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Fife is easy pick for mayor

Photo courtesy Town of Harrison As his wife Linda holds the Bible, James Fife is sworn in as interim mayor by Municipal Court Judge Elizabeth McNamara.

Photo courtesy Town of Harrison
As his wife Linda holds the Bible, James Fife is sworn in as interim mayor by Municipal Court Judge Elizabeth McNamara.

 

By Ron Leir

Observer Correspondent

HARRISON –

James Fife, who taught history to a lot of Harrison High School students over the years, is now in the official Harrison history books.

Fife, who will mark his 73rd birthday on April 15, became the municipality’s interim mayor by a unanimous vote of the Town Council at a special meeting held last Monday night.

Fife takes over for former longtime Mayor Raymond McDonough who died Feb. 12 after collapsing at his Town Hall office. McDonough, 65, was starting his 20th year as the town’s chief executive.

Fife, who will serve out the balance of McDonough’s term which ends Dec. 31, told The Observer last week he plans to run in the Democratic Primary in June as the head of a ticket whose members were all aligned with McDonough.

As was required by state election law, Councilman James Doran, who chairs the county Democratic Committee of Harrison, presented the council with the names of three nominees for the open mayoral seat: Harrison Board of Education member Maria Vila, Harrison Fire Director Harold Stahl and Fife.

The council voted 8-0 to select Fife, chairman of the Harrison Redevelopment Agency and president of the Harrison Board of Education.

A statement released through Town Clerk/Town Attorney Paul Zarbetski said: “It is with mixed emotion that the Harrison Town Council announces that James A. Fife has succeeded our friend and leader, Raymond J. McDonough, as mayor of the Town of Harrison. While the council members are still in mourning and sad over the great loss of Raymond, they are also grateful to have found a replacement with impeccable credentials and unquestionable character.”

Last week, Fife tendered his resignation from the Board of Education – after seven years of service – to avoid a conflict of interest. In Harrison, members of the school board are appointed by the mayor who chairs a Board of School Estimate which certifies the school budget.

He also resigned last week from his seat on the Harrison Housing Authority but he’ll continue to serve on the HRA, as the mayoral representative. He will need to fill a vacant seat on that board.

Fife said last week he was looking into the legalities of whether he can keep his seat on the Hudson County Community College Board of Trustees which he’s occupied the past five years.

During an interview at the mayor’s office at Town Hall last Wednesday – the first he has given since taking office – Fife said he “had some prodding from Dr. [James] Doran [the councilman who is also Harrison superintendent of schools]” to allow his name to be brought before the council.

“He contacted me [on behalf of the Dems Committee] and I talked it over with my wife Linda because we like to go away weekends during the winter to Okema Mountain in Vermont,” Fife said.

In the end, Fife said, he agreed. “I felt it was almost my duty to continue Ray’s [legacy]. It had to do with continuity. Redevelopment is the biggest thing we have going on right now in Harrison. We’d like to continue the progress made to date and, from my work with the Redevelopment Agency in the last 12 years, I know all the developers.”

Staying the course, Fife said, “assures them that no one’s going to be upsetting the apple cart.”

And, on the municipal government front, Fife – who was planning to meet formally with the various department heads at some point soon – also figures to stay with the troops already on board.

“I don’t see making changes because everything’s running smoothly,” he said.

And Fife hopes to keep the same elective team in place beyond year’s end by entering the Democratic Primary in June “aligned with the county ticket.”

That would place Fife as the head of the local Dems slate, running with incumbent council mates Jesus Huaranga in the First Ward, Anselmo Millan in the Second, Laurence Bennett in the Third and Doran in the Fourth.

“I’ve spoken to the all the council members personally and told them I’m going to run in the primary,” Fife said.

Nominating petitions have yet to be filed for the primary.

Photo by Ron Leir Town Hall photo display in tribute to the late Mayor Raymond McDonough.

Photo by Ron Leir
Town Hall photo display in tribute to the late Mayor Raymond McDonough.

 

Bennett told The Observer he’s behind Fife all the way. “I’ve known him 50 years – I had him as my swimming instructor – and through his work on the Redevelopment Agency, as an educator and [school] administrator and I know he has the experience to be able to move Harrison forward and the programs that Ray started.”

Although the June campaign would mark his first bid for elective office, Fife is by no means a newcomer to the political arena. When he was head of the Harrison Education Association, Fife said he recruited teachers to work on political campaigns for the then-Mayor Frank E. Rodgers and he recalled Rodgers taking time to congratulate those workers at campaign functions held at the old Carbone’s Restaurant.

Fife grew up in Newark where he attended Hawkins St. Elementary School and East Side High School. He got a B.A. in social studies/ history from Montclair State, an M.A. in guidance from Jersey City State College and an M.A. in administration from William Paterson College.

In 1966, Fife moved to Harrison and got a teaching job the following year as a fill-in social studies teacher and, eventually, working a half-day in that slot and the balance of the day as an aquatics instructor at the high school pool.

Fife recalled that the current Council President Michael Dolaghan – the maintenance director for the Harrison Board of Education – “was in my first home room when I was teaching history.”

In 1982, he became Harrison High principal and continued in that job until his retirement 11 years later.

In Newark, the Fife family joined the old Presbyterian Church in Newark and Fife eventually saw service as a deacon, elder, clerk of the session and board of trustees. He continues to worship there.

For relaxation, Fife said he and his wife enjoy visiting their summer house in Point Pleasant Beach at the Jersey Shore.

Schuyler Ave. fire victim dies

By Karen Zautyk

Observer Correspondent

KEARNY–

A man who was severely burned in a Feb. 12 house fire at 131 Schuyler Ave. succumbed to his injuries last week at St. Barnabas Medical Center, authorities reported.

The victim, Manuel Lampon, 66, died the evening of Feb. 25 in the Burn Unit of the Livingston hospital, where he had been in critical condition after being admitted with third-degree burns.

Other than his name and age, no details about Lampon were available at press time. “It is our understanding that the family had to travel from Spain,” Kearny Fire Chief Steve Dyl said.

Lampon had been trapped in the bedroom of his basement apartment after the fire broke out about 3:30 p.m. on the 12th. Kearny firefighters had been told by another tenant of the building that someone was in the basement unit, but the victim’s exact location was not known, and they had to search the premises, authorities said.

Heavy smoke and narrow quarters, including low ceilings, reportedly hampered the efforts to remove Lampon from the cellar. He was found unconscious in the bedroom, and as the rescuers worked to get him out of the burning structure, they began to run out of oxygen, authorities said.

According to Kearny Police Chief John Dowie, KPD Officer Chris Levchak, arriving first at the scene, had made it to the top of the basement stairs but “was beaten back by the flames and the smoke.”

Lampon was initially taken by Kearny EMS to University Hospital in Newark and was then transferred to St. Barnabas, which has a specialized burn center.

The blaze is believed to have begun in the basement, but the exact cause is under investigation.

No other injuries were reported.

3-alarm blaze on Dukes St.

Fire_web1

Fire_web1 Fire_web2

Photos courtesy Andrew Taylor KFD at Dukes St. fi re scene where pet pup was rescued and revived.

Photos courtesy Andrew Taylor
KFD at Dukes St. fire scene where pet pup was rescued and revived.

 

By Karen Zautyk

Observer Correspondent

KEARNY –

Seven persons were displaced last week when a three-alarm fire left their Dukes St. home uninhabitable, authorities reported. As of press time, the exact cause of the blaze was still under investigation.

Kearny Fire Chief Steve Dyl said the first alarm was called in at 5:37 p.m., Monday, Feb. 24, at a two-family, 2.5-story home at 58 Dukes St. In addition to the firstand second-floor apartments, Dyl said, there was another apartment in the basement.

The blaze is believed to have started in a first-floor bedroom. A woman resident of that apartment suffered smoke inhalation, was transported to Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, was treated and released.

The woman and the other six occupants of the home managed to escape without assistance, Dyl said, and were relocated with family members and friends.

There was severe damage to the entire wood-frame structure, but firefighters managed to contain the flames before they could engulf the house next door at 60 Dukes St. That second home, separated from the other only by a narrow alleyway, had some damage to the siding and roof, but this was said to be minor.

“The guys did a tremendous job of keeping the fire to one building,” Dyl said. This, despite hazardous icing conditions on the sidewalk and street.

All Kearny FD units responded to the scene along with the Harrison, Jersey City, North Arlington, East Newark and Belleville Fire Departments. North Hudson covered the town.

One Jersey City fireman reportedly suffered minor injuries when he fell down the stairs. He was treated at Jersey City Medical Center.

The fire was declared under control at 6:39 p.m., but KFD members remained at the scene for more than 20 hours as they attempted to determine the cause. The Division of Fire Safety is pursuing that investigation.

Although the human residents escaped the blaze, a cat and a dog did perish. However, thanks to the efforts of Kearny Firefighter Jed Schappert, another pet dog was saved.

Schappert found the canine, unresponsive and lying on its back, on a stairway to the top floor. He removed it from the smoke-filled home, placed it on the bumper of Engine 1, covered its snout with his oxygen mask and revived the pup.

Intn’l carjacking ring is busted

Photo courtesy NJ Attorney General James Hemphill

Photo courtesy NJ Attorney General
James Hemphill

 

A10-month multi-agency investigation culminated Thursday in the arrests of 23 New Jersey men in connection with an international carjacking ring, one of whose alleged leaders is a Belleville resident, authorities reported.

At a press conference, state Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman noted that the complex criminal enterprise specialized in the theft of luxury vehicles, primarily SUVs, that were then shipped to West Africa, where they could be sold at prices above their U.S. new market value.

Of those arrested in “Operation Jacked,” seven were labeled as the ringleaders, including 41-yearold James Hemphill of Belleville. The other six alleged leaders are from Newark, Irvington and Roselle.

The rest of the suspects hail from Montclair, Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Union, Newark, Rahway and Tuckerton.

The thieves and traffickers reportedly were operating for more than a year in multiple counties in New Jersey, targeting high-end vehicles: Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Honda, Porsche, Jaguar and Aston Martin.

Approximately 160 of the stolen cars, worth more than $8 million, were recovered by law enforcement in last week’s takedown. Of the total, 140 were found at ports in New York and New Jersey, including Port Newark.

Before being transported to the docks, the vehicles were loaded into shipping containers bearing false bills of lading that misrepresented the containers’ contents, authorities said.

A statement by Hoffman’s office noted that “theft crews” used various methods, including carjacking, to steal the vehicles, but always with the goal of obtaining the keys or key fobs, which were critical to the resale value.

According to the statement, the carjackers would often bump the victim’s vehicle from behind. When the targeted driver stopped, the carjackers would take the key by force or threat or, if the key were still inside, simply jump into the vehicle and drive off.

Thefts also occurred at carwashes, airports, car dealerships and at parking garages, where thieves would hold up valets to get keys and vehicles or grab keys from valet boxes.

Ring members also would search neighborhoods for unlocked high-end cars with the key fob in the glove box. In other cases, they would obtain cars through fraud, using bad checks to buy the vehicles.

After vehicles were stolen, authorities said, the theft crew typically would store or “cool off” the cars at various locations — including hospital parking garages, long-term parking garages, residential backyards, warehouses and private garages — to make sure they were not equipped with tracking devices.

While some of the vehicles were sold domestically, including in New Jersey, most were shipped overseas, Hoffman’s office said.

The 23 suspects arrested Thursday face charges including racketeering, carjacking and money laundering. Six other alleged ring members were being sought as fugitives.

Operation Jacked was led by the N.J. Division of Criminal Justice and the N.J. State Police, assisted by Port Authority Police, ICE Homeland Security Investigations and 12 other agencies, including the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office.

– Karen Zautyk

New hires just a drop in the bucket

By Ron Leir

Observer Correspondent

KEARNY –

Three more firefighters will be added to the rolls of the Kearny Fire Department later this year – assuming they make it through their training.

But it still won’t be enough to make a real difference to allow the town’s Bravest to reach optimum strength, conceded Mayor Alberto Santos and Fire Chief Steve Dyl.

And Santos said that unless Kearny hits the federal lottery, so to speak, by getting its application for SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response) grant money to hire 15 more firefighters approved, the town doesn’t have the money to hire more personnel for at least the balance of 2014.

Meanwhile, Santos said the town is doing what it can to maintain a survival level of fire protection for its residents and businesses.

The three new men puts the total of able-bodied fire personnel, from the rawest recruit up through the chief, at 87 – far below the 102 that the department’s Table of Organization calls for.

On Feb. 25, the Kearny Town Council authorized the hiring of James Burgos, Kenneth Immersi and Mark Isabella as firefighters, effective March 3, at a starting rate of pay for fire trainees at $33,000 a year.

Chief Dyl said that the town had authorized hiring up to four firefighters last year but fiscal restraints limited the department to putting only one – Sean Brady – on its roster. The “balance due” is now being satisfied with the additional three men, he said.

Brady recently passed his mandated Fire Academy training and he’ll be considered a full-fledged firefighter as soon as he completes EMT training at Kearny Fire Headquarters, Dyl said.

Burgos, Immersi and Isabella are in the process of two weeks in-house orientation and they are scheduled to begin four months of training at the Essex County Fire Academy on March 17, Dyl said.

If all goes well, they should be ready to hit the streets by July, he said.

“We’re still waiting to hear about our SAFER application,” Dyl said. “We need that money desperately. In the meantime, the new guys are a nice shot in the arm and we’re glad we’re going in the right direction.”

Santos said he’s spoken with Rep. Bill Pascrell, who represents the Ninth Congressional District, which includes Kearny, to ask him to track the town’s SAFER application.

The absence of clearly defined grant award cycles complicates the process of calculating how the town may fare in the federal application review protocol, Santos said.

Personnel levels in the Fire Department could be impacted soon, Dyl said, if veterans in the ranks start putting in pension applications.

As of October 2014, according to departmental records, 19 employees will be eligible for retirement; another 10 could put in their papers in 2015 and eight more could follow in 2016, Dyl said. Cumulatively, that’s more than 40% of the department.

According to Dyl, the town last bolstered the ranks when it hired three firefighters in 2010. After one of them quit, he was replaced by another hiree in 2011, Dyl said.

Asked for background on the latest round of hiring, Dyl offered some details:

Burgos, 28, a Newark resident, has worked for Bank of New York since 2007, mostly recently as a section manager. After graduating from Queen of Peace High School, North Arlington, Burgos enrolled at Caldwell College where he earned an undergraduate degree in business.

Immersi, 31, grew up in Bloomfield where he graduated from Bloomfield High School. After apprenticing under the District Council of Ironworkers, he began working for Ironworkers Local 11 of Bloomfield in 2002. He’s currently living in Newark.

Isabella, 22, of Kearny, is a Kearny High School alumnus whose mother, Florence, is a Kearny school crossing guard. A U.S. Marine Reservist, Isabella has worked for Sanzari Construction of Hackensack since 2011. He has taken courses at Kean University.

KPD: DWI nets robbery suspect

A Kearny man sought as the suspect in two strong-arm robberies last week — one in Kearny, one in Harrison — did law enforcement a favor by cutting short their hunt for him. That same day, he ended up in custody, getting himself arrested for drunk driving in Montclair, police reported.

KPD Chief John Dowie said the first robbery occurred at 6:30 a.m., Feb. 23, at a gas station at Kearny and Linden Aves.

A man driving a white SUV with Pennsylvania plates engaged the station attendant in conversation and then requested change. When the attendant produced a roll of bills, the customer allegedly attempted to grab it, and a tug-of-war ensued.

The robber managed to get a portion of it, less than $100, and drove off, heading south on Kearny Ave., Dowie said.

Officer Adriano Marques, Sgt. Michael Cardella and Det. John Plaugic responded to the scene, and Plaugic learned that, a short time after the Kearny crime, a Harrison service station was robbed — reportedly by a man driving a white SUV with Pennsylvania plates.

After further investigation, Det. Michael Gonzalez developed as a suspect 44-year-old Kearny resident Anthony Froilan, who had previously been arrested for similar crimes in New York and an armed robbery in Phoenix, Dowie said.

Police launched a search for Froilan, who turned up hours later in cuffs in Montclair on a DWI charge.

Froilan was charged with the Kearny crime and was lodged in the Essex County Jail.

Other recent reports on the KPD blotter included the following: 

Feb. 20

At 9 p.m., Vice detectives had under surveillance two males who appeared to be sharing a marijuana cigar in the area of Johnston and Kearny Aves. After confirming their suspicions, police said, the officers arrested

Kearny residents Efrain Ortiz, 39, and 19-year-old Diosdaldo Reyes, identified as Ortiz’ son. Both were charge with possession and use of a CDS and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Feb. 23

Officer Chris Medina responded to a 2 a.m. report of an individual who appeared to be defacing a car in the area of Schuyler and Arlington Aves. Officer Michael Santucci interviewed the witness, who provided a description of the suspect, and Medina found a man fitting that description on Ivy St. Police said 55-year-old Carlos Sequeira of Kearny, who apparently harbored some resentment against its owner, admitted to damaging the vehicle, a 2013 Mazda that had been “keyed.” Sequeira was charged with criminal mischief.

Feb. 25

At 4 p.m., Office Jay Ward arrested Natalie Rogers, 42, of Kearny near ShopRite on warrants from Kearny and Newark. Police said the Kearny warrant stemmed from a 2012 theft of “a substantial amount” of tools from a local business. Her new bail was set at $2,500.

The Vice Unit took into custody Samuel Cantarinhas, 26, of Kearny at Kearny Ave. and Liberty St. at 9 p.m. after observing him examining what appeared to be marijuana and confirming their suspicions, police said.

He was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia.

Dets. Scott Traynor and Ray Lopez went to a Maple St. residence at 11:30 p.m. to arrest Vanessa Pagan, 32, of Kearny on an outstanding warrant related to a June 2013 burglary. While at the apartment, the detectives reportedly observed, in plain view, two vials of suspected cocaine and a glassine fold of suspected heroin, labeled Top Gun.” Pagan was arrested on the warrant and drug-possession charges and was remanded to the Hudson County Jail.

Feb. 27

Vice detectives were on patrol on the 500 block of Belgrove Drive at 4:45 p.m. when they reportedly observed 36-year-old Ricardo Santos of Newark, described as a “known drug offender,” enter onto the porch of a private home and peer in the window. Santos then helped himself to a package on the porch, walked around the corner to Oakwood Ave., opened the box and began to remove the contents, police said.

The detectives approached him and determined that the name on the package was not Santos’, and a search pursuant to arrest found him to be in possession of a hypodermic needle and a bag of suspected marijuana, police said.

Santos was charged with theft, criminal trespass, peering into a dwelling (we are assured that is a specific wording of the offense) and possession of the needle, pot and paraphernalia. Police said he was also wanted on a Newark warrant.

The Belgrove Drive homeowner was contacted and confirmed the package was hers. It contained costume jewelry.

–Karen Zautyk

5 years for Belleville hit-run death

A Nutley man who pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in a 2011 hit-and-run death of a Belleville pedestrian was sentenced Friday in Union County Superior Court to a five-year prison term. Under the plea agreement reached last month, Luis Cruz, 44, will be eligible for parole after serving slightly more than four years, authorities said.

The victim, Jodi DeSoto, 48, of Belleville, was stuck and killed the night of Sept. 17, 2011, as she crossed Belleville Ave. near Rhode Place.

Cruz fled the scene, leaving DeSoto in the street.

Police said she had been thrown more than 60 feet by the impact. She was pronounced dead at Clara Maass Medical Center.

Cruz was arrested a week later following an investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Homicide Task Force. According to published reports, investigators calculated he had been travelling about 45 mph in the 25-mph zone.

DeSoto was the widow of Essex County Superior Court Judge Hector DeSoto and had worked as a court services supervisor for Essex County. Because of those connections, Cruz’ case was transferred to Union County.

– Karen Zautyk

Logged in the Lyndhurst Police blotter

Feb. 21

Police responded to a report of a motor vehicle accident, at 11:38 p.m., on Orient Way near Valley Brook Ave., where the driver of a 1997 Acura had allegedly struck a 2013 Honda and 2005 BMW while they were parked on Orient Ave. Police said they found the driver, Joanna Santos, 36, of Lyndhurst, at the scene, standing outside her car. After she was charged with DWI and careless driving, Santos was released to a responsible party, police said. The Acura and Honda were towed away.

Feb. 23

At 8:43 p.m., police said they stopped a motor vehicle traveling on Rutherford Ave. after determining the vehicle had an expired registration. Police also charged the driver, Raymond Sokoloff, 27, of Pompton Plains, with possession of suspected marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia (baggies).

While on patrol in Bergen County Park, at 8:52 p.m., police said they came upon a parked, unoccupied 2003 Nissan in the parking lot with its windows down and detected an odor of suspected marijuana from inside the car. Police said they found three individuals nearby in the park and charged one, Al-Fahtir Anthony, 18, of Nutley, with possession of drug paraphernalia (a grinder). The other two were not charged, police said.

Feb. 25

A report of a burglary to a garage brought police to a residence in the 800 block of Pennsylvania Ave., at 4:53 p.m. Police said the resident reported that a snow blower and power washer had been removed from the garage which is attached to the house. Police said they found no sign of forced entry.

Feb. 26

Police responded to 68 Summit Ave., at 8:11 a.m., on a report of theft from a motor vehicle. The owner of a 2009 Toyota parked in a residential driveway told police they found the front driver’s side door open, the interior contents strewn about and an Exxon Mobil credit card missing. Police said the vehicle wasn’t locked.

At 7:05 p.m., police were called to the 200 block of Park Ave. on a report that a vehicle had struck a parked car and left the scene. Police said that, because of the damage sustained by the traveling vehicle, a 2001 Chevrolet pickup, they were able to follow the marks left by a dangling truck part in the road to the 300 block of Watson Ave. where they arrested the driver, Michael Martin, 50, of Ringwood, on charges of DWI, careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. The pickup was towed from the scene, police said.

–Ron Leir

Around Town

Bloomfield

Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., announces:

• A blood drive is being held March 4 from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

• The Sankofa Genealogy group meets March 15 at 2 p.m. and the third Saturday of every month.

• An Immigration seminar hosted by Bloomfield resident and immigration attorney Dennis Mulligan is slated for March 12 at 6 p.m.

• “Divorce Bootcamp” is set for March 11 at 6 p.m. Registration is required.

• Affordable Care Act enrollment assistance is offered Mondays and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Cognosante and Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m. from Health Republic of N.J.

The library screens Midday Movies on Mondays and Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. Here’s this month’s schedule: March 6 – “Captain Phillips” (PG-13) (Tom Hanks), March 10 – “42: The Jackie Robinson Story” (NR) (Harrison Ford), March 13 – “Enough Said” (PG-13) (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), March 17 – “Young Cassidy” (NR) (Rod Taylor), March 20 – “The Great Gatsby” (PG-13) (Toby Maguire), March 24 – “Man of Steel” (PG-13) (Henry Cavil), March 27 – “Admission” (PG- 13) (Tina Fey) and March 31 – “Iron Man 3” (PG-13) (Robert Downey Jr.)

Belleville

Belleville UNICO sponsors a bus ride fundraiser to the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on Sunday, March 9. A pre-paid donation of $30 is requested ($35 at the door). A continental breakfast will be served before the trip at 8 a.m. at the Disabled American Veterans Post, 612 Mill St. The bus will leave at 8:50 a.m. Call 973-759- 9259 to reserve seats (no last minute cancellations). Send checks, payable to IAOVC, to Gene Antonio, 436 Joralemon St., Belleville, N.J. 07109.

Belleville Boy Scout John Greco conducts a blood drive for his Eagle Scout project on Saturday, March 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Fewsmith Presbyterian Church, 444 Union Ave., in the church auditorium. (Use side entrance on Little St.) Refreshments and door prizes will be available for donors. Donors must be age 17 or older; 16-year-olds require consent from a parent or legal guardian.

Belleville Public Library and Information Center, 221 Washington Ave., offers these children’s programs:

• Storytime – on Wednesdays at 11 a.m., beginning March 12.

• St. Patrick’s Day celebration – crafts, games and a musical performance by the Faulkner Sisters on Saturday, March 15, at 2 p.m.

For more information, call the library at 973-450-3434 or visit www.bellepl.org.

Kearny

Literacy Volunteers-West Hudson, Inc. seeks volunteers to train as tutors for its Basic Literacy and English as a Second Language programs. An orientation session will be held Tuesday, March 11, at 7 p.m. at the Kearny Branch Library, 759 Kearny Ave. Training sessions will be held on Saturdays, March 15, 22, and 29.

It is not necessary to know a foreign language. Tutors are asked to commit to two hours per week for one year.

For more information, email lvwesthudson@verizon. net or call 201-998-3336.

Arlington Woman’s Club meets on Tuesday, March 11, at 1 p.m. at the Arlington Player’s Club, 12 Washington Pl. Irene O’Sullivan will give an Irish reading. Participants are reminded to bring cookies to fill cans for the cookie/candy project. For more information on membership, contact Membership Secretary Teddie Jablonski at 973-248-6500.

Holy Name Society and Men of St. Joseph of St. Stephen’s Church co-sponsor an Ash Wednesday fish and chips supper on March 5 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in Hedges Hall, 676 Kearny Ave. Tickets are $14 for adults and $8 for children under age 12. Catering is by the Argyle Fish and Chips Restaurant.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Kearny Branch Library, 759 Kearny Ave., with a free screening of the documentary “A Short History of Ireland” on March 13 at 7 p.m. Irishthemed refreshments will be served. For more information, contact the library at 201-998- 2666 or visit www.kearnylibrary.org.

Good Shepherd Church, 780 Kearny Ave., launches an English-speaking service on March 22 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 201-997-4369.

Lyndhurst

The Lyndhurst Public Library Children’s Room, 355 Valley Brook Ave., hosts a St. Patrick’s Day craft program for children in grades 1 to 4 on Monday, March 17, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Advance registration is required. To register, call the library at 201-804-2478.

Mary Lou Mullins’ monthly bus trip to Atlantic City is set for Sunday, March 30, to Resorts Casino. Cost is $25 (with $30 cash return). Reserve early. Call Mary Lou at 201- 933-2186 for information.

Meadowlands Environment Center educator Victoria Madden hosts a program on Albert Einstein on Tuesday, March 11, from 3 to 4 p.m., at the NJMC Science Center, 3 DeKorte Park Plaza. Admission is free. Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register, go to www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec. For more information, call 201-460-8300.

Lyndhurst Emblem Club #72 offers a $1,000 scholarship to a township resident graduating in June and planning to enter the medical or educational field. Deadline to apply is April 1. For an application, contact Pat McPherson at 201- 355-8582 or email trdmome@aol.com.

Sacred Heart Home School hosts a spring auction Tricky Tray fundraiser to benefit the school’s Margaret Engel Endowment Trust on Friday, March 14, at the school, 620 Valley Brook Ave. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 and non-refundable. Ticket includes one sheet for first level prizes, coffee, tea and dessert. For tickets, call Patty at 201-803-9580 or the school at 201-939-4277. Ticket deadline is March 9.

Harrison

A blood drive will be held at the Harrison Recreation Center gymnasium, 401 Warren St., on Wednesday, March 12, from 3 to 7 p.m. Donors must know their social security number, have signed photo ID, weigh at least 120 pounds, eat a meal and drink plenty of water one hour before donating. Parental consent forms for 16-year-olds will be available at the blood drive. For more information, call 973-676-4700, ext. 144 or email bmcentyre@bloodnj.org.

North Arlington

North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Rd., hosts Lego Club for grades 1 and up on Tuesday, March 11, at 6:30 p.m.

For adults, the library is sponsoring these programs:

• Computer Basics begins Monday, March 10, and runs through April 14. Call the library at 201-955-5640 to register. Space is limited.

• Knitting Group meets Thursday, March 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. No registration is necessary.

American Legion Alexander Stover Post 37 meets Tuesday, March 4, at 8 p.m. at the NAFD Engine Co. 2, 550 Schuyler Ave. All veterans are invited. For more information, call 201-214-8253.

North Arlington Elks, 129 Ridge Rd., hosts a fish fry on Wednesday, March 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. Price is $12 per dinner and includes fried or broiled fish or fried shrimp, French fries, clam chowder, baked clam and cole slaw. Shrimp cocktails and clams on the half shell are also available for $5 for half and $8 for a dozen. T

he Senior Harmony Club sponsors a trip to the Taj Mahal on Tuesday, March 18, and a trip to the Sands on Thursday, April 14. For reservations or information, call Florence at 201-991-3173.

North Arlington Senior Activity Center, 11 York Rd., hosts a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon on Monday, March 17. Bingo starts at 10:30 a.m., lunch is served at noon and dancing will be from 1 to 3 p.m. For more information and reservation, call 201-998-5636.

Nutley

Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Dr., announces:

• Story Time with therapy dog Rodney, open to ages 18 and under, a one-hour program that includes a discussion with Rodney’s guardian Carol Schinski, plus a craft, is set for Saturday, March 15, at 11 a.m. Registration is required for children only. Adults do not need a ticket.

Register online at the children’s room website at http://nutleypubliclibrary. org/youthservices/, or call the library at 973-667-0405, ext. 2623.

• Independent readers, ages 5 to 12, can improve their literacy skills by reading to a certified therapy dog. Registration is required. Due to space limitations, Nutley Library cardholders will receive priority registration. The program is held in the children’s room from 2 to 3:30 p.m., on the following Saturdays: March 5 and 19, April 17 and 31.

Register online at the children’s room website at http:// http://nutleypubliclibrary. org/youthservices/reading-to-dogs- nutley-public-library/, e-mail Michelle Albert at michelle.albert bccls.org, or call the library at 973-667- 0405, ext. 2623.

New doctor joins dental office

Dr. Harry Harcsztark, of The Smile and Implant Center, Kearny, has welcomed Dr. Jeffrey Poirier to his practice.

A graduate of Temple University, Philadelphia, Poirier owned and managed his own dental practice in Massachusetts for 10 years before relocating to New Jersey. “We are excited about having such a talented professional join our practice,” Harcsztark said. “I am confident his dental experience, dedication and excellent interpersonal skills will complement the quality dentistry and exceptional customer service The Smile and Implant Center has provided their patients for the last few decades.”

Anyone interested in meeting Poirier or any of the doctors of The Smile and Implant Center for a complimentary consultation or second opinion are invited to call Alexis at 201-991-1055 or e-mail alexis@thesmileandimplantcenter.com.

The Smile and Implant Center offers early, late, Saturday and select Sunday hours. It provides a variety of multi-specialty dental services including general and cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic makeovers, oral surgery, dental implants, Invisalign, Cosmetic Contouring, Zoom Teeth Whitening, Dentistry While Asleep and facial cosmetics such as Botox® and a variety of facial fillers.