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Messages - ericmartindale

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Homer, an explanation of social darwinism is not the answer here.  I suppose you are also against helmet laws for motorcyclists. And do you have no problem with all the chemicals and hormones, herbicides, and pesticides in our food.  There are aspects of libertarianism that I agree with. Lots, actually.  But the drift towards social darwinism is dangerous.

Or there's a better example.  Saying that train deaths don't matter because more people are killed by cars and buses is like saying Black Lives Don't Matter because so many more people are killed in Black-on-Black violence in the inner city than are shot and killed by police.

In 2010, 12 year old Caeser Muloki was struck and killed by a train near Clay Street and Central Ave. He would be about 20 years today.  I say his life matters. I think his family members agree with me. He would be alive today if the railroad was fenced off in that neighborhood. His death was not a smug "Survival of the Fittest" example proving that Charles Darwin was correct; it was an example that the railroad needs to be fenced. And had it been fenced, there would not have been 2 deaths a week or two ago.

And same for these two people killed so recently near the Main Street railroad crossing. Their lives matter. The railroad needs to be secured. We need it for safety, we need it for landscaping and aesthetics. Hackensack needs it to be a community that cares.

I see 26 communities in NJ have passed resolutions against the legalization of marijuana, including two in Bergen County. Those two are Carlstadt and Garfield.

Interesting how the list includes very Republican and very Democratic communities. When something is wrong, people of all political persuasions see it.

Time for Hackensack to take a stand.

Editor, your argument is like saying there's no reason to ban assault weapons because far more people kill other people with handguns and knives.

WRONG ANSWER GUYS !!!!  I just spoke with staff at the Fairmount Eats Diner. They detailed the gruesome scene. The couple was hit standing on the tracks about 30 or 40 feet south of the intersection, and hit by a northbound train.  The waitress pointed to a "one way" sign along Terrace Place as the exact spot.  One body was thrown to the intersection of Main Street, and the other was left at the spot.

You guys can circle the wagons all you want, but the facts are the facts. So, this accident IS an example of the tracks needing fencing.  The city government needs to start talks with NJ Transit and figure out how fencing can be built. It's not acceptable that the citizens of Ridgewood get protection with fences, but NJ Transit leaves the tracks wide open through the heart of Hackensack.  And the death count is mounting.  Ultimately this is the fault of NJ Transit, but they aren't going to do anything unless the City of Hackensack makes it an issue. And the city has been unacceptably silent.

I think this can be done in coordination with a beautification project. The fences can be set as close to the tracks as feasible, and the area between the fence and street curbs can be either grassy or some evergreen shrubs and trees, or some combination.  I remember the initiative of Anthony Zisa, then chair of the Shade Tree Commission, to beautify the railroad corridor a bit to the south.  And it was torpedoed by engineering study costs.

Maybe start with the section from Temple Ave to Euclid Ave.

The article indicates in two places that the accident did not occur at a street crossing

1. It says "near" the intersection of Terrace Place, not "at" the intersection

2. and then concludes with the following paragraph about respecting the right of away and crossing the tracks only at designated locations:  "Snyder said the incident serves as a reminder to stay off the tracks and to respect the right-of-way. She said that tracks should only be crossed at designated locations, never go around closed gates and that trains can't stop quickly."

You may have more information than the article.  Or the article could be wrong. We welcome further information.

This is at least the 4th pedestrian death along the NJ Transit line since these Hackensack community message boards were up and running. Folks, including myself, have repeatedly said that the city needs to install fencing comparable to what Ridgewood has in their downtown, to protect the residents, and keep people off of the tracks.  All that is needed is a simple chain link fence, 4 feet high, on both sides, from Temple Ave to Essex Street. There is no "right" to cross the tracks anywhere and everywhere. How many more people have to die before fencing is installed ?

