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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 […]

News in brief

HARRISON – Harrison Mayor James Fife, 73, is spending time in St. Michael’s Medical Center, Newark, where he is recovering from surgery. The hospital declined to provide any information but Councilman James Doran, who is serving as Fife’s campaign manager […]

 

Logged in the Lyndhurst Police blotter

Feb. 21

Police responded to a report of a motor vehicle accident, at 11:38 p.m., on Orient Way near Valley Brook Ave., where the driver of a 1997 Acura had allegedly struck a 2013 Honda and 2005 BMW while they were parked on Orient Ave. Police said they found the driver, Joanna Santos, 36, of Lyndhurst, at the scene, standing outside her car. After she was charged with DWI and careless driving, Santos was released to a responsible party, police said. The Acura and Honda were towed away.

Feb. 23

At 8:43 p.m., police said they stopped a motor vehicle traveling on Rutherford Ave. after determining the vehicle had an expired registration. Police also charged the driver, Raymond Sokoloff, 27, of Pompton Plains, with possession of suspected marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia (baggies).

While on patrol in Bergen County Park, at 8:52 p.m., police said they came upon a parked, unoccupied 2003 Nissan in the parking lot with its windows down and detected an odor of suspected marijuana from inside the car. Police said they found three individuals nearby in the park and charged one, Al-Fahtir Anthony, 18, of Nutley, with possession of drug paraphernalia (a grinder). The other two were not charged, police said.

Feb. 25

A report of a burglary to a garage brought police to a residence in the 800 block of Pennsylvania Ave., at 4:53 p.m. Police said the resident reported that a snow blower and power washer had been removed from the garage which is attached to the house. Police said they found no sign of forced entry.

Feb. 26

Police responded to 68 Summit Ave., at 8:11 a.m., on a report of theft from a motor vehicle. The owner of a 2009 Toyota parked in a residential driveway told police they found the front driver’s side door open, the interior contents strewn about and an Exxon Mobil credit card missing. Police said the vehicle wasn’t locked.

At 7:05 p.m., police were called to the 200 block of Park Ave. on a report that a vehicle had struck a parked car and left the scene. Police said that, because of the damage sustained by the traveling vehicle, a 2001 Chevrolet pickup, they were able to follow the marks left by a dangling truck part in the road to the 300 block of Watson Ave. where they arrested the driver, Michael Martin, 50, of Ringwood, on charges of DWI, careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. The pickup was towed from the scene, police said.

–Ron Leir

Business Review: Mid-Realty looks to give back to Kearny

Mid_web1

 

By Anthony J. Machcinski

Observer Correspondent

In 1997, Jarlynn Hyde took over Mid-Realty in Kearny with a focus on not just creating a successful business, but taking the lead in giving back to the community.

Seventeen years later, she has accomplished that goal – a goal that she continues to build on every year.

“I believe in donating our time to the community,” Hyde said. “We donate to charity, whether it’s Project Graduation or local soup kitchens. We believe in giving back to the community.”

Hyde thinks in a personal “pay it forward” lifestyle that has extended to her business and the 50 agents at Mid- Realty. Hyde believes that that lifestyle is one of the many reasons Mid-Realty has been able to stay together for so long.

“I do believe in the ‘pay it forward’ way of life,” Hyde explained. “I believe in that and that’s why I think people do business with me.”

Hyde continued, “We get a lot of compliments to the agents that work in my office. (Customers) really do stay here because of that. It’s just a different way of doing business.”

Hyde got her start in the real estate business when she became a realtor in 1992, believing that this was the one thing she was meant to do.

“There was never a time that I felt it wasn’t for me,” Hyde explained. “I always knew it was something I should be doing. I really felt that I had found my niche.”

Hyde’s passion for the business only grew with time, and her belief in helping others extended into the business.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for other people,” Hyde said, adding that her office has realtors who work in “all walks of life.”

Hyde said that several of her agents have been known to forgo their commissions to help a family in need.

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“We’ve helped people that were burned out of their homes and moved them into apartments,” Hyde said. “An agent came in and said they’re helping someone. They said, ‘I need to help these people, can we waive our commissions?’ and we do it.”

Hyde also feels that her business has been aided by staying ahead of the latest technology trends.

“I have realtors that work throughout the state and I do it without having multiple offices,” Hyde said. “It’s a virtual office, everything is done electronically.”

With agents throughout the state, but one central office on Kearny Ave., Hyde said that people moving from different parts of the state have the comfort of working through one agency.

“(Customers) get the comfort of working with one office,” Hyde said. “It gives the customer the ability to list a property up north and move south, and vice versa.”

Hyde said the idea for an electronic office came within the last 10 years, after attending national realtor conventions.

“I discovered it there and that’s the way (the business) was going,” Hyde explained. “I knew that technology was going to be a large factor in the industry and I wanted to make sure I was ahead of the curve.”

