web analytics

Around Town


Bloomfield historian Rich Rockwell will present historic photos of houses from the 1880s to the 1920s Thursday, June 19, at 7 p.m. at the Parish House at the Church on the Green, 147 Broad St. The program, with then-and-now comparisons, will focus on styles of architecture, building trends, remodeling trends and preservation efforts in Bloomfield’s Historic District and nearby neighborhoods.

Bloomfield Public Library Book Club, 90 Broad St., meets Monday, July 7, 6:45 to 7:45 p.m., to discuss “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, a charming novel that will appeal to fans of Jane Austen, Helen Simonson, and Nevil Shute.

For more information or help in locating a copy of the book club selection, call the Reference Desk at 973-566- 6200, ext. 602.

Job Haines Home, 250 Bloomfield Ave., will host these activities:

• A free weekly arthritis exercise program running for eight weeks, starts Wednesday, June 11. The one-hour class, beginning at 10:30 a.m., will be taught by a certified instructor and conducted in accordance with guidelines established by the National Arthritis Foundation.

• An AARP Safety Driving Program will be held Tuesday, June 17, and Wednesday, June 18, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. both days. Participants must attend both sessions to receive a completion certificate that could help reduce auto insurance premiums. The cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members. Checks should be payable to AARP.

Light refreshments will be served.

To R.S.V.P., call 973-743- 0792. For more information, visit www.job-haines.org.


Presbyterian Boys-Girls Club, 663 Kearny Ave., hosts a beach party dance Friday, June 13, 7 to 10 p.m., for teens only. Guests are encouraged to dress for the beach. Prizes will be given for best dancers and best beachwear. Kearny teachers and members of the PBGC’s board of directors will supervise the dance.

Trinity Episcopal Church, 575 Kearny Ave., sponsors a flea market Saturday, June 14, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walk-in vendors are welcome. Cost for one table is $15 and two tables for $25. Call 201-991-5894 for more information.

Join the Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., for these upcoming programs:

• Rutgers professor/author Thomas McCabe presents “World Cup Tournament Kickoff” Wednesday, June 11, at 7 p.m., covering the early history of soccer in the West Hudson area through the 1990 and 1994 United States teams, which featured three area all-star players.

• The library will stream various World Cup matches live. Here’s the schedule:

Friday, June 13: Mexico vs. Cameroon at noon; and Spain vs. Netherlands at 3 p.m.

Monday, June 16: Germany vs. Portugal at noon; and Iran vs. Nigeria at 3 p.m.

Wednesday, June 18: Australia vs. Netherlands at noon; and Spain vs. Chile at 3 p.m.

Friday, June 20: Italy vs. Costa Rica at noon; and Switzerland vs. France at 3 p.m. Monday, June 23: Australia vs. Spain at noon.

• A chess class for children, ages 8 to 15, will run eight weeks on Tuesdays, 2 to 4 p.m., June 24 to Aug. 12. The class is limited to only 14 students. Call the library at 201-998-2666 to reserve your spot. Instructors from the Newark Chess Club will teach the classes.

•  A Summer Reading  Kickoff Party is open to all at the Branch Library, 759 Kearny Ave., Tuesday, June 17, 3 to 5:30 p.m. No registration is required. Children can pick up their summer reading logs and volunteers from the Friends of the Library will help kids make summer reading selections. Milk and cookies will be served.

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


Lyndhurst Health Department’s free meditation course originally planned for Wednesday, June 18, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, July 2. Led by certified oneness trainer and Lyndhurst resident Parbatie Singh, this class will resume regular hours Wednesday, July 9, at 6:30 p.m. in the recreation room at 601 Riverside Ave. Enter the doors facing the Passaic River.

The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission will close the Saw Mill Creek Trail in DeKorte Park indefinitely, beginning Friday, June 20, while PSE&G replaces the power line towers on the trail. The trail is expected to remain closed for at least one year.

Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave., offers the following children’s activities for which registration is required:

• Father’s Day Craft, for  pre-k to grade 3, Thursday, June 12, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.

