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Category: News

Kearny withdrawals court complaint after Lyndhurst makes NJMC payment

By Anthony J. Machcinski

A legal battle between Kearny and Lyndhurst over a late payment owed by Lyndhurst to the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission has been settled.
“Once (the payment) was made, we withdrew the complaint,” said Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos.
The NJMC is a zoning and planning agency for a 30.4-square-mile area along the Hackensack River. The NJMC extends into parts of 14 towns in Bergen and Hudson Counties, including Kearny, Lyndhurst, and North Arlington.
The NJMC was created in order to manage and preserve open spaces, especially the wetlands, in the areas along the Hackensack River.
According to the current tax formula, certain lands are designated for commercial development, industrial use, and open space. Towns with land designated for open space receive money from the NJMC. Kearny, according to Mayor Santos, is one of the biggest recipients from the NJMC because of the amount of land designated for open space. When Lyndhurst didn’t pay, one of the towns hurt most was Kearny.
Santos believes that Lyndhurst’s refusal was a protest to find other ways to fund the NJMC. Lyndhurst is one of the seven towns that, under the current tax formula, are forced to pay into a fund that is divided between seven other towns.
“Even though Kearny is a recipient, I’m open to finding other sources of payment,”
Mayor Santos explained.
“I’m open to looking to other revenue sources, but the law remains the same. We will continue to enforce our payments that are due us.”
Despite this late payment, Mayor Santos is optimistic that this will not be a recurring issue.
“I would hope that if the law does not change, that this kind of non-payment won’t recur,” explained Santos.
Mayor Richard DiLascio and Commissioner Brian Haggerty, both of Lyndhurst, were unavailable for comment before press time.
Through these issues, Mayor Santos looks to help all parties involved and bring a mutual solution to these problems.
“I’m going to make sure Kearny is going to receive what it is due,” Santos began. “However, if the burden is going to be taken off of Secaucus and Lyndhurst, I’d work with them to help them. I think it’s going to be a challenge to do, but I expect them to see if they can find something that works.

Harrison Police Blotter

Nov. 29
A man was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital, Newark, after being struck in the face with a pool cue during an argument that broke out over a game with another player in a Grant Ave. bar. The other player fled the bar, police said.
Someone tried to steal a motor vehicle while it was parked on Kingsland Ave.
An intruder burglarized an Ann St. residence after breaking in through a basement
window. Attempted entries to first and second-floor apartments were unsuccessful,
according to police.
A thief stole a package delivered by the U.S. Postal Service from a Bergen St. home.

Nov. 28
A vehicle parked on N. Fifth St. was burglarized and a car radio taken.

Nov. 25
After being observed driving at what police characterized as a high rate of speed at
Second St. and Cleveland Ave., police pursued the driver, Carlos Patela of Harrison into Newark where he was stopped on Passaic Ave. and arrested for three outstanding traffic warrants – two from Harrison and one from Newark. He was also issued motor vehicle summonses including one for driving with a suspended license.
Benjamin DiPierdomenico of Harrison was arrested for trespassing on the grounds of
Harrison Housing Authority property at Harrison Gardens, and for outstanding warrants that also involved trespassing.

Nov. 24
A vehicle parked on the 800 block of Hamilton St. was broken into and a GPS unit was stolen.

Nov. 22
An Infinity parked in a private parking lot in the 200 block of Railroad Ave. was broken into and an unknown amount of coins were stolen.
A Washington St. residence was burglarized via a basement window. Nothing was reported stolen at the time, police said.

Nov. 21
Paul Burns of Harrison was arrested at Frank Rodgers Blvd. North and Hamilton St. after being found in possession of a purse and a GPS that were reported stolen from a
vehicle that was parked on Washington St. Burns also had an outstanding warrant for parole violations.
A store located on Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. South was burglarized. Phone cards and an ATM machine were stolen.

