Friday, August 31, 2012


The letters are arriving and the kids are already trading information on who they have for teachers this year.

One postal person's reaction to me: "Not my favorite day."


This from the township:

Posted on: August 28, 2012

Upcoming Road Improvements

On or about September 4th, construction will begin on a number of streets in the Township. This work is part of the 2012 road improvement program. The work will include new handicap ramps, milling and paving of streets, and striping at intersections. Work will be performed on Prospect Street and Hickory Drive. This work is part of the Townships ongoing program to maintain the streets. As part of this work, we will be implementing portions of the recently adopted Bikeway Network Plan. There will be some intermittent traffic disruptions while this work proceeds. We appreciate your patience during the construction process.

More specifics HERE.


A New York Times article this week on back to school quoted one of our own:

“I feel like I’ve been thinking about back-to-school ever since school ended — it doesn’t go away,” said Kim McCormack, who works in pharmaceutical marketing in Maplewood, N.J., where her two children attend parochial school. “My kids came home with math workbooks, a reading list, suggested activities and a list of school supplies that we’d need to get before the next school year begins. Everything has gotten longer and more complicated than it needs to be.”


PATCH make a good point:

Maplewood residents might want to budget a few extra minutes into their morning commutes.
Construction on the former police station buildingat 125 Dunnell Road has meant the elimination of roughly 20-25 commuter permit parking spots in the lot next to the former station. "Those are gone forever," said Thomas Malavasi, township engineer.
"It will push people out further" from the station for parking, he said.
In addition, roughly a dozen street spaces in front of the former station are unavailable during construction, which Malavasi said would last around a year. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Another library happening, but this for adults:

Date:August 30th, 2012
Information:Between the Covers: Short Story Time for Adults 
Bring a brown-bag lunch and listen to short stories from a variety of genres read by librarian Amanda Eigen. Free and open to the public. 

12:15 pm at Main Library 


PATCH reports:

South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education members continue to be concerned about students attending their schools who live out of district – but they can’t seem to agree on how to remedy the situation.
At Monday’s school board meeting, members held a lengthy discussion on whether it was cost-effective to pursue students who live out of district, and whether it was ethical to seek tuition payments from parents who may not be able to afford them.
“It does not make any sense to me that we would ever collect enough money from students who are here who might live in another town to offset taxpayer burden,” said Board Member Andrea Wren-Hardin, chair of the facilities committee. The main problem, she said, is that “students throughout the state are not receiving a thorough and efficient education. That’s what this is about.” 
Read more HERE.


Alternative Press reports this week:

Office hours and blogging are two strategies the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education will try this fall to improve communication with the public.
The school board agreed at its meeting Monday night to pilot the communication initiatives. The board also adopted a policy on computer use and appointed a new supervisor of language arts.
Board member David Giles presented a plan to hold monthly evening “office hours” attended by between two and four board members. The office hours would alternate between the South Orange public library and the Hilton branch of the Maplewood library.


You might have seen that Sweet Relish, the great gourmet food spot at Inwood and Maplewood Ave., has shut down.

A note on the door says the space is coming back with something else.

PATCH reports it will be clothing and accessories shop. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Drug bust suspect  Michell Alphonso-Nutter 
PATCH finally got around to posting a story on the drug bust last week, reported here first on Friday.

They did offer new insight in to the fact that the house, just a few doors from CHS, was a drug distribution point.

We love PATCH and gladly link to their great scoops, but c'mon, five days after the fact? They did get a mugshot, though.


Sad to see the Maplewood Theater is showing "Obama's America: 2016" a film by discredited right-wing author Dinesh D'Souza.

It severely distorts Obama's background and history and has many outright factual errors.

If you need to read more about it before wasting your money, read HERE.

If you want to visit our great local theater, go see "Hope Springs" or "Hit and Run."


Quite an array of options:

The following is a list of Fall activities offered by the Maplewood Receation Department.  All art classes art held at the Maplewood Civic House, 124 Dunnell Road/Memorial Park.  All cooking classes are held at the Maplewood Community Center, 120 Burnett Avenue/ De Hart Park.  

