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Zabriskie Schedler Property in the Eye of an Agenda Driven Storm

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, during Wednesday night’s meeting, the public comments once again turned to a discussion on Zabriskie Schedler Property . Ridgewood resident Siobhan Winograd  expressed her frustration over the rate of progress at the Schedler property .

Continue reading Zabriskie Schedler Property in the Eye of an Agenda Driven Storm

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Schedler Ad Hoc Committee: Back to Building Ball Fields

Schedler Park ball field

file photo

December 21,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, in the Schedler Ad Hoc Committee Presentation to Village Council , it appears nothing has changed and the committee seemed to disregard all efforts of by local historians ,neighbors and friends of Schedler .

The committees presentation to the Village Council was basically reduced to a full on push for more ball fields at Schedler and nothing else matters .

The report suggest the Schedler was nothing more than a use of open spaces funding as a land grab for sports fields .

Like parking the need for ball fields in town has been questioned and the complete lack of transparency of field use has lead to little taxpayer support .

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N.J. Senate hearing to probe alleged fraud by top U.S. turf company


By Christopher Baxter and Matthew Stanmyre | NJ Advance Media for
on January 24, 2017 at 5:07 PM, updated January 24, 2017 at 5:11 PM

A state Senate panel will hold a hearing Monday on a report that the leading maker of artificial sports fields in the U.S., FieldTurf, for years sold a popular line of turf to taxpayers across the country after knowing it was falling apart.

The hearing, scheduled for 1 p.m. in Trenton before the Senate Commerce Committee, comes in response to an NJ Advance Media investigation published in December that called into question whether the company had committed fraud.

“This is a first step in our effort to determine exactly what happened and to take the action necessary at the state level to ensure that taxpayers are protected,” the chairwoman of the committee, Sen. Nellie Pou (D-Passaic), said in a statement.

She called the findings of the investigation “incredibly concerning.” The company has denied any wrongdoing.

The committee will hear testimony from FieldTurf executives, school officials and others who have been invited to testify, the statement said.

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Reader says grass is financially responsible and is less toxic to the environment


New grass blends are water retentive and need much less pesticide treatments. Grass does not need to be treated with antibacterial solutions and temperatures on the field NEVER reach the temperatures that artificial turf does when exposed to direct sunlight. But the biggest problem is that Maple Field is in an active flood plain. The extensive damage to the field was predictable and as we knew in 2004-2005 , it would be costly. Recent articles on the subject state that grass is financially responsible and is less toxic to the environment.

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Ridgewood’s Maple Field: To Turf of Not to Turf that is the Question Again


Yankees Hall of Famer Yogi Berra,”Déjà vu all over again”

October 1,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Maple field in Ridgewood is once again the center of negative attention . The Ridgewood Fields Committee has basically admitted the warranty on the field has expired and the field is in dire straits .
Insiders have cautioned that one more major flood and its done .


Gmax testing is a standard measure of the safety of athletic fields. It involves measuring the shock absorbing properties of a playing surface and comparing the results to an industry standard set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Harder surfaces will increase the amount of impact absorbed by the body, which results in a higher Gmax rating. Scores over 200 are considered dangerous and increase the risk of life threatening head injuries. Preferred Gmax scores should be in the 120-150 range.

Currently the Maple field is testing at 185 , the NFL like the GMAX around 100 .A GMAX score of 200 is like concrete.

Last weeks council meeting Councilmen Ramon Hache gave a Field’s Committee update and possible solutions to remediate Maple Field. One suggestion is to infuse the current field with millions of rubber pellets but one more major flood may finish the field once and for all .Another idea would be to replace the current field its best years are way behind it  and some have suggested a new grass field to replace the turf .

Best guesses put the cost of a new turf field around $600,000. The infusion seems very temporary given the fact the field is in a flood zone  and estimates for a new grass field have not yet been taken.

Councilmen Ramon Hache suggested another idea was also to build berm to protect the field better from flood there by protecting the investment better.

