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Strumolo out at Belleville, replaced by former assistant Dubuque

Photo by Jim Hague/ Chris Strumolo was replaced as the head football coach at Belleville High School recently, replaced by his former assistant John Dubuque.


By Jim Hague

Chris Strumolo had provided stability as the head football coach at Belleville High School. The Nutley native took over coaching the Buccaneers three years ago and guided the Bucs to two three-win seasons and then had a solid 5-5 season in 2010. The Bucs had some talented players returning this season and Strumolo had those players getting into shape for the coming grid season, one that certainly had some promise.
“I was confident going into this season,” Strumolo said. “We were going to be able to put some good things together. I felt we were moving in the right direction and we had the chance to win a lot of games.”
But apparently, that wasn’t good enough, because last week, the Belleville Board of Education appointed former assistant coach John Dubuque as the new head coach.
According to new Belleville athletic director Tom D’Elia, who just completed his first year as the AD after the death of former AD Karen Fuccello, the decision to not re-hire Strumolo was strictly his choice.
“It was a difficult decision and it was nothing personal,” D’Elia said. “It’s a decision that came heavy on my heart. But it’s nothing more than being a move to bring in a coach that is going to allow us to move forward. It is no reflection on Chris’ coaching style or his ability to run the program. It’s just a decision that I felt that needed to be made.”

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.

Girls get a chance to learn more about basketball in Kearny

Photo by Jim Hague/ The 100 or so campers and counselors get together at the close of the Kearny High School Girls’ Basketball Camp.


By Jim Hague

There aren’t many summer basketball camps that cater to the needs of girls only, but that’s what took place recently at Kearny High School, when Kearny High head coach Jody Hill conducted her annual girls-only camp for aspiring basketball players from ages 5 through 15.
“I think the most important reason for having the camp is to introduce girls to the sport of basketball,” said Hill, the former Harrison High and Pace University star who has been the head coach at Kearny for more than a decade. “A lot of these girls are being introduced to basketball for the very first time. We want them to learn about the sport and have fun at the same time. That’s the environment we set. We hope to heighten their interest and hopefully they will continue to play.”
More than 100 young ladies spent the week at Kearny High, learning about fundamentals while also having fun. Many of Hill’s former players, like recently graduated Janitza Aquino (the school’s all-time leading scorer) and former Rutgers-Newark standout Martyna Ruminska, served as counselors and role models for the youngsters.

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.

Sometimes hiring a tax preparer is best choice


By Randy Neumann

Is preparing your own taxes getting to be more and more of a challenge?  Are you thinking of hiring someone to do it for you?  Are you wondering if it will be worth the cost?
There are times in life when you really should turn to a professional for tax preparation.  In addition to potentially saving you money, that professional can also help you gain a better understanding of your tax situation year after year.
When should you hire someone else to prepare your taxes?  The basic answer is: “When you no longer feel comfortable doing them yourself.”  If you are going to buy a home or invest in real estate, if you are starting a business or entering into some kind of business partnership, you really should have your taxes prepared by a professional.
Are you starting a family?  Are you getting married or divorced?  Are you moving to a new state?  These events can complicate your tax picture, so it may be in your best interest to seek the help of a tax professional.
Instead of hiring a professional, why not just buy some software?  Good question.  Software has no experience.  It can’t replace the life experience, the insight and the perspective of a good CPA.  Some taxpayers think, “Why should I go to a tax preparer?  All he/she does is use the same software that I can buy for $39.99.”
In reality, he/she knows much more than how to use a software program.  They have an understanding of the tax treatment of investments, capital gains, different kinds of business entities, W-2 and 1099 status, and other “fine points.” They have a knowledge base you probably don’t have but may need if the tax software asks you a question that thoroughly confuses you.
They know not to claim a deduction that stretches credibility – the kind that hopeful business owners sometimes take; the kind that the Internal Revenue Service finds very interesting.  They can recommend adjustments to your deductions and suggest ways to save money this year and in the future.
As a CPA will tell you, the do-it-yourselfers sometimes end up being the ones who need the most help, because they get stuck on some kind of question or because of the ambiguity presented by the software or because they realize they are in over their heads.
Yes, software is terrific – so terrific that professionals use it.  And, if your taxes have grown more complicated, you will want a professionally prepared return as a safety precaution.  A tax professional who is an Enrolled Agent can even represent you before the IRS should there be a problem.
An experienced CPA or tax attorney can work hard to save you money and also help you make sense of short-term and long-term financial issues affecting your business and your life.
Here’s the story of a man who could have used some expert advice.  In 2006, the IRS discovered that he failed to pay $34,023 in taxes from 2001 to 2004. It sent him a bill, which he partially paid.  However, when he was informed that he was up for a “big” government job, he quickly paid up the back taxes, as the hearings for the job were but a few days away.
While being interviewed for the position, the candidate said he took responsibility for what he called “careless” and “avoidable” mistakes, while insisting they were “unintentional.”  He testified that he used TurboTax to prepare his 2001 return and admitted that the errors were his own responsibility.
Perhaps the most embarrassing moment was when he was questioned as to why he had only remedied the error on back taxes for years 2 through 4.  Because the statute of limitations had run out on the 2001-2002 tax payments, the job candidate was not legally required to pay them, so he didn’t, until Senate confirmation hearings were imminent.
Based on the no harm/no foul theory, this candidate, Timothy Geithner, was appointed as the Secretary of the Treasury on Jan. 26, 2009.  And part of his job is to supervise the Internal Revenue Service!
So, the moral of the story is, get good advice from a qualified tax professional.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for the individual.  Randy Neumann CFP® is a registered representative with securities and insurance offered through LPL Financial.  Member FINRA/SIPC.  He can be reached at 12 Route 17N, Suite 115, Paramus, 201-291-9000.


