BY Baristanet Staff | Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016 12:30pm
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Peter receiving the bulbs from May in Montclair Vice Chair Cyndee Rowan. He can’t wait to plant!
Fall is here and that means it’s time to plant tulip bulbs for spring in Montclair. No one needs to remind Montclair native Peter Guiffra, though, as he is dreaming once again of planting over 1500 bulbs for a spring bloom explosion! This year the May in Montclair committee dedicates its 38th year to this amazing family man and volunteer for his singular dedication to Montclair beautification.
Guiffra is activity involved in the community. You may also know Guiffra as the town’s Elvis. Each year he is a big hit at the annual Fourth of July parade.
It was back in 1991 when Peter volunteered to be on the Montclair High School (MHS) PTSO Beautification Committee. His younger daughter Gillian was at MHS then. He saw an article in the Montclair Times urging residents to contact the May in Montclair Committee to help plant tulip bulbs, and his beautification tradition began.
BY Steven Maginnis | Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016 8:29am
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A parklet in an on-street parking space was the kickoff subject at the Montclair Planning Board’s October 24 meeting. John Sullivan, a high-school science teacher and an urban planning expert, gave a presentation on the parklet situated on Glenridge Avenue to advocate for more usable public space in Montclair.
The parklet at Glenridge Avenue, before being decorated
Sullivan explained that the parklet, a small porch taking up the curbside of Glenridge Avenue in front of the Mishmish Café, was an effort to provide a space for people take advantage of along the street. He showed how parklets brought pedestrians onto streets and encouraged greater use of the public space the street offers. He told Planning Board members that parklets fostered both neighborhood interaction and promoted a sense of place, which in turn defined the community and helped local economies. Continue Reading
BY Announcement | Monday, Oct 24, 2016 2:35pm
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The Montclair Police Department Community Service Unit (CSU) continues its highly-successful “Coffee With A Cop” program with another event on Thursday, November 3 at 8:30 am at Java Love Coffee (244 Bellevue Avenue, Montclair).
The “Coffee With A Cop” program strives to form partnerships with all Montclair residents and businesses. All too often the community only interacts with police in times of crisis. In an effort to foster positive relationships with the police, the Montclair Police Department is proud to continue “Coffee With A Cop.” Continue Reading
BY Steven Maginnis | Friday, Oct 21, 2016 1:00pm
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Slightly less than half of the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission’s October 20 meeting was held as a joint session with members of the Montclair Planning Board to receive representatives of the consulting group Building Conservation Associates (BCA) and hear their of the 2016 Historic Preservation Element of the township’s master plan. The draft of the historic element, which was completed on September 30, is available for review by the public at the township’s Web site.
BCA representatives Michele Boyd and Emily Rinaldi explained for the benefit of the public as well as the commission that the element was a subsection of the town’s master plan that guide the policies of historic preservation planning and to provide a framework for preserving historic buildings and for future development. It also is meant to provide a goal to preserve historic structures and prioritize a plan of action to achieve these goals.
Emily Rinaldi of Building Conservation Associates explains the historic element of the Montclair master plan to the Historic Preservation Commission as Deputy Planning Director Graham Petto listens.
BY Baristanet Staff | Friday, Oct 21, 2016 11:21am
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There’s a bear in Montclair Center!!! Not this bear, but a cute cuddly Clair Bear that we want you to feed!
Where is the Clair Bear? Find and feed that bear to win!
The Montclair Center BID is holding an adorable food drive!
A giant bear is traveling from store to store in Montclair Center looking for food (he’s a hungry fella!) If you can track him down (follow the clues on Montclair Center’s Instagram and Facebook pages), and feed him a non-perishable food, you’ll get one raffle ticket for a chance to win the Clair Bear! Bring your raffle ticket to the Montclair Tree Lighting on Friday, December 2, to find out if you’re the lucky winner who takes Montclair BID’s Clair Bear home for good!
All the food collected will be donated to Toni’s Kitchen, Human Needs Food Pantry, and The Salvation Army Feeding Program.
Now go find that bear!
BY Mimi Michalski | Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 6:51pm
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Opposition from neighbors sidetracked an application at Monday’s Planning Board meeting to subdivide a 1.7-acre property into three lots in the residential neighborhood of Madison Avenue.
The application was made by the property’s owners, Luther Flurry and Jarmila Packard, who currently live in a house situated behind a former nursing home located at the front of the property.
Prior to the hearing of the application, Chairman John Wynn recused himself due to his home’s proximity to the property, and the proceedings were chaired by Vice Chairman Jason DeSalvo.
The couple’s attorney, David Owen, explained that the property, located at 14-16 Madison Avenue, is the largest property within the block. The front building, he stated, was originally a 2-1/2 story one-family home that had been converted into a nursing home in 1945, when the Board of Adjustment approved that use of the property. In the mid-1990s, the nursing home closed and has been left vacant ever since. Flurry and Packard bought the property in 2002 and eventually applied to the Zoning Board of Adjustment to convert the nursing home back to a one-family house, while living in the existing smaller building behind the larger structure. However, he said, they were unable to complete renovations on the former nursing home and now wish to subdivide the property into three lots.
