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Nutley police arrest suspicious man who had warrants

During the past week, the Nutley Police Department responded to 120 calls for service, including 14 motor vehicle crashes and 38 medical calls. Among those responses were these incidents: Aug. 23 Officers on patrol came across a man walking north […]


Kearny man collared in Lyndhurst home invasion

LYNDHURST – A suspect in a home invasion incident in Lyndhurst has been placed under arrest, according to the Lyndhurst Police Department. Evanalain Sieberkrob-Hershman, 24, of Kearny, has been charged in connection with the incident, which happened Friday, Aug. 29, […]


UPDATE: Missing Nutley woman found safely in Newark

Nutley Police have located Juilia Dellaguzzo, the 85-year-old missing woman who wandered off  yesterday. Police say it appears she walked several miles south into Newark, and was found sitting inside a parked vehicle near her childhood home. She appears to […]


Koppers developer picked

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  Hopes by Kearny to secure a developer for the old Koppers Coke Peninsula Redevelopment site have taken one step forward and two steps back. Kearny and Tierra Solutions, the owners of two of the three parcels in the South Kearny meadows area targeted […]

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School getting facelift

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  EAST NEWARK –  As summer’s clock winds down to the start of classes for the fall term, East Newark Public School is making all kinds of preparations to welcome students and staff back in style. Newly installed Superintendent/ Principal Patrick Martin recently ticked […]



Robert Boni

Robert Boni died on Nov. 2 at home. He was 82.

Born in Pennsylvania, he lived most of his life in Kearny. Visiting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 4 to 8 p.m., at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. His service will be on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 10 a.m. in the Christian Apostolic Church, 219 Laurel Ave., Kearny. Burial will follow at Arlington Cemetery. To leave an online condolence please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Bob was in the Army during the Korean Conflict and was a retired letter carrier in Kearny.

He is survived by his wife Carol J. (nee Marotti), his children and their spouses Robert Jr. and Linda Boni and Mary Lynn and Tim Girgan, his brother and sister-in-law Gene and Marian Boni and his grandchildren Bobby and his wife Silvia and Jason and Kyle.

Thomas Mollica

Thomas Mollica died on Nov. 1. He was 76.

He lived many years in East Newark before moving to Kearny 20 years ago.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington, followed by entombment in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Son of the late Lena (Foti) and John Mollica. Tom is survived by his wife Antoinette and his children and their spouses Marie and Mike Hickey, Diana and Marty Miller, and John and June Mollica. Brother of Mary Cinardo, Richard Mollica, Josephine McCann, Frank Mollica and the late Nicholas, Joseph and Anthony Mollica. He is also survived by his grandchildren Michael, Shawn, Jason and Ryan and his great-grandchildren Madison, Shawn and Jaydon. Sadly, he was predeceased by his grandson Justin.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to Hackensack Medical Center/Child Life somens@humed.com,

Lorraine V. Quitto

Lorraine V. Quitto died suddenly at home on Nov. 3. She was 48. Born in Newark, she lived in Kearny before moving to North Arlington eight years ago. Visiting will be on Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., at the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. The funeral will be on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 10 a.m., at St. Peter’s Church, 155 William St., Belleville. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Lorraine is survived by her husband Marco and her children and their spouses Marco, Jr., Kathryn and Ben Lamela, Lori Quitto, Kimberly and Robert Quitto and Christopher Quitto. She is also survived by her grandchildren Logan and Layla.

Richard E. Salisbury Sr.

Richard E. Salisbury Sr. died on Nov. 1 in Mountainside Hospital. He was 77.

Born in Orange, he lived most of his life in Kearny.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral service was held at the funeral home, followed by a private cremation. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Mr. Salisbury was an Army veteran and a member of the American Legion. He was also a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington. He was a retired school bus driver.

Husband of Linda (nee Floyd), he was the father of Patricia, Richard Jr., Joyce, Arthur, Dwayne, Lori, Roberta, Douglas and the late Deborah and Michelle; brother of Robert Salisbury, he is also survived by 20 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to Wounded Warriors Project.