• Summer Mobile Craft,  for grades 1 to 4, Wednesday, June 18, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.

• Summer Reading Regis tration, for pre-K to grade 6, for “Fizz, Boom, Read,” the library’s summer reading program. Registration ends June 14. Activities planned include science experiments, robot building, Grossology fun, nature explorations and more. For more information, call the library at 201-804-2480, ext. 3, or visit http://www.lyndhurstlibrary.org/.

Mary Lou Mullins’ monthly bus trip to Atlantic City is set for Sunday, June 29, leaving from St. Michael’s Church parking lot, Ridge Road and Page Ave., at 10:30 a.m. Cost is $30, cash return is $30. Only 10 seats are available. Call Mary Lou at 201-933-2186 for more information or for reservations.

 North Arlington 

The Senior Harmony Club has scheduled a trip to Resorts Casino, Atlantic City, for Wednesday, July 9, and a trip to Mt. Airy Casino in Pennsylvania for Wednesday, Aug. 20. Mt. Airy will give $25 in slot play and a free buffet. For reservations or information, call Florence at 201-991-3173.

North Arlington Public Library patrons can return overdue materials without paying any fines during Fine Amnesty Week, from Monday, June 9, to Saturday, June 14. Materials must be owned by and returned to North Arlington Public Library only. The library cannot waive fees for lost items or fines assessed for overdue items already returned. Materials must be returned during regular operating hours and items left in the drop box will not be eligible for the amnesty. Call 201-955-5640 for operating hours and more information.

Other upcoming events:

• Visit the Angry Coffee  Bean, 89 Ridge Road, Thursday, June 12, at 6 p.m., to learn about Newark and the importance of jazz to the city’s culture.

• Registration is open for  the Summer Reading kick-off event, for which Youth Stages will present a play shop for ages 3 to 9, Wednesday, June 25, at 4 p.m. To register, call 201-955-5640, ext. 126.

• Handwriting expert James  Mihnerick discusses graphoanalysis – the analysis of handwriting – Monday, June 16, at 6:30 p.m.

North Arlington Senior Activity Center, 11 York Road, hosts a Fourth of July Bingo luncheon Friday, June 27. Bingo starts at 10:30 a.m. with lunch at noon and more Bingo games and prizes from 1:30 to 3 p.m. For more information or for reservations, call 201-998-5636.


Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Drive, presents the following programs:

• Explore the founding of  the Township of Nutley Monday, June 23, at 7 p.m. with Nutley Museum director John Simko. This program is free and open to the public; no registration is required.

• Eighteen important paintings, prints and reproductions of artworks from the late 19th and early 20th century from the Nutley Museum’s collection are on view through June 30.

Call the library at 973-667- 0405 for more information.

The Nutley Museum and Historical Society, 65 Church St., houses a collection of town artifacts and artworks by former Nutley artists. The museum is open for special events and by appointment. Admission is free. For information or to arrange a visit, call 973-667-1528.


Kearny’s Koziel captures 6 medals at NJSIAA Meet of Champions


KHS junior shows his prowess competing in wheelchair division

By Jim Hague 

Observer Sports Writer 

Born with cerebral palsy 17 years ago, Steve Koziel has never once believed he has a handicap. More than anything, it’s an inconvenience for him to walk with the assistants of two crutches or it’s a matter of circumstance that Koziel has to compete in an athletic wheelchair.

Because let’s face facts. How many teenaged kids from Kearny can travel the globe and head to places like Puerto Rico and London just to compete in athletic competitions? That’s what Koziel does every summer.

Last summer, he spent 10 days in Puerto Rico competing in the Junior World Games, winning two silver medals (800-meter run and discus) and one bronze (javelin).

“There were like 14 countries there,” Koziel said. “It was a good idea of the kind of competition I had to face. The competition was stiff.”

After Puerto Rico, Koziel went to the United States Emerging Elite Paralympic Camp in Geneva, Ohio, training with some of the best paralympic athletes in the country.

