Another summer week is in the books and there’s never a dull moment in Essex County, which is why we cover the news in the Montclair and greater Essex County area so you don’t miss a beat. Among the headlines: Puerto Rican Day Parade returns to Newark; outdoor dining becomes permanent in Montclair; Essex County scout improves walkways at local wildlife preserve; and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Essex County and beyond.
Just Fish Bar & Grill Opens in Newark
Just Fish Bar & Grill, a seafood and soul food restaurant, has opened up in Newark at 27 Halsey Street. With its motto, ‘fresh from the sea to your table,’ this spot aims to serve delicious and sustainable seafood. Owner Gary Simpson previously ran Just Fish Cafe at 57 William Street for almost 30 years — and this new spot is his latest venture into furthering the reach of his southern seafood eats. Diners can expect to find shrimp, scallops, catfish, chicken, fries, wings, and more. Click here to learn more about this new seafood spot.
West Orange Teacher Named Teacher of the Year in Essex County
The New Jersey Department of Education has named a special education teacher in West Orange teacher of the year, according to Patch. Kristen Dunleavy currently works at Redwood Elementary School and has been serving the families of Essex County for the past 16 years. According to the NJDOE, Kristen is “a Google Certified Educator, and her lessons are brought to life through the research and incorporation of constantly evolving virtual learning tools. Most importantly, Kristen advocates for disability awareness, inclusion, and representation.”
Maplewood Construction Causes Road Closures Through 8/19
Road improvements, including milling and paving in Maplewood, will result in a number of road closures this week, reported Patch. The Maplewood Police Department will send out daily closure announcements through Nixle. Milling and paving will being tomorrow, Monday August 15th at Baker Street, North Terrace, Crowell Place, and Arcularius Terrace.
Newark Deli Reopens After 2 Years
After closing due to the pandemic, Hobby’s Deli in Newark has officially reopened, per Patch. The restaurant, located at 32 Branford Place #2723 in Newark, has been run by the Brummer family since 1962. Currently open with limited hours, the restaurant, along with its delicious eats, are back like they never left.
Tips for Safely Killing the Spotted Lanternfly
The red-and-black adult spotted lanternflies seen throughout Essex County and the North Jersey area are not welcome visitors — even if they’re cool to look at. The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect species, and while it doesn’t hurt humans or animals, it’s extremely harmful to plants and trees. Given that New Jersey is known as The Garden State for a reason, it’s important to protect our local agriculture however we can — which means killing these invasive pests whenever possible. We’ve compiled some tips and tricks to cover how to kill lanternflies safely. Click here to read about how to safely kill lanternflies.
Amazon Fresh Opens in Paramus
This year, Amazon opened one — and soon more — new Amazon Fresh locations, and even though we love our local shopping, we were genuinely curious. Recently, we checked out the newly-opened spot in Paramus to see what it’s like shopping there. Click here to read about Amazon Fresh, now open at 30 East Ridgewood Avenue in Paramus, New Jersey.
Water Main Break in Belleville Wreaks Havoc on Essex County
(Photo credits: @belleville_fire)
A major water main break in Belleville on the morning of August 9th prompted a city-wide emergency in Newark and impacted other Essex County towns, including Nutley and Bloomfield. At around 8AM on Tuesday, a pipe broke in Branch Brook Park — which is on the border of Newark and Belleville, per CNBC. The 72-inch water main line break caused immediate flooding that was so intense, it resembled a river, according to Fox5. This prompted boil water advisories in Newark, Belleville, and Bloomfield — some of which have since been lifted. Click here for the latest update.
Hey Jane Expands Modern Abortion Care to New Jersey
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US-based telemedicine provider Hey Jane expanded its services into New Jersey last week. While abortion is legal in New Jersey, according to Hey Jane, one in four NJ women live in a county with no access to abortion services. Hey Jane provides fast shipping of FDA-approved abortion pills and a consultation with a medical provider within 24 hours for support.
Montclair Town Council Approves Redevelopment Status of Municipal Building
In a recent Montclair Town Council meeting, council members voted to acknowledge the need for redevelopment of the Municipal Building, per Montclair Local. The votes totaled six to three and officially recognized the need for redevelopment of two neighboring buildings as well. No plans are in place at this time, but town planners will present the council with proposals in the coming weeks.