Alice E. Schaufele

Alice E. Schaufele (nee Davies) died on Oct. 31 at St. Michael’s Hospital. She was 90.

Born in Kearny, she moved to North Arlington in 1971.

Private cremation was arranged through the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. A memorial service will be scheduled in the near future at The Living Gospel Baptist Church in Rutherford. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Wife of the late Walter Schaufele, Alice is survived by her daughter Alice Tooker, her grandsons Thomas, Kevin and Stephen Docherty and Michael Tooker and her great grandchildren Meghan, Kiera, Madeline, Caylin and Evelyn.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to The Mission Fund at the Living Gospel Baptist Church, 23 West Passaic Ave., Rutherford, N.J. 07070.

Ava Jolene Schwamberger

Ava Jolene Schwamberger was born on June 10, 2013. Sadly, she entered gently into eternal rest on October 28, 2013. She was cradled by her loving Mom and Dad.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Ava leaves behind many loving family members and friends who cared and prayed very hard for her during these last four months, especially her Mom and Dad, Brian Schwamberger and Starlette Pace and her grandparents John and Marion Schwamberger, Dawn Burke and Myrna and Benjamin Pace.

Ava was laid to rest in The Holy Innocence section of the mausoleum at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to www.chargesyndrome.org.

Amelia Cherry Shields



Mrs. Amelia Cherry Shields, 99, was the wife of the late Fred J. Shields, a 1936 Olympian in the sport of soccer.

She was also the sister of the late Chester P. Cherry and Edward F. Cherry. Amelia was the daughter of the late Walter and Cecelia (Nowak) Cherry. Mrs. Shields taught at Hillside Senior High School for 10 years and at Harrison High School for 28 years. She retired in 1982.

A Trenton State College graduate with a B.S. degree, Amelia also attended Rutgers University for her Master’s Degree. She was a member of the NJEA and NJREA. Amelia was named “Senior of the Year” by the Town of Harrison in 2009.

Born in Freeland, Pa., on April 2, 1914, she lived most of her life in Harrison.

Mrs. Shields died peacefully at home on Nov. 3. She was the mother of twins, Susan and Frederick (deceased) and a son, Ronald. She is survived by seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Viewing will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 2 to 8 p.m., at the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison. Interment will be on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover, following a 10 a.m. prayer service at the Mulligan Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Christina Zarrillo

Christina Zarrillo (nee Garippa), died Nov. 1 at home. She was 53.

Born in Newark, she lived many years in Kearny before moving to Harrison two years ago.

Visiting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. Relatives and friends are invited to return Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 10 a.m., and her service will begin at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Arlington Cemetery, Kearny. To leave an online condolence, please visit www. armitagewiggins.com.

Tina was married to Peter Zarrillo and has two daughters Jessica and Nicole. Daughter of Catherine (nee Martin) and the late Philip Garippa, she is survived by her brothers Michael and Joseph Garippa. She was predeceased by her sister Catherine Leadbeater.

Election results will be posted on our Facebook page tonight around 9



There are numerous local elections today — and we’ll be posting results on our Facebook page. Not connected to us yet on Facebook? Click here to get to our page — and be sure to “LIKE” us.

Belleville boy found, is fine

The 12-year-old Belleville boy who went missing earlier today has been found — and he’s fine, police say. No more details are available, however.

Belleville, State police looking for missing 12-year-old boy


Charlie Castillo, above, has not been seen since 7 a.m. Thursday morning in his Belleville home.

The Belleville Police Department and the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit are seeking the public’s assistance in locating missing Belleville boy Charlie Castillo.

Castillo, 12, is 5’3″, 100 pounds with black hair, and brown eyes and was last seen 7 a.m. this morning at his home in Belleville.

He suffers from allergies and asthma and is known to wear plastic and thread bracelets.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Belleville Police Department at (973)450-3334 or the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit at (800) 709-7090.

