MontClairVoyant: Twas the Write Before Christmas and All Through the Town…

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
The start of the hybrid plan that includes some in-person learning was delayed again — to January 25 for Montclair’s elementary and special-needs students, and to February 8 for grades 6-12. Is it time to rewrite Clement Clarke Moore’s poem?

Sincerely,
Saint Nick and Nora

“Twas two weeks before Christmas, and in each school hall/not a student is stirring; I’m going to bawl.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
And?

Sincerely,
Extra Credit

“The remote-taught are stuck near their chimneys, in chair/hoping for COVID to get the hell out of here.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
This Saturday, December 12, members of “Montclair Families Advocating for In-Person Learning” plan to rally in our town (like others will in other towns) to urge that schools reopen earlier. Do you sympathize with their position?

Sincerely,
Isolation Reprobation

Absolutely, but I’m among those wary of an earlier reopening amid the COVID spike and the resulting potential danger to students, teachers, and staffers. I realize that remote instruction is far from ideal, that schools are often not pandemic hotspots, that classes should’ve been held outdoors during warmer months, that my middle-school daughter is aching to see her friends, and that…um…vinegar has many uses.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
So says columnist Heloise. Meanwhile, the coming downtown “arts district” will reportedly have tenants such as a medical practice and a rock-climbing gym. What’s that have to do with the arts?

Sincerely,
Even Yogurt Has Culture

Are you implying that the too-big complex got approved under partly false pretenses? Developers getting most of what they want from pliant Montclair officials is…an art.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
A depressing art, as was the case December 7 when the Planning Board okayed a drab and overly large building that will rise on the old Hahne’s parking lot on Church Street. When will the overdevelopment of downtown end?

Sincerely,
The Incredible Bulk

If Jane Austen were alive today, she’d write “Dense and Densibility.” If Jane Austen were alive today, she’d also be 244 years old. (But still look younger than Keith Richards.)

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
At least the Township Council introduced a measure December 1 to extend a rent freeze until March 31. Comment?

Sincerely,
When the Levy Brakes

A good measure that the Council might approve on December 15 — the same date Gustave Eiffel was born in 1832. He’s of course famous for the Eiffel Tower, which is even taller than The MC Hotel in Montclair. Hard to believe, I know.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Your Council mention reminds me that you periodically criticize Mayor Spiller. Are you against teachers (such as Spiller) and against unions (such as the New Jersey Education Association of which he’s veep)?

Sincerely,
Fay and Kay from NJEA

Absolutely not! I greatly admire public-school teachers and feel unions are extremely important. I have other issues, including an old Life Magazine with singer Taylor Swift on the cover that’s dated decades before Ms. Swift was born. Actually, it’s Pre-Life Magazine.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Whatever. I also greatly admire public-school teachers. The job they’ve been doing during COVID has been particularly amazing, and far from easy. Do you agree?

Sincerely,
Peter Pandemic

Very much so. I see it when I walk by my daughter’s bedroom during remote learning. Even her computer is impressed with the teachers, spelling out “hooray” with no one touching the keyboard. Well, maybe our cat touched it.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Anyway, what are your (not magazine) issues with Mr. Spiller?

Sincerely,
Dee Lineate

He has an impressive career, but it’s a busy one that makes it hard to also be mayor — especially when this COVID era demands lots of time and leadership. It would help if Congress created 666-hour days, but the devil is in the details.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Or in that 666 number. Is another issue the talk of Mr. Spiller wanting to be U.S. Secretary of Education or run for governor — leading residents to wonder if his being mayor is in large part a resume-building stepping stone?

Sincerely,
Career Opportunities

Anderson Park’s boulders are weeping over being outshone in the stone spotlight. Or maybe that’s just moisture from yesterday’s light snow.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Then there was Mr. Spiller’s very-high-spending-for-a-local-contest mayoral campaign, and a close election result that sadly saw quite a few votes not counted. All of which you’ve discussed in previous columns, right?

Sincerely,
May in Montclair

Right. So now it’s time to move to other issues — including an old Time Magazine with singer Lizzo on the cover that’s dated decades before Ms. Lizzo was born. Actually, it’s Before Her Time Magazine.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Any final holiday-month words, in addition to urging Montclair residents to shop local when they can?

Sincerely,
Amazon’s Too Large, Marge

“I heard Santa exclaim, ere he left with a sigh/no toys for The MC; that hotel is too high.”

 

 

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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