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Social Service Association fall kick off event!

the staff of the Ridgeood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Social Service Association fall kick off event!  A casual, fun party to benefit Social Service Association featuring the Declan Power band.  www.ssaridgewood.org

SSA is a Ridgewood based organization that currently assists approx 125 families in Glen Rock, HoHoKus, Midland Park, Ridgewood, Waldwick and Wyckoff with food vouchers, small financial help, weekly pantry visits, Thanksgiving meals, Holiday gifts, camperships and much more!  #neighborshelpingneighbors

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Glen Rock, Wyckoff and Midland Park Push for Municipal Utilities Authority to Set Ridgewood Water Rates

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Glen Rock, Wyckoff and Midland Park have been stepping up their calls for a multi-town water commission to set water rates.

Continue reading Glen Rock, Wyckoff and Midland Park Push for Municipal Utilities Authority to Set Ridgewood Water Rates

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Ridgewood Water 2010- 2012 Rates , the Saga Continues

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April 13,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, at Wednesday nights Village Council Meeting the Village council was expected to leave unchanged water rates going back to 2010 that were invalidated by a Superior Court judge last year in response to a lawsuit by the three neighboring towns. The towns, which are customers of village-owned Ridgewood Water, allege they were being overcharged.

In July, Superior Court Judge Lisa Perez Friscia ruled in favor of Wyckoff, Midland Park and Glen Rock, which are served by Ridgewood Water and had sued the village over rate increases between 2010 and 2012. The three municipalities argued that Ridgewood Water was using the excess fees to cover unrelated operating costs for the village. The judge, in her ruling, called Ridgewood Water’s rate hikes arbitrary, and told the village to recalculate the charges.

Ridgewood complied an in December Howard Woods, a consultant hired by the Village to recalculate the correct rates, released a 247-page “initial report” , stating that customers were instead undercharged for their water usage during the first two years covered in the lawsuit. An appeal by Glen Rock, Midland Park and Wyckoff of the July decision is pending. Beyond a recalculation of rates, the towns seek $13.4 million in refunds and $3.6 million in damages.

At Wednesday nights council meeting , there was a decision to delay action on the two ordinances by the Village Council . Representatives from the other three towns took to the lectern to lecture and attempt to pressure the Village Council for what they felt was a bold disregard for justice. The ugly reality for Glen Rock, Midland Park and Wyckoff is that the Judges ruling stuck the three towns with huge court costs .

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Consultant says Ridgewood Water Actually Undercharged During Lawsuit Time Period

ridgewood water bill

file photo

December 19,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, in a new twist on the long standing lawsuit again Ridgewood Water a consultant hired by the village says Ridgewood Water actually undercharged ratepayers in 2010 and 2011, a time when the utility was found by a Superior Court judge to have wrongly raised rates to cover village debt.

In July, Superior Court Judge Lisa Perez Friscia ruled in favor of the plaintiffs ;Wyckoff, Midland Park and Glen Rock, which are served by Ridgewood Water and had sued the village over rate increases between 2010 and 2012. The three municipalities argued that Ridgewood Water was using the excess fees to cover unrelated operating costs for the village of Ridgewood.

As previously reported Judge Friscia, called Ridgewood Water’s rate hikes arbitrary, and told the village to recalculate the charges.

An announcement Monday by Village Manager Heather Mailander said that Howard Woods, the consultant hired to recalculate the correct rates, released a 247-page “initial report” to Judge Friscia on Monday, stating that customers were actually undercharged for their water usage during the first two years covered in the lawsuit.

Mailander’s announcement went on to say that despite the increase there was still an overall “shortfall” of over $400,000 for the span of all three years.

Glen Rock, Midland Park and Wyckoff are currently appealing the July decision and are asking for not only a recalculation of rates, but are seeking $13.4 million in refunds and $3.6 million in damages.

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Reader says Paul Vagianos (HE) Feels “HE” is above the LAW

itsgreektome2_theridgewoodblog

Paul Vagianos (D) A Democrat running mate for State Assemble in the 40th District that’s who Paul is refereed to in the article….

