Thursday, February 28, 2013

CHS FENCING WINS STATE TITLE

Photo - Star--Ledger: Bryn Hammarberg 
Star-Ledger reports:


For the second year in a row, sophomore Bryn Hammarberg of Columbia found himself in the clinching bout of a state championship match.
His freshman year, Hammarberg and his teammates came away with silver. This year, they took home the gold.

Led by an undefeated performance from Hammarberg, including the clinching 26th bout, Columbia earned its third state title in four years with a 14-13 victory over Watchung Hills in the finals of the NJSIAA team tournament last night at Morris Hills in Rockaway.

Hammarberg came up big all night. In the first round, with his team trailing, 4-2, after a surprising 3-0 sweep from Watchung Hills in foil, Hammarberg defeated Watchung Hills epee ace Eric Gardner, 4-3, to slow the opposing team’s momentum and allow Columbia to leave the first round trailing by only 5-4.



Read more HERE.

MAYOR SEEKS TO BACK-UP WOMEN'S CLUB PURCHASE

Looks like Mayor Vic De Luca is trying to back-up the recent deal struck to by the TC to buy the Women's Club for $1 million, and perhaps make it a parking lot or, at the least, a money pit.

The Township today posted his statement from the Feb. 19 meeting where the deal was announced.

Good background on the issue HERE.

Oddly, he declined to respond to our request for more reasons for making the purchase.

See his statement HERE and below:


Statement by Mayor Victor DeLuca on Acquiring the Womans Club Property

This is Mayor DeLuca's Statement read by him at the February 19, 2013 Township Committee Meeting.
We were saddened last month when we heard that Tom Kerns was no longer going to purchase the Woman's Club. Tom and the Woman crafted an agreement that we thought was positive for Maplewood Village and the entire community.
At the Township Committee's February 5th meeting, we asked ourselves if we should buy the property for public use. We agreed to explore a purchase and I am happy to announce that we have reached a deal with the Woman's Club to purchase the property for $1 million.
Paramount in the decision was our strong interest in maintaining the viability of Maplewood Village as a premier shopping area. The Woman's Club property will give us the ability to dramatically increase Village parking to service the community's needs. By making no changes to the site, we would add nearly 60 parking spaces, about equal to the number of spots along the entire length of Maplewood Avenue or the spots in Ricalton parking lot. Different configurations of the space will increase the amount of parking that could be available in the future.
We also are aware if the building's importance in this community. Who has not been to a function in the Woman's Club? Sadly time has not been a friend to the building. Our intention is to evaluate what it would take to keep the building standing. We will explore a partnership with non-profit groups and the private sector to see what is possible. We understand the value of that building and will be guided by its history as we move forward.
We are buying the property for half its listing price. Least anyone think that it was our negotiating skills, let me assure you that it was not. The reason why we were able to reach this deal is due to the dedication and commitment to Maplewood by the members of the Woman's Club. They could have made more on the sale to a developer but instead want to work with the Township to create a community benefit. Acquiring this property is a game changer for Maplewood Village. We thank the members of the Woman's Club for their decision to sell the property to the Township.


ROMAN GOURMET NOW DELIVERS

Just spotted this notice on their window.



But it is through a third-party site HERE. Still, check it out for what I see as the best pizza in town


BIG LIBRARY DAY TODAY

You want library programs? You got them - all of these on for today.

11 A.M. - Pre-School Storytime

Main Library * Ages 2 and 1/2 – 5  *
Registration required.  All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Wednesdays @ 4pm 2/27 – 3/6 – 3/13 – 3/20 OR Thursdays @ 11am 2/28 – 3/7 – 3/14 – 3/21

Trivia Questions

 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm ( Repeating Weekly on Thu, until February 28, 2013 )
Hilton Branch – Every Thursday in February  there will be a new question about Black American artists. Answer the question correctly and win a prize!
Teen Time 
3:30 pm - 6:00 pm ( Repeating Weekly on Thu, until February 28, 2013 )
Main Library – Teens, join us in Memorial Hall to play Wii, Playstation 2, use laptops or just hang out.

Hilton Writing Lab

 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm ( Repeating Weekly on Thu, until March 28, 2013 )
Hilton Branch * All ages * One-on-one writing help for students.  The lab is staffed by trained coaches and will help improve each student’s writing in all subject areas. Students may bring some writing ideas or an assignment from school. No registration necessary – just drop in.