Puerto Rican Day Parade Returns to Newark
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The Puerto Rican Day Parade is slated to return to Newark this Fall on Sunday, September 18th, per Patch. The parade route usually begins at Broadway + Avenida Puerto Rico and ends at Lake Street in Newark. The location honors the millions of Puerto Rican inhabitants as well as the more than five million who live in the United States.
Montclair Public School District Officially Announces First Day of School
After some confusion regarding the 2022-2023 school calendar in Montclair, the public school district has officially announced the start of classes, according to Patch. The first day of school will be Tuesday, September 6th and the last day of school will be Thursday, June 22nd. Other key dates include Winter Break, which will be observed Monday, December 26th through Friday, December 30th and Spring Break, which will be Monday, April 3rd to Friday, April 7th.
Outdoor Dining Becomes Permanent in Montclair
On Wednesday, August 3rd, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into a law an expansion for restaurants, bars, distilleries, and breweries to continue serving customers in outdoor dining areas. According to Montclair Local, the law in question was set to expire on Wednesday, November 30th of this year.
Montclair Starbucks Unionizes, Joins 3 Other NJ Starbucks Unions
On Wednesday, August 10th, the workers at the Montclair-Church Street location of Starbucks became the fourth in a growing list of locations in NJ to unionize, per Patch. The newly formed union is run by Workers United, a collective of workers who have influenced other Starbucks staff to unionize. The workers have allegedly unionized because of understaffing issues, poorly working equipment, and improper training.
The Green Party of NJ to Host Virtual Annual Convention
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On Sunday, August 14th, the Green Party of New Jersey is hosting its annual convention via Zoom. According to Patch, New Jersey is home to 11,607 residents who are registered with the Green Party. The convention will take place from 11:30AM to 4:30PM and feature Matthew Hoh, a US Senate candidate from New Jersey, as the keynote speaker.
New Jersey Pastor Group Calls to End Bussing of Migrants
On Wednesday, August 11th, the New Jersey Coalition of Latino Pastors + Ministers released a statement “condemning the unjust bussing of migrants to East Coast cities without services,” per Patch. The statement also shared that some of the individuals being bussed to Washington D.C. and New York City have final destinations that include New Jersey. According to the statement, the NJ Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers stands with the migrants “purely looking for a fresh start.”
New Montclair Animal Non-Profit to Close Gap in Local Animal Welfare
Longtime animal rights activist Karen Sacks recently launched a new non-profit called ‘Partners in Animal Welfare Inc.’ According to Patch, the organization will help underfunded local animal welfare groups by providing emergency medical-expense grants, fund programs to assist older animals, and increase housing options for pets and owners in crisis.
Essex County Scout Improves Local Walkways in Wildlife Preserve
Last month, local boy scout Logan Bateman completed his Eagle Scout project at the Alonzo F. Bonsal Preserve on the Montclair and Clifton Border, per North Jersey. The project improved nearly two-thirds of a mile of walkways in the 21-acre preserve. A group of 30 volunteers built four walking bridges and planted 40 native trees.
Montclair Park Update: 2 Pools to Remain Closed
In a recent update from Montclair Township, the equipment for the Essex Park playground has been installed, per Baristanet. Drainage improvements will be placed this week and the park is expected to be completed in two to three weeks. Nishuane Park is looking at a similar timeline. Both pools will remained closed for the time being.
Montclair Officials Applaud Inflation Reduction Act
Local officials shared their approval of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which was recently approved in the U.S. Senate, per Patch. The act will impact areas including education, labor, child care, health care, taxes, immigration, and the environment. Both of New Jersey’s senators, Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, voted in favor of the act.
New Jersey Outdoor Dance Festival Returns to Montclair
Dance on the Lawn will return to Montclair on Saturday, September 10th, per Baristanet. The outdoor dance festival will be held at the front lawn of the Montclair Public Library, located at 50 South Fullerton Avenue. The performance will begin at 3PM and feature Nai-Ni Chen and Company, Maxine Steinman & Dancers, Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts, and more.
High-Risk Montclair Intersection Gets Traffic Light
For decades, the intersection at Midland and Bloomfield Avenues in Montclair has been considered by the community a dangerous place to cross. North Jersey reports that Montclair recently installed a traffic light to increase public safety for pedestrians. This intersection is one of 12 to be upgraded with a traffic light.