Montclair Society of Engineers to Host Talk on NY Bridges Tonight

BY  |  Friday, Feb 20, 2015 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Bear Mountain BridgeNowadays, when we think of the bridges that cross the Hudson River, we tend to think of the Tappan Zee and the George Washington Bridges, but when New York’s Bear Mountain Bridge was erected in 1924, it was the longest suspension bridge in existence. It was also the first suspended bridge to have a concrete deck, and the first automobile bridge to cross the Hudson south of Albany. In fact, it paved the way for the Tappan Zee, the GWB and countless other suspension bridges in the New York metro region.

The Bear Mountain Bridge, which connects Rockland and Westchester counties, will be the subject of a talk at the Montclair Society of Engineers tonight when Harry Stanton, former Executive Director of the New York State Bridge Authority and Program Coordinator of the New York State DOT, will talk about the history of the bridge on the occasion of its 90th anniversary.

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Locals win “Geezer” and Knight Foundation Grants

BY  |  Monday, Feb 16, 2015 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (4)

Debbie profile picDebbie Galant is not one to keep idle. Best known to the Montclair-Glen Ridge-Bloomfield area for co-founding this site, Galant, who lives in Glen Ridge, left Baristanet in 2012 to head up NJ News Commons at Montclair State University . She’s still there full time, but recently she started a side gig: editing and writing for Midcentury/Modern, a platform on Medium that’s geared toward Baby Boomers. Galant conceived of the idea herself and pitched it to Medium, which happily offered its support. Galant writes much of the content herself but also has a steady flow of contributors, who write on topics that range from Boomer nostalgia to reflections on getting older to watching your children leave home.

“The subject of aging has always been fascinating to me and I’ve really been interested in writing about it,” Galant tells Baristanet. “I don’t believe that baby boomers only want to read about millennials.”

This month, Galant was awarded with a grant from J-Lab, an incubator for digital news entrepreneurs. The Masters Mediapreneurs Initiative, affectionately called the “geezer grants,” helps fund media startups developed by Boomers aged 50-plus. Galant was one of four recipients who will each receive $12,000 to use toward their respective projects.

midcentury modern

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Bloomfield Council: Appointments, Auxiliary Police Force, Renters’ Concerns

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 12, 2015 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)



After two cancellations due to weather, the Bloomfield council had a full agenda for their conference meeting on Monday evening, focusing on appointments, awards of contracts, and plans to create an auxiliary police force, among other issues.

Auxiliary Police Force

Acting Police Director Sam DeMaio presented a plan to create an auxiliary police force to the Mayor and council. He said they had reached out to Roseland, which has a successful auxiliary police force, to learn from their experiences. The plan is to hire eight auxiliary police officers to start with. They will be provided with uniforms that differ from the look of regular police uniforms, at a cost of $3000 per person. Funding for the hiring of the eight auxiliary police officers has not yet been determined. DeMaio said it could come from grants, the municipal budget, or forfeitures.

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Bloomfield Council Amends Two Ordinances to Address Specific Concerns

BY  |  Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)


In the first regular meeting of the year, the Bloomfield Council amended two ordinances on first reading related to specific concerns, one pertaining to business hours and the other to land management.

The first amendment was to Chapter 159-9 of the Township Code, which specifies that certain types of retail establishments within 200 feet of a residential neighborhood shall not be open between 12 midnight and 6 a.m.

The list of designated types of retail stores in the original ordinance included those that “sell food,” without further detail. The amended ordinance adds a parenthetical explanation after the word “food” in the ordinance, spelling out that it includes “retail food establishments, restaurants, fast food, etc.”

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Bloomfield Kicks Off the New Year With Annual Reorganization Meeting

BY  |  Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (1)


Councilmen Eli Chalet, Nick Joanow and Carlos Bernard (pictured above) were sworn in on Monday night at the annual Reorganization Meeting of the Bloomfield Council.

The festive event was held in the Council Chambers, which were full to capacity with dignitaries, township officials, family, friends, supporters and members of the public.