The Ridgewood blog was a very big opponent of the ‘turf movement” in town . We cautioned over health effects of the turf ,runoff flood waters contributing to added flooding in town , additional maintenance costs and the fact in Maple fields case the property was deeded to the Village with the idea it should remain a natural preserve.

There is no perfect solution , we are continually told by Sports groups of the need for more fields , while many in town seek a balance between active fields and preservation of scare natural resources .We have now had turf fields long enough to do a real world ,with real specific Ridgewood data for a cost benefit analysis. What ever the outcome it will not be perfect but so far the Ridgewood blog is confident with the new Council and renewed community spirit that all parties with get a fair hearing.

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Ridgewood Parents Deny Principal Tom Gorman’s Allegations of poor behavior and littering at LAX championship at Met Life

May 13,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood High School was again not portrayed in the best light in the stands or parking lot during the lacrosse tournament. Principal Tom Gorman sent out and email condemning poor behavior and littering.

“Unfortunately, despite previous warnings and pleas for assistance in my November 30 and December 11 letters regarding the conduct of our fans at the MetLife Stadium football championship game, Ridgewood High School was again not portrayed in the best light in the stands or parking lot during the lacrosse tournament. Administrators from Mahwah High School have notified us that the parking lot parent tailgate in the Ridgewood section was left in a very poor state with trash and alcohol bottles strewn about. In addition, we had one Ridgewood adult fan verbally accost the referees after the game, which required police intervention.”

Several Ridgewood parents have now come out and vigorously denied the allegations made by Principal Tom Gorman. Parents claim the messes were not Ridgewood messes and that RHS parents and students cleaned up .

This is not the first time these type of allegations were made at a Ridgewood Sports group. In December

Principal Tom Gorman , sent out and email saying , “Unfortunately, despite previous warnings and pleas for assistance, Ridgewood High School was not portrayed in the best light in the stands or in the parking lot.  Administrators and faculty members spent much of the game dealing with students that were under the influence and/or involved in disruptive behavior.  In addition, the parking lot in the Ridgewood section was left in a very poor state with trash and broken bottles”

A reader at the time commented , “I watched the streaming game on MSG Barsity. The camera panned the Ridgewood crowd and one high school aged boy gave the finger to the camera – for the entire time the camera pointed into the stands. It seemed like forever.

Tailgating is something that adult and college sports fans do. How many Facebook posts of tailgates have you seen this fall? All pics of your neighbors drinking in the parking lot. This is also seen in the Facebook posts from parents traveling to college football games and partying with the kids. Did any of you stop and think how pathetic you look drinking at a frat party? And then you make things worse by posting those photos for the world to see.

So parents, the kids are just mimicking your behavior. Think about that the next time you post your party pics. Some parents think that they look cool, most just look like puffy boozers.”

While we think the truth is somewhere in between the Gorman allegations and the parents denials we do think parents ,coaches and teachers must lead by example and set high standards of behavior . A $103 million school budget would suggest those standards should be equality as high.

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How To Build Authentic Character In Youth Sports in Ridgewood


Not everyone deserves a trophy.

April 13,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, In fact, unearned rewards can be harmful, because artificially inflating a child’s self-esteem merely for participation in sport sends the wrong message, warns psychologist Jason Richardson.

“There are plenty of incarcerated felons with an inflated self-view and there are extremely successful people grappling with a more moderate self-concept, so self-esteem alone is not the measure by which we should prepare our children for greatness,” says Richardson, a Pan-Am Games gold medalist who is also known as “Dr. JRich” among colleagues. 

Richardson isn’t alone. Last year, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison returned two participation trophies given to his two sons, awarded not for a specific victory that they’d earned, but simply for being student-athletes.

Anyone can give and get a trophy, but the true value of youth sports is in the occasional tough lessons – and successes – children experience through hard work and merit, says Richardson, author of “It’s All BS! We’re All Wrong, And You’re All Right!” (

He offers practical tips parents can share with their kids.

