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Category: News

School board post open

The Belleville Board of Education is seeking candidates to fill a vacancy on the board, following the resignation of member Joseph Longo, who was elected to the Township Council in May.

Anyone interested in serving is asked to send a letter of interest with a resume to the attention of Raymond R. Jacobus, Acting Interim Board Secretary/School Business Administrator, by July 8.

For more information, call the Board of Education office at 973-450-3500.

Doran’s return still up in the air

HARRISON –

Whether Harrison Schools Superintendent James Doran will return to his job remained in limbo as of last week. Board of Education members met June 25 in hopes of resolving the unsettled issue but came away empty. Doran’s contract was to expire June 30, the end of the school year. He’s been at the district’s helm for the past five years.

At stake, aside from the question of who would lead the district if Doran departs, is the salary for the chief school administrator, which is regulated by state law. If he stays, Doran – whose current pay is more than $200,000 a year – would have to take a big cut in salary in order for the district to comply with the mandated pay restrictions keyed to a district’s enrollment.

Also up in the air is a new contract for Christine Griffin, the board secretary/business administrator.

But the school board did come to terms with two other school officials, one an educator and the other in the business office.

It reappointed Michael R. Pichowicz as assistant school board administrator, tendering him a one-year contract running through June 30, 2015, at a yearly salary of $173,748, reflecting a 2% increase from his previous salary.

And it ratified the appointment of Michael Landy as principal assigned to Washington Middle School for the 2014-15 school year, at an annual pay of $131,626. Landy, who also serves as a member of the Kearny Town Council, had been serving as the school’s “administrator-in- charge.”

At the meeting, Doran announced that the opening of the community pool at Washington School for the summer season was slated for July 1 and that the pool would have afternoon hours on July 4. The pool is available for use, at a nominal fee, for both adults and children. Swimming lessons are provided for $10.

In other summer activities, the Harrison Recreation Volleyball Camp is running at the Harrison High School gym, July 1 to Aug. 7; and the Harrison Recreation Tennis Camp will operate at the high school tennis courts, July 7 to Aug. 1.

– Ron Leir 

KPD: Beware of phone scam

Kearny detectives are investigating the attempted extortion of more than $1,300 from a local woman by telephone scamsters, one of whom pretended to be a police officer.

Police Chief John Dowie said the 30-year-old target was first contacted June 11 by a caller who identified himself as “Jimmy Brown,” representing an online loan company, and who demanded immediate repayment of borrowed money.

Suspicious of the call, she hung up, only to be contacted several hours later by another man who identified himself as a police officer phoning on behalf of Brown. If she did not make immediate restitution, the “cop” warned, she would be arrested.

The woman was advised to buy several hundred dollars’ worth of Green Dot Money- Pak prepaid debit cards and then phone back for more instructions. When she did so, the “cop” asked for her address, saying he would be mailing her pertinent documents. After no documentation arrived, she phoned the number from the initial call, only to be told by yet another man, “Julius,” that she now owed an additional penalty and should buy more debit cards, Dowie said.

In total, the intended victim reportedly purchased $1,357 worth of cards, but wisely never mailed them. Instead, last week she filed a report with the KPD.

The case has been turned over to the Detective Bureau.

Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:

June 21 

Officers Jose Canela and Pat Becker responded to an 8:45 a.m. report of a boyfriend/girlfriend dispute near Elizabeth Ave. and Morgan Place, where the male had allegedly pushed the female to the ground and fled with her cell phone.

Located and arrested in the area was Michael Vargas, 32, of Kearny, charged with assault and robbery and on two outstanding Kearny warrants.

 June 22 

Officer David Rakowski, on patrol at 8 a.m., saw an SUV run a red light and make an erratic turn from Belgrove Drive onto Bergen Ave., police said. When the cop stopped the vehicle on Bergen, the driver allegedly identified herself as Sandra Ezpinoza. The SUV was impounded when headquarters reported Ezpinoza had no license. Further investigation revealed that the woman was actually Sandra Arevalo, 38, of Harrison, who had a revoked license, police said. When she showed up at HQ to claim the SUV, she was charged with driving while suspended, disregard of a traffic light and careless driving.

