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Ice Cream by Mike will host a Kimchi Smoke Barbecue event next Friday August 31th

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,On Friday, August 31, 2018, the latest pop up from Chef Robert Austin Cho — whose Westwood restaurant Kimchi Smoke BBQ was recently named in Food and Wine’s “The Best BBQ in Every State” (https://bit.ly/2JVCbUX) — will pair his life changing Chonut and legendary Bad as Texas Brisket with the “Best Ice Cream in Bergen County” (https://bit.ly/2MKYS3H) — as chosen by NJ.com.

Continue reading Ice Cream by Mike will host a Kimchi Smoke Barbecue event next Friday August 31th

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Ocean County Lawyer Who Hosted Radio Show on Elder Law Pleads Guilty to Stealing Millions of Dollars from Elderly Clients

July 29,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a prominent Ocean County attorney who hosted a radio show and taught seminars on elder law pleaded guilty today to stealing millions of dollars from elderly clients of his law firm and laundering the money through various bank accounts, including his attorney trust and business accounts. The victims generally did not have close relatives to guard their interests and in some cases suffered from dementia.

Robert Novy, 66, of Brick, N.J., pleaded guilty today to first-degree money laundering before Superior Court Judge Michael T. Collins in Ocean County. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Novy be sentenced to 10 years in state prison, including three years and four months of parole ineligibility. In pleading guilty, Novy admitted that he stole millions of dollars from law clients. The state’s investigation revealed that he stole nearly $3 million from at least two dozen victims.  Novy is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28.

Novy must pay restitution to his victims out of two funds totaling $4 million that are being created using assets previously seized from him by the state: one fund of $3 million to provide restitution to client victims, heirs, estates and trusts already identified through the state’s investigation, and a second fund of $1 million to provide restitution, with court approval, for others not previously identified who come forward with proof that they were victims of thefts.  Novy also must surrender his license to practice law in New Jersey and pay $500,000 to the state as an anti-money laundering profiteering penalty.

Deputy Attorneys General Peter Gallagher and William Conlow prosecuted Novy and took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. The guilty plea is the result of an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, assisted by the New Jersey Division of Taxation Office of Criminal Investigation.

As an expert in elder law, Novy hosted a bi-monthly radio program “Inside the Law,” focusing on topics of concern to senior citizens. He was arrested on Oct. 18, 2016.  Detectives executed a search warrant at the time at his firm, Novy & Associates, on Ridgeway Avenue in Manchester, seizing billing records and other evidence. The Attorney General’s Office obtained court orders freezing over $4 million in assets held by Novy and his firm and appointing a trustee to oversee the firm’s business operations.

“By exploiting elderly clients and stealing their life savings, Novy sank to the lowest levels of greed, dishonesty, and callousness,” said Attorney General Grewal. “This guilty plea serves justice by ensuring that Novy will face a substantial prison sentence and that his victims will receive restitution from assets already seized from him by the Division of Criminal Justice.”

“A fundamental concern in this case was to secure restitution for Novy’s many victims, including his elderly clients and the heirs and beneficiaries who had millions of dollars stolen from them,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice.  “Through this guilty plea, we have achieved that goal and have sent a strong message that lawyers and others who hold positions of trust will be held accountable if they betray that trust and steal from those who are vulnerable.”

The case was referred to the Division of Criminal Justice by Ocean County Surrogate Jeffrey W. Moran. Novy also was investigated by the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics, which issued an ethics complaint against him on Jan. 26, 2016, and assisted the Division of Criminal Justice.

The investigation revealed that Novy stole funds from elderly and deceased clients who often did not have a close relative to claim their estate or challenge Novy’s actions.  He used the stolen funds for his own benefit, paying personal and business expenses.  Novy gained control through wills, powers of attorney, and trust documents, making himself the sole financial decision-maker for the clients. When clients had sizeable assets in the form of an annuity or life insurance policy, Novy directed insurance companies to redeem the policies and send the money directly to him. In some cases, when challenged by trustees or relatives about particular funds that had been withdrawn from client accounts, Novy claimed they were “administrative errors” and repaid the funds.

