Pinnacle Companies’ Statement: Plan for “The MC” Hotel Moves Forward in Montclair

BY  |  Friday, Jul 25, 2014 7:34am  |  COMMENTS (48)

The proposed MC Hotel

The proposed MC Hotel

Following last night’s meeting of the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission, The Pinnacle Companies released this statement:

The Pinnacle Companies met with the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission last night to discuss plans for The MC hotel, an eight-story full-service boutique hotel at Bloomfield Avenue and Orange Road in downtown Montclair. When opened, the 148-room hotel will become part of the Autograph Collection, Marriott International’s exclusive portfolio of independent hotels. Continue Reading

Montclair Historic Preservation Commission Offers MC Hotel Design Recommendations

BY  |  Friday, Jul 25, 2014 7:34am  |  COMMENTS (5)

The various building materials planned for the MC Hotel in Montclair

The various building materials planned for the MC Hotel in Montclair

As Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson and Montclair Planning Board member Martin Schwartz looked on, the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission went over the plans for the MC Hotel in its July 24 meeting while Brian Stolar of the Pinnacle Companies and architect Michael Maturo offered testimony.  In the end, though, the Historic Preservation Commission was only supposed to offer an opinion of the design as presented per its effect on Montclair’s historic character and its relationship to surrounding structures, and the commission said that, while the hotel wouldn’t directly affect the character of existing structures, it neither had a design that reflected any specific architectural style in Montclair nor had a mass that referred any similarly massed structures in the township.

As read by commissioner Debra David, the preliminary report expressed concern that the character of Montclair Center could possibly be changed, and that the design should recognize that harmony, scale, and character are in fact what Montclair stands for, and are important to consider. Continue Reading

The Sound and The Fury: Councilor Spiller Hears More Noise Complaints

BY  |  Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (13)

Montclair Third Ward Councilor Sean Spiller

Montclair Third Ward Councilor Sean Spiller

Montclair Third Ward Councilor Sean Spiller held a community meeting at the Montclair Public Library on July 23, a day after sitting through a township council meeting in which noise from events at parks and public safety issues created by such events were the two predominant issues.  He found himself confronting the same issues again with his constituents, many of whom are directly affected by the annual and biennial events at Nishuane Park.  Part of the Third Ward is directly across Harrison Avenue from Nishuane Park, which is in the Fourth Ward. Continue Reading

Nishuane Park Noise Complaints Dominate Montclair Township Council Meeting

BY  |  Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (20)

Town Council Despite an agenda of mostly trouble-free ordinances and resolutions at the Montclair Township Council’s regular meeting on July 22, controversy was stirred up in public comment over two recent events at Nishuane Park, while a third event is being planned there for August.

Resident Michael Norman of North Brookwood Drive, which is across from Nishuane Park, spoke to complain about recent events at the park, most notably the Montclair High School all-class reunion that took place on July 19.

Norman said he attended a meeting with Fourth Ward Councilor Renée Baskerville, Township Manager Marc Dashield, and Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director Pat Breschka about the various problems regarding events there, including  traffic control and parking, but especially excessive noise. Norman suggested that there could be temporary measures that could be taken vis-à-vis while an effort was made to come up with long-term solutions to staging events in all of the municipal parks, such as lowering the volume of the music played at the events, re-positioning the speakers to keep the sound away from the neighborhoods, and extra police presence to monitor the traffic. He was afraid that the problems could be repeated when the Montclair Jazz Festival is held in Nishuane Park on August 16. He cited ordinance regulating sound in public spaces that was passed by the council in 1986, when Mayor Robert Jackson was a councilor-at-large, as something that could be built on to make life more bearable for the Brookwood Drives.

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SOFIA to Hold its 4th Annual Walk Against Domestic Violence – “From Surviving to Thriving”

BY  |  Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

SOFIA 4th WalkEvery nine seconds, a woman in the USA is assaulted or beaten, and the vast majority of these abuses are between intimate partners. Every month in the USA, at least 46 women are shot to death by their former or current intimate partners. In New Jersey, on average, there are 70,000 domestic violence calls every year. Those who work in law enforcement and victims’ services know that many abuses go unreported. The numbers are staggering, shocking, disheartening, and all too real.

In our area, Montclair’s own Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (SOFIA) helps victims of domestic violence to move on, and the organization also educates young people about how they can avoid the cycle of violence altogether. Check out the various programs SOFIA offers here.

This September, SOFIA will hold its Fourth Annual Walk Against Domestic Violence in beautiful Canterbury Park. Last year’s walk was a resounding success, with a big crowd of survivors and supporters as well as several eloquent speakers. This year the Grand Marshal is the Reverend Simone Oliver, one of the presenters at last year’s event. Continue Reading

Montclair Fire Department Swears In Probationary Firefighters

BY  |  Friday, Jul 18, 2014 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

(Pictured left to right: Kevin Polek, Christopher Herrmann, Matthew Gifford, Gregory Miller, Todd Thompson, Timothy McLoughlin, Thomas Hargraves)

(Pictured left to right: Kevin Polek, Christopher Herrmann, Matthew Gifford, Gregory Miller, Todd Thompson, Timothy McLoughlin, Thomas Hargraves)

Seven probationary firefighters were promoted to firefighters during a swearing in ceremony in Montclair Township Council Chambers this morning. Township Clerk Linda Wanat presided over the swearing in of Thomas Hargraves, Gregory Miller, Matthew Gifford, Todd Thompson, Kevin Polek, Christopher Herrmann, and TimothyMcLoughlin.

