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Care for a spell in a cell?


By Karen Zautyk

A 19-year-old spelling-challenged Newark resident was arrested here June 22 after he allegedly tried to fill a forged prescription for “Roxicontin” at the Pathmark pharmacy, police reported.
At 4:30 p.m. on that date, Officers John Fabula and Jose Resua responded to a call from the store’s pharmacist who suspected he had been presented with a fraudulent script, Police Chief John Dowie said.
In addition to the misspelled name of the painkiller oxycontin, the fact that it was written as an Rx from a Pennsylvania doctor raised warning flags.
The pharmacist told the man who had presented it that he would have to come back later, which he eventually did.
But, meanwhile, the officers arrived, got a description of the suspect and contacted the Pennsylvania physician, who confirmed he had not written the prescription, Dowie said.

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



KPD blotter: It was ‘my bad’ for a few folks

By Karen Zautyk

A  call about a suspicious person in the wee hours led to the arrest of an auto burglary suspect,  it was reported on the Kearny police blotter.
The alert came in at 1 a.m. on June 22 from Boyd and Devon Sts., Police Chief John Dowie said, noting that there had been “quite a few” auto break-ins in that area.  When Officers Tim Castle and Jay Balogh responded, they saw  an individual  tossing something over a fence.  The cops investigated and retrieved a portable DVD player, a Fisher-Price game unit and a GPS unit, Dowie said. When the officers activated the GPS, they found that it belonged in  the Devon St. area.
Arrested was a 26-year-old homeless man from Newark on charges of burglary into a vehicle and possession of burglar tools.
The following day, another individual attracted attention by throwing something away – this time, an empty cigarette pack out of a car window. And the officer who witnessed it was the chief himself.

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

Harry Potter and the Magic of the World

By Louis Sullivan

On July 15, moviegoers across the nation will rush to see the final installment of the Harry Potter series, as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” hits theaters.
The release of this film and the culmination of the series, an event 10 years in the making, mark an important milestone for many cinema enthusiasts and Potter fans alike. It brings to a conclusion a legacy of books and movies that began with the publication of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” back in 1999 and has proved a strong tie to the magic of childhood and the trials of getting older, particularly for those of us who grew up alongside Harry and faced the ever-quickening dawn of adulthood and responsibility as he did.
Never has this been clearer to me than it is now. I was 8 when the book series began, and I read along with each novel as it hit the shelves. I’d compulsively attend the midnight release parties at Barnes and Noble and devour the books, reading along as page after page of Harry’s adventures unfolded before my eyes and whisked me away to a world where magic was as real as the book that I read to behold it.
When I began reading “Sorcerer’s Stone,” though, magic was everywhere in my world, too. I wholeheartedly believed that, when I turned 11, I too could find an acceptance letter from Hogwarts delivered by owl to my home. Barring that, I had other far-flung dreams for the future: Someday I would be a paleontologist and make a major dinosaur discovery; an astronaut who would explore planets and systems that no one had yet visited; or an Egyptologist examining the pyramids and the tombs and artifacts of the pharaohs.

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

Around town

The monthly Flea Market, Craft & Collectible Show, featuring 75+ exhibitors,  will be held Sunday, July 10,  9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Belleville High School, 100 Passaic Ave. Admission is free.
For information call 201-998-1144 or visit events@jcpromotions.info

Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St.,  announces an Elizabeth Taylor film festival will be held this month as part of the Monday Afternoon at the Movies program: July 11 – “National Velvet,” July 18 – “Father of the Bride” and July 25 – “A Place in the Sun.” All films start at 12:15 p.m. in the library theater. Admission is free.
The library announces the following schedule for its Thursday Noon Film program: July 7 – “The Tourist” (Johnny Depp) (PG-13), July 14 – “Easter Parade” (Fred Astaire) (NR), July 21 – “Hereafter” (Matt Damon) (PG-13) and July 28 – “Big Night” (Tony Shalhoub) (R). All films start at 12:15 p.m.  Admission is free. For information or directions, call 973-566-6200.
Did you know that frogs can be found on every continent except Antarctica? On Friday, July 15, the Essex County Environmental Center will visit the Bloomfield Public Library Children’s Department for an interactive program, “Frogs From Around the World.” The program is open to children entering grades K through 4, and will run from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. There is no charge for the program, but children must register in order to attend, so be sure to sign up early. Participants will make their own frog game.

