Pascack Press 1.18.21

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Emerson • Hillsdale • Montvale • Park Ridge • River Vale • Township of Washington • Westwood • Woodcliff Lake VOLUME 24 ISSUE 44




TRAVEL TEAM ON A MISSION Westwood 12U Cardinals eye Cooperstown

Minche Kim of Pascack Valley High School named a Youth Afterschool Ambassador. SEE PAGE 15



Students, faculty convene to replace retired ʻIndianʼ



The new era has begun. Fifty-three Pascack Valley High School students and 15 faculty members met Jan. 7 via Zoom to lay the groundwork for the selection of PVʼs new nickname and mascot. The Mascot Selection Committee, as it is known, discussed how it will get to its end goal of choosing a new mascot after the Board of Education voted to remove the previous mascot, the Indians, in June 2020. These meetings are closed for non-members, but organizers John Puccio, one of the schoolʼs assistant principals, and Shawn Buchanan, the athletics director, made themselves available for questions afterward. Buchanan said the committee has no firm timetable, but the next meeting could take place Jan. 21.

See MASCOT on page 134

FUNDS ARE SOUGHT for the Westwood Cardinals 12U to make their games. Left to right, front to back: Dante Makula, Jack Turcina, Nick Klein, Jake Casimiro, Patrick Stark, Lukas Mehandzic, Brady Galligher, Max Biroc, Logan Stewart, and Cory Bernstein. BY JOHN SNYDER OF PASCACK PRESS

You can use a new PlayStation 5, sure! Who couldnʼt! Let us explain: The Westwood Baseball Association brings a group of kids to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown,

JANUARY 18, 2021

N.Y., every year, for education and a weekend of Cooperstown Baseball World tournament play with teams from far and wide, but needs your help to get there this summer. Coach- and family-led fundraisers, from football pools to a car wash to a designer handbag raffle to a PlayStation 5


raffle are in the hopper to help the three-season rec team reach its goal. Coach Brian Turcina says 12U tournament play at Cooperstown is “a treasured—and once in a lifetime—opportunity that the players will never forget.”


WORRIES OVER DPW Doghouse, Sherry Field neighbors complain



Three families concerned about possible harm over large public works vehicles parked near their homes spoke out at the town councilʼs Jan. 4 reorganization meeting. Heavy-duty, multi-ton vehicles, including garbage trucks, dump trucks, and front-end loaders, need alternate parking locations given required demolition of the longtime DPW building, at the municipal center, and remediation of contaminated soil on site. Public works vehicles are being parked near Sherry Field, a borough property near the Doghouse Saloon—where residents were startled to see trees marked and felled in preparation— and a rear parking lot at Valley Bank, offered to the township at no cost One town councilman has proposed striking a deal with Hillsdale and Westwood for a one-year shared DPW service instead. Recently the town council authorized Mayor Peter Calamari to lease 28 spaces at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, a $2,500per-month taxpayer expense. That said, on Dec. 21,2020 in a letter to the editor, Calamari pushed back against ethics concerns lodged against him related to the deal and said that OLGCʼs spaces would not be needed after

See WORRIES on page 26


B ck in time...

Correspondent Matthew Wikfors on Woodcliff Lake mother and son Stephanie and Davis Gannon and their charity shoe drive.

Pascack Road is stark in a winter scene from the 1910s, runnelled with wagon wheels and thin auto tires. In view: the old Park Ridge High School.






LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Horváth honored on election win


To the editor:

HILLSDALE! It was my honor to gain your


confidence and support by reelecting me for another three-year term as your councilman. I promise to work toward Hillsdaleʼs best interest by insisting on no tax increases for 2021, further, in pursuit of transparency, I will advocate to hold special budget meetings with public commentaries. For the last three years, I have been advocating for a much needed seniors and community center and will insist on putting it on a fast track for 2021. I will continue to advocate for moderation in the redevelopment of the industrial area. As the chairman of the Historic Preservation Committee, I will push to restore the Hillsdale Train Station with novel ideas to make it a more integral and diversified public asset. As a member of the Public Relations and Communications Committee as well as being the

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assault on the very institutions that have always made America great should make it abundantly clear: Ours is a very fragile democracy relying on the trust and good will of our elected leaders to honor the oath of office they swear to. Unfortunately, too many in positions of power have failed. Countless local, state, and federal officials who have remained at best complacently silent, and who at worst supported, condoned, encouraged, and endorsed a fascist president* hell bent on the destruction of a democratic society, are guilty accomplices to the great charade that is the presidency* of Donald J. Trump. The goal of our forefathers had been to form a more perfect union for their successors to build upon, to recognize flaws, and to make the necessary changes to fulfill the promise that “all men are created equal” and that we are indeed “one nation under God.” Not since Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter have those ideals been so brazenly assailed than they were by Trump-backed domestic terrorists on Jan. 6, 2021—“a date that will live in To the editor: F THE PAST four and a half infamy.” This should be no surprise to years have not driven the lesson home, the violent physical anyone paying attention. This is

Hillsdale volunteer town photographer, I will continue to shine a light on the best qualities of Hillsdale. As a council liaison to Hillsdaleʼs seniors, I will continue to advocate for their needs and best interest. As a member of the Planning Board, I will continue to support sensible projects that adhere to the Master Plan. As the new chair of the Fire Committee, I am proud to work with one of the finest volunteer organizations in the Pascack Valley. In order to help make Hillsdale a more affordable town, I will consider and advocate for shared services. Best of health and happy New Year to all Zoltán Horváth Hillsdale Councilman

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not some spontaneous aberration of morality. This is exactly what Trump has been inciting since the day he rode his golden escalator to announce his candidacy. The treasonous events that took place at our nationʼs capital are the culmination of a lifetime of hate that has brewed deep in the bowels of our neighbors for generations. I have seen it in my own town when a prominent local official erected a gallows on the back of his truck to hang then presidential candidate Barack Obama in effigy. Yes, that happened in Westwood, new Jersey and it was the same venom that poisons the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. The same venom that allowed a Black man to be publicly lynched in Minneapolis, and another for jogging, and countless others not filmed or publicized. It is the same venom spewed by our spray-tanned snake oil salesman president*. Donald J. Trump is the ruler they sought. They absorb his countless lies as truths, and they hail him as unfailingly as any leader since Adolph Hitler. Trump called these terrorists “patriots.” He said he loves them and he instructed them to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol steps to “fight like hell,” and they did just that. Fueled by Trumpʼs hateful and divisive rhetoric, the terrorists he cultivated charged unabated into the halls of Congress and the Senate floor brandishing Confederate flags, giddily posing for pictures while others desecrated our most sacred building and symbol of the American people and our government. This terrorism resulted in five people who took their last breath


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Restaurant Appreciation Month runs to Feb. 10

Join Celebrate Westwood in celebrating the boroughʼs unique restaurants and dining establishments from Thursday, Jan. 14 to Wednesday, Feb. 10 for Westwoodʼs first Restaurant Appreciation Month. Dine in or take out at any of Westwood's 42 unique eateries, which offer cuisines at all price points, from all parts of the globe which are sure to tempt every pallet and satisfy every craving. Celebrate Westwood will host weekly contests to encourage dining out and ordering in. To win one of several prizes valued at over $100 each, post a photo of your order, plate, or dining experience on Instagram or Facebook and tag @celebratewestwood, the Westwood eatery, and a local friend. Be sure to use #dinethehub! Multiple submissions are encouraged. Winners will be selected each week through Feb. 10, at random. Restaurants are encouraged to highlight their weekly specials, tasteful menu offerings, seasonal specials, and new dishes. — Lauren Letizia and RoseAnn Ciarlante

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Discover local history at museum The Pascack Historical Society, 19 Ridge Ave. in Park Ridge, invites members of the public to stop by its museum any Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Face masks are required. The museum is home to thousands of objects, artifacts, and ephemera that chronicle life in the Pascack Valley from the Lenape Indian days until the present. Visitors will discover a special section devoted to colonial artifacts, relics from the production of wampum in the Pascack Valley, rooms recreated to illustrate early 19th century and Victorian life, a collection of Lenape stone tools, and more.

SEEKING VOLUNTEERS The museum has varied volunteer opportunities for those who take an interest in history and want to give back to the community. (Note: You must be a PHS member to become a volunteer.) • Docent: Lead public and private museum tours. • Treasurer assistant: Ideal for a small business owner who knows QuickBooks and wants to help manage PHS finances. • Textiles Department: A person with some knowledge of antique garments is needed to help hand sew, mend, and preserve PHSʼ textiles collection. • Education: Help develop and deliver educational programs for kids and adults. • House and Grounds: “Handyperson” to help maintain PHSʼ 1873 building with light repairs, painting, and carpentry. Volunteer applications are available by clicking the “Get Involved” button at, or stop by the museum any Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. for more information.

B ck in time...




was snapped on Pascack Road (or Main Street, as it was called then) in Park Ridge on a winterʼs day more than a century ago. The unpaved road is covered by the thin tracks left behind by wagon wheels and early automobile tires. HE PHOTOGRAPH ABOVE

The viewer looks south from the intersection with Park Avenue, which goes off to the left. On the left edge, part of Park Ridge High School is visible. This gives us a definitive range for the age of this photo. Pictured below as it looked back then, this is not the same school that stands at Park Avenue and Pascack Road today. Built with 12 rooms at a cost of $40,000, this earlier school was constructed in 1908 and was destroyed in a massive fire in 1920. Therefore, we know the photo was probably taken

during the 1910s. A year after the school burned, the current high school was built in the same location. The corner in front of the high school has since been rounded and moved back to allow for a widening of the intersection. And, of course, we no longer have a fire gong located on the corner. In the days before radio systems and sirens, fire gongs—locomotive wheel rims mounted on wooden frames—were struck repeatedly to signal a fire.



2 15







EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING Serving Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Township of Washington, Westwood 201.664.2105 and Woodcliff Lake FAX 201.664.2109 MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. BOX 335 E-MAIL US AT Westwood, N.J. 07675


Publisher Editor Assistant Editor Art Director Director of Advertising

John J. DeFina John Snyder Kristin Beuscher Keith J. Harcher George F. Harcher

The articles and opinions printed in Pascack Press are not necessarily those of the publisher. Pascack Press is neither liable nor responsible for typographical errors. This publication contains material developed independently by Pascack Press. It may not be reproduced, in whole or in part. Pascack Press is published in Westwood and is distributed to every household in our circulation area.

Arroyo on promising work toward Covid-19 detection


N THE SUNDAY after New Yearʼs I spent time with Westwood resident-scientist Dr. Rudolph Jaeger in his Carver Avenue lab. Dr. Yaeger has taught at Harvard University and New York University. And when he invited me to participate in his latest study I accepted without hesitation. Dr. Jaegerʼs business, CH Technologies (USA) Inc., is charged with designing, testing and producing technology for the medical and health industries, particularly equipment for generating and measuring viruses in research and controlled settings. COVID-19 has thrown their already thriving business into high gear. There has been great demand for devices that produce aerosol particles and testing them to better understand what we are breathing in and out. The intersectionality of those sectors with our nationʼs physical and economic security is paramount. Dr. Jaeger conducts his experiments with shiny stainless steel and glass devices that are precisely engineered and machined in Switzerland and Germany. I was there to breathe into one of them. This particular device, developed during the pandemic, was designed to analyze our exhaled

breath to possibly determine whether one is infected with a virus. The device measures the number and size of the particles that our lungs expel

with each breath. COVID-19 is transmissible through virus-carrying droplets exhaled by the infected into the air and inhaled by a new host. The conditions for transmission include the duration of exposure, the number of particles lingering about and their size—all determining whether they are sufficient to make one ill. Folks living intimately in tight, poorly ventilated spaces are at risk of bringing COVID-19 into the home and spreading it further. Dr. Jaegerʼs experiment is designed to establish a baseline of exhaled particles that could indicate whether a person may, or may not, be contagious. A low number of particles would suggest less likelihood of aerosol transmission. It is possible that the smaller the size of the particles might mean that even if the virus is present, the viral load may be insufficient to cause illness. These theories have yet to be determined, underscoring the need for further study. We conducted several runs during my visit with Dr. Jaeger. He was able to collect data in furtherance of the theory that normal


(at rest), regular breathing emits a reliably low number of particles, of relatively small size. Together, might those conditions be insufficient JAEGER to either transmit COVID-19 or cause viral related illness—perhaps accounting for the many positive, but asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases? Again, these are questions that are being tested and probed. He also had me vocalize (hum into the mouthpiece) to see how that vibrato might skew the numbers. It resulted in more, two to three times as many, particles, and these particles were larger than those emitted in normal breaths at rest. Dr. Jaeger is just beginning his study. A potential practical application might be an on the spot “breathalyzer” test for COVID-19 instead of DUI. Imagine particle number and size, versus blood alcohol percentage, as an indicia of whether you should board a plane, rather than drive a car, for example. This requires ongoing study, and Dr. Jaeger, CH Technologies and many researchers in the field of aerosol science and infectious disease are determined to learn more in the months and years to come. It is devices and research like this that will help science

advance our knowledge of airborne pathogens. Applied science will increase our capabilities for dealing with viral outbreaks like COVID-19. Companies like CH Technologies are looking for interested and supporting partners that can help advance devices like

this to further their efforts. In the coming months a university hospital, CH Technologies and the German manufacturer of the device (Palas GmbH) will deploy the device in a field setting with COVID-19 patients. CONTINUED ON PAGE 29









Two new members and one reelected incumbent were sworn in to the nine-member Westwood Regional District Board of Educationʼs annual organizational meeting Jan. 7. Several members voiced concerns for 2021ʼs board president and vice president and hoped for better board communication in the new year. The Township of Washingtonʼs new member Stacey Price, along with reelected Township incumbent Maureen Columbo, joined Westwoodʼs top vote-getter Michael Pontillo—Westwoodʼs chief of police—in being sworn in to the board. Their mutual threeyear terms expire Dec. 31, 2023. In December, two retiring board members were recognized: Susan Swietkowski, president and trustee, was recognized for over nine years of dedicated service to the Westwood Regional School District. Stephen Kalish, vice-president and trustee, was recognized for his six years of dedicated service to the Westwood Regional School District. Jan. 7, during election of board president Matthew Perrapato, of Washington Township, and

THE OFFICIAL 2021 Westwood Regional District Board of Education group photo, as suggested at the meeting by Superintendent Ray Gonzalez.

Vice President Joseph AbouDaoud, of Westwood, several board members demurred, offering reasons for either voting no or abstaining. During the vote for president, Michael Pontillo and Michelle Sembler voted no while Stacey Price and Frank Romano abstained. Romano cited “frustration by what we do as a board” and said

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JUST-RETIRED board trustees Stephen Kalish and Susan Swietkowski. he sees “significant need” to Romano abstained. Romano said improve relations with municipal he had nothing personal against partners Westwood and the Town- Abou-Daoud “but us [board] as a ship of Washington, to include the whole.” Sembler said, “Without passwants and needs of the communiing judgment, I do not believe that ty, and to sharpen school goals. He said the board “needs to Joeʼs conduct on and off the board move beyond the status quo” and is reflective of a leader of Weststated he joined the board “to wood Regional District Board… bring positive change” and always because of that I have to vote no tries to be “a collaborative col- tonight.” Later in the meeting Perrapaleague.” Sembler said she had dis- to thanked members who backed cussed her concerns with Perrapa- him for president and noted that “I to and said her no vote resulted am passionate in what I believe from “many reservations and con- in” and that heʼs “a self-procerns. [Iʼm] not comfortable giv- claimed life learner.” He noted, ing him my vote,” she said. Nei- “Meetings can be divisive at times ther Pontillo nor Price explained as a result of these passionate feelings,” adding that “Weʼre all comtheir votes. A similar vote occurred ing from a place of whatʼs best for selecting Joseph Abou-Daoud as our kids.” Member Andrew Gerstmayr vice president. Pontillo and Sembler voted no and Price and said he was “hopeful in 2021 we

get back to a little bit of normalcy” which would involve more in-person board meetings and small group discussions of issues. He said he hoped board members would take the time to talk in advance of meetings when a “hot topic” was on the agenda. “Communication is key for everything whether work, life, family, board, school, whatever it is,” Gerstmayr said, noting he appreciated the “honest comments” from board members. Two residents raised issues, including Westwood Regional High School Junior James Stickel, who again called on the board to name the high school football field in honor of late longtime resident, mentor, and hometown fan Vito Trause. Stickel, a Life Scout, helped spearhead the townshipʼs largest veterans memorial, partly in honor of Trause, a decorated WWII veteran and former German prisoner of war. Ridgewood Road was named Vito “Pal” Trause Way in late October. Superintendent Ray Gonzalez explained that a regulation is being developed for such honor requests and will soon be reviewed by a high school committee and the board, probably by February. For more, see “Viewpoints: Name WRHS Field for Vito ʻPalʼ Trause Now,” (Dec. 10, 2020). Resident Kathy Sardina wondered why school sports were starting up when students are not yet back in school fulltime. She said it was “very concerning and alarming as a parent” that indoor sports are okay while children are not being allowed back to schools full-time. Gonzalez said that the schools follow state health department guidelines and that CONTINUED ON PAGE 11



From the comfort of their home offices (or oneʼs borough office, in the case of Ghassali), the mayor and council took on a lively agenda via Zoom on Dec. 8, 2020. The mayor and council congratulated two new police officers and lauded the Montvale Diversity and Inclusion Committee for its recent Bergen County recognition. Members also passed ordinances and resolutions over stormwater management, salaries, and a 30-year payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) plan for the 100% affordable housing development being built by Montvale Family Apartments Urban Renewal, LLC. They also bestowed the boroughʼs first Voorhees Outstanding

use of the long term tax exemption law will assist the borough in obtaining financing for this project and in satisfying its Third Round affordable housing obligations.” Ghassali recommended a change to the proposed financial agreement, which is with Walters Group of Haddonfield: Noting real property taxes for the project are phased in throughout the term of the PILOT at increasing intervals of 20%, he tweaked the developerʼs proposed phase-in schedule.

