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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Help the South Mountain Conservancy on April 5


The South Mountain Conservancy is looking for volunteers to be part of the trail work crew on Sunday, April 5 from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Volunteers will "help build new, or reroute or repair existing, hiking trails throughout the South Mountain Reservation following sustainable trail guidelines". Gloves, snacks, water, and instructions will be provided, but long pants, shoes with solid soles, and layers should be worn. According to the South Mountain Conservancy, volunteers will start working on a new trail to connect the Tulip Springs Picnic Area with the Orange Reservoir promenade. There is currently no trail connecting the two areas, and hikers must travel on Cherry Lane or through a wooded area. Interested participants should meet at the Tulip Springs Picnic Area, located on Cherry Lane between South Orange and Northfield Avenues at the Maplewood/West Orange border. Those with questions should call the leaders at (973) 223-3529 or (973) 868-6994.






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Grover Cleveland and Brookdale Parks to Host Clean-up Events


Clean-up events will take place in two Essex County parks in April. 


On Saturday, April 11, the Brookdale Park Conservancy will sponsor a clean-up event from 10:00am to 1:00pm at Brookdale Park's overlook and rock garden. Children ages 6 and older are welcome to assist in volunteering. Volunteers should prepare to work in muddy and wet conditions. Brookdale Park is located in Bloomfield and Montclair, and entrances are located on Watchung Avenue, Grove Street, and Bellevue Avenue.

On Saturday, April 18, the Grover Cleveland Park Conservancy will host a Spring clean-up from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Volunteers should meet outside of the playground gate. To volunteer, register by calling (862) 505-2243 or by sending an email to gcpc2001@gmail.com. Groups are welcome. Bags will be provided, though volunteers are advised to wear sturdy shoes, long pants, and gloves. Grover Cleveland Park is located in Caldwell and Essex Fells near the corner of Runnymede Road and Brookside Avenue.

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Photo of the Day 3/31/15


This photo shows Lakeside Avenue in West Orange. The Thomas A. Edison, Inc. Storage Battery Company Building can be seen on the right.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Great Flashlight Egg Hunt Coming to Nutley


The Nutley Department of Parks and Recreation will present the 'Great Flashlight Egg Hunt' on Thursday, April 2 at dusk. The event will take place at Reinheimer Park, located on Bloomfield Avenue opposite the Recreation Annex Building. According to the Township, children should meet by the playground equipment. Students in grades 2 through 6 should bring a flashlight to look for over 1500 toy or candy filled eggs that will be scattered throughout the park. The participant that finds the hidden golden egg will receive a special chocolate basket.

The event is open to Nutley residents only.

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Paddle Boating Season at Orange Reservoir Begins April 4


Paddle boating at the Orange Reservoir at the South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange will begin for the season on Saturday, April 4. Boating will be avalible on Saturdays and Sundays only until the summer, with the exception of the Spring Break week between Monday, April 13 and Friday, April 17. The cost is $14 for a half hour paddle boat rental for two people, and $18 for four people. Although the paddle boating is operated by Essex County, the reservoir is owned by the City of Orange Township. Therefore, Orange residents with identification may rent a two person paddle boat for a half hour for $7.

The Orange Reservoir is located on Cherry Lane between Northfield and South Orange Avenues. Parking is available across Cherry Lane from the boat docks. The New Jersey Transit 73 bus stops on nearby Northfield Avenue.



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Photos of the Day 3/30/15


These photos show South Orange's Memorial Park on Valley Street, which was built on top of the former South Orange Cemetery. A memorial lists the names of those buried there.





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Friday, March 27, 2015

Cherry Blossom Festival to Feature Bus Tours, Biking, Fishing, and More


The schedule for the 39th annual Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival at Branch Brook Park in April has been announced, and a variety of activities are slated for the park, which is located in Newark and Belleville. 1,000 new cherry blossom trees will be planted as part of the 2015 Cherry Tree Planting Project. The festival celebrates the fact that Branch Brook Park has more cherry blossom trees than any other park in the United States. 


