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.

Pals Cabin: The Final Goodbye

BY  |  Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 3:55pm  |  COMMENTS (19)

pals cabinA difficult image for Pals Cabin fans — the demolition of the famous restaurant to make way for CVS. Continue Reading

Feral (?) Cat Roaming Redwood Section of West Orange

Saturday, Oct 05, 2013 6:31pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

westorangecatMrs. Martta here. For the past two months or so, we’ve noticed a grey tabby roaming the neighborhood. Not sure of its gender. He/she wears no collar but looks healthy, not malnourished. We’re just concerned that with the cooler weather coming, this kitty will have a rough time. We’ve left food out but he/she seems skittish and always runs away when approached. We live in the Redwood section of West Orange.

Is this your cat or do you know whose cat it is? Please contact pets@baristanet.com.

Essex County Schedules Social Media Workshop for Non-Profits

BY ,  |  Monday, Sep 09, 2013 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

social mediaMastering the nuances, benefits and pitfalls of social media is a challenge not only for individuals and businesses, but for nonprofit organizations as well. Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? Instagram? Pinterest? More?

A little help is on the way from Essex County. County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. invites non-profit organizations to attend a free workshop titled “How Non-Profits can Use Social Media to Grow Their Business.”

The event takes places on Saturday, September 14 at 10 a.m. in the West Orange Public Library.

Continue Reading

Authorities Investigate West Orange Homicide

BY  |  Tuesday, Sep 03, 2013 7:59pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and West Orange Police Chief James Abbott have announced that authorities are investigating a homicide that occurred in West Orange, NJ today, Tuesday, September 3, 2013.  Shortly before 1 p.m., West Orange police were dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of Chestnut Street on a medical aid call. Arriving officers discovered a female unresponsive in her home. The woman, who has been identified as Sandy Yuen, age 58, was pronounced dead a short time later at the scene.

The matter is being investigated by the Prosecutor’s Homicide and Major Crimes Task Force and the West Orange Police Department. The cause of death will be determined by an autopsy at the New Jersey Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas S. Fennelly of the Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit.  The investigation is ongoing at this time, according to Fennelly.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Task Force detectives at (877) 847-7432 or (973) 621-4586.

No further information is available at this time.

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