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Classmates in court

By Karen Zautyk  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY–  The three young men, pictured above in their Kearny High School yearbook photos, had their whole lives ahead of them. Who knew where the future would take them? No one would have guessed that, a bit more than a decade later, it […]

Serial robber guilty

TRENTON – An accused serial robber has admitted to playing a role in 11 robberies, primarily of drug stores, in Harrison, Newark and Jersey City over a period of eight months, it was announced by U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. On July 21, Christopher Mojica, 23, pleaded guilty to […]


Blue ranks get reinforcements

By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent LYNDHURST – Talk about parallel life paths: Joseph White and Matthew Giunta went to pre-school (St. Michael’s) together, then to Franklin Elementary School, then Lyndhurst High. And, last Friday, they entered the Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute in Mahwah to begin […]


Slow-paced developments

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  BELLEVILLE –  It’s been a year and two months since Gov. Chris Christie presided at a ballyhooed groundbreaking for Franklin Manor, an age-restricted 137-unit apartment complex for those 55 and over – the first such senior development for Belleville in more than three decades. […]


Still waiting for wall’s restoration

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  HARRISON –  A property dispute between a longtime Harrison business and some neighbors that has been simmering for a few years now appears to be coming to a boil. Smack in the middle of the controversy are Bergen St. homeowners Victor and Eleanor Villalta […]


Lyndhurst senior Colon signs with Marshall University

Baseball standout unfortunately will never play with Golden Bears

Photo by Jim Hague/ Lyndhurst High School senior Jesus Colon (seated, center) signs his national letter of intent to attend Marshall University in the fall. Pictured with Colon are his mother, Mayra Delgado (seated left) and father Jesus Colon, Sr. (seated right). Standing from left are baseball coach and athletic director Butch Servideo and track and field coach Tom Shoebridge.



By Jim Hague

It was a day of celebration for baseball standout Jesus Colon.
The Lyndhurst High School senior was all set to sign his national letter of intent to attend Marshall University last week. Colon’s parents were on hand. So were his grandparents and other members of his family.
The Lyndhurst Golden Bear marquee sign was put into place for Colon to sign the actual letter with Lyndhurst athletic director and baseball coach Butch Servideo and track and field coach Tom Shoebridge, a man with tremendous ties to the West Virginia institution, looking on.
It had been quite a while since Lyndhurst held a letter signing presentation for a Division I baseball player, but this one was definitely a unique setting.
That’s because Colon, who is a premier pitcher and a talented shortstop, will never play a single inning for Lyndhurst.
“It is pretty weird,” Colon said while officially signing his scholarship papers. “It’s really disappointing that I won’t be able to play here.”
The reason? Colon has already celebrated his 19th birthday, which makes him ineligible to play under NJSIAA laws.
Here’s the scenario. Colon, a native of Brooklyn, was shipped to Perkiomen School, a boarding school in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, to begin his high school career. Colon spent three years at the school and earned a reputation as a solid baseball player there.
After three years, Colon transferred to The Knox School, another private school in Nissequogue, Long Island.
“I’ve been all over the place,” Colon laughed.
In September, Colon was all set to transfer to the Bucky Dent Baseball Academy in Delray Beach, Florida, a school/baseball facility owned and operated by the former New York Yankees shortstop and hero of the famed American League East playoff game against the Boston Red Sox, a game that is still bemoaned by Red Sox fans to this very day.
But Colon didn’t find the academy to his liking.
“There were some promises that were made that weren’t kept,” Colon said.
Colon was searching for another place to go to school. So his father, Jesus, Sr., suggested Lyndhurst. The elder Colon has been residing in Lyndhurst for the last three years.
“I knew it was a good school and it was a good place for Jesus to play baseball,” the elder Colon said. “I was looking forward to having Jesus come home and play baseball here.”
So in September, Jesus, Sr. brought his son to Lyndhurst to enroll.
When Servideo heard the news that the younger Colon was a baseball player, he was eager to have him aboard. Servideo then did some research online and found some startling news about his new prodigy. Servideo saw items about no-hitters Colon pitched last spring while at Knox. There were videos of Colon’s appearances at several different talent showcases. There were other videos showing Colon throwing fastballs clocked at 92 miles per hour.
It was only natural that Servideo would feel like he hit the lottery.
“That was on a Thursday,” Servideo said. “On Friday, after he enrolled, I got the bad news.”
It was then that the guidance office pointed out that Colon was not eligible to play high school baseball in New Jersey.
“I was devastated,” Colon said. “I thought I was going to be able to play. I thought New Jersey rules were different. It’s really disappointing. It looked like it was going to be a great place to play.”
“It was a real roller coaster ride,” Servideo said. “I saw him online and thought that he was going to be the one to take us to a county championship. I would have loved to see him pitch against the big boys in Bergen County.”
Soon after Colon enrolled in Lyndhurst, Servideo took Colon on a tour of the school. When they went to the football field, Colon noticed the retired jerseys of former Lyndhurst greats Teddy Shoebridge and Marcel Lajterman, both of whom were football players at Marshall and both were killed in the tragic plane crash in 1970 that inspired the recent film, “We Are Marshall.”
“They were already recruiting me,” the younger Colon said. “I needed a place to play this year for the pro scouts.”
“I told Jesus that we had someone here whose brother played football at Marshall,” Servideo said. “That was the irony of it all.”
Tom Shoebridge has kept a strong relationship with the school, even though his brother perished in that tragedy 41 years ago last week.
“When Butchie called me and told me about Jesus and Marshall, I couldn’t believe it,” Shoebridge said. “We talked about Marshall. I told him it’s a very family oriented place, even as a major university. I know he’s going to do well there, but he had been there long before he ever met us.”
“It’s so wild with Tom’s connection to Marshall,” the elder Colon said. “It worked out well. He was embraced here and welcomed here. It’s really like a family. I just wish he came here years ago.”
“It was definitely a sign for me that I was with family here in Lyndhurst,” Colon said.
So Colon signed his letter of intent to Marshall last week in Lyndhurst, but will never wear the Golden Bears’ blue and gold. He will work out with the team and help the other pitchers, but his contributions will be from the dugout, not the field.
“I just remember all the people who doubted me,” Colon said. “I remember the first school I went to and a coach telling me I would never make it. I’ve used that as a motivation.”
Colon remains a strong possibility of getting selected in the Major League Baseball amateur draft next June.
For now, he will remain the greatest Lyndhurst baseball player to never have played for the Golden Bears.


