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Too many birds of a feather flock to Nutley

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By Karen Zautyk 

Observer Correspondent 

NUTLEY – 

Fire hoses didn’t work. Boom-boxes didn’t work. Will “fogging” do the job? Only time will tell.

The “job” is to drive the starlings from DeMuro Park, where they reportedly have been roosting in massive numbers.

Roosting and pooping. It’s the pooping that has the township concerned.

“They’re lovely little birds,” said Nutley Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci, “but when they roost in the thousands, they create a problem.” Which is why, for several nights last week, the park was temporarily closed for “fogging,” the spraying of an “environmentally responsible” aerosol called Methyl Anthranilate.

On Aug. 11, Tucci, director of Parks & Recreation, sent out an email alert to Nutley residents explaining the situation and noting that the town had contracted with a company called the Bird Doctor Nation wide (birddoctorinc.com) to apply the aerosol at DeMuro on the evenings of Aug. 18-23.

The area treated borders Wilson St. and Van Winkle, Margaret and Bloomfield Aves., where park neighbors reportedly have had to repeatedly clean extensive guano from cars and roofs and lawns, etc. (If you’d like to see what a mess masses of starlings can create, search Google Images for “starling droppings.” You might be surprised.)

In addition to being unsightly, the starlings’ excrement can pose a health hazard, Tucci said, since the spores become airborne. Besides, he added, “the smell is unbelievable.”

According to the commissioner’s email, the EPA has classified Methyl Anthranilate “as a naturally occurring flavorant and it has been declared GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) by the FDA.”

“It’s a food-based chemical,” Tucci told The Observer, noting that it is used to flavor grape gum and candy.

The alert explained, “Methyl Anthranilate’s method for bird control is a pain stimulus in the trigeminal nerves which are found in the throats and mucus membranes of the beak and eyes.” (Tucci put it in layman’s terms: “It irritates their nasal passages.”)

“Almost all animals have these nerves,” the email noted, “yet only birds have a negative response to Methyl Anthranilate. Birds ‘feel’ Methyl Anthranilate as pain, while mammals, including humans, sense it as a grape scent.”

When an area is “fogged,” the “target birds begin to associate the pain to the site. They are trained, with multiple applications, that the site is painful and they seek a new location.”

“Until now,” the email said, “there have been few options for the control of flocks of birds that invade and contaminate a site other than killing them. This fogging method will not kill the birds, it will simply cause them to not like coming to this area anymore.”

Tucci assured your correspondent that the chemical irritates the birds, but “it doesn’t harm them.”

“I would do anything not to harm them,” he said.

The Bird Doctor “fogged” the park at dusk, when the starlings come home to roost. Tucci had described prior roostings as resembling “something out of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’.” We visited DeMuro on Sunday evening and saw some sort of feathered creatures flocking to the trees, but we could not tell if they were starlings. In any case, there did not seem to be an inordinate number. so perhaps the project has been a success. We await word.

Tucci told us that the township had previously tried to drive away the starlings with the help of the Nutley Fire Department’s hoses. Do not fret. This did not resemble riot control. “It was a gentle hosing,” the commissioner said.

“We just sprayed them with water.”

When that didn’t work, the town installed sonic boomboxes in the park, not for music, but to play the call of a predator bird. This was supposed to stress the starlings. It did not.

“We’ve called everybody” for advice, Tucci noted. Fish & Wildlife, the Audubon Society, et al. The Bird Doctor was finally contacted after a Nutleyite made that suggestion at a Township Commission meeting. Tucci said each “fogging” application was costing $895, for a total of $4,475.

By the way, according to its website, the Bird Doctor Nationwide is the “Official Pest Control Company of the N.Y. Yankees.”

Too bad it can’t control Orioles or Blue Jays. Or Red Sox.

To catch a raccoon

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By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

On an early August night, a few weeks ago, Kearny’s Julie Kelley recalls her husband Ed calling her to the window of the couple’s Morgan Place home and inviting her to look next door where the beacon from his flash light was focused.

It was there, caught in the glow from the beam, that she saw them – two raccoons straddling the space between the attic and roof of 47 Morgan Place.

After the couple snapped a photo, Kelley downloaded the image from her camera and sent it to Mayor Alberto Santos, who, in turn, forwarded it to the town’s Health Department.

“It worries me,” Julie Kelley told The Observer. “I have to live here. I don’t want raccoons in my house.”