The Division of Criminal Justice obtained a state grand jury indictment on April 30, 2018 charging that Novy engaged in three different schemes by which he stole funds from clients:

  1. In one scheme, Novy simply transferred funds from his clients’ personal bank accounts or from his clients’ liquidated personal assets into his own bank account.
  2. In the second scheme, Novy transferred funds from his clients’ personal accounts or liquidated assets into IOLTA (Interest on Lawyer Trust Account) sub-accounts that he controlled.  The powers of attorney executed by the victims legally required Novy to place their assets into independent trust funds selected by the victims that would manage their assets, so the act of placing the funds into accounts that he controlled constituted a theft by Novy.
  3. In the third scheme, Novy transferred client funds from various accounts – including the clients’ personal accounts, the clients’ IOLTA sub-accounts, or the firm’s attorney trust account – into the firm’s operating and disbursement accounts.  Novy excessively billed the clients for power of attorney fees without any supporting invoices.

Novy was charged with money laundering because he engaged in transactions involving the stolen funds and the various accounts – primarily his attorney trust accounts and/or attorney business accounts – by which he concealed the source of the stolen funds and used them to promote his criminal activities.

Deputy Attorneys General Gallagher and Conlow prosecuted the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Mark Kurzawa and Deputy Division Director Christine Hoffman. The case was investigated by Detective Michael Arduini, Detective Michael Woods, Lt. Anne Hayes, Investigator Jordan Thompson, Investigator Wayne Cummings and Analyst Terri Drumm.  Deputy Attorney General Derek Miller and Investigator Debra Maiorano handled the state’s forfeiture action. Attorney General Grewal thanked the Ocean County Surrogate, the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics and the Division of Taxation Office of Criminal Investigation for their valuable assistance in the investigation. Special Agents Mike Mullane and Will Makar investigated for the Division of Taxation Office of Criminal Investigation.

Persons, relatives, heirs, estates or trusts who believe they are victims of Novy and can offer proof of damages should write to Deputy Attorney General Kara R. Webster in the State Office of Victim Witness Advocacy at WebsterK@njdcj.org, or if they do not have email access, phone (609) 376-2444.

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“Operation Statewide,”Nabs Ocean County Man With Over 36,000 Files of Child Pornography

 

July 12,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that an Ocean County man who had over 36,000 videos and images of child pornography on his computer devices was sentenced today to state prison. He was one of 40 men arrested in 2016 in “Operation Statewide,” a child pornography sweep by the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which includes the New Jersey State Police, Division of Criminal Justice, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and numerous state, county and local law enforcement agencies.
Anthony White, 31, of Lakewood, N.J., was sentenced today to six years in state prison, including three years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Linda Baxter in Ocean County. He pleaded guilty on March 6 to second-degree charges of distributing child pornography and attempting to manufacture child pornography. He will be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and will be subject to parole supervision for life.
Deputy Attorney General Rachael Weeks prosecuted White and handled the sentencing for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.

In pleading guilty, White admitted that he knowingly used file-sharing software to make 25 or more files of child pornography readily available for any other user to download from a “shared folder” on his computer. He further admitted in connection with the attempted manufacturing charge that he tried to reproduce images of child pornography that he previously downloaded. While monitoring a peer-to-peer file-sharing network popular with sex offenders, a detective of the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU) downloaded 38 videos and images of child pornography from a shared folder at a computer IP address later traced to White. White was arrested on July 20, 2016, when members of the DTIU and State Police TEAMS Unit executed a search warrant at his home and seized computer devices, including a desktop computer. A forensic preview of the devices revealed over 36,000 videos and images of child pornography, one of the largest collections of child pornography ever seized by law enforcement in New Jersey.

“We are working hard through our proactive online investigations to banish the offensive notion that viewing child pornography is somehow a victimless crime,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Tens of thousands of children were cruelly abused to create the videos and images in White’s collection, and he exploited and re-victimized those children by his actions.”

