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Thoughts & Views: Playing the name game


What’s in a name? Plenty if it happens to be Avery Fisher, for example. That’s the name that – for now at least – is seen by visitors to the Lincoln Center hall where the New York Philharmonic plays its home games, in the world of musical spheres.

The music philanthropist gifted Lincoln Center $10 million more than four decades ago to keep the venue going and now, as The New York Times recently reported, the home team is reportedly proposing a $15 million buyout in hopes of snagging a bonus baby that’ll give the hometown crowd something to really roar about.

Maybe they’ll use the extra dough to put in reclining seats, more concession stands, bigger bathrooms, a special booth for the organist.

And maybe they’ll sew numbers on the back of the musicians’ tuxes – with a roster listing in the programs – so the patrons can either cheer or razz ‘em, depending on how they play on any given night.

Whatever the L.C. brain trust decides, fans of Avery Fisher will be glad to see that “Buck” Fisher won’t be forgotten: He’s getting a “League of his Own,” with a special wing of exhibits, photos and remembrances.

Yes, naming rights can be tricky. No doubt, people in Houston were mighty upset when Enron – whose moniker was tacked on to the Astros’ baseball field – went bust and the team’s owners, thirsting for a new benefactor, came up with Minute Maid Park.

Looking for University of Louisville’s basketball arena? Just watch for the sign reading: “KFC Yum! Center.”

In keeping with the culinary theme, the Corpus Christie Hooks minor league baseball team in Texas welcomes fans to home games at the Whataburger Field.

And the owners of the minor league team in Manchester, N.H., offer their fans a name they can really sink their teeth into: Northwest Delta Dental Field.

Here at The Observer’s home base in Kearny, where the mayor often laments that there aren’t enough tax dollars to go around, it’s a wonder that the town hasn’t tried to market its Municipal Building, the South Kearny Fire Station/Police Precinct or the Kardinals gridiron stadium to someone with a fat wallet looking for a tax write-off.

How about building a new Town Hall in the redevelopment area on the west side and naming it … you guessed it … Trump on the Passaic. Add on a floating casino and just like that, you’re all set.

Harrison, which – like Kearny – has a state monitor checking its finances, already has the Red Bulls but it should take advantage of its school nickname, the Blue Tide, and explore the possibility of a naming merger with the detergent.

No one has approached me, as of yet, but I’m open to all comers. For a long-term deal, at say, five bucks a week, maybe some town would be willing to put my name above a basement closet door?

You could use it as a repository for all present, past and future columns and keep them under lock and key. For my own protection. Thanks for listening.

– Ron Leir 

Choosing a meal?: Make it turkey


Does turkey show up regularly on your table? Americans are gobbling more and more of this lean bird.

U.S. turkey consumption has more than doubled since 1970, the National Turkey Federation reports. What’s more, we’re not just flocking to turkey around Thanksgiving. Year-round, we’re buying a variety of sizes, shapes, and textures of turkey.

In your grocer’s case, you’ll find whole turkeys and parts — fresh, frozen, and smoked. You’ll also see ground turkey, turkey cutlets, turkey hot dogs, turkey sausage, and turkey burgers.

A well-stocked deli offers sliced turkey a half-dozen ways, from roasted to barbecued. And how about turkey pastrami? Ground turkey can be a great, lower-fat alternative to ground beef in spaghetti sauce, chili and stews. Just be sure to choose lean ground turkey.

On the lean side 

With the current health concerns about saturated fat, people are searching for the leanest cuts of meat and/or poultry, and turkey can be lean. Also, turkey offers more iron and vitamins than most fish.

Some turkey products draw criticism for being too tough or too dry, but that’s often because of how the turkey is cooked. Turkey can dry out easily because there’s not much fat to maintain moistness.

A meat thermometer can help ensure a moist meal. The bird’s internal temperature is the true indicator of readiness: 165° F (74° C) for the breast, and 165° to 170° F (74° to 77° C) for the thigh. And when it’s done, it’s done.

Turkey talk: 

More than one-fourth of all households consume turkey deli meats at least once every 2 weeks.

A 15-pound turkey has about 70% white meat and 30% dark meat. The white meat has fewer calories and less fat.

Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the official U.S. bird and reportedly was dismayed when the bald eagle won out.

Only tom turkeys gobble. Hen turkeys make a clicking noise.

