By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent LYNDHURST – State officials are still pondering what to do about the century-old DeJessa Bridge which links Lyndhurst and Nutley across the Passaic River but, in the meantime, Bergen County has done its part to try and relieve congestion there. At the urging […]
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent KEARNY – The town is preparing to let the dogs out but first it wants the owners in. For a public meeting, that is, on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m., in the second floor Town Council chambers at Town Hall […]
By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent KEARNY – By the time you read this, we all may be trapped inside by a blizzard — if the current weather forecasts are correct. But it doesn’t necessarily take heavy snow to create havoc. Sometimes, a coating of ice is sufficient. […]
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent KEARNY – For the past 37 years, the Kearny nonprofit Pathways to Independence Inc. has helped those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live independently in their communities. Currently, from its 3-level, 18,000 square foot headquarters at Kingsland and Bergen Aves., it offers on-site […]
Tim Bixler, of The Bixler Group Real Estate and Insurance and his wife, Charissa Bixler, welcomed their daughter, Addison Paige Bixler, on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 1:20 p.m. Big brother Brayden is beyond excited. Only a few more years until […]
• The Kearny School district will present a townwide jazz concert on Wednesday, June 13, at 7 p.m., at Lincoln School, 121 Beech St., Kearny, in the auditorium. Admission is free. Garfield Elementary School and the Washington Jr. School Jazz bands will perform, along with the Lincoln Jr. Jazz band and Kearny High School Jazz Band. Finishing out the concert will be a 17-piec e professional big band called the Kearny Faculty Community Jazz Band.
• The 22nd annual Kearny Senior Picnic, sponsored by the Mayor, Town Council and the Kearny Municipal Alliance will be held on Thursday, June 14, at the Doyle Pavilion, Riverbank Park, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free to Kearny senior residents. In case of rain, the picnic will be held at the Benstead Center, 60 Columbia Ave.
• The Humane Society of Bergen County of Bergen County, 221 Stuyvesant Ave., Lyndhurst, has a supply of dog foods, all brands FREE OF CHARGE, for anyone due to unemployment, disability or any other financial problem are unable to feed their dog. Please stop by or call 201-896-9300. Monday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 201-896-9300.
• The Lyndhurst Health Departmentwill begin the summer session of Yoga, Zumba, and Zumba Gold the week of June 18. This 10- week session is made possible through a partnership with Y.M.C.A. and classes will be held on M ondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at the Health Department. The cost is $35 for residents and $55 for non-residents. Please make checks payable to Meadowlands Area Y.M.C.A. Payment and registration can be returned to the Lyndhurst Health Department on 253 Stuyvesant Avenue. Call 201-804- 2500 with any questions. Registration forms can be picked up at the Health Department or online www.lyndhurstnj.org.
• “Pig Farm Blues: Music and Stories from a Childhood in Secaucus,” a free program for seniors, will be held on Thursday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at the Meadowlands Environment Center, DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst. Joe McKay used his childhood growing up on a pig farm as the inspiration for folk songs about the “Backroad” in Secaucus. This singer/songwriter will entertain you with “tales and wails” about that time in New Jersey’s agricultural past. Phone pre-registration required: 201-777-2431.
• NJMC Pontoon Boat Tours will be held on June 15, 19 and 21 at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $15 per person. Get an up-close view of the Meadowlands District’s spectacular scenic beauty and wildlife with a two-hour guided pontoon boat cruise of the Hackensack River and its surrounding marshes. Experienced NJMC staff discuss the region’s human and environmental history and point out birds and other wildlife along the way. Pontoon boat cruises depart from River Barge Park, 260 Outwater Lane, Carlstadt. For ages 10 and up. Pre-registration required.For a complete schedule and to register, visit www.njmeadowlands.gov or call 201-460-4640.
• An NJMC Father’s Day Canoe Tour is set for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 16. Take a three-hour guided tour exploring the Mill Creek Wildlife Management Area. Paddlers will learn the basics of salt marsh ecology and enjoy the magnificent natural and man-made scenery while rowing past wetlands down creeks. $15 per person. Departs from Laurel Hill County Park, Secaucus. Pre-registration required. For more information or to register go to www.njmeadowlands.gov and click on “Environment” and “Meadowlands Tours” or call 201-460-4640.
• The NJMC has scheduled a free program, “Why are the ruins of NYC’s Penn Station in the NJ M eadowlands?” on Tuesday, June 19, at 2 p.m. Before 1969, unregulated dumping was not unusual, and 2,508 acres in the Meadowlands were landfills or slated to be landfilled. Join MEC Director Dr. Angela Cristini as she uncovers the underground secrets of the ruins unearthed in the Meadowlands, and leads you in a game of Marsh Jeopardy. Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst. Phone pre-registration required: 201-777- 2431.
• The North Arlington Senior Activity Center, 11 York Rd., announces the following upcoming events: Yoga class – Fridays in June at 10:45 a.m., Friday, July 20 – Bingo luncheon from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 18 – Bus trip t o Sand’s Casino and shops in B ethlehem, Pa. For more information, call 201-998-5636.
• Nutley’s Annual Father’s Day Street Fair will be held on Sunday, June 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Franklin Avenue. Admission is free. The event is sponsored by the Nutley High School Hockey League Booster Club.
• American Red Cross, 169 Chestnut St., Nutley, will have a blood drive on Tuesday, June 19, (Chatham Room, first floor) from 3 to 8 p.m. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 in some states with a signed Parental Consent Form), weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
• The Pen to Prose Writers’ Group will meet at Nutley Public Library on Monday, June 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The group was formed to read works-in-progress, share accomplishments, critique works, give writing instruction, and provide encouragement and inspiration to aspiring authors. The group is free and open to the public.
