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Lake Hopatcong Algae Getting Worse Again

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Lake Hopatcong NJ, According to NJDEP testing conducted on August 21, 2019, Hopatcong State Park Algae bloom levels increased to 45,000 cells/mL compared to last week’s count at 18,374 cells/mL. Word Port Bay also saw an increase at 60,250 cells/mL compared to last week’s count at 17,250 cells/mL. Algae levels at East of Davis Cove Mid-Lake, S.E of State Park Beach, Prospect Point, Mouth of Wood Port Bay, Bertrand Island saw decreases in cyanobacteria levels, however they remained higher than NJ Heath Guidance Levels.

“Some areas at Lake Hopatcong that were opened last week are now closed. Algae levels spiked almost 4 times last week’s count at the State Park and at Wood Port Bay. This shows that conditions at Lake Hopatcong are backsliding.  Even though cyanobacteria counts have dropped in some areas, they are still above the health advisory levels, and can cause serious problems to people, their pets, and wildlife. The status of our lakes are still bad, and DEP has yet to make any progress on cleaning up and protecting our lakes and reservoirs. As we are getting towards the end of summer, our lakes still have serious problems,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

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Shore Rental Tax Relief Nowhere in Sight

photo by William Thomas

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ocean City NJ, Legislation that would relieve the costly consequences of a tax on short-term rentals that was imposed by Governor Phil Murphy last year continues to sit on the governor’s desk while evidence of the tax’s damage to the Jersey Shore economy mounts.

Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and Dave Wolfe (all R-Ocean) say they are frustrated by the delay and are calling on the Murphy administration to enact the bill before it’s too late for the summer season.

Continue reading Shore Rental Tax Relief Nowhere in Sight
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Half-price Graydon Pool badges on sale starting August 1st

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, For $65 per adult and $60 per child (under 2 years old free), Ridgewood residents may purchase Graydon badges for the remainder of the summer season, through Labor Day. This is half the price of a full-season badge.

It can get really hot in August and early September, when kids are back from camp and many family vacations are over.

This is a fine opportunity to learn to love Graydon or to return to it if you haven’t bought a badge this year.

Information about Graydon:

Buy badges through CommunityPass (or use a link near the top of the page above):      (type “Ridgewood, NJ” in the form)

Badges can also be purchased through the staff at the Graydon Badge Office at the base of the steps leading from the Graydon North parking lot, located at the northwest corner of Linwood Avenue and Northern Parkway.

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Take Proper Precautions during Summer Boating Season

photo courtesy of NJ State Police

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Point Pleasant NJ, The State Police Marine Services Bureau would like to remind everyone to take proper precautions when operating vessels on the waterways.

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Summer Sessions at the Ridgewood Art Institute

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Summertime is officially here! There are still spaces available for our Summer Sessions.
These workshops are suitable for younger students just beginning their Art Journey, as well as older students working on a portfolio for college applications. All students are taught in direct relation to their own personal skill level.

Why not give your child the Gift of Art this summer?

12 E Glen Ave
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Call (201) 652-9615

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Time for Murphy to sign tax relief on Jersey Shore rentals


photo courtesy of ArtChick Photography

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Seaside Heights NJ,  Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick called on Gov. Phil Murphy to sign legislation fixing a 2018 law that inadvertently taxed owners of summer rentals.  The bill (A4814) has been sitting on his desk since June 27.

“Quick action is needed to save what remains of the summer vacation season,” said Bramnick (R-Union).  “Every day that passes with this tax still in place is less income for families to spend while on vacation at the Shore.”

Both houses of the Legislature unanimously passed the bill in June.  It exempts homeowners who rent directly to vacationers from last year’s Airbnb tax, which extended the 6.625 percent sales tax and the 5 percent hotel and motel occupancy fee to private rentals of less than 90 days.

Continue reading Time for Murphy to sign tax relief on Jersey Shore rentals
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Air Pollution is at Its Highest During the Summer Months

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, summer time: warm weather, sun, vacations, swimming and… air pollution? It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of summer, but it’s true. Air pollution is at its highest during the summer months.
The Ridgewood Health Department and the American Lung Association offer these helpful hints to keep you and your family healthy and safe this summer while also reducing air pollution for everyone.

As the weather heats up, ground-level ozone pollution increases as pollutants react to heat and sunlight. Ozone levels also increase due to summer wildfires. When ozone levels are high, anyone who spends time outdoors may be at risk, but children, seniors and people with lung disease are particularly vulnerable.

