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Kearny unveils new monument


By Karen Zautyk 

Observer Correspondent 


On May 27, 1922, an estimated 25,000 people gathered in the streets around the small park where Kearny Ave. and Beech St. meet, to witness Gen. John J. Pershing personally dedicate the towering granite monument honoring the Kearny men who died in the Great War.

Pershing had been commander of the American Expeditionary Forces during the “War to End All Wars.” We all know how that turned out.

Ensuing years saw Monument Park add memorials to those who died in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. And last week, it became home to yet another, dedicated to the military victims in the War on Terrorism.

Carved from Vermont gray granite, like the original, it bears only one date: 2001. Which marks the beginning of the battle whose end no one dare predict.

Thus far, it carries only one name, that of Staff Sgt. Edward Karolasz, a Kearny soldier killed in Iraq nine years ago this week. He was just 25.

Its official dedication took place Nov. 11 during the annual Veterans Day ceremony sponsored by American Legion Post 99, with support from the VFW and Marine Corps League. Among those attending were the soldier’s mother, Krystyna Karolasz, and his sisters Kristine Lancha and Donna Kornas.

Mayor Alberto Santos, standing before the WWI pillar, noted, “Our community has assembled at this monument for the last 92 years — at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” — which was when the guns finally fell silent on the Western Front.

There was optimism then, but as Santos noted, “That optimism, that hope for peace, was shattered just a generation later.”

What followed was a century of conflicts, including the overarching Cold War. Then on Nov. 9, 1989, the world witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall — prime symbol of the Cold War. “And like before,” Santos said, “we spoke of peace, a lasting peace. But that was not to be.”

After America was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, we took up arms against terrorists and the regimes that harbor them. The new battlefields have stretched from Iraq to Aghanistan to Pakistan to Syria to the Sahara and beyond. The newest enemy to make its murderous appearance is ISIS. What will be the next cowardly extremist group seeking blood? And where will it be spawned?

Fortunately, our nation has always harbored the brave and the courageous: freedom-cherishing men and women willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in the name of that freedom.

The Nov. 11 ceremony was about them, too. The living and the dead. To each of whom we owe an eternal debt of gratitude.

How many of us pass Kearny’s Monument Park on a daily basis, and never give it a thought? Next time you drive by, you might offer a prayer, or just a simple “Thank you.”

You might even stop to take a close-up look at all the monuments.

Including the one unveiled just last week.

You will note that it bears only one name. But it has room for more.

God willing, that space will remain blank.

Nutley cops hunt driver in fatal hit-run

A photo (above) of the suspect van was released Nov. 19 by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.



Nutley police are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating the motor vehicle that struck and killed a 77-year-old woman on Centre St. on Saturday morning and fled the scene.

Chief Thomas Strumolo said the victim, Ernesta Fernandez of Nutley, had been crossing Centre near Ravine Ave. at 11:40 a.m. when she was hit.

One witness described the vehicle as an older model, dark-colored Econoline van, possibly blue or black. The driver reportedly headed west on Centre St. and made a right turn onto Franklin Ave. Fernandez was found in the street and subsequently pronounced dead at University Hospital in Newark. P

olice are asking anyone who was in the area at the time and may have witnessed the accident to call the NPD at 973-284-4940 or the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force tips line at 1-877-847- 7432 or 1-877-TIPS-4-EC .

The Essex County Sheriff’s Office Crime Stoppers Program is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest.

– Karen Zautyk

School is more than books for these kids


By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 


At Washington Middle School in Harrison, nearly 75% of the more than 400 enrolled are just as busy with school-related projects after 3 p.m. as they are during their regular day of classes.

And that’s partly by design of the school administration who made a point this fall of expanding its menu of an already busy after-school extracurricular schedule.

Principal Michael Landy extended an appreciative nod to the Board of Education, acting Superintendent Fred Confessore and his staff for being “tremendously cooperative in supporting all additional programs that we proposed.” Students’ voluntary participation in such activities are important, Landy said, because studies show that there is a positive carryover on the academic side.

“If a student has an extra reason to come to school – if they’re looking forward to being in a club or sport program – it almost always translates to a better performance in the classroom,” he said.

Mixing with other kids can also be instrumental in changing a painfully shy or introverted youngster’s personality, Landy said.

