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Then & Now


The ‘Then’ photo, from what was apparently a local postcard, is not dated, but those postcards usually come from the pre-World War I years. The view is of Stuyvesant Ave. from Grand Place in Kearny. When first seeing it, we wondered how we could figure out the precise perspective so we could take a current photo. We shouldn’t have worried. Look at the house on the far left. A century later, it still stands on the northeast corner. The home now is a pretty cream color, and wrought iron has replaced the wooden porch pillars, but little else on the exterior has changed. Architectural details like the shutters and the bay window have been preserved.

The view is looking east, past Kearny Ave. to the meadows beyond. We can’t be sure, but along the curb are what could be hitching posts and mounting blocks, accoutrements for horses and riders. We also can’t tell if the street is paved, but that hardly mattered since there’s no traffic, equine or otherwise.

– Karen Zautyk

Breast cancer survivor celebrates with SMMC patients

StM Cancer_web

Newark resident Elsie Best celebrated five years cancer-free this June by bringing presents to those undergoing cancer treatments at St. Michael’s Medical Center (SMMC) from her church group, the Missionary Society at Philemon Missionary Baptist Church, Newark. Patients received gift bags filled with toiletries, warm socks, peppermint candies and Bibles. Best also presented the SMMC Foundation with a check for $100 designated to The Cancer Center.

“God kept me here for a reason: to be an advocate for cancer survivorship,” said Best. “I am truly blessed to share this gift and to be able to come back and see all of the wonderful people who cared for me.”

After her diagnosis, Best sought treatment at the Cancer Center at SMMC and The Connie Dwyer Breast Center. While undergoing treatment, she sat on the Cancer Center’s Quality Improvement subcommittee, representing patients and offering input on process improvement. She also attended the SMMC Breast Cancer Support Group, which inspired to her to start her own support group at her church.

“Talking to someone who has been through this before makes it easier to relate,” said Best of her support group. “We’re seeing more and more people find the strength to reach out and be proactive in getting the help they need.”

In the future, Best says she plans to continue speaking to those who are undergoing cancer treatment and share her experience, faith and experience of survivorship.

To see more photos from Best’s visit to SMMC, visit www.facebook.com/SaintMichaelsMedicalCenter. To learn more about The Cancer Center at SMMC or The Connie Dwyer Breast Center, visit www.smmcnj.org or call 973-877-5000.

Third Wave Café marks grand opening


Third Wave Café, 525 Riverside Ave., Lyndhurst (near King’s Court), celebrated its grand opening on June 28, with Mayor Robert Giangeruso performing the ribbon cutting. Open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Third Wave Café’s menu includes savory and sweet crepes, paninis, organic coffee and teas and fresh squeezed juices. Third Wave Café offers a curbside pick-up service. Patrons may call in advance and pick-up their orders curbside and have it delivered to their car. For more information, call Third Wave Café at 201-528- 8163.


Ready to handle dental emergency?

Little Johnny comes running in from the backyard, his brand-new permanent tooth in his hand. What do you do? Your husband arrives home early from his baseball game, with only a swollen face and a broken tooth to show for his sporting efforts. How do you cope?

You awaken early one morning with a nagging pain that can only signal a toothache – and it promises to get worse as the day goes on. You are planning to leave on vacation soon. Yipes!

Most of us recognize the importance of knowing some first aid procedures for emergency situations. Yet dental emergencies are frequently overlooked, perhaps because they are generally not life-threatening. Of course, that doesn’t make them any less painful, a fact acknowledged by the doctors of The Smile and Implant Center, 837 Kearny Ave. Many people don’t realize that, in each of these dental emergencies, there are simple but effective steps to take which can minimize both the discomfort involved and the chance of lasting damage. And as you might expect, the first step in any dental emergency is not to panic. Try to react as calmly as possible, especially if you’re dealing with a child who may already be frightened.

Each of the emergencies given above requires a specific approach. With little Johnny, for example, speed is essential. If the tooth is dirty, it’s okay to rinse it gently, but don’t scrub it. Try to place the tooth in its socket and hold it there. If that’s not possible, place it in a container of milk or cool water. Go to your dentist right away, preferably within 30 minutes. If you’re quick, there’s a good chance it can be re-implanted. A similar approach is needed when a tooth is broken. Use warm water to gently clean the injured area, and go to the dentist immediately. In addition, cold compresses may be useful to reduce swelling.

Finally, there’s the ominous toothache. It may help to keep irritants away from the tooth. Rinse with warm water, and use dental floss to remove any food trapped in the area. Do not use heat; cold compresses on the outside of the cheek may reduce swelling. And never place aspirin on or near the aching tooth, as some folk remedies suggest. That does much more harm than good. Again, see your dentist as soon as possible.

The Smile and Implant Center in Kearny welcomes new patients on an emergency basis or otherwise. Emergency patients are seen the same day. For more information or a complimentary consultation, call 201-991-1055 or visit their website at www.TheSmileandImplantCenter.com to learn more about The Smile and Implant Center and the unique services they offer to their patients.