“We worked on training, sports psychology,” Koziel said. “It was definitely a big help.”

When Koziel returned home, he immediately began training with the Kearny High School cross country team, then later the indoor track team, all to get ready for one night – the NJSIAA Meet of Champions at Frank Jost Field in South Plainfield.

“I prepare 12 months of the year for the outdoor season,” Koziel said. “I work on getting mileage in, getting endurance during cross country. During indoor, it’s about speed and agility. I then have to put it all together for the outdoor. All the coaches work with me to get me ready. They work all year to get it all together for one meet.”

Last Wednesday, Koziel headed to South Plainfield for that one meet. He competed in six events, won three, placed second in two and earned a bronze medal in the last event. One meet, six events, six medals. Not a bad day for Koziel. “I felt good,” Koziel said. “I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Photo by Jim Hague Kearny’s Steve Koziel pushes himself in his specialized wheelchair as he prepares for an upcoming track and field meet in California in two weeks.

Photo by Jim Hague
Kearny’s Steve Koziel pushes himself in his specialized wheelchair as he prepares
for an upcoming track and field meet in California in two weeks.


Koziel, now a junior at Kearny, won the discus with a throw of 45 feet, won the javelin with a throw of 34 feet and took home the gold medal in the shot put with a throw of 13 feet. He was second in the 100-meter dash in 20.7 seconds (a personal record), a second place finish in the 400-meter run in 75 seconds (“That was a good race for me,” Koziel said.) and finished third in the 800-meter run in 2:37.

“It’s a good feeling,” Koziel said. “It validates what I’m doing. I set some new PRs (personal record) and won some medals. Freshman year, I only medaled in three events, the field events. Last year, I got four medals, so I am definitely moving along nicely.”

Koziel was asked what it meant for him to be on the same track with some of the state’s premier track and field’s best performers.

“It’s really nice,” Koziel said. “It shows how far we’ve come and how much we’ve broken down the common perception of disability. A lot of it is now what you can do and what you can’t do. We’ve all come together with one common purpose, just to compete like the able-bodied kids This is what we do. We all train all year long for this one meet, train three seasons for one meet.”

Koziel will now head to the United States Paralympic Track and Field Nationals in California June 17.

A week later, Koziel heads to Indianapolis to compete in the Fast Cow Invitational, with the nation’s top paralympic athletes competing.

If Koziel is fortunate enough to get selected, he will then head to London with U.S. National Team Aug. 1-9, where Koziel hopes to compete in the discus and javelin, as well as the 100-, 200-, 400- and 800-meter runs at this year’s Junior World Games.

“I’ll be there with the best athletes in the world,” Koziel said. “There are going to be double the countries competing this year. It will give me a good idea of where I stand worldwide.”

Koziel’s ultimate goal is the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, two weeks after the regular Olympic Games take place.

“I would say that it’s a great life,” Koziel said. “How many kids can say that they’re working toward that goal?”

Koziel is hoping to head to the University of Illinois, which fields a wheelchair track and field team. Jersey City’s Raymond Martin, another top flight paralympian who is a good friend of Koziel, competes at Illinois.

“I would love to study sports psychology and sports medicine there,” Koziel said.

So when Koziel is asked about his handicap, he boldly says, “What disability?”

“Honestly, it doesn’t define me,” Koziel said.

Koziel doesn’t like thinking he’s an inspiration to other disabled athletes.

“I don’t like using the term ‘inspiration,’” Koziel said. “I just see myself as a mentor or a trailblazer. I might be breaking the barrier between disability and ability, but I’m not an inspiration. I’d rather be someone’s role model or mentor. There’s a social disconnect with being an inspiration. That’s why I like role model better.”

Koziel knows that other kids look to him and want him to succeed.

“If I can help kids dream of traveling the world, then that’s fine,” Koziel said. “I guess I’m doing good for anybody my age.”

Season to remember for Kardinals boys’ volleyball team

6-11 View_web

By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

The Kearny High School boys’ volleyball team just recently completed a phenomenal season, a year to remember, the best ever in the school’s history.

