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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent NUTLEY – Fire hoses didn’t work. Boom-boxes didn’t work. Will “fogging” do the job? Only time will tell. The “job” is to drive the starlings from DeMuro Park, where they reportedly have been roosting in massive numbers. Roosting and pooping. It’s the pooping […]
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent KEARNY – On an early August night, a few weeks ago, Kearny’s Julie Kelley recalls her husband Ed calling her to the window of the couple’s Morgan Place home and inviting her to look next door where the beacon from his flash light was […]
By Jim Hague
Observer Sports Writer
Although he had a stellar 6-0 record with a 1.14 earned run average for NJSIAA Non-Public A state finalist St. Joseph of Montvale last spring as just a freshman, Nutley resident Devin Ortiz had no idea what to expect from being invited to the Team USA national 15-andunder trials in Cary, North Carolina last month.
“I didn’t think I had a chance,” Ortiz said. “Three weeks ago, I didn’t even know where I’d be. I just figured I’d be pitching summer baseball somewhere.”
But Ortiz did receive an invite to be among the 40 teenagers to try out for the national squad. He fared well, pitching well in a handful of appearances over the three-week trial.
Last Saturday, Ortiz’s wishes came true, as he was selected among the final 15 players for the United States U-15 national team.
Ortiz is the only representative from New Jersey on the squad, which will play in the World Baseball Classic tournament in Mazatlan, Mexico, beginning next week.
The team is currently en route to play exhibition games at Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, before heading to Mexico for the tourney that begins in 10 days.
Ortiz liked his chances to make the team once he got to the trials in North Carolina.
“I went in there pretty confident,” Ortiz said. “From the first couple of days, I knew it was not like any other tryout I had ever been to. All 40 kids there were very good players, so I just focused on being myself and focused on pitching like I knew I could. I just had to focus on myself and not worry about everyone else.”
While Ortiz both pitched and played the field as a freshman at St. Joseph of Montvale, he was strictly a pitcher for the Team USA trials.
“Everything felt fine,” Ortiz said. “I really felt better than I did pitching my freshman year of varsity. The competition was better, because the players make more contact. After all, these are the best hitters in the country. I didn’t want to put any more pressure on myself. I just had to trust myself and trust my stuff.”
Ortiz said that he relies on a two-seam and four-seam fastball, as well as a change-up and a curve.
But over the summer, Ortiz has also developed a cut-fastball, a la Mariano Rivera, that he has had success with.
“I learned the cutter over the summer,” Ortiz said. “One of the scouts saw me at the trials and said that the pitch had so much of a natural cut, that if I knew how to control it, it would become a good pitch for me. So for the last two weeks, that’s what I’ve been working on. It’s now a pitch that I can go to and use a lot.” Ortiz said that he was a still a little shell-shocked to be selected among the top 15 players his age in the entire country.
“It’s a very big honor,” said Ortiz, who was born in Belleville and played Little League baseball there before moving to Nutley a few years ago. “I’m very excited. I can’t wait to get there. Of course, it’s a big honor to be playing in Chase Field on a big league field. It’s all great for me.”
Ortiz said that he doesn’t think he’ll face undue pressure as a high school sophomore next spring, knowing full well he was a Team USA selection this summer.
“I don’t think it’s any added pressure,” Ortiz said. “I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s a great honor. It just makes me come back and work even harder, to pitch the way I did last season and maybe even better.”
Ortiz likes having the Team USA distinction.
“I’m going there to represent my country, represent New Jersey and of course, St. Joseph’s,” Ortiz said. “I also represent Nutley as well.”
The entire process has caught Ortiz by surprise.
“In June, I actually had no clue about all of this,” Ortiz said. “My dad heard about the tryouts, so I came. I just kept working and one thing led to another. It’s really amazing. I’m just happy to be here, happy to get the chance to make new friends here and have a little fun.”
And take in the sights of Mexico as well. Not a bad way to spend a summer vacation.
Police responded to Booth Park on July 24, at 4:59 p.m., after getting a call about a female who was screaming and running frantically in the park. The caller told police the female had possibly been attacked by bees.
Upon arrival, officers found the female sitting in her vehicle, conscious and alert. She told them she was walking her dog in the park when, suddenly, they were swarmed by bees.
Police said officers spotted a nest, at knee level from the ground in a nearby bush, with a piece of the nest broken off and on the ground.
After marking off the area with caution tape, police alerted the Parks Department about the incident and a parks crew was due to deal with the nest in the morning.
