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February  22

By the Way, History Buffs

George_washington_in_birthday_hat Today is George Washington's real birthday. At the least the one the Baby Boomers celebrated when they were kids. Actually... his birthday was Feb. 11 in the Julian calendar (the calendar in use in the colonies at the time he was born) and Feb. 22 in the Gregorian calendar.

George Washington was born in Virginia on February 11, 1731, according to the then-used Julian calendar. In 1752, however, Britain and all its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar, which moved the calendar ahead 11 days and made January the first month of the year instead of March. The new calendar placed Washington's birth on February 22, 1732.

Bonus points for anyone who can calculate their own birthday in the Julian calendar.

February 22, 2006 in Barista Does the Math | Permalink | Comments (41)

daily dish

October   7

Does She Know Something We Don't Know?

This message arrived in our e-mail box tonight from the high school chorus teacher.

To All Parents and Students,

As we have all seen on the news there is 100 percent chance of rain tomorrow so I am unfortunatly going to have to cancel the car wash. I would like to thank you for all of your support and we will try again in June. Have a great weekend.

June? What kind of rain is she expecting?

October 7, 2005 in Barista Does the Math | Permalink | Comments (5)

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October   5

A Deal With the Devil(s)

DevilIs anybody else worried about the implications of Monday's groundbreaking for a new Newark Arena -- a $350 million home for the New Jersey Devils, of which $210 million is coming from the City of Newark, which last we checked was still in the county of Essex? We are. And it doesn't reassure us that study after study finds that the public financing of sports arenas and stadiums is a waste of taxpayer money -- and usually the result of lobbying by special interests.

We find it odd, and vaguely troubling, that Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, who was at the groundbreaking, didn't send out a news release about the fact. Here's a guy who has a major press conference for opening a dog park in Bloomfield. He sends out media advisories every time a nickel is spent on a public park. But not a word about a publicly-financed arena deal in his county's biggest town?

It hardly seems auspicious for the Devils arena deal that a cemetery has to be torn up to make way for the new sports center.

The Giant-Jets stadium deal announced for the Meadowlands just a few days before the Newark Arena deal, by contrast, seems like a paragon of governmental propriety. The state is chipping in some land and $30 million worth of roadwork. But the football teams are at least paying the $800 million cost of building the new stadium themselves.

Maybe we Baristas just have a testosterone deficit, but somehow we suspect we're going to end up paying for sports facilities we'll never end up visiting. Rah rah.

October 5, 2005 in Barista Does the Math | Permalink | Comments (35)

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September   9

High Hopes

Is the bubble bursting or will real estate prices hold? Some folks are still hoping to cash in --click here to see what the housing market could bear...

September 9, 2005 in Barista Does the Math | Permalink | Comments (2)

daily dish

August  28

The Answer: We Always Get Lost at Hoover

The question, posed by reader John Debold: why would someone pay a quarter to get off at the Bloomfield toll when they can drive another mile and get off for free?

Exit_148 If you get off of the Parkway North at Exit 148 you must pay $.25 yet if you go further to Hoover Avenue or Watchung or three or four other north exits on up the road, they're free! I think we're simply paying to keep the lights on at the 148 toll booth. Go figure.

Buy the t-shirt here. Sounds like it might become a collector's item.

August 28, 2005 in Barista Does the Math | Permalink | Comments (7)

daily dish

August   9

Go Figure

When determining tax bills in Montclair, is someone picking numbers out of a hat?  To see how some different properties size up, visit the At Home page.

August 9, 2005 in Barista Does the Math | Permalink | Comments (4)

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August   6

Slashing Prices

Myrtle_2 Folks coming to an open house tomorrow on Myrtle Avenue in Montclair might be surprised to learn the house, No. 42, an 1897 Victorian advertised in the Montclair Times for $729,000, has now been reduced to $649,000. Situated on a third of an acre, the house has 6 bedrooms, 3 full baths and 1 half. Taxes are $13,501.

On the same street, after a major renovation, this house, no. 63, sold for $1,675,000 in January. 


August 6, 2005 in Barista Does the Math | Permalink | Comments (19)

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June   8

Local Team Woes

The Jersey Jackals have lost 7 of their last 9 games. The New York Yankees have lost 9 of their last 10. Draw your own conclusions.

June 8, 2005 in Barista Does the Math | Permalink | Comments (4)

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May  11

Do We Hear Two Million Plus?

Ridgewoodnewhouse_1 Montclair has already cracked the $3 million ceiling for house prices, but Glen Ridge is actually one million behind. Still, folks are doing their best to catch up. For news on what's breaking records in the Ridge, visit At Home. By the way. Bloomfield's house price high to date is $680,000.

May 11, 2005 in Barista Does the Math | Permalink | Comments (11)

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April  27

Just Wait Til They See the Lines for Harvard

It's a vicious cycle. People looking to move to a suburb with good schools hear about Glen Ridge and then move here -- bringing some extra kiddies along to be educated. Taxes go up, people who've raised their kids move out, and more young families move in -- with more extra kiddies to be educated. Before you know it, next year's first-grade at Linden Ave. School is expected to have 25 kids per classroom.

Today's Ledger features a story about Scott Raab and Lisa Brennan, who are so riled up they're leading an insurrection.

Raab -- an Esquire magazine writer who once got in the ring with a female boxing powerhouse -- is a Glen Ridge dad with a kindergartner in a class with a lot of other kindergartners.

And he's not happy about it.

"This is just unacceptable," he said yesterday morning, fresh from a meeting the night before with a group of 17 Linden Avenue School parents who feel they'll be short- changed again when their children arrive in first grade in the fall.

They've done the math -- 75 soon-to-be first-graders allotted three teachers, 75 soon-to-be second-graders allotted four, Brennan said -- and they don't like the disparity in a school whose motto is "Where Excellence Begins."

We remember those elementary school class-size battles -- and especially the time, in 1994, when parents successfully got a new kindergarten class at Linden a month into the school year -- but lately we've been hearing the outrage from the other end. Kids with 1,500 SAT's and 4.0's who aren't getting into Harvard. Oh the humanity!

It seems like the problem is really the same. Other people are having too many kids.

Mr. Raab, spread the word. The Glen Ridge school system ain't all it's cracked up to be. Maybe some young family will hear about it and move somewhere else.

April 27, 2005 in Barista Does the Math | Permalink | Comments (10)

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