It’s been another busy, beautiful week in Essex County with plenty of headlines to catch up on. Among the highlights: Montclair announces schedule for town pools; Bloomfield families can sign up for a school supply giveaway; and Newark gets over $700K in grants to support mental health programs. Read on for more news stories from Montclair, Newark, Bloomfield, NJ — and beyond.
Maplewood Teens Nominated for Paper Mill Playhouse Awards
In a press release from the organization, the Paper Mill Playhouse announced the nominees for its 2023 awards program. The Rising Star Awards are modeled after the Tony Awards, and designed to recognize theater productions from New Jersey high schools. This year, Maplewood’s Columbia High School received 13 nominations. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, June 13th.
Fresh&Co Now Open in Newark
Fast casual chain Fresh&Co has opened its newest location in Newark at the Junction at Gateway Center. Per Jersey Digs, this location marks the chain’s second New Jersey location, having opened a location in Westfield earlier this year. Patrons can expect chef-inspired, locally sourced and seasonal menus.
Montclair School District Creates New Community-Focused Position
The Montclair School District is now hiring for a newly-created position, according to Montclair Local. The position has been funding by a one-year grant. The role of community, parent and student engagement coordinator has been created to support families and students as they enter the school district.
New Jersey Community Capital Celebrates the Reopening of Hinchliffe Stadium, Creating Equitable Opportunities Across Paterson
Mayor Andre Sayegh Cuts Ribbon with Funders and Team. Credit: Aaron Houston
This past week, New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), the state’s largest community development financial institution (CDFI), took part in the inaugural ribbon-cutting ceremony that celebrated the reopening of Hinchliffe Stadium, one of the nation’s only five Negro League stadiums, located in Paterson, NJ.
To bring the National Historic Landmark back to life, NJCC provided $8 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to the $105 million rehabilitation project, in partnership with additional sources including New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (ERG funds) and the City of Paterson. The reopening of Hinchliffe Stadium will provide economic development opportunities, new affordable and market-rate housing, and commitments to local Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) businesses and organizations.
Out Montclair Announces 2023 Pride Lineup
Photo Courtesy of Montclair Pride
Via a press release, Out Montclair, a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization established in 2021 to provide community, support, and solidarity for LGBTQIA+ people in the greater Montclair area, announces a star-studded line-up of performers, speakers, and sponsors for the second annual Montclair Pride, presented by Audi of America, Saturday, June 10th in downtown Montclair. Out Montclair also announces a third stage in addition to the Main Stage and innovative Bravitas Family Stage, the Open Call Stage, to offer more opportunity to express the theme of Montclair Pride: “Be You. Be Heard.” For the first time, Out Montclair is also premiering a Black-Owned Business Spotlight and a pop-up skatepark. The popular biergarten takeover of S. Park St. is back this year featuring our 2023 Pride Beer in partnership with Montclair Brewery.
Montclair Center BID is a collaborating sponsor of Montclair Pride. The Bravitas Group, Park Street Auto, and Guerriero Gelato and Cakes are sponsors of the Bravitas Family Stage, which will feature performances for all ages from local inclusive talent and performing arts groups. More than 200 sponsors, partners, and vendors will line the streets of Montclair Pride showcasing businesses, nonprofits and institutions that represent Montclair’s diverse and welcoming community of LGBTQIA+ people, families and allies.
Out comedian, writer and New Jersey native Judy Gold returns as emcee of the Montclair Pride main stage. Special guests and performances include Broadway icons and Montclair resident Laura Benanti, a special appearance by Patrick Wilson along with Dagmara Dominczyk from HBO’s Succession; and Grammy winner and Tony nominee Kathryn Gallagher. Also on the main stage will be Drag Entertainer/Singer/Dancer and RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 Finalist Rosé; twin performers from Bloomfield, Dane, a proud trans man and his sister Stephanie, who wowed the judges on The Voice; singer-songwriter Lilli Lewis; the New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus; transgender comedian and trailblazer Jaye McBride; the Vanguard Theater cast of Spring Awakening and Cedar Grove High School’s The Prom, a production saved from cancellation by LGBTQIA+ and ally community and alumni support; and talent on the Bravitas Family Stage hosted by Lady Keyante with drag story readings, “Drums of Thunder” from Hillside Elementary School, the house band from School of Rock Montclair, the Montclair High School Choir and a performance from the Caring Cabarets, artists who perform around Montclair to raise money and awareness for vulnerable communities, including LGBTQIA+ people.
