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Author Archive


George Chaplauske Jr.
George Chaplauske Jr., 54, of Kearny, passed away suddenly in Honesdale, Pa. He was born in Irvington and was a lifelong resident of Northern Jersey.
George was the manager of Rite-Aid in Hasbrouck Heights for 15 years.  He previously worked for 10 years for the Port Authority and was a survivor of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.  George loved spending weekends in his cabin in Pennsylvania.
Beloved son of Carolyn (nee Liegel) and the late George Chaplauske, he was the devoted father of Nicole and Edward Chaplauske; domestic partner of Roland Rattee; brother of Carolyn Bamber, Joseph P. and Viola Chaplauske, Ellen Lugin (George), Mitchell Chapaluske, Ann Mc Ewan (Stewart), Jane Ladd (Terry), Richard (Stefanie) and the late  Kenneth J. Chaplauske; also survived by many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.
The funeral service was held on Thursday, July 14, at the Shaw- Buyus Home for Services, 138 Davis Ave., Kearny.  Interment was in Arlington Cemetery, Kearny.

Elizabeth “Betty” Mary Fash
Elizabeth “Betty” Mary (nee Solano) Fash, 84, of Barnegat, died July 10 at her daughter’s home.
Born in Kearny, she lived there for most of her life before moving to Barnegat in 1995. She was employed as a clerk for Major Cleaners in Kearny for many years before her retirement.
She was predeceased by her husband Leonard W. Fash Sr. in 1996, her brothers James and Pat Solano and her sister Marian Holowatch.
Surviving are three sons, Richard and his wife Mary Anne of Forked River, David of Kearny and Robert of Forked River; a step-son Leonard W. Fash Jr. and his wife Pam of Toms River; a daughter Linda Casement and her husband Ed Ramiza of Barnegat; a step-daughter Alice Caramazza of Toms River; three brothers Frank Solano of Middletown, N.Y., John Solano of Waretown and Joseph Solano and his companion Marie Linington of Flemington; a sister Sarah and her husband Joe Cadorette of Orangeville, Pa.  Also surviving are seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
A funeral service was held at the Carmona-Bolen Home For Funerals, 412 Main St., Toms River, followed by burial at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington.  Condolences may be sent to carmonabolenfh.com.

David W. Jacobs
David W. Jacobs, 66, of Brick, passed away at his home on July 11.  Formerly of Belleville, he lived in Brick for the past 11 years.  He was a member of the VFW, Brick, and attended St. Dominic’s Church.  He served his country during the Korean and Vietnam Wars in the U.S. Army.
He was predeceased by his parents Horace and Mildred Jacobs and his stepfather Frank Raykovitz.  Surviving is his wife of 40 years, Alice; his daughters and sons-in-law, Karen and Joseph Scacciaferro, Berkeley Heights; Christen and Daniel Hywel, Stewartsville, and Melissa Jacobs, Brick; his sister-in-law, Kathy Vecchio, Nutley, and his six grandchildren Luke, Aedan, Avery, Valerie, Dominique and Frank.
A memorial Mass was held at St. Dominic’s Church, Brick.  Interment was at the N.J. Veterans Cemetery, Arneytown.  Cremation was private.  Colonial Funeral Home, Brick, was in charge of arrangements.

Janet Knowles

Janet Knowles
Janet Knowles, 92, (formerly Pasterski) passed away on May 11 in her home in Toms River.
Janet was a loving and caring wife, mother and daughter.  Born in Marion Heights, Pa., on Dec. 28, 1918, to a coal mining family, she left at an early age to live with her aunt Nellie Osmanski of Kearny.  Janet worked her entire life, starting as an account manager at General Motors in Harrison, office manager at Serta Mattress in East Newark and office manager for Port-A-San in Kearny from where she retired. She also served as the court clerk for the Borough of East Newark.  Upon retirement, she realized her lifelong dream and moved to the Jersey Shore where she loved to entertain her family and go crabbing. She also would make occasional trips with her friends to Atlantic City to play the slot machines.
Janet believed in the importance of medical research; she donated her body to education and research at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. A memorial service will be held after the completion of this research.
Janet is predeceased by her sister Ann Hertzberg and her husband William B. Knowles, former chief of police of East Newark.  Following her husband’s death in 1972, she devoted her life to supporting her family and raising and educating her two children, Donna of Toms River and Bill of Burlingame, Calif.  In addition to her two children, she leaves behind eight beloved grandchildren who all lovingly call her “Nana.”

