Paramus, New Jersey
|Paramus, New Jersey|
|Borough of Paramus|
The intersection of Route 17 and Route 4, at the commercial hub of Bergen County.
Census Bureau map of Paramus, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||April 4, 1922|
|• Mayor||Richard LaBarbiera (term ends December 31, 2014)|
|• Administrator||Joseph O. D'Arco|
|• Clerk||Toni Falato|
|• Total||10.520 sq mi (27.246 km2)|
|• Land||10.470 sq mi (27.117 km2)|
|• Water||0.050 sq mi (0.129 km2) 0.47%|
|Area rank||205th of 566 in state
2nd of 70 in county
|Elevation||49 ft (15 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2013)||26,674|
|• Rank||93rd of 566 in state
8th of 70 in county
|• Density||2,516.0/sq mi (971.4/km2)|
|• Density rank||249th of 566 in state
50th of 70 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0885340|
Paramus (// pə-RAM-əs, with the accent on the second syllable) is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 26,342, reflecting an increase of 605 (+2.4%) from the 25,737 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 670 (+2.7%) from the 25,067 counted in the 1990 Census. A suburb of New York City, Paramus is located 15 to 20 miles (24 to 32 km) northwest of Midtown Manhattan and approximately 8 miles (13 km) west of Upper Manhattan. In 2013, it was named as a "New Jersey Healthy Town" under the state's Mayor’s Wellness Campaign.
Paramus was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 2, 1922, and ratified by a referendum held on April 4, 1922 that passed by a vote of 238 for and 10 against. Paramus was created from portions of Midland Township, which now exists as Rochelle Park.
The borough is one of the largest shopping destinations in the country, generating over $5 billion in annual retail sales, more than any other ZIP code in the United States. Paramus has more limited shopping hours, as it has some of the most restrictive blue laws in the nation (even stricter than those prevailing in the rest of Bergen County), banning nearly all retail and white-collar businesses from opening on Sundays. The only exceptions are gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores, and a limited number of other businesses. More than 63% of Bergen County voters rejected a referendum on the ballot in 1993 that would have repealed the county's blue laws, though the Paramus restrictions would have remained in place.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Paramus as its 21st best place to live in its 2013 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.
- 1 Geography
- 2 History
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Government
- 5 Education
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Historic sites
- 8 Commerce
- 9 Entertainment
- 10 Parks and recreation
- 11 Emergency services
- 12 In popular culture
- 13 Notable people
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Paramus is located at United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 10.520 square miles (27.246 km2), of which, 10.470 square miles (27.117 km2) of it was land and 0.050 square miles (0.129 km2) of it (0.47%) was water.(40.947309,-74.070989). According to the
The area that became northern New Jersey was occupied for thousands of years by prehistoric indigenous peoples. At the time of European encounter, it was settled by the historic Lenape people. The Lenape language word for the area, Peremessing, which meant that it had an abundant population of Wild turkey, was anglicized to become the word "Paramus". A large metal statue of a wild turkey in the Paramus Park mall commemorates this history. Another variation is that the word means "pleasant stream".
Albert Saboroweski (Albrycht Zaborowski), whose descendants became known by the family name "Zabriskie", immigrated from Poland via the Dutch ship The Fox in 1662. He settled in the Dutch West Indies Company town of Ackensack, today's Hackensack. A son, Jacob, was captured by the Lenape and held for 15 years. When he was returned to his family, the Lenape explained to Saboroweski that they had taken the child in order to teach him their language so that he could serve as a translator. They granted Saboroweski approximately 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of land which became known as the "Paramus Patent".
During the American Revolutionary War, the county included both Tories and Patriots, with Patriots "greatly outnumbering" Tories. Although no major battles were fought in Bergen County, Paramus was part of the military activity, as colonial troops were stationed in Ramapo under the command of Aaron Burr. In 1777, the British raided the Hackensack area and Burr marched troops to Paramus, from where he attacked the British, forcing them to withdraw. General George Washington was in Paramus several times during the War: December, 1778; July, 1780; and, December, 1780. Following the Battle of Monmouth, Washington established his headquarters in Paramus in July 1778. Over the advice of his staff, Washington moved his headquarters to Westchester County, New York.
A section of Paramus known as Dunkerhook (meaning dark corner in Dutch) was a free African-American community dating to the early 18th century. Although historical markers on the current site and local oral tradition maintain that this was a slave community, contemporary records document that it was a community of free blacks, not slaves. A group of houses built on Dunkerhook Road by the Zabriskies in the late 18th / early 19th centuries were the center of a community of black farmers, who had been slaves held by the Zabriskie family.
Farview Avenue, located at the highest peak in Paramus, has a clear view of the New York City skyline.
Paramus became one of the "truck farming" areas that helped New Jersey earn its nickname as the "Garden State". By 1940, Paramus' population was just 4,000, with no town center and 94 retail establishments. Although the opening of the George Washington Bridge in 1931 and the widening of New Jersey Route 17 and New Jersey Route 4 (which intersect in southern Paramus), made the area accessible to millions, "it was not until the 1950's that massive development hit this section of northern New Jersey".
During the 1950s and 1960s, Paramus, lacking any master plan until 1969, was redeveloped into two shopping corridors when its farmers and outside developers saw that shopping malls were more lucrative than produce farming. "It was a developer's dream: flat cleared land adjacent to major arterials and accessible to a growing suburban population and the country's largest city – with no planning restrictions". New York had a state sales tax, but New Jersey had none, so with the opening of Manhattan department stores in the Bergen Mall (1957), the Garden State Plaza (1957) and Alexander's (1961), Paramus became the "first stop outside New York City for shopping". From 1948-58, the population of Paramus increased from 6,000 to 23,000, the number of retail establishments tripled from 111 to 319, and annual retail sales increased from $5.5 million to $112 million. By the 1980s, when the population had increased slightly over 1960s levels, retail sales had climbed to $1 billion.
