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Activist from Both Left and Right Rally to Oppose NJ Democrat Gerrymandering Plan

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Activists Gather Outside Legislative Caucus Meetings to Urge Legislators to Oppose Redistricting Proposals

East Brunswick-Activists from grassroots, good-government, and progressive groups gathered today at the East Brunswick Hilton to silently protest legislative efforts to move a ballot question aimed at changing the state constitution to grant legislators increased power in the redistricting process and enact changes experts have decried as exacerbating gerrymandering.

Members of New Jersey Working Families Alliance, League of Women Voters of New Jersey, NJ11th for Change, NJ7 Forward, New Jersey Citizen Action, Our Revolution New Jersey, and UU FaithAction NJ, all convened in their expressed opposition to the amendment as proposed.

“Since 2015, NJ Working Families has stood firm in its opposition to a process that places elected officials at the helm of a process to create their own districts. We stand in solidarity with those who also express concerns for varying reasons and urge legislators to pause in order to make the entire process more transparent, fair, and garner broader support.” said Analilia Mejia, Executive Director of New Jersey Working Families Alliance, which withdrew support for a similar proposal in 2015 in part because of its failure to ban legislators from serving on the commission.

Leaders of organizations who played an integral part in the 2018 midterm victories across the state joined the action to demand legislators pull support from the resolutions.

Saily Avelenda, Executive Director of NJ11th for Change said, “It should not shock our legislators that organizers from around the state are united in opposition to these proposals. We stand for good government and transparency– not for granting a select few legislators broader powers that they have already claimed for themselves. We showed up today to remind our legislators that there will be a political price to pay if they vote in favor for these terrible amendments. Voters are paying attention and so are we.”

“We are here to put our representatives on notice, said Margaret Illis, co-founder of NJ7Forward. This isn’t an electorate of years past. We have become an engaged and activated electorate and demand better from our representatives. This isn’t about partisanship or parties, this is about our voice and vote.”

“When a legislator is on the redistricting commission, their sole mission is to create a safe district for themselves. No one is going to say “Give me a less safe district to ensure a fairer map for everyone,” said Barry Brendel, Chair of Our Revolution New Jersey, the Sanders-inspired grassroots organization.

Activists from faith organizations also joined the call to oppose the redistricting proposal. “Good governance, in congregations as well as in the statehouse, depends on an open and fair process that doesn’t impact the bedrock principle of ‘One person, one vote,’ said Rev. Rob Gregson, Executive Director of the Public Policy and Social Justice Office of the 21 Unitarian Universalist congregations in NJ. “Unitarian Universalists and many of our faith partners unequivocally oppose carving up the state in ways that give an unfair advantage to either party, Democrats or Republicans. It’s bad for religious institutions and it’s bad for democracy in New Jersey.”

Actions against the redistricting proposal by grassroots organizations will continue in Trenton today as public hearings on SCR 43/ACR60 are scheduled.

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Secaucus Women Charged With “Slavery”

the staff of the Ridgewood blog 

Secaucus NJ, A Secaucus, New Jersey, woman was arraigned today on charges of holding a Sri Lankan national against her will and for years forcing the victim to work without pay as a domestic servant, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Alia Imad Faleh Al Hunaity, a/k/a “Alia Al Qaterneh,” 43, of Secaucus, New Jersey, was indicted Dec. 4, 2018, on charges of forced labor, alien harboring, and marriage fraud. She was arraigned today before U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler in Camden federal court and entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. She remains free on $150,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Hunaity brought the victim to the United States on a temporary visa in 2009 for the victim to perform domestic services. Hunaity caused the victim to overstay the victim’s visa, and the victim remained in the United States illegally, living exclusively with Hunaity for more than nine years. Hunaity forced the victim to work without pay, and limited the victim’s interactions with the outside world. In 2018, Hunaity forced the victim to marry Hunaity for the purpose of obtaining legal residence for the victim so that the victim could continue to work without pay for Hunaity.

