Sunday, August 30, 2009

Location of Rutherford time capsule still unknown

FROM THE LEADER NEWSPAPER - Click to view the article on The Leader website

By Susan C. Moeller / Senior Reporter

RUTHERFORD — On Nov. 25, 1920, World War I had been over for approximately two years, Warren Harding had just won a landslide election to the presidency and a decade known for its opulence and decadence was under way.

In Rutherford, the borough council was ready to commemorate those who served in “the war to end all wars” — an unfortunate slogan that proved resoundingly false. A monument designed by local architect Edgar I. Williams had been dedicated six months earlier.

At a special meeting the morning of the 25th, the mayor and council assembled a box of records that had been gathered ahead of time. The clerk sealed the box and the council proceeded to the newly constructed WWI monument at the intersection of Park and Passaic avenues, according to borough historian Rodney Leith. The box, which Leith assumes was made of metal, was placed somewhere near the base of the monument.

Unfortunately, there’s no remaining record of the box’s location — no infamous “x” to mark the spot. And, 89 years later, the time capsule is still concealed, still hiding.

An attempt was made Friday, Aug. 14 to find the box. Preservationists working to restore the monument checked one logical hiding place — behind a bronze plaque at the base of the monument, but instead of an open vault, they found only a blank stretch of the concrete-like mix from which the monument was constructed.

Local historian William Neumann, who helped to secure funds for restoration of the monument, had suspected that the box might be behind the plaque ever since he noticed that the plaque did not seem to be tightly secured.

A shadow of doubt still remains in his mind. There are no visible edges to the concrete behind the plaque. But, it does sound a little hollow, Neumann said.

The time capsule is not a treasure chest by any stretch of the imagination. But, the records inside have historic and possibly sentimental value.

According to a resolution adopted by the borough council on the day the box was hidden, it holds records including information from the citizen committee, which raised money for the monument, a list of Rutherfordians who served in the war, a record of activity of the local chapter of the American Red Cross and a report from the “Friday Knitting Group.”

Finding the box would allow for any of the documents inside to be copied or repaired. But, Neumann and Leith aren’t sure yet if more extensive efforts to find the capsule will be made.

Neumann is in favor of leaving the box where it is, hidden. No specific direction was given as to when the box should be opened, he pointed out. And, if the concrete behind the plaque is concealing something, it may be an intentional part of the design. “If there is something behind it,” Neumann said, “Maybe that’s what they wanted to do, was for it to stay there.”

Time capsules, which are sometimes stowed in the cornerstones of public buildings, could be considered the final statements of a structure, intended to be found when all else has crumbled, Neumann suggested.

But, the WWI monument isn’t at its end yet. “We are in the middle of the life of this monument.”

The lost box of records in the WWI monument is probably not the only time capsule that will have to wait for someone to stumble upon it.

“There are probably dozens of them stuck around town,” Neumann said. “Many times the information on where they are gets lost.” It’s the number one problem with time capsules, he added.

As for the box in the WWI monument, “I’ll leave it to eternity to figure that one out,” Neumann said.

“We have no idea where it is at this stage,” Leith said.

The borough will celebrate the 125th anniversary of Edgar I. Williams in October. A rededication of the WWI monument is scheduled for Oct. 2. The event will be an opportunity to honor the designer of the monument and the service people it was built to memorialize, Leith said. There are plans in the works to place a second time capsule in the monument.

Maybe this time, directions on how and when to find it will survive.

Furloughs End

Tuesday, August 18th at the Mayors’ request, the Council unanimously voted to end the employee Furlough program effective August 24th. The Furlough program was instituted on July 10, 2009 to reduce expenditures and assist in balancing the budget.

Mayor Hipp stated “In these difficult economic times it’s important to maintain services to our residents while keeping a lid on property tax increases. However I know the furloughs have caused a disruption to our residents and a hardship to the employees who participated in the program. As a result of the monies the Borough received from EnCap, we are looking at a modest budget increase 1.49%.”

New trash and recycling schedules will be mailed to residents next week that will include leaf pickup and will cover the remaining months of 2009.

All Borough administrative offices will be open 5 days a week from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

For further information please visit the Borough’s Web Site at or call DPW at 201-460-3038.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rutherford, The Movie

A friend of mine helped make a wonderful short film that has just been released. It was filmed in Rutherford, in two locations:
1. Inside the photo studio on Glen Road (I can't find the name) and on the street outside
2. Our house (!!!!) and on the street outside.
Don't miss the "behind the scenes" footage.

