MontClairVoyant: Educator Layoff Pain and Lackawanna Plaza’s Overbuilding Train

BY  |  Thursday, May 25, 2017 1:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)




Today you’re discussing school-district layoffs and the latest profit-obsessed plan to overdevelop Lackawanna Plaza (LP). Is there a connection?

Lack a/Wanna Reply

Yes, this column couldn’t have posted without an Internet connection.


After the huge LP plan was denounced by audience speakers at May 23’s Township Council meeting, what words would describe the redevelopment that would rise next to the lovely, historic former train station?

Tracks of Our Tears

Gentrification/Overbuilding/Avarice/Traffic (GOAT). LP and other downtown-cramming projects — such as the proposed overdeveloping of the old Diva Lounge site — mean cement-eating goats are now our only chance for open space.


The ugly LP’s only positive: it may include a not-too-pricey supermarket. Meanwhile, when money from school-district retirements becomes available, should 100% be used to rehire people who depressingly received layoff notices this month?

M. Ployees

Yes, 100%. The whole enchilada. Every refried bean on the plate. All the salsa in the jar. I have to stop writing this column during dinner.

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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

Weekend Arts & Entertainment Calendar (Memorial Day Weekend Edition): May 25 – 29

BY  |  Thursday, May 25, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

It’s a holiday weekend and many have plans to go away, but there are  still some great local events to enjoy this Memorial Day weekend! From live music and concerts, to comedy and theater, to films and social events, this is your guide to what’s happening:

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Meet Montclair Police at Starbucks For Coffee With A Cop, 6/1

Thursday, May 25, 2017 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Coffee With a Cop

Questions about crime? Talk about it over a cup of coffee!

Join your neighbors and the Montclair Police for coffee and conversation with Montclair Police and Critical Response Team (CRT)

When: June 1, 8:30am—10:30am
Where: Starbucks, 40 S. Park Street, Montclair

Your Justin Bieber Montclair Moment

BY  |  Wednesday, May 24, 2017 5:31pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

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!

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

Star Studded “The Big Sick Comedy Tour” Comes To Wellmont

BY  |  Wednesday, May 24, 2017 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Kumail Nanjiani is a critically acclaimed actor, writer and comedian, perhaps best known for his co-starring role as ‘Dinesh’ on the award-winning HBO comedy series “Silicon Valley.” He’s bringing “The Big Sick” comedy show to the Wellmont theater in support of his new film, “The Big Sick” co-starring Ray Romano, Aidy Bryant, and Kurt Braunohler. Based on real life events, “The Big Sick” film tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail, who connects with grad student Emily after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents. It’s being called a new standard for romantic comedies.

WHEN: Saturday, June 3rd, 2017
WHERE: Wellmont Theater, 5 Seymour St. Montclair, NJ 07042

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

Local Kids Shine in Gymnastika Gymnastics Team

BY  |  Tuesday, May 23, 2017 3:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Gymnastika gymnastics team in Woodland Park, draw kids from Montclair, Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, Nutley and Clifton. The team just completed their competitive season for levels 4-10 and did extremely well – 3 NJ State Champions, 2 top 5 Regional finishes and a total of 43 top ten State finishes. The team at Gymnastika just completed their competitive season for levels 4-10. Four gymnasts won the State Champion title for their level and age: Jenna Hazlewood for level 4 on bars, Anna Sihvonen for level 6 all-around, vault & floor, Victoria Jandura for level 6 floor and Ashley Thompson for level 7 all-around and vault.

Back row – Anna Sihvonen, Paige Trapp, Erin Petrino, Ashley Thompson, Tiffany Bautista, Maeve Harrigan, Sophia Bochis, Jillian Parker, Kayla Goldman
Front row – Jadyn Beckett, Amy Gordon, Jenna Hazlewood, Katie Saavedra-Boscia, Ava Iacona, Victoria Jandura, Surya Shah

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Featured Comment

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

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