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Examining the Impact of Digital Billboards on Distracted Driving

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Digital billboards have become a ubiquitous feature of urban landscapes, capturing attention with their vibrant displays and dynamic content. While these digital signs offer advertisers new ways to engage audiences, concerns have been raised about their potential impact on road safety, particularly in relation to distracted driving.

Continue reading Examining the Impact of Digital Billboards on Distracted Driving

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Ridgewood Zoning Board of Adjustment : Outfront Media digital billboard

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, reminder that Tuesday, April 23 @ 7:30 pm in Village Hall. Show up and object to the Outfront Media digital billboard that will be voted on by The Ridgewood Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Continue reading Ridgewood Zoning Board of Adjustment : Outfront Media digital billboard

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Reader says, “Ridgewood Firefighters Honored for Life Saving Action”completely missed the mark

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by Jim Morgan

I don’t usually react to The Ridgewood Blog posts, but your the recent “reporting” on the incident at Habernickel, “Ridgewood Firefighters Honored for Life Saving Action”, completely missed the mark in describing the incident and should be corrected. 

Continue reading Reader says, “Ridgewood Firefighters Honored for Life Saving Action”completely missed the mark

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Mayors Loan Scandal Rocks Ridgewood’s Zoning Board of Adjustment

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, as Mayor, Vagianos has the power to elect and re-elect Zoning Board of Adjustment Members, he needs to recuse himself of this responsibility this term given the “loan” to the Partner of the law firm representing the Outfront media billboard. The following members of the ZB have terms expiring and can be re-elected by Paul:

Continue reading Mayors Loan Scandal Rocks Ridgewood’s Zoning Board of Adjustment

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Shakespearean tragedy in Ridgewood

May 26,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, The CRR vs. PB and Valley complaint reads like a Shakespearean tragedy (or comedy), brought about by Valley’s scorched earth tactics and Gail Price’s hubris.  How so?
First, during those “Whispering Woods” hearings, Valley attack dog/super lawyer Jon Drill sends an oh-so polished legal brief to the Board demanding Wendy Dockray be recused for being on Jeff Voigt’s campaign team.  What a smarty pants Jon must have thought he was.  But OOPS, wait a minute Jon, guess you didn’t know that Valley’s second favorite attorney, Ms Gail Price, is married to candidate Richard Brooks? (Hurrah for women who retain their maiden names.)  You didn’t see that one coming, did ya?  And as a good attorney like Jon knows, the ethics rules that govern lay people (like Dockray) go QUADRUPLE for attorneys. It’s called the “appearance of impropriety” standard, meaning CRR doesn’t need to prove there will be a new “Price-Brooks” wing at Valley; there just needs to be the potential for some stank.  But to make it ACTUALLY stanky, when confronted with the conflict allegation in public, Gail still refused to step down as PB attorney and went straight to Facebook and threatened anyone in Ridgewood with “libel” for mentioning that she and Rich are married.
Gail hurdled “impropriety” and went straight to the “F–k you all, I know what’s best for Ridgewood” standard.  That’s why I’m betting we say bye-bye to that mediated settlement, and perhaps to Gail as well. And as for Drill, though he can’t unhoist himself from that petard, I’m thinking Queen Audrey will give him a reprieve because she didn’t know Price and Brooks were married either.
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Ridgewood Planning Board Attorney and Planning Board Member get hit With Conflict of Interest allegations

May 23,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, the Ridgewood blog has conducted an investigation of series of conflict of interest changes surrounding the “Whispering Woods ” hearings .Initially Valley’s attorney Jonathan Drill challenged planning board member Wendy Dockray for being part of the “campaign team” of then Village Council Candidate Jeff Voigt.

In a letter to Planning Board Chairmen Charles Nalbantian Drill asked that Wendy Dockray recuse herself or the planning board should disqualify her.

