Bergen County, New Jersey

Thursday, April 29, 2010 - 11:12 AM

Listen to the segment here!

Your Anecdotal Census: A People's History of the New York City Area 2000-2010

Tell us about change that matters in your community. Here are some possible questions to answer. Add your story to the comments below!

How is your community different today than it was 10 years ago?

Who's moving in and who's moving out? 

How has the housing boom/housing bust changed your community?

How have the politics of your community changed? If power has shifted in your community, how and why?

How has 9/11 changed your community? 

Do you have a story about change in your own life over the last decade that you think represents a larger trend?

What's an untold story of change in your community that needs to be told? 

Dante's Take

As part of the Patchwork Nation project, Dante Chinni has been exploring demographic trends around the country. He tells us what to watch for in Bergen County...

→ Visit the Bergen County page on Patchwork Nation for lots more!

By The Numbers:

What story do you think this data tells? Do you think the data reflects what's really going on in your community?

Bergen County, New Jersey 1980 1990 2000 2008/2009
Total Population 845,385 825,380 884,122 895,250
Median Household Income (2008 adjusted dollars) $71,500 $85,500 $84,300 $82,136
% Foreign Born 13.5% 18.0% 25.1% 29.5%
% Under 18 Years Old 23.6% 20.4% 23.0% 21.9%

Explore the Maps:

Bergen County, New Jersey - Median Household Income (2007) - Go to the Interactive Maps at Social Explorer

More Resources:

US Census Bureau QuickFacts

Social Explorer

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Comments [36]

njobserver from Fort Lee

A resident of Fort Lee for 24 years I've seen the ensconcing of "Democrat" business cronies with their colluding political patrons into local, county, and state politics. They help each other- one to earn money, the other to further their political ambitions, all under the "Democrat" rubric. The town is dramatically overbuilt leading to cramped classrooms and strained infrastructure. Taxes and fees are incredibly high. Literally hundreds of millions of dollars will be needed to shore up the negative impact of thoughtless development leading to stifling population density. Trees are routinely destroyed to make every square foot of lot space available to demolish single family homes for replacement by two or three family homes, many for use as rentals. In an area where the citizens are exposed to the toxins (a lot from diesel truck engines) spewed out daily from vehicles crossing the bridge into and out of NY, no one seems to care about the vanishing natural elements that perform the vital function of absorbing and thereby cleaning our air. A more nebulous population of mindless drones being scammed by their local, county, and state politicians while being exposed to industrial toxins, all the while without remark, can't be found. This town, as typical of the urban NJ milieu, is becoming a mass of dirty grey concrete and bricks, indicative of the facile intelligence of it's inhabitants.

Jun. 26 2011 02:40 AM
Guy B. from Park Ridge, Bergen County

Park Ridge, Bergen County.
this town has gone to the dogs...actually, the dogs don't want to live here any more, either.
What once was the Jewel of Bergen is nothing but a shell of its former self.
The town has changed so much in the last ten years that the only constant is the ignorance of our town council and about stone age.
They react to the 'squeakiest wheel', they are completely biased and from a quality of living, our town management has been a contributing element in the steady decline in the quality of life.

Park Ridge employs numerous contractors that bleed us and put our residents at risk. Our taxes are some of the highest in the state but unless you are a 'friend' of the cops, you can't expect any kind of assistance from them.

This is the worst example of 'small townism' I have ever seen.
I'd move, but I can not afford to take the $200K loss in equity that is the side effect of being a Park Ridge resident.
Yes, we can vote...but for the same people over and over again...Someone from the State should really look at this is so wrong.

May. 02 2011 10:41 PM
Guy B. from Park Ridge, Bergen County

Park Ridge, Bergen County.
this town has gone to the dogs...actually, the dogs don't want to live here any more, either.
What once was the Jewel of Bergen is nothing but a shell of its former self.
The town has changed so much in the last ten years that the only constant is the ignorance of our town council and about stone age.
They react to the 'squeakiest wheel', they are completely biased and from a quality of living, our town management has been a contributing element in the steady decline in the quality of life.

Park Ridge employs numerous contractors that bleed us and put our residents at risk. Our taxes are some of the highest in the state but unless you are a 'friend' of the cops, you can't expect any kind of assistance from them.