If they’re interacting consistently with a smaller group of peers all sharing a common interest, “their whole outlook is different,” the principal said. “They walk down a [school] hallway and they realize, ‘Hey, there’s my friends.’ ’’

Landy provided a list of the various student activities offered by the school, as follows: There are two after-school homework assistance programs known as Family Friendly and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program).

Family Friendly, which includes a fitness component, is funded by a state grant combined with a local match, and is designed for grades 6 to 8. It has been operating in Harrison for the past eight years and, with more than 100 kids and between 10 and 12 instructional staff participating, “it’s our biggest after-school program,” Landy said. The group meets Monday to Friday, from 3 to 5 p.m.

CHIP’s function is similar to Family Friendly but is geared specifically for special needs youngsters and meets Monday to Thursday, from 3 to 5 p.m. About 50 children are in this year’s group.

“We have an expanded Fine and Performing Arts program,” Landy said, “that includes one day of Chorus, two days of Step dancing, two days of regular dance, one day of actors workshop, one day of play writers workshop, one day of crew/public relations and one day of set design.”

Chorus, with some 30 youngsters involved, meets Wednesdays and performs holiday shows and at special events like the Winter and Spring Concerts.

Step dancing “is our version of hip hop and this year, it’s really taken off,” Landy said. The group, led by physical education/health teacher Uril Parrish, rehearses on Mondays and Thursdays and struts its stuff at different events during the school year. This Halloween eve, its members offered a special dance tribute to Michael Jackson.

Parrish also assists the regular dance team which practices their routines on Tuesdays and Fridays.

“Between the two dance groups, we have to close to 30 participating,” said Landy.

Kids in the various performance- related groups, with some overlapping, work together as a part of a drama production team, starting in the winter session, to prepare for the annual Spring Musical. They get help from music teacher Steven Fink and technology instructor Eileen Winkleblech.

There are also clubs focused on Art, School Newspaper, Yearbook, Environmental, Explorers (with fields trips to big metropolitan cities to learn more about history), Student Council, Fitness, Canstruction, Gifted & Talented and Chess, which has grown to 20 members who meet a couple of times a month to play each other.

The school’s sports program has also expanded. In the fall, it offers girls’ volleyball and soccer and boys’ soccer; in the winter, there is boys’ and girls’ basketball and swimming; and in the spring, boys’ volleyball, baseball and softball.

Choosing a meal?: Make it turkey


Does turkey show up regularly on your table? Americans are gobbling more and more of this lean bird.

U.S. turkey consumption has more than doubled since 1970, the National Turkey Federation reports. What’s more, we’re not just flocking to turkey around Thanksgiving. Year-round, we’re buying a variety of sizes, shapes, and textures of turkey.

In your grocer’s case, you’ll find whole turkeys and parts — fresh, frozen, and smoked. You’ll also see ground turkey, turkey cutlets, turkey hot dogs, turkey sausage, and turkey burgers.

A well-stocked deli offers sliced turkey a half-dozen ways, from roasted to barbecued. And how about turkey pastrami? Ground turkey can be a great, lower-fat alternative to ground beef in spaghetti sauce, chili and stews. Just be sure to choose lean ground turkey.

On the lean side 

With the current health concerns about saturated fat, people are searching for the leanest cuts of meat and/or poultry, and turkey can be lean. Also, turkey offers more iron and vitamins than most fish.

Some turkey products draw criticism for being too tough or too dry, but that’s often because of how the turkey is cooked. Turkey can dry out easily because there’s not much fat to maintain moistness.

A meat thermometer can help ensure a moist meal. The bird’s internal temperature is the true indicator of readiness: 165° F (74° C) for the breast, and 165° to 170° F (74° to 77° C) for the thigh. And when it’s done, it’s done.

Turkey talk: 

More than one-fourth of all households consume turkey deli meats at least once every 2 weeks.

A 15-pound turkey has about 70% white meat and 30% dark meat. The white meat has fewer calories and less fat.

Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the official U.S. bird and reportedly was dismayed when the bald eagle won out.

Only tom turkeys gobble. Hen turkeys make a clicking noise.

The top five most popular ways to eat leftover turkey? A sandwich; soup or stew; salad; casserole; and stir-fry.

To learn more, stop in and see in-store registered dietitian Julie Harrington at the Shop- Rite of Lyndhurst, 540 New York Ave. For information on health and wellness events contact Julie at 201- 419-9154 or Julie.harrington@ wakefern.com.

