Tempers Flare Over NJ Transit Summer Train Schedule

BY  |  Thursday, May 25, 2017 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (3)

Everyone is angry and bitter about the announced summer reroutings to Hoboken for NJ Transit’s Morris & Essex trains—even the announcements about the reroutings.

The official news release from NJ Transit about the planned six-week shuffling of all M&E trains scheduled for Penn Station begins on a pissy note: “NJ Transit rail customers have been forced to deal with delays, derailments and unreliable service because Amtrak, which owns the tracks our service relies upon, has neglected the maintenance of its critical infrastructure for years.”

The announcement goes on to say, “Long overdue Amtrak track repair work will significantly disrupt travel this summer for customers who normally travel on the Morris & Essex Midtown Direct service to and from Penn Station New York.” (All Midtown Direct trains on the Montclair-Boonton Line will operate on regular weekday schedules with minor time changes to/from PSNY.)

And NJT’s approach was actually more civil than the one taken earlier on Tuesday by Gov. Chris Christie. The New York Times reported that Christie said, “We know we can’t trust Amtrak,” in an article that added, “Mr. Christie expressed no faith in Amtrak’s ability to keep any trains running on time. He said that he agreed with Mr. Cuomo that the long-term solution to the frequent disruptions and derailments at Penn Station is to replace Amtrak as the station’s operator, ‘given Amtrak’s duplicity, their dishonesty and their inability to keep this infrastructure in a state of good repair.’” Continue Reading

Bloomfield Police Seek Help to Locate Missing Teen (FOUND)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:01pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Update: Bloomfield Police report that the teen is back home with his family.

The Bloomfield Police Department is seeking assistance in locating a missing juvenile. We are asking anyone who has seen or come in contact with this juvenile to contact the Bloomfield Police at (973) 680-4141.

Jack was last seen by his parents on 05/22/2017 at 07:15. Jack is a student at Bloomfield High School but was absent today. No clothing description available at this time. Jack is not in possession of his cell phone, he also deleted all his social media accounts. Any agency coming in contact with Jack please contact the Bloomfield Police Department.

Montclair Crime: Arrests, Burglary, Theft

BY  |  Wednesday, May 24, 2017 2:52pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

The week in crime from D/Lt. David O’Dowd, Montclair Police Department:


05-19-2017 (Walnut Street) Mr. Bruce Richardson, 53yoa from Bloomfield, was arrested for a burglary which occurred on 05-17-2015 at the former Erie Saloon. This arrest was the result of an investigation.

05-19-2017 (North Mountain Avenue) Ms. Kimberly DiCarlo, 30yoa from Nutley, was arrested and charged with DWI.

05-21-2017 (Pine Street) Ms. Wynona Odom, 45yoa from Montclair was arrested and charged with theft of a package which had been delivered to a residence.

05-21-2017 (Valley Road) Mr. Robert Ward, 45yoa from Montclair, was arrested and charged with DWI. Continue Reading

Montclair Council: Lackawanna Plaza Plan In Progress Presented, Public Says No

BY  |  Wednesday, May 24, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (7)

The Montclair Township Council received a presentation from the Pinnacle and Hampshire development companies on their plans for the Lackawanna Plaza area at its May 23 meeting, and it felt a great deal like a meeting of the Planning Board.  Mayor Robert Jackson and the councilors invited the public to comment on the presentation, with resident after resident decrying the plan for being out of step with Montclair.  When the public comment ultimately did end, what did not end was the wait for anyone to say anything positive about the plan.

A bird’s-eye view of the Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment plan-in-progress shown at the Montclair Township Council’s May 23 meeting. Yellow indicates the mixed-use units, purple indicates the parking garage, and the light gray within the yellow and purple is the grocery store.

Township residents were eager to see a supermarket replace the old Pathmark store.  Pinnacle’s Brian Stolar and Hampshire’s Todd Anderson started out by explaining that the original plan for Lackawanna Plaza was for A&P to take over the Pathmark location, but that failed when A&P itself did. Anderson said that their goal was to get a modern grocery store into the property, which he said demanded a minimum of 65,000 square feet over the Pathmark’s 40,000 square feet, while providing the necessary parking in an unobtrusive way.  It was a matter, Anderson explained, of trying to put different pieces together. Continue Reading

Developer Plofker Presents Diva Lounge Project to the Montclair Planning Board

BY  |  Tuesday, May 23, 2017 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (23)

The Montclair Planning Board spent the bulk of its May 22 meeting considering yet another project from developer Steven Plofker, an apartment building that would employ the existing building on the northwest corner of Bloomfield Avenue and North Willow Street.  A six-story building – five stories plus a ground-level basement along North Willow Street – would be built to connect with the building that once was the Diva Lounge and its existing ground-floor basement, which currently houses the Kos Autocars auto repair shop.  The new project would be across North Willow Street from the site of Plofker’s Glen Willow apartment building, which has yet to be built.

