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Keypoint Mortgage eases process of getting a mortgage, refinancing

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By Ryan Sloan

Observer Correspondent 

NORTH ARLINGTON — 

Though the rules have significantly changed since the sub-prime loan crisis of 2009, one thing has remained consistent: Keypoint Mortgage is still there for mortgage-seekers, or for those seeking to refinance, without the hassle of having to deal with largescale banks.

And perhaps best of all, Keypoint deals with more than 20 different lenders throughout the country, so the chances of successfully securing a loan are much greater with Keypoint than they are with a single bank, thanks to the variety of choices out there.

Mortgage broker Rob Pezzolla has owned and operated Keypoint Mortgage since 2003. When he first opened the business in North Arlington — there’s now also a branch office in Summit — he did so to make the home-loan process easier for clients.

“When you deal with a bank, you’re dealt with what they have to offer,” Pezzolla said. “When you’re with us, we make the process painless and have considerably more options when it comes to potential lenders.”

Indeed, Keypoint does.

But because of the changes to borrowing guidelines that were instituted after the subprime crisis five years ago, while it’s still easier and more convenient to get a mortgage through his Mortgage Broker, it might not be as easy as it was before the crisis hit.

“That’s because there was a time where people were getting mortgages without any documentation,” Pezzolla said. “Places were approving mortgages without a paystub, or without any paperwork, from borrowers. It doesn’t work that way anymore, but as a broker, we offer the flexibility that a large bank can’t offer.

“We deal with 20 or so banks, they underwrite the file and we present the best deal offered.”

Perhaps the best part of dealing with a broker like Pezzolla — there’s no upfront cost to the consumer. Now, just because the rules have changed, that doesn’t mean people aren’t getting decent mortgages anymore. That’s where Keypoint comes in.

Before contacting any lenders, Pezzolla and Keypoint work with individual clients to set reasonable expectations. He’ll conduct what’s called pre-purchase counseling with anyone seeking a mortgage — where he offers sound advice based on the consumer’s income, assets and equity.

If a customer has no shot at a mortgage, he’ll let the person know.

If he can pull off a spectacularly low interest rate, he’ll let the customer know.

You still may be able to refinance a high rate mortgage.

Saving a bad mortgage

One of the most critical things Pezzolla wants people to know about what he does as a broker actually concerns the refinancing of what might be considered predatory loans.

He says to this very day — and this could very well include you — there are 800,000 Americans who have loans with interest rates at 6% or more that can still be refinanced based on the 2009 market meltdown.

There are two main requirements: The loan had to be issued on or before May 31, 2009 — and the loan has to have come from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

“Not only can mortgage holders refinance under those circumstances, we can often get them from interest rates at 6% or more down to as low as 4.25%,” Pezzolla said. “There’s a myth out there that if you’ve got one of these loans, you’re stuck with it and can’t refinance. That’s not the case at all, and I hope people do realize if they’re in this category, not only can we help, we can make it happen.

“And it doesn’t matter if the consumer is under water. It doesn’t matter if the home’s value has dropped. Regardless of equity, the opportunity is there — and we hope more people will take advantage of the opportunities we can offer them.”

The bottom line, however, in dealing with Keypoint is simple. If you want a mortgage or to refinance — and you qualify — the convenience of Keypoint will truly make what could otherwise be an awful process a much easier and comfortable one.

“We’re the neighborhood guys,” Pezzolla said. “We’re not the ‘no-face banks’ people often deal with. We’re not the correspondent lender in Illinois where you’ll never meet the people in person you’re dealing with. We’re local, we give our clients the time and attention they deserve. And we’ll always be honest and up-front right from the beginning.

“You just don’t get that with large-scale banks, and never will.”

Think you might want to refinance a higher rate mortgage? Looking for a new mortgage? Contact Pezzolla by calling him on his mobile phone at 201-805-4999, by sending him an email to rob@keypointmortgage.com or by visiting www.keypointmortgage.com online.

Around Town

Belleville

The Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee will hold a Halfway-to-St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser Wednesday, Sept. 17, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Belleville Knights of Columbus on Bridge St. The event will honor the past grand marshals and deputy grand marshals. Admission is $35 for adults ($15 for those under 21). Guests will enjoy corned beef and cabbage, dessert, beer, wine and soda. The Eamonn Ryan Showband will entertain.

The Belleville Public Library and Information Center, 221 Washington Ave., will screen the animated musical fantasy/comedy “Frozen” (PG) Saturday, Sept. 20, at 2 p.m.

Belleville Elks Lodge 1123, 254 Washington Ave., hosts its monthly breakfast Sunday, Sept. 21, 9 a.m. to noon. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children under age 10 and free for children under age 3.

Bloomfield

Certified school counselor Allen Regar provides information on researching and applying to college at a seminar Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. at Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St.

Harrison

Harrison Downtown Community Development Partnership and Neighborhood Preservation Program sponsors a Flea Market and Collectible Show Saturday, Sept. 27, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Harrison Ave., between Second St. and Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. Admission is free.

Four exhibitor spaces are available for free to any school or local organization. Call 201- 998-1144 for a reservation.

