Thursday, July 31, 2014

POLICE RESPOND TO CELL PHONE THEFT REPORT - UPDATE: SUSPECTS CAUGHT

...Scanner indicates police responding to report of three teens who allegedly stole a cell phone from another minor along Rutgers Street near Springfield Avenue...Suspects described as three black teens, the alleged thief on a bicycle...

UPDATE: Three suspects in custody!

SCHOOL DISTRICT UPDATE ON MMS PRINCIPAL SEARCH

From the school district today:

Dear MMS Community,
On Monday, July 28th, the Board of Education appointed Mr. Louis Brown, currently Assistant Principal, to serve as Interim Principal as of August 25th, 2014 as we continue the search for a new permanent principal for MMS.  

 The Board also appointed Mr. Mark Gold, currently a teacher at MMS, to serve as Interim Assistant Principal for the 2014-2015 school year.  Dr. Jonathan Shutman will serve as Interim Assistant Principal during the time that Mr. Brown is serving as Interim Principal. Dr. Shutman has over 20 years of experience as an assistant principal and principal in the Montclair, North Brunswick and Marlboro public schools.

The search for a new principal has already begun. Administration is narrowing the pool and interviews will take place in August.  The interview committee is still being formed, and will consist of MMS staff members, parent representatives, and district administrators. Following the interviews, the committee will recommend 2 or 3 candidates for further evaluation.

We invite input about the c
haracteristics the parent community would like to see in an MMS principal.  If you are interested in providing feedback, please email MMSPrincipalSearch@somsd.k12.nj.us by Thursday, August 7th with your responses to the following questions:

1) What are the two most important questions you would like asked of each candidate?
2) What are the top 5 adjectives you would use to describe an MMS principal?

Your feedback will be used to inform the interview process.

Thank you for your input.

 

James Memoli
Acting Superintendent

NEW JEFFERSON SCHOOL PRINCIPAL SAYS HELLO TO PARENTS

From incoming Jefferson School principal Kim Hutchinson:

Greetings Jefferson Parents and Families,

It is an honor to officially introduce myself as the new Principal of Jefferson Elementary School. My appointment was confirmed by the Board of Education on Monday, July 28, 2014. In my journey to this position, I interviewed in other districts but was most impressed with the rigor and integrity of the South Orange/Maplewood candidate selection process. I felt it was a strong reflection of the priority that this community places on the education of its children, and I am truly honored to have been selected as the Principal of Jefferson.

One of my initial goals is to ensure that the transition from the leadership of Mrs. Grierson to my own is as seamless as possible. I want for you and your children to experience familiarity and comfort during this time. I am very appreciative that Mrs. Grierson and Mrs. Swyberius are working with me this summer on identifying those tasks that will support a smooth opening of school in September.

Over the last several weeks, the involvement of parents at Jefferson has been consistently showcased as one of the school’s greatest strengths. In a building walkthrough that I went on with Mrs. Grierson she pointed out several contributions of the PTA that were representative of the strong partnership that has been established. I feel lucky to be entering a school community that has such a strong and supportive parent base.

Interacting with students, observing their learning process and witnessing their growth is the part of my work that I enjoy the most.  Therefore, I am very much looking forward to building relationships with the students at Jefferson. I have heard such wonderful things about the character of the student body. It is evident that students are enthusiastic learners from the photographs that I have seen, the samples of their work and the accounts from their teachers and administrators. I am anxious to see all of learning that will unfold over the course of this school year. I feel so fortunate to step into a position with such great students, quality educators and a supportive community.

I wish you and your family a wonderful end to your summer. I look forward to getting to know you and your children, and can’t wait for the first day of school! In the interim, I will not be at school every day but please feel free to contact me at khutchin@somsd.k12.nj.us.

Sincerely,
Kim Hutchinson Principal

GROSS GUM WALL GETS CHANNEL 2'S ATTENTION

One of the few black eyes in Maplewood, the disgusting "Gum Wall" under the train trestle on Baker Street, got some more unfortunate attention this week when WCBS Chanel 2 did a story.

