Home Essex County 34 News Stories You Missed This Week from Montclair + Beyond

34 News Stories You Missed This Week from Montclair + Beyond

by The Montclair Girl Team
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It’s been another busy week in Essex County and we’ve got all the headlines to get you caught up. Among the highlights: the Bloomfield Library will undergo major renovations; AAPI Montclair launches a ‘Love Your Lunch’ campaign; and two Montclair community leaders were awarded for their efforts. Read on for more news you missed in the Montclair are + beyond. 

Jersey Girl Queen Latifah Joins the National Recording Registry


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The Ivy at Chatham

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Newark native Queen Latifah is one of 25 artists whose work will be added to the National Recording Registry, part of the Library of Congress. According to a press release from the Library of Congress, Queen Latifah’s 1989 album All Hail the Queen will be included. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today named 25 recordings as audio treasures worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage. Queen Latifah is the first female rapper to join the National Recording Registry. Per the release, the album, her debut, showed rap could cross genres including reggae, hip-hop, house and jazz — while also opening opportunities for other female rappers.

New Italian Restaurant ‘Luigino’s Parmigiana’ Open in Montclair

luiginos parmigiana montclair

When Salute Brick Oven Bistro abruptly closed its Glenridge Avenue doors last year, Montclair residents were left to wonder what would fill the cozy Italian restaurant-shaped hole in town. As it turns out, when one bistro door closes, another one opens — making way for Montclair’s newest Italian restaurant, Luigino’s Parmigiana, which opened last Wednesday, April 5th. From the mind of Chef Luigi Tripodi + brought to life by interior stylist Cindy Blanco, this new “funky traditional” spot is bringing a taste of the Amalfi Coast to MTC. The menu boasts traditional, Southern Italian dishes with a modern twist, plus an open-kitchen “dispensa” concept, which isn’t what it sounds like (think: cheese board station), but… more on that later. Read on to learn more about Luigino’s Parmigiana, the new Italian restaurant open now at 173 Glenridge Avenue, the old Salute spot.

New Jersey is Officially a Safe Haven for Trans + Non-Binary Residents

montclair non-profit trans

In an act of support for transgender and non-binary citizens, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has announced new, in-state resources. Gov. Murphy has declared NJ a “Safe Haven” for trans + non-binary people, a high-profile action that hopes to ensure equal access to quality health care services to all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and regardless of whether they are a resident of New Jersey or any other state. Read on for more information about the executive order and new resources.

AAPI Montclair Launches ‘Love Your Lunch’ Campaign


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A post shared by AAPI Montclair (@aapi.montclair)

AAPI Montclair is launching a new campaign to fight the lunch box shaming often experienced by Asian American and Pacific Islander children and others who bring culturally diverse foods to school. Per Patch, Love Your Lunch is a social media campaign that has educational resources for families and teachers to discuss food acceptance. Several Montclair restaurants are participating in the campaign including 7 Doors Down, Ani Ramen, Brick Lane Curry House. Serveral Montclair school classrooms received donations of books and other teaching materials.

Bloomfield Library to Undergo Significant Restoration

The historic Bloomfield Library, located at 90 Broad Street, will undergo a major renovation, per BaristaNet. The project will preserve the historic elements of the building while expanding the building and making it more accessible. While town funds had been earmarked for renovations to the library, several recent safety citations by the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development’s Office of Public Employees’ Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH) have sped up the need for some of the repairs.

Montclair Artist’s Work Hangs in Presidential Spaces


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Montclair-based contemporary artist Liz Murphy was recently selected to have three of her artworks hung in the offices of former President Bill Clinton’s offices in Harlem. Per BaristaNet, Carter Fine Art Services, another Montclair-based company facilitated the showcase. Two of the pieces are hung in the foyer of the Clinton Foundation, greeting visitors.

Newark-based Non-Profit Opens Pop-Up Civil Rights Museum


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Project Ready, a Newark-based non-profit dedicated to increasing voter education and turnout, has launched a free, pop-up museum about civil rights. Per Patch, the museum is open to the public from now through the summer. While the museum is free, tickets are required. According to Project Ready, the exhibit features an immersive, social media-friendly experience that will allow visitors to explore historical moments of the Civil Rights movement and experience the power of voting.

Newark Examines the Possibility of Changing its Zoning Policies

As part of updates to the city’s ten-year master plan, Newark city officials are also considering updating zoning regulations. Per Patch, at a recent public webinar on the topic, city leaders discussed various zoning topics that could be changed, including density, accessory dwelling units, and signage policies. The proposed changes will be discussed and voted on at the Newark City Council meeting on April 24th.

Millburn Founder’s Day Schedule Announced


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On April 22nd, the Millburn community is invited to celebrate the town’s Founder’s Day, per Patch. The day’s festivities will include a community litter cleanup, an art show, live music, and activities for all ages. There will also be live music from the Victorian Era by the Florian Schantz Jazz Combo, and an exhibit of historical documents and artifacts from Millburn’s history.

