MontClairVoyant: Open Space, the Final Frontier; Pave Over Every Montclair Park?

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 1:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)



I’m troubled — feeling so bad for developers. When they finish grossly overbuilding downtown in a few years, what’s left for them to do in Montclair? Their reason to wake up in the morning?

To Dream the Grim-Possible Dream

They could pave over and develop every inch of our town’s beautiful parks! Julia Alvarez wrote “In the Time of the Butterflies”; the Planning Board could write “In the Time of the Variances.”


Destined for bookstore horror sections everywhere. But what would happen to Edgemont Park’s geese?

Quack to the Future

Don’t worry — developers could set aside 10 percent of that park’s new housing for waterfowl. Well, maybe 5 percent…or 1 percent. Heck, the geese could move to Watching Plaza and live in UPS Store mailboxes.


Awful! Surely Glenfield Park wouldn’t be built on, too?

Never a Staple Near Maple

With a middle school next door, what better place to erect housing too pricey for teachers? I envision 5,000 units, with minus one of them affordable. Developers have hearts — well, 13 of them if they buy a deck of cards.


Also, Anderson Park could get stores, offices, and restaurants! With the Upper Montclair Business District just beyond the park, why travel a few more inches if you live on a street such as Princeton Place?

For Whom the Bellevue Tolls

Buzz Aldrin left Princeton Place decades ago, so the 66 and 33 DeCamp rockets no longer go to Bellevue Avenue. If they did, they’d be mistaken for Tinga’s burritos.


After The MC opens downtown, Brookdale Park could be the site for a second new hotel: The BP. That Pentagon-sized hostelry would be filled to capacity, right?

Mary Ott and Sue Pereight

The lobby would certainly be packed with angry rec-soccer players after the park’s turf field was destroyed to build The BP. Developers could autograph the kids’ shin guards.


How about an oversized “arts district” (to go along with the planned Seymour Street-area one) in Nishuane Park?

I’m Not Well, Mont

People could admire murals of a paved-over Nishuane Pool rather than swim in it, saving money on goggles.


What about Mountainside Park?

Slope Springs Eternal

That partly hilly expanse of green space could be completely flattened for showy homes, with kids sledding down the two “n’s” in “McMansions.”


Montclair’s lovely parks wouldn’t really be developed, would they?

It’s Not Queasy Being Green

The only open space left in Montclair would be between this column’s questions and answers.



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.




Jewish High Holidays Services Round Up 2017

BY  |  Friday, Sep 15, 2017 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Jewish High Holidays

The Jewish High Holidays begin with Rosh Hashanah, aka the Jewish New Year 5778, starting at sundown on September 20. For many Jewish families, it is a holiday of reflection and renewal, as well as a time to share a holiday meal with family and friends. It is followed by a sacred 10-day period that culminates in Yom Kippur on September 29, the Jewish Day of Atonement, notable for its 24-hour fast.

Here is a roundup of local High Holidays services:

Continue Reading

MontClairVoyant: Lackawanna Plaza ‘Compromise’ Is Less Than Meets the Eyes

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 14, 2017 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (61)


At Sept. 11th’s Planning Board meeting, members of the Township Council’s Economic Development Committee said they’ll recommend to the full TC that historic Lackawanna Plaza have 280 rather than 350 housing units. Good news?

Re the EDC

I guess — if being whacked with a rubber chicken 280 rather than 350 times is good news.


Why did the rubber chicken cross the road?

Without Feathers

To escape Montclair’s increasingly crammed downtown.


Seventy fewer units will help, and EDC members also agreed with several other revisions suggested by the Planning Board. But the Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment would still be WAY TOO BIG, especially when combined with the other large buildings that have risen or are rising on/near Bloomfield Avenue.

Cascade of Colossal Construction Continue Reading

Bangz Salon & Wellness Spa Merges With SpaTique to Expand Spa Services

BY  |  Monday, Sep 11, 2017 3:17pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Bangz Salon & Wellness Spa expands their menu of spa services by merging with Montclair-based SPAtique, formerly located on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair. The merger will heighten the already expansive spa services which include massages, facials, waxing, manicures, pedicures, make-up, skin care and more.

Bangz Salon & Wellness Spa will continue to provide customers with an amazing rewards programs including the Client Loyalty Program, Bangz Buddies and Employee of the Month discounts. For more details about Bangz Salon & Wellness Spa rewards this fall, please visit

“We are delighted to expand our already substantial offerings in our spa,” says co-owner Richard Cronk. Co-owner Dominic Sansavero says, “We are truly thrilled to continue to meet the needs of our customers by growing our spa and salon services across the board.”

Bangz Salon & Wellness Spa, 23 South Fullerton Ave., Montclair, (973) 746-8426

MontClairVoyant: A Sincere Tribute to Teachers Before This Column Jumps the Shark

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 07, 2017 1:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


With school starting today in Montclair, I’d like to note that most teachers are kind, patient, talented, hard-working, and much more admirable than worst-person-on-the-planet Donald Trump, right-wing Republicans who support him, various profit-obsessed corporate execs, and our town’s greedy developers. Do I get a high grade for writing that short sentence?