Presbyterian Boys-Girls Club, 663 Kearny Ave., will be open during July and August on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. Most members and guests are between the ages of 8 and 15. The summer program offers basketball, dodgeball, wiffleball, kickball, gymnastics, bowling, bumper pool, air hockey, foozball, arts and crafts, ping pong and electronic games. Summer trips have been scheduled to State Fair, Newark Bears baseball, Red Bulls soccer, Mountain Creek Water Park, Quebec vs. N.J. Jackals baseball and pro wrestling. All trips are chaperoned by Kearny teachers. The club will be supervised by a professional staff, including guidance counselor Tom Fraser and members of the board of directors.
American Legion Alexander Stover Post #37, 222 River Road, North Arlington will meet on July 11 at 8 p.m. New members are welcome. For more information, call 201-214-8253.
Kearny Public Library has play and story times for preschool age children at the main library, 318 Kearny Ave., on Tuesdays  from 11 a.m. to noon, and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The branch library, 759 Kearny Ave., has play and story times for preschool age children on Thursdays at a new time, from 10:15 to 11 a.m.
“One World, Many Stories,” the summer reading challenge, will continue at the library in July. Children in pre-school through grade 5 will receive a prize if they complete the challenge. Free reading logs for the challenge can be picked up in the children’s room and at the branch library through July 21. Completed reading logs must be returned to the main library children’s room no later than 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10.
Art classes will be held at the main library from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on four Wednesdays: July 6, 13, 20 and 27. The library will provide the art materials. Children will create art to take home, and also art to decorate the library’s children’s room. The library will provide the art supplies.
The main library will show the following films on Movie Mondays: July 11 – “Bambi,” July 18 – “Gnomeo and Juliet” and July 25 – “Rango.”
Registration is not needed for any program. For more information, www.kearnylibrary.org or call 201-998-2666.

The N.J. Meadowlands Commission’s two-hour Hackensack River pontoon boat cruises will be offered Wednesday, July 6; Monday, July 11, and Wednesday, July 13. All trips depart at 10 a.m.  For ages 10 and up. Suggested donation: $15 per person. Registration required: 201-460-4640 or www.njmeadowlands.gov/environment/tours.html.
On Tuesday, July 12, at 2 p.m., a  free senior program on the  Black Maria Film Festival will be held at the  Meadowlands Environment Center, DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst. Sample some of the 2011 winners of this New Jersey-based festival named after Thomas Edison’s famous movie shed in West Orange.
Seating limited; registration required. Call 201-460-8300 or go to www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec,  click on “Community Programs” and select “register for a program.”
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 10-02 will be presenting a boating safety course on Wednesday, July 20, and Thursday, July 21, from 6 to 10 p.m., at the Lyndhurst Masonic Club, 316 Riverside Ave. Cost is $70 per person. This class will teach how to operate a jet ski. Those interested must attend both sessions. For more information and to pre-register, call 201-933-1330.

North Arlington
Knights of Columbus, Queen of Peace Council #3428, North Arlington, is sponsoring a trip to see the N.J. Jackals baseball team battle the Worchester Tornadoes on Aug. 12. The first pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are $6, which includes a ticket to the game and $5 in Jackals’ dollars that can used at the stadium for food or the gift shop. Parking is free.
Tickets must be purchased by July 28. For more information and tickets, please call Nicholas Cerchio at 201-230-3428.




Lyndhurst’s Rono named Observer Male Athlete of the Year

Photo by Jim Hague/Patrick Rono (third from right) receives the 2010-2011 Observer Male Athlete of the Year award from Observer General Manager Robert Pezzolla. From left are Lyndhurst athletic director Frank “Butch” Servideo, cross country coach Michael Picardo, track coach Tom Shoebridge, Pezzolla, Rono, Lyndhurst High School Principal Dr. Jean Gordon and Vice-Principal Frank Venezia.

Cross country, track star leaves legacy of greatness never before reached

By Jim Hague

Patrick Rono really never had a chance to even consider doing anything else but becoming a runner.
After all, it’s never easy when you’re the son of an Olympic gold medal winner. Try living in that shadow.
Patrick’s father, Peter, won the gold medal in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, in the 1,500-meter run, competing for his native Kenya.
Even Patrick’s mother, Mary, was a runner for the Kenyan national team.
Was there even an option?
“When I was little, I knew my dad did something great, but I never really understood the magnitude of it,” Patrick Rono said. “But I never let the pressure of being his son get to me. It didn’t bother me at all. I just wanted to be good.”
But when Rono moved with his family to Lyndhurst when he was 9 years old, track and field was not even a thought. He first played basketball, then soccer.
“I was really shy back then,” the soft-spoken Rono said. “I just wanted to do things that the other kids were doing. When I played soccer, I knew that I could run and not get tired. I knew I was pretty fast. I was a pretty good defender in soccer. That’s when I realized I could be a runner.”
However, Rono never competed in track and field until he enrolled at Lyndhurst High School a little more than three years ago and joined the cross country team.

