Pascack Press 2.1.21

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Emerson • Hillsdale • Montvale • Park Ridge • River Vale • Township of Washington • Westwood • Woodcliff Lake VOLUME 24 ISSUE 46




VETERAN OF THE WEEK Hillsdaleʼs George DeRosa nabs county honor

Westwood’s Bill Martin takes an architecture industry honor. SEE PAGE 8



Mayors team up to secure a local supply


The mayors of Woodcliff Lake, Park Ridge, and Montvale have banded together to provide alternatives for residents hoping to secure a Covid-19 vaccine apart from the stateʼs sprawling and under-supplied network of vaccination sites. But one hiccup remains: they must locate a supply of vaccines. That remains the key holdup to opening any Pascack Valley regional vaccination site, said the mayors, noting theyʼve reached out to county and state health officials and area hospitals to partner with them to offer the vaccines. So far, the lack of vaccines to distribute remains the biggest stumbling block to opening a convenient

See VACCINES on page 394

GEORGE M. DEROSA, a past commander of General Leonard E. Wood American Legion Post 162, is recognized at the county level for his patriotic wartime service and his leadership in improving the lives of his fellow veterans and their families. BY JOHN SNYDER OF PASCACK PRESS

Congratulations to George M. DeRosa, recent New Jersey Fifth District Hero, an American Legion Post 162 past commander—and ongoing recruitment dynamo—and all-around Hillsdale-area champion. To his long list of life

FEBRUARY 1, 2021

accomplishments he adds Bergen County Veteran of the Week for the week of Jan. 13, 2021. Bergen County Commissioner Steve Tanelli took evident delight in announcing DeRosaʼs honor, first explaining that Bergen County Veteran of the Week is a project in collaboration with the Bergen County Division of Veteran Services to collect, pre-


serve, and make accessible the personal accounts of American veterans for future generations. DeRosa is on a growing roster of recipients, along with Bergen County Director of Veteran Services Ariel “AJ” Luna of Fair Lawn, Joseph “Mighty Joe” Maugeri of River Edge, Dionisio Cucuta Jr. of

See VETERAN on Page 34


ʻFamily Townʼ mourns; leans into 2021 agenda


Mayor Danielle DiPaola and the boroughʼs two new councimembers addressed the 117th Annual Reorganization Meeting of the Borough of Emerson on Jan. 4, with the mayor reporting on an uptick in Covid-19 cases—and progress toward permanently funding more than $6.8 million in debt that had been issued over the past five years New members Michael Timmerman and Carl Carbo, who replaced Jim Bayley and Pat Dinallo, spoke of their pride in getting to serve the “Family Town,” and thanked their families and other supporters.. DiPaola reported on positive cases of Covid-19 for December 2020: In the borough, there were 142 positive cases in total: 125 in residential homes and 17 in longterm care facilities. For the first four days of January, she said it was reported that Emerson already had 22 new positive cases: 16 in residential homes and six in long-term care facilities. “So, I will once again urge you again to wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and if you are sick, please stay home,” she said. She also discussed the great demand for vaccines, and said, “There are no plans for the Borough

See BOROUGH on page 344


B ck in time...

In Woodcliff Lake, Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley hosts a drive up–drop off food drive for the Tri-Boro Food Pantry.

Assistant Editor Kristin Beuscher takes us on a tour through the full, rich life of the Borough of Montvale’s iconic Octagon House.







Rivervale Road in River Vale to Old Tappan Road in Old Tappan and back. My question is, Why do I see so much trash along both sides of the road? There are plastic water and soda bottles, glass soda, liquor, and wine bottles, paper and plastic bags from fast food restauTo the editor: rants, pizza boxes, styrofoam con- To the editor: Y HUSBAND IS a veteran and OFTEN WALK for exercise tainers, etc, etc. Why are so many will be 89 next month [in across the reservoir from people throwing their trash along February] and I have spent hours the side of the road? My guess is that is just so easy trying to secure an appointment to throw things out of the win- for him to receive the vaccine. I dows of moving vehicles along have reached out to “Kane In that road, without anyone seeing Your Corner” [News 12ʼs senior this happen. I realize that there are investigative reporter] and several many important and pressing locations after completing regisissues which are addressed by tration with the State of New readers of Pascack Press. Howev- Jersey with no success to date. I er, the amount of trash and junk I see along this road is really disgusting and depressing. RIVER VALE Why? Elbert Tellem River Vale The River Vale Police Department is accepting applicasince tions for the position of police 1978 officer. The 2021 starting salary DRIVING SCHOOL INC. is $48,202.87. Lic. # 045-85N Requirements: • Certified in Basic Course • Highly Respected, Full Service Driving School for Police Officers by the New • Prep Lessons, 6 Hour Lessons & Road Tests Jersey Police Training Commis• Experienced State Licensed Instructors sion with less than three years of full-time police experience, OR Call Now to Schedule Your Appointment!

NJ seniors have been left behind

What’s with the trash on Rivervale?



NOTE: Letter submission deadline is 11 a.m. Wednesday for the following Monday’s paper. Publication not guaranteed. Subject to editing. Email to

intervene for needy patients. Maybe we should move to another state! I would appreciate any suggestions regarding this serious situation and really feel that Gov. Murphy has left a large portion of the stateʼs population to fend for themselves in the midst of this ongoing pandemic. The New Jersey telephone hotline supposedly opening Monday will also be swamped. Perhaps each county could establish a call center to assist those not able to navigate the internet successfully. Where are our elected officials? Dorothy Bozzone Park Ridge

also contacted the veterans administration and was told that my husband is on a waiting list but would have to go to East Orange or Lyons. Why did our governor open up the eligibility to so many at once? It is not fair that some are coming from out of state and using the address of someone living in New Jersey and getting an appointment ahead of New Jersey seniors like us and not even having to produce any kind of documentation. Many canʼt stand on line, especially during this winter weather, and in some cases transportation is a problem as well as driving at night. It is unfortunate that primary care doctors canʼt

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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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Mayor Peter Calamari has pulled back from siting temporary DPW parking adjacent to Sherry Field, and on town-owned land behind the Dog House Saloon & Grill, after potentially affected residents spoke out in concern. He similarly said he wouldnʼt execute an agreement with Our Lady of Good Counsel Church to lease parking spaces there from Oct. 6, 2020 through June 30, 2022, at $2,500 a month, for the purpose of temporary parking while the DPW undergoes soil remediation and new construction. The council had authorized him to execute that arrangement Oct. 5, 2020, and it led to various public complaints including the proposed expense, certain maintenance obligations, and the mayorʼs family connection to the churchʼs finance committee. The Borough of Westwood had explored extending itself as a partner in a shared service, but this did not bear fruit, according to Calamari and Westwood Mayor Ray Arroyo. Following a virtual mayorsʼ breakfast hosted by the Greater Pascack Valley Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 27 (see story, page

10), Calamari said “I again reiterated Washington Townshipʼs DPW situation and again renewed the call and request for any assistance that any of our surrounding towns can provide.” He said, “While none are able to help directly, Mayor Rendo of Woodcliff Lake mentioned there is a parking lot and garage located in his town thatʼs not being used. I immediately reached out to him to see if he thought it would be suitable for our DPW temporary needs. Unfortunately he does not think it is.” The townshipʼs DPWʼs environmental contamination problems have been known for years, and the township faces fines from the state DEP should it not be in compliance by May. Calamari said Dec. 21, 2020 that up to six large DPW vehicles, such as garbage trucks and loaders, would be parked on a portion of Sherry Field. Other DPW vehicles were to be stored behind Valley Bank, in its parking lot, which was offered at no cost to the township. “We appreciate their kind gesture,” Calamari said. He said township-owned property at the end of Hudson Avenue would temporarily house two 12 foot by 24 foot residentiallooking storage sheds that may

remain until a new DPW building location is found. He said another “small piece” of township property will be used to construct a two-bay modular construction garage for DPW vehicle maintenance. On Jan. 21, after residents protested, Calamari posted, “Iʼm happy to report that neither Sherry Field or the property behind the Dog House will be used for temporary DPW use.” He said, “Thank you to the residents who provided me with the support needed to make this change by letting your voices be heard and agreeing with me that these locations are not a good fit for this use.” Calamari said, “Consequently, other options may cost more than using town-owned properties, but we will not have to take down trees or disturb nature for a temporary use of land.” Plans for a new DPW to be built on the present site was discussed more than 10 years ago. The council at that time commissioned The Musial Group Architects to draw up plans—which then were not acted on. In a forum on taxpayer matters, resident Robert Bruno—a former council president who ran against Calamari for mayor, and who had excoriated the previous

administration for poor conditions and low morale at township facilities—said last week, “All of this

could have been avoided had the prior administration, along with










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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.



2 11







B ck in time...

OUTSIDE THE OCTAGON HOUSE on Grand Avenue in Montvale, winter 1908.



BY KRISTIN BEUSCHER OF PASCACK PRESS HEREʼS NO MISTAKING this local landmark, above, as it looked on a winter day back in 1908. The group is gathered around Montvaleʼs iconic Octagon House. Thousands of people pass by this unique Grand Avenue building every day, and itʼs even pictured on the borough seal. Yet, most probably do not know its story. A man named John J. Blauvelt Jr. inherited the land in 1832. In the 1850s he decided to replace a pre-Revolutionary War sandstone house which had long stood on the grounds with a new home of contemporary design. Blauvelt was reportedly a friend of one colorful character named Orson S. Fowler, who in 1848 had written a book, “A Home for All,” espousing the benefits of octagonal building. Fowler wasnʼt actually trained in architecture. In fact, he was a noted lecturer on phrenology (a


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

pseudoscience popular in the 19th century that claimed the shape of oneʼs skull can be indicative of character traits). Nevertheless, Fowler convinced his friend to build in the octagonal style. While Fowlerʼs status as an architect was self-styled, there must have been something to his idea: More than 160 years later, the Octagon House is still standing and is the most famous structure in Montvale. In Blauveltʼs day the land also included a saw mill and a mill pond from which ice was harvested during the winter and sold in the summer—a common practice in the days before refrigeration. In 1857, Blauveltʼs daughter, Jane Amelia, married 22year-old Garret Hering. After Blauveltʼs death in 1882, Hering, Jane and their three children moved into the Octagon House and Garret continued the operation of the saw mill and ice harvesting businesses. Hering was a man with some influence in early Mont-


THE OCTAGON HOUSE, looking much as it did in 1908, serves as the offices of Perfect Limo.

vale. He petitioned for the community—formerly part of Washington Township—to break off and become a borough in 1894, and that same year he became the first freeholder to represent Montvale in the County Seat at Hackensack. He was also the boroughʼs third mayor, from Publisher Editor Assistant Editor Art Director Director of Advertising

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

1898–1901, the railroad station agent, a justice of the peace, and Montvaleʼs postmaster. Two other mayors have lived at the Octagon House: Jules Schwenker, in office 1942–1945, and George Huff, in office 1946–1959. The Huffs ran a restaurant there in the 1950s.

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.

Galaxy ‘park’ soil replacement underway WOODCLIFF LAKE

An excavator and large container were seen Jan. 22 at the former Galaxy Gardens site at Woodcliff Avenue and Werimus Road, with long-delayed soil remediation work at the former Galaxy Gardens site set to begin. Once completed, the work will enable the borough to access nearly $500,000 in county grant funds for its future park on the site, said local officials. Borough Administrator Tom Padilla said no timeline was yet set for the workʼs completion but when Pascack Press visited the site Jan. 22, it appeared large piles of soil had been removed from the ground under the former garden center main structure. Despite approving over $48,000 for site remediation and environmental oversight by its licensed site remediation professional in July, Covid-related and

weather delays have held up the remediation work. Initially, the contract allotted $31,525 to remove and replace 225 tons of contaminated soil and $17,100 for site monitoring by the borough's licensed site remediation professional, First Environment Inc. of Butler. The borough previously spent $355,600 on building demolition, clearing, grading, and remediating the former gas station and garden center property. Padilla said the remediation work will involve completely removing and replacing soil underneath the former garden center building. The soil still tested above acceptable state environmental levels, even following soil blending performed earlier on site, he said. The former garden center building was demolished last year and high levels of gasoline residue were found in soil underneath the structure. Prior to a garden center, the site was also home to a gas station. Borough Engineer Evan


Diversity Committee seeks members

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Jacobs said the groundwater on site must be pumped out to help excavate the contaminated soil, requiring dewatering equipment to be used. He said groundwater will be kept onsite in a truck and later tested to make sure it meets state environmental standards.

Following the latest remediation, samples must be taken and meet state levels for specific contaminants, including heavy metals and petroleum residues. Previously, the borough engineer provided initial park design concepts, said Padilla, and he was

also planning to get back in touch with a resident who offered his landscape design services free of charge. To get park planning and design started, the borough has applied for two recent grants, a CONTINUED ON PAGE 28






Suez holding up Woodcliff Lake Reservoir trail? BY MICHAEL OLOHAN OF PASCACK PRESS


Three Pascack Valley mayors are frustrated with Suez North Americaʼs delays in approving a long-awaited nature trail around Woodcliff Lake Reservoir that all three towns had approved nearly two years ago. Mayors in Park Ridge, Woodcliff Lake, and Hillsdale are turning up the pressure on Suez to get the company to approve a 1.5-milelong walking trail around the Woodcliff Lake Reservoir, an effort approved two years ago and yet to get a final sign-off from Suez. Through four surface supply reservoirs in New York and New Jersey, including Woodcliff Lake Reservoir, Suez North America provides water service to 500,000 customers in Rockland and Westchester counties, New York, and 850,000 people in Bergen, Hudson, Sussex, Passaic and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. Recently the borough business administrators of Park Ridge and Woodcliff Lake met with a Suez representative to discuss ways to move forward and were told that trail approval was not likely anytime soon. That response angered Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo, who has seen many years of effort and negotiation by council members and mayors over the years to get a walking trail approved for area residents to enjoy. Rendo also made opening the reservoir trail a

NEGLIA ENGINEERING’S overall walking trail plan shows the proposed pathway in yellow Woodcliff Lake Reservoir. top 2021 priority during a recent At press time, it was not ments, trail maintenance and secustate of the borough annual known if a Suez official would rity measures. A final hurdle was overcome address. appear at the mayorsʼ gathering. Rendo said he “would not Efforts by Park Ridge coun- in April 2019 when the state Wateraccept” further delays from Suez cilmembers almost a decade ago shed Property Review Board—the and said he would invite a Suez kicked off negotiations to create state entity that regulates lands representative to a Feb. 10 meeting such a recreational trail and all around reservoirs—conditionally of 10 Pascack Valley mayors to dis- three mayors are working together approved the three-borough nature cuss the situation. to push Suez to make the trail a trail that traverses the reservoirʼs eastern border. reality. Several years ago, both Park The long-discussed and longpostponed trail was approved Ridge and Woodcliff Lake received almost three years ago by the three $15,000 state Green Acres grants to town council and mayors, which make the trails walkable. Hillsdale signed detailed agreements with also had applied for a $24,000 Suez to provide trail improve- NJDEP recreational trails grant,


along the eastern shore of

with 20% match, to develop its walking trails. However, Hillsdale Mayor John Ruocco told Pascack Press that the state did not provide a grant for its reservoir trail upgrades. He said the borough would reapply for a state recreational trails grant in 2021. He also said he was surprised that Suez was not moving forward with its reservoir trail approval. The Suez agreement, signed by each mayor in 2019, read in part, “Given the propertyʼs sensiCONTINUED ON PAGE 13

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Slow down – WTPD posting radar speed signs at hot spots Police Chief Richard Skinner said that as of Jan. 25, at least five of the eight signs had been installed. The WTPD has long been conducting surveys and radar details at speeding hot spots, and enforcing the speed limit, but problems have persisted, Skinner told Pascack Press on Jan 25.