Events will include the Cherry Blossom Challenge Annual Bike Race on Saturday, April 11 on Heller Parkway. The first race will begin at 7:00am, and the last race will begin at 12:00pm. Riders who are interested in participating must pay an entry fee. The following day, April 12, the Cherry Blossom 10K Runs will take place, starting at 10:00am and 10:10am at the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center on Mill Street. Interested participants can click here to register, or can sign up at 8:00am on April 12.


On Saturday, April 18, Family Day will be celebrated at the Cherry Blossom Festival. The events will begin with a free 1-mile fun run at 10:00am. All participants will receive a t-shirt, and the race is open to individual children and to groups or schools. Individuals can register at 8:00am at the Prudential Concert Grove on April 18, though groups must call 973-268-3500. Following the race, events will take place until 3:00pm at the Prudential Concert Grove. There will be live performances, a fishing derby, and other activities for children. Food and merchandise will be for sale.


Bloomfest will take place near the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center on Mill Street on Sunday, April 19 from 11:00am to 5:00pm. There will be cultural cultural demonstrations, children's activities, live music, a crafter's marketplace, food and more. In addition, the winners of he “Why My Essex County Park is Important to Me” essay contest and “Cherry Blossom Poster Contest” will be announced.


45-minute bus tours will be offered of Branch Brook Park daily from Wednesday, April 15 to Wednesday, April 22, except on April 19. Tours will cover the history of the park, which is the oldest county park in the country. The cost is $5 per person, and buses will leave from the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center on Mill Street once per hour. Tickets will be sold at the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center on a first come first serve basis. Free self-guided cellphone tours are also available by calling 973-433-9047.


The Cherry Blossom Festival is sponsored by Aetna and Prudential.


Branch Brook Park is next to the Park Avenue, Bloomfield Avenue, Davenport Avenue, and Branch Brook Park Stations on the Newark Light Rail. It is also served by New Jersey Transit buses 
11, 27, 28, 29, 41, 72, 74, 90, 92, 99, and 108.

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Nutley Chamber to Sponsor 5K Fun Run


The Nutley Chamber of Commerce will present the annual 5K Fun Run and Kids Fun Run on Sunday, May 3. The event will take place at the Nutley Park Oval, located at the corner of Franklin Avenue and Chestnut Street. The entry fee for the 5K, which will begin at 9:00am, is $20 before April 19 or and $25 after April 19. The short sprint for children 5 and under will begin at 8:40am, and the kids fun run for children ages 6 to 8 will begin at 8:50am. The fee is $5 for each race, but it is free with an adult registration.

According to the Nutley Chamber of Commerce, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Township Beautification Fund.

Click here to register and to learn more.

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Parking Garage to Open at South Mountain Today


A new parking garage will open at the Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange today. The garage will have parking space for 500 cars, and was built on the site of a parking lot next to the Turtle Back Zoo entrance. The complex is home to the zoo, the Essex County Treetop Adventure Course, the Orange Reservoir, and the Codey Arena. The Essex County Park N Ride, another parking garage at the complex, often filled to capacity while the new garage was under construction, causing visitors to be directed to overflow parking at Mcloone's Boathouse or a field off of Cherry Lane. Shuttle bus service was provided between these parking areas and the zoo.

Officials broke ground on the new garage in July, 2014. 

“This is another quality of life facility that will make residents and visitors who come here happy", said West Orange Councilman Jerry Guarino at the time.

The facility is also served by New Jersey Transit Bus 73 from Newark and Coach USA Bus 77 from New York, which are used by many visitors.


Above: The site of the garage after the groundbreaking.

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Photo of the Day 3/27/15


This photo shows Mary Austen Hall, part of the abandoned Hospital Center in Orange.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Photos of the Day 3/26/15


These photo show part of the former Orange Memorial Hospital campus, which now lies abandoned.


