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Topics - just watching

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Hackensack Discussion / merge police and fire ?
« on: December 23, 2015, 07:03:13 PM »
Jersey City, East Orange, and now Newark, have each merged their police and fire departments.  Advocates say it will save a lot of money, and it's a better system.  Is this a good idea, or not.

Hackensack Discussion / Clean Communities Day ?
« on: November 02, 2015, 01:20:45 AM »
Does anyone know if Hackensack is having a cleanup day this Fall ?  For the volunteers to clean up parks, riverfront, etc.

Information Resources / 1929 main roads and highways
« on: December 08, 2013, 11:45:15 AM »
Shows Hackensack area with the George Washington Bridge as proposed, and very different locations proposed for Routes 4 and 17

Hackensack Discussion / Mega data download to INFORMATION RESOURCES
« on: December 08, 2013, 11:14:24 AM »
Today I downloaded a staggering amount of information to the INFORMATION RESOURCES section of

I filled it with Historic Maps, databases, access to aerial photos, etc.  My favorites are the 1839 and 1891 detailed zoomable maps of the Hackensack area, as well as the 1913 Browley collection.   You can even research on NJ's "transparency" website the ownership and property value information of any property.  I guess that's legal and public information, it's a state website.

Answers can now be found to all the discussions we've ever had, or may have in the future, about old photos and maps and places in Hackensack. Someone emailed me one of the maps, and it just prompted me to research. By the way, most of this information I found on the online version of the Ridgewood Public Library.

This Information Resources page is readily accessible from the home page, or just click here,11.0.html?PHPSESSID=cbc81f35706676eab939e4e7e79dd9ac

Information Resources / Lot & Block ownership and assessment
« on: December 08, 2013, 10:57:39 AM »
Find out who owns any property, the lot dimensions, and assessed value. All I can say is that Big Brother is watching. They call this 'transparency'.

Information Resources / Old Aerial maps
« on: December 08, 2013, 10:53:59 AM »
Enter any address (Hackensack or anywhere) and you'll see aerial maps as far back as the 1930's and in some cases earlier. There is limited zoom ability by selecting from several buttons.

Information Resources / 1913 Zoomable Browley Maps, Hackensack and more
« on: December 08, 2013, 10:44:41 AM »
Many maps from 1913. These Browley Maps are in some ways better than Sanborn because they show every house and building in all of Hackensack and Bergen County.  Sanborn was more detailed, but coverage was limited to the more built-up parts of Hackensack.

Plate 14:  SW Hackensack, Lodi, Has. Hts
Plate 15: Hackensack First Ward
Plate 16: Lower Main Street; from Hack. River up to Prospect Ave
Plate 17: Midtown and Anderson Street; from Hack. River to Prospect Ave
Plate 18: Fairmount section and part of Maywood
Plate 19: West side of Hackensack and part of Maywood

Information Resources / 1839 Zoomable Detailed Map of Hackensack & vicinity
« on: December 08, 2013, 10:18:22 AM »
1839 Zoomable map for Hackensack and vicinity.  Shows every street, house, church, other buildings, streams, woods, marshes, ponds, and more.  Truly amazing

This is a huge database.  It contains glorious details and photos of historic houses and buildings in Hackensack. Source:  US Library of Congress collection.  Most of these have been torn down.

Information Resources / 1891 Zoomable Map of Hackensack
« on: December 08, 2013, 07:20:11 AM »
This fantastic map shows every detail of Hackensack, the surrounding areas, and the Hackensack Meadowlands in 1891.  Forwarded to me by Eric Martindale, who found this "Hackensack" map hiding in NEWARK archives. It even shows woods, open marshes, and cedar swamps.

1891 was just a few years before the 3 final border changes to Hackensack: SW portion of Hackensack was secured from Lodi Township, Fairmount was added to the Hackensack Improvement Commission, and the extreme SE tip was lost to Little Ferry.

Information Resources / Hackensack Sanborn maps 1885 to 1920
« on: December 08, 2013, 07:08:31 AM »
Here's the link.  There's dozens of maps covering the older parts of Hackensack covering 1885, 1890, 1896, 1902, 1908, 1915, and 1920.

The latter year maps cover the most geographic area.

Hackensack Discussion / 1920 Sanborn Map of Central & Railroad Avenue
« on: November 29, 2013, 12:52:53 PM »
I found this map online.  It's a Sanborn map from 1920. It shows an entire business district that once existed on Central Ave just EAST of Railroad Ave, and spilling onto Railroad Ave, also east of the railroad.  I had never even known that it existed.  I knew there was a train station there, but had no idea there was an associated business district

Businesses here in 1920 on East Railroad ave just north of Central Ave included a press shop, a shoe shop, and a wholesale grocery. Businesses on Central Ave just east of the railroad in 1920 included a larger Grocery store on the corner, a butcher (meat), and a good size bakery shop with large ovens in the rear.  It's all been torn down.  Also torn down were 9 houses that appear to have been 1 or 2-family houses, and two houses on railroad ave labeled by Sanborn as "tenements". The south side of Central Ave (east of railroad Ave) is not shown on the map, but there were a few businesses there as well, in addition to all the houses still standing.

It would appear as if this entire business district and all the houses and tenements were simply torn down sometime after 1920, and replaced with an industrial complex that most recently housed a lightbulb factory.  This in turn was torn down a few years ago and replaced with a modern self-storage facility with nice landscaping around it.  There is really some amazing history associated with that self-storage property. 

