Saturday, December 31, 2016



From South Orange Police:

Theft of packages/arrest

A 16 year old Maplewood resident was arrested on 12-29-16 at approximately 3:30pm after officers responded to a call on Radel Ter. that two individuals were stealing packages off of front porches in the area.

Upon arrival an officer observed the juvenile to be in possession of a package removed from a resident's porch. The juvenile was taken into custody without further incident transported to police headquarters and processed accordingly. The second actor believed to also be a juvenile, fled the scene on foot as officers gave chase but were unable to locate same. The matter is still under investigation at this time to identify the second actor.


First Night had been something of a growing tradition in recent years, offering Maplewood and South Orange a chance for a fun, non-alcoholic New Year's Eve close to home.

Launched back in 1993, it was seen as a way to ring in the new year in a safe, nearby way with music, dancing, and fun events.

It's mission statement said:

First Night Maplewood South Orange was formed in 1993 to:
a) broaden and deepen the public's appreciation for the visual and performing arts through an innovative, culturally diverse and high quality program on New Year's Eve
b) to offer families and the community a shared cultural experience in Maplewood and South Orange that is accessible, affordable and drug and alcohol-free.

It first hit a roadblock in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy left many in the area in tough situations, leaving many unable to offer their time and services.

But it rebounded a few years ago with great events in 2014 and 2015. See the great Nerds performance in 2014 HERE.

This year, however, a lack of volunteers killed the event before it could even begin.

We asked past organizer Michael Goldberg what occurred. He offered this vie email: 

Back in February, we determined we did not have enough Volunteers to induce fresh ideas to First Night, so we decided not 
to continue. Hopefully, new leaders will step forth in the coming years, but for now there will be no First Night in South Orange/Maplewood.

And a look at the First Night webpage found this notice: 

After two great years, First night Maplewood South Orange is going back on hiatus and will not be back in 2016.

Let's hope enough people get together to make a First Night 2017 possible.


Both Maplewood public libraries will close at 1 p.m. today for New Year's Eve and stay closed on Sunday and Monday in honor of New Year's Day.

Friday, December 30, 2016


From Maplewood Police today


Tuscan Rd between Burnett Ave and Boyden Ave will be closed until further notice due to road construction. 
Boyden Ave. between Springfield Ave. and Brown St. will also be closed until further notice due to construction. Plan alternate routes accordingly.


Another year has passed and we again look back on the year that was in Maplewood.

From tax reviews to school board and township elections to an Olympic champ in our midst, we saw ups and downs. But as always, the people of Maplewood stood firm and trudged through the tough times, while more often enjoying the goodness that is our community.

With that, we offer our top 10 news stories for 2016:

10. TRUMP - The presidential election of Donald Trump was a national story, of course. But in this community, the surprise outcome and stress and anger it has caused for most of our neighbors in this diverse, liberal community continues to resonate as people worry about everything from immigrant treatment to education. The election sparked a night of healing just days later while the Township Committee is planning to declare Maplewood a sanctuary city, in large part to counter Trump's anti-immigrant policies.

9. IBTIHAJ MUHAMMAD - The Columbia High School alum and fencing champ brought worldwide attention to Maplewood as she competed in the Rio Olympics and brought home a bronze medal. She also made history as the first Olympian to compete in a hijab. Prouder we could not be!

8. PEDESTRIAN SAFETY - Several pedestrian concerns, specifically a string of incidents on Prospect Street, sparked the installation of more than a dozen new stop signs, as well as speed bumps and the launching of a Pedestrian Safety Summit in 2016. 

7. SCHOOL BOARD - Voters chose to keep two school board incumbents, Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad and Johanna Wright, in the election that saw five total candidates. Newcomer Susie Adamson also won a spot, replacing Beth Daugherty who chose not to run again.

6. FISCHETTI - The two-year investigation into Columbia High School baseball coach Joe Fischetti's alleged harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) of former players took up much of the year and cost the district more than $25,000 in legal costs and the hiring of an outside investigator. When the dust settled, Fischetti was not chosen to coach the team again for 2017 and a lawsuit against him remains in court.

