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Category: News

Be SMART to meet your financial goals

 

By Randy Neumann

In this time of corporate downsizing and restructuring, many people find themselves pursuing a new career. Embarking on a new career should inspire a revision of your existing financial plan including your risk management, future income, eventual age of retirement, and standard of living.

In addition to this revision of future retirement considerations, don’t ignore your current employee benefits package. Employee benefits and “perks” can account for more than a third of the total compensation your new employer has to offer and should be an important consideration in your overall financial plan.

It is important to understand how to get the most benefit from the options available through your new employer. Of course, working with the human resources department to gain a full grasp of all that is available is your best option. Here are a few tips to get the most out of this relationship and maximize your benefits.

Let’s begin with risk management. The risks of life are: you can become ill, disabled, you can die, your property can be damaged, someone can sue you, and a very real risk – you can spend some time and a lot of money in a long-term care facility. Employee benefits often offer solutions to some of these risks.

Let’s begin with health insurance. Be sure to coordinate health benefits offered by your new employer with your existing health coverage. Let’s say that you are covered under your spouse’s plan and the coverage is adequate. If this is the case, you don’t need coverage through your new employer. It would be a waste of money, more than likely your money, to have duplicate coverage. However, there may be circumstances where it would make sense to have duplicate coverage for a short period of time should your spouse be leaving their job shortly.

The next risk on the list is disability. Disability is much more likely than death. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked. Disability is more expensive than dying. If you die, you’re mourned, you’re missed, but you are buried along with your expenses. If you are disabled, your income ceases, but your expenses don’t. So do not scrimp on disability insurance. If your company offers it, take it. If they do not offer it, get yourself an individual policy.

Following the list, many companies offer life insurance benefits. Often, they will give you your salary or a multiple of it. Additionally, they may sell you higher levels of coverage. Group term life insurance is pretty cheap; therefore, calculate what you need and compare the cost to buying a policy yourself.

Employers, in most cases, don’t provide solutions to all of your risks. They don’t routinely provide property and casualty insurance or liability coverage. However, some employers do offer group long-term care insurance. This is definitely worth a look, but make sure you compare it to individual policies. In my experience, an individual policy, in most cases, provides better coverage for less money than do group policies.

Now, let’s look at a benefit that is provided by many employers – retirement plans. In days of yore, employees worked for one company until age 65 at which time they were given a party, a gold watch and a pension. Pension plans are retirement plans fully paid for by the employer. These plans have gone the way of the Phoenix, and I don’t think that they will reappear. However, there is still a wide array of company plans available: 401(k), 403(b), 457 plans, profit-sharing, cash balance plans, et. al.

Retirement plans are “qualified” by the Internal Revenue Service and have three basic elements: 1) You receive an income tax deduction when you make a contribution to these plans. This is a good thing. 2) Earnings within the plans are tax-deferred until you make a withdrawal. This is also a good thing. Withdrawals from these plans are taxable. Well, what did you expect? However, most people find themselves in a lower tax bracket when they are retired and withdrawing from their pension plans, therefore, the tax bite is less painful.

And, 3) many employers provide a matching contribution within their plans. So, if you contribute 10%of your salary, they will match perhaps 3%. Let’s look at some numbers. If you make $100,000 annually and you put 10% of your salary ($10,000) into the plan, your cost is $6,500 (assuming that you are in the 35% tax bracket). But hold on a minute, because your employer made a $3,000 contribution, it cost you $6,500 to put $13,000 into your retirement plan.

If you are 30 years old now and you retire at age 65, that $13,000 contribution earning an annual interest rate of 6% will be worth $1,448,752. Do I have your attention?* Find out about other benefit options your employer provides such as child care, paid vacations and holidays, extended leave policies, education reimbursement, and employee discount packages. Every little bit helps.

Lastly, be sure to periodically review, at minimum annually, your benefits and adjust your participation to changes in your family and life style. Make sure they still meet your long-term concerns and goals.