• Adults are invited to participate in the Between the Covers Summer Reading Club at the Nutley Public Library, which kicks off on June 25. Each book that you read or listen to gives you an opportunity to win fun prizes from weekly raffle drawings at the library. Displays of recommended summer reading materials will offer an opportunity for browsing and borrowing. Readers are encouraged to include a review of their book on each raffle ticket, or post a review on the Facebook page for Nutley Public Library. A grand prize drawing will be held at the end of the summer. Call the library at 973-667- 0405 for more information on this and other programs. The schedule of programs is available at the library and on the library’s web site at http://nutley.bccls.org
• Drop-In Mommy and Me Time will be held a t library on Mondays, July 2, 16 and 30 at 10 a.m. – Registration is required.
• The next meeting of the library’s Monday Night Book Club is schedule for July 2 at 7 p.m. This month’s book is “Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship” by Gail Caldwell. The group meets on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m. Newcomers are welcome. Drop-In Craft for Registered Story Time at the library is scheduled for July 5, 6, 19 and 20 a t 10 a.m. Registration required.
• A Tween Video Game Tournament will be held a t the library on Friday, July 6 and 20 at 2 p.m. – Registration required.
• The library’s Craft Book Club will meet on S aturday, July 7, at 11 a.m. Registration is required. • Babygarten will be held a t the library on Monday, July 9 and 23 at 10 a.m. and 1 p .m. – Registration required.
• Preschool Story Time will be held at the library on Tuesday, July 10 and 24 at 10 a.m.. Registration required.
• An environmental workshop for PreK-2nd grade will be held at the library on Tuesday, July 10 at 2 p.
Former DBP and Vanderbilt infielder gets call in sixth round
By Jim Hague
As the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft entered its second day last Wednesday, Anthony Gomez wasn’t paying a lot of attention.
Nutley native Gomez was with his teammates at Vanderbilt University and was in the locker room, after the Commodores had been eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by North Carolina State last Sunday.
“One of the guys was watching the draft tracker online,” Gomez said. “I wasn’t really paying attention. I was hoping to hear my name called, but my friend said, `Hey, Gomez just got taken by the Marlins.’ That’s how I found out.”
It was true. The 6-foot, 185-pound shortstop, who played his high school baseball for perennial state power Don Bosco Prep, was taken by the Miami Marlins in the sixth round of the draft, becoming the first Nutley product to get selected in the MLB Draft since pitcher Rob Gariano was taken by the San Diego Padres in the 35th round of the 2010 Draft out of Fairfield University.
Before Gariano, Larry Mohs was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 11th round in 1993.
Gomez was the third highest player from New Jersey taken in the 2012 MLB Draft.
Gomez had a good idea that he would be picked in the draft.
“The day of the draft, we had a team meeting, so I was busy with that,” Gomez said. “I had received a few phone calls earlier that I might get drafted. A scout from the Marlins called me and asked if I would be ready to sign if they took me. I had a few other teammates who were also told they might get drafted, so we were all having a little fun with it.”
Gomez said that receiving the news from the Marlins was the best moment of his life.
“It’s completely a dream come true,” Gomez said. “It’s what every kid wants to do. To see it now become a reality is truly amazing.”
Gomez, who still has another year of eligibility remaining at Vanderbilt if he chooses to return to school, led the Commodores in a host of offensive statistics this season, batting .357 with 57 RBI and 90 hits, earning All-Southeast Conference honors for the second straight year. He stands fourth on the Vanderbilt all-time hit list with 267 and if he chooses to return for his senior year, he could very well break the school’s alltime hit record. His .354 career batting average ranks fifth alltime at Vanderbilt.
But it sounds as if Gomez is leaning towards signing a contract with the Marlins. He returned to Nutley on Thursday, a day after the draft, and was greeted by a host of family and friends.
“Everyone has been so excited,” Gomez said. “I’ve seen a few friends and they’re all very happy for me. They know it’s been my lifelong dream.”
Gomez plans on meeting with the Marlins’ organization this week to discuss a contract.
“I’m heading to Jupiter (Florida) this week to begin negotiations,” Gomez said. “We’ll see, but I’ll probably sign, maybe Wednesday. It’s good to know that I was picked that high. I wasn’t sure where I was going to fall. I spoke with the Marlins before the draft, so I knew that they were interested in me, but I had no idea where I would end up. But I’m really excited. It feels pretty good.”
Gomez started to gain a lot of attention last year, when Vanderbilt sent 12 players to the MLB Draft.
“We had a lot of scouts coming to the games last year and we had a lot of guys get drafted,” Gomez said. “It helped that we had a team with a lot of talent. I got noticed and started to realize I had a chance. I had a lot of scouts who wanted to know if I would sign if I got drafted. So I guess I knew I would get picked. It was just a matter of what round.”
Gomez was happy to share the day with five of his Vanderbilt teammates, who also were taken during this year’s draft.
“It was a great time for all of us,” Gomez said. “I did get to hear my buddies’ names called. Six from the same school is pretty impressive.”
Gomez was happy it was the Marlins, because he said that he has family in Miami.
“They’re excited as well,” said Gomez, who was born in Belleville at Clara Maass Hospital and was raised on the Nutley/Clifton border.
Gomez said that it was helpful to be part of two great baseball programs, first at Don Bosco Prep and later Vanderbilt. “It was a huge help to me,” Gomez said. “You see all the big-time players going through the process from freshman to senior year.” One of Gomez’s high school teammates, Steve Proscia, was drafted in the fourth round by the Seattle Mariners last year and is playing minor league baseball in their organization.
“Between Bosco and Vanderbilt, there have been others who know what the minor league process is all about,” Gomez said. “It can def nitely be a benefit to me.”
