Pompton Lakes: Fight the Blight!

Avalon Bay in Bloomingdale is open for business.  It’s ugly, it’s massive and with plans to sell the Meer Tract (Federal Hill) to the quarry company Tilcon, adding at least another 500 units, we will no longer recognize the town we grew up in.

Mom’s mad.  This wasn’t what she bargained for when she and Dad bought our house in August of 1961, 52 years ago.  Bloomingdale was a reasonably wholesome place to raise children, with quiet streets and virtually no crime.

As we pondered how the town council, the planning board, and the regional development goons could possibly have declared the property an “urban blight zone” when it had never been built on, when the last time the area was occupied, an encampment of Revolutionary War soldiers were pondering mutiny.

Brother A offered this explanation.  In a word, he said the problem was junk.  “People have been using it for a dumping site for years,” he explained.

Pompton Lakes, Bloomingdale’s neighbor, has seen what the redevelopment plan has done for the towns of Wanaque and Ringwood, especially the Haskell section of town.  In a word, it’s a filthy, garbage-strewn mess.  Ringwood is in the process of widening the sidewalks, per the Smart Growth plan, making the road narrower and more hazardous for cars.

Consequently, Pompton Lakes is starting to back off on its commitment to Smart Growth.  Only one side of Wanaque Avenue is now slated for “urban renewal” and its location next to the ever-flooding Wanaque River makes it in an inhospitable area for large-scale building.  The town already has rental apartment complexes within its borders.  Each of those six must conform to Affordable Housing standards.  Since the 2000 census, Pompton Lakes’ minority population has doubled – and so has its garbage.

In addition, the town has one major shopping mall with the A&P as the anchor store, five small strip malls, its main business district, and several fast-food franchises (Wendy’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Starbucks).  While no one wants to see Prohibition return, the empty bottles and cans end up in the underbrush, on homeowners’ and business properties, and sometimes right in the street.  Every morning finds a new flock of fast-food wrappers floating across the A &P parking lot.   But you have to get up pretty early in the morning to see it, because we’re fighting it.  If only some strong guys with a pick-up truck would remove that mattress from the bridge on the Hamburg Turnpike over the Wanaque River…

Blight is what the environmentalists, the EPA and Agenda 21ers want:  blight, garbage, filth.  Anything to tag the town as being an urban blight site.  Once the town has this label pinned on them – also for vacant properties and illegal dumping, like the mattress, and as happened in Bloomingdale – the Federal government can move on in and with a few Federal bucks bribes, take over the town and make it over in their utopian, one-party image.

They don’t want to see a pristine, well-kept suburban town.  The reason teens are part of the problem is they want to identify with hip urban street culture they hear about on their iPods and see on MTV.  They want to be urban cool.  The dirtier and grittier the streets, the better.  What teen wants to live in a town that looks like it popped right out of the 1950s, a white-breaded, wholesome, progressive, rock n’roll nightmare?

If someone didn’t pick up the pint bottles of Jack Daniels off of people’s front lawns and businesses, the pizza boxes, the ubiquitous water bottles, beer cans, fast-food trash, cigarette cartons and wrappers, bubble gum and candy, and the unusual items such as cast off wool hats, gloves, sneakers, syringes, a lost credit card, and even one dirty diaper (yuck), the town would be that Twilight Zone urban nightmare the teens and Agenda 21 wish to create.

The town encompasses all of 2 square miles, which makes the job of Cleaning Lady fairly easy.  Some people curse, others roll their others.  Some look like their ready to call the men in the white coats.  But mostly people honk, cheer, and express their gratitude.

It takes courage to do a socially unacceptable job.  But this is war.  We’re fighting for our town’s existence.  We don’t want to become Paterson, Wanaque, or Bloomingdale.  Most people don’t understand what’s really going on and what’s at stake.  Most have never even heard of Agenda 21 and don’t realize its goal is to destroy the right to own private property and force residence into high density housing, the kind that spawns crime, misery, and filth.  Some of the trash comes from automobile passengers.  But more of it comes from pedestrian traffic, the kind of traffic Agenda 21 advocates.  No cars stopped over Post Brook to drive cans and bottles into the thickets of the brush surrounding the brush at the Post Brook bridge on Ringwood Avenue.  It took a lot of effort to stuff that garbage in there.

Pompton Lakes has discovered that it really likes its town neat, clean and tidy.  They didn’t realize it, of course, until it was cleaned up.  There’s still Ringwood Avenue north of Willard Street to tackle, and the southern section of the Hamburg Turnpike.  Weather and prolonged unemployment have favored the clean-up activities.  Sept. 1st is Pompton Pride Day.  No doubt the litter bugs will go on one last binge to try to ruin it.  But the Cleaning Lady is indefatigable and determined.

If only someone or two with strong arms and a big truck would please help out and remove that awful mattress from the Wanaque River Bridge on the Hamburg Turnpike…. 

Fight the blight, Pompton Lakes.





Published in: on August 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

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