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Category: News

Mazur’s Bakery reopens under new management

Steven Leyva, president and CEO of the Sugarflake Bakery chain, operating in Westwood, Wyckoff and Fair Lawn, has announced the grand reopening of Mazur’s Bakery on Ridge Road in Lyndhurst.

Mazur’s is a South Bergen landmark, having originally opened in 1937 and operated by the namesake family for 66 years until 2003. In September 2013, the business, acquired 10 years earlier by another proprietor, closed.

Leyva, himself a second-generation baker with extensive experience in the industry, noted: “To acquire an iconic spot like Mazur’s Bakery is a wonderful opportunity to bring the quality and product line that is synonymous with the name back to the Lyndhurst, Rutherford and North Arlington area. I truly believe that with my experience and the hard work of my staff, we can restore Mazur’s to its rightful place as one of New Jersey’s most renowned and successful bake shops.”

The store celebrated its reopening Dec. 12 with a ribbon-cutting attended by local government and business leaders.

“The timing is opportune for us as the upcoming Christmas holiday will give us the opportunity to deliver fantastic breads, cakes, pies and other dessert products for celebrations by families and businesses alike and to reintroduce Mazur’s to the local people. I welcome the challenge of serving the knowledgeable and discerning consumers of this wonderful neighborhood,” Leyva said.

A gift to make someone smile

The Smile and Implant Center, Kearny, is offering holiday gift certificates for tooth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, a professional cleaning and even Botox treatments. Gift certificates are available in any denomination.

The Center notes that this is a gift that will last long past the holidays: “A smile is your unique signature. If you or someone you know is not totally pleased with their smile, modern dentistry has much to offer that can enhance one’s natural smile.”

Dr. Blair Schachtel has a “multi-specialty” and fullservice office including a board-certified periodontist, board-certified oral surgeon and dental anesthesiologist all on staff.

Should you have any questions regarding the procedures offered by The Smile and Implant Center, call Alexis Vitetta at 201-991-1055 or visit www.TheSmileandImplantCenter.com and www.SedationNJ.com for more information.

around town


Belleville Elks Lodge 1123, 254 Washington Ave., holds its monthly breakfast Sunday, Dec. 21, 9 a.m. to noon. Cost is $6 for adults; $3 for children under age 10; and free for children under age 3.


Presbyterian Boys and Girls Club, 663 Kearny Ave., hosts its annual Christmas dance for teenagers only on Friday, Dec. 19, 7 to 10 p.m. Music will be provided by a DJ. PBGC Executive Director Tom Fraser and PBGC board members will supervise.

The Children’s Room of the Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., presents a family concert Tuesday, Dec. 30, at 4 p.m., by Susan Goodman (Sooz), a saxophonist/ songwriter/educator whose presentation on bias, bullying and bystanders uses music to cultivate compassionate communities. The compelling lyrics and eclectic blend of jazz, pop, Latin and Afro-beat highlight original songs that shines a light on the biases behind bullying. Light refreshments will be served.


The N.J. Meadowlands Commission hosts a Winter Solstice celebration on Thursday, Dec. 18, 7 to 9 p.m., at the Science Center, 3 DeKorte Park Plaza. All ages are invited to welcome the first day of winter. Learn about the shortest day of the year, make a solstice craft, and enjoy solstice-themed food and drink. Adults must accompany children. Admission is $5; MEC members $4. Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register, go to www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec. For more information, call 201-460-8300.

Lyndhurst Health Department announces the following:

• Flu vaccine is available for township residents. Call 201- 804-2500 to make an appointment. The CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older receive a yearly flu vaccine.

• Rabies Clinics are set for Thursdays, Jan. 8 and 15, at the Community Center on Riverside Ave. (behind the Little League fields), 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Township residents can also license their dogs and cats at these clinics. Licensing deadline is Jan. 31, 2015. Call the Health Department for more information.

The Lyndhurst Historical Society showcases a sampling of the many businesses that contributed to the community and beyond in its newest exhibit, “Lyndhurst Business: Building a Community,” which runs through August 2015 at The Little Red Schoolhouse, 400 Riverside Ave.

The exhibit is free and open to the public, but a small donation to the Society is appreciated. The Little Red Schoolhouse Museum is open on the second and fourth Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m.

For more information, leave a message at 201-804-2513 and your call will be returned. For more information about the Lyndhurst Historical Society, readers can visit www.lyndhursthistoricalsociety.org. Like them on Facebook.