Officers welcomed The new officers are Krystian Maleszewski and Nicholas Mazzeo, both sworn in at 6 that night in Borough Hall. Ghassali played footage of the ceremony for the council and public. Councilmember Tim Lane praised the officers, saying “I pride

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myself and ourselves in our hires. Theyʼre going to make us very proud and weʼre happy with the selection.” On Facebook, the Montvale Police Department added its congratulations, saying “We wish them well in the academy and their future careers.” Resolutions on remote work, police equipment Resolutions pertain to police equipment. One approves the purchase of two new police vehicles. Another authorizes the police department to enroll and participate in the federal 1033 program, which allows local law enforcement agencies to acquire certain

surplus federal property originally intended for the United States military. That resolution also calls for a full training and maintenance program on this equipment, as well as a quarterly accounting of such property. Yet another approves a lease agreement for the two new police vehicles. Another resolution adopts the Borough of Montvale Remote Work Program for borough employees, which allows certain borough employees, with permission from the borough administrator, to work remotely during the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Community Service Award (see “Local Legend Dick Voorhees Accepts Namesake Honor,” Jan. 4) and prepared financial measures to soften the budget impact of Covid-19 (see “Borough to Spread Covid Hit Out to 2026,” Dec. 21, 2020). In support of the PILOT plan ordinance, No. 2020-1493, affecting 3.3 acres on Summit Avenue, Ghassali wrote the council on Dec. 4, “I believe that the project will provide significant benefits to the borough by satisfying the boroughʼs affordable housing obligations for this site and contributing to the regionʼs need for low- and moderate-income housing.” He said, “The project will transform unused farmland and a vacant residential property into a high-quality residential development. I believe this project is a desirable and beneficial improvement in the borough and that the






Four new Pascack Valley Regional School District trustees took oaths of office in person during the Jan. 4 reorganization meeting—two for Hillsdale, one for Woodcliff Lake, and one for Montvale—to general applause and a warm welcome from the district superintendent. The non-partisan and usually uneventful school board race Nov. 3, 2020 followed a unanimous decision last June by district board members to “retire” the half-century-old Cowboy and Indian mascots at Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley high schools. The issueʼs fallout polarized the four towns, whose students attend Pascack Valley regional districtʼs high schools, as well as public officials and parents. Two incumbents running for reelection who supported the decision, Arnold Scher of Hillsdale and David Steinberg of Woodcliff Lake, both were handily defeated Nov. 3. The issue was not mentioned on Jan. 4, but District Superintendent P. Erik Gundersen said an update was planned at the Jan. 18

meeting. Pascack Valley student reporters said 53 students and 15 faculty members met Jan. 7 on Zoom to lay the groundwork for the selection of PVʼs new nickname and mascot. Pascack Hills High School students are undertaking a similar process to come up with a replacement for their nickname and mascot. At the meeting, Woodcliff Lakeʼs Kelly Blundy, whose 1,719 votes defeated Steinberg, was sworn in first by business administrator Yas Usami. Hillsdaleʼs Kristin Martin and Gini Varghese, who both bested Scher, garnered 2,637 and 2,538 votes respectively, and were sworn in by Usami second and third. Montvaleʼs Michael Weaver, a former borough councilman, topped all vote getters with 2,795 votes, and was sworn in by Usami. New board members did not make any remarks or statements during their first meeting. Usami and the new members wore face coverings during the brief in-person ceremonies, also attended by Board President Tammy Molinelli and Gundersen. Other board members attended remotely.

Gundersen welcomed the new members, noting two were educators and two health professionals. Blundy is a chiropractor; Martin teaches middle school; Varghese is a family nurse practitioner; and Weaver is a middle school principal. More detailed bios are offered under Board Members on the boardʼs website. “Perhaps itʼs a bit ironic but certainly very helpful to us as a Board of Education to have that level of expertise joining the board,” Gundersen said. He said he looked forward to working with the new members,

adding “Itʼs hard work but obviously itʼs very important work and fulfilling work as well.” In addition to Tammy Molinelli being voted unanimously by board members for another term as president, Janet Bissinger was also voted unanimously for another term as board vice president. Molinelli listed the districtʼs strategic goals, including focusing on inclusivity and equity, keeping the schools working well during the pandemic, always putting the best interests of students first, and improved communica-

tion with the community. She urged the new board members to speak out on issues they care about. “We get into it, we banter, we talk about things we have passion for,” she said after her selection as board president. “Feel free to tell us how you feel, let's have a dialogue and really talk things out. We really want this district to be the best it can be.” Gundersen said he would be asking the new members to select the top three committees that they wish to join.


Police department taking applications for officer

The River Vale Police Department is accepting applications for the position of police officer. The 2021 starting salary is $48,202.87. Requirements: • Certified in Basic Course for Police Officers by the New Jersey Police Training Commission with less than three years of full-time police experience, OR • Currently enrolled in a Police Training Commission certified New Jersey Police Academy, OR

• Certified as a NJ Special Law Enforcement Officer Class II (SLEO II) AND meet the requirements set forth by the NJ Police Training Commission to be eligible for a waiver to Basic Course for Police Officers (at least one year from date of certification). NOTE: This process will not be waiver-eligible for Class 1 SLEO. The application period is Jan. 1–31. The initial competitive hiring process will consist of application, resume submission, and

oral interview board. For full requirements and more information, visit The RVPD contact is Lt Josh Wisse, Do not call the River Vale Police Department or Records Bureau for information. Applications are accepted only through policeapp. Do not appear at the police department or mail/email any documentation. The Township of River Vale is an equal opportunity employer.



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The Borough Council voted, 5–1, to override Mayor John Ruoccoʼs veto of its redevelopment plan Dec. 30, 2020 with Ruocco observing that he sees one of the areaʼs biggest property owners poised to present a high-density proposal. Ruocco also said he would have favored the plan if only its option for possible height and density bonuses was removed, as did Council President Zoltán Horváth, who voted against the plan. After criticizing the council's vote to override his veto, Ruocco said he foresees trouble ahead. “I think that there will be a proposal rather soon. That is my view based on what I understand to be the facts.” Ruocco alleged the plan's provision to possibly award future height and density bonuses to developers was “a perfect storm” against Hillsdale and its residents. “I fear that the biggest property owner in the industrial area— Waste Management—will dictate to this Council terms that are most profitable for them. We know what they want—high density construction. And they are dangling over our heads the unpleasant possibility that they might resume their transfer station operations if we donʼt yield to their demands,” he said. “And so we have the perfect storm: a group of council members that are willing, maybe even eager, to see redevelopment take place, and a large property owner with a odorous, intrusive business who is

interested in redeveloping the area provided it gets a really good deal. Unfortunately in this perfect storm, itʼs the residents of Hillsdale who drown,” Ruocco said. During the brief meeting, which started at 6:30 p.m., about 40 participants watched on Zoom. The meeting was called exclusively for council members to vote on an override of Ruoccoʼs Dec. 18 veto, mostly due to his dislike of the planʼs height and housing density “bonuses” that are tied to a potential developer providing a community benefit such as a community center, park or open space. Without hesitation, however, the same five council members who voted to approve the plan Dec. 8 voted again, 5–1, to override the mayorʼs veto, with Horváth again opposing the plan. The override vote requires a two-thirds majority, which it received. Ruocco said he did not believe the council provided residents enough information about the redevelopment plan's potential impacts, and has repeatedly called for studies to assess impacts on schools, taxes and public services based on what he predicted could be a fivestory, 64-foot tall high-density complex with up to 561 rental units. Ruocco said he would work diligently for “the best outcome it (council) possibly can achieve under these circumstances.” He said he would promptly appoint a design review committee to address any future redevelopment proposal. He said this will include himself, several council members, borough administrator, special redevelopment counsel,

borough planner, and maybe a financial consultant. Horváth said if the planʼs section on height/density bonuses was removed, he would also vote for the plan. But he said leaving the language about bonuses in the plan “lends itself to doing overdevelopment.” He said he was “highly disappointed” by the planʼs approval and said he did not think “due process or due thought had been given to this." However, Councilman Frank Pizzella, a longtime redevelopment advocate, who lashed out at Ruoccoʼs plan criticism Dec. 8, spoke calmly after the council overrode Ruoccoʼs veto. He said his son, Michael, was 2 years old when he first moved to town and that he has volunteered with local recreational activities over the years. “I would never do anything that would cause an upset or allow something bad to happen in Hillsdale,” he said. Pizzella said he has worked in development for 25 years. “I think that this plan is just a plan and I think that it gives Hillsdale the best advantage and opportunity that it can have to take a constrained site and make it attractive to the development community.” He added, “I will always do what I believe is the right thing to do for Hillsdale.” Four residents provided public comments with two opposing the planʼs height and density bonuses—supporting the mayor's view— and two favoring the redevelopment plan. Resident and former administrator Jon DeJoseph and William Drummond opposed the plan while Gia Schneider and

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Strong council support Councilman Anthony DeRosa said that approval of the plan does not mean “blanket approval” for a 500- to 600-unit building. He said he would give careful consideration to any future developerʼs plans. He said the plan shows “vision for the town and done correctly could have one of the greatest positive impacts in decades.” Councilwoman Janetta Trochimiuk said the redevelopment planʼs creation was “truly a team effort” by every council member and Ruocco. She said the five members supporting the plan “share a creative, innovative and visionary spirit that wasnʼt quelled by all the naysayers and continuous peddling of doom and gloom.” She said negative feelings about the plan “are based on the natural fear of change and the unknown.” She asked residents to

put “faith and trust in us” that the plan “will work out for the best for Hillsdale and its residents.” The council was under a midFebruary affordable housing settlement deadline to either adopt a redevelopment plan or rezone the 14-acre industrial/commercial area that surrounds Patterson Street for a maximum of 28 dwelling units per acre, or DUA. The 28 DUA was agreed to by Hillsdale in its 2017 affordable housing settlement The settlement plan calls for a minimum of 24 affordable housing units in the redevelopment area, and special counsel Joseph Bauman previously said that the Fair Share Housing Center agreed not to require any affordable setaside percentages for units above 28 DUA., should a bonus density be granted to a developer. Ruocco has alleged that he believes the borough will have to

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CONGRATULATIONS TO newly minted Eagle Scout Tyler Gehringer, who earned the Westwood Historic Preservation Commission’s thanks with his successful project to restore paint on the main doors of the historic Westwood Train Station and signs in adjacent Veterans Memorial Park. The commission lauded the Westwood Heritage Society, the governing body, and Tyler’s family, friends, fellow scouts, and troop leaders for their support of Tyler’s leadership and important work for “the hub of the Pascack Valley.”





As New Jersey awaits Gov. Phil Murphyʼs signature on legislation regulating the stateʼs recreational marijuana marketplace, two Pascack Valley towns recently heard from out-of-county medical marijuana advocates pressing to revise local laws and allow medical cannabis dispensaries. The advocates questioned and criticized councils in Emerson and Woodcliff Lake for 2018 ordinances that ban local medical cannabis dispensaries. The ordinances also ban recreational cannabis sales and enterprises. Following Murphyʼs inauguration in 2018—and vow to legal-

ize marijuana within 100 days— many towns passed resolutions and ordinances in 2018 and 2019 to restrict or outright ban sales of medical and recreational marijuana. However, when a new law is approved regulating the marijuana marketplace, municipalities will have 180 days from the law's effective date to enact ordinances either restricting or banning recreational cannabis. According to Lori Buckelew, director of government affairs for New Jersey State League of Municipalities, a section of the law on the governorʼs desk permits a municipality “to enact an ordinance not in conflict with the bill governing the number of cannabis establishments, distributors or delivery services, as well as the

location, manner, and times of operation of establishments and distributors.” She told Pascack Press on Jan. 12, “The time of operation of delivery services will be regulated by the Cannabis Control Commission. The municipal ordinance can also include civil penalties for violation of a municipal ordinance or regulation.” Moreover, said Buckelew, a municipality may prohibit the operation of any one or more classes of cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service. “However, the delivery of cannabis items and related supplies by a delivery service cannot be prohibited.” Under the proposed law, towns are allowed to charge a local excise tax on cannabis enterprises. Towns can charge 2% tax on sales

WWRSD: Board elects leaders the statewide interscholastic athletic association (NJSIAA) was planning a staggered phase-in of winter/spring sports following Covid-19 protocols and guidelines. These place limits on event capacity, number of spectators, require other pandemic-related precautions. Gonzalez reported 27 cases of Covid-19 among students and staff since kids have partly returned to classrooms, and with the recent state/national surge in Covid infections, he said staff feedback was “overwhelmingly


… not comfortable with [fully] returning while Covid rates are high.” The next Board of Education regular public meeting is Jan. 21.

Survey headed your way Westwood Regional School District is partnering once more with the non-profit YouthTruth to gather feedback from parents/guardians, staff, and students in grades 6–12. The upcoming anonymous feedback surveys will ask questions on topics like engagement, relationships, and culture. The district looks forward to learning

directly from the community about what is working well at its schools and how it can improve. This yearʼs survey will include additional questions aligned to district goals regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as items related to hybrid and remote learning. January 4–22, grades 6–12 students will take the brief online survey during a designated class period, staff members will take the survey during a Monday meeting, and parents and guardians will receive an invitation via email to provide their feedback via the online survey.

Emerson redevelopment

of a cannabis grower, processor or retailer and one percent on a cannabis wholesaler. The bill before Murphy established civil, not criminal penalties for underage residents caught with small amounts of marijuana; amends the state Controlled Dangerous Substances Act to exclude medical marijuana; changes training provided to Drug Recognition Experts via New Jersey State Police; and dedicates funds for updated certification for all DREs. Since New Jerseyʼs voters— and local residents—approved legalizing marijuana nearly two to one, more discussion has occurred about what should or should not be available for sale locally. Recently, a group of medical cannabis advocates, who live outside our area, have harangued councils in Emerson and Woodcliff Lake pushing to revise local laws and allow local medical cannabis sales. Both times, the advocates pointed out that voters overwhelmingly approved cannabis legalization on Nov. 3, 2020 and asked municipal officials to revise or update their ordinances. The advocates appear to include members who confronted Ocean County Freeholders on legalized marijuana in March 2018. On Dec. 29, Emerson Mayor Danielle DiPaola said the council was not prepared to revisit the issue during the year-end special meeting, which was more than a little unusual due to the oddly attired public commenters. The advocates called in remotely. They included a barechested man, one male evidently smoking a marijuana bong, others exhibiting cannabis containers, and another wearing a pig snout mask because, he said, not allowing medical cannabis sales, “Itʼs a joke.” While all six advocates who spoke called on the council to at least rescind the prohibition of local medical cannabis sales, which are prohibited under Ordinance number 1560, approved by council on Aug. 14, 2018, no action was taken that night.

Following public comment, which focused entirely on the boroughʼs restrictive cannabis ordinance, the council adjourned to closed session to discuss two personnel matters. No further action was taken following their return. While the mayor and council members were not shown on the GoToMeeting screen, several medical cannabis advocates could be seen holding cannabis products, which Borough Attorney John McCann said they could display. McCann drew the line at one advocate going shirtless, requiring a T-shirt to be donned, and he asked others to refrain from smoking what appeared to be cannabis, during a public meeting. Advocate Jefffrey King of Eatontown, in Monmouth County, urged the council to revise its ordinance, observing that medical cannabis patients “left to fend for themselves” will turn quickly to illegal sources of cannabis. Edward Grimes, of East Hanover in Morris County, said he used opioids for years to deal with severe back pain and said not allowing local medical cannabis sales was criminal. “Youʼve made it harder for them to get their medicine and youʼre asking a lot of sick and dying people.” Darrell, with no last name given and sporting a pig snout mask, questioned why legal alcohol and smoking are allowed to kill people, and said that cannabis has never killed anyone. He said two-thirds of the state voted to legalize cannabis, including local residents. “Why do you want to take away our [medical] cannabis? You donʼt do nothing about alcohol or smoking but continue to beat down cannabis,” he said. “It makes us silly but it doesnʼt kill us.” On Jan. 6 at Woodcliff Lakeʼs reorganization meeting, at least three of the advocates spoke. One chastised Mayor Carlos Rendo for his body language. Rendo moved the meeting along quickly after the public comment session closed.

