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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 […]

 

Look for ‘Creepoid’ to break out soon

Creep_web1

 

By Anthony J. Machcinski
Observer Correspondent

When many people think of music coming out of West Philadelphia, the first song that comes to mind most likely will be Will Smith’s “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”; the rock band Creepoid looks to change that.

Creepoid was formed during a snowstorm in 2009, when Sean Miller, Pete Urban IV, and Patrick and Anna Troxell had a jam session to fight off boredom and cabin fever.

“During one of the snowstorms (in 2009), we all got together and ended up jamming,” Patrick Troxell said. “Now we’re at the point that we’re about to put out our second LP.” Read more »

Then & Now

Photo courtesy of Kearny Public Library

Photo courtesy of Kearny Public Library

 

Photo by Karen Zautyk

Photo by Karen Zautyk

The building in the old photo looks like it belongs on some Ivy League campus like Harvard or Princeton, doesn’t it? It has the requisite ivy, lots of it, and classic architecture, including the elegant arched entrance. The structure did, indeed, house classrooms — for Kearny schoolkids. This is the original Roosevelt School at Kearny and Stewart Aves. Built in 1894, it opened as Public School No. 5. As the population in the northern end of town grew, an addition was constructed in 1905, increasing the number of classrooms to 14. It was renamed ‘Roosevelt’ in 1919 (which puts an end to any debate over whether it was named for Teddy or Franklin Delano). A 1933 article in The Observer noted:

‘Three stories in height, its red brick walls have for years been covered with an abundant growth of ivy, giving them a distinctive permanence.’ Not that permanent, though. The original building was demolished in 1936, replaced on the same site by the current school, which today serves 450 pupils in Grades pre-K through 6. And there’s not an ivy leaf in sight.

– Karen Zautyk

Around Town

Belleville

Belleville Elks Lodge 1123, 254 Washington Ave., hosts its monthly breakfast on Sunday, Feb. 16, from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $6 for adults, $3 for children under age 3, and children age 3 and older, free. If there are three or more inches of snow, the breakfast will be cancelled. Call the lodge at 973-759-9623 for more information. Breakfasts are held on the third Sunday of every month from September to May.

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 hall, 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.

Bloomfield

Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., hosts a Valentine’s Day blood drive on Feb. 14, from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Children’s programs for the February break include the following:

• Spanish Storytime, for ages 2 to 5, is held on Monday, Feb. 17, at 11 a.m. It includes songs, stories, rhymes, finger plays and a craft.

• Make a Catapult, for ages 5 and up, is offered on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m.

• The Art of Eric Carle, for ages 4 and up, is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20, at 2 p.m. In this program, children will “dress for a mess.”

• “Despicable Me 2” will be screened for Movie Day on Friday, Feb. 21, at 2 p.m. Popcorn will be served. Registration is not required for February Break programming. In case of inclement weather, call 973-566-6200 to check on possible cancelations.

The library has slated a bone marrow drive Feb. 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come learn about what it means to be a registered bone marrow donor and swab your cheek at the donor recruitment drive, hosted on behalf of Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation. People between 18 and 60 and in generally good health are eligible to be screened and join the worldwide registry.

Harrison

Holy Cross Church sponsors a bus trip to the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on Sunday, Feb. 16. The bus leaves from Holy Cross School at 10 a.m. A donation of $30 is requested (receive $25 in slot play). Refreshments will be served, starting at 9:15 a.m., in the school basement. For reservations, call Joan at 973-481-2434 or Marie (Spanish) 973-481-1799. Leave your name, phone number and the number of people attending.

Kearny

Good Shepherd Church, 780 Kearny Ave., will conduct a blood drive in conjunction with New Jersey Blood Services on Feb. 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., invites children ages 4 and older to an art class from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20. The library will provide the art materials. Registration is not necessary, but space is limited.

The Kearny Rotary Club meets every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at La Fiamma Restaurant, 440 Harrison Ave., in Harrison. Business leaders from Harrison are invited to learn about the work that Rotary International accomplishes around the world and in local communities. For more information about the club or to attend a meeting, call Joe D’Arco at 201-955- 7400 or Jose Fernandez at 201-991-1040.

The West Hudson Detachment of the Marine Corps League, 286 Belgrove Dr., invites all former and active duty Marines and FMF Corpsmen to an open house, every Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. Guests are welcome.