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

NJIT to Present Program on Women in the Technology Industry


The New Jersey Institute of Technology will host "Women Designing the Future: 1995-2015...and beyond" on Friday, March 27 from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Click here to reserve tickets. 
Speakers will include Leecia Eve, Esq., the Vice President for State Government Affairs for the Tri-State Region at Verizon and Danielle Feinberg, the Director of Photography for Light of Pixar Animation Studios. Lunch and a light breakfast will be served. The program is the 20th anniversary conference of the NJIT Murray Center for Women in Technology, which is co-sponsoring the event with the Technology and Entrepreneurship Talent Network.

NJIT is located at 323 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Newark.

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WBGO-FM to Present Kids Jazz Concert Series


WBGO-FM will host a free concert series to bring "jazz culture and performance to your neighborhood". Several concerts will take place throughout the Spring at various locations in Essex County. All concerts are open to all, and begin at 12:30pm. There is no admission fee. 

On Saturday, March 28, the Metta Quintet will present "Hangin' with the Giants" at the Montclair Art Museum, located at 3 South Mountain Avenue in Montclair. According to WBGO, attendees will receive free admission to the museum following the performance. On Saturday, April 11, the concert will celebrate Duke Ellington, and will take place at Symphony Hall, located at 1020 Broad Street in Newark. Visitors to the concert at the Newark Museum on Saturday, April 18 will learn about the history of women in jazz, and attendees to the concert on Saturday, April 25 at NJPAC's Victoia Theater will discover how performing jazz music involves teamwork, collaboration, and cooperation. The Newark Museum is located at 49 Washington Street, and NJPAC is located at 1 Center Street in Newark. The final performance will take place at the Livingston Public Library on Saturday, May 2, and will explore how American jazz has inspired musicians from around the world. The Livingston Public Library is located at 10 Robert Harp Drive.

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Read and Believe at NCC on Saturday


The City of Newark's Read and Believe program will host a children's book party this Saturday, March 28, from 12:00pm to 2:30pm. The event will take place at the New Community Corporation's Neighborhood Center. The event is open to Newark's children and their families. There will be book giveaways, activities, and raffles. Refreshments will be served. According to the City of Newark, the Read and Believe program "seeks to build not only literacy, but also the empowerment of Newark’s residents to reclaim their futures and the future of the City". Partners include LitWorld, the United Way of Essex and West Hudson, the My Very Own Library initiative, and Scholastic.

The NCC Neighborhood Center is located at 56-68 Hayes Street, between 14th and 15th Avenues. 

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Photos of the Day 3/25/15


These photos show the South Orange Village Hall, located at the corner of South Orange Avenue and Scotland Road. Built in 1894, it is Essex County's oldest Municipal Building. Village offices are temporarily located across South Orange Avenue, and Board of Trustees meetings take place at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.



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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Free Smoke Alarms for East Orange Third Ward Residents


Free smoke alarms will be distributed to East Orange residents in the Third Ward on Saturday, March 28th from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Volunteers will hand out alarms by going door to door in the neighborhoods with older homes. Fire safety pamphlets will also be distributed. Alarms will be distributed by the American Red Cross, the City of East Orange, the East Orange Fire Department, and the Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT.


The Third Ward is located in the southern part of East Orange, and is bordered by South Orange Avenue to the south, Grand Avenue to the east, Central Avenue to the north, and the Orange border to the west.. To see if you live in the Third Ward, click here.


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West Orange to Host 'Spring Fling'


The Township of West Orange's Recreation Department will host a Spring Fling on Thursday, April 2nd. The activities will take place at Degnan Park. At 6:00pm, a magic show will be presented by Magician Scott Drukker, also known as Great Scott, in the Katz Community Center. Admission is $2.00, and tickets will be sold at the door. Following the magic show, there will be a free egg hunt on the softball field at 7:00pm. Participants should bring their own bag, and prizes will be awarded. Mr. Bunny will meet participating children, and gift bags will be provided. A craft project will be avalible for children ages 9 and under.