Nov. 20
A 2004 Saab was stolen while it was left running and unattended at the Passaic and Harrison Aves. strip mall. Nov. 19
After being stopped for a motor vehicle violation, Anthony Telinski of Totowa was
arrested at Frank Rodgers Blvd. North and Cross St. for an outstanding warrant. He was also issued motor vehicle summonses including one for driving with a suspended license.
A bicycle that was chained to a fence in the area of the PATH station on Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. South was stolen.

Nov. 18
A basement window at a N. Fifth St. residence was broken by an unknown vandal.


As everyone knows, one of the best parts of the Yuletide season is being able to see the different Christmas decorations people put on their houses. This always sparks a debate, whether it may be what size light bulbs, using white or colors, or whether icicle lights are good or not.
Regardless of what your answers may be to those questions, the Observer needs your help.
Throughout December, The Observer will be featuring photos of several houses submitted by our readers that show the spirit of Christmas.
Send your house photos or those of a neighbor to: artdept@theobserver.com. Please include the address of the house for a chance to have it featured in an upcoming
edition of the Observer.

—Anthony J. Machcinski

Nutley Blotter: Fireworks scare residents

Nov. 24
Police rushed to the Spring Garden School area at 11:28 p.m. on a report of shots fired. Investigation, however, revealed that the “shots” were actually fireworks, police said. A gray minivan was seen leaving the area before police received the call.

Nov. 26
Rebecca Maniscaco of Bloomfield was issued a summons for being in possession of an open alcoholic beverage while standing at the corner of Prospect and Centre Sts. at 1:54 a.m., police said.
At 10:25 p.m. police pulled over a car operated by Daniel Cioban of Nutley for a motor vehicle stop on Harrison St. to ask the driver why he wasn’t wearing his seat belt. After police gave Cioban summonses for failure to wear a seat belt and disorderly conduct, Cioban crumpled up the summonses and tossed them out the car window, according to police. Cioban was then issued an additional summons charging him with throwing debris on the street.
Police responded to a neighborhood dispute on Columbia Ave. at 3:20 p.m. One neighbor accused the other of pushing him. Police told them they could sign complaints with the court if they wished.

Nov. 27
A Union City motorist was stopped for a motor vehicle check at Franklin and Kingsland Aves. at 2:19 a.m. and was arrested after a mobile computer alerted police that the registered owner’s license had been suspended. Police issued Jamie Wheaton six motor vehicle summonses and released her with a court date after she posted bail.
A Ridge Rd. resident told police she saw someone in a red pickup truck leave the area with her garbage can, valued at $25, at 9:57 p.m.

Nov. 28
Police pulled over a vehicle driven by Omar Sawaged of Secaucus at 3:38 a.m. at Franklin Ave. and Chestnut St. after the driver reportedly failed to keep in the right lane and crossed the yellow traffic line. Police said Sawaged was arrested on an outstanding warrant and was issued two motor vehicle summonses. After posting bail, Sawaged was released.

Nov. 29
At 7:12 p.m. police went to a Chestnut St. apartment complex in response to a landlord-tenant dispute. The tenant told police that the landlord had entered the apartment without permission. Police advised the tenant of the right to sign a complaint and left.
A Bloomfield Ave. resident’s suspicions were alerted after seeing three men in a late-model green Toyota Camry parked in a neighbor’s driveway at 11:23 p.m. When
police arrived, the vehicle left the area. Police said they checked the area for possible break-ins but none were reported.

Nov. 30
Police went to a Centre St. bank at 1:42 p.m. to check on a report of an argument with
a customer but upon arrival police were unable to locate the alleged disputant. No further action was taken.
Someone used a Nutley resident’s credit card to charge $1,000 on walmart.com, police
said. The credit card fraud department is investigating. The alleged fraud was reported
at 4:05 p.m.

Dec. 1
A thief swiped a large pile of scrap metal from a construction company dumpster on Franklin Ave. during the night. The scrap metal was valued at $1,000, according to the company.

