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Today is Founders day for the Ridgewood blog

James J Foytlin founder of the Ridgewood Blog

The Ridgewood blog was founded in March of 2006 by James J Foytlin aka PJ Blogger . Mr. Foytlin was born and raised in Ridgewood ,New Jersey and is a graduate of Ridgewood High School .

Ridgewood NJ, – Oct. 26, 2009 – RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — The Ridgewood blog ( ) was founded in March of 2006 by James J Foytlin aka PJ Blogger .[1] Mr. Foytlin was born and raised in Ridgewood ,New Jersey and is a graduate of Ridgewood High School .[2] [3]

After many years living in New York City[4] Mr Foytlin returned to Ridgewood after a divorce and the tragic events of 9/11 . Once he settled in he noticed a lack of sufficient news coverage of local events . One day a friend from Brazil[5] showed him her home town on the internet and to Mr. Foytlin’s great surprise when he tried to reciprocate he was utterly dismayed at the absolute lake coverage of his home town. After all Ridgewood is only 18 miles from midtown Manhattan[6] the media capitol of world and there was not a single picture of Ridgewood to be found . How could this be? Ridgewood is a picturesque upper middle class village of around 25,000 located in Bergen county in northern New Jersey[7] . Founded by Dutch settlers before it became an English colony[8] . The town or village as its called is steeped in  rich history and tradition .Known for a large amount of Victorian era housing , a quality school system and a family friendly atmosphere.

Though busy getting reacquainted with his home town the fact that the Village of Ridgewood  was so under represented on the internet  continued to disturb Mr. Foytlin. Mr. Foytlin had been writing news letters for his job in financial services since the mid 1990’s . The popular flip, off beat investment strategy news letters had become email blasts with the advent of readily accessible internet.[9] By 2004 the email blasts were converted into blog format for the One Small Voice blog ( ). [10]

Around that time the Village of Ridgewood had finally completed it’s much anticipated and long delayed renovation of the Village hall which has been flooded out due to Hurricane Floyd.[11] The renovation was marred by huge cost over runs and lengthy delays. In 2005 it opened with great fan fare , was once again flooded with the very first rain . Mr. Foytlin was more shocked by the abject lack of responsibility taken by elected officials than the fact that the $9 million dollar renovation had to some extent been a failure . That was the breaking point and Mr. Foytlin had had enough so he decided to give , citizen journalism a go and created the Ridgewood blog in March of 2006. [12]

The birth of PJ Blogger .By this time Blogging its seems had become quite the rage and mainstream news anchors such as Dan Rather had questioned the validity of information from non professionals sitting around in their Pajama’s blogging.[13] Mr. Foytlin not a fan of Dan Rather or any of the mainstream media decided to blog under the name PJ Blogger as a play on words and to plant himself firmly in the camp of the new digital media.

Innovations by the Ridgewood blog to citizen journalism.

“The Fly” is a column on the Ridgewood blog the originates from the expression ,”I’d like to be a fly on the wall “ . The idea is that every citizen has both a unique perspective and experience and these two factors can be used to gather news and opinions about local issues. Originally only of handful of people in town participated but with time the Ridgewood blog can now count on 20–40 semi regular contributors. These post are both anonymous and signed and are largely opinion as well a breaking news.[14]

The Ridgewood blog brings a free market lassie fare point of view to local issues . Mr. Foytlin aka PJ Blogger has stated that for local issues there are only two kinds of people ;the ones who say spend what every you want because I will not be around to pay the bill and the second group which are more focused on the ,”be careful this is my money your spending” . The Ridgewood blog is dedicated to the interplay of there two groups.[15]

[1][12] the Ridgewood blog website
[2] Birth Certificate born in Valley Hospital , Ridgewood 04/09/1962
[3] Ridgewood High School Class 1980
[4] 444 East 86th street ,530 East 72nd
[5] Monica Rocha
[6] Mapquest
[7] United States 2000 Census, the village population was 24,936.
[9] Fahnestock & Co. now Oppenheimer & Co.
[14] [15] James J Foytlin

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Ridgewood News editorial: Test ready



Ridgewood News editorial: Test ready

FEBRUARY 20, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2015, 12:31 AM

Whether you like it or not, PARCC testing is coming to Ridgewood. The new state-mandated assessment exams are slated for administration for the first time on March 2.

