New Civil Rights-Era American Girl Doll A Step, But Not Enough

BY  |  Monday, Feb 29, 2016 3:15pm

American Girl Doll

American Girl has announced that it will debut Melody Ellison, a young black girl growing up in Detroit during the 1960s civil rights era, in its “BeForever” historical line this summer. As a mom of two biracial girls (I’m white and my husband is black), I’m happy that American Girl has decided to tell a very important story in America’s history. It’s a step in the right direction, but that’s all it is — a step. And it can do better. Continue Reading

“American Girls: Social Media and The Secret Lives of Teenagers” Author To Speak at Watchung Booksellers

BY  |  Monday, Feb 29, 2016 2:00pm

american girls

Instagram. Finsta. Snapchat. Yik Yak. Vine. Kik. Tinder.

If you have a tween or teen and never heard of some of these, your child most likely has. Social media is where most conversations are taking place and how it is affecting young girls is the subject of award-winning “Vanity Fair” writer Nancy Jo Sales “American Girls: Social Media and The Secret Lives of Teenagers.”

“We’re on it 24/7,” a 13-year-old girl in Montclair, NJ, told the author. “It’s all we do.” Continue Reading

Prospective Montclair Middle School Students Will Get to Attend Daytime School Tours

BY  |  Monday, Feb 29, 2016 12:35pm

Prospective Montclair Middle School Students Will Get to Attend Daytime School Tours

Montclair’s Interim Superintendent responds with a statement emailed to 5th grade parents after parents emailed (and signed a petition) asking for 5th graders to be allowed at daytime Middle School tours.

Dear Fifth Grade Parents/Guardians:

I appreciate the emails that you have sent me regarding fifth graders attending daytime Middle School tours. Although we believe administratively that their attendance is a disruption to their education during these days, and parents/guardians should make the final decision on their child’s education, we also feel strongly that we want everyone to have a positive experience.

Therefore, even though we discourage it, this year we will allow fifth graders to attend daytime tours if you feel it necessary. Moving forward Continue Reading

Montclair Historical Society Presents A Montclair Murder Case

BY  |  Monday, Feb 29, 2016 12:30pm

John Armstrong's Death Certificate 1879

John Armstrong’s Death Certificate 1879

Finished binge-watching Making a Murderer and Serial? If you’re looking for another great murder mystery you’ll want to attend the Montclair Historical Society’s presentation of The Banker, the Busybody, and the Irish Coachman: A Montclair Murder Case on March 13.

In the summer of 1879, residents of the sleepy suburb of Montclair were shocked to learn of a deadly altercation on Orange Road, when John Armstrong, an Irish immigrant coachman, was fatally shot by his employer Joseph Blair. In the highly partisan press coverage that followed, and in Blair’s subsequent trial for the murder of his coachman, the victim’s Irish identity was widely discussed and hotly debated.

Continue Reading

Couple of Cats at Cameron Animal Hospital Need a Family

BY  |  Monday, Feb 29, 2016 11:00am

Cameron Animal Hospital

Looking to adopt a family cat? How about two? Two sweet cats at Cameron Animal Hospital, 417 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, need a family:

Keira and Darla are 8-month-old sisters in need of a loving home! They came to Cameron Animal Hospital in Montclair over the summer when they were nervous and scared. Since then, they have adjusted well and become very friendly and playful. They just need a forever home! Keira is black and white and loves to eat; while Darla is a white tiger who loves to play.

Interested in meeting Keira and Darla? Email, call 973-744-2052 or stop by Cameron Animal Hospital at 417 Bloomfield Ave. in Montclair.





Coffee With… Anthony Lauro, of Anthony’s Cheesecake

BY  |  Monday, Feb 29, 2016 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (5)

anthonylauroKnown for its roving eclecticism — from homemade quiches and Cajun tuna fish tacos to waffles with cookie butter and short-rib breakfast burritos — the menu at Anthony’s Cheesecake is a mighty read.

The Bloomfield staple, located below Garden State Yoga on Washington Street, prides itself on hearty meals of endless variety and, of course, world-class desserts, including some 30 cheesecake stylings that are sold in several local eateries.

Those cheesecakes are the brainchild of Anthony Lauro, who, with his partner and equal collaborator Phil Byrne, has run Anthony’s Cheesecake since 2010. The duo’s focus has been on breakfast and lunch, but dinner is available (and popular) Thursday and Friday, with a typically fluid menu that changes every week.

“I get bored with a set menu,” says the soft-spoken Lauro. “I do eight entrees and five appetizers for dinner and I try and make them special. It gives me the freedom to make what I want.” Continue Reading

Montclair Resident Victim of Attempted Robbery at Knifepoint at Walnut Street Train Station

BY  |  Monday, Feb 29, 2016 9:23am

Montclair Police DeaprtmentThis just in from Lt. David O’Dowd of the Montclair Police Department:

02-23-2016 (Walnut Street Train Station) At 11:36pm on February 23, a Montclair resident (55yoa) was walking on Walnut Street, when approached by two suspects. One of the suspects produced a knife and demanded the victim hand over his wallet and watch. The victim did not immediately comply with their demands, causing the suspects to flee eastbound on Walnut Street. The actors were described as two black males, between 20-29 years old, 5’08 in height. One suspect was wearing a yellow/orange hooded sweatshirt, with a black mask covering his face. There were no injuries reported in this incident.


Happy Leap Day!

BY  |  Monday, Feb 29, 2016 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

leap year

It’s Leap Day and a cause for celebration! After all, this day only comes once every four years and you get an extra day in the year.