Local real estate market ready to move?


Photo by Ron Leir Walgreens is eyeing the old Lynn Chevy dealership as a new location.

Photo by Ron Leir
Walgreens is eyeing the old Lynn Chevy dealership as a new location.


By Ron Leir

Observer Correspondent


Signs of the beginning of a Kearny recovery from the national recession’s grip are suggested by movement on four local fronts to upgrade real estate.

First, there is the meadows-area property known as Jeryl Industrial Park at 590 Belleville Turnpike which, in June 2012, the Kearny Planning Board voted to designate as an area in need of redevelopment after hearing Red Bank consultant Susan Gruel describe the 31-acre tract as a “dilapidated, deteriorated area with a significant number of vacant buildings and outdoor storage.”

Because many of the buildings on the site are riddled by fire and structure code violations, the town Construction Enforcement office has denied certificates of occupancy to some existing and prospective tenants.

Plus, there are environmental issues still to be dealt with, notably the presence of chromium at various portions of the site, for some of which a company called Tierra Solutions has agreed to take cleanup responsibilities.

And the private street – Turvan Road – that winds through the tract is compromised by cracked asphalt and gaping potholes that fill with water during rainstorms.

But of late, there are indications that some positive steps may be undertaken by a potential successor owner, according to Town Administrator Michael Martello. Martello said he met Oct. 10 with principals of Alessi Organization Management LLC of Bayonne, who, he said, are currently leasing the Jeryl property and have a contract to purchase the site to renovate it.

In prior months, Martello said, “we had to go to court to remove illegal tenants.” But recently, he said, the Alessi contingent “has removed some [tenants] and intends to remove all of them” as soon as those buildings are demolished.

Martello said that the Alessi group assured him that they will hire security personnel to “patrol the site to prevent illegal dumping of concrete and dirt” on the grounds. The group has filed an application with the town for permits to install road barriers to block unwanted vehicles, he said.

Martello said Alessi plans to tear down Buildings 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 18A, 18B, 19, 23 and 26. He said the firm wants to try to relocate one of the tenants, a truck parts & service company, which now occupies Buildings 20A and 20C and 22 into Building 30 and move another tenant, a wine distributor, from Building 26 into Building 29.

Building 30, which the owners got local approvals to put up as a warehouse distribution facility in 2007-2008, was only partly constructed and left incomplete, Martello said. “It currently complies with mandated flood elevation levels.” Building 29 is an approved office/warehouse structure, he said.

Martello said that the structures that comprise Building 18 are tainted by chromium and that testing has detected heavy metals elsewhere on the site and “the only way we can do a cleanup is to demolish the buildings involved.” He said the owners “already have an LSRP (Licensed Site Remediation Professional) assigned to the site.”

Once the environmental cleanup and demolition are done – and it’s unclear how long that would take – then the Alessi group would put up “eight to 10 new buildings” of the type characterizing an “industrial/ warehouse district,” Martello said.

And before that could happen, the town would first have to “adopt a redevelopment plan” for the site, Martello said. The plan would go to the Kearny Planning Board for a public hearing, he said.

Efforts to reach members of the Alessi Organization to get their version of what they are planning for the industrial park property were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, along part of the uptown central business district, there are plans to convert the old Lynn Chevrolet showroom/ sales office at 461 Kearny Ave. to a chain pharmacy, according to Martello.

No plans have yet been filed but Martello said that if those plans hold, Kearny would get its first Walgreens at the site.

To facilitate that, Martello said the old auto center structure – which became a casualty of the 2008 recession – would be taken down, along with two commercial buildings just north of the old showroom, the Irish Quality Shop and the former Teddy’s Lounge.

Additionally, he said, two houses on Quincy Ave., southwest of the showroom, would also be demolished to accommodate a drive-thru option for the drug store, with an entrance off Kearny Ave. and exit via Quincy.

