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Ridgewood Board of Education Ignores Residents Goes Rogue with Steven Field

photos courtesy of Anne Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  a reader commented ,”They are in the process of ripping out the old turf at Stevens after a questionable process that Dr. Fishbein orchestrated. As a result of his misinformation to Board members, they went with a product that is inferior to other products offered at a competitive price with a firm with multiple law suits filed against them in New Jersey alone. I would have settled for the recent turf replacement which was installed at Maple Field as it was an improvement over RHS Stadium and now Stevens. I am not disappointed in Dr. Fishbein because I expected his poor behavior. I just don’t know why except it is a bad case of administrative obstinance: my way or the High way.”

Once again the Ridgewood Board of Education ignores residents  and goes rogue .

Resident , Linda McNamara a long time turf field opponent  sent out and email to BOE members  and Village Council members stating ,”Dear Village Leaders, Today the Stevens Field Turf project began. Dr. Fishbein said that in order to be ready by September, there was no time for review of the project process to ensure the best outcomes. Not only was that not true but we have no idea where we will be in September with regards to school openings and athletics. I heard that Dr. Fishbein was planning to speak to Shaw Turf this past Monday. That did not happen. Everyone on this board and the previous board at least responded to me on the information I have sent except Mr. Kaufman and Mr. Lembo. They might have benefited from the information and possibly hearing me out. As for Dr. Fishbein, I have nothing left except to say that as an administrator you should use your community and committees to do the leg work on important projects. I hear you wanted to reduce Board meetings to once a month. Transparency is a goal but this recent turf project proves otherwise and we are none the better for it. ”



20 thoughts on “Ridgewood Board of Education Ignores Residents Goes Rogue with Steven Field

  1. Fishbein at his finest

  2. The new board could have stopped this and they chose not to. All talk no action.

  3. I’m sorry but Dan F doesn’t operate that way.

    It’s just turf, there are more important things going on right now.

  4. Ditto to that last comment. If there were real concerns there would be nationwide outrage. Also, professional sports players would all refuse to play. But they don’t. Let’s let Fishbein figure out how to get our kids back in school.

  5. cash payments make it easy to move forward without any input

  6. How old is that field, I don’t remember. What year that was installed.

  7. It’s not just Turf. It’s the surface our kids play on. There are reasonably well documented potential health risks that can be alleviated by using Turf filled with sawdust or cork rather than recycled tires. Why is that not important enough to fully discuss?

    Do you know that the kids in other states and professional players are playing on Turf made with recycled tires? Maybe they were concerned enough to discuss it and are using the less toxic materials…maybe that’s why they are not complaining. Don’t you want to know?

    I have two kids that play Soccer, one of whom plays Goal….and goalies end up being exposed more than other players because they are on the ground a lot (at least if they are aggressive goalies). I certainly want to know that we are not poisoning them by exposing them to a toxic substance.

  8. It isn’t just turf. I can name many instances where he has been less than forth right and not willing to examine alternatives. But artificial turf is a big ticket item that will take precedent over other important needs that COVID 19 may need to occur for positive school openings. Why isn’t the environment considered an important concern, especially since we have choices which are priced competitively. Unless you have had an issue with the Board of Ed it is hard to imagine that you could be dismissed. Also advocating for change any where any place is so difficult. We fought to save the Stable, we fought for a Community Center, The Schedler House, etc. we prevailed only when leadership changed.

  9. There is plenty of information out there on crumb rubber turf and it is a health and environmental concern. Our fields flood and infill washes into the brooks and streams abutting the fields. Have you been following the National Women’s Soccer Team in their quest for safer fields? Last, have you any idea what it takes to ban a known toxic substance. Look at asbestos, agent orange, DDT, warnings on cigarettes, lead in water, etc. Waiting for the Feds is like waiting for the impossible. With all the paid lobbyists and appointed positions that support continuing practices, it takes real stamina and many voices to even hope to make a difference. Ridgewood’s turf replacement should have been a no brainer. We had better choices. It didn’t happen.

  10. Yes, professional women soccer players have refused to play on it.

    Why why why do they keep insisting on this insanity?

  11. Again how old is the old field that they want to replace.

  12. And how much is this going to cost us.

  13. Approximately $600,000 for the crumb rubber field and the same for the more eco and safety friendly field installed at Maple Park in 2018 which players and coaches like. Stevens Field was installed in 2009- 2010. It has been considered in poor repair for the last few years. Our fields exist in flood plains which makes the choice even worse.

  14. Thanks

  15. Stevens Field failed its GMax test which seemed it unsafe for play. The lifespan of artificial turf (organic or not) is 8 years. We’re going on 11 and the field has flooded multiple times. It is a routine replacement.

  16. No more spending money…shut the field

  17. No more spending money…shut the field

  18. Taxed, your taxes aren’t going up because of this replacement. It is built into the budget as is any other project. So what do you mean no more spending money, shut the field? All that would do is lead to overcrowding of fields and put more wear on them.

  19. Why are the new board members missing from action here?
    Did they not run on the platform to rein in and control the dictator? Where are they now?

  20. Our taxes aren’t going up because the field replacement is “built in”? What? Our taxes aren’t going down because the promised reduced operating costs vs a grass field haven’t been realized.

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