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Category: News

Two-time loser

Winner_web

By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent 

NUTLEY –

A 50-year-old Nutley was sentenced last week to four years and seven months in prison for the 2013 robbery of a Clifton bank — a crime committed while he was on supervised release following a previous bank-robbery conviction.

The bandit, Wayne Winner, had been arrested about a week after the Clifton crime thanks to an alert and observant Nutley police officer, authorities reported.

According to court documents, Winner entered a Valley National Bank in Clifton on Jan. 4, 2013, and handed a teller a bag and a note, which read, “No joke, loose bills, no dye, in a hurry.” The amount of money taken was not disclosed. Read more »

Cat colony conundrum

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By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY –

Controversy over how to deal with a cat colony in the back of an E. Midland Ave. apartment complex came to a head at last Tuesday night’s mayor/Town Council meeting.

Half the assembly chambers were filled with advocates for the colony led by animal activists Leonard and Juliette Twist, a couple who live on the same block where the cats have congregated in a woodsy area along a set of abandoned railroad tracks.

Problem is, according to the town, the cats have spilled over into the parking lot of the apartment complex whose owner, last week, took steps to set traps for the strays, hire an off-duty cop to guard the traps, and send them to the Bergen County Animal Shelter.

There, Mayor Alberto Santos told the crowd, “if a cat is feral and not sociable, it is euthanized. If the cat is sociable, it is held at the shelter and can be held for as long as a year.”

Although the traps have since been removed, Santos said, “I’ve learned that wildlife [other than stray felines] have been trapped … and that two of those wildlife have been euthanized. That should not have happened.” Read more »

News from the KPD blotter

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Aug. 1 

At 1:30 a.m., Officer Derek Hemphill responded to the report of a hit-run accident on the 200 block of Argyle Place and found that parked vehicles had been struck. Back-up Officer Ben Wuelfing followed a trail of tire marks and and automobile fluids to Schuyler and Laurel Aves., where he located a “heavily damaged” Nissan SUV and detained two individuals. Wuelfing determined that one, Damaso Castill, 22, of Kearny, had been the SUV’s driver and he was charged with DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and refusing to take an Alcotest.

Sgt. Peter Gleason and Officers John Travelino and Jay Ward answered a request for assistance from an NJ Transit bus driver at 9:30 p.m. at Seeley and Kearny Aves. Police said the driver had ejected an unruly passenger who, upon exiting the bus, kicked out windows in the door and fled. Ward located the suspect at W. Bennett Ave. and Pleasant Place and returned him to the bus for identification. Stephen Scrupski, 52, of Newark was charged with criminal mischief and on an outstanding warrant from Harrison. Read more »

New wellness center in Harrison

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Pedestrians walking along Frank E. Rodgers South in Harrison lately may have noticed  a new storefront open up this summer fronted with palm trees, flowers and Adirondack chairs. The welcoming appearance of this new space is just the beginning of what the Stretch Studio has to offer.

Stretch Studio and Café, 209 Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. South, is a wellness center offering yoga and meditation classes for all levels, massages and freshly squeezed juices including organically farmed local wheat grass, salads and  smoothies at the juice bar. Developed not only as a healthy  place for local residents to do yoga and eat right, it is also a place where artists, musicians and movements can collaborate.

A resident of Harrison for more than 14 years, owner  Rebecca Gregory said, “The Town of Harrison desperately needed a place like Stretch, so when my tenants moved out, I converted the space into some thing functional and beautiful for everyone to enjoy.”

Stretch Studio’s wide array of yoga classes includes classes in Spanish and Portuguese and a guided meditation  class (Yoga Nidra). There are plans to include more diverse classes, such as chair/adaptive and restorative yoga. Chair/ adaptive yoga is particularly  suited for adults and those with physical restrictions. Restorative yoga encourages a  deep state of relaxation.

Besides yoga, Stretch plans to expand its reach to include health-based programs and  workshops and to feature a “Speaker Series” on a variety of topics. Stretch hosted its first kids’ yoga workshop in July and currently offers a summer music series. Next up on the series is Josh Reyes and Dangerously Close on  Sunday, Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m. A fall program is currently being planned in conjunction with artists featured on Jersey City’s WFMU.

Gregory added: “I am very excited to have a place to host local artists and showcase  their talent for our community of all ages to enjoy – though I can’t deny that we enjoy the after parties next door at The Harrison Greenroom.” Similar to Stretch, she and partner Anthony Magnani found a need for good late night food (besides the diner), diverse music, specialty cocktails and beers in the area and opened  “The Greenroom” some nine years ago.

“Before moving to Harrison, we lived in Brooklyn, New York City and New Brunswick, and felt that if we built a place you would typically see in these locales, people would  come. All of these years later we’ve continued to bring this  forward-looking attitude to Harrison and we’re still in business, but I’ve decided to  take the next step towards my passion for yoga and overall wellness and build Stretch.”

