Montclair Special Meeting: Especially Contentious

Thursday, Sep 30, 2010 9:38pm  |  COMMENTS (69)

Tonight’s special town council meeting was filled with bitter words, the voting of a new township attorney and 2010 budget ideas. There were statements of frustration. Deputy Mayor Roger Terry likened the transparency of the proceedings to a piece of coal. The council appeared divided and at times combative with each other. And the crowd of a 100-plus residents expressed their dissatisfaction audibly, sometimes booing.

Resident Allyn Hobeck, asked several questions, questioning the background of the new township attorney, Ira Karasick. His questions were interrupted by Mayor Jerry Fried who said his questions were not appropriate.

“We should be talking about the budget now, not this,” Councilor Richard Murnick said about the decision to appoint a new township attorney. “This is not a time to speculate and try something new. We need to consider salary, insurance, pension. We need to do much more homework on this.”

The resolution passed appointing Karasick as the new township attorney 4-3, with councilors Murnick, Cary Africk and Deputy Mayor Roger Terry voting no. After the meeting, Karasick was sworn in, accompanied by his wife (pictured).

Allan Trembulak had no comment after the meeting but did give Baristanet a written letter. Continue Reading

Montclair Special Meeting, New Attorney Voted In, 4-3

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 30, 2010 4:21pm  |  COMMENTS (38)

Montclair town council has started its meeting today to a packed house at 205 Claremont for a special meeting to discuss the 2010 budget, which could raise taxes by 5.6 percent, as well as the appointment of a new town attorney.

The $70,430,948 budget was struck down after heated debate at Monday’s meeting in a 4-3 vote. Voting in favor of the budget were Mayor Fried and Councilors Lewis and Weller-Demming, while Councilors Africk, Murnick, Baskerville and Deputy Mayor Terry voted against.

4:13 pm Kathryn Weller made a motion to hire Karasick, which was seconded by Nick Lewis. Mayor Fried has asked “any discussion?”

4:15 pm Cary asks what provision is for public comment. Fried says it will be at end of the meeting. Cary says what about before vote? Audience applauds. Fried says we use “Roberts Rules of Orders.” People boo.

4:18 pm Cary “You still haven’t answered my question. My comment is, what is the provision for public comment? I have 50 emails from people who want to speak.”

Fried defers to assistant attorney, Joseph Angelo, who reads from public meetings act, and says: Continue Reading

Perhaps They Meant “Lab Dances?”

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 30, 2010 3:52pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

Karen Banda is one of many volunteers at Bloomfield’s John A. Bukowski Animal Shelter, busy preparing for the shelter’s first Tricky Tray fundraiser slated for Friday, November 5, at Essex Manor.

Monies raised at the fundraiser will help cover veterinary bills that, for whatever reason, the township can’t or won’t cover. Funds will also be used to help get unadoptable animals into sanctuaries, which usually request donations for each animal they take.

The benefit has since sold out but money and gift donations for the Tricky Tray have been pouring in from animal lovers and local businesses. Nothing prepared the shelter, however, for the letter and $200 check that committee chair Bonnie Taboadella received from Titillations, a go-go bar on Willow Street.

“The letter said they sat around laughing, thinking about sending gift certificates for lap dances,” Banda said. “The letter went on to say that they’re all animal lovers so as far as I’m concerned, it’s a good presence in Bloomfield.”

Perhaps they meant this: Lab Dance

You can still donate money and/or raffle prizes and to the fundraiser. Please send them to NTNN/BAS Animal Support Fund, 1360 Clifton Avenue #321, Clifton, NJ 07012. Checks should be made payable to NTNN Animal Support Fund.

Exploring the “4th Wall” at Westminster Arts Center

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 30, 2010 2:51pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

4th Wall Theatre, in residence at Westminster Arts Center on the campus of Bloomfield College, begins its 2010-2011 season with two one-act comedies, A.R. Gurney’s “The Fourth Wall” and Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Inspector Hound.” Both comedies tinker with the theatrical idea of the fourth wall. In what has been called his “love letter to the theater,”Gurney’s play tells the story of a woman who has rearranged her living room furniture to face a blank fourth wall because she feels that if she can just break through it, she can make big things happen. Stoppard’s classic, “The Real Inspector Hound,” is a hilarious whodunit murder mystery, with characters examining the ideas of fate and free will, as well as exploring the idea of a “play within a play.” The show runs tonight through Saturday at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.748.9008 ext. 279 or online.

But 4th Wall has five pairs of tickets to give away to this weekend’s performances. Be one of the first five to send us the correct answer to the trivia question in the jump and you’ll win.

Continue Reading

NJ Annual Report Card: How Did Baristaville Schools Score?

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 30, 2010 2:30pm  |  COMMENTS (17)

reportcard.jpgUPDATE: NJ districts just received the latest, and most recent, AYP reports, which are not on the DoE’s website yet, but are expected to be posted by next month.

Montclair saw some improvement in its elementary and middle schools, but still did not meet AYP in six of its school, including MHS which is now in its “Year 4″ status for failing to meet AYP in four consecutive years. In a letter on Montclair’s BoE website, Dr, Frank Alvarez explains, “We have made great progress in the last four years. In some individual cases, students who were once partially proficient are performing at advanced proficiency levels. However, a small number of students continue to struggle. We need to do better at understanding their needs and in helping them master the necessary content.” He goes on to say, “Like most progress reports, grades fluctuate, they don’t always reflect a learning curve, and they can be filled with pluses and minus. The report for the Montclair Public Schools is no different.”

