Posted on

Englewood Man Held on Murder Charges in Bogota Shooting

20374433 654893144715328 2802018508801330907 n1

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Bogota NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of TALEK T. LAWSON (DOB: 7/9/1995; single; construction worker) of 827 Rock Creek Terrace, Englewood, NJ, on charges of Murder, Unlawful Possession Of A Weapon, and Possession Of A Weapon For An Unlawful Purpose; and the arrest of JUSTIN DULA (DOB: 4/21/1998; single; unemployed) of 684 Rock Creek Terrace, Englewood, NJ, on a charge of Aggravated Assault. The arrests are the result of an investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Sheriff Anthony Cureton, the Bogota Police Department under the direction of Chief Daniel Maye, and the Englewood Police Department under the direction of Chief Lawrence Suffern.

On Wednesday, December 12, 2018, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office received information that a shooting had occurred on Leonia Avenue, in the area of Buddy’s Place bar, in Bogota, NJ. Responding officers and EMS treated Dakota Johnson, who had suffered an apparent gunshot wound. Johnson was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

An investigation revealed that, during a fight among numerous individuals, DULA assaulted one individual in an attempt to cause serious bodily injury. During the incident, LAWSON fired a handgun, striking and killing Johnson.

As a result of the investigation, Talek LAWSON was arrested and charged with one count of Murder, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3A(1),(2), a 1st degree crime; Unlawful Possession Of A Weapon, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5B(1), a 2nd degree crime; and Possession Of A Weapon For An Unlawful Purpose, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4A(1), a 2nd degree crime. DULA was arrested and charged with one count of Aggravated Assault, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1B(1), a 2nd degree crime. LAWSON and DULA were remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.

Acting Prosecutor Calo states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and would also like to thank the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, the Bogota Police Department, and the Englewood Police Department for their assistance in this investigation.

Posted on

Shooting in Bogota Leaves One Dead

20374433 654893144715328 2802018508801330907 n1

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Bogota NJ, Acting Prosecutor Dennis Calo announces the following information:

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Bogota Police Department, and other local agencies are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred early this morning, December 12, 2018, in Bogota, NJ.  

At approximately 1:43 a.m., the Bogota Police Department received a 9-1-1 call of shots fired outside Buddy’s Bar, 13 East Fort Lee Road, Bogota, NJ.  Officers from the Bogota, Teaneck, and Ridgefield Park Police Departments responded to the scene, where they found a 28-year-old male on the front lawn of a nearby house, 286 Leonia Avenue, Bogota, suffering from a single gunshot wound.  The victim was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The suspects fled the scene.  The investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released at a later time. 

Posted on

1 in10 New Jersey Residents is a Non-Citizen


August 1,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood

Hackensack NJ, New Jersey is home to about 900,000 residents who are not United States citizens . That’ equals about 1 in 10 people in the state, according to most recent estimates. Census figures put Ridgewood’s non-citizen population at about 2,000, or approximately 8 percent of the village’s 25,500 residents.

The Ridgewood Public Library even hosts six-week program meets twice weekly for 90-minute classes. It uses the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services booklet “Learn About the United States, Quick Civic Lessons for the Naturalization Test.”

The federal government is planning to have the 2020 Census ask people their citizenship status. Many elected officials and community advocates say such a question could threaten federal funding for states like New Jersey.

The simple solution would be to create more US citizens in order to safe guard Federal Funds .

The next Census Day is set for April 1, 2020, and a 2017 release from the U.S. Census Bureau identified the date for wording of all Census questions to be submitted to Congress as March 31 of this year. So for those fighting for a question on citizenship status to be excluded, the clock has been ticking for months already.

To give you an idea of the magnitude of the issue the Ridgewood blog has listed the towns the have the largest concentration of Non-citizens in Bergen County .