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It all comes down to “Keyboard Bravado”

It all comes down to “Keyboard Bravado”
January 21,2014
PJ Blogger

Ridgewood NJ, Since the Ridgewood blog had come up more than once in the last few civility meetings Mayor Aronsohn and Jan Philips  reached out to us for an invite so we updated our Last Will and Testaments and graciously accepted .The meetings of the Civility Round Table  are held on  Tuesday’s, once a month at 7:30 PM in the Ridgewood Village Hall Senior’s Lounge. Residents are encouraged to attend .

The meeting started promptly at 7:30 and was to my mind well attended given the time of the year . Jan Phelps hosted the meeting , with Mayor Aronsohn and Councilwomen Hauck . Everyone introduced themselves representing various groups and organizations in the Village , from the BOE , the Planing Board , the Ridgewood Library ,several local clergy , the HSA’s , RBSA and may other fine organizations that serve Ridgewood as well as a few residents . The purpose as stated by the Mayor is to create a more civil discourse in the Village .


Civility is about more than just politeness, although politeness is a necessary first step. It is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions, and teaching others to do the same. Civility is the hard work of staying present even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and fierce disagreements. It is political in the sense that it is a necessary prerequisite for civic action. But it is political, too, in the sense that it is about negotiating interpersonal power such that everyone’s voice is heard, and nobody’s is ignored.

The group seemed to agree that Ridgewood is a town where people like to excel , and that drive and those expectations create a very passionate , as you can see from blog comments and opinionated populace . People care about their community and thats a good thing , but many felt that sometimes we all go a bit to far .

We looked at the causes of incivility , the when and why .Sheila Brogan long time BOE member , felt that todays parents had a lot of additional pressure and  worried that in todays world their kids would have a hard time doing as well as they have done . She went on to speak about the changing times and how one could expect to have several careers over a life time  ,all this she  though made being a parent a lot harder than it was in the past  and a lot more pressure .

We managed to go till 8:08 be for someone mentioned the elephant in the room, “I want to talk about the blog”…….

I learned a lot , mostly that I am glad  I can sit in my PJ’s drinking coffee writing a blog getting yelled at by anonymous commenters ,and don’t have a tuff job like the RBSA people who are pulled in many directions ,by so many demands all at once .

There were interestingly a surprising large amount of blog enthusiasts there some open and some secret admirers .

While I could see there were some sore spots , like turf fields , PSEG ,sports issues , Valley Hospital , the Village Hall renovation and alas Marty Brooks the daggers were lowered for the night .

While anonymity of blog posters took a hit as expected some pointed out that even on facebook were you know who everyone is  the comments can be even nastier . A resident put it down to a type of “keyboard bravado.”

PJ’s Rules

1) Stick to issues don’t make it personal
2) Don’t take anything personal
M. Forni’s 25 Rules:The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct

1. Pay attention

2. Acknowledge others

3. Think the best

4. Listen

5. Be inclusive

6. Speak kindly

7. Don’t speak ill

8. Accept and give praise

9. Respect even a subtle “no”

10. Respect others’ opinions

11. Mind your body

12. Be agreeable

13. Keep it down (and rediscover silence)

14. Respect other people’s time

15. Respect other people’s space

16. Apologize earnestly and thoughtfully

17. Assert yourself

18. Avoid personal questions

19. Care for your guests

20. Be a considerate guest

21. Think twice before asking for favors

22. Refrain from idle complaints

23. Give constructive criticism

24. Respect the environment and be gentle to animals

25. Don’t shift responsibility and blame

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No “Golden Toilets ” for Habernickel


No “Golden Toilets ” for Habernickel

Habernickel horse barn renovation scrapped for now – prefab building maybe
October 22,2014
Boyd A. Loving
12:45 AM 

Ridgewood NJ, Based on the recommendation of Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld, Village Council members have seemingly nixed plans to undertake an expensive renovation of the Irene Habernickel Family Park’s horse barn.  The renovation project was being considered to satisfy a need for permanent restrooms and shelter from inclement weather at the expansive park located on Hillcrest Road.