Drill referenced a letter posted on the Ridgewood blog in which Jeff Voigt expressed both skepticism and opposition to the Valley Settlement.  Drill used Jeff’s own words against him by quoting him saying a board member should recuse if “even a whiff of a conflict of interest” .
Kevin Mattessich ,Wendy Dockray’s attorney fired back using Mr.Drill’s arguments against him ,challenging Planning Board attorney Gail Price and her husband Richard Brooks who was at the time running for Village Council , Mattessich went further saying not only Price but Price’s law firm should recuse and board should retain independent council. Observers speculate if applied consistently the entire “Valley Expansion” process  can be viewed as tainted and undermined .
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Why is the Mayor and his 3 Candidates fighting so hard to keep the Village Manager?


file photo by Boyd Loving

May 6th 2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Why is the Mayor and his 3 Candidates fighting so hard to keep the Village Manager. Why are they getting so involved with this when the entire council Majority is not running for reelection. . Reminds me of the following definition :

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks” is a quotation from the 1599/ 1600 play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. It has been used as a figure of speech, in various phrasings, to describe someone’s too frequent and vehement attempts to convince others of some matter of which the opposite is true, thereby making themselves appear defensive, and insincere.

In rhetorical terms, the phrase can be thought of as indicating an unintentional apophasis—where the speaker who “protests too much” in favor of some assertion puts into others’ minds the idea that the assertion is false, something that they may not have considered before.

The Village Manager has no contact and serves at the pleasure of the Council. If the 3 amigos wanted to keep her so bad then maybe they should have run for re election.

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In the Village Hall it was observed Roberta proudly displaying the full page advertisement that appears on page A-11 (about retaining her) of Fridays Ridgewood News to staff members gathered in the waiting area outside of her office.

How inappropriate was it of her to conduct a forced discussion about politics with her people who report to her.

By the way, that ad was paid for by the following families:

Richard & Carla Fels, 227 Sunset
Michael & Amy Greenstone, 122 Sunset
Sommer (first names & address unknown)
Taylor (first names & address unknown)
Peter & Allison Von Halle, 48 Clinton

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Readers say Time to Target the Targeters buy Boycotting businesses that Support the over development and Destruction of Ridgewood


Reader says ,Without the blog there is political retribution. Several residents have been TARGETED with tickets, summonses, investigations, and more because they spoke out at meetings or on facebook. On the blog you can speak your piece without fear of retaliation from Aronsohn-Pucciarelli-Hauck-Sonenfeld. Of course they try like hell to guess who the anonymous posters are, but they are never sure. And of course the four of them post often, and we can always identify them.

Since so many have felt the sting of political retribution perhaps its time to share the pain ?

Reader says , “I’m boycotting our central business district over these stupid signs and the chamber of commerce.village is a mess and I refuse to support them any longer”

Since so many have been targeted ,some think its time to target back by Boycotting “Its Greek to Me” . While some readers think “Boycotting Its Greek to Me won’t do anyone any good. It won’t change the minds of people, it won’t stop Paul from living his everyday life. That is beyond childish. If you want to speak up and say something go to the village hall meetings, ask questions, get involved. And PLEASE make your OWN decisions. Stop listening to articles that don’t have the best interest for the reader nor the actual people involved.”

while others say, ” Boycotting the Greek place is easy for the simple reason that the food is certainly nothing to write home about, As for the rest of the CBD, more than 50% of the time it looks like it’s already being boycotted, so you probably won’t even see much of a difference if people did. But moving a few homeless folks into the garage should help with that issue.

Wake up, Ridgewood ! These clowns, just like those at Valley, are nothing more than opportunists trying to capitalize on fulfilling their business fantasies at the expense of an entire town. The very least one could do is get out there and vote against people who are going out of their way to wreck the great things Ridgewood has going for it.”

Others say “No boycotting just don’t go, period. Let the council know that you are not going to spend your money in a town where your concerns are not being addressed.The out of town people will have to subsidize the CBD.
No signs, no formal making a scene. Just stop going. And let the council know through e-mails why and how you feel.
Money always talks.”

