MontClairVoyant: Where Students Will Decamp, and DeCamp’s Uncertain Future


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

You began your last two columns with commentary on what school might look like in Montclair this fall as the pandemic continues. Surely you won’t do that for a third consecutive week?

Sincerely,
Condoleezza Thrice

There are no rules preventing me. I refer you to “The Montclairvoyant Handbook,” Section 5, which states: “Do not start a column with the same topic three weeks in a row.” Oops! Who wrote that stupid handbook, anyway.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Be that as it may, Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Ponds sent out a July 31 letter with all kinds of details about what would happen school-wise if the proposed plan goes into effect. Can you remind us what the plan involves?

Sincerely,
As Tears Go Bylaws

1. Some students would learn via an in-school instruction/remote instruction hybrid. 2. Other students would do all remote. 3. Students who lived in the 1800s would be excused from all classes, but only with parental permission.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
I heard some classes might be held outside, weather permitting. Some possible sites?

Sincerely,
All My Suns

The amphitheater (for Montclair High students). The moon (for Buzz Aldrin students). An Italian piazza in the 14th century (for Renaissance students).

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
And what’s this I hear about “Parent University” to help moms, dads, and guardians with the education of their children?

Sincerely,
IV League

Seems like a good idea, but I really don’t want to live in a dorm again. I mean, there was social distancing even then, but that’s because my roommate kept playing the Grateful Dead.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
I’ve asked this before and ask again: Will teachers and staff also have the choice to work in-school or remotely? They should have that choice, you know.

Sincerely,
Option-ologist

I haven’t seen a district communication directly addressing that. Perhaps I missed it due to Post-Traumatic Grateful Dead Syndrome. “Truckin’, got my chimps cashed in.” Or something.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
It’s “chips,” you idiot. Meanwhile, DeCamp announced yesterday (August 5) that it’s suspending all service effective tomorrow (August 7) due to the pandemic. Is the bus line, which has obviously been carrying many fewer passengers, ending operations temporarily or permanently?

Sincerely,
Fares Fare Badly

Unknown. DeCamp’s service is often not ideal, but this is a major blow for passengers and the bus line’s employees. The company has been around since 1870, meaning it has seen commuters carry cell phones for 150 years.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
The 2012-launched Montclair Film Festival rescheduled its annual main event for the same week this October as the previously scheduled Montclair Design Week. The response to that not-neighborly move by the bigger, more famous MFF?

Sincerely,
Al Pha-Dogg

1. A petition asking MFF to change weeks again. 2. After Montclair was hit August 4 by the scary/tree-damaging/power-outage-causing winds from the remnants of Hurricane Isaias (pronounced ee-sah-ee-ahs), another petition called for MFF to be nicknamed Hurricane Egregious.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
That second petition doesn’t exist. After the storm, Montclair announced it’s allowing the use of leaf blowers for debris cleanup until September 3. Why almost a month to further endure those noisy, polluting devices?

Sincerely,
What Fresh Hell Is This

Agree — one or two weeks would have been reasonable and sufficient. Maybe it’s some weird way of celebrating the September 3 birthday of late “Beetle Bailey” cartoonist Mort Walker.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
In other news, white people calling the police on innocent people of color might be criminally charged thanks to State Senate legislation sponsored by Montclair’s Nia Gill that unanimously passed on July 30. Comment?

Sincerely,
Crime and Punishment

Great to hear, because we all know what can happen when racist white cops interact with innocent citizens of color: Hurricane Prejudice.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
There was of course that late-June incident on Marion Road, where a white woman demanded to know whether a black couple had a patio permit and then made a false accusation of assault and called the police. Disturbing?

Sincerely,
Rae Sism

Very. But let’s end this column more happily by noting that Montclair has a new temporary skatepark. Where? Near Renaissance, but in 2020, not the 1300s — though Chaucer did write “The Shredder’s Tale.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
And this Saturday, August 8, the Northeast Earth Coalition is scheduled to hold a 4:30 pm event in Crane Park to release Monarch butterflies, followed by music at 5. Nice?

Sincerely,
Remember the Crane

Yes, but don’t expect any Iron Butterfly songs.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Not even the 17-minute classic “In-a-Gadda-da-Vida”?

Sincerely,
Early Metal With Mettle

“The Montclairvoyant Handbook,” Section 9: “Do not mention songs with long drum solos.”

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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2 COMMENTS

  1. Even though they have often been less stellar in the customer service department over the years, Sal notwithstanding, DeCamp suspending service will be an inconvenience.

  2. Thank you for the comment, silverleaf. You’re absolutely right that DeCamp has been far from ideal but will still be sorely missed.

Comments are closed.