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LEGAL MANEUVERING isn’t the only action pertaining to the Block 413 redevelopment project. Here, buildings on the west side of Kinderkamack Road are razed on the morning of Jan. 12, including the former Cork & Keg and Ranch Cleaners building and another that had housed a nail salon. Pascack Press reader Phil Konort caught the moment.

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Mom, son corral 940 pairs of shoes for charity BY MATTHEW WIKFORS SPECIAL TO PASCACK PRESS


Residents Stephanie Gannon and her son Davis started their twoperson shoe drive with the goal of receiving 500 pairs of shoes. Instead, with the help of their friends, family, the Woodcliff Lake community, and the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, they collected 940 pairs—nearly double their goal—to donate to the antipoverty charity Soles4Souls. And they did it in two months. Soles4Souls is a non-profit that collects new and used shoes, redistributing them to people in need. Founded in Alabama in 2006, the charity says it has shipped more than 50 million pairs of shoes to recipients in more than 127 countries. The charityʼs efforts are centered around providing relief, fighting poverty, caring for the planet, and empowering women. Through donations, Soles4Souls also aids individuals in need by helping them launch micro-enterprises. With a microenterprise, the charity supplies the micro-enterprise partner with donated shoes as stock. The partner

DRIVEN! Stephanie Gannon and her son Davis with some of their haul for Soles4Souls.

sells the shoes and is able to sustain itself financially while providing a much-needed resource for their community. According to Stephanie, the

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idea for the shoe drive came from her employer. For the past four years, Bank of America, where she works, has held a shoe drive for Soles4Souls, collecting donations on a large scale. Due to COVID-19, that shoe drive was not possible in 2020, so it was cancelled for the first time since it began. Stephanie said she still wanted to donate, so she researched how she could hold her own drive for the project. The Gannonsʼ shoe drive ran from Oct. 20 to Dec. 20. Davis, a Pascack Hills High School junior, said that donations started slowly but picked up speed as word spread. Then he and his mom start-

ed fielding a steady stream of donations: everything from heavy boots to stylish business shoes, with an army of kidsʼ shoes thrown in. “They would make announcements during church each week and there were collection boxes outside each week. My mom also posted information about the shoe drive on Facebook to friends and family, and I also told my friends,” Davis said. Each Saturday during the drive, the Gannons would drive down to their church, the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, where a large number of their donations came from. There theyʼd gather the donations, spend an hour or two boxing them, and then theyʼd store them in their garage until they were ready to be shipped. Donors also brought shoes to their house, leaving them outside in bags. And not all of the shoes had a

partner, which was fine. “We got all different types of things. You canʼt believe—sneakers, who would want stinky sneakers? But they use all the stuff. Even single shoes—theyʼre taking the parts and reutilizing them, so everything is welcome,” Stephanie said. She added, “It gets heavy after a while. Nine hundred forty shoes is a lot of shoes, Itʼs a lot, every week for eight weeks. We filled up to 30 boxes.” Despite the shoe drive being a two-person effort, Stephanie said that Soles4Souls made the process of boxing and shipping simple, thanks to corporate sponsor Zappos. “We ship 50-pound boxes. Soles4Souls has a program to ship for free. You print out the shipping label they provide and mail it off. People can do it from their home. Itʼs really easy,” she said. Stephanie also said that people from church and the community asked her how they could donate directly. She told them that it was easy to donate on a small scale through the Zappos shipping program. “I had someone from church reach out and say that a Girl Scout troop in Ridgewood started collecting shoes to donate to our shoe drive.” She added that such a small but important drive is possible for anyone to organize from their home, and with minimal physical contact. With COVID-19 restricting the scale and nature of volunteer projects, anyone can find ways to donate to help people out of poverty, she said. Davis said that although he has done community service work before—for example at his church, for childrenʼs programs— this is the first time he has helped tackle a bigger project. “It was one of those feelgood things,” he said. “You help out other people who are less fortunate and feel good about it.”

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start the next round of affordable housing negotiations in 2025 using 60 DUA density as a baseline, although Bauman said those future negotiations are uncertain at this point. Bauman noted that the housing advocate did not require any more affordable units based on any possible density bonus granted



over the 28 dwelling units per acre maximum it agreed to. Much can occur between 2021 and 2025 regarding affordable housing obligations, he said. All Pascack Valley towns have settled or are near settlement. This week latecomer Park Ridgeʼs longdelayed settlement goes before a Superior Court judge Jan. 15 for final approval.

The plan rezones the area and imposes design standards, setbacks and architectural requirements on new types of possible residential, congregate living and mixed-use developments. Existing industrial and commercial uses can continue as non-conforming uses but cannot expand, said officials. The 14-acre area includes 17 lots in the boroughʼs industrial

the next week. Please bear with us and be patient as we make sure everyone gets healthy and avoids any further spread.” Misciagna said, “Due to our use of split shifts after leaf season was complete, we are lucky that the whole department is not affected and we can respond to emergencies and keep some day-to-day work going.”

He added, “If you have any issues or concerns, please give us a call and we will do our best to respond to any immediate issue while operating with a small crew. Fortunately, we are able to operate the Recycling Center also at this time.” For more information visit


Mayor Keith Misciagna advised residents on Jan. 8, “We made it through 2020 with no positive cases among our employees and only a few close calls that required quarantining. We have unfortunately not been as lucky so far in 2021.” He said, “Due to COVID exposure our DPW will be operated by only a few individuals over

Mascot: Scores of students at work on selection committee Faculty recommended students whom they feel would be a good fit for the committee. Puccio and Buchanan said the goal in choosing faculty members was to include a wide range of roles and backgrounds. Committee members will canvass their peers and come back to meetings with ideas and suggestions for new nicknames. The committee will narrow the choices to the top three to make this process as efficient as possible. Throughout the next meetings, members will propose names they think will most appropriately represent PV. These three finalists will be voted upon by the student body, and the winner will be presented to the Board of Education for approval. The committee will be selecting two student representatives who will give progress reports to FROM PAGE 1

ALLISON VARGHESE is a freshman at PVHS writing for PV Student Publication. This article originally appeared Jan. 8 at and is reprinted with permission under our Student Press Partnership with PVHS.

the Board of Education. “There are always going to be some who arenʼt happy with it,” Puccio said. “But I believe if weʼre transparent and show everyone what weʼre doing and give everyone an equal say, people will understand this is the decision made by the students.” Pascack Hills will follow a similar process as it looks to replace its retired Cowboy mascot. The sister schools do not feel pressure to keep the rivalry between the mascots, but rather want the process to be organic. “Anything is on the table in regard to the possibility of the mascot,” Buchanan said. “And is the goal that we have to have a mirror image like theyʼve been in the past? That is not the goal, but if that is something that materializes from the different committees then, you know, the buildings would obviously embrace that.”

Related story: Page 20



Park Ridge children who will be 5 years old by this Oct. 1 will be eligible for full day kindergarten registration for the 2021-2022 school year. Children living west of Pascack Road will attend West Ridge Elementary School. Children living on or east of Pascack Road will attend East Brook School. Kindergarten registration will be held Feb. 1–5 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 pm. You must register for the 2021–22 school year online, at, prior to coming in with additional registration paperwork: original and copy of your childʼs birth certificate; proofs of res-

idential identification; most recent immunization history from your pediatrician; and a completed copy of the home language survey. Online registration and required documents are due back on the day you register your child. For help, call Mrs. Syring at East Brook School at (201) 573-6000 ext. 2000 or Ms. McCarthy at West Ridge at (201) 573-6000 ext. 3000. Parent orientation night is held virtually on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. for East Brook, 6:30 for West Ridge. The Zoom meeting link and code will be posted on the district website. Kindergarten orientation is for parents only.

zone, bounded by Knickerbocker Avenue, Prospect Place and Patterson Street, including Brookside Place and Piermont Avenue. One of the areaʼs persistent challenges has been Waste Managementʼs operation of a trash transfer station there, with pending litigation between WM and Hillsdale suspended while borough efforts to either adopt a redevelopment plan or rezone continued. In May 2019, a planning study prepared by DMR stated that the proposed area in need of redevel-

opment zone met Criterion D under the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law. This criterion cites an areaʼs “dilapidation, obsolescence, overcrowding, faulty arrangement of design, lack of ventilation, light and sanitary facilities, excessive land coverage, deleterious land use or obsolete layout or any combination of these factors, (which) are detrimental to the safety, health, morals or welfare of the community.”


Council: Redevelopment plan survives veto






As part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Pascack Valley High School junior Faith Macchione is hosting a Zoom event on Tuesday. Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. to spread awareness about saving the honeybees. The event focuses on the decline of the honeybee population and what we can do to help honeybees, which are essential pollinators, in our everyday life. The inspiration for Faithʼs project came from the beekeeping program at Pascack Valley High School, which was introduced in late summer to fall 2019. PVHS became the first public high school in the Garden State to have a beekeeping program on campus after a bee enclosure was completed behind the math and science wing. Macchione said she talked to Kristen Lindstrom—who teaches 9th grade college prep biology and environmental biology and advises the PVHS Environmental Club and bee program, and is a clinical faculty member at Montclair State University—and the two collaborated on the Gold Award outreach program. After completing her Girl Scout Silver Award— planting a perennial garden at Hillsdale Public Library— she said “I immediately knew I wanted to complete my Gold Award

by doing something that incorporates the community and the environment.” She added, “My goal is to inform as many people as I can about honeybees, why they are so important, and what you can do to help them.” Although the schoolʼs beekeeping program is on hold, with the bees being held safely off-campus until the spring, when theyʼre expected back, Macchioneʼs project continues—rolling over setbacks.

the declining honeybee population, and the beesʼ value in our foods, other products, and the economy as a whole. She also took a beekeeping course as part of the project and practiced her presentation for the Pascack Valley beekeeping program. Looking ahead, Macchione hopes to reach out to area middle schools with her presentation as well as plant a community garden for the benefit and appreciation of honeybees.

“With COVID, a lot of my stuff was moved and Iʼve had to adapt,” she said. She added that some of the inperson parts of the project were pushed to a later date, so she started spreading the word about her project and honeybees online. She created her a website, Facebook page, and Instagram page, called “Believe in the Bees,” which have information about her project,

“I feel like this is a really important issue that needs to be addressed inside and outside of the [school] community,” she said. “Itʼs not just a problem for our community. Itʼs a larger problem for everyone.” The Zoom meeting ID is 925 3105 7000 and the password is BEE2021. For more information, including an informative video Faith pro-

Faith Macchione duced, visit terrific reporting on PVHSʼs bee at and program, check out Believe in the Bees on and Instagram. Thereʼs around-campus.


Goodbye freeholders, hello commissioners

Bergen County officials swore in incumbent Joan Voss (DFort Lee) and former Ridgewood Mayor Ramon Hache (D-Ridgewood) for their fourth and first three-year terms at the Board of Commissioners reorganization meeting on WebEx on Jan. 6. The two won approximately 60% of the votes during the 2020 general election. Hache takes the seat that once belonged to David Ganz (D-Fair Lawn), who finished

his sixth and final term at the end of 2020. Hache said, “Truly honored to have been sworn in tonight as Bergen County Commissioner by Gov. Phil Murphy. I am very excited to join a great team and to continue and build upon the tremendous work they have done for the residents of Bergen County.” The Board chose its 2021 leadership as Steven Tanelli (D-

North Arlington), Tracy Silna Zur (D-Franklin Lakes), and Voss (DFort Lee) to serve as chairman, vice-chairwoman, and chair pro tempore respectively. Tanelli said, “I am honored to be chosen by my colleagues to be the first chairman of the Bergen County Board of County Commissioner. I look forward to working together with the County Executive, department heads, county employees, and community lead-



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ers to ensure Bergen County continues to be the best county in New Jersey.” Several leaders from across the state came to recognize these moments including Murphy, who swore in Hache for his first term; Bergen County Administrator Julien Neals, who swore in Voss, Counsel to the Board of Commissioners Ed Florio, who administered the oath of office for Tanelli; and County Executive James J. Tedesco III, who administered the oath of office for Zur. Also in attendance were Congressman Josh Gottheimer, State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle, Assemblyman Gary Schaer, Sheriff Anthony Cureton, County Clerk John Hogan, Ridgewood Mayor Susan Knudsen, South Hackensack Committeewoman Yris Encarnacion, and Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano.


Voss said, “It is an honor to be both re-elected to another term by the residents of Bergen County, and to be trusted by my fellow County Commissioners to continue to serve in a leadership position on this Board. We have a lot of work to do, and I know that together we will meet the immediate and long-term challenges ahead, and ensure that Bergen County continues to be a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Zur said “2020 brought on many unforeseen challenges, but we rolled up our sleeves to make sure the residents of Bergen County had access to the resources they needed, whether it was food, small business grants, COVID testing, or vaccines. I am honored to be part of the leadership of this board, and although we have a lot of work ahead of us, I am confident that we will continue to work together and ensure Bergen County emerges stronger from this pandemic.”

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PVHS student Minche Kim is a youth afterschool ambassador


The Afterschool Alliance has announced that Minche Kim, a student in the Pascack Pioneers FIRST Robotics Afterschool Program, and a sophomore at Pascack Valley High School, was serving in the 2020 class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors. Kim is one of seven students from across the country selected for the ambassador honor. She was selected on the basis of her essay in a competition held in the fall. The seven Youth Ambassadors promote the value of afterschool programs by sharing their experiences in these programs and their views about the role afterschool programs play in their communities. They write for Afterschool Snack, the Afterschool Alliance blog, about the importance of afterschool programs. Youth Ambassadors also will connect with members of Congress and their aides as part of the Afterschool for All Challenge this spring. “We are thrilled to have Minche in this yearʼs class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors,” said Jodi Grant, Afterschool Alliance executive director. “She has a powerful story to tell about the role afterschool programs have played in her life—a story that resonates with young people and families across

Kim said, “Iʼm really excited to serve as a Youth Afterschool Ambassador. In the Pascack Pioneers FIRST Robotics afterschool program, Iʼve discovered a new interest in the field of engineering, learned a lot about teamwork, focus and time management, and made friends who share my passions.” She said, “As a Youth Afterschool Ambassador, Iʼm thrilled to share about my experiences to spread awareness about the importance of afterschool programs, so more students can access them.” The seven Youth Afterschool Ambassadors in this class come from Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode


the country.” Grant added, “With the pandemic upending the lives of so many, it is especially important that we build support for these essential programs, which keep students safe, inspire them to learn, and give working parents peace of mind.” She said, “Right now, too many young people donʼt have a program available to them and, during the pandemic, many programs are struggling financially. Minche will do a great job spreading the word about the need for more support for afterschool programs.”

Pascack Press

welcomes press releases, birth announcements, wedding announcements an event photographs from all towns in the Pascack Valley. Send all news to pascackpress@

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The Hillsdale Department of Public Works has opened the Recycling Center on a limited basis each week on Monday and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents are required to wear a mask or face covering to enter the recycling area and must maintain social distancing guidelines. You must have a resident sticker to gain entry.

The America After 3PM household survey of more than 30,000 families, commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance, found that for every child in an afterschool program today, two more are waiting to get in. Unmet demand is especially high in rural communities and communities of concentrated poverty. One in five students in the United States is unsupervised after the school day ends.

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Island, and Texas. Team 1676 Pascack Pioneers tweeted Dec. 28, 2020, “Very proud of Minche for representing 1676 as an Afterschool Alliance Youth Ambassador for the meeting with the National Conference of State Legislators! She advocated for FIRST and robotics as an afterschool venue for keeping students connected and engaged during the pandemic, as well as having a built in support group.”

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Dining & Cooking Guide


EMERSON 20 Palisade Ave. (201) 261-5604 • Emerson Library offers Grab & Go Crafts that can be picked up at the library and completed at home. This week brings three crafts: one for preschoolers (a handprint penguin); another for kids in grades K–6 (a “coded” keychain); and finally, one for teens and adults (a frosty mason jar with tea light). Limited to one craft bag per person; Emerson residents only. Pre-register and choose the pickup day that works for you (Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). • Baby & Me is on Facebook Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 11:30 a.m. An

introduction to songs, dance and finger plays with stuffed animals and rhymes. Newborn to age 2. • Bendy Bookworm Storytime for ages 2–5 is on Facebook Live Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 10:30 to 11 a.m. This twist on traditional storytime weaves yoga poses and energy exercises together with story books and rhymes.