Hyde said that her hope is to continue doing business in the community and continue to be a leader in giving back.

“I don’t have to be number one, I’m quite happy,” Hyde said. “I have about 50 agents throughout the state and we all have the same code, and that’s not just thinking of the bottom line. We want to help people move on to what they want and know that they dealt with our office.”

Mid-Realty is located at 572 Kearny Ave., Kearny, near Lincoln School. For more information on Mid-Realty, visit its website at www.midrealty.com or call 201-992-5719.

Then & Now

Photo courtesy George Rogers Collection

Photo courtesy George Rogers Collection

Photo by Karen Zautyk

Photo by Karen Zautyk

For a change, the ‹Now’ photo shows a scene more bucolic than the ‹Then’ image. That’s because what you’re looking at ‹Now’ is the long-disused Erie Railroad Cut that runs through Kearny parallel to Midland Ave. Both views are looking west from the Kearny Ave. bridge at Locust Ave. The older image is from a 1906 postcard, ‹Made in Germany’ if you can believe it. (Why is a European company publishing local N.J. postcards? Why is there a postcard of railroad tracks in Arlington? Perhaps because back then there was money to be made in this highly popular early version of social media.) Along these rails moved trains of the Erie Railroad, then the Erie-Lackawanna, then NJ Transit, carrying riders to Hoboken for connections to N.Y.C. The passenger service ceased in 2002 when NJT’s Montclair Connection opened. Eventually, the tracks were removed, but ‹The Cut’ reportedly continues to be a transit route, offering a convenient trail for forest-dwelling critters to make their way down from formerly rural areas where their habitat is disappearing. So far, no bears appear to have made the trek. So far.

–Karen Zautyk

Around Town

Bloomfield

Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., announces:

• A blood drive is being held March 4 from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

• The Sankofa Genealogy group meets March 15 at 2 p.m. and the third Saturday of every month.

• An Immigration seminar hosted by Bloomfield resident and immigration attorney Dennis Mulligan is slated for March 12 at 6 p.m.

• “Divorce Bootcamp” is set for March 11 at 6 p.m. Registration is required.

• Affordable Care Act enrollment assistance is offered Mondays and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Cognosante and Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m. from Health Republic of N.J.

The library screens Midday Movies on Mondays and Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. Here’s this month’s schedule: March 6 – “Captain Phillips” (PG-13) (Tom Hanks), March 10 – “42: The Jackie Robinson Story” (NR) (Harrison Ford), March 13 – “Enough Said” (PG-13) (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), March 17 – “Young Cassidy” (NR) (Rod Taylor), March 20 – “The Great Gatsby” (PG-13) (Toby Maguire), March 24 – “Man of Steel” (PG-13) (Henry Cavil), March 27 – “Admission” (PG- 13) (Tina Fey) and March 31 – “Iron Man 3” (PG-13) (Robert Downey Jr.)

Belleville

Belleville UNICO sponsors a bus ride fundraiser to the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on Sunday, March 9. A pre-paid donation of $30 is requested ($35 at the door). A continental breakfast will be served before the trip at 8 a.m. at the Disabled American Veterans Post, 612 Mill St. The bus will leave at 8:50 a.m. Call 973-759- 9259 to reserve seats (no last minute cancellations). Send checks, payable to IAOVC, to Gene Antonio, 436 Joralemon St., Belleville, N.J. 07109.

Belleville Boy Scout John Greco conducts a blood drive for his Eagle Scout project on Saturday, March 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Fewsmith Presbyterian Church, 444 Union Ave., in the church auditorium. (Use side entrance on Little St.) Refreshments and door prizes will be available for donors. Donors must be age 17 or older; 16-year-olds require consent from a parent or legal guardian.

Belleville Public Library and Information Center, 221 Washington Ave., offers these children’s programs:

• Storytime – on Wednesdays at 11 a.m., beginning March 12.

• St. Patrick’s Day celebration – crafts, games and a musical performance by the Faulkner Sisters on Saturday, March 15, at 2 p.m.

For more information, call the library at 973-450-3434 or visit www.bellepl.org.

Kearny

Literacy Volunteers-West Hudson, Inc. seeks volunteers to train as tutors for its Basic Literacy and English as a Second Language programs. An orientation session will be held Tuesday, March 11, at 7 p.m. at the Kearny Branch Library, 759 Kearny Ave. Training sessions will be held on Saturdays, March 15, 22, and 29.

It is not necessary to know a foreign language. Tutors are asked to commit to two hours per week for one year.

For more information, email lvwesthudson@verizon. net or call 201-998-3336.

Arlington Woman’s Club meets on Tuesday, March 11, at 1 p.m. at the Arlington Player’s Club, 12 Washington Pl. Irene O’Sullivan will give an Irish reading. Participants are reminded to bring cookies to fill cans for the cookie/candy project. For more information on membership, contact Membership Secretary Teddie Jablonski at 973-248-6500.

