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Bergen County Technical Schools Launches Recipe Book for Food Pantries

Chard Gruyre Egg in the Hole 6ada934b

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Paramus NJ, This week, the Bergen County Technical Schools launched a website in partnership with the Bergen County Food Security Task Force featuring recipes and instructional videos on how to make creative meals out of food commonly received in the boxes provided by food pantries.

Continue reading Bergen County Technical Schools Launches Recipe Book for Food Pantries

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County Sheriff Sued Over Contamination at the Bergen County Police Academy Gun Range

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino

January 11,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Mahwah NJ, the Bergen Record reports ( ) a lawsuit claims that not only did county officials know about the contamination at the Bergen County Police Academy gun range, but that they actively squashed an investigation into alleged crimes by those who led the dumping.

The law suit alleges the famed “double dipper” and “party changer” Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino retaliated against Frank Carrafiello and other officers who investigated the soil remediation project. The suit names not only Saudino, but the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office , the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the Bergen county government .

The suit claims that Sheriff Saudino demoted officers, forced others to retire and changed the assignments of those officers who investigated the remediation.

The New Jersey Sierra Club and Mahwah officials outlined the contamination at the Bergen County Law and Public Safety Institute. They also said the county allegedly announced lead bullet casing and other potentially toxic materials to be dumped on the site for about a year.

Jeff Tittel, executive director of the Sierra Club, said the materials oxidized and broke down, possibly seeping into the groundwater and nearby streams, the Ramapo River and the Ramapo Aquifer, which provides drinking water to thousands of people.

A Bergen County spokeswoman claims in April that County Executive James Tedesco’s administration “took swift and immediate action upon learning of the potential environmental issue at the Law and Public Safety Institute shooting range located in Mahwah.”

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Battle is brewing over law enforcement salaries in Bergen County



A battle is brewing in Bergen County over law enforcement salaries, with a police union claiming that its contract was violated when a controversial plan to combine the Sheriff’s Office and County Police was enacted.

The gambit, if successful, could lead to higher raises and back pay for its members.

At stake is a chunk of the $3 million that County Executive James Tedesco says has been saved thus far by folding the county force into the Sheriff’s Office last year.

At issue is a clause in the current agreement between PBA Local 49 and the county — a so-called “poison pill” — which calls for the contract to revert to earlier terms if the county police are merged into the Sheriff’s Office.

In recent weeks the union, which represents the former County Police, filed three grievances that were released following an Open Public Records request: one of them saying officers had been merged and earlier salary provisions should be activated.

The county says the grievance is without merit, maintaining that there has been a “realignment” of services. The former Bergen County Police Department now operates as the Bureau of Police Services under the Sheriff’s Office. Tedesco noted in a statement that the department remains “a distinct operating unit, which now reports to the Bergen County sheriff rather than the county executive.”

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Taxes Up in Bergen County freeholders’ proposed budget


file photo County Executive James Tedesco at Civility Forum in Ridgewood

MAY 28, 2015    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2015, 12:13 AM

The Bergen County freeholders introduced a 2015 county budget Wednesday that slices just over $1 million from the fiscal plan proposed last month by County Executive James Tedesco.

By a unanimous, bipartisan vote, the board gave initial approval to a $530 million budget that would add $10.73 to the tax bill for the owner of an average home, assessed at $324,200.

The budget increases the county tax levy by about 4.3 percent.

Wednesday’s vote was in sharp contrast to last year, when the budget became one of the issues in the county executive race.

At the time, County Executive Kathleen Donovan, a Republican, accused the Democratic freeholders of using “election year smoke and mirrors” to prevent any tax hike.

Donovan lost her reelection bid to Tedesco, then a freeholder.

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Bergen County Mosquito Control officials unleash larvae-eating Gambusia fish in battle against mosquitoes


April 28,2015
the staff of the Ridgewood blog ,Bergen County Mosquito Control and County Executive James Tedesco

“This morning, I went with County Public Works and Mosquito Control officials, as well as Freeholder Tom Sullivan, to release Gambusia fish into a marshy area known for mosquito breeding. These fish eat mosquito larvae and help reduce the mosquito population in our county.” County Executive James Tedesco

Ridgewood NJ, Bergen County Mosquito Control Program is based on a system of  “Integrated Pest Management” consisting of surveillance source reduction, water management, and biological and chemical control.

Mosquito Control in Bergen County is an ongoing, year round program.

In early spring, the surveillance and application program begins. Surveillance entails looking for larvae and applying materials to prevent hatching. After the pre-season is completed, a regularly scheduled inspection and control program begins in the eleven districts covering the 70 municipalities.

Nearly 4000 specific breeding sites are routinely inspected and larvae is collected and identified. If mosquito larvae is found, Bacillus Thuringiensis (BTI) is applied. BTI is a selected larvicide which affects mosquito and black fly larvae and causes no harm to :

Beneficial insects
Marine life

During the warmer months, mosquito breeding habitats are stocked with Gambusia, a small fish with a hearty appetite for mosquito larvae. During this time a variety of traps are installed county-wide to monitor the adult mosquito population.