The new signs flash the speed of the motorist, state the legal speed limit, and help warn the motorist to slow down. Skinner said the signs were ordered from the 2020 capital budget and were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The signs will be fixed in place but can be moved when needed, he said. He said that vehicles speeding is “a quality of life issue” and that these signs would alert motorists and enhance public safety. On Facebook, Mayor Peter Calamari hailed the new signage, saying they will “make the town an even safer place and further improve the quality of life we enjoy by living in this great town.” He said the signs serve to warn the driver that they may be exceeding the speed limit and “as an eyecatching visual reminder of the posted speed limit.” The department took delivery of a mobile speed monitor and message board in 2018. The WTPD notes on its website that unless otherwise designat-

ed by sign, the residential speed limit for all streets within the Township of Washington is 25 miles per hour. If there is no speed limit sign on a residential road, assume the speed limit is 25 per hour. “During the last several years the Police Department has performed a large number of speed surveys on residential streets within the Township. We have found that a large majority of the motoring public maintain speeds that our close to the speed limit. However,

there are motorist who insist on traveling at speeds which we consider to be unsafe,” the department says. It adds, “On occasion, we find that these motorists live in on or within a few blocks of the road that they are speeding on. The Police Department will continue to perform speed surveys on our residential streets and violators will be prosecuted.” For more information, visit — Michael Olohan

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Speeders take heed: radar signs to warn you to slow down and keep to the speed limit are going up on streets where local police know we tend to exceed the legal limit. Township police selected East Glen Avenue, Van Emburgh Avenue, Colonial Road, Mountain Avenue, and Washington Avenue for the signs.

Architect William J. Martin receives prestigious Vegliante award



On Jan. 14, William J. Martin, AIA, was recognized by the AIA Architects League for his decades-long commitment to professional service and was presented with the Anton Vegliante Award. The honor is presented to architects who distinguish themselves for their contribution to the advancement of the profession. This yearʼs Vegliante Award was presented by League Past President and Awards Chair Stacey Kliesch, AIA. Martin, R.A., AIA, P.P., LEED AP-H, was selected for this honor due to his dedication to the AIA, his devotion to promoting the profession to the public, the press, elected officials and to other architects. In a press release, the organzation said Martin is very well respected among his peers, clients, and community. “Bill believes in improving the lives of the greater community through design. The Vegliante

Award is the highest accolade that can be bestowed onto a member of the Architects League. It is presented to Architects who distinguish themselves for their contribution to the advancement of the profession,” reads the release in part. Vegliante came to this country from Italy and started his career as a painting contractor. He taught himself English and became an architect. He lived and practiced in Garfield, where he designed churches and schools. He served as vice president of the Architects League from 1928 to 1931, when he died at 47. Vegliante is remembered as an honest architect, precise, meticulous, dedicated to his profession and respected. Upon his death in 1931 his will stipulated that a bequest be made to the League, to be held in trust, and that the annual interest income from the trust account would be used to make an award to the member who had distinguished

themselves in the preceding year in the profession, or who, because of their achievements or accomplishments, would be deserving of the award. Over the years the award has come to represent recognition of service to the League and is considered the Leagueʼs highest honor. For more than 25 years, Martin has served on the Westwood Planning Board and led the Westwood Zoning Board of Adjustment serving as chairperson. He also serves on the Closter Historic PreservationCommission and the Bergen County Historic Preservation Advisory Board, where he has been the emcee for their annual awards for the past five years.

Volunteer of the Year Martin was Westwoodʼs 2020 Volunteer of the Year. In bestowing that honor that Jan. 6, newly sworn Mayor Ray Arroyo lauded Martinʼs “expertise, intelligence,


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and passion for our town, leading his fellow board members along Westwoodʼs, tricky and potentially treacherous path of growth and development.” Arroyo said “You are engaged in a balancing act, weighing individual property rights and aspirations against the general restrictions that limit them for the public good. I know of no one better suited to lead this board in that exercise than William J. Martin.” Martin attended Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, and continued at Pratt Institute, School of Architecture in New York City. He received his degree in architecture from Pratt in 1988. Martin is an architect and community planner focused on high-performance resilient and energy-efficient design configurations using cultural vernacular expression. He designed the First Certified LEED Platinum home in suburban NJ and received an AIA NJ COTE Top Ten Merit Award for the project “Knight on a Chessboard.” Sole practitioner of WJM Architect in Westwood, focusing on residential and light commercial architecture, Martin is the creator of the Econo-Functional Aesthetic Balance philosophy (EFABism). He is passionate about all forms of architecture from the smallest intricate details to elegant facades seen throughout his work. While focusing on ways to bring new structures to life, Martin is also involved in multiple historical preservation activities, promoting the rich history of the Northern NJ area and what we can learn from the past.


Martin has been the public relations and communications guru on the AIA New Jersey board, making sure the voice of the architect is heard across all media platforms. He has also served at the state level, continuing to advocate for the architectural community and our need to be involved in key lawmaking decisions. Martin will be continuing his roles as a trustee for the AIA Architects League of Northern New Jersey and co-chair for the AIA New Jersey Public Awareness Committee while holding additional positions with other organizations. For more information, see “Westwood Names Bill Martin Volunteer of the Year 2020,” Pascack Press, Jan. 14, 2020. — Staff report

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Pascack Valley High School Senior Aishwarya Pathri was in band class when she was called down by her guidance counselor—Stephanie DiStasi—at which point she was handed a letter that recognized her as one of the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists. Seniors Wilbert Joseph, Benjamin Kahl, and Christian Whang were also announced as semifinalists for Pascack Valley. Semifinalists are the highestscoring students from each state who have the opportunity to move on to the finals stage, where they are awarded $2,500 in scholarship money for college. According to DiStasi, becoming a semifinalist is determined by the PSAT score as a junior. “Even if a student takes the PSAT as a sophomore and is [within range of the score for semifinalists qualifications] it doesnʼt count for national merit.” She said there are approximately 1.5 million entries nationally, and the top 50,000 students are in the merit scholarship category. From that field, 34,000 are commended for their scores but

donʼt advance. Only 16,000 of the top 50,000 become semifinalists, she said. DiStasi said that the four PV students are within the top 16,000 in the country, and therefore will be recognized as semifinalists. After being notified, each was instructed to fill out an application and write a 600-word essay to be considered a finalist. Finalists are chosen based on the strength of their application; the criteria specifically considers the rigor of each class, grades, an essay, extracurricular activities, community service, and letters of recommendation from guidance counselors, according to DiStasi. “We, as their counselors, had to fill out a 10-part application,” DiStasi said. “We filled in every single one of their grades and classes, as well [as] write a letter of recommendation. We also have to rank the student and how we

feel they are exceptional compared to other students.” Thereʼs another elimination process following the finalist stage that the guidance counselors are not a part of, according to DiStasi. Pathri said she “kind of already knew” that she would be a semifinalist because she had previously looked up New Jerseyʼs selection index cutoff score for the PSAT, which is calculated by doubling the sum of the reading, writing and language, and math test scores. The score for New Jersey was 222, meaning she was within range. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation says online that on Feb. 1 it will mail a certificate of merit for each finalist to the Finalistʼs high school principal. On Feb. 8 it will notify finalists at their home addresses. For the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program, the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test was administered in October 2020 and in January.

PVHS senior Isabella Zuluaga joined PV Student Publication during her fresh-

man year as a writer and became an editor in her junior year. This piece originally appeared Jan. 20 at and is reprinted with permission as part of our Student Press Partnership.

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PV seniors recognized as 2021 National Merit semifinalists






A majority of Pascack Valley mayors, who just met for an annual confab, acknowledged that 2020 was a mixed bag for businesses due to Covid-19 closures. Moving forward, they expressed hope for business improvement as vaccines are rolled out. Nine mayors took part in the Greater Pascack Valley Chamber of Commerceʼs annual Breakfast with the Mayors, although this yearʼs forum wasnʼt over bacon, eggs, fruit, bagels, and coffee at the Iron Horse Restaurant in Westwood; it was convened on Zoom due to the pandemic. One topic Chamber President Robin Malley asked her guests to address was Covid-19ʼs impacts on businesses, the community, and town finances.

The mayors, from Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Old Tappan, Oradell, Park Ridge, Township of Washington, Westwood, and Woodcliff Lake, were given about five minutes apiece to address Covid-19 impacts. They also took on local/regional traffic concerns, new developments, the growing senior population, telecommunications infrastructure, and local initiatives and challenges. River Vale was invited but, for a second year in a row, did not participate. WESTWOOD Westwood Mayor Ray Arroyo said data from Celebrate Westwood, a nonprofit that helps organize community events to support the community, showed 16 pandemic-related business closures over the last year, tempered by 18 businesses opening. He said three sites of former

banks were now vacant, mostly due to increasingly popular online banking and mobile apps. He said two of three former bank sites, with onsite parking, have generated ideas for adaptive reuse of their buildings. Arroyo said of 16 stores that “went dark” during 2020, nine are being reoccupied by owners new to Westwood “in a town they believe will withstand the pandemicʼs worst economic impacts, and we believe that as well.” He said the downtown district remains popular due to “its scale, charm and pedestrian-friendly environment, which is unique to our area,” He noted convenient commuter and visitor parking was another pedestrian-friendly feature. Arroyo said much more, and we look forward to bringing you those remarks, and stories around them, in our next issues.

PARK RIDGE Park Ridge Mayor Keith Misciagna said itʼs been “a tough year” but the boroughʼs downtown has generated a dozen new businesses. These include Lidl, a new supermarket, plus a Mexican restaurant, and new jewelry store that opened right before Covid-19 struck in March. He said the community “came through for our business district” and cited the planning and zoning boards for easing restrictions on restaurant operations. He said the restaurants survived, business survived, and a newcomer, Promotion in Motion, a confectionary company, has continued to renovate the former Hertz Building, where he said “We anticipate hundreds of people working in there.” On the business end, he said, “Believe it or not, Covid did not really affect us as much as some

other towns so weʼre very fortunate.” He said the 240-unit mixed use residential/retail complex The James “is a nice complement and will bring more shoppers to our downtown area” when it opens this spring. Misciagna reminded the mayors that the large downtown complex takes the place of a former waste transfer station.

MONTVALE Montvale Mayor Michael Ghassali said the borough lost about 50 small businesses but also added about 40 new businesses over the pandemicʼs course. “That leaves us with some vacant buildings,” he said, noting a deficit of 10–15 businesses. He said in January 2020, Montvale had 25,000 employees




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the town attorney, acted swiftly and responded to the DEP letters instead of burying them from the taxpayer.” He said, “It is now going to cost an additional $200,000-plus for soil remediation that every one of them [in charge] was aware of years ago.” Bruno said, “The potential fines could have been enormous. The current administration dragged their heels for two years and now it is rush, rush, rush.” Resident Diane Grimaldi agreed: “The problem never should have gone this far. Itʼs ridiculous.”


Westwood hoped to help On Jan. 22, Westwood Mayor Arroyo wrote that members of his boroughʼs governing body had just met at Sherry Field with their township counterparts and residents from both towns to see about space at Westwoodʼs DPW. He said, “The borough determined it could not accommodate our neighborʼs request” due to limited space and the risk in “commingling” public works staffs while COVID protocols are in place. In considering siting temporary structures to house township DPW equipment in the Sherry Field area where the township conducts its leaf operations, “Residents of both Westwood and Township were concerned about additional truck traffic, intensity

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


and line of sight along the narrow street,” Arroyo said. “The buildings were to be placed adjacent to residences and required a treed buffer to come down. Sensitive to these concerns, Westwood proactively sought other options,” he said. Arroyo explained Councilman Chris Montana suggested that a nearby area at Westvale Park— the Westwood Police Departmentʼs former pistol range, which is awaiting DEP approval of a lead remediation plan—might be a suitable alternative site. Arroyo said, “Iʼd asked Boswell Engineering [the engi-



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neer for both towns] if we could make this work, but unfortunately DEP floodplain regulations preclude Westwood from prepping the contaminated site with the necessary vapor barrier and fill that would also be required for parking vehicles there.” Arroyo said “Westwood had hoped to help our neighbors as well as our own residents impacted by the Sherry Field plan.”

Lafayette Avenue benefits Though the towns, which constitute the Westwood Regional School District, did not find a way to work together on this project,

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“These joint meetings between towns were not in vain,” Arroyo said. “While at the Sherry Field meeting, we discussed the rough condition of that portion of Lafayette Avenue that straddles the two municipalities. We now look forward to working on a joint Community Development Block Grant application with Township

to mill and pave Lafayette Avenue,” Arroyo said. He said he had asked Boswell Engineering to see if that might be coordinated with the township as part of Westwoodʼs 2022 Road Program. For his part, Calamari wrote after that meeting, “I want to thank Westwood Mayor Ray

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Beat the Covid Slide with Mathnasium, Mathnasium@Home

Education Week released an article outlining a new curve we need to worry about flattening: the “COVID slide,” the projected academic recession students will experience due to school closures. These projections take into account students learning rela-

The Northwest Evaluation Association, NWEA, released figures outlining how we can anticipate the COVID slide impacting student scores. As grim as the forecast for reading is, math is far worse. Students are projected to lose between a semester and a full

ACADEMICS AND EDUCATORS AGREE: Our best hope of flattening the academic slide for our students is to “repeat successful prior interventions for catching students up.”

tively less new curriculum since mid-March as schools transition to remote learning and are based on trends from summer learning loss in past years.

year of academic growth in math! These projections are likely conservative for students in upper elementary grades, and perhaps even more so for vulnerable stu-

WHY IS MATH such a high risk subject?

