Home Essex CountyBloomfield 34 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

34 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

by The Montclair Girl Team
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It’s been another busy week in Essex County with plenty of news to catch up on in the Montclair area. Among the highlights: a Montclair native and former little league player makes his MLB debut; Newark attorneys raise over $60K for the Fresh Air Fund; and The Local Girl Media Group launches its newest site, The Asbury Girl. Read on for more news from Montclair, Bloomfield, and beyond for the week ending August 13th, 2023.

Say Hello to The Asbury Girl

the asbury girl jersey shore launch

The Local Girl Media Group is thrilled to announce the launch of its new sister brand, The Asbury Girl. Created by Jennifer Casson Tripucka and The Local Girl team, consider The Asbury Girl, your Jersey Shore BFF for all things Jersey Shore. Whether you’re a newcomer or a long-time resident, The Asbury Girl is the go-to source when it comes to discovering new places and things to do in the Jersey Shore area.

Bloomfield to Host Bar Crawl + Food Tour This Month

bloomfield bar crawl food tour 2023

Bloomfield Center Alliance has announced that it will be hosting its first-ever bar crawl and food walking tour this month. Event-goers can expect to enjoy an afternoon filled with signature cocktails, beer, wine, and food options. This bar crawl + walking food tour will be taking place later this month on Saturday, August 19th. Read on to learn more about Bloomfield’s first-ever bar crawl + food tour taking place next weekend.

Chip City is Coming to Church Street in Montclair

chip city montclair new jersey

There’s a new cookie in town… or, there’s going to be. Montclair Center BID confirmed last week that the NYC-based cookie chain Chip City is making its way to Montclair, setting up shop at 2 Church Street. With locations popping up around New Jersey and New York, Chip City has garnered attention for its diverse menu of oversized cookies. How oversized, you ask? Each cookie from Chip City weighs in at about 6 oz. each, with flavors spanning from chocolate chip to rainbow and s’mores. Keep reading to learn more about Chip City and its upcoming Montclair location.

NFL Star Aaron Rodgers Moves to Montclair

Montclair’s newest resident is a name everyone has heard of: the Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers. According to Jersey Digs, the Green Bay transplant has purchased a home in Essex County for $9.5 million. The home has panoramic views of the NYC skyline, eight bedrooms, and ten bathrooms.

Lighting Debate in Bloomfield

Lion Gate Park in Bloomfield is nearly done after a long journey to transform the site from a chemical-laden site to an athletic complex for youth sports. But it faces another set of challenges in the form of lighting for the athletic fields. Per Patch, a community meeting was held for Bloomfield residents to express concerns and propose solutions to the lights that are part of the plans for the field.

Montclair-Based Sauce Company to be Acquired by
Canned Goods Giant

raos homemade sauces headquarters montclair

Rao’s Homemade, a Montclair-based company that makes sauces, will be purchased by the parent company of Campbell’s Soups, according to Patch. The Montclair Girl took a tour of the beloved sauce company’s Montclair headquarters in 2022. Read more about the company and our tour here.

Montclair Native Makes MLB Debut


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Montclair native Declan Cronin has made his Major League Baseball debut. Per Montclair Local, Declan is now a relief pitcher for the White Sox, even though he grew up a Yankees fan. Declan has been playing on the White Sox’s AAA Team, the Charlotte Knights, and got called up to the majors the first week of August. Congrats, Declan!

Fall Workshops from OUT Montclair

Via a press release, OUT Montclair announced a series of workshops this fall designed to support transgender, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people to live their authentic lives in joy, safety, and acceptance. The workshops will be held from August through November and will be led by transgender leaders and allies in law, storytelling, and presentation. Full details on the courses offered and registration details are available online now.

West Orange Summer Program Breaks Records

Per Patch, the West Orange Summer Enrichment Program at West Orange High School had its highest enrollment ever this summer. The program enrolled 523 students and was supported by 32 teachers, 40 high school volunteers, and five paraprofessionals. Students in grades 2 through 8 took classes in art, music, theater, dance, science, math, coding, and more.

Safety Upgrades at Nutley Intersection

A Nutley intersection has received an upgrade designed to make it easier for pedestrians to cross. The intersection of Prospect and Harrison Streets was outfitted with a new LED beacon that is meant to alert motorists when pedestrians are crossing the street, according to Patch. The effort comes just in time for students to return to Lincoln School, which is nearby the intersection.

53-Year Montclair Public School Employee Retires

The longest-serving employee in the Montclair Public School District has retired after 53 years of service, according to Patch. Patricia Alves worked in the district’s personnel office and herself is a graduate of the school system. During her tenure, Ms. Alves worked with 10 superintendents and 10 directors.

