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

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

 

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

Sincerely,
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.

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
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?

Sincerely,
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

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

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


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

Sincerely,
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.

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
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?

Sincerely,
Not Chris Chringle

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

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
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?

Sincerely,
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.)

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
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?

Sincerely,
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.”

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
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?

Sincerely,
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!”

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
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?

Sincerely,
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.

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Was March 14’s major snowstorm a nor’easter, glen’fielder, buzz’aldriner, or MHS’er?
Sincerely,
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.

 

 

 

 

MontClairVoyant: ShopRite, The Far Right and a School Budget Just Partly Right

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 09, 2017 12:45pm  |  COMMENTS (19)

 

 
DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
On March 6, our Board of Education approved a tentative 2017-18 budget that includes a dismaying $2-million reduction in paraprofessionals. Do you blame Gov. Christie’s flat state aid and 2% cap on local tax increases?

Sincerely,
He’s Mr. Unpopularity

Definitely. Given the guv’s hostility toward public schools, I’m taking the drastic step of selling my “Chris Christie’s George Washington Bridge Traffic Jam” playset.
 


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Doesn’t the tentative budget also have good things — such as more dollars for professional development in the areas of special education, world language, and equity?
Sincerely,
Amelia Rate

True. But losing many wonderful paras (even if the remaining ones are assigned more efficiently) is terrible for the paras and kids — including special-needs students. I’m also selling my “Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Betsy DeVos” DVD. Continue Reading

MontClairVoyant: Underwhelming Congressman, Overdeveloped Town

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 02, 2017 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


 
 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

The formerly “moderate” Republican congressman who represents Upper Montclair now votes with the far right, hasn’t held an in-person town hall in years, didn’t attend any of the great town halls NJ 11th for Change held last week, and prefers public appearances at private schools. When will Rodney Frelinghuysen interact more with his other 11th District constituents?

Sincerely,
No Ifs, Ands, or Guts

Eagerly awaiting his smoke-signal town hall!

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Is that a satirical poke at the Trump-supporting Rodney’s clunky, little-advance-notice, inconveniently-timed, only-some-questions-answered telephone town halls?

Sincerely,
Bored of the Rings

For which taxpayers fund the tin cans and strings. Continue Reading

MontClairVoyant: Mixed ‘Welcome’ for Resolution Missing ‘Sanctuary City’

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


 
 


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

With the great swap event returning to Hillside School on Feb. 25, could you swap your usual format for a multiple-choice approach this week?

Sincerely,
Come Trade Away

A) Yes.
B) No.
C) Maybe.
D) I’d show up at Hillside with young-adult books but they’re 18 years old and now adult books.
 


DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Was the Township Council’s Feb. 21 resolution saying Montclair is a “welcoming community” rather than a “sanctuary city”

A) Just right.
B) Cautious.
C) Too cautious given Donald Trump’s blunt push against undocumented immigrants.
D) An homage to Wimpy of “Popeye”?

Sincerely,
Close But No Segar
 

“BC,” because the cruel Trump is setting back the U.S. more than 2,000 years. Not easy in a 241-year-old nation that began when George Washington saw the Studio Playhouse production of “1776.”

 
DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Is that local theater’s current “Goldilocks on Trial” show:

A) Co-written by Taylor Swift and Franz Kafka.
B) Hilarious.
C) Porridge-y.
D) Well acted by a young cast that includes three bears feared by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos?

Sincerely,
Brown Not Beige on Stage

For those who correctly chose answers B through D, DeVos is offering vouchers to see “Public Education on Trial” — a play consisting of nothing but non-rich students getting whacked by gavels. Modernist, I guess.

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,

Did the Township Council use cautious wording in its 4-2-passed resolution because:

A) It fears losing federal money.
B) It fears losing federal dollars.
C) It fears losing federal funding.
D) It fears its thesaurus will be deported?

Sincerely,
Synonym of the Republic

There are always thesauruses online, on the Web, on the Internet, in cyberspace, in the digital realm, in —

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Shush! As mentioned at a recent Board of Education meeting, the minimal instruction time needed to achieve a decent level of proficiency in a language is:

A) 540 hours.
B) One nanosecond.
C) 327 years.
D) 327 beers?

Sincerely,
This Bud’s Asking You

Or however long it takes to peel a Mandarin orange.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Montclair’s new interim superintendent, slated to start March 17, is from:

A) Teaneck.
B) Coffeeneck.
C) Great Neck.
D) Mediocre Neck?

Sincerely,
Candice Bergen County

This is a family column, so stop the public necking or…get a room!

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
As the BOE’s Feb. 27 budget meeting nears, our school district’s 2017-18 budget may have a $6.9 million shortfall. Can our wonderful teachers and paraprofessionals be spared as much as possible?

Sincerely,
Ifs, Ands, and Cuts

Hmm…no final multiple-choice question. Perhaps it’s because Trump setting back the U.S. more than 2,000 years spurred you to trade the letters BC for AD at the Hillside swap.

 

 

 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.

MontClairVoyant: The Snow Was Whiter Than the Spines Some Politicians Lack

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 16, 2017 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


 
 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Wintry weather closed Montclair schools Feb. 9 and caused delayed openings Feb. 10 and 13. Were white supremacists thrilled to see our wonderfully multicultural town become so white?
Sincerely,
Flake News!

Yes, after which diversity-minded residents dropped to the ground to color the snow while reading “As I Lay Dyeing.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Hmm…Faulkner-like book title in a Montclair with a Faulkner system of government. Also on Feb. 10, hardworking NJ 11th for Change members presented Rodney Frelinghuysen’s Morristown office with printouts of the petition asking the Republican congressman to host a town hall. Were 10 million of the 2,700-plus signers from Montclair?
Sincerely,
A. Rithmetic

OMG — you’ve been snorting ground-up Pearson math worksheets again.

Continue Reading

MontClairVoyant: It Would Be a Pity if We Didn’t Become A Sanctuary City

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 09, 2017 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (87)

 

 

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
This is your first column for Baristanet after writing “Montclairvoyant” for another media outlet since 2003. Why are you here?
Sincerely,
Hound of the Askervilles

Why do any of us exist? Because of God? Evolution? Cat videos? Rec-league sports? Our Neanderthal ancestors “meeting cute” at Caves “R” Us?

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
I met you at Tuesday night’s Township Council meeting, where the TC was urged to make Montclair a sanctuary city as the vile Donald Trump demonizes Muslim immigrants and refugees. Thoughts?
Sincerely,
Passion for Compassion

What a huge turnout Feb. 7! What smart, heartfelt, eloquent remarks by attendees! What a speedy…um…not so speedy vote by the TC, which might make a sanctuary decision Feb. 21. Hopefully that won’t clash with the local galas marking “Exactly Two Months of Winter Day.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Aren’t at least four of the seven TC members strongly for the sanctuary city idea?
Sincerely,
Quadruple’s Scruples

Yes, and a Feb. 21 vote is better than the Feb. 31 vote listed on “The Kellyanne Conway Alternative Facts Calendar,” available at not-so-fine stores everywhere.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Another federal matter with local impact was the dismaying Feb. 7 approval of ultraconservative billionaire Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, even though her only exposure to the public schools she hates was watching “Room 222” three times. Not insinuating anything, but isn’t 666 a satanic number?
Sincerely,
Nights in White Satan

Nah, it refers to the New Jersey Devils’ 334-332 win over the Rangers. Continue Reading

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