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>The Board will pay one hundred (100) percent of single premium for a health insurance/major medical plan …

>Here it is in black and white:

For eligible tenured employees:

The Board will pay one hundred (100) percent of single premium for a health insurance/major medical plan providing for a level of benefits equal to or better than described in Group CIGNA Insurance Plan, Board of Education of the Township of Ridgewood, Revised, December 1990.

For dependents of eligible tenured employees: (to age 23 for dependent child). The employee must contribute 5.25% of the premium cost which must be paid through payroll deductions. Effective July 1, 2008, the deductibles for Traditional Indemnity will be $200 single/$600 family.

During open enrollment period, eligible tenured employees may opt to enroll in the PPO Blue Card Plan subject to plan restrictions. For single coverage, the Board will pay one hundred (100) percent of single premium cost. For dependent coverage (to age 23 for dependent child), the employee must pay 5.0% of the premium cost of the P.P.O. Payment must be made through payroll deductions. The Board shall not change the level of benefits for the Traditional Indemnity Plan or the Horizon Blue Card PPO that has been achieved through bargaining between the Association and the Board for 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2011.

Hot Offers (5.24 - 5.30)

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>Valley has started Push Calling

It seems that Valley Hospital has hired a telemarketing company to call Ridgewood residents and REMIND them to attend the June 2 and 8 Public hearings and support the “Renewal”.

Cards were also mailed to supporters inviting them to attend a “Light Supper” before the June 2 meeting and receive final instructions.

A reader asks, “how many not-for-profit dollars is Valley prepared to spend in order to get a chance to spend $750 million?” The conclusion is that there must be BIG PROFITS at stake.

3balls Golf

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>Census 2010 Update for Ridgewood

>U.S. Census workers will be in Ridgewood during the next few weeks, conducting an Address Canvassing Operation in preparation for the 2010 Census.

Address canvassers will use new hand held computers equipped with GPS to increase geographic accuracy. In most cases, census workers will knock on residents’ doors to verify addresses and inquire about additional living quarters on the premises.

Census workers can be identified by the official Census Bureau badge they carry. 201 Census workers will never ask for bank or social security information. All census information collected, including addresses, are confidential and protected by law. The Census Bureau cannot share the information with any other government agency.

Monterey Bay Clothing Company (shop the

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New Jersey’s Flat Tax Debate

Christie’s cheap shots can hurt everyone.

If ever a state were ripe for bold economic reform, it would be New Jersey, which is shedding jobs and is in perennial budget crisis despite one of the highest tax burdens in the land. So why is Chris Christie, the GOP front-runner in the state’s 2009 gubernatorial race, taking cheap shots at the flat tax?

Mr. Christie is a former U.S. attorney who did yeoman work putting away the state’s many political thieves. But he seems to be running scared in next month’s Republican primary, when he faces former Mayor of Bogota Steve Lonegan, who is proposing to scrap Jersey’s job-killing graduated income tax that has rates running from 1.4% to 8.97%. Mr. Lonegan wants to replace it with a 2.9% flat tax on the first dollar of income earned.

That’s a good idea that would give the Garden State the lowest tax rate in the Northeast after New Hampshire. Mr. Lonegan says this will ensure that when New Jersey incomes “move-up,” the residents “don’t move out.” Over the past decade, New Jersey has suffered the fourth highest rate of out-migration of all the states, with nearly half a million residents fleeing to the likes of Delaware, Florida and even New York.

Mr. Christie is assailing Mr. Lonegan’s proposal on TV, radio and the Internet as a tax hike on the poor. His TV ad claims the flat tax isn’t fair because it would raise taxes on “almost 70% of working families.” That sounds like he’s reading from President Obama’s teleprompter. Mr. Lonegan counters that only 40% would pay more — by an average of less than $300 for a family earning $20,000 — and their tax liability would still be lower than in New York and Pennsylvania. The average New Jersey family’s tax bill would fall by $1,000 a year.

