Officer Ronald E. Freeman, III In Loving Memory

30 05 2012


Ronald E. Freeman, III, 36, of Clifton, entered into rest on May 28, 2012. Born in Westwood, he lived most of his life in Clifton.

Ronald was a Police Officer with the Passaic Police Department for the past 16 years and was a member of PBA Local #14. A parishioner of St. Andrew the Apostle RC Church, Clifton, Ronald was a member of the Clifton Moose Lodge # 657.

Devoted father of Ryan. Loving son of Ronald E., Jr. and Connie (Bonfiglio) Freeman of Clifton. Dear brother of Christopher and his wife Charise of Lanoka Harbor. Cherished grandson of Ron and Virginia Freeman, Pal and the late Fred Bonfiglio. Loving uncle of Kaitlyn and Brianna. Cherished love of Valerie Sanchez.

Funeral Friday 10 AM at the Shook Funeral Home, 639 Van Houten Ave., Clifton. Interment, Ascension Cemetery, Airmont, NY. Visiting Thursday 2-4 and 7-9 PM at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations made to Christopher Freeman to be held in trust for Ryan Freeman’s Education Fund, would be greatly appreciated.


Thursday May 31, 2012, 2-4 PM – 7-9 PM at Shook Funeral Home
Click for Map and Directions


Friday June 1, 2012, 10 AM at Shook Funeral Home
Click for Map and Directions

For more information or to donate, please click this link.


For $125 City Employees Can Honor Mayor Blanco and Keep Their Jobs

18 11 2009
For $125 you can honor Passaic mayor

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Record



PASSAIC — Mayor Alex D. Blanco has taken a page from former mayor Samuel “Sammy” Rivera’s playbook: invite city employees to a party, with a suggested ticket price of $125.


City employees this weekend found an invitation in their home mailboxes from Blanco’s election campaign committee, which the mayor controls, to a holiday dinner dance party in his honor.

Rivera often relied on a similar tactic, hosting parties to which employees donated to help fill his campaign coffers and cultivate loyalty, especially among the ranks of police officers. Rivera is serving a 21-month prison term on bribery charges stemming from a 2007 federal corruption sting.

The invite caused many city hall workers to wonder if Blanco is applying unspoken pressure for a $125 “suggested contribution” — three weeks before Christmas. It is unclear how Blanco will spend the proceeds, but donors are asked to write their checks to his political campaign, “Friends of Dr. Alex Blanco.” The next mayoral election is in 2013.

Most city employees declined to speak for attribution, citing their fear of retribution, but one worker said nobody is “cordially invited,” but rather politically required to attend.

“I don’t think it’s proper, because it’s unethical,” said the employee. “If a secretary is making $30,000 a year, is she going to feel undue pressure to go? When you’re sending them to a lower person, who has a family, you’re putting pressure on them to go.”

Several city workers received the invitations at their home addresses, even though they never donated to his election campaign. It’s unclear how the campaign obtained the employee addresses.

Blanco’s spokesman Keith Furlong had not responded to questions about whether the mayor’s campaign used city payroll records for the mailing, or to questions about the event as of Tuesday evening.

It is not illegal to solicit city employees for political contributions, but a local ordinance – adopted during Council President Gary Schaer’s stint as interim mayor last year – prohibits candidates from asking for donations in city-owned buildings. The ordinance provides a loophole that allows solicitation if the candidate who does so communicates in “casual or inadvertent” manner.

Some city workers Tuesday recalled how Rivera hosted frequent cocktail parties, dinners and breakfasts as a way to pull in campaign contributions from city workers.

An investigation by the Herald News in 2006 showed that city police officers who donated to Rivera’s campaign often were promoted over those who did not. Former cops said it was common knowledge in the department that those who donated, or sold tickets to fundraisers, had quicker ascent up the ranks.

On Tuesday, one union official said he was not concerned that Blanco would play the same game.

Lawrence Dostanko, president of Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Association, Local 13, said he does not believe the mayor would base his decisions on promotions and firings on who gave to his campaign.

