Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Maplewood is losing its third department head in just the past two months with Recreation Director Keith Knudsen announcing he will leave for a new job in Roxbury.

"The reason is that Roxbury is much closer to where I live and I made the decision for my family," Knudsen, who has been on the job for about three years, said via email. "I am really going to miss Maplewood and this was one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make. I am leaving behind a wonderful town and some great people."

Knudsen said his last day will be February 24.

Since December, Knudsen is the third such department head to announce a departure. Code Enforcement Office Robert Mittermaier gave the bad news in December he would leave later this year after 31 years on the job, while Township Engineer Tom Malavasi is also leaving.

Those departures follow the loss of former Public Works Director Eric Burbank, Fire Chief Joseph Richardella, and Chief Financial Officer Peter Fresulone in the past three years. But their replacements have proven up to the task, most notably current CFO Juan Uribe, who has made a habit of finding money in some accounts that were previously unused



At least two of the six Maplewood Village property owners whose land in the rear parking lot the Township wants to buy for a Post Office project-related sewer line are agreeable to the purchase.

Saul Fisher, who owns the buildings that house Village Coffee, Arturo’s and Jerry Rose flowers, and Chris Amundsen, who operates Kokoro and owns its building, both said they would agree to a sale, but did need to see the price.

“Either way it wouldn’t make a difference to me,” Amundsen said. “I haven’t seen anything about it, I don’t know the details, it also comes down to the price they want … Offhand, I’d have no objections to their buying it. But it depends on the economics.”

Fischer added, “I have no problem anyway they want to go.”

Owners of the other four buildings, which run from 168 to 174 Maplewood Avenue, either did not respond to inquiries or could not be reached.

At issue is the parking lot behind their property, which stretches from the former post office site to Baker Street. JMF Properties, which is building the new three-story, 20-apartment, five-retail shop complex at the former post office site, needs to run a new sewer line through the parking lot in order to handle the increased sewer needs from the new building.

The Township currently leases the parking lot from the building owners for $11,829 per year. But Fischer said that is done through a tax abatement and not a direct payment to the landlords.

The Township had been in talks with the building owners to extend the lease, but Mayor Vic Deluca announced last week that the Township intended to buy the parking lot. An appraisal posted by the Township of the land indicates the parking lot area is worth about $600,000.

Fischer said he had been in talks with some Township officials in December, but had not heard back prior to the purchase plan announcement.

“It is valuable property,” he said. “I figured we would continue the conversation.”


Baby Lit

10:30 am – 11:00 am

Main Library * Ages Birth – 2 ½ * Drop In
Tuesdays @ 10:30-11 am: 2/2, 2/9, 2/16 and 2/23

Hilton Black History Month Trivia for Teens

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Main Library – Thursdays in February – 3:00-5:00 pmHilton Branch – Tuesdays in February – 3:00-5:00 pm
Each week there will be a new question about art, poetry and music.  Answer the question correctly and win a prize!

Hilton Preschool Storytime

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Hilton Branch * Ages 2 ½ – 5 * Drop In
Tuesdays @ 4-4:30 pm: 2/9, 2/16 and 2/23

Create Space – Maplewood Library’s Makerspace is Open!

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Hilton Branch – Every Tuesday and Thursday 5:00-8:00 pm, and Saturday 10-1 pm.  Patrons can use Rhino 3D software to build a model, print an object on our 3D printer or use our new color printer or laminator.  There are also Snap Circuits, Squishy Circuits, littleBits and SparkFun kits for the kids. Raspberry Pi single board computers are also available to learn more about computer science.  More information about the Create Space…

Digital Device Clinics

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Get free one-on-one support for using your e-reader, tablet, smartphone, or other electronic device.  The clinics will take place during the Create Space drop-in hours. Open to adults, teens and children. 

Hilton SAT Math Practice Workshops

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Main Library – Wed.  Feb. 3 and 17, 7– 9 pm
Hilton Branch – Tues.  Feb. 9, 6-8 pm
Join us for free SAT math practice sessions. You will take practice tests, go over test results and learn ways to improve your test performance!  Come to one, two  or all three of the sessions presented by Michael Steiner, certified high school math teacher. Please register for each practice session you wish to attend.
To Register go to:
Feb. 9: https://satmathworkshopfeb9.eventbrite.com

Monday, February 8, 2016


From Maplewood Police today: 

January 30, 2016; Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours an unsecured vehicle parked on Woodside Rd was entered and a cell phone and GPS were removed.