‘Tis the season for giving


The Salvation Army Corps of Greater Kearny kicked off its annual seasonal Kettle Drive last Thursday, Nov. 13, in front of Kearny Town Hall, with Mayor Alberto Santos and members of the Town Council in attendance.

Corps leaders, Capt. Sherry Moukouangala and Lt. Maurice Moukouangala, presided at the ceremony which featured the performance of traditional Christmas holiday music by Salvation Army personnel.

Lt. Mike Barney of the Plainfield Corps and Mike Hslop, bandmaster of the Greater Kearny Corps Church, both on cornet, were joined by Dean Farrar, music director of the Salvation Army in New Jersey and Lt. Moukouangala, both on the euphonium.

Lt. Moukouangala said that last year, the Greater Kearny Corps netted a total of $65,000 in its kettles stationed around its service area, which encompasses Kearny, Harrison, East Newark, North Arlington and Lyndhurst.

He said the Corps has set this year’s fundraising goal at “between $70,000 and $100,000.”

“We know that’s not easy to achieve but we do what we can and Kearny has always been supportive,” he said. “Each and every dollar counts because the need is very big.”

Money collected goes for emergency food supplies, rent subsidies and clothing where most needed, Lt. Moukouangala said. “There are many families out there who cannot afford essential items,” he added.

People who wish to donate are invited to deposit funds in any of the Salvation Army kettles or to visit the Greater Kearny Corps Church at 28 Beech St. or its offices at 443 Chestnut St., both in Kearny.

– Ron Leir  

Dr. Diana Espaillat joins Pink Vision Associates


By Kevin Canessa Jr. 

Observer Correspondent 


When Dr. Maria Domingues founded Pink Vision Associates in 2010, among many things that were clear was that the business would be family oriented. Three years later, that was even more evident when Dr. Carla Domingues, Carla’s sister, joined the practice. And now, the family atmosphere has grown even more with the addition of Dr. Diana Espaillat, a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and a dear friend and classmate of Carla’s.

Dr. Maria Domingues says she is thrilled to have been able to hire Dr. Espaillat, especially since the practice continues to grow and since she comes on board with such high praise from her sister.

“She and my sister have been friends for a while, and she’s a great fit for our practice,” Maria said. “And we’re so delighted that in addition to her university training, she also comes to us with one full year of training in a residency — in an ophthalmology setting. She is very qualified and is excellent with patients.

“We know she’s going to continue to be a great asset here.”

Espaillat, who speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese, has had a vast educational background. She got her bachelor’s degree from the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken and then got her OD (ophthalmology doctorate) in 2013. The residency Dr. Domingues referenced took place during the past year at the Eye Care Center of New Jersey in Bloomfield.

During her residency, she focused on patient care, ocular disease, pre-operative care, pediatric optometry and vision therapy. So it’s all prepared her for a career in the field that she first became interested in when she was a teenager.

“I was a sophomore at North Bergen High School when my love for the field developed,” Espaillat said. “I was taking an anatomy and physiology class and we dissected a pig’s eye. I had never worn glasses before, but I loved the intricacy of the lens in the eye. I never thought I’d become a doctor, but here I am now, excited for what’s to come.”

Espaillat says she’s quite motivated by all aspects of her new work, but she’s especially happy to be able to work with kids and with overall patient care.

“I try to put myself in their positions,” she said. “I work hard to ensure my patients are relaxed and that they realize they will get through what has to be done when they’re sitting in that chair.”

But without question, her greatest joy comes from where her career is ultimately beginning.

“I am so excited to join a practice with my very close friend Carla,” Espaillat said. “This is such a great, family-oriented place to be, and I am fortunate to be able to contribute to that atmosphere.”

Pink Vision Associates has three offices: in Lyndhurst, Fort Lee and Irvington. The Lyndhurst office is located at 348 Ridge Road. The hours of operation there are Monday, Thursday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Learn more about Dr. Espaillat and Pink Vision Associates by visiting www.PinkVisionAssociates.com or by calling 201-438- 8668. You can schedule an appointment on the website as well.

St. Michael’s offers help with health insurance sign-ups

To help uninsured individuals gain better access to affordable and quality health coverage, St. Michael’s Medical Center will host a special Health Insurance Registration event on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the center’s Admissions Department, 111 Central Ave., Newark. Local residents can schedule an appointment with a certified application counselor, who will help them navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace and register for a plan.