At the 2010 United States Census, there were 26,342 people, 8,630 households, and 6,939 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,516.0 per square mile (971.4/km2). There were 8,915 housing units at an average density of 851.5 per square mile (328.8/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 72.29% (19,042) White, 1.42% (374) Black or African American, 0.11% (28) Native American, 22.28% (5,869) Asian, 0.05% (13) Pacific Islander, 1.39% (366) from other races, and 2.47% (650) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 7.26% (1,913) of the population.
There were 8,630 households, of which 33.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.4% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.6% were non-families. 17.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.32.
In the borough, 21.5% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 19.2% from 25 to 44, 30.2% from 45 to 64, and 21.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46.3 years. For every 100 females there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $104,986 (with a margin of error of +/- $9,111) and the median family income was $123,848 (+/- $7,952). Males had a median income of $77,325 (+/- $5,222) versus $52,702 (+/- $4,983) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $40,024. About 1.6% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 25,737 people, 8,082 households, and 6,780 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,457.7 people per square mile (949.1/km2). There were 8,209 housing units at an average density of 783.9 per square mile (302.7/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 79.19% White, 1.13% African American, 0.05% Native American, 17.23% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.89% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.87% of the population.
There were 8,082 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.3% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.1% were non-families. 14.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.32.
In the borough the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 21.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $76,918, and the median income for a family was $84,406. Males had a median income of $56,635 versus $37,450 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $29,295. About 1.4% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.
Paramus is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Paramus, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2014[update], the Mayor is Democrat Richard LaBarbiera, whose term of office ends December 31, 2014. Borough Council Members are Council President Maria Elena Bellinger (D, 2014), Joseph Garcia (D, 2014; serving an unexpired term), Stephen Sullivan (R, 2016), Patsy L. Verile (D, 2015), Donna Warburton (D, 2015) and Jeanne Weber (R, 2016).
Joseph Garcia was chosen by the Borough Council in December 2013 from among three candidates proposed by the Democratic Borough Committee to fill the vacant seat of Joseph Lagana, who had resigned to fill the New Jersey General Assembly vacancy of Connie Wagner.
Federal, state and county representation
New Jersey's Fifth Congressional District is represented by Scott Garrett (R, Wantage Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark; took office on October 31, 2013, after winning a special election to fill the seat of Frank Lautenberg) and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus).
The 38th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Robert M. Gordon (D, Fair Lawn) and in the General Assembly by Tim Eustace (D, Maywood) and Joseph Lagana (D, Paramus). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Bergen County is governed by a directly elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders. The County Executive is Kathleen Donovan (R, Rutherford; term ends December 31, 2014). The seven freeholders are elected at-large in partisan elections on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year, with a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Chairman Pro Tempore selected from among its members at a reorganization meeting held each January. As of 2014[update], Bergen County's Freeholders are Freeholder Chairman David L. Ganz (D, 2014; Fair Lawn), Vice Chairwoman Joan Voss (D, 2014; Fort Lee), Chairman Pro Tempore John A. Felice (R, 2016; River Edge), Maura R. DeNicola (R, 2016; Franklin Lakes), Steve Tanelli (D, 2015; North Arlington) James J. Tedesco, III (D, 2015; Paramus) and Tracy Silna Zur (D, 2015; Franklin Lakes). Countywide constitutional officials are County Clerk John S. Hogan (D, Northvale), Sheriff Michael Saudino (R), Surrogate Michael R. Dressler (D, Cresskill)
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 16,874 registered voters in Paramus, of which 4,454 (26.4% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 3,474 (20.6% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 8,938 (53.0% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 8 voters registered to other parties. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 64.1% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 81.6% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 6,123 votes here (50.0% vs. 43.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 5,907 votes (48.3% vs. 54.8%) and other candidates with 105 votes (0.9% vs. 0.9%), among the 12,234 ballots cast by the borough's 17,617 registered voters, for a turnout of 69.4% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 6,885 votes here (51.1% vs. 44.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 6,386 votes (47.4% vs. 53.9%) and other candidates with 106 votes (0.8% vs. 0.8%), among the 13,470 ballots cast by the borough's 17,747 registered voters, for a turnout of 75.9% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 6,868 votes here (52.3% vs. 47.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 6,103 votes (46.5% vs. 51.7%) and other candidates with 87 votes (0.7% vs. 0.7%), among the 13,123 ballots cast by the borough's 17,206 registered voters, for a turnout of 76.3% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 4,298 votes here (49.7% vs. 45.8% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 3,857 votes (44.6% vs. 48.0%), Independent Chris Daggett with 376 votes (4.3% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 32 votes (0.4% vs. 0.5%), among the 8,656 ballots cast by the borough's 17,354 registered voters, yielding a 49.9% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
There are two public libraries in Paramus. There is the Main Library on Century Road. There is also the Charles E. Reid Branch library on Midland Avenue, which was originally a four-room schoolhouse built in 1876.
The borough's original public library, known locally as the Howland House, was originally located at the intersection of Spring Valley Road and Howland Avenue. It was demolished sometime in the late 1990s. A September 11, 2001 memorial park now exists at the site known as Howland Memorial Grove.
