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Stockton Poll Finds Inflation Taking Some of the Cheer Out of Holiday Spending and Travel

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Galloway NJ, Inflation is making the holidays a bit less merry, as many in New Jersey are cutting back on gift-giving or seasonal travel, according to a Stockton University Poll released Monday.

Continue reading Stockton Poll Finds Inflation Taking Some of the Cheer Out of Holiday Spending and Travel

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Village of Ridgewood 2022 Calendars Out First Week of January 2022

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Village Calendars for 2022 should be delivered to all Ridgewood residences during the first full week of January – The Village calendar lists all sanitation, recycling, and yard waste pickups (spring through early fall). In addition, all meetings of the Village Council, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, and Library Board of Trustees are listed on the calendar; and the Holidays that Village offices are closed are also listed.  The January 2022 calendar is also found in the 2021 calendar, on the page after the December calendar.
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Toys ‘R’ Us To Open US Flagship Store in the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

East Rutherford NJ, Toys R Us  is back , the retail franchise, which closed in 2018, is reopening in New Jersey , likely at some point in December, ahead of the holidays . Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and shut its doors throughout the country in 2018 but collaborated with department store Macy’s to continue sales.

Continue reading Toys ‘R’ Us To Open US Flagship Store in the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford

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Ars Musica Chorale presents We Saw the Star: An Ars Musica Holiday!

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ars Musica Chorale invites you to the first concert of their 2020-21 season, We Saw the Star: An Ars Musica Holiday, under the baton of Music Director, Brian Mummert, at West Side Presbyterian Church, Ridgewood, New Jersey, on Saturday, December 4, 2021, 7:00 p.m. 

Continue reading Ars Musica Chorale presents We Saw the Star: An Ars Musica Holiday!

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AAA estimates that 1 in 3 Americans will be traveling this holiday season


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hackensack NJ, a reminder from the Hackensack Police Department : 
AAA estimates that 1 in 3 Americans will be traveling this holiday season. If you’re one of those people who will be hitting the road, we encourage you to take a few minutes to review these safety tips:
1. Make sure your home is secure. If you have an alarm system, check the batteries, and don’t forget to enable the alarm before you leave. Consider having a friend or neighbor check in on your home while you’re away.
2. If you’re planning to travel by car, get your car inspected and/or serviced before your trip. Prepare an emergency kit which should include jumper cables, flares or a reflective triangle, an ice scraper, a blanket, a cell phone charger, and a map. Plan your drive ahead of time and know alternative routes.
3. If you’ll be traveling by plane, review TSA’s travel tips: Share your itinerary with friends and family, and don’t forget to pack a small emergency kit that includes a flashlight, batteries, and a USB power bank.
4. If you’ll be traveling with a pet, be sure to add a few items to your emergency kit such as water and pet food. You may also want to consider including a toy or blanket to help alleviate stress.
If you have additional tips you’d like to share with your neighbors, please respond in the comments. Safe travels!

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The Ridgewood Police would also like to warn residents of the increased amount of Thefts, Identity Thefts and Frauds during the holidays

Ridgewood Guild's Winterfest 2016

December 22,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood Nj, As the holidays are rapidly approaching the Ridgewood Police Department would like wish everyone a safe and joyous holiday season. The Ridgewood Police would also like to warn residents of the increased amount of Thefts, Identity Thefts and Frauds during the holidays. A common scam the Ridgewood Police have become alert to involves The Fraud Watch Network through AARP has provided a bulletin for awareness for Holiday Shoppers. See for more information.

Here are three recent examples:

On December 18, a Highland Avenue resident responded to Ridgewood Police headquarters to report being the victim of a Theft by Deception. The victim reported he received a phone call from an anonymous caller on December 17, who reported a family member had been arrested in Smithfield, Rhode Island and was in need of bail money. The caller advised the victim to contact the “Public Defender,” “Bernie Wall,” to arrange bail. The victim reported he made contact with “Mr. Wall” and then wired $1500 to a Walmart in Warwick, Rhode Island and later discovered the caller created a false impression of arrest.

Ptl. Kyle Monton responded to Garfield Place to investigate a Theft of Impersonation on December 15. Upon arrival the resident reported they were the victim of identity theft. The victim reported receiving a letter in the mail containing an Amazon Rewards credit card with her name on it and immediately contacted Chase Bank to cancel the card. Chase Bank reported there was no balance on the card.

