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Category: News

ShopRite of Lyndhurst hosts healthy-holidays events

ShopRite of Lyndhurst, an Inserra Supermarkets store, 540 New York Ave., has announced its roster of healthy-holidays and wellness events. All programs are free, open to the public, held at the store and do not require advance registration unless otherwise noted.

Julie Harrington, R.D., instore registered dietitian, leads each program and provides easy-to-implement nutrition and wellness advice.

• Walking Club – Join this weekly club for a one-mile trek through the store on Thursdays, Dec. 11 and 18, starting at 8 a.m. at the Dietitian’s Corner.

Membership cards and prizes are awarded to all participants.

• Julie’s Produce Pick – Harrington will mix the week’s produce pick into a delicious new dish on Wednesday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. Stop by for samples and recipe cards.

• Healthy Freezer Finds – Drop by the Dietitian’s Corner on Thursday, Dec. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., for samplings of ShopRite’s wide variety of nutritious items in the frozen food section.

• Healthy Holiday Brunch – Participants learn how to prepare a healthy brunch Monday, Dec. 15, from 2 to 3 p.m. or 5 to 6 p.m. Space is limited, and registration is required.

LiveRight with ShopRite Kids’ Day Cooking Class – Youngsters ages 6 and up can create and try new things while preparing a simple, healthy snack on Saturday, Dec. 20, from 11 a.m. to noon. Space is limited, and registration is required.

“Soup-er” Sunday – As the temperatures dips, warm up with satisfying soup recipes on Dec. 21, from noon to 2 p.m.

ShopRite’s dietitians can serve as guest speakers/instructors at wellness events hosted by local organizations. For more information or to pre-register for a program, contact Harrington at 201- 419-9154 or email Julie.harrington@wakefern.com.

around town

Belleville 

Belleville Public Library and Information Center, 221 Washington Ave., holds a Saturday craft program, open to all ages, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m.

Belleville High School’s Music Department presents its 2014 winter concert series, starting with the instrumental music program, featuring the BHS Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, on Thursday, Dec. 11, and the vocal music program, with the BHS Concert Choir and Acapella Chorus, on Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Both concerts start at 7 p.m. in the Connie Francis Theatre at the high school. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Admission is free but donations are accepted at the door.

For more information, email band director Anthony Gotto at Anthony.gotto@belleville.k12.nj.us or vocal music director Carol Lombardi at carol. lombardi@belleville.k12.nj.us.

Bloomfield 

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

  • The Book Club meets Monday, Jan. 5, 6:45 to 7:45 p.m., to discuss “Riders of the Purple Sage” by Zane Grey. For more information or for help in locating a copy of the selection, call the reference desk at 973-566-6200, ext. 219 or 220.
  • Food for Fines will be collected Dec. 15-31. Bring in a can or box of non-perishable food and each donation will reduce up to $1 in fines, no matter how old, but cannot be applied to pay for lost books. Food products must not be expired.

Harrison 

On Sunday Dec. 14, the Harrison Lions Club will hold its annual Winter Wonderland shopping bazaar from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Community Center, 401 Warren St. Over 30 vendors will offer their merchandise for area residents to start their holiday shopping. Admission is free. First 50 shoppers will get a special gift. Former NFL quarterback Ray Lucas will be signing and selling copies of his book “Under Pressure” from 10 a.m. to noon. Children will have an opportunity to visit with Santa and have their picture taken from noon to 3 p.m. Lions Club members will be available at different stations to help children with writing letters to Santa Claus and assist in the making of their own personalized stockings, ornaments, and holiday hats. For more information, go to http://eclubhouse. org/sites/harrisonnj/ or visit them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ harrisonlionsclub.

Kearny

A cat food drive is being conducted through Dec. 12 for Kearny’s TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return) program. Drop off cat food donations at K-9 Corner, 169 Midland Ave. at Elm St.

Trinity Episcopal Church of Kearny and Christ Church of Harrison will co-sponsor their monthly flea market at 575 Kearny Ave., Dec. 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Doors open at 8 a.m. for set-ups. Vendors are invited. Tables are one for $15 and two for $25. Call Trinity Church at 201-991-5894 to schedule your table or call Annamarie at 201-998-2368 after 5:30 pm. Walk-ins and new vendors are welcome.