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Still time to join Graydon Pool and cool off during the long, hot days ahead


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, There is still time to join Graydon Pool and cool off during the long, hot days ahead Graydon Pool is open daily from 10:00A.M. – 7:30P.M.  Residents can purchase memberships in person at the Pool Office or

Amenities & Program Offerings include Spray fountains, Adirondack chairs, shade system; recreational game area; picnic area with tables & charcoal grills; Wi-Fi accessibility; Water’s Edge Café open daily from Noon to 7p.m.; Swim lessons; Story time Under the Pavilion; Lending library; Special events – movie nights, concerts & more.

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Is it safe to leave the air conditioner on all day?

Anyone who lives in a climate where they need air conditioners will know how awful it is to come home to a house that feels like an oven.

Air conditioners are great at keeping our homes at a comfortable temperature, and it is wonderful to return to a house that feels cool while outside is boiling.

But should we leave the air conditioner on all day?

The question that often goes side-by-side with this one is whether leaving the air conditioner on all day is better than tuning it off and how much energy do we save with each option.

It has been shown that wasting energy not only costs us more money, it also contributes to global change because it burns more fossil fuels.

While it may seem like you are wasting energy by turning the air conditioner off and on, doing this does in fact save you money. Additionally, it helps your unit to work more efficiently.

Manufacturers will tell you that while the unit may have to work hard at first to get the temperatures down from 80 to 75 degrees, the systems are designed to run most efficiently at full power. It is better for them to do this than to work at shorter periods at less powerful speeds.

For the air conditioner to be able to efficiently dehumidify your home it needs to work at full speed.  

What’s the best temperature to leave it at?

If you want to stop your home feeling like an oven when you return, then you may opt for leaving it on while you are out. 

For central air conditioning or a window unit you should leave the temperature at 78 degrees or higher while the house is empty. 

Your air conditioner will use 3-5% less energy with every degree that you raise the thermostat. The best energy savings will be in the 78 degree and over position. While this will not be comfortable while you are in the house, it is the best level for the air conditioner to be at while you are out.

Leaving the air conditioner on

If you choose to leave the air conditioner on all day, you must make sure that you check the filters regularly. If they become clogged the unit will cease to work efficiently or may not work at all.

Make sure you have the correct size unit for your home. Too large a unit will mean that it continues to turn itself on and off through the day. This means an inefficient use of energy and you may end up with higher bills.

Having a unit which is too small for your home will mean that it must work far harder to maintain a constant temperature. Not only will your bills be higher, but the air conditioner will wear itself out quicker and you may end up replacing it sooner.

If the air conditioner is in the wrong place in the house, you will come home to find that the house is still at an uncomfortable level and the unit needs to work harder to cool the other areas.

If your unit is portable or placed in a window you must make sure that there is no foliage near it to stop it working efficiently.

Leaving the air conditioner off

If your house is empty for most of the day, there is no reason to keep it at the temperature you enjoy at night. This wastes money and makes the unit work harder. Turning it off then on when you get home means that it has time to rest and will make it last longer.

While it is a good idea to turn the unit off, leaving it off for extended periods are also not a good idea. Mold can start to grow in the unit and this will be detrimental to health when you turn it on again. 

On your return make sure that you lower the temperatures gradually and not all at once. This will simply overwork the system.

Other ways to cool your home

Install a programmable thermostat. This way you can leave the temperature higher when you are out and have it lower to a comfortable level just before you arrive home.

Get a ceiling fan. While they will not lower the temperature, fans will do a lot to move the cooler air around the room. This will also let you leave the air conditioner at a slightly higher temperature and use less energy. Leaving the ceiling fan on while you go out will, however not make any difference to the temperatures and will cost you money so best to turn it off.

Think about crosswinds. An easy way to cool the house is to leave a window open. Do not open it all the way, a few inches are enough to cause a draught through the house. This is also a natural freshener for your home. Try to open windows on the opposite sides of the house so that fresh air flows through the rooms.

Think shade plants. The parts of the house that heats up the most are the south and west side. Planting large shade bushes and shrubs will help cool your home down a few degrees.

To sum up

Leaving the air conditioner on all day while you are out does not make a lot of sense. In the long run you will end up paying more for your energy, unless you leave it at a higher temperature. Leaving it on also means that the unit works harder and may need replacing sooner.

Turning the air conditioner on and off seems the better option, particularly if you reduce the temperature gradually when you come home.

Making use of ceiling fans and programmable thermostats is a good idea to help keep your home as cool as you like during the summer months.