Sonenfeld suggested that a prefabricated restroom may be a less expensive alternative, with preliminary estimates in the $60K – $90K price range.  A $60K grant may help offset costs.

Many of you may remember that the restroom project at Vets Field wound up costing taxpayers almost $400K, and those commodes were constructed in an existing building.

Pay close attention to this one folks . . .


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Overnight Milling Project at Garber Square in Ridgewood


photos by Boyd Loving

Overnight Milling Project at Garber Square 
October 21,2104
Boyd A. Loving

Ridgewood NJ, Garber Square, Ridgewood was closed in both directions (eastbound and westbound) to all vehicular traffic from 2000 hours on Monday, 10/20/2014, through 0600 hours on Tuesday, 10/21/2014 to allow for milling of the road surface in preparation for paving.  This work was performed in connection with a major streetscape project approved by the Ridgewood Village Council.  In addition to paving, the project will include the addition of bike lanes in both directions, the reduction of traffic lanes from two lanes to one lane, and a median island.







photos by Boyd Loving

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Ridgewood’s Valley Hospital sues over rejection of expansion project


Ridgewood’s Valley Hospital sues over rejection of expansion project

OCTOBER 3, 2014, 11:53 PM    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014, 11:56 PM

The Valley Hospital filed suit Friday against the Ridgewood Planning Board for rejecting its proposal to nearly double in size, arguing the board illegally sided with neighborhood opponents rather than permitting an upgrade for “an inherently beneficial regional hospital.”

For Valley, the lawsuit filed in state Superior Court in Hackensack is an attempt to end a protracted and costly stalemate with the village — its expansion plans have been defeated two times in the last four years.

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Ridgewood News editorial: Back to school means back to routine


Ridgewood News editorial: Back to school means back to routine

AUGUST 29, 2014    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 29, 2014, 12:31 AM

In the world of education, it’s appropriate to wish all students, parents, faculty and staff a happy new year. We’re hopeful that everyone will.

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Ridgewood residents opposed to PARCC testing changes form group


Ridgewood residents opposed to PARCC testing changes form group

AUGUST 22, 2014    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 22, 2014, 12:31 AM

A group of parents is growing the opposition to “Common Core driven changes in curriculum and the upcoming PARCC assessments” in the district through fact-finding committees and social media.

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Newspapers rip Michelle O’s ‘cupcake cops’

Wax Museum Hosts Birthday Party For Barack Obama

Newspapers rip Michelle O’s ‘cupcake cops’
August 18, 2014
Kyle Olson

PITTSBURGH – There’s been little support for Michelle Obama’s regulations targeting school snacks, except from bobble-headed bureaucrats. Now the media is turning against them, too.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review opines in an editorial titled ‘Cupcake cops’:

Arrogant federal overreach dips to a new low with rules that threaten a time-honored tradition — school bake sales that provide sweet treats for students and ease taxpayer burdens by helping to pay for sports, cheerleading, band and other activities.

“Such micromanagement of community life is in keeping with the ‘government knows best’ agenda behind federal diktats on toilets’ water consumption and what light bulbs can and can’t be sold. Hopefully, bake sales are where Americans will draw a line — by telling government ‘hands off!’ when it comes to cookies and cupcakes that both sweeten and enrich the educational experience,” the paper concludes.

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Ridgewood council weighs costs of turf versus grass


file photo Boyd Loving

Ridgewood council weighs costs of turf versus grass

AUGUST 14, 2014    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, AUGUST 14, 2014, 3:48 PM

Artificial turf appears to cost less to maintain than grass, at least on Maple Field.

According to Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld, an estimated $121,500 was spent maintaining the turf on Maple Field during an eight-year period from 2006 to 2014.

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