Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Eve of Destruction On Belleville Ave

The current plan by Garden Commercial Properties is to create two buildings along the lower bend of the Third River, four stories each with a parking deck beneath, to serve as luxury one or two-bedroom apartments. The developer has said that the properties could begin as rental units and potentially become condominiums when the real estate market improves. In the process, about two dozen back office and warehouse businesses were given eviction notices in preparation for the demolition.

The planned 300 unit development has sparked controversy at many town council meetings. Reminded that she approved the bill when it first came up (along with the rest of the council), Council Janice Litterio replied that the full scope of the project was not made clear. “I feel snookered,” she said when summarizing her traffic concerns. There was also much debate regarding the planned 30 year tax abatement negotiated with the developer, Zygmunt Wilf, the owner of the Minnesota Vikings, who has himself been the subject of controversy.

Commenting on the news of a $100,000 grant received for studying the causes and cures of flooding along Bloomfield's segment of the Third River, Councilman Nick Joanow asserted that
You don't build on a floodplain. There's a cost/benefit analysis that needs to be understood …. Homes along that river have lost 5 to 10 feet of their property due to riverbank erosion. There are homes that are consistently flooding...the water has to go somewhere.
He referenced the township's 2002 Master Plan which included the Army Corps of Engineers conclusion that
The increase in the intensity and number of 100 year and 500 year flood events can be attributed to the way that development has occurred in Bloomfield. Impervious surface coverage along stream corridors in wetlands and floodplain areas leaves stormwater with no place to go. Generally these areas would absorb and filter the waters acting as a natural detention basin for the surrounding community. In Bloomfield, storm water travels through streets, driveways, and sometimes basements, rather than vegetated riparian corridors and wetlands.

Demolition of the structures on the north side of the site is planned to be completed by New Years Day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sunday on Washington St.

Puttering around with the car on Sunday afternoons was the usual Sunday pastime for the male half of the population. A closer look at the construction of these "houses" suggests that they were built as speedily and as cheaply as possible. Additions are tacked on wherever and whenever and the high basements obviously predict the flood waters expected from nearby Toney's Brook. This entire area is now covered by black top and has become a parking lot.

Frederick Branch,

Historical Society of Bloomfield

Friday, December 23, 2011

Breaking News: Bloomfield is Turning Republican

Bloomfield woke up today to find it has been broken into two congressional districts. Neither of them will include our current congressman, Bill Pascrel.

Most of the 1st and 2nd wards(along with Upper Montclair and Nutley) will be represented by Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen's 11th District. The 3rd Ward will fall mostly into the 10th district of Democrat Donald Payne.(Click on graphic to enlarge.)

It all becomes official in 2013.
Final confirmation of the new maps won't happen until the new legislature confirms everything when they meet in January. More details and the best analysis of the process so far can be found at

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

7 year Old King of Bloomfield's Inflatables

James Joanow likes balloons. His grandmother recalls that he's been collecting them since he was around 5 years old. James especially likes the oversized inflatables that are the latest thing to decorate front yards for holidays and special occasions. The problem is that James lives in a 2 bedroom condo where holiday displays are frowned upon -- especially those that take up lawn space.

So, James called on grandparents Nick and Marlene Joanow to donate their front yard to showcase his collection on major holidays. The fact that the Joanows live on an isolated Lakewood Terrace cul-de-sac -- with a tiny, hilly, front yard -- has not dampened James' enthusiasm. "He loves standing out front in the cold and answering questions from neighbors and passersby," notes Councilman Joanow.

Each holiday serves up new and bigger additions to his displays. James is now 7. Even though he still lives in the Roseland condo, he manages to spend most of his December weekends visiting "Poppy" and giving guided tours while fine tuning his latest project. He told me that he's been working on this year's Christmas display since taking down an equally amazing Halloween show that startled neighbors with two fog machines. "He really does it all himself," says Nick. "He arranges all of them and configures all the wiring so that no one gets tangled up and no circuits are overloaded." Check out this Youtube clip of James in action.

Young James still has two items on the top of his Christmas list: more inflatables and more extension cords.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas in Bloomfield

Seems like there is a bit more optimism in the air as indicated by an increase in homes lit up for the holiday season. Especially nice to see lights on side streets that are mostly only seen by neighbors. These homes are on Garner St. We've seen some spectacular displays in even more isolated neighborhoods. Stay tuned....