*This illustration is not indicative of any security’s performance and is based on information believed reliable. Future performance cannot be guaranteed and investment yields will fluctuate with market conditions.

Please consult your financial advisor if you have any questions about these examples and how they relate to your own financial situation before implementation.

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® is a registered representative with and securities and insurance offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. He can be reached at 600 East Crescent Ave., Suite 104, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458, 201-291-9000.

Vroom, Vroom! Motorcycle Mall Opens

John Resciniti Jr., (l.) assists Motorcycle Mall founder John Resciniti Sr. (in red shirt) with tape cutting during grand opening ceremony, as John Resciniti III looks on approvingly.

 

 

John Jr. and Sr. smile before opening the doors of the new Motorcycle Mall to a gathered throng of power sports enthusiasts. The dealer features multiple brands of motorcycles, accessories, and service.

Nutley Pub ‘Biker Night’ successful

 

On April 16, Nutley Pub, 227 Centre St. in Nutley ran it’s first ‘Biker Night’ in memory of Joe Tiseo II of Bloomfield who was killed in a motorcycle accident several years ago.

“This is 100% charity driven,” said Martino Mariella, owner of Nutley Pub. “We’re looking to do a (bike) run for cancer. Really, anything that’s beneficial.”

Biker Night will be a bi-weekly event with the money raised during the event going to charity.

WITH FLYING COLORS

PHOTO BY ANTHONY J. MACHCINSKI/ THE THREE RECENT EAGLE SCOUT AWARD ACHIEVERS (FROM L.) DANIEL NEGRONI, ROBERT MATOS, AND KEVIN CIESLA.

 

Photo by Ron Leir/ Ryan Raimo (r.) and Daniel McClane of North Arlington.

 

By Anthony J. Machcinski

In a world where anyone can find a wealth of negativity, one group of young men continue to show that no matter how young you may be, you can make a difference.

The Boy Scouts often are the ones who undertake several projects throughout their communities, without asking a reward in return. These projects can be anything from simply cleaning an area around a church to participating in the Passaic River cleanup.

In order to achieve the highest rank in scouting –Eagle Scout–, an award only a small percentage of scouts achieve, the scout must prepare and execute an Eagle Scout project. Applicants for the Eagle project must demonstrate to a scout council that they provide a direct benefit to the community.

On Saturday, April 14, three scouts from Troop 305 in Kearny achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

“Just making Eagle (has been my most rewarding experience),” explained Kevin Ciesla, a senior at St. Peter’s Prep and one of the three Eagle Scouts honored. “It showed me that I can stick to a commitment and that I can do anything if I stick to it.”

Ciesla, along with Daniel Negroni and Robert Matos, completed their Eagle Scout projects. Negroni built memory boards for mentallyhandicapped patients while Matos repainted the Soccer Fieldhouse at Gunnel Oval.

“It was a good experience that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else,” Matos said. “The leadership skills I got were so valuable and I was able to have fun while doing it.”

While no one may be as proud as the Eagle Scouts being honored, parents share in the honor, watching their boys grow into young men right before their eyes.

“I remember being here two years ago when my son earned Eagle,” Kearny Police Chief John Dowie remembered, speaking to the crowd on hand. “It was one of the proudest moments of my life.”

With their Eagle Scout behind them, all the boys have college aspirations. Matos is currently a freshman at the College of New Jersey, while Negroni and Ciesla are finishing their senior years of high school and will be attending college in the fall.

In other scouting news from the area, several other potential Eagle Scouts are in the process of advancing towards their Eagle rank.

For his Eagle Scout project, Ryan Raimo, 16, a member of Queen of Peace Boy Scouts Troop 120, elected to repaint the yellow curbs along Ridge Road and all corners, plus Jauncey and Union Aves., and all the corners of Schuyler Ave., River Road and Belleville Turnpike.

Ryan said he came up with the project after talking to Public Works Supt. Jim McCabe.

