This week’s e-Edition and classifieds are now posted. We apologize for the delay.
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent KEARNY – Take away the “acting” title: the Kearny Board of Education has formally installed Patricia Blood as its official superintendent of schools. The board took the action at a special meeting held last Thursday night at the Lincoln School. The vote was […]
By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent KEARNY – On May 27, 1922, an estimated 25,000 people gathered in the streets around the small park where Kearny Ave. and Beech St. meet, to witness Gen. John J. Pershing personally dedicate the towering granite monument honoring the Kearny men who died […]
A photo (above) of the suspect van was released Nov. 19 by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. NUTLEY – Nutley police are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating the motor vehicle that struck and killed a 77-year-old woman on Centre St. on […]
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent HARRISON – At Washington Middle School in Harrison, nearly 75% of the more than 400 enrolled are just as busy with school-related projects after 3 p.m. as they are during their regular day of classes. And that’s partly by design of the school […]
At 9 a.m., Officer Jay Ward was on patrol on Schuyler Ave. when he found a vehicle stopped in the road near Dukes St. with the motor running and the driver apparently asleep at the wheel. Police said Ward awakened him, the man went back to sleep, Ward awakened him again and conducted field sobriety tests, and Jonathan Duenas, 20, of North Arlington, was charged with DWI and reckless driving.
Pursuant to an investigation into the sale of marijuana, the Vice Unit executed a search warrant at 4:30 p.m. at a home near Woodland Ave. and Chestnut St. The officers reportedly found 13 plastic bags of suspected pot packaged for sale, a ledger book listing customers and money owed, a digital scale and $976 in cash. Kearny resident Janet Sobota, 43, was charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute, and intent to distribute in a school zone and a park zone.
Officer Chris Levchak, responding to a 9:20 p.m. report of a dispute at Kearny Ave. and Afton St., was flagged down by a group of juveniles who said that a man leaning against a nearby car had nearly run them down. Police said the man was swaying, had a strong odor of alcohol and admitted he had been involved in an altercation with the youths. Levchak conducted field sobriety tests, and Mahendra Sawh, 63, of Kearny was taken to headquarters and charged with DWI. Police said he also had two outstanding warrants from Newark.
At 5 p.m., at Kearny and Pavonia Aves., Officer Brian Wisely spotted a man who he was aware was the subject of outstanding warrants. After confirming these, Wisely arrested 43-year-old John Duffy, who was wanted by Kearny and Woodbridge.
Officer Wisely, checking the parking garage at Bergen Ave. and Elm St. at 7:30 p.m., saw two individuals — known to him from what police called “numerous past encounters” — running from the premises. After a foot pursuit, he overtook one, Brandon Tice, 19, of Elizabeth, who was charged with defiant trespass and resisting arrest. Police said Tice was also wanted on a disorderly- conduct warrant out of Seaside Heights.
Wisely had recognized the second runner as Scott Huaman, 23, of Kearny, who later conveniently phoned HQ to ask if he could come in and pick up a cell phone he had dropped, police said. When he arrived, he was arrested on charges of defiant trespass and resisting arrest.
Officer Pat Becker responded to the report of a suspicious person at Morgan Place and Bennett Ave. at 9:30 p.m. Becker, along with backup officers Giovanni Rodriguez and Chris Medina, searched the area, and a suspect fitting the description was found at Stuyvesant and Kearny Aves. Detained for questioning and checked for warrants, 41-yearold North Arlington resident Richard McKoy was found to be wanted by Jersey City, police said.
At 4:30 p.m., on Devon St. near West Hudson Park, Officer John Fabula encountered Arthur Smith, 49, who has no known address but was known to have warrants. After confirming that there were four issued by Harrison, Fabula held him at the scene and turned him over to Harrison police.
– Karen Zautyk
By Anthony Coelho
Last Wednesday, Bloomfield Public Library hosted a welcome reception for their newly appointed director, Adele Puccio. Residents enjoyed baked goods and other refreshments and some one-on-one time with Puccio in a comfortable setting.
Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Puccio moved to Bayonne after attending Rutgers University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English in 1992, and her Master of Library Sciences in 1994. She then went on to work several librarian jobs in South River, Woodbridge, and Hoboken from 1994 to 2005.
Puccio is no stranger to the director’s position, or the town of Bloomfield. She worked as the supervising librarian for Bloomfield Public Library from May 2005 to January 2010, before being hired as director at Rose Memorial Library in Stony Point, N.Y.
After an 18-month stay in Stony Point, Puccio then took on the job of director for the Caldwell Public Library.