Bertha C. Arcink
Bertha C. Arcink, 101, died on Nov. 11 at Brighton Gardens Nursing Home in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Born in Paterson, she lived in North Arlington before moving to Port St. Lucie, Fla. four years ago. Before retiring, she was a bookkeeper for McCampbell Industries in New York City.
She is predeceased by her siblings Joseph Ardziuk and Ida Arcink.
Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny, followed by a funeral Mass at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington. Interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Treasure Coast Hospice in Fort Pierce, Fla. Sympathies may be left for the family at www.armitagewiggins.com.

Lenore Gans Bartner
Lenore Gans Bartner passed away Nov. 13 after 87 years as a devoted and loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother in Kearny. She passed as she lived her life – as a benevolent matriarch surrounded by a family based in love, togetherness, laughter and food.
Born on Aug. 1, 1924, in Newark to Louis and Jennie Gans, Lenore was a member and officer of Congregation B’nai Israel of Kearny and an officer of the Temple Sisterhood.
Lenore is predeceased by her husband Milton Bartner (1986) and survived by her sister Irene Lewis of Kearny, daughters Sue-Ann Sullivan of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., (husband Ed Sullivan, children Robert Sullivan and his wife Sarah, Lori Burns and her husband David Burns and their children Moira, Ian, and Claire) and Abbie Griffiths, Brick, (husband Randy Griffiths, daughter Jenna Griffiths), sons Jeff Bartner, Midland, Mich., (wife Cathy Bartner and daughters Lisa, Amy and Jenny Bartner) and Howard Bartner, Colorado Springs, CO (wife Pamela Bartner and daughter Margaret Jane Bartner).
Lenore served in the U.S. Navy during World War II from 1944-45 and was a member the Sanford L. Kahn Post 538 of the Jewish War Veterans and the American Legion, Kearny Frobisher Post 99. Lenore worked at the Louis Schlesinger Realtor Co., L and R Manufacturing, the Motor Club of America, ACT Air Freight, West Hudson/South Bergen Chamber of Commerce and Scandia Packaging Machinery Co.
Services were held at Menorah Chapels, 2950 Vauxhall Road, Union, followed by interment at B’nai Jeshurun Cemetery, Hillside.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Congregation B’nai Israel or the Temple Sisterhood, 292 Belleville Turnpike, Kearny, N.J. 07032.

Helen Orlowicz

Helen Orlowicz, 85, died at home on Nov. 18.
Born in Pennsylvania, she was a lifelong resident of Kearny. Before retiring, she was a bus aid for Cross Country Inc., in North Arlington. She belonged to the Rosary Sodality at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Kearny. Helen loved to go to Atlantic City and was an avid Bingo player.
She was predeceased by her loving husband John Orlowicz. Helen is survived by her cherished children John Orlowicz (Margaret), Edward Orlowicz (Charo), and Lisa Ostroman (Joe). Along with her eight grandchildren John, Joseph, Andrew, Kyle, Sean, Cynthia, David, Edward; also surviving is her loving companion “Ace.”
Private Arrangements were handled by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A memorial Mass will be on Friday, Nov. 25, at 11a.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, in Kearny. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Kidney Foundation. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.armitagewiggins.com.

