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With new SALT limit, IRS explains tax treatment of state and local tax refunds

Roadsaltimage

the staff of the Ridgewood blog from the IRS website

WASHINGTON DC, The Internal Revenue Service today clarified the tax treatment of state and local tax refunds arising from any year in which the new limit on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction is in effect.

In Revenue Ruling 2019-11 (PDF), posted today on IRS.gov, the IRS provided four examples illustrating how the long-standing tax benefit rule interacts with the new SALT limit to determine the portion of any state or local tax refund that must be included on the taxpayer’s federal income tax return. Today’s announcement does not affect state tax refunds received in 2018 for tax returns currently being filed.

Continue reading With new SALT limit, IRS explains tax treatment of state and local tax refunds
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New Jersey State Children’s Chorus

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The New Jersey State Children’s Chorus (NJSCC) presents “Dance and Sing Around the World ” at 4 pm on Sunday, June 9 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 155 Linwood Ave., Ridgewood. Admission is $10/under 18 admitted free. Tickets are on sale at www.njstatechildrenschorus.orgor may be purchased at the door. 

The concert will feature a selection of folk songs from the United States, Japan, and Africa as well as several classical pieces representing the great music of Europe.  From America, the children will sing the perennial favorites “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain,” “Skip to My Lou,” “Old Joe Clark,” and the beautiful “Shenandoah.”  Africa is represented by the traditional Swahili proverbs “Bora Maisha” (Life is the Best Gift), and “Ghana Alleluia,” a mixture of the traditional and Christian influences of the Ewe people.  The children will visit Asia with “Sakura,” a folk song about cherry blossoms sung in the original Japanese.  A visit to Europe finds the choirs singing the “Evening Prayer” (Abendsegen) from Englebert Humperdinck’s 19th century fairy-tale opera, “Hansel and Gretel,” based on the folk tale published by the Brothers Grimm.  To complete the European experience, Artistic Director and Conductor James Kennerley has arranged one of Johann Sebastian Bach’s most famous chorales, “Jesu Bleibet Meine Freude,” perhaps best known as “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” 

Continue reading New Jersey State Children’s Chorus
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Ridgewood Police and Ridgewood EMS Respond to an Alleged Distracted Driving Incident on Crest Road

photos courtesy of Boyd Loving’s Facebook Page

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Distracted driving may have contributed to a early Wednesday evening, 04/10, crash in the 100 block of Crest Road, Ridgewood. A Jeep Wrangler mounted a curb and wiped out a utility pole. No injuries were reported in the crash, but the Jeep was heavily damaged and required removal from the scene by a flatbed tow truck. Ridgewood Police and Ridgewood Emergency Services responded to the incident. Utility companies were notified about the demolished pole.

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Reader says , “the train is still the best way to get to the city”

Ridgewood-Trainstation1_theridgewoodblog

“All of this is driven by the ever increasing need for more and more fees to feed the out of control spending“

Another factor is supply and demand. As more people apply for parking permits, price has to rise. It would be against basic rules of market economy to do otherwise. We may not like it, but what’s the alternative?

With all honesty, the train is still the best way to get to the city. For the most part it’s punctual, there are always seats and it’s comfy. Where else can you get a better option? Summit/Millburn have an easier way to get to Penn St direct, but many Ridgewood commuters go to Hoboken stop instead.

Ridgewood is a beautiful, welcoming village. And hey, if the parking is too pricey, why not ride a bicycle during warner season (free) and Uber/Lyft when it’s cooler (~$7 one way)?

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Ridgewood Public Library holds their 4th On Book Play Reading

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Ridgewood Public Library invites you to Join their 4th On Book Play Reading on Friday, April 5 at 7pm with Christy Baron, Barbara Bolger, Diane Carlin Sims, Mark Kaplan and Ciaran Sheehan for a staged reading of Jordan Harrison’s “Marjorie Prime” (80m) followed by a talkback with the cast. Register here:

http://engagedpatrons.org/EventsExtended.cfm?SiteID=5615&EventID=369646&PK&fbclid=IwAR0L6aghdoA-CEligGDIaOLlUdEOqM2qgMovGM7d-L

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Ridgewood Bomb Doc Gets 26 years

Former Doctor Guilty of Possessing Assault Weapons in Ridgewood Apartment
file photo by Boyd Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, A former physician from Ridgewood , already convicted of hoarding bomb-making materials, has also been found guilty of having assault weapons in his apartment. A jury reached the verdict regarding the weapons charges on February 1, finding that Roberto Rivera possessed two assault rifles and ammunition seized by police during a raid of his home in November 2012. Authorities also discovered large quantities of chemicals that could be used to make explosives, 10 detonators, instructions on how to make nitroglycerin, and writings regarding a potential attack.

Rivera was found guilty on November 26 of having a destructive device in his apartment. He faces a sentence of up to 26 years in prison on all charges. The verdicts come after three trials, with the first being declared a mistrial in April after a juror independently received information regarding the case. Authorities said that Rivera began researching chemicals and homemade explosives when he moved to Ridgewood after being radicalized by the Occupy Wall Street movement around August 2011. Neighbors recalled seeing a “constant flow” of packages to his home once he started purchasing materials. An investigation began after police received a tip from a neighbor about a conversation with Rivera regarding power outages caused by Superstorm Sandy. Authorities did not identify a target.
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Reader says , “owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs”

photo by ArtChick

I find it amusing and perhaps indicative of where our society is today that there is no mention of the dog owners in this article. All of the responsibility has been laid on the person who is bitten and/or the dogs natural instinct.

Even dog owners know…… There are good dog owners and bad dog owners.
Dogs are animals, the owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs

How about a list starting with:
Train your dog
Leash your dog
Hold on to the leash
Keep the leash at a reasonable length
Maintain control over your dog at all times – make sure they know who their master is.
Don’t assume everyone wants your dog to jump all over them and/or their children
Do not encourage strangers to pet your dog

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Ridgewood Police Department Responds to Rash of Mail Box Break-ins

photo courtesy of Boyd Loving’s Facebook page 

Theft From Mailboxes :

The Ridgewood Police department and the U.S. Postal Police are currently investigating unlawful mailbox entries in Ridgewood’s central business district. These thefts have also occurred in surrounding towns, the Ridgewood Police Department is advising anyone who may have placed mail in mailboxes in the Central business District from 12/30/18- 12/31/18 to check with the intended recipients of the mail as the items may not have been successfully delivered. Affected parties should also monitor their credit reports and bank accounts for any suspicious activities. If you determine you are a victim of a crime, please report it to the Ridgewood Police Department immediately. If you have any information regarding these thefts please contact the Ridgewood Police Detective Bureau at 201- 251-4537.

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Deer-Vehicle Collisions-Please be careful

deer in a headlight


MEL SAFETY INSTITUTE BULLETIN

Autumn is the deer breeding season, or ‘rut’. The rut brings a peak in deer movement and we experience more deer on New Jersey roads, leading to a number of deer-vehicle collisions. Municipal vehicles are not immune from this hazard and in some cases, their operations can increase the likelihood, such as the 24 / 7 / 365 operations of police, fire and EMS agencies. The Safety Director offers the following best practices for avoiding deervehicle collisions.

Know your local ‘Danger Zones’ – As you conduct your everyday business, learn the local areas where you see more deer than other places all year-round. Often these are places where trees form pinch points that create natural funnels. Pay extra attention to these areas, and mentally mark them as danger zones. Make a mental note of the locations of the deer crossing warning signs.

Be vigilant – This is your most effective defense against a deer – vehicle collision. In areas where woodlands adjoin the roadway, be on the lookout in the ditches and forest edges for deer. Deer are most active at dusk and dawn: periods when your vision is most compromised. To add to their terrible timing, deer are most on the move after we turn our clocks back an hour and you are more likely to travel in darkness. You may also spot a deer because their eyes will brightly reflect a car’s headlights, making them easier to spot.

Avoid distractions – There are a lot of things in work vehicles that can take our attention away from the road; radios, cell phones, computers, and conversations with passengers. Make a conscious decision to resist these distractions as much as possible, especially in danger zones.

Slow Down Early – When you think you see a deer ahead, slow down and be prepared to completely stop if necessary. At night, deer may be blinded or confused by your headlights. They may not be sure if there is danger or where it is locate and may dart suddenly in front of you. Depending on traffic, you may also be able to move towards the center of the road giving you more time to react if the deer decides to enter the road.