Paul Vagianos
So this is the type of candidate that wants to run local Government, A individual who can not follow Building dept, Codes, Village Zoning/Planing Codes, Village Ordinances and State laws of set back. HE Feels “HE” is above the LAW.
This is Who has a Mayor and Counsel scared of him! Because of POWER! What about the residence and other Proprietors that are in the Village, they have to follow Zoning/Planing and local building codes! State and county ordinances and set back laws.
I just spoke with the Building inspector Carlos this morning and he stated there was never a permit issued for this wall or nor was there ever any inspections and refereed me to the Zoning/Planing office. I spoke to a nice women who answered the phone, I had asked for the Zoning officer but she stated she could help me she was very knowledgeable about the whole chain of events of this wall. It was a wood wall prior and they removed the wood and built what is there today not sure as to the date, No prior approvals and the Owner was sued by the Village of Ridgewood. They eventually applied to the Planing/Zoning board and was passed by the board (quote from Women in Planing/Zoning dept., I don’t quite know how that was approved).
So there have never been any required permits or inspections and they were never asked to remove the wall. Why is this!
If someone were to be hurt by the wall coming down or a car were to hit it I SEE A MAJOR LAWSUIT HERE, an unsafe non permitted structure!

You be the JUDGE……I see unfair politics at its worst,,,,people afraid of people with power.

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Village of Ridgewood 2017 District 40  Candidates Forum Tonight at 7:30pm

Village of Ridgewood 2017 District 40  Candidates Form

 

October 23,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, don’t forget tonight Monday, October 23 at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM the Village of Ridgewood will host a District 40 candidate forum at the Village Hall in Ridgewood . The 40th Legislative District includes portions of Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic counties, including Allendale, Cedar Grove, Franklin Lakes, Ho-Ho-Kus, Little Falls, Midland Park, Pequannock, Pompton Lakes, Ridgewood, Riverdale, Totowa, Waldwick, Wayne, Woodland Park, and Wyckoff .

Senate candidates Republican Kristin M. Corrado, the Passaic County clerk, and Democrat Thomas Duch will debate, as will Republican Assembly candidates Christopher P. DePhillips and incumbent appointee Kevin J. Rooney and Democrats Christine Ordway and Paul Vagianos.

 

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Village of Ridgewood 2017 District 40  Candidates Forum

Village of Ridgewood 2017 District 40  Candidates Form

October 9,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, on Monday, October 23 at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM the Village of Ridgewood will host a District 40 candidate forum at the Village Hall in Ridgewood . The 40th Legislative District includes portions of Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic counties, including Allendale, Cedar Grove, Franklin Lakes, Ho-Ho-Kus, Little Falls, Midland Park, Pequannock, Pompton Lakes, Ridgewood, Riverdale, Totowa, Waldwick, Wayne, Woodland Park, and Wyckoff .

Senate candidates Republican Kristin M. Corrado, the Passaic County clerk, and Democrat Thomas Duch will debate, as will Republican Assembly candidates Christopher P. DePhillips and incumbent appointee Kevin J. Rooney and Democrats Christine Ordway and Paul Vagianos.

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Glen Rock, Wyckoff and Midland Park hit Ridgewood with $17M appeal in water rate dispute

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Nicholas Katzban, Staff Writer, @NicholasKatzban

Three towns are pursuing a $13.4 million refund for customers of Ridgewood Water through the courts.

Wyckoff, Glen Rock and Midland Park have filed a joint appeal seeking new terms of restitution from the village of Ridgewood following a ruling in a water-rate lawsuit involving the village-owned utility. In addition to the refund, the towns are seeking $3.6 million in damages.

The four municipalities have been enmeshed in a lengthy legal dispute over whether Ridgewood Water overcharged customers and improperly used utility funds to supplement Ridgewood’s municipal budget. Ridgewood Water, which is owned by the village, also serves Glen Rock, Wyckoff and Midland Park.

http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/ridgewood/2017/09/29/glen-rock-wyckoff-and-midland-park-hit-ridgewood-17-m-appeal-water-rate-dispute/705517001/

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New Jersey Attorney General’s Office Charges the 100th Person with Superstorm Sandy Relief Funds Fraud

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3 of the last 4 from Bergen County 

September 29,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ,  Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that the Attorney General’s Office and its state and federal partners have charged 100 criminal defendants in their unprecedented collaborative efforts to root out fraud in disaster relief programs following Superstorm Sandy. Four new defendants were charged yesterday with filing fraudulent applications for federal relief funds related to Sandy, bringing the total charged by the Attorney General’s Office with this type of fraud to 100.

“Charging 100 defendants in these relief-fraud cases is a sad milestone in that it highlights how many people are willing, in the face of a historic disaster, to dishonestly exploit an offer of aid meant for those who were hardest hit,” said Attorney General Porrino. “At the same time, we’re proud of our collaborative efforts, which have recovered millions of dollars and sent an unmistakable message that those who commit this fraud will face serious criminal charges, now and during any future disasters. The 100 defendants we have charged were responsible for diverting nearly $6 million in relief funds.”

