Home Essex County 21 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

21 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

by The Montclair Girl Team
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It’s been another busy week in Essex County with plenty of news to catch up on in the Montclair area. Among the highlights: Montclair’s Watchung Booksellers adds a second location; the Montclair History Center received a $30K grant; and Newark approves a cannabis dispensary. Read on for more news from Montclair, Bloomfield, and beyond for the week ending July 23rd, 2023.

Halsey Fest Returns to Newark


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The Ivy at Chatham

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Per Patch, Halsey Fest will return to Newark this weekend. The celebration was rescheduled from its original date because of the weather. This weekend’s event is the first of three festivals, each one featuring local vendors, food, and entertainment for families and guests of all ages.

Montclair Resident’s Achievements Honored

A Montclair resident’s lifelong contributions to the community have been recognized. According to Montclair Local, a dedication was held at the newly named Alfred E. Pelham Sports Complex on July 14th. Alfred Pelham was a native Montclair-ian who was president of the Montclair NAACP, president of the Montclair African American Heritage Foundation, and executive director of Montclair Neighborhood Development Corp.

Montclair’s Watchung Bookstore Expands to Second Location

Local favorite Watchung Booksellers is expanding its footprint, per BaristaNet. The store, located at 54 Fairfield Street is taking over the space at 44 Fairfield Street. The second storefront will be dedicated to children’s books and events.

Newark Approves a Cannabis Dispensary

Per Jersey Digs, the city of Newark has approved plans for a cannabis dispensary. Motherland Cannabis Company is based in Weehawken and plans to open up shop at 360 Broad Street. The three-floor building will be totally renovated to house the new business.

Montclair, Cedar Grove Reach Agreement on Ambulance Service

The towns of Montclair and Cedar Grove have reached an agreement regarding ambulance service within the community, per TapInto. Cedar Grove Ambulance & Rescue Squad (CGARS), and 85-year-old organization, will coordinate with the privately-operated Montclair ambulance unit to share 24-hour coverage of Cedar Grove. Montclair’s ambulance unit will operate from 6AM to 6PM seven days a week in Cedar Grove. The CGARS will cover Cedar Grove calls from 6PM to 6AM.

Montclair History Center Receives $30K Operating Support Grant

The Montclair History Center announced via a press release that it had been awarded a $30,000 operating support grant from the New Jersey Arts and Cultural Renewal Fund at the Princeton Area Community Foundation. The operating support grant will aid in the organization’s ongoing activities that service the community with in-person programming initiatives while still maintaining the virtual initiatives developed out of the 2020 shutdown. The MHC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving, sharing, and educating others about Montclair’s history.

Montclair School Board Invests in Campus Security

At its meeting on July 17th, the Montclair School Board heard a presentation on school security recommendations by Stonegate Associates, LLC, a security and emergency response management consultant. According to Montclair Local, the presentation focused on six key elements of a successful emergency management plan. The school district is implementing new strategies to enhance campus security.

Montclair Jazz Festival Announces 2023 Lineup

Via a press release, the 14th annual Montclair Jazz Festival announced the lineup for the 2023 Downtown Jamboree on September 9th. This year, headliners include Regina Carter, Antibalas, Steve Turre, Melanie Charles, Person to Person with Eric Person and Houston Person, Edmar Castaneda, Vince Ector, Michael Mwenso and the Shakes, Jazz House Collective and Christian McBride, the festival’s music director and curator. Accompanying the announcement are videos of McBride, Danielle Ponder, and JAZZ HOUSE alumni Matthew Whitaker performing at the 2022 edition of the Festival. Read more about the Montclair Jazz Festival here.

Food Vouchers for Seniors at Montclair Farmers Market

Per TapInto, Montclair seniors will now be eligible for food vouchers at the farmers market. Representatives from the Essex County Division of Senior Services will be at the Montclair Farmer’s Market on July 29th from 9AM to 12PM to distribute Senior Farmers’ Market Vouchers worth $50 to eligible seniors. The vouchers can be used at the Montclair Farmers’ Market and other City Green’s Good Food Bucks businesses.