This is the worst example of 'small townism' I have ever seen.
I'd move, but I can not afford to take the $200K loss in equity that is the side effect of being a Park Ridge resident.
Yes, we can vote...but for the same people over and over again...Someone from the State should really look at this is so wrong.

May. 02 2011 10:38 PM
Guy B. from Park Ridge, Bergen County

Park Ridge, Bergen County.
this town has gone to the dogs...actually, the dogs don't want to live here any more, either.
What once was the Jewel of Bergen is nothing but a shell of its former self.
The town has changed so much in the last ten years that the only constant is the ignorance of our town council and about stone age.
They react to the 'squeakiest wheel', they are completely biased and from a quality of living, our town management has been a contributing element in the steady decline in the quality of life.

Park Ridge employs numerous contractors that bleed us and put our residents at risk. Our taxes are some of the highest in the state but unless you are a 'friend' of the cops, you can't expect any kind of assistance from them.

This is the worst example of 'small townism' I have ever seen.
I'd move, but I can not afford to take the $200K loss in equity that is the side effect of being a Park Ridge resident.
Yes, we can vote...but for the same people over and over again...Someone from the State should really look at this is so wrong.

May. 02 2011 10:37 PM
Kai Ferano from Fairview

Oh, I'll be brief, all right! At age 64, I am a lifelong resident of Fairview (minus 8 years or so), the most southern town in Bergen County. During the past 20-25 years, Fairview has gone from being a working-to-middle class, tree-lined, clean, quiet town to an almost treeless urbanized semi-slum. As I type this, another majestic tree around the corner on Eighth Street is being plowed down to squeeze in another ugly "McMansion." This is happening all over Fairview. Last year, without notice to its residents, the beautiful trees that for years lined a major road in town were simultaneously plowed down and replaced with those pathetic pseudo-Twiggy trees that offer no shade -- not even birds can nest in them. Fairview has also become a sanctuary town for illegal Latin American immigrants. The old-timers in the town, like me, feel helpless and hopeless. I can't speak for the newcomers.

Oct. 13 2010 04:52 PM
rena wilen from Rocklind County

I just wrote a very long comment which disappeared from my screen/I hope you received it-Rw

Jun. 21 2010 08:56 AM
Joe from Leonia

I've lived in Leonia for 10+ years and beyond a demographic shift the community has remained very stable. We have wonderful early 20th century homes, large shade trees, and good public schools. Our downtown as pretty much remained stagnant with a blend of old time shops (hardware store, pizza joint, and local supermarket with a few Asian restaurants, conveniences stores, and cloth shops).

Most all Leonians are devoted to supporting public education, the Arts, community center, library, and rec sports. On the political side, most issues are hotly debated.

In general, it still astonishes me that a little bit of Rockwellian American can still be found 5 minutes outside of NYC in Leonia, NJ (shh, don't tell anyone!).

May. 11 2010 02:20 PM
Josh from Ramsey

I've lived in Northwest Bergen County for 15 years. I'd say one of the key changes I've seen over just the last 10 in this part of the county is the development of previously undeveloped farms and woodland. The last wooded tract along Rt. 17 in Saddle River is now a Residence Inn. A farm at the Rt. 17/Lake St. intersection in Upper Saddle River is a townhouse complex and a large Senior housing development was built further north along Rt 17 on the last large undeveloped tract in Ramsey. The undeveloped area surrounding Garrison Pond on Lake St in Ramsey is now a bunch of mansions. I'd be interested to know the proportion of undeveloped land that was developed over the past 10 years during the crazy real estate market. Huge I'm sure.

And just a comment about Blue Laws. Except lifelong residents of the county I don't know anyone who likes them. They are the REASON Saturdays are so congested! They are anti-Semetic (Jews cannot conduct business on Saturdays), anti-American/free market, and degrade my quality of life in forcing me to travel to Rockland County to shop on Sundays. Frankly they are an embarrassment in 2010 and I think we could use the sales tax revenue here! At least one thing Christie has right.

I see a lot of posts about traffic, it may have gotten worse but (except for Saturdays) the traffic in Bergen is nothing compared to how bad it is in Middlesex County. In some ways we're lucky to be built out; population growth there has totally outstripped roadway capacity.

May. 11 2010 02:03 PM
Mark C. from Westwood

Born, raised, and still live in north eastern Bergen County.