Palisades Park
U.S.-born citizens: 6,887
Naturalized citizens: 6,057
Non-citizens: 7,215 — 35%

South Hackensack
U.S.-born citizens: 1,534
Naturalized citizens: 455
Non-citizens: 725 — 27%

U.S.-born citizens: 6,843
Naturalized citizens: 3,687
Non-citizens: 3,608 — 25%

Little Ferry
U.S.-born citizens: 5,669
Naturalized citizens: 2,570
Non-citizens: 2,431 — 22%

U.S.-born citizens: 25,272
Naturalized citizens: 8,238
Non-citizens: 9,631 — 22%

Fort Lee
U.S.-born citizens: 16,475
Naturalized citizens: 11,398
Non-citizens: 7,941 — 22%

U.S.-born citizens: 4,853
Naturalized citizens: 2,220
Non-citizens: 1,935 — 21%

U.S.-born citizens: 63
Naturalized citizens: 5
Non-citizens: 18 — 21%

U.S.-born citizens: 6,698
Naturalized citizens: 2,559
Non-citizens: 2,503 — 21%

U.S.-born citizens: 17,663
Naturalized citizens: 6,885
Non-citizens: 6,251 — 20%

U.S.-born citizens: 5,790
Naturalized citizens: 3,087
Non-citizens: 2,208 — 20%

Posted on

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) service Extenting into Bergen County


July 5,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

What is Northern Branch?

The Northern Branch is a freight rail line owned by CSX Transportation that runs through Hudson and Bergen Counties to the New York State Border. The Northern Branch Corridor, through which the rail line traverses, is a densely settled suburban environment that has not been served by passenger rail since the discontinuation of service on the Northern Branch and West Shore Lines in the 1950s and 60s.

The Northern Branch Corridor Project calls for transit improvements in northeastern Hudson and southeastern Bergen Counties through the restoration of passenger rail service on an existing freight rail line. The electric light rail service would operate on West Side Avenue in North Bergen, and then on existing railroad right-of-way owned by CSX Transportation (CSX) between 91st Street in North Bergen and the northern border of Englewood and would introduce new station stops in North Bergen, Ridgefield, Palisades Park, Leonia, and Englewood.

Project Planning
The growth of automobile usage and accompanying roadway congestion in recent decades led planners and officials to search for solutions to the growing traffic problems in the Bergen County area. In the mid-1990s the West Shore Region Study provided a comprehensive examination of multi-modal opportunities throughout Bergen County, New Jersey and Rockland County, New York. Recommended for further study was an extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) from 85th Street in North Bergen along the Northern Branch to Tenafly, New Jersey.

The Northern Branch Corridor DEIS was prepared by NJ TRANSIT in cooperation with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to evaluate the benefits, costs and social, economic and environmental impacts of constructing and operating passenger rail service on the Northern Branch. The DEIS evaluated two Build Alternatives: the Preferred Alternative, which extended existing Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) service from North Bergen to the Tenafly-Cresskill border, and a similar HBLR extension that terminated at Route 4 in Englewood.

The DEIS was published in November 2011, and can be reviewed here: Northern Branch DEIS.

Public hearings were held in January 2012, and the public comment period closed on February 21, 2012. More than 1,200 comments were received and reviewed by NJ TRANSIT. While many comments expressed support for the service, residents and community leaders in Tenafly were strongly opposed to the extension of service into their community. After considering the comments, FTA and NJ TRANSIT have developed a new alignment that would extend HBLR service from North Bergen to Englewood Hospital, which is north of Route 4 and south of Tenafly. Light rail service would not extend past Englewood.

This new alignment results in changes to the service plan and potential environmental and social impacts explored in the DEIS circulated for comment in 2012. As a result, this new alignment and associated changes have been analyzed in a Supplemental DEIS (SDEIS) and circulated for public comment and agency feedback in a process closely approximating the one undertaken for the DEIS.
The SDEIS was published on March 24, 2017, and can be reviewed here: Northern Branch SDEIS.

