Pickleball, Fastest Growing Sport in America, Has Hit Montclair

BY  |  Friday, May 22, 2015 12:10pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

pickleball-clipart2Pickleball, one of the nation’s fastest-growing sports, with some 400,000 people playing, has come to Montclair. Thanks to Montclair’s Department of Recreation, an Adult Pickleball Clinic is now open to those who love the sport or are interested in finding out about it.

Despite its popularity, many are simply not familiar with pickleball. What is it? Where does it come from? Why is it so popular?

Pickleball was created in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum. As the story goes, the three returned from an afternoon of golf to find their families sitting around Pritchard’s Washington home with nothing to do. They decided to get everyone involved in a game of badminton, but realized they lacked sufficient equipment aside from the net. So, they decided to improvise, using ping-pong paddles and a wiffle ball instead. At that moment, the sport of pickleball was born.

Pickleball has continued to grow over the past 50 years. Described as “oversized ping-pong,” this racquet sport has attracted players of all ages and athletic abilities. The simple rules of the game and the ease of learning to play has drawn many to give the game a try. Played on a badminton sized court with a tennis sized net, players use paddles to keep a plastic ball going back and forth.

Hope Kerr, who runs the Montclair Adult Pickleball Clinic, decided to start it after seeing how popular the sport was in places like Florida and thought “it was a great idea for Montclair.” After making a few phone calls to the department of recreation, Kerr managed to secure the town’s blessing to set up the clinic. The clinic is intended to teach people the game and give them an opportunity to play it.

“I had never played it (pickleball) before,” said Jessica Wolf, one of the women partaking in the clinic. Although Wolf has said its “hard to get used to playing with a paddle and a wiffle ball” and that initially the experience has been as she puts “humbling,” overall she says it has really been a lot of fun and she plans to continue playing

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Dr. Downie Offers Free Skin Cancer Screenings at Red Cross in Montclair, May 28

BY  |  Tuesday, May 12, 2015 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Dr. Downie's Advice For Keeping Your Skin Beautiful and HealthyIn honor of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month Dr. Jeanine Downie, a board certified cosmetic dermatologist at Image Dermatology in Montclair, will visit the American Red Cross in Montclair to perform her annual free skin cancer screenings on May 28.

Dr. Downie urges community residents (We ARE the Sunsmartest) to become more aware of changes in skin lesions and is encouraging you to schedule an appointment for a free skin cancer screening between 7 – 9 pm at the Red Cross office located at 63 Park Street in Montclair.

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Parabolic Performance & Rehab Hosts Grand Re-Opening and New Sports Performance Lab

BY  |  Tuesday, May 05, 2015 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Parabolic Performance & Rehab

Parabolic Performance & Rehab hosted a grand re-opening at their Montclair location (15 Bloomfield Avenue) on Thursday night, April 30. The event celebrated the introduction of their new Sports Performance Lab featuring a turf field, cutting edge equipment and individualized programs designed for every athlete from the weekend warrior to professional athletes and everyone in between. Continue Reading

Lace Up Your Running Shoes And Join the YMCA of Montclair

BY  |  Friday, Apr 17, 2015 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Close Up Of Runners Feet On Suburban Street

The YMCA of Montclair is hosting several running events for all ages and levels in the upcoming months and they want you to join!

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ALS Marathon Row in Montclair, April 25

BY  |  Thursday, Apr 16, 2015 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

ALS Marathon Row

On Saturday, April 25, thirteen teams will row a marathon at 3Sixty Cycling and Rowing Studio to raise money and awareness for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

One team, led by Bloomfield resident John Kempe, will row in honor of the late William Trembulak. Montclarions may recognize the Trembulak name, as Alan Trembulak (Williams brother) used to be the Montclair Town Attorney and still remains a well known real estate attorney. Alan Trembulak is Kempe’s father in-law. William (known as Bill) passed away a few years ago from ALS and Kempe wants this row to raise as much money and awareness as possible.