Rita F. Callahan
Rita F. Callahan (nee Bricker), of Palm Bay, Fla., formerly of Ocean Gate and Harrison, was called home on Sunday, July 17.
Rita was born in Syracuse, N.Y., moved to Newark (Down Neck) and raised her family in Harrison.
Rita’s career spanned over 43 years with AT&T. She was hired as an overseas operator
and retired in 1984 as a department supervisor. She had received many accolades for
her superior customer service skills, along with perfect attendance awards yearly.
She went back to school and received her high school diploma in 1988 from Harrison
High School, an achievement she was very proud of. Rita was a member of the Pioneers (AT&T) and the Bayville Elks lodge.
Rita leaves behind two beloved and heartbroken daughters, Mrs. Mary Ellen Chencharik, Ms. Susan Callahan and a beloved son-in-law John Chencharik; six grandchildren Theodore, Stephanie, Amanda, Randall, Michael and Connor Mary; nine great-grandchildren and many friends.
Arrangements were by Fountainhead Funeral Home, Palm Bay, Fla. Burial was to be private and memorial Mass was to follow.

Michael J. Grabowski
Michael J. Grabowski, 69, a 36-year resident of Las Vegas, passed away suddenly at home on July 14.
Born on December 19, 1941, in Harrison, Mike was the only child of Adam and Lottie
Grabowski, who predeceased him. He is survived by his wife of 40 wonderful years, Marilyn, by numerous relatives in New Jersey and by Harry Parson, his best friend from childhood days.
Raised in Kearny, he was a graduate of Kearny High School and of Monmouth College and a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) Fraternity. He was honorably discharged after serving in Vietnam in the Army. Together with his wife Marilyn, Mike ran numerous successful businesses both in Las Vegas and Lake Arrowhead, Calif., and
retired in 2004.
More importantly, Mike will sorely be missed by his numerous friends and family for
his great humor, personality, compassion and for making everyone feel like they were his best friend.
Please send memorial donations to: Monastery of San Giuseppe, Via Della Nocetta
83, 00186 Rome, Italy.

Patricia Grun
Patricia Grun, 93, of Kearny, went home to be with the Lord on July 19. She was a devoted loving mother and grandmother.
Born in Clarksburg, W. Va., she was predeceased by her husbands Correll Perkins
and August Grun, her mother Bessie Bain and her brother Thomas Bain. Surviving are
her daughter Beverly Herd (Edward); her grandchildren Nancy Bettinger (Lawrence), Edward R. Herd Jr. (Carol Berlin) and Thomas Herd (Wendy); her great-grandsons
Thomas and Edward T. Herd and her great-great-granddaughter Anna Marie Herd;
her sister Betty Lou Murphy; and her special niece Kimberly Murphy, along with many nieces and nephews.
Arrangements were by the Wilfred Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral service was held in the funeral home. Interment was in Arlington Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, kindly make a donation to the Diabetes Foundation.

