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Ridgewood, One of The Safest Towns in America

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  according to , you probably already have an opinion about how safe or dangerous your current hometown is. But those feelings aren’t always aligned with reality. To help you know for sure whether your city is a place where people still leave their doors unlocked (don’t do that!) or if it’s a bit more crime-riddled than you thought, we’ve identified the 100 safest cities in America.

Is There More Crime Today Than 20 Years Ago? Safewise says the that we are constantly bombarded with scary headlines and graphic images of violence and crime, so it’s easy to assume crime is worse than ever across America. But the numbers don’t back that up.

Continue reading Ridgewood, One of The Safest Towns in America
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Please vote Cristopher Kaufman on November 6th

Hi James,

This is Cristopher Kaufman and I’m running for a seat on the board of education. I wanted to reach out and send you statement that I was hoping to get on your blog.

Continue reading Please vote Cristopher Kaufman on November 6th

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Your Authorization and Parking Have Never Been Simpler

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood  NJ, Authorizing access to your parking spaces or into your entire complex has traditionally been a complicated matter. Further, making sure that everyone who is granted access has a place to park and can move around efficiently has commonly carried some snags. The good news about that is the process has become far simpler, thanks to new technologies offered by Nortech.

Continue reading Your Authorization and Parking Have Never Been Simpler

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It’s Not That Football Anymore , its a whole new style of play

jack Tatum

photo Jack Tatum

September 9,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, it is back to school and the start of High School Football season .The latest media rage is the continued focus  on player safety and concussions . While many parents continue to voice concern about football safety . Other sports like soccer and lacrosse have proven to be equally as dangerous .

On September 5th Dr. Bennet Omalu  told the Today show : “Knowing what we know today, there is no reason whatsoever that any child under the age of 18 should play the high-impact, high-contact sports. The big six are: American football, ice hockey, mixed martial arts, boxing, wrestling and rugby. Blows to the head are intrinsic to the game. That truth could be inconvenient, painful and difficult, but we should not deny it. “

So is no sports really the answer ? After all On August 18, 1967, the Red Sox were playing the California Angels at Fenway Park. Tony Conigliaro, batting against Jack Hamilton, was hit by a pitch on his left cheekbone and was carried off the field on a stretcher. He sustained a linear fracture of the left cheekbone and a dislocated jaw with severe damage to his left retina. The batting helmet he was wearing did not have the protective ear-flap that has since become standard. So even baseball can be dangerous .

Perhaps it is my age or just a different point of reference  but growing up we never wore helmets on bicycles , we drank water from a hose , swam in Saddle River ,ate trout we caught  and some how all lived to tell about it .

I can still remember August 12, 1978,  “Oakland Raiders free safety Jack Tatum levels New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley with a helmet-to-helmet hit in a preseason game, leaving Stingley paralyzed for life. Despite the sport’s hard hits and reputation for roughness, this was the first and only time a player was permanently paralyzed as a result of an injury sustained in a National Football League game.”

So is it really true as Dr. Bennet Omalu said that “Blows to the head are intrinsic to the game”  ? We placed a call to councilmen Ramon Hache who is very involved in Village sports programs especially football to get his take . Ramon reminded us that things have changed , that do to the size ,speed and weight of the players its not the football we grew up with . That players got bigger and faster and equipment didn’t seemed to up grade as quickly. Ramon stressed that awareness and training is the key to safety and reminded me the new game is often played more like Rugby or the old leather helmet football when tackling was or is much less dependent on equipment then technique .

photo Raised a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, Jim Thorpe was America’s original crossover athlete. As an Olympic champion, football player and baseball star, he excelled in nearly every sport he tried.

Even RJFA PeeWee Football coaches now have to have a Youth Tackle Coach Certification even before they take the field. It is also It is mandatory for all RJFA coaches to be certified for HUF (Heads Up Football)  .

Shoulder Tackling and Blocking
Health and Safety
Fundamentals of Coaching

Coaches also must be Rutgers S.A.F.E.T.Y certified  . As we figured Ridgewood parents would do everything possible to assure the safety of their children , so mothers can feel confident everything is being done and then some to keep your child safe .

Let face the value of team sports for children has been well documented and it would be a shame to lose these benefits

Children who take part in organized sports receive many social, mental and psychological benefits over and above those that come from general physical activity.

Healthy habits

Starting a child in an organized sport gives them a healthy habit of physical activity to see them right through to adulthood and help them ward off many age- and weight-related ailments. Even before adulthood, teens who take part in sports are less likely to smoke, do drugs or abuse alcohol.


Learning the rules and techniques of a new sport and training for a particular purpose can give a child self-discipline that they can employ both on and off the field. Sports often help children learn that working hard helps them to achieve a goal.

Social skills and teamwork

When many people think of organized sports, team sports often spring to mind. Sports such as baseball, hockey or basketball can teach children to trust and rely on others to achieve common goals, value everyone’s individual strengths and put collective needs before individual wants.

