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A year after death of Waldwick cop, colleagues continue to chase down speeders on Route 17


file photo Boyd Loving
JULY 16, 2015, 7:41 PM    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, JULY 16, 2015, 11:00 PM

While eyeballing cars from a shoulder on Route 17, police usually don’t get too excited by speeds that inch past the 55-mph limit. But when a jet-black Jeep shot by his cruiser at 79 mph this week, a Waldwick cop hit the gas pedal for a short chase that yielded a skittish speeder with a sense of humor.

“He told me it’s scary out here,” Sgt. Bob Woessner said moments later as he wrote a ticket. “He wondered how we do this each night.”

Sgt. Robert Woessner pulls over a speeding car on Route 17 south, close to the spot where Waldwick Officer Chris Goodell was killed after a tractor-trailer slammed into his police car one year ago.

The speeder might as well have been preaching to the choir. As he does most nights, Woessner was using radar to chase down speeders on a busy stretch of 17 where scariness reached a new threshold just one year ago today when a tractor-trailer slammed into a police cruiser carrying a colleague who was also pulling radar duty there. Patrolman Chris Goodell, 32, the sergeant’s close friend, was killed instantly.

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$50 grand for wi/fi for 4 people ?


Tedesco unveils a very expensive initiative to bring Internet to low-income high schoolers in Bergen County

JULY 15, 2015, 7:29 PM    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2015, 9:18 PM


Bergen County Executive James Tedesco on Wednesday unveiled an initiative aimed at providing basic broadband Internet service to low-income families with children who are starting high school this fall.

Tedesco announced he will provide a $50,000 grant from a discretionary fund in his budget to Jersey On, a non-profit that aims to connect more low-income families to the Internet.

A wireless router is the hub of your home or business network, delivering a single Internet connection to other devices on the network, through either wired Ethernet or a wireless connection. Some routers, targeted at novice users, are easy to set up, while others take a little more know-how. Routers also vary in the throughput they can manage, depending on the antenna configuration and the hardware inside.,2817,2398080,00.asp

The organization is headed by Josh Gottheimer, a Microsoft executive who is a Democratic candidate for the 5th Congressional District seat now held by Republican Scott Garrett.

The $50,000 will provide a pocket-sized Wi-Fi hotspot device good for up to five wireless devices at no cost to 531 freshmen within the county whose families are eligible for the free or reduced-cost lunch program, starting this fall.

Those families also will receive free wi-fi for the four years that their student is in high school.

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Ridgewood woman sues judge in challenge of layoff

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino

Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino

JULY 14, 2015, 6:23 PM    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2015, 6:39 AM

A Ridgewood woman has sued a state administrative law judge, claiming the judge has been violating her right to due process as she contests her dismissal from the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office.

The federal lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Newark by Alexis Fitzsimmons, an advanced practice nurse laid off from the Sheriff’s Department in the spring of 2011. Days after losing her job, Fitzsimmons — who’d been working as the department’s chief nursing officer — challenged her dismissal, contending it was “illegitimate” and political retaliation, the suit reads.

Fitzsimmons’ lawsuit, filed June 15,  claims she lost her job soon after Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino assumed office. The suit claims Saudino’s move was sparked by “groundless rumors” he had been told claiming Fitzsimmons was romantically involved with his predecessor as sheriff, Leo McGuire. Fitzsimmons’ suit further claims she was given 20 days’ notice prior to her dismissal and not 45 as is required by law.

Months later, the Civil Service Commission cleared the way for Fitzsimmons to appeal her layoff. The matter was assigned to New Jersey Office of Administrative Law Judge Irene Jones. Jones is named as a defendant in Fitzsimmons’ suit, as is Judge Laura Sanders, who oversees the administrative law office.

In February of 2013, Fitzsimmons’ suit claims, she filed a motion to compel the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office to provide discovery as well as answers to several questions. For nearly eight months, Jones declined to rule on the motion, reads the suit. Then, a two-page order issued September 30, 2013 denied the motion without offering any explanation for the opinion.

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Lawsuit against Ridgewood Water to be decided by Superior Court judge


JULY 15, 2015, 2:19 PM    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2015, 2:23 PM

Years-long litigation against Ridgewood Water must be decided by a Superior Court judge, a state appeals court ruled on Wednesday.

The Appellate Division of New Jersey’s Superior Court reversed a trial judge’s 2014 decision transferring the suit to the Board of Public Utilities for resolution.

In a 25-page ruling, the Superior Court Appellate Division remanded the matter back to the trial court, noting “this is not a case requiring the particular expertise associated with the jurisdiction of the BPU.”

Ridgewood Mayor Paul Aronsohn declined to comment Wednesday, citing the ongoing nature of the litigation.

The class action lawsuit was filed against Ridgewood Water in Superior Court by Wyckoff officials in 2010, with the municipalities of Glen Rock and Midland Park joining the action as plaintiffs a year later.

The lawsuit alleges the water utility raised its rates in 2010 by 21 percent and that rates further rose 5 percent in 2011 and 2012.

The suit contends the rate hikes were approved in an ordinance adopted by the village council, and characterizes the increases as “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable and, accordingly, should be declared invalid and unenforceable.”


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Weinberg v. Yudin and the Bergen County Property Tax Question


John Mitchell, Taxpayer Advocate Award to Bergen County Sheriff Mike Saudino. Under Sheriff Saudino’s leadership the taxpayer has saved over $2.5 million through prudent budget cuts and significant overtime reductions. Bravo Sheriff Mike!! 