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Ridgewood Residents : The public has a right to criticize the people who govern them

May 1 2016
Derek Schnure

I want to remark on a few comments in this group that imply that somebody is being defamed by the discussion on the candidates. I think that individual is trying have a chilling impact on the critical review of the council members vying for a seat in the village election next week.

Firstly, a statement must be false or it’s not considered damaging. If a statement can’t be proven false it is not defamation. According to, “Public officials and figures have a harder time proving defamation. The public has a right to criticize the people who govern them, so the least protection from defamation is given to public officials. When officials are accused of something that involves their behavior in office, they have to prove all of the above elements of defamation and they must also prove that the defendant acted with “actual malice.” People who aren’t elected but who are still public figures because they are influential or famous — like movie stars — also have to prove that defamatory statements were made with actual malice, in most cases.”

Therefore, I don’t see it as unreasonable if the citizens question connections between candidates and employees/contractors of the village and Planning Board.

Secondly, certain individuals have criticized discussion arenas like the Ridgewood Blog. The Blog is not a newspaper. It’s a collection of published articles from other sources and an open discussion forum. It provides a valuable service in the discovery and dissemination of facts in this town and of the happenings in the government. Contrary to some opinions, most of the information happens to be true. There obviously are speculative opinions on the blog but it definitely serves a valuable purpose in that people can discuss goings on anonymously (more openly) without fear of retribution. I think more honest discussions can be held there. A lot of people have opinions that aren’t posted in this forum because they don’t want to ruffle feathers or appear at odds with their neighbors.

Just my two cents….

comments taken from “It takes a Village Facebook page “

Gail Price “Please exercise extreme caution as falsehoods continue to be spread and reputations are maligned”

Gail Price “There’s no vested interest – there’s no conspiracy- there’s nothing sinister or underhanded at play. The most decent civic minded intelligent person who happens to be my husband has announced his candidacy for Village Council. But rather than allowing people to run on their merit, some of you are compelled to fabricate absolute non-issues and to create fire where there is none. The anonymous evil, rude and malicious commentary that has been released by a group of people who clearly are unhappy with their lot in life is most unbecoming to our Village. I don’t have a vote on the Planning Board and people should stop insinuating anything to the contrary. Here’s a fact, people may think they can say whatever they feel like saying about anyone at any given moment. However, uttering false or malicious statements has very real consequences. Making those statements that in turn impact people’s lives Is not without ramifications. Our schools have strict anti bullying policies. It’s remarkable that those policies don’t seem to apply to certain adults. Focus should be on facts and real issues rather than on spreading gossip and trying to Instill fear.
If people don’t know what’s going on in their town, then shame on them. Read the paper, attend meetings, volunteer — lots to do. But I guess it’s just easier to take pot shots at people than to put oneself out in front of things and to take personal responsibility for pitching in to make this Village a better place to live. In the 33 years I have lived here (not the handful of years that some have been living here) I have never witnessed the utter and sheer lack of respect being displayed. It’s unrepresentative of the kind of town we used to be. Self entitlement is so inappropriate.
I have no intention of engaging with anyone on these points and I don’t “jump” when someone expects a reply on here. I will however not hesitate to protect my reputation and my family.”

Gail Price wrote this sad commentary on Facebook. Her husband is running for office and she believes that he is being libeled. No doubt that she loves her husband but they are not cut out for politics.

Brooks has gone on the record as being for the “council knows best” garage. He has to live with that public statement writted by a PR firm, and MANY disagree with him. Like Vaggianos he will not win. I am sorry to se that they talked him in to running for office. He is being used. Nice guy, coach. And leave it at that.

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A Ridgewood Council candidate for public office should not be signing a pledge from a special interest group

Ken Smith Ridgewood

April 29,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, A candidate for public office should not be signing a pledge from a special interest group. This is just wrong and I am surprised that candidates need to be told this.

