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State Board of Medical Examiners Temporarily Suspends License of NJGREENMD

cheech and chong up in smoke

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Rutherford NJ, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced today that the State Board of Medical Examiners (“the Board”) has temporarily suspended the license of a physician participating in the State’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (“MMP”) amid allegations he created a multimillion dollar enterprise by indiscriminately authorizing marijuana use for thousands of patients he met in hotel conference centers across the state.

Dr. Anthony Anzalone, 66, who has been a registered participant in the MMP since 2012, must wind down his medical practice within the next 30 days and cease practicing medicine altogether on February 8, under the terms of an Interim Consent Order he entered with the Board on Wednesday. His license will remain temporarily suspended until the allegations against him are resolved.

“State legislatures may relax their laws against marijuana – and many already have – but there are limits to what state law allows, and the public should know that we vigorously enforce those limits to protect public safety and prevent unlawful distribution,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We allege that Dr. Anzalone failed to adhere to even the most fundamental rules of New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program, a program carefully regulated to meet the public’s need for compassionate treatment alternatives while preventing unlawful marijuana distribution and use. We expect physicians to abide by the rules and regulations of their profession, no matter what kind of medicine they are practicing.”

In a Verified Complaint filed with the Board, the State alleges that Anzalone, who advertises as “NJGreenMD,” engaged in fraud, gross negligence, and professional misconduct by indiscriminately authorizing medicinal marijuana to large groups of people who attended conferences he held in hotels around the state, charging each an initial consultation fee of $350 and subsequently charging each quarterly fees of $100 for continued authorization of the drug.

The State alleges that Anzalone’s marijuana practice was inherently impersonal and detached from any effort to individualize care. At the hotel conferences he held, Anzalone typically discussed medicinal marijuana generally with the group and then relied on his staff, who were not trained in the field of medicine, to register these individuals in the MMP with 90-day supplies of the drug, to instruct the patients on use and storage of the drug, and to obtain the initial consultation fee, typically paid in cash, the state alleges.

In order to expand his patient base and increase his revenues, Dr. Anzalone routinely registered patients who would not qualify for the MMP because they lacked a debilitating condition as defined by regulations, or fabricated debilitating conditions to qualify them, the State alleges.

Since registering for the program, Anzalone has authorized nearly 3,250 patients for medicinal marijuana. He currently has about 2,077 active patients, while most of the physicians registered with the MMP have an average of 45 patients, according to the Verified Complaint.

“We allege that Dr. Anzalone exploited his patients and the MMP for his own gain, completely disregarding the regulations meant to protect patients and promote the efficacious use of medicinal marijuana,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “By temporarily suspending Dr. Anzalone from practicing medicine, we are making it clear that we will not allow unscrupulous doctors to enrich themselves at the expense of the safety and welfare of their patients and the public.”

The New Jersey Department of Health, which administers the MMP, will provide assistance to patients affected by Anzalone’s temporary suspension.

“The Department of Health’s Medicinal Marijuana Program will assist patients who need help transitioning to a new physician,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal. “Patients can search for a participating physician by county on our website or call our customer service unit at 609-292-0424 for assistance in finding physicians.”

The Medicinal Marijuana Program was established under New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, a law that offers legal protection to individuals who are seriously ill and require marijuana as an alternative treatment for certain, defined, qualifying conditions.

Under regulations promulgated by the DOH and the Board, physicians are required to register with the DOH to participate in the MMP. Participating physicians must have an active New Jersey medical license issued by the Board of Medical Examiners, an active Controlled Dangerous Substance registration, and a bona fide relationship with participating patients. Participating physicians – there are currently 865 – are authorized to certify patients with certain medical conditions to receive marijuana at one of the six dispensaries permitted by the MMP.

Anzalone, who specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology, was among the first doctors to register for the MMP program and has since limited his practice to the MMP.

The Enforcement Bureau of the Division of Consumer Affairs opened an investigation into Anzalone and his practice based on a referral from DOH following the MMP’s receipt of numerous consumer complaints against him.

The State alleges that undercover State investigators posing as patients seeking medicinal marijuana, as well as several actual patients who had made complaints about Anzalone, confirmed that the doctor “practices with little regard for patient privacy, and in a manner inconsistent with the bona fide physician-patient relationship requirement,” according to the Verified Complaint.