Holy Name Society and Men of St. Joseph of St. Stephen’s Church co-sponsor an Ash Wednesday fish and chips supper on March 5 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in Hedges Hall, 676 Kearny Ave. Tickets are $14 for adults and $8 for children under age 12. Catering is by the Argyle Fish and Chips Restaurant.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Kearny Branch Library, 759 Kearny Ave., with a free screening of the documentary “A Short History of Ireland” on March 13 at 7 p.m. Irishthemed refreshments will be served. For more information, contact the library at 201-998- 2666 or visit www.kearnylibrary.org.

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.

Lyndhurst

The Lyndhurst Public Library Children’s Room, 355 Valley Brook Ave., hosts a St. Patrick’s Day craft program for children in grades 1 to 4 on Monday, March 17, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Advance registration is required. To register, call the library at 201-804-2478.

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.

Meadowlands Environment Center educator Victoria Madden hosts a program on Albert Einstein on Tuesday, March 11, from 3 to 4 p.m., at the NJMC Science Center, 3 DeKorte Park Plaza. Admission is free. Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register, go to www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec. For more information, call 201-460-8300.

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.

Sacred Heart Home School hosts a spring auction Tricky Tray fundraiser to benefit the school’s Margaret Engel Endowment Trust on Friday, March 14, at the school, 620 Valley Brook Ave. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 and non-refundable. Ticket includes one sheet for first level prizes, coffee, tea and dessert. For tickets, call Patty at 201-803-9580 or the school at 201-939-4277. Ticket deadline is March 9.

Harrison

A blood drive will be held at the Harrison Recreation Center gymnasium, 401 Warren St., on Wednesday, March 12, from 3 to 7 p.m. Donors must know their social security number, have signed photo ID, weigh at least 120 pounds, eat a meal and drink plenty of water one hour before donating. Parental consent forms for 16-year-olds will be available at the blood drive. For more information, call 973-676-4700, ext. 144 or email bmcentyre@bloodnj.org.

North Arlington

North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Rd., hosts Lego Club for grades 1 and up on Tuesday, March 11, at 6:30 p.m.

For adults, the library is sponsoring these programs:

• Computer Basics begins Monday, March 10, and runs through April 14. Call the library at 201-955-5640 to register. Space is limited.

• Knitting Group meets Thursday, March 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. No registration is necessary.

American Legion Alexander Stover Post 37 meets Tuesday, March 4, at 8 p.m. at the NAFD Engine Co. 2, 550 Schuyler Ave. All veterans are invited. For more information, call 201-214-8253.

North Arlington Elks, 129 Ridge Rd., hosts a fish fry on Wednesday, March 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. Price is $12 per dinner and includes fried or broiled fish or fried shrimp, French fries, clam chowder, baked clam and cole slaw. Shrimp cocktails and clams on the half shell are also available for $5 for half and $8 for a dozen. T

he Senior Harmony Club sponsors a trip to the Taj Mahal on Tuesday, March 18, and a trip to the Sands on Thursday, April 14. For reservations or information, call Florence at 201-991-3173.

North Arlington Senior Activity Center, 11 York Rd., hosts a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon on Monday, March 17. Bingo starts at 10:30 a.m., lunch is served at noon and dancing will be from 1 to 3 p.m. For more information and reservation, call 201-998-5636.

Nutley

Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Dr., announces:

• Story Time with therapy dog Rodney, open to ages 18 and under, a one-hour program that includes a discussion with Rodney’s guardian Carol Schinski, plus a craft, is set for Saturday, March 15, at 11 a.m. Registration is required for children only. Adults do not need a ticket.

Register online at the children’s room website at http://nutleypubliclibrary. org/youthservices/, or call the library at 973-667-0405, ext. 2623.

• Independent readers, ages 5 to 12, can improve their literacy skills by reading to a certified therapy dog. Registration is required. Due to space limitations, Nutley Library cardholders will receive priority registration. The program is held in the children’s room from 2 to 3:30 p.m., on the following Saturdays: March 5 and 19, April 17 and 31.

Register online at the children’s room website at http:// http://nutleypubliclibrary. org/youthservices/reading-to-dogs- nutley-public-library/, e-mail Michelle Albert at michelle.albert bccls.org, or call the library at 973-667- 0405, ext. 2623.

Lyndhurst turns to Tuero for football, Radigan as AD

Photo courtesy Rich Tuero Lyndhurst new athletic director Jeff Radigan (l.)and new football coach Rich Tuero represent the influx of new blood into the school’s athletic program. Both Lyndhurst High graduates were appointed to their positions last week.