Sunday, December 18, 2011


2011 has been quite a year of ups and downs in Bloomfield. Here's a tast of out "highlight reel" for the year. They can all be found in our blogroll at right. Recognise any?

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Russians are Coming!

Among it's many diverse ethnic groups, we're aware that Bloomfield has a vibrant Russian community. Google analytics is showing us that late this afternoon hundreds of folks from the heart of Russia have suddenly become fascinated with this humble Bloomfield blog. We're open to theories as to who, and why....

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bloomfield Centennial

Broad Street at Franklin.
Time for another reminder that Bloomfield's Bicentennial Committee will be meeting for the last time, in this pre-Bicentennial year, on Saturday at 10:AM in Bloomfield College's Science Building. All are welcome.

Besides hundreds of photos like this on The Historical Society of Bloomfield's website, you are invited to the grand opening of our new unofficial Bicentennial blog: Vintage Bloomfield.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Au Revoir, Janice

It's hardly a goodbye, since we'll be seeing her this Saturday when she chairs another meeting of Bloomfield's Bicentennial Committee:

Dear Friend:

Khalil Gibran once wrote, “You give but little when you give of your possessions, it is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” For the past 9 years I have abided by these words serving as the First Ward representative in the municipality of Bloomfield. Although my term expires December 31, 2011, my last council meeting will be Monday, December 12, 2011.

During my tenure on council, I am proud to say that my many initiatives were attained and that growth and accomplishments for Bloomfield and in particular, Ward 1, are evidenced. Many of these accomplishments were in direct response to the needs and desires of the constituents. I would also like to thank those town hall employees and advisors who worked diligently in assisting me in my township goals. Further, I would like to thank various members of the governing body and other elected officials who, throughout the years, fostered within me an “education in people,” second only to a Harvard Doctrine.

I do not leave this position with a heavy heart, but with one that beats excitedly. I shall remain committed to our town. Presently, I serve as chair to the Bicentennial committee, helping to navigate Bloomfield’s 200th Birthday with honor and grace. On a personal note, I cherish the blessings that God has bestowed upon me, I continue to plan and lay the groundwork for my future and with open arms I am ready to love life to its fullest. As I pen this farewell address, I glance down upon my hands and recall the times I filled Brian’s juicy cup with my left hand and simultaneously moved mountains with my right. I proudly ponder, that these are my hands; small yet independent. It is at this juncture in my life that I choose to use my hands to gently wave farewell.


Councilwoman Janice Litterio

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pinpointing Poverty in Bloomfield

WNYC created a Pinpointing Poverty map based on newly-released statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. Interesting to see that the Montclair tract at left has over 3 times the rate of poverty as can be found anywhere in Bloomfield. Baristanet raised the issue to much back and forth comment by it's regulars. This census tract(#153), along with two others in the 10% range, covers a sector of Bloomfield East of the Garden State Parkway and south of Hoover.(click on map to enlarge)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Christmas Carol for Rent Control

Following Monday's Christmas Tree lighting festivities, John Street resident Beresford Jones sang to the council during the public portion of the meeting. He was applauded by fellow rent control protestors who had earler picketed outside.
See video via link below:
Next Line of Attack for Rent Protection Advocates: SINGING? [Video] - Bloomfield, NJ Patch:

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Bloomfield Census Consensus

The NJ Star Ledger and the Philadelphia Courier have collaborated on an interesting piece regarding NJ outmigration appropriately titled: "N.J.residents are leaving for Pennsylvania in increasingly large numbers." They cite many 2010 Census stats to reinforce their premise, but they don't point out that -- while Pennsylvania is the leading northeast state for in-migration -- the number LEAVING Pennsylvania for other states is comparable to those leaving NJ. The 130 odd comments at following the piece reinvorce the message. One summed it up
especially well: "...I would love to see a stat on how many baby boomers are fleeing this money pit of a state. You would have to be an absolute idiot to retire here."

