Ready, Set, Pitch!

BY  |  Thursday, Oct 22, 2015 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

pitchapaloozaIf you’ve ever wanted to turn that book idea you’ve had mulling around inside your head into something more concrete, Pitchapalooza may be the event for you.

Founded 10 years ago by the Montclair husband-and-wife team of David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut, Pitchapalooza is like an American Idol for books (only kinder and gentler, Sterry and Eckstut will tell you). Writers show up with an idea, twenty are chosen at random to pitch the idea in one minute, and a panelist of judges declares a winner. That winner receives an introduction to an agent or publisher appropriate for his or her book.

So get your pitches ready: There will be a Montclair Pitchapalooza event this Sunday, October 25, at 2pm at the main branch of the public library (50 South Fullerton St.). Continue Reading

Animal Shelter, Crime and Speeding Discussed at Bloomfield Community Forum

BY  |  Friday, Oct 09, 2015 6:05pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

New Township Administrator Matt Watkins responds to questions from the public.

New Township Administrator Matt Watkins responds to questions from the public.

The future management of Bloomfield’s animal shelter, crime, speeding and other issues were addressed at a community forum held at Temple Ner Amid in Bloomfield on Thursday evening.

Mayor Michael Venezia and Councilmen Nick Joanow and Elias Chalet were present, as well as Police Director Sam DeMaio and newly-appointed Township Administrator, Matt Watkins.

The meeting opened with brief remarks by the Mayor, Township Administrator Watkins, and Police Director DeMaio, followed by a question-and-answer period.

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Bloomfield Seeks Temporary Animal Shelter Management in Wake of North Jersey Humane Society Investigation

BY  |  Thursday, Oct 08, 2015 7:00am  |  COMMENTS (6)

NJHS LogoAt Monday evening’s council meeting, held at the Franklin School, Mayor Venezia read a statement regarding Bloomfield’s animal shelter prior to the public comment period indicating the township is looking for an agency to temporarily take control of the shelter. The shelter is currently managed by the North Jersey Humane Society, with animal control handled by its sister organization, Bergen County Humane Enforcement.

The shelter was investigated on August 19, 2015 by the New Jersey Department of Health, and found to be deficient in a number of areas, including sanitation procedures, failure to provide proper shelter, improper food storage and inappropriate handling of wildlife, as well as for lack of construction permits for ongoing work, structural deficiencies in the building itself and more.

In addition, the New Jersey SPCA had charged the organization’s Director and Supervising Animal Control Officer (ACO), Vince Ascolese, with 14 counts of animal cruelty in connection with the euthanization of an injured fawn that was brought to the shelter at the end of June, according to a NJSPCA press release. Ascolese allegedly slit the deer’s throat to euthanize it via exsanguination (blood draining), according to the charges, which is not a permitted form of euthanasia in New Jersey. Continue Reading

The Montclair Bikery Hosts Sandy Hook Cyclists

BY  |  Monday, Mar 30, 2015 10:30am


The Montclair Bikery was bustling on Sunday morning as 26 green-backed cyclists and their crew made a rolling pit-stop in the shop for bagels, coffee, and talk about the gun reforms they are asking of the US Congress. The Sandy Hook Ride on Washington (SHROW) had arrived!

IMG_1062Herb Jimenez, who rode with Team 26 last year as well, wanted to see if a Montclair stop would be feasible this year. When he reached out to  Dave Adornato, the owner of Montclair Bikery happily offered to host. A team from Montclair Bikery had already ridden a part of the way during last year’s trek, and they cycled with the SHROW from Montclair to Morristown again this year.

While the group of cyclists has some specific goals for Congress, the ride — or “Rolling Rally” — is also about raising awareness and inspiring the public to raise their voices and awareness to encourage action from Congress. Monte Frank, the founder and leader of the SHROW, Herb Jimenez, and Dave Adornato, all spoke briefly about what raising awareness about gun violence prevention and supporting the goals of Team 26 means to them before the group left for Morristown.

