Home Essex County 20 Montclair + Bloomfield News Stories You Missed This Week

20 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: Chase Sapphire is awarding Montclair Diner a $50,000 grant for helping those in need, students from the Buzz Aldrin Middle School Robotics Club received an award for having one of the top two projects in the LEGO League Competition, COVID-19 numbers in New Jersey have reached a high since April, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Montclair, Bloomfield, + beyond in Essex County.


The Best of Montclair 2021 Finalists Announced — TIME TO KEEP VOTING!

best of mg

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. And before you get mad at the picks or say xyz was robbed, remember: we make the rules, we don’t pick the finalists.

Our readers nominated their favorites over the last week, and the top three finalists for each category were picked from those that got the most nominations. Now, readers can vote for their favorite business or person of the top three finalists 1x per day for all categories now through December 9th at 11:59PM. The winners will be announced in mid-December once the categories are tallied. Let the voting begin!


Newark Winter Village Is in Full Swing for December

Newark Winter Village has officially opened as of December 1st for the rest of the month. Locals can stop by Mulberry Commons Park just outside of the Prudential Center in downtown Newark for an evening of skating, holiday photo ops, shopping, games, igloo dining, and more. Click here for what to expect at this year’s open-air holiday pop-up festival.


Kiosk Parking Coming to Montclair This Month

kiosks replace parking meters montclair new jersey

There’s a new form of parking payment coming to Montclair this month. According to city officials, Montclair will begin replacing meter system parking with kiosk system parking by the end of December. Click here for what we know about the new parking system coming to Montclair in the coming weeks.


Old Roseville Avenue School in Newark Being Converted into Apartments

roseville apartments

Photo credit: Google Maps

Roseville Avenue School is being transformed into an apartment building, according to Jersey Digs. The 140-year-old building was purchased by 70 Roseville, LLC about four years ago, and presented their plans at a board meeting on Tuesday, November 30th. The building is located at 70-78 Roseville Avenue near I-280. 


The Essex County Holiday House Tour is Back, Here’s the Lineup

holiday house tour

The Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs annual Holiday House Tour is back for the season, taking place on Saturday, December 4th, and Sunday, December 5th. Each of the participating houses will offer its own form of entertainment from live music to educational programs, and more. Click here to read more about this year’s Holiday House Tour.


Annual ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Campaign Launched for Holiday Season

drive sober

Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck and the Division of Highway Traffic Safety are attempting to reduce impaired driving during the holidays, per Tap Into. ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ is part of a nationwide effort to reduce traffic fatalities by increasing the number of traffic patrols and sobriety checkpoints in New Jersey, and spreading awareness throughout the community.

“Driving drunk or high, especially during the busy holiday travel season, is selfish, dangerous, and illegal,” said Eric Heitmann, Director of Division of Highway Traffic Safety. The campaign began on Friday, December 3rd, and will run through Saturday, January 1st. 


Restaurant Mercado Montclair Now Open

 

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A post shared by Mercado Montclair (@mercadomontclair)


A new café and coffee shop, Mercado Montclair, has made its way to Montclair. The restaurant opened on Monday, November 29th at 605 Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ 07043, and serves an array of traditional Portuguese-inspired sandwiches, breakfasts, bowls, salads, and drinks. Mercado posted about the grand opening on Instagram, saying, “Super excited to have our doors open today! Come visit us to taste our menu or have a coffee to go. We are here from 8AM to 8PM and can’t wait to share all of it with you!


Congress Candidate Oakley Claims Misinformation Regarding Redistricting in Montclair

oakley congress

Imani Oakley, U.S. Congress candidate for the New Jersey 10th district, does not support the idea of changing the district lines in Montclair, reported Patch. Oakley claims that there is “misinformation” being spread about possible district line alterations, saying that Montclair “​​is at the center of a redistricting political power play… [V]oters, however, have been targeted with misinformation meant to convince them that there is no redistricting alternative,” Oakley said. 

She expressed concern over the loss of power that black and other minority groups would suffer if the proposed redistricting occurred. Oakley will be running against U.S. Rep Donald Payne Jr. in the 2022 election. 


Dasher’s Light Show Newark Now Open

The Newark Moonlight Cinema, located at 220 Orange Street, is hosting this year’s Dasher’s Light Show in Newark. Attendees can celebrate the holiday at this drive-thru light show. Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased ahead of time online. The @dasherslightshownewark account shared news of the event on Instagram this week.