Two Montclair Residents Named to New Jersey Hall of Fame

The New Jersey Hall of Fame announced its 2023 honorees via a press release. Among this year’s honorees are two Montclair residents. Josh Weston, former CEO of small business management services company ADP and notable philanthropist will be honored. The honor is being awarded posthumously to Dorothy Porter Wesley, a librarian, bibliographer, and curator, and the first African American to receive a library science degree from Columbia University.

West Orange Native to Open Bookstore


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A post shared by Big Red Books (@bigredbooks)

One man’s dream to own a bookstore is coming true. According to Patch, West Orange native and Hoboken English teacher Richard Fulco has taken over Big Red Books in Nyack, NY. The bookstore is under renovation and will be open later this summer.

NY Red Bull Player with North Jersey Roots Plays in MLS All-Star Game

John Tolkin, a defender for the New York Red Bulls and a native of Chatham, NJ, was selected to play on the MLS All-Star team, according to a press release from the team. The MLS All-Star game was part of a multi-day event held July 15th-19th in Washington, DC. The event culminated in a match between the MLS All-Star team and Arsenal FC.

Ban on Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers Moves Forward in Montclair

On Tuesday, July 18th, a proposal was introduced at the Montclair Township Council meeting that would ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers, according to TapInto. The proposal advanced after its first reading with a vote of 5-2. Many citizens spoke up in favor of the ordinance, and many landscaping companies spoke up against it. The ordinance would be similar to those passed in other towns including Maplewood.

Cedar Grove Library Restricts Title; Critics Call it Censorship

The Cedar Grove Library has restricted access to an award-winning book called Gender Queer. According to Montclair Local, the graphic novel is a young adult book and is being shelved in the adult section of the library. Many have criticized the decision, saying that restricting access to the book is essentially censorship, while others are calling for the book to be outright banned.

Montclair EMS Announces New Training Location

The Montclair EMS announced its new training location via a social media post. Courses available include CPR, First Aid, and more.

Winning Powerball Ticket Sold in Essex County

Per Patch, one of two winning $1 million Powerball tickets was sold in Essex County this past week. The winning ticket was sold at Galaxy Liquors, 410-412 Central Avenue in Orange. The drawing on Wednesday, July 19th was the third-largest Powerball jackpot and the sixth-largest U.S. lottery jackpot ever won.

$4 Million Plan Approved to Renovate Bloomfield Station

New Jersey Transit is moving forward with plans to renovate the Bloomfield Station. Per TapInto, renovations will include increasing accessibility and upgrades to pedestrian walkways. The $4 million project will also preserve the historical elements of the building, which is over 100 years old.

West Orange Arts Council Announces Summer Show

The West Orange Arts Council (WOAC) announced it will host a pop-up art gallery show from July 23rd-August 13th, 2023, at the West Orange Arts Center on 551 Valley Road, West Orange. According to a press release from the organization, the exhibition packs a wide range of mediums from sculpture to digital portraiture, expands and harnesses the creativity in us all, and features participating West Orange Arts Council member artists: Wendy A. Born, Mary Byrnes, Jeanette Centeno, Colleen Creedon, Kwaku Debrah, Rona Goldfarb, Jackie Hernandez, Jennifer Larsen, and Josiah Millington.

Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center Recognized by the American Heart Association

Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Center, located at One Bay Avenue in Montclair, has been recognized by the American Heart Association. Per TapInto, the hospital won the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke GoldPlus quality achievement award. The award recognizes the hospital’s treatment of stroke patients, focusing on delivering treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines, ultimately leading to more lives saved and reduced disabilities.

Montclair’s Turf Field Replacement is Ahead of Schedule

Work is ahead of schedule on the Woodman Field turf replacement project. Per BaristaNet, the project is the first part of a $187.7 million project to renovate and upgrade Montclair’s schools. The new field will be ready for the upcoming school year and sports seasons.

New Location of Hummus Republic Coming to Montclair


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A popular fast-casual restaurant is adding a new location in Montclair, according to its website. Hummus Republic opened at 2 Journal Square in Jersey City earlier this year. The nationwide Mediterranean franchise is known for serving fresh, plant-based food and serving organic wraps, pitas, and bowls with different protein and hummus options. Read more about Hummus Republic here.

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