Edward T. Reid Jr.
Edward T. Reid Jr. “Skipper” passed away on Tuesday, July 5, at his son’s home in Brick.
Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. The funeral service was held in the funeral home. Interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com.
“Skipper” was born in Kearny and lived there until moving to Melbourne, Fla., three years ago. He returned to New Jersey to live with his son Edward III in Brick this past March.
He was a graduate of Croydon Hall Academy in the Atlantic Highlands and later earned a B.A. from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire.
Edward was the owner of Donnelly and Reid Landscaping of Kearny from 1967 until his retirement in 2009.
During his many years in Kearny he served as the Democratic municipal chairman. He was a proud member of the Scots- American Association, the Irish American Association, St. Cecilia Council No. 6928 Knights of Columbus, all of Kearny, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians as well as many other organizations.
Skipper was an accomplished musician who loved to play Irish folk music on his guitar or banjo. He performed as a member of the Gypsy Rovers and the Wild Colonial Boys.
An avid fisherman, Edward spent his winters in the Florida Keys but always returned to Kearny after it thawed out.
He is survived by his mother Virginia (Shinn); his son Edward T. Reid III (Diana) and his grandson Eddie. Skip will be dearly missed by his loving lifelong friends in the Doyle family.
He was predeceased by his father Edward T. Reid Sr. and his brother Robert.
He will always be remembered for his uncanny sense of humor and good nature by all who were lucky enough to know him.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the amazing staff at Compassionate Care Hospice, 833 Rt. 37 West Toms River, NJ 08755.

Virginia Borowski
Virginia Borowski, 94, died on July 14 in Belgrove Sub Acute Care Center, Kearny. She was a coil winder for Continental Electric in Newark for 25 years before retiring in 1970. Born in Johnstown, Pa., She lived in Irvington before moving to Kearny 35 years ago.
Wife of the late Stanley Borowski, she is survived by her son William and his wife Joan; she was the sister of Honey Sofko, Bertha Skiptunus, Jean Stutz, Sophie Kurpel, Alice Fenton, Edward Rock and the late Mary Dewey and Stanley Rock; also survived by her grandson Brett (Jennifer) and her great-granddaughter Emily Claire.
Arrangements were by the Wilfred Armitage and Wiggins Funeral H0ome, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass was held in Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Kearny. Interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lupus Foundation.

Adeline T. DeStefano
Adeline T. DeStefano, 94, died on July 14 in Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville.
Wife of the late Victor, she was the mother of Julie Mariano (Vito), Carol Eckleberry (Richard) and David DeStefano (Debbie); Also surviving are four grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her grandsons David and Richard and great-grandson Stephen.
Arrangements were by the Wilfred Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral service was held in the Christian Apostolic Church, Kearny. Interment was in Arlington Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Christian Apostolic Church, 219 Laurel Ave., Kearny.

Beatrice Mascarini
Miss Beatrice Mascarini, 82, passed away on Monday, July 11, in the Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville.
Relatives and friends are invited to gather at the First Lutheran Church, 63 Oakwood Ave., Kearny, on Saturday, July 23, beginning at 2 p.m.  A memorial service will begin at 3 p.m. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com
Beatrice was born in Newark and lived in Kearny most of her life.
She was employed as a bookkeeper for Jack Green Homes in Kearny for 10 years, retiring 20 years ago.
Beatrice is survived by her niece Lisa Phillips
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the First Lutheran Church, 63 Oakwood Ave., Kearny, NJ 07032.
Arrangements are under the direction of Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, Kearny.

