19 Montclair + Bloomfield News Stories You Missed This Week

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Every week we bring you the highlights in the news, so you can stay up-to-date on what is happening in Montclair + surrounding areas. Among the local headlines — Brooklyn Dumpling Shop coming soon to Montclair, Bloomfield Public Schools to begin hybrid instruction, new bar Gus’ Last Word to open in Wood-ridge, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Montclair, Bloomfield, + beyond in Essex County:

To stay up-to-date on the launch, things to do, and weekly in the Montclair + greater Essex County area, follow @themontclairgirl on Instagram and sign up for our Montclair email list here. Email news tips to hello@themontclairgirl.com!


Montclair State University Announces Full-Time Return to Campus

A message was sent to students on March 24th announcing that the university is working on a plan to give students “a new normal” when they return to campus.

“We will be working to make your fall 2021 semester very different from what we have experienced over the past year,” the message said.

Through the past academic year, some classes were hosted in-person, and a limited number of students were allowed to live in on-campus housing. Social distancing and face coverings are required for students to be on campus. Click here for what we know.


Brooklyn Dumpling Shop Coming to Montclair + Newark

We reported about the shop opening a locale in Hoboken, but according to Jersey Digs, Montclair and Newark are also cities on the horizon for the dumpling empire to expand as well.

As its name suggests, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop will specialize in dumplings — with 32 flavors to choose from. The concept was founded by NYC restauranteur Stratis Morfogen, who took his family’s legacy trade, the New York diner, and reinvented it as this winning combination: diner dishes in delectable dumpling form. Click here for what we know.


2021 Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival Will Be Held Virtually

cherry blossom festival

Spring has sprung, and so have the Essex County Cherry Blossoms. The 2021 Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival, traditionally held in Essex County Branch Brook Park in Newark will be held virtually this year. While the pandemic has negatively affected many events, Essex County is keeping the tradition of appreciating and admiring the local Cherry Blossoms very much alive. Click here to learn about Essex County’s plans for this year’s virtual festival.


Proposed Essex-Hudson Greenway to Connect Montclair + Jersey City

greenway

The abandoned Old Boonton Line is getting an upgrade with plans to convert it into a public-use green space, which would provide a no-traffic path from Jersey City to Montclair. The nearly 9-mile trail would connect Jersey City from near the Grove Street PATH station to Montclair via the Bay Street Station, thereby creating easier access to surrounding towns in Bergen and Hudson counties via the light rail. Not only will the path benefit walkers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts but this development would also provide a more environmentally friendly transportation route for the nearly 300,000 New Jersey commuters into New York City. Click here for what we know.


Bloomfield College Game Design Program Earns Top Grade Nationally and in New Jersey

The Princeton Review has named Bloomfield College a top undergraduate school for Game Design according to its list, “Top 50 Undergraduate Schools for Game Design for 2021.” Bloomfield College is ranked highest in New Jersey and #34 nationally among undergraduate schools offering programs in game design, per the Bloomfield College website.

“The Bloomfield College Game Design program has received national and state recognition across the past three years,” said Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Game Development GJ Lee. “We have a dedicated community of inspiring faculty and staff who strengthen our program and create opportunities for our students. This was a tough year for all and we acknowledge the hard work, leadership, and collaboration needed to maintain this support network.”


The Battle Over Rent Control in Montclair

rent control montclair

It seems as though every few days there is a new development in the battle between tenants and landlords over a rent control ordinance that was adopted by the town in April of 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for a brief history, an introduction to the stakeholders, a timeline of events, and where the ordinance currently stands.


Crane House + Historic YWCA Open for Tours

In an Instagram post earlier this week, the Montclair History Center wrote, “YES – the Crane House and Historic YWCA is now open for in person tours! Come visit our historic house on Wednesday and Thursday from 10AM to 2PM for self-guided pay-as-you-wish tours. Private guided tours can be scheduled {through our website} for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10AM, 12PM and 2PM. Price starts at $20 for two guests. Come and visit soon – it’s been a long time and a long year!” The historic site is located at 110 Orange Road in Montclair and was originally built in 1796.


SLA Thai Restaurant Receives Select Classic Award

Simple Love Authentic {SLA} Thai Restaurant in Montclair has received the Thai Select Classic award from the Ministry of Commerce Thailand. The honor certifies that their food is authentic Thai cuisine. The post was signed, Chef Meiji, Chef Paul, and Chef Yanin.


New Neighborhood Bar to Open in Wood-Ridge, Owned by The Barrow House

 

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The Barrow House shared the exciting news about a soon-to-open neighborhood bar called Gus’ Last Word. Anticipated late this spring, the @guslastword account shares, “Gus was a shining example of what hospitality should be. Gus’ Last Word is a Restaurant + Bar with something for everyone. A place to gather that feels like home — where every night is a party!”


