Afghanistan to Montclair: Living the Humanitarian Village

BY  |  Monday, Aug 04, 2014 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Leslie Granda-Hill and Bilal Sharif

Learning photography at the Iris Presby Memorial Gardens *photo courtesy of Leslie Granda-Hill

In the midst of horrific news and events, sometimes it is the most tender human stories that remind us of the good that keeps the world in balance. A Montclair photographer is playing a role in an inspiring story of one boy’s journey to health and well-being. Leslie Granda-Hill, whose work often intersects with humanitarian and charitable causes, has been documenting the story of Bilal Sharif. Continue Reading

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

Pitty Rescue, Inc. to Hold Yard Sale Fundraiser, May 31 and June 1

Friday, May 09, 2014 8:15am  |  COMMENTS (4)

pittyPitty Rescue, Inc., a charitable nonprofit rescue organization, will hold a yard sale to raise funds for the dogs currently in their care on Saturday, May 31, and Sunday, June 1 at Paradise Pet Store in Bloomfield.

The sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days. Pitty Rescue is asking for donations of clean, functional, and appropriate items for resale prior to the yard sale. Donated items can be dropped off at Paradise Pet Store during regular business hours.

Jeff and Diana Coltenback, owners of Paradise Pet Store and founders of Pitty Rescue, are internationally by dog lovers as rescuers and skilled dog trainers.

“Since we are very familiar with each dog and know their personalities, we want to make sure the dog is comfortable with the prospective candidate,” said Jeff Coltenback, who has worked as a trainer for more than 20 years. “The dogs are really the ones who choose the family. We facilitate the process by watching the dogs’ signals, visiting the potential owners’ homes, and holding sessions for both the dog and human to become more acquainted with each other.”

Currently, the no-kill Pitty Rescue, Inc. has seven dogs available for adoption – three females and four males. Five are Pit Bull terriers or terrier mixes, one is a Great Dane mix, and the other a Dogo Argentino mix.

Pitty Rescue, Inc. can always use more blankets, towels, supplies, and funds to help care for the animals in the Coltenbacks’ care.

#MFF14: Montclair Film Festival Holds Free Ticket Contest to Thank Montclair

BY  |  Friday, May 02, 2014 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

What Is Cinema?

The Montclair Film Festival has been having a fantastic week! Between a delicious opening night with Chef, family activities, and a packed and energetic room for The New Golden Age of Television, the half-way point for the festival promises a fantastic weekend for all involved!

To thank the community for its support and enthusiasm, the Montclair Film Festival is running several flash contests on its Facebook page and through Twitter for FREE tickets to five different screenings over the weekend. All it takes is answering a (pretty darn easy) question about movies or the film topics to enter.

Each of these five films will have a Q&A, so these are special opportunities to get into the mind of filmmakers and behind the scenes of the films themselves. Music, College, Black Culture in Photography, Rebellious Art, and Defining Cinema are all included. For more information and schedules of films, click on film titles below. Winners will be randomly chosen every hour!

Continue Reading

Live SunSmart Aims to Raise Awareness About Sun Safety

BY  |  Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

As the winter sweaters and snow boots get put away (hopefully!), and boogie boards and beach umbrellas replace ice scrapers and rock salt in our cars, it’s time to start thinking about sun protection as we spend more time outdoors.

May has been designated Skin Cancer Protection and Prevention Month by the American Cancer Society as a way to raise awareness about melanoma and other types of skin cancer. The goal is to encourage early detection through self-examination and yearly skin checkups by a board-certified dermatologist.

Locally, Teri L. Festa and her family created the Live SunSmart Foundation in 1993, which grew out of a tribute to her father, Ray, a lifelong resident of Montclair and owner of Ray’s Luncheonette on Walnut Street, a popular hangout for locals and those who worked in Montclair. Ray Festa died of melanoma at age 53 in 1992. The mission of the Foundation is to raise awareness about skin cancer and to encourage “sun smart” behaviors, which include applying sunscreen daily. Continue Reading

Animal Welfare Federation of NJ to Host Conference, March 14-15

Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 5:55pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

parrotThe Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey (AWFNJ) will host its annual Animal Welfare & Care Conference at the Ocean Place Resort & Spa in Long Branch, Friday and Saturday March 14-15. It is one of the largest animal welfare conferences on the East Coast and attracts attendees from all over thre region. AWFNJ is a statewide coalition of national and local animal welfare organizations working collaboratively to improve animal welfare in the State of New Jersey through advocacy, networking, and education.

