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Homeland Security: The United States remains in a heightened threat environment

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The United States remains in a heightened threat environment. Lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances continue to pose a persistent and lethal threat to the Homeland.  Domestic actors and foreign terrorist organizations continue to maintain a visible presence online in attempts to motivate supporters to conduct attacks in the Homeland.  Threat actors have recently mobilized to violence, citing factors such as reactions to current events and adherence to violent extremist ideologies. In the coming months, threat actors could exploit several upcoming events to justify or commit acts of violence, including certifications related to the midterm elections, the holiday season and associated large gatherings, the marking of two years since the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and potential sociopolitical developments connected to ideological beliefs or personal hostility. Targets of potential violence include public gatherings, faith-based institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents.

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Parents Don’t Want ‘Woke’ Books in Schools

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, many parents are concerned about the books provided to children in schools and libraries, especially those promoting “woke” progressive beliefs about sexuality and racial issues.

Continue reading Parents Don’t Want ‘Woke’ Books in Schools

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Children May Learn The Truth

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By Charles Stampul

Ridgewood NJ, Schools have possession of children for most of the day and occupy most of their remaining waking hours with homework, inculcating many false and useless ideas and attitudes, but children can still find time to set off into the world of knowledge and ideas on their own.

Continue reading Children May Learn The Truth

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Ridgewood Master Plan Meeting September 21, 2021


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, at 7:30 pm our Ridgewood Planning Board is hosting a public meeting on our new Master Plan. We will be answering your questions about the process and providing information regarding what to expect as we move forward with the new plan.

Continue reading Ridgewood Master Plan Meeting September 21, 2021

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African Americans Far Safer from COVID in Red States

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(photo NJ Gov. Phil Murphy)

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, lots of talk by the media of racial disparity when dealing with COVID, but here are some findings that should seriously disturb every African American family . While it is true and troubling that minorities have been more adversely affected (in terms of death rates and infection rates) by COVID than whites, the story that hasn’t been told is that Democratic governors have done a much worse job keeping blacks safe and healthy than red state governors.

Continue reading African Americans Far Safer from COVID in Red States

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University of Florida Study : Schools can Implement Testing Protocols to Promote In-person learning while effectively mitigating transmission risk

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ,  a study conducted by the University of Florida and the Florida Department of Healthpublished in JAMA, investigated the impact of student quarantine and testing protocols at K-12 schools in Alachua County, Florida. Data indicate that the COVID-19 incubation period in children is 6 to 7 days, shorter than the 4 to 5 days in adults. The county implemented 14-day self-quarantine for students exposed to known COVID-19 cases, and students were allowed to return to school early if they received a negative RT-PCR diagnostic test on Day 9 or later.

Continue reading University of Florida Study : Schools can Implement Testing Protocols to Promote In-person learning while effectively mitigating transmission risk

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Planning Board Public Hearing : The Final Draft of the Village of Ridgewood Master Plan October 20th

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Final Draft + 10/20 Public Hearing

Ridgewood NJ, we mentioned this before but with all that happening it seems to be lost , the Final Draft of the Village of Ridgewood Master Plan – Section 1: Our Village, Our Future is complete. Click here to download the Final Draft (20 mb, PDF). A Planning Board public hearing on its adoption will be held on October 20, 2020.

Continue reading Planning Board Public Hearing : The Final Draft of the Village of Ridgewood Master Plan October 20th

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CDC: Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the CDC has issued new guidelines intended for all Americans, whether you own a business, run a school, or want to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your home. Reopening America requires all of us to move forward together by practicing social distancing and other daily habits to reduce our risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. Reopening the country also strongly relies on public health strategies, including increased testing of people for the virus, social distancing, isolation, and keeping track of how someone infected might have infected other people. This plan is part of the larger United States Government plan external iconand focuses on cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and can also be applied to your home.

Continue reading CDC: Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes

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Reader asks ,“What did they get out of it for lying so freely?”