HILLSDALE 509 Hillsdale Ave. (201) 358-5072 • Virtual chair yoga classes are led by Maria Elena BaezDominguez on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Free program is held via Zoom. Register on the libraryʼs

website. Maria, a registered yoga teacher, will share strategies to help you relax, avoid burnout, and nourish your body and mind. • Relax and recharge during a mid-week Guided Meditation with Maria. This Zoom program is offered on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 8 p.m. Visit the libraryʼs website for more about the benefits of this program and to register. • Zumba via Zoom is Thursday, Jan. 21 at 4:30 p.m. Join Janet Weller, a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, as she leads a dance-based workout. Register online. MONTVALE 12 Mercedes Drive, Suite 100


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(201) 391-5090 • Soon-To-Be Superstars Speakers, presented by Sarah McIlroy, aims to help kids boost presentation skills through fun games and improvisation. Third session is Tuesday, Jan. 19 from 6:45 to 7:15 p.m. Fourth grade and up. Register online. • The Classics Book Group is reading “Candide” by Voltaire and will hold an informal virtual discussion of the book Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 2–3 p.m. Register online. All are welcome. • Ms. Danielaʼs Little Learners is a virtual session of sharing, exploring, and discovering through books, activities and songs. Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. via Zoom. Next date: Jan. 21. Registration required. Best for ages 2–5. • During Bedtime Stories with Ms. Mary, little ones 3–5 can join Ms. Mary live on Zoom as she reads stories that will relax and get them ready for bed. Thursday, Jan. 21 from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Registration required. • Donʼt let clutter keep you stuck! At “Clear Clutter, Be Happy in 2021,” set for Thursday, Jan. 21 from 7 to 8 p.m., author Jamie Novak will help you start the new year off on a clutter-free note. This is a virtual class held via Zoom. Register online for access. • The Cookbook Supper Club meets to discuss “Salt Fat Acid Heat” by Samin Nosrat via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 25 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. To register, email

PARK RIDGE 51 Park Ave. (201) 391-5151 • Miss Renee Reads the Classics for Kids on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Visit the libraryʼs Facebook for the best classic books in kid-friendly versions. • Storytime with Miss Sherri is every Thursday at 10 a.m. on the libraryʼs Facebook page (Park Ridge Public Library-NJ). Stories, songs and a craft for little ones. • Comfort Food Cooking with Amara is on Facebook Live Thursday, Jan. 21 from 7 to 8 p.m. Join Amara Wagner and her daughter, Emmerson, as they show you how to make wintertime comfort foods using healthy, delicious ingredients. Visit the libraryʼs Facebook page. • Crafts with Miss Renee is every Friday at 10 a.m. on the libraryʼs Facebook. You must call the library the Monday–Thursday before the craft to reserve your craft kit and it must be picked up that day. All ages are invited to participate as Miss Renee walks you through a fun craft at home. • Book It Club with Miss Eileen is on Facebook Live Saturday, Jan. 23 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Stories, science and more geared

towards kids in primary grades.

RIVER VALE 412 Rivervale Road (201) 391-2323 • Virtual Chair Yoga meets via Zoom Tuesdays at 11 a.m. This gentle form of yoga is for seniors and those with disabilities. Register at the libraryʼs website. • The Teen Talks Book Club for grades 6–8 discuss “Schooled” by Gordon Korman. This program is held via Zoom on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m. Registration required for access. Copies of the book are available to check out at the front desk, or through Libby as an eBook. • There will be a Brush Lettering Workshop For Beginners on Monday, Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. to noon. Learn the basics of brush lettering and make your own brush-lettered artwork in this hour-long online workshop. Register and find supply list on the libraryʼs website.

TOWNSHIP OF WASHINGTON 144 Woodfield Road (201) 664-4586 • Winter Story Times are posted weekly on Facebook, YouTube, and the libraryʼs website. Music, reading, puppets and flannel board stories will educate and entertain. Register online to pick up a storytime activity bag. Infants/toddlers meet Fridays at 10 a.m. Preschoolers meet Tuesdays at 10 a.m. • January is Hot Tea Month! The Washington Township Library is celebrating all month long with a special tea tasting bag giveaway, tea facts on social media, and even a “Tea Madness” online vote to see which tea reigns supreme! Visit the libraryʼs website or call (201) 664-4586, ext. 207, to register for your tea tasting bag. • Chair Yoga for Everyone, presented by Apple Rose Yoga, is offered free for Washington Township library patrons Mondays at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. Visit the libraryʼs website for information and to sign up. • Latte with a Librarian Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on Facebook Live. Join Allyssa as she talks about her favorite titles and new releases. You may even learn how to make an interesting latte some weeks. Participate and share your lattes and current reads via chat. • The Book Cooks Club goes live on the libraryʼs social media Wednesdays at noon. Join Allyssa every week as she CONTINUED ON PAGE 28



Dining & Cooking Guide


New signs point the way in township


Fine in its time… The old Honor Roll…

Mayor Peter Calamari wrote on Dec. 9, 2020 how delighted people are to see the new welcome to township signs, a new Honor Roll sign at Town Hall, and more, which were installed on Dec. 4. “These new signs add to the welcoming environment that our residents show to visitors each and every day,” Calamari said. Administrator Robert Tovo told Pascack Press late last year, “Itʼs long overdue. It had been talked about and planned for a number of years but for whatever reason it wasnʼt done.” He said the work, budgeted as a 2020 capital expense, at $25,000 (not all of the work is shown here), is to the credit of American Woodcarving & Art School in Wayne. He said the town is working on additional beautification efforts. To request a name to be added to the Honor Roll, write — Staff item, Peter Calamari art Welcome, traveler!

…and the new.


Diversity Committee seeks members

The Borough of Park Ridge is establishing a Diversity Committee to advise the administration. Volunteers willing to meet regularly and make recommendations related to diversity and inclusion in Park Ridge are welcome. Anyone interested should send their contact information to

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in those hallowed halls including the murder of a member of our respected law enforcement community and the assault and attempted murder of dozens more. In the aftermath we heard the hollow ring of politician after politician, politely denounce this behavior. Too little too late, for this evil lives among us, it was given sanctification by a president* who sought absolute power and by a political party too weak and subservient to stand up against a sizable base necessary for their electoral success. Yes, Jan. 6, 2021 is indeed a date that will live in infamy. A shameful reflection of a man who would be king, but like the emperor in the childrenʼs fable, he was exposed for what he is. History will not look kindly upon this administration or those that allowed it to flourish. John Birkner Jr. Westwood Mayor emeritus


Local GOP official: ‘I apologize’


To the editor: FEEL A strong sense of urgency to speak out as an elected Republican. I wonʼt apologize for being a Republican, especially a Westwood Republican. But I certainly feel the need to point out that my party is in shambles at the national, state, and county level. What we saw occur at the Capitol shocked many. Even after four years of Republican shift

from “the party of smaller government” to the party of conspiracy theory and ineptitude, I was shocked. Again. Perhaps I should not have been. Perhaps I should have taken more seriously the concerns of those who correctly saw this coming. To them, I do apologize. Thereʼs plenty to judge “the other side” for. But now is not the time. When your people commit mortal sins to the point of making broken windows and car fires at a protest look like a child spilling their milk somewhat intentionally, there is no sense in pointing fingers in any direction but at your people. Those who persist in their support of Donald Trump and the illegitimate, nonsensical notion that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” need to be rooted out from the party. Our party lost because it is filled with members of congress that care more about their appeal to Trumpʼs base in the hopes of getting re-elected than they do about actually making our government smaller. Our party lost because Donald Trumpʼs character makes adulterers, corporate thieves, and televangelists think, “Well, at least Iʼm not that bad.” And our party lost because many in our party were more interested in telling “the elites” that we were so angry about what happened during the Obama years, we would rather burn it down. All of it. The final step in that attempt occurred on the floors of both houses of the Capitol. A building which stands for freedom and rule by the people. A building where the Statue of Freedom was raised to the top of the dome in the midst of the Civil War. It seems poetic that an attempted insurrection perpetrated by aspirational militiamen

that can barely make the last notch on their belt was rightly quelled. For a time, many in our party including myself kept our mouths shut for the sake of political convenience because we had some policy overlap. But no more. As late as it is, we should be finished with that delusion. I thank God that given two opportunities to vote for Donald Trump I said no both times, as did many (but not enough) others in my party. At times, this came at great expense to our reputation with those in our wider party. But, thankfully, those in the Westwood Republican Party have shown me nothing but the opposite. I thank God I live here because we have built a bit of an island that naturally fortifies us from the psychosis of national politics; we have next to no affiliation with even the county party aside from name. Our Westwood elected officials, Republican and Democrat, view each other as colleagues first, occasionally opponents, but never the enemy. This is the way it should be from top to bottom. I long for the day where legitimate disagreements on policy are at the forefront. Today, the priority is making the higher levels of our party less of a dumpster fire in the back of a fast food restaurant. Joe Letizia Westwood Republican Committeeman

Thanks for backing P-R petition


To the editor: N A STORY on my objection to the Park Ridge Settlement


Agreement I was identified as an attorney. I am not. I am, however, one of the legion of residents in Park Ridge in particular and across the State of New Jersey in general feeling helpless as we watch court decisions turn our towns into cities. My thanks go out to the Park Ridge citizens who have created an online petition that New Jersey residents can sign to voice their support for the objection. To sign the petition, send an email to Put “petition” in the subject line. You will get an email back providing access to the petition. The petition will be forwarded to the court. Each signature on the petition will help to call attention to an affordable housing mandate system that is dangerously out of balance. A large number of signatures by people who care enough to sign the petition can make a difference. Spread the word about the petition. Talk to you friends. Contact your local and state elected officials. Let the court know we do not approve of its actions. Remind the court that its purpose is to dispense justice not building permits to large developers. The fairness hearing addressing the objection will be held on Friday, Jan. 15. Burton Hall Park Ridge Editorʼs note: We apologize to Mr. Hall for misidentifying his job. His company, Park Ridgebased Burton Hall & Associates, specializes in “high quality problem solving, concept development, editorial services and project execution in support of HR, training, marketing and corporate communications efforts.”

Calamari speaks to Troop 228


To the editor: HAD THE pleasure of being invited to address the scouts of Troop 228 via Zoom on Monday evening [Jan. 11] on the topic of local government. It was a unique experience for me because as a young man growing up in Washington Township I participated in the very same scouting program as these young people. Some of the questions asked of me: What do I do on a daily basis as mayor, how did/does COVID affect the town operations and projects, what can they do to get involved, what goes into my decision-making process, etc. I proudly explained the roles of the mayor and council, and how we work together to keep the town operating and moving forward. For me this is one of the most enjoyable parts of being mayor. Interacting with our residents of all ages to discuss and answer their questions was a great experience. It was especially refreshing to witness our youth, who will no doubt be the future leaders of tomorrow, so driven to make their mark in society. Interacting with our young residents gives me great confidence in the future of our town, our country, and everything in between. Thank you to the leaders and members of Troop 228 for inviting me to their meeting. I was truly impressed by how very



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HO-H0-HO: On Dec. 12, 2020 the Park Ridge Recreation and Cultural Committee hosted Santa, Frosty, and friends at its new drive-by tree lighting. Director Liz Falkenstern reported, “People enjoyed waving and honking their horns while driving by Santa and Frosty dancing to holiday music near the beautiful tree. It wasn’t the same as usual, due to the pandemic, but it was fun! There was also a Frosty and Friends Art Contest.”

Sc h ool News


AHA Middle School to open this fall

Starting in September, girls in grades 6, 7, and 8 will prep for success at the Academy of the

voice, and share their unique gifts with others. AHA President Melinda A.

THE ALL-GIRLS SCHOOL has success in mind at every turn.

Hanlon told Pascack Press last week, “We recognize the need exists to provide middle school students with a comprehensive program to prepare them for high school.” She added, “We are poised to

Holy Angels Middle School. The middle school, which renews AHAʼs tradition of educating young girls, will be located on the first floor of Kelleher Hall. AHA Middle School inspires young women to cultivate a lifelong love of learning and empowers them to navigate the challenges of adolescence, find their TRACI KOVAL

AN INSPIRING education.

MORE INFORMATION will be available at a Jan. 31 webinar.

provide the strong foundation needed for success in high school and help students close any gaps in learning. All-girl education provides girls with every opportunity and AHA Middle School will be a place where girls take the lead.” AHA Middle School Dean Traci Koval and her faculty members will offer middle school students a customized educational

experience that includes a firm foundation in core subjects, and opportunities to explore individual interests. Each grade will have a homeroom teacher. Students will take core subjects and specials, such as art, music, and physical education, with different teachers. Hanlon said “A rich fine and performing arts program will be offered.”

All are welcome. Although Holy Angels [] is steeped in Catholic tradition, the Academy serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. AHA Middle School will be funded by tuition and fees, and financial aid will be available. More information will be available at a Jan. 31 webinar.



Sc h ool News Students to report Jan.18 on work toward new mascots





An effort to develop new mascots to replace the recently “retired” Cowboy and Indian mascots at Pascack Hills and Pascack Valley regional high schools is underway this month. The Jan. 18 regional board meeting will feature an update from student representatives on mascot committees established at each school. District spokesman Paul Zeller said the pandemic has delayed inperson meetings of student advisory committees at both schools but that the committees likely would be able to present their recommendations to the Board of Education in February. He said the committees might have to meet online. The students are considering a range of qualities, including tradition, pride, commitment, excellence, athleticism, intellect, and

compassion, that represent their school communities. The committees may choose to consider other qualities as they establish their top three choices, Zeller said. Pascack Valley High School serves Hillsdale and River Vale. Pascack Hills High School serves Woodcliff Lake and Montvale. On Oct. 26, 2020 both schoolsʼ athletic directors, Shawn Buchanan at Pascack Valley and Philip Paspalas at Pascack Hills explained the committee and voting process to be used at both schools to determine a mascot choice that will then be presented at a public district school board meeting. The directors are helping to coordinate the selection process. Following selection of three mascot options at each school, a school-wide vote will be conducted and the top choice garnering 50% or more will be selected. Should no selection hit that mark, the lowest scoring of the top three choices will be eliminated and


Westwood Regional Board Of Education

Pursuant to the Public School Contracts Law N.J.S.A. 18A:18A-1, be advised that the following appointments for professional services were made for the 2021 calendar year and a copy of the resolution(s) and proposals are on file for public inspection at the Board of Education offices: ARCHITECT: FKA Architects ATTORNEY: Fogarty and Hara SPECIAL SERVICES COUNCIL: Machado Law Group


PV students ask: ‘What’s in a Name?’

N FALL 2020 the student editors of PV Student Publication announced a series, a year in the making, to explore the history behind the schoolʼs retired Indian mascot and the use of Native American imagery and nicknames. In “Whatʼs in a Name?,” the journalists embraced questions of identity, inclusivity, and tradition at the Pascack Regional High School District and at districts nationwide. They pursued answers all the way home, along the way discussing their decision to drop the name of their award-winning publication, The Smoke Signal. PV publication was named Smoke Signal in its second publication, Feb. 29, 1956. What it will be called remains to be seen. PV Student Publication is one of the local scholastic journalism teams with which Pascack Press is working to amplify stu-

another vote will be held. “Once a mascot is selected, weʼll go through the same process to select an image to represent the mascot,” said Paspalas. “Theyʼre creating the next 50 years, hopefully the forever history going forward, for our schools.” Zeller said the student committee established at each school will meet at last twice before coming up with mascot options to be voted on by students and staff. “We want to have the kids look at all the mascot possibilities that just donʼt represent athletics but represent the school and community. Things that convey strength, determination, equity, kindness and so on,” Paspalas said. Zeller said the process itself is a tradition, dating to 1964, as the advisory committees “embody student government members, student athletes, and representatives from various clubs and organizations in an effort to get a wide spectrum of

dent voices throughout the Pascack Valley (the other is The Trailblazer, the work of student journalists at Pascack Hills High School.) Itʼs a project and relationship weʼre quite proud of. These are the 2020 stories building out “Whatʼs in a Name?” via We recommend them: High schools throughout the country face mascot controversies, Emily Moy, staff writer, Dec. 22.

PV faces similar mascot situation to Scotch Plains–Fanwood High School, Ellie Kim, editor in chief, Dec. 9. Mascot controversies sweep the state, Abby Shapiro and Sarah Shapiro, Dec. 1.

The truth behind Native American myths in pop culture, Treshan Nilaweera, staff writer, Nov. 24.

students involved. Faculty and coaches from each school will help facilitate each committee, along with the respective directors of athletics.” The board voted unanimously in June to drop the old mascots, saying they were guided by four reasons to retire the mascots: They were offensive to many; both mascots portrayed a male-oriented perspective; the NCAA rejects Native American nicknames for its members; and the mascots promoted inter-school rivalry rather than cooperation and collaboration. That set off a torrent of criticism and pushback from students, parents, school alumni, and the mayors of each district town. Most critics claimed the longstanding mascots were not inherently offensive. The mayors penned two public letters chastising the board for a lack of transparency and refusing to delay a vote until after the summer that would allow resi-


Dorchester kindergarten registration open

Dorchester Elementary School is accepting applications for kindergarten registration for the 2021–22 school year. To be eligible for kindergarten in September 2021, children must be 5 by Oct. 1, 2021. For a registration packet, visit the school website at Click on Dorchester School under schools, and then 2021–22 Kindergarten Registra-

tion under Links & Announcements. During the COVID-19 restrictions, the district requests you e-mail a completed registration form and all required documentation as directed on the kindergarten registration page by Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. Questions? Call the main office at (201) 930-5600 ext. 100.

How the PV Indian came to be, Rachel Cohen, former editor in chief, Nov. 16. The Indians of New Jersey, Rachel Cohen, Nov. 12.