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FREE Women-Focused January Workshops from SOFIA

BY  |  Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

SOFIA workshop

True to its commitment to provide advocacy, support, and to help develop life skills for those who need it in the Essex County community, Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (SOFIA) is offering FREE workshops all through January aimed at building focus and purpose for the whole family.

As Baristanet mentioned last week, SOFIA is offering the popular “I’m a SUPERHERO!” workshop for children (6-12) and their caregivers on Saturday. However, the remainder of the community workshops are geared towards adults seeking motivation and focus in the new year. All events are free and held at the Community Services building at 11 Pine Street in Montclair, NJ. To confirm attendance, send an email with your name to Please put the name and date of the workshop(s) in the subject line.

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A Colorful and Cozy Exit for Montclair’s Modern Yarn

BY  |  Friday, Dec 12, 2014 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Modern Yarn

For the past five years, Modern Yarn on Glenridge Avenue has made the Baristaville knitting and crocheting landscape more colorful and cozy. Sadly, for locals who have enjoyed the variety and quality provided by owner Kathleen McWilliams, the store will close its doors for a final time on December 21st. Continue Reading

East Orange Fire: Helping Hands to Those Left Behind

BY  |  Thursday, Dec 11, 2014 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (2)

Lanore Carter-Love

Breiona Love and her 6-week old daughter Lanore Carter-Love perished in the fire with three other family members.

House fires are always a frightening possibility, and this time of year is the beginning of a dangerous time. Sadly, this Sunday morning brought horrific news to the family and friends of the Horton Family of East Orange. Four adults and a six-week old infant, all from the same family, perished in a fire that ravaged three homes and brought over 80 firefighters to the area. Those who have experienced a house fire know the long-term devastation and lasting repercussions of an event such as this. In this case, it is all the more tragic because multiple generations of a family have been affected.

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Bloomfield Holds Annual Tree Lighting, Passes Rental Good Neighbor Act on Final Reading

BY  |  Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 3:47pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

treelightingRain did not deter a crowd of Bloomfield residents from turning out to the township’s annual holiday tree lighting on Monday night.

The event, accompanied by Christmas carols sung by local Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the Middle and High School choirs, featured Santa Claus arriving via fire engine, to much applause.

After the tree lighting, the Bloomfield Council held their regular council meeting in the council chambers.

Rental Good Neighbor Act

The Rental Good Neighbor Act, which requires landlords of properties with four or fewer rental units to post a bond if their tenants cause two or more incidents involving the police, passed on second reading by a vote of 6-1.

Councilman Joe Lopez, who voted against the ordinance, spoke at length against it during the discussion period, saying it discriminates against landlords with four or fewer rental units and favors “big business” by not holding owners of larger rental properties to the same standard. Lopez Continue Reading

SOFIA Earns Award from The Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse

BY  |  Sunday, Nov 23, 2014 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Assemblyman, Sharlene Walker, Allstate Agent Neil Greco, Cynthia Walker, Alicia Robinson.

Assemblyman, Sharlene Walker, Allstate Agent Neil Greco, Cynthia Walker, Alicia Robinson.

This past September, Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (S.O.F.I.A.) assembled a fundraising team that participated in a special Allstate Foundation program to support domestic violence services. This public awareness program and grassroots fundraising effort was launched to return the power of raising money directly into the hands of organizations like S.O.F.I.A.

To facilitate and solicit donations, Allstate provided online and organizational resources for domestic violence organizations nationwide. They created The Purple Purse Challenge to motivate organizations to earn additional money from the Foundation based on their fundraising efforts.

S.O.F.I.A., a Montclair-based organization focused on offering support for women and families affected by domestic violence, raised $10,546 through Purple Purse team-member efforts, and The Allstate Foundation awarded an additional $3,500. Last week Allstate Agent Neil Greco presented the funds to S.O.F.I.A. team members, as well as longtime S.O.F.I.A. supporter Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin. Continue Reading

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Also, just a side note, I absolutely LOVE how civil and respectful this discussion is compared to what has happened on Facebook in the last week.

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