Some upcoming events at Stretch Studio include: Restorative and relaxation yoga  Wednesday, Aug. 20, at 7:30 p.m., and a free yoga class Friday, Sept. 5, at 7:30 p.m. Visit Stretch Studio online at www.stretchstudionj.com.

Around Town

Belleville 

A performance by the Library Players, a children’s acting troupe, on Aug. 18 and a Science Fun Workshop on Aug. 25 will be the next installments of the Eight Great Live Monday nights series at Belleville Public Library and Information Center, 221 Washington Ave. Both programs begin at 6:30 p.m. Registration is required. Call 973-450-3434. These programs are for the entire family.

Registration begins Aug. 20 for the library’s Music Together class for babies and toddlers. The class will run Sept. 25 to Dec. 4, with two sessions to choose from on Thursdays at 9:45 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. Space is limited. To register call the library.

Belleville UNICO sponsors a bus ride to the Taj Mahal Sunday, Aug. 24. Cost is a prepaid donation of $30 or $35 if paid the day of the trip. A continental breakfast will be served at 8 a.m. at the Senior Citizens Center, 125 Franklin Ave. A bus will leave from the center at 8:50 a.m. Call 973-759-9259 to reserve seats (no last minute cancellations). Mail checks, payable to Belleville UNICO, to: Gene Antonio, 436 Joralemon St., Belleville, N.J. 07109.

Belleville Elks, 254 Washington Ave., sponsor a Type O blood drive Wednesday, Aug. 27, 5 to 9 p.m. No appointment is needed. Priority is for Type O blood but all types of blood will be accepted. The entire process takes less than one hour. Donors must be at least age 17, weigh at least 120 pounds and be in generally good health. The drive is open to Belleville residents and all surrounding communities.

Harrison

The Harrison Downtown Community Development Partnership and Neighborhood Preservation program co-sponsor a flea market and collectible show Saturday, Aug. 16, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the parking lot at 401 Bergen St. Admission is free. Any school/local organization that wants an exhibitor space to sell their items and/ or promote their club can reserve one of the four spaces that will be offered free. Call 201-998-1144 or visit events@jcpromotions.info to make a reservation.

Kearny 

American Legion Post 99, VFW Post 1302 and West Hudson Marine Corp Detachment 209 sponsor a pancake breakfast to benefit the local Salvation Army Sunday, Aug. 17, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 314 Belgrove Drive. Cost is $8 and $5 for children age 10 and under. The breakfast features military-style SOS (chip beef) pancakes, sausage, bacon coffee and juice. The bar will be open to all members and their guests.

Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., presents a screening of the film “Divergent” (PG-13), based on Veronica Roth’s bestselling young adult novel, at 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 18. The film will be shown downstairs. Popcorn and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 201-998-2666.

Lyndhurst 

The Lyndhurst Health Department is collecting donations for students in need. Backpacks, marble composition books, notebooks, dividers, loose paper, crayons and 3-ring binders are welcomed. Drop off donations at the Health Department, 601 Riverside Ave., Suite 1, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Aug. 31. People with children in need of school supplies are asked to contact the Health Department at 201- 804-2500 to schedule a pickup of the needed supplies. Be prepared to give child’s gender and grade level.

Registration runs from Aug. 18 to Sept. 12 for Fall Storytime at the Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave. Open to ages 3 to 4 1/2, this 45-minute program features stories, music and crafts. The program begins on Thursday, Sept. 25, with two sessions available at 10:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. Space is limited. To register, call 201-804-2478.

A sea crab craft program for grades 1 to 4 is offered at the library on Monday, Aug. 18, 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. Registration is required. Call the library to register.

The library hosts “Introduction to Maum Meditation” on Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 6:30 p.m., presented by a representative from Lyndhurst Meditation on Ridge Road. Space is limited and registration is required. To register, please email romeo@ lyndhurst.bccls.org or call the library.

The Lyndhurst Garden Club hosts a plant show and garage sale Saturday, Aug. 16, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Senior Citizen Building, 250 Cleveland Ave. Admission is free. Local gardeners of all ages are encouraged to enter their best flower, fruits and vegetables for judging. Plant registration is at 9:30 a.m. with awards scheduled for 2 p.m. For more information, call 201-939-0033.

The Township of Lyndhurst hosts a Labor Day Weekend Antique and Craft Fair Sunday, Aug. 31, at Town Hall Park. The event includes live music throughout the day, a wide selection of specialty foods and a children’s play area. For more information, call 201-321-2756 or email robin.brystra@gmail.com.

