Information Meeting to Discuss Third River Water Quality Report

BY  |  Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

Passaic RiverNorthern New Jersey has few natural resources more prized than the vital waterway that runs through your backyard, the Third River. Also known as the Yantecaw River, the Third River is the third (upstream) main  of the Passaic River in Passaic and Essex Counties. The Friends of the Bonsal Preserve and the Friends of the Bonsal Preserve have just completed a four-month study of the river’s health and unfortunately, the results are alarming.

The community is invited to attend an information meeting on the findings this Sunday, November 16.

Continue Reading

Montclair’s Antabanez Gets Noticed for Passaic River Awareness, Affection

BY  |  Monday, Jun 17, 2013 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Passaic River - wheeler antabanez

At Baristanet, we’ve often been impressed with the work of Montclair’s own Wheeler Antabanez, his seemingly unbounded love of the Passaic River, and efforts to bring local awareness to its riches and plight. He’s a true Friend of the Passaic River, and is writing a book about his activities on, and on behalf of, the much maligned waterway. Over the last few years, we’ve asked him to sit down to coffee, written about his work time and time and time again, and frequently showcased his videos (and no, none of us are even related to him!).

This weekend, he received additional coverage in the local media with a feature article in the Bergen Record and a video on their website. Take a look over at

Photo courtesy Wheeler Antabanez

Dramatic Early Morning Route 3 Bridge Blast Captured

BY  |  Thursday, Feb 07, 2013 12:47pm

Route 3 Bridge BlastBaristanet reader Wheeler Antabanez, a Friend of the Passaic River, has been on the scene several times this week when crews from the New Jersey Department of Transportation undertook a series of blasts to demolish the old Route 3 bridge over the Passaic River.

The most recent was a blast very early this morning. Antabanez has posted videos of the blasts over on YouTube, and told Baristanet today: “The explosion this morning was really powerful. I got yelled at by the demolition crew for being too close, but they let me keep one of my video cameras running inside the blast zone. The ground shook when they set this one off. It was worth getting up at 4:00 AM just to feel the shock wave and witness the resulting tsunami. Good times!”

The newest blast, shown in the video below, is from two angles in real time and slow motion.

Long, Explosive Goodbye For Old Route 3 Bridge

BY  |  Sunday, Feb 03, 2013 10:08am  |  COMMENTS (5)

Long, Explosive Goodbye For Old Route 3 BridgeA series of blasts is what it will take to say goodbye once and for all to the old Route 3 bridge over the Passaic River connecting Clifton in Passaic County with Rutherford and Lyndhurst in Bergen County.

Controlled blasting will require a series of 15-minute stoppages on Route 3, Route 21, Riverside Avenue and Passaic River waterway over the next two weeks. The first two in a series of five blasting events took place last Thursday and Friday. According to the New Jersey Dept. of Transportation, the blasts, scheduled for between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., require a 15-minute window of traffic stoppage. Variable message signs will provide advance notification to motorists throughout the blasting area.

The contractor has not yet scheduled the subsequent three blasting events. NJDOT will provide notification in advance of each one. The precise timing of the work is subject to change due to weather, on-site job conditions or other factors, but you can check NJDOT’s traffic information website for construction updates and real-time travel information.

Wheeler Antabanez, a passionate friend of the Passaic River, captured the blasts on video. Continue Reading

Wheeler Wrangles The Passaic: A Reading From His Notebook

BY  |  Monday, Jul 23, 2012 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (9)

We’ve been longtime fans of the video work of Wheeler Antabanez, from his haunting explorations of Overbrook and his view of the real Montclair to his particular passion, the Passaic River, which Wheeler visited to document damage after Hurricane Irene. He also helped illuminate some of the river’s dirty secrets as a guide for NPR.

In addition to filming, Wheeler has been writing about his adventures. In this latest video, he becomes narrator, reading aloud from his raw notebook, which he hopes to publish. Give a look and a listen:

Warren Levinson: Slow Dancing on the Old Swamp Road

BY  |  Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (14)

Driving from my house to Manhattan means crossing five rivers: the Third, the Passaic, Berry’s Creek, the Hackensack and the Hudson. Getting across the Third can be a bitch if I happen to hit it on a rainy day when parents are dropping their kids off at the middle school, but the only one I really think about is the Hudson.

Catch the Lincoln Tunnel at the right time and the rest of the trip will take care of itself.

Or at least it used to be, before the reconstruction of Route 3 and its bridges started in earnest a couple of years ago. Now an easy ride through the tunnel on the westbound ride no longer presages getting home when dinner is still warm. Going east, the radio traffic reports (usually outdated anyway, unless Helicopter Man is eyeballing your route Right Now) cover the backup at the tunnel, but rarely deign to take note of what’s doing on lowly Route 3. Continue Reading

Finally Cleaning Up Agent Orange in the Passaic River

BY  |  Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 3:30pm  |  COMMENTS (11)

The Diamond Alkali factory in Newark, New Jersey produced the defoliant Agent Orange for use in the Vietnam War. Dioxin, a waste byproduct of the manufacturing process, was dumped unfiltered into the Passaic River for decades. After years of studies, court battles and finger pointing, New Jersey authorities are taking their first baby step towards removing the contaminated sludge from the river. On Monday, the EPA held a press conference where law makers, representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers and advocacy groups patted each other on the back for all the hard work they are doing.

Continue Reading

Reclaiming Open Space: Hope for Flood-Prone Homeowners

BY  |  Wednesday, Oct 19, 2011 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (60)

Our towns occupy one of the most densely populated counties in the most crowded state of the union. Land that would elsewhere be a meadow, hillside or river bank, here is a prime setting for housing. But, as residents of flood-prone areas around the Passaic River and its tributaries know all too well, many of the homes in these 100-year flood plains should never have been built. This certainly holds true for Little Falls, but is also a significant issue for houses near the Second and Third Rivers in Bloomfield. As of last Thursday, new legislation has gone to the state senate that would draw further attention to this problem and broaden the possibilities of implementing a program for municipalities to buy back the worst of the flood zone homes. The concept is designed to reclaim problematic properties and convert the land into park and conservation areas. But the idea isn’t brand new. In fact, it’s already underway in Bloomfield.

Continue Reading

The Book of Mormon: Real Life in the Little Falls Flood Zone

BY  |  Friday, Sep 09, 2011 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (2)

In the Broadway hit “Book of Mormon,” Elder Price, waiting for his missionary assignment, really, really wants to be sent to Orlando.  He gets assigned to AIDS-ravaged Uganda instead.

Maybe in the sequel, he’ll be sent to New Jersey.

Yesterday, a cluster of yellow-shirted Mormon missionaries, including Elder Devan Munk of Idaho and Daren Montierth of Arizona, were walking the streets of Little Falls on behalf of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Continue Reading

The Raging White Water at Little Falls

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 30, 2011 9:15am

The denizens of Little Falls are used to flooding, evacuations and rescue boats in their front yards. But even by Little Falls standards, Hurricane Irene was something else. Our intrepid Passaic River correspondent Wheeler Antabanez went down to the river with his camcorder yesterday and recorded the action. The river was at 13 feet, six feet above flood stage. If you watch all the way to the end, you’ll see how close the white water is to some Little Falls apartments.

Meanwhile, flooding in Fairfield is so bad they’ve closed the town entirely to non-residents.

Continue Reading

Featured Comment

Sad. Let's hope that this is not its "Last Tango." One of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in town. Valentino, Garbo, Keaton must have played there.

Tip, Follow, Friend, Subscribe

Links & Information

Baristanet on Flickr