Roses to Rock Gardens Tour Announced for Montclair and Glen Ridge
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The Van Vleck House & Gardens announced its annual Roses to Rock Gardens tour event on June 2nd and 3rd via a press release. This year, the eight private gardens will be across Montclair and one in Glen Ridge. The gardens range in size and in composition. Some were created entirely by the homeowners and others had help from professional garden designers.
The Tour is self-guided and can be done between 11AM – 4PM on Friday and Saturday so visitors can take their time at each property. Each garden can be visited just once to keep the traffic flow working. Addresses and descriptions of each private garden are in the Tour Journal which is required for entry and can be picked up at Van Vleck House on Friday or Saturday.
Lisa Mierop, a talented garden designer who has worked on many area properties including Van Vleck Gardens, will give a presentation to kick off the Tour on Friday, June 2nd at 9:30AM. Seating is limited so early online ticket purchasers will be invited by email to attend.
Tickets can be purchased through our website Montclairfoundation.org at this link. Tickets bought online are $40 for members/$50 for general public. Tickets bought at the door on Friday or Saturday of the Tour will be $10 more. All proceeds of this fundraiser go toward the care of Van Vleck Gardens, a free to visit green space open daily from dawn to dusk.
Questions? Please contact Info@vanvleck.org.
Livingston Announces Public Art Program
Per Patch, the Arts Council of Livingston has selected several artworks to be displayed on benches throughout the town. The goal is to create an outdoor museum where residents are encouraged to sit on the benches and enjoy the art. There is a reception open to all at the Livingston Municipal Building on June 8th from 6:30PM-8:30PM
Montclair Town Pools Announce Summer Hours, Rates
Just in time for summer, the Montclair Town Pools have announced this year’s plans for summer hours and guest rates. According to a press release from the town of Montclair, Essex Pool will open for the season on Saturday, May 27th and will remain open on weekends ONLY until Sunday June 18th. Beginning Friday, June 23rd, Mountainside, Nishuane, and Essex Pools will be open daily until Monday, September 4th. Essex Pool will close for the season Sunday, August 13th.
Newark Elementary School Students Win Essex County ‘g’Artbage’ Contest
Students at Maria L. Varisco-Rogers Charter School in Newark were winners of a county-wide art contest sponsored by Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and the Essex County Environmental Center. The g’Artbage contest invited students to make art out of garbage as part of an Earth Day effort to get students to think creatively about re-using waste. Students from pre-K through high school participated.
Bloomfield to Honor Firefighters at Memorial Day Ceremony
Per BaristaNet, a new statue will be installed in Bloomfield to honor its past and current firefighters. The ceremony will take place on Monday, May 29th at 8AM at the 375 Franklin Street Firehouse. The community is invited to attend.
Essex County Announces Plans for New Family Court Building
A groundbreaking ceremony was held earlier this week at the site of a new family court complex that will be part of the Essex County courts system. Per Patch, the new building will be eight stories tall with over two dozen courtrooms, hearing rooms, and waiting rooms with child play areas for child support, space for a Domestic Violence Unit and Non-Dissolution, and offices for the Prosecutor’s Office, interpreters and Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA). It is expected to be completed in 2025.
Vacant Montclair Storefront Becomes Community Resource
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According to BaristaNet, the space that used to hold the Office Restaurant, located at 619 Bloomfield Avenue, is now part of Montclair Emergency Services for Hope (MESH)’s community efforts. The faith-based non-profit that provides basic needs to the underserved, is now using the space as a store and dining facility for its clients. Having a consistent time and location for the Monday through Saturday dinner service has helped MESH connect with more clients.