Fraternal Order of Eagles #2214, 166 Midland Ave., sponsors a fish fry, hosted by Argyle Fish and Chips, on Friday, Feb. 21, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is $13.50 per person, payable at the door. Proceeds will benefit Wounded Warriors. Dinner includes fish and chips, clam chowder and soda. For more information, call 201-991-9865.

The Evening Membership Department of the Woman’s Club of Arlington meets on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the Henrietta Benstead Center, Columbia Ave., for a Craft Night. The executive board meets at 6:45 p.m.

St. Stephen’s Seniors meet on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at noon. The re-scheduled Winter Party will be held. A board meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Members are reminded that 2014 membership dues of $10 is now due. A trip to Atlantic City is set for Feb. 26.

Upcoming events include the following:

• St. Patrick’s Day celebration will be held at LeGreci’s in Staten Island on March 11. Final payment is due at the Feb. 18 meeting.

• A trip to Norfolk, Va., for the Virginia International Tattoo, which includes Marching band competition, bagpipers, Scottish dancers, etc., is slated for April 24-27.

• An anniversary party will be held May 2, from noon to 4 p.m., at San Carlo’s in Lyndhurst.

• A trip to “Moses at Sight & Sound Theatres” in Lancaster, Pa., is scheduled for June 11-12.

• A cruise on the Norwegian Gem to Canada and New England is planned for Sept. 13-20. Call 201-991-4771 for further information.

For club information, call Tom at 201-998-8258; for tours, call Joan at 201-998- 3578; or for A.C., call Peg at 201-998-9443. For Sunshine (get well, sympathy cards), call Vicki at 201-991-8345.

Lyndhurst

Lyndhurst Health Department, 601 Riverside Ave., offers a free stroke prevention forum hosted by Clara Maass Medical Center on Friday, Feb. 21, at 10 a.m. Participants receive free blood pressure screenings and a light breakfast. Call the Health Department at 201-804-2500 to reserve a seat.

Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave., announces:

• Walk-In Story, for pre- K to grade 2, is offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. No registration is required.

• Valentine craft, for grades 1 to 4, is held on Thursday, Feb. 13, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Call the library at 201- 804- 2478 to register your child.

• Winter Welcome Sign Craft, for grades 1 to 4, is available on Monday, Feb. 24, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Registration is required.

Lyndhurst Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3549, 527 Valley Brook Ave., hosts karaoke on Feb. 14, starting at 7:30 p.m. The VFW hall is available to rent for all occasions. For more information, call the post at 201-939-3080.

Lyndhurst Knights of Columbus hosts Casino Night on Friday, Feb. 21, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post, 577 Valley Brook Ave., beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $50, which includes a hot buffet, cash bar and $100 in “play” money. No tickets will be sold at the door. Seating is limited. For tickets, contact Sal Russo at 201-446 7244 or Nick Garafolo at 201-893- 2848.

The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission has canceled the Feb. 14 Great Backyard Bird County Walk at Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus, due to the temporary closing of Mill Creek Marsh, weather concerns, and the difficult footing on other Meadowlands trails.

This free two-hour Third-Tuesday-of-the-Month Bird Walk set for Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 10 a.m. has been moved from Harrier Meadow in North Arlington to DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst. The group will meet inside the Meadowlands Environment Center at 10 a.m. The walk is run by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and the Bergen County Audubon Society. Check meadowblog.net for last-minute weather updates. You will have to sign a standard liability release that is good for NJMC/BCAS events throughout the year. To R.S.V.P., contact Don Torino of the BCAS at mailto:greatauk4@aol.comor 201-230-4983.

 

North Arlington

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

• A knitting group for adults meets on Thursday, Feb. 13, from 7 to 8 p.m. No registration required – just drop in. This group meets monthly.

Friends of the Library meets on Friday, Feb. 21 at 9:30 a.m. in the Senior Center (behind the library). New members are welcome; check the website for more details about membership: northarlington.bccls.org or call 201- 955-5640.

A screening of the documentary “Alice’s Ordinary People” will be held on Friday, Feb. 21, at 10:30 a.m. it tells the story of Alice Tregay – an influential figure in the civil rights movement during the 1960s. The program will last at least one hour and 45 minutes, and will take place in the Senior Center directly behind the library.

Nutley

Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Dr., will hold the following Star Wars-themed events:

• Scavenger Hunt is held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Registration is required.

• “Star Wars IV” (PG) is screened on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m.

• Live Action Game is offered on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 2 p.m.

• Drop-in Craft is available on Friday, Feb. 21 at 10 a.m.