“I was very much involved with the community of Caldwell,” Puccio said, “developing programs with the local college as well as after-school programs for the elementary schools, too.”
Puccio—who is now making $85,000 annually as Bloomfield Public Library’s new director—is focused on bringing a handful of changes to the table that would further benefit the library’s current state. “I want to organize a foundation that will financially support the library with fundraisers, and establish a strong partnership with Bloomfield College,” Puccio said. “I also want to work on developing and expanding the staff.” The library recently suffered a series of layoffs in 2012, as a result of a budget crunch. Puccio hopes to acquire capital funding that would be applied to the repair of two library buildings that date back to 1920 and 1960 (which suffer from roof damage, HVAC system failure, and a broken elevator).
“It would be extremely beneficial, not only for the library, but for the community as a whole,” Puccio said.
Puccio hopes to settle in as as director at Bloomfield Public Library for the duration. With her new approach, familiarity with the area, and plethora of experience, she seems to be the perfect fit.
“Bloomfield feels like home and I’m really glad to be back. I don’t see myself relocating anywhere else, anytime soon.”
A township man stands accused of stealing jewelry from a neighbor’s apartment.
Shane Beddard, 38, was arrested last Tuesday, Oct. 1, on charges of burglary, theft and possession of burglar tools.
Police gave this account of the incident that led to the collar:
On Monday, Sept. 30, police were called to the 400 block of Fern Ave. on a report of a residential burglary within a multi-family dwelling where officers interviewed a 53-yearold woman who told them that when she came home, she found a man whom she recognized as a neighbor, standing in her kitchen.
When she asked him what he was doing there, the man reportedly told her he had chased an intruder out of her apartment. When the woman informed him she was going to call the police, the man ran from the apartment.
Acting on the suspicion that the man had retreated to his second-floor apartment, responding officers set up a perimeter around the building and then conducted a search, to no avail, police said.
By the following day, however, police said Det. Lt. Patrick Devlin and Det. Vincent Auteri had tracked the suspect – who police identified as Beddard – to a location in Belleville where he was taken into custody.
Police said the woman who’d found Beddard in her apartment told them that $3,700 worth of jewelry was missing and detectives later tracked the missing gems to a New York City pawn shop where the stuff had already been melted down.
Beddard was ordered held at Bergen County Jail after he was unable to make $15,000 cash only bail.
In other incidents logged by Lyndhurst P.D. during the past week:
At 7:16 p.m., police were called to the 300 block of Watson Ave. where the 19-yearold Lyndhurst owner of a 2001 Chevrolet pickup truck reported that someone had entered his vehicle while it was parked in that location and removed his wallet containing his license and credits. Police said the vehicle had been left unlocked.
At 6:15 p.m., police received a report from a 47-year-old Lyndhurst resident that someone had taken a portable DVD player from his 2011 Mazda while it was parked in the 100 block of Summit Ave. The owner told police he may have left the car unlocked.
At 3:10 p.m., police issued a summons to Gayle Racanati, 52, of Rutherford, charging her with shoplifting. Police said Racanati had been detained by store security at the ShopRite on New York Ave. after the woman had allegedly tried to walk out the store with various items she had concealed in a ShopRite bag without paying.
At 9:52 p.m., police approached a man loitering around some parked cars in the 700 block of Second Ave. and asked him what he was doing there. The man told them he was waiting for someone. Becoming suspicious of his account, police searched the man and found a hypodermic needle and eight tablets of amitriptyline. The man, identified as Ronald Kaduscwicz, 34, of Kearny, was charged with possession of a hypo and possession of prescription legend drugs.
At 3:13 p.m., police responded to the parking lot of the Kings Court health club on Riverside Ave. where the 68-year-old Paterson owner of a 2005 Honda told them that someone had removed $250 in cash, a cellular phone and his wallet with a credit card from the center console. He told police he’d left the car locked but police said they found no sign of forced entry.
At 10:53 a.m., police responded to the grounds of Lyndhurst High School on a report that someone was sick. Upon arrival, police said they found two individuals being treated by Lyndhurst EMS personnel. One told officers they had been “huffing” fumes from a dust removal spray can. Police charged Endeavor Warrick, 19, and his 14-year-old companion, both of Lyndhurst, with being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance.
Both Kardinal doubles teams win Hudson County championships
By Jim Hague
Observer Sports Writer
Perhaps the toughest aspect of the game of tennis is playing doubles. With a singles player, you just grab your racket, take to the court and go.
