In Other Words…

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007 6:49pm  |  COMMENTS (8)

In addition to the multiple choice questions we asked in our public opinion polls this week, we allowed people to sound off on the issues in their own words… and voices. Here’s what Glen Ridgers told us about the upcoming bond referendum. Full story here.

Crime Beat In Bloomfield

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007 3:15pm  |  COMMENTS (15)

It was a busy week for Bloomfield Police, who report making 14 arrests January 22 – 27 for local crimes and outstanding warrants. Two of the arrests were the result of an on-going investigation into local cocaine dealing by BPD and Essex County Sheriff’s office. Here’s what happened:

Officers were working on anonymous tips that drugs were being sold out of Hathaway’s Pub on Broad Street. On January 23 officers arrested Joshua Reubens, 23, of 5 Salter Place, at Hathaway’s. He was carrying six baggies of cocaine. Reubens was charged with several counts of cocaine possession with intent to sell and had an active $1,000 warrant for robbery out of Newark.

On the same night, and also at Hathaway’s, officers arrested Craig Ellis, 25, of 44 Lexington Ave., Montclair. (Coincidence, but not related to the Montclair bust.) Ellis, formerly of Bloomfield, was also charged with several counts of possession of cocaine, and had a $3,000 warrant for probation violation. Reubens and Ellis are in Newark County Jail.

Bloomfield Police Captain Chris Goul also reports two incidents of high school students being robbed, several vehicle break-ins, and this unbelievable story…

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Ridgers Oppose Carteret Turf 4 to 1

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007 12:16pm  |  COMMENTS (238)

The results of the first SurveyUSA Polls conducted for Baristanet this week are just in. Glen Ridgers were asked two questions about next week’s bond referendum in the automated telephone poll conducted Monday and Tuesday nights.

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SurveyUSA tells us that 131 likely voters participated, giving the poll a sample error margin of plus or minus 7 percent.

On the first, most controversial, question — whether the town should borrow money to replace the grass at Carteret Field with turf — 80 percent of those asked said NO, 20 percent said YES and none were undecided.

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Corzine’s 20% Solution?

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007 10:37am  |  COMMENTS (83)

Lawmakers in the Assembly passed a bill on Monday night approving $2 billion in property tax credits that could lower homeowners’ tax bills up to 20%. But some Republicans are calling the tax reform unconstitutional. The bill is due for a Senate vote on Monday. From The Jersey Journal:

Democrats are on the verge of giving a 20 percent property tax cut to most New Jersey homeowners, but Republicans yesterday questioned whether it violates the state constitution because it would base relief from the nation’s highest property taxes on income.

Assembly Republicans hinted they might file a lawsuit against the plan if it’s signed into law. The plan would give relief ranging from 10 to 20 percent to households who earn up to $250,000.

“The state constitution requires that all homeowners be treated equally under the property tax laws,” said Assemblyman Richard Merkt, R-Morris.

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Holy Smoke! Bucketloads Of Pot Seized In Montclair

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (128)

Update: Today, Prince Lewis was arrested; his bail was set at $100,000 cash. He will be transported to the county jail in Newark either this evening or tomorrow.

Saturday morning, Montclair Police were waiting for a FedEx delivery in front of a Lexington Avenue home. Police in Maricopa County, Arizona, had tipped them off about a big shipment of marijuana on its way to Montclair. From The Star Ledger:

The operation resulted in one of Montclair’s biggest drug busts in years: 70 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of close to $200,000.

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Print This Out for Your Boss

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007 8:51am  |  COMMENTS (14)

Commuting hassles abound this morning. Blackberry-wielding commuters on Conductor Josh’s listserve report residual delays on trains into Manhattan, following a disabled train stuck in the tunnel earlier this morning. Meanwhile, there’s a water main break on Rt. 3 clogging traffic through the Lincoln Tunnel. A reader warns:

water main break on route 3 at meadowlands. there is one lane open, busses are taking the service lane. there are delays. if you take the bus- might want to take the train instead. if you are driving, expect a delay.

If you’re still home, maybe it would be a good day to telecommute.

Now That’s Just Souper

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007 8:41am  |  COMMENTS (30)

OK, the soup on the front page was from the Stockpot; mulligitawny is my favorite there. Some folks think the best soup of all is homemade. If that’s you, maybe you can share your talents…

The Cooking With Friends Club, a Montclair-based cooking community, is partnering with the Human Needs Food Pantry for their annual "Souper Bowl," set to coincide with the NFL Super Bowl on February 4. The Food Pantry will distribute soup made by Cooking with Friends club members to the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed, the homeless and the homebound. There are currently 30 members participating in the "Souper Bowl" and the club expects to deliver 50 to 80 quarts of fresh, homemade soup to some of our less fortunate neighbors.

Founded in October 2006, the Cooking with Friends Club currently has close to 100 members, who use e-mail and the internet to share cooking & menu ideas, swap recipes, and get together with one or two friends to cook, thereby enhancing existing friendships and forming new bonds.