A Linwood Avenue resident responded to Ridgewood Police headquarters on December 16, to report Identity Theft. The victim reported an unknown person opened a T-Mobile account without authorization utilizing the victim’s social security number. T-Mobile is reported to be investigating the incident

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Fun Facts about Barbecue


Who barbecues

Barbecues have been a White House tradition since Thomas Jefferson. Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, hosted the first barbecue at the White House that featured Texas-style barbecued ribs. Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter hosted a “pig pickin’” for about 500 guests including visiting foreign dignitaries. Ronald and Nancy Reagan also were avid barbecuers who entertained with barbecues at their ranch. George H. Bush, 41st president, held a barbecue for Members of Congress annually on the South Lawn of the White House, a tradition continued by his son, President George W. Bush. However, that tradition was interrupted on September 12, 2001, the day after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Secret Service agents, who had evacuated the White House a day earlier, cancelled the barbecue and the White House kitchen released 700 pounds of beef tenderloin to feed the hundreds of rescue workers who had traveled to Washington.

When we barbecue

The most popular holidays for barbecuing are, in order, July 4th (76 percent), Memorial Day (62 percent), and Labor Day (62 percent).

What we barbecue

According to HPBA’s 2013 survey data (the most recent year this data was collected),

The most popular foods for cooking on the grill are, in order: burgers (85 percent), steak (80 percent), hot dogs (79 percent) and chicken (73 percent).
The side dishes most commonly prepared on the grill are, in order, corn (41 percent), potatoes (41 percent), and other vegetables (32 percent).
The most popular flavors of barbecue sauce are hickory, followed by mesquite, honey, and then spicy-hot.

How we barbecue

There are about as many styles of barbecuing as there are opinions – everyone’s got their own! Generally speaking, though, there are barbecue styles that dominate in different regions of the country. In the Carolinas, they can’t agree whether sauce should be vinegar, mustard or tomato based, but they can agree on the meat the sauce goes on – pork. In the Deep South, Georgia, Florida, and parts of Louisiana, you’ll find that Cajun cuisine has had a strong influence. Regardless of whether you’re barbecuing beef brisket, pork ribs, rabbit, or trout, chances are your taste buds will get a kick from a spicy marinade, sauce, or rub. In other parts of the South, pork also rules. In sunny California, lighter fare such as salmon is king of the grill. The Midwest is a barbecue hotbed – if you can’t find a meat and sauce combination you like in Kansas City, you can’t find it anywhere.

Our Utensils

Nearly half of all owners own the most basic grilling accessories (cleaning brush, tongs, glove/mitts), and many plan to purchase more specialized accessories in the year ahead, such as:

Pizza stone (14%)
Fish or broiling basket (14%)
Cedar or other cooking planks (14%)
Motorized rotisserie (12%)
Grill woks (11%)

Our Fuels

Ellsworth B. A. Zwoyer of Pennsylvania patented a design for charcoal briquettes in 1897. After World War I, the Zwoyer Fuel Company built charcoal briquette manufacturing plants in the United States with plants in Buffalo, NY and Fall River, MA.

There are stories circulating that Henry Ford invented the very first briquette in 1920 with the help of Thomas Edison. However, the 1897 patent obviously predates this and Ford and Edison both knew Zwoyer.

Natural lump charcoal costs a bit more than charcoal briquettes, but it burns hotter, which means you use less – and partially burned natural lump charcoal can be reused. Briquettes work better for long cooking periods and they produce more consistent heat.
It’s easy to check how much propane is remaining in your tank. When using a gas grill, be sure to regularly check how much propane remains in your tank. There are several accessories on the market that can easily monitor your propane level without lifting the propane tank. Better yet, keep a full, spare propane tank handy so you never run out of fuel.

Barbecue History

There is no definitive history about how the word “barbecue” originated – or why it’s sometimes used as a noun, verb, or adjective. Some say the Spaniards get the credit for the word, derived from their “barbacoa” which is an American-Indian word for the framework of green wood on which foods were placed for cooking over hot coals. Others think the French were responsible, offering the explanation that when the Caribbean pirates arrived on our Southern shores, they cooked animals on a spit-like devise that ran from “whiskers to tail” or “de barbe a` queue.”
Competition barbecuing is one of the hottest hobbies in the country with hundreds of cook-offs held throughout all 50 states. The biggest and most famous are Memphis in May and The American Royal in Kansas City. Both cities stake their claim to being the barbecue capital of the U.S.


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At the Holidays the Importance of Place Comes Home

Christmas tree Ridgewood NJ

file photo by Boyd Loving

an article worth reading and so relevant to what Ridgewood is going through right now..

At this time of year, when we gather with loved ones, often returning to, or remembering, the places we hold dear, the reflections of Orton Family Foundation Trustee Ed McMahon on the importance of place seem especially apropos. Ed is senior resident fellow at Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C.

