Eyes of Roman Catholics Turn to Vatican as Pope Leaves Office

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 5:30pm  |  COMMENTS (53)

Pope Benedict resignsAs promised, Pope Benedict XVI stepped down from his Papal duties today. Beginning on Friday, 115 select members of the College of Cardinals will receive invitations to fly to Rome and convene in Vatican City to begin secret deliberations toward electing a new pontiff to lead the world’s one billion-plus Roman Catholics.

Here in New Jersey, a Pew Forum report reveals that 42 percent of the state’s population identifies themselves as belonging to the Catholic church. SpotlightNJ notes that this is “the largest religious bloc by far in the Garden State, followed by 13 percent who say they are mainline Protestant; 12 percent who say they are evangelical Protestant; 12 percent unaffiliated; and 6 percent Jewish.”

The Pope gave his farewell address earlier today, and left the Vatican a few hours later, at around 2:00 this afternoon Eastern U.S. time, amid cheering crowds and lingering disbelief over his resignation.

The Cardinals will conduct a conclave for as many days as necessary, holding meetings and voting (up to four ballots per day are possible), in order to come to agreement on a new Pope. Twice a day, either black smoke (no decision) or white (a new pope is elected) will be visible from a chimney atop the Sistene Chapel.

Pew also reports that American Catholics are about evenly divided, with slightly more (51%) thinking the next Pope should “maintain traditional positions,” and 46% wanting him to “move in new directions.”

Glen Ridge Tax Office Has Curious Timing on Tax Re-Eval Notices

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 4:50pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

taxes imageLast fall, the Borough of Glen Ridge began a townwide property tax re-evaluation, and residents have been waiting, many anxiously, for their new assessments to arrive.

This morning, a Glen Ridge resident let Baristanet know while he’d not yet gotten his re-evaluation, he did receive an email “reminding” him that homeowners who wanted a further explanation of (or to refute) their new figures, had only a few days left to make an appointment.

The tipster wrote, “I have yet to see my own figures, or any public posting as was previously available on the contractors website, but don’t know how you can discuss what you have not seen. Perhaps they will make this available to us in the interim but no mention in this notice or on the Borough website.” Indeed, we couldn’t find anything on the site either except for a copy of this morning’s email.

George Librizzi, the Borough’s tax assessor said that residents’ official new assessment notices were supposed to be mailed on Tuesday, but there was a delay at the out-of-state printing facility. Notices should arrive in mailboxes today, he said. The email blast that went out this morning — which Librizzi said he was unaware of — will be followed-up with a revised email outlining a new schedule, he said.

Residents will now have until Thursday, March 7 to call Tyler Technologies to schedule an appointment; Librizzi said appointments will take place until March 12.

We questioned Librizzi about the compressed schedule, which still leaves residents with less than a week to move into action, after waiting many months for the information. He noted that he must comply with a March 15 deadline to file the certified tax list. He defended the “hurry-up” nature of the procedure, pointing out that he’d made several extensions of the inspection process to accommodate residents who were unable to be at home upon the inspector’s first attempt.

Meanwhile, Glen Ridge residents, did you get your official new tax re-evaluations in the postal mail today? Will you be making an appointment to question the new figure?

Image: Flickr

The Weekend: Celebrate Women

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

March is Women’s History Month so welcome the new month by celebrating women at these local events.


WonderWomen!: The Untold Story of American SuperheroinesOn Friday night don’t miss the screening of WonderWomen!: The Untold Story of American Superheroines, which kicks-off Montclair March Mathness, a festival of programs, film and interactive activities that are free, informative, fun and accessible will give parents and kids a chance to explore STEM pathways. The movie, directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and edited by Montclair resident Carla Guttierez, explores the popular representations of powerful women and how the representations reflect society’s anxieties about strong and healthy women.

WonderWomen!: The Untold Story of American Superheroines

Friday, March 1 at 7 pm

Montclair High School Auditorium, 100 Chestnut Strett, Montclair, NJ, 07042

Free. Register online here for tickets.

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Montclair Police Release Photo of Wanted Suspect William Barba

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 1:11pm  |  COMMENTS (4)

The Montclair Police Department has released a photo of William Barba, 22, the suspect wanted in connection with an incident of eluding police, criminal mischief and motor vehicle infractions on February 21. A judge has issued a warrant for his arrest.

Barba - wanted - mpd feb 28 2013

Slow Food Meeting on Sunday To Focus on GMO Ingredients and Labeling Issues

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 12:50pm  |  COMMENTS (18)

GMO PosterAt their annual meeting and food tasting this Sunday, March 3, Slow Food Northern New Jersey, will focus attention on the issue of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food supply. The event, called Farms, Food and Community, will be held in Maplewood, at the DeHart Community Center, and feature keynote speaker Michael Hansen, a noted expert on the issue.

According to Slow Food, GMOs have become common in our food supply — and even the most meticulous shoppers can’t avoid them simply by shopping at organic grocery stores.

