Montclair Residents Petition Police to “Aggressively Enforce Traffic Laws in Montclair”

BY  |  Friday, Jul 31, 2015 4:25pm  |  COMMENTS (9)

Photo posted with petition at

Photo posted with petition at

Following reports of a young bicyclist struck by a vehicle near the corner of Grove and Bellevue last night, Montclair residents are petitioning Montclair Police Chief David Sabagh and the Montclair town council to aggressively enforce traffic laws in Montclair.

The petition, started by Elizabeth Ruebman, and posted on, already has comments from those who have signed, decrying dangerous conditions for pedestrians and bike riders.

Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson was aware of the accident, because he had been driving near the area when it happened. Jackson said the accident involved a young boy on a bike who was attended to by Montclair Ambulance team members at the scene before being brought to the hospital. Jackson says the council is aware of the need to do more with regard to pedestrian and cyclist safety. “We are working on putting up more beacons and incorporating safety measures. We understand the issue and we understand the concern and we are trying to do more and will keep pressing on it.”

Jackson mentioned the need for speed enforcement and spoke of the Drive with Care program as another effort in place.

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Joe Walsh Comes Home to Rock Montclair

BY  |  Friday, Jul 31, 2015 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Joe Walsh

The halls of Montclair High School will truly be rocking this fall when one of MHS’s most renowned alum, legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Eagles’ guitarist, Joe Walsh, will visit Montclair for a two-day event on October 2–3.

To kick off the exciting weekend, in celebration of the high school’s 100th anniversary, Walsh will start his visit in town  with Montclair High School students and faculty during a school day assembly on Friday, October 2. The following evening, Saturday, October 3, Walsh and his band will give an intimate benefit concert at the Montclair High School auditorium. In addition to the high school celebrating 100 years, 2015 also marks 50 years since Walsh graduated from MHS.

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Pedestrian Safety Update: Incidents Down Slightly; New Crossing Light Installed by Walnut Street

BY  |  Friday, Jul 31, 2015 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

drive with care

Dangerous intersections and drivers who don’t stop for pedestrians in crosswalks are among the continuing pedestrian safety concerns in Montclair and a focus of the Pedestrian Safety Committee.

So far this year, pedestrian-auto incidents for the first six months of 2015 totaled 17, compared to 20 for the same period in 2014, reports Sergeant Stephanie Egnezzo of the Montclair Police Department’s (MPD) Traffic Department.

For May and June, 2015 there were five pedestrian/vehicle accidents. Police determined two were the pedestrian’s fault. Three of those accidents took place on Bloomfield Avenue. The other two occurred by the intersection of Grove Street and Glenridge Avenue, according to the Pedestrian Safety Committee. The majority of the crashes take place in daylight, in good weather, at intersections, and do not involve alcohol.

“To help ensure their safety, pedestrians should cross only in crosswalks or at a corner and stay off their phones when crossing the street,” said Alex Kent, chair of the Pedestrian Safety Committee and a coordinator at Drive with Care in Montclair. “Drivers should obey the speed limit, stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, and avoid using their cell phone while driving.”

More Pedestrian Safety Initiatives in the Works

Besides educating drivers and pedestrians, other safety measures are being implemented. Last month the township installed a flashing pedestrian crossing light at the corner of Grove/Oxford (near Walnut Street). People who want to cross press a button and lights on both sides of the street flash, similar to the light that operates on the corner of Bloomfield and Midland Avenues. Fourth Ward Councilor, Renee Baskerville, M.D., collaborated with Kim Craft, township engineer to get the light at Grove and Oxford installed.

Flashing lights deterred some drivers, but not all, when Baristanet tested out the crosswalk.

Flashing lights deterred most drivers from passing through, but not all, when Baristanet tested out the crosswalk.

At the request of the Pedestrian Safety Committee, the MPD is also evaluating whether more intersections should be “no right on red.” The department has surveyed all the intersections and is determining which intersections to flag “no right on red” based on pedestrian and vehicle traffic. That report is expected to be completed in September. Once the report is reviewed, MPD can draft new ordinances and submit them to the Town Council.

The Pedestrian Safety Committee added a public safety line item to the township budget, which is pending approval. Those funds will pay for engineering studies to evaluate reducing some speed limits around town, as well as implementing a pedestrian phase light at Valley Road and Bellevue Avenue in Upper Montclair. This light will have a third phase, where only pedestrians are allowed to cross in both directions; all traffic will be stopped. This scenario takes away the danger of turning cars. The Pedestrian Safety Committee will provide an update on these initiatives when more information becomes available.

Four NJ Transit Train Conductors Arrested for Selling Stolen Tickets

BY  |  Thursday, Jul 30, 2015 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Four Nj Transit Train Conductors Arrested for Selling Stolen Tickets

Four NJ transit train conductors were arrested yesterday morning as part of an ongoing investigation into the illegal sale of stolen train tickets. The investigation was initiated by the NJ Transit Police Department’s Fraud Unit with assistance from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Official Corruption Unit.

The report from Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray:

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Breaking: Power Outage in Upper Montclair

BY  |  Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015 12:34pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Power Outage

Intersection at Lorraine and Bellevue.

UPDATE: Montclair Township just posted a notice from PSE&G:

There is currently on outage along Valley Road affecting approximately 250 customers, two circuits sharing a common duct bank faulted. PSE&G is currently working to do switching in the field and should have these customers back within an hour. An investigation will pursue to determine the cause of the outage.

Power is out in Upper Montclair, leaving businesses and home around the Upper Montclair Business district (Bellevue Avenue and Valley Road) dark…and hot. Police are currently on the scene at traffic intersections.