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“All these problems that the Village has been denying would occur are almost here. The fact that the official people in Ridgewood would constantly parrot the builders quotes when it was obvious to even a child that all these additions would include a massive influx in needs for all our services. As someone stated “What did they get out of it for lying so freely?” Paul got his first state political appointment which he hopes will lead to bigger and better things. Our present Mayor changed to becoming a real estate agent and all these new developments will benefit him. What was gained by the others happily rushing into this? Will they all be gone when reality sets in? They all HAD to know what would be the reality of all this development. What did they gain by their massive pretend ignorance?”

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Schepisi: Murphy’s policies are ‘crushing’ the middle-class

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file photo by Boyd Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

River Vale NJ, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi speaks with reporters at a press conference on Feb. 14, 2019, about why public opinion polls increasingly show that Gov. Phil Murphy is taking New Jersey in the wrong direction.

Schepisi says, “We must work together, put aside partisan posturing and implement policies to ensure affordability for the middle class. NJ’s tax increases and Governor Murphy’s policies are crushing our middle class.”

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Court Ordered over development Scam Facing Bergen County

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May 8,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

River Vale NJ, Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi laid out the forced court ordered over development facing Bergen County :

This is what is happening all over the State of New Jersey. Over the past several weeks I have spoken with Mayors from all over the State who are begging for help.
I couldn’t agree more with Mayor Keith Misciagna. Our communities are being destroyed by ridiculous over development all throughout the State. A couple of factoids regarding our current regulations:
1. If a suburban community builds affordable housing it is prohibited from giving preference for that housing to its own residents in need. So the divorced single mom who is losing her house, the family who can longer afford their home because of a loss of a job or a medical crisis cannot receive preference for the affordable housing being built or the housing no longer counts for a community fulfilling its obligation.
2. A community may not build more than 25% of the affordable housing in its community for seniors or it “doesn’t count” towards their obligation (and a community cannot give preference to their own seniors who have lived in the community paying taxes). Likewise, a community may not build more than 25% of the affordable housing in its community for those with special needs
3. Any Urban Aid Communities in the State have no obligation to provide ANY further affordable housing. However what would have been their obligation gets divided up and split among the suburban communities. By way of example, Jersey City has given out new construction building permits for over 37,000 units over the past several years. Under the affordable housing guidelines it would have had a obligation to provide approximately 7,000+ units of affordable housing. Jersey City is an Urban Aid community so it has no obligation. However those 7,000 units get split up and sent to our communities.
4. The financing available to communities to build affordable housing through governmental programs was manipulated by the legislature so that 40 percent of all available money MUST GO TO URBAN AID communities which have no affordable housing obligation.
5. There are currently over 40,000 foreclosed homes in this State that could be used as affordable housing but the powers that be refuse to allow them to be counted.
6. Section 8 housing or affordable housing with vouchers has historically not been counted as fulfilling affordable housing obligations in a community.
7. If you are a community trying to recruit business and jobs, you are penalized and your community now gets hit with additional numbers of affordable housing you must provide for in your total calculations.
8. The environmental impacts and a community’s infrastructure, schools, roads, capacity of volunteer services are not permitted to be taken into account under current regulations.
The system is so broken.

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Glen Rock Police : No matter where we live, no one has the luxury of saying “this is a quiet town and nothing like happens here”.

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February 17,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Glen Rock NJ, the Glen Rock Police commented o their Facebook page , “The members of the Glen Rock Police Department extend their deepest sympathies to the community of Parkland Florida. Unfortunately, as we have seen time and time again, schools, religious facilities, shopping malls, night clubs and public buildings continue to be targets of active shooters. No matter where we live, no one has the luxury of saying “this is a quiet town and nothing like happens here”. But this does not mean that we must live in constant fear. We can and will protect ourselves!

In recent years the GRPD has increased training and purchased additional equipment to aid officers in responding to any issue which may arise at our schools and elsewhere in the community. Lessons learned nationwide have shown that local law enforcement needs to be able to respond quickly and cannot wait for assistance to arrive from outside of the community before taking action.

