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Category: News

Decastro picked


By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 


It’s all over but the swearing in – which was scheduled to happen at the next meeting of the mayor and Town Council on Tuesday, Feb. 24.

Marytrine DeCastro was to be installed as the newest member of the governing body, filling the seat formerly occupied by First Ward Councilwoman Alexa Arce, who resigned Jan. 5 with three years remaining in her four-year term.

DeCastro emerged as the uncontested winner following a closed ballot vote by members of the Kearny Democratic County Committee last Tuesday at the Frobisher American Legion post, according to committee chairman Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos. Sonia Hill and Jenny Mach were also up for the job.

County committee members last month submitted the names of all three candidates, from which the Town Council was to appoint one. But, after the council failed to reach a consensus at its Feb. 2 meeting, the selection – as determined by Town Counsel Greg Castano – was tossed back to the county committee.

Of the 59 committee members (there’s one vacancy), 43 participated in the voting, after each of the nominees was given an opportunity to introduce themselves and field questions, Santos said.

Only a simple majority was required of the victor and, according to Santos, DeCastro easily outdistanced her competitors.

Hoping to capitalize on their willingness to be put forward for civic duty to the town, Santos said Mach, a Tenafly middle school physical science teacher, and Hill, a state-certified patient access representative for St. Barnabas Hospital, were offered positions on the Kearny Library Board and Kearny Planning Board, respectively. As of last week, they were still considering the offers, he said.

DeCastro currently serves on the Kearny Board of Health and Santos said that the town was researching whether she could continue doing that while sitting as a member of the Town Council. Her term on the Board of Health runs through Dec. 31, 2015.

DeCastro will serve on the council through the November general election, at which point she said she plans to seek election in hopes of keeping her First Ward seat by filling out the remaining two years of Arce’s unexpired term.

A registed nurse and the single parent of two children, DeCastro has served on the town’s Beautification and Environment Committee and Juvenile Conference Committee. Her sister, Lyla DeCastro Lawdanski, is a part-time mayoral aide.

Asked if she was surprised by the county committee vote results, DeCastro said: “Very much so,” adding that both Mach and Hill “are fantastic and I am looking forward to working with them, my First Ward council colleague Albino Cardoso and the other council members.”

She added that she was grateful for “the opportunity to represent my First Ward constituents” and to “offer my dedication – along with the rest of the council – to promoting the Kearny community and to seeing local businesses thrive.”

Among the projects affecting members of the First Ward she plans to monitor is the planned upgrade of Pettigrew Playground at Highland and Woodland Aves. which is due to be put out to bid later this year.

“It’s been recommended that the age range for that playground’s use be expanded from 2 to 5, to 2 to 12,” De- Castro said, “and there will be another public meeting coming up to hear community suggestions on the types of play facilities that might be appropriate. There’s been one recommendation made, for example, for a rock climbing wall.”

Councilman Cardoso said he, too, looked forward to working with his new First Ward partner. “I think we will make a good team,” he said, “and I would have been very honored to serve with any of the three nominees.” Council President Carol Jean Doyle, who said she’s gotten to know DeCastro and her family members from their having worked on prior political campaigns, recalled that DeCastro was asked to consider running for Town Council 10 years ago, “but at the time she was the parent of two young children and she was going to nursing school,” so that never happened.

“Now, I’m happy to say, she’s ready,” Doyle said. “But the other two ladies were great candidates, too, and I hope they’ll accept the offer to serve on our boards because we need people who are interested in the future of Kearny and we’re lucky to have them.”

Gov.’s veto leaves UEZ up the creek


By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 


Farewell, Farmers’ Market? No more Doggie Halloween Pawrade?

Maybe sooner than you think.

Kearny’s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program, which sponsors those events, has been left on life support, now that Gov. Chris Christie has squelched a legislative proposal to revive its funding.

Kearny is the only community in The Observer’s coverage area which has a UEZ, of which there are 32 around the state.

Businesses in designated UEZ zones continue to offer a 3.5% sales tax (discounted from 7%) to their customers and are still eligible for low interest loans for tax-free capital improvements or equipment purchases but some four years ago, Christie froze the return of the sales tax balance to UEZ municipalities.

From that point on, those municipalities could no longer tap that revenue flow to facilitate improvements or services designed to benefit the local business district.

Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Secaucus) sponsored a bill (A3952) which would have restored 30% of the sales tax to a UEZ assistance fund for municipal use but Christie vetoed it, preferring to deposit the entire tax revenues – projected to reach $287 million by 2018 – into the state budget.

“We’re disappointed,” Mayor Alberto Santos said. “Kearny’s UEZ program will be running out of funds and this will have an impact on future business investment and job creation.”

The UEZ concept came about in 1983 under legislation signed by Republican Gov. Thomas Kean to help offset the impact of many mom and pop businesses in urban communities being supplanted by suburban malls.

Three years later, Kearny formed its UEZ with the aim of reviving the Kearny Ave. business district and other outlying commercial areas and Town Council President Carol Jean Doyle credited local UEZ Director John Peneda with “parlaying our UEZ receipts to best use” to keep small businesses afloat.

“Now you see some empty store sites along Kearny Ave. but John Peneda has worked hard to get people to shop locally at a time when we need it the most,” said Doyle.

And while Kearny’s UEZ – like its counterparts around the state – can no longer rely on annual replenishments of its fund, the program has been functioning – on a more limited basis – with accumulated reserves of about $1.8 million. Today, there are 160 local businesses registered in the UEZ.

For 2015, the UEZ board, with consent from the town’s governing body, had budgeted $137,000 – money left over from its project fund account for the lion’s share (the town paid the rest) of three walking cops for Kearny Ave. and a sweeper and driver to clean Kearny Ave.

However, the actual costs came to about $160,000 for the cops plus $96,000 for the clean sweep for a total of about $256,000, putting the account about $119,000 in the hole, Peneda said. “That meant, for the first time, we had to dip into our reserves.”

“If no new funding comes in [via state legislation],” Peneda said, “we may have to put the brakes on these projects or cut back in some way, like reducing the number of cops we pay for.”

As for projects that have come to be consistently associated with UEZ sponsorship, such as the Kearny calendar, Kearny magazine, the Farmers’ Market and Town-Wide Yard Sale, Peneda said those are being paid for though a separate account for town marketing programs, “for which we have about $35,000 left.”

However, he said, there is no money available at this point to pay for Christmas tree lighting and decorations and it’s likely the UEZ board will be coming before the Town Council by mid-year to request a new allocation.

Peneda said the UEZ has “close to $240,000” allocated for loans to UEZ businesses offered at an interest rate of 4.5% for capital improvements and/or equipment purchases for those businesses. “We’re still getting some money back on outstanding loans,” he said.

Back when the town’s UEZ was still receiving annual sales tax revenues, Peneda said that, “$3 million a year [in new revenues] was probably a high point for us.”

During the program’s first decade, “66% of our projects – which accounted for expenditures of $19 million – were for brick and mortar items such as the Kearny Ave. streetscape and paving and the Seller St. storm water drainage,” he said.

Without a renewal of annual funding cycles, however, eventually the well will run dry, Peneda conceded. “It all depends on what our board does. If they decide to continue full funding of our existing projects, we might last four or five years. If they cut back, maybe we’ll last seven or eight years.”

Here’s what UEZ looks like now

What are Kearny’s Designated Zone boundaries?

The Zone is approximately 1,193 acres, 1.86 sq. mi. or 20% of Kearny’s landmass.

Essentially, it consists of all, or parts of: the South Kearny Peninsula, Kearny/ Passaic/Midland/Schuyler Avenues, the Belleville Turnpike, Newark-Jersey City Turnpike (Harrison Ave.), the Sellers/O’Brien Street area, and areas east of Schuyler Ave.

Most liquor stores don’t check IDs


By Karen Zautyk 

Observer Correspondent

In 2013, the Hudson County Coalition for Drug Free Communities (HCCDFC) conducted a test at a number of liquor stores in Kearny, Harrison and East Newark to see how many would check the age identification on young customers. Most of those visited failed to do so, the coalition reported.

The results were published, along with reminders that 21 is the legal drinking age in New Jersey.

A year later, the experiment was repeated at the same stores, and several additional venues. And in 2014, the majority — 63% — of vendors visited still flunked.

Both tests were conducted on Dec. 30, the eve of New Year’s Eve — “a holiday largely associated with excessive drinking.” You would think vendors would be especially wary. That they apparently were not is disappointing.

