News in brief …

Grant will allow for 8 new firefighters

HARRISON —

She neither lives nor works in Harrison, yet Nancy Renzulli was recently accorded a hero’s welcome by the town’s elected officials.

That’s because the Berkeley Heights resident managed to persuade the federal government to part with $1.2 million for Harrison to hire eight new firefighters.

The grant covers a three-year period, after which the town will assume the full cost of salaries and benefits for those firefighters.

By resolution passed Oct. 3, the mayor and Town Council congratulated Renzulli for having “spent over 200 hours of her own time researching and drafting the [HFD’s] SAFER grant application” and for having “used the contacts that she has fostered in order to facilitate positive results.”

That night, the HFD feted Renzulli and her family by hosting a dinner in her honor at fire headquarters.

Harrison Fire Director Harold Stahl said Renzulli has a warm spot in her heart for those serving in the public safety field. Renzulli’s son is a firefighter in Summit and she herself was a longtime school crossing guard in her former residence of Chatham.

“She seeks out fire departments that need help and offered her services as a volunteer grant writer so the town could apply for a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Firefighter & Emergency Response) grant,” Stahl said.

Harrison was notified of having secured the grant earlier this year.

Stahl said the HFD has asked Civil Service to issue a certified list of candidates from which appointments can be made.

No pets for sale anymore in Kearny

KEARNY

Another community in The Observer’s coverage area has prohibited retail sales of dogs and cats.

Following on the heels of the Township of Nutley, Kearny’s governing body voted Oct. 10 to adopt an ordinance stating, “No pet store shall sell, deliver, offer for sale, barter, auction, give away, or otherwise transfer or dispose of cats or dogs.”

However, the ordinance does allow for such stores to partner with “animal care facilities, animal rescue organizations or reputable hobby breeders to offer space for such entities to showcase adoptable dogs and cats.”

The existing pet store in town can continue to operate so long as it continues “in compliance with all federal, state and local laws.”

Violators will be subject to fines of up to $500. The new law is to be enforced by employees of both the local health department and police department.

The legislation is designed to eliminate the stocking of pet stores with abused animals bred in puppy and kitten “mills” insufficiently regulated by federal, state and county laws and to reduce pet overpopulation as evidenced by the fact that more than 16,000 cats and dogs are euthanized annually in New Jersey.

Councilwoman Susan McCurrie, who heads the council’s ordinance committee, said a pattern of mistreatment of animals by these mills has been well-documented.

“Those animals are likely to be born and raised in inhumane conditions,” she said.

McCurrie, who has fond childhood memories of “growing up with a dog and a cat,” said Kearny’s ordinance was patterned after a similar one adopted by Nutley earlier this year.

They’re recognized for saving man’s life

NORTH ARLINGTON

Some 17 community members were commended by the Borough of North Arlington Oct. 12 for their “life-saving actions” on behalf of a victim.

The mayor and Borough Council presented a certificate of recognition to the following individuals: Audrey O’Jeda, R.N.; Firefighters Richard Bartley and Richard Hughes; North Arlington Police Department members Sgt. Joseph Prinzo and Officers Michael Hoffman, Sean McDonald and Kyle Stec; NA High School Principal Jennifer Rodriguez, teacher Jennifer D’Aries, school custodian Christopher Morrison, school crossing guard John Fladung, EMTs Andrew Tomaszesky, Stacey Augustine and Linda Fox, EMS Chief Anthony Modero and paramedics Mark Muskalink and Bill Sherrier.

According to the borough certificate, on Sept. 29 they “responded to an unresponsive individual Dennis Bazydlo, who had collapsed and was not breathing.”

The individuals “worked tirelessly as a team to successfully revive the individual, effectively saving his life.”

Ron Leir | Observer Correspondent

Ron Leir has been a newspaperman since the late ’60s, starting his career with The Jersey Journal, having served as a summer reporter during college. He became a full-time scribe in February 1972, working mostly as a general assignment reporter in all areas except sports, including a 3-year stint as an assistant editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc. He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and came to The Observer shortly thereafter. He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having worked most recently with the Kearny-based W.H.A.T. Co. and plays Sunday softball in Central Park, N.Y.