In doubles, there are a lot of factors to consider. There’s teamwork, camaraderie and togetherness. There’s timing and chemistry. There’s communication at the highest level.
“It takes patience,” said Kearny High School head girls’ tennis coach Amy Lasker. “You need someone who is a good listener, someone who is trustworthy. It takes a lot of teamwork and trust in each other. It’s one of the most difficult positions to be in tennis.”
There’s also the strategy behind pairing one player with another. For example, on the Kearny team this year, sophomore Mallory McBride and junior Jessica Martinez were first-year members with the varsity. Both girls had to find their own bearings before worrying about the proper pairing for doubles.
“I think the key is being supportive of each other,” McBride said. “We also worked hard.”
“Honestly, there was a little bit of doubt whether we could do it,” Martinez said. “We didn’t know each other well, so we didn’t know if it would work out.”
But Lasker saw something in her doubles teams.
Lasker paired senior returnee Gabriella Robles with Martinez for the first doubles team and then placed senior Monica Shenoda with McBride for second doubles.
The strategy worked out brilliantly, as both Kearny doubles teams won their respective flight in the recent Hudson County Tournament championships. It was the first time ever that Kearny won both doubles county titles.
“They all had great teamwork,” Lasker said. “I think it helped that there was a senior with the younger girls to help with their confidence. Gabriella has a champion’s attitude. She doesn’t like to lose and she’s always working. Jessica has the same attitude, so it’s good that they’re together. They work well together.
Added Lasker, “Monica and Mallory are both a little softspoken and less emotional, so it’s good that they’re together. They’re both a little more strategy oriented.”
It also helps that the Kardinals have had incredible success this fall. They are currently undefeated in dual matches, winning all nine of their contests.
“They all have a little bit of confidence now, playing together,” Lasker said.
The Kardinals just defeated Belleville, 4-1, in the opening round of the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group IV state playoffs and will now face Ridgewood in the second round. By virtue of that undefeated 9-0 team mark, the Kardinals were the No. 6 seed in the bracket.
“It’s the highest seed Kearny ever received,” Lasker said.
First singles player Valeria Siquenza qualified for the NJSIAA state tournament in first singles.
So it’s been a great year all around, capped by the two doubles teams winning county crowns.
“It feels really good,” said Shenoda, who attends High Tech in North Bergen and has to shuttle back and forth in order to play tennis in her home school district. “Going into the season, I think some of us were a little hesitant, but now that we’ve won, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Shenoda was asked what it was like to worry about getting from North Bergen to Kearny in time to practice and play in matches.
“Sometimes, it gets pretty hard,” Shenoda said. “I have to leave school early in order to get to Kearny in time for a match. But I love this sport and I love this team. I wouldn’t want to play with anyone else other than the girls from Kearny.”
Martinez knows what the most important aspect is of being a successful doubles partner.
“Communication is the key,” Martinez said. “You really have to be able to get along. It’s all set in now that we won, set in, but in a good way.”
Shenoda believes that the county title is the culmination of a lot of effort.
“This is something I’ve wanted for a long time,” Shenoda said. “It’s our biggest goal and it’s still a little hard to believe that we did it.”
“It took a lot of hard work to get here,” Robles said. “We all became friends on and off the court. I think that helps. We were all very positive and I’m very proud of that.”
The Kearny girls had reason to be proud. They achieved a slice of history, both earning county championships at the same time.
Lasker said that there’s another reason for the girls to be proud.
“A lot of them never played tennis before high school,” Lasker said. “I think it shows that hard work and determination can pay off. They’re all finally seen by everyone as being successful.”
Not just successful – but successful Hudson County champions.
The Disabled American Veterans Mobile Service Office will provide free counseling and claim filing assistance to all veterans and their families at the DAV Belleville Nutley Chapter 22, 612 Mill St., on Wednesday, Oct. 9, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, contact Nicholas Bernardi at 973-297-3378.
Belleville Elks Lodge, 254 Washington Ave., hosts its monthly breakfast on Sunday, Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. to noon. Cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children under age 12. Children under age 3 are admitted free. Breakfasts are held the third Sunday of every month.
High School bands, motorcycle clubs and all civic associations interested in participating in Belleville’s Veterans Day Parade are invited to contact Bill Steimel at 973- 759-4692. The parade is set for Sunday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m.
The Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade kicks off Sunday, Oct. 13, at 1:30 p.m., starting at Belleville High School and proceeding down Joralemon St. to Franklin Ave. The parade will be led by Grand Marshal Pasquale Megaro Jr. For more information or to participate, call Frank Russo at 973-941-3543 or e-mail email@example.com.
