Home Essex County 17 News Stories You Missed This Week from Montclair + Beyond

17 News Stories You Missed This Week from Montclair + Beyond

by The Montclair Girl Team
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Essex County has been buzzing with news and we’ve got all of the details to keep you in the loop this week. Among the headlines from the Montclair area and beyond (including a little Clifton!): a sailboat with a peace-keeping message will visit Newark; Bloomfield will hand out seedlings of its official town flower; and a beloved Montclair teacher will retire this year. Read on for more news you missed in the Montclair area + beyond for the week of May 1st.

NJ Transit Announces Uber/Lyft Partnership for Senior and Disabled Users

NJ Transit announced via a press release that the agency is partnering with rideshare services Uber and Lyft to increase options for AccessLink riders. The goal of the pilot program, called the Access Link Riders’ Choice Pilot Program, is to reduce wait and trip times while maintaining Access Link prices and the reservation process to which customers are accustomed. For complete details and to opt in to the program please visit njtransit.com/accessibility or visit the Riders’ Choice Pilot Program brochure by clicking here.

Free Seeds Available to Celebrate Bloomfield’s Town Flower

The Ivy at Chatham

The town of Bloomfield’s Beautification Committee will give away free seeds in honor of the town’s newly crowned official flower, the Black-Eyed Susan. Per Patch, the seeds and seedlings will be given away while supplies last on Saturday May 20th at the Bloomfield Public Library’s courtyard from 9AM to 12PM. The library is located at 90 Broad Street in Bloomfield.

Tour of Historical Homes in Newark Announced

The Forest Hill District in Newark, located next to Branch Brook Park, will host a tour of historical homes and gardens on Saturday, May 20th. Per BaristaNet, the tour is self-guided, and participants will receive a map and a wristband upon check-in. The event runs from 11AM-4PM, and tickets are available now.

Charges Made in Unlawful Vet Clinic in Totowa

A Montclair woman, along with two New York residents, was charged with running an unlicensed veterinary clinic, according to BaristaNet. The Totowa Animal Hospital was run by Alia Muslih out of the Seven Star Pet Resort in Totowa, alongside two other people who were performing unlicensed veterinary procedures on animals. Law enforcement was tipped off in summer 2021. Other charges made against the three by the Passaic County Prosecutor include drug possession, forgery, fraud, animal cruelty, theft, and many more.

Stew Leonard’s Coming to Clifton


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Regional grocery chain Stew Leonard’s will open its second New Jersey location in Clifton in 2024, according to BaristaNet. This location will sell food and wine. Stew Leonard’s will be taking over the former Seasons market in the Styertowne Shopping Center located at 1051 Bloomfield Avenue.

Newark’s Portugal Day Coming Soon/h2>

Portugal Day 2023 is set for June 10th, 11th, and 12th in Newark, according to Patch. The festival features traditional food, drinks, music, artwork, a parade, and more to celebrate Portugal’s culture. Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood is a hub for the Portuguese community in New Jersey, and this festival has been ongoing since 1979.

Bloomfield Seeks Input for Master Plan

Town of Bloomfield officials seek resident feedback as the town creates a master plan for development, according to Patch. The township will host a series of workshops in person and online to get feedback from residents, business owners, and other stakeholders about what they want to see in a master plan. Several online surveys are available, and more information is available here.

AAPI Jazz Fest Returns to Rutgers-Newark

On Saturday, May 20th, the 2nd annual Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Jazz Fest will return to the Rutgers-Newark campus, according to Patch. The event will take place at the Hahne Building, located at 54 Halsey Street in Newark. The day-long festival will focus on the contributions that Asian American and Pacific Islanders have made to jazz music and will feature performances, panel talks, and more.

YMCA of Montclair Announces 40th Annual Run


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The YMCA of Montclair has opened registration for its annual run, and this year marks the 40th anniversary of the event. Per BaristaNet, the race will be held on June 4th with check-in beginning at 6:30AM. Pre-registration is available now, and same-day registrations will be accepted. The race will have a 10K and a 2 Mile Fun Run/Walk.

Montclair High School Crew Teams Take Home State Titles

The Montclair High School Crew Team brought home plenty of hardware from the Garden State Scholastic Rowing Championship, which took place in Camden NJ on April 29th. According to Montclair Local, both the men’s and women’s teams won several trophies. The team is in a strong position going into the national championships, which will take place May 24th.

Newark Receives Designation, Award from Former President Obama

Newark has been named one of four cities to earn the designation of a My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Model Community by the My Brother’s Keeper organization, part of the Obama Foundation. Per Patch, former President Barack Obama founded the My Brother’s Keeper organization to combat racial violence. Newark’s designation means it has made achievements in six main categories to improve conditions for at-risk communities. In addition to the designation, the city also received an $800,000 grant to continue its efforts.