Art Programs:
Talented Tots I is a class geared for children 2 - 3 years old accompanied by an adult.  Children will learn the basics of arts and crafts while socializing with other toddlers.  There is a class on Mondays from 10 - 11AM and another on Wednesdays from 9:30 - 10:30 AM.  Classes will begin the first week in October and run for 10 weeks.  The fee is $110.00 for 10 classes.  Class size is limited to 6 children.
Talented Tots II is a class geared for children 3 - 4 years old accompanied by an adult. This class will meet on Tuesdays from 10 - 11 AM beginning 10/2 and run for 10 weeks for $110.00.  Class size is limited to 6 children.
Kid' Krafts is a class geared for children 4 - 5 years old.  This is a drop off class.  Children will focus on the basics: working with scissors, shapes, drawing, and painting while using different types of art mediums.  Projects will also focus on the Fall holiday season.  Classes will run for 8 weeks beginning 10/4 for $105.00 and will meet on Thursdays from 9:00- 10:30 AM.   Class size is limited to 8 children.

Cooking Programs:
Mini Chef I is a class geared for children 4 - 5 years old and is a drop off class.  This is an introduction to cooking and baking for children.  Classes will run on Thursdays from 4:00 - 5:00 PM for 8 weeks beginning Sept.27th for $100.00.  Class size limited to 8 children.
Mini Chef II is for children 5 - 6 years old and is a drop off class.  Children will cook or bake a different food each week.  Classes will be held on Mondays from 4:00 - 5:00 PM for 8 weeks beginning Sept. 24TH. for $100.00.  Class size is limited to 8 children.
Junior Chef is a class geared for children in grades 1 - 3 .  It is a great class for children who enjoy cooking and sampling the finished product.  Classes will be held on Tuesdays from 4:00 - 5:15 PM for 8 weeks beginning Sept. 25th for $115.00.  Class size is limited to 8 weeks.
Chef in Training is a class for children in grades 4 - 6.  It is for children who want to experience hands on cooking in the kitchen while learning that it is simple to create tasty & nutritiious foods.  Classes will be held on Wednesdays from 4:00 - 5:30 PM for 7 weeks beginning Oct. 3 for $115.00..  Class size is limited to 8 children.

There are also Holiday baking classes that will be held in December.  There are classes for the same age groups as the regular cooking classes and will run for 3 weeks..  
Registration may be done at the Maplewood Recreation Office 973 763 - 4202  or online at

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


The tragic accident that has put 18-year-old Ryan Burbank into a wheelchair could very well have happened to any youngster.

Ryan, whose father is Maplewood DPW Director Eric Burbank, slipped at his family pool this summer and injured his back, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

Although he is making progress, his family needs financial help to ready their home for his return and make it wheelchair accessible.

At least two fundraisers are ongoing.

One from the South Orange Elks Lodge and another for the HK Community Fund.

We spoke with Elks Lodge President Bob Fanneron, who discussed Ryan's situation and ways to help this young man.

Listen below:


Monday, August 27, 2012


This issued today from Maplewood Police:

August 20, 2012 Burglary; An Evelyn Court residence was found to have an open window and side door after officers responded to an alarm activation.  At the time of the report, nothing was reported missing from the home.

August 20, 2012, Burglary; A Springfield Ave business reported that sometime during the evening a computer and stereo were removed from the business.  A window was left unlocked and appears to be the point of entry.

August 20. 2012, Theft from Auto; several thefts from unlocked vehicles were reported on Burnett Terr and Plymouth Place.  A bicycle was also taken from an open garage on Burnett Terr most likely by the same actors.

August 21, 2012, Bicycle Theft; Two bicycles were reported stolen from the train station during the daytime.  Both were locked while their owners were at work.

August 22, 2012, Motor Vehicle Theft; A Dodge Caravan belonging to a business was stolen from a Parker Ave parking lot sometime between 08/17 and 08/22.

August 22, 2012, Motor Vehicle Theft; A citizen walked into MWPD Headquarters and reported that his vehicle was stolen from the Burger King parking lot.  The 2011, Dodge Caliber was apparently taken by a passenger in the vehicle while he was inside the store.