Hunaity was arrested on Sept.19, 2018, and made her initial appearance that day before U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Cathy L. Waldor.

The forced labor charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and the alien harboring and marriage fraud charges each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The charges subject Hunaity to a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain to the defendant or twice the gross loss to others, whichever is greater.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian Michael, with the investigation leading to the indictment.

The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Opposition to Dems’ Redistricting Scheme to Rig Elections Holds Strong

Phill Murphy -Sara Medina del Castillo

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, TOMORROW, Thursday, Dec. 13, New Jersey Democrats will hold public hearings on a constitutional amendment that would disenfranchise millions of voters. The legislation, SCR-43, would make cataclysmic changes to New Jersey’s legislative redistricting process. 

The Assembly and State Senate hearings will both be held at 11 a.m. in Committee Room 11 and Committee Room 4, respectively, in the Statehouse Annex, making it cumbersome for the many who are opposed to testify on the record.

Not a single expert witness or group testified in favor of SCR-43 during a Nov. 26, 2018 committee hearing on the constitutional amendment.

In the weeks that have followed, dozens of nonpartisan election experts, editorial writers, and advocates from across the political spectrum have joined the chorus of opposition to this effort to disenfranchise our democracy.

Here’s what else they’re saying….

“This has been a classic throw something out in the proverbial backrooms. It’s completely unacceptable,” Governor Phil Murphy (Insider NJ, Nov. 27, 2018)

“It’s the most undemocratic solution possible,” he said. “It’s bizarre. You have supporters of the bill being incredibly disingenuous about giving voters greater choice.” – Patrick Murray Monmouth University Polling Institute (NJ Spotlight, Dec. 12, 2018)

“This has the potential to undermine our voting rights. The result could favor one party over the other.” – Jeanne LoCicero, ACLU of New Jersey. (NJ Spotlight, Dec. 12, 2018)

“What Democrats in Trenton really want is a permanent majority, and they’re trying to rig the state Constitution to provide it,” Wall Street Journal Editorial Board (Dec. 3, 2018)

“This is undemocratic. Voters should be choosing their politicians — not the other way around.” – Helen Kioukis, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey (Nov. 26, 2018)

“Such a map would create an artificial, evenly-distributed advantage for the majority party. This would drastically reduce the number of seats for the minority party in a way most New Jerseyans would consider to be unfair,” Brian Williams, Princeton University Gerrymandering Project (Nov. 26, 2018)

“By focusing on partisanship and treating communities of interest, and communities of color in particular, as an afterthought, the proposed constitutional amendment is an unacceptable step backwards for New Jersey. We will not go back. Passage of this proposal will virtually ensure the voting power of communities of color will be diluted for decades to come. We successfully opposed this ill-conceived measure before, and we are doing so again today,” Richard Smith, the New Jersey Chapter of the NAACP. (Joint Statement, Nov. 27, 2018)

“It is at best an unproved assumption, and at worst a mistaken one, that voters always vote for the same party’s candidate whether for President or for State Assemblyman. Especially in New Jersey, where state legislative elections are not held in the same year as federal elections, uncritically imposing the results of one election on the process for an entirely different election is ‘mixing apples and oranges.’ As a general matter, requiring that districts be drawn on order to favor one political party, or even both major political parties, is contrary to sound redistricting practice, and enables partisan gerrymandering.” – Ronald K. Chen, Center for Law and Justice (Letter to Sen. Paul Sarlo, Nov. 23, 2018)

“SCR43 would constitutionalize a redistricting process for New Jersey that elevates partisanship over people, and prioritizes ‘competition’ over protecting the ability of communities of color to elect their candidates of choice. We cannot support this proposal. And we urge everyone who cares about the protection of our democracy’s ability to put people first—not partisanship—to join us in opposing SCR43.” – Ryan P. Haygood, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice Institute (Joint Statement, Nov. 27, 2018)

