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This week’s e-Edition, classifieds are now posted

This week’s e-Edition and classifieds are now posted. We apologize for the delay.

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Blood appointed

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 […]

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Kearny unveils new monument

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 […]

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Nutley cops hunt driver in fatal hit-run

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 […]

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School is more than books for these kids

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 […]

 
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See ‘On the Town’ on Broadway

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By Kevin Canessa Jr.

Observer Correspondent 

LYNDHURST —

If you’re one of the many people who love Broadway shows, but hate the hassle of having to drive into Manhattan, hate the tolls, hate the traffic and hate the cost of parking, Mary’s Theatre Parties and Tours has a deal for you to go to see the new show “On the Town” without all the headaches.

Mary Catena has been running her tour company for the last 35 or so years. And on Oct. 14, for just $132, you’ll get a ticket to the show, a full-buffet dinner at the San Carlo, 620 Stuyvesant Ave., Lyndhurst, and coach bus transportation to “On the Town” at the Lyric Theatre in Manhattan.

Catena says there’s no better way to see a Broadway show than how she arranges it.

“I’ve always said this is the perfect way to see Broadway,” Catena said. “You get to see the best shows, you get great seats, a wonderful dinner and best of all, transportation to New York City. Getting picked up and dropped back off at the San Carlo is the only way to go.

Images courtesy of Google Street View/onthetownbroadway.com The Lyric Theatre, New York City

Images courtesy of Google Street View/onthetownbroadway.com
The Lyric Theatre, New York City

 

You don’t have to worry about the tolls and parking — just get on the bus and go.” Catena says she’s been using the San Carlo as a preshow dinner spot for close to 30 years now.

“They’ve always treated us so well — and the food is spectacular,” she said.

She also says she used to do up to five shows or trips a month — but now that she’s virtually retired, — it’s just too much to do on a regular basis. She says the trips have become more special because they’re not as frequent as they once were.

She says she tries to pick Broadway shows that have promise if they’re new — or that are popular and marketable. That’s because she’s responsible for buying the tickets in advance, taking out ads to sell them — and then being reimbursed from ticket sales. So “On the Town” was a no-brainer. The pre-show reviews have mostly been raving.

“Oh and it was such a wonderful movie,” Catena said. “It had Frank Sinatra in it. It had Gene Kelly in it. I really think this will be a special night for everyone.”

Patrons are responsible for their own transportation to and from the San Carlo. Dinner is at 4 p.m. and the bus for New York City leaves Lyndhurst at 5:30 p.m. sharp for a 7 p.m. curtain at the Lyric Theatre. The $132 price per person is all-inclusive, and gets you dinner (including all taxes and tips), a ticket to the show and the bus ride across the Hudson.

Not a bad deal at all, considering how expensive shows are these days.

The main poster for ‘On the Town.’

The main poster for ‘On the Town.’

“It’s just ridiculous how expensive these shows are these days — it’s basically unaffordable, isn’t it?” Catena said. “I like to make the experience fun and affordable for everyone who goes.”

While this is the last trip Catena has planned for now, she says there could be more in the future. Be sure to check The Observer for additional shows and schedules.

“On the Town” comes to Broadway this month with preview shows. The show’s website reveals there are 30 cast members and that the show boasts the largest orchestra of any show on all of Broadway.

“It’s the story of three wideeyed sailors on a whirlwind musical tour of the city that never sleeps,” the website says. “With just 24 hours of shore leave, they’re eager to experience all that New York City has to offer … including a chance to discover love with the girl of their dreams.”

Tony Award-winner John Rando is the producer and Joshua Bergasse conducts the grand orchestra. Leonard Bernstein composed the original musical score.

To reserve seats for the Oct. 14 event, call Catena at 201- 998-1030. An initial deposit of $100 is due immediately, and the balance is due by Sept. 15. To find out more about the show “On the Town,” check out the website www.onthetownbroadway.com.

Kevin Canessa Jr. can be reached at kevincanessa@gmail.com. 

EcuAmerica Car Service will get you where you need to go

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By Kevin Canessa Jr. 

Observer Correspondent 

NEWARK – At one point or another in your life, you’ve probably needed to hire a car service, whether it’s to get you to an important meeting, or to Newark Liberty International Airport — or various other locations.

But it’s never an easy process deciding which service to use.

You want the best price and the best service, but with so many choices out there, it’s almost impossible to make the final decision on which company to use. But that decision shouldn’t be so hard anymore, because EcuAmerica Car Service, located in the Ironbound section of Newark, is ready to take you wherever you’ve got to go at the most reasonable prices in the area.

