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Kearny’s main library to close Monday through Wednesday for emergency repairs


The Kearny Public Library’s main facility at 318 Kearny Ave. is closing for emergency heating repairs, from Monday, Nov. 10, to Wednesday, Nov. 12.

All programs scheduled for those days are canceled, including Story Time, Child’s Cooking Class and Book Discussion Group.

Library Director Josh Humphrey said the library’s generator – a converted coal-fired furnace that is at least 70 years old – “has been on its last legs” for a while and “leaking water.”

Core Mechanical of Pennsauken will install a new boiler, Humphrey said. He was unable to provide the cost estimate for the job but said that the money would come from the library’s unreserved emergency funds.

Meanwhile, on Nov. 10 and 12, the Branch Library, 759 Kearny Ave., will offer extended hours: from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

– Ron Leir

A harrowing history lesson


By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 


Erwin Ganz was only nine when he fled Germany in 1939, thereby escaping the Holocaust, but his memories of that terrifying time are still fresh. Ganz, who resettled in America, went to Weequahic High School in Newark and Seton Hall University for an accounting degree, shared those memories at an assembly program hosted by Belleville High School last Thursday.

Since retiring from The Ronson Corp. after a 60-year career in 2009, Ganz has visited more than 40 schools, colleges, churches and synagogues, to tell his story.

Young people, especially, he said, “need to know what happened during the Hitler regime because when I’m gone [along with other survivors], the only way to find out is from books.”

In February 1933, Ganz explained to the Belleville students, “Hitler came to power and blamed the Jews” for Germany’s economic ills: rampant inflation and high unemployment. When he was five, Ganz said, his father “lost his job as a bank executive in Frankfort because he was a Jew,” and the family moved 100 miles away to Berncastel- Kues where his grandmother owned a small department store and his dad worked there.

Famous for its vineyards and wine production and an ancient castle atop a hill, “it was like a fairy tale town,” Ganz said.

But below the surface lurked the political realities of the day: “There were no more than 30 Jewish families there and the local public school refused to enroll me because I was Jewish – there was rampant anti-Semitism.”

His parents found a Jewish school – 35 miles away in Willich – and Ganz and his brother commuted there and back by train. When they’d walk out of the train station, they’d be “harassed by the Hitler Youth who, on occasion, stole our books” as police stood by and “did nothing.”

Document/photo courtesy Erwin Ganz At l., Gestapo registry of Jewish families, including Ganz, which he acquired from a Nazi historian on a return visit to Germany 50 years later. At r., Ganz as a boy, sitting between his mother and brother.

Document/photo courtesy Erwin Ganz
At l., Gestapo registry of Jewish families, including Ganz, which he acquired from a Nazi historian on a return visit to Germany 50 years later. At r., Ganz as a boy, sitting between his mother and brother.


It was during this period, he said, that “Jewish men were taken from their homes and beaten on the streets” and the German state secret police, known as the Gestapo, placed signs on Jewish-owned businesses, reading: “Do Not Buy From Jews.”

One morning in March 1938, Ganz recalls being told by his mother that, “my dad left in the middle of the night to escape the Nazis who were looking for him.” He later learned that an American relative had agreed to “sponsor” his dad’s admission to the U.S. by placing money in an escrow account. Armed with that information, Ganz’s father managed to scrape up enough money for a passage to the U.S.

Only after he had set sail did word arrive in Germany that the aged relative had died. But a Jewish aid society arranged for shelter and work for Ganz’s dad in the U.S.

Back in Germany, meanwhile, Ganz recalled returning home from school on Nov. 9, 1938, on an “overcast and gray” day and was surprised to see his mother waiting for him at the station.

“She was holding a banana, which was considered a delicacy in Germany then, and she gave it to me as a distraction from the terrible sight I saw when we got home – windows broken, glass all over the street and front yard – and inside the house, the Nazis had ripped frames, destroyed pictures, slashed sofas and chairs. There were hatchet marks on the door frames. In an upstairs bedroom, coal-fired stoves had been ripped from their foundations and thrown on the beds.”

Similar signs of destruction at Jewish homes and businesses – including Ganz’s grandmother’s store – were everywhere, he said. It came to be known as Kristallnacht – the Night of Broken Glass – when, around Germany, paramilitary units looted several thousand Jewish-owned shops, burned hundreds of synagogues and began roundups of Jews bound for Nazi concentration camps.

