Friday, November 29, 2013

TOWN HALL OFFICES CLOSED TODAY

As part of the Thanksgiving four-day weekend, township offices are closed today.

So if you need anything at Town Hall, see you Monday.

BLACK FRIDAY WARNINGS

The Better Business Bureau is warning shoppers about scammers looking to take advantage of bargain hunters still in a turkey and stuffing stupor.
The bureau has a few tips to help Black Friday consumers:
Create a budget and stick to it. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2013 holiday consumer spending survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average holiday shopper will spend $737.95 on gifts, d├ęcor, greeting cards and more. Make a list, determine how much you can afford to spend on each person and stick to it!
Compare Deals. There are many Black Friday websites claiming to capture the best deals around. Comparative price shopping online, before you buy set out for the mall, can help make your Black Friday shopping more efficient.
Maximize Advance Alerts. Do you have favorite retailers? Sign up for their email alerts and take advantage of special social network opportunities. Many stores work to reward your loyalty and you may get a jump on special offers.
Know Store Return Policies. Knowing the store policies on returns can help you decide where to buy. Retailers may include restocking fees, shorter return deadlines and other terms and conditions. Also, be sure you understand the return policy on seasonal and sale items.
Ask for Gift Receipts. Gift receipts generally include a description of the item purchased but do not disclose the price paid. Without proof-of-purchase, the recipient may be turned down for returning or exchanging the item, or risk receiving an exchange at a lower price.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

THANKFUL FOR MAPLEWOOD

On a day in which we are thankful for what we have, we remain thankful to be in Maplewood, a town that offers many more positives than negatives.

Yes, I have and will tweak about the high property taxes here and offer my complaints when deserved, but for the most part this is a very welcoming, diverse, safe and well-run community.

The Township Committee, even with things done I might oppose, is among the best in the state. The TC members do their best to serve us with a dedication and approach that all can agree is aimed at helping and improving the township. I've often said Mayor De Luca is everywhere, and always on top of issues - from gay marriage to helping during the post-Sandy clean-up.

The other TC members also put in many hours for a minor stipend and none have even had a whiff of scandal aT a time when many other Garden Sate towns have seen leaders indicted, arrested and thrown out for poor management.

We also have the most adorable downtown, Maplewood ViLlage, which is a picture postcard of Rockwellian charm. Our schools are well-run and the diversity of Maplewood is matched by no one else.

If you are in any way discriminatory or feel judgmental of others, your place is not here. Instead, this is a place we can be thankful allows us to raise families well and enjoy many opportunities and acts of kindness, generosity and fun.

A VERY TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE THANKSGIVING


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

MEET MAPLEWOOD'S ROCK OPERA STAR



If you don't know Alexander Kariotis, he of Alex Kariotis and the Rock Opera Orchestra, you are missing one of Maplewood's most talented musicians.

His music combines a great mix of rock music and opera classic. And his most recent work is out today.

Check out the new single, Nessun Dorma - No One Sleeps - HERE.

And learn more about his great musical style HERE.


You can also see one of his past performances below:



FLOOD ADVISORY THIS MORNING

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN UPTON NY HAS ISSUED A
* FLOOD WARNING FOR URBAN AREAS AND SMALL STREAMS IN... HUDSON COUNTY IN NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY... ESSEX COUNTY IN NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY... BERGEN COUNTY IN NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY... UNION COUNTY IN NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY... PASSAIC COUNTY IN NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY...
* UNTIL 1000 AM EST.
* AT 400 AM EST... RADAR AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT ONE TO TWO INCHES OF RAIN HAD FALLEN ACROSS MOST OF NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY... CAUSING URBAN AND POOR DRAINAGE FLOODING... AND MINOR FLOODING OF SOME SMALL STREAMS IN THE WARNING AREA.

FLOODING OUTSIDE JEFFERSON SCHOOL

...Scanner reports flooding in front of Jefferson School, sewer clogged......

ETHICAL CULTURE GROUP TO HELP "UNDEREARNERS"

7:30pm

The Prosperity Group will focus on confronting the challenges of underearning through a program set forth by Underearners Anonymous (US), a Twelve Step Fellowship of men and women who have come together to help themselves and one another recover from underearning. While the most visible consequence of underearning is the inability to provide for one’s needs, including future needs, underearning is also about the inability to fully acknowledge and express our capabilities and competencies. It is about underachieving, or under-being, no matter how much money we make. The Prosperity Group will meet Wednesdays at 7:30p.m. at the Ethical Culture Society in Maplewood.


at the Ethical Culture Society, 516 Prospect Street, cnr of Parker Ave.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

TOWNSHIP STORM WARNING ISSUED

From the Township this afternoon:

Possible Nor'easter Storm

A weather system will impact New Jersey this week. The approaching storm appears to be mostly heavy rain and moderate winds. Please plan accordingly for possible freezing rain and flooding from 2-4 inches of rain accompanied by strong winds.