The Blood Center of New Jersey’s bloodmobile will be at the fair from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Donors must be at least age 17, bring a sign or picture form of ID and know their Social Security number. There is no upper age limit for donors provided they meet health requirements. For those who have recently traveled outside the U.S. and for other eligibility questions, call the blood center at 973-676-4700, ext. 132, or 1-800-652-5663. T

he New Jersey Meadowlands Commission hosts the following events:

• Get an up-close view of the Meadowlands District’s spectacular scenic beauty and wildlife with a two-hour guided pontoon boat cruise of the Hackensack River and its surrounding marshes. Upcoming cruises are set for Aug. 19, 21 and 27, at 5:30 p.m. each day, and at 10 a.m. on Aug. 20, all departing from River Barge Park, 260 Outwater Lane, Carlstadt. Pre-registration is required.

Admission is $15. Cruises are recommended for ages 10 and up. For a complete schedule of trips, directions, and to register, visit www.njmeadowlands.gov and go to the Parks and Nature Programs tab at the top of the page or call 201- 460-4677.

• Check out the shorebirds on this summer bird walk at Harrier Meadow on Disposal Road near Schuyler Avenue, in North Arlington Tuesday, Aug. 19, 10 a.m. to noon. Check meadowblog. net for last-minute updates. Participants are asked to sign a standard liability release that is good for NJMC/BCAS events throughout the year. To R.S.V.P., contact Don Torino of the BCAS or call 201-230-4983.

The Lyndhurst VFW Post, 547 Valley Brook Ave., hosts a karaoke party Friday, Aug. 22, at 8 p.m. The VFW hall is available for rentals for all occasions. For more information, call the post at 201-939-5080.

The Lyndhurst Health Department holds a breakfast forum, hosted by Clara Maass Medical Center, Friday, Sept. 12, at 10 a.m. Registered Dietitian Elizabeth Nossier will discuss how a healthy diet can enhance quality of life and longevity. Breakfast will be provided. Call the department to register at 201-804- 2500.

North Arlington 

Openings are available for the Queen of Peace Ladies Bowling League. The season starts Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 12:45 p.m., at North Arlington Bowl, 200 Schuyler Ave. To join, call Betsy at 201-997-3914.

The North Arlington Woman’s Club holds a flapjack breakfast Saturday, Aug. 23, 8 to 10 a.m., at Applebee’s Restaurant, Kearny. The cost is $10. For tickets, call 201-889- 2553.

Nutley 

The fall season of book discussions at the Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Drive, begins Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. The group meets the first Monday of each month. Since the group does not meet during summer, no book was chosen to discuss for this meeting. Instead, the meeting will be a reader’s potluck, an informal discussion on books read during the summer. This event is free and open to all members of the community. Refreshments will be served. For more information, visit http:// nutley.bccls.org or call 973- 667-0405, ext. 2604.

Logged on the Nutley police blotter

Aug. 2 

At 3:29 a.m., police responded to a call of a motor vehicle crash on Franklin Ave. near Vreeland Ave. Upon arrival, officers saw a tree and other items lying in the road along with a vehicle on its side on Franklin. The driver, Geraldo Vaccalluzzo of Nutley, was charged with DWI and careless driving and was released to a family member.

At 6:54 p.m., police were sent to Monsignor Owens Place on a report of a motor vehicle theft. The victim told police that his white Buick was stolen while it was parked on the south side of the block, sometime between 9 p.m. Aug. 1 and 6:54 p.m. Aug. 2. Police said they observed broken glass next to the curb where the vehicle was last seen.

Aug. 4 

Nicholas Stefanelli of Clifton was stopped for a motor vehicle check in front of 100 Franklin Ave., at 4:18 p.m., when police learned that Stefanelli was wanted on a warrant from Montville. Police turned Stefanelli over to Montville PD for processing.

Aug. 5 

At 12:19 a.m., polilce were called to Yanticaw Park on a report of an assault. At the scene, officers said they located a Bloomfield man with facial and head injuries. The man told officers he was assaulted by five Latinos. He was taken to Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville, for treatment. Police referred the matter to the Essex County Sheriff’s Department for investigation since the incident happened in a county park.

Police arrested Andrea Delvecchio of Newark while she was walking on Prospect St., at about 1 a.m., after learning that she was wanted on a warrant from the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. She was taken to Essex County Jail pending a court date.

At 2:13 p.m., a Wilmington Drive resident reported getting a call on his cellular phone from someone stating that his father was being held at gunpoint and that he needed to send $460 via Western Union to Rochester, N.Y., to get his father freed. The resident told police that he sent the money before realizing he was being scammed. Police said someone picked up the money in Rochester, N.Y., before the transaction could be canceled.

Aug. 6 

At about 12:40 a.m., police said they observed Daniel Cloban of Nutley banging on street signs on Chestnut St. and, after being approached by an officer, Cloban ran into Memorial Park and continued to bang on objects along the way. Police said they finally caught up with Cloban in the park and issued him summonses charging him with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He was released pending a court appearance.

