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Year in Review, July Through Dec 2012

A look back at the second half of the year that was in local news: New Milford 2012.

July

The Floods and the Fury: We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

The New Jersey DEP turns its back on maintaining Bergen County's waterways as homeowners and small business owners suffer the financial and emotional cost of repetitive flooding.

Driscoll Demands United Water's Boots On Ground

Bergen County Freeholder John Driscoll questioned why United Water had no representative with "boots on ground" in Bergen County during Hurricane Irene. He wanted to know why United Water representatives were communicating from Idaho instead of from the site of the Bergen County OEM Command Center in Mahwah.

N.J. Pushes Bistate Flood Commission

New Jersey legislators and mayors urge New York to pass legislation creating a bistate flood commission to coordinate management and flood prevention of waterways that flow between Rockland and Bergen counties.

Bergenfield Weighs In On Hekemian Development

Bergenfield speaks out to negative impact of United Water Property Development will have on neighboring towns.

Back to the Future: Seeds of Controversy Planted in the United Water Property

A look back at New Milford's Master Plan's from 1970 to the present; how a town transformed itself from a farming community to a bedroom community in a few hundred pages and 40 years, and how the United Water property became part of the conversation.

Unhinging Affordable Housing Component from United Water Property

Although the 2004 master plan parked the town's affordable housing obligation here, a fact that is the crux of Hekemian's argument before the zoning board, can it be moved elsewhere?

Teaneck Residents Oppose Sanzari's Expansion

Sanzari's New Bridge Inn is seeking a variance to expand and knock down two homes on the property. Teaneck residents say traffic and flooding will increase.

Fresh & Fancy Farms Gets Ok to Build on Preserved Land

The zoning board passed a resolution last week approving the variances sought by Fresh & Fancy Farms to relocate an existing greenhouse, construct a new greenhouse and construct a new 36' x 60' barn with a greenhouse and 12 foot overhang.

'Field of Dreams' Goes to November Ballot

Council authorizes 'Field of Dreams' to be put as a referendum question on the November ballot; estimated cost of field to taxpayers between $62 and $70 per year.

Letter Referencing Colorado Shooting Prompts Nursing Home Lockdown

Woodcrest Center Nursing Home staff received a letter referencing Aurora, Colorado shootings; bomb squad and K-9 unit called in.

New Milford Man Accused of Causing Bergen County Courthouse Flood

A 27-year-old New Milford man was arrested after he broke a water pipe at the Bergen County Courthouse, causing significant damage and forcing the building to close.

New Police Hires Approved

Mayor and council approve the hiring of new police officers to replace two recent departures, reduce overtime costs.

Dramatic Rise in District's A.P. Scores

72.2 percent of those New Milford High School students who sat for the Advanced Placement (A.P.) exam scored a 3 or better. This represents a dramatic increase over 2011 where only 46 percent of students who sat for the A.P. exam scored a 3 or better.

Assignment: Rebuilding New Orleans

Students from David E. Owens Middle School and New Milford High School recently returned from their "Rebuilding New Orleans" trip. 

DEOMS social studies teacher Ray Cottiers (NMHS 2004) decided on a trip to rebuild New Orleans where students could experience the larger world outside of New Milford and help people in need in their own country.

Labor of Love: Girl Scouts Unveil Permanent Memorial on Merschrod Bridge

Wendy Mackey and the Girl Scouts of Troop 1507 wanted to create a lasting monument to honor the veterans on the Merschrod Bridge that would really catch the eye of people passing by.

August

Impact of Hekemian Development on Community

SOD examines Hekemian engineer on noise pollution and flooding; Oradell and Bergenfield residents turn out in support.

Flood Hazard Area Protections Control Development

Hekemian's expert engineer stressed that the proposed development must comply with flood hazard area protections established by the DEP, but left residents asking, "What does that mean?"

United Water Rezoning Study Challenges Affordable Housing Plan

If New Milford's COAH requirements can be moved elsewhere, does this debunk Hekemian's "inherently beneficial use" argument?

Traffic Impact of United Water Development

Elizabeth "Betsy" Dolan, a traffic engineer hired by Hekemian to analyze the traffic impact and trip generation of the proposed development of the United Water property, appeared before the zoning board of adjustment to provide testimony on the traffic study she prepared for the proposed site.

Oradell Residents Worried by Hekemian Development's Traffic Impact

Oradell Mayor considers suing New Milford if variances approved; Oradell residents expressed their concerns in their home town as New Milford Zoning Board heard the proposed United Water development's impact on traffic in New Milford.

