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Category: News

Armed robbery at Nutley store

By Karen Zautyk

Nutley police are hunting three men who robbed a Centre St. convenience store at gunpoint  last Wednesday night.
Police said the masked trio entered the Quick Buy store shortly before 10 p.m. Oct. 12, forced one of the two clerks on duty to lie on the floor and demanded money from the one at the cash register.  One of the bandits was brandishing a small black revolver.
Police said the robbers  made off with an undisclosed amount of money and phone cards, fleeing on foot through the store’s parking lot and  residential yards, heading west towards Woodland Ave., where they presumably had a car for a getaway.
The suspects were described as black males, all about 5’-5” and all wearing black wool caps , all-black clothing and cloth covering their faces.
Anyone with information is asked to  contact the Nutley Detective Bureau at 973-284-4940.
Other incidents from the Nutley police blotter for the week ending Oct. 13 included, but were not limited to, the following reports:

Oct. 8
10:10 a.m. — Police received a walk-in report of a dog bite. The victim did not require any medical attention but did want the incident documented. It was found that the dog was current with its vaccinations but did not have a license. The owner was issued a Township Ordinance violation and advised to keep the dog under quarantine until contacted by the Health Department.
5:38 p.m. – Police were called to a residence regarding a dispute that ended in the arrest of Nicholas Zappulla, 23, of Nutley. He was issued a summons for theft and was also found to have a warrant from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. He was turned over to the ECSO.
6:11 p.m. – Illegal dumping was reported on Harrison St. A Budget rental truck was seen in the area where a couch and TV were left at the curb.

Oct. 9
12:39 a.m. – Police responded to Route 21 on a call of a vehicle stopped, running and possibly on fire in the middle lane of the highway. Officers found the car smoking, possibly from engine failure. There were no keys in the ignition and the owner was nowhere in the area. The car was towed and contact was made with the owner by the Newark Police Department.
2:05 a.m. – An officer on patrol observed two males engaged in a dispute in the middle of Franklin Ave. and witnessed one push the other into a parked vehicle. William Cordoba, 36, of Kearny was charged with simple assault and resisting arrest and was also found to be wanted on a Montclair warrant. Cordoba was able to post bail and was released with his mandatory court date.
6:04 p.m. – A resident of Ravine Ave. reported criminal mischief to his auto, which had been keyed from front to back sometime during the afternoon.

Oct. 10
12:14 a.m. – Police responded to a residence regarding a report of missing checks. The victim stated checks were missing from their checkbook and that their bank statement included record of a check not written by the account holder. The Detective Bureau is following up on the incident.

Oct. 11
9:37 a.m. – A Whitford Ave. resident reported a burglary to their automobile. The victim stated that they found their car with the doors slightly ajar and several items, valued at more than $1,700, missing.
10:23 a.m. – Police responded to a report of several suspicious parties — two juveniles and an adult male. The juveniles were found to be out of school without parental permission. The adult, Musa Ibrahim-Vann, 30, of Nutley, was found to have a warrant out of Newark, and a pat down allegedly revealed two bags of marijuana in his possession. He was charged with possession of CDS.

Oct. 12
8:44 a.m. – A resident reported that a plastic no-parking sign had been glued to their car‘s windshield sometime during the night.
10:10 a.m. – A fraud was reported by a Satterthwaite Ave. resident who had received a check from the IRS made out to an unknown party but with the address of the victim. This is the second check mailed by the IRS to this residence. Both were mailed back to the IRS.
10:26 a.m. – A teacher found a clear plastic bag containing five smaller bags of marijuana lying in the Nutley High School parking lot. The bag was given to the school security officer and the police were contacted.

Oct. 13
2:55 pm – Police received a report of criminal mischief to an auto. The owner said all the tire caps were missing and the left rear tire was flat.
10:13 p.m. - Police responded to a Centre St. home when a landlord reported that a new tenant had an electrical cord plugged into his outlet and was stealing electricity. Police investigated and found no cord at the time of arrival.

Get the job done!


