What to Do in April

BY  |  Friday, Mar 31, 2017 3:55pm


Mark your calendars! Here’s a roundup of what’s happening in the Montclair area in April:

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Montclair Author Lee Siegel Writes a Memoir on Money and its Impact on Family

BY  |  Friday, Mar 31, 2017 3:30pm

The Draw

Montclair resident Lee Siegel, author of several books and a widely published writer on politics and culture, gets personal with his latest book — his memoir titled The DrawSiegel will discuss his new book at both the Montclair Literary Festival (he will be on the panel titled “The Story of My Life” on April 1 at 10 am) and Watchung Booksellers on Thursday, April 13 at 7 pm

In this coming-of-age story, Siegel tells of his father’s economic misfortune and the devastating dysfunction it caused to the family. The Draw takes a defiant stand against a society in which, as the Siegel observes, the struggle with money can turn someone’s innocent weakness into a weapon of self-destruction.

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Baristanet Profile: Danielle Raymond Neff

BY  |  Friday, Mar 31, 2017 2:15pm

Danielle Raymond Neff

The latest installment of our Baristanet Profile series, where we get to know the people in our neighborhood:

Name: Danielle Raymond Neff

Where do you live? Montclair.

When did you move there? Spring of 2012.

Where did you grow up? Wilmette, Illinois—on the north shore of Chicago, right on Lake Michigan.

How do you make a living? Ever put on some lip gloss and wonder who came up with that shade name? It’s me: I’m the Director, Creative Copy for Victoria’s Secret Beauty—I name fragrances and cosmetics.

Coffee, tea or … ? Fountain Soda: Diet Coke with a splash of Cherry Coke. Preferably from QuickChek. (Don’t judge.)

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Halfway There Reading Series Celebrates Four Authors’ Book Releases

BY  |  Friday, Mar 31, 2017 1:00pm

Halfway There Reading Series

Halfway There, the Montclair’s authors’ reading series, is gearing up for its next event on Monday, April 3 at the Red Eye Café in Montclair. The evening will feature an all-star line-up with authors Claudia Cortese, Marcy Dermansky, Melissa Febos, and Lauren Grodstein.

In this installment, each author will be celebrating the release of a new book and all four authors have a connection to New Jersey. Both Claudia Cortese (Wasp Queen) and Marcy Dermansky (The Red Car) are Montclair residents, Lauren Grodstein (Our Short History) lives and teaches in South Jersey and Melissa Febos (Abandon Me) also teaches in New Jersey.

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Montclair History: Minnie A. Lucey, A Mission of Care

BY  |  Friday, Mar 31, 2017 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (5)

Minnie A. LuceyMinnie A. Lucey, a pioneer social worker, dedicated her life to the education and acclimation of the Italian immigrants in the Pine Street Historic District of Montclair in the early 1900s.

In 1915, she was named director of the Home Department in the Baldwin Street School, and later the Baldwin Street Community House (later renamed the Minnie A. Lucey House)

After 1890, with the establishment of the first Montclair Water Company, there was the need to build a municipal infrastructure that would replace local well water with a modern, sanitary water and sewer system. A substantial wave of immigrants from several towns in Southern Italy: Aquilonia, Lacedonia, San Fele, Cerami — who had an expertise in fontaniere and fonaiole (plumbing)–arrived in Montclair to accomplish that task. These newcomers were considered foreigners and even the census at the time reflected this difference. Up until the 1940s, the Montclair census had three ethnic categories, Caucasian, Negro and Italian. The Italians settled in the Fourth Ward.

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Weekend Family Highlights: STEMFestival, Creative Play and More!

BY  |  Friday, Mar 31, 2017 10:00am

This weekend may be April 1st, but the fun activities we’ve rounded up are no joke! Here are some family-friendly things to do in and around the area. Enjoy!

On Friday, catch Hairspray at 7 p.m. at Buzz Aldrin Middle School, 173 Bellevue Ave. Montclair. Tickets are available at the door: $10 for adults, $6 for students. More info here.

On Saturday, Montclair Literary Festival has a host of activities for kids. Check them out here.