Bring your clean, gently used Halloween costumes to Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., to receive a ticket for a costume swap (one swap ticket per child). Bring your tickets to the library to choose a costume from 2 to 5 p.m. on Oct. 19. No costume to donate? You can select a costume from 4 to 5 p.m. for a donation of $3. Leftover costumes are donated to Goodwill. For more information, call 973-566-6200, ext. 507.
The library announces the following schedule for its Monday and Thursday Afternoon at the Movies:
– Thursdays: Oct. 10: “Hangover Square” (Laird Cregar); Oct. 17: “Absolute Power” (R) (Clint Eastwood), Oct. 24: “Roxie Hart” (Ginger Rogers); and Oct. 31: “Dracula” (NR) (Bela Lugosi).
— Mondays: Oct. 14: Library closed for Columbus Day; Oct. 21: “Arabesque” (NR) (Gregory Peck); and Oct. 28: “My Gal Sal” (NR) (Victor Mature).
Films for both programs start at 12:15 p.m. Admission is free.
The Senior Club of East Newark meets Oct. 9 at 1 p.m. at the East Newark Senior Center, 37 President St. Membership is open to ages 55 and over.
Harrison American Legion hosts its 75th anniversary celebration and awards dinner on Nov. 9 at the Harrison-East Newark Elks, 406 Harrison Ave. Mayor Raymond McDonough, Elks Exalted Ruler Larry Bennett and Councilman Victor Villalta will be feted for the work they do for veterans. For information or reservations, call Ed Marshman at 201-998-0662.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 7, hosts a Scotch Whiskey Tasting Fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Irish- American Association, 95 Kearny Ave., featuring Peter O’Connor, of Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue.” Tickets are $40 per person. Mail reservations and payments to: AOH Division 7, 227 Highland Ave, 1st Floor, Kearny, N.J. 07032. Proceeds benefit the AOH scholarship fund. For more information visit: aohdiv7hudson@gmail. com or call 201-889-5930.
St. Stephen’s Seniors announce the following events:
• A membership meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 15, in Hedges Hall, 141 Washington Ave., at 1 p.m. A board meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. Membership is open to anyone age 50 and older.
• A trip to New England is set for Oct. 20-24.
For more information, call Tom at 201-998-8258. For trip information call Joan at 998- 3578, for A.C. call Peg at 201- 998-9443 and for condolences call Vicki at 201-991-8345.
Kearny High School’s Class of 1964 celebrates its 50th reunion on Oct. 14 at the White Sands Hotel, Point Pleasant Beach. For more information, contact Richard Pachucki at Kearnygrad1964@gmal.com.
Visit the Kearny Fire Department, 109 Midland Ave., on Oct. 13, from noon to 4 p.m. for Fire Prevention Week. Come see the apparatus and meet the firefighters. This event includes demonstrations, free handouts, education, smoke detectors and light refreshments.
Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., will hold a book sale on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donated and discarded hardcover and paperback books will be available for a quarter each or 5 for $1.
West Hudson Christian Center, 557 Kearny Ave, hosts the following:
• Donations for a women’s and children’s clothing drive will be accepted at the church at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and at 10 a.m. on Sundays. Donations will be available to the community for free on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call 201-997-7762 or visit whccag.org.
• Auditions for a Christmas play will be held Saturday, Oct. 12, at 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 13, at 10:30 a.m., for ages 5 to 12. Practices will be Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. in October and November. The play will be presented on the second weekend in December. For more information, e-mail the church at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave., sponsors the following children’s programs:
• Fit4Kids Anti-Bullying Show: Muscle Man Mike and his Super Hero Friends present a discussion on strategies to prevent bullying, for ages 3 to 10, on Friday, Oct. 25, at 4 p.m. Registration is required.
• Halloween Craft: Kids in grades 1 to 4 are invited to make a witch’s cauldron on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Registration is required. • Halloween Parade: Children in grades pre-k to 3 can wear their costume and collect treats on Thursday, Oct. 31, at 3:30 p.m. Registration is required.
• “Street Smart”: A new class added as part of the adult ESL program reviews managing banking, expenses, and dealing with different types of vendors begins Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Space is limited and registration is necessary. To register, call the library at 201-804-2478, ext. 7, or e-mail email@example.com.
The Woman’s Club of Lyndhurst and the Giving Tree co-host a Tricky Tray for children on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 1 p.m., at the Senior Building, 250 Cleveland Ave. The cost is $5. Doors open at noon. Refreshments will be served. For tickets, call Janet Ricigliano. For more information on becoming a member, call Marilyn Falcone at 201-933- 6459.