“He and his helpers have done three-quarters of the town in three days,” McCabe informed the borough governing body at its April 12 meeting.

A modest Ryan insists that the credit for the job must be shared with group leader Daniel McClane, 16, a Queen of Peace sophomore and a group leader on the project, and the entire 21-member paint crew, which included two girls.

The back-breaking work was performed in three shifts during Easter break, Ryan said.

“We did it from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday and from about 9 a.m. to about noon on Thursday,” he said.

Ryan, whose favorite school subjects are science and math, acknowledges that painting doesn’t happen to figure into his future plans. After graduation, he’s considering computer graphics as a possible career choice.

Fire Dept. upper ranks face shakeup

By Ron Leir

KEARNY –

Fire Capt. Bruce Kaufman Jr. ranks first on the Civil Service appointment list for deputy fire chief with the Kearny Fire Department and Fire Chief Steve Dyl has asked town officials to promote him. (He’s been serving in an “acting” capacity as deputy chief, getting extra pay in the process.)

Instead, the town governing body is looking to cut the number of deputy fire chiefs permitted by town ordinance, from the current five slots to just one, and to chop the number of fire captains, from 25 to six, as part of a proposed restructuring of the department.

In tandem with that downshifting, the town proposes to create the ranks of battalion fire chief and fire lieutenant and, eventually, appoint up to four battalion chiefs and no more than 15 lieutenants.

Salaries for those new ranks would be negotiated with the Fireman’s Mutual Benevolent Association, the fire officers union.

Mayor Alberto Santos defended the plan as a necessary strategy to prevent payroll costs from spiraling out of control and added that the town was eyeing possible restructuring “in all departments.”

The ordinance calling for the downsizing of the Fire Department’s Table of Organization was introduced by the mayor and Town Council at the April 10 meeting. It’s slated for a public hearing and adoption on May 22.

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Barbara McCurrie, who chairs the council ordinance committee, said that “no one would be demoted” and that the new lieutenant and battalion chief slots “would be filled through attrition” – meaning as retirements occur, the town would make appointments, as needed, over time.

Both union leaders and Fire Chief Steve Dyl were unsettled by the town’s plan.

Jeff Bruder, president of FMBA Local 218, which represents fire officers, griped that town officials had sprung the news without the “courtesy” of first alerting the unions. Santos said he was at a loss to explain why no advance word had filtered to the FMBA.

The mayor noted that Bayonne, with a fire department of about 160 members, “had only two deputy chiefs” and that the 120-member Hoboken Fire Dept. had “no deputies.”

But Bruder countered that Kearny’s plan was unworkable because “we’re too small a department for this type of setup.”

And Chief Dyl, who has asked the mayor and council to name a fifth deputy chief, urged the governing body to “hold off” on the ordinance’s introduction to allow additional time to hash out a possible alternate strategy.

“We all understand there’s a budget crisis in Trenton and in Kearny,” Dyl said. And for any members of the Fire Dept. who may not be aware of that, “this (ordinance) is a wake-up call,” he said.

On the other hand, Dyl said, starting July 1, the Fire Dept. will be seeing a “13% reduction” in its work force due to retirements which, he said, will impact not only its ability to fight local fires but also its mutual aid obligations.

The Fire Dept., with its current complement of 90 members, is at a point where “we’re not cutting fat anymore, we’re down to the bone,” Dyl said.

With cooperation from all concerned, Dyl said, the department can survive. But the town’s present timetable “gives me two weeks to come up with a solution. That ain’t gonna happen.”

But Santos said the town can’t afford to linger.

“At the heart of this (are) salary levels that can’t be sustained,” the mayor said, and “to say, ‘keep promoting,’ brings the day of reckoning that much sooner.”

Come July 1, 2012, when the FMBA contract runs out, Santos said, the annual pay of the current four deputy chiefs and the chief, combined, will total $867,000; add on benefits and pension costs and that figure rises to more than $1 million; then throw in a fifth deputy chief and the total goes to $1,150,000.