The top five most popular ways to eat leftover turkey? A sandwich; soup or stew; salad; casserole; and stir-fry.

To learn more, stop in and see in-store registered dietitian Julie Harrington at the Shop- Rite of Lyndhurst, 540 New York Ave. For information on health and wellness events contact Julie at 201- 419-9154 or Julie.harrington@ wakefern.com.

‘Tis the season for giving


The Salvation Army Corps of Greater Kearny kicked off its annual seasonal Kettle Drive last Thursday, Nov. 13, in front of Kearny Town Hall, with Mayor Alberto Santos and members of the Town Council in attendance.

Corps leaders, Capt. Sherry Moukouangala and Lt. Maurice Moukouangala, presided at the ceremony which featured the performance of traditional Christmas holiday music by Salvation Army personnel.

Lt. Mike Barney of the Plainfield Corps and Mike Hslop, bandmaster of the Greater Kearny Corps Church, both on cornet, were joined by Dean Farrar, music director of the Salvation Army in New Jersey and Lt. Moukouangala, both on the euphonium.

Lt. Moukouangala said that last year, the Greater Kearny Corps netted a total of $65,000 in its kettles stationed around its service area, which encompasses Kearny, Harrison, East Newark, North Arlington and Lyndhurst.

He said the Corps has set this year’s fundraising goal at “between $70,000 and $100,000.”

“We know that’s not easy to achieve but we do what we can and Kearny has always been supportive,” he said. “Each and every dollar counts because the need is very big.”

Money collected goes for emergency food supplies, rent subsidies and clothing where most needed, Lt. Moukouangala said. “There are many families out there who cannot afford essential items,” he added.

People who wish to donate are invited to deposit funds in any of the Salvation Army kettles or to visit the Greater Kearny Corps Church at 28 Beech St. or its offices at 443 Chestnut St., both in Kearny.

– Ron Leir  

Jailed on pain-pill, cocaine charges



Following a two-week investigation, officers of the Lyndhurst Police Department and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force last week arrested a 43-year-old township man on charges of possession and intent to distribute cocaine and oxycodone, Prosecutor John L. Molinelli reported.

The suspect, Charles Quiroz, was taken into custody without incident last Thursday, Nov. 13, at his Kingsland Ave. home after detectives executed a search warrant there. According to Molinelli’s office, multiple bags of cocaine, numerous oxycodone pills and $5,998 in currency were found inside the residence. The street value of the seized narcotics was estimated at $2,000.

Quiroz, who reportedly is single and unemployed, has been charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance and one count of intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school zone, specifically the Lyndhurst High School Lighthouse Campus.

Authorities said detectives had begun surveillance of Quiroz’ home after they became aware of suspected drug dealing taking place there, and the search warrant was subsequently issued by Bergen County Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian.

Quiroz was arraigned Thursday before Judge Jay Y. Kim and remanded to the Bergen County Jail in lieu of $35,000 bail, with no 10% cash option.

– Karen Zautyk 

Phone scam nets 2G: NPD blotter

A costly phone scam was perpetrated on an unknowing caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient, Nutley PD reported.

Police said the victim received a call from someone claiming that the patient’s grandson was in jail and needed to be bailed out. The caller suggested that the victim buy pay pack cards at the local CVS and that they’d call back in an hour to process the payment.

Police said the victim bought the cards and returned to the home where they were again contacted by the scammer who told the victim to scratch off the activation numbers from the cards and to read them over the phone.

In this way, police said, a total of $2,020 was processed. Later, the caregiver told the patient’s daughter that they had paid for their son’s bail. Police said the daughter then called her son, only to learn he was fine and that the alleged incident had never happened.

When police tried to reach the scammer, they said they got an answering machine with a recorded message in French.


Two out-of-towners were charged Monday in connection with a burglary to a local business owner’s vehicle parked on Centre St. on Oct. 15.

Eric Kristofferson, 26, of Oakridge, was charged with obstruction and Joseph Legra, 42, of Blairstown, who remains at large, is charged with the burglary, police said. Nutley PD also logged these recent reports:

Nov. 8 

Police conducted a motor vehicle stop on River Road after spotting a vehicle traveling 52 mph in a 25 mph zone. After learning that the registered owner and driver was on the suspended list and had two outstanding warrants from Belleville, police arrested the driver, Jessica Ortiz, 27, of Belleville. She was released, pending a court date, after being issued a summons for driving while suspended.

