Monday, December 22, 2014


We told you last week about plans for Maplewood to switch curbside recycling from bi-weekly to weekly in 2015.

The Township Committee on Tuesday approved a contract with Bella Cleaning and Carting of Ridgewood for the service at a cost of $198,000 for the year.

But we didn't know until this weekend what a great deal it is since the current bi-weekly rate is around $160,000 per year, according to Mayor Vic De Luca. 

That means we will get twice the service for just about a 24% increase in cost.

MARK SLADE'S YEAR IN REAL ESTATE readers know Mark Slade, our favorite real estate agent and regular podcast guest. He also supplies our weekly open house lists. recently highlighted his 2014 happenings.

Check them out below:

Slade Homes Team Wrapping Up Successful 2014 in Maplewood, NJ, and Surrounding Towns

Maplewood, NJ, December 19, 2014 --( Mark Slade, a top producing agent with Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct Realty in Maplewood, New Jersey, is wrapping up a successful 2014 in which his team has closed 42 transactions—including two Luxury level sales. In addition, Slade has added new agents and a transactions coordinator to his team, introduced an open house app and been featured in the New York Times.

Slade’s recent sales include 44 Plymouth Avenue in Maplewood, 99 North Mountain Avenue in Montclair and 331 Scotland Road in South Orange. “It has been a busy year for real estate sales in our area,” said Slade. “I have been able to capitalize on the wave of people looking to move to the Maplewood area from NYC and its boroughs by adding home buying experts to my team and developing technology to help buyers through the process. Ultimately, the successful marketing of my listings has led to sales at 101% of asking price as compared to the 98.7% for year-to-date closed sales in Maplewood/South Orange, a.k.a. SOMA real estate, resulting in 2.2% more money for my sellers. This marks further improvement over the 1% spread we achieved in 2013.”

An October article in the New York Times highlighted Maplewood as a popular destination for people moving from Brooklyn to New Jersey. Slade was featured as a real estate agent who knows the town well, has much experience with relocating people to the area and is well positioned to assist home buyers with their search. This article can be found at

One way Slade has streamlined the home-buying process is by introducing the NJ Open Houses App. Complete with Property Search and Town Bios, the app offers the most comprehensive information about New Jersey Train Towns and Open houses with a Quick-Find Map to help locate them. The app also provides links to everything a buyer needs to know, including information about schools, parks, hospitals and houses of worship, whether just starting their search or looking to buy immediately.

Slade has also added two real estate agents to his team. Kristen Hill-Smith of West Orange, NJ, began selling real estate after more than 15 years working in the music business. Her success has been enhanced by her background in music marketing, promotion and management. More recently, Susan Georget, of Maplewood, NJ, with 5+ years of real estate experience and more than 30 years in the fashion industry, joined the team. Her background in fashion marketing, promotion and talent management has enabled her to bring a wealth of skills and knowledge to the world of real estate.

Slade, who also honed his Marketing, Branding and Sales Management skills in the fashion industry, added a Transactions Coordinator to manage his increased business. Kimberley Pryor has years of experience in corporate communications and program management. She handles administrative functions for all sales and manages public relations for the team.

Always on the cutting edge, Slade added another Facebook business page—SOMA Real Estate—dedicated to real estate focused in only Maplewood and South Orange. In addition to providing links to the latest list of homes on the market, this site is open to any agent or For Sale By Owner wanting to make a posting of their own. Mark also launched his luxury site:, geared toward marketing and selling homes in the area that qualify as luxury.

The Slade Homes Team covers the bedroom communities of NYC including Montclair, Maplewood, West Orange, South Orange, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Millburn, Short Hills, Summit, Madison, Chatham, Scotch Plains, Cranford, Westfield and Springfield. The team specializes in relocation services, first time home buyers, luxury homes and top notch selling services.

To learn more about how Mark and his team can help you meet your real estate needs, contact him at 917-797-5059 or Information is also available at; and



10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Maplewood Library’s MakerSpace at Hilton Branch is open! Drop in EVERY MONDAY

Patrons can use Rhino 3D software to build a model, print an object on our 3D printer or use our new color printer.  Printing times may vary, depending on file size and demand. 

Please contact for more information about printing your objects. And get more info on Lab procedures and policies at

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Renowned musicians, violinist Ani Kavafian, cellist Carter Brey, and pianist Soyeon Kate Lee perform chamber music in the friendly, intimate sanctuary of Morrow Memorial Methodist Church, 600 Ridgewood Rd., Maplewood. 

Works by Mozart, Ravel and Brahms. 

Tickets at the door: $25, $22 Sr., 

Children free. or

Piano Trio in B-flat major, K. 502
Duo for Violin and Cello
Piano Trio in C major, Opus 87


Board of Education student representative Maggie Kritzberg made a serious statement at last week's board meeting, informing the board of CHS student protests related to the recent police shootings of unarmed black men around the country.

But, more importantly for us, she discussed some racial "self-segregation" on campus at the high school.

For that she is our Maplewoodian of the Week.

If you missed her great speech, hear it HERE.


Not a lot to look at today, but that makes it easier.

See the short list HERE.

Find your next home or just check out the market.


We caught up with the Township Committee on Saturday morning bearing the cold for their regular visit with residents outside of the Maplewood Village post office.

Inside, meanwhile, many residents lined up to send out the last of the holiday mail.

But for some reason the post office counter offered just two workers for the crowd.

That's the holiday spirit, bad customer service from the federal government.

Saturday, December 20, 2014



MAKE AN APPOINTMENT to get free help choosing and enrolling in a Health Care Plan. Call Orange Navigators at 973-500-6031 or email

Appointments are available today at Hilton Branch Library from 10 am to 12 noon:

What to Bring
• Social Security Numbers (or document numbers for legal immigrants)
• Employer and income information for every member of your household who needs coverage (for example, from pay stubs or W-2 forms—Wage and Tax Statements)
• Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household.
• Green Card – Visa or proof of residency.
• Drivers License – Passport – Birth Certificate
• Photo ID


The Township Committee will hold its regular "Talk to the Township Committee" meet and greet today from 9 a.m. to Noon outside the Maplewood Village post office.

Show up, ask a question, tell them what you think or just offer a pat on the back.

Remember, they work for you!


From the Township:


Park Wood Diner Donates Holiday Meal to Seniors

Thursday night Park Wood Diner owners Pete and Fifi Kikianis brought holiday cheer to the residents of the Irvington Avenue Senior Building with a complimentary dinner.
The idea for the dinner arose when Pete Kikianis asked Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca what he could do to give back to the community. DeLuca suggested a dinner for deserving seniors.

Kikianis, wife Fifi, their extended family and Park Wood employees volunteered their time and resources to prepare the meal and serve it to the diners. DeLuca filled in as a server. DJ Jimmie B. (aka Jim Buttros) — who spins for the Maplewood Village Halloween Costume Contest — donated his services.

The residents of the building were appreciate — many of them dressed to the nines. “It’s really delicious,” said one decked-out diner. “Thank you!”

Mayor - diner