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Category: News

Around Town


As part of its Eight Great Live Monday Nights summer family series, co-sponsored by Friends of the Library, Belleville Public Library and Information Centers, 221 Washington Ave., presents the Hocus Pocus magic show with Joe Fischer on July 21 and a variety show featuring juggling, magic, puppets and more with Tom Burnium on July 28. Both events start at 6:30 p.m. Registration is required. Call 973-450-3434.


Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., announces its schedule for its Monday and Thursday Afternoon Film programs. All films start at 12:15 p.m. in the barrier-free library theater. Admission is free. Following is a combined schedule of both programs:

July 10 – “Oz the Great and Powerful” (James Franco) (PG); July 14 – “The Wolf of Wall Street” (Leonardo DiCaprio) (R) for sequences of sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use, and strong language; July 17 – “Prometheus” (Charlize Theron) (R); July 21 – “Dallas Buyer’s Club” (Matthew McConaughey) (R); July 24 – “The Book Thief” (Geoffrey Rush) (PG-13); July 28 – “Catching Fire” (Jennifer Lawrence) (PG-13); and July 31 – “Saving Mr. Banks” (Tom Hanks) (PG-13).

The Essex County fireworks display and concert with The Infernos and Joe Piscopo, originally scheduled for July 3 in Essex County Brookdale Park, Bloomfield/ Montclair, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, July 15, at 7:30 p.m.


Holy Cross Church sponsors a bus trip to the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on Sunday, July 13. The bus will leave at 10 a.m. from Holy Cross School, 15 Frank E. Rodgers Blvd S. Refreshments will be served starting at 9:15 a.m. in the school basement. The cost of the trip is a $30 donation, with a $25 return in slot play. For reservations, call Joan at 973-481-2434 or Marie (Spanish) at 973-481- 1799. Leave your name, phone number and the number of people attending.


Children ages 8 to 15 are welcome at the Presbyterian Boys-Girls Club (PBGC), 663 Kearny Ave., July and August, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 to 9 p.m., for a summer program of basketball, dodge ball, arts and crafts, electronic games and more, under the supervision of a professional staff led by former Lincoln School counselor Tom Fraser.

The PBGC also sponsors the following events: Ice Cream Sundae Night, pie eating contest, Dunkin Donuts Night, Quick 5 Tournament, Tug of War, Bingo and Extreme Dodgeball.

Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., hosts these upcoming children’s programs:

• Monkey Music, starring Meredith LeVande, at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 11. LeVande’s music videos air on PBS stations in between shows like “Curious George” and “Sesame Street.” It’s recommended for ages 3 and up.

• All beginning and challenged readers ages 5 to 12 can register to read to a therapy dog on Wednesday, July 16, 10 to 11 a.m., in the lower level of the Main Library. Each session will be 10 minutes and will only be open to a limited number of children. Call the library at 201-998-2666 to reserve a spot.

• Princess double features will be shown downstairs at the Main Library on Fridays throughout the summer. Refreshments will be served. Here’s the schedule: July 11 – “Little Mermaid” (G) at 1 p.m. and “Sofia the First: The Floating Palace” (NR) at 2:30 p.m.; July 18 – “Sleeping Beauty” (G) at 1 p.m. and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (G) at 2:30 p.m.; and July 25 – “Frozen” (PG) at 1 p.m. and “Tangled” (PG) at 3 p.m.

West Hudson Christian Center, 557 Kearny Ave., presents Weird Animals Vacation Bible School, Sunday, July 20, to Wed, July 23, 6:30 to 9 p.m. It’s open to ages 3 to 12. To pre-register in advance (space is limited!), visit whccag.org or call 201-997-7762. Registration is also open each night at the door.


The Lyndhurst Library Children’s Room, 355 Valley Brook Ave., hosts these events:

• Crazy scientist Brian Richards will introduce some amazing experiments on Wednesday, July 23, at 3:30 p.m. Recommended for children ages 3 and up.

• Children in grades pre-k to 8 can discover more about making bubbles and even get to stand inside one of their own on Monday, July 28, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Registration is required for both events. Call the library at 201-804-2478 to register.

The library will be closed July 14 to 19 for a woodwork restoration project. No items will be due during this period, and book/video drop items will be collected periodically. The library will re-open Monday, July 21. Call or email Director Donna Romeo with any questions or concerns at 201-804-2478, ext. 7, or romeo@lyndhurst.bccls. org.