Bloomfield to Continue Providing Animal Control Services to Maplewood
Per Patch, the towns of Bloomfield and Maplewood have agreed to a one-year contract for animal control and municipal humane law enforcement officer services. After St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center closed in 2022, Maplewood has been working with neighboring communities to provide animal control services to residents. This new agreement extends the six-month agreement that was already in place.
Memorial Day in Montclair
Memorial Day is Monday, May 29th and the town of Montclair will observe the holiday, meaning there will be office closures. Per Patch, refuse, recycling, the senior bus and evening shuttle services are suspended for the day. On Monday, May 29th at 10AM, a ceremony at Edgewood Park will honor the day.
Scammer Uses Essex County Sheriff’s Office in Ploy
Per Patch, a scammer claiming to be from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office has been trying to get victims to send money. The caller would be told that there was a warrant out for their arrest, and that paying a fine would solve the issue. Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura issued a public safety service announcement reminding residents that the Sheriff’s office doesn’t request money by phone.
Montclair Approves Two Dispensaries
The Montclair Town Council has approved two dispensaries, according to Patch. Night Owl will be located at 300 Bloomfield Avenue, and Kush will be located at 135 Valley Road, both in Montclair. The next step will be for the businesses to be approved by the planning board.
HerMD Opening Soon in Milburn
When Dr. Somi Javaid began practicing as an OBGYN, she realized that women weren’t getting the attention they needed from their medical providers in terms of time and treatment. She repeatedly listened to stories from frustrated patients who felt uncomfortable sharing personal details with their doctors and whose complaints went unheard. She believed women deserved a safe place where they felt empowered and educated about their choices and even their own anatomy. Dr. Javaid quickly realized her patients’ experience was a reflection of the current state of the women’s healthcare system and that within it, women were routinely dismissed. Dr. Javaid knew the standard for women’s healthcare needed to be raised for patients and providers. She believed that with her experience and her vision, it was possible.
Enter HerMD, a female-founded physician-led organization focusing on gynecology, menopause, sexual health, mental wellness and medical aesthetics, with locations around the country – all centered around women’s health. Physician-founded, patient-forward, and mission-driven, since 2015, HerMD has been revolutionizing the future of women’s healthcare through an integrated, evidence-based model delivering comprehensive women’s healthcare all under one roof . By leading female-focused research and integrating cutting-edge technologies and treatment options into the care model, HerMD is leading the movement in transforming women’s healthcare. From mental health and sexual wellness to aesthetics and more, HerMD provides care for every aspect of women’s health. HerMD has been featured in outlets such as Forbes, Oprah Daily, Vogue, and more. For more information, visit hermd.com.
Improvements Complete at Brookdale Park
Essex County officials announced the completion of work to improve the baseball and softball fields in Brookdale Park. Per Patch, the goal of the project was to increase the longevity of the playing fields and reduce maintenance, especially during rainy weather. The work took six months to complete and was funded by grants from Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund Advisory Board and the American Rescue Plan Act.
2023 MTV VMAs Will Return to Newark
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Earlier this week, MTV announced it would be returning to Newark for its iconic Video Music Awards (VMA) show. Per Patch, the show will take place at the Prudential Center on Tuesday September 12th. The show will be broadcast to 150 countries.
Monarch Housing Associates Announce Plan to House Montclair’s Homeless
Per BaristaNet, Monarch Housing Associates presented its final plan to the Town Council after a year-long study. The plan was presented at a meeting earlier this week. The strategic plan included recommendations on how best to help the unhoused and what can be done with existing community resources, as well as what else could be done.
New School of Computing Announced at Montclair State
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In a press release, Montclair State University announced a new School of Computing. “As demand for computing jobs shows tremendous job growth, the establishment of the School of Computing comes at a pivotal time,” says Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Junius Gonzales. “Having a School allows for more synergies, formal collaboration and interdisciplinary opportunities for research.”
The school is housed in the recently renovated Center for Computing and Information Science building, where “Montclair State University will continue to capitalize on the success of its math and computer science programs to help prepare students for this future job growth,” Gonzales says.