At his grandmother’s store, Ganz said that many of the Nazi Youth involved in laying waste to the business “were children of customers who shopped there,” but their parents were reluctant to stop them “because they were afraid they’d be turned in to the Gestapo by their children.”

Photo by Ron Leir Belleville students presented a pair of sneakers as a gift to Ganz, who walks a mile and a half every morning.

Photo by Ron Leir
Belleville students presented a pair of
sneakers as a gift to Ganz, who walks
a mile and a half every morning.


The Gestapo came to Ganz’s house “to take my father away,” Ganz said, but, luckily, he’d already fled to the U.S.

Conditions continued to worsen: From a tavern next door to the Ganzs’ house, “every night, we could hear the Nazis singing about killing Jews,” he said. The Jewish school in Willich “was destroyed.” The Nazis confiscated jewelry held by Jews who, by then, feared leaving their homes.

Things got so bad, said Ganz, that “our devoted housekeeper, who was Catholic, brought us food in the middle of the night.”

In April 1939, Ganz, his brother and mother left for the U.S. aboard the ship, the Franklin D. Roosevelt, and in 1940, his grandmother followed. “She got out on the last boat that left Germany,” he said.

When he made his first return visit to Germany in 1974, Ganz visited his old home in Berncastel-Kues and the new owner – after being assured that Ganz wasn’t going to try and reclaim the property – showed him around. “I could still see the hatchet indentations made by the Nazis in 1938,” he said.

On the site of his grandmother’s store was a tavern; the town’s synagogue had been converted to a machine shop – “but,” Ganz said, “you could still see the Star of David on top” – and, in Willich, the synagogue “was still standing” but a sign outside said it was a “Jewish Museum.”

The attendant gave Ganz a tour of the building and spoke about the onetime Jewish presence “as if it was something that happened a long time ago.”

“I would never live in Germany again,” Ganz told the students. “America is the best country in the world. America saved my life and my parents’ lives and I would do anything for it.”

Sober House ordered to pack up


By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 


Occupants of the so-called Sober House at 2-8 Grand Place in Kearny faced a court order to vacate the building on or before 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Hudson County Superior Court Judge Hector R. Velazquez, sitting in Jersey City, so ordered last Friday after determining “that immediate or irreparable harm will result” from property owner Jacqueline Lopes “operating or permitting others to operate a rooming/boarding house” in a single-family residential zone.

An inspection of the property conducted by the state Department of Community Affairs’ Bureau of Rooming & Boarding House Standards on Oct. 6 found that eight people were living in the house. Angelo J. Mureo, an enforcement field supervisor with the bureau, concluded that, “the property is currently operating as an unlicensed Class C boarding house.” The house can hold up to nine residents, Mureo determined.

Among “concerns regarding physical plant,” Mureo recommends removal of two entry doors, “one providing access to the third story attic area housing a rooming unit to accommodate two roomers and the other housing a sitting room.”

He also says the bureau has received “no certificate of smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm compliance, issued by the designated Uniform Fire Code enforcing agency….”

The judge will allow Lopes to explain why the occupants of the house should be allowed to stay – but not until a hearing set for Dec. 12 at 11:30 a.m. in Jersey City.

On a separate legal front, Lopes and Charles Valentine, who runs the Sober House operation, have been summoned to appear in Kearny Municipal Court Nov. 13 at 10:30 a.m. Lopes faces fines totaling $8,000 dating from Sept. 5 for “changing the use” of the property while Valentine is charged with failing to get a certificate of occupancy for a rooming house, dating from Sept. 8.

As of last week, it was unclear what, if anything, Lopes or Valentine would do to prevent the vacate order from being carried out.

According to complaints filed by Kearny with Superior Court, Lopes acquired the Grand Place property around May 2014 and received a C.O. for its “continued use” as a “one-family dwelling.” But, the complaint notes, Lopes “is being paid $1,900 per month to illegally operate, or to permit others to illegally operate, a boarding house on the premises.”

This contention, the town says in its complaint, is borne out by the state inspection report.

And because the Valentine House accommodates “recovering drug and alcohol addicts,” that is “of particular concern to the town because the Roosevelt Elementary School is approximately 100 feet from the premises,” the complaint says.