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Coles Brook Flood Commission
« on: May 03, 2018, 02:09:50 AM »
Yep, there's County money out there for flood control projects on brooks and streams in Bergen County.  Here's the plan for the Teaneck Creek Conservancy, part of Overpeck Creek Park.  We need to get this Coles Brook Flood Commission created.

That's ANOTHER bridge rebuilt without raising it for pedestrian riverfront access to pass underneath.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Coles Brook Flood Commission
« on: April 22, 2018, 09:51:51 AM »
I investigated Staib Park yesterday for flood control potential.

A paved area used decades ago for basketball and ice hockey could be excavated to approximately the level of Coles Brook and allowed to flood and hold storm water during storms. That's about an acre, and it will go a long way towards reducing flooding along the entire brook.

The pavement is nothing but urban blight; we could do without it.

A single 20 foot wide entrance to Coles Brook would allow flood waters in. Two entrances is no good, because it would take over the water flow, and leave the existing stream channel dry.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Coles Brook Flood Commission
« on: April 19, 2018, 11:50:11 PM »
I believe there is room for a large flood retention basin to be created along Coles Brook between the Summit Manor apartments near Beech Street and the adjacent apartments in Maywood.  The buildings are over 200 feet apart. Each could have a fenced setback of 15 feet. That would leave 170 of width for flood retention. This open area is bisected by the Lodi spur railroad, so there could be 2 basins, one on each side of the tracks.

This would help reduce the amount of water in Coles Brook downstream, and could be slowly released over 24 hours.

This is just one potential flood retention possibility.

Hackensack Discussion / Coles Brook Flood Commission
« on: April 18, 2018, 08:05:30 AM »
I am proposing that Hackensack, Maywood, Paramus, and River Edge create a Coles Brook Flood Commission to identify ways to reduce flooding in the Coles Brook / Van Saun Creek drainage basin. The amount of flooding and damage that occurs to the Johnson Ave area of Hackensack demands this. 

1. Other areas are hit as well.  I live in the last house on Woodland Avenue in Maywood, along the brook, and Coles Brook rose into my yard and driveway, and I got 2" of water in my basement and garage. My wife and I scrambed to move boxes and anything that could be damaged.  I drove around and took pictures during the peak water level, and I identified that a narrowing of the stream channel at Elm Ave / Stelling Ave is the cause of the Coles Brook impounding onto Maywood homeowners property in my area. Part of the problem is a raised mound between the end of Elm Ave and the brook, which could be easily removed by the City of Hackensack with a backhoe, in a few hours, at extremely low cost. However, that's not the only problem. the new house on Elm Ave has a retaining wall along the brook, which is causing the water to be a few inches higher, and that few inches is into my basement. The homeowner on the Maywood side is equally guilty. He has encroached onto a Maywood-owned flood prevention lot and he built a retaining wall. There are areas along the brook that the stream channel can be made much wider, including along Borg's Woods, and that will also make the water level drop. I can identify areas where this can be done without damaging the ecology. NOBODY should be allowed to have retaining walls along the brook to narrow the stream channel.  Fortunately, Borg's Woods itself retains water during storms, and that means less water in Coles Brook during storm events.

2. The construction of Lowes in Paramus was allowed without any water impounding area to allow water to impound before it reaches the brook. Ironically, this was proposed on the original site plan, and somehow with the intervention of Maywood and Hackensack city attorney's to help preserve a "green" setback, the flood retention basin was removed. Rick Salkin was heavily involved, but unsure if he is responsible for the site plan change. What's needed there is an impounding area IN PARAMUS that will collect water from the paved parking lots and access roads, and hold it and allow it to drain slowly FOR 24 HOURS, into Coles Brook. So the water impounding area will be very deep or even overflowing during the height of the storm, and then empty 24 hours later, so no need to worry about mosquito issues. This is done by creating a dam on the impound (not on the brook), and the dam has a slit an inch or two wide from top to base, and the slit will spew water from the impound.  There's plenty of land there to do this. Yes, some trees will be lost.