The Attorney General’s Office is continuing its aggressive efforts to investigate fraud in Sandy relief programs, working jointly with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), and the Offices of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Also assisting the taskforce is the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller, New Jersey Department of the Treasury Office of Criminal Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the non-profit National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

The defendants are alleged, in most cases, to have filed fraudulent applications for relief funds offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In many cases, they also applied for funds from a Sandy relief program funded by HUD, low-interest disaster loans from the SBA, or funds from HHS. The HUD funds are administered in New Jersey by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the HHS funds are administered by the New Jersey Department of Human Services.

The following defendants were charged yesterday by complaint-summons:

Michael A. Avena, 65, of Wyckoff, N.J., allegedly filed fraudulent applications following Superstorm Sandy for FEMA assistance and state grants under the Homeowner Resettlement Program (RSP), the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program, and the Sandy Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program (SHRAP). As a result, he allegedly received approximately $201,861 in relief funds to which he was not entitled. Avena allegedly falsely claimed in his applications that a home he owns on 5th Avenue in Ortley Beach, N.J., which was damaged by Superstorm Sandy, was his primary residence when Sandy struck. It is alleged that, in fact, his primary residence at the time of the storm was in Wyckoff and the home in Ortley Beach was a vacation home. As a result of the alleged fraudulent applications, Avena received $31,900 from FEMA, a $10,000 RSP grant, RREM grant funds totaling $150,000, and $9,961 in SHRAP funds. Avena is charged with second-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification.

Charles Tuohy, 55, and his wife, Joanne Benzoni, 64, of Tenafly, N.J., allegedly filed fraudulent applications following Superstorm Sandy for FEMA assistance and state grants under the Homeowner Resettlement Program (RSP) and the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program. As a result, the couple allegedly received $162,270 in relief funds to which they were not entitled. Tuohy and Benzoni allegedly falsely claimed in their applications that a home Benzoni owns on Lynn Ann Lane in Manahawkin, N.J., which was damaged by Superstorm Sandy, was their primary residence when Sandy struck. It is alleged that, in fact, their primary residence at the time of the storm was in Tenafly and the home in Manahawkin was a seasonal/weekend home. As a result of the alleged fraudulent applications, Tuohy and Benzoni received $2,270 from FEMA, a $10,000 RSP grant, and $150,000 in RREM grant funds. Tuohy and Benzoni are charged with second-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification.

Paula Belotta, 56, of Colonia, N.J., allegedly filed fraudulent applications following Superstorm Sandy for FEMA assistance and a state grant under the Homeowner Resettlement Program (RSP). As a result, she allegedly received $12,270 in relief funds to which she was not entitled. Belotta allegedly falsely claimed in her applications that a home she owns on Fielder Avenue in Ortley Beach, N.J., which was damaged by Superstorm Sandy, was her primary residence when Sandy struck. It is alleged that, in fact, her primary residence at the time of the storm was in Colonia and the home in Ortley Beach was a seasonal/weekend home. As a result of the alleged false applications, Belotta received $2,270 from FEMA and a $10,000 RSP grant. Belotta is charged with third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification.

“Our unprecedented collaborative efforts to target Sandy relief fraud have been highly productive, as evidenced by the 100 defendants we’ve charged,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “The payoff from this anti-fraud program is not only the millions of dollars we are recovering, but also the deterrent message we hammer home each time new charges are filed. Thanks to these efforts, relief administrators in future disasters may be able to spend less time policing fraud, which is a drain on resources and a distraction from the vital task of aiding those in need.”

“The State’s continued vigilance against Sandy fraud demonstrates that we won’t stand for this reprehensible behavior,” said DCA Commissioner Charles A. Richman. “As such, my Department remains as committed as ever to working with our law enforcement partners to catch anyone who misuses our Sandy recovery programs.”