Improved mental health

Taking part in a sport can greatly improve a child’s sense of self-worth. Whether it is the satisfaction of mastering a dribble or beating a personal best, sports-related exercise enables children to gain confidence in their skills. In an era of excessive focus on appearance, sports also provide an outlet for children, especially girls, to focus not on what their bodies look like but on what they can do. This has the knock-on benefit of improved body image.


Taking part in anything competitive requires an ability to handle disappointments and accept personal responsibility for any mistakes. It can take a while for children – and some adults – to learn not to blame others when things go wrong. However, organized sports can teach important lessons about the value of taking part rather than winning and about using setbacks as learning opportunities.


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NJT TRAIN REVERSIBLE SEATS with NO LOCKING DEVICES safety needs to be questioned?

NJT seats

October 12,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the issue of NJT train seating has come up. Commuters speculated that those seated in NJT Hoboken train crash likely went flying forward hitting the fixed reversed seat ahead of them or into the Aisles. The question is why are there no locking devices on these seats? Another element that is lacking is that there are also no seat belts; this might be helpful especially for children and the elderly.

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Reader says The bike lane was a complete waste of money and it failed

bike path way ridgewood train station

The bike lane to nowhere was was an idiotic attempt by Roberta to show she could do something, ,anything , constructive and it turned into a nightmare, It was a complete waste of money and it failed to achieve the goals of increased safety and increased vehicle thru-put that were touted by Village Management as a major goal. The fact is this project turned into a giant waste of taxpayer money with no identifiable benefit to the Village, All who were involved in planning ,executing, managing and promoting this stupid project should be let go immediately. We need smart people to solve our problrms not idiots who have no idea what they are doing.

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The safety of summer thrills: Amusement park risks nearly impossible to know because of terrifying patchwork of state laws or almost no regulation


As kids and families prepare to pour into amusement parks nationwide, even the most eager thrill-seeker has to wonder: How do you know you’re safe?

For the most part, you can’t — and the parks won’t tell us.

The American amusement parks that are teeming with towering, terrifying rides are immune to federal investigation — and the industry has largely failed to be transparent about its potential problems — even while touting its own safety record summer after summer.

Amusement parks report more than 1,000 injuries every year, and barely a summer goes by without a ride-related death or maiming making headlines.

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UPDATE: Ridgewood Neighbors Question Trade off of Quality of Life Issues vs Healthbarns Rental income to the Village

Healthbarn USA ridgewood
file photo by Boyd Loving
May 17,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ , in April Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld  responded to an email voicing safety concerns over the facility.

Neighbors say that the business Healthbarn USA Inc. was put before the safety of the residents of the community  i.e. painted crosswalks as promised and signage for parking on one side of the street is astounding. Yet amazingly all of the work was done by the town for this business’s 4/1 start date.

The Village has now added lighting in a park that closes at dusk is another issue along with the fact the Ridgewood Water has been there 3 days in a row working to get the business Heathbarn USA a sprinkler for her garden.  A garden that is on Green acres property but not for public use to my understanding.

Residents wonder how classes are approved to go until 9:00 when Ridgewood parks close at dusk. I understand that the lights were in the original plan 6 or so years ago, but the fact that they were never needed and are coming at this time seems more than coincidental.

Residents questions remained unanswered ,what is the current pricing for the lights ?  Who paid for the village water to be tapped into for the business’s personal needs of water for her private garden?  and who will be paying that water bill?  Will this business follow water restrictions when in effect?

Soccer and baseball have started we are already seeing the effect of this large business be given 12 parking spots.  This is causing Ridgewood tax payers to have no choice but to park on the street since the lot is now being taken away.  There are no designated spots for Healthbarn, therefore these private clients are and will continue to utilize the entire parking lot.  Residents of Ridgewood and the teams they are hosting for sports are being pushed into the street.

What is the effect of  this commotion with 25 plus kids in a small home and  25 plus cars an hour will do to the natural habitat green acres is suppose to protect.  Will not the lights deter the natural habitat that the owls maintain there at dusk.

Finally residents are demanding to know what is the percentage of Ridgewood children paying to attend this business?  and again how is it a benefit to our town? Since the Village stated over and over at meetings “this would be a tremendous benefit to Ridgewood”  Tax payers deserve an explanation of why this is a good thing?
Many neighbors actually feel as it is an imposition and very destructive to the neighborhood and to the park itself. The $3700.00 rent that this business is paying ( as did a family who were the tenants before paid ) does not seem like a fair trade off for all that is being taken away from the community and neighborhood.

Dear All,

I would like to clarify, address and correct the details in some of the recent correspondences regarding the Health Barn at Habernickel Park.

Let me start with the claim that a sprinkler system has been installed by the Village for the use of the Health Barn.  This is not true.  No sprinkler system has been or will be installed.  Health Barn will be paying for any water that it uses. We have their usage metered separately. They will also be required to follow any watering restrictions that Ridgewood Water implements.

Ms. Rubin mentions that Health Barn is advertising on their website that they will be providing busing for children in the summer day camp program.  We cannot find any reference to this on Health Barn’s website at all norwill this be occurring.  Please provide the back-up for this claim.