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

dents who receive additional socio-economic support from their schools. Why is math such a high risk subject? According to Beth Tarasawa, a researcher at the NWEA, “Anecdotally, we find itʼs easier to keep reading in front of kids… itʼs more difficult in a lot of ways to teach math to the curriculum and the new standards we have.” Mathnasium Executive Director Karen Lossing said despite math being a challenge to teach, success in the subject is entirely dependent on the individualʼs prerequisite skills. “Students not only must mas-

ter previous skills, they need to apply those skills to more complex concepts with each successive grade level,” she said. “Parents and educators have to tackle the issue head on.” Academics and educators agree: our best hope of flattening the academic slide for our students is to “repeat successful prior interventions for catching students up.” Mathnasium reverses the learning loss Children kept out of school lose more comprehension in math than in any other subject. Mathna-

siumʼs Kickstart Program gets your child back on track and ready to soar ahead with individualized instruction, either in our learning center or through Mathnasium@home, our live online tutoring service. Our comprehensive assessment will map out their road to recovery and success. Mathnasium of WestwoodRiver Vale is at 649 Westwood Ave., River Vale, (201) 358MATH (6284), and 184 Kinderkamack Road, Park Ridge, (201) 746-9233, and


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.



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.

Suez: Delay on Woodcliff Lake Reservoir trail tive use as a watershed resource as well as the need for significant multiple-borough cooperation, the nature trail initiative will be treated by [Suez] as a two-year pilot program with the possibility to extend


up to three additional years.” In April 2019, after the Watershed Property Review Board gave conditional approval for the project, Rendo told Pascack Press, “Iʼm ecstatic. Weʼve been working a long time for this to come about. Thereʼs been a lot of moving parts.”

Dean’s List



CONGRATULATIONS to Danielle Milin of Emerson, alumna of Emerson Junior–Senior High School, who was named to Sacred Heart University’s Dean’s List for Fall 2020. Danielle is a senior majoring in nursing. Sacred Heart University is a private Catholic university in Fairfield, Connecticut.


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He said he looked forward to Woodcliff Lake residents finally getting to enjoy the lake their town is named for. Previously, Rendo praised former Councilwoman Kristy Herringtonʼs years-long effort to advocate for the nature trail. Last week, Park Ridge Mayor

Valentine’s Day, February 14

Keith Misciagna said his borough has invested time, effort and funds to pursue a walking trail around the reservoir. He said the towns “have done everything weʼve been asked to do” by Suez. “What do we need to do now to make this happen?” asked Misciagna. “Weʼre hoping that weʼll be

able to move this thing along.” He said that the three towns were looking to work with Suez to start work on the trail and open it for residents. Suez did not reply to our request for comment by press time.


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health benefits of indoor plants. Virtual class is via Zoom on Thursday, Feb. 4 from 7 to 8 p.m. Register on the libraryʼs website. • The Monday Afternoon Book Group will discuss “Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey” by Kathleen Rooney during a virtual meeting on Monday, Feb. 8 from noon to 1 p.m. The club meets the second Monday of the month and welcomes new members. Register online for Zoom link. • Members of the True Crime MONTVALE Book Club are reading “Unspeakable Acts: True Tales of Crime, 12 Mercedes Drive, Suite 100 Murder, Deceit, and Passion” by (201) 391-5090 Michelle McNamara for their next • The Monday Morning Book virtual meeting, Thursday, Feb. 11 Group will discuss “The Extraordi- from 7 to 8 p.m. New members nary Life of Sam Hell” by Robert welcome. Register online. Dugoni during a virtual meeting on PARK RIDGE Monday, Feb. 1 at 10:30 a.m. The 51 Park Ave. club welcomes new members. (201) 391-5151 Register online. • At “Benefits of Indoor Gar• Miss Renee Reads the dening,” learn about choosing and caring for houseplants, as well as Classics for Kids on Tuesdays at EMERSON 20 Palisade Ave. (201) 261-5604 • Magical Melodies meets on Monday, Feb. 1 from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. on Facebook Live. High-energy songs, dancing, and instruments for ages 2–4. • Baby & Me is on Facebook Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 11:30 a.m. An introduction to songs, dance and finger plays with stuffed animals and rhymes. Newborn to age 2.

10 a.m. Visit the libraryʼs Facebook for the best classic books in kid-friendly versions. • Join Mr. Chris of Magical Melodies for an awesome singing and dancing time on the libraryʼs Facebook Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. Your kids will dance around and sing the craziest, silliest songs ever…and get ready for them to take a hard nap afterward! • 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. • 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 CONTINUED ON PAGE 31



Join Celebrate Westwood in celebrating the boroughʼs unique restaurants and dining establishments now to Wednesday, Feb. 10 for Westwoodʼs first Restaurant Appreciation Month. Dine in or take out at any of Westwoodʼs 42 unique eateries, which offer cuisines at all price points, from all parts of the globe which are sure to tempt every pal-

let 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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Valentine’s Day, February 14


K, pre-k registration for public schools

Registration for Emerson pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children who expect to enter school in September 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 preK program may be offered.

For registration information and materials, visit Click PreK i n d e rg a r t e n / K i n d e rg a r t e n Registration. Residents unable to register online may call Mrs. Berg at Memorial Elementary School at (201) 599-7580.

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EDWARD AND FLONA BRISKIN know who’s who! Edward and Flona Briskin of On Sunday, Jan. 25, students from Valley Chabad Hebrew Woodcliff Lake, participants in the School celebrated Tu BʼShvat, the virtual track, proudly showed their traditional new year for trees with family tree Tu BʼShvat project they made in Hebrew School. a focus on family roots. Valley Chabadʼs Hebrew Children were tasked with collecting names of their grand- School is open to the entire Jewish parents and great-grandparents community regardless of memberand learning their stories. The ship or affiliation. Children 5–12 connect being that just as roots will receive a robust and positive inform the treeʼs growth, so too introduction to Jewish culture and our ancestors set the foundation tradition in a fun and hands-on and give us proper guidance as we format. To learn more to register, connavigate our life. Valley Chabad Hebrew tact the Hebrew School Director School takes place weekly, in per- Mrs. Hindy Drizin at hindy@vallson and virtually. Families choose or call (201) 476what they prefer for their chil- 0157. drenʼs learning. PHOTO CREDIT VALLEY CHABAD


Meals on Wheels seeks volunteers

Meals on Wheels North Jersey needs volunteer drivers in Closter, Demarest, Haworth, Park Ridge, and Montvale. Volunteers give two hours each month delivering meals. The

food is picked up 10 to 11 a.m. and delivered to 10–12 clients. To volunteer your time and care where it can really help, call (201) 358-0050 or visit

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TEPV comes to aid of Tri-Boro Food Pantry

Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley held a drive up–drop off food drive on Sunday, Jan. 24. Greeting members of the synagogue were Rabbi Loren Monosov, Cantor Alan Sokoloff, Early Childhood Program Director Roni Shapiro, and Religious

School Director Rabbi Shelley Kniaz. The food is being delivered to the Tri-Boro Food Pantry, which is known throughout the Pascack Valley as a place where hungry people are fed. During the pandemic the number of clients has increased 400%.

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‘Pay it forward’ aid reaches grateful Bibi’z Restaurant BY MICHAEL OLOHAN OF PASCACK PRESS


Bibiʼz Restaurant and Lounge, struggling to survive amid Covid-19 shutdowns and restrictions, got a new lease on life with financial support from an online fund supporting small businesses. The Barstool Fund, created by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy in support of the 30 Day Fund, will provide monthly support to the popular venue, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary on Jan. 13. After Portnoy watched a video appeal made by Bibiʼz owner Ida Martin, in which she explained her need for financial assistance, Portnoy called her Jan. 25 to tell her that hers was among the businesses that would receive financial aid to help pay employees and keep the doors open. Martin recognized Portnoy on the video call and held her composure for as long as she could. As Portnoy confirmed he was helping her stay in business, she broke down in tears of gratitude. Martin said she had applied for bank loans but the interest rates were unaffordable. She said

when the restaurant, at 284 Center Ave., opened, they purchased a liquor license and she put her life savings into the restaurant, taking out a second mortgage on her house and extra loans to try to make ends meet. In her appeal video, she said she was embarrassed to ask for help and thought 2020 would be a “turnaround year” for the restaurant, only to see the Covid-19 pandemic hit. She said she heard about the Barstool Fundʼs effort to help small businesses from her niece, who urged her to reach out. Portnoy, whose non-profit Barstool Fund had helped 182 businesses nationwide as of Jan. 26, has so far raised almost $30 million from nearly 205,000 individual supporters. Portnoyʼs Instagram channel, Barstool Sports, provides sports talk and betting insights to sports enthusiasts. Portnoy said he started the online fund due to the federal governmentʼs failure to provide adequate financial support to struggling small businesses. On the Barstool Fund website, Bibiʼz Restaurant and Lounge appears among many other businesses thrown a lifeline. “Bibiʼz Restaurant and Lounge brings to Westwood a

place to enjoy the night gorging on tantalizing food. The cuisine at this restaurant takes inspirations from recipes all across the globe and blends them to create new

BIBI’Z RESTAURANT owner Ida Martin applies for aid…

tastes,” reads the venueʼs entry. After Portnoy called Martin and informed her that Bibiʼz would receive the aid, Martin broke down in tears. “Thank you so much. God bless you and everybody who is working for you,” she told Portnoy. Portnoy reacted gently: “It sounds like you have quite the

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…AND SOON LEARNS she’ll receive it. In an emotional call Jan. 25, Martin hears from Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy [inset]. Martin says in part, “Thank you so much. God bless you and everybody who is working for you.”

spot, and from your reaction youʼre exactly the kind of spot weʼre trying to help.” He assured Martin her busi-

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Valentine’s Day, February 14

Francesca Ianora Day, on a beloved borough booster’s 100th BY JOHN SNYDER OF PASCACK PRESS


Congratulations to Francesca Ianora, who enjoyed “Francesca Ianora Day” in the borough Jan. 23 in honor of her 100th birthday. As Mayor Danielle DiPaola noted with a photo spread on the boroughʼs Facebook page, the governing body celebrated Francesca with a proclamation, old friends, students, family, neighbors, a turnout from the volunteer ambulance and fire departments, the police department, and a school bus. And a parade of well wishers who honked and cheered in passing. It was “all the bells and whistles,” DiPaola said. She added, “Thank you to all who came out today! We made one lovely lady very happy.” Residents posted their love and congratulations. Jeanne Raimondi wrote of Francesca, “Such a beautiful, classy lady.” Paula Wilson observed, “In mink with her tiara! Perfect!” In October 2019 the governing body accepted Francescaʼs resignation from the Library Board of Trustees as a regular member for a five-year term ending Dec. 31, 2020.


Shortly after, amid the holidays, it honored her many years of dedicated service to the Emerson Public Library Board of Trustees. According to the boroughʼs proclamation, Francesca was born on Jan. 23, 1921 in New York City, the second of two children, and moved to Emerson in 1956 after getting married. She and her late husband Armand raised two daughters, Elaine and Mary, both retired teachers; she has five loving grandchildren: Justin and Christian Decker, and Steven, David, and Katherine Levkoff. She began her teaching career at the New York School for the

Deaf, the English Secondary School and the Berlitz School in New York City. And shortly after moving to Emerson, Francesca began teaching elementary education. She is known as one of the most beloved and respected 5th grade teachers in the boroughʼs history. Francesca taught in Emerson for 29 years “and touched the lives of each and every student she had, including this mayor,” DiPaola said in the proclamation. Moreover, she “has volunteered as the manager of the English as a Second Language program at the Emerson Public Library for 22 years and has continued to do so through the Covid19 health crisis,” the proclamation reads. It adds, “As a direct result of her love of teaching, she has taught English to many in order for them to participate in the Emerson community, obtain citizenship and driver licenses, improve job performances and afforded parents the ability to better communicate with their childrenʼs teachers. Sheʼs served as a valued member of the Borough of Emersonʼs Library Board of Trustees for more than 24 years and served as the moderator of the Great Books Discussion Group for more than 22 years, “and continues to do so even during this Covid-19

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FRANCESCA IANORA, 100 years young, greets a parade of her fans on Jan. 23.

health crisis via Zoom where members come together from surrounding towns to participate in spirited discussions over Plato, Dante and Kafka.” Francesca worked on the Emerson Centennial Committee. Sheʼs also a devout Catholic, serving as a lector at the Church of the Assumption for many years. Leading up to the festivities of Francesca Ianora Day, Mayor DiPaola had organized a birthday card drive. If you have greetings you want to forward, write c/o Mayor, Emerson Borough, 146 Linwood Avenue, Emerson, NJ 07630. Pascack Press last spoke with Francesca, Literacy Volunteers of Pascack Valley manager for the Emerson Library, at LVPVʼs 2019 Annual International Dinner and Awards Ceremony, in Westwood, where she was recognized as the organizationʼs vice president. She contributed a piece of poetry to


TOOT FOR TUTORS By Francesca Ianora HEY EMIGRATE FROM many lands, oʼer mountains and oʼer seas, To seek a chance to tap our wealth of opportunities. More than we know, they savor what it means to struggle free, Enough to leave the lands they love and face uncertainty. What greater gift could we bestow to ease their daunting plight Than teaching them our native tongue and speed their upward flight? What greater bond have countries than one language shared by all? You serve your pupils and your land by answering their call. So give a Toot for Tutors! Back-pat yourselves a pat! Praise, tutors of the ESL! To you I doff my hat.