Similar to a DEIS, an SDEIS requires a public hearing and public comment period. The comments on the SDEIS and DEIS will be addressed together in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). A 60-day public comment period will follow the notice of availability (NOA) of the SDEIS, during which time NJ TRANSIT will hold a public hearing. Comments will be collected and reviewed in the same manner as conducted for the DEIS. Provided that the SDEIS comments do not present compelling arguments for substantial revision to the SDEIS Preferred Alternative, an FEIS will be prepared, incorporating the SDEIS findings and unchanged elements from the DEIS. A response to comments chapter will be included in the FEIS, addressing all comments received during the prior two comment periods.

Posted on

Ridgewood Ranked #1 Place to Live in Bergen County by NICHE


April 12,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, NICHE ranked Ridgewood the number one place to live in Bergen County and 6th over all in New Jersey . Ridgewood Placed just a head of Haworth #8,Ho Ho Kus #11,Tenafly #17,Glen Rock #19, Allendale #20, and Leonia #24.

The NICHE 2018 Best Places to Live ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of the overall livability of an area. This grade takes into account several key factors of a location, including the quality of local schools, crime rates, housing trends, employment statistics, and access to amenities in an attempt to measure the overall quality of an area.

Ridgewood placed 3 of 412 Best Suburbs to Live in New Jersey , 5 of 410 Suburbs with the Best Public Schools in New Jersey and 6 of 573 Best Places to Live in New Jersey . The Median Household Income is $144,734 . The Median Home Value is $724,400 and the Median Rent $1,960 .

Posted on

Ridgewood Schools Score a 5.4% Increase in State Aid thats a $2,586,693 Increase

RHS Marching band

March 17,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, New Jersey school districts got a first look at their state aid figures for the coming school year on Thursday, jut two days after Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled his tax gouging $37.4 billion spending plan.

Every singe school district in Bergen county will get extra aid under the plan, which boosts aid to schools state wide by $283 million, up 3.5 percent from a year earlier.

The rate of increase ranged significantly in districts, with Haworth, Paramus, Franklin Lakes getting boosts larger than 15 percent. Others, like, Leonia and Englewood got increases less than 2 percent.

In the Murphy Budget Ridgewood would get an increase of $2,586,693 a 5.4% increase , Ho-Ho-Kus $556,782 or a 7.9% increase , Midland Park $742,564 a huge 14.7% increase ,Glen Rock $1,335,305 an 11.6% and Paramus $2,542,3741 or an even larger 15.3% increase .

Ridgewood nest regular public meeting of the Board of Education will be on March 19 2018 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM at the Board Room, 3rd Floor, in Education Center on Cottage place.

There is also Coffee and Conversation on March 26 with members of the Ridgewood Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Daniel Fishbein will host residents for coffee and casual conversation on Wednesday, March 26 from 7-8:30 p.m. Please join them at the Education Center, 49 Cottage Place, Ridgewood. Residents are welcome to drop in and share their thoughts, questions, suggestions and concerns.


Posted on

NJ Transit Environmental Review to Move forward with Hudson-Bergen Light Rail expansion

NJT light rail


February 14, 2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, In a unanimous vote, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved the proposed alignment of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail’s planned expansion into Bergen County as described in the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact statement dated March 2017. The selection of the “Locally Preferred Alternative” is required as part of the federal environmental review process.

The Board action also authorizes the submission of the Locally Preferred Alternative to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority Board of Trustees for designation and inclusion in their Long-Range Regional Transportation Plan.

During Project Development the project sponsor must select a Locally Preferred Alternative; get the Locally Preferred Alternative adopted into the fiscally constrained metropolitan transportation plan; and complete the environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

By selecting the Locally Preferred Alternative at this time, NJ TRANSIT will be able to initiate design and engineering activities upon completion of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and receipt of the Record of Decision from the FTA, in advance of requesting entry into Project Development.