And there is activity afoot in South Kearny’s industrial section, both involving sections of the sprawling River Terminal property, each now owned by different members of the Neu family.

RTC Properties, located off the Passaic River shoreline, was granted approval by the Planning Board in August to construct a 65,728 square foot building with a 10,000 square foot mezzanine at 170 Central Ave. as a connection between previously board-approved and partly-constructed buildings at 50 Cable Drive and 120 Central Ave.

In its application to the board, RTC said the proposed building was needed to more effectively house one of its tenants, Fedway wholesale liquor distributors, which required a “large warehouse above the flood stage,” particularly since – as testimony disclosed – the tenant “lost 60% of their product and all of its telecommunications and computers” during Superstorm Sandy.

Photo by Ron Leir A largely ramshackle Jeryl Industrial Park may be in line for a huge upgrade.

Photo by Ron Leir
A largely ramshackle Jeryl Industrial Park may be in line for a huge upgrade.



However, as Fedway Executive Vice President Robert Sansone advised the board at the Aug. 7 hearing, Fedway – with 228 employees, 85 truck routes and 25 trailers – has recovered from that loss and has recently signed a 25-year lease to stay in Kearny because its new building, after being raised to a higher elevation to prevent flooding, will be insurable. The buildings need to be connected “to provide the necessary square footage and accessibility,” the application said. The board approved a parking variance for the project.

Finally, RTL Services Inc. (now known as Kearny Point Industrial Park), based off the Hackensack River side of the Peninsula, successfully petitioned the mayor and Town Council to vote Oct. 9 to direct the Planning Board to investigate whether the area containing 77 and 90 S. Hackensack Ave. “and nearby property, if necessary” qualifies as a redevelopment area.

The property, part of the old Federal Shipyard area, “was hurt very badly by Sandy,” said Andrew Feuerstein, an attorney for Kearny Point, and now the new FEMA flood elevation maps mandate higher building elevations in the area as a precaution against possible future flooding.

So, Feuerstein said, his clients “want to build a first class facility at Kearny Point Industrial Park,” a warehousing/distribution center comprising 2 million square feet of space spread among 24 buildings with 26 employees. “Now we want to grow,” he said.

Asked for more details, however, Feuerstein said it would be “premature to talk about what we’re doing there while the planning process is going on. We have engaged a consultant to assist with that planning. Our hope is to attract first class tenants.”

How to ‘stomp out’ bullying


Photos by Anthony Coelho Students at Washington Middle School learns lessons about bullying.

Photos by Anthony Coelho
Students at Washington Middle School learns lessons about


By Anthony Coelho

Observer Intern


The concept of bullying needs no explanation. We’ve all experienced it—whether being directly involved, or just a bystander—bullying has been an ongoing war in schools all across the nation. One school in particular though, located on the corner of N. 5th St. and Harrison Ave., has been “stomping out” bullying in style.

Last Wednesday, Washington Middle School in Harrison hosted its first annual, community-wide Stomp Out Bullying presentation.

The event began with refreshments, baked goods and wristbands provided by the P.T.A. The lobby was decorated with handcrafted posters and banners created by some of the high school students. With a little help from the middle schools’ guidance staff — who like to call themselves the C.H.I.C.A.S. (Counselors Helping Individual Children Achieve Success)—the show featured an opening statement from Student Resource Officer Charles Schimpf, expressing the nature of bullying and how to act otherwise.

“We really wanted to focus on creating a positive vibe,” said Michelle Lopes, Washington Middle School’s head counselor. “We’re giving them an idea of what they should be doing, instead of always telling them what not to do.”

What followed Officer Schimpf’s speech was the talent-filled Poetry Slam, which under the theme of respect, featured the spoken word by Schimpf, WMS teacher Amy Morillo, students Natalie Guimmarra, Tiffany Danielian, and Raymond Pineda.

The Washington Middle School Chorus then took the stage, cheering its listeners by performing their song “Brave”, before making way for Harrison’s first-ever step team.