Nov. 9 

While monitoring traffic on Rt. 21, police said they observed a vehicle traveling at about 80 mph – in excess of the 55 mph allowed on the highway. After the driver failed to heed an order to stop, police pursued the vehicle as it merged north onto Rt. 20 into Paterson where two Clifton PD units and two State Police units converted on the vehicle, bringing it to a stop. The driver, Avelino Taveras, 47, of Newark, was charged with eluding police and was issued several motor vehicle summonses. He was released pending court dates.

Nov. 10 

A motor vehicle stop on Franklin Ave. resulted in the arrest of Douglas Smith, 26, of Newark, for three outstanding warrants from Newark. Police said Smith was also issued summonses charging him with driving while suspended and maintenance of lamps. He was released to the custody of Newark PD on the warrants.

A Franklin Ave. business owner reported an attempted utility fraud. The owner told police they got a call from someone claiming to be a customer service representative for PSE&G saying that the owner had to pay $2,060.36 in full or his electrical service would be turned off. Police advised the owner that the call was fraudulent and contacted PSE&G about the incident.

Nov. 11 

While on surveillance on a burglary detail, police said they observed a young man waiting in a vehicle as another man emerged from a backyard on Prospect St. After conducting a field interview, police arrested Rizwan Chaudhry, 22, of Nutley, for an outstanding warrant from Clifton. After posting bail, Chaudhry was released pending a court date.

Nov. 12 

Detectives are investigating a burglary to a Franklin Ave. gas station. Police said the owner told them that when they opened for business, they found that someone had cut the chain to the kiosk and removed about 100 packs of cigarettes valued at $800.


A River Road resident reported that someone had stolen his vehicle.

Nov. 13 

Someone entered an unlocked vehicle parked on Centre St. and took a Garmin GPS priced at about $300. Police said the vehicle had no damage.

Nov. 14 

Police responded to the train tracks between Nutley and Grant Aves. after getting a report about a suspicious party jumping fences and running down the tracks. At the site, police said officers found Anthony Alston, 52, of Newark, who reportedly told them that he was going to work but could not find the job site. Alston was arrested after police learned he had an outstanding warrant from Newark. He was turned over to Newark PD who released him pending a court appearance.

– Ron Leir 

Dr. Diana Espaillat joins Pink Vision Associates


By Kevin Canessa Jr. 

Observer Correspondent 


When Dr. Maria Domingues founded Pink Vision Associates in 2010, among many things that were clear was that the business would be family oriented. Three years later, that was even more evident when Dr. Carla Domingues, Carla’s sister, joined the practice. And now, the family atmosphere has grown even more with the addition of Dr. Diana Espaillat, a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and a dear friend and classmate of Carla’s.

Dr. Maria Domingues says she is thrilled to have been able to hire Dr. Espaillat, especially since the practice continues to grow and since she comes on board with such high praise from her sister.

“She and my sister have been friends for a while, and she’s a great fit for our practice,” Maria said. “And we’re so delighted that in addition to her university training, she also comes to us with one full year of training in a residency — in an ophthalmology setting. She is very qualified and is excellent with patients.

“We know she’s going to continue to be a great asset here.”

Espaillat, who speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese, has had a vast educational background. She got her bachelor’s degree from the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken and then got her OD (ophthalmology doctorate) in 2013. The residency Dr. Domingues referenced took place during the past year at the Eye Care Center of New Jersey in Bloomfield.

During her residency, she focused on patient care, ocular disease, pre-operative care, pediatric optometry and vision therapy. So it’s all prepared her for a career in the field that she first became interested in when she was a teenager.

“I was a sophomore at North Bergen High School when my love for the field developed,” Espaillat said. “I was taking an anatomy and physiology class and we dissected a pig’s eye. I had never worn glasses before, but I loved the intricacy of the lens in the eye. I never thought I’d become a doctor, but here I am now, excited for what’s to come.”

Espaillat says she’s quite motivated by all aspects of her new work, but she’s especially happy to be able to work with kids and with overall patient care.

“I try to put myself in their positions,” she said. “I work hard to ensure my patients are relaxed and that they realize they will get through what has to be done when they’re sitting in that chair.”

