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 PassaicJews.com, 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 PassaicJews.com:

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: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PassaicJews/files/Selective_Enforcement_in_Town/

If you have trouble with the link, go to PassaicJews.com 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.
Moderator, PassaicJews.com
Patent and Trademark Attorney, PatentLawNJ.com

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In a crowded Passaic field, Morales says she has fire in the belly

25 08 2008

DENVER – You can’t stray far from New Jersey’s ward politics here, not if you’re at the Hotel Inverness, where Ritzy Morales told PolitickerNJ.com that she definitely intends to run for mayor of Passaic.

A longtime director of constituent services for U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson), Morales, 41, said she plans to submit 700 petitions to the municipal clerk in advance of the Sept. 12th filing deadline, and expects to have at least 400-500 of them certified to earn well over the required 200.

“The public has known me for a long time,” said Morales, born in Paterson and a resident of Passaic for ten years. “I have strong values, and I wouldn’t even accept a cup of coffee from someone as mayor, because of the negativity left by Sammy Rivera. I would definitely stop corruption.”

A judge sentenced Rivera on corruption charges earlier this month. Now Morales is one of seven people jockeying to win a special election on Nov. 4th to fill in for the disgraced former mayor. The field consists of School Board member Alex Blanco, city supervisor Vincent Capuana, councilman Jose Garcia, Councilwoman Maritza Colon-Montanez, real estate developer Jose Sandoval, bail-bondsman Carl Ellen, and Morales.

Latinos make up the biggest voting bloc at 52-54%, with the two biggest sub-communities split between Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. Puerto Ricans have the upper-hand numbers-wise – 2,000 to 800-900 registered Dominican voters – but they still don’t quite have the rock solid Election Day numbers that orthodox Jews possess: 1,800-2,200 votes.

“I see a lot of potential in Passaic, and a lot of growth opportunity to unite all of the communities in the city,” said Morales.

She’ll be in a dogfight for Puerto Rican base votes with Colon-Montanez. The latter will have another scrap on her hands in addition to Morales, meanwhile, as Colon-Montanez will be trying to shore up the remnants of Rivera’s political apparatus, even as Capuana tries to do the same thing from within the base camp of the old city guard.

A Dominican who is making his own big play to unite all parties, Sandoval is nonetheless a Republican who has fought the power on numerous occasions and lost. Ellen has the challenge of outleaping the reality of 12% African-American voter registration in Passaic, and appealing to base and new voters.

Then there’s Blanco, who is said to be close to Acting Mayor Gary Schaer, an orthodox Jew who with his endorsement can deliver a plurality of his own ethnic community. But Schaer remains coy about his pick, and Morales hopes she can gain his support.

She acknowledges that one of her chief challenges will be striking down her opponents’ attempts to depict her as an inner sanctum Pascrell plant.

She’ll have to fight the campaign mail piece, perhaps, that suggests she was tossed into the race simply to drain votes from fellow Puerto Rican Colon-Montanez so that Blanco – in the event he’s the back room establishment pick settled on by Schaer, Pascrell and Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie – can rely on a split Puerto Rican vote, and himself unite Dominicans, Jews and others, to scratch out a win.

But Morales insists there’s no stalking horse back story to her candidacy. She wants to win.

“I have a loyalty to Bill and to the party, but I am an independent person,” said Morales. “They affiliate me with Bill. Bill has taught me how to be independent, and he taught me how to care about people. This was a hard decision for me to make. When I spoke with the congressman, he definitely opened the door to allow me to do this. But ultimately this is for me to decide. I have a fire inside my belly to help people.”                  Politickernj.com