The company has been in its current setup since 2011, but has served the area much longer than that under different management and ownership. Now, they have a fleet of 70 cars, ranging from Lincoln Town Cars to Crown Victorias to minivans to Toyotas that will take you anywhere in the country.

They’ll pick you up at home and take you to any airport — including Newark- Liberty, LaGuardia and JFK. They’ll take you anywhere you might need to go in the tri-state area. And they’ll go well beyond that, according to EcuAmerica’s Business Manager Jajaira Colon.

“We do service the entire tri-state area, but that’s not all,” Colon said. “We’ve taken people to many different places — and had a trip recently to Massachusetts. So if you need to get somewhere, we’ll get you there.”

And while there are, indeed, many choices locally for car service, Colon says there are a few reasons why EcuAmerica stands out above the competition. First, she says, are EcuAmerica’s rates.

“You will find that our rates are the best out there,” Colon said. “Few, if any, can top what we offer price-wise.”

If you book with EcuAmerica, you won’t need cash, necessarily, either. The company accepts all major credit cards for payment before making a trip. They also offer corporate monthly accounts for customers who rely on car service for more than just a trip or two.

“We have numerous accounts for customers or corporations that use us on a regular basis,” Colon said. “And the best part is we’ll work with everyone on the rates and payment arrangements. We want the overall experience to be a positive one.”

To ensure that positive experience, Colon says customers will find the entire process for hiring a car a pleasant one, from the initial reservation phone call to the actual journey itself.

“We pride ourselves on making the entire experience a good one,” Colon said. “Whether it’s when one of the ladies who answer the phones to take the initial reservation — or with the driver — it’s always enjoyable. We ensure everyone pays close attention to the needs of the customers, whether it’s taking baggage and putting it into the car for them, or anything else. Our goal is to help the customers because we want them to come back.”

And it appears they do come back.

Many of the customers serviced by EcuAmerica are repeats, so their customer service model appears to be paying off.

“That’s why we’re here,” Colon said. “We know we have to do what’s best for the customers. We’re here to serve them — and that’s just one of the reasons why we are as successful as we are.”

To make a reservation, or for a price quote, call EcuAmerica at 973-344-0555 or visit www.ecuamericataxinj.com. Reservations and car services are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, including all major holidays. Most office workers and most drivers speak or understand Portuguese as well as English.

Migraine headaches: a simple solution

Join the NJ Headache Relief Center, 312 Belleville Turnpike Suite 3B, North Arlington, for an informational seminar on migraine Friday, Sept. 5, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Boardcertified prosthodontist Board-certified prosthodontist, Dr. Richard Ekstein will explain the root cause of migraine and demonstrate how to eliminate them without drugs.

With advances in science, it is now possible to non-invasively treat migraine pain and possibly eliminate it forever in less than three months.

For more information or to register for the event, email your name and contact information to head8doctor@ gmail.com. Seating is limited, so please register early.

Around Town

Belleville

St. Peter’s Rosary Confraternity hosts its annual Communion Breakfast, Sunday, Oct. 5, after the 8:30 a.m. Mass, at the Chandelier Restaurant, 340 Franklin Ave. Tickets are $22 and will be available at the rectory.

Bloomfield 

Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., hosts a free screening of “ 9/11,” a documentary by Jules and Gedeon Naudet, on Thursday, Sept. 11, at 12:15 p.m. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, the Naudets were working on a documentary about a rookie New York firefighter and captured the only existing image of the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center. The Naudets then followed firefighters into the heart of what would be known as Ground Zero. The documentary won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special (Informational) and a Peabody.

Warning: This film contains strong language and subject matter that may not be suitable for all audiences

Kearny 

The Class of 1964 of St. Cecilia High School is holding a 50th reunion dinner Saturday, Oct. 4, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., at Mama Vittoria Restaurant, 160 Franklin Ave., Nutley. Those interested in attending are asked to contact Kathy Mc- Court Jackes at kathyjackes@ yahoo.com or 908- 303-9993; Kathy Walsh Vecchio at katvec46@ gmail.com or 973-865- 0402 or Nancy Branin Waller at nancy.waller2@verizon.net or 201-889-6229 by Sept. 25.

Kearny High School’s classes of 1954 and January 1955 host a 60th reunion luncheon on Sept. 19 at the Spring Lake Manor, Spring Lake, at noon. For information and reservations contact Phyllis Glass McCartin at 732-458-5162 or phylpmae@aol.com. Guests are welcome.