Gomez was amazed to learn he was one of only a handful of Nutley products to be drafted.
“I didn’t know that,” Gomez said. “It’s a great feeling to have that distinction. It feels good to come back to Nutley and have everyone all excited and happy for me. I’m glad I can help to bring happiness to everyone.”
And help to put Nutley on the national baseball map once again.
By Jim Hague
When the high school boys’ volleyball season began three months ago, Kearny head coach Bill Mullins didn’t know what to expect.
After all, Mullins had only one starter returning from a team that posted a 10-13 record the prior year. The Kardinals were basically putting an entirely new team on the floor.
“We knew that we had some nice players, but we didn’t know how well we would do,” said Mullins, the long-time Kearny basketball coach who entered his second season as the boys’ volleyball coach in April. “We didn’t know who was going to be out there. We had a young team with kids battling for positions.”
The lone returning starter was senior setter Kevin Ortiz. It looked like a team in total flux.
“We tried to set some goals,” Mullins said. “We tried to use making the state playoffs as a goal. But we had to take each point, each game at a time.”
Mullins was definitely encouraged, because he had a dedicated bunch of volleyball players.
“They definitely were working hard and wanted to get better,” Mullins said. “They also had a very good attitude. They worked together and listened.”
Because he didn’t know exactly what his team was made of, Mullins tried a different approach.
“I wanted them to play aggressive,” Mullins said. “I wanted them to jump and hit the ball with power every single time. It was a big emphasis. I challenged them to hit with power and become more of an aggressive power team.”
It was an approach that the Kardinals bought into.
“It was a big responsibility, because we were playing some good teams,” said senior outside hitter Albert Jimenez, who had quality playing time last year as a reserve. “We had an inexperienced team and everyone didn’t think we’d do well. But we pulled together.”
At one point of the season, prospects looked pretty grim. The Kardinals had lost six straight matches to drop to 6-11 overall.
“We lost to Bayonne, which ended up being a Final Four team in the state,” Mullins said. “But we needed to battle back to get to .500 and qualify for the states.”
A big turning point took place in early May, when the Kardinals went to the Hackensack Comet Invitational tournament, an eight-team volleyball smorgasbord with some of the toughest teams in northern New Jersey.
“I thought a little about changing the lineup of the team or moving them around a little, to change things up,” Mullins said. “Then, right before the Hackensack tournament, I decided to stick with it. I had a little bit of faith in them and they did tremendously.”
The Kardinals defeated Bergenfield, Jefferson and host Hackensack, then knocked off Garfield in the semifinals, a team that had defeated the Kardinals in the regular season.
“That was a good sign for me that we turned things around,” Mullins said.
The Kardinals did lose to neighboring rival Harrison in the championship round, but it was definitely a turning point in the season.
“To get to the finals really changed us,” Mullins said. “It gave the team some encouragement that we could win. We just had to stick to what we were doing and continue to get better.”
The Kardinals managed to win seven of their final nine matches to reach the .500 mark and qualify for the NJSIAA state tournament. They lost in the first round to perennial state power St. Peter’s Prep, but they did manage to finish with a 14-14 record and a berth in the NJSIAA state tourney for only the second time in the program’s seven-year history.
“We had that pressure the whole year to make the state tournament and we did it,” Mullins said. “I’m real proud of their efforts.”
Jimenez emerged as a standout player, eventually earning All-Hudson County league honors.
“He got a lot stronger and played with a lot more power,” Mullins said of Jimenez, who is headed to Fairfield University in the fall to study engineering. “He really came a long way.”
“We never gave up and that was important,” Jimenez said. “It was amazing the way we came back and got to .500. Hackensack was definitely the wake-up call.”
Ortiz remained solid as the setter, but midway through the season, he suffered a broken thumb, so junior Thiago de Carvalho had to step in and serve as the setter.
“It’s basically like losing your quarterback in football, but Thiago did well in the last eight games and we went 6-2 with him as our setter,” Mullins said.
Junior Jonathan Horvaht was the team’s opposite hitter.
“He also developed into a nice player,” Mullins said.
“This was a big season,” Horvaht said. “It was only the second time we made it to the states. It was good to get this far, considering no one thought we could do it. It’s a big sense of accomplishment and gives us something to build on for next year. I never made the state tournament in anything, so it was a big step in my high school career.”
Junior John Lemos was another outside hitter who developed leaps and bounds this season.
“He’s the best jumper on the team,” Mullins said.
Senior Konrad Balakier was perhaps the team’s most versatile performer.
“He played all around the floor,” Mullins said.
Junior Kyle Seridonio was another hitter. Junior Lucio Costa was the team’s libero or defensive specialist.
Senior Anthony DeSousa was a member of the back row defense and sophomore Douglas Chemin was a good shot blocker and middle hitter.
All totaled, the Kardinals found the intestinal fortitude to recover from the tough times and reach their collective goal for only the second time in school history.
“We hit some obstacles with that losing streak, but they overcame the adversity like they did all year,” Mullins said. “They kept working hard and playing. We have some nice talent coming back, so it’s up to us to keep getting better.”
By Jim Hague
Kevin Momnohin has an Irish-sounding name (his last name is pronounced like MONAHAN) but the Queen of Peace sophomore’s name has its origins from the Ivory Coast in Africa.
That’s where Momnohin’s father was born and in a country where the national language is called “We,” the name means “You did it,” in the native tongue.
Well, it’s safe to say that Momnohin certainly has done it and done it well as an athlete at Queen of Peace. Momnohin first attended Don Bosco Prep and intended to be a football standout at the nationally-ranked powerhouse, but since his twin brother, Keith, was enrolled at Queen of Peace, he decided last September to join his brother at QP.