Grace United Methodist Church, 380 Kearny Ave., hosts a Christmas spree and supper Dec. 12, 5 to 8 p.m. The sale includes handcrafted Christmas ornaments and decorations, candies, cookies and more. The $7 cost for the meal includes soup, sandwich and dessert. For more information, call the church at 201-991-1132.

Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., hosts a holiday marbleizing workshop Saturday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m.

Marbleizing is the preparation and finishing of a surface to imitate the appearance of polished marble.

Using silk scarves, instructor Renee Johnson will lead participants in this ancient art, widely used in Pompeii and in Europe during the Renaissance.

Just in time for the holidays, the finished product, free to all registered attendees, will make a beautiful gift. This program will only be open to a limited number of adults. Call the library at 201-998-2666 for a reservation.

Lyndhurst 

The Lyndhurst Historical Society is showcasing 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.

Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave., announces the following events for children. Registration is not required unless otherwise specified. To register, call the library at 201- 804-2478.

  • A reindeer craft program, open to pre-k to grade 3, is set for Thursday, Dec. 11, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.
  • Children in grades 1 to 4 can make a holiday wreath on Thursday, Dec. 18, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Registration is required.
  • A Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Game Night, open to grades 6 to 9, takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 10, from 6 to 7:15 pm. Refreshments will be served. Space is limited and registration is necessary. To register, call the library or email referencelyndhurst.bccls.org.
  • RoseMarie Rubinetti Cappiello, an intuitive medium/ healer, hosts a brief session of audience spirit readings followed by a discussion of her new book “Speaking From Spirit” Wednesday, Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m. Books will be available for purchase. Space is limited and registration is necessary. No walk-ins will be allowed. Call the library or email romeo@bccls.org to register.

The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission hosts Watercolor Pencils for Kids, open to ages 5 to 12 (accompanied by an adult) Saturday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m. to noon, at the NJMC Science Center, 3 DeKorte Park Plaza. All art supplies are provided. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $10 (no fee for adults).

To register, go to www. njmeadowlands.gov/ec. For more information, call 201- 460-8300.

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 Police Department Crime Prevention and Community Relations Unit is conducting a holiday toy drive. New and unwrapped toys may be dropped off at the Police Department through Dec. 11. Toys will be distributed to area hospitals, local families and others in need.

North Arlington Senior Activity Center, 11 York Road, hosts a holiday celebration Friday, Dec. 12. Bingo starts at 10:30 a.m., lunch is served at noon and dancing begins at 1:30 p.m. For more information and reservation, call 201-998-5636.

North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Road, hosts the following programs:

  • Carol Erickson performs jazz standards and some holiday tunes Saturday, Dec. 13, at 11 a.m. There will be light refreshments. The Friends of the Library sponsor this event. (The program on Colonial and Victorian Christmas, which was set for Dec. 13, has been canceled.)
  • Computer Coding Club, open to ages 8 to 13, meets Saturday, Dec. 13, at 1 p.m. Registration has been completed for this event. The library will be closed to the public at 1 p.m. on this date, as usual, and open only for this special program.
  • A holiday pageant, for all ages, is set for Thursday, Dec. 11, at 6:45 p.m.
  • An origami class, open to grades 4 to 7, is set for Friday, Dec. 12, at 3:30 p.m.
  • The Woman’s Club sponsors a craft session, open to K to grade 5, Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 6:30 p.m.
  • Tween Book Club, open to grades 5 to 7, meets Thursday, Dec. 18, at 3:30 p.m.
  • Sing-along Story Time, open to ages 2 to 5, is set for Thursday, Dec. 18, at 11:45 a.m.

Queen of Peace Church presents its annual Christmas concert Sunday, Dec. 14, at 3 p.m. The event features the church’s choir, the Queen of Peace Schola Cantorum and the Chopin Singing Society along with soloists. There is no admission charge but a free will offering is requested.

Police seek help locating woman last seen in Belleville

soto2

The New Jersey State Police needs help locating a missing Belleville woman.

