Home Essex County 19 News Stories You Missed This Week in Montclair + Beyond

19 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: a Montclair chef takes home top honors in a barbecue contest; Newark students recognized for their achievements; and an art contest for seniors announced in Essex County. Read on for more news from Montclair, Bloomfield, and beyond for the week ending July 30th, 2023.

Montclair’s Ban on Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers Moves Forward

leaf blowers montclair
Currently, gas-powered leaf blowers are banned in Montclair from May 16th through October 14th, but a new proposal would prohibit them outright. The use of gas-powered leaf blowers has been a topic of discussion in many cities in North Jersey and even in the New Jersey State Legislature, where a 2021 proposal to ban the sale and use of the devices in the state. Montclair is the latest community to take up the topic, as a proposal to ban the devices completely was recently introduced by the Montclair Town Council. Read on for more about the ban and what’s next for gas-powered leaf blowers in Montclair.

Porta Montclair is Getting a Second-Floor Outdoor Deck

porta montclair
Back in February 2022, Porta opened up in Montclair — making it the bar + restaurant’s third location in New Jersey in addition to Jersey City and Asbury Park (FYI: check out @theasburygirl on Instagram). Located at 499 Bloomfield Avenue, the Montclair location of this bar and restaurant is in the former Social Club Space. It was recently announced that Porta received the green light on a new project — a second-floor outdoor deck for outdoor dining. Read on for what we know about this new rooftop space coming to MTC and what we love about Porta.

The Ivy at Chatham

Rate Increase Approved for Water Usage in Bloomfield

Bloomfield residents will now pay more for water usage. Per Patch, a rate increase for water was approved by the town’s council, marking the first adjustment in 10 years, at its July 17th meeting. The new rate will go into effect on August 1st.

Newark Apartment Explosion Displaces 31

An explosion at a Newark apartment building injured six people and displaced 31, according to Patch. The building is part of the Stephen Crane Housing Complex, which is managed by the Newark Housing Authority. After the explosion on Saturday, July 22nd, the remaining portion of the building had to be razed.

Montclair Chef’s Team Wins Barbecue Contest


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Montclair-based chef Lauren Hirschberg was part of a team of chefs that won grand champion honors at the World Champion Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis, TN. Per Montclair Local, the team placed in the top tier of contestants in the ‘Ribs’ category, and then moved on to the grand champion round. The team went on to win the top prize of the competition. Lauren is part of Turtle + The Wolf and Pineapple Express, both restaurants located in Montclair.

Essex County Art Contest for Seniors Announced

Essex County seniors are invited to participate in an art contest run by the county. Per Patch, the contest is open to professional and amateur artists aged 60 and up in a variety of media. First-place winners will be eligible to participate in the New Jersey Senior Art Contest.

Newark Restauranteur Paid Employees Under the Table, Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud

An Essex County man who was part owner of two popular restaurants in Newark pled guilty to failure to withhold and pay payroll taxes in federal court. Per a press release from the US Attorney’s Office, Jorge Fernandes was the 50-percent owner of two restaurants in the Ironbound section of Newark, Iberia Tavern and Iberia Peninsula. He paid a number of the employees “off the books,” or “under the table,” failing to collect any payroll taxes from them.

More Multi-Way Stop Signs Approved in Montclair

The Montclair Town Council approved multi-way stop signs for two more intersections, according to Patch. The two intersections are Chestnut Street at Central Avenue and Glenridge Avenue at Forest Street. These are the fourth and fifth multi-way intersections to be approved for traffic calming measures by the Council this year.

New Jersey Sues Over Congestion Pricing Plan

The State of New Jersey has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) over the proposed congestion pricing plan, per a press release from the Governor’s office. New Jersey argues that the USDOT and the FHWA violated the National Environmental Protection Act, which requires a full environmental impact review for projects of this projected impact and scope, as well as the Clean Air Act. The proposed plan is the first of its kind in the US.

National Night Out Festivities Scheduled in Bloomfield

The town of Bloomfield will participate in the National Night Out on August 1st, according to TapInto. The free, family-friendly event will be at the Vassar Field located at 60 Byrd Avenue. The event is supported by the Brookdale ShopRite and the Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Department.

Essex County Organizations Receive Grants for Dental Health

Four Essex County organizations received a total of over $176K in grants from the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of New Jersey (DDNJ). Per TapInto, the organizations provide dental care and education to uninsured and underinsured populations in Newark and Bloomfield. The grants will also support professional training in the dental industry.

Property Tax Revaluation to Take Place in Newark

The City of Newark will undertake a property tax revaluation. Per NJ.com, it will be the first time in ten years that property values will be examined. The City Council approved the work at its July 18th meeting. The work is anticipated to take until 2027 to be completed.

Girls Welcomed to New Scouting Troop in Montclair

A newly organized scout troop will allow girls to join, per Montclair Local. Troop 12G is a part of the BSA, the scouting organization formerly known as the Boy Scouts of America. A rule change in 2018 allowed girls to join the organization, which has had a presence in Montclair for over 100 years. The new troop will have its first meeting after Labor Day.

Newark Student Writers Win Writing Competition

Seven Newark students have been honored by Pathways to College, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students of color achieve higher education, according to the organization’s website. Per Patch, the students won the writing competition and were awarded gift cards. The winning writings were also published in Pathways’ literary magazine. The winning authors represented grades 10 through 12.

Montclair Police Announce National Night Out

The Montclair Police Department announced it will participate in National Night Out, which will take place on August 1st. Per Patch, the event is a free, family-friendly outing where the community can interact with local police. Vendors, food, performances, and more will be a part of the event, which will be at South Park at Church Street Plaza from 5PM to 8PM.

‘Buy a Brick’ at the Maplewood Library


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Residents and library lovers can show their support for a project at the Maplewood Library by buying a brick as part of a fundraiser. Per Village Green, the Montclair Library Foundation is raising funds to build a new terrace that will face the park. The bricks can be personalized per the donor’s wishes.

Newark Police Announce National Night Out Festivities

Newark Police will take part in National Night Out festivities on August 1st. Per Patch, the family-friendly event is free and will take place from 2PM to 8PM at West Side Park. There will be food, music, and more.

Maplewood and South Orange High School Students Part of Paper Mill Playhouse Production

Per Village Green, ten students from Maplewood and South Orange will perform at the Paper Mill Playhouse. The original work is called We Will Rock You and over 100 youth make up the cast. Performances of We Will Rock You will be held on Friday, July 28 at 7:30 PM and Saturday, July 29 at 1:30 PM and 7:30 PM at Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ. Tickets are available online.

Newark-Based Aerofarms Declares Bankruptcy

Aerofarms, a Newark-Based company specializing in vertical farming, has declared bankruptcy. According to Jersey Digs, the company opened in 2015 in the Ironbound district. In a bankruptcy hearing last month, the company was revealed to owe $3 million to 30 different investors.

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