Livingston Centenarian Passes Away at 103

Lifelong New Jersey resident George Klein passed away last week at age 103, according to Patch. Mr. Klein was born in Newark in 1920, and he and his wife raised their three sons in Livingston. A WWII veteran, Mr. Klein moved to Roseland in 2002.

Glen Ridge to Pay More for Water

According to BaristaNet, both Glen Ridge and Montclair get their water from the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission (NJDWSC), but Glen Ridge has a contract with Montclair to transmit the water. The price for the transmission hasn’t been raised for several years, and officials say it’s time. Glen Ridge has been paying the 2015 price since 2015 and after a city council agreement this week, will be paying 2023 rates.

Several Montclair Environmental Groups Join Together for Earth Day Celebrations

A week of events open to the community is being put on by several Montclair-based environmental groups, according to BaristaNet. The Northeast Earth Coalition (NEEC), Montclair Climate Action, The New Jersey Sierra Club, and Bike and Walk Montclair are hosting events covering green-living topics such as a community cleanup, and education session about pollinator gardens, and a discussion on native plants. This year, there will also be a one-day Drive Electric event held in conjunction with Earth Day, where attendees can learn more about electric vehicles.

AAPI Montclair to Celebrate Holi and Songkran


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A post shared by AAPI Montclair (@aapi.montclair)

Holi, the Indian Festival of Spring, and Songkran, the Thai New Year, will both be celebrated on Sunday, April 16th at Brookdale Park. According to Patch, AAPI Montclair is hosting a 5K run with a one-mile fun run/walk. Participants of all ages and skill levels are invited to join in the races. Runners and walkers are welcome.

Partnership Between City of Newark and CityStart to Boost Racial Wealth Equity for Residents

Per Patch, a new partnership between the City of Newark and CityStart, an initiative supported by the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, will focus on racial wealth equity. The Fund, which is part of Bloomberg Philanthropies, will work with local leaders and their teams to address the financial empowerment needs of residents and identify opportunities to meet those needs, prioritizing financial stability for Black residents.

Two Montclair Community Leaders Recognized

Two Montclair residents were recognized with the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award, according to Patch. Melissa Walker was recognized for her work as the founder of Jazz House Kids. Jose German-Gomez was recognized for his work as the founder of Northeast Earth Coalition, which works to encourage local sustainability in North Jersey communities.

Winning Lottery Ticket Sold in Newark

According to a press release from the New Jersey Lottery, a winning ticket was sold in Essex County. On Saturday, April 8th, a ticket sold at the AJ Seabra Supermarkets XII, 73-83 Wilson Avenue in Newark matched all five numbers in the Jersey Cash 5 jackpot. The winning ticket is work $134,010, and the retailer will receive a bonus check for $2,000.

Proposal in Newark Would Require Rentals to be Registered

A new law proposed in Newark would require landlords to register all rental units with the city’s Department of Economic and Housing Development. Per Patch, this action is in response to the lack of transparency in many real estate transactions in Newark. Nearly half of all homes in Newark are owned by landlords, according to a study done by Rutgers.

Arts Ed Newark Celebrates Five Years


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Per Patch, Arts Ed Newark (AEN) published a five-year report describing the organization’s successes and plans for the future. AEN has successfully developed an workshop series and peer learning community, using a team of teaching artists and social workers to work with youth-serving professionals to understand trauma, incorporate arts-based strategies that reduce the impacts of trauma, and promote healing-centered engagement for students, education and healthcare colleagues, and workers in cultural institutions and community-based organizations.

New Jersey Entrepreneur Who Starred on Shark Tank Hopes to Inspire the Next Generation

Tog Samphel, the inventor of Anytongs and a Montclair State University grad, was the guest of honor at Norwood Elementary School this week. Per Patch, he was the guest of fellow MSU alum and current Norwood principal Harold Abraham. Tog spoke with students about his path to entrepreneurship, success in STEM curriculum, and financial literacy. Students also took part in hands-on activities.

Fundraiser for Turkish Earthquake Victims in Glen Ridge


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The Glen Ridge Congregational Church, located at 195 Glenwood Avenue, is hosting a benefit in support of earthquake relief. Per BaristaNet, the April 22nd event is meant to support victims of earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Attendees will enjoy authentic Turkish food and music, and 100% of the funds raised will go directly to victims.

Earth Day E-waste Collection Event in Newark

In honor of Earth Day, an e-waste collection event will be held in Newark on April 20th according to Patch. The event will take place rain or shine, from 7:30AM till 2:00PM on Thursday, April 20th, at Peter Francisco Park, located between Edison Place and Ferry Street. The proper collection and recycling of electronic items helps keep hazardous materials out of the waste stream to improve air quality by reducing the amount of electronics discarded in regular household trash.

NJ Transit Announces Bring-a-Friend Promo

NJ Transit has announced a special promotion for passengers to bring a friend for free. According to a press release from the transit agency, from now until April 23rd, fares with the same origin and destination are buy one, get one free.

