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Nutley police blotter: MV stop leads to drunken-driving arrest

April 12 A motor vehicle stop at a Franklin Ave. location, at 1:54 a.m., resulted in the arrest of Sergio Landeros, 26, of Garfield, who was issued summonses charging him with DWI and careless driving and released pending a court […]

1.7B to clean Passaic’s lower 8 miles

  NEWARK – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last Friday, April 11, that it plans to undertake the most costly public waterway cleanup in its 43-year history. At a press conference held at Newark Riverfront Park, EPA Regional […]

Lost medal recovered from Pa.

  By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent KEARNY – For more than two decades, it sat – carefully preserved – in a Pennsylvania residence. Next month, however, the Purple Heart medal awarded posthumously to a long-dead Kearny serviceman will be returned […]

Feds won’t pay for more firefighters

Two neighboring West Hudson communities have been shut out in their bids to snag federal funding to hire more firefighters. Kearny Fire Dept. and Harrison Fire Dept. each applied for a share of SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency […]

Tribute to a teacher

  By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent KEARNY – Fred Kuhrt died doing what he loved best – giving of himself to others. His former employer, the Kearny Board of Education, is honoring the automotive technology instructor’s selflessness by establishing the […]

Play ball! (and politics, too)

  By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent NORTH ARLINGTON – Saturday’s opening ceremony for the North Arlington Recreation Girls’ Softball season took on a political twist. Mayor Peter Massa, a Democrat, complained that he was snubbed by League President Mike Tetto […]


Around Town


Belleville Irish American Association sponsors a trip to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Boston and Mohegan Sun Casino, June 2-6. Cost is $485 double occupancy and includes transportation, sightseeing, four dinners, four breakfasts and one lunch. For an itinerary or additional information, call Pat at 973- 751-5308 or email patn139@aol. com.


Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., announces the following: Children’s programs:

• Bedtime Storytime, for ages 2 and up, on March 24 at 6:30 p.m.

• Toddler Time, for ages 19 to 36 months, at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays

• PreK Story & Craft, for ages 3 to 5, at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays

• Baby & Me, for ages 0-18 months, at 11 a.m. on Thursdays

• Science Friday, for ages 5 and up, on March 21 at 4 p.m.

• The library has added 16 new foreign language courses to its Mango online learning course including Armenian, Scottish Gaelic and Yiddish and English as a Second Language for speakers of modern Arabic and Armenian.


Registration is open until March 28 for Harrison Recreation T-Ball, Minor and Little League at the Community Center, 401 Warren St. Ages: T-Ball, 5 to 6; Minors, 7 to 8; and Little League, 9 to 12 (cannot turn 13 before May 1). For more information, contact the center at 973-268-2469.

Holy Cross Church sponsors a fundraising bus trip to the Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, plus outlet shopping, set for Sunday, March 23, leaving Holy Cross School, 15 Frank E. Rodgers Blvd., at 10 a.m. Refreshments will be served in the school basement starting at 9:15 a.m. A donation of $30 is requested (return of $25 in slot play). For reservations, call Joan at 973-481-2434 or Marie (Spanish) at 973-481-1799. Leave name, phone number and number attending.


Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., hosts two free screenings of the Disney film “Frozen” (PG) on March 21 and 28 at 4 p.m. on both dates. Popcorn and light refreshments will be served.

Good Shepherd Church, 780 Kearny Ave., launches an English-speaking service on March 22 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 201-997-4369.

Presbyterian Boys-Girls Club, 663 Kearny Ave., is conducting a canned food drive this month on behalf of the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington. Children are invited to donate two canned foods as their admission to the club. Club hours: 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

A pancake breakfast fundraiser to benefit the American Diabetes Association will be held at Applebees, 175 Passaic Ave., on Sunday, April 6, from 8 to 10 a.m. Admission for adults is $10 and $5 for children age 2 to 9. Door prizes will be included. For tickets, contact Janice at 201-362-2958 or by email at shnanny@aol.com.