A free two-hour Third- Tuesday-of-the Month Walk with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and Bergen County Audubon Society is set for Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m. at Losen Slote Creek Park in Little Ferry. Participants must sign a standard liability release. To R.S.V.P., contact Don Torino of the BCAS at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201- 230-4983.
Adoniram Lodge 80, F&AM, 321 Second Ave., hosts an open house on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call the Masonic Temple at 201-438-2662 or David Ramirez at 201-456-4343.
The North Arlington Woman’s Club hosts a pasta night on Oct. 25, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Senior Citizens Center, 10 Beaver Ave. (behind the Health Department). Cost is $12 for adults and $6 for children under age 12. For tickets, call 201-997-8915.
The Rosary Society of Queen of Peace Parish, North Arlington, sponsors a Tricky Tray and luncheon, Saturday, Oct. 19, from noon to 4 p.m., at San Carlo Fine Caterers, 620 Stuyvesant Ave., Lyndhurst, for ages 18 and older only. Admission is $40 per person.
For tickets, call Carol at 201-991-6454 or Pegeen at 201- 246-1030.
The North Arlington Senior Activity Center, 11 York Rd., hosts a Halloween party on Friday, Oct. 25, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For information and reservations, call 201-998- 5636.
The North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Rd., offers these events:
• Story Time for ages 2 to 5 is held every Wednesday at 11:45 a.m.
• Halloween Craft for grades K to 5, sponsored by the NA Women’s Club, will be held Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 6:30 p.m.
• Bedtime Story Time for ages 4 to 6 is held Thursdays, Oct. 10 and 17, at 6 p.m.
• Spooky Spectacular Workshop for grades K to 5 is slated for Thursday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m. Mad Science presents bubbling potions, wicked brews, and really cool special effects. To pre-register, call 201-955-5640, ext. 126.
• Origami Club for grades 4 and up meets on Friday, Oct. 18, at 3:30 p.m.
The Ironbound Irish-American Association presents “Finnegan’s Wake” on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 194 River Rd., North Arlington, from 7 to 11 p.m. The Michael Byrnes Band is featured. The cost is $45 per person. For tickets, call Ted Edwards at 201-628- 2069 and 973-900-3160 or Mike Batty at 201-317-6200.
Nutley residents can safely discard unused prescription medication by bringing it to Nutley Police Headquarters, 228 Chestnut St., on Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., during the Nutley Police Department’s “Operation Take Back.”
By Jim Hague
Observer Sports Writer
Lyndhurst High School boys’ soccer coach Rob Kost is trying to find some continuity with his team. It’s not easy.
“We’ve had our share of injuries and red cards,” Kost said. “It’s tough to compete without a full team. We’re maneuvering a lot. I’m impressed with the effort.”
Recently, Kost added a freshman to the lineup and Doug DaSilva has provided a bit of a boost.
“It seemed as if he lit a fire under everyone,” Kost said of DaSilva. “I think that’s the spark we needed to get going.”
DaSilva scored a goal and added an assist in his varsity debut.
“It’s just what we needed,” said Kost, whose team now has a 4-5 record this season. “He was all over the field. Being shorthanded, we didn’t have much up top, but we’ve definitely evolved since we put him in.”
The Golden Bears’ goalkeeper is senior Matt Lemke, who Kost called “the emotional leader of the team.”
Lemke missed some time at the beginning of the season due to a sprained ankle, but he’s returned to maintain stability in goal.
Kost has been juggling players at the sweeper position, using players like versatile senior Giuseppe Pollicino and sophomore Andrew Cosman at the spot.
“Giuseppe has been the backbone and solidifies the back, so we move him around,” Kost said.
The stopper is senior Erik Marulanda, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, but has returned this season entirely healthy.
“Getting him back was a big help to us,” Kost said.
The other defenders are seniors Danny Zerboni and Devin O’Donovan and promising sophomore Montana Thungasson.
Senior Anthony Cardaci, who started last year as the Golden Bears’ goalkeeper, then moved to midfield, has returned to his midfield slot. Cardaci gives Kost the option of playing him in either spot. Cardaci has scored two goals this season.
Another key midfielder is senior Anthony Giaquinto, who only played two games last year due to an injury.
“We’re so glad to have him back,” Kost said of Giaquinto. “He’s doing great. It’s been a pleasure to have him. He’s one of our most skillful players. He always comes determined to play.”
