Friday, October 31, 2014

Photos: South Orange and Maplewood Celebrate Halloween

These photos show the 2014 Halloween festivals in the South Orange Village Center and Maplewood Village.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CHS Teacher Nicole Dufault Released on Bail

Columbia High School Language Arts teacher Nicole Dufault, who was charged in September with multiple counts of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, has posted bail. reports that Dufault was released from the Essex County Correctional Center in Newark on October 19. She was arrested on September 17.

Dufault, a 35 year old Caldwell resident, allegedly had sex with five students multiple times on school property and in her car during the 2013-14 school year and during the 2014 summer school. She pleaded not guilty. 

Her attorney, Timothy Smith, told Essex County Place that Dufault is "greatly relieved, particularly with regard to seeing her family", adding that she is "anxious to begin mounting her defense".

In an email to Essex County Place, Katherine Carter, the public information officer for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, said that Dufault "cannot have contact with the victims or the school".

Dufault remained on the list of CHS Language Arts faculty as of Wednesday.

This story will be updated.

Dufault's Caldwell condominium.

Police at Columbia High School on the day after the arrest.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Newark History Society to Host Program About 'Newark’s Unknown Abolitionist'

The Newark History Society will sponsor a free program about William Hayes Ward, "Newark’s Unknown Abolitionist', on Monday, November 10 at 6:00pm.

Tom Alrutz, a former director of the Newark Public Library, will speak about Ward, who was a writer and editor-in-chief of The Independent, an abolitionist newspaper. Ward also worked to establish black colleges and schools in the South, and was a speaker at the first National Negro Conference in 1909. 

Ward's house at 54 Abington Avenue in the Forest Hill neighborhood recently was designated a landmark by the Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee.

The program will take place at the New Jersey Historical Society at 52 Park Place next to WBGO-FM. Refreshments will be served.

Those interested in attending shold RSVP to or 
973-376-8273 by November 6.

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Photo of the Day 10/27/14

This photo shows the Bramhall Terrace overlook at South Mountain Reservation.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Photo of the Day 10/26/14

This photo shows a trail at South Mountain Reservation in Millburn, near the old quarry.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Photo of the Day 10/25/14

This photo shows the view of Elizabeth and Staten Island from South Mountain Reservation.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Photo of the Day 10/24/14

This photo shows Meadowland Park in South Orange.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Durand-Hedden House to Celebrate the Maplewood Theater on Sunday

This Sunday, October 26, the Durand-Hedden House and Garden will host "Let's Go to the Pictures!", an event celebrating the history of the Maplewood's movie theater. According to the Durand-Hedden House website, the theater on Maplewood Avenue was built in 1927, and was once a theatrical stage.

Visitors to "Let's Go to the Pictures!" can learn about the theater in the temporary exhibit "The Maplewood Theater: Its Forgotten Saga", and watch short silent comedies from the 1920s. In addition, free popcorn will be available at the country store behind the house, which will also be selling classic candy, original posters for the theater, and more,

The Durand-Hedden House is located at 523 Ridgewood Road in Maplewood across from Jefferson Elementary School. The house and country store will be open from 1:00pm until 4:00pm. 

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Photo of the Day 10/23/14

This photo shows the Passaic River at the Roseland/East Hanover border.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

South Orange Rescue Squad Asks for Donations

The South Orange Rescue Squad (SORS) is trying to raise approximately $100,000 for its new headquarters. Since being forced to leave its headquarters of 45 years on Third Street, the SORS has been housed in a converted apartment and garage on nearby Fourth Street. In March, the Village of South Orange sold the former headquarters and surrounding land in March to developer Jonathan Rose, who is building a residential and commercial development called Third and Valley at the site. The former headquarters was torn down in the beginning of April.

The new SORS headquarters will be located next to the South Orange Fire Department headquarters.

According to SORS Captain Dan Cohen, "the Village of South Orange is not contributing any money to this project".

In order to complete the project, SORS is asking the community for financial assistance. The Rescue Squad is using Crowdera to raise funds. In addition, residents and businesses can sponsor bricks and tiles that will become part of the entranceway to the new building. The bricks and tiles will be engraved with the text and logo specified by the donor. Larger donors can sponsor rooms, pieces of equipment, and ambulances.

So far, almost $3,000 has been raised from Crowdera, and approximately $4,000 has been raised from brick and tile sponsorships.

Click here to sponsor bricks and tiles, and here if you would like to contribute using Crowdera.

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Top Photo Courtesy SORS

Photo of the Day 10/22/14

This photo shows the Maplewood Municipal Building on Valley Street at night.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Newark YMCA to Hold 'Health O Ween'

The YMCA of Newark and Vicinity will hold a different kind of Halloween celebration. 'Health O Ween' will take place on Saturday, October 25 between 1:00pm and 4:00pm, and children are encouraged to come in costume. Prizes will be awarded for best costume, and there will be giveaways, special classes, a haunted house, and healthy treats for children. The event is free.