Additionally, the mayor said, 19 of the department’s 25 captains are “at top step of the (salary) guide,” $137,000 a year. That comes to about $2.6 million annually.

After a new labor contract is negotiated, those pay levels are likely to go even higher (the current Fire Dept. payroll is about $10.5 million), and if the department’s T.O. remains unchanged, the town probably won’t be able to comply with the state-mandated 2% budget tax cap, unless it closes a firehouse or opts for layoffs, Santos said.

Santos said the proposed T.O. changes were recommended by a public safety consultant in the early 1990s and were echoed by the state Dept. of Community Affairs in 2011 during discussions of a proposed “merger or consolidation” of fire protection services with Harrison.

Asked by The Observer to project how much Kearny would save by adopting the proposed changes, Santos said: “Savings depends on the number of retirements and we don’t know what that looks like yet. But I can say that if we don’t do this, we’ll be in a worse off position. The risk of layoffs or a firehouse closure becomes higher by not doing this.”

The bottom line, Santos said, is “preserving our residents’ safety while achieving savings.”

 

 

 

Here’s your chance to shed old prescription drugs

Photo from Observer photo archive/ Unused prescriptions like these are accepted at Operation Take Back.

 

By Anthony J. Machcinski

It is no surprise that prescription drug usage has risen in America over the past few years. According to a federal Center for Disease Control 2008 study, over 2.3 billion drugs were ordered or provided to patients nationwide and that number was expected to climb in future years.

With that in mind, law enforcement officials have taken steps in order to prevent the abuse of these prescription drugs.

Operation Take Back is an initiative by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to discard expired, unwanted, and unused medications. Many local area towns are participating this month in the semi-annual event including Kearny, Harrison, North Arlington, Lyndhurst, Nutley and Bloomfield.

“We take any unused prescriptions, everything except for needles,” explained Kearny Police Patrolman John Corbett. “We’ve taken everything from unused prescriptions to basic over-the-counter stuff.”

The DEA launched the program two years ago as a national effort to curb prescription drug abuse.

“They started this program because you find prescription abuse comes from having pills in your house. This helps just in case you have someone who is addicted to medications,” Corbett said, adding that it also helps people dispose of the medication the right way instead of throwing it out or flushing it down the toilet.

Last October, Kearny Police collected over 100 pounds of unused prescriptions while nationally the DEA collected over 188.5 tons.

The fourth semi-annual event will take place on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at several area locations including the Kearny and Harrison Police Stations as well as H&B Pharmacy in North Arlington and the Mobile Command Post in Lyndhurst.

One benefit of the program is the no-stress method for tossing medications, described by Corbett as a “drop-and-go” sort of operation.

“It’s no questions asked, no identification needed,” Corbett said. “We have a box set up right by the door. We’re just there for security reasons.”

Only one request is made of participants: remove personal information from the prescription bottle.

Once handed into Kearny Police, the police turn it over to the DEA, who then perform a controlled burn of all the narcotics.

To get more information about Operation Take Back, go to http://www.justice.gov/dea/.

 

 

 

Future park project to commence soon; Town may name after Dep. Mayor Cardoza

 

 

By Ron Leir

Photo by Jeff Bahr/ Park site to be prepared during summer.

 

 

KEARNY –

A municipal facility still in the formative stages is already targeted to bear the name of a dedicated Kearny activist.

Sian Doran Schoendorf, granddaughter of the late Deputy Mayor Frank Cardoza, appeared before the governing body April 10 to ask its members to consider naming a future park site on Passaic Ave. – the former Maguillian Fuel & Oil property – in his honor.

According such a tribute would be in recognition “for his many years of service to the community,” Schoendorf said. Cardoza, who died Jan. 19, 2012, at age 93, was also a World War II Navy veteran.