Senior Michael Polito, who also is a fine basketball player in the winter months, is another key contributor from his midfield slot. Sophomore Giovanni Arcelentas is making major strides as a member of the Lyndhurst midfield.
Seniors Matt Lima and Matt Stevens and junior Edgar Bravo are forwards in the Golden Bears’ lineup, joined now by the addition of the energetic DaSilva.
Although the Golden Bears suffered a tough one-sided loss to North Arlington and high-scoring Danny Cordeiro last week, Kost still feels that his team has perhaps turned the corner.
“I think we’re getting better,” Kost said. “Unfortunately, we got off to such a slow start, but now that we have some emotion and passion, we’re a totally different team. We played a strong game against Harrison (a 3-0 loss), so that helped us. For now, it’s all about building character. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we have in us. I’m hoping we can roll off a couple of wins.”
Kost knows what the Golden Bears have to do.
“We have to play our game,” Kost said. “We have to possess the ball better and mount a counter attack. We’re getting better.”
Luckily for the Golden Bears, the season is only half over. There is time for recovery – and thanks to the spirit of a freshman, Lyndhurst has apparently found that opportunity to be an improved team in the middle of the season.
By Jim Hague
Observer Sports Writer
Queen of Peace head football coach Robert Kearns has been around the game of football for more than three decades, including two tours of duty as the head coach of the Golden Griffins.
So it’s safe to say that Kearns has seen his fair share of games and players over the years.
And although Kearns has only been back at QP for a few months, he didn’t have to be there long to reap the praises of senior do-everything Kevin Momnohin.
“He’s the most sensational player I’ve seen in my 32 years of coaching,” Kearns said. “He just goes right to the top. He’s a coach’s dream. I’ve seen Knowshon Moreno (of the Denver Broncos) and Donald Brown (of the Indianapolis Colts) and he’s right there with them. You can’t teach what he has. He just has another gear. He’s able to cut and turn and once he gets his shoulders squared and going up field, watch out.”
In the Golden Griffins’ recent 49-37 victory over Becton Regional, there were a lot of people – especially the members of the Becton grid squad – who had a chance to watch out for Momnohin, who enjoyed one of the best all-around games in Bergen County high school football history.
Try these numbers on for size.
Momnohin carried the ball 24 times and collected an astounding 322 yards and scored four touchdowns. He also caught eight of quarterback Anthony Villano’s passes for an additional 152 yards and two more touchdowns. Monmohin also scored twice on point after touchdown conversions, giving him 42 of the Golden Griffins’ 49 points. Between his rushing and receiving achievements, Momnohin combined to gain an unfathomable 474 yards of total offense on his own.
For good measure, Momnohin collected eight tackles on defense and sealed the victory with an interception.
Is there any doubt that Momnohin would be selected as The Observer Athlete of the Week for the past week?
Momnohin earns the distinction of being selected as Athlete of the Week for the third straight year, one of only a handful of athletes to be honored three times.
For good measure, Momnohin had 205 yards rushing, 102 yards receiving and four touchdowns in the Golden Griffins’ 37-30 win over neighboring rival St. Mary of Rutherford on Saturday, pushing the Golden Griffins’ record to 3-1. In four games this season, Momnohin has now scored 15 touchdowns.
After the Becton explosion, Momnohin said he was surprised to learn of the incredible totals he reached.
“To be honest, I didn’t know until the game was over,” Momnohin said. “I then said, ‘Wow, it was a big game for me.’”
A lot of people joined Momnohin in their astonishment.
“Well, it was definitely a career high,” Momnohin said, still laughing.
It was actually a Queen of Peace single game school rushing record.
“I said that during the game that it had to be a school record,” Kearns said. “I was actually getting tired watching him run. He just kept going and going. It was like he ran 17 miles in the game. It was almost like running a marathon. I told him that I understood if he was a little tired, but he stayed in there. ”
A year ago, Momnohin might have had a tough time staying around late in a game to set a school record. He battled a string of injuries and spent a good portion of last season on the sidelines nursing those injuries.
“It was definitely a goal this season,” Momnohin said. “I had to stay healthy. I spent a lot of time in the weight room to get stronger and to work on conditioning. I had to stay strong and I had to stay healthy.”
Momnohin said that he likes the idea he’s no longer just a running back, that he’s catching passes as well.
“I was a receiver before I became a running back,” Momnohin said, “I had to be convinced to accept the fact that I was a running back. But it definitely opens up things when teams try to key on me and it definitely does make me more of a double threat.”