Locally Preferred Alternative

The Locally Preferred Alternative consists of a 10-mile two-track extension of the HBLR from its current terminus at Tonnelle Avenue northward to the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, generally utilizing CSX Transportation’s Northern Branch running track. The project will construct a total of seven stations in North Bergen, Ridgefield, Palisades Park, Leonia, and Englewood (three stations) and parking for approximately 2,740 vehicles. Service is proposed to operate from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. with six-minute headways during the peak period and 15-minute headways during the off-peak period. It is estimated that the project will serve 12,370 passengers per average weekday in the year 2030.

See attached map for a visual of the route of the Locally Preferred Alternative.


Posted on

Dinosaurs After Dark Hosts a Crazy Cretaceous Costume Party

Field Station: Dinosaurs_n

September 29,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Leonia, NJ , Dinosaurs After Dark is a spooky, funny adventure into a shadowy, prehistoric world. But things get a little scary when the lights go out it’s discovered there’s a vicious T-Rex on the loose! Expedition Commander, Guy Gsell, will lead a Tyrannosaurus Hunt along the Field Station’s darkened trails with a stop at every dinosaur and a few surprises along the way.

This unique family experience includes three live shows and a campfire with singing, s’mores and hot chocolate! The Dinosaur Profiler will be on hand to explore the modus operandi of the T-Rex, from its ability to see in the dark to its amazing sense of smell. The Field Station’s Director of Security and Safety has prepared a Dinosaur Survival Guide for when guests come face to face with a T-Rex. By looking at the dinosaurs that lived in the age of T-Rex, children will learn from the greatest masters of Dinosaur Self-Defense – triceratops, stegosaurus and dilophosaurus!

The Dinosaur Troubadour will host the Crazy Cretaceous Costume Party, a musical puppet show where staff paleontologists will use the scientific method to determine the scariest Halloween costume of all. Is it the mummy, the vampire, the skeleton or the dinosaur? The Field Station team is ready to conduct an experiment and announce their conclusions – along the way we’ll meet a baby parasaurolophus and a walking T-Rex skeleton!

At the end of the night, everyone will gather around the campfire for a dinosaur song-a-long, s’mores and hot chocolate!
Reserve your Adventure
Fridays & Saturdays

September 29 through October 28

Dinosaurs After Dark begins promptly at 7pm and ends at 9:30 pm. The front gate will open at 6:45pm.

For more information, email us at


Overpeck County Park
Leonia, NJ 07605


Posted on

Field Station: Dinosaurs : Meet This Week’s Super Star of Science -“Dino” Don Lessem! Adventurer, Paleontologist, Storyteller and Advisor to Steven Spielberg!

Dino Don, Jurassic Park Official Dinosaur Adviser

Here comes Dino Don – one of the few living people with a dinosaur named after him!

July 28,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Leonia, NJ , This week’s Super Star of Science is “Dino” Don Lessem, the world’s leading popular presenter of dinosaurs– via his movie and theme park collaborations, exhibitions, expeditions, books, and television documentaries. Don will share the stories of his adventures and dinosaur excavations from around the world! From Mongolia, China to the Arctic Circle, Don has explored for dinosaurs and made major discoveries. In Patagonia, he dug up and reconstructed the world’s record-sized plant-eating and meat-eating dinosaurs!

In recognition of his support of paleontology, “Dino” Don had a giant plant-eating dinosaur named after him —Lessemsaurus. “It has a huge belly and a tiny brain, like its namesake,” says Lessem.

Don will also share the story of his experiences as an advisor to Steven Spielberg on the film Jurassic Park, to Universal Studios for its Jurassic Park ride and to Walt Disney Productions for its Animal Kingdom Dinoland attraction and Dinosaurs film.

In addition to his more than 50 books for adults and children ,“Dino” Don has answered more than 11,000 letters to his “Ask Dino Don” column in Highlights Magazine, the nation’s largest-circulation children’s magazine. He’s hosted and written NOVA and Discovery Channel documentaries and his pioneering Microsoft CD,Dinosaurs sold 1 million copies.

