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More apartments eyed for Bergen Ave.

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  Carlstadt builder Ed Russo is looking to expand a residential development project already in progress in a Kearny redevelopment area at Bergen and Schuyler Aves. Russo told The Observer last month he has a contract to purchase an additional 2.25 acres of […]

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Local taxes up again in borough

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  NORTH ARLINGTON –  Borough residents should be getting their property tax bills by the first week of December, CFO Steve Sanzari said last Thursday, after the Borough Council finally adopted the 2014 municipal budget. Passage of the budget, introduced back in July, has […]


Vets’ photos wanted for ‘Wall of Honor’

By Karen Zautyk  Observer Correspondent  NUTLEY –  This township, which has been in the forefront when it comes to offering support and assistance and recognition to veterans, has launched yet another project to pay tribute to the men and women who have served our nation. This time, going […]


Carved in stone

    Photo by Karen Zautyk On Veterans Day, the Township of Kearny added this new memorial to Monument Park on Kearny Ave. It will commemorate local members of the armed forces who make the supreme sacrifice in the War on Terrorism. […]

Warning: Stop trashing Kearny

By Karen Zautyk  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY – Notice to anyone who views Kearny as their personal trash heap: It’s not. Stay away. You have been warned. Kearny police have dealt with two cases of illegal dumping in the past two weeks. One is under investigation and the other […]


Bloomfield Police blotter

March 18

A 2004 truck and landscape trailer were broken into in the 200 block of Davey St. Five Red Pack leaf blowers and a snow bucket were taken.

A 2002 Chrysler with a New Jersey registration was broken into on Llewellyn Ave. An iPod and loose change were taken.

An attempted theft of a Ford with a New Jersey registration occurred in the 100 block of Morse Ave. A 2001 Kia, also with a New Jersey registration was tampered with in an attempted theft. Missing were a driver’s license and $40.

March 17

A motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian occurred on Broad St. at Eaton Place at 10 p.m. The pedestrian – a 78-year-old male from North Arlington – suffered hand, head and leg injuries. He was transported to UMDNJ. The driver, a 60-year-old female from New York, was not injured.

There were no summonses issued. The accident is presently under investigation by the Traffic Division. March 16 A 2005 Chrysler with a New Jersey registration was broken into while it was parked in the 300 block of Watchung Ave. The vehicle’s registration and owner’s manual were taken. Timothy Harris-Williams of East Orange was arrested for theft.

March 15

A 1996 Nissan with a New Jersey registration was stolen while parked in the 100 block of Glenwood Ave.

Freddy Ortiz-Hidalgo of Belleville was arrested for D.W.I.

Peter Aviles of Bloomfield was arrested for simple assault.

Sari Kaplan of Cedar Grove was arrested for simple assault.

Paul Power of Newark was arrested for warrants.

William Timmons of East Orange was arrested for warrants.

Marc Fluerimond of West Orange was arrested for warrants.

March 14

A woman told police that she placed her iPhone on a store counter at the 300 block of Bloomfield Ave. as she was waiting to check out. She then left, forgetting to take the phone. When she returned the phone was gone.

Christian Chirino of West New York was arrested for contempt.

March 13

A man told police that 30 newspapers were taken from the front of his store on the 100 block of Glenwood Ave.

A storeowner on Carteret St. reported 27 newspapers missing from the front of his shop.

Around Town


As March marks Women’s History Month, Clara Maass Medical Center will host “Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment: A Health Fair for Women,” on Friday, March 30, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Belleville Founders Room at Clara Maass Medical Center, located at One Clara Maass Drive, Belleville.

Screenings and information will include: Body fat analysis, cholesterol screening, breast health information, diabetic foot screening, blood pressure screening, glucose screening, cardiac risk assessment questionnaires, stroke risk assessment and bruit screening, urinary tract/incontinence info, and information about nutrition and weight loss options.

There is no cost to attend this event. Please park in the parking deck. Women and men alike are invited to attend this health fair.

To register, please call 1-888-724-7123, prompt 4. Walk-ins are welcome!

Mark your calendars for International Night on April 4 at 7 p.m. at Belleville Middle School, 279 Washington Ave. The evening will feature a variety of dances, songs and foods from different cultures and countries. Middle school students will be dancing, singing, and bringing food from their culture.

Belleville Elks Lodge #1123 will have a blood drive on Saturday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at the lodge hall, 254 Washington Ave. All donors will receive a mini-physical. The entire process including donation and screen may take up to one hour. Donors must be at least 17-years-old and weigh at least 120 lbs. All donors are required to eat a least a light meal before donating and are required to have a signed form of identification and Social Security number. For more information regarding eligibility to donate, call the New Jersey Blood Center at 973-676-4700.


Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center, 240 Belleville Ave., Bloomfield, is presenting it’s sixth annual “A Taste of Bloomfield” on Sunday, April 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. Attendees will enjoy samples of signature dishes from many of Bloomfield’s restaurants. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets, call 973-429-0960.

East Newark

West Hudson Brave Women Fighting Breast Cancer meets on the last Friday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the East Newark Senior Center, 37 President St. The group will provide an atmosphere of warmth and comfort for patients and family. For more information, call Emma at 201-998-6828, Rosa 201-246- 7750, Fatima 973-485-4236 or email emidura2@yahoo. com. Together we will fight this disease.


Harrison Public Library, in conjunction with Town of Harrison, will be offering a free resume review for its residents. Services offered will include working on resumes to make them better and more attractive to prospective employers and workshops on career guidance. Saptarshi Katwala, a Harrison resident, will be conducting these resume review sessions. These sessions will be offered twice per week, every Tuesday, from 6 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, from 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The first session starts on Tuesday, April 3. For further information, please contact the Harrison Public Library at 973-483-2366.

Harrison Little League will host its second annual Mikey Derrico Little League tournament starting June 18. The fee is $250. Teams for ages 9 through 12 will be competing. For more information, contact the Community Center at 973-268-2469 or 973-268- 5859.

Harrison Recreation Little League Opening Day Parade will be held on Saturday, April 21 at 9 a.m. (assemble at 8:30 a.m.) All Little League, Minor League, Tee-Ball players and coaches will assemble at the soccer courts on Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. In the event of rain, please follow your schedule. Opening Day ceremonies will be held at the Little League Field. Any questions, contact the Center at 973-268-2469 or 973-268-5859.


The Kearny Public Library presents a Guitar Bob family concert, “Kids on the Move, a Jumping, Junior Jamboree,” from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. on Monday, April 9 in the lower level of the Main Library, 318 Kearny Ave. Bob Messano, Guitar Bob, is a prolific songwriter, performer and recording artist specializing in children’s music. Guitar Bob concerts and CDs feature interactive music activities that delight children and parents alike.

Admission is free. No registration needed, but space is limited. For more information, call 210-998- 2666 or visit www.kearnylibrary.org.

Cecilian Seniors announces a trip to Mt. Airy Casino trip on April 11. Cost is $30. Bus leaves at 9:30 a.m. from in front of St. Cecilia’s Church. Call Johnnie B. at 201-997-9552. A Wildwood trip for five days and four nights is also planned. If interested, call Johnnie B. for details 201-997-9552, after 6 to 9 p.m.

New Jersey Blood Services announces a blood drive is scheduled at Calvary Chapel of Kearny, 156 Oakwood Ave., on March 31 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Lyndhurst Public Library will present “Communicating and Healing with Angels,” hosted by the Lyndhurst Public Library on Wednesday, April 11, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., is an introduction