All this got me wondering about how many Bloomfielders have been leaving town and when the exodus began. We all have friends and relatives who have decided it was time for them to migrate to another state. Having participated in last year's Census in Bloomfield, I can attest to the fact that every stone was unturned to count every possible resident in every neighborhood. It turned out that we were down several hundred from the previous census. Although the township is considering a formal challenge on the numbers, the adjacent chart from Wikopedia shows that the pattern has been fairly steady for the past 40 years. We've shrunk from a high of 52,029 in 1970 to our current 47,315. Going into our Bicentennial year, it's hard to imagine what Bloomfield was like in 1900 just before it began it's biggest population surge -- quintupling in size by 1950.

We can speculate that much of the decline is attributable to factors such as declining family sizes and uncounted undocumented residents, but there's no doubt that taxes also have a lot to do with it. We continue to wonder if anything can be done to reverse the process and whose going to fill those empty rooms.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Assessing Bloomfield's Neighborhoods

At Monday's Council meeting Tax Assessor Joe Pisauro presented an update on his 2012 Compliance Plan for property taxes. He explained that he breaks Bloomfield into has 150 neighborhoods that must be reviewed each year.

I asked Mr. Pisauro if he could provide a copy of his map and he forwarded the copy below. It would make an interesting parlor game -- and jigsaw puzzle -- just to figure out which segment you live in. (click on map to enlarge) Pisauro explained to me that his "neighborhoods" are not defined in terms of streets or traditional communities, but of assessed land values and similar types of housing. Not all towns use this systems, but it facilitates fine tuning annual tax updates. To get you started, green depicts parks, light green is for golf courses....

He can change up to 50 percent of the township’s property evaluations annually, based on current market conditions. These changes are then brought before the County Board of Taxation for approval.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Broad and Bay In "Olden Days"

"It would be hard to disagree with the ladies of the TIA that this is one of Bloomfield's worst corners. The building to the right seems to be in the process of demolition. The Broad Street service station seems to occupy the corner that was once owned by James Morris, whose old derelict mansion still stands behind it. Gas stations now occupy both corners and the area beyond the site of the Morris home is a 7-11 variety store, Branch Bank, and Dunkin' Donuts. From 1942 until it burned in 1991, it was the location of the Broad and Bay Bowling Alley."

Frederick Branch from The Historical Society of Bloomfield

Saturday, November 19, 2011

You Can't Take It With You

The Bloomfield High School Thespians take their bows after the final performance of their revival of the Hart Kajufman classic at Van Fossan Theater. The original play was won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was a terrific production, touching on many topical issues that we are still dealing with. Now I have to dig up the Jimmy Stewart movie version -- a good chunk of which is on Youtube

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Duel on Evans Road

Two next door neighbors on the northeast corner of Bloomfield happen to have 2 of the 3 highest priced homes in town. 120 Evans Road and 116 Evans Road (at left) are priced at 549.9k and 619k respectively. Both Colonials were built in 1973 came on the market in July and have yet to find a buyer or make a price reduction.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Police Blotter Highlights

Nov. 9: Someone kicked in a laundry room window on the 200 block of Franklin Street. Once inside the suspect broke into the coin machine. It is unknown how much money was taken.

Nov. 10: A homeowner on the 100 block of Ella Street reported someone entered the home through a rear door between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. and took a PlayStation 3, a Compaq laptop computer and jewelry.

Nov. 10: A man reported someone broke into his garage on the 200 block of North 17th Street and stole a bicycle.

Nov. 11: A woman said when she returned to her home on the 100 block of Parkway Drive West, she noticed a rear window was open. She then went upstairs and found a bedroom had been ransacked and two rings were missing.

Stolen Vehicles
Nov. 9: A 1996 Honda was stolen from North 17th Street.

Nov. 12: A 2000 Ford was stolen from Abington Avenue and Ampere Parkway.

Nov. 9: Two parking meters were removed from a lot on Bloomfield Avenue and Ward Street between Nov. 8 and Nov. 9.

Nov. 9: A man reported two men broke into his car on the 50 block of Farrandale Avenue and took a Gucci brown bag containing his driver’s license, credit cards and an iPhone.

Nov. 10: A woman reported a man entered her office at 2 Broad St. and stole a wallet and a Wii game out of her purse.

Nov. 13: A woman, who was having a seizure, said a bystander told her a man stole her coach handbag while the woman was having a seizure on the 50 block of Franklin Street.

