MontClairVoyant: Summer Has Begun in Montclair, and Several Topics Are Hot



Kudos to the many Montclairites who marched in June 23’s local protest against Trump’s separation of Hispanic families at the U.S. border. But does that mean the New York-born Donald won’t want to use our town’s municipal pools this summer?

Laps to the Future

He’s already swimming in a sea of cruelty.

Hmm…the New York Yankees ARE having a much better season than the New York Metaphors. On July 23, exactly one month after that Montclair protest, the Planning Board is scheduled to again discuss Lackawanna Plaza. Did LP’s developers bail from the PB’s June 18 meeting because they feared a large turnout against their plan for the former station’s historic train sheds?

They Don’t Want the Past to Last

Could be — more Montclairites are away on vacation in July. But who knows what’s in the minds of developers? Therapists have tried to find out, only to get distracted when developers used session time to slap cheap siding on the memories of how their parents raised them.

Given that it’s now summer and school has ended in Montclair, will some letters in your columns’ words also go on vacation?

Al Phabet

Abslutely not! Would nevr happn!

Of course, many families will stick around for much of the summer — with their kids perhaps attending some of the many great camps in and near Montclair. Why is one camp called “Nishuane Summer Spectacular”?

Puzzled on Prescott

It took months of intense sleuthing, but I learned that the camp is at Nishuane School, does not run in the fall or winter or spring, and is spectacular. If you are in need of investigative services, my rates are competitive.

Speaking of competition, Montclair’s 3rd-through-5th-grade girl’s softball league had no all-star game this month — unlike at the end of previous spring seasons. Your reaction?

Play Ball! (Not.)

Disappointment, because (boasting alert!) my daughter went 16-24 with 10 RBIs in nine games. Maybe the rec league didn’t want to pay the $100,000 all-star bonuses in the contracts of those elementary-school girls.

A .667 batting average? That’s .300 higher than Ty Cobb’s lifetime BA of .367 — the best in Major League history!

Hitsville USA

Well, my daughter didn’t have to face Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson. And it’s a kid league — or, as late baseball legend/Montclair resident Yogi Berra sort of said, “It ain’t older ’til it’s older.”

The opposite of older is Montclair’s recent “Annual Drinking Water Quality Report.” I am riveted by the drama and excitement of turbidity, cryptosporidium, perfluoroheptanoic acid, methyl tert butyl ether, etc.!

My New Hobby

Drop the darn report and read a novel, won’t ya?

Finally, the Township Council June 26 discussed adding six head-in spaces to Edgemont Park’s new curved driveway that has drawn criticism for only having not-easy parallel parking for seniors who use the field house. I think the compromise possibility is not ideal, but better. You?

Space: The Final Front Tier

Frankly, any head in any parking space sounds dangerous to me. I’d hate to see Edgemont renamed Concussion Protocol Park.



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.





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  1. Baristanet, Dec 7, 2015 – Montclair has hired Geese Chasers, a professional geese clearing service which uses highly trained border collies to herd or “harass” geese without causing them harm, to get the geese out of Edgemont and Yantacaw parks starting today, December 7.

    The Township did another unannounced round-up of geese last year and euthanized them – probably using the mobile gas chambers. I wouldn’t be surprised if the school district also quietly does round-ups for the Edgemont School geese.

    I guess the municipal “no harm” policy expired after a year. The township should have notified the public since there was a lot of flak over the practice.

    But, like the shelter house redesign, the township and the local residents around the park (Friends of Their Edgemont Park) worked behind the scenes to get what they want. Public input? Transparency? Nope.

    PS: Dave, in hindsight, your June 7th Edgemont guest-geese column was not so funny.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Frank.

    I didn’t realize Montclair might have done another cruel round-up of the Edgemont Park geese. But, then again, the geese periodically seem to “disappear” from the park, so that could explain it. Awful if a euthanizing happened, and not right to make the decision secretly if it happened. There are other methods, such as geese birth control, that may not be quick fixes but are far more humane.

