Baristaville Family Needs A Lifeline

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 11:02am  |  COMMENTS (4)

Baristanet received an email plea to help a family whose life is in shambles after their home caught on fire. Gregory Bressler, Vice President of University Facilities at Montclair State University writes:

Earlier this week, Emilio Zambrana, a member of the University’s Mail Services team, experienced a devastating fire that completely destroyed his home. Fortunately, Emilio and his family are unharmed, but they are in need of basic items for their three small children.

Emilio’s children are in need of clothing and shoes: Elijah, 6 year old boy, clothing (size 7/8) and shoes, boots (size 12). Genesis, 3 year old girl, clothing (size 4T) and shoes, boots (size 8). Jacob, 1.5 year old boy, clothing (size 3T) and shoes, boots (size 7). Donations of basic items for the children, such as clothing and bedding (i.e.: crib, Pac N Play, bunk bed, etc.), are appreciated. A donation in the form of a gift card to department stores, such as Wal-Mart or Target, is a wonderful alternative and would also be appreciated./blockquote>

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Montclair a Target in Guitar Theft Ring

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 10:32am  |  COMMENTS (9)

Eleven guitars have been stolen in a recent series of burglaries in three towns, Summit, Roselle Park and Montclair. The puzzling series of break-in turned especially violent this past week when masked intruders beat their victims up. From NJ.com:

The musical mayhem reached Union County Tuesday, when two towns reported guitar burglaries within hours of each other. In Roselle Park, a group of brazen thieves wearing ski masks entered an unlocked apartment occupied by five males and assaulted two of the residents by repeatedly hitting and kicking them, police said. By the time officers responded, $7,000 worth of guitars were gone, including a Schecter Diamond series, a Gretsch Tennessee Rose and a Gretsch Black Falcon. Police noted the group left behind other valuable electronics.

The Montclair police department is keeping an eye on Craigslist to see if any of thieves are stupid enough to be unloading the guitars there. Meanwhile, police in all the hit towns are trying to see if the victims had common online affiliations.

Looks like we need a real Guitar Hero to solve this one.

Big Belly

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 10:29am  |  COMMENTS (11)

Convincing cities throughout the U.S. to go green is not as easy as it appears. There will always be resistance from skeptics who don‚Äôt believe in green house gases, as well as from those who fear change. Take for example DEC Green Corp., a Bronx based green company which manufactures “The Big Belly,” which is the world‚Äôs first and only solar powered compacting receptacle. BB is designed to reduce the need for the deployment of garbage trucks by as much as 70%.

Using a Big Belly means a municipality can reduce its carbon footprint by not having to run their trucks multiple times each day or week. The benefits include reduction in fuel emissions, less vehicular congestion and compacted trash occupies less space in our landfills. The Big Belly site links to a video report which appeared on The Discovery Channel (and many more media clips).

from EcoRealty

MPD Warns Residents About E-Fraud

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 8:35am  |  COMMENTS (21)

From Lieutenant James Carlucci, Montclair Police Department:

Due to the economic crisis, we may see an increase in fraudulent emails being sent to unsuspecting victims. These emails appear in various email forms such as; “bank correspondences,” “official correspondences from a government agency,” “citizen in need and lottery.”

These have all been confirmed to be fraudulent schemes along with several others. These frauds mainly originate overseas and can only be carried out with cooperation from the victim. Residents are urged not to enter their account numbers, or passwords in any email and do not electronically wire any funds unless you are clearly confident of the originating source. Please visit www.onguardonline.gov for further information.

Yes, there’s a stupid scam born every day, and I think they’re all sent to my email. Funny, when I occasionally send off a scathing reply, I don’t hear back. Have you received any crazy money requests lately?

ART Connections 5: Juried Art Show At MSU

Friday, Jan 30, 2009 3:48pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Art5.jpg

Looking for a nice, warm, indoor activity? Take a walk on the modern side at Art Connections 5 – a stunning exhibition of 166 art pieces by 106 contemporary artists, on view now through Saturday February 14 in the George Segal Gallery at Montclair State University.

Art Connections 5 opened with a standing-room only reception earlier this month, hosted by Montclair resident, Patricia G. Selden, juror for the event. Selden reviewed 1,500 works of art submitted by artists from all over the country for this exhibition.