Dec. 2
A Belleville resident told police he parked his 1998 Ford pickup in front of a Washington Ave. business and ran inside to pick up an item. He said that he left the
vehicle unlocked and with the motor running and that when he returned, the car was gone. He reported leaving the car unlocked and the motor running. Police are investigating. The incident was reported at 9:39 a.m.
Someone apparently broke into a Kingsland Ave. restaurant through a rear door during the night and stole various electronic equipment items, police said. The owner told police he found the rear door damaged and open when he arrived to open the restaurant at 11:54 a.m.

Message for the Soul: Don’t Quit!

Have you ever felt so tired of pursuing your dreams that at times you have just wanted to end the wait and give up? We have all experienced that feeling at one point or another. It is not unnatural to feel that way. A positive mind is very fragile. Its optimism can easily be harmed with the various stresses we encounter in our daily routine. We may often be tempted to compromise on our ambitions and settle for something less than we desire only because what we want takes longer to arrive than expected. Although it may seem like an easier path to take at the time, it is not necessarily the shortcut to success.
Life is all about choices. We are who we are today because of the decisions we knowingly or unknowingly made in the past. Each new day gives us another chance at making an informed choice. I understand that working hard towards your goals each day is tough when you have nothing much to show for it; but I urge you to carry on. Don’t quit at this stage. If you learn to master the art of excellence, success can’t be too far behind.
In Asia, people keep an “intention sachet” made of bay leaves and cinnamon in their bags and wallets. It is believed that this helps in developing will power, concentration and patience. A dream-catcher also works in a similar way. But these things will only work if you have faith. You need to have faith in yourself before anything else. If you think you deserve better, then don’t let any temptation convince you otherwise.
Know your worth and I don’t mean this in a financial way. Focus on your relationships, both business and personal. Get feedback from those who matter to you. Learn how important you are to them. This exercise will help you understand and accept that you are truly a wonderful creation. Don’t live your life thinking it is ordinary. You are unique and so are your experiences. And now you can make it even better by pursuing your ambitions.
Go the distance; that extra mile may actually help you achieve all that you have always wanted. Yes, it may take time and some extra effort, but a palace takes longer to construct than an ordinary building. Don’t fret the wait. Even if you feel lost and bewildered, hold on to that dream, clear your thoughts and start marching again. Always remember that winners never quit!



Visit Shweta Punjabi at her website solutionsbyshweta.com • For more information or email her at magictaara@yahoo.com

Around town

Belleville Elks Lodge is holding a holiday bazaar on Sunday, Dec. 11, a t 254 Washington Ave., Belleville, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The kitchen will be open and there will be a bake sale, music and more. All proceeds will benefit special needs children and veterans.
The Chorus of Communities presents its 21st Christmas concert “‘Gaudete!’
Midnight Mass” by Marc- Antoine Charpentier – based on French carols and other Christmas music, on Sunday, Dec. 11, a t 4:00 p.m. at the Church of St. Peter, 155 William St., Belleville. Advance tickets are currently on sale for $15, seniors and students $12. Door tickets will be available on concert day for $15. For reservations,
call 201-472-9362. Proceeds go to Clara Maass Medical Foundation and the new state-of-the-art cancer center.

Harrison Public Library will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Dec. 15, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.
Santa will arrive at the Harrison Library, on Dec. 17. Harrison and East Newark
children are all welcome to come and have pictures taken with him between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Santa is looking forward to reading your letters and Christmas lists.