The Paramus Public Schools serve students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's eight schools had an enrollment of 4,042 students and 316.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.77:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are five elementary schools — Memorial Elementary School (315 students; in grades K-5), Midland Elementary School (249; K-5), Parkway Elementary School (276; PreK-5), Ridge Ranch Elementary School (330; K-5) and Stony Lane Elementary School (206; K-5) — Eastbrook Middle School (653) and Westbrook Middle School (679) for grades 5–8 and Paramus High School for grades 9–12 (1,334). Three of the district's schools have been formally designated as National Blue Ribbon Schools: Paramus High School in 1988-89, Parkway Elementary School in 1987-88 and Ridge Ranch Elementary School in 1998-99.
Public school students from the borough, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student's home school district.
Paramus is home to many private religious schools. Paramus Catholic High School is a co-educational Roman Catholic high school founded in 1965 and operated by the Archdiocese of Newark. With more than 1,500 students, it has the largest enrollment of any Roman Catholic high school in the state of New Jersey. It is also the location of Visitation Academy, a Pre K3-8 Catholic school also overseen by the Newark Archdiocese.
Paramus is home to Yavneh Academy and Yeshivat Noam, founded in 2001, which are K-8 co-ed Jewish day schools. Frisch School is a Modern Orthodox Jewish yeshiva serving grades 9–12 that describes itself as the nation's second largest coed yeshiva high school.
Bergen Community College is based in Paramus, with other satellite centers located elsewhere around the county. The bulk of the college's 17,000 students working towards degrees are located at the main campus in Paramus.
As of February 2013 the Japanese Weekend School of New Jersey (ニュージャージー補習授業校), a Japanese weekend school, holds classes at Paramus Catholic. During that month the weekend school was negotiating with the Paramus Public Schools so it could hold classes at West Brook Middle School. The offices of the weekend school are in Fort Lee.
Paramus is also home to two special education schools. The EPIC School (Educational Partnership for Instructing Children) is located on North Farview Avenue, next to the Our Lady of Visitation church. The Alpine Learning Group is located on County Route 62, close to Linwood Avenue. Annually, both schools, along with the REED Academy in Oakland and the Garden Academy in Maplewood, are all sponsors of the Go the Distance for Autism Bike Event, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for Autism Awareness. The event takes place every May at Westfield Garden State Plaza.
Roads and highways
As of 2010, the borough had a total of 121.78 miles (195.99 km) of roadways, of which 90.79 miles (146.11 km) were maintained by the municipality, 18.86 miles (30.35 km) by Bergen County, 7.72 miles (12.42 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and 4.41 miles (7.10 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
New Jersey Transit bus routes 144, 145, 148, 155, 157, 162, 163, 164, 165 and 168 serve the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan; the 171 and 175 routes provide service to the George Washington Bridge Bus Station; and local service is offered on the 709, 722, 751, 752, 753, 755, 756, 758, 762 and 770 routes.
Frequent jitney service between Paterson and the George Washington Bridge Bus Station in New York City is available at bus stops along Route 4, serviced by Spanish Transportation and other independent companies.
Paramus is home to the following locations on the National Register of Historic Places:
- Midland School – 239 W. Midland Avenue (added 1978). The school was constructed in 1876, and was used as a branch of the Paramus Public Library after Midland School was moved up the street.
- Terhune House – 470 Paramus Road (added 1996). An 18th-century Dutch Colonial home constructed of sandstone, that was later modified to add Victorian features, including a mansard roof.
- Terhune-Gardner-Lindenmeyr House – 218 Paramus Road (added 1972). A Federal Period home constructed on the last remaining portion of untouched land from Terhune's farm, as taken from the original Zabriskie patent. The oldest known portion that can be reliably dated is from 1807–08, with an older adjoining section of the house dating back as far as 1707.
- Harmon Van Dien House – 449 Paramus Road (added 1983)
- Albert J. Zabriskie Farmhouse – 7 East Ridgewood Avenue (added 1977)
- Zabriskie Tenant House – 273 Dunkerhook Road (added 1984). The house was demolished in July 2012 by a housing developer who owned the property, after efforts to preserve or relocate the house failed.
Paramus is known for its multitude of stores and malls. It has five major indoor shopping centers, serving residents in the areas of Bergen County and Passaic County in New Jersey and Rockland County in New York. New Jersey does not levy a sales tax on clothes and shoes, which makes it an attractive shopping destination for people even further away in New York City, who pay sales tax on clothing items above $110 in price, in addition to the lower standard rate of 7% in New Jersey, compared to 8.875% in New York City. The spending levels generated by the malls have made Paramus one of the top retail ZIP codes in the country.
At the intersection of Routes 4 and 17 is Westfield Garden State Plaza, the largest and best-known mall in the borough. Westfield Garden State Plaza is the largest mall in the Westfield Group's global portfolio and the largest in New Jersey, with a gross leasable area of 2,128,402 square feet (200,000 m2). On Route 4, are The Outlets at Bergen Town Center (known as the Bergen Mall until 2006) and The Shoppes on IV. On Route 17, are Paramus Park and the Fashion Center.
Paramus, along with the rest of Bergen County, has strict blue laws preventing stores selling non-food items from opening on Sundays. Although it started as a religious observance, it is kept on the books due to a desire of the residents of Paramus to have one day a week when traffic is tolerable in the town. This law was called into question when a BJ's Wholesale Club opened at the 4/17 junction. BJ's was allowed to open on Sundays, but is only allowed to sell food and basic necessities. The store has been structured to restrict access to shoppers to items that cannot be purchased on Sunday. Paramus has its own blue laws that are significantly more restrictive than those in effect in other communities in Bergen County. It is one of the last places in the United States to have such an extensive blue law.