‘Emergency action planning’ and ‘situational awareness’ practices are ever evolving. The GRPD’s training methods, equipment and even uniforms have been modified greatly in recent years as law enforcement adapts to prepare for a potential active shooter response. Like every other law enforcement agency, the GRPD is fully prepared to respond. Likewise, our schools have greatly changed their procedures as well as training for their personnel and drills with students. Our current student body has come up thought their school years with lock-down, hold in place and evacuation drills as common place as fire drills.

What can a private citizen do?
• Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers.
• Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit.
• If something seems out of the ordinary, report it!
If there is an active shooter:
• If you are in an office or class room, stay there and secure the door.
• If you are in a hallway, get into a room and secure the door.
• Immediately take cover (hide behind something hard that will stop or slow bullets), or circumstances permitting, enter an unaffected building.
• In the event neither cover nor entering a building is possible, run in a zig-zag fashion away from the sound of gunfire.
• As a last resort, if you have no avenue of escape, attempt to take the active shooter down. When the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate him/her.

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Reader sugests annual “impact fees” for every unit above the usual permitted density

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Does The garage allows developers to count the parking spaces there as required parking for the new developments? Since we are screwed by former council approvals the only way to cover the added costs of these new units is to charge ongoing annual “impact fees” for every unit above the usual permitted density. If 50 units are built where 25 is the usual permissible then the additional should bee charged for each bedroom multiplied by the cost of annual student expenditure . So if It costs $20,000 per year per student in the BOE budget,, and a unit has 2 bedrooms,then an annual impact fee of $40,0000 plus assessed real estate taxes. So 25 extra units have 50 extra bedroom require $1,000,0000 annual fees to the village.

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Governor Christie Rolls Out His Last Budget


March 1,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Governor Christie unviels his final budget as governor ;

“This is the ninth time I’ve come before a joint session to address our state’s budget. Each time I’ve had specific goals in mind; guiding principles to follow. Government should get smaller. Taxes shall not be increased. Our core commitments must be met. Each time, with varying degrees of struggle, harmony and acrimony, we have reached these goals – I have stuck to those principles. Let me assure you that today will be no different.

– Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey State Budget Address, February 28, 2017

The Fiscal Year 2018 budget will be the eighth and final state budget of Governor Chris Christie’s tenure. When Governor Christie entered office in 2010, New Jersey was enduring an unprecedented fiscal crisis, with an immediate $2.2 billion mid-year fiscal deficit, as well as an unthinkably large $10.7 billion projected budget gap for Fiscal Year 2011 — more than a third of the prior year’s budget. At that time, it was uncertain whether the State would be able to meet its payroll within two months.

The staggering $13 billion two-year gap represented the culmination of years of reckless tax-and-spend policies and shortsighted budgeting practices that ignored economic realities. While state and national economies faltered, spending in Trenton under the previous administration continued unabated at unsustainable levels — increasing 58 percent from 2001 to 2008. The previous governor’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget was propped up with temporary income tax hikes, corporate surtaxes, reliance on one-time federal stimulus funds, temporary employee furloughs and other desperate gimmicks.

Today, Governor Christie is presenting his eighth consecutive balanced budget built on a foundation of fiscal restraint and responsibility. The Fiscal Year 2018 budget will fund $2 billion less in discretionary spending than was spent in Fiscal Year 2008.

The Governor’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget:

•       Calls for $35.5 billion in State appropriations, a 2.6 percent increase, largely due to non-discretionary costs.
•       Contains $2 billion less in discretionary spending than the Fiscal Year 2008 budget.
•       Includes the largest pension payment in New Jersey history with a $2.5 billion contribution to the State’s defined benefit funds.
o   This will bring total pension contributions by the Christie Administration to $8.8 billion.
o   That will be more than two and a half times the total contributions made by all governors combined during the 16-year period from Fiscal Year 1995 through Fiscal Year 2010.
•       Renews the Governor’s commitment to higher education in New Jersey. Overall, higher education funding is maintained at a total of $2.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2018.
•       Proposes a seventh-consecutive year of the highest amount of school aid supporting Pre-K through Grade 12 education in New Jersey history. The Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposes more than $13.8 billion for education, an increase of $523.2 million.
•       Provides more than $17 billion in direct and indirect property tax relief, nearly half the total budget, including $13.8 billion in school aid and $1.5 billion in municipal aid.
•       Continues more than $1 billion for direct property taxpayer relief programs:
o   423,300 seniors and citizens with disabilities will receive an average Homestead Benefit of $511, while 169,500 other homeowners earning up to $75,000 will receive an average Homestead Benefit of $397.
o   138,200 seniors and citizens with disabilities will continue receiving Property Tax Freeze benefits averaging $1,401, while 25,100 new beneficiaries will receive their first year of benefits averaging $219.

