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>2 nagging questions………………..

I have 2 nagging questions in my mind:

1. How do parks and rec get away with paying Graydon guards and daycamp counselors less than minimum wage?
2. How do they justify paying daycamp counselors the same as guards, who need to be certified in at least 2 different ways (the courses cost hundreds of dollars!) and have HUGE life or death responsibility??

A concerned citizen with an inquiring mind

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>7-16-09 Updated NOTICE: 2009 Street Paving Schedule

>Starting on or about 7/16: Belmont curb repair. Ethelbert minor drainage repair. 7/20,21,22 road milling & paving on Wyndemere, Van Buren, Sterling, Sollis.

Weather Permitting –

Paving Update: 6/4 – curb work is underway on Van Buren; work will start 6/8 on Sterling pending weather.

PHASE 1: Van Buren St., Sterling Pl., Sollas Ct..

Locations to follow: Ethelbert Pl., Walton St., Wyndemere Ave., Alpine Terr., Cowell Ct., Shelton Rd., Belmont Rd., Laurel Rd., Grove St., and N.Monroe St.

GigaGolf, Inc.

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>Protest Today : Opposition to the Nationalization of Health Care.

>Join your fellow Tea Party Patriots TODAY, July 17th at the local home office of our Congressman and Senators to make it absolutely clear we oppose government run health care. These will occur simultaneously across the country . You and thousands of other Tea Party Patriots will assemble together outside the offices of those who are elected to represent us, and make our voices heard once again.

You are encouraged to go inside the office and voice your opposition to the nationalization of health care.

We need you and anyone else you can bring in order to achieve our goal of having massive numbers to make our point outside every single district office in the country. Take 1 hour off of work on July 17th to show up and speak out.

1. Rep . Steve Rothman – HACKENSACK DISTRICT OFFICE: 25 Main Street Suite 101, Hackensack, NJ 07601 / 201-646-0808

2. Sen. Frank Lautenberg – NEWARK DISTRICT OFFICE: One Gateway Center 23rd Floor, Newark, NJ 07102 / 973-639-8700

3. Sen. Robert Menendez – NEWARK DISTRICT OFFICE: One Gateway Center Suite 110, Newark, NJ 07102 / 973-645-3030

If you cannot visit one of the offices above, PLEASE CALL THEM! If you live in another Congressional District, Please contact your Congressman as well as the Senators!

New Jersey Tea Party Coalition

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>Something ‘amiss’ with figures?

>Something ‘amiss’ with figures?
Friday, July 17, 2009
The Ridgewood News

With the majority of The Valley Hospital’s supporters having previously submitted their written testimony in favor of the hospital’s expansion plans, nearly all of the residents who raised questions or testified at Wednesday night’s special Planning Board meeting spoke out against the hospital.

The residents addressed a variety of concerns over Valley’s request for revisions to the Hospital Zone (H-Zone) section of the village’s Master Plan, which would allow the facility to move forward with its “Renewal” project. Those who oppose the plan cited the hospital’s water consumption and sewer discharge use, the possible increase in traffic around the hospital during and after construction, the environmental and noise impact, the assertion that only 6 percent of the hospital’s patients are from Ridgewood, and the effect the expansion would have on the village’s Council of Affordable Housing (COAH) obligation.

While the residents’ statements and questions dominated the bulk of the meeting, which lasted three-and-a-half hours, the biggest revelations from the meeting didn’t come from residents, but rather from the testimony of Village Planner Blais Brancheau.

After Brancheau attempted to answer questions raised at the last meeting concerning the analysis of the hospital’s proposed floor area ratio related to above- and below-ground structures, Planning Board Attorney Gail Price and Village Council liaison Anne Zusy probed him on his figures relating to the hospital’s square footage before and after its proposed expansion. When Zusy peppered Brancheau with questions on specific square footage figures concerning the overall proposed increase, the planner testified the hospital would see an “80 to 90 percent” increase in above-ground square footage, an “approximately 80 percent” increase in below-ground square footage, and a “60 to 70 percent” increase in parking square footage. In all, he said, the hospital’s total square footage would increase to 1.5 million, up from its current size of 900,000 total square feet.

