18 Montclair + Bloomfield News Stories You Missed This Week

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Every week we bring you the highlights in the news, so readers can stay up-to-date on what is happening in Montclair + surrounding areas. Among the local headlines: Montclair received a perfect score on Human Rights Municipal Index, the Wellmont Theater is giving away tickets to an Elvis tribute band, a new climate change exhibit is on display at the Newark Museum of Art, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Montclair, Bloomfield, + beyond in Essex County.


Best of Montclair 2021: Nominate Your Favorite Local Businesses

best of montclair 2021

Our first annual ‘Best of 2021 Montclair Guide’ is still accepting nominations. Our sister-site The Hoboken Girl hosts this awards event, and we had to bring it to the Montclair area to showcase everything that makes this community so special.

The Montclair Girl readers can nominate as many businesses, people, and places for each respective category in the area from now until November 29th.  Once we count your votes, we’ll be announcing the top three finalists in each category. At that point, readers vote again to pick the winners.

The finalists will win a decal to display on their storefronts and accolades on our website for all to see. There is a wide variety of categories, including Best Margarita, Best Fitness Studio, Best Brunch, + many more, so make sure to nominate all the businesses you believe deserve some recognition. Click here for everything you need to know.


Montclair Receives Perfect Score on Human Rights Municipal Index

montclair perfect score

This week, the Human Rights Campaign released the 2021 Municipal Equality Index for communities across the United States. Montclair jumped 22 points to reach a perfect score of 100 for the very first time.

“Garden State Equality is incredibly proud of Montclair for receiving a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2021 Municipal Equality Index. We particularly want to applaud the leadership of Council Member Peter Yacobellis, the town’s first LGBTQ+ elected official in enacting a comprehensive set of laws and policies over the last 18 months that resulted in this score,” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. “Our further thanks to Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller and the other members of the Town Council who unequivocally supported these efforts.”, he added.


Montclair Fire Department Undergoing Civil Rights Investigation

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The Montclair NAACP and Montclair Civil Rights Commission are requesting an investigation of the Montclair Fire Department’s promotional practices, per Baristanet. The specific items under question include alleged “inadequate administration and supervision” of sick leave penalties on certain medical care that unfairly impact African American members. Commissioner Christa Rapoport, Civil Rights Commission Chair, claimed that racial inequities in the MFD have only been hinted at for years until someone finally came forward in November of this year. 


After Some Delays, Athleta Store Finally Opening This Week in Montclair

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Athleta is branching out to Upper Montclair. The brand known for its premium performance apparel for women and girls will open a new store at 629 Valley Road, taking over Gap’s former location. This will be Athleta’s 14th location in New Jersey. The other locations include Bridgewater, Cherry Hill, Edgewater, Hoboken, Marlton, Morristown, Paramus, Princeton, Sea Girt, Shrewsbury, Wayne, Westfield, and Woodcliff Lake. Click here to read about Athleta and what shoppers can expect to find inside.


COVID-19 Cases On the Rise in the Garden State

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COVID-19 transmission rates in New Jersey have increased since last week, per NJ.com.  A Tuesday report filed another 1,305 cases and 24 deaths, a 31% seven-day average uptick since the week before. As coronavirus-related hospitalizations reached a high of 741, Gov. Phil Murphy told reporters that the pandemic is not over yet. “We’re not immune to this,” he said. “We’re still in it.” 


Gayle Jessup White to Discuss New Book Reclamation at Montclair Public Library

Montclair Public Library

Author and activist Gayle Jessup White is coming to Montclair Public Library to discuss her new book Reclamation with journalist Dionne Ford, according to Baristanet. She will share how she has come to terms with her unique heritage as a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and those he enslaved. Online registration is now open for the free online webinar on Thursday, December 2nd, at 7PM.


“Lights on Myrtle” Brightening Montclair For Another Holiday Season

 

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One of the largest Christmas light home displays in New Jersey is returning for another season, according to 6Park News. Matt Carino has decorated his home on 54 Myrtle Avenue for years, which now has over 120,000 lights. “Lights on Myrtle” will be on display at the beginning of December. Carino also accepts donations for the Montclair Township Animal Shelter, which totaled over $2k last year.


Montclair’s Wellmont Theater Giving Away Elvis Tribute Concert Tickets to Contest Winners

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Community members can enter to win two free tickets to the upcoming Elvis holiday tribute concert, per NJ 101.5. The show will feature holiday classics and other favorites by the King and will occur at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair on Sunday, December 5th, at 8PM. Various guest artists will perform. The contest entry form is on the New Jersey 101.5 website.


Small Shop Saturday Happening Thanksgiving Weekend in Montclair

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Small Shop Saturday is bringing music, shopping, and more to Montclair Center on Saturday, November 27th, reported Baristanet. This annual event supports local businesses and restaurateurs during the holiday season. Live performances by Jazz House Kids and the Vanguard Theater will begin at 12PM, and Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet shoppers from 12PM to 4PM. Neighbors can find more information on the Montclair Center website.