Kings Supermarket is not affected (and neither is A&P farther south), but The Bellevue Branch Library is —they posted that The Youth Services Dept’s Baze’s Super Duper Solo Show is cancelled and will be rescheduled and all Adult School classes scheduled for today are cancelled and will be rescheduled.


According to PSE&G mobile alert, estimated restoration is 1:30 pm.

On a lighter note, for those looking for some cheering up, The Little Daisy Bake Shop is giving out Blackout Cupcakes for free while power is out and supplies last.









Montclair Crime: Assault, Burglary, Theft, and Arrests

BY  |  Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Crime: String Of Burglaries, One Seen by Homeowner on Remote SurveillanceThe week in Montclair Crime from Lt. David O’Dowd, Montclair Police Department:


07-22-2015 (North Willow Street) Ms. Katrine Longley, 59yoa from Newark, Was arrested for DWI, after crashing into a parked vehicle.


On 07-23-2015 at approximately 10:45 pm, Montclair Police Officers responded to the intersection of Cedar Ave & High St, on a report of a female screaming. Preliminary investigation indicates that the 41 year old Newark resident was assaulted with an unknown weapon inside Nishuane Park. During the assault the female sustained lacerations on her body and was subsequently transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. No weapon has been recovered as of yet. The suspect was last observed traveling south on High St in the below noted vehicle. Suspect description: Tall black male in his 40’s. Suspect vehicle: Newer model, red 2-door vehicle.

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Montclair Planning Board: Affordable Housing and Building Heights For Phase 2 Western Gateway Redevelopment

BY  |  Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (33)

Keenan Hughes of Phillips Preiss Grygiel

Keenan Hughes of Phillips Preiss Grygiel

With Valley & Bloom under construction and plans to begin the MC Hotel waiting in the wings, the Montclair Planning Board held a workshop to consider the second phase of redevelopment for Montclair ‘s western gateway at its July 27 meeting.  The proposed area under consideration includes six properties on the eastern side of Valley Road, across from Valley & Bloom 1, that, along with the Montclair Motor Car showroom, the Delta service station, and the PSE&G facility, are recommended for rehabilitation.  Most of the discussion, though, involved the area around Portland Place, which was studied as a possible block to be redeveloped.

Kennan Hughes of the consulting firm Philips Preiss Grygiel  and architectural consultant Ira Smith led the board and the numerous residents in attendance, including Mayor Robert Jackson, through their recommendations.  They generally endorsed a mixed-use area bringing together retail and residential development that implements more public spaces and creating more parking with a deck behind Valley Road and Portland Place that would be screened by buildings along the street line.  The proposals also called for the incorporation of affordable housing, new public spaces, and self-storage space above the parking deck.  Hughes said he wanted to take advantage of the central area of the block that was “not conducive” to residential or office use.  It, too, would be screened from view.  The old municipal building, now the police headquarters, would be recycled for a new use once the police moved . . . and possibly have two extra stories.  Kathleen Bennett of the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission later spoke in opposition to that idea.

The Delta station would likely remain, in part to allow Montclair residents to buy gasoline locally and to preserve a sense of openness that would be destroyed by a taller building on that site, creating a possible canyon effect with Valley & Bloom.  A low-rise building housing a cigar store had once stood there, as illustrated in an historic picture shown at the meeting.

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A Musical Journey: Montclair’s Jazz House Kids Take Peru!

BY  |  Monday, Jul 27, 2015 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


Part of Melissa Walker’s mission when she founded Jazz House Kids 13 years ago was to foster talented kids to excel musically as well as become community leaders and global citizens. Recently, that goal was realized when a group of students from the organization traveled to Peru on a cultural exchange.

From June 26 to July 4, 13 students and four adults from Jazz House Kids traveled around the country, covering tourist highlights such as Machu Picchu, Cusco and Lima, and more important, serving as cultural and musical ambassadors. The group performed twice a day at various venues around the country, ranging from a jam session at a restaurant in Cusco to a performance at the Japanese Peruvian cultural center to a benefit concert to help children in the Southern part of the country suffering from exposure to severe cold. Continue Reading

Recognizing Montclair and The 25th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

BY  |  Sunday, Jul 26, 2015 10:13am  |  COMMENTS (2)

i am montclair

Today, we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act. Locally, Montclair made its own impacy on disability awareness with “I Am Montclair” a short film about community and a call for action to improve acknowledgment, acceptance and inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

If you haven’t seen the film, take a moment to view it here. You’ll see plenty of familiar faces — personal interviews including people with and without disabilities, advocates, families and caregivers — in this disability awareness project by, for and about the Montclair community.

Three Alarm Fire in Montclair Blazes Through Claremont Ave. Apartment Building (VIDEO)

BY  |  Saturday, Jul 25, 2015 9:46pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

fire 1

UPDATE: Red Cross is helping three families (8 people) in need of emergency assistance with temporary lodging and food.

Residents of a Claremont Avenue apartment building are safe, but displaced, after a three-alarm fire. The blaze began in a second floor apartment, and with high heat conditions, quickly climbed up the four-story building at 192 Claremont Avenue, just after 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Multiple fire companies from area towns were called to the scene.

The second floor window where the fire started and quickly spread to third and fourth floor apartments.

The second floor window where the fire started and quickly spread to third and fourth floor apartments.

No residents were reported hurt in the blaze and numerous pets were brought out to the relief of their families, including cats, dogs and two turtles.

Firefighters had the blaze knocked out before 8 p.m.

Laura George, a resident who has lived in the building for 18 years, said the fire could not have been a cooking fire, since no one was inside the second floor apartment when the fire started.

fire 3

Video: Dee Billia

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