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.