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St. Patrick’s Day parade expects record turnout

Photo courtesy Miss New Jersey Education Foundation/ Parade Grand Marshal Laurence Bennett (l.) and Dep. Grand Marshal Michael O’Donnell


By Ron Leir


It’s almost time to get out the green.

Yes, the United Irish Associations of West Hudson will again sponsor the 39th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 11 and Harrison Councilman Laurence Bennett will be leading the way as this year’s grand marshal.

“It’s a great honor to be chosen grand marshal,” Bennett said. “It’s important that we continue this parade and to make sure our younger people appreciate what our heritage means to this country. The Irish helped build our country. And we still have a lot of local Irish – and Scots – living here in West Hudson.”

Michael O’Donnell, a decorated East Newark police officer, will be the deputy grand marshal. “Unbelievable! It’s a great honor, growing up in town, to march in this parade,” he said.

Of Bennett’s selection as grand marshal, Quinn said: “Larry’s very deserving. I’ve known Larry about 30 years and he’s always been a guy who’s wanted to help people. Aside from his impressive resume, he also does a lot of things people don’t know about.”

This much is known: Bennett’s family owned and operated the Dairy Delight on Harrison Ave. Bennett recently retired as a supervisor from the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission. Since 2008 he has been a Third Ward Councilman in Harrison and, as recreation chairman, he helped secure lights for the Little League field. Bennett has served on the Planning Board, the Housing Authority and the Board of Adjustment.

Bennett has volunteered for the Harrison/East Newark Elks, serving currently as Exalted Ruler and chairing the Thanksgiving Day Meals on Wheels program, aided by the Knights of Columbus; and the Harrison Lions Club which has provided glasses to the needy and eye readers to the Public Library and Senior Center.


Parade revelers marching for the ‘green”


After the death of his son from an asthma attack at age 18, Bennett led a campaign to bring a paramedic unit near West Hudson Hospital, Kearny. He has chaired the Harrison/East Newark Drug Awareness and National Night-Out Committee. He has served the Volunteer Harrison Medical Reserve and Harrison Office of Emergency Management. A past president of the Holy Name Society, Bennett served on the board of directors of Pathways to Independence.

Larry and Rosemary Long Bennett have been married for 24 years. They have a daughter, Elizabeth; their son, Larry Jr., is greatly missed. Dep. Grand Marshal Michael O’Donnell, a Kearny High School alumnus, began his career in law enforcement in 1999 as a state correctional officer. In 2005 he joined the East Newark Police Dept. for whom he served as the DARE officer. He received the Hometown Hero/Police Officer of the Year award from the Harrison/East Newark Elks lodge and he was recognized by Kearny Police Chief John Dowie for his arrest of armed robbery suspects.

For the past six years, O’Donnell coached Pop Warner Football. In 2009 and 2010 he coached the Junior team to the Pop Warner League Super Bowl. He also coaches Little League baseball and, most recently, he coached his Little League team to an undefeated season.

As a member of the Harrison/ East Newark Elks, O’Donnell helps his father-in-law Terry Gilmore cater the Harrison Senior Citizens St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas parties.

Michael and Donna Gilmore O’Donnell have five children: Christina, Briana, Amber, Michael and Haley.

On March 11, a “Peace in Ireland” Mass will be offered at noon at Holy Cross Church, Harrison Ave. and Frank Rodgers Blvd., with the Rev. Michael Ward, pastor of St. Cecilia’s Church, Kearny, officiating. And the Irish flag will be raised.

Photo courtesy Miss New Jersey Education Foundation/ Miss New Jersey 2011, Kathryn Nicolle


Then, at 2 p.m., the parade begins. More than 1,000 marchers are expected to turn out for what UIA of West Hudson President Kevin Quinn predicts will be “one of the largest since our beginning in 1973.”

“With over 50 marching units taking part, the parade has been expanded (from four) to five divisions,” said Quinn.

Among the groups confirmed to march are the Color Guard of the West Hudson Marine Corps League, the St. Columcille United Gaelic Pipe Band, the Hudson County Police and Fire Pipes & Drums, the Kearny High School Band, Friends of Erin, Military Transport Association of Northern N.J., Hudson County Sheriff’s Dept., Monmouth County Police Pipe Band, WCBS 101.1 FM, Cifelli Association, Ragtimers Band, East Newark Volunteer Fire Dept., Harrison/East Newark Elks, Newark Bears Baseball Organization, Irish American Cluba and Knights of Columbus. Kearny High School will also send a float whose theme will reflect the musical, “Little Shop of Horrors,” sponsored by Teen Drama, which students will perform March 22-24 at the high school.