This gross display of chewed up substances for some reason is seen as art by a few.

But as the report below reminds us, the property is owned by New Jersey Transit and if you deface it with gum you are committing an at of vandalism.

LOW COST SPAY AND NEUTER CLINIC TODAY

From the Township:

The Associated Humane Society mobile van will be parked in front of the Maplewood Town Hall at 4 p.m. to do low cost dog and cat spaying/neutering.  In the afternoon well care such as rabies vaccinations will be done.Telephone 973-824-7080 x 118 or x121 to make an appointment. This program has received very high marks from those who were able to use this service.

Spaying/neutering is critical in the control of stray and feral cats.  Also it is important to the health of dogs and cats and humans that vaccinations such as rabies be given.  Being a responsible pet owner starts with giving your pet proper vaccinations and having them spayed/neutered. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

FINAL FREE POOL CONCERT TONIGHT

The great free concerts at the Maplewood Pool series concludes tonight at 6:30 p.m. with Dixieland Jazz with Jim Buchanan and Friends.

Spend a lovely summer evening at the pool. Refreshments are available for purchase.Open to members and non-members alike

FINAL SCHOOL CALENDAR APPROVED

The Board of Education on Monday approved the final version of the upcoming school year calendar. It includes a first day of school for kindergarten through 7th grade, and 9th grade, on Thursday, Sept. 4, with the other grades beginning on Friday, Sept. 5.

A short winter recess on Feb. 12 and 13 is included, as well as a spring recess during the week of April 20-24.

Of course, the same three snow days are scheduled and if more are needed they again take them out of the spring recess, beginning with April 24.

See the entire calendar HERE. 


LIBRARY BINGO TODAY

Bingo All ages at Hilton Branch Wed 7/30 @ 4pm
 
Must know your numbers! Drop in



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES NEW TEACHER CONTRACT

The Board of Education unanimously approved a new two-year contract for district teachers, which is retroactive to the last school year and includes the upcoming school year.

The two-year agreement covers the period from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015. The salary increase is 4.25% over the two year agreement, inclusive of increments, with retroactive pay to July 1, 2013. 

The vote was 7-0, with one abstention. Board Member Johanna Wright did not vote because her daughter is a district teacher. One board member was absent. 
The agreement followed a year of tough negotiations that included the South Orange Maplewood Education Association declaring an impasse.


TWO ARMED ROBBERIES TOP POLICE WEEK OF BURGLARIES AND OTHER THEFTS

From Maplewood Police today:

July 24, 2014; Robbery; Two robberies were committed between 11:00and 11:30 PM.  The first was on Dunnell Rd near Jefferson and the second was immediately following this on Jefferson Ave near Walton Rd.  In both cases a male ran up to the juvenile pedestrians, displayed a handgun and demanded their belongings.  Several items were taken from the victims before the actor entered an awaiting vehicle that fled the scene.   No one was injured any either incident.

July 22, 2014; Burglary;  A home on Irvington Ave was entered during the daytime hours and cash and electronics were stolen.

July 22, 2014; Burglary;  An apartment on Chancellor Ave was entered during the late afternoon or early evening hours.  Several pieces of jewelry and electronics were reported stolen.

July 22, 2014; Motor Vehicle Theft: Between 6 and 9:30 PM on 7/21, a Nissan Maxima was stolen from in front of a Heller Pl residence.  It was later recovered in Newark.

July 22, 2014; Robbery; At approximately 11:30 PM, A male walking in the area of Coolidge Rd and Irvington Ave was approached by four males.  The males patted him down and took his cell phone.  The victim was not injured.

July 23, 2014; Motor Vehicle Accident; Officer Defazio was patrolling in an unmarked vehicle on Burnett Ave.  While doing so an 11 year old that was riding their bicycle on the sidewalk, suddenly and without warning turned 90 degrees into the roadway. Officer Defazio was able to quickly maneuver his vehicle and stop.  Once stopped the juvenile struck the rear quarter panel the police vehicle at a low speed.  He was not injured.