A holiday drive to collect new toys for infants and children as well as new coats, hats, gloves and scarves for all ages, including adults, is currently being conducted at three different locations: Mid-Realty, Inc., 572 Kearny Ave., Kearny; Distano Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, 655 Kearny Ave., Kearny, and West Hudson Family Success Center, 655 Kearny Ave., Kearny.
Arlington Dog and Cat Hospital, 857 Passaic Ave., Kearny, will have pet pictures
with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. Donations are requested to benefit Orphaned Pets, Inc. For more information, call 201-991-3664.
The Kearny Public Library Children’s Room announces free events for children in December: Main library Play/Story Times for preschool-age children will continue on
Tuesday mornings from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon, and on Thursday mornings from
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (No classes on Dec. 27 and 29)
Branch library Play/Story Times for preschool-age children will continue on Thursday mornings from 10:15 – 11:00 a.m. (N o class on Dec. 29) The Branch Library is located at 759 Kearny Ave.
“Art with Mrs. Mills” for ages three-and-a-half and up is scheduled for Thursday,
Dec. 22, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Children are invited to hear a winter holiday story and also design an art project to take home for the holidays. The library will provide the art materials. This event will take place in the lower level of the Main library.
“Getting Ready for Winter” will be held from 4:30-5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28, in the lower level of the main library. The group will read “The Gingerbread Man” and then each child will decorate a big, gingerbread man cookie to take home. Enjoy wintertime music while you decorate your cookie. Everyone is welcome.
Registration is not needed for any program. The Main Library is located at 318 Kearny Ave. For more information, visit us on the web at www.kearnylibrary.org or call 201-998-2666.
Library patrons can now schedule a one-on-one half-hour session with professional
librarians for help with assembling and typing a resume and applying for a job online. The sessions will be held at the main library. To sign up, call 201-998-2666.
The next business meeting of the Scots American Club, 40 Patterson St., Kearny, will be on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 3:00 p.m.
Kearny UNICO will meet on Monday, Dec.12, at 7:30 p.m. Anyone interested in
attending the meeting and /or learning more about Kearny UNICO should contact
Chapter President Lou Pandolfi at 201-368-2409.
The West Hudson Detachment of the Marine Corps League invites all former and active-duty Marines and FMF Corpsmen to attend an open house, which will be held every Friday from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at 286 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. Guests are welcome.
Registration is open for CYO Winter Camp, to be held for one week only, from Monday, Dec. 26, to Friday, Dec. 30, at the Archdiocesan Youth Retreat Center, Kearny. Cost is $125 for the week. Enrollment is limited, open to the first 20
children age 4 – 5 and 130 campers age 6 -12. Winter camp cost includes: Camp
hours 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., free after-camp until 5:30 p.m., lunch each day, snack
at after-camp, Wednesday trip for all campers age 6 -12 to go bowling and a special
guest for kinder campers age 4-5 on Wednesday, and sports, art, computers and
other activities. Early morning care is available for $30 for the week from 7:00-8:00
a.m. The fee includes breakfast.
Please note: There are no refunds on winter camp due to illness, absence or weather-related issues. For more information, visit wwwlnewarkoym.com.

Grace United Methodist Church, 380 Kearny Ave., Kearny, will have a Christmas Spree and Supper on Dec. 9, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Enjoy a chance for a one-stop shopping spree for those quaint gifts for co-workers, neighbors, hostesses or teachers, etc., Handcrafted Christmas ornaments, decorations, candies, cookies, wreaths,
centerpieces and more will be available.
Cecilian Seniors announces a trip to Mt. Airy Casino on Dec. 14. If interested, call Johnnie B. at 201-997-9552, between 6 and 9 p.m. Bus leaves at 9:30 a.m. in front of St. Cecilia’s Church.

