Residents Take Montclair Council To Task For Development Issues, Call For Transparency

BY  |  Wednesday, Jul 26, 2017 8:52am  |  COMMENTS (2)

It was a township council meeting with only six items, two of which were resolutions tied together via a consent agenda, up for a vote, and two councilors absent.  Then public comment began, and suddenly the July 25 meeting of the Montclair Township Council meeting turned into a Planning Board meeting.

Residents opposed to the redevelopment projects currently being debated by the Montclair Planning Board took the opportunity to air their grievances at Mayor Robert Jackson and the council, many of them having been told by Planning Board members that the Planning Board operates under municipal ordinances passed by the council.  With the council having allowed the Planning Board to deliberate on redevelopment issues, many residents were confused as to who was in charge of what, and they said so.  There was also a call for greater transparency.

the Montclair Township Council

Real estate agent Adriana O’Toole told the council that she was disappointed in the Planning Board’s approval of developer Michael Pavel’s adaptive-reuse plans for the Warner Communications building on Lorraine Avenue, and she reiterated her fear of the apartment building planned for the Seymour Street redevelopment project causing too many cars coming out onto South Willow Street should it get built.  Beth Calamia-Scheckel said that both the Lackawanna Plaza and Seymour Street projects would make Bloomfield Avenue more dangerous and doubted traffic studies taken of the area for the projects are valid. She wanted to know how pedestrian and motorist safety can be ensured. Continue Reading

Lorraine Avenue Project Closer To Reality After Contentious Montclair Planning Board Meeting

BY  |  Tuesday, Jul 25, 2017 7:31am  |  COMMENTS (9)

It was a meeting that lasted nearly four hours, but it ended with Montclair Planning Board getting very close to the end of a long, drawn-out application process for one of the most controversial projects in town.

The project was not, however, either the Lackawanna Plaza or Seymour Street redevelopment projects; it was the redo of the Warner Communications building on Lorraine Avenue in Upper Montclair.  The entire July 24 meeting was devoted to one more variation of developer Michael Pavel’s earlier plan for a retail/office building that would take up a huge swath of space behind the current building.  The meeting continued a process begun when Pavel threatened to take legal action against the township for rejected an earlier version of his project that, like the latest one, required no variances.  Board Chairman John Wynn later explained – more than once – that the appeal Pavel threatened to file put the board in a race against time, caused in part by its failure to memorialize the rejection of the earlier version of the Warner project.  In an effort to work with Pavel and avoid litigation, Chairman Wynn said, the board’s executive committee and Barton Ross, the board’s architectural consultant, offered up suggestions for a revised design Monday night.  Board attorney Arthur Neiss bluntly added that Montclair would never have defeated Pavel’s appeal, and that he would have been able to put up the very building the board had already rejected.  He said this method saved the town a large sum of money in court fees.

The latest version of the redevelopment plan for the Warner Communications building on Lorraine Avenue, as seen from the west.

Several members of the public, including Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) chair Kathleen Bennett, were unhappy that the HPC hadn’t been consulted first.  Chairman Wynn found himself repeating the explanation that the time constraints based on legal issues meant there wasn’t enough time for the HPC to go over the revisions of the new plan.  He did stress, however, that the HPC could still advise and consult the board after the project was approved and before it was memorialized by resolution.  He later made such a review a condition of approval.

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Montclair Celebrates National Night Out, Tuesday, August 1

Monday, Jul 24, 2017 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

On Tuesday August 1, 2017 from 5pm to 8pm, the Montclair Police Department will be hosting their annual National Night Out.

This event is recognized throughout the country as a way for members of the community to come out and spend a safe evening with emergency personnel from their communities. Citizens will get an opportunity to speak one on one with law enforcement officers along with other first responders from the Montclair Fire Department and Montclair Ambulance Unit. Equipment utilized on a daily basis by the first responders will be on hand for all to see. Continue Reading

Baristaville Open Houses: Sunday, July 23

BY  |  Saturday, Jul 22, 2017 2:36pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

This week’s open house column is sponsored by Kate McDonough


The market is still brisk as we enter the dog days of summer–with over 50 properties for your viewing pleasure. This week we focus on three nicely restored houses in Montclair, Glen Ridge and West Orange.