“Dino” Don will be wowing the crowds at Field Station: Dinosaurs this Saturday, 7/29/17 at 11:30am, 1:15pm and 2:30pm. His presentations are included in the price of park admission.

Field Station: Dinosaurs
Overpeck County Park  | Leonia, NJ
Phone 855.999.9010  | Fax 973.748.3010 | |

Posted on

Five More Defendants Plead Guilty for Their Roles in Multimillion Dollar India-Based Call Center IRS Scam Targeting U.S. Victims

IRS Scam
file photo by Boyd Loving
June 6,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Five men, including two individuals who formerly worked at scam call centers in India, each pleaded guilty within the past two weeks for their respective roles in a massive telephone impersonation fraud and money laundering scheme perpetrated by India-based call centers.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas, Executive Associate Director Peter T. Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Inspector General J. Russell George of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Inspector General John Roth of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS-OIG) made the announcement.

From May 26 to June 6, Rajubhai Patel, 32, an Indian national most recently residing in Willowbrook, Illinois; Viraj Patel, 33, an Indian national most recently residing in Anaheim, California; Dilipkumar Ambal Patel, 53, an Indian national most recently residing in Corona, California; and Fahad Ali, 25, a Pakistani national and permanent U.S. resident most recently residing in Dyer, Indiana, each pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy before U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas. Hardik Patel, 31, an Indian national most recently residing in Arlington Heights, Illinois, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy before the same court on June 2. Sentencing dates are pending for all five defendants.

According to admissions made in connection with the plea agreements, the five men and their co-conspirators perpetrated a complex scheme in which individuals from call centers located in Ahmedabad, India, impersonated officials from the IRS and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and engaged in other telephone call scams, in a ruse designed to defraud victims in the U.S. Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators targeted U.S. victims, who were threatened with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay alleged monies owed to the government. Victims who agreed to pay the scammers were instructed how to provide payment, including by purchasing stored value cards or wiring money. Upon payment, the call centers would immediately turn to a network of “runners” based in the U.S. to liquidate and launder the fraudulently obtained funds.

Based on the statements in his June 2 guilty plea, beginning in August 2012, Hardik Patel owned and managed the day-to-day operations of an India-based scam call center before later leaving for the U.S. While in India, in his capacity as a manager, Hardik Patel communicated extensively via email, text, and other means with various India-based co-defendants to operate the scheme and exchange scripts used in the scheme, coordinate the processing of payments from scammed victims, obtain and exchange lead lists used by callers to target U.S. victims, and exchange spreadsheets containing the personal identifying information (PII) of U.S. persons misappropriated by the scammers to register reloadable cards used in the scheme. Hardik Patel also managed worker payroll and kept detailed records of profits and expenses for various associated scam call centers. Hardik Patel continued to communicate with India-based co-defendants about the scheme and assist with the conspiracy after he moved to the U.S.

According to his June 6 guilty plea, Rajubhai Patel operated as a runner and assisted a co-defendant in managing the activities of a crew of other runners, based primarily out of Illinois, who liquidated victim funds in various locales in the U.S. for conspirators from India-based call centers. Rajubhai Patel communicated about the liquidation of scam funds via electronic WhatsApp communications with domestic and India-based co-defendants, purchased reloadable cards registered using the misappropriated PII of U.S. citizens that were later used to receive victims’ funds, and used those cards to purchase money orders and deposit them into various bank accounts of co-defendants and others as directed. Rajubhai Patel also admitted to creating and maintaining spreadsheets that detailed deposits, payments to co-conspirators, expenses and profits from the scheme.