5. CHS RACE - Racial issues at Columbia High School came under scrutiny at times in 2016 with an insensitive Instagram posting and some African-American students objecting to a proposal for a police officer on campus out of fear of unfair treatment. But such awareness also sparked public meetings for understanding we hope will continue in 2017.

4. SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET CUTS - The school district had its worst budget cuts in many years with 15 jobs lost, including 11 teachers -- nine at Columbia High School alone. It also coincided with a lengthy list of administrators fleeing the district, with the business administrator, guidance director, and several principals departing. 

3. TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE ELECTION- It was a busy year for the Township Committee comings and goings as Marlon Brownlee dropped a bombshell in late August with a surprise resignation and the TC appointed former Committeeman Ian Grodman to finish his term. Meanwhile, Democrat Frank McGehee beat Republican Mike Summersgill for that seat in a rare competitive match-up.

2. POST OFFICE PROJECT - It finally happened! The former Maplewood Village Post Office saw the wrecking ball after years of discussion over its replacement. JMF Properties then began construction on the controversial three-story, 20-apartment, five-retail shop structure that will see a Starbucks, bank and a restaurant. Some objected to its design as well as the parking impact and tax break it includes, while others like the growth element. Look for a mid-2017 grand opening. 

1. REASSESSMENT- You have likely received your letter by now informing you of the new property value for your home due to this year's reassessment. Essex County ordered the review that has already cost the Township $400,000 to hire Appraisal Systems Inc. for the job. Inspectors went to each property and reviewed the interior, with at least 80% of homeowners letting them in. Officials said property values rose by an average of 27%, with the tax hit expected in the third quarter of 2017.


From the Township:

Maplewood Township will close at 12 noon today and will be closed on Monday, January 2, 2017 for the New Year Holiday.

In observance of the New Year's holiday, there will not be any jitney service on Monday, January 2nd. Normal service will resume on Tuesday, January 3rd.

Thursday, December 29, 2016


We launched eight years ago this week with the goal of presenting news that might not be getting covered about our town, and other interesting items and views.

You may recall the 2008 resignation of former Mayor Ken Pettis received little attention in local and regional news outlets. That sparked the idea that there should be a news site devoted only to Maplewood.

And eight years later, we are happy to still be here, digging up news of interest and importance, as well as a little fun.

We also won our first award this past year as The New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists offered a First Place honor for local news.

But it is you, the readers -- and often tipsters -- of news in our town that we most value and we hope you will stay with us for the oldest, and only free, local news website in town.

Keep sending tips and ideas and announcements to us at And make sure to support our advertisers. 

Thanks again!


From the New York Post today: 

Divorce had a way of bringing Suzanne Riss and Jill Sockwell together.

Riss, a freelance journalist living in Maplewood, NJ, had just separated from her husband in 2011 when she met Sockwell, a real estate agent and fellow Maplewood resident who was just a couple of steps ahead of Riss in her own divorce process. A mutual friend recommended the two moms meet to share war stories; instead, it was a surprisingly uplifting encounter.

“It could have just been this thing where you go get coffee with someone and never talk to them again, but we had a connection,” says Sockwell, 40, a mother of two girls.

Riss and Sockwell. Photo: NY Post
“We both wanted to challenge the idea that a divorce is one of the worst things you’re going to go through,” adds Riss, 45, who has a 12-year-old son.

Their coffee date marked the beginning of what would turn into the 100-plus-member Maplewood Divorce Club, a support group named after their suburban New Jersey town. To divorcées like them, Maplewood had a tendency of appearing overrun by happy nuclear families, and it could be alienating at times. But when Riss, Sockwell and other local women going through divorce got together, the town became a supportive enclave for newly single ladies.

Riss and Sockwell have even collaborated on a new book, “The Optimist’s Guide to Divorce” (Workman Publishing Co.), which challenges readers to reinvent themselves post-divorce, rather than fall into a merlot-filled pit of despair. January sees a roughly 30 percent increase in divorce filings compared with other times of the year. 

Read the rest HERE.