New Jersey Blood Services will conduct a blood drive at Comunidade Evangelica Vida Abundante Sede (CEVA), also known as the Abundant Life Evangelical Community Church, 151 Midland Ave., on Sept. 15, from 4:30 to 9 p.m.

Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 136 Davis Ave., begins its annual nine-week St. Jude Novena with Monsignor John J. Gilchrist Monday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. All are welcome.

Kearny UNICO hosts these events:

• The first membership meeting is set for Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7:30 p.m. If interested in attending or learning more about Kearny UNICO, please contact Chapter President Lou Pandolfi at 201-368- 2409.

• A bus trip to Caesars in Atlantic City departs Sunday, Sept. 14, from the parking lot of Kearny Federal Savings, 614 Kearny Ave., at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $30, with $25 in slot credit back from the casino. For tickets or additional information, contact Lou Pandolfi at 201-368-2409 or 201-693-8504.

• “Wheels for Vic,” a fundraiser to purchase a power wheelchair for Kearny resident Victor Muniz, will be held Sunday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m., in the former Boystown gym, 499 Belgrove Drive. Tickets are $30, which includes a raffle, lunch and live music. Muniz was paralyzed after a tree branch fell on him during a 2008 summer storm. For tickets or more information, contact Pandolfi, Joseph Sgalia at 201- 998-6879, Rossana McLaughlin at 201-407-7262, or Judy Hyde at 201-991-5812. The committee also welcomes both monetary and/or gift donations for this event.

Kearny Lions Club sponsors a bus trip to Sands Casino, Bethlehem, Pa., Sept. 27, leaving from 60 Kingsland Ave. at 9 a.m. Price is $35. Tickets include $20 for slots and a $5 food voucher. For tickets, call Alvin at 201-997-9371, ext. 18, or Jo Ann at 201-998-3018.

Trinity Church, 575 Kearny Ave., will hold a flea market Sept. 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tables are available for vendors at a cost of one for $15 and two for $25. Call the church at 201-991- 5894 to schedule your table or Annamarie at 201-998-2360 after 5:30 p.m.

Troop 2 Kearny, Boy Scouts of America, marks its 100th anniversary year of service Sept.10, at 7:30 p.m., at the Beech Street gym entrance of Lincoln School. Troop 2 invites young men ages of 11 to 15 to join. Meetings are held every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. throughout the school year.

Pathways to Independence sponsors its 13th annual Walk-a-Thon on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. to noon at West Hudson Park, Schuyler Ave. entrance. All are welcome. Proceeds benefit adults with disabilities who attend Pathways programs. For more information, call Pathways Executive Director Alvin Cox at 201-997-9371, ext. 18.

Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., hosts a new series of free Saturday family film matinees, which will continue once a month throughout the fall and winter. The first matinee will feature “Lego Movie” (PG) on Saturday, Sept. 13, at 11 a.m.

The library also offers the following free programs for children. Programs take place at 318 Kearny Ave., the main library, unless otherwise noted.

Preschool Art for children ages 3 to 5 will take place from 11 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Sept. 11. There will be seating space for 20 adult and child pairs; first-come, first-served.. The library will provide the art materials. Preschool Art will continue to take place on the second Thursday of each month.

School-age Art for children ages 5 and older will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 on Thursday, Sept. 11. The library will provide the art materials. Seating space will be firstcome, first-served.. School-age Art will continue to take place on the second Thursday of each month.

Relaxed Preschool Play and Story Time for age infant to 5 years will begin on Sept. 9. Classes will take place on Tuesdays from 11 to 11:45 a.m., and on Thursdays from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

At the Branch library, 759 Kearny Ave., Preschool Play and Story Time for ages infant – 5 years will take place from 10:15 to 11 a.m. on Sept. 11 and 18.

The Kearny Police Department Traffic Bureau would like to remind the residents that public schools re-open Thursday, Sept. 4.

Parents, guardians and the motoring public are reminded to obey the traffic laws around all schools.

Officers will be assigned to school areas for the enforcement of traffic laws and violators will be summonsed. In particular, the following traffic violations; double parking, parked in prohibited areas, blocking crosswalks, blocking school bus stops, dropping off children in the middle of the street, speeding, will be aggressively enforced by officers on foot, bicycle, and radio cars.

The bureau requests that parents and guardians reinforce with their children the use of intersections controlled with a crossing guard and or safety patrol boys and girls.

