The Week That Was: July 20, 2014 Edition

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It might be the slow days of summer but there’s plenty of news going on in our area. Here’s a look at what The Village Green covered this past week.

The dam that the US Army Corps of Engineers proposed constructing in South Mountain Reservation is basically dead in the water, after the NJ DEP advised looking into two less expensive and invasive alternatives. We interviewed many of the key players in the fight against the dam, including Fred Profeta, chair of grassroots organization Save Our Reservation, Mayor Vic DeLuca and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo.

Representatives of Daibes Enterprises LLC, the developer for a mixed-use residential and commercial building on Springfield Avenue across from the Police & Courts Building, appeared before the Maplewood Township Committee Tuesday night to give an update on the much-delayed project.

South Orange is considering spending more than $600,000 to update its emergency communications infrastructure (and seeking grants to defray costs); also, in the ongoing saga involving the Jersey Animal Coalition, the village announced it will take swift action to contravene a judge’s actions last week allowing the shelter to reopen and to halt its eviction.

Former SOMS Librarian Elissa Malespina threw her hat in the ring for the South Orange – Maplewood Board of Education race, announcing she would run on a ticket with Donna Smith. We interviewed Malespina on why she is running and what her priorities are for the district.

In other schools news, we parsed the results of the recent annual district Satisfaction Survey of parents, faculty and students. The main takeaway is that teachers are the least satisfied of the three groups.

News 12 NJ put the spotlight on South Orange businesses, when the network visited Ricalton’s, Sparkhouse, Kitchen a la Mode, Class Act Performing Arts Studio, and Stony’s and featured them on the air that same night.

Severe thunderstorms led to power outages throughout SOMA as well as power lines that caught on fire: one even caused a fire in a Maplewood driveway.

There were two sad deaths in the South Orange – Maplewood community: Maplewood CFO Peter N. Fresulone passed away after a long illness, and South Orange mother of two Monet Armenia died at the age of 42 after a valiant battle with breast cancer that saw the community rally to donate money in hopes of a cure for her.

In lighter news, we told you about a new spot for Sunday brunch in Maplewood: The Rack cafe on Springfield Avenue. Also, Maplewood Village was the scene of the popular annual Sidewalk Sale. In honor of Bastille Day, we profiled Millburn’s Cafe Monet.

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