The two candidates for Township Committee raised more than $12,000 in combined contributions, according to the latest campaign disclosure reports this month.

Democrat Frank McGehee, who defeated Republican Mike Summersgill in the November race for the lone TC seat up for grabs, raised $7,392.15, according to his latest disclosure report, which noted he spent $6,341.17 of that funding.

Summersgill, meanwhile, raised $5,107.00 and spent $4,329.87 so far. He said he will likely file another report to cover some bills paid this month.

Since state law does not require either candidate to disclose individual contributions of $300 or less, McGehee listed none, while Summersgill hand only two above that amount.

Summersgill's included a $350 aggregate donation from a Maplewood woman who is also an Essex County Board of Taxation employee and $500 from the Essex County Republican Party.

The disclosure statement also noted Summersgill spent locally with expenditures going to Maplewood Stationers and Ceder Ridge Bakery for what he listed as the "best scones in N.J." He had earlier revealed similar spending at The Able Baker.

McGehee, meanwhile, paid some $605.04 for an election night party at Coda in Maplewood Village.

Both candidates also purchased ad space on

McGehee takes office on Jan. 1, 2017, at Town Hall. The swearing in and reorganization meeting are set for 2 p.m.



2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Main Library – Chill out at the Library and play some money-themed board games like Pay Day, Monopoly, The Game of Life, The Allowance, Catan and more. There will be prizes and refreshments, and you can take part in a Thinking Money Exhibit scavenger hunt!

Create Space – Maplewood Library’s Makerspace is Open!

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Hilton Branch – Every Tuesday 5:00-8:00 pm, Thursday 5:00-8:00 pm, and Saturday 10-1 pm.. Patrons can use Rhino 3D software to build a model, print an object on our 3D printer or use our new color printer or laminator.  There are also Snap Circuits, Squishy Circuits, littleBits and SparkFun kits for the kids. Raspberry Pi single board computers are also available to learn more about computer science.  More information about the Create Space…

Maker Meetup

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Create Space – Join the Maker Movement!  Help with one of our projects, or bring your own ideas. Maplewood Library’s Create Space at Hilton Branch offers a variety of high-tech equipment and software for a multitude of creative applications. The Create Space is outfitted with a Maker Gear 3D printer, a laminator and a color printer, as well as 12 Dell laptops loaded with Rhino 3D CAD and other productivity software.  There are also project kits for experimenting with electronics, circuits and programming.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


From Maplewood Police:

Advisory: Tuscan Rd between Burnett Ave and Boyden Ave will be closed until further notice due to road construction.


Ian Grodman, Pasquale and Navlen on the Goodstein set
The next episode of the local comedy web series Goodstein will have more star power than usual.

Producer Lee Navlen, Maplewood's own former TV news producer, politician turned comedian, told us The Sopranos veteran Artie Pasquale -- who played mobster Burt Gervasi in the HBO hit series years ago -- makes a guest appearance in an upcoming Goodstein episode.

You may recall Pasquale was strangled to death in the final Sopranos season by Steve Van Zandt's character, Silvio.

See his Sopranos death below:

To find out what happens to him on Goodstein, you'll have to stay tuned.

See all past Goodstein episodes HERE and look for the next one coming out soon. We will debut it here as always.


Hilton All Ages Storytime

11:00 am – 11:30 am

Hilton Branch * All ages * Drop In
Wednesdays 1/11 and 1/18
All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Money Movie Madness

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Main Library – Come watch the comedy classic Brewster’s Millions. A minor-league baseball player has to spend 30 thousand dollars in 30 days in order to inherit 300 million dollars–but he’s not allowed to tell anyone about the deal! Refreshments will be served.


Boyden Avenue between Springfield Avenue and Harding Street, which includes Seth Boyden School, will be closed due to street work.

Find alternate routes.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016


From Maplewood Police:
Parker Ave. closed between Peachtree Rd and Irvington Ave. due to road construction until further notice


The Township will hold its official menorah lighting for Hanukkah tonight at Ricalton Square in Maplewood Village from 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.