“I wanted to be there with my brother,” said Kevin Momnohin about his younger fraternal twin, born two minutes apart. “It made sense to me to be there. We push each other every day to become better athletes. We are very close.”
It didn’t take long for Momnohin to feel comfortable at his new school.
“I felt at home with the students, the athletes, the coaches,” Momnohin said. “It made sense for me to be there.”
When the outdoor track season began, the Momnohin twins joined the Golden Griffins’ program, headed by veteran respected coach Nick Mazzolla.
It didn’t take long for Mazzolla to realize that both twins had talent, but Kevin was something special.
“I knew that this kid was a natural athlete,” Mazzolla said. “I could tell that right away.”
Momnohin was joining the QP track team for one reason.
“I wanted to get ready for football,” Momnohin said. “I thought it would be the best way to work on my strength and stamina. I figured I could do the sprints.”
Momnohin had never competed in track and field before, but his father said that both Kevin and Keith were always running after each other since they were toddlers, so running track made a lot of sense.
Mazzolla didn’t know where Momnohin would fit in.
“We did a series of workouts to see where his talents were best,” Mazzolla said. “I figured he could do the 100-meter high hurdles, the 100 and 200-meter dashes and the long jump.”
Momnohin knew that he could run the sprints, but was a little unsure about doing the hurdles.
“I never did them before,” Momnohin said. “I just had to jump over it.”
Seems easy enough. Mazzolla saw rapid improvement from his budding star.
“Meet after meet, he just kept getting better and better,” Mazzolla said. “As he continued to improve, his performances also got better. Our assistant coach, Terry Iavarone, used some unique cross training methods to get Kevin ready. He used it with all the kids, but it really worked with Kevin. Halfway through the season, you could see that Kevin was getting stronger and faster. I was toying with him, thinking of using him in the 400-meter run and the middle distances.”
Mazzolla then came up with an idea that would best utilize Momnohin’s talents.
“I thought about putting him in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles,” Mazzolla said. “I knew he had the ability. I thought that his speed would help him in between the hurdles.”
Momnohin didn’t know what to think.
“I knew I never did it before,” Momnohin said. “But Coach Mazzolla was behind me and had faith in me, so I did it.”
Just like the meaning of his name.
With no practice in the event whatsoever, Momnohin lined up at the recent NJSIAA Non-Public B state sectional championships and in his first-ever attempt at the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, Momnohin finished second in 1:00.7.
“I was a little surprised,” Momnohin said. “I was a little nervous, but once I got over the first hurdle, it was actually kind of easy. I never thought it could happen.”
At that same meet, Momnohin also finished second in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and finished fifth at the long jump.
A week later, Momnohin went to the overall NJSIAA Non-Public B state championships and this time, he won the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 58.44 seconds.
“I told the kid that not only was he going to do well, but that he was going to win the thing,” Mazzolla said. “I knew he would do well. He cut his time by two seconds as well.”
“I never thought I could get this far,” Momnohin said. “I could never have predicted this.”
At the overall Non-Public B group championships, Momnohin also finished third in the 100-meter dash and fourth in the 200-meter dash, meaning that he secured three medals and earned the right to compete in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in three events.
For his efforts, Momnohin has been selected as The Observer Athlete of the Week for the past week. Momnohin also earns the distinction of being the final honoree for the 2011-2012 scholastic sports season. The presentation for the Observer Male and Female Athletes of the Year will take place in the coming weeks.
Mazzolla is overjoyed at Momnohin’s progress.
“He works hard in practice and deserves this,” Mazzolla said. “He’s also a real gentleman and he’s very coachable. By the time he’s done and if he uses track as his vehicle, he could get to college. There’s no doubt about it. He’s done very well with very little experience.”
Very little? Try just two attempts at the intermediate hurdles and it produced a state champion. That’s almost too mind boggling for words.
“Sometimes, you have to take a chance in this sport,” Mazzolla said. “It worked out. I just had a hunch.”
“Of course, I think there’s a big future for me,” Momnohin said. “I’m going to keep doing track. It’s now sort of equal with football.”
However, QP football coach Steve Romano is going to look forward to have both Momnohin twins in the fall.
“It’s a big pleasure for me to represent Queen of Peace,” Momnohin said. “Coach Romano told me the other day that I’m making the school proud, that I have to keep making the Queen of Peace name get out there.”
Much like the Momnohin name, meaning “you did it.” Yes, Kevin Momnohin certainly did it. He’s a state champion.
John A. Holle Sr.
John A. Holle Sr., of Bloomfield, died tragically on June 7 from injuries sustained after being struck by an automobile while crossing the street. Originally from Arlington, John joined the Marines in 1942 and fought at Roi-Namur, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima, and earned citations for bravery including the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He was a proud life member of the Marine Corps League, West Hudson Detachment; the Catholic War Veterans; and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was also a member of the Father Washington Club. His father, Edward Holle, was killed on the Dorchester with the Rev. John Washington when it was torpedoed and sank in the North Atlantic during WWII. A marksman, John was a life member of the NRA and received many awards and medals and national recognition for his shooting expertise as part of the Kearny and Roseland Rifle and Pistol Clubs.
A devout Catholic, John was a daily communicant of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield, where he was a member of the Holy Name Society and served as an acolyte, usher, and Eucharistic Minister. John served twice as Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus Council 1178, and was a member of the St. Isaac Jogues 4th degree Assembly #0649.
An avid golfer and bowler, John was a member of The Bowling Green Golf Club in Oak Ridge, and a captain of the St. Thomas Bowling League for many years. He had been a mechanical contractor and a member of the Pipe Fitters Local #274.
