Baristanet Profile: Lane Gardner

BY  |  Friday, Jun 24, 2016 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Lane Gardner

The latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood:

Name: Lane Gardner

Where do you live? Montclair

When did you move there? 2004

Where did you grow up? All over the United States! I’m a military brat.

How do you make a living? I’m an Arts Program and Curriculum developer and teacher of the Arts in several local special needs schools. I’m most passionate about using the arts as an avenue for human development and social change from the inside out. I teach workshops centered around helping others cultivate and share their creative voice to foster human connection and community. I also teach private piano and voice lessons in my home studio.

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School of Rock Montclair Faculty Member Moe Watson Featured in Decibel Magazine

BY  |  Wednesday, Jun 22, 2016 10:47am  |  COMMENTS (0)

School of Rock Montclair

Maurice “Moe” Watson, a drum instructor at School of Rock Montclair, is the subject of an artist interview by Decibel Magazine, the “world’s foremost heavy metal authority”. Watson’s work as the drummer for Shai Hulud, which Decibel describes as being “one of the most innovative and unique bands in the hardcore scene”, is the focus of the story.

“I was totally taken aback to be featured in Decibel!” says Watson, who has performed with Shai Hulud in concerts across America, Europe, Canada, and Japan. “Many of the bands and musicians that I’m inspired by are discussed in the magazine, so for me to be considered on the same level with them all is an amazing honor.”

Watson had been a busy session and touring drummer when he joined the faculty at School of Rock Montclair in 2011: he had shared stages with such diverse artists as Ludacris, mewithoutyou, Trey Songz, Suicide Silence, Fabolous, All Shall Perish, Keri Hilson, Ray-J, Pat Benatar, John Ginty, and many more. He joined up with Shai Hulud in 2015, and has done three tours with them since then.

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Baristanet Profile: Hillary Frank

BY  |  Friday, Jun 17, 2016 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Hillary Frank

(Photo credit: Richard Frank)

The latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood:

Name: Hillary Frank

Where do you live? Montclair

When did you move there? 2010

Where did you grow up? Park Slope (before it was cool) and Connecticut

How do you make a living? I host a podcast called The Longest Shortest Time. It’s about parenthood, but it’s for everyone—whether you have kids or not. I interview parents talking about their kids, and kids talking about their parents. Even adult kids. Like, pretty soon we’re gonna be airing a show in which the comedian W. Kamau Bell talks to his mom about her dating life as a single mom back when he was a kid. I’ve never heard a conversation like this in my life. That’s what I’m always looking for. To be surprised! (Editor’s note: a new season is launching on July 13)

Coffee, tea or … ? Tea before I had a kid; coffee after.

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Baristanet Profile: Jennifer Bonnell

BY  |  Friday, Jun 10, 2016 2:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Jennifer Bonnell

The latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood:

Name: Jennifer Bonnell

Where do you live? On Park Street. We just moved into our third place on Park! Clearly, I like the neighborhood.

When did you move there? My husband Jonathan and I have been in Montclair (and on Park Street) since 2003. He came from Brooklyn, I came from Jersey, and we both wanted a walkable diverse suburb with a decent commute. Et voila! Montclair residents pre-marriage AND pre-kids; we were rarities in town. We got married a few years later, bought a house (on Park Street) the year after that, had two insane and amazing boys, and then finally last year bought what is hopefully our last house (on Park Street). We wrapped up a renovation and finally moved in just a few months ago. Now the decorating and putting things away.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Montvale, in northern Bergen county, last stop on the Garden State Parkway before you hit New York state. Jersey girl, born and raised. I know the malls like the back of my hand, and learned to drive on a stick shift Volvo station wagon on Route 17. Nothing scares me. Except pumping my own gas.