By Lisa Pezzolla

Why do we procrastinate?
Why do we put off what needs to be done?
So often we have to get things done and instead we put it off and get caught up in what is not important at the time, only to make it more difficult and harder in the long run.
We don’t actually enjoy what we are doing but don’t want to focus on what needs to be done. It builds more anxiety and stops us from enjoying ourselves as well; it becomes a vicious cycle and only you have control over it.
I have found myself procrastinating.
I am not lazy, but I find myself overwhelmed and not sure which way to turn at times. I am very fortunate to have a few close friends and new friends who have entered my life and have been a big support system in helping me focus and set my priorities.
We so often put off what we need to do – as simple a thing as telling a friend, family
member or loved one that you love them. Picking up the phone up and telling that
person you were thinking of them, because tomorrow they might not be there to tell.
Or the project that is due at the end of the week and you still are pondering the thought two days before. It drains you of energy and is so unnecessary.
We can’t always enjoy what we are doing all the time, but what I have learned this past
year – as I begin knocking off what I have procrastinated – is that I made it more difficult in the long run and I wasted more energy thinking about what I should be doing, instead of doing.
So I end this by pledging to tackle the paper work that I have been procrastinating doing for the past two weeks.

Four Loko gets two locos arrested

By Karen Zautyk

Add one more to the Asking-to-be-Arrested file. Actually, make that two more, since a pair of suspects ended up in cuffs.
At 4 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, KPD Officers Chris Medina and Ben Wuelfing responded to a report of a car blasting music and blocking a driveway on Windsor St. The sounds “could be heard a block away,” Police Chief John Dowie reported.
The cops approached the vehicle, a 2008 BMW, and asked the driver — twice — to lower the volume, Dowie said. Upon the third request, the 33-year-old Newark man got out of the car, giving the officers a clear view of his passenger, who was reportedly taking a few slugs from a can of Four Loko, another can of which was on the curb.
Wuelfing attempted to give the driver field sobriety tests, but the man refused to cooperate and insisted he hadn’t been driving, Dowie said. Taken to police headquarters, he reportedly refused a breath test.
Medina questioned the passenger, who was found to have no ID and who, when asked his name, replied, “Obama.” As the officer began a pat-down, Dowie said, the man asked, “Do you want me to take off my pants?” and then did so. And bent over. Redressed and also taken to headquarters, the passenger, a 35-year-old from Newark, again removed his pants and refused to be fingerprinted and photographed, police reported.
He was charged with obstructing and hindering apprehension, littering, and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle.
The driver was charged with DWI, refusal to take a breath test, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle and prohibited parking.
The BMW was impounded.
•    •    •    •    •
In other Kearny police news, officers were called to the Devon St. footbridge at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, to help Harrison cops break up a “large brawl.” Dowie said a crowd was watching several separate fights when the KPD arrived.
Officers Paul Bershefski and Dave Rakowski physically separated two of the combatants, a 16-year-old from Harrison and a 17-year-old from Kearny. Another Harrison 16-year-old reportedly became defiant and profane when Officer Sean Kelly attempted to disperse the crowd.
All three youths were charged with disorderly conduct.
The cause of the melee is not known.
•    •    •    •    •
At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6, the Vice Squad, in the course of an ongoing investigation, executed a search warrant at an Elm St. business suspected to be a drug distribution center. Dowie said his officers targeted the place after making several controlled buys of the prescription painkiller Oxycontin.
During the search, they reportedly confiscated marijuana and $700 in cash, and arrested a 37-year-old Kearny woman on charges of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession with intent to distribute.
•    •    •    •    •
On Oct. 8, Officers Richard Pawlowski and Pete Jahera were on patrol in South Kearny at 4:40 a.m., when they received an alert about a theft in progress at a Hackensack Ave. business.
On the property, they found a white van parked next to a Dumpster, and two Jersey City men, aged 40 and 46, behind the container. Dowie said the pair admitted to being there to steal scrap metal.
Both were charged with trespass and theft. The 40-year-old also was found to be wanted on two Jersey City warrants.
•    •    •    •    •
At 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 9, Officer Cesar Negron was advised by a concerned citizen of a possible drug transaction at Hickory St. and Pierce Place. The witness gave a description of the suspected dealer, whom Negron located and confronted on Forest St.
When the suspect refused to remove his hands from his pockets, Dowie said, Negron did a pat-down and found a glass vial containing marijuana. At headquarters, the 18-year-old Kearny resident was also reportedly found to have a large bag filled with pot stuffed down the front of his pants.
With the suspect’s consent, Dowie said, police searched his home, and while no additional drugs were found, they did confiscate a replica handgun and three rounds of .22 caliber ammunition.
The teen was charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute, possession of paraphernalia and intent to distribute in or near a public park.
Investigation of the gun is continuing.
•    •    •    •    •
On Oct. 10, at 4 p.m. Officer Jay Ward stopped a motor vehicle near Halstead St. and Kearny Ave. after the driver failed to yield to a pedestrian. The 36-year-old Bridgewater motorist produced an international driver’s license, but upon questioning, admitted he had bought it in Newark, Dowie said.
He was charged with possession of a false government document, and was turned over to Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents.
•    •    •    •    •
A car parked in a secluded area at the Arlington Dog & Cat Hospital on Passaic Ave. at 7:30 p.m. last Wednesday drew Officer Mike Andrews’ attention. As he approached the vehicle on foot, he observed the a male passenger holding what appeared to be a silver marijuana grinder and a cigar. Additionally, Dowie said, the car “reeked of pot” and the man had loose particles of pot on his lap. A search reportedly produced a bag of the drug on his person.
The man, a 22-year-old from Paterson, also had warrants from Clifton and Elmwood Park, the chief said. He was charged on those and for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.
•    •    •    •    •
Last Thursday brought a 1-2-3 punch: three arrests in two locations in the span of one minute.
At 2:50 p.m., Officers Mike Andrews and Neil Nelson spotted two suspicious individuals on Highland Ave. near Liberty St. who appeared to be peering into homes and driveways.
Asked for ID and run for warrants, both were found to be wanted. One of the men, a 26-year-old from East Orange, had two no-bail warrants–one from Essex County and one from Burlington County–along with a $350 warrant out of Lyndhurst.
His companion, 21 and also from East Orange, had warrants out of Ho-Ho-Kus and Pequannock.
At 2:51, Officers Bershefski, Rakowski and Steve Hroncich arrested another wanted man, a 22-year-old from North Arlington, after they spotted him near the Burger King on Passaic Ave. That suspect had a Bloomfield warrant.
•    •    •    •    •
Finally, at 7:10 p.m., Thursday, Officer Nelson apprehended a 33-year-old from Kearny, who was wanted on a $1,000 Fair Lawn warrant, after the cop observed him leaving a Kearny Ave. bar. Stopped at Windsor and Grove, the man was allegedly found to be in possession of suspected cocaine. He was charged with possession of drugs and paraphernalia, plus the warrant.

