Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Model Proposal to Control Cell Towers

At this weeks conference meeting, Bloomfield's town council agreed to update a township ordinance on wireless communication.

The motion, put forth by Bloomfield Residents for Responsible Wireless Communications, Maria Probst and Sandra Cummins, calls for a wireless communication system that reflects up-to-date technology as well as a design that is aesthetically pleasing and has a carefully considered “fall zone” to protect citizens. There was no such zone in T-Mobile's plans to erect a new cell phone tower last year near the corner of Bay and Broad Street.

Probst and Cummins concluded that there must be a 120-foot fall zone around any wireless communication structure. They have written an extensive report on the issue, noting that Bloomfield's current Wireless Communication Ordinance was adopted over 10 years ago and is no longer viable.

The Mayor and council voted 6 to 0 on first reading for Nick Joanow's proposed ordinance to be reviewed by the Planning Board.

A small group of concerned and dedicated Bloomfield residents came together to write the proposed ordinance. Extensive research was done on other municipalities’ wireless telecommunication facilities ordinances across NJ the US to determine the best practices for a policy that would hold up under legal scrutiny. Their overriding challenge "was to make sure that in writing it we did not violate the 1996 Telecommunications Act by making it impossible for cell towers and other telecommunications facilities to be built."

Clerk Louise Palagano stated that "The Council will pass a resolution on Monday, March 5th sending it to the Planning Board as well as introduce the ordinance. At some point, the Planning Board will send it back to the Council “as is” or with recommendations.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dealing With Bloomfield's Homeless

My recent encounters with impoverished homeowners and renters has helped make me more aware of the effect of the rocky economy on everyone. Until recently, the homeless have been nearly invisible in Bloomfield. (Illinois has developed an interesting program called PADS for effectively dealing with suburban homeless. They designed the chart on the left.) The lack of bathroom facilities in the Lackawanna RR Station area has lead to formal complaints by commuters. Yesterday's Baristanet story on the subject drew a dozens of thoughtful comments.

From my perspective, blmfld grl's was the most constructive:
"...agreed there are several directions to take

FACT – you should all know there is a Sergeant who has been working with Chief Goul to address the homeless situation in Bloomfield. Most of the individuals who are on the streets have homes or have family, though some do not.

I personally know many of them and know of the efforts put forth by this Sergeant. He is aware who receives SDI, who has other income, who has family. He has helped place individual in rehab/detox when possible (and when they want). He doesn’t stop there. He creates short term and long term arrangements for these individuals. Some have participated in the programs willingly, some have not.

There are many reasons behind each of their circumstances. I have purchased clothes for one who has a medical condition that caused them to bleed through their pants. I have purchased a coat/gloves for another who would be out in the cold. I have purchased food/drink for many of them. I will NOT give them cash.

But I address them all by name. They have names. Herbie, Lizzie, Eddie, Theresa…

I feel sorry for any of you whose lives may turn to a direction that you need help – especially if the people who are near you judge first.

I will be following up on this matter to ensure that public safety is addressed."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Two Newcomers Will Join Incumbents in Run for BOE

Daniel Anderson, a retired music teacher, and 2011 Republican council candidate Kent Weisert have filed petitions for this year's Board of Education election. They will join incumbents Mary Shaughnessy and Diana Fuller in competing for 3 available seats on the BOE. Former BOE President Joseph Lopez has apparently decided to retire since he did not file in time for today's 4PM deadline.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Volunteers Wanted

Just fiinished our first food run, delivering a week's worth of groceries from Montclair's Food Pantry to several of the hundred or so neediest Bloomfield families in the program.
Under Bloomfield's Health and Human Services Dept. Through the NTNN, Human Services collaborates with community organizations, local citizens and businesses to recruit volunteers who provide resident services not available through traditional programs. After the division conducts a home‐based assessment, volunteers are matched with residents in need to provide services such as minor home repair and maintenance, shopping, tutoring, visitation and transportation. NTNN also serves people whose lives are unexpectedly disrupted by hardship. The Network fills immediate gaps and then finds ways to bring long‐term resolution.