• Meet Star Wars Characters on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 2 p.m. A joint Manga meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m.

For more information, call the library at 973-667-0405.

The kick off event for Nutley’s 8th annual Relay For Life Celebration has been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 24, at Ralph’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant, 564 Franklin Ave., beginning at 6 p.m.

Kearny’s Sroczynski signs with University of Tampa

Photo courtesy the Sroczynski family Kearny High School senior Aislinn Sroczynski is all smiles after signing her national letter of intent to attend the University of Tampa on a track scholarship.

Photo courtesy the Sroczynski family
Kearny High School senior Aislinn Sroczynski is all smiles after signing her national letter of intent to attend the University of Tampa on a track scholarship.

 

By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

It’s a success story with an extremely happy ending, one that finishes with a college scholarship.

Aislinn Sroczynski is a Kearny High School senior, someone who began running cross country on a whim two years ago after being a soccer player.

As it turns out, Sroczynski becomes a good runner, much like her father, Steve, her mother Heather and her uncle Frank were at Kearny during their scholastic heyday.

“I had just quit playing soccer and started to run and Coach (Jim) Cifelli told me that my times were pretty good,” Sroczynski said. “And he told me that I could run in college.”

So Srocyznski, who finished 10th at the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group IV cross country championships last fall and earned First Team All-Hudson County honors from the county’s coaches association, decided to send out questionnaires to colleges in Florida.

The reason for Florida? “I wanted to go south,” Sroczynski said. “I just hate the cold weather. All the snow we’ve had recently? I hate it.”

So Sroczynski started to think about going to her first choice, Florida State.

“But I wasn’t sure I could run there,” Sroczynski said.

So then Cifelli put the idea of the University of Tampa in Sroczynski’s mind. As it turned out, Cifelli had a contact at the University of Tampa and he made a call.

“It worked out for her,” Cifelli said.

Last Wednesday, Sroczynski signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of Tampa on a scholarship.

“I went for a visit and I really liked it,” Sroczynski said. “The coaches paid me a lot of attention and the girls on the team were very nice and they accepted me. As it turns out, Tampa races against schools like Florida State, Miami and the University of Florida. It’s the kind of competition I wanted, just in a smaller pond.”

Sroczynski said that her grandfather lives in the Tampa area.

“So I have someone there if I need him,” Sroczynski said. “It really is perfect.”

Sroczynski said that she had Cifelli to thank for her scholarship package.

“He’s the one who pushed me along,” Sroczynski said. “He told me what schools would be interested in me and made me fill out the questionnaires. I gave him a new list of schools every week and he called every coach for me. He got the best response for me and stayed on me. He convinced me I had the ability to be a runner in college. He took all the negative thoughts out of my head. It’s pretty awesome. I’m so excited.”

Photo courtesy the Sroczynski family The entire Kearny girls’ track team with coach Jim Cifelli (center) celebrates Aislinn Sroczynski signing a national letter of intent to attend the University of Tampa.

Photo courtesy the Sroczynski family
The entire Kearny girls’ track team with coach Jim Cifelli (center) celebrates Aislinn Sroczynski signing a national letter of intent to attend the University of Tampa.

 

Cifelli, who is retiring as a coach this year after a storied 40-plus year career, said that he was glad to help.

“She’s a great kid,” Cifelli said. “Not everyone can become a professional athlete, but you can find a kid a scholarship to college. It’s great that schools give kids the chance to open the world for them. She tugs at my heartstrings a little. My wife taught her in fifth grade. She’s a tough, little kid with a great heart.

Added Cifelli, “She loved the place and she’s very happy, both academically and athletically.”

Cifelli has helped other Kearny track athletes like Cayleigh Solano (LaSalle) and Brian Mendes and Esther Alfaro (NJIT).

“This is a great way for them to end their Kearny career,” Cifelli said. “It’s nice to see kids excel.”

Sroczynski said that she will major in political science at Tampa.

“I like politics,” Sroczynski said. “I hope I can eventually get into law school. My dream is to someday get involved in government.”

Sroczynski is still walking on Cloud Nine.

“I didn’t think I’d ever be running in college,” Sroczynski said. “I never thought I’d be a college athlete. There’s no way I thought this was possible. Thank God I had Cifelli. He guided me the whole way. I can’t believe I’m signing a letter on signing day like other athletes. It’s a little surreal. Now, I’m just counting the days until I can go to Tampa.”

