Montclair Author Welcomes Summer with Quinny & Hopper, an Unlikely Friendship

BY  |  Tuesday, Jun 03, 2014 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

quinny & hopperSummer vacation offers wonderful opportunities for friendships that break the routine kids often fall into during the school year. A new book from Montclair author and parent Adriana Brad Schanen takes advantage of school break dynamics to follow an unlikely pair of friends through an adventurous and joyful summer for two new friends, Quinny & Hopper.

Aimed at children ages 8-12, Quinny & Hopper will entertain both boys and girls with its silliness, “killer” chicken adventures, and familiar playground politics. The alternating points of view, between Quinny, a fast-talking and unwilling city transplant and Hopper, an introspective and cautious younger brother to twins, tell the story in an effortless way.  Young readers will appreciate the authentic voices that don’t try too hard to be kid-like; they really do seem like the kid next door.

One aspect of this chapter book that parents of elementary school children will especially appreciate is the realistic depiction of the social navigating grade school requires. Without condescending to the very real concerns children have, Quinny & Hopper presents a relationship that confronts, navigates, and survives the “rules” of growing up.

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For Mother’s Day, Help #BringBackOurGirls

BY  |  Tuesday, May 06, 2014 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Bring Back Our Girls

I like the commercialism of Mother’s Day about as much as I like seeing July 4th items on sale at my local Target last week. For me, the idea of buying some cheap token for Mother’s Day celebrates everything superficial about the holiday and very little about the real substance of the day, which to me, is taking a moment to think about mothers everywhere.

So against the sea of ads for jewelry and perfumes and, I wish this wasn’t true, weight-loss solutions, that are coming through my Facebook feed in “honor” of Mother’s Day, all I can think is how very little this matters to me, or I would guess any mom, when over 200 girls are missing in Nigeria.

More than two weeks ago, militants stormed a residential school in Nigeria and abducted school girls, still missing, and most recently, the leader of the group that kidnapped them at gunpoint are threatening to sell these girls. I cannot even contemplate the horror, and I am completely removed from this situation. And while I know I cannot even fathom how these families are feeling right now, at least as part of the global community, we can give our voices to the demand to #BringBackOurGirls.

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UPDATE: Montclair Girl Missing FOUND

Friday, May 02, 2014 9:58pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

marina featured

UPDATE: Jayne Kimball-Sperberg was located and is reunited with her guardian reports Montclair D/Lt. David O’Dowd, Detective Bureau Commander.

Montclair Police report that Jayne Kimball-Sperberg (a.k.a “Marina”) was last seen at 3 pm in the area of North Fullerton Avenue and Gordonhurst Avenue. She reportedly walked away from home stating that she was going “far away”. Possible destination may be NYC. A description and photo were provided by her parents: Continue Reading

Watchung Booksellers and #MFF14 Combine Books and Movies

BY  |  Friday, May 02, 2014 3:29pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Film Fest

Yesterday afternoon, Watchung Booksellers and the Montclair Film Fest came together for the kids. The very comfortable Audible Lounge at 544 Bloomfield Avenue was the venue for a free story time activity attended by local children.

With cozy rugs and throw pillows to make everyone comfortable, Liane Reed from Watchung Booksellers read movie-themed books to children and led songs and short discussions about movies and books. Frozen was a favorite, but Curious George, Cars, and Maisy Mouse all appeared as well. Add the cookies and milk, and the kids were in heaven.

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Montclair in Miniature at the Montclair Art Museum

BY  |  Monday, Mar 10, 2014 4:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

build montclair in LEGO

Families and friends from all over Baristaville came to the Montclair Art Museum on Sunday afternoon to create a miniature Montclair using just LEGO and their ingenuity. Given photographs of historical buildings around town, teams of up to four people built Montclair from the tabletop up.

Designed by Livingston architect Stephen W. Schwartz, and co-sponsored with the Montclair Historical Society and Building Blocks Workshops, the annual Build Montclair in LEGO event was sold out. The full house created a bustling room of participants digging through over 60,000 LEGO building blocks looking for just the right size and color pieces. Sometimes creative license was called in to assist, and the results were fantastic and fun.

Check out the creativity in our slideshow of the event!:

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Dads Rock!—The Blastaways

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

March1This is the latest installment of an ongoing series, “Dads Rock!,” talking to otherwise responsible and upstanding local fathers who have grown up without outgrowing their desire to rock.

