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 […]
Last Tuesday, Oct. 14, happened to be the birthday of a woman visiting Harrison but it was marred by an unfortunate incident.
Police said the 61-year-old woman and her husband were walking west on Harrison Ave., at 2:53 p.m., when a man riding a bicycle passed the couple, then circled back and grabbed a gold chain from her neck while pushing the woman to the ground.
Police said the robber then ditched the bike and fled on foot on Harrison Ave.
Police said the robber, who was being chased by several men who had reportedly witnessed the incident, was described as an African-American, with long black dreadlocks, wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.
As the civilians pursued the suspect onto William St., Harrison Police Dets. Corey Karas and Dave Doyle – after getting a call about a theft from a female victim – ran from headquarters on Cleveland Ave. to Third St., anticipating they’d head off the suspect, who, they reasoned, would be aiming to find the quickest route out of town, possibly to Newark.
And this they did, spotting a man with a black knapsack running on the north side of William St. approaching Third, Doyle said. “We cut him off and ordered him to the ground.”
After the victim and two witnesses positively identified the man as the individual involved in the episode, police placed him under arrest and a search of the suspect yielded the stolen piece of jewelry in his pocket, Doyle said.
The victim, who told police the 30-inch-long chain was a wedding necklace valued at $300, was treated by emergency medical personnel from MONOC (Monmouth Ocean Hospital Service Corp.) for injuries to her neck and hands that she sustained from the suspect pushing her to the ground.
A bicycle, which police believe was the bike the suspect was pedaling at the time of the crime, was recovered at the scene, police said.
The suspect, identified as Curtis Rowe-Williams, 24, of Newark, was charged with robbery, a first degree crime.
Police said that Rowe- Williams, who has a history of prior arrests, was wanted on an active drug-related warrant from Newark. He was taken to Hudson County Jail in Kearny on $75,000 bail with no 10% option.
Harrison Police Chief Derek Kearns commended the two detectives for anticipating the suspect’s potential flight route and for proceeding on that basis, rather than going to the crime scene itself. “It was a good call,” he said.
Police said the victim told them she was planning to return to her native country India the day after the crime.
– Ron Leir
Police are investigating what they characterized as a murder-suicide in Belleville.
Katherine Carter, spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, said that the Belleville PD responded to a residential location on New St. on Friday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m., to check on the status of resident John Sykes, 47, after Sykes hadn’t shown up for work.
Inside, police discovered the lifeless bodies of Sykes and Felicia Hunt, 23, Carter said.
“It appears to be a murder-suicide,” Carter said.
Police believe there was some type of relationship between Sykes and Hunt, Carter said.
The bodies were removed to the offices of the Essex County Medical Examiner where an autopsy was to be conducted, according to Carter.
Carter said the incident remains under investigation. No further details were readily available at The Observer’s press time.
– Ron Leir
A local man has been arrested on charges of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor.
Members of the Nutley Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said the arrest stemmed from an investigation of claims of a sexual relationship between Jonathan Matos, 23, and a 14-year-old Nutley girl over the past year, police said.
Police said the prosecutor’s office authorized charges to be brought on Oct. 10, at which time Nutley PD drafted warrants for Matos’s arrest.
Matos was apprehended on Spring St. in Nutley and is now being held at Essex County Jail on $250,000 bail pending court action.
Nutley PD and the Essex County Sheriff’s Department conducted joint surveillance behind Nutley School on Friday, Oct. 17, and arrested Neil Allarey, 19, of Nutley, and Antonio Reyes, 19, of Passaic Park, for allegedly selling CDS to a 13-year-old middle school student.
Detectives recovered marijuana, Schedule II narcotics and paraphernalia.
Allarey and Reyes face various drug charges. Allarey was released after posting a portion of his $75,000 bail, pending court action, and Reyes ws freed pending a court date. The student was charged with possession of CDS and released pending a juvenile hearing.
Between Oct. 11 and 17, Nutley PD responded to 15 motor vehicle accidents, 10 disputes, 34 medical calls and the following incidents:
A motor vehicle stop on Clover St. resulted in the arrest of Eric Abreu, 22, of Nutley, for outstanding warrants from Lyndhurst and Edgewater, police said. He was also ticketed for driving with a suspended license. Abreu posted bail for the Edgewater warrant and was released by Lyndhurst PD pending court dates.
A Passaic Ave. resident reported a series of suspicious calls from an unknown number. The resident told police it sounded like someone was on the line but then hung up after a few minutes. Police said the resident’s ID was previously stolen.