Knights of Columbus Council 2396 sponsors a Tricky Tray Friday, Jan. 16, at the Senior Center, 250 Cleveland Ave. The $15 admission includes coffee plus one prize sheet of tickets. No alcohol is permitted. No tickets will be sold at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, call Steve Cortese at 201-657-0800 or Sal Russo at 201-446-7244.

North Arlington 

North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Road, hosts the following programs. No registration is required. For more information, call the library at 201-955-5640:

• Lego Club, open to grades 1 and up, meets Tuesday, Dec. 23, at 6:30 p.m., and Monday, Dec. 29, at 2 p.m.

• New Year Story Time, open to ages 4 to 7, takes place Monday, Dec. 29, at 7 p.m.

Chiropractic treatment of back pain


Dr. Louis Stimmel, D.C. – Harrison Spine & Rehabilitation

Chiropractic is a health care profession dedicated to the non-surgical treatment of disorders of the nervous system and/or musculoskeletal system. Generally, chiropractors maintain a unique focus on spinal manipulation and treatment of surrounding structures. Many medical studies and research journals have concluded that manual therapies (spinal manipulation) commonly used by chiropractors are generally effective for the treatment of lower back pain, as well as for treatment of cervical and lumbar disc bulges and herniations, neck pain, arm pain and sciatica.

Among people seeking back pain relief alternatives to traditional medical treatments, most choose chiropractic treatment. About 22 million Americans visit chiropractors annually. Of these, 7.7 million, or 35%, are seeking pain relief from back pain from various causes, including motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, and muscle strains. Other complaints commonly treated by chiropractors include pain in the neck, arms, legs, pins and needles and headaches.

Chiropractors typically use spinal manipulation and other alternative forms of treatment to properly align the body’s spinal bones (vertebrae) thereby enhancing the body’s ability to help heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. Spinal manipulation is used to restore mobility to joints caused by a traumatic event such as a slip and fall or motor vehicle accident, repetitive stress, or a sports-related injury. Chiropractic is primarily used as a pain relief alternative for injuries to the muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissue, such as cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. It is also sometimes used in conjunction with conventional medical care. A chiropractor initially takes a thorough medical history, performs a physical examination, and may use lab tests or diagnostic imaging to determine if treatment is appropriate for your pain and discomfort caused by nerve irritation or inflammation. The treatment plan may involve one or more manual adjustments in which the doctor manipulates the joints using a soft and gentle amount of pressure to improve range and quality of motion to the spinal bones and joints. Many chiropractors also include nutritional and weight loss counseling along with a specific form of exercise/rehabilitation. The goals of chiropractic care include the restoration of function and prevention of injury in addition to immediate and long-lasting pain relief. Spinal manipulation and chiropractic care are now widely accepted within the medical community as a safe, gentle and effective treatment for various types of musculoskeletal pain. Many chiropractors today are now included on the medical staff for both college and professional sports teams as well as the Olympic team medical staff.

Dr. Stimmel of Harrison Spine and Rehabilitation Center is a board certified chiropractic physician with over 25 years of clinical experience. Dr. Stimmel has been board certified as a chiropractic sports physician and is certified in hospital protocols and privileges. Contact our office today at 973-483-3380 for a free consult and evaluation.

Take precautions if you’re expecting a delivery, HPD says



The Christmas Grinch has been busy in Harrison this season.

Police said that during the last five weeks or so, they’ve received reports of more than 20 package thefts from town residents.

Here’s an accounting of days and locations: Read more »

Nutley PD: Beware of Yuletide scammers



It may be holiday time but gremlins are out to spoil the festivities of the season.

Mayor/Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco and Police Chief Tom Strumolo are cautioning Nutley residents to be wary of scammers posing as government agents, utility workers or whatever, out to plunder families’ hard-earned cash.

On Dec. 9, a Fischer Road resident contacted police with this hard luck story:

At 3 p.m., a man who, the elderly woman resident believed to be a construction worker, pounded on her front door and told her there was a chemical spill the next block over and he needed to check her basement water supply. Read more »

Mazur’s Bakery reopening under new ownership on Dec. 12

2014-12-10 15_57_36-Greenshot

Steven Leyva, president and CEO of the Sugarflake Bakery chain, operating in Westwood, Wyckoff and Fair Lawn, announced the grand re-opening of Mazur’s Bakery on Ridge Road in Lyndhurst.

