This week’s e-Edition and classifieds are now posted. We apologize for the delay.
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent KEARNY – Take away the “acting” title: the Kearny Board of Education has formally installed Patricia Blood as its official superintendent of schools. The board took the action at a special meeting held last Thursday night at the Lincoln School. The vote was […]
By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent KEARNY – On May 27, 1922, an estimated 25,000 people gathered in the streets around the small park where Kearny Ave. and Beech St. meet, to witness Gen. John J. Pershing personally dedicate the towering granite monument honoring the Kearny men who died […]
A photo (above) of the suspect van was released Nov. 19 by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. NUTLEY – Nutley police are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating the motor vehicle that struck and killed a 77-year-old woman on Centre St. on […]
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent HARRISON – At Washington Middle School in Harrison, nearly 75% of the more than 400 enrolled are just as busy with school-related projects after 3 p.m. as they are during their regular day of classes. And that’s partly by design of the school […]
Due to weather conditions this week and the need to preserve the final stages of construction on the oval, tonight’s Nutley High School home football game has been moved to Monsignor Owens Field 44 Park Ave., at 7 p.m. Admission to the game is free.
The state Attorney General’s Shooting Response Team is investigating a fatal shooting of the driver of a stolen SUV at the Lyndhurst-Rutherford border early Tuesday, Sept. 16, according to a press release issued by the AG’s Office.
The driver, identified as Kashad Ashford, 23, of Newark, was shot by police shortly before 2:30 a.m. after a pursuit and a passenger in the vehicle, listed as Jemmaine T. Bynes, 30, of East Orange, was arrested.
The AG’s Office said the two men, who reportedly had a weapon inside the vehicle, were being chased in connection with their alleged efforts to steal or break into vehicles. Read more »
By Ron Leir
The corner house at Grand Place and Stewart Ave. doesn’t really stand out in any particular way, but it’s drawn a lot of attention from neighbors – and not in a good way. Many packed the assembly chambers at last Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting to demand that the town take action to kick out its new occupants, clients of a “recovery house.”
And the town is taking steps to do just that if the building’s owner and tenant fail to comply with various building code and zoning-related violation notices.
But the new tenant insists that when the dust clears, folks will see there’ll be nothing to worry about. Read more »
By Ron Leir
The town of Harrison, with a current population of about 14,000 but growing thanks to several new residential projects rising in its waterfront redevelopment area, now has a second hotel.
It is the Element Harrison, the brand’s second hotel in New Jersey, along with the Element in Ewing Township, just outside Princeton.
The 138-room facility off Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. S. is just steps away from the Harrison PATH station and across the street from the Red Bull Arena.
Its construction – developed at a cost pegged at $43 million – comes a decade after the development of the 165-room Hampton Inn & Suites on the Harrison Riverwalk, close to the border of downtown Newark. Read more »
By Karen Zautyk
Somewhere in Harrison, there is a magical place. If we were telling this story as a fairy tale, it would begin:
Once upon a time, there was a small plot of land on which a happy home had stood. But one day, the king’s men came and tore the house down, leaving the land lonely and forsaken. Soon, bad people found the place and used it as a trash heap, and it got uglier and lonelier, because the king’s men didn’t do anything about cleaning it up.
Good people who lived nearby would try to remove the litter, but the bad people always came back and dumped some more.
Then, an angel appeared. We will call her a Gardening Angel. And she planted lots of wonderful things, which grew to giant size and which she shared with her neighbors. Read more »
By Ron Leir
Starting next month, the Kearny Farmers Market will be offering a new, sweet treat as part of the fresh, Jersey-grown produce for its patrons.
We’re talking vino, folks.
The town governing body voted last Tuesday night to permit the Four Sisters Winery in Warren County to conduct wine tasting and sales on specified Thursdays – Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 – at the Farmers Market on Garfield St.
That’s contingent on state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board approval. Read more »
Kearny is another step closer to seeing new commercial development along its Passaic Ave. corridor, close to its East Newark border.
The town’s governing body signed off last Tuesday night on a three-year redevelopment agreement for a portion of the Passaic Ave. Redevelopment Area with DVL Kearny Holdings LLC and its principals Alan Casnoff of Philadelphia and Lawrence J. Cohen of New York.
Key to that mobilization is construction of a BJ’s Wholesale Club on the east side of Passaic Ave. which will be positioned as the “anchor” of several new retail stores planned for the area near ShopRite.
Eric R. Ballou, principal of InSite Engineering, the Wall Township firm hired by DVL to assist with the project, told the mayor and Town Council that DVL expected to begin disconnecting utilities at older retail properties on the mall site shortly before tearing down those structures, starting in November.