Ella M. Jewart
Ella M. Jewart, 89, of  Kersey, Pa., died on Thursday, July 14, at UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pa., following a short illness.
She was born June 14, 1922 in Frenchton, W.V., a daughter of the late Manderville and Maude Simons Jeffries.
Mrs. Jewart was Methodist by faith. She worked at L & R Manufacturing for many years and also worked at St. Mary’s Carbon, St. Mary’s, Pa.  for more than 17 years. She was a dedicated and hard worker who enjoyed embroidery and crocheting, but most of all she enjoyed spending time with her family.
She is survived by three daughters Helen and her husband Richard Uhl of Kersey, Pa., Pamela and her husband Edward Barring of Kearny and Wanda Jewart of Kearny; two sons, Jimmie Smith and his wife Naomi of West Virginia and Timothy Jewart and his wife Esther of Kearny; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and a sister, Roberta Brady of Clarksburg, W.V.
She was predeceased by her parents; a daughter in infancy Judith Ann Smith; two brothers Cecil and Clyde Jeffries; and five sisters, Mabel Jeffries, Gazel Strader, Sylvia Crane, Luna Roy and Tarcie Posey.
Funeral and committal services for Ella M. Jewart will be held privately.
Memorial contributions may be made to Kearny First United Methodist Church, 601 Kearny Ave., Kearny, N.J.  07032.
Lynch-Green Funeral Home, 151 N. Michael St., St. Mary’s, Pa., is handling the arrangements.  Online condolences may be placed at www.LynchGreenFuneralHome.com.

New schools boss facing divided board

Photo by Ron Leir

By Ron Leir

The Board of Education has agreed on an interim superintendent to replace the departed Frank Digesere but not without some wrangling that may not bode well for future board deliberations.
The new temporary schools administrator is Ron Bolandi, who was hired June 20 at a special meeting by a vote of 5-0 after the four other members walked out following a stormy closed session.

On June 30, after the Hudson County superintendent of schools made some minor revisions to Bolandi’s contract, the full board voted 9-0 to ratify the hiring.
James Doran Jr., one of the four who boycotted the June 20 public meeting, said state law prevented him from disclosing the contents of the closed session but he commented that he and his colleagues were upset over the way the board leadership handled the interim’s selection process.
“We didn’t advertise for the position, and one hour of discussion (at the closed session) is not enough time to come up with a decision,” Doran said. “I felt this was forced down our throats . . . .  I felt our voices weren’t being heard.”

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

All that glitters

By Karen Zautyk

If you are one of the many people considering hunting through your jewelry boxes or coin collections for some gold or precious trinkets to sell for a bit of extra money in these tough times, be aware that, in legitimate transactions, there are usually restrictions on such dealings.
And in Kearny the rules just got tighter.
A press release issued by Mayor Alberto Santos and the Town Council last Thursday noted that the governing body has adopted stricter requirements for dealers of secondhand precious metals and jewelry. The purpose: To “enhance the ability of law enforcement to identify and retrieve stolen precious metals and jewelry in a timely manner.”
As Santos explained in the release, “There are a growing number of dealers in this merchandise. The new law is intended to eliminate the money incentive for people to steal and then pawn in Kearny.”

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

You can run, but you can’t hide

By Karen Zautyk

Question for the 34-year-old Bloomfield man who led a Kearny radio car on a roundabout chase last week: “Bad boy, bad boy, watcha gonna do, watcha gonna do when they come for you?”
As they will.
The incident began at 4 p.m., Wednesday, July 6, when Kearny Police Officer Mike Andrews, traveling east on Harrison Ave., observed a vehicle exit Rt. 280 without yielding to traffic. He stopped the car and as he approached, police said, noticed the occupant stuffing something down his pants and into the center console. He also reportedly noticed a strong odor of marijuana and saw a rolled joint in the vehicle.
According to Police Chief John Dowie, as Andrews was reaching into the open driver’s side door, the motorist put the car in drive and took off eastbound on Harrison. The officer gave chase, following the fleeing auto to the Rt. 7 merge, then over the Wittpenn Bridge into Jersey City, onto Newark Ave. and Rt. 1-9. On the highway, the driver reportedly picked up speed, despite the traffic, and then crossed back into South Kearny via the Hackensack River bridge. Andrews terminated the pursuit in the area of Doremus Ave. in Newark.

