MontClairVoyant: Good News, Bad News, and a No Holiday Card Promise

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DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Quick question before you discuss the dropping of Montclair High’s May 20 plan and the Planning Board’s awful May 6 Lackawanna Plaza vote: Is it fair that the Montclair Education Association’s skilled, dedicated members are working a long time without a new contract?

Sincerely,
They Teach Our Children Well

No! Trump has lied 10,000 times since early 2017, according to The Washington Post, so I hope the MEA gets a new pact before the 20,000th fib he’ll tell…yesterday.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
The superintendent said May 7 that she will recommend to the BOE that Montclair High’s main building will remain open after May 20 (rather than all students cramming into the George Inness Annex) and that asbestos and stair work in the main building won’t begin until June 27. Reaction?

Sincerely,
Musical Stairs

A welcome change in response to parents, who actually sought to revise rather than abandon the May 20 plan that included too much study-hall time. Hopefully, the main building will be as good as old in September — unlike last September when steps joined leaves in starting to fall.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
But now a student petition is urging the district to keep the May 20 plan. Understandable, even though you disagree?

Sincerely,
May Glowers

Yes. Work that starts June 27 might not be finished by September, and, as a teen, I would’ve loved to spend half the day in study hall or doing other non-traditional things. But I wasn’t looking at the big picture back then; my mother ordered only wallet-size school photos.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Given the district’s track record of slowness, including years to choose the current superintendent, WILL the delayed work be finished in time?

Sincerely,
Multi-Glacial Town

I am 100% confident that it might or might not be.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Let’s move to the Planning Board’s May 6 vote, which finalized its deeply unpopular February decision to approve the Lackawanna redo that will further jam downtown and wreck some precious former-train-station history. Are you beside yourself?

Sincerely,
T.S. (Train Sheds) Eliot

Sheesh — developers are splitting human DNA, too?

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
And no member of the almost-always-caves-to-developers PB voted no, despite only minor changes made in the bad February-approved plan. The May 6 tally was 5-0, with three wimpy abstentions. Are you as distraught as Moaning Myrtle of the Harry Potter books?

Sincerely,
Hogwarts and All

Given how close Myrtle Avenue is to a Montclair downtown that’s being sadly overbuilt, I’ll always think of it as Moaning Myrtle Avenue.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
The Lackawanna redo is being co-developed by Pinnacle, which is also involved with several other projects crowding and gentrifying downtown. How will you express displeasure with Pinnacle?

Sincerely,
Executive Privilege

As I’ve said before, no holiday card from me this December. And it’s a great card showing Santa’s reindeer in cleats and shin guards playing a Montclair travel soccer team at the North Pole.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
On May 7, the Township Council — in response to public dismay over two lovely old homes being razed by the billionaire who wanted to build that now-on-hold mega-mansion — approved the first reading of an ordinance that might make it harder to tear down vintage Montclair structures. Comment?

Sincerely,
Modernity Fraternity

It would be a good idea to have the Historic Preservation Commission as involved as possible. Heck, its Prehistoric Preservation Commission predecessor could’ve saved the dinosaurs if given a bit more clout.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
That would have left us with a Stephen Street stegosaurus! Meanwhile, what happened in 2012 after Montclair’s township planner made it easier to demolish vintage structures for replacement by McMansions and such?

Sincerely,
Outraged on Overlook

Developers and other history wreckers gave her a beautiful 8×11-inch Certificate of Appreciation. But it was shredded and replaced with an ugly 80×110-foot certificate.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Getting back to schools, the Watchung athletic field won’t be enlarged this summer — an expansion that would’ve shrunk the playground. What will happen if the playground becomes too small?

Sincerely,
Tiny, Grim

Hundreds of students would do recess in Barbie’s DreamHouse — which I understand is three-feet tall, four-feet wide, and has more than 70 accessories.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
That’s just 9,930 fewer accessories than the number of Trump lies! But is it “DreamHouse,” “Dreamhouse,” or “Dream House”?

Sincerely,
Nightmare Question

Ask me if I care.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Do you care?

Sincerely,
Don’t Give a One-Word Answer

No.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Trying not to waste column pixels?

Sincerely,
Green New Deal

And the school district shouldn’t waste more time: Give the MEA a new contract.

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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