has three convictions for possession and distribution of narcotics;
  • In Jersey City, a 41-year-old Taiwanese national, who has convictions for extortion and bank fraud;
  • In Atlantic City, a 38-year-old Cuban national, who has a conviction for aggravated criminal sexual contact;
  • In New Brunswick, a 48-year-old Jamaican national, who has convictions for conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a weapon;
  • In Freehold a 28-year-old El Salvadorian national, who is a member of MS-13;
  • In New Brunswick, a 19-year-old Mexican national, who is a member of the 18th street gang;
  • In Newark, a 31-year-old Mexican national, who is a member of the Surenos-13th street gang;

This operation was pre-planned and not as a result of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Directive last week limiting local and state law enforcement cooperation with ICE. ICE will of necessity have to conduct additional enforcement operations, if local police departments and county jails do not refer criminals and gang members they encounter to ICE for review and possible arrest on immigration violations.

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New Jersey high-rises aren’t as fire safe as you think

Ridgewood_Firefighters_Quickly_Snuff_Out_theridgewood blog

file photo by Boyd Loving

by New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NJFSAB)

Ridgewood NJ, Fatal fires in high-rise buildings continue to demonstrate the dangers associated with failing to install fire sprinkler systems. These buildings present unique challenges to fire departments and pose a serious danger to their occupants if fire sprinkler systems are not in place.

Continue reading New Jersey high-rises aren’t as fire safe as you think

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New Jersey School Kids Denied Entry to White House Due to Lack of ID

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, New Jersey school kids got a lesson in presidential security when three classmates who were visiting from other countries were barred from joining a White House tour.
A group of seventh-graders from Henry Hudson Regional School in Highlands braved a snowstorm on Nov. 15 for a long-awaited bus trip to Washington DC. Bad weather forced the cancelation of most of their trip including lunch on the White House lawn leaving only a visit to the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Continue reading New Jersey School Kids Denied Entry to White House Due to Lack of ID

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The New Jersey Department of Health Warns Three Passaic County Locations May Have Been Exposed to Measles

New Jersey Department of Health

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Passaic NJ, The New Jersey Department of Health is warning residents of additional exposures associated with an outbreak of measles— a highly contagious disease—in Ocean County.
A highly suspect case of measles associated with the Ocean County outbreak has potentially exposed individuals in Passaic County. This Passaic County resident could have exposed others to the infection while in Passaic County between November 17 and November 18.

Continue reading The New Jersey Department of Health Warns Three Passaic County Locations May Have Been Exposed to Measles

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Morris County GOP Chair Ron DeFilippis Slams Governor Murphy and the Trenton Democrats for Partying in Atlantic City while NJ Residents are Stranded for Hours

As Governor Murphy Parties in Atlantic City, NJ Residents are Stranded On Roads for Hours

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

PARSIPPANY NJ, Due to the poor preparedness and response to the State’s first snowstorm of 2018, hundreds of thousands of residents across the state were stranded on major highways that were not prepared, plowed, salted or cleared for upwards of over twelve hours. Despite the fact that the snowstorm was predicted 3-4 days before it hit, there was still little to nothing done to prepare for the turmoil and danger the storm caused.

“While the Governor was partying at the League of Municipalities in Atlantic City, our friends and neighbors were stuck on NJ highways for up to 14 hours in some areas. The danger and havoc that the lack of preparation caused on residents should be unforgivable. This is what happens when people vote on emotion and not practicality. You elect people into office that have no experience or right being there”, said Morris County Chair Ron DeFilippis.

Continue reading Morris County GOP Chair Ron DeFilippis Slams Governor Murphy and the Trenton Democrats for Partying in Atlantic City while NJ Residents are Stranded for Hours

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New Jersey Business Tax Policies Chase Away Jobs

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, In light of yesterday’s Wall Street Journal report detailing Google’s plans to add 12,000 new jobs in New York City, Senate Republicans Tom Kean and Steven Oroho said that the expansion would cost New Jersey thousands of  jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost tax revenue.

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Former Hoboken City Council Candidate and Campaign Worker Indicted in “Pay for Vote”, Scheme

Hudson County Machine Politics

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hoboken NJ,  A former candidate for the Hoboken City Council and a campaign worker were charged today by a federal grand jury with conspiracy to promote a voter bribery scheme by use of the mail, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Continue reading Former Hoboken City Council Candidate and Campaign Worker Indicted in “Pay for Vote”, Scheme