Norman A. Martin

Norman A. Martin, 88, formerly of Kearny, died on Nov. 16 at Brethren Village, Lancaster, Pa.  Born in Kearny, he was the son of the late John S. and Florence M. Ferguson Martin.  He was married for 67 years to Elizabeth A. Waugh Martin.
Norman served in the U. S. Navy during WWII. He worked as a chemical engineer.  He was a member of the First Baptist Church, Kearny, where he was a deacon, trustee, and choir member. He was a Boy Scout Leader for Troop #1, Kearny, for over 25 years and received the Order of the Silver Beaver Award.  He was a member of the VFW Post # 8885 in New Jersey and the Birding Club in Ft. Myers, Fla.  Norman enjoyed traveling and playing golf.
Surviving in addition to his wife are: two daughters, Karen E., wife of Robert DeBell of Gaithersburg, Md., Barbara M. wife of George Droz of Lancaster, Pa; two grandchildren, Daniel R. and Dana E. Droz.  He was preceeded in death by his brother, Robert J. Martin.
Funeral Services were held from the First Baptist Church 650 Kearny Ave.. Kearny, on Nov. 16, with interment following in Arlington Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to either the VFW post #8885 or Boy Scouts of America.
For other information or to send an online condolence to the family, visit our website at www.KASnyderFuneralHome.com.

David A. Brown
David A. Brown, 80, died on Nov. 15 at Community Medical Center, Toms River.
Born and raised in East Newark, he lived in Bradenton, Fla., before moving to Toms River two months ago.
He was a past president of the Irish American Club of Kearny, and in the Soccer Hall of Fame in Harrison.
He is predeceased by his wife Betty J. Brown in 1998. Surviving are  his three daughters, Elaine Brown of Newtown, Pa.; Linda Brown of Phoenix, and Mary and her husband Joseph Tunnero of Toms River. His twin brother John and his wife Pat Brown of Freehold, and his younger brother Richard Brown and his late wife Claire of Manahawkin; two grandchildren Connie and her husband Frank Barreto and Joseph and his wife Patricia Alfieri; also surviving is his five great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Arrangements were by the Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals, 995 Fischer Blvd., Toms River. A funeral service was held at the funeral home with private committal. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in David’s memory to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Michaeljfox.org. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.ryanfuneralhome.com.

Mario Micchelli
Mario Micchelli, 91, passed away on Nov. 16 in the University Hospital, Newark.
Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral liturgy was offered in St. Cecilia Church, Kearny. Entombment was in Holy Cross Chapel Mausoleum, North Arlington. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com.
Mario was born in Newark and has lived in Kearny since 1958. He graduated from East Side High School in Newark in 1938. He served in the Navy from 1940 until 1948. After being honorably discharged, he studied photography and graduated from the Fred Archer School of Photography in Los Angeles. He returned to Kearny in 1950 and opened the “Little Studio” on Halstead Street. In the late 1960’s, he moved the “Little Studio” to Kearny Avenue where worked until his retirement in 1998.
He was an active member of the Kearny Afternoon Optimist Club an served as president in 1977 and 1978
He is survived by his wife Lucy (Attanasio); his children Maryanne Conte (Andrew) Luanne Vigna, Mario R., Jr. (Candace) and William L.; brother Slavatore Micchelli and his beloved grandchildren Cara and Amy Conte, Melanie Micchelli, and Alexander and Rebecca Vigna. He also leaves behind many loving nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents William and Carmela (Stanzione) Micchelli and his siblings Roslyn Viggiano, Anne Carisi, Louis Micchelli and William Micchelli.

Debi Kazor
Debi Kazor (nee Richmond) suddenly passed away on Nov. 1. She was 56-years-old.
Wife of Robert Kazor, she was the daughter of Doris Richmond; mother of Dwayne and his wife Christine and Peter and his wife Lisa; grandmother of four grandchildren; sister of Darren and Robert, Diane, Denise and Donna.
Private services were held on Friday, Nov. 4, with private cremation by Condon Funeral Home.

Janet E. Eckel
Janet E. Eckel (nee Kington), 82, of Vero Beach Fla., died on Nov. 6 at VNA Hospice House in Vero Beach, Fla.
She was born in Kearny and was a resident of Vero Beach for 40 years after moving from Westport, Conn.
She is survived by her husband of 59 years John A. Eckel of Vero Beach Fla., daughter Karol-Lynn Leiser of Staford Va., son Kurt Eckel of Black Mt., N.C.; son Kent Eckel of Plant City, Fla., sister Doris McCracken  of Barnegat; three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren
Private services were by All County Funeral Home and Crematory Treasure Coast, Florida. Donations may be made to VNA Hospice House, 901 37th St., Vero Beach Fla. 32960.

