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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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‘The Record’ of Hackensack to Vacate Main Offices, Head ‘West’

>By Joe Strupp

Published: June 30, 2008 10:50 AM ET

NEW YORK The Record of Hackensack, N.J. is planning to vacate its main headquarters and move staff to the site of its sister daily, The Herald News of West Paterson, according to a staff memo from Publisher Stephen A. Borg. The memo declared: “We must re-invent ourselves.”

The memo stated that the move could save about $2.4 million per year. Borg confirmed the memo and said that most of the news staff would actually become mobile journalists, working from the field, while others would also relocate to one of the paper’s eight weekly newspaper sites.

“The number one objective is more mobile journalism,” Borg, who said the paper has about 30 such “mojos,” who report from laptops and cell phones, told E&P. “And to take advantage of our other offices.”

Borg said the move has not been scheduled, but added, “I wouldn’t want it to occur any later than January ’09. Advertising has already moved. In the last six weeks.”

The memo refers to Record relocating to Garret Mountain Plaza, an office building in West Paterson that houses several operations for parent company North Jersey Media Group, including the Herald News. Borg said The Record would occupy some of that leased space. “We are working on the logistics,” he said. “But reporters I want out in the field, the vast majority of them.”

The memo, distributed last week, states: “We are in the midst of great change. Classified advertising revenues are falling fast. Some of it is due to the economy. But much of it is secular. Ads won’t return to the print newspapers even when the economy gets better.”

Later, the memo reveals, “Vacating Hackensack will save the company $2.4 million a year. This number is for electricity, cleaning crews, and other items that will go away upon vacancy. When we actually sell the land, additional money will be saved like, but not limited to, property taxes.

“So, we will be vacating Hackensack as soon as logistically possible. Some of Record editorial will be moving to Garret Mountain, but I really view this change as ‘moving out to the field.’ The move is not from one big office to another. The move is from one big office to the field. It is not that The Record has left Hackensack; we are now all over the market. (I am planning a marketing campaign to promote this. I envision the “MOJOS” like a swarm of bees landing in different towns.)”

Borg’s memo then goes on to describe the ongoing shift to mobile journalists, who can work full-time out of the office: “We have and will continue to have more mobile journalists. They will share desks as they are rarely in the office. The office/work concept is called ‘hoteling’. Employees actually reserve desk time to cut down on the number of desks and square footage needed.”

The full memo is posted below:

********************************

We are in the midst of great change. Classified advertising revenues are falling fast. Some of it is due to the economy. But much of it is
secular. Ads won’t return to the print newspapers even when the economy gets better.

Getting this revenue back on the web dollar for dollar won’t happen. We are competing against non-news site for eyeballs, hence, ad dollars. Our competition is not merely other newspaper sites. Even for the ads we get, the web rates are much lower than those of print ads.

We must reinvent ourselves.

One such way is to lower our overhead costs. These are expenses that don’t directly affect our products. Reporters directly affect the product; our building does not.

Vacating Hackensack will save the company $2.4 million a year. This number is for electricity, cleaning crews, and other items that will go away upon
vacancy. When we actually sell the land, additional money will be saved like, but not limited to, property taxes.

So, we will be vacating Hackensack as soon as logistically possible. Some of Record editorial will be moving to Garret Mountain, but I really view this change as “moving out to the field”. The move is not from one big office to another. The move is from one big office to the field. It is not that The Record has left Hackensack; we are now all over the market. (I am planning a marketing campaign to promote this. I envision the “MOJOS” like a swarm of bees landing in different towns.)

We have and will continue to have more mobile journalists. They will share desks as they are rarely in the office. The office/work concept is called “hoteling”. Employees actually reserve desk time to cut down on the number of desks and square footage needed.

Bob Klapisch and Ian O’Connor Æ and there may be others Æ don’t even have desks here so this effort need not be limited to “MOJOS”. We seek more and more of this. If you are interested in this idea even if you are not a “MOJO”, please let Doug Clancy know.

Second, we are going to look at shift work closely. If two people do not overlap, they might be able to share a desk. We have executives who share offices in Garret Mountain.

Third, we plan on using our community newspaper remote offices for any NJMG purpose. We have started this, but we will do more. We have offices in the following locations:

Ridgewood, Westwood, Cresskill, Rutherford, Clifton, Rockaway, Kinnelon, and Fair Lawn.

Also, we have offices out of The Record’s circulation area Æ Millburn, Montclair and Nutley but they may be near your home.

We are analyzing the capacity of these locations right now.

If you are interested in working in one of these offices (including the Essex locations), please let Doug Clancy know.

Finally, see [Assistant Managing Editor] Doug Clancy if you are interested in working from home, even just for some of the days of your schedule (he will need the specifics).

As for the timing, there are too many open items for me to give you a precise date. There are too many items still outstanding. I don’t want it
to be past January, 09.

I encourage you to talk to people in Advertising. Overall, they have seen the move to GMP as a positive change. The builder is newer. There is more natural light. Views are nice. The furniture is newer.

While we face many challenges, innovative ideas will lead us through it. Let’s abandon the traditional work/office environment model and innovate.

Thx.

——————————————————————————–
Joe Strupp (jstrupp@editorandpublisher.com) is a senior editor at E&P.

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History Lesson on Pease Library

May 28,2008

the staff of the Ridgewood Blog

Ridgewood NJ, During the last Maple Ave library expansion,the library patrons went to the Pease. When the new library opened, the Portrait of George Pease and some other pictures, memorabilia was moved to the main floor of the renovated libary; the section was renamed “The George L. Pease Memorial Library” Once that was done, the library board, headed by Nancy Greene, and with Janet Fricke on the board, the council went to court and voided the will, because “the functions of the Pease were being served at the new library building” This was done in 1999.the Library Board (not the Village) and Sidney Stoldt, who argued the case for the Library,were in agreement that the building be closed to the public as no longer necessary.The 911 emergency center rent goes directly to the library board, and not one cent to repairs. The village residents have paid twice: once in library budget, and once separately for all repairs, including the roof. All rent from upstairs tenants, e.g. realtor, lawyer, etc. would go directly to the LIbrary Board, not the public. No member of the public was alerted to the court appearance.

All was readied for commercial rent when, in the Fall of 1999, Hurricane Floyd hit, and the police were moved into the building since it was so high and dry. The police worked closely with the Historic Preservation Commission to make certain that no part of the wood structure was ruined; they kept it as pristine as possible.

This entire lawsuit was done under the radar; in fact, when one resident attended a council meeting in 1999, and the title of a resolution was read, the resident questioned what it meant and was told that she couldn’t ask questions “at that time”.

Nobody cared, and to this day, most residents don’t care, so we have what we deserve.

Yes, I wish we could all chip in to save the building; that was the plan agreed upon by the Council when the historic grants were supposed to be applied for. Most of the matching grants would have been paid for by private funds, it was privately promised; and this was told to the Council. The promise was made that the building would be open to the public. For David Bolger to appear 24 hours before a promise to keep the building open and apply for grants is no mystery. The fix was in from the beginning. Now the council could look as if they really were considering public use, but they weren’t. All the Council members voted to accept the Bolger money.

Is it too late? Its up to the readers of this blog. Others have done more than their share; if more people would stand up, things could be reversed. But if only a dozen people are interested, the building will be stolen.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

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Valley expansion plan under fire

Valley_Hospital_theridgewoodblog

>
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: groves@northjersey.com

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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: groves@northjersey.com

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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”

>
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

>
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

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Shameful, huh? Really…

>Regarding the Ridgewood News editorial on Fri. 11/30/07 describing as “shameful” the lack of public participation in the recent BOE meeting held to receive public comment relating to the ongoing search for a new super for the the school district:

It was not only the BOE critics that were absent from the recent meeting, but also BOE supporters. It was not only reform math opponents that were absent, but also its adherents. To whom, then, should this label “shameful” apply? One presumes that it must apply to each and every resident in Ridgewood, since everyone was equally absent.

How can a newspaper that is the namesake of a town justify indicting an entire town full of its own residents?

It is perhaps easier for the writer of such an editorial to lapse into that sort of lazy ‘badmouthing’ attitude if that same person does not live in Ridgewood. Otherwise, wouldn’t this be a self-indictment? No rational person would indict themselves without explaining the reason for such self-hatred (I couldn’t help myself), the motivation for such an epiphany (gee, upon further reflection, I really should have gone), or the particular reason why the indictment does not apply to them (my car broke down).

For what its worth, it’s also hard to see why an entire town full of residents should feel shame for failing to keep company with a Board of Education, the trustees of which are incapable of feeling any such emotion for the predictable results of their past actions/inactions/blatant negligence.

Sincerely:

An anonymous Ridgewood resident who blew off the BOE meeting for good reason–THEY COULDN’T CARE LESS WHAT I HAVE TO SAY, AND I WOULD PREFER TO AVOID THE INVIDIOUS RECRIMINATION THAT WOULD SURELY BE ADMINISTERED BY MY CHILD’S PRINCIPAL AS PUNISHMENT FOR MY FOOLISH DECISION TO PUBLICLY REBUKE THE TRUSTEES.
50% off Cozy Quilted Throw with any purchase: expires 12/31/07