Page 16 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • June 24, 2009 Area VFW seeks new members, pro bono attorney by Jennifer Crusco Stanley Kober, commander of the Washington Elm Post 192 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, has put out a call for new members for his organization, which serves Ho-Ho-Kus and Ridgewood. Kober told the Ho-Ho-Kus Borough Council last week that Post 192 wants to sign up an additional five members by the end of June in order to meet its goal of 100 percent paid membership. He asked the council members to pass along the word to friends, relatives, and neighbors who might be eligible for VFW membership. The organization currently has 94 members, he said. Kober also reported that the VFW is seeking a pro bono attorney, preferably a real estate contract lawyer who is a litigator, as Post 192 continues the dispute with the Ramapo Valley Railroad Club. “We’re willing to pay reasonable costs,” Kober added. He told the council that the VFW’s attempt to evict the club from the VFW’s building at 620 Cliff Street earlier this year “did not go well.” The case, which went to court, was dismissed without prejudice. The VFW alleges that the club has violated its lease agreement, and asked the club to remedy the violations earlier this year. David M. Watkins, the attorney representing the club, previously told Villadom TIMES that his client is entitled to quiet enjoyment of the building. “We are not moving,” Watkins said. “That is unequivocal.” Watkins had told Kober, “If you believe that my clients have violated the terms of the lease, then do what all other owners of property must do which is namely to file suit in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey for possession. Any other action taken by you which prohibits my client access to the subject property will be dealt with rigorously by me.” The railroad club holds a lease that allows its members to use the VFW-owned building on Cliff Street. The terms of the lease, which was renewed in 2002, allow limited access to the VFW, a situation that has been problematic since the veterans’ organization was reorganized and revitalized four years ago. The VFW purchased the land on Cliff Street from the borough in the early 1950s. That agreement included the stipulation that the borough council must approve any leases. The VFW had planned to build new home for Post 192 after razing the existing Cliff Street structure, but the railroad club did not support those plans. The VFW then approached the borough to buy the neighboring property. When that matter was close to a vote, the state VFW organization said Post 192’s lease with the railroad club was invalid, and the building plans were put on hold. Kober has said his organization’s members want to reclaim the use of their building. In a Jan. 15 letter to Club President Dennis Alderman, Kober cited the VFW’s concerns. In that letter, Kober asserted that the outside area, including the driveway and sidewalks, had not been properly cleared of snow and debris. He also said that sections of the siding on the former garage, which is now being used for storage, must be repaired according to professional construction standards at the tenant’s expense. In addition, Kober said cracked windows, ceiling fans, and air conditioners that are apparently non-operational must also be replaced at the tenant’s expense. The VFW asserts that the lease provides for the veterans’ group to have suitable space to seat 20 persons with two tables. The letter states that such a space has not been provided. According to the letter, the attic area is unsafe for people, and the garage and inside doorway from the joint meeting room to the garage are unsafe and must be cleaned. The letter further states that the floor area in the joint meeting room and hall, the large table in the meeting room and the bar area “continue to be dirty from outside foliage, dirt and other materials, food stuffs, etc.” The club was also asked for $5,741, which the VFW has spent on insurance policies for the premises. Regarding the insurance issue, the landlord claims the lease states the insurance is the tenant’s responsibility. Watkins has said the claim that the club is obligated to pay for the insurance poli- cies is incorrect. He has also stated that, since the inception of the lease, nothing has changed at the building that would lead to unsafe conditions in the attic that would have been caused by the railroad club. Mayor Thomas Randall has offered his services as a mediator. Ho-Ho-Kus resident Lynne Warshaw has been named chair of the board of trustees for the Community Blood Services Foundation. The foundation is the fundraising branch of Community Blood Services, a not-for-profit organization devoted to serving the community’s transfusion medicine needs for more than 50 years. As chair, Warshaw will provide volunteer leadership to the foundation’s board of trustees, and its special events, such as its annual gala, golf outing, and other fundraising activities. Warshaw, who began volunteering at the blood center following the 9/11 attacks, has been actively working with the foundation for the past year to increase awareness of Community Blood Services throughout the communities it serves. Warshaw selected to head blood services foundation “Working with the foundation to help Community Blood Services achieve its mission of advancing the quality of health care in the community is truly a privilege for me. I am grateful to be in a position to give back,” Warshaw said. Warshaw is retired from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, where she worked in sales and marketing. Prior to that, she was an elementary school teacher in Maryland. Warshaw earned a BA at Queens College of the City University of New York and an MBA in marketing from the Ervin K. Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph University. Warshaw and her husband David have two sons, BJ and Mike, and enjoy spending time with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Ollie, and calico cat, Miranda. ������������������� ��������������������������