Barista Kids Poll: First Sleepover–What’s the Right Age?

BY  |  Thursday, May 31, 2012 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (16)

When I was 11 years old, Kim Snelling and I played Truth or Dare during a sleepover. I remember three things about that night. First, I ate dog food. The wet kind. Second, Kim ran down our small street buck naked singing Tough Titties. (Do you know that song, or did we make it up?) Third, by 2 a.m., my mom came down the stairs and yelled, “Shut up and go to bed, or I’m getting out the fly swatter.”

We played Ouija Board after that. Quietly.

Now my 6-year-old twins are asking to have a sleepover with a neighbor friend. Sometimes the mom brings up the idea when we’re all at the pool. At those moments, I urgently have to pee or put on deodorant. When I return, I change the subject to 50 Shades of Gray or the weather.

I avoid the answer because it will be no. I say they can’t have sleepovers until they’re old enough to watch The Saw and not cry about it. But I’m in the minority. Every other mom I know has done or is doing sleepovers with their same-age kids. I’ve heard over nights are–get this–fun. Are they? Really?

What do you say? What’s the right age for your kid to spend the night with her friends?  (I’m not talking about Grandma here.) Take our poll on the next page. Tell us your sleepover rules in the comments. How well do you have to know the parents first? Do you worry about hormonal older siblings looking at your kid funny? Do you mind the part about not sleeping?

My main problem is that I believe in karma. When it comes to sleepovers, I’m very afraid I deserve what’s coming.

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An Education on Eco-Friendly Toys

BY  |  Thursday, May 31, 2012 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Tired of the plastic parts to cars, creatures, board games and Silly Bandz my nine year-old son has stockpiled, I started to think about eco-friendly toys.

While I had a hunch I knew what an eco-friendly toy was, I wondered if there was an industry-wide standard for this classification in order to better understand how my potential eco-friendly purchase might help the environment.

According to Kristen Morency and Adrienne Appell, representatives with the Toy Industry Association (TIA), a non-profit trade association representing over 550 North American toy manufacturers and importers, “there is no ‘official’ definition of eco-friendly toys at this time. However, our members who are producing ‘green’ products typically have implemented one of the following actions:”

  • They use materials that are recycled or are renewable under schemes such as the FCS (Forest Stewardship Council); and/or
  • They are producing in a factory that is currently using environmental energy sources; and/or
  • They are producing biopolymers

TIA representatives also mentioned that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has not yet completed the update of its Green Guides, which provides guidance on “how to help marketers avoid making unfair or deceptive environmental marketing claims.”

When I contacted the EPA to gather additional feedback on what an eco-friendly or “green” toy was, I was directed to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).  A representative there asked me to email my request and someone would get back to me (nobody has yet.)

To get the local take on the subject, I contacted Montclair’s environmental affairs coordinator Gray Russell to see what he thought….

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Ask Holly: Making Dinosaur Fossils and Eggs

BY  |  Thursday, May 31, 2012 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Last Friday my kids and I had an amazing time at Field Station:Dinosaurs. We were one of the lucky families to go on Press Day. Did we want the dino-tastic, dino-licous, dino-mite time to end? Heck no! Did we know what time it was? OOOHHH yeah—- it was  time to get our craftasaurus on and make our own fossils! The experience we had at the park just made us want to learn more and of course my kids being my kids wanted to know when we would be going on a archaeological dig. Who knew we could go on one over the weekend? Continue Reading

Montclair Mounties Want North Bergen Bruins Stripped of Football State Champ Title

BY  |  Thursday, May 31, 2012 7:25am  |  COMMENTS (11)

According to The Jersey Journal, The Montclair Mounties, the high school’s football team, have filed an appeal to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) after it ruled in early May that North Bergen High School would keep the title of state championship, but that the athletic program would be placed on two years probation. The punishment came after the NJSIAA found that Vincent Ascolese, the football coach at North Bergen High School for 39 years, (and his family) recruited two key players. These two illegally recruited players were on the team (The Bruins) when they defeated The Montclair Mounties in the State Championship in December

Barista Kids ran a poll after the ruling and almost 87% of you said that NBHS should be stripped of the trophy and the Mounties should get it. But The Mounties don’t want the title, they just don’t want North Bergen to have it. They are appealing the ruling and want North Bergen Bruins’ State Championship title voided.

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School of Rock Montclair Fills June Weekends With Five Themed Rock Shows

Thursday, May 31, 2012 7:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

School of Rock Montclair will present a five-pack of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday concerts throughout June.  The performances will include tributes to the British Invasion, MTV’s “120 Minutes”, Women Who Rock, Gods of Metal, and The Allman Brothers and Friends.

All five of these two-hour shows will feature students in School of Rock Montclair’s Performance Programs, who have been rehearsing their repertoires since January.

“The diversity of our spring Performance Program concerts represents the amazing range of our students’ tastes as well as their impressive musical abilities,” says Maurice Watson, general manager of School of Rock Montclair.