1. Blue Laws - an ineffective law that has faith-based roots. The traffic continues to flow through the region on Sundays regardless of the law. There is little doubt in my mind the law was created in conjunction with the belief that Sunday is a holy day for Christians and Protestants, etc. Faith-based, right-wingers once dominated the region. Its time to overturn this law and get in touch with reality.

2. Property taxes are through the roof - no pun intended :o). But this is a state-wide problem not unique to Bergen County.

3. Public education SEEMS to still be better than average. But my children have yet to enter the system. We shall see.

May. 11 2010 12:07 PM
Billy Neumann from Rutherford

In the South Bergen area we are becoming more dense in structure and population as we lose our historically built enviorment. This is not a coincidence as historic properties reflected more usable outdoor space, smaller building footprints, more greenable surroundings. Now our communities are being indensified by developers who demolish historic structures and in-fill properties without regard to preserving bearable space and traditional construction and planning concepts.

May. 11 2010 11:32 AM
John in Glen Rock

In 10 years. Property Taxes up 100%
Sales tax raised: 16% to 7%
Shade trees continue to be cut down and replaced by ornamental trees - result HOTTER streets which means more energy used to cool which means hotter air.
In other communities, Palisades Park & Rte 17 N near Carlstadt, I notice a plethora of signs in Korean.

May. 11 2010 11:27 AM
Jeanne from Oakland

I was a Bergen County snob. Now, I am very happily encouncsed in Passaic County. Bergen is overbuilt, over populated and lost all of its appeal. It is filled with unattractive mc-mansions, overly manicured properties, and is not recognizable to the county of the last half of last century.

May. 11 2010 11:18 AM
Steve Klose from Englewood

On traffic: Most of Bergen County hates change. There is a light rail proposal to connect Tenafly to Hoboken on the old Northern Valley rail line. The issue is barely making a ripple in Englewood, but Tenafly is vehemently opposed, with Leonia mostly opposed. People love to complain about the amount of traffic, but on the other hand won't support any plan to help alleviate it.

May. 11 2010 11:12 AM
Charlie from Demarest NJ

Have lived in Bergen since the early 80's. Definitely traffic, as many others have noted. And thank God & the electorate for Sunday blue laws, if only for the traffic relief. Makes the area seem almost peaceful, normal & liveable on that one day a week.

Also, especially in the last 10 years & in the northeast corner of Bergen: McMansions everywhere! Let's build a massive faux stone castle out to the lot line, completely unique, just like the one next door and the other one across the street!

May. 11 2010 11:11 AM
Maria from Southerd Bergen County

The biggest change in Bergen County is that we moved in! We moved our family here from Hudson County, and it seems to be a trend. Our current town in Bergen County resembles our old Hudson County town 30 years ago. People where we now live are open minded, respectful of immigrants of all kinds (I am one), they believe education is important and are active community members. Nobody likes the high taxes, and that is probably the same in all Bergen County towns, however, we tolerate them because we moved here to provide our children with a neighborhood that is safe, clean, and with good schools. We could have stayed in Hudson County, but with a lower quality of life (less of a sense of community, dirty streets, corrupt politicians), and we would not have been able to afford private school for our children (we also don't like private education).

May. 11 2010 10:20 AM

Good Morning Brian, I listen to you show every morning while working and appreciate that you are bringing our part of the world on to you show.

Originally New Yorkers, we moved to Cliffside Park from a nearby town right after September 11th. Cliffside Park is the “Southern” part of Bergen County and the former home of Palisades Amusement Park, which I could see from my Aunt’s living room in the Bronx as a child.

I admit to not being totally versant in the population history of Cliffside, but from what I have gathered, the ethnicities were composed of Greek, Armenian, Turkish, Croatian, and Italian people. Times are changing. Eighty year old houses were and are being razed throughout the town for new duplexes. They are fairly nice. Prices soared, then dropped. The population is changing. Many Koreans are buying the new duplexes, thus new restaurants. Further south in the town the immigrant population is thriving, looking for work wherever they can get it. It’s good to see more diversity.

The Mayor has been in office since 1959. He runs unopposed, and is in his early to mid 80’s. A family member owns the local real estate and mortgage company. Another is on the town council. It doesn’t end there.

We have a big Hole on Anderson Avenue where many stores used to be housed. People could walk, eat and shop. Eminent domain was called and many thriving businesses are gone. There is nothing there but a fence with a screen that pictures good-looking Caucasians drinking, eating, shopping and working out, part of which has been blown away in the recent storm. It was supposed to be apartments, stores, a gym, etc., like City Place in Edgewater, but lies vacant.

Traffic is awful everywhere in the county. River Road from the Lincoln Tunnel (Hudson County) to the GWB used to be 2 lanes, now that it is so built up the roads can’t be widened enough to quell the traffic. We stay away from there on the weekends now. The local highways, 4 and 17, are backed up from about 3:30 pm till 7 or 8 pm. Forget about driving on these roads between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Morning rush hour traffic is no pleasure either in the County. As for general courtesy in drivers, many drivers do not heed stop signs, no turn on red signs, pedestrians with the right of way to cross, or already in the crosswalk, dog walkers, or cell phone laws. Better give wide berth to the mother who just picked her kids up from school in a huge SUV, who is talking on a handheld cell phone, while making a right on red (were it is not legal), while not looking to see if there is anyone is in the crosswalk.

We will be patient. The area is becoming more diverse, a pleasant thought. We love the way we fixed our modest home and love the easy access and views of the City.

May. 11 2010 09:37 AM
Gail Enid Zimmer from Fair Lawn

Bergen County has long been a magnet for new immigrants, and their ethnicities are ever more diverse. This is reflected in the collections of many public libraries, which include books in several of the more widely spoken languages and foreign features on DVD. Hindi films are in great demand. Several libraries offer ESL tutoring, and Internet time connects these library users to news from their home countries. Story times for young children look like junior UN conferences!

May. 10 2010 11:31 PM
Mark Cecere from Saddle Brook

I left Bergen County about ten years ago for Vermont and recently returned. The most noticeable development in that span of time is that drivers appear to have even less regard for their fellow citizens. Routes 17, 4, 80 and the Garden State Parkway are free-for-alls. Local laws concerning passing on the right, driving at excessive speeds, hand held cells, texting and stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks are all as unenforceable as they are unobserved. If you don't believe that last one about the pedestrian law come down to the crosswalk at the corner of Louis and Saddle River Rd in Saddle Brook (where the speed limit is 25) at rush hour and see how many cars stop for you. Drivers rip down this road where there are 3 schools, 2 churches and 3 park entrances all in a distance of 2 miles at speeds of 40+mph, half of them with phones to their ears. I guess to sum it up people seem to have become more self involved, and less concerned with other people in their community, especially when they are behind the wheel.

May. 10 2010 11:29 PM
Bobbi Bauer

In northern Bergen County, the past 10 years have seen proprietor-owned-and-operated drugstores being pushed out by the big-box chains to the detriment of customer service. Such service included the pharmacist knowing his clients and their doctors. He could give good advice on potential side effects, good generics, etc, etc,... This kind of service cannot be found with the big-box chains.

Also, in northern Bergen County, there has been a proliferation of banks such that some communities resemble the Cayman Islands.

May. 10 2010 10:23 PM
David from Teaneck NJ

Hello Brian, long time listener and I do enjoy your show.

I would have to say that in the last ten years I have seen less of a commitment to public education on the part of some county residents.

My wife and I are 35 year residents of Teaneck New Jersey. We moved to Bergen County from New York because our research back in the 1970's showed Bergen to be open, diverse, stable and pro-public education.

When we moved to Teaneck in Bergen County, good public schools were a priority and since most residents sent their children to public schools this was reasonable to expect.

Our two daughters were born in Bergen and benefited from a good public education that led them to being honor students, members of the Honor Society in high school. Both daughters graduated at the top of their classes.

That public education allowed for both of our young women to be accepted in very good schools of higher education that are very prestigious and from there, they both graduated with honors. I know they were successful because of public education in Teaneck.

Before the girls were born, we gladly paid our taxes because we were part of the community and we recognized that the whole community needed to stand together.

Yes, taxes have gone up to pay for all of the benefits of being a Bergen County resident, but I consider this to be money well spent even though our children are out of the house, grown and married. The money pays for good teachers and great programs that prepare students to be educated, good citizens.

In the last ten to twenty years there has been an influx of residents that have another community other than that of Bergen that they are concerned with and because of that, the once enjoyed Bergen unity has declined.

The new comers have their own agenda and most send their children to private school and are not willing to pay their fair share to maintain a good public school system.

It is very sad to see Bergen public schools suffer due to this selfishness. I guess their money is more important to them.

