“Do You Have a Gun in Your Home?”

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (1)

gunThis weekend my kids helped me cut down some overgrown vines in our yard. I gave my 5-year old a small pair of pruning shears, and my 9-year-old a larger pair. I watched them carefully, making sure they kept the sharp edges always pointed at the ground and away from each other when using them. Maybe I worry too much, but when I see those sharp, pointed tools the hysterical mom part of my brain starts going into overdrive, and I wonder if I should be letting them hold the shears at all.

It got me thinking of the parents out there who leave loaded guns within close proximity of their children – a far more dangerous tool, as it were – such as the pro-gun activist recently shot by her 4-year-old not long after bragging on Facebook that the boy gets “jacked up” to go target shooting (the shot to his mother was not a lethal one, thank goodness). Continue Reading

MLK Day Vacation Camps 2016

BY  |  Monday, Jan 11, 2016 2:36pm

MLK Day iStock_000003261050XSmall-350x232
Schools are closed on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 18. Here’s a listing of day camps for parents who have to work that day and need childcare options.

Staycation Program (for ages 3 to 6)
Who: Kids ages 3 to 6
What: Staycation Program (formerly Little Live Y’ers program)
When: Full day: 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; half day: 7:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Where: Geyer Family Branch, 159 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair
Activities: Swimming, art, gym, science, cooking, music, story time
Prices: $60 per day/child for members; $70 per day/child for non-members for full-day program; $45 per day/child for members; $55 per day/child for non-members for half-day program
Registration Deadline/More info: Thursday, January 14. Registration form and more information. Questions: call 973-415-6139. Continue Reading

Star Wars, Supergirl and Other Heroic Adoption Stories

BY  |  Monday, Nov 09, 2015 10:30am

StarWarsOne of the challenges for adoptive parents is how to tell their child’s adoption story in a way that makes the kid feel good about it. For this year’s National Adoption Month, I’d like to look at some powerful stories that are very much in the air this year: the super-heroics of super-adoptees Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Supergirl and Superman!

When it comes to superpowered adoptees, the first name on the list for nearly a century has been Clark Kent, aka Superman. It’s not only a classic hero story, but it’s an adoption story that plenty of kids can relate to: Superman’s birth parents made a loving and necessary decision to give him up, and his subsequent life had both a devoted set of adoptive parents (Jonathan and Martha Kent) and the distant but powerful figures of his birth family (Jor-El and Lara). Each family had a strong impact on the different aspects of Clark/Superman’s identity.

Kids who were adopted can find plenty of parallels between their stories and Superman’s (including international adoptees—Superman’s adoption was interplanetary!), but the comics, cartoons and movies won’t hit them over the head with it. The very fact that Superman’s adoption story gives him superpowers, along with a dedication to truth and justice, can be a great comfort to younger adoptees.

And with the debut of the new Supergirl series on CBS this year, there’s also a prominent super-adoption story with a female protagonist. Like her cousin, Supergirl was adopted by a family on Earth and must balance the two parts of her history. And in finding that balance, Supergirl becomes her truest, most heroic self. Continue Reading

Operation Backpack Helps Fight Poverty

BY  |  Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015 9:30am

operationbackpack2School is just over a month away, and with it notes from new teachers listing out a panoply of supplies needed on the first day. But for some families, especially those who are homeless, the cost of pencils and zip binders and Magic Markers can be a real hardship.

That’s where Operation Backpack comes in. A nationwide initiative by Volunteers of America, Operation Backback provides school supplies and backpacks to kids in need, helping those who are homeless go back to school without feeling left out.

Here in Baristaville, Kimya Nilsen is spearheading the effort to collect filled backpacks from anyone who wants to participate. Nilsen, who said she learned about the organization through an article in Real Simple, will pick up the bags from each donor –  or buy and fill the bags if someone prefers to donate money instead – and bring it to the drop off location, run by VOA Greater New York.
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Montclair Mom’s Memoir Explores Old School Parenting

BY  |  Thursday, Apr 23, 2015 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Ylonda Gault CavinessYlonda Gault Caviness had no intention of writing a memoir. But four years ago, the Montclair mom of three took part in a Montclair Pitchapalooza event on something of a whim and, to her surprise, won.

The pitch was about her mother and her mother’s old school child-raising values, and the Pitchapalooza organizer, Arielle Eckstut, suggested Caviness turn the idea into a memoir. Caviness, a journalist who has written for iVillage, Essence, Redbook and Parenting, thought, no way.