Hilton HIFE College Planning Program

February 28, 2013: 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Off to college
Hilton Branch – Reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.  If you have a student who is entering or currently in college, don’t miss this opportunity to find out more about how to position your student to qualify for grants, loans and scholarships.
After an overview, participants will be able to schedule a free one-on-one session with consultants.  Seating is limited.  Please register at http://hifecppMaplewood.eventbrite.com .
Presented by Heartland Institute


MAPLEWOOD DEMOCRATIC HALL OF FAME TO INDUCT TWO


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

TUSCAN SCHOOL MORNING POLICIES UNDER THE GUN AGAIN


Tuscan School’s morning drop-off and bad weather procedures took center stage again Tuesday night at a Tuscan PTA meeting where concerns were raised by parents about both.

Tuscan Elementary School Principal Malikah Majeed insisted that the sudden and unexpected elimination of indoor line-ups during inclement weather is working “just fine” at the PTA Roundtable in the school library.

Some Tuscan parents who attended the meeting disagreed, noting that it was very stressful to attempt to arrive at the school at the precise time the doors open on inclement weather days. And exactly when those the school doors open on rainy days like today is still confusing to many parents.

Majeed admitted that on inclement weather days, she is willing to open the doors at 8:42 a.m. instead of the usual 8:45 a.m. but “doesn’t advertise” that because she wants everyone to arrive on time. The late bell continues to ring at 8:53 rain or shine, according to Majeed.

She was also asked why every other elementary school in the Maplewood/South Orange school district is able to accommodate indoor line up except Tuscan.

Majeed stated that the school now has five teachers on a Safety Patrol stipend -- up from three last year -- who are assigned to assist students into the building in the mornings during drop off.

So why can’t the Tuscan accommodate indoor line-up this year when it was able to do so for approximately a decade up until last fall and now has two more Safety Patrol teachers on the stipend?

We will see as the policies continue.

YOUTH BASKETBALL SCHEDULE CHANGED AGAIN - TO SUNDAY

After two weeks that were postponed due to "scheduling conflicts" the winter Saturday morning youth basketball program is being moved to Sunday afternoon for this final week.

This notice was sent to parents today:


HELLO EVERYONE!
THE FINAL WEEK OF MAPLEWOOD RECREATION'S WINTER BASKETBALL PROGRAM WILL BE HELD THIS WEEKEND! 
PROGRAMMING WILL BE HELD ON SUNDAY MARCH 3RD AT COLUMBIA HIGH SCHOOL. 
WE WILL BE USING THE MAIN GYM. THE ENTRANCE TO THE GYM IS LOCATED IN THE REAR OF THE SCHOOL, OFF OF VALLEY STREET. 
TIMES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

3RD-5TH GRADE GIRLS - 2:15P-3:15P
3RD & 4TH GRADE BOYS - 3:15P-4:00P
5TH GRADE BOYS - 4:00P-4:45P

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CONTACT THE RECREATION DEPARTMENT AT (973) 763-4202
THANK YOU
MAPLEWOOD RECREATION DEPARTMENT


This comes after the league screwed-up and scheduled two of the sessions for days when the Middle School gym turned out not to be available. It would have been nice if they had nailed the availability down when they scheduled the league in the first place.

Now they foul it up again, moving the last rescheduled session to Sunday afternoon. A Recreation Department staffer said this is because the softball tryouts are in the middle school gym on Saturday.


NJ TRANSIT TRAIN DELAYS


This from NJTransit.com

Travel Alerts
Feb 27, 2013  08:13:00 AM
Morris & Essex Line trains are subject to 10-15 minute delays in both directions between Dover and Newark Broad Stations due to over wire problems near Summit.
Feb 27, 2013  08:12:03 AM
M&E Line train #6318 the 7:59am from Maplewood Station is Cancelled due to mechanical problem. Passengers to train #6320 the 8:17am from Summit Station.
Service Advisories

FREE ADULT HEALTH SCREENING TODAY


Time:10:30am
Information:Free Adult Health Screenings 
Adults 18 and older can get free blood pressure and carotid bruit screenings, and health and medication counseling. Staffed by Maplewood Health Dept. nurses. For an appointment, call 973-762-8120, ext. 4300. Drop-ins are also welcome. 
Wednesday, February 27 
10:30 am to noon at Main Library 

DURAND ROAD CLOSING STARTS TODAY

This from the Township:


MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood Township Engineering Department has announced that Durand Road will be closing for repairs from Brookside Road to Ridgewood Road, on or about Monday, Feb. 27.
The township will be replacing a sanitary sewer line in the street. It is estimated that the work will take about four days to complete. Parking will be prohibited on Durand Road from Brookside Road for approximately 170 feet toward Ridgewood Road. However, Brookside Road will remain open for school traffic, and residents on Durand will have access to their driveways.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

CHS STUDENTS ROBBED AT GUNPOINT

PATCH reports:


Two Columbia High School students walking home from a basketball game on Parker Avenue Monday night were robbed of a cell phone by two juveniles wielding a handgun, said Capt. John Perna of the Maplewood Police Department.
The students were walking home from the high school at around 8 p.m. when they were approached by two males in their late teens near the intersection of Richmond Avenue, said Perna. One of the teens, who was reported to be carrying a handgun, asked one of the two students for her cell phone, Perna said.

WATCH GOV. CHRISTIE'S BUDGET ADDRESS TODAY

Watch Gov. Chris Christie's budget address today live at 3 p.m. below:



Watch live streaming video from governorchrischristie at livestream.com

TUSCAN SCHOOL PTA MEETS TUESDAY NIGHT - HAVE YOUR SAY

For Tuscan School parents concerned about recent issues such as the morning drop-off zones without volunteers, the strict 8:45 a.m. school day that bars students from showing up even a minute early without a parent and leaves them out in bad weather, and any other issues, the Tuscan PTA is set to meet Tuesday evening as per this notice sent Monday:


Dear Tuscan Families,

Friendly reminder, PTA Roundtable before our Executive Board Meeting on Tuesday, February 26th.

Parents and guardians are welcome and encouraged to attend from 7:00pm-7:30pm in the Tuscan Library to hear information and ask questions about:  morning arrival, inclement weather, recess, technology, air conditioning, school budget cycle. 

Sharon Huetz
PTA President

TEACHERS UNION IGNORING CONTRACT TALKS?

It seems like just yesterday that the South Orange-Maplewood Education Association, our district's teachers union, signed a new contract, but it will expire in only a matter of months.

And apparently the SOMEA is taking its time getting into contract talks.


PATCH reports that district officials Monday night complained that they were not getting any feedback from the union with the contract set to expire in June.

PATCH writes:


Sandra Karriem, chairperson of the South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education's negotiating task force, said at Monday's board meeting that the South Orange Maplewood Education Association (SOMEA) teachers' union had not yet responded to the board's overtures to begin negotiations on the current teachers' contract, which will expire on June 30. 
Since September, Superintendent Brian Osborne has issued monthly reminders at board meetings that the current contract will expire in June of this year. Monday night, Karriem said she thought the public deserved to know where the negotiations stand.
The board is "deeply committed" to reaching a mutually satiscfactory contract and the task force has been meeting regularly with a consultant since September to discuss the process and formulate a proposal, said Karriem.
The current contract required the board and SOMEA to begin negotiations by Feb. 1, 2013, a deadline that has passed.


You may recall the teachers union received extra time off on conference days and other give backs in exchange for a slight increase in health insurance benefits for its last contract. The union has also taken to such in-your-face protests as leaving bulletin boards in the school blank and sporting pro-union t-shirts on the job, which is their right.

Let's hope these talks go easier than last time.

Monday, February 25, 2013

SCHOOL BOARD DISCUSSES DISTRICT BUDGET TONIGHT

The Board of Education meets tonight, with the latest school district budget proposal among items to be discussed.

See more on the budget HERE.

See tonight's agenda HERE.

THEFTS AND A BURGLARY MARK POLICE WEEK

This just in from Maplewood Police:


February 18, 2013; Theft of Packages; A resident of Prospect St reported that a package was removed from outside their home.

February 19, 2013; Burglary; During the daytime hours a home on Berkely St was entered and electronics and a gaming system were removed.

February 19, 2013; Theft from Motor Vehicle; During the overnight hours, a vehicle that was left unlocked and parked on Hudson Ave was entered and a GPS and paperwork were removed. 

February 24, 2013; Theft from Vehicle; A unlocked vehicle parked on Meadowbrook Pl was entered and a gym bag was removed.

MAPLEWOOD GREEN DRINKS TONIGHT


When
Monday, February 25, 2013
7:00 pm-9:00 pm Add to Calendar





 
Where
Elks Lodge
220 Prospect Street
South Orange, NJ 07079

This month's speaker will be Nora Shepard, the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program Manager at Meadowlink.  Meadowlink, in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) provides Safe Routes to School programs to schools and municipalities. 