Three Democrats will try to fend off a challenge by Republicans led by Bergen GOP Chairman Bob Yudin

By Alyana Alfaro | 07/14/15 1:35pm

In the upcoming November 2015 election, Bergen County Republicans will have the chance to usurp three seats on the Board of Chosen Freeholders currently occupied by Freeholder Vice Chairman Steve Tanelli, Freeholder Tracy Silna Zur and Freeholder Thomas Sullivan Jr.

The incumbent Democrats are opposed by Republicans John Mitchell, Ken Tyburczy and Daisy Ortiz-Berger.

For Bergen County Republican Chairman Bob Yudin, the main determining factor of the upcoming November freeholder election is going to be property taxes.

“There was a four percent increase in the total budget this year under the Democratic majority,” Yudin said. “That increase led to increased property taxes.”

According to Yudin, since Democrats currently have the majority on the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders—only two of the seven members are Republican—the issue of increasing the budget became a partisan one.

“To call it non-partisan is a joke,” Yudin told PolitickerNJ. “We need a serious reduction in the budget. The Republican Party in Bergen County is overwhelmingly in favor of a reduction in property taxes.

Eschewing Yudin’s argument, Democrats note that the chairman of the budget process was Freeholder John Felice, a Republican; and that the budget passed 7-0 with GOP support.

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), also believes that property taxes are an issue in New Jersey. However, she thinks that the issue stems from a reduction in state funding to schools and counties, not a function of there being a democratic majority on the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

“I think property taxes are a problem in New Jersey, a big problem,” Weinberg said. “But I don’t think that anybody believes that one party or the other owns it or that one group of freeholders is going to find a unilateral solution.”

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Surprise plea in jogger’s death; admission of guilt brings tears of relief to Paramus family


Gabrielle Reuveni

Surprise plea in jogger’s death; admission of guilt brings tears of relief to Paramus family

JULY 10, 2015, 12:54 PM    LAST UPDATED: SATURDAY, JULY 11, 2015, 12:30 PM

Gabrielle Reuveni’s parents had waited almost three years for this moment: an admission by the man who killed their daughter that he was under the influence of painkillers when his pickup swerved off a Pennsylvania road, striking a young woman who aspired to a future of helping others.

Philip Cise, 51, stood in the chambers of a Pennsylvania judge on Friday, even as potential jurors were assembled in the courtroom for jury selection to hear the case against him, pleading guilty to homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, the most serious charge that he faced.

Reuveni, 20, Paramus High School’s 2010 valedictorian and a member of her university track team, had been running along a road near her family’s vacation home in the Poconos on July 14, 2012, when, witnesses say, Cise, a Morris County man with a long history of mental illness and minor criminal offenses, swerved for no apparent reason. Authorities said he told them he had taken painkillers obtained from a friend

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Major Crash on Rout 17 South takes out Utility Pole


photos Courtesy of Boyd Loving’s Facesbook

Major Crash on Rout 17 South takes out Utility Pole
July 07,2015
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Paramus NJ, The male driver of a 4-door Toyota Corolla was transported by ambulance to Hackensack University Medical Center’s main campus following a rollover crash on Route 17 southbound near Route 4 at approximately 10:00 AM on this Friday morning,


The crash severed a utility pole, knocking out phone and electric service to a nearby Porcelanosa tile showroom. The right shoulder and two (2) travel lanes of Route 17 southbound were closed due to the incident. The Corolla was removed by a flatbed tow truck. Paramus PD, EMS and FD Companies 2 & 4 responded to the incident. NJDOT crews assisted in blocking traffic lanes. PSE&G crews arrived at approximately 10:45 AM to attend to the utility pole issues.

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Proposed assisted living facility in Waldwick rejected


JULY 9, 2015    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, JULY 9, 2015, 2:53 PM

Waldwick – Following more than two hours of testimony Wednesday, July 8, by residents who have been opposing construction of an assisted living facility on Wyckoff Avenue, the zoning board voted 5-2 to reject the application after 13 months of hearings.

The board will formalize its decision by resolution at its Aug. 12 meeting, said board attorney John D’Anton. He said the developer, Formation-Shelbourne Senior Living Services, would then have 45 days to file an appeal in state Superior Court.

Formation-Shelbourne had originally proposed an 85-unit, 100-bed facility, to be known as Solana of Waldwick, on 3.5 acres that is now occupied by four single-family homes at 237, 239, 241, and 247 Wyckoff Ave. Formation-Shelbourne attorney Robert Podvey said the applicant had submitted a final revised site plan on July 7 that reduced the number of units from 85 to 79 and the bed count from 100 to 94. He said the facility was moved back on the property approximately 16 feet from Cambra Road neighbors by removing six residential units on three floors.

The applicant’s engineer, Joseph Miele of Dresdner Robin, Fairfield, said it had also slightly reduced the building’s floor area ratio and impervious coverage, though both still required variances. The facility required a total of four variances, including ones for side parking and its height of three stories. It also required a minor subdivision.

Board members Eugene Sullivan, George Tencza, Ken Gurian, Jesus Mones and Stan Wekarski opposed the application, while member George Pedersen and chair J. Patrick Hunter favored it.

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Grand Jury Indicts former Ridgewood Lacrosse star In Mother’s Death


July 1,2015

the staff of the Ridgewood blogRidgewood NJ, A grand jury has indicted a former Ridgewood Lacrosse Star Nicholas Piotti of Ho Ho Kus for the killing of his mother.

Piotti was accused of stabbing and beating his mother to death in the fall of last year.

Nicholas Piotti, 24, was indicted on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of his mother, Karen, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon

According to prosecutors, the 63-year-old victim suffered multiple stab wounds and beating trauma in the Sept. 1 attack.

Piotti’s lawyer said last year his client had psychiatric problems and he’d pursue an insanity defense.

Piotti, is due back in court in August and is currently being held in the Bergen County Jail in lieu of $2 million bail.