“If anything is going to happen, it’s going to happen regardless of our guys supporting an elected official or not,” Dostanko said.

As for any connection between Blanco and Rivera, Dostanko said it is too early.

“I’m giving (Blanco) the benefit of the doubt that he’s not going to follow in the footsteps of Sammy Rivera,” Dostanko said, “unless he proves me otherwise.”

“Pashkevillin” in Passaic!

24 10 2008

For the second time someone distributed leaflets or “pashkevillin” around Passaic, calling for Rabbi Menachem Zupnik to apologize for slandering the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Meir Stern, or to leave town. They also called for a boycott on Rabbi Zupnik’s shul.

If anyone has copies of the leaflets they can email us, or more information about their contents, please contact us using the comments (they will not be published).

Thank you.

PassaicJews Moderator’s Car Towed in Passaic – Newborn Infant Stranded

12 09 2008

Full letter with links to photos can be found at the end of this post.

Passaic, NJ — Forget to move your car for alternate side parking in Brooklyn, Newark, Monsey or Clifton – you will pay a moderate fine.

Forget to move your car in Passaic – you will pay a fine, have your car towed, run around Passaic for half-a-day, get the run-around at the police station, then pay towing and storage charges.

File photo of a car being towed.

File photo of a car being towed.

Recently, the moderator of, a popular yahoo group with the Passaic Jewish community, had his car towed as it was parked outside a pediatricians office in Passaic, stranding his mother with his newborn baby. Their crime? Failing to notice an alternate side parking sign 200 feet down the street.

As the moderator of PassaicJews, Michael Feigin was able to immediately post an urgent message on PassaicJews and secured a ride for his mother and newborn daughter. However, Mr. Feigin questions what someone without access to the resources he had would have done.

About a year ago, the Passaic community was up in arms about the alternate side towing, and tried to get the policy changed, without any success. At that time, this reporter was present when Passaic City Councilman Chaim Munk was asked what it would take to stop alternate side parking in Passaic.  Councilman Munk’s exact answer was: “when (then mayor) Sammy Rivera stops taking bribes from Raineri’s.”

So we ask the obvious question: Does Counciman Munk’s previous quote mean that the towing will stop when current Acting Mayor Gary Schaer “stops taking bribes from Raineri’s?”

Maybe this incident and this article will cause Acting Mayor Gary Schaer to stop the outrageous towings in Passaic. Dare we hope?

The letter from the PassaicJews moderator, as posted on

Dear PassaicJews members,

Yesterday, my mother borrowed my van with the car seat to take my newborn baby to the doctor. She parked on Pennington Ave in front of a sign that said not to park when it’s snow covered. She is from out of town and didn’t realize she had to walk all the way to the other end of the block to look at a second sign, facing the other direction, which looked identical to the first sign, to realize that it said it was street cleaning day.

The visit took five minutes. Yet, when she came out, the car was gone. My new baby daughter was stranded without a car seat while her mother was busy trying to recover from surgery.

While I have the ability to post my urgent messages directly to hundreds of subscribers on PassaicJews and my baby was soon brought home by a very generous person with a car seat, what if someone doesn’t have these resources?

To make matters worse, when I finally was able to secure another car and go to city hall, I specifically asked a police officer if I could park on a street where the signage was unclear (covered in stickers). He told me, “Well, the sign says no parking, but we really don’t enforce it around here. You’re on your own.” Just in case, I found another parking spot… but as I drove around I saw cars of city employees parked:
– in front of fire hydrants
– in front of crosswalks
– in front of driveways
– in front of within 25 feet of corners

Pictures of all of this with license plates of offenders are online at:

If you have trouble with the link, go to and click on “Yahoo Message Group” and then “Files” and then “Selective_Enforcement_In_Town” and then each individual picture.

… and don’t try and get your car back too quickly. The city won’t have the tow report! Missing a document? Go figure out where your car was towed to, get the document, and come back again. Driving someone else’s car? Better have them come to Passaic!

The towing of first time offenders, selective enforcement, and corruption in Passaic must be put to an end.