The Newark YMCA is located at 600 Broad Street at the corner of Rector Street. To learn more, click here.

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South Orange to Host Halloween Celebration

The annual South Orange Halloween Festival will take place between 4:00pm and 6:00pm on October 31. Spiotta Park will be the location of this year's event. Wanda the Giant Witch will host music and Halloween games, and a costume parade and contest is scheduled for 5:00pm. There will be refreshments and prizes for all who attend. The event is presented by the South Orange Village Center Alliance and sponsored by The Gateway, Sparkhouse Toys, and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realtor Renee Spear.

Spiotta Park is located at the corner of South Orange Avenue and Village Plaza. Click here to learn more.

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Gardens Aglow Coming to Presby Iris Gardens

Gardens Aglow will return to the Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens in Upper Montclair on Friday, October 24 from 6:00pm until 9:00pm. According to Essex County, visitors can view "an elaborate display of carved botanic, floral and nature-themed pumpkins created by students and local artists". Admission to Gardens Aglow, which is sponsored by Dewberry, is free. The gardens are located at 474 Upper Mountain Avenue near the Mountain Avenue Train Station. 

In case of rain, Gardens Aglow will take place on Saturday, October 25.

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Photo of the Day 10/21/14

This photo shows the view of Western Essex and Eastern Morris Counties from Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Photo of the Day 10/20/14

This photo shows the view of New York and New Jersey from Undercliff Terrace in West Orange.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Photo of the Day 10/19/14

This photo shows Hemlock Falls at South Mountain Reservation.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Photo of the Day 10/18/14

This photo shows the South Orange Fire Department headquarters with South Mountain in the background.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Local History Symposium Coming to South Orange

The South Orange Historical and Preservation Society (SOHPS) will host a local history symposium on Saturday, November 1 from 1pm until 5pm in the South Orange Middle School Little Theater. 

Several local historians will discuss topics such as South Orange neighborhoods and transportation, diners, and the Lenni Lenape Native Americans. In addition, the winners of the SOHPS scholarship will speak at the event.

According to Seton Hall University Archivist Alan Delozier, there will be "a close bond of mutual learning between each speaker and the audience". Delozier added that organizers hope that events such as this can be conducted on a regular basis.

The event is sponsored by SOHPS and the South Orange Public Library. There is a suggested donation of $5.

South Orange Middle School is located at 70 North Ridgewood Road.

Full Schedule

Alex Torpey, South Orange Village President 
Karen Marlowe, President, SOHPS 

Speaker I 
Video Project – Student History 
Lee Brodie

Speaker II 
Montrose Park Historic District 
Amy Dahn and Naoma Welk

Speaker III 
Scholarship Winners
Abby Baker and Jared Loadholt 

Refreshments will be served 

Speaker IV 
Michael Gabrielle

Speaker V 
"How Newark made South Orange Happen"
Ulysses Dietz 

Speaker VI 
"South Orange Then and Now, and a Little of Then Again"
Joe Kika


Speaker VII 
"South Orange Train Station and the DL&W"
Dara Callender

Speaker VIII 
The Lenni Lenape 
John Kraft

Speaker IX 
John Overall - "South Orange history expert"

The program is subject to change.

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Photo of the Day 10/17/14

This photo was taken at the Essex County Environmental Center in Roseland.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

West Essex News: Future Firefighter's Day, Discounts at Livingston Businesses, New Restaurants

The West Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department and the West Caldwell Volunteer Firemen's Association will sponsor "Future Firefighter's Day" this Saturday from 11:00am to 2:00pm at Firehouse 6. Children of all ages are invited. Visitors can explore the West Caldwell Fire Prevention Safety Trailer, try on firefighting gear, play games for prizes, spray the fire hose, and watch fire equipment and fire truck demonstrations. All activities are free, and refreshments will be available. Firehouse 6 is located on Fairfield Avenue, and parking is available in the West Caldwell Recreation lot. 

Businesses in Livingston will offer discounts to customers next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as part of "Fall Fling". Discounts are available at more than 60 businesses, including Ain't We Sweet, Anthony Franco's Pizza, Livingston Pharmacy, Meyer's Hobbies, and Swede's Frozen Yogurt. A full list is available here. In order to receive a discount at any of the businesses, customers must mention "Fall Fling", show the list on their phone, or show a printed copy of the list. The promotion is presented by the Livingston Business Improvement District.

Two new businesses will open soon in the Caldwells. A franchise of HoneyBaked Ham will open in West Caldwell. The cafe will be located at 792 Bloomfield Avenue in the West Caldwell Plaza. In addition, Central Burger is scheduled to open on October 30 at the former site of Papa John's Pizza in Caldwell at the corner of Bloomfield and Central Avenues. 

