Posted on



file photo by Boyd Loving



Ridgewood NJ, The fourth in a series of online, interactive flood-preparation maps designed to aid emergency management personnel and to inform residents in the Passaic River Basin about flooding events in real time has been launched, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced today. The Ho-Ho-Kus Brook Flood Inundation Map, covering a 6-mile span of the river in Bergen County’s Waldwick Borough, Ho-Ho-Kus Borough and Ridgewood, is the fourth map designated for the Passaic River Basin in response to recommendations made by Governor Christie’s Passaic River Basin Advisory Commission.
The map was developed in a partnership between the DEP and U.S. Geological Survey. Fifteen additional maps covering critical areas of the basin will be produced in coming months as part of a cooperative effort between the DEP, USGS and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Flood inundation mapping is among the recommendations in the commission’s 15-point plan for short-term and long-term measures to help mitigate flooding impacts in the basin. Governor Christie formed the commission in 2011 in response to a series of damaging floods in the basin, which covers significant portions of Bergen, Morris and Passaic counties.
Key recommendations of the plan called for better information to help prepare for and respond to flooding emergencies. “The Christie Administration remains committed to addressing flooding issues in the Passaic River Basin through mitigation, property acquisitions, de-snagging efforts and emergency preparedness and response,” Commissioner Martin said. “These easy-to-use online maps offer real-time information to residents about conditions during significant rainfalls and will assist local, state and federal officials in making critical decision to protect the public in the event of flooding.” “This flood preparedness tool highlights how our agencies and local officials are working together to create more resilient communities, and to provide better flood preparedness and responses to flooding,” added USGS Associate Director for Water Bill Werkheiser.
In addition to this latest map, flood inundation maps are being developed for Lodi, Ridgewood and Upper Saddle River along the Saddle River; for Little Falls, Pine Brook, Chatham, Millington and Clifton along the Passaic River. Maps are also being created for Pompton Lakes, Mahwah and Oakland along the Wanaque River; for two locations in Wanaque along the Wanaque River; for Pompton Plains along the Pompton River; for Riverdale and the Macopin Intake Dam along the Pequannock River; and for Little Falls along the Peckman River. Previous flood inundation maps were produced for a 2.75-mile reach of the Saddle River in Lodi; a 4.1-mile stretch of the river in Saddle River Borough; and for a 5.4-mile span of the river running downstream from Ho-Ho-Kus Borough through the Village of Ridgewood and Paramus Borough to the confluence with Hohokus Brook in the Village of Ridgewood.
To view the Hohokus Brook map, visit: A click on the map shows the stream flows and water depths for the stretch of the stream that extends from White’s Lake Dam in Waldwick Borough, downstream through Ho-Ho-Kus Borough to Grove Street in the Village of Ridgewood.
Monitoring tools include current stream gauges, which provide real-time data via satellites to the USGS and the National Weather Service. The flood inundation map shows where floodwaters are expected to travel. Emergency management officials and residents can use this information to evaluate the potential threat of floodwaters to property and infrastructure.
Through the website, users will also have the option to receive email notifications in real time of critical thresholds reached in the river via the USGS WaterAlert. To view the Scientific Investigations Report (SIR 2015-5064) documenting the development and methods used to create the flood inundations maps, visit: For current conditions for USGS stream gauge 013910000 Hohokus Brook at Ho-Ho-Kus, visit:
For information on the Governor’s 15-point Passaic Basin plan and the Passaic River Basin Flood Advisory Commission, visit:
Posted on

Garrett tells Wyckoff crowd stopping Iran deal will be tough


AUGUST 26, 2015    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26, 2015, 1:21 AM

Rep. Scott Garrett told a Tea Party audience in Wyckoff on Tuesday that he opposes the proposed nuclear arms agreement with Iran but said stopping the deal will be difficult under the rules that the Senate has adopted.

Garrett, R-Wantage, said he considers the agreement reached by the Obama administration to be a treaty that ought to require two-thirds approval by the Senate.

But he said a majority of his colleagues still consider it an executive action by the president.

Under the rules adopted, it would require a two-thirds majority of both the Senate and the House to disapprove the deal after a 60-day review period.

“The burden of proof has shifted from them to us,” Garrett said of the rules.

As an executive action, the agreement could be undone by the next president, Garrett said.

“But the problem with that is that the next president will not be here for another 16 or 17 months,” Garrett told a crowd of about 70 people gathered at a forum hosted by the West Bergen Tea Party.

While talk of the Iran deal dominated most of the evening, the mostly receptive audience also peppered Garrett with other questions on topics ranging from the GOP leadership in the House to trade agreements and housing discrimination legislation.

None of the questions dealt with presidential politics or the race for the Republican nomination.