The Safe Routes to Schools program is being piloted at Tuscan School in Maplewood.  Ms. Shepard will talk about the Walking School Bus Tuscan Pilot that is moving forward with Meadowlink, and then tell us how to get involved at Tuscan and how to start it at the other schools in the district and beyond. 

The Maplewood Green Team is proud to bring this tradition to you. At these events, held periodically, you will meet many members of our community, both those actively involved in our green initiatives and those just finding out more. It's a great opportunity to make new friends, to learn all the latest environmental information, and to help make a difference in our town.

Everyone is welcome, ask your friends and spread the word!  No fee, cash bar.
Click below and Register to let us know you're coming!
Register Now!
I can't make it
If you have any questions, please shoot us an email and we will get right back to you.

We look forward to seeing you at Green Drinks!

Sincerely,

PODCAST - MAPLEWOOD REAL ESTATE EXPERT MARK SLADE

We caught up with our favorite real estate agent, Mark Slade of Keller Williams.

He chatted about the state of Maplewod's real estate world, who is selling and buying, and why, and what makes Maplewood a great market these days.

Also tips on why you need to make your home look its best and when and why people in our town are buying, selling or just looking around.

Listen below:

video

Sunday, February 24, 2013

MAPLEWOOD'S OWN OSCAR NOMINEE GOES FOR THE GOLD TONIGHT

Jamie Ross over at MOL did a great interview with Tim Squyres, the Maplewood resident and Oscar-nominated editor of Life of Pi
He goes for the gold statue tonight.

Hear his story below:


GREAT BLACK HISTORY MONTH TALK TODAY

Time:2:00pm
Information:Durand–Hedden presents for Black History Month: To Cast a Freedman’s Vote: How a Handyman from Perth Amboy Made Civil Rights History Sunday, February 24 at 2:00 p.m. 

On March 31, 1870, Perth Amboy resident Thomas Mundy Peterson dropped a ballot into a box. It was a simple action that took, perhaps, all of a second or two. Yet, in that moment, Peterson made history as the first African-American to vote under the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution. 
Many factors had conspired to make that moment possible, from the bloody Civil War to surprisingly progressive local attitudes. This new presentation by NJ historian, author, and lecturer Gordon Bond, to take place at 2:00 p.m., explores who Thomas Mundy Peterson was, how he came to cast his historic vote and what happened afterward. This talk summarizes the work done by Bond and other NJ historians to tell Peterson’s story. It is a study in race relations that resonates with us even today. 
From 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. visitors will also be able to view the exhibit After the Hickories: Roosevelt Park, and the Country Store will be open, with its unique selection of souvenirs and books. 
The Durand-Hedden House and surrounding Grasmere Park were designated a Maplewood Historic Landmark in 2006. The Durand-Hedden House and Garden Association is dedicated to telling the story of the development of Maplewood and the surrounding area in new and engaging ways. 
For more information, call 973-763-7712. The Durand-Hedden House is located at 523 Ridgewood Road in Maplewood. 

JERRY RYAN ON WOMEN'S CLUB, BUT OTHERS DECLINE

We asked each of the Township Committee members to offer some reason for why the Township is buying the Women's Club building for $1 million.

See more background on the issue HERE.

All but one of them, TC Member and former mayor Jerry Ryan, declined our request.

Ryan stated the following in an email:

"There's a lot of data indicating a need for more parking in Maplewood Village. Lots of people have approached the town on this. There's a lot of sentiment to keep the Woman's Club property and not have it be converted into some other use such as housing. The action that the Township's started here addresses both of these points. The price is very low, and the annual cost for the purchase over the life of financing is roughly a sixth of a tax point."

NINE OPEN HOUSES TODAY

Check out the list of open houses in town HERE.

Whether you want to buy, sell or find out what is worth what.

Also, look for our podcast interview with Real Estate Expert Mark Slade on Monday.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

TUSCAN SCHOOL NURSE MAKES BIG MISTAKE

This might upset some parents, it did bother me.

Sources indicate a parent at Tuscan School was called home from New York Friday after the school nurse phoned the family to say that one of their children was sick.

When the mom arrived and began leaving with the child, he told the parent he had not been sick, it had been someone else in his class.

When the nurse was informed, she apologized. But this would seem to be a troubling situation when the nurse does not even know which child is sick and forces a parent to come home from work in Manhattan.

Are you listening Principal Malikah Majeed? Probably not.