Criminal Mischief
Nov. 10: A man reported someone ripped out some of the wires on two cars on the 350 block of Broad Street.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bicentennial Plans Take Shape

This morning's organizing meeting at the Bloomfield Library was SRO with dozens of resident's signing up on a variety of committees. There's still time to get involved. You can keep in touch by "Liking" the new Facebook page. A more interactive website will be up in a few days with a closer look at what the committees are up to and what events are in the planning stages. Clicking on the photo thumbnails at the top of the page starts a c.1900 slide show (currently showing the Watsessing area).

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

One Party Rule Becomes the Rule

There were many reasons given for the inability of GOP candidates to stage a competitive campaign in Bloomfield. Certainly the changing demographics had a lot to do with it. Others have cited the well-oiled Democratic machine led by Democratic Committee leader Strumolo. Yet the most votes were garnered by anti-machine Democrat, Nick Joanow (at right) in the 2nd Ward -- Bloomfield's heaviest Republican stronghold,
On the NJ/Bloomfield Forum, NJPollwatcher reminded us of how it used to be:
The last "like" election was 1999...meaning similar in that there were no statewide or congressional elections and the top of the ticket was legislative. In 1999 the entire Dem ticket (Assembly, Freeholder and Council) was dominated by the Republican party. This was in part due to a popular Bloomfield candidate--Marion Crecco---being at the top of the ticket.
Now, Republicans in town are more than likely more heavily outnumbered in terms of registered/affiliated party voters.....

Concerning the current GOP, "ByeBye Bloomfield" summed it up the best:
But what happened here in Bloomfield was that our local republican candidates were full of national GOP ideas instead of their own. In addition they could distance themselves from some of the negative aspects of the mainstream conservative republican ideology, but instead they imbraced it. They should have been progressive republicans instead of conservative. Honestly they almost sounded like a Tea Party branch of the Republican Party and just did not see the issues as they were. None of them said anything about the millions of state aid cut by their protege governor. Or what can they do to get this aid back. Instead their solution to balance the sheet was to cut two departments by 5%. Next year when the state aid will be trimmed even more another 5 or 10% of cut would be made. This is not facing an issue but simply avoiding it just as unlimited bonding. Bloomfield GOP should have concentrated on local issues not politics.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

When No Means Yes

At the October 24th Conference meeting, councilman Nick Joanow's proposal for Bloomfield to institute a "Pay to Play" ordinance was narrowly defeated by the mayor's 4 to 3 majority. The need for such an ordnance became abundantly clear at the Candidate's Forum last Thursday. Towards the end of the Q and A from the audience, the candidates were asked if they had ever accepted contributions from vendors.

This week's independent Press has a cover story on the "incorrect answers" that Carlos Bernard and Elias Chalet gave at the Forum:

Incorrect answers at forum
By Daniel Jackovino Staff Writer

During last Thursday's Candidates' Forum, candidates were asked if they had accepted contributions from vendors currently under contract with the township.

All six candidates answered "no." However, a perfunctory review of the candidates' contribution reports showed Democrat Carlos Bernard of the 3rd Ward and Democrat Elias Chalet of the 1st Ward did in fact receive contributions from contracted vendors.

The Friends of Carlos Bernard for Councilman listed Ed Farmer, the CEO of Millennium Strategies, a grants consultant for the township, as having made a $250 contribution. Andrew Zabiega, a partner in the accounting firm of Samuel Klein & Co, the township auditor, made a contribution of $100. Elias Chalet for Bloomfield Councilman lists a $2,600 contribution from Richard Alaimo Engineering Association, an engineering consultant.
Video coverage of the entire forum can be seen here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat or Not Tonight -- Maybe Friday

Along with Glen Ridge and Montclair, comes this announcement from Bloomfield:
The Township of Bloomfield and Township of Glen Ridge are concerned about slippery roads, darkened streets, downed tree limbs and power lines and are postponed trick-or-treating until Friday, November 4, 2011. Bloomfield and Glen Ridge are urging parents and residents to wait until end of the week to allow children to go trick-or-treating Friday November 4, 2011.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Climate Change Emergency -- Day 2

Thousands of Bloomfield residents are still without power and Broad Street remains closed from Sunset to Yantecaw (right.)Mayor McCarthy described the damage as much worse than Hurricane Irene and opened the Civic Center to those without heat. All schools will stay closed on Monday and Halloween trick or treating may be strongly discouraged.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


The County of Essex and the Township of Bloomfield would like to inform all residents that conditions outdoors due to the storm are very dangerous and we encourage everyone to stay at home. The snow is causing many trees and power lines to fall causing hazardous conditions. Once again please do not leave your home unless it is an extreme emergency. Thank You

Friday, October 28, 2011

Morris Canal Photographs by Bloomfield's Best Known Painter

Born in Albany, New York, Charles Warren Eaton became a Tonalist landscape painter greatly influenced by Montclair's George Inness. His intimate, moody landscapes were known for subdued hues and muted tonal harmonies, and the subject was often the landscape in late autumn, evening time, or winter. His paintings were groundbreaking because they were relatively small scale intimate countryside views, which was a departure from the generally popular panoramic, romanticized views of Hudson River School painters. A reclusive bachelor, Eaton maintained a studio in New York City and painted throughout the Northeast.

Eaton also visited Holland where he painted many canal scenes. This may explain his love for Bloomfield and the Morris Canal. He lived most of his life on Monroe St. and left an extensive collection of photographs taken along the canal that were believed to have inspired many of his paintings. He lived in Bloomfield from the 1880's until his death in 1937 -- over a decade after the Morris Canal was drained and filled in.

Archivist Rich Rockwell recently added large selection of these photographs to the rapidly expanding website of the Historical Society of Bloomfield. Rich has done extensive research on many of the locations of specific photographs such as the one shown here: "Looking South towards the Liberty Street bridge. The houses on the right are the backs of houses on Spruce Street. The chimney is W M Cutler Coal on Spruce Street at the foot of Monroe Place "(click on photograph to enlarge)
Much of the original documentation on the Canal photos was done in 1976 by Robert Goller who is still active with the Canal Society of New Jersey.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thursday is Candidate's Night

Bloomfield Candidate forum is this Thursday, Oct. 27 at Bloomfield College's Van Fossan Theatre, corner of Fremont and Franklin Streets. The forum is an opportunity for the public to meet and question all six contestants running for the three ward council seats on the ballot in the November 8 general election. The forum tarts at 7:00, doors open as 6:30.

Arrive early for a slide show of Bloomfield past and present memorabilia by yours truly.
Post forum reception will be Next door in Westminster Hall. All for free.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rent Controls Return to Bloomfield -- Almost

After nearly a year of unsuccessful votes to restore rent control, Bloomfield's Town Council tonight unanimously approved a compromise rent control agreement that will protect many tenants from unbearable rent increases.
This time around, however, several limitations were were added to the ordinance: It will only apply to buildings with 5 or more units, increases cannot be more than 5% a year based on the consumer price index, and new apartment buildings that are part of downtown redevelopment will be exempt from rent control for 30 years after they are built. More details can be found in Bloomfield Life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

North Center Revisited

Residents were invited to a designers open house atBloomfield Library to compare and discuss concepts to revitalize the town’s North Center commercial district (Broad Street from the intersection of Pitt/James Streets to Hoover Avenue).
The town, along with landscape architect David Lustberg, and his team at Arterial, a Montclair-based “street design studio,” was present with boards illustrating initial ideas to improve the area, including new sidewalks, furniture, banners, trash receptacles, municipal parking lot improvements that would allow better connectivity to the parking lot for pedestrians and cars and a parklet — the temporary use of a parking space for seating or outdoor dining.
Lustberg and his team will move forward with the initial plans or revise them based on community feedback. According to Lustberg, the first phase of construction will start in spring 2012 and will continue based on available funding (the town is looking at various funding sources for the initiative).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bloomfield Mortgage Scammer Sentenced

A loan officer from a Bloomfield-based business was sentenced Monday to 366 days in prison for his role in a $1.5 million wire fraud case, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

David Wynn of Englewood, from Home Start America Inc., previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, along with its chief executive officer and founder Michael Kaufman, of Reading, Pa. Kaufman also pleaded guilty in the sceme and is awaiting sentencing.