Mazur’s is a South Bergen County landmark, having originally opened in 1937, and operated by the namesake family for 66 years until 2003. In September 2013, the business, acquired 10 years earlier by another proprietor, closed after health and business problems were discovered.

Leyva, himself a second-generation baker with vast experience in the industry, is excited to be acquiring the business and the space it has occupied for nearly eight decades.

“To acquire an iconic spot like Mazur’s Bakery is a wonderful opportunity to bring the quality and product line that is synonymous with the name back to the Lyndhurst, Rutherford and North Arlington area. I truly believe that with my experience and the hard work of my staff, we can restore Mazur’s to its rightful place as one of New Jersey’s most renowned and successful bake shops,” Leyva said.
The store will have a grand reopening on Friday, Dec. 12, with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. Local government and business leaders have been invited to kick off the renaissance of Mazur’s Bakery and launch it into a new future as a fixture in the community.

“The timing is opportune for us as the upcoming Christmas holiday will give us the opportunity to deliver fantastic breads, cakes, pies and other dessert products for celebrations by families and businesses, alike, and to reintroduce Mazur’s to the local people,” he said. “I welcome the challenge of serving the knowledgeable and discerning consumers of this wonderful neighborhood.”

Belleville suspending alternate-side parking Dec. 15 until further notice

street sweeper generic


Interim Township Manager Kevin Esposito’s office is advising residents that, as of Dec. 15, alternate side of the street parking regulations are suspended, until further notice.

When temperatures fall below freezing, the township’s mechanical sweepers cannot function, the manager’s office said.

Stranger than fiction


By Karen Zautyk

Observer Correspondent 


For nearly eight decades, Theodore Zetterlund of Kearny lay in an unmarked grave in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. This past Sunday, 79 years to the day that he was killed by a bandit, he finally got his headstone.

His widow had bought it a few months after his death. But it was never installed. And for most of those intervening years, it was missing.

How it came to be found and at long last placed where Zetterlund rests is an incredible tale — a fantastic story involving a kayak and killie fish and an island that once was not an island and weeds and mud and water and a Kearny Police Department murder file and a case of the right person being in the right place at the right time.

That person is Bruce Dillin of Bayonne, a man who says he was “on a mission from God.” (Lest you think Dillin is some sort of religious fanatic, please note that he is using a quote from “The Blues Brothers.” This also was the explanation he gave a cop who spotted him prowling around the South Kearny swamps. Luckily, Dillin has a friend on the force.)

Now, as intriguing an individual as Dillin is, we will not start this saga with him. We start with Theodore Zetterlund, who owned a butcher shop/grocery store on Davis Ave. at Tappan St. in Kearny. (See ‘Then & Now,’) 

According to the news account in the New York Times: Shortly after 10 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, 1935, the 58-year-old Zetterlund and his wife, Kathryn, were closing up shop for the day when a man armed with a sawed-off shotgun entered the premises, told the merchant to raise his hands, and demanded he turn over his money.. Zetterlund would not comply with either order. Without saying another word, the bandit fired, at close range, fatally wounding the victim in the stomach.

The killer then fled, empty-handed, and was reportedly seen running into nearby West Hudson Park. Police cordoned off the area and searched, but did not find. That night, anyway.

An investigation led to the arrest in August 1936 of a Vincent Millinavich, who reportedly was tried, found guilty, sentenced to life and died in prison. We have no further details since we have not yet had a chance to examine the 800-page file.

In any case, Zetterlund was interred at Holy Cross, and the widow ordered a headstone, inscribed with his name and date of death. The price was $115 — quite a substantial sum during the Depression. (An inflation calculator indicates that amount is the equivalent of $1,993.05 in today’s dollars.)

She was making installment payments in small amounts — $8, $5, $2, $10 — and then they abruptly stopped. The headstone was never put on the grave.

Fast forward to May 2014.

Fisherman/hunter/ outdoorsman Bruce Dillin was kayaking on the Hackensack River near Laurel Hill Park in Secaucus, looking for killies to use as bait for fluke, when he saw a small island in a Meadowlands pond. “I landed my kayak and walked about 60 feet through 8-foot-high weeds, and I found myself looking straight down at a tombstone,” Dillin recalled. It bore Theodore Zetterlund’s name and the date of death. (At the time of discovery, Dillin had no idea who this person was, much less knowledge of the murder backstory.)

