Home Essex County 27 Montclair + Bloomfield News Stories You Missed This Week

27 Montclair + Bloomfield News Stories You Missed This Week

by The Montclair Girl Team
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There’s been lots of news happening in Essex County this week, and The Montclair Girl is here to get you up to speed. Among the local headlines: the ban on single-use carryout bags in NJ goes into effect in May; The Paper Mill Playhouse debuts a new musical; Montclair’s Fourth of July celebrations will officially be returning after a two-year hiatus, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Montclair and beyond.

Emma Roberts + Luke Bracey Spotted Filming in Livingston

crystal palace

Film stars Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey were spotted filming Maybe I Do in Livingston this week at The Crystal Palace. A whole host of celebs have been spotted filming in the area lately. Click here for a few of the highlights.

The Ivy at Chatham

Bobbi Brown to Speak at NJ PAC Women’s Annual Luncheon


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A post shared by Women@NJPAC (@njpacwomen)

NJ PAC Women announced on Friday, April 1st that Bobbi Brown will speak at this year’s women luncheon. “We’re excited to share that makeup artist and NJ native Bobbi Brown @JustBobbiDotCom will be the special honored guest for our Annual Spring Luncheon! Get inspired by the entrepreneur, makeup artist, and author plus support the arts in New Jersey when you get your ticket today.”

Property Owners Reach Historic Rent Control Agreement

rent freeze

On Thursday, March 30th, Montclair’s tenants and property owners officially settled on wording for a revised rent control ordinance, per North Jersey. The town council voted last week to put the original ordinance to a voter referendum which resulted in the finalization of the new law to replace the 2020 ordinance. Effective immediately, landlords can stipulate a 6% allowable increase with a maximum of up to 4% every 12 months after that, with a maximum increase of 2.5% for seniors. It will include two- and three-family homes unless they are owner-occupied.

New Bill Would Delay School Starts Until 8:30AM

montclair school positions cut

State legislature is slated to review a new bill that would delay start times in high schools until 8:30AM, per Montclair Local. Supporters of the bill say this delay would help teen mental health which was aggravated during the pandemic. The plan — sponsored by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) and Senator Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth) — would take effect at the start of the 2024-25 school year.

Montclair Police Officer Suspended Over Allegations of Racist Language

montclair police

A veteran officer at the Montclair Police Department has been suspended over allegations of using racist language, per Tap Into. Anonymous sources confirmed that Montclair police leadership took swift action after word got back that a veteran police officer used the N-word during a conversation while attending an event in Atlantic City.

Silver Stream Studio Opens in Montclair

A new art space has officially opened in Montclair as of Friday, April 1st. Silver Stream Studio is a full-service podcasting studio/art gallery/retailer of oddities spot located in The Montclair Mews.

Montclair School Board to Request $190M Referendum


The Montclair Board of Education plans to ask residents to authorize $190 million to cover school repairs and upgrades broken up into three bonds taken out over the next five years, per Montclair Local. If this referendum passes, the tax impact to the homeowners assessed at the township average of $628,000 would grow over that time — ultimately reaching an estimated $870 per year by the fifth year.

Environmental Groups Request Transparency Regarding Plans for NJ School of Conservation

More than 20 environmental groups have joined together in a letter sent to the president of Montclair State University demanding he release information regarding the proposal to manage the New Jersey School of Conservation at Stokes State Forest, per North Jersey. A few of the groups include New Jersey Audubon, Environmental Lobby, League of Conservation Voters, and the Land Conservancy of New Jersey.

Illuminate Food Opens on Grove Street in Montclair


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A post shared by Illuminate Food (@illuminate_food)

On Saturday, April 2nd, Illuminate Food opened at 113 Grove Street in Montclair. The shop will be open today, Sunday, April 3rd from 11AM to 5PM. The Instagram post sharing opening reads, “This store has been a long time coming and we are ready to officially become a part of the all-star Montclair business community. We are calling our first month open a ‘soft opening’ so we can take some time and figure out how to best meet our customer’s needs.”

Ban on Single-Use Carryout Bags in NJ Goes Into Effect in May

new jersey single use plastic foam products ban 2022

The latest measures of New Jersey’s ban on plastic begin on May 4th, 2022. New Jersey law will prohibit all stores from selling or providing customers with single-use plastic carryout bags and instead can provide or sell only reusable carryout bags. Also going into effect on the same day is a ban on polystyrene foam foodservice products. Click here for all the details.

Montclair Real Estate Team Accepted into Compass’ Sports + Entertainment Division

This week, local real estate group The Lane Team announced it has been accepted into Compass’ Sports + Entertainment Division. The post reads, “We have some exciting news!@chrislanesellsnj has been accepted into Compass’ Sports and Entertainment Division! Swipe for a look! @compass.s_e We cover 52 markets across the U.S. serving exclusive clientele through personalized attention, marketing, tech prowess, market expertise, and total discretion!”