How do you make a living? I’m an editorial consultant and freelance editor specializing in children’s books, specifically middle-grade and young adult fiction and non-fiction. Last year, I quit my (16 year!) gig as Executive Editor at Puffin Books, the trade paperback imprint of Penguin Books for Young Readers to go freelance, and attempt to gain something of a work-life balance. I could not have asked for a better career and workplace at Penguin–both in terms of the people I worked with in the office, who are still truly like family to me, and in terms of the authors and their books I worked on. But I love freelancing and being able to schedule my time so I can enjoy my family, friends, and the many many many side projects I seem to wrap myself up in, while still working on amazing books with talented writers.

I also write sporadically at kumquatmay about the various things I make, from fiber arts like knitting and spinning, to cooking and ceramics. I take pottery classes at the Yard School of Art at the Montclair Art Museum here in town, and have a wheel in the basement as well. In the early 2000s I wrote a do-it-yourself craft book for tweens, D.I.Y. Girl (long out of print), and friends have lovingly (I hope) mocked me for years for saying that whatever thing I was doing was “so easy” and sharing the how-tos. Finally I caved to their pressure and started blogging. Missing the high point of the DIY blogosphere by about 6 years, and filling a non-existent need for another DIY blogger, but it’s fun regardless.

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Baristanet Profile: Lily Vakili

BY  |  Friday, May 20, 2016 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Lily Vakili

The latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood:

Name: Lily Vakili

Where do you live? Watchung neighborhood in Montclair

When did you move there? 2001

Where did you grow up? My family moved around a bit – I was born in La Lima, Honduras and lived in southern Florida; Bangkok, Thailand; Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; and Ames, Iowa. At 16, I joined a theatre troupe in Minneapolis…. I think the growing up continued through stints in NYC, Hoboken, and Boston….

How do you make a living? By applying the art of persuasion, practice & perseverance to the fields of music and law. As a lawyer, I represent individuals and biotech companies involved in drug development. As a singer/songwriter, I’m releasing my second album, Meadowlands, and am playing gigs around town and elsewhere in the excellent company of the LV Band.

Coffee, tea or … ? I like coffee, I like tea, I like wine in good company.

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R.I.P. Glen Rochkind, Celebrated Television Journalist and Montclair Resident

BY  |  Wednesday, May 18, 2016 8:16am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Glen RochkindBaristanet is sad to report that Glen Rochkind, television journalist and Montclair resident passed away on May 12.

Glen Steven Rochkind passed away Thursday, May 12th in his Montclair, New Jersey home.

He was a native and great lover of New Orleans. Educated at the Isidore Newman School and later at Georgetown University, he set his sights toward journalism and took his first job as a production assistant in the Washington bureau of NBC Nightly News. Among his career stops were USA Today’s TV Show, WRC-TV and CNBC, where he was the financial channel’s first London Bureau chief in 1990.

He served in a number of positions at CNBC including Washington Bureau Chief, managing editor and executive producer of a number of specials, including the network’s acclaimed special “Inside Walmart” with David Faber, which won the prestigious Peabody Award in 2004. In 2001, he and correspondent Steve Frank travelled to Saudi Arabia to score the first one-on-one interview with Prince Alwaleed. “Along the way”, said Matt Cuddy, who succeeded Glen as CNBC’s Washington Bureau Chief, “there were dozens of us at CNBC who he went to bat for and fought for. He was always on the side of smart journalism”.

Glen left broadcasting in 2006 for a stint as Senior Vice President of Hill and Knowlton and then as the head of his own crisis public relations firm, only to jump back in to be one of the producers of CBS News “60 Minutes” groundbreaking “Inside Apple” piece in December of last year.

It seems there was no question in TV news — to which Glen Rochkind wasn’t the answer. But his career was only one aspect of Glen. He was a gourmet, a gourmand and a junk-food junkie.

He was a great and constant friend.

Glen is survived by his loving parents, Arlene and Oscar (aka “Chief”), his two sisters, Lynn Rochkind Gansar and Dale Rochkind, all of South Florida. And the production about which he was most proud, his beloved 11-year-old son, Jack. Glen would always call Jack his “favorite boy in the world” and instilled in Jack an amazing appreciation for things around him and a deep, loving concern for others. Jack knows that his father loved him deeply and that Glen’s influence will help guide him as he experiences what life has to offer.