The former Diva Lounge, on Bloomfield Avenue and North Willow Street, which Steven Plofker wants to connect to a new six-story building – a ground level-basement connecting with the current Kos Motorcars auto shop and five stories of new apartments – behind it. Image courtesy of Google.

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Montclair 2017 Memorial Day Tribute

BY  |  Tuesday, May 23, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Township annual Memorial Day tribute will take place Monday, May 29, at 10:00 a.m., in Edgemont Memorial Park. Deputy Mayor William L. Hurlock will preside as Master of Ceremonies.

This year’s guest speaker will be Jocelyn Gilman, Executive Director, American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey. Rabbi David Greenstein, Congregation Shomrei Emunah, will deliver the invocation and benediction; Rev. John Rogers, Associate Pastor, First Congregational Church, will bless the wreaths.

The program includes advance and retiring of colors by the Montclair Police and Fire Honor Guards; Montclair Boy Scout Troop #12 will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and local musician Frances Duffy will sing the national anthem. The Montclair Community Band will perform patriotic music and Carl B. Witzig, trumpeter with the band, will play the sounding of taps. Continue Reading

Montclair Has 88 Broken Streetlights. PLANETCIVIC Asks You to Be Part of the Solution

Monday, May 22, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Are you wondering what the smattering of blue dots all over this map of Montclair means?  Every blue dot on this map corresponds to a broken streetlight or unlit location in Montclair  They are 88 broken streetlights and 9 unlit spots. No wonder it gets so dark on our streets, especially in the winter.

A few months ago, Baristanet launched, on PLANETCIVIC, an initiative to improve lighting in Montclair (something Baristanet readers were vocal about here). This proposal quickly became the second most voted on initiative in PLANETCIVIC, with more than 100 votes in favor and only a few votes against, all coming from registered Montclair residents.

Says Javier Guardo, founder of PLANETCIVIC, “From the voting data and comments, we knew there was a problem with street lighting in Montclair, that the darkness made many people felt unsafe, but we really struggled with the question of how to provide actionable information to the town. At PLANETCIVIC, we want to give people tools to get things done.”   Continue Reading

Fire on Macopin Ave. Damages Garage

Friday, May 19, 2017 1:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

On Wednesday (5/17) at 4:19pm the Montclair Fire Department received a report of a garage fire on Macopin Ave. Units arrived to find a two car garage with its interior fully engulfed in flames. The fire was extending out of the front and rear side of the garage, also catching part of the neighbor’s garage on fire. MFD units quickly extinguished the fire. No injuries were reported. Damage was complete to the garage and contents. The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to Deputy Chief Robert Duncan, Montclair Fire Department.

Montclair History: The Landmark Legacy of Lackawanna Plaza

BY  |  Friday, May 19, 2017 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (24)

Lackawanna Plaza

When the Montclair Lackawanna Station was built in 1913, it was nationally acclaimed as the most handsome suburban railroad terminal in the United States. It was built to serve the second wealthiest suburban community in America and the illustrious men and women who were shaping American History at the dawning of the 20th century. The terminal’s styling, by architect William Hull Botsford, is consistent with a design movement of new stations all over Europe at that time.

Lackawanna Plaza

A similar styled station at Danzig

When train service began in Montclair in 1857, (then West Bloomfield), a wealthy newcomer, Julius Pratt, invested $4,000,000 to create the township’s first train line. Aesthetics were remarkably important to Mr. Pratt, who also built what was considered the most amazing showplace in town, “Apple Grove,” a mansion on Elm Street (presently the Martin Funeral Home.)

Pratt also felt that the name “West Bloomfield” was not beautiful enough to attract desirable newcomers, so he rallied for the new, more picturesque name, “Montclair.” Thus, began the important aesthetic legacy when planning for the development of the township and the characteristic style standards of Montclair.

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Five Reasons to Attend The MFEE Amazing FundRACER After-Party, 5/21

BY  |  Friday, May 19, 2017 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence (MFEE) will throw a festive After-Party following the 2nd annual Amazing FUNDRACER on Sunday, May 21 from 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. The community is invited to head to the finish line to watch the heated sprint to glory and then come party with MFEE as we celebrate all the racers. Families will enjoy food, fun, and festivity!

Here are five reasons to attend The MFEE Amazing FundRACER After-Party:

1) Watch the Climactic Finish and Party with the Racers!
2) Celebrate all the amazing racers and watch highlights of all the Race Challenges they just endured.
3) Enjoy delicious BBQ grilled up by local grillmasters in a competition.
4) Wash it down with Ironbound Cider, beer, and other refreshments.
5) Get your groove on to the tunes of DJ Prince Hakim – celebrity DJ and son of music legend Kool, of Kool & The Gang!

The MFEE Amazing FundRACER After-Party

Sunday, May 21 from 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
56 Elmwood Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042
Tickets are: $25 for adults, $10 for students and children. Purchase online here!

Featured Comment

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

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