MontClairVoyant: Montclair Residents Have The Reduced-School-Budget-News Blues

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 23, 2017 12:15pm  |  COMMENTS (4)


What was your main takeaway from March 20’s Board of School Estimate meeting?

First Night of Spring Thing

With our school budget hurt by Gov. Christie’s tax-hike cap and state-aid underfunding, “The Waste Land” poem should be revised to call March the cruelest month.


You’ve lamented the planned firing of approximately 50 paraprofessionals. What about other sad plans such as laying off three deans and three student assistance counselors, and having Nishuane’s assistant principal work for several schools?

March Mad at This

Reminds me that some school librarians travel between more than one Montclair school — spreading those valued professionals thin, shortchanging students, and getting people hooked on the TV series “Librarians in Cars.”

Continue Reading

Can You Break Out? Jimmy’s Escape Room Brings Adventure to Bloomfield

BY  |  Wednesday, Mar 22, 2017 12:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Jimmy's Escape Room

Looking for an exciting adventure to do with a group of friends or your family? Jimmy’s Escape Room offers that and more. The latest escape room place in Baristaville is located at 372 Broad Street in Bloomfield.

Your adventure begins in one of two themed rooms — Asylum and Lighthouse. You are locked in the room with a group of 2-8 people for 55 minutes. Your mission is to solve a bunch of puzzles and riddles throughout the room until you get the combination for the safe. If you succeed, you escape as champions. If you don’t, no need to worry, they will let you out. Either way you get an hour of fun.

Continue Reading

Montclair History Center Presents Our Schools, Our Town Tonight

BY  |  Wednesday, Mar 22, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

montclair history center

The Montclair History Center continues with its Price of Liberty film series — a series which deals with issues related to race, segregation, integration, and Civil Rights — with a free screening of Our Schools, Our Towns tonight, March 22 at 7 pm at Montclair Public Library (50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair).

Created by Masiel Rodriquez-Vars, the short film documents the history of the magnet school system in Montclair, which was designed in response to the racial inequities in the schools. There will be a discussion period with Rodriquez-Vars, Fourth Ward Councilor Dr. Renee Baskerville, former teacher Marcia Haddock, Hillside School teacher Eli Siebert, and Dr. Carole Willis. The discussion will be moderated by Lillian Edwards, PhD.



Publitics Political Wins Award For its Work on the 2016 Little Falls Mayoral Race

BY  |  Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Publitics PoliticalPublitics Political,  the political consulting wing of Publitics — a public affairs, public relations, and strategy consultancy, based in Essex County — has been awarded a prestigious Pollie Award at the annual American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) Conference in Huntington Beach, CA. The Publitics Political team of Matt Krayton and Henry de Koninck took home the award for their work on the 2016 Little Falls Mayoral campaign, where they helped James Damiano and the Strong Leadership Now team overturned four decades of Republican control.

They were awarded a Pollie for having produced one of the top mail pieces nationwide for a local race. The award-winning piece, “Violation,” combined with the overall campaign message and strategy, turned the tide of the race after James Damiano and his team faced an onslaught of negative attacks from their opponents.

The Pollies are the most prestigious awards in political advertising, communication and consulting. Winners are scored and chosen by industry peers. This year, the AAPC “raised the curve for trophy eligibility,” and “placed greater emphasis on political effectiveness.”


“We pride ourselves on bringing together cutting edge technology, research and eye-catching creative in all of our work to drive success for our clients, ” said Publitics Principal Matt Krayton. “It is particularly meaningful to have had our work recognized by industry peers who are in the also trenches,” he continued.

“The most effective mail pieces are devastatingly simple in concept and execution. On the Little Falls race – we had a fantastic piece of research in the newspaper article, and the creative was all about highlighting it. We framed the narrative by posing the question to voters “is this who you want handling our tax dollars” to which the electorate responded with a resounding “No,” said Principal, Henry de Koninck. “It was a great win, and being recognized for our work with a Pollie Award is extremely gratifying.”




Love on Midland Avenue

Sunday, Mar 19, 2017 4:55pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Sure, tomorrow is the first day of spring, but this couple, captured on Midland Avenue, look like they have their love to keep them warm.

Ministry Fair at Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish

BY  |  Sunday, Mar 19, 2017 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)


Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish

Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish in Bloomfield (60 Byrd Avenue) will host a Ministry Fair on March 26,  from 8 am – 2 pm.

The community is invited and encouraged to attend to speak with the parishioner volunteer organizations that make St. Thomas a warm family parish. Visitors can also enjoy the hospitality of coffee, cakes and fellowship.