May. 10 2010 05:28 PM
Karen from Cliffside Park

From the Borough of Cliffside Park, there are beautiful views of Manhattan. We have Senator Frank Lautenberg, Dr. Oz, newly laid brick crosswalks, and an intersection circle from which a policeman directs pedestrian crossing on Anderson Avenue, and a mayor who has been in office for 45 years.

We also have THE HOLE as residents not so fondly call it. Years ago, Cliffside Park used Eminent Domain to contemn nearly 2 square blocks of stores and residents. Business deals have started and fallen through to develop The Town Centre, which was to be condos, a hotel, and shops. The latest got far enough to post descriptive signs on the high wall surrounding the slab of concrete (bare except for a few pieces of idle machinery); one of our winter winds blew those away.

The economy and other communities’ revitalization have left our avenue, once a hub of shopping activity, with nail salons, pizza joints, and high turnover.

May. 10 2010 04:26 PM
robert janke

a native of Hoboken my family moved to southern Bergen County in th early 60's. in th late 80's I, along w. my wife and 2 boys, moved up to Oradell, which is north of Rt 4 (th mason-dixon line of Bergen county). aside from th vast influx of Asian families all over th region, th most significant change I've noticed in th last 10 years is th new strength of Democratic voters! 20 years ago it was almost laughable, especially in northern Bergen County, to organize any sort of Democratic Party effort. a NY Times article last year attributed this sea change to th new professionals residing in th area. a new, blue Bergen. I think I'll stick around.

May. 10 2010 03:52 PM
Janet Doka from Garfield, NJ

I have lived my entire life in Southwest Bergen County and my family settled here in the 1890's. I am the third generation to live in the arts and crafts style house that my grandfather and his brother built in 1923
There are postive and negative aspects of the changes over the past decade. First for young people who want to live here be it because of family ties or work, it is extremely expensive. Our country like environment has become over developed and over populated and the friendliness of the community I grew up in hardly exists. On a positive note, we have been fortuntate to attract a great diversity of people and you don't have to travel far to find a woderful ethnic restaurant. It is usually right in our neighborhood. It is how I became a godmother to Turkish twins that emigrated here.

May. 10 2010 01:37 PM
eugene skurnick from englewood NJ

Englewood Nj has changed dramatically demographically since 2000. Two groups have become significant. The first are modern orthodox Jews especially young families. Politically,this has led to an Orthodox mayor and an orthodox councilman. The second group that has increased is hispanics from south america and central america. Both groups have helped the economy with stores and restaurants. Also the number of older people( over 65) has increased increased.

May. 10 2010 11:40 AM
Kathy Moore

I'd like to respond to the two anonymous replies in regards to Radburn. First I want to clarify that indeed I proudly am the Kathy Moore of the Moore vs. Radburn case and all the documents in regards to this case can be found at If the Radburn Association thought the way Radburn is governed is so wonderful then they wouldn't they put the governing by-laws on their own website, right? Instead they refuse to allow homeowners that access. The plaintiffs however did make them available to the public to see now on the site called The courts have decided that they will not legislate from the bench in regards to this case and that unit owners are not necessarily members of the association that they pay membership dues to. The legislature must ammend the PREDFDA statute to state that all unit-owners are members, rather than just assume that's what those who wrote the statute intended. The 2008 tax return for the Radburn Association has approximately 1.3 million dollars in MEMBERSHIP DUES for income but only about 30 adults living in Radburn are members. All of them are current or former members of the board of trustees and only they can choose who runs for the board. I won as a write-in candidate by a landslide but those votes were thrown out. About 450 homeowners living in Radburn today willingly signed a petition supporting that they be members of the association they pay dues to and have real open nominations and elections in Radburn. Hard to believe this exists in the U.S.of A. in a National Historic Landmark community in the year 2010.

May. 09 2010 12:17 PM
John Justin Fatuzzo from Fair Lawn, NJ

I have been a resident of Fair Lawn for the past 30 years. As a retireee who still works as an adjunct professor it has afforded me time for sports and hobbies. However, as an avid bike and mtn. bike rider, I' ve noticed over the past ten years that the roads in Bergen County continue to deteriorate at an alarming rate. Drivers must be given a wide berth when necessary especially in their use of cell hones which they consider as an attached appendage. Traffic is horrendous especially between the hours of 3-6PM. Thankfully, we have the blue laws on Sunday (whereby all shooping centers are closed) is still in force.It might not be for long if the governator has his way. Property taxes have increased astronomically with home sales on the rise on Saddle River Rd. Why we stay after our house has been paid off the answer is location,location location.We are in close proximity to all major highways and 15 minutes from the GWB. With proposed budget cut for goods and services as well as education across the board the future at this juncture looks bleak.