No Movement On United Water Rezoning Study

Mayor & Council discuss option of going forward with rezoning study and give their opinion on what they would like to see on that property.

Will Proposed Development Tax Emergency Services

If approved, will the development of the United Water property impact emergency services?

Teaneck Residents Voice Opposition To Sanzari Expansion

Teaneck residents start petition against Sanzari's expansion--concerned that knockdown of two houses to create additional parking will increase flooding and traffic.

Town Cracks Down On Illegal Sump Pump Hook-Ups

BCUA warns towns that all illegal sump pump hook-ups to sanitary sewer lines must be corrected by Dec. 31, 2012.

Superintendent Questions Legitimacy of New Jersey Monthly's High School Rankings

Outdated data and conclusions based on calculations few comprehend have Superintendent Michael Polizzi asking New Jersey Monthly, "What makes a great school, great?"

Community Spirit: New Milford's National Night Out

National Night Out a huge success as community gathers under the stars to enjoy a night out on the town.

September

'Zoey's Project' Is A Brush With Kindness

Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County makes life easier for one seven-year old New Milford girl and her family.

Rob McClure Stars As Chaplin On Broadway

New Milford's Rob McClure stars as Charlie Chaplin in the Broadway production of 'Chaplin, The Musical.'

1980 DEP Flood Map Trumps 2005 FEMA Map

In determining floodways, plains and zones, a FEMA map can only be used if a town does not have an existing DEP map.

Original Hekemian Offer Back On Table; Grant Calls For Investigation

Rezoning property keeps Hekemian's original offer on the table. Calling it "United Water-gate" Councilwoman Hedy Grant calls for special counsel to investigate failure of Mayor and Council to vote on the purchase of United Water property.

Bergen County Police Chiefs Remember 9/11

Bergen County Police Chiefs hold 9/11 memorial service at the Westfield Garden State Plaza.

SOD Submits Petition Protesting Rezoning United Water Property

1100 signatures are hand delivered to the Mayor and Council asking them not to rezone the United Water property.

Oradell Plans To Fight New Milford Redevelopment

While members of Stop Over Development build opposition to the New Milford Redevelopment Associates project, the Borough of Oradell is strategizing their own plan of attack.

A Frontline Perspective: Police Deal With the Mentally Ill

As state spending on mental health services declines, local police departments and emergency services find themselves picking up the pieces. New Milford is no exception.

Hekemian's traffic expert says additional traffic that may result from the proposed development of the United Water property can be accommodated because the roads are underutilized.

Alleged Burglar Arrested at Garden State Plaza

Alleged burglar, Jeremy Buttigieg, arrested at the food court of the Garden State Plaza after eluding police for a month.

Joshua's Legacy

A family's journey from personal pain to helping others by raising money, and lending support, to find a cure for congenital heart defects.

Sheninger Selected As Emerging Leader

NMHS Principal Eric Sheninger recognized as an emerging leader by PDK International, a global association of education professionals.

SOD Takes Protest March To Borough Hall

Over 100 residents turn out to turn up the heat on stopping over development.

Mayor Says 'My Party Is New Milford'

Subrizi says without rezoning, all control over the United Water property will rest with the courts when Hekemian appeals, leaving New Milford entirely out of the decision making process.

October

New Milford Police arrested Vincent Ortenzio, of New Milford and Amanda Gaeta, of Paramus, charging the 21-year-old pair in connection with an armed robbery that occured at the River Road 7-Eleven.

New Milford High School Ranked 8th by Education Week

Education Week ranked New Milford High School eighth in its list of the top 13 high schools worth visiting.

Zoning Board Grants Approval To Gospel Fellowship Church

Board grants variance approval after applicant submits revised plan reducing parking, impervious coverage.

Police Caution Parents After Children Say Man Approached Them

Two incidents of attempted child luring prompts Chief Papapietro to caution parents.

Luring Incident Under Investigation in New Milford

A 17-year-old female resident reported being approached by an unknown white male in a car Thursday on Henley Avenue.

Second Luring Incident Under Investigation in New Milford

A 10-year old girl and 7-year old boy allegedly approached near Faller Drive and River Road.

Report of a third attempted child luring at Dunkin' Donuts on a Saturday morning.