July 27, 2014; Cell Phone Theft;  At approximately 8:10 PM, a 16 year old juvenile was walking near Durand Rd and Maplewood Ave when his cell phone was snatched out of his hand by another juvenile.  The juvenile ran South on Maplewood Ave and then up Highland Pl.  Officers responded to the area and Officer Moen was able to locate the suspect on Ridgewood Rd. The 16 year old from Irvington was positively identified and arrested.
 

SIX CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR SCHOOL BOARD THIS FALL

The deadline to file for the upcoming Board of Education election was Monday and when it came and went, six candidates had formerly entered the race for three open seats, according to the Essex County Clerk's Office.

They include Donna Smith and Elissa Malespina of South Orange and Elizabeth Baker, Maureen Jones, Godwin Molokwu, and Anthony Mazzocchi of Maplewood.

The six challengers will vie for the three seats up for grabs in this year's election set for November 5. Those seats are held by Andrea Wren-Hardin, Bill Gaudelli and Sandra Karriem, each of whom is not running again.

The deadline to file was 4 p.m. on Monday.

PROSPECT RUMMAGE SALE COLLECTION IS ON


Prospect Presbyterian Church is currently accepting donations for their Annual Rummage Sale. Donation drop-off times are:

Sunday-Friday
9:30 - 11:30 AM
Tues & Thurs. Evenings 7-9 PM
LAST DAY FOR DONATION DROP OFF IS AUGUST 3.

Clean, gently used or new items such as clothing,
housewares, bric-a-brac, toys, jewelry, collectibles and
furniture that can be easily handled would be appreciated.

Donations should be brought downstairs to the basement
hallway by the main Rummage Room.

Please be sure all are in good working order.
Clean clothes, in "like new" or gently used condition, on hangers, please. (Hangers are available outside the Rummage Room.)

Sale dates are August 17 from 1-4 PM, August 23 from 9:30 AM to 1PM & September 6 from 9:30 AM to 1PM.

All proceeds go to local charities.

Monday, July 28, 2014

BORDEN PARK TO BE SHUT DOWN FOR IMPROVEMENTS

From the Township today:

Borden Park Irrigation

Dear All - Borden Park Field will be closed starting Wednesday July 30th through Monday August 18th for field improvements. Please excuse the inconvenience. 

Thank you.

SCHOOL BOARD TO VOTE ON TEACHERS CONTRACT TONIGHT

We told you two weeks ago that the teacher's union had struck a deal for a new contract with the school district.

More on the details of the retroactive two-year plan HERE.

Tonight the school board votes on the contract, while also appointing James Memoli officially as acting superintendent and likely updating the search for a permanent superintendent.

Full agenda HERE.

Show up, ask questions, give them your views or just a pat on the back.

Remember, they work for you.

NEW EPISODE OF LEE NAVLEN'S ONLINE COMEDY 'GOODSTEIN' IS OUT

We proudly present the latest installment of Goodstein!, the wacky online comedy from Maplewood's own Lee Navlen.

In this episode, our crazy lawyer deals with drug-filled desserts, a terrible toupe' and a fake Nazi survivor?

Also, another guest appearance from Democratic Committee Chairman and former Township Comitteeman Ian Grodman.

Check it out below. Warning: contains profanity.




JOB HUNTING HELP AT THE LIBRARY TODAY

Professionals in Transition - 10 a.m. - Noon

This presentation will expose the thinking of the hiring manager. It shows how the interview is necessarily more focused on the needs of the company and the hiring manager than on those of the candidate.

Attendees will learn about:
• How is the hiring manager checking out the candidate way beyond the résumé and interview?
• What values are important to the hiring manager?
• Ways of searching for answers to those questions as well as how to answer many common interview questions properly.
________________________________________
Alex Freund was a director at several Fortune 500 companies. He has sat, countless times, on both sides of the interviewer’s desk, and has keen insight into hiring managers’ perspectives. He coaches, encourages, and motivates his clients to put their best foot forward. See more, here: http://www.landingexpert.com

Sunday, July 27, 2014

MAPLEWOODIAN OF THE WEEK: PETER FRESULONE

Former Township Chief Financial Officer Peter Fresulone was honored this past week with a memorial and black bunting at Town Hall after he passed away.