Kearny High School’s annual Project Graduation Volleyball Tournament will be Friday, April 25 in the school’s gymnasium, 336 Devon St. Contact Melissa Dyl for information at 201-978-8257.

Tickets are being sold for Project Graduation’s 50/50 raffle and the drawing is scheduled for Friday, June 20, following graduation ceremonies. The winner need not be present. Tickets are $10 each. To purchase or sell tickets, contact Sandy Hyde at 551-265- 8969.

Project Graduation meets the last Thursday of each month in the school’s faculty lounge and next meets March 27 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact President Steve Dyl at 201-991-7467.


Join the Lyndhurst Health Department, 601 Riverside Ave., for the following:

• Free arthritis and joint pain management forum hosted by Clara Maass Medical Center on Friday, March 21, at 10 a.m. A light breakfast will be served. Call the Lyndhurst Health Department at 201-804- 2500 to reserve a seat.

Mary Lou Mullins’ monthly bus trip to Atlantic City is set for Sunday, March 30, to Resorts Casino. Cost is $25 (with $30 cash return). Reserve early. Call Mary Lou at 201-933-2186 for information.

Lyndhurst Emblem Club 72 offers a $1,000 scholarship to a township resident graduating in June and planning to enter the medical or educational field. Deadline to apply is April 1. For an application, contact Pat McPherson at 201- 355-8582 or email trdmome@ aol.com.

New Jersey Meadowlands Commission hosts “Watercolor Pencils for Kids: Signs of Spring” for ages 5 to 12 (accompanied by an adult) on Saturday, March 22, 10 a.m. to noon, at the Science Center, 3 DeKorte Park Plaza. Children will learn how to create a colorful seasonal drawing and then turn it into a painting, all with the same pencil. Supplies provided for the session. Admission is $12 per child; $10/MEC members (no fee for adults). Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register, go to www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec.

The Woman’s Club of Lyndhurst hosts a children’s Tricky Tray on Saturday, March 29, at the Senior Center on Cleveland Ave. Doors open at noon. Admission is $5. Lunch is available at a nominal cost. No outside food allowed. Numbers will be called starting at 1 p.m. For tickets, call Janet at 201-935-1208.

North Arlington

North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Rd., offers the following programs:

For children and teens:

• Comics Club, for grades 6 and up, meets on Wednesday, March 26, at 3:30 p.m.

• Origami, for grades 4 and up, is offered on Friday, March 28, at 3:30 p.m. For adults:

• Historical Fact and Fiction Book Club meets on Thursday, March 27, at 10 a.m.

• Friends of the Library Book Club meets Friday, March 28, at 10 a.m.

In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, Garden State Rollergirls welcomes Bergen County United Way residents to enjoy its home opening bout on April 12 at the Inline Skating Club of America (ISCA), 170 Schuyler Ave. The event includes a 50/50 raffle to benefit the Bergen County United Way. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. and the first whistle blows at 8 p.m. This event is open to all ages. Tickets can be purchased at the door ($15 for adults, $10 for kids under 12) or online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/ event/601006 ($10 for adults, $5 for kids under 12).


Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Dr., announces: • The Jane Stuart Jazz Quartet performs on Saturday, March 22, at 2 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

• A Women’s history panel discussion is set for Thursday, March 27, at 7 p.m. A panel of notable Nutley women will reflect on gender issues and discuss topics relevant to women in the 21st century.

• “Library Catalog 101” explains the latest tips and strategies to effectively search for and request items, how to share what you are reading on Facebook and manage your online library account on Friday, March 28, at 10 a.m. Call the library at 973-667-0405, ext. 2604, to register no later than one week before presentation.

Nutley Elks Lodge, 242 Chestnut St., presents The Cameos on April 26 at the lodge, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. The $45 admission includes a hot buffet and open bar. Proceeds benefit veterans’ programs. For tickets, call Frank Zatorski at 201-207-2743. R.S.V.P. by April 15.