Investing In New Jersey’s Transportation Infrastructure
Today, Governor Christie proposed a $400 million supplemental appropriation in this Fiscal Year. These funds will be invested and spent quickly over the next 100 days to address bridge deficiencies and road conditions in all of New Jersey’s 21 counties. Further, these funds will be used to expedite technology enhancements and other infrastructure improvements for New Jersey Transit and will allow the New Jersey Department of Transportation to deliver the largest construction program in state history. The results will be smoother roads, safer bridges and a more technologically sound mass transit system.

In October 2016, Governor Christie signed legislation that reauthorized the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority Act. As a result of that legislation, Governor Christie’s fiscal 2018 budget provides a record $2 billion State Transportation Capital Program. The Program includes over $1.3 billion for State and local highway and bridge projects, and another $677 million for mass transportation projects.

Ensuring Access To Care While Keeping Down Costs
The NJ FamilyCare program currently provides comprehensive health care coverage to more than 1.8 million New Jersey residents at a projected $4.2 billion cost to the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. The program serves individuals eligible for both Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and represents a partnership between the State and the federal government. The NJ FamilyCare program, while having some of the highest income limits in the nation, has traditionally provided health coverage exclusively to low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities. On January 1, 2014, Governor Christie expanded the program, using 100 percent federal funding, to provide health coverage to low-income childless adults.

The proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget represents the fourth full fiscal year of the NJ FamilyCare expansion, and while a fraction of the costs associated with this eligibility group have shifted to the State budget, the expansion continues to represent a tremendous value for New Jersey. Since the Governor’s decision to expand NJ FamilyCare in 2014, an additional 487,000 uninsured New Jersey residents have gained coverage under this program. Not only did this expansion provide reliable medical coverage to many formerly uninsured residents, the infusion of federal dollars has generated meaningful savings to the State budget. Through Fiscal Year 2018, the shift of State costs to the federal government combined with the reduction in demand for Charity Care has resulted in a cumulative savings of $2 billion to the State.

Commitment To World-Class Healthcare
With the goal of ensuring a stable and accessible hospital system that provides care of the highest possible quality, the Department of Health’s budget makes significant investments in three hospital subsidy programs: Charity Care, Graduate Medical Education and Delivery System Reform Incentive Payments.

•      Charity Care. Governor Christie’s expansion of NJ FamilyCare has led to a dramatic increase in NJ FamilyCare enrollment, which continues to be funded almost entirely by the federal government. The associated decrease in uninsured residents has reduced by more than half the documented claims for uncompensated care submitted by New Jersey’s hospitals. Since the expansion took effect on January 1, 2014, 487,000 low-income residents have gained health insurance through NJ FamilyCare, a 38-percent increase in program enrollment. This fundamental shift allows for a $25 million reduction in State funding for Charity Care in Fiscal Year 2018.  The Fiscal Year 2018 budget provides $252 million in combined federal and State support to offset the costs hospital facilities incur in treating the uninsured.
•      Graduate Medical Education (GME). The Fiscal Year 2018 budget increases support to New Jersey’s teaching hospitals by $30 million, with the total amount available through the Graduate Medical Education program now totaling $218 million. This marks the third year in a row that funding for this critical program has been increased, with the total amount available now more than triple the funding provided when Governor Christie took office. This enhanced commitment to GME will help to ensure that New Jersey residents have continued access to an adequate number of well-trained doctors.
•      Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP).  Funded at $166.6 million, the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program was launched in Fiscal Year 2014 as a replacement for the Hospital Relief Subsidy Fund. The program continues to reward innovation and quality by distributing funds to hospitals based on measurable improvements in health outcomes.