For that we offer a humble, saddened Maplewoodian of the Week acknowledgement.



16 OPEN HOUSES TODAY

Find your next home or just see what the market is offering.

Full list HERE.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

POLICE CONFIRM MISSING MMS STUDENT INCIDENT

We first told you Wednesday about the Maplewood Middle School student who was missing and later found on school grounds with a teacher who apparently did not tell administrators before they called police.

The Maplewood Police issued this report late Friday on the incident confirming our reporting:

On 07-23-14 at 0937 hours MPD units respond to the Maplewood Middle School on a
report from the school principal that a 12 year old student had walked off of school
property after becoming upset in class.

MPD units searched the area for the juvenile with negative results.  At
approximately 1100 hours the school principal called MPD and stated that the
juvenile was found in the company of another teacher. It was further reported that
it was now unclear if the juvenile ever actually left the building.

FUN SHERLOCK HOLMES EVENT AT LIBRARY TODAY

Sherlock-Holmes
Main Library, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – It’s elementary: those fascinated by the timeless tales of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes will enjoy this talk by Dr. Robert A. Moss, member of The Baker Street Irregulars and a Holmes aficionado.  

In his PowerPoint presentation, Dr Moss will offer some lesser-known insights into both the character of Holmes and its creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and will discuss their representation on postage stamps.

Robert A. Moss is Research Professor and Louis P. Hammett Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.  He is a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, the largest Sherlockian Society in the United States, and also a member of the Red-Headed League of (New) Jersey, a scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars.

Friday, July 25, 2014

PORTION OF ROOSEVELT ROAD SHUTDOWN

...Scanner indicates Roosevelt Road is shutdown between Kermit Road and Wyoming Avenue due to some sort of police activity, details unknown...

FOUR CANDIDATES NOW RUNNING FOR SCHOOL BOARD AS DEADLINE APPROACHES

With just a few days before the deadline to file as a candidate in the South Orange Maplewood school board election four candidates have formerly entered the race for three open seats, according to the Essex County Clerk's Office.

As of this morning, they include Donna Smith and Elissa Malespina of South Orange and Elizabeth Baker and Maureen Jones of Maplewood.

The four challengers will vie for the three seats up for grabs in this year's election set for November 5. Those seats are held by Andrea Wren-Hardin, Bill Gaudelli and Sandra Karriem, each of whom has said they will not run again.

The deadline to file is 4 p.m. on Monday.

ONE CAFE'S COMEDY VOTING METHOD

We stopped by the great Cedar Ridge Cafe at, where else, the corner of Cedar and Ridge(wood) Road.

Along with the goodies it seems the eatery is having something of a tipping jar battle among celebrities. As you can see, you can tip and also show your allegiance to one of the two Saturday Night Live lady legends, Gilda Radner or Tina Fey.

The owners say it is an ongoing battle with a different winner each week. Well, they say vote with your wallet....

KIDS YOGA AT THE LIRBARY TODAY

Join us for a fun yoga class with certified kids yoga instructor Dawn.

Ages 3-5:  @ 3pm
Ages 6-10: @ 3:45pm  

Click here to register for ages 3-5  on Friday 7/25 at 3pm   

Thursday, July 24, 2014

GAS LINE HIT BY WORKERS

...Scanner reports that road workers struck a gas line near Roosevelt and Quentin, PSE&G has been advised and no apparent immediate danger, although much of nearby Ridgewood Road is already blocked for repairs...

Best to avoid the area...

DE LUCA PROTESTS NUGENT APPEARANCE

Photo:Alt Press
Our own Mayor Vic de Luca was among the protesters outside of Montclair's Wellmont Theater Tuesday night objecting to the appearance of Rocker Ted Nugent.