Around town

St. Anthony of Padua Church, 63 Franklin St., Belleville, will have its 110th anniversary celebration dinner and dance on Sunday, Oct. 30, from 2 to 7 p.m.
Clara Maass Medical Center (CMMC) invites you to come out to a hospital health fair on Thursday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the medical center located at One Clara Maass Drive, Belleville. Stations will include: Stroke risk assessment, depression screenings, diabetic foot screenings, emergency department information, rehabilitation services, sleep center, imaging services, nutrition information, diabetes education, and blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and body fat analysis screenings.  You are welcome to bring a brown bag of your medications, as pharmacists will be present to review your meds with you. There is no cost to attend this event. Registration is suggested. Please visit www.barnabashealthcalendar.org or call 1-888-724-7123, prompt 4, to register.

Bloomfield Public Library Children’s Department needs your help collecting donations of craft supplies to be used in the library’s free programs for children of all ages. Some items they are looking for are construction paper, pipe cleaners, and solid colored tissue paper, but they’ll accept any relatively new craft materials in good condition. (Opened or partially used packages are fine as long as the remaining materials are in good shape.) For a longer list of what we need, give us a call at (973) 566-6200 ext. 507. Donations can be dropped off at the children’s library at 90 Broad St.
On Tuesday, Oct. 26, from 7 to 7:45 p.m., the library’s children’s department will have a reading of scary stories for children aged 5 to 12. Register for this free event in the children’s library, 90 Broad St., or by calling (973) 566-6200 ext. 507. Kids can wear a costume, just for fun! Please note that stories in the later portion of the program may be inappropriate for young children.