Police responded to a Washington Ave. gas station on a report of theft of services. The attendant told officers that after he’d finished pumping $40 worth of fuel for a silver Dodge Charger, the driver, a black woman with two children in the back seat, drove off south on Washington Ave. into Belleville without paying. Police said the car was registered to an East Orange resident.
Police were called to a Stanley Ave. location on a report of criminal mischief to a vehicle. The owner told police someone had poured some type of liquid on top of, and next to, the vehicle, causing the car’s paint to peel.
Police were alerted to illegal dumping on Prospect St. near Hawthorne Ave. where, a resident reported, someone drives by regularly and leaves empty bottles of beer and liquor on the sidewalk. Police found a broken bottle near the curb. The resident said they’d already cleared away up two other bottles. No description of the vehicle was provided to police.
The theft of a large amount of money from a vehicle parked on Washington Ave. was reported to police. The victim told police they’d withdrawn $7,063 from a company account at the bank and placed a folder with the cash in their vehicle. After driving to a local store, the victim said they locked the car and, after a 15-minute stay, returned to find the cash gone. Police said they found no sign of forced entry.
A Pake St. resident told police they’d returned to their home after having been gone 2 ó hours to find the rear door forced open. Police said they found damage to a door jam and pry marks to an interior door that provided access to the main floor. Detectives are investigating.
– Ron Leir
The third member of a Belleville trio suspected in the vandalism of vehicles at a Kearny trucking company was arrested last week on charges of bias intimidation, criminal mischief and conspiracy, Kearny Police Chief John Dowie reported.
Adonis Giron, 20, turned himself in at KPD headquarters Oct. 15 after being contacted by Det. Michael Gonzalez, chief investigator on the case, Dowie said.
His bail was set at $25,000, and he was subsequently released after posting 10%, authorities reported,
The previous week, Gonzalez and Det. John Plaugic had arrested Frederick Vangeldren, 26, and Akim Dolor, 24, both also of Belleville, in connection with the incident at Star City trucking on Third St. in Kearny.
On the morning of Oct. 3, a company manager had discovered four trucks vandalized, two of them spray-painted with swastikas. Police said Star City’s owner is Jewish.
Vangeldren and Dolor face the same charges as Giron.
Dowie noted that Gonzalez had developed the suspects after viewing security videos in the neighborhood.
All reports connected with the case have been forwarded to the state Bias Crimes Unit
– Karen Zautyk
The Belleville United Coalition will sponsor a Candidates Forum for those seeking election to the Belleville Board of Education on Monday, Oct. 27, at the Belleville Seniors Center, 125 Franklin Ave.
The event is slated to run from 7 to 9 p.m.
Robert Braun, former longtime education writer for The Star Ledger, will serve as moderator.
Five people are running for two open 3-year seats on the school board. Trustee William Freda isn’t seeking re-election and former Trustee Joseph Longo resigned earlier this year after his election to the Belleville Township Council.
BUC President Jeff Mattingly said that four of the five candidates have accepted invitations to attend the forum. They are: Gabrielle Bennett, Patricia Dolan, Erika Jacho and Ralph Vellon.
Mattingly said that candidate Christine Lamparello “has a scheduling conflict concerning giving testimony about services for the severely disabled” and is considering sending someone to represent her.
According to an announcement posted by the BUC on NutleyWatch.com, the forum “is a non-partisan event designed to give the candidates a unique opportunity to express their views and positions on a wide array of vital issues currently affecting our troubled district.”
As guests enter the Senior Center, they will be invited to submit questions for the candidates on 3-by-5-inch cards which will be collected soon after the forum begins. Braun will choose the questions which he will then present to the candidates on a rotation sequence.
The forum will be videotaped and made available to the public through the local cable access station and via internet posting.
Some background on the candidates: Bennett has served as a committee member of the Belleville High School Business Employment and Technical Advisory Council; Dolan, whose daughter is a 2013 Belleville High graduate, says, if elected, she will support teachers’ needs and “make sure the excessive, needless overspending will stop” under her watch; Jacho is a Belleville High alumna who has served as School 9 PTA president and was an unsuccessful candidate for the board in 2012; Lamparello has chaired the Belleville Special Education Advisory Council; and Vellon, a Navy veteran with two children in the public schools who has a master’s degree in nursing and is pursuing a business administration degree, says he supports “reform” of the school system and would work to give teachers “support” and “respect.”