On August 22, 2012 at approximately 5pm, Maplewood Police Detectives served a search warrant for the premises located at 511 Academy Street incident to an investigation into the sale of illegal drugs from that location. Detectives recovered a large amount of marijuana, prescription narcotic pills, drug paraphernalia and cash. The residents, Michele Alphonso-Nutter, age 43 and her daughter Chavier Alphonso, age 19 were arrested at the scene and charged with Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance near school property, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. The investigation, under the direction of Detective Lieutenant Michael Marucci and lead Detective Ray Rosania, is active and still ongoing. 

August 23, 2012, Burglary; A Boyden Ave residence was reportedly burglarized some time between 5 and 10 PM this date.  The apartment was left unlocked and upon returning, a television and two x-box game systems were missing.

August 25, 2012, Motor Vehicle Theft; At approximately 1030 AM, a 2003 BMW was taken from the parking lot of Walgreens on Springfield Ave. 


Superintendent Brian Osborne
The Board of Education meets tonight and, among other things, will discuss plans for the 2013-2014 school calendar.

An initial draft of the calendar has the first day of school later than usual, Monday Sept. 9, 2013, due to Jewish holidays the week before. It also includes two days off in February and spring break in late April, along with three snow days.

Tonight's meeting is at 7:30 p.m.

See the entire agenda HERE.

Entire calendar HERE.


Don't forget, each Monday, 2-7 p.m. at Indiana St. and Springfield Avenue.


...Scanner indicates police looking for a trespasser along Boyden Ave. who apparently was trespassing at the community pool, which is closed in the morning....


A great musical event tonight:

Date:August 27th, 2012
Information:On Monday, August 27, from 7 - 8:30 PM, The Well Fed Trio -- Joel Perry, John Straus, and guest bassist Tim Metz -- will play jazz at the Parkwood Diner on Springfield Ave in Maplewood. Have some fun with us, BYOB, and please share with others. Musical guests sit in, too. 

Address:1958 Springfield Ave

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Looking to relocate in town, or know someone who is?

Check out the list of open houses today HERE.


He likely did not even write this, but someone needs to edit the work, and provide the link that is mentioned.

Here are Mary Pat and Andrew in the birthday spirit at Sammy's in Memdham


A new study on charitable giving finds Maplewoodians average 4.2% of their income for charitable causes, higher than the state average of 3.7%, but lower than the national average of 4.7% 


Saturday, August 25, 2012


Still time to get the bargains

Date:August 25th, 2012
Time:9:30 a.m.
Information:Annual huge rummage sale--bargains galore on clothes, toys, furniture, lamps, holiday decor, books, artwork, linens, dishware, you name it, we have it! All proceeds go to charity. stop by from 9:30-1PM

Address:646 Prospect St


PATCH has a good primer on new homes and town houses coming, including that old Wyman Ford spot:

Maplewood Township has three new developments scheduled to begin construction soon that may bring more professionals and more shopping to the area.
The Maplewood Planning Board has  approved the opening of a store named  “Deals” at the old Wyman Ford Building on the corner of Springfield and Tuscan avenues. Not far away on Burnett Avenue, David Checchio, general counsel for Elite Properties, hopes to have a groundbreaking on the site to start building 126 apartments on the site in September and, later, to build town houses nearby.
The new additions will add to the township in a number of ways, said Mayor Vic De Luca.


Friday, August 24, 2012


...Scanner indicates police responding to shattered window, break-in to vehicle on Essex Road...


The house where a home invasion months ago had sparked interest was the subject of a major drug bust today, according to Maplewood Police, who issued this report today:



On August 22, 2012 at approximately 5pm, Maplewood Police Detectives served a search warrant for the premises located at 511 Academy Street incident to an investigation into the sale of illegal drugs from that location. Detectives recovered a large amount of marijuana, prescription narcotic pills, drug paraphernalia and cash. The residents, Michele Alphonso-Nutter, age 43 and her daughter Chavier Alphonso, age 19 were arrested at the scene and charged with Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance near school property, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. The investigation, under the direction of Detective Lieutenant Michael Marucci and lead Detective Ray Rosania, is active and still ongoing.  

