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Monday, August 31, 2015

Caldwell to Consider Operating Jitney Service to Train Station


Caldwell, New Jersey: There may soon be a new way to commute to the New York area from The Caldwells. 

Officials in Caldwell are contemplating the idea of a jitney shuttle service between the Borough and the Bay Street Train Station in Montclair. The shuttle service would operate on weekdays, and would cost $2.50 each way, though a yearly pass could be offered.

 "It is our hope to provide this convenient, safe and environmentally-friendly way for our daily commuters to reach their work and home destinations", according to the Borough. 

The Bay Street Train Station is served by the Montclair-Boonton Line, which provides direct rail service to Newark Broad Street and New York Penn Station. 

Currently, Caldwell residents who commute to New York must either take a DeCamp bus to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan or take an NJ Transit bus to a train station in Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, or Newark. 

The Borough is asking that those who would be interested in using the service fill out a brief online survey. Click here to learn more, and to take the survey.

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New Newark Businesses to Hold Grand Opening Events


Newark, New Jersey: Several new Newark businesses will hold grand opening celebrations at the beginning of September. 

A celebration will be held at Hair 4 Her Boutique, located just south of Springfield Avenue at 22 Irvine Turner Boulevard, on Tuesday, September 1st, beginning at 12:00pm. Mayor Ras Baraka will help with the ribbon cutting.

In addition, the new Newark location of Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches will host a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, September 2nd at 11:30am. The restaurant opened in July at 95 Halsey Street.

Cinnamon Sugar Bakery, originally from the Ironbound, opened its doors to customers in the East Ward at 191 Market Street earlier this summer. It will host a grand opening celebration on Tuesday, September 8th, from 12:00pm to 3:00pm. Families are welcome. 

Click here or here to learn more.

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Local Talk Newspaper Moves to Newark


Newark, New Jersey: A local newspaper has moved to Newark. 

Local Talk News was formerly based in Orange, but is now located within the Academy Building in Downtown Newark. The weekly newspaper's Newark office held a ribbon cutting celebration with Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. on August 25th. 

The newspaper, which is published by Dhiren Shah, was founded in 2000. 

According to an article published on the newspaper's website, moving to Newark was "the only way they'd advertise" with Local Talk, referring to Mayor Ras Baraka and his Chief of Staff. 

The Academy Building is located at 17 Academy Street near the Prudential Headquarters. Click here to learn more.

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Back to School Weekend Coming to Newark


Newark, New Jersey: Back to School Weekend events will be held in Newark's North Ward this weekend.  

On Friday, September 4th, Lighthouse Assembly of God will host a panel session at 7:30pm to discuss gang awareness, bullying, and parental involvement in education. Representatives from local religious institutions, the Newark Police Department, the Newark Public Schools, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, and the Newark Municipal Council will participate. Lighthouse Assembly of God is located at 542 North 7th Street, between Bloomfield and 1st Avenues.

Then, on Sunday, September 6th, the new Vince Lombardi Community Center of Hope will provide free haircuts for children, free backpacks, and school supplies. Special guests will include NBA analyst Chris Broussard of ESPN/ABC, Harold Reynolds of FOX Sports, and Reverend Juan Garcia. The Vince Lombardi Center is located at 201 Bloomfield Avenue, between Ridge and Parker Streets.

Click here to learn more.

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Hospital Heart and Sole Walk Coming to Verona Park


Verona, New Jersey: The annual Heart and Sole Walk is returning to Verona Park in Verona. The 2015 4K walk will be held on Sunday, October 18th. The event will raise funds for the 800 heart failure and transplant patients at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in the South Ward. Registration for the walk can be made online in advance (click here), or at 10:00am the morning of the walk. The walk will begin at 11:00am, and costs $25 per person (minimum). Verona Park is located near the corner of Bloomfield Avenue and Lakeside Avenue. There is free parking in the surrounding neighborhoods, and transportation from Newark is available using NJ Transit's Bus 29. Click here to learn more.

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Photo of the Day 8/31/15


This photo was taken at Newark Penn Station between tracks 3 and 4.

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Photo of the Day 8/30/15


This photo shows the former Edison Battery Building in West Orange.

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Photo of the Day 8/29/15


This photo shows Flood's Hill in South Orange.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Another Business Closes on Millburn Avenue in Short Hills


Short Hills, New Jersey: Although Short Hills is one of wealthiest communities in the country, several storefronts in this section of Millburn Township continue to remain vacant. Now, another business has closed its doors along the Millburn Avenue corridor. Cait and Abby's Daily Bread, located at 518 Millburn Avenue, closed this summer. 

A statement on the company website reads that Cait and Abby's "sincerely appreciate[s]" the "loyalty and support" of customers. 

The Short Hills location of Cait and Abby's opened nearly 15 years ago. The bakery's South Orange location, which has operated within the main South Orange Train Station since 1995, will remain open.