Photo courtesy Rich Tuero
Lyndhurst new athletic director Jeff Radigan (l.)and new football coach Rich Tuero represent the influx of new blood into the school’s athletic program. Both Lyndhurst High graduates were appointed to their positions last week.

 

By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

Lyndhurst High School made major strides last week toward what is apparently the future of the athletic department.

The school announced that Rich Tuero had been appointed as the new head football coach and Jeff Radigan was hired as the school’s new athletic director.

Both Tuero and Radigan are Lyndhurst High School graduates.

Tuero, 29, was the head coach of the junior varsity team last year and served as an assistant under former head coach Joe Castagnetti.

Radigan, 35, is the former boys’ basketball coach and current assistant baseball coach. He will replace the retiring Frank “Butch” Servideo in September.

For Tuero, it’s a position he always longed for.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Tuero, who becomes the youngest head football coach in the school’s history. “From the day that I met Coach (Jim) Vuono (the long-time grid coach), I knew that this is what I wanted to do some day. I just didn’t think it would happen this soon.”

Tuero played along the offensive and defensive line for Vuono, graduating in 2002. He then moved on to play at Montclair State University, playing for the legendary Rick Giancola.

“Honestly, they have two totally different coaching styles,” Tuero said. “Coach Vuono was more of a motivator and intense. Coach Giancola is much calmer and has a business as usual approach. They both helped me learn how I wanted to be as a coach.”

Upon graduation from Montclair State, Tuero immediately returned to his Lyndhurst roots and became an assistant coach as well as a teacher’s aide. He was hired full-time as a health and physical education teacher in 2012.

Tuero said that working under Castagnetti helped him prepare to take over for the veteran coach, who resigned at the end of last season for family reasons.

“He gave me a lot of responsibility,” Tuero said. “I learned about every aspect of coaching. I learned a lot about the off-the-field responsibility. When Joe told me he was stepping down, I said, ‘Here we go.’ I didn’t think I had a shot to get the job. If it wasn’t for Coach Vuono and my wife (Koriann), I never would have even applied. Coach Vuono encouraged me and my wife was all over me, telling me that I better put in for the job.”

Tuero was given the head coaching position.

“This is like making the NFL for me,” Tuero said. “This is all I ever wanted. I can’t put it into words.”

Tuero said that he already has met with the prospective players last week.

“We had the first meeting and I was amazed with the turnout,” Tuero said. “We had 52 kids at the meeting. I was so pumped. A lot of the kids said that they never played football before. I want to get kids who are athletic. I looked around at the meeting and there was practically my entire JV team. So I’ve worked with the kids already. The kids all know me. They’re in the weight room and we are working on the offseason workout program.” Tuero and wife Koriann are the parents of a 19-month-old daughter Sophia Rose. The couple are Lyndhurst natives.

Radigan will serve as one of Servideo’s assistants in the legendary coach’s final season this spring before taking over as athletic director in the fall. “I have some really good ideas about what I would like to do,” Radigan said. “I’m really excited to be able to work with the kids. I want to continue to build the Lyndhurst tradition.” Radigan, who graduated from Lyndhurst High in 1996, knows that he will have a tough job, replacing a man like Servideo, who has given almost his entire life to Lyndhurst athletics.

“I definitely have some big shoes to fill,” Radigan said. “Butch did some great things as athletic director for years. I hope to bring some ideas, but I definitely will be calling Butch a lot for advice and he knows it. I have other great people in the coaching staff that I can lean on. I’m really surrounded by great coaches and people.”

Radigan is currently a history teacher at the school.

“It will definitely be different, dealing with the kids on a different level,” Radigan said.

Radigan said that he has his late father James to thank for becoming the new AD.

“My father passed away three years ago,” Radigan said. “Before he died, he urged me to go back and get my athletic administration certificate. He thought I could bring the Lyndhurst programs to another level with my knowledge and personality. He was right. This is a great opportunity for me.

Added Radigan, “I’m excited to be able to do this in the community that I love. The people in Lyndhurst are so close knit and try to help each other out. I’m only the fifth athletic director in the school’s history, so it’s a job that I plan to keep for a long time.”

Tuero already has his first game circled on the schedule.

“It’s Waldwick, Friday, Sept. 12 at home at 7 p.m.,” Tuero said. “I’m already pumped. Our goal is to get better every day. We’re going to have a young team. I know that. But I already told the kids that no one thought I had a shot to get this job. No one thinks this team can win losing 22 seniors. Who cares what they say? If we focus on getting better every day, the wins will come.”

At the very least, the Lyndhurst Board of Education has two young and energetic home grown products to lead the athletic program into the years to come.

NA’s reasons to be very proud

Photo courtesy Rich Tuero Lyndhurst new athletic director Jeff Radigan (l.)and new football coach Rich Tuero represent the influx of new blood into the school’s athletic program. Both Lyndhurst High graduates were appointed to their positions last week.