Bill Pettigrew, a municipal public health inspector, said: “It was brought to our attention by a neighbor that a family of raccoons – a mother and two offspring – were living inside the home at 47 Morgan Place.”

That location has been well-known to the department since fall 2010 when the house was vacated and the Kelleys began to be plagued by various property issues: water spewing from a broken pipe in the basement, rats occupying a dilapidated garage, an unsafe exposed outdoor pool, backyard overgrowth, and now, animal squatters.

To deal with the prior problems, the town capped the leak, tore down the garage, filled in the pool and cut the grass, placing tax liens on the property owner’s tax bill for the cost of the work.

Photos by Ron Leir The town boarded up holes along the base of the porch and along the roof eaves of 47 Morgan Place to keep out critters and it set up traps outside the attic and in the backyard.

Photos by Ron Leir
The town boarded up holes along the base of the porch and along the roof eaves of 47 Morgan Place to keep out critters and it set up traps outside the attic and in the backyard.

 

As for the raccoons, Pettigrew figured the animals were getting in and out of the building through gaps in the roof eaves, in the front and rear of the house. So he enlisted the aid of the town’s public works crew to cover up the gaps with plywood and, with an assist from Bergen County animal control officer Bob Harris (contracted by Kearny on an as-need basis), rigged an outside trap with cat food and water along the eaves designed to allow an animal in but once inside, it could not return; it could go only one way – out.

“I also saw an opening at the base of the first floor where the siding meets the porch and we boarded that up, too,” Pettigrew said. “We also set up three traps on the grounds in the backyard.” It was in one of those traps that, soon after, “one of the offspring was caught,” he said. And, a few days after that, a skunk was found in a trap.

The Kelleys were concerned that possibly the mother raccoon and her other offspring remained inside the house, but Pettigrew told The Observer he felt that wasn’t the case.

“I put out more food inside the trap, plus food and water outside the ledge, about a foot away from the trap, as a lure, and, next day, I saw fresh claw marks on the siding and I saw that the food was gone and the water dish was tipped over on its side, so my guess is they got outside and we won’t see them inside anymore,” Pettigrew said.

“There are raccoons all over town,” he said. “It’s just nature. They even travel through the sewer system.”

And – like other animals in the wild – they may carry rabies or other diseases so it’s best to avoid contact with them, Pettigrew cautioned.

Massa names sewer committee

NORTH ARLINGTON – 

North Arlington Mayor Peter Massa has appointed an eightmember committee to interview Geraldine and Truman Road residents to learn the extent of sewer backups into basements and to team with the borough engineer to communicate possible solutions to residents.

In the meantime, the borough awaits the results of a camera inspection of the sanitary sewer system in the Geraldine Road area to ascertain the reasons for the backup flows.

The committee members are residents Mark Tylenda, Craig Josloff, Lenny Aluotto, Ray Martin, Steve Delpome and Lawrence Maleszewski, along with Borough Councilmen Richard Hughes and Tom Zammatore.

Hughes said sanitary sewer problems in the area date back decades. “The sewer backups in that neighborhood are probably 40 years old. We need to determine if the problem has gotten worse over the years and, if so, how many people are impacted by sewage backups.”

Zammatore said: “I believe we first need to determine the cause and scale of the problem and then determine the best, most cost-effective solution.”

At the Aug. 14 mayor/council meeting, the borough’s consulting engineer Thomas Lemanowicz said the camera inspection appeared to show no major structural problems with the sewer line that would explain the backups.

Councilman Joseph Bianchi wondered if rain water was contributing to the problem, based on a recent visit to the area during a heavy rain storm when he said he saw four inches of rain coming off the hill across Schuyler Ave. and onto roads in the neighborhood.

Whether that’s the case or not can’t yet be determined, according to Lemanowicz, who added that efforts will be made to stem the inflow of rainwater into the sanitary sewer line.

Kardinal 5K Race set for Sept. 6

KEARNY –

Kearny High School is seeking entrants for its second annual Kardinal 5K, slated for Saturday, Sept. 6, with proceeds to benefit KHS student activities. Walkers are also welcome. The start and finish line will be at the KHS track.

Here’s the schedule: registration is at 7 a.m.; the 5K Race begins at 8:30 a.m.; a 1-mile Run for Kids starts at 9:30 a.m.; and a Kids Fun Run gets underway at 10 a.m.