What also makes Momnohin more dangerous are the players around him. His twin brother, Keith, is a fine back and receiver in his own right. Quarterback Villano has amassed more than 700 yards passing and eight touchdowns in the first four games. Fullback Tajier Jefferson has eclipsed the 100-yard plateau in each of the last two games.
“The biggest difference now is that we can spread the ball around,” Kearns said. “But Kevin is the one who makes everyone look good.”
“My brother, Tajier and Anthony can give me a break,” Momnohin said. “It’s opened things up for those guys to also make big plays.”
Incredibly, there was a point last summer where it looked as if the Momnohin brothers were not going to return to QP for their final year of high school. There was a change in football coaches, with Steve Romano leaving and Kearns returning. The Momnohins were almost headed to Orange High School.
“But I started at Queen of Peace and wanted to stay at Queen of Peace,” Momnohin said. “I wanted to finish what I started.”
Kearns just adores Momnohin – and deservedly so.
“I can’t stop talking about him,” Kearns said. “He’s just amazing. The biggest thing that stands out about him is his personality. He’s smiling all the time. When I look at him, he’s smiling and all he says is, ‘just give me the ball.’ He’s the kind of kid that a father would want for a son.”
“He said that about me?” Momnohin asked. “I’m speechless about that. For him to give me such a high compliment like that is amazing and means a lot.”
Although he’s collected more than 1,000 yards in total offense and scored 15 touchdowns in four games, Momnohin is still without any college offers. He also has the grades to qualify in college right away.
“I’m as amazed as anyone can be,” Momnohin said. “It’s kind of stressful that I haven’t been offered yet. But without a doubt, if I keep putting up numbers like I have been, I would imagine the scouts and recruiters will come. I’m going to go all out. It’s my last year and I’m out to impress the college coaches.”
Momnohin said that he still can’t believe what he did in the Becton game.
“I’ve watched the films and as I play it, it’s still shocking to me,” Momnohin said.
And as for being a Golden Griffin?
“I’m definitely glad I made the decision to stay,” said Momnohin, who plays basketball in the winter and runs track in the spring. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Hundreds of sellers registered for this year’s sale!
Shoppers take your mark! The 4th Annual Kearny Town- Wide Yard & Sidewalk Sale returns Saturday and Sunday, October 12 & 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. There is no rain date. Kearny is definitely the place to be that weekend when the town is once again transformed into a borderto- border bargain hunter’s paradise!
The Kearny Urban Enterprise Zone (KUEZ) is sponsoring and organizing the event. Hundreds of residential, business and other sellers (including the Library, West Hudson Arts & Theater Company, and several churches) have registered to host sales. Plenty of local KUEZ retailers and eateries are also ready with special sales and offers for what is expected to be a slew of shoppers setting their sights on Kearny!
“The idea has really taken hold as a community event, energizing the town and bringing lots of new faces into the our office inquiring about the sale,” said KUEZ coordinator John Peneda. According to Mayor Alberto Santos, “The Yard Sale has definitely proven to be a great way of attracting new visitors and shoppers to Kearny.”
“As in previous years, we are promoting the sale not only within Kearny, but also to surrounding communities including North Arlington, Harrison, Belleville, Nutley and other areas.
“Town-wide sales such as these have been tremendously successful in cities and towns throughout the state,” said Peneda. “However, we are proud to say we were the first UEZ to host an event of this type with such positive results. We are looking to capitalize on the success of previous years.”
“Residents have been calling to ask about the Sale for months now,” he added. “People really look forward to this event.”
Items for sale include children and adult clothing, furniture, electronics, housewares, home decor, tools, sports equipment, bikes, toys, jewelry, artwork, photography, vintage items, CDs, DVDs, books and more.
The Kearny Library Main Branch, (318 Kearny Avenue), and the new West Hudson Arts & Theater company (131 Midland Avenue) will also be participating in the Sale (both Saturday only).
“This year, we have even heard of neighborhoods coming together to create more excitement and sellers on their block to attract sellers,” said Peneda. One such example is on Terrace Place. One neighbor rallied several households on the street to join the sale. “There is more desire for shoppers to visit a neighborhood if they know they have more than one stop to shop,” explained resident Kelly Logue. Yard Sale Maps & Google Map Available The KUEZ has created a special Yard Sale map of both residential and retailer sale locations. It will be available in a special pull-out section in the October 8 edition of The Observer newspaper, as well as at several Kearny locations including Town Hall, the Library, and the KUEZ office after Oct. 9.