Mayor Alberto Santos and the Town Council were inclined to agree but also wanted input, as per town protocol, from the Kearny Recreation Commission and the United Veterans Organization before formally acting on the recommendation.

It has been the town’s policy to name public spaces for Kearny residents with wartime service and Cardoza, who saw action in the Pacific Theater, certainly qualifies in that respect.

A Massachusetts native, Cardoza lived in Kearny most of his life. His daughter, Veronica “Sandy” Doran, recalled that Cardoza played professional soccer for Portuguese and German teams during the 1940s but gave up the game to become a fulltime dad.

Cardoza, who ran a Kearny Ave. laundromat and served as a Hudson County sheriff ’s officer, never sought public offi ce but the way he responded to friends’ and neighbors’ concerns, you’d easily believe he was working for constituents.

Photo by Ron Leir/ Sian Doran Schoendorf stands beside future park.

 

 

“At his funeral,” Schoendorf recalled, “there must have been 400 to 500 people who came and talked to me about my grandfather. Whatever people needed, he would go out and get. It was my grandfather who made the phone call. He fought for what he believed in. … He wasn’t a showy guy but if you wanted something done, he’d do it. They called him ‘the godfather.’ ’’

For many years Cardoza was the Third Ward Democratic chairman and it was in that capacity that he engaged in the constant give and take with residents and mentored younger political novices, always putting others first.

Two who credit Cardoza with “being instrumental” in energizing their political careers are former Councilwoman Barbara Cifelli Sherry and current Councilwoman Carol Jean Doyle, both representing the Third Ward.

“As one of the first Americans of Portuguese descent to settle in Kearny – he was a co-founder of the Kearny Portuguese Cultural Association – Frank took me around and introduced me to many of his (Portuguese- American) friends during my first run for office,” Sherry said. “He was extremely helpful and he helped me in every election subsequent to that.”

For Doyle, who also was the benefi ciary of Cardoza as an escort for her initial campaign, it was more than just a political exercise. “He wanted his friends to embrace both (American and Portuguese) communities,” she said. In 2012, the KPCA marked its 33rd anniversary.

Appointed deputy mayor in 2000, Cardoza took the volunteer job “extremely seriously,” Sherry said. “He reported every day to the mayor’s office, give progress reports, visited construction sites. He was very conscientious because he was invested in the life of the town. He loved the people and anything he could do to make their lives better, he’d do.”

“He was very supportive of everything pertaining to our community,” Doyle agreed. “And he never ‘retired,’ he always attended town meetings, he stayed committed to the town of Kearny. He was one of the biggest assets of our community.”

And now, if the Recreation Commission and UVO go along, the town is poised to memorialize his civic contributions by attaching his name to the Passaic Ave. park site, just across from the Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

The town used a combination state Green Acres grant/loan to purchase the 1.5-acre waterfront property for $751,501 in October 2010 and will use $300,000 in county Open Space funding to develop a “passive park” with a walkway, benches and lighting.

Now that the Town Council has authorized Neglia Engineering to prepare plans and specifi cations for the park, Santos anticipates going out to bid by next month and awarding a development contract by June.

Said Sherry: “I don’t think it’s a big enough tribute for Frank, but it’s a good start.”

 

Meadowlands Hospital offers much to area residents

By Jeff Bahr

In addition to a recent management change and expansion that saw Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center (MHMC) in Secaucus beef up many of its services to the public, the hospital opened a surgery clinic on April 9 that offers free consultation and guidance to patients contemplating surgery.

“We know that people who have been told they need surgery often have many questions and are not always sure where to turn,” explained Dr. Ghassan Khani, a board-certified surgeon and the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer who is now in charge of the clinic. “Our clinic will offer consultation in a comfortable setting. People can come to us for a second opinion, or to arrange for surgery, and to get answers to their questions,” said Khani.

