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Ridgewood Board of Education Holds It’s First Public Meeting Since the Incident

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November 7,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  in the first Ridgewood Board of Education public meeting since news broke of the series of fights starting at Stevens Field and then on Brookside Field that sent a high school student to the hospital severely beaten , the Board of Education seemed to be in full CMA (Cover my arse ) mode .

While blog readers have understood with the Ridgewood Police Department now investigating,”This is far from cut and dry. Authorities are doing the right thing by exercising due diligence and making sure they have the full story and truth rather than rushing out to appease with a half informed statement that could expose them to a potential suit especially by the accused. Fishbein’s generalized comments are appropriate at this time , the immediate concern should be injured’s recovery regardless of who and what .When the real story comes out then people can assess whether suspensions or penalties are warranted . This is not going away for anyone anytime soon”

The angry crowd of parents and residents wanted answers .

In a message put out by Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools to parents and guardians ,Fishbein wrote  “It is important to address and dispel rumors that are circulating in our community and to ask for your understanding that this issue, like all student issues that involve minors and are also part of a student’s record, is, and will remain, confidential. Just as we protect the privacy of your child’s record, we are compelled to do the same for all children involved in this incident. For this reason, we cannot comment on the episode or on the eventual outcome, but I do want to reassure you as both a parent and also as your Superintendent, that I trust the administration to act in the best interest of all the students involved, as well as the entire school community. Anyone found to be involved in this incident will be held accountable in an appropriate way, including possible legal proceedings, school discipline and/or counseling.”

While parents play the blame game the Ridgewood blog will continue to focus on who dropped the ball and who didn’t report the brewing conflict between the kids? Unless this happened over night someone at the school or a parent had to know something .

The policy is that the Ridgewood Board of Education explicitly and unequivocally prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying of its students. “Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents, that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or by any other distinguishing characteristic, that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus, or off school grounds pursuant to law, that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students and that:

a. a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property;
b. has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; or
c. creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student’s education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student. !

More importantly an event must be reported  , “Any school employee, contracted service provider, Board of Education member, student or volunteer who has witnessed, or has reliable information that a student has been subject to, harassment, intimidation or bullying is obligated by law to report the incident to the school Principal. !
An act of student harassment, intimidation, or bullying must be reported verbally to the Principal on the same day the person witnesses or receives reliable information regarding the incident. ! The incident must then be reported to the Principal in writing, using the appropriate district form, within two (2) school days of when the incident was observed or the information was received.
As a permanent or substitute school employee, a contracted service provider, a Board of Education member, a student or a volunteer in a New Jersey public school district, one of your responsibilities is to know how to respond if you become aware of harassment, intimidation or bullying that needs to be reported.”

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Highlights from the Village of Ridgewood Council Public meeting on November 9th

Ridgewood Village Council

file photo by Boyd Loving

November 10,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Highlights from the Village of Ridgewood Council Public meeting on November 9th.
1. As always, meeting minutes are prepared and approved in a timely manner, unlike the previous administration, under which minutes were aged for months and in some cases years.

2. Acting village manager Heather Mailander named all employees who are veterans and thanked them for their service during this Veterans’ Day holiday week.  It is so wonderful to have a manager who is pleasant, supportive, and a champion of employees.  Hoping this will be the model when a permanent manager is hired.

3. Parking was discussed, including a long-since dismissed garage plan that actually would fit on the Hudson St. lot.  Really.  The garage was voted down by a massive margin.  So they are back at it?  Also, central valet was mentioned again, an excellent idea.  A discussion of changing times and fees for various parking lots was so confusing that even the council members seemed to not understand what they were aiming for, and an error in their paperwork indicated that the meters would go until 10 PM.

4. Mayor Knudsen will hold office hours quarterly, joined by one of her council colleagues.  This Saturday November 13 she will meet with residents from 11-1 in the 4th floor conference room.  Call Heather’s office for an appointment.

5. Three ordinances regarding salaries were introduced.  Titles are being updated.  Some are being deleted.  Notably the Human Resources Manager position is not scheduled for deletion at least not in this round.  Sharyn Matthews is gone, as is her mother hen Roberta Sonenfeld.  Possibly the HR position will be eliminated for good once the new manager is hired.