Returning to the parade is Miss New Jersey 2011, Kathryn Nicolle, who marched in 2008 when she was chosen Miss New Jersey Outstanding Teen.

And the U.S. Navy Submarine School Silver Dolphin Drill Team will also be part of the mix. The Silver Dolphins are active sailors training to be submariners at the Navy Submarine School in Groton, Conn.

The march, which proceeds through Harrison, East Newark and Kearny, starts at Third St. and Harrison Ave., proceeds on Frank Rodgers Blvd., then to Central Ave., then Second St., then Sherman Ave., back to Frank Rodgers Blvd., then over the bridge to Kearny Ave., ending at the reviewing stand in front of Kearny Town Hall at Quincy Ave.

Michael Conlon is parade adjutant.

After the parade ends, marchers will disperse to events sponsored by members of the UIA.

This hunter can really rack ‘em up

Photos by Anthony J. Machcinski


Photos by Anthony J. Machcinski/ Bob Norcia Sr. displays some of the trophies and deer antlers he’s collected over the years.


By Anthony J. Machcinski

Unlike its portrayal in movies, archery is a skilled sport. Unlike the movie “300” where Persian archers simply launch thousands of arrows into the air and hope to hit their target, hunters who use a bow are, typically, only able to manage one shot to hit their target. This is usually done by sitting above the target in a tree and by using silence and precision to achieve their goal.

Not only does archery require a patient and a steady hand, but the strength to draw the bow back and being able to climb into a tree.

At age 75, North Arlington’s Bob Norcia Sr. can be considered somewhat of a freak of nature.

“I stay in shape by exercising, weightlifting, crabbing, fishing, and hunting,” Norcia said when asked how he manages to hunt as a septuagenarian.

A hunter since 1969, Norcia has used his skill to take down over 200 deer, while hunting in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Unlike many inhumane hunters who hunt simply to kill, Norcia eats or gives away the meat from the deer.

“(The) majority of the deer is prepared in sausage fashion and given away to people that could use the meat,” Norcia explained. “I take great pride in giving people something they could use and I take pride in always helping other people.” Norcia’s charity was evidenced when he donated the meat from two whole deer to a dinner for Gail’s Angels, an organization that supports women with breast cancer and autistic children. The event, held April 23, 2011, which was organized by Norcia, Jim Babai, and Pat Bikoff, drew well over 100 people and generated more than $4,500 in donations for Gail’s Angels.

What makes Norcia’s talent so extraordinary is the type of bow he uses. Norcia uses a recurve, a traditional bow where the tips curve forward, instead of a compound, which uses a series of pulleys that make drawing the bow easier. For example, a compound bow with an 80% let-off and a 50 lb. draw would take 10 lbs. of resistance to draw. With a recurve, the same 50 lb. draw would take the full 50 lbs to draw. “

I feel like its great sport to go with the bow,” said Norcia, who switched to a bow from a 12-gauge shotgun around the early ‘80s. “It’s a bigger thrill [taking down a deer] than with a gun, especially with a recurve.”

Anyone touring Norcia’s basement can see his success with the Sumi Bowman, an archery club where Norcia was classified as a class B archer, the second highest level.

Norcia’s basement and garage is filled with deer antlers from his adventures. One new addition to the garage is what Norcia calls “The Perfect Eight.”

In hunting, a deer with a symmetrical antler rack is considered perfect. Norcia’s symmetrical eight-pointer was one of the more recent additions.

“The deer had to be a little over 200 lbs,” Norcia recalled. “All I know is, I broke my butt trying to get it in the car.”

Norcia plans to mount the rack from “The Perfect Eight” on a plaque he’ll make by hand.

While hunting is perceived as a pastime for many of the inhabitants of the American South and West, Norcia is a case in point that proves passion for the sport isn’t limited to those regions. With skill, precision, and health, Norcia hopes to continue to hunt as long as he possibly can.




By Lisa Pezzolla

The Observer’s first pub crawl was successful, so we will be planning for our second annual pub crawl, which luckily lands on a Saturday this year. If anyone has suggestions or wants to join in the fun, facebook or get onto our twitter account so you will be able to follow us.

These pub crawls are held all over the world. Maryborough, Queensland, Australia holds the Guinness World Record for the largest pub crawl in 2005 which with 4,718 people attending.

We will have a pull-out section showing advertisers who will be participating in our pub crawl and we will have a map showing where it will begin and end. We will also have a scavenger hunt and teams that will be attending each pub.

If you are interested in participating, please contact The Observer at 201-991- 1600 and leave a message or email entertainment@theobserver.com.

Bags will be given to the participating pubs to gather items that will be hidden for the scavenger hunt. Some items may be easier to find than others.

Bags will be brought to The Observer and we will have a drawing for the most items found.