The Kardinals finished the year with a 20-5 record, the first 20- win season ever. They advanced to the Hudson County Tournament finals for the first time and went to the NJSIAA state sectional finals for the first time.

Unfortunately, the Kards ran into a buzz saw in state finalist St. Peter’s Prep, who knocked the Kardinals off in both championship matches. Amazingly, four of the five losses the Kardinals incurred this year were to the Marauders.

Head coach Bill Mullins finished his fourth season in charge of the Kardinals.

“I thought we had the chance to have a good year,” Mullins said. “But only three (team members) played on the varsity last year. Volleyball is the type of sport in Kearny where you don’t play until you get to high school.”

Like Bryan Rodriguez, who joined the team this season.

“He just came out for the team before we started practices and he ended up being our starting middle hitter,” Mullins said of the junior Rodriguez. “He became a terrific hitter in the middle.”

Mullins said that none of his players are members of a volleyball club which plays all year long.

Senior Joel Vivas was a starter along the front line last year and returned this year a better player.

“He’s a terrific player,” said Mullins of Vivas, who was also a fine basketball player at Kearny last winter. “He’s a big power hitter from the outside and a good all-around player.”

Mullins said that Vivas led the Kardinals in kills this season.

Senior Matheus De- Castro was a volleyball player as a sophomore at Kearny, but did not play at all last year.

“He had an injury last year and didn’t come out,” Mullins said. “But he became a good outside hitter for us this year.”

Senior Doug Chemin was another returning starter from last year.

“He’s a terrific middle hitter and an outstanding blocker,” Mullins said. “It was hard to stop him.”

Brian Fonseca, another senior, was a member of the junior varsity last year, but became the team’s setter for the final 10 matches of 2013.

“Our setter got hurt and he did a nice job stepping in,” Mullins said. “This year, he became the leader of the team, a very vocal guy.”

Junior Gustavo Chemin, Doug’s younger brother, was another outside hitter.

“He’s the best jumper on the team,” Mullins said. “He can really get up.”

The younger Chemin was also on the junior varsity last season.

Senior Kevin Serrano was the team’s starting outside hitter last year, but he was moved to the defensive specialist libero this season.

“I thought he could handle the job and he did a nice job,” Mullins said.

Senior Matheus Oliveira is another former junior varsity player who became a regular on the Kardinals’ back row this season.

Mullins said that he received a lot of assistance from veteran volleyball legend Don Guide, who was formerly the head coach at St. Peter’s Prep and Paramus Catholic.

“I used to always ask him for advice when we would go to clinics together,” Mullins said. “So he joined us this year. He brought in a lot of experience, especially in high level games. He was a valuable addition to our staff.”

Mullins said he also received assistance from his wife, Jacqueline.

“They both did a terrific job,” Mullins said.

Mullins thinks that the Kardinals played as well as they possibly could.

“I think we went as far as we could go,” Mullins said. “We gave Prep all they could handle, but we couldn’t get past them. In the county tournament, we were close. In the state tournament, we were close. We have to be able to win the close games.”

But Mullins had a gigantic sense of pride about his team. They went further than any other Kearny volleyball team and won more matches.

“I’m very proud of them,” Mullins said. “We worked hard to be consistently good and that’s what we became. The kids hung in there and battled all the way. I give them credit for the way they battled.”

Added Mullins, “They became a better team as the season moved on. They were mentally prepared to play in big games. I think that was really important. It’s not an easy task to ask them to get better. They have to want to get better. They did an excellent job in that aspect and I’m very proud of them.”

And it gives the Kearny volleyball program a ton of hope for the future.

Nutley’s Montgomery wins state javelin gold medal at NJSIAA Meet of Champs

6-11 AOW_web

By Jim Hague 

Observer Sports Writer 

After winning the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group III championship in the javelin two weeks ago, followed up by a third place finish at the overall Group III championship a week later, Nutley senior Grace Montgomery went to last week’s NJSIAA Meet of Champions with no glories of grandeur.

