Column: 55% raise for Montclair council OK’d 3-2

Usually I attend only one Montclair City Council meeting per year, but here I’ve gone to two in a row. At the first one, some council members reversed their decision on a 30 percent raise to return to the original proposal of 55 percent. Monday night they made it official — with two dissenters. I report out from the entertaining meeting in Wednesday’s column.

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Coming to Montclair

Photo by Liset Marquez

The former Romano’s Macaroni Grill in the Montclair Entertainment Center adjacent to Montclair Plaza, closed since 2014, is being rebuilt as a Buffalo Wild Wings. While I can’t say I’m interested in this chain, it’s still nice to see some activity. The adjacent restaurant, Elephant Bar, closed last November and remains empty.

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More art in Montclair Place

This 28-by-14-foot mural went up over the weekend in Montclair Place mall on the upper level near the east end escalators, the work of the anonymous artist Punk Me Tender. It features, according to the mall, “a fashionable woman wearing a dress inspired by an Alexander McQueen design, who is posed among dripping chandeliers while walking her pooches.” The dress was made from 10 yards of silk, taffeta and mixed media.

The mural joins the one completed last month on the parking structure exterior. A third mural is promised later this month.

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Mural in Montclair enlivens mall

While we await, patiently or not, long-promised upgrades to Montclair Place, the former Montclair Plaza, a colorful mural has gone up on a 145-foot blank concrete wall of the parking deck ramp, visible from the Macy’s lot off Moreno Street.

Claremont artist Chris Trueman led some of his former Chaffey College students, including Peyton Warrick, Jarmaine Pascua and Andrea Hernandez, in painting the mural, which depicts the San Gabriel Mountains.

“We chose to represent one of Montclair’s most distinguishing aspects; the mountain range, which serves as a backdrop and ever present landmark visible from most vantage points in the city, reminding the community of the beautiful place in which we live,” Trueman said in a written statement.

The mural was painted in four days, ending Saturday, and is said to be the start of a year-long series of interior and exterior art installations. It’s off to a strong start.

The above photos were provided by Killackey Media for Montclair Place; I shot the one below on Monday. The bright colors are a welcome sight.

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Getting to Montclair from … Narod?

narod

The website for Burgerim, a new hamburger emporium in Montclair, lists the driving distance from various local cities, including Narod. Narod? That’s a vanished community around Mission and Central, essentially the land between Montclair and Chino. Google lists Narod — I scrolled down the map to show it before doing the screen shot — as well as some other long-gone communities like Rochester and Grapeland. Click on the photo for a larger view.

Anyway, I find it hilarious that Narod is listed on the Burgerim site, at least for now, alongside Ontario, Pomona and more. It’s six minutes away from the restaurant, by the way.

Speaking of Burgerim, if you’re reading this Sept. 21, the place is giving away free food today in its grand opening, from 11 a.m. until they run out, at 9359 Central Ave.

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