Lyndhurst Public Library is collecting nonperishable food items for the Lyndhurst Health Department’s Food Pantry. The drop-off box is located inside the library’s back entrance. It will remain there year-round. For questions regarding the Food Pantry, call the Lyndhurst Health Department at 201-804-2500.
Lyndhurst VFW Post 3549, 527 Valley Brook Ave., Lyndhurst, will host a Karaoke
night on Friday, Dec. 16, from 7:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. The VFW hall is also available for all occasions. For more information, call the post at 201-939-3080.
Mary Lou Mullins Special Christmas Party bus trip to Atlantic City will depart on
Sunday, Dec. 18, to Resorts Casino. Cost is $25; cash return is $25. The bus will leave from St. Michael’s parking lot at 10:30 a.m. Refreshments will be served coming and going. Please book early – only 20 seats are left. Call Mary Lou Mullins at 201-933-2186 for more information.
Lyndhurst Elks are hosting a holiday party on Friday, Dec 10, at 7:30 p.m. at Doublebarrels Bar, 442 Lewandowski St., Lyndhurst to benefit the rebuilding effort
of the Lyndhurst Elks Lodge. The Elks are also collecting toys and clothing and /or money to be distributed to a local orphanage. Admission is a donation of $10. For information, call 201-926-2398.
A special Winter Solstice family celebration will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 7:00 p.m. at the Meadowlands Environment Center, DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst.
The event will start with a discussion on the winter solstice’s significance for people in ancient times, followed by several family activities. Children will have the opportunity to create sticky rice bowls (in Asia the rice bowls are a symbol of the coming winter solstice), Yule logs (traditional Scandinavian representation of the solstice), and Native American prayer sticks (Prayer sticks are created in the days leading up to the solstice). Admission is $5. MEC members, $4. For more information, call 201-460-
8300 or visit www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec.

North Arlington
North Arlington Health Department wishes to remind residents that flu vaccine is still available and will be administered by appointment only.
The vaccine is offered free of charge for those covered by traditional Medicare Part
B. Medicare card must be presented at the time of immunization. There will be a
$20 fee for those not covered by Medicare. For appointment or further information, please call the Health Department at 201-955-5695.
The North Arlington Woman’s Club holds monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the North Arlington Senior Center, behind Borough Hall. Guests are welcome.
Queen of Peace Knights of Columbus, North Arlington will celebrate D.J. Teen Angel’s farewell performance. If you’re familiar with Teen Angel, you know you’re in
for a night to remember while rocking to your favorite oldies. The event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 7:00 p.m., at the Council Hall, 194 River Road, North Arlington. Tickets are $35, which includes a catered buffet, beer, wine and soda. For tickets, call Nick at 201-230-3428 or email nicholascerchio@yahoo.com.

Nutley Public Library will host a preview and discussion of a documentary film in-
progress on the success of Newark Abby and its school, St. Benedict’s Prep on Friday, Dec. 9, at 6:30 p.m.
Big Jeff ’s Holiday Musical Show for young children will be presented at the library on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 11:00 a.m. No registration required.
The library will host an artist’s reception for Karen Floriani on Saturday, Dec.
10 at 2:00 p.m. Floriani’s photography and paintings will be displayed in both the
gallery and showcases.

IRS seeks to return $153 million in undelivered checks to taxpayers;

Recommends E-File, Direct Deposit to avoid future delivery problems


In an annual reminder to taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it is looking to return $153.3 million in undelivered tax refund checks. In all, 99,123 taxpayers are due refund
checks this year that could not be delivered because of mailing address errors.
Undelivered refund checks average $1,547 this year.
Taxpayers who believe their refund check may have been returned to the IRS as undelivered should use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov. The tool will provide the status of their refund and, in some cases, instructions on how to resolve delivery problems.
Taxpayers checking on a refund over the phone will receive instructions on how to update their addresses. Taxpayers can access a telephone version of “Where’s My Refund?” by calling 1-800-829-1954.
While only a small percentage of checks mailed out by the IRS are returned as undelivered, taxpayers can put an end to lost, stolen or undelivered checks by choosing direct deposit when they file either paper or electronic returns. Last year, more than 78.4 million taxpayers chose to receive their refund through direct deposit. Taxpayers can receive refunds directly into their bank account, split a tax refund into two or three financial accounts or even buy a savings bond.
The IRS also recommends that taxpayers fi le their tax returns electronically, because e-file eliminates the risk of lost paper returns. E-file also reduces errors on tax returns and speeds up refunds. Nearly 8 out of 10 taxpayers chose Efile last year. E-file combined with direct deposit is the best option for taxpayers to avoid refund problems; it’s easy, fast and safe.
The public should be aware that the IRS does not contact taxpayers by email to alert them of pending refunds and does not ask for personal or financial information through email. Such messages are common phishing scams. The agency urges taxpayers receiving such messages not to release any personal information, reply, open any attachments or click on any links to
avoid malicious code that can infect their computers. The best way for an individual to verify if he or she has a pending refund is by going directly to IRS.gov and using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool.