This is a block from CHS


CHS marching band performing now. The arts are alive and well in SOMSD!

Embedded image permalink


...Scanner indicates a pit bull on the loose, apparently from a home on Franklin Street...was running around De Hart playground..


UPDATE: So now MOL has taken down the discussion about me, what paranoia.

Thanks to all who are defending me on MOL and those who want to attack, not surprised.

Keep up the discussion.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


So Maplewoodonline has kicked me off again, apparently because I want to allow its reader to link to some of my work.

As Jamie Ross knows, I make no money from my website and I only link to things that are not otherwise reported.

Several fellow residents have raised the issue of how Maplewoodonline's practice of limiting access to what has become a real public square of commentary is a form of censorship and likely the basis for legal action.

Interestingly, Maplewoodonline's rules indicate there is no "inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene" conduct allowed.

As anyone who regularly reads the site knows this is broken daily by many others.

The site then states it can kick anyone off for any reason.

Read it all below:

You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this community to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law. You agree not to post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you.

We at this community also reserve the right to reveal your identity (or whatever information we know about you) in the event of a complaint or legal action arising from any message posted by you. We log all internet protocol addresses accessing this web site.

Please note that advertisements, chain letters, pyramid schemes, and solicitations are inappropriate on this community.

We reserve the right to remove any content for any reason or no reason at all. We reserve the right to terminate any membership for any reason or no reason at all.

You must be at least 13 years of age to use this service.

If you read my links on MOL often, you see I break none of these rules.


Information:Reading Erotica 
Our Erotica Book Club continues with Erica Jong’s groundbreaking Fear of Flying. This funny and sad novel was first published in 1973. 
Would it be considered shocking today? Are there any insights that still hold true? Have women grown with it or have we moved beyond it? Join us for what promises to be a spirited discussion. 
Thursday, August 23 
7:00 pm at Hilton Branch 
Led by Hilton Branch head Ina Rimpau. Open to women 18 and older. 

Address:1688 Springfield Ave. Maplewood

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Date:August 22nd, 2012
Information:Come sing and dance and play with us! Open house at Parteaz, on Wednesday, August 22nd. See and experience the benefits of music education and play in your child's life. Song, movement, instruments and more! Meet our new teachers! For children ages birth to 8 years. Pink lemonade and snacks will be served. Free to all. RSVP 973-761-1549.


Some of you may have gotten the surprise call from former Governor and current State Sen. Richard Codey last night for a town hall meeting conference call.

I did, too. I took the call and recorded about 30 minutes of it for you to hear. I was also asked in the middle if I wished to ask a question, but never got on. 

At that time, I did inform the producer that I was recording for playback here.

The former governor answered many questions related to taxes, although the sound quality went in and out.

Take a listen.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012


This warning issued today from the township:

August 21, 2012:  A bat that was found in Memorial Park on Monday morning August 20 was tested and found to have rabies.  The bat was acting unusual in that it was hanging on the side of a tree very low to the ground.  The tree is next to the blacktop walkway that runs from the Civic House to Oakview Ave, on the east side of the brook.  Thanks to an alert resident who contacted us early in the morning, the bat was removed by 9:00am prior to the start of any child day camps in the park.  The bat was captured and tested at the NJ State Health Dept. laboratory and found to have rabies.  There is no danger to any person or pet unless they had direct contact with the bat.  At this point no one has reported any contact with this bat.  If you know of any person or pet that may have had contact with this bat, please call the Maplewood Health Dept., 973-762-8120 x4400.

Bats are a normal part of our natural wildlife and they are usually considered beneficial since they eat insects.  Under normal circumstance they are not to be feared and they do not attack people or pets.  However, when a bat is found to be acting abnormally, such as lying on the ground, it must be avoided since it may have rabies.  If you find a bat acting abnormally, contact the Health Dept., Animal Control or during evening or weekends, contact the Police Dept.   Do not touch the bat.  Protect your pets by making sure they have a current rabies vaccination.  For further information contact the Maplewood Health Dept.