As far as the details surrounding the residences of the children in Health Barn’s classes, Ms. Antine is required by the lease to provide quarterly reporting that will be reviewed by Parks and Rec.  This report is not due until June 30, 2016. I can provide some recent experiences with regard to where the children live that frequent her classes.  Thursday’s seedlings class consisted of 12 children, all of whom were Ridgewood residents. Yesterday, there was a seedlings class of 6 young children – they were all from Ridgewood from the Hillcrest neighborhood.  Also yesterday I observed an older children’s class of about 8 children none of whom were Ridgewood residents.  As of yesterday morning, the enrollment for next week’s school break camp has 15 children, 9 of whom are Ridgewood residents.

As a reminder, by Green Acres rules, this is a park that is open to all, not just Ridgewood residents.

Another issue mentioned was the lighting.  Ms. Vellis is correct that the downward facing lights were in the original plans for Habernickel.  They are in fact a safety feature that should be there regardless of Health Barn.  As with other Village properties, these lights will be on from dusk to dawn.

The Gate House hours at Habernickel are in line with other Village buildings particularly the Stable; this is distinct from park hours.  Ms Antine’s latest class ends at 9:00PM and then cleanup is required.  The Stable, as an example, is open until 11PM.


We appreciate and celebrate owls in our parks.  We cannot move their nests nor do we want to.  We don’t see any issue with the various park activities at Habernickel and the well-being of the owl.


As far as the changes regarding no parking signs, striping, etc.  The no parking signs have been installed on the south side of Hillcrest.  Striping cannot be done until the weather warms up – as soon as that occurs, our Signal Department will stripe.

In Closing:

In speaking with Stacy, she has always been steadfast in her resolve to be a good neighbor and to listen to the neighbors around her.  In that spirit of cooperation, she would like to invite the neighbors to the Gate House so that you can see firsthand the significant improvements to the interior as well as discuss the programs and any other questions you may have.  Please let Janet and myself know if this is of interest to you and we can make this offer to others in the neighborhood….and also let me know if you have any other questions.

Best, Roberta

Best regards,


Roberta Sonenfeld
Village Manager
201-670-5500, ext. 203

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PSEG Gas leak

file photo courtesy of Boyd Loving

PSE&G Reminds Everyone to Dial Before Digging

April is National Safe Digging Month

Ridgewood NJ, April is National Safe Digging Month and Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), New Jersey’s largest utility, reminds customers, contractors and excavators to call 811 to request a mark-out before digging to avoid hitting underground pipelines, conduits, wires and cables. The service is free, and absolutely critical to avoiding injuries and disruptions to vital utility services.

Nationwide, every six minutes, someone damages an underground utility line when digging without first calling 811, according to the Common Ground Alliance, the national association that promotes safe digging practices. In 2015, PSE&G responded to more than 360,000 utility mark-out requests called into the New Jersey 811 call center. Despite the high number of mark-out requests, almost 30 percent of damages to PSE&G facilities were the result of people digging without first calling 811.

PSE&G has more than 8,200 circuit miles of underground electric lines, and about 35,000 miles of buried natural gas distribution lines. Striking an underground electric or natural gas pipe can cause serious injury and service interruptions, resulting in repair costs and fines. Every digging project, even a small project like planting a tree or building a deck with hand tools, requires a call to 811.

When you call 811, you are automatically connected to the New Jersey one-call center, which collects information about your digging project. The one-call center then provides the information to the utility companies, who send representatives to mark the locations of underground lines in the immediate vicinity of the planned work location with flags, paint or both. Once lines have been properly marked and your request becomes valid, you are free to carefully dig around the marked areas.

In New Jersey, the marks are valid for 45 business days. The call must be made whether you are hiring a professional or planning to do the job yourself.

Important information to consider:

Call 811 at least three full business days before each job to have underground pipes, wires and equipment located. Utility workers will respond and place markers where utility lines are buried, free of charge.

If you hired a contractor, confirm that a call to 811 has been made. Do not allow work to begin if the lines are not marked.

Property owners must maintain and respect the marks. Always hand dig within two feet of marked lines.

Various colors are used when marking lines. To learn what each color represents and for more information go to

If you accidentally damage gas piping or smell gas when excavating, call 911 immediately from a safe area. Call before you dig is more than a good idea — it’s the law.

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Ridgewood BOE and Ridgewood Police Continue Strategic School Security Efforts

Ridgewood Police Continue Strategic School Security Efforts
March 9,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,Representatives for the Ridgewood school District, under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Fisbein, participated in a security assessment training meeting along with representatives from the Ridgewood Police and Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

Agent William J. Stallone of BCPO along with Detective Captain Lyons and Chief Ward discussed security assessments and risk mitigation process updates as part of our ongoing partnership towards enhanced school safety. Agent Stallone is the county Risk Mitigation Planner in conjunction with the NJ Department of Homeland Security. He has been working closely with our department as part of the community wide critical infrastructure threat and vulnerability assessments initiated by our department.
The Ridgewood Police would like to thank Dr. Fishbein, his team and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office for their continued commitment and assistance in our efforts to secure our schools and community.