Your Justin Bieber Montclair Moment

BY  |  Wednesday, May 24, 2017 5:31pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Catch Justin Bieber cheering on a young local performer, Ava Otterbein, 11, singing “Brighter than the Sun” by Colbie Caillat in front of Starbucks on Church and South Park Streets in Montclair. Bieber sightings in Montclair have become frequent these days.

As you can imagine, it made Ava’s day!

Sisters on The Runway Fashion Show 2017, Friday, May 19

BY  |  Thursday, May 18, 2017 3:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

by Domestic Violence.

Come out and support Sisters on the Runway, this Friday, May 19, at their biggest fundraiser of the year – the Spring Fashion Show at the Montclair Women’s Club (82 Union St., Montclair)! Due to the generosity of local Montclair businesses, SOR club members are able to walk the runway in confidence while promoting our community.

Tickets here.

MontClairVoyant: For Those Keeping Score, You’ll Recognize Montclair in 4034

BY  |  Thursday, May 18, 2017 1:27pm  |  COMMENTS (0)



Two weeks ago, your column was set in the Montclair of 2017 BC. How about a column set in the Montclair of 4034 AD?

Adie in 2017 AD

This IS 4034, Adie, meaning you’re more than 2,000 years old. Nice run collecting Social Security!

It’s also been 2,000-plus years since Rodney Frelinghuysen was hit with an ethics complaint for threatening Saily Avelenda’s bank job because she was a NJ 11th for Change member critical of the then-congressman. The result?

Upper Montclair’s Preppy Rep

The Frelinghuysen family’s political dynasty ended soon after, but Republicans still thrill to the “Mr. Rodney’s Neighborhood” episode in which cute puppets are deprived of health care.


Ah yes, Rodney’s vote for the awful Trumpcare. Why have public schools disappeared from Montclair in 4034?

Nisha Waned

Betsy DeVos and dozens of her equally atrocious Education Secretary successors (such as Etsy and Metsy DeVos) pushed school “choice” so much that Montclair students are bused each day to different planets.

My daughter will be entering kindergarten this September, and I’m trying to figure out her bus route. Can you help?

Go Mars Mounties!

Board on Gordonhurst, right turn on Park, left on Lorraine, right on Valley, upward 2.7 billion miles to Neptune.

What about the afternoon return trip?

P.M. Ride II

Students are driven past Jupiter, aka Big Soccer Ball.

Despite our school district being spread throughout the Solar System, Montclair still has a local superintendent in 4034. Thoughts?

Lea Durr-Shipp

More than a thousand interim superintendents since 2015 — with some hired after search firms found them in George Inness Annex vending machines.

I found a printout of an ancient story about May 2017 layoff notices sent to revered staffers — including many paraprofessionals, Montclair High’s athletic director, Nishuane’s assistant principal, and others. What say you?

Feeling Down About Downsizing

People back then rightly blamed Chris Christie’s local-tax-hike cap and his underfunding of state aid to school districts. I heard the then-governor was also guilty of something called “Bridgegate,” which I assume involved impersonating a dentist. Continue Reading

Dear Alma: Dinner Parties, Dinner Guests and The Kitchen Sink

BY  |  Wednesday, May 17, 2017 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Dear Alma,

I cannot stand it when guests come over and wash their hands in the kitchen sink instead of going to the bathroom to do it. How do I keep people from doing this in a polite way?

Don’t Splatter Up My Clean Kitchen!

Dear Don’t Splatter Up My Clean Kitchen!,

Hopefully your bathroom is close to the kitchen so it is an easy walk. I would recommend simply asking them to wash up in the bathroom! There is no shame in making a request in your own home. If you feel more comfortable giving a reason, you can simply say you you don’t have towels handy to dry hands in the kitchen. Take note: Don’t have towels visible in the kitchen. Good luck!

Dear Alma,

I go out to dinner often with friends. I have one friend who I like very much but who has an unappealing habit of taking food off my plate with her fork. Why would she do this?? I don’t mind sharing my food but it bothers me to have someone else’s fork on my plate, especially without asking. How should I deal with this?


