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>Did Lame Duck Deputy Mayor Betty Wiest Fire A Public Shot At The Ridgewood Blog?

>In an open “thank you” Letter to the Editor published in today’s Ridgewood News, Ridgewood Deputy Mayor Betty Wiest included this sentence:

“Literary license should be molded to frame issue resolution, not creative narrative that can be sent with a keystroke.”

Sour grapes being sent via pony express by Betty, or is The Fly reading too much into her comment?


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>John Lornez Leaving Ridgewood High School? – New Schools Superintendent Selected?

>As previously reported by a Ridgewood Blog correspondent, a “for sale” sign is now prominently displayed in front of Ridgewood High School principal John Lorenz’s home.

Today, unofficial reports are that Mr. Lorenz will indeed be leaving Ridgewood High School following the end of this semester. Reportedly, Mr. Lorenz was disappointed with the fact that he did not receive due consideration for the open Schools Superintendent position, and will return with his family to the Chicago Illinois area this summer.

In other BOE news, it is rumored that Board members have finally selected a new Schools Superintendent. The candidate is reportedly currently serving as a Schools Superintendent in another Northern New Jersey school district. He/she is said to be well known to many Ridgewood residents.

Stay tuned . . .

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>Could this happen here?

>Vallejo Files For Bankruptcy Due To Budget Woes
VALLEJO (CBS 5 / AP) ― The city of Vallejo filed Friday for bankruptcy protection to deal with a ballooning budget deficit caused soaring employee costs and declining tax revenue.

The Bay Area community of about 120,000 residents is the largest California city to declare bankruptcy.

Mayor Osby Davis said the city’s attorneys filed papers seeking Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in federal court in Sacramento on Friday morning.

“We’ve exhausted all avenues at this point, and this is all we had left,” Davis said. “I had hoped to avoid it all the way up until yesterday. It’s something we can’t avoid … We can’t pay our bills.”

The City Council voted to authorize the city manager to file for bankruptcy on May 6 after months of failed negotiations with its public safety unions.

Some officials blame the chronic financial crisis on labor contracts they said provide overly generous pay and benefits to the city’s police officers and firefighters.

Those city workers comprise about three-quarters of Vallejo’s general fund.

The unions maintain compensation for Vallejo’s public safety employees is in line with that of other Bay Area cities.

(© 2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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>Taxpayer State House Rally May 29th

>Taxpayer State House Rally May 29th


Join AFP-NJ Executive Director Steve Lonegan, other great speakers, and fellow activists for a Taxpayer Rally at the State House in Trenton. Help us let New Jersey’s big government know that we are fed up with this state’s highest in the nation taxes and worst business climate.

May 29th – 4 PM, State House Steps, Trenton, NJ

Mark the date and BE THERE May 29th at 4:00 pm on the State House steps!

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>A frightening defense of Everyday Math

>On May 20, an Illinois newspaper reported that in the city of Oswego, Everyday Math 3 has been adopted, even in the face of much parent criticism of Everyday Math 2. According to the news article, teachers said Everyday Math addressed some of the shortcomings of Everyday Math 2 “by inviting parent involvement and identifying students’ weaknesses.”

One wonders what are the other shortcomings? And why do teachers need parent involvement in order to teach math? Isn’t teaching math the teacher’s job? But more frightening is this teacher’s explanation for why Everyday Math is so great: “Now we can tell you if it’s difficulty (converting) fractions to decimals … if its difficulty knowing what an angle is.”

Does this mean that until Everyday Math 3, teachers could not discern students’ areas of difficulties? This is absurd, and if it’s true, then this is the best evidence yet that this generation of public schools have lost all the good teachers to industry. What’s left for our schools is second-rate at best. Therein lies the true problem. Worst of all, the public is buying the notion that teachers lack judgment without these elaborate, expensive, and convoluted materials.

Read the article:,2_1_AU20_OSSKL_S1.article


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>Ridgewood Memorial Day Run

>Celebrating 33 years of racing in New Jersey, the Fred d’Elia Ridgewood Run remains one of the oldest and most popular running events in the state. A Memorial Day tradition for families and friends, it attracts over 3500 participants, from world-class athletes to the weekend warrior. This year is guaranteed to be one of the most spectacular and memorable races ever. Due to the popularity of the race, pre-registration only and registration is CLOSED at 4,000. Don’t miss out and REGISTER EARLY!

