Another busy week has come and gone in Montclair and Essex County. We’ve rounded up all the latest news to keep you up to date on everything happening in the community. Some highlights include: AeroFarm expands its partnership with Newark Public Schools; a teenage boy was killed in a one-car accident in Bloomfield; and a pet vaccination clinic will take place for pet owners in Montclair and Cedar Grove. Keep reading for all the North Jersey news you missed this week in Essex County and beyond.
Montclair Student Selected for Highly Selective Senate Program
Serena Lee, a senior at Montclair High School, was one of 104 students nationwide who were selected to participate in the 2023 United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), per Patch. The program is a week-long, in-depth study of the federal government. Students will travel to Washington DC where they will meet with leaders. Students will also receive a $10,000 college scholarship.
Deaf’s Delight Cafe in Newark Facing Trouble
A cafe in Newark known for its inclusive attitude and vegan treats is facing financial trouble. Deaf’s Delight Cafe employs deaf workers and was founded as a safe space for the deaf and hard of hearing community. The owner has faced problems from a burglary to the pandemic to a flood. Now, a GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up to help her navigate a dispute with her landlord. Read more here.
Montclair Township Council Kicks Off 2023
A Montclair Township Council meeting on January 17th started off 2023 with a packed agenda, according to TapInto. Many of the discussion items had to do with approving the town’s budget for the coming year, and there was lots of discussion about the Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment. The Township Council’s next meeting will be on January 24th.
AeroFarms Expands to Newark Public Schools
AeroFarms, an urban farming company headquartered in Newark, announced a partnership with Newark Public Schools. Per Patch, the agreement will see AeroFarms install growing facilities in several public schools in Newark. There are already AeroFarms setups in several charter schools in Newark. The goal of the partnership is to give students and teachers the opportunity to learn more about urban farming while providing the school communities with fresh produce.
Light of Day Festival Returns to Montclair
The Light of Day Foundation was founded to bring awareness and fundraise for Parkinson’s Disease. What started as a birthday party and informal fundraising event in 1998 has now grown to be a yearly celebration. The Festival is a series of concerts and performances that take place worldwide. The Festival returned to Montclair this weekend, with performances from Willie Nile and others, according to Montclair Local.
Montclair Teachers Receive Over $60,000 in Grants
Per Montclair Local, the The Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence has awarded more than $60,000 to fund projects proposed by local teachers. While the MFEE has been granting funds to teachers for over 25 years, staffers said that this year’s round had more requests for funding social and emotional projects. Several other teacher projects were funded through other avenues, such as state funding.
City of Newark Receives Tree Maintenance Grant
In an effort to reduce greenhouse gases, the City of Newark received a grant dedicated to removing hazard dead trees and planting new ones in five, targeted neighborhoods. The grant is part of a statewide grant totalling $24.3 million to use natural resources to leverage greenhouse gases. The Newark project, called the Newark Canopy Initiative, will plant a total of 331 new trees. Read more here.
Upcoming Pet Vaccination Clinics for Cedar Grove, Montclair Residents
There are two upcoming clinics for pet parents in Cedar Grove and Montclair to get their pet up to date on vaccinations. The clinics, which are being hosted by Montclair Health and Human Services, are both in February. More details are available here.
NJ Transit Pilot Program Extends Transit Benefits to Part-Time College Students
In a pilot program, NJ Transit is expanding student commuter pass program to part-time college students. Per Patch, the program gives qualifying riders an additional 25% discount off passes when purchased through the NJ Transit app. A list of participating colleges and universities can be found here.
Dogs of SOMA Calendar Raises Funds
There’s no such thing as too many cute pet pictures, and that’s exactly why the team behind the Dogs of South Orange and Maplewood (SOMA) put together its calendar fundraiser. The calendar’s proceeds are donated to the East Orange Animal Alliance. The 2022 calendar was the first time the calendar was produced, and the total donation was $1,349.88. The 2023 calendar sold out, and the total donation is still being tallied. To learn more, click here.
DeCamp Bus Line Extends Service
Starting January 30th, commuters will have additional routes on the Route 33 and Express Route 33 bus line. According to BaristaNet, the decision was made in response to customer demand. The goal of the additional routes is to reduce overcrowding on this popular line.
Three Teens Injured + One Killed in Glen Ridge Car Accident
A car crash on Sunday, January 15th sent three Glen Ridge teens to the hospital, and a fourth teen was killed, according to BaristaNet. The crash took place in the Bloomfield section of Brookdale Park around 11:30PM. The Crime Scene Investigations Bureau is investigating the crash. Authorities said anyone with information can contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office tips line at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.
Free Prep Course for US Citizenship Test
The Newark Public Library is offering a free workshop for residents interested in taking the US Citizenship Test. The workshop starts on March 4th at 9:30AM and will be held at the Newark Library, located at 5 Washington Street. Per Patch, the course will run for ten weeks.
Blood Donations Urgently Needed
There are several locations for donating blood in North Jersey. Click here for a list from MG about how you can help out.
Michelin-Rated Restaurant Opens New Location in Montclair
A new Chinese fusion restaurant has opened in Montclair, bringing with it a delicious menu and international recognition. JiangNan, located at 379 Bloomfield Avenue, opened in early January 2023. The restaurant is known for its Chinese fusion dishes that are prepared with traditional recipes and seasonal updates. In 2022, the restaurant was named to the Michelin Bib Gourmand list, an acknowledgment of the restaurant’s high-quality food and dining experience. Read on for more.
Montclair History Center Hosts Film Series: “The Price of Liberty”
This is the eighth year for the series, which is a film and discussion series on issues related to race, segregation, integration, and Civil Rights. “The Price of Liberty” this year will focus on reparations and social justice issues for African-Americans and Asian Americans. Local scholars will be leading the discussions. Visit the MHC’s website for more information.
Lunar New Year Celebrations at Montclair Art Museum
Per TapInto, AAPI Montclair and the Montclair Art Museum (MAM) will host AAPI Montclair’s second annual Lunar New Year Celebration on January 28th the Montclair Art Museum. Assemblywoman Ellen Park, the first Korean American woman elected to the New Jersey State Legislature, will kick off the celebrations with a Dragon Parade at 11:30AM. There will be family-friendly performances and activities all day.
Nutley Receives Grant for Renovations, Improvements
The Township of Nutley received a grant for infrastructure improvements, community programs and building renovations according to TapInto. The $180,00 grant is part of a bulk grant dispersed by the county and funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Nine-Year-Old Caldwell Resident Honored for Lanternfly Abatement Activities
Bobbi Wilson, a 9-year-old Caldwell resident, was honored for actions in combatting the spread of the spotted lanternfly. According to nj.com, Bobbi was questioned by a neighbor while she was spraying the lanternflies in her family’s yard. The incident went viral online for its racist overtones, and Bobbi was lauded for commitment to the environment. She was honored at event last week in Montclair, with remarks from Matt Platkin, the Attorney General of New Jersey, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stevens and others.