But without question, her greatest joy comes from where her career is ultimately beginning.

“I am so excited to join a practice with my very close friend Carla,” Espaillat said. “This is such a great, family-oriented place to be, and I am fortunate to be able to contribute to that atmosphere.”

Pink Vision Associates has three offices: in Lyndhurst, Fort Lee and Irvington. The Lyndhurst office is located at 348 Ridge Road. The hours of operation there are Monday, Thursday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Learn more about Dr. Espaillat and Pink Vision Associates by visiting www.PinkVisionAssociates.com or by calling 201-438- 8668. You can schedule an appointment on the website as well.

Logged on the Lyndhurst police blotter

Nov. 7 

Milada Acacio, 29, of Bayonne, was issued motor vehicle summonses after police said she appeared to be intoxicated and had disabled her vehicle while driving in the township’s industrial area on Wall St. West service road at 11:10 p.m. She was charged with violations of DWI, refusal to take an Alcotest and reckless driving.

Nov. 10 

Two suspected cases of fraud were reported separately to police.

At 5:15 p.m., a Second Ave. resident told police they had received a voice mail message from someone claiming to be from the IRS telling them that a warrant had been issued for their arrest for non-payment of taxes. Police said the resident did not send any money.

However, in the other incident, police got a call at 8:21 p.m. from a Kingsland Ave. senior citizen who told them they had received a call from an alleged PSE&G representative demanding that they send a payment of $295, via a Green Dot money pack, or face a shutoff of their electricity. The senior told police they complied with the request.

Nov. 12 

Police responded to a call, at 12:24 p.m., about a suspicious male seen wandering around the 100 block of Forest Ave. Police said the man was observed getting into a car and driving away but was stopped by an officer at Forest and Stuyvesant Aves. where he was questioned. The driver, John Baptiste, 30, of Brooklyn, ended up charged with possession of marijuana and possession of CDS in a vehicle.


Police were called to the Stop & Shop on Lewandowski St., at 1:38 p.m., on a report of a theft. A 20-year-old Kearny resident told police she had left her pocketbook in her shopping cart as she left the store and that when she returned to retrieve it, the pocketbook was gone. Police said she did find her wallet, with her personal items still there, but it was missing $640 in cash.

Nov. 13 

At 3:19 p.m., police received a call from a homeowner in the 300 block of Lake Ave. reporting that someone had swiped their Halloween decorations, valued at $50, from their front lawn.

– Ron Leir 

St. Michael’s offers help with health insurance sign-ups

To help uninsured individuals gain better access to affordable and quality health coverage, St. Michael’s Medical Center will host a special Health Insurance Registration event on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the center’s Admissions Department, 111 Central Ave., Newark. Local residents can schedule an appointment with a certified application counselor, who will help them navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace and register for a plan.

Though uninsured individuals who qualify can sign up on the Health Insurance Marketplace via its website, www.healthcare.gov, St. Michael’s certified counselors will be available to offer one-on-one help, answer questions, compare options, and walk them through the process.

“As a health care provider for the greater Newark community, it is essential that we do all we can to help the members of our community gain access to quality, affordable health care,” said David A. Ricci, St. Michael’s president and CEO.

“When people have access to better health coverage, they can feel more at ease in seeking the care they need to live more healthy and fulfilling lives.”

For coverage starting in 2015, the Open Enrollment Period is Nov. 15, 2014, through Feb. 15, 2015. Individuals can schedule an appointment with a St. Michael’s insurance counselor by calling 973-465-2792.

Job Haines: Quality geriatric care

The Job Haines Home, 250 Bloomfield Ave., Bloomfield, reports that staff member Donna McAllister, R.N., was chosen to participate in and has now completed a five-week training course on how to mentor new nurses in taking better care of the geriatric population in long-term care facilities.

“I found the course to be an excellent educational experience that will be a great asset to my profession and to the residents at Job Haines,” McAllister said.

The course, offered by the New Jersey Action Coalition, was funded by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid. Lectures on role-playing, on-the-job experiences and a strong overview of geriatric care were among the topics covered.

The course was developed in response to a 2010 report released by the Institute of Medicine, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” The report examined how nurses’ roles, responsibilities and education should change to meet the needs of an aging, increasingly diverse population and to respond to a complex, evolving healthcare system.