Plans Move Forward for Newark Cannabis Dispensary Hashtoria

A proposal from rapper Raekwon to open a cannabis dispensary in downtown Newark was rejected in March of this year, but after making some adjustments, the proposal was approved in July. The dispensary, called Hashtoria, will be located at 799-805 Broad Street in downtown Newark, according to Patch. The next step is for the project to get its building permit and continue working on its cannabis permits.

Bloomfield Teens Participate in Summer Service Week


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Teens from Bloomfield joined others from North Jersey as part of the Archdiocese of Newark’s 10th Summer Service Week from July 16-21 according to TapInto. The teens participated in a variety of community service projects such as landscaping and cleaning some of the Archdiocese’s facilities, sorting donations, and serving food. A total of 43 teens participated throughout the week.

Newark Attorneys Step Up to Bat

Several Newark attorneys and law firms stepped up to bat to raise money at a softball tournament, the Battle of the Barristers. According to NJ.com, the friendly matchup was a fundraiser for the Fresh Air Fund and took place on August 2nd at Brookdale Park in Bloomfield. The Fresh Air Fund, which has been serving the Greater Newark community for nearly 140 years, provides summer camp experiences for inner-city children. Donations from the event are estimated at around $65,000.

New Restaurant Hudson Rose Opening in Nutley

Something new is coming to the Nutley dining scene. According to a press release from the owners, the Hudson Rose, an American bistro with a casual family vibe, will open this fall at 238 Franklin Avenue. The team behind Hudson Rose is the same as popular Point Pleasant Beach restaurant Pop’s Corner.

Jersey Eats Festival Announced in Montclair


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A new food festival from NJ.com was announced this week, called Jersey Eats. The festival will take place in Montclair on September 17th and feature many New Jersey-based vendors, makers, and restaurants. The event will be at 18 Label Studios and tickets are on sale now.

Newark-Based Covenant House New Jersey Welcomes Displaced Youth from New York

A late-July crane collapse in NYC grabbed headlines for a number of reasons, but one of the less-reported items was the impact of the collapse on Covenant House New York, a sister location to Covenant House Newark. Covenant House supports youth who have been impacted by homelessness or human trafficking. According to Patch, over 100 youth who were staying at Covenant House have been moved to the Newark location. The New York location was not damaged and no one was hurt, but the facility had to be evacuated due to the dust, debris, and construction in the area. Covenant House is looking for additional support to continue caring for its guests, including volunteers, and interested readers can find more information here.

New Banners in Downtown Bloomfield

Bloomfield Center debuted 50 new banners around the downtown area, according to Patch. The banners were paid for by a grant from the state’s Main Street New Jersey Program. The effort was also supported by Bloomfield College of Montclair State University.

North Caldwell Neighbors Launch Petition to Protect Country Club, Open Space

North Caldwell neighbors have started a petition to stop a proposal on and around the Green Brook Country Club. The petitioners want to preserve 12 acres of land that was given to the town in a 2018 Superior Court settlement and to halt the proposed construction of residential buildings on what is now the golf course. The change.org petition has 820 signatures.

New Farmers Market in Newark’s Lower Broadway


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A post shared by La Casa de Don Pedro (@lacasanwk)

A community-led farmers market has launched with the goal of bringing fresh produce to Newark’s Lower Broadway neighborhood, according to Patch. In addition to fresh produce, the market will feature health and social service resources, live music, activities for kids and free giveaways. Shoppers can pay with NJ Snap and EBT benefits. More information is available online here.

Kool + The Gang Member Makes Donation to Newark, Montclair Music Programs

Robert “Kool” Bell of Kool & The Gang was in Montclair in early August to donate money for music education scholarships, according to News12 New Jersey. Kool is from Northern New Jersey and started the Kool Kids Foundation with his late wife. The Glenfield PTA (a non-profit supporting music education in the Montclair Public Schools) and the Malcolm X Shabazz High School Marching Band in Newark each received grants from the Kool Kids Foundation.

Bloomfield Restaurant Week Announced

Bloomfield Center has announced restaurant week from August 23rd through 27th, with special menus at participating restaurants. The list of participating restaurants is available here, with new venues added regularly. Many venues will have live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

Montclair Approves Interim Town Manager

On August 3rd, former Township Manager Joseph Hartnett was approved as Montclair’s Interim Township Manager, according to TapInto. An interim township manager is needed because the former township manager is currently under investigation and has been forced out of office. Mr. Hartnett served as Township Manager from 2003 to 2010.