According to admissions made in his June 2 guilty plea, Viraj Patel first became involved in the conspiracy between April and September 2013, prior to entering the U.S., when he worked at and assisted with overseeing the operations of a call center in India engaging in scam activity at the behest of a co-defendant. After entering the U.S., beginning in December 2014 Viraj Patel engaged in additional activities in support of the scheme in exchange for a cut of the profits, including serving as a processor of scam victim payments and as a runner engaging in the purchase and liquidation of cards loaded with victim scam funds. Viraj Patel communicated with various India-and U.S.-based co-defendants in furtherance of the conspiracy, and also obtained and circulated lead lists to his co-conspirators containing the PII of U.S. citizens for use by the call centers in targeting victims of the various fraud schemes and to register reloadable cards used to launder the proceeds of the schemes.

Based on the admissions made in his May 26 guilty plea, since late 2013, Dilipkumar A. Patel operated as a runner in and around Southern California, along with other co-defendants based in the region. At the direction of India-based co-conspirators, often via electronic WhatsApp communications, Patel admitted to participating in the purchase of reloadable cards registered with the PII of U.S. citizens, and the subsequent liquidation of victim scam funds loaded to those cards by co-conspirators, while keeping a percentage of the victim funds on the cards for himself.

According to his guilty plea, also on May 26, beginning in or around 2013, Fahad Ali worked as a member of a crew of runners operating in the Chicago, Illinois area, the Southern District of Texas and elsewhere throughout the country. Ali admitted that he first served as a driver for an Illinois-based co-defendant engaging in activities in furtherance of the conspiracy. Ali later operated at the direction of that co-defendant and others, via various means of communication, including text messages, to purchase reloadable cards, and then liquidate victim scam proceeds placed on those cards by India-based co-conspirators, in exchange for recurring payments. Ali also admitted to using false identification documents to receive wire transfers from victims of the fraud.

To date, Hardik Patel, Rajubhai Patel, Viraj Patel, Dilipkumar A. Patel, Fahad Ali, 51 other individuals and five India-based call centers have been charged for their roles in the fraud and money laundering scheme in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas on Oct. 19, 2016. Including the most recent pleas, a total of nine defendants have pleaded guilty thus far in this case. Co-defendants Bharatkumar Patel, Ashvinbhai Chaudhari, Harsh Patel and Nilam Parikh previously pleaded guilty on April 13; April 26; May 11; and May 18, respectively.

The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

HSI, DHS-OIG and TIGTA led the investigation of this case. Also providing significant support were: the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs; Ft. Bend County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; police departments in Hoffman Estates and Naperville, Illinois, and in Leonia, New Jersey; San Diego County District Attorney’s Office Family Protection and Elder Abuse Unit; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General; IOC-2; INTERPOL Washington; USCIS; U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service; and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in Northern District of Alabama, District of Arizona, Central District of California, Northern District of California, District of Colorado, Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Indiana, District of Nevada and District of New Jersey. The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau also provided assistance in TIGTA’s investigation.

Senior Trial Attorney Michael Sheckels and Trial Attorney Mona Sahaf of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, Trial Attorney Robert Stapleton of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Mark McIntyre and Craig M. Feazel of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.

A Department of Justice website has been established to provide information about the case to already identified and potential victims and the public. Anyone who believes they may be a victim of fraud or identity theft in relation to this investigation or other telefraud scam phone calls may contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via this website.

Anyone who wants additional information about telefraud scams generally, or preventing identity theft or fraudulent use of their identity information, may obtain helpful information on the IRS tax scams website, the FTC phone scam website and the FTC identity theft website.

Posted on

NJT Holds Public Hearings on Bergen Light Rail

Trolly Car HBLR

Northern Branch expansion will bring light rail into Bergen County

April 24, 2017

the Staff of the Ridgewood blog

ENGLEWOOD, NJ — NJ TRANSIT today continued to advance the expansion of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system into Bergen County by holding two public hearings as part of the environmental review process.

The hearings, held at the Englewood Crowne Plaza, are part of a 60-day public comment period on the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS).   The Northern Branch SDEIS documents the social, economic, and environmental impacts associated with the construction of the proposed action.