Degnan Park is located at 650 Pleasant Valley Way, adjacent to the West Orange High School campus.

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Photo of the Day 3/24/15


This photo was taken in Downtown South Orange. On the right is South Orange's Village Hall, which dates to 1894. The Village Hall is currently vacant, and Village offices are now located across South Orange Avenue in the South Orange Plaza building, which can be seen at #76. On the left is the building which houses South Orange's Carvel Ice Cream location.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Municipal Alliance Committee to Host Family Night


The Verona Municipal Alliance Committee's annual Family Night will take place this Wednesday, March 25. According to VMAC, "the purpose of Family Night is to provide Verona families a cleared schedule to enjoy quality time with each other". VMAC reports that no homework will be assigned at township schools, and no official meetings or sports practices will take place that evening. Restaurants across Verona will participate in the event, and will offer discounts to patrons who present a coupon. Participants are encouraged to share pictures of their families enjoying the evening on Twitter using #VeronaFamilyNight.


The following businesses will participate:


-Anthony Franco's Pizza

-Ariane Kitchen and Bar
-Avenue Bistro Pub
-Borino's Pizza
-Domino's Pizza
-East Gate
-Frank Anthony's Gourmet Italian
-Healthy Food Asian Cuisine
-Lakeside Delicatessen
-Miele's Restaurant
-Pizza Terminal
-R's Place
-Salugo Bistro
-Subway
-The Towne Scoop
-The Verona Inn
-Verona Chinese Kitchen
-Verona Diner

Click here for a coupon sheet. 


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Learn About the History of Women in Sports


An event will take place at the Orange Public Library on Tuesday, March 31st at 11:00am regarding the history of women in sports. The event will highlight the most successful female athletes of the 20th century. There will be a discussion of the book Born to Win, which describes tennis player Althea Gibson's story. Film clips will be shown, and light refreshments will be served. To learn more, call (973) 673-0153. The event is presented by the City of Orange Township at the Orange Public Library.

The Orange Public Library is located at 348 Main Street.

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'Get Schooled' at Sustainable Jersey for Schools Seminar


West Orange, New Jersey: Sustainable Jersey will host a program this month in suburban Essex County.

On Wednesday, March 25 at McLoone's Boathouse in West Orange, the 32 municipalities that will receive Sustainable Jersey Small Grants will be named. The grants will be funded by the PSEG Foundation, and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo will speak during the announcement. 

At 6:30pm, a program regarding the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program will take place. Director Heather McCall will discuss the program, and representatives from member school districts will discuss their experiences. 

According to Sustainable Jersey, "Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a voluntary certification program for New Jersey public schools that want to go green, conserve resources and take steps to create a brighter future". 

The events, which are free and open to all, will be sponsored by the Sustainable Jersey Essex Hub and the Essex County Environmental Commission. Light refreshments will be served, and there will be a cash bar. 

For more information, call (973) 762-1510. McLoone's Boathouse is located along the Orange Reservoir at the corner of Cherry Lane and Northfield Avenue.

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Photo of the Day 3/23/15


This vintage sign is located at the entrance to Irvington on Clinton Avenue.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Photo of the Day 3/22/15


This photo was taken Saturday morning on Cherry Lane in the Millburn section of South Mountain Reservation.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Irvington to Host Lead Poisoning Prevention Fair Today


The Township of Irvington will host a Lead Poisoning Prevention and Health Awareness Fair today, March 21, at the Irvington Manor. According to the Township, the event will be sponsored by Mayor Tony Vauss's Wellness Campaign, and there will be free lead poisoning testing, in addition to presentations. In a statement, Mayor Vauss said that “lead poisoning is an important issue in our town as many of the homes are older”. In addition, nutritional, dental, blood pressure, and diabetes screenings will be offered, and face painting will be available for children. The Irvington Manor is located at 43 Washington Avenue between Springfield and Madison Avenues.