Though uninsured individuals who qualify can sign up on the Health Insurance Marketplace via its website, www.healthcare.gov, St. Michael’s certified counselors will be available to offer one-on-one help, answer questions, compare options, and walk them through the process.

“As a health care provider for the greater Newark community, it is essential that we do all we can to help the members of our community gain access to quality, affordable health care,” said David A. Ricci, St. Michael’s president and CEO.

“When people have access to better health coverage, they can feel more at ease in seeking the care they need to live more healthy and fulfilling lives.”

For coverage starting in 2015, the Open Enrollment Period is Nov. 15, 2014, through Feb. 15, 2015. Individuals can schedule an appointment with a St. Michael’s insurance counselor by calling 973-465-2792.

Job Haines: Quality geriatric care

The Job Haines Home, 250 Bloomfield Ave., Bloomfield, reports that staff member Donna McAllister, R.N., was chosen to participate in and has now completed a five-week training course on how to mentor new nurses in taking better care of the geriatric population in long-term care facilities.

“I found the course to be an excellent educational experience that will be a great asset to my profession and to the residents at Job Haines,” McAllister said.

The course, offered by the New Jersey Action Coalition, was funded by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid. Lectures on role-playing, on-the-job experiences and a strong overview of geriatric care were among the topics covered.

The course was developed in response to a 2010 report released by the Institute of Medicine, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” The report examined how nurses’ roles, responsibilities and education should change to meet the needs of an aging, increasingly diverse population and to respond to a complex, evolving healthcare system.

For more information or to schedule a tour of Job Haines Home, call 973-743-0792 or visit www.job-haines.org.

around town


Harrison/East Newark Elks sponsor a Hoop Shoot basketball shoot-out contest, open to ages 7 to 13, on Sunday, Nov. 23, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Community Center, 401 Warren St.


St. Stephen’s Church hosts a coat drive Saturday, Nov. 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the lower church hall (enter via Washington Ave.). Coats, sweaters and sweatshirts will be accepted. Anyone wish to recommend a community member in need is asked to stop by at 11 a.m. For more information, call 732-552-8039 or 201-991-0670.

A cat food drive is being conducted through Dec. 12 for Kearny’s TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return) program. Drop off cat food donations at K-9 Corner, 169 Midland Ave. at Elm St.

A motorcycle run/toy drive for St. Claire’s Homes for Children kicks off at the Elks Lodge, 601 Elm St., Sunday, Nov. 30, at 1 p.m. Registration is from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants are asked to bring a $20 registration fee and a new, unwrapped toy. No stuffed animals are accepted. The lodge hosts an after-run party for riders.

Those who don’t wish to participate in the run can still drop off donations at the lodge or at Arlington Lawn Mower, 483 Schuyler Ave., between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

For more information, call Paul at 201-991-1076 or 201- 726-2315. Visit www.aidsresource.org.

The Kearny Elks Lodge conducts its Hoop Shoot, open to ages 8 to 13, starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, at the Presbyterian Boys/Girls Club, 663 Kearny Ave. Participants must bring their birth certificate. For more information, call Tom Fraser, executive director of the PBGC at 201-991-6734 or Ron Pickel at 201-463-8447.

The Presbyterian Boys- Girls Club, 663 Kearny Ave. hosts its annual Turkey Day dance Friday, Nov. 21, 7 to 10 p.m. Guests are restricted to teenagers. Prizes will be given to the best dancers.


Lyndhurst Public Library, 353 Valley Brook Ave., hosts a screening of “It’s Thanksgiving Charlie Brown,” open to pre-k to grade 4, Monday, Nov. 24, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Registration is required. To register, call the library at 201-804- 2478.

Lyndhurst Health Department, 601 Riverside Ave., Suite 1, holds a blood screening Friday, Dec. 5, at the Community Center at Riverside and Tontine Aves. Appointments begin at 8 a.m. This service is available to Lyndhurst residents ages 18 and older for a $20 fee. Pre-registration is required. For appointments, call 201-804-2500. Payments can be submitted in cash or checks, payable to Medical Laboratory Diagnostics.