“By sending defendants like White to prison, we deliver the message that possessing and distributing child pornography are very serious crimes – crimes that create a market for the terrible abuse of innocent children,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “This prison sentence reflects our determination to prosecute these offenders aggressively using New Jersey’s tough child pornography laws.”
“People like Anthony White care more about getting caught than they do about the innocent children who are subjected to the horrific abuses portrayed in the videos they willingly share on the internet,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “As a result of the great work by our troopers and law enforcement partners, White will remain under parole supervision for life after he serves his prison sentence.”

Operation Statewide was a 2016 multi-agency child pornography sweep coordinated by the New Jersey State Police, as lead agency for the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The operation resulted in arrests of 40 men, including defendants in every county of New Jersey. During the operation, investigators monitored Peer to Peer, or P2P, file-sharing networks popular with child pornography offenders. Such networks play a major role in the distribution of child pornography, functioning in the same manner as websites used for privately sharing music or movies. Because videos and photos of child pornography keep recirculating, they result in the perpetual re-victimization of the children who were sexually assaulted or abused to produce them. Law enforcement has cataloged a large number of these images and videos, and the electronic files can be traced in various ways. During Operation Statewide, detectives downloaded child pornography that defendants offered from shared folders on their computers, tracing the files to their point of origin.
Attorney General Grewal commended the detectives of the New Jersey State Police DTIU and members of the other agencies in the New Jersey ICAC Task Force who conducted Operation Statewide, as well as the attorneys who participated in the investigations and are prosecuting the resulting cases.

Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende urged anyone with information about distribution of child pornography on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to please contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.

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“Wine Down Wednesday,” at Serendipity Labs in Ridgewood

May 29,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Join Serendipity Labs and Julie Belardinelli, Independent Wine Ambassador of The Boissett Collection, Wednesday, May 30th for “Wine Down Wednesday,” an evening of wine tasting and networking. Julie is a certified ambassador from the International Wine Center in NYC and she is excited to share her knowledge and love of wine with all of you!
Come connect over great wine and great company at Bergen County’s only upscale, hospitality-driven coworking office. Admission is $20/person and attendance is limited to 15 people, so be sure to register! Your ticket will include an exclusive wine tasting from The Boissett Collection, 2 complimentary day passes to Serendipity Labs, and an hour of unique, intimate networking.
Wed, May 30, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT
Address: 45 N Broad St, Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Phone: (201) 574-1001
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Senate President Steve Sweeney , “We cannot tax our way out of this fiscal crisis”

New_Jersey_State_Senator_Stephen_Sweeney

May 17,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

MONROE TOWNSHIP NJ, in an interesting turn of events Senate President Steve Sweeney today told business leaders that major changes in New Jersey’s fiscal policy and government structure are needed to make the state competitive and affordable, and vowed that the Legislature’s leadership will have the political will to make the necessary changes.

Seems that years of running the state into the ground has taken its tool ,“We cannot tax our way out of this fiscal crisis,” Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said at a New Jersey Business and Industry Association forum. “The problems we face – from pensions to school funding, from health care costs to property taxes – are deep-rooted and complex, and the solutions are politically difficult. But I promise you that we will have the political will on a bipartisan basis to make the changes we need to make New Jersey competitive and affordable.”

Senator Sweeney praised the ongoing efforts of the economists, academics and tax policy experts serving on the Economic and Fiscal Policy Working Group he convened under the bipartisan leadership of Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) to find solutions to the state’s long-term fiscal crisis. Assembly Budget Chair Eliana Pintor-Marin (D-Essex) and Senators Anthony Bucco Sr. (R-Morris) and Dawn Addiego (R-Burlington) are also serving on the panel.

“This initiative grew out of our concern over the impact of the federal tax law, which unfairly targets high-cost states like New Jersey by virtually eliminating the personal income tax deduction for state and local income, property and sales taxes,” said Senator Sweeney. “We are doing everything we can to reduce the impact, including developing legislation to enable S corporations, LLCs and partnerships to pay the state income tax liabilities of their owners and partners. These businesses will be able to deduct $35 billion in taxes as a result of our work.

