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May  12

Corzine Budget Gets MSU Calling For Action

Governor Corzine's proposed budget includes a $169 million funding cut for higher education, and Montclair State University will be among the institutions to feel the financial pinch.  Their Office of Government Relations has released this statement looking for support of the University.

Call to Action: NJ Higher Education Budget Crisis

Governor Jon Corzine's proposed Fiscal Year 2007 budget proposes to cut funding to higher education by $169 million. The New Jersey Legislature will be reviewing the Governor's budget and undoubtedly making some modifications to it as it does every year. You are urged to contact your legislator to advise them that the proposed cuts would be extremely harmful to higher education in general and Montclair State in particular.

To assist you we have  a sample letter  you can  send to your State Legislator. For your convenience the letter  specific to your relationship with Montclair State is available in two formats. Click on any of the links below to view a sample letter:

For Alumni For Students For Faculty/Staff For Friends
Microsoft Word doc. Microsoft Word doc. Microsoft Word doc. Microsoft Word doc.

Who Is My Legislator?
Click Hereto view, listed by town/city, the name, U.S. address, phone number and email address link to your NJ State legislators.

Talk about it here, or whatever you like...And have a good weekend.

May 12, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink | Comments (15)

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May  10

Bear in Transit

Reportedly a picture of the black bear that's been prowling Essex County, sent into us today by a reader in Clifton. We still don't have the name of the actual photographer. R.I.P.

May 10, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink | Comments (41)

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May   5

Get Outside and Smell The Flowers


But If your stuck inside, it's okay to chat. Your daily blab-fest begins now:
-- Photo by Anthony Batson

May 5, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink | Comments (22)

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May   4

Talk About A Dive....

Blaineandwomanlr_4Scot Surbeck sent us this photo of David Blaine, "Drowned Alive" at Lincoln Plaza yesterday. He's making a spectacle of himself through May  8. "He was in full deep sea diving headgear" Scot said.  Weird stuff - has anyone else in Baristaville checked this out?  Chat now...

(Click on image for larger photo.)

May 4, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink | Comments (23)

daily dish

May   1

Another Saturday Night in Montclair

So Baristanet was in the house at Red Cheetah this past Saturday night. After a gruff ("you here for Rascals?") welcome from a beefy bodyguard type at the door (who somehow missed my sandals), I settled in with a friend at the bar. The bartenders at Red Cheetah are lovely -- personable, prompt with drinks, really nice. When we first arrived things were slow, but after nursing a couple Cosmopolitans, the barstools started to fill in a bit. Around 11:15 or so, I made my way upstairs to where the dancing happens. Except it hadn't happened -- not as yet. A cute guy manning the entrance to the VIP lounge explained that things really didn't start happening until after midnight. Totally understood. After another few minutes, and a chat with another very nice guy named Joe, who explained the mystery of those VIP tables (something like $175 bucks for a group, with a $100 liquor minimum), I waited a little longer for the retro music (think Pet Shop boys) to lure some dancers to the floor. When it didn't happen, I left, and prepared to call it a night, when somehow I wondered -- would things be any different at this hour at the Diva Lounge?

So I grabbed the Barista and we walked down to Diva. The guy guarding the door was letting folks in and noticed us looking at the crowd with interest. Before we could say anything, he said "Would you like to go in and take a look around?" Sure we said, and so we did (without having to pay a cover -- nice touch!).

Talk about your night and day (or in this case night, and night). Diva Lounge was packed (photos above)-- and the crowd was both eclectic -- imagine New Diva3_1Jersey's version of a Benetton ad -- and hot(!) with a range of nice looking folks (and some characters like this fun guy, right). People were everywhere -- sitting at tables drinking, by the bar, and most importantly, working it out on the dance floor. It became pretty clear this was where the party was that night. After soaking up the vibe, and enjoying some Shakira and Pussycat Dolls, we left and capped the night off with a late-night snack -- mussels and frites at Epernay -- after getting the "sorry, kitchen's closed" rap at at Mesob and Cuban Pete's. So, there you have it. And how was your evening? Chat now...