Also, of note, the former lightbulb factory rented a large unpaved parking lot at the NW corner of Clay & Railroad Ave, where there was another cluster of buildings since demolished. Sanborn notes them as a large "vacant" commercial building on the corner, a grocery store, a duplex, a single family house, an d another building marked "tenements".  The 1915 Sanborn map of the same area shows much more retail west of the railroad than existed in 1920, and the vacant commercial building at Clay & Railroad was "Hackensack Speciality Manufacturers" which made tweezers, fire apparatus, etc. Going even further back to the 1908 Sanborn map, it shows west of the railroad a barber, a vacant store, a stone yard/shed, a confectionary store, a restaurant, a cobbler, and a grocer, but Hackensack Speciality wasn't built. 

Further west on Central Ave in 1908 was another cobbler, a paint shop, and a cabinet shop, some houses still standing, and almost half of the block was vacant land.

If any older folks can shed some light on the demolition of the original business district to make the large industrial building since demolished, that would be great.  Was this done by the private sector, or by the governing body ? Did this happen because the train station was removed ?  This is all new to me, and very interesting.

Hackensack Discussion / Former Chief Zisa sues Hackensack
« on: August 27, 2013, 07:38:09 AM »
After the City of Hackensack has spent MILLIONS defending him on various lawsuits, now the former police chief has the audacity to sue the City of Hackensack. I think we have a new definition of the word "ungrateful".

Zisa files suit against Hackensack and former president of police union.

HACKENSACK — Former Police Chief Ken Zisa, who is under house arrest following his criminal conviction for insurance fraud and official misconduct, filed a lawsuit against the city and the former president of its police union on Monday.

The complaint, the latest in a series of lawsuits dealing with Zisa’s tumultuous final years as chief, alleges that former Officer Anthony Ferraioli tried to coerce Zisa into dropping a disciplinary charge in 2010 and then, a year after the matter was resolved, filed two “baseless” police reports against Zisa, who by then had been suspended from his duties and was preparing for his criminal trial.

The 8-page document, filed without fanfare in U.S. District Court in Newark, is the first public action that Zisa has taken in the 15 months since his conviction heralded a sweeping overhaul of the city’s government, which the Zisa family and their political allies had dominated for decades.

Zisa’s attorney, Louis Zayas of North Bergen, could not be reached Monday and city representatives declined to comment, saying they had yet to see the complaint.

The complaint reaches back to a months-long disciplinary procedure against Ferraioli. That episode that touched off a mutiny in the department that Zisa headed for 15 years and has since played a role in several court proceedings involving Zisa’s tenure, including Zisa’s 2012 criminal trial and several of the lawsuits that more than 20 officers have filed against Zisa and the Police Department.

Ferraioli was one of the first to sue, claiming in 2009 that he was one of several officers who were demoted and assigned to undesirable posts after they campaigned against Zisa’s favored candidates in a contested police union election. His case is still pending.

But Zisa’s account portrays Ferraioli as an architect of Zisa’s downfall.

“Officer Ferraioli was part of a rogue group of Hackensack police officers who sought to undermine and unseat Zisa because of his disciplinarian style, by filing baseless criminal and civil accusations of official misconduct,” the complaint says.

Zisa’s complaint picks up the story in January 2010. Ferraioli, then a 21-year-police veteran, was facing disciplinary charges for insubordination, identity theft and misrepresentation for allegedly impersonating a police Internal Affairs captain in an online chat room devoted to heated discussion of the union elections.

During an administrative hearing, the complaint alleges, Ferraioli’s attorney tried to make a back-room deal with the city’s representatives. The attorney allegedly said that, unless the charges against Ferraioli and other members of the police union were dropped, his client would tell the media and county, state and federal law enforcement agencies that Zisa had forced officers to lie in a police report.

Zisa refused to comply with Ferraioli’s demands, the complaint says. Ferraioli was found guilty on the departmental charges and was suspended for six months.

Ferraioli’s attorney is not named in the complaint. Patrick Toscano, the Caldwell-based attorney who represented Ferraioli during the disciplinary hearings, said Monday he had not seen the complaint and could not comment.

Ferraioli could not be reached for comment Monday.

He returned to the department in October 2010, the month Zisa was indicted. He was accused of trying to coerce subordinate officers to file false police reports about a car accident involving Zisa’s girlfriend at the time, who was allegedly driving drunk, and filing a fraudulent insurance claim for more than $11,000 in damages to the SUV she was driving. He was convicted of those charges in May 2012 and was later sentenced to five years in prison. He vowed to appeal.

Zisa alleges that Ferraioli continued to plot against him. In November 2011, the complaint alleges, Ferraioli issued two summonses charging Zisa with activities the former chief describes in the complaint as “quasi-criminal”: failing to observe a stop sign and illegally using a post office box as his address on his driver’s license.

Zisa claims in his complaint that he was in another part of town at the time that Ferraioli claimed in the summons that he ran the stop sign.

The charges were later dismissed, but Ferraioli took pictures of the summonses and circulated them around the Police Department, “in an attempt to humiliate and embarrass Zisa,” the complaint alleges.

Ferraioli resigned from the department in 2011 after pleading guilty of assaulting a Hackensack resident during a police investigation.

Thom Ammirato, a spokesman representing the slate of candidates who swept the May election for City Council on a reform platform, said Monday that he had not seen Zisa’s complaint and could not comment.

As one of its first acts in office, the new council said it would drop a previous policy against settling lawsuits, saying the policy – put in place by Joe Zisa, the former city attorney and the former police chief’s cousin – had been partly responsible for more than $3.6 million in legal fees for police litigation over the last three years.


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