Home COVID-19 21 Montclair + Bloomfield News Stories You Missed This Week

21 Montclair + Bloomfield News Stories You Missed This Week

by Ainsley Layland
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Every week we bring you the highlights in the news, so readers can stay up-to-date on what is happening in Montclair + surrounding areas. Among the local headlines: Mercado Montclair has officially opened at 605 Valley Road; the extension of leaf blower use has been rescinded through the month of December; Cuban restaurant, Cubita Café, is coming soon to Nutley, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Montclair, Bloomfield, + beyond in Essex County.

$1,000 Montclair Girl Giveaway Donation Goes to CASA of Essex County


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A post shared by CASA of Essex County (@casa_essex)

The Ivy at Chatham

The results of this year’s Montclair Girl Gives Back Ultimate Giveaway are in! The $1,000 giveaway donation was awarded to CASA of Essex County. The donation be used in support of children who have experienced abuse or neglect and are being assisted by CASA.

New Vintage Shop Debuts in Verona

A new shop has opened in Verona, selling secondhand and vintage items. The @township_of_verona shared, “We would like to welcome Pretty Moon Salon and Vintage Shop to town! You may have seen them at the Fair in the Square this past weekend but make sure to check them out at 401 Bloomfield Avenue!”

Art.Ice.Zen’s Dairy-Free, Vegan Ice Cream Shop Opens in Bloomfield

art ice zen

Art.Ice.Zen has officially opened its Scoop Boutique at 73 Park Avenue in Bloomfield. The dairy-free, vegan ice cream shop that was once a pop-up is stirring up some unique flavors and creations. Click here to read more about Art.Ice.Zen.

The Best of Montclair 2021: Voting Has Closed

montclair best of

The time has finally come: the finalists for the Best of Montclair 2021 Guide are in, thanks to our readers’ nominations. We would like to thank everyone for nominating the local businesses to receive the recognition that they deserve. Voting closed on Thursday, December 9th at midnight. Stay tuned as the winners will be announced once the votes are tallied.

Dickens Village Open for Holiday Cheer in Maplewood

For over 60 years, Dickens Village has come to life in the heart of downtown Maplewood every holiday season. For the month of December, Ricalton Square is transformed into a small village of homes depicting various scenes from the novel A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens in addition to other seasonal festivities such as photos with Santa, menorah, and tree lightings, a petting zoo, and wagon rides. Click here to read more about this holiday event in Maplewood.

Owners of Sandwich Theory Open New Marketplace ‘Mercado Montclair’

mercado montclair opens valley road

Mercado Montclair has officially opened at 605 Valley Road. The new restaurant, which is owned by the same owners as Sandwich Theory, brought a concept to Essex County that was inspired by marketplaces where they grew up in Portugal. Click here to read more about Mercado being part of the expanding Montclair community.

NJ Schools Reporting Rapidly Rising COVID-19 Cases 

mask schools

November brought a rapid escalation of COVID-19 cases in New Jersey schools, reported NJ.com. Several of the schools in the Union Township district have transitioned to a half-day schedule as New Jersey schools have reported 3,024 positive cases among students last week. Several students are also being asked to quarantine for 14 days after classmates test positive for COVID-19. 

Award-Winning Documentary Featured at MHANJ Evening of Excellence

award winning documentary

The Mental Health Association in New Jersey played the award-winning film Orchestrating Change at the 21st annual Evening of Excellence, reported Tap Into. The film featured an array of success stories about living with mental illness, specifically the story of the Me2/Orchestra. The film, introduced by Carolyn Beauchamp, MHANJ’s president and CEO, has been “Inspiring audiences to celebrate the differences in all of us, the film helps to break the stigma of mental health disorders while embracing positivity and inclusivity.”

‘Centuries of Strings’ Concert Coming to Montclair Women’s Club 

centuries of strings

The community is invited to attend the ‘Centuries of Strings’ concert and dinner hosted by the Victorian Society of Northern New Jersey on Monday, December 20th at 6PM, according to NJ.com.  The Skylands Dulcimer String Band will perform at this seasonal celebration, followed by a catered meal and a holiday gift and jewelry sale. The event will be held at the Montclair Women’s Club at 82 Union Street. Tickets cost $30 and must be purchased in advance. 

National Black Political Convention Coming to Newark Spring 2022

The third National Black Political Convention is coming to Newark in April 2022, per Tap Into. The convention “aims to bring together African-American politicos, educators, activists and leaders from across the country to outline what goals and policies should be prioritized in the Black community.” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka’s father primarily organized the event, which will give black leaders the opportunity to discuss topics like public policy, criminal justice, and mental and spiritual health. 

Essex County Jail Under Review After Recent Inmate Beatings

essex jail review

The Essex County jail will undergo a review after a series of alleged prisoner beatings, reported NJ.com. Former Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose will lead the review at the correctional facility, including an investigation into the jail’s staffing responsibilities, security, and operating procedures.  “We want to ensure that our policies and procedures are focused to allow us to operate our jail efficiently and safely,” Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr said. “We need a fresh set of eyes to review our policies and standards.”