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Photo of the Day 3/21/15


This photo shows the eastbound platform at Mountain Station, one of two train stations in South Orange.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Newark Penn Station to Celebrate 80th Anniversary on Monday


Newark Penn Station will turn 80 this Monday, and New Jersey Transit is planning a celebration. The station, which is located in Downtown Newark, serves PATH trains, New Jersey Transit trains, the Newark Light Rail, Amtrak trains, and local buses. It is the busiest train station in New Jersey, with an average of over 27,000 weekday New Jersey Transit train riders. Newark Penn Station was designed by McKim, Mead and White, and was dedicated on March 23, 1935. Rail service began the following day.


A variety of activities will take place throughout the morning and afternoon. From 9:30am to 2:00pm, the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center, of Phillipsburg, will present a historical bus display in front of the station on Raymond Plaza West. Buses from the 1950s will be on display. In addition, there will be musical performances by Brian Miguel at 10:00am, Rachel Menconi at 11:20am, and Susyn Timko at 12:00pm. Plus, the Newark Arts High School Jazz Ensemble will perform at 1:00pm and 2:00pm. 

35-minute long tours of Newark Penn Station will be offered at 11:00am at 12:00pm, starting at the information booth. Participants will learn about the history of the station and the Pennsylvania Railroad, tour the concourses, see architectural design features, and learn about future projects. A question and answer session will follow, and a speaking program is scheduled for 1:30pm.

Partners include the Greater Newark Convention and Visitors Bureau, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Newark Museum, and the Ironbound Business Improvement District.


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Help Clean the Peckman River on April 11


A cleanup of the Peckman River will take place on Saturday, April 11 from 9:00am to 12:00pm behind the F.N. Brown Elementary School in Verona. Interested participants should register by sending an email to veronaenvironmental@gmail.com. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult, and work boots and gloves are recommended. 
The cleanup is organized by the Verona Environmental Commission, and the Environmental Clubs at Verona High School and Montclair State University. The F.N. Brown Elementary School is located at 125 Grove Avenue.

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Maplewood Restaurant Week Starts on Sunday


Maplewood's annual Restaurant Week will start this Sunday, March 22, and last until Saturday, March 28. Nearly 20 restaurants from across the Township will offer a variety of discounts and specials to customers. This year's event will be presented by the Maplewood Village Alliance, the Chamber of Commerce and the Springfield Avenue Partnership.


The following restaurants are scheduled to participate.

Arturo’s Osteria & Pizzeria - 180 Maplewood Avenue
Bill & Harry’s Chinese Restaurant 147 Maplewood Avenue
Cactus Charly - 6 Highland Place
Coda Kitchen & Bar - 177 Maplewood Avenue
Gigi’s Cupcakes - 1925 Springfield Avenue
Just Fish - 1546 Springfield Avenue
Maplewood Deli & Grill - 149 Maplewood Avenue
Maplewood Pizza - 489 Valley Street
O’Reilly’s Irish Pub - 2208 Millburn Avenue
Park Wood Diner - 1958 Springfield Avenue
Pimento Grill - 1908 Springfield Avenue
Roman Gourmet Pizzeria - 153 Maplewood Avenue
St. James' Gate - 167 Maplewood Avenue
Tandoori Chef II - 6 1/2 Highland Place
The Able Baker - 187 Maplewood Avenue
The Maple Leaf Diner - 165 Maplewood Avenue
The Rack Cafe & Chill Spot - 1844 Springfield Avenue
Verjus Restaurant - 1790 Springfield Avenue
Village Trattoria - 2 Inwood Place

A full listing of discounts may be viewed here.

Neighboring South Orange will host a Restaurant Week in April.