Joyce J. Quitto
Joyce J. Quitto, of North Arlington, died on July 17. She was 37.
Daughter of the late John and Karen (Holderfelder) Reiger, she was the mother of Raymond Reiger; sister of Lorraine Quitto (Marco), Joseph John and Eric Steven Reiger and the late Kathryn Edith Pucillo and Margaret Ann Reiger; also surviving are several nieces and nephews.
Arrangements were by the Wilfred Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove
Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass was held in St. Peters Church, Belleville, followed by private cremation.

Luisa Albuquerque
Luisa Albuquerque, (nee Silva), 83, of Harrison, passed away on July 13. She was born
in Brazil.
Luisa was a member of Harrison Seniors. She was devoted to her family, friends and her church.
Luisa is survived by her daughter Olivia and her sons Marcus and Gilberto and her
grandsons David, Romolo and Gabriel.
She was predeceased by her husband Joao, and her daughters Cecilia and Fatima Roman.
A funeral service was held at the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave, Harrison, on Monday, July 18. Interment followed at Arlington Cemetery, Kearny. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the family, c/o the funeral home in memory of Luisa.

Nicholas Bardzilowski
Nicholas Bardzilowski, 86, died on July 16 in St. Michael’s Hospital. He was a lifelong
resident of Harrison. He belonged to the Holy Name Society of Our Lady of Czestochowa. He was a sergeant in the Army during World War II. Before retiring, he was a programmer for Worthington Pump in Harrison.

Husband of Patricia (McGuire), father of Diana Flaherty (James) and Ronald Bardzilowski (Paula); also surviving is his brother Joseph; five grandchildren Daniel, Jeffery, Gregory, Nicholas, and Brandon, along with three great-grandchildren
Arrangements were handled by the Wilfred Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny.

Florence Baker Carlo-Tuting
Bayville, formerly of Kearny
Retired math teacher, 64
Florence Baker Carlo, 64, wife of Bill Tuting of Bayville, passed away at home on July 24, after a courageous battle with lung cancer
Raised in Kearny, she was a graduate of Kearny High School, Class of 1964 and William Paterson University in 1968.  She was a well-recognized mathematics teacher who started teaching in Nutley and then continued for over 20 years at Bloomfield Junior High/Middle School.
Her love of life was well known to all her friends.  She was famous for her parties down the shore and dancing to the oldies by 45 RPM.  She was very active with the Kearny High School Class of 1964 Reunion Committee and responsible for bringing old classmates together, and some eventually became couples.  She was also active on the Veterans Committee and Special Needs Children with the Lacey Elks Lodge #2518. She loved to travel, go boating, stain glass, read and spend time with her grandchildren. She was a member of the United States Power Squadrons.
She is predeceased by her parents Lawrence and Frances Baker, survived by her stepfather Martin Edelmuth of Manchester; her husband of four years, Bill Tuting; two daughters Dona Tanzola and her husband Carlo of Barnegat and Jamie Kenyon and her husband Dave of Medford; a stepson, Todd Tuting of Richmond, Va., and 11 grandchildren Alexandria, Kaitlin, Matthew, Paige, Gabriel, Sam, Chace, Ben, Logan, Liam, and Wyatt.  She had a very close relationship with her daughters and her grandchildren, who were the light of her life.  They lovingly referred to her as Oma.
Arrangements are by the Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals O’Connell Chapel, 706 Route 9, Bayville. A funeral service will be held 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 27, at the funeral home. Committal will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute (P.O. Box 27106, N.Y., N.Y. 10087) or the Troop 2 Kearny Booster Club, Inc. (c/o Bradow, 59 Patterson St., Kearny, N.J. 07032). Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.ryanfuneralhome.com.

Nutley Police blotter: Dog days of summer

By Karen Zautyk

You’d think by now people would know better.
Last week, one of the hottest on record, Nutley police came to the rescue of a small
Maltapoo that had been left in a motor vehicle on Chestnut Place. The report of the
dog came in at 5:43 p.m. July 19, a day when temperatures reached the mid-90s. Even on a mild sunny day, experts tell us, temperatures inside a car can reach 120 degrees – which is why neither children nor pets should be left in them. Officers made entry to the vehicle, removed the dog, and took it to headquarters. An hour later, police said, the owner arrived, looking for the animal.
Police issued a town ordinance summons to the owner and forwarded reports to the
ASPCA for review.
Other incidents on the blotter for the week ending July 22 included, but were not limited to, the following reports:

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.

