Dear Neighbors:

December is always a busy time in Upper Saddle River as our numerous community and civic groups work to make the holiday season even more special. Thank you to everyone volunteering their time, at this busy time of year, to create these special events for our community to enjoy. Hope to see many of you at some, or all, of the events described in this bulletin.

Volunteers are needed for many of our boards and committees.  If you are interested in being part of the Board of Health, Shade Tree Commission, Youth Guidance Council or Recreation Commission, please email a letter of interest and short resume to Rose Vido at for consideration.  If you’d like more information on a particular board or position, please email Mayor Minichetti at


Library Holiday Party & Cookie Bake-off:   Residents are invited to the 25th annual town-wide Holiday Party on Saturday, December 1 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Enjoy refreshments and the seasonal music of the North Jersey Concert Band. Take a souvenir photo in our holiday themed photo booth. Children will enjoy story time in our Winter Wonderland, crafts and our special snowman guest. Enter our annual Cookie Bake-off contest and win a prize. Forms and contest rules are in the library or on our website:


USR Tree Lighting and Toy Drive:  The annual Christmas tree lighting and toy drive to be hosted by the Saddle River Valley Junior Woman’s Club will be held on Saturday December 1 at 4 p.m. in front of Borough Hall. Please join us as we kickoff the season with holiday entertainment as we enjoy cookies and hot cocoa while we await a special visitor from the North Pole. Please brighten the holidays for those less fortunate by bringing an unwrapped toy for the children of Valley Hospital and Foster and Adoptive Services. Please contact Leslie 201-953-9399 with any questions.


Hanukkah Party and Menorah Lighting:  Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.- Celebrate Hanukkah with the JCO!  Upper Saddle River Menorah Lighting at Borough Hall. Treats will be served!

Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. – Bogert School Chorus performs Hanukkah songs at Borough Hall followed by JCO Hanukkah Party at The Children’s Academy from 5:00-7:00 p.m.  Light dinner will be served at the party! Dancing and games with DJ.  Pre-registration is required for the Hanukkah Party. The party is free for members current on 2018-19 dues.  $18 per family for non-members.

It is a long-standing tradition in Upper Saddle River for residents to light the town Menorah, located at Borough Hall, each night of Hanukkah. Feel free to bring friends and family! Please use this link to sign up to light the menorah.


Frosty Friends:  The JCO is proud to announce that for the fourth consecutive year, we are partnering with Jersey Cares and their Frosty Friends program. Through this gift-giving program, the JCO has volunteered to fulfill the wishes of 125 children in Paterson, New Jersey, between the ages of 4-16, who may not otherwise receive presents this holiday season.

If you would like to participate and help us make some holiday dreams come true, please email us at and let us know how many gift letters you would like to receive. We will then send you an email with instructions and your requested letters. The JCO will deliver all gifts on your behalf!


Curbside White Goods Pickup:  Thursday, December 6.   Call 201-327-2196 x221 to schedule an appointment for the appliance at LEAST three days prior to the pickup date.

Recycling for December 2018: There will be NO Westside recycling pickup on December 25th (Christmas). It has been rescheduled for Friday, December 28, 2018 .

Recycling for January 2019: There will be NO Eastside recycling pickup January 1, 2019 (New Year’s Day). It has been rescheduled for Friday, January 4, 2019


Bergen Highlands United Methodist Church Toy Drive:   Be part of the Bergen Highlands United Methodist Church Annual Paterson Toy Drive, December 2nd noon–December 6th noon and donate slightly used or new toys to Bergen Highlands United Methodist Church. All toys donated are then delivered to the Boys and Girls Club of Paterson for shopping days: Friday, 12/7 from 4-8 p.m. is “Kid Night” when only kids are allowed to shop and Saturday, 12/8, from 9-1 is open to the community. Children can shop for their entire family for $2.00. Parents spend $10.00 and walk away with toys for three children. All proceeds are equally donated to CUMAC and the Boys and Girls Club. There are no expenses. All work is done by volunteers and every toy is donated by people who simply want to reach out at Christmas time to make a difference in a child’s life. Drop toys off in the Fellowship Hall at Bergen Highlands United Methodist Church, 318 West Saddle River Road, Upper Saddle River, starting Sunday, December 2nd afternoon – Thursday December 6th 12 p.m. We take all toys provided they are clean, and bagged or boxed. Puzzles must be complete and in plastic bags. Volunteers are also needed to help out at the Boys and Girls Club on Friday, December 7 and Saturday, December 8. For more information about the event call Betsy Haley 201-746-0650


