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Valley Hospital ‘at a pivotal point’

>Valley Hospital ‘at a pivotal point’

Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Last Updated Tuesday March 11, 2008, EDT 9:01 AMBY BOB GROVESThe Valley Hospital needs more space to handle advances in medical technology and provide better patient care, officials said Monday.

“The hospital is at a pivotal point in its history,” Audrey Meyers, Valley’s president and chief executive officer, told the Ridgewood Planning Board. “Valley must be allowed to evolve over time.”

About 200 people, including supporters and opponents of Valley’s expansion plans, attended the public hearing. Valley’s $750 million plan includes adding a parking deck and replacing two buildings with three new ones, increasing the hospital’s size by 67 percent.

Although modern surgery involves less-invasive techniques, it requires bigger equipment than can be accommodated by Valley’s existing operating rooms, Meyers said. Under the plan, Valley would add just three beds to its existing 451 beds, but the hospital wants to make all its room private in keeping with current standards of care, Meyers said.

The population of Valley’s service area is relatively stable and expected to grow by only 4 percent in the next 10 years, she said. “The demand for change at Valley will be driven by changes in technology and patient care delivery,” she said.

Opponents say the proposed 80-foot-tall hospital buildings don’t belong in the residential neighborhood because they would overshadow homes as well as Benjamin Franklin Middle School.

Answering concerns by nearby residents that the expansion would increase traffic, Meyers said that the hospital’s nine off-site facilities have already eliminated more than 673,000 car trips per year to the hospital’s main campus.

Tuesday night’s special Planning Board meeting at George Washington Middle School was its fourth public hearing on Valley’s proposal.

The next meeting will take place next Tuesday, when Concerned Residents of Ridgewood, a group that opposes the hospital’s plan, will make their arguments before the Planning Board.

In January, the residents group applied to amend the village Master Plan and its hospital zone ordinance to “limit its impact on the community and preserve the village’s residential character.” The group also asked the Village Council and the Planning Board to amend the ordinance to change the minimum distance — from the current 40 feet, to a proposed 80 feet — that hospital buildings must be set back from North Van Dien and Linwood Avenues.

“We want further clarification about whether the hospital has changed any of its positions from 12 months ago — particularly the magnitude and scale of the proposed development — following the public outcry,” Paul Gould, a member of the group, said before the meeting.

David Nicholson, chairman of the Planning Board, said the board would consider the request by the hospital and concerned residents “as legitimate and equal” and will consider them simultaneously. “The board will then make its decision whether it will consider any changes — one or the other or one of our own devising — to the ordinances,” he said. “My hope is we will make a decision by the end of April.”

E-mail: [email protected]

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Wheres the Beef?

cow404_676596c

>NEWS FROM THE ED CENTER via rps eNews

Beef Recall Update The RPS district is in regular communication with Pomptonian, our food services provider, about the NJ Department of Agriculture beef recall.

Until the recall has been fully satisfied, the district has elected to remove beef from all K-12 menus.

The Right Gift at the Right Price

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Valley Executives on “Schmooze Patrol”

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Susan Sherrill, Editor of The Ridgewood News, photographed at a recent social event with Audrey Meyers and Megan Fraser of The Valley Hospital. This photograph appears on page 136 of the most recent “201 Magazine.”

The Fly wonders if Ms. Meyers, The Valley’s President and CEO, and Ms. Fraser, her Director of Marketing and Public Relations, were trying to ensure favorable print media coverage of The Valley’s Renewal Plan.

A picture is indeed worth one thousand words . .

1-800-FLOWERS.COM

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Train Station Renovation Trumps Ground Breaking of Planned North Walnut Street Parking Garage

Ridgewood _Train_station_theridgewoodblog

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During this evening’s Village Council Work Session, Village Manager James M. Ten Hoeve revealed that ground breaking for the proposed parking garage on North Walnut Street will not take place until at least the year 2011.