Bloomfield Police Department Hosts 3rd Annual “Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs” Derby

bloomfield police fishing

This summer the Bloomfield Police Department will be hosting their 3rd annual “Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs” fishing derby, per Tap Into. The event will take place on Saturday, June 5th at Clark’s Pond. Participants must register for the free event by May 17th. Social distancing will be in effect and face masks must be worn.


Rachel Wyman of Montclair Bread Company to Launch Book

 

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Rachel Wyman, the brains behind Montclair Bread Company is expected to release her cookbook Will Run for Doughnuts in the near future. The cookbook will allow avid Montclair Bread Company fans to attempt creating shop favorites in their very own kitchen. Follow along for shop updates, seasonal menus, and more.


Montclair Art Exhibit: ‘The Revelation of Goddesses’

 

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A new exhibit at 4 Flavors Art Gallery and Framing in Montclair will spotlight “The Revelation of Goddesses.” According to Patch, the exhibit by artists Erica Rose Levine and Tommy Mitchell will be on display at the gallery from April 8th to April 28th at 204 Bellevue Avenue. Private tours will be scheduled throughout the run of the exhibition. An opening reception was held on Thursday, April 8th to launch the exhibit.


Donor Gives Coronavirus Stimulus Check To Montclair Food Pantry

The Human Needs Food Pantry, which serves Essex County, recently received an unusual donation, per Patch. The note said, “I am grateful to have a roof over my head and food to put on the table. It is not possible for me to spend the $1,400 stimulus check on me and my family and have a clear conscience! Please use my donation to supply food to needy families.”

In a post, the food pantry shared a response: “Here at the food pantry, we are fortunate to come in contact with so many amazingly giving people whose concern for others drives much of what we do,” the nonprofit’s director said. “Dedicated volunteers, generous donors and caring local businesses all come together to help us continue our mission of assisting people in need. Today, however, we received a donation that was accompanied by one of the most touching letters I have ever seen.”


Bloomfield Public Schools Plan Hybrid Reopening on April 19

bloomfield public school

Bloomfield Public Schools will switch to a hybrid instruction for Pre-K through 6th grade students beginning Monday, April 19th. District staff will return to the classroom on Monday, April 12 while all students continue with remote learning, as decided in the BOE meeting on March 24. The following week children will return to in-class instruction on an A/B schedule, the specifics of which will be sent to parents this week.


Upper Montclair GAP to Close This Month

 

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GAP recently announced plans to close more than 100 GAP and Banana Republic stores globally, but the anticipated closure of the Montclair location should come as a surprise to no one considering its been listed since October 2019, per Baristanet. The Gap in Upper Montclair is slated to close on April 23. Inventory is currently marked down to 40 percent off.


Montclair Township Council Begins Review of 2021 Budget

montclair budget review

The Montclair Township Council dove into the 2021 municipal budget in a virtual meeting on April 6th, per Tap Into. The proposed 2021 budget calls for $93.8 million in appropriations, a $79,000 increase over 2020.  Rao and Benecke said that they had to withdraw $9.45 million from the surplus in concert with a 2.48 percent increase in tax rates to balance the budget, with the vigorous refinancing of debt service reduction costs. Top priority was given to the police, fire, and health departments, along with senior services and code enforcement.


28 Montclair Schools Positions to be Cut

montclair school positions cut

Montclair schools are still anticipating eliminating dozens of positions under a newly adopted school budget per Montclair Local News. School Superintendent Jonathan Ponds said he’s now estimating 28 potential reductions to district staff, down from the working figure of 53 previously discussed.

Some of those cuts might come from attrition, through retirements, or currently open positions. While it will mean a loss of personnel, Ponds is aiming to not eliminate positions actively held by an employee.


Montclair Says Tennis Permits Required for Use of Town Courts

montclair tennis

As of May 3rd, Montclair residents {ages 5 and up} will need to obtain permits to play on municipal tennis courts at Mountainside, Rand, Canterbury, and Nishuane parks. Proof of residency will be required to obtain a free permit through the Department of Recreation & Cultural Affairs, per Baristanet. Residents will be allowed one out-of-town guest and COVID-19 restrictions posted on courts must be followed.


Montclair Coronavirus Cases Rise 72 Percent In 3 Months

montclair coronavirus

Montclair’s cumulative coronavirus cases have risen 72 percent in the past three months, per Patch. As of January 1st, the total number of cases stood at 1,187 and has since risen to 2,049 as of April 1st. In addition to the increase in cases, there have also been 68 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Montclair during that timeframe, a 19 percent rise.


 


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With two little ones at home, this North Carolina native has worked remotely for the past five years as a freelance writer. Ainsley moved to New Jersey in 2016 and fell in love with the Garden State. She is always on the lookout for what’s going on in the greater New York area, from new restaurants and businesses opening to can’t-miss events highlighting local culture. Outside of writing and being a mother, Ainsley loves to dive into a good book, practice speaking French, and dream up new ways to decorate her apartment.