Baristanet Profile: Lily Vakili

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

Lily Vakili

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  |  COMMENTS (0)

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  |  COMMENTS (0)

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

Baristanet Profile: Doug Gillespie

BY  |  Friday, Apr 15, 2016 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (2)

 Doug Gillespie

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

Name: Doug Gillespie

Where do you live? Bloomfield, NJ

When did you move there? After graduating San Francisco State University in 1993, my wife Sandie and I moved back to New Jersey, ending up in an apartment on the south side of Bloomfield, only a few blocks away from where I first lived in Glen Ridge. But we wanted a house. We were very lucky to buy a house in the Brookdale section of Bloomfield five years later and have lived there ever since.

Where did you grow up? I mainly grew up in Glen Ridge, though we moved around a lot. Born in Red Bank, NJ, in the late 1960s, I lived in Matawan, NJ, for the first three years of my life, until we moved south to Willingboro, NJ, not far from Cherry Hill. Then when I was 5, we moved to Washington Street in Glen Ridge, a block from Linden Avenue School. But my father was offered a job with Rockwell International out in Southern California, so a year later we moved to Irvine and lived there for about 3 years. Just before my 10th birthday, we moved back to Woodland Avenue in Glen Ridge, just up the street from the high school. We love this area of New Jersey. (Sandie grew up on Lorraine Avenue in Montclair where her parents still live today.)

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Glen Ridge Man Honored With Black Achievers Award

BY  |  Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

David PearceDavid Pearce, a Con Edison department manager and Glen Ridge resident has been honored with a Black Achievers in Industry Award from the YMCA for his professional performance, community service, and dedication to corporate environmental excellence. He shares the honor with fellow employee Rod Herbert, general manager of Facilities Operations and Maintenance and Brooklyn resident. Both men were honored at the recent 46th Annual Harlem YMCA National Salute to Black Achievers in Industry Awards ceremony. Continue Reading

Owner of Montclair Bikery to Ride with Team 26 in Sandy Hook Ride on Washington

BY  |  Monday, Mar 21, 2016 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (1)

David Adornato

David Adornato, owner of Montclair Bikery, will join 25 other riders in this year’s Sandy Hook Rides on Washington.

Team 26 rides to support common sense legislation to prevent gun violence. The ride begins at Sandy Hook, CT on April 9 and ends at the Capitol in Washington, DC on April 12.

Last year, when the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington rode into Morristown, they were escorted part-way by a team of bicyclists from the Montclair Bikery. This year, Adoranto gets much more involved.

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Baristanet Profile: Susie McKeown

BY  |  Friday, Mar 18, 2016 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Susie McKeown

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

Name: Susie McKeown

Where do you live? Verona, NJ

When did you move there? In 2003 while I was pregnant with my third child. I have 2 girls and 1 boy —Megan 17, Ryan 14 and Gracie 13. We used to live in the sweetest house at 108 Wildwood Avenue in Upper Montclair for 5 years. We bought it from friends who were here for a few years before moving back to Houston, TX. That house had lots of natural light and a deck with a tree growing up through he middle of it. We  also had a huge vegetable and herb garden behind the garage that we kept up after our friends left. I really love our house in Verona now because it has more room inside, but I still miss that deep backyard and all of those delicious veggies.

Where did you grow up? I grew up on 5 Argyle Road in Montclair. (we later moved to 5 Glenside Terrace on the other side of the park when I was 9.)  At our first house we had the most amazing neighborhood and all of the children always played outside. All summer long we used to run around between houses until we heard the bell at dinner time or saw the street light go on. Argyle is the cul de sac inside of Brookdale Park off of Grove Street. Behind the houses at the other end of the cul de sac were the Brookdale Park tennis courts. My parents and the neighbors enjoyed playing there all the time and we all would go out for pizza at The Town Pub in Bloomfield on Saturday nights. I loved it there.

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Featured Comment

Instead of Valley & Bloom, South Orange has Third and Valley.

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