A hired step instructor choreographed the step dance with help from PE/Health teacher Uril Parrish. The routine is very similar to a uniformed military salute, but instead with an urban twist and a message behind it.

“The students only had eight rehearsal practices before the actual show,” said Lopes. “The talent I saw on that stage tonight was simply remarkable.”

Before the night could come to an end, the nationally recognized West Orange High School Step Team treated the Washington Middle School students to a powerful performance, promoting a sense of unity and enjoyment for all.

With the outcome of the Stomp Out Bullying event being a huge success, it’s no surprise that it will continue to be a part of the Harrison community for years to come. Who knows, maybe one day, Harrison High School will have a step team dedicated to spreading a positive message. Stay tuned.

In the spirit o Halloween . . .


Photo by Karen Zautyk Author L’Aura Hladik’s books can guide you to some spooky destinations.

Photo by Karen Zautyk
Author L’Aura Hladik’s books can guide you to some spooky destinations.


By Karen Zautyk

Observer Correspondent


Here is something fascinating I learned Friday evening at the Kearny Public Library: Never ask a ghost, “When did you die?” This is because some ghosts do not know they’re dead.

This bit of advice was garnered during an interview with L’Aura Hladik, author, researcher and founder of the New Jersey Ghost Hunters Society (NJGHS), who was at the library for a pre-Halloween program on hauntings.

I had asked Hladik for some ghost-hunting tips because, as much as I would like to, I have never encountered a ghost. At least, to my knowledge. (Sometimes I wonder if people I shared NYC subway cars with late at night were actually among the living.)

I have friends, people not given to flights of fancy, who claim to have seen a spirit, and others who have reported inexplicable experiences, such as feeling a cold breeze sweep over them in a shuttered room. But for me, zilch.

It is now my intention to visit some of the reputedly haunted places in New York and New Jersey that Hladik described in her lecture.

I had hoped to start with the Bridge Cafe on Water St. in Manhattan, but apparently it has been closed since being flooded by Superstorm Sandy. (If you have info to the contrary, let me know.) My choice of the Bridge, which first opened in 1794, has more to do with a weird coincidence than anything else.

Last Thursday, I was thumbing through Herbert Asbury’s “The Gangs of New York,” and my attention was caught by the story of Gallus Mag, a female bouncer at a waterfront dive called the Hole-in-the-Wall in the early 1800s. Standing well over 6-feet tall, Mag preferred dealing with unruly customers by hitting them with a bludgeon and then biting off an ear. On the bar, she kept a large pickle jar filled with ears.

Guess what the Hole-in-the- Wall’s name is now? On Friday, as Hladik gave the history of the Bridge Cafe, she retold the tale of Gallus Mag, and that was creepy. I mean, what were the odds that I’d “meet” the same obscure character twice in 24 hours? According to Asbury, the city police, who could be a pretty vicious bunch themselves back then, “shudderingly described her as the most savage female they’d ever encountered.” I suspect we might,be related.

During her library lecture, Hladik introduced the audience to a number of haunted places that are among those described in her books, “Ghosthunting New Jersey” and “Ghosthunting New York City,” both part of the “America’s Haunted Road Trip” series.

Here in N.J., you’ve got the Burlington County Prison Museum in Mt. Holly, which is worth seeing not only for possible ghosts but for its “Dungeon.” Despite its name, this cell where those awaiting execution were held is not in the basement but on the second story. That’s because some smart warden decided that if a condemned man somehow managed to sneak a digging tool into the cell and dug through the floor, he’d just end up on the ground floor, not outside.

There is also the Stanhope House, a former Sussex County stagecoach stop, which is home to several spirits, and the old (not the current) Bernardsville Library, which had been a tavern in the 1770s, during which time an unfortunate lass discovered the body of her murdered fiance in a back room and now can occasionally be heard screaming as she “relives” the experience.

