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Subwoofer stolen from Nutley resident’s home, police say

July 5 Someone swiped a Kicker Subwoofer Speaker valued at $700 from a Passaic Ave. residence, the occupant told police. The theft was logged at 1:10 a.m. ***   ***  *** A William St. resident told police that after loaning their […]


Ridge Road closed 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today from Pike to Jauncey Ave.

Ridge Road will be closed today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from the Belleville Turnpike to Jauncey Ave. for the funeral of Jersey City Police Officer Melvin Santiago, the NAPD says. Limited local traffic may be permitted along Ridge […]


Dawn of an era

By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent  BELLEVILLE –  “This is where it all started. Belleville, N.J. A thousand years ago. Eisenhower. Rocky Marciano. And a few guys under a streetlamp singing somebody else’s latest hit.” That’s part of the intro to the Broadway production of “Jersey Boys” — and […]


New job for Doran … for now

By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent  HARRISON – The Harrison Board of Education is working on plans to remedy overcrowding in its elementary schools but who exactly will be in charge of seeing those plans through isn’t clear as it continues to grapple with its leadership issue. Its five-year […]


Suspect ID’d in bank heist

By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  Authorities have identified a Paterson man as the prime suspect in the robbery of the PNC Bank at Kearny and Midland Aves. last Wednesday afternoon. Kearny police reported on Friday that they were hunting Carnie Monts, 28, in connection with the […]


Block Watch, Helping Hands meeting in Belleville is Thursday night at 7 at Senior Center


The Belleville Police Department and Mayor Ray Kimble invite the public to a “Block Watch Formation and Helping Hands” public meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Belleville Senior Center, 125 Franklin Ave.

Nutley PD: Resident’s credit card used improperly on horse-gambling site


May 31

A Howard Place resident reported 16 fraudulent transactions with more than $4,000 in total estimated withdrawals on their bank card. An investigation determined that the account was linked to a horse race gambling network, police said. The account has been closed and the card canceled.  Read more »

Peace & joy


By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent


At the corner of Kearny and Laurel Aves., there stands the magnificent grey-stone edifice of St. Stephen’s R.C. Church, which this year is marking the 75th anniversary of its dedication.

When your correspondent mentioned that to some friends, the reaction was, “It’s only 75 years old? It looks so much older.”

It’s not that the church appears age-worn. Far from it. But the classic Gothic architecture calls to mind those centuries-old houses of worship found across Europe. The soaring structure is reminiscent of a medieval cathedral.

Of course, no one’s going to think a Kearny church dates to the Middle Ages, but what is its history? Read more »

Awards presented by the KFD


By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent 


The Meritorius Acts Review Board (MARB) of the Kearny Fire Department recently held its 1st annual awards ceremony, honoring both firefighters and civilians.

The board, comprising deputy chiefs, captains and firefighters, presented the citations at a dinner at the former Boystown campus, attended by not only the award recipients but friends and family.

Unit Citations, represented by a new uniform bar designed by Capt. Kevin Donnelly, were presented to men who took part in two particular 2013 incidents, their actions judged to be “in the highest tradition of the fire service.”

Cited for their actions during a March 10, 2013, fire at 600-602 Frank Rodgers Blvd. in Harrison were KFD Capts. Jerry Coppola and Rod Nardone and Firefighter Dave Russell. Read more »

Borough gets new school leader


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 


Patrick W. Martin is the new superintendent/principal of the East Newark Public School. He was hired May 9 at the Board of Education’s annual reorganization meeting after his proposed contract was approved by the executive county superintendent.

Martin, who replaces William Shlala July 1, has been given a three-year contract by the BOE. In his first year, Martin will collect $115,000; in his second year, he’ll make $120,000; and, in year 3, $125,000.

Shlala’s two-year term as interim superintendent/principal ends June 30.

The board is also seeking a new part-time school business administrator. Tom Havlusch is leaving that post to seek another position outside the district. He was earning $30,000 for up to 19 hours a week. Read more »

A salute across the sea


By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent 


Last Friday afternoon, a simple but moving ceremony was held at the World War II monument in Town Hall Park.

Members of veterans groups from Nutley and Belleville gathered to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, to honor the troops who took part in the invasion, and, in a gesture of continuing brotherhood, to thank their counterparts across the Atlantic.

On June 6, 1944, as some 57,000 American soldiers were storming Omaha and Utah Beaches and the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, more than 54,000 of their British counterparts were braving the German guns at Gold and Sword Beaches. (The Allies also sent a combined total of 23,000+ airborne forces into the enemy-held territory inland, and 21,000 Canadians landed at Juno Beach.) Read more »

Writer explores how we approach death


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent


A Kearny woman has selected a topic for her first book that, perhaps at first glance, a typical reader might find rather uninviting. Karen B. Kaplan’s work, “Encountering the Edge: What People Told Me Before They Died,” is a memoir recalling the seven years she spent as a hospice chaplain for United Hospice of Rockland in New York and Princeton Hospice in New Jersey. But, despite the heavy-sounding title, Kaplan says there’s no reason folks should be put off by it. “It’s a gentle, light touch on a serious subject,” she says.

And, yes, she notes, there’s even room for some humor.

Kaplan grew up in Erie, Pa., before moving further east and settling into life as an academic, completing a doctoral degree in linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin in 1984. She did her dissertation on “conversational analysis between speakers of different backgrounds.” Read more »

Belleville teen shines on NJPAC stage


A budding entertainer from Belleville is beginning to build a “show biz” resume.

Belleville High School freshman Najalis Gual captured first place in the Junior Teen Vocal Category (ages 13 to 15) of the Hispanic Youth Showcase, the longest running Latino children’s talent show on PBS.

She did that by singing “California King Bed” by the pop star Rhianna while accompanying herself on piano at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark on May 23.

Najalis was one of four finalists culled from a field of competitors from the tri-state area in that age grouping. Read more »

Deliberations continue on 9/11 steel



As the nation prepares to observe the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, North Arlington officials remain divided over how to deploy the section of World Trade Center steel beam the borough Volunteer Fire Department acquired from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

Councilman Thomas Zammatore, a member of the Democratic majority, is proposing that the borough take steps to set up the firefighters’ memorial on a platform at the Schuyler Ave. firehouse by September, to coincide with the observance date.

The borough engineer has estimated the cost of a full-scale mounting of the beam to run $68,000, according to borough spokesman Thom Ammirato. A more practical approach, Zammatore has reasoned, is to put off the extras – such as granite monuments and paving stones – until the borough – ideally with help from local businesses and the Fire Department – can find the money to pay for them. Read more »

Thoughts & Views: Before you take that overseas trip, read this


With the summer vacation season upon us, those of us fortunate enough to be able to afford it will be booking flights to destinations around the globe.

So a reminder: Make sure your passport is up to date.

Should be pretty simple to check, you would think: If your passport hasn’t expired, stands to reason you should be good to go, right?


Don’t get caught like a fool holding your luggage at the airline terminal and being told in no uncertain terms that even though your passport is in good standing, you can’t get on the plane because your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure.

That’s right, folks. So says the U.S. Department of State. Read more »