Lyndhurst American Legion Post 139 Rehabilitation Committee holds a ward party for veterans at Chestnut Hill Extended Care Facility, Passaic, on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 2:30 p.m. This event is sponsored by Claire Wertalik in memory of James Wertalik who served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, 1949 to 1951. Post members play games of chance with hospitalized veterans and distribute treats to them. Anyone interested in sponsoring a ward party is invited to call 201-438-2255.

The Humane Society, 221- 223 Stuyvesant Ave., invites members of the community to bring children and pets for photos with Santa Sunday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments are available, but walk-ins are also welcome. All pictures will be taken by a professional photographer. Proceeds benefit the animals at the Humane Society. Photos with an attractive holiday folder cost $10. A CD of all pictures taken is available for $20. For more information, call 201-896-9300.

North Arlington

North Arlington Senior Activity Center, 11 York Road, hosts a holiday celebration Friday, Dec. 12. Bingo starts at 10:30 a.m., lunch is served at noon and dancing begins at 1:30 p.m. For more information and reservations, call 201-998- 5636.

North Arlington Woman’s Club sponsors a trip to the Sands Casino, Bethlehem, Pa., on Dec. 6. The bus leaves from Borough Hall at 9 a.m. Cost is $30 with $20 slot return and $5 food voucher. For information, call 201-889-2553.


Children can deliver letters to Santa Claus at the special “Santa Express Mailbox” starting Friday, Nov. 28, at the Park Oval entrance on Chestnut St., in conjunction with Santa’s arrival at the Oval. The last day of collection will be Wednesday, Dec. 17. Children must include their age and return address on each letter. Santa doesn’t always have the luxury of time to look up addresses during the busy holiday season. For more information, contact the Department of Public Affairs at 973-284-4976.

Chiropractic treatment of Sciatica


Sciatica is a term used to describe symptoms associated with the sciatic nerve as a result of nerve root compression, irritation and/or inflammation. The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest in the body running from the base of the spine down into the buttock region and down through both legs. When this nerve becomes pinched, inflamed or compressed, patients can experience a range of debilitating symptoms and pain that vary in intensity and frequency and can last for just a few days to several weeks depending upon the surrounding circumstances.

Sciatica generally occurs on one side of the body but can occasionally affect both sides in the lower extremities. Familiar symptoms may include radiating pain into the feet and legs, burning pain down the buttock and leg, muscle cramping and weakness in the back of the thighs and numbness and tingling along the side or back of the leg and into the feet.

Various disorders can cause sciatic nerve pain including misalignments of the lumbar spinal bones, herniated or bulging discs, slip and fall injuries, sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, pregnancy and childbirth, tumors, and non-spinal disorders such as diabetes, constipation, or sitting on one’s back pocket wallet. Another common cause of sciatica is piriformis syndrome wherein injuries or muscle sprains/strains cause the piriformis muscle to cramp and spasm that causes inflammation and pain.

Chiropractic physicians are one of the primary choices in diagnosing and treating sciatica. In addition to a thorough examination, diagnostic testing such as x-rays, MRI, CT Scan and nerve conduction studies are commonly used to identify the cause of the problem. Chiropractic physicians are highly trained and skilled in treating sciatica using a non-invasive, non-surgical and drug-free approach. Treatment is typically pain-free and usually lasts an average of several weeks in order to reduce inflammation and swelling, muscle spasms, nerve impingement and spinal misalignments. Spinal adjustments used have been proven to be safe, effective and comfortable. Sciatica can also be caused by other disorders beyond the scope of chiropractic practice. If the doctor of chiropractic determines the patient’s disorder requires treatment by another type of doctor, then the patient is referred to another specialty. In some cases, the referring chiropractor may continue to treat the patient and co-manage the patient’s care with the other specialist.

Dr. Louis Stimmel, D.C., of Harrison Spine & Rehabilitation Center, is board certified with over 25 years of clinical practice experience. Stimmel has been board certified as a chiropractic sports physician and is certified in hospital protocols and privileges. He has frequently lectured to orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and medical physicians on the benefits of chiropractic care. Stimmel is highly trained and experienced in treating conditions such as sciatica utilizing a variety of safe, gentle and pain-free techniques along with the latest physical therapies to relieve pain and discomfort. Unique to his office, Stimmel utilizes a revolutionary rehabilitation treatment called cold laser to enhance the treatment of sciatica in a rapid and pain-free approach. Contact his office today at 973-483-3380 for a free consult and evaluation.

– Louis Stimmel, D.C. Harrison Spine & Rehab