“Attempting to mandate political outcomes is not the best way to reform redistricting—and, in fact, could open the door to gerrymandering.” Yurij Rudensky, Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law (Joint Statement, Nov. 27, 2018)

“It is very difficult to see this as anything but a naked power grab by Democrats… This is not what Democracy is supposed to look like. The process is fatally flawed.. This doesn’t help create faith in government; it creates more distrust. ” – David Pringle, Clean Water Action (Nov. 26, 2018)

“So, what are state Senate Democrats doing now? They want voters to amend the state Constitution so that the independent commission would have to follow new rules that clearly favor Democrats. It’s a shameless stunt, and like all shameless stunts, they are rushing this through the Legislature at the last minute to short-circuit any discussion of the merits. On Monday, with Senate President Steve Sweeney cracking the whip, the budget committee approved the maneuver after a brief and superficial hearing before a mostly empty chamber. It was one of those Trenton moments that make you want to take a hot shower to wash away the stink.” Columnist Tom Moran as published in The Star-Ledger op-ed: “Stop the shameless power grab by N.J. Democrats” (Nov. 28, 2018)

“Promoting competition shouldn’t start with a virtual guarantee that 75 percent of the districts will be noncompetitive,” Asbury Park Press Editorial Board (Nov. 25, 2018)

“The way most people use the word “competitive” — if they are at all conversant in conversational English — and the way the sponsors of the proposed changes define the word “competitive” are worlds apart. Heck, they aren’t even in the same dictionary. […] They know you wouldn’t vote for the type of system they want if they described it honestly.” Patrick Murray, Monmouth University Polling Institute, as published in his Nov. 25 op-ed, “Top N.J. pollster: Beware, Dems want you to vote for their redistricting scheme.”

“The constitutional amendment is worded in such a way as to pull the wool over voters’ eyes. This is Democrats being overly greedy for no good reason. It’s almost certain that they will do well with the next map and there are less egregious ways to prioritize the fairness metric. This just further erodes public trust in government for little actual gain.” – Patrick Murray, Monmouth University Polling Institute Director (Politico, Nov. 19, 2018)

Recently in the News…

12/12/2018 on NJ Spotlight“Opposition Lines Up as NJ Dems Keep Going With Vexed Redistricting Measure”“New Jersey Democrats are going ahead with two public hearings tomorrow on a measure to change the way the state draws its legislative district boundaries, a proposal that to date no independent group — and even some that typically back Democrats — considers better or fairer than the current system.”

12/12/2018 in New Jersey Globe“47 Groups Sign Letter Opposing Redistricting Amendment”
“The New Jersey League of Women Voters and 46 other groups, including a large number of liberal ones, on Wednesday sent New Jersey legislators a letter asking them to vote against the redistricting constitutional amendment being pushed by Democratic leaders in the legislature. “We urge you to stand up for democracy and for the people of New Jersey and vote “no” on these proposals that would lay the foundation for the extreme gerrymandering of New Jersey’s 40 legislative districts,” the groups said in the letter. “The manipulation of district boundary lines to favor one political party over another has no place in our State Constitution. New Jersey voters deserve a fair process and fair maps.”

12/9/2018 on“All you need to know about that controversial, fast-tracked plan that could give N.J. Dems even more power
“Many liberal-leaning groups have spoken out. About a dozen activists held a news conference in Newark on Wednesday to lobby against the proposal — many of whom helped flip four Republican U.S. House seats last month. “We refuse to sit by and watch the Democratic party bosses further consolidate their power to have the ultimate leverage when it comes time to whip important votes,” said Sue Altman of South Jersey Progressive Women for Change. Yurji Rudensky of the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law suggested this could “open the door to gerrymandering.”

12/1/2018 in The Philadelphia Inquirer: “To combat gerrymandering, N.J. Democrats propose drawing maps to entrench their power
“Bucking a national trend toward fighting gerrymandering by removing partisan politics from the process of drawing political maps, New Jersey Democrats are seeking to amend the state constitution in a way that would entrench their power in Trenton. The proposal has drawn sharp criticism from good-government groups, civil rights groups, and redistricting experts who warn it would allow Democrats to unfairly draw the state’s legislative districts in their favor. A group led by prominent national Democratic figures called it ‘a major step in the wrong direction.’”