Kaufman founded HSA in Bloomfield, N.J., and at one time employed more than 30 people in the historic Leo building at 2 Broad St. . Kaufman, through HSA, purchased and sold residential real estate properties. As part of the scheme, Kaufman and others recruited people – often first-time home buyers – to purchase properties quickly, with promises of no money down, no closing costs, and repairs paid for by HSA. Kaufman would then steer the purchasers to loan officers, including Wynn.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

2nd Ward Candidate Deleted from Campaign

Question: What's missing from this Democratic billboard on Broad St?
Answer: NIck Joanow, the Democratic candidate who overwhelmingly won his primary to qualify for LIne A on his party's ticket.

The bottom line according to Democratic District Rep, Pat Gilleran:

"Bloomfield environmental Town Councilor Nick Joanow is not being supported by the Bloomfield Democratic County Committee. Rumor has it that Bloomfield's Mayor Ray Mccarthy has been campaigning for the Republican candidate, Kent Weisert."

Pat has made her case in an open letter to Essex County Democratic Chairman PhilipThigpen,

I would like to ask why the Bloomfield Democratic County Committee has been allowed to circumvent their own bylaws and NOT support the re-election of Bloomfield 2nd Ward Democratic Councilman Nick Joanow. Mr. Joanow won the Democratic primary in 2011 and is running on LINE A as a Democrat.

I've attached a photo of the Bloomfield Democratic County Committee sponsored Billboard on Broad Street in Bloomfield where Mr. Joanow is not included and yet Democratic candidates from ALL other wards in Bloomfield are.

I would like an explanation as to why the Bloomfield Democratic County Committee is being run as a social club and not as a true Democratic organization. I am a duly elected District leader who has not been invited to a meeting in over a year. Others that I know have also not been invited. We were elected by the people of Bloomfield and yet we cannot represent them.

Pat Gilleran
Bloomfield Democratic County Committee Ward 2 District 2 Representative

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cell Tower Proposal Withdrawn

T-Mobile 's attorney has notified the Bloomfield Zoning Board that they have withdrawn their application without prejudice. Here is the letter submitted to the Bloomfield Zoning Board:
Re: T-Mobile Northeast LLC, variance application, 551 Broad St.

Dear Chairman and Board members:

I have been authorized by T-Mobile to advise you that the Applicant desires to withdraw
this case, without prejudice. Obviously, this will render the October 20, 2011 hearing
date moot.

On behalf of T-Mobile, I would like to thank the Board as well as its staff and
professionals for their attention and consideration of this application.

Very truly yours,

James K. Pryor

The Bloomfield Zoning Board will still hold a special public meeting on Thursday October 20, 2011 at 7:00pm Bloomfield Town Hall - 2nd Floor to discuss the cell tower.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bloomfield's School Garden

From the glass slide collection of Bloomfield resident, David Petillo (c.1914). Much of his collection can be viewed online at Click on photo to enlarge.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Solar Comes to Bloomfield

(Newark, NJ) – As part of its Solar 4 All™ program, PSE&G is installing pole-attached solar energy units in the more than 300 municipalities in its electric service territory. When the project is complete in late 2012, the pole-attached solar units will provide 40-megawatts of solar electricity – enough to power about 6,500 average size New Jersey homes annually. Solar unit installations started in 2009 and to date approximately 109,000 units are installed, operating and producing clean energy from the sun.

Beginning in mid- to late- October, PSE&G contractors will begin installing pole-attached solar units in Bloomfield. They will be placed on utility poles that offer a clear exposure to the southern sky, access to the proper voltage electric wires and where installation does not interfere with existing equipment on the pole. Not all utility poles will receive a solar unit since only those that meet these three criteria are eligible. The panels are approximately 2 ½ feet high by 5 feet wide and will be installed about 15 feet off the ground.

“These solar units bring the direct benefit of clean, renewable energy to all our customers since the electricity they generate is used in homes and businesses in the immediate neighborhood,” said Al Matos, vice president for renewables and energy solutions for PSE&G. “We would need 170 acres of land to place 40 megawatts worth of traditional solar farms. By utilizing these utility poles, we take up zero land space, which is a great way to install a large amount of solar capacity in a crowded state like New Jersey while making solar available to all.”