Every day is a new chapter

Photo by Karen Zautyk

By Karen Zautyk

This Thursday evening at Oakeside Manor, you’ll have the chance to meet a group of extraordinary teenagers who will be holding an Open Mic and Poetry Reading program to raise funds to support something that has a very special meaning in their lives: a book club.
Teenagers and books? We shamefacedly admit that we were surprised at the connection, having labored under the prejudicial misconception that today’s young people have little or no interest in the written word, unless the words appear on Facebook or Twitter.
But last week, we had the honor of sitting in on a monthly meeting of the Books 4 Life Club, where about a dozen members who had given up a gorgeous summer afternoon to sit around a conference room table spun our brain 180 degrees. These kids not only love reading, they are passionate about it. And about the club itself.

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.

Holy Cross gets new tenant

Photo by Ron Leir/Glen Pinder, executive director of Lady Liberty Academy, which will be moving from its Newark quarters to Harrison.



By Ronald Leir

It looks like the empty corridors and classrooms of Holy Cross School will be filled once again by children during the coming school year.
But the youngsters expected to occupy the space won’t be the children of parishioners – they’ll be from Newark.
That city’s Lady Liberty Academy Charter School, which serves 471 students from kindergarten to grade 8, intends to lease the old Holy Cross building for at least the 2011-2012 school year.
Holy Cross School was closed in 2009 as part of a consolidation plan by the Archdiocese of Newark, but the local parish continues to use the building, which dates from 1915, for religious instruction classes on Sundays and for weeknight bingo.
In April 2010, the parish opened the doors for the latter part of the school year to accommodate students from Newark’s Wilson Ave. Elementary School, which had to find another space while undergoing an environmental cleanup.

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.


‘Bump-and-run’ carjackings

 By Karen Zautyk

Two separate “bump-and-run” carjackings – one at each end of town –  occurred in Kearny within 24 hours July 8-9, police have reported.  In both cases, the stolen vehicles were recovered just hours later in Newark.
Kearny Deputy Police Chief James Corbett said the first incident occurred shortly after 5 a.m. Friday, July 8, on the Belleville Turnpike at Kearny Ave.
The victim,  a 44-year-old North Arlington man, had been driving his 2011 BMW eastbound on the Pike. As he was stopping for a red light  at the intersection, his car was “bumped lightly” in the rear by a black or dark-colored Audi, without its headlights on,  reportedly occupied by four black males.
Corbett said that when the driver got out to inspect his car for damage, two of the Audi passengers exited from the rear, ran past him and jumped into the front seat of  the BMW. Both vehicles then made u-turns and fled west on the Pike.

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.

Suspect sought in assault

Police are actively searching for the suspect in a brutal assault on a 23-year-old Harrison man in a Kearny apartment building last week.
The victim was found in a third-floor unit at Kearny Ave. and Hoyt St. at about 7 p.m. July 13 after Police Officer Jay Ward came upon a group of obviously upset individuals gathered on that corner.
Officer Ward learned that someone inside was injured, went into the building and found the unit’s door ajar, Police Chief John Dowie said. Ward also observed blood on the floor and followed the trail into a bedroom, where he found the man bleeding profusely from the head and face. The victim was also slipping in and out of consciousness, Dowie said.

– Karen Zautyk

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.

Wardrobe malfunction leads to arrest

By Karen Zautyk

Sometimes, they never learn.
Three weeks ago, a 21-year-old Devon St. man was nabbed for alleged possession of 10 bags of marijuana.
Two weeks ago, he was reportedly involved in a melee on Devon St.
Last week, he got in trouble with the cops again. Twice.
Shortly before midnight July 13, Officers Dean Gasser and Chris Medina were summoned to an accident at Chestnut and Boyd Sts., where one car had hit a parked vehicle and left the scene. Then, Police Chief John Dowie said, they found the alleged hit-run driver, the aforementioned Devon St. resident, sitting in his damaged car about a block away. That car, the chief said, “reeked of marijuana,” and the driver, of alcohol.

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.