The school district is re-opening the search for a special services director after the first round of candidate and interviews did not produce a suitable choice, Superintendent John Ramos reported at last week's meeting.

See his comments below:

You may recall the district started the search in October, hiring Atlantic Research Partners of Chicago -- the same firm that found Ramos last year -- at a cost of $8,000.


From Maplewood Recreation:

Registration is still available for the Maplewood Recreation Winter 2017 Art Programs for children 2 - 5 years old.  All art programs are held at The Woodland, 60 Woodland Rd.

Talented Tots  Mondays from 10 - 10:45 AM is for children 2 to 4 years old accompanied by an adult.  Children will learn the basics of Arts & Crafts while socializing with other children.  The emphasis will be on the Winter Season.  Classes begin on Monday January 9th and runs for 6 weeks for $75.00. ( 1/8 - 2/27 no classes 1/16 & 2/20.)

Kiddie Krafts Tuesdays 9:30 - 10:30 AM is for children 4 to 5 years old. This is a drop off class.  Children will use various types of art media while creating projects focusing on the Winter Season.  Classes begin on Tuesday January 10 and run for 8 weeks for a fee of $100.00. ( 1/10 - 2/28 ).

Talented Tots Wednesdays 10:00 - 10:45 AM is for children 2 to 4 years old accompanied by an adult.  Children will learn the basics of arts & crafts while socializing with other children.  The emphasis will be on the Winter Season.  Classes begin on Wednesday January 11 and runs for 8 weeks for $90.00. (1/11-3/1).
Registration with payment may be done at the Maplewood Recreation Office, 574 Valley Street or online at under Fall/Winter 2016-17.  Any questions please call 973 763 4202.

Monday, December 26, 2016


Outgoing School Board Member Beth Daugherty bid farewell to the Board of Education at her final meeting last Monday night with some advice and gratitude for her three terms on the board.

See her departing speech below:

Daugherty, who chose not to run for a fourth term this past November, served three years as board president as well. She will be replaced by Susie Adamson next month after Adamson won the spot in the last election.


Remember, in the world of public services in Maplewood, today is Christmas.

So, to give those public employees the deserved day off they did not get yesterday because it was Sunday -- which they get off anyway -- both libraries and Town Hall are closed today.

But, worry not, they are back open tomorrow.


From Seth Boyden School: 

Dancing Classrooms at Seth Boyden School 

On December 15, 2016, Seth Boyden and New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) partnered for another year of Dancing Classrooms!

The mission of Dancing Classrooms is to cultivate essential life skills in children through the practice of social dance. NJPAC’s vision for the residency is to have schools and communities where every child is connected, respected, and provided a safe environment in which to thrive. Dancing Classrooms residencies are integrated into the school day, cultivated through Curriculum Connection and aligned with the Common Core Standards.

Dancing Classrooms is an annual ritual for the Seth Boyden School’s 5th graders as they learn a series of ballroom dances that they perform for their family and friends at the residency program’s culminating event. 
Many of the students initially approach their weekly lessons with trepidation but by performance day they are excited and ready to dance the night away.

The students learn much more than dancing during their time with NJPAC teaching artists Ms. Danielle and Ms. Lisa. They learn grace, courtesy, self-control, respect for others, respect for self, and how to interact with others appropriately.

Seth Boyden’s PTA supported this experience by donating funds and by having an etiquette expert teach the students basic table manners during a specially prepared lunch. On the night of the big performance, the PTA transformed the Seth Boyden School gymnasium into a restaurant and served a delicious meal where students practiced their dining etiquette manners before showing off their newly learned dance skills for families and friends.

Dancing Classrooms at Seth Boyden School is a true collaboration that includes support from the 5th grade classroom teachers, the physical education and art teachers, parents and arts partner NJPAC. 
It is truly the joint effort that makes this night a success each year!

Sunday, December 25, 2016


We came across this great sign on Golf Island as we roamed Maplewood Christmas Night.

For those not in the know, Golf Island is the neighborhood bordered by Burnet Street, Salter Place, Pierson Road and Maple Avenue and is the "island" surrounded by Maplewood Country Club. 