77 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair

List Price: $1,595,000
Taxes: $47,504
Acreage: 0.65
BRM/BTH: 6/5.2

Victorian with large windows, front and back porches, balconies, sunrooms, natural woodwork and intricate trim and tiled fireplaces, updated master bath and central air. Master bedroom has fireplace, dressing room and office. Fenced, landscaped yard with patio and barbecue. Carriage house has 1-2 bedrooms for additional living space or rental income. New gas fixtures in five fireplaces. Chimneys and other fireplaces “as is”. Game room, wine cooler and pool room in basement. Open 2-4 p.m.

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Montclair State Receives Official Designation as Public Research University

Friday, Jul 21, 2017 4:57pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today signed legislation designating Montclair State University as a public research university. Already classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a research doctoral institution, and classified by the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education as a doctoral degree-granting institution, this latest acknowledgement formally recognizes the very substantial transformation that has occurred in recent years at New Jersey’s second largest university.

“The University greatly appreciates the strong bipartisan support for this legislation in both the New Jersey Senate and the Assembly, the support of the legislative leadership in both houses, and the support of the Governor,” says Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole. “Having our home state officially recognize what has already been acknowledged in the national higher education community is both welcome and appropriate and will further strengthen the University’s ability to contribute to the education of the state’s workforce, to create new knowledge in fields important to the state, the nation and the larger world, and to help fuel New Jersey’s future economic growth.” Continue Reading

The Montclair Public Library Foundation Announces the Appointment of Two New Board Members

BY  |  Friday, Jul 21, 2017 3:25pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Two new board members were appointed to serve on the Montclair Public Library Foundation Board. The new members come to the table with extensive experience in the financial and legal worlds. Their enthusiasm for the library and connection to the community will further strengthen the leadership of the foundation board.

Irena Goldstein and Will Adkins

“Each of our newly elected Board Members are distinguished, prominent leaders in their respective fields and I look forward to their insights and contributions,” said Jennifer Bonnell, MPL Foundation Board Chair. Continue Reading

Montclair’s Buzz Aldrin Named Grand Marshal for 2017 New York City Veterans Day Parade

BY  |  Friday, Jul 21, 2017 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean War, will be the Grand Marshal for the 2017 New York City Veterans Day Parade. The announcement came this week, the same week Aldrin walked on the moon 48 years ago. In September 2016, Aldrin visited his hometown of Montclair for the dedication of Buzz Aldrin Middle School.

The U.S. Air Force, 70 years old this year, is the featured service for the 99th annual Veterans Day Parade. A Memorial Ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 11, with a wreath-laying, flag-raising, 21-gun salute and Taps, at the Eternal Light Flagstaff in Madison Square Park.

The parade steps off at 11 a.m. from 26th Street and Fifth Avenue and proceeds up Fifth Avenue to 52nd Street. About 40,000 veterans, Active Duty military personnel, marching bands and veterans’ supporters march past 500,000 spectators. The parade is broadcast live from noon to 3 p.m. on WPIX-TV 11, and the American Forces Network. It is streamed on the WPIX website, and

“I’m proud and honored to lead the Veterans Day Parade. I took an oath at the age of 17 at West Point to serve my country and everything I do is in service to our country that to this day,” Col. Aldrin said.

“I think it’s important to remind the world of the value of service and having pride in one’s military career and the value that veterans bring to society. I’m very proud to be a veteran and proud to stand with our vets to get them the credit and support they deserve,” Buzz added.