Charitable Montclair Diner Receiving $50K Grant

 

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A post shared by Montclair Diner (@montclairdiner)

Chase Sapphire is awarding Montclair Diner a $50,000 grant for helping those in need before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Montclair Local. The owner, Eliot Mosby, owned the restaurant for less than a year when things shut down in 2020. During that time, Mosby continued to employ all of his staff, made his menu more affordable and extensive to accommodate families ordering takeout, partnered with local organizations, and raised funds to feed frontline workers and families in need. Because of his contributions, the restaurant was awarded a grant that they plan to use to continue helping the community. 


Whistleblower Confirms Mistreatment of Custodial Staffers in Montclair Public Schools

public school

A recent letter revealed that various district officials in the Montclair school district have been mistreating grounds staff for years, per Montclair Local. A district-funded investigation took place following the release of a 32-page letter from a whistleblower, which Superintendent Jonathan Ponds elaborated on. He claimed that they found “a lack of urgency” and disrespect, negativity, and cultural insensitivity in the workplace.“Each building will receive whatever it needs, regardless of the area of the town it is located,” Ponds said. “Our buildings and grounds team is tasked to assure equitable treatment of our buildings.” 


Buzz Aldrin Robotics Team Wins Award at Competition 

robotics team buzz aldrin

Students from the Buzz Aldrin Middle School Robotics Club received an award for having one of the top two projects in the LEGO League Competition, reported Montclair Local. Daniel Taylor, the team coach, expressed concern about their performance because many of the team members were new and because the team didn’t compete last year due to the pandemic. However, the students placed in the top two of 24 teams, and qualified for the state competition taking place this month. “This was probably, as far as a new team goes, the most impressive one I’ve worked with,” Taylor said. 


NJ COVID-19 Numbers Reach New High Since April 

covid vaccine

A report this week indicated that COVID-19 numbers in New Jersey have reached a high since April, according to NJ.com. New Jersey reported 3,591 new cases, another 12 deaths, and over 1,000 hospitalizations for three days in a row. This indicates a 20% increase in the seven-day average since last week.  


Substitute Teachers to Receive $250 a Day in NJ School District 

montclair school

A school district in Morris County recently doubled their pay for permanent substitute teachers, per NJ.com. Schools throughout the country have struggled attracting and retaining substitute teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is just one example of the attempts New Jersey schools have made to bolster school staffing. Substitute teachers in the Dover school district received $125 until October when an 8-0 vote approved a raise for the rest of the 2021-2022 school year. 


Montclair Library Searching for New Director After Resignation 

Montclair Public Library

Former Montclair Library Director Peter Coyl has resigned, reported Patch. Coyl will be taking a position at another library after his five-year tenure at Montclair Public Library. When the Board of Trustees announced his resignation, they expressed gratitude for Coyl’s “hard work and commitment to building and growing MPL.” Now the Board is searching nationwide for a new director. 


Eclectic Chic Boutique Hosting Virtual Ornament-Making Workshop

eclectic chic ornaments

Jewelry artist Juanita Martin will be teaching an ornament-making workshop on Saturday, December 11th, from 2PM to 3PM, according to Patch. The event will be hosted by Eclectic Chic Boutique, where they will provide DIY kits for $45 per participant. Participants should bring their own jewelry-making tools and register online in advance.


Volunteer Opportunity Available With So’Veggies and Moore

So’ Veggies and Moore is hosting a service event for the less fortunate next weekend, where vegetable soup, tea, ginger shots, clothing, and everyday essentials will be distributed to those in need. The event will take place on Saturday, December 11th, from 11AM to 1PM at the Paterson Train Station. The event is open to the public and in need of volunteers.


Cap’t Loui Restaurant Now Open in Montclair Center

 

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A post shared by MONTCLAIR CENTER (@montclaircenter)

A new seafood restaurant serving “ crayfish, shrimp, snow and king crab, mussels, clams and more” is open in Montclair Center, which was announced on Instagram this week. Cap’t Loui offers both takeout and dine-in. A ribbon-cutting will take place on Thursday, December 9th at their location on 10 Park St. 


Free 2-Hour Parking at Montclair Center through December 26th 

 

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A post shared by ECB (@theeclecticchicboutique)

Montclair Center is offering free two-hour parking for shoppers during the holiday season, as posted by Eclectic Chic Boutique. Free parking will be available through Sunday, December 26th.

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