Dolan and Vellon have been endorsed by Belleville’s Voice of Teachers in Education, a political action committee comprised of local teachers.
– Ron Leir
DONOVAN GOOD FOR BERGEN
To the editor:
I support Kathe Donovan. I read the articles, and the different spin that people put on them, but the bottom line is that Kathe Donovan has done the job of county executive the way it should be done.
Do we want someone who is a pushover and turns a blind eye to abuses? Certainly not.
Donovan has made the greater good of Bergen County residents her priority.
Over the past four years, there have been hundreds of millions of dollars in savings, lower budgets, more jobs for our residents, and a reduction in bloated government. That’s a difference we all benefit from.
So, when you get a call from someone who doesn’t live in Bergen County but who wants you to vote for a candidate because of how it will benefit them, just tell them you are sticking with the person who kept her promise to the people of the county.
We have a much better place to call home now because of Kathe Donovan.
The non-residents who want to influence the outcome of this election should think about moving back here.
I always liked to think of myself as a progressive minded member of society, sympathetic to the idea that government can play a positive role in providing the greater good for the greater number of people.
Things like Medicare, Social Security, pensions all make sense to me, as safeguards against old age and infirmity, particularly as I venture into my golden years.
But if we continue to rely on Uncle Sam to have our backs, the way FDR’s reforms intended, there’s reason to believe that we may not safely make it to the Promised Land.
Just look at the revelations about how federal transportation monitors sidestepped riding herd on GM’s faulty air bags, even after taxpayers provided a nearly $50 billion bailout package to the carmaker.
Or the reports about federal highway overseers overriding state concerns about the failure of guardrails to actually protect motorists from injuries upon impact.
Seems that whenever there’s an issue that impacts the welfare of everyday citizens, it’s corporate profits that always seem to prevail with federal policymakers.
Despite admissions that it’s too design-flawed to fly, the Pentagon continues to push for billions to fund a series of F-35 Lighting II fighter jets manufactured by Lockheed.
Despite being led – until recently – by a decorated combat vet, the Veterans Administration has let down many of our ailing servicemen and women in a stateside scandal linked to administrators’ avarice.
Until Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s recent speech about security risks triggered by climate change, the U.S. has opposed signing any global treaties that would commit the nation to aggressively controlling fossil fuel emissions.
Federal agriculture officials have tamped down consumer advocates’ push for more rigorous inspections and enforcement of animal food processing regulations, preferring to have agribusiness look after its own operations.
Although federal regulatory agencies have signed off on banking reforms designed to prevent the creation of instruments based on high-risk assets sold to clients under false pretenses, the bankers have been granted some exemptions and compliance has been left to their own devices.
The highest court of the land has let stand a restrictive election law in Texas mandating voters to show photo ID at the polls, which, critics say, will lead to disenfranchising thousands of minorities. It has also justified a ban on citizen protest on the court’s outdoor plaza as not conflicting with the First Amendment.
One wonders if the U.S. Center for Disease Control and the newly appointed Ebola czar are up to the task of providing sufficient training for health care personnel at hospitals and airports entrusted with the unenviable job of intercepting and caring for people exposed to the deadly disease.
What lessons can we take away from these disquieting concerns? Are we wrong to put any trust in government for fear of betrayal? Should we rely only on our own enterprise to make things right for the greater good? Or, is the distance between the ideal and the reality just too wide to reconcile?
The Obama administration, or what’s left of it, will be gone before we know it, in the blink of a Beltway eye, and no doubt there will be the usual rash of books of blame by some of the folks who tried to steer the ship.
But I suspect that none of them will be able to satisfactorily explain how the elected leader of our Republic can translate good intentions to action without fear or favor of how those deeds will be perceived by a persnickety press, a chronically complaining Congress and demanding campaign donors.
In a country with so many and diverse constituent parts, it is a small miracle that anything is accomplished but I suppose the good thing about that is that between the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, there’s plenty of room to maneuver in the system.
— Ron Leir
Photos by Karen Zautyk
Scenes from Saturday fest sponsored by veterans groups to raise money for ‘care packages’ for National Guard troops. Top r., clockwise from l: VFW State Commander Jack Kane & Jennifer Long, Kearny VFW; Nam Knights motorcycle club; Hudson County Veterans Coordinator JoAnn Northgrave, Cmdr. Long & Keith McMillan, Kearny American Legion commander; National Guard members David Williams, Leonard Wright, Karen Lema, Zuleyca Martinez & Vanessa Cabrera, The truck & flag above were courtesy of the KFD.