“Everyone should be aware of this problem in our food supply,” Slow Foods NNJ Steering Committee member Marie DeLuca advises, and adds, “There are steps that we all can take to protect ourselves and our families from the potential health problems they cause.”

A GMO is an organism whose genetic material has been changed via genetic engineering; these could include anything from micro-organisms such as bacteria, yeast and plants, up to fish and mammals for human consumption. There is controversy currently surrounding both the ethics of GMO use in human foods, as well as whether growers and manufacturers should be made to clearly and fully label foods that contain GMOs.

Tickets for Sunday’s event can be purchased in advance online or at the door (though the organization would appreciate pre-registration so enough food can be prepared for all). Continue Reading

Buzzing and Bragging About All Things New Jersey

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 11:03am  |  COMMENTS (8)


Ah, New Jersey.

What’s not to like? C’mon admit it, you kind of love it here, right? BuzzFeed does, and put this fabulous throw-down post up a few days ago — a fun, funny, righteous and irreverent look at “Why It’s Awesome to be From New Jersey.”

Are you feeling the awesomeness lately?

Hop over and take a look at the silly/serious, image-laden post (some slightly less suitable for work others), which is all you’ll ever need to send to any Jersey-bashing frenemy you may encounter. There’s pizza, beaches, tough and talented guys and gals, Taylor Ham (or is it pork roll?), gas pumps, jug handles, the triple-S threat – Sinatra, Springsteen and the Sopranos — and a lot more. Toss in a healthy dose of braggadocio. Why not?

Okay, they left out diners. And maybe you’ll think of a few other things. What do you love about your state? And what else should Buzzfeed have included?

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Senior Brittany Spaniel Found on Montclair-West Orange Border

Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 10:33am  |  COMMENTS (0)

fionaA contact at the Montclair Township Animal Shelter writes that a female senior Brittany Spaniel was found by an animal control officer on or around February 21 on the Montclair-West Orange border. The dog, who has been nicknamed Fiona, had no collar or no microchip.

If this is your dog, or if you recognize her, please contact the MTAS at 973-744-8600.

Clifton Man Arrested in State-wide Child Porn Sweep

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 9:51am  |  COMMENTS (0)

In a 10-county sweep dubbed Operation Ever Vigilant, 24 New Jersey men and one male juvenile have been arrested in connection with viewing and distribution of child pornography, including one individual from nearby Clifton. According to an article at NorthJersey.com, the 66 year old Michael Suscreba is applying for admittance to a program for first-time offenders.

The article notes that, “The arrests came after a three-month investigation of state residents who allegedly used the Internet to share photographs and videos of children being raped, said the state’s Attorney General, Jeffrey S. Chiesa.”

The arrests resulted from efforts by the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Photos and names of the 24 adult men arrested are here.

Special and RARE Cocktail Party Tonight at Van Vleck House Spotlights Rare Diseases

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 9:15am  |  COMMENTS (2)

Raskins - Julie, Mark, son BenWe hear about them from time to time, often on a slow news day. Days designated to mark something but designed mostly for marketing or other lightweight purposes. In this past month alone, there was Tortilla Chip Day, Umbrella Day and Weatherman’s day.

Then one comes along that’s different, important. Like today. Today is the Sixth International Rare Disease Day, and for a strong local group of supporters, the significance is real and meaningful. The Raskin family, of Glen Ridge, are the powerhouse organizers behind A Very Special and RARE Cocktail Party, a fundraising event tonight at the Van Vleck House (sponsored by Xoma, Athena Diagnostics, Biodel, and Boiling Springs Bank).

The event will highlight not only the rare disease that their son Ben was born with 16 years ago, but more importantly, Julie Raskin says, focus attention on the need for increased awareness, support, funding and research into many other rare medical conditions worldwide. It’s part of a global initiative that will see events taking place in 60 countries to draw attention to rare diseases and the ongoing need for more research, medical community awareness and support.

(Tickets for tonight’s event are still available at $75 per person. Purchase tickets online or by calling 973-544-8372. Donations can also be made through the website or sent to P.O. Box 135, Glen Ridge, NJ 07028)

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Score Great (and Free) Items at the Kitchen Swap Tomorrow

BY  |  Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013 5:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

The Kitchen Swap I just dropped off this brand-new, never opened fondue pot at the Kitchen Swap co-sponsored by Take Back The Kitchen and Keller Williams NJ Metro Group.

Apologies to the friend who gave this to me as a gift ten years ago. I had the best intentions. I meant to fondue I really did, but it just never happened. So if you’ve been craving melted cheese or chocolate, you better be at  the Kitchen Swap at the Keller Williams NJ Metro Group offices (15 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, behind Panera Bread) beginning at noon tomorrow.

Only DO NOT, and I repeat—DO NOT—take this. It’s mine and I will fight you for it:

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Featured Comment

The cops don't need to be everywhere at once, the penalties need to be harsh. It is not hyperbole JC. No one is slowing down for a few hundred bucks. 5k or 10k and you can be sure that "speed won't be creeping up" on folks.

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