Clearing Up Misconceptions About MAM’s Deaccessioning

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 3:20pm  |  COMMENTS (10)

untitled.jpgRemember we told you about Montclair Art Museum’s (MAM) plan to deaccession pieces from its collection? Well, an opinion piece that followed in the Wall Street Journal set off controversy with an assertion that MAM’s actions would be “another sorry example of an institution cashing out on art in the public trust.”

Lora Urbanelli, director of the Montclair Art Museum, says deaccessioning is not a dirty word. It’s something that’s done by practically every museum. Doing it correctly means that monies from the sale of the deaccessioned pieces go directly toward the acquisition of new art. “We’re doing what we need to do to ride out the recession and make it to our centennial. But to suggest that the deaccessioning was being done as a means to securitize a bond was entirely untrue.” Urbanelli adds that everything being done in regards to deaccessioning is in line with the American Association of Museum Directors’ guidelines. “Whenever you sell a work of art, you use the funds to buy another work of art. This is the guarantee you make to the public. You don’t sell paintings to pay the electric bill.”

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NJ Swine Flu Cases Confirmed

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 1:47pm  |  COMMENTS (12)

The five probable cases of swine flu in NJ are the real deal. No information yet regarding areas where the cases were reported.

UPDATE: Cases have been identified in Bergen, Burlington and Monmouth counties.

Proposed Removal of Baristaville SuperFund Sites

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 1:04pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

Now that the cleanup work has been deemed successfully completed at the Montclair/West Orange and Glen Ridge Radium Superfund sites, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to remove the sites from its Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). Have something to say about the proposal? EPA has consulted on its decision with the state of New Jersey and is taking public comment on its proposal.

The soil at the sites was contaminated with radioactive waste materials suspected to have originated from a nearby radium-processing facility that operated in the early 1900s. When houses were later constructed in the area, some of the radium-contaminated soil was used as fill in the low-lying areas, and some was mixed with cement for sidewalks and foundations. More than 220,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil were scattered on public and private properties.

Interesting back story on the sites and how they affected residents, here. Public commenting info in the jump…

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JoAnne Paul: All It Takes Is One Person

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 11:45am  |  COMMENTS (5)

“This is not a vendetta.”

JoAnne Paul doesn’t look like she could harbor one. In her sixties, Paul is busy entering a stage of her life that was never planned: After her daughter Monica Paul was murdered in the Montclair YMCA last summer by her estranged boyfriend, Paul found herself once more raising children — this time her two grandchildren — while waging a battle on behalf of victims of domestic violence everywhere.

Paul speaks of the letters read at the funeral, letters Monica had written to her children in the case of such an unspeakable event. The letters were dated on the same day in 2007 that Monica filed for a restraining order against the father of her children.

So with no legal background, Paul set out to change the law for other victims of domestic violence; she didn’t want to see the law fail them too. “I’ve been very tired, but I said to myself, ‘I don’t care how I’m feeling, I’m going through with it; I want Monica’s life to count for something.’”

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Food Throwing Mischief Continues In Montclair

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 8:49am  |  COMMENTS (16)

Are people really, really, bored, brain dead, or both? Along with the recent pudding attack in Montclair, this dangerous random act of mischief ranks at the top of our 10 Stupidest Pranks list.

Montclair Police were called to the 600 block of Valley Road on the evening of April 25, at about 10:30 p.m. When police arrived, they found a 31-year-old woman from Elmwood standing with a friend next to a parked Honda. The woman said a dark SUV drove by slowly as the couple were entering the car, and someone in the vehicle hurled a watermelon at them, hitting the woman in the back and legs. The projectile melon entered the interior of the car, exploding on impact. The car sped away heading towards Bloomfield Avenue.

Police say there was damage to the interior of the car; fortunately, the woman was not hurt. If you have any idea who the watermelon thrower was, please call MPD.

Also reported this week — a dining disturbance at Orbis:

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NJ Supreme Court to Decide Future of the Abbott Funding System

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 5:11pm  |  COMMENTS (12)

The New Jersey Supreme Court held hearings yesterday on whether to abolish the decades-old Abbott School funding system in favor of a newer system created by Governor Corzine and approved by the School Funding Reform Act last year.