In case of emergency call 9-1-1.

The Township is prepared to take action in case of emergencies, storm damages, downed trees, downed power lines, etc.

In case of power loss, the Township will communicate information through the Township's website and Mobile application.

Safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving.

AUTO THEFTS, ROBBERY AND A PAIR OF ARRESTS MARK POLICE WEEK

From Maplewood Police today:

November 22, 2013, Burglary Attempt; Two individuals were observed by residences 
attempting to force entry into a home on Midland Blvd.  The police were 
contacted, responded and were able to locate the couple attempting to leave the 
area.  The actors were identified as Matthew Cardiello, age 30 of Warren and. 
Nancy Fico, age 23 of Chatham.  Both were arrested and charged with the 
attempted burglary.

November 22, 2013, Auto theft; During the overnight hours, a vehicle was stolen 
from a home on Boyden Ave.

November 23, 2013, Robbery;  At approximately 6 PM a male walked into the 76 Gas 
Station on Springfield Ave and asked for two packs of cigarettes.  When the 
attendant asked for the money, the male pushed the attendant and walked away 
with the cigarettes.    

November 25, 2013, Auto theft; At approximately 730 AM a vehicle that was left 
running in the driveway of a Harvard Ave residence was stolen.

OBAMACARE HELP TONIGHT

 


7:30 P.M. NJ Citizen Action in cooperation with the Maplewood Health Dept. will hold an informational meeting at the Maplewood Community Center, 120 Burnett Ave., concerning the new Federal Health Care law. Topics to be dicscussed include: how to enroll, what is the Marketplace, what is difference between plans, how this changes Medicaid, what documentation is required, how you current insurance plan may change. This is a good opportunity for everyone to better understand this new law.

MEDICAL INSURANCE HELP TODAY

Noon:
Free Help from the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
Medicare Part D prescription plans & Medicare Advantage Health Plans
SHIP provides free help to New Jersey Medicare beneficiaries who have questions about benefits and claims, supplement policies, and long-term care insurance.
Trained counselors will provide information and assistance for evaluating health insurance needs and dealing with claims. The counselors do not provide legal advice. There will be information on extra help for people Medicare recipients with limited financial resources.

To schedule a 30 minute appointment, please contact Angela Ellerbe at 973-643-5710 ext. 129.

Items to bring with you:
A current list of prescriptions, including dosage, strengths and instructions OR your actual prescription bottles
Your Medicare card
A list of your preferred pharmacies
Any correspondence you’ve received from former employers, government agencies or a Medicare prescription drug plan regarding Medicare Part D
November 26
12-5 pm at Hilton Branch
SHIP is a statewide program sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Human Services with major funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal Medicare agency.

Monday, November 25, 2013

MAPLEWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL HEAT SHUTDOWN

UPDATE: Still no official word from the district or the middle school on this despite our inquiries. Hope things are better today.

Getting reports today that the heat was out for much of the day at much of Maplewood Middle School, requiring some students to be placed in the school's auditorium for at least a portion of time.

Seeking more details and any word on how it may affect the rest of the week.


JAZZ NIGHT AT THE PARK WOOD TONIGHT

 7 - 8:30 PM , The Well Fed Trio plays jazz and any other kind of music that occurs to them. Violinist and guitarist, Dave Rimeliis, bassist , Ron Naspo, and drummer, John Straus are thankful for this ongoing gig at a sweet place to have a meal and have some fun. 

1958 Springfield Avenue

BYOB , and enjoy the musical surprises that always "lively up" this gig. 


We eagerly await the return of our regular bassist Jim Buchanan.

DICKENS VILLAGE SET UP BEGINS

We came across some township workers setting up the Dickens Village today.

See the full schedule of events HERE.


WEICHERT TOY DRIVE STARTS TODAY




Please drop off new unwrapped toys at our Weichert office. We will be collecting through January 5th, 2013.


Maplewood at the Mill, 697 Valley Street

Maplewood

Sunday, November 24, 2013

MAPLEWOOD CLIMATE CHANGE EVENT TODAY


BIG WIND AND COLD TODAY

From the National Weather Service today:

WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EST THIS EVENING...
* LOCATIONS... LOWER HUDSON VALLEY... NEW YORK CITY... LONG ISLAND... NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY... AND SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT.
* HAZARDS... STRONG WINDS.
* WINDS... NORTHWEST 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 45 MPH.
* TIMING... STRONGEST WINDS WILL OCCUR FROM LATE MORNING THROUGH LATE AFTERNOON.
* IMPACTS... DOWNED TREE LIMBS AND ISOLATED POWER OUTAGES.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
A WIND ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS OF 31 TO 39 MPH... OR GUSTS OF 46 TO 57 MPH... ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT... ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. USE EXTRA CAUTION.