Nugent's appearance drew several hundred protesters who objected to his history of offensive comments and obscene references to Barack Obama, including referring to him as a "subhuman mongrel.".

Alt Press reports on it HERE.

LAST DAY FOR WHERE'S WALDO GAME, GRAND DRAWING THIS AFTERNOON

You still have a few hours to collect all of the stamps/signatures in Words Where's Waldo game.

Check out the info HERE and below.



Then head to Words at 4 p.m. to turn in your booklet and cash in on the prizes and other fun.

LOW COST DOG AND CAT SPAY AND NEUTER TODAY

From Health Officer Robert Roe:

The Associated Humane Society mobile low cost dog and cat spay/neuter van will return on Thursday July 24 and will be parked in front of the Maplewood Town Hall. 

In addition to spay/neuter, they will doing well care such as rabies shots in the afternoon. 

Call 973-824-7080 x 118 or 121 to make an appointment.

PRE-SCHOOL STORY AND CRAFT TIME TODAY


Preschool Storytime & Craft Ages 2 ½ - 5 (Main Library) 11am
Stories and activities to encourage reading readiness. Drop in

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

SPRINGFIELD AVENUE GAZEBO SUMMER CONCERTS ANNOUNCED

From the Township today:

Summer at the Gazebo

(Springfield Ave. at the Hilton Branch Library)

 

Blues Guitarist Joe Taino              

Saturday August 2 from 7-9 PM.  http://www.joetaino.com


Starfish

Saturday August 9th from 11AM - 12PM.         
http://www.starfishrocks.com/


4th Street NiteOwls

Saturday August 23rd from 7-9 PM.
https://www.facebook.com/4thStNiteOwls
Vintage Jazz - red hot "washboard-swing" combo performing an extensive repertoire from the 1930's early swing era.

MISSING MMS STUDENT WAS IN SCHOOL, BUT THEY DIDN'T KNOW IT

We reported earlier today that police were searching for a 12-year-old student who had apparently left Maplewood Middle School without permission and was off school grounds.

The call from Principal Jeffrey Truppo came in to police at around 9:30 a.m.

Now the scanner has reported the student was at the school the entire time and with a teacher, but not found until the regular summer release time of 11 a.m.

So a student was assumed to be missing and actually on school grounds for more an hour and a half? Should the teacher have informed administrators that the student was with him or her? 

That would seem to be of concern if administrators are calling police to search for a student who is actually on school grounds with a Teacher.

Truppo, school officials and police have not yet responded to requests for comment.

FREE POOL CONCERT TONIGHT

Free Music at the Maplewood Pool continues tonight with the Maplewood Community Music Swing Big Band.

The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. and is open to all residents, members and non-members.



PART OF MAPLEWOOD AVENUE SHUTDOWN


...Scanner indicates a portion of Maplewood Avenue between Walton Road and Parker Avenue will be shutdown for a short period of time...

MMS STUDENT LEAVES SCHOOL WITHOUT PERMISSION "IN ANGER."

Scanner indicates police called to Maplewood Middle School on report of a 12-year-old who left the building without permission. 

He "walked out of the building in anger." Parents notified.

PRE-SCHOOL STORYTIME TODAY

Preschool Storytime & Craft Ages 2 ½ - 5 (Main Library) 
4pm
Stories and activities to encourage reading readiness. 

Drop in

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

VERJUS AND LORENA'S MAKE STATE'S TOP RESTAURANTS AGAIN

It may be getting old, but we don't mind that two legendary Maplewood eateries manage to make New Jersey Monthly's Top 25 restaurants in the state each year.

And they did it again.

The annual restaurant ratings issue is out and Lorena's in Maplewood Village and Verjus on Springfield Avenue have done it again.

Read about it HERE and below:

 Lorena’s, Maplewood 168 Maplewood Ave., 973-763-4460
For nine years, chef Humberto Campos Jr. has been bringing forth luscious food from a small kitchen. The BYO, named for his wife and co-owner, Lorena, is French in technique, but American in spirit.

