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Graydon Pool : Ms. Mailander clearly points out in her statements that the Village Council only seems interested in hearing what it wants to hear.

As reported in the Ridgewood News by Michael Sedon and Kipp Clark , attorney Stuart J. Lieberman, of Princeton-based Lieberman & Blecher, who represents the Preserve Graydon Group contends that a Nov. 16 letter written by Village Clerk Heather Mailander failed to answer the group’s concerns about why the village is taking all the information gathered by the RPP “at face value without reviewing them,” as well as questions why municipal employees have been made available to help the group. With these questions yet unanswered, Lieberman contends the RFP should never have been issued.

Liberman went on , “In short, the basis for my client’s concern is that the municipality has clearly and extensively relied on the work product of the RPP in creating the draft RFP, apparently taking its conclusions at face value and without reviewing them thoroughly or perhaps at all,” Lieberman wrote. “For reasons more fully explained in my letter dated to you Nov. 30, 2009, we believe the draft RFP violates state law.”

Once again Village Government business seems to be driven by the price of a particular project and not the value of the improvements the project will bring to the quality of life in the Village .

Again this blog was proven correct in its objections to the original $13 million dollar proposal because as Ms. Mailander clearly points out in her statements that the Village Council only seems interested in hearing what it wants to hear.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with what an amazing town Ridgewood used to be ,in the olds days had you pulled a stunt like this you would have been quietly asked to leave town in no uncertain terms and your house would have been put on the market the next day. It really was a beautiful place to live and no one would have ever put up with this type of behavior or even known someone would have even tried to get away with it . It just wont happen in Ridgewood.
Oh well …

Merry Christmas to all ,

James Rose

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BOE supporter says , if don’t like the high taxes move to Texas

Ridgewood_BOE_theridgewoodblog

if you can’t handle Ridgewood’s tax burden, then i suggest you MOVE. nobody is holding a gun to your head to live here. if you don’t want to pay state income taxes or don’t want to deal with high property taxes go to Texas!

if you can’t pay our taxes then you’re clearly too poor to be living in ridgewood.

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Local Real Estate Tycoon Proposes Valet Parking Lot At Wilsey Square

Ridgewood_Train_Statin_theridgewoodblog

>During last night’s Village Council Work Session, local real estate developer Nick Tsapatsaris revealed his conceptual plan to offer valet parking at Wilsey Square. The developer hopes to have his operation up and running prior to the start of NJ Transit’s upcoming train station renovation project.

Tsapatsaris, owner of a commercial office building at 20 Wilsey Square, informed Council members of his plan to install several parking lifts on property located directly behind the Exxon station on Godwin Avenue, just south of Wilsey Square. According to Tsapatsaris, an increase of 70 parking spaces could be achieved in the area by deploying parking lifts on the identified property.

Under Tsapatsaris’ plan, drivers would exit their cars directly in front of his building at 20 Wilsey Square. A valet parking attendant would then take over. No car owners would be permitted in the area where the parking lifts operate.

Council members thanked Mr. Tsapatsaris for his presentation and suggested he move his proposal forward by submitting an application to either the Board of Adjustment or Planning Board.

Tsapatsaris is a member of the Ridgewood Planning Board.

1-800-FLOWERS.COM

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Valley expansion plan under fire

Valley_Hospital_theridgewoodblog

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Valley expansion plan under fire

Saturday, March 22, 2008
Last Updated Saturday March 22, 2008, EDT 9:48 AMBY BOB GROVESThe cost of Valley Hospital’s proposed expansion would threaten Ridgewood’s taxpayers and the future of the facility, critics charged.

Valley’s $750 million plan to replace two of its older buildings with three new ones over the next decade could balloon, with interest, to $1 billion — and that would require the hospital to earn an additional $40 million a year for 25 years to pay it off, said Paul Gould. He is a member and spokesman of Concerned Residents of Ridgewood, a neighborhood group that has opposed Valley’s expansion plans for months.

“Where will it come from?” Gould said. “Will we end up with another Pascack Valley?” The Westwood hospital went bankrupt and closed last year after building a $50 million addition.

On the contrary, Valley’s plan “is vital to its success,” said Maureen Curran Kleinman, a hospital spokeswoman.

“If Valley is not allowed to renew over time, we will not be the hospital that the community will choose for its medical care in the future,” Kleinman said in a statement. “It will impede our ability to attract the best physicians and staff, and the hospital would be at risk of facing the same unfortunate fate as Pascack Valley and many other New Jersey hospitals that have been forced to close their doors.”

The Ridgewood Planning Board is deciding whether to approve separate requests, by Valley and by Concerned Residents, for changes in the village’s hospital zone ordinances and master plan. Those changes would either allow the hospital to expand or preserve the surrounding neighborhood.

Beyond financial concerns about the hospital’s plan, Gould and other members of his group worry how much Valley’s expansion would cost the village.

“Taxpayers would absorb the additional infrastructure costs of roads, fire and police, which are paid for by the residents of Ridgewood,” he said.

If, for example, Valley increased its occupancy rate from its current 87 percent to 100 percent, to help pay for the expansion, that could add 80,000 car trips on village streets to the hospital per year, on top of 600,000 vehicle visits already made there annually, Gould said.

While other area hospitals have expanded or renovated in recent years, Valley’s $750 million plan is one of the most ambitious.

Gould’s group is worried that Valley will suffer the same fate as Pascack Valley, which succumbed to a $100 million annual debt after it opened an addition. The hospital closed in November.

“We do not want another bankrupt hospital,” Gould told the Planning Board during a public hearing this week.

But Valley officials say the hospital is not in financial danger.

Valley would finance the first phase of its expansion, estimated at $420 million, through tax-exempt bonds, fund-raising and existing cash, “as is typical financing for not-for-profit hospital projects,” Kleinman said.

Even after the project is complete, Valley’s debt will be “manageable and moderate in comparison to other hospitals,” Kleinman said.

Gould conceded that Valley “is very profitable today,” he said. At a time when many of the state’s hospitals are struggling financially, Valley hospital has $225 million in cash and investments and a $46 million debt, according to tax filings. Revenue increases by 8 percent each year, Gould said.

But to pay for the hospital to pay for the expansion, Gould said, net patient revenue would have to increase by an additional 8 percent a year. How will the hospital do that when it’s only adding three more beds to its current 451? he asked.

Valley officials have repeatedly said their building plan is being done to bring the hospital up to modern medical standards, not to bring in more patients. Will the hospital have to increase what it charges patients? the neighborhood group asked.

“Valley’s charges are among the absolute lowest of any hospital in the state,” Kleinman said. “Even after the project is in place we will still have charges well below other hospitals in New Jersey.”

The neighborhood group also claims that the Planning Board, through its attorney and other professional advisers, has already been negotiating with Valley officials about some terms of the expansion before it has been approved.

David Nicholson, chairman of the Planning Board, said its professionals had met with Valley officials, but denied that they had “negotiated” any of the proposal.

“The implication that this matter is already decided is simply not true,” Nicholson said.

Kleinman said the hospital met with village professionals to discuss the hospital ordinance and make a recommendation to the Planning Board, but not to negotiate terms of the proposed expansion.

E-mail: [email protected]

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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