Local blue laws in Paramus were first proposed in 1957, while the Bergen Mall and Garden State Plaza were under construction. The legislation was motivated by fears that the two new malls would aggravate the already-severe highway congestion caused by local retail businesses along the borough's highways.
The Paramus Borough Code forbids the performance of any "worldly employment" on Sunday, with exceptions for charity, and the sale of newspapers, drugs, meals, prepared food and cigarettes, among a limited number of exceptions. Even work performed inside one's own home is prohibited, unless one can "prove to the satisfaction of the Judge that he uniformly keeps the seventh day of the week commonly known as the 'Sabbath'". In spite of its six-day shopping week, Paramus consistently has the most retail sales of any ZIP Code in the United States. Many national chain stores boast Paramus as their most prominent locations, including Nordstrom, in which the Paramus store is their best-performing chainwide. There are 25 retailers that occupy multiple stores in Paramus, including Macy's which had outlets in three malls for a period of time. Some retail analysts view Paramus as being two markets, centered on the two major highways. Lord & Taylor has two locations in Paramus, giving Paramus the distinction of the only town with more than one Lord & Taylor location.
An unsuccessful 2010 proposal by Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie would have ended the state's blue laws (now only enforced in Bergen County), with the governor citing industry estimates that the $1.1 billion in added retail revenue on Sundays would generate an additional $65 million in sales taxes for the state. In November 2012, Governor Chris Christie issued an executive order temporarily suspending the blue laws in both Bergen County and Paramus due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, a decision that was upheld despite a court challenge by the Borough of Paramus. The blue law suspension was in effect on Sunday, November 11, but was back in effect the following Sunday.
Timeline of malls
- 1957 – Garden State Plaza was built by Muscarelli Construction Company on 198 acres (0.80 km2) at the intersection of Routes 4 and 17.
- 1957 – The Bergen Mall was built on 101 acres (41 ha) on an area east of the Plaza on Route 4.
- 1967 – The Fashion Center was built on a 33-acre (13 ha) site of old celery farms, aimed at quality-oriented shoppers by developer Associated Dry Goods, with a 135,000-square-foot (12,500 m2) Lord & Taylor and a 176,000-square-foot (16,400 m2) B. Altman as anchors and 25 other retailers sandwiched in between The owners originally referred to its location as being in Ridgewood/Paramus to appeal to the Ridgewood population.
- 1974 – Paramus Park was built by the Rouse Company, offering a gross leasable area of 755,000 square feet (70,100 m2). The most recent of the large centers was built on 66 acres (270,000 m2) in the middle of an area where the old farms were located.
- 2003 – IKEA opens a 370,000-square-foot (34,000 m2) store, its second-largest location in North America, at the intersection of Routes 4 and 17 on the site of the old Alexander's department store. It was joined the next year by three other retailers, Bed Bath and Beyond, Christmas Tree Shops, and Sports Authority.
Due to the stricter version of the blue law in Paramus, all malls in the borough (as with the rest of Bergen County) are closed on Sunday. Malls are also required to be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, with early closing (half days) on Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Stores may not open before 7:00 AM or remain open after 11:00 PM.
One of the earliest drive-in theaters opened in Paramus, featuring what was said to be the world's largest and brightest screen, located behind what is now Westfield Garden State Plaza. The Paramus Drive-In closed in 1987 after the last movie presentation, a double-feature of "Crocodile" Dundee and The Untouchables.
Paramus' lone movie theater complex is a 16-screen AMC Theatres located in an area of new construction at Westfield Garden State Plaza. Prior to the opening of the AMC complex, a number of theatres were closed in the borough, including the Route 4 Tenplex and the Cineplex Odeon Route 17 Triplex, once located next to Westfield Garden State Plaza on Route 17. The Triplex theatre was opened in 1965 by Century Theatres and was closed on January 19, 2006, by Loews Cineplex Entertainment. The Tenplex on Route 4 was closed on May 24, 2007, the day before the new AMC Theatres opened at Westfield Garden State Plaza. The Cinema 35 was also closed when the Plaza 35 Shopping Center was renovated in 2005.
Paramus had an outdoor amusement park called Arcola Park. It was built in 1926 and had a huge swimming pool, a convention hall, a dance pavilion, an auditorium, and rides. A fire in 1929 destroyed the entire park, with the exception of the pool. The pool was destroyed by a fire in 1970 and that closed down for good too. The park site was replaced by a Ramada Inn, in which the hotel extends out to a small portion of Rochelle Park.
Parks and recreation
Paramus is the home to two county parks. On the eastern side of the borough is Van Saun County Park, which features Bergen County's only zoo, home to a wide variety of wild and domestic animals living in recreated habitats natural to each species. Van Saun Park also has a playground, train ride, carousel, athletic fields, and pony rides. On the western side of the borough is Saddle River County Park which features a 6-mile (9.7 km) bike path reaching from Ridgewood to Rochelle Park.
The borough also has four golf courses. Two are open to the public, with the Paramus Golf Course operated by the borough and Orchard Hills County Golf Course operated by the county. Two private golf course are located in Paramus, they are the Ridgewood Country Club and Arcola Country Club. Ridgewood Country Club ranked #6 Center Ranked Among Top 500 Holes in the World Golf Magazine - 2000 and Ranked # 84 Most Prestigious Clubs in America Golf Connoisseur - 2006
In 2008, the Paramus Golf Course opened up a miniature golf course that is themed after the town of Paramus as well as the state of New Jersey. Turkey statues are scattered around the course to celebrate Paramus as the "land of the wild turkeys."