“I wanted to get a medal, but I didn’t think it would happen,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery was seeded 12th in the deeply talented pack and only the top eight bring home medals.

“I was hoping to get into the finals, but I didn’t think I’d make it,” Montgomery said. “I was pretty nervous.” Montgomery’s nerves started to get the best of her, when she was selected to go first.

“It was a mix of pressure and nerves,” Montgomery said.

Her first throw at the Meet of Champions at Frank Jost Field in South Plainfield was good for 125 feet, just below Montgomery’s personal best, but certainly not enough to contend for a metal.

The next four of Montgomery’s attempts were less than awe inspiring. She threw 120 feet, then fouled, then reached 120 feet two more times.

“I figured out I was in ninth place there,” Montgomery said. “I figured I wasn’t even going to get a medal.”

Montgomery didn’t even hold the school record anymore. That distinction belonged to teammate Leah Negra, who threw 129 feet to top Montgomery’s personal best throw of 128 at the North 2, Group III state sectionals.

Now, even more disaster struck.

“The javelin that I had become accustomed to, the one I had been using all year, had snapped in half during practice,” Montgomery said. “I was kind of upset.”

Nutley veteran head coach Bob O’Dell knew that Montgomery had the talent to become an elite javelin thrower.

“She has been working with assistant coach Chris Bradley (who went to the M of C during his senior year at Nutley in 2008, before going on to compete at a high level at Rutgers),” O’Dell said. “We’ve had a tradition of good javelin throwers here. It was just a question of whether Grace had one in her to put her over the top.”

On her final high school throw, Montgomery gave it all she had and unfurled a throw of a lifetime.

“When she let it go, we both looked at each other and said, `Where did that come from?’” O’Dell said.

“I let it go and I was at first disappointed,” Montgomery said. “I thought it was at the 120 (foot) line. But then I ran out and I noticed it was much further, like the 140 (foot) line. I was so shocked. I couldn’t believe it.”

Montgomery’s final throw traveled 136 feet, which catapulted her to the lead. Montgomery had the best throw in the entire state.

But her day wasn’t over. Five other girls still had attempts remaining.

“I was a little worried,” Montgomery said. “I thought there were girls who could throw it further. It was a little nerve wracking. I was watching them so closely. I didn’t want them to have a good throw. I still couldn’t believe it. I was in ninth place before that throw and now I’m in first.”

Montgomery really didn’t have much time to prepare for the Meet of Champs. You see, she’s been battling shoulder tendinitis and has been competing all bandaged up on the right shoulder – with no practice during the week.

“I’ve been going to a chiropractor three times a week just to get ready to compete,” Montgomery said. “I haven’t been taking any throws except in meets for weeks.”

But here she was, standing on the thresholds of pulling off the miracle.

“Shocked isn’t the right word,” Montgomery said. “I think happy and surprised is a better word. But I wasn’t shocked. I knew the talent was there. I knew she had it in her. She had the ability. She’s a very good athlete.”

Montgomery’s final throw stood up. She was indeed the Meet of Champions gold medal winner in the javelin. She became the first Nutley track and field athlete to earn a gold medal at the Meet of Champions since Carol Conlon won the two-mile run in 1975.

“I just didn’t believe it,” Montgomery said. “I never would have believed it.”

For her efforts, Montgomery has been selected as The Observer Athlete of the Week for the past week, the final honoree for the 2013-14 scholastic sports year. The Observer will present the Male and Female Athletes of the Year in the weeks to come.

Montgomery is just a superb athlete. She’s an All-SEC defender for the Nutley girls’ soccer team and was one of the leading scorers for the Nutley girls’ basketball team. She competes on teams with her twin sister Meghan.

In fact, after she won the gold medal at the M of C, Montgomery went home to Nutley and received the school’s Most Outstanding Female Athlete. Sabino Gabriele earned the boys’ nod.

Montgomery will continue her track career at Rowan University in the fall. Her sister will join her at Rowan and also compete in track and field there.