“But we realize that it isn’t enough to just respond to the federal tax law. We have to do more – a lot more. Our panel will be coming out with a series of recommendations that will bolster our underfunded pension systems, control health care costs, hold down property taxes and ensure that government services are delivered with efficiency and cost-effectiveness at the level of government that makes the most sense.”

Senator Sweeney said the panel is undertaking a long-overdue examination of the adequacy, fairness and competitiveness of New Jersey’s state and local tax structure, and benchmarking New Jersey tax levels against other states.
“We are committed to making New Jersey competitive and affordable in order to attract jobs and businesses, bolster housing values and make our state a desirable location for millennials to create start-ups, for young families to choose to raise their children, and for senior citizens to retire.”

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“Three Amigos is a racist term, ” NO, IT IS NOT claims reader

3 amigos in action Ridgewood NJ

file photo by Boyd Loving the 3 amigos ; Gwen, Paul and Al the absolute low point in Ridgewood History 

“Three Amigos is a racist term, ” you write. NO, IT IS NOT. Here is the origin from Wikipedia:

Three Amigos (marketed as ¡Three Amigos!) is a 1986 American western comedy film directed by John Landis and written by Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, and Randy Newman. Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short star as the title characters,[4] three silent film stars who are mistaken for real heroes by the suffering people of a small Mexican village and must find a way to live up to their reputation.Critical response
¡Three Amigos! received generally mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 46% of 35 film critics gave the film a positive review, with a rating average of 5.1 out of 10.[10] Film critic Roger Ebert awarded the film one out of four stars and said, “The ideas to make Three Amigos into a good comedy are here, but the madness is missing.”[11] Janet Maslin of The New York Times gave the film a mixed review, writing that it was “likable” but lacked a “distinctive style”, and then certain jokes are crafted with “enjoyable sophistication”.[12] Caroline Wetsbrook of Empire awarded the film three out of five stars and wrote that it was “good-natured enough to sustain its ultimately thin premise”.[13]

Despite this, the film has since been reviewed more favorably and has become a cult classic. Neil McNally of the website Den of Geek noted that the film was “unfairly overlooked” when first released, and praised the performances of Martin, Chase, and Short; the comedic scriptwriting of Landis; and the “sweeping, majestic” score by Bernstein.[14] The film was ranked #79 on Bravo’s list of the “100 Funniest Movies”.[15
I actually took the film out of library and watched it. It is not racist.

What I hate is misinformed people jumping on a politically correct bandwagon, without thinking and using political correctness to the detriment of the issue. The issue here is RACISM. You probably don’t give a damn about racism or you would have taken the time and thought to research the term Three Amigos that has been so frequently used on this blog. Don’t you think , ASSHOLE, (how about that for an expression) that the intelligent , educated and well-informed Ridgewood residents who contribute to this excellent blog would not have already years ago called out the term by now if it was racist since it has been used for about four years or more on this Blog.
Do you think we need an idiot who thinks he is trendy and politically correct to tell us something about racism. I have a suggestion for you: Start reading excellent nonfiction in history and the classics in fiction. Are you even literate?

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New Jersey Choral Society presents The Key of B – Billy Joel, The Beatles and Beautiful

New Jersey Choral Society

February 16,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington Township NJ,  The New Jersey Choral Society continues its Jubilee Season with The Key of B- Billy Joel, The Beatles and Beautiful. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of artist-in- residence Linda Sweetman-Waters, the NJCS Pops Spectacular highlights iconic music of legendary artists Billy Joel, Carole King and The Beatles. Performances will be held on Saturday, March 10 at 8:00 pm and on Sunday, March 11 at 3:00 pm at the Immaculate Heart Academy, 500 Van Emburgh
Ave., Washington Township.

Ms. Sweetman-Waters will be featured on piano, accompanied by the Pops Spectacular Band.Several talented soloists and a vocal ensemble from the chorus will also perform. The concerts will include classic songs such as Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” “Everybody Has a Dream,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” a medley of hits from The Beatles including “In My Life,” “Hey Jude,” “Let It Be,” “Yesterday,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Got to Get You into My Life,” as well as songs from Carole King’s best-selling album, Tapestry, and the Broadway musical, Beautiful.