A man of service to many charities, Mr. Holle was predeceased by his son, John A. Holle, Jr. and a brother Albert J. Holle. He is survived by his beloved wife, Cecilia A. (nee Jordan) Holle; three children, Joan Holle of Spring Lake, Dolores Holle of Sea Girt, James Jordan Holle and his wife Deirdre Cannon of East Hanover, and the Rev. Laurence P. Dolan, OFM, of San Diego, Calif.; two grandchildren, James and Brian Holle of East Hanover; four sisters-in-law, Ann Holle of Oceanside, Calif., Rose Wildeman of Point Pleasant, Teresa Corcoran of Blairstown and Rosalie A. Jordan of Spring Lake; a niece Regina Holle of San Diego, Calif.; and many nieces, nephews and cousins in the U.S. and Ireland. John leaves behind many loyal friends and family, and will be sorely missed.
Visitation will be at Frank Halpin’s Brookdale Funeral Home, 1284 Broad St, Bloomfield, on Wednesday June 13, from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral will be Thursday, June 14, at 9 a.m. from the funeral home. The funeral Liturgy will follow in Saint Thomas the Apostle Church, 60 Byrd Ave, Bloomfield, at 10 a.m. Interment is at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the John A. Holle Memorial Fund, West Hudson Detachment, Marine Corp League, 286 Belgrove Dr., Kearny, NJ 07032 or The Seeing Eye, PO Box 375, Morristown, NJ 07963.
Theodore R. Lapinski
Theodore R. Lapinski, 87, died on June 5 at Englewood Hospital in Englewood.
Born in Jersey City, he lived in North Arlington since 1953.
He was the vice president of operations for Englewood Hospital for 13 years before retiring in 1992. Earlier, he worked as an account executive Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Newark for 25 years. He served in the United States Army during World War II. He served North Arlington as tax collector, councilman and Mayor from 1969 to 1970 and most recently as vice chairman of the Board of Health. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus #3428 and an usher at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington. He was a member of the Lions Club of North Arlington, the North Arlington Republican Club and was state ambassador for the A.A.R.P.
He was the beloved husband of Jennie (nee Natina); devoted father of Gordon and his wife Virginia of Cherry Hill and the late Lenore; cherished grandfather of Jennifer Sands, Derek, Amanda and Kyle Lapinski and great-grandfather of Robert Sands III.
Visitation was held at the Parow Funeral Home, 185 Ridge Rd., North Arlington on Saturday, June 9, with a religious service. In Theodore’s memory, the family would appreciate donations made to the North Arlington Volunteer Emergency Squad, P.O. Box 7088, North Arlington, N.J. 07031.
Claude Neilson died on June 8 at home. He was 84. Born in Crawhills, Scotland, he lived many years in Kearny before moving to Margaretville, N.Y.
Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A Masonic service was held, followed by the funeral service and private cremation. To leave online condolence please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.
Claude was a butcher and part owner of the Royal Meat Market, Kearny. He was past master of Copestone Ophir Lodge, past president of the Scots American Club, Scottish American Monument Committee and the Square Club all in Kearny.
Husband of Agnes (nee Hamilton), he is survived by his children Robert Neilson, Elizabeth and Arlindo Teixeira and Andrew Neilson, six grandchildren and four greatgrandchildren. He was predeceased by his grandson, Sean.
In lieu of flowers, kindly make a donation to Erskine Hospital c/o the funeral home.
Stuart J. Schardin
Stuart J. Schardin, 61, of Harrison, passed away on Sunday, June 3.
Private funeral arrangements were entrusted to Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Avenue, Harrison. followed by cremation. For information or to send condolences to family please visit mulliganfuneralhome.org.
Son of the late Elmer and Fern, Stuart was born in Lake Benton, Minn.
He survived by his sons Joshua S. and Matthew J. Schardin.
By Randy Neuman
In this time of corporate downsizing and restructuring, many people find themselves pursuing a new career. Embarking on a new career should inspire a revision of your existing financial plan including your risk management, future income, eventual age of retirement, and standard of living.
In addition to this revision of future retirement considerations, don’t ignore your current employee benefits package. Employee benefits and “perks” can account for more than a third of the total compensation your new employer has to offer and should be an important consideration in your overall financial plan.
It is important to understand how to get the most benefit from the options available through your new employer. Of course, working with the human resources department to gain a full grasp of all that is available is your best option. Here are a few tips to get the most out of this relationship and maximize your benefits.
Let’s begin with risk management. The risks of life are: you can become ill, disabled, you can die, your property can be damaged, someone can sue you, and a very real risk — you can spend some time and a lot of money in a long-term care facility. Employee benefits often offer solutions to some of these risks.
Let’s begin with health insurance. Be sure to coordinate health benefits offered by your new employer with your existing health coverage. Let’s say that you are covered under your spouse’s plan and the coverage is adequate. If this is the case, you don’t need coverage through your new employer. It would be a waste of money, more than likely your money, to have duplicate coverage. However, there may be circumstances where it would make sense to have duplicate coverage for a short period of time should your spouse be leaving their job shortly.
The next risk on the list is disability. Disability is much more likely than death. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked. Disability is more expensive than dying. If you die, you’re mourned, you’re missed, but you are buried along with your expenses. If you are disabled, your income ceases, but your expenses don’t. So, do not scrimp on disability insurance. If your company offers it, take it. If they do not offer it, get yourself an individual policy.
Following the list, many companies offer life insurance benefits. Often, they will give you your salary or a multiple of it. Additionally, they may sell you higher levels of coverage. Group term life insurance is pretty cheap; therefore, calculate what you need and compare the cost to buying a policy yourself.