Further, the complaint says, Lopes “has not applied to the town for a variance to use the premises as a rooming/boarding house [and] is not licensed by the [state] as a rooming/ boarding house operator ….” and that she “misrepresented that she would occupy the premises as her sole residence.”

Fairfield attorney Gregory Castano Jr., the town’s general counsel, argued in the complaints that, “The town has a statutorily mandated obligation to enforce the state and local zoning laws. Every single day that Ms. Lopes is permitted to operate an illegal rooming/ boarding house at the [Grand Place] premises is a flagrant, continuing and ongoing injury for which the town – which represents the general public interest – has no other remedy.”

Lopes couldn’t be reached and reportedly had no legal representative at last week’s court session. Valentine’s attorney Thomas J. Cotton was unavailable last week.


By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent


The federal trial of Kearny Board of Education member John Leadbeater, accused of taking part in a conspiracy to defraud banks of $13 million in mortgage proceeds, has been delayed three months – at the government’s request. The trial of Leadbeater, a former Kearny councilman, is now on for March 2 before Judge Ann Marie Donio in Camden federal court.

Leadbeater’s Jersey City attorney Thomas J. Cammarata raised no objection to the government’s petition. The case had been set for trial early next month but on Oct. 8, government lawyers asked U.S. District Court Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle to designate it as a “complex case,” and, as such, the government gets more time to prepare.

“Complex case or litigation,” as explained by the National Center for State Courts website, is a legal term of art referring to the types of cases “requiring more intensive judicial management. Complexity may be determined by multiple parties, multiple attorneys, geographically dispersed plaintiffs and defendants, numerous expert witnesses, complex subject matter, complicated testimony concerning causation, procedural complexity, complex substantive law, extensive discovery [among other factors].”

On Oct. 21, Judge Simandle granted the government’s request, noting that, “This case involves allegations of conspiracy to commit wire fraud over a period of several years and conspiracy to commit money laundering over a period several years.”

Further, the judge found that, “The discovery in the case is voluminous, in that it includes the documents relevant to approximately 30 real estate transactions occurring between 2006 through 2008.”

Initially, the government – represented by Asst. U.S. Attorney Jacqueline M. Carle – had sought the move the trial from Dec. 1, 2014, to Feb. 2, 2015, “and to exclude the intervening period of time under the [70-day] Speedy Trial Act to allow trial counsel for the government to prepare for trial.”

In response, Cammarata asked for a March date “due to scheduling conflicts,” to which the judge consented, agreeing to make the same exception for the intervening time for the defense.

In March 2013, Leadbeater, 54, was charged with Daniel Cardillo, 49, of Wildwood, in a federal indictment with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with an alleged scheme to recruit straw buyers (Cardillo included) to buy oceanfront condominiums “overbuilt by financially distressed developers in Wildwood and Wildwood Crest.”

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the straw buyers “had good credit scores but lacked the financial resources to qualify for the mortgage loans.” Leadbeater and other co-conspirators allegedly “created … fake employment records, W-2 forms and investment statements to make the straw buyers appear more creditworthy than they actually were to induce the lenders to make the loans,” the feds alleged.

“Once the loans were approved and the mortgage lenders sent the loan proceeds in connection with real estate closings on the properties, Leadbeater and his conspirators took a portion of the proceeds, having funds wired or checks deposited into various accounts they controlled,” the government alleged.

If convicted of wire fraud conspiracy, Leadbeater could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and fined up to $1 million.

Leadbeater co-defendant Cardillo was severed from his alleged co-conspirator and will stand trial after Leadbeater, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Rebeka Carmichael. They are the two remaining defendants in the feds’ sweeping mortgage fraud case involving at least 11 other alleged conspirators.

Seven of those defendants – Justin Spradley, 35, of Cincinnati, Ohio; Robert Horton, 37, of Nashport, Ohio; Paul Watterson, 53, of Mountainside; Michelle Martinez, 49, of Brick; Ernesto Rodriguez, Matthew Gardner and Steven Schlatmann, 27, of Jersey City – have each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and their sentences are pending, Carmichael said.

Four defendants – John Bingaman, 44, of Benton, Ark.; Dana Rummerfield, 47, of Los Angeles; Debra Hanson, 49, of Voorhees; and Angela Celli, 42, of Somerset, Mass. – have also entered guilty pleas relative to the case and also await sentencing, she said.

