MontClairVoyant: Lackawanna and Lack of a…School Agreement

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
The Montclair School District reportedly filed a lawsuit against the Montclair Education Association on Tuesday, and news broke that same February 2 day of Lackawanna Plaza being sold. Which will you discuss first in today’s column?

Sincerely,
Stop the Presses!

Both matters are important enough to discuss simultaneously, so I’ll overlay one Q&A atop another on the phones and computer screens of each of my readers. Going on a scotch-tape run; back soon.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Yeah, right. Anyway, the superintendent and Board of Education want to immediately reopen schools in “hybrid” mode, while many teachers and staff are not convinced that the mostly older buildings are safe enough. Where do you stand?

Sincerely,
It Takes Two to Tangle

The district is being too harsh. With various vaccines out there, I think hybrid should wait until teachers and school staff get their shots. And I don’t stand anywhere when I write; I sit.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
What side are parents and students on?

Sincerely,
A Side of Beef

There’s certainly a split, with many wanting hybrid and many wanting to stay remote for now. But I think everyone would unite if Montclair were invaded by Cedar Grove.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
It would certainly help if New Jersey gave higher vaccination priority to educators (who have worked so hard to teach remotely so well) and other school staff. What’s the state’s problem?

Sincerely,
Pathetic Public Policy

The state’s problem is stupidity, obtuseness, doltishness, and…don’t ask me to drop my thesaurus in disgust because I’m using an online thesaurus.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
While it’s at it, New Jersey should cancel the almost-worthless standardized NJSLA tests this spring. Anyway, on to Lackawanna Plaza. What do you think of that historic former train station site having new ownership?

Sincerely,
Groovy Near Grove

A sale HAS to be better for the site’s redevelopment. Heck, the plan of the unpopular previous owner included too much density, wreckage of some historic elements, an inadequate supermarket to replace Pathmark, and a statue of Barry Manilow. “At the Lacka…the Lackawanna…Pinnacle is now a goner…”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
So glad a group of residents filed a lawsuit against that very problematic redo, even though there was never a plan for a Barry Manilow statue. Meanwhile, the Township Council this week introduced a measure that would put greater restrictions on the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. Is your reaction a spoken “yay” or a shouted “YAY”?

Sincerely,
N. Ternalcombustion

The latter. No one’s going to hear a spoken “yay” when those noisy, polluting contraptions are wailing away.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
A final vote on that measure is scheduled for February 16. Moving to this week’s huge Montclair snowstorm, was it the first to ever last two months?

Sincerely,
Jeff Flakes

Um…January 31 through February 1 isn’t really two months. Meanwhile, “I’m dreaming of a white Lincoln’s Birthday, with every Lincoln’s Birthday card I write…”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
I’ve never seen a Lincoln’s Birthday card, but I enjoy Grove Pharmacy’s collection of Calvin Coolidge candies. Anyway, was it strange for Montclair students not to have at least one snow day earlier this week?

Sincerely,
In the Sleet of the Night

With instruction still all-remote, students who don’t travel to school could have not traveled to school a second time, but that would’ve been pointless. Meanwhile, my bucket list includes not buying imaginary Calvin Coolidge candies. Done!

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
But surely students could have been given a day off from remote learning on Tuesday — the snow had stopped by then — to help with shoveling and have more time for fun in the white stuff?

Sincerely,
Sidewalk On By

Would’ve been nice. Plus February 2 is the birthday of Brent Spiner, who played “Star Trek” android Data. The only three reasons Spiner isn’t on Montclair High’s robotics team is that he’s 72, doesn’t live in Montclair, and dislikes our town’s ratio of parking decks (a zillion) to Holodecks (none).

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Last but not least, Montclair schools and other local entities this month are marking African-American history in various ways. Comment?

Sincerely,
Heritage Parade

Great, but African-American history should be taught/celebrated all year — as many Montclair teachers do. I’ve been told there are 12 months in each year, but I say 11 given that October is a U2 album.

 

 

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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