Paramus has an outdoor municipal swimming pool complex on Van Binsberger Boulevard. It has three pools: a main pool, a pool for younger swimmers, and a baby pool.
There is an annual Terri Roemer Paramus Run featuring a 5K, 10K running race, 1 mile "Fun Run", & 5 km Health Walk for runners & walkers of all ages.
The Paramus Fire Department is a volunteer organization consisting of 4 companies. Company 1 (E1-T1) is located at East Firehouse Lane, across from the Fashion Center. Company 2 (E2-E22) is located on Spring Valley Road, and is nicknamed "Spring Valley Fire Company #2." Company 3 (E3-HazMat-Foam3) is located at 198 West Midland Ave. Company 4 (E4-T4-E44) is on Farview Avenue and is nicknamed "Farview Fire Company #4." Paramus also has a separate volunteer rescue squad (Rescue 7 & 9) specializing in motor vehicle extrication.
The borough's Ambulance Corps is staffed 24 hours a day for quick response. There are crews stationed at the Life Safety complex, located next to the Rescue building, and at Fire Company 3. A separate volunteer Ambulance Corps exists, largely for stand-by purposes at large events. The Paramus Police Department, which responds to 60,000 calls annually, is located on Carlough Drive right next to borough hall.
In popular culture
- The 1993 Saturday Night Live spin-off movie Coneheads is set in Paramus. Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin's characters decide to move to and permanently reside in the borough so daughter Michelle Burke can attend Paramus High School. Aykroyd's character "Beldar Conehead" spends his days in Paramus giving driving lessons and playing golf.
- Several episodes of The Sopranos, the HBO mob drama, have used Paramus locations. Westfield Garden State Plaza was used as the "Paramus Mall," and the Ramsey Outdoor Store on Route 17 became the "Ramsey Outdoor," and a character is "whacked" at the remnants of the Old Mill Bathing Beach on Paramus Road. In the final episode of the series, a scene with Paulie Walnuts is shot in Paramus, where he was in a car, driving past a gas station.
- Scenes from the 2008 film Burn After Reading by the Coen Brothers were filmed in Paramus at the site of the old Tower Records annex building located on Route 17S that had been transformed into Hardbodies Fitness Center.
- In the 2011 superhero film Captain America: The First Avenger, Brooklyn native Steve Rogers uses Paramus as a fake hometown during a string of unsuccessful efforts to enlist in the United States Army during World War II.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Paramus include:
- John Bancker Aycrigg (1798–1856), member of the United States Congress from New Jersey.
- Joe Benigno (born 1953), sports radio personality on WFAN.
- Chase Blackburn (born 1983), linebacker for the New York Giants and a member of the Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI champion Giants.
- Galit Chait (born 1975), ice dancer who represented Israel internationally from 1995 to 2006.
- Lizabeth Cohen, historian, college professor and author, whose 2003 work A Consumer's Republic builds on her experience growing up in post-war Paramus.
- Joseph Coniglio (born 1943), former member of the New Jersey Senate.
- Stacey Dash (born 1967), film and television actress who appeared in the 1995 film Clueless and its TV spinoff.
- Spero Dedes (born 1979), Los Angeles Lakers radio commentator, NFL Network television host, and CBS NCAA tournament basketball announcer.
- Jim Dray (born 1986), tight end who has played for the Arizona Cardinals.
- The Escape Engine, former hardcore/punk rock band formed in Paramus from 2002-2006.
- Mark Fields (born c. 1961), Ford Motor Company executive.
- Dean Friedman (born 1955), one-hit wonder with the top tune "Ariel" in 1977. A lyric in the song references "the waterfall in Paramus Park."
- Fred C. Galda (c. 1918–1997), former mayor of Paramus who oversaw the implementation of the borough's blue laws in 1958.
- Peter Gennaro (1919–2000), Tony Award-winning dancer and choreographer.
- Matt Ghaffari (born 1961), Olympic wrestler.
- Jamie Gold (born 1969), winner of the 2006 World Series of Poker.
- Charles Samuel Joelson (1916–1999), represented New Jersey's 8th congressional district.
- Louis F. Kosco (born 1932), politician who served in both the New Jersey General Assembly and the New Jersey Senate.
- Lloyd Levin (born 1958), film producer whose work includes United 93.
- Tony Lip (1930-2013), actor who appeared on The Sopranos, playing the role of Carmine Lupertazzi.
- Howard Lorber (born 1948), CEO of the Vector Group.
- Herbert F. Maddalene (born 1928), architect best known for his work designing churches with the firm of Genovese & Maddalene.
- Bob Menendez (born 1954), U.S. Senator.
- Dean Obeidallah (born 1969), Arab/Italian-American comedian.
- George Olsen (1893–1971), bandleader and proprietor of Olsen's Restaurant in the 1950s and 1960s.
- Lauren Passarelli (born 1960), musician and educator.
- John Bartow Prevost (1766–1825), first Judge of the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans.
- Kazbek Tambi (born 1961), former professional soccer player.
- James J. Tedesco III (born 1953), member of the Bergen County Board of Freeholders and former mayor of Paramus.
- Steven H. Temares (born 1958), Chief Executive Office of Bed, Bath & Beyond.
- Theodore Trautwein (1920–2000), judge who sentenced a reporter from The New York Times to 40 days in jail in the "Dr. X" trial of Mario Jascalevich.
- Trixter, a glam metal band, formed in Paramus.
- Connie Wagner (born 1948), member of the New Jersey General Assembly.
- Elaine Zayak (born 1965), one of the world's top figure skaters in the early 1980s.
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- Home page, Paramus Public Library. Accessed August 24, 2008.