This comment period began on March 24, 2017, when the SDEIS was published, and runs through May 23, 2017.  During this time, members of the public are invited to review the SDEIS document and submit their comments in writing or by attending one of the public hearings.  Today’s public hearings included a formal presentation, an open house with information and displays as well as the ability for members of the public to submit oral or written comments.

At the conclusion of the public comment period, NJ TRANSIT will collect and review all of the comments. Provided that the SDEIS comments do not present compelling arguments for substantial revision, a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) will be prepared for review by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  The culmination of the process is that the FTA will issue a Record of Decision (ROD) approving the project to advance to engineering.  Once the ROD is issued and funding is identified, the project could then advance to final engineering, as well as the negotiation of an agreement with the freight railroads (CSX and NYS&W), and into construction.

About Northern Branch project

The Northern Branch project will extend the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system by 10 miles and include seven new station stops in five municipalities.  The electric light rail service would operate on West Side Avenue in North Bergen, and then on existing railroad right-of-way owned by CSX Transportation (CSX) between 91st Street in North Bergen and the northern border of Englewood and would introduce new station stops in North Bergen, Ridgefield, Palisades Park, Leonia, and Englewood.

The extension is projected to add 12,370 customers to the system making 24,740 trips on an average weekday.  The existing Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system transports approximately 26-thousand customers making 52-thousand trips on an average weekday (FY16).

Posted on

Don’t get caught texting while driving through these small NJ towns

ridgewood police
file photo by Boyd loving
By Adam Hochron April 17, 2017 5:58 PM
Courtesy of United States Department of TransportationIf last year is any indication, police in some of New Jersey’s smallest municipalities will be giving out the largest number of distracted driving tickets during the month-long crackdown that ends April 21.

Bergen County 

Fairview: 114 tickets

Allendale 2
Alpine 2
Carlstadt 19
Demarest 5
Glen Rock 1
Hackensack 4
Hasbrouck Heights 13
Haworth 5
Leonia 4
Lyndhurst 19
Midland Park 4
North Arlington 19
Northvale 9
Norwood 2
Ramsey 1
River Vale 1
Upper Saddle River 19
Westwood 9
Wood-Ridge 4

Read More: Don’t get caught texting while driving through these small NJ towns |

Posted on

YWCA Bergen County Summer Camp Registration Going on Now

July 2,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, YWCA Bergen County summer camps are accepting registrations for campers ages 5 through 14 on a week-to-week basis. Weekly sessions run from June 27 through August 26 at fun YW day camps: Camp Orinda in Dumont, NJ; Camp Ma-Kee-Ya in Darlington County Park in Mahwah, NJ and Camp Soquili at the Bergen Equestrian Center in Leonia, NJ. Pre and post-camp care is offered and CIT programs for boys and girls ages 13 to 16 are available in select locations. Summer job opportunities are available for Lifeguards age 15 years and older and Camp Counselors age 18 years and older.
YWCA Camps Orinda and Ma-Kee-Ya offer American Red Cross Swim lessons, sports, arts and crafts, nature, and more, as well as special events such as the Camp Carnival, Talent Show, and Camp Olympics. Specialty programs include TGA Premier Junior Golf and Tennis.
YWCA Camp Soquili at the Bergen Equestrian Center combines professionally trained staff, experienced horses and a convenient location to create a unique summer experience. Campers will have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of riding while developing their riding skills, learning horse health and care and spending time with friends.
Interested families can visit contact Mary Agnello at 201-444-5600, ext. 352. YWCA Bergen County is a proud partner of the National Inclusion Project.

Posted on

Interfaith “Stop Violence & Promote Peace” service June 29

Calvary United Methodist Church

Calvary United Methodist Church
185 W. Madison Avenue
Dumont, NJ  07628

JUNE 29:

Clergy Representing Diverse Faith Communities Lead Special Service and Call to Action

Members of the media are invited to attend this event, which will include interview and photo opportunities (no flash photography during the service).