Montclair State women roll along with Aquino & Lucas

Photo by Jim Hague Harrison’s Rayven Lucas (l.) and Kearny’s Janitza Aquino have helped the Montclair State University women’s basketball team to a national ranking among Division III schools.

Photo by Jim Hague
Harrison’s Rayven Lucas (l.) and Kearny’s Janitza Aquino have helped the Montclair State University women’s basketball team to a national ranking among Division III schools.

 

By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

The Montclair State University women’s basketball team is rolling along, posting a record of 19-2. The Red Hawks are currently ranked 11th among NCAA Division III programs in the entire nation.

The Red Hawks have two local players on their roster, namely Kearny’s Janitza Aquino and Harrison’s Rayven Lucas.

Aquino is a junior guard who has been on fire of late as the team’s starting shooting guard. Lucas is just a freshman, vying for playing time, while learning the ropes watching her friend and neighbor perform.

Together, they give the Red Hawks a strong local flavor, as they continue to move their way toward a possible national championship.

Head coach Karin Harvey is pleased with the performance of both players, especially Aquino, the former Observer Female Athlete of the Year.

Aquino nailed eight 3-point field goals en route to tying a career-high 26 points in the Red Hawks’ 81-60 victory over William Paterson recently. The eight 3-point field goals set a new school record. Aquino was named the New Jersey Athletic Conference Player of the Week for her efforts.

Harvey was happy to move Aquino back to the shooting guard slot, after she played primarily as a point guard last season.

“Janitza became the point guard because of an injury to our starter,” Harvey said. “But she moved back to the off-guard and has done a fabulous job. She is able to take the ball to the basket, but she’s also worked on her perimeter game and can now regularly make the 3-pointers.”

Aquino is averaging 16.2 points per game this season, improving from 10.2 points per game last year.

Lucas has seen limited time, scoring 11 points in six games played, but Harvey likes her potential.

“Rayven is a hard worker who wants to learn,” Harvey said. “She has embraced her role and has really come a long way. She definitely has a bright future with us and I’m looking forward to her improvement.”

Lucas has enjoyed herself with the Red Hawks.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Lucas, the daughter of Harrison athletic legend Ray, the former New York Jets quarterback who is currently an analyst on the SNY network and does color commentary for Rutgers football radio broadcasts.

“It’s a great experience to be a part of something so big and exciting,” Lucas said. “I’ve been able to overcome bigger challenges as a basketball player. I’m learning to work with new people and it’s changed my entire mindset as a player.”

Lucas said that she has had to deal with one major change from high school to college basketball.

“The speed of everything is so different,” Lucas said. “Everything is so fast. We had a scrimmage game and everything was flying by me. It was going way too fast for me. But I eventually got used to it.”

Lucas said that she also had to adapt from being the main scorer in high school to a bench player in college.

“For me, that has been the biggest transition,” Lucas said. “I’m just trying to get better. It’s weird, going from playing all the time and scoring to now being on the bench. But I realize that I have a lot of work to do.”

Lucas said that she has leaned on Aquino in getting accustomed to college life.

“We have a good relationship,” Lucas said. “Janitza has always been there for me. She helps me when I need it.”

And as for Aquino’s play?

“She is absolutely amazing,” Lucas said. “I always ask her to help me with my shooting, because she is such a good shooter. When she is going like she did the other day, it’s absolutely crazy.”

Harvey likes the relationship between Aquino and Lucas.

“Janitza is really good with the younger players, especially Rayven,” Harvey said. “The two of them get along so well. Janitza takes the time to be with Rayven and shows her what she’s doing right and wrong. I really like the way the two interact. They get along very well.”

Aquino was unavailable for comment for this article.

Lucas can’t believe how much she loves living at Montclair State.

“I love the college life,” Lucas said. “I’m away from home, but I’m close enough to have my mother do my laundry. But it’s so much easier for me to be here.”

And it’s great to see two local standouts doing so well on the next level.

NA’s Cordeiro signs letter with NJIT

Photo by Jim Hague North Arlington senior Danny Cordeiro (seated l.), flanked by his dad, Carlos Cordeiro, signs his national letter of intent to attend the New Jersey Institute of Technology and play soccer at the Newark school in the fall. Standing, from l., are: Vice Principal Dennis Kenny, Head Soccer Coach Jesse Dombowski, Principal Lou Manuppelli, Athletic Director Dave Hutchinson and Track and Field Coach Joe Cioffi.