Mildred Soto, 52, was last seen in Belleville on Oct. 2, police said. Police said she suffers from paranoia and may be in the area of Midtown Manhattan or Bergen and Hudson counties.

If you have information that can assist in helping to safely locate Soto, please call 9-1-1 or the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit at 609-882-2000, ext. 2895.

Driver in fatal crash found, is cooperating, officials say

econoline

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Nutley Police Chief Thomas J. Strumolo have announced that the driver of the black Ford Econoline van believed to have been be involved in a Nov. 15 accident in which  a 77-year-old woman was killed has been located.

The man, whose name is not being released at this time, is cooperating with authorities. As of Wednesday, no charges had yet been filed.

The victim, Ernesta Fernandez of Nutley, was crossing Centre St. when she sustained fatal injuries. The investigation is active and ongoing. No other information is available at this time.

High stakes lottery

Lotter_web1

By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 

HARRISON – 

Close to 150 folks have entered a special lottery which – if they’re winners – will, literally, change their lives.

They’re in the running for 15 one-room apartments at the Harrison Senior Residence, what’s been billed as the town’s “first affordable senior citizen apartment building.”

A certificate of occupancy for the three-story building at 774 Harrison Ave. was issued by the town’s Construction Code unit last Tuesday, said John Westervelt, CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark and president of the Domus, its housing construction arm and sponsor of the Harrison structure.

The modular apartment project was built by Del-Sano Contracting of Union and was financed by $3.7 million in government funding: $1.8 million in Community Development Block Grant/Sandy Disaster Recovery Program, $1.4 million from the Hudson County Home Investment Partnership Program and $509,000 from the Harrison Affordable Trust Fund.

To enter the lottery, prospective tenants had to be age 62 or older and meet federal household income limits set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

People who have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help after being displaced by Superstorm Sandy are to be given priority.

Last week, each application form was placed in a large cardboard box and Westervelt, Mayor James Fife, Councilman/Harrison Housing Authority Chairman Larry Bennett and Dan Ritchey Jr., vice president of R.P. Marzulli Co., the Bloomfield real estate firm picked by Domus to manage the Harrison property, took turns drawing the forms and reading the applicants’ names aloud as dozens of applicants and others watched and listened from their seats in the second-floor assembly chambers at Harrison Town Hall.

Photos by Ron Leir As interested parties wait for the lottery to start at Town Hall, a worker puts finishing touches of paint on railings at front entrance to Harrison Senior Residence.

Photos by Ron Leir
As interested parties wait for the lottery to start at Town Hall, a worker puts
finishing touches of paint on railings at front entrance to Harrison Senior
Residence.

 

“Welcome to, hopefully, what will be the first of many lotteries like this in the future,” Fife told the expectant crowd. The mayor has said previously that officials are reviewing several prospective sites that could possibly be developed as additional affordable apartments for seniors living on fixed incomes.

And Westervelt – noting that the Harrison building is the 12th project that Domus has developed in New Jersey (including a larger one in Kearny) – said that he looked forward to building more if HUD continued to provide funding.

Each applicant was given a number corresponding to the order in which the form was picked. The first 15 applicants to be successfully screened as eligible for tenancies will be accorded the right to the 15 apartments, Westervelt said.

“Don’t get discouraged if your number is 25 [or higher],” Westervelt told the crowd, explaining that it’s possible that people higher up on the list of the draw could be eliminated from consideration if they don’t meet the eligibility criteria.

Westervelt said his staff would shortly begin calling in the first 15 applicants for vetting interviews and continue the process until the final selections for the 15 apartments are made.

He said the goal is “to start moving people in as soon as possible, maybe by mid-December.”

Westervelt gave The Observer a tour of the building last week. Aside from some “punchlist’’ items, such as painting of outdoor railings at the front entrance, installation of glass panes in the front doors and plastic covers to fill gaps between the ground floor and a crawl-space basement, a utility hookup and placement of its numerical address on the front, the building looked pretty much ready for its first-ever occupants.

