Every week, we gather the highlights you missed in the news this week in Montclair, Bloomfield, + beyond. Among the local headlines: the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade; Essex County installed 33 new trail markers along the Lenape Trail; Newark renames Washington Park to Harriet Tubman Square; and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Essex County + beyond.
Roe v. Wade Overturned: What This Means for New Jersey
On June 24th, Roe v. Wade — the 1973 decision landmark law governing abortion in the US — was officially overturned in the US. This news comes after a leaked draft of the opinion for a 2022 Supreme Court case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, was published in Politico back in early May. While this means many US states will opt to fully ban abortion, New Jersey is not one of them. Click here for what the overturning of Roe v. Wade, means for New Jersey residents.
NJ Governor Phil Murphy Signs Executive Order to Combat Gun Violence
Signing an executive order to combat gun violence. WATCH LIVE: https://t.co/cjCmEVrjhh
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 24, 2022
On Friday, June 24th New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order to combat gun violence. In a press Governor Murphy announced that all state departments will be reviewing statues, rules, and regulations to see where improvements can be made for stricter gun laws in New Jersey.
New Jersey Ranked #3 Healthiest State
New Jersey is the #3 healthiest state in the US, according to a new study that ranks all US states and the District of Columbia against 13 contributing factors including behavior, fitness infrastructure, and health status factors. Nearly half of New Jerseyans are aerobically active, 13.1% of New Jersey adults are smokers, and 14.4% are binge drinkers, among some of the factors. New Jersey is the state with the least number of chronic diseases per capita.
The District of Columbia is the healthiest jurisdiction in the US, scoring top marks for all fitness infrastructure indicators and the highest recommended daily intake rate of fruits.
Essex County Parks System Released Concert Lineup
The Essex County Parks System has released the 2022 Essex County Free Summer Music Concert Series lineup. The line up includes a wide range of performers including, Chatham Community Band, The Amazing Grace Little Band and 80′s Revolution. The concerts are all held at accessible sites in West Orange, Newark, and Bloomfield. Click here to see the lineup.
Essex County’s Lenape Trail Gets 33 New Trail Markers
On Monday, June 20th, local officials gathered at Essex County Cedar Grove Park for a ribbon cutting ceremony, per Tap Into. The Lenape Trail, which spans 34 miles and connects 18 parks and 11 municipalities recently had 33 new trail markers installed. The markers not only structurally reinforce the trail but also serve to memorialize the significance of the trail itself as part of local history.
6th Annual ‘Families Behind the Badge’ Event Raises $13K
The sixth annual Families Behind the Badge happened earlier this month, per Tap Into. Montclair Police Officers were among the ten teams of North Jersey law enforcement at the event to battle it out for the title. Over $13,000 was raised at the event and it will be given to the NJ State PBA Survivors Fund as well as the family of a late officer.
Maplewood School District Reintroduces Mask Mandate
Due to an increase of COVID-19 cases among students, the Maplewood School District has reinstated a mask mandate, per Patch. Students will be required to wear a mask in school, on the bus, and at the graduation ceremony held on Friday, June 24th.
Bloomfield’s 34th Annual Tom Fleming Sunset Classic Happening 6/30
The 34th Annual Tom Fleming Sunset Classic road race will take place on Thursday, June 30th. According to Patch, the Kids Sprint will take place at Foley Field at 6:30PM followed by the Rick Petersen Mile event at 7PM. The final event, the five-mile Tom Fleming Sunset Classic Race will begin at 7:30PM, followed by an awards ceremony.
Montclair Township Council Votes on Diversity Inclusion Program
On Tuesday, June 21st at the Montclair Township Council meeting, the council voted on a program that would require a certain percentage of Montclair contracts awarded to equipment, construction, or services from qualified minority-, veteran-, disabled persons-, LGBTQ- and female-owned businesses. According to Montclair Local, the program was initially proposed on Tuesday, May 17th but it was requested to include disabled persons before an official vote.
Watchung Booksellers to Host Book Reading by James Broderick
Watchung Booksellers is welcoming local author James Broderick to share the words of his latest novel, “The Last Words of James Joyce,” per Baristanet. He will be accompanied by playwright Bruce Benway on Wednesday, June 29th at 7PM. The event is free to the public.