Project Graduation, a program to provide a safe graduation night for Kearny High School seniors, will hold a meeting Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the KHS library (4th floor). The group is seeking new members. For more information, call Steve Dyl at 201-991-7467.
Heaven Cent Thrift Shop at First Presbyterian Church, 663 Kearny Ave., has fall and winter clothing now in stock. Men’s and women’s suits 50% off. Hours are Wednesday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donations of new or gently used clothing and small household items are welcome and very much appreciated. Entrance on Laurel Ave.
Calvary Methodist Church, 342 Elm St., Kearny, will have a harvest party on Friday, Oct. 21, 7 to 9 p.m.
Children are invited to hear a Halloween story and then design a “skeletoni,” an artistic skeleton made entirely out of macaroni shapes, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, in the lower level. The library will provide the materials. Registration is not needed for this program at the main library, 318 Kearny Ave. For more information, visit www.kearnylibrary.org or call 201-998-2666.
The 24th annual Kearny Halloween parade will take place on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m., rain or shine. Tots, youth, teens, adults and senior citizens are welcome to participate in the line of march. Registration forms for all age participants and groups will soon be available at all Kearny schools and at the Kearny Recreation Department, located in Town Hall, 402 Kearny Ave. Floats and bands are being accepted. Any civic or social organization interested in entering a float or marching in the parade this year can contact the Recreation Department at 201-955-7983. The parade route will start on Kearny Avenue at Dukes Street and travel north past Town Hall. The Kearny Police Department stresses that no bikes or skateboards are allowed along the parade route.
St. Stephen’s Seniors announces the following upcoming events: the annual Communion Breakfast – 10 a.m. Mass at St. Stephen’s followed by brunch at the Archdiocesan Center, 499 Belgrove Drive, Kearny.  For tickets call Vicki at 201-991-8345.  A. C. trips – Oct. 26 and Nov. 30.  For information call Peggy at 201-998-9443. Hunterdon Hills – Nov. 11 (waiting list only).  For information call Joan at 201-998-3578. The annual Everything Fair will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  This year the fair will feature attic treasures, a tricky tray, bake sale, jewelry sale, refreshments and a raffle for $150 in Shop Rite gift certificates. For further club information please call Tom at 201-998-8258.
The Rosary Society of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 136 Davis Ave., will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, Nov. 3, in the church hall. Guest speaker will be Rev. Michael Ward, parish administrator, who will speak on the changes to the prayers said during the Mass.

The Lyndhurst Library is once again collecting coats and clothing for the First Cerebral Palsy Center’s Coat Drive to help the homeless of St. John’s Soup Kitchen through the fall. New and gently used coats for all seasons, fall and winter clothing, and shoes in all sizes from adult to infant are being accepted. The drop-off boxes are located at the main entrance of the library.  For more information, please call the Lyndhurst Library at 201-804-2478, ext. 7.
St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church will hold an indoor flea market on Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be held in the building next to the church on the corner of Stuyvesant and Forest Aves., Lyndhurst. All proceeds go to the church.
Lyndhurst V.F.W. Post 3549, 527 Valley Brook Ave., will have a Karaoke night on Friday, Oct. 28, starting at 7:30 p.m. The VFW hall is also available to rent for all occasions. For more information, call the Post at 201-939-3080.
A veterans ward party will be held on Oct. 25,  at 2:30 p.m. at Chestnut hill Extended Care Facility, Passaic. The event will be sponsored by John and Marilyn Faziola. In memory of Frank Lopinto, brother of  Marilyn. The party also is in memory of Eugene and Madelyn Lopinto, parents of Marilyn and Frank. Frank Lopinto was a  Lance Corporal in the U.S. Marines who was killed in Vietnam on July 2, 1967 at age 19. He had been born Oct. 1, 1947. He was awarded two Purple Hearts (for wounds suffered in combat), National Service Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Service Medal and the Military Merit and Gallantry Cross with Palms.
Join Clara Maass Medical Center for a light breakfast at the Lyndhurst Health Department on Friday, Oct. 21, at 10 a.m. for a First Aid for Seniors discussion. There is no cost to attend this event. Registration is suggested. Please visitwww.barnabashealthcalendar.org or call 1-888-724-7123, prompt 4, to register.
The N.J. Meadowlands Commission and Bergen County Audubon Society will sponsor a free two-hour nature walk Sunday, Oct. 23, starting at 10 a.m.
Meet at the entrance to the Mill Creek Marsh trail, just off Park Plaza Drive in Secaucus. You can also meet at the visitors’ parking lot at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst at 9:30 a.m. to carpool. Check meadowblog.net for last-minute updates and weather advisories. To R.S.V.P., contact Don Torino at greatauk4@aol.com or 201-230-4983.
At 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 23, a “Music of the Universe” concert, featuring ethereal Musicora (piano, voice, violin, cello and guitar) will be presented at the Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 DeKorte Park Plaza. $5; MEC members, $4. Call 201-460-8300 or visit www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec.
The Masonic Club of Lyndhurst, 316 Riverside Ave., will have its annual Halloween party on Saturday, Oct. 29, starting at 6 p.m. The party is open to all ages for a donation of $15 per person. Children under 12 will be admitted free. Reservations are recommended! For reservations, call the club 201-933-1330.
The Lyndhurst Health Department announces that its meditation classes will continue weekly. The meditation program, which began in September, was scheduled to run eight weeks. Due to community interest, meditation will continue every Monday night from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Lyndhurst Health Department. Parbatie Singh, certified meditation trainer and Lyndhurst resident, is donating her time to lead these free workshops. Pre-registration is required. Please call the Lyndhurst Health Department at 201-804-2500 to register. Residents of surrounding towns are welcome.
The Lyndhurst Library would like to invite the community to its monthly Book Club meeting. Make new friends who also have the same love for books while enjoying some refreshments. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 6:30 p.m. The book to be discussed will be “Second Chance” by Jane Green. Please contact Diane Montefusco at 201-804-2478, ext. 2, for more information and to obtain a copy of the book. Space is limited and registration is necessary.