PSE&G estimates that when the full 40 megawatts of pole attached solar units are installed, they will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air by 31 metric tons per year, the amount of nitrous oxide (NOx) by 58 metric tons per year, and the amount of sulfur oxide (SOx) by 135 metric tons per year. This is the same as removing about 3,800 cars from the road for one year.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Discussion With Police Chief now Online

The full 90 minute Q & A with Bloomfield's new Police Chief, Christopher Goul, is now available on the WBMA-TV website. It can be found in the Community events section. Downtown Business Alliance manage Doreen Sarcone is pictured above. At left is Piano's Manager, William Rutan, and Planning Board member Susana Sotillo. The September event was organized by the Bloomfield Neighborhood Association Committee. The BNAC's next event will be their Candidate's Forum at Bloomfield College on October 27th.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Blessing of the Animals to Benefit Bloomfield Shelter

Shelter Volunteer Karen Banda reports that "the pastor has very generously offered to donate all money collected at the service to the Bloomfield/Bukowski Animal Shelter. We are extremely grateful. Volunteers and some shelter animals will be present to receive the blessing which we hope will be carried back to the rest of our shelter critters."
(Click on poster to enlarge)
Two other animal blessing events are taking place in Mpntclair and Nutley this weekend.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Belleville residents blame Bloomfield businesses for flooding

From Bloomfield Life:
While the mayor and council argued they have no say over Bloomfield businesses(Glendale Cemetery and Forest Hill golf course), Hinton insisted that the cemetery's land closest the river is technically Belleville. Mayor Ray Kimble subsequently agreed to send Belleville code employees to Bloomfield, to issue violation notices.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Harvest Fest

The fun continues at the 19th Annual Bloomfield Harvest Fest on Sunday 11 AM - 6PM..
Yhe Entertainment schedule can be found here.

What's New on Bloomfield Ave?

It wasn't the traffic accident on Wednesday that temporarily blocked drivers in both directions. (A westbound car had crashed into
the front yard of a Glen Ridge Resident on the corner of Clark St.) It wasn't the scratch and sniff look to one of Bloomfield's finest police cars. Your're correct if you noticed the new banners for Bloomfield's 2012 Bicentennial festivities. Bloomfield history buffs can make the case for a Bloomfield Tricentenial as well.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Those Little Red Schoolroom Containers

To deal with overcrowding at Franklin School this year, the Bloomfield school district has brought in three trailers to serve as temporary classrooms, each with a 30-student capacity. Even with a fresh coat of red paint, the windowless cubicles still look more like industrial containers than school rooms.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Police Chief Chris Goul to Speak to Bloomfield Residents Saturday

Bloomfield Township Police Chief Christopher Goul will be the guest Saturday's 10am meeting of Bloomfield's Neighborhood Association Committee. Goul was confirmed by the Town Council in January.

The meeting format is usually a brief overview by the guest then questions from residents.It will take place in The Mayor's conference room in the second floor of the Police Building at the corner of Montgomery and Franklin streets,

The BNAC is a loosely organized grassroots network of Bloomfield residents which meets bi-monthly to share interests, concerns and events. Anyone can attend meetings. The BNAC sponsors candidate forums and periodically invites local leaders to meet with residents.

Monday, September 12, 2011

T-Mobile Still Undecided on Cell Tower Plan, But ZB May Force the Issue on Thursday

The attorney for T-Mobile, James Pryor, has again requested the Bloomfield Zoning Board carry T-Mobile’s application to build a 120-foot monopole on the corner of Broad Street and Bay Avenue for “one last time.”
In a letter to the board dated September 9, 2011, Pryor stated that T-Mobile is “still evaluating this site based on current circumstances,” and requested that the Board schedule a special meeting to address the application on either October 13 or October 20, 2011, as the regular Zoning Board meeting agenda on October 6 is already full. Applicants requesting a special meeting of the board are required to pay for the expense of the additional meeting.
T-Mobile will provide legal notice for whichever date is selected, and the applicant will be prepared to either provide testimony at the meeting or request dismissal of the application at that time. The letter also waived the time constraint on the board to act on the application to October 31.

However the leader of the neighborhood residents opposed to the tower spoke with the secretary of the Bloomfield Zoning Board to confirm the Baristanet report. She reaffirmed that that T-Mobile is required to appear this Thursday September 15, 2011 at 7:30pm Bloomfield Town Hall to let the Zoning Board know whether they choose to proceed with the application.