In case you were wondering what Leap Day was all about, I’ll try to explain. Basically, it takes Earth 365 days AND 6 hours to revolve around the sun. So in four years, we have 24 hours and add the extra day on our calendar to make up for it.
Got it? If you want a much better explanation, watch the video below:
Continue Reading

Three Boys Review the Big Apple Circus

BY  |  Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 12:30pm

BigAppleAs part of its yearly tour around the country, the Big Apple Circus always sets up its big tent and one ring in Bridgewater, NJ. This year’s show, “The Grand Tour,” is running at TD Bank Ballpark through Sunday, March 13.

I’ve gone the last 2 years and always enjoyed it, but this time I wasn’t able to check out the show. Luckily, my 6-year-old son got to go, along with his two cousins, ages 4 and 7. So I talked to 3 very excited little boys about what they saw and liked at the Big Apple Circus.

There was one thing they all agreed on: the acrobats were the best and most exciting part of the show. “My favorite was when the guy on 1 or 2 stilts jumped and did a flip and landed on a mat,” my son told me. “I liked how the guys had muscles. They looked so cool. I want to practice to do that.” Continue Reading

Bloomfield Council Approves Resolution Restricting Moon Palace Liquor License

BY  |  Sunday, Feb 28, 2016 11:07am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Bloomfieldcouncil2_22_15The Bloomfield Council voted last Monday evening to approve a resolution determining the fate of the liquor license held by the current owner of the Moon Palace Bar/Restaurant, which has been cited for numerous violations over the past several years.

The owner had been scheduled to appear before the council for a hearing at the last regular council meeting on February 1, 2016, but instead closed down the restaurant voluntarily on January 20th, requesting that the council place conditions on the license in lieu of a hearing.

The resolution requires a 30-day suspension of the liquor license (beginning January 20), and the condition that the license can no longer be used for the sale of alcohol for consumption on premises, but only as a prepackaged goods store. In addition, no alcohol would be allowed to be consumed on the premises even in a “bring your own” situation. If the license is sold, the new owner can apply to have the conditions lifted from the license.

Councilman Joe Lopez objected to the agreement, saying he did not want to abdicate his and the council’s right to hold a hearing. The new township attorney, Michael Parlavecchio, explained that Moon Palace was scheduled for hearings before the Municipal Court (on February 25) and the County Board, where their violations will be addressed and fines levied. He explained it is better to let the courts finalize the disposition of the case, because if the council held the initial hearing and meted out the penalties, the license holder would have the ability to appeal to the higher courts.

The resolution passed with five “yes” votes and two abstentions: Councilmen Lopez and Chalet.

There was over an hour of public comment before the council was able to proceed with the business portion of the meeting.

Russ Zimmerman asked what had happened to the “Pay-to-Play” ordinance the council had discussed at the January 11th conference meeting. Mayor Venezia explained that since the township had since hired a new attorney, he would need to go over the ordinance before bringing it to a vote on first reading.

Ron Simoncini, representative of the Bloomfield Property Owners Association, and representatives of the Bloomfield Tenants Organization spoke about the pros and cons of rent control. Trish Comstock, President of the BTO, said that it was a “moral issue” – that landlords shouldn’t be making money “on the backs of poor people.”

Daniel Chalet, nephew of Councilman Elias Chalet, spoke regarding the conflict in the parking lot after the January 4th meeting between Councilman Lopez and himself, which had resulted in charges being filed on both sides. The altercation occurred after Lopez had called for the resignation of Councilman Chalet stemming from his November arrest on bribery charges, during the January 4th meeting.

Daniel Chalet stated that he had appeared for a hearing on Monday and all charges against him were dropped except one for harassment. He went on to assure Councilman Lopez that he would “never hurt you or your family,” and that he had “never hurt anyone,” alluding to previous remarks by Lopez and his family that they feared for their safety. He stated he would always stick up for his family. “My family, right or wrong,” he said.

Lopez later made a motion to again ask for Councilman Chalet’s resignation, citing Chalet’s recent indictment on the charges that he allegedly accepted a $15,000 bribe from a property owner in connection to a land purchase the township was considering in exchange for his support of the transaction, as well as additional charges. There was no second and the council did not act on his motion.


At the beginning of the meeting, the mayor and council issued a number of proclamations honoring participants in the recent Martin Luther King Day of Service project, which included a food drive. Councilwoman Wartyna Davis, who spearheaded the event, announced that six tons of food had been gathered, a ton more than the original goal of five tons. Volunteers also worked to improve the Bloomfield Public Library and work on creating a youth lounge there.

Various groups had participated and were each awarded a proclamation, including: representatives of Temple Ner Amid, Demarest School, the Bloomfield Public Library, Hot Bagels Abroad, Investors Bank, Sherman Williams, and the Bloomfield High School Key Club and Track Team (pictured).

Other Business

  • The council passed resolutions appointing members and liaisons to several boards, commissions and committees;
  • The council voted to appoint two Special Law Enforcement Officers (Frank Faretra and Robert Sarappa);
  • The council passed a resolution to award a professional service contract to All Covered of Cherry Hill, NJ, to provide information technology consulting to the Township.
  • They also voted to appoint three new school traffic guards and appointed two Deputy Municipal Court Administrators.

The next council meeting will be a conference meeting to be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 7, 2016, in the 2nd floor conference room in the Law Enforcement Building.

Featured Comment

I'm struck by how much attention is being paid to the details of a parking lot, as opposed to the attention paid to the future impact of the monstrous projects being planned.

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