There is never a dull moment in Essex County, which is why we cover the news in the Montclair and the greater Essex County area so you don’t miss a beat. Among the headlines: members of the Empower NJ coalition participated in a five-day “Walk for Climate” this week; Essex County magazine to become a TV show; Maplewood unveils mural created by 200 volunteer contributors; and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Essex County and beyond.
Serenity Wig Design Relocates to The Avenue Salon in West Orange
In a recent Instagram post, Serenity Wig Design shared an update: “We’re moving!! Proud to announce we will be joining The Avenue Salon at 457 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange and plan to open late September! Our wig design salon will be better than ever! We can’t wait to show you!”
Essex County to Install 16,000 Solar Panels in Millburn Reservoir
A local water treatment plant will soon use solar energy to power through its processes, per Patch. NJR Clean Energy Ventures recently completed the agreement to provide the installation of 16,510 solar panels. The panels will provide 95 percent of the power needed to run the New Jersey American Water Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant each year.
Bloomfield Community Garden Reaches 540 Pounds of Veggies Donated to Local Food Pantry
The Bloomfield Community Garden Committee recently donated 65 pounds of fresh produce to the local food pantry, reported Patch. Over the entire season, the garden has donated 540 pounds of vegetables including cucumbers, kale, peppers, squash, peppermint, basil, and tomatoes. Last year, the garden donated 712 pounds by October.
Newark Kicks Off Outdoor Event ‘Taste of Newark’ Today
On Sunday, August 21st, the City of Newark kicked off the outdoor dining experience “Taste of Newark.” The event will take place this weekend at Ferry Street and again on Sunday September 4th and Sunday, September 18th. Participating restaurants in designated locations will be allowed to extend their patio dining space into the street from 12PM to 9PM. Click here for what we know.
325 New Trees Coming to Montclair
The Township of Montclair recently authorized spending on 325 new trees to be planted on curbs, in parks, and on other township property this fall. At least 70 percent of the trees will be native to the area, ensuring healthy biodiversity in Montclair.
Tacos La Gringa Reopens in Bloomfield
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On Thursday, August 16th, Tacos La Gringa reopened its doors in Bloomfield, according to Patch. The family-owned Mexican restaurant recently relocated to the new downtown location at 547 Bloomfield Avenue.
Newark Takes to the Streets for Peace Walk Against Gun Violence
Following an uptick in gun violence this summer, the community in Newark has been taking to the streets to call for peace, reported Patch. Community members in Newark showed up on Saturday, August 20th in the biggest Peace Walk of the season. Mayor Ras Baraka joined other officials, local activists, and the rest of the community, all walking together for 13 miles through all five of the city wards. The walk also featured information on local resources for housing, education, employment, and mental health resources.
Montclair Public Library Promotes Interim Director to Permanent Role
Janet Torsney has been named the new library director at the Montclair Public Library, reported Montclair Local. Most recently, she served as the interim library director while the board of trustees accepted applications for the position from across the country. The former director left in 2021 to take a new position at the Sacramento Public Library. Torsney has worked as a library professional since 2008.
Montclair Community Valley + Bloom Secures $87M Financing
A mixed-use community in Montclair recently secured financing in the amount of $87.1 million, according to Jersey Digs. The six-story buildings, located at 34 Valley Road, include studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. The retail space in the community is leased by Regus Corporation and Sotheby’s International Realty.
Maplewood Greenhouse Applications Due Soon
Maplewood residents have the opportunity each year to apply for one of 160 bench spaces in the Rahner Greenhouse, and this year’s application deadline is coming up, per Patch. The township accepts applications for one day only in which residents can submit for a 9-foot space in the greenhouse. If spaces are still available following the Thursday, September 8th deadline, additional applications will be accepted after Saturday, October 1st.
Water Main Break in Newark Marks 3rd This Month
On Wednesday, August 17th, Newark experienced another water main break — making it the third one this month, according to Patch. The mayor shared an update, “Early this morning, at 1:54AM, an eight-inch service line break occurred on Academy Street, between Halsey and Broad Streets. This service line is for fire department use only, therefore does not affect drinking water.” The pipe was being repaired later the same day.
Montclair to Hold COVID-19 Booster Clinics
The Montclair Health Department will be providing COVID-19 vaccine boosters on the first and third Tuesdays of every month going forward, according to Baristanet. Appointments are available between 9AM and 12PM for those 18 and older. The clinic is located at 205 Claremont Avenue in the Montclair Municipal Building, on the third floor.
Maplewood Unveils Mural Created by 200 Volunteer Contributors
Last month, the organizers of a community-based mural project invited anyone ages five and up to contribute to the “Rivers” mural. According to Patch, approximately 200 people ended up participating. The mural decorates a previously empty corner lot at Yale and Springfield Avenue. Contributors chose a time slot to paint or contribute a doodle design through Saturday, July 23rd. The mural is now complete and available for public viewing.
Essex County Magazine to Become TV Show
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Weird NJ, a magazine produced by two Essex County residents, has been slated for production as a TV show, according to Patch. Mark Moran of West Orange and Mark Sceurman of Bloomfield have documented strange happenings and odd locations in New Jersey for decades. The duo has featured attractions like Lucy the Elephant and the Jersey Devil in addition to reports of UFO sightings and abandoned Nike missile silos. Sony Pictures Television has purchased rights to the magazine to develop the stories as a series of live-action horror/comedy episodes.
Montclair Approves Recreational License for Ascend Cannabis Dispensary
Following a year of back and forth between Montclair and Ascend, the town has approved the company’s application to become a seller of recreational marijuana, reported Montclair Local. The shop was told it was able to welcome a new clientele as early as Friday. The council’s approval also grants the company rights to expand to two additional storefronts.
New Jersey Drops Testing Mandate for Unvaccinated
As of Monday, August 15th, unvaccinated school employees, child care staff, and state contractors in New Jersey no longer need to submit to regular testing for COVID-19, per Patch. The order applies immediately to school districts, child care settings, and to state contractors beginning Thursday, September 1st. Employers in these sectors can still maintain a vaccination or testing policy as they see fit going forward but will not be required to by the state.
Newark Neighborhood Center Opens Newly Renovated Learning Space
Earlier this month, local officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the newly renovated learning space at the New Community Corporation’s Neighborhood Center, reported Tap Into. NCC’s center is one of ten to open across the country as part of the same Back-to-School campaign. The center is located on Hayes Street in Newark.
Local Environmental Activists Call for Closure of 7 Fossil Fuel Projects
Members of the Empower NJ coalition participated in a five-day “Walk for Climate” this week, per Patch. The activists walked to Woodbridge for a rally on Wednesday and ended the week’s events with a rally in Red Bank. The group is interested in shutting down projects like widening the NJ Turnpike, gas pipeline expansions, and power plants in Newark + Kearny.
Milling + Paving Begins in Montclair, Causing Road Closures
Road improvements have begun in Montclair, resulting in road closures on Bloomfield Avenue, according to Patch. The project is expected to end on Friday, August 26th. One mile of Bloomfield Avenue will be milled and paved over a three-day span. Traffic lights at North + South Fullerton, Church Street, and Glenridge Avenues will be activated on Monday, August 22nd. Existing signage on Glenridge Avenue will be reversed by the Department of Community Services.
Casa De Flora Bar Opens in Bloomfield
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A luxury cafe slash flower shop recently opened in Bloomfield. Cafe De Flora Bar shared an update on Instagram, saying, “We are here and ready to serve!!! Never thought I would be so happy about work, but that’s what happens when you LOVE what you do.” The shop is located at 75 Washington Street in Bloomfield.