Holy Cross Church sponsors a bus trip Sunday, Sept. 21, to the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, leaving from Holy Cross School, Frank E. Rodgers Blvd., at 10 a.m. Refreshments will be served in the school basement starting at 9:15 a.m. Cost is $30 ($25 returned in slot play.) Call Joan for reservations at 973- 481-2434 (leave your name, phone number and number 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. To attend, contact Kathy McCourt Jackes at kathyjackes@yahoo. com or 908- 303-9993; Kathy Walsh Vecchio at katvec46gmail.com or 973-865-0402; or Nancy Branin Waller at nancy.waller2@verizon.net or 201- 889-6229 by Sept. 25.

St. Cecilia Church, 114 Chestnut St., sponsors a flea market Saturday, Sept. 20, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vendors are welcome. For more information, call 201-991-1116. All proceeds benefit the parish.

The Kearny Police Department, 237 Laurel Ave., in partnership with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, will once again be participating in Operation Take Back Sept. 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants are asked to use the department’s Forest St. door for the Juvenile Aid Bureau. Turn in expired, unused, or unwanted prescription or over the counter medication. This is an anonymous drop off. No ID required. For more information, call Officer Corbett at 201-998-1313, ext. 2820.

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.

Kearny UNICO hosts “Wheels for Vic,” a fundraiser to purchase a power wheelchair for Kearny resident Victor Muniz, Sunday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m., in the former Boystown gym, 499 Belgrove Drive. The $30 admission covers 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 Lou Pandolfi at 201-368-2409, 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.

Trinity Church, 575 Kearny Ave., hosts a fish, chicken and chips dinner Friday, Oct. 3, 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and two for $30. Take-out will also be available. Tricky Tray will be held 8 to 9 p.m. For tickets, call Annamarie at 201-998- 2368 after 5:30 p.m.

Pathways to Independence sponsors its 13th annual Walka- Thon Saturday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m. to noon, at West Hudson Park, Schuyler Ave. entrance. All are welcome. Proceeds benefit adults with disabilities who attend Pathways programs. For more information, call Pathways Executive Director Alvin Cox at 201-997- 9371, ext. 18.

Redemptoris Mater Seminary, Kearny, sponsors a 5K run Sunday, Sept. 28, beginning on S. Midland Ave. at 6 p.m. This run is one of many events being held to raise much-needed funds for the seminary. There is a $25 registration fee. More information is available at www.rmnewark.org or fathermanuel@gmail. com.

Lyndhurst

The Lyndhurst Food Pantry, 253 Stuyvesant Ave., resumes normal business hours on Monday, Sept. 22. Pantry hours are Monday to Thursday, 1 to 3:30 p.m. Interested patrons must submit proof of need to the Health Department, 601 Riverside Ave., Suite 1. For more information, call the department at 201- 804-2500.

United Presbyterian Church, 511 Ridge Road, hosts a Victorian tea, sponsored by the Meadowlands Museum, Sunday, Sept. 28, 3 to 6 p.m. The event includes a lecture on the history and preparation of tea, plus live music.

Tickets are $30 and available at the museum, 91 Crane Ave., Rutherford, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

New Jersey’s “Bat Man” Joe D’Angeli and his Batmobile will be at the Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 De- Korte Park Plaza Friday, Sept. 19, 6 to 9 p.m. D’Angeli will present a live bat exhibit. A portion of the proceeds go to bat conservation and rehabilitation groups nationwide. Suggested donation is $5. Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register, go www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec or call 201-257-2231.

The Masonic Club, 316 Riverside Ave., hosts all-youcan- eat crabs and cole slaw (chicken available for nonseafood eaters) Saturday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. Admission is $20 at the door. For reservations, call the club at 201-933-1330.

Lyndhurst Garden Club meets Monday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m., at the Senior Citizen Building, 250 Cleveland Ave. Topics include designed flower beds, gardening in pots, and more, plus a raffle and social hour. For more information, call 201-939-0033.

The Woman’s Club of Lyndhurst sponsors an indoor garage sale Saturday, Sept. 20, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Senior Building.

Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave., hosts an autumn craft program for grades 1 to 4 Monday, Sept. 29, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Registration is required. To register, call the library at 201-804-2478.

Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Post 3549, 527 Valley Brook Ave., hosts a karaoke party Friday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m. The VFW hall is available for all occasions. For more information, call the post at 201-939- 3080.

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

• 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. The clinic offers education on breast self-examination and a PAP test and is open to township residents ages 18 and over.

• A free meditation course is offered weekly on Tuesdays, 6 to 7 p.m., starting Sept. 16, at the Community Center, Riverside and Tontine Aves. For more information, call the Health Department.

United Presbyterian Church sponsors a vintage marketplace and gourmet food truck fest slated for Sunday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1050 Wall St. West parking lot. Admission is free.

North Arlington

Learn all about the history of newspapers in the United States with journalist Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Road, on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 6:30 p.m.

The library’s Historical Fact and Fiction Book Club meets Thursday, Sept. 25, at 10 a.m. and the Friends of the Library Book Club meets Friday, Sept. 26, at 10 a.m.

The library’s Comics Club for ages 6 and up meets Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 3:30 p.m.

