Local Beat: Petitions, Preservation, and Professionalism 


Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

Montclair PetitionsThe Montclair municipal clerk received more than 1,600 petition signatures this week calling for Montclair to place a local ordinance on the ballot that would give private sector workers the right to paid sick leave, reports Natalie Hackett of TAP into Montclair. Montclair joins four other New Jersey towns – Irvington, Passaic, Paterson, and Trenton – that have received similar petitions. If approved, the proposed ordinance would provide Monctclair’s private sector employees with the right to earn paid sick leave.

DePace MuseumThe historic DePace Sports Library and Museum of Champions in Collinswood, NJ is getting a much-needed facelift, reports Matt Skoufalos of NJ Pen. The musuem will host a selection of artifacts and items from the private collection of Haddonfield cardiologist Dr. Nicholas L. DePace. DePace bought the property and the building back in 2011, and the museum should be open for business by 2015 if the repairs continue to move forward as scheduled.

In November, voters will be asked to decide on a referendum that will designate a permanent funding source for New Jersey’s open spaces, historic sites, parks, and clean water sources, reports Cynthia Cumming of TAP into West Orange. The state Assembly voted to include the initiative on the November ballot by a margin of 58-9 on August 4th. The measure will allow voters to decide on a constitutional amendment that will designate existing corporate business tax revenue over the next five years and beyond as a primary source of funding for the Green and Blue Acres programs.

Old Swede BarnSpeaking of preservation, Paul Solin of Old Jersey published an article on the preservation and renovation of the Old Swede Barn in Moorestown Township. In 2001, Moorestown raised $7,315,000 to purchase the 130 acres of land surrounding the barn from the Benner Family. After the barn was declared to be unsafe in 2011, the Historical Society of Moorestown teamed up with local businesses, professionals, and other citizens to save the barn. The fundraising goal of the renovation effort was finally realized late last year when the Burris Construction Company matched a $5,000 donation from William G. Burris himself.

The Sparta Board of Education recently passed a resolution that calls for the adoption of a Tuition Student Policy, which allows students from other districts to apply for admission to Sparta schools, reports Jennifer Dericks of TAP into Sparta. The parents of those students would be responsible for paying the tuition for their child to attend school in Sparta as if they were paying tuition at a private school. Tuition is charged for regular education only; students recieving special education are not required to pay tuition.

A municipal court judge in Atlantic Highlands and Highlands has been accused of judicial misconduct, according to Art Gallagher of More Monmouth Musings. Judge Peter A. Locascio received a complaint from the Disciplinary Council of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (ACJC) for exhibiting “extreme and personal” hostility towards an attorney from August 2008 through the early months of 2013. He has also been accused of failing to rule on recusal motions by that same attorney, as well as using the powers of his office for his own personal benefit, and failing to act on conflicts of interest by allowing his personal friend to appear as an attorney before his court.

Steve ValkIn a follow-up to his 2013 interview, Paul Goldfinger of Blogfinger sat down with social scientist Steve Valk to discuss his work with the concept of “social choreography.” In 2013, they discussed the concept of social choreography, which deals with issues of community cooperation and social cohesion in the interest of improving the lives of everyday citizens. This year, they talked specifically about Ocean Grove, including Valk’s 40-year history with the town, and discussed how Valk’s work as the director of the Institute of Social Choreography in Frankfurt, Germany can be used to make Ocean Grove a better place to live.

Our full roundup:

South Plainfield Participates in National Night Out TAP into South Plainfield
NJ Veteran Walking Across America TAP into Clark
Corner Bakery Opens Door in South Plainfield TAP into South Plainfield
Supermoon vs. Perseids: A Battle for the Sunday Night Sky TAP into Berkeley Heights
Montclair Police Department and Other NJ Law Enforcement Officials Issue Scam Warning to Residents TAP into Montclair
Petitions Submitted to Montclair Township Clerk to Give Private Sector Workers Paid Sick Days TAP into Montclair
Saving the Swede Run Barn Old Jersey News
Cooperstown in Collingswood: DePace Sports Museum Construction Underway NJ Pen
North Jersey Humane Society says: Outsource Montclair Animal Shelter TAP into Montclair
Locals Reflect on the Passing of Robin Williams TAP into Livingston
Caroline Vandermark Lives On at First Annual Caroline Fund 5K Set for September 13 TAP into West Orange
Livingston Resident Robert Simon Competes on Spike TV’s “Frankenfood” TAP into Livingston
Dishy Two Buck Chuck Blog Quickly Pulled from Huff Post TAP into Livingston
‘Janet’s Law’ to be Implemented in All NJ Schools TAP into Livingston
Study: NJ School System is Best in Nation TAP into Livingston
West Orange High School Senior Ranked Nationally in Archery Competiton TAP into West Orange
Fifth Grade Student Athlete Elliot Cadeau Successful On and Off Court TAP into West Orange
Best Supermoon of the Year To Be Visible August 10 TAP into West Orange
Open Space Preservation Referendum Will Appear on November Ballot TAP into West Orange
American Imaging Center at 61 Main Street Closes Following Raid TAP into West Orange
West Orange High School and SEC Establishes Mandatory Sports Rest Period Program TAP into West Orange
Black Bears Seen Roaming Westfield and Mountainside TAP into Westfield
Police Complaint: Busted Tech, Town Manager Intimidation My Verona NJ
Sparta Board of Education Moves to Accept Tuition Students TAP into Sparta
Municipal Judge Accused of Misconduct More Monmouth Musings
Campaign Manager Indicted for Identity Theft Over Phony RoboCall More Monmouth Musings
Is it Friendly Competition or the Start of a Gas War? TAP into Roselle
Total Cost for Gloucester City Middle School $87,543,500 million plus CNB News
Council Honors Mobile Meals of Westfield and More at Meeting TAP into Westfield
New Providence’s Tad Lombardo Becomes a World-Renowned Chocolatier TAP into New Providence
Montclair Planning Board Approves MC Hotel Plans in a Unanimous Historic Decision TAP into Montclair
Flipping their wigs: Broomes are retiring after four decades selling hair in Morristown Morristown Green
As accolades pile up, retiring Morristown businessman can’t help pitching his wigs Morristown Green
Blogfinger interviews a social scientist about community dynamics in Ocean Grove Blogfinger

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