11/27/2018 on“After the legal weed drama came a classic Jersey power fight featuring, yes, backroom deals
“Critics warn it would ensure Democrats keep control of the state Legislature for decades. A slightly watered-down version of the proposal advanced out of a state Senate committee Monday night, fast-tracked on the first day after Thanksgiving weekend. But not before Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy defied members of his own party by voicing opposition to it earlier in the day. Not before lawmakers made multiple changes in backroom meetings (yep, there really is a back room) and continued to make alterations even after some votes were tallied. Not before Republicans, academics, and advocates continued to cry foul. And not before a woman in the crowd yelled that Democrats should be “ashamed” of themselves. In other words, it was one of those classic nights for Jersey power politics.”

11/27/2018 in Politico NJ Playbook:
“After a five-hour hearing and a two-hour break — when the once-packed committee room was nearly empty — the Senate budget committee took up and passed a redistricting amendment that would virtually ensure Democratic dominance for decades to come… Note that even though Democratic legislative leadership is pushing this , a vast array of groups — from Republicans to academics to even liberal organization like the Working Families Alliance, which three years ago pushed for a redistricting amendment — are against it. And even the way Democrats advanced it through committee was controversial.”

11/27/2018 on NJ Spotlight“DEMOCRATS PUSH CONTROVERSIAL REDISTRICTING OVERHAUL, CRITICS PUSH BACK”“The proposal was approved at the end of a marathon hearing during which critics wondered at the wisdom of such a proposal, particularly at this time. Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, questioned whether it was wise for lawmakers to advance the proposal in an era when the public is already deeply divided along partisan lines and as public trust in government is ‘pretty fragile at this point in time.’ But the strongest criticism came from Helen Kioukis, a program associate with the League of Women Voters, who labeled the proposed changes “undemocratic.” The hearing also contained a bizarre moment when some lawmakers’ votes were allowed to be recorded ahead of time despite a series of last-minute amendments being made; the lawmakers had apparently already left the State House.”

11/26/2018 on “N.J. Democrats have all kinds of power these days. This new plan of theirs could give them more.
“Two sources with knowledge of the situation said top Democratic lawmakers are trying to diminish the role of Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie, a Murphy ally. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, has frequently locked horns with both the chairman and the governor. The sources — who asked for anonymity to discuss sensitive matters — said a plan to displace Currie as chairman went nowhere and the restricting proposal surfaced as another avenue to kneecap him.”

Additionally, on Dec. 11, 2018, the following 50 groups submitted letters to State legislators announcing their united opposition:

Action Together New Jersey
Allied for the American Promise
American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey
American Promise
Better Angels – Summit Chapter
Clean Water Action
Democracy for America, Essex County
Environment New Jersey
Faith in New Jersey
Food & Water Watch
Good Government Coalition of New Jersey (GGCNJ)
Housing and Community Development Network of NJ
Indivisible Cranbury
Indivisible Lambertville/New Hope
JOLT Ridgewood
League of Women Voters of New Jersey
Lutheran Episcopal Advocacy Ministry NJ
National Association of Social Workers – NJ Chapter
National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section
National Organization for Women of New Jersey
National Organization for Women – Northern New Jersey
Network for Responsible Public Policy
New Jersey Citizen Action
New Jersey Highlands American Promise Association
New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
New Jersey State Industrial Union Council
New Jersey Policy Perspective
New Jersey Work Environment Council
New Jersey Working Families Alliance
NJ Badass Teachers Association
NJ7 Forward
Our Revolution Essex County NJ
Our United Revolution New Jersey
Pinelands Preservation Alliance
Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey
Reform Jewish Voice of New Jersey
RepresentUs/Central New Jersey
Salvation and Social Justice
Seniors for a Democratic Society
South Jersey Women for Progressive Change
STAND Central New Jersey
TriCounty NJ Chapter of American Promise
Unitarian Universalist FaithAction NJ
Westfield 20/20
Women for Progress

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O’Scanlon: Over-Brining NJ Roads is a Large-Scale Waste of Taxpayer Funds


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) released the following statement addressing numerous recent incidents of unwarranted brining of State roadways.