Tuesday 5:PM Update:
Bloomfield Zoning Board Attorney confirms that that Mr. Pryor, attorney for T-Mobile will not be at this meeting and that the letter sent to the Zoning Board on September 9 will be read into record. For a copy of this letter please email: The zoning board is voting this Thursday to either accept T-Mobile's adjournment or not.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Doggon Biggest Pooch Parade in Brookdale

United Against Puppy Mills (UAPM) held a Puppy Mill Awareness Concert, Sound for the Hounds, in Brookdale Park today. This event was geared toward raising awareness about puppy mills and enlightening the public about how to put an end to the industry.

Along with many prominent jazz performances, the event also featured a Dog Look-a-Like Contest, sponsored by Rescue Ink; rescue groups representing many different dogs breeds; vendors; and much interbreed networking.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Foley Field Reopens

First game on the new astroturf....Bloomfield 42 - Belleville 7...Go Bengals!! A video clip can be seen here.
Bloomfield's Fitness Guru, Steve Crooks, wrote up his impressions of the event for his forthcoming blog:

This is what it looked like and felt like to me...
Like they say, "If you build it, they will come." Boy, those Friday-night lights were outstanding, weren't they? There could not have been a more perfect game to open not only the season, but the whole new era of Foley Field. I mean, it sounded like a great game; but to be honest, from where I was standing I couldn't actually see much of the action. And besides, there was as much action, energy and excitement in the crowd as there was on the field. It was everything vibrant and vital about a town like Bloomfield, people of all ages and shapes and sizes and walks of life. Kids big and small, engaging in that kind of life-celebration that, I'm sorry, but an I-Phone or a video game or texting your BFF just can't provide. Older folks with that look on their faces you only see in churches or movie theaters sometimes, as if something has been born and reborn, right in front of their eyes; something they never really believed they'd see again.

And more than that, there was a clear and visible lesson for our times: do the best with what you've got. Use a table for a ticket booth; use a tent for concessions. And the stands? Well, there'll certainly be more than just rented aluminum bleachers in Foley's future, but hey, as a fitness professional, I think people sit too darned much anyway. And to be honest, without any real stands to plant themselves in, there was a lot more mingling and neighbor-to-neighbor socializing going on.

Galvanized like a thrilling human chain of community, in the bleachers, against the fence (where my son and I first tied our red ribbons on a rainy Sunday morning a couple of March's ago), out along the ticket line, through the local blocks and parking lots, and iron-straight all the way up the column of Broad Street traffic; it was everything I could've imagined from the time I started imagining the revitalized Foley Field at all, how it would bring together and anchor all the diverse districts and neighborhoods and citizens of our fascinating town. (My 'social barometer' for the evening? The shopping-cart-collecting kid I spoke to later on that night at the Brookdale Shop-Rite, who said simply, "No one was here!")....

Steve's complete post can now be found on Baristanet.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Welcome to Foreclosuredale

Broad St residents paid scant attention to the home being boarded up a couple of days before the arrival of Hurricane Irene. But when the plywood windows stayed on for days after Irene's departurbanker sign was down, a new reality set in. The cozy corner cape had been for sale for months, but now the Caldwell Banker Realty sign had come down. The unsuccessful Short Sale was now a Foreclosure.

After receiving several complaints, councilman NIck Joanow prodded Bloomfield's Director of Code Enforcement, Glen Dominick to convey the residents' concerns to the mortgage holder.

Dominick took a cautious approach:
" …while it is not what I would like to see I do not recommend we ask the mortgage companies on this location or any other to alter their attempts to secure these structures it create less problems for us and protects the condition of the home to the best it can in order to insure the best possible potential for a sale. The Township potentially will face great numbers of properties being boarded up and as you are aware this national epidemic is not something we can cure on a local level it creates a great burden on our services and this method is one way of greatly reducing our burden. Once I compile a database of the foreclosed properties I can begin to formulate the contact information on the lien holders then I have a plan for the general steps that I will request of the banks in order to secure and maintain properties such as this."

The issue of maintaining property values in the face of an avalanche of impending foreclosures has no easy solutions. Neighborhood awareness is a good start. Just making sure that vacant homes don't attract vandals with accumulated trash or overflowing mail boxes can make a difference.

Plans for a Town Hall meeting on the subject have been put on hold.

This Wednesday, the plywood was taken down.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

New Rules for Golf Drivers?

If corporations are people, are carts considered pedestrians when they drive across a crosswalk? Just wondering...