According to the New Jersey Jewish News, the Short Hills location stopped selling only kosher food in 2008 due to "slumping sales", and owner Raul Saade considered closing the location at that time.

This part of Short Hills already has several vacant properties. Priscilla of Boston, a bridal shop, closed in 2011 and has remained vacantOn nearby Morris Turnpike, the building formerly occupied by The Short Hills Caterers, has remained vacant since the facility suddenly closed in 2008. A Walgreens pharmacy had been proposed for the site in 2014, however, the building is now for sale again. 

The are also vacant real estate agencies, offices, and stores.

Other buildings have been vacant for even longer. Saks Fifth Avenue closed its Millburn Avenue location along the Springfield border 20 years ago, and moved to The Mall at Short Hills shortly after. A Stop & Shop location has been proposed for the site, but has faced opposition by Millburn officials. The building remains vacant to this day. 

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Halsey Street Pop-Up Festival Coming in September


UPDATE: This event has been moved to Thursday, September 17th.

Newark, New Jersey: A pop-up festival is coming to Downtown Newark. The Halsey Street Pop-Up Festival will be held on Thursday, September 10th, from 4:30pm to 9:30pm. There will be live music, a fashion show, an artisan market, a pop-up park, and food and drinks on Halsey Street between Central Avenue and New Street in Newark's Central Ward. In addition, according to Kathryn Markel, the chair of the Glassroots board, the organization will participate in the event by hosting glassblowing and flame working demonstrations. In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the following week. The Halsey Street Pop-Up Festival will be sponsored by the Newark Downtown District, Rutgers University-Newark, and Prudential.

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Note: This event was submitted by GlassRoots to Essex County Place.

Newark Meeting to Discuss Ending Crime and Violence


Newark, New Jersey: A community meeting will be held this Monday, August 31st, beginning at 6:30pm. The meeting, which will discuss violence, crime, and the Occupy the City event, will be held at the St. John Community Baptist Church. Community members and youth are encouraged to attend this meeting to share their views. The St. John Community Baptist Church is located in the South Ward at 1066 Bergen Street, between Lehigh and Lyons Avenues. Transportation is available using NJ Transit Bus 39. Click here to learn more, or contact Stacie Hillsman by calling (973) 715-3629, or by sending an email to hillsmans@ci.newark.nj.us.

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Caribbean Festival Coming to the North Ward


Newark, New Jersey: The first annual Essex County Caribbean Festival is coming to Newark. The event will be held at the Prudential Concert Grove at Branch Brook Park on Saturday, September 12th, from 12:00pm to 6:00pm. The festival will feature vendors, a play area for children, Caribbean cuisine, and performances by notable Caribbean artists, including Wanto and Rupee. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be sponsored by the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders. The Prudential Concert Grove is located in Newark's North Ward in the central park of the park, near Park Avenue. Transportation is available using NJ Transit buses and the Newark Light Rail's Park Avenue Station. Click here to learn more.

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Photo of the Day 8/28/15


This photo shows One Gateway Center as seen from inside Newark Penn Station.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Parking Payment Program Expanded in South Orange


South Orange, New Jersey: There is a new way to pay for parking in the Village Center area of South Orange. Drivers can now pay for parking at all metered parking spaces by using a cellphone. 

MobileNOW! was recently expanded to serve all of Downtown South Orange. When it launched in the Village in the summer of 2012, only the area surrounding the main South Orange Train Station was served.

To use MobileNOW!, drivers can download the free app should they have a smartphone, or call the MobileNOW! phone number. Stickers on every parking meter give the information regarding the parking space that drivers will have to enter when calling or using the app. Drivers can also use MobileNOW! to extend parking sessions. 

"The South Orange Parking Authority is pleased to partner with MobileNOW! to bring to all of South Orange another convenient payment option,” said Mark Hartwyk of the South Orange Parking Authority in a statement.

Click here to learn more.

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NJ Spotlight on Cities Coming in October


Newark, New Jersey: An event regarding New Jersey's urban areas will be held on Friday, October 16th, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. NJ Spotlight on Cities will discuss the future of New Jersey's largest cities, and will feature a variety of presentations. Speakers who are scheduled to attend include Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson, Former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, Newark's Deputy Mayor for Economic and Housing Development Baye Adolfo-Wilson, in addition to representatives from government agencies, police departments, health care systems, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and development corporations. Event partners include NJPAC, Rutgers University at Newark, and Next City. The event will be funded in part by the Institute for Nonprofit News and the Knight Foundation. Click here to learn more.