– Michael J. Feigin, Esq.
Patent and Trademark Attorney,

Ex-Mayor of Passaic Gets Nearly 2 Years in Prison

17 08 2008

TRENTON (AP) — Samuel Rivera, the former mayor of Passaic, N.J., was sentenced on Friday to nearly two years in prison and fined $4,000 for accepting cash bribes in exchange for influencing city contracts.

Mr. Rivera, who was caught in a corruption scheme that netted 11 public officials, resigned last year after pleading guilty to attempted extortion.

Mr. Rivera, 61, admitted taking $5,000 in exchange for using his official influence to help a company become the city’s insurance broker. The company turned out to be an F.B.I. front.

The only explanation Mr. Rivera offered on Friday for his role in the scheme was “poor judgment.”

A former police officer, Mr. Rivera is among nearly two dozen New Jersey mayors charged with corruption since 2000.

Among the most well known is Sharpe James, the former mayor of Newark, who is set to surrender to prison officials next month. Mr. James was ordered to serve a 27-month sentence and pay a $100,000 fine for his role in the sale of city-owned properties at a discount.

We at PCJN wish our former Mayor the best of luck. And we acknowledge all the great things he has done for our city.

Holocaust Survivors’ funding falls victim to budget crunch

15 08 2008

Jewish activists are lamenting the death of a bill in the State Legislature that would have provided $500,000 for services to Holocaust survivors.

The combined monies were intended for programs administered chiefly by local Jewish federations, including counseling, case management, home care, and semi-monthly survivors’ gatherings called Cafe Europa.

“The funding was contained in a supplemental appropriations bill,” said State Sen. Robert Gordon (D-Dist. 38), one of the bill’s prime sponsors. He said he wasn’t sure just how it was removed but did say it fell victim to the state’s financial crunch.

“The state is broke,” explained Gordon. “We are going to wind up closing hospitals. That is how dire things are. Things I submitted years ago that would have gone through without batting an eye were just slashed out of the budget.”

The New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations, which would have distributed the funds to individual federations, began seeking the appropriation in April. Read the rest of this entry »

Passaic Resident Taxed for Basements and Attics they are Not Allowed to Live in, Gary Schaer Thinks it’s Fair.

10 08 2008
Dorothy Blostein sits in her attic on Ascension Street in Passaic. She has lived here for 44 years and says a recent reassessment that includes her attic is unfair. (KEVIN R. WEXLER/Staff Photographer)

City reassesses space in 1,000 homes

PASSAIC — Roughly 1,000 city homeowners will be paying hundreds more in their quarterly tax bills this year because the city has adjusted its assessment for basements and attics that have been untaxed for more than a decade.

Tax bills sent out in July reflect the changes, and some residents are complaining that the city failed to give them advance notice.

City Tax Assessor Thomas Poalillo said that, because of a computer error, for 16 years about 1,000 homeowners had been paying a lower amount in taxes than they should have as a result of their property being incorrectly assessed.

Poalillo said Appraisal Consultants, the company that did the city’s last revaluation in 1992, put the wrong amount of livable space these residents have into the city’s tax assessments computer database.

Poalillo said that last year he decided to correct the error by 2008 and add these people’s attics and basements as part of their assessments.

“From 1992 to 2008, these people weren’t paying taxes on the correct assessment,” he said.

“It’s my job to treat everyone equally. Now everyone is being assessed correctly. Now everyone is on the same playing field.”

Dorothy Blostein has been living in her two-story house at 168 Ascension St. for 44 years and said she never has been assessed for her attic.

The assessment on her home went up $15,000 this year, which translates into a tax increase of $909 a year under the current tax rate.

Standing on the stairs of her dusty wooden attic on Thursday, the 79-year-old Blostein said she was shocked in July when she received her third- and fourth-quarter bills for 2008.

“You can see it’s not finished,” Blostein said, looking at the various objects she keeps in her attic: suitcases, a box of photo albums, an old computer and speakers. “It’s just junk,” she said, her voice beginning to rise. Read the rest of this entry »