Whether a flat tax that modestly raises the tax payments of some Americans will fly politically is hard to know. The state and federal tax code are so laced with tax credits and exemptions that any base-broadening, rate-cutting reform is bound to raise taxes on someone. Our friend Steve Forbes, a New Jersey resident, believes that a flat tax that “cuts taxes for everyone” is the way to go. Mr. Lonegan counters that every working New Jersey resident should pay something — on the principle that everyone should bear at least some of the cost of government.

The larger point is that either reform would be far better than the current tax code for New Jersey’s poor, who suffer the most from the state’s high rates that drive jobs and capital elsewhere. A flat tax would help all income groups by attracting those resources back to the state. Surely Mr. Christie realizes that.

Both GOP candidates agree that the 103 tax increases, including income and sales tax rate hikes, under current Governor Jon Corzine and his predecessor, the disgraced Jim McGreevey, have done great harm to their state. From 2001 to 2008, New Jersey lost a net 25,000 private-sector jobs even as public employment grew by 65,000 workers. The state’s finances are such a mess that in late 2007 Governor Corzine proposed the political “Hail Mary” of mortgaging New Jersey’s toll roads in return for a guaranteed revenue stream. He lost, thanks to opposition led by Mr. Lonegan.

If he wins the primary, Mr. Christie will need his own tax reform agenda, both to defeat Mr. Corzine and win a mandate for changing the corrupt mess that is Trenton. Mr. Christie should understand that a flatter tax is an economic and anticorruption strategy because it limits the opportunity for political mediation on behalf of special interests. Republicans can’t credibly be the candidates of growth if they echo liberal class-envy rhetoric to attack tax reform.

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>Deli Update – Board of Adjustment Meeting Minutes from 5/12/2009

>ROGER SCHNORRBUSCH – (Postponed from 4/28/09) To request a decision from the Board, as to whether or not there was an intent to abandon a non-conforming use, namely a delicatessen in an R-2 single family residence district. In the alternative, should the Board decide the prior use was abandoned, applicant requests a use variance to permit a delicatessen in an R-2 zone at 203 S. Van Dien Avenue, Block 4301 Lot 1 in an R-2 zone. David Rutherford Attorney, and Roger Schlicht Architect, appeared representing the applicant, Roger Schnorrbusch. Mr. Schnorrbusch stated that he presently owns and operates a deli on Erie Avenue, in Midland Park. He also stated that there will be no counter, tables or stools at this location and there is no plan for outdoor seating at this time. Also the front yard will be landscaped and the black top removed. Kevin Sheehy, neighbor at 153 S. Van Dien Avenue submitted exhibit O-1, Board of Health Inspection Violation. Joseph Carfora, 211 S. Van Dien Avenue had questions regarding tenant parking. Karen Sheehy, 153 S. Van Dien Avenue objected to the application. William McLaughlin, 28 Glen Avenue, Midland Park spoke in favor of the application. Roger Schlicht submitted Exhibits A-1 colorized proposed elevation of store, A-2 4 photos of existing store, A-3 black and white proposed elevation of store, A-4 floor plan, A-5 through A-14 photos of existing interior of store. Application was carried to 5/26/09

1-800-PetMeds Fetch/392x72.gif

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>New Math Program

>I have read the responses to the new math program with great interest. I had expected to log on and see rejoicing since it was clear to anyone familiar with the process that Regina Botsford did not get her first choice, which was Everyday Math. As little as a few weeks ago, it seemed inevitable to most around the district that Regina was going to ignore the feedback given by the teachers and community and opt with the math program that came the closest to mirroring the one adopted by the middle school. In fact, someone “in the know” all but admitted that there was little chance of going with the more traditional Envision program.