North Arlington
The North Arlington High School Competition Cheerleaders will be holding a clothes drive on Saturday, Oct. 22.  The clothes will be collected in front of the high school, 222 Ridge Road, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, as well as shoes, belts, handbags and home linens will collected.  Please place clothing and shoes in separate plastic bags. For more information, please call 201-320-1141.  Cheerleaders will be available to help unload the bags from your cars.
Living Water Church, 119 Biltmore St., North Arlington, is hosting a Harvest Fun Festival on Sunday, Oct. 23, beginning at 2 p.m. The events will include free games, free food, free gift baskets, prizes and entertainment.  Biltmore Street will be closed from Gold Street to High Street during the festival. For more information on the Harvest Fun Festival, visit www.livingwaternj.com.
There will be a North Arlington Public Library Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. This meeting is in addition to the regularly scheduled 2011 meetings.
Girls interested in playing softball next spring can sign up for the North Arlington Girls Softball League on Nov. 2 and 3 at the high school cafeteria from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The cost to join the league is $65 for girls between the ages of 5 and 8 and $75 for girls between 9 and 14 years old. There is a $50 fee for each additional child per family. Proof of residence is required at registration. There will be a $25 fee added for late registrations.
North Arlington Recreation Commission will host its annual Halloween Parade and town-wide Trunk or Treat on Thursday, Oct. 27.  Participants will assemble at Boston Market on Ridge Road at 6 p.m. and kick off at 6:30 p.m. The Trunk or Treat will follow at the end of the parade behind Borough Hall.  Children 10 years old and younger can also attend the NAVES Annual Halloween Party at 7 p.m. at the North Arlington High School cafeteria. If you would like to donate candy or use your trunk for the Trunk or Treat please call North Arlington Events Coordinator Tara Banuls at 201-679-0569. You must sign up to be a part of the Trunk or Treat.

The Tuesday Evening Knitting Club will meet at the Nutley Public Library, 83 Booth Drive, on Nov. 1, from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Come share your love of knitting and crocheting with both beginning and experienced knitters. Please bring your own supplies. This group meets on the first Tuesday of every month.
Experienced and non-experienced players are welcome to play bridge at the Nutley Public Library on the following Tuesdays: Nov. 1, 15, 22 and 29 at 1 p.m. No registration required.
Wednesday Afternoon Knitting Club meets every week at the library from 1 to 3 p.m. Please bring your own supplies.
Nutley Little Theatre invites area residents interested in community theater to attend the group’s membership meeting Friday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m., at the NLT Barn, 47 Erie Place, Nutley.
A brief business meeting will be followed by a workshop featuring readings of Halloween-themed monologues written by NLT member Joe Del Priore. NLT is an all-volunteer organization that stages five productions annually. Open auditions encourage newcomers to try out for roles, and there are also backstage roles to be filled, as well as administrative and support positions. Membership dues are $15 annually; $20 for two persons at one address. For information, call 973-667-0374.