If you support garage design D that is fine, just say it. This information is helpful to voters.
In NJ conflict of interest includes:

5) No State officer or employee or special State officer or employee should undertake any employment or service, whether compensated or not, which might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity and independence of judgment in the exercise of his official duties.
(6) No State officer or employee or special State officer or employee should accept any gift, favor, service or other thing of value under circumstances from which it might be reasonably inferred that such gift, service or other thing of value was given or offered for the purpose of influencing him in the discharge of his official duties.
(7) No State officer or employee or special State officer or employee should knowingly act in any way that might reasonably be expected to create an impression or suspicion among the public having knowledge of his acts that he may be engaged in conduct violative of his trust as a State officer or employee or special State officer or employee.

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Developer John Saraceno is supporting Richard Brooks, Evan Weitz, and Janice Willett for Village Council

Ken Smith Ridgewood

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#1. so here is a pic of Paul Vagianos’ invitation to his party at the “clubhouse”, with his fellow restaurants owners,
landlords, developers, investors and everyone else who stands to make a HUGE PROFIT off of the garage and multifamily housing.
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#2 But you can only play with us “if you sign a pledge”
This is absurd.The three respectable candidates will absolutely not be signing this ridiculous pledge.
Thank you Jeff Voigt, Bernadette Coghlan-Walsh and Ramon Hache for pledging to represent the people of Ridgewood as independent candidates.

Paul Vagianos, landlord/restaurant owner – hanging up sign at KEN SMITH SITE, recently rezoned for high density housing at 35 units per acre – under the guidance of PLANNING BOARD ATTORNEY GAIL PRICE – wife of Rich Brooks, Village Council Candidate –
Sign endorses  the Three New AMIGOS…slogan is Ridgewood 2020 A Clear Vision For Our Future .Shouldn’t RIDGEWOOD be thinking PROGRESS well past 2020?

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#3 A sign supporting Richard Brooks, Evan Weitz, and Janice Willett for Village Council recently appeared in the window of the former Ken Smith Motors building, a property now managed by Onyx Equities, LLC. Ridgewood resident and local property developer John Saraceno is a principal of Onyx Equties, LLC.

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Reader asks will Brooks ever be able to vote on any subject whatsoever that has been addressed by the Ridgewood Planning Board?


A question about Brooks – – since his wife is the planning board attorney who steered the Valley expansion through the Planning Board, will he ever be able to vote on a Valley related matter one way or the other? Won’t there always be a conflict of interest presented by the concern that he is merely voting to prop up and validate her advice to the Board during their deliberations?

For that matter, will Brooks ever be able to vote on any subject whatsoever that has been addressed by the Planning Board? Isn’t he going to have to sit on the sideline during the next couple of years? Even if she and her firm were to resign now from the planning board, the big decisions of the past few years are going to be fine tuned and acted on by the council over the next couple of years.

In that case, electing Brooks would equate to electing an empty chair.

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Ridgewood League of Women Voters Candidates Night No big shockers

League of Women Voters Candidates Night in Ridgewood

April 21,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Yes the debate was pretty mundane. No big shockers. Voight, Walsh and Hache all said the Valley compromise is too big, and a 3% reduction is no compromise. They will work to have it come to a better conclusion.

Both Weitz and Brooks both defended their support of the Valley expansion as if reading from the same script: “You know, Valley Hospital is our neighbor,  too.”

They all spoke about the current divisiveness in the council, and that they could work with anyone.

Voigt had a lot of knowledge about many of the topics being discussed. He will dig beyond the surface of all of the issues.
Walsh showed she has the experience and knowledge to jump right in. Hache was confident, intelligent, and thoughtful in his responses.

