Biggest Stories of 2013

The Montclair Master Plan, food news, bears, shootings, MPD drama, the legalization of same-sex marriage in New Jersey, and more. Here’s a look back at the biggest stories of 2013:

nishuane wellJanuary Montclair Township Council’s proposed well at Nishuane Park’s Carey’s Woods was all the talk. Montclair Environmental Commission supports it, the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Advisory Board has concerns, 4th ward residents protest it, and it had the Council arguing.

fricassee french bistroFebruary A foodie month! Food and drink lovers in Montclair got 12 West Restaurant, the news of the upcoming Simit Turkish BakeryFricasseè French Bistro, and Fresco.




master planMarch Montclair’s Master Plan is revealed in 179 pages and sets off major arguments.








April The Boston Marathon bombing shakes the nation and our area when we learn that several runners are locals. Thankfully, they and their families, are unharmed. The area showed its support for Boston when Fleet Feet and Essex Running Club held a 3-mile tribute run starting in front of the Bloomfield Avenue store.


mff-headerMay May in Montclair was all about the second annual Montclair Film Festival. The festival actually opened at the end of April on a joyous high note — both from a screening of the film “Twenty Feet From Stardom” and an ebullient performance of “Lean on Me” by Darlene Love. It ran through the first week of May with more than 80 films and events and over 100 special guests. There were family shows, films from local filmmakers, great documentaries, panels and lots of parties.


Bear hanging moments before falling into net. Photos: Selma AvdicevicJune The month of the bears! It all started when a black bear was spotted around Montclair Art Museum. The next day it was found in a tree at Watchung  Park. The 18 month old cub was captured after several hours. Then another bear was spotted by Mills Reservation. All the bears in Montclair had everyone talking: Gawker, NY Times, On Earth and even a Montclair Bear himself, who started tweeting about his adventures.


July More bears were spotted in Montclair at the 4th of July Parade:



Wanted: Mission Street Shooting InformationAugust  After  shootings on Mission Street in Montclair leaves four wounded, the community voices its concerns about the crime and bloodshed in the area. Mayor Jackson says “The street crimes unit is effective in many ways, but we obviously need to step up our game,” a a mobile lookout tower from the  Essex County Sheriff department is erected in the area, and later, a Community Police Unit is organized.


gay marriage in NJSeptember A state judge ruled to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey, saying gay couples would be denied federal benefits if the state kept allowing only civil unions. Judge Mary C. Jacobson of State Superior Court ruled that the State Constitution must allow marriage given that the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in June.


Pals Cabin: The Final GoodbyeOctober We said our final goodbyes to the famous Pal’s Cabin restaurant in West Orange. a CVS will fill the spot.






david sabaghNovember Montclair Police Chief David Sabagh comes under fire. The Town Council voted to establish the position of a police director, whose position would be above that of  Chief. The One Hundred Club of Montclair came out in support of the Chief,  MPD Officers and Union leaders blast the Chief’s leadership, former Township Manager Hartnett defends him, and the former Chair of the Montclair Civil Rights Committee criticizes the Chief.


Best Bubbly to Ring in the New YearDecember All about celebrations! We encouraged you to “Gift Local” with our gift guides for the holidays, gave you lots of New Year’s Eve celebrations option (restaurants and unique ways to ring in 2014, and gave you a bubbly guide and two recipes for Champagne cocktails.


These are just SOME of the news we covered in 2013. What other stories of 2013 would you have included?


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