Monthly Archives: March 2011

Don’t Be A Cigarette Litter Pig.

Cigarette litter pigs are those despicable people who discard their cigarette butts on the ground.

Cigarette butts are litter!!!  Westwood code includes in its definition of litter any unlighted cigarette, cigar, match or any flaming or glowing material.

In Westwood, NJ, it is unlawful to litter pursuant to relevant Ordinance sections, among others:

  • ARTICLE I. General Littering Regulations
    § 204-2. Litter in public places.
    No person shall throw or deposit litter in or upon any street, sidewalk or other public place within the Borough…
  • ARTICLE II. Litter Control
    § 204-17. Prohibited acts; litter from vehicles and boats.
    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to throw, drop, discard or otherwise place any litter of any nature upon public or private property…
    B. Whenever any litter is thrown or discarded or allowed to fall from a vehicle or boat in violation of this article, the operator or owner, or both, of the motor vehicle or boat shall also be deemed to have violated this article.

Most commonly, one can catch cigarette litter pig motorists tossing their cigarette refuse out of their car windows.  They seem to be so high on nicotine that they are oblivious to, or unconcerned with, their brazen violation of the law.

Here’s a litter pig in the act of flicking a lit cigerette butt out his car window on Mill Street at the Third Ave intersection on 3/16/2011 at 5:20 pm:

Cigarette litter pig in Westwood, NJ.

Cigarette litter pig flicks a cigarette butt out of his car window onto Mill Street in Westwood on 3/16/11 at 5:20 pm.

Cigarette litter pig in action on Mill Street at Third Ave on 3/16/11 at 5:20 pm.

Cigarette litter pig in action on Mill Street at Third Ave on 3/16/11 at 5:20 pm.

When enough people do this (and there are plenty), our roads look like this:

Cigarette litter on a Westwood road.

Disgusting, despicable, unlawful.  Don’t be a cigarette litter pig.

Westwood Seeks Minimally Qualified Teachers.

The Christie administration’s public education budget cuts have taken a nasty toll on the state of education in New Jersey.  Almost everybody knows a NJ teacher without a job. 

Interestingly, the Borough of Westwood is advertising a leave replacement (April – November, 2011) opening for a Middle School Science Teacher on its web site. 

The only catch is that you must be only minimally qualified to apply.  The job requires a “Middle School Science” certification.  This level of certification only requires 15 credits of science to attain.  A teacher with this certification can teach public school science up to grade 8. 

The State of New Jersey offers a K-12 science certification which requires 30 credits of science to attain.  A teacher with this certification can teach public school science up to grade 12.  Arguably, high school science is more rigorous and demands the additional training. 

A call to the State of New Jersey Department of Education confirms that either of the two certification levels is sufficient to teach at the middle school level.  Therefore, the requirement to be minimally certified at best to qualify for this job is solely a stipulation imposed by Westwood. 

Why would Westwood want to exclude more highly trained science teachers for this job? 

Are the science supervisors or the administrators in charge too ignorant to know better? 

Who in their right mind would want to work for a school District, or send their kids to a school District, which aspires toward minimal qualifications at best?
 Westwood Jobs.
Web image from:

Spamming Westwood.

SPAM! No spam.

No, not the canned meat product.

No, not the unsolicited electronic bulk messages.

Saudino Spam, Kinderkamack Road, Westwood.

Saudino Spam, Kinderkamack Road, Westwood.

Today, we’re addressing the unsolicited analog political advertisements that have defaced property in the Borough of Westwood, NJ.

This political spam turned up last year in anticipation of an election for Bergen County sheriff.

The election is over, but the spam remains.

Saudino Spam, Old Hook Road, Westwood.

Saudino Spam, Old Hook Road, Westwood.

The most egregious political spam remaining in place bears the name of the election’s victor, Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino.

These spam stickers can be found in a number of places throughout the borough of Westwood, and in other Pascack Valley towns. They hang like a claim of ownership, like a warning to all those who enter, like a “tag” placed by a gang on its territory.

Saudino Spam, Forest Ave., Westwood.

Saudino Spam, Forest Ave., Westwood.

Defacing public or private property in this manner is a violation of N.J.S. 2C:17-3 (Criminal Mischief).

Why have the local and/or county police ignored this vandalism for so long?

Saudino Spam, corner of Old Hook & Kinderkamack Roads, Westwood.

Saudino Spam, corner of Old Hook & Kinderkamack Roads, Westwood.

Questioning PSE&G Solar Panel Applications in Westwood.

It didn’t take long to notice the numerous solar panels that have recently sprung up all along southern and eastern sections of Kinderkamack and Old Hook Roads, respectively, in Westwood.  There are a number of them on Bergenline Avenue as well.

Solar panel in Westwood.

Solar Panel in Westwood, avec bird crap.

These solar panels are installed by PSE&G and are supplied by a New Jersey company, Petro Solar.  A review of the company’s documentation regarding its SunWave UP Series reveals some interesting aspects about its design.

The panels are designed to be mounted on utility poles at a minimum of 14 ft. from the ground, and at a 30 degree angle from horizontal.  Each panel supplies secondary (transformed) power directly to an end-user or power consumer, such as a street light.

These units are not connected to the primary power distribution lines, so they do not supply power back to the grid for use elsewhere.  These units do not contain a battery to store energy, so the power they generate is only available for immediate use at a limited distance from each panel.  In other words, as power is generated by these solar panels, you must use it or lose it.

Still, not a bad idea to get one’s feet wet in sustainable, clean energy.

Only one problem.  Most of the solar panels installed in Westwood appear to only be connected to street lights that are in use after dark.  Since these solar panels have no battery to store energy generated during the day, they cannot supply any stored solar energy after dark.

This wouldn’t be an issue if the solor panels were connected to the primary power distribution lines.   In this case, the solar panels could supply unused power to the grid during the daylight hours, only to be taken from the grid during the night.  However, the company’s documentation specifically states that its product connects to secondary power lines, therefore it cannot supply (primary, untransformed) power back to the grid.

Another solution would be to tie the solar panel output into secondary power going into local homes for immediate use.  However, evidence suggests that solar panel energy supply to Westwood homes was particularly avoided. 

For example, the solar panel installed on the pole in front of 134 Kinderkamack Road is configured to supply power to a street light hundreds of feet away (at the northwest corner of Kinderkamack and Old Hook) rather than to the two homes across the street or to #134.  By the way, the street light supplied by this solar panel is also redundantly tied into two other solar panels.

So, these solar panels are sitting there on a pole all day, generating electricity that can’t be used by street lights which aren’t turned on.  When it’s dark, the street lights are powered by grid power (not solar power).  The only difference is that a ton of money was (apparently) wasted on many (seemingly) useless solar panels.

Something is wrong with this picture, and for once it doesn’t look like the Borough of Westwood is to blame.

A series of phone calls to Petra Solar resulted in a number of disconnections and unanswered phones.

PSE&G was not immediately available for comment.

Winter in Westwood (circa 1906).

Before we say goodbye to the snowy days of winter in Westwood, NJ, let’s take a moment to pictorially reminisce about the days gone by in Westwood circa 1906:

Winter in Westwood, circa 1906.