Lyndhurst 

Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave., hosts a presentation by speakers from LetHistoryLive.net on “The Daily Life of the Civil War Soldier” Wednesday Sept. 10, at 6:15 p.m. Space is limited and registration is necessary. To register, call or email the library at 201-804-2478.

The library hosts the following storytimes and crafts for children. No registration is required unless otherwise noted. • Walk-in Storytime: Grades pre-k to 2 are welcome for a story and coloring time every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

• Fall Storytime: Registration is open until Sept. 12 to ages 3 to 4 1/2 for a 45-minute program featuring stories, music and crafts beginning Thursday, Sept. 25. Two sessions are available at 10:30 a.m. or 1 p.m.

• Apple Craft: Grades pre-K to 3 are welcome to participate in this craft event Wednesday, Sept. 17, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Registration is required.

Kick off the NFL season by joining the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and the Bergen County Audubon Society on a free, 2-hour guided Back to Football bird walk Sunday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m. to noon, in DeKorte Park. Prizes will be awarded to the first people who see bird species with the same name as a pro football team, such as: cardinal, raven, falcon, eagle, seahawk (osprey), giant (great) egret and giant (great) blue heron. All seven team bird species can be seen in the park. Check meadowblog.net for last-minute weather updates. Participants are asked to sign a standard liability release that is good for NJMC/BCAS events throughout the year. To RSVP, contact Don Torino of the BCAS at Greatauk4@aol.com or call 201-230-4983.

Members of the community of all ages may join Meadowlands Environment Center educators on a dip netting and seining adventure at low tide to gather shrimp, fish and other marsh critters on Tuesday, Sept. 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dress for mess: There will be mud! Admission is $5/ person; $4/MEC members. Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register, go to www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec. The group will meet at NJMC Science Center, 3 DeKorte Park Plaza. For more information, call 201-460- 8300.

North Arlington 

Registration is open to meet chaplain/writer/blogger Karen Kaplan as she discusses her book “Encountering the Edge: What People Told Me Before They Died” at North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Road, Saturday, Sept. 13, at 11 a.m. Kaplan’s book will be on sale for $15. Call 201-955- 5640, ext. 126, to register or for additional information.

The library also announces these programs for adults:

• Resume Writing is offered on Mondays, Sept. 8 and 22 and Oct. 6 and 20, from 6 to 7 p.m. Call 201-955-5640 to register for this series of courses; space is limited.

• ESL Group Class is held on Tuesdays at 10 a.m., beginning Sept. 9. Visit the library or call for more information. The library also offers the following events for children: • Story Time is offered on Wednesdays at 11:45 a.m. for ages 2 to 5.

• A special nutrition story time is set for Sept. 17 with registered dietitian Julie Harrington.

• Bed Time Story Time is featured Mondays, Sept. 15 and 29, at 6 p.m., for ages 4 to 6.

• Lego Club meets Tuesdays, Sept. 9 and 23, at 6:30 p.m., for grades 1 and up.

• Girl Scout Daisies Recruiting Event: Girls in grades k to 1 are invited to come to the library Thursday, Sept. 11, at 6:30 p.m., to learn more about Girl Scout Daisies. For more information, call 201-967-8100.

• Young Adults Movie Day for grades 6 and up is set for Friday, Sept. 12, at 3 p.m. American Legion Alexander Stover Post 37 meets on Monday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. at the VFW hall, 222 River Road. All veterans are invited. For more information, call 201-214-8253.

Lyndhurst turns grid hopes to alum Tuero

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By Jim Hague 

Observer Sports Writer 

It’s been a few months since Rich Tuero officially took over as the head football coach at his alma mater Lyndhurst High School, so there’s no state of shock involved with anything Tuero does as head coach anymore.

“It’s been a great transition,” said Tuero, who took over for Joe Castagnetti as head coach, but Castagnetti remains on staff as an assistant coach. “I’m lucky to have a great coaching staff with great consistency. We’re all on the same page. I’ve been with these guys my whole life, so that helps.”

The Golden Bears finished 3-7 last season and graduated an astounding 22 seniors from that squad.

Needless to say, the Golden Bears will have a different look this season, with a new head coach and a new roster.

“We can say we’re young and inexperienced, but a lot of these kids were with me on the JV (junior varsity) level,” said Tuero, who was the head JV coach last year. “So it’s like we all just moved up to the varsity together. I told them that they were either all in or all out and so far, they’ve all bought in.”

