Larger Than Life: Portraits of Iconic Women Artists Exhibit Opening at Montclair Public Library

BY  |  Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 3:45pm

Merrie Koehlert

Montclair painter, Merrie Koehlert, will show her exhibition Larger Than Life at the Art Gallery of the Montclair Public Library, throughout March, in recognition of Women’s History Month. The large-scale oil paintings, many as large as four feet by four feet, are of iconic women in art who date from the Renaissance to modernity.

Visual biographies of female artists, represented through their own unique painting techniques, bring the viewer through the history of art, and up to the present with a portrait of Kara Walker.  Inspiration for the work comes from readings in The Feminist Art Journal (1972-1977), lost to time and rediscovered by good luck and helpful accident in Park Slope, Brooklyn where Cindy Nemser, editor and feminist art critic, continues to live. Cindy shared stories of meeting Georgia O’Keeffe, and talked of interviewing and posing with her husband for a portrait by Alice Neel, both artists depicted in the show. The project is a personal homage to women like Cindy, and female artists that lead the way forward in art and culture.

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Montclair Artist Samad Savage Produces Music Video Encouraging Kids to Code

BY  |  Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 1:45pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

Samad Savage, a graduate of Montclair High School, is not your typical rapper. In fact, a recent online review of his 2016 EP release, Some Odd World, touts him as a rising star in the hip-hop world and calls Samad “a proud weirdo that is more interested in being himself and having fun instead of trying to be something he’s not.”

His unique sound uses hip-hop and R&B stylings to offer messages of positivity, inspiration and unity of all people. This approach caught the ear of Jamie Pagliaro and Mike Halbert, two local dads who opened a learning center teaching kids to code. The two had set out to create a music video to inspire kids to learn to code (at their center of course!) and Samad was an obvious choice to write, perform and produce the project.

You can preview the music video here: Come Along!

“We reached out to Samad after seeing his music video, The Clair, which is a song about growing up in Montclair and embracing the uniqueness of our town. When I heard the line ‘In a town where it’s cool to be a weirdo!’ I knew he was the guy to help us get the word out,” said Jamie Pagliaro. This sense was confirmed when Pagliaro and Halbert spent some time with Samad at their Montclair-based center and found a resonance in his approach to inspire kids to code. The theme throughout the song is that whatever you can imagine – be it a video game, website, or mobile app – you code it!

“Code or be coded is what we like to say to the kids in our program. We want everyone to understand that they have the potential to become a producer of technology, to create the amazing digital artifacts around them, not to just sit around playing games and consuming technology.” Halbert adsds “Our collaboration with Samad was an exciting way to get this message out directly to kids, and his approach perfectly captured the fun and social nature of our academically-rigorous program.”

The Yukōdit Learning Center is based in St. James Church of Upper Montclair (581 Valley Road). To learn more, visit

Blog: Sanctuary on the Local Level

BY  |  Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Sanctuary The following blog post is submitted by Dorothy Rogers, an associate professor and chair of the Department of Religion at Montclair State University.

In recent weeks local municipalities have proposed statements of support for immigrants and minorities in an effort to counteract new xenophobic policies at the federal level. While hundreds of cities across the nation have made “sanctuary” declarations, both Maplewood and Montclair have passed “welcoming community” resolutions instead. Reports are that Bloomfield plans to do the same.

Is this a distinction without a difference? Not really. When we look at the tradition of “sanctuary” historically, it’s clear that there certainly is a difference. In the fullest sense of the term, “sanctuary” involves more than simply expressing noble ideals. It signals political resistance.

I’ve written about the history of sanctuary elsewhere but will reiterate here that there is a long religious tradition supporting the practice, which dates back to ancient Hebrew criminal codes. Sanctuary was given new life in the 1980s by activists opposed to U.S. foreign policy in Latin America who helped undocumented asylum seekers cross the border with Mexico then travel north to Canada. The network was discovered, and Sanctuary leaders were charged with violating federal immigration law.
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Help Us Identify the Darkest Corners of Montclair

BY  |  Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 10:15am

Improve Lighting and Visibility in Montclair

Baristanet and PLANETCIVIC are calling on the residents of Montclair to participate in a crowdsourcing experiment in civic engagement and information gathering for the safety of all Montclair residents.

PLANETCIVIC is a local community engagement platform that allows the town’s residents to post their ideas for the community, and gather support for those ideas in the form of votes. Currently, the 3rd most voted-on idea in PLANETCIVIC is Improve Lighting and Visibility in Montclair, posted on PLANETCIVIC by Baristanet editor Liz George in response to the many concerns about lighting she has heard from readers in Baristaville. Inadequate lighting is a clearly a pain point for everyone from pedestrians walking home from trains and to drivers navigating the increasingly busy streets of Montclair.

However, this general feedback is less useful to the Town Council and municipal planners than specific information about the places in Montclair that cause residents distress. In partnership with PLANETCIVIC, we will rank the streets, corners and intersections that residents find the most problematic, and share the data with the Mayor, Town Council, Essex County executive and PSEG.