Montgomery also ran in the 800-meter run and the 400-meter hurdles this season, but throwing the javelin is her bread and butter.

“It’s been a great year,” Montgomery said. “I’m still kind of in a state of shock. It’s the best feeling in the world. I have been working solid all season. I’m glad it paid off.”

“You couldn’t write a better script,” O’Dell said. “It’s like batting in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7 of the World Series and hitting a game-winning home run. It’s that kind of thing. She always had a little flair for the dramatic.” O’Dell knows that Montgomery has now permanently raised the bar for his track and field program.

“It’s a tough standard for others to follow,” O’Dell said. “But it’s a good record.”

Oh, by the way, Montgomery regained her old school record with her state-winning throw. She’ll take that mark to the high school nationals next week in Greensboro, North Carolina.

KPD: Sweet home-alone Alabama

In recent months, Walmart stores across the nation have been the targets of hoax bomb threats. It happened last week in Kearny, but in that particular instance, police were able to identify the culprits, KPD Chief John Dowie reported.

At 6:20 p.m., Monday, June 2, Sgt. Peter Gleason and Officer John Travelino responded to the Harrison Ave. store after an employee reported receiving a call warning that a bomb had been placed in a “Black Ops 2” game box in the video department.

Police and the Kearny Fire Department evacuated the premises. A search revealed that the games were secure in a locked case, which had not been tampered with, and management reopened the store, Dowie said.

The investigation was turned over to Det. John Telle and Det. Sgt. John View, who reportedly were able to trace the call to an address in Loxley, Ala. They contacted police in that town (pop. 1,632) and were later notified that authorities had identified the suspects as two juveniles. “They apparently got bored while home alone, Googled Walmart, got the Kearny number and made the threat,” Dowie said.

Loxley police said the youths’ parents had been notified.

According to published reports, bomb threats, by numerous culprits, have been made against stores in at least 13 states.

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

June 1 

At 11:30 a.m., Officer Chris Levchak spotted an eastbound Ford pickup being operated “in a careless manner” on Harrison Ave. Police said the driver, Froylan Lopez, 27, of Newark, was found to have four warrants — three from Jersey City, one from Vineland — and a fraudulent resident I.D. card. Lopez was charged criminally with possession of a simulated document, and U.S. Immigration was notified.

At 5:30 p.m., police were notified by Kmart that a shoplifter, last seen running toward Bergen Ave., had fled the store with a quantity of creatine pills. Officer Sean Kelly found the suspect, later identified by store personnel, at Bergen and Belgrove Drive. Marcelo Costa, 44, of Kearny, was charged with shoplifting.

Police said he also had five outstanding warrants — two from Lyndhurst and one each from North Arlington, Montclair and Montville.

June 2 

At 8 p.m., Officer Levchak was notified by a concerned citizen that a group of people were apparently smoking marijuana on the front steps of a residence on Davis Ave., near Franklin School.

Approaching the three, he reportedly saw one attempting to secrete an object in a backpack. After the officer ascertained that none of the individuals lived at the address or had permission to be there, one of them — Xavier Guridi, 19, of Kearny — offered to remove objects from the bag, police said. While he was taking out a pair of pants, a marijuana grinder reportedly fell from a pocket. Guridi was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

June 4 

Officer Kelly, advised at 8:30 p.m. that a shoplifter had fled the Rite Aid store on Kearny Ave., found a man fitting the suspect’s description at Chestnut and Hoyt Sts. Store personnel were brought to the scene and I.D.’d him, and a bag he had discarded was found to contain two hair dryers with the anti-theft tags still attached, police said. The suspect reportedly gave his name as Terry Page, but a fingerprint check showed he was Wendell Pittman, 56, of Newark. He was charged with shoplifting and hindering apprehension and on warrants out of Newark, East Orange and Dillon, S.C.

– Karen Zautyk 

ShopRite of Lyndhurst offers healthy eating events

ShopRite of Lyndhurst, an Inserra Supermarkets store, 540 New York Ave., offers the following wellness and healthy eating events led by its in-store registered dietitian Julie Harrington. ShopRite’s free retail dietitian services and the following programs are available to the general public.