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

Other area males worthy of top Athlete honors

Photo by Jim Hague/In any other year, Harrison’s Rahim Douelfakar would have been the leading contender for the Observer Athlete of the Year honor. The three-sport (football, basketball and volleyball) standout was easily the runner-up locally to eventual winner Patrick Rono of Lyndhurst.

By Jim Hague

While Lyndhurst’s Patrick Rono clearly earned The Observer Male Athlete of the Year award for the last scholastic sports year, there were a host of other local prominent male athletes from the Observer circulation area that were worthy of the honor as well.
We can start with Harrison’s three-sport standout Rahim Douelfakar, who would have earned the honor in any other year. Douelfakar was a great football player, a fine basketball player and one of the best volleyball players in New Jersey. Finding that kind of diversity is very rare, but Douelfakar established himself as one of the finest all-around athletes in the history of Harrison High School.

Douelfakar will now move on to play volleyball at nearby Rutgers-Newark, which has a fine and established volleyball program. He was a credit to Harrison High and will continue to represent the area well into his high school days.
Another Harrison athlete worthy of recognition is Brian Costa, who was a fine member of the respected Blue Tide soccer program and joined Douelfakar to become a main cog in Harrison’s best volleyball season in school history.

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

Keeping Kearny’s strong soccer tradition alive

Photo by Jim Hague/Some of the campers go through their skills sessions during the Kearny Youth Soccer Camp at Kearny High School last week.

Hundreds of youngsters participate in youth soccer camp

By Jim Hague

Kearny isn’t called “Soccertown, USA” for nothing.
Sure, it got the famous moniker because World Cup soccer standouts Tony Meola, John Harkes and Tab Ramos all hailed from the town.
But Kearny was a soccer hotbed long before the trio of Team USA teammates got together to represent their country and their hometown in the World Cup. And it will continue to remain a soccer haven even though all three have retired from competition.
Need proof? Well, all you had to do was pass by the Kearny High School athletic field any day last week — and this week for that matter — and see the hundred or so youngsters participate in the Kearny Youth Soccer Camp.
Kearny High School boys’ soccer head coach Bill Galka presided over the two weeks of camp, two different sessions. It’s a camp that began when current athletic director John Millar was the head coach and has continued on through Galka’s tenure.

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

Reviewing rules for taking money out of a Roth IRA


By Randy Neumann

The rules for withdrawing money from a Roth Individual Retirement Account are different than they are for a traditional IRA; therefore, let’s begin with a description and comparison of each.
The traditional IRA was created by the first federal pension law – the Employee Retirement Income Security Act a.k.a. ERISA – in 1974.  This was a good piece of legislation because, in addition to creating the IRA, it stopped companies from stiffing former employees by moving to another state and ceasing pension payments.  Prior to the law, employers could escape pension liabilities by crossing state lines just like the fabled bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde.
The Roth IRA, which was created by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (don’t you love these names?), was named for its advocate Sen. William Roth of Delaware.  Roth may have been a good legislator, but he was an angry loser.  When his constituent, Dave Tiberi, lost a split decision to middleweight champion James Toney in Atlantic City in 1992, Roth launched a federal investigation into the sport of boxing in New Jersey.  Anyway, here is how a Roth differs from a traditional IRA.
In a traditional IRA, you get an income tax deduction on your contribution, the money grows tax deferred until you take it out, at which time you pay tax on the amount withdrawn. With a Roth, you do not get an income tax deduction on your contribution; however, if you leave the money in the plan for five years and take it out after age 591/2, you do not pay tax on any gains in the plan.  Some other pros and cons of the two IRAs are as follows.
You can roll other qualified plans into a traditional IRA; for example, at retirement, you can roll over your company 401(k), profit sharing, etc., into a traditional IRA without any tax consequences.  You cannot “roll over” these plans into a Roth IRA.  For wealthy people, a traditional IRA is not such a wonderful asset to own because the income, inheritance and estate tax (assuming Congress addresses the estate tax) can consume 88 cents of every dollar in an IRA before an heir receives it.  However, there is a new quirk in the law that allows taxpayers to convert traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs regardless of income.  The only problem is you’ve got to pay the tax now.
Sometimes people want to access Roth IRA funds for early retirement or other purposes.  Maybe you are one of them?  You can withdraw regular contributions tax-free, but not your earnings.  This is a critical distinction that many Roth IRA owners don’t seem to know about.  When you withdraw assets from a Roth, there is a set order in which contributions and earnings must be distributed.
The IRS regards the first layer of withdrawals from a Roth as regular contributions instead of earnings, thus this layer is treated as coming from your annual after-tax contributions.  When withdrawing this layer of money, there are no taxes or penalties involved.  (You can do this at any time, whether you have held your Roth for five years or not.)  Basically, the IRS is permitting you to remove a percentage of your account before the alarm sounds on the five-year clock.
The next assets to be removed from the account, according to IRS rules, are the conversion and rollover contributions to your Roth.  These are removed on a so-called “first in, first out” basis. Contributions to your Roth resulting from a conversion in 2002 would have to be withdrawn before those made in 2008.  The taxable portion of the conversion/rollover contribution comes out first (the amount claimed as income), and then the nontaxable portion.
Lastly, earnings accrued by the Roth IRA are distributed; in other words, merely withdrawing your regular contribution will not trigger a tax.  But if your Roth has realized earnings from contributions, the earnings will be subject to income tax if they are withdrawn.
Is your withdrawal a qualified distribution?  If so, take this into consideration:  If you have owned your Roth IRA for less than five years and/or are younger than age 591/2, you risk taking a nonqualified distribution if you withdraw money from it.  You know what that means, right?  You will incur a 10% penalty for early withdrawal in addition to taxes.  There are some exceptions to this outlined in IRS Publication 590.