There was no mention of Brooks being married to Gail Price (lawyer for the planning board that guided them to
a yes for Valley, and a yes to tripling Ridgewood’s density)

Evan Weitz has only lived here a few years. When asked why he hasn’t been seen at any council meetings, his response was
basically, “The council meetings are late, I have young kids, I have a day job, I watch on TV after they go to bed.”  He has not voted in a municipal election since he moved here.

On a side note many readers felt Brooks looks just like radio’s Don Imus  .

Best parts of the night: Rurik Haliby was told to sit down by the moderator, and was not allowed to ask a question.
Paul Aronsohn was up to ask a question, when the moderator called time. He was not allowed to speak! The crowd broke out into applause!

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Readers React to League of Women Voters Candidates Night in Ridgewood

League of Women Voters Candidates Night in Ridgewood

photo by Boyd Loving

Reader gives their take of the League of Women Voters Candidates Night .

Not much fireworks tonight – but a few immediate take aways about the three candidates supported by the Mayor and the developers..

Weitz is too busy to have gone to Council meetings during the past two years. And, he was too busy to vote. How the heck is he going to fulfill his duties should he be elected?

Willet is happy with the housing density because she believes it is a good thing to bring more students into our Ridgewood school system. At the same time, she is going to hold down costs. Not quite sure how she is going to balance the two. She doesn’t quite seem balanced.

Brooks is in favor of nepotism rule, and apparently he does not think anyone should be deleted if they have a connection to someone holding a public position. He forgot to mention his wife is the planning board attorney so he did not explain how he is going to be able to vote on anything important that comes before the council in the next couple of years should he somehow be elected. Frankly, he seems a bit dull.

Many were very impressed with Hache, his honesty about what can and cannot be done in Ridgewood with regard to high density, not saying he will try to limit it, that means nothing. Hache did not pander for votes.

I thought he was right to leave option open about eminent domain on the toxic site of town garage. It’s vital that toxic site be cleaned up, if a private owner cannot be made to do it; taxpayers must pay for it.

The town should not sell our water facilities and lose control.

Hache stated most clearly on not wanting a large field at Schedler.

Rurik was out of order when he spoke; he had to be told to sit down, because he couldn’t stick to the issues. He had to beg Walsh for a personal clarification that she was not insulting his wife’s work at Twinney’s.

That’s what we need at council meetings. A presiding official to monitor those who insult others, like Rurik and to tell them to sit down immediately. Those who cannot stick to the issues.

Then civility can be restored.

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The league of Women Voters hosts Ridgewood Council candidates night tonight at 7:30pm at the Village Hall

league of Women voters

April 20,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The league of Women Voters will host the Ridgewood Council candidates night tonight at 7:30pm at the Village Hall.

Village of Ridgewood Candidates night format for the evening will include welcome from the president, flag salute, and an introduction of our esteemed moderator and the candidates. The moderator will then take over.

Opening statements 11/2minutes each

Questions # 1 2 3 1 1/2 minutes each question

Cross talk on each question 5 minutes in total each question

Questions from the public 40 minutes

Closing statements 1/1/2 minutes each

1. During the recent budget proceedings, Ridgewood Water outlined a six year, approximately 40 million dollar capital plan to
update the facility which serves not only Ridgewood but also Glen Rock, Midland Park and Wyckoff. Should the town invest the money
to update the facility or should we consider selling the utility and why?

2. We are looking at potential new development in Ridgewood , in the downtown area and the Central Business District (garage and
multi family housing at several locations). What measures would you propose to minimize disruption to traffic flow, local businesses and home owners and to ensure pedestrian safety?

3. Regarding the Town Garage location on Franklin Avenue and the adjacent municipal lots, the Department of Environmental Protection has cited these properties for remediation due to underground fuel tanks that are leaking diesel and hydraulic fuel into
the surrounding ground water. There has been talk of charging the cleanup to a potential developer or acquiring the garage site by
eminent domain and doing it ourselves. How do we address this problem in the most expedient manner so that no further
contamination occurs and serves the best interest of the village?