Thursday, June 30, 2011

Route Changes for Tonight's Sunset Classic Run

The 23rd Running benefits The Bloomfield Education Foundation.

Since the early 1980's, The Sunset Classic has been a calendar favorite in Northern New Jersey road racing, On Thursday night, June 30, come celebrate the 23rd running of The Sunset Classic. Lots of special treats are in store, including our famous collared shirt for 5 Milers and the fabulous food and drink that has always been a staple.
Detailed race info can be found on their website. Road closure info can be downloaded here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bloomfield's Residential Rehabilitation Program

Do you own a home in Bloomfield that needs repairs? Could you use help paying for it?
Bloomfield Township's Residential Rehabilitation Program may be able to assist you!

The Residential Rehabilitation Program is funded through the Community Development Block Grant Program. It provides Forgivable Loans to low and moderate income homeowners occupying 1, 2 or 3 family homes in Bloomfield and a handfull of other towns in the region.

What are the funding terms? The funds are provided as a ten year forgivable loan up to $15,000 for the homeowner's dwelling and up to $10,000 for rental units. There is NO monthly payments and NO interest. The loan comes in the form of a lien which is removed and forgiven after the ten year period. If the property is sold or ownership transferred within the 10 year period, then the lien must be paid off in the amount borrowed. Any rental units that are improved by the Program must be rented at affordable rents to low and moderate income families for the 10 year period.

We actually applied for assistance from the CGPH a few years ago and were able to make major repairs and electrical upgrades that we had been putting off for years.

Who is eligible? Owners in Bloomfield, whose property taxes are paid current and who meet the program income guidelines.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Unofficial Exhibits Share Stage at Zoning Board Hearing on Cell Tower Proposal

It will be at least two more months until the residents can formally present their case in opposition to T-Mobile's proposed cell tower, but photographic evidence of the Broad and Bay site's problems was posted around the meeting room.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cell Tower Meeting Scheduled Tonight

Tonight, Thursday, June 16th, is yet another hearing by the Bloomfield Zoning Board at 7:30 PM in the Bloomfield Municipal Building, At least two more meetings will be necessary to decide whether the Township of Bloomfield will grant a zoning variance to allow the building of 120 foot cell tower, "disguised" as a flagpole in our neighborhood. You can get involved with the raised by the proposed tower on this Facebook page.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rash of Restaurant Burglaries on Broad St.

From Bloomfield's Police Department's Crime blotter:

The owner of Stamna Greek Taverna of Broad Street reported $3,800 as stolen from a cash register June 5. The back door was found forced open.

A manager at Shiki Wok of Broad Street reported $150 as missing from a cash register when the business opened for the day June 5. The front door was found unlocked.

The owner of Boonsong Thai Cuisine of Broad Street reported an unknown individual kicking in the back door to the restaurant June 5. No money was taken.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bloomfield's Biggest Crack?

Step on a crack, break your mothers back! (Click on photo to enlarge)
Noticed this recently on Baldwin PL. near Newark Ave. The familiar proverb may actually have started as far back as here.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A New Look for Council Comments

Last night's Town Council meeting is worth checking out for several reasons: an extended update on Megan's Law by Christine Fay of the Essex County Prosecutor's Office. Fay noted that 10 registered sex offenders are currently registered in Bloomfield. Details of the locations of all "Tier 3" offenders can be accessed from the NJ State Police Internet registry for sex offenders at

Because of the length of Fay's presentation, the podium was moved so that she could face the the audience -- and the TV camera, so viewers of WBMA-TV were able to see the faces of all speakers at the podium for the first time. Not sure who should get credit for this move, but it's amazing that no one suggested it before now. Time will tell if this encourages or discourages residents to speak out at the future meetings. About 58 minutes into the meeting, Councilman Nick Joanow suggested that the Council make the new podium setup permanent when he was inexplicably gavelled down by the mayor who snapped: "We don't need that conversation -- allright we'll leave it there!." We had to wonder of this was an expression of lingering bitterness over Joanow's trouncing of his handpicked challenger the day before.

The town engineer gave a lucid explanation to former councilman Gary iacobacci (pictured) on how 2 specific Change Orders were evaluated.