Phasing out the logos, Rachel Cohen, former editor in chief, Nov. 9.

The origins of the Valley Cup chant, Treshan Nilaweera, staff writer, Nov. 2. Native American mascots in professional sports, Rachel Cohen, former editor in chief, Oct. 30.

Response from the community, Ellie Kim and Abby Shapiro, Oct. 26. The retirement of the PV Indian, Ellie Kim and Abby Shapiro, Oct. 23.

Whatʼs in a Name? Ellie Kim, editor in chief, Oct. 20.

dents a better and possibly in-person opportunity to offer their views. Many also criticized the board for not adequately publicizing that a vote on the mascots would take place at the June 22 meeting. The board posted a 1,000word explanation of its position June 26 but did not reconsider its decision. “Over the years, but even more so in recent times, it became clear in no uncertain terms that a significant number of our administrators, staff, current students, alumni, and members of the community are not supportive of the traditional nicknames, and are offended, marginalized, and/or embarrassed by the nicknames and mascots,” the board said in its letter. “Mascots and nicknames that offend a significant portion of our school communities cannot be endorsed and continued as a policy of the district. This decision was not, and could not be, reached based on popularity or polls; rather, this decision is founded on principles. Our decision had to be based exclusively on what now is in the best interests of our students in 2020 and moving forward,” the board said. It added, “While some have criticized that this significant decision seems to have come without careful consideration, to the contrary, this is a process that has been ongoing for 16 years. Discussions regarding the logos and nicknames began in earnest in 2004 and 2005 as both Pascack Valley and Pascack Hills debated these issues.”



While Pascack Hills students went back to their hybrid schedule a day after going fully remote when a person there tested Covid-positive, Pascack Valley High School will remain fully remote through Jan. 18 due to more than 100 possible recent exposures. PVHS remains closed at least through Jan. 18, mainly due to a couple of large New Yearʼs Eve parties attended by Pascack Valley students and the need to conduct contact tracing. At Pascack Hills, the contact tracing is complete and the school was back to a normal hybrid schedule on Jan. 12. According to district superin-

tendent P. Erik Gundersen in a message to district families on Tuesday, Jan. 11, “After consultation with local health officials, the recommendation is that we may resume with in-person learning at Pascack Hills High School.” After going fully remote for Jan. 11, PHHS opened for in-person learning on Tuesday, Jan. 12. Said Gundersen, “We will be operating on a B1 schedule, with instructional, athletic, and co-curricular activities resuming in-person, following the normal safety protocol.” On Jan. 7 he said, “Local health officials have completed enough of their contact tracing investigation to strongly recommend that Pascack Valley High School remain fully remote through Monday, Jan. 18, with a scheduled

reopening of Tuesday, Jan. 19.” Remote-only instruction began at PVHS on Tuesday, Jan 5. “We strongly urge all students and their families to refrain from attending social gatherings. Attending such gatherings is not only putting you and your family at risk, these gatherings put our entire community at risk,” said Gundersen. Pascack Valley students attended large New Year's Eve parties in Hillsdale and River Vale. Pascack Hills High School in Montvale serves families in Montvale and Woodcliff Lake. Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale serves families in Hillsdale and River Vale. Asked why Pascack Hills did not go fully remote as long as Pascack Valley did, district spokesman Paul Zeller said those decisions


Registration open for 2021–22 kindergarten

The Hillsdale Public School District has opened registration for its 2021–2022 kindergarten program. Any resident child who will be 5 on or before Oct. 1 is eligible for enrollment. Children living on the east side of Magnolia Avenue (even house numbers) running from Lincoln Avenue to Lawrence Street will attend Meadowbrook School. Children living on the west side of Magnolia Avenue (odd

house numbers) running from Lincoln Avenue to Lawrence Street will attend Ann Blanche Smith School. The district uses an online pre-registration format for all incoming kindergarten students. All the pre-registration forms can be found on the districtʼs website, Once on the website, click the Registration tab. Make sure to register for the 2021–2022 school year and to select grade “00” for kindergarten.

On completion of the online registration, you will be contacted by school personnel to schedule an appointment for your registration conference. The district is conducting a kindergarten orientation for Ann Blanche Smith School and for Meadowbrook School in April. This orientation may be provided via remote platform. Your school principal will send out further information once the registration process is completed.

were based on health officials' advice. “Contact tracing is key in making decisions with regards to opening/closing buildings. All of our decisions have, and continue to be made, based on data and recom-

mendations of our local health officials. Gundersen had urged families to be forthcoming with contact tracers and school nurses attempting to find out who attended each party.


Student reps report from Westwood Regional schoool board

The Dec. 17, 2020 Board of Education Student Representative Report from Isabelle Abou-Daoud and Maximilian Wang:

Academics As Westwood High School continues to adapt to a new learning environment, students and teachers continue to do their best both online and in person. This month's wellness theme is stress management. If


Sc h ool News In-person classes resume at Pascack Hills


[For more, see our story “Isabel Rhee, one to watch, earns Eisenhower Leadership Award,” Dec. 28, 2020.]

Clubs/Activities Clubs are still meeting virtually. The debate team has competed virtually and the academic decathlon team will be competing virtually in the near future. Several other clubs are looking for new ways to be cre-


Seventh-grader Robbie Feiler fights food insecurity

Job well done by River Valeʼs Robbie Feiler, a grade 7 student at the Religious School of Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley in Woodcliff Lake, who is fighting food insecurity for his Kids Who Care project. Rabbi Shelley Kniaz, Robbieʼs education director, told Pascack Press last week, “Robbie used his time during winter break in a very meaningful way. He has bagged more than 400 packages of food so far, and is still going!” Kniaz said, “He is also collecting money from sponsors for his daily basketball shoots. The bags of food are a donation to the Center for Food Action, which provides emergency services to northern New Jerseyʼs poorest and most vulnerable residents. The center recently distributed more than 61,000 emergency and holiday food packages to individuals/families in Bergen County and northern Passaic County.

“Robbie has been very creative in finding ways to make a difference during the pandemic, combining both raising money for tzedakah (righteous giving) and doing acts of hesed (kindness),” said Kniaz Robbieʼs parents are Debra and Larry. He has two older brothers. For his Bar Mitzvah project he is putting together snack packages for kids who are less fortunate. He says, “I named this program Hoops for Hunger. For every dollar donated, I will go outside and play basketball for a minute. Each dollar donated, I will be matching and donating the same amount. So far, we have raised enough money to make over 200 bags.” He adds, “As unfortunate as it is that my Bar Mitzvah service will be virtual, Iʼm glad ROBBIE FEILER of River Vale that I can have some sort of a is helping to feed the hungry service to become a Bar Mitzthrough Temple Emanuel of vah.” the Pascack Valley.

ISABEL RHEE any student is dealing with any sort ative while still staying safe. This week has been the high or stress or struggling in any other way, high school counselors are schoolʼs student council spirit week. always available to assist them. As Monday was Hat Day, Tuesday was we are halfway through the year, as Summer in December, Wednesday of today, second quarter progress was Cardinal Pride, today was Class reports have been released on the Color Day, and tomorrow, Friday is Sports Day. Genesis portal for everyone to see. On Dec. 14, those who were Looking ahead, in January 2021, juniors will be able to meet interested were able to compete in with their counselors to discuss an ugly-sweater contest by emailing scheduling for next year. Juniors will their outfit to Mr. Connelly. meet first, then sophomores, then Music/Theater Department–VPA freshmen. The Woodington Players are Seniors continue to send out their college applications. Some are preparing to put on a “Cinderella” beginning to receive decision letters. play this spring. The chamber Today, we congratulate West- singers, our honors choir class at the wood High School student Isabel high school, are working on a longRhee for being chosen for the term project to let the students be Dwight D. Eisenhower Leadership more creative. As of now the Woodaward. This award demonstrates wind Ensembleʼs holiday performextraordinary leadership, academics, ances are to be scheduled. Chamber night is April 21 in community service, and athletics Hurley theater as far as we know. within the community.



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Brain dysfunction that occurs from some sort of physical trauma is very common. There are many ways someone might sustain a brain DR. ERIC KAPLAN, injury, as well as KAPLAN BRAIN & post-concussion BODY syndrome. There are also a variety of ways that these injuries could affect someoneʼs life afterward. Our goal and priority is to help spread awareness about how these injuries impact patients, and cre-

ate a deeper understanding of how to help people suffering from a brain injury through applied neuroscience and neuroplasticity. Although most people think that concussions and brain injury just occur when someone sustains a blow to the head, these could also happen with less obvious impacts as well. For instance, it can also occur in a small car accident when there is a slight whiplash. There are brain injuries called coup contrecoup in which the brain is basically tossed around inside the skull and there is a bruising injury to the opposite

side of the brain. Structural or postural issues due to poor phone or computer habits, as well as musculoskeletal injuries, could also cause strain or cause torsion in the artery in the neck, which could lead to decreased blood flow to the brain resulting in dizziness or lightheadedness. Musculoskeletal injuries include strain of the muscles in the back, shoulders, or neck could also pull on the skull, causing pain and headaches. Brain injuries donʼt just cause pain and headaches. They also lead to dysautonomia, in

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which people are in a fight-orflight mode all the time. People might also experience increased stress, dizziness, insomnia, anxiety, as well as linguistic issues. Symptoms tend to be more severe if there were pre-existing health problems. CTE and postconcussion syndrome are complex disorders that could last for weeks, if not months or years, after a concussion. It is important to understand that a patient who suffered a concussion or brain injury could face diverse types of symptoms. Many people have to take significant amounts of time out of school or work. Memory, focus and energy, can decrease, and studying or reading can become a challenge. For some patients, light and sound sensitivity make it difficult to leave the house. Many patients also suffer from insomnia and digestive problems. Adults are likelier to seek help for head injuries, but unfortunately parents may have a difficult time understanding if their children have had a concussion. Children often will not report, or will hide, symptoms so they can continue to play. If your child plays sports and starts getting headaches, dizziness, double vision, brain fog, anxiety, depression, anger, sleep problems, fatigue, or difficulty with concentration, start to ask some questions about hitting his or her head. If they did hit their head, even if it is a very small hit, it is important to get the proper concussion evaluation to compare it to the baseline testing. With baseline testing, there is never a guess of what happened to the brain. We will know exactly what is wrong and how to fix it so that the child can get back on the field or back to school without physical, social or cognitive effects. Without baseline testing it is harder to determine what damage was done and that makes treatment much harder and less effective. There is no reason you or

your children need to suffer from concussions when these injuries can be totally prevented. Fortunately, using neuroplasticity and applied neuroscience can result in amazing solutions to help alleviate these difficult symptoms for patients. At Kaplan Brain & Body, we use all up-to-date technologies to give the Tri-State area the best health care they deserve. For example, we use qEEG brain mapping which is a noninvasive test with no radiation and no pain. Basically, you wear something similar to a swim cap and there are attached electrodes that measure your brain waves to see what areas of the brain are not working well. We also use a neurofeedback machine to bring added input and stimulation to those weak areas of the brain that were discovered with the qEEG. It is non-invasive, painless, pretty easy to do, and has been shown to improve many of the symptoms linked to concussion or traumatic brain injuries. We hope you will urge your family members, especially athletes, to take the initiative and get baseline brain and concussion testing. You can get your concussion baseline testing done at Kaplan Brain & Body in Emerson for FREE if you mention this ad. We hope you might also consider donating to the New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Fund to help people get the healthcare they so desperately need after these life-altering occurrences. Call our office at (201) 261-2150 or email us at to make an appointment for a Free Neurological Evaluation, or to get your Baseline Testing done today. We look forward to hearing from you. Function Better. Feel Better. Live Better. Follow us on Facebook at Kaplan Brain and Body and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Even if you donʼt need the new game console you can donate. The designer handbag will be raffled in advance of Valentineʼs Day. “Itʼs pretty big deal for the kids. Of course itʼs us who does all the fundraising and not the players but itʼs worth it,” Turcina told Pascack Press last week. He said, “Iʼm hoping to get something put together, if we can pull it off with covid and everything else, to have the kids do a car wash so that theyʼre a little more involved.” The Cardinals play in the Bergen All Stars (NEBAS), a travel baseball league composed of travel teams from Bergen, Hudson, and Passaic counties in New Jersey, and Rockland County in New York. Westwood 9U were summer champions in 2018; 10U NJSBL were fall champions in 2018. Organizers have identified Aug. 14–19 for the boysʼ Cooperstown trip. “We planned a later date to give us as much time as possible to get covid behind us,” said Turcina, who has coached Westwood for 14 years. His older son is 19 now. “They play three days of games, three games a day, and FROM PAGE 1

then it goes to a bracket, if they play well enough. Theyʼll play a lot of baseball while theyʼre there. Last yearʼs team wasnʼt able to go, and unfortunately itʼs only for 12U teams. It was disappointing. Itʼs a one-shot deal,” he said. Turcina added, “Teams come in from all over... Itʼs a big tournament. They trade pins with other teams, try to have a lot of interaction with kids from other parts of the country, and stuff like that.” There are fees for players and coaches, and an umpire is required to attend. Lodging for players is at the State University of New York at Oneonta. Three meals a day are included, as are passes to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, awards, and cool swag. In announcing its 2020 tournament cancellations, Cooperstown Baseball World said, “With teams coming from 18 different states, as well as three different countries, whose border entry is also still up in the air at this time, we feel there is no way of properly protecting everyone who would come in contact with each other in the dorms, the cafeteria, the concession stands, the sales room, during pin trading, as well as on the fields, and in the spectator areas.”

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It added, “We received emails inquiring as to whether we might have the tournaments without housing the players and coaches. We did not see that as a viable option, as half the Cooperstown experience for these players is living in the dorms with their friends all week. We had to take all aspects of the tournament into consideration.” Yash Risbud, Westwood Baseball Association president

and 2019 Greater Pascack Valley Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, thanked and commiserated with families amid an abbreviated 2020 schedule. “A number of towns gave up on rec baseball in 2020, but not Westwood! Thatʼs one thing I will always strive for: to deliver whatever we can for our kids and to give them the opportunity to make memories of their own. That only happens with the army of volun-


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WIN THIS: A PlayStation 5 for $20? It could be yours.

teers that give of their time each and every year. My eternal thanks to each and every one of you,” he said. Oh yes, that PlayStation 5: See details and try your luck at the teamʼs Facebook page. For every $20 you pledge youʼll receive one entry to the raffle. All profits go to getting the team to Cooperstown. The winning name will be computer-selected, at random, and announced on Jan. 31.


Park Ridge BOE meeting dates for 2021

In accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, P.L. 1975 c231, this is to advise that the following meetings will take place pursuant to Board Policy #0154. The regular monthly meetings of the Park Ridge Board of Education will be held on the third Monday of each month,

unless otherwise indicated. Private session begins at 6:05 p.m. followed by the public meeting at 7 in the Little Theater of Park Ridge High School. The dates for the regular monthly meetings are Jan. 25, Feb. 22, March 22, April 26, May 24, June 14, Aug. 30, Sept. 20,

Oct. 18, Nov. 22, Dec. 20, and Jan. 5, 2022. Other meetings will be designated as special meetings and advertised as needed. Action may be taken on matters involving personnel, finance, litigation, and negotiations.




From listening to music to ordering groceries, almost all aspects of our daily lives are connected to the Internet in ERIC KOHLMEIER some way. Nearly a third of Americans say theyʼre “almost constantly” online, with 81% using the Internet at least once a day. But our always-connected nature can come with risks: The FBIʼs Internet Crime Complaint

Center averages more than 900 complaints a day; the center recorded $2.71 billion in victim losses in 2019.? Here are some ways you can help protect your family online. 1. Learn to spot imposter scams. Have you ever received a call, text, or email purporting to be from your credit card provider regarding suspicious activity detected on your account? It could be a scammer trying to convince you to share sensitive information that would enable them to access your accounts. Increasingly, these criminals

may be able to spoof caller ID or an email address so it appears they are legitimate. When in doubt, do not respond. Instead, alert your provider about the suspicious communication. Learn more about how to spot common scams 2. Manage and monitor your credit. If your data has been compromised through a security breach, consider placing a fraud alert on your credit file with the three major credit bureaus. Visit for more information on identity theft pre-

vention tips and resources you can share with your family. Make a habit of reviewing credit reports for you and your child at least once a year. Look for unauthorized accounts that may have been opened in your names. More than 1 million children were victims of identity fraud in 2017, according to one study from banking industry research firm Javelin Strategy & Research.? 3. Limit what you share on social media. Thieves scour social media profiles for clues to security questions, passwords, and other information that could help them impersonate potential victims online. First, set your profiles to private—and encourage your family members to do the same. Also, restrict your social media contacts to people you know personally. Finally, watch what information you disclose. Revealing too much personal information in your social profiles can put you at greater risk of identity theft, especially if your bank or other companies use that information to verify your identity. 4. Protect your home network. Create a strong password for your wireless network in your home. Consider using a unique phrase with a mix of letters and numbers. Avoid using any part of your email address or information shared on social media, like the name of your pet, favorite movie, or anything else someone could easily guess. When you are configuring your router, the Department of Homeland Security rec-

ommends choosing the Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) setting, which is the strongest encryption option.? 5. Stay up to date. Cybercriminals change their tactics frequently, so families should stay on top of the latest threats. Be sure to work with Wells Fargo Advisors and other financial providers to understand ways to protect yourself as you conduct financial business online. Wells Fargo Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice. Be sure to consult with your tax and legal advisors before taking any action that could have tax consequences. Any estate plan should be reviewed by an attorney who specializes in estate planning and is licensed to practice law in your state. This article was written for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Eric Kohlmeier, Senior Financial Advisor, Managing Director–Investments in Park Ridge at (201) 505-0472. Investments in securities and insurance products are not FDIC-insured/not bank-guaranteed and may lose value. Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered brokerdealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. © 2017–2019 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved.