Acknowledging that just moments before he had said the hospital would only have a total increase of approximately 66 percent, Brancheau ultimately admitted, “There’s something amiss. There’s something wrong with the numbers.”

Zusy then asked Brancheau to re-examine his figures and report his revised findings back to the board at its next meeting.

“I just think we have to be absolutely definitive of what we are talking about,” Zusy said.

Reached for comment via e-mail yesterday, Valley Spokesperson Megan Fraser stressed the importance of the hearings in bringing such facts to light and reinforcing the purpose of Valley’s proposed expansion.

“While phase one of Renewal will increase the percent of visible hospital buildings and parking by just 60 percent, the increase will allow Valley to enhance diagnostic and treatment areas and accommodate new technology, as well as establish single-patient rooms, which are both required by State of New Jersey code and the best way to deliver patient care,” Fraser said. “In addition, Renewal will allow us to enhance the buffers between our buildings and our neighbors by removing surface parking and replacing it with above-ground parking, which will also allow us to address a long-standing parking deficit.”

Board to hire expert
Since the board was again unable to get through the entire list of speakers who had signed up to comment on the proposal, Planning Board President David Nicholson told the crowd in his opening remarks that each interested member of the public would get their opportunity to speak, with the next meeting to take place after the summer. Having “many things to go over,” Nicholson said that Paul Gould of the Concerned Citizens of Ridgewood, a grassroots opposition group, would get his opportunity “to sum up his case” before the board, as would Valley’s representative, attorney Charles Collins.

Nicholson also revealed a new development in the next stage of proceedings: The board was close to hiring a specialist who will overview all the materials it has been provided with from both sides during the two-and-a-half-year review of Valley’s application.

“The board has decided that in the interests of being comprehensive and in response to comments we have heard from the public over the last three sessions, that we are engaging a specialist in the field of medical facility planning who will review the material that has been amassed in these proceedings and hopefully advise the board relative to matters about approximate sizes of modern hospitals, appropriate physical requirements of modern hospitals, and other aspects that have been subject of questions of debate in these proceedings,” Nicholson said.

Questioned at the meeting’s first intermission about the identity of the candidate, Nicholson declined to elaborate further, since the board is still “negotiating with the expert.” Price said the specialist would be paid from the escrow that the hospital provided to the board in order to have its application considered.

Residents express dismay
The 12 members of the public who addressed the board Wednesday not only voiced their frustration with the process, but also continued to come up with new questions for the board and its experts to address.

Resident Peter McKenna spent nearly 45 minutes at the podium asking questions concerning traffic; Valley’s last expansion in 1996; whether the village’s Master Plan limits the number of beds a hospital can have; whether the Valley site could ever be made into a trauma center; whether a helicopter landing pad could be put on site; and how the village’s COAH obligation would be affected if the Village Council ultimately approves Valley’s request.

As the board’s traffic planner Joseph Staigar was not in attendance, many of McKenna’s questions went unanswered.

“As Mr. Nicholson has said, ‘This is the biggest decision this board has ever had to face,'” McKenna said. “I want to know that you have considered everything if the hospital is allowed to grow.”

Resident Daniel Gioia asked whether the board will ultimately consider past historical decisions in its final decision, specifically referring to its 1996 ruling to allow the demolition of the Kraft Building at the hospital. Brancheau responded, “yes and no,” before ultimately concluding “there is no black-and-white answer.”

Gioia later questioned whether Valley has “offered to help alleviate the burden” on COAH if granted its wishes. In answering the question, Brancheau confirmed the proposed expansion would add 60 units to the village’s COAH requirement.

“Valley has indicated it would do whatever the law requires,” Brancheau said. “The law currently does not require the hospital to do anything.”