Immediately after the Kids Fun Run, 5K Race awards will be given to the top participant in each age division: 9-12, 13- 19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60-plus.

The cost is $25 for preregistration on or before Sept. 1; $30 on race day; $5 for each additional family member; and $5 for students. Checks payable to Kearny High School will be accepted. A free T-shirt will be given to the first 100 participants who register.

For online registration, go to www.eliteracingsystems.com.

For more information, call John Millar at 201-955-5050, ext. 1, or email kardinal5k@kearnyschools.

Alert citizen alerts the KPD

A call from a concerned citizen about a suspicious individual led to the early -morning arrest Aug. 18 of a Kearny man on multiple charges, Kearny police reported.

The caller notified headquarters at 5:20 a.m. that a man was possibly breaking into vehicles in the area of Chestnut St. and Oakwood Ave. Officer Ben Wuelfing saw and detained the suspect, Andrew Worth, 22, at Midland Ave. and Beech St., and also saw a clear plastic bag containing suspected marijuana protruding from Worth’s backpack, police said.

After arresting him on the drug charge, Wuelfing searched the pack. Police said it was found to contain: a Garmin GPS, a Magellan GPS, a Verizon cell phone, sunglasses, a digital camera, a wristwatch, a new padlock still in its packaging, a silver ring, two iPods, a Bank of America Visa card and more than $300 in loose change and currency.

Sgt. Paul Bershefski, who had responded to the original call and checked parked vehicles, located an owner who said his car had been entered and some of the items were his, police reported.

Worth was charged with receiving stolen property, credit card theft and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:

Aug. 15 

At 10 p.m., a call came in from Quick Chek reporting that a shoplifter had just fled the store. Officer Glenn Reed got a description and direction of flight, and Officer Wuelfing spotted the suspect on Chestnut St. Jose Rodriguez, 40, of Newark — allegedly in possession of 27 packs of gum and four cans of Red Bull — was brought back to the store, identified and arrested. Police Chief John Dowie said this marked the 15th time since 2009 that Rodriguez was arrested by the KPD for shoplifting or on warrants for same.

Aug. 16 

Officer Daniel Esteves, responding to a 6:20 p.m. accident on the Passaic River bridge in South Kearny, found that an SUV operated by Jackeline Garcia, 31, of Elizabeth had rearended an auto. He also found that a 2-year-old boy in Garcia’s vehicle was not in a proper car restraint, and that she had a suspended license and a warrant out of Fairfield, police said. She was charged on those violations and also with careless driving and failure to exhibit vehicle documents.

Aug. 18 

At Kearny and Midland Aves. at 7:45 p.m., Officer John Fabula spotted a man whom he knew to be the subject of a Kearny warrant for terroristic threats stemming from a domestic dispute. After this was confirmed, Hector Reyesvendrell, 32, of Newark was arrested and brought to headquarters.

Aug. 19 

Following an investigation, Det. Michael Gonzalez arrested Carlos Flores, 39, of Newark in connection with the theft of a purse from an 82-year-old Kearny woman at ShopRite on Aug. 7. Police said Flores had also used the woman’s credit card in Newark. He was charged with credit-card theft and theft of property lost or mislaid. The purse and its contents were recovered and returned to the victim.

Aug. 20 

Det. Gonzalez and Lt. Tim Wagner, on assignment in the area of Walmart at 3 p.m., saw a Honda with a broken windshield and missing vent window enter and leave the store lot. Stopping it on Harrison Ave. for the vehicle violations, they reportedly detected a strong odor of raw marijuana and saw drug paraphernalia in plain view.

Police said the driver, Christian Rosa, 21, of Harrison, admitted to pot possession and produced from the console two digital scales and a container with four large plastic bags of the drug. He also consented to a search of a backpack that reportedly held four more bags of the suspected drug, six packs of glassine bags, a marijuana grinder, a box of 80 sandwich bags, a bag with pot residue, and 43 rounds of 9 mm. blank ammunition.

Rosa’s car was impounded and he was taken to HQ, where the marijuana was weighed and found to amount to 56.3 grams, police said. He was charged with possession of the drug and paraphernalia, possession of more than 50 grams, possession with intent to distribute, driving with a suspended license, operating a MV while in possession of a CDS and operating a MV with a cracked windshield.

