Wednesday, June 26, 2013

End of an Era At BOE

Last night's surprise resignation of Mary Shaughnessy as Board of Education President marked the 4 year mark in an era of remarkable bipartisanship on a board that has been a perennial target for parents, teachers and students.
Looking at her 2012 campaign website, her platform can now be viewed as a list of significant accomplishments that seemed like pipedreams when she first won the presidency 4 years ago:
+ Promote cooperation between the school board, the superintendent, educators, and the community.
+ Create a vibrant, high-quality school system that will benefit all Bloomfield taxpayers by improving our local property tax values.
+ Support curriculum and individualized instruction that demonstrably enhances student achievement.
+ Create more pathways to parent involvement. Increase BOE transparency with more accessible and informative meeting agendas and TV coverage.
+ Work diligently to balance the needs of students with those of taxpayers. Ensure discipline and true accomplishment are maintained and advanced.
+ Work vigorously for Bloomfield’s fair share of state aid. Fight to end unfunded mandates. financial and administrative stress.

Among her most important achievements was the creation of a remarkably bipartisan board by personally recruiting the best and brightest education focussed candidates from all corners. Less well known are her extensive volunteer efforts preceding her presidency. She started the series of televised candidates forums for local council candidates that will be continued this fall. She was a founding member of the Brookdale Park Conservancy and was instrumental in fighting unwise developments such DeSimone's condo application on Liongate that has become Bloomfield's newest nature preserve.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Memphis Blues in South Dakota

Besides being a safe haven for banks and credit card companies, South Dakota has become notorious for having the most tolerant attitude toward animal abuse in the country. According to the ASPCA, it's the only state with no felony statutes for the prosecution of serious cases of cruelty.

The state also has a long history of breaking up Native American tribal families by taking their children away from parents for adoption by white families.

 Could this notoriety have led Lore to exile Memphis there? Her refusal to provide details on the "retraining" of Memphis has led to all kinds of public speculation as to the dog's current condition.
Some were expecting him to appear in a dramatic doggie dance on America's Got Talent. Others are predicting he will perform an the annual Sturgis SD biker rally this summer.

Although the township has taken over control of the shelter since March, the Town Administrator has continued NtNN's policy of not answering questions or providing updates.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Notice Taken!!!

Despite the exclamation marks, this policy is not new. The town has just decided that it's time to be stricter at enforcement. All towns require some form of certification of occupancy. In Bloomfield, it has tended to be a drive by of a code enforcer or spot checks by fire code inspectors for smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.
They can now inspect for an array of issues including basement bedrooms and permits for improvements. The fees for a cco can vary:

Type Fee 
Single-family residential dwelling $125 
Two-family residential dwelling $185 
Three-family residential dwelling $280 
Each additional dwelling unit $95 (not to exceed $1,000 in total) 
Commercial and manufacturing buildings: 
Buildings up to 5,000 square feet $315 
Buildings from 5,001 to 20,000 square feet $625 
Buildings from 20,001 to 50,000 square feet $935 
Buildings over to 50,001 square feet $1,250 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Water Water Everywhere......

This week's Bloomfield Independent Press is reporting that Bloomfield has reach a tentative settlement in its 6 year dispute with the city of Newark. Bloomfield is also expected to sign a 10 year agreement to continue using the Newark watershed as it's sole water supply.

"Newark claimed that during the disputed six-year period, Bloomfield had used more water than its daily allotment of 6.5 million gallons.
The city said this was because Bloomfield’s water meters sometimes weren’t making accurate readings, Lasek said in a telephone interview last week."

Terri Seuss is the guest speaker at this Saturday's meeting of the Bloomfield Neighborhood Association Committee. Terry lives in Newark and has been a leader in the fight against privatizing Newark's water system. The 10 AM meeting will be held in the Mayor's Conference Room on the 2nd floor of ythe Police Building and is free and open to the public.

A lively discussion is also expected in Newark Wednesday evening when the Sierra Club hosts a panel discussion concerning the city's role in "The Water Wars." 

Friday, June 07, 2013

Our Flood Gage Passes Its Latest Test

It'a been awhile since The Third River has hit flood stage. Tropical Storm Andrea pushed the river to it's highest point since Hurricane Irene,.The National Weather Service kees a gage at the bend of the river near Belleville Ave. by The Garden State Parkway which is updated promptly on the hour online. This storm appears to have crested at 5.29 feet.  The link can be accessed here at anytime.

Here are some other recent flood levels:
Historical Crests
(1) 9.97 ft on 09/16/1999
(2) 7.79 ft on 04/15/2007
(3) 7.36 ft on 09/06/2008
(4) 7.34 ft on 10/19/1996
(5) 6.58 ft on 06/05/1992
(6) 6.52 ft on 05/03/1991
(7) 6.48 ft on 03/28/2005
(8) 6.20 ft on 07/19/2002
(9) 6.18 ft on 05/16/1990