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

Cupid’s Shopping Guide

Pay it forward: Aid reaches Bibi’z Restaurant out how the restaurant was doing. Portnoy said they would help support Bibiʼz for as long as it needed help during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Grateful owner speaks out Martin told Pascack Press on Jan. 26, “I was shocked of course because I didnʼt really believe it was real.” She said that she had applied for business interruption insurance reimbursement due to Covid-19 business losses and her claim was denied. She said additional efforts to find loans or grant funds to sustain her business were also not fruitful. She said that limited government support was available to restaurant owners and that the one small grant her restaurant received came and went in a heartbeat. She said she felt restaurant owners “were left out to hang” and received virtually no financial support from any government agency. She again profoundly thanked

Portnoyʼs Barstool Fund for helping to sustain Bibiʼz for a while longer but told Pascack Press “the future is scary” because customers are still not back due to the pandemic. “This grant is not going to take us out of the deep hole weʼre in but it will help us. Itʼs an incredible thing that they did for us when hardly anyone else was helping.” She said getting the grant was “bittersweet” because the pandemic is still hurting restaurants and people are reluctant to eat out given such fears. She said she hoped local governments would help struggling businesses more by accommodating restaurants with outdoor dining alternatives where possible. “Itʼs amazing what heʼs [Portnoy] doing, but whatʼs also amazing is he's actually doing something that our insurance was paid to do to help us but refused to do," said Martin, noting little help has come from state or federal officials to support restaurants. Fans of Bibiʼz Restaurant and Lounge—and of Martin—were



Upscale Italian Cuisine At Affordable Prices!

Since 2011, Vicolo Ristorante in Old Tappan has been delighting hungry diners and serving as the setting for special moments.

Delicious lamb chops are prepared especially for you.

The restaurant offers live music on Friday and Saturday evenings, house-made, traditional semolina pasta, and the flavors of Northern Italy at its Bi-State Plaza location. Vicolo also offers buy-one-getone dinners Sunday through Thursday, and a weekday lunch special for $9.95 that includes an appetizer, entree and choice of coffee or tea. Pascack Press recently caught up with owner Benny Qosaj, who

was excited to invite the community to come celebrate nine years with Vicolo. In addition to the classic menu items that longtime diners know and enjoy, Qosaj told us about some of the restaurant’s featured dishes that he’s excited about right now, like the homemade Burrata Ravioli with chopped tomatoes and a garlic white wine sauce. What else is Qosaj excited about? There’s the Pork Osso Buco served with polenta and broccoli rabe, or a Grilled Veal Chop with portobello mushrooms in a marsala wine sauce. In addition to other classic fish dishes, Qosaj recommended the oven roasted whole Branzino Piccata, with capers and a lemon white wine sauce. Another dish to enjoy: a roasted half duck with orange remoulade sauce served over risotto. Before your entree, any meal will be off to a nice start with one of Vicolo’s 12 appetizers, such as the Blue Point Oyster Cocktail or the Eggplant Rollatini. Any choice should pair nicely with the complimentary bread and dipping

quick to add their cheers on Barstoolʼs Instagram account. One patron wrote, “One of my favorite places to go!”


Valentine’s Day, February 14

Another wrote, “Love love love Bibiz! Best place!” Another said, “I love you picked Bibiʼz! The owner is a doll, hardworking! We

enjoyed many cocktails in this spot!” One poster told Martin, CONTINUED ON PAGE 30


Make it a Valentine’s Day to Remember



145 Kinderkamack Road • Park Ridge, NJ • 201-489-3984 •

Vicolo Ristorante in Old Tappan celebrating its tenth anniversary sauce. Choose a soup or salad—perhaps pasta fagoli, or maybe the soup du jour; or for something light and fresh, go for a salad. Dave’s Salad features hearts of palm, endives, apples and gorgonzola. When choosing your entree, you may also want to consider the inhouse pasta in an assortment of preparations, such as the Orecchiette

Fish lovers can enjoy a whole roasted branzino.

Benito (orecchiette pasta with sausage, broccoli rabe, garlic oil, and sun-dried tomato), or any of the seven mouth-watering pasta options.

Craving meat or fish? Vicolo has no shortage of options. If it’s fish, there’s the Shrimp and Scallops Fra Diavolo. There’s also the Salmon Vicolo, which is stuffed with crab meat and cooked in a wood-fired oven with honey mustard sauce. Then again, there are still four other seafood options, one just as delectable as the next. There’s an array of classic chicken and veal dishes to choose from as well. And don’t forget about the double cut pork chops, or the filet mignon, done Italian, served with mushrooms and shallots in Barolo wine sauce. The restaurant meets a full array of dining and entertaining needs. Vicolo welcomes walk-ins, but reservations may be made as well. The restaurant also offers the option for take out. Vicolo can host your holiday, business or family parties on their patio. Seating is available for up to 100 guests. Catering is also offered and the restaurant has a full bar, including over 100 wines. Live performances during the weekends

feature Italian singing and operastyle music.

Pull up a chair at Vicolo Ristorante, where elegance meets affordable delicious Italian cuisine.

Vicolo, at 216 Old Tappan Road in Old Tappan, is open Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m. and 4 to 9 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, Vicolo is open from 4 to 9 p.m. Vi s i t Vicolo Ristorante online to view their menu: Call (201) 497-8777 for reservations, take-out, catering, and additional information.

20-22A BISTATE PLAZA • 216 OLD TAPPAN ROAD, OLD TAPPAN, NJ • 201- 497- 8777 • w w








Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many students at Pascack Hills High School have continued working part-time. Some have even started new jobs. In order to have a part-time job in New Jersey as a high school student, working papers must be acquired. Monika Codner, a secretary in the Hills guidance office, assists students with this process. After an employer offers a student a job, Codner explained


that studentsʼ working papers can be “picked up in [the guidance] office or found online.” From there, the student, employer, and studentʼs doctor complete their designated fields

with the desired information or signature, and Codner takes the final step of signing off. Compared to the 2019–2020 school year, the number of students who signed off on working papers during this hybrid school year has not shown a significant increase nor decrease and has remained “relatively the same” according to Codner. A few students who have been working part-time during the pandemic include Hills juniors Kailani Perez, who works at Weg-

JULIA BELGIOVINE, a Hills junior, works part-time at Chopt, which recently opened. (Krisha Sampat photo)

ARIA CHALILEH, a Hills senior who works part-time as a cashier at Wegmans, on the job. (Stephen Schmidt photo)

mans, and Krisha Sampat, who works at Chopt in Montvale. Hills seniors Aria Chalileh and Kyle Butler also work at Wegmans, while Liz Mashini works at Hallmark in Woodcliff Lake, Christina Ferraro at The Melting Pot in Westwood, and Alex Kostantas at Yuki in Montvale. Perez and Chalileh were interviewed by the Trailblazer last spring, when the pandemic hit New Jersey especially hard and redefined the roles of essential workers. Some students have been working the same number of hours, while others have faced both increases and decreases due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced many places to limit their customers and adjust their everyday employee routines. “We stop seating people at 8:30 p.m. and cannot serve food or drinks past 10,” Ferraro said. Butler said that his hours at Wegmans increased as a result of not attending school in-person and having after-school activities canceled. “I started to work between 20 and 25 hours per week during the pandemic as opposed to about 12 to 17 hours per week prior,” he said. Sampat gave insight on working at Chopt, a self-described “creative salad company” which opened its Montvale location in November during the pandemic. “It was good to see that people still came to support the new place [amidst the pandemic] and come back because they enjoy it,” she said. Safety precautions that these students follow include symptom

checks, wearing gloves, utilizing glass shields as barriers between cashiers and customers, washing hands, using hand sanitizer often, and limiting the number of people inside. Kostantas explained some additional guidelines as a delivery driver for Yuki, explaining that drivers like him “now do contactless delivery where I leave the food by the door and they leave cash in an envelope for me when I get there if they pay with cash.” Fortunately for these students, most customers they have encountered have been following guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mashini reported that some of her coworkers have had to tell people to fix their masks. “Most of my coworkers are adults, so whenever someone wears their mask below their nose, takes it off, or any other issue, someone else will talk to them; I never have had to deal with any issues like that,” she said. However, Sampat stated that some customers at Chopt “donʼt cover their nose [with their mask], and if we ask them to repeat something, theyʼll pull their mask down to say it.” This upends the purpose of wearing the mask. On the contrary, other customers will wear “two masks and maintain as much distance as possible.” Some of these workers have seen both more and fewer resources available as a result of the pandemic and its sometimes surprising effects on customer CONTINUED ON PAGE 27





Chamber: Mayors on Covid impacts, the work ahead CATHOLIC SCHOOL WEEK

working in town. Now, he said, only 10% of those employees came back. He said a job fair the borough hoped to sponsor fell flat over widespread hiring freezes. He said of new businesses, including CityMD and pharmaceuticals, “It seems in Montvale, at least, thereʼs a shift toward the health sector, which we like.”


TOWNSHIP OF WASHINGTON Mayor Peter Calamari said the townshipʼs downtown shopping center, on Pascack Road, was “fully rented, so new tenants continue to come in and some are just barely hanging on via a thread so we hope they make it through.” Calamari said all restaurants “seem to be doing pretty good”

but that Covid-19ʼs impacts “have had a big impact” on business at Seasons, at Washington Avenue and Pascack Road. Calamari did not mention an assisted living facility approved for 620 Pascack Road, or a 73-unit Tomaron/Viviano townhome and single-family development long looming near Immaculate Heart Academy. He did ask for help in temporarily accommodating DPW equipment (see story, page 3). HILLSDALE Hillsdale Mayor John Ruocco mentioned the recent Borough Council approval of a contentious redevelopment plan for a 14-acre industrial area, which he vetoed due to the planʼs potential for developer height and density bonuses. The council overrode Ruoccoʼs veto, 5–1. He said the

National Catholic Schools Week Jan. 31 - Feb. 6

borough was “waiting for expressions of interest from potential developers.” Ruocco revealed that the council were “thinking about rehabilitating our downtown area” and that discussions were at a “very, very preliminary stage in exploring what that process should be.” He said there was a “need for transparency moving forward” and thought residents “would be more embracing of than the redevelopment plan we passed last year.” He said efforts to revisit a 2020 community center study and council interest in expanding such a facility to include recreational facilities will be a topic in 2021. Under the redevelopment plan, density/height bonuses may be granted a developer if they provide a community benefit such as


Local students make UNH Dean’s List

The following students have been named to the Deanʼs List at the University of New Hampshire for fall 2020: Courtney Callagy of Emerson earning Highest Honors Isabel Cieslar of Westwood earning High Honors Cassandra Harper of Westwood earning High Honors Johnny Geraci of Old Tappan earning Honors Luke Geraci of Old Tappan earning High Honors Students named to the Deanʼs List at the University of New

Hampshire are students who have earned recognition through their superior scholastic performance during a semester enrolled in a full-time course load (12 or more graded credits). Highest honors are awarded to students who earn a semester grade point average of 3.85 or better out of a possible 4.0. Students with a 3.65 to 3.84 average are awarded high honors and students whose grade point average is 3.5 through 3.64 are awarded honors. The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation

and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNHʼs research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space. Visit

a community center or open space. Ruocco said a bond issue might be required to fund a new community center.

EMERSON Emerson Mayor Danielle DiPaola said the borough had one business closing, PetValu, part of nationwide closings for the chain pet store. She noted that a couple of businesses also opened, including a recent ribbon-cutting at a new physical rehabilitation facility, Trinity Rehab, at Pascack Valley Shopping Center. DiPaola did not provide an update on the downtown development, locally known as Block 419, and currently stalled due to dueling lawsuits by the developer, Emerson Redevelopers Urban Renewal LLC, an affiliate of JMF Properties, and the borough. In answering a follow-up question she said the prior administration allowed a PILOT agreement to the Block 419/ Emerson Station redeveloper. She said “residents are very worried about the impact” of Emerson Station on infrastructure, police, municipal services, and schools. She said an overhaul was recently completed of the Master Plan and an ordinance will be introduced soon to allow “a more vibrant community for commerce in case thereʼs not a need for brick and mortar actual stores” and allow uses such as rehab facilities and medical offices. The Emerson Station developer is suing the borough for interfering with its ability to complete the project, while the borough is suing the developer for $500,000 in construction services for a new ambulance building. The developer promised the funds in return for acquisition of land previously used by the ambulance corps. WOODCLIFF LAKE Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo said the borough is at a crossroads and was “particularly

hit by Covid” with Hilton Hotelʼs 20-acre site on Chestnut Ridge Road permanently closing and now vacant. He noted ESAI Corporation closed and moved to Clifton. He said other corporate buildings on Tice Boulevard are 45-50 percent occupied “and that is also a concern as we may begin to see tax appeals and more abandoned properties.” He said at least one new business, PDI, moved in on Chestnut Ridge Road and a new Whole Foods, across from Tice Center, should open by June. He noted “abandoned properties” on the Broadway Corridor include Valley Bank, also an empty parking lot and garage. “This is all a byproduct, folks, of not adopting a comprehensive Master Plan. Unfortunately, we have a council that does not understand the importance of having planning… a comprehensive plan where planning boards and zoning boards can follow,” he said. He said he was “not hopeful” that an ordinance to initiate a contract to update its Master Plan would pass at the Feb. 8 council meeting. “In the end, thatʼs going to damage Woodcliff Lake in the future immeasurably. It is inconceivable that Woodcliff Lake is the only town out of 70 towns in Bergen County that has not adopted a comprehensive Master Plan,” said Rendo. He said a lack of an updated Master Plan leaves the boroughʼs land use boards “vulnerable” to litigation from developers, such as a pending lawsuit by 188 Broadway LLP. That developerʼs proposal to build a two-building, 60 apartment-unit complex was rejected by the Zoning Board nearly 18 months ago. It appealed. Note: We look forward to bringing you more reporting stemming from this event. For more information, visit GPVCOC at


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.



23 National Catholic Schools Week Jan. 31 - Feb. 6

Rec preschool registration begins April 6

Registration for the Westwood Recreation Department Preschool begins Tuesday, April 6 at 9 a.m. at the Westwood Community Center, 55 Jefferson Ave. The three-day a week, halfday programs for children 3–5 are designed to foster kindergarten readiness by creating developmentally appropriate learning opportunities in a nurturing setting. The 2021-2022 school year begins Wednesday, Sept. 8. Led by teacher/director Natalie Boes, the Westwood Recreation Preschool is licensed by the State of New Jersey and follows state curriculum guidelines. Classroom activities prepare students for academic and social success by assisting in the development of self-help skills, gross and fine motor skills, listening skills as well as providing a strong foundation in literacy, math, social studies and science. Art, music, seasonal activities and free-play round out program offerings. The Westwood Recreation Preschool program is open to children 3–5 as of Oct. 1, 2021. Proof of residency and birth certificates

are required for registration. All children are required to be pottytrained before entering the program. Annual tuition is $1,800 for 4–5-year-olds who attend Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Annual tuition is $1,500 for 3-year-olds who attend Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Annual tuition is payable in three installments. According to Recreation Department Director, Gary Buchheister, “As of this time the preschool will be expected to follow current Covid-19 guidelines. Classes will be limited in size to 20 for the Preschool program and 10 for the 3-year-old program. All the current NJ Department of Health and CDC Covid-19 guidelines for a licensed child care center will be followed including: All staff and children will be screened for fever and other Covid-19 symptoms prior to entry each day. Staff will be required to wear a face covering at all times and children will be required to wear a face covering to the best of their ability. Children will be issued their


own supply box of pencils, crayons, scissors, etc. The classroom and toys will be cleaned in between classes and at the end of each day.

