Essex County has been buzzing with news and we’ve got all of the details to keep you in the loop. Among the headlines from the Montclair area + beyond: a $100K grant to provide technology to homebound seniors, a citywide crackdown on off-leash dog laws, and Newark’s Historic Forest Hill House Tour. Read on for more news you missed in the Montclair area + beyond for the week of May 1st.
Aerosmith’s Farewell Tour to Hit Newark
Aerosmith officially announced their Farewell Tour: Peace Out and while this announcement is sad for many, the Rock and Roll HOF-ers will be stopping at quite a few venues in our area. With special guests, The Black Crowes, Aerosmith will be playing at The Prudential Center in Newark on December 28, 2023. They will also be making a stop at The Garden on January 19, 2024. Tickets go on sale for the general public on May 5th at 10:00 on Ticketmaster.
The Walnut Street Fair Returns to Montclair
The 2023 Walnut Street Fair, sponsored by The Lane Team, Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, and The Junior League of Montclair-Newark, will take place this Sunday, May 7th. The street fair will feature over 200 vendors and food trucks, complete with live music, a beer garden, child-friendly activities, and many others. Also making special appearances will be Optimus Prime, Bumblebee Cosplay, The Montclair Art Museum Art Truck, The Montclair Library Mini-Bookmobile, Colgate Dental Van, Scholastic, The Montclair Fire Department, and The Montclair Volunteer Ambulance Company.
The street fair will take place on Sunday, May 7th, 2023 from 11:00AM to 4:00PM on Walnut Street in Montclair between Grove Street and Forest Street. For more information check out the Walnut Street Fair Instagram and Facebook page.
Montclair Town Manager Removed from Position
(Video Credit: Township of Montclair)
Montclair parted ways with former township manager, Timonthy Stafford following a number of accusations alleging that he is responsible for gender discrimination, creating a toxic workplace, bullying, verbal abuse, and threatening behavior.
According to the Montclair Township Council Meeting, the Council adopted a final resolution to remove Stafford from his position. Although a number of council members, including Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller and Deputy Mayor William Hurlock were absent from the meeting, there were enough members to vote in favor of his removal.
NEDA Walk To Raise Awareness Of Eating Disorders in Verona
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The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) will be organizing an awareness walk on May 7, 2023, at 10:30AM at Verona Park in Verona to spread awareness about the realities of eating disorders, while providing a support system and local community of hope, strength, and recovery. The event is sponsored by Hidden River Eating Disorder Treatment, Embracing Uncertainty Therapy & Wellness, Montecatini, Monte Nido & Affiliates, Penn Medicine, GenPsych, and Jersey Shore Behavioral Group. Individuals and teams can register here.
Montclair Foundation Awards $75k in Grant Funding to Local Orgs
(Photo Credit: The Montclair Foundation Website)
According to a press release from The Montclair Foundation, “The Montclair Foundation (TMF) was proud to have awarded $75,000 in grant funding to organizations that support and enhance the quality of life and vibrancy of Montclair and its environs.”
Of the 28 nonprofits who applied for a grant this spring, 14 were awarded. The Montclair Foundation strives to provide funding for all different types of programs that serve the local community with a focus on human services, mental health, education, seniors and vulnerable populations, arts, culture, and community resources.
Maplewood ‘Day of Action’
SOMA Action, SOMA Justice, The Community Coalition on Race, and Essex Erases Borders, South Orange Public Library, and Maplewood Library came together to host “Freedom to Learn: SOMA Day of Action,” this past week.
The event was held for South Orange and Maplewood residents and included a number of different educational experiences including banned book readings and a rally to demand educational justice and the freedom to learn.
Maplewood Glee Club + Columbia High School Join Together For “The Bright Side” Concert
The Maplewood Glee Club and students from Columbia High School will be performing together on Sunday, May 7, 2023, at 4:00PM for a concert called, “The Bright Side.”
“After two and a half years, the men’s glee club is back with a repertoire of songs that exude hope and optimism. The concert will feature crowd-favorites such as “Here Comes the Sun” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, as well as show-stoppers like “For Good” from the Broadway hit musical Wicked,” was shared on the event’s Facebook page. The concert will be held at St. Joseph’s Church, located at 767 Prospect Street in Maplewood. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door on the day of the show.
Hazardous Household Waste Disposal in Essex County
The Essex County Utility Authority is holding a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day on Saturday, May 6th from 8:30AM to 4:00PM at the Essex County Public Works Department, 99 West Bradford Avenue in Cedar Grove.