Big bill to rid borough of sex suit

By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 

EAST NEWARK – 

East Newark has agreed to pay a former civilian police dispatcher $101,000 to settle a sexual harassment suit filed against a borough police superior who also served as the borough’s volunteer fire chief.

Additionally, through its public liability insurance coverage, the borough has also consented to pay the ex-employee’s lawyers more than $90,000 in fees and costs in connection with the processing of claims against her former employers.

Borough Attorney Neil Marotta said the cop continues to be employed by the borough. But he has agreed to a voluntary demotion, from sergeant to police officer, according to court papers. He hasn’t been criminally charged.

An amended complaint filed in August 2013 in Hudson County Superior Court by the Whippany law firm of Foreman & Gray alleged that its client was a victim of a “sexually hostile and abuse environment” during her employment as a dispatcher.

The complaint said that sometime after she was hired as a part-time police dispatcher in May 2008, Police Sgt. Robert Tomasko, her supervisor, “forced … [the woman] to perform oral sex” on 10 different occasions and threatened to fire her if she told anyone what happened.

On May 1, 2010, the complaint said, Tomasko terminated the woman, for an alleged “failure to cover a shift she was not scheduled to work” to “silence her” on the belief that the Police Department “was becoming aware of his conduct towards [her].” After her firing, she told the police chief what she alleges had happened to her, the complaint said.

The complaint added that the woman, who served as a borough volunteer firefighter for eight years, “faced discriminatory actions” and “gender discrimination” after disclosing that she was pregnant and “was forced to resign” as a volunteer in April 2012.

The complaint alleged that the woman was subjected to a “sexually hostile work environment,” that the Police Department “failed to remediate” the situation, that she feared losing her job for speaking out against her supervisor, that she was wrongfully terminated from her dispatcher job and firefighter position and, therefore, demanded compensatory and punitive damages and legal costs.

On June 6, 2014, Hudson County Superior Court Judge Francis Schultz dismissed all but one of the claims against the borough and Tomasko, leaving only the sexual hostile work environment claim open for trial.

But, during settlement negotiations, after having initially indicated they would accept nothing less than $1 million for their client and then later modifying that to not less than $500,000, the plaintiff ’s lawyers accepted an “offer of judgment” of $101,000 in July.

However, in October 2014, the plaintiff ’s lawyers, Foreman & Gray, petitioned the court for fees of $786,247, based on 1,990.5 billable hours at $395 an hour, plus about $393,123 in “enhanced” legal fees and about $36,500 in costs for a total of about $1.2 million.

In evaluating the merits of the law firm’s enhanced fee application, Superior Court Judge Kimberly Espinales- Maloney found that although the lawyers’ billing rate was acceptable, she found certain billings “unreasonable.” These included:

• 12.5 hours to draft a set of  interrogatories.

• 19.8 hours to review  and abstract the transcript of Tomasko’s 2- hour and 47-minute-long statement of Sept. 28, 2012.

•41.8 hours to prepare for  Tomasko’s deposition.

• 9.1 hours to attend To masko’s deposition, lasting two and a half hours.

• 29.1 hours to prepare for  depositions of former Police Chief Kenneth Sheehan and current Chief Anthony Moreiro.

• 5.2 hours for Sheehan’s  deposition, lasting two and a half hours.

• 140 hours to oppose the  borough’s motion to dismiss the case.

“These examples are not exhaustive, merely illustrative of the efforts of plaintiff ’s counsel to recover fees,” the court determined.

“Additionally,” the court noted, “[plaintiff ’s lawyers, Paul Foreman and David Gray] each individually billed hours for all activities they worked on together.… It is unreasonable for two attorneys to charge individually for routine activities, such as drafting interrogatories.”

In its Oct. 10 decision, the court concluded that 200 hours was a “reasonable amount of hours” spent on the case which, based on the billable rate, works out to $79,000 in attorney’s fees. In addition, the court allowed $14,480 in “reasonable litigation costs,” for a combined total of $93,480.

The Hackensack law firm Sweeney & Sheehan represented the borough in the case and Philadelphia attorney Robyn McGrath, of Harwood Lloyd, appeared for Tomasko.