3. Van Saun Creek is the major tributary of Coles Brook, and it could be 3 or 4 times the drainage area and volume of Coles Brook. You can see this at the intersection of the two stream along South Lake Drive, Hackensack, a few blocks west of Main Street. From a pure hydrological sense, Coles Brook upstream of the stream merger is the real tributary. The main channel is Van Saun Creek. This is abundantly obvious upon site inspection. There are areas along Van Saun Creek where water could also be impounded as I suggested for Lowe's.  Including inside Van Saun Park, and behind the stores along Route 4 west. Most of the solutions needed for the entire drainage basin are in Paramus and River Edge.

4. Excavate the whole area where the creeks merge and create a large basin. Where there are now stream banks and dirt, there could be a basin holding water when it rises. I am not suggesting building any kind of dam (there are some loose rocks there now that is sort of a dam), but simply to have a LOWER AREA where water will collect. Excavating it out means there will be air where there is now a lot of dirt and soil, and it can fill with water. Basically there would be a permanent pond there, and a very low area all along the pond that can fill with floodwaters.  And that mean less water on Johnson Ave, and in the Grand Manor Condominiums, and that whole area.

If there is any interest, I am more than willing to volunteer to represent Maywood, and to help scope out what is needed for the entire project. I know this hydrology stuff, this is perfect for me.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Schools/Immigration Status Policy
« on: March 29, 2018, 06:01:42 PM »
Those are interesting ethnic stats. I think the 2020 census will be the high-water mark for Latino's in Hackensack, and afterwards the percentage will go down. I am sure this prediction will surprise a lot of readers.   Two forces are coming into play (1) the next wave of immigrants is already on a major increase, which are Asians and Muslims, especially India, but also the Phillipines and Korea. Hackensack already has a majority-Asian neighborhood, which is between Essex and Beech Streets, and from the Maywood border to Summit Ave. The percent Asian is on the increase on Prospect and Overlook Avenues, and will probably be a major component in the new downtown development. (2) There will be some gentrification with all the development in and around the downtown, and the percent White moving into those buildings will be higher than the city as a whole.  As this trend takes place, many of the one and two-family residential areas will continue to increase in Latino population for at least the next 20 years.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: Kazimir's Pets closing
« on: March 25, 2018, 07:35:02 AM »
At one time, they were the largest pet store around. 

There's more to the story. 68 years ago they were in the middle of the most fashionable multi-unit neighborhood in Bergen County. All of those nearby apartments were new, and filled with tenants with much higher income.  It was comparable to what Prospect Avenue is today.  Anderson Street was a very desirable business district to visit, for those from out of town. And that is certainly not the case any more. The lure of the entire neighborhood is just gone. The apartments are old and outdated, with old kitchens and bathrooms, old floor plans, old electrical, no parking. One building had a major fire, and 1/4 of it was demolished. There's no way they can compete with Prospect Ave or other 'luxury' apartment buildings in other towns.

I think if Kazimer's Pets were in downtown Ridgewood, they would have survived. It's more than just chain stores and internet. 

And what really killed Anderson Street was the drive by the City of Hackensack to get rid of the antique shops, which peeked in number in the early to mid 1970's, I believe. At one point there were 17 of them, and they drew customers from other Counties and even New York. Somehow the city fathers thought if those "damn" antique shops were eliminated, higher quality stores would come in.  Well, other stores came in, and they weren't higher quality at all.

Hackensack Discussion / Re: My favorite paper is not having a good day
« on: March 17, 2018, 08:35:48 PM »
I have some pity for The Record, believe it or not. In order to have the level of copy-proofing that we saw as children and young adults, they would have to hire many more people, and that would not be economical.  And these days, it's barely economical to run a newspaper at all, and they are folding one by one as readers gravitate towards other news sources, especially online sources.  At least we have them as a news source, and at least they are no longer in Hackensack meddling with local matters.

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