Memorial services are being planned in New Orleans and Montclair for next month.

Baristanet offers its deepest condolences to the Rochkind family.



Baristanet Profile: Masiel Rodriquez-Vars

BY  |  Friday, May 13, 2016 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Masiel Rodriquez-VarsThe latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood:

Name: Masiel Rodriquez-Vars

Where do you live? Montclair

When did you move there? My husband and I moved to Montclair in 2001 from Brooklyn. It’s a very uncommon path. We’re trendsetters.

Where did you grow up? I was born in a tiny Texas town called Uvalde, then moved to San Antonio when I was about 10. I am a Texan at my core – even though most wonder why I lack an accent.

How do you make a living? I now have the best job in the world as Executive Director of the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence (MFEE). I have the opportunity to work with teachers, administrators, community members, parents, and students to shine light on and raise support for the Montclair Public Schools – super cool. I live and breathe the work, because I adore this community and our schools. I took a circuitous path to get here – but I’d like to think it set me up perfectly for this job. I have been a public school teacher, lawyer, filmmaker, youth philanthropy director, foster care program developer, executive coach, nonprofit consultant, and a mom to four kids. I use all the skills I’ve picked up along the way in this new role.

Coffee, tea or … ? So, apparently I am a little high-strung and hyper sensitive to caffeine. I drink one cup of decaf coffee and that revs me up for days. I am experimenting with “calm” teas.

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Baristanet Profile: Michael Shortt

BY  |  Friday, May 06, 2016 3:45pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Michael Shortt

The latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood:

Name: Michael Shortt

Where do you live? In Upper Montclair with my wife Patty and our four kids: Nadia, Joe, Mae and Owen.

When did you move there? We moved here from Princeton in late 2010.

Where did you grow up? In Blauvelt, New York, a small town in Rockland County.

How do you make a living? I am an attorney here in Montclair.  I handle everything from commercial litigation to estate planning. Helping young parents get their wills in place has been a big part of my practice recently.

Coffee, Tea or…. As the son of two Irish immigrants, I am genetically required to prefer a good cup of black tea.

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Baristanet Profile: Jason Kirschner

BY  |  Friday, Apr 29, 2016 3:00pm

Jason Kirschner

The latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood:

Name: Jason Kirschner

Where do you live? Montclair.

When did you move there? Our kids were 2 so … about 7 years ago.

Where did you grow up? My early years were in Brooklyn, NY and then we moved out to Manalapan, NJ which is about 45 min south of here. I lived there until I left for college.

How do you make a living? By day, I’m a set designer for television. I generally do talk shows these days– most of my career was spent at the Late Show with David Letterman. I’ve also designed for Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Meredith Viera Show. By night, I’m an author/illustrator for children’s books. My first picture book, Mr. Particular: The World’s Choosiest Champion is out in the beginning of May. I’m really excited about it.

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School of Rock Montclair’s Kevin March Featured in Modern Drummer Magazine

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2016 1:00pm

March on Modern Drummer

Kevin March, the Berklee-trained general manager at School of Rock Montclair, is the subject of a five page article in the April issue of Modern Drummer magazine. The story features a history of March’s work as a drummer for such “alternative A-listers” as Guided by Voices, Shudder to Think, the Dambuilders, Jeff Buckley, James Iha, the Rentals, Robert Pollard, and Ricked Wicky, as well as an interview with contributor David Jarnstrom.

“Modern Drummer is a bible for drummers around the world, whether they’re students, hobbyists, or pros, so it was an honor to be so prominently featured,” says March, who’s been a Montclair resident since 2012 and is the parent of a third grader at the Hillside School. “Along with talking about my work as a producer and a band member in the article, I also gave a shout out to School of Rock Montclair, which is where I have the best ‘day’ job in the world.” Continue Reading

Featured Comment

This story is far from over. Too many people know way too much. Just a matter of time before someone spills the beans. If I was investigating this, the smoking gun could be found by looking into the BOE's decision to "cast a wide net" investigation.

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