The female victim, who was examined by the Nutley Volunteer Emergency Response Service, told police she’d follow up with her personal doctor.
Other incidents logged by police during the past week included the following:
A resident of a senior citizen home was the would-be victim of an apparent attempted scam. Police said the resident got a call on their cellular phone from an unknown person who said their daughter had been kidnapped and would be killed unless her father came up with $1,500. The caller claimed to be the brother of someone who was involved in a motor vehicle accident with the resident’s daughter. Police said the resident called the daughter and learned she was fine and hadn’t been in an accident. After doing an internet search of the incoming phone number, police said they found multiple complaints logged about similar efforts to collect ransom payments for family members allegedly being held hostage. Efforts by police to reach someone through that number were unavailaing.
Someone used a paint marker to scrawl a derogatory message on the driver’s side portion of the front windshield of a vehicle parked on Oakridge Ave., police said. The incident was reported at 1:30 p.m.
At 3:15 p.m., a Wayne Place resident reported that someone had slashed flat the rear passenger side tire of their vehicle and left scratch marks on the vehicle’s rear panel.
At 6:57 p.m., a Washington Ave. business reported getting stuck with bad checks. The credit manager told police a customer who bought a vehicle gave two checks for $2,000 and $5,000 as a deposit that didn’t clear. After calling to verify the buyer’s place of employment, the manager was told the buyer isn’t currently working there. The buyer, who applied for a loan, has possession of the vehicle which is valued at $19,532. Police said the credit manager asked the buyer to return the vehicle or to make good on the $2,500 deposit. Police said they left a phone message for the buyer, who, they learned through the state Motor Vehicle Commission, has a suspended driver’s license. Police advised the credit manager to send a certified letter to the buyer to forward the money. The case is still open, police said.
At 8:45 a.m., police responded to a Nutley Ave. location on a call about a neighbors’ dispute. A resident griped that their backyard neighbor has been banging on their fence at all hours of the day and night and on this date, made the noise at 1 and 3 a.m. and again, just before officers arrived. The resident said the neighbor also harasses them with verbal tirades outside. Police cautioned the neighbor to cease the annoying behavior.
At 8:38 p.m., police responded to a Washington Ave. gas station where the attendant told them that after they’d pumped $38 worth of gas into a newer model Honda Civic with no plates, closed the gas cap and walked to the driver’s side window to collect the money, the driver took off, last seen heading south on Washington. The driver was described as a white female, possibly in her 20s, with shoulder-length hair. Police planned to review surveillance tape with the attendant to try and come up with an ID of the driver.
– Ron Leir
Josephine Helene Aleniewski
Josephine Helene “Josie” Aleniewski, 88, of Rumson, formerly of Harrison, died peacefully on Tuesday, July 22, due to dysphagia complications from a neurological condition known as PSP (an atypical Parkinsonism syndrome).
Born in Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Newark, she attended Harrison High School, graduating with honors. She worked as an R.N. for 40 years, receiving her nursing degree in 1949 from St. Michael’s Hospital, Newark, where she was trained by the nuns and later worked as an OR nurse in the hospital as well as a private duty nurse.
A longtime resident of Harrison, she served as a Board of Health nurse and as school nurse in Holy Cross School. She was also a member of the St. Michael’s Nurses’ Alumni Association.
She loved learning and continued her studies at Marymount College in Manhattan and encouraged others to get their education. Josie was a passionate reader and frequented the Harrison Public Library. She also enjoyed travel abroad with friends and family to various destinations such as Yugoslavia, England, Italy, Switzerland, Greece and Poland.
She loved New York for both fashion and culture. She would march up and down Fifth Avenue to “study” the windows and even attended FIT one summer. Most of all she enjoyed the opera, ballet and classical music at Lincoln Center and sharing these experiences with her nieces and nephews. Proud of her Polish heritage, she served many years as secretary of the Pro-Arte League of the Kosciuszko Foundation of which her parents were founding members.
Josie was predeceased by her parents George and Wladyslawa Aleniewski, her sisters Dr. Monica Aleniewski, Jane Leppard and baby sister Helen Teresa.