In future issues of The Observer, we will announce the schedule along with a list of the items that will be hidden.

This is a great way to meet new friends or have fun with old ones. If you are a local pub and want to join the fun, call The Observer at 201- 991-1600 and we will keep you posted in the weeks ahead.

Kearny Police Blotter

Two Kearny adults suspected of engaging in a drug transaction were arrested on the night of Feb. 9.

At 5 p.m. the Kearny Police Department vice squad observed a man passing drugs to a woman in the area of Forest St.

The squad followed the woman to Lyndhurst where they stopped and searched her. After finding Percocet on her, the cops charged her with possession of CDS.

Squad members then returned to Kearny and confronted the 29-year-old man whom they’d previously seen on Forest St.He was placed under arrest and a search of his residence uncovered 73 oxycontin pills, eight Xanex pills, and two suboxone tablets. The male was charged with possession of a controlled substance, distribution of a controlled substance and distribution within a school zone and a park zone.

Two days later, Det. Mike Gonzalez observed a 26-year-old Kearny resident acting disorderly in the Quik Chek parking lot. An hour earlier, Gonzalez had given the same man a summons on Belgrove Drive for drinking in public. After running a warrant check on the man, he was found to have outstanding warrants from East Newark and Harrison. Sidnei Antunes was taken into custody and booked for the outstanding warrants.

Later that day, police received a report of a robbery at the Street Smart Clothing store on Passaic Ave. An employee had engaged thPolice said an employee approached three female customers, only to be punched in the face. All three then fled the store carrying female undergarments and other items. Officers Caesar Negron, T.J. Hernandez, and James Mackintosh obtained a description and direction of flight. Negron went to Passaic Ave., where he received information that the females had crossed the Clay St. bridge, and had boarded a bus near the Burger King on Broad St. in Newark. Negron boarded the bus in the area of Mt. Prospect Ave. and found two of the female passengers fitting the description. Both females were taken off the bus and detained. The employee was brought to the scene by Det. John Plaugic, and both were positively identified and transported back to Kearny. Two Newark females, 22-year-old Norma Torresolivieri and 18-yearold Leslie Sanchez, were charged with robbery and conspiracy. Bail was set at $50,000 each.

In the early morning of Feb. 12, Officers Ben Wuelfing and Jason Ward responded to a report of a disorderly group in the 700 block of Chestnut St. and found several adults and juveniles carrying on in the middle of the street. Near the group, the officers observed a Volkswagon with a driver inside, and the officers observed his eyes were watery and bloodshot and detected the odor of alcohol emanating from the vehicle. When the driver was asked for credentials, he was unable to produce registration. Initially, he denied he’d been drinking but then admitted having several beers, cops said. The officers noted that the driver, 18-year-old Belleville resident Eduardo Silva, was underage and placed under arrest. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and given tickets for driving under the influence, failure to display registration, and underage driving while intoxicated.

On Feb. 14 at 2:30 p.m. Officer Mike Andrews, on patrol in the area of Kearny and Woodland Aves., spotted a man he knew had an outstanding warrant from Kearny. The man was then picked up by a woman driver. Andrews followed the car into East Newark where, after confirming a warrant was indeed issued, he pulled the car over. After a check of the motor vehicle, Andrews learned that the operator/owner of the car had a suspended license. Officer Jay Ward responded as backup and placed both under arrest. The driver, 25-year-old Harrison resident Natalie Martinez, was charged with driving with a suspended license, driving with a suspended registration, and failing to surrender her driver’s license to the DMV. The male, 28-year-old Ramiro Hernandez, of East Newark , was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia in addition to the warrants.

On Feb 17, Officers Angelo Palagano and Mike Santucci responded to the area of Highland and Quincy Aves. around 12:30 a.m. on a report of a female dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt acting suspicious. Searching the area, the cops found the woman on Brighton Ave. The officers searched a backpack she was carrying and found two GPS units that she couldn’t account for. Officers activated the units and tracked one to a Highland Ave. residence. Officers Ben Wuelfing and Chris Medina responded with the GPS to the Highland Ave. residence and confirmed with the owner that his GPS was in fact missing from his vehicle and that the one they had belonged to him. Once confirmed stolen, the woman, 26-year-old Jolene Brito of Little Ferry, was placed under arrest. Brito was charged with receiving stolen property and attempted burglary. A followup investigation as to the origin of the second GPS is still underway.

-Anthony J. Machcinski


Private eye hunts down stolen rare Grand National

Photo courtesy Latch Raghu/ Missing 1986 Buick Regal Grand National.