Diane Riedel
Diane Riedel (nee Donohoe), died on Nov. 15 in Clara Maass Medical Center. She was 55.
Born in Kearny, she was a lifelong resident.
She is survived by her husband Charles Riedel, her children Layla and Casey Riedel and her sister Arlene.
Private arrangements and cremation were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. Visit www.armitagewiggins.com to sign the sympathy register.

Andrew Kuklevich
Andrew Kuklevich, 59, passed away on Nov. 10.
Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny, followed by interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.
He was born in Newark and was a life long resident of Kearny.
Andrew worked for the U.S. Postal Service in the light package department in the Secaucus Distribution Center for many years.
He is survived by his son Andrew, one sister Catherine Patla and a grandson Michael. He also leaves behind two nieces and one great niece.

Rita M. Melesky
Rita M. Melesky died on Nov. 19 at home. She was 69. Born in Jersey City, she lived in Harrison before moving to Kearny 42 years ago.
Arrangements are by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 10 a.m. in Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Kearny, followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery.
Wife of Richard Melesky, she was the mother of Nancy Graham (John), Janice Campbell (Randy) and Allison Melesky; sister of Bernard, Thomas and the late Catherine Tuite; also surviving are her grandchildren Adam, Danielle and Erin. In lieu of flowers, kindly make a donation to the American Cancer Society.

Walter Gerard (Gerry) Mason
Walter Gerard Mason died on Nov. 20 in St. Michael’s Medical Center. He was 51.
Born in Kearny, he was a lifelong resident.
Private arrangements are by the Armitage and Wiggins funeral Home in Kearny.
A graduate of Kearny High School, he attended Jersey City State College. Gerry was a customer service representative for Fischer Scientific for 18 years and the past three years worked in the same capacity for Becton Dickinson.
Son of the late Gertrude (nee Durkin) and Walter Mason, he was also predeceased by his sister Joy and brother James. He is survived by his sister Jill and her husband Paul Wiss of Flanders, and his brother Robert and his wife Dorothy of Tampa , Fla.
He also leaves behind nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. Online condolences register may be found at www.armitagewiggins.com.

Alice D. Komes
Alice D. Komes died on Nov. 17 in Manahawkin. She was 89.
Born in New York City, she lived many years in North Arlington.
She owned Tingaling Gift Shop in Kearny. She was also an executive secretary for The Federated Department Stores and worked at The NJ Law Journsl. Alice wanted to acknowledge the kindness and friendship of the Szpila family, Ron and Danette Graham, Mauro Greco, Mary Basner and Dr. Robert Hanlon and his office staff.
Visiting will be on Wednesday, Nov. 23, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny.  Burial will follow at the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Hastings on Hudson, N.Y.

Handling an inherited IRA

By Randy Neumann

Recently, one of my clients passed away. Her children, who are also clients, came into my office to take care of business. I told them that the rules of the game had changed, to their benefit. In the old days, before 2005 to be specific, (not really that long ago), a non-spouse (I’ll talk about spouses later) beneficiary of an IRA had three choices when dealing with an inherited IRA:
1) You could take the money and pay the tax in the year that the IRA owner died. Assuming that you did not need the money to buy groceries, this did not produce a good outcome. The proceeds were added to your regular income, and you had to pay tax on the inherited money at your highest marginal rate.
2) You could wait five years from the date of death and then withdraw the money. This outcome is better than the first because it allows you to enjoy five years of tax-deferred growth.
3) You could withdraw the money any time between the first and the fifth year and pay the tax at the time of withdrawal.
Then along came the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which was signed into law in 2006, and under the new rules, we have much better alternatives. However, to get these benefits, you have to know how to play the game.
First rule: You have to be named the beneficiary of the IRA. If there is no beneficiary form on file, heirs are at the mercy of the IRA custodians’ default policy. Some custodians award the IRA to a living spouse first and then to the deceased’s estate, while others send it directly to the estate. The lesson here is to make sure your IRAs have the proper beneficiaries designated, so they will not get the short end of the stick. To take it a step further, make sure you are named correctly on any IRA of which you are the beneficiary.
Second Rule: Handle the money properly. If this were your own IRA, you could take the money from one custodian and redeposit it with another custodian within the 60 day limit. You cannot do this with an inherited IRA. You can either leave it with the current custodian, and have them name “your” new inherited IRA, “John Smith, deceased, inherited IRA for the benefit of Mary Smith, beneficiary.” Or, you could have one custodian send it to another using a “trustee-to-trustee” transfer naming it as mentioned above.
Now, let’s talk about spouses. Spouses get a better deal than anyone else. They get to treat the inherited IRA as if it were their own. Therefore, they can rollover the IRA under their own name and postpone distributions until they are 70 years old. However, they are subject to the same 10 percent penalty if they withdraw money prior to age 59.
Non-spouses must begin Minimum Required Distributions (MRDs) by December 31 of the year following the original IRA owner’s death. MRDs are not a bad deal. If you are a female age 40, you have a life expectancy of about 80 years, so you can stretch your payments based on 40 years.
Let’s say that you inherited $300,000 and it earned 6 percent in an IRA that you properly rolled over into an inherited IRA as outlined above. If you are 40 years old, you must withdraw 1/40th from the account, which is $7,950 ($318,000/40). If the account continues to earn 6 percent, it will be worth $328,653 the following year. That year, you would be required to take out 1/39th, which is $8,427.
Do you see what is happening here? The account is growing in spite of the annual withdrawals. It is not until older ages that the withdrawals will become greater than the growth. You are preserving wealth for your family through the deferral of income taxes. Additionally, because you can name a beneficiary, the deferral continues when you die. However, please note, the beneficiary cannot use their age for life expectancy when they inherit the IRA, they must continue using yours.
In the trade, these are called S-T-R-E-T-C-H IRAs and you can see why. Additionally, the same rules apply to qualified accounts such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 457 plans, et al. However, the same sticky wicket rules apply to rolling over these types of accounts, so be sure to get professional advice prior to completing the transaction.