The Women’s Auxiliary of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church sponsors a bus trip to Hunterdon Hills Playhouse on Wednesday, May 7 to see the comedy-mystery play “Busybody.” The $60 cost includes transportation, lunch and play. The bus will leave from the church, 120 Prospect St. at 9:45 a.m. and return approximately at 4:45 p.m. For more information or reservations, contact Linda at 973-661-0090.

Is it the end for Kearny’s Adamek?

Heavyweight contender suffers lopsided loss to Glazkov

Photo courtesy Rich Graessle of Main Events Kearny native Tomasz Adamek (l.) takes a vicious straight jab from Vlacheslav “Czar” Glazkov during their nationally televised heavyweight elimination fight Saturday, a card that was held at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pa., and aired on NBC Sports Network. Glazkov won via a unanimous decision.

Photo courtesy Rich Graessle of Main Events
Kearny native Tomasz Adamek (l.) takes a vicious straight jab from Vlacheslav “Czar” Glazkov during their nationally televised heavyweight elimination fight Saturday, a card that was held at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pa., and aired on NBC Sports Network. Glazkov won via a unanimous decision.


By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

Before he took to the ring for the first time in almost a year, Tomasz Adamek shook off questions about what would happen if he happened to lose to undefeated challenger and former sparring partner Vlacheslav “Czar” Glazkov.

“I never think about losing, because I’m a winner,” Adamek said in a pre-fight conference call last week. “I’m ready for a war. If God keeps me healthy, then I’ll keep going. I’ll keep fighting.”

A few days later, maybe Adamek is thinking about taking back those words.

In a fight televised nationally by the NBC Sports Network, Glazkov dominated Adamek from the start and won the 12-round fight by unanimous decision. Two judges scored the fight 117-111 and the other had it 117-112 in favor of the upand- coming challenger.

Glazkov improved his record to 17-0-1, while Adamek lost for the first time since facing Vitaly Kitschko for the World Heavyweight Boxing championship in 2011. Adamek, who is now 37, saw his professional record drop to 49-3.

There were many boxing experts who believed Glazkov had the upper hand against Adamek because of the damage he caused while acting as a sparring partner for Adamek.

“As everyone knows, sparring is sparring,” Adamek said pre-fight, trying to stay away from controversy. “The fight is a different story. I know I’m going to be the best.”

Adamek won the first round on several cards, but started to see the fight slip away in rounds 2 through 6, when Glazkov used a stiff left jab and a powerful right corner to hurt Adamek on a few occasions.

“We had a nine-week camp,” Adamek trainer Roger Bloodworth said. “We did what we normally do to prepare for a fight. When a fighter reaches Tomasz’ age, he needs rest.”

The Polish native who has called Kearny his home for the last four years had to pull out of the originally scheduled bout between himself and Glazkov last November, because Adamek was sick with the flu.

“I take every fight very seriously,” Adamek said. “I didn’t just stay home because I was sick. I got back into camp for nine weeks. I feel very sharp and very good.”

Adamek was neither on Saturday. Although some late round jabs scored like they did in his previous wins, there wasn’t a constant assault of scoring punches and that cost Adamek dearly.

Photo courtesy Rich Graessle of Main Events Tomasz Adamek

Photo courtesy Rich Graessle of Main Events
Tomasz Adamek


As for being very good, Adamek looked over-matched – and began to really show it in the middle rounds, when he offered very little resistance. At one point, the CompuBox computer service that scores fights for television viewers, said that Adamek had scored with only 17% of his punches while Glazkov had 45% of his punches score. That’s a big differential.

“I’ve been in the business a long time,” Bloodworth said. “You have a fighter here with a lot of experience and knowledge going up against a young fighter. Well, experience will tell the story.”