May. 08 2010 10:05 PM
Midland Parker from Bergen County

As a nearly forever northwest Bergen County resident reared in Ho-Ho-Kus and living for the past many years in Midland Park, I've seen a lot of changes. The most obvious are the "tear down" houses and "upscaling" of nearly everything from supermarkets to landscaping. I now refer to my NJ residence as "Hummerville," though with this economy that may be on the wane.

There's a lot of talk about environmental issues like clean water and recycling, yet the concern seem more "feel good" than.anything else particularly if it comes from a McMansion dweller wasting water and energy. On the flip side, there have been some real successes in preserving land and historic buildings.

Taxes are making many people re-think staying in their old neighborhoods. Midland Park is a town of long-time residents that attracted young people years ago because homes were affordable. Not quite so now. On my street alone, I cannot think of a single house that hasn't had some kind of renovation from modest to complete re-do from the foundation up. Finances/taxes have caused moves to Mahwah, Delaware, and North Carolina.

Traffic has increased dramatically and is a hazard to cyclists, dog walkers, and kids. I live in a quiet neighborhood where I marvel that kids are actually outside shooting hoops, riding bikes and scooters, and playing street hockey. It's a heartening sight often jeopardized by too-fast driving.

Plenty more to go, but others will probably fill in the blanks. However, last word on traffic. I actually went to MapQuest last night to find an alternative route to Rutherford to be there by 5:30 without having to leave home at 4:00 to travel Route 17. The congestion between 4 and 17 into Lodi is like the LIE, ghastly! (I went through Fair Lawn to 20 and 21.)

May. 08 2010 10:12 AM

Morre on Radburn issue is way off base. She didn't tell all that she is one of 16 litigants who have made the cost of living there so expensive. We do not pay DUES but an assesment that is in the paperwork when you bug your house. If the Attorney and or Real Estate broker did not tell her maybe she should look ot them for suit! She and her group have tried in court, at the cost to ALL the residents, and has lost each and every time but at no cost to them since the Rutgers Law School, who by the way is suppose to work for the indegent and those who cannot pay their way, Which I am sure the 16 can afford. They onec again have taken this to the Supreme Court of NJ and lets ALL hope that they once again are SHOT down! Radburn is a great community and we ALL who live there want to go back to neigbors who love neighbors rather than a fight for power!

May. 07 2010 02:47 PM
John Scarry from Ridgewood,NJ (415 Linwood Ave)

I have lived in Ridgewood NJ for 35 years and have seen many changes, most of them unfortunate. The most unfortunate one -- and one that is right in my neighborhood -- is the repeated expansions of Valley Hospital. Nearly 20 years ago they did a 70 million expansion ; now they are fighting for a 750 million dollar expansion -- all in a residential neighborhood, withTWO schools nearby. The lives and study lives of generations of schoolchildren will be disrupted and possibly even endangered, but still it will go through.The powers that be are more concerned with status and power and money than they are with the life of a residential neighborhood and the security of our children--the very reason we moved here and pay ruinous taxes. The hospital pays no taxes. It is sad indeed to see the needs of hardworking residents ignored and the power and vanity of a small group constantly catered to. Alas. John Scarry

May. 07 2010 11:52 AM
Clarence Stein from Radburn, NJ

Kathy Moore from Radburn conveniently leaves out a few key facts:
1. The legal fees are the result of a small, disgruntled cabal of residents who have been suing Radburn for years, requiring Radburn to defend its 80+ year governing structure in the courts.

2. The fundamental governing structure of Radburn has been consistently upheld by the courts. The disgruntled cabal hasn't won a single case.

Radburn is a wonderful place to live -- well-governed and well-run. It will survive and thrive despite the misguided efforts of a few chronic malcontents to destroy it.

May. 07 2010 11:11 AM
carole stuart from Fort Lee

I've lived in Ft Lee since 1976. Early on this community was largely Italian Americans. I live in a high rise comprised largely of older (white) couples or widows whose families grew up and moved out.
In 1976 there was a growing Japanese population. today the Korean population is very much growing and dominating businesses. Their children are in public schools and are smart and achievers. They have apparently raised the level of education in the community. Very interesting and amazing new, exotic food choices.