Queen of Peace Church celebrates the 22nd annual International Prayer and Fasting Campaign Monday, Sept. 22, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the LaSalle Center, 200 Ridge Road. For more information, call 201-997-7000.

Nutley

The Art Workshop program for grades 1 to 6 resumes for an eight-week fall session Oct. 11. Classes will be held Saturdays at the Recreation Department, 44 Park Ave. The fee is $30 per child. Class size is limited and applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Online registration is available at https://nutleynj. my.gov-i.com/recreation. For more information, call 973- 284-4966 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Department of Parks & Recreation is accepting Recreation Basketball registration for the 2014-2015 season. This program is open to Nutley youngsters in grades 3 to 8. Teams compete in a recreational league format and are grouped in divisions by grade. Boys and girls will play in separate leagues. The program seeks to provide ample playing time for all participants, teach the fundamentals of individual and team play and encourage sportsmanship.

Registration deadline is Oct. 17. The fee is $40 per player. For more information, visit www.nutleynj.org or call 973- 284-4966 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Nutley residents, particularly parents, coaches and child-care providers, are encouraged to attend Heartsaver CPR & AED training to be offered at the Department of Parks & Recreation. A threehour class, taught by Lifesaving Techniques, is available Thursday, Sept. 25, or Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the Rec Department, 44 Park Ave.

The fee is $65. Class size is limited. Registration, on a first-come, first-served basis, is available online or at the Rec Department. For further information, call 973-284- 4966, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Children ages 28 months and under and their caregivers are invited to enjoy nursery rhymes, stories and playtime at Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Drive, Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Only Nutley residents may participate. Registration is required. To register or for more information, call the library at 973- 667-0405.

Rosko named Agent of the Month

LYNDHURST – George Rosko, who has spent seven years with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Coccia Realty, is the company’s Real Estate Agent of the Month for July in the Lyndhurst office, owner and President John (Jan) R. Kwapniewski announced.

Rosko, the agency’s top rental specialist, has closed 51 agreements to date in 2014, representing the most of any agent locally and the fourth-highest and top 1% of any agent in the region’s 500-plus agencies, according to statistics from the N.J. Multiple- Listing Service (NJMLS).

“His number of transactions are extraordinary,” said Lyndhurst Branch Manager Michael Amoroso. “George is a very hard worker, readily available to his clients. He is ethical and professional, and he works seven days a week. Whatever needs to get done, George gets it done.”

Rosko, a real estate agent for 16-plus years, lives in North Arlington and serves clients from Harrison, Kearny, Lyndhurst, North Arlington and Rutherford.

Rosko says he enjoys his work with BHGRE Coccia not just because of the people, but because he knows his voice is heard.

“I always know that when I have ideas or concerns, I can always bring them to our broker John,” Rosko said. “And he listens. If he believes it’s a good idea, he’ll run with it. If he doesn’t think it’s a good idea, he’ll say so, but he’ll always explain why he doesn’t think it’ll work. That’s very important to me.”

In addition to rentals, Rosko handles residential and commercial sales, leases and property management.

Kwapniewski, like Amoroso, sang Rosko’s praises. “We were very fortunate that George chose my company,” Kwapniewski said. “He’s one of the hardest workers you’ll ever find in this industry, and I am very happy to have him on board as long as we have.”

Rosko is a member of the National Association of Realtors, Eastern Bergen County Board of Realtors, Garden State Multiple Listing Service and NJMLS.

With BHGRE and Coccia’s status as a HUD-registered broker, he has access to foreclosures and REO listings and can also offer relocation services and referrals throughout the country.

To contact Rosko, call his mobile at 201-218-0841 or the Lyndhurst office at 201-939- 8900.

For more information, call 201-997-7000, or visit www.cocciarealty.com or facebook.com/cocciarealty.

Kardinals kick off new season with solid win

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By Jim Hague 

Observer Sports Writer 

It’s the second year of Nick Edwards’ regime as the head football coach at Kearny High School and already there’s something new and improved about Edwards’ Kardinals.

They won their season opener.

That’s right, Kearny defeated Newark East Side and won handily, 34-6. The Kardinals own a 1-0 record for the first time since 2011 and only the second time since reinstituting the program in 2004.

The news gets better.

“For the first time in a long time, the freshmen, JV (junior varsity) and varsity all won,” said Edwards, who took over the program in June of 2013. “That’s definitely different from recent years.”

Edwards proudly professes that there are 30 sophomores involved with his program.

Needless to say, things are definitely moving up for the Kearny football program.

Edwards was asked about how things have changed in his second year at the helm.

“It’s definitely easier having a full offseason to work with the players,” Edwards said. “The offseason went well with our speed training and weight lifting. I definitely think having that year is paying off. I think the kids understand me more and understand what we’re trying to do here and what we preach.”

Edwards also believes that the kids know that he truly loves them.

“My door is always open for them and they have that understanding,” Edwards said. “We have a good relationship.” Winning helps, as with the season opening win, the Kards have already matched their win total of last year and the previous year. So things have definitely changed during football season in Kearny.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Edwards, whose team faces Livingston Friday night, then plays four straight home games. “It gives us a boost of confidence going forward.”

Edwards likes the makeup of his team.

“We have a good mix,” Edwards said. “The majority of the team is made up of juniors and sophomores who played a lot last year.”