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- About Bergen. Bergen Community College, Founded in 1965 to satisfy the region's need for a convenient, affordable and comprehensive higher education destination, Bergen Community College now enrolls nearly 17,000 students in its academic degree programs. The College's three sites in Paramus (main campus), Hackensack (Ciarco Learning Center) and Lyndhurst (Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands) serve more than 32,000 students in degree, continuing education and adult education programs."
- Paramus, Berkeley College. Accessed October 24, 2014.
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- Midland School - Nomination Form, National Register of Historic Places, received December 12, 1977. Accessed October 30, 2013.
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- Ensslin, John C. "Preservation effort falls short as Zabriskie house demolition begins (video)", The Record (Bergen County), July 13, 2012. Accessed July 18, 2012. "An irreplaceable link to Bergen's County's early history, particularly for African-Americans, vanished in a cloud of dust on Friday as a backhoe clawed at the splintered wood and brownstone remains of the Zabriskie Tenant House, a 1780s building that later became home to generations of former slaves and their descendents."
- City of New York. "New York Sales and Use Tax". Accessed November 4, 2013. "The City Sales Tax rate is 4.5%, NY State Sales and Use Tax is 4% and the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District surcharge of 0.375% for a total Sales and Use Tax of 8.875 percent"
- Belson, Ken; and Schweber, Nate. "Sales Tax Cut in City May Dim Allure of Stores Across Hudson". The New York Times. January 18, 2007. Accessed August 22, 2011. "For years, shoppers from New York City have played a game of retail arbitrage, traveling to the many malls in northern New Jersey, a state where there is no tax on clothing and shoes. Even accounting for tolls, gas and time, shoppers could save money by visiting the Westfield Garden State Plaza and other malls here, escaping the 8.375 percent sales tax they must pay in New York City on clothing and shoes that cost more than $110 per item."
- Verdon, Joan. "Remodeled Paramus Park draws smaller prototype stores", The Record (Bergen County), August 13, 2011. Accessed December 25, 2011. "Paramus Park, like the other malls in the borough, has benefited from 'the critical mass of retail that is assembled in this community,' and the spending levels that have made Paramus one of the top retail ZIP codes in the country, said Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera."
- Westfield Garden State Plaza, Westfield Group. Accessed December 25, 2011. "Total retail space: 2,128,402ft2 or 197,728m2 (approx)"
- Paramus Borough Code: Chapter 391: SUNDAY ACTIVITIES, Borough of Paramus. Accessed October 30, 2013.
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- Gartland, Michael. "Christie's blue law repeal proposal criticized", The Record (Bergen County), March 17, 2010. Accessed June 29, 2011. "Macy's declined to comment, referring questions to the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, which supports lifting the blue laws. The association said that Sunday hours would generate $1.1 billion a year in extra business for Bergen County retailers, along with $65 million in state sales tax revenues."
- Verdon, Joan. "Judge sides with county executive over Bergen blue laws", The Record (Bergen County), November 9, 2012. Accessed November 19, 2012. "Paramus must set aside its blue laws this Sunday due to the unprecedented damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, a Bergen County Superior Court Judge ruled today."
- Sullivan, S.P. "Bergen County exec makes clear: Blue laws are back this weekend", The Star-Ledger, November 16, 2012. Accessed November 19, 2012.
- Barmash, Isadore. "Stores for the Quality-Minded Rise on Site of Former Celery Farms; SHOPPING CENTER OPENS IN PARAMUS Lord & Taylor and Altman Lead Quality Complex", The New York Times, February 15, 1967. Accessed October 30, 2013. "PARAMUS, N.J., Feb. 14 A new shopping center for the quality minded, The Fashion Center, will open here to the public tomorrow in a 33-acre hollow scooped out of former celery farms on Route 17 at Ridgewood Avenue."
- McQuaid, Kevin L. "Rouse Co. buys out partner in Paramus Park mall in N.J.", The Baltimore Sun, August 30, 1995. Accessed October 30, 2013. "The stake in the Paramus Park Mall from Rodamco N.V., a Dutch investment firm, marks the fourth time this year that Rouse has solidified its ownership of a retail property. With the purchase, a Rouse subsidiary will control the entire 755,000-square-foot mall.... Paramus Park, completed in 1974 and anchored by Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Macy's, is typically one of the best performers in Rouse's 75-property retail portfolio."
- Sloan, Carole. "Ikea adds breathing space in Paramus", Furniture Today, August 10, 2003. Accessed October 30, 2013. "More lifestyle vignettes, fewer rigid product displays, and more places for shoppers to relax are key elements in the furniture presentation at the just-opened Ikea store in Paramus, N.J., said Ian Wrling, U.S. deputy manager, North America. The store, at 370,000-square-feet, is the second-largest of Ikea's North American units, and 'offers us the opportunity to give customers breathing space in what had been a very rigid furniture presentation,' he said."
- Paramus Borough Code: Chapter 191: BUSINESSES - Article II: Retail Business Closing Hours, Borough of Paramus. Accessed October 30, 2013. "Every retail business within the Borough of Paramus shall be closed to the public and business with the public therein shall be and is hereby prohibited after the hour of 11:00 p.m. and before the hour of 7:00 a.m. of any day."
- Ervolino, Bill. "Paramus parking lot was once a cinema under the stars", The Record (Bergen County), September 6, 2012. Accessed August 10, 2013.