Club News? Let us help promote your club or organization. Send all news to or mail to: Pascack Press, P.O. Box 335, Westwood, NJ 07675

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How to design a home fitness room

People exercise for many reasons. Exercise can improve oneʼs appearance, reduce the risk of illness, alleviate stress or anxiety, and even help pass the time. Exercise often is a social activity, but in the wake of social distancing guidelines issue in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many people have found themselves looking for ways to exercise at home. Building a home fitness room has never been a more timely project, and such a project can continue to provide rewards even when life returns to some semblance of normalcy. Hereʼs how to successfully stock a home gym. • Find a dedicated space. A home gym will be limited by the amount of space that can be devoted to workouts. Possible fitness room locations include a spare bedroom, a garage, a basement, or an enclosed patio. Measure the space so you can pick and choose equipment that will fit. Leave some floor space empty for movement exercises or mat activities. • Keep the space bright. Darkness can sap energy levels, so invest in mirrors and adequate overhead lighting to make the space inviting. Natural light can make the exercise area more enjoyable. • Consider the flooring.

New flooring can protect against damage and make an area more

conductive to working out. Rubber mats can offset echoes and

reduce the noise of running on a treadmill or setting down heavy weights. • Use space-saving equipment. A home gym space will likely not be as expansive as the space inside a traditional fitness center. Thankfully, many activities do not require a lot of space or equipment. Classic exercises like squats, lunges, push ups, and sit ups require little gear but still produce results. Figure out which equipment you like the most and invest in two or three key pieces. Dumbells of various weights, a medicine

ball and a yoga mat can be all you need to create a versatile, effective workout. A TRX system and a door-mounted pull-up bar also are great space-saving options. • Have a TV hookup. A home gym may benefit from a smart TV that you can use to stream workout videos or catch up on the latest news while running the treadmill or using the stationary bike. A home gym is beneficial year-round, and can be especially valuable when social distancing guidelines are put in place.


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Pitch in! Shovel snow for borough’s elderly

While children look forward to those first fluffy flakes of snow that might lead to sledding and snowman building, for many older residents a snow storm can be worrisome. Westwood For All Ages, a local non-profit dedicated to improving quality of life for local senior citizens, is recruiting volunteers for its program aimed at easing sidewalk snow removal duties for Westwood seniors. Now in its second year, this program is a continuation of the groupʼs successful leaf raking volunteer program that matched eager teen volunteers with several senior homeowners. Organizers are looking to recruit more volunteers, adults and teens, to help seniors with the more difficult snow removal chore. This program is a contactless service: No volunteer will enter any


home and all arrangements will be made via email or phone. Volunteers will need to provide their own shovels. While many older residents are able to hire snow removal companies, those on fixed incomes often struggle to keep up with snow removal duties. According to program manager, Lisa Bontemps, “It is our hope that Westwood residents will keep an eye out for their older neighbors and offer assistance with snow removal.” Bontemps also encourages older Westwood residents who need this type of snow removal assistance to contact Westwood For All Ages to be put on the volunteer matching list. Teen and adult volunteers or seniors (65+) who would like snow shoveling assistance should write or call (201) 834-4192.


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all, as alternatives had come through. A timetable for soil remediation and construction of a new DPW facility was not available at press time. The township remains under a May 2021 deadline. Two residents with homes nearby Sherry Field, where heavy DPW vehicles are being temporarily parked, voiced concerns about air, water, and soil pollution being caused by the vehicles, affecting their properties, health, and safety. Thomas Fazio of Lafayette Avenue said the rear of a garage built there abuts his property, and said he was concerned about air


pollution from the large trucks; work being done in the garage; air, water and soil pollution; and possible flooding of his property by contaminants deposited on the ground from the vehicles and garage. He also spoke in concern for nearby wetlands and wildlife. Fazio noted the area was a flood zone and “gas and oil on the ground is going to pour onto our property… leaking into the basement.” He said he was concerned about his pregnant wife. He said moving the vehicles and a maintenance facility nearby was “truly unfair… I think itʼs a terrible thing that you guys are doing.” He noted that more trucks

could impact local childrenʼs safety “and severely devalue the houses as well.” Resident Aria Fahy agreed with Fazio, noting floodwater had already poured into her basement. She said she worried about what chemicals were getting into groundwater and could affect her children, age 7 and 10. She said it was “extremely unfair” that new pollution threats from the DPW vehicles and facility were being imposed and wondered how council members would feel if similar circumstances were happening to them. Resident Elizabeth Levy asked how much it cost to cut trees down on a property behind the Doghouse Saloon that the

township is using temporarily to store vehicles, as well as the costs of building a temporary two-bay modular maintenance garage. She asked whether it might be less disruptive to nearby residents and less costly to consider alternate parking at the church facility. Calamari said he would gladly meet with Sherry Fieldarea and Doghouse-area property owners to discuss the matter and “put your concerns at ease.” Council President Stacey Feeney said she would join Calamari at such outreach. Councilman Steven Cascio said “the key word is that itʼs a temporary site.” He added that he was sure the DPW “will take

proper precautions. Again, itʼs a temporary fix.” Councilman Michael DeSena urged the mayor to reach out to Hillsdale and Westwood to discuss a one-year shared-service agreement for DPW parking. He said that “could be cheaper than building all these new huts.” In Jan. 6, 2020, at that yearʼs reorganization meeting, Calamari reported that “We have run out of time and options to find a temporary home in the township for the [Department of Municipal Facilities while the soil is being remediated and a new facility is constructed.” He said at that meeting, “We will start exploring out-oftown options later this week.”


River Vale’s Schlereth to take the helm at Immaculate Heart

The Office of the Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of Newark is pleased to announce the appointment of Jason Schlereth of River Vale as President of Immaculate Heart Academy (IHA), effective July. Schlereth will succeed Immaculate Heart Academy president Patricia Molloy, whose pending retirement has been announced. Schlereth has served in the capacity of principal at IHA since

2016. He has served as vice principal from 2013 to 2016 and director of athletics from 2006 to 2013. Before joining the Immaculate Heart community, he taught in the Leonia Public Schools, where he began his career. Schlereth is an alumnus of Bergen Catholic High School, as well as William Paterson University, where he earned his BA in history and elementary education in 2004. He fur-

thered his education at St. Peterʼs University, where he earned a master of arts in educational leadership in 2013, followed by graduate study at Seton Hall University, where he is currently in pursuit of an Ed.D. in K–12 school administration. Molloy served Immaculate Heart for 47 years. In Schlerethʼs words, Molloy has been vital to the schoolʼs success. “I am so grateful for Ms. Patricia

JASON SCHLERETH of River Vale and Kerry Carroll of Bogota are tapped as IHS’s president and principal, respectively, effective July 1.

Molloyʼs mentorship, guidance, and friendship throughout my time at IHA,” he said. “I am humbled by the opportunity to continue her great work. It is hard to picture Immaculate Heart Academy without Ms. Molloy, but her legacy continues to influence so much in our school—from the challenging curriculum and the physical building to the traditional Catholic values and the distinctive culture of sisterhood for which IHA is so highly regarded.” Schlereth added, “Ms. Molloy will be greatly missed, but she knows she will always have a home at Immaculate Heart.” Speaking of his goals as incoming president, Schlereth said he looks forward to building upon the successes of the school. Along with the appointment of Schlereth, the archdiocese has announced that Kerry Carroll, IHA Class of 2004 and a resident of Bogota, will fill the position of principal, also effective in July. Carroll, who has been a member of the faculty since 2013 after graduating from IHA in 2004, earned a bachelor of arts in theology and a master of arts in educational leader-

ship, both from University of Notre Dame; a jurisdoctor from Columbia University School of Law; and a master of law with merit from Kingʼs College London. At Immaculate Heart, Miss Carroll served as a teacher of social studies, Latin, and religious studies before being named assistant principal for faculty and instruction in July 2019. Founded in 1960, Immaculate Heart Academy is an all-girls Catholic regional high school of the Archdiocese of Newark presently celebrating its 60th year. A Blue Ribbon School, IHA enrolls approximately 700 girls in a competitive college preparatory program from more than 100 towns in Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Hudson and Essex counties in New Jersey and Rockland and Orange counties in New York. Over the years, IHA has continually grown and evolved, fortifying its academics, activities, and facilities to prepare students for further education, and for the enhancement of society through their personal, professional, and spiritual gifts. Immaculate Heart Academy is located at 500 Van Emburgh Ave.




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invites you into her kitchen to cook up a new dish. Peruse the recipe beforehand via the libraryʼs website. • Tweens and teens—learn to make your own Hot Chocolate Bombs (chocolate shells filled with hot cocoa ingredients). Thursday, Jan. 21 at 3 p.m., videos go live on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Register online, FROM PAGE 16

• Teen Reads is the first Thursday of every month at 4:30 p.m. Allyssa will be on YouTube, IGTV, and Facebook reviewing new and favorite YA reads.

pick up your ingredients kit, and then tune in with Miss Allyssa! • STEAM Thursdays, a program for school-age kids, runs Thursdays at 4 p.m. Each week the kids make a craft or try a science experiment. Materials are things from around the house; a list will be posted one week prior. Links are posted on Facebook, YouTube and the libraryʼs website.

WESTWOOD 49 Park Ave. (201) 664-0583 • Music Play Patrol (toddlers to 5) on Zoom Tuesday, Jan. 19 from 10:30 to 11 a.m. This weekly musical program gets kids dancing and learning about music,



The Park Ridge Municipal Pool opened on June 28, 2020 under a strict set of safety guidelines and appears poised to open up again in 2021. The pool offered an outdoor respite for the community and prior-member non-Park Ridge residents. Officials say, “While itʼs a bit too early to be certain, we fully anticipate the Park Ridge Municipal Pool will open on Memorial Day Weekend. We expect that pool memberships will be open to all Park Ridge residents and non-resident employees of Park Ridge Borough and Board of Education.” A limited number of memberships will be offered to non-residents. New non-residents must be sponsored by a Park Ridge resident or prior pool member. The 2021 rates are the same as they were in 2019: Resident Family: $410


Resident Single: $300 Resident Seniors: Free Non-Resident Family: $510 Non-Resident: Single: $360 Non-Resident Senior: $75/$100 per couple (both must be 65 or older) Stay tuned for registration due dates to avoid a $35 late fee. The Park Ridge Municipal Pool normally provides swim lessons and numerous activities, including competitive swim and dive teams, arts and crafts, storytime, Red Cross lifeguard training, adult nights, and other special events as posted throughout the summer. As the statewide safety protocols are released, the town will evaluate its ability to continue these services. Stay current through the PR Municipal Pool page, For more information write

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rhythm, and instruments. Register online. • Intro to Scratch Coding on Zoom (grades 1–3) continues Tuesday, Jan. 19 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Meets weekly in January and February. Register online. • In Nutrition Jeopardy!, kids in grades 3–5 put their nutrition knowledge to the test. They will also make a quick energy bite snack. Find ingredients list—and signup link—on the libraryʼs website. On Google Meet, Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 4 to 4:45 p.m. • Java Coding (grades 4–5) is Thursday, Jan. 21 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Zoom. Every Thursday in January and February, beginner and intermediate users are challenged in this popular programming language. Register online. • Do you have interesting items at home and are wondering what theyʼre worth? “Whatʼs it Worth?” brings in antiques dealer/appraiser Mike Ivankovich via

Zoom on Thursday, Jan. 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. to help answer that question. Mike will appraise one item per attendee. (Have a “backup” item in case Mike needs to further research your primary item.) Registration is required as space is limited. • The Online Book Group will discuss “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce during a virtual meeting on Zoom, Thursday, Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. All adults are welcome. Sign up on the libraryʼs website. • Nursery Rhyme Story Sequence (Pre-K, 3–5 years old) is on Google Meet every Friday in January from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Children listen to a new story each week and build the story in the order of events. This fosters comprehension and critical thinking skills. Pick up activity pack from the library to participate in all four sessions. Have paper, scissors, and a glue stick ready for each week.


Hone your speaking, leadership skills online

During this unprecedented time, when most of us find ourselves at home much more than we are accustomed to, we have a unique opportunity to grow skills that many of us may be lacking or want to improve upon. For those looking to develop or improve their public speaking and leadership skills, Haworth-based Valley Toastmasters has transitioned to online club meetings, and youʼre invited. Valley Toastmasters is composed up of local residents who can help you build your skills in a supportive, self-paced environment. All you will need to join the meeting is a computer, tablet, or smartphone with a

microphone and camera. Join a few minutes early if you would like help getting set up. Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., the organizationʼs membership exceeds 364,000 in more than 16,200 clubs in 145 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders. Valley Toastmasters meets on the first and third Mondays of the month from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. For Zoom access, write to

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REAL ESTATE & BUSINESS The Internal Revenue Service on Jan. 12 expanded the Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program to all taxpayers who can verify their identities. The Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) is a six-digit code known only to the taxpayer and to the IRS. It helps prevent identity thieves from filing fraudulent tax returns using a taxpayers' personally identifiable information. “This is a way to, in essence, lock your tax account, and the IP PIN serves as the key to opening that account,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Electronic returns that do not contain the correct IP PIN will be rejected, and paper returns will go through additional scrutiny for fraud.” The IRS launched the IP PIN program nearly a decade ago to protect confirmed identity theft victims from ongoing tax-related fraud. In recent years, the IRS expanded the program to specific states where taxpayers could voluntarily opt into the IP PIN program. Now, the voluntary program is going nationwide.

Here are a few key things to know about the IP PIN Opt-In program: • This is a voluntary program. • You must pass a rigorous identity verification process. • Spouses and dependents are eligible for an IP PIN if they can verify their identities. • An IP PIN is valid for a calendar year. • You must obtain a new IP PIN each filing season. • The online IP PIN tool is offline between November and mid-January each year. • Correct IP PINs must be entered on electronic and paper tax returns to avoid rejections and delays. • Never share your IP PIN with anyone but your trusted tax provider. The IRS will never call, text or email requesting your IP PIN. Beware of scams to steal your IP PIN. • There currently is no opt-out option but the IRS is working on one for 2022. How to get an IP PIN Taxpayers who want an IP

PIN for 2021 should go to and use the Get an IP PIN tool. This online process will require taxpayers to verify their identities using the Secure Access authentication process if they do not already have an IRS account. See for what information you need to be successful. There is no need to file a Form 14039, an Identity Theft Affidavit, to opt into the program Once taxpayers have authenticated their identities, their 2021 IP PIN immediately will be revealed to them. Once in the program, this PIN must be used when prompted by electronic tax returns or entered by hand near the signature line on paper tax returns. All taxpayers are encouraged to first use the online IP PIN tool to obtain their IP PIN. Taxpayers who cannot verify their identities online do have options. Taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less may complete Form 15227, Application for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number, and mail or fax to the IRS. An IRS

Arroyo: Supporting science They will assess its usefulness in addressing the pressing need to pinpoint the relative higher, or lower, risks of infectious transmissions. They will help us better understand the role these particles play and how diseases are transmitted via aerosol and exhaled


breath. Interesting stuff in the technological effort to keep the world safe from COVID-19 and from future viral blooms. And itʼs happening right here in Westwood! The Hub! I was very happy to assist in Dr. Jaegerʼs pursuit of this useful, and timely, knowledge.

Ray Arroyo Mayor of Westwood Editorʼs note: We accept occasional essays from knowledgeable sources in the community in order to help facilitate a discussion on timely local topics. This essay does not necessarily reflect our views and is not a product or service endorsement.

customer service representative will contact the taxpayer and verify their identities by phone. Taxpayers should have their prior year tax return at hand for the verification process. Taxpayers who verify their identities through this process will have an IP PIN mailed to them the following tax year. This is for security reasons. Once in the program, the IP PIN will be mailed to these taxpayers each year. Taxpayers who cannot verify their identities online or by phone and who are ineligible for file Form 15227 can contact the IRS and make an appointment at a Taxpayer Assistance Center to verify their identities in person. Taxpayers should bring two forms of identification, including one governmentissued picture identification. Taxpayers who verify their identities through the in-person process will have an IP PIN mailed to them within three weeks. Once

in the program, the IP PIN will be mailed to these taxpayers each year.