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Montclair is the “Sunsmartest”

BY  |  Monday, Apr 13, 2015 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

SunSmartest Town in America

Montclair has been named the “SunSmartest Town in America,” making it the first multi-component SunSmart community in the Nation, and a model program for other cities and towns to emulate.

The designation is based on a set of priorities outlined by then-Acting US Surgeon General, RADM Boris Lushniak MD MPH in his July 2014 Call to Action on Skin Cancer Prevention which made sun smart behavior a public health issue. Dr. Lushniak will be in Montclair on Monday, May 4 (Melanoma Monday) to provide a keynote address and celebrate this fine distinction with the Montclair community. A special celebration open to the public will take place at the Montclair Art Museum that evening:

SunSmart City Celebration
Monday, May 4 from 6 pm – 9 pm
Montclair Art Museum – Leir Hall, 3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ, 07042
Cocktails, Vittles, Interactive Displays, DJ and Live Entertainment, SunSmart Fashion Show, Bronzing Bar, Live and Silent Auction
Cocktail Reception Tickets: $50 person / VIP Meet & Greet: $150 person (begins at 5:30 and includes the Cocktail Reception) Purchase tickets online here

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. It is one of the most preventable cancers, and the most preventable cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays like those emitted from the sun. Further, skin cancer is highly curable when detected early, making early intervention a key component to survival. Some people are at higher risk of skin cancer than others, but we are all susceptible regardless of age, gender, color or ethnicity.

The Surgeon General’s report defines a public health agenda with recommendation for five key goals around which we have developed strategies to bring his Call to Action to life:

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Bike&Walk Montclair to Offer Bicycle Classes For All Ages

BY  |  Tuesday, Apr 07, 2015 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

bike riding classes

Has it been awhile since you rode a bike? Are you nervous the saying “like riding a bike,” might not be true? Bike&Walk Montclair will begin hosting learn to ride classes for adults (and children) beginning this Saturday, April 11.

The Learn to Ride level of classes for all ages use the “balance first” method, pedals are removed and seats lowered to allow feet to touch flat to the ground, reducing stress and anxiety.

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Women’s Confidential: An Evening of Indulgence & Luxury at Bangz Salon & Wellness Spa

BY  |  Monday, Apr 06, 2015 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Women’s Confidential

Bangz Salon & Wellness Spa in Montclair invites local women to “Women’s Confidential,” a luxurious affair for the everyday woman on Monday, April 20.

This is an ultimate “girl’s night out,” and a perfect way to shed that winter skin for bare leg and sandal spring time. Gather up your best girlfriends for a fabulous night of live music, food, chocolates, gorgeous jewels, organic wine tasting, massage, skin care, makeup, diet plans and all things beauty. Sample spa services will be provided along with local restaurants providing food sampling. The first 50 people to arrive will receive a gift bag at the door! Raffle tickets to win an array of prizes from vendors will be sold with all proceeds to benefit the Essex County Justice Center For Battered Women.

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Sponsored: Aikido Classes Starting in Montclair. Free Demonstration, Discussion and Class

BY  |  Thursday, Apr 02, 2015 5:00pm


Are you curious about Aikido, or do you want to find out more?

Community Aikikai and the New Jersey Center for Healthy Living are hosting two free demonstrations: April 10 and April 12 at the Center 292 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair.

Observe this fascinating martial art up close, then listen to a brief talk followed by a Q & A.  Finally, those who wish, may participate in an informal class in street clothes.

Scheduled classes begin on Monday, April 13.

For Further Details on demonstrations & classes, click here.




Fundamental posture, footwork, breathing and positioning will be covered. Students will learn how to safely apply and receive basic techniques. At first, there will be no throwing or falling, only balancing and safe immobilization. Emphasis on relaxation and centering as a response to aggression, rather than fear or rigidity. Students practice in comfortable street clothes and sneakers. No special experience or degree of physical fitness is required.