Heat on the way? Library hopes so

boiler_web

KEARNY –

It’s taken longer than anticipated but Kearny Public Library’s main facility at 318 Kearny Ave. is seemingly assured of having heat for the winter ahead.

So reported Library Director Josh Humphrey last week after workers from Core Mechanical Inc. of Pennsauken were applying what Humphrey hoped to be the final adjustments to a new boiler in the library’s basement.

It’s a replacement for an original coal-fired furnace, later converted to gas, “70 years old or older,” which “has been on its last legs and leaking water for some time,” Humphrey said.

Because it hasn’t been working efficiently, “the heat in the building isn’t regulated very well,” Humphrey added.

So, with the cold weather season beginning to set in, Humphrey said the town decided it was time to act by getting a new unit installed. The town will be footing the bill from unreserved emergency funds, he said.

How much the job will cost wasn’t known as of last week. Initially, the main library shut down Monday, Nov. 10 to Wednesday, Nov. 12, figuring that the work could be completed within that time, and planned to reopen Thursday, Nov. 13.

But Humphrey said the work turned out to be a bit more complicated than anticipated and the library stayed closed Thursday and Friday that week. “It’s a big job,” he said. “They had to take out the old boiler in pieces and put the new one in pieces as well. Then they had to hook up the gas line, put in a new meter, re-do the electricity for the lights in the ceiling and then hook it up to the chimney.”

Despite an inside temperature of 42 degrees, with the boiler still a work in progress, the library re-opened Saturday, Nov. 15, and an estimated 150 library patrons showed up during the day, Humphrey said.

As a result of the closures, the library had to cancel all scheduled programs, including Story Time, Child’s Cooking Class and Book Discussion Group.

Then, the following week, the library shut down Wednesday, Nov. 26, as the installation continued and remained closed for the Thanksgiving holiday period, Nov. 27, 28 and 29.

A notice posted on the library website advised that, “We plan to reopen Monday, Dec. 1.”

Humphrey was hoping that by then, the air inside would be a bit warmer with a functioning boiler.

– Ron Leir

Keeping play areas in shape

BELL_WEB

KEARNY –

Some municipal recreational infrastructure in need of attention has been addressed recently in Kearny.

Several compromised park benches at Bell Playground got fixed, as did some jagged edges of the synthetic turf at the Thistle F.C. Futsal soccer Facility.

“When the playground [on Stewart Ave., between Chestnut and Devon Sts.] was built about nine years ago, the benches installed there were secured by a brick base but over time, rainwater and erosion have caused the bricks to become loose,” said Public Works Director Jerry Kerr.

And, Kerr said, that process has been accelerated in recent weeks by miscreant youths “picking at the loose bricks.”

So, to prevent the possibility of anyone getting hurt by a bench toppling over, Kerr said the town called in a contractor to remove the bricks, lay down cement and anchor the seven wooden benches into the cement.

Kerr said he got prices from three firms and Season Round Property Management of Newark came in the lowest at $1,950 so they were hired to do the repairs last week. The playground was closed for a couple of days to allow the contractor to complete the work, he said.

Meanwhile, at the Futsal soccer field, Assistant Recreation Superintendent Ralph Cattafi said that continuous use of the synthetic turf surface, seven days a week, has taken a toll, with sections of the turf getting ripped up.

“There were one or two sections, in particular, in dire need of repair,” Cattafi said. “It’s taken a beating with all the wear and tear.”

The 25,250 square foot Futsal Facility in Riverbank Park at Passaic and Bergen Aves., with three practice soccer fields, was resurfaced with Field Turf in spring 2009 for nearly $200,000 with help from a U.S. Soccer Foundation grant.

Land-Tec, a landscaper from East Meadow, L.I., was called upon to handle the repairs, Cattafi said. “The job is still under a 10-year warranty so there’s no charge to the town,” he added.

It took about a half-day to do the work, Cattafi said.

 – Ron Leir 

A guide to cooking with herbs

herbs_web

Perhaps the most difficult thing about cooking with herbs is figuring out how to pronounce the word. Is it “herb,” like the guy next door? Or is it “erb,” with a silent “h”?