We first introduced you to former Rockette and current Maplewood mom Holly Evans two years go.

She discussed what it was like to be with the famed kickline and life backstage during the annual Christmas show schedule, which is ongoing now.

Listen below:


On this Christmas Day we once again post the message we offered last year, a take on the famed Yes Virginia editorial of more than 100 years ago

See it below:

Many know the famed New York Sun editorial from 1897 that answers a little girl's question: Is there a Santa Claus?

We offer our view from Maplewood for one little girl we know who might wonder some day.

Yes Ruby, there is a Santa Claus.

If you live in Maplewood, you see the signs of Santa Claus and holiday warmth everyday. Not just at Christmas, but year round. You see it in the kindness most in our town have for the poor, the sick, the troubled and those who are different.

Our little 24,000-population community is among the most welcoming to people of all races, classes and colors. Gay rights, equality, sharing, caring and unifying for causes abound.

Is that Santa Claus? Perhaps.

See how the Township offers support for residents with health care guidance, toy and food collections, free shows in the park, PTA's that raise and spend money on great events, and giving from the Rent Party fundraisers to Oysterfest and beyond.

Walk around town these past holiday weeks or at Halloween, July 4th (fireworks and concert), Thanksgiving, Memorial Day (duck races) and any block party weekend and the vitality of community gives Santa's message every day.

That message is not just for those who celebrate Christmas, but for all religions, or those with no religion. The feeling of giving, kindness, acceptance and joy.

Ruby, you see it in your school, your playgroups, your family, all of whom give an understanding and support that many towns lack.

Even when our community is at odds over things like a new post office development, school issues or which new stores should open, it's usually done with a real commitment to make the Maplewood they know better. No whiff of scandal or greed usually enters into any of it.

Being in New Jersey, a hotbed of political corruption at many levels, and near Newark and Irvington -- which have each had their share of jailed politicians -- Maplewood is the ultimate exception.

Mayor Vic Deluca has been a great mayor for many years, and will again in 2017. Even those who disagree with him know he is committed to our township. He knows his facts, politics and government details better than anyone at town hall.

And down the line through the township officials to the police on the street and DPW workers who plow our roads, little or no disruption has been found.

You see, Ruby, and Alexis, Liza, Julia, Emma, Emily, Danielle, Cloey, Katy, Ariel, Addie, Elle, Jo Jo and Cybele and any other girls out there who might wonder about Santa Claus, you live in a very special town. I think most of us know how unique Maplewood is, not just at Christmas, but all through the year.

Your parents, like us, might complain about taxes, loud neighbors, and the occasional government mistake. But few of us would be able to find a better place to live and find the openness, hospitality, and non-judgement that 07040 offers.

And if that is a form of Santa, I believe in him. And if you do not celebrate Christmas, there is a similar spirit of community for those who are Jewish, Muslim, or even atheist. It is the basic fairness and kinship of our town.

We saw it when Morrow Church opened its doors to a Syrian refugee family, or earlier this year with the Tibetan Monks took over the Woodland for a real spiritual awakening.

You see it in times of trouble such as post Hurricane Sandy when Highland Place and other downtown powered buildings welcomed residents at no charge who plugged in and went online for a week while power was out.

So if anyone tells you there is no Santa Claus, Ruby, you can tell them there is. And he lives right here in Maplewood. Maybe not in person, but in a spirit that is much stronger.


From Columbia High School:

 5 CHS Band Students Selected for North Jersey Area Bands

 Five members of the Columbia High School Band program were recently selected as members of the 2016-2017 North Jersey Area Honor Bands.  Gillian Basedow, a senior French horn player, Louise Kern-Kensler, a sophomore trombone player, and Peter Henderson, a senior percussionist, were all selected as members of the Area Symphonic Band, with Louise and Peter earning principal positions in their respective sections.  Liana Greenberg, a junior contra-alto clarinet player, and Adam Friedman-Brown, a junior French horn player, were selected as members of the Area Wind Ensemble, with Adam earning the position of principal player for his section. 
Moreover, Adam earned the highest score of all students auditioning on French horn, putting him first among the twenty-two other students auditioning.  “We are all very proud of these students and their wonderful accomplishment,” said Peter Bauer, Director of Bands at Columbia.  “They have worked hard and accomplished so much, and will represent our school and band program with distinction and pride.”
The North Jersey Area Band concert will be held on Sunday, January 15, 2017, at 3:00 PM at Mount Olive High School.