Blow Your Horn – Once you spot a deer standing on the roadside ahead, slow down and blow your horn. The structure of a deer’s ears, and their ability to pivot each ear independently, makes them very good at pinpointing the locations of sounds. Some experts recommend that one long blast of the horn will scare deer out of the road. Do not rely on hood whistles or other devices designed to scare off deer. University of Georgia researchers tested a variety of sounds of different frequencies and intensities to see how deer on a roadway reacted. These sounds, emitted from a specially equipped car, included a wide range of the high-frequency sounds that “deer whistles” are claimed to emit. In hundreds of trials, high-frequency whistles did not change deer behavior from the way they reacted when no sound was being emitted.

Use your high beams – When traveling at night in suburban or rural areas, use your high beams whenever possible to help you spot deer on the roadside. Of course, don’t forget to dim your lights for oncoming traffic.

Anticipate more than one deer – Deer are pack animals, and rarely travel alone. If a deer crosses in front of you, chances are there are more nearby. During the rut, a doe that runs across the road is very likely to be followed by one or more bucks. If you see one deer run across the road ahead of you, slow down and be prepared to stop.

Do not swerve to avoid hitting the animal – If you see a deer, brake firmly and calmly, and stay in your lane. Do not swerve into the opposite lane or onto the shoulder of the road to avoid hitting the deer. Swerving or oversteering could make you lose control of your vehicle and turn a bad situation much worse. Deer can be unpredictable, and you could actually swerve directly into their changed path of travel.
Experts advise braking firmly up until the very last second of impact, and then releasing the brakes. This should propel the deer away from your vehicle instead of on to the hood or windshield. Should the animal make contact with the windshield, there’s a chance it will smash through, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle, resulting in serious injury and in some cases, even death to the driver and passengers.
Wear your seatbelt – While wearing a seatbelt may not help prevent a collision with a deer, if the situation worsens and an impact is inevitable, it may lessen the consequences. A seat belt will keep you behind the steering wheel and in a better position to operate the controls of the car.
Investigate new technology – Researchers are constantly searching for new and innovative solutions to the hazards of deer – vehicle collisions. For example, developers have introduced a siren that they claim produces a sound wave that better scares deer away from the source of the noise. While the Safety Director does not recommend any particular product, we do recommend members evaluate for themselves promising new products, procedures, or ideas. We also promote sharing of successes among members.

If you are involved in a deer – vehicle collision:
1. Stay calm. 2. Move your vehicle to a safe place. If possible, pull over to the side of the road and onto the shoulder. Most accidents occur between dusk and dawn; times when you or your vehicle may be less visible to other motorists. Get out of your vehicle and stand in a safe place, well off the roadway. 3. Turn on your hazard lights. 4. New Jersey law requires you to call 9-1-1 if persons were injured or there is property or vehicle damage in excess of $500.00. The Safety Director recommends the police be notified of any deer-vehicle collision involving a public vehicle or a personal vehicle being driven on official business. 5. Notify your supervisor. 6. Stay away from the deer. If it is still alive, it could be confused, injured and dangerous if approached. A wounded deer could use its powerful legs and sharp hooves to harm you. When contacting the authorities, let them know if the deer is injured or blocking traffic or creating a threat for other drivers so that it can be quickly handled. 7. Document the incident: If it’s safe to do so, take photographs of the roadway, your surroundings, damage to your vehicle, and any injuries you or your passengers sustained. If witnesses stop, take down their account of what occurred and ask for their contact information.

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Reader says , “NJ school districts DO practice nepotism in hiring “

BOE

file photo by Boyd Loving

I know from personal experience that NJ school districts DO practice nepotism in hiring. I graduated with a Masters degree, GPA 4.0, received Outstanding Student Teacher Award and went on numerous interviews where the interviewer DID NOT EVEN MAKE EYE CONTACT. When I was later told I did not get the job, I always asked for feedback on the interview; what was lacking, what could I have done better? Nine times out of ten they said my credentials and interview answers were excellent but they already had someone in mind for the job. One time a lazy C student I knew from school got the job for which I interviewed. She had a mother, aunt and cousin already working in the district. I was shocked and disillusioned by the whole experience. They couldn’t care less about getting the best for the students.