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 securities and insurance offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. He can be reached at 12 Route 17N, Suite 115, Paramus, 201-291-9000.

BREAKING NEWS: Traffic signal retiming scheduled for Nov. 23

Public Safety Commissioner Robert Giangeruso has addressed Lyndhurst safety concerns due to operational issues caused by the new traffic signal at Route 21 at Park Avenue (Nutley) that are spilling back across the bridge to Lyndhurst.

Commissioner Giangeruso called upon the New Jersey Department of Transportation to revisit the signal timing intervals at the new traffic light across the Passaic River that is causing excessive westbound delays on the DeJessa Bridge (Avondale Bridge).

Based on a coordination meeting at the NJDOT field office, and as proposed by Bergen County Engineering staff, the Lyndhurst and Nutley traffic signals will be retimed to better synchronize traffic flow across the DeJessa Bridge.

The signal retiming is scheduled to occur on or about Wednesday, Nov. 23.

Kearny Elks Hoop Shoot at PBGC

The Kearny Elks Hoop Shoot will be held at the PBGC , 663 Kearny Ave., Kearny on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 6 p.m. All Kearny boys and girls, ages 8 to 13, are eligible to participate. Participants must bring a copy of their birth certificate.

Ron Pickel, Elks Youth Activities chairman, will supervise the contest.

For more information, please call Tom Fraser, executive director of the PBGC, at 201-991-6734 or Ron Pickel at 201-991-6360.


Seven centers remain open to provide federal assistance in the final two weeks leading to Nov. 30, the deadline to register and to submit disaster loan applications for Hurricane Irene damage in New Jersey.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s two Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs), in Essex and Passaic counties, and five U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) business recovery centers are still open. All will close Nov. 24 for Thanksgiving, a federal and state holiday, and an SBA center in Bergen County will have a shortened schedule during Thanksgiving week. Most will reopen Friday, Nov. 25.


FEMA’s DRC hours:



Fairfield Community Center

376 Hollywood Ave.

Fairfield, NJ 07004

Hours:  Mon-Fri 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.



Paterson Museum

2 Market St.

Paterson, NJ 07501

Hours:  Mon-Fri 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


SBA’s BRC hours:



New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Bergen Community College

355 Main St.

Hackensack, NJ 07601

Hours:  Mon-Tues, Nov. 21-22 − 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Nov. 23-25

Hours:  Mon-Wed, Nov. 28-30 − 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Monmouth County OEM

300 Halls Mills Rd.

Freehold, NJ 07728

Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.



Denville Municipal Building

1 Saint Mary’s Place

Denville, NJ 07834

Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Woodland Park Municipal Building

Community Room

5 Brophy Lane

Woodland Park, NJ 07424

Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.



New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Kean University-Incubator

320 Park Ave.

Plainfield, NJ, 07060

Hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

NOTE: All business recovery centers will permanently close Nov. 30.

Customer service representatives at FEMA’s disaster recovery centers and the SBA’s business recovery centers can issue loan applications; answer questions about the disaster loan program; and explain and assist homeowners, renters and businesses with the application process.

The deadline to register with FEMA for assistance and the deadline to submit SBA loan applications for physical property damage is Nov. 30.

To register or to contact FEMA, go to www.disasterassistance.gov, m.fema.gov or call FEMA toll-free, 800-621-3362 (FEMA).  Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY may call 800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service to call 800-621-3362. Telephone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., ET; multilingual operators are available.

