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 (23)

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.

Continue Reading

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!

Tree Falls On Car on Bellevue Ave., Upper Montclair Wednesday Night

Thursday, May 18, 2017 4:18pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

A tree fell across Bellevue Avenue in Upper Montclair Wednesday night, hitting a vehicle with a passenger inside. A reported the incident to firefighters at Station 2 on Valley Rd. Upon the arrival of Montclair Truck 2, the vehicle with one passenger was found under the fallen tree. Truck 2 requested additional fire units respond as well as the Montclair Ambulance Unit and Police.

The passenger of the vehicle was unable to exit the vehicle. She was removed by the fire fighters through the passenger side of the vehicle. The victim was turned over to EMS. The scene was secured and no other injuries were reported. Numerous cars were damaged. There was also damage to the awning and outside lights of Tinga’s Restaurant. A PSE&G Gas curb box was also displaced when the tree uprooted. PSE&G Gas responded to the scene and checked for gas leaks in the street and the basements in the area. No leaks were found, according to Deputy Chief Robert Duncan, Montclair Fire Department

Montclair Crime: Burglaries and Theft

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (1)

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


05-11-2017 (South Fullerton Avenue) Willie Brown, 58yoa from Montclair was arrested on an open warrant out of Montclair.

05-11-2017 (North Fullerton Avenue) Mr. Isaiah Gaskin, 35yoa from East Orange, was arrested and charged with DWI.


05-10-2017 (Ward Place) Burglary to an apartment. Cash and jewelry was taken in this incident. There were no signs of forced entry.

05-11-2017 (Park Street) Theft from a motor vehicle. Access was gained by smashing a vehicle window with a rock. Loose change was taken.

05-11-2017 (Claremont Avenue) A parked vehicle had its window smashed and glove box rummaged through. Unknown if anything was taken at this time.

05-11-2017 (Maple Plaza Lot) Theft from a motor vehicle. Cash and sunglasses were taken. No sign of forced entry. Continue Reading

Got Books? College Women’s Club Book Sale Donations

BY  |  Monday, May 15, 2017 5:36pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Here are guidelines for donating books to College Women’s Club Book Sale:

Donors may drop off no more than 15 items each week, either bags, cartons (with maximum dimensions of 10” X 12” X 15”), or a combination.  They may return on subsequent weeks, following the same guidelines. 

LIMITED donations are accepted at Booksale Headquarters on the following Saturdays from 9:30am ’til 11:45am.

May 20, 26

June 3, 10, 17, 24

July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

August 5, 12, 19, 26

It’s easier to say what we don’t accept than to list what we do. We DO NOT want Continue Reading

Councilor Baskerville Hosts Fourth Ward Comunity Meeting, 5/16

Monday, May 15, 2017 10:16am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Renee Baskerville will host a community meeting on Tuesday, May 16, 7:00 p.m. in Fire Headquarters, 1 Pine Street. Continue Reading

A Young Montclair Actress Stars in The Miracle Worker

BY  |  Friday, May 12, 2017 12:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

When Ayla Schwartz isn’t busy being a fourth-grader at Watchung Elementary School, she’s performing a miracle—Ayla is starring as Helen Keller in a new production of The Miracle Worker at the Queens Theatre.

At 10 years old, Ayla is getting her first opportunity to be part of a professional production, and The Miracle Worker is putting her to the test. In order to play Keller, who became deaf and blind when she was just 19 months old, Ayla did training with a disability coach and a fight choreographer, and even used a blindfold and earplugs during rehearsals to better understand how Keller experienced the world. Continue Reading

Jazz House Kids Presents 1st Annual Vocal Fest

Friday, May 12, 2017 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Jazz House Kids Vocal Jazz Academy presents its 1st Annual Vocal Fest on Saturday, May 13 from 12 noon to 4 pm at the Jazz House, 347 Bloomfield Avenue Lower Level, Montclair. Free and open to the public, the afternoon will include interactive workshops exploring the art of vocal singing and harmony, copycat scat and performances by the celebrated vocal quartet, The Royal Bopsters featuring Amy London, Holli Ross, Pete McGuinness and Dylan Pramuk. Come sing with us! For more information, call 973-744-2273.

Featured Comment

Stopped by on opening day to take out a dozen empanadas. Very welcoming space, especially with the storefront glass open on a warm spring day and sidewalk tables available; and, the staff were warm and engaged. The empanadas are soft and pastry-like, rather than the harder crisper type. They got a thumbs up from the Morales family, who loves them a good empanada!

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