Photo courtesy Rich Tuero
Lyndhurst new athletic director Jeff Radigan (l.)and new football coach Rich Tuero represent the influx of new blood into the school’s athletic program. Both Lyndhurst High graduates were appointed to their positions last week.

 

By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

Ever since 2003, The Observer has presented an award for the top male and female athletes of the year in the newspaper’s circulation area.

The presentation is made after the scholastic school year is completed, generally in July.

The Observer Male Athlete of the Year award has been dominated in recent years by graduates of North Arlington High School.

In 2008, Michael Gross was given the award, before the former three-sport Viking standout went off to the University of Rhode Island to play football. Gross was an inspiration to many, especially after he recovered from suffering a stroke while at Rhode Island.

In 2010, Peter Santos, another multiple sport standout, playing soccer and basketball, earned the honor. Two years later, it was Tyler Krychkowski, another soccer, basketball and track standout, who earned the distinction.

Last year, it was former Viking standout quarterback/basketball forward A.J. Nocciolo who secured the award, making it four Athletes of the Year among the last six honored, all from the same Group I school.

Well, the 2013-14 scholastic sports season is two-thirds complete and the chances are that this year’s honoree just might be from North Arlington once again.

It’s safe to say that the two leading contenders for this year’s award are classmates at North Arlington.

First candidate is Nick Martin, who had a sensational football season and is in the midst of a great basketball campaign for the Vikings.

Need proof? How about Martin’s fourgame explosion recently, all leading to Viking victories?

Martin had an astounding 31 points and 15 rebounds in a 72-64 victory over Wood-Ridge, had 21 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Christ the King of Newark, tossed in 29 points and had 11 bounds in a win over St. Mary’s of Rutherford and had 19 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Visions Academy.

If Martin wasn’t already named Athlete of the Week during the football season, he would have been a candidate for the honor this week.

Martin is an absolute credit to the school, a true gentleman who is a pure scholar athlete. He will graduate among the top students in his class. Martin hinted during the football season that he would rather seek a top education than become a collegiate athlete.

“I’m not too sure I want to play in college,” Martin said. “I’m leaning toward not playing. I think it might get in the way of my studies. I need sufficient time to keep my grades up and my academics always come first.”

Martin is an excellent student, with a 4.2 grade point average and a Scholastic Aptitude Test score of 1710. He is being sought after by the Ivy and Patriot League schools.

Need we say more?

Then the next candidate is Danny Cordeiro, who has received his fair share of recognition recently for his contributions to the school’s first-year indoor track and field program.

Cordeiro had a phenomenal soccer season, scoring 30 goals and adding 19 assists. It was good enough for Cordeiro to earn a soccer scholarship to NCAA Division I New Jersey Institute of Technology.

But for good measure, Cordeiro won the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group I championship in the 800-meter and 1,600-meter run, added the overall Group I championship in the 800 and last weekend, Cordeiro finished seventh overall at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions.

Here’s a kid who already had the academic standards to get into NJIT, earned a soccer scholarship and is now lighting up the track as a runner.

Cordeiro has created a legacy already, being the first state medalist in the history of the North Arlington indoor track and field program.

It’s almost too unbelievable for words that two great athletes could come from the same town, never mind the same school.

But Martin and Cordeiro have certainly blazed the trail for the rest of the area’s athletes to follow.

And once again, they are from North Arlington, the little school that simply seems to churn out multi-talented athletes year after year.

Is it a coincidence that Martin and Cordeiro come from the same school that produced Gross, Santos, Krychkowski and Nocciolo before them?

Having one or two might be considered a fluke. Having four or more? That’s definitely a trend and certainly a reason for the entire school to be very proud.

Kearny’s Vivas proves better late than never

Left photo by Jim Hague Right photo courtesy Bob McDonnell Kearny’s senior forward Joel Vivas became an all-around force for the Kardinals down the stretch of the season.

Left photo by Jim Hague
Right photo courtesy Bob McDonnell Kearny’s senior forward Joel Vivas became an all-around force for the Kardinals down the stretch of the season.

 

By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

For his first two years at Kearny High School, Joel Vivas was strictly a volleyball player.

But last year, as a junior, Vivas decided to give basketball a try.

“My friends made me want to play,” Vivas said. “I played with my friends at Gunnell Oval. I also played in gym class a little. Since I started playing basketball, my volleyball coach Mr. (Bill) Mullins told me I should try out for basketball.”

So the 6-foot-4 basketball novice Vivas gave the sport a whirl. He didn’t have instant success. In fact, Vivas spent most of the season on the junior varsity.

“I really wasn’t sure where I was supposed to go on the floor and what I was going to do,” Vivas said. “I didn’t know where to position myself.”

Bob McDonnell took over as the head coach at Kearny this fall and he saw Vivas’ potential.