Then, the firm figures it will be undertaking “infrastructure, beginning early next year, for the BJ’s project,” Ballou said.
Under terms of the redeveloper agreement, DVL must pay the town $50,000 a year in “administrative fees” plus consultant fees by Oct. 1 and each year thereafter until the town has issued a certificate of completion for the project. However, the fee will be adjusted downward based on a formula keyed to the “gross building area of the new buildings” completed.
Those new buildings will be an 87,788 square foot structure to be leased to BJ’s Wholesale Club, a 35,000 square foot, one-story structure to house one retail client and a 17,000 square foot, one-story structure that will house five smaller retail tenants. Other than BJ’s, no other tenancies have yet been announced by DVL.
Additionally, the agreement calls for DVL to pay the town $90,000 in administrative fees owned for 2013 and 2014 for which DVL was “in arrears from prior redeveloper agreements.”
DVL must also provide to the town $184,000 as its contribution toward the eventual construction of a Passaic River Waterfront Park/Walkway within the next decade.
DVL has pledged to try to hire Kearny residents as construction workers for one out of every five jobs on the project.
DVL will put up $75,000 in “condemnation escrow” to acquire easements from Kmart.
Some history on the project: In December 2000, the town declared 86 acres in the southwestern part of Kearny to be in need of redevelopment, and in 2001, the mayor and council adopted the original Passaic Ave. Redevelopment Plan which was revised in 2007 and amended in 2014 to allow for the construction called for in the agreement approved last week.
– Ron Leir
Back in April, Kearny police apprehended a Bayonne man for allegedly engaging in a “lewd and lacivious act” — on two separate occasions — in Walmart.
David Harper, 35, had reportedly been pleasuring himself, in close proximity to female shoppers. Police said he had fled the store after the initial offense, but when he returned about three weeks later, the KPD located him on the premises and arrested him.
Harper was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct.
The police also obtained a DNA swab from the suspect and entered the information in the national DNA database.
Last week, New York City police advised the Kearny Detective Bureau that, thanks to that DNA sample, the NYPD had developed Harper as a suspect in two sexual assaults in the city.
KPD Chief John Dowie said inquiries revealed that Harper had “an extensive record of arrests and convictions” in N.Y.C. before he moved to New Jersey. The charges included larceny, possession of stolen property, criminal impersonation, resisting arrest, and possession of a firearm, Dowie reported.
– Karen Zautyk
As of press time, I am sure controversy will still be whirling around the NFL — i.e. What did the league honchos know about the Ray Rice incident and when did they know it?
That bothers me less than another aspect of the case: The fact that Janay Rice knew everything she needed to know about her then-fiancee, and knew it instantly, as soon as he belted her in the jaw in that Atlantic City elevator.
And yet, she still chose to marry the creep.
And, incredibly, she is defending him, and attacking the media for allegedly ruining her happiness.
I have nothing but admiration for people who counsel victims of domestic violence.
The prime reason for that being that I know I’d be incapable of offering such aid.
And the prime reason for that being that I am incapable of understanding why any woman would remain in an abusive relationship — be that abuse physical or emotional. (Yes, I know men are also the victims of domestic violence, but I am focusing here on my sex.)
I have heard a variety of explanations.
Some women don’t know any better. Having been raised in abusive homes, they think this is the norm. (The U.S. Department of Justice notes: “Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life – therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society’s next generation of victims and abusers.”)
Some women stay with a brutal spouse, or boyfriend, “for the sake of the children.”
Some have been brainwashed in a sort of Stockholm Syndrome manner. Some are completely financially dependent on their abuser. Some are simply afraid to leave. (Again, from the DOJ: Victims who leave their abusers are 75% more likely to be murdered.)
And some insist they still “love” the man who is assaulting them.
These may also be the reasons why such women are reluctant to even press charges against the abuser. New Jersey is one of the enlightened states that no longer requires a victim’s cooperation for the law to be enforced. Gone are the days when the beaten and bloodied victim could plead that the man with blood on his hands not be handcuffed and taken to the pokey.
In N.J., if police are sent to a domestic-violence call, and there is “evidence of an assault, it’s a mandatory arrest,” a source in law enforcement told us.
This is a step forward, but the assailant could still walk free.
“If the victim doesn’t show up in court,” the source told us, “most likely the charges will be dropped.”
I don’t know the statistics, but I bet a lot of victims don’t show up.
Now, I must admit, this column is being written in virtual ignorance. I have not been the victim of domestic violence. Despite the reasons cited above, I cannot comprehend why any woman would stay with a man if he even raised his hand to her. I, or he, would be out the door in an instant.
