Every week we bring you the highlights in the news, so you can stay up-to-date on what is happening in Montclair + surrounding areas. Among the local headlines: Montclair State University students receive prestigious awards; Bloomfield firefighters participate in diversity training; plans for the Essex Hudson County Greenway may be in jeopardy, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Montclair, Bloomfield, + beyond in Essex County:
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The Harp ‘N Bard to Close After 18 Years
Clifton-based pub The Harp ‘N Bard has announced it will be closing after 18 years of serving the community, according to North Jersey Media Group. The pub is located at 363 Lakeview Avenue in Clifton and stays open until 3AM.
Serket Pharmacy Officially Open
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As of Thursday of this week, Serket Pharmacy has officially opened. The opening was announced via Instagram. The post says, “OPEN!!! Welcome to Serket Pharmacy for our soft opening. Normal hours party to come.”
First Look at ‘Museum Parc’ Project
A two-building development is coming to fruition adjacent to the Newark Museum of Art, and Newark’s municipal government released first renderings of it, reports Jersey Digs. The project is currently being referred to as “Museum Parc.” The commission will hear the proposal during a zoom meeting on July 7th.
July Brings Montclair Water Bill Increase
Beginning in July, Montclair residents will see a water bill increase between $25 and $62.25 a quarter, per Montclair Local. The new charges come in response to the New Jersey Water Quality Accountability Act of 2017. The money addresses the township’s aging water infrastructure and will continue to maintain water purity standards. Water rates have not increased since 2017, but bills have the potential to rise by 73% to 187% for most residents.
Montclair Resident in Running for 10th Congressional District
Imani Oakley, a Montclair resident, is running for New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District, according to Montclair Local. The seat covers parts of Essex, Union, and Hudson counties and is currently represented by Donald Payne Jr. Oakley has served as a constituent’s advocate in the U.S. Senate, as deputy chief of staff in the State Legislature, and as the legislative director for the New Jersey Working Families Alliance.
Eight Montclair State University Students Awarded Prestigious Scholarships
Eight Montclair State students were awarded the U.S. Department of State Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, a record-breaking number for the University, per Patch. A ninth student was awarded a State Department Critical Language Scholarship. The eight Gilman Scholarship awardees are Isaiah Ayestas, Kayla Cespedes, Adam Chhour, Daphne Desir, Daisy Gonzalez, Samantha Gerbrick, Karina Bloom and Georgi Naumov.
New Jersey Courts Eviction Backlog Keeps Increasing
A large backlog of potential evictions and home renter disputes has caused New Jersey’s state courts to ask tenants and landlords to solve their differences without a trial, according to Patch. On Thursday, July 8, the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered courts to hold mandatory settlement conferences for all active landlord-tenant cases. Previously, the conferences were being held on a volunteer basis. Currently, there are almost 14,000 landlord-tenant cases that have been pending for over a year.
STEM Innovation Fellows Learn Through Pandemic
The New Jersey STEM Innovation Fellowship provided a lesson during the COVID-19 pandemic: teachers supporting teachers, Montclair State University reported. Thirty New Jersey teachers were selected for the fellowship modeled after Math for America, and the Fellowship focuses on reshaping the way math is taught in elementary school. The teachers involved were engaged in teaching innovations when the pandemic hit, and the teachers had to help each other figure out remote teaching.
Montclair Orchestra Scheduled for Morris Museum’s Lot of Strings Festival
The Montclair Orchestra will perform on Sunday, July 25 at the Morris Museum’s Lot of Strings Festival, per Baristanet. The program presents Fellows and Mentors, showcasing the Montclair Orchestra’s mission. Said mission involves fellows from the top conservatories playing alongside professional mentors from world-class orchestras.
Bloomfield Firefighters Get Certified in Diversity, Equity, + Inclusion
Members of the Bloomfield Fire Department recently completed a 14-hour certification course on diversion, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, Patch reports. Mayor Michael Venezia commended each of the firefighters who participated and said he is looking forward to seeing more members do these kinds of trainings. The participants in the training and certification learned about building a workforce that includes different races, religions, ages, genders, and sexual orientations.
Montclair COVID Vaccine Clinics To Be Held in July
The Montclair Health Department will offer COVID-19 vaccine clinics on the first and third Tuesdays of July, per Patch. These vaccines will be offered at the department’s offices, on the third floor of the Montclair Municipal Building. These clinics will run from 9 a.m. to noon and are open to anyone 18 and over.
Some Seniors Eligible for Free Pool Memberships
Free Montclair pool passes will be available for seniors who are facing financial difficulties, Montclair Local reports. Community members, together with Councilman Peter Yacobellis, coordinated the Montclair Pools Senior Hardship Program. Three seniors have been given passes as of Thursday, and the program is expected to accommodate about 15 more.
Reverse Angle Parking in Bloomfield
Bloomfield has added more “reverse angle” parking spaces, and offered an explanation on how it works, according to Patch. These new types of parking spaces will make it so car doors no longer open towards traffic and getting out of a space will be easier. Bloomfield town officials released a video explaining the parking spaces.
Professor Milton A. Fuentes Wins Distinguished Faculty Award
Professor Milton A. Fuentes, a psychology professor at Montclair State University, was selected for the 2021 New Jersey Psychological Association Academic & Scientific Affairs’ Distinguished Faculty Award, according to Montclair State University. The award will formally be given to him at the 2021 NJPA Virtual Fall Conference Award Ceremony. The NJPA Academic & Scientific Affairs’ Distinguished Faculty Award is given to a psychology faculty member for their research, teaching or training efforts.
NJ Groups Warn Essex-Hudson Greenway Plan is in Danger
The Essex-Hudson Greenway Plan, involving the construction of a massive hiking and biking trail in North Jersey, could be in jeopardy, per MSN. The Greenway Plan looks to convert 8.6 miles of unused railroad tracks on the Old Boonton Line into a hiking and biking path through eight towns. The plan is currently stuck behind heaps of red tape and uncertainty.
Campaign to Change Montclair’s Elections to Fall Gains Momentum
A group hoping to shift Montclair’s municipal elections to the fall collected enough petition signers to force a ballot referendum, according to Montclair Local. A committee consisting of five petitioners along with the advocacy group Vote Montclair will present the signatures to the Montclair Township Clerk on Tuesday. If the petition is certified, voters will be asked during the November general election whether municipal elections should be permanently moved to fall, when most other elections are held.