“I thought he could be pretty good,” McDonnell said. “He just was a little bit too laid back. He wasn’t aggressive. He was almost timid at times.”

Vivas said that McDonnell was important to his development as a basketball player.

“He helped me a lot with my game,” Vivas said. “He told me to play defense first and then the offense will follow. He told me that all I needed was heart to play defense.”

“I knew he had only been playing for two years,” McDonnell said. “He was still feeling his way around the game. We talked at the beginning of the year and I told him that I needed him to hit the boards for us.”

For most of the season, Vivas was just an ordinary player for the Kardinals, contributing rebounds and defense, but was limited in his scoring.

That was, until the final few weeks of the season.

“With all honesty, Joel turned it on during the last 10 games,” McDonnell said. “I think he realized his ability and stepped up his game. He finally played to his level of talent and learned what he could do. He got a lot more aggressive on the offensive end of the floor.”

Vivas, a native of Ecuador who came to the United States and Kearny when he was age 7, believes that it was just a case of gaining self confidence.

“I practiced a lot,” Vivas said. “But once I gained some confidence, I felt better about myself. About half the year, I didn’t have any confidence shooting the ball. But Coach McDonnell told me that I had to be more aggressive.”

“Without a doubt, he became a lot more confident,” McDonnell said. “He got more comfortable with his teammates and realized what was expected of him.”

Vivas showed his total potential in the final four games of the season, three of which were victories for the Kardinals.

Vivas had 10 points, 15 rebounds, six steals, three assists and three blocked shots in a win over neighboring rival Harrison; had seven points, 16 rebounds, five steals, three assists and two blocks in a win over Belleville; had 11 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in a loss to Vision Academy; and had 19 points, nine rebounds, five steals, five assists and four blocked shots in the season-ending win over Roselle Park.

For his efforts, Vivas has been selected as The Observer Athlete of the Week for the past week.

McDonnell believes that Vivas’ talents as a volleyball player helps him on the hardwood.

“Without a doubt, Joel has great jumping ability and uses that ability to get rebounds and block shots,” McDonnell said. It definitely helped him. One of the things I joke with Joel about is that I told him you’re supposed to throw the basketball through the net, not try to hit it over the net. He became so much better at blocking shots. He was trying to get so much better.”

Vivas said that he was pushed to play better at the end of the season, knowing that his short basketball career was coming to a close.

“I was really motivated, because since I became a better player, I really wanted to play basketball,” Vivas said. “Once I knew I could play, I worked harder at my game. I was really determined, because I definitely didn’t want to go out on a bad note. I wanted to do better. I just had an aggressive mindset.”

Vivas now heads to volleyball practice, where he will play for the Kardinals in the spring.

“I always felt like I was a better volleyball player, but now, since I became better in basketball, I really like both,” Vivas said. “I wasn’t good at it. But Coach McDonnell made me better. I think doing well in basketball is going to help my confidence for volleyball.”

“He was never really interested in basketball, but now it’s fun for him,” McDonnell said. “You can see it. He started enjoying it.”

Now, McDonnell, a former assistant coach at Berkeley College, can see Vivas actually playing college basketball.

“Without a doubt, he can definitely play (NCAA) Division III,” McDonnell said. “He has the athletic ability to do that. I think he opened up a lot of eyes with the way he played the second half of the season. I spoke to some of our opposing coaches, who said they didn’t worry much about him the first time around, but they had to deal with him the second time. I’m happy with his overall effort.”

“I think I can do the same thing again,” Vivas said. “I don’t know what I want to do yet, but it’s good to know I can do it.”

For now, Vivas will be an outside hitter on the volleyball team. But one never knows what the future holds. At least, Vivas now knows he can play basketball as well.

New doctor joins dental office

Dr. Harry Harcsztark, of The Smile and Implant Center, Kearny, has welcomed Dr. Jeffrey Poirier to his practice.

A graduate of Temple University, Philadelphia, Poirier owned and managed his own dental practice in Massachusetts for 10 years before relocating to New Jersey. “We are excited about having such a talented professional join our practice,” Harcsztark said. “I am confident his dental experience, dedication and excellent interpersonal skills will complement the quality dentistry and exceptional customer service The Smile and Implant Center has provided their patients for the last few decades.”

Anyone interested in meeting Poirier or any of the doctors of The Smile and Implant Center for a complimentary consultation or second opinion are invited to call Alexis at 201-991-1055 or e-mail alexis@thesmileandimplantcenter.com.

The Smile and Implant Center offers early, late, Saturday and select Sunday hours. It provides a variety of multi-specialty dental services including general and cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic makeovers, oral surgery, dental implants, Invisalign, Cosmetic Contouring, Zoom Teeth Whitening, Dentistry While Asleep and facial cosmetics such as Botox® and a variety of facial fillers.

Obituaries

Edward J. Frerichs

Edward J. Frerichs entered into eternal rest on Saturday, March 1, surrounded by his loving family. He was 90.