The Kardinals are using the spread-pistol offense, meaning that the Kards like to throw the ball all over the field.

Leading the way is junior quarterback David Nash (6-1, 160), who enjoyed a solid opening game, throwing for a touchdown and running for another.

“He’s doing pretty well,” Edwards said. “He’s very smart and understands defenses. He knows the game of football.”

Junior Hector Paredes (5-8, 170) is the Kardinals’ main running back.

“He’s definitely one of those guys who just wants to win,” Edwards said. “He’s a hardnosed runner who goes all out in practices and games. Nothing ever changes with him.”

The Kardinals have a host of players to fill the four receiver and slot positions. Junior Sammy Sanchez (5-8, 165) had a great season opener, scoring three touchdowns, including an 84-yard interception return for a score.

Seniors Michael and Chris Benevides are a pair of twin brothers who each stand 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds and provide Nash with solid targets to throw to. Junior Tiago Teixiera (5-7, 160) and sophomore Allen Tejada (5-10, 170) are also excellent speedy route runners.

It certainly makes for exciting times for the Kearny offensive attack.

Senior guard Nick Springer (6-1, 230) and senior tackle Owen Martinez (5-10, 220) are returning starters, as is junior Damien Torres (5-6, 180) at center. That experience has to help Nash run the intricate passing offense.

Junior Michael Amaro (6-0, 190) is the other tackle and sophomore Gabriel Dos Santos (5-10, 220) is the other guard.

Defensively, the Kards utilize a 4-4 front, with senior J.C. Yamba (5-9, 175) and junior Christian Rodriguez (5-9, 185) at defensive end and sophomore Hebber Reyes (5-10, 260) joining Springer at defensive tackle.

The outside linebackers are junior Richard Diaz (5-8, 165) and sophomore Ozzie Cabides (5-9, 165), with a pair of sophomores, Brian Santos (5-8, 180) and Niko Yamba (5-8, 160), at inside linebacker.

The cornerbacks are Teixiera, Chris Benevides and Paredes, with Sanchez and Michael Benevides at safety.

Edwards is fortunate to be able to use as many players as possible, giving a host of youngsters a chance to play. The more kids play, the bigger the interest for others, knowing that they can get a chance to get on the field as well.

“We had a lot of kids who came back,” Edwards said. “So the kids know what to expect. We also have kids who understand the importance of schoolwork. We had 54 varsity kids and only one had to go to summer school. That’s a major accomplishment.”

Edwards likes the way the program is moving.

“The numbers are up,” Edwards said. “I never thought we would have 80 kids in the program, but we do. Coming from 30, which is what we had when I took over, I think it’s all good for the program. We’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing and teaching them the right things.”

So far, so good.

NA boys’ soccer: Life without Cordeiro

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By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

It’s not every day that a high school soccer team gets a player who could move from forward to midfield with ease, then score 30 goals and add 19 assists in the process.

But that’s what Danny Cordeiro did for the North Arlington boys’ soccer team last fall, en route to becoming the 2013-14 Observer Male Athlete of the Year. Cordeiro is already weaving his magic for the New Jersey Institute of Technology soccer squad.

So when the 2014 boys’ soccer campaign kicked off recently, the Vikings had to learn about life without Cordeiro.

“It’s not easy,” said NA head coach Jesse Dembowski. “We do have a solid senior group this year, but no one who could do what Danny did. As a group, the team is very dedicated and determined.”

That’s already been proven, as the Vikings have marched out to a 4-0 start thus far, including big wins over Saddle Brook and Becton Regional last week.

“We have a lot of younger kids coming up who have a lot of talent,” Dembowski said.

Senior Matt Smykowski is the Vikings’ main man in net. Smykowski became the team starter with roughly 10 games remaining last season. The Vikings ended the year at 9-7-1.

“Matt is a tall kid who was our JV (junior varsity) goalie for two years,” Dembowski said. “He’s very confident in goal and not afraid to come out of the goal to make plays.”

The sweeper is senior Nick Awad.

“He’s a tall, physical player,” Dembowski said. “We used to have him in the midfield, but he naturally gravitated toward the defense.”

The stopper is senior Moises Polanco, who started last year at the position.

The rest of the back line will be made of seniors Ed Lozado and Frank Pace and junior C.J. Burbach.

Senior Vinnie Ribeiro is the top returning starter in the midfield. Ribiero scored eight goals last year.

Fellow senior Jose Ruiz is another returning player in the midfield. Dembowski likes Ruiz’s experience and leadership.

Sophomore Cristiano Neves is another fine player in the midfield. Neves had a goal and an assist in the solid 4-0 win over Becton last week.

Junior Marvin Caballero is another Viking who will give Dembowski stability in the midfield.

“Marvin was a starter last year, but then he got hurt and missed the season,” Caballero said. “He will be big this year.”

Sophomore Hudson Ribiero is a solid forward. The younger brother of Vinnie had two goals and an assist in the win over Becton.

Senior Joe Cappelluti will be the other force to be reckoned with at forward.

“He was a goalie at the beginning of last season, then we moved him to forward and he scored a few goals,” Dembowski said.