Hargraves came to the Montclair Fire Department from the Washington D.C. fire department, and was directly assigned to a shift. The other six men attended the Essex County Fire Academy after being sworn in last year as probationary fighters. They studied for ten weeks at the Academy, developing a fundamental understanding of firefighting, physical training and conditioning. The six men continued to develop their craft while also learning about the Montclair Fire Department after graduating from the Academy.

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Bellevue Avenue Library Celebrates 100 Years With Centennial Music Mondays

BY  |  Friday, Jul 11, 2014 5:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

bellevue library

A 2013 Muic Mondays performance

The Montclair Public Library system is celebrating the 1914 opening of the Bellevue Avenue Library, the town’s landmark Carnegie Library with Centennial Music Mondays throughout the summer.

The Friends of the Bellevue Avenue Library with the support of the Montclair Public Library present the music celebration on Mondays, 6 – 8 pm, in the plaza at 185 Bellevue Avenue in Upper Montclair. The free concerts will be held on July 14July 21July 28August 11August 18 and August 25.

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Get Your Growlers in Montclair (Updated)

BY  |  Friday, Jul 11, 2014 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (5)

Update: Amanti Vino just posted this on its Facebook page:

CANCELLED – Our growler program has been shut down! Apparently our license no longer covers repackaged goods! What a disaster, am I right? We are still selling our empty growlers. Why, you ask? Because if you take it to certain bars in the area, they’ll give you a dollar off your growler fill if you have an Amanti Vino branded growler. Pretty sweet right? List of bars coming soon.

Love always,
Amanti Vino

I’ll admit it, I had no idea what a growler was until I learned about the Cold Brew filled ones at Jave Love. But growlers are traditionlly half-gallon glass bottles of beer to go. According to, the term “growler,” goes back to the late 1800s when fresh beer was carried from the local pub to one’s home by means of a small-galvanized pail. When the beer sloshed around the pail, it created a rumbling sound as the CO2 escaped through the lid, thus the term “growler” was coined. 

For beer loving folks, it seems that growlers are back in style and Montclair has a couple of places that offer the beer to go bottles:


Amanti Vino is offering growlers! Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is on tap now and New Jersey Beer Co. is coming today with IPA and pale ale.

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Montclair Public Library Holding an Opportunity of a Lifetime CD Sale

BY  |  Friday, Jul 11, 2014 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Opportunity of a Lifetime CD Sale

While CD sales are on a decline thanks to digital downloads, they are still going strong. According to, in 2013 CD sales were at  57.2 percent, digital sales at 40.6 percent, and cassettes, vinyl and and DVDs were comprised 0.2 percent of sales. So folks,  if you want to score some for CDs a buck a piece, head to the Montclair Public Library through July 14 for its Once in a Lifetime CD Sale on the first floor of the Main Library at 50 South Fullerton Avenue.

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Montclair Township Council Returns With Huge Conference Agenda

BY  |  Wednesday, Jul 09, 2014 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (5)

Councilor-at-Large Rich McMahon with First Ward Councilor William Hurlock at the July 8 Montclair Township Council conference meeting

Councilor-at-Large Rich McMahon with First Ward Councilor William Hurlock at the July 8 Montclair Township Council conference meeting

After some lighthearted bantering about Germany’s 7-1 win over Brazil at the World Cup earlier in the day, the Montclair Township Council began its second half with its first conference meeting in a month on July 8, covering numerous topics at length for consideration at future meetings.

Gift to Edgemont
The council even got an unexpected surprise.  In public comment, Brooklyn resident Park Burger and  Montclair resident William Hobbie, speaking on behalf of Friends of Edgemont Park, announced an anonymous gift from a friend who  had recently died. The gift is seating area in Edgemont Park, near where the brook in the park empties into the pond, eighteen feet across for four to six people, with a quote (to be selected) adorning the top side of the bench. The installation would cost under $15,000. The council was grateful and looked forward to implementing the process to accept it. Township Attorney Ira Karasick said a resolution would be needed, and Township manager Mar Dashield added it would need a review by the Department of Community Services (DCS). Fourth Ward Councilor Renée Baskerville was particularly pleased with the gesture, and she hoped that an ongoing fund for maintaining the sitting area could be set up.

Environmental Issues
The council also heard on environmental issues regarding trees and water. Deb Ellis and Barbara Hedeen of the Montclair Environmental Commission made a presentation urging Montclair to adopt a forestry management plan to preserve the township’s tree canopy and to promote the preservation of trees on residents’ private property. Ellis and Hedeen said that legislation passed by the state in 1996 encouraged such a plan to protect municipalities from liability at a time when shade tree commissions were being sued out of existence. If Montclair adopted such a program, they explained, the township would be protected from liability and be able to preserve the township’s tree canopy while being more attractive candidate for grants to preserve its trees. The pair also highlighted the ability under such a plan for Montclair to take inventory of the town’s trees and devote up to two hours a week to maintain them. Mayor Robert Jackson said that such a comprehensive plan was long overdue, and he was sure that it would prove to be an asset to the town.

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