MontClairVoyant: News About the Town (Ours) That MLK Visited

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Our town marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day this past Monday in a variety of ways, including recollecting the laudable Dr. King’s 1966 appearance at Montclair High. Comment?

Sincerely,

A Knight to Remember

His visit was a development that residents had positive feelings about. Unlike the Valley & Bloom development, which could’ve been introduced by the builder this way: “I have a nightmare.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Another nightmare is that the Township Council, which met January 17, has STILL not ousted the suspended Montclair township manager who’s been sued twice and been the subject of two other sworn complaints about creating a hostile workplace for women — including women of color. Disturbing?

Sincerely,

Overdue Due Process

Disturbing. The manager was put on paid leave back in October, so there’s been more than enough time for the second investigation to produce results after a previous probe found behavioral problems. Reminds me that “slow” can be a four-letter word.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Getting back to developments, you’ve lately devoted lots of space to discussing the proposed redo of Lackawanna Plaza. The petition to downsize the project somewhat had 896 signatures the day before your previous column. How many signatures as of January 18?

Sincerely,

Naming Rites

A total of 1,167. Which I hope will also be the number of breakfast cereal options in the hoped-for Lackawanna supermarket — including “Cheerios with Cream Cheese and Lox.” Those oat circles look like mini-bagels.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Who are the petition’s praiseworthy authors?

Sincerely,

List, Serve

Renee Baskerville, Linda Cranston, Robin Curry, Rachael Quinn Egan, David Herron, Sharon Martin-Smith, Adriana O’Toole, and Aminah Toler. Major local developers I. Wannabuildtoobig and D. Ziremorevariances declined to participate.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

In other construction matters, the long-delayed Edgemont Park Bridge replacement might end up being made of “weathered steel.” Is that a good thing?

Sincerely,

See Span

Could be. There certainly hasn’t been an effort to “Stop the Steel.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Meanwhile, residents in the neighborhood of Upper Mountain Avenue between Mount Hebron Road and Normal Avenue have put up signs urging motorists to drive slower and safer. Great idea for a stretch that has seen several accidents?

Sincerely,

Drivers’ Ed

Yes. The signs are eye-catching, with some quite clever. One reads, “We love to see you happy and succeeding, just not speeding” — a better rhyme than “smash and crash is balderdash.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Coming up, on January 28, AAPI Montclair and the Montclair Art Museum will host the second annual Lunar New Year celebration. Thoughts?

Sincerely,

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

It’s sure to be as good or better than last year’s amazing inaugural event. There’ll even be a “dragon parade,” despite “The Hobbit” dragon Smaug being allergic to George Inness paintings.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

That makes no sense. Also coming up: Friends of the Howe House will hold several events to raise more money for the historic Claremont Avenue home it recently arranged to purchase for $400,000. Comment?

Sincerely,

Howe Things Should Be Done

Great news as the admirable effort continues to turn the circa-1780 dwelling — so important to Montclair’s African-American history — into an educational site. Did MLK see or get told about the Howe House when he visited our town? Hope so.

 

 

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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4 COMMENTS

  1. Dave,

    Montclair has been and continues to change. Organically. Without redevelopment. Property owners utilizing their property rights. Like on Tax Block 2903. Old Montclair. Residents are increasingly selling off their land to developers. Where there were 3 dwellings, now there will be 11. Where 25 years ago there were a mixed bag of 53 assorted size lots, the block will top out at 90 lots before the year is out. I won’t tell you how many lots there were in 1973.

    It’s about money. Lackawanna is about money. Adjacent neighborhoods are about money. It is really that simple. I would like to see the money we are all talking about.

  2. Thank you the comment, Frank. You’re right that Montclair, like any town, changes all the time. It’s when the change is so major — as the Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment would be — that there should be an attempt to rein in that change at least somewhat. And, yes, it’s almost always about money.

  3. Thank you very much, frankgg, for those two fascinating links! (Even though “Montclair” became “Montclare” in the words of one of the writers. 🙂 ) I didn’t realize Dr. King’s 1966 appearance in Montclair drew the ire of a number of white residents. Much discredit to them. 🙁