According to the Verified Complaint, Anzalone failed to comply with MMP regulations in his treatment of four actual patients and two undercover investigators posing as patients by, among other things:

  • providing a certification and written instructions to a patient for the medical use of marijuana with whom he does not maintain a bona fide physician-patient relationship;
  • failing to perform a comprehensive medical history and physical examination of the patient to determine if that patient suffers from a debilitating medical condition qualifying him or her to receive medicinal marijuana;
  • failing to assess the patient’s qualifying condition at least every three months; and
  • failing to keep accurate and complete records pertaining to his medical marijuana treatment.

Under the terms of the Interim Consent Order, Anzalone is prohibited from registering new patients into the MMP or beginning any new treatment in any specialty of medicine, including Obstetrics and Gynecology, during the 30-day wind down period.

During the wind-down, he may provide only one 30-day medicinal marijuana renewal to existing patients who are due for renewals within the wind-down period, and only after he conducts an in-person, private physical examination of the patient to ensure that the medicinal marijuana renewal is medically necessary and appropriate for the patient’s MMP qualifying debilitating condition. He also must create records, according to MMP and Board regulations, documenting these encounters, and including findings that support his decision to renew medicinal marijuana. Anzalone is prohibited from increasing fees for these consultations beyond his customary $100 charge.

During the wind-down period Anzalone also must cooperate with the DOH in transitioning patients who wish to continue MMP care to other MMP registered physicians, including informing his patients that he is temporarily barred from the MMP.

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North Group 5 State Championship Today At MetLife Stadium Ridgewood vs Piscataway

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ ,The North Group 5 title is on the line when Ridgewood and Piscataway meet at 10 a.m. Saturday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
At 12-0, Piscataway is considered perhaps the best public school team in New Jersey. They have rolled through the season winning games by an average of 33 points.
The 9-2 Maroons have won six straight, including a dominating performance against Montclair to win their fifth sectional title two weeks ago.

North Group 5 State Championship  game will take place this Saturday, December 1 at 10:00 AM at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Go Maroons!

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8:00 P.M.
1. Call to Order – Mayor
2. Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act
3. Roll Call – Village Clerk
4. Flag Salute and Moment of Silence
5. Acceptance of Financial Reports
6. Approval of Minutes
7. Proclamations
8. Comments from the Public (Not to exceed 3 minutes per person – 40 minutes in total)
9. Village Manager’s Report
10. Village Council Reports


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Rutherford Voters Reject Proposed $53M Vanity Schools Referendum

rhsweb 01

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Rutherford NJ, according to Matthew Gibson,  this referendum was not to “fix schools” it was to make superficial changes like a taxpayer funded turf field for lacrosse and do things which would not affect education at all.

Gibson commented ,”They wanted to spend $53 million, of which about approximately $0 was for education. $5 million to literally bulldoze the high school poll, another $5 million to replace it with a new cafeteria. $2.5 million to turf some open space behind the HS, $3+ million to remove a playground and my personal favorite building new chemistry labs without windows which is totally safe”

Referendum Rejected

Dear Parents, Students, Faculty, and Staff,

The Rutherford community has voted to reject the proposed $53M referendum to improve our school facilities. While this is a disappointing result, we still need to provide adequate space for our growing enrollment and create environments to support our students academically. We will examine our plan to determine if there is a less encompassing alternative that could still give us more classroom space and make the district compliant with federal and state mandates, even if it does not fulfill all of our needs.

Thank you to all of the voters who became informed and supported the proposal.


Jack Hurley, Superintendent of Schools

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Bergen Judge Orders Former East Rutherford Republican off the Democratic Ballot


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

East Rutherford NJ, The Record newspaper reported on Friday, September 28, 2018 that East Rutherford Councilman Jeffrey Lahullier will not be allowed on November’s ballot, and local Democrats will have only one candidate for two open council seats this election.

A Superior Court judge ruled Friday in favor of Republican council candidate Joel Brizzi in his suit against Lahullier, the Bergen County Clerk and the East Rutherford Democratic County Committee to block the incumbent’s candidacy.

Continue reading Bergen Judge Orders Former East Rutherford Republican off the Democratic Ballot

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NJ Transit : Beginning Sunday, October 14th, select trains will be temporarily discontinued or have changes of origin/destination.