January 31, 2016; Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours change was removed from an unsecured vehicle parked on Van Ness Ter.

February 3, 2016; Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours a cell phone was removed from an unsecured vehicle parked on Suffolk Ave.

February 5, 2016; Theft; Sometime over the past two weeks a motorcycle was stolen from an apartment complex on Valley St.

February 5, 2016; Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours cash was removed from an unsecured vehicle parked on Parker Ave

February 5, 2016; Theft from Auto; At approximately 1:15 AM, Officer Munoz observed four juveniles exiting a driveway on Hillcrest Rd.  The juveniles were found to be in possession of items stolen from vehicles.  The juveniles from Irvington ages 14, 14, 15 and 16 were all taken into custody and charged with trespassing and receiving stolen property.

February 6, 2016; Theft from Auto; Sometime over the previous two day, a camera bag and camera were removed from a vehicle parked on the 20’s block of Boyden Ave.


A Maplewood man was arrested Friday after he allegedly tried to stab a 17-year-old male on Jacoby Street with a kitchen knife and stole his cell phone.

Police revealed that they arrested Ondre Weeks, 23, of Maplewood on several charges that included three counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, robbery, drug possession and distribution, drug possession and distribution within 1,000 feet of a school, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon with unlawful purpose.

The incident occurred at 7:16 p.m. Friday near 144 Jacoby St., police said in a statement, when the suspect approached the victim and asked to use his cell phone. When the victim asked for the phone back, the suspect put it in his shirt and allegedly pulled the knife, attempting to stab the victim.

Police said the victim was able to block the attempt and the suspect fled on foot toward Irvington on Boyden Avenue.

Officers Ilir Gjatollari and Brian Rodrigues were alerted and given a description of the suspect, later observing him on Mill Road in Irvington. When they approached him, he tried to flee, but was apprehended. One of the offiers received a non-lif-threatening injury, police said. 

Weeks is being held at the Essex County Jail.


From Tapinto of Union:

UNION, NJ - A Maplewood man was shot on Friday night, February 5, in Union. Union police officers responded to a call at around 9:30 p.m., reporting that shots had been fired in the area of Walker and William street in Union. Police immediately located a victim, who was identified as a male from Maplewood. The victim, who was shot and bleeding, was found in the rear of 1692 Walker Avenue. The victim was transported to University Hospital in Newark where he was listed in stable condition. His identify has not yet been released.

See the rest HERE.


The Maplewood Middle School math teacher saga continued this past week as Principal Jerrill Adams announced a new teacher had been hired to replace the surprise departure of popular instructor Julie Skrivanic.

You may recall, several parents were upset that Skrivanic, a popular sixth grade and accelerated math teacher, was transferred mid-year to Columbia High School last month.

Then last week, her replacement quit after just one day on the job.

Adams issued a letter Friday stating another replacement had been found but would not start for nearly two weeks. He said in that time a substitute would be aided by other math teachers.

See the letter below:

Dear MMS Families,
The MMS administrative team has completed the rigorous interview process for the vacancy in Ms. Skrivanic’s math classes. Next week, we will provide you with an update on the chosen candidates’ academic profile, teaching experience, and start date. Although this process has taken longer than we initially imagined, we are proud to have selected a teacher with the educational experience and expertise in middle school and high school mathematics.
For the next (8) instructional days, we have selected two MMS math teachers to provide our experienced substitute teacher, Ms. Harris, with lesson planning materials and activities on the following topics:
Course Title- Topic of Study
Advanced Honors: Proportional Relationships-
Students will:
• Determine whether two quantities are proportional.
• Interpret the graph of a proportional relationship.
• Identify the constant of proportionality in tables, graphs, equations, and situations.
• Represent proportional relationships using an equation.
Honors: • Reviewing equations and learning inequalities
• Graphing, writing, and solving one and two-step inequalities
College Prep: • Writing and solving one and two-step equations and inequalities
(Please note that the classwork completed with the current substitute teacher will not be reflected in PowerSchool. No assessments will be assigned.)
Students will have access to the other two experienced 6th grade math teachers, Ms. Hunt and Mr. Wackerman during the WIN period, as needed. Team leaders will be communicating this message on Monday to students in Ms. Skrivanic’s classes.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this process.

Together We Can,

Jerrill M. Adams, MS.Ed, M.A.