Stories of 2016

Here’s a look back at the biggest local stories of 2016 brought to you by Baristanet:

These stories are just SOME of the news items we covered in 2016. What other local stories of the year would you have included?


Montclair Film FestivalLuther Flurry, the Executive Director of Montclair Center Business Improvement District (Montclair Center BID) for the past 12 years, announces he will leave; Campaign packets for the application to run in the 2016 Montclair Township Council elections are made available to the public; Montclair remembered and celebrated MLK; Montclair native Buzz Aldrin celebrated his 86th birthday and Montclair Film Festival celebrated turning 5; We lost Anderson’s 1949 but gained Turtle + The Wolf; Montclair makes the list of 12 towns in NJ with a likely carcinogen in the water; We lost a good friend with the passing of Peter Wolf.





Robert LennonWe lost another great local, Robert (Bob) Lennon of Murph’s Sport Shop; More locals consider running for Montclair Township positions; Montclair gets Smart MetersSLA Thai Restaurant opens in Upper Montclair; we discovered The Study Hall Gang; we lost Camille Cicchelli Morreale, a beloved manager and server at Bluestone Coffee Company;  a judge rules against Sean Spiller, says service on the Montclair Board of School Estimate while also serving as secretary-treasurer of the New Jersey Education Association is a conflict of interest; Montclair PD’s Deputy Chief of Police Todd Conforti was promoted to Chief of Police; NJ Governor Chris Christie officially endorses Donald Trump for president.





Montclair Loves Hamilton! Lin-Manuel Miranda Visits MKA ( VIDEO)Lin-Manuel Miranda visited Montclair talk about Hamilton; and so did Senator Cory Booker;  Israel Cronk is named Executive Director of the Montclair BID; the Montclair Planning Board Considers Plans For Seymour Street Redevelopment; There was a shooting on Williams Street in Montclair.






Montclair Bread Co.The MC Hotel celebrated 4 years on Walnut Street;  Anna Quindlen visited Montclair for a MPL event; The MC Hotel Breaks Ground in Montclair; Montclair Makes Coolest Suburb in America’s 35 Biggest Metro Areas List; After over 40 years in Montclair, Murph’s Sports Shop Closes; the Bloomfield election shapes up; Fin gets a liquor license; The Montclair Township Council said hello to the Montclair Arts Advisory Committee; Grabowsky wins in his Assisted Living Conflict of Interest Suit, But Kensington still around; Montclair Animal Shelter has a fire, no injuries.




Norman ReedusWe lost Kimberly Foster-Clark,beloved kindergarten teacher at Nishuane School; Montclair has an Amazing FundRacer; the Archdiocese of Newark Orders a Merger of Two Montclair Roman Catholic Churches; we lost TV journalist and Montclair resident Glen Rochkind; Bloomfield Township Council Passes “Historic” Rent-Control Ordinance; Sunshine Sam toy store opens in Montclair; Montclair election day results are in, low voter turnout; The Montlcair Film Festival offers a great week and ahlaf of films, parties, and events;  Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead drew huge crowds with his appearance; Montclair Art Museum Opens Vance Wall Art Education Center.



rocky the horseMontclair gets a theme song; we lose a great Italian restaurant when Osteria Giotto closes; Bloomfield gets an ALDI Supermarket; the Montclair Center Farmers Market moves to a big lot; Montclair artist Jessica Sporn designs shirt for Lin-Manuel Miranda to benefit Orlando victims;  Montclair Animal Shelter loses its Director; we find out that Montclair owes a total of $123,225.91 in legal fees to Dick Grabowsky; A bear cub hangs out in Montclair Center; Mayor Michael Venezia wins for Mayor in Bloomfield; we lost Montclair beloved Rocky the Horse.