Parents/guardians will not be permitted to enter the classrooms. For registration information and forms, see the preschool section of the Recreation page at westwood- or call (201) 664-7882. For more information, write Recreation Director Gary Buchheister at


Inducted into social studies honors society

Thirty-nine seniors from the Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest have been inducted into the Alice Paul Chapter of Rho Kappa, the national honor society for students who excel in social studies. AHA Social Studies Department Chair Gail Fair led the hybrid ceremony, which followed pandemic safety protocols. Fair noted that the induction was taking place on Jan. 15, the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a hero of the 20th century civil rights movement and a firm believer in non-violent protest. “I hope you will honor Dr. Kingʼs memory in how you live your own lives with activism and fairness,” Fair said in her remarks. This yearʼs inductees are Carmela Alessio of Belleville; Abigail Allport of Englewood; Natalie Andreoli and Sarah Onderdonk of Wyckoff; Hanga Antal of River Edge; Mariel Bacolod of Fort Lee; Kirstyn Bar-

sola and Olivia Martinez of Paramus; Ava Buoncuore of Hoboken; Catherine Callahan, JaeMin Chu, and Madison Oaten of Tenafly; Isabella Darmanin of Old Tappan; Claire Dodds and Emily Nam of Cresskill; Ciara Donegan and Carol Laux of Westwood; Julia Fernandez and Natalie Near of Teaneck; Brianna Figueroa of Valley Cottage, New York; Samantha Han and Kimberly Pienkawa of Demarest; Julia Labita and Maureen Murray of Norwood; Grace

Labruno, Alana Pomponio, and Ashley Thompson of Nutley; Julia Macaluso of Fair Lawn; Antonia Mysliewiec and Victoria Rocker of Cliffside Park; Julia Oakley of Union City; Anais Olivier of Ridgewood; Danielle Patti of Englewood Cliffs; Valeria Pernicone of New Milford; Mary Quimbo of Woodcliff Lake; Haley Sheehan of Dumont; Gwyneth Ulshoefer of Saddle Brook; Kendall Williams of Hillsdale; and Colleen Young of Secaucus.

CONGRATULATIONS to each of this year’s inductees.





Health, Wellness &Fitness Guide ADVERTISER CONTENT

DR. KAPLAN: ‘How to Prevent Headaches’

There are many different types of headaches that can be caused by a variety of The things. number one reason people get DR. ERIC KAPLAN, is KAPLAN BRAIN & headaches decreased oxyBODY gen or blood flow to the brain. If you experience light sensitivity, nausea, and a sharp pain behind one of your eyes, then most likely you have a migraine headache. Usually migraines occur about once or twice a month and with females, may be related to the menstrual cycle. Recent discoveries in medicine have unleashed an amazing process called insufflation technique that works by pumping air into the ear. If done properly this may eliminate the migraine headache immediately so you do not have to take medication, turn off all the lights and lie in bed all day. This technique is under research to find out the mechanism by which it works so if you would like more information about it, email me at It is great to eliminate the migraine headache immediately without medication, however, the best way to help with headaches is prevention. There have been lots of case studies that have shown people who pierce the tragus part of their ear can actually prevent migraine headaches. If you are not ready for that, you can rub the tragus on the side of the migraine for 30 seconds straight at least three times a day and see if that has any

positive effect on you. If it does, you are probably a good candidate for this piercing. Another easy way to prevent headaches is to drink a lot of water. You should drink half of your body weight in ounces every day. I have had many patients who come to me with headaches, and after they increase their water intake, their headaches go away. They also follow my other recommendations of drinking an extra glass of water every time they had coffee, alcohol, diarrhea, vomited, sweated, or exercised. In addition to these reasons, it is even more important for you to drink an extra two glasses of water when you are on your period. Because the menstrual cycle eliminates a lot of fluid from the body, females may get dehydrated during that time of the month. This dehydration may lead to cramps, irritability, nausea, and migraines. I remember one of my patients, who happened to be a medical doctor, after years and years of doctors and medications, came to see me with a big smile and said, “You may be really onto something with this water thing.” She had tried all different techniques such as headache pills, botox, acupuncture, massage, diet, physical therapy and none of that worked. All she needed was to drink more water. Another common cause of migraines is neck, shoulder, and upper back muscle tension. These are called stress headaches and are typically found at the back of the skull. In my opinion, the best way to approach this type of headache is to work on three things: bones, muscles, and nerves. For the bones, you might

have to improve posture and alignment by receiving adjustments to the spine and manipulation of the joints. In regard to your muscles, you might require soft tissue therapies such as A.R.T. or trigger point therapy. Lastly, and most importantly, is the nervous system. For the nerves, it is best to get manual traction, spinal decompression, and infrared laser therapy. I believe that working on all three of these issues using a holistic and integrative approach in one facility gets better results than seeing three different specialists who only look at one piece of the puzzle. One other type of headache is called a tension headache, which is usually described as a tight band of pressure around the head. In my experience, tension headaches can be caused by increased blood pressure, inflammation, or an increase in emotional stress. Remember it is best to get to the root cause of the headache rather than treating symptoms with pills that may have harmful side effects. As a result, the best approach for tension headaches is improving nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction. I think the easiest and fastest way to do this is by eliminating dairy, wheat, salt, coffee, and alcohol. Also make sure you get at least three days a week of exercise, combining aerobic, weights and core stability. It is important to move everyday even if it is just going for a walk. Never sit for more than 20 minutes straight. If you need to, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to move. Even if you just get up for 20 seconds, walk

20 feet, look 20 feet away, and then sit back down again, this will greatly reduce chances of tension headaches. I also suggest wearing blue light filter glasses when using the computer or iPad at night. In regards to stress reduction, you can do a wide variety of exercises including meditation, deep breathing, yoga, mindfulness, drawing, journaling, writing, Reiki, Tai Chi, building, sports, praying, gardening, collecting, sewing, or any other activity that puts you in a good mood and increases endorphins. In addition to these headaches, another common one seen in my office is called a sinus headache, which is usually located on the forehead or the face. Many times these can be seasonal, however, they may occur all year round, as well. These sinus headaches can be helped by massaging four sinus points on the face. There are two points above the eyebrows, and two points below the eyes on the upper cheeks. I also recommend that people with sinus headaches use a neti pot. This helps to flush out the toxins and release some of the head and face pressure thereby reducing headaches. You can find a neti pot at the local pharmacy, just make sure you clean it very well before and after each use. Another good option with little risk is homeopathic medicine. This remedy will have a mixture of small diluted amounts (so small that there is no risk) of dust, pollen, mold, cat hair, dog hair, milk, wheat, eggs, nuts and other common allergens that will help reduce any allergic reactions by improving the proper immune response. Write info@kaplanbrainandbody for the highest quality homeopathic allergy remedy. One last cause of migraines has to do with the autonomic

nervous system. This part of your brainstem controls the blood flow and oxygen that goes into the brain by constricting and dilating the arteries properly. If this part of your brainstem is not working efficiently, it is important to rewire your nervous system using a process called neuroplasticity. This will require brain exercises, functional neurology, and research based applied neuroscience. There are many ways to exercise the brain such as eye exercises, balance exercises, memory exercises, touch exercises, gait exercises, coordination exercises, proprioceptive exercises, sensory exercises, motor exercises, and breathing exercises. These neurological therapies can influence the integrity of the autonomic nervous system to get people out of the fight or flight mode and calm down the nervous system to be in a more relaxed state which will increase oxygen delivered to the brain, thereby reducing headaches. Even though we have techniques to get rid of headaches immediately, it is always best to get to the root cause of the problem rather than treat the symptoms. If you are interested in receiving an integrative, holistic, and functional evaluation at my Emerson office to get to the cause of your headaches, email me at or call (201) 2612150. To show our support for the community, if you mention this article you will receive our entire headache evaluation (normally $300) for FREE! Function better, feel better, live better. If you are interested in my free Zoom seminar on Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion on Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m., email the office or text (646) 221-6738.

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THE SAVVY SENIOR: Must I Sign Up for Medicare? I’m Still Working Dear Savvy Senior, I will turn 65 in a few months and plan to keep working for several more years. I have good BY JIM MILLER health insurance from my employer. Do I have to sign up for Medicare when I reach 65? — Looking Ahead

Dear Looking, Whether you need to enroll in Medicare at 65 if you continue to work and have health insurance through your job depends on how large your employer is. The same rules apply if your health insurance comes from your spouseʼs job. But first, letʼs review the basics. Remember that original Medicare has two parts: Part A, which provides hospital coverage and is free for most people. And Part B, which covers doctorsʼ bills, lab tests and outpatient care. Part B also has a monthly premium, which is $148.50 for most beneficiaries in 2021, but is higher for individuals earning above $88,000. If youʼre already receiving Social Security, youʼll automatically be enrolled in parts A and B when you turn 65, and youʼll receive your Medicare card in the mail. It will include instructions to return it if you have work coverage that qualifies you for late enrollment. If you arenʼt yet receiving Social Security, you will have to apply, which you can do online at

If you plan to continue working past the age of 65 and have health insurance from your job, your first step is to ask your benefits manager or human resources department how your employer insurance works with Medicare. In most cases, you should at least take Medicare Part A because itʼs free. (Note: If youʼre funding a health savings account you may not want to take Part A because you canʼt make contributions after you enroll). But to decide whether to take Part B or not will depend on the size of your employer. Small Employer If your current employer has fewer than 20 employees, Medicare will be your primary insurer and you should enroll in Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period. This is a sevenmonth period that includes the three months before, the month of, and the three months after your 65th birthday. If you miss the seven-month sign-up window, youʼll have to wait until the next general enrollment period, which runs from Jan. 1 to March 31 with benefits beginning the following July 1. Youʼll also incur a 10% penalty for each year you wait beyond your initial enrollment period, which will be tacked on to your monthly Part B premium. Large Employer If your employer has 20 or more employees, your employerʼs group health plan will be your primary insurer as long as you remain an active employee. If this is the case, you donʼt need to


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enroll in Part B when you turn 65 if youʼre satisfied with the coverage you are getting through your job. But if you do decide to enroll in Medicare, it will supplement your employer insurance by paying secondary on all of your claims. Once your employment or group health coverage ends, you will then have eight months to sign up for Part B without a penalty. This is known as the Special Enrollment Period. Check Drug Coverage

You also need to verify your prescription drug coverage. Call your benefits manager or insurance company to find out if your employerʼs prescription drug coverage is considered “creditable.” If it is, you donʼt need to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. If it isnʼt, you should purchase a plan (see during your initial enrollment period or youʼll incur a premium penalty (1% of the average national premium for every month you donʼt have coverage) if you enroll later.

If you have more questions or need help, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (see, which offers free Medicare counseling. Or call the Medicare Rights Center helpline at (800) 333-4114. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.



Valley Health System has launched Care After COVID, a program designed to assist individuals struggling with lingering symptoms associated with COVID-19. Many individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19 continue to experience symptoms — including extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, balance issues, pain, headache, and difficulty breathing — long after the active viral infection has resolved. Care after COVID is designed to address the needs of those who have symptoms that persist 30 or more days after a COVID-19 infection. “We know that many individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 are continuing to face lingering symptoms or side effects” said Dr. Puneeta Sharma, chair of Medical Specialty Services for

Valley Medical Group. “We want to help those individuals get the care they need to recover from the illness.” Care After COVID coordinates the services of a multidisciplinary medical team who can address long-term complications of COVID-19 infection. These include specialists in the areas of behavioral health, cardiology, otolaryngology (ear nose and throat), neurology, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, primary care, pulmonology, and obstetrics. Referrals to specialists are based on an initial evaluation and assessment of each patientʼs individual needs. To access Care After COVID, please call 1800-VALLEY 1 (1-800-825-5391), and press option 6. You will be connected to a registered nurse, who will assist in coordinating appointments with the appropriate medical specialists.


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Editorʼs note: The following article is for informational purposes only. When it comes to Social Security and retireERIC KOHLMEIER ment, you may have conflicting viewpoints: On one side, you hope to start collecting your benefits as soon as youʼre eligible—after all, itʼs your hard-earned money. On the other side, you know that, if you wait, your monthly benefit amount will increase. While it does make sense to

wait as long as you can, Rob Arthur, first vice president/manager of the Federal Benefits Consulting Group, Wells Fargo Advisors, recommends you reevaluate your situation every year in retirement before deciding whether to continue delaying getting benefits. One item you need for that annual retirement review: a current copy of your Social Security benefit estimate from This provides personalized estimates of future benefits based on your real earnings and lets you see your latest statement and your earnings history. Here, Arthur outlines a com-

parison of claiming now vs. later, and offers key considerations as you review your strategy each year. Comparison: Claiming sooner vs. later. Letʼs start with a hypothetical example: John Doe was born in 1960 and was earning $200,000 a year when he retired. He decided to start receiving Social Security benefits as soon as he became eligible at 62, or five years before he would receive full retirement benefits. His monthly benefit in todayʼs dollars is $2,106. If he had delayed receiving benefits until he was 70, heʼd receive $1,700 more a month, or $3,806. And he would make up for

the eight-year delay in not taking any benefits in about 10 years. (And because one out of every four 65year-olds today will live past age 90, according to the Social Security Administration1, the long-term benefit could be substantial.) Make wellness a deciding factor. Your health can play a big role in helping determine when you should start taking benefits. Do your loved ones live long lives, or has everyone succumbed to illness before age 65? “Itʼs not the most accurate indicator of whatʼs going to transpire in the future, but it can have some bearing,” Arthur says. “If youʼre in reasonably good health, that counsels in favor of waiting,” he continues. “If youʼre in poor or guarded health, that counsels toward drawing benefits sooner rather than later.” Do you have enough income? Another key factor is having other sources of income to live comfortably in retirement without needing Social Security benefits. He says you should consider the guaranteed rate of return Social Security offers: 6.25% (plus a cost-of-living increase). Thatʼs better than the guaranteed rate of return available in todayʼs market. Considerations for married couples. Arthur advises married clients look at multiple factors when determining the timing for each spouse to claim Social Security benefits. For example, if your spouse works full time and you work part time or seasonally, his or her Social Security benefits may be dramatically higher than yours. Itʼs still wise for both of you to wait, if possible. “Not only does it increase the size of the benefit that the [higherearning] individual personally receives, but it also increases the size of whatʼs known as the sur-

vivorʼs benefit that the [lowerearning] spouse could draw if the individual passes away,” Arthur says. Keep in mind that the current average life expectancy of a 65year-old man is 84 years, while a woman that age can expect to live until age 86, according to the Social Security Administration. What about taxes? When it comes to when to claim Social Security benefits, Arthur advises his clients not to focus primarily on the tax ramifications. “The vast majority of people that I counsel, their marginal tax rate in retirement will be fairly constant,” Arthur says. “If retirees were to take their Social Security benefit at 62, what I typically see is their marginal tax rate is exactly the same or approximately the same as it would be if they claimed the benefit at age 70. I want [them] to focus instead on maximizing the net cash flow over the remainder of their lifetime.” Global Investment Strategy is a division of Wells Fargo Investment Institute, Inc. (“WFII”). WFII is a registered investment adviser and wholly-owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company and provides investment advice to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Wells Fargo Advisors and other Wells Fargo affiliates. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is a bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Eric Kohlmeier, senior financial advisor, managing director—investments in Park Ridge, (201) 505-0472. Investments in securities and insurance products are not FDICinsured/not bank-guranteed/may lost value. Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