If you want to get in on the soup and the good Samaritanism, there’s still time to participate in this "Souper Bowl" event. Visit the club online here.

While you’re here, tell us your favorite soup and where you get it from…

I Will Cry For You, Argentinian Grill

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007 5:16am  |  COMMENTS (17)

What’s happening to all the restaurants in Baristaville? First, tipsters alert us to the closing of Bloomfield’s well-regarded Formia, as well as the Village Cupboard. Now we’re hearing rumblings of a proposed sale of newbie Gaucho Steak Argentinian Grill. And worse, talk of another Italian restaurant coming to replace it (not that there’s anything wrong with Italian, but it’s not like they aren’t well represented already.)

If the rumors are true, all I can say is — please, don’t go. After having dinner on three different occasions, with three different groups of diners at Gaucho, and experiencing three incredible meals (and no service problems), could I have been just incredibly lucky? Maybe, but I’d be seriously bummed if Gaucho pulled up its pants and walked. Stay — I love those fries, the steaks, the ceviche, and those sinful dulce de leche crepes. Don’t give up on us baby, we’re still worth one more try. And we’re not the only ones who like you.

Passionne Gets Picked By Corcoran

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007 4:33am  |  COMMENTS (2)

There’s a restaurant born every minute in Montclair, and Baristanet and David Corcoran of The New York Times are following them all closely. Joining other Barista newbies that have garnered Times reviews is Passionne, reviewed by commenters here and here. Corcoran likes the moroccan tagine with cod, the wild mushroom tart (agreeed) and the sound of silence — something a lot of chefs have trouble creating in some of Montclair’s crowded eateries…

For another starter, coquilles St.-Jacques, two large scallops were cooked just past translucency, then bathed in a creamy wine sauce under a mantle of seared Gruyère — a classic recipe, perfectly executed. A baked wild-mushroom tart also benefited from a cheese topping, but its outstanding feature was a crackling shell of buttered phyllo dough. Tapenade packed the punch of three kinds of olives; frogs’ legs were moist and garlicky; and the soup of the day, parsnip, was comfortingly sweet and mellow.

But the real cap to a meal here — if, like me, you’ve spent too many Saturday evenings in busy dining rooms with hardwood floors and tin ceilings — is the realization that you’ve managed to carry on a conversation without shouting or straining to hear.

There must be a secret, and there is: the undersides of all the chairs, Mr. Carrino told me, are fitted with sound-absorbent eggshell foam. You wouldn’t think it would work. But once again, at this dark horse of a restaurant, you would be wrong.

Just Your Cup Of Tea

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007 3:01am  |  COMMENTS (34)

Teacookies

Walking past Cha-Ma-Gu-Dao on Glenridge Avenue, I was immediately sucked in by the stark Zen beauty of the place.  Cha-Ma-Gu-Dao, which opened two weeks ago, is part tea shop, art gallery, and oasis of tea culture. 

TeacannistersOwner Robert Scott travelled the world while cultivating a  passion for tea. Now, he brings Baristaville enough tea choices to last a lifetime. Listening to Scott describe teas – floral, full bodied, nutty, earthy – and discuss blends, growing regions and harvests – is like listening to a Napa valley winemaker.

Sit down for a pot ($4, and sold in bulk), but first look over the menu of 170 teas from all over the planet with names like Golden Nepal, All That Jazz, and Butter Truffle.  Don’t be put-off by the vast choices – Manager Miu Eng will guide you through the blacks, greens, florals, flavored, Oolongs, whites, herbals, chais and more.  Or you can start with a sniff test at the bar.  "If you like the smell, you’ll like the taste," she says… We opted for a mild vanilla-kiwi flavored green tea. Mmmm…

The display case of exotic sounding gourmet sweets is tempting. We tasted tea cookies made with lemongrass-ginger, green tea, black currant and earl grey tea ($3/plate). Showing unusual restraint, we skipped the sinfully rich dark chocolate brownies with mandarin orange.

If you are into teapot collecting, there’s a lot of eye candy here. Many museum quality clay and iron teapots are on display (and for sale). The finest handcrafted pots are Yixing from China and Kyusu from Japan.  You may want to think twice about serving tea from these showpieces…prices range up to $300.

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Cha-Ma-Gu-Dao means Ancient Tea and Horse Trail, a trail linking southwest China to Tibet, also called the southern Silk Road.  Each month, look for their tastings of up to six different teas ($12), discover the 5,000 year tradition of tea, and go home with a goodie bag of tea samples. On Saturday mornings, bring the kids to an hour long tea party ($4/kid) with pure fruit teas, cookies, music and a book reading. And that’s just the beginning…Scott promises more tea events in future months. Warm up and chill out at 212 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair. Call for dates and to reserve, 973-746-0975. – Annette Batson

Featured Comment

De Camp and the councilman missed the bus on this one.

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