Unfortunately, it did not. Glazkov won the fight, fair and square. There were no controversies, no complaints. There were only 6,000 or so avid Adamek fans who made the trek to the new Sands Casino and Race Track to see the fight. The fans let out their famous cries and chants of “Adamek, Adamek,” but to no avail. The local hero was a beaten warrior.

Adamek won’t get another shot at the heavyweight championship. That ship has sailed.

So who knows if Adamek still wants to do it, doing it for the love of the game while collecting smaller, non-TV generated revenues?

Meanwhile, the rising star in the heavyweight division is the 27-year-old from the Ukraine.

“I would like to thank Main Events and Kathy Duva for giving me this opportunity and taking me to this road,” Glazkov said.

Kathy Duva of Main Events sponsors both boxers.

“I also want to thank Tomasz Adamek for taking this bout and giving me this opportunity,” Glazkov said. “He was risking more than I did. Tomasz was not a guy who was backing up, he was coming forward. It was a very good bout.”

It could very well mean the end of the road for Adamek. We will have to see the next few weeks, whether he’s up to training full-time once again. It will be a tough decision for Adamek, but one that can be made easier if he sees all the old-time fighters who are struggling with Puncher’s Dementia (or punch drunk syndrome) or even worse.

Duva hinted that Glazkov is the rising star of her stable now – and not the Polish wonder who took the area by storm, the boxer who calls himself “Mountain Boy.”

“This is a passing of the torch. Glazkov did everything he absolutely had to do to win this fight against a very tough and very accomplished opponent. Tonight, he announced his arrival to everyone that he belongs among the top five heavyweights. Adamek is someone who has been a top ten heavyweight for the last 6-to-10 years. I am really at a loss to say who amazed me more.”

Nutley girls’ hoops squad enjoys great season

Photo by Jim Hague Sophomore Blair Watson has emerged as one of the top all-around players in New Jersey. She averaged 20 points per game over the season and ended with 39 points against West Morris in the state sectional title game.

Photo by Jim Hague
Sophomore Blair Watson has emerged as one of the top all-around
players in New Jersey. She averaged 20 points per game over the season and ended with 39 points against West Morris in the state sectional title game.


By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

Larry Mitschow knew the talent of the Nutley High School girls’ basketball team, having coached the Maroon Raiders to a 15-7 record, after having coached the freshman boys’ squad at the school for 14 years.

“I love coaching basketball,” Mitschow said. “I knew that the girls had a chance to play for something at the end of the season, meaning the league and county playoffs. I finally got the opportunity to coach a varsity team. Playing for something worthwhile at the end of the season really makes it much more exciting.”

Mitschow, a Nutley native who graduated from Nutley High, had a sense that the Maroon Raiders would be improved this year.

“I knew we had a couple of kids back,” Mitschow said. “Last year, there was an adjustment period, me getting used to the girls and the girls getting used to me. But coming into this year, the pieces were all in place.”

The Maroon Raiders held their own during the Paterson Kennedy summer league, one of the most competitive girls’ basketball leagues in the state.

“I wanted to challenge the kids and learn from what they did over the summer,” Mitschow said.

The Maroon Raiders were more than competitive this season, posting a brilliant 23-4 record and advancing to the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group III championship game last week, before falling to West Morris in the sectional final.

Mitschow liked his team’s chances going into the title game.

“We were very loose on the bus,” Mitschow said. “The kids were singing songs and laughing the whole way.”

The Wolfpack fell behind early, trailing by 10 in the second quarter.

“But to our girls’ credit, they handled everything really well,” Mitschow said.

Led by sophomore center Blair Watson, the Maroon Raiders got hot in the third quarter. Watson had a season-high 39 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and collected 10 blocked shots. Watson also had six steals.

The 6-foot-1 Watson is already drawing looks from major colleges.

“She’s the real deal,” Mitschow said. “She has a ton of Division I offers. She averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds per game. Blair really improved and matured as a person. She’s just awesome. She definitely saved her best game for the right time. She put us on her shoulders and carried us.”

