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>Ancient History of Halloween

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Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).
The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.
To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.
By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’, were called Hallowmas.

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>Reader submits questions for the Ridgewood Blog Political Poll

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How many politicians from the state of New Jersey will be indicted in the next 90 days?

a) 1
b) 10
c) all of them
d) Its Bush’s fault

How many residents will move out of the state of New Jersey in the next 12 months?

a) 50,000
b) 1,000,000
c) all of them
d) No other state wants them

How long will it take to raise your state taxes after the November election?

a) 1 minute
b) 1 day
c) 30 days
d) Its Bush’s fault

How large will the state budget deficit be this year?

a) 1 billion
b) 3 billion
c) 10 billion
d) What deficit?

How many dead people will vote in the next election in New Jersey?

a) 10,000
b) 15,000
c) all of them
d) Even dead people won’t vote for these idiots

How much money will Jon Corzine pay off to his next Mistress?

a) $500,000
b) $1,000,000
c) $10,000,000
d) He wont he’ll cheat her out of it also

The next governor of New Jersey will be?

a) Hugo Chaves
b) Raul Castro
c) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
d) A player to be named later

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>the fly has heard…….

>….. that there was to be a safety meeting set up by the principal of Travell to include parents and valley hospital. Last minute Valley canceled stating that they would not go before an open mike. Do you think that the parents of Travell need to know what is going on at Valley?

The fly asks , Is this expansion possibly a done deal and they need not answer to the public?

3balls Golf

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>Ridgewood Water Primed To Receive 5 Million Gallons Per Day From Outside Sources

>In response to repeated questions from taxpayers concerning a “blended” water supply system, Ridgewood Water’s Frank J. Moritz briefed the Village Council and gathered members of the public last night on his organization’s plans to ensure an adequate long-term supply of water for all subscribers in its service area. Accompanying Mr. Moritz at the podium was William G. Mowell, the utility’s Senior Operating Engineer.

Moritz confidently and clearly outlined the Ridgewood Water operating system, which is currently capable of supplying artesian well water at the rate of 18 million gallons per day to subscribers in Ridgewood, Glen Rock, Midland Park, and Wyckoff. In addition to its 18 million gallon per day supply capability, the system has a storage capacity of 14 million gallons. Unfortunately, daily demand could reach 27 million gallons during peak lawn irrigation months in the summer, creating a situation in which water supplies might be exhausted if daily usage remained high for several days in a row. Winter demand averages only 7 million gallons daily; wells can be shut down in the winter to “rest” said Moritz.

Despite its subscriber base preference for pure artesian well water, Moritz explained that Ridgewood Water is no longer capable of meeting year round demand through exclusive use of its own system. Thus, interconnections have been established with both United Water and the Borough of Hawthorne’s water supply systems. These interconnections are capable of supplying a combined total of up to 5 million gallons per day, if needed.

Our contract with United Water calls for purchasing a minimum of 550K gallons per day via a connection located in Wyckoff. Therefore, surface water will be flowing into Ridgewood Water’s system year round. Mr. Moritz did not clarify whether any of this particular surface water would make its way to Ridgewood. However, he did reveal that one of the interconnection points with United Water is located on Hampshire Road in Ridgewood. This connection is capable of bringing in 1 million gallons per day.

The Fly wonders if United Water cares where we bring the 500K gallons into our system daily. Could surface water be coming into Ridgewood daily, even though Village Council members would like us to believe its all going to subscribers in Wyckoff?

1-800-FLOWERS.COM

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>Possible $1 Million Shortfall in 2008 Municipal Budget – Village Council Flatly Rejects Several Cost Saving Projects

>During last night’s Village Council Work Session, Village CFO Dorothy Stikna revealed that it will take a miracle of sorts to balance next year’s municipal budget. If the current spending rate holds, Stikna said a 7.6% increase in the municipal tax rate would be required to keep our heads above water, mainly due to anticipated charges associated with police/fire pension payments, and an inability to sell the Village held liquor license for $600K. However, a State of NJ imposed 4.0% budget cap is in place, so movement must take place on one end or the other. The problem now faced by Village Council members is: “what expenses must be cut, and/or what revenue generating opportunities could be quickly implemented?”

On the heels of Stikna’s unsettling revelation, Council members flatly rejected a series of cost savings proposals offered by Director of Operations Frank J. Moritz. Mr. Moritz claimed that a switch to twice weekly curbside rubbish pickup, or reducing the number of rear yard pickups to 1 per week instead of 2, could save $265K per year. In addition, Moritz said another $100K per year would be saved if yard waste pickups were completely eliminated. Councilman Patrick A. Mancuso summed up the Council’s opinion about making any cuts in services Ridgewood residents have come to expect by telling Moritz: “No way Jose!” Deputy Mayor Betty G. Wiest also commented, saying that a serious traffic hazard would be created if residents were forced to drive their yard waste to a central collection station.

Although Council members certainly had no appetite for cost cutting last night, they did quickly devour a revenue generating opportunity served up by Ms. Stikna. Beginning within the next several months, the 180-200 highest usage commercial customers of Ridgewood Water, based within Ridgewood, will be slapped with a new “sewer usage fee.” This is expected to generate approximately $120K in new municipal revenue during 2008.

Councilman Jacques Harlow nicely summed up discussion related to the 2008 budget by saying that “$1 million needs to be cut from this budget and we really haven’t gotten serious about doing it yet.” In response, Village Manager James M. Ten Hoeve assured Council members that there would additional focus on larger cost cutting and revenue generation projects scheduled to take place during upcoming Village Council Work Sessions.

1-800-PetMeds July 4th 300x250

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>BOE Approves 2008 Tuition Rate Estimates

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Tuition rate estimates for the 2007-2008 school year were approved by BOE members during Monday night’s meeting:

* Half-day Kindergarten: $9,300
* Grades 1-5: $12,200
* Grades 6-8: $13,300
* Grades 9-12: $12,200
* Learning/Language Disabled: $27,300
* Full-Day Preschool Disabled: $27,600
* Kindergarten Resource Center: $22,700
* Resource Center, Grades 1-5: $25,600
* Resource Center, Grades 6-8: $26,700
* Resource Center, Grades 9-12: $25,600
* Autistic: $63,000

Estimates are based on calculations required by the NJ Department of
Education and are subject to future adjustments.

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>Anti McMansion Ordinance Becomes Effective 10/30/2007

>New Gross Building Area Regulations Adopted

The Village Council passed an ordinance on October 10, 2007 amending the land use regulations that limit the size of single family and two family residential buildings and accessory structures. The Floor Area Ratio (FAR) regulations are being replaced by Gross Building Area Ratio (GBAR) regulations. The effective date of the ordinance is October 30, 2007. Any construction project that has not had a building permit issued or an approval from the Board of Adjustment by the effective date is subject to the new regulations. The new ordinance can be viewed by clicking the title below:

Ord. No. 3083 Amend Chp. 190 – Land Use & Devel. – Gross Building Area Reg

ORDER FINE ART/ STOCK PRINTS ON-LINE

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>Reserved Commuter Parking Still Available On Corsa Terrace

>The Village of Ridgewood is requesting bids to lease five off street parking spaces on Corsa Terrace.

Bid packages can be obtained at Village Hall, Manager’s Office. Bids will be opened Tuesday, October 30, 2007 at 10:00 a.m., Village Hall, 5th Level Conference Rm. Minimum bid is $125 per month per reserved space. There were a total of six spaces available; one space has already been leased for $126 per month.

Call 201/670-5500x 204 for bid package and further details.

One space has already been leased for $126 per month.