Essex County residents are welcome to bring pesticides, paint, propane tanks, motor oil, pool chemicals, cleaning fluids or other household hazardous waste to dispose of on this day. Proof of residency is required. This event is not open to businesses. For more information, call the Essex County Utilities Authority at 973-792-9060 or visit www.ecuanj.com.
Maplewood Ready for Memorial Day Parade
Town officials in Maplewood are officially ready to kick off the summer season with their annual Memorial Day Parade, which will take place on Monday, May 29th. Although a time has not been set, the parade and ceremony will begin at the Maplewood Municipal Building, located at 574 Valley Street. The town welcomes all groups and organizations to join the parade and is looking forward to bringing together the different groups that make up the town. To join the parade and receive parade-related updates, email the Maplewood Township Clerk here.
Designer Labels at the Milburn-Short Hills Rummage Sale
(Photo Credit: Community Congregational Church)
The Community Congregational Church, located at 200 Hartshorn Drive in Short Hills will be hosting its annual rummage sale on Saturday, May 6th from 9:00AM to 3:00 PM. Proceeds from the rummage sale will be donated to two local groups that provide food, diapers, and housing to families in need. Organizers of the rummage sale promise that there will be, “designer labels at fantastic prices – brand-name clothes, shoes, handbags, jackets, and more.” The sale will also feature toys, kitchen supplies, housewares, clothing, artwork, and sports equipment.
Donations are being accepted all week, from May 1st to May 5th from 12:00PM to 8:00PM, and can be dropped off at the collection point behind the church. Items must be in good condition, free of damage and stains as well as in good working condition. For a complete list of donatable items, visit the official website.
Jersey Mikes Coming to Bloomfield
Jersey Mikes, a popular food chain, will be opening a new location at 224 Bloomfield Avenue on May 3, 2023. Franchise owners, Jim Pond and Lisa Margotta are excited to kick off their opening with a ‘Day of Giving,’ by donating 100% of sales to the Bloomfield High School Marching Band.
The store will be open from 10:00AM to 9:00PM every day of the week.
DJ Prince Hakim To Perform “In Praise of Disco”
Hollywood A-lister, DJ Prince Hakim, will be performing at the Montclair Art Museum Saturday, May 20, 2023 starting at 9:00PM. With indulgent cocktails from the open bar and decadent sweets crafted by Laurence Craig, this event will be all the buzz. Tickets can be purchased here.
North to Shore Film Festival to Hit Atlantic City
Montclair Film will be hosting New Jersey’s first North to Shore Festival and bringing their films and fun to the beach from June 8th to 11th in Atlantic City. There will be a variety of different events happening throughout the week, including dance parties, exclusive screenings, and other exciting events. For more information, visit the Montclair Film website.
Big Trucks Meet E-Waste Collection Event in Bloomfield
Bloomfield is excited to host a combination event that will bring the community together to properly dispose of e-waste as well as check out some cool trucks. Residents with old phones, computers, gaming consoles, and other electronics can bring these items to the event to be properly disposed of.
“We’re also excited to be able to display some of Bloomfield’s big trucks for the kids to get to climb around in – it’ll be a nice event for the whole family,” shared Mayor Michael Venezia. The event will be held on Saturday, May 6th at Universal Technical Institute, located at 1515 Broad Street in Bloomfield from 9:00AM to 12:00PM.
‘Cool Cats of Essex County’ to Raise Funds for CPAW NJ
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Hosted by Michael Stahl, the first annual ‘Cool Cats of Essex County’ on June 3, 2023 The event will raise money for CPAW, a local 501(c)3 nonprofit that helps local cats and their caretakers in Essex County. Each photography session will last between 15 and 20 minutes and will take portraits of your cat. The session is $99 and will be modeled after ‘The Dog Days of Summer.’ For more information or to book a slot, call Portraits by Michael Stahl at 973-783-3618.
Newark’s Historic Forest Hill House Tour to Return for 2023
The Forest Hill Community Association will host the Historic Forest Hill House and Garden Tour on Saturday, May 20, 2023, from 11:00AM to 4:00PM. The tour will allow you to experience the beautiful, historic homes in Newark and immerse yourself in the gorgeous, blooming gardens. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased here.
Free Tree Giveaway Event in Newark
The Newark Downtown District in partnership with the City of Newark and the Greater Newark Conservancy will donate Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees from Hawthorne Avenue Farms to the Newark community. Those interested in receiving free plans should attend the event at Hawthorne Avenue Farms, located at 446 Hawthorne Avenue in Newark on Saturday, May 6th from 1:00PM to 5:00PM.