Man Matching Description of Westwood Lurer Asks Two Girls For Directions

Girls report that a man who asked them for directions reportedly matched the description of the man allegedly involved in the attempted luring in Westwood.

Police And Schools Partner to Talk To Students About Luring Incidents

New Milford Police partner with the New Milford School district to talk to students about luring and give them a chance to voice their concerns.

Police Chief Answers Questions On Luring At Mayor and Council Meeting

Chief of Police Frank Papapietro came to the October meeting of the Mayor and Council to speak about his department's investigation into the reported incidents of luring and answer questions from concerned residents.

New Police Officers Are Sworn In

In the first step towards rebuilding the ranks depleted by retirements and departures, two new police officers take oath of office.

Sandy: Trees Come Down as Wind Picks Up

DPW responding to downed trees, River is rising, Fire Department on call at firehouses.

Morning After Clean-Up From Sandy

WIth trees and power lines down throughout town, Tuesday will show just how much damage Sandy wrought.

Local Emergency Services On Sandy: Winds Made For Dangerous Conditions

Winds caused PSE&G to pull their repair crews and kept emergency services working through the night responding to calls of downed trees and wires.

Sandy's Aftermath In New Milford In Photos

There was barely a street in New Milford that did not see destruction from Sandy in downed trees, wires and poles.

November

Scrambling For Gas In Sandy's Aftermath

River Road becomes a parking lot as power comes on at gas stations and people scramble to get gas.

Police Chief Offers Thanks To All Who Responded To Sandy

Chief Papapietro recognizes those who gave so much to so many during the cold, dark days and nights that Sandy left in her wake.

Democrats Take Election In Unofficial Count; Field Of Dreams Defeated

Preliminary counts show Putrino and Ashley take the election, while residents cast a resounding 'no' for the Field of Dreams.

Campaign Ad Forces Rebsch's Recusal From United Water Property Hearing

Rebsch's recusal leaves Zoning Board with minimum quorum and no alternates; Planning Board will appoint one of their members so hearing can proceed.

Hackensack Riverkeeper Supports Development of United Water Property

Citing land as "post-industrial," Hackensack Riverkeeper says United Water property is not considered a critical habitat and sides with Subrizi in favoring Hekemian's original plan for development.

New Milford Recycling Going Out To Bid

Inconsistent curb-side pick up forces Mayor and Council to go out to bid for recycling services.

NMHS Selected 'School Of The Month'

eSchoolNews recognizes NMHS as 'School of the Month' for its commitment to using technology as an effective tool in the classrooms.

New Milford Junior Knights Win Super Bowl

Second year in a row, Junior Knights take the title.

December

Hekemian Submits Substantial Changes to United Water Property Site Plan

The revisions, which replace a considerable number of proposed housing units and the proposed restaurant with flood storage basins, appear to be designed to alleviate the public's concerns regarding increased flooding in that area should the development be approved.

Zoning Board To Consider Treating Hekemian Revisions As New Application

Do the latest revisions to Hekemian's application for variance approval constitute the filing of a new application?

Fate of United Water Property Divides Town

Subrizi talks about grant money and rezoning; Casey reserves comments regarding her reported statements regarding grant money for United Water property.

Zoning Board Reaffirms Sanzari Variance Approval But Sets Conditions

The Board conditions re-affirmation of variances on a limitation of maximum number of seats.

DNA Links Suspect to Burglaries At Elks Lodges

DNA evidence collected from a surgical mask left at the scene connects suspect to Tenafly and New Milford Elks Lodge burglaries.

A Christmas Wish For A Dying Boy

The story heard 'round the world started on the front page of New Milford Patch. From New York to California, Hawaii, England, Australia and most places in-between, first responders answered Nathan Norman's call.

Autistic Training For Law Enforcement

With one in 49 children diagnosed with autism in New Jersey, police departments take proactive step in partnering with POAC to offer training to police officers.

A Nation Left Speechless

There are no words to explain the tragedy of the massacre of children in Newtown, Connecticut.

Autism is Not...

Autism did not massacre 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut.

New Milford Lights Up For The Holidays As Santa Comes To Town

The town comes out for the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree and the arrival of Santa by firetruck.

Education With A Purpose: A Master Plan For New Milford Public Schools

With the costs associated with the plan high, Polizzi urges BOE to stay apprised of any developments and opportunities that may arise in connection with the United Water property that is adjacent to NMHS.

Fueled by five interceptions, Kinnelon Colts beat New Milford 26-14 to capture State title.

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