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Photography Studio to Open in Montclair


Montclair, New Jersey: A new photography studio will open up in the Montclair Center Business District. A franchise of Little Nest Portraits will be located at The Siena, a new mixed use development. According to NJBIZ, Little Nest is filling the last vacant space at The Siena. The studio is slated to open to customers next month, and will be owned by Montclair resident Brittany DeMaio. This will be the first New Jersey location for the small franchise. There are two other locations in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The Siena is located at 54 South Park Street. Click here to learn more, or to sign up for the grand opening ceremony.

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Ovarian Cancer Walk Coming to Branch Brook Park


Newark, New Jersey: A walk to raise funds for ovarian cancer research will be held on Sunday, September 13th, at Branch Brook Park in Newark. The sign-in will last from 8:30am to 9:30am, and at the conclusion of the sign-in period, a warm up session will begin. At 10:00am, the walk will start. Event partners include The North Ward Center Inc., Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, State Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, and Newark City Councilman Anibal Ramos, Jr. Registration before August 31st costs $21.49, and registration after August 30th costs $26.62. There is no cost for children, and for those who are unable to participate in the walk, donations will be accepted. The walk will begin at the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center, which is located in Newark's North Ward near the Belleville border. Transportation is available using the Branch Brook Park Station of the Newark Light Rail and local NJ Transit buses. Click here to learn more.

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Common Lot Restaurant to Open in Millburn


Millburn, New Jersey: A new restaurant is under construction in Downtown Millburn. The restaurant, called Common Lot, will be located at 27 Main Street at the corner of Essex Street, opposite Downtown Parking Lot 1. The restaurant is being built at the site formerly occupied by Touchsides, Inc. and the Iron Work Expo and Design Center. Iron Work moved to West Orange and Touchsides moved to Livingston. According to The Item of Millburn and Short Hills, the restaurant will be owned by chef Ehren Ryan, a native of Australia who has worked at restaurants around the world. Click here to learn more.

UPDATE 4/9/16: Common Lot Restaurant is now open.

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Photo of the Day 8/27/15


This photo shows the headquarters of the South Orange Fire Department.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

PHOTOS: Crews Demolishing Maplewood PSE&G Facility


Maplewood, New Jersey: Crews are in the process of demolishing a former PSE&G facility in the eastern part of Maplewood. PSE&G's Maplewood Testing Services division was once one of Maplewood's largest private employers. The facility is located next to NJ Transit's Corporate Headquaters and Bus Depot near the corner of Springfield and Boyden Avenues. 

A residential development featuring over 230 apartments will be constructed by Avalon Bay at the site.

Several residential developments are in the process of being constructed in the area. In neighboring Irvington, the former Irvington General Hospital is being torn down to make way for apartments, and in South Orange, a large mixed use development is being built on Valley Street.

In addition, a Wawa convenience store is slated to be built opposite the former PSE&G facility on Springfield Avenue.







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UPDATE: Downtown Newark Starbucks Coffee Location to Open in Early September


Newark, New Jersey: Starbucks Coffee's Downtown Newark location will open very soon. A Starbucks Coffee spokesperson told Essex County Place that the location at 687 Broad Street in the Shoppes on Broad development will open in early September. 20 employees will work at the store, which will feature a cafĂ© and an outdoor patio.

"Starbucks is always looking for great locations to better meet the needs of our customers", said the spokesperson.

-

Original Report:

Starbucks Coffee is returning to Downtown Newark. A location of the international coffee chain will open within the new Shoppes on Broad development, located within the new Prudential Tower complex opposite Military Park. Other businesses slated to open locations within the Shoppes on Broad development include Nike Factory Store and Blaze Pizza. Starbucks Coffee operates additional Newark locations in University Heights and within the Gateway Center and Newark Liberty International Airport. The company has also announced that another Essex County location will open at the Livingston Circle.

In 2008, The New York Times reported that Starbucks Coffee closed a location on Broad Street in Downtown Newark because it was "losing money". Residents protested when the store closed, and The Times called the closure "a trauma" for Newark.

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Officials Announce Federal Grant for South Orange River Greenway Project


South Orange, New Jersey: Local leaders gathered at New Waterlands Park in the Village this morning to make the official announcement that South Orange will receive a $1,000,000 federal Transportation Alternatives Program Grant. The grant money will be used to assist with the construction of part of the River Greenway Project. 

The new part of the greenway will be constructed along the East Branch of the Rahway River, and when completed, bicyclists and pedestrians will be able to travel along a paved path from West Parker Avenue in Maplewood to New Waterlands Park in South Orange.

Part of the grant money will be used to construct a new bridge over the river near the South Orange Department of Public Works (DPW) facility. The current bridge, which has been fenced off to pedestrians for several years, will be torn down to make way for the new bridge, which is slated to open within two years. 

Several abandoned buildings, once part of the South Orange Water Department Pumping Station and the South Orange Kennel, with be torn down to make way for the greenway. 

The greenway, which will pass through Chyzowych Field, will connect with the roadway to Walton Road near the DPW site. Although Chyzowych Field is in Maplewood, it is owned by South Orange Village.

Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr., who secured the funding, said that the project will "increase connectivity between Maplewood and the (South Orange) Village Center", adding that he is "delighted to be a part of this".

Other attending leaders included State Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County Freeholder President Britney Timberlake, Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin, South Orange Village President Sheena Collum, South Orange Village Trustees Janine Bauer and Deborah Davis Ford, and South Orange Village Administrator Barry Lewis, Jr.












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TedxNewark Coming in September


Newark, New Jersey: Newark, the third oldest city in the country, is celebrating 350 years in 2016. Several programs have already been planned to celebrate the occasion, and tickets are still available for one such program. 

TedxNewark will be held on Saturday, September 12th, from 11:00am to 4:00pm at the headquarters of the new Newark Community Street Team in the South Ward. According to TED.com, the theme of the event is "Celebrating 350 Years of The City of Newark", and the intention "is to create an incubator of possibility by bringing the best and brightest minds of the city together".  

Speakers will include personal finance expert Tiffany Aliche, Newark's Health Department Director Dr. Hanaa Hamdi, Dr. Todd Clear of Rutgers-Newark, activist Aqeela Sherrills, and AeroFarms CEO David Rosenberg.

Tickets for front row seats have already been sold out, though general admission tickets remain. Tickets to the event cost $21.49, and can be purchased using Eventbrite. 

The headquarters of the Newark Community Street Team is located at 400 Hawthorne Avenue, between Wolcott Terrace and Goodwin Avenue. 

Click here to learn more, and here to purchase tickets.

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Go Camping in South Mountain Reservation


Maplewood, New Jersey: The South Mountain Reservation Family Campout will return this year. 

The event will be held at Summit Field off of Crest Drive in the Maplewood section of the park from 2:00pm on Saturday, September 19th to 12:00pm on Sunday, September 20th. In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the following week. The event will be presented by the South Mountain Conservancy (SMC), and the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs will assist

According to SMC, the event is designed for families with children ages 12 and under, though registration will be limited to approximately 35 families. Activities will include guided natur hikes and tours, a bike/scooter ride, a campfire and storytelling, yoga, and a scavenger hunt. Attendees will need to bring a tent, sleeping bags, dinner, snacks, and additional items. Breakfast will be served on Sunday morning. 

The Essex County Sheriff’s Department will patrol the area, and all campers will be required to where wristbands to identify themselves. 

The cost is $50 per family, and includes a membership to SMC. Click here to learn more.

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Palm Street Preschool Opening in September


Newark, New Jersey: A new preschool is preparing to open in Newark's West Ward. The Unified Vailsburg Services Organization's new Vailsburg Child Development Center at Palm Street will be the third preschool for the neighborhood association. 

The organization also operates the Vailsburg Child Development Center at Smith Street and Vailsburg Child Development Center at Ivy Hill on Irvington Avenue. The other locations provide free six-hour day educational instruction, according to UVSO. 

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Palm Street Preschool will be held on Thursday, September 17th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. An additional ceremony for donors, sponsors, and partners will precede the ribbon cutting. Donors include Chase, PSEG, TD Bank, PNC Bank, RTC Properties, Valley National Bank, and the Victoria Foundation, according to UVSO. 

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new preschool, which will serve children ages 3 and under, was held in December, 2013. 

The center is located at 1033 South Orange Avenue, near the corner of Sanford Avenue.  Click here to learn more.

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Photo of the Day 8/26/15


This photo shows the future headquarters of the South Orange Rescue Squad.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Starbucks Coffee to Return to Downtown Newark


Newark, New Jersey: Starbucks Coffee is returning to Downtown Newark. A location of the international coffee chain will open within the new Shoppes on Broad development, located within the new Prudential Tower complex opposite Military Park. Other businesses slated to open locations within the Shoppes on Broad development include Nike Factory Store and Blaze Pizza. Starbucks Coffee operates additional Newark locations in University Heights and within the Gateway Center and Newark Liberty International Airport. The company has also announced that another Essex County location will open at the Livingston Circle.

In 2008, The New York Times reported that Starbucks Coffee closed a location on Broad Street in Downtown Newark because it was "losing money". Residents protested when the store closed, and The Times called the closure "a trauma" for Newark.

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Taqueria Los Gueros to Open Newark Location


Newark, New Jersey: A new Mexican restaurant will open in Downtown Newark. Taqueria Los Gueros has announced that a location will open at 833 Broad Street, between Branford Place and William Street. The space has been vacant since Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen closed its doors several years ago. The Newark location of Taqueria Los Gueros is slated to open in September. Menu items will range from taquitos and nachos to tacos, tortas, alambres, and burritos. This will be the second Essex County location for the regional chain. There is a location in Bloomfield, in addition to six other locations in Bergen and Passaic Counties. Click here to learn more.

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