Dear Skeeved,

You have every right to be skeeved out by this behavior. It is not polite for a variety of reasons, especially if you are very hungry and want all your food! It is proper form, even for close friends, to request a taste, for you to respond and then for you to dole it out and place it on their plate. Who knows why your friend does this. Perhaps it was typical behavior when she was growing up in her family. Maybe she feels very close to you and is treating you as a family member at the dinner table. Whatever her reasons are, we don’t want you to feel uncomfortable dining out with her. Since you like her, it would be a shame for you to decline dinner invitations in the future for fear that she will swipe your salmon.

If you feel comfortable, you can simply say, “let me do that for you” as you cut off a piece of whatever you are eating. You can also take a bit of your dish and offer it to her at the start of the meal, before she even asks, when you have already lifted up a bite. If all else fails, sit on the other end of the table so her hands can’t reach your plate. Good luck!

Dear Alma,

I host a get together every year for my family and one of my family members never tells me if they are going to come until the last minute. If it were just one time that it happened I would not mind so much but it is every single year. I go to a lot of trouble to prepare a nice evening where I plan a menu, set the table nicely and really look forward to everyone being together. It’s also a lot of work!

If it were fear, anxiety or a physical disability that keeps them away I would be more understanding but there is always some trivial excuse. I think it’s because they think something more interesting or fun might come up and they don’t want to commit to our party. For this reason I get really mad when they say they are coming at the last minute. I think it’s very rude and then it puts me in a bad mood for the party I so looked forward to.

I still want them to come but don’t want to be angry. What should I do?

Confused Continue Reading

Celebrating 90 Years of May Bloom: Presby Memorial Iris Gardens!

BY  |  Wednesday, May 17, 2017 1:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

This year, Presby memorial Iris Gardens celebrates 90 years of bloom with many special events. The gardens were established in 1927 to honor Frank H. Presby, beloved Montclair resident. Mr. Presby was passionately involved in improving Montclair’s parks and recreation areas and was an early trustee of the Montclair Art Museum. An avid horticulturalist and founding member of the American Iris Society, Mr. Presby loved irises and so it was an iris garden chosen to memorialize his life.

The gardens contain nearly 14,000 irises, approximately 1,500 varieties, which produce over 100,000 blooms each May. It is the only public garden where the comprehensive planting of bearded iris evolution may be viewed. The continuum of iris, dating from the 1500s to today, delights the modernist as well as historic iris enthusiasts.


Family Garden Party
Saturday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Essex County Family Garden Party is a free community event sponsored by the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs with entertainment, crafts, face painting, booths from local organizations such as the Essex County Environmental Center and Master Gardeners, and various food trucks. A student art exhibit will also be featured. Rain date: Sunday, May 21.

Live Jazz Music
Weekends during Bloom Season (now through June 2) from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

TaikoZoku Japanese Drumming Show
Sunday, May 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Hear the thrilling sounds of this Japanese style drum troupe from Glenn Weber’s New Jersey School of Percussion in West Orange.

Outdoor Movie Screening Disney’s Moana
Saturday, June 3 at 9 p.m.
Hosted by the Montclair Film Festival and Essex County Parks System.

The Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is located at 474 Upper Mountain Avenue in Upper Montclair. During bloom season, admission is a suggested $8 donation to help fund garden costs. The Gardens are open daily from dawn until dusk.

Click for more information about the Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens and the 2017 Bloom Season.

MontClairVoyant: Frelinghuysen’s Heartless Health Vote Made Many People Heartsick

BY  |  Thursday, May 11, 2017 3:04pm  |  COMMENTS (39)



Your May 4 column was posted just before Upper Montclair’s congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen voted for the heartless Trumpcare health bill. Care to react this week?

Louse of the House

The word “Frelinghuysen” should replace the word “coward” in every future use. “The Wizard of Oz” character becomes “The Frelinghuysen-ly Lion,” the Kenny Rogers song becomes “Frelinghuysen of the County,” etc.