Be a Part of the Safer, Brighter Streets Campaign:

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Montclair BOE Considers Sobering 2017-18 Preliminary Budget

BY  |  Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 8:30am  |  COMMENTS (16)

The Montclair Board of Education

The Montclair Board Of Education spent its February 27 meeting on starting the process for the adoption its 2017-18 budget, something Board President Jessica de Koninck and her colleagues hope to get behind them before Interim Superintendent Ronald Bolandi leaves, as required by law, and is replaced by incoming interim superintend Barbara Pinsak.  Pinsak, a former schools superintendent in Teaneck, was at the meeting and said hello to the board and the public.  She added she was looking forward to meeting and speaking with students and staff alike.

Superintendent Bolandi painted a sobering picture of the budget challenges for 2017-18 before Business Administrator Steve DiGeromino spoke about the preliminary spending plan that was presented.   He said his first responsibility was to the students and his next responsibility was to preserve the magnet system in the district.  He noted that, with the many elective courses attended by a small number of students at a time of sudden spending restraints, it was necessary to make some cuts and look out for the greater good.  Superintendent Bolandi also challenged residents to come up with ideas on how the budget could be improved, adding that throwing money at the problems the district faces is not the answer.  He sought to make clear that he wanted the public involved in formulating a budget that would use the best ideas at the smallest cost. Continue Reading

S.O.F.I.A. Announces Two Recent Grants from Investors Foundation and Montclair via CDBG

BY  |  Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017 7:00am

Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates

(l-r): Essex County Director of Economic Development, Training and Employment, Anibal Ramos, Jr., S.O.F.I.A. Board Member Kristin Wald, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (S.O.F.I.A.) has announced two generous grants that will make key programs viable during 2017.

Montclair Township, on behalf of Essex County, will again support S.O.F.I.A.’s Soar to Success program with a generous CDBG grant of $12,000 for 2017. This grant will ensure that the social, emotional, and financial health programs that S.O.F.I.A. offers from January through May will continue to be free-of-charge and open to the community. Cynthia Walker, S.O.F.I.A.’s founder and Executive Director, said, “We are so grateful that the Montclair and Essex County officials recognize the value and community benefits of these programs for our clients and for the community as a whole. We invite the community to take part and learn more about S.O.F.I.A.’s programs.”

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Man Fatally Stabbed in Caldwell

BY  |  Monday, Feb 27, 2017 5:51pm

Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force and the Caldwell Police Department are investigating a fatal stabbing.

On Sunday, Feb. 26, a young man was fatally stabbed in an apartment above a business he shared with other men in the 400 block of Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell.

The name of the victim is not being released at this time because his identity has not been formally confirmed and next of kin have not been notified. It is believed that the victim is from Guatemala and was living and working in Caldwell. Continue Reading

Joan Garry to Discuss Nonprofits in The New World Order at MPL

BY  |  Monday, Feb 27, 2017 3:30pm

Joan Garry's Guide to Nonprofit Leadership

Joan Garry — a nonprofit consultant, blogger, podcaster, and now author — will discuss her new book Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership at Montclair Public Library on March 6. The event is hosted by Watchung Booksellers.

Below Garry shares what she feels is the strength of nonprofits and the future of these organizations:

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The Junior League of Montclair-Newark 50/50 Raffle Fundraiser

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

The Junior League of Montclair-NewarkThe Junior League of Montclair-Newark, Inc. (JLMN) has provided support and service to women and children in Bloomfield, The Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Montclair, Newark and Verona for more than 95 years.

The organization’s trained, enthusiastic members are committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

In order to help support its mission, the JLMN is holding a 50/50 Raffle to continue providing meaningful, hands-on projects which serve at-risk children and young adults in our area.

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Glen Ridge Crime: Argument Between Lyft Driver and Passenger Leads to Simple Assault

BY  |  Monday, Feb 27, 2017 1:00pm

crimeThis week in Glen Ridge crime from Capt. Sean Quinn:

Date/Time: 2-18-2017 at 6:45 PM
Incident: Simple Assault
Description: Sergeant Ryan Schwartz and Officer Anthony Re was dispatched to the intersection of Ridgewood Avenue and Woodland Avenue on a reported dispute between a Lyft driver and his passengers. A verbal argument ensued concerning the location of passengers’ destination and the method of payment when the Lyft driver assaulted the passenger. No injuries were reported. The Lyft driver left the scene prior to the officer’s arrival. This matter is currently under investigation and anyone with additional information is requested to contact Det. Sgt. Daniel Manley at 973-748-5400 x 115.

Date/Time: 2-22-2017 at 3:36 PM
Incident: Possession of CDS
Description: Sergeant Dean Gnardellis and Officer Anthony Re initiated a motor vehicle stop at the intersection of Washington Street and Thomas Street for an equipment violation. The operator of the vehicle, Devante Fennell, was found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana which was voluntarily turned over to the officers. After being taken into custody, Mr. Fennell was issued a summons and released.

During this week the Glen Ridge Police Department investigated (3) motor vehicle accidents.

Tax Fraud Scams: With Tax season approaching, the Glen Ridge Police Department would like to remind residents to not fall victim to common phishing scams. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media and will not threaten residents over the phone with imprisonment. If you feel you are the victim of a possible scam, request a call back telephone number, hang up the phone and contact the police department.

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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