It’s been another busy week in Essex County with plenty of news to catch up on leading up to the 4th of July holiday in the Montclair area. Among the highlights, including a few noteworthy news stories in the greater New Jersey area: the City of Newark opens a community health clinic inside a school; Bloomfield’s pickleball courts are too popular; and a Montclair housing group wins a grant from AARP. Read on for more news from Montclair, Bloomfield and beyond for the week ending July 2nd, 2023.
The Local Girl Team Launches Sister BrandThe Asbury Girl
Just in time for summer fun, The Local Girl team (the team behind The Hoboken Girl + The Montclair Girl) has launched its sister brand dedicated to all things at the Jersey Shore — TheAsburyGirl. While named ‘Asbury Girl,’ the brand will cover things all around the Jersey Shore — especially lifestyle fun, activities, and things to do. Website launch is coming soon, but for now, get on our email list here, and follow @theasburygirl on Instagram.
Montclair Senior Wins New Jersey Hall of Fame Scholarship
Keely Balfour was named one of two winners of the 2023 Arete Scholarship from the New Jersey Hall of Fame, per a press release from the organization. Keely is a Yale-bound 2023 graduate of Montclair High School. The recipients of the scholarship must demonstrate qualities such as academic engagement, moral character, a commitment to their community, and a sense of Jersey pride.
New Jersey Symphony to Perform Free Concert at
Liberty State Park
The New Jersey Symphony celebrating its centennial season with a free outdoor summer concert performance in Liberty State Park on Sunday, July 2nd. The Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Symphony will take the stage at 7:30PM. The event is free and open to the public, according to a press release. The iconic music performance is made possible through a grant from Jersey City’s Arts and Culture Trust Fund and will take place at the Green Ring in Liberty State Park, located off Freedom Way. The concert marks the conclusion of the NJ Symphony’s centennial celebration, which has spanned the state over the past ten months.
Two NJ Towns Rank High for Livability
Per NJ.com, two New Jersey cities rank among the top 100 in the US for best places to live by Livability, a website that ranks towns. Jersey City was ranked high for amenities, economy, and education. Clifton was the other NJ city included, which was given high marks for its numerous parks.
Congestion Pricing Proposal Moves Forward,
NJ Reps Vow to Push Back
A congestion pricing plan has been approved at the federal level, but several New Jersey electeds have vowed to push back. Per NJ.com, Federal Highway Administration officials said that a “Finding of No Significant Impact” will be issued and that the plan’s sponsors may advance in their application to FHWA’s Value Pricing Pilot Program. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and U.S. Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-5th Dist., Bill Pascrell, Jr. D-9th Dist., challenged the legitimacy of the FHWA’s decision when New Jersey was not involved in the process, while New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has issued a statement against the decision.
The World Cup is Coming to MetLife Stadium in 2026
Soccer enthusiasts around the world look forward to the FIFA World Cup that happens every four years. In 2026, USA, Mexico, and Canada are joining forces to bring together the sports event of the year, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford has been named as one of the host venues to be home for several World Cup game tournaments representing the USA. There are many preparations underway, but one thing for sure is that North Jersey will be welcoming local and international fanatics to celebrate soccer. Read on for more information surrounding the 2026 FIFA World Cup and how to get to and around MetLife Stadium.
Shared Public Health Service Agreement between
Montclair and Nutley set to Expire
Per TapInto, a shared services agreement between Nutley and Montclair is coming to an end. The agreement for Public Local Health Services is set to expire at the end of 2023, and a six-month notice is required for termination, so an announcement was made at Nutley’s June 8th Board of Commissioners meeting. The goal is for Nutley to have its own public health officer by the end of the year.
Pickleball Problems at Brookdale Park in Bloomfield
Pickleball is extremely popular, and even though Essex County has added more courts, it doesn’t seem to be enough for residents. Per BaristaNet, Essex County residents are questioning whether the contractor that the county uses to manage the facilities is actually using the best practices. They complain that courts are hard to get and lessons are scheduled at peak times.
New Jersey Chef Makes TV Debut
Poonam Ribadia, a native of Bergen County made her TV debut this week on the Hulu show Secret Chef, a competition-style cooking show. Per The Daily Voice, Poonam’s Instagram account caught the attention of producers which is how she found herself on the show. Poonam’s cooking is influenced by the vegetarian Indian cuisine that she grew up with and her international travels.