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shopping habits. “Wegmans does put a limit on certain items to make sure they have enough in stock for everyone,” Chalileh said. In the earlier months of the pandemic, Butler explained that “multiple items in the store were out of stock, and we did not have any information as to when we would restock.” However, at Hallmark, Mashini said that “specific cards have not been replenished in forever… We have tons of aunt birthday cards, but the uncle section seems empty.” Working part-time during the pandemic has also led to split opinions on the work-school bal-


ance. Some have felt an increase in coursework, while others have been able to work extra hours at their job. “Due to Covid-19, I have found that teachers tend to load way more work on their students than they normally would because we are at ʻhomeʼ and have ʻmore time,ʼ” Perez commented. Ferraro finds managing work and school “easier to balance because thereʼs less [school]work.” Kostantas said that he has made “more revenue” as a delivery driver since people are home more often. Butler and Chalileh explained that they are working more and less, respectively. “The pandemic has allowed me to work more due to fewer

DPW: WT searches Arroyo and the governing body in Westwood for again reconsidering our DPW request… Westwoodʼs response is similar to what the other municipalities and the county have also told us.” He added, “There have been many who have accused me of not reaching out to our surrounding towns to work together on matters or for their assistance. Mayor Arroyoʼs message clearly proves otherwise.” Calamari said, “I will continue to research options for the DPW but time is running short! Many options have been investigated and explored and found to be not viable for various reasons. I hope the council and administration can work together to find an acceptable solution in the next couple weeks.” He added, “In the spirit of cooperation I have been open to and investigated councilpersonsʼ suggestions and ideas whether I was initially in favor of them or not. I


ask that those same councilpersons be open to and provide positive and constructive input on various viable solutions as well.” At the Jan. 19 Township Council meeting, Councilwoman Desserie Morgan said she had liked the idea of saving on DPW vehiclesʼ storage and initially didnʼt “truly understand the impacts on children in the [Sherry Field] area.” She said she joined at least two other members in trying to use town-owned land to reduce parking costs, rather than pay for alternate sites. “So I apologize for that.” Council President Stacey Feeney said she was never in favor of putting a temporary DPW at Sherry Field. She said the cost for parking DPW vehicles at alternate parking spaces “will be very minimal” per local household. Member Michael DeSena complained that he was not included in a Jan. 7 meeting with residents over the issue, and seemed to lay the blame with Feeney and the administration. Member Steve Cascio joined DeSena on this point.

hours spent in school or at school participating in after-school activities,” Butler said. Chalileh has had a different experience working as a cashier at Wegmans, saying the pandemic “has prevented me from picking up extra shifts during my free time, because I want to make sure I am staying safe and avoiding as much contact as possible so I can continue going to school in-person.” Though Hills students with part-time jobs have been forced to adapt to different ways of working during the pandemic, adults at Hills, like Codner, are proud that they are continuing to work despite the challenges and the persistence of Covid-19. “I think that itʼs great,” Codner said. “If they can do it, great. Itʼs encouraging.” Pascack Hills Trailblazer In-

Depth Editor Briana Keenan, a sophomore, is excited for her second year as a member of the staff. This piece originally appeared

Jan. 10 at and is reprinted with permission as part of our Student Press Partnership.

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Galaxy: Soil replacement underway


$343,000 county matching grant and a $167,000 county park development grant to help pay for design and architectural costs. The $343,000 matching grant could help purchase sidewalks, a gazebo, flagpole, lighting, landscaping, irrigation, monuments, signage, trash containers, and benches. Padilla noted that any designs for a future park must be for a passive park, which means no active sports such as basketball or tennis. He said a passive park may include


a gazebo for relaxing and hosting summer concerts, maybe a pavilion, maybe tables and benches, a walking path, and a memorial to local veterans. He said an evergreen might be planted to host a holiday Christmas-tree lighting, plus serve as a draw for an annual Menorah lighting. Parking might be needed on site if alternate arrangements are not workable. Originally, the 2.1-acre site was purchased for $1.65 million in February 2018, by a 4–3 council vote, with Mayor Carlos Rendoʼs

tie-breaking vote. Residents and some officials criticized the purchase then because possible site contamination was suspected due to its prior land uses. Moreover, the site was considered by Valley Chabad, a local

Jewish organization, for possible expansion of its synagogue. That deal foundered in part on contamination concerns and borough efforts to acquire the property for open space. Valley Chabad, joined by the Justice Department, sued the bor-

ough for religious discrimination in 2018, alleging years of bias and discrimination against the Jewish groupʼs expansion. Last fall, It won $1.5 million in legal fees and approval to build a 20,000-squarefoot synagogue on its 100 Overlook Dr. site.


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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 statewide safety protocols are released, the town will evaluate its ability to continue these services. Receive updates via or write



How to choose the right lighting inside your home

them a budget-friendly option for homeowners whose living rooms are multi-purpose spaces. Recessed lighting also works well in living rooms, especially ones with low ceilings. Thatʼs because recessed lighting is installed into the ceiling, meaning it does not take up any visual space in the room. That can help living rooms feel bigger.

Lighting in a home serves both practical and aesthetic purposes. Itʼs easy to maneuver around a well-lit home, reducing the risk of slips and falls, and the right lighting can help homeowners create their desired ambiance, which typically changes depending on which room youʼre in. When choosing lighting for their homes, homeowners must walk a fine line between appearance and functionality. A fixture in the foyer that instantly impresses visitors likely wonʼt prove as awe-inspiring if itʼs installed in the living room. When choosing lighting for a home, some general rules about what works in each room can help homeowners make the most informed decision.

Kitchen Kitchens are often the busiest room in a home, so lighting here can be especially important. A kitchen often benefits, both practically and aesthetically, from different types of lighting. For example, pendant lighting above kitchen islands can make meal preparation easier and safer, but such lighting likely wonʼt work in breakfast nooks and informal dining areas in the kitchen. Recessed lighting works best in such areas. In kitchens with no island, under-cabinet lighting can be used to illuminate countertops and simplify meal preparation. Formal dining room Many people enjoy the look of chandeliers in formal dining

WHEN CHOOSING LIGHTING for a home, some general rules about what works in each room can help homeowners make the most informed decision. rooms, and such fixtures can be rooms. This allows homeowners and many homeowners come installed directly above the dinner to dim the lights for romantic down to deciding between table. dinners but turn them up for fam- recessed lighting and track lightThe interior design experts at ily gatherings with lots of people ing. If the living room currently Better Homes & Gardens advise around the table. has neither style, homeowners hanging chandeliers roughly 33 should recognize that it will cost inches above the table in dining Living room considerably less to install track Adaptability also is impor- lighting than recessed lighting. rooms with eight-foot ceilings, adding three inches for each addi- tant in the living room, where Better Homes & Gardens homeowners may host anything notes that flexible track lighting tional foot above eight feet. Darkened dining areas may from movie nights to book clubs provides ambient, task or accent be ideal in restaurants, but home- to parties for the big game. It can lighting, and track lights can even owners may want to split the dif- be a tall order to accommodate be moved to change lighting ference at home and choose dim- such a wide range of activities, schemes at any time, making mable chandeliers for their dining

Bedroom The home improvement experts at note that bedroom lighting should provide enough light when getting dressed, but also be able to be toned down as residents prepare for their bedtime routines. Both portable and installed lighting can be used in bedrooms to serve these various functions. Recessed fixtures that dim can ensure thereʼs ample light to get dressed in the morning, but they also can be dimmed at night as residents try to get ready to sleep. Portable nightstand lights can make it easier for couples sharing a bedroom, allowing one person to stay up and read while the other goes to sleep. Homeowners have many options and many needs when choosing lighting for their homes. A professional consultation with a lighting expert or interior decorator can help homeowners find lights that provide both practical and aesthetic appeal.

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Pay it forward: Aid reaches Bibi’z Restaurant REAL ESTATE & BUSINESS

“You are the most genuine person I have seen on here or probably even met in person! I remember going to ur restaurant a while ago


and I will be sure to get back there after seeing this. I wish you luck and blessings going forward! What a wonderful thing for Portnoy and his organization to do!”

Another patron said, “Thank you Barstool! Ida and Bibiʼz helps so many people in our community. Community is doing the best we can to help but you have truly

Friedberg wraps coat drive; now: food drive

Friedberg Properties & Associates thanks the Pascack and Northern Valley communities for their generous contribution to its recent coat drive. “Over 125 gently used and new coats were dropped off at Friedberg Properties offices and delivered to the Greater Bergen Realtors Community Service group for distribution through Jersey Cares Annual Coat Drive to those most in need,” the firm said. “The struggles and needs in our community continue to be many. We are currently partnering with the Greater Pascack Valley Chamber of Commerce in their efforts to collect non-perishable food to help fill the local food banks,” it added. Ideas for donations beyond canned goods: cereals, instant oat-

Get the Results Get the results you’re looking for in the Service Directory in Pascack Valley Press. To place your service ad, please call 201.664.2105


FRIEDBERG PROPERTIES & Associates is standing by to help. meal, powdered milk, applesauce, offices: 213 Rivervale Road, River granola bars, spices, soap, sham- Vale, (201) 666-0777; 1018 poo, toothpaste/toothbrushes, Closter Dock Road, Alpine, (201) paper goods, laundry detergent, 768-6868; and 105 Union Ave., diapers, canned meats, stews, Cresskill, (201) 871-0800). For more information call pasta, and cake mixes. Donations can be dropped off your local Friedberg Properties & by Feb. 19 at Friedberg Properties Associates office.

given them the ability to survive!”

Celebrate Westwood cheers Bibiʼz, says shop locally Pascack Press checked with Celebrate Westwood, which has been praising the local community for its support of small businesses and organized February as Westwood Restaurant Appreciation Month. CWʼs Lauren Letizia emphasized that her committee is not connected with the Barstool Fund, and said “the pandemicʼs impact on discretionary spending and a desire to mitigate perceived Covid-19 exposure risks, coupled with the stateʼs ongoing 25% cap on indoor dining and the realities of a New Jersey winter, have left many restaurants—an industry with notoriously thin margins in any climate—struggling to make ends meet.” She said, “It is important to note that there have been no cases of transmission related back to Westwood eateries and the rate of transmission at bars and restaurants across the United States is less than 2%. Letizia said, “Restaurants are working hard to make the dining experience as safe as possible for their employees and patrons, often exceeding local and state protocol. “As you see in Idaʼs submission video, these small businesses represent the sweat, blood, tears, and life savings of their proprietors and—perhaps more than a national chain—have a direct and vested interest in protecting their assets and the communities they love and serve.” She said, “Celebrate Westwood encourages residents to continue relying on our small businesses to provide essential services through these next few months as we hopefully await a smoother vaccine rollout and the coming of spring.”

Now through Feb. 10 is Westwood Restaurant Appreciation Month, and prizes will be awarded to those who share photos of their local dine out/take out experiences on social media, tagging @CelebrateWestwood. Letizia said, “We encourage you to congratulate the staff of Bibiʼz on their great windfall and enjoy their cuisine, while also remembering to pop in to one of the other 41 eateries and countless small businesses that continue to make Westwood the Hub of the Pascack Valley.” For videos of Martin applying for aid and receiving the good news from Portnoy, see 4qkucz617x1n. The nonprofit 30 Day Fund was launched by Virginia technology entrepreneur Pete Snyder and his wife, Burson. Working with other business leaders throughout the nation, the Fund says its goal is to help save as many jobs as possible. The funds disbursed do not need to be repaid, but if businesses who receive the Fundʼs assistance do, at a later date, wish to “pay it forward, they may do so by directing those dollars back to the Fund, which will disburse them to another business in need, it says. The Barstool Fund says at its website,, “If you are able to help, you can make a tax deductible contribution to support small businesses featured [with us] by clicking Contribute to the Fund.” It adds, individuals also can support small businesses by purchasing Barstool Fund apparel. It promises, “All net proceeds will go toward supporting small businesses.” — Additional reporting by John Snyder


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RIVER VALE 412 Rivervale Road (201) 391-2323 • Are you a tea lover or just getting started and want to taste and learn about all different kinds of tea? Then join the River Vale Library Tea Club! Sign up each month to receive a sample of a variety of tea along with information about its history and how to brew the perfect cup. River Vale residents only. Space is limited. Registration is required. • The Childrenʼs Craft-toGo for the week of Feb. 1 is all about the Lunar New Year. Stop by the library this week to pick up a dragon craft for your child (pre-K through fifth grade) to complete at home. One craft per child. Supplies are limited. • Qigong for Health and Wellbeing, an exercise series for all ages, will meet over Zoom each Tuesday, 10:30–11:30 a.m., starting Feb. 2. Visit the libraryʼs website to sign up. • River Vale Readers Book Club (grades 2–3) meets on Zoom Tuesday, Feb. 2 from 4 to 4:30 p.m. to discuss “Max and the Midknights” by Lincoln Peirce. Registration is required; sign up online.