No change for confirmed identity theft victims Taxpayers who are confirmed identity theft victims or who have filed an identity theft affidavit because of suspected stolen identity refund fraud will automatically receive an IP PIN via mail once their cases are resolved. Current tax-related identity theft victims who have been receiving IP PINs via mail will experience no change. See for additional details. The IRS also encourages tax professionals and employers to share information with taxpayers about the availability of the IP PIN. Tax professionals and employers can print or email Publication 5367 or share IRS social media/e-poster products.

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IRS says all taxpayers eligible for Identity Protection PINs

Resident adds child porn to his list of charges over drugs



Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of Michael D. Rosen, 32, single and unemployed, of Sutton Way, on charges of possession of

child pornography, possession of controlled dangerous substances, and distribution of controlled dangerous substances. The arrest is the result of an



The Reserve Unit of the Park Ridge Police seeks new officers. The Reserve Unit is committed to upholding the Constitution, community, and agency it serves. The unit relies upon the professionalism, dedication, and commitment of its officers to accomplish this task. The vision of the Reserve Unit is to work as a vital part of the police department in building and maintaining the strong bonds of a healthy community policing program. This will be accomplished by providing all officers with the tools they need. In turn, the unit will assist the police department in meeting the challenges of reducing crime, creating a safer community, and improving the quality of life. The core values of this Unit are: integrity, professionalism, commitment, moral character, mutual respect, and teamwork. Applications to become a reserve officer in Park Ridge will be accepted until January. Applicants should understand they are

volunteering to contribute to the overall mission of the unit. Individuals are expected to be professional on and off duty and will be held accountable for their actions at all times. Before applying, make sure you and your family are ready for what will be required of you. In order to qualify you must be a citizen of the Unites States, live within five miles of Park Ridge (provided no program exists in your municipality), be at least 18, be in good physical and mental health, be at least a high school graduate, not have a criminal record or unsatisfactory driving record (background check required), successfully complete the next class held at the Bergen County Police and Fire Academy in Mahwah (classes held at night for three months), and expect to serve around 150 hours a year (includes training and duty time). For more information and an application, call Sgt. DiBlasi at (201) 391-5400 ext. 5232 or stop by police headquarters.

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MICHAEL ROSEN investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutorʼs Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti and the Township of Washington Police Department under the direction of Chief Richard Skinner. Rosen is registered under Meganʼs Law in New Jersey as a Tier 2 (moderate risk) sex offender. In July 2020, members of the Bergen County Prosecutorʼs Office Narcotics Task Force identified Rosen as a person engaged in the possession and distribution of narcotics using the Internet. “Subsequently, and on multiple occasions, Rosen distributed

crystal methamphetamine to an undercover detective. He was arrested on Aug. 14, 2020 in the Township of Washington, and detectives recovered crystal methamphetamine, Xanax, and Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB), as well as drug paraphernalia,” said the BCPO on Jan. 11, 2021. As a result of the investigation, on Aug. 14, 2020, Rosen was charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine, in an amount greater than 1⁄ 2 ounce; one count of possession with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine, in an amount less than 1⁄ 2 ounce; one count of possession of gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB); one count of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, namely Xanax; and one count of possession with Intent to distribute drug paraphernalia. Rosen was remanded to the Bergen County Jail but released pending further action by the Court. Approximately two weeks later, on Sept. 1, 2020, members of the Bergen County Prosecutorʼs Office Narcotics Task Force identified Rosen in another narcotics transaction in the Township of Washington distributing crystal methamphetamine. Rosen was arrested by detectives and charged with conspiracy to distribute a

controlled dangerous substance, namely crystal methamphetamine. Rosen was remanded to the Bergen County Jail, but released pending further action by the court. During that same time, detectives from the Cyber Crimes Unit began a months-long investigation that revealed Rosen used the Internet to view, download, or possess approximately 4,618 digital files depicting nude and/or sexually explicit prepubescent children on at least two of his electronic devices. As a result of the child pornography investigation, Rosen was arrested on Thursday, Jan. 7 in Paramus and charged with one count of possession of child pornography, greater than 1,000 files. Rosen was remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack. Musella states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Musella thanks the Township of Washington Police Department for its assistance, as well as the Lyndhurst Police Department which participates in the Bergen County Cyber Crimes Task Force.


Resident charged over child sexual assault

Resident Marcelo Velez, a vice president at Columbia University, has been charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault by sexual contact, and endangering the welfare of a child. Authorities allege Velez assaulted the child, 13, in a guest room of his house at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 2. Court records say that Velez left to play 18 holes of golf afterward. The relationship of the victim to the accused is not a matter of public record. Velez, 56, is married and Columbia Universityʼs vice president of Manhattanville Development, where he oversees the development of the universityʼs West Harlem campus expansion. The arrest is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the BCPO under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti and the Woodcliff Lake Police Department under the direction of Chief John Burns. Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of Velez on Jan. 5. He said that on Sunday, Jan. 3, the Woodcliff Lake Police Department received information that Velez engaged in sexual acts with a child under 13 while in Woodcliff

MARCELO VELEZ of Woodcliff Lake. Left photo: Right photo: Bergen County Prosecutor's Office. of a child. Lake. Velez was remanded to the At that time, Woodcliff Lake Police contacted the Bergen Bergen County Jail pending his County Prosecutorʼs Office Spe- first appearance in Central Judicial Victims Unit, and the ensuing cial Processing Court in Hackeninvestigation revealed that the sack. Musella emphasized that the sexual acts occurred in Velezʼs charges are merely accusations residence in Woodcliff Lake. As a result of the investiga- and that the defendant is pretion, on Monday, Jan. 4, Velez sumed innocent unless and until was arrested at his residence by proven guilty beyond a reasonable the Woodcliff Lake Police Depart- doubt. He thanked the Woodcliff ment. He was charged with one Lake Police Department for its count of aggravated sexual assistance in the investigation. A university statement said assault, two counts of sexual assault by sexual contact, and one “We have placed Mr. Velez on count of endangering the welfare administrative leave and will cooperate fully with law enforcement officials investigating this ADVERTISE YOUR SERVICE IN THE matter.” SERVICE DIRECTORY IN THE PASCACK PRESS.

welcoming and interested in our interaction everyone was. If any group or organization would like me to participate in their meetings, please reach out to me via email at Mayor Peter Calamari Township of Washington via Facebook


Cardinal Tobin on D.C. siege


To the editor: S I WATCHED the appalling chaos in the U.S. Capitol yesterday [Jan. 6], I witnessed an icon of democracy occupied and



Redefining Retirement encourages retirees and other community members to volunteer with nonprofit organizations across Ber-

Join in and learn how you can give back in a safe and socially distant manner. Participants will be provided with information about

nity on all. The person with whom you may vehemently disagree is also a beloved child of God. For two millennia, our community has tried to live the teachings of Jesus. We are at our best when we put others first, with the common good as our guiding star. Let us join with all people of good will in a choice for peace during this arduous time. We pray for our Saviorʼs protection and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, Prince of Peace, teach us the way forward. Our Lady of the Americas, pray for us. Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark

District 39 lawmakers on violence


To the editor:

39 LAWMAKERS released the following statement Jan. 8 regarding the violence in Washington: “America was built upon both the right of our citizens to peacefully protest and the need for the democratic process to peacefully unfold. The violence ISTRICT

seen in Washington, D.C., earlier this week violated both of these pillars of America. What happened was wrong and should never happen in a society committed to preserving law and order. Those who committed violent and illegal acts must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.” Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R), Assemblyman Robert Auth (R), and Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R) Note: Auth on Jan. 11 offered “my thoughts and prayers” over the death of NJ native Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick.


Lunches from Thomas J. Riley Senior Center

Thomas J. Riley Senior Center Program Director Marisa Tarateta writes to say the center is offering local seniors lunch for a nominal donation of $3.50. November menu items include meatloaf with mashed potatoes and veggies, Parmesan

crusted flounder with rice pilaf and string beans, and egg salad on rye with pasta veggie salad. “Pick-up of meals is available to everyone from our take-out ʻgoodie window.ʼ Delivery is available to all Westwood House residents! Catering is from La

Casa Formoso,” Tarateta says. The mutli-purpose Thomas J. Riley Senior Center, serving individuals 60 or older and disabled individuals throughout the Pascack Valley, is at 100 Madison Ave. To reserve your meal, call (201) 666-0840.


K, pre-k registration for public schools

Registration for Emerson prekindergarten and kindergarten children who expect to enter school in September 2021 will be held online Feb. 1–5. Onsite registration, by appointment only, will be held on Thursday, Feb. 4 from 9 to 11 a.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Memorial School.

To be eligible for pre-kindergarten, a child must be 4 on or before Oct. 1, 2021. For kindergarten, a child must be 5 on or before Oct. 1, 2021. Emerson Public Schools enjoys a full-day kindergarten program. Depending on registration, a full-day tuition-based pre-K program may be offered.

For registration information and materials, visit Click Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten Registration. Residents unable to register online may call Mrs. Berg at Memorial Elementary School at (201) 599-7580.

Pascack Press welcomes press releases, birth announcements, wedding announcements and event photographs from all towns in the Pascack Valley. Send all news to

gen County in a safe manner. Volunteers continue to seek ways to contribute to their communities during the pandemic crisis. Mindful of current health guidelines, the Redefining Retirement team continues to identify volunteer opportunities that can be performed from the safety and comfort of oneʼs home. Thereʼs a role for you too! Bergen Volunteers Redefining Retirement invites you to a virtual information session on Tuesday, Jan. 19 from 11 a.m. to noon.

how to become a volunteer by utilizing their skills, experience, and talent. The Redefining Retirement team will share volunteer opportunities and give a broad overview of the types of opportunities that will be available over time. The team tracks new openings as nonprofits and agencies carefully return to normal operations. For more information and for the Zoom event logon details, call (201) 489-9454 ext. 210 or write


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hostage to mob rule. The procession of violent images was deeply troubling. Particularly disheartening is that this event unfolded amid a deadly pandemic, a terrible plague that our troubled nation should face in solidarity. The events of yesterday are a graphic exposure of the deep and advancing polarization in American society that has festered for years. This divisiveness disregards faith, justice and the rule of law. As shocking as it may be to glimpse how disordered our nation has become, the terrible truth is that we are not immune from further moral and social decay. If we wish to claim it, Catholics have a legacy that is crucial to the healing of the nation. Our faith includes a commitment to mutual respect, dialogue, and the principles on which our democracy is based. We must come together as one nation under God, who loves and bestows dig-



Carnucopia II Classic Car Food Drive Scores For Tri-Boro Pantry

Janelle Larghi, director of the Tri-Boro Food Pantry, accepted a donation of $1,000 and a carload of dry goods from automotive blog Drivinʼ News founder Burton Hall.

It is the second time this year that the readers of Hallʼs Park Ridge-based blog ( have stepped to the plate to help support the Tri-Boro Food Pantry. Hall says his readers “come

from all walks of life with interests and values that extend well beyond the throw of their headlights. They are happy to support the efforts of Janelle and the Tri-Boro Food

News readers gathered their diverse array of classic automobiles at Paulʼs Motors in Hawthorne. “I believe we have more than enough feelbad stories coming at us each day like rocks at our windshield. I prefer to write about things that remind us of what good feels like,” Hall said.

Pantry volunteers who work so hard to help people in need during this difficult time.” According to Larghi, “Since covid came to town, demand on the pantryʼs resources has increased over 500%. We couldnʼt do it without everybodyʼs help. The community has been extraordinarily generous. We really appreciate what the Drivinʼ News folks have done.” Forced to operate at a level far beyond what was once normal, each day is a challenge for the pantry. However, Larghi says, anyone who needs food or assistance should come to them for help. “Thatʼs why weʼre here.” For the Nov. 28 event, Drivinʼ



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Loretta CALLOW

Loretta Callow (née Harvey), of Park Ridge, passed away on Wednesday Dec. 30, 2020. Beloved wife of the late George Callow. Devoted mother of George and his wife Alison, and James and his wife Mary. Dear sister of the late James, Robert, Dolores and Ann. Loving grandmother of Pamela, Elizabeth, Catherine, Nancy, Brendan and Emma. Joyful great-grandmother of Angela, Isabelle, and Alexis. Aunt to numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Lorettaʼs name to Church of Our Lady of Mercy in Park Ridge and/or St. Jude Childrenʼs Research Hospital.

Dorothy C. KLEMM

Dorothy C. Klemm, 84, of Park Ridge, passed away peacefully on Jan. 7, 2021. Preceded by beloved husband Robert Klemm. Devoted mother of eight children: Beth, husband John Napoli; Scott, wife Juliette; Kurt, wife Beth; Suzanne, husband Mark

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Hanslin; Douglas, wife Janet; Kate, husband Patrick Keeley; Paul, wife Dina; and Jennifer, husband Mike Trepicchio. Loving grandmother of 20: Craig, Jenna, Deanna, Paul, Jessica, Tom, Brian, Sarah, Ryan, Alix, Amanda, Drew, Kyle, Maya, Declan, Teddy, Henry, Molly, Luke, and Rowan. Great-grandmother of seven: Cole, Emily, Kylie, Ryan, Nolan, Anna Lucia, and Camelia. Born in Hoboken, Dot was raised in Tenafly by her parents, Charles and Gladys Miller, along with her older brother, Howard, who predeceased her. She graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with an associateʼs degree in 1957, and later received a bachelorʼs degree from William Patterson University. In 1964, she moved to Park Ridge with her husband, Bob, to raise their family. In 1976, they dedicated their lives to serving the Lord by opening and operating The Good News Bookstore in Hillsdale for nearly three decades. They were actively involved parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy in Park Ridge, where they made lifelong friendships through Bible studies, prayer groups, and Cursillo. Years following Bobʼs passing, Dotʼs love of the beach led her to a retirement in Spring Lake, where she also enjoyed playing tennis and golf, and watching Yankees baseball. Dot spent her final years in Wyckoff, living closer to some of her children.

In lieu of flowers, donations can way that she could. In lieu of flowers, please make a be made to The Little Sisters of the Poor in Totowa and Tri-Boro Food donation in memory of Carolyn to the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge, Pantry in Park Ridge.

Carolyn M. MASSON

Carolyn Marie Masson (née Mellen), of Park Ridge, formerly of Ramsey and Hillsdale, died peacefully after a long battle with cancer on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. She was 82. Beloved wife of the late Stuart Masson (1992). Loving mother of Steve Masson and his wife Angela, and the cherished grandmother of Steven and Dylan Masson. Devoted sister of her surviving brother, Ronald Mellen, and his wife Patricia. Predeceased by her brothers Clifton, George, and William. Carolyn deeply cherished her large family of in-laws, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins as well as many wonderful friends and neighbors. A graduate of Pascack Valley High School and long since retired, Carolyn was a long-time member and served as treasurer of the Ramsey Senior Center, where she had the honor of being named Volunteer of the Year. She was a devout Catholic and a parishioner of St. Paul R.C. Church in Ramsey. Carolyn was a true lover of animals great and small and always looked to help those in need in any

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Paul A. Galasso, 72, of River Vale, passed away on Jan. 9, 2021 following a year-long battle with cancer. He is survived by his loving wife Diane, son Peter and his wife Danielle of River Vale, his daughter Lisa and her husband Trevor of Connecticut, and his five cherished grandchildren. Extended family include Paulʼs sister, Camille and her husband, Dale, his sister, Laurette and her husband, Jerry, and many nieces and nephews. Raised in the Bronx, Paulʼs family moved to River Vale in 1956 to live in a house that his father built. Paul graduated from Pascack Valley High School in 1956 and immediately upon graduating began to work for New Jersey Bell as a lineman. Within a year, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was proud to serve his country in Vietnam as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. He was honorably discharged in 1973 and then went back to work at New Jersey Bell, eventually earning the position of area construction manager. After 37 years,


HELP WANTED Medical device company seeks Sales and Marketing Manager. Visit Careers page at for job description and requirements. Email resume, cover letter and salary requirements/history to EOE. Emerson. HELP WANTED Help Wanted - Exp. Groomer for very busy shop has to know all cuts. Also will train. Exp. bather/fluffer for busy shop. Pls call (201) 7682372. Help Wanted -F/T office & counter help needed. Invoicing, benefits. Call (201) 666-4804 for more information. Want Business? Call (201) 664-2105

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Paul retired and took up golf, which became a favorite pastime, combining his love of competition, time with friends and the outdoors. Paul was most passionate about his family and sports. He played and pitched on several softball teams, but most enjoyed his time playing for Marcyʼs. He also pitched on an over-40 baseball team which left him with fond memories. Paul coached both Lisaʼs and Peterʼs baseball, basketball and soccer teams. He loved watching both of them play any and every sport; he never missed a game. When Paul wasnʼt watching sports or playing golf with his friends, he could be found cruising on his Harley or hanging out with his grandchildren, Emma, Sophie, Ava, Owen and Taylor; they brought him such joy. Thanks for considering donations in Paulʼs name to The Wounded Warrior Project:


James George Carter, 81, of the Township of Washington, passed away Jan. 9, 2021 after struggling with complications due to Alzheimerʼs disease. Jimmy is survived by his wife Beverly of 55 years; CONTINUED ON PAGE 38







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OBITUARIES his son Scott and his wife Michelle and their children—Max, Ben and Allie—of Ridgewood; his daughter Shannan, and her husband Michael and their children—Helene and Kate—of Rumson; and his daughter Kimberly, and her husband Jeff and their children—Ryan, Carter and Kelsey—of Charlotte, N.C. Jim was born on Aug. 29, 1939 to Helene and George Carter. He grew up in Rochelle Park with his brothers Donnie and Dickie. As a young man, Jim attended Villanova University and went on to serve his country as a proud Marine, stationed in Greenland for two years. After the military, Jimmy had a storied career within the beverage industry. He started as a salesman for Savarin Coffee. Moving into wine and spirits he worked for companies such as Heublein, Austin Nicols and Suntory International, where he led national sales and marketing. Working in New York City and traveling the world, he possessed an amazing knowledge about wine, spirits, and everything history. His success and relationships he fostered across the industry eventually enabled him to start his own successful wine label and business, Stone Creek. Jim retired in 2001. Jimmy was an avid golfer, boater, walker, reader and skier. His love of skiing led him to his soul mate at the Garden State Ski Club in 1964. Jim saw Bev across the room and


said, “Sheʼs going to be mine!” His passion for skiing led him to join the National Ski Patrol. He passed his passion onto his children and grandchildren with many trips out West, his favorite being Breckenridge, Colorado. In the warmer months, Jimmy spent his time on the golf course at White Beeches Golf and Country Club in Haworth, where he was president for two years. In addition to golf, he loved his boats and home in Normandy Beach where his family still spends their summers. Memories of the countless hours he would devote to reading in the sun on the deck and taking his family on boat rides around Barnegat Bay. He was a longtime member of the Normandy Beach Yatch Club where his children and grandchildren enjoyed sailing,and he made lifelong friendships. Jim not only served his country, but also served his local community of Washington Township, where he was a councilman for 12 years. He was very active in the Knights of Columbus and had unconditional generosity and a desire to give to others everything he never had, no questions asked. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to the Alzheimerʼs Association (


Diane DePalma, 66, a longtime

resident of Washington Township, formerly of Oradell, died peacefully on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. Beloved wife of the late Robert DePalma. Devoted mother of Kerry Leigh Portilla, Joshua DePalma, and Jamie DePalma. Loving grandmother of Emma, Connor and Jacob. Dear sister of Robert Hatch, Jr., and his wife Barbara, and Steven Hatch and his husband Kerry Boll. Dianeʼs memory will be forever cherished by her many loving family members and friends. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Victoria R. Whiteman Foundation or to the Timothy R. Hatch Foundation are appreciated by the family.