Beth Cruz, president of Shelter Showcase, is a board member of AWFNJ and helps plan the conference. “The workshops and speakers at the AWFNJ Conference are top notch, and bring life-saving information to the shelters, rescue groups and volunteers, to help us work smarter for the animals in our communities,” she said. “I encourage any local resident interested in helping animals to register for the conference. Businesses can also participate by sponsoring, exhibiting, or donating a prize to the event’s tricky tray.”

The conference features two days of workshops, reception and entertainment, and keynote speakers. Presenters include some of the nation’s most dedicated names in animal welfare. The workshops cover topics such as adoption, animal control, wildlife, dog fighting, and fighting animal cruelty.

Sponsors of the event include Petfinder, PetSmart Charities, Merck Animal Health, and Datamars.

Incorporated in 1995, AWFNJ acts as a unifying voice for the animal protection community. AWFNJ advocates on animal welfare legislation, encourages the enforcement of animal cruelty laws, conducts programs to elevate the quality of care for animals, and acts as a resource to help members solve common problems.

Tickets information and a full conference schedule are available on the web site.

Annual Cupcakefest to Benefit Montclair Township Animal Shelter on Saturday

BY  |  Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 3:30pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

cupcakefest2013Vegan bakery Sweet Avenue Bake Shop in Rutherford will host its sixth annual Cupcakefest and this year, the owners have selected Montclair Township Animal Shelter (MTAS) as the recipient of all proceeds. Cupcakefest will be held on Saturday, June 22, from 1-7 p.m. at Lincoln Park, 176 Park Avenue, Rutherford.

The event is free of charge, but donations are kindly accepted. Other donations such as gift cards for Pathmark, ShopRite, or Petco, canned cat or dog food, trash bags, paper towels, and bleach are also welcome as donations.

Cupcakefest will feature free mini cupcakes, crafters, a wide variety of vendors, and raffles. There will also be live entertainment featuring The Road Show, Precious Bones, Meadowfire, When Thieves Are About, and others.

Continue Reading

Big Yard Sale Today and Tomorrow to Benefit A Purrfect World

BY  |  Saturday, Jun 01, 2013 7:48am  |  COMMENTS (2)

casscasperThe annual yard sale to benefit cats and kittens who are waiting to be adopted will be held both today and tomorrow, June 1 and 2, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 60 Newark Avenue, Bloomfield (corner of Baldwin Avenue). There will be many tables of merchandise, racks of clothing, plus bookcases and ground tarps full of treasures. All proceeds go to help cats and kittens at A Purrfect World as they wait for their furever homes. DISCLAIMER: Both of my kitties came from A Purrfect World and we could not be happier! Rain dates: June 8 and 9.

Second Annual Dogs of Anderson Park Fundraiser Set for May 18 and 19

BY  |  Wednesday, May 15, 2013 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Dogs of Anderson ParkThe Dogs of Anderson Park with Pet Photographer Beth Burstein, now in its second year, will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, from 9 a.m. to noon. Proceeds will go to The Friends of Anderson Park who tirelessly take care of the plantings and the maintenance of the Olmsted-designed park, a favorite spot for walking dogs.

The park was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy, losing many trees, including a few of its very large originals. New plantings went in during the past month and this fundraiser will help raise funds for future plantings and park upkeep.

Half-hour time slots must be reserved in advance. The session fee of $60.00 per dog includes one custom 5×7 color print.

For more information or to reserve your pet portrait session time slot, contact Beth at either: beth@bethburstein.com or www.bethburstein.com

Four Small Dogs Found in West Orange

BY  |  Tuesday, May 07, 2013 5:16pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

A volunteer from the West Orange Animal Welfare League writes:

Perhaps someone will recognize one of these dogs. These four small dogs were recently found in West Orange. Continue Reading

Featured Comment

Baristaville's new hotel resembles a pizza with a different topping on every slice.

Tip, Follow, Friend, Subscribe

Links & Information

Baristanet on Flickr