Nov. 12 hearing on feral cats


By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 


Oct. 29 was National Cat Day, and Kearny feline lovers were purring with delight over the town’s move to implement a TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) policy for feral cats – something advocates been clamoring about for months.

It’s not quite official yet: The mayor and Town Council will hold a public hearing on the ordinance, introduced Wednesday, that details how the program will work at their next meeting on Nov. 12 but no roadblocks are anticipated.

The policy, which, Mayor Alberto Santos heralded as a potential “model for the state” if adopted, allows for “feral cat colonies” and designates citizen “caregivers” to “maintain them” as per the rules set out in the ordinance.

Here’s how the policy would work:

The town’s animal control provider, the Bergen County Animal Shelter, would train caregivers in caring for the cat colony, help resolve any complaints over the colony’s operation and assume costs associated with the TNR program, such as traps, vaccinations, neutering/spaying. (Those expenses would be included as part of the town’s roughly $92,000 a year contract with the BCAS, Santos told The Observer.)

A TNR Committee, whose members are to be appointed by the mayor and council, would use standardized forms to “maintain records provided by colony caregivers on the registration, size and location of the colonies, as well as the vaccination and spay/neuter records of cats in the caregiver colonies.”

The TNR Committee would also report to the town Health Department, every six months, with help from colony caregivers, on the “number and gender of all cats in the colony, the number of cats who died [or left the colony], the number of kittens born to colony cats and their disposition, the number of cats and kittens spayed and neutered and the number of cats and kittens placed in permanent homes….”

Volunteer feral cat caregivers would register a colony with the TNR Committee, have the colony vaccinated against rabies and get “all cats” in the colony spayed/ neutered; maintain a digital photo record of all colony cats and a record of cats having been “vaccinated, spayed/ neutered and ear tipped [to identify cats that may roam from the colony]” and provide food and water during daylight hours and winter shelter for colony cats.

They would also “keep a record of any illnesses or unusual behavior” observed in any colony cats, secure medical care for ill cats, and secure “written approval” of any property owner “to which the caregiver requires access to provide colony care.”

They would also be charged with placing any kittens born to a colony cat in “homes, foster homes, or with animal shelters, rescue organizations or veterinary offices for the purpose of subsequent permanent placement.”

The town would reserve its right to remove from a colony any cat that hasn’t received a rabies shot and is showing signs of the disease or any cat “creating a nuisance” unless the caregiver can resolve the issue within 60 days. The town could shut down a colony for failure to comply with the regulations. It could also “replace or remove” a caregiver for failure to comply with the rules. If the town gets a nuisance complaint about an ear-tipped feral colony cat, the Health Department can remove the cat if the TNR Committee can’t resolve the issue within 60 days. Sick or injured cats or cats deemed a public threat may also be removed under certain time conditions.

“Not later than Jan. 31, 2016,” the town is to evaluate the policy to determine whether to continue, modify or terminate it.

Asked who would sit on the TNR Committee, Santos said the council would be asked to deal with that shortly by acting a resolution for the appointment of between three and five nonsalaried members who, he added, would likely include TNR advocates Leonard Twist and Kathy DeRay. “We would probably leave it to them to choose the others,” he said.

The mayor credited Flanders attorney Michelle Lerner, legal adviser for the Animal Protection League of New Jersey, for help in drafting the ordinance.

After the council voted to introduce the ordinance, Twist and DeRay lauded the lawmakers and Health Director Ken Pincus for their efforts. “You put your nose to the grindstone on this one,” said Twist. “We’ll make it work.”

Added DeRay: “You’ve turned Kearny from a ‘trap and kill’ community to a ‘trap and no kill.’ ’’



PHOTO: Wikipedia



Al Cifelli tapped as Knight of the Year


By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 


Harrison attorney Albert J. Cifelli will be honored as Knight of the Year at the Harrison Knights of Columbus Our Lady of Grace Council 402 Shield Awards celebration on Dec. 2, it was announced by Grand Knight Tom Dolaghan.

This year’s event will be held at the Harrison/East Newark Elks hall, 406 Harrison Ave., from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Refreshments will be available.

Dolaghan said that Cifelli, who serves as a Ninth District representative on the Hudson County Board of Freeholders, has been advocate for the K of C in Harrison for many years, providing legal services to the organization at no cost for many years.