Most of the Baristaville dads I’ve talked to for Dads Rock! have a similar backstory: In their 20s or so, they played in semi-ambitious bands that never went much of anywhere, and now they’re a bit older and perfectly happy to rock locally. Montclair’s The Blastaways also have moderate ambitions, but at least one member brings a very different history: drummer Kevin March is a professional musician who has played on some of the biggest stages around.

March, who lives in Montclair with his wife and 6-year-old daughter, is an instantly recognizable figure for fans of a certain era of indie-rock bands—he’s drummed for Guided by Voices, Shudder To Think, The Dambuilders, Mind Science of the Mind and A Camp (with Nina Persson of the Cardigans), among others; he’s opened for Pearl Jam and performed on Austin City Limits; his rhythm work can be heard on the soundtracks to School of Rock, The Messenger, Boys Don’t Cry, Velvet Goldmine, Choke and Traitors (due in 2014).

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Montclair Schools are Honored for Safe Routes to School Efforts

BY  |  Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Safe Routes to School

Schools in New Jersey are about to welcome students back for a new school year, and students all over The Garden State are getting ready to settle into the routine of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic all over again. In preparation for getting to the academics safely, three of Montclair’s Elementary schools—as well as the township as a whole—were honored on Monday with plaques commemorating their accomplishments in establishing Safe Routes to School. Mayor Jackson, Superintendent MacCormack, Edgemont’s Principal Hopper, Bradford’s Principal Kirkman, and Bullock’s Principal Kuwabara were on hand at Edgemont Montessori School to accept the Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards, respectively.

“I’m extremely proud of our school system for these accomplishments,” said Mayor Jackson, who was happy to help celebrate the emphasis on adding safe physical activity into the school day. “Safety for all our kids is a priority in our schools.”

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Justin Canha Creates Whimsical Art for Children

BY  |  Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Justin Canha

Artists often face challenges and roadblocks when they want to make a living with their art. Justin Canha, a Montclair-based artist with autism is no different. And like any artist with a true passion, he is willing to pursue different avenues to expose his artwork to as many audiences as possible. Late last year, Barista Kids told you about his wall calendar that helped raise money for the wonderful Montclair Developmental Learning Center. Now, thanks to local business Pigtails & Crewcuts, we have a chance to admire and buy his art for children right in town!

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Montclair High School Class of 2013 Graduates and Has a Blast at Project Graduation

BY  |  Friday, Jun 28, 2013 7:04am  |  COMMENTS (3)

montclair high school

Photo Courtesy of Eliana McCann Smith

The evening of June 26, 2013 will be an evening Montclair High School Class of 2013 graduates will remember for the rest of their lives; because yesterday evening was the evening they graduated high school and kissed the public school system, that had been such a integral part of their lives, goodbye.

“Graduating is so bittersweet,” says graduate Leo Poggie. “It’s great to be moving on, I’m really excited to go to college, but at the same time I’m sad to leave my high school experience behind. I really did have such a great time with all my friends and participating in all my sports and other activities.”

A lovely was ceremony held in the amphitheater, at the Montclair High School main building. The class of 2013 had the privillege of having a commencement address delivered by Montclair’s mayor, Robert D. Jackson; whose daughter Taylor Jackson was graduating along with the class of 2013.

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Barista Kids Diaper Drive For the Human Needs Food Pantry in Montclair

BY  |  Thursday, Jun 20, 2013 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Barista Kids Diaper DriveThe  Human Needs Food Pantry in Montclair has been serving the Essex County community for over 30 years and Barista Kids has set up its second Diaper Drive to give help families in need.

The pantry relies on donations from local citizens, civic groups, church groups, and other charitable organizations. Much of their food however is bought from the Community Food Bank in Hillside, NJ. The pantry itself purchases the rest of the food given out from local supermarkets or produce vendors.

“This year for the month of May, the food pantry served a total of 3,154 people. Our numbers seem to be on the increase as last month alone we added forty-eight new people,” says Human Needs director Mike Bruno.

Human Needs typically serves supplemental groceries, and while the pantry could always use pasta, canned goods, new or gently used bedding and clothing,  school supplies, etc..; one thing they will consistently need are diapers.

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