 June 23 

At 6:30 a.m., Officer Tom Bannon, Sgt. Paul Bershefski and Chief Dowie responded to a report of a disorderly man at Elm St. and Quincy Ave. and encountered an “intoxicated” Nelson Santiago, 51, of Newark. He was warned about his behavior and sent on his way. Shortly after, however, Bannon saw him walking in traffic on Kearny Ave. near Quincy. Advised to get out of the street, he allegedly became defiant and profane and, with Bershefski and Officer Joseph Vulcano providing backup, was arrested for disorderly conduct and interfering with transportation.

At 9 p.m., Vice detectives witnessed what they believed to be a drug transaction in a double-parked car on Halstead St. near Kearny Ave. Approaching the vehicle, they reportedly saw a clear plastic bag containing suspected marijuana on the occupant’s lap. Hugo Villanueva, 22, of Kearny, was charged with possession of pot and drug paraphernalia.

June 25 

At 3:40 p.m., Officer John Fabula was checking Sanford Ave. near the railroad tracks, an area police say is known for criminal conduct and drug use, when he encountered Christopher Horn, 34, of Harrison, who was reported to be the subject of a $2,500 warrant out of Caldwell. Horn was arrested, and Caldwell authorities were notified.

– Karen Zautyk

 (Editor’s note/public service announcement: In recent days, a number of vehicles, most of them left unlocked and with valuables clearly visible inside, have been hit by thieves in the northern section of town, from Midland Ave. to the Belleville Pike. Once again, the KPD politely requests that you lock your cars. Your correspondent not so politely suggests that you unlock your brains.)

Around Town

Belleville

Belleville Public Library and Information Center, 221 Washington Ave., hosts:

• The Mad Scientist’s Laboratory on Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m., offers crafts and activities, open to all ages. Topics covered for  July will be: Planet Earth on July 8, The Seasons on July 15, Rocks  on July 22 and Water on July 29.

• School-Age Children’s Storytime is open to K to grade  6, every Wednesday, beginning July 9.

• Children’s films will be screened Fridays at 2 p.m. Here’s the schedule: July 11 – “Frozen,” July 18 – “Wall-e” and July 25 – “Finding Nemo.”

For more information on these programs, call the library at 973-450-3434.

Belleville Dutch Reformed Church, 171 Main St., kicks off Independence Day festivities at 10 a.m. July 4 at the church’s cemetery. The annual event honors Belleville’s first troops, the 66 Revolutionary War  soldiers buried there, one of the largest group of 1776 patriots buried at any one site in the U.S. To participate or for more information, call Michael at 973-780- 7852 or email bell1776patriots@  yahoo.com. After the ceremony, the Belleville Historical Commission and Historical Society  host the designation of the former Dutch Reformed Church, which is now known as Iglesia Pentecostal “ La Senda Antigua” C.L.A. as a historic landmark.

Bloomfield 

Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., offers the following:

Adult Programs:

• Summer Yoga Class is held  for one hour on the second and fourth Mondays at 6 p.m. on July 14 and 28 and Aug 11 and 25. Registration is required. To register, call 973-566-6200, ext. 602, or visit http://www.bplnj. org/programs/.

• Author Rick Wright dis cusses his newly-released birding field guide on Tuesday, July 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. Books will be available for purchase.

• The library Board of Trustees meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. The public is welcome.

• Monday and Thursday movies are screened at 12:15 p.m. The schedule: July 3 – “White House Down,” July 7 – “Nebraska,” July 10 – “Lone Ranger,” July 14 – “Wolf of Wall Street,” July 17 – “Prometheus,” July 21 – “American Hustle,” July 25 – “Book Thief,” July 28 – “Catching Fire” and July 31 – “Saving Mr. Banks.” Children’s programs:

•Kids ages 10 and up can learn cartooning skills and make a comic on July 16 at 4 p.m. Participants can register online at www.bplnj.org/programs.html for this program.