“Everyone is welcome for a free surgical consult,” said Lynn McVey, acting president and CEO of MHMC. “Sometimes people who know they need surgery put it off. Others who need surgery are not sure where to begin to find the surgeon they need. We think Dr. Khani and our new surgical clinic will help everyone contemplating surgery and start them on the road to recovery and better health,” she said.

MHMC is also offering patients in the Meadowlands region access to state-of-theart, comprehensive heart and vascular care at its Cardiology Institute. “Now we can see all our hospitalized patients here at the hospital for follow-up and our patients don’t have to leave Secaucus,” said institute Director Dr. Brendan Sullivan, a board-certified doctor in internal medicine, cardiology and nuclear cardiology.

According to a recent MHMC press release, the newly renovated center will provide a range of cardiology treatments as well as diagnostic services including stress testing, echocardiograms, EKGs, Holter monitors and other crucial tests. Minimally invasive vascular treatments that have revolutionized the field in recent years will also be offered to patients.

“We work to find the least invasive way to treat vascular blockages,” explained team member Dr. Tarek A. Alshafie; who is boardcertified in both vascular and general surgery. “When you find a blockage in the heart you may also find blockages in the neck or elsewhere,” he pointed out, “so cardiologists and vascular physicians work together very closely.”

“Getting younger people in for heart, lipid and blood pressure screening for primary prevention is one of the big goals of cardiology,” according to Sullivan. “And if there is a problem, then at the Cardiology Institute here at Meadowlands we can identify it and provide critical treatment and prevention.”

MHMC has also expanded its maternity services. In fact, it might be said that it has gone positively “upscale” on this front as the hospital now offers mothers-to-be such niceties as private delivery rooms replete with Tuscanstyle bathrooms and chef-prepared candle-lit champagne dinners to honor the major event. Such amenities make the facility “ more “hotel” than “hospital” according to the press release. But frills aren’t the only things that have been added at the maternity wing according to the press release. The expansion also includes:

• An in-house obstetrical group, led by Dr. Lev Kandinov, board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, providing a wide range of maternity services on the hospital campus.

• A maternity anesthesiology group provides services 24 hours each day, every day. • Board certified obstetricians are available 24 hours every day.

• The purchase of the latest, fully equipped ultrasound machine and other technologies to perform necessary tests right at the hospital. • Other investments made at the hospital include:

• Expanded outpatient services, which now include endocrinology, cardiology, internal medicine, and pulmonology. The services are available to patients on an everyday basis.

• Updated the Department of Neuroscience and Cognitive Rehabilitation to provide significant medical and technological support for patients suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and post stroke.

• Purchased general chemistry, histology and microbiology laboratory equipment to provide accurate and timely test results to patients.

• Made necessary investments and renovations throughout the hospital.

• Created the most up-todate electronic medical records system that makes the hospital entirely paperless.

• Recruited obstetricians, renovated its labor and delivery rooms, and provided new services for mothers and their babies as part of a major expansion of maternalchild health services.

“Wide-ranging investments in technology, services, and infrastructure” have become the order of the day at the hospital, according to the press release. Since the management change, “more than 250 board-certified primary and specialty physicians have joined Meadowlands Hospital and Medical Center,” it concludes.

In addition to the aforementioned, the hospital offers free parking to visitors and free lunch and/or dinner at its cafeteria to visitors or patients who receive sameday treatment.

Man sought in Kearny deli robbery try

Kearny Police are looking for a man suspected in the attempted robbery of Tony’s Deli on Kearny Ave. The man entered through the back of the store from Maple St. wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a mask. During a confrontation with the man, the proprietor of the store was able to partially pull off the mask; however, the actor was able to break free and exited the store through the rear of the building.

Officer Phil Finch responded to a panic alarm and took the initial report. Det. Ray Lopez was assigned to the follow up investigation and through his research, was able to draw up a warrant for 42-year-old Kearny resident Angel Matos and police are actively seeking him for robbery.