Tuero has a simple goal in his first season. “We just have to continue to get better every day,” Tuero said. “We can never get satisfied.”

The Golden Bears have a battle right now at quarterback, with three players looking to earn the starting nod.

Senior Jonathan Wartel (5-8, 155) and a pair of juniors George Ryan (6-1, 170) and Pete Guerriero (5-9, 170) are all vying for the No. 1 quarterback slot.

“I still don’t know who the guy is,” Tuero said. “All three bring something different to the table.”

There’s no doubt who the Golden Bears’ top running back is. Junior Matt DeMarco (6-0, 180) returns to his starting running back slot in Lyndhurst’s spread offensive set.

“He’s grown a little and looks good so far,” Tuero said. “He has all the tools. He’s respected by his peers.”

How much so? Well, Tuero turned the idea of a team captaincy to a vote of the players.

“Matt was the top vote getter by far as a junior,” Tuero said. “He’s just a hard-nosed, tough football player. He can run over you or run past you. He’s just a hard working kid.”

Senior Joe Cosenza (5-9, 195) will also see some time at running back.

“He’s a hard-nosed bruiser,” Tuero said. “He’s a north and south runner.”

The Golden Bears utilize four wide receivers in their offense.

Junior Quinton St. Helaire (5- 7, 150), a standout in track and field, gives Lyndhurst a ton of speed on the perimeter. If he’s not the quarterback, Guerriero will move to wide receiver.

Senior Derrick Ruiz (5-9, 165) returns as a wide out. Another receiver is senior Marc Estevez (5-11, 175), the basketball standout who has joined the football team for the first time.

“He’s a good athlete and a good leader,” Tuero said of Estevez.

Senior Jordan Stuart (5-8, 175) is the Golden Bears’ tight end.

The Lyndhurst offensive line has some good size and experience. Sophomore Matt Schnoll (6-3, 310) is a returnee who started every game as a freshman last year.

“He’s a man-child,” Tuero said of the hulky Schnoll. “He has the potential to be a good one. He has great feet.”

Junior Ryan Smith (6-0, 240) is the other starting tackle.

Senior Pete Urgola (5-9, 190) returns as a starting guard and he’s joined by the Lyndhurst version of the eye doctor’s eye chart.

Junior newcomer Oluwayomi Olasehinde (6-0, 205) is a first-year football player who has earned a slot at guard.

“He’s a good football player,” Tuero said.

The center is junior Fred Rivers (5-9, 195). The Golden Bears will play a 3-4 defensive formation.

Schnoll and Smith are the defensive ends with senior George Feurtado (6-0, 260) at the nose guard.

The outside linebackers are Olasehinde (pronounced exactly as it is spelled) and Stuart.

DeMarco heads the inside linebackers, along with Rivers and Cosenza.

Ruiz and Wartel are the cornerbacks, with Guerriero and St. Helaire at safety.

The Golden Bears have to take their young roster into a very tough schedule, facing Waldwick to start the season next Friday.

“This is how it is,” Tuero said. “We have speed, but we’re small. We have to use the speed to our advantage. We need to keep people healthy. We’ve been working on that all throughout the offseason. We don’t have a lot of depth, so we have to keep our players healthy.”

Tuero said that he has been keeping his top personnel out of a lot of workouts to keep them fresh throughout the season.

“We’re doing fine right now,” Tuero said. “We have a lot of great kids who are buying into what we’re doing. They’re doing the right things.”

And has it hit home that Tuero is finally coaching his alma mater?

“I love it, because this is what I wanted,” Tuero said. “I love this team. They’re giving every last effort they have. If they just get a little better every day, that’s all I ask for. We have two mottos. We have to get better every day and we’re either all in or all out.”

Judging by the attitude of the Golden Bears, they’re all in for their new coach.

NA girls’ soccer: New coach Farinola leads the way

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By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

North Arlington High School has a new girls’ soccer coach in Dan Farinola, who had previously been the bowling and golf coach at the school.

Farinola takes over the girls’ soccer coaching duties at North Arlington, where he teaches. For the last few seasons, Farinola was the head boys’ soccer coach at Secaucus, his alma mater.

But Farinola bleeds NA blue and white these days and was excited to take over the reins of coaching the Vikings this fall.

“The transition has been really smooth,” said Farinola, who replaces veteran Sharon O’Brien Romer. “We graduated 12 seniors from last year, so we’re still trying to get our numbers up. But I’m excited about the girls we have coming back. When we’re completely whole, we are going to be competitive. It’s just hard right now getting the numbers. We might end up being a little thin on the bench. When school starts, we hope to get a few more girls.”