Glen Ridge First will present the 4th Annual STEMfestival on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at The Women’s Club of Glen Ridge (219 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge). Stop in to see working robots, LEGO villages and scenes from movies made by enthusiasts, Maker Village, Jr. FIRST ® LEGO ® League showcase, and experience hands-on demonstrations. There will also be an “inventions through the ages” exhibit, a green energy truck, and a mini camp fair for grades K-8. Food trucks and other goodies will be onsite. Tickets may be purchased online until 8:00 PM Friday evening for $18/family of 4, $8 individual adult, and $5 for child (ticket service applies). Tickets purchased at the event will be $10 per adult or child and cash only. Children 3 and under are free online and at the door.

Barnes & Noble at Clifton Commons (395 Route 3 East, Clifton) will host a Celebration of Beauty and the Beast on Saturday at 11:00 AM. Join in the fun and celebrate the releases of the new Beauty and the Beast Movie. In addition to a special Storytime, kids of all ages are invited to sing favorite songs from the movie soundtrack and participate in other fun activities. Attendees will receive a mini-poster and bookmark, while supplies last.

Also on Saturday, the Essex County Environmental Center (621-B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland) will a Nature Wind Chimes workshop at 10:30 AM for adults and children ages 8 and up. Gather items from nature and create a natural wind chime to enjoy at home. Advance registration is required by calling 973-228-8776. Fee is $10 per adult and $8 per child.

The Newark Museum (49 Washington Street, Newark) hosts Creative Play programs for families on Saturdays at 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 3:00PM. April’s theme is Environment and Nature. Each one-hour program is designed especially for early learners ages 3-5. On Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM, there will be a Planetarium Show, “Earth, Moon and Sun,” which is recommended for adults and children ages 5-8 years. Explore the relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun. With the help of Coyote and Native American stories, you will learn about moon phases, eclipses, constellations and more! For more information about programs and admission charges, visit the website.

Tour the Frelinghuysen Arboretum (353 East Hanover Avenue, Morris Township) on the first Sunday of the month for only $3 per person. Enjoy the magnificent gardens and grounds with a knowledgeable tour guide, and learn about the history of the property and its gardens, as well as the historic mansion. The one-hour tour begins at 2:00 PM.

On Sunday, stop by Montclair Art Museum for Drop-In Studio between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. The new Helen & Bill Geyer Art Studio will be stocked with a range of art materials to explore with a seasoned MAM studio instructor. This is free for members and included in Museum admission for non-members.

For more upcoming events, check out the family friendly events, showcased in green, on Baristanet Calendar.

Montclair BoSE Approves 2017-18 School Budget With 2.45 Percent Tax Increase

BY  |  Friday, Mar 31, 2017 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (6)

The Montclair Board of School Estimate (BoSE) ended a long drawn-out process, approving the 2017-18 school year budget at its March 30 meeting at the municipal building with a slight upward tick in the amount of money approved at the suggestion of the board’s chairman, Mayor Robert Jackson.  The mayor proposed that the tax increase be 2.45 percent instead of 2.3 percent top provide some additional funding, and he suggested that “breakage” – additional funds from potential retirements be anticipated at $410,000.  He also said he verified with the district’s auditor that a salary and benefits in a capital position could be capitalized, yielding an extra $700,000.

the Montclair Board of School Estimate

The change was a response to pleas from the community not to cut vital positions such as student assistance counselors (SACs) and paraprofessionals.  Mayor Jackson knew it wouldn’t be enough to prevent all of the proposed cuts, and that the BoSE cannot tell the school board what to do with the extra money, but he thought it would help.  With that, the meeting recessed to give Business Administrator Steve DiGeronimo time to work in the new numbers.   When the meeting returned to order, DiGeromino explained that the tax increase would add to the general fund budget, bringing it to $120,431,440 with a $172,636,458 tax levy, and it was so passed.

Much of the meeting had been devoted to public comment, and several Montclair High School students spoke in protest against the SAC cuts.  Members of the high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance said the cuts would be disastrous mistake, singling out counselor Hugh Witter as an essential member of the SAC staff and praising him as someone who understand students and respect students’ identities.  They all agreed that having someone like Witter to speak to helped them in high school.  They also spoke out on the need for diversity in the SAC staff; Witter, who is black, would likely be let go in a budget crunch due to being a more recent hire, but this would result in a more white SAC staff in a school system with a large black student body.