New York City haunts include the Manhattan Bistro on Spring St. in Soho, where another unfortunate brideto- be was herself murdered, by her fiance, and her body hidden in a well, which still stands in the basement; the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights, which features a haunted clock; the 1832 Old Merchant’s House on E. Fourth St., described as Manhattan’s “most haunted” house; and Hart Island, off the Bronx, which is the city’s potter’s field, home to 800,000 dead, and open to the public only one day a year, Ascension Thursday, when a Mass is offered there for the souls of the departed.

But it was a New Jersey site, the Spy House in Port Monmouth, that launched Hladik’s ghost-hunting career in 1992. It is listed as the No. 1 most-haunted building on the Eastern Seaboard and No. 5 in the entire U.S., she said.

Hladik was on a guided tour of the 1648 building, walking up a staircase filled with other visitors, when she felt as if someone had punched her– hard. So hard, she thought she was going to be sick.

Her companion, who had witnessed no punching, got her out of the crowd, and later, talking to a psychic on site, she was told that what she had felt was probably the presence of a British redcoat patrolling the stairwell. “The punch I felt,” Hladik said, “was the flash of his energy” passing through her.

Hladik began to study ghost hunting and honed her skills and, in 1998, founded the New Jersey Ghost Hunting Society, which trains people how to hunt spirits. For just $25, you can become a lifetime (or beyond) member. Full information available at NJGHS.net.

Another bit of info Hladik shared about spirit encounters: Often, in a haunted place, a scent will briefly be smelled. Examples: cigar smoke, pipe smoke, perfume, lavender, etc. Even when there isn’t a cigar, pipe, perfume bottle or lavender bush within miles.

Such paranormal smells, she said, are evident only briefly, “just long enough for you to recognize what it is, and then it’s gone.”

So, I suggest you not go ghost hunting if you’ve got a stuffy nose.

I’d write more, but — sniff, sniff — I think I smell White Castle cheeseburgers.

Goodwill aiding jobless at new center

Photos courtesy Goodwill Industries Staff and guests from various agencies gather at last Wednesday ’s ribboncutting ceremony for new Goodwill Industries job counseling center in Harrison.

Photos courtesy Goodwill Industries
Staff and guests from various agencies gather at last Wednesday ’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for new Goodwill Industries job counseling center in Harrison.



In response to a still sluggish job market, Goodwill Industries of Greater NY and Northern NJ Inc. has opened a Career Counseling and Learning Center at its Harrison headquarters, 400 Supor Blvd., second floor.

The center is being financed with a grant from the BNY Mellon Foundation.

The facility will offer free career guidance and online computer training to individuals who are jobless, looking for a job, want to re-enter the job market or advance in their existing career.

Those seeking assistance are invited to register by calling 973-481-2300 or email CCLC@goodwillnynj.org.

William J. Forrester, president and CEO of the New York-New Jersey Goodwill, said: “We are grateful for this award from BNY Mellon Foundation and for this partnership that will support New Jersey residents.”

The center’s hours of operation will be: Monday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday, 2 to 7 p.m.; and Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Services include: online learning for typing and Office suite, resume building, interview preparation, oneon- one career counseling, career development workshops, effective job search skills, networking technique and using social media for job search.

–Ron Leir

Kearny lad celebrates his prized pooch

Left photo courtesy Monica Koby; right photo courtesy Highlights for Children Gabriel Koby and Bolt at home (l.) and an advance look at next month’s Highlights cover page that includes Gabriel’s drawing of Bolt.

Left photo courtesy Monica Koby; right photo courtesy Highlights for Children
Gabriel Koby and Bolt at home (l.) and an advance look at next month’s Highlights cover page that includes Gabriel’s drawing of Bolt.


By Anthony Coelho

Observer Intern

Highlights for Children, a popular children’s magazine that has been circulating since 1946, will be publishing a drawing by 8-year old Gabriel Koby of Roosevelt School in Kearny in its November 2013 issue.