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

From rendering to reality


Photo courtesy of Harrison Station

Photo by Ron Leir/Architect’s sketch of Harrison Station project is fast taking form in reality. Occupancy of the apartments is set for this autumn.

By Ron Leir

Work is nearing completion on the first phase of this town’s second major waterfront redevelopment project, the 275-unit Harrison Commons residential/retail complex.
The previously developed River Park at Harrison, on First St., received Planning Board approval last month for a second phase of more than 300 new apartments on the site of the GEO Specialty Chemical plant, but no starting date has yet been set for that project.
A tour of the Harrison Commons tract, however, shows construction moving at a fast pace to accommodate a projected fall occupancy.
A website newly posted by the developers now lists the project as “Harrison Station” – just across the street from the Harrison PATH station at 300 Somerset St. – and describes it as “a stunning new luxury rental development featuring spacious layouts, soaring windows, chef-inspired kitchens, and stylistic designer finishes . . .”
All apartments are being equipped with washers and dryers and air-conditioning; the lobby will be staffed by a doorman; a management office will be on site.

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


Travels into transit history

Photo courtesy Port Authority of N.Y. & N.J./Holland Tunnel entrance, New Jersey side, circa 1935.

By Karen Zautyk

I am not embarrassed to admit that I was one of those kids who grew up referring to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey as the “Port of Authority.” As in, “I’ll meet you at the Port of Authority bus terminal.”
I also called the PATH train “the Tubes.” As in, “I’ll meet you at the Tube station at Journal Square.”
This  personal trivia arises thanks to an announcement that the 90-year-old Port Authority has now launched a website whereon the public can view and buy “classic photographs from the agency’s rich history.” I immediately moused on over to it – www.portauthorityarchive.com – and was enchanted.
Okay, the agency’s idea is to market the photos, most of which sell for $19.95 for an 11×14 to $24.95 for a 16×20. (Framed versions available for $45.95-$69.95.)  But it has now also  given the public a fascinating online scrapbook.
For some of us, our childhood gateway to the Land of Oz (Manhattan) was that bus terminal on Eighth Ave. Take the escalator down to the main  floor, go out the glass doors and step into another world, filled with masses of people, all hurrying somewhere, a moving tide of Checker cabs, and a sense of excitement you couldn’t find on this side of the Hudson. My parents took me there so often from the  time I was a tot that the images are engraved in my memory.

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

A case of Dumb & Dumberer?

By Karen Zautyk

Didja ever watch “World’s Dumbest” on truTV? Well we have a couple of candidates this week. A father-son duo. We’d give the trophy to daddy.
Read on:
At 12:04 a.m. Friday, the Nutley PD received a report of an erratic driver hitting the curbs at the Burger King on Franklin  Ave.
When officers arrived, they found a 23-year-old Bernardsville man, Timothy Moran Jr., behind the wheel of a 2001 Chevy SUV. In the vehicle, police said, were his father, Timothy Sr., 48, of Flemington, and several packages of illegal fireworks, which the son reportedly admitted were his.
According to Det. Anthony Montanari, it was also found that Timothy Jr.’s driver’s license was suspended and that he was wanted on a criminal warrant out of Clark. The SUV, police said, was unregistered and uninsured.
The son was taken into custody and transported to police headquarters, where his vehicle was impounded and he was issued summonses and where his father bailed him out, posting the required $250.

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

Neighbor foils home invasion

By Karen Zautyk

A brazen second-story man was arrested last week after he broke into a Walnut St. home in the middle of the day but was confronted by the frightened victim’s neighbor who had rushed to her aid, police reported. The intruder fled on foot but was tracked down and arrested in Belleville a short time later.
Nutley Det. Anthony Montanari said the home invasion occurred around 2:15 p.m., Tuesday, July 5. The suspect reportedly rang the front doorbell, but the woman occupant of home would not answer because she did not recognize the man.
Minutes later, while she was in the kitchen preparing lunch, she heard a bang and then footsteps coming from upstairs. She went outside and saw that a second-floor window had been opened and the screen removed. Montanari said the intruder had climbed onto the roof from a porch railing.
The woman called 911 and then ran to the neighbor’s house. Montanari said the neighbor went into her home “and came face-to-face with the intruder“ on the second floor. “The actor tried forcing a door closed on the neighbor and then climbed out the same window and slid down a leader pipe before running south on Walnut St.,” the detective said.