Officer Peter Blair was on Pulaski Skyway traffic duty at 5 p.m. when he spotted a 2008 Audi with no front license plate. Checking the vehicle on his mobile computer, he found that the registered owner had a suspended license and a Cranford warrant, police said. Carlos Gonzalez, 30, of Belleville was charged on the aforementioned offenses and with failure to surrender a suspended license.

At 9:40 p.m., Officers Brian Wisely and Tom Sumowski responded to a noise complaint at Davis and Wilson Aves. and arrived to find two men “screaming at each other” on the street. As the officers tried to separate them, Juan Ramirez, 18, of Kearny reportedly hit the other man, a 39-year-old township resident.

Ramirez was arrested for simple assault.

 Aug. 21 

Officer Wisely, on patrol on the 500 block of Devon St. at 3 p.m., observed 19-year-old Fabian Arroyo of Kearny, who he knew was wanted on a $10,000- bail burglary warrant from Kearny. This was confirmed and Arroyo was arrested.

Aug. 22 

Officer John Travelino, on Pulaski Skyway traffic detail at 8 a.m., saw an individual walking near the now-abandoned Skyway Diner while apparently rolling a marijuana cigarette. Police said after the officer’s olfactory senses confirmed his suspicions, he recovered a joint and a small baggie of pot and arrested Angel Cotto- Reyes, 30, of Newark for possession of the drug and paraphernalia

– Karen Zautyk 

Thoughts & Views: Fanning the flames on social media

By now, you surely have heard of “The Ice Bucket Challenge” wherein people are videotaped pouring ice water over their heads in the name of charity. The stunt is raising awareness of, and donations for, the fight against ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

But there is another “challenge” out there, performed in the name of abject stupidity. Or insanity. Or both. It’s known as “The Fire Challenge,” and if you haven’t heard of it, you’re probably an adult. If you are a parent or guardian, you damn well ought to learn about it, because it’s endangering your kids.

The best we can determine, the first “Fire Challenge” video was posted on YouTube back in April 2012. Today, there are multiple videos. And there have been multiple injuries but, amazingly, no deaths. Yet.

Last week, the N.J. Division of Fire Safety issued an alert to first responders in the Garden State. It reads as follows:

“A disturbing new trend is manifesting itself online on social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube called ‘The Fire Challenge.’

“The fire challenge involves teenagers pouring an ignitable liquid . . . on their bare skin and igniting it while another teenager takes photos or video of the event. [We have deleted the type of liquid cited, although several kinds are used.]

“The photos and video are subsequently uploaded to the various social media sites for the world’s online community to watch and share. The imbecilic act is supposed to elicit laughter as onlookers and internet viewers watch the reaction from the person who is on fire. . . .

“Several news stories regarding the practice report that when young survivors are interviewed, most say they didn’t give much thought to the possibility of being injured or killed and they didn’t realize the fire would be so intense.

“Since many of these reported incidents involve the ignitable liquid being poured on the chest, emergency responders must be particularly aware of the potential for serious respiratory burns when treating victims, in addition to the obvious external burns.”

Repeat: Kids are pouring flammable liquids on themselves and setting themselves on fire. Repeat: Most say they didn’t give much thought to being injured or killed and didn’t realize the fire would be so intense.

Part of our still semi-sane brain wonders if the whole thing is not some sort of hoax. (The reported death of a teenager in Buffalo was apparently untrue. Apparently true was the Aug. 24 news story about a North Carolina mother arrested after filming her son performing the stunt.)

In the videos, the subject usually stands in a bathtub or shower stall, presumably so water to douse the flames is readily available. Except, when you’re going up in flames, it takes only a millisecond to be seriously burned.

In at least one video, a panicked youth, torso ablaze, runs from the bathroom into another room. How he didn’t set the house, as well as himself, on fire is not known.

If you are seeking some profound analysis of the Fire Challenge phenomenon, you won’t find it here. We are simply dumbstruck.

Perhaps the best summation about the warped mindsets behind all this is in a parody photo we saw online: A hospital patient, swathed in bandages head to toe, is holding a phone. The caption reads, “How many ‘likes’ did I get? #FireChallenge”.

- Karen Zautyk 

Business, bikes targeted: NPD blotter

The owner of a Franklin Ave. business under construction in Nutley has been a victim of repeated breakins, according to police.

In the initial incident, on Aug. 19, police said the owner arrived at the shop – which is being renovated for the new business – and found the front door open and scaffolding – valued at about $150 – placed outside, missing.