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Photo of the Day: Hiking at West Essex

This photo shows visitors to Octoberfest at the Essex County Environmental Center hiking in West Essex Park.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Photo of the Day: Fall in Roseland

This photo was taken outside of the Roseland Library on October 11.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Update: Jersey Animal Coalition Shelter to Close Next Month

The Jersey Animal Coalition shelter off of Walton Avenue in South Orange is expected to close on November 11.

A post on the JAC website reads "Jersey Animal Coalition feels compelled to leave its no-kill shelter immediately because of the lack of support from the local administrations of South Orange and Maplewood".

According to a press release from JAC, the organization "currently has found safe haven for the all of its remaining cats, and arrangements are being made to ensure the safety of one remaining dog". A Facebook post from last week read "the staff and volunteers have succeeded in saving the animals and placing them into responsible and loving homes, sanctuaries, fosters, rescues, or temporary boarding facilities". Announcements were made at Columbia High School last week encouraging students to adopt animals from the shelter. 

The shelter was originally closed by the South Orange Health Department after an inspection on March 12. At the time, JAC was charged with over 50 violations. The shelter remained closed until July, when the JAC sued the village and several village agencies and employees. That day, a Superior Court judge in Newark ordered that the shelter be allowed to reopen. Adoptions resumed that evening. 

"It is a very sad day", said former volunteer coordinator Nancy Schetelick in an email to Essex County Place. "This could have been a wonderful shelter if properly managed", adding that she hopes that the village can find a "good solution" for homeless animals. 

"JAC's refusal to accept responsibility for their mess and their failure to remedy the numerous violations was tragic and the absolute cause of their being shut down", said former volunteer Gale Petrecca.

JAC president and founder Ruth Perlmutter told Essex County Place that the Village ordered that all animals be removed from the JAC shelter by October 11. 

"We fulfilled our promise to our animals that they wouldn't lose their lives", said Perlmutter.

Perlmutter also responded to comments reportedly made by Village Administrator Barry Lewis' to the Village Green in September regarding ill animals at the shelter.
 "We treated sick animals and didn't just keep them", said Perlmutter. "Over the years, when the few animals we had that were suffering from terminal illnesses or injuries and medical treatment could not help them, we humanely euthanized them".

Lewis and Village Deputy Administrator Adam Loehner did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"It's not over yet", added Perlmutter.

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

CASA to Host 'Ruby Red Shoe Ball'

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children of Essex County will host the “The Ruby Red Shoe Ball” on Saturday, November 1st from 7pm to 11pm at Green Brook Country Club in North Caldwell. CASA provides advocacy services for foster children in Essex County. Organizers of the event seek to raise funds and awareness for direct advocacy of children in foster care.

Patricia Devine-Harms, of Montclair, will be honored at the Ruby Red Shoe Ball. According to CASA, Devine-Harms is a long time members of the Junior League of Montclair-Newark, one of the organizations that founded the Essex County chapter of CASA. She has held several roles within the Junior League, including being Chair of the Junior Leagues of NJ State Public Affairs Committee. Devine-Harms helped draft that Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act during her time as Chair. Currently, Devine-Harms leads a mentoring group for girls in Newark. 

“Our entire board and event committee has just been so humbled by her contributions and accomplishments", said Executive Director Karen Burns. "We know she will inspire so many and we are thrilled to be able to shine a light on the work she has done".

Tickets for the event start at $150. In past years, the Ruby Red Shoe Ball has raised nearly $50,000. Those who cannot attend are encouraged to donate to CASA.

To learn more about the Ruby Red Shoe Ball, click here.

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OctoberFest is Saturday at Essex County Environmental Center

The Essex County Environmental Center will host OctoberFest this Saturday from 11am to 4pm. Scheduled activities include 4-H crafts and games, bird watching, canoeing, hiking, face painting, nature arts and crafts, woodturning, and a pumpkin patch. Plus, the Turtle Back Zoo will present a live animal display at the festival. There will also be pumpkin carving demos, a petting zoo, and a live beehive display. Winning photos from the Essex County Parks Photography Contest will be on display. This free event is sponsored by TD Bank, Whole Foods Market, and Aramark.

Essex County Environmental Center is located at 621 Eagle Rock Avenue in Roseland, near the Morris County border.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

HarvestFest Coming to Springfield Avenue

The 2014 HarvestFest will take place this Sunday, October 12, on the grounds of the Hilton Branch of the Maplewood Memorial Library. Scheduled activities include pony rides, a petting zoo, pumpkin painting, a bounce house, face painting, and crafts. HarvestFest will feature local vendors, plus live music from bands Roll on Two, Mood Ring, and The Baby Please, and performances by Inspirational Dance and the Viva Z Club. The event is presented by the Springfield Avenue Partnership and will take place rain or shine. The Hilton Branch Library is located at 1688 Springfield Avenue in Maplewood.