“The lack of government response and preparedness for the first winter storm of the season was clearly a failure,” Senator O’Scanlon said. “Although it was somewhat ameliorated by the moving target forecast, there’s no question we should have been better-prepared, and more on top of the treacherous situation as it evolved.

“However, the answer for that failure is NOT to waste obscene amounts of taxpayer money by over-brining roads, every time the temperature dips below 40 degrees.

“Now, whenever you go outside on a chilly day, you see government trucks dumping thousands of dollars of resources unnecessarily onto the roads. Increasing the use of brine wastes funds and exacerbates our already deteriorated roadways. It could also adversely impact the environment by increasing salinity. Over-brining could also potentially cause lead to leach into our waterways. Taxpayers are rightfully baffled and furious.

“The administration’s response to their shortcomings during the November snowstorm should be to reevaluate their preparedness and response levels in order to ensure appropriate mobilization during an actual winter storm event. They are now swinging in the other direction: from lack of response, to wasting taxpayer money to avoid another public relations nightmare.

“We understand that there will always be unfair blame and burden placed on government during storms. It’s only fair to concede that. There are things government can and should be able to control; and then there are tricky things, like the weather. I get it. But this rapid depletion of our stock of winter resources – we all remember when we actually ran out of salt a number of years ago – and the subsequent waste of our budget money isn’t an acceptable response.

“I sincerely hope the administration reevaluates immediately, by putting the proper winter weather mitigation protocols in place, and stopping this absurd waste of resources and taxpayer funds.

“I have faith that the professionals at the Department of Transportation are aware of the mistakes that were made during the previous failure, and should be ready to balance our needs going forward. It now appears public relations decisions may be overruling professional ones. I’m asking Governor Murphy to take a step back and work with our DOT officials to strike a healthy balance here,” O’Scanlon concluded.

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Readers Point Out the Obvious About Ridgewood and New Jersey Taxes


file photo by Boyd Loving

“With the declining tax base, who is going to pay for all of these excessive salaries and benefits (platinum health care, very generous pension & unused sick leave payouts) negotiated in bad faith by the public sector unions ?”

“States with lower state & local taxes make much more sense for businesses to invest given the SALT deduction limits of $10,000 on their employees hurt them in high tax states like NJ.”

“The average residential property tax in Ridgewood is actually now $18,000 as of 2018/19 tax year… just as state & local tax deductions are limited to $10,000. What are the BOE and Village Council doing to help Ridgewood families keep food on their tables and gas in their cars given higher commuter pass costs, tolls, higher parking permit fees, higher Graydon and tennis pass fees, etc? And where are the vaunted schools & Village services those taxes are paying for ? In the tank.”

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Conagra Brands Moves Jobs Out of New Jersey

for sale Ridgewood_Real_Estate_theRodgewopodblog

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Parsippany NJ, Conagra Brands, the food giant that purchased Parsippany-based Pinnacle Foods for nearly $11 billion in October, is the second company in as many weeks looking for greener pastures . The company is closing a pair of Pinnacle facilities, according to a federal WARN notice — potentially costing 500 people their jobs.

Conagra, Chicago-based maker of products such as Healthy Choice and Orville Redenbacher’s, said in two separate notifications that it is closing office facilities at 399 Jefferson Road in Parsippany and 121 Woodcrest Road in Cherry Hill. The Parsippany property had served as headquarters for Pinnacle, maker of brands such as Duncan Hines, Vlasic and Birds Eye.

