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Prolonged construction of Valley Hospital’s expansion has potential respiratory impact on BF students


March 27,2016
Dana Glazer

Ridgewood NJ, As a follow up to yesterday’s Valley Hospital video: please read and share p.31 from the American Lung Association’s State of the Air address to better understand the potential respiratory impact on BF students, as well as nearby residents, who will be subjected to such a prolonged construction of Valley Hospital’s expansion.

EPA Concludes Fine Particle Pollution Poses Serious

Health Threats

■■ Causes early death (both short-term and long-term exposure)

■■ Causes cardiovascular harm (e.g. heart attacks, strokes, heart

disease, congestive heart failure)

■■ Likely to cause respiratory harm (e.g. worsened asthma, wors-
ened COPD, inflammation)

■■ May cause cancer

■■ May cause reproductive and developmental harm

—U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Integrated

Matter, December 2009. EPA 600/R-08/139F.

Here is the full document:…/ALA_State_of_the_Air_2015.pdf

Lastly, “The Whispering Woods” public hearings on the Valley Settlement are to take place at the following locations:

· Wednesday, March 30, 2016; 7:30pm; Village Hall courtroom

· Thursday, March 31, 2016; 7:30pm, Student Center Ridgewood High School

· Monday, April 4, 2016; Village Hall Courtroom

· Tuesday, April 5, 2016; Village Hall Courtroom

· Thursday, April 7, 2016; Student Center Ridgewood High School

For more information or how to get involved please email or visit www.

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Ridgewood planners set to vote on Valley Hospital’s expansion


Ridgewood planners set to vote on Valley Hospital’s expansion

JUNE 16, 2014    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, JUNE 16, 2014, 2:09 PM

RIDGEWOOD — After 16 months of hearings, the Planning Board is set to vote Tuesday on The Valley Hospital’s proposal to nearly double in size, a project that has polarized the village and pitted the medical center against a vocal group of residents.

This round of hearings is the latest push in Valley’s eight-year effort to expand. The meetings have been heated, frequently tedious and sometimes downright ugly, with residents yelling and booing a combative attorney who represents the hospital.

“These meetings have all been one-sided — Valley’s side,” said Jody McCambridge. “I just hope they make a wise choice and keep the hospital the size it is now.”

Valley officials are seeking an amendment to the village master plan for the expansion. Their plan calls for the hospital to grow from 562,000 square feet to 995,000 square feet, with one building that will rise 94 feet high. The expansion will include a 245,000-square-foot parking garage.

Hospital executives declined to comment. Supporters of the project said the hospital needs to expand and renovate to keep current in a highly competitive market.

“You have to decide whether Ridgewood wants access to a first-class medical center,” Gene Cornell, president of Ridgewood Residents for Valley, told the Planning Board this month. “The need for renovation is clear.”

– See more at:

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Parents Urge BOE to take a stand against Valley Hospital’s Expansion

>Ridgewood parents express growing concerns about Valley expansion project
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The Record

RIDGEWOOD – A growing number of parents are opposed to The Valley Hospital’s plan to double in size, fearing years of construction will expose middle school students to health hazards and disruptions in learning.

Even though the issue has been debated for three years in the village, more parents are voicing concerns as the Planning Board is nearing a vote this month on proposed changes to the master plan that would allow the $750 million project.

E-mail chains are circulating urging the Board of Education to take a stand against the proposal. Residents who never thought the plan would get to a vote are distributing fliers and posting them on utility poles.

“There are quite a few people who are up in arms,” said resident Lorraine Reynolds. “A lot of people didn’t think it would get this far.”

“The Board of Education is here to protect our children and the only way they can do this is to take a stand against the proposed plan,” she said.

The Planning Board is scheduled to hold a meeting on the issue this evening at Village Hall, though opponents had hoped it would be moved because a major school event is also scheduled for tonight.

If approved by the Planning Board, the master plan changes would allow the hospital to double in size to 1.17 million square feet and permit a building that could reach 94 feet high within 40 feet of the property of Benjamin Franklin Middle School. A six-story parking garage, with four floors above ground, would also be permitted on the property.

A crucial concern for parents is the proposed construction of the North Building adjacent to the middle school, which could take nearly seven years to complete. Half of the public school students in Ridgewood attend this middle school at some point. Concern about the impact on students in this school has swept in parents from the all over the east side of the village.

Fliers are warning: “The impact lasts forever. Once the hospital doubles in size, our children will go to school next to a massive complex that will spew more exhaust, cause more traffic, more noise.” They warn that children with asthma and other respiratory issues will not be able to attend the middle school or a nearby elementary school.

Last year, Board of Education member Sheila Brogan testified at a Planning Board meeting that the board’s intention was “not to get intertwined in the debate.” Noting the “unprecedented size, scope and duration of the project,” however, Brogan said, the board wanted the hospital to pay for air and noise monitoring.

But Carrie Lewis thinks the board has a responsibility to get involved.

“The board and the superintendent ask us for support for their budget when it comes to saving jobs, but they aren’t standing up for us on an issue that will affect our children’s health while at school and their ability to learn in the midst of years of construction.

“I think the Planning Board and our school board has no understanding that this project will have a lasting impact on the students on this side of town. This is not just a neighborhood issue. I don’t live in that neighborhood, but my children will be affected because that is our middle school.”

Parents have been passing around literature about how children near high-traffic areas suffer higher rates of asthma and difficulties learning. A pink flier posted around the four schools on the east side warned that Valley’s assurances that it will mitigate noise and air issues didn’t work during previous hospital construction projects, when middle school students couldn’t hear their teachers and practices on the fields outside were held amid dust from construction.

Resident Lisa Baney said she questioned if Valley Hospital “will or actually can comply with the Board of Education’s requests for assurances of a healthy, safe, effective learning environment at Benjamin Franklin Middle School, Travell and the nearby community.”

“Saying assurances will be made to manage the issues of air quality, health, safety and an effective learning environment is like British Petroleum saying every state-of-the-art measure has been taken to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico,” Baney said.

Baney also noted that health and environmental impact studies have not been completed, a concern shared by many other residents. The Planning Board has said those studies are not part of the master plan review process, but could be required during site plan review if the master plan changes are approved.

Neither Superintendent Daniel Fishbein nor Board of Education President Michele Lenhard could be reached for comment.

However some residents who have corresponded with trustees said the board would request specific safeguards for student health, safety and learning if the project gets to the point of site plan review.

The board is not expected to vote at tonight’s meeting. The board added June 7 because some parents will be attending a concert at Benjamin Franklin Middle School this evening. Meetings are also scheduled for June 14 and 15.

If the board approves master plan changes, the Village Council would also vote on new ordinances. If the council approves the changes, the hospital would then begin site review before the Planning Board.

Hospital spokeswoman Megan Fraser said Valley officials have met with members of the Federated Home and School Association on several occasions, as well as with parent groups to explain the many items that are monitored by the village through a developer’s agreement.

“As health care providers, the safety of our patients, staff, neighbors and the students is our greatest concern,” Fraser said.

“I think it is important to reinforce that Valley has done this before and, now as then, we look forward to working with the Board of Education and parents to resolve construction issues,” Fraser said.


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