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NAPD seeks man who allegedly passed 4 fake $100s

The North Arlington Police Department  is currently investigating an incident involving use of counterfeit $100 bills at a 7-Eleven on Ridge Rd. A man, approximately 6′  in height, 150 lbs., wearing a baseball cap  with a Seattle Mariners logo, a […]


W.H.A.T. presents ‘The Addams Family’ July 30-Aug. 5, including preview tonight at Angry Coffee Bean

KEARNY — Teen Drama, a theater company for teens celebrating its fifth anniversary this summer, in association with the West Hudson Arts & Theater Company (W.H.A.T.) presents the modern classic Broadway musical “The Addams Family” this summer. The smash-hit musical […]


Images from funeral procession for Jersey City police Detective Melvin Santiago

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Farewell to a brother in blue

On Friday afternoon, regular traffic came to a halt on the Belleville Pike and Ridge Road to open the route for the funeral procession of slain Jersey City Police Detective Melvin Santiago. The 23-year-old rookie, promoted posthumously to detective, had been ambushed early Sunday, July 13, when he […]


State eyes raising part of Pike

By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent  KEARNY – The Rt. 7/Belleville Turnpike corridor which runs through Kearny’s meadows area and beyond is getting a lot of attention these days from state and federal transit agencies. For the past couple of years, contractors hired by the state Department of Transportation have […]


Inserra marks 60 years in business




Inserra Supermarkets recently marked its 60th anniversary by honoring 179 of its ShopRite associates who embody the family-owned company’s commitment to customer service, quality excellence and community. The honorees, who are employed at the Mahwah-based company’s 22 stores throughout New Jersey and New York, were recently recognized for their milestone anniversaries, ranging from five to 50 years of service.

Local honorees include:

• Kearny residents Nina  S. Allaire (15 years); and Lori A. Happel and Gary J. O’Rourke (both 10 years).

• Lyndhurst residents Jean  Garofolo (50 years); Julio Barrios, Kathleen Cella, Cira M. Elias, David J. Pawlikowski, Danny M. Vo dung (all 10 years); and Lisa R. Kostiner (5 years).

• North Arlington residents Thomas M. Panepinto and Vincente Saul Godo (both 10 years); and Jorge Andujar (5 years).

“Combined, our honored associates have logged 2,870 years of distinguished service on behalf of our customers and the community at large. Their role, from the stock rooms and the registers to working the floor, is invaluable to fulfilling our mission. We appreciate what they do each and every day and the lengths they go to in order to serve others and work as a team,” said Lawrence Inserra Jr., president and CEO. “These outstanding men and women have been – and continue to be – the foundation for our success.”

Established in 1954 by Patsy Inserra as a privately held business, Inserra Supermarkets remains true to its roots as a family-owned grocery chain committed to serving the communities in which its stores are located.

“I have been fortunate enough to work for Inserra Supermarkets for five decades – who can say that today?” said Jean Garafolo, who began working part-time at age 17 in the former Hasbrouck Heights store to pay off her car. Now a part-timer in the Lodi store, Garafolo said, “I really look forward to seeing my customers, many of whom I have gotten to know through the years. I’m not only happy to be a part of the Inserra family, I also feel like I am a part of my customers’ extended families too.”

Thanks to this sense of family and customer commitment, Inserra Supermarkets has been able to grow well beyond the company’s flagship Lyndhurst store without losing its personal touch. In 1980, under the entrepreneurial guidance of the late Lawrence Inserra Sr., the company expanded to eight stores and then, in 1981, to 14 stores. Today, the company owns and operates ShopRite supermarkets in Bayonne, Columbia Park, Emerson, Fair Lawn, Hackensack, Hillsdale, Hoboken, Jersey City, Lodi, Lyndhurst, New Milford, Northvale, Palisades Park, Passaic, Ramsey, Wayne and West Milford in New Jersey and in Rockland County, N.Y., in Garnerville, New City, Stony Point, Tallman and West Nyack.

As one of the region’s largest employers, Inserra Supermarkets provides full-and part-time positions to more than 4,000 employees who live throughout the bistate region. The company also is widely acknowledged as a good corporate citizen dedicated to making life better for local residents. One recent activity includes ShopRite Partners in Caring, which challenges employees to band together as part of National Hunger Action Month to raise awareness and funds to alleviate hunger in their local communities. The company also supports the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, based in Hillside, and Table to Table, the first food rescue program serving Northern New Jersey.