Bret Allan Shugrue 

Bret Allan Shugrue, 54, of Honesdale, Pa., formerly of Kearny and Florida, died unexpectedly June 21 at his home. Born Sept. 15, 1959, in Newark, Bret was the son of the late William and Florence Marie Beck Shugrue. A hard worker, Bret held many jobs over the years. While living in Florida, he was a foreman at a Walmart warehouse. He enjoyed motorcycles and riding his motorcycle. Bret also enjoyed boxing and watching it on television.

Surviving are his sons Bret Shugrue of Denver, Col., and Brad Shugrue of North Arlington; his brother Willliam Shugrue Jr. and girlfriend Barbara of Kearny; his aunt Genevieve Hyl of Spotswood; nieces and nephews Laura Kirst of Manalapan, William R. Shugrue of Beckett, Mass., Christa Toro of Sherman Oaks, Calif., Kelly Richie of Maple Shade and Bryan Shugrue of Kearny.

Private cremation services were held at the convenience of his family. Arrangements were by Hessling Funeral Home, Inc., Honesdale, Pa.

‘Jersey Fresh’ back in town


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 


The Kearny Farmers’ Market, sponsored by the Kearny Urban Enterprise Zone program, made its return appearance last Thursday, June 19, with several of the familiar vendors but with one new wrinkle … a new location.

Now the vendors are setting up their booths on Garfield Ave., between Kearny Ave. and Chestnut St., on the north side of the Kearny Public Library. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

On June 10, the mayor and Town Council introduced an ordinance prohibiting parking on both sides of Garfield, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., through Oct. 31, when the market season ends. Read more »

Will Doran accept big pay cut?


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent


Will he go or will he stay? That’s what the Harrison Board of Education is wondering about Schools Superintendent James Doran, as he faces a June 30 deadline, when his contract with the district runs out.

Last Wednesday night, the BOE noted that it had “completed and accepted the evaluation of the Superintendent” (he passed) but took no action on renewing his contract.

When asked about Doran’s status, Michael Pichowicz, assistant school business administrator, said: “We’re still in negotiations.”

BOE President Maria J. Vila said the matter was scheduled for discussion at the June 25 board meeting. Read more »

Feds target laser threat to planes

By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent 

You can call it a limited-time offer, but it’s being offered by the federal government, not a car dealership or mortgage company.

Until Aug. 31, the FBI is offering up to $10,000 “for information that leads to the arrest of any individual who aims a laser at aircraft.”

The reward, announced earlier this month, is part of a national effort to raise public awareness and to stop what has become an “dramatically” increasing danger, not only to pilots and passengers, but also people on the ground.

Many of our Observer towns are directly under the flight path for Newark Liberty Airport. At any given time, you can look skyward and see an aircraft coming in for a landing or on its outbound route. It’s more than a little frightening to realize that someone with a handheld laser could temporarily blind a pilot. Read more »

New school borders set

2014-06-26 13_58_01-540 Kearny Ave - Google Maps

By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 


The Kearny Board of Education voted June 16 to set in motion plans to send all seventh- and eighth-graders to a redesigned Lincoln Middle School by affirming new elementary school boundary lines for the 2014-2015 school year, taking effect in September.

And the board also cleared the way for Acting Schools Superintendent Patricia Blood to oversee implementing the plans by granting a 3-month extension through Sept. 30, pending approval by the executive county superintendent of schools, and by extending her contract through Dec. 31.

To help facilitate the district- wide elementary school reconfiguration, the board has approved the transfers of dozens of teachers, which, Kearny Education Association head Marcy Fisher estimates, will total about 120 – out of some 5 00 teachers that the KEA represents district-wide.

The Observer has asked Blood for the total number of students involved in the re-shaping of the district’s five remaining elementary schools (Lincoln now excluded) but, so far, the acting superintendent – who says she has spent many hours going over student movements from school to school with a consulting demographer – has yet to sort out a definitive answer. Read more »

Superstorm Sandy aid available


Hudson County Long Term Recovery Committee (HCLTRC) has been set up after Superstorm Sandy to support and coordinate the area’s longterm recovery effort. It is a voluntary association of members representing many nonprofit agencies, faith-based groups and social service organizations; participants also include community advocates, relief groups and government partners.

HCLTRC assists residents of and organizations operating in Hudson County to recover from the effects of disasters, with particular attention to the needs of low-income and disabled residents and economically disadvantaged communities.

Hudson County residents who were affected by Sandy are eligible for HCLTRC’s services. They can help residents with finding out about resources, giving advice on dealing with damage, help with home repairs, and providing goods and financial assistance. Services are provided on a case-by-case basis and may vary depending on residents’ needs and the resources that are available.

Residents who are recovering from Sandy damage and are in need of additional assistance are encouraged to call 211 or 1-800-435-7555 to speak with someone regarding Sandy-related assistance