The coalition issued the results of its December 2014 survey earlier this month, with a comparison to the earlier experiment.

In 2013, 11 stores selling liquor in West Hudson were visited, and eight failed to ask for proof of age. “At that time,” the coalition reported, “we chose a staff member in his early 20s. Though this HCCDFC member was of legal age, he had boyish features and was dressed in a college sweatshirt and sneakers. We did not try to conceal his age.” However, as a coalition spokesperson noted last year, “Based on his appearance alone, his age would be hard to determine.”

[Editor’s note: It is important to clarify that the coalition was not actually breaking the law. The purchasers in both tests were over 21.]

“Exactly a year later,” the coalition statement said, “a 22 year-old female coalition representative was chosen to purchase alcohol from local stores. She too was dressed in a college sweatshirt and her age was not concealed.

“She visited the same 11 stores from 2013 along with five new locations.


Hudson County Coalition Above and Top Photo: Some of the products purchased by the Hudson County Coalition representative.

Hudson County Coalition
Above and Top Photo: Some of the products purchased by the Hudson County Coalition representative.

“Of the 16 stores that she purchased alcohol from, 10 sold her alcohol without properly checking her identification. This amounts to nearly 63% of vendors not requesting identification before selling her alcohol.”

There was a slight improvement in compliance, 37% of the stores asking for ID, as compared with 27% in 2013. But, “it is still an alarming rate.”

As with the 2013 experiment, the coalition is not publicly naming the 2014 noncompliant liquor stores. Part of the reason: to prevent minors from learning where they might illegally obtain alcohol. But, in addition, the coalition does not want to assume law enforcement’s role.

“Informing the local police is more effective,” said Karena Malko of Hudson County’s Partners in Prevention. “The ABC [Alcoholic Beverage Control] can then speak to it directly.”

Malko noted that the coalition works with law enforcement, offering free TAMs [Techniques of Alcohol Management] training to liquor store employees.

“We are constantly running TAMs training,” she said, noting that classes have been held “in just about every municipality in the county.”

The training consists of a single 3- to 4-hour class, providing, the coalition said, “the skills and information necessary for the prevention of illegal sale of alcohol beverages to underage persons.”

There is a limit of 30 students per class, and it is first-come, first-served, Malko said. Alcoholic beverage license holders are notified by mail of upcoming sessions, and police departments also circulate flyers, she said.

Because the classes fill up fast, she urged early sign-ups when a license holder is contacted.

The coalition continues to emphasize that “supplying alcohol to minors is a serious offense that can incur infractions to liquor license holders who choose to ignore it.”

According to New Jersey’s ABC Handbook: “If there is any doubt that the purchaser is under 21 years of age, the sale should not be made. Licensees have the right to refuse a sale if they believe a purchaser is under the age of 21. A license which has four such violations (of providing alcohol to a minor) within two years presumptively will be revoked.”

The coalition says it has “prioritized underage drinking as a primary public health concern” because of a “high correlation rate of injury and social consequences, including but not limited to: binge drinking, driving while intoxicated, alcohol poisoning and high-risk behavior.”

It is urging additional and closer monitoring of liquor vendors statewide and would like to see implementation of store policies to require proof of age for anyone who appears to be under 30.

[Personal note: There is a store in North Arlington that requires anyone buying cigarettes to produce ID. Your correspondent finds this flattering. That venue has a strict age-limit policy; why can’t others enforce the law, for cigs and liquor?]

For more information about the Hudson County Coalition, visit www.hudsoncountycoalition.org.

News in brief


He is still seeking approvals to expand his residential project at Bergen and Schuyler Aves. in Kearny but in the meantime, the town’s governing body has taken the first step to grant Ed Russo a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxation) for 311-337 Bergen Ave., which is designated as part of an area in need of redevelopment.

Under the proposed 30-year PILOT agreement, Russo would pay the town an annual “service charge” starting at $179,375 (of which the town would receive $170,406 and the county the rest) and escalating over the 30 years, provide a one-time only affordable housing trust fund contribution of $125,000 and repave a section of Bergen, from Schuyler to the railroad trestle.

Town officials listed the current real estate taxes on the properties, now occupied by commercial tenants, as $57,476, of which the town’s share is $20,116.