The map can also be downloaded after Oct. 10 from www.kearnynj.org. The mornings of the Sale (8 – 12 p.m.) the map will also be available at a special Yard Sale information table set up in front of Town Hall, 402 Kearny Avenue the mornings of the sale.
A Google map of the sellers, which will also include information on items for sale at the various locations, can be accessed AFTER Oct. 11 at http://goo.gl/5tfXOU
Peneda reminds residential participants to keep the sidewalks clear and safe for shoppers and passers by. The KUEZ also has provided a list of organizations and contacts which may be able to help with items not sold during the sale. St. Cecilia’s Church will pick up unsold items the day of the sale. Call 201-991-1116 for arrangements. Other organizations are:
Goodwill-Harrison, 973- 481-2300
The Salvation Army, 201- 991-1115
Vietnam Veterans of America, 1-800-775-VETS (8387) or www.vva.org.
“I invite everyone to enjoy the Town-Wide Yard Sale and to take the opportunity to discover all that Kearny has to offer,” said Mayor Santos.
Visit www.kearnynj.org for updates and information or call 201-955-7400 (x8041).
Traffic was virtually nonexistent on Kearny Ave. at Woodland Ave. when the (undated) photo at left was taken. Looking south toward Harrison, one can see only a handful of horses and buggies – and no cars. Which leads us to surmise that the picture dates anywhere from the 1890s to the 19-teens. As for the buildings, surprisingly little has changed. That’s the bell tower of recently closed Knox Presbyterian Church on the left. The building on that corner is still there, minus the awnings, and so are those across the street. The one on the right-hand corner though lost its conical crown – when, how and why are not known. The awning below advertises “Embalming,” which was a relatively new procedure in the U.S. It was not standard; funeral parlors offered it as a special service, and it was initially done in the home of the deceased. – Karen Zautyk (with special thanks to Kearny crossing guard Marian Payne who made sure Zautyk was not run over while standing in the middle of the street.)
More Creative Decorations
Another great idea for a porch decoration is to create a wicked witch using just a pumpkin and a few tools.
Grab yourself some green spray paint, a pumpkin, tempera paint and brushes, two marbles, a carving knife, a small set of nails, and glue.
Begin by coating the pumpkin in green spray paint. Once dried, apply facial features to the pumpkin with the tempera paint.
Next, carve out eye sockets and lodge the two marbles inside to form a set of glowing eyes. Break off the stem of the pumpkin and reattach it to the face with glue for a nose.
Once finished, fix the black wig in place with small nails, add a large cape, set the pumpkin accordingly and add the hat. You now have yourself a witch!
All you’ll need for this project is a plastic gallon container, a black permanent marker, a utility knife, and a set of 50 clear low-wattage holiday lights.
The rest is simple, all you need to do is draw ghost eyes and mouths on the jugs, (leave the cap on to avoid denting), and cut a hole in the back of the jugs to allow for the string of lights to be placed.
Once the hole is cut and the lights are placed and turned on, you now have yourself some spirit jugs!
For the shortbread:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
Put a rack in the center of the oven and heat it to 350 degrees. Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl and whisk in the sugar.
Cut the butter into chunks and add it to the flour, stirring with a fork to make a soft dough. Gently pat the dough into a 9-inch square-baking pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until it is golden and no longer looks at all wet. Set aside to cool while you make the caramel and chocolate topping.
For the caramel and chocolate:
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
5 tablespoons heavy cream
5 tablespoons salted butter, cubed
1 tablespoon crème fraiche
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
Maldon, grey or smoked sea salt
To make the caramel: Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, swirling occasionally until the sugar has melted but without stirring. Simmer for about 10 minutes, swirling the pot every once and a while, until the sugar turns a dark amber color. Do not let it get too dark, or it will taste burnt.
As soon as the sugar reaches the right color, remove it from the heat and carefully add the cream, whisking all the time (the mixture will bubble up as you do this, so use an oven mitt or a long-handled whisk). Whisk in the butter gradually and then the crème fraiche. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the caramel is cool enough to touch, pour it evenly over the shortbread, tipping the pan gently and tapping it on the counter to get rid of any bubbles. Put in the fridge to firm up a little.
To make the chocolate: When the caramel has firmed up a bit, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Off the heat, immediately whisk in the chocolate until smooth and shiny. Let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes, and then pour over the caramel, again tilting the pan and tapping it against the counter to smooth it out. Let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until the chocolate starts to firm up a little.
To finish, Sprinkle the top with salt and refrigerate until firm enough to cut into squares, at least 3 hours. Serve quickly, as the caramel will start to ooze quickly at room temperature. Serves 16.