• Winter Story Time with Miss Tyne is on Zoom this Thursday, Feb. 4 from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Stories, songs and fun for toddlers and pre-K. Registration required for each session. Story time crafts can be picked up at the beginning of each week to do at home. • The Healthy Aging Series presents “Strong Bones for Life,” a virtual Zoom program, Friday, Feb. 5 from 11 a.m. to noon. Learn how to keep mature bones healthy, stave off osteoporosis, and prevent falls. Pre-register on the libraryʼs website for access. • The virtual workshop Genealogy for Beginners will offer tips to get you started in discovering your familyʼs roots. On Zoom Monday, Feb. 8 from 11 a.m. to noon. Pre-register on the libraryʼs website to receive meeting information. • The In-BeTween Book Club for grades 4–5 will discuss “Smile” by Raina Telgemeier. This program is held via Zoom on Monday, Feb. 8 at 4 p.m. Registration is required for access. • Kids in grades 2–6 can learn to make Healthy After-School Snacks (with a Valentineʼs Day twist!) Tuesday, Feb. 9 from 4 to 5 p.m. Zoom session features Shoprite registered dietitian Barbara Stavrou. Find ingredient list and signup link on libraryʼs website. • The Friends of the River Vale Library Book Group meets the second Wednesday of every

TOWNSHIP OF WASHINGTON 144 Woodfield Road (201) 664-4586 • Prep for the big game with the Super Snack Bowl, Feb. 1–5 at noon on the libraryʼs website and social media. There will be easy dip and snack tutorials. Comment and join the fun with your own recipes. • Chair Yoga for Everyone, presented by Apple Rose Yoga, is offered free for Washington Township library patrons on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. (Note: There is no class Feb. 1.) Visit the libraryʼs website for information. • Latte with a Librarian is on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on Facebook Live. Allyssa talks about her favorite titles and new releases. Participate and share your lattes and current reads via chat. • STEAM Thursdays, a program for school-age kids, is every

Thursday at 4 p.m. Each week the kids make a craft or try a science experiment. Links on library website and social media. • Winter Story Times are posted weekly on Facebook, YouTube, and the libraryʼs website. Music, reading, puppets and flannel board stories educate, entertain. Register online. Infants/toddlers: Fridays at 10 a.m. Preschoolers: Tuesdays at 10 a.m. WESTWOOD 49 Park Ave. (201) 664-0583 • Intro to Scratch Coding on Zoom (grades 1–3) continues Tuesday, Feb. 2 from 4:30–5:30 p.m. Meets weekly in January and February. Register online. • Early Reader Book Club: Geronimo Stilton (grades 3–4) is on Google Meet Wednesday, Feb. 3 from 4–4:45 p.m. Read a different book each month in this fun, interactive mouse series. For February: “Geronimoʼs Valentine.” Books available at the library circulation desk. Kids should read the book prior to the meeting. Registration on the libraryʼs website. • In the childrenʼs Financial Literacy series, grades 3–5 learn the importance of money through basic education, interactive games and fun lessons. Each week the series covers different concepts: saving/budgeting, bartering,

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goods/services, starting a business, needs vs. wants, and more. On Zoom Wednesday, Feb. 3 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. (also Feb. 10, 17 and 24). Register online. • Java Coding (grades 4–5) is Thursday, Feb. 4 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. • Dr. Eric Kaplan, board certified functional neurologist, presents “Improve Your Brain Power,” a Zoom program, on Thursday, Feb. 4 from 7 to 8 p.m. Register for access. • Bendy Bookworm (ages 1–5) is on Zoom Friday, Feb. 5 from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Little ones learn easy yoga poses while interacting with a story. Register online for access. • Black History Awareness: Buffalo Soldiers (grades 4–5) is on Google Meet Friday, Feb. 5 from 4 to 4:45 p.m. Kids will learn about the famous African American Buffalo Soldiers and their role in history. Visit the libraryʼs website for signup and to find a worksheet to print before the session. • Valentine Dessert with Sogno Coffee is on Zoom Sunday, Feb. 7 from 3 to 4 p.m. Learn how to make an awesome Valentineʼs Day dessert with Alyssa and Johnny. Register online for access.

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Eileen is on Facebook Live Saturdays from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Stories, science and more geared towards kids in primary grades.

month at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. Newcomers welcome. For Feb. 10 the title is “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover. Register on the libraryʼs website. • Kids can meet Michelangelo the miniature therapy horse when he makes a virtual appearance via Zoom on Thursday, Feb. 11 from 4 to 5 p.m. Children in pre-K through fifth grade will learn about miniature horses and, since they are too small to ride, what other important jobs they have. Register online for access.




ON THE ROAD What to do in the aftermath of a car accident

Car accidents happen every day. Though the World Health Organization reports that approximately 1.35 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes, many more people walk away from such accidents relatively unscathed. In such instances, knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath of an accident can help drivers and passengers stay safe and start on their road to physical and financial recovery. No two car accidents are the same, but the Insurance Information Institute recommends anyone involved in a car accident take the following steps to make the most informed decisions in what is often a difficult situation. • Assess your physical condition. The III recommends people involved in accidents check themselves for injuries in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Call 9-1-1 if you are hurt. If youʼre seriously injured, try to remain still and only move with the assistance of emergency response personnel. • Assess passengersʼ physical condition. Drivers who are not too hurt to move can check on their passengers after assessing their own condition. Before moving a passenger who is injured, speak with an emer-

gency response professional. This person can assess the situation and determine if itʼs safe to move an injured passenger or if itʼs best to wait for first responders to arrive on the scene. • Get to a safe place. If possible, move to the side of the road or a sidewalk. If itʼs safe to move a vehicle and the vehicle is in a hazardous position, such as in the middle of the road, pull it to the side of the road. If the vehicle wonʼt start of you suspect it could be dangerous to move it, leave the car where it is and get yourself and any passengers who can move to the side of the road or a sidewalk. • Call 9-1-1. If you have not already done so, call 9-1-1 once you have gotten to a safe place. The III notes that no accident is too minor to involve the police, and some local laws even mandate that all traffic accidents be immediately reported. Be sure to fill out an accident report, which can be vital for drivers who intend to file claims with their insurance providers. • Turn the vehicle off. If the vehicle is still running, turn it off. Turn on the vehicleʼs hazard lights and, if you can physically do so and itʼs safe to do so, place road flares around the car to warn fellow motorists.

THE INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE recommends anyone involved in a car accident take these steps to make the most informed decisions in what is often a difficult situation…

• Exchange information. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver once everyone has determined that they are not injured. The III recommends exchanging full names and contact information. Specific information like insurance companies and policy numbers, driverʼs license numbers and license plate numbers, the exact location of the accident, and the type, color and model of the other driverʼs vehicle also should be exchanged and noted.

• Avoid discussing fault with the other driver. Drivers will not determine whoʼs at fault. Such decisions are made by insurance adjusters. Discussing fault with the other driver in the immediate aftermath of an accident can lead to difficult, potentially heated exchanges. • Document the accident. The III recommends motorists involved in accidents identify the responding police officers and ask them how to obtain copies of the official accident

report. Take pictures and speak with any witnesses, jotting down their names and contact information if possible. • Notify your insurance provider. Notify your insurance provider as soon as possible. You can even do so from the scene of the accident if youʼre capable of doing so. This can jump-start the claims process. Knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath of a car accident can calm driversʼ nerves and get them on the road to recovery that much sooner.

The top distractions behind the wheel

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A vehicle driven at 55 miles per hour or faster can traverse the length of a football field in a matter of seconds. Driving requires not only knowledge of the rules of the road and skill behind the wheel, but also concentration on the task at hand. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says as many as one in 10 deaths are now attributed to driver distraction. Distractions can come in many forms but fall into one of three categories: manual, visual, and cognitive. Any distraction has the potential for serious consequences, including deadly accidents. Hereʼs a look at some of the common distractions and how to avoid them.

• Mobile phone use: Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. Texting combines cognitive, manual and visual distractions. Turn off phones while behind the wheel to help reduce the temptation to grab the phone. • Daydreaming: Being lost in oneʼs thoughts can be a big distraction. Driving with something heavy on oneʼs mind can cause a person to lose track of the road. This may occur when experiencing intense emotions, particularly anger or stress. Thereʼs also a condition called “highway hypnosis”

that causes drivers to “zone out” while driving. It often occurs while driving on open highways for extended periods of time. Taking breaks and pulling over if you notice your mind wandering can help. • Pets and children: Young children or unsecured pets can be very distracting in the car. As a child calls out, begins to cry or wants his or her needs met, drivers may turn to address those needs and take their eyes off the road. Pets that are moving around the vehicle also may distract a driver. All pets and children should be secure in the vehicle at all times. • Adjusting the GPS: Recalibrating the GPS or entering an address while driving can be a distraction. Itʼs best not to touch the GPS unless the car is in park and at a complete stop. • Eating or drinking: Taking hands off the wheel to enjoy that drive-thru meal can be a mistake. Looking down at food and removing hands from the wheel reduces oneʼs ability to steer and react immediately to sudden traffic hazards. If drivers become knowledgeable of the significant hazards of distracted driving they can make changes to improve overall safety. Completing certain tasks before leaving home or while the vehicle is parked can keep you safer.



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Borough: ‘Family Town’ mourns; leans into 2021 to distribute any vaccines to the general public. If and when that happens, it will be reported through the Office of Emergency Management and all residents will be notified in advance.” Taking an overview of the past difficult year, she said “Here at home the borough has continued to move on in as normal a fashion as possible, considering our many losses. We grieve with all of the Emerson families who have lost a loved one in the past year and continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers.” She said of the financial health of the borough, “2020 was challenging in many ways. While COVID-19 made its presence known in March of 2020, at that point, there were still many uncertainties regarding the virus, and the long-term impact is still to be determined.” She said, “It was determined that it would be in the best interest of the borough to enact a spending moratorium for all departments, boards and commissions. This moratorium has allowed the Borough to cancel approximately $47,000 of unused funds and place them directly into surplus.” Surplus is a tool used to offset tax increases. “The moratorium also facilitated less spending by the borough


which resulted in only 92% of the 2020 budget being expended, a savings of $139,000 to the taxpayer,” she said. Aside from Covid-19, the borough began the process of permanently funding more than $6.8 million in debt that had been issued over the past five years, she said. “We held a competitive sale for $6,820,000 general improvement bonds. The borough received several bids and the lowest responsible bidder afforded us a net interest cost of only 1.184%. These bonds will mature over 12 years, with interest rates ranging from 1% to 1.50%,” she said. “Initial projections were higher but because of competitive rates, market fluctuations and the unknown impact of Covid-19, the actual payment will result in the borough paying $565,700 of interest over the life of the bonds, a net savings to us of over $629,175 compared to what was originally anticipated,” DiPaola said. She lauded fiscally responsible planning that led to the borough maintaining a Standard and Poor bond rating of “AA+.” She said, “Another tool which afforded the borough a savings was the diligent accounting of all funds expended due to Covid-19 by all borough staff and our OEM coordinator. I am pleased to announce that the borough was

able to recoup 100% of all expenses which were deemed eligible, a savings of $204,007.22.”

Other goals met; Borough Hall project advancing DiPaola touted the borough reaching its 2020 goal of livestreaming meetings of the governing body. “This fulfills a promise of making our borough more open and transparent to our residents, an issue Iʼve always felt very strongly about.” She said “The Borough Hall project is finally moving forward and will allow us to preserve our historic building while creating much needed space for our police, ambulance corps, municipal courts, and public meetings.” The governing body made the repair of the firehouse floor and fire escape a priority and finally succeeded in accomplishing this much-needed project, she said. “Not only has this problem been resolved, but it came in under budget,” she said. She added, “We continued to do more with less by working together with the Borough of Upper Saddle River in a shared services agreement to purchase a tree truck to prune, trim and maintain many of our own trees for years to come. This shared service will allow us to save money in our budget while still providing a

quality service.” DiPaola said, “Over the last two years Emerson has been able to repave 60% of our roads and will continue with our road program this year to continue to maintain the quality roads our residents expect.” She said, “This year you will see many projects beginning in the Borough, and listed the downtown redevelopment project, assisting American Legion members in order to facilitate a new meeting room and additional housing “which may contribute to meeting our affordable housing obligations.” She said “the previously awarded grant for streetscape improvements to the Kinderkamack Road corridor to the Westwood border is scheduled to move forward.” DiPaola praised efforts from the dais that provided “a parade for high school seniors who thought they would not have an inperson graduation.” She was proud of the unity service “to support the Police Department during a turbulent time.” And she said “We continue to hold our annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony and we have done all this while maintaining social distancing but at the same time keeping everyone together”

Projects in the hopper, and praise for volunteers Projects that the governing body looks to accomplish this year include the banner program for borough military veterans; a snow shoveling program for seniors in need; a senior bus program in partnership with neighboring municipalities; and “exploring all opportunities that we can using Open Space tax dollars to continue to enhance our community.” DiPaola made special mention of the boroughʼs many volunteers: “Dealing with Covid-19 this [past] year, our volunteers have gone above and beyond what they signed up for, to help our residents. For all our other volunteers who have volunteered for a board, help coach our kids, kept our environment cleaner, helped with our library or on our Land Use Board or our Shade Tree Commission or our Health Board, thank you!” She said in 2020 “Our Family Town came together to help three families who were able to get out of their [destroyed] home safely because of our Emerson Fire Department. I look forward to working with you and the rest of our governing body to continue to provide the service that our residents in our borough deserve.”