A beloved sister and aunt, after retiring she moved to Rumson to be near her surviving sister Victoria Mazurczyk Aleniewski. She is also survived by her nieces and nephews: Monika Mazurczyk and husband Joseph Garipoli of West Long Branch, Thaddeus Mazurczyk and wife Stacy of Littleton, Col., Victoria Carlin and husband Benjamin of Bedford, N.Y., and Suzanne Mazurczyk of Wall; Lauren and husband Bob (“Karl”) Cottone of Hightstown, John and wife Marybeth of Lawrenceville, Dr. Stephanie Friedfeld and husband Dr. Dale Schrum of Jacksonville, Fla., Robert Friedfeld and wife Sue of Nacogdoches, Texas, and Eric Friedfeld and wife Maggie of Warwick, R.I.; Maureen Schroeder and husband Harvey of Spring Lake, George Leppard and wife Cathy of Brielle, Dr. John Leppard and wife Joanne of Huntington, N.Y.
The funeral was conducted from the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison, on July 26. A Mass of Christian burial was offered at Our Lady of Czestochowa Roman Catholic Church, Harrison, on July 26, followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. A memorial service will be held at Holy Cross Church, Ward Ave., Rumson, on a future date to be announced. For information or directions, please visit www.mulliganfuneralhome.org.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Foundation for PSP, also known as PSP.org, or Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Harrison, Kosciuszko Foundation, New York, Piast Institute, Hamtramck, Mich., St. Michael’s Nurses Alumni Association or Marymount Manhattan College, N.Y.
Thermon Francis Brooks
Thermon Francis Brooks of Kearny died on July 24 at the West Hudson/Alaris Continuing Care Center in Kearny. He was 85.
Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral service was held from the funeral home, followed by entombment in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.
Born in Newark, Mr. Brooks was the son of Milton and Bridget ( nee Garside) Brooks. A resident of Kearny since his marriage in 1951, Mr. Brooks attended the Newark public schools and served honorably in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He pursued a career with the U.S. Postal Service for most of his life.
Mr. Brooks was a member for over 60 years of the Frobisher Post No. 99 American Legion and the V.F.W. Post 1302, both of Kearny, as well as a member of the Disabled American Veterans and the Korean War Veterans. He enjoyed fishing and was a lifelong honorary member of the Schuyler Tuna Fishing Club.
Surviving are his sons, Clifford J., Kevin M., Christopher J., and Martin G.; his daughters Leslie Oxenham, Pamela Brooks, Lisa Fitzmaurice, and Cynthia Orr; and 13 grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Korean War Veterans Association, P.O. Box 407, Charleston, Ill. 61920-0407.
William J. Burke
William “Bill” J. Burke, 64, of Nutley, formerly of Kearny, died on July 22.
Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral service was held from the funeral home, followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery.
Mr. Burke was a lab technician with Anheuser-Busch, Newark, for five years.
He was the father of Billy Burke Jr. (Tracey), Laura Burke and Dana Sblendorio; brother of Kathy Corbo and the late Theresa Burke Palumbo and grandfather of Noah, Mackenzie, Jake, Mia and Gavin. He was the companion of Nancy Ulrich. He is also survived by three nieces.
Paul A. Hettesheimer Sr.
Paul A. Hettesheimer Sr., 84, died on July 27.
Relatives and friends may visit at the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home. 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny on Tuesday, July 29, from 4 to 8 p.m. The funeral service will be held from the funeral home on Wednesday, July 30, at 11 a.m. Interment will follow in Hillside Cemetery, Lyndhurst. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com.
Paul was born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He later lived in Newark before moving to North Arlington 45 years ago.
He served in the U.S. Navy.
Mr. Hettesheimer was a tech specialist for W.H. Linen in Clifton for the last 20 years and was still actively employed before his passing.
He is survived by his four adoring children Elizabeth “Betty” Donigian (Stephan), Judy Gann (Dave), Paul A. Hettesheimer, Jr. (Patty) and Mark J. Hettesheimer, Sr. (June). He will be deeply missed by his 15 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind his brothers Marc and David Hettesheimer.
He was predeceased, in 2004, by his wife Theresa (Melodick) Hettesheimer to whom he was happily married to for 56 years and also his siblings Betty Hillard and Weldon and Howard Hettesheimer.
Paul was a self-made man who deeply cared and provided for his family and will be forever missed.
Dr. Judith E. Malinowski
Dr. Judith E. Malinowski entered into eternal rest on July 18 in Bloomfield, after a long and valiant battle against cancer.
Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A celebration of Judith’s life was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington, 663 Kearny Ave., Kearny, on July 26, followed by a private cremation.
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com.
Born in Kearny, she was the only daughter of the late Edward and Emily (nee Makofsky) Malinowski. She resided most of her life in Harrison.