Employers, in most cases, don’t provide solutions to all of your risks. They don’t routinely provide property and casualty insurance or liability coverage. However, some employers do offer group long-term care insurance. This is definitely worth a look, but make sure you compare it to individual policies.In my experience, an individual policy, in most cases, provides better coverage for less money than do group policies.
Now, let’s look at a benefit that is provided by many employers — retirement plans. In days of yore, employees worked for one company until age 65 at which time they were given a party, a gold watch and a pension. Pension plans are retirement plans fully paid for by the employer. These plans have gone the way of the Phoenix, and I don’t think that they will reappear. However, there is still a wide array of company plans available: 401(k), 403(b), 457 plans, profit sharing, cash balance plans, et. al.
Retirement plans are “qualified” by the Internal Revenue Service and have three basic elements. 1) You receive an income tax deduction when you make a contribution to these plans. This is a good thing. 2) Earnings within the plans are tax-deferred until you make a withdrawal. This is also a good thing. Withdrawals from these plans are taxable. Well, what did you expect? However, most people find themselves in a lower tax bracket when they are retired and withdrawing from their pension plans; therefore, the tax bite is less painful.
Additionally, many employers provide a matching contribution within their plans. So, if you contribute 10 % of your salary, they will match perhaps 3 %. Let’s look at some numbers. If you make $100,000 annually and you put 10 % of your salary ($10,000) into the plan, your cost is $6,500 (assuming that you are in the 35 % tax bracket). But hold on a minute, because your employer made a $3,000 contribution, it cost you $6,500 to put $13,000 into your retirement plan.
If you are 30 years old now and you retire at age 65, that $13,000 contribution earning an annual interest rate of 6 % will be worth $1,448,752. Do I have your attention?*
Find out about other benefit options your employer provides such as child care, paid vacations and holidays, extended leave policies, education reimbursement, and employee discount packages. Every little bit helps.
Lastly, be sure to periodically review, at minimum annually, your benefits and adjust your participation to changes in your family and life style. Make sure they still meet your long-term concerns and goals.
* This illustration is not indicative of any security’s performance and is based on information believed reliable. Future performance cannot be guaranteed and investment yields will fluctuate with market conditions.
Please consult your financial advisor if you have any questions about these examples and how they relate to your own financial situation before implementation.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for the individual. Randy Neumann, CFP® is a registered representative with and securities and insurance offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/ SIPC. He can be reached at 600 East Crescent Avenue, Suite 104, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458, 201-291-9000.
Officers responded to 313 Union Ave. at 4:50 p.m. on a stolen vehicle report. The vehicle, a silver 2003 Audi with its keys in the ignition, had been parked for a short time at the corner of Joralemon and Union before being stolen. A surveillance camera at the location showed a red Durango pull up behind the Audi. A black male wearing a hoodie exited the vehicle and proceeded to steal the Audi. The vehicle was last seen headed south on Union Ave. towards Newark. Police are investigating.
A home burglary and theft occurred at 15 Tremont St. It was reported at 7:52 p.m. The crime victim told police that when she returned home she noticed that her front door was closed but unlocked. Many items were found to be missing including televisions, computers, digital cameras and DVDs. The kitchen window was found slightly ajar and a flower pot standing beside it was moved, which suggest that this may have been the intruder(s) point of entry. Police are investigating.
Officers patrolling the area of Honiss St. observed a black female walk up a residential driveway at 45 Honiss and look through a house window at 10:24 a.m. After stopping the woman to question her motives, a background check revealed that she had outstanding warrants from Newark for $200, two warrants from Orange totaling $885, and one from E, Orange for $1,000. Tanisha Jones, 39, of Newark was arrested and turned over to Newark authorities.
A burglary and theft was reported at 86 Magnolia St. at 8:18 a.m. The victim stated that she left her residence at 6:25 a.m. When she returned a short time later she noticed “numerous pieces of jewelry missing from the bedroom.” The air conditioning unit at the front of the house appeared to be “moved and out of place” according to the woman.
Officers observed a man looking into the windows of several parked vehicles on Newark Ave. at 11:23 a.m. When stopped and asked why he was looking into the windows, the man replied, “to see my reflection.” A background check revealed that the man had an outstanding warrant from Jersey City for $164. Reginald L. Yarbrough Jr., 32, of Jersey City, was arrested and turned over to Jersey City authorities.
Officers were dispatched to the area of Joralemon Ave. and New St. on a motor vehicle accident with injuries call at 11:32 p.m. When they arrived, they found two damaged vehicles and a female driver seated in one of the cars. The woman, who was crying claimed that she wasn’t injured and refused medical attention. She said she was driving on Joralemon St. talking on her cell phone and struck one parked vehicle. A subsequent check by police revealed that five vehicles had been hit at that location. While speaking to the woman, officers detected a strong smell of alcohol on her breath. When confronted, the woman stated that she had consumed five beers “about an hour ago.” The woman, Roselene R. Duarte, 50, of Kenilworth, was arrested for D.W.I. and issued several motor vehicle summonses. She was released on her own recognizance.
Officers were dispatched to 9 Frederick St. at 8:59 p.m. on a report of a lost or stolen cell phone. The caller told police that he had seen his teenage son’s cell phone taken by a young man and woman who were currently standing across the street. When officers approached the duo, the young man began to walk away. Upon doing so, he reached into his left back pocket and retrieved a “blunt object” which he then threw to the ground. Officers ordered him to halt. The object that he had discarded proved to be a steak knife with a fixed blade. A black Samsung cell phone was also found on the ground. The victim identified the young man and woman as the individuals who took the cell phone. The boy, from Bloomfield, was arrested for possession of a weapon and theft. As this occurred, the girl (from Newark) became irate and began to strike one of the officers while reaching for his duty belt. She was subsequently arrested. Both juveniles were released to their parents.