New Jersey Transit has officially informed Village officials that bids for the ADA compliant renovation of Ridgewood’s train station will be advertised in June of 2008. The New Jersey Transit Board of Directors expects to award bids in September of 2008, with construction scheduled to begin in early 2009. The train station renovation project will take until 2011 to complete.

Since existing parking at and near the train station will be disrupted during New Jersey Transit’s massive construction project, Village Council members have wisely elected to avoid their own project, which will cause the temporary elimination of approximately 100 parking spaces on North Walnut Street.

The Fly believes that between now and 2011, parking requirements within the Central Business District will change significantly. Let’s wait at least until 2010 before committing any more money and resources to a parking plan that may be obsolete before construction even begins.

3balls Golf

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Reader says ,Sorry Charlie ……

BOE_theridgewoodblog

>Charlie, you’re perspectives are reasonably well stated, but are unfortunately hopelessly outdated. I rarely derive much insight from your comments. Usually, you just come off sounding like a sycophant.

Years of stone-faced neglect and brainless posturing on the part of the Ridgewood district’s BOE have led us to the current curriculum crisis. In no small part, this is due to people, like yourself, who fail to take seriously the role a BOE trustee fills in seeing to it that the school district serves the interests of its residents and taxpayers, and those interests only.

The Ridgewood district does not exist to provide Assistant Superintendent Botsford with a big-budget playground to conduct her constructivist experiments, or to curry favor with Pearson Publishing, or to scoop up a fancy doctorate degree from Montclair State University, or to hold great sway when she jets down to the Big Easy to provide lectures to like-minded curriculum development administrators, as she plans to do next month.

There’s no question you have a right to speak your mind. And the fact that you tend to do so in complete sentences places you a cut above many who frequent this board. But for once, could you take a breather from your single minded support of the current BOE trustees? Even if they are comfortable having you as their sole defender in the Village of Ridgewood, which I tend to doubt, you should let them speak for themselves. In consideration of the upcoming election involving the seats currently held by Ms. Brogan and Mr. Bombace, I would much rather hear a straightforward defense/explanation of the BOE’s recent actions/inactions coming from the respective mouths of these two incumbents, or even from Ms. Brogan’s buddy Laurie Goodman, than to continue to be lectured by you.

1-800-FLOWERS.COM

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Council Nixes Downtown Security Camera Proposal – Bolger’s $450K Gift Snubbed by 3 vs. 2 Vote

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Citing conflicting and inconclusive crime statistics provided by Police Chief William M. Corcoran, Village Council members last night flatly rejected a proposal to install closed circuit television surveillance cameras throughout the central business district. Local philanthropist David Bolger had agreed to fund the controversial project.

Opposed: Harlow, Ringler-Shagin, and Wiest. For: Mancuso and Pfund.

CCS.com

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Shameful, huh? Really…

>Regarding the Ridgewood News editorial on Fri. 11/30/07 describing as “shameful” the lack of public participation in the recent BOE meeting held to receive public comment relating to the ongoing search for a new super for the the school district:

It was not only the BOE critics that were absent from the recent meeting, but also BOE supporters. It was not only reform math opponents that were absent, but also its adherents. To whom, then, should this label “shameful” apply? One presumes that it must apply to each and every resident in Ridgewood, since everyone was equally absent.

How can a newspaper that is the namesake of a town justify indicting an entire town full of its own residents?

It is perhaps easier for the writer of such an editorial to lapse into that sort of lazy ‘badmouthing’ attitude if that same person does not live in Ridgewood. Otherwise, wouldn’t this be a self-indictment? No rational person would indict themselves without explaining the reason for such self-hatred (I couldn’t help myself), the motivation for such an epiphany (gee, upon further reflection, I really should have gone), or the particular reason why the indictment does not apply to them (my car broke down).

For what its worth, it’s also hard to see why an entire town full of residents should feel shame for failing to keep company with a Board of Education, the trustees of which are incapable of feeling any such emotion for the predictable results of their past actions/inactions/blatant negligence.