Posted on

Garrett Says No Deal on Iran Nukes

August 26,2015
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Will voters remember N.J. Rep. Scott Garrett’s gay comments next fall? In a state with a history of populating the more moderate wing of the Republican Party, U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett has always been an outlier. Jonathan D. Salant,

Wyckoff NJ, Its been asked over and over by every New Jersey editorial board ,will voters remember N.J. Rep. Scott Garrett’s  supposed, anonymously sourced Speaker Bohner planted gay comments next fall?

The answer was heard loud and clear today and in meetings like it all over the state. Garrett spoke before a packed house at the WBTP and question after question was about a Nuclear Iran, TPP, TPA, and so on but not one single question about the anonymously attributed “gay ” comments , not one. Apparently Iranians shouting death to America and being handed nuclear weapons by our government , held sway over silly Republican intramural politics .
Last night Garrett spoke before the West Bergen Tea Party meeting in Wyckoff which looked like a who’s who in North Jersey Republican Politics including Bob Yudin of BCRO and Paul DiGaetano  .
Garrett took some heat for Republican failures to achieve any meaning for change in the disastrous direction the country is headed ,after which he reminded the crowd that he was just one person and will vote against the Iran Nuke deal , had voted against Obamacare, voted to with hold TPA from the president , and had voted against speaker Bohners leadership .
Garrett took it one step further when explained that he and 8 other house members, now grown to 50 that had started a caucus in the house which looked to push a more constitutional based agenda for the house. Garrett seemed even more frustrated than members of the audience with the current political situation and suggested the House could use the power of the purse to defund the Iran deal .


Posted on

3 Bergen County freeholders ask Bergen Regional Medical Center to expand drug detox unit


AUGUST 24, 2015, 5:31 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2015, 7:40 AM

Three Bergen County freeholders want the private operator of the county-owned Bergen Regional Medical Center to expand its drug detoxification unit to help deal with the epidemic of heroin addiction in the county.

But hospital officials say they have already taken the first steps toward increasing the 54 beds currently available for short-term treatment of recovering drug and alcohol addicts.

The issue comes at a time when the heroin-related deaths in Bergen County have spiked. The New Jersey Medical Examiners office reported in June that there were 42 heroin-related deaths in 2014, a 61 percent increase over 2013 and the third largest increase of any county in the state.

Freeholders Thomas Sullivan, Joan Voss and Tracy Zur sent a letter Thursday to County Executive James Tedesco asking him to “pursue a dialog” with Bergen Regional officials about expanding services.

“We are all well aware of the heroin epidemic in our midst,” the freeholders wrote. “We have attended too many funerals for people who have lost their battles to addiction.”

Posted on

In Saddle River, deer problem spurs thoughts of a hunt


file photo by Boyd Loving

AUGUST 24, 2015    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 2015, 1:20 AM

SADDLE RIVER — Borough officials are considering allowing hunters to control the deer population, and state-certified Animal Control Officer Carol Tyler says her experiences in the field confirm that something has to be done.

There are so many deer in town, she says, that it’s led to more getting hit by cars, impaled by fences and becoming so dependent on feeding by residents that “The deer I’m pulling out of the woods are skeletons that didn’t know how to deal with winter.”

“Do we have a humane issue, do we have a deer population that we can’t control?” she continued, “Did we cause it? Yes, we did. We have to do something about it.”

Tyler spoke at a presentation last Wednesday night held by the Borough Council’s wildlife management committee and attended by Ramsey Board of Health members, an Allendale council member and residents.

Posted on

Bergen County Fire Chief’s Association calls for updates to fire code

file photo by Boyd Loving

August 24, 2015

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, News 12 reported that the Bergen County Fire Chief’s Association and other fire officials are calling for an update to New Jersey’s fire code. According to Bergen County’s Fire Chief Association the State of New Jersey is Still using pre-Avolon fire ,fire codes from 2006. Look at all the build being planned in Ridgewood alone then think about all the multi family high density units being built all over Bergen County .

News 12 cited fire experts claiming that would not be enough to prevent another massive Avolon type fire like the one in Edgewater in January . The new codes would ban buildings over three stories, firewalls between every ten units and sprinklers between floors.Under current building codes the entire Avolon apartments can be rebuild from the same plans .


Posted on

‘No idea why he cracked’; N.Y.C. shooter’s job loss was one in string of setbacks


AUGUST 22, 2015, 6:03 PM    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, AUGUST 23, 2015, 12:29 AM

One day after authorities say Fort Lee resident Kevin Downing shot a security guard and then himself inside a federal building in Manhattan, a contradictory image emerged Saturday of Downing as a man by turns warm, sad, distant and obsessed, an Army veteran whose once-bright future gradually dimmed in a series of personal setbacks.

In the late 1990s, Downing was fired after working briefly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, instigating a 16-year campaign in which he accused the agency of retaliating against him for acting as a whistle-blower. The agency has offices in the same building where the shooting occurred, leading many to believe the attackwas related to Downing’s long-simmering complaints.