Cappelluti scored six goals in his limited time in the forward line for the Vikings last fall.

So the makings are there for a special season for the Vikings, even after the departure of a special player.

“I like our team,” Dembowski said. “I still have big expectations. A lot of them came in and knew that they needed to step up. They have moved up together and they’re getting strong together.”

The four wins to start the season is proof that they can move on with success.

Maroon Raiders loom as one of NJ’s best in girls’ soccer

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By Jim Hague 

Observer Sports Writer 

After finishing the 2013 season with an 18-2-1 record, the best in school’s history, Nutley High School girls’ soccer coach Mike DiPiano is looking for more of the same this year.

“We put a three-year plan into place and last year, we just sped up the process,” said DiPiano, who begins his third year as the head girls’ soccer coach at Nutley. “We beat four teams that played in a sectional final last year.”

The Maroon Raiders graduated 12 players and nine starters from last year’s team, including the 2013-14 Observer Co-Female Athlete of the Year Grace Montgomery.

“We worked on teaching the system to a new group of girls,” DiPiano said. “We have some seniors who have never played before. We have freshmen battling to play every day in practice. The competition has been good. We’re not taking the mentality that we’re rebuilding. We’re going after it again this year. Our goal is to play one more day than we did last year. That’s a reasonable goal with the team we have. We know what we have to do to get there.”

So far, the Maroon Raiders are living up to the challenge of being a state-ranked power.

The Maroon Raiders, ranked No. 20 in a New Jersey statewide poll, have won all four of their games so far, including a 7-0 whitewash of neighboring rival Belleville on Saturday.

“We want to be in the rankings and never come out,” DiPiano said. “It’s good for the entire athletic program at our school.”

The Maroon Raiders have one of the most potent scoring attacks in the state, thanks to returning standouts Victoria Kealy and Zoe Steck.

Kealy, a senior who has already given a verbal commitment to play at Rider University in the fall, scored 34 goals last year and is already on pace to top that number this season.

Kealy had three goals and added an assist in the win over Belleville.

Steck is a sophomore who scored 31 goals last year. She had two goals and two assists in the lopsided victory over Belleville.

“I don’t know of many teams to have that kind of luxury,” DiPiano said of his powerful scoring duo. “We just have to keep finding ways to get them the ball. It’s time for others to step up. It’s going to be a work in progress.”

The Maroon Raiders are utilizing two players in goal, namely senior Rachel Nichols and junior Sarah Roselli, who missed most of last season due to health issues.

The sweeper is freshman Lauren Holden, who has the potential to be a very good player.

“She’s going to have to learn on the fly,” DiPiano said. “She’s played already on some high level club teams, so she has experience. She is as tough as nails and doesn’t play like a freshman.”

The stopper is sophomore Darby Fischer, with senior Julie Fredericks, sophomore Angeli Bossbaly and freshman Jalae Small all seeing time along the back line.

Sophomore Jenny Callaghan is the team’s center midfielder. She’s a transfer who arrived at the school last year during the season, so Callaghan is basically a newcomer.

“She’s the real deal,” DiPiano said of Callaghan. “She has to be our playmaker in the middle of the field.”

Senior Kaitlyn Salisbury, junior Samantha Chimento and freshman Isabella Gonsiewski are also solid midfielders.

The Maroon Raiders will put their entire season on the shoulders of the two powerful scorers, namely Kealy and Steck, who are among the state’s very best.

As are the Maroon Raiders, who are proving that last year was no fluke.

Seniors Kiera Byrnes, Sarah Grueter and Samantha Moynihan will play roles on the team’s attack. Moynihan scored two goals in the win over Belleville.

Freshman Maise Jelley will be the Maroon Raiders’ resident jack-of-all-trades.

“She will play everywhere,” DiPiano said. “She’s done everything we’ve asked of her so far.”

DiPiano likes his team. He should. The Maroon Raiders are for real and will enjoy a great season into November. Whether that leads to a Super Essex Conference divisional title or an NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group III crown remains to be seen. But either or both are not out of the question, thanks to having two returning 30-goal scorers.

Obituaries

Ralph Barbara 

Ralph Barbara died peacefully at home on Aug. 6. He was 84. Born in Newark, he lived many years in Kearny before moving to Toms River in 2006. His cremation is private; however, there will be a memorial service on Saturday Sept. 20, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny.

Ralph was a retired construction union delegate in Clifton.

Ralph is survived by his wife Doris (nee Brand), his children Louise Dorst, Linda Hagerman, Ivan Barbara and Stacy Gilchrist, his sisters Carmella Halleck and Concetta DeJesso and seven grandchildren. He was predeceased by his granddaughter Brandi.

In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Jude Children Hospital would be appreciated.

Kathleen B. Briese 

Miss Kathleen B. Briese, 80, died on Sept. 8 at her home in Kearny.

Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass was offered at St. Stephen’s Church, followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com.

Kathleen was born in Kearny and was a lifelong resident.

She was employed by Prudential in Newark for many years before retiring in 1990. Kathleen was a proud member of St. Stephen’s Church in Kearny where she taught CCD and was a member of the St. Stephen’s Seniors. She adored Schuyler School in Kearny and served as a teacher’s aide there for many years. Living next door to the school, she would always be seen outside talking to parents in the morning who were dropping off their children for the school day and again in the afternoon when they returned to pick them up the children. She always offered words of encouragement and will be missed by the parents, children and staff.