Maximizing a ‘4’ plan


By Randy Neumann

Are you maximizing your 401(k)?
If not, why not?  Let’s begin by putting things in perspective. The national debt is $14 trillion.  The quote, “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money” is commonly attributed to Sen. Everett Dirksen from Illinois in the 1960s.  But some research reveals that the phrase was used as early as 1917.  And the Jan. 10, 1938, New York Times reported: “Well, now, about this new budget. It’s a billion here and a billion there, and by and by it begins to mount up into money.”
Trillions and billions are one thing, but millions are another.  Today, $1 million is not all that much money in terms of retirement savings.  In this “new normal” economy, a $1 million portfolio is expected to generate $50,000 annually in retirement income.  That’s for this year.  Using an inflation factor of 3%, next year’s income will be $48,500.  The following year will be $47,045, and so on.
Do you have $1 million in your retirement portfolio?  Will you need $1 million in your retirement portfolio?  You will if your retirement expenses are about $50,000, so how do you get there?
The hard way is to earn $100, pay the tax on it and put what’s left into a bank account.  If you are in the 30% tax bracket, you will pay the government $30 in tax, and you will invest $70 in an account that pays less than 2%.    Additionally, you will have to pay a tax on the earnings, so let’s say that you earn 1% net after taxes.  Your $100 is worth $70.70 at year-end.  If you apply a 3% inflation factor, your net amount is $67.90.
The easier way is to put $100 into your 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plans (hereafter referred to as “4” plans.)  The $100 goes in pre-tax, i.e., you pay no income tax on it.  The money grows tax deferred as long as it stays in the account and can, in most cases, be invested in a diverse menu of investment options so that you can manage the risk in the account.
Back to the question at hand.  Are you maximizing your “4” plan?  When something is good for the government, there is no limit.  When something is good for us (the taxpayer), there are limits.  This year’s limit to “4” plans is $16,500.  If you are over age 50, you can make an additional “catch-up” contribution of $5,500.
Let’s look at a plan in motion.
As mentioned above, “4” plans provide tax-deferred growth and compounding, so the money in your 401(k) compounds year after year without tax penalties.  The earlier you start, the more compounding you get.  Assume that you put $2,400 annually into a 401(k) starting at age 30, and for the sake of example, let’s assume you get an 8% annual return.  How much money would you have at 65?  You would have a retirement nest egg of $437,148 from putting in $200 per month.
Interestingly, if you started putting in the same $200 a month five years later, you would have only $285,588.  Time is money.
But you may not have to do all of the heavy lifting yourself.  According to some research done by Money magazine in 2010, big companies will often match employee 401(k) contribution.  Usually, this match is 50 cents for each dollar up to 6% of salary.
And, there’s also a new wrinkle in the “4” plans—the Roth element.  Contributions to a Roth “4” plan are not tax-deductible, the magic happens on the other end.  With these plans, you receive tax-free compounding and tax-free withdrawals (provided the withdrawals are considered qualified).
Let’s finish with the beginning concept of this column: trillions, billions and millions.  Assuming an 8% annual return, to retire with $1 million all you need to do at age 30 is put $6,000 per year ($230.76 per biweekly paycheck) into a “4” plan until you are age 65 at which time you will have $1,000,033.90 in your “4” plan.

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 securities and insurance offered through LPL Financial.  Member FINRA/SIPC.  He can be reached at 12 Route 17N, Suite 115, Paramus, 201-291-9000.

Recipe contest for Nutley youngsters

Nutley Mayor Joanne Cocchiola, the township Board of Education and Chartwells, the district’s hot-lunch food service provider, are sponsoring a Nutley Healthy School Lunch Recipe Contest, designed to give school-aged children the chance to express their creativity while learning hands-on about the principles of healthy eating and good nutrition.

Registration for the recipe contest is open now and will end Nov. 30.

Registration info is available at www.nutleynj.org/fit-kids-recipe, as well as the Board of Education website, with hard copies at the Department of Public Affairs, 149 Chestnut St.  Detailed contest logistic information is also available in the comprehensive participation guide online.

Nutley children, grades K through 12, can participate as individuals or in teams of five within appropriate grade levels: Grades K-2; 3-6; 6-8; and 9-12.  Teams with participants in different grade levels will be judged at their team’s highest grade level.  All recipes must follow nutrition guidelines that are included in the packet.

Winners will be announced in February, and the grand prize winner’s recipe will be incorporated in the Nutley school lunch menu for the 2012-2013 year.  Three other recipes will be featured for a limited time on the menus of select local restaurants.  All qualifying participants will be featured in and receive a copy of the Nutley School Lunch Recipe Contest Cookbook.

The contest is part of the Nutley Fit Kids program, an initiative to engage children and teens in activities to promote a healthy mind, body and spirit.  For more information, contact the mayor’s office at 973-284-4972, or visit www.nutleynj.org.