Montclair Concert to Support Toni’s Kitchen Announced


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A concert on May 12th will support Toni’s Kitchen, a Montclair-based community support organization. Per NJArts.net, the Music Against Hunger concert will feature local musicians including the Doug Hall Trio, The Reticents, Ira Siegel, Lenie Colacino and others. The concert will be May 12th at 8PM at Tierney’s Tavern located at 138 Valley Road in Montclair. All proceeds from the concert will go to Toni’s Kitchen.

Newark City Council Echoes Opposition to Proposed Power Plant

Per Patch, plans for a power plant in Newark are being opposed by residents. At an April 5th meeting, the City council voted on a resolution opposing Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission’s (PVSC) plan to build a natural gas power plant at its wastewater treatment facility at 600 Wilson Avenue. The opposition echoes many complaints shared by residents.

Report Details Montclair’s Spending on Health Insurance for Council Members

A review of Montclair’s spending on health insurance has revealed expenditures of hundreds of thousands of dollars since the town switched to the state-run plan in 2017, per Montclair Local. The information about health insurance coverage has come to light as part of the litigation brought by the township’s chief financial officer, Padmaja Rao, against Township Manager Timothy Stafford. One of the items at issue is Ms. Rao’s, and an outside auditor’s, repeated efforts to bring councilmembers into compliance with state regulations regarding insurance benefits, requiring them to officially record 35 hours of work per week.

Cherry Blossoms Abound at Branch Brook Park in Newark

Per Patch, the cherry blossom trees at Branch Brook Park in Newark are in full bloom. The park’s Cherry Blossom Festival runs through April 16th with Bloomfest on the 16th to end the festival.

New Train Cars Debut on PATH

The first of 72 new PATH train cars were delivered this week, debuting at the Hoboken station, according to a press release from the Port Authority. The new high-performance rail cars will supplement the current fleet of 350 and will be gradually integrated into the system throughout 2023 and into 2024, marking an increase of more than 20 percent in rolling stock. The addition of the 72 new cars will also supplement the implementation of PATH’s new 9-car trains in service on the Newark to World Trade Center line, and by the beginning of 2024, nearly all trains on this line will be 9-car trains at peak times.

Newark LGBTQ Film Fest This Weekend

The Newark LGBTQ Film Fest made its debut this weekend, according to a press release from the Newark LGBTQ Center. Presented by the Newark LGBTQ Community Center, the mission of the Newark LGBTQ Film Festival is to amplify the voices, vision and works of film that would otherwise struggle to find a mainstream audience, but which have a significant impact in raising awareness around lives and issues of queer people and queer communities of color.

Montclair State Merger with Bloomfield College Still Needs Approvals

Per NJ.com, the merger between Bloomfield College and Montclair State University still needs some key approvals before it is complete. The schools had announced their intention to have the merger complete by June 30th, 2023. Approvals for the merger are needed from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the U.S. Department of Education, Gov. Phil Murphy, state Secretary of Higher Education Brian Bridges, the state Legislature and the NCAA, said Montclair State spokesperson Andrew Mees.

Stop Signs Approved For Busy Montclair Intersection

Per Patch, stop signs were approved for a busy Montclair intersection. The Montclair Town Council unanimously approved a measure that designates Franklin Avenue and Virginia Avenue as a “multi-way stop intersection.”

Montclair Town Council Eyes Several Improvement Projects

At its April 11th meeting, the Montclair Township Council discussed several improvement projects, according to Patch. The township council members discussed the town’s fiscal health as the basis for the projects. Township leaders will work with residents to learn more about what improvements are most needed.

Maplewood Ideas Festival Announced


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The Maplewood Ideas Festival 2023 has been announced. Per Patch, this year’s festival will feature discussions about music, race, and film; author talks; movie screenings, and more. Officials will give out the Carol Buchanan Award for Outstanding Contribution to Civic and Intellectual Life. The full schedule of events is available here.

Montclair Township Council Votes to Indemnify Township Employees

The Montclair Township Council approved a measure that would indemnify township employees, including the councilmembers, in the face of legal action. Per Montclair Local, the proposal was criticized by residents. The indemnification ordinance appears to give the township attorney broad authority in determining whether to have Montclair’s legal department represent an employee or for the township to pay for outside counsel.

Caldwell University Seniors Exhibit Art Theses

Caldwell University invites the community to view the art theses of graduating seniors at the Mueller Gallery, located on the University’s campus, per a press release from the University. In the final semester of their senior year, students enrolled in Caldwell University’s BA in Art and BFA programs mount a thesis exhibition in the Mueller Gallery. Associate Professor and Gallery Director Suzanne Baron explained that through producing a coherent and mature body of work on a theme and in the medium of their choosing, senior students deepen their understanding of the work of a contemporary artist of their own choosing and learn to see their own work in relation to that artist and within the trajectory of world art history. More information is available here.

Restaurant Week Coming to the Caldwells

Restaurant Week is coming to the Caldwells. Per Patch, from April 23rd through April 30th participating restaurants will offer special menus in North Caldwell, West Caldwell, and Caldwell. Organizers say that the event is a way for the community to try new restaurants and dishes.

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