Joao Almeida 

Joao “John” Almeida died May 16 at home. He was 47. Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass was held at Immaculate Conception Church in Newark. Burial was in Arlington Cemetery in Kearny.

Ambulance crash injures 5




An ambulance crash at the intersection of Second Avenue and Ridge Road injured five people on Monday, May 19, but none of the injuries was life-threatening, according to reports.

Reports say that while it was heading to another motor vehicle accident, the ambulance collided with a car traveling in the opposite direction and toppled over onto a parked car.

No one was in the parked car, and there were no patients in the ambulance, reports say.

See video from the crash scene, shot by neighbor Steven Greco, on our website at www.TheObserver.com.

– Kevin Canessa Jr. 

Then & Now




Here, we have a mystery. The ‘Then’ image is from a postcard dated 1920 and apparently published by Knox Presbyterian Church of Kearny. The back bears a preprinted message from the Rev. Robert T. Graham inviting members to ‘Rally Day’ on Sunday, Oct. 10, 1920. We don’t know what ‘Rally Day’ was, but that’s not the mystery. What we’d really like to identify in the old image is the building on the right.

Red-brick Knox Presbyterian is on the left, on Kearny Ave. just south of Woodland Ave., where it had stood since 1881. But what is that other church-like structure? It can’t be an earlier Knox. And online we found a 1907 photo of the property that shows a fairly substantial building (a private home?) on the spot where this mystery building is sketched here.

What stands there in the ‘Now’ picture is the MacMillan Chapel, where Knox Presbyterian held its final worship service in September 2013. The Knox/MacMillan property is now up for sale. But when was that other ‘church’ there? Was it affiliated  with Knox? What was its name? Answers to these questions would be greatly appreciated.

 – Karen Zautyk 

The Observer is now on Google+, Instagram


The Observer is now on Google+.

If you’re already a member, be sure to find us and follow us.

Simply log on to https://www.google.com/+Theobservernj.

We’re also on Instagram now, too. Find us on Instagram @theobservernewspaper or www.Instagram.com/theobservernewspaper

Harrison PD: Man’s Ford F-250 is stolen


May 10

A man told police he parked his 2006 Ford F-250, NJ registration, maroon with silver, with a 4-inch lift kit and large tires, in the parking lot at Pechter’s, Manor Ave. and Jersey St., May 10 at 10 a.m., but when he returned May 12 at 7:50 a.m., the car was gone.

May 15

At 9:53 p.m., police were sent to a liquor store on Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. North on a report of theft. The owner told police that a Latino man grabbed the tip jar, containing between $15 and $20, from the cash register and left the store. The thief was last seen running north on FER Blvd. towards Kearny. The suspect was described as between 35 and 40, five-feet-eight, between 200 and 220 pounds, with dark hair and wearing a white shirt and dark sweatpants.

Nutley PD: Washington Ave. resident’s car gets shattered window


May 10

Police responded to a Washington Ave. location at 4:13 p.m. on a report of criminal mischief to an auto. The owner showed police that the vehicle’s passenger window had been shattered. Police said a witness had observed a male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt run from the auto south on Washington. Police checked the area but couldn’t find anyone matching the witness’s description. Read more »

Our new sign for our new office has arrived!


The Observer’s new sign — at our new office at 39 Seeley Ave., Kearny — has arrived. Here’s a look at it. Don’t forget to update your records with our new address.

Happy Memorial Day, one and all!


Stretching the thin Blue Line


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 


Harrison’s local government and the state are adamant about stretching the town’s dwindling Blue Line into the public arena but the department commander is holding up a red caution flag.

Town Councilman James Doran, who chairs the council’s Police Committee, said: “We had requested of the chief extra resources to have more of a police presence with all shifts – a boots on the ground kind of thing.”

That recommendation, Doran said, extended to getting Police Chief Derek Kearns and his second in command, Capt. Michael Green, to stay in uniform instead of their civvies.

How to achieve more visible police presence “the chief’s call,” as head of the department, Doran said. Read more »