She was the beloved aunt of William VanVliet (Margaret), Heather Felty (Dale); great aunt of William and Daniel VanVliet, Tammy Plumadoro and Michael Dellaciopia and great-great-aunt of Benjamin VanVliet, Cameron Heinz and Amanda and Kaitlyn Felty.

Cecilia V. Murphy 

Cecilia V. Murphy, 87, passed away Sept. 12 at home. Born in Queens, N.Y. she grew up in the Bronx before moving to New Jersey and spent some time in Harrison. She has resided in Piscataway since 1989.

Cecilia retired in 1989 from Prudential Insurance Company in New Providence. Mom was a product of the Depression and as a result she was a hardworking woman with a strong work ethic. She was the best role model any child could wish for. She was a communicant of Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church and Our Lady of Fatima Church and was active in the Piscataway Senior Center, participating in their Bocce Ball team. Her most cherished role was being a grandmother.

Cecilia is survived by her children, William Murphy of New Fairfield Conn., Kevin Murphy and his wife Donna of Rockaway, Cecilia Mueller and her husband Harry of Piscataway and Colleen Conroy of West Orange; her sister Marion Scholz of Piscataway; her grandchildren, Ryan, Brian, Andrew, Meghan, Erin, Allison, Matthew, Harry and Kaitlyn and her great-grandson Samuel.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 8:30 a.m. at the Piscataway Funeral Home, 18 Stelton Road, Piscataway, followed by a 9:30 a.m. funeral liturgy at Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church, Middlesex. Entombment will be in Resurrection Burial Park, Piscataway.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Cecilia’s name to Embracing Hospice Care, 2101 Rt. 34 South, Suite B, Wall. NJ.

Charles Thompson 

Charles Thompson, 48, of South Orange, formerly of East Newark, died on Tuesday, Sept. 9.

Funeral services were under the direction of the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison. A funeral service was held from the funeral home. His interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

For information or directions, please visit www.mulliganfuneralhome.org.

Born in Kearny, Charles was the founder and pastor of Freedom Ministries Worldwide, Newark, where he served for the last decade.

Charles is survived by his mother, Theresa (nee Cleary), his father Bill, a sister, Diane DeFilippo, and his brothers Dave and his wife Tara, and Bill. He is also survived by his nieces, nephews, aunts and cousins.

For those desiring, donations may be made to Anchor House, 1041 Bergen St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11216 in memory of Pastor Charlie.

Then & Now

ThenNow_web1
Wikipedia

Wikipedia

 

That rather ornate structure in the ‘Then’ photo is the Jackson St. Bridge, linking Harrison to the Ironbound section of Newark at the southern end of Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. The picture is dated 1898, a year after the span was built. According to Essex County records, it was designed by J. Owens Co. and constructed by McCann Fagan Iron Works. (We don’t know where either firm was located; however, there was a Fagan Iron Works in Jersey City.) Note the fancy lattice-work. Note the domed arches over the pedestrian walkways. Note the gas lamp. 

Today’s bridge bears small resemblance to the original, but long before the 1991 rehab of the span, it had already been altered, losing the elegant accoutrements. But it  is on the N.J. Register of Historic Places. 

Re the name: Folks on the Newark side of the Passaic always called it the Jackson St. Bridge, since Jackson is the street it feeds into Down Neck. When we moved across the river, we were annoyed to find that West Hudsonites referred to it as the Fourth St. Bridge (Fourth St. being the former name of Rodgers Blvd.). Researching this text, we learned it is and always was officially the Jackson St. (Nyah, nyah.) 

One more thing, although you likely won’t be able to see it without a microscope: Painted on a crossbeam above the roadway ‘Then’ is a warning: WALK YOUR HORSES OR PAY 10 DOLLARS FINE. According to an inflation calculator, that would be $285.71 in today’s money. Notice that all the horses are walking. 

– Karen Zautyk 

Remembering a local hero

Lt. Joseph E. Frobisher Jr. (inset) was a pilot with the U.S. 148th Aero Squadron. Those are the 148th’s Sopwith Camels, photographed in France in August 1918, a month before his death.

 

Lt. Joseph E. Frobisher Jr. (inset) was a pilot with the U.S. 148th Aero Squadron. Those are the 148th’s Sopwith Camels, photographed in France in August 1918, a month before his death.

By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY– 

The following account of an air battle in France nearly 100 years ago is from Edgar Gorrell’s “History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Service, 1917-1919”:

“It was on 2 September that the 148th [Aero Squadron] suffered its greatest losses of the war in one disastrous patrol. “

A superior number of Fokkers were attacking several artillery observation planes. The 148th, knowing it was their duty to protect the observation planes, engaged the Fokkers, who were ready for the fight.

“The squadron attacked with five aircraft against 13 or 14 Fokkers, and soon the Germans, all good pilots, had most of the 148th’s [Sopwith] Camels in distress. Additional Fokkers then appeared out of the clouds until there were at least 20 of them. . . .” The Germans “. . . shot down all five of the American aircraft.