For more information or to schedule a tour of Job Haines Home, call 973-743-0792 or visit www.job-haines.org.

around town


Harrison/East Newark Elks sponsor a Hoop Shoot basketball shoot-out contest, open to ages 7 to 13, on Sunday, Nov. 23, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Community Center, 401 Warren St.


St. Stephen’s Church hosts a coat drive Saturday, Nov. 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the lower church hall (enter via Washington Ave.). Coats, sweaters and sweatshirts will be accepted. Anyone wish to recommend a community member in need is asked to stop by at 11 a.m. For more information, call 732-552-8039 or 201-991-0670.

A cat food drive is being conducted through Dec. 12 for Kearny’s TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return) program. Drop off cat food donations at K-9 Corner, 169 Midland Ave. at Elm St.

A motorcycle run/toy drive for St. Claire’s Homes for Children kicks off at the Elks Lodge, 601 Elm St., Sunday, Nov. 30, at 1 p.m. Registration is from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants are asked to bring a $20 registration fee and a new, unwrapped toy. No stuffed animals are accepted. The lodge hosts an after-run party for riders.

Those who don’t wish to participate in the run can still drop off donations at the lodge or at Arlington Lawn Mower, 483 Schuyler Ave., between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

For more information, call Paul at 201-991-1076 or 201- 726-2315. Visit www.aidsresource.org.

The Kearny Elks Lodge conducts its Hoop Shoot, open to ages 8 to 13, starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, at the Presbyterian Boys/Girls Club, 663 Kearny Ave. Participants must bring their birth certificate. For more information, call Tom Fraser, executive director of the PBGC at 201-991-6734 or Ron Pickel at 201-463-8447.

The Presbyterian Boys- Girls Club, 663 Kearny Ave. hosts its annual Turkey Day dance Friday, Nov. 21, 7 to 10 p.m. Guests are restricted to teenagers. Prizes will be given to the best dancers.


Lyndhurst Public Library, 353 Valley Brook Ave., hosts a screening of “It’s Thanksgiving Charlie Brown,” open to pre-k to grade 4, Monday, Nov. 24, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Registration is required. To register, call the library at 201-804- 2478.

Lyndhurst Health Department, 601 Riverside Ave., Suite 1, holds a blood screening Friday, Dec. 5, at the Community Center at Riverside and Tontine Aves. Appointments begin at 8 a.m. This service is available to Lyndhurst residents ages 18 and older for a $20 fee. Pre-registration is required. For appointments, call 201-804-2500. Payments can be submitted in cash or checks, payable to Medical Laboratory Diagnostics.

Lyndhurst American Legion Post 139 Rehabilitation Committee holds a ward party for veterans at Chestnut Hill Extended Care Facility, Passaic, on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 2:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by Claire Wertalik in memory of James Wertalik who served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, 1949 to 1951. Post members play games of chance with hospitalized veterans and distribute treats to them. Anyone interested in sponsoring a ward party is invited to call 201-438-2255.

The Humane Society, 221- 223 Stuyvesant Ave., invites members of the community to bring children and pets for photos with Santa Sunday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments are available, but walk-ins are also welcome. All pictures will be taken by a professional photographer. Proceeds benefit the animals at the Humane Society. Photos with an attractive holiday folder cost $10. A CD of all pictures taken is available for $20. For more information, call 201-896-9300.

North Arlington

North Arlington Senior Activity Center, 11 York Road, hosts a holiday celebration Friday, Dec. 12. Bingo starts at 10:30 a.m., lunch is served at noon and dancing begins at 1:30 p.m. For more information and reservations, call 201-998- 5636.

North Arlington Woman’s Club sponsors a trip to the Sands Casino, Bethlehem, Pa., on Dec. 6. The bus leaves from Borough Hall at 9 a.m. Cost is $30 with $20 slot return and $5 food voucher. For information, call 201-889-2553.


Children can deliver letters to Santa Claus at the special “Santa Express Mailbox” starting Friday, Nov. 28, at the Park Oval entrance on Chestnut St., in conjunction with Santa’s arrival at the Oval. The last day of collection will be Wednesday, Dec. 17. Children must include their age and return address on each letter. Santa doesn’t always have the luxury of time to look up addresses during the busy holiday season. For more information, contact the Department of Public Affairs at 973-284-4976.