In a subsequent episode, on Aug. 20, the owner told police that a rear steel door had been pried open and that a circular saw, priced at $150, and a Ryobi grinder, priced at $75, had been removed. A witness reported seeing a vehicle parked in front of the store with two males inside at the time of the incident, police said.

In the third case, on Aug. 21, police said that someone tried to pry open the rear door and, in doing so, damaged the dead bolt and the door.

Police said detectives are continuing to investigate.

Police are advising bike owners to lock away their bikes as a precaution in the wake of two cases of bicycle theft from outside locations on Kingsland St. that were reported during the week.

In the first incident, Aug. 19, a Kingsland St. resident reported the theft of their son’s Huffy DS5 mountain bike, black with yellow accents, with white shock covers, valued at $150. Police said the bike was last seen in the rear of the resident’s house.

And, on Aug. 22, another Kingsland St. resident told police their bike was missing when they went outside to get it. They said they’d placed it overnight in the driveway in the rear of their house. It was described as a Huffy mountain bike, blue with purple streaks.

Among other matters listed on the NPD blotter for the past week were these incidents:

Aug. 18 

A Warren St. resident reported a computer scam. Police said the resident’s computer was frozen with a screen message demanding that the resident pay $300 through Money Pak to the “Department of Justice” for alleged violations.

A motor vehicle stop, along Washington Ave., resulted in the arrest of Fernando Torres, 20, of Belleville, on charges of possession with intent to distribute drugs, possession with intent to distribute drugs within 500 feet of a park (Monsignor Owens Park), possession with intent to distribute drugs within 1,000 feet of a school (Washington School), possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Torres was also ticketed on charges of unsafe vehicle, failure to signal turn and possession of drugs in a motor vehicle. He was taken to Essex County Jail on $25,000 bail with no 10% option.

Another motor vehicle stop for alleged speeding, on Rt. 21 North, led to the arrest of Glenn Corrasco- Lopez, 26, of Union City, on active warrants from Union City and Edgewater. The driver was also issued summonses charging him with driving while suspended, failure to exhibit license, failure to exhibit insurance, failure to exhibit registration, expired license, uninsured motor vehicle, careless driving and speeding.

Aug. 19 

Police were called to a Passaic Ave. location on a report of illegal dumping. Police said they found 10 black garbage bags filled with rock and cement on the property line at Friedland Road. A canvas of neighbors to learn the source was unsuccessful, police said. DPW was alerted to remove the debris.

A resident reported the theft of about $16,000 worth of assorted jewelry from their home during the last two and a half weeks. Detectives are following up. The resident’s location wasn’t disclosed by police.

Someone removed a stone bearing a Coeyman Ave. resident’s house number from the resident’s front lawn. Police searched the area but came up empty.

Aug. 20 

An apparent identity theft victim told police that someone had charged several California-based transactions totaling $4,600, dating from April, to their PayPal account, all of which were unauthorized. The victim was entered in a regional database as an ID theft victim, police said.

A Howe Ave. resident reported being the recipient of multiple annoying phone calls during the past few weeks from the same Ontario phone exchange where the caller – who refers to the resident by their first name – is continually requesting remote access to the resident’s computer.

Aug. 21 

Another identity theft victim reported that two credit cards – one from Capital One bank that has since been canceled and the other, unknown – were opened in their name. That victim has been entered in the national data base for ID theft, police said.

– Ron Leir 

 

‘Happy Valley’ New Netflix police show will leave you wanting more

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By Kevin Canessa Jr. 

Observer Correspondent 

Whenever Netflix releases new shows, they always put a little tag under the graphic that says “New Episodes.” The other day, “Happy Valley” had that label and at first, it seemed like it might be a comedy.

But it was far from it. Turns out “Happy Valley” is an incredible new police series, exclusive to Netflix in the United States (created by the BBC), with a six-episode run.

The six episodes were as intense as any TV as there’s been in quite some time.

It’s a show with two distinct plots that have a major connection. One story line surrounds police Sgt. Catherine Cawood, played by Sarah Lancashire, who comes from a most dysfunctional family.

She divorced after her daughter killed herself, right after the daughter had a child that was fathered by a rape. The father of the child, Ryan, is Tommy Lee Royce, played by James Norton. Cawood’s sister is a recovering heroin addict. And her son wants little to do with her.