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

‘You Raise Me Up’

By Lisa Pezzolla

Sunday was a picturesque day; we started by going out for breakfast first and then headed to a park in Nyack to enjoy the beautiful day ahead that was perfectly predicted.
The sun was shining and the sky blue, a day to enjoy the outdoors by the water. I was with a friend of mine, Denton, and we were in his parked car talking when a young man walked toward us, all excited, asking questions about the car.
He then intensely focused on the trees and plants that were surrounding us. He then told me he liked music. So I opened my Pandora Radio application on my phone and started playing the Billy Joel he requested. His face lit up and he was so excited and he shared that he takes voice lessons. In between singing, he announced his name was Zach. At this point I was still sitting in the car and I handed him the phone and I proceeded to get out of car.
Zach and I walked over to sit on the bench as we listened to music. At one point, he reached for my hand as he sang and squeezed it so gently with a big smile. We continued staring out to the Hudson River and talking about all subjects that he enjoyed. Boats passed and in the distance the Tappan Zee Bridge stood tall. Pigeons and ducks landed in the water to eat the treats that folks threw into the water.
One of Zach’s favorite singers is Josh Grobin, so I found it for him. He stood up and faced me and sang at the top of his lungs “You Raise Me Up.”
As I watched him, tears came down. This special new friend made sense out of what life is all about. After he was finished, he sat back down and he hugged me. Zach is an autistic young man. As he walked away I could tell he was looking to see who would listen to him next. I’m not sure if we will ever see each other again, but he deeply touched me. All he wanted was a friend to listen.

Sitting in judgment

Some years ago, I was a juror on a criminal case in New York City. There were heated arguments during deliberations. Every vote we took was 10 to 2. We ended up being sequestered overnight, continued the debate in the morning, and finally reached a unanimous verdict.
“Not guilty.”
This, even though some of us figured the defendant was guilty of something.
The problem was, the prosecution presented a lousy case. The state left us with more questions than answers, and no answers at all that added up to a conviction. It did not prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
In good conscience, we could not convict on the charges before us.
A few of us figured the guy would end up incarcerated sooner or later. He had an odd and unforgettable name, and last week I Googled it and discovered that, sure enough, he was later found guilty in another criminal case and landed in prison.  Justice delayed is not always justice denied.
I’m recalling all this, of course, because of the Casey Anthony verdict, and you are by now probably thinking I agree with it.
No. I do not.
Unlike the case on which I sat, the prosecution in  Florida did, to my mind, a superb job.
“But it was all circumstantial,” is the argument. And so? Consider that it could hardly have been otherwise. Because of the delay in learning that Caylee Anthony was, indeed, missing. (And just what/who deliberately caused that delay?) And then all the time to find the by-then-disintegrated remains.
Cases can be decided on circumstantial evidence, and in this one I believe the evidence was powerful. Trials do not always involve unchallengeable forensics, despite what our TV-crime-show culture would have us believe.
Every time I hear the “circumstantial” comment, I think of the quote from Thoreau: “Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.”
In Orlando, there was an overwhelming odor of trout.
There’s another quote, one which I have heard often (and in various versions) in the last few days: “It is better that 10 guilty men go free than to incarcerate one innocent man.”
A pronouncement by 18th century British jurist Sir William Blackstone, the concept is one of the cornerstones of our American system of justice.
Reading up on this, I came across an intriguing response to Blackstone: “Better for whom?”
That got me thinking, and I have a modest proposal: If we so venerate Blackstone’s viewpoint, if that is truly how we balance the scales of justice, why bother to have criminal trials at all?  Just let everyone go. Why even risk a mistake in judgment?  Besides, since all suspects are innocent until proven guilty, the system would be freeing only innocent people, right?
Think of the money the government could save.
Talk amongst yourselves.
— Karen Zautyk