May 1, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink | Comments (96)

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April  29

Talking Points

Two separate "tipsters" altered us to this article on the "whacking" of New Jersey from City Journal.

But today Jersey is a cautionary example of how to cripple a thriving state. Increasingly muscular public-sector unions have won billions in outlandish benefits and wages from compliant officeholders. A powerful public education cartel has driven school spending skyward, making Jersey among the nation’s biggest education spenders, even as student achievement lags. Inept, often corrupt, politicians have squandered yet more billions wrung from suburban taxpayers, supposedly to uplift the poor in the state’s troubled cities, which have nevertheless continued to crumble despite the record spending. To fund this extravagance, the state has relentlessly raised taxes on both residents and businesses, while localities have jacked up property taxes furiously. Jersey’s cost advantage over its free-spending neighbors has vanished: it is now among the nation’s most heavily taxed places. And despite the extra levies, new governor Jon Corzine faces a $4.5 billion deficit and a stagnant economy during a national boom.

Montclair also gets a mention. Check it out and weigh in here. Chat is open...

April 29, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink | Comments (31)

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April  28

Baristanet Question Of The Day

Barista_mug_small_2 George Musser, Jr.  asked us this stirring question, and now we put the cafe controversy out to you...

Have you ever blogged on the scarcity of cafes in Montclair? San Francisco neighborhood of equal size would have 10 times as many cafes. Montclair has two and a half -- Eclectic and the 1 1/2 Starbucks.  In SF I wouldn't have been caught dead is a Starbucks! Here I have little choice. And the situation is getting worse, not better, with the loss of Remedy and Coffee Club. What's up? Why are East Coast people so antediluvian?

Antediluvian? We don't think so, George,  and there are other places to get a good coffee buzz... Ok, that'll be a double cappucino with my daily chat....

April 28, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink | Comments (42)

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April  27

Montclair Taxpayers May Need Deeper Pockets

At Tuesday night's council meeting, Montclair town manager Joe Hartnett proposed an operating budget for FY 2006 that would cost the average homeowner an extra $192.52 in  property taxes, based on a home assessed at $252,000 the Star Ledger reports. The increase would pay to run municipal government and is coming on top of the $531 increase approved to run the schools. The budget proposal evoked dead silence and "grim faces" from the town council; Mayor Ed Remsen called it "sobering."  The Montclair Times reports the town has until June to scrutinize Hartnett's numbers :

“I want to emphasize that we are going to do better,” Hartnett said. “We are going to keep working hard and working with our council to get these numbers down further, as far as we can, by the time the budget is finally adopted, which we expect to be toward the end of June.”

Let's talk about it, it's your daily chat.

April 27, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink | Comments (43)

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April  26

Explain Spring Vacation to Us

Will someone explain to us why every school district in the state of New Jersey, or at least Baristaville, holds its spring break on a different week?

Bloomfield's break was April 10 through 14. Montclair's break was April 17 to 21. Glen Ridge's break is this week. And the private schools were off in March.

The floor is now open for spring break explanations or anything else. How about the White House putting Fox News on its payroll? We mean, officially.

April 26, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink | Comments (38)

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April  23

Greek To Me

BildeHappy Easter! Greeks in Baristaville and other Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter today -- and enjoy the added bonus of half-price Easter candy (that explains why we always had the biggest chocolate bunnies growing up).

Next time you're at Montclair Charbroil, wish the family there Kalo Pascha (Happy Easter). If you're lucky enough to be celebrating with Greeks today, you'll be feasting on lamb, as well as the traditional tsoureki (a challah-like braided sweet bread with red eggs). The meal marks the end of a fast that some Greeks take pretty seriously -- no meat for 40 days. (Hardcore fasters also forgo eggs, cheese, milk, etc., as well as fish for the last week). The feast culminates with the egg-cracking game -- the one to emerge with a pristine egg will have good luck the whole year.

Your daily chat starts now -- speaking in Greek is optional.

April 23, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink | Comments (13)

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