Good news: Either pronunciation is acceptable, according to Webster. So now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s concentrate on what herbs can add to our cooking: in a word, flavor.

But even more important is what they don’t add: fat and sodium. Herbs are an excellent way to replace the flavor when you remove fat and excess salt from your food.

If you’re just getting started with herbs, go at it gradually. Experiment with one or two herbs at a time. For freshness, purchase herbs that have been newly dried, and buy in small amounts.

This brings up another vexing point: What’s the difference between a (or an) herb and a spice? Herbs are spices that grow directly from the ground.

Examples are mint, thyme, basil and sage. Spices that grow on trees are not considered herbs. Cinnamon and nutmeg are two examples.

Gourmet chefs prefer fresh herbs over dried, but both have their advantages.

Fresh ones have better texture and appearance, but dried ones are generally more convenient and produce stronger flavor. A tablespoon of dried herbs produces roughly the same amount of flavor as a handful of fresh. Suggestions for starting with herbs:

• Be sure to wash them well  and pat them dry.

• Remove any leaves from  woody stems. The stems carry much aroma, but the leaves are what you usually use.

• If a dish requires a long  time to cook, consider adding the herbs toward the end of cooking.

• Avoid using too many  herbs at one time.

While there are hundreds of herbs you can experiment with, you will most likely want to focus on the kitchen herbs most commonly called for in recipes. Here’s a list to get you started:

• Basil. Adds flavor to any tomato dish. Also good in omelettes and salads. Try it with poultry and fish, as well.

• Chives. Chop leaves and  add to salads and egg, cheese or potato dishes.

• Cilantro. This has a unique  taste often associated with Mexican foods. Use leaves in  salads, in soups such as gazpacho, or in many Mexican or Thai dishes.

Use dry seeds to sprinkle on cakes or sweet dishes.

• Dill. The standard flavoring for pickles, dill also goes surprisingly well with fish, poultry, souffles, omelets and potatoes.

• Marjoram. Sprinkle leaves over lean meats before roasting  or add to soups, stuffing, and egg and cheese dishes.

• Mint. Great in Mediterranean dishes. Or try it with carrots, fruit salads and especially in iced tea.

• Oregano. A staple in Italian  and Mexican recipes, oregano is especially useful in meat and tomato sauces. Good on marinated vegetables, beans  and mushrooms.

• Parsley. These leaves will liven up salads, soups, omelets  and potato and onion dishes. Parsley also helps freshen  breath.

• Rosemary. Insert a sprig  into lean meat or poultry before roasting. Sprinkle chopped leaves sparingly in soups, stews, vegetables and especially on green beans.

• Sage. Use sparingly with  poultry, cheese dishes and omelets.

• Savory. Comes in two varieties according to season. Summer savory has a more delicate flavor than winter savory. Use  with beans, with fish or in stuffing.

• French tarragon. Great  in sauces for poultry or fish. Good with soups and in salads.

Here’s a simple recipe for a high-nutrition, low-fat chicken dish that can be surprisingly delicious thanks to the addition of a small amount of thyme, from your garden or from the store:

 Zesty grilled chicken breasts with thyme 

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half

 2 teaspoons Dijon-type mustard 

1 clove garlic, crushed 

2 sprigs fresh thyme, about 1/4 teaspoon dried 

1 teaspoon horseradish (optional) 

Combine all the ingredients  except chicken in a bowl or container large enough to accommodate the chicken breasts. Coat the chicken  breasts with the mixture and let stand at least 15 minutes. Grill (or broil) approximately  5 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through.

Note: Try substituting fresh oregano for the thyme. Or if you like a bit of a crust, roll in unseasoned bread crumbs before grilling. Or sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Serves four. Each serving  contains about 142 calories, 27 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fat.

To learn more, stop in and see in-store Registered Dietitian Julie Harrington at the ShopRite of Lyndhurst, 540 New York Ave. For information on health and wellness events contact her at (201)419-9154 or  Julie.harrington@wakefern. com.

around town

Belleville 

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

  • A screening of the animated action adventure film “How to Train Your Dragon 2” (PG) is slated for Saturday, Dec. 6, at 2 p.m.
  • Pajama Storytime, open to all ages, will be held Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m.
  • Saturday craft, open to all ages, is offered Dec. 13 at 3 p.m.