Classes are held on a drop-in basis. You need not attend each class because the same fundamental principles are covered in every class. An important feature of all classes is that they are conducted in an anxiety-free atmosphere so maximum learning can take place.

Aikido practice is a partner practice; it is a collaborative experience. Partners alternate as “attacker” and “defender” and help each other to advance. We are trying to prove the hypothesis that gentle, flexible, energy-efficient movement is effective and we need each other to do this. It is not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. In our physically confrontational practice scenarios, only one partner is fighting. The other is reconciling, and that is perhaps the most important piece.



It’s easy to feel relaxed and capable on a warm, sunny day when everything is going smoothly. On an inhospitable, dark and stressful day, not so much. Wouldn’t I like to prepare a place inside myself from which I could feel and act with relaxed intention no matter what the weather or the environment presented? A no-brainer!

And what about securing my personal space? Am I comfortable in my own skin? The best solution would be to develop my centeredness and self-control and to feel the freedom of positive self-expression.

  • Aikido is a holistic martial art that I practice for this purpose. It has multiple benefits:
  • I learn about myself and I learn how to express myself in accordance with my highest values.
  • I learn how to harmonize my centers and to communicate harmony to my practice partner.
  • I get plenty of physical exercise without being brutalized.
  • And throughout all of this, as I am practicing and developing mindfulness, and my inner and outer functioning become more effective.

Aikido is NOT fighting. Aikido is NOT FIGHTING.

The founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, known as O’Sensei, created his martial art-form from traditional sources. He was often challenged but never defeated. Halfway through his life, he had a deeply transformative spiritual experience, after which he dedicated his life and his art to promoting peace in the world.

Aikido became a (meta)physical metaphor for reconciling human dysfunction using laws of nature in a compassionate framework. Recognizing that our “opponents” are connected to our own being and that violence has ignorance and fear at its core, we meet aggression without resistance and guide the misguided disturbance of the peace into a peaceful resolution. We are beating swords into plowshares.


Law enforcement personnel, doctors and musicians all need training to be effective and do as little harm as possible. Similarly, those of us who train in Aikido, the Art of Peace, need practice in promoting peace.

Repeated Aikido practice affects your whole being. If you have peace in your heart, if you think peace is the intelligent person’s solution, if you enjoy balance, movement, centeredness and creativity, you should investigate Aikido: the Art of Peace. 


Everything gets better. Every-body gets better: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual vitality.  A community of like-minded people. An atmosphere of civility and peace. Not bad for a martial art.

Practicing Aikido is like living the meaning of Namaste. And, heaven forbid, you are ever in a tense situation, you are more likely to have the presence of mind and the physical flexibility to make the best of it with your principles intact.


The older one is the instructor.

ROBERT FRIEDMAN, LCSW, A 35-year Montclair resident has been teaching Aikido for twelve years at Aikido Centers of New Jersey in Morristown and East Hanover. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker working in three Northern New Jersey nursing homes and holds multiple black belts from Aikido World Headquarters, the Aikikai Foundation and Aikido Centers of New Jersey.








Paid Sick Leave Ordinance is Now in Effect in Montclair

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

paid sick leave ordinanceIn November 2014, Montclair voted largely in favor to approve the public ballot question asking if the town should require all businesses to offer paid sick leave to its full- and part-time employees. The ordinance passed by a nearly 3-to-1 margin. Yesterday, March 4, the Montclair Paid Sick Leave ordinance went into effect.

Under Montclair’s Paid Sick Leave law (also known as Earned Sick Days) employees who work for at least 80 hours in a calendar year in the Township must be provided with paid sick time by their employers. The law excludes from this requirement individuals employed by the city, state, or federal government; individuals employed by any New Jersey school district or Board of Education; and a limited number of union members.

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I’d love to take the family to see Robin Hood on stage and his attempts to help the 99%!

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