MontClairVoyant: A Six-Letter Word (Racism) Is a National and Local Expletive

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Joseph Putrino is no longer principal of Renaissance after showing a video said to be offensive at a September 2 online meeting of school-district staff. Reaction?

Sincerely,
Ann L. Lyze

Racism is a plague on this country, and accusations of it must be addressed. Remember the three R’s: Renaissance, Reformation, Rabbit. (Just saw one outside my window.)

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Not everything needs to go in your column! Who is replacing Putrino?

Sincerely,
Succession Procession

Buzz Aldrin assistant principal Major Jennings was named acting principal of Renaissance.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
This might be a good time for a wider discussion of local racism over the years and in recent months — as people have spoken, met, rallied, commented on social media, and taken legal action against alleged bias in the Montclair school district. Thoughts?

Sincerely,
No Pride in Prejudice

There is of course racism in the school district of our liberal-leaning town (as there is everywhere), and it causes a lot of pain. At the same time, partly speaking as the parent of a pre-teen of color, I think Montclair is less racist than many other places in the U.S. and tries (at least much of the time) to deal with the problem.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
What’s with that serious answer in a humor column?

Sincerely,
The House of Mirthless

Obviously, it’s not appropriate to joke when discussing racism. Those looking for a laugh can recall the time Trump said he was “the least racist person” on Earth.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Bwahaha! At least Gov. Murphy signed legislation criminalizing the actions of white people who call the police on innocent people of color — something that happened in June on Marion Road. Comment?

Sincerely,
Fahrenheit 911

Given the many cases of white cops killing unarmed Black citizens, the legislation is welcome. BTW, Trump is no Disney princess — he’s The Lyin’ King.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Other Montclair school-district news included the release of the latest Covid-related update on August 28. What did Superintendent Jonathan Ponds say?

Sincerely,
Email Tale

He expressed the hope that the district might move from all-remote learning to the remote/in-school hybrid in early November. That’s crunch time, because there’d be many dry autumn leaves for school-bound students to step on.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Dr. Ponds also discussed ventilation, noting that 200 air-purification/sanitizer systems have been ordered for the school district. Where would they be placed?

Sincerely,
Atmosphere Sphere

In two of these three locations: classrooms, offices, and jars of jelly beans.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Plus Dr. Ponds talked about various tools of online instruction that’ll be used. Don’t Montclair teachers, and teachers everywhere, deserve our utmost respect for adapting to different ways of educating our kids?

Sincerely,
Praise-y Rhythms

Yes! Not easy. They’ll even be using the Google Education Suite, leading me to wonder if there’s a suite of that name at The George hotel on North Mountain.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Is there?

Sincerely,
Room With a (Browser) View

All I found was the Netscape Education Suite at Montclair’s now-gone Marlboro Inn — a suite booked every day in 1995. Watching highlights of Rush’s 2010-11 “Time Machine Tour” didn’t change that.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Alanis Morissette’s 1995 “Jagged Little Pill” would be a more relevant music mention.

Sincerely,
You Oughta Know

Was that album about the little Lidl supermarket coming or not coming to Lackawanna Plaza?

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Huh?

Sincerely,
Puzzled on Pierson Place

Lackawanna has caused so much flux in the space-time continuum that Montclair and Upper Montclair traded zip codes, causing a delay in Harry Potter’s owl mail.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Why the flux?

Sincerely,
The Flux Stops Here

Lackawanna’s expected Lidl supermarket is currently not listed as coming to that site, according to reports. Meaning Jo March of “Little Women” will continue to shop at Trader Jo’s.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Why is Lidl possibly having second thoughts about being situated in a part of Montclair needing a supermarket for years?

Sincerely,
Post-Pathmark Path

Pinnacle seems to be blaming the Lidl issue on the lawsuit against its planned Lackawanna redo, but the developer shares much of the blame for that suit. I’ll tell you why in my next answer, but first you must ask the question.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
A bit authoritarian, aren’t we? The question: How many jelly beans are in a typical jar?

Sincerely,
Ronald Raygun

The planned redo’s drawbacks include harming some vintage elements of the historic former train station, having too little green space, etc. And the selection of Lidl (a smaller supermarket than originally expected) was announced last-minute in 2019. So, no wonder there’s a suit — even without a Men’s Wearhouse in Montclair.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Don’t the Planning Board (which approved the Lackawanna redo) and the previous Township Council (which pushed the redo) share blame with Pinnacle and its co-developer?

Sincerely,
Guilt in Association

I sewed “M” “e” “a” “C” “u” “l” “p” “a” on eight T-shirts (one letter per shirt), but Montclair officials aren’t wearing them. Soon it will be too chilly for short sleeves.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Meanwhile, the Montclair Property Owners Association is trying to force our town to give it the email addresses and cell-phone numbers of residents so the MPOA can seek more signatures for a November rent-control referendum. Comment?

Sincerely,
A. Noid

Adding invasion of privacy to the attempt to kill needed/reasonable rent control passed by the Township Council in April. My message to the MPOA: Buy some Abraham Lincoln autographs.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
The MPOA can certainly afford them. Finally, isn’t it good to hear about recent or imminent partial reopenings in New Jersey and Montclair during this year of Covid — including restaurants for indoor dining, the Park Street Y, the Montclair Art Museum…?

Sincerely,
Yes, MAM

And Montclair’s public pools will be open for a few days after Labor Day! More time for “The Swimmer” protagonist to travel from Mountainside Pool to Nishuane Pool by swimming in private backyard pools along the way.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Any other stops for the star of that John Cheever story?

Sincerely,
Sojourns on the Journey

Hopefully a brief stop at Lackawanna Plaza to shake water on the redo plans. And let’s douse racism while we’re at it.

 

 

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. You ignored the cancellation of the proposed new Senior/Community Center — just like the Council/Township have ignored Seniors for decades.

  2. Thank you for the comment, Jussi. Very fair point. The center effort was on my list of possible topics for this week, but the column went over 1,000 words — the longest piece I’ve written since starting this feature 17 years ago. I’ll try to mention the center effort next Thursday. As you can tell from my photo accompanying the column each week, I’m in an older demographic. 🙂

Comments are closed.