Belleville High School’s Music Department presents its 2014 winter concert series, starting with the instrumental music program, featuring the BHS Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, on Thursday, Dec. 11, and the vocal music program, with the BHS Concert Choir and Acapella Chorus, on Tuesday, Dec. 16.

Both concerts start at 7 p.m. in the Connie Francis Theatre at the high school. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Admission is free but donations are accepted at the door.

For more information, email band director Anthony Gotto at Anthony.gotto@belleville. k12.nj.us or vocal music director Carol Lombardi at carol.lombardi@belleville. k12.nj.us.

Bloomfield 

Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., will screen the following films as part of its Thursday and Monday Afternoon Movie programs. All films start at 12:15 p.m. Admission is free.

  • Thursdays – Dec. 4 – “One Special night” (PG), featuring James Garner and Dec. 11 – “Christmas Eve” (NR), starring Ann Harding. No films will be shown Dec. 18 and 25.
  • Mondays – Dec. 8 – “Scrooge” (G), with Albert Finney. No films will be shown Dec. 15, 22 or 29.

Kearny 

A cat food drive is being conducted through Dec. 12 for Kearny’s TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return) program. Drop off cat food donations at K-9 Corner, 169 Midland Ave. at Elm St.

The First Baptist Church of Arlington, 650 Kearny Ave., hosts a Christmas bake sale and flea market on Saturday, Dec. 6, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Trinity Episcopal Church of Kearny and Christ Church of Harrison will jointly sponsor their monthly flea market at 575 Kearny Ave., on Dec. 13. Vendors are invited. Tables are one for $15 and two for $25. Call the church at 201-991-5894 to schedule a table. Or, call Annamarie at 201-998-2368 after 5:30 pm. Walk-ins and new vendors welcome.

Kearny UNICO meets on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. For more information about the meeting or Kearny UNICO, contact Chapter President Lou Pandolfi at 201-368-2409. Kearny UNICO is a member chapter of UNICO National, the largest Italian American service organization in the U.S.

Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., hosts a holiday marbleizing workshop on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m.

Marbleizing is the preparation and finishing of a surface to imitate the appearance of polished marble.

Using silk scarves, instructor Renee Johnson will lead participants in this ancient art, widely used in Pompeii and in Europe during the Renaissance.

Just in time for the holidays, the finished product, free to all registered attendees, will make a beautiful gift. This program will only be open to a limited number of adults. Call the library at 201-998-2666 for a reservation.

Presbyterian Boys-Girls Club, 663 Kearny Ave., hosts its annual carnival on Friday, Dec. 5, and Saturday, Dec. 6, from 7 to 9 p.m. Try your hand at more than 30 games of skill, including the goldfish toss, spin the wheel, go fish and more. There will also be a table of arts and crafts, homemade toys and baked goods. The entire community is welcome.

Lyndhurst 

The Lyndhurst Historical Society is showcasing 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 of every month 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.

Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave., announces the following events for children. Registration is not required unless otherwise specified. To register, call the library at 201- 804- 2478.

  • Walk-in storytimes, open to grades pre-k to 2, are held every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
  • Santa Claus visits on Monday, Dec. 8, at 6:45 p.m. Children of all ages are invited to take a picture with him. Registration is required.
  • A reindeer craft, open to grade pre-k-3, is set for Thursday, Dec. 11, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.
  • Children in grades 1 to 4 can make a holiday wreath on Thursday, Dec. 18, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Registration is required.
  • A Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Game Night, open to grades 6 to 9, takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 10, from 6 to 7:15 pm. Refreshments will be served. Space is limited and registration is necessary. To register, call the library or email referencelyndhurst.bccls.org.
  • RoseMarie Rubinetti Cappiello, an intuitive medium/ healer, hosts a brief session of audience spirit readings followed by a discussion of her new book “Speaking From Spirit”. Books will be available for purchase at the book signing. Space is limited and registration is necessary. No walk-ins will be allowed. Call the library or email romeo@bccls.org to register.

