Letter to the Editor: Significant Concerns About Lackawanna Plaza Development

BY  |  Monday, May 22, 2017 11:30am

The developer’s plan for Lackawanna Plaza will be presented to the Council for review this Tuesday, May 23 at 7 p.m. in the town hall, 205 Claremont St. Here is the proposed development massing perspective at Grove and Bloomfield Avenues. An second view from above is here. It is important for Council members to be reminded what residents have said they wanted in this project.

A proposed plan for Lackawanna Plaza, viewed from the southwest corner of Bloomfield Avenue and Gates Avenue

Lackawanna Plaza is one of several areas in town which were designated “redevelopment areas” while the master plan was being reviewed between 2013 and 2015. The most controversial part of the original 2013 master plan draft was raising zoning heights in all business districts and eventually heights were reduced. However “redevelopment areas” and “ areas in need to development” were designated which allow for deviations from local zoning restrictions.

Many residents expressed concern about these designations. At that time, Mayor Jackson and other officials explained that this designation would allow the town to have more control. Since this is the case, it is the time to remind elected officials what has been already asked for by the public for Lackawanna Plaza during public outreach sessions.

Lackawanna Plaza can be a crown jewel to be proud of. Lackawanna Plaza can be an exciting and beautiful destination as well as attractive gateway to our downtown. Continue Reading

OP ED: Essex-Hudson Greenway – Connecting Communities, Improving Quality of Life

BY  |  Wednesday, May 10, 2017 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

Essex County Freeholder Vice President Brendan Gill is a NJ Bike & Walk Coalition Board Member.

The Old Boonton Line, a segment of railroad running from Montclair to Jersey City that was taken out of service after Montclair received the Midtown Direct Train in 2002, presents a tremendous and unique opportunity to create a greenway for residents from Essex and Hudson Counties. This potential greenway, known as both the “Essex-Hudson Greenway” and the “Ice and Iron Trail,” would provide off-road recreation – walking, bike riding – for residents of the many towns that the greenway would pass through: Montclair, Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, Belleville, Newark, Kearny, and Jersey City. Also, as the entire distance to Jersey City is only 11 miles, the greenway would provide a way to ultimately reach Manhattan (via PATH train or ferries) and points in northern New Jersey (via Hudson – Bergen Light Rail) for those who would like to commute by bicycle.

Greenways connect neighborhoods with business districts, parks, places of employment and other communities, and they provide residents with a unique and safe off-road option for recreation and mobility. Instead of driving through congested areas, residents and visitors use greenways to walk or ride a bike. Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: March is Red Cross Month

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 09, 2017 3:30pm

The following is a Letter to the Editor sent by the Board Members of The American Red Cross Northern NJ Chapter, Izumi Hara, William L. Hurlock, and Michael Turgeon:

The American Red Cross sets aside the month of March as Red Cross Month, a time to celebrate our everyday heroes who help their neighbors when they need it most.

The Red Cross depends on compassionate local individuals to deliver help and hope to people in need during an emergency. Last year, the Red Cross New Jersey Region responded to more than 760 local disasters such as home fires and provided emergency assistance to more than 1,800 displaced families; collected 89,100 units of blood; provided 3,500 military family case services; and trained 116,100 individuals with life-saving skills in preparedness, CPR, AED use, first aid and aquatics.

March is a great time to become part of the Red Cross. It’s easy. You can make a difference in your community by becoming a Red Cross volunteer, blood donor or financial contributor by going to redcross.org/NJ. You can also help make your own family safer this March by taking two simple steps: Practice your family’s fire escape plan and test your smoke alarms. More information and free tools are available at redcross.org/FireSafety.

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Letter to the Editor: Very Pleased about the Watchung Deli’s New Management

BY  |  Friday, Feb 24, 2017 10:30am

Montclair resident John Levai shares a shout out to Watchung Deli:

I am typing this letter expressing how pleased I am about the Watchung Deli, especially since Pete Von Jr bought the place. Whether if it is purchasing food, relishing on the nostalgic scenes of Montclair, or just talking to the staff, I have had no shortage of great times being a customer.

The food at the Watchung Deli is amazing! I am happy to go to a shop like this because every type of deli item is offered on the menu. The quality of the food is fresh, especially the pastrami sandwiches. If you live in Montclair or any of the surrounding towns, you don’t have to go too far to find a delicious pastrami sandwich that costs a lot of money when you have this classic staple on your block. I also enjoy the wide selection of drinks.