More information is available here.

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Food Truck Festival Coming to South Orange

The first Irvington Avenue Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival will take place on Friday in South Orange between 5pm and 10pm. Several food trucks will line the avenue, including Farm Truck, the Cow and the Curd, Oink and Moo BBQ, Empanada Guy, Waffle de Lys, Romano's Disco Fries, Freezy Freeze, Cupcake Carnivale, The Outsliders, and Taqueria Autentica. Plus, a beer garden sponsored by the Gaslight Brewery will feature craft beer vendors High Point Brewing Company, Kane Brewing Company, and Doc's Draft Hard Cider. The festival will also feature live music from the band DeanShot. According to the Irvington Avenue Facebook page, there will be giveaways as well, including a $25 gift certificate to Inkosi Cafe. The event is presented by the Irvington Avenue Corridor Advisory Committee.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Festival Coming to Broadway in Newark

The seventh annual Festival de la Familia Latina will take place this Sunday from 1pm to 6pm on Broadway in Newark, between Broad Street and Bloomfield Place.

"Festival de la Familia Latina is Newark's great annual festival celebrating the rich and diverse heritage of our Latino community, and how it contributes to creating a Newark we can all believe in", said Newark mayor Ras Baraka.

The festival will feature cultural performances and music, including salsa, capoeira, and Peruvian dance. Activities will include free health screenings, arts and crafts, inflatable bouncers, Zumba, a dunk tank, an obstacle course, a farmer's market, and healthy food demonstrations and tastings. Several local organizations will have tables at the festival, including the Newark Museum, NJPAC, the Newark YMCA, and Essex County College.

A full listing of events is available here

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

New Playground Coming to South Orange Park

A new playground will be installed at a South Orange park. Signs were recently posted at Farrell Field on Walton Avenue, and fencing around part of the park was torn down last month. "We are excitedly awaiting new playground equipment", said Richard Bell, president of the Farrell Field Park Conservancy. According to Bell, the Village of South Orange is purchasing and installing the new playground equipment for the conservancy. Bell also told Essex County Place that South Orange Recreation Director Kate Schmidt worked with Conservancy Playground Committee Co-Chairs Marisa Tamayo and Nikki Eyrich to select a vendor and design the layout of the playground. The new playground will contain play areas for 2-5 year old children and 5-12 year old children, and new benches and a new wood carpet surface will be installed. 

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Photos Credit Jared Kofsky

New Market to Open on October 15 in Livingston

The Fresh Market will open its first Essex County location this month in Livingston. The market will be located within The Village at Livingston shopping plaza at 277 Eisenhower Parkway near the Livingston Circle. A Pathmark Supermarket was formerly located at the site.

“We are excited to open our new store in Livingston and to expand our reach in New Jersey”, said Craig Carlock, the President and CEO of The Fresh Market. 

The new location will include a bakery, meat counter, and produce department, and will open at 8am on Wednesday, October 15. The first 1,000 customers will receive a free bag of coffee and a resuable shopping bag. Festivities will include chef demonstrations, food sampling, and drawings for gift cards. 

Other New Jersey locations of The Fresh Market are in Bedminster, Somerset County and Montvale, Bergen County. 

The new market is one of several new businesses to open recently near the Route 10 Corridor. Cost Plus World Market and Buy Buy Baby opened this year in the Livingston Center shopping plaza, and will soon be joined by DSW, TJ Maxx, and Nordstrom Nack. In addition, CVS/pharmacy and Bottle King recently relocated to the former Saturn dealership, and an Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza opened last month in the Livingston Town Center.

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Maplewood Business to Close in November

Cycle in Motion, an indoor cycling center on Valley Street in Maplewood, will permanently close on November 3. The last day of classes will be November 2. 

Staff from Cycle in Motion wrote the following message on their website:

"We regret to inform you that Cycle in Motion will be discontinuing classes and closing its doors after November 2, 2014. We will continue to honor our current schedule through then, but effective November 3, classes will no longer be offered. If you purchased a Groupon with us, we will honor it until close of business. 

If you are Groupon holder or you still have remaining tickets to use, please use them at any class up to and including November 2. Our ticket books have a one-month expiry, so there is still time to use whatever you purchased if it was recent. If you have a hardship in this regard, please let us know. 

Riders can purchase 2 or more tickets at the discount rate of $10 each. The tickets must be used by Nov 2. Should you wish to follow your favorite instructors elsewhere, please approach them on an individual basis in the coming month. 

We truly appreciate your patronage and loyalty to our studio, from the dead of winter to the slower months of summer, and wish you the very best. May you reach your personal best on a daily basis, and always have the strength to dig a little deeper when the roads of life get steep. And, don't forget to look up…or breathe. Be well."

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