Holiday Celebration at Hopper-Goetschius House Museum: Sunday, December 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. Visit Santa in the Barn. He will arrive on a fire truck. Listen to a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” in the schoolhouse. Chestnuts will be roasting in the out kitchen, the blacksmith will be by the shed making reindeer shoes, and cookies and mulled cider will be served in the house, all decorated for a Victorian holiday. Admission is free for USR Historical Society members and children 16 and under. Non-member admission is $5.


USR Volunteer Fire Department Project Santa:  For a $50 donation, Santa will deliver your child a gift via fire truck.  All you need to do is bring the attached form with a small wrapped gift (must fit into a normal sized grocery bag) and your donation to the USR Firehouse (one gift per child). 

Gift Drop Off:  Wednesday, December 12 and Thursday, December 13 6 -8 p.m.

Gift Delivery:  Saturday, December 15 from 1 – 4 pm.  Rain/Snow date Sunday, December 16 from 1-4 p.m. 


A Message from the USR Police Department:  December brings about some of the busiest holiday shopping of the year both in stores and online.  While many people will descend on local malls and other large department stores, others will do their shopping on the internet.  In either case, the Upper Saddle River Police Department would like to offer the following safety tips to help our residents and their families stay safe while shopping during this Holiday Season and throughout the year. 

Internet:  The Federal Trade Commission sees a spike during the holiday season in complaints about online retailers who do not deliver goods, as advertised, or do not deliver them at all.

Plan:   Use search engines and the retailer’s website to confirm its reputation.  According to the FTC, if a physical address and a phone number or any other way to get in touch with the company are not visible, consider it a red flag.

Be sure to read the fine print of the product details.  Words like “refurbished” or “vintage” may indicate the product is in poor condition.  Reading reviews left by other buyers or experts of the product also will help to verify quality.   Before purchasing, determine the retailer’s return policy and shipping timeline.  The FTC requires sellers to ship the item by the date promised or within 30 days of the order date.  Also, pay attention to shipping costs and refund policies.

Purchase:  The FTC recommends using a credit card for all online purchases, not a debit card.  A credit card transaction is protected under the Fair Credit Billing Act.  If the credit card holder disputes a charge, the payment can be withheld temporarily, while the creditor investigates.   

After a purchase, the buyer should save records of the purchase, product description and order confirmation.  From there, the buyer should keep an eye on credit card statements to watch for any possible unauthorized charges, according to the FTC.                                      

Protect:    Avoid emailing any personal financial information, such as credit card, checking or Social Security numbers.  If the retailer’s website requests this type of information via pop-up, do not click any link provided or give the information.

Before entering any credit card information, the buyer should check the website address for “https” at the start of the address.  The “s” stands for “secure,” so the buyer can ensure the information being entered is encrypted before being submitted, according to the FTC.  Use caution against clicking on ads, even on trusted websites.  Just because an ad is on the website does not mean the company endorses the advertiser.

Shopping Malls

Ø  Stay alert and be aware of what is going on around you.

Ø  Try to shop during the day.  Avoid shopping at night. 

Ø  Bring someone with you, especially if you have to shop at night.

Ø  Park in a well-lit area, and be sure to lock your car.

Ø  Avoid carrying or displaying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card

Ø  Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

Ø  If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a mall or well-lighted location. 

Ø  Do not leave purses unattended in shopping carts.  Make sure purses are kept zippered/buttoned closed at all times.

Ø  Place gifts and other valuables in the trunk of your car.