• Kids in Pre-K and up can meet Ronald McDonald  on Wednesday, July 9, at 2 p.m. Registration is required.

• The Essex County Environment Center presents a pro gram on “Drummer Birds” for children ages 5 to 8 on Wednesday July 16 at 2 p.m. Registration is required.

To register, call 973-566-6200, ext. 212. Participants must  be Bloomfield residents and library cardholder for programs where registration is required. All other programs are open.

Kearny 

Kearny Health Department, 645 Kearny Ave., offers the following programs for Kearny  senior citizens:

• Vouchers for the Kearny Farmers Market are now avail able for low-income senior citizens. Vouchers are limited  and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants must be age 60 and over, show proof of residency and of limited income. Applications will be accepted until all vouchers have been distributed. All applicants  must also sign statements attesting to their income qualifi cations for the vouchers. Each qualified senior will receive four $5 vouchers to be used  only with the farmers signed up with the voucher program. Interested seniors may apply at the Health Department, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. For more  information, call the Health Department at 201-997-0600.

• Cruise aboard the Spirit of New Jersey on the Hudson River. Tickets are limited and advance sign-up is required. Buses will depart from the  Henrietta Benstead Senior Citizens Center, 60 Columbia Ave., at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, July 30. Lunch is included. Tickets  will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 9 a.m. Monday, July 7, at the Kearny Health Center. Anyone unable to walk unassisted is  advised that there is a long two-block walk from the bus parking area to the ship’s docking area.  For more information, call the Health Department.

Lyndhurst

New Jersey Meadowlands  Commission hosts the following:

• First Sunday-of-the-Month Bird Walk, with the NJMC and Bergen County Audubon So ciety, features a free two-hour guided nature walk in DeKorte Park on Sunday, July 6, at 10 a.m.

• Butterflies for Beginners, with the NJMC and BCAS, is a 30-minute talk and slide show about butterflies, and a walk around DeKorte Park, set for Sunday, July 6, at 1 p.m. For both these programs, check meadowblog.net for last-minute updates and weather  advisories. Guests must sign a standard liability release. To R.S.V.P., contact Don Torino of the BCAS at greatawk4@ aol.com or call 201-230-4983.

• Pontoon boat rides for  seniors, offering two-hour cruises along the Hackensack River, depart from River Barge Park, Carlstadt, Monday, July 7, at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (Rain date – July 15). Admission is $7 . Bring cameras and sneakers. Note: The boats cannot accom modate wheelchairs. Advance registration and payment are required. To register, call 201- 777-2431.

• Seniors are invited to join staff from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC)  and learn about the mysterious lives of marine mammals and sea turtles, and the problems  facing these creatures and their environment Thursday, July 10, at 7 p.m., at the NJMC Science Center, 3 DeKorte Park. Reg istration is recommended and appreciated. To register, call 201-777-2431 or 201-460-8300.

The Lyndhurst Public Library Children’s Room, 355 Valley Brook Ave., hosts the following  events during July:

• Children in pre-k to grade  2 are invited to hear a story and do some coloring Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. No registration is required.

• Children in pre-k to grade 6 can learn how to make origami every Monday and some  Wednesdays (July 2, 7, 9, 21 and 30), from 3 to 4 p.m. No registration is required. Registration is required for the following programs. Call the library at 201-804-2478 to  register.

• Children of all ages may  register for a screening of the Disney movie “Finding Nemo,” set for Tuesday, July 8, 2:15 to 4 p.m.