The funeral will be conducted from the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison, on Friday, March 7, at 9:15 a.m. A funeral Mass will follow at Holy Cross Church, Harrison at 10 a.m. Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Friends may call on Thursday, March 6, from 3 to 7 p.m., and Friday from 8:45 a.m. For information or directions, please visit www.mulliganfuneralhome.org.

Born in “Hell’s Kitchen,” Manhattan, N.Y., Edward grew up in East Newark and lived in Harrison for the last 67 years. He worked as an electrical inspector for the Bendix Corporation in Teterboro for many years. Edward began working at the age of 15 to help support his widowed mother and two younger brothers.

A member of the “Greatest Generation,” he served in the United States Army during World War II. Landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day Plus 18, he served in the 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion engaging in many battles throughout France, Belgium, and finally in Germany.

A devout Catholic, Edward was a parishioner of Holy Cross Church, Harrison, where he attended Mass daily.

Edward is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Florence (nee Devine), loving children, Edward, Claire Hallam, Elaine Dobosh (Joseph), and Ruth Gerris (Bob), cherished grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Alison and Tom Bowers, Jennifer Dolaghan (Sean), Brian Dobosh (Beth Anne), Lisa Rusek (Mike), Steven Hallam (Moriah), Michelle Hallam and Danny Gerris and Jake and Quinn Dolaghan. He is also survived by a dear brother Fred and many nieces and nephews. Edward was predeceased by his brother Frank, daughter-in- law Frieda Frerichs, and a son-in-law George Hallam.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Camp Fatima of NJ, care of the funeral home, or you may mail your donation directly to Camp Fatima, P.O. Box 612, Harrison, N.J. 07029 in loving memory of Edward.

Catherine A. Greenemeier

Catherine A. Greenemeier (nee Nappi) entered into eternal rest peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Thursday, Feb. 27. She was 58.

Funeral services were under the direction of Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison. The funeral service will be private at the convenience of the family.

For information or directions, please visit www.mulliganfuneralhome.org.

Born in Newark, she was a lifelong resident of Harrison.

A wife and a mom, she worked as a crossing guard for several years in Harrison.

Catherine is survived by her beloved husband Richard; loving children Alexis and Richard Jr., dear siblings Lena Cicchino and Richard Nappi. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was predeceased by her parents Anthony and Margaret Nappi and her brother Anthony.

For those desiring, contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105-1942 in loving memory of Catherine.

Mary Hickey

Mary Hickey died on Feb. 24 at home. She was 81.

Born in Brooklyn, she moved to Kearny 15 years ago.

A memorial service was held at the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny, followed by a private cremation.

Mary was a nursing assistant at The Brooklyn Methodist Hospital for many years.

Wife of the late James Greer, she is survived by her children and their spouses Stephen Hickey, Pat and Lew Battista, Kathy and Tom McGrade and Jacqueline Sabbagh. Also surviving are seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Daniel J. Jutkiewicz

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Daniel J. Jutkiewicz, 61, died on Feb. 20 in the Hackensack University Medical Center.

Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral Mass was offered at St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny, followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com.

Born and raised in Wilkes- Barre, Pa., Danny lived in Rutherford before moving to Kearny 18 years ago.

Mr. Jutkiewicz was a health insurance and employee benefit specialist for Benefits Solutions in Wayne for the last 11 years as well as a member of the New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters. He was an ambassador for the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce in Wayne.

He served as a Eucharistic Minister, lector, C.C.D instructor and a member of the Parish Council, all at St. Stephen’s Church. He also volunteered at the Archdiocesan Youth Retreat Center in Kearny during Rejoice Retreats. During the holidays, Dan would feed the homeless with the Rev. Benedict Groeschel and the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in the Bronx, N.Y. He coached girl’s softball for Kearny Recreation. Danny was also a constant entertainer, singing and playing guitar.

He is survived by his wife Susan (Leahy) and daughter Jessica Suzanne Jutkiewicz and her boyfriend Daniel Lockard; siblings Ann Marie Chirco and John “Jack” Jutkiewicz; son-in-law of Julia (Mc- Curley) and Jerry “Skeeter” Leahy; brother-in-law of Jane and Chris Souza, William and Kimberly Leahy and Anne and John McCaffery.

He was the uncle of Thomas, Christopher, Allyson, Justin, Paige, Julia, Keara, Brooke and Johnny.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at www.stjude.org or to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at www. cmnwi.org.

Anne D. Klepp

Mrs. Anne D. Klepp, formerly of Kearny, passed away on Feb. 24. She was 90.

The funeral Mass was offered on Feb. 28 at St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny, followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery. Arrangements were by the Condon Funeral Home, 684 Kearny Ave., Kearny (condonfuneralhome.com).