Superintendent Brian Osborne: CHS "a fantastic place"
The school district released the following comments upon hearing about Columbia High School breaking into the top 50 high schools in New Jersey according to the latest NJ Monthly ranking:

“The entire community should be proud of CHS’s movement up the rankings and the accomplishment of our students that the rankings represent,” said Superintendent of Schools Brian G. Osborne.  “The steady improvement comes from the commitment and professionalism SOMSD educators and staff, and the enthusiastic support that the SOMa community gives its public schools. CHS is a fantastic place to go to high school, and we will work tirelessly to make it even better for all of our students.”

“We are pleased to see Columbia High School move up in the rankings, “ said Board of Education President Beth Daugherty.  “CHS and district leaders have had a strategic commitment to excellence and equity over the past several years that is moving Columbia High School forward.  The Board of Education is grateful for the efforts of our teachers and staff and the support of the entire community.”

“Over the past several years, we have been working on enhancing instruction, improving the ways we support and evaluate teaching, making curriculum more rigorous, and increasing access for students to our most challenging classes,” said Columbia High School Principal Lovie Lilly.  “While we know we still have work to do to make Columbia High School all it needs to be for every student, these rankings are further evidence that we are moving in the right direction.  We have a great, hard-working staff at CHS, and I am confident that we will continue to improve.”


Columbia High School broke into the top 50 high schools in New Jersey, according to the newest ranking from New Jersey Monthly.

The state magazine boosted CHS from the 75th spot in 2010 to 47 today.

See more HERE.

It is also one of only six high schools in Essex County to make the top 50.


Township officials released this notice today:

This summer has been one of the worst seasons for mosquito bites that many of us can remember.  This is to update residents on what is already being done and what we can do 

The Essex County Mosquito Control has been busy monitoring mosquito activity at ten to fifteen locations in the township.  They trap mosquitoes, sort them by species and have them tested for viral diseases such as West Nile virus.  This trapping has shown that the Asian Tiger mosquitoes are very prevalent.  These are the very aggressive small mosquitoes that will bite even in broad daylight.  You usually do not even notice that you have been bitten until you feel the itchy bite that is left behind. 

Other species such as the culex mosquito, which is the primary carrier of West Nile Virus have been found. These mosquitoes tend to feed on birds rather than people.  Asian Tiger mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, but they are not as efficient a disease transmitter as the culex species. 

Mosquito Control has been doing Ultra Light Fogging in many neighborhoods in the Township. This fogging has been going on in the very early morning so you may not have noticed this activity.  The fogging results in a quick knockdown of adult mosquitoes and provides temporary relief.  The insecticide is safe for pets and people and it has a short residual effect of only a few hours.  Contact the Essex County Mosquito Control if you need further info on the specific sprays being used. 

The most important step that we all can take is to check the outside of our properties for stagnant water sources.  Simply turn over these water sources or drain them and this will stop the breeding.  One significant fact, as relayed by the County Mosquito Control, is that the Asian Tiger mosquitoes do not fly far from their breeding sources.  So, the mosquitoes that are biting you are breeding right in your neighborhood.

Mosquito breeding sites that are often found are:
1.      Old tires that have collected water. This is a favorite Tiger mosquito breeding site.  Dump this water out and put the tire in the garage where it will not refill.  Tires can be taken for recycling for $1.00 by getting a coupon at the Township Clerk’s office.
2.      Spackle buckets, garbage cans, and any container that holds water.  Empty cat food cans have frequently been found as a breeding source.
3.      Clogged roof gutters. 
4.      Back yard pools that are neglected and left non circulating.  The blow up type pools have often been found with breeding larvae.
5.      Planters, bird baths and decorative ponds that are not tended. 
6.  Natural spots such as tree hollows, depressions or gullies in the soil
Further helpful information on mosquito control and mosquito borne diseases can be found at and at the NJ State Dept of Health and Senior Services web sites.   As always, the Maplewood Health Dept. can be contacted for help.  The Essex County Mosquito Control also wants residents to call directly with complaints as this helps them monitor problem areas.  Their phone number is 973-239-3366 x 2480. 