Photos courtesy Netflix.com Kevin Weatherill, played by Steve Pemberton

Photos courtesy Netflix.com
Kevin Weatherill, played by Steve Pemberton

 

The second plot surrounds Kevin Weatherill, a down-on- his-luck bookkeeper who wants to send his daughters to private school. But he can’t afford the tuition. So, he asks his boss and long-time friend Nevison Gallagher for a raise in salary.

But Gallagher declines the offer at first.

To fix this, Weatherill devises a plan where three men he knows — including Royce — will kidnap Gallagher’s daughter, Ann, and demand ransom. The four will split the ransom, ideally, and Weatherill will have more than enough money to send his daughters to the private school.

Sounds like the movie “Fargo” in way, doesn’t it, where Jerry Lundegaard has his wife kidnapped to make money from her dad?

And of course, just like in “Fargo,” you can rest assured in “Happy Valley,” it’s just not as simple as kidnapping someone, a ransom demand — the criminals get the ransom and everyone lives happily ever after.

No, it’s not even close to that — and that’s why “Happy Valley” is intense and unpredictable.

So much goes wrong over the course of six episodes for Cawood and Weatherill. But it’s hardly the kind of stuff you’d be able to sit back and forecast.

The follies of the two lead characters are what make this new series so great. Nothing one witnesses can be seen as predictable. Not at all. But for the sake of not spoiling the six episodes, we’ll leave it at that.

Tommy Lee Royce, played by James Norton

Tommy Lee Royce, played by James Norton

 

Though the show is filmed entirely in England, it’s very easy to follow. The accents aren’t thick. And the town, in West Yorkshire, is a lot like our local towns — with lots of hard-working, middleclass families.

Perhaps the only drawback to the show is that it’s loaded with violence and graphic imagery — but that all gets lost in the incredible writing and incredible storylines.

The episodes were so good that this writer watched them all in a seven-hour span.

If you’re looking for a new Netflix show, and you enjoy suspenseful police dramas that aren’t necessarily about police procedure, “Happy Valley” will keep you wanting more. And the good news is there’s already a second series planned for just around this time next year.

(Are you in a band? Starring in a show? Live in our readership area? We want to know about it. Send an email to kevincanessa@gmail.com and we’ll feature you, your band, etc). 

Around Town

Belleville 

Belleville Elks, 254 Washington Ave., host a Type O blood drive Wednesday, Aug. 27, 5 to 9 p.m., for Belleville residents and all surrounding communities. No appointment is needed. Priority is for Type O blood but all types of blood will be accepted. The entire process takes less than one hour. Donors must be at least age 17, weigh at least 120 pounds and be in generally good health.

East Newark

West Hudson Brave Women Fighting Breast Cancer meets on the last Friday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the East Newark Senior Center, 37 President St. For more information, call Emma at 201-998-6828, Rosa at 201-246- 7750, Fatima at 973-485-4236 or email emidura2@ yahoo.com.

Harrison 

Holy Cross Church sponsors a bus trip to the Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, on Sunday, Aug. 31. The bus departs from Holy Cross School, 15 Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. S., at 10 a.m. Refreshments will be served in the school basement at 9:15 a.m. A $30 donation is requested, with a $25 return in slot play. For reservations, call Joan at 973-481-2434. (Leave your name, phone number and number of people attending).

Kearny 

The Class of 1964 of St. Cecilia High School is holding a 50th reunion dinner Saturday, Oct. 4, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., at Mama Vittoria Restaurant, 160 Franklin Ave., Nutley. Those interested in attending are asked to contact Kathy Mc- Court Jackes atkathyjackes yahoo.com or 908- 303-9993; Kathy Walsh Vecchio at katvec46 gmail.com or 973-865- 0402 or Nancy Branin Waller at nancy.waller2@ verizon.net or 201-889-6229 by Sept. 25.

The community is invited to enjoy food and music at an Hispanic Festival Sept. 7 at St. Cecilia’s Church, 120 Kearny Ave., in the church’s parking lot. A Spanish Mass will be offered at the church at 12:30 p.m. and the festival begins at 2 p.m. Email ngonzalez@ stceciliakearny.org for more information.

Kearny High School’s classes of 1954 and January 1955 host a 60th reunion luncheon on Sept. 19 at the Spring Lake Manor, Spring Lake, at noon. For information and reservations contact Phyllis Glass McCartin at 732-458-5162 or phylpmae@ aol.com. Guests are welcome.

Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 136 Davis Ave., begins its annual nine-week St. Jude Novena with Monsignor John J. Gilchrist Monday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. All are welcome.

The Woman’s Club of Arlington hosts an Autumn Harvest Social Tuesday, Sept. 9, 1 to 3 p.m., at the Girl Scout House, 635 Kearny Ave. Admission is free. Members and non-members alike may bring friends interested in joining the club as well as children, grandchildren, sisters, mothers, etc. for a fun, social afternoon.

To attend, contact Jennifer Cullen at 201-991-6612 or Teddie Jablonski at 973-248-6500.

Kearny UNICO hosts these events:

• A bus trip to Caesars in  Atlantic City departs Sunday, Sept. 14, from the parking lot of Kearny Federal Savings, 614 Kearny Ave., at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $30, with $25 in slot credit back from the casino. For tickets or additional information, contact Lou Pandolfi at 201-368-2409 or 201-693-8504.

• “Wheels for Vic,” a  fundraiser to purchase a power wheelchair for Kearny resident Victor Muniz, will be held Sunday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m., in the former Boystown gym, 499 Belgrove Drive. Tickets are $30, which includes a raffle, lunch and live music. Muniz was paralyzed after a tree branch fell on him during a 2008 summer storm. For tickets or more information, contact Pandolfi, Joseph Sgalia at 201- 998-6879, Rossana McLaughlin at 201-407-7262, or Judy Hyde at 201-991-5812. The committee also welcomes both monetary and/or gift donations for this event.

Kearny Lions Club sponsors a bus trip to Sands Casino, Bethlehem, Pa., Sept. 27, leaving from 60 Kingsland Ave. at 9 a.m. Price is $35. Tickets include $20 for slots and a $5 food voucher. For tickets, call Alvin at 201-997-9371, ext. 18, or Jo Ann at 201-998-3018.

Lyndhurst 

The Lyndhurst Health Department is collecting donations for students in need. Backpacks, marble composition books, notebooks, dividers, loose paper, crayons and 3-ring binders are requested. Drop off donations at the Health Department, 601 Riverside Ave., Suite 1, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Aug. 31. People with children in need of school supplies are asked to contact the Health Department at 201- 804-2500 to schedule a pick-up of the needed supplies. Be prepared to give child’s gender and grade level.

Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave., has purchased vouchers to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City through its library membership program. Each voucher can be redeemed for free general admission and one special exhibition, film, or live animal exhibition of the visitor’s choosing. The vouchers are available in the library’s children’s room to patrons with a valid BCCLS Lyndhurst Library card. For more information, call the library at 201-804-2478, ext. 7, or email romeo@ lyndhurst.bccls.org.

The library hosts “The Daily Life of the Civil War Soldier” Wednesday Sept. 10, at 6:15 p.m., presented by speakers from LetHistoryLive.net. Space is limited and registration is necessary. To register, call or email the library.

The Lyndhurst Health Department announces the following programs. To register, call the department at 201-804- 2500.

• Registered dietician  Elizabeth Nossier offers healthy diet tips at a breakfast forum hosted by Clara Maass Medical Center, but held at the Health Department, Friday, Sept. 12 at 10 a.m.

• A bi-annual chiroprac tic screening, conducted by Lyndhurst chiropractor Marco Ferrucci, is also set for Sept. 12 at 8:45 a.m. The screening includes a digital postural analysis.

• A bi-annual women’s  health clinic, arranged through a partnership with Clara Maass Medical Center, is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 9 a.m. It includes education on breast self-examination and a PAP test and is open to township residents ages 18 and over.

The Township of Lyndhurst hosts a Labor Day Weekend Antique and Craft Fair on Sunday, Aug. 31, at Town Hall Park. There’ll be live music throughout the day, a wide selection of specialty foods and a children’s play area. For more information, call 201-321- 2756 or email robin.brystra@ gmail.com.

Guest of the fair are invited to give blood at the Blood Center of New Jersey’s bloodmobile from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Donors must be at least age 17, bring a sign or picture form of ID and know their Social Security number. There is no upper age limit for donors provided they meet health requirements. For those who have recently traveled outside the U.S. and for other eligibility questions, call the blood center at 973-676-4700, ext. 132, or 1-800-652-5663.