Raised in Harrison, Cifelli was a magna cum laude graduate of Rutgers University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree, and received a law degree from Rutgers Law School, Newark. He practices law with partner Ken Davie in Harrison.

A past president of the West Hudson Bar Association, Cifelli has served as public defender and municipal prosecutor in Kearny and public defender in Harrison. He sat on the old West Hudson Hospital Board of Governors for 10 years, including two as chairman.

At the event, Dolaghan said the Knights will announce the presentation of a $10,000 donation to the Harrison Public Library “in honor of a brother Knight, the late Mayor Raymond McDonough,” to help with the conversion of the top floor to accommodate new quarters for the Harrison Museum.

The Knights will also fete newly retired Harrison High School Principal Ronald Shields as Educator of the Year and the high school faculty and Harrison Education Association for having won Blue Ribbon School designation from the U.S. Secretary of Education last school year. A plaque commemorating their achievement will be presented for display at the high school.

The Policeman of the Year award will go to Harrison Police Chief Derek Kearns in recognition of the strides made by the Harrison Police Department in cutting crime. Kearns will accept the award on behalf of the entire department.

Between January and June 2014, Kearns said that Harrison has seen an overall reduction in crime of nearly 31% from the same period last year, and a drop in violent crime by nearly 56%, with 15 incidents of robberies and aggravated assaults reported the first half of 2014 compared with 34 for the same time period last year; and non-violent crime (auto thefts, burglaries and larcenies) down by almost 27%, from 236 such incidents reported the first half of last year to 163 this year.

Members of the Harrison Fire Prevention Bureau will share the Firefighter of the Year award in recognition of the Fire Department achieving an annual 5% reduction in the total number of fire-related incidents for the past five years. Fire Director Harold Stahl will be asked to accept the award on behalf of the bureau.

The Outstanding Citizen of the Year award will be presented to Jorge J. Tena, corporate manager of GEO Specialty Chemicals, 8 Essex St., Harrison. He’s being feted for permitting Harrison Recreation teams access to the company’s property to play and for extending the property’s use to community groups such as for the Second Ward Family Carnival Fest.

Special recognition is being given to the Knights’ Ladies Auxiliary and to Katie Darmetko Walker in particular for spearheading fundraising drives on behalf of disabled Kearny student-athlete Steve Koziel that netted more than $10,000 in the past two years for special athletic gear that facilitated Koziel’s ability to compete successfully in track and field events around the world.

There is no admission fee for the Shield Awards event but anyone interested in attending is asked to call Dolaghan in advance at 973- 766-6458.

Around Town


The fifth annual Essex County Veteran’s Day ceremony includes a tribute to the late Joseph “Joe” Fornarotto, who served as commander of Disabled American Veterans Belleville/Nutley Chapter 22. The program begins at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at Essex County Veterans Memorial Park, on W. Market St., Newark. The ceremony will be held rain or shine.

Belleville Public Library and Information Center, 221 Washington Ave., offers the following children’s programs:

* Saturday craft program takes place Nov. 8 at 3 p.m.

* Pajama Story Time program continues Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m.

Both are open to all ages and no registration is required.

For more information, call the library at 973-450-3434 or visit www.bellepl.org or belleplcr.blogspot.com 

The Woman’s Club of Belleville meets the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at its clubhouse, 51 Rossmore Place. Prospective members are welcome. For more information, contact Terry Landon at 973-751-6529.


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

  • A free Origami class, open to ages 13 and up, is slated for Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. All materials will be supplied. Registration is required. Visit http://www. bplnj.org/programs/.
  • Cartooning class, open to ages 10 and up, takes place Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • The Mid-day Movies program continues its 12:15 p.m. screenings on Mondays and Thursdays. Here’s the schedule: Thursdays: Nov. 6 – “Awakenings,” Nov. 13 – “Grand Piano,” Nov. 20 – “The Other Woman,” and Nov. 27 – No movie (Thanksgiving Day); Mondays: Nov. 10 – “The Best Years of Our Lives,” Nov. 17 – “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and Nov. 24 – “The House of Yes.”
  • Craft project, open to ages 5 and up, is set for Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. • The library offers the following story times: Toddler Time, open to ages 19 to 36 months, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 a.m.; Pre-K Story and Craft, open to ages 3 to 5, on Wednesdays at 11 a.m.; and Baby and Me, for up to 18 months, on Thursdays at 11 a.m.