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Montclair BOE: Not Paying Principal’s Airfares

Friday, Jan 30, 2009 3:15pm  |  COMMENTS (23)

It only took a week to receive a reply from Montclair BOE regarding the temporary employment arrangement of interim high school principal Judith Weiss, and their search for a new principal. The headline is in the headline: free airfare is not one of Weiss’s perks. Following is the BOE statement:

Dr. Judith Weiss was hired as an Interim Principal at Montclair High School this past summer. Her original contract was to end on December 30. However, in response to her outstanding performance in the first part of the year along with the high marks she received from staff and parents, the Board invited her to stay on in her position until June 2009.

In agreeing to the new extended contract, Dr. Weiss has had to make a number of personal and professional arrangements regarding previous commitments. She will work a reduced schedule for the next several weeks, after which she will return to full-time duty as contracted. This will not in any way impact her ability to fulfill her obligations. As a side note, the district is not reimbursing her for airfare as alleged in several comments on the web.

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Name That Restaurant!

Friday, Jan 30, 2009 2:47pm  |  COMMENTS (22)

The owners at Uptown restaurant in Upper Montclair (it’s a business district, not an indie town) are being rather secretive about the changes planned for the neo-euro-urban bistro. What’s in store? We know that they’re tweaking the menu, perhaps the decor, and the name. All will be revealed next week, following a two-night closing for an instant makeover. Meanwhile, Montclair Kids is blogging about the recent kiddie invasion at the family-friendly eatery.

Just in case owner Susan Pinkwater is still undecided as to what Uptown will be renamed, give her your suggestions in comments.

Montclair Taxes Due, Ouch!

Friday, Jan 30, 2009 2:18pm  |  COMMENTS (20)

A painful reminder, from the Montclair town e-blast:

First Quarter 2009 taxes are due February 1, 2099 with a 10-day grace period.

Tax payments have a 10-day grace period – on the 11th day of each quarter tax payments are subject to interest. The interest rate is 8% on the first $1500 and 18% for any amount over $1500, retroactive to the first of the month. If you have any questions about tax payments, please call the Tax Department at (973)509-4923, 4922, 4921.

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Top Cop Controversy in Bloomfield

Friday, Jan 30, 2009 1:40pm  |  COMMENTS (5)

Seriously, can anything get down done in the township of Bloomfield without a big political shouting match? The latest involves the retirement of Police Chief Michael Sisco, who officially steps down from his post at midnight. Taking his place will be Capt. Mark Leonard, who will be sworn in temporarily tomorrow at 1 pm, with an official swearing-in on Monday. That means there will be no chief for the 13 hours between midnight and 1 pm.

But that’s not the controversy. The local Bloomfield Police Benevolent Association is fuming because Capt. Chris Goul actually scored .8 of a point higher on the police chief test than Leonard but isn’t being offered the chief job. Mayor Ray McCarthy, who wanted Goul, was outvoted. But this isn’t the first time Bloomfield cops have fought over who should get the big promotion. Here’s another skirmish involving rules and certifications in Bloomfield, this time over a deputy police chief position, dating back to 2006.

More who-said-what and who-voted-how in this week’s Bloomfield Life.

Inauguration Tale: A Logistical Nightmare

Friday, Jan 30, 2009 12:29pm  |  COMMENTS (14)

When we saw this news story about the Congressional Youth Leadership Conference (CYLC) planning to refund $1 million to irate parents for bungling their kids’ big trip to Obama’s inauguration, we wondered if that was the same trip that our correspondent Tess Langan had been on. Indeed it was. We asked Tess to tell about her CYLC experience:

To be honest I was not at all surprised that many parents were dissatisfied with the CLYC program and were seeking refunds. The group had a very impressive itinerary: captivating, distinguished speakers, and theatrical performances from Capitol Steps and a Shakespeare Company. But the program lacked the facilities, transportation and staff to accommodate the 15,000 students on the trip. It was because of the huge numbers on the trip that it took at least a half hour to find your bus every day in the cold, that my unlucky Polk group always ended up in the rafters, and that at the closing Gala we we waited in lines for about fifteen minutes just to exit the building.

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That's my son and daughter this article is about and I look up to both of them even though I'm their Dad.

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