Photo by Karen Zautyk At Sunday’s ‘Rest in Peace’ service at gravesite in Holy Cross Cemetery (from l.): The Rev. Gary Grindeland, headstone hero Bruce Dillin, and John Burns of Hopper Monuments.

Photo by Karen Zautyk
At Sunday’s ‘Rest in Peace’ service at gravesite in Holy Cross Cemetery (from l.): The Rev. Gary Grindeland, headstone hero Bruce Dillin, and John Burns of Hopper Monuments.


His mind began racing: “How did it get here? Is this guy buried here? How did they bring him here? In a boat?”

Dillin is not one to leave questions unanswered.

One of the first things he did was to call a friend, Timothy Doolan, an environmentalist with the N.J. Turnpike Authority, who directed him to online topographical maps and aerial photos of the meadows in the mid-’30s, from which he learned that the island had not been an island then. It was dry land accessible by a road.

“And through the power of the internet,” Dillin said, “my secretary, Barbara, found out that Zetterlund was buried in Holy Cross.”

“This is a man with two tombstones,” Dillin thought. But in June, he went to the gravesite “and . . . no tombstone!”

“The plot thickens, I thought.”

How much, he couldn’t guess. Word of his find, and quest, eventually reached his friend on the KPD, for whom the name “Zetterlund” rang a bell. The officer did some research and found the murder file. (Interestingly, that sawed-off shotgun used to kill Zetterlund was also fished from the Meadowlands, where the killer had thrown it.)

To solve the headstone mystery, the cemetery suggested that Dillin contact Albert H. Hopper Monuments “since they’ve been around the longest” — more than 130 years. And it turned out that Hopper, located on Ridge Road in North Arlington, directly across from the cemetery entrance, was the same company that produced Zetterlund’s headstone.

Dillin learned this after enlisting the help of Hopper’s current owner, John Burns of Burns Bros. Memorials, Jersey City, who hunted through old files in the basement and found Zetterlund’s. Burns learned that when the widow’s payments stopped, she had a balance due of $28.

Burns surmises that the stone simply sat in the company’s yard “for a long time.” “At some point,” he said, “they must have cleared out the yard.”

In those days, there was road access to the place in the Meadows where it was found, so Burns assumes it was just dumped there. Perhaps with some granite leavings from other work, since Dillin said there seemed to be a few chunks of uninscribed stone on the same island.


KPD Police photo, taken Aug. 18, 1936, shows Walter White of Jersey City, employee of the Hudson County Mosquito Exterminating Commission, with shotgun/murder weapon he found in a creek in the meadows.

Police photo, taken Aug. 18, 1936, shows Walter White of Jersey City, employee
of the Hudson County Mosquito Exterminating Commission, with shotgun/murder weapon he found in a creek in the meadows.


“Normally, we do everything possible to get a stone on the grave,” Burns noted. (But he wasn’t around back in the ‘30s or ‘40s.)

Burns offered to refurbish the Zetterlund stone and add the name of Kathryn J. Zetterlund, whom Dillin learned had been lying in the same unmarked grave as her husband since her death in 1975.

But first, someone had to get the stone out of the swamp.

Last month, Dillin (who had been more or less possessed by this project, this “mission from God”) returned to the island with his kayak and a raft, two 10-foot long posts, bricks to use as levers, a pry bar, steel cable and other tools.

He worked at the task for an hour and 45 minutes and was finally able to move the stone onto the raft.

And it immediately slid off and sank.

“You were in the Marine Corps!” Dillin told himself. “You can do this!”

To get the thing out of the swamp, he worked in and under the November-cold water for six more hours, four of them while stark naked. He had stripped to make the underwater work easier. (He organizes an annual Polar Bear Plunge, so you could say he had some preparation for the frigid conditions.) Luckily, no police were around to witness this part of the operation.

The submerged headstone was recovered. But Dillin couldn’t lift it onto his truck. He started towing it along the ground, but the cable broke. So he left the stone in the middle of a rarely-used road, intending to return with a hoist.

When he came back the next morning, the stone was gone. Seems a Turnpike maintenance crew had moved it. Dillin searched the weeds, and for the third time Zetterlund’s headstone was reclaimed from the meadows.