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- Levy, Emanuel. "Burn After Reading: Shooting a Joel and Ethan Coen Wild Comedy", Emanuel Levy Cinema 24/7, August 24, 2008. Accessed December 12, 2013. "The unit soon decamped to Paramus, New Jersey, where all the scenes that transpire at Hardbodies Fitness Center the workplace of Linda, Chad, and Ted were filmed. At an abandoned building that had until recently housed a Tower Records, Gonchor and his department with an fitness-equipment assist from Gym Source transformed the newly emptied space into a working gym."
- Ma, Myles. "Paramus Mention in Captain America. Borough makes cameo in superhero flick, ParamusPatch, August 1, 2011. Accessed December 12, 2013. "If you're going to see the new Captain America movie, watch out for the Paramus mention.... One of the towns the Brooklyn native uses as an assumed address is Paramus, New Jersey."
- John Bancker Aycrigg, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed February 8, 2011.
- Zeitchik, Steven. "IN PERSON; Meet Joe Fan", The New York Times, January 23, 2005. Accessed December 25, 2011. "Amid the swirl of the New York region's media personalities, most people have probably never heard of Mr. Benigno. But as the longtime host of WFAN's overnight program, the Garfield-born, Paramus-bred broadcaster combined an uncommon mix of black humor, esoteric knowledge and incredulity to become a cult figure."
- "Football players make a difference at NFL Alumni's Charity Golf Classic", June 21, 2010. "'Our time in the league typically doesn't last too long but the impact we can make sure can,' said Blackburn, who drove up from Paramus, New Jersey."
- Wilner, Barry via Associated Press. "BOUNDARIES MELT AS SKATING PAIR UNITES", Rocky Mountain News, January 12, 1992. Accessed February 8, 2011. "Galit Chait, a 16-year-old from Paramus, N.J., and Maxim Sevostianov of Cheljabinsk, Russia, weren't close to the best dancers at the event. They were among the most intriguing."
- Oshinsky, David M. "Charge It!", The New York Times, March 2, 2003. Accessed September 15, 2011. "Cohen belongs to the postwar baby boom generation. Raised in Paramus, N.J., an epicenter of tract housing and highway shopping malls, she has used the experience of the Garden State to probe the larger issues of postwar economic change."
- Whelan, Jeff S. "Former state Sen. Coniglio indicted on corruption charges", The Star-Ledger, February 14, 2008. Accessed February 8, 2011. "Coniglio, a Bergen County Democrat, allegedly helped Hackensack University Medical Center obtain millions of dollars in state funding in exchange for a $5,000 per month-job as a 'hospital relations' consultant, according to the indictment. The 65-year-old retired plumber from Paramus had no prior experience for such a job, authorities said."
- Toribio, Elyse. "Paramus High School Grad and “Clueless” Actress Stacey Dash Gets Backlash for Romney Support", The Beat of North Jersey, October 10, 2012. Accessed October 30, 2013. "The 46-year-old Paramus High School graduate took to the Piers Morgan Show on CNN Tuesday night to express her surprise at all the negative commentary and reiterate her endorsement of Romney."
- Smith, Marcia C. "Behind the scenes with voice of Lakers", The Orange County Register, April 22, 2010. Accessed May 26, 2010.
- Ditrani, Vinny. "Paramus' Jim Dray looks to sway NFL teams at combine", The Record (Bergen County), February 26, 2010. Accessed February 16, 2011. "Former Bergen Catholic and Stanford star Jim Dray is among the better blocking tight ends at this year's NFL combine."
- Pryor, Terrance. "The Escape Engine announce new album & reunion show", FakeWalls.com, March 21, 2012. Accessed October 24, 2014. "Paramus rock group The Escape Engine have announced the release of their sophmore album: When You Dance With The Devil."
- Maynard, Micheline. "Private Sector; Rising at Ford, Without Fanfare", The New York Times, May 5, 2002. Accessed December 25, 2011. "Born in Brooklyn and raised in Paramus, N.J., Mr. Fields has an atypical automotive career -- he came to Ford from a series of marketing positions at I.B.M."
- Hicks, Robert. "American songwriter finds success in United Kingdom", Daily Record (Morristown), April 20, 2007. Accessed May 28, 2007. "Friedman grew up in Paramus."
- Saxon, Wolfgang. "Fred C. Galda, 79, Retired Judge", The New York Times, August 19, 1997. Accessed December 25, 2011. "Fred C. Galda, a retired New Jersey Superior Court judge and former prosecutor and Mayor of Paramus, N.J., died on Thursday at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J. He was 79 and a resident of Saddle River, N.J."
- Shanley, John P. "GENNARO – COMO'S DANCING MASTER", The New York Times, October 15, 1961. Accessed December 26, 2011. ""They live in a converted barn in Paramus, N. J., with their children, Michael, 11 years old, and Liza, 3."
- Robbins, Liz. "OLYMPICS; Beating Unbeatable Foe Makes a Dream Possible", The New York Times, June 23, 2000. Accessed December 25, 2011. "The Iranian-born Greco-Roman heavyweight who moved to Paramus, N.J., at 15 stood on the podium feeling as if he had let down the United States."
- Friess, Steve. "Tournament Winner Says He Was Wrong", The New York Times, February 24, 2007. Accessed December 25, 2011. "In his first interview since the settlement, Gold, a 38-year-old Hollywood producer from Paramus, N.J., said the lawsuit was not difficult to resolve, although the agreement bars him from disclosing the fate of the record-setting $12 million purse."
- Troncone, Tom. "$6M of record poker pot at stake", The Record (Bergen County), September 20, 2006. Accessed July 18, 2012. "On one side of the table sits Jamie Gold, a former Paramus resident who dominated the competition en route to the coveted World Series of Poker championship last month."
- Charles Samuel Joelson, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed February 8, 2011.