“We’re always tweaking, always trying to make ourselves a little better,” Campos says.

The kitchen staff has been expanded and some spiffy new equipment added—like a sous-vide machine and a Pacojet, the Ferrari of food processors. “It will allow us to do more elaborate preparations,” Campos says. That will include what some chefs call a pre-dessert, a complimentary amuse-bouche that bridges the gap between the savory meal just ended and the sweets to come.

Whatever new recipes the new crew and equipment make possible, some things at Lorena’s will never change: the warmth of Lorena, the hostess; the hugely popular salmon tartare; the beet salad with goat-cheese quennelles and pistachio purée; the butter-poached lobster crepe with fava beans and mushroom butter.

For dessert, Campos says, speaking of what’s popular, “the carrot cake has really taken over. It’s light, incorporates some pineapple brunoise in the batter, has cream-cheese icing, of course, but also cream-cheese ice cream.” Two kinds of cream cheese? That’s living large.


Verjus, Maplewood
1790 Springfield Ave., 973-378-8990

Charles Tutino long ago quit his job tracking millions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to work for pennies in the kitchen of Jean Jacques Rachou’s fabulous La Côte Basque. Along the way he mastered the art of making dishes you thought you knew—from boeuf Bourguignon to roast chicken with tarragon—taste better than you thought possible.

At Verjus, Tutino and his wife, the charming hostess Jane Witkin, have been exceeding expectations for 13 years. Tutino regularly branches out from the haute and narrow with theme nights, including French Bistro, Jersey Shore, German and Italian. Even the regular menu offers irresistible excursions, like St. Louis baby-back ribs with pomegranate bergamot glaze. The wine and cocktail lists are small but discerning. And then there is Verjus’s $25 prix-fixe, two-course Sunday brunch, with choices including lovely French omelets, a lush smoked-herring salad and a terrific caramelized-apple pancake. You don’t have to be an economist to rally around the kind of stimulus Verjus issues every day.


TOWN HALL REMEMBERS FORMER CFO FRESULONE

Maplewood Township honored the passing of former Chief Financial Officer Peter Fresulone with black bunting at Town Hall today.

Fresulone, who died last week at 63, was memorialized with a service this morning attended by many from Town Hall.

See his obituary HERE and offer a message of condolence on the site as it allows.

SPECIAL PLANNING BOARD MEETING TONIGHT: WHAT IS ADVANCE AUTO PARTS UP TO?

From the Planning Board:



MMS ALARM PROMPTS POLICE

...Scanner indicates Maplewood 
Police responding to alarm at 
Maplewood Middle School...

PRIVATE SCHOOL CLASSROOM FIRE CONTAINED

From Maplewood Fire:

At 5:32 p.m. on July 21, the Maplewood Fire Department responded to the Garden Academy, located at 276 Parker Ave. on a report from a school administrator of smoke in the building. 

Fire alarms activated at the same time the administrator was reporting the smoke condition. Maplewood Eng. 32,commanded by Capt. Kevin Hayes, arrived first on the scene within two minutes and reported a working fire with smoke and flames coming from a classroom window in the area of a window-mounted air conditioner.

As per protocol, fire units from Irvington, South Orange and Millburn Fire Departments were dispatched to the scene for assistance. Maplewood Deputy Chief Walter Nugent was in command upon his arrival.

As firefighters began an aggressive interior attack which enabled them to contain the fire to one room, others searched to confirm that all occupants were out of the building.

Fire damage was limited to classroom #3, with smoke and water damage inthe adjacent corridor and classrooms. Due to the quick response and aggressive fire attack, firefighters were successful in preventing the fire from getting into the ceiling area and running the length of the building.

The South Orange First Aid Squad provided EMS assistance at the scene, but fortunately no injuries were reported. Irvington, Orange and Union Fire Departments provided coverage for the rest of the town until all Maplewood units were back in service. The cause of the fire is presently under investigation by members of the Maplewood FD Fire Investigation Team.