For more information or to pre-register for one of the events, contact Harrington at 201-419-9154 or Julie.harrington@  wakefern.com.

Here’s the schedule:

• High Fiber Friday – Friday, June 20, 1 to 3 p.m. Visit the Dietitian’s Corner for some tasty ideas on increasing your daily fiber intake.

• Produce Pick – Tuesdays, June 10 and 17, 2 to 4 p.m. Meet ShopRite’s in-store dietitian in the Produce Department for samples of this month’s pick and recipe ideas.

• Men’s Health Day – Friday,  June 13, 4:30 to 6 p.m. Drop by the Dietitian’s Corner for a recipe for a Father’s Day gift for dad that he is sure to love.

• Earthbound Farms Sam pling – Saturday, June 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ShopRite’s instore dietitian and a member of the Earthbound Farms Organic team will have samples of flavorful kale creations and recipes.

• Re-Think Your Drink – Monday, June 16, noon to 2 p.m. Get the inside scoop on cooling down this summer with refreshing, non-sugary drink options. • Fresh Food Fast: 5-Ingredient Recipe Cooking Class – Wednesday, June 18, 4 to 5 p.m. Attendees will learn a five-ingredient recipe that takes less time to prepare than picking up takeout. Pre-registration is required. To register, call 201-419-9154 or email Julie.harrington@ wakefern.com.

• Smart Snacking: Clif Mojo Bars – Thursday, June 19, 10 a.m. to noon. Sample Clif Mojo Bars, known as a healthy, on the go snack. • Spread the Love: Nut Butter Tasting – Monday, June 23, noon to 3 p.m. Join in a tasting of all the flavors of Wild Friends nut butters and find out how heart-healthy nuts are.

• Bone Up on Calcium – Thursday, June 26, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit the Dietitian’s Corner for a yogurt tasting and tips on other great sources of calcium.

• LiveRight with ShopRite Kid’s Day (ages 6 and up) – Friday, June 27, 4 to 5 p.m. At a free cooking class, kids can sample their creations and bring home recipes too. Pre-registration is required, and a parent or guardian must be present. To register, call 201-419-9154 or email Julie.harrington@  wakefern.com.

• Smart Snacking: Crispy Fruit Freeze-Dried Snacks –Saturday, June 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sample Crispy Fruit Freeze-Dried offerings and learn other ways to combat the dreaded “snack attack.”

• Build a Better Burger – Monday, June 30, 1 to 2 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. Join a cooking class aimed at helping attendees learn healthy burger recipes and nutrition tips. To register, call 201-419-9154 or email Julie.harrington@  wakefern.com.


Rodolfo A. Gomez 

Rodolfo A. Gomez, 68, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on Monday, June 2.

Funeral services were under the direction of the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison. A funeral Mass was held at Holy Cross Church, Harrison on Monday, June 9, followed by a private cremation.

Born in Granada, Nicaragua, Rodolfo lived in Harrison the last 35 years. He worked as a machinist for E.P. Heller, Madison and also for Tungston Alloy, Harrison. He was a parishioner of Holy Cross Church, Harrison. In his free time, he enjoyed crabbing at Sandy Hook and spending time with his family.

Predeceased by his mother Leopoldina Gomez (2004), he is survived by his loving children Michele, Rodolfo “Rudy” and his fiancé Allissa and Christine Gomez and her husband Rodney McMillian, cherished grandchildren Jazmine, Eric, Alexa, Deinicia, Cassandra, Noah, Kassidi and Everly and many dear brothers and sisters. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and close friends.

For those desiring, the family requests donations to: American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 11454 Alexandria, Va. 22312 in loving memory of Rodolfo.

Michael R. Zahorchak 

Michael R. Zahorchak, 69, died on Thursday, June 5.

Mr. Zahorchak was born in and was a lifelong resident of Kearny. He is survived by his sisters, Barbara Udis, Ann Rich and her husband Gary, Patricia Flora and her husband Thomas and by his loving nieces and nephews.