Registration is open for a walk to benefit the American Diabetes Association set for Sunday, Oct. 5, at Riverside County Park, Riverside Ave. (entrance on Valley Brook Ave.) Participants must check in at 9 a.m. and the walk begins at 11 a.m. The event will include vendors, health seminars and activities for kids. To register, visit www.diabetes. org/lyndhurstwalk.

Interested participants may register now for Lyndhurst Police Emergency Squad’s 3rd annual 5k run set for Sunday, Oct. 5, beginning at 8:30 a.m., at the Recreation Center, Valley Brook and Polito Aves.

Water stations and emergency personnel will be set up throughout the course.

Visit www.lpes5k.com to register online, for a printout and mail-in application, or to get an application by mail. Anyone interested in being a sponsor is invited to email tnunes@emergencysquad.com.

Kick off the NFL season by joining the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and the Bergen County Audubon Society on a free, 2-hour guided Back to Football bird walk Sunday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m. to noon, in DeKorte Park. Prizes will be awarded to the first people who see any bird species with the same name as a pro football team, such as: cardinal, raven, falcon, eagle, seahawk (osprey), giant (great) egret and giant (great) blue heron. All seven team bird species can be seen in the park. Check meadowblog.net for last-minute weather updates. Participants are asked to sign a standard liability release that is good for NJMC/ BCAS events throughout the year. To RSVP, contact Don Torino of the BCAS at Greatauk4@aol.com or call 201-230- 4983.

 North Arlington 

Openings are available for the Queen of Peace Ladies Bowling League. The season starts Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 12:45 p.m., at North Arlington Bowl, 200 Schuyler Ave. To join, call Betsy at 201-997- 3914.

North Arlington Senior Activity Center, 11 York Road (at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church), hosts a fall bingo luncheon Friday, Sept. 5, starting at 10:30 a.m., with lunch at noon, followed by bingo, games and special prizes from 1 to 3 p.m. For more information and reservations, call 201-998-5636.

Tickets are now on sale for North Arlington Woman’s Club’s beefsteak fundraiser set for Friday, Oct. 24, 7 to 11 p.m., at the Knights of Columbus hall, 194 River Road. Tickets are $40. Proceeds benefit various local charities. For tickets and more information, call Christine at 201-577-1088 or Fran Sardoni at 973-818-6421.

Nutley 

Join Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Drive, for a film screening, story time and more. A list of scheduled programs follows. To register for programs, or for more information, call the library at 973-667-0405. No registration is required unless otherwise noted:

• Adult library patrons are  invited to join bridge Tuesdays at 1 p.m., Conversational ESL class Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and Wednesday Afternoon Knitters at 1 p.m. (Bring your own supplies).

• The film “Non-Stop” will  be September’s installment of the library’s “First Friday Films” program Sept. 5 at 2 p.m.

• Registration is required  for Back to School Story Time, set for Monday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. School-age children up to grade 6 can enjoy stories, songs, crafts and snacks.

• Ages 10 and up can learn  how pop-up books are made and even create a pop-up character for their own book with Patti Ann Harris, executive art director for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Saturday, Sept. 13, at 11 a.m. Registration is required.

• Children in grades 2 and  up can learn the basics of computer coding, the foundation for “programming literacy,” Sept. 17 and 24, 3:30  to 4:30 p.m. Registration is required.

One (un)lucky dog

KEARNY – 

A walk in the park turned out to be anything but for a man and his dog last week. While the two were on an afternoon stroll along the banks of the Passaic River, the dog was shot and wounded, apparently by someone firing a weapon from the Newark side of the river. The man was not hit, and the dog survived.

Kearny police said the shooting, which they described as an “isolated incident,” occurred about 1:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 18, in Riverbank Park, but it was not reported until the following morning.

The man, a township resident, was walking his canine north along the river between Bergen Ave. and Afton St. when the dog was hit in the left side by a small projectile, fired from either a pellet gun or a small-caliber rifle, police said. The owner rushed his pet to a veterinary hospital, where it received emergency treatment.

According to Kearny Police Chief John Dowie, the pellet “was so small, the doctor felt it would do more damage to remove it” than to leave it in. “But the dog’s okay.”

The chief assured the public that there is “no mad sniper” on the prowl.

Whoever fired the shot “was not lying in wait for the dog,” Dowie said.

The section of Newark across the Passaic from the scene has “a lot of abandoned buildings,” Dowie noted. Kearny detectives went to the area after the report came in Aug. 19, “but nothing of evidentiary value was found.”

 -Karen Zautyk