By Jeff Bahr

An East Orange man whose highly collectable car was stolen on Jan. 8 near the Providence Sports Bar and Restaurant, Belleville, has retained a private investigator to aid in its recovery. The car’s owner, Latch Raghu, says that the vehicle, a rare black 1986 Buick Regal Grand National 2-door is worth somewhere in the vicinity of $100,000.

Raghu says he parked the vehicle near the bar at Heckle and Jeraldo Sts. at 4:30 p.m. and went inside. Somewhere between that time and 8:04 p.m. the car was stolen, he says. Most troubling to Raghu is the fact that he thinks he knows the person responsible for the theft – in part or in whole – but is having trouble making headway on that front. According to private investigator Joseph Blaettler, the Belleville Police claimed that their hands were tied at this point since they didn’t have “probable cause” to move ahead.

Blaettler, who believes that the crime was part of a premeditated plan, explained that Raghu had originally told friends that he’d be driving to the bar in his Dodge Viper – valued in excess of $100,000 – to meet them to watch a N.Y. Giants playoff game, but then decided to drive his Grand National instead. This tip-off that a valuable car would soon be parked outside of the bar set criminal wheels in motion, according to Blaettler.

A camera mounted on the outside of the bar shows the suspected thief with two other men beside him when Raghu walked in, said Blaettler. “Based on sources I’ve spoken to, he (one of the other two men present) might be involved in some shady activity. I gave that (information) to Belleville. Nothing, no response.”

“I understand there’s no probable cause right now to arrest him, to question him, anything,” said Blaettler of the Belleville Police Department reportedly not having questioned the suspected thief, “but that does not prevent the cops from picking up the phone or going to visit him saying, ‘hey, we’d like to talk to you.’”

In response to Blaettler’s comments, Belleville Police Sgt. John Loiacono stood firm on his department’s original determination that there simply wasn’t enough probable cause to move ahead with this particular individual. “I sympathize with the owner,” said Loiacono, “but we need more (evidence) before we can proceed.” Loiacono cited the loss of auto theft recovery units as a further impediment to locating stolen vehicles. We simply don’t have the resources to do (look for) stolen cars, “ said Loiacono. “

This was not a random theft,” said Blaettler. “Somebody went after this car, they knew exactly what they were doing. They knew how to bypass the alarm system, and they then felt very comfortable jumping into that car and driving away.”

The missing Gran National is a GNX model that’s even more coveted than typical offerings from the esteemed group to which it belongs, according to Raghu. “It’s number six of only 547 that were ever made,” said Raghu to underscore the rarity of the vehicle. As evidence to support this, and as an identification marker unique to this one particular vehicle, a plate on the car’s dashboard reads “006.” The vehicle ranks as “one of the fastest models produced,” according to Raghu, and has “scratches on the trunk” that might help in its identification.

Raghu, who didn’t carry theft insurance on the vehicle, is offering a “no questions asked” reward of $5,000 for information that culminates in the return of the vehicle. Those with any information concerning the car or its whereabouts have been asked to contact the Belleville Police Department, owner Latch Raghu at 201-513-6121, or private investigator Joseph Blaettler at 973-725-9677.

Around Town

East Newark

West Hudson Brave Women Fighting Breast Cancer meets on the last Friday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the East Newark Senior Center, 37 President St. The group will provide an atmosphere of warmth and comfort for patients and family. For more information, call Emma at 201-998-6828, Rosa 201-246- 7750, Fatima 973-485-4236 or email emidura2@yahoo. com. Together we will fight this disease.


St. Stephen’s Church in Kearny will host a fish and chips supper on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in Hedges Hall. Cost will be $14 per person. The supper will be catered by Argyle Restaurant, Kearny.

All are welcome. Meals may be eaten in or taken out. All are asked to access Hedges Hall via the Washington Avenue entrance.

First Presbyterian Church, 663 Kearny Ave., is holding a Winter Blowout Sale on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sale items include clothing for the whole family, small household items, books and more.

Kearny High School PTA is having a Tricky Tray on April 20 in the Kearny High School gym and the cost is $15. Any questions, call Lisa at 201-955-9070.

The Rosary Society of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 136 Davis Ave., Kearny, will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, March 1, at 7 p.m., in the church hall. Plans for the upcoming fundraiser, “Tea for Three,” starring Elaine Bromka, scheduled for June 3, will be discussed. A fish fry is scheduled for March 16, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. at the LCC on Davis Avenue in Kearny. Palm Crosses will be sold on the weekends of March 17 to 18 and March 24 to 25 at all Masses.


The Humane Society of Bergen County, 221-223 Stuyvesant Ave., Lyndhurst, is offering free dog food, both canned and dry, to anyone having problems feeding their dog due to unemployment, disability or any financial situation. Just stop by or call 201-896- 9300. The facility is open seven days a week.

