There’s been lots of news happening in Essex County this week, and The Montclair Girl is here to get you up to speed. Among the local headlines: The Clairidge will screen The Godfather starting on Friday, March 18th; Alexis Sablone, a member of the USA Olympic team, will design seven skateable sculptures at Rand Park; and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Montclair and beyond.
Montclair May Pause Relationship with Russian Sister City
Mayor Spiller has written to Montclair’s sister city in Russia, Cherepovets, to protest the ongoing war in Ukraine, according to Patch. The letter states, “I cannot, however, in good conscience continue to support a symbolic relationship among our local governments as long as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine. That is why I am writing you to notify you that I am beginning the work of withdrawing from our relationship as sister cities.”
US Senate Votes In Favor of Sunshine Protection Act
On Tuesday, March 15th, the U.S. Senate passed a bill to make daylight savings permanent nationwide, according to Patch. At this point, the bill needs to be passed by the House of Representatives and by President Joe Biden. If approved, the Sunshine Protection Act would go into effect in 2023.
Tony Award Winner Laura Benanti to Host ShowUS Montclair
On Saturday, April 30th, Tony® Award-winner + five-time Tony® Award nominee Laura Benanti will host ShowUS Montclair, an outdoor music concert at Lackawanna Plaza at 7PM. According to a press release, the award-winning event will be an inspiring, interactive evening of local performers and stories that highlight the beauty of Montclair’s diverse community. Tickets are on sale now, and the cost of each ticket is a tax-deductible donation to MFEE. The ticket prices range from $35 for general admission to $120 for a family ticket.
Necessary Noise Festival to Feature Percussion Ensemble in Caldwell
On Saturday, April 9th Caldwell University will host the 9th Annual Necessary Noise Festival, per Baristanet. The festival will feature percussion ensembles from the tri-state area. College and high school groups are invited to perform between 1PM and 6PM. Admission is free.
Short Hills Couple Competing on Shark Tank
Every big brand’s success story has to start somewhere, and for one New Jersey couple, it started at the beach. Leslie Hsu and Greg Besner are a Short Hills couple whose company, SUNFLOW, was inspired by the desire to make better beach-going equipment. The two will have a chance to show their company off for a possible big investment by some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, on the hit ABC show, Shark Tank. Shark Tank allows participants to pitch products to the Sharks, who are the potential investors, and this local pair will be sharing SUNFLOW. Click here to read about the pair, their brand, and how to watch them on Shark Tank.
United Community Corp. to Host Distribution Events
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United Community Corp. will be hosting two distribution events in the month of March, per NJ.com. The first event will be on Thursday, March 17th, and then on Saturday, March 26th. Both of the events will be sponsored by Amerigroup RealSolutions and they will both take place at the West Side Park football field.
Man Charged in Fatal Stabbing Incident in Newark
A 39-year-old man was arrested and has been charged with murder in a fatal stabbing incident in Newark, per NJ.com. Dathan Cuascut also faces weapons charges after the attack over the past weekend that left James Dunlap dead. Authorities have yet to release any more information on the slaying.
The Clairidge Presents ‘The Godfather’ for its 50th Anniversary
The Clairidge will screen The Godfather starting on Friday, March 18th, per Baristanet. Considered a blockbuster film and regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, the movie is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Montclair Public Library to Receive Required Funding
The Montclair Public Library’s budget was approved by the Board of Trustees, per Baristanet. The revised budget request of $3,367,267 from the Township was approved, and this includes $2,867,267 in mandated funds and $500,000 in discretionary funds. These funds will help “provide top-notch services to all Montclair residents.”
Catching Owens Community Suite Receives Upgrade
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The Catching Owens Community Suite at Glenfield Middle School was recently renovated, per Montclair Local. They have new chairs and tables, there is a fresh coat of paint. The floors and ceilings were replaced, and there are new windows and upgraded bathrooms. TV monitors were installed, and there was also furniture that was donated by the Glenfield School PTA.