Montclair Public Library to Kick Off Summer Reading 2022
The Montclair Public Library is kicking off the 2022 Summer Reading season with two outdoor events, per Baristanet. The Summer Reading Extravaganza will be held on Saturday, June 25th and the Summer Reading Celebration with Rockness Music will take place on Saturday, July 9th.
Studio Montclair Celebrates 25th Anniversary
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Studio Montclair will be celebrating its 25th anniversary by presenting “State of the Art 2022,” per Montclair Local. This will be the inaugural event for the new venue, the Leach Gallery. An opening reception will be held on Sunday, June 26th from 2PM to 5PM.
‘Downtown Thursdays’ Returns to West Orange
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The Downtown West Orange Alliance is hosting creative programs, live music, and outdoor dining on select Thursdays this summer, per Patch. The first Downtown Thursday took place this week on Thursday, June 23rd. West Orange residents and members of the surrounding community are invited to eat, shop, and enjoy this summer event series.
All Montclair Public School Students to Receive Chromebooks + Internet to Continue Learning
Montclair Public School students can now stay connected and continue learning all year long thanks to a $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund. According to Baristanet, this funding will provide all students with Chromebooks, hot spots, and broadband Internet where needed.
Montclair High School Falsely Announced it Needed Help Finding Caps and Gowns
Administrators sent out a message to the community this week asking for donated caps + gowns that weren’t delivered due to a shipping error. These caps + gowns were for Montclair High School’s 2022 graduation, per Patch. Shortly after that, Montclair High School reportedly released information that they had sufficient caps and gowns for graduation and the previous information had been inaccurate, per Patch.
An Invasive Plants Strike Team Comes to Montclair
A strike team is getting ready to tackle invasive plants in Montclair, per Patch. This strike team will be attacking invasive plant species at Alonzo F. Bonsal Wildlife Preserve in Montclair. The Bonsal Wildlife Preserve Conservancy is assembling the strike team, and anyone interested is able to volunteer for the event.
Washington Park in Newark Renamed Harriet Tubman Square
Washington Park in Newark will now be called Harriet Tubman Square, per NJ.com. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka celebrated the Juneteenth holiday by presiding over a ceremony to change the name. Baraka also used the occasion to announce plans for what the Newark Arts and Education District will be.
Toni’s Kitchen Breaks Ground on Expansion
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Toni’s Kitchen has broken ground on a significant expansion to their space, per Baristanet. Toni’s Kitchen is a food ministry of St. Luke’s Church in Montclair and it has grown from a small soup kitchen to a major hunger relief organization. This expansion project will open up over 5,000 square feet of space.
Local Officials Announce Sales Tax Holiday for School Supplies
New Jersey local officials recently announced a new sales tax holiday, specifically for school supplies. From Saturday, August 27th through Monday, September 5th, all school supplies purchased in New Jersey will be exempt from the normal sales tax applied at checkout. According to Tap Into, this exemption applies to school supplies, school art supplies, school instructional materials, computers, school computer supplies, and bicycle helmets.
Local Officials to Introduce Animal Rights Policies in Montclair
Montclair local officials are working to introduce animal rights legislation this summer, according to a press release. All of the legislation has to do with animal rights policy. One of the legislations is a new ordinance to prohibit the future retail sale of dogs and cats in pet stores.
Montclair Town Council Awards Contract to Shoreline Energy Advisors
Montclair Town Council awarded a contract to Shoreline Energy Advisors for phase 2 of the Town Center Distributed Energy Resources Microgrid Design Incentive Program, per a press release. This will help provide clean energy to some of the most important infrastructure in the area. The energy will also be economical.
Montclair High School Launches Adopt-A-Mountie Program
Montclair High School is launching an Adopt-A-Mountie program which invites the community to fund the first year of college for a local high school senior, per a press release. ‘Mounties,’ AKA a senior at Montclair High School, must meet a few requirements to qualify including showing proof of residency, acceptance to a university, and proof of on-campus housing arrangements. High school seniors are able to request an application by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.