The funeral Mass was held on Monday, June 9, at St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny. Entombment was in Holy Cross Chapel Mausoleum, North Arlington. Arrangements were by Nazare Memorial Home, Inc., Lyndhurst. For more information, visit www.nazarefuneralhome.com.

Logged on the Lyndhurst police blotter

May 25 

Dima Dibb, 27, of Paterson, was issued a summons for shoplifting after police said security personnel at the ShopRite on New York Ave. detained Dibb, at 4:18 p.m., for allegedly placing $37 worth of probiotic in a handbag and attempting to leave without paying. Dibb was released pending a court date.

May 26 

At 11:33 p.m., police spotted a vehicle parked in the drive-thru of the Burger King on Park Ave. with the driver asleep at the wheel. Police said that when an officer tapped on the window, the driver responded by driving out of the drive-thru and across the street into a parking lot where he was arrested. Taquill Ferrell, 33, of Lyndhurst, was charged with DWI and eluding. He was released after posting bail, pending a court appearance.

May 27 

At 8:26 a.m., police received a report of theft from a Terminal Road location. Police said three batteries were reported stolen from a 1996 Peterbilt truck from Elizabeth. The batteries were valued at $95 each, police said.

May 30 

At 9 a.m., police responded to a call about an erratic driver whose vehicle was pursued to the driveway of a residence in the 500 block of Fern Ave. Police said the motor was still running and the driver appeared to be sleeping. Police charged the driver, Rafal Rynkiewicz, 45, of Lyndhurst, with DWI and no insurance or registration.

May 31 

At 11 a.m., police received a report that someone removed a pair of truck wheels left in a residential driveway in the 400 block of Riverside Ave. The wheels, valued at $1,800, were believed to have been taken sometime overnight, police said.

June 2 

At 8:42 p.m., a Belleville man called police to report a theft from the Kings Court Health & Sports Club on Riverside Ave. The victim told police he’d left his wallet in a secured locker and when he returned, he found the lock disabled and his wallet gone. Police said the wallet contained $200 and the man’s driver’s license and credit cards.

June 3 

An attempted burglary on Post Ave. may have been thwarted by a house pet, police said. A resident in the 100 block called police at 8:50 p.m. to report that when they went into the backyard, they found a small table and chair positioned under their first-floor window. Police said the window had been left open to allow ventilation for a dog inside. A screen in the window was found to be intact, police said. Police surmise that the would-be intruder may have been scared away by the dog.

June 5 

Police are investigating a report of a theft from JPR Cycle in the 100 block of Park Ave. The incident was logged at 6:52 p.m. Police said a man and woman, later joined by two other men, apparently distracted a store employee with questions about certain merchandise and, after they left, the employee discovered that several motorcycle video cameras valued at $1,200 were missing, along with other items. Police said they are reviewing the store’s surveillance videotape for possible leads to the suspects who were described as Hispanic, between 25 and 35.

– Ron Leir 

Nutley PD: Resident finds tree branch on parked car


May 24

• At 4:44 p.m., police were called to High and Prospect Sts. where they found a large tree limb next to a parked car. Police said the vehicle, parked on High St., was dented on the driver’s side of the vehicle. The owner told police the tree limb had fallen on their car. The branch was removed by the township. Police said the branch had fallen from private property. Read more »

Then & Now


By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent 

What you’re looking at above is Omaha Beach on the coast of Normandy, France. ‘Now,’ it is a peaceful strand, a place of contemplation. ‘Then,’ it was a place of unimaginable horror. And valor.

This week, we decided to use The Observer’s popular photo feature to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day, which will be observed Friday.

It has been seven long decades since June 6, 1944, and the world has changed in ways those living then could never have foreseen. What must never change is our country’s acknowledgement of the debt of honor we owe the men who endured that lethal storm of combat.

There are some still among us, but too few and fewer every day, who were there. As D-Day must never be forgotten, neither must they, alive or dead. Read more »