The Woman’s Club of Lyndhurst, member of the GFWC/NJSFWC, will sponsor a program to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday as part of the of the National Education Association’s Read Across America program on March 1 at Lyndhurst Public Library. Past Club President Annette Bortone will read to children at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The Woman’s Club of Lyndhurst announces its annual fundraiser, “Spring Into Fashion” Sunday brunch and fashion show, on Sunday, April 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at The Graycliff, 122 Moonachie Ave., Moonachie. There will also be a tricky tray and a 50/50 raffle. Tickets are $35. For tickets, please call Rosemary at 201-935-4836 or Marge at 201-694-5976. No tickets will be sold at the door.

The Lyndhurst High School Class of 2013 and the LHS World Language Honor Society are sponsoring a Children’s Tricky Tray for children in grades pre-k through 4. This event will be held at the Senior Citizen Building on Cleveland Ave. in Lyndhurst on Saturday, March 31, at noon. Numbers will be called promptly at 1 p.m.

Admission is $5 per person. Children as well as their parents will require an admission ticket. This price will include a full sheet of tickets for the small prize category. There will be three categories of prizes and those tickets can be purchased upon arrival. Food and drinks will also be served. Therefore, outside food will not be allowed.

Please call Janet Ricigliano at (201) 935-1208 for further information.

The Lyndhurst Public Library invites the community to join in a continuous program “Connecting With Your Inner Self.” This program is geared for people age 50 and older. The purpose is to get people to talk about topics such as fears, aging, changing obstacles into opportunities, dealing with problems optimistically and appreciating where you are in life. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, March 8, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. For more information, please call the library at 201-804- 2478, ext. 7.

North Arlington

Dr. Richard Ekstein is offering a free seminar about the benefits of implants and veneers at his new facility, at 312 Belleville Turnpike, Suite 3B, North Arlington on Tuesday, March 6, at 7 p.m. Afterwards, light snacks and beverages will be served and Dr. Ekstein will be available to answer your concerns and questions. Seating is limited so please call our office to reserve your space before Feb. 28. Call Fran at 201-991-1228 or email at fran.sds2@gmail.com

Join Liz Nossier, RD, Clara Maass Medical Center (CMMC) Clinical Nutrition Manager, and North Arlington Health Department, 10 Beaver Ave., on Thursday, Feb. 23, at noon for dietary and nutritional tips as well as a heart-healthy lunch. There is no cost to attend this event. Wear red to show your support! To register, please call 1-888-724-7123, prompt 4 or visit www.barnabashealthcalendar.org. Walk-ins are welcome.

Queen of Peace Knights of Columbus Council 3428 is reorganizing a Squires Circle for Catholic young men between the ages of 10 to 18 years. Anyone interested in participating is invited to come and find out more at an open house on March 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the LaSalle Center at Queen of Peace Church in North Arlington. For more information about joining, please contact: Squires Chief Counselor Tom Jenkins (201) 772-5124 or Peter Briody (201) 991-8892.


Pen to Prose Writers’ Group will meet at Nutley Public Library on Monday, Feb. 27, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The group was formed to read works-in-progress, share accomplishments, critique works, give writing instruction, and provide encouragement and inspiration to aspiring authors. The group is free and open to the public.

Preschool Story Time, for children from 3 to 5 years old, and their caregivers, is held at the library on Thursdays at 10 a.m. Participants can enjoy old and new picture books, create arts and crafts, and meet other children. Registration is required. Story Time, for children from 24 to 36 months, and their caregivers, is held on Fridays at the library at 10 a.m. Registration is required.

BabyGarten, for babies from birth to 22 months, and their caregivers, is held Mondays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the library. The program includes books, nursery rhymes, playtime, and meeting other babies from the Nutley area. Registration is required.

Preschool Story Time, for children 3 to 5-yearsold, and their caregivers, is held on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Enjoy old and new picture books, create arts and crafts, and meet other children. Registration is required.

Nutley Department of Parks and Recreation is currently accepting applications for the 2012 Girls Softball Program. This program is open to Nutley girls in grades 1 through 8. The fee for this program is $25 per youngster. Online registration is available at www.nutleynj.org or applications are available at the Recreation Department, 44 Park Ave. The deadline for registration is March 26. For more information, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 973-284-4966.