Hello Everyone,
I am looking forward to meeting all of you and becoming part of this wonderful, traditional event. I am honored to be selected as the new race director of the Fred d’Elia Run and I hope that my responsibilities as Director of Development for Bergen County’s United Way will provide me with the necessary tools to make the 2008 event the best ever.

Please visit our website over the next few months to read about all the exciting things coming your way in May.

Cheryl Moses,
Race Director, Fred d’Elia Ridgewood Run

840 – HHK Wheelchair 10K race
8:40 – Runners in corrals
8:45 – Park Ave BMW 10K
10:15 – Park Ave BMW 5K
11:15 – Valley Hospital Womens Mile
11:40 – Valley Hospital Mens Mile
12 Noon – Ridgewood YMCA Fun Run/Health Walk Mile

Email: Ridgewood Run Race Director

Email: North Jersey Masters
Mail: North Jersey Masters
PO Box 56
Ridgewood, NJ 07451
Phone: (973) 333-4837

10K Course Map
5K Course Map
Mile Course Map
Course Records
Family Team Registration
Local Weather
Race History

2008 Registration is now open! Register online with either Metro Race Forum or, or download our race application.

The Ridgewood Run has been designated the 2008 Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) State Championship for New Jersey.

Total prize money for 2008 increased to $6,120! See Awards & Prizes.

Race day photos will be provided by Ken Shelton Photography.
View last year’s photos.

2007 featured the USATF-NJ Championship 10K for Masters men and women. More info…

2007 Results posted: All Results
All results by compuscore

Thank You to all our runners, support staff, volunteers, sponsors and supporter for another great race!

Men: Denese Denibob – 30:03
Women: Atalalech Ketema – 34:43
Men: Gurmessa Megevssa – 14:23
Women: Aziza Alieu – 16:47
10K Wheelchair
Men: Krige Schabort – 20:16
Women: Jessica Galli – 25:38
Elite Mile
Men: Stephan Chemlany – 04:12
Women: Claudia Camargo – 04:40
Masters Mile
Men: Paul Mwangi – 04:38
Women: Zophia Wieciorkowska – 05:19
Family Team Kalwa – 1:01:25

All Results

10K – 500 pts.
5K – 500 pts.

Ridgewood, NJ

48° F
Mostly Cloudy

Hour-by-hour 10-day

General Info Registration Awards & Prizes Directions Results Photos North Jersey Masters Home

Hotline: (973) 333-4837
Email: Ridgewood Run Race Director
Mail: PO Box 56, Ridgewood, NJ 07451
Comments for the webmaster

© 2008 North Jersey Masters Track and Field Club.

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>Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ has become our 2007-2008 Grand Prix champions…again!

from the New Dean of Chess Blog

Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ has become our 2007-2008 Grand Prix champions…again! Though Mt. Horeb School, Warren, NJ gave them a run for their money, with the home field advantage for the final tournament, Orchard outscored Mt. Horeb by only 10 points to take 1st place.

In the individual race, Simon Thomas, George Washington Middle School, Ridgewood, NJ gave another stellar performance to finish first.

Our final spots for the Tournament of Champions has also been decided. Michael Bender, St. Joseph’s High School, Metuchen, NJ has become the 7th qualifier while Richard Davisson, Shongum Elementary, Randolph, NJ is the wildcard.

Please visit our Grand Prix page for all standings and our Tournament of Champions page for more information.

Congratulations to all and good luck to our champions!

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>Local 4th of July Fireworks Displays May Be Lackluster

>May 17, 2008

This July 4, Fewer Bombs May Burst in Air


The New York Times


An explosion that destroyed 20 fireworks warehouses in China three months ago will probably dim night skies in the United States this Fourth of July.

Fireworks vendors said that because of the sudden shortage, fireworks like bottle rockets, ladyfingers and Roman candles, as well as mortars used in professional displays, will be hard to get, meaning many of the usual pyrotechnic extravaganzas across the country may have to be curtailed or even canceled.