Saturday, December 24, 2016


Former Township Committee campaign rivals Frank McGehee and Mike Summersgill were spotted at St. James Gate Friday continuing their cordial post-election relationship.

You recall McGehee, a Democrat, beat Republican Summersgill in the TC race in November and will take office on Jan. 1, 2017, replacing Ian Grodman after his short stint as an interim committeeman.

But throughout the campaign the duo were oddly kind to each other during one of the most raucous election years nationally, at one point meeting for coffee to discuss issues and bettering the town, and even volunteer bartending at a Rent Party event prior to Election Day.

So it appears they will continue seeking to improve life for Maplewood even as Summersgill has said he is planning to run again in 2017. Could McGehee end up endorsing him? Maybe not.


"Grandpa" John Ramos moments after hearing the news
If you were wondering why Superintendent John Ramos left the school board meeting early on Monday, know that he had a pretty good reason.

He had just become a grandfather.

Ramos actually got word of the birth of young Cora Joy Ramos on his cell phone as he gave his monthly update, declaring, "I have to tell you that my granddaughter was just born!" He later asked, "Am I beaming?"

After applause and good wishes, the meeting continued. Later on after the strategic plan vote and other business, Ramos asked permission to leave around 10:30 p.m., stating, "I need to get on the highway."

Word from the hospital is that both mommy and baby are fine, and grandpa is believed to still be beaming.


Both Maplewood libraries are closed today and Monday, back open on Tuesday.

So enjoy the holiday weekend!

Friday, December 23, 2016


The Board of Education requested a police presence at the last school board meeting on Monday after receiving several angry emails, apparently from a former teacher upset about being terminated.

The emails, obtained by, were from a teacher who had been appointed to a position last year, but claims he was unfairly terminated in November.

One email, dated Dec. 15, 2016, said, in part:

I was terminated unfairly on ---- Still waiting for pay due. Today I am going to contact the commissioner of education to file the formal complaint. Upon completion of doing so I will be alerting people, starting with parents of students, about the double standard of how people in the district not only took part in what happened to me, but also how the district allows teachers with actual criminal charges to remain in the district as teachers. There is plenty more too. I will send the first email to Ms. Pai, a parent of a child I have taught. After that, it's the newspaper. If I have no pay, why keep quiet any longer? I'm not.

That was followed by another email the same day that stated:

Lastly, I see Monday 12/19/16 is a Board Meeting. It is one I may feel so inclined to to (sic) exercise my right of free speech and freedom of assembly, right outside the building, across the street or in the general vicinity and espouse the truth. I have a lot of markers and poster board for nice pretty signs. They are left over from the job I was essentially fired from without cause. I mean after all, I was not allowed to speak, or even offered a Donaldson hearing, so maybe this will be better. It will definitely be cathartic, for me at least.

We have chosen not to identify the teacher, but did reach out to him for comment with no response yet. 

Police did not respond to a request for comment on the police presence at the meeting, but School District Spokesperson Suzanne Turner issued the following statement when we sought information about the situation:

We have had a police presence at board meetings in the past, whenever there were indications that the crowd might be large or there might be controversial issues. 

Of course if there were anything related to an employee or former employee, I would be unable to comment.


Holiday Shopping at Durand-Hedden

Shop our beautiful Country Store for charming, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts

Durand-Hedden's Country Store -- located just behind Durand-Hedden House at 523 Ridgewood Road in Maplewood -- will be open Friday from 12 to 5 and Saturday from 10 to 3 for holiday shopping. The Store will be closed on Sunday, Christmas Day.