Dr. Malinowski received her doctorate in health sciences leadership at Seton Hall University and a master’s degree in educational communications/ instructional design at New York University. Her passion and commitment to education was evident as she fulfilled many roles in the educational field. She served as director of education, special projects, at St. Michael’s Medical Center, Department of Medical Education, and as director of education for Seton Hall University. In her earlier years at St. Michael’s Medical Center, she served as director, School of Radiology. She was a former instructor at Passaic County Community College and Bergen Community College. She served on the Harrison Board of Health and the New Jersey Local Boards of Health. She was a member of the Board of Governors, Northeast Osteopathic Medical Education Network and various educational review boards.
Judith was an avid traveler and wine connoisseur. She traveled extensively, visiting Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Scotland, France, England, Canada, and various places of interest in the continental United States, to name a few of her destinations. She often hosted and attended winetasting events sharing and enjoying that “perfect” glass of wine with friends and acquaintances. She enjoyed Scottish dancing and kicked up her heels at many ethnic events.
Judith is survived by a brother, Robert, and his wife, Carolyn; an aunt, Gail Makofsky; cousins, Lorraine; Joseph and Stanley Kloska; Bonnie Makofsky (Les); and Michael Makofsky (Mona).
A faithful and true friend to the very end, Judith will be cherished and greatly missed by her loving family at St. Michael’s Medical Center, and her lifelong friends, Marilyn, Ellen, Robert, and her beloved minister, the Rev. Elaine Connolly, of the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington.
Appreciation is extended to the staff at St. Michael’s Medical Center, Newark, and the Job Haines Home in Bloomfield, for the excellent care and compassion extended to Dr. Malinowski.
Mr. Tadeusz Naprawa (Ted) died on Tuesday, July 22, at home. He was 87.
The funeral Mass is on Thursday, July 31, at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in Harrison at 10 a.m., followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery. Relatives and friends may visit in the Condon Funeral Home, 684 Kearny Ave., Kearny (condonfuneralhome.com) on Wednesday, July 30, from 5 to 9 p.m.
Mr. Naprawa had been a machinist for Newark Die Co. in Springfield for many years until retiring in 1988. He had served in the British Army Polish Brigade under Gen. Anders during World War II.
He was a member of the board of directors and the bar manager at the Polish National Home in Harrison. He had also served as the president of the Polish American Citizens Club in Kearny where he was also a member.
Ted was predeceased by his wife, Adela (nee Pastula) and is survived by his son Richard Naprawa and his wife, Barbara and his daughter, Izabela Naprawa. Also surviving are his grandchildren Alex and Elizabeth Naprawa.
Eleanor Coan Steel
Eleanor Coan Steel, born Aug. 7, 1951, died on July 1 at home in Toms River surrounded by her family.
Eleanor was born in Queens, N.Y., and grew up in the Kearny area, where she also raised her four children. She was a nurse at West Hudson Hospital and volunteered for the Holiday City Berkeley EMT squad after moving to Toms River.
She is survived by her four children Kimberly Kane, Tara Kazenmayer, Kristen Pela and Brian Yudichak; her 11 grandchildren and her great-grandson. She is also survived by her brother James Coan and her lifelong friend Susan Mc- Cluskey.
Funeral arrangements were by Quinn Hopping Funeral Home, Toms River. Condolences may be sent to www.quinnhoppingfh.com.
The North Arlington Police Department is currently investigating an incident involving use of counterfeit $100 bills at a 7-Eleven on Ridge Rd.
A man, approximately 6′ in height, 150 lbs., wearing a baseball cap with a Seattle Mariners logo, a white tank top, black/white basketball shorts, white socks, black sandals and black backpack entered the 7-Eleven July 20 at 6:37 p.m. The suspect purchased a Green Dot MoneyPak for $350, giving the counter person four, $100 bills that were counterfeit.
If you have seen or are able to identify the individual pictured in the photo, contact the North Arlington Police Department at 201-991-4400.
All calls will be kept confidential.
W.H.A.T. presents ‘The Addams Family’ July 30-Aug. 2, including preview tonight at Angry Coffee Bean
Teen Drama, a theater company for teens celebrating its fifth anniversary this summer, in association with the West Hudson Arts & Theater Company (W.H.A.T.) presents the modern classic Broadway musical “The Addams Family” this summer. The smash-hit musical comedy brings the darkly delirious world of Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Grandma, Wednesday, Pugsley and, of course, Lurch to spooky and spectacular life.
Performances of the musical, based on the bizarre and beloved family of characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams, are July 30 to Aug. 2 at 7:30 p.m., and a matinee performance Aug. 2 at 1:30 p.m. at the W.H.A.T. Theater, 131 Midland Ave., Kearny (the former St. Stephen’s School). General admission tickets are $10. A $7 senior citizen discount ticket is being offered at the Saturday matinee.
The cast will make a special appearance on Thursday, July 24 at 7 p.m. for a special preview of the show at The Angry Coffee Bean Café, 89 Ridge Road, North Arlington. (201) 772-5554.
The Teen Drama production features:
Dennis Oliveira (Gomez Addams), Maggie Spector-Williams (Morticia Addams), Faith D’Isa & Rachel Spillane (Wednesday Addams), Abigail Stokes (Pugsley Addams), John McCullough (Fester Addams), Joana Marmelo (Grandma Addams),James Berko (Lurch), Michael Oliveira (Lucas Beikeke), Samantha Armenteros (Alice Beineke), Tyler Bremner (Mal Beineke), Briana Dickinson, Alyssa Fink, Jillian Fitzpatrick, Lauren Gold, Melanie Hill, Stefanie Pancaro, Spencer Roda, Valentine Rojas, Alyssa Schirm and Julia Truskolawski (Addams Family Ancestors).
“The Addams Family” is being produced by Michele Sarnoski, who is co-directing with Joe Ferriero. Scott Burzynski, music director; Dana Mannie, choreography (Mary Berko, assistant choreography); Maximo Grano De Oro, crew chief; Matt Lepore, stage manager; and Vincent Venziano and Alex Palomino, stage crew.
Tickets for The Addams Family are $10 and can be purchased online at www.teendrama.org, by phone 1-800-838-3006 or at the door 30 minutes before performances. Teen Drama can be reached at 973-498-8336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check next week’s issue of The Observer for a full preview of the upcoming shows in our Entertainment section.
On Friday afternoon, regular traffic came to a halt on the Belleville Pike and Ridge Road to open the route for the funeral procession of slain Jersey City Police Detective Melvin Santiago.
The 23-year-old rookie, promoted posthumously to detective, had been ambushed early Sunday, July 13, when he responded to a 911 call at a Jersey City Walgreens.
Thousands of police officers lined the streets around St. Aloysius Church in Jersey City during the Friday morning funeral Mass, after which the body of young hero was taken to Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington for interment. Escorting the cortege was an extraordinary honor guard of what appeared to be at least a thousand police motorcycles.
At the intersection of the Pike and Kearny Ave./Ridge Road, members of the Kearny Police Department, including its honor guard, stood in silent tribute, along with members of the public who bowed their heads or placed their hands over their hearts as the hearse passed by.
Rest in peace, Detective Santiago.
— Karen Zautyk
By Ron Leir
The Rt. 7/Belleville Turnpike corridor which runs through Kearny’s meadows area and beyond is getting a lot of attention these days from state and federal transit agencies.
For the past couple of years, contractors hired by the state Department of Transportation have been doing patchwork repairs on the Wittpenn Bridge which carries Rt. 7 traffic over the Hackensack River between Jersey City and Kearny while, simultaneously, building a replacement span, just north of the existing bridge. Read more »
By Ron Leir
Now that Trenton – even without a gubernatorial endorsement by the town’s Democratic mayor – has gifted Kearny $2.5 million in transitional aid and reduced its pension obligations by nearly $435,000, Kearny property owners can know what to expect.
They’re still getting a tax increase, just not as severe as the town had feared before receiving the state’s largess.
According to calculations by town CFO Shuaib Firozvi, of a total 2014 budget of $75.8 million, $40.8 million must be raised by local taxation, which is up by 3% from last year’s $39.6 million. Read more »
It started as an alleged speeding incident and led to a frantic chase that ended in three arrests.
Here’s the account given by Lyndhurst Police:
Shortly after 2 p.m. on July 14, Patrol Officer James Goral pulled over a 2008 BMW traveling east on Page Ave. for exceeding the speed limit at the Schuyler Ave. intersection.
As Goral approached the vehicle, however, police said the driver suddenly pulled away, made a U-turn, and headed west on Page, turning on numerous side streets.
Police said the driver continued up to Ridge Road northbound, eventually turning west onto Valley Brook Ave. and then north onto Delafield Ave. where he encountered other patrol vehicles. Read more »