Montclair Gets a 2nd Jerkface Mural


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According to Montclair Local, a new mural by renowned street artist Jerkface now adorns the outside wall at 6 Gates Avenue. The mural is part of a larger effort by the Montclair Business Improvement District to bring more murals to town. This new mural is fully visible from the parking lot of Greek Taverna.

Veterans for Peace Sailboat Coming to Newark

The Golden Rule, a sailboat operated by the non-profit organizations Veterans for Peace, will make its way to Jersey City later this month. According to Patch, the ship will spread its message of anti-violence as part of a larger journey along the East Coast. The ship will be at Riverfront Park in Newark on May 19th.

Bloomfield Police Take Part in Police Unity Tour

Per Patch, several members of the Bloomfield Police Department took part on the Police Unity Tour, part of the celebrations to observe Police Week. The event honors deceased officers and raises funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum. The ride culminated in a celebration at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C.

Many Newark Artists Featured at North to Shore Festival


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Many artists who make their creative home in Newark will be showcased at more than a dozen new events added to the lineup for the inaugural North to Shore Festival weekend in Newark on June 21-25. Each event will highlight the work of at least one, and often many, creatives who keep the city’s arts scene humming all year long. These performances and events, many of them free, are made possible by grants offered by the North to Shore Festival, according to a press release from the organizers.

These performers will join the Festival’s previously announced global headliners — including Halsey, Santana, Alanis Morissette, Stephen Colbert, Jazmine Sullivan, Marisa Monte, Bill Burr, Natalie Merchant and more — in making the first North To Shore Festival weekend in Newark the definitive celebration of the power of the performing arts and the creativity, diversity and innovation found in the Garden State. Learn more about this three-weekend, multi-venue festival here.

Newark Introduces Rent Control Proposal

According to NJ.com, a new proposal introduced this week at the Newark City Council aims to keep rents affordable. The proposal from Mayor Ras S. Baraka would limit rent increases to 5% for any two-year period. The council will take up the measure at its May 24th meeting.

Beloved Montclair Teacher Dan Gill to Retire

A retirement ceremony and reception honoring legendary Montclair teacher Dan Gill will be held Saturday, June 17, from 1PM to 3:30PM at Glenfield School, where Gill has taught for more than half a century.  The invitation is here, according to a statement from the Montclair Public Schools.

Mr. Gill is a beloved teacher known for his mastery in bringing civics and American democracy to life for three generations of Montclair students — his 53-year career spans ten U.S. presidents.

He has received many awards as an educator and won national media coverage for his policy of leaving a chair empty in the classroom — a metaphor for acceptance that evokes the time a Black friend wasn’t allowed with him into a white classmate’s birthday party because, the mother said, “there weren’t enough chairs.”

In addition to lessons about discrimination and racism, Mr. Gill, who will turn 76 this month, worked on the magnet plan that integrated Montclair’s schools in the 1970s after busing desegregation failed; it became a national model. He also helped the school develop its popular “House” system, in which students stay with the same group of core teachers throughout middle school. (He is the lead teacher of House Gill.)

Mr. Gill also served 40 years in Seton Hall University’s Upward Bound Program, which helps students from families in lower-income areas in Newark and East Orange pursue higher education.

A revered figure in Montclair, he was selected as Grand Marshal of the town’s Caravan of Heroes parade in 2020 (it took place in 2021 due to COVID) and gave Montclair High School’s commencement address in 2022. “All of you have a story,” he told the graduating class, whose last two years of school coincided with the COVID pandemic. “Share it.”

“Dan Gill is a Montclair icon and treasure for this community,” said Schools Superintendent Jonathan Ponds. “He is the kind of teacher students remember for the rest of their lives. In addition to helping integrate the district, he is a great champion of the values — like diversity, academic excellence, public engagement, and community spirit — that make Montclair special. He may be retiring, but I hope and expect he will continue to contribute to a town he has served so well.”

“The stories of the lives that Mr. Gill has positively impacted are countless,” said Alison Silverstein, president of The Montclair Board of Education. “The Board is forever thankful for everything that Mr. Gill has done for the students and families of Montclair.  We are grateful for his many years of service and wish him all the best on his retirement.”

AAPI Montclair Presents Passages Taken Art Exhibit


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In honor of AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Heritage Month in May, AAPI Montclair is pleased to host a panel discussion – Passages Taken – and a reception at the Montclair Art Museum (MAM), to celebrate the work of artists Siona Benjamin, Caren King Choi, and Ela Shah. The event will take place at MAM between 6PM and 9PM on May 25th, 2023, according to a press release from the organization.

Moderated by Mayuri Chandra of Arts Ed Newark, the panel will explore transcultural influences and the role of motherhood and community. The audience will get the opportunity to hear from the artists on various themes including their artistic journeys, the sense of home, and the portrayal of motherhood, a formidable passage in and of itself. More information is available here.

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