New Jersey Meadowlands Commission hosts the following events:

• Seniors are invited to join staff from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center and learn about the mysterious lives of marine mammals and sea turtles, and the problems facing these creatures and their environment, Thursday, July 10, at 7 p.m., at the NJMC Science Center, 3 DeKorte Park. Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register, call 201-777-2431 or 201-460-8300.

• A two-hour birding cruise is set for Tuesday, July 15, at 10 a.m., departing from River Barge Park, 260 Outwater Lane, Carlstadt. There is a suggested donation of $15 per person.

Check meadowblog.net for last-minute updates and weather advisories. Pre-registration is required. Contact Gaby Bennett-Meany at 201- 460-4640.

For information on regular pontoon boat tours, visit www.njmeadowlands.gov and click on “Parks & Nature Programs” and “Pontoon Boat Cruises,” or call 201-460-4677.

• Seniors can experience close encounters with birds of prey on Thursday, July 17, at 1 p.m., at the Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 De- Korte Park Plaza. Admission is free. Bring your grandchildren to see six live raptors, including falcons, and learn more about these awesome creatures of the northeast with Bill Streeter, director of the Delaware Valley Raptor Center. Registration is recommended and appreciated. For more information, call 201- 777-2431.

North Arlington 

North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Road, will host a screening of the documentary “Men at Lunch” Friday, July 18, at 11 a.m. In the 78-minute film, director Seán Ó Cualáin tells the story of “Lunch atop a Skyscraper,” the iconic photograph taken during the construction of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.


Bring your family to an old-fashioned outdoor carnival at the Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Drive, Saturday, July 19, noon to 3 p.m. Enjoy games such as ring toss, sack race, and more. The event includes prizes, refreshments and music by “Cracked Walnuts,” a musical duo of banjo and washboard who will stroll the grounds playing music of the early 20th century. In the event of rain, the carnival will move inside the library.

Call the library at 973-667- 0405 for more information on this and other programs. The complete schedule of programs is available at the library and on the library web site at http://nutleypubliclibrary. org.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 120 Prospect St., celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on Sunday, July 13, at 12:15 p.m. The main celebrant and homilist of the Mass will be Archbishop Bernard Hebda. After Mass, there will be an outdoor procession featuring music by The Red Mike Festival Band. For more information about this and other events, call 973-667-2580, email olmcnutley@optimum. net, or visit www.olmc-nutley.org.

Total Soul takes the stage at Memorial Park I (Mud Hole) July 17 for a Nutley Recreation Department sizzling summer concert. The free show, which begins at 6:30 p.m., includes everything from Motown, to today’s pop and R&B, to the jazz/Big Band standards of the 1940s. The rain date is July 28. For more information, call 973- 284-4966 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Drive, hosts these events: •

PJ Movie and Story for all ages is held Mondays, July 14 and 28, at 7 p.m.

• Movie and Craft features the film “Frozen” for all ages Tuesday, July 15, at 2 p.m. Children can drop by and make a craft while supplies last.

• Tech Workshop: “Little Bits” is open to children in grades 3 to 6 Wednesday, July 16 at 2:30 p.m. Registration is required.

• Children ages 2 and up are invited to paint a robot Thursday, July 17, at 2:30 p.m. Registration is for Nutley Library patrons only. Registration begins that day at 9 a.m.

• Essex County Environmental Center presents a workshop on “Beavers Boom,” for children ages 8 and up who are library patrons. Kids can learn a few remarkable things about beavers, their lifestyle, and the sounds they make Thursday, July 17, at 11 a.m., and then craft a personalized beaver mask. Registration is required.

• Science Workshop: “Glowing Putty,” open to children age 8 and up, is offered Monday, July 21, at 7 p.m. Registration is required.

Call the library at 973-667- 0405 for more information or to register for programs. The complete schedule of programs is available at the library and on the library web site at http://nutleypubliclibrary.org.

St. Michael’s golf outing raises $100,000 for Breast Center

StM Fundraiser_web

Ninety-four golfers took to the green at the St. Michael’s Medical Center (SMMC) recent Golf Outing. The daylong event, held at Cedar Hill Golf and Country Club in Livingston, began with an outdoor lunch, followed by 18 holes of golf, and concluded with a cocktail hour, dinner, raffles and a silent auction. More than 120 guests attended the evening festivities.