CONVENIENCE STORE SHOOTING SUSPECT PLEADS GUILTY

The man who had been accused of shooting the owner of a Maplewood convenience store earlier this year has pleaded guilty to that crime and a long list of others, according to authorities.

The FBI issued a release this week that revealed Bobby Dawson, 30, of Newark, had agreed to a plea agreement that will send him to prison on charges of car-jacking, robberies and the discharging of a firearm in one of the robberies, the shooting of the owner of MS&K Confectionery at Prospect and Springfield avenues on April 1. No word on when he will be sentenced

See the release below:

NEWARK, NJ—A Newark, New Jersey man today admitted committing 17 armed robberies of commercial establishments throughout Union, Essex, and Bergen counties, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Bobby Dawson, 30, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls to a three-count information charging him with committing an armed carjacking, conspiring to commit Hobbs Act robberies, and discharging a firearm during the commission of one of those robberies.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Dawson conspired with others to rob commercial establishments as follows:
Dawson and his conspirators robbed each of these establishments at gunpoint, stealing cash, cigarettes, and other items. In 15 of the 17 robberies, Dawson and his conspirators used zipties or duct tape to restrain their victims.

In the MS&K robbery on April 1, 2013, Dawson threatened the clerk of the store with a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun. When the clerk resisted, Dawson fired his gun at the clerk, ordered the clerk to lie down, and then stole $9,000 from the cash register.

JUST FOUR OPEN HOUSES TODAY

Too cold for an open house?

Not for everyone.

Only a handful today, but check them out to find your new home or see what the market has to offer.

Full, short list HERE.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

OBAMACARE HELP

1:30 p.m.

Diagnosing Obamacare: How to Navigate the New Health Care Law. The community is invited to this presentation aimed at demystifying the Affordable Care Act. Former geriatric social worker and health insurance counselor Esther Barcun has received extensive training in the new health care law. She will explain the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and how it aims to meet three goals: provide affordable health insurance, promote better healthcare and wellness, and reduce the cost of healthcare. 

In addition, Barcun will clarify some of the more confusing aspects of this complicated law. Among the topics Barcun will cover are enrollment periods, the individual mandate, the marketplace, premium tax credits, reduced cost sharing, Medicaid expansion, and the implication for employers. This event is free, though an RSVP is appreciated.

Ethical Culture Society, 516 Prospect st. http://www.essexethical.org

BIG LIBRARY BOOK SALE WEEKEND

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE COMING SOON

The Theater Project to Present IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: THE RADIO PLAY, 11/30The Theater Project will present its holiday production of "It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play" on Saturday, November 30, 2013. The performance will take place at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Durand Rd, Maplewood, NJ.
The Theater Project's company of local professional actors will recreate the Lux Radio Theater circa 1947 as twelve actors, a musician and one extremely overworked sound technician prepare for the big radio broadcast of the story made famous in the Frank Capra film of the same name.

"Every year, some of our favorite actors come together and donate their time to create this event as a gift to our supportive community," says Mark Spina, Artistic Director of The Theater Project. "It allows us say thank you, to our audiences and to each other, for celebrating theater together all year long. It's our living holiday card."

Friday, November 22, 2013

END THE TEACHER TENURE SCAM

This week we reported on the case of two South Orange Maplewood School District teachers who were cited for either improper behavior or lack of accountability and slated for firing, but able to keep their jobs because of the antiquated tenure system.

This system, which for some reason is allowed to remain, allows teachers to be given lifetime jobs if they stay with the same school district for more than four years. What other profession does this?

Some changes have occurred, with Gov. Chris Christie signing a bill last year that pushed the tenure year start date to take place after four years rather than the previous three, while adding some other requirements.

But still, school districts are basiclaly stuck with teachers who, in many cases, do not deseve their jobs or are not held accountable.

In the cases we sought, the district had to go to an administrative law judge to plead their case, ultimately turned down in each instance with the teachers given lengthy suspensions, but allowed to return to work.

I am a major supporter of teachers and believe that all of the teachers my children have had in this district have been outstanding. Teaching children and keeping them disciplined is among the hardest jobs in the world, and often not rewarded nearly enough.

But, at the same time, the tenure system also punishes non-tenured teachers who are forced out of jobs simply because the district does not want to be stuck with more teachers it has to employ. 

Until something is done to phase out this practice, perhaps giving current tenured teachers the protection, but lifting it for future teachers and allowing districts to hire teachers beyond four years without being stuck with lifetime employment, things will to change and we will be denied the best possible teaching staff we can have, and our kids deserve.

