Montclair Police Blotter: Delivery Man Robbed, Homes Burglarized

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 9:00pm  |  COMMENTS (18)

A driver for Golden River restaurant was robbed on Union and Prospect on March 26 around 11:15 p.m. The driver went to the location to deliver what turned out to be a fake order and was punched by the person who confronted him taking $392. The suspect fled on food foot until police found him on Hawthorne Place. The suspect at the time of the robbery was wearing a hood over his face. He was later identified as a current worker at the restaurant that knew how much money the driver was carrying.
During the preliminary investigation, police found that the suspect’s girlfriend was identified as an accomplice who made the phone order and drove the suspect to the location where the robbery occurred. She was also arrested on Hawthorne Place.
If you’re a heavy sleeper make sure to lock all your doors and windows. Two homeowners found that out the hard way this week when their homes were robbed while they were sleeping.

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No “Art in the Park” for the Co-op This Year

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 5:16pm

We just learned that the Montclair Cooperative School will not be holding its annual Art in the Park–the super cool art and family festival. From a message on their website:

The Board of Trustees of the Montclair Cooperative School has decided to suspend Art in the Park for this year. Art in the Park was scheduled to be held April 30 – May 2, 2010 at the Montclair Art Museum. We appreciate everyone who expressed interest in the show, but the current economic climate has taken a toll on the total number of artist applications; consequently, it is not prudent to produce the show this year.

My family loved Art in the Park. We saw our first Elizabeth Mitchell concert at one and Kristen and I had a blast introducing Barista Kids to everyone there last year.
The Co-op will hold a fundraiser instead called The Forest Street Flea Market and Craft Festival and is calling for artists & crafters:

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ATONEMENT Opening At Montclair’s Gallery U

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 4:00pm


Gallery U, Montclair’s newest contemporary artspace, presents “ATONEMENT – Reconciliation, New Beginnings and Resurrections.” This group show brings together influential emerging artists from around the world. New York City artists include performance artist Gio Black Peter, legendary downtown photographer Christopher Stribley, NY Press gossip columnist Gerry Visco, Robert Ordonez, German photographer Robert Torres, mixed media artist Rheeka from Paris, Ryan Edward Scott from San Francisco, Romeo Vita from Italy, Gregory Moon from Portland, celebrated local artists Joe Lurato, Robert Greco, Robert Langdon, Richard Gessner, Stan Sudol and a host of others.
This exhibition opens tomorrow night, April 1 with a reception from 6-9 pm, and the public is invited. Gallery U, 179 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair.

Police Officer Charged With Arson, Insurance Fraud

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (11)

East Orange police officer Kareem Spence, 34, of South Plainfield was arrested and indicted on charges of arson, insurance fraud, and attempted theft by deception, Essex County Prosecutor’s office announced.
Spence was arrested today, March 31, at approximately 10:30 am at East Orange Police Headquarters after a three-count indictment was unsealed on March 30, 2010.
The indictment charges that Spence, who has been with the East Orange Police Department for approximately six years, set his 2002 Cadillac Coupe DeVille on fire on May 2, 2009 in Irvington to collect insurance money. Allegedly, gasoline soaked towels were discovered in the trunk of the vehicle, where the blaze started.
If convicted of all the charges, Spence faces up to 25 years in prison. Bail was set at $25,000; Spence is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility.
And in other police news, a grand jury said Caldwell police officer Darryl Elder, 37, was justified in shooting and killing a man who had just stabbed his girlfriend.

This Week’s Highlights: March 31 – April 6

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 3:00pm

This wetlogged month is at its end and hopefully April will bring less showers than March did. It’s a busy week and there are lots to do. Don’t forget to check out our Easter Bunny Sightings story so you know where to find an egg hunt before Easter Sunday. Stay on top of all local happenings by checking our Upcoming Events calendar often, signing up for our newsletter and becoming a fan on Facebook. Here are this week’s highlights:
Get Crafty
April 1
Just Kidding Around in Montclair has started a weekly craft time.
Be a Builder
April 3
Home Depot offers a Kid’s Workshop. Make your own Butterfly House.
Listen to a Story
April 6
Bring your little one over to Watchung Booksellers for Miss Elaine’s storytime.