The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission hosts the following events:

  • First-Sunday-of-the- Month Nature Walk with the Bergen County Audubon Society kicks off at 10 a.m. just outside DeKorte Park on Sunday, Dec. 7.

Check meadowblog.net for last-minute weather updates. Visitors 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.

  • Watercolor Pencils for Kids, open to ages 5 to 12 (accompanied by an adult) is set for Saturday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m.  to noon, at the NJMC Science Center, 3 DeKorte Park Plaza. All art supplies are provided. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $10 per child (no fee for adults).

To register, go to www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec . For more information, call 201- 460-8300.

Lyndhurst Health Department, 601 Riverside Ave., Suite 1, holds a blood screening Friday, Dec. 5, at the Community Center on Riverside Ave. Appointments begin at 8 a.m. This service is available to Lyndhurst residents ages 18 and older for a $20 fee. Pre-registration is required. For appointments, call 201-804-2500. Payments are accepted in cash or checks, payable to Medical Laboratory Diagnostics.

The Humane Society, 221- 223 Stuyvesant Ave., invites members of the community to bring children and pets for photos with Santa taken by a professional photographer on Sunday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments are available, but walk-ins are also welcome. Proceeds benefit the animals at the Humane Society. Photos with an attractive holiday folder cost $10. A CD of all pictures taken is available for $20. For  more information, call 201- 896-9300.

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 Police Department Crime Prevention and Community Relations Unit is conducting a holiday toy drive. New and unwrapped toys may be dropped off at the police department now through Dec. 11. Toys will be distributed to area hospitals, local families and others in need.

North Arlington Senior Activity Center, 11 York Road, hosts a holiday celebration Friday, Dec. 12. Bingo starts at 10:30 a.m., lunch is served at noon and dancing begins at 1:30 p.m. For more information and reservation, call 201-998-5636.

North Arlington Woman’s Club sponsors a trip to the Sands Casino, Bethlehem, Pa., on Dec. 6. The bus leaves from Borough Hall at 9 a.m. Cost is $30 with $20 slot return and $5 food voucher. For information, call 201-889-2553.

North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Road, hosts the following programs:

  • A talk by food historian Judith Krall-Russo on Colonial and Victorian Christmas is set for Saturday, Dec. 13, at 11 a.m. Refreshments will be served. Registration is recommended but not required. Call 201-955-5640, ext. 126.
  • Computer Coding Club, open to ages 8 to 13, meets Saturday, Dec. 13, at 1 p.m. Registration is required. To register, visit http://bit.ly/1qTd8Cc . Registration closes on Dec. 6. The library will be closed to the public at 1 p.m. on this date, as usual, and open only for this special program.
  • YA Movie Day, for grades 6 and up, is set for Friday, Dec. 5, at 3 p.m.
  • Lego Club, open to grades 1 and up, meets Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 6:30 p.m.
  • A holiday pageant, for all ages, is set for Thursday, Dec. 11, at 6:45 p.m. • An origami class, open to grades 4 to 7, is set for Friday, Dec. 12, at 3:30 p.m.
  • The Woman’s Club sponsors a craft program, open to grades K to 5, on Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 6:30 p.m.

Queen of Peace Church presents its annual Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 14, at 3 p.m. The event features the church’s choir, the Queen of Peace Schola Cantorum and the Chopin Singing Society along with soloists. There is no admission charge but a free will offering is requested.

Nutley 

Vincent United Methodist Church, 100 Vincent Place, will present its annual Living Nativity on Sunday, Dec. 7. From 7 to 8 p.m., members of the congregation will present short Nativity portrayals every 20-30 minutes in a st able setting  on the front lawn. The free presentation will include live animals — sheep , goats, donkeys and maybe more. Refreshments will be served. The church is across from the Nutley Library. All are invited to come and view this timeless reminder of the real reason for the season of Christmas.

Actors from the Nutley Little Theatre will present a staged reading of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Drive, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6. This special event is part of a yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of the NPL. Call 973-667- 0405 for more information on this and other programs. The complete schedule is available at http://nutleypubliclibrary.org.