At 7:15 p.m. police stopped a vehicle with an expired registration on Franklin Ave. and ticketed the driver, Orlando Pena, 46, of East Orange, for driving an unregistered and insured vehicle and driving while suspended. He was held for outstanding warrants totaling $100 from East Orange and Wayne and, later, turned over to Wayne P.D. Pena’s passenger, Claire Dotoli, 27, of Nutley, was arrested for an outstanding warrant from Saddle Brook for $300 and on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. She was given a summons and released. A Centre St. ice cream vendor called police at 2:43 p.m. to report that a customer had paid for ice cream with a fake $20 bill. Police searched the area but couldn’t find the culprit.
At 1:35 p.m. police pulled over a car on Franklin Ave. after they said they saw the driver using a cellular phone. Police towed the vehicle after finding that it was unregistered and ticketed the driver who wasn’t identified.
At 12:29 p.m. the owner of a Franklin Ave. business reported that a customer had stolen two packs of gum and left the store without paying. After reviewing the store’s video surveillance, police said they identified the accused shoplifter as Marc Senatore, 18, of Nutley, and issued him a summons.
A Garfield motorist landed in trouble while traveling on Rt. 21. First, Jose Hernandez, 28, ran out of gas. Then, when police came on the scene, at 9:24 a.m., they learned that his license was suspended and that he had an outstanding warrant from Garfield for $350. He was issued summonses and released to Garfield P.D.’s custody.
Someone kicked in the front door of a storage shed being rented by a Belleville resident in the rear of a Park Ave. apartment building and burglarized the unit where the resident was storing furniture and tools. Police said the incident, which was logged at 8:10 a.m., happened between June 4 and 6.
When police stopped a vehicle driven on Rt. 21 for alleged speeding at 3:26 a.m., they said the driver gave them a false name to avoid arrest on three outstanding warrants. Police issued the driver, Brayan Guevara, 22, of West New York, four summonses, including no license, and was released after posting bail.
A report of vandalism brought police to a Bayard St. home at 6:12 p.m. The homeowner reported that someone spray painted the letter “P” on her shed and also sprayed her grass and a tree with the paint. Police also noticed that the adjacent Little League field on Hancox Ave. also had spray paint on the trees and grass area. Police are investigating.
A Rhoda Ave. resident called police at 6:23 a.m. to report that his unlocked car was burglarized overnight. The resident told police he found the doors ajar and that change and a Leatherman tool were missing from the vehicle.
A spectator attempting to take pictures at a Little League game from an area restricted to players triggered a verbal dispute between the spectator and an umpire which was diffused by an off-duty Nutley police officer who was at the game, police said. After the officer asked the individual several times to leave the area, the spectator complied. The incident was logged at 6 p.m.
Police stopped a vehicle driven by Francis Nina of Nutley for alleged speeding at 6:56 a.m. on Milton Ave. and ticketed Nina for speeding and a suspended license. Nina was arrested for having outstanding warrants from Woodbridge totaling $179 but later released after posting bail.
Someone pried open the side door to a North Road house while the owner was out and removed a laptop computer, GPS, digital camera and gold. Detectives are investigating.
Darnel Murphy, of Newark, was a passenger in a vehicle stopped at 10:26 p.m. on Brookfield Ave. who was arrested on five outstanding warrants out of Bridgewater totaling $2,100. Bridgewater P.D. took him into custody.
Police were called to a Washington Ave. business at 7:07 p.m. where a customer told them he wasn’t happy with the service and wanted his money back. Police said they restored order and the customer was asked to leave.
A neighborhood dispute over parked cars brought police to William St. at 6:46 p.m. Police advised the disputants they could sign harassment complaints if they wished.
Police and fire units responded to a car fire in a driveway on Conover Ave. at 7 a.m. Fire officials are investigating.
A hit and run accident brought police to a River Road location at 3 a.m. and a vehicle believed to be involved in the accident was located, abandoned and with heavy front end damage, on Washington Ave. Police towed the vehicle to headquarters for further investigation.
A report of juveniles playing on the roof resulted in officers responding to the Radcliffe School at 10:37 p.m. Police removed the youths from the roof and called their parents to pick them up. Police said they found no damage done to the roof.
An Ernest St. resident reported an attempted burglary at 2 p.m. Police found fingerprints on a kitchen window which was ajar. No entry was gained, it appeared, according to police. An investigation is continuing.
By Anthony J. Machcinski
A beautiful spring day greeted a small crowd who witnessed the dawn of a new era. At noon of May 31, Mayor Richard DiLascio offi cially resigned from his position as the Mayor of Lyndhurst, giving way to now-Mayor Robert Giangeruso to take the office.
“The timing is perfect,” DiLascio said. DiLascio vacated his position as Mayor in order to dedicate more time to his law practice but will still serve as a commissioner for the township.
Giangeruso became Mayor after a unanimous vote by the commissioners. In the 2009 election Giangeruso was the leading vote-getter among candidates, making him the most likely option for Mayor.
“It was a great feeling knowing that the people that you grew up with and have lived with want to support you,” Giangeruso said. “It’s an honor to be called Mayor.”
Giangeruso got his start in politics while he was a Lyndhurst Police Officer when former Mayor Peter Russo took him under his wing and became his mentor. As Russo became Mayor and eventually an assemblyman, Giangeruso was taken along for the ride, going to several political events with Russo and getting his feet wet in the political scene.
“It’s an honor to be called mayor, sitting in the seat of my mentors – Russo, (Anthony) Scardino, (Bill) Gallagher – people I looked up to as a kid,” Giangeruso explained.
Giangeruso comes to power at a critical time for the township, as it was announced on May 31 that the town would start to see some of the money from the financial albatross known as EnCap returned to the township.