Montclair BOE Member Alfred Davis. Jr. Has Died

montclair student funeral

Alfred Davis, Jr., member of the Montclair Board of Education, passed away Thursday, December 2nd, according to Montclair Local. Davis, who died at the age of 65, had served on the MBOE since 2019. “He was a gentle, thoughtful man and highly respected by the community and his fellow board members,” board President Latifah Jannah and schools Superintendent Jonathan Ponds wrote in a letter. Davis was also known for his service in the community as a chiropractor and mentor to business owners. A funeral service will be held at Christ Church, 140 Green Pond Road, on Friday, December 17th. The viewing will be at 10AM and the service will begin at 11AM. 

Combustion Leaf Blower Extension Revoked

leaf blower

The Emergency Management Coordinator released a statement this week rescinding the extension of leaf blower use through the month of December, per Tap Into.  Although many residents have delayed their fall cleanups, they are no longer permitted to use the machines. 

Montclair Postal Worker Accused of Theft

montclair postal worker

Parrish Brookins, a USPS employee, has been arrested for stealing mail from Montclair routes, reported Tap Into. Brookins has been accused of stealing letters, credit cards, and stimulus checks, and was brought into the Newark federal court on Thursday, December 2nd. He was  released on a $50,000 bond. 

Fire Chief Andre Williams Suspended for Alleged Misconduct 

montclair fire department

Fire Chief Andrew Williams has been suspended as he awaits two conduct investigations, according to FireFighter Nation. The investigations were prompted after multiple firefighters complained about Williams’ leadership. Deputy Chief Bruce Davis Jr. has been made acting chief while Williams takes a paid leave. 

One Hundred Club Honors Two Montclair Locals in Awards Ceremony


Former Deputy Fire Chief Louis F. Luibil and retired police Detective Kim Nelson-Edwards were recognized at the One Hundred Club’s 56th Annual Awards ceremony last week, per Montclair Local. The late Luibil was posthumously awarded the 2020 Giblin and Gardner Community Service Award, while Nelson-Edwards was given this year’s award. Luibil was heavily involved in fire safety and education during his career, and passed away from COVID-19 complications last year. Aside from her law-enforcement career, Nelson-Edwards has been a survivor, advocate, and non-profit worker for breast cancer awareness. 

Montclair Nonprofits Awarded $63K


The Montclair Foundation dispersed $63,000 to 15 nonprofits as part of its fall 2021 grant cycle, reported Montclair Local. The money will support various youth, arts, and senior services in the area. “We are proud to play our part in the community,” Montclair Foundation Peggy Murphy said. “We are dedicated to supporting worthy causes and know there will be additional opportunities in the future, starting with our next grant cycle in the Spring.” 

New Jersey Adopts New Rules to Expand Reproductive Health Care


Gov. Phil Murphy announced an expansion to the New Jersey Reproductive Health Care system on Monday, December 6th. These new rules were put in place to remove “outdated barriers to care,” especially to people of color. Updates include changes to the Termination of Pregnancy rules as advised by the State Board of Examiners. Gov. Murphy announced the changes in an Instagram post where he stated, “At a time when our country is on the verge of severely limiting access to reproductive health care, we’re prioritizing these critical services.”

Gov. Phil Murphy Visits Anheuser-Busch to Celebrate Contributions During the Pandemic


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A post shared by Governor Phil Murphy (@govmurphy)

Anheuser-Busch, “America’s best-loved brewery,” welcomed Gov. Phil Murphy to its Newark facility on Friday, December 3rd. There, Murphy toured the grounds and met with members of the company to celebrate their contributions to the economy during the pandemic. “Throughout this pandemic, they’ve made significant investments to help those in need and keep our manufacturing industry thriving,” Murphy said in an Instagram post. Anheuser-Busch has plans to invest over $1 billion dollars in providing over 2.1 million jobs related to the beer industry. 

Cubita Café Opening Soon in Nutley


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A post shared by Cubita Café (@cubitacafenj)

Cubita Café, a “modern take on classic Cuban staples,” is coming soon to Nutley. Gustavo Gutierrez is the owner of the restaurant, and has appeared on Food Network’s “Chopped.” Gutierrez created Cubita’s style in the spirit of hip hop culture and said that it will “be a vibe like no other” in an Instagram post. Neighbors can visit the restaurant at 234 Franklin Avenue in Nutley once it opens in January. 

Pre-Orders Now Open at Bloomfield’s Kreme and Krumbs


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A post shared by Kreme & Krumbs (@kremeandkrumbs)

Kreme and Krumbs, a Bloomfield ice cream shop, posted an announcement about its holiday ice cream pints available for pre-order this week. Special holiday flavors include Bourbon Pecan, Chocolate Mint Chip, Ginger Pear Krisp, Cranberry Jam + Kreme, and Holiday Milk + Cookies. Patrons can visit their website to order. Pick up will be on Thursday, December 23rd from 1PM to 5PM at 162 Glenwood Avenue in Bloomfield.

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