Marsh madness over taxes

Photos by Ernie Fragetta


By Ron Leir

The EnCap bankruptcy and subsequent demise of plans to turn part of the Meadowlands into a recreation/entertainment mecca have spawned a Swamp War over tax dollars between Lyndhurst and the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC).
Lyndhurst took its case public at an Oct. 3 press conference to zap the NJMC for failing to pay taxes on 13 township parcels that sit in the Meadowlands district and that are now part of the NJMC’s Kingsland Redevelopment Plan.
In a letter sent Aug. 22 to Gov. Chris Christie, Lyndhurst Mayor Richard DiLascio said that EnCap, which the NJMC designated to develop those parcels, ran up “a sizable delinquency” on property taxes owed for that land.
That tax obligation, DiLascio said, “was assumed by the NJMC” which, he added, “has not paid the delinquent taxes . . . .”
In April 2011, the NJMC filed an appeal with the New Jersey State Tax Board, claiming it was exempt from any tax obligations.
In May, Lyndhurst proposed a settlement of the matter but has gotten no counter offer from the NJMC, DiLascio said. “As part of our settlement proposal,” the mayor noted, “we have offered to forgo interest on the (tax) lien and tax balances.”
In the absence of any formal response, DiLascio said Lyndhurst is appealing to the governor for help.
“We are prepared to meet in Trenton, or any other place, at any date and time so as to finally resolve this issue,” he concluded.
At stake, according to Lyndhurst fiscal experts, is a 6-year tax bill for an estimated $9 million and climbing.
In response, Lori Grifa, state Community Affairs commissioner and NJMC chairwoman issued a statement reading: “The assessed value of the taxes associated with these 13 properties (and the obligations related to them) has been in dispute for quite some time.
“The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission was awarded title by court order to these properties in March 2011. A tax appeal was promptly filed. There is now also litigation pending.
“We regret that the Township of Lyndhurst has chosen to mediate this dispute in public. The Commission and Department of Community Affairs has consistently said it is willing to negotiate, but it must be under a system that is fair to all parties.”
DiLascio declined to provide specifics about the township’s settlement proposal but did say that Lyndhurst “has talked about PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) – we don’t have any objections to it.”
And, in his letter to the governor, DiLascio says that the NJMC “has sufficient resources to pay the settlement proposed by the Township and structure a fair and final resolution.” He says an auditor found that NJMC “has $7,429,051 in unreserved surplus . . . out of a total surplus of $20,978,635. This surplus has been created out of the wallets of the Lyndhurst taxpayers and should be paid to the Lyndhurst treasury.”
Until last week, Lyndhurst was refusing to pay the second installment of its NJMC tax-sharing pool contribution to six “receiving” districts, including Kearny and North Arlington, which was due Aug. 15.
Kearny filed a claim against Lyndhurst in Hudson County Superior Court to collect the $175,000 it is owed from the tax-sharing pool account.
“We feel that Lyndhurst’s issue with the NJMC is unrelated to the tax-sharing issue,” Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos said.
Santos said that Lyndhurst came across with its payment last Thursday.
Robert Benecke, Lyndhurst’s financial consultant, placed the assessed value of the disputed 13 meadows parcels at $122,347,500 which, he said, would have translated to $2,261,881 in real estate taxes for 2010.
In its appeal, the NJMC simply claimed that, as a state agency, it was tax exempt, and listed no assessed values for the disputed properties. It listed eight, including several landfills that are being remediated, as vacant land and the rest as industrial sites.
In a deal transacted in September 2004, Lyndhurst was “promised over $500 million in new revenues over 35 years (from the EnCap venture),” DiLascio said.
Now, the mayor said, “the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission owes us millions as we battle for survival . . . . What was dubbed ‘the Miracle of the Meadowlands’ has become the ‘Disaster in the Dumps’. ’’
When asked why Lyndhurst doesn’t take the NJMC to court, Benecke replied: “We can do things at a higher level (but) we don’t want to do that. We could end up in litigation for years. We just want them to come to the table.”

Tragic end to river search

Georgie Pena


By Karen Zautyk

A four-day search for a Kearny man who disappeared in the Passaic River ended early last Tuesday, Oct. 4, when the body of 21-year-old Georgie Pena was found in the water behind the Pathmark on Passaic Ave.
The tragic discovery was made at 7:15 a.m. by Kearny Police Sgt. Rick Poplaski and Officer Jack Corbett, who had just launched a police boat to continue the hunt.
Kearny Police Chief John Dowie said the body was on the east side of the river about three to four feet from the shore.
Pena’s body was taken to the Medical Examiner’s office, where it was identified. The case has been handed over to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.
Pena had gone into the water shortly after 12:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30, as he was reportedly fleeing police who had seen him running across Passaic Ave. at the foot of Magnolia Ave. When officers reached the riverbank, Pena was already near midstream “being carried south by the river’s current,” police said.
Authorities said officers had been on the lookout for him after he was nearly hit by a car while walking in the middle of Passaic near North Midland Ave. a short time before. Dowie stated that Pena was not wanted by police and was not being chased, but that he ran from the cops.
Kearny police and firefighters and rescue boats from Lyndhurst and Wallington launched an immediate search, which ended after several hours with negative results, authorities said. It was resumed at daybreak and continued from dawn to dusk that Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The Tuesday search was just starting when the body was found.
State Police helicopters and boats, K-9 units and first responders, including several scuba teams, from more than a half-dozen jurisdictions took part in the exhaustive hunt, which extended from Kearny’s northern border all the way to Newark Bay.
The day after Pena disappeared, The Observer spoke briefly with his stricken mother, Daisy Pena of Kearny, who had gone to the KPD search command center at Passaic Ave. and the Belleville Pike with several family members.
At that time, she was still clinging to hope that her son might be found alive.
“I’m supposed to die before he does,” she said through her tears. “Parents are supposed to die before their kids do.”

