Thursday, April 30, 2015


From Maplewood Township today:

Free Presentation from the Maplewood Police Department:
Protecting yourself from scams and theft

This presentation is geared toward adults age 55 and over (although all are welcome to attend).  Officer Laru from the Maplewood Police Department will be conducting a presentation about recognizing scams and ways to protect yourself from thieves.  

This presentation will be held at Maplewood Community Center at 120 Burnett Avenue from 4:00pm to 6:00pm tonight.  There will be a question and answer period where Officer Laru will take any questions from the audience that you have about how to protect yourself, your family, and your assets from scams that come in the form of e-mails, phone calls, and letters.  Millions of people are victims of scams every year.  Knowledge is your best defense.  Come tonight for this free presentation.

-Maplewood Recreation Department


The new contract agreement for incoming Superintendent of Schools John Ramos holds few surprises. A copy obtained by indicates his salary is about what was expected, along with incentives and days off similar to most administrators.

See the entire document, which was approved by the school board on Monday, HERE.

Some highlights:

* Ramos will receive an annual salary of $177,500, with incentives for merit bonuses based on accreditation attainment, civil rights complaint improvements, and various performance evaluations for schools (see below).

* The five-year contact extends to Dec. 31, 2019, with a provision that allows the salary to be renegotiated if the state superintendent salary cap is lifted.

* Ramos receives 23 vacation days, as well as 11 sick days and the ability to have accrued sick days paid off at the time of his departure up to $15,000.  

* The district wil provide Ramos with a cell phone and laptop for school district use, but with "incidental personal use" allowed. He is not provided with health insurance.

* Ramos can depart the district at anytime with 90 days notice.

See the entire contract HERE and the merit bonus portion below:


A pair of accused ATM thieves, who allegedly struck the Sudz King laundry on Springfield Avenue in Maplewood as part of a four-month spree of 10 such crimes, were arrested Tuesday, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

Levell Burnett, 38, and Mark Smith, 32, both of Newark, were picked up at their homes and are accused in 10 ATM "crash and grab" incidents dating back to October 2014. 

The Sudz King theft occurred on October 10.

See the entire press release below:

Two Arrested in ATM Crash and Grab Spree

Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray, along with Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Newark Division Richard Frankel, New Jersey State Police Colonel Rick Fuentes and Newark Police Director Eugene Venable announced today that two people have been arrested in connection with 10 ATM crash and grab incidents along the Route 21 corridor.

“Working cooperatively with our law enforcement partners we were able to arrest two men who we believe were responsible for multiple incidents of crashing into businesses, grabbing automatic teller machines and  fleeing with significant sums of cash,’’ said Acting Prosecutor Murray. “These arrests are significant but the investigation is continuing.’’

Yesterday, following a six-month investigation by a Joint Task Force comprised of the ECPO, New Jersey State Police, the FBI, Newark Police, and Bloomfield Police, Levell Burnett, 38, and Mark Smith, 32, both of Newark were arrested without incident. Burnett was arrested on South 8th Street in Newark. Smith was arrested at his home on Columbia Avenue, also in Newark.

“Two individuals wanted in a series of smash and grab burglaries of ATMs were arrested last night.  These arrests were the result of dogged investigative work by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the State Police, the Newark Police, and the FBI and highlight the importance of working jointly with our law enforcement partners,’’ said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Newark Division Richard Frankel.

Burnett is charged in with 10 incidents in Newark, Bloomfield, Maplewood, Jersey City and Kearny. Smith is charged with nine incidents in Newark, Bloomfield, Maplewood, Jersey City and Kearny.

Both are charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit burglary, theft of an ATM and criminal mischief.

“It has been extremely difficult on local businesses as a result of the damage caused by criminals’ thefts of ATMs.  The task force had a daunting task before them in attempting to catch the actors involved. Through diligence and excellent police work, detectives have captured two suspects wanted in connection to several of these thefts. I thank the team for their persistence in making these arrests,” said Newark Police Director Eugene Venable.

The incidents that led to the arrests occurred from October 2014 though late January 2015. The businesses include Sudz King Laundromat in Maplewood, Buy Rite Liquors in Kearny, Wonder Bagel in Jersey City and Dunkin Donuts in Bloomfield. In Newark, they are accused of burglarizing Park Place News, Any Garment Cleaners, Applebee’s, Checkers Restaurant, Jersey Fried Chicken and Newark Crown Fried Chicken.

In most of the cases the men used a pickup truck to crash into the front of the business and then took the ATM machine. The machines were taken to locations in Newark on Frelinghuysen Avenue and on Route 78.

“These two individuals’ reckless actions caused risk to the public and damaged the businesses and livelihoods of honest citizens," said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.  “I commend our troopers and partnering agencies for a job well done.”


From the Maplewood Artists Collective:

2015 Maplewood Gardening Contest – presented by Maplewood Artist Collective and sponsored by the Vanessa Pollock Team

Maplewood, NJ – What better way to showcase the enthusiasm and passion that our residents have for their home gardens than an annual garden contest centered on the natural beauty of Maplewood.

The Maplewood Artist Collective, a local group of volunteers working to bring artistic events to the village and community is proud to announce our inaugural 2015 Gardening Contest.

This year’s contest will begin on May 1st 2015 and is open to all residents of Maplewood who personally cultivate either a bed, vegetable or container garden. Interested gardeners can enter and post photos of their garden online at for online viewing through July 17.  A group of judges from the community, including Mayor DeLuca, will choose grand prize winners in the bed, edible and container gardens with additional runners up in those categories. An additional “Viewer’s Choice” winner based on online votes will also be awarded.

The Vanessa Pollock Keller-Williams team has generously sponsored grand prizes for the three categories.

For more information about the Maplewood Artist Collective and our other events please contact Kim Reed at or visit our website at


The Township has issued the initial pool hours for the first month of operation this year.

See them below.

The early bird rate, meanwhile, is only available through this Friday, May 1, so sign up today.

From the Township:

NOTIFICATION of Maplewood Community Pool Hours
OPENING WEEKENDS ONLY May 23rd  June 20th Hours of Operation 12:00PM – 6:00PM

OPENING WEEKDAYS June 22nd June 26th  Hours of Operation 2:00PM – 8:00PM

NORMAL WEEKDAYS beginning Monday, June 29thHours of Operation 12:00PM – 8:00PM

NORMAL WEEKENDS & HOLIDAYS beginning Sunday, June 21st Hours of Operation 10:00AM – 8:00PM

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


The next step in the controversial Maplewood Village Post Office site development project is a meeting before the Maplewood Village Alliance on May 6, according to a release issued by the Alliance today.

As noted below, the event will include a review of the plan for 20 housing units and five retail outlets in a three-story building. 
More on the design HERE.

See the notice below:


(Maplewood, NJ) – April 28, 2015 - The Maplewood Village Alliance (MVA) has announced a date change and its agenda for the May 2015 MVA Board of Director’s meeting. 

The May meeting will now be held on Wednesday, May 6 at 7:30 PM at Maplewood Town Hall in the committee room, located at 574 Valley Street, Maplewood NJ 07040.

The agenda for the May 6th meeting includes a recommendation from the MVA Design Review Committee regarding the proposed building design for the Post Office Redevelopment site and a presentation of the proposed design by JMF Properties, LLC. 

The meeting is open to the public.

For more information please email Julie Doran: