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Category: News

Migraine headaches: a simple solution

Join the NJ Headache Relief Center, 312 Belleville Turnpike Suite 3B, North Arlington, for an informational seminar on migraine Friday, Sept. 5, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Boardcertified prosthodontist Board-certified prosthodontist, Dr. Richard Ekstein will explain the root cause of migraine and demonstrate how to eliminate them without drugs.

With advances in science, it is now possible to non-invasively treat migraine pain and possibly eliminate it forever in less than three months.

For more information or to register for the event, email your name and contact information to head8doctor@ gmail.com. Seating is limited, so please register early.

Around Town

Belleville

St. Peter’s Rosary Confraternity hosts its annual Communion Breakfast, Sunday, Oct. 5, after the 8:30 a.m. Mass, at the Chandelier Restaurant, 340 Franklin Ave. Tickets are $22 and will be available at the rectory.

Bloomfield 

Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., hosts a free screening of “ 9/11,” a documentary by Jules and Gedeon Naudet, on Thursday, Sept. 11, at 12:15 p.m. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, the Naudets were working on a documentary about a rookie New York firefighter and captured the only existing image of the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center. The Naudets then followed firefighters into the heart of what would be known as Ground Zero. The documentary won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special (Informational) and a Peabody.

Warning: This film contains strong language and subject matter that may not be suitable for all audiences

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. Those interested in attending are asked to contact Kathy Mc- Court Jackes at kathyjackes@ yahoo.com or 908- 303-9993; Kathy Walsh Vecchio at katvec46@ gmail.com or 973-865- 0402 or Nancy Branin Waller at nancy.waller2@verizon.net or 201-889-6229 by Sept. 25.

Kearny High School’s classes of 1954 and January 1955 host a 60th reunion luncheon on Sept. 19 at the Spring Lake Manor, Spring Lake, at noon. For information and reservations contact Phyllis Glass McCartin at 732-458-5162 or phylpmae@aol.com. Guests are welcome.

New Jersey Blood Services will conduct a blood drive at Comunidade Evangelica Vida Abundante Sede (CEVA), also known as the Abundant Life Evangelical Community Church, 151 Midland Ave., on Sept. 15, from 4:30 to 9 p.m.

Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 136 Davis Ave., begins its annual nine-week St. Jude Novena with Monsignor John J. Gilchrist Monday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. All are welcome.

Kearny UNICO hosts these events:

• The first membership meeting is set for Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7:30 p.m. If interested in attending or learning more about Kearny UNICO, please contact Chapter President Lou Pandolfi at 201-368- 2409.

• A bus trip to Caesars in Atlantic City departs Sunday, Sept. 14, from the parking lot of Kearny Federal Savings, 614 Kearny Ave., at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $30, with $25 in slot credit back from the casino. For tickets or additional information, contact Lou Pandolfi at 201-368-2409 or 201-693-8504.

• “Wheels for Vic,” a fundraiser to purchase a power wheelchair for Kearny resident Victor Muniz, will be held Sunday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m., in the former Boystown gym, 499 Belgrove Drive. Tickets are $30, which includes 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 Pandolfi, 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.

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.

Trinity Church, 575 Kearny Ave., will hold a flea market Sept. 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tables are available for vendors at a cost of one for $15 and two for $25. Call the church at 201-991- 5894 to schedule your table or Annamarie at 201-998-2360 after 5:30 p.m.

Troop 2 Kearny, Boy Scouts of America, marks its 100th anniversary year of service Sept.10, at 7:30 p.m., at the Beech Street gym entrance of Lincoln School. Troop 2 invites young men ages of 11 to 15 to join. Meetings are held every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. throughout the school year.

Pathways to Independence sponsors its 13th annual Walk-a-Thon on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 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.

Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., hosts a new series of free Saturday family film matinees, which will continue once a month throughout the fall and winter. The first matinee will feature “Lego Movie” (PG) on Saturday, Sept. 13, at 11 a.m.

The library also offers the following free programs for children. Programs take place at 318 Kearny Ave., the main library, unless otherwise noted.

Preschool Art for children ages 3 to 5 will take place from 11 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Sept. 11. There will be seating space for 20 adult and child pairs; first-come, first-served.. The library will provide the art materials. Preschool Art will continue to take place on the second Thursday of each month.

School-age Art for children ages 5 and older will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 on Thursday, Sept. 11. The library will provide the art materials. Seating space will be firstcome, first-served.. School-age Art will continue to take place on the second Thursday of each month.

Relaxed Preschool Play and Story Time for age infant to 5 years will begin on Sept. 9. Classes will take place on Tuesdays from 11 to 11:45 a.m., and on Thursdays from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

At the Branch library, 759 Kearny Ave., Preschool Play and Story Time for ages infant – 5 years will take place from 10:15 to 11 a.m. on Sept. 11 and 18.

The Kearny Police Department Traffic Bureau would like to remind the residents that public schools re-open Thursday, Sept. 4.

Parents, guardians and the motoring public are reminded to obey the traffic laws around all schools.

Officers will be assigned to school areas for the enforcement of traffic laws and violators will be summonsed. In particular, the following traffic violations; double parking, parked in prohibited areas, blocking crosswalks, blocking school bus stops, dropping off children in the middle of the street, speeding, will be aggressively enforced by officers on foot, bicycle, and radio cars.

The bureau requests that parents and guardians reinforce with their children the use of intersections controlled with a crossing guard and or safety patrol boys and girls.

Lyndhurst 

Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave., hosts a presentation by speakers from LetHistoryLive.net on “The Daily Life of the Civil War Soldier” Wednesday Sept. 10, at 6:15 p.m. Space is limited and registration is necessary. To register, call or email the library at 201-804-2478.

The library hosts the following storytimes and crafts for children. No registration is required unless otherwise noted. • Walk-in Storytime: Grades pre-k to 2 are welcome for a story and coloring time every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

• Fall Storytime: Registration is open until Sept. 12 to ages 3 to 4 1/2 for a 45-minute program featuring stories, music and crafts beginning Thursday, Sept. 25. Two sessions are available at 10:30 a.m. or 1 p.m.

• Apple Craft: Grades pre-K to 3 are welcome to participate in this craft event Wednesday, Sept. 17, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Registration is required.

Kick off the NFL season by joining the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and the Bergen County Audubon Society on a free, 2-hour guided Back to Football bird walk Sunday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m. to noon, in DeKorte Park. Prizes will be awarded to the first people who see bird species with the same name as a pro football team, such as: cardinal, raven, falcon, eagle, seahawk (osprey), giant (great) egret and giant (great) blue heron. All seven team bird species can be seen in the park. Check meadowblog.net for last-minute weather updates. Participants are asked to sign a standard liability release that is good for NJMC/BCAS events throughout the year. To RSVP, contact Don Torino of the BCAS at Greatauk4@aol.com or call 201-230-4983.

Members of the community of all ages may join Meadowlands Environment Center educators on a dip netting and seining adventure at low tide to gather shrimp, fish and other marsh critters on Tuesday, Sept. 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dress for mess: There will be mud! Admission is $5/ person; $4/MEC members. Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register, go to www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec. The group will meet at NJMC Science Center, 3 DeKorte Park Plaza. For more information, call 201-460- 8300.

North Arlington 

Registration is open to meet chaplain/writer/blogger Karen Kaplan as she discusses her book “Encountering the Edge: What People Told Me Before They Died” at North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Road, Saturday, Sept. 13, at 11 a.m. Kaplan’s book will be on sale for $15. Call 201-955- 5640, ext. 126, to register or for additional information.

The library also announces these programs for adults:

• Resume Writing is offered on Mondays, Sept. 8 and 22 and Oct. 6 and 20, from 6 to 7 p.m. Call 201-955-5640 to register for this series of courses; space is limited.

• ESL Group Class is held on Tuesdays at 10 a.m., beginning Sept. 9. Visit the library or call for more information. The library also offers the following events for children: • Story Time is offered on Wednesdays at 11:45 a.m. for ages 2 to 5.

• A special nutrition story time is set for Sept. 17 with registered dietitian Julie Harrington.

• Bed Time Story Time is featured Mondays, Sept. 15 and 29, at 6 p.m., for ages 4 to 6.

• Lego Club meets Tuesdays, Sept. 9 and 23, at 6:30 p.m., for grades 1 and up.

• Girl Scout Daisies Recruiting Event: Girls in grades k to 1 are invited to come to the library Thursday, Sept. 11, at 6:30 p.m., to learn more about Girl Scout Daisies. For more information, call 201-967-8100.

• Young Adults Movie Day for grades 6 and up is set for Friday, Sept. 12, at 3 p.m. American Legion Alexander Stover Post 37 meets on Monday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. at the VFW hall, 222 River Road. All veterans are invited. For more information, call 201-214-8253.

Century 21 Semiao & Associates thanks its clients for highest satisfaction ranking

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Century 21 Real Estate, the iconic brand with the world’s largest real estate franchise sales organization, announced that it has been ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction by the J.D. Power 2014 Home Buyer/ Seller Satisfaction StudySM, released today. Specifically, Century 21 Real Estate swept the awards by receiving the highest ranking among national real estate companies across all four customer satisfaction segments in the study, including: First-Time Home-Buyer Satisfaction, Repeat Home-Buyer Satisfaction, First-Time Home- Seller Satisfaction and Repeat Home-Seller Satisfaction.

“Century 21 sales professionals understand that real estate is about developing relationships and building trust with their customers. Customer satisfaction is at the core of everything that they do each and every day,” said Rick Davidson, president and chief executive officer, Century 21 Real Estate LLC. “Our brand reputation is earned and measured with every customer interaction, and these J.D. Power results showcase the quality of our franchise broker network and their affiliated sales professionals.”

The study, now in its seventh year, measures customer satisfaction among first-time and repeat home buyers and sellers with the nation’s largest real estate companies. Overall satisfaction is measured across four factors of the home-buying experience: agent/salesperson; real estate office; closing process; and variety of additional services. For satisfaction in the homeselling experience, the same four factors are evaluated plus a fifth factor, marketing.

“The feedback from thousands of home buyers and sellers in this study shows that the dedication and commitment of the Century 21 System to caring about the consumer, delivering excellent service and establishing trust as a differentiator in the market,” said Bev Thorne, chief marketing officer, Century 21 Real Estate LLC. “This study comes at the culmination of three years of hard work and dedication to a strategic roadmap that our brokers have embraced since 2011. By focusing on the quality of their affiliated sales professionals, they have raised the bar for customer service.”

The 2014 Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction Study includes 5,810 evaluations from 4,868 customers who bought and/or sold a home between March 2013 and April 2014. The study was fielded between March 2014 and May 2014.

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information, visit jdpower.com. J.D. Power is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Nutley police arrest suspicious man who had warrants

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During the past week, the Nutley Police Department responded to 120 calls for service, including 14 motor vehicle crashes and 38 medical calls. Among those responses were these incidents:

Aug. 23

Officers on patrol came across a man walking north on Franklin Ave. who fit a description broadcast by detectives of someone who had committed acts of criminal mischief on Aug. 15 on Franklin. The suspect was described as an African-American man with dreadlocks. Officers interviewed the man, identified as Earnest Bradley, 33, of Newark, and learned he was wanted on a warrant from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office. He was later turned over to that agency for processing. Read more »

Kearny man collared in Lyndhurst home invasion

Sieberkrob-Hershman

LYNDHURST –

A suspect in a home invasion incident in Lyndhurst has been placed under arrest, according to the Lyndhurst Police Department.

Evanalain Sieberkrob-Hershman, 24, of Kearny, has been charged in connection with the incident, which happened Friday, Aug. 29, at a Bogle Drive residence.

Police said they responded to the location, at about 4:45 p.m., on a report of a robbery and assault.

Police said an unknown man had entered the house through an unlocked rear door, grabbed a 74-year-old woman who lives there and demanded money. At that point, police said, the woman’s husband, also 74, entered the kitchen and tried to intervene but was struck in the head by the intruder. Read more »

UPDATE: Missing Nutley woman found safely in Newark

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Nutley Police have located Juilia Dellaguzzo, the 85-year-old missing woman who wandered off  yesterday.

Police say it appears she walked several miles south into Newark, and was found sitting inside a parked vehicle near her childhood home.

She appears to be in good condition, and is being treated to dinner by her family, police say.

The Nutley Police Department wishes to express thanks to all our media and publication partners for getting the word out so quickly.

Koppers developer picked

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By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

Hopes by Kearny to secure a developer for the old Koppers Coke Peninsula Redevelopment site have taken one step forward and two steps back. Kearny and Tierra Solutions, the owners of two of the three parcels in the South Kearny meadows area targeted for redevelopment, teamed with the Hudson County Improvement Authority, the third property owner, to jointly market the moribund site for new ratables in hopes of maximizing the future value of the property.

To that end, the HCIA – acting on behalf of all three – invited prospective developers to submit proposals which were eventually narrowed to a short list of two: The Morris Companies and Cleaner/Matrix.

On Aug. 13, the HCIA board of commissioners authorized its representatives to designate The Morris Companies as the prospective developer – but only for the HCIAowned Koppers site – and to proceed with negotiations for 180 days for a sale/purchase agreement.

Morris’s legal representative is Theodore A. Schwartz, a former deputy state attorney general and environmental law pioneer who is now a partner in the Lyndhurst law firm of Scarinci Hollenbeck.

HCIA Executive Director Norman Guerra said that when it came down to adding in costs to remediate the environmentally compromised 25-acre Kearny-owned former Standard Chlorine parcel and the 30-acre former Diamond Shamrock property owned by Tierra Solutions, the developer wasn’t persuaded to buy in to the concept of an all-inclusive project.

By contrast, Guerra said, the county has already invested in extensive cleaning of the HCIA property and “we’ll be raising our portion of the [redevelopment area] 13 feet above sea level in compliance with the latest FEMA flood control guidelines.”

Those improvements to be undertaken by the developer would be expected to serve as a “cap” for the property, he added.

Guerra said that Kearny representatives “did sit with [the developer] on their piece” in an effort – thus far, unsuccessful – to include the town’s property as part of the company’s overall development plan. The town may continue to press its case with the developer, he added.

As for the Tierra parcel, Guerra said that, “there was no offer for that property by any of the [prospective developers].”

If and when the HCIA and The Morris Companies can nail down a deal, Guerra said the 40-year-old company – which has offices in Rutherford and Florida – figures to build “close to 2 million square feet of big box warehousing” on 138 “buildable” acres of the Koppers site.

With additional work like “infrastructure and road access” to be undertaken by the company, Guerra figured that total build-out would “take a good six months,” once the project got off the ground.

Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos, reached on vacation, had this observation on the situation: “We’re exploring with Tierra developing our two sites together. … There is a developer interested but not from Morris. … The town doesn’t oppose the Morris designation; however, it’s in the town’s interest to explore other developer interest for the town-owned Standard Chlorine site. I think the town can achieve better financial terms that way.”

Incidentally, the mayor added, “Any matters relating to utilities or PILOTs (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) on any of the sites, including Koppers, can’t be done without the town’s agreement.”

Asked by The Observer why the HCIA elected to go with Morris over their competitor, Guerra said that while the overall “numbers from both were pretty comparable,” the rival firm’s submission proposed “phased” payments whereas with Morris, “we’d get paid up front.”

Among the completed industrial developments Morris lists on its website are: a 440,000 square foot Barnes & Noble facility, a 420,000 square foot Canon USA building and a 605,732 square foot Proctor & Gamble warehouse, all in South Brunswick; and a 733,688 square foot Wakefern building in Jamesburg.

Looming over the whole situation is a plan by NJ Transit to develop a micro-grid as a power source in the Peninsula redevelopment zone which is pending a federal funding review. And, if the agency gets its way, it’s unlikely that any new tax revenues will be generated from that use.

“If [NJ] Transit wants the property,” said Guerra, “they’re just going to have to take it through condemnation.”

School getting facelift

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By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent

 EAST NEWARK – 

As summer’s clock winds down to the start of classes for the fall term, East Newark Public School is making all kinds of preparations to welcome students and staff back in style.

Newly installed Superintendent/ Principal Patrick Martin recently ticked off a list of improvements that staff and borough workers have done to enliven the century-plus-old building.

“We’ve undergone a huge facelift,” said Martin. Among the improvements he listed were these:

* All classrooms have gotten new window shades. “Many didn’t have any to begin with,” he said.

* The school’s early childhood center, located in the borough rec center, had a new air-conditioning system and a new refrigerator installed.

* A borough maintenance crew was doing some repairs in the school’s boys’ bathroom and came across original floor tiles, Martin said, so that flooring has been restored.

* The school’s kindergarten classroom – whose wall coloring probably has remained untouched for many years – is being painted, along with a staff conference room.

* An ancient cloakroom that had been used for storage for years has been emptied and cleaned, to be converted to a small group instruction area. With all other available rooms occupied, this was seen as the best alternative for the use of this space, Martin said.

* Ninety laptops and mobile carts priced at $120,000 that were ordered months ago – but whose delivery was delayed – have finally arrived.

“These are very important,” Martin said, “because our students will be using them this school year for the new state-mandated PARCC [Partnership for Readiness of Assessment for College & Careers] testing.”

When teachers report on Sept. 2, they’ll have two days of in-service technical training so they will also get oriented to the use of the new computer equipment, Martin said.

The first round of PARCC testing is scheduled in March 2015 and the second round in May. But, to help students acclimate to the computers and to use another measurement to see whether they are achieving state benchmarks, the school will administer an in-house practice run of a PARCC-like test in November 2014 and February 2015.

If there are marked differences between scoring results on the practice tests and the PARCC tests, Martin said school staff will have some basis for making an independent assessment of the results.

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Photos by Ron Leir Superintendent/Principal Patrick Martin and staff are doing what they can to make East Newark Public School more academically successful with new laptops and more aesthetically palatable with student creations and a new coat of paint for an old kindergarten classroom.

Photos by Ron Leir
Superintendent/Principal Patrick Martin and staff are doing what they can
to make East Newark Public School more academically successful with new
laptops and more aesthetically palatable with student creations and a new
coat of paint for an old kindergarten classroom.

 

Students return for a halfsession of classes on Sept. 4 and, the next day, the fall semester swings into full session for everyone.

But before everyone gets down to the business of education, the school is throwing a welcome-back party for its 200-plus youngsters. “We’re calling it an ‘ice-cream social, ’’ Martin said. “We’ll close off N. Third St., between Davis and Central Aves., to traffic and give the students a chance to enjoy ice cream and music to kick the school year off on the right foot.”

On July 23, the East Newark Board of Education authorized a field trip for 60 students and 15 staffers to the Central Park Zoo in New York as the culminating activity for the school’s summer school program. For many of the kids, it marked the first time they’d traveled across the Hudson River, according to Martin.

For many, it was also their first exposure to a llama, goats, sheep and other animals which they were allowed to feed and pet.

Their journey to Manhattan also took them down Fifth Avenue for an up-close look at landmarks like Tiffany’s, Rockefeller Center, the New York Public Library’s main branch and Empire State Building, all of which they’d researched before the trip.

Martin said the school is hoping to expand its offering of field trips during the school year as a way of widening children’s awareness of the world outside East Newark.

As morale boosters, Martin has welcomed public displays of student art work along interior school stairwell walls and has, himself, taken a hand in not only brightening school décor but also adding to students’ cultural appreciation, by posting photos and capsule biographies of such artists as Billie Holiday and Renoir.

And he’s experimenting with subtle ways of prompting youngsters to begin thinking about future careers by hanging in hallways, at kids’ height, small mirrors with printed tags below, reading, for example, “Possible future Attorney.”

Too many birds of a feather flock to Nutley

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By Karen Zautyk 

Observer Correspondent 

NUTLEY – 

Fire hoses didn’t work. Boom-boxes didn’t work. Will “fogging” do the job? Only time will tell.

The “job” is to drive the starlings from DeMuro Park, where they reportedly have been roosting in massive numbers.

Roosting and pooping. It’s the pooping that has the township concerned.

“They’re lovely little birds,” said Nutley Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci, “but when they roost in the thousands, they create a problem.” Which is why, for several nights last week, the park was temporarily closed for “fogging,” the spraying of an “environmentally responsible” aerosol called Methyl Anthranilate.

On Aug. 11, Tucci, director of Parks & Recreation, sent out an email alert to Nutley residents explaining the situation and noting that the town had contracted with a company called the Bird Doctor Nation wide (birddoctorinc.com) to apply the aerosol at DeMuro on the evenings of Aug. 18-23.

The area treated borders Wilson St. and Van Winkle, Margaret and Bloomfield Aves., where park neighbors reportedly have had to repeatedly clean extensive guano from cars and roofs and lawns, etc. (If you’d like to see what a mess masses of starlings can create, search Google Images for “starling droppings.” You might be surprised.)

In addition to being unsightly, the starlings’ excrement can pose a health hazard, Tucci said, since the spores become airborne. Besides, he added, “the smell is unbelievable.”

According to the commissioner’s email, the EPA has classified Methyl Anthranilate “as a naturally occurring flavorant and it has been declared GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) by the FDA.”

“It’s a food-based chemical,” Tucci told The Observer, noting that it is used to flavor grape gum and candy.

The alert explained, “Methyl Anthranilate’s method for bird control is a pain stimulus in the trigeminal nerves which are found in the throats and mucus membranes of the beak and eyes.” (Tucci put it in layman’s terms: “It irritates their nasal passages.”)

“Almost all animals have these nerves,” the email noted, “yet only birds have a negative response to Methyl Anthranilate. Birds ‘feel’ Methyl Anthranilate as pain, while mammals, including humans, sense it as a grape scent.”

When an area is “fogged,” the “target birds begin to associate the pain to the site. They are trained, with multiple applications, that the site is painful and they seek a new location.”

“Until now,” the email said, “there have been few options for the control of flocks of birds that invade and contaminate a site other than killing them. This fogging method will not kill the birds, it will simply cause them to not like coming to this area anymore.”

Tucci assured your correspondent that the chemical irritates the birds, but “it doesn’t harm them.”

“I would do anything not to harm them,” he said.

The Bird Doctor “fogged” the park at dusk, when the starlings come home to roost. Tucci had described prior roostings as resembling “something out of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’.” We visited DeMuro on Sunday evening and saw some sort of feathered creatures flocking to the trees, but we could not tell if they were starlings. In any case, there did not seem to be an inordinate number. so perhaps the project has been a success. We await word.

Tucci told us that the township had previously tried to drive away the starlings with the help of the Nutley Fire Department’s hoses. Do not fret. This did not resemble riot control. “It was a gentle hosing,” the commissioner said.

“We just sprayed them with water.”

When that didn’t work, the town installed sonic boomboxes in the park, not for music, but to play the call of a predator bird. This was supposed to stress the starlings. It did not.

“We’ve called everybody” for advice, Tucci noted. Fish & Wildlife, the Audubon Society, et al. The Bird Doctor was finally contacted after a Nutleyite made that suggestion at a Township Commission meeting. Tucci said each “fogging” application was costing $895, for a total of $4,475.

By the way, according to its website, the Bird Doctor Nationwide is the “Official Pest Control Company of the N.Y. Yankees.”

Too bad it can’t control Orioles or Blue Jays. Or Red Sox.

To catch a raccoon

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By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

On an early August night, a few weeks ago, Kearny’s Julie Kelley recalls her husband Ed calling her to the window of the couple’s Morgan Place home and inviting her to look next door where the beacon from his flash light was focused.

It was there, caught in the glow from the beam, that she saw them – two raccoons straddling the space between the attic and roof of 47 Morgan Place.

After the couple snapped a photo, Kelley downloaded the image from her camera and sent it to Mayor Alberto Santos, who, in turn, forwarded it to the town’s Health Department.

“It worries me,” Julie Kelley told The Observer. “I have to live here. I don’t want raccoons in my house.”

Bill Pettigrew, a municipal public health inspector, said: “It was brought to our attention by a neighbor that a family of raccoons – a mother and two offspring – were living inside the home at 47 Morgan Place.”

That location has been well-known to the department since fall 2010 when the house was vacated and the Kelleys began to be plagued by various property issues: water spewing from a broken pipe in the basement, rats occupying a dilapidated garage, an unsafe exposed outdoor pool, backyard overgrowth, and now, animal squatters.

To deal with the prior problems, the town capped the leak, tore down the garage, filled in the pool and cut the grass, placing tax liens on the property owner’s tax bill for the cost of the work.

Photos by Ron Leir The town boarded up holes along the base of the porch and along the roof eaves of 47 Morgan Place to keep out critters and it set up traps outside the attic and in the backyard.

Photos by Ron Leir
The town boarded up holes along the base of the porch and along the roof eaves of 47 Morgan Place to keep out critters and it set up traps outside the attic and in the backyard.

 

As for the raccoons, Pettigrew figured the animals were getting in and out of the building through gaps in the roof eaves, in the front and rear of the house. So he enlisted the aid of the town’s public works crew to cover up the gaps with plywood and, with an assist from Bergen County animal control officer Bob Harris (contracted by Kearny on an as-need basis), rigged an outside trap with cat food and water along the eaves designed to allow an animal in but once inside, it could not return; it could go only one way – out.

“I also saw an opening at the base of the first floor where the siding meets the porch and we boarded that up, too,” Pettigrew said. “We also set up three traps on the grounds in the backyard.” It was in one of those traps that, soon after, “one of the offspring was caught,” he said. And, a few days after that, a skunk was found in a trap.

The Kelleys were concerned that possibly the mother raccoon and her other offspring remained inside the house, but Pettigrew told The Observer he felt that wasn’t the case.

“I put out more food inside the trap, plus food and water outside the ledge, about a foot away from the trap, as a lure, and, next day, I saw fresh claw marks on the siding and I saw that the food was gone and the water dish was tipped over on its side, so my guess is they got outside and we won’t see them inside anymore,” Pettigrew said.

“There are raccoons all over town,” he said. “It’s just nature. They even travel through the sewer system.”

And – like other animals in the wild – they may carry rabies or other diseases so it’s best to avoid contact with them, Pettigrew cautioned.