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.


Michele Bradley
Michele Bradley (nee Centi), 53, of Harrison, formerly of Kearny, passed away on June 24, with her family at her side.
The memorial gathering was held at the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison, followed by a private cremation.
She is survived by her children Krisha Ashton and her husband Rob and Nicole and Steven; also survived by her grandchildren Francine and Daniel Ashton, her mother Francine Centi and her brothers Louis Jr., Richard and David Centi and a sister Francine Gardner.
Michele was predeceased by her husband Steven and her father Louis Centi Sr.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital c/o funeral home in memory of Michele.

Colleen Cullen
Colleen Cullen (Novicki), 44, of Union, died on June 27 at UMDNJ Hospital, Newark.
Formerly of North Arlington, she moved to Union 12 years ago. A graduate of Kean University, she devoted her life to teaching special needs children. She was employed by the State of New Jersey’s Sunny Days program for the past five years and prior to that by the Cerebral Palsy Center in Belleville. Colleen was also a supporter of Autism Speaks.
She is survived by her loving husband Brian Cullen and precious daughter Rylina Cullen. She is the beloved daughter of Stanley and Rosemary Novicki and cherished sister of Karen Mastrofilippo, Kathy Mancuso and Thomas Novicki.
Arrangements were by the Wilfred Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny.  A funeral Mass was offered at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington. Interment followed at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Autism Speaks Foundation at www.AutismSpeaks.org.

Joann Fusiak
Joann Fusiak (Stanish), 64, passed away on June 26 after a long illness.
Joann was born in Kearny and was a longtime resident of East Newark and Kearny. For the last three years, she had lived with her niece Janeen Weiland in Point Pleasant.
She graduated from Harrison High School and then earned her master’s degree from Jersey City State College.
Joann was a remedial reading specialist in the Harrison school system for many years before retiring to Lake Tranquility.
She had a lifelong love of nature and particularly enjoyed watching the swans and other wildlife that inhabited the lake. Visitors to her home were struck by her artistic flair and impressive collection of plants. Family and friends always looked forward to her unique and thoughtful gifts. She always had her camera at family events and her beautiful and witty photo albums are treasured by all.
Joann is survived by her nieces Dawn Knish and Janeen Weiland and their families; John Fusiak and by the two dearest friends anybody could have Donna and Paul Fusiak and their sons. She is also survived by her aunt Mary Capozzi and the rest of her large and loving family.
She was predeceased by her husband Stephen and her sister and best friend Helen Fronheiser.
Arrangements were by Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, Kearny. A blessing was offered in the chapel at Holy Cross Mausoleum, North Arlington.
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com.

Catherine McGeehan
Catherine McGeehan (nee Drozd), 93, of Kearny, died on June 27 in Care One Nursing Home, Wall Township. She was a lifelong Kearny resident.
Predeceased by her husband John McGeehan, she is survived by her loving sons John J., Robert and Lawrence McGeehan. She was the cherished sister of Tess McGann; also surviving are five grandchildren Alyson, Jacklyn, Kara, John Robert and Kathleen and three great-grandchildren Kayla, Reilly and Molly.
Private arrangements were handled by the Wilfred Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the St. Stephen’s Church Food Pantry.

Ann Fisher
Ann Fisher (nee Staniewicz), 94, of Harrison, died on June 23 at St. Michael’s Hospital.
Ann was predeceased by her beloved husband, Frank Fisher; her son Donald Fisher and her brothers Theodore and Nicholas Staniewicz Sr. She is survived by her sister Valerie Gasior, granddaughter and husband Melissa and Brian Levering, great-grandson Brody Levering and her nieces and nephews.
Ann will be remembered for her sense of style and her feisty personality. A memorial Mass was held on June 27 at Holy Cross Church, Harrison.

Grads of 2011!

Kearny HS Grads of 2011

Photos by Michelle Rybeck & Karen Zautyk