Adulticiding to control the adult population is only done when necessary, from a truck or hand held unit, not by helicopter, in response to adult mosquito surveillance and identification.

The NJ State Mosquito Control Commission funds a Biological Control Program which uses five species of mosquito-eating fish which are raised at the DEP’s Division of Fish, and Wildlife’s Charles O. Hayford Hatchery in Hackettstown.

These fish are distributed at no charge to county mosquito control agencies. Where practical, these fish control mosquito populations and reduce the need for pesticides.

During the winter months, hand labor and heavy equipment is used to clear and desilt ditches, streams and ponds to allow for free movement of water. Tide-gates and dikes are inspected and repaired to prevent flooding of low-lying areas and water in ditches and brooks are lowered to minimize mosquito breeding.

Bergen County Executive James Tedesco Encourages Residents to Take Simple Precautions

It’s time to take important steps to protect yourself and your family against West Nile Virus (WNV) infection and mosquito annoyance in general.

WNV is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, so it’s important to take steps to prevent getting mosquito bites and to clean or remove items on your property that can serve as mosquito breeding grounds.

Individuals can take a number of measures around the home to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas, including:

• Dispose of cans, buckets, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers that hold water on your property.
• Properly dispose of discarded tires that can collect water. Stagnant water is where most mosquitoes breed.
• Drill drainage holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers.
• Clean clogged roof gutters every year, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees tend to plug drains.
• Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
• Turn over wheelbarrows and don’t let water stagnate in birdbaths.
• Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools not in use and remove any water that may collect on pool covers.

For stagnant pools of water, homeowners can buy Bti products at lawn and garden, outdoor supply, home improvement and other stores. This naturally occurring bacteria kills mosquito larva, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.

Additionally, these simple precautions can prevent mosquito bites, particularly for people who are most at risk:

• Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of homes.

• Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, or in areas known for having large numbers of mosquitoes.

• When possible, reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk during peak mosquito periods, usually April through October.

• Use insect repellants according to the manufacturer’s instructions. An effective repellant will contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician if you have questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellant is not recommended for children under the age of two months.

WNV is an arboviral disease which people can acquire through the bite of a mosquito that has fed on an infected bird. WNV is not directly transmitted from birds to humans. About one in 150 persons, or less than 1 percent of those infected with West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of the disease. Symptoms of more serious illness include severe headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.

The elderly are at higher risk of more severe disease. Bergen County’s WNV surveillance, control, and prevention activities involve the coordinated efforts of a number of federal, state and local agencies. These include DHSS, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Mosquito Control Commission, the Rutgers Center for Vector Biology, local and Bergen County Health Departments, and of course our Bergen County Department of Public Works Division of Mosquito Control.

For more information about mosquito control in Bergen County,
call the Health Hotline: 201-225-7000 or visit the website:

To contact the Bergen County Division of Mosquito Control about a mosquito problem, call 201-634-2880.

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Tedesco: Surprise, Surprise, Bergen County Justice Center to cost more than expected


APRIL 20, 2015, 4:46 PM    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2015, 4:47 PM

The new Bergen County Justice Center – the biggest public works project in the county’s history – will cost more than the original $147 million price tag, County Executive James Tedesco said.

The new Department of Public Works facility in Paramus, part of the overall project, will wind up costing more than anticipated when the bonds to pay for it were approved by the freeholders in a unanimous vote in April 2014, he said.

Tedesco said he does not yet know how much more money will be needed. The county will have to borrow more or cut back on renovation of the historic 103-year-old court house in Hackensack, the final phase of the project.

The first two phases include a new six-story Justice Center on Court Street that will house the County Prosecutor’s office, the Sheriff’s Office and the Probation Department; and a five-story parking deck and new DPW garage on River Street in Hackensack.

The garage on River Street is largely completed. The last slab of pre-cast concrete for the parking deck on Court Street was installed last week, and the new Justice Center building is under construction and should be completed by November 2016.

The DPW complex in Paramus – which features bays where 30,000-pound vehicles can be lifted – originally was set to be completed this spring. That opening has been pushed to later this summer, Tedesco said.

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Bergen County freeholders approve government reorganization; set up monitor for fraud and waste



file photo County Executive James Tedesco in Ridgewood 

Bergen County freeholders approve government reorganization; set up monitor for fraud and waste

MARCH 25, 2015, 9:35 PM    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2015, 9:38 PM

The Bergen County freeholders on Wednesday approved a sweeping reorganization plan for how county government works, including creation of an inspector general post that will investigate for waste and fraud.

In a unanimous, bipartisan vote, the board approved the 21-page rewrite of the county administrative code, which serves as a rule book for how county government operates.

County Executive James Tedesco requested the changes, calling them the most extensive since voters approved the county executive form of government in November 1985.

Tedesco said previously that the changes will make county government more efficient without adding costs. He said the inspector general work will go to one of the attorneys already working in the county counsel’s office.

Chuck Powers, president of Bergen Grassroots, a citizens group that successfully pushed for pay-to-play limits on county campaign contributions, welcomed the new position.

“I think it’s a very exceedingly important development for this county,” Powers said.