Thursday, December 8, 2016

CHS TEACHER LOSES OUT ON PEOPLE'S COURT

Yes, that was Columbia High School physical education teacher Wayne Calendriello on The People's Court Wednesday, where he was accused of stealing CD music.

Watch the clip below at 30:30:



You may recall Calendriello was the teacher the school district tried to fire years ago for a string of actions and poor performance, which included alleged shoplifting during school hours.

A state education department administrative law judge chose instead to suspend him for months. 

He did not fair much better on TV, where the judge there found for the plaintiff against him to the tune of more than $158 in damages.

TODAY SHOW HOST UNDERCOVER IN SOUTH ORANGE?

Did you get one of the free show and game tickets being handed out recently by a mystery "meter maid" in neighboring South Orange?

If you did, know it was Today show co-host Hoda Kotb giving away Mariah Carey and Giants tickets, among others, as part of a segment for the show today taped right along South Orange Avenue. 
See below:

If you are wondering why this would never happen in Maplewood, it's because we don't have parking meters. At least not yet.

TOWNSHIP CLOSER TO SANCTUARY CITY AFTER PUBLIC SUPPORT

The Township Committee moved a step closer to declaring Maplewood a sanctuary city on Tuesday when it agreed to move forward and fashion legislation to be considered in early 2017.

"We can craft an ordinance that makes it clear that unless it's required by law that city funds and resources will not be used to enforce immigration law, that's not our role," Mayor Vic Deluca said at the meeting after a lengthy discussion. "I don't think anyone up here is saying we want to break the law."

TC Member Ian Grodman first proposed the idea on Nov. 14, stating the Township could follow other cities that have stated through resolutions that they will not aid in the federal effort to demonize or arrest residents suspected of being undocumented.

"I have seen and heard the great majority of people living in this community are in favor of it," Grodman said.

His comments followed testimony from several residents who supported the idea. 

See some of those views below:




"I wholeheartedly support this step for Maplewood," TC Member Greg Lembrich said. Fellow Committee Member Nancy Adams added, "I think we need to send a really strong message to Washington."

TC Member India Larrier offered caution, stating: "I'm reserved about making Maplewood a sanctuary city ... I would rather see initially a resolution that would put forth our values as we have in the past." She cited a "welcoming city" designation. 

But the majority directed that legislation be fashioned, with input from the police department, for January consideration.

STORYTIME TO JOB HUNTING AT LIBRARY TODAY

Preschool Storytime

11:00 am – 11:30 am

Main Library * Ages 2 1/2 – 5 * Drop In * All children must be accompanied by an adult
Thursdays @ 11-11:30am:  12/1, 12/8, 12/15, 12/22


Create Space – Maplewood Library’s Makerspace is Open!

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Hilton Branch – Every Tuesday 5:00-8:00 pm, Thursday 5:00-8:00 pm, and Saturday 10-1 pm.. Patrons can use Rhino 3D software to build a model, print an object on our 3D printer or use our new color printer or laminator.  There are also Snap Circuits, Squishy Circuits, littleBits and SparkFun kits for the kids. Raspberry Pi single board computers are also available to learn more about computer science.  More information about the Create Space…

Maker Meetup

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Create Space – Join the Maker Movement!  Help with one of our projects, or bring your own ideas. Maplewood Library’s Create Space at Hilton Branch offers a variety of high-tech equipment and software for a multitude of creative applications. The Create Space is outfitted with a Maker Gear 3D printer, a laminator and a color printer, as well as 12 Dell laptops loaded with Rhino 3D CAD and other productivity software.  There are also project kits for experimenting with electronics, circuits and programming.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

REASSESSMENT EVENT AT THE WOODLAND TONIGHT

From Vanessa Pollock Realty:

  Join us at 7pm.  The event will take place in the Parlor Room of The Woodland, located at 60 Woodland Road, Maplewood, NJ.
  • This event is free to the public.
  • You will hear from our Panel of Experts, as well as be able to ask your questions:
    • The reassessment process – we are inviting Jason Cohen from Appraisal Systems Incorporated
    • The townships outlook via a Q & A – (Mayors and/or Town Representatives)
    • A tax appeal expert – Craig Smith
    • A mortgage lender – Justin Messing from Eagle Mortgage to discuss refinance options
    • An energy audit company – Divine Energy Solutions is confirmed to discuss options to lower monthly utilities in order to afford a tax increase
    • The Vanessa Pollock Realty Team and our stager to discuss preparing a home for sale, should none of these other options allow a homeowner to stay in the home.
  • Reservations are NOT required, but we expect a full house.  Please feel free to arrive early to grab your seat.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

TOWNSHIP APPOINTS SPECIAL COUNSEL TO DEFEND POLICE CHIEF AND CAPTAIN IN JULY 5TH INQUIRY

The Township has appointed a special legal counsel to represent Police Chief Robert Cimino and a police captain in the ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct on July 5, 2016.

We reported in September that the Essex County Prosecutor's Office was investigating claims that Maplewood Police acted improperly during an altercation with some residents after the July 5th fireworks.

The Township Committee on Tuesday night approved a resolution to appoint attorneys Jeffrey Garrigan and Charles Sciarra to represent Cimino and Captain Joshua Cummis at a rate of $250 per hour. 

See that resolution HERE.

The TC also approved a resolution urging the Prosecutor's Office to conduct "a thorough, fair, transparent and timely investigation of alleged incidents of the Maplewood Police Department occurring on July 5th, 2017."

Cummis was involved in the shooting death of a Maplewood man in 2007 that led to a grand jury inquiry, but was found to have acted properly in the incident. Cimino has been with the police department for 35 years.

BURGLARIES AND THEFTS MARK POLICE WEEK

From Maplewood Police today:

November 28, 2016; Bicycle Theft; Between 11 AM and 11:30 AM a bicycle was stolen from a garage on Suffolk Ave that was left open.

November 29, 2016; Theft from Auto and Motor Vehicle Theft;  Between midnight and 5AM, a key was stolen out of an unsecured vehicle parked on Menzel Ave.  The key was used to steal a second vehicle that was in the same driveway.

November 30, 2016; Burglary; Between 8 AM and 10 AM a home on Warren Rd was forcibly entered.  Jewelry and electronics were reportedly removed from the home.

December 1, 2016; Burglary Attempt; During the daytime hours, entry was attempted to a home on the 100 block of Parker Ave.

December 1, 2016; Burglary; During the daytime hours a home on Melman Terr was forcibly entered.  At the time of the report nothing was known to be missing from the home.

TAX REASSESSMENT FINDS PROPERTY VALUES UP 27% AVERAGE, YOUR LETTER MAY BE IN THE MAIL

Maplewood property values are going up by about 27% on average in the just-completed property tax reassessment, according to the firm hired to do the township-wide review.

Appraisal Systems Inc.(ASI), which has spent most of the past nine months conducting the reassessment ordered by Essex County, offered that information during an update Tuesday night at the Township Committee meeting.

The firm also indicated that letters informing residents of their new property assessments began going out this week, but would not reach all homeowners until Dec. 23.

ASI Representatives Ernest Del Guercio and Jason Cohen said the letters were delayed from the original Nov. 10 target date because of final reviews that were needed, but pointed out they were still within their contracted timeline.

See a portion of their update below:


They said that the first letters this week would reach residents on the west side of town, next week in the center areas, and the following week on the east side.

But some residents and members of the TC objected to the delay saying that residents need to know such information quickly.

"We want to make sure that people get it in their hands as soon as possible," Mayor Vic Deluca said. "To really let this sink in ... People have lives."

Maplewood Tax Assessor Edward Galante said that the letters are being sent out as quickly as possible, but need to be reviewed to make sure they are complete and accurate.

"To make sure the job is done as correctly as possible," Galante told the TC. "I don't want to rush the letters out until I've had a chance to do a review property by property." 

You may recall ASI was hired at a cost of just over $400,000 last spring to conduct the mandated review. Part of it involved inspecting each property inside and out. ASI said about 80% of homes were entered, with the others either refusing or not at home when they were visited.

Once the assessments are sent, residents will have until May 1, 2017 to appeal them. The new rates will affect tax bills beginning on Aug. 1, 2017.