We live in a world of rapid change: immigration, new technologies, global trade, instantaneous communication, changing consumer tastes, rapid movement of people, ideas, and goods, etc. However, if I have learned anything over 25 years in the community planning arena, it is this: change is inevitable, but the destruction of community character and identity is not. Progress does not demand degraded surroundings. Communities can grow without destroying the things people love.

Place is more than just a location or a spot on a map. A sense of place is a unique collection of qualities and characteristics—visual, cultural, social and environmental—that provides meaning to a location. Sense of place is what makes one location (e.g. your hometown) different from another location (e.g. my hometown), but sense of place is also that which makes our physical surroundings valuable and worth caring about.

Land use planners spend too much time focusing on numbers—the number of units per acre, the number of cars per hour, the number of floors per building—and not enough time on the values, customs, characteristics, and quirks that make a place worth caring about. Unfortunately, many American communities are suffering the social, economic,  and environmental consequences of being places that simply aren’t worth caring about. The more one place (one location) comes to be just like every other place, the less reason there is to visit or invest. Just take tourism, for example: the more a community comes to look like every other community, the less reason there is to visit. On the other hand, the more a community does to enhance its distinctive identity, whether that is natural, cultural, or architectural, the more reasons there are to visit. Why? Because tourism is about visiting places that are different, unusual, or unique; if one place was just like everyplace else, there would be no reason to go anyplace.

Similarly, when it comes to 21st century economic development, a key concept is “community differentiation.” If you can’t differentiate your community from any other community, you have no competitive advantage. Capital is footloose in a global economy. Natural resources, highway access, locations along a river or rail line have all become less important. Richard Florida, a leading economic development authority and author of The Creative Class, has said, “How people think of a place is less tangible, but more important than just about anything else.”


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The five books local booksellers recommend for the holidays



Giving the gift of a book can expand the mind, transport the reader to a new place or another time, and won’t break the bank. How many other gifts can do that?

But how to choose just one book when there are more than 300,000 published every year? “That’s why independent bookstores exist,” says Walter Boyer, co-owner of Bookends in Ridgewood.

Bob Kutik, owner of Womrath’s Bookstore in Tenafly, agrees, saying that shopping for books online “just isn’t the same as discussing a book with somebody knowledgeable.”.

The Record asked local bookstore owners to offer their picks for holiday gifts this season.

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5 Tips for Helping Fido Survive the Holidays


December 5,2015
by Bryan Bailey

Just the other day, I was driving home from an outing with my dog when I passed a billboard announcing the annual, pre-Christmas sale at a major, local retailer. I remembered thinking, really? How can this be? Weren’t the holidays just here yesterday? Suddenly, the relaxing day I was having turned into anything but that as I began to go through my annual, mile-long, stress-inducing, pre-holidays mental checklist. The pain on my face must have been obvious because as I checked off item number 7 out of 200, I felt the warm, sticky sensation of my dog’s tongue in my right ear. Reaching behind me, I rubbed his big head and asked, “You’ll help me get through the holidays, won’t you?” The thump, thump, thump of his tail on the back seat was all I needed as an answer. My dog had my back.

For most people, the holidays are a bittersweet occasion in that it’s a time of reuniting with loved ones, endless parties, and the exchanging of gifts; however, it’s also one of massive preparation, excessive spending, and worrying about perfection in everything from what to wear, what to give, and what to serve. It’s truly the season of cheer and fear where nothing is overlooked or left to chance . . . except Fido. Yep, the very dog that has your back is left by himself to deal with a myriad of holiday stressors that range from multiple attacks by your relative’s screaming kids to a fat man in a red suit yelling “Ho, Ho, Ho,” which unfortunately translates to “no, no, no” for your dog who rightfully thinks he’s done nothing wrong! For us humans, it’s easy to understand during the holidays why “misery loves company” but not for your dog. Therefore, here are a few tips that will help Fido get through the holiday season without misery as his constant companion.

1. Give training as an early gift. Dogs are social creatures (minus the scary parts of being social during the holidays, such as the fat man in the red suit with the long, white beard). They would much rather spend their time with us than being locked away in the laundry room when company arrives. Learning behaviors, such as “stay” and “be quiet,” upon command before the holidays could earn your dog the good graces of the laundry room parole board and a coveted spot on a fleece bed next to the Christmas tree. Keeping in mind that some of your guests would rather admire your well-trained dog from a distance, you’ll be giving them an early gift as well.