Mrs. Klepp had been an executive secretary with General Instruments in Newark for 40 years before retiring.

She was predeceased by her husband George in 1995 and is survived by her children Dolores (Thomas) List and George (Louellen) Klepp and her sisters, Julia Zavislak and Josephine Jagonski. Also surviving are her grandchildren, Thomas (BobbiJo) and Christopher (Allison) List and her great grandchildren Emily and Aaron.

In lieu of flowers, kindly make donations to Hospice of NJ. http://www.americanhospice.com/.

Thomas Myers

Thomas Luther Myers, 79, passed away on Feb. 10.

Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral service was held at the funeral home, followed by a private cremation. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thielereid. com.

Mr. Myers was born in Johnson City, Tenn., and later lived in Kearny before moving to North Arlington 50 years ago.

He was a partner in Tom’s Service Center in Newark for 24 years before retiring in 1996.

Tom is survived by his beloved wife Audrey Myers (nee Kerr); daughter Heather Rokosny and her husband Charles; grandchildren Kristian and Madison Rokosny; brother-in-law Austin Kerr and his wife Claudia; sisters Betty Comer and her husband William and Judy Supel and her husband Harry and many nieces and nephews and their families.

He was predeceased by his parents Ruby Bennett (nee Previtt) and Taylor Myers and his sister Georgia Jenkins and her husband Les.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to a charity of your choice.

Marion J. Teresavage

Marion J. Teresavage, 83, of Girardville, Pa., formerly a 50-year resident of Kearny, passed away Friday, Feb. 28.

Born in Girardville, Pa., she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Mary Yousavage Leckner Sr. She was a graduate of the former Butler Township High School, class of 1947, Fountain Springs, Pa., and was employed as a loan officer for the First Jersey Bank, Kearny, until her retirement.

Marion was a member of St. Vincent DePaul Roman Catholic Church, Girardville, Pa.

She was preceded in death by her husband Peter Teresavage in January 2010, and a daughter Mariane Johnstone in 1977.

She is survived by her son Peter Teresavage III and his wife Linda of Shenandoah, Pa., sister Evelyn Leckner of Girardville, Pa., six grandchildren and seven greatgrandchildren and nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Friday, March 7, at 11 a.m. at St. Vincent De- Paul Roman Catholic Church, 260 N. 2nd St., Girardville, Pa. A viewing will be held at the church at 9:30 a.m. until Mass. Interment will follow in the parish cemetery.

Richard W. Fritz Funeral Home, 1323 Centre St., Ashland, Pa. is in charge of funeral arrangements.

Gladys Tubens

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Gladys Tubens of Kearny died Feb. 21.

Her funeral was arranged by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. The funeral Mass was at St. Anthony’s Church and burial followed in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Gladys came to this country from Peru 20 years ago.

She is survived by her companion Enrique Bravo and her children Jesus, Gladys, Celena, Karina, Cinthia and Miguel Cordova and Milagros De La Rosa. Also surviving are eight grandchildren.

Helen C. Wieczenski

Helen C. Wieczenski (nee Bakula) died Feb. 22. She was 86. Born in Harrison, she was a lifelong resident. Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral Mass was held at Our Lady of Czestochowa, followed by burial in Holy Cross Cemetery. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Wife of the late Chester, Helen is survived by her children and their spouses Michael and Mary Wieczenski, Andrea and Raymond Kustosz and Thomas and Miranda Wieczenski; her grandchildren Kimberly, Heather, Jason, Steven, Jennifer, Thomas, Michael and Andrew and her great-grandchildren Gavin, Alyssa, Jonathan, Alexis, Madison, Saheli and Aanya. She was predeceased by her daughter and son-in-law Bernadette and Dave Tietjen and her brothers Chester, Leo and Louis Bakula.

In lieu of flowers, kindly make a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Nutley PD: 5 cases of ID theft/consumer fraud reported in last week

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Five cases of consumer fraud and/or identity theft were reported to the Nutley P.D. during the past week, police said.

The first incident was logged on Feb. 26 when police said the victim of a credit card fraud came to headquarters to report they noted a fraudulent charge had been made to their Visa debit card from the Bissell Co. for about $181. The victim subsequently canceled the card, police said.

Three other incidents were reported on Feb. 27:

In one, a resident told police their bank contacted them about suspicious activity on their accounts involving a credit card linked between their checking and savings accounts. Police said someone who had the resident’s Social Security number and another personal identifier managed to transfer $220 from the resident’s savings to the checking account and then attempted to wire $900 through Western Union. The resident canceled all credit cards and the account link. Also, after getting a credit check, the resident learned that someone had tried to open Best Buy and Discover card accounts in their name but had been rejected. Police said the resident told them they’d used their Master card at Target and suspects that these fraud attempts may be connected to the recent credit hacking incident involving that store. Read more »