Trophies for All

Reminds me that “The Scarlet Letter” character Hester Prynne, after acing high-school math, exulted: “They gave me an ‘A’!”

Meanwhile, I recently received a barrage of back-to-school emails from the school district, the interim superintendent, my daughter’s school principal, and my daughter’s homeroom teacher about everything from the Genesis online school portal to bus schedules. Most of the messages were useful, so why am I feeling stressed?

Inbox Influx

Your gmail account just reached 2 percent capacity, and you’re nervous I’ll send you the 10,000 photos I took this morning of my daughter boarding her school bus. Rest easy — I sent only 5,000.

As an atheist, I’m uncomfortable relying on Genesis for information. What should I do? Continue Reading

MontClairVoyant: A Back-to-School Column That’s Not a Back-to-School Column

Thursday, Aug 31, 2017 1:30pm  |  COMMENTS (8)


School starts in one week! Write a column about school starting in one week!

A Touch of Classroom

Ain’t happening. Students want to enjoy the rest of summer break without reading about school, thinking about school, or watching the “Back to School” DVD — currently being flung out of Montclair windows everywhere.

Rodney Dangerfield still gets no respect. What about those now-online-only school forms?

Jen A. Sis

I said no school talk! Fill out those forms on cave walls for all I care and haul them to 22 Valley Road.

Meanwhile, the superintendent search continues…and continues…and continues. Will pigs fly before we have a new one? Continue Reading

Temple Ner Tamid Invites Prospective Members Sunday, August 29

BY  |  Friday, Aug 25, 2017 1:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Whether you are seeking a spiritual home in a Reform Jewish congregation for the first time or looking to make a change (at any age), Temple Ner Tamid invites you to join other members to learn about becoming part of their welcoming, inclusive community, find out about their cutting-edge worship and unique programs and discover the warmth that defines Temple Ner Tamid known for their unique blending of liberal values and traditional expression.

All are welcome to Temple Ner Tamid’s prospective member reception on Sunday, August 29th at a member’s home in Montclair from 3 to 5 pm. The informal, family-friendly reception will include the membership committee, clergy, religious school staff and Shoresh Pre-School professionals to answer any questions. It’s a great time to find out more about the Temple’s diverse congregation of Jewish and interfaith families and how members embrace their lifelong learning from Shoresh Pre-School to the Religious School right through high school, to lectures for all ages and educational programs throughout the year for adults. Find out more about the inclusive, participatory and inspiring services led by Rabbi Steven Kushner and Cantor Meredith Greenberg and about the Temple’s strong commitment to social action and Tikun Olam, or repairing the world. Continue Reading

MontClairVoyant: When a Big Eclipse and a BOE Meeting Happen on the Same Day

BY  |  Thursday, Aug 24, 2017 1:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


You were away during Montclair’s last two Board of Education meetings, including the August 21 one. Feel guilty?

Rhea Gretzivehadafew

I’ll discuss Monday’s meeting later in this column, but will apologize now for my BOE attendance being “eclipsed” by modest vacations.


Sigh — will you unoriginally devote some of this August 24 column to the major August 21 eclipse?

Celeste Teeyal

When I saw that eclipse during my Massachusetts visit, the sun looked like a crescent moon. So now I’ll always wear eclipse glasses on The Crescent, a Montclair street conveniently close to several therapists I seem to need.


On Facebook, I saw a 1932 New York Times story predicting THE EXACT DATE of this week’s eclipse — 85 years in that story’s future. How can climate-change deniers ignore the power and accuracy of science? Continue Reading

The Tour de Montclair Returns on Sunday, October 1!

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 22, 2017 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Tour de Montclair returns! The Tour will be held on Sunday, October 1 at 10 a.m.. The Tour will end at the Open Streets Festival to be held this year on Midland Avenue in Montclair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A family-friendly bike ride with 6- and 12- mile options, Tour de Montclair begins on Midland Avenue and takes riders through the four wards of Montclair, highlighting parts of town not easily seen by car. Riders will cruise by the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens and Nishuane Park, pass the Montclair Art Museum and much more. Riders are invited to enjoy the sights at their own pace: fast, slow or anywhere in between! The ride ends back at Midland Avenue where riders can celebrate at the Open Streets Festival. Continue Reading

Bnai Keshet Looks Forward To High Holy Days, Continues Open Seating Tradition

Monday, Aug 21, 2017 9:03am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Bnai Keshet invites the community to celebrate the High Holy Days with our congregation. In keeping with long-standing Bnai Keshet tradition, non-members are welcome at all services at no charge. Although tickets are not required, non-members who wish to attend are asked to make reservations and may do so online at

“Welcoming non-members to join us at High Holy Day services is a hallmark of our collective identity,” said Bnai Keshet co-president Howard Kerbel, incoming co-president Laura Gelman and outgoing co-president Liz Lipner. “Through egalitarian and participatory services, we seek to include everyone in the spiritual experience.” Continue Reading

Featured Comment

And we can get this project completed in time for Montclair's sesquicentennial when we can stick a fork into historic preservation as a public policy.

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