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  Progress continues on the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) equipment on NJ TRANSIT’s rail fleet to meet federal year-end milestones, requiring NJ TRANSIT to make a final set of rail service adjustments. The temporary discontinuation of some trains and modified times and origin/destination points are necessary to accommodate installation of PTC hardware on additional locomotives and cab control cars.

“Our customers will always be our first priority, and their experience must be safe and consistent. We thoughtfully reviewed all trains that are part of this adjustment and found the most reasonable alternatives,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Kevin Corbett.

To proactively address the potential service adjustment impacts, NJ TRANSIT will offer a 10-percent discount on all NJ TRANSIT rail tickets and passes for travel in November, December and January while the mandated hardware installation is completed.

Continue reading NJ Transit : Beginning Sunday, October 14th, select trains will be temporarily discontinued or have changes of origin/destination.

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Judge Issues TRO Halting Bergen County Ballot Printing; Republicans Vow To Fight County Democratic Machine Trying to Muscle A Candidate On To The East Rutherford Ballot


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

East Rutherford NJ, The Bergen County Republican Organization Chairman Jack Zisa said his organization is supporting the efforts of East Rutherford Republicans Joel Brizzi and Tom Banca to keep turncoat Councilman Jeff Lahullier off the November ballot after the County Clerk’s office reversed itself on the validity of Lahullier’s candidacy.

Continue reading Judge Issues TRO Halting Bergen County Ballot Printing; Republicans Vow To Fight County Democratic Machine Trying to Muscle A Candidate On To The East Rutherford Ballot

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Opioid Town Hall invitation1

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Rutherford NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announces the second in a series of quarterly Community Conversations to be held in Bergen County. Members of the community are invited to attend a town hall meeting titled “Athletes, Injuries, and Pain: A Discussion of Alternatives to Opioids” on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at Rutherford High School.


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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of YOURGHI TURKMANY (DOB: 5/15/98; single; and unemployed) of 31 Kent Street, Apt. 1, Newark, NJ. The arrest is the result of a month-long investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Milford, Washington Township, Oradell, Ridgewood, Ramsey, Franklin Lakes, Rutherford, Montvale, Piscataway, Newark, and Middlesex Borough Police Departments.


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Sierra Club: Governor Murphy is out there touting New Jersey’s biggest land-use and financial failure of the last 20 years


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

East Rutherford  NJ, Today Governor Murphy stood alongside developers to promote the American Dream mega-mall proposal in the Meadowlands. The American Dream proposal includes 109 acres being added to the Paterson Plank Road Redevelopment Area. This project with a mall and entertainment complex was supposed to open years ago. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority would give the final approval on which properties would be added for redevelopment. The Meadowlands is an extremely environmentally sensitive and flood-prone area and the New Jersey Sierra Club opposes this development.

Continue reading Sierra Club: Governor Murphy is out there touting New Jersey’s biggest land-use and financial failure of the last 20 years

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Xanadu : Governor Murphy Touts American Dream Investment in New Jersey’s Economy


the staff of the Ridgewood

EAST RUTHERFORD NJ,  Recognizing the economic significance of the American Dream project to the State and New Jersey’s working families, Governor Phil Murphy today visited with construction workers at the three million square foot entertainment, retail and dining complex. The Governor expressed his appreciation to the men and women of the building construction trades and the Bergen County Building & Construction Trades Council for their contributions to the growth and expansion of New Jersey’s economy.

Continue reading Xanadu : Governor Murphy Touts American Dream Investment in New Jersey’s Economy

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August 1,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  To accommodate the lane closures necessary as part of the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) rehabilitation of the Route 495 Bridge over Routes 1&9 and Paterson Plank Road in North Bergen, several NJ TRANSIT local bus routes will require detours.

The Exclusive Bus Lane (XBL) will be maintained weekday mornings (6 a.m. – 10 a.m.) throughout the construction.

Beginning Friday night, August 10, the 31st Street ramp from Kennedy Boulevard to Route 495 westbound will be closed with traffic detoured onto Paterson Plank Road, directly affecting NJ TRANSIT’s local service on 18 bus routes requiring detours in the afternoon and at night. A week later, on Friday, August 17, one lane of Route 495 in each direction will be closed, limiting the roadway capacity and causing severe congestion. The construction requiring detours is anticipated to last approximately two and a half years.

· Buses will operate their regular routing westbound along 31st Street through Union City the entire span of the day.