KPD Officer Steve Montanino.
NORTH ARLINGTON –
A 44-year-old North Arlington man has been arrested for child endangerment after “repeatedly striking” a borough 6-yearold, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli reported last week.
The suspect, Alex Shenouda of Rutherford Place, was remanded to the Bergen County Jail on $100,000 bail, with no 10% option.
Authorities said the assault was reported by the principal of the victim’s school after the school nurse observed bruising on the child’s leg and back. The principal contacted North Arlington police, who notified the prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit and the Division of Child Protection.
Molinelli’s office would reveal neither the gender of the victim nor what relationship, if any, there is between the child and the alleged assailant.
Shenouda, who reportedly is married and employed as a delivery man, was arrested Oct. 10 by borough police and officers from the SVU.
Arrangements were made for the victim to be interviewed by an SVU detective at the Audrey Hepburn Children’s House in Hackensack. According to the prosecutor, the child “provided specific details” about being struck by Shenouda several times, causing the bruising.
Shenouda was charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
He was ordered to have no contact with the victim or the victim’s family and also to surrender his passport.
– Karen Zautyk
By Kevin Canessa Jr.
A lot of towns — including some locally — have some kind of fall or Halloween-related festival each year. But folks from Kearny’s Urban Enterprise Zone wanted to try something different — and that is exactly what will happen this Saturday, Oct. 25, at 11:30 a.m. at Arlington Park (between Forest and Elm Sts. near Midland Ave.).
That’s where the KUEZ will host its first-ever (and, it hopes, annual) Dog Parade.
The idea came about when KUEZ Director John Peneda decided he wanted something unique and autumnal to help attract people to Kearny, in line with the mission of a UEZ. He and a few others brainstormed, and with the closest dog parade being in either Bayonne or Montclair, the decision was made to give it a try in Kearny.
“We want people to come to Kearny from other towns, and that’s why the UEZ exists — to help businesses and to attract people who maybe have never been to Kearny to shop,” Peneda said. “We want as many people as possible to know there’s a lot more to Kearny than what people might know.”
So the hope is that Kearny and non-Kearny residents alike who are dog owners and lovers will make their way to Arlington Park to enter their dogs into the “parade.”
Peneda said that the event will be more like a fashion show for dogs, with owners “parading” their dogs before judges.
“What will happens is we’ll have a stage set up near the old railroad tracks,” Peneda said. “The owners will come across the stage with their dogs — and go before judges. So it will be like a runway, something you might see at a fashion show … or a beauty contest.”
There will be two categories for the contest: Dogs 40 pounds and lighter, and dogs 40 pounds and heavier. From each category, there will be two winners: One for the best dog and the other for best dog and owner.
So what that all means is the dogs should, at the very least, be in some sort of Halloween costume. While it’s not required for the humans, those who do show up in unique costumes will have a better chance at winning some sort of prize.
“So let’s say the dog is dressed up as Batman, and the owner as Robin, they’ll be eligible for a different prize,” Peneda said. “It’s a great way for the dogs and their owners to dress up together.”
On the day of the event, it won’t just be the contest, either. There will be representatives from eateries with food for humans and pets to buy, the Bergen County Animal Shelter will be on hand, the Hudson County Sheriff ’s K-9 Unit will be there — and there will be other activities for kids and the dogs.
Plus, local photographer Diane D. Tilley will be on hand to take, for a nominal fee, photos of the dogs and their owners, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Bergen County Animal Shelter.
So it should be an allaround great day for humans and canines alike. As of late last week, 20 dogs had been registered for the parade, according to Peneda.
“As long as the weather cooperates,” Peneda said. “We’ll just have to hope for the best.”
Peneda has earmarked $7,000 for the program, including fees for event coordinator Linda Kraus D’Isa, banners, rental of sound equipment and tables, prizes and advertising, but he said he expected to come in under budget.
Advance registration is required — and all owners must be able to document that their dogs are up-todate with rabies shots and that they’re properly licensed in their hometowns. To register, visit www.kearnynj.org and visit the KUEZ’s section on the website. Or, go to the KUEZ office at the Town Hall Annex, 402 Kearny Ave.
Registration is free and it is possible, depending on how many registrants there are ahead of time, that dayof- event registration will be available.
For additional information, call the KUEZ office at 201- 955-7905.