Sincerely:

An anonymous Ridgewood resident who blew off the BOE meeting for good reason–THEY COULDN’T CARE LESS WHAT I HAVE TO SAY, AND I WOULD PREFER TO AVOID THE INVIDIOUS RECRIMINATION THAT WOULD SURELY BE ADMINISTERED BY MY CHILD’S PRINCIPAL AS PUNISHMENT FOR MY FOOLISH DECISION TO PUBLICLY REBUKE THE TRUSTEES.
50% off Cozy Quilted Throw with any purchase: expires 12/31/07

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Parking Garage Will Cost $6+ Million to Build

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The Fly has just learned that it will cost at least $6 million to construct the proposed 300-space municipal parking garage on North Walnut Street. This estimate excludes related property acquisition costs (add at least another $1.245 million) and site remediation costs (unknown at this time).

The projected costs are based on the currently accepted industry standard construction rate of $20K per parking space. However, since there are already 100+ surface parking spaces on North Walnut Street, construction costs will substantially exceed $20K per parking space when viewed on a “net spaces gained” basis.

Furthermore, an Executive Vice President of one of the most prominent commercial real estate development firms in North Jersey recently advised The Fly that estimated annual carrying charges for such a facility could approach $1 million (includes salaries, utilities, debt service, insurance, etc.).

The Fly continues to question the wisdom of constructing a multi-million dollar parking facility, several blocks from Ridgewood’s train station, on a “Field of Dreams” basis. Are Village Council members absolutely certain that when they build it, people will come?

The Fly thinks that this project has all the potential of becoming “Ridgewood Village Hall, The Sequel.” That is, a fully taxpayer funded money pit.

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Long time Ridgewood resident translates post with cynical humor for new residents

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Translation of post… A friend suggested

A friend suggested (you mean the BOE or Editor of the RN suggested) that I get the inside dope(find out who the trouble makers are and get some dirt on them ) on what was happening in Ridgewood by perusing the blogs. I was honestly (you sound like a pompous arse) shocked by the narrowmindedness (if you don’t agree with me you are stupid and shouldn’t be allowed to speak) of some of the posts – particularly with regard to the editorial standards (not a very informed poster, the RN violated its own standards) of our local newspaper.

Hindsight shows (again the Ridgewood News Violated its sacred policy of not quoting anonymous sources, not posting on blogs or flogs and front running for particular organizations) that the reporter was doing his job (yes its time to toss him under the bus)– reporting – not passing judgment (we speak for everyone and your not allowed to speak for your self )on what was being exchanged, just reporting what was taking place. Isn’t that what he was supposed to do? Remain objective?(objective to this poster means you agree with them) And didn’t the editor simply back up the editorial integrity (no the editor did a hack job and violated all the journalist policies it purports to up hold)of the newspaper by not yielding to public criticism (covering up for cowards on the other flog)and printing the news as news? (only I can say what’s news )Spare me the conspiracy theories, would ya!( but they are ok for the editor to use, can you say “tactics”)

Now as for the math controversy (yes TERC is banned in California and condemned by the US department of education). Sure, I knew people were up in arms (yes some parents in town care about their kids), and yes, I’ll admit that some of the protocols for teaching left me baffled (they were such bull even I the elitist could not get it straight how could an idiot like you understand it), but I saw my kids NJASK and Terra Nova test scores and, well…can kids get higher than 99th percentile? Something must be going right in the school system.(can you say tutors and of coarse if you lower standards enough everyone becomes a genius)

No question that all the bloggers love Ridgewood ( I hate it) and that discourse is healthy. But, informed (this means you are stupid again and how dare you taxpayers challenge the great and powerful, “know it alls” at the BOE) and objective (this means agreeing with me is the only option, so do what your told otherwise you’ll be sorry) discourse is healthier still.