Also, I have known only one such victim in my life (unless others have kept it hidden). And I met her long after she had left her abusive husband. Left him taking her three children with her. Left him not knowing where she would go or how she would live. Left him having no money of her own to speak of.
But she left. And built a happy life. So happy that it wasn’t until I had known her for years that I learned of her prior situation.
She is one of my heroines.
Janay Rice is not.
Ray Rice knocked her cold and dragged her body out of that elevator as if she were a bag of trash. And she defends him? What kind of message is she sending to other victimized women?
Her Instagram message, posted after the knock-out blow portion of the video was released and hubby was cut by the Ravens, blasts the media and the public for their “unwanted” opinions and ends thusly:
“THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get? If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is!”
What don’t you all get?
I don’t get any of it. At all.
But I can hope that the video of her being punched unconscious might just raise the consciousness of some other woman who might gain the will to free herself from abuse.
Help is out there. But you have to want help.
– Karen Zautyk
A North Arlington man, found slumped inside a car in the vicinity of Lincoln School, was arrested last week on drug charges after he was found to be in possession of 14 folds of suspected heroin, Kearny police reported.
KPD Chief John Dowie said Officer Jack Corbett, patrolling near Midland and Kearny Aves., observed Darryl Sarra, 33, asleep in a parked Kia at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9. The car was running and its lights were on.
Corbett shut off the engine and removed the keys before rousing Sarra, who reportedly “immediately fell back asleep.” The officer summoned an ambulance and, while awaiting its arrival, noticed a small wax fold on the driver’s lap, Dowie said. A seach incident to Sarra’s subsequent arrest produced 13 additional folds, the chief noted.
Sarra was transported for treatment to Clara Maass Medical Center, where blood and urine samples were taken for evidentiary purposes.
He has been charged with: possession of heroin with intent to distribute, intent to distribute within a school zone, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while suspended, driving under the influence and possession of CDS in a motor vehicle.
Police said he also had an outstanding North Arlington warrant.
Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:
At 10 a.m., Officers Jack Grimm and T.J. Hernandez were dispatched to a South Kearny business, which had reported the misuse of a company credit card by a former employee. They detained Ricardo Barnes, 35, of Queens, N.Y., and a warrant check indicated he had four: two from Ringwood and one each from Maplewood and Millburn, police said. After he was arrested on those, Woodland Park police advised the KPD that complaints had been filed against him for creditcard misuse in that borough, and he was turned over to their custody.
Officer Daniel Esteves, on patrol at Devon and Dukes Sts. at 2:15 p.m., saw a man acting suspiciously near a parked car, police said. The officer conducted a street interview, did a warrant check and arrested Alexis Perez, 32, of Newark, on a warrant out of East Orange.
At Columbia Ave. and Beech St. at 9:30 p.m., Officer John Fabula witnessed a BMW travelling at high speed and passing to the right of other vehicles, police said. Stopping the car at N. Midland Ave. and Alpine Place, he found that the driver, Carlos Monterroso, 30, of Belleville, had a suspended license.
Monterroso was charged with that offense, careless driving and failure to obey a traffic signal.
Officer Christopher Levchak, responding to a two-car accident at Bergen Ave. and Devon St. at 8:30 p.m., reportedly detected the odor of alcohol on one driver. After conducting field sobriety tests, he arrested Marisa Rodriguez, 51, of Newark, who was taken to HQ for an Alcotest and issued a summons for DWI.
At 1 a.m., Officer Chris Medina arrested Marcos Mendez, 36, of Kearny, at a Howell Place residence on a harassment warrant issued by Kearny. Mendez was also reportedly found to be in possession of two hypodermic needles and was charged with that offense.
At 3:45 a.m., Officer Derek Hemphill witnessed a Honda speeding north on Kearny Ave. at Linden Ave. As he followed the car, it reportedly ran two red lights, made a U-turn on Seeley Ave. and pulled into a driveway. Police said the motorist, Angel Henriquez- Dilone, 20, of Kearny, admitted he did not live at that address. So why did he enter that driveway? Police said his response was, “Because I knew you were chasing me.”
Back-up Officer Medina conducted FSTs on the apparently intoxicated man, who was then taken to HQ and given an Alcotest. Henriquez- Dilone was charged criminally with eluding police and received summonses for DWI, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals.
Michael Voss, 46, of Kearny, whom Vice detectives had under surveillance, was seen exiting a bus in Kearny at 8:15 p.m. and was found to be in possession of nine folds of “Bread & Butter” heroin, police said. He was charged with possession of the drug and drug paraphernalia.
– Karen Zautyk