WHO:            Calvary United Methodist Church and Interfaith clergy including:

Rev. Elaine Wing, Calvary UMC, Dumont; Peggy Niederer, President, Bergen County Council of Churches; Rev. David Wehrle, Leonia UMC; Rev. Susan Kerr, Old North Reformed Church, Dumont; Rev. Cyndy Stouffer, Pearl River UMC; Rabbi Paul Jacobson, Temple Avodat Shalom, River Edge; Alka Chandra, Hindu Community, Bergen County; Ercan Tozan, Executive Director, Peace Islands Institute (Hasbrouck Heights); Imam Mohammed Charaf, Elzahra Islamic Center (Midland Park) and Rev. Jongln Lee, Good Shepherd UMC, Bergenfield

Special music by Calvary UMC’s Praise Band and Choir; Lauren D’ Imperio and Nancy Quinn, vocalists; and Pianist Nathan Pezzotti, graduate of The Julliard School and Music Director at Calvary UMC.

WHAT:       Will officiate an interfaith service of music, prayer and readings with a strong call for action; Information will be available about mental health and gun control options and organizations. There will be an opportunity to sign posters which will be delivered to victims, first responders, medical staff, and others who assisted victims in Orlando, Fl.

WHERE:      Calvary UMC, 185 W. Madison Avenue, Dumont, NJ
Parking is in the rear of the building off Cooper Street and the sanctuary is wheelchair accessible.

WHEN:           Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 7:30 PM

WHY:            To gather persons of all faiths for a message of hope and to encourage greater awareness and action promoting peace and reducing violence and homicide through the use of handguns  and assault weapons.

In response to tragedies including the shootings in Orlando, Charleston, Newton, Aurora and other acts of gun violence which occur daily, the Stop Violence & Promote Peace service brings together Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus to promote peace, unity and understanding in a time of fear and divisiveness in our nation.

Posted on

Ridgwood YWCA Equestrian Camp to Host June 4 Open House

mr ed Ridgewood
Sat, June 04, 2016
Time: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Location: Camp Soquili at the Bergen Equestrian Center., Overpeck Park

YWCA Equestrian Camp to Host June 4 Open House
YWCA Camp Soquili at the Bergen Equestrian Center Located in Overpeck County ParkRidgewood NJ, YWCA Bergen County is hosting a free Equestrian Camp Open House on Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Camp Soquili at the Bergen Equestrian Center. Find out more about YWCA Camp Soquili, meet camp staff, ask questions, and take a tour of the location.

Camp Soquili at the Bergen Equestrian Center is now accepting registrations for campers ages 5 through 14 on a week-to-week basis. This Summer Camp combines professionally trained staff, experienced horses and a convenient location to create a unique summer experience for boys & girls. Campers will have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of riding while developing their riding skills, learning horse health and care and spending time with friends. Weekly sessions run 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday from June 27 through August 26 at YWCA Camp Soquili at the Bergen Equestrian Center, 40 Fort Lee Road, Leonia, NJ.Mornings will be spent learning about horses, grooming, equipment and how to prepare their horses for riding. Next they will take part in a one-hour riding lesson specifically tailored to their ability and experience. Campers will also be able to learn from and watch the blacksmith, equine veterinarian and dentist. The afternoons include fun filled horse themed activities and traditional day camp activities like arts & crafts, sports on the spacious lawns surrounding the barn and special nature activities including weekly visits from the Bergen Audubon Society who will provide environmental education.
YWCA Camp Soquili is open to Bergen County residents and Non-Residents. Pre and post camp is also available on site from 8:00 am to 9:00 am and 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Special incentive rates include 2 weeks of free pre-camp or 1 week of free post camp when registering campers for 2 or more weeks with full payment made prior to camper start date.
Interested families can visit or contact Mary Agnello at 201-444-5600, ext. 352. YWCA Bergen County is a proud partner of the National Inclusion Project.