Twenty four ministries with parish volunteers will be at the fair.  If you are looking for or considering a parish to attend, this is an ideal opportunity to understand more about the Saint Thomas Parish family.

Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

BY  |  Friday, Mar 17, 2017 7:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

St. Patrick's Day

Whether you’ll be attending the NYC parade or partying at our local pubs,  Baristanet wishes you a very happy St. Patrick’s Day!

(Top Photo: Flickr / Featured Photo: Chanda Hall)



MontClairVoyant: Lots of Snow, Lack of Dough, and Politicians Not Friend But Foe

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 2:18pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Was March 14’s major snowstorm a nor’easter, brad’forder, bull’ocker, edge’monter, hill’sider, nish’uaner, or watch’unger?

Felix Watch’Unger

All seven Montclair elementary schools were closed — even as Edgemont Park geese donned power suits, grabbed a mike, and gave the most camera-ready weather report I’ve ever seen.


Please drop the Delusional Channel from your cable package. Meanwhile, didn’t Montclair Cares About Schools’ great March 12 forum include talk of Gov. Chris Christie’s state-aid stinginess that harms school districts such as Montclair’s?

Not Chris Chringle

That Republican’s 17-percent approval rating put him on the cover of “Seventeen” magazine — near the blurb “Get Prom Pretty.”


The effects of Donald Trump’s vile anti-immigration actions were also discussed at the MCAS event. How can students learn to their maximum ability when terrified that their undocumented parents might be deported?

A. Larmed

Trump needs a gift pack containing kindness, empathy, compassion, and Renaissance’s “A Song for All Seasons.” (Heck, it’s a great album.)


And it includes the majestic song “Day of the Dreamer” that’s not about any of the immigrant children called “Dreamers.” Anyway, didn’t Christie’s state-aid stinginess also come up at March 13’s Board of Education meeting?

Bea O. Eee

Inadequate state aid leads to awful cost-cutting such as the proposed layoffs of about 50 paraprofessionals in our school district’s tentative 2017-18 school budget. The guv’s Montclair approval rating is now 34 points below his state approval rating, putting him on the cover of “Minus Seventeen” magazine — near the blurb “Ready, Set, Sparkle.”


I have some issues with the new budget, but I still think interim superintendent Ronald Bolandi is infinitely more humane, popular, and competent than Christie and Trump. As Bolandi’s two-year tenure ends, wasn’t it nice that the BOE honored him with a resolution?

A. Preciation

Let’s hope his interim and permanent successors do as well. Montclair has had so many superintendents the past few years that I can only quote another “Seventeen” magazine cover line: “Party Hair!”


It’s now time for your weekly swipe at Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen. Why is that formerly “moderate” Republican supporting a huge hike in the way-too-big U.S. military budget and an Obamacare repeal that will likely result in millions losing their health insurance?

Upper Montclair’s Misrepresentative

Because Rodney has capitulated to the heartless far right to stay in its good graces. The 1956 book “Profiles in Courage” was published 61 years too soon…for Frelinghuysen to be rejected for inclusion.


Was March 14’s major snowstorm a nor’easter, glen’fielder, buzz’aldriner, or MHS’er?
Kay Through-Twelve

I asked the robot that Montclair High’s amazing robotics team brought to the BOE meeting, and it replied in the voice of “2001: A Space Odyssey” computer HAL: “Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.”


Dave Astor is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.





Montclair Journalist Partners to Create Red For the Blue Newsletter

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 11:45am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Leslie Kaufman Red for the Blue

Leslie Kaufman

If this election has taught us anything, it’s that we are a divided nation. In a time that many feel their strongly held beliefs and values are threatened, there tends to be unwillingness to try to have a dialogue with those on the other side of the aisle. Without an understanding of how the other side thinks, it’s difficult to make meaningful changes in our political system. We end up living in a bubble.

Leslie Kaufman —a Montclair resident and journalist for over 25 years — joined with Jennifer Bassett — a content marketer and digital strategist — to create Red For the Blue with the goal to help liberals break out of their political “Blue Bubble.” The email newsletter covers right-leaning news for the left-leaning citizen.

The women came up with the idea to create Red For the Blue after a bracing post-election coffee shop lunch at Raymond’s in January.

Continue Reading

FREE Women-Focused March Workshops from SOFIA

BY  |  Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017 1:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

True to its commitment to provide advocacy, support, and to help develop life skills for those who need it in the Essex County community, Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (SOFIA) is offering FREE workshops all through March aimed at building focus and purpose for the whole family:

Continue Reading

Featured Comment

A great looking building for Montclair Center with appropriate height, massing and details. Bravissimo!

Tip, Follow, Friend, Subscribe