William E. JASKO

William “Bill” Edward Jasko, 73, of Woodcliff Lake passed away recently. Bill was born in Newark on Aug. 26, 1947 to William and Lillian Jasko (née Fuchs). He married Jenny Lynn Jasko (née Kelley) on Aug. 16, 1969. He is survived by his wife Jenny, and his children: William (Jenny), Daniel (Beth), Melissa Timoshchik (Vlad), Stephen (Alison), Bethany Martin (Aldo), and Thomas. He was predeceased by his son David in 2019. Bill also leaves behind nine grandchildren.

He is also survived by two brothers, Donald and Kenneth. Bill attended Nyack College and Asbury Theological Seminary. He was a pastor with the Assemblies of God for many years and enjoyed supporting missionaries around the world. Bill was a chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves and with Catholic Charities of New York for many years. Bill also worked as a financial consultant, 1990–2001. Bill loved God and family. He enjoyed travel, nature, and conversation. His travels included China, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Europe, North, Central and South America, Israel, and Scandinavia. Some of his favorite memories were traveling with his children around the United States visiting National Parks and then to Alaska. He was proud to have been blessed with seven children. He loved dogs and was rarely seen without his animal companions in tow. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Assemblies of God World Missions Senders Fund ( or to the Walter Hoving Home in Garrison, New York (

William F. HERLIHY

William F. Herlihy, 91, formerly of Westwood, passed away Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 at home after an illness. William was predeceased by his wife of over 40 years, Peggy A. (Starrs) Herlihy, in 1994. He

is survived by his five children: William P. Herlihy of New Bern, N.C., Mary C. Salotti and her husband Kevin of Northbridge, Mass., Kathleen Greeno and her husband Peter of Douglas, Mass., with whom he lived, Michael J. Herlihy of Westwood, and John F. Herlihy and his wife Tisa of Old Tappan; 11 grandchildren: Steven, Patrick, Erin, Megan, Thomas, Kenny, Peggy, Brian, Jake, Casey, and Shaun; three great-grandchildren: Connor, Adeline, and Benjamin; his sister Rosemarie “Sis” Carmichael of Smithtown, N.Y.; and several nieces and nephews. Born in the Bronx, New York, on Nov. 3, 1929, he was the son of Timothy and Lee (Fischer) Herlihy and lived in Westwood for 49 years. He had lived in Douglas, Mass., the past two years. Mr. Herlihy worked for Lamont Observatory for 17 years as a maintenance mechanic in Palisades, N.Y. He also operated his own woodshop there. Previously he worked for Ruppertʼs Brewery in Manhattan and Reingold Brewery in Brooklyn. He proudly served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in post-war Germany as part of the military police. Bill enjoyed deep sea fishing, woodcrafting and building mangers in his woodshop. A devout Catholic, he was a member of Christ the King Church in the Bronx, the Assumption Parish in Emerson, and St. Denis Church in Douglas. He will be remembered as a selfless family man


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who put everyone else first. Memorial donations may be made in Billʼs memory to the Sisters of St. Dominic, 496 Western Hwy, Blauvelt, NY 10913.



Paul Reeve, 85, passed away peacefully at his home in Wanaque on Jan. 5, 2021. Paul and his wife Jane were longtime residents of River Vale, where they raised their four daughters. Several years ago they moved to Wanaque to be near family. Paul and Jane were members of Trinity Reformed Church in Old Tappan for many years. In recent years they have attended Jacksonville Chapel in Lincoln Park. Paul was a graduate of Tenafly High School and received a bachelorʼs degree in engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He worked as a mechanical engineer for his entire career, for a number of companies in northern New Jersey, and retired from Titan Tool in Oakland. Paul and Jane both loved the Jersey shore, and spent many years vacationing there, which eventually led them to purchase a cottage of their own in Ocean Beach. The cottage needed many upgrades, so this was a perfect tie-in to another obsession of Paulʼs…home renovation. Paul and Jane were never happier than when they had a project underway. When Paul ran out of his own projects, he was more than happy to assist his children in tackling theirs. Paul was an avid reader, with interests in history (particularly local history), maps, and baseball. After retirement, Paul joined Activities Unlimited, where he participated in the historic walking program. He also enjoyed travelling with family and friends. Paul is survived by his beloved wife of many years, Jane; his daughters Cathy, Laurie and her husband Mike, Debbie and her husband Ron, and predeceased by his daughter Amy and her husband Paul. He is also survived by his three granddaughters: Kate, Lucie, and Joanna, as well as nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Trinity Reformed Church in Old Tappan.

Jacqueline E. JOHNSON

Jacqueline Elaine Johnson (née Hill)—or as the family lovingly called her, Mom, Grammy, Aunt Jin, Gin, and Juice, Jacqui, or Jacqs—passed away on Dec. 29, 2020. Born June 28, 1960 to Louella LeatherwoodPittman and Adolphus Hill Sr., in Moultrie, Georgia, some of her enjoyable childhood moments included playing jacks, hopscotch, jumping double dutch, and skating (ice and

roller!). Jacqui was blessed with many friends throughout her lifetime, including Glenda, Gwen, Joan and Lori who volunteered to be part of her care team in her final days. Jacqui graduated from Westwood High School in 1978 and later realized her dream to study haircare. In 1979, she married her high school sweetheart, Daryl Gene Johnson, in Westwood. Daryl served in the U. S. Air Force and after assignments in Mountain Home, Idaho and Dover, Delaware, they returned to New Jersey, settling in Perth Amboy where Daryl served as a recruiter until retirement. From that union they were blessed with two beautiful children, Darius Lamar and Clarissa Charmaine, whom they loved and cared for deeply. They were married for 22 years, until Darylʼs passing in 2001. Jacqui had a passion for doing hair and worked as a hairstylist at Trinity Hair, Sears Hair Studio, and Hair in Motion in Perth Amboy, an establishment that she later managed for many years. Jacqui was an active Christian and as her faith grew, she split her time between work, volunteering and supporting worthy causes as an active member of Higher Purpose Fellowship and director of the Childrenʼs Church program. Jacqui was full of class, style, and grace—a true diva in her own right. Anyone else fighting colon cancer at stage 4 would have preferred quiet nights alone at home, but not Jacqui. Instead, she was at her best when she was out celebrating someone elseʼs successes or milestones, jamming to the sweet medleys of her favorite jazz bands, or simply being surrounded by her family and loved ones, which is true to who she was as a person. She was the glue of the family and could be counted on in any situation. She was a rare gem. Jacqueline leaves to celebrate her life: son Darius Johnson; daughter Clarissa Johnson; grandchildren Nasir Andrews and Ava Andrews; sisters Lois Fuller-Banks (nee Hill) and Dolores Faye Pittman-Cooper; brothers Adolphus Jr., Marzell Pittman, and Craig Hill; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.


Mary A. Kenny, 90, of Westwood, passed away on Jan. 5, 2021. Mary was born on Aug. 3, 1930 in the Bronx to Michael and Catherine Kenny, and spent most of her life living in Westwood. She was a proud and loving sister to her brother, Daniel Kenny, and aunt to her many nieces and nephews. Mary was a brilliant woman who served as an executive assistant for Ingersoll Rand Inc. for more than 50 years. After retiring, she spent her time volunteering as a friend of Westwood Library, and was an avid bowler and golfer. She was proud of her Irish heritage and committed to her faith, and served as a Eucharistic Minister at

Elise H. JAMES

Elise Hope James (née Santaniello), 52, of River Edge, died peacefully at her motherʼs home in Washington Township after battling recurrent ovarian cancer. Elise was the loving mother of Annelise James of Ridgewood, daughter of Jacqueline Santaniello and the late Anthony Santaniello, formerly of Woodcliff Lake, sister of Gloria McPherson of Provincetown, Mass., and Joelle Resnick of Rye, N.Y. Elise will be remembered for her intellect, creativity, sensitivity, dreams and love of her cats. A graduate of Pascack Hills High School in Montvale, Eliseʼs intellect came to the fore as she earned a masterʼs degree in journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Soon afterward, she became a founding employee of News 12 New Jersey in the mid-1990s, worked her way into the corporate ranks of parent company Cablevision, and later worked for several years as a freelance journalist, contributing to various magazines and newspapers, including The Star-Ledger and The Record. She also wrote a blog for a time about her domestic life in River Edge. In later years, she worked as a paralegal at Beattie Padovano LLC, in Montvale, and other law firms. Besides her full-time jobs, Elise created and ran several small businesses over the years. Eliseʼs creativity was on display as she earned a degree in fashion design at Parsons School of Design in New York City, and in the aspects of some of her small businesses— including one where she would hand stitch hundreds of beaded, fashionable cat collars and sell them over the internet and to local pet shops, and another where she dealt in art, photographs, and antiquarian books, buying items at estate sales and other locations, evaluating them and selling them on the internet. Her sensitivity came out in her love for her daughter, Annelise, and the rest of her family, which also included her brother-in-law, Jonathan Resnick of Rye, N.Y., her nephews, Jacob and Eli Resnick and Peter McPherson, her niece, Anna Lally, her aunt and uncle, Vic and Pam Halitsky, her cousins, Craig Halitsky and Alicia Lynch, and their families, and her Aunt Sarah Ulak and family in Ewing, N.J. She also is fondly remembered by her ex-husband, Michael James of Ridgewood, to whom she was married for almost 15 years. And, of course, she always loved her cats, including Maisy and Daisy, who survive, as well as prior pets including Lindy, Señor Wences,

Orange Manny, Phoebe, and Buttercup. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Eliseʼs name to Valley Hospice, 15 Essex Road, Paramus, NJ, 07652 (

Gaetano MAIDA

Gaetano “Tom” Maida, 92, of Park Ridge, passed away on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. Born in New York City, he was the son of the late Gaetano and Antonina Maida. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Marina, daughter Carol Guadagno, and sister Rosario Verdon. He is survived by his son Robert Maida, grandson Joseph Guadagno, granddaughter Nicole Guadagno and son-in-law Dominic Guadagno. Tom was in the U.S. Air Force, where he was a staff sergeant and taught communications. He started working in retail and became a hosiery buyer for Best and Company and B. Altmanʼs. He eventually changed to the sales side with Danskin and Playtex. After that he became the proud owner of the Bergenfield Carvel and won the Clean Store Award from Tom Carvel himself. Tom was an active member of the Republican Club and Knights of Columbus. He was also head usher at the 12:30 mass at Our Lady of Mercy Church for many years. In his leisure time Tom enjoyed a good game of golf and shared that with his son Robert and grandson Joseph. Later on in life when most people are enjoying retirement, he and his wife Marina selflessly cared for their daughter Carol and later on Tom took care of his wife, who was stricken with Alzheimerʼs. When it was his time to be taken care of, he didnʼt want to be a burden to anyone. Entombment, Ferncliff Cemetery, Hartsdale, New York.


Mary Ann Yockers (McNelis), 93, of Village Shores in Richfield, Minnesota, formerly of River Vale, passed away of natural causes on Dec. 24, 2020. Born Nov. 20, 1927 to Harold and Florence McNelis, Mary grew up in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and attended Meyers High School. She graduated from Drexel University and had a graduate degree in education from Seton Hall University. She married Coach Jack Yockers in 1951 and they raised their family of four children in River Vale and lived there for 38 years. Mary had an amazing 25-year career teaching business courses at St. Joseph Regional High School and Tenafly High School. Mama Yock impacted the lives and future careers of thousands of high school students. After retirement in 1989 Mary moved back to her hometown, Wilkes-Barre, where she lived until 2014 when she moved to Richfield. Mary was preceded in death by her husband, to whom she was married for 25 years, and by her parents and brother (Rev. Dennis McNelis, CSC). She is survived by her brother, Bro. Norman McNelis of Loretto, Pa.,

and sister, Alice Zipilivan of Townsend, Mass. Also survived by four children: son Dr. Dennis Yockers (Marcia) of Minnetonka, Minn.; son Jake Yockers (Mary Jane) of Minneapolis, Minn.; daughter Mary Ann Bloom (James) of Northport, N.Y.; and daughter Anne Oteham (Wayne) of Bloomsburg, Ind. Mary had eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Mary will be remembered for her quick wit, sense of humor and life-long determination. Memorials can be sent to a nonprofit charity of your choice.

Margaret E. FAIG

Margaret E. Faig, 88, daughter of the late John and Elizabeth Gartelman, passed away peacefully on Jan. 9, 2021 at Glen Arden Health Care Center in Goshen, New York. She was married to Robert A. Faig for 40 years until his death in 1991. Devoted mother of Robert A. Faig Jr. and wife Antoinette of New Windsor, N.Y., Debra Ann Faig of Middletown, N.Y., John M. Faig (predeceased) and wife Lyn of Dunkirk, Md., Raymond T. Faig and wife Laura of Webster N.Y., and daughter-in-law Laurie Olsen Faig of Ho-Ho-Kus. Loving grandmother of Rob, Shannon, Ryan, Meghan, Jennifer, Ashley, Lauren, Christopher, John Michael, Nicholas, Tyler, Brianna and great-grandmother to Riley, Gregory, Elias, Colin, Dillon, Maddie, MacKayla, Abigail, Lucie, Logan, Sophia, and Gemma. Born in New York, she lived for 52 years in Hillsdale, working as a saleswoman at Fortunoffʼs in Paramus, later moving to Goshen. She was a member of St. John the Baptist in Hillsdale, where she was a class mother, president of the PTA, an active member of the Rosary Altar Society, and president for one year. She later was a member of Our Lady Mother of the Church in Woodcliff Lake. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimerʼs Association ( or St. Jude Childrenʼs Research Hospital (

Raphaela MURTAGH

Raphaela Murtagh, 90, a longtime resident of Emerson, Ramsey, and Port St. Lucie, Florida, passed away on Dec. 17, 2020. Rae was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Felice and Adelina (Catuosco) Fabrizio. She was preceded in death by her husband Frank Murtagh, her parents, and her brother Carmine. Raphaela is survived by three children: Ellen and her husband Mike, and their children Julia and Kyle Gaw and Nicole; Robert and his wife Bonnie, and their children Amanda and David Seibert (two great-grandchildren), Alexa and Dominique; and Richard and his wife Nancy, and their children Lauren, Michael, and Thomas; as well as many special in-laws, nieces, nephews and friends. Rae will be remembered as a “bright light” and someone who loved people.



St. Andrew Parish in Westwood. Mary is survived by her nieces and nephews, Catherine Parnizari (George), Daniel (Elsie), Phyllis Maida (Gary), and Mary Ann Callan (Bill); 10 grandnieces and grandnephews; eight great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews; and her sisterin-law, Margy Kenny. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.




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