City of Newark Gets Federal Grants for Mental Health Resources
In a joint press release, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both-D-N.J.) announced today a combined total of $4,949,896 to the City of Newark and the New Jersey Department of Health from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These grants will provide funds for mental health and substance abuse services in Newark and cancer prevention and control programs at the NJ Department of Health. The City of Newark will receive $727,740 to create a Community Crisis Response Partnership to support mental health and substance use services in the area.
New Jersey Approves Proposal Cranberry Juice the Official State Juice After Campaign led by Elementary School Students
Students at Eleanor Rush Intermediate School scored a legislative victory this week when their 2020 proposal to make cranberry juice the official juice of New Jersey. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the students’ campaign began when they were fourth graders as part of a lesson on state symbols. The now-sixth graders traveled to Trenton to make their pitches, and Governor Phil Murphy signed the proposal on Monday, May 22nd.
Lorczak’s Department Store in Newark to Close
Lorczak’s Department Store in Newark will close this weekend after serving the community for 100 years. Per Patch, the store and its owners were recognized earlier this week in a ceremony hosted by Councilman Michael Silva. The store is located at the corner of Ferry and Polk Streets in the Ironbound section of Newark.
Discrimination Case Against Montclair Begins
Per BaristaNet, the discrimination case against the township of Montclair will have its first hearing in court on Friday May 26th. The township has moved to seal the proceedings. The case was brought in Fall 2022 by Montclair CFO Padmaja Rao against the township and township manager Timothy Stafford, alleging discrimination and retaliation.
School Supply Event for Bloomfield Families
Per Patch, Bloomfield families can sign up for a school supplies giveaway organized by the Township of Bloomfield’s Division of Human Services, in partnership with the National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section. Participants must sign up before June 6th. The NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store is offered to eligible Bloomfield children entering kindergarten through 5th grade in September 2023.
Montclair African-American Heritage Foundation Parade Announced
The Montclair African-American Heritage Foundation’s historic parade and festival is back and celebrating 34 years, per BaristaNet. This year’s parade will take place on Saturday, June 3rd 2023, rain or shine, beginning at Glenfield Middle School on Maple Avenue and will commence at Nishuane Park where the Festival will begin. Cynthia Walker, Founder and Executive Director of Montclair based, S.O.F.I.A. (Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates) Domestic Violence advocacy organization and George Marable, longtime Montclair business owner are this year’s honorees.
French Immersion Pre-School Opening in Montclair
For nearly 15 years, FIAF Montclair has offered French language classes for all ages and levels to the Montclair community and beyond. Beginning this fall, FIAF Montclair will expand its offerings for children with the opening of the FIAF Preschool: Montclair, in a newly renovated space at 17-19 Munn Street, per BaristaNet. uickly, children master broader vocabulary, start responding in French, and begin to form simple sentences. Whether children continue on to an American or French school, these years in preschool are a pivotal foundation for mastery of the language and lifelong love of French. For more information or to sign up for an information session, visit https://www.fiafpreschool.org/montclair/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colbert, Gaffigan Perform to Benefit Montclair Film
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As part of the North 2 Shore festival, comedy superstars Stephen Colbert and Jim Gaffigan invite guests to join as they bring their incisive intellect and whip-smart humor to their observations and conversations about current events. From Emmy-winning shows to sold-out tours and NY Times bestsellers, just to name a few accolades, it seems like both men have done it all and done it well. This event will be produced and presented by Montclair Film.
Montclair Councilman Peter Yacobellis Announces Mayoral Candidacy
Photo courtesy of Peter Yacobellis
Montclair Town Council Member Peter Yacobellis announced that he is running for Mayor of Montclair in the May 14th, 2024 municipal election.
Yacobellis promises to create a “Service Corps” for Montclair to connect people with time and talent to give, with the people and organizations who need the support, including the government. “The difference between a Montclair that controls its destiny or just coasts along being forced to change by external forces, is how we activate the talent that we already have in our workforce and in our community.”, said Yacobellis. “I think that I can offer our community present and engaged leadership that acts as connector-in-chief and activates our greatest assets (you) to help us not just realize our own incredible potential and solve big problems, but also model strong progressive policy that other places can emulate,” he added.