Click here to view the film: Portraits

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

National Banana Split Day

It is National Banana Split Day so be sure to visit Ice Cream Charlie's or Dairy Queen on Park Ave in Rutherford.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Risotto House

When I first moved to Rutherford friends who knew I was a "foodie" congratulated me on my choice from a culinary perspective. They were thrilled to come out and eat their way through town. One exception, Risotto House on Park Ave. Everyone told me to stay away. Now I hear they've a new(ish) chef, co-owner Luis Tito. Tito used to work for the Bastianich family at Felidia and Becco. That sounds like street cred to me. I say its time to try Risotto House.

Risotto House
88 Park Avenue
Rutherford, NJ 07070
(201) 438-5344

Station Square ca 1909

Talk It Up! Teen Book Discussion Group

Do I have any teen readers out there? How about parents of teens? This one's for you:

Talk It Up
TONIGHT 7PM - 8:15PM at the Rutherford Public Library
Contact: Susan Rappaport 201-939-8600 ext 19

"All teens entering the seventh grade and older are invited to our summer book discussion group. We meet for six weeks and four of the books are on the summer reading list from school. The first half of the program we discuss the books and in the second half we play a really fun version of Family Feud. Come join in on the fun! Food, presents and new friends are available. Registration is mandatory so come in, call or email but you must register!"

By the way, that picture was not taken at the RPL. It's just for visual interest - give me some poetic license.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Overheard in Rutherford 2: An Evening with the Borg 08.21.09

Once again, courtesy of Elisabeth (Thanks!!)

Borgism (bôrg´iz ǝm) n. thought stated while hanging with the Rutherford Borg, removed from its original context for comic effect.

1. You never know what kind of friggin' cow you're going to get, and that's reality.

2. His kombucha exploded.

3. It's nightmarish and stupid and I don't know what you're talking about.

4. Mary already drank half the bottle. Were drinking the other half to keep her alive.

5. I have butterfly butt.

6. There are a lot of flavors you could add to vodka that would make me want to drink it. Skittles is not one of them.

7. I didn't get malaria this week.

8. You should have probably started with fire walking.

9. Vil-la! Vil-la! Vil-la!

10. Pee anywhere you want!

11. Coffee makes me nuts. I mean, more so.

12. I'm wearing five layers of underwear right now.

13. I don't want my threats to lie around doing nothing!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cupcakes Galore

I bought 3 cupcakes to try tonight after dinner at Daruma (review to come)...

Earl Grey Blueberry:

1. As with many of their cupcakes, the overall feel of this one is a little heavy and the cake is slightly greasy.
2. Smell is wonderful - strong bergamot mixed with blueberry pie. A good combo.
3. My sweetie thinks the icing is a little grainy bUt I like it. Not too sweet but rich and tasty. How can vegan buttercream frosting taste rich and buttery?
4. The cake is dense but not too firm. A scent of Early Grey tea but not a strong taste of it.
5. Filling classic blueberry pie. Fresh taste and fresh blueberry on top.
6. Of the Sweet Ave cupcakes I've tried, I'd put this in the top 5. (#1 of the 3 tried tonight)

Thai Coconut Curry:

1. Cake is a little drier than their usual; more like a muffin. My sweetie likes this density particularly.
2. Smells like coconut curry
3. Light on the frosting, which is nice. Toasted coconut is a good addition in my opinion but my sweetie would prefer un-toasted.
4. As with the bergamot, more of a smell of curry than a taste.
5. A little too sweet. I'm a big fan of chili in chocolate and I think this needs a similar balancing factor.
6. Less successful than many of their cupcakes but I appreciate the effort. #2 of 3.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:

1. Not much smell. A little vanilla smell, a little mass-market cookie dough (there's actually cookie dough in the middle!).
2. Comparatively bland.
3. The cake is nice, classic.
4. Frosting is too sweet and grainy.
5. Good concept (the stuffing with dough).
6. #3 of 3. Not really successful.

Sweets to Come

I'm planning on walking over to Sweet Avenue today to buy some cupcakes, specifically the Thai Curry which I've been wanting to try. I'll let you know how they are.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Today is Wednesday and we all know what that means: tomorrow is the day for my favorite flavors at Sweet Avenue Bake Shop! I've not tried them all, but check out this selection:

Black & White
Dark Side of the Moon
Jet Black
Sexy Sadie
White Room
Blueberry Earl Grey
Chocolate Sundae
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Thai Coconut Curry
Old Skool

Awesome, right!?!?