The Abbott funding system grew out of the Abbott v. Burke decisions that mandated poor districts to be equitably funded with wealthier districts, and therefore eligible for the billions of dollars in state aid that have been distributed over the years. Proponents of the new funding system argue that it is more effective in delivering aid to students who need it without discriminating against needy students in other districts. Under the new system, aid is distributed according to enrollment, with allotments for students that are low-income, have special needs, or are otherwise more expensive to serve.

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Out on a Limb

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 3:42pm

When I was a child, I regulated myself far better than my mother ever could. I never watched TV when I wasn’t supposed to. I called her at work to get her clearance on any possible candy consumption, and I looked on wistfully at the children who could dare to be so bold. So when an adult, any adult, gave me the Grown Up Go Ahead to do something forbidden, I adored them and gave in to my suppressed desires with every ounce of whim I had.

That’s probably not what Kristen and the crew at Barista Kids want to hear. And I don’t even want to think about how that will come back to me once I’m a parent.

However, certain boundaries should probably not be crossed, like that time my brothers and I decided to try driving our parents’ Cadillac with nary a driver’s license between the three of us. Or, in Kristen’s case, placing someone else’s three-year-old in a tree.

Which begs the thorny question of, how do you deal with other parents breaking the rules you have set out for your children? What about your children’s friends? Discuss your playground drama over at Barista Kids.

We’re OK

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 2:34pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

It can be hard to accept Annette’s word for it, amid declarations of a public health emergency, the first reported swine flu-related death in the US, and five probable cases in New Jersey.

However, a call to Mountainside Hospital’s Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Natalie Thigpen assured us that so far, all’s well in Baristaville. Mountainside’s emergency preparedness team has been meeting daily since the outbreak began to review emergency procedures and coordinate with major actors within the hospital. The hospital has also been a part of New Jersey’s Initiative on Pandemic Flu Planning for two years, so the staff is already familiar with this sort of emergency framework.

Likewise, local drugstores report that all is calm – “not much panicking yet,” says Larry of Grove Pharmacy. “There have been a couple of requests for Tamiflu, but not the expected rush.” Keil’s Pharmacy likewise reported relative calm, but noted an increase in purchases of surgical masks and hand sanitizers.

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Yes, I Went To Mexico Last Week

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 1:30pm  |  COMMENTS (22)

tourists.jpg My tan is the tipoff. When I admit I was in Mexico last week, the horrified reactions border on hysterical. At my pediatrician’s office, we encountered polite panic as the nurse instinctively recoiled in horror; at the orthodontist’s, office assistants let out a terrified gasp that sucked all the air out of the room. At my husband’s Monday morning office meeting, a colleague showed up with a surgical mask, and, as if punished in a “time out,” Anthony sat alone at the end of the table. My three kids have gotten a lot of flack at school too, as SWINE has taken over everyone’s psyche. “Do you have it? Yes, you have it, don’t you” – teasing, joking, finger pointing – maybe in jest – but laced in fear? Two of Genna’s friends wouldn’t sit next to her on the bus.

Hey, the headline is: We’re OK. (We were at the doctor’s for something unrelated.) Nobody came down with anything, not even the dreaded Montezuma’s Revenge. We’re addicted to Mexico more than ever. What’s different about this year’s trip is we got grief coming and going. Before SWINE, it was “holy guacamole, you’re still going, despite all that drug-infused violence and people getting shot left and right?”

The first I learned about the Mexican swine flu outbreak was on the tarmac upon landing at Newark Liberty Airport last Saturday.

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Obama’s First 100

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 12:03pm  |  COMMENTS (77)


Between Sudanese pirates, swine flu outbreaks, stock market woes, flyaway photo ops and oh, those Middle Eastern wars, it’s good to know President Obama can find some time here and there to re-arrange his furniture – with a little help from his friends, of course. (That’s Vermont Governor Jim Douglas in the Oval Office, in between discussions about the economic recovery plan.)

Barista Kids talked to little and big kids to see how they felt about this historic day. Preschoolers and kindergartners thought he should whoop it up and party. Older kids say they’re inspired and moved.

What say you, BaristaAdults? How do you feel about Obama’s First 100? Are you whooping, or hollering?

(Photo from White House photostream on Flickr.)

Featured Comment

I am glad I was not the first to notice this paltry salary. This can be a dangerous job. It's not all about rescuing stray kitties from trees or chasing down someone's lost dog. You get called out to trap raccoons and other rabid animals. Also, you get the lovely job of removing dead deer and other animals from the road. And, you need to be on call. With that salary, you won;t even be able to afford a cage in an animal shelter.

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