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NAPD seeks man who allegedly passed 4 fake $100s

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 […]


W.H.A.T. presents ‘The Addams Family’ July 30-Aug. 2, including preview tonight at Angry Coffee Bean

KEARNY — 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 […]


Images from funeral procession for Jersey City police Detective Melvin Santiago

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Farewell to a brother in blue

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 […]


State eyes raising part of Pike

By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent  KEARNY – 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 […]


‘Joshua’s Day’ is June 25 in North Arlington; proceeds from fundraiser will benefit 6-year-old’s medical costs

The North Arlington Woman’s Club is proclaiming Wednesday, June 25 to be “Joshua’s Day.” In March of this year, 6-year-old North Arlington resident Joshua Piperato was involved in an accident that resulted in the amputation of part of his leg. The North Arlington Woman’s Club is planning a fundraiser to help with any uncovered medical bills or treatments to help cover the unexpected costs his family faces due to his injury.

Participating businesses in our area will have a Joshua’s Day flyer displayed in their window. Simply mention “Joshua’s Day” and a percentage of your bill will be donated to the fundraiser. Please come out and show your support.

Any local organization or individual who wishes to participate is invited to send checks made payable to the N.A.W.’s Club, PO Box 7274, North Arlington, NJ 07032. In the memo, please write “Joshua’s Day.”

For more information, please call Christine at 201-577-1088.

West Hudson pols endorse DeGise for County Exec more than a year before he’s up for re-election



Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise accepted the endorsements of Harrison Mayor James Fife, Kearny Mayor Al Santos, East Newark Mayor Joseph Smith, Freeholder Al Cifelli and several other local leaders in West Hudson this week.

This comes on the heels of the recent endorsements of Mayor and State Sen. Nick Sacco and Mayor and State Sen. Brian Stack and continues the growing groundswell of support for DeGise.

The event was held at the at the Harrison Parking Deck, which provides parking for the new Red Bull Arena and renovated Harrison PATH station and was developed by the Hudson County Improvement Authority which is playing a vital role in the economic revitalization of the area. Read more »

Garden’s a Monarchy



Right now, Monarch butterflies are somewhere along the lower Eastern Seaboard on their long annual journey north from their winter home in Mexico. When they arrive in New Jersey, they will have a certified and registered Monarch Waystation waiting for them in Riverbank Park.

As the newly installed sign on the fence of the Kearny Butterfly Garden proclaims, the site “provides milkweed, nectar sources and shelter needed to sustain the Monarch butterflies as they migrate through North America.”

This is no small matter. The butterflies need all the help they can get. Nature authorities say the Monarch population is at a 20-year low, which should concern us all since the butterflies are an indicator of our general environmental health — “like a canary in a coal mine,” said one expert.

The reason for the crisis is the loss of milkweed, primarily because of herbicides, though urban spawl has played a role. Milkweed is the one and only plant on which Monarch caterpillars can feed. When the milkweed disappears, so do the Monarchs. Read more »

‘Push to tax polluters’


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent


U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, accompanied by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Judith Enck, visited a South Kearny Superfund site June 9 to push for a polluter tax to clean the most contaminated industrial sites around the nation.

In government jargon, the 15- acre Syncon Resins site, 77-89 Jacobus Ave. is classified as an “orphaned” property because no one has stepped up to take responsibility for cleaning up toxins remaining on the site.

Syncon Resins, located on the banks of the Passaic River, manufactured paint, varnish and resins until 1982 and the company liquidated its assets a year later, according to Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos. Read more »

Redistricting ‘lesson’ draws big crowd


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 


Kearny Schools Superintendent Patricia Blood unveiled her proposed redistricting plan for five newly reconfigured kindergarten to grade 6 elementary schools last Thursday night to mixed reactions from a packed house at Lincoln School.

The plan – a by-product of the new middle school program for grades 6 and 7 – was to be presented to the Board of Education Monday, June 16, for final approval before being implemented for the fall term in September.

Read more »

All bets off now for gambling ring


Four people from The Observer coverage area, and a relative of a North Arlington elected official, are among 29 suspects linked to what law enforcement officials characterized as “an illegal sports gambling enterprise operating in and around Bergen County.”

The arrests of 28 men and one woman were announced by Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli last Friday, June 13.

Molinelli said the venture “netted approximately $3 million during a 12-month period by accepting wagers on various sporting events including horse racing, football, basketball, hockey and baseball.”

The execution of 42 search warrants in Bergen, Hudson, Essex, Passaic, Morris, Union, Ocean and Monmouth counties and in New York resulted in the seizure of two vehicles and about $800,000, according to the prosecutor. Read more »

Owner now contesting bar closing

gin mill_web

By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 


A Kearny bar owner who consented to a 60-day closure after pleading guilty to violations of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) regulations has changed his mind.

John Hodnett, licensee for The Gin Mill, Brighton Ave. and Afton St., is asking the state Office of the Attorney General’s ABC Division to “stay’ the suspension, pending an appeal of the violations notice.

The governing body voted to implement the closure, that was to run from 2 a.m. June 5 to 2 a.m. Aug. 5, after a public hearing held May 27. Read more »

Back in action at Habitat property


At long last, there were signs of activity at the Habitat for Humanity’s Kearny construction site at 41 Kearny Ave. last week as J&F Concrete Pumping began pouring from Colonial of Newark for the installation of footings.

“Thank God for the break in the rainy weather we’ve had recently,” said Howard McPherson, owner of Champion Construction & Demolition, the general contractor in charge of the job. “Habitat is under way.”

It was back on May 30, 2013, that Habitat representative Tom Bruning joined with county and local officials for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the project – involving the demolition of the one-story building that housed the former county TB center and construction of a new 3-family home.

McPherson said the next step will be framing for the new building which, he said, should take about a month to complete.

What follows, he said, will be siding, roofing, installation of windows, along with “rough” plumbing and electrical, then sheetrock, painting, insulation and installing wood flooring.

“Habitat volunteers [and apartment purchasers] will be brought in from time to time during the full construction process,” McPherson said.

McPherson extended thanks to the mayor and Town Council, Tony Chisari, the town’s assistant construction official, and the Kearny Police Department and PBA Local 21 for traffic control and safely securing the job site. “They were all a breeze to deal with,” he said.

Up in flames


By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent


A 22-year-old Kearny man was arrested last week on a charge of aggravated arson after he allegedly torched a car on a township street in the predawn hours of Sunday, June 8.

Police Chief John Dowie credited residents in the area with helping officers apprehend the suspect.

According to police, at approximately 4:30 a.m., a man was seen using a hammer to smash the windows of a parked car near Belgrove Drive and Peden Terrace and then setting the vehicle on fire.

Read more »

Thoughts & Views: Go ahead, make my day

So, one day I’m sitting at my desk at The Observer when there came this brief but loud noise from outside followed by a strange chemical odor wafting briefly through the open window.

I never did find out what had happened, but at the time, I commented, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”

A co-worker laughed, and I said, “I also love that movie.” And she said, “What movie?”

Apparently she thought I was just being clever, and I realized that what we had here was a failure to communicate. Read more »