2. Maintain your dog’s normal routines. I’m not sure about you, but my routines during the holidays are anything but normal. However, our dogs are creatures of habit and any changes, even subtle ones in their established routines, can produce stress. The onset of these stressors can then lead to undesirable behaviors such as destructive chewing, restless pacing or whining, or even an escalation in aggression as your dog attempts to cope with its anxiety. In addition, dogs are extremely temporal and can sense your holiday stress; it’s no wonder you will find most dogs hanging around the spiked eggnog bowl! Keeping your dog’s routines right on target during the holidays is impossible for most of us, but do your best to add Fido to your Day Planner. His stress is one less stressor you’ll have to worry about.

3. Traveling with your dog. The holidays are one of the busiest travel seasons of the year, and if it’s off to grandma’s house you go and you’re thinking of taking Fido with you, you may want to plan well in advance. If you will be flying with your dog, check with your airline about its policies and regulations as these vary greatly with each individual carrier. For example, some will fly your dog in a climate-controlled space, and others won’t. Therefore, bad weather could prevent Fido from making the trip. Also, unless Fido is a service dog, he will have to fly in an airline-approved kennel, and the size requirements for your dog’s kennel are not the least bit standard in the airline industry. The best rule of thumb in regard to kennels is go big. I have had dogs rejected because their pointed ears barely touched the top of their kennel while they were standing! If it’s a vehicle you will be traveling in, be sure to treat Fido like any other occupant and restrain him. Time in your lap or your children’s laps can wait until you arrive at your destination. Remember, if Fido isn’t restrained and an accident should occur, Fido will become a projectile. I’m sure the only flying animals you will want to see during the holidays are Santa’s reindeer!

4. Dealing with other dogs. Nearly 90 million American households have at least one dog. If you visit with family or friends during the holidays, your dog is likely to encounter a dog that is not of its pack. Because dogs are dogs and not humans, their perception of the alien dog could be quite different than yours. You may see a nice dog, but your dog may see a threat or an opponent, which could then lead to a fight. Keep a close eye on your dog during the initial meeting, and if either dog appears to be fearful or threatening, immediately separate the dogs and keep them separated until the visit is over. Do this whether your dog is naughty or nice.

5. Dealing with other children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report millions of dog bites each year in the U.S. with most of those occurring to small children. Not recognizing or ignoring the warning signs given by dogs that feel threatened by the direct interaction of small children is one of the leading causes of these bites. During the holidays, children tend to be more excited and animated as they play with new toys or with their relatives or friends. Because Mom and Dad are engaged in food preparation or entertaining, these children are not as closely supervised as they are during other times. Unfortunately, letting little Johnny whack his cousin’s dog with his new Star Wars light saber could end with little Johnny getting a gift he didn’t ask for but really did.

The holidays are a very special time of year, even with the accompanying stressors. However, for Fido, he would rather it not be so special. Treating the holidays like any other time of the year for him will be the best present you can give.

Bryan Bailey is a nationally-recognized, award-winning animal behaviorist, who has shared his expertise with Fox & Friends, SiriusXM, Dog World and more, along with veterinarians, dog owners and celebrities. His first book,Embracing the Wild in Your Dog, is a culmination of his experiences and expertise and, together with his wife, owns ProTrain Memphis and Taming the Wild. Learn more at

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Pro Arte Invites You to Our Messiah Sing In


Pro Arte Invites You to Our Messiah Sing In
Sunday December 14

Come join the Pro Arte Chorale for a joyous sing-along of Handel’s Christmas masterpiece, conducted by Maestro Steven Fox. The Chorale will gather for this event on Sunday December 14 at 3:00pm at the Central Unitarian
Church located at 156 Forest Avenue, Paramus, NJ. Bring your own scores or we will lend you one of ours. Admission is $10 at the door, including rental score.

Handel created such compelling melodic and fluid music that it’s easy to overlook what is one of history’s great examples of “word painting.” The baroque era in music — roughly 1600 to 1750 — saw enormous interest in this technique of depicting a word’s meaning through music. A basic example is using dissonance to set the word “pain.”Even those who have sung “Messiah” aren’t always made fully aware of Handel’s continual crafting of music to express the words

Steven Fox, the Music Director of The Pro Arte Chorale, is also the artistic director of Clarion Music Society in New York, and the music director for Musica Antiqua St. Petersburg in Russia. The Pro Arte Chorale, a 60-member
volunteer chorus based in Ridgewood, is committed to enriching the lives of its members and its audience by exploring many musical traditions. All performances are held in ADA compliant venues with handicapped accessible
parking, ramps and restrooms. For more information about Pro Arte Chorale or to join the mailing list, visit or send an email to Pro Arte Chorale is sponsored in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment of the Arts.