Aldrin’s mother, Marion Moon, was the daughter of an Army Chaplain and his father, Edwin Eugene Aldrin, was an aviation pioneer. Buzz graduated one year early from Montclair High School and attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduating third in his class with a BS in mechanical engineering.

He then joined the Air Force where he flew F86 Sabre Jets in 66 combat missions in Korea; shot down two MIG-15′s, and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross. After a tour of duty in Germany flying F100′s, he earned his Doctorate of Science in Astronautics at
MIT and wrote his thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous.

Selected by NASA in 1963 into the third group of astronauts, Aldrin was the first with a doctorate and became known as “Dr. Rendezvous.” The docking and rendezvous techniques he devised for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit became critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs, and are still used today. He pioneered underwater training techniques to simulate spacewalking. In 1966 on the Gemini 12 orbital mission, Buzz performed the world’s first successful spacewalk – extra-vehicular activity (EVA), and set a new EVA record of 5 1⁄2 hours. During that mission he also took the first ‘selfie’ in space.

On July 20, 1969, Buzz and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. An estimated 600 million people – at that time, the world’s largest television audience in history – witnessed this unprecedented heroic endeavor.

Upon returning from the moon, Buzz was decorated with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and numerous awards all over the world. In 2011 along with his Apollo 11 crew mates Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins, he received the Congressional Gold Medal.

YMCA of Montclair Job Fair

Thursday, Jul 20, 2017 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Do you want to make a difference while earning a paycheck? The YMCA of Montclair is hiring for part-time morning, afternoon and evening opportunities!

Join them at their Job Fair, meet their team and learn about opportunities where your skills, interests and personality can help others recognize their potential.

When: Tuesday, August 8, 6 pm-8 pm
Where: Park Street Branch, 25 Park Street, Montclair, Teen Room

Opportunities available include school age child care counselors, fitness instructors, lifeguards, customer
service representatives and more. Continue Reading

Planning Board Questions Parking & Traffic Consultants About Seymour Street Plan

BY  |  Tuesday, Jul 18, 2017 7:51am  |  COMMENTS (2)

Traffic consultant Jon Harter’s plan for South Fullerton Avenue in Montclair to accommodate the Seymour Street redevelopment plan

The Montclair Planning Board met again to discuss the Seymour Street redevelopment plan, this time in a special meeting on July 17, but its progress was, as always, slow.  The board heard mostly from traffic consultant John Harter on alternate plans to reconfigure traffic on Bloomfield Avenue and side streets in the immediate area in the event that Essex County does not make improvements to Bloomfield Avenue, which would be mainly in the form of signal re-timing.  Harter based his proposed traffic reconfiguration Bloomfield Avenue, a county highway (Route 506) on ideas he got after consulting the county government, who would have to approve any traffic patterns sought by Montclair. Continue Reading

Montclair Police Make Arrest Following Spate of Multiple Vehicle Burglaries

BY  |  Monday, Jul 17, 2017 5:37pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

Montclair Police officers officers were dispatched to Wildwood Avenue on a report of a subject looking into parked vehicles on Friday. Officers in that area working a construction detail observed a male matching the suspect description. This subject, Danny Gonzalez, 20, from Newark, was in possession of burglary tools and proceeds from recent thefts from vehicles in that area. He was also arrested and processed on a Theft of a Motor Vehicle charge from a Lorraine Avenue incident in 2016.

Through investigation, Mr. Gonzalez was discovered to have been responsible for 22 vehicle burglaries and the theft of two motor vehicles in Montclair.

These burglaries occurred in the areas of Cooper Avenue, Gordonhurst Avenue, Marion Road and Beverly Road. He was subsequently charged with 13 counts of Burglary and 15 counts of Theft. Continue Reading

Featured Comment

It's a shame that this happened. Michael Pavel came up with a plan for Charlie Brown's that worked out great and lived up to his presentations. Following it up with this is like a movie director who makes a movie that wins the Best Picture Oscar and follows it up with a film that gets ten Razzie nominations. :(

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