Annually, Highlights receives more than 35,000 submissions from their readers worldwide. The company selects boys and girls of all ages and showcases a sample of their work, hoping to cultivate children’s creativity. With their motto being, “Fun with a Purpose,” Highlights has devoted itself to being the average child’s favorite magazine. The magazine recently celebrated the printing of their one-billionth copy.

After reviewing children’s responses, Monica, Gabriel’s mother, decided to submit a drawing of his that depicted his Maltese dog named Bolt. The drawing was sent by mail last summer.

Months later, Monica received an e-mail congratulating Gabriel on his placement in the “What Are You Thankful For” section of the magazine. His drawing will also be featured on the front cover of the November issue.

“We’re so excited for him! He’s always writing papers and drawing pictures of Bolt,” said Monica. “We plan on sending more drawings to Highlights in the future, too.”

Monica—who is a professional Brazilian jazz singer— drew a lot as a little girl. She and Bolt remain Gabriel’s biggest inspirations in what he does.

“I’ve always encouraged Gabriel to draw and do arts and crafts,” Monica said. “As a matter of fact, we have a room dedicated to arts and crafts. We even create things from recycled materials.”

When Gabriel isn’t drawing or coloring, he enjoys playing Baseball for the Brady, Brady & Reilly recreational baseball team. He also spends much of his time playing soccer, and videogames such as Minecraft and World of Blocks.

With dreams of attending Yale and becoming a video game designer when he grows up, Gabriel seems to have a lot on his plate for the average 8-year old. Despite that, he still manages to pull it off with no problem.

To honor those who served


Photo by Ron Leir Commissioner Steven Rogers (c.), Courtney Johnson (l.) and Dan Jacoby display Nutley’s WWII veterans medal.

Photo by Ron Leir
Commissioner Steven Rogers (c.), Courtney Johnson (l.) and Dan Jacoby display Nutley’s WWII veterans medal.


By Ron Leir

Observer Correspondent


Medals will be given to veterans, a Civil War battle will be reenacted and a film about doctors on the battlefields will be screened.

And it will all be part of what Public Affairs Commissioner Steven Rogers is calling the “first annual Nutley Veterans Day Celebration,” slated for Sunday, Nov. 10.

The public is invited to the event, which will run from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at the historic Kingsland Manor, 3 Kingsland St. Visitors are also welcome to tour the manor building during that time.

“It is an honor to work with Dorothy Greengrove, president of the Historic Restoration Trust of Nutley, and her staff on such an important day,” Rogers said. “Our department has a great partnership with the Kingsland Manor.”

A highlight of the day’s events will happen at 2 p.m. when Rogers will present Distinguished Service Medals from his department to World War II veterans who live in the township. Rogers credited Henry DelTosto, president of the Nutley Veterans Council, with coming up with the idea for a township-issued medal.

Rogers said he consulted with his executive assistant Courtney Johnson, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq, and DelTosto to fine-tune a design for the Nutley medal, inscribed with the words, “Honoring veterans who proudly served Nutley,” on the front and an image of an eagle – the national bird – on the reverse.

Each medal is attached to a ribbon with a pattern of maroon and gray (reflecting the Maroon Raiders school uniform colors) that each veteran can wear around his or her neck.

K&K Trophy Mart of Lyndhurst is providing the medals at $6 each, Rogers said.

As of last week, the Public Affairs Department’s Military & Veterans Affairs Bureau had identified 15 residents who served during WW II, according to Johnson. A survey of township residents many months ago turned up more than 900 local veterans – of whom 30 were listed as WWII veterans – but since then, some have relocated and others have passed away, Johnson said.

While the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs does periodically present its own Distinguished Service citations to servicemen and women, Rogers said that the intent here was to recognize local veterans, not only for their military contributions, but also for their service to fellow veterans and the community at large at home.

“Those are things not listed by the military in their citations,” Rogers said. “We want to recognize their service to Nutley.”