• Children ages 7 to 14 will  get a chance to become a scientist as they erupt volcanos, examine a geode mineral and more at Art Kids Academy Thursday, July 10, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

• Children in grades 2 to 6 get some insider tips on playing checkers Tuesday, July 1, Thursday, July 3 and Monday, July 7, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

• Children in grades 2 to 6, can be part of a checkers tournament and must be committed to all three rounds. Tournament schedule: First round – Wednesday, July 9; semifinal round – Tuesday, July 22; and the final round – Tuesday, July 29, 2 to 4 p.m. each day. A prize  will be awarded to the champion Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2 to 4 p.m.

North Arlington 

Chief Louis M. Ghione of the North Arlington Police Department announces that applications are available for residents to sign up for a block party during National Night Out, Tuesday, Aug. 5. That evening,  residents are encouraged to meet their neighbors and leave a porch light on overnight as a  show of unity against crime.

Stop by the Police Department, 214 Ridge Road, for an application. The Police Department will seek borough approval for closing down a street to traffic from 5 to 9 p.m.

The first 10 blocks organized  will receive a free barbecue package, courtesy of the Borough’s Crime Prevention Unit.

Police officers and elected officials will visit block parties  with giveaways.

Nutley 

Total Soul takes the stage at Memorial Park I (Mud Hole) July 17 for a Recreation Department sizzling summer concert. The free show, which begins at 6:30 p.m., includes everything from Motown, to today’s pop and R&B, to the jazz/Big Band standards of the 1940s. The rain  date is July 28. For further information, call 973-284-4966 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Nutley Public Library, 93  Booth Dr., announces the following programs:

For children:

• Babygarten is available only to township residents  who can register children ages 23 months and under for this program, set for Tuesdays, starting July 8, at 10 a.m.

• For “Lego Movie,” children of all ages can make a movie-themed craft (while supplies last) Tuesday, July 8, at 2 p.m. No registration is required.

• For Preschool Storytime, registration is open for Nutley residents only, ages 3 to 5. The program will be held Wednesdays, starting July 9, at 10 a.m.

• Tech Workshop: “Lego Robots” for ages 3 to 6 is set for Wednesday, July 9, at 2:30 p.m. Kids ages 3 to 6 may be registered for this program.

• Essex Environmental Workshop on “Drummer Birds” is open to ages 5 to 8  who must be registered to participate in the program scheduled for Thursday, July 10, at 11 a.m. • Science Workshop: “Magnets” is open to ages 8 and up and will be offered Thursday, July 10, at 2:30 p.m. Registration is required.

• Two-Year Old Story Time is for Nutley residents only, ages 24 to 35 months, Fridays, starting July 11, at 10 a.m. Registration is required.

• Play Fridays, with Legos,  tech gear, toys and video game, is held Fridays, starting July 11, at 1 p.m.

• Science Scavenger Hunt, with registration open to library patrons ages 4 and up, is set for Monday, July 14, at 2 p.m.

For adults, the library offers First Friday Films, with a new film shown the first Friday of each month, opening  with a screening of “Philomena” Friday, July 11, at 2 p.m. Check the library’s event  calendar for a schedule.

Missing girl returns/ NPD blotter

A Nutley teen reported missing on Thursday, June 26, is back safe, police said.

Eva Simon, 14, returned home on Friday to get some clothes and officers picked her up on Washington Ave., according to Sgt. Anthony Montanari.

June 22 

Someone removed the rear bumper from a 2004 silver Subaru Impreza parked on Stager St. and left it on the steps next to the front entrance of the victim’s residence during the night. Police said there were handprints on the vehicle’s roof and small dents on the hood.

June 23 

At 1:29 a.m., police responded to the New Jersey Transit Garage on Washington Ave. on a report of criminal mischief. At the location, police found a homeless man with several big cuts to his face and pieces of glass in his hair and luggage cart and a broken glass pane at the bus stop waiting area. The man told police he was resting in the bus stop, heard the sound of glass breaking and noticed he was bleeding.

A San Antonio Ave. resident reported that, since May, the block has experienced several incidents of flat, punctured and slashed tires on parked vehicles. Police said they have no suspects at this time.