CHECK OUT OUR NEW LOOK

Presenting our new design.

We tightened up some things on the home page, made it a bit clearer and cleaner.

Hope you like it. Let us know


DE LUCA ATTENDS MAYORS EVENT WITH PSE&G PREZ - GRILL HIM, MAYOR

Mayor Vic DeLuca will join other mayors for the Essex and Passaic County Meet the Mayors event next month, with the special guest the president of PSE&G, Ralph A. LaRossa

Hope they grill him about the terrible infrastructure and poor service during Hurricane Sandy. 

See details below:

Area residents are invited to have breakfast with more than 20 mayors from Essex and Passaic County.
The third annual Meet the Mayors event will take place on Saturday, March 23, from 9 to 11 a.m., at Crane’s Mill, 459 Passaic Ave., in West Caldwell.
Mayors from all 22 towns in Essex County, as well as Little Falls and Clifton, are invited to enjoy a hot breakfast and mingle at this free event.
This year’s speaker is Ralph A. LaRossa, President & COO of PSE&G.

Friday, February 22, 2013

LAST DAY FOR NJ TRANSIT SURVEY - TAKE IT HERE


This is the last day to take the NJ Transit customer survey.

Check it out HERE and tell them what you think.

You could win a prize.


TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE PRIMARY CHALLENGERS STILL UNKNOWN

As the Maplewood Democratic Central Committee seeks candidates to run for the lone Township Committee seat up this year, so far the interest has been slim.

Democratic Committee Chair Ian Grodman told us he has gotten interest from one potential candidate, who eventually chose not to run.

The Democratic Committee is asking potential candidates who wish to seek the Committee endorsement to submit their names by March 1.

TC Member Marlon Brownlee has said he is running for re-election to the seat, which includes a three-year term.

The deadline for candidates to file to run in the primary for the Democratic or Republican parties is April 1.

The primary election is set for June 4.

SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET UPDATE

This posted today at the school district website:

2013-2014 Budget Workshop Update


The Board of Education held a special Budget Workshop on February 20, 2013.

Cheryl Schneider, Business Administrator and Board Secretary, presented an overview of the budget development process, highlighting the alignment of the budget to the district goals, indicating the amount needed to be reduced, where the reductions were made, and the tax impact of the Superintendent’s recommended budget.  The PowerPoint presentation is available here.

The Superintendent asked the Board to consider using some of the available banked cap to purchase technology in preparation for new, state mandated student assessments.  The Board is considering all of the information presented, including this request, and will be discussing the budget at the regular Board meeting on Monday, February 25, 2013.


2013-2014 Budget Calendar
Mon., Feb 25
BOE Meeting: Budget Discussion
Tues., Feb 26
Governor’s State Budget Message
By Thurs. Feb 28
State Aid Notices (due within 48 hours of Budget Message)
Mon., Mar 4
BOE Meeting. BOE considers/adopts preliminary budget to submit to Essex County Superintendent
Tues., Mar 5
Address Maplewood Township Committee
Mon., Mar 11
Address Village of South Orange Board of Trustees
Mon., Mar 18
BOE Meeting
Wed., Mar 27
BOE Public Hearing/Action to Levy 2013-2014 school tax


PODCAST - FRED PROFETA DISCUSSES HIS PARK PROPOSAL

We caught up with former Mayor Fred Profeta to ask about his proposal for a new mini-park in a small spot of land near Jefferson School.

PATCH has some great background and photos of the area, which is a combination of school district and township land, HERE.

But we wanted to get the specifics from Profeta himself, including his own $20,000 donation to the project.

Listen below:


video



Thursday, February 21, 2013

NOT GUILTY PLEAS ENTERED IN ST. JAMES GATE INCIDENT


Both of the key figures in the St. James Gate assault incident entered not guilty pleas today in the latest court hearing stemming from the Jan. 7, 2013, incident at the Maplewood Village bar.

Robert Kuttner, attorney for bartender James Meade, said his client did not have to appear in the court hearing today in Bloomfield because he had pleaded not guilty via a letter sent to the court earlier this month. (See below)



“I asked the judge if we had to come back, he said as long as you send a letrer, that is fine, Kuttner told us Thursday. “We confirmed by letter that no appearance would be necessary and he would plead not guilty.

Asked about his client’s chances as he faces claims by patron Ethan Kresofsky of assault and using an anti-gay slur, Kuttner said of Meade, “There’s two sides to every story and we are confident justice wil prevail and the truth will come out.”