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Bloomfield Planning Board and Residents Question Traffic Pattern at Hoover Ave. Site

BY  |  Saturday, Mar 28, 2015 9:35am  |  COMMENTS (17)

Resident Geoff Gove questions applicant's traffic expert at Tuesday evening's meeting.

Resident Geoff Gove questions the applicant’s traffic expert at Tuesday evening’s meeting.

The Bloomfield Planning Board heard testimony from two traffic experts at Tuesday evening’s special meeting addressing the application of 262-268 Hoover Avenue @ Bloomfield, LLC to build a mid-rise multi-family building on the corner of Hoover Avenue and John F. Kennedy Drive.

The application was continued from the Board’s February 17th meeting, when the Board heard testimony by the applicant’s architect and engineer, as well as Ted Gatto, the property owner.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the applicant’s attorney, Michael Piromalli from the Belleville firm of Gaccione and Pomaco, went over the changes that had been made since the meeting in February. Continue Reading

Bloomfield Council to Introduce Annual Budget at April 13 Meeting

BY  |  Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Councilconference3_16_15The Bloomfield Council voted at Monday night’s conference meeting to introduce the 2015 budget at the next regular council meeting on April 13, 2015.

Finance Director Robert Renna announced that the annual budget is coming in with a less than 1% increase, or an increase of just $39 for the average home (currently worth around $277k). This is the smallest budget increase in 14 years. The council voted unanimously to introduce the budget at the next regular meeting.

The township was also able to place $5.1 million into reserve surplus, which now totals $9.6 million, above the $7.5 million surplus recommended by the state.

Renna also announced that a recent bond transaction, which he likened to refinancing a mortgage, resulted in a savings to the town of $413k due to lower interest rates.

Felton Field

Tom Smith, of Remington & Vernick, presented an update regarding remediation of the contamination found on Felton Field. He said that they had completed the sampling process to delineate the remediation area, and had determined that the removal of 300 yards of topsoil would be required to complete the remediation process. They estimate the cost for remediation will be between $100 and $120k, and the actual work would take about two weeks. However, he said the contractor hired to perform the remediation would also be responsible for maintaining the restored playing fields, which will be reseeded with new grass, until the grass has grown in.

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MPL to Hold Presentation on Growing Your Own Food Tonight

BY  |  Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 10:30am


It may not seem like it, given the unending amount of snowfall hitting the Northesast recently, but spring will soon be here. Before you know it, that three foot mound of snow piled up in your front yard will have melted away, revealing some lovely daffodils, a garden that desperately needs mulching, and a raised bed crying out for some new vegetable plantings.

Lucky for us, the Montclair Public Library will be holding a free presentation on how to grow your own food. “Pots to Plots: Growing Food in Your Backyard,” which takes place at 7 pm tonight, will feature three Montclair gardeners whose experience growing a “kitchen garden” is well known in the area.

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Bloomfield Council Passes Paid Sick Leave Legislation

BY  |  Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 9:00am

council3_2The mayor and council unanimously passed an ordinance on Monday night requiring that workers in Bloomfield receive paid sick leave.

Bloomfield is the first town in New Jersey to pass an ordinance of this type in 2015 and the ninth town in New Jersey to do so overall. It is one of only 18 municipalities in the country (including Montclair) that have passed such a law.

The ordinance, which passed on second reading, requires that, with certain exceptions and limitations, all employees in the township will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of time worked. Employers who employ ten or more employees must provide up to 40 hours (five days) of paid sick time in a calendar year. Employers who employ fewer than ten employees must provide up to 24 hours (three days) of paid sick time in a calendar year – unless the employees are child care workers, home health care workers, or food service workers, in which case employers are required to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick time.

In addition to being used when the worker is ill or has a medical appointment, the time can also be used to care for a family member.

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Montclair Society of Engineers to Host Talk on NY Bridges Tonight

BY  |  Friday, Feb 20, 2015 10:30am

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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Featured Comment

alex, you failed to notice that the Montclair 2016 campaign has already begun & this is just the latest installment...via the very new Township CFO. Ah, it's nice to be an incumbent.

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