WARN Notice :  offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union); to the State dislocated worker unit; and to the appropriate unit of local government.

Conagra Brands, Inc.  Parsippany  Date 03/22/2019   layoffs 308
Conagra Brands, Inc.  Cherry Hill  Date 05/24/2019    layoffs 196

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Reader says, ” Ridgewood should purchase one or two with these “

photo by RH

You know what all kidding aside to Village of Ridgewood should purchase one or two with these definitely should be some sort of small police office in the CBD. Why not. OK Miss side the village on the old taxi stand building there’s a small office at the first floor on Broad Street that the police department can utilize and park one or two cars right in the front for rapid response. Think about it

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ICE arrests 105 in New Jersey operation targeting criminal aliens and public safety threats

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

NEWARK NJ,  Four individuals in the country illegally who have Interpol warrants based on crimes they committed in their home countries were among 105 foreign nationals taken into custody during a five-day operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last week in New Jersey.  The operation, which was spearheaded by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), targeted at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and other immigration violators and was supported by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) New Jersey Field Office.

Of those arrested during the operation, 80 percent had prior criminal convictions and/or pending criminal charges.“These outstanding results, which were made possible by our officers and law enforcement partners, highlight the tremendous commitment that ICE ERO has to public safety throughout the state,” said John Tsoukaris, Field Office Director of ERO Newark. “Our focus has been and will continue to be on arrests of illegal aliens who have been convicted of serious crimes or those who pose a threat to public safety.”          

These individuals will go through removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge or for those under a final order of removal, arrangements will be made to remove them from the U.S.  

The individuals arrested throughout New Jersey were nationals of Brazil (6), Canada (1), Colombia (1), Costa Rica (1), Cuba (2), Dominican Republic (10), Ecuador (4), Egypt (1), El Salvador (8), Guatemala (13), Honduras (7), Jamaica (4), Korea (2), Mexico (28), Peru (4), Philippines (1), Poland (1), Russia (1), Serbia (1), Slovakia (2), Spain (1), Taiwan (1), Trinidad (1), and Venezuela (4).

These individuals were arrested in the following counties in New Jersey: Atlantic (1), Bergen (4), Burlington (1), Camden (1), Essex (6), Gloucester (2), Hudson (24), Hunterdon (1), Mercer (12), Middlesex (10), Monmouth (14), Morris (3), Ocean (2), Passaic (11), Somerset (1), and Union (10). Also, two (2) individuals were arrested in New York. They range from age 18 to 65 years old and most were previously convicted of a variety of offenses. Some of the convictions included sexual assault on a minor, child abuse, possession of narcotics, distribution of narcotics, extortion, DUI, fraud, domestic violence, theft, possession of a weapon, robbery, promoting prostitution, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, shoplifting and illegal reentry.

Among those arrested during this operation include:

  • In Palisades Park, a 59-year-old Korean national, who has an Interpol warrant to serve his sentence for the crime of indecent acts by compulsion causing bodily injury;
  • In Palisades Park, a 44-year-old Korean national, who has an Interpol warrant to serve his sentence for the crime of distribution of psychotropic drugs;
  • In West New York, a 34-year-old Ecuadorian national, who has an Interpol warrant for the crime of fraud;
  • In Paterson, a 54-year-old Russian national, who has an Interpol warrant for the crime of large scale fraud;
  • In Union City, a 35-year-old Ecuadorian national, who has a conviction of forcible touching on a child;
  • In Jersey City, a 35-year-old Venezuelan national, who has a conviction of distribution of narcotics;
  • In Union City, a 52-year-old Mexican national, who has a conviction of promoting prostitution with a child.
  • In New Brunswick, a 34-year-old Honduran national, who has a conviction of Endangering the Welfare of a Child;
  • In Bayonne, a 43-year-old Canadian national, who has a conviction of distribution of narcotics on school grounds;
  • In Jamesburg, a 25-year-old previously deported Guatemalan national, who was arrested for aggravated assault and possession of a weapon. An ICE detainer was lodged with Middlesex County Jail but they refused to honor the ICE detainer and released the subject;
  • In Toms River, a 28-year-old Egyptian national, who has three convictions for possession and distribution of narcotics;
  • In Jersey City, a 41-year-old Taiwanese national, who has convictions for extortion and bank fraud;
  • In Atlantic City, a 38-year-old Cuban national, who has a conviction for aggravated criminal sexual contact;
  • In New Brunswick, a 48-year-old Jamaican national, who has convictions for conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a weapon;
  • In Freehold a 28-year-old El Salvadorian national, who is a member of MS-13;
  • In New Brunswick, a 19-year-old Mexican national, who is a member of the 18th street gang;
  • In Newark, a 31-year-old Mexican national, who is a member of the Surenos-13th street gang;