“I write about other people,” she said. “I’m an objective observer.”

But Caviness thought more about it, mulling over the idea for about a year, trying to figure out how to take a part of her life that was private and turn it into a public document without dishonoring the people who raised her.

The result was Child, Please, a glimpse into her life as a mom and parenting editor “living in a fancy suburb” and an exploration of her stormy relationship with her “straight-no-chaser mama.” The book has already received heaps of praise – including a mention on the New York Times Motherlode blog – for its honesty and wit, and for the lessons about life and childrearing that helped shape Caviness into the person – and mother – she became.

Continue Reading

Montclair PAL/Recreation 6th Grade Boys Suburban League Champs

BY  |  Friday, Mar 13, 2015 9:30am

Montclair PAL 6th Grade Boys

On Saturday February 28, the Montclair PAL 6th Grade Boys became the 2015 Suburban League Champions by defeating Livingston for the second year in a row.

The MPAL team held their composure as the game was close in the first half. However, Montclair starting pulling away early in the second half, but being the fierce competitor they are Livingston made several runs and kept the game both competitive and exciting. Both teams played an excellent game, which has become the norm for this highly competitive match up. Two weeks prior to the Championship, Livingston handed Montclair its first defeat in two years. The 6th Grade Boys are coached by Coaches “Bingo” Silvera and Kyle Anglin. Congrats to our 6th Grade Boys parents, and fans on their continued success, and our other five coaches, players, and parents for making this another successful basketball season.

(Photo courtesy of Jessica Michaud)



Glen Ridge Family Awarded for Supporting Research in Type 1 Diabetes

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (3)

Type 1 Diabetes

Ben, Jamie, Alisa, Andy, Toby and Claire at the JDRF awards ceremony.

The Central Jersey Chapter of JDRF on Saturday honored the Norris family of Glen Ridge for working to raise money to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes — and inspiring other families as well.

The Norris family, parents Alisa and Toby, and children Ben, Jamie, Andy and Claire, raised $34,000 at the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in October. In six consecutive walks the family has raised a total of more than $125,000.
Continue Reading

Blog: Marlene Lewis—Finding Space for Childhood Creativity

BY  |  Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 11:30am

10906563_10205572129525409_8523934283678661174_nI read the recent toy-related article in the New York Times with great interest. “Hitching a Toy to a Star” resonated with me because it addressed a large part of why I opened my battery-free and non-commercial toy and gift store, Sunshine Sam.

Since opening my store, I’ve often been asked the seemingly simple, but actually very complicated question, “Why bother?” Many people wonder, “Do you have something against Mickey Mouse?” The answer is NO! Not at all! I also have nothing against Frozen, Toy Story, or Star Wars. In fact, I have the utmost respect for those who compose the scores, write the script, and develop the characters frame by frame. They are incredibly talented and creative. But when the characters jump off the big screen and onto every shelf in a toy store, it feels less creative and more like our children’s imaginations are for sale.

Baristanet-Blog-disclaimer Continue Reading

Sponsored: Fun For Kids of All Ages at Temple Sholom of West Essex

BY  |  Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 12:00pm

Temple Sholom of West Essex


Tot Traditions


Take time once a month to explore Jewish culture through song, dance, crafts and stories! You and your child will laugh, learn and love your time together. Each session will focus on a different Jewish holiday and is led by teacher Emily Walsh, an educator in Pre-K, theater and storytelling!

  • Sunday, March 8 at 10 am
  • Sunday, April 12 at 10 am
  • Sunday, May 3 at 10 am

There is no fee for this program. Continue Reading

Glen Ridge Music Parents Association Annual Citrus Sale

BY  |  Friday, Jan 23, 2015 11:00am

Glen Ridge Music Parents Association Annual Citrus Sale

The Glen Ridge Music Parents Association biggest fundraiser is going on now — the Florida Citrus Sale.

The beginning of a new year often marks the beginning of a diet and exercise program. And what better way to add color and nutrients to your diet than by eating some oranges and grapefruits. You can still order 20-pound bags of oranges, grapefruits, or mixed oranges and grapefruits from the Glen Ridge Music Parents Association. The price is $24 a bag, and all proceeds benefit the Glen Ridge High School music programs.
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Featured Comment

I was assigned to chimney security today at middle school in the State of Washington, to prevent Betsy DeVoss from trying to climb in that way when she couldn't get in the front door. Protesters abounded below while I rode shotgun on the roof. We're with Montclair all the way. Glad you're here MontClairVoyant!

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