Glenfield Middle School counselor Rebecca Weintraub, joined by Witter and other counselors from different schools, spoke for the SAC staff, saying that the job as a counselor was to make sure students’ needs are met and that they are ensured the ability to reach their full potential.   Students, she said, have numerous problems to deal with at home or in school and need assistance with their anxieties and working through problems.  Weintraub urged the BoSE to look at the SAC line items through the eyes of their students. Continue Reading

Women’s Empowerment Week: SAVE of Essex County Collecting Donations for Rape Care Packages

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 30, 2017 3:15pm

Montclair’s Women’s Empowerment Week, running from April 1 – 9, offers excellent events throughout the week for the community. More importantly, Montclair BID organizes the annual event to benefit SAVE of Essex, the county’s only designated rape care center and a program of the Family Service League.

Throughout April 1 – 9, local businesses — such as Park Street Auto (18 South Park Street, Montclair) — will be collecting donations for its Rape Care Packages. SAVE provides every sexual violence victim with a rape care package to help a victim restore his/her dignity after a sexual assault has occurred. Police take a victim’s clothing and undergarments as part of the evidence collection process.

Please drop off the following new/unused items:

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MontClairVoyant: Rodney, Ryan, Rutgers, Russia, Reductions, and Redevelopment

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 30, 2017 2:00pm

Why did Republican Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, whose district includes Upper Montclair, help sink the GOP’s cruel Obamacare replacement by coming out against it on March 24?

Makeus Sickby, MD

A huge reason was NJ 11th for Change, the amazing group (powered mostly by women) that has diplomatically but strongly pressured Rodney to stop always supporting Trump and the far right — even as Rutgers students embarrassed about living in Frelinghuysen Hall removed the paper bags from their heads for a day.


So NJ 11th for Change — which has members from Montclair and many other towns — literally helped save lives?

Sue Pergroup

Yes! I might add that House Speaker Paul Ryan, who yearns to yank health insurance from millions, used Social Security survivor benefits to pay for college after his father died. So he’s an anti-government hypocrite who wants to block the escalator after ascending it in his Maul of America.

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Montclair Residents Start Communities Promoting Animal Welfare NJ Organization

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 30, 2017 12:15pm

Communities Promoting Animal Welfare NJCommunities Promoting Animal Welfare NJ (CPAW NJ) is a new tax exempt nonprofit organization based in Montclair. The organization is dedicated to helping people keep their pets by preventing animals from being surrendered to shelters, as well as assisting those who work to control and care for the community cat population.

CPAW NJ aims to keep animals out of shelters by providing their knowledge, expertise and resources to anyone considering giving up their pet. This preserves the emotional bond between humans and their pets and keeps cats out of shelters. People seeking help can find cat behavior advice on CPAW NJ’s website, as well as individual counseling and assistance in finding food. Rather than build a building or foster cats, CPAW NJ will partner with as many community members and organizations as possible to keep people and pets together.

CPAW NJ will also work to keep animals out of shelters by controlling the population of community cats through promoting trap, neuter, vaccinate and return (TNVR). CPAW NJ applauds people who care for the community cats in their neighborhoods and will partner with them and private organizations to engage more proactively in this life saving practice. Collaboration will spur more efficiency and enhance the possible success in maximizing the use of scarce resources.

Through education and awareness of TNVR for community cats and alternatives to pet surrender, CPAW NJ will decrease the burden placed on local animal shelters.

“We believe that by collaborating with local community members, we will be able to most effectively accomplish our humane goal of promoting animal welfare,” said Karen Shinevar, one of the founders of CPAW NJ. “I think most people would agree that it’s best for animals and their humans to remain a family and to make sure the community cat population is neutered and vaccinated.”

Shinevar, Marie-Christine Lochot and Rafik Tawadrous founded CPAW NJ with a mission to keep animals out of shelters through helping people keep their pets and by controlling the population of community cats. The organization values compassion, collaboration and celebration in order to promote animal welfare…four paws at a time.

Anyone interested in getting involved with CPAW NJ’s efforts is encouraged to visit online here.



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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