Montclair Antique Shop Closing After 40 Years

After spending decades on Church Street, the American Sampler antique shop is closing its doors. Pam and William Lamoglia, the shop owners, have decided to retire after 40 years. “It’s given us a great deal of pleasure, but it’s time to go. We are not getting any younger,” Lamoglia said. American Sampler has been a community favorite over the years and has even seen some celebrity visitors like Madonna and Dione Warwick. Everything at the shop is on sale before it closes at the end of 2021. Click here for the full story.


Montclair Police Department Cancels This Year’s Santa Delivery

montclair police santa

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the Montclair Police Department has put the popular Santa Delivery on hold this year, according to Baristanet. In the past, the MPD and Santa would travel through town before Christmas to deliver toys to children. However, the MPD is still collecting toys for the Salvation Army, which can be dropped off at the Police Headquarters from now until the first week of December.


Montclair State Tech/Know/Future Art Exhibition Open Through December 11th

The Tech/Know/Future/From Slang to Structure art exhibit is still open at Montclair State University Galleries, being the first in-person exhibition in almost two years, per a Montclair State press release. Various contemporary works are on display throughout campus “in surprising and inventive ways” which “present a critical response to technological systems within art addressing the issues of identity, history, and abstraction, placing the viewer at the intersection of the past, present, and future. 

“The artists use their creative practices to establish new relationships between technology, knowledge and time through augmented reality, artificial intelligence, sound, video, textiles and works on paper.”

The exhibit is open until Saturday, December 11th.


Taylor Family Gives Out 100 Turkeys to the Montclair Community

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The family of the late Bruce Taylor, long-time Montclair resident and Montclair High School athletic great, gave away 100 turkeys on Saturday, November 13th, reported Montclair Local. His son, Bruce Taylor Jr., decided to honor the memory of his father and the community he loves by serving others. The Taylor family brought 100 turkeys to the Wally Choice Community Center, where members of the community could receive a free turkey in time for the holidays.


New Climate Change Exhibit on Display at Newark Museum of Art 

A new exhibit titled Endangered! is open to the public at the Newark Museum of Art, per Tap Into. The exhibit focuses on the stories of extinct species and the dangers of climate change. 

“It is important to the mission and vision of The Newark Museum of Art that our artistic and educational efforts connect to current society,” said Linda Harrison, director, and CEO of The Newark Museum of Art. “Through valuable lessons for adults and children, Endangered! animates the crisis of climate change, its effect on animal life, and offers tangible and realistic steps that we can take to care for our planet and the animal kingdom.”


Montclair Bread Sister Shop ‘Gunkin’ Doughnuts’ Now Open in New Paltz

 

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Montclair shop owner Rachel Wyman has been busy opening up her new doughnut shop Gunkin’ Doughnuts in New Paltz. Wyman posted a photo from her bakery on Instagram this week and announced the new space. Gunkin’ Doughnuts is open Friday through Sunday at 7AM, and closes when the doughnuts are gone. “I’m really proud of what this team has created in a very short time on a very small budget,” Wyman said in her caption. “It has been a great reminder of why I chose this career path.” You can visit the shop at 138 Main Street in New Paltz, New York.


Maplewood Village Hosting Shop Small Saturday

Maplewood Village is participating in Small Shop Saturday on Saturday, November 27th.  Maplewood Village has been named one of New Jersey’s charming, family-friendly spots to enjoy various local eateries, shops, and art. A post on the Maplewood Village Instagram page encouraged shoppers to “make a big impact” by supporting local sellers year-round. 


SevenSouth Studio + Market, a Space For Creatives, Comes to Montclair

An exciting new retail concept is making its debut in Montclair just in time for the holiday shopping season. SevenSouth Studio + Market, located at 7 South Fullerton, in the former home of East Side Mags, is a collaborative studio and market space for creatives. SevenSouth will offer a variety of lifestyle products from a rotation of local brands, artists, and independent designers including salt + umber, SaltAir{e} Collective, and Floramoon Florals. Click here for the scoop on some of the brands set to be featured and the story behind the owner.


Alchemy Scent Bar Holding ‘Signs and Scents’ Event in Montclair

 

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Alchemy Scent Bar is holding a holiday event in partnership with the Sign Bar on Thursday, December 9th, from 7PM to 9PM. Alchemy Scent Bar shared a post on Instagram this week which described the activities going on at the event, including custom candle-making and sign-making. Tickets are on sale for $100, which are available by calling the store. 


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With two little ones at home, this North Carolina native has worked remotely for the past five years as a freelance writer. Ainsley moved to New Jersey in 2016 and fell in love with the Garden State. She is always on the lookout for what’s going on in the greater New York area, from new restaurants and businesses opening to can’t-miss events highlighting local culture. Outside of writing and being a mother, Ainsley loves to dive into a good book, practice speaking French, and dream up new ways to decorate her apartment.