Monday, December 5, 2016

PEDESTRIAN HIT BY CAR SHUTS PORTION OF SPRINGFIELD AVENUE

A busy portion of Springfield Avenue was briefly blocked off Monday night after a pedestrian was struck by a car, according to police at the scene.

The incident occurred at about 8:45 p.m. in front of Walgreen's at Springfield and Burnett avenues. Police blocked of the portion of Springfield between Burnett and Vermont Avenue.

Details on the injured pedestrian, who was taken to University Hospital, are still pending.



TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE TO CHOOSE 2017 MAYOR ON TUESDAY

The Township Committee is expected to decide who will be mayor in 2017 at the end of Tuesday's regular TC meeting.

Since all five of the TC members, and incoming member Frank McGehee, are Democrats, they will technically meet in a party political caucus after the meeting ends. During that meeting, they will choose the mayor for 2017, who is expected to again be Vic Deluca.

Mayor Vic Deluca
Deluca, who is facing re-election in 2017, has served in the yearly post since 2009. The TC will also choose a deputy mayor.

The governing body must wait until the Jan. 1, 2017, reorganization meeting to technically appoint the 2017 mayor, but the caucus choice is the first step.

The meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

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SOMA WHITE POPULATION GROWING, BLACKS DECREASING

More whites, Asians and Hispanics are moving into South Orange and Maplewood, while fewer blacks are joining our community, according to a new report from the Community Coalition on Race.

The 46-page report was presented at a public meeting last month and also noted that blacks are declining in population at all district schools except Seth Boyden, where they continue to increase and are now above 65%. Tuscan School has the largest percentage of white students, at about 66%.

Columbia High School, where more than half of the students were black until 2013, now has just 45% African-Americans. White CHS students, meanwhile, have increased from below 40% for most of the past 15 years to 45% as well, with estimates that they will surpass the black population in coming years.

"The white share will continue to rise for some years," the report stated. "As the students now in the middle schools, which are still getting whiter, enter CHS."

The report blames much of the change on a "lack of lower cost housing," adding, "we currently serve well those making over $100,000 in terms of housing affordability but have fewer options for those earning less than $100,000."

It also stated: "the income of black residents in both towns is lower and there is an increasing gap between blacks and whites."

See the entire report HERE.

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

REASSESSMENT LETTERS ARRIVING THIS WEEK

The long-awaited, and perhaps feared, property tax reassessment will soon become reality for Maplewood residents as letters informing them of their new property value assessment arrive in mailboxes this week.

You may recall the assessment was ordered by Essex County and approved by the Township Committee.

The TC hired Appraisal Systems Inc. (ASI) of Whippany in March for just over $400,000 to conduct the assessment. We reported in September that some appraisers were misleading homeowners with initial assessments in order to gain entry to their homes.

Township Administrator Joe Manning said the first letters will go out this coming week, but some may reach homes before others.

ASI is also set to make a presentation update about the assessment at Tuesday's TC meeting. See that full agenda HERE.

DICKENS VILLAGE OPENS - TREE LIGHTING A SUCCESS

We stopped by the launch of Dickens Village on Saturday in Maplewood Village.

The traditional old tyme village was kicked off with a visit from Santa and the lighting of the official holiday tree. Schedule of events HERE.

See the clip and more images below:










WINTER WONDERLAND STORIES AND SONG AT LIBRARY TODAY