You probably paused for a moment when you saw the words “traditional” and “Envision” used in the same sentence. I would have paused too if I had first seen the video presented on your site or read the comments left by others on the blog. The fact is, though, that anyone familiar with the program and its text (which is the main component that the district is adopting) can see that it is just a new version of your traditional Scott Foresman text. The lessons introduce traditional algorithms and give the student ample opportunity to practice them. Everything else consists of bells and whistles. In the highly competitive text marketplace, these companies include technology-based add-ons and other features that appeal to boards of education looking for the latest buzzwords. But in the end, the residents and teachers are getting what they asked for – a textbook that looks and functions like a traditional text. It is very close to what even the board of education’s biggest detractors called for, and it is definitely not what Regina would have chosen had she been able to choose on her own. In fact, there is very little about it that would appeal to her, or anyone else who leans heavily towards programs such as Everyday Math and TERC.

My first thought when I read the responses was that any program chosen by the board would have been ripped apart by your blog’s readers simply because board approval suggests that the program was endorsed by Regina. I think people who feel that way have to open their eyes a bit and realize that Dan Fishbein has greater control over these decisions than his predecessors. As someone more familiar with this situation than most of the people who have expressed displeasure, I can assure you that this is a bigger victory for those people than they currently realize.

Free Cell Phones

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>A History of Memorial Day


Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

General John A. Logan
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-B8172- 6403 DLC (b&w film neg.)]

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.
Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50’s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: “Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.”

On January 19, 1999 Senator Inouye introduced bill S 189 to the Senate which proposes to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30th instead of “the last Monday in May”. On April 19, 1999 Representative Gibbons introduced the bill to the House (H.R. 1474). The bills were referred the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Government Reform.

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>Ridgewood Public Library: Career Workshop: LinkedIn.

Thursday, May 21 @ 7:00 pm. Career Workshop: LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the most important social networking site for business professionals. Understanding how to use this tool effectively is the key to a productive job search or transition. Career Counselor Elese Tonelli conducts a workshop on this powerful online networking site and shows you how to create an impactful profile, “link” to others, and search for contacts and opportunities .

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>The Ridgewood Blog reported a fact and the flacks come out in full force trying to discredit it. Why?

>The Ridgewood Blog reported a fact and the flacks come out in full force trying to discredit it. Why? A fact is a fact. It is relevant because we just bought an expensive new elementary math program that requires teacher training to implement. The fact that teachers, after graduating from teaching colleges need to be trained to teach elementary math is a travesty.

Our system of education is broken and no amount of money or new programs is going to fix it. What is needed is a complete overhaul of the system, from top to bottom. Unfortunately, there are too many special interests involved who are feeding at the public trough. Education is no longer about what is best for the children, it is about what is best for the parasitic special interest groups and the cottage industries spawned by them.

Joseph Alvaro

Microsoft Store

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>10 problems that Mayor Steve Lonegan already knows the people of New Jersey are confronting

>Monday Morning, 10:00 am

Dear Friend,

In the Second Gubernatorial Debate, candidate Chris Christie said he would create a “red-tape review group” to help him “see what kind of mess Jon Corzine left us with.” Then, in answer to a subsequent question, Christie commented, “I went to law school because I’m bad at math and science, so 1 to 10 is a little difficult for me.”

Following is a list of 10 problems that Mayor Steve Lonegan already knows the people of New Jersey are confronting:

1) The New Jersey economy has been decimated by the Christie-supported progressive income tax.

2) New Jersey is losing high-paying jobs to neighboring states.

3) Small business owners are saddled with onerous taxes and regulations.

4) Taxpayer dollars are diverted to fund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

5) On the advice of a Christie advisor, the state’s pension system is now nearly bankrupt.

6) A bloated state government inhibits citizens from rising to their best possible potential.

7) Suburban taxpayers are forced to fund their own school districts as well as others.

8) Law-abiding citizens in New Jersey are deprived of their Second Amendment Rights.

9) Home rule has been effectively obliterated by un-elected bureaucrats in Trenton.

10) An unaccountable State Supreme Court has become the most powerful branch of government.