Deserved! The New Jersey Republican opposed Trumpcare’s cruel first version, yet — fearful that his far-right GOP peers would remove him as House Appropriations Committee chair — cowardly voted for the even worse second version. Comment?

Not-Brave New World

Rodney may be humming The Who line “I call that a bargain” — remaining chair in exchange for millions losing medical insurance, including many thousands in his 11th District. So depressing, unlike a Noel Coward…um…Noel Frelinghuysen play.


What’s the point of chairing a committee if Rodney — a former moderate who now votes ultra-conservatively — can’t use that power with some independence?

“Mine” Over What Matters

Perhaps it looks good on his resume, which now also includes “Supporter of Legislation That Would Cause Countless Deaths” and “Recipient of Most Campaign Contributions From Grateful Undertakers.”


If Frelinghuysen runs again next year, can he be defeated?

Please Lose, Please Lose…

I think so, with the help of the fantastic energy of NJ 11th for Change members. There would be nothing more satisfying than seeing Rodney swept into the dustbin of history, though no self-respecting dustbin wants him.


Meanwhile, what’s that enormous sound I hear?

Noises Off the Charts

Thousands of Upper Montclair residents are stampeding south of Watchung Avenue, begging to be represented by 10th District congressman Donald Payne Jr. So…there are now plenty of seats at the usually too-crowded Dai-Kichi.



Can you compare Frelinghuysen (who also responded weakly to Trump’s self-incriminating May 9 firing of FBI director James Comey) to the wonderful teachers and other Montclair school staffers who recently received state awards?

Rodney Gets Paid More

A personal shout-out to one honoree: Marcie Chanin, the amazing Bradford teacher my daughter had in second grade. The only thing Frelinghuysen can teach well is how to sell one’s political soul.



May 3’s Board of Education meeting included discussion about a Christian abstinence group that was going to provide its version of sex education at Glenfield before parent pressure rightly stopped that. What about the separation of church and state?

Rhea Ligious-Overtones

Frelinghuysen should also practice abstinence from slavishly obeying inhumane House Speaker Paul Ryan, who’s young enough to be Rodney’s…downfall.


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.





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

Montclair Y Hosts Syria Supper Club

BY  |  Monday, May 08, 2017 3:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair YMCA invite you to share a special meal with the Syria Supper Club, an organization dedicated to supporting families of Syrian refugees recently settled in New Jersey. The meal will be prepared by one or more of our new Syrian neighbors who will share their traditional cooking skills in a table full of traditional Syrian food. Help welcome our new neighbors. Enjoy the food, conversation and making friends. 100% of the proceeds benefit our Syrian neighbors. Register here. Learn more here.

Syria Supper Club
When: Saturday, May 20, 6-9 PM
Where: Geyer Family Branch, YMCA OF MONTCLAIR, 159 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair, 973-783-7640
Donation: $50 per Adult; $30 per Child

MontClairVoyant: Montclair Was a Strange Yet Familiar Place 4,000 Years Ago

BY  |  Thursday, May 04, 2017 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


With Trump and other far-right Republicans setting back humanity countless years, wouldn’t this be a good time to reprint your first “Montclairvoyant” column?

G.O. Peeved

Yes! It’s from 2017 BC, when Lenape citizens couldn’t get Grunt R. Frelinghuysen to hold a “cave hall” meeting. Here’s that column from 4,034 years ago, when my hair was slightly less gray:

Why did the Planning Board allow developer Oog V. Oog to build eight mud huts where a twig hut now stands on Unpleasant Dirt Lane?

Shack O’Neal Continue Reading

Montclair’s Stephen Colbert Makes Silly The New Sexy, Says Evie To HONY

BY  |  Tuesday, May 02, 2017 3:55pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Take a look at Montclair’s own Stephen and Evie Colbert looking so fine at the 2017 Met Gala. Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton caught up with the happy couple — we LOVE what Mrs. Colbert had to say about her Late Night funny man. HONY captures the exchange between the stunning couple below:

And if you don’t know the story of how the Colberts met, take a look at this:

Featured Comment

Another "ground-level basement" (to get around the building height rules)?!

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