Home Essex CountyBloomfield 27 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

27 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: Montclair bans gas-powered leaf blowers; Bloomfield approves a lighting contract for Lion Gate athletic fields; and retired flight attendant Paul Veneto starts Paulie’s Push to honor crew members lost on Flight 93. Read on for more news from Montclair, Bloomfield, and beyond for the week ending August 20th, 2023.

A Cookie Cafe + Cereal Bar is Coming to Montclair


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The Ivy at Chatham

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Last week, The Montclair Girl reported that Chip City Cookies is making its way to Montclair at 2 Church Street. Running the risk of sounding cliche, it looks like the Montclair cookie jar just keeps growing, as another new cookie chain is joining the Church Street lineup. Milk N Cookies, a cookie cafe and cereal bar is slated to open at 43 Church Street, serving up a decadent menu of stuffed cookies, milkshakes, ice cream, and other dessert vehicles for cereal. Read on for what we know about Milk N Cookies, the latest sweet shop to arrive in Montclair.

There’s a New Italian Eatery In Montclair

boschetto montclair

A new Italian eatery is entering the Montclair dining scene, Boschetto, which is soft opening this week at 111 Grove Street and having a grand opening next month. Boschetto is a fast-casual restaurant with an elevated twist, a concept created by long-time restaurateur Robert Spina, his partner Ryan Held, and Michelin-starred chef Joseph Sergentakis. The Montclair Girl spoke with Robert and Chef Joseph to get all the details on what diners can expect from this one-of-a-kind experience. Read on for more about Boschetto.

Fire at Historic Montclair Church, Firefighters Injured

Four Montclair firefighters suffered minor injuries while responding to a fire at a historic church in Montclair, according to Patch. The fire at Grace Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Tuxedo Road and Grove Street, started in the basement around 8AM on Tuesday morning August 15th, while the building was empty. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Bloomfield Rest Area Renamed for Connie Chung

A rest area on the Garden State Parkway in Bloomfield has been revamped, reopened, and renamed. According to BaristaNet, the rest area formerly known as the Brookdale South rest area is now the Connie Chung Service Area, and is located at milepost 153, between exits 153A and 151. Ms. Chung is a 2016 inductee into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Montclair Bans Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers Starting in October: What to Know

leaf blowers montclair

The use of gas-powered leaf blowers has been a topic of discussion in many cities in North Jersey and even in the New Jersey State Legislature, where a 2021 proposal to ban the sale and use of the devices in the state. Montclair is the latest community to take up the topic, as a proposal to completely ban the devices was introduced by the Montclair Town Council back in July. Currently, gas-powered leaf blowers are banned in Montclair from May 16th through October 14th, but a new proposal has been approved and will now prohibit them outright starting on October 15th, 2023. Read on for more about the ban.

Electric Leafblower Demonstration in Montclair

In light of the updated policy on leafblowers in Montclair, the township will hold a demonstration on electric leafblowers. Per BaristaNet, the demonstration will take place on Saturday, August 26th from 10AM to 12PM at Tuers Park, 68 Stonehenge Road in Montclair. The event is hosted by Montclair’s Department of Environmental Affairs.

Longtime Public Servant Richard Codey Retires

Richard Codey, a state lawmaker who represented much of Essex County, is retiring after 50 years in public service, according to Patch. Mr. Codey, a Democrat, is also a former New Jersey Governor. He said that after fifty years it was time to let younger generations take their turns at leadership.

One Person Killed in Accident Near Newark Park

According to NJ.com, one person was killed in a car crash in Newark. Officers responded to the corner of Broad Street and Pennington streets near Lincoln Park around 5AM on Tuesday August 15th. No further information has been released about the decedent.

Rush Bowls Opens in Livingston

Rush Bowls, a Colorado-based fast-casual concept known for its fresh and healthy meals-in-a-bowl, opened its doors in Livingston on Saturday, August 19th, according to a press release. The cafe is located at 2130 Town Center Way, and is owned by father/son duo Joe and Joseph Treanor. The cafe is open daily from 8AM to 8PM.