June 24 

A Washington Ave. resident reported an illegal dumping incident. The resident told police that for the second straight week, during the late hours on Monday into Tuesday, someone has been tossing garbage at their curbside. In the most recent episode, Police said they found multiple empty boxes of Dixie Belle peaches and Del Monte Gold pineapples at the location.

At 1:01 p.m., police were sent to a Franklin Ave. business where the front door window had been shattered from the outside, causing an estimated $500 in damage.

June 25 

An intruder broke into a Passaic Ave. apartment and, once inside, pushed the thermostat all the way up for high heat, the tenant told police. Police surmised that the burglar entered through a window near the rear door of the building. Police said they found two clear handprints on the window, indicating that the intruder pushed it open, breaking both panes, reached through and unlocked a storm window to gain entry. It appeared that nothing was missing and it’s unclear how the intruder got out, police said. The incident was logged at 1:33 a.m.

A resident parked their vehicle in a High St. lot and, upon returning, noticed that a tire rim was bent, leading the resident to suspect that someone tried to pry off the hubcab. Police received the report at 11:50 a.m.

At 5:30 p.m., a Hagert St. tenant called police about a burglary. Upon returning home, the resident said they found their bedroom closet door open and a guitar and case, both valued at more than $2,000, missing. Police believe the thief got in through the apartment’s rear window. Detectives are investigating.

While on patrol, at 10:48 p.m., police noticed a water fountain in Flora Louden Park on Hancox Ave. spouting water. After discovering that the spigot had been damaged, police alerted Parks Department personnel responded to shut off the water.

June 26 

At 6:27 a.m., patrol units found that someone had used what appeared to be blue spray paint to write graffiti in various locations of Yanticaw Park off Vincent Place. Police said that words they described as “foul, discriminatory, and too distasteful to print” were painted on the pedestrian bridge, the bridge wall, park benches and a concrete pad. Police notified the Essex County Sheriff’s Office of the incident.

At 11:14 a.m., police responded to the AT&T site on Cook Road on a report of theft. A company employee told police that while making his rounds, noticed that two copper ground plates, valued at $100 apiece, had been stolen. Police said the equipment is surrounded by a fence and a gate, which was locked when the employee arrived to conduct his check.

At 7:38 p.m., a Stager St. resident reported the theft of a white iPad Mini, a black Samsung Galaxy phone and a black iPod Touch, with a combined value of about $1,182, from their home.

 June 27 

Between 2:15 and 2:50 a.m., police received reports of car alarms set off along Cathedral, Glendale and Grant Aves. A Grant Ave. resident told police they saw two individuals running from behind their vehicle after the alarm had sounded. One was described as a heavyset black male, bald and wearing a dark-colored T-shirt and light-colored shorts. Police said they noticed no damage to any of the vehicles whose alarms had sounded and no entry was made to the car parked on Grant.

– Ron Leir

Breast cancer survivor celebrates with SMMC patients

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Newark resident Elsie Best celebrated five years cancer-free this June by bringing presents to those undergoing cancer treatments at St. Michael’s Medical Center (SMMC) from her church group, the Missionary Society at Philemon Missionary Baptist Church, Newark. Patients received gift bags filled with toiletries, warm socks, peppermint candies and Bibles. Best also presented the SMMC Foundation with a check for $100 designated to The Cancer Center.

“God kept me here for a reason: to be an advocate for cancer survivorship,” said Best. “I am truly blessed to share this gift and to be able to come back and see all of the wonderful people who cared for me.”

After her diagnosis, Best sought treatment at the Cancer Center at SMMC and The Connie Dwyer Breast Center. While undergoing treatment, she sat on the Cancer Center’s Quality Improvement subcommittee, representing patients and offering input on process improvement. She also attended the SMMC Breast Cancer Support Group, which inspired to her to start her own support group at her church.