· All current Union City bus stops on 31st Street will be served, including both Bergenline Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard.

· Between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekdays, all NJ TRANSIT Buses using the 31st Street ramp will follow regular routes and continue to have access to Route 495 westbound.

· All buses between 1 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning will continue to use the 31st Street ramp but will be detoured onto Paterson Plank Road.

· Delays through Union City are anticipated due to increased traffic volume, and customers should plan accordingly for these delays.

Buses may encounter conditions that result in significant delays in the outbound direction during both the morning and evening peak periods.


The following bus routes will be detoured between 1 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily during construction:

No. 87 Jersey City-Hoboken

No. 107 South Orange-New York

No. 108 Newark-New York

No. 111 New York-IKEA-Jersey Gardens

No. 124 Secaucus-New York

No. 127S Ridgefield-Union City-New York

No. 129 Secaucus-Union City-New York

No. 144 Elmwood Park-Hackensack-New York

No. 160 Elmwood Park-Wallington-New York

No. 161 Paterson-Passaic-New York

No. 163 Ridgewood-New York

No. 167 Harrington Park-Teaneck-New York

No. 190X Paterson-Rutherford-New York

No. 190 (local) Paterson-Rutherford-New York

No. 191 Willowbrook-Montclair-New York

No. 192 Clifton-New York

No. 195 Willowbrook-Cedar Grove-New York

No. 199 Clifton-Lyndhurst-New York

The following bus routes do not require a detour, but are expected to be impacted by delays due to increased traffic congestion:

No. 83 Hackensack-Jersey City-Journal Square

No. 85 Mill Creek-Harmon Meadow-Hoboken

No. 127 (regular) Ridgefield-Union City-New York

No. 320 Mill Creek-North Bergen Park & Ride-New York (a detour will be necessary in later stages and information will be provided in advance)

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The World Cup final will be held at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey in 2026

Met life stadium 1

June 14,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

East Rutherford NJ, For the first time in 32 years, the men’s World Cup is coming back to North America. FIFA’s 200-plus member associations gathered in Moscow on Wednesday and voted to award 2026 World Cup hosting rights to the United States, Canada and Mexico.

In a coup for the Trump administration , 60 of 80 games will be in the United States, with 10 apiece in Canada and Mexico. Those 60 include every game from the quarterfinals onward. Canada and Mexico have proposed three host cities each: Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton will stage games north of the U.S. border, while Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey will be match sites down south.
The U.S. has proposed the Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.) for the opener; Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta) and AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Tex.) for semifinals; and New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.) for the final , which will have a capacity of more than 87,000 for the event. Unlike this year, the United States will automatically qualify for the World Cup as a host country.
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March 24,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog


Hackensack NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced today the results of “Operation Helping Hand 4” – the fourth phase of an innovative law enforcement and public health initiative targeting the heroin and opioid crisis in Bergen County. The initiative was led by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office (“BCPO”), under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Calo and Chief of Detectives Robert Anzilotti, in coordination with Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III and Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino. Held from March 12 through 16, 2018, the initiative brought together Bergen County law enforcement from 30 agencies, Recovery Specialists from Children’s Aid and Family Services, clinicians and specialists from the Bergen County Department of Health Services, Division of Addiction Services, and professionals from New Bridge Medical Center to offer help to those suffering from the disease of addiction in Bergen County.

During the initiative, 37 individuals were arrested and brought to the BCPO to be processed. After they were issued summonses, largely for heroin possession, they were offered an opportunity to speak to a Recovery Specialist – a recovering addict, who has been clean and is trained to help them find treatment. This offer of help was in addition to, not in lieu of, criminal charges.

If the individual requested help, a trained clinician from the Bergen County Division of Addiction Services assessed him/her to determine the appropriate level of care and treatment needed. The clinicians, working closely with the Recovery Specialists and representatives from New Bridge Medical Center, then made arrangements for treatment, and law enforcement transported the individual to treatment.

Of the 37 individuals arrested during Operation Helping Hand 4, 19 have so far availed themselves of the treatment option, including 12 who are currently in 5-day detox programs, mostly at New Bridge Medical Center. As those individuals complete detox, longer-term treatment options are being arranged for them and their progress is being tracked by the Recovery Specialists. For those who did not avail themselves of treatment, the Recovery Specialists remain in touch with many of them and are prepared to offer help whenever they are ready to seek it.

