Monday, June 26, 2017


It is with great sadness and pride that I must announce I will no longer being running Sadness in that it has to end after being such a major part of my life, and I hope some of yours. 

But pride in the work that I have been able to do during the past eight and a half years. I believe our effort to dig up important news and facts about how our township is run, how our schools are operated and how our community works have made a difference. 

Fred Smith, Joe Strupp, Anna Sandler
Fortunately, the site is being acquired by TapIntoSOMA, the great hyperlocal site dedicated to providing original news reporting for South Orange and Maplewood news, owned and operated by South Orange resident Fred Smith and Maplewood journalist Anna Sandler. I urge you to support them. I will also be writing a monthly column for them, under the same Maplewoodian name.

And if I see something I want to report on in between columns, don't be surprised if I use TapInto to do it. 

I started in late 2008, partly in response to the lack of coverage of the resignation of then-Mayor Ken Pettis. But more so as a way to get the news and information out that I believed the town needed to know.

Since then I have prided myself on seeking to find out how our tax dollars are spent, policies made and people elected. I've been lucky to have the support of many local residents, as well as my family, who have supported the work, offered tips and scoops, and defended me against some of the opposition that did not want truth to be out.

I had one general journalistic rule: reveal the truth on things I felt should be known. But also have some fun. I think we accomplished both. 

From tragic events like murders and accidental deaths to tax reassessments, school cuts and incoming development, I believe we did a lot to bring news to residents that might not have been found. And when powers that be sought to keep information from the public -- as the school district did last year with legal service invoices related to the CHS baseball bullying scandal -- I sued for access, and won.

I was also proud to have received two state Society of Professional Journalists awards, the latest on Sunday.

But it has also taken a lot of time and effort that I wish to devote to other journalistic projects and outlets. And perhaps to some Maplewood causes and township events. 

As a 17-year resident of our town I remain its biggest fan and still believe this is one of the greatest places to live. But I also urge everyone not to let any leadership or public entities go unchecked. 

From the Township government to the school district to police and local developers, I urge you to keep asking questions, demanding answers and seeking information. I will as well. 

And as longtime readers know, my first message when it comes to those who run our town, schools and taxes remains the same: Remember, they work for you!


Maplewood's own Bea Miller has been on a new tear this spring with new EPs and an appearance on national television at the Late Late Show with Jame Corden.

CBS replayed the appearance last Friday. 

See it below:

Miller, the former Maplewood Middle School student who first broke on the national scene back in 2013 on The X Factor, offered new music earlier this year on her EP Chapter One: Blue. Now she is out with Chapter Two: Red. Chapter Three:Yellow will come out this summer. 

More info on them HERE.

She explained the concept in a recent announcement video:

And see her video for the new song I Can't Breathe, below:


The Farmer's Market is on today in the new great space at 1848-1852 Springfield Ave. near Yale Street, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Come by for fresh eats and treats.


From Maplewood Police:

June 13, 2017; Robbery; At approximately 3 AM, two males got into an argument at the 7-11 on Irvington Ave.  One male then attempted to take the others keys before fleeing when the police where called.  Officers checked the area, but where unable to locate the male.  The victim was not injured.

June 13, 2017; Attempted Burglary; Sometime over the previous two weeks the screen to a sun room on Lancaster Ave was cut.  Entry was not made to the home.

June 15, 2017; Robbery; At approximately 1 AM, a food deliveryman was making a delivery on the 200 block of Elmwood Ave.  When returning to his vehicle, he was approached by two males who struck him, displayed a handgun and took his cell phone and money.  The males then fled the scene.  The victim received minor injuries, but refused medical attention.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Editor Joe Strupp
We stopped by the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism Awards Sunday to pick up our second such honor in the Local News category.

After winning last year for coverage of Superintendent John Ramos, we won this year for our reporting on the departure of former Columbia High School baseball coach Joe Fischetti for alleged bullying of some players.

The awards were held at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark.


See details HERE


We caught up with our favorite real estate agent, Keller Williams' Mark Slade, for our regular podcast on the state of real estate in Maplewood.

Mark discussed why Maplewood is still a hot market, but also how the upcoming NJ Transit temporary problems might hurt things and how you can make the most use of your property for sale.

Listen below:


Head out and find your next home or just see what the market is offering.

Full list HERE.