Price then attempted to clarify Brancheau’s response.

“The municipality’s hands are tied in terms of asking or demanding any kind of contribution in return for any kind of obligation,” Price said. “It doesn’t prevent a developer from offering to help, but the demand can’t be made.”

Earlier in the meeting, resident Michael Stern asked why the “village leaders didn’t see the real value” in reaching some sort of financial agreement in which the hospital would be required to “fund projects in town” rather than “giving this away.” His question did not receive a response.

Resident Margaret Sherman later offered her take on whether the village or its residents would benefit from the expansion.

“I have been following the H-Zone changes for about a year. I am truly baffled that this room is not filled to capacity with ‘Stop Valley’ supporters,” Sherman said. “I and my fellow residents are generally astonished that Valley’s Hospital Zone [request] is being considered right … I keep coming back to a question posed last meeting by a fellow resident: ‘What do the residents of Ridgewood gain by changing the Master Plan?’ A baseball scoreboard? A few thousand dollars in donations? Not much in comparison to their annual $20 million in profits … But you [the Planning Board] are supposed to represent the citizens, and the cost relationship doesn’t add up.”

Proponents weigh in
Two supporters of Valley addressed the hospital’s need to be able to “renew” itself. Anne Raftery Denyeau, who is employed as vice president of human resources at Valley, recalled her previous tenure as president of the Ridgewood Board of Education, in which her decisions affected the quality of life for all residents.

“I urge you to consider the views of all Ridgewood residents, and not rely on the views of one group,” Denyeau said.

Resident Anne Marie Snyder said it was essential for Valley to expand in order to provide the same quality care it is know for.

“I believe most homes and businesses in Ridgewood have made changes to or modernized their bathrooms, kitchens, electrical systems, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, etc, over the past 50 years,” Snyder said. “Most of the time, modernizing can be done as a renovation to the existing space, but there are times when the existing home and business is too old or out of date … Hospitals are no different. Buildings, equipment and systems need to be modernized to provide the level of care expected today and tomorrow.”

E-mail: [email protected]

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>Obamacare: Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal

It’s Not An Option

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY Posted Wednesday, July 15, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Congress: It didn’t take long to run into an “uh-oh” moment when reading the House’s “health care for all Americans” bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.


IBD Exclusive Series: Government-Run Healthcare: A Prescription For Failure


When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.

It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of “Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage,” the “Limitation On New Enrollment” section of the bill clearly states:

“Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won’t be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.

From the beginning, opponents of the public option plan have warned that if the government gets into the business of offering subsidized health insurance coverage, the private insurance market will wither. Drawn by a public option that will be 30% to 40% cheaper than their current premiums because taxpayers will be funding it, employers will gladly scrap their private plans and go with Washington’s coverage.

The nonpartisan Lewin Group estimated in April that 120 million or more Americans could lose their group coverage at work and end up in such a program. That would leave private carriers with 50 million or fewer customers. This could cause the market to, as Lewin Vice President John Sheils put it, “fizzle out altogether.”

What wasn’t known until now is that the bill itself will kill the market for private individual coverage by not letting any new policies be written after the public option becomes law.

The legislation is also likely to finish off health savings accounts, a goal that Democrats have had for years. They want to crush that alternative because nothing gives individuals more control over their medical care, and the government less, than HSAs.

With HSAs out of the way, a key obstacle to the left’s expansion of the welfare state will be removed.

The public option won’t be an option for many, but rather a mandate for buying government care. A free people should be outraged at this advance of soft tyranny.

Washington does not have the constitutional or moral authority to outlaw private markets in which parties voluntarily participate. It shouldn’t be killing business opportunities, or limiting choices, or legislating major changes in Americans’ lives.

It took just 16 pages of reading to find this naked attempt by the political powers to increase their reach. It’s scary to think how many more breaches of liberty we’ll come across in the final 1,002.

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[email protected]