MontClairVoyant: When Montclair School Buses Improve, It’s No Longer Route Bier



Your last two columns railed against overbuilding in Montclair. So, even as the developer-lovin’ Planning Board predictably okayed downtown’s too-big “arts district” Sept. 25, could you discuss other topics such as school-bus problems?

Route Bier

There were definitely some issues, but 67.8 percent of buses now arrive each morning with wheels.


And there’s talk of reducing Grove Street’s speed limit to 30 miles an hour. Would a speed limit of 25 be even better?

“Slow Down, You Move Too Fast”

Absolutely — on EVERY major Montclair road. And skip the excuses like: “Officer, I was doing 100, but also did 0 miles an hour three times at red lights. Could we average the four?”


Many drivers in Montclair go too fast, tailgate, don’t stop for pedestrians, and commit other traffic offenses. Why aren’t the police giving out more tickets?

Some U2 Tickets, At Least

One of those unexplained mysteries, like Elvis emerging from Toney’s Brook to “cross the bridge” during Montclair High’s 2016 graduation ceremony and then taking a gap year to backpack through Vegas before reappearing in town Tuesday to stand in line for a signed book from Hillary Rodham Clinton.



Eight days earlier, the Sept. 18 Board of Education meeting had some memorable moments. Can you name one?

U2 Sang “One”

After arriving at the George Inness Annex, I turned off the sound on my phone so there wouldn’t be any noise when I got a text, call, or carrier-pigeon visit.



This is NOT about you. At the meeting, the Montclair Education Association said staff morale is low due to last spring’s layoffs, not enough rehiring, inadequate BOE communication, MEA advice not being sought more, etc.

North of Union Street

The BOE responded by saying it is communicating and trying its best. I’m paraphrasing, which reminds me that a lot of para-phasing-out wasn’t necessary because everyone knew retirements would free up money to bring back some paraprofessionals. But wheel-less school buses can’t re-tire.


Retire your pathetic wordplay. What about the latest vile attempt by vile Senate Republicans to ram through another vile version of the vile Trumpcare? Do you partly blame Upper Montclair’s congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen?

I.M. Irked

Rodney’s House vote to replace Obamacare DID help get all that Senate cruelty started. I also blame you, I.M., for using “vile” four times in one question; “villainous” Senate Republicans would’ve been a nice change of pace.


Then there’s the admirable, Trump-targeted Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the national anthem to protest police killings of innocent black citizens — costing him his football livelihood and spurring Montclairites and millions of others to think more about racism in America. Your take?

Trump, Focus On Hurricane-Hit Puerto Rico!

People have the right to stand or not stand during the national anthem, to recite or not recite the Pledge of Allegiance, etc. Personally, I stand but don’t recite and don’t hold my hand over my heart. The latter inaction passes what I call “The Tin Man Before Meeting The Wizard Test.”



Any other non-development topics to discuss?

Lacking Lackawanna

Summer turned to autumn Sept. 22 despite the massive data breach at equinox.


That was Equifax, you idiot. Or, shall I say, “That was Equifax, you Brothers Karamazov.”

Crime and Punning Meant

Equifax? Ah, the company that does credit scores (three per course) for Montclair State and credit scores (movie-ending music) for Montclair cinemas.


Correction: You’re a double idiot.

Yes, I’m Two Insulting

Maybe it WAS stupid to ignore overbuilding even for a single week. Some developer just added eight floors to my daughter’s toy Calico Critters house.


Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.





Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.



    It was neither “Brothers Karamozov” or “the Idiot” by Dostoyevsky. It was “Gimpel, you fool”, written by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

  2. Ha, silverleaf — a related title that you funnily revised! 🙂 (I’ve read “Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories.” A REALLY good collection.)

    Then there’s “The Fool on the Hill” song, which I don’t think was about anyone on Upper Mountain Avenue…

    Thank you for the comment!

  3. Dave – Appreciate your confirmation that the intent of my revision was strictly humorous wordplay around “The Idiot.”

    Agree that I.B. Singer was a terrific (and much overlooked) writer.

  4. Happy to have confirmed your humorous intent, silverleaf!

    I agree that Singer was a great writer who might be a bit underrated. His short stories were influenced by the work of Chekhov and Guy de Maupassant, though of course Singer often focused on Yiddish characters and themes. One Singer story was turned into Barbra Streisand’s “Yentl” movie. And Singer was a vegetarian for the last 35 years of his life.

    Of course, you probably know all of the above, but I decided to ramble on… 🙂

  5. Why did I unthinkingly use “of course” in two consecutive paragraphs? 🙁 Singer would never have done that… 🙂

  6. Dave – Indeed the film “Yentil” was based on an I.B. Singer story, as was “Enemies, A Love Story” (1989). A beautiful little movie starring Angelica Huston and Ron Silver, directed by Paul Mazursky (who else? Lumet maybe.) It received three Oscar nominations: supporting actress (2), adapted screenplay.

  7. Thanks for that information, silverleaf — much of which I either didn’t know or had forgotten. “Enemies, A Love Story” is such a great, oxymoronic title. Sort of describes the brief “alliance” between Trump and Chuck Schumer/Nancy Pelosi.

Comments are closed.