Police Car Accident, Girl Hit by Car, Child Luring Top September's News

Here's a look at Septembers most popular stories from Westwood, Washington Township and Hillsdale.

Police Car Hits Jogger

A Westwood Police Officer driving on Westwood Avenue hit a jogger when she ran through a red light at an intersection Wednesday morning, according to Police Chief Frank Regino.

The woman, a 28-year-old Westwood resident, was jogging south on Kinderkamack Road and the officer was driving east through a green light on Westwood Avenue when the incident occured. Regino said the woman hit the side of the car and remained conscious afterward.

Girl Hit by Car Outside School

An 11-year-old girl was hit by a car while crossing Third Avenue in front of the Westwood Regional Middle School Thursday afternoon, according to Police Chief Frank Regino.

A crossing guard had stopped traffic on Third Avenue and a driver was turning left from Pine Street when the girl began crossing toward the school, Regino said. The driver did not appear to be at fault, he said.

The girl was hospitalized but appeared to have only minor injuries, including a bump on her head and some bruises on her arms and legs, according to Regino. Principal Charles Seipp said the girl was conscious and speaking to him before she was taken to the hospital.

Drivers attempted to lure young girls into cars Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, according to Washington Township Police Chief Randy Ciocco.

People in a "shiny" gray car approched three girls on Ridgewood Road near Westwood Thursday at around 3:30 p.m. A female passenger with dyed hair, estimated to be in her 50s or 60s, asked the girls if they wanted a ride, police said. The girls declined, but three boys walking behind the girls did get in the car, which turned onto Lafayette Avenue, police said.

Police said there have been no reports of missing children, but they did not know what had happened to the boys after they got in the car.

A man in a dented gray or silver car also approached a lone girl on Ridgewood Road near Pascack Road Friday morning, police said. The man asked the girl if he had done her homework, then called her "a nasty girl" when she ignored him. He drove away north on Pascack Road.

Bank Alleges Schroeder Committed Fraud in Lawsuit

State Assemblyman Robert Schroeder allegedly failed to disclose millions of dollars worth of loans to Atlantic Stewardship Bank when applying for loans there, according to a complaint filed last Thursday.

The bank alleges it loaned $2 million to Schroeder in September of 2010 and later extended the loan to $2.5 million. When Schroeder borrowed the money, he did not disclose loans from other lenders totalling more than $5.6 million — lent between April of 2007 and March of this year — according to the complaint.

Hospital Looking For New Employees

HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley is planning to hold an employment open house in Westwood on Oct. 10, according to hospital rep Lauren Zaccardi Samman.

The hospital is looking to hire 40 people this year for positions in a wide variety of medical, technical and administrative fields.

The hospital has plans to employ about 350 people by next spring, when they are scheduled to open.

Objection Chases Golden Age Theater Out of Westwood

A man who wanted to open a "golden age" movie theater in Westwood said he is going to start looking for other towns to open his business because of an objection from the owner of theWestwood Theater.

Ray Walsh, a retired employee of the New York Giants, had planned to open a 96-seat theater at 312 Kinderkamack Road which would have played movies from the 1930s and '40s. The business is a "bucket list" item for Walsh, who previously told Patch he once co-owned a similar business in Ridgewood.

The Westwood Theater's attorney, John Lamb of Beattie Padovano, LLC, told Patch the parking demand created by the proposed theater could "cause vehicles to unreasonably utilize the surrounding roadways and municipal parking lots."

A Westwood father is fighting to get his 11-year-old son permission to ride the bus so the student does not have to walk down Old Hook Road toWestwood Regional Middle School.

Joe Malley and Lou Qualliu asked district officials last week to remeasure the distance from the school to their homes, which are both located close to the state-mandated 2-mile mark that determines whether or not students are entitled to ride the bus.

Since then, officials went back to examine routes and found that Qualliu's home is far enough away for his son can ride the bus, but decided Malley's home was still 200 feet too close to the school.

Football Teams Using Memorial Field For Games

Washington Township's youth football teams will not be playing their home games on the high school's turf field as previously considered, according to Coach Scott Spezial.

Parents have expressed concern aboutMemorial Field, which has had problems with plastic netting from old sod sticking above its surface. Township officials voted to re-sod the field, but the project was not started before the Falcons football teams began using the field for practice. The project is expected to be done in early November, after the season is finished.

Because of the safety concerns, township Mayor Janet Sobkowicz said the teams would be able touse the high school's field for games and Memorial Field for practice.

Spezial told Patch that the teams will not be using the high school's field for several reasons, including scheduling problems — the school does not have enough time available for all the teams — and the cost, which Spezial said would be $2,150 for four dates. At this point, there does not seem to be any possible solution, according to Spezial.

The owner of the Washington Town Center has no plans to build condominiums at the site, despite rumors to the contrary, according to Alex DiChiara, the owner's son.

As many of the center's storefronts have remained vacant, rumors have circulated among Washington Township residents that the owner, Adele DiChiara, planned to replace the strip mall with a condo development.

Alex DiChiara and John Azarian, the mall's leasing agent, both told Patch that there are no plans to build condos or sell it to another developer.

A developer, whose application to build a new strip mall on Kinderkamack Road was denied in May, has filed a writ appealing the Westwood Zoning Board's decision and also submitted a new application for the site.

The initial plan, submitted by Kmack North Associates, proposed to replace the defunct Chevrolet dealership on Kinderkamack Road with a new five-unit retail space. The site is located in one of Westwood's Limited Business Districts, which are only zoned for some specific retail uses. The applicant had requested a variance for "general retail use" at the site, but board members said they were uncomfortable granting that much leeway.

Kmack North filed an appeal and a second application after the first one was denied, according to David Lafferty, the applicant's attorney. The new application replaces the general variance with three specific use variances, Lafferty said. One of the uses, for a hairdresser, will not even be needed if the council approves an ordinance adding it as a permitted use during their meeting Tuesday.


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