    Yes, many officials in this town need to be more transparent and more welcoming of public input.

  3. Further on the Friends of Edgemont residents having the ear of the township, the Council is considering an additional $15,000 cost for a 70′ low retaining wall to shield the headlights of the six (6) car spaces…spaces set at a 60 degree angle to the street…for all the EVENING Seniors activity at the shelter. For houses that are 300′ feet away and elevated above street level. You really can’t make this stuff up.

  4. “You really can’t make this stuff up” — true, Frank!

    It would be cheaper to design custom sunglasses for the headlights of all cars that park in those six spaces…

  5. Dave – Beginning this weekend, it is going to be a long hot summer here in Montclair. “How do we know this?”, you may ask. Tennessee “The Weatherman” Williams told us so. Just check in the drama section at MPL.

  6. No it does not, Dave. Also, his setting for “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof” takes place on a plantation in the Mississippi delta should not be confused Carly Simon’s former musical venue “Hot Tin Roof” located on Martha’s Vineyard, a much cooler climate for sure.

  7. Excellent and amusing Tennessee Williams/Carly Simon mash-up, silverleaf! 🙂

    Theatergoers waiting for a production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” to begin do so with…”Anticipation.”

  8. The senior community is angry there aren’t 6 more parking spaces in Edgemont, but the other 99% of Montclair are too busy currently having fun with their families in the new space to comment publicly. Tough to be angry when you are playing frisbee and enjoying some rare new green space in Montclair that of course they want to cut into now.

    Baristanet group meetup outside of Frank Rubacky’s house! Bring your headlights!

  9. Very well said and drolly said, colossus1313! I hear you. It IS great to have additional green space where that Edgemont Park parking lot used to be. And very rare, as you note.

    Still, if the field house is going to be used as a de facto senior center for the foreseeable future, I wish they had just resurfaced the bumpy old parking lot and not (with that new curved entranceway) made parking harder for those seniors who have a bit of a challenge handling a car. Maybe the only time I’ve not been in favor of more green space in Montclair. 🙂 If certain town officials really cared about green space, they could have driven harder bargains with developers who overbuilt or plan to overbuild on various Montclair sites (Christopher Court, Valley & Bloom, the Aubrey Lewis property, Seymour Street, etc.).

    Thank you for commenting!

  10. Thank you for your thoughtful response! 🙂 Perhaps the field house functioning as a senior center itself is more of the issue. Much in the same way the proposed homeless shelter in the center of Bloomfield avenue or proposed Assisted Living Facility in the center of church street were “admirable facilities, wrong location” issues, the whole “Lets make this park less of a park and more of a park-ing lot because we have no better spot for seniors” is a shame. Today at the 4th festivities there were a TON of families, and not one was complaining about parking (and there was a ton of parking on the streets around the park). It made the “we need 6 more spots or all hope is lost” thing look kinda silly.

    That said, I’m one of the big “let’s keep this town green” advocates, while advocating smart redevelopment of broken down sites, so admittedly I’m biased on this one. 🙂

  11. Thank you for the excellent follow-up comment, colossus1313!

    A VERY good point — “the field house functioning as a senior center” may indeed be a bigger issue. It would be great if the town found another place for a senior center, with easy parking, and let Edgemont Park be mostly a park.

    And you’re right that there’s a ton of Edgemont Park parking for everyone other than the small number of seniors (or disabled people) who might have trouble parallel-parking on a curve. Edgemont Road, “Parkway,” Berkeley Place…

  12. Dave – Regarding your earlier Edgemont Park comment, “There are other methods, such as geese birth control”, seems POTUS would strongly oppose considering the nearby pond. “Row” and “wade” the operative terms here.

  13. Ha! Clever commentary, silverleaf!

    I guess row vs. wade can be a tough decision for anyone preparing to enter a pond.

    (Of course, Trump used to be pro-choice, but his “beliefs” have always changed opportunistically.)

Comments are closed.