Farinola said that he’s still trying to implement a system for the Vikings to follow.

“We’re trying to do things a little differently, but I think offensively we can be a threat,” Farinola said. “We have some talented girls.”

Leading the way for the Vikings is junior midfielder Joanna Seca, who scored 12 goals and had 14 assists last year, as North Arlington won eight games.

“Joanna has complete control of the game,” Farinola said. “She’s a great player. She has all the tools to be a topnotch player.”

Senior Sarah Palma is another talented midfielder.

“She played more of a stopper role in the past, but we’ve moved her up to get involved with the offense,” Farinola said. “Her ball handling will help with control of the game.”

Sophomore Callie Evanchick is another solid player in the North Arlington midfield.

“She has a lot of potential,” Farinola said. “She played a lot last year as a freshman. I still think she is a little raw, but she has made a lot of improvement in such a short time.”

Freshman Carlie Mullins is another midfielder with talent and potential.

“She’s very good for her age,” Farinola said of Mullins. “She fits right in with the rest. She’s technically sound for a freshman.”

No question, the strength of the Vikings will lie within the midfield. Senior Taylor Barth is another key returnee. Barth scored 10 goals last year at forward.

“I think she can have a huge year this year,” Farinola said. “She has a nose for the ball and can put the ball on net. She has the ability to get good shots off.”

Freshman Kaitlin Stajek is another forward.

“She’s a product of the (North Arlington) Rec (recreation) program and is an aggressive player,” Farinola said. “She’s going to help us. She can get shots on goal as well and complements Taylor well.”

The Vikings will have to play strong defensively and Farinola is asking a lot of the young group.

Freshman Makayla Cortes has inherited the role as the starting goalkeeper.

“She’s adapting very well,” Farinola said. “She is stopping the ones in front of her. She has to keep improving because she’s never played goalkeeper before.”

Junior Jessica Gilmour is the team’s starting sweeper. Farinola is still working with Gilmour with learning the intricacies of playing the position.

“She’s settling in,” Farinola said.

Junior Kayleigh Lavornia is the team’s stopper. Lavornia is a first-year soccer player, so she is also learning the position.

“She’s a tough girl who is willing to learn,” Farinola said.

Sophomore Melissa Torres is another defender who spent some time in goal last year. Junior Sam Magliori will also play a key role as a defender.

The Vikings are clearly a work in progress along the backline. They will need to develop and learn in a hurry.

The Vikings open their season on Thursday against St. Mary’s of Rutherford, so they will know soon enough how they stack up against the opposition.

The Vikings will eventually get the chance to play on the newly refurbished Rip Collins facility. Some of those games, including an Oct. 23 game against Weehawken, will be played at night.

“The girls are really looking forward to those night games,” Farinola said. “It’s really exciting.”

Maybe the idea of playing night games on a brand new state-of-the-art facility will entice more girls to want to play soccer at North Arlington. One thing’s for sure: It can’t hurt.

“We’re hoping things like that will encourage more to play,” Farinola said. “We want to be able get the program going in the right direction.”

For now, players like Seca, Palma and Barth have to be the beacons, the guiding lights, to lead the Vikings to respectability right away. After that, it remains up to the girls of North Arlington to get involved in a sport that so many girls in the town already participate in.

Blue Tide prepares for second season under coach Gallo

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By Jim Hague 

Observer Sports Writer 

When Matt Gallo took over the head football coaching position at Harrison High School, the program was in the midst of an awful 21-game losing streak.

“It was big,” Gallo said. “They hadn’t won a game here in three years.”

But the Blue Tide won one game last season, snapping the streak, then won another. Although the 2-8 record wasn’t going to win any championships, it was good enough to get the ball rolling.

“It showed the kids that the system works,” said Gallo, who will begin his second season as the head man with the Blue Tide Sept. 12 against Park Ridge.

“It was good to see that the kids are buying into the system.”

The Blue Tide lost 10 seniors to graduation after last season, so it means that this year’s team will be filled with sophomores and even freshmen.

“We might have to go through some growing pains,” Gallo said. “But I’m excited about this underclass. Once they get rid of the growing pains, they’re going to be fine. It might be tough to compete this year with a team with 90% freshmen and sophomores, but we have some good talent in our underclass. They are tough kids who like to compete. If they continue to get better, we can do some good things.”