Ø  Have car keys in hand, ready to use when you reach the car.

Ø  Carry a fully-charged cell phone with you.

Ø  If shopping with kids, teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if they get separated from you.

Lastly, one of the most important tips if you are out shopping is:  If you See Something, Say Something.  Report suspicious activity to mall security, the police or the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security. 

The entire staff of the Upper Saddle River Police Department wishes you and your family a very happy and safe Holiday Season.


USREF 2019 Award for Excellence:  The Upper Saddle River Educational Foundation (USREF) is seeking nominations for the 2019 Award for Excellence.  The Award will be presented to the Honorees at the USREF Town Night Out Gala which will take place on April 6, 2019 at Seasons Catering in Washington Township, NJ.

This year, the USREF is seeking nominations for Upper Saddle River’s “Power Couple”.  The nominees must both be residents of Upper Saddle River, provide exceptional (unpaid) public service to the community (e.g., sports, boy/girl scouts, community and/or school events, non-profit organizations, emergency services, etc.) and serve as a role model for the children in the Upper Saddle River School District.  The deadline for nominations is December 7th, 2018.

You may submit your nominations by either:
1) Emailing a nomination letter to;
2) Mailing a nomination letter to: USREF, P.O. Box 831, Saddle River, NJ 07458, Attn: Award for Excellence Committee; or
3) Completing an online nomination form which can be found by visiting our website ( or the USREF Facebook page.

Please contact Karen Mueller, President of the USREF at (917) 297-4553 or,if you have any questions.


Winter Weather Reminders: A few important winter weather reminders: During snow and ice events, garbage and recycling need to be placed curbside. Trucks can’t get in and out of driveways. To ensure pickup, please place tightly sealed containers at the curb.

By ordinance, overnight parking is not allowed on any municipal street. Vehicles parked overnight will receive a summons. If special circumstances are involved, please call the Police Department. Keeping the roadways clear becomes even more important during winter months, as roadways are being salted and plowed. Cars parked overnight in the roadway will be towed.

Please don’t forget to plow a 3-foot clearing around any fire hydrant near your residence. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to keep these clear of snow and ice. Tickets will be issued. The USR Volunteer Fire Department has installed tall markers so the hydrants can be located more easily


Adult Walk-In Health Clinic: Thursday, December 27 from noon – 1 p.m. at Borough Hall.  Services include a Health History Evaluation, Blood Pressure Measurement, Height and Weight, Individualized Counseling and Education, Referral and Follow-up and a Confidential Consultation with a Public Health Nurse. This is free of charge to adult USR residents on the 4th Thursday of each month through the Borough’s contract with the County of Bergen Health Department. For more information please call 201-327-2196.


Dog/Cat Licenses Due January 2019:  Upper Saddle River dogs and cats are due for their annual licenses. The new 2019 certificates and tags will be available at the Borough Hall starting January 2019. Licenses are required for all dogs and cats that have had rabies shots. Proof of rabies immunization, which must be valid through the 10th month of the licensing year as required by the State of NJ, and proof of neutering/spaying (if applicable) are also required. USR basic licensing fee for dogs is $15 and for cats $5. There is an additional charge of $3 for a non-neutered/spayed dog or cat. This fee is established by the State to help control the stray animal population. There is a $5 late fee for dogs and cats registered after February 15, 2019.


Upper Saddle River School District Kindergarten Registration:   Parents of Kindergarten age children (having attained the age of 5 years on or before October 1) are invited to attend a Kindergarten Orientation Program. The meeting will be held in the Travers Multipurpose Room on Thursday, January 10, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Registration procedures, a typical Kindergarten day, and curriculum will be discussed. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Mrs. Finn, Reynolds School Secretary at (201) 961-6300 or email by Friday, January 4.


Wishing everyone a joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy new year,

Joanne L. Minichetti, Mayor –

Roger DeBerardine, Council President –

Steven DiMartino –

Jon Ditkoff –

Vincent Durante –

Joanne Florio –

Thomas Hafner –