Kresofsky, meanwhile, appeared in person for court today, according to his father, Bob, who also viewed the proceedings. Kresofsky is answering to a counter claim filed by Meade that contends Kresofsky assaulted Meade in the incident.

The elder Kresofsky said his son pleaded not guilty as well.
No future court dates have been set.
The case has been transferred to Bloomfield Municipal Court because of a conflict of interest involving Maplewood's municipal judge.

SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET RELEASED, TAX INCREASE AND CUTS CITED

The Board of Education on Wednesday released the latest budget figures for the 2013-2014 school year, with a tax levy budget estimated to be $103,998,642, which represents a 2% increase over the current year budget.

State law requires the school district to cap annual increases at 2%.

However, the SO-M school district could use what is known as a "banked cap," which is savings it took in the last budget below the 2% cap, allowing the district to use that "savings" in the new budget.

If that is done the proposed tax levy budget would increase to $104,473,642.

If the banked cap is utilized, the average Maplewood household tax increase would be $217. 

If the 2% cap is held, the average household tax increase for Maplewood would be $181.

The latest budget presentation can be found HERE.

The budget proposal includes some $2.8 million in spending cuts, among them more than $1.5 million in salary reductions that would eliminate six special education staffers, among other jobs.

The largest increase is more than $2 million in increased salary and benefits for district employees.

The Board of Education will meet again to discuss the budget on Monday, Feb. 25.

ST. JAMES GATE ASSAULT INCIDENT IN COURT TODAY

St. James Gate Bartender James Meade and customer Ethan Kresofsky are set to meet in court today in Bloomfield to answer cross-complaints stemming from a Jan. 7 incident at the bar that involved an alleged scuffle between the two.

Kresofsky has said in a complaint that Meade assaulted him and later claimed he used an anti-gay slur. Meade has filed a counter claim alleging he was injured by Kresofsky in the incident.

The case was moved to Bloomfield due to a conflict involving the Maplewood Municipal Court judge.


TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE APPROVES POOL FEE HIKE FOR EARLIER START

Maplewood Township Committee on Tuesday voted, 4-1, to open the Maplewood Pool earlier, on Memorial Day weekend, and charge residents another $30 per year.

This comes after the average fee for pool memberships jumped 30% to cover costs of renovations and the new slides last year.

Mayor Vic De Luca, who voted for the one-year pilot program increase, cited a survey done by the Township Pool Committee that he said indicated most residents were in favor of the move.

TC member India Larrier was the lone opposing vote. A final vote on the proposal is set for March 5.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ESSEX COUNTY GUN BUYBACK NETS 1,700

NJ.com reports:


NEWARK — One gun was disguised as a pen, delivered by an anxious mother afraid her young sons might find it and accidentally hurt themselves.

Another was brought in by a divorcee who said she didn’t want her ex-husband owning a firearm. A third gun came from a woman who found it tucked away in her laundry room — a place her child could easily find it — just days after her husband promised to dispose of the weapon.

Each of the 1,770 guns turned in during a two-day buyback in Essex County last weekend had a story and Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa wanted to make sure none of those tales ended in tragedy.


Read the rest HERE.

TOWNSHIP SPENDING $1 MILLION TO BUY WOMEN'S CLUB

PATCH reports the Township Committee Tuesday night voted to approve spending $1 million to buy the Women's Club.

See the story HERE and below.

Maplewood Township will purchase the beleaguered Maplewood Woman's Club property for $1 million -- half its listing price -- according to a statement made by Mayor Vic DeLuca at Tuesday's Township Committee meeting.
The committee voted 5-0 to move ahead with the purchase and to authorize the debt to be included in the capital budget.
DeLuca said the committee began to discuss the possible purchase after learning of the recent collapse of the deal between the club and local philanthropist Tom Kerns, founder of the HK Project.
DeLuca said the township wanted to purchase the property to be used for the public.
The fact that the township could gain sorely needed parking spaces was a huge factor in the committee's decision, said Committeeman Jerry Ryan after the meeting. The move would make a minimum of 60 additional parking spaces available to the township, depending on how the space was configured.
"Paramount in the decision was our strong interest in maintaining the viability of Maplewood Village as a premier shopping area," said DeLuca. "The Woman's Club property will give us the ability to dramatically increase Village parking to service the community's needs."

Is this what we need to spend money on at this time when our taxes are through the roof? $1 million is not chump change. 

But if it brings other positives, such as expanded parking, perhaps worth it.