During the night, police responded to six separate calls reporting criminal mischief involving slashing of vehicles’ tires. Police said four of the incidents took place on Alexander Ave., one occurred on Coeyman Ave. and the other on Overlook Terrace. Detectives are investigating.

Aug. 7 

A River Road resident reported that someone had scratched her vehicle on the hood, truck, lights and both doors sometime between 1 and 10 a.m.

A Warren St. resident reported that someone bent the antenna on his vehicle during the night.

 – Ron Leir 

Police probing attack at local night club

LYNDHURST – 

Police reported a stabbing incident at the Rivas Blue night club, 525 Riverside Ave., Lyndhurst, early Monday.

The victim, identified only as a 21-year-old man from South Orange, was listed in stable condition at University of Medicine & Dentistry Hospital, Newark.

Det. Capt. John Valente of Lyndhurst said police were called to the scene, inside the Kings Court Fitness Center, at 1:55 a.m., on a report of a fight with injuries in the parking lot.

Upon arrival, officers found a large pool of blood in the parking lot but no one there, Valente said. Inside, however, on the second floor, officers found a man lying on the ground with puncture wounds to his chest and side, he said.

Valente said that detectives surmised that the victim was involved in a fight in the parking lot and, after being wounded, that he rushed back inside to get assistance. Valente said that a special event of some kind was being held at the club that drew a big crowd, possibly several hundred people.

As of Monday, detectives were reviewing surveillance footage from the club in hopes of picking up additional information as to what happened.

Police had no suspect as of Monday, Valente said.

– Ron Leir

SMMC urges cataract awareness

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St. Michael’s Medical Center, Newark, advises community members to take control of their eye health and know the signs and symptoms of cataracts during Cataract Awareness Month in August.

Cataracts affect more than half of Americans age 65 and older. The leading cause of blindness in the world, cataracts cloud the lens of the eye, resulting in vision impairment.

“Cataracts are most often caused by our normal aging process,” said Dr. Matthew Marano, chief of ophthalmology, SMMC. “Other contributing factors may include too much exposure to sunlight, trauma, certain medications, or genetics.”

A cataract may not impair vision noticeably at first, but as it continues to grow, it can impact vision in any of the following ways:

• Fading or dimness of colors

• Cloudy or blurry vision

• Difficulty reading small  print

• Difficulty seeing while driving— especially at night

• Seeing halos or auras around  lights

• Frequent changes in eyeglass  prescriptions.

“Cataracts tend to develop slowly, but will start to interfere with one’s vision over time,” Marano said. “Patients often describe their vision as looking through a fogged-up window. This impaired sight can become frustrating, as it begins to affect people’s daily activities, in which case surgery is needed.”

Since the only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery, those with cataracts usually wait to seek treatment when their daily activities become limited, affecting their quality of life. “Each  case is different,” said Marano. “It is important that each individual speaks with his or her eye doctor to weigh the benefits and risks of cataract surgery and determine if and when to intervene.”

At SMMC, Board-certified eye-care physicians and surgeons treat patients with cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and other conditions. For more information about ophthalmology services at SMMC or to schedule an appointment, call 973-877-5000.

September meeting on backups

NORTH ARLINGTON – 

The borough has completed a jet cleaning of the Geraldine Road sanitary sewer line and a camera inspection of the line, undertaken to assess the condition of the pipes, officials said. Borough Engineer Tom Lemanowicz said he’s waiting for a report on the camera inspection, which was conducted by the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission before making any recommendations to stop sewer backups into residents’ basements.

“Once the engineer has time to review the report in depth, and present some recommendations for further action to the council, then we will have a meeting with residents to discuss this ongoing problem with sewer backups,” said Borough Council President Al Granell.

Meanwhile, a volunteer committee appointed by Mayor Peter Massa will be conducting a door-to-door survey of homes in the impacted area to review the frequency and extent of the backups and the frequency of wet basements unrelated to sewage backups.

Lewanowicz has speculated that the intrusion of water into basements could be the result of any number of things including water infiltration through cracks in the sewer pipes, leaky manhole covers, water from roof drains and basement sump pumps or by the drainage system installed by the developer of the residential area decades ago.

“Once we have some solid information to share with the residents, we will call for a special meeting of the sewer committee and the people living in the area to discuss an action plan and answer people’s questions,” Massa said.

Massa said he expects that meeting to be scheduled sometime in mid-September.

Sarlo, Sweeney to meet with Giangeruso, press to discuss DeJessa Bridge traffic issues

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State Sens. Paul Sarlo and Stephen Sweeney will be meeting with Lyndhurst Mayor Robert Giangeruso and the Lyndhurst Board of Commissioners for a press conference concerning the problematic traffic issues around the DeJessa Bridge on Tuesday, Aug. 12th at 3 p.m., in the parking area of 601 Riverside Ave., adjacent to the bridge.