Harrison American Legion Post 282, 8 Patterson St., hosts the following events:

  • Harrison Police Department vs. Harrison Fire Department chili cook off begins at 6 p.m. on Nov. 8, at the post hall. Representatives from both departments will bring their best chili to be judged by a few locals. All are welcome.
  • The post invites the community to a Veteran’s Day observance on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m., at the veteran’s monument in Roosevelt Park, 318 Harrison Ave.


Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/Coccia Realty continues a coat drive for the area’s less fortunate, through Nov. 15, at its Kearny, Lyndhurst and Rutherford offices. Drop off gently used or new coats between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays or from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends at any of these participating offices: 636 Kearny Ave., Kearny; 273 Ridge Road, Lyndhurst; or 11 Park Ave., Rutherford. For more information, call Randy Wine at 201-939-0001.

Presbyterian Boys-Girls Club, 663 Kearny Ave., holds its annual fall dance on Friday, Nov. 7, from 7 to 10 p.m. Prizes will be given to the best dancers. Guests are restricted to teenagers.

Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., hosts the following free programs:

  • The Movie Premiere series continues with a special screening of Disney’s “Maleficent” (PG) featuring Angelina Jolie on Friday, Nov. 7, at 4 p.m.
  • Saturday Family Film Matinees continue on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 11 a.m., with a screening of “Planes: Fire and Rescue” (PG).
  • An Adult Painting Party, open to ages 14 and up, is set for Saturday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A $5 registration fee helps cover the cost of paints and canvases. Class size is limited. To reserve a spot, call the library at 201-998-2666.

For more information on any library programs, call 201-998- 2666 or visit www.kearnylibrary.org.

Trinity Church, 575 Kearny Ave., will hold its monthly flea market on Nov. 8, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Refreshments are available. Vendors are invited. Tables are one for $15 or two for $25. Call the church at 201-991- 5894 to schedule your table or call Annamarie at 201-998-2368. after 5:30 p.m. Walk-in vendors are welcome.

First Presbyterian Church, 663 Kearny Ave., hosts a Geek Flea Market on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Over 40 vendors will be selling comics, collectibles, art and more for all ages. Admission is free.


Lyndhurst Health Department, 601 Riverside Ave., Suite 1, holds its seasonal flu shot clinic on Monday, Nov. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. Free shots are available to township residents age 18 and older. Anyone on Medicare must bring their card. Wear clothes with loose-fitting sleeves to make it easier to receive the shot. No appointments are needed for the flu clinic. For more information, call the Lyndhurst Health Department at 201-804-2500.

Lyndhurst Public Library, 353 Valley Brook Ave., hosts the following events:

  • Book Club discusses “The Body in the Library” by Agatha Christie Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 6:30 p.m. Call the library to reserve a copy of the book. Space is limited.
  • LetHistoryLive.net presents “The Real History of Thanksgiving” on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 6:15 p.m. Space is limited. To register, call the library or email romeo@lyndhurst.bccls.org.
  • Walk-in Story Times, open to grades pre-K to 2, take place every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. No registration is required. • Cornucopia Mobile Craft, open to grades 1 to 4, is offered on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.
  • Turkey Headband Craft, open to grades pre-k to 3, is set for Monday, Nov. 17, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Registration is required for all of these events, unless otherwise noted. To register, call the library at 201-804-2478.

New Jersey Meadowlands Commission announces the following programs:

  • Art of the Heavens, a program open to all ages on how humans created art as inspiration from the cosmos, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 6, from 2 to 3 p.m., at the Meadowlands Environment Center, 1 DeKorte Park Plaza. Cost is $5; $4 for MEC members. Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register, go to http://mec. rst2.edu/environment.
  • Birds of Prey, a program featuring live raptors, is open to all ages on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2 to 3 p.m., at the Meadowlands Environment Center. Learn about their behavior, physiology and natural history. Admission is $5; $4 for MEC members. Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register, go to http://mec.rst2.edu/environment.

For more information on NJMC programs, call 201-460- 8300

North Arlington 

The Angry Coffee Bean, 89 Ridge Road, hosts its creative writing group’s first open mic on Monday, Nov. 10, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. All are welcome.