Leading the way will be sophomore quarterback Mike O’Donnell (5-9, 160), who comes from a long line of O’Donnell athletes who graced Harrison’s field of play.

O’Donnell has all the tools to be a very good signal caller for the Blue Tide.

“He’s extremely cerebral,” Gallo said. “He’s an honors student, so there was no problem with him learning the offense. He knows what I want him to run. It’s almost like having another coach on the field and that’s rare for a sophomore. But that’s the way he is. He’s solid there.”

The fullback is another sophomore in Jeff Cisneros (5-11, 170), who will see most of the carries out of the Blue Tide backfield.

“He’s a tough kid who runs hard,” Gallo said. “He does everything we ask of him and doesn’t complain about anything.”

The two halfbacks are both named Rodriguez, but are not related.

Sophomore Jerry Rodriguez (5-9, 165) and junior Rico Rodriguez (5-10, 170) will also get their fair share of carries, as the Delaware Wing-T offense predicates on sharing the football.

“There’s talent back there,” Gallo said. “I like what we have there.”

Senior Justin Castellano (5-11, 150) is the Harrison wide receiver, with sophomore Hector Rueda (5-11, 175) as the tight end. Castellano is one of the rare senior returnees on the Harrison roster.

The offensive line features some size and experience.

Senior Axel Carmona (5- 11, 210) is a returning starter at tackle, with sophomore Johanser Nunez (5-10, 205) at the other tackle. The guards are junior John Di- Costa (6-3, 230) and senior Brandon Perez (5-9, 200).  The center is junior Aaron Velasquez (5-11, 200).

“The strong point of this team is our offensive line,” Gallo said. “We have a lot of faith in them.”

The Blue Tide will utilize a 5-2 defensive formation. Perez and DiCosta are the defensive ends, with Nunez at the nose guard. Carmona and sophomore Adrian Sime (5-10, 190) are the defensive tackles.

Cisneros, Jerry Rodriguez and Rueda are the linebackers. Rueda started at linebacker last year and emerged as a top-notch defensive player.

“We expect a lot from him this season,” Gallo said. “I trust him to make the right calls for us defensively. He’s a tough football player.”

Castellano and sophomore Rafael Santana (5-10, 165) are the cornerbacks, with O’Donnell holding fort at safety.

On paper, it looks tough for a team to compete against others who have rosters comprised with much older players.

But the Blue Tide will try to persevere and hope to gain experience in a hurry.

“I love the makeup of this team,” Gallo said. “We have young kids, but they are competitors. They’re aggressive and want to play. You can’t coach that. You either have that aggressive approach or you don’t. A lot of what will happen this year depends on how these kids develop. I’m excited about that. It should be a good season for us.”

Century 21 Semiao & Associates thanks its clients for highest satisfaction ranking

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Century 21 Real Estate, the iconic brand with the world’s largest real estate franchise sales organization, announced that it has been ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction by the J.D. Power 2014 Home Buyer/ Seller Satisfaction StudySM, released today. Specifically, Century 21 Real Estate swept the awards by receiving the highest ranking among national real estate companies across all four customer satisfaction segments in the study, including: First-Time Home-Buyer Satisfaction, Repeat Home-Buyer Satisfaction, First-Time Home- Seller Satisfaction and Repeat Home-Seller Satisfaction.

“Century 21 sales professionals understand that real estate is about developing relationships and building trust with their customers. Customer satisfaction is at the core of everything that they do each and every day,” said Rick Davidson, president and chief executive officer, Century 21 Real Estate LLC. “Our brand reputation is earned and measured with every customer interaction, and these J.D. Power results showcase the quality of our franchise broker network and their affiliated sales professionals.”

The study, now in its seventh year, measures customer satisfaction among first-time and repeat home buyers and sellers with the nation’s largest real estate companies. Overall satisfaction is measured across four factors of the home-buying experience: agent/salesperson; real estate office; closing process; and variety of additional services. For satisfaction in the homeselling experience, the same four factors are evaluated plus a fifth factor, marketing.

“The feedback from thousands of home buyers and sellers in this study shows that the dedication and commitment of the Century 21 System to caring about the consumer, delivering excellent service and establishing trust as a differentiator in the market,” said Bev Thorne, chief marketing officer, Century 21 Real Estate LLC. “This study comes at the culmination of three years of hard work and dedication to a strategic roadmap that our brokers have embraced since 2011. By focusing on the quality of their affiliated sales professionals, they have raised the bar for customer service.”

