MontClairVoyant: Immigrants Not Freed, Developer Greed, Endorsement Deed

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DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Before you get to the fishy MC Residences saga, can you discuss another “residence” — Essex County’s immigrant prison — and the strong public criticism of it at last night’s county Freeholders meeting in Montclair?

Sincerely,
Worst Burst First

It’s sad that some Democratic politicians, including a number of Freeholders and especially county executive Joseph DiVincenzo, support or don’t criticize accepting millions in Trump ICE money for the jail. In this case, being “honorary Republicans” is not…honorable.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Hasn’t Freeholders president Brendan Gill of Montclair been one of the notable exceptions among local and county officials in his criticism of the prison?

Sincerely,
ICE Isn’t Nice

Yes, and good for him. Gill mentioned at the September 11 meeting in Montclair High’s George Inness Annex that he’s a Montclair High graduate, so he has done his alma mater proud. (“Alma mater” is Latin for “Al’s mother made mats.”)

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Many audience speakers, including plenty from Montclair, urged that the prison be closed — saying the detainees (mostly people of color) are living in poor conditions and are not criminals. Thoughts?

Sincerely,
There Will Be Blood…Money

They also said ICE-funded jails are part of a Trump anti-immigration push that has also included the monstrous separation of children from their parents. Everything’s connected, except Trump’s words and the truth.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Two days earlier, at the September 9 Planning Board meeting, a member of the usually development-friendly PB came out with a strong statement about MC Residences — you know, the proposed Orange Road project that should’ve been 18 units but morphed into 46 in an already packed area of downtown?

Sincerely,
Route: 46

The developer indeed greedily took advantage of a mistake in requirements language — a mistake the Township Council didn’t fix because maybe it felt it couldn’t, maybe it didn’t want to, or maybe it was busy salivating over “Bob the Builder” videos.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
In his public statement, PB member Martin Schwartz called for an investigation and said it’s a “disgrace” there’s “at least the appearance of an intentional effort to give this applicant [Pinnacle] more units than what the deciding bodies [the PB and Zoning Board] wanted.” Your response?

Sincerely,
Route: 666

All great points. Unfortunately, too many other town officials echo that cartoon Bob guy by singing: “Can we overbuild it? YES WE CAN!”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Yes we can attend Back to School Night, and I did so on September 10 at Buzz Aldrin. Would you like to hear my impressions?

Sincerely,
Also, Front to School Night

Sure! Can you do Bob the Builder? Bernie Sanders? Elizabeth Warren? Oprah Winfrey? Taylor Swift?

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Um…no. Can YOU imitate anyone?

Sincerely,
Mimic Jagger

Only my reflection in the mirror. I am SO impressed with the teachers at EVERY Montclair public school. Smart, talented, hard-working, personable. Our kids are in good hands. (And my daughter has good hands, when fielding a softball.)

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Upper Montclair’s congresswoman Mikie Sherrill essentially said the U.S. would be in good hands with Cory Booker by endorsing the senator for president on September 10. Proving once again that Sherrill is indeed a centrist?

Sincerely,
Voiced a Choice

Yup. Booker has some liberal views along with a not-liberal history that includes supporting charter schools, which are loved by the far-right Trump and his far-right education secretary. If “The Donald DeVos Booker Band” plays the Wellmont, you’ll hear the discordant music of tax money being siphoned from public schools.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
And Booker is an ally of aforementioned immigrant jail supporter DiVincenzo, who co-hosted a fundraiser for the senator in June. Meaning?

Sincerely,
Pals’ Cabin

Meaning this column has come full circle, and that Joe D might sit in with “The Donald DeVos Booker Band” to perform Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game.” They all seem like sensitive singer-songwriter types.

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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