Another week down, another week full of news worthy stories in Montclair + the surrounding areas. Among the local headlines: the Montclair Township Council met virtually to debate a proposed skate park, Bloomfield was featured in an article published in the New York Times, The Green Room announced plans to open a new location in Westfield, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Montclair, Bloomfield, + beyond in Essex County.
Superior Court Judge Reassigned Following Zoom Tirade
Superior Court Judge Carolyn E. Wright was reassigned last month, following a Zoom snafu after a virtual meeting with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. Wright and Baraka met virtually to discuss the implementation of ankle bracelet monitoring of juveniles charged with crimes.
Once the meeting concluded, but without closing Zoom, Wright “launched into a tirade against Baraka, apparently to her husband, Armando Diaz, a retired Essex County Sheriff’s officer,” according to the New Jersey Globe. A few days later, Wright was transferred out of the Family Court Division.
Students at Montclair Public Schools Can Choose Remote or In-Person Instruction for 10 Days
Students attending Montclair Public Schools returned to the classrooms on Wednesday, January 5th but how they returned was up to them, per Tap Into. Students were allowed to choose to return to in-person instruction or tune-in virtually for the first 10 days of class in 2022.
Montclair Girl Founder Featured on Rachel Ray in Q+A with Shark Tank‘s Barbara Corcoran
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Our very own Jennifer Tripucka, founder of Hoboken Girl and Montclair Girl, took to the spotlight on Rachel Ray this week in a conversation with Barbara Corcoran from ABC’s Shark Tank. Corcoran offered advice on expanding and franchising the concept of hyperlocal websites that highlight the small businesses that make communities unique. Click here to watch!
Montclair Police Report Spike in Car Thefts
Following the holidays, the Montclair Police Department reported a wave of criminal activity including burglaries, thefts, and other “suspicious incidents” involving cars, according to Patch. Multiple incidents reported cars being stolen from private driveways.
Montclair Issues Temporary Indoor Mask Mandate
In light of the surge of COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, Montclair has issued a temporary indoor mask mandate, per MSN.
“Now that the omicron variant is spreading throughout New Jersey and Montclair, we must do everything we can to take care of our neighbors and to slow the spread,” Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller said in a video. “Given how transmissible this variant is and the ability it seems to cause breakthrough cases, we must do all we can to stay safe.”
Light of Day WinterFest Postponed in Montclair
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The Light of Day WinterFest, originally scheduled for Friday, January 14th has been postponed due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, per NJ Arts. The musical festival has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 12th in Red Bank.
Animal Control Seeking Information on Dog Left at Nishuane Park in Montclair
The Montclair Township Animal Control is looking for information regarding a small, tan dog that was left in a soft carrier at Nishuane Park on Monday, January 3rd. Video of a dark sedan abandoning the dog near the side of the road is still being evaluated, according to Baristanet. The dog is not currently up for adoption or placement.
Montclair City Council Debates Proposed Skate Park
On Tuesday, January 4th, the Montclair Township Council met virtually to discuss local matters including that of a proposed skate park. Children called in during the public comment portion to verbalize their support for a skate park.
“The resolution calls for the creation of a skate park with the understanding that there would be an insurance cost analysis of the park, an assessment of construction and maintenance costs, and directives to collaborate with third parties for development and operation of the park,” per Tap Into.
The Green Room to open Westfield Location
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CBD retailer The Green Room announced via Instagram it has plans to open a new location in Westfield. The company is currently taking resumes for employees for the new shop. Other locations are currently open in Hoboken, Montclair, Red Bank, Jersey City, the West Village, and in Newark.
The CoderSchool to Open Location in Montclair
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The CoderSchool is opening a third location to teach children how to code, per an Instagram post. The new school will be located at 51 Upper Montclair Plaza and is tentatively set to open on January 22nd, for both in-person and virtual learning. Nicole Xu and Jonathan To of Essex Fells, the owners, decided to open this location after their son participated in classes at the Short Hills location.
NYC’s Springbone Kitchen Coming to Millburn
Springbone Kitchen is opening its first-ever location in NJ in the coming weeks. Known for selling bone broth and being a gluten-free restaurant, Springbone has attracted regulars to its two locations in New York City and location in Brooklyn. Now, the owners are ready to take over Essex County.
“As we thought about expanding beyond just the city, NJ was obviously the first place that we thought of just because it’s where we grew up and we love it,” Sam Eckstein, the founder, told Montclair Girl. “We thought Millburn was a great first town in NJ because it really has such a vibrant main street. You can really just park and walk all over the town and there’s so many great options. It’s a beautiful town and it’s close enough to the city.”
Bloomfield Featured in New York Times
Bloomfield was featured in a New York Times article published on Wednesday, January 5th. The article touts how walkable Bloomfield is, the easy 30-minute commute into New York City, and lower real estate prices compared to surrounding neighborhoods.
Flash Mob Surprises Former Montclair Teacher
Over the holidays, students of former Montclair elementary school teacher, Melissa Hodgins, gathered outside her home to perform a flash mob,” according to Tap Into. They sang and danced to a number of songs, including “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Hodgins has been dealing with a recurring case of cancer, which prompted those who gathered to put together the surprise visit.
Guerriero Gelato Storefront Closes in Montclair
Sad news: sweet shop Guerriero Gelato has announced that it is permanently closing after 16 years. Owner Mike Guerriero announced the shop’s closure this week, however, that isn’t the end of the line for Montclair customers looking to satisfy their sweet tooth – there’s more to the story. Click here for what we know.
2 Essex County College Students Named to National Academic Team
Karolina Kowal and David Alonge, students at Essex County College, have been selected for the All USA-New Jersey Community College Academic Team.
“The All-USA Academic Team recognizes high-achieving college students who demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor. In addition to academic performance, the honor goes to students who showcase leadership skills and service that extends their education beyond the classroom to the community. Up to 20 team members are named annually with each receiving a $5,000 scholarship, a total of $100,000 in scholarship awards,” according to Tap Into.
Businesses Opening in Montclair in 2022
All over Montclair, a number of businesses opened this year and there are a few waiting on the sidelines to launch early next year. From restaurants to yoga studios, these new businesses will add to Montclair’s fast-growing portfolio of exciting things to do, eat, see, and enjoy. Click here for the complete list of businesses launching in Montclair in 2022.
Newly-Opened Q’enko Organic Cuisine Brings Peruvian Flavors to Bloomfield
Few things can brighten a dreary day quite like a vibrant, warming meal. At Q’enko, a new Peruvian restaurant opening in Bloomfield, diners will feel both warmed and welcomed after eating the organic, authentic cuisine. Peruvian food and culture offer a distinct experience to diners, and luckily for Bloomfield and the surrounding areas, Q’enko Organic Cuisine located at 68 Washington Street is bringing just that. Montclair Girl sat down with one of the women behind the new spot to learn more about Q’enko. Click here to read what we know.
These Are the 60 Businesses That Opened in Montclair This Year
A number of businesses were scheduled to launch in 2020, but just like everything else, the pandemic pushed those plans. Business owners had to get extra-creative in their offerings and we’re the ones who benefitted. From restaurants to stores, business owners have found unique ways to bring their passions to life, starting new ventures, and opening storefronts for their online stores. Click here to discover the list of businesses that opened in Montclair in 2021 — curated by the Montclair Center BID.