If the past is any example of the transition of power, according to Assemblyman Gary Schaer, there will be no issues.
“I can think of no town that runs as smoothly as Lyndhurst,” Schaer said at the meeting.
As the dawn rises on the Giangeruso regime, the newly- named Mayor is already hard at work.
“My bigger plan is to get the roads all resurfaced, get the sidewalks fixed, and try to dress up the town and infrastructure,” Giangeruso said.
Nearly 46 years after he graduated from Lyndhurst High School and 13 years since he retired as Deputy Police Chief of Lyndhurst, the boy who grew up on Riverside Ave. has finally taken his seat on Valley Brook Ave.
By Ron Leir
Lyndhurst may like to call itself “Bear Country” but, unlike several of its neighbors, the township hasn’t yet achieved an environment-friendly Tree City USA tag.
Among the 178 communities in New Jersey that share the pride of the green are Kearny, with 35 years of tree-hugging dedication; Nutley, with a quarter-century of service; and Bloomfield, with 12 years of distinction.
Indeed, in the past several months, Lyndhurst has been actively taking down trees – Bradford Pears – for safety sake. But recently, it’s been aggressively pursuing a more tree-friendly track.
Township Commissioner Richard DiLascio, who served as mayor until ceding the job to Commissioner Robert Giangeruso May 31, said in an e-mail written in mid- May: “We have been planting (street) trees for the last two weeks. Park Place, Chase Avenue, Post Avenue, Kingsland Avenue, Fern Avenue are currently in the process of receiving new trees.
“There are still in excess of 70 more trees staged in the County Park near our Little League fields. We are ordering more, but the spring planting season is almost over. The project will resume in the fall.
“By mid-next week we will have planted over 200 trees and the plan is (to plant) at least 200 more in the fall,” he said.
As an aside, DiLascio added that road resurfacing along Chase, Post and Fern were also scheduled to begin shortly.
An inspection of the Riverside Park staging area last week by The Observer, accompanied by township Public Works Supt. Richard Gress, showed only a handful of saplings remaining. The rest, said Gress, have been planted, either by DPW employees or by two private contractors, Uncle Matty’s of North Arlington and Pat Scanlon Landscaping of New City, N.Y.
The township has also benefited from having its own pair of resident Johnny Appleseeds: Steve Laudati, a landscape architect, and Thomas DiMascio have been volunteers in the cause of replenishing the township’s tree stock by visiting various nurseries to find the appropriate species that will endure in an urban setting.
Unaware of any current tree census in the township, Laudati said the township’s “goal was to assess what we’ve got now and go from there.”
“The urban forest in Lyndhurst has been neglected for a long time,” Laudati said. “So many streets are in desperate need of getting rid of ratty old trees. … But with support, we can take steps to reestablish the tree ‘belt’ – the land within the public right of way, from sidewalk to curb which people are responsible to maintain.”
“A lot of trees have been cut down in the last 15 to 20 years,” Laudati said, “whether because of disease or potential hazard,” or because some residents just didn’t want them because of roots cracking their sidewalks or for other reasons.
An example of that negative attitude manifested itself recently on a section of Kingsland Ave., Laudati said, where “one resident pruned four feet off the top of one of newly planted trees. It’s unfortunate someone would damage town property. … Once you cut off the top, a tree will never grow the same.”
Laudati said Lyndhurst has ordinances prohibiting the pruning of street trees without prior authorization of the township and “we need to do more to make residents aware of their responsibilities regarding street trees.”
There are, however, circumstances where tree cutting is justified, Laudati and Gress said, and that’s what the township has been doing in earnest with its hefty complement of Bradford Pears.
“We’ve removed 125 so far,” Gress said. “There are about 70 to 80 left.”
They’re being removed, Gress explained, because they pose a hazard to pedestrians and parked vehicles.
“Their branches are very long, all stretching from one point on the trunk, with all the weight in the center,” he said.“Water collects in the joints and rots it out and any wind can snap it.” Rainstorms pose a particular menace, he said.
“Since Hurricane Irene hit, on Oct. 29, (split Bradfords and fallen limbs) have accounted for 90 percent of our calls (to assist),” Gress said.
For the new shade tree plantings done this spring on streets where utility infrastructure work has been completed, Laudati searched out a variety of species from the Barton Nursery in Edison and from several nurseries in Maryland that would be “appropriate for each street” and satisfy the criteria of “urban and drought tolerant with a healthy canopy.” Having a mix “will avoid a monoculture of street trees that is more susceptible to suffer a catastrophic loss from disease or pest,” he said.
So, for example, Fern Ave. received varieties of Bald Cypress and Honey Locust; Kingsland Ave. got London Planes and Elms; Park Place and Chase Ave. are sporting Lindens. Some streets are seeing Sawtooth Oaks. The township has invested about $80,000 this year in the replenishing of trees.
In the fall, Laudati said, when the next batch of trees arrive, “we’ll get to the remainder of those residents who have asked for trees. We hope to be setting up something on the township website allowing people to donate or request a tree.”
Laudati said the township has applied to the state Div. of Parks & Forestry for a Green Communities grant to create a forestry management program, which is one of the conditions required of a municipality to qualify as a Tree City and which, he added, could open the door for more grants for tree planting.
The biggest advantage of street trees on residential streets, Laudati said, is “increased property values” because “tree-lined streets attract development.” And, of course, street trees offer shade and cleaner air and reduce stormwater runoff, he said.
“We’ve got to raise public awareness of their positive value,” Laudati said, “and to enable residents to have a better understanding of how they can help promote tree growth.”
Watering young trees is a good thing, for example, Laudati said, but “mulch volcanoes” are very bad “because it leads to decaying of the trunk.”