Ode to Vincent Tango
Montclair’s soul feels hurt with the passing of my friend, Vinny Tango!
His love and dedication to Montclair High School and the town were legendary. From his paintings of so many Montclair scenes to his many Letters to the Editor, first to the Montclair Times, and currently to the Montclair Local, he did much for the community he loved so dearly.
As his painting ended a few years back, in a most nostalgic mode, he wrote about many touching memories of his early years in Montclair.
I told him personally that his talent now was with his pen as he brought back most interesting moments of his past. When he attended a MHS football game, which was until recently every game home or away, he made a point to reach out to the player who seemed approachable and began a conversation.
With the start of a friendship, he talked less about sports and more about academics and the player’s future path. With these relationships, he influenced many student athletes at MHS and some long-term relationships developed.
His was a life which was always anchored by the high school and our Montclair.
Knowing Vinny for about 30 years, my wife and I treasured our time with him, and we are the better for having had him in our lives. We have quite a bit of his artwork in our home, and he will always be with us. Montclair is enriched because of Vinny Tango.
Thank you Montclair
Over the last six months Montclairians have donated more than $262,000 to the Montclair Public Library through its foundation’s annual appeal in the winter, and in the spring, which just concluded.
These funds will be used to provide:
Our summer reading program and free summer lunch program for Montclair’s children (starting June 28);
Museum Passes (free to check out so you can visit one of 18 area attractions);
28 Launchpads for children (self-contained tablets with educational apps to promote literacy);
The soon-to-come eTuk Bookmobile;
Support for programs like the Adult School;
Staff training on equity, diversity, and inclusion;
And many other great and exciting programs and services.
We deeply appreciate the generosity of our community members and library users. Your support enables us to continue to provide world-class library services to all in our community. We thank you for your generous support.
WIL ADKINS, president
JONATHAN SIMON, president
PETER COYL, director
Board of trustees
Montclair Public Library Foundation
The BigBelly compactors have been touted as a success story but this falls short in my opinion. There are no recycling receptacles to be found in any high-foot-traffic areas of Montclair. Without provisions for recycling, all recyclable materials are being thrown away in the trash, street, and more specifically, the BigBellys.
I would like to see more provisions for sidewalk recycling.
I believe the people of Montclair are willing and able to do their part, but it’s time for the town to recognize this major shortcoming and to accommodate.
Can you be trusted
The Catholic Church and the powers that be at the Archdiocese of Newark along with St. Teresa of Calcutta (Immaculate Conception/Our Lady of Mount Carmel) have done very little over the past two years to give me faith that Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church will not be closed. Our archbishop has chosen not to visit our church since he replaced Archbishop Myers. However, he has visited Immaculate.
Immaculate has an abundance of weekend Masses while Mount Carmel has two, Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Last week, on Friday and Sunday, two of the holiest days of the year for the Roman Catholic Church (Good Friday and Easter Sunday), Mount Carmel was lucky that we had one Mass, including Good Friday. I’d say that is a good definition of a second-class citizen.
It’s no secret of the Catholic Church’s priest scandal, and the numerous lawsuits that are arising all over the world, because the church has turned a blind eye to the child predators. Lawsuits equate money. Where is the church going to get this money?
Today I read a very disturbing article indicating the Catholic Church will not use any money set aside for church activities, or to help the needy. It will not dip into funds for charities, seminarians, donor gifts, or donations to parishes or schools. Instead, the church will pay off these lawsuits from the sale of properties and insurance.
I’m ashamed to say as a practicing Catholic, besides having no faith in the church intentions, locally I also have no faith in Rome/Pope doing the right thing. They have proven they cannot be trusted.
The recent horrific fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France, should be a wake-up call for Rome/Archdioceses worldwide. Magnificent cathedrals erected all over the world are witness to the sacrifice of many people. The tragedy of all this beauty, were known to be built on the backs of the oppressed.
You cannot find God in a building, no matter how magnificent the design may be. God’s presence is spiritual and cannot be confined to a structure. Once we lose our beautiful churches and cathedrals for the sake of the almighty dollar to pay for lawsuits to right the wrongs committed by priests who did not live up to their sacred vows, they will be gone forever.
Back to the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, think about what I’m about to say. A fire of such magnitude with the heat and steam generated by the flames and the water used over a 12-hour period to control and extinguish it, failed to crack or damage any of the fabulous stained glass windows along with other valuable one-of-a-kind artifacts. To the powers that be in the Roman Catholic Church, was this God’s way of sending you a message saying don’t sell our cathedrals/churches as the price of betrayal by disciples of Jesus (pope, cardinals, archbishops, priests and other clergy)? On April 27, an announcement was made after Mass, making an appeal to parishioners to make a pledge starting at $250 and progressing up to $500, as we were told the Archdiocese of Newark will not contribute to the recent replacement of a boiler at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. In addition we were told that the boiler at Immaculate Conception Church also needs replacement at a cost of $35,000-plus.
It is estimated we need approximately $70,000 for the work. The Archdiocese of Newark should hang their heads in shame, placing the burden of these replacements on the shoulders of the parishioners. The Archdiocese has to be held accountable rather than all their empty promises that have been made since it was learned of their intentions to close Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. The Archdiocese constantly has their hand out to all the parishes to make payments as required by the Roman Catholic Church.
Could their refusal to help out in paying for the replacement boilers have anything to do with decades of clergy abuse and having to provide for the countless survivors whose lives were ruined?
The Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Newark have to do the right thing, which is to deal with the spiritual issues involving the spiritual life and welfare of its members, and end the culture of covering up the sins of abusive priests by penalizing parishioners’ contributions to pay for capital expenses incurred by their churches.
THOMAS J. RUSSO
The writer is the former chief of the Montclair Police Department.