In case you don't know about Sweet Avenue, here's a little blurb from their (great) web site:
"Everything we make at Sweet Avenue is totally vegan. That means that all of our cupcakes, cookies, and everything else are all dairy- and egg-free. They're also 100% cholesterol-free, completely cruelty-free, better for the environment, and 156% awesomer than non-vegan desserts. Seriously. You can take that to the bank."

If that sounds gross, just wait until you taste. I actually did not know the cupcakes were vegan until a vegetarian friend told me and I'd been eating and enjoying them for months. And, NO, I don't have some sort of strange taste disorder. I'm a very good cook and sweet stuff connoisseur. Try it, you'll like it.

Sweet Avenue Bake Shop
153 Park Ave.
Rutherford, NJ 07070
201.935.BAKE (2253)
Mon — Closed
Tue-Sat — 11am-7pm
Sun — 11am-5pm

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First-ever (201) Restaurant Week

Alas, there are no participating restaurants in Rutherford for some unknown reason, since there are so many good ones here. But, use this as an excuse to patronize your local eateries.

(201) Restaurant Week runs October 4-8 & 11-15

Experience some of Bergen's top restaurants and finest cuisine at an incredible value! Dine out at participating restaurants and take advantage of a prix fixe, three-course lunch for $16.95 and dinner for $29.95. No tickets or passes required. Reservations are recommended, but not required.

A donation will be made to Table to Table, a community-based food rescue program that collects prepared and perishable excess food and delivers it to organizations that feed the hungry in Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Hudson counties.

For more information, please call (201) 646-6954.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rutherford Mayor to Pay Taxes

Rutherford Mayor, John Hipp, claims he's going to pay his taxes this week.

For those of you who have not been following this story, our Mayor owes $6300 in property taxes that he's not paid this year. I applaud the Mayor for publicly vilifying land developer, EnCap for not paying its $1.6 Mil in property taxes to Rutherford but his attention to that matter does not excuse his own non-payment. He claims that he has not been able to pay because his law practice is struggling while he spends most of his time being the Mayor (a job with a stipend of only $4000 annually). I'm sure EnCap, which paid it's bill 2 weeks ago, had an excuse too. For a man who ran on the platform of financial responsibility, this is absurd.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rutherford Community Food Pantry Needs List

I know I blogged about the Rutherford Fool Pantry yesterday but I want to make it really easy for readers to donate. Here's what they need and a few things they don't. Please help out if you can. The drop off address is at the bottom.

*Oatmeal, Grits
*Pasta, all varieties
*Mac and Cheese
*Canned clams and clam sauce
*Hearty Soups, NO Chicken Noodle
*Canned Fruit, pineapple, fruit cocktail, peaches
*Pasta sauce, Canned Tomatoes
*Jelly, Peanut Butter
*Shaving cream and Razors
*Baby Diapers size: Newborn, 1, 4, and 5
Canned Corn
Iced tea mix
Canned Beets, Spinach, Mushrooms, Peas and Carrots
Pancake mixes and Syrup
Cake Mixes
Jello and Pudding boxes
Condiments: mustard, mayo, salad dressing, oil, vinegar, bread crumbs, ketchup
Rice, white, brown, Spanish
Tissues, toilet tissue and paper towels
Laundry detergent
Bar Soap, Deodorant
Shampoo, conditioner
Bath powder
NO Baked Beans or Pork and Beans
NO Peas
NO Green beans
NO Baby Food or Formula
NO Cranberry Sauce
NO Canned Beans
*Please remember we cannot accept expired food.

Rutherford Social Services
Borough Hall
176 Park Ave.
Rutherford, NJ

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rutherford Food Pantry seeking donations

Thanks to the good people at (201) Daily....
and courtesy of ever vigilant friend, John

Rutherford Food Pantry seeking donations
Police, volunteers and the mayor helped unload a truck full of food for the Rutherford Food Pantry last Friday. Although the pantry workers make an emergency trip to a state-run pantry in Hillsdale that day, the pantry located in borough hall is desperately seeking donations of food and other items.