The State Department of Education has released the 2009-2010 annual report card. The Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report reflects the testing scores from all children–including those in special education and ESL students (English as a Second Language.) Schools are tested from 3rd grade and up, so schools such as Nishuane in Montclair and Forest & Linden Avenue Schools in Glen Ridge are not on the report. AYP is a measurement defined by the United States federal No Child Left Behind Act that allows the U.S. Department of Education to determine how every public school and school district in the country is performing academically according to results on standardized tests

The goal for schools is to meet all 40 of the Adequate Yearly Progress indicators.

The following results are from the last published reports on the DoE’s website. Stay tuned for a follow up story on the results that were just released to the districts this week, but are not published yet.

Continue Reading

Applegate Farm’s Octoberfest

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 30, 2010 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

applegatefarmoctoberfest.jpgThere are two Octoberfest celebrations in Baristaville this Saturday, and this one is all about ice cream. Montclair’s Applegate Farm will hold its annual Octoberfest and will be scooping out tons of ice cream and offering a bunch of fun, fall activities for families to enjoy.

There will be a Pumpkin Painting Contest, pony rides, face painting, balloons and for the adults–an ice cream eating contest. I could totally win that.

Octoberfest goes on rain or shine, but thankfully the weather forecast is calling for a cool, crisp day.

Applegate Farm Octoberfest

Who: All ages.

What: The annual celebration of autumn and ice cream.

Where: Applegate Farm, 616 Grove Street, Montclair, NJ, 07043.

When: Saturday, October 2 from 11 am – 3 pm.

Cost:Free. There will be concessions to purchase: caramel apples, hot dogs, and more.

Montclair’s Rachel Butera Wins Howard Stern Contest

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 30, 2010 1:25pm  |  COMMENTS (12)

Calling all Stern fans (and warning: if you’re not, you won’t want to click through the impression link). Montclair’s own Rachel Butera wins the Howard Stern Staff Impressions Contest and scores $5,000 for her impression of the Underdog Lady. We hear Butera beat four other contestants by a landslide in a phone-in vote. Here’s hoping she didn’t bring back any bedbugs. Butera has been doing her research a long time; in her video blog, she says she’s been a Stern listener for 16 years. Not a Stern fan? Tell us who you listen to in the morning.

Mattox Weighs In On Possible Town Attorney Change-Up

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 30, 2010 12:28pm  |  COMMENTS (8)

Former council member Ted Mattox, who sued the town of Montclair and filed grievances with the state ethics commission against Township Attorney Alan G. Trembulak, believes that his complaints — the most recent of which were made in February 2010 — are behind the seemingly urgent non-renewal of Trembulak’s contract.

When Baristanet spoke with Mattox this morning, he said “it is a fact that the state ethics commission is currently in the throes of an active investigation, and the timing coincides with the deadline for the commission to complete their investigations of my claim by December 1, 2010, according to legal guidelines.”

Trembulak, however, told Baristanet very clearly in a phone conversation this morning that there isn’t any ethics investigation taking place. “He [Mattox] filed a grievance, which has been under review for a while. No formal charges have been filed against me, and there won’t be any, as far as I know,” said Trembulak. Continue Reading

Five-Woman Fight and Stabbing on Mission Street

Thursday, Sep 30, 2010 12:21pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Lt. Scott Buehler from the Montclair Police Department sent this report:

Stabbing

On 9/22/10 at approximately 9:25 PM, police were dispatched to Mission Street on a report of a disturbance, with one of the involved females possibly in possession of a knife. According to a witness, five black females were observed fighting in front of a Mission Street residence, with one of the females stating, “I’m going to cut your throat.” The females had left the area between the time the witness called police and the time when police arrived on scene. The caller stated that he was unsure where the females had gone. Police searched the area, but were unable to locate any of those involved in the altercation.

Approximately half an hour later, police received a call from the Glen Ridge Police Department reporting that a female had walked into the Mountainside Hospital’s emergency room with stab wounds to her body, specifically in her upper left arm and the left side of her chest. Continue Reading

Baristaville Gets Another Yoga Studio, But This One’s For the Kids

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 30, 2010 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

miayoga.JPGIf you like yoga, than Baristaville is the place to live. Montclair will be home to yet another yoga studio, but this one is just for kids. Mia Yoga celebrates its grand opening this Saturday, October 2.

Located in The Wellness Loft on Walnut Street, Mia Yoga will offer classes for children from babies to teenagers. There will be classes for Mommy & Me, Daddy & Me and even Me & My Nanny classes. There’s a class especially for boys called Superhero Yoga and Family yoga classes, so everyone can do Child’s pose.

Owner and instructor Carissa L. Olivi had her Masters in Education and has taught preschool/kindergarten for over 10 years in Montclair, so she knows kids. Along with Mia Yoga, The Wellness Loft is home to Dr. Francesca Marino, a family chiropractor and Victoria Agresti-Hoehn, a health and nutrition coach.

The Grand Opening will offer healthy snacks, tips on packing a healthy lunch M-F, Me and My Spine Art Lesson and free Family Yoga from 2 pm – 3 pm.

Continue Reading

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Sr. Brigid, an English professor in college. Her technical writing class helped me hone my writing and editing skills.And she had the best sense of humor.

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