Path to progress



Harrison’s newly upgraded N. Fifth St. pedestrian bridge has been reopened for public use.
Rocco Russomanno, the town’s construction official, said the job came in under budget, at about $514,000, below the $525,000 allocated for the project.
It took Navka Construction Co., of Newark, the general contractor, five months to complete the renovations, which included an improved deck, construction of a handicapped access concrete ramp to accommodate wheelchairs and new steps leading to the deck from the bridge’s south end.
The span provides a link for pedestrians to access an entrance to West Hudson Park, which straddles the Kearny/ Harrison border.

– Ron Leir

BREAKING NEWS: Deadline extended for flood insurance claims

New Jersey policyholders who suffered losses as a result of Hurricane Irene damage (Aug. 27 through Sept. 5, 2011) have been given an extension to file the Proof of Loss (POL) form with the insurance company handling their claim.

National Flood Insurance officials said that New Jersey policyholders now have 150 days from the date of the event that caused the damage to file the POL, or until January 23, 2012.

The claims process starts with the affected policyholder contacting his/her insurance agent, reporting the property damage and meeting with an adjuster.

The adjuster may, as a courtesy, provide a POL – which is the statement of the amount claimed under the NFIP policy  – but the property owner is responsible for making sure that it is complete, accurate and filed in a timely manner. It must include a detailed estimate and other supporting documentation to replace or repair the flood-damaged property, and must be signed and witnessed.

If the property owner notices additional damage after the POL is submitted, the owner may file a supplemental Proof of Loss documenting the newly discovered damage. This, too, must be within the time period allowed by the extension.

If the claim for additional damages is presented after the extension period, the insured must request a waiver of the time limitation from NFIP in order to submit the supplemental claim.

Those who wish additional information on flood insurance or who have questions or concerns about their flood insurance should contact their insurance agent or visit www.floodsmart.gov.

Care for Kentucky ARRIVES!

Photos by Anita Madden


By Anthony J. Machcinski

Imagine graduating high school, being handed your diploma and essentially being told, “Here’s a shovel – time to go work in the mines,” without vacations, days off, holidays, for the next 50 years or so while making next to nothing. This is the everyday life of the men, women, and children who live in Appalachia.
A couple of months ago, The Observer asked for volunteers and donations for Kentucky Care and our readers responded. All three of the 53-foot trailers were filled,
from floor to ceiling with donated items. In total, approximately 108,000 pounds
of donations were given to families in Appalachia.
We at the Observer wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to all who donated. In the
words of Gino Montrone, who orchestrated the first donations to Kentucky some
26 years ago, “You’ll never understand fully until you go down there.”
With that statement in mind, The Observer wanted to extend special thanks to several
people who were able to make this possible as well as to make our readers feel just
a little bit closer to the people in Kentucky who so greatly appreciate our help.
When Gino started donating 26 years ago, he got in contact with Bill Madden, who was
the principal of a school in Cordia, Kentucky. Bill’s wife, Anita, is one of the people
who have helped to organize the project in Kentucky.
“I’ve been working with Gino for 20 plus years,” explained Anita with her warm southern drawl. “He wanted to help underprivileged people in Eastern Kentucky. He came down with one truck the first time and it has grown since then.”
Anita has amassed several memories of the project over the years, but seeing these families each day while working as a school teacher has allowed her to gauge the
reactions of people who have received the donations.
“They’re just so appreciative,” Anita explained. “They’re face just lights up when they
see the truck. I mean, it really helps out a lot of people. They just can’t afford the things that are given to us.”