City of Newark Opens Health Clinic in Elementary School
New Public Health Clinic Opens Inside Newark Elementary Schoolhttps://t.co/AHHbm27OjF
— City of Newark (@CityofNewarkNJ) June 29, 2023
Per Patch, a new health clinic has opened in a Newark elementary school. The Mary Eliza Mahoney Health Center has opened at Speedway Avenue Elementary School at 701 S. Orange Avenue. The new clinic has adult, pediatric, and behavioral health care services, such as counseling and medication management.
Bloomfield Police Recognized For Anti-Drunk Driving Efforts
The Bloomfield Police Department was honored by the New Jersey chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for its commitment to eliminating drunk and drugged driving, per TapInto. 2023’s Top Cop DWI Award for Essex County was presented to Bloomfield Police Lieutenant Luca Piscitelli. The DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) award was presented to Bloomfield Police Officer Joseph Condito.
NHL Devils Youth Foundation Awards Newark
Community Group $100K
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Per a press release, the New Jersey Devils Youth Foundation made a $100,000 grant to the United Community Corporation (UCC) in Newark. The Devils Youth Foundation is the charitable arm of the NJ Devils, an NHL team. The grant will be used to support UCC’s nutritional programming and community refrigerator initiative.
$47 Million in Federal Funding Announced for Maplewood Electric Transit Project
Today, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, along with members of NJ’s congressional delegation announced $47 million in federal funding for NJ TRANSIT to modernize our Hilton Bus Garage, located in Maplewood. pic.twitter.com/5eS2iBtFmS
— NJ TRANSIT (@NJTRANSIT) June 26, 2023
Via a press release, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.), alongside U.S. Representatives Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.-11), Donald Payne, Jr.(D-N.J.-10), and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.-09) announced $47,000,000 million for NJ Transit to modernize the Hilton Bus Garage, located in Maplewood. The funding is to accommodate battery-electric buses and increase transit service to densely populated communities and frequently traveled areas through emission-conscious vehicle deployment. This will include electrification equipment and a worker training program.
Newark High School Construction Significantly Delayed
Per NJ.com, the completion of a project to complete the transition of an Essex County building from a hospital to a high school has been delayed further. Progress at the St. James Hospital building in Newark has been subject to several stop work orders, complaints, and other issues. Now, the Newark School Board has extended the construction management contract to end in December 2024, indicating a significant delay in the project.
Tree Cutting Error Could Cost Millions in Morris County
Per NJ.com, a common neighborhood dispute has gained national attention. A Morris County resident allegedly cut down over 30 trees without consulting a property map, and now must replace the mature trees that belonged to her neighbor at a cost of over $1.5 million. While no civil lawsuit has been filed, trespassing charges and code violations have been filed against the neighbor who cut down the trees.
Montclair Gateway to Aging in Place Receives Grant from AARP New Jersey for ADU Design Contest
Per BaristaNet, Montclair Gateway to Aging in Place (mGAP) has received a grant of $12,266 from AARP New Jersey. The grant will be used to organize a design competition for freestanding, practical, and reusable Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), which were approved earlier this year by the town of Montclair. Partners for Health has contributed an additional $10,000 to the project.
375 Chicken Opens in Newark
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Another restaurant has opened at The Junction at the Gateway in Newark. Per NJ.com, NYC-based chicken chain 375 Chicken has opened its latest outpost in Newark, marking the company’s first New Jersey location. The menu features halal fried chicken in many formats, milkshakes, fries, and more.
Montclair’s Chef Ilson Gonçalves Releases 2nd Samba Cookbook – Totally Gluten Free
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Samba Montclair executive chef/owner Ilson Gonçalves has updated his popular Samba Montclair Cookbook, according to a press release. The second edition, published by A Life In Print, features new recipes and all have been updated to reflect the restaurant’s 100% certified gluten-free status.
In 2020, while the world was shut down due to the pandemic, Ilson experienced his own health crisis and was diagnosed with celiac disease and food allergies. He had to make drastic changes to his diet, omitting all wheat, soy, and corn, among other gluten and gluten-adjacent foods. Since his rule is that he doesn’t serve anything in his restaurant that he won’t eat himself, he immediately set about making Samba Montclair a totally gluten-free establishment. Now all the recipes have eliminated gluten, while remaining authentic, easy to prepare, and delicious. The book is available at Samba, located at 7 Park Street, and at Watchung Booksellers, located at 54 Fairfield Street.
North Jersey Restaurants Recognized by Wine Spectator Magazine
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Several North Jersey restaurants were recognized by Wine Spectator magazine as part of its 2023 Restaurant Awards. Sputino Wine Bar & Tapas in Clifton was recognized for the second year in a row. River Palm Terrace in Edgewater was also recognized for the second year in a row.