The event raised $100,000 to support The Connie Dwyer Breast Center at SMMC.

“The funds raised will help us acquire the resources we need to continue our mission to provide top-quality breast care—from screening and diagnosis to treatment and follow-up—for all women,” said Connie Dwyer, founder of the Connie Dwyer Breast Center. “We are truly touched by the outpour of support and the generosity demonstrated by the event’s attendees and sponsors.”

Relaxing indoors are Brown, vice president, client relations, Phoenix Physicians, and Connie Dwyer of Short Hills.

Relaxing indoors are Brown, vice president,
client relations, Phoenix Physicians, and Connie Dwyer of Short Hills.


A comprehensive, state-of-the- art facility, The Connie Dwyer Breast Center provides expert diagnosis and treatment of breast disease, breast cancer prevention, early detection, and educational outreach programs in northern New Jersey. The Breast Center conducts over 20,000 procedures annually, including mammograms, ultrasound and biopsies. In addition, the Breast Center reaches out to more than 1,500 women annually through a series of free educational sessions and breast cancer screenings at the hospital and in the community, with outreach performed at churches, schools, community centers, and other local organizations.

Phoenix Physicians, LLC, served as the event’s main sponsor. To view photos from the Golf Outing, visit the SMMC Facebook page at facebook.com/SaintMichaels- MedicalCenter.

W. Hudson mayors endorse DeGise


Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise recently accepted early endorsements of Harrison Mayor James Fife, Kearny Mayor Al Santos, East Newark Mayor Joseph Smith, Freeholder Al Cifelli and several other local leaders in West Hudson.

These pledges of support come on the heels of the recent endorsements DeGise received from two North Hudson political leaders, State Sen./North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco and State Sen./Union City Mayor Brian Stack.

The West Hudson event was held at the Harrison Parking Center, which provides parking for the Red Bull Arena and commuters using the Harrison PATH station. The parking facility was developed by the Hudson County Improvement Authority, which, DeGise said, is playing a vital role in the area’s economic revitalization.

“I’m very honored and humbled to receive the endorsements of these mayors and local leaders here in West Hudson,” said DeGise, who is running for reelection in 2015. “My job as county executive is to help provide them the county resources they need and assist them in serving their communities.”

DeGise pointed to the site of the press conference, in the midst of the burgeoning Harrison Redevelopment Project, as a particular point of pride in his administration. Under his leadership, HCIA built the parking garage and helped finance the construction of the soccer stadium, which, he said, are anchors in the area’s rebirth.

“I couldn’t be prouder to lend my voice to saying we need Tom next year, and we in Harrison are 100% dedicated to keeping him in the job,” said Fife, who hosted the press conference.

“We are grateful for having the county executive on our team,” said East Newark Mayor Joseph Smith. “The help Tom has given us with our seniors has been nothing short of spectacular. He helped refurbish our senior center, helps with our lunch program and has always been there when we have needed him.”

“It’s an honor to be here endorsing Tom DeGise wholeheartedly. He’s the right person for the right office and the important redevelopment project we are standing in that could not have happened without him is evidence of that,” said Kearny Mayor Al Santos. “Sometimes we are the forgotten portion of the county, but never with Tom DeGise.”

“Harrison’s redevelopment is alive and well and it could not have happened without the help of the county and Tom DeGise,” said Freeholder Al Cifelli. “Tom has been a great friend of West Hudson and he has stood shoulder to shoulder with leaders like the late Ray McDonough to make projects like this happen. Tom is an excellent county executive and I am proud to support him.”

Brookdale Park fireworks, concert postponed to July 15


Because of the forecast of severe weather, the Essex County Fireworks Display and Concert with The Infernos and Joe Piscopo scheduled for tonight, Thursday, July 3, in Essex County Brookdale Park has been postponed to Tuesday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Towers of power


By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent 


Fans of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission’s DeKorte Park took notice when the NJMC recently announced that the Saw Mill Creek Trail has been closed and will likely remain so until next year.

Readers unfamiliar with the wildlife preserve might have just shrugged.

But, lo and behold, it turns out the closure is part of a multimillion-dollar energy project that affects most of our Observer towns. It’s called the Northeast Grid Reliability Project, it’s costing an estimated $907 million, and PSE&G has been working on it since 2012. Completion is projected for June 2015.

