The Week That Was: July 27, 2014 Edition

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This week, Village Green investigated two major stories impacting our towns:

First, we contacted the South Orange-Maplewood School District after hearing South Orange Village Administrator Barry Lewis declare that all school emergency notification — or “panic” — buttons had been connected to police headquarters in Maplewood and South Orange.

The school district Director of Strategic Communications Suzanne Turner confirmed Lewis’ assertion and provided further details on the status of security measures in the schools.

Second, Village Green interviewed South Orange Village Trustee Walter Clarke about the status of water quality in South Orange. Clarke updated us on the village’s legal actions and on the search for potential new vendors for both water supply and for water infrastructure operations and maintenance once the village’s contract with EOWC expires at the end of 2016. He also informed us about a public meeting on water to take place September 15, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at SOPAC.

In other school news, we reported that there are now five candidates for Board of Education in South Orange and Maplewood, and one candidate in Millburn. We also posted a link to a handy-dandy interactive map of statewide AP scores from NJ Spotlight — only to realize that the scores reported are from 2013. We are working to get the 2014 scores now and will post them when they become available.

We linked to a Wall Street Journal story on the salary cap’s impact on superintendent retention in New Jersey featuring former South Orange-Maplewood School District Superintendent Brian Osborne. And Marcia Worth profiled another private school option: Far Brook School in Short Hills.

In other government news, Carolyn Maynard-Parisi reported on the results of South Orange’s Pedestrian Safety campaign. And Essex County broke ground on a new 500-car parking garage at the Turtle Back Zoo.

In community news, the South Orange Dolphins organized a Swim-a-Thon this past Wednesday to raise money for a fund for the sons of Monet Armenia, who lost her valiant battle against breast cancer recently. $5,000 was raised toward a goal of $10,000.

We also reported on the repainting of historic Durand-Hedden House and the South Orange Public Library Adult Summer Reading Program.

Finally, the Hilton Neighborhood Association welcomed some new neighbors by holding its meeting at the new Maplewood Crossing housing development on Burnett Avenue.

In business news, we profiled three great events taking place weekly on Friday nights on Springfield Avenue, the grand opening of Ricalton’s Village Tavern in South Orange, MoonShine Supper Club’s great brunch menu and upcoming craft beer event (July 31) in Millburn, and No. 165’s summer sale in Maplewood Village.

In police and fire news, we reported a classroom fire at Garden Academy on Parker Avenue in Maplewood, posted the South Orange blotter featuring a break-in at South Mountain Annex School, reported on a grant to the South Orange Rescue Squad, and related the arrest of a Millburn school district custodian on charges of sexual assault.

In arts, Gallery 1978 is soon to debut a riveting show on human trafficking, interACT is looking to showcase some great local talent for the fall at the Burgdorff, Paper Mill is showing off some amazing young performers this coming weekend, and Studio B is raising money with some cheeky lawn signs.

And as a sure sign that fall is coming: In sports, we reported on the last chance for fall soccer league signups in Maplewood and South Orange.


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