• Stop saying “the problem is …” Fill in the blank. Too many people say the problem is with the coach, the school, the other kids, the equipment, the schedule – and so on. This kind of thinking implies failure because it immediately rules out your child’s goals. Instead, say things that rule in positive outcomes, such as, “I/We/You can do this!”
• Make failure a teachable moment. Sports can test a kid’s emotional fragility. They may want to give up with failure, but that’s a terrible lesson. If your child missed a free throw that would’ve won the team the game, encourage free-throw practice the next day. Better yet, ask them what they are going to do differently next time! Use a coach’s staple: remind your child that Michael Jordan was cut by his high school basketball team during his sophomore year. Parents can always reward persistence and effort.
• Don’t let your child’s ego run wild. The flipside of low self-esteem due to failure can be cockiness with success. Children have far less experience keeping the ego in check, so if he/she is the best athlete in school, they may become arrogant. Try to catch this early; people evolve at different rates. Temper their ego by showing examples of humility, respect and gratitude. Use examples of great athletes who have overcome slumps or adversity.
• Show them how to be a better student. It may seem odd that a star quarterback can memorize every detail of a complex playbook, but has trouble with class studies. If he’s having trouble with chemistry, for example, place the playbook next to the textbook and show him the parallels of complexity. Don’t let him believe he’s “just a jock.”

About Jason Richardson, Psy.D., MBA

Dr. Jason Richardson ( is a psychologist who earned his principles for self-improvement as a world-traveling athlete, doctoral student and student of life. He maintained top-10 status on the professional BMX circuit for most of his 15-year career, retiring with a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games.

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Ridgewood East Side residents ask for equality


fle photo by Boyd Loving

East Side residents ask for equality

OCTOBER 22, 2015    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2015, 12:31 AM

No ‘equality’ for residents living on village’s East Side

To the Editor:

At an Oct. 7 Ridgewood Council meeting, former resident Mr. Giordano made what I thought was the most important point. He stated that the sports groups met often with neighbors to assure them about a project on Maple East. They also met with neighbors about other projects. We know that the village met with neighbors of Habernickel.

What is the difference between these and the East Side residents regarding the future development of the Schedler property? Since 2008, I believe there have not been sufficient sit-down meetings between East Side neighbors and the village.

The East Side was presented with a 1997 schematic in 2008. From that date forward, all the residents saw were renderings by the village/Parks and Recreation/Fields/sports groups. Nobody met the east side residents and asked for input and suggestions specifically about the schematics.

To say that the three open public forums in 2012 were sufficient is incorrect. I have minutes from those meetings — the neighbors did complain about proposed traffic, loss of trees, size of fields. That is the last time they had anything to do with the three plans since then. But were they shown a plan that is shown today?

One day they saw a concession stand when a recent schematic was presented (presented, to the public, without any consideration or input by the neighbors), one day they saw a turnaround, one day they saw 24 extra parking spaces, on and on. At the Oct. 7 meeting, they saw that the turnaround was gone, a left turn lane put in its place.

Is this any way to treat a neighborhood, when other projects spent time with neighbors?

To equate Schedler with Habernickel, as is done with pride by the village, is not a fair equation.

To equate Schedler with other fields abutting highways is also not a fair comparison, as the neighborhoods are different.

And to talk about very small amounts of traffic misses an important point: What is going to happen to the “light” traffic when 70 or more cars are coming to a game and will arrive at the same time?

The Engineering Department draws plans satisfying sports’ groups needs, but they do not draw plans satisfying the residents of the East Side. Where is the equality?