Belleville man charged with attempted murder of estranged wife’s lover

Angelo Corino, 61, of Belleville was charged with attempted murder on Feb. 16 for attempting to kill his estranged wife’s lover at her apartment in Lake Hiawatha, N.J. according to Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi. The unidentified man, also 61 years of age, was transported to Morristown Memorial Hospital after sustaining multiple knife wounds. The couple, married for 37 years, had recently parted ways with Corino’s wife settling into the Lake Hiawatha apartment. While living at the new address, she rekindled a four-decade-old romance with the victim who had stopped by that day to assist her with her move. According to a court affidavit, the two heard a noise and were startled to see Corino walking up the stairs toward the apartment. After making it past his wife, Corino pushed the victim up against a wall where he proceeded to stab him multiple times, according to the document. After a joint investigation conducted by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Parsippany –Troy Hills Police Dept., Corino was arrested and charged with attempted murder and several counts of assault, amongst other charges. Corino was held in lieu of $500,000 bail at the Morris County Correctional Facility. In other Belleville happenings:

Feb. 16

At 1:26 a.m., units were dispatched to the Seared Lounge nightclub at 56 Union Ave. near the intersection of Union Ave. and Mill St., on a report of a large fight in progress. As the lounge was letting out, a large group formed in the parking lot at 250 Mill St. and a group of men began to fight. Officers broke up the brawl and the crowd was ordered to disperse. As this was occurring, one of the men, Mario F. Wright, 23, of East Orange turned combative and yelled, “Let my boy go!” at the officers. Wright was asked to disperse but took a swing at the officer instead. Officers sprayed Wright with mace to gain his compliance but he continued to fight. Officers finally gained control of Wright and placed him under arrest. At this point two more men began to yell at the officers. They, too, were ordered to disperse but refused to comply and were placed under arrest. Wright was charged with aggravated assault on police, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. The other men, 22-year-old Victor L. Bazemore of East Orange and Mikal D. Francis, 28, of Newark were charged with disorderly conduct.

A police unit observed a black Honda Accord blow through a stop sign on Clara Maass Drive at 7:36 p.m. When they stopped the car at the intersection of Newark and Belmont Aves., they noticed a “strong aroma of burnt marijuana” emanating from the vehicle. At this time, a passenger began to make “back and forth sweeping motions with his right foot,” as if trying to conceal something. Police found a zip-loc bag filled with marijuana near the passenger’s foot. The man was subsequently searched and another bag of pot was discovered along with 64 empty zip-loc bags commonly used to package and distribute controlled dangerous substances. The vehicle’s driver was issued several motor vehicle summonses. Another passenger seated in the rear, Jonathan Gnisbett, 18, of Newark was found to have an outstanding warrant for $133 out of Newark and was taken into custody. The front passenger, Jose Mendoza, 18, of East Orange, was charged with possession of C.D.S. and released on his own recognizance.

Feb. 14

A store employee reported a burglary and theft at the Best of Breed Pet Grooming store, 328 Washington Avenue, at 9:20 a.m. The man stated that he found the back door unlocked when he arrived for work. A closer examination of the premises revealed an open cash register drawer missing $525. A blue-colored box containing $1700 was also missing from the store.

Feb. 13

At 10:21 p.m., police were dispatched to the Pathmark supermarket at 115 Belmont Ave. on a shoplifting call. Store detectives told police that they detained Alexandria Otero, 22, of Newark and Jennifer M. Ortiz, also of Newark after the two had concealed $298 worth of merchandise in their handbags and attempted to leave the store. Otero was charged with shoplifting and held on $200 bail. Ortiz was found to have an outstanding warrant for $500 out of Newark. She was charged with shoplifting and held on $200 bail in addition to the $500 Newark warrant.

Feb. 12

Police responded to Clara Maass Hospital at 11:31 a.m. after a nurse discovered three small glass pipes with burnt markings amidst a female patient’s belongings. The woman, Stephanie L. Sandora, 46, of Bloomfield was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and released on her own recognizance.

At 7 p.m., Emmanuelle S. Opoku, 23, of Belleville turned himself over to Belleville police for an outstanding warrant out of Montclair.

Feb. 11

At 1:48 a.m. officers proceeded to the Speak Easy bar at 538 Union Ave. to quell a disturbance that began when some patrons turned unruly after leaving the bar. When officers asked the group to disperse, a man ran past an officer in an attempt to restart an earlier fight with someone in the crowd. The man, Nathan Ineves, 21, of Newark was charged with disorderly conduct. As this was playing out, the man’s girlfriend pushed past the officers in an attempt to aid her boyfriend. For her actions, Jazmine N. Rivera, 20, of Bloomfield was charged with disorderly conduct and underage drinking.

At 10:31 a.m., officers patrolling Watchung Ave. observed a suspicious looking male peering into cars near the intersection of Watchung Ave. and Cross St. After an identification check, it was learned that Angel Rodriquez, 49, of Newark carried a no-bail warrant from the Essex County Sherriff’s Dept. He was subsequently arrested.