Photo by Jim Hague
North Arlington senior Danny Cordeiro (seated l.), flanked by his dad, Carlos Cordeiro, signs his national letter of intent to attend the New Jersey Institute of Technology and play soccer at the Newark school in the fall. Standing, from l., are: Vice Principal Dennis Kenny, Head Soccer Coach Jesse Dombowski, Principal Lou Manuppelli, Athletic Director Dave Hutchinson and Track and Field Coach Joe Cioffi.

 

By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

Danny Cordeiro had given a verbal commitment to attend the New Jersey Institute of Technology in November, but it wasn’t really official until the talented North Arlington High School senior put his signature on a national letter of intent.

Cordeiro will play soccer at NJIT in the fall.

The letter signing took place last Thursday afternoon at North Arlington, with school officials, Cordeiro’s coaches and his father, Carlos, present.

“Once you put the pen to paper, it’s different,” Cordeiro said. “It’s the kind of thing that happens only once in a lifetime.”

That is certainly true when it comes to athletes from North Arlington. It’s not often that a student/athlete from a Group I school gets a chance to become a scholarship recipient.

Cordeiro was sent the letter of intent by the NJIT coaching staff last week. He was not able to officially sign until Wednesday. The signing took place Thursday, because school was closed Wednesday due to the snowstorm.

Some athletes change their mind after giving a verbal commitment. That was not the case with Cordeiro. He was sold on NJIT from the beginning.

“The coaches contacted me to make sure I got it,” Cordeiro said. “But I’m interested in studying engineering in college, so I wanted to go through with that.”

Cordeiro scored 30 goals and had 19 assists last fall for the Vikings. He is currently running indoor track for North Arlington.

Last weekend, Cordeiro won the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group I championship in both the 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs. It’s the first year that North Arlington has featured an indoor track team and the school already has a two-time state sectional champion, thanks to Cordeiro’s efforts.

Cordeiro won the 800-meter run in 2:00.99 and the 1,600-meter run in 4:37.97.

Not a bad week, winning two gold medals at the state sectionals in his first-ever attempt and signing a college scholarship letter.

“Not a bad week at all,” Cordeiro said. “It’s pretty amazing and definitely memorable. I was pretty happy winning in the first year of indoor track. I liked running in Toms River (the Bennettt Center). I never ran in a dome like that before. It was pretty impressive.”

Cordeiro didn’t get caught up in the aura of a state championship.

“I just ran it like it was a regular race,” Cordeiro said. “I always have the same game plan. I try to win every time. I don’t get caught up in times. I was definitely surprised to go there and win both races. I was just trying to do my best.”

North Arlington head soccer coach Jesse Dombowski was present for the letter signing.

“It’s fantastic,” Dombowski said. “I think it opens up a lot of chances for other kids in our program to get Division I scholarships. Danny is one of the most determined athletes I’ve ever coached. He knows what it takes to get to the next level and I’m so glad he got the chance to go to a Division I school. By far, he’s one of the best athletes I’ve ever coached and that the school has had.”

To permanently honor Cordeiro, the school plans to put a plaque with his picture near the entrance of the school as a reminder of his accomplishments.

“It can only raise some school spirit,” Dembowski said of the plaque.

“I only heard about that today,” Cordeiro said. “That’s going to be awesome. I’d like to come back to the school and see that in the hallways. That’s pretty special.”

Just like Cordeiro, who is truly a special athlete in every sense of the word.

Obituaries

Hannah Gaffney Killeen

Hannah Gaffney Killeen, 79, passed away on Feb. 6 at her home in Burlington Township. Funeral services were under the direction of Mulligan Funeral Home, Harrison. A funeral Mass was offered at Holy Cross Church, Harrison. Cremation was at Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside.

Hannah was born in Dublin, Ireland, and came to the United States in 1960. She lived in Hudson County, Belleville and Colonia before retiring to Manahawkin. She worked at McGovern’s Traven in Newark for many years.

Hannah was the beloved wife of the late Patrick Killeen; loving mother of Angela Schimenti, devoted mother-in-law of Lou Schimenti and adoring Nana to Patrick James and Diana Eileen; and dear sister to May Feeney, Monica Roche and Annie Ivory. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, Hannah requests a donation be made in her name to St. John’s Feed the Hungry, P.O. Box 200147, Newark, N.J. 07102 or Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital, 200 Trenton Road, Browns Mills, N.J. 08015.