Play It Again Sports Opens in Livingston

Athletic resale store Play It Again Sports opened in Livingston at 449 West Mount Pleasant Avenue. Local owner Jerry Ambooken is excited to provide his community and the surrounding area with a location that can help lessen those financial burdens for families with children who play sports. The store buys, sells, and trades high-quality used sports equipment and is open Monday through Friday 10AM to 8PM; Saturday 10AM to 6PM; and Sunday 12PM to 5PM.

Newark Ranks in Top Tier for Hot Dog-Loving Cities

Per Patch, a new study ranks Newark number 17 out of 100 cities included in a survey of the best hot dogs in the US. The study, conducted by Lawn Love, ranked 100 cities based on metrics including the number of vendors per square mile, consumer ratings, and the presence of hot dog-eating competitions. New York City ranked number one.

Last Minute Wedding at Montclair Hospital

Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair might not be the first idea when it comes to a wedding venue, but that’s what worked for newlywed couple Michael Aron and Linda Ippolito, who were wed at the hospital earlier this month. According to Patch, the couple, who have been together for 25 years, had planned to get married on August 5th, but Michael’s unexpected admission to the hospital put a crimp in the plans. Hospital staff learned of this and rallied to organize a celebration for the couple and their loved ones in the hospital’s chapel. Congratulations to Michael and Linda!

West Orange Student Attends Space Academy

Lucas Miranda, a junior at Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, attended the Advanced Space Academy at the U.S. Space + Rocket Center in Alabama, according to Patch. Lucas was a recipient of the Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children through the Archdiocese of Newark. The Space Academy scholarships are funded entirely by donors Mark and Kathy Walchak, whose generosity has sent more than 150 teenagers to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center since 1996.

NJ Transit Wins Accolades


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The New Jersey Transit System won its industry’s equivalent of the Super Bowl: it was recently named an Outstanding Transportation System by the American Public Transit Association. According to NJ.com, NJT was one of four transit systems to win the recognition and has won the same award in 1196 and 1997. The award recognizes achievements and improvements over the prior three years’ time, which for this year’s award, included service during the pandemic.

Candlelight Concerts Coming to Newark Symphony Hall

^ A candlelit concert in Washington DC. Photo credit: Candlelight Concerts

Candlelight Concerts are a series of original music concerts created by live-entertainment company Fever aimed at democratizing access to culture by allowing people all over the world to enjoy live music candlelit performances played by local musicians in various stunning locations illuminated by thousands of candles. Via a press release, a series of performances at Newark Symphony Hall, located at 1020 Broad Street were announced, including Halloween- and Christmas-themed performances. Tickets are available online now.

New Law Strengthening Protections for Animals in Cruelty Situations Goes into Effect

Among the new laws that took effect in August in New Jersey is one that establishes a procedure for the seizure of an animal in a suspected cruelty case. Per Patch, the new law allows courts to issue warrants to law enforcement officers or humane law enforcement officers to enter private property in the case of suspected animal cruelty. Animals seized during this type of search will be placed in licensed shelters or care facilities, which may then bill the state for the animal’s care. “I am proud to sign legislation that will not only strengthen protections for animals in New Jersey but ensure that animals who have suffered cruel treatment are cared for swiftly and sufficiently,” said Governor Murphy in a press release. “These safeguards and procedures will enable law enforcement to intercept cases of animal cruelty and make certain that those animals are given a second chance.”

Bloomfield Approves Lion Gate Lighting Contract

The evolution of the Lion Gate area from an industrial facility to wetlands to an athletic facility took another step forward this week when the Bloomfield Town Council approved a contract for lighting the athletic fields. Per Patch, the $275K contract was awarded to Musco Lighting. While several neighbors of the park voiced concerns about what time the lights would be turned off, that would have to be addressed in a separate resolution.

Progress in Newark Symphony Hall Renovations

Via Jersey Digs, the Newark Symphony Hall announced that the first of four phases of work in its ambitious renovation project has been completed. The Hall is located at 1020 Broad Street in Newark and was originally built in 1925. The renovation project is set to cost $75 million and be completed in 2025, in time for the Hall’s 100th anniversary.