Continued Emphasis On Community-Based Care And Services
Governor Christie is committed to fundamentally changing the way services and programs support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, by moving away from a system that has historically focused on institutionalization to one that emphasizes home and community-based services and supports. To this end, resources have been refocused to provide people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the ability to live as independently as possible with the proper supports.

The five-year Olmstead settlement agreement, signed February 2013, covered fiscal years 2013 to 2017 and required 600 placements over that time period. By the end of Fiscal Year 2018, the Department expects to have placed a total of 737 individuals, well exceeding the requirements of the Olmstead agreement due in large part to the acceleration of placements from the closure of North Jersey Developmental Center and Woodbridge Developmental Center in Fiscal Year 2015.

In addition to the Olmstead commitment to move individuals with developmental disabilities out of developmental centers, Governor Christie’s determination to provide services in the community includes funds to develop additional community placements and services that divert admissions to developmental centers. The Fiscal Year 2018 budget provides $89.7 million of new State and federal funding to create community placements and services, including Olmstead placements.

As a result of reforms initiated under the Medicaid Comprehensive Waiver, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities that are living independently or with family are becoming eligible for substantially increased in-home support services for which the State will receive a federal match. When the Supports Program is fully implemented, it is expected to generate approximately $100 million in matching funding on previously State-only costs to create an estimated $200 million program, which will allow for the further expansion of services.

Family Services
The Fiscal Year 2018 budget continues and enhances the Christie Administration’s commitment to providing a wide array of services to children and families throughout New Jersey through Department of Children and Families (DCF) programs.

•       Child Protection and Permanency (CP&P). The Fiscal Year 2018 budget includes a total of $986.6 million in State and federal funds for the operations and services provided by this DCF Division that is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect
•      Children’s System of Care (CSOC). This program helps more youth remain at home, in school and in their own communities, while still receiving the full scope of services they require, and provides coordinated care for more than 61,000 children and adolescents. The Fiscal Year 2018 budget includes a total of $592.5 million in State and federal funds for the operations and services provided by this Division, an increase of $24.3 million over the fiscal 2017 Appropriations Act.
•      Family Success Centers.  The Governor’s proposed budget protects funding for these centers which are community-based organizations that provide a wide array of services ranging from day care, resume writing and parenting classes to domestic violence prevention and substance use disorder services. The number of Family Success Centers in New Jersey will increase to a total of 58 in Fiscal Year 2018.

Lead Safety
Through continuing and increased appropriations, Governor Christie’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget continues to address lead concerns in New Jersey, ensuring the State remains a national leader on this issue. Governor Christie has added $10 million in additional State funding to effectuate the update in lead regulations to make New Jersey’s standards for identifying elevated blood-lead levels in children consistent with those of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Department of Community Affairs will continue working through nonprofit organizations to remediate lead-based paint hazards affecting low- and moderate-income households in New Jersey.

The Fiscal Year 2017 budget provided $10 million to reimburse school districts for costs related to lead testing between July 13, 2016, and July 13, 2017. School districts that tested their water during that time period can continue to seek reimbursement in Fiscal Year 2018 from unexpended Fiscal Year 2017 balances.

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Reader says our taxes have increased astronomically in Ridgewood


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We want to stay in Ridgewood but on a significantly reduced income it may not be possible. Yes, our mortgage is long paid, But our taxes have increased astronomically. Our quarterly payment is more than my Social Security for 4 months, so all my Social Security for the year goes entirely to taxes. Thank heavens my husband also has Social Security but it is not enough to cover all other expenses .A reduction in taxes could make the difference between staying here or selling our 4 bedroom Colonial to a family with children. Such a family would cost the Village way more in services than we do now.