At 12:08 p.m., police were summoned to the K-Mart shopping center at 371 Main St. on a shoplifting call. According to store detectives, Brian Moore, 24, of Belleville had stolen $184 worth of merchandise. Moore was arrested and charged with shoplifting and found to carry outstanding warrants from the Township of Bernards for $950, and Bloomfield for $500.

–Jeff Bahr

Robbing Peter to pay Paul


In the fall of 2011, I received a mailing that I assumed was a check from the state of New Jersey.  I receive checks from the New Jersey State Treasury when I referee fights here in the Garden State, but I hadn’t worked in awhile, so I wasn’t expecting one.   After opening the parcel, I discovered that it was not a check; it was a bill from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Employer Accounts.  Wow!

The table that was below the following statements told me how much, as an employer, I owe the state.

“The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (Department) was required to borrow funds from the United States Treasury in order to pay Unemployment Insurance benefits.  Payment of the interest on the outstanding loan balance starting Jan. 1, 2011, is due Sept. 30, 2011.

As required by and N.J.S.A 43:21-14.3, the Department must assess all employers for the interest due.  Each employer’s assessment amount is determined by multiplying the employer’s unemployment contributions paid and payable for the preceding calendar year (2010) by the ratio calculated in accordance with the section of the law cited above.  The minimum assessment is $5.

The calculation of your Federal Loan Interest Assessment for 2011 is shown below.  Payment is due 30 days from the mailing date of this notice.  After 30 days, interest will accrue at the statutory rate of 15 percent per year.”

Sounds like “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”  Robbing Peter to pay Paul is an English idiom referring to taking money (or other things) from one party to pay one’s debt to another.  The first use of this idiom (that I was able to find) was from circa 1450 treatise known as Jacob’s Well. But I digress.

Unfortunately, this is not exactly “news.”  Here is an Associated Press story dated March 27, 2009:  “New Jersey is the first state to qualify for federal funds to shore up its unemployment benefits.  U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced today that New Jersey will receive nearly $207 million in federal stimulus money.

New Jersey is one of 14 states that have had to borrow from the federal government to pay unemployment claims.  New Jersey began borrowing from the feds this month when the state fund ran out of money.  The loan is interest-free through December 2010.”

The plot thickens.

Here’s an AP story published Jan. 25, 2010: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he’ll let a tax hike on businesses take effect if the federal government doesn’t help the state replenish the unemployment fund.  Employers could see an increase of up to $1,000 per employee in their unemployment tax starting July 1 unless the fund is infused with state or federal money.”  Governor Christie called for the cavalry and the cavalry arrived; however, New Jersey is not the only state to call in the cavalry.

States that have borrowed from the Fed (government, not the Reserve) in excess of $1 billion are California (no surprise, they are in for $10 billion) followed by Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Illinois – all having borrowed between 2 and $3 billion.  So, at least, we in the Garden State are not on that list.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is proposing waiving interest payments for two years on the $42.3 billion that states have borrowed from the federal government to cover unemployment benefits.  Some 30 states are on the hook for an estimated $1.3 billion in interest charges this year.

The other two measures would directly affect the taxes employers pay to support the unemployment system.  One would delay, for two years, an increase in federal unemployment taxes, which are used to pay down the principal of the loans.

The other, however, is proving to be the most controversial.  It calls for increasing the level of workers’ wages subject to federal unemployment tax to $15,000 in 2014, up from $7,000 currently.

Voltaire once said: “In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.”

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for the individual. Randy Neumann CFP (R) is a registered representative with securities and insurance offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. He can be reached at 600 East Crescent Ave., Upper Saddle River, 201-291-9000.


Sandra ‘Scotty’ Bubenas

Sandra “Scotty” Bubenas (nee Dowd), 62, of Harrison, entered eternal rest on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at Clara Maass Hospital, Belleville.

Scotty was a dedicated employee for close to 30 years for the town of Harrison, She worked in town clerks office, violations department and the Senior Citizens Center until retiring in 2011.

Scotty loved the town of Harrison, especially working with the seniors as an outreach coordinator. She was also a very active supporter of Holy Cross Church.
She is survived by devoted husband Joseph of 43 years, loving children Tammy Deo and Greg, and Kimmy Pandullo and Anthony; she was the cherished grandmother to Kaitlyn and Alyssa Deo and Lexie and Anthony Pandullo and dear aunt to Carrie Ann Fyock. Scotty is predeceased by parents John and Ellen and sister Eileen Gardi.

Arrangements were by Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison. A funeral Mass was held at Holy Cross Church, Harrison, followed by entombment at Holy Cross Chapel Mausoleum, North Arlington. For directions, information or to send condolences, please visit mulliganfuneralhome.org.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Caldwell College for Autism Training and Applied Behavior Analysis, 120 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell, N.J. 07006, in memory of Sandra “Scotty” Bubenas.