William LeVan

William LeVan, 79, died of Feb. 3 at his home in Kearny.

Relatives and friends may call the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrave Dr., Kearny, on Thursday, Feb. 6, from 4 to 8 p.m. The funeral service will begin at 7:30 p.m. Cremation will be private. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thielereid.com.

Mr. LeVan was born in North Arlington and lived in Kearny his entire life.

He served in the Army during the Korean conflict.

William worked for waste management for 20 years before retiring. Previously, he worked for the Kearny D.P.W.

He is survived by his sons William J. (Rosemary), Michael J. (Lisa) and Robert P. LeVan (Sonia); two sisters Dorothy Rue and Cynthia LeVan and three grandchildren Michael, Robert and James. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

Eugene Lysak

Private arrangements by Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home in Kearny, were handled for Eugene Lysak, who passed away on Jan. 23. He was 66.

Eugene was a Vietnam veteran and had been a postal manager in Hackensack. He is survived by his son David M. and his sister and brother Olga Musto and William Lysak.

Michael J. Russell

Michael J. Russell died on Feb. 4 in Philadelphia, He was 52.

Born in Newark, he lived in Kearny before moving to Lanoka Harbor in 1988.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral Mass was held at Our of Lady Sorrows Church, Kearny, followed by a private cremation. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Mike was a warehouseman for Benjamin Moore Paint in Clifton. He was an avid sports and Kiss fan. He was a member of The Elks and loved to watch his nephew at Vets Field and The Oval.

Beloved son of Joseph and Barbara (nee Sateary) Russell, he also survived by his wife Lori-Anne (nee Smith), his sisters Karen Cannizzo and Donna Esteves and his brother David and his wife Leslie. Brother-in-law of Eddie and Dawn Smith, he is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews and his pals Mikki and Petey.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to your own local animal shelter.

BCPO arrests 3 more in connection to bar melee

From left, Pate, Venegas and Carrion

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli announced today the charging of three additional individuals in connection with the bar brawl that occurred outside the Twins Plus Lounge located at 2 South Main St., South Hackensack.

During the incident, five people were injured, three critically. The case is being investigated by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Major Crimes Unit, and the South Hackensack Police Department, Detective Bureau.

As previously reported to the press, at 1:44 a.m. on Jan. 27, SHPD and surrounding towns responded to a reported bar fight at Twins Plus Lounge. Read more »

‘Capital’ ideas abound at D.C. confab

Mayor_web

By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent

KEARNY –

Making music, manufacturing and meeting the vice president were themes that resounded for Kearny’s chief executive during a trip to the nation’s capital.

Mayor Alberto Santos was among the participants in the 82nd annual winter U.S. Conference of Mayors, held Jan. 22-24, in Washington, D.C., where municipal leaders learn how federal policies or grant programs may impact their communities.

Topping the list of high profile items on the agenda for the winter meeting, Santos said, were panel discussions on combating poverty in the big cities and, in particular, improving the graduation rate for low-income kids in urban schools. On that topic,newly-elected New York Mayor Bill DiBlasio talked about his plan to provide universal pre-school for the city’s public school system.

If Santos picked up any tips for helping Kearny’s school system upgrade its testing profile – a goal that Superintendent- on-leave Frank Ferraro has underscored – he didn’t say.

But some other notions about what cities can do to improve the quality of life for its residents and businesses attracted the mayor’s attention, one of those being a pitch that was made during a panel session on kick-starting America’s sagging manufacturing base.

A federal initiative known as IMCP – Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership – promotes links between the government and the private sector by awarding competitive grants, through the U.S. Economic Development Administration, to communities for site development and job training leading to new and/or expanded manufacturing clusters that would employ skilled labor. Last year, the feds gave out 26 grants, including one to Rutgers University to develop technology to strengthen the food industry. Read more »

Liquor stores lax on ID checks

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By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent

The legal drinking age in New Jersey is 21. Alcohol is not to be sold, in bars or stores, to anyone younger than that. According to the rules of the N.J. Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC): “If there is any doubt that the purchaser is under 21 years of age, the sale should not be made.”

Hence, the practice of asking for proof of age.

On Dec. 30, the eve of New Year’s Eve, when lots of folks were stocking up on alcohol for their celebrations, the Hudson County Coalition for Drug Free Communities (HCCDFC) conducted an interesting experiment in Kearny, Harrison and East Newark.

The results were discouraging.

In the three towns are a total of 21 liquor stores. Read more »