I enjoy the fact that the interior of the Watchung Deli hasn’t changed much. I enjoy looking at the old pictures of Montclair. The booth and stools where customers sit also help contribute to the classic deli feel. I enjoy looking at the advertisements on the walls.
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Letter to the Editor: Betsy DeVos Poses Threat to Education

BY  |  Friday, Feb 03, 2017 9:48am

letter to the editor | Betsy DeVosCongressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) shares his Letter to the Editor on Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for U.S. Secretary of Education, which was originally published in The Star Ledger on January 31:

If confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos would pose a direct threat to the very education system that she is supposed to protect. It’s not that DeVos has no experience with public schools (although she has never even attended a public school), but that she supports gutting public education funding in favor of charter school expansion with no oversight and accountability. The president of Michigan’s State Board of Education warned against DeVos’ nomination, saying that her “agenda is to break the public education system, not educate kids, and replace it with a for-profit model.” DeVos is a leading proponent of voucher programs, which drain public schools of necessary funding and lead to worse outcomes for students, especially the most disadvantaged.

DeVos is committed to supporting education policies that would dismantle our nation’s public school system and replace it with a for-profit model. Her nomination would make it harder for all students to receive a high-quality education and attain educational success.





Letter to the Editor: A Letter to Congressman Frelinghuysen From a Constituent

BY  |  Monday, Jan 23, 2017 12:15pm  |  COMMENTS (6)

letter to the editorJonathan M. Redwine of West Orange, shares this letter to Congressman Frelinghuysen, which he plans to deliver in person at the Congressman’s Morristown office today:

Dear Congressman Frelinghuysen:

I thought I would take a few minutes to write to you this evening to make sure that you have heard the multiple requests for information from you regarding recent and pending political events.  I write to ask that you, within the next month, appear publicly at a Town Hall meeting in your district.

Your constituents have, for weeks now, been petitioning your office via phone, email, letter, and in person to ask when you will host or attend a Town Hall meeting.  These people, whom you purport to represent, wish to discuss with you the current political climate and the very important political decisions you and your colleagues in the congress have been contemplating and making in recent weeks.   I am interested to understand what the Republican representatives in congress plan to propose to replace the imminent repeal of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA” aka ObamaCare).  We see that over recent years, Republicans in congress have repeatedly attempted to repeal the ACA, and I believe that our leaders must have thought of what, if anything, will replace healthcare for millions of Americans who have come to depend on it.
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Letter to the Editor: Create A Buddy System on School Buses

BY  |  Monday, Dec 26, 2016 9:47am

rp_school-bus-e1382715064279.jpgI’m asking that the town of Montclair consider creating a Mentoring/Buddy System on school buses to foster a safe, fun environment.

Older students and peers can be trained to engage peers and younger students, especially vulnerable students, to create a friendly atmosphere on the buses where there are currently and historically complaints about teasing, bullying, unsafe and anxiety inducing behaviors. Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Declare Montclair A Sanctuary City

BY  |  Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (4)


In response to the President Elect’s reported intention to engage in mass deportation of undocumented individuals in the United States, many schools and cities are coming out to declare themselves sanctuaries. Declaring itself as a Sanctuary City implies that the town leadership is in agreement that local funds will not be used to facilitate ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) removal and deportation of residents. Continue Reading

Letter to The Editor: No Bump-outs, Please!

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

letter to the editorMy wife and I had a terrible jolt as we were driving at a lower-than-legal speed in a nearby town on a recent dark and rainy night. We suddenly bolted as high as our seatbelts would allow as the car went over an invisible protruding curb.


The tire was destroyed and that wasn’t the end. Replacing the destroyed wheel will cost over $200. Labor is expensive, of course.

It has taken hours of my time.

We do NOT want any bump-outs on Grove Street and Elm Street, and preferably not elsewhere in Montclair. They are too dangerous even if we have a light next to each one — which is expensive too. Rain and dense fog happen. Do we want to subject Montclair residents and visitors to needless hazards?

— Fred Chichester

Featured Comment

Sad. Let's hope that this is not its "Last Tango." One of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in town. Valentino, Garbo, Keaton must have played there.

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