Next assignment is to visit with a Senior 3rd warder who just needs little company and assistance shpping on her own.

We encourage you to join the NTNN and assist your fellow residents in need, by
either donating your time, your assets, or both. Please contact Paula Peikes of
the Human Services Division at 973.680.4017 for more information or to see how
you can help.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Historical Society Exhibit at Main Library

In anticipation of the BiCentennial Kickoff next month, Bloomfield Public Library is showing off several of it's vintage objects and historic postcards.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bloomfield Household Income and Home Values has the largest concentration of statistical info on most communities -- although it has been slow to update it's website.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"When We Were Bloomfield"

Hard to imagine that Glen Ridge's businesses, public works, schooling efforts and social events were intertwined with the neighboring Township of Bloomfield for most of the 19th century. But Glen Ridge ended its relationship with Bloomfield with a contentious secession in 1895.

Want to find out more?

The Glen Ridge Historical Society and Town Historian, Sally Meyer, will host, “When We Were Bloomfield,” a presentation explaining the reasons behind the separation of these municipalities. The event will be held at 7:30 P.M. on February 16 in Robinson Hall at the Glen Ridge Congregational Church, 195 Ridgewood Ave. The event is in recognition of the 2012 bicentennial celebration of the Township of Bloomfield.
The presentation is free and open to the general public. If you can't make it, an interesting
summary can be found here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

12 Years of Bloomfield Home Sales

Trulia recently send us this chart showing the ups and downs of home sales in bloomfield over a 12 year period. Note that these are Median Sales. An interactive map of more recent sales can be found here.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston's Bloomfield Connection

While Whitney didm't live in Bloomfield, she grew up on the northern border of East Orange, s block from Watsessing Park, and probably spent many afternoons playing there.

Neighbors say Whitney Houston grew up at 362 Dodd St. in East Orange. Houston and her family moved to the home from riot-ravaged Newark, when she was 4. She was the daughter of John Russell Houston Jr., an entertainment executive, and gospel singer Cissy Houston. Dionne Warwick was her cousin, and Aretha Franklin was her godmother.

It's ironic that this was the year of a major restructuring and consolidation in Grammy Gospel and Roots Music award categories,

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Citizen Legislators Wanted

You Don't Need to be an elected official to get things done.

Take the FREE Citizen Legislator Class on Saturday February 11, from 10am-12 noon.
Join your friends and neighbors at Bloomfield College's College Hall (Liberty and Spruce St).
Enter through the side door on Liberty - Park for FREE the Bloomfield College parking lot on Liberty - put a note on your dash - at BNAC meeting in College Hall. Refreshments will be served

The Citizens Campaign, a non-partisan non-profit has educated thousands of New Jerseyans in how to navigate the power structure of government and to exercise leadership beginning with their own hometowns.

Sponsored by the Bloomfield Neighborhood Association Committee. The BNAC is a nonpartisan group of residents, community leaders, neighborhood and civic leaders dedicated to a better Bloomfield. The group meets regularly to promote civic participation and community building through the ongoing exchange of ideas and information. All meetings are free and open to the public.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Nice Win for Jersey Giants

Enjoyed seeing our home team come from behind to take the Super Bowl at two of Bloomfield's finest taverns, The Town Pub and Obals. The Town Pub crowd was at least two decades younger than Obals. The Pub had the most free food, but Obals had the movers and the shakers led by our favorite cheerleader/bartender: retired councilman Ray Tamborini.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Bicentennial Preparations Accellerate

There is a general meeting of the Bloomfield Bicentennial Committee tomorrow, Saturday, February 4 at Bloomfield College (College Hall - corner of Liberty & Spruce) at 10:30 AM.
Enter through side entrance near the front of the parking lot on the Liberty Street side of the building.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Brookdale Time

Brookdale Soda, the legendary Bloomfield beverage of choice, has recently been bubbling with hints of a comeback. Check out their Facebook page for updates.