Mary A. Capozzi
Loving Aunt, 82
Mary Capozzi died on Thursday, Feb. 16, at Hackensack University Medical Center after a short illness.

Born in her family home in East Newark to the late Carmella and Joseph, she lived there her entire life. Mary worked for the Prudential Insurance Company in Newark for 34 years as a systems analyst before retiring in 1985. Mary was an avid bowler and competed for many years at Prudential and in community leagues.

Mary was extremely kind and generous and had an abiding love of people and an extraordinary devotion to her family. She was the family matriarch, and took an active interest in every member of her family, marking all birthdays and anniversaries. She particularly looked forward to hosting an annual family Christmas party. She also enjoyed weekly “coffees” with her girlfriends and actively followed the exploits of her cherished family on Facebook using her iPad.

Predeceased by her sisters Filomena Spataro and Catherine Stanish, brothers Vincent, Patrick, Joseph and Daniel Capozzi, and nieces Helen Fronheiser and JoAnn Fusiak, she is survived by six nieces and nephews, 13 great nieces and nephews and 12 great-great nieces and nephews.

Services were private.

Dottie E. Kunkel
Dottie E. Kunkel (formerly Cicchino) died on Feb. 13 in Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville, surrounded by her loving family. She was 74. Dottie’s husband Jim died only one week ago.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral Mass was held in Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington, followed by a private cremation.

Dottie was a unit secretary at West Hudson Hospital before her retirement. She was a devoted mother and grandmother.

Dottie was the wife of the late Jim Kunkel and the late Joe “Chicky” Cicchino. She is survived by her children and their spouses Joseph and Erica Cicchino, Valerie and Gary McCauley, Linda Ford and Daniel and Kathy Cicchino, her sister Clara Starr and her grandchildren Cara, Nicole, Gabi, Jesse, Patrick, Joseph, Kaitlyn, Timothy, Matthew, Jack and Gillian.

Dottie’s last unselfish act was to give the gift of sight by donating her eyes. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

News in brief


The Town of Harrison is now the “owner” of Red Bull Arena.

Technically, Harrison holds the tax lien on the stadium and, again technically, if no taxes are paid on the property, the town could foreclose on the property and take possession.

That’s made possible as a result of a special tax sale the town held Feb. 10 for the stadium occupied by the New York Red Bulls professional soccer team at Frank Rodgers Blvd. South and Cape May St. for which the town says it’s owed more than $3 million in property taxes covering part of 2010 and all of 2011.

No one showed up at the sale to redeem the taxes or to bid for the tax lien for the stadium, according to town Tax Collector Anna Nicosia.

“I still have high hopes they (the Red Bulls) will come at some point and pay us,” she said.

The Red Bulls’ owners have contended they owe nothing because both the land and stadium, in their opinion, is exempt from taxes and the team’s owners sued the town over that issue.

But N.J. Tax Court Judge Christine Nugent ruled that not only was Harrison entitled to taxes on the stadium, it could also tax the land on which the stadium sits, even though it’s publicly-owned, because the Red Bulls are a private, profit-making enterprise.

The team owners are asking the state Appeals Court for an expedited hearing to challenge Nugent’s decision and, at the same time, are asking Nugent to “stay” her ruling so they don’t have to immediately pay the taxes demanded by the town, pending their continuing legal battle with Harrison.

At the same time, the town’s special counsel Norman Doyle Jr. has petitioned Nugent to deny the Red Bulls a stay, arguing that they shouldn’t be allowed to slide now that Nugent has ruled that the stadium isn’t tax-exempt.

If, down the road, the appellate court should reverse Nugent’s opinion, the Red Bulls can get a refund at the appropriate time, Doyle reasoned, but they should be compelled to pay now. Or, if the appeals court upholds Nugent’s decision, then the Red Bulls can petition the Hudson County Tax Board for tax appeal.

Meanwhile, the owners have until April 12 to contest their taxes for 2012, noted Harrison Tax Assessor Al Cifelli.


If you’re an out-of-town motorist driving in Bloomfield and you’re in an accident, you could be twice unlucky.

The township governing body has voted to introduce an ordinance that would assess non-Bloomfield residents a $100 “response fee” if their car is involved in an accident that requires township police, fire or emergency vehicles to respond.

Township Administrator Yoshi Manale said that proof of residence would be determined by the driver’s license.

During 2011, there were about 1,800 traffic accidents logged by the Bloomfield Police Department that tied up township public safety/emergency workers for countless hours, Manale said.

How many of those accidents involved out-of-town drivers is impossible to tell, Manale said.

Manale said he recommended the proposal to the mayor and Township Council after reading about a similar action implemented by New York.

The Township Council was scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposed law on Feb. 21.