The pantry has seen a sharp increase in families needing to "shop" at the pantry says volunteer Jackie Bunker-Lohrenz, adding that as of last Wednesday pantry shelves were almost bare. Clients are now numbered at more than 100.

If you would like to donate, please see the list of items needed at Donations can be dropped off 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If the pantry is not open, bags or boxes can be left outside the door.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rutherford Residents Can Pay Taxes Online

Maybe the Mayor should take note!

From the website:
The Borough of Rutherford will allow residents to pay their taxes online beginning August 3, 2009. The Borough council approved this measure as a convenience to residents who may want to avail themselves of this program.

Visa and MasterCard payments will be allowed through a link on the Borough’s website. This is offered as an option to residents who will still be able to pay by cash or check either in person at Borough Hall or by mail.

For those who wish to take advantage of this option there will be a 2.59 percent fee that will be based on the amount of the tax payment. In a traditional retail situation this fee would be absorbed by the merchant or service provider. A municipality cannot absorb this fee. If the taxes are delinquent the taxpayer must call the Tax Office for the exact amount due as interest is calculated on a per diem basis. That number is 201-460-3005.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Overheard in Rutherford

Thanks to Elisabeth, who complied this list:

Borgism (bôrg´iz ǝm) n. thought stated while hanging with the Rutherford Borg, removed from its original context for comic effect.

1. I'm not quite young enough to be an aphid.

2. He used to like me. He used to like a lot of guys. Then he got married.

3. Get it off me!! Get it off me!!

4. I'm going to slow down the car -- you just get the hell out.

5. I've never stolen a baby. Not once.

6. Just put them in a padded room and let them knock themselves off the walls.

7. I'll feel better when there's a toilet.

8. I brought some lube!

9. You can actually do something for him which is murder three people.

10. I didn't know I looked that funny.

11. I love the bats because I've only been bitten once.

12. Can you visual-Earth the baby?

13. I killed him, and his successor was crazy.

14. Is this some kind of weird cougar terminology?

15. I have this problem with being logical.

16. The way you're going to do it is stupid and horrible and will lead you to death.

17. Oh, young hussy like you, of course you know his number!

18. I've come here to eat.

19. Guys, it's 3:00 in the morning. I'd like to get back to my hotel. Can we just finish this business and I'll be on my way?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Outlet Style

When I go to Maine I always stop at the LL Bean headquarters in Freeport. I also like to explore the other shops there and the outlets. That is another thing I can ABSOLUTELY do here in NJ. Secaucus is under 6 miles from Rutherford is the original outlet center. When I was a kid the stores were actual warehouse shops, selling off seconds and last seasons stored goods. Now things are more upscale, which is both good and bad. There's a heck of a lot of shopping there:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

When I visit Maine I love to hike and enjoy the outdoors. On recent trips, I've toured the Penobscot Bay islands by boat, seen bald eagles on Mount Desert Islands and gone on various hikes. I could do similar things locally but I never do these things at home. I should, there are plenty of opportunities. Here are two examples:

The NJ Meadowlands Commission offers guided boat tours of the 30+ miles of wetlands bordering the Hackensack RIver, short hikes along the meadowlands, and strolling and admiring the wildflowers in their various parks.

The closest to Rutherford is the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission Environmental Center is an 87-acre impoundment and 10 acres of park land. There is a boardwalk nature trail (made of recycled plastic boards) through the meadowlands, with bird blinds. Also, a nature center, "Trash Museum", and panoramic views of the wetlands. 2 DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, - Tel: 201 460-8300

Branch Brook Park offers 359+ cares of open meadowland and small patches of woodland on gently rolling terrain.It boasts over 2,000 cherry trees, a larger number and variety than the famous Washington, Each year the park hosts a Cherry Blossom Festival that attracts over 10,000 people a day.

What are your favorite outdoor activities around here?

Google Classic

I had some things in mind for my next entry and, of course, I'm fact-checking them using Google. How did we live with out internet searches? Oh, yeah, the library. I don't know the origin of this image but I'm reposting it from

The Maine Idea

I apologize for the "radio silence" and promise I've not been playing with the Wii this entire time (6 days). I've been in Maine for some of it. I love Maine - the natural beauty, the quiet, the locavore food, the attitude, the shops. Returning from this visit I decide to think about some of the things I do while I'm in Maine and find similar activities locally, around Rutherford. I'll post some ideas today, so check back!
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