The 2014 Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction Study includes 5,810 evaluations from 4,868 customers who bought and/or sold a home between March 2013 and April 2014. The study was fielded between March 2014 and May 2014.

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information, visit jdpower.com. J.D. Power is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Obituaries

Luciano Ferreira Jr. 

Luciano Ferreira Jr. died Aug. 24 at Clara Maass Medical Center. He was 80.

Born in Newark, he moved to Kearny 45 years ago.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass was held at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington, followed by burial in Holy Cross Cemetery. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Luciano was the owner of L. Ferreira and Son Fuel Oil Co.

Husband of the late Mildred (nee Swayze), he is survived by his children and their spouses; Mary and Vincent Abbott, Viola and Rick Diebold, Rosemarie and Alan Masters and Luciano Ferreira III. Brother of Caroline Mikulewiez, Rosemarie Covucci and the late Carmella Ferreira, he is also survived by his grandchildren Annmarie Grenga, Danielle and Vincent Abbott, Craig, Cyndi and Samantha Dieck, Alan, Michael and Kimberly Masters and Kerri Ferreira and seven great-grandchildren.

Samuel Latini 

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Samuel Latini, retired police chief of East Newark, died peacefully Aug. 22, surrounded by his family after a brief illness.

A devoted and loving husband and father, Sam was the model of honor and integrity for everyone who knew him. His exuberance for life and vibrant personality made him a well-known pillar of friendship in the community and the symbol of caring in his family. Sam is remembered for his high energy, busy days and pursuit of the things he loved –always at the side of the one he loved, his wife of 65 years, Rosemarie.

Sam was survived by his beloved wife Rosemarie Latini and children Andrea Wasowski (Donald), Marianne Pendlebury (Tom), Sam (Terri) and Thomas (Sharon); sister Gloria Grieco; sistersin- law Catherine Latini, Molly Cancia, Mary Cancia and Alice Belfiore; and brotherin- law Dominick Cancia; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His brothers Adam and Lawrence Latini, brothers-in-law Pasquale Grieco and Sebastian Belfiore, and sister-in-law Lucy Latini predeceased him.

Sam was very active in his career as chief of police with life membership in the N.J. PBA Local 21, the Hudson County Police Chiefs Association and the East Newark Fireman’s Relief Association. He was also a member of the N.J. State Retired Police and Fireman’s Association Local 6 and the Retired and Disabled Police of America.

Arrangements were by Condon Memorial Home, 210 Davis Ave, Harrison. A funeral Mass was held at St. Anthony’s Church, East Newark. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Caring Hospice Services, Edison.

Hernan O. Vasquez 

Hernan O. Vasquez, of Harrison, entered into eternal rest on Monday, Aug, 25. He was 55.

Born in Callao, Peru, Hernan lived in Harrison since 1981. He worked for United Construction Weatherproofing, N.Y., for many years.

He is survived by his wife, Martha Vasquez (Donayre), children, Jose, Hernan Jr., Danpierre, Alex, and Daniel, father, Oscar O. Vasquez, eight brothers and sisters and an aunt, Bertila Escudero. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his mother Maria A. Vasquez (Escudero).

Funeral services were under the direction of the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison. A funeral Mass was held at St. Cecilia’s Church, Kearny. His interment took place in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. For information, please visit www.mulliganfuneralhome.org.

Then & Now

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Photo by Karen Zautyk

Photo by Karen Zautyk

 

Last time, ‘Then & Now’ featured the Old Soldiers Home on Belgrove Drive in Kearny. This week, we focus on the statue of the Civil War infantryman that graced the property in front of the home’s canteen from 1888 until 1933. The Union Army soldier now stands on the opposite side of Belgrove, between the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts. But it’s a duplicate. The original, composed of zinc and white metal, disappeared after the Soldiers’ Home closed in ‘33. Historian Bill Styple found it in 1997, stored in the National Guard Armory in West Orange. As reported in Civil War News, ‘It was brittle and cracked and was missing such pieces as the left hand, part of an arm, musket and accoutrements.’ The Gen. Phil Kearny Memorial Committee raised $35,000 to create a bronze replica. ‘Molds were made of the remaining pieces and were created for missing parts,’ Civil War News said, noting that ‘Styple’s hand, his 1863 Springfield and other items stood in for the originals.’ The new statue was erected, with great ceremony (including Civil War cannons firing from Veterans Field), on Sept. 29, 2007. Today, the soldier views the vista from atop a 7-ton boulder from Gettysburg. 

-Karen Zautyk 

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