Township officials reviewed a budget amendment that would have increased total appropriations and revenue from $69.9 million to $70 million. The vote was 3 to 3 on its adoption so the motion was tabled. Councilman Michael Venezia was not present at the meeting.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

First Night for Cruise Night

Throughout most of the summer, Wednesday NIghts are Cruise Nights in downtown Bloomfield. Sponsored by the Downtown Alliance, Cruise nights go from 6 to 9PM on Broad Street near Bloomfield Avenue.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

A Pay to Play Money Tree Grows In Bloomfield

Despite the recent adoption of stricter Pay to Pay laws, the Line A Democratic Primary campaign to elect Carlos Bernard and Paul Halligan has been largely funded for by well-connected out of town special interests who are counting on their candidates to approve lucrative contracts paid for by taxpayer dollars.

A quick glance thru the reports filed by the Bernard and Halligan campaigns with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission reveals thousands of dollars in special interest money both candidates have accepted from out of town vendors. Only amounts in excess of $300 are required to be identified. As late as May 31, nearly all of Halligan's largest donations are from out of town interests.

The sample above (Click on picture to enlarge) shows a $2,500 donation from Richard A. Alaimo Engineering Associates in Mount Holly. This happens to be the same company that contributed $5,000 to the Bloomfield Democratic Committee during our Mayor's re-election campaign last October. While this is all currently legal, It's not hard to guess why a South Jersey Business would have such a longstanding interest in Bloomfield politics.

The irony in this is that Nick Joanow has been leading the fight to get the Council to pass a stronger ethics ordinance that would put teeth in the NJ State Law as it apples to local politicians and employees. The Mayor has been dragging his feet on a vote on NIck's April proposal. This may have been another factor in the local party's attempt to prevent his re-election.
Update: The 2006 :pay to play" ordinance was rescinded in 2009 on the advice of the Bloomfield Town Attorney who suggested that was redundant and unnecessary in view of the newer NJ state law. Again, these donations are still legal, but it's hard to find much that made illegal in the NJ State legislation,

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Purr-fect Yard Sale

HUGE Yard Sale Sat and Sun June 4 & 5 to benefit A Purrfect World Cat Sanctuary. Sale will be held at 60 Newark Ave, Bloomfield, corner of Baldwin Place (entrance is the driveway on Baldwin). 9 to 5. Rain or Shine. Last year we had over 30 tables of merchandise, lots of clothes racks and bookcases and ground tarps full of stuff. Donations from over 100 families. We do have vintage jewelry and and Asian (Thai) art works. I bought a Krupps Coffeemaker for $3 and a mini Cuisinart for $! (both barely used) and a book of stories called: "You can Read to Your Cat." Come buy a treasure and help save a kitty. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Bloomfield Home Values Show Slight Increase

Trulia is reporting that the median sales price for homes in Bloomfield NJ for Feb 11 to Apr 11 was $258,000. Bucking up against the national downward trend, this represents an increase of 1.3%, or $3,250, compared to the prior quarter and a decrease of 4.4% compared to the prior year. Sales prices have depreciated 29.2% over the last 5 years in Bloomfield. (click on graphic to enlarge) The average listing price for Bloomfield homes for sale on Trulia was $282,758 for the week ending May 23, which represents a decline of 1.2%, or $3,384, compared to the prior week and a decline of 1.1%, or $3,288, compared to the week ending May 02.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Bloomfield Primary Candidates Forum Now Online

Suppose they gave a Candidates Forum in Bloomfield and no one filmed it?

The Bloomfield WBMA TV crew was unable to videotape at Bloomfield College because their studio is currently shut down due to asbestos contamination. An audio tape of the Candidates Forum has now been posted on WBMA's website and is well worth listening to - both for it's barbs and insights into what the candidates feel is important. I was honored to be able to supply the photos that WBMA Director Bob Duthaler skillfully edited into the tape by syncing them up to each speaker's comments.

This primary election has become an intra-party duel between independent incumbent Democrats (Joanow and Ruane) vs the Democratic Machine (Halligan & Bernard)."