Charles Gianni, Maplewood Stationer Owner + Duck Race Founder Passes
A true loss in the town of Maplewood, Charles Gianni, Maplewood Stationer Owner + Duck Race Founder has died at the age of 77. His impact in town was far and wide and will be felt by all. A Maplewoodian for all of his life, Charles was a staple of the community. Services for Gianni took place this past Wednesday and Thursday. You can read more about his life and impact here.
Montclair Historic Preservation Commission To Celebrate Local Efforts
The Montclair Historic Preservation Commission is excited to celebrate six local organizations and individuals with its 2023 Historic Preservation Awards. Awards are presented in three different categories including the Bricks + Mortar Preservation Award, The Preservation Service Award, and The Preservationist of the Year Award. The 2023 Preservation Awards will be presented on May 11, 2023, at the meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission.
$100K Grant to Assist Homebound Seniors in Essex County
Connections at Home, a nonprofit that works with homebound seniors was the recipient of a $100k grant to assist senior citizens in the area. The grant, which was given to Essex County seniors by Impact100, will help seniors in East Orange. In a social media post, Connections at Home shared their gratitude for the grant saying, “will be able to serve 85 additional homebound socially isolated seniors in East Orange, and will give them all a senior-friendly tablet or computer, and a social worker who will be their partner.”
“We are so grateful that Impact100 Essex members recognize the need to support the older generation: senior citizens who are homebound, with little or no family support,” shared Connections at Home Executive Director, Alex Kent. “They are an invisible part of the population who rarely get any attention or grant funding.”
Connections at Home was chosen as this year’s recipient of the $100k grant. Four other organizations were awarded grants — Jazz House Kids, Project U.S.E., and The Transformative Education Network at Montclair State University, all of which received $10,000 each.
Bloomfield Wrestler, Kira Pipkins Receives Huge Honor
This past week, The National Wrestling Hall of Fame announced the National Winner of the Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award. The recipient – Bloomfield High School Wrestler, Kira Pipkins.
The award recognizes an outstanding high school senior female wrestler for their achievements “in wrestling, scholastic achievement, citizenship, and community service,” and was awarded to Pipkins this week.
According to the Hall of Fame, “Pipkins became the first female wrestler, and the fifth wrestler overall, to be a four-time New Jersey state champion while also becoming the first female wrestler in New Jersey history to reach 100 career wins (106-9). She was named the NJ.com Girls Wrestler of the Year and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Most Outstanding Wrestler. Pipkins was team captain of both the BHS boys team and the girls team from 2021-23, and received both the BHS Most Valuable Wrestler award and BHS Wrestling Scholar-Athlete award four years in a row.”
Beyond her achievements on the mat, “Pipkins gave motivational speeches to youth groups, painted murals in BHS hallways, participated in park cleanups, and produced art for senior citizens through the BHS on the Corona Homefront. She also volunteered at Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair and the Montclair Emergency Services for Hope while spending time with senior citizens at nursing homes and collecting and donating to canned food drives and food pantries. An entrepreneur, she owns and operates art, personal training, and babysitting businesses, including prospecting, selling, and servicing clients.”
Pipkins plans to attend Columbia University where she plans to continue her wrestling career. To read more about this incredible woman, visit the Hall of Fame website.
Local Cops + Firefighters To Earn Valor Award
The Two Hundred Club of Essex County will be holding their 57th annual Valor Awards ceremony on May 9th at Nanina’s in the Park, recognizing the work of some very deserving, local heroes.
Among the recipients are East Orange Fire Department, Irvington Fire Department, Montclair Police Department. Newark Fire Division, Newark PD and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Police Department, and New Jersey Transit Police.
The awardees are recognized for their “courageousness, commitment to duty, vigilant bravery, and altruistic acts.”
Stricter Off-Leash Dog Laws Coming to Montclair
Montclair Animal Control Officers are cracking down on off-leash dog laws in the town. According to Township Code 82-13, dogs are not permitted to be off-leash in any Montclair parks, except areas specifically designated as a “dog park.”
Officials have noticed an uptick in the presence of dogs without a leash and are making residents aware of the dangers and implications of having an off-leash dog in a public area and are issuing summons to violators.
Newark Fishing Derbies Return for 2023
Essex County will be holding free fishing derbies for children in Essex County this summer. The derbies are sponsored by the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs and are open to children under 15 years old.
Children should bring their own pole, bait, bucket, and chair and must be accompanied by an adult. The derbies will run throughout the month of May and June. More details can be found here.
Selfie Museum to Hit West Orange
A new selfie museum – that’s right a place where you can pose in front of unique and artistic backdrops – is officially opening in West Orange. The concept, which is seemingly new to the world of selfie artists, is a fun thing to do with the whole family. The Exquisite Loft will be releasing more information about reservations and bookings in the near future. Check it out on Instagram.