“Everybody in the industry is scared to death that their orders aren’t going to get here in time,” said Ken Sprague, president of Hamburg Fireworks Display in Lancaster, Ohio, which choreographs fireworks shows throughout the Midwest. “I haven’t slept a full night in months.”

The blast on Feb. 14 in the Chinese port city of Sanshui shook homes miles away and fireworks soared and burst in midair for more than 24 hours, according to local news reports. It is unclear whether anyone was harmed.

The accident led to a ban on fireworks shipments at all Chinese ports except two that are far from fireworks production areas, resulting in further delays.

“We’re not getting much information about what caused the fire,” said Julie L. Heckman, executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association, which represents the $900 million fireworks industry in the United States. “We’ve heard reports ranging from improperly packaged material to a security guard flicking a cigarette.”

The result, she says, is that exports of consumer fireworks from China are down 35 percent this year and professional display fireworks are down 40 percent. Many shipments have not even left factories in Liu Yang, a city in Hunan Province, where more than 95 percent of fireworks sold in the United States are made.

When fireworks shipments arrive at the shallow port of Beihai, they may sit on the docks for weeks waiting for transfer to cargo ships anchored outside Hong Kong harbor.

Only one shipping line, Maersk, will handle pyrotechnics after Hyundai Merchant Marine discontinued service following a blaze aboard one of its vessels carrying fireworks in 2006.

“It’s been a perfect storm,” said Harry Chang, president of marketing for Black Cat fireworks, a division of Shiu Fung Fireworks in Hong Kong. Wholesale prices for fireworks are up 30 percent this year, he said, because of the limited supply, as well as higher shipping costs and increased prices for chemicals, paper and labor.

“People will need to be prepared to dig deeper,” said William A. Weimer, vice president of the B. J. Alan Company in Youngstown, Ohio, one of the largest importers of fireworks in the United States.

Because he ordered earlier than usual this year, he already has 85 percent of his shipments from China. “A lot of other guys are in big trouble,” he said, adding that he has received frantic calls from competitors hoping to buy some of his inventory. “It looks like some communities aren’t going to have shows this year.”

American manufacturers of munitions and demolition explosives said they were getting inquiries from fireworks show operators, hoping they can custom-make shells for them.

Bill Bahr, president of Red Dragon Tactical Supplies in Farmingdale, N.J., which makes various training devices for the State Department, said he was going to try to shift some production over to fireworks but “there’s only so much we can do.”

Transporting explosives has become difficult since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, so “people are going to have to come here and get it,” he said.

If shipments do not leave China in the next two weeks, millions of pounds of fireworks may not make it to the United States in time for the Fourth of July.

Jim Souza, president of Pyro Spectaculars by Souza, the company based in Rialto, Calif., that handles the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display in New York, said he had not yet received two of his shipping containers. But, he said, “the show will go on.”

Labor Day, Christmas and New Year’s fireworks displays are even more doubtful since the Chinese government announced on April 14 that it would ban the transport of some 256 types of hazardous or potential explosive materials on various dates through October to coincide with planned Olympic events.

This includes not only fireworks and the chemicals used to make them but also substances used in some pharmaceuticals, coolants, solvents and cosmetics.

Bob Richard, deputy associate administrator for hazardous material safety with the Department of Transportation, said he was working to get the Chinese government to rethink its directive, considering the “serious impact” it would have on the fireworks industry and the “entire supply chain.”

He said his department was also working on a long-term plan to get more ports open to fireworks by providing Chinese officials with guidance on better packaging, labeling and enforcement.

“The last thing we want is a shortage to force the market underground,” Mr. Richard said.

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>A Ridgewood Blog Poll: Ridgewood’s Next Mayor Should Be . . .

>Although the responsibility for choosing Ridgewood’s next mayor rests entirely with the Village Council, The Fly would like to know which Council member our readers would select if given the opportunity.

So, who would you like Ridgewood’s next mayor to be?

Paul Aronsohn

Keith Killion

Pat Mancuso

David Pfund

Anne Zusy

Check the “posted comments” button for responses.


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