Eleanor Gruber


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“What Would Yogi Do? Guidelines for Athletes, Coaches and Parents” author John McCarthy Spoke to the Community Relations Advisory Board of Ridgewood and Glen Rock Wednesday

New York Yankees Catcher Yogi Berra Holding a Baseball

Sportsmanship or being a good sport 
October 22,2015
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

“Yogi’s core beliefs – beliefs that grew out of a time when we weren’t reading about showboating, pampered athletes, abusive, unethical coaches, and overzealous, over-indulgent parents – so that the benefits of amateur sports can be maximized. We can’t change today’s culture, its pace too fast, its reach too global. However, we can and must change the culture of sports, at least on the amateur level. To do so will require cooperation among athletes, coaches, and parents. This book, divided into three sections, is filled with specific suggestions for each part of the sports triumvirate to get us back on track. It is not meant to be read selectively by section, but rather in total, so that everyone has the same information. For too long athletes, coaches, and parents have been spoken to, or targeted in writing, as separate entities. My goal is to get them on the same page, literally. By pointing out common threads running through their respective experiences, my hope is that everyone will have a better understanding of the necessary alliances that need to be formed. It strikes me that relationships among the three parties have become increasingly adversarial, so much so that many coaches, good ones, are walking away from the profession they once cherished because they don’t feel it’s worth the hassle. Playing time, once regarded as something to be earned, has come to be regarded as an entitlement, and the battle lines have been drawn. We’ve lost the sense that we’re all in this together. The outcome has become much more important than the process. External forces-the skyrocketing cost of a college education, the saturation of sports on TV, sports talk radio and internet blogs, and social media – have eroded the once highly respected relationship between an athlete, his/her coach, and his/her parents. That distresses Yogi, and it distresses me as well. That’s why I wrote this book.” John McCarthy

Ridgewood Nj, Last night Professor John McCarthy spoke to the Community Relations Advisory Board of Ridgewood and Glen Rock providing some specific strategies to get athletes, coaches and parents on the same page. Referring to the three entities of sports as co-dependent parties, McCarthy uses Yogi Berra’s career and his own life experiences to illustrate how sports done the right way can enhance everyone’s life.

John McCarthy is an adjunct Professor at Montclair State teaching, “Coaching Principles and Problems,” in addition to, “Sports Psychology,” and “Social Problems in Sports.” McCarthy is a former two-sport, first team, nonpublic All-State athlete.  He is co-founder of the Institute for Coaching.

After many recent issues involving coaches and parents Ridgewood is in the process of rewriting the Athletic Fields and Recreational Facilities Use Policy . This includes an attempt to create a standardized grievance policy for all sports.

Current (non updated)Athletic Fields and Recreational Facilities Use Policy

This policy has been developed by the Parks, Recreation, and Conservation Board with input from the Ridgewood Sports Council and its members, the Parks and Recreation Department staff, Ridgewood High School (RHS) Athletic Director, RHS Coaches Association and its members, Board of Education staff, Ridgewood Community School (RCS) staff, additional regular field and facility users and the public.

This policy has been adopted by the Village Council and by the Board of Education as a uniform policy governing use and users of municipal and school recreational facilities. This policy is subject to ordinances of the Village of Ridgewood, Policies and Procedures of the Board of Education (in particular 3515.2 and 3515.3) and the laws of the State of New Jersey.

The policy is a comprehensive re-evaluation and re-statement of a policy originally adopted in the early 1980’s and modified in part over the years. Current demand for use and availability of programs has more than doubled.

Athletic Fields and Recreational Facilities Use Policy
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Open Space survey to examine use of Ridgewood facilities



Ridgewood’s Open Space Committee will be undertaking a survey to help prepare an update for its Open Space Plan.

The idea behind the survey is to reach a sample of Ridgewood residents and find out how they use the village’s fields and recreational areas as well as what they would like to see in the future.

Ralph Currey, the chair of the committee, said members are in the planning stages of updating its Open Space and Recreation Plan, which was last updated in 2010. Jim Bostler, a member of the Open Space Committee, said the report would hopefully be updated by the spring of 2016.

One of the necessary elements of the plan as required by New Jersey’s Green Acres program is to perform what is known as a “needs analysis,” which is defined as an examination of the adequacy of the current open space and recreational systems to satisfy present and future needs.

Currey said past open space reports had relied on national and state guidelines for determining the amount of open and recreational space the village should have, based on a few factors such as population and size.