The Montgomery twins, Grace and Meghan, were both key players for the Maroon Raiders.

“Grace handles the ball more and she’s more in control with the ball,” Mitschow said. “Meghan is more of a spot-up shooter.”

Between the two, Mitschow received approximately 17 points per game. That’s good complimentary numbers to Watson.

Junior Carly Anderson is an athletic player who can play any position.

“She contributes a lot to our offense,” Mitschow said.

Anderson will contribute a lot more in a few weeks, as the top returning starting pitcher for the Maroon Raiders’ softball team.

Senior forward Julia Seremba has improved tremendously down the stretch, scoring big points and collecting big rebounds.

Cara Michaels is a 5-foot-5 senior who also plays a multitude of roles for the Maroon Raiders.

“Cara knows her role and comes in at practically every position. She’s a quiet leader off the court.”

And that’s it. Mitschow only used six players on a regular basis.

“It really doesn’t affect us,” Mitschow said. “If you think of it, we outscored our opponents in the second half when we should be tired. We’re in great shape with our conditioning. We have high intensity practices. There isn’t much standing around. We don’t have a lot of down time. They all worked very hard.”

The Raiders dropped the state sectional title game last week, ending their season with an impressive 23-4 record. The four losses came to West Morris, Weequahic and Newark Academy, all teams that went on to win their state sectional. We played some solid teams. We took care of business when we had to.”

A lot of people might be shocked with Nutley’s impressive 23-4 record. One who is not surprised at all is the head coach.

“I really expected this team to compete for the county, the league and the states,” Mitschow said. “We were right there.”

Nutley enjoys solid hockey season

Photo courtesy Nutley hockey The senior members of the Nutley High School ice hockey team get together after one last practice together. From l. are Timothy Render, Justin Souza, Brian Parigi, Eric Fisher, Jake Giordano, Michael Conca and Richie LaFiura. Matt Apito and Matt Basile are pictured here, but did not finish the season with the team.

Photo courtesy Nutley hockey
The senior members of the Nutley High School ice hockey team get together after one last practice together. From l. are Timothy Render, Justin Souza, Brian Parigi, Eric Fisher, Jake Giordano, Michael Conca and Richie LaFiura. Matt Apito and Matt Basile are pictured here, but did not finish the season with the team.


By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

After losing nine seniors to graduation and a handful of other returning letter winners to junior hockey, Nutley head hockey coach Eric Puzio didn’t know how his team would fare in the 2013-14 season.

“I figured we could come back and at least be competitive,” Puzio said. “Obviously, losing the guys we did put a tremendous amount of pressure on the kids coming back. It was a big challenge for us. We had to try to fill in people to find some offense.”

With better than 65% of their scoring from a year ago gone – and the standout goalie Alec Astorga off to play junior hockey at Centenary, Puzio asked his returning players to increase their offensive workload.

“We had some big question marks, especially offensively,” Puzio said. “It was going to be tough replacing all that scoring.”

The Maroon Raiders got fortunate in finding a replacement for Astorga between the pipes.

Sophomore Joe Hoarle was spectacular in goal, collecting almost 500 saves on the season while logging a save percentage of 94%.

“He stepped up and did a great job,” Puzio said of Hoarle, who had a miniscule 0.90 goals against average inside the league. “He had a streak this season of 288 minutes without surrendering a goal. He was a pleasant surprise. We had big hopes for Joe, but he went far and beyond our expectations.”

Hoarle helped Nutley post a 13-9-2 record, finishing second in the North Division once again to Montclair Kimberley Academy.

The Maroon Raiders were blessed by a solid senior contingent in 2013-14, including defenseman Justin Souza.

“He was named captain of the team by his peers and he took to the role, both on and off the ice,” Puzio said of Souza.

Souza tied the school record by amassing six assists in one game against West Orange.