A public hearing on an ordinance proposing the PILOT, that was introduced Feb. 10, was up for adoption Feb. 24 and the town Planning Board will continue hearing testimony on the proposed expansion project on March 4.


Canine advocates have pressed for lights and municipal staff to clean the grounds and monitor dogs’ behavior for the soon-to-come Kearny dog park in Riverbank Park but they’ll be disappointed.

But Councilwoman Carol Jean Doyle said the town can’t afford to hire any additional staff, nor does it want to illuminate the facility since municipal parks close at dusk.

These and other recommendations were made at a recent meeting called by Doyle to give the public one final chance for input on the design for the facility. Neglia Engineering is finalizing bid specifications for the project for which the town has been awarded $175,000 from the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund.

“People want the fence [around the area where unleashed dogs can run] to be higher than four feet and it will be,” Doyle said, “but we don’t want it to look like cages.”

Other park features will include two pooper scooper stations “with individual plastic bag dispensers,” one for the area to enclose smaller dogs up to 35 pounds and another for the area reserved for dogs heavier than 35 pounds, plus trash cans, Doyle said.

“There will be a concrete path to accommodate wheelchairs and two parking spaces dedicated to impaired drivers,” she said. “There are also plans to plant about six more trees.”

“Shovels should be in the ground by the spring,” Doyle predicted.


After six days of hearings spread over five months, the Nutley Zoning Board of Adjustment has finally approved plans for a mixed-use development at the intersection of Passaic and Kingsland Aves. and Kingsland St. where a 7-Eleven was to be built before plans fell through.

Last month, after the applicant twice scaled back his design, the board issued approvals for North American Eagle Construction to tear down a fire-damaged 3-family house, an old gas station and a one-family home in disrepair and build a 3-story structure with 600 square feet of ground-level office space and 25 rental apartments above.

Final plans call for three one-bedroom apartments on the ground/plaza level, 14 one-bedroom units on the second floor and eight one-bedrooms on the third floor. No more than three school-age children are projected to be among the residents. Apartments will range from 660 to 1,130 square feet each. A total of 41 parking spaces – one more than required by code – will be provided.

Existing multiple driveways to and from the project site will be consolidated into one to be located more than 100 feet from the intersection and at least 16 evergreen trees and/or shrubs will be planted to cover the entire west side of the site.

New contract gives cops 3% pay hikes


Belleville’s police force, from the rookie to the chief, is the beneficiaries of a new labor contract, approved by the Township Council Feb. 10.

An ordinance amending the township police salary guide via an annual pay increase of 3%, across the board for each rank, was adopted following a public hearing.

Police Chief Joseph Rotonda said he recommended that the governing body approve the revised pay scale, given that the department had gone without any increases during the last two years of the old contract with the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association.

Ninety-five members of the department are covered by the new agreement.

Belleville Police Det. Mark Johnson, president of the PBA local, said that the membership voted 36-0 to ratify the 3-year pact at a meeting held Jan. 6. “We’re extremely happy with the new contract,” he said.

The new agreement, which provides for no new benefits or concessions to the township, takes effect Jan. 1, 2015, and runs through Dec. 31, 2017.

Under that contract, a newly hired cop who had started off earning $33,823 while undergoing training will see that pay rise to $36,990 in 2015, $38,100 in 2016 and $39,243 in 2017.

Revised salary steps applicable to anyone hired after July 1, 2007 call for first-year cop’s pay to increase, over the life of the contract, from $44,686 to $47,409; second-year, from $52,391 to $55,582; third year, from $60,096 to $63,756; fourth year, from $67,803 to $71,932; fifth year, $75,508 to $80,106; and sixth year (top step), from $87,470 to $92,796.

Sergeant’s pay will rise over the life of the contract, from $100,564 to $106,688; lieutenant, from $115,648 to $122,690; captain, from $132,995 to $141,095; deputy chief, from $152,944 to $162,258; and chief, from $160,590 to $170,370.

While labor peace between the township and its bluecoats seems assured for the next three years, there remains the matter of diminishing ranks to deal with.

“We have eight or nine officers now in the Academy but we also have at least 20 of our members eligible to go out on retirement,” Johnson noted, and more and more veteran cops around the state have been inclined to leave because of mandated increasing costs of health insurance.

How Belleville officials plan to deal with that possibility remains to be seen. In 2013, the township did promote seven officers to sergeant but it’s likely that additional gaps in the ranks will, ultimately, have to be filled.

 – Ron Leir 

Learning good habits for proper nutrition

ShopRite NAHS_web

As part of its community wellness efforts, ShopRite of Lyndhurst, an Inserra Supermarkets store, recently hosted two events for North Arlington High School students. During their first visit, in-store registered dietitian Julie Harrington took them on a guided tour of the supermarket and gave a presentation on nutrition. The second event featured a hands-on cooking class and further discussions on the importance of healthy eating.

ShopRite of Lyndhurst regularly hosts wellness events for local schools and organizations. Harrington leads each of the programs, offering easy-toimplement health and nutrition advice for individuals of all ages.

around town


Bloomfield Public Library’s Book Club, 90 Broad St., has released its program schedule for March:

  • Book Club meets March 2, 6:45 to 7:45 p.m., in the library’s study room to discuss “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury. For more information or for help in locating a copy of the book, call the reference desk at 973-566- 6200, ext. 219 or 220. Admission is free and all are welcome.
  • Mid-day Movies presents: “Broadcast News” on March 2; “Boyhood” on March 5; “The Story of GI Joe” on March 9; “Maleficent” on March 12; “Network” on March 16; “Snowpiercer” on March 19; “Good Night and Good Luck” on March 23; “Begin Again” on March 26; and “The Insider” on March 30. All films begin at 12:15 p.m. Admission is free.
  • An adult craft program is set for the second Wednesday of each month beginning March 11 at 6 p.m. Materials needed: discarded books, magazines, newspapers, paper, scissors, various scissors, various beads, decoupage glue. If you have extra supplies, feel free to bring them for the other crafters.

Through March 14, the library is accepting donations of new or lightly used prom dresses which will be distributed to young women who might otherwise not be able to afford a prom gown. Dresses can be dropped off in the main library. All sizes and styles are welcome.


Belleville Public Library, 221 Washington Ave., holds Storytimes for toddlers and preschoolers every Wednesday at 11 a.m., beginning March 11. For more information, call the library at 973-450-3434.

East Newark 

West Hudson Brave Women Fighting Breast Cancer meets the last Friday of every month, 7 to 9 p.m., at the East Newark Senior Center, 37 President St. For more information, call Emma at 201-998-6828, Rosa at 201-246-7750, Fatima at 973-485- 4236 or email emidura2@yahoo. com.


Holy Cross Church sponsors a trip to Las Vegas, April 29 to May 5. The group departs Newark Airport Wednesday, April 29, at 7:15 a.m., for a nonstop flight via United Airlines and returns Thursday, May 5, at 6:15 a.m. The group will be staying at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino. The $771 per-person cost covers air, hotel and taxes. A $250 per-person deposit is required to guarantee reservations. Call Gina at European Travel, 973-484-4023, or Joan at 973-481-2434.


The Kearny High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee is seeking candidates for induction at a dinner to be held in November. Nominees must have graduated at least five years ago.

Teams to be inducted at a dinner to be held at the Lithuanian Catholic Community Center April 17 will include the 1977 boys soccer team, 1985 boys baseball team, 1980 girls relay team, 1986 boys lightweight crew team, 1980 girls basketball team and the 1968 football team.

For information on the team dinner or on nominating individuals, contact John Millar at 201-955-5051 or Zibbie Viscuso at 201-998-5961.


A benefit dinner for Jennie Gossweiler-Renna, now in her fifth year with ovarian cancer, will be held March 28, 5 to 9 p.m., at the Amvets post hall, 323 New York Ave. The $45 admission includes dinner, dancing and support for a wonderful person. For tickets, more information, or to make a donation, call Melissa Alfano at 201-736-1584 or visit www.jenniebenefit.myevent.com.

Dress in the style of your favorite decade for “Dancing through the Decades” March 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lyndhurst firehouse, 299 Delafield Ave. Admission is $35. All proceeds go to the Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary. For tickets, call Cristy at 201-742-2411.

Adoniram Court No. 22, Order of the Amaranth, sponsors a winter auction Sunday, March 1, at the Masonic Temple, 321 Second Ave. Doors open at noon. A $5 donation is requested. For more information, call 201-955- 1555.

Lyndhurst Girls’ Association hosts a pancake breakfast on Sunday, March 22, 8 a.m. to noon, at the Senior Center, 250 Cleveland Ave. Proceeds go towards maintaining and operating Libbie Lindsay House, a meeting place for Girl Scouts and leaders in Lyndhurst. Admission is $5 and tickets may be purchased at the door.

Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave., hosts the following children’s events this month:

  • Walk in Story Times, open to grades pre-k to 2, take place every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6:40 p.m. No registration is required.
  • In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday week, children in grades pre-k to 4, are invited to create their own Lorax Wednesday, March 4, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Registration is required. To register, call the library at 201-804-2478.

New Jersey Meadowlands Commission announces the following programs:

  • The Free First-Sunday-of-the- Month Nature Walk, held in conjunction with the Bergen County Audubon Society, is set for Sunday, March 1, 10 a.m. to noon. The location of this walk has been moved from Mill Creek Marsh, Secaucus to DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst. (directions are on meadowblog.net in the left-hand column). Participants are asked to sign a standard liability release good for NJMC/ BCAS events year round. To register, contact Don Torino of the BCAS at greatauk4@gmail. com or call 201-230-4983.
  • Owls Alive, presented by Flat Rock Brook Nature Center, is set for Sunday, March 8, 2 to 3 p.m. See some of these amazing nocturnal raptors and learn about these feathered ambassadors’ behavior, physiology, adaptations and natural history.

Admission is $8; $6 for Meadowlands Environment Committee members.

Pre-registration is recommended and appreciated. To register, go to www.njmeadowlands.gov and click on “Events.”

Woman’s Club of Lyndhurst sponsors a children’s Tricky Tray for grades pre-k to 5 Saturday, March 28, at the Senior Citizen’s building on Cleveland Ave. Admission is $5. Doors open at noon and the raffle begins at 1 p.m. Lunch items will be sold. No outside food is permitted. For tickets or more information, call Janet at 201- 935-1208.

North Arlington 

American Legion Alexander Stover Post 37, 222 River Road, meets Monday, March 2, at 8 p.m. All veterans are invited. The post is accepting transfers of members of the American Legion Post 1000 who are residents of North Arlington. For more information, call 201-214- 8253.

North Arlington Seniors Inc. (Tuesday Club) sponsors a trip to Sands Casino in Pennsylvania on March 5. The group leaves at 9 a.m. from Borough Hall. Non-members are welcome. For more information, call Rose Florio at 201-991-2423. Payment is appreciated before the trip. Speak slowly and clearly when leaving your telephone number.

North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Road, announces the following:

  • Sit and Stitch Knitting and Crochet Group meets Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m.
  • Irish music performance with Clarence Ferrari begins at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 7.
  • A screening of the film “From Here to Eternity” is set for Monday, March 9, at 6 p.m.
  • A motorcycle jacket themed photography exhibit by Bobby Travieso is on display at the library until March 7. The exhibit includes photos of people of all walks of life wearing the photographer’s old leather jacket along with a brief statement about who the person is and how they came to put on the jacket. For more information, visit Travieso’s website www.hairyhand.net.

For more information, call the library at 201-955-5640.

North Arlington High School Crew announces its 2015 season kick-off party fundraiser on Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m., at the Pourhouse, 584 Ridge Road. Cost is $40 per person and includes three hours of open bar, light food and music. Bring your family and friends (age 21 and over).


Shelter Love Events hosts a comedy night fundraiser March 14 at The Old Canal Inn, 2 E. Passaic Ave., with proceeds going to help purchase items needed by Happily Efur After, a not-for-profit, no-kill, all-volunteer cat rescue and adoption group. The event features a prize raffle, 50/50 raffle, and the comedic stylings of emcee Jeff Howard, Ken Perlstein, Joe Messina, Paul Goldenberg, Mike Celona and Steve Schwarz. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Food orders and raffle ticket purchases will not be available once the show starts. Tickets are $25, which includes a $5 food voucher. Tickets purchased through Feb. 28 are discounted by $5. Tickets can be purchased at http://slecomedynight.brownpapertickets.com/.

Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Drive, announces the following programs:

  • Monday Night Book Club meets to discuss “Men We Reaped,” a memoir by Jesmyn Ward, March 2, at 7 p.m. Copies of the book and its discussion guide are available at the library. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Minecraft Club, open to ages 7 and up, meets Monday, March 2, at 3:30 p.m. Bring your own device.
  • P.J. Storytime, open to all ages, meets every Monday at 7 p.m.
  • Babygarten, open to ages 23 months and under, takes place Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Registration is required. This is open only to Nutley residents.
  • Patrons are invited to play bridge every Tuesday at 1 p.m.
  • Video Game Club for teens meets Tuesdays, March 3, 24 and 31, at 3:15 p.m.
  • Preschool Story Time, open to ages 3 to 5, takes place Wednesdays, at 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Only Nutley residents may attend. Registration is required.
  • Wednesday Afternoon Knitters meets weekly at 1 p.m. Both beginning and experienced knitters are welcome. Bring your own supplies.

Registration for these programs is not required unless otherwise noted. To register for programs or for more information, call the library at 973-667-0405.

Abducted Delaware child could be in NJ, NYC

Top: Elinor Trotta; Bottom: Michael Trotta.

Top: Elinor Trotta; Bottom: Michael Trotta.


The New Castle County, Del., police seeks your help in locating a missing child.

Elinor Trotta, a 3-year-old, 60-pound girl with brown hair, was last seen wearing a purple coat, pink pants, and “Frozen” shoes.

The New Castle County Police Department is investigating a domestic-related incident that occurred in the community of School Side Apartments in New Castle, Del. At approximately 6:48 p.m., county police responded to the 800 Block of East Basin Road on a report of a domestic-related assault. The reporting person advised that her ex-boyfriend, 39-year-old Michael Trotta, came to her residence, assaulted her and took their 3-year-old daughter.

Police are currently looking for Mr. Trotta. He is a white man, 5’8” tall, approximately 160 pounds, balding/short haircut, scruffy beard and mustache last seen wearing all black clothing. The suspect fled the scene in a 1989 gray Mazda 626 bearing Delaware registration 247457 with his 3-year-old daughter.

Police believe the child is in imminent danger and that Mr. Trotta may have fled with her to the state of New Jersey, possibly heading to New York City.

Anyone with information is asked to call 9-1-1 immediately, the New Castle County Police Department at (302) 573-2800 or visit www.nccpd.com.

Nutley police: Did you witness Centre St. robbery?

A surveillance image of a man who is alleged to have robbed a Centre St. convenience store in Nutley.

A surveillance image of a man who is alleged to have robbed a Centre St. convenience store in Nutley.


Police are seeking the public’s help locating a man they say robbed a Centre St. convenience store over the weekend.

On Sunday, Feb. 22, at 8:30 a.m., a man entered the convenience store, placed his hand into his jacket pocket and demanded money from the store clerk, police said.

He stated: “I don’t wanna hurt you.”

Police said the clerk told them no weapon was displayed, and the suspect made no threats.

The suspect is described as a white man, 18 to 25 years old, 5’3″-5’5″ tall, thin, wearing a tan jacket with a gray hooded sweatshirt under it, a dark cap with some type of symbol on it, a face mask and blue jeans with brown boots.

Police said they followed footprints in the snow to Union Ave., but didn’t locate the suspect. They continue to investigate.

Police are actively following all leads and ask that anyone with information about the incident call detectives at 973-284-4940.

NAPD sees upswing in residential burglaries

napd-shield-transparentThe North Arlington Police Department wants to ensure residents are aware that there have been a series of residential burglaries in recent weeks that had similar characteristics and asks that all necessary precautions be taken to aid in preventing further incidents.

Five burglaries have taken place in apartment building/complex facilities in the last several months.

The suspects identify units that have unlocked doors and/or windows. They have focused on ground-floor apartments with air conditioning window units in which they’ve been able to push (or pull) the unit out of the window to gain entry, or have entered through unlocked windows.

All residents are asked to identify and correct any issues that may make their residence a potential target.

Anyone with any information, or assistance needs, can contact Det. Feola with the North Arlington P.D. at 201-991-4400, ext. 139.

As always, immediately contact the police to report suspicious activity.