“One pilot performed a crash-landing on the British side of the line and was unhurt, however not a word was heard from the other four. Over a month later, it was reported that three of the pilots had crashed in enemy territory and were prisoners of war.

“The fourth was wounded and later died.”

If you are wondering what all this has to do with Kearny, the answer is:

Everything.

That fourth pilot was Lt. Joseph Edwin Frobisher Jr., a son of Kearny, and today, Sept. 10, is the anniversary of his death in 1918. He was just 22 years old.

When we visited American Legion Post 99, the Joseph E. Frobisher Jr. Post, to write about its 95th anniversary last month, we started learning his story, and we knew we needed to share it.

As a history lover, we cherish the chance to put a face to a name, to tell something of why that name means so much more than an inscription on a war memorial.

At the Post headquarters on Belgrove Drive, Commander Keith McMillan led us over to a sepia photograph, its wooden frame surmounted by a small cloth badge — U.S. Air Service wings. The wings from Frobisher’s uniform.

The Frobisher family bequeathed some of the pilot’s personal effects and papers, along with his military foot locker, to Post 99, which is the trusted custodian of these items and, more importantly, of his memory.

Among these treasures, not a word used lightly, are a number of letters, including two to the Frobishers from their son’s commanding officer, 1st Lt. (and later, Capt.) Morton L. Newhall

Photo by Karen Zautyk Frobisher’s foot locker, shipped home from France and donated to Post 99 by his family, holds photos, official papers, medals and mementos.

Photo by Karen Zautyk
Frobisher’s foot locker, shipped home from France and donated to Post 99 by
his family, holds photos, official papers, medals and mementos.

 

The letters are carefully typed on tissue-thin parchment — paper so fragile it is a wonder the typewriter keys did not punch right through. And they are still pristine white. Which is also a wonder, considering their age.

The first, dated Sept. 11, 1918, and sent from somewhere in France, reads as follows:

“It is with very deep regret that I have to inform you of the death of your son, Lieut. Joseph E. Frobisher, on September 10th from wounds received in aerial combat on Sept. 2nd.

“Two flights from our squadron were engaged that day, and Lt. Frobisher among others failed to return and was reported missing.

“On September 6th, his machine [plane] was seen by some of our men, not badly damaged on land, but recently regained from the enemy, and later your son was located in one of our hospitals, and we had hoped all would be well with him.

“Lieut. Frobisher conducted himself gallantly, as did all our men that day, against great odds. He performed his duties absolutely without fear, and had he been permitted to live, would have been one of the mainstays of our squadron. In landing his machine within our lines, altho [sic] sorely wounded, he performed a feat of which you may be justly proud.

“Mere sympathy is inadequate in such sorrow, but we wish to extend it to you for the loss of such a son.

“Lieut. Frobisher’s effects will be forwarded to you in due course.”

And after Newhall’s signature:

“P.S. Some officers from the Squadron and myself are attending your son’s funeral today.”

Photos by Karen Zautyk Lt. Frobisher’s grave in Kearny’s Arlington Cemetery

Photos by Karen Zautyk
Lt. Frobisher’s grave in Kearny’s Arlington Cemetery

 

Newhall was obviously concerned about not being able to give the family more information, for he wrote to Frobisher’s mother less than a month after the Nov. 11 Armistice ended the war — and wartime restrictions.

This letter was sent from Toul, France, on Dec. 6, 1918:

“My Dear Mrs. Frobisher,

“Your letter of Nov. 12 has just reached me and I greatly regret that strict censorship regulations would not permit me to give you full detaills at the time I first wrote you of the action in which your son, 2nd Lieut. Joseph E. Frobisher, received the wounds that afterwards proved fatal.

“On Sept. 2, 1918, at 11:45 a.m., two of our flights –your son’s led by Lieut. [Field] Kindley and another by Lieut. [Elliot] Springs — engaged a large number of Fokker biplanes that were attacking some artillery observation machines. The flight took place well over the line on the Arras Cambrai road, four miles southwest of Haricourt.

“A general mix-up or ‘dogfight’ ensued, and the original Fokkers were reinforced by more, badly outnumbering our two flights. The final result of the action was that three Hun machines were brought down, the rest were driven east over Cambrai and the artillery machines were left to carry out their important work unmolested.

“In other words, your son helped to carry out the very highest and most important function of a fighting pilot — namely, to drive the Hun out of the sky and permit our own observation machines to carry out their all-important mission.

“Your son did not return, and we could get no news of his whereabouts. It was not until the day of his death, Sept. 10th, that we got news that he had landed close to the front lines, wounded in the hip, back and right arm.

“The very fact that he landed his machine safely, though sorely wounded, showed the greatest courage and stamina, all of which was borne out by what the doctors told me at the hospital of his great fortitude and bravery.

It has always been a great source of regret to all of us that the C.C.S. [Casualty Clearing Station] did not notify us so we could have visited him in the hospital, but the fact is that the Cambrai battle was then at its height and they had not time to notify any units of the men they had.

“We were notified in time, however, for his Flight Commander, Lieut. Kindley and me to get to the funeral. Your son was buried in the Military Cemetery at Ligny, St. Flochel, Pas de Calais, near the town of St. Pol. The grave number is #12, Plot #4, Row D. All this information will be sent you in time, I am sure.