This operation was pre-planned and not as a result of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Directive last week limiting local and state law enforcement cooperation with ICE. ICE will of necessity have to conduct additional enforcement operations, if local police departments and county jails do not refer criminals and gang members they encounter to ICE for review and possible arrest on immigration violations.

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog 

Ridgewood NJ, Since turning back the clocks, there have been some home burglaries in the Village.  These typically haveoccurred during the hours of 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., when it is dark and no one is home.  There have also been burglaries from vehicles parked indriveways. 

Please be aware that Public Safety is the Village of Ridgewood’s #1 priority, and our Police Department is giving their full attention touncover every detail and piece of information, so that they can identify those involved in the burglaries.  In addition, there are extra Policepatrols on the streets.  If you are aware of a burglary which has occurred near your home, and have home security cameras or a Ring doorbellcamera, please contact the Ridgewood Police Department, at 201-652-3900, and let them know.  The videos obtained from these cameras will assistthe Ridgewood Police Department in their investigation.

Here are some helpful tips to be used to protect your home and vehicles from burglaries:

  1. Lock doors and windows (house and cars).  Remove your fobs from your cars and bring them into your house.
  2. Routinely check that home security/safety systems are working properly. 
  3. Promptly clear property/driveway of newspapers. 
  4. Promptly empty mailbox, clear delivered packages and register for delivery notifications. 
  5. DO NOT post real-time information on Facebook/Instagram/social media including:
    • a. Real-time photos and/or livestream from vacation, parties, concerts, theater, sports events, dining out and food images, etc. DOING SO PUBLICLY BROADCASTS THAT YOU’RE NOT HOME!
    • b. Real-time Information about work commute, work location, shopping, etc.  
  6. CAUTION: do not accept Facebook/social media friend requests without confirming the authenticity of the individual making the request – LOOK, THINK & RESEARCH before accepting. 
  7. NOTE:  Many members of local Ridgewood Facebook groups are not from Ridgewood
  8. NEVER HESITATE: IMMEDIATELY report suspicious vehicles, persons, and activity to the RIDGEWOOD POLICE DEPARTMENT – remember for an emergency dial 911 and always have the RPD non-emergency number handy 201-652-3900
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New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s 60th Annual Business Outlook Survey : New Jersey continues to be perceived as being non-competitive with other states

for sale Ridgewood_Real_Estate_theRodgewopodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Expectations are high for increased profits, sales and wages in 2019 following a successful 2018 for many New Jersey businesses, according to results found in the New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s 60th Annual Business Outlook Survey.But the survey, released today, also finds a much more guarded outlook for New Jersey’s economy on the whole. In addition to a marginal increase of business owners who will look to offset a $15 minimum wage with raised prices, reduced staff or hours, or an increase in automation, there was a sizable decline from last year in respondents expecting New Jersey’s economy to perform better in the first six months of 2019. Similarly, while 83 percent of members rated the performance of the U.S. economy as excellent or good, only 40 percent rated New Jersey’s economy in the same categories.

Continue reading New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s 60th Annual Business Outlook Survey : New Jersey continues to be perceived as being non-competitive with other states