EARLY BLACK FRIDAY TODAY?

http://forum.maplewoodonline.com/uploads/FileUpload/71/95e109bcd8f2a5b97442ce15486218.jpg

Thursday, November 21, 2013

SPECIAL REPORT: THE TEACHER THE DISTRICT WANTED TO FIRE BUT COULDN'T

A Maplewoodian.com investigation into a new Maplewood Middle School teacher finds that the district wanted to fire him last year for actions it deemed unacceptable during his previous position at Columbia High School, but was blocked due to state tenure protections.

While he was suspended for 120 days, Wayne Calandriello deserved to lose his job, the district contends. But he was not let go and found a new position at MMS this year. This has drawn concern among parents and students at the school who have been learning since September via the web about who he is.

See the story HERE.

SPRINGFIELD AVENUE PARTNERSHIP MEETING TONIGHT

7:30pm

Meet the Springfield Avenue Partnership New Leaders

Julie Doran, the new director of the Springfield Avenue Partnership, and Deb Yohannan, the new assistant director, will speak at the Hilton Neighborhood Association meeting on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 7:30 PM in DeHart Community Center, 120 Burnett Avenue, Maplewood.

Learn about the upcoming projects, plans for growing business and community on the Avenue, and ideas for the Partnership and the HNA to work together. Bring your suggestions and questions. A Q&A session will follow the presentation. Everyone is welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served. For further information, contact cabms@aol.com or 973-761=4672.

LIBRARY WRITING LAB TODAY








Hilton Writing Lab The Hilton Library Writing Lab offers one-on-one help with all aspects of writing for students in grades 3-12. Local authors will help you to improve your writing in all subject areas. Bring in an assignment or just do some creative writing. It's FREE every Thursday that school is in session, from 4:30-6. Drop in to Hilton Branch Library and check it out!






Wednesday, November 20, 2013

MAPLEWOODONLINE DOWN, FOR THE MOMENT

UPDATE: site is back up, but still no explanation

It appears Maplewoodonline is down. Efforts to get on the site for the past 20 minutes have proved fruitless for us and others.

Still seeking cause and when it will be up.

Just getting this notice

Server not found

Firefox can't find the server at www.maplewoodonline.com.

    Check the address for typing errors such as ww.example.com instead of www.example.com
    If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection.
    If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.


Will advise

SPECIAL REPORT THURSDAY - THE TEACHER THE DISTRICT WANTED TO FIRE BUT COULDN'T

Our investigation coming Thursday morning on how the school district tried to fire a tenured teacher for a string of offenses, but the state blocked the move.

Now he's at Maplewood Middle School.

Check back tomorrow.

STUPID LEAF COLLECTION CONTINUES

It's that time of year again, when Maplewood continues the stupid leaf collection approach ever invented, where we rake our leaves out into the street, causing driving hazards, and letting them blow around for days before being picked up by a giant claw that often misses many of the leaves.

A better approach please!

FREE ADULT HEALTH SCREENING TODAY

10 a.m.

Free Adult Health Clinic staffed by Maplewood Health Department Registered Nurse providing blood pressure and weight measurement, health and medication counseling, carotid bruits screening, diabetes and metabolic risk assessments as needed and referrals as required. For an appointment, call the Health Department at 973-762-8120, ext 4300. Walk-ins welcome. - Clinic at Maplewood Senior Residence- 564 Irvington Avenue, Maplewood

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

SCHOOL BOARD REJECTS CHS POOL RENOVATION

With pressure from a slew of residents, including those who signed an online petition opposing the $8 million project, the Board of Education voted unanimously last night not to renovate the dilapidated Columbia High School pool and instead renovate the space for classroom use.

The 8-0 vote did not include board member Bill Gaudeli, who was absent.

TOY DRIVE IS ON


Monday, November 18, 2013

KENNY LOGGINS AT WORDS BOOKS TONIGHT

Recording Star Kenny Loggins will be at Words Bookstore tonight at 6:30 p.m. to sign copies of his new children's book, Frosty the Snowman, which also includes a CD of three songs.

More information on it HERE.

We caught up with Loggins for a quick Q&A. See it below:


Tell us about this project and why you wanted to do a holiday-related song book?



“Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary asked me to consider and I jumped at the chance. Peter has an imprint called Peter Yarrow books.”



 How did you get started in music and what was your big break?



“My first one is House of Pooh Corner by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, then when Clive Davis signed Loggins and Messina to Columbia Records.”



As the father of five, did you sing many holiday songs to them? And what role did that have in this newest project?



“I sang a lot of bedtime songs to my children over

the holidays...then I replaced myself when I recorded my children's albums.”