“He did a great job in leading this team this year,” Puzio said. “He really came into his own thuis year. He was a huge asset to the club.”

Another key defenseman is senior Tim Render.

“He’s a four-year letter winner,” Puzio said. “He logged in for a ton of minutes and made very few mistakes out there.”

Junior Angelo Gaeta was the team’s most improved player.

“He was a big surprise,” Puzio said. “I was thrilled to see him play the way he did this year.”

Greg O’Connell and Joe Fontanals are two sophomore defensemen who will only get better with more playing time in the future.

Senior Rich LaFuira was the team’s leading point scorer.

“He would simply take over some games,” Puzio said.

“When he did, he was hard to stop. He has a constant motor that just keeps on going.”

Senior Mike Conca is another center and another team captain.

Senior winger Mike Parigi is the Raiders’ workhorse, the grunt guy you throw into the corner and you know he’s coming away with the puck.

“He did a lot of the things that don’t show up on a stat sheet,” Puzio said. “He was a big target in front of the net.”

Junior Mike Frade is the lone underclassman who was a captain this season.

“He’s next in line to be a 100-point scorer for us,” Puzio said.

Others up front include sophomores Danny Render, Zach Vaughan, Brendan McCormick and freshman Gerard LaFuira (Rich’s younger brother).

“Because of the depth we had, we were able to throw three lines at teams,” Puzio said. “We never had that before.”

Puzio credited the hard work of seniors Eric Fisher and Jake Giordano for keeping the Maroon Raiders in check.

“Eric was on a line that could get up and down the ice,” Puzio said. “Jake was a four-year player for us who was like our little bulldogs, getting some big hits for us.”

Junior Milo Spagnola quickly became a crowd favorite. Freshman Tim Spitalnik was the back-up goalie to Hoarle.

All in all, it was a solid season for Nutley, a team that survived its share of trials and tribulations and still made a playoff run.

“We were picked to finish fifth in our league in the preseason and we finished second (to MKA once again) with 11 wins,” Puzio said. “I’d say it was a pretty rewarding season. I’m proud of their effort.”

News from the Nutley Police blotter

March 10

Police received a report of theft of services from a Centre St. gas station at 4:06 p.m. Police said the attendant told them a customer received $82 worth of fuel for their vehicle and their credit card was declined. The customer then left their license with the attendant and promised to return with the money but never did so. Police said they went to the address listed on the license and were told by the customer they would satisfy the debt before the end of the day.

After being asked for help, at 11:39 p.m., in finding a stolen i-Pad, police obliged. Police said the victim, who had flown into Newark Airport, was missing their i-Pad from their luggage but was able to pinpoint its location in the area of River Road and Grant Ave. Police said they could detect a beeping sound on the west side of River Road, about 150 feet south of Grant Ave., coming from inside a sewer, from which they managed to retrieve the i-Pad, which was found in two blue bags.

March 12

At 9:07 p.m., police responded to an E. Centre St. location on a noise complaint which resulted in the arrest of Arthur Karapetyan, 35, of Nutley, on a charge of possession of drugs, which, police said, tested positive for methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia. Police said Karapetyan was released, pending a court date, after posting bail, which was set at $5,000 with a 10% cash option.

March 14

Police received a report of fraud from a victim who told them they’d been contacted by someone claiming to be from the IRS who told them they’d be contacted by an IRS investigator to avoid a criminal procedure for violating tax law. A man identifying himself as “Mr. Crouz” told the victim that the IRS would be freezing their bank accounts, credit cards and passports if the victim didn’t resolve the issue in the next half hour. The victim was told to go to a Clifton CVS and buy eight Green Point money pack cards, with seven in the denomination of $500 and the eighth for $186. After complying with this request, the victim was then advised to scratch off the cards and read the account numbers over the phone. After doing so, the victim was called back and told that a supervisor identified as “John Brooks” had refused to accept the money and wanted an additional $6,292.73. At this point, police said, the victim became suspicious and refused to send more money.