Burglary suspects nabbed

Police were able to solve four daytime break-ins and attempted break-ins when they apprehended the alleged burglar and his female lookout after a botched entry on Brighton Ave. last Thursday, authorities reported.
At 12:45 p.m., a man living on Brighton near Afton St. was working in his basement when he saw a pair of feet coming through the window. Realizing the home was occupied, the burglar fled, and the resident called the cops.
Police said the responding officer, P.O. Tom Bannon, spotted a man and a woman walking on Patterson St. and detained the male. The woman, who had continued on towards Kearny Ave., was stopped by other officers and was returned to the scene, where the homeowner reportedly identified both.
According to police, the pair, a 34-year-old Kearny man and his 32-year-old lookout from Florham Park, were also linked to another attempted burglary on Brighton, a break-in on the same street and a burglary and theft on Maple St., all that morning.
Police reportedly recovered a stolen laptop in a backpack (also stolen) that the man was carrying. They said the computer, along with jewelry found in the suspect’s pockets, came from the Maple St. residence.
The couple were arrested on multiple charges including burglary, conspiracy and theft.
The man was remanded to the Hudson County Jail on $50,000 bail; his companion, on $10,000.
— Karen Zautyk

Cops thwart cycle theft; grab 1, hunt 2

Photo courtesy Nutley Police Department/ Crane lifts suspects’ van out of resident’s driveway.


By Karen Zautyk

Two sharp-eyed officers patrolling River Road in the wee hours last Thursday spotted something that did not look quite right.
Turned out, it wasn’t. And it led to a  chase, the  arrest of one man and a hunt for his two accomplices.
Police said  Officers John Mecka and Ted Durand were on patrol at 3:12 a.m. Oct. 6 when, while passing a driveway near E. Centre St., something caught their eye: a white van surrounded by three men who appeared to be intent on stealing a motorcycle.
“What happened next,” said Det. Anthony Montanari, “was textbook police work.”
The cops made a u-turn, one of the guys in the driveway yelled, “Police!” and the trio piled into the van, heading west on Centre.
Mecka and Durand pursued the white Ford Econoline – reported stolen out of Paterson – up Centre and then north on Washington Ave.  At the corner of Washington and Satterthwaite Aves., as it was attempting to make a turn at a high rate of speed, the van went out of control and slammed into a house, demolishing one corner of the structure.
It also managed to land on top of the homeowner’s 2008 Chevy Impala parked in the driveway
The Econoline’s three occupants jumped from the vehicle and fled on foot through the backyards.  Several houses away, police found one of the alleged culprits, 18-year-old Anthony Olivo of Paterson, hiding in  a shed.
The hunt for the other suspects continued with the aid of the Essex County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit, but the dogs lost the scent near the intersection of Park and Washington Aves.  Authorities believe the men had been picked up by a vehicle at the location.
The suspects were described as Hispanics: a lighter-skinned man, approximately 26 years old,  having a goatee and standing approximately 5’-5”, and a darker-skinned male, about 19 years old, with a round face, approximately 5’-7” and wearing a Chicago Bulls cap.
Detectives took possession of the van – after it was lifted off the homeowner’s car via crane –  and were processing blood and other evidence that was left behind.
Olivo was charged with receiving stolen property, attempted theft of the motorcycle, eluding police and hindering apprehension. He was remanded to the Essex County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.
Police said the trio had visited the area earlier, observed two motorcycles at the River Road address and returned in an effort to steal them.
Olivo reportedly told detectives he and his friends had been there no more than a few minutes when the Nutley officers spotted them.
“The people in Nutley should feel safe knowing that their patrol division is so vigilant,” Montanari said.
The hunt for the escapees continues, and Chief John Holland said, “It’s only a matter of time before the two that temporarily got away are apprehended.”
Police Director Alphonse Petracco also commended the two officers for an outstanding job.