“Talking to someone who has been through this before makes it easier to relate,” said Best of her support group. “We’re seeing more and more people find the strength to reach out and be proactive in getting the help they need.”

In the future, Best says she plans to continue speaking to those who are undergoing cancer treatment and share her experience, faith and experience of survivorship.

To see more photos from Best’s visit to SMMC, visit www.facebook.com/SaintMichaelsMedicalCenter. To learn more about The Cancer Center at SMMC or The Connie Dwyer Breast Center, visit www.smmcnj.org or call 973-877-5000.

Third Wave Café marks grand opening

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Third Wave Café, 525 Riverside Ave., Lyndhurst (near King’s Court), celebrated its grand opening on June 28, with Mayor Robert Giangeruso performing the ribbon cutting. Open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Third Wave Café’s menu includes savory and sweet crepes, paninis, organic coffee and teas and fresh squeezed juices. Third Wave Café offers a curbside pick-up service. Patrons may call in advance and pick-up their orders curbside and have it delivered to their car. For more information, call Third Wave Café at 201-528- 8163.

ThirdWave1_web

Ready to handle dental emergency?

Little Johnny comes running in from the backyard, his brand-new permanent tooth in his hand. What do you do? Your husband arrives home early from his baseball game, with only a swollen face and a broken tooth to show for his sporting efforts. How do you cope?

You awaken early one morning with a nagging pain that can only signal a toothache – and it promises to get worse as the day goes on. You are planning to leave on vacation soon. Yipes!

Most of us recognize the importance of knowing some first aid procedures for emergency situations. Yet dental emergencies are frequently overlooked, perhaps because they are generally not life-threatening. Of course, that doesn’t make them any less painful, a fact acknowledged by the doctors of The Smile and Implant Center, 837 Kearny Ave. Many people don’t realize that, in each of these dental emergencies, there are simple but effective steps to take which can minimize both the discomfort involved and the chance of lasting damage. And as you might expect, the first step in any dental emergency is not to panic. Try to react as calmly as possible, especially if you’re dealing with a child who may already be frightened.

Each of the emergencies given above requires a specific approach. With little Johnny, for example, speed is essential. If the tooth is dirty, it’s okay to rinse it gently, but don’t scrub it. Try to place the tooth in its socket and hold it there. If that’s not possible, place it in a container of milk or cool water. Go to your dentist right away, preferably within 30 minutes. If you’re quick, there’s a good chance it can be re-implanted. A similar approach is needed when a tooth is broken. Use warm water to gently clean the injured area, and go to the dentist immediately. In addition, cold compresses may be useful to reduce swelling.

Finally, there’s the ominous toothache. It may help to keep irritants away from the tooth. Rinse with warm water, and use dental floss to remove any food trapped in the area. Do not use heat; cold compresses on the outside of the cheek may reduce swelling. And never place aspirin on or near the aching tooth, as some folk remedies suggest. That does much more harm than good. Again, see your dentist as soon as possible.

The Smile and Implant Center in Kearny welcomes new patients on an emergency basis or otherwise. Emergency patients are seen the same day. For more information or a complimentary consultation, call 201-991-1055 or visit their website at www.TheSmileandImplantCenter.com to learn more about The Smile and Implant Center and the unique services they offer to their patients.

UPDATE: Eva Simon, 14, of Nutley found safely

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NUTLEY —

The Nutley Police Department says 14-year-old Eva Simon has been found safely and unharmed. An investigation continues, police said.

‘Jersey Fresh’ back in town

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By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY –

The Kearny Farmers’ Market, sponsored by the Kearny Urban Enterprise Zone program, made its return appearance last Thursday, June 19, with several of the familiar vendors but with one new wrinkle … a new location.

Now the vendors are setting up their booths on Garfield Ave., between Kearny Ave. and Chestnut St., on the north side of the Kearny Public Library. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

On June 10, the mayor and Town Council introduced an ordinance prohibiting parking on both sides of Garfield, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., through Oct. 31, when the market season ends. Read more »