North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Road, offers the following programs, for which registration is not required, unless otherwise noted:

  • Story Time, open to ages 4 to 7, takes place Thursday, Nov. 6, at 11 a.m.
  • YA (Young Adult) Movie Days, open to grades 6 and up, continues on Friday, Nov. 7, at 3 p.m.
  • Sing-along Story Time, open to ages 2 to 5, offering stories, music and simple crafts, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 13, at 11:45 a.m.
  • A class on making origami, open to grades 4 to 7, is slated for Friday, Nov. 14, at 3:30 p.m.
  • A screening of the film “The Book Thief” (PG-13), is open to all ages on Friday, Nov. 14, at 11 a.m.
  • Computer Coding Club, open to ages 8 to 13, meets Saturday, Nov. 15, from 1 to 2 p.m. (ages 8 to 10) and 2 to 3 pm. (ages 11 to 13.) Learn to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and explore technology Registration is required. To register, visit http://northarlington. bccls.org/children.html. The library will be closed to the public at 1 p.m. on this date, as usual, and open only for this special program.
  • Friends of the Library meet on Friday, Nov.14 at 10 a.m. All are welcome to join.
  • Knitting Group meets on Thursdays, Nov. 13 and Dec. 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. both dates. If anyone is interested in moderating this group or offering instruction, call the library at 201-955-5640 and ask for Kristin Nelson.
  • Computer Basics class takes place Mondays in November from 6 to 7 p.m. Call 201-955- 5640 to register for this series of courses; space is limited.

North Arlington Woman’s Club sponsors a trip on Dec. 6 to the Sands Casino, Bethlehem, Pa. 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.


Due to the number of people attending the 2014 Nutley Distinguished Service Medal for Military Veterans Awards Ceremony, the venue has been changed from the Kingsland Manor to the Nutley AMVETS, located at 184 Park Ave.

The event is Sunday, Nov. 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. For information, call Dan Jacoby at 973- 284-4900, ext. 2428.

Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Drive, announces the following programs.

Registration is not required unless otherwise noted. To register, call 973-667-0405:

  • Manga/Anime Teen Club, open to grades 7 to 12, meets Friday, Nov. 14, at 3 p.m.
  • An Evening at the Library, celebrating the library’s centennial, kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15. Enjoy champagne, gourmet foods, and entertainment. Tickets are $100 per person. Contact the library at 973-667- 0405 for more information.
  • Babygarten, open to ages 23 months and under, offers books, nursery rhymes and playtime, on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Registration is required. Participants must be Nutley residents.

Route 21 crash claims two lives Monday night

2014-11-04 12_46_39-Greenshot

Above: The approximate location of last night’s deadly crash.


A multi-vehicle crash on Route 21 South claimed the lives of two people in Belleville on Monday, Nov. 3, according to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Belleville Police Department.

The crash involved three vehicles at around 7:30 p.m., the prosecutor’s office said.

Reports say a tractor trailer overturned on to a car. Afterward, a fire started, reports said.

The two deceased, whose names have not yet been released, were traveling in the same car, and were pronounced dead on scene, according to reports.

The crash is being investigated by the Belleville Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office’s Major Crimes Task Force.

We’ll share more information about this crash once it becomes available.

Those with details about the crash are asked to call the task force a 877-847-7432.

— Kevin Canessa Jr.

Pedaling for pantry

ShopRite Pedal_web

ShopRite of Lyndhurst, an Inserra Supermarkets store, recently partnered with Cabot Creamery Cooperative to raise hunger awareness, with store associates and customers competing to win 200 pounds of Cabot cheese for a local food pantry.

“Pedal Out Hunger” is part of the ShopRite Partners-In- Caring Program. Since its inception in 1999, more than $27 million has been donated to 1,700 hunger relief agencies in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Ferrarro resigns, takes buyout


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 


After months of wrangling with his employer, the Kearny Board of Education, Frank Ferraro has tendered his resignation as Kearny superintendent of schools, effective Nov. 1.

Ferraro, who was facing the threat of being fired after the board had brought tenure charges against him, decided to walk away from his $167,500 a year job following a settlement agreement approved by the board at its Oct. 20 meeting.

Ferraro’s contract ran through June 30, 2016, but he will receive no salary for any part of 2015 or 2016.

Under that agreement, in return for voluntarily stepping down from the post, Ferraro will receive nearly $70,000, representing the equivalent of a combined total of about four months’ in salary plus accrued vacation payments.

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