Advance tickets are $25.00 for adults and $22.00 for students, seniors, and patrons with disabilities (add $10.00 if purchased at the door). A 10% discount for groups of 10 or more is also available. Come one hour prior to performance time for The Inside Line, a complimentary lecture for all ticket holders, presented by Seth Saltzman. For reservations or more information, visit www.NJCS.org or call the New Jersey Choral Society at (201) 379-7719.

Established in 1980, the New Jersey Choral Society is one of the state’s most prestigious choral groups, well-known for presenting outstanding and unique programs. Under the direction of Eric Dale Knapp, NJCS performs three major concerts annually in Bergen and Essex counties. They have performed at Carnegie Hall and the White House and have toured internationally in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, China, Australia, England, France and Italy. In 2017, they received “honorable mention” in the Jersey Arts People’s Choice Awards for “Best Choral Group” in New Jersey.

Immaculate Heart Academy is wheelchair accessible. Funding has been made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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Treasury Secretary Calls individuals looking to skirt new limits on deducting state and local taxes “ridiculous,”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

February 13,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, The idea that individuals will skirt new limits on deducting state and local taxes is “ridiculous,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in January, highlighting concerns that people might be able to pay property taxes and claim them as a charitable deduction.

The Secretary continued ,“Let me just say again from a Treasury standpoint and IRS, I don’t want to speculate on what people will do, but I think it’s one of the more ridiculous comments to think you can take a real estate tax that you are required to make and dress that up as a charitable contribution,”

Mnuchin told reporters at the daily White House press briefing. “I hope that the states are more focused on cutting their budgets and giving tax cuts to their people in their states than they are in trying to evade the law.”

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President Donald J. Trump Signs “Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park Act,”

President Donald J

January 10,2018
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, On Monday, January 8, 2018, the President signed into law: H.R. 267, the “Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park Act,” which redesignates the Martin Luther King, Junior, National Historic Site in the State of Georgia as the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park.

The President also celebrated the fact that African American unemployment rate fell to 6.8%, the lowest rate in 45 years , the overall unemployment rate, which by October had dropped to 4.1 percent, represented a 17-year low . Trump touted that ,“The benefits of the low rates were felt broadly, resulting in unemployment rates for America’s veterans, African-Americans, and Hispanics that reached historic lows in 2017.”

Above President Donald J. Trump, with Alveda King, center, niece of slain Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and joined by Isaac Newton Farris Jr., left, nephew of Dr. King, and Bruce Levell of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, right, signs the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park Act, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, aboard Air Force One, in Atlanta, Ga. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

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Philly’s Pride Flag Is About to Get Two New Black and Brown Stripes and Here’s Why

philly pride flag

June 16,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Philadelphia PA,  Philadelphia is redefining the LGBT pride flag.The city has a launched a new campaign, “More Color More Pride,” adding one black and one brown stripe to the traditional six colored rainbow. The new design will be, from top to bottom: black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

“The black and brown stripes are an inclusionary way to highlight black and brown LGBTQIA members within our community,” said one source involved with the flag-raising event who asked not to be named. “With all of the black and brown activism that’s worked to address racism in the Gayborhood over the past year, I think the new flag is a great step for the city to show the world that they’re working toward fully supporting all members of our community.”

A spokesperson for the event would not confirm the new design, but in a statement described the flag reveal as “a special, can’t-be-missed unveiling and raising of a brand-new Pride flag which promises to be a step toward inclusivity, to spur dialogue within the community, and to impact the worldwide conversation.”

Lookin for input from the LGBTQ Black and Brown community. Will be inttoduced at Philly Pride this year.In 1978, artist Gilbert Baker designed the original rainbow flag. An iconic symbol of LGBTQ+ unity. So much has happened since then. A lot of good, but there’s more we can do. Especially when it comes to recognizing people of color in the LGBTQ+ community. To fuel this important conversation, we’ve expanded the colors of the flag to include black and brown. It may seem like a small step. But together we can make big strides toward a truly inclusive community. (Black Lives Matter Hudson Valley)