Your correspondent admittedly noticed PSE&G workers busy at the power lines on Main St. in Belleville for some months now but never thought to make inquiries. It was the NJMC announcement that caught our attention, and we have since learned much. Read more »

May sue for more energy cash


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 


Public Service Electric & Gas pays about $18 million a year in Energy Tax Receipts (ETR) aid to the state for its properties in Kearny and the state passes that money along to the town’s coffers.

That’s nearly a quarter of the town’s overall budget but Mayor Alberto Santos – who’s looking to extract as much revenue as he can to soften the local tax impact for property owners – said Kearny deserves more.

“At our peak year in 2002, we were getting $21.5 million a year from the state for PSE&G,” said Santos. But since then, he said, the state has elected to keep more of the state-wide utility tax for its own budget-balancing purposes.

The mayor’s assertions are echoed in a “Friends of Local Government Policy Paper Series” March 2013 report on “Appropriating Energy Tax Receipts: The New Normal for New Jersey,” written for the N.J. League of Municipalities Educational Foundation by Alan Zalkind and Angie McGuire of the Rutgers Center for Government Services. Read more »

Cespedes shooting to grand jury



Nearly a year after Belleville resident Dante Cespedes was gunned down in a fusillade of bullets fired by three township cops in his apartment, an Essex County grand jury has been convened to investigate the fatal shooting.

Katherine Carter, spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, wouldn’t confirm or deny the grand jury activity but Marc Bengualid, the New York attorney representing Cespedes’ widow Judy Breton, said his client was called to testify June 20.

Other witnesses who appeared before the grand jurors included several Belleville police personnel, according to Bengualid, who said he was unable to identify the officers.

Bengualid said he believes that, “more witnesses are coming,” including the Essex County medical examiner. Read more »

Now he’s a lieutenant


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 


The Kearny Police Department has scored an additional police superior but it still leaves the department scrambling for more bodies, according to Police Chief John Dowie.

For now, though, the chief said he’s thankful that the town governing body has seen fit to promote Sgt. John View, 45, to the rank of police lieutenant. View was sworn in at the June 24 meeting of the mayor and Town Council, at an annual base pay of $124,608.

Because the town has applied for state transitional aid, View’s promotion was contingent on approval by the state Division of Local Government Services but no objections were foreseen.

At last week’s meeting, Dowie, addressing Mayor Alberto Santos and members of the council, said that when he recommended the move to them, he realized that the town was under fiscal restraints. “This was not easy to sell,” the chief said, “but my hat’s off to you for rising above it.” Read more »

Layoffs, loan seen as deficit remedies


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 


Last week, the Belleville school community learned the awful truth: The township’s public school district is $3.6 million in the red and deep cuts are being made to get the district right for the coming school year.

And the situation could actually have been worse: CPA Jeffery Bliss, a partner with Lerch, Vinci & Higgins, the Belleville Board of Education’s Fair Lawn auditors, told a massive crowd assembled in the high school auditorium June 23 that overexpenditures for the current school year totaled $4.8 million.

But to soften the blow, the board is applying its surplus funds to restore a portion of the money it now needs to balance its budget by June 30, according to BOE Secretary/ Business Administrator Raymond Jacobus.

In a phone interview last week, Jacobus told The Observer that in April, he met with Executive County Schools Superintendent Joseph Zarra and Belleville Schools Superintendent Helene Feldman to sound the alarm of a looming deficit and to outline specifics. Read more »

Artistic and adorable



See that creature in the photo at top right? That is the beloved and legendary “Pig Chicken With Round Hands.”

You never heard of it? Well, more’s the pity.

We made its acquaintance last week in Harrison, where students in kindergarten through third grade were exhibiting their work in Lincoln School’s annual art show.

Although we have written about prior shows, we never cease to be delighted, and amazed, at the creativity and imagination evident in the sculptures, paintings, collages, etc.

The aforementioned being, for example, was the creation of a third-grader, who envisioned it and then brought it to life, so to speak, using everyday, mundane recyclables.

(Look closely. It is obviously a rotund, white pig. With chicken “feathers.” And circular hands.)

The halls of the building on Cross St. were lined with such gems, some displayed on tables, some hanging on the walls. A visitor walking through the doors couldn’t help but smile as soon as the art came into view. And then you read the titles: “The Cow From the Moon,” “The Big- Eyed Hungry Animal,” “The Happy Snowman That Loves to Play,” “The Flying Long- Tailed Cat With Antenna.”

Did we say the children were imaginative? Read more »