Go to an online video describing the “do’s and don’ts when registering for disaster assistance”: www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/6486

Completing and returning the SBA application is an essential step in the federal recovery process.  If you are a homeowner or renter and SBA determines you cannot afford a loan, you may be referred for other possible FEMA assistance. Visit the website at: www.sba.gov, call the customer service center at 800-659-2955 or send an email to: disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Those with access or functional needs may call TTY 800-877-8339.

BREAKING NEWS: Only two weeks left to register with FEMA for disaster assistance

New Jersey residents whose homes and properties sustained damage in Hurricane Irene have only two weeks left to register for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The deadline is Nov. 30.

Even if an insurance settlement has not been determined, individuals must register before the Nov. 30 deadline or face losing the opportunity to be considered for federal assistance. Though FEMA will not duplicate insurance benefits, expenses not covered by insurance may be eligible for federal grants after the claim has been paid.

The deadline to submit loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is also Nov. 30. Completing and returning the SBA application is an essential step in the process.  If you are a homeowner or renter and SBA determines you cannot afford a loan, you may be referred for other possible assistance. Additional information is available at www.sba.gov or 800-659-2955.

To register or to contact FEMA: Go to www.disasterassistance.gov, m.fema.gov or call FEMA toll-free, 800-621-3362 (FEMA).  Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY may call 800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service to call 800-621-3362. Telephone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET; multilingual operators are available.

Applicants are reminded to keep their FEMA information updated, but not to register more than once. Duplicate registrations will delay processing an application.




Kearny captures first NJSIAA sectional title since 2004

Photo courtesy of Christopher Brooks./ The Kearny boys’ soccer team captured the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group IV championship last Friday by defeating Randolph, 1-0, at Harvey Field in Kearny.



Action photos set by Jim Hague/ Randolph’s Joseph Dobbins (11, left) hops over the ball with Kearny’s Abdellah Bouzidi (2, right) in pursuit during the 1-0 Kearny win that gave the school the NJSIAA North 1, Group IV state sectional championship.



Kearny’s Michael Dias (13) and Abdellah Bouzidi (2) battle Randolph’s Oscar Coreas (21) and James Urban (13) for a loose ball in Kearny’s 1-0 win over Randolph for the NJSIAA North 1, Group IV state sectional title.



Kearny senior forward Junior Batista (9) makes his way past two Randolph defenders during the Kearny 1-0 victory that gave the school its first NJSIAA North 1, Group IV state sectional title since 2004.





Nine enshrined in Hall

Photos courtesy of Nutley Public Library/Benko






By Chris Neidenberg

Without a doubt, the nine 2011 Nutley Hall of Fame inductees honored at Sunday’s public library event achieved fame on stages much bigger than the township itself.
Their visibility was achieved in a variety of ways, including legislating from the chambers of the U.S. Capitol, inventing a drug which comforts psychiatric patients around the world, reaching the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and reporting major sporting events from such hallowed grounds as Fenway Park and Madison Square Garden.
Still, speakers accepting the honors promised never to forget that the seeds for such far-flung successes were indeed planted in Nutley – the inductees’ cherished hometown.
The simple values of home, family and friendship, acquired through their Nutley experience before moving on to bigger things, emerged as a recurring theme during the three-hour festivities.
About 170 persons attended the ceremony, held on the second floor of the Booth Drive building. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Friends of the Nutley Library. The facility has hosted the event since its 2003 inception.
On this occasion, the hall’s fifth bi-annual ceremony, its committee bestowed honors upon: business executive Cathleen A. Benko; heralded pro-motorcycle racer Larry “Drums” Brancaccio; MSG Network, FOX 5 and NFL TV sports reporter Tina Cervasio; Columbia University Professor of dermatology and genetics Angela M. Christiano, Ph.D.; the late American art historian and museum director Lloyd Goodrich; U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.); deceased Hoffman-LaRoche scientist and valium inventor Earl Reeder; Rutgers University professor and mediator Linda Lautenschlaeger Stamato, and adventurer, scoutmaster and teacher Al C. Welenofsky.
A Nutley Museum representative accepted Goodrich’s award; Reeder’s widow, Helene, represented her husband.