May. 07 2010 10:40 AM
Steve K from Englewood

Englewood has made a huge investment in education over the past 10 years. The hot-button program has been the Academies@Englewood magnet school on the campus of Dwight Morrow High School, the public high school. Ordered by the state court to integrate the school (98% black and hispanic), Englewood, with the help of state funds, created A@E to attract white and Asian students from surrounding communities. The lure is a longer school day (students let out at 4pm) with focused fields of study, including bio-med, enginerring, law, and information technologies. By design half the student body is from outside the district. By most accounts the school has been a success with competition increasing every year for limited spots in the program. But there have been cries from some in Englewood that A@E recieves preferential treatment (better facilities, equipment, etc.) Those suspicions have proved to be unfounded yet the rumors persist. Incidentally the first A@E class of 2006 will be getting their college diplomas this month. Other changes include a completely new elementary school (the John Greico School), a revamped and enlarged Cleveland Elementary School (now the McCloud School), and a dual-language Chinese immersion program at the elementary level that compliments the highly successful and pioneering Spanish immersion dual language program. Interestingly, a Hebrew immersion program was recently turned down when the supporters failed to prove it would attract students from outside the Orthodox Jewish community (a growing segment of Englewood's population). Yet with all these investments and progressive programs test scores (A@E excluded) have only incrementally improved. The community is now adverse to funding the school district as it has done in the past. The school budget was voted down this month at the polls.

May. 06 2010 01:07 PM
Lynda Kraar from Teaneck

Why bikes are scarce in Teaneck

I walk everywhere, as much as possible. I would probably use my bike more if it were not for the lack of courtesy by drivers who use Teaneck as a way of accessing the highways, and to whom bikers are invisible.

Teaneck could be much greener and far less congested with cars if the residents were not apprehensive about using their bikes when doing mundane errands around town.

But riding a bike is risky business here. I don't do it very much, and I certainly do not want my kids doing it. Sad and concerning.

May. 06 2010 10:56 AM
steve holder from Ridgewood

Ex-Brit having lived in Bergen County for 26 years now I have seen a change in the attitudes of people. Gone are the days when most people cared about the community.. today people just care about themselves.. of course there are exceptions but I see a culture change that I feel will eventually weaken the USA. This area is an affluent area but when the wealthy are pleading poverty you know we are in trouble. people round here just don't appreciate how well off they are.

May. 06 2010 10:51 AM
Carol Shansky from Tenafly, NJ (Bergen)

While there certainly have been demographic changes, I'd have to say the overall most noticeable change in Bergen County, especially eastern Bergen County where I live, has been traffic. There is a constant stream of cars on the road. Even though we have no Sunday shopping (which I think is unfair) there are still lots of cars about. I often joke that the county has gotten so crowded that we need a certain number of people out in cars just to fit everyone in the physical space of Bergen County. Joking aside, one of the more disturbing aspects of all this traffic is that there is no place for people to walk or bicycle safely. Walking to school is hardly an option which is unfortunate in an age when we're concerned about childhood obesity (Ms. Obama's cause). So, in a decade there are bound to be numerous changes, but this one has an impact on everyone who lives here.

May. 05 2010 04:03 PM
Kathy Moore from Radburn, Fair Lawn, NJ

Hello! I bought my home in Radburn, Fair Lawn, NJ, 9 years ago; a National Historic Landmark community. Radburn is a planned community with additional restrictions and assessments. I was not given the governing by-laws when purchasing my home and only later on did I learn that while I pay membership dues I'm not considered a member of the homeowners association. Even today a new home buyer is not given the governing by-laws. We cannot run as trustees unless we are pre-approved by former and current trustees. Nine trustees who are not accountable to the community decide on how our money is spent and make all decisions without input from the community. They've sold off historic parks for development without notice to the community which will drastically change our property values and quality of life. Over half of our income is spent on legal fees and the same people just keep getting "voted" into office; a similar structure exists in places like North Korea and Iran. We have taxation but no representation. There is no accountability to those footing the bill and we have no recourse. There's been a legal battle brewing for over six years with the plaintiffs being represented by NJAppleseed and Rutgers Law School and supported by the ACLU. Please hear our story as we need your help.

May. 04 2010 02:21 PM

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