Montclair’s Interim Town Manager Passes Away

Per TapInto, Montclair’s interim Township Manager passed away just a few days into the assignment. The city of Montclair released a statement on Monday, August 7th saying that Mr. Hartnett had passed away over the weekend. Michael Lapolla has been appointed interim township manager.

APEM Creamery in Bloomfield is Closing

apem closing

Locals know that Essex County has no shortage of stores to grab a sweet treat — from ice cream shops to French patisseries. We just heard that gourmet cookie spot ‘Chip City’ will be coming to Church Street in Montclair, but with that also comes the closing of a local ice cream spot. APEM Creamery + Sorbetteria, located at 870 Broad Street in Bloomfield, recently announced that it’s closing its storefront. Read on for what we know and what we’ll miss about this Essex County ice cream, gelato, and sorbet shop.

Essex County Woman Pleads Guilty to Sham Marriage Scheme

An Essex County woman has pled guilty to charges related to a scheme organized by her family to set up scam marriages in order to scam the government and the ‘spouses’ in order to get immigration documents. Via a press release from the US Attorney’s Office, from September 2016 through July 2019, Regina Johnson and her sister, Andrea Torres, arranged and facilitated sham marriages for non-U.S. citizens who wished to remain in the United States despite the lack of legal status or proper documentation. Torres and Johnson recruited U.S. citizen potential spouses and paid them a fee in exchange for those U.S. citizens entering into sham marriages with Torres’ and Johnson’s non-citizen clients.

Montclair Tiny Gallery to Host #JournalismMatters Exhibit of Pet Portraits


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A post shared by Erika Bleiberg (@erika_paintspets)

Glen Ridge artist Erika Bleiberg’s work will be the focus of the upcoming exhibit at Montclair’s Tiny Gallery, located at 8 Stanford Place, according to BaristaNet. Erika is a public relations professional who started painting friend’s pets, realizing the joy the furry companions brought to their human’s lives, in particular Erika’s journalist friends. The exhibit is called #JournalismMatters and features the animal companions of many local journalists in miniature form. The exhibit opens on September 9th.

Newark Neighbors Want More for Military Park

The maintenance of Military Park in Newark is the subject of a new petition by community members. The change.org petition calls out the City of Newark and its contractors for failing to maintain the park properly. Residents mention the dual issue of the city using the park for community events which increases noise and traffic, but failing to address the basic cleanliness and infrastructure problems of the park.

Bloomfield High School Teacher is Essex County Teacher of the Year

A Bloomfield High School teacher has been named one of the 2023 Teachers of the Year by the New Jersey Department of Education. Per Patch, Shamshadeen Mayers is a social studies teacher at BHS, and a graduate of the school. He is the winning teacher for Essex County.

Coyotes Spotted in Essex County

Coyotes have been spotted in Essex County, prompting many neighbors to be on high alert when outdoors. According to NJ.com, neighbors in Harrison, Heritage, Livingston, and Hillside have reported seeing the animals. There were also sightings in late June near the South Mountain Reservation.

Westfield Furniture Store Closes After 16 Years

The Farmhouse Store, a furniture and home design store in Westfield, will close on Sunday, August 13th after 16 years in business, according to NJ.com. The store is located at 221 E. Broad Street. The company still has its outlet, located at 544 South Avenue in Garwood, and its design studio, located at 50 Harrison Street, Suite 119 in Hoboken.

Newark Teens Take Part in Anti-Violence Basketball Tournament

According to Patch, several Newark teens took part in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament hosted by the United Community Corporation (UCC) with the goal of having fun while raising awareness about anti-violence. In March 2022 UCC launched a Community-Based Violence Intervention Program, designed to provide services to youth who live in a high crime area. The basketball tournament was another way for the program to spend time with youth using recreational activities while delivering messages about anti-violence.

Milk’N’Cookies Cereal Bar Coming to Montclair


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The Montclair Center posted an exciting video to its Instagram account, teasing the incoming Milk’N’Cookies restaurant. According to the company website, it has roots in Mamaroneck, NY, and was started by two friends who wanted a family-friendly spot with top-notch sweets. The shop specializes in cookies, and cereal-infused ice cream and milkshakes.

Montclair Community Meeting on Lackawanna Plaza Redevelopment

A community meeting was held this week to discuss plans for the Lackawanna Plaza redevelopment. Per TapInto architect Ira Smith and Montclair Planning Director Janice Talley joined Fourth Ward Councilor David Cummings at Glenfield Middle School for a community conversation. Many residents participated and shared their concerns.

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