In giving these medals, Rogers said that the township didn’t require any prior authorization from state or federal military authorities “because we’re the ones issuing them.”

“We give medals to athletes and other people for distinguished service,” Rogers added. “I think it’s good to add veterans. And I’ll be presenting them on behalf of the people of Nutley.”

Veterans of WWII are being singled out for this honor now, in light of the fact that the nation is losing more and more servicemen and women of that era every year, Rogers said. In fact, The National WWII Museum, based in New Orleans, reckons that, “By 2036 … there will be no living veterans of World War II left ….”

Photo by Ron Leir An upclose view of the Nutley medal.

Photo by Ron Leir
An upclose view of the Nutley medal.


In future years, Rogers said, the hope is to honor veterans of other wars with similar medals.

But in the meantime, as another facet of the Nov. 10 celebration, the Nutley Veterans Council will present its annual “Veteran of the Year” award to lifelong Nutley resident Dan Marese, a World War II veteran who serves as deputy director of the local Military and Veterans Affairs Bureau. He’s also a township health investigator.

Marese, who was a mason and longtime employee of Essex Chemical as a civilian, has been an active volunteer, locally and around the state, particularly on behalf of special children and adults. He helped lead the Amvets drive for funds dedicated to the refurbishment of Nutley’s WWII monument and all other local war monuments. He’s also coached Nutley Little League Football and served with the Old Guard, VFW, AARP, Third Half Club and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

Currently, Marese has been leading fundraising efforts on behalf of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for youngsters with cancer and other diseases. His granddaughter is a St. Jude survivor.

As for the activities centered in and around the Kingsland Manor, which dates from the late 1700s, Greengrove said the manor will host the continuous playing of a documentary film, “Patriots to Heroes,” focusing on the role played by physicians in various wars involving U.S. troops.

Greengrove said the film is being loaned to the Kingsland Trust by Dr. Ligaya Prystowsky, a local ophthalmologist with a keen interest in medical history.

Also, for military history enthusiasts, members of the 2nd Rhode Island Infantry, Company B will undertake a reenactment of a battle that occurred in the War Between the States and will also display some period armaments.

The Trust will provide tours of the manor, a brownstone center hall colonial. According to the Trust website, the original property reportedly dates from the 1600s and was acquired in the 1790s by its namesake, Joseph Kingsland, who enlarged it to accommodate a family of 11 and servants by providing “17 rooms, 2 kitchens, ballroom, slave prison, slaughter house, smoke house and underground Indian raid cellar,” among other things.

Kingsland, a Tory with strong loyalties to the King, left the New World for Nova Scotia where he stayed until the end of the Revolutionary War when he re-settled in New York where he ran a lumber yard and harvested the forests of New Jersey along the Third River, shipping the timber on sloops down the Passaic River.

In 1918, the Nutley property was acquired by the McGinity family. Daniel McGinity, a fight promoter, used the property as a training camp for boxers like three-division champion Bob Fitzsimmons. Dan’s son Bernard “Bus” ran a speakeasy in the manor’s basement during Prohibition, then as a legal club until the license was revoked, then as a convalescent home.

After a sheriff’s sale in 1938, the manor passed through various owners until 1973 when the township used a Green Acres grant to buy it and formed the Trust which, aided by detailed drawings by architects hired by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior in 1935, undertook extensive renovations of the building, including relocating dormers, rebuilding chimneys, repairing the roof, replacing doors and windows, repointing stone work, landscaping and restoring brick walkways.

And the building’s interior was made into a museum, restoring the kitchen’s old fireplace and beehive oven and pot warmer; refinishing a dining room fireplace; removing modern paneling and replastering walls and ceiling in the dining room; rediscovering and preserving silhouettes painted by Bus McGinity depicting the life of George Washington and recreating the Kingsland mill office with family memorabilia; refurbishing the ballroom with its working Mason Hamilton organ circa 1904 and square grand piano; and restoring upstairs bedrooms, installing an exhibition of Kingsland family artifacts.