Each received plaques and will forever be memorialized through placement of brass leaves, inscribed with their names, on a painted tree display in the library.
Additionally, they will have biographies including photos published in a large reference book, currently placed on a special lectern. There, the public can learn more about the 50 honorees enshrined to date.
A panel of judges, separate from the hall’s committee, reviews nominations. Candidates are considered after meeting any of the following criteria: They were born in Nutley; resided in the township for at least 10 years, or graduated from Nutley High School (NHS).
According to the committee’s introduction in its event program, inclusion “is based on outstanding accomplishment beyond our borders on a statewide, national or international level.”
“The achievements of the honorees make us, as Nutley citizens, proud of their association with Nutley,” the committee’s joint statement continues. “They serve as inspirational examples for our young people to emulate.”
“This one (induction ceremony) is a little bit more special to me,” conceded Mayor Joanne Cocchiola, during her welcoming remarks.
Cocchiola cited the honorees’ diverse professional backgrounds and significant achievements, and the fact that she actually grew up with some of the inductees.
“The people being presented awards today, as I read about them, are people I respect and I am very proud of their accomplishments,” the mayor added.
Stamato, a 1958 NHS graduate, told audience members she – and her fellow honorees – should be equally proud of their association with Nutley.
“Is there anyone who comes from Nutley who can say he or she doesn’t love Nutley?” asked Stamato, a Morristown resident who grew up on Highfield Lane. “Nutley is a very, very special place. I was very happy to be here today, to be among all of you, and to be with these inductees.”








Stamato co-directs Rutgers University’s Center for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, and is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of negotiation and mediation. The former dean of Rutgers’ Douglass College has emerged as a powerful figure within the university this year. She is one of only two appointees who will lead a replacement search for retiring RU President Richard McCormick.
Yet possibly the most visible and powerful figure in the entire room was Lautenberg.
He is New Jersey’s longest-serving U.S. senator (five terms) and a 1941 NHS graduate, who left Nutley to enlist in the Army during World War II.
Before joining the senate, where he prides himself on his work in areas including transportation and environmental improvement, Lautenberg and two boyhood pals founded Automatic Data Processing, the nation’s first payroll company. It now employs 45,000 people, and has grown into one of the largest computing service companies in the world.
“I’m really excited to be back in Nutley,” said the 87-year-old senator, generating loud laughter when he then asked,  “As I look at this group here, I wonder if any of my classmates from 1941 are here?”
“I guess they didn’t want to come,” he cracked, after receiving no replies.
After moving with his parents – Polish and Russian immigrants – from Paterson, Lautenberg settled in a second-floor apartment at Church St. and Franklin Ave. across from the current NHS. Event narrator, WABC radio morning traffic reporter Debbie DuHaime, noted that during Lautenberg’s days in the township, the high school was located in the current Walker Middle School across the street.  Lautenberg started in business working in his parents’ candy store on Church St.
He praised Nutley for teaching him, “about working hard, about paying your dues and about what you had to do to get a start in life.”
Perhaps the second most visible inductee was Cervasio, described by Duhaime as, “one of the most recognizable sports reporters in the New York metropolitan area.”
For Cervasio, it all started when she began rabidly following Maroon Raiders football.
She eventually broke into tears after recalling how much her interest in the local Nutley-Belleville sports scene helped her achieve her dreams. Cervasio cited strong familial ties in both municipalities.
“We didn’t go to Yankee Stadium or Giants Stadium,” she recalled. “We’d go back to Belleville to watch our relatives’ beloved sports teams.”
A 1992 NHS graduate who attended Washington Elementary School, Cervasio attended the University of Maryland. Cervasio counts herself as blessed for making, “some crazy friends in Nutley.”
She got her first big break as a pre and post-game TV host for Boston Red Sox games on the New England Sports Network before returning to the New York area.
Though she cannot cover the Knicks due to the NBA lockout, Cervasio expressed excitement about working her first national NFL telecast for the Fox Network on Nov. 27 as a sideline reporter.
The TV/radio personality said she hopes her induction serves as a role model for today’s Nutley youth.
“I had a passion for sports,” Cervasio noted, thanking her father for encouraging her to pursue sports broadcasting. “If you have a dream, if you have a passion and if you set goals, you can get to them.”
Brancaccio and Welenofsky made their marks participating in sports, but certainly not the type Cervasio covered.
Brancaccio, a 1975 NHS graduate, started with the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) in 1979. He eventually competed simultaneously on other bike drag racing circuits, including the East Coast Racing Association.
The eventual results? Ninety-five national wins, setting various speed records and becoming the reigning National Top Fuel Champion in the American Motorcycle Racing Association.
“In registering for events, I’d always put my name and then ‘Nutley, New Jersey’ next to it,” a beaming Brancaccio recounted, adding that he also puts Nutley decals on certain event vehicles. “I’m very proud of Nutley.”
Welenofsky is a senior citizen who still pursues rigorous athletic endeavors on land and across mighty waters. Such pursuits have taken him around the world.
Welenofsky has climbed 49 of the 50 highest points in each of the United States; climbed 50 mountains in 2010 despite hip replacement surgery; scaled Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, in 2001, and canoed the entire length of the Mississippi River and all of the Great Lakes. In addition, Welenofsky is a decorated Boy Scout and longtime scoutmaster.
Recalling how he was cautioned in 1960 that marriage would change him, Welenofsky joked, “I’ve been adventuring for over 50 years, but I never married, so nobody changed me. 50 years later I’m proving it’s still okay to do things when you’re past your prime,” he joked.
As for the other honorees:
Benko – Now chairwoman of DeLoitte, LLP, the 1976 NHS graduate was honored for distinguishing herself in the business world. Her official profile describes her as, “a leading authority in business strategy and transformational change.” Benko said her success might never have happened when, not sure if she wanted to continue past high school, she earned a $500 scholarship from the Nutley Lions Club.
“Thank you all. I’m proud to be from Nutley because we are the best,” she said.
Christiano – after suffering hair loss, the researcher actually detected an important gene believed to contribute to baldness. The former Paterson Ave. resident and 1983 NHS grad likened her story to that of the kids’ fantasy tale, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” when, as an NHS senior, she was admitted into a study program at Hoffman-LaRoche. It furthered her interest in science.
“If you want to find out what’s going on in town, just go to the ShopRite,” Christiano joked, drawing a few laughs. “If you go to the ShopRite, you’ll find out everything.”
Goodrich – Cited for helping greatly expand appreciation for American artists upon founding the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan, with philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. He grew up on Nutley Ave. and died at the ripe age of 90 in 1987.
Reeder – A Nutley resident from 1959 until his death in 2003, discovered Valium, by happenstance, as a potent muscle relaxant after finding an untested derivative while cleaning out a closet. Upon successful tests, Valium was approved as a drug and became America’s highest-selling pharmaceutical from 1969-1982.

