web analytics
Google+

Author Archive

Farewell to a brother in blue

3
Santiago

Santiago

On Friday afternoon, regular traffic came to a halt on the Belleville Pike and Ridge Road to open the route for the funeral procession of slain Jersey City Police Detective Melvin Santiago.

The 23-year-old rookie, promoted posthumously to detective, had been ambushed early Sunday, July 13, when he responded to a 911 call at a Jersey City Walgreens.

Thousands of police officers lined the streets around St. Aloysius Church in Jersey City during the Friday morning funeral Mass, after which the body of young hero was taken to Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington for interment. Escorting the cortege was an extraordinary honor guard of what appeared to be at least a thousand police motorcycles.

At the intersection of the Pike and Kearny Ave./Ridge Road, members of the Kearny Police Department, including its honor guard, stood in silent tribute, along with members of the public who bowed their heads or placed their hands over their hearts as the hearse passed by.

Rest in peace, Detective Santiago.

— Karen Zautyk

State eyes raising part of Pike

Pike_web1

By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY –

The Rt. 7/Belleville Turnpike corridor which runs through Kearny’s meadows area and beyond is getting a lot of attention these days from state and federal transit agencies.

For the past couple of years, contractors hired by the state Department of Transportation have been doing patchwork repairs on the Wittpenn Bridge which carries Rt. 7 traffic over the Hackensack River between Jersey City and Kearny while, simultaneously, building a replacement span, just north of the existing bridge. Read more »

Taxes up on average by $244

2014-07-16 09_41_31-428 Kearny Ave - Google Maps

By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

Now that Trenton – even without a gubernatorial endorsement by the town’s Democratic mayor – has gifted Kearny $2.5 million in transitional aid and reduced its pension obligations by nearly $435,000, Kearny property owners can know what to expect.

They’re still getting a tax increase, just not as severe as the town had feared before receiving the state’s largess.

According to calculations by town CFO Shuaib Firozvi, of a total 2014 budget of $75.8 million, $40.8 million must be raised by local taxation, which is up by 3% from last year’s $39.6 million. Read more »

Wild pursuit ends with 3 arrests

speeders_web

LYNDHURST –

It started as an alleged speeding incident and led to a frantic chase that ended in three arrests.

Here’s the account given by Lyndhurst Police:

Shortly after 2 p.m. on July 14, Patrol Officer James Goral pulled over a 2008 BMW traveling east on Page Ave. for exceeding the speed limit at the Schuyler Ave. intersection.

As Goral approached the vehicle, however, police said the driver suddenly pulled away, made a U-turn, and headed west on Page, turning on numerous side streets.

Police said the driver continued up to Ridge Road northbound, eventually turning west onto Valley Brook Ave. and then north onto Delafield Ave. where he encountered other patrol vehicles. Read more »

Builder targets eyesore

apt_web

By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 

NUTLEY – 

A 36-unit residential development being pitched to the Nutley Zoning Board of Adjustment has township and school officials on the edge of their seats wondering how many schoolage kids the project may generate if approved.

Mayor Alphonse Petracco is blunt about it. “The issue is this: Our schools can’t take one more student.”

And that’s why the township Board of Education is reviewing several scenarios to address existing overcrowding situations, none of which has yet been committed to, according to BOE President Charles Kucinski. Read more »

Learning to protect & serve

Jr Police_web

By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

Last Friday, in a ceremony at Lincoln School, 36 youngsters graduated from the Kearny Police Department’s Junior Police Academy following two weeks of intensive, but fun, training.

This marks the academy’s sixth graduating class. We have been privileged to attend various sessions over the past few summers, and we never cease to be impressed by the range of programs offered and by the discipline of the kids, aged 11-13. (They even walk in step after they’ve been dismissed for the day!)

The academy is a combination of boot-camp exercises and education, covering all aspects of law enforcement. To graduate, the cadets must pass both a physical-training test and a written exam. This is not play time, it’s a learning experience. But as noted above, it is also fun. One of the outings this year included a cruise aboard a N.J. State Police boat, which took the youngsters down the Hudson and around the Statue of Liberty. Read more »

Highway homicide arrests

homicide_web

Following a month-long investigation, authorities have arrested a Newark couple in the June 12 slaying of a Hackensack livery-cab driver who apparently had been targeted after an argument at a Belleville nightclub.

The victim, Jeff Mansilla, 39, was shot as he was driving on Interstate 80 in Saddle Brook. Authorities say he had been followed from the Belleville Ave. gentlemen’s club, called Wet, by suspects Mujahideen Abdullah and Jomaris Gonzalez.

Abdullah, 25, and Gonzalez, 28, were arrested Friday morning after detectives from the New Jersey State Police Major Crime Unit and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office executed a search warrant at their residence. Read more »

Capacyachi joins Century 21 Semiao & Associates

C21 Agent_web

Century 21 Semiao & Associates announces that Joanne Capacyachi has recently joined the company’s Lyndhurst branch as a full-time agent.

A Rutherford resident for the past 16 years, Capacyachi previously held her real estate license with Coccia Realty before joining Century 21 Semiao.

Before obtaining her real estate license, Capacyachi began her career in the limousine business. She provided transportation services to clients all over the world for 25 years, developing excellent customer service and interpersonal skills. Capacyachi is known for being a people person, very warm and diligent in her work.

Capacyachi developed a passion for real estate after owning, managing and renovating several properties in South Florida and northern New Jersey.

Capacyachi looks forward to working with sellers and buyers and using her business experience to assist in achieving their goals.

She lives in Rutherford with her husband Angelo, her two children Chiana and Angelo and her beagle Shiloh.

Capacyachi can be reached at the Lyndhurst office, 761 Ridge Road, or call 201-460- 8000.

Thoughts & Views: Check your freedom to fly at the gate

7-23OP_web

Much has been made of civilian authorities abusing their statutory powers – and responsibilities to the constituencies they serve – by creating chaos at public transportation hubs.

We have heard the allegations about Gov. Chris Christie and his political associates allegedly seeking to disrupt local traffic flows on approaches to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, allegedly to zing the borough mayor for not endorsing the governor for re-election.

And, more recently, there were charges made by the police chief Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop is seeking to demote that the city’s chief executive had ordered him to have his officers make an excessive number of needless traffic stops on the approach to the Holland Tunnel, reportedly to irk the Port Authority whom the city is suing.

Assuming the charges in either or both instances are accurate, those pale in comparison to the reckless downing of the Malaysian jet over Ukraine and the killing of its 298 passengers and crew. Read more »

Borough fills its police roster

Cop_web

Another one of East Newark’s own is poised to join the borough’s blue ranks.

Newly hired Police Officer Saul Gutierrez was placed on the borough payroll at a starting salary of $25,000, effective July 18, following his appointment by the local governing body on July 15.

He becomes the ninth member of the East Newark Police Department and he’ll be taking the slot being vacated by Officer Anthony Espaillat, who is leaving the borough after two years to become a detective with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, according to Police Chief Anthony Monteiro.

The 24-year-old East Newark native is slated to begin 21 weeks of training – with 64 other rookies from other police departments in his class – at the John H. Stamler Police Academy in Scotch Plains on July 28, Monteiro said. Read more »