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Community Conversation in Orange to Discuss Police and Community Relations


A community conversation regarding police and community relations will take place on Monday, March 23 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County in Orange. At the event, which is called "A Just & Safe Orange", elected officials and police department representatives will discuss how Orange can be a "just and safe city for all" with local residents. 
The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County is located at 35 Cleveland Street.

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Photo of the Day 3/20/15


This photo shows the South Mountain Elementary School Annex on Glenview Road in South Orange.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Junior Woman's Club to Hold Brunch on Saturday


The Junior Woman's Club of Verona will host a 'Bunny Brunch' this Saturday, March 21, from 9:30am to 11:00am. Bagels, donuts, muffins, juice, coffee, and tea will be served. Plus, there will be crafts for children, a photo opportunity with the Easter Bunny, and a 50/50 raffle. Admission is $5 for children and adults over age 1. Proceeds will benefit the adopt-a-family program of the Junior Woman's Club, and food donations will be accepted for the Human Needs Food Pantry in Montclair. The event will take place in the cafeteria of Verona High School, located at 151 Fairview Avenue.

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South Orange Community Emergency Response Team to Hold Training Course


The South Orange Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, will host a free basic training course this Spring. According to the Village, South Orange CERT is a volunteer organization that assists first responders during emergencies and other public events. The course will take place at the Baird Community Center on Mead Street on March 28, April 25, May 30, and June 27, and will cover fire safety, terrorism, disaster medical operations, radio communications, light search and rescue, and a disaster simulation. Participants will receive a CERT kit upon completion of the course. Click here to register for the course. 


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Lackawanna Plaza Redevelopment Workshop in Montclair on March 30


Proposals for the Lackawanna Plaza Redevelopment Plan will be discussed at a public workshop meeting in Montclair on Monday, March 30th at 7:00pm. The workshop will take place at the Montclair Township Council Chambers, located at 205 Claremont Avenue. Lackawanna Plaza is located near the corner of Grove Street and Bloomfield Avenue. The meeting is an oppurtunity for residents to ask questions regarding preliminary concepts for the redevelopment plan. The concepts will be presented during the meeting by Montclair Township's consultants. To learn more, conact Janice Talley at (973) 509-4953, or send an email to jtalley@montclairnjusa.org.

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Photos of the Day 3/19/15


These photos show the view of Newark, Bayonne, and Brooklyn from Kip's Castle Park in Verona.




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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Photo of the Day 3/18/15


Before the water used by South Orange and East Orange residents reaches customers, it travels from the East Orange Water Reserve in Short Hills, Livingston, and Florham Park to an underground reservoir in Maplewood. This photo shows a manhole to the pipes that carry the water under South Mountain Reservation.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Photo of the Day 3/17/15


This photo shows the view of Eastern Essex County, Hudson County, and Brooklyn from South Orange.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Update: Fire Department Called to School District Bus Yard


Maplewood, New Jersey: The Maplewood Fire Department was called to the South Orange Maplewood School District's bus and maintenance yard at 25 West Parker Avenue in Maplewood shortly after 7:00am this morning. The maintenance yard is located next to Chyzowych Field.

Suzanne Turner, the spokesperson for the South Orange Maplewood School District, told Essex County Place that the Maplewood Fire Department was called due to "slight vandalism to one of the buses over the weekend", and that there was "no major damage", though a fire extinguisher was emptied.

A representative from the SOMSD Transportation Department declined comment.

Michael Dingelstedt of the Maplewood Fire Department told Essex County Place that "the Fire Department responded to a report of white powder on the floor of a bus", and that the bus was secured shortly after units arrived. The Nutley Hazardous Materials Unit was called, and technicians "determined that the powder was from a dry-chemical fire extinguisher and there was no hazard". 

Dingelstedt said that it "is unknown how the powder ended up on the bus floor", and that the Maplewod Police is investigating.





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Photo of the Day 3/16/15


This photo shows South Mountain Reservation in Maplewood.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Photo of the Day 3/15/15


This photo shows buildings in Downtown South Orange with the First Watchung Mountain in the background.

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