Our Country Store has affordable gifts for family, friends, and teachers, while benefiting the Durand-Hedden House. The historic-themed selection includes such items as early American children’s games and toys, facsimile documents, quill pens and ink, historic cookbooks, cookie molds, tin lanterns, reproductive decorative items and ceramics, local honey and Original 1910 Chocolate Fudge Sauce. Also available are the original Doors of Maplewood poster, Smile: A Pictorial History of Olympic Park, 1887-1965 and the new acid-free reproduction of the charming 1931 Map of Maplewood.


Schools are closed at 12:30 today as is Town Hall for a half-day.

Schools are also closed all next week, while Town Hall will be closed on Monday for the Christmas holiday observed.

There will also be no Jitney service on Monday, but it will resume Tuesday.

Thursday, December 22, 2016


The Township moved closer to being a so-called "sanctuary city," but without the word "sanctuary" in the name.

At Tuesday's Township Committee meeting the governing body gave initial approval to a draft resolution that does not include "sanctuary" in the description, choosing instead the term, "welcoming."

"By not using the term sanctuary, it can gain more support," Mayor Vic Delcua said. "There is a downside to that" term.

He was referring to the negative connotations that "sanctuary" can draw and the concerns over potential sanctions or loss of funding with which some communities have been threatened.

"I think doing it this way can address some concerns," said TC Member Ian Grodman, who first proposed the idea weeks ago. 

The proposal was first offered Nov. 14 with the idea that it would be a way to protect immigrants, both documented and undocumented, and send a message that Maplewood will not seek to support efforts to enforce federal immigration laws, but will not violate the law either.

See some of the discussion below:

The TC plans to vote on the specific resolution in early 2017.


In a year of school district budget cuts that initially called for one librarian to be shared by both middle schools, the school board is ending 2016 with the hiring of a new library media special for Maplewood Middle School, as well as one for Marshall School.

The board approved the hires at Monday's meeting, after initially agreeing to seek the new personnel in September following protests.

The plan for a shared librarian was part of the budget adopted in the spring that included 11 teacher job cuts, nine of them at Columbia High School.

The change follows a major online protest effort and petition drive that urged each middle school keep its own librarian.


Preschool Storytime

11:00 am – 11:30 am

Main Library * Ages 2 1/2 – 5 * Drop In * All children must be accompanied by an adult
Thursdays @ 11-11:30am:  12/1, 12/8, 12/15, 12/22


Create Space – Maplewood Library’s Makerspace is Open!

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Hilton Branch – Every Tuesday 5:00-8:00 pm, Thursday 5:00-8:00 pm, and Saturday 10-1 pm.. Patrons can use Rhino 3D software to build a model, print an object on our 3D printer or use our new color printer or laminator.  There are also Snap Circuits, Squishy Circuits, littleBits and SparkFun kits for the kids. Raspberry Pi single board computers are also available to learn more about computer science.  More information about the Create Space…


Maker Meetup

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Create Space – Join the Maker Movement!  Help with one of our projects, or bring your own ideas. Maplewood Library’s Create Space at Hilton Branch offers a variety of high-tech equipment and software for a multitude of creative applications. The Create Space is outfitted with a Maker Gear 3D printer, a laminator and a color printer, as well as 12 Dell laptops loaded with Rhino 3D CAD and other productivity software.  There are also project kits for experimenting with electronics, circuits and programming.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


From the Maplewood Fire Department today:

The Maplewood Fire 
Department responded to 
Columbia School at 10:04 
am today on the report of a 
gas leak.
Upon their arrival they were informed that a custodian had
noticed an odor of natural gas in the area of the Black Box 
Theatre. The custodian immediately pulled the fire alarm 
pull station and the building was evacuated. The
area (D wing) was checked with gas meters and no 
elevated levels were found. The Fire Department did 
notice a slight odor. As a result, Captain Nugent and 
FF Wuest shut down the heating units in the D wing 
and the natural gas feed was shut down.
PSE&G responded and conferred that the unit, while 
not creating an imminent hazard, should be serviced 
prior to restarting the heating units. The High School
Administration was left to contact their service company 
for repairs. The area was ventilated by natural means 
as a precaution and the building was then re-populated.
If you have any further questions, please let me know.