– Ron Leir

Highlights from the Harrison Police blotter

March 13

At 7 p.m., a couple came into headquarters to file a theft report. The husband told police that they’d parked their 2001 Ford Explorer in the Bergen St. mall parking lot and entered the Radio Shack to shop. When they returned to the lot, about 25 minutes later, they discovered that someone had gotten inside their vehicle and removed some prescription medication, one Garmin GPS and an I-pad tablet from the glove compartment, the husband told police. They found the empty medication bottles on the seat of the car, he said.

Three Wabash trailers were reported stolen from a business on Cape May St., police said.

March 14

At about 3 a.m., police responded to a location in the 400 block of Cleveland Ave. on a report of an individual who was described as standing in front of a residence and yelling and throwing garbage. When they got there, police said they observed a man acting in the manner described by the caller. Police said the man, identified as Luciano Yuelling, 30, of East Newark, continued his disruptive behavior and ignored the officers’ order to stop. He was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct.

– Ron Leir

Armed robbery suspect caught

Photo courtesy North Arlington PD Ahmed N. Alaidy

Photo courtesy North Arlington PD
Ahmed N. Alaidy



An out-of-state man was taken into custody soon after he allegedly held up and robbed two young borough residents in the early hours of Sunday, March 9, police said.

North Arlington Police Chief Louis Ghione credited Kearny PD’s quick response to an alarm broadcast after the incident as leading to the apprehension of the suspect.

According to NAPD Capt. James Hearn, headquarters received a 9-1-1 emergency call at 3:41 a.m. that two 20-year-old North Arlington males had been robbed at gunpoint on the street on Harding Ave. near Morgan Place.

The victims told police that the suspect pointed what appeared to be a silver revolver at them and demanded cash. The robber got away with $15 from one victim and $26 from the other, they told police. The victims weren’t harmed, police said.

North Arlington PD then put out a radio broadcast of the robbery, along with a description of the suspect, and, soon after, Kearny PD had located a man matching the description on the Belleville Turnpike a couple of blocks from the bridge, seemingly trying to hide.

Picking up the story, KPD Police Chief John Dowie said that Police Officer Derek Hemphill was on patrol along the Pike observed the suspect acting suspiciously and asked him what he was doing there. The suspect replied that he was looking for a particular store and, when asked his identify, gave Hemphill a fake name, leading the officers to charge the man with hindering apprehension, Dowie said.

A search of the suspect yielded the proceeds of the robbery, Hearn said.

Police called in the Bergen County Sheriff BCI’s canine unit for an assist and, at around the same time, according to Dowie, KPD Officer Glen Reed found a weapon, believed to have been used in the robbery, which, Hearn said, turned out to be a starter’s pistol – in the bushes near a medical office at 12 Belleville Turnpike.

The suspect, Ahmed N. Alaidy, 21, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was charged by NAPD with two counts of robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose and terroristic threats.

Ghione said that Alaidy was ordered held at Bergen County Jail, Hackensack, on bail of $100,000, with no 10% cash option, pending court action.

– Ron Leir

Probing public relations services


The borough’s public relations employee – who also works for Bergen County and Hackensack – is reportedly the focus of several subpoenas issued by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and served on those employers, according to published reports.

The Record and NorthJersey. com reported last week that office is seeking information about the employment of Thomas Ammirato as it relates to all three of his jobs. They listed his yearly pay as $21,600 from North Arlington, $35,000 from Bergen County and $78,000 from Hackensack.

Ammirato told The Observer that none of his employers had mentioned any problems with him and that he knew nothing about the subpoenas until he’d read about them in the press.

“I’ve consulted an attorney,” he said last week. “I don’t know what they’re looking for.”

In North Arlington, where he’s worked “on and off for several years,” Ammirato said, “They’re happy with my work product. I produce everything I’m supposed to. I’m always available to members of the press. I just want to do my job to the best of my ability.”