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NJ Imposes Higher Fines For Drivers & Pedestrians

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (10)

Starting tomorrow, April 1, NJ drivers who don’t come to a full stop for pedestrians in crosswalks will be subject to fines of $200; pedestrians caught jaywalking will get slapped with a $54 fine.
Do you think the fine will make the streets of Baristaville safer for pedestrians?

The Lost Etiquette of Being on Time

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (7)

lateclock.jpgI had a crazy, terrifying teacher in first grade. She carried a ruler around and banged it on your desk when she screamed at you. She sat kids in the corner for just looking at her the wrong way and never let us use the bathroom, which ended in lots of puddles on the floor. But despite her sadistic teaching methods and rules, she taught us one thing of importance–being on time.
She would tell us daily that being on time showed respect, good work ethic and manners. She said, “a person that shows up late is saying ‘I matter more than you’.” This is the one lesson that I agree with, and being on time is the one thing that I see less and less of these days.
I am a Pre-K teacher and every single day kids are brought in late to school. My daughter is in kindergarten and at Back to School night, her principal said that lateness was a big problem. Not only are the kids missing out on the morning routine, but they are being taught that they can show up whenever they want.
I asked a couple of local preschool directors if lateness was a problem at their schools and not surprisingly–it is….

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Council Meets Early To OK MSU Sewer Deal

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (24)

The Montclair Town Council held a special meeting today at 8 am, officially blessing a project to improve sewer lines for Montclair State. But the odd timing of the meeting and the lack of a public input had some residents concerned.
Resident and MSU neighbor Cyd Caillerac told Baristanet after the meeting, “I’m not comfortable with this. It’s too rushed, and I’m not sure the public has all the information on the benefits and risks. There’s been no public hearing.”
This morning’s special 8 am council meeting was called to discuss Montclair township’s budget, which apparently is getting leaner and leaner. Last Friday, a discussion of Montclair State University’s proposal to improve a section of the municipal sewer system in the first ward was added as the first agenda item. Last week, MSU formally reached out for a confirmation that the work would be done, Mayor Fried said.
The project, which will replace 100-year-old pipes, described by town utility engineer Gary Obszarny as “leaking, root and groundwater infiltrated” is prompted by the university’s construction of campus residences that will house 2,000 students. The expanded on-campus population is anticipated to produce an extra 211,000 gallons per day of sewage waste.
Mayor Jerry Fried began by stating that the project is not under council jurisdiction. “The work itself is the purview of the head of the Montclair Sewer Utility, which responds to all requests for sewer hookups. It is essentially the same as if a new business or single family residence were to need new service,” said Mayor Fried. “I feel it’s important for residents to understand the position of the council on this.”

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Woman In Charge: Glen Ridge Chief Of Police, Sheila Byron-Lagattuta

Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 11:05am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Sheila Byron-Lagattuta’s police career in Glen Ridge consists of “firsts.” She was the first woman to be employed by Glen Ridge PD when hired as a dispatcher 28 years ago. Now the borough welcomes her as its first female Chief of Police. Congratulations to Chief Byron! The full story, on

Spring is in the Air and at the Park

BY  |  Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (7)

hersheypark.jpgWe were granted a glimpse of spring, taunted by a glimmer of hope and then flung back into the dark days of floods and near freezing temperatures. But all that’s about to change– in Hershey, Pennsylvania at least. For the next two weekends Hershey Park is hosting its annual pre-opening season celebration, Springtime in the Park.

This year the park has extended the event to two weekends so visitors have even more opportunity to enjoy the park at reduced rates.

To me, even at full price, Hershey Park is heaven, but maybe that’s because I spent virtually every family vacation there since birth. In fact, my dad even had a Hershey Park outfit, which he wore every day for the entire week at Hershey. My mom packed the suitcase full of coordinated short sets for him, but my dad decided he only needed one, his chocolate brown shorts and tan plaid button-down. He said he was trying to do Milton Hershey proud with an all chocolate-themed outfit. I think he accomplished his goal.

For our part, my sister and I achieved a less lofty but equally ambitious aspiration, which was to ride the Mini Himalayas until the park closed without throwing up.

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Featured Comment

Sad. Let's hope that this is not its "Last Tango." One of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in town. Valentino, Garbo, Keaton must have played there.

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