“I hope someday to meet you and Mr. Frobisher and will at that time give you any further details that I can.

Believe me,

Sincerely,

Morton L. Newhall”

It was later learned that Frobisher had managed to land his Sopwith in No Man’s Land, between the British and German lines, and British soldiers rescued him from the plane and got him to the CCS.

And just who was the gallant Joseph E. Frobisher Jr.?

The son of Emma Ferris Frobisher and Joseph E. Sr., he lived with them at 659 Belgrove Dr. and graduated from Kearny High School in 1912. In 1917, he earned a mechanical engineering degree from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

On April 6, 1917, the United States entered the Great War, and it was that month that Frobisher enrolled in the aviation training program of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the spring of 1918 and, after a stateside bout with scarlet fever, he did combat training in England and joined the 148th Pursuit Squadron at its base in Lens, France.

Frobisher’s body was returned to Kearny from the military cemetery in France in April 1921. Services were held at Trinity Episcopal Church, Arlington, where he had been a member, and he was reburied in Woodlawn Cemetery in Queens, N.Y.

That, however, was not his final resting place. When Joseph Sr., then the mayor of Kearny, died in 1939, father and son were both interred in the family plot at Arlington Cemetery in Kearny.

As we did for the Post 99 anniversary story, we thank founding member Fred E. Portz for recording that information in a Post history. And we thank the current members, especially McMillan and Walter Tomasheski, for giving us access to the letters quoted above.

One more thing: Along with Frobisher’s uniform wings, the framed photo at Post 99 bears another treasure.

When McMillan showed us the picture, we noticed what looked like some sort of medal hanging from the bottom. “What’s that?” we asked. And McMillan said, “Those are his dog tags.”

After receiving permission, we reached up and touched them, as one might touch a relic.

And what we felt was reverance, for a life lost too young, a life lost in the service of his country, one life representative of the more than 116,000 Americans lost in combat in World War I.

Ferraro facing firing

Ferraro_web

By Ron Leir

Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

The Kearny Board of Education is seeking to fire Frank Ferraro, the superintendent it placed on an involuntary paid leave in January, by bringing tenure charges against him.

At a special meeting held Aug. 12, the BOE voted in closed session 7-1, with John Plaugic dissenting, to certify to the state Commissioner of Education the charges of “conduct unbecoming a superintendent and other just cause for dismissal” against Ferraro.

Ferraro had been initially notified July 23 that the charges were being filed and Ferraro responded through his attorney Andrew Babiak on Aug. 8. That set the legal stage for the certification vote last month.

At the August meeting, the board – by the same 7-1 margin – also voted to suspend Ferraro’s pay for 120 days, the time set by state school law for the Commissioner of Education – once apprised of the charges – to assign an arbitrator to review the charges and make a ruling.

If the arbitrator finds that the charges have merit, then Ferraro’s contract with the BOE – which runs through June 30, 2016 – would be voided but if the arbitrator dismisses the charges, Ferraro could reclaim his job, according to an attorney familiar with the case.

Documents filed by the BOE with the state Department of Education show that Ferraro has been charged with “misrepresentation of experience and credentials to the Board of Education of the Town of Kearny” and with “knowing violation of board policy and New Jersey Statute.”

On the first charge, the BOE disputes Ferraro’s representations that he met its requirements for “a minimum of 10 years’ classroom teaching experience at the elementary and/or the secondary level” by having taught in New York for five years and in Kearny High School for five years, from 1983 to 1988, as a fulltime permanent substitute of “Home and Careers, Special Education.”

Ferraro advised the BOE that New York State Department of Education granted him a School District Administrator’s certificate, partly on the basis of his having satisfied the NYSDA’s teaching requirement. The Department advised the BOE in November 2012 that Ferraro had satisfied a three-year deficiency in teaching experience by “teaching at Kearny H.S. in Kearny, N.J.”

But the BOE contends that Ferraro failed to meet New York’s teaching requirement because, according to its files, Ferraro only worked “a total of 236 days over five school years” in Kearny and that “Ferraro’s experience fails to meet New Jersey’s requirements for even one year of teaching experience.”

On the second charge, the BOE allege that Ferraro violated the Open Public Meetings Act, the Open Public Records Act and Board Policy by discussing maintenance employee Brian Doran’s personnel information with the employee’s mother and tried to discuss it with the employee’s brother, board member James Doran Jr., who, the BOE says, refused to do so “as it was improper.”

In an email, Babiak, a staff attorney with the N.J. Association of School Administrators, advised The Observer that he will be filing an answer to the now-certified tenure charges but he declined to comment beyond that.

Meanwhile, Somerville attorney Kevin Kovacs, who is representing Ferraro in connection with a wrongful termination suit filed by Brian Doran against the BOE and Ferraro, said that Ferraro properly dismissed Doran because of his criminal background but now, according to Kovacs, the BOE is looking to “bring [Doran] back to work” so he will be suing the BOE, on behalf of Ferraro, under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (commonly known as whistleblower act) on the grounds that the BOE’s efforts to fire Ferraro is “retaliatory action” for Ferraro firing Doran.