Owen called Planner Peter Steck to testify further about the details of the application. Steck explained the owners wish to subdivide the existing large lot into three separate lots, with two lots fronting onto Madison Avenue, with the third lot containing the existing smaller home in the back. The former nursing home would be demolished and replaced with two single-family houses. He said the former nursing home had not been used as a single-family home since 1945 and it was in a deteriorated condition, with inside finishes removed. It is located on a rise in the topography, and a driveway is located to the right of the property, leading to the owners’ home in the back.
14-16 Madison Avenue, former nursing home building.
BY Baristanet Staff | Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 12:30pm
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BlueWaveNJ has organized a bus to take locals who are offended by Presidential Candidate Donald Trump’s sexual harassment towards women to the Statehouse in Trenton to let NJ Governor Chris Christie they hold him accountable for his defense of Trump.
The call to action event is organized by W.A.S.H., Women Against Sexual Harassment. Women have always been known for washing things, from clothes to the home with the goal to remove dirt. The term “wash” is often synonymous with the chores traditionally associated with women. That is why close to 100 New Jersey women on an impromptu conference call held last week, decided to embrace this term and call themselves, W.A.S.H., Women Against Sexual Harassment. This informal and growing group of women, are determined to make their voices heard against the derogatory language used and harassment by Donald Trump against women across this nation.
W.A.S.H. is demanding that Governor Chris Christie go beyond denouncing Trump’s comments and immediately resign as chairman of the Trump transition team.
BY Steven Maginnis | Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 9:00am
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Parking and traffic were two issues that just won’t go away for the Montclair Township Council. Mayor Robert Jackson and the councilors unanimously passed a resolution at their October 18 meeting accepting the responsibility to maintain the extended curb line and perform snow removal for the new bumpouts being installed at Orange Road, High Street and Irving Street. Although passage of the resolution – part of a consent agenda of items to be passed without debate – was a foregone conclusion, several residents used the public comment phase of the meeting to urge the council to pass it. They cited the dangers of crossing the street and either they or their children and dogs having too many near misses with motorists. The Orange/High/Irving issue, though, led to activists asking the council to go further elsewhere in town.
the Montclair Township Council
Pedestrians Safety Issues in Upper Montclair and on Grove Street
Alex Kent, chair of the Montclair Pedestrian Safety Committee, said that her group’s efforts haven’t been effective in achieving positive results. She said that 40 pedestrians have been hit in Montclair every year since 2003, at least one fatality every year, with 36 pedestrians having been hit so far in 2016. She zeroed in on the Upper Montclair business district and Grove Street as areas in need of improvement. Given the large amount of car crashes at the Bellevue Avenue and Loraine Avenue intersections in recent months, Kent proposed eliminating right turns on red lights on weekends at both intersections and giving pedestrians a six-second head start with a “WALK” light that goes on before the green light for motorists.
Kent said that there have been 439 car crashes last four years, with 138 crashes on Elm Street, causing numerous pedestrian injuries, and she recommended lowering the speed limit to 30 miles an hour and painting a median two feet wide as a buffer zone for opposing traffic. Continue Reading
BY Baristanet Staff | Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016 3:15pm
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The week in Montclair Crime from D/Lt. David O’Dowd, Montclair Police Department:
10-12-2016 (Pleasant Way) Mr. Dwayne Paige, 44yoa from East Orange, was arrested attempting to burglarize residences in the area. Officers located Mr. Paige on the rear porch of one of these residences.
10-12-2016 (Mission Street) Mr. Shaun Brown, 25yoa from Pennsylvania, was arrested on the following warrants: Essex County Sheriff’s Office (no bail), Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office (no bail), Montclair ($350), Ocean ($2,500), and Neptune ($400).
10-14-2016 (Bloomfield Avenue) Ms. Christina Flores, 33yoa from Elizabeth, was arrested and charged with DWI following a motor vehicle stop.
10-15-2016 (Grove Street) Montclair Police received reports of a tractor trailer driving erratically on Route 3 west, exiting onto Grove Street. Officers located this tractor trailer driving southbound on Grove Street and conducted a motor vehicle stop. The vehicle operator, Jason Ferguson (39yoa from Montclair) was arrested and charged with DWI.
BY Announcement | Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016 8:00am
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Left to right: Rotary Club President Alicia Robinson, Rotary Foundation Chairman Stuart Keil, Human Needs Food Pantry’s Executive Director Michael Bruno, Toni’s Kitchen Assistant Outreach Director Tara Chowaniec, Salvation Army’s Major Kevin Stoops, Taste of Montclair Chairman John Lee, and Partners for Health Program Director Kathleen Smith.
The Montclair Rotary Club and the Partners for Health Foundation jointly presented $15,000 in grants, which were divided equally between the Human Needs Food Pantry of Montclair, Salvation Army Montclair Citadel and Toni’s Kitchen.
The grants will help fund programs that provide people with reliable access to a sufficient quantity of nutritious food and reduce hunger in the community. The Rotary raised its funds by running a very successful “Taste of Montclair” event, earlier this year.