Ex-Housing Authority Director Admits to Stealing Nearly $600k


A former director at the federally-funded Newark Housing Authority has admitted to stealing almost $600,000, per NJ.com. Venancio Diaz of Jersey City faces up to 10 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to theft from an agency receiving federal funds. Diaz is scheduled to be sentenced on August 4th.

Newark Airport Next In Line for Makeover

newark airport

Newark Airport is next for a makeover from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, per NJ.com. Construction is currently wrapping up at the new Terminal A and the bi-state authority is planning what it will do to the rest of the airport. The next move is to replace Newark Airport’s Terminal B.

Newark Converts Old Bank to Apartments for Artists

The Gant-Gilbert Arts Collective has officially been opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place on Tuesday, March 29th, per NJ.com. This collective includes 27 apartments, 10 art studios, a performance space, and a cafe housed in a building that used to be the Clinton Trust Company. The main idea of this collective is to create apartments as well as work and performance places for artists. Tenants won’t start moving in until June or July.

World Premiere of New Musical at The Paper Mill Playhouse

The opening night for the world premiere of a new musical will be happening at the Paper Mill Playhouse, reported Tap Into. The Wanderer will open on Sunday, April 3rd and the show is set to play through April 24th. The Wanderer is based on the life and music of Dion, a Bronx-born American singer and songwriter who had 30 Top 40 Hits in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Bellevue Theater Redevelopment Plans Discussed

bellevue theater

The Bellevue Theater is in its centennial year and it is currently the subject of a redevelopment plan, per Tap Into. The redevelopment plan will repurpose the building to be able to be used for stage events and movies. Theater supporters are currently waiting on further comment from the Historic Preservation Commission to make sure the plans they want to do are feasible.

Montclair Police Receive Donation of Hand Sanitizing Wipes

montclair police

Montclair Police received a donation of 1,200 cases of hand sanitizing wipes from Progressive Products of Rye New York, per Baristanet. This donation is for various organizations throughout the Township. These wipes have been distributed to businesses, public schools, and pantries all throughout the Township.

Author to Talk at Montclair Synagogue

Author Michelle Cameron will be talking at Bnai Keshet’s Kaplan Minyan in Montclair on Saturday, April 2nd, per Baristanet. She will talk about the balance between being able to maintain Jewish tradition and assimilating into mainstream American culture. You can also watch the presentation over Zoom and all are free to join.

The Max of Montclair Celebrates Official Reopening

The Max of Montclair has officially reopened after having to shut down due to the floods from Hurricane Ida, per Baristanet. It is newly refurbished and it opened its expanded space on Saturday, March 26th. After surviving being shut down due to the pandemic and then a flood the staff are happy to get back to business.

Montclair’s Fourth of July Picnic + Parade Returns


Montclair’s Fourth of July celebrations will officially be returning after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, per Montclair Local. The Township’s parade will take place on Monday, July 4th, and it will start at 11AM and the annual picnic will follow at Edgemont Park. This year’s parade will be dedicated to Al Pelham, the longtime community leader who sadly passed on August 19th.

Petition to Have Changes to Montclair’s Watchung Plaza Intersection


More than 940 people have signed a petition seeking changes to the intersection that connects Park Street, Watchung Avenue, and Watchung Plaza, per Montclair Local. Supporters want the intersection to be safer and township and county officials say they are making progress to do that. Local residents and businesses are concerned due to the number of crashes they have seen at the intersection.

Four Burglaries Reported in Montclair Over the Past Week

newark police

Four separate burglaries have been reported in Montclair over the past week, reported Patch. The burglaries were all at different times and dates. You can read more about the incidents on the article linked.

Branch Brook Park’s Designer’s 200th Birthday to Be Celebrated This Year

branch brook park

Photo credit: @aeconomopoulos

Branch Brook Park was founded more than a century ago and this year it is celebrating the birth of the man who founded the park, per Jersey Digs. Frederick Law Olmsted is being celebrated this year for the 200th anniversary of his birth. This anniversary year is also the first time in two years the Cherry Blossom Festival will be returning to Branch Brook Park.

Montclair Council Dismisses Rent-Control Litigation

montclair city council

Photo credit: Google Maps

The Montclair Township Council held a special meeting on Monday, March 28th to bring the rent-control issue closer to its final resolution, per Tap Into. At the meeting, they discussed the settlement between the landlords and the tenants that broke the impasse over rent control and were able to pave the way for a newly worded ordinance to replace the old one. The new ordinance has not yet been released but advanced copies have been sent to Montclair residents for review.

Montclair African-American Clergy Demand Mayor and Council to Address Racism

zoom fatigue

The Montclair African American Clergy Association is demanding the mayor and council take action against the racism in Montclair, per Tap Into. MAACA officials say they will be hosting a virtual press conference to address the concerns they have for the community. This comes after incidents of racism have risen within the police department and with the former township attorney making biased commentary.

Betty Who To Headline Montclair Pride Festival Concert

Betty Who will be featured at the Montclair Pride Concert at the Wellmont Theater, per Baristanet. Tickets for the event will go on sale on Friday at 10AM on Ticketmaster as well as the Theater’s website. The Wellmont Theater is one of eight event sponsors of Montclair Pride.

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