The FBI, New York Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security have released little information about the investigation. All the agencies declined to comment Saturday on motives or details in the case.


Kelly: Call to newsroom gave no hint at violence

AUGUST 23, 2015    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, AUGUST 23, 2015, 12:36 AM

On an otherwise ordinary Wednesday morning in April, my phone rang.

Kevin Downing of Fort Lee was on the line with a cry for help and a story of hardship — a story I had no idea would take a deadly turn four months later.

Without any apparent warning, Downing, 68, walked into a federal office building in lower Manhattan on Friday, and fatally shot a security guard. Moments later, Downing turned his gun on himself.

This is every journalist’s nightmare — an out-of-the blue phone call from someone who seems entirely rational at the time, yet is harboring a deep and hidden pain that could one day explode into violence.

It is the kind of nightmare that many others face, too — from parents, coaches and teachers to cops, clergy, health care professionals and even mayors and lawmakers. In short, anyone whose job involves listening to someone with a problem.

Posted on

300 protest outside Planned Parenthood offices in Hackensack


AUGUST 22, 2015, 5:50 PM    LAST UPDATED: SATURDAY, AUGUST 22, 2015, 5:54 PM

Approximately 300 protesters crowded the sidewalks on both sides of Main Street in Hackensack on Saturday for a two-hour anti-abortion demonstration outside the offices of Planned Parenthood, one of hundreds that were to take place around the country, including four in New Jersey

The protests were in response to undercover videos released by anti-abortion groups that advocates say show that Planned Parenthood is profiting off the sale of aborted fetuses for medical research. Planned Parenthood has denied that, saying payments they’ve received for fetal tissue merely reimburse their costs and that the statements of the Planned Parenthood officials captured on the videos were taken out of context.

Among the protestors in Hackensack on Saturday was Marjorie Cox, 71, who said she had never before demonstrated or spoken up about her anti-abortion beliefs until she watched the videos.

“I can’t believe this is happening anywhere in the world, let alone in the United States. It’s barbaric,” said Cox, of Maywood. “This is my first time to a protest. Now I’m going to get involved.”

The videos were created by the Center for Medical Progress, an organization founded in 2013 three long-time anti-abortion activists, according to a filing with the California Attorney General.

So far the group has released eight videos. The latest, released Friday, is two minutes long and has been described as a “teaser,” indicating that more videos may be released in the future. The first recording was released in July. Edited down to nine minutes, it shows a secret recording from a two-hour lunch between Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, and two people pretending to be buyers of fetal tissue.

“What would you expect for intact tissue?” asked one of the people posing as buyers.

Posted on

Judge grants 2 lawyers in courthouse fistfight a dismissal


AUGUST 21, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 21, 2015, 1:21 AM

Two attorneys who were arrested and charged with simple assault in April after a heated dispute turned into a fistfight at the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack have persuaded a judge to dismiss the charges, a lawyer for one of the men said Thursday.

Costantino Fragale, 42, and Jeffrey Mandel, 43, were taking a deposition in a civil suit on April 29 when the dispute erupted in a fourth-floor jury deliberation room that doubles as an attorney conference room.

More than a dozen sheriff’s officers quickly responded and broke up the fight, authorities said.

“We worked it out,” Fragale’s attorney, Miles Feinstein, said Thursday.

Both parties agreed to drop their respective complaints, and Judge Louis Denise of the Central Municipal Court in Hackensack granted their request to dismiss the charges, Feinstein said.

“They are attorneys, and it is the best result for them to not have anything on their record,” he said.

Mandel was questioning Fragale’s client when “it got very heated,” Feinstein said. Mandel threw the first punch and bloodied Fragale’s face and, when his client tried to ward off further blows, sheriff’s officers came in and stopped the fight, Feinstein said.

Posted on

Midland Park critical of lead remediation by Ridgewood Water


AUGUST 20, 2015    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 2015, 12:31 AM

MIDLAND PARK — The Borough Council flooded officials of Ridgewood Water with questions about the high level of lead in water supplied to the community but was left parched by its steps to remediate the situation.

Richard Calbi, the company’s new director of operations, and its business manager David Scheibner were asked to appear at the council’s Aug. 13 meeting to explain information contained in a brochure the company sent to residents and businesses about the contamination.

The brochure states that routine monitoring in June 2012 found that some drinking water samples had lead levels above the “EPA action level” of 15 parts per billion (ppb) or 0.015 milligrams of lead per liter (mg/L).

The representatives explained that samples were taken at addresses identified as “high-risk” or known to have lead pipes.

Scheibner said results at “six homes triggered treating the whole system.”

Mayor Patrick “Bud” O’Hagan asked whether any of the “high-risk” addresses were in the borough.

The representatives said three residences, all known to have lead service lines, located on Godwin Avenue, Erie Avenue and Van Blarcom Avenue, were used in the sampling and showed lead contaminants.