- Louis F. Kosco, New Jersey Legislature, archived by the Internet Archive on February 25, 1998. Accessed May 26, 2010.
- Beckerman, Jim. "Hollywood weighs in on 9/11", The Record (Bergen County), April 23, 2006. Accessed May 26, 2010. "... you're particularly sensitive and you're out for an evening of fun and the trailer catches you unaware it could be upsetting says Levin a Paramus native ..."
- Coutros, Evonne. "Who's the boss now? – Paramus actor worked his way up to role he couldn't refuse", The Record (Bergen County), February 9, 2003. Accessed October 14, 2007.
- Staff. "The Closing: Howard Lorber", The Real Deal (magazine), July 1, 2006. Accessed February 8, 2011. "Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born in the Bronx and grew up in Paramus, N.J., until I moved to Long Island for college."
- Staff. "EX-MAYOR, OTHERS ARE SUED BY U.S.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 21, 1983. Accessed October 30, 2013. "Also named in the action was Herbert Maddalene of Paramus, who was not charged in the racketeering case."
- Maag, Christopher. "Sen. Menendez moves to Bergen County", The Record (Bergen County), July 5, 2014. Accessed October 24, 2014. "Menendez first talked publicly about his move at a political fundraiser in Edgewater on Wednesday night, where he announced not only that he will support Democrat James Tedesco’s campaign for Bergen County executive, he’ll also be voting for Tedesco in the November election. 'Yes that is correct. He lives in Paramus now," said Steven Sandberg, a spokesman for Menendez."
- Fujimori, Sachi. "Edgewater comedian works to counter stereotypes of Muslims", The Record (Bergen County), January 17, 2011. Accessed December 25, 2011. "WHAT: The Big Brown Comedy Hour hosted by Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi and featuring Maysoon Zayid, Dean Obeidallah (grew up in Lodi and Paramus) and others."
- Staff. "George Olsen, 78, Bandleader Of the 20's and 30's, Is Dead", The New York Times, March 19, 1971. Accessed February 8, 2011.
- Wassel, Bryan. "Berklee professor, former Paramus resident credits Beatles as musical inspiration", Town News, May 4, 2011. Accessed September 13, 2011. "A former Paramus resident has accomplished a series of firsts at Berklee College in Boston: becoming the first woman to graduate the guitar performance program in 1982, the first female faculty member of the guitar department in 1984 and the first female to be promoted to full professor in the department in 2009. Lauren Passarelli, who was born in Teaneck and grew up in Paramus, developed her interest in guitar at an early age, citing the Beatles as one of her biggest influences.... Passarelli's musical talent goes beyond just the guitar, and while attending Paramus High School she played flute in the school's marching and concert bands, as well as guitar for the stage band."
- Staff. "The New York genealogical and biographical record, Volumes 11-13", p. 28. New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1880. Accessed February 8, 2011.
- Bell, Jack. "U.S. Women’s Coach Pleads for Better Players", The New York Times, May 18, 2009. Accessed February 8, 2011. "'They've made a concerted effort to bring loads of Brazilian players and coaches and have followed the Brazilian philosophy, which is about having great technical skills and playing a beautiful game,' Tambi said during a recent interview at his home in Paramus, N.J."
- Freeholder James J. Tedesco, III, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed October 24, 2014.
- "Rutgers Receives $1.5 Million Gift for Neuroscience/Brain Health Faculty Position as Part of “Our Rutgers, Our Future” CampaignDonation answers call to $27 million challenge to establish 18 endowed chairs", Rutgers Today, March 7, 2012. Accessed October 30, 2013. "Temares, who graduated from Rutgers with a bachelor’s degree in economics, and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, was born in the Bronx and grew up in Paramus."
- Corcoran, David. "Theodore Trautwein, Judge in Landmark Press Case, Dies at 80", The New York Times, September 2, 2000. Accessed October 13, 2009.
- Jaeger, Barbara. "PARAMUS BAND FEELS AT HOME IN THE STUDIO", The Record (Bergen County), July 17, 1992. Accessed October 15, 2007. "For all those Trixter fans who've been wondering when the Paramus-based band will be releasing a new album, guitarist Steve Brown has these encouraging words..."
- Assemblywoman Connie Wagner, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 8, 2011.
- Bondy, Filip. "FIGURE SKATING; Zayak's Biggest Jump: A Leap Into the Past", The New York Times, May 16, 1993. Accessed October 14, 2007. "Her father, Richard Zayak, would drive from their home in Paramus, N.J., to her New York practice rinks in Farmingdale or Monsey and offer his daughter $1 per perfect jump."
- Behnke, Fritz. Paramus – the Way We Were 1922–1960, Destiny Image Publishers, 1997. ISBN 9781560432043.
- Clayton, W. Woodford; and Nelson, William. History of Bergen and Passaic Counties, New Jersey, with Biographical Sketches of Many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men., Philadelphia: Everts and Peck, 1882.
- Harvey, Cornelius Burnham (ed.), Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey. New York: New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Co., 1900.
- Van Valen, James M. History of Bergen County, New Jersey. New York: New Jersey Publishing and Engraving Co., 1900.
- Westervelt, Frances A. (Frances Augusta), 1858-1942, History of Bergen County, New Jersey, 1630-1923, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1923.
- Paramus official website
- Paramus Public Schools
- Paramus Public Schools's 2012–13 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Paramus Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics
- Paramus Fire Department official website
- Paramus Rescue Squad official website
- Paramus Emergency Medical Services official website
- Japanese Weekend School of New Jersey (Japanese)
- Paramus on Local201.com
- Early 1900's: A New Town Emerges