Annual Cleanup of Bonsal Preserve to Return
An annual clean-up event in Montclair will be returning in 2022, reported Patch. This annual event takes place at the Alonzo F. Bonsal Preserve. According to the organizers, the cleanup event will be from 10AM to 1PM on Saturday, March 26th. Those in attendance need to just show up ready to help, and gloves, bags, and waders will all be supplied.
More NJ Transit Service Restored To Morris-Essex Line
It has been over a week since a fallen tree ruined a section of NJ Transit’s Morris & Essex Line during a severe storm, per Patch. It looks like riders will soon be able to look forward to further restorations. Beginning Thursday and Friday riders will be able to see more restorations of weekday train services.
Historic Shop in Montclair to Undergo Renovations
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A commercial building in Montclair’s downtown historic district will undergo a renovation before a new restaurant opens up there, per Jersey Digs. The three-story building at 11 South Fullerton Avenue was built in 1900 and was the longtime home of the restaurant Palazzo. The renovations will strip away some of the mid-century modernizations and give it some updates.
Montclair to Begin Offering Free COVID-19 Tests at Municipal Building
Montclair will offer free coronavirus testing to residents starting at the end of the month, per Patch. The Montclair Health Department, in conjunction with MediStation, will be providing free COVID-19 tests every Monday and Tuesday from 8:30AM to 12:30PM and it will start on Monday, March 28th. The tests will be available at the Montclair Municipal Building.
Essex County Jury Convicts Man in Brutal Killing Case
A jury in Essex County has convicted a man of fatally stabbing an East Orange grocery store employee, per NJ.com. Roberto Ubiera was found guilty of all counts against him, including murder, and weapons offenses, in a 2018 incident in which 55-year-old Tarlock Singh was attacked and killed at his place of employment.
Montclair Planning Board Approves Accessory-Building Project
The Montclair Planning Board met on March 14th in order to discuss what to do with applications for historic structures, per Tap Into. The planning board approved applicant Paul Sapp’s application after a long history of the building was given, in a final vote of 6-3. Given the approval, this project will not be presented to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Montclair Councilors Introduce the Jose German-Gomez Native Species Act
In collaboration with Councilor Bob Russo and Councilor Lori Price Abrams, Councilor Peter Yacobellis announced the introduction of the Jose German-Gomez Native Species Act, and Councilor Robin Schlager also signaled strong support, per Baristanet. This act was introduced on Monday, March 15th. In addition to requiring that only native plants, defined as a plant occurring in the northeast region of the U.S. before Euro-American settlement, be used in public places in Montclair. The Act is also intended to promote appropriate native vegetation and protect microhabitats for the conservation of wildlife.
Vote Montclair Members Quit After Founder Authors Piece Criticizing School Unions
Several people associated with Vote Montclair are distancing themselves from the group after the founder authored a piece criticizing education unions, claiming they protect underperforming teachers in the “twilight of their careers”, per Montclair Local. Among those leaving the group are two new members of the Board of Education members which Vote Montclair endorsed. Sergio Gonzalez, a former Board of Education member and Vote Montclair’s co-chair, and Erik D’Amato are also leaving.
Pilot Program Allows Montclair Seniors to Overcome the Digital Divide
Twelve seniors meet every week at the Wally Choice Center in order to brush up on their tech skills, per Montclair Local. This weekly event is made possible due to a $10K grant from Partners for Health. This grant allows funding for Montclair Gateway to Aging in Place’s campaign for digital connectivity, specifically its SmartSeniors/SmartPhones pilot project.
Olympian to Design Skatepark Sculptures in Montclair
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Alexis Sablone, a member of the USA Olympic team, will be designing seven skateable sculptures at Rand Park, reported Patch. Skate Essex Inc. will be chipping in to help pay for this project with a $25,000 grant they were given by The Skatepark Project. Construction is scheduled for mid-March with the groundbreaking scheduled for April.