Dillin, who had been losing sleep over this quest, delivered it to the monument company, contacted Holy Cross and then the Archdiocese of Newark, which had to approve of the placement of the stone on the grave. The Archdiocese also managed to locate a distant relative of the Zetterlunds, since family approval also was needed.

And at 2 p.m. this past Sunday, Dillin, Burns and a few others gathered at the grave for a brief dedication ceremony conducted by the Rev. Gary Grindeland, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Bayonne.

Theodore Zetterlund can now rest in peace.

And so can Bruce Dillin.

Church will be restored


By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 


A local landmark church that was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 is getting government aid for a major fix. In fact, it received slightly more than double the amount it requested.

The New Jersey Historic Trust has awarded La Senda Antigua Church, which owns and occupies the former Dutch Reformed Church of the Second River in Belleville, awarded the church a Sandy Disaster Relief Grant for Historic Properties of $250,000.

Although there is a $150,000 cap placed on historic-related grants to religious facilities – and that’s the amount for which the church applied – Larry Hajna, spokesman for the state Dept. of Environmental Protection, which oversees the Trust, said that the state issued a “waiver.”

“It was felt by our reviewers that it wasn’t reasonable to expect that the local congregation could raise the balance of the money needed to facilitate the repairs,” Hajna said.

“We want to thank God — it’s a miracle,” said the Rev. Miguel Ortiz, the church’s pastor. “Everybody kept closing the doors on us until now. We hope that with the restoration, this will bring a good feeling to the community.”

A cross at the top of the church steeple was loosened from its perch by Sandy’s gusts and while it continues to dangle, it was secured there, thanks to a $40,000 emergency repair job financed by the township in the aftermath of the storm.

“We want to fix the steeple and, below that, several floors, all the way down to the basement, are damaged – beams and flooring,” Ortiz said.

But, the pastor noted, the interior and exterior structure has been compromised not only by Sandy but in past years, from water infiltration from rain and snow conditions.

As outlined by a summary furnished by the state, “Hurricane Sandy’s high winds and driving rain ripped the steeple and bell tower apart, literally. The metal cross at the pinnacle of the steeple was displaced, the steeple’s copper cladding was torn and peeled back and windows in the masonry tower were blown in.”

Photos by Ron Leir The Rev. Miguel Ortiz and his wife Lillian are grateful that the N.J. Historic Trust is providing funding to repair and restore their historic church which has been ravaged -- inside and out -- by wear and tear and Sandy.

Photos by Ron Leir
The Rev. Miguel Ortiz and his wife Lillian are grateful that the N.J. Historic Trust
is providing funding to repair and restore their historic church which has been
ravaged — inside and out — by wear and tear and Sandy.



A report by state reviewer Jennifer Stark said the grant “will fund emergency steeple stabilization completed immediately after Hurricane Sandy and more exhaustive restoration of the steeple and tower including masonry repointing, structural heavy timber repair, new copper cladding and roofing, exterior wood repair around windows and exterior painting.”

The structure, Stark reported, dates from 1853 and was designed by William H. Kirk of the Newark architectural firm Kirk & Kirkpatrick “and is the only Gothic Revival style religious building in Belleville. The church is a good example of early Gothic architecture constructed by a master builder.

“Never seriously altered, the church maintains its orginal architectural integrity.”

And it was one of about a dozen such churches in New Jersey employing primarily the Greek Revival form designed by the Kirk & Kirkpatrick firm between 1839 and 1858, Stark noted.

Because the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on Dec. 21, 1978, and on the State Register on July 12, 1978, (and dedicated as a local landmark by the Belleville Historic Preservation Commission on July 4), the owner must comply with certain architectural guidelines during the restoration process.

This the owner is apparently prepared to do, as noted by Stark, in her comments that, “The owner has had an engineer with historical project experience survey the church and evaluate the condition. It is recommended that this professional continue to further document the current conditions, identify and prioritize preservation and repair phases, and costs, for future planning and fundraising efforts. The scale … and complexity of the work also warrant the services of this professional to provide construction documents for the brick and mortar project ….”

Stark estimated that the project could run “between $300,000 and $400,000.”

Ortiz said he’s exploring whether the church can apply any of the grant money towards repayment of the $40,000 lien placed on the property by the township. “So far, we’ve been paying it off at the rate of $500 a month,” he said.

Asked how soon the repair work could begin, Ortiz said that probably won’t happen until around March, due to the obstacles presented by the winter weather conditions.