The new cases were investigated by detectives of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice and special agents and inspectors of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, HUD Office of Inspector General, SBA Office of Inspector General, HHS Office of Inspector General and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The National Insurance Crime Bureau assisted. Deputy Attorneys General Peter Gallagher, Valerie Noto, and Denise Grugan are prosecuting the new defendants under the supervision of Deputy Attorney General Michael A. Monahan, Chief of the Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, and Deputy Attorney General Mark Kurzawa, Deputy Bureau Chief. Lt. David Nolan and Sgt. Fred Weidman conducted and coordinated the investigations for the Division of Criminal Justice, with others, including Special Civil Investigators Rita Binn and James Parolski.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to$150,000. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of $10,000. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

On Oct. 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey, resulting in an unprecedented level of damage. Almost immediately, the affected areas were declared federal disaster areas, making residents eligible for FEMA relief. FEMA grants are provided to repair damaged homes and replace personal property. In addition, rental assistance grants are available for impacted homeowners. FEMA allocates up to $31,900 per applicant for federal disasters. To qualify for FEMA relief, applicants must affirm that the damaged property was their primary residence at the time of the storm.

In addition to the FEMA relief funds, HUD allocated $16 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for storm victims on the East Coast. New Jersey received $2.3 billion in CDBG funds for housing-related programs, including $215 million that was allocated for the Homeowner Resettlement Program (RSP) and $1.1 billion that was allocated for the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program. Under RSP, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs is disbursing grants of $10,000 to encourage homeowners affected by Sandy to remain in the nine counties most seriously impacted by the storm: Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union counties. The RREM Program, which is the state’s largest housing recovery program, provides grants to Sandy-impacted homeowners to cover rebuilding costs up to $150,000 that are not funded by insurance, FEMA, SBA loans, or other sources.

The Small Business Administration provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and most private nonprofit organizations. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster. Renters and homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars or appliances damaged or destroyed in the disaster. Homeowners may apply for a loan of up to $200,000 to replace or repair their primary residence to its pre-disaster condition. Secondary homes or vacation properties are not eligible for these loans, but qualified rental properties may be eligible for assistance under the business loan program.

The Disaster Relief Act provided HHS approximately $760 million in funding for Sandy victims. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) received approximately $577 million in Sandy funding through three grant programs, including the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) program, which received nearly $475 million to help five states (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maryland). New Jersey received over $226 million for a wide range of social services directly related to the disaster. New Jersey used SSBG funds to develop the Sandy Homeowner/Renter Assistance Program (SHRAP) to assist individuals/families with expenses for housing and other related needs.

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GYMGUYZ Western Bergen County is # 1 in Home Personal Training!

Manny GYMGUYZ

September 9,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, need some exercise ,but don’t like the gym or just cant get away? Meet the GYMGUYZ. GYMGUYZ is a mobile fitness company. Manny has a van with over 300 pieces of workout equipment and will travel to his clients, rather than meeting them at a gym. This provides comfort for those who might be anxious going to a gym. It also allows for flexibility for the clients. If a parent has young children and don’t want to pay for a babysitter while they got to the gym they can have their trainer come to their house while it is nap time! Or, if it is a nice day outside you can meet in a park for a workout.

Manny, a military vet, who always had a passion for fitness but was never at the right stage in his life to open his own business is finally making his dreams come true and becoming a franchise owner with GYMGUYZ.

GYMGUYZ Western Bergen County is # 1 in Home Personal Training! Our coaches focus on individualized one-on-one fitness, group sessions, and corporate fitness. GYMGUYZ has an amazing team of certified coaches that use a unique philosophy that targets all aspects of health and fitness. GYMGUYZ provides Convenient, Customized, and Creative workouts. The GYMGUYZ vans are stocked with state of the art equipment that our coaches bring to clients to provide excellent one-on-one or group workout sessions. Our services include weight loss, body sculpting, bodybuilding, weight training, therapeutic/athletic stretch, strength training, senior fitness, obstacle course training, kickboxing, group training, corporate fitness, post & pre natal exercise, pool workouts, youth and teen fitness training, cardio fitness, professional sports conditioning, nutrition counseling and birthday parties. GYMGUYZ supplies the tools and techniques to get you in shape in the comfort of your own home, office, or setting of your choice. We welcome all individuals of all levels regardless of experience, age, or ability. We follow each client’s progress by assessing their fitness goals, calorie intake, measurements and progress. GYMGUYZ teaches lifelong habits that will keep one looking and feeling their best.

GYMGUYZ service Ramsey, Fair Lawn, Montvale, Mahwah, Allendale, Oakland, Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, Haledon, Maywood, Rochelle Park, Saddle Brook, Elmwood Park, Hawthorne, Township of Washington, Ho Ho Kus, Waldwick, Saddle River, Woodcliff Lake, Park Ridge, Midland Park, Ridgewood, Glen Rock and the surrounding areas.

https://www.gymguyz.com/western-bergen-county/