Local volunteers who helped pack the truck (from l.): James, Steve, Shawn, Bob


At the Lotts Creek Community School, Alice Whitaker works beside Anita. Alice, who
functions as the school’s Director and lives on the school’s campus, has spent as much time with the families as Anita has.
“The need is here and the fact that the New Jersey folks were so anxious to help, it’s
been wonderful,” Alice said happily.
Those involved in the effort have seen the issues down there and understand how
truly large the need is.
Alice described the problem with firsthand knowledge: “The economy here is coal
or no coal. It’s boom or bust,” she explained. “Most people don’t even profit when there is a boom. When it goes away, it leaves devastation behind.”
In Knott County, Kentucky, where Cordia is located, the average household income
was $11,297 according to the 2000 Census. Over a quarter of the population is below the poverty line.
While many of us here in the north are barely scraping the edge of knowledge of what
its like to see friends and family members lose jobs because of failing business, Observer Publisher Lisa Pezzola was able to go to Cordia, Ky. to see it firsthand.
“They don’t have much there, but they don’t know what they’re missing,” explained
Lisa, who first got involved with Kentucky Care after being friends with Gino.
“They’re just happy about the little things. The kids around here don’t realize what they have. I ordered a pizza and they loved it. It broke my heart.”


Photos by Anita Madden/ Kentucky residents enjoy Thanksgiving bounty from Kearny area donors

This lack of firsthand knowledge has not stopped people from volunteering. Shawn
Riordan was one of the people who volunteered to load the trailers here in Kearny. While Shawn states his reason for volunteering as working for a good cause, one particular experience stuck out in his mind.
“One gentleman brought a box of food,” Shawn said. “He told me when he was young
in Poland that the Americans who came brought food and he never forgot it and that he wanted to give back. I thought that it was nice the way he did it.”
Next to Shawn, helping to pack the truck and accept donations was Bob Hallenbeck.
“This is the third year I’ve been able to help out,” Bob said as he began to describe
a memorable moment. “This one woman who took all the clothes that she donated and
took them to the cleaners. She said she wouldn’t give someone dirty clothes.”
While giving to the needy, especially at this time of year and during this depressed
economy, it’s really the children that have the most effect on the volunteers.
“Its just the kids, they’re my main thing,” Gino said. “A bicycle to them is just the best. We had a total of almost 50 bikes this year, from tiny to nice off-road bikes.”
Gino even remembers things as little as a tube of lipstick that was exciting
to the children.
“The children were so excited that they took the stuff while they were working and
they were on the side putting lipstick on and laughing the whole time,” Gino
remembered. “They were so excited!”
“There was one little kid that was so excited to get some cowboy boots,” Alice
explained. “He was thrilled to death with those. ‘I can dance now,’ he said to me. Little
things like that tug at your heart.”
“There’s no place to go to eat. No buses, No transportation,” Gino said. “These kids
can’t go anywhere. They’re trapped.”
While many of us in New Jersey may fail to understand the happiness that our donations will bring to the nearly 1,200 people helped by this Care, you had only to be there with the recipients to understand the impact of these gifts.
“People who benefit directly are just in tears of joy,” explained Alice. “I remember
one little lady who just had tears streaming down her face.”
While only a few people are mentioned in this piece, so many more people helped out.
“I personally want to extend our thanks to the community because they did a tremendous job,” Lisa said. “If it wasn’t for the communities, we wouldn’t be this successful, and all the time the volunteers gave…It was everyone, from the people who
helped out loading the truck, to the police who helped with traffic, people like Chief Fire Inspector Chuck Kerr who helped get furniture from people’s homes. It really was a community event.”
“They’re the heroes, not me,” Gino said. “Alice, Anita, Bill. That’s all them, plus the people that donated.”
So from Gino, Lisa, Anita, Alice, Bill, and especially all the families who suffer day by day just to get by in Cordia, Kentucky, thank you. Without you, our loyal readers and those in our community, none of this would be possible.