Parade! Montclair Has A Happy Fourth of JulyThe Wellmont Theater hires Director of Premium Services Valerie Germain; Montclair Councilor-at-Large Bob Russo says he is exploring a run for Governor; a massive water main break shuts down South Park Street; Montclair gets upgraded to AAA Rating from Standard and Poor’s; Montclair residents discuss Race & Law Enforcement at Montclair Police Forum; Montclair Food & Wine Festival threw an awesome Bourbon & Biergarten party at MAM; Gannett acquires North Jersey Media Group, including The Montclair Times; The Montclair Planning Board approves a pending application for an apartment building on Glenridge Avenue, a new application to subdivide a lot along Alexander Avenue, and forwards the Seymour Street Arts District redevelopment plan; Montclair has another great Fourth of July Parade.




081316_3383_montclair-jazz-festival-e1471262338476After 47 years in Montclair, The Cozy End closesSupporters of the Bloomfield Animal Shelter forms in order to benefit the animals at the Bloomfield/Bukowski Animal Shelter; Bloomfield gets a new Fire Captain; The 7th annual Montclair JazZ Festival is amazing; Montclair gets a Crazy Mocha; Some residents are not happy about the Seymour Street Redevelopment plan; Bike&Walk Montclair shares the good news that the Tour de Montclair is coming back.





buzz-aldrin-speech-e1474057415842A NJ Transit Train Crashed into Platform in Hoboken; Montclair Center and Pig & Prince throw an awesome Oktoberfest;  Montclair Public Library Director David Hinkley announces he will retire at year’s end; Montclair once again hosted a fantastic Montclair Fashion Night Out; the Rockettes visit Montclair Bread Co.;  the SaveMontclair Coalition forms to lobby preservation and responsive development; Mount Hebron Middle School was officially re-named for Montclair native Buzz Aldrin in a formal ceremony;  Montclair Film Festival is named One of the Coolest Film Festivals in the World; a fire at Montclair Back Rub and Power Stretch Studios and Chase Bank shut them down.




montclair-bid-bear-1Montclair’s Jim Johnson announces a run for 2017 gubernatorial race; Escape Montclair closes; Montclair Center gets some pop-up parklets and a cute cuddly bear; Pedestrian safety is a bg issue in Montclair; a fun Duck Derby in Edgemont Park; Ani Ramen hosts a Ramen Eating Contest; Baristaville celebrates Halloween.









Donald Trump wins the presidential election, much to the dismay of most in Montclair; Michael Venezia is elected Mayor of Bloomfield again; Anthony DiNapoli, 79 years-old from Montclair, was charged with repeated Pro-Trump vandalism of a mural painted by children; More Pro-Trump vandalism is reported;  incidents of vandalism Montclair residents voice concern over a post on the Montclair PBA Local 53 Facebook Page, a meeting was held to discuss it; Montclair goes on a March for Unity; Montclair women organize a bus rally to Women’s March on Washington; PLANETCIVIC, a platform designed to transform the way citizens interact with local governments and each other, officially launches in Montclair; Lots of new restaurants open in town; Montclair discusses where its new Municipal Building will be; 3Sixty Cycling & Fitness Studio announces it will close and hand over the keys to Architect Studios; Montclair Pop-Up Holiday Shop Moves to the South End.



Montclair Remembers and Mourns Sarah ButlerBobbi Brown announces she’s stepping down from her company; We lost a Montclair South End legend in Mr. Celess Young; We discussed who will run for Governor of NJ; Montclair Band Pinegrove played on NPR; residents attended the “Real Talk, Real Consequences, Real Solutions,” a public forum presented by the Montclair Justice Coalition;  the Montclair Historical Society gets a new name;  Sátis Bistro opens in Bloomfield; Montclair mourns Sarah Butler; the Montclair Planning Board approves the VestryMezoco Mexican Taqueria opens in Montclair; Friendly Stationery at Watchung Plaza closes; Housing, Gentrification and Policing discussed at Montclair Conversation on Race, Culture and ClassMontclair’s CGI hosts panel discussion on criminal justice reform; There was an armed carjacking on Glenridge Avenue; Playa Bowls opens on Church Street in Montclair and Fricassee French Bistro closes.