Attack Reported at Mills Reservation

A pedestrian reported an attack at Mills Reservation, located in Montclair and Cedar Grove, on Sunday, August 13th, according to Montclair Local. Police received a call from a woman who was approached by an unknown man, who then gave her an unsolicited hug. While running away from the man, the woman tripped and scraped up her hands and knees. No further information was available about the suspect.

New Exhibit at Green Door Studio in Millburn


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The Green Door Studio, located at 306 Millburn Avenue in Millburn, announced a new exhibition, 5X5, opening Friday, August 25th. Via a press release, artists from all backgrounds, ages, and ability levels were invited to submit work for the exhibit. Submissions rolled in from all areas, and in keeping with the mission of Green Door Studio to provide accessibility and visibility to all artists and art lovers, all submissions will be included in the exhibition. The opening reception is at 6PM on Friday, August 25th and the exhibit will run from August 25th through September 16th.

Paulie’s Push to Honor Flight 93 Begins


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In an effort to honor the crew members lost on Flight 93, retired flight attendant Paul Veneto has started his annual Paulie’s Push, where he pushes a beverage cart from Newark to Shanksville, PA. According to CBS New York, the route follows the same path that the flight took before it crashed. The trek is Paul’s way to honor the passengers and crew of Flight 93. He has completed similar treks in Boston and Washington DC.

West Orange Community Rallies Around Cafe

The West Orange community has rallied around a cafe after two vandalism incidents. Per NJ.com, Harpers Cafe, located at 134 South Valley Road, flies the LGBTQ Pride flag in its windows, and those windows have been smashed by rocks and defaced by paint splatters twice in recent weeks. However, neighbors turned out in droves to support the restaurant’s owner and staff by participating in a cleanup effort and by repainting the exterior of the store. West Orange Police continue to investigate the crime.

Newark Academy Celebrates 250 Years with a History Lesson


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In honor of Newark Academy’s 250th anniversary, 130 staff and faculty members took a tour of the school’s four previous locations, according to Patch. The school is currently located at 91 South Orange Avenue in Livingston, but has roots in Newark, going back to its founding in 1774. The school’s first location is marked by a tablet in what is now Harriet Tubman Square in downtown Newark.

The Jonas Brothers Play Special Concert for Boys + Girls Club of America

^ The Jonas Brothers attend The Children’s Place Best School Day Ever Event in East Rutherford, NJ on August 10th, 2023. Image courtesy of event organizers.

The Jonas Brothers played two sold-out shows at Yankee Stadium this week, but they also played a private show for a special group of Boys and Girls Club of America members. According to a press release, Nick, Kevin, and Joe Jonas played an acoustic set for a back-to-school event where attendees got ready for school with new backpacks, picked up essentials at the school supply swag station, played games, visited the photo booth, and grabbed new books and more.

Montclair Moves Forward with Revised Lackawanna Proposal

Per Montclair Local, the Montclair Town Council approved a new proposal for the Lackawanna Redevelopment Project. This week’s vote was the first reading, and a second vote will be needed to send the plan to the Planning Board for review.

Settlement Reached in NYC/Newark Dispute Over Homeless Families

Per Patch, a legal settlement has been reached in a dispute between New York City and Newark, NJ over how many homeless families can be relocated per year. Under a controversial assistance program, the Special One-Time Temporary Assistance (SOTA) Program, NYC can pay for a year’s worth of rent for a homeless family, or relocate a family, but the trouble came when the year was up. Many families who went to Newark would still need assistance after the year was up.

Newark Art Museum Announces Fall Exhibit

The Newark Museum of Art and Newark Arts announced via a press release Cross Cultural Perspectives, the signature exhibition of the 2023 Newark Arts Festival, a free, four-day celebration happening September 27th through October 1st. Artworks in a wide range of media extend the theme into narratives of social justice, cultural identity, equality, the immigrant experience, and spiritual connections, among others. The exhibition features work by a roster of 90+ NJ artists and will be on view through October 29th.

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