Check out the schedule…

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Montclair High School Reminds Students About The Dress Code

BY  |  Wednesday, May 30, 2012 7:02pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

When I went to North Bergen High School, there was a pretty strict dress code and it was enforced. The toughest was the “No shorts” rule, which was torture since there was no air conditioning. Our principal stood at the entrance door daily to see who was breaking the code. If you did, he sent you right back at the door. Then a call would go home.

Montclair High School allows shorts, but they better be appropriate. With the high temps we’ve been having, this dress code reminder was sent home today:

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Montclair School Screening of the Food Documentary “What’s On Your Plate?”

BY  |  Wednesday, May 30, 2012 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

What’s on your plate? More importantly, what’s on your kid’s plate? That’s the question the documentary What’s On Your Plate? explores as it follows two 11-year-old multiracial city kids as they explore their place in the food chain.

Filmed over the course of a year, the film follows Sadie and Safiyah as they take a close look at food systems in New York City and its surrounding areas. With the camera as their companion, the girl guides talk to each other, food activists, farmers, new friends, storekeepers, their families, and the viewer, in their quest to understand what’s on all of our plates.

Girl Scout Troop 548 and the Edgemont and Bradford PTA, along with the MFEE, will host a free screening of  What’s On Your Plate? on Friday, June 15 at 6:30 pm. They are inviting the entire community to take part in this fun and enlightening event that is suitable for the entire family.

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What Happened to Asperger’s?

BY  |  Wednesday, May 30, 2012 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

As with any revision to American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic Manual (DSM), the release of the DSM-5 in 2013 is not without controversy. Parents of children diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome are especially concerned because that diagnosis is being eliminated and replaced by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Under the new diagnostic criteria, children currently meeting the criteria for Asperger’s would have to meet 5 of 7 symptoms compared to the 6 or 12 in the current version. The DSM-5 introduces a guideline for rating the severity of symptoms. People who now qualify for the diagnosis of Asperger’s will be rated as mild compared to the more severe cases on the spectrum where functioning can be very impaired due to a significant loss of social and communication functioning.

The chief concern regarding the proposed change is that  “some psychiatrists say the new rules are too strict: they worry some high-functioning autistic people, such as those now diagnosed with Asperger’s, may not meet the criteria and may miss out on educational and medical services as a result,” (Jabr, 2012). This concern was initially raised by the results of a Yale study, (McParland,  Reichow, & Volkmar, 2012)

However, the methods and interpretation of the Yale study were refuted by a more recent study by Gever (2012,) which stated, “If anything, the DSM-5 criteria are more sensitive, not less, for picking up the key features of autism spectrum disorder — particularly the integration of gestures and verbal communication.”

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The Human Needs Pantry Needs New School Supplies

BY  |  Wednesday, May 30, 2012 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The school year is about to end, and school supplies are probably the furthest thing from your mind. But the Human Needs Food Pantry in Montclair is once again thinking ahead to back-to-school time. They’re collecting NEW school supplies for Essex County kids in need.

Please donate NEW pencils, pens, binders, loose-leaf paper, spiral notebooks, as well as lunchboxes and backpacks (new or like-new condition). We’ll also accept other items such as crayons, erasers, calculators, pencil cases, etc. Thanks!

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Montclair’s 23rd African-American Heritage Parade and Festival

BY  |  Wednesday, May 30, 2012 7:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair African-American Heritage Parade and Festival returns on Saturday, June 2 with plenty of music, entertainment, community spirit, great food and lots of fun!

The 23rd annual African American Heritage Parade starts at 10:30 am and will follow a route which begins at Glenfield Park and heads south on Willowdale Avenue, then west on Washington Avenue to Orange Road, continues south on Orange Road around the bend to Cedar Avenue and ends at Nishuane Park.

This year’s parade Grand Marshals are First Sergeant John B. Knox and Fourth Ward Councilor Renee E. Baskerville. Sergeant Knox served in the US Army and fought with his unit in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. Councilor Baskerville was recently re-elected to serve a second term on Township Council. Many community members and organizations will participate in the parade, including the NAACP, Montclair Recreation POP Warner Jr. Bulldogs, Bike & Walk Montclair, Montclair Pre-K and others.

The festival will take place from 12 pm – 6 pm at Nishuane Park on Cedar Avenue and High Street. Festival headliners include Tony Award-winning musical sensation Melba Moore, The Manhattans lead singer and R&B recording artist Gerald Alston, winner of Bravo’s inaugural Platinum Hit series Sonyae Elise and Montclair’s own Drums of Thunder from Hillside School. Festival entertainment will also include a tribute to Whitney Houston and appearances by local musicians and performers Eddie Nicholas, DJ Kerry Asbury, Jacquelyn Graham, Sweet Spirit Gospel, Danielle Franklyn, and the sensational Absolute Step Team.

For the young crowd there will be pony rides, an inflatable bounce, face painting and much more!

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