Playtime priorities for borough kids

Photo by Lisa Pezzolla

Rendering by General Recreation, Inc./ Washington School playground as it is now (top) and how it will look in future.


By Ron Leir

Children in this borough can expect to be having a swinging time by next spring and summer.
That’s because North Arlington will be replacing park and playground equipment at least a decade or more old with what Mayor Peter Massa and Borough Administrator Terence Wall describe as new state of the art play equipment.
The borough will be tapping Bergen County’s Open Space Trust Fund for half the cost of the project, they said.
Councilman Joseph Bianchi, in charge of parks and recreation, estimated that the new equipment would run around $214,000.
“We have paid into the (open space) fund for a long time and I am very pleased that we can now access some of that money to help improve recreation for youngsters and lessen the cost to taxpayers,” Bianchi said.
“These upgrades of our recreational facilities will be welcome quality of life improvements to our community,” he added.
Applying the open space funding to make life more enjoyable for borough youngsters was determined to be “the most appropriate place to invest,” the mayor said.
Two municipal parks off Schuyler Ave. – Zadroga Park north of Carrie Road and Allan Park between Stratford Place and Vanderbilt Place – are due for play facelifts.
Additionally, parking facilities at Allan Park will be restructured to provide better access to residents.
Playgrounds at Washington School, on High St. between Albert and Biltmore Sts.; Jefferson School, at Hedden Terrace and Prospect Ave.; and Roosevelt School, at Canterbury Ave. and Webster St., will see makeovers.

Jefferson School playground (top) will get new equipment.



Roosevelt School play area (top) will benefit from improved facilities (bottom).


All of these play areas “get used routinely and all need maintenance and repair,” Massa said.
The new play equipment “will be accessible for children of all abilities” and will include such playground staples as swings, slides, climbing equipment, chutes and ladders, according to Wall.
Bid specifications for the project are expected to be completed within a month, Wall said.
Wall said the borough is also reviewing the possibility of installing a spray park at Macaluso Park, at Riverside Ave. and Eagle St.
“This is the proposed location due to availability of space and proximity to water,” Wall said.
In other recreation developments, the borough has posted on its web site an announcement that environmental testing of post-flooding soil conditions at the borough Little League field at Hendel Ave., high school football field and Riverside Park soccer and baseball fields show that these playing surfaces “pose no risk to children.”
The soil studies were conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Birdsall Services Group, an engineering firm retained by the borough.
At the Little League field, Birdsall found below-risk levels of fecal coliform bacteria in the soil which the engineers attributed to goose droppings on the field. Birdsall believes that those levels will drop over time and that the borough can expedite that process by applying lime to the field.
At all sites, EPA reported that levels of contaminants such as dioxin and PCBs were “all below levels of concern.”
“Based on the analysis, the EPA does not plan to do further sampling and deems that cleanup actions are not warranted at this time,” the borough’s announcement said.
Also: North Arlington continues to anticipate the county’s completion improvements to its portion of Riverside Park.
This project is to provide a better drainage system that will more efficiently protect the condition of the ball fields on the site and thereby give North Arlington kids more playing opportunities there.
Two facing girls’ softball fields, a multi-purpose field suitable for soccer and football, and 6-lane track, plus a new baseball diamond geared for Babe Ruth and/or high school play, are projected.
The county has talked about turf fields and a synthetic track; lighting for the fields is uncertain.
New bathroom facilities and improved pedestrian walkways through the park are also on the improvement list.