A multi-jurisdictional task force comprised of law enforcement officers from the following agencies, under the direction of BCPO Chief Anzilotti, participated in the initiative: Bergen County Sheriff’s Office; Bergenfield Police Department; Cliffside Park Police Department; Clifton Police Department; Dumont Police Department; East Rutherford Police Department; Englewood Police Department; Elmwood Park Police Department; Fair Lawn Police Department; Garfield Police Department; Glen Rock Police Department; Hackensack Police Department; Lyndhurst Police Department; Mahwah Police Department; Morris County Prosecutor’s Office; New Milford Police Department; Norwood Police Department; Paramus Police Department; Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office; Paterson Police Department; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Ridgefield Park Police Department; Saddle River Police Department; Tenafly Police Department; Union County Prosecutor’s Office; Upper Saddle River Police Department and the Westwood Police Department.

Statistics compiled by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office indicate an increase in opioid use and drug overdoses in Bergen County from 2016 to the present. A preliminary analysis of overdose data by the BCPO Intel Unit and Narcotics Task Force revealed the following with respect to 2017:
507 total reported overdoses, 416 of which are currently identified as heroin/opioid-related.
Of the 308 reported overdoses, 131 were fatal overdoses; 111 of those were identified as heroin/opioid-related.
325 deployments of Narcan, the overdose reversal drug, by law enforcement officers, resulting in 245 lives saved. (Note: there were many other deployments – by parents, friends, family members, EMTs and in the ER that are not accounted for in this )

Acting Prosecutor Dennis Calo stated that “Operation Helping Hand 4 is part of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Bergen County law enforcement’s continuing effort to combat the opioid epidemic and help those who are affected by it. The Operation demonstrates the close cooperation of law enforcement, County government and Bergen County social service organizations in the fight against this epidemic and the results that are possible through that cooperation. We will continue the fight.”

Acting Prosecutor Calo would like to thank the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, the Bergen County Executive, New Bridge Medical Center, Children’s Aid and Family Services, the Bergen County Department of Health Services, Division of Addiction Services, as well as all the participating law enforcement agencies for their assistance with this initiative.

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ridgewood bus station

file photo

Beverages will not be permitted on any train, light rail vehicle or bus

March 16,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, NJ TRANSIT will operate extra bus service on selected routes to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) on Saturday, March 17, to accommodate customers traveling to the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. Trains will operate on a regular weekend schedule. Newark Light Rail will operate on a Saturday schedule. Hudson-Bergen Light Rail will operate on a weekend schedule.

IMPORTANT NOTE: No beverages of any kind, in any type of container, open or closed, will be permitted on board trains, buses or light rail vehicles on Saturday, March 17, and Sunday, March 18. This policy will be strictly enforced.

NJ TRANSIT will have Ambassadors on hand at Secaucus Junction, Aberdeen/Matawan, Middletown, N.J., and Penn Station New York to assist customers traveling to/from the parade in New York City.

Extra trips to and from New York will be offered on the following bus routes:

To New York – PABT:

No. 163 (Ridgewood – New York) additional local trips from Hackensack (Summit Ave. and Essex St.) to PABT from 8:20 a.m. until 11:20 a.m. operating via the Boulevard in Hasbrouck Heights, Wood-Ridge, Carlstadt, and East Rutherford.

From New York – PABT:

No. 163 (New York – Ridgewood) additional local service from PABT to Hackensack (Arcola in Paramus) operating local route through East Rutherford, Carlstadt, Wood-Ridge, Hasbrouck Heights and Hackensack every hour beginning at 3:15 p.m. to 10:15 p.m.

Travel Tips

Ticketing: To speed your return, purchase round-trip tickets at the start of your trip from bus operators inbound to New York or at ticket vending machines where available. Bus customers departing Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) are reminded that tickets must be purchased before boarding the bus.
Allow Extra Travel Time: Traffic congestion before and after the parade may affect bus travel times to New York City. Customers should plan accordingly.
Parking: Customers traveling from Park/Rides at Allwood Road, North Bergen, Willowbrook Mall, Mothers and Wayne/Route 23 Transit Center are advised that parking fees still apply.
IMPORTANT NOTE: No beverages, in any type of container, open or closed, will be permitted on any train to and from New York/Hoboken. This policy will be strictly enforced. Beverages of any kind are prohibited at all times on board buses.