Great breakdown of the recycling requirements at PATCH now that Big Brother Township spies will be checking every bag you through out in garbage.

Monday, August 20, 2012


...Scanner today reported that police responding to theft at Winchester Gardens, allegedly against a resident...


Burglaries, thefts and an Oberlin Street trespassing first reported HERE mark police report:

August 17, 2012, Trespass; At 940 AM, a resident of Oberlin St, reported that a male rang their door bell, then jumped a fence and entered the rear yard of the home. The home owner confronted the male who then fled the yard.  The male was located by officers, identified by the resident and taken into custody and charged with defiant trespass.  The male was identified as James McMillon ofBurnett Ave in Union. 

August 13, 2012 Burglary; A Boyden Ave resident reports that sometime during the daytime his apartment was entered and a computer and cash were taken.

August 15, 2012 Burglary; At approximately 945 AM, a Briarclift Ct resident witnessed a juvenile climbing through a garage window. The police were contacted and responded.  A check of the area located two juveniles that were identified as being on scene.  They were taken into custody and charged with burglary and trespass.

August 15, 2012 Motor Vehicle Theft; A resident of Boyden Ave reports that sometime during the night, their Cadillac was stolen from the driveway.  The vehicle was recovered the same day in Newark.

August 17, 2012, Theft; A resident from Mountainview Terr reports that at 545 AM their vehicle was entered and a phone charger and case removed.

August 19, 2012, Burglary; A unoccupied residence on Garfield Place was entered and copper pipes removed sometime between 08/18 and 08/19.


Farmer's Market always a great Monday idea.

Indiana St. and Springfield Ave. 2-7 p.m. today.


After the memorial bench in Memorial Park was vandalized at Maplewoodstock, we find this bench ripped down outside of Maplecrest Park along Tuscan Road.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Gotta love this video by our own Knit Knack, the great knitting and yarn shop on Springfield Ave. 

So far, more than 9,000 hits on YouTube.



Date:August 19th, 2012
Information:Not to be missed annual Prospect Rummage sale with bargains on clothes, sports equipment, furniture, toys, dishware, linens, lamps, artwork, books, you name it!! Low, low prices! All money raised goes to charity. Stop by at 646 Prospect St 1-4PM.


Read this great piece from one Peter Wilderotter, former Maplewoodian and son of local former lawyer Charles Wilderotter, in today's New York Times:

MY father practiced law in our hometown, Maplewood, N.J., and my mother took care of our family of six children. I was the fifth child, probably destined to follow my father into the legal profession. But at 13, I found a lump on my neck. At first, the doctors thought it wasmumps or maybe a tooth infection, but after a biopsyHodgkin’s disease was diagnosed.

In those days, parents consulted with doctors behind closed doors, and no one told me anything. I could feel the fear around me and thought I was dying. Then, in 1968, as I was being readied for tumor removal surgery, I overheard the nurse say it was Stage 4 Hodgkin’s. I had no idea what that meant, but when I returned home from the hospital, I looked it up in our encyclopedia

Read on HERE.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Date:August 18th, 2012
Information:For the past several years Dr. Eva Bouzard-Hui, EdD, has taught art to prisoners in New Jersey. She is presenting over 40 prints of the prisoners work in a an art show sponsored by 3rd Saturday Arts at Ethical Cultural Society of Essex County (ECSEC), 516 Prospect Street, Maplewood. The opening was on Saturday, July 21. Due to the growing interest in the art, 3rd Saturday Arts is hosting two receptions for Eva to discuss the prisoners' work. The first was on Friday, August 17th, at 2:00 PM; and the second reception is this one on Saturday, August 18th, at 7:30 PM. 

The prints create a sense of the artistic variation in the prisoners' two dimensional visual work in various media and will stay on display through Sunday, September 9th. The prints are offered for a $25 donation to the Society from which 50% will be provided Eva for reimbursement of the considerable cost of materials for her class. Admittance to the show is free. 

Private viewing of the art at other times can be arranged by contacting 3rd Saturday Arts Coordinator, Gus Lindquist, via email at Please allow time for Gus to reply as his schedule permits.