6. The public hearing on Ordinance 3556 Parking Restrictions on Pomander Walk was held.  Many residents from The Walk pleaded to keep the street as a zero parking zone.  This prevailed.  The street remains a no parking street.  This is a street that is paid for by public tax money but the public cannot park on it.  OK.  This seems unfair.

7. They authorized studying the feasibility of an Uber Pilot Program.  This may help ease parking around the train station.

8. The Transportation Alternatives  Program (TAP) Grant application was approved. It was made clear that there will be NO BIKE LANES included in this project, if the grant is awarded.  Nope, no bike lanes along very busy thoroughfares, thank God.  The jackass project presented a few weeks ago by a bike-lane advocate and a surly village engineer was scrapped.  The Grant, if approved, will just include new sidewalks and curb cuts.

9. As always the five elected officials were pleasant, professional, and held productive and meaningful discussions for all to hear.  Residents’ questions and concerns were heard and answered with respect and even humor.  Total transparency with total civility.  The absence of Tony Damiano and Rurik Halaby meant that there was not a single dark cloud in the room.

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Reader asks the Ridgewood village manager is announcing what a tenant has spent for their own personal gain at a public meeting?

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file photo by Boyd Loving

It doesn’t make sense that a village manager is announcing what a tenant has spent for their own personal gain at a public meeting? And then when the village manager is asked to provide facts about the information she put out there she is unable. How can a town like Ridgewood let this manager get away with this. If the information is said at a meeting then it should be available to the public at that moment. What is this healthbarn and what does it have to do with Ridgewood and the village manager? Seems a lot of time is spent on the subject. And a lot of the tax payers dollars are being used to help a business. I heard on one hand it is a partnership but then I heard that all Ridgewood is collecting is the same rent the tenant before paid. Any info is welcome

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RIDGEWOOD PLANNING BOARD PUBLIC MEETING

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PLANNING BOARD PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE/AGENDA

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Village Hall Court Room– 7:30 P.M.

(all timeframes and the order of agenda items below are approximate and subject to change)

  1. 7:30 p.m. – Call to Order, Statement of Compliance, Flag Salute, Roll Call – In accordance with the provisions of Section 10:4-8d of the Open Public Meetings Act, the date, location, and time of the commencement of this meeting is reflected in a meeting notice, a copy of which schedule has been filed with the Village Manager and the Village Clerk, The Ridgewood News and The Record newspapers, and posted on the bulletin board in the entry lobby of the Village municipal offices at 131 North Maple Avenue, and on the Village website, all in accordance with the provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act.

 

Roll call: Aronsohn, Bigos, Knudsen, Nalbantian, Joel, Reilly, Dockray, Peters, Thurston, Altano, Abdalla

 

  1. 7:35p.m. – 7:40 p.m. – Public Comments on Topics not Pending Before the Board

 

  1. 7:40 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. – Committee/Commission/Professional Updates for Non Agenda Topics; Correspondence Received by the Board
  2. 7:45 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. – Memorializing Resolutions – Amendments to the Land Use Plan Element of the Master Plan: AH-2, B-3-R, C-R and C Zone Districts
  3. 8:15 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. – Reexamination of Master Plan and Development Regulations – Discussion of Historic Preservation and Environmental Protection Provisions
  4. 10:30 p.m. – 10:40 p.m. – Approval of Minutes: June 2, 2014; May 20, 2014
  5. 10:40 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Executive Session

 

  1. Adjournment

In accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, all meetings of the Ridgewood Planning Board (i.e., official public meetings, work sessions, pre-meeting assemblies and special meetings) are public meetings, which are always open to members of the general public.

         Members: Mayor Paul Aronsohn, Nancy Bigos, Councilwoman Susan Knudsen, Charles Nalbantian, Richard Joel, Kevin Reilly, Wendy Dockray, Michele Peters, David Thurston, Isabella Altano, Khidir Abdalla

        Professional Staff: Blais L. Brancheau, Planner; Gail L. Price, Esq., Board Attorney; Christopher J. Rutishauser, Village Engineer; Michael Cafarelli, Board Secretary