On Friday, April 6 at 3:30 a.m., Officers Chris Levchak and Dean Gasser responded to a burglary in progress in a 400 block of Devon St. where an individual broke into the home. At some point, the male resident was awakened and confronted the burglar, who ran away. A description was given to police and broadcasted. Officers Tom Sumowski and Tom Floyd, en route to the scene, spotted an individual run from the area to Halstead before heading onto Kearny Ave. The man, Alexander Rodriguez, 36, was chased into a hallway on Kearny Ave. and was placed under arrest. The man, 36-year-old Alexander Rodriguez was charged with burglary and theft.

The next morning, Officer Cesar Negron, who was made aware of the previous nights burglary, was patrolling the same area when he came upon a vehicle parked in the area that didn’t belong to anyone in the area. While investigating the vehicle, Negron was able to see inside the vehicle, finding a lot of Army equipment within the vehicle. Negron made contact with several residents in the area and was able to find the neighbor of the burglary the previous night who identified the gear as his. A check of the temporary registration found that Rodriguez had obtained the car illegally. The information was then relayed to Det. John Plaugic who then charged Rodriguez with an additional burglary charge and a charge of receiving stolen property.

Later on April 6, Officer Jay Ward was patrolling Gunnel Oval around 8 p.m. when he came upon an intoxicated male teen. Ward confronted the teen and asked questions that he was unable to answer. The teen had a strong odor of alcohol and was taken to headquarters, where he admitted drinking vodka. The mother was contacted and she responded to HQ to take custody of the 16-year-old.

On Saturday, April 7, Officer Dean Gasser observed a vehicle went through a traffic light at Bergen and Kearny Aves. at around 1:30 a.m. Gasser then caught up to the vehicle and stopped him by Halstead St. During the course of giving the man a red light summons, he found that the man, 25-yearold Kevin Ortega from Newark, was driving with a suspended license and had four warrants from Newark and another from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. Ortega was arrested and taken to Hudson County Jail and charged with disregarding a traffic signal and driving while on the suspended list. He was booked on the four warrants and was taken to Hudson County Jail waiting for pickup from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.

Later that same night, Officers Mike Andrews and Tom Sumowski were on patrol on Passaic Ave. near Laurel Ave when they were almost struck head on by a vehicle driving at a high rate of speed. The officers took evasive action and went after the vehicle, which they were able to stop in the area of North Midland Ave. When they approached the vehicle, the man was unable to open his window, and opened the door, eventually needing help from Sumowski to be unbuckled.

The man was unable to stand without assistance and was placed under arrest. He was taken to headquarters where he admitted he had been drinking in North Arlington. The man, 31-year-old Cesar Flores, was administered a series of breath tests and issued summons for reckless driving and driving while intoxicated.

On Sunday, April 8, Officers Tom Pontrella and Tom Sumowski were alerted to a strong-arm robbery in the Burger King parking lot. Upon arrival, they located two were Kearny juveniles, who stated that they had been surrounded by a group of kids who beat and robhed them, then headed south on Passaic Ave. Officers John Trevelino and Mike Santucci found four members of the group on Passiac Ave and three more were found by Officers Dean Gasser and Chris Medina. In all, seven individuals ranging from ages 15 to 17 were taken to the Hudson County Youth House and charged with criminal intent, conspiracy, and robbery.

-Anthony J. Machcinski

A WORD WITH THE PUBLISHER: Watch those barbecues

publisher@theobserver.com

 

 

By Lisa Pezzolla

As you drive down the street, you see folks out enjoying the weather, taking brisk walks or riding motorcycles and bicycles. Camping season is also in full swing, as are barbecues. Unfortunately, we have not had much rain and the dry ground increases the risk of brush fires. Lately, we have seen much fire damage locally and nationally. Unfortunately once these fires start they are difficult to control, especially when the wind shifts or changes direction. Enjoy the great weather but think safety; don’t leave fires and barbecues unattended. Keep your cigarettes to yourself, don’t throw them out the window of your vehicle. You never know where they might land and what they will fuel.