Veteran: Hillsdale’s George DeRosa leads by example FROM PAGE 1

Englewood, and the late Vito Trause of Carlstadt/Township of Washington. Tanelli noted that DeRosa grew up in Astoria, Queens. He attended William Cullen Bryant High School, graduating in 1950. Shortly thereafter, DeRosa enlisted in the United States Navy during the Korean War. Here, more detail from Tanelliʼs writeup of the honoree: DeRosa attended basic training at the United States Naval Training Center in Bainbridge, Maryland. After basic training, he was assigned to USS Atka (AGB3), a U.S. Navy icebreaker. As a storekeeper on the USS Atka, DeRosaʼs responsibilities included the purchasing and procurement of food, emergency equipment, and foul weather clothing. The USS Atkaʼs primary responsibility was to provide icebreaking and escort services to support the annual resupply of remote northern Artic bases, such as the Strategic Air Command installation in Thule, Greenland. In the early 1950s, Thule would periodically serve as a dispersal base for B-36 Peacemaker and B47 Stratojet missions. During DeRosaʼs summer deployment to the Artic, the USS

DEDICATION OF the new Veterans Memorial in Hillsdale on Nov. 3, 2019. George DeRosa was one of many who made sure this came to fruition. (Digital Vision Photography)

Atka encountered ice fields ranging 8–10 feet thick. The USS Atka would break the ice fields and the supply vessels would need to follow the shipʼs wake or risk getting locked in the ice. Throughout the day, they would encounter average temperatures of 25 degrees below zero and 50 degrees below zero at night. After his time on the USS Atka, Mr. DeRosa served on the USS San Pablo (AGS-30) and the USS Great Sitkin (AE-17). By the time DeRosa was discharged in 1955 as a petty officer first class, he had traveled the world and been to Greenland, Canada, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, England, Germany, and Sweden. The Navyʼs slogan when Mr. DeRosa joined was “Join the Navy

and see the world.” He certainty saw his fair share of it. After his military service, DeRosa used his GI Bill to attend St. Johnʼs University. After obtaining his college degree, he began a 37-year career with The New York Life Insurance Company. Initially, he worked in sales and sales management, but by the end of his career was the director of compliance for the company. During his time with The New York Life Insurance Company, DeRosa moved to Hillsdale, New Jersey with Joan, his wife. Over the years, he has volunteered within his community. He has served as a local school board member and has been involved with the Hillsdale Historical Society, Meals on Wheels, English as a Second Language program, and

with American Legion, Post 162 in Hillsdale. As an American Legion member for 35 years, he has served as the Post Grand Marshal and Post Commander. He has also won the prestigious Legionnaire of the Year award for his leadership and efforts in constantly recruiting new members for Post 162. Most recently, DeRosa was honored by Congressman Josh Gottheimer as a New Jersey Fifth District Hero for his community service. He resides in Hillsdale with his wife of 61 years. They have a son, daughter, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. ʻAtta-boy!ʼ On Facebook, the honor

drew applause from some of DeRosaʼs many fans. A sample: Gerry Brown wrote, “So very proud of you George, my brother, my friend.” Raymond Kohan shared, “A Kohan Atta-boy to pops!” Gemma Baffa wrote, “Congratulations, George, so well deserved. Thank you for your service!” Lorrie Schneider shared for herself and Chris, “George, congratulations and thank you for your service then and your continued service!” And Edith Tortora Micale said, “So proud of you. A well deserved recognition.” For his part, DeRosa wrote, “Thank you everyone.” General Leonard E. Wood Post 162 in Hillsdale is the post for residents of Hillsdale, Woodcliff Lake, and Old Tappan. Active membership includes veterans from the greater Pascack Valley, Northern New Jersey, and out of state. Visit The Division of Veterans Services was established in 1977 to provide resident veterans and their dependents with information and assistance in obtaining earned entitlements from federal, state, and local governments, as well as any that are available from the private sector.




Marie Pflaum, 90, of the Township of Washington, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. Born in Staten Island, N.Y., to the late Christine and Otto Pahnke, she graduated from New Dorp High School and Wagner College. Marie had a long career as a teacher, with her last position held at Willard School in Ridgewood, where she taught for many years. She was also a longtime volunteer at the Valley Hospital Gift Shop. Marie is predeceased by her husband Philip (2012). She is survived by her sister Gerda Mentha, her nephew Hans (Robin), her grandniece Cassie (David) as well as many dear cousins and friends. Marie was an expert in the kitchen. Her Christmas cookies were an anticipated treat every year. She was a skilled knitter and excellent crafter. Marie loved animals, especially her beloved Dachshunds. Pickwick and Chloe were her last and possibly favorite furry friends. Memorial contributions can be made in Marieʼs memory to the Humane Society of Bergen County, 221-223 Stuyvesant Ave., Lyndhurst, NJ 07071.



Diane Palmer Nason, 49, of New Fairfield, Conn., passed away peacefully on January 15, 2021 after a courageous, quiet battle with cancer. Diane was born on June 2, 1971 in Montvale. She leaves behind her loving husband of 25 years, Fred Nason, and two boys, Daniel (14) and Jonathan (9). She is also survived by her father, Edgar Palmer of Montvale, her sister Karen (Christopher) Brown, and nephews Timothy and Scott of Wilton, Conn. She was predeceased by her mother, Marion Palmer. Diane graduated from Pascack Hills High School (1989) and from Hofstra University (1993) where she studied elementary education and English and met the love of her life, Fred, who she married on July 1, 1995. Diane was a fourth grade teacher at Huckleberry Hill School in Brookfield, Conn. She savored every moment she had with her many loving friends and especially her beautiful family. There is no public service due to the pandemic; however,

you may celebrate her life by posting at You may also contribute to the Connecticut 529 higher education funds for Dianeʼs children. Email DianeNasonMemorial@ for information.

Michael A. SHEA

Michael A. Shea, 67, of Westwood, passed away suddenly on Thursday, January 21, 2021. Avid Mets, Jets, and Jeopardy! fan and lover of all animals. Preceded in death by his parents, John and Patricia Shea, and survived by his three sisters, Wendy DʼOttavio and her late husband Frank of Arizona; P.J. Miller and her husband Mark of Connecticut; and Mae Desrosiers and her husband Al of Westwood. Also survived by his niece Melissa Shea of Westwood and nephew Josh Corpina of Connecticut. The family would appreciate memorial donations to the Bergen County Animal Shelter, 100 United Lane, Teterboro, NJ 07608.

passed away on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. She was 83. Ethel was predeceased by her husband, George H. Frey (2005), and her son, David J. Frey (2007). Ethel is survived by her son Ronald, his wife Deirdre, and daughter-in-law Kristen Frey. Also, five grandsons: Ron, Nikolas, Chris, Cooper and Ahren Frey. She is also survived by one nephew and several nieces. She was a longtime member of the Westwood United Methodist Church. Prior to her retirement, Mrs. Frey worked for the Dumont Board of Education. She enjoyed trips to the Jersey Shore, tai chi classes, lunch with friends, and being a member of the WLSA. Most of all, she loved her family and cherished her five grandsons. She loved going to their games and swim meets, Eagle Scout award ceremonies and having dinner with them. Graveside service was held at Westwood Cemetery.



Ethel M. FREY

Ethel M. Frey of Emerson

Campagna passed away at home on January 19, 2021. She was 108. She leaves behind four children: John Campagna of River Vale, Elaine Kel-

son, Marietta La Vecchia and Gloria Muth, all of Old Tappan; eight grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Dominic in 1971. Jeanne was loved and admired by a great number of people throughout her life and there will be a void left in the lives of many.

Francis L. NEMES

Francis Louis “Frankie” Nemes, 61, of Greenwood Lake, N.Y., until recently a longtime resident of Hillsdale, passed away on Sunday, January 17, 2021 after a valiant struggle with cancer. Frank married the love of his life, Laurie Jackson, in May of 2003. They were always at each otherʼs side through the good times and lifeʼs inevitable hardships. Frank was a hard and tireless worker in the construction industry. He had an indomitable spirit and was always ready and willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. His booming voice, irrepressible smile, his ever-present sense of humor and unique laugh will be missed by all. Born in Astoria, Queens, N.Y., and raised in Hillsdale, Frank grew up in a large, loving family. Family and friendship meant everything to him. Frank is predeceased by his CONTINUED ON PAGE 39

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local vaccination hub. Most mayors who spoke with Pascack Press expressed hope that supply would ease up within weeks or a month but the mayors hold out hopes for a Pascack Valley-based vaccination center soon. Even area hospitals, such as Holy Name Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Health, and Englewood Health, and newly established state mega-vaccination sites, have experienced vaccine shortfalls, the mayors said. While Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo criticized the vaccine rollout overseen by Gov. Phil Murphy and state health commissioner Judy Persichilli, Park Ridge Mayor Keith Misciagna agreed that the most vulnerable residents are being hurt by a lack of vaccines and that needs to be fixed. In Westwood, councilmembers Chris Montana (Senior Advisory Board liaison) and Cheryl Hodges (Board of Health and Hospital liaison) are working, respectively, with the Westwood Senior Advisory Board, and resident volunteers Dee Ross Kalman and Lisa McKoy, toward assisting seniors in pre-registering for Covid 19-inoculations, and with HUMC at Pascack Valley to keep the borough apprised of the federal governmentʼs ongoing vaccine allocation, and upcoming local distribution events. Additionally, the director of Westwood House is exploring the possibility of offering in-house inoculations to Westwood House residents in early February and, if supplies allow, hopes to expand the program to Westwood seniors later in the month. This is not yet confirmed, Mayor Ray Arroyo told Pascack Press on Jan. 26. New Jersey has set up a halfdozen mega-vaccination sites including one at Bergen Countyʼs Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, which began accepting vaccine appointments for eligible individuals Jan. 22. Staffed by Hackensack Meridian Health, the site offers vaccines for health care workers, first responders, people 65 or older, and individuals 16–64 with underlying health issues. More detailed information on eligibility is available on the website as well as links for making appointments at the regional mega-vaccination site:


Group effort Meanwhile, mayors Rendo, Ghassali, and Misciagna are providing regular updates on their Facebook pages and borough websites, hoping to hook up residents with needed vaccine, especially for those matching eligibility criteria. Misciagna said vaccine-eligible residents are calling Borough Hall and emailing him to find out where to go to get a vaccine shot, which have been in short supply for weeks, with supplies limited even to area hospitals that have run out. Misciagna said he anticipates as supply issues are resolved over the next weeks, more vaccines will become available and that may allow a more accessible local site to open. He compared the heavy demand for vaccines to “the last half-hour of a very long car ride” where everyone just wants it to be over. He said the shortage of vaccine doses is limiting vaccination sites but most mayors and towns are posting vaccination registration information and sites online. He said the shortages of vaccines, delays, and difficulty in securing a vaccine, even for those in eligible groups, “has been frustrating for so many of our residents…especially those not computer- or internet-savvy.” Residents can visit for details. Anyone can register at that site to get on the list to be contacted when your category is eligible. Additionally, vaccine clinics have opened for distribution. Misciagna posted, “The distribution protocols have been frustrating to say the least and the information seems to change quickly. That being said, my best advice is to visit the distribution site websites often to check availability.” Many vaccination sites are only accepting online reservations, although information about registration and wait times can be obtained via phone. Bergen County sites listed include Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Paramus, (800) 7302762; Hackensack Meridian Health (multiple locations), (833) 565-0404; Holy Name Medical Center, Paramus Board of Health, (201) 265-2100; and ShopRite

Pharmacy, Englewood, (856) 6278137. Ghassali informed residents Jan. 24 that he was working with Misciagna and Rendo to try to bring a regional vaccination site nearer to residents. Meanwhile, he urged residents to monitor the borough website for updates and get a free Covid-19 test through Bergen County. “We have local doctors and locations ready and able to host a vaccination center, and working with [neighboring towns] to use a local location. It comes down to vaccine supply,” he said. He added, “As you have been hearing about the vaccine supply shortage, thatʼs where the issue is and not our locations or personnel.” Rendo said the mayors are working to assist residents in securing a vaccine and that he has reached out to Valley and Holy Name hospitals to see if they would partner on administering the vaccine at Tice Senior Center. “The biggest issue has been supply and demand. One of our potential partners is contacting the governorʼs office to ascertain the availability of the vaccine and the process of administering it,” Rendo said. He promised to keep residents informed and urged them to continue registering for the vaccine on the state website. Rendo, whose borough hosts four nursing or assisted living facilities, said he was not aware of any nursing home residents receiving their vaccines, though nursing homes are in the first tier of vaccine recipients on the stateʼs priority list. “These nursing homes are the first that should be vaccinated,” Rendo said. He questioned the state not prioritizing vaccines for nursing home patients after early Covid-19 outbreaks in many private and veteransʼ nursing homes, leading to a disproportionate number of nursing home patient deaths. “Itʼs a free-for-all in New Jersey now and our residents are frustrated,” said Rendo. He called the stateʼs vaccine distribution management “a debacle” with people feeling helpless and frustrated trying to get a vaccine they desperately need. He said he reached out to the state to secure vaccines “and hit a brick wall. Now itʼs a mad scram-

ble to get vaccinated and the state is not being transparent with people about whatʼs going on.” He said the state did not prioritize “its most vulnerable residents” while noting a resident with cancer recently traveled to Neptune to secure a vaccine. He said should vaccines be available, he could quickly mobilize a site and staffing, with volun-

Frank is survived and will be greatly missed by his cherished, loving and devoted wife, Laurie. He will also be greatly missed by his four loving siblings, Karen (Gary Lesneski), Kevin, Bill (Simone Weiss), and Inez (Andrew Lewis), and his sister and brother-in-law, Lynn (nee Jackson) and Bill Meister.

Uncle Frank also leaves behind many adoring nieces and nephews and their spouses: Matthew, Jaclyn, Jolene, Ged, Daniel, Erica (Lesneski), Kevin, Lynne, Paul, Courtney, Michael, Lisa, William (Nemes), Mikayla, Zach (Nemes), Andrew, Olivia, Melanie, Matt, Julia (Lewis), Alyssa, Stefan, Billy, Nicolette (Meister), and his great-nieces and nephews Matalyn, Lucas, Sadie, Leo, Chanelle, Victoria, Milania,

Maximilian, Elliana, Olivia, Ava and Tessa. Frankie will also be missed by his many cousins and their families, among them the ones he grew up with: Bobby, Angela and Maria Mele, and Jimmy, Claire and Susan Nemes. Last but not least, Frank leaves behind innumerable good friends (too many to mention here) whom he considered his family, and with whom he shared


OBITUARIES parents, Mary Theresa “Tess” (nee Mele) and William Nemes, who loved him dearly. Also predeceased by his grandfather and aunt, Frank and Angela Mele, who shared his childhood home and whom he adored and considered his “other parents.”


teers who already agreed to help, and get vaccines to high-priority Pascack Valley residents effectively and conveniently. For more information, follow the New Jersey Department of Health: Twitter: @njdeptofhealth Facebook: /njdeptofhealth Instagram: @njdeptofhealth Website:


Patience, 50-Plus Club. No meetings yet


Vaccines: Mayors team up to create a valley hub


Organizers of the St. Andrewʼs 50-Plus Club (Westwood) regretfully announce that due to the pandemic, the club still does not have permission to schedule in-person monthly meetings. Meetings would normally have started back up in September. “We certainly will advise everyone when our meetings may be resumed,” they write. “Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.”



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. his heart and soul, and joy of life. Despite the terrible void caused by his death, precious memories of times shared with Frank will continue to reside in the hearts of all who knew him, and in so doing, his spirit will live on forever. There will be an outdoor memorial/celebration of Frankʼs life at a date yet to be determined.