Asked about the subpoena served on the borough, North Arlington Mayor Peter Massa said he inferred that, “It’s part of a wide-ranging investigation. We’ve complied.” Massa said he was legally precluded from saying what specific information the borough was asked to provide but said it was in the category of “general business records.”

Massa added: “We don’t have an issue with [Ammirato’s] work. He does what he’s supposed to do for us. He works well within the scope of services of his [one-year] contract, which is for $1,800 a month.”

Ammirato said he has “the same sort of contract with Hackensack, but it’s a lot more work.” He said he’s worked for the city since the end of July 2013.

He said he’s worked for the county, as an employee, since Memorial Day 2012.

A registered Republican, Ammirato said he’s also done “project work,” periodically, for various GOP officials in the state.

– Ron Leir


Anthony James DeLeva

Anthony James DeLeva, 55, of Lyndhurst, passed away on Thursday, March 6.

He was the beloved husband of Michele DeLeva (nee Matonis) who works in financial aid at Montclair State University; the devoted son of Rose DeLeva Bonavota; loving father of Gloria, Anthony Jr., Robert, Briana, PJ, Alexa and Franky DeLeva; dear brother of Peter Bonavota and the late Emily Renzullo; cherished grandfather of Alyssa, Brandon, Emily, Robert Jr. and Anthony III.

Mr. DeLeva was an executive chef for 35 years.

Arrangements were by the Ippolito-Stellato Funeral Home, 425 Ridge Rd., Lyndhurst. A funeral Mass was held at Sacred Heart Church. Interment was in St. Joseph Cemetery, Lyndhurst. Donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Pl., Memphis Tenn. 38105.

Anna Moore

Anna Moore, 88, of Kearny, died on March 9.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A Mass of Christian burial was officiated at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Kearny. Interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Born in Newark, Mrs. Moore lived most of her life in Kearny.

She was the beloved wife of the late Ernest Arthur Moore; mother of Ernest Wayne (Maureen) Moore, Charles Arthur (Valerie) Moore and Barbara Ann (Leith) Moore Mace; sister of Jon Shindle and the late Mary, Mildred, Emily and Joseph; grandmother of Steven (Sandra) Moore, Marisa Mace, Kevin Moore and Christine (Eric) Ziomek and great-grandmother of Lily and Shawn.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758518, Topeka, Kan. 66675 (www.woundedwarriorsproject.org) or The Popcorn Park Zoo, 1 Humane Way, Forked River, N.J. 08731 (www. ahscares.org) would be appreciated.

Gloria Ruiz

Gloria Ruiz died March 13. She was 62.

Born in Puerto Rico, she lived in Harrison.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny, with a funeral service held at the funeral home, followed by a private cremation.

Gloria was the dear companion of Rafael DeJusus, mother of Carmen Ruiz, Pedro Lebron and Joel Zapata and sister of Benjamin and Hector Ruiz, Annie Alvarez and Luz Parada.

Free Dentistry Day

Free Dentistry Day copy


Continuing to give back to the community, Dr. Rich Ekstein of Smile Design Specialists, 312 Belleville Turnpike, Suite 3B, North Arlington, will offer his second annual free “Dentistry Saturday” on April 12.

Ekstein and his staff say they’re excited to be part of this Pay-It- Forward day. They have been trying to find a way to help local families and thought that offering their skills and services may help ease the stress of unforeseen dental expenses.

Smile Design Specialists will provide, at no cost, teeth cleaning, fillings, extractions and any other necessary dental work which can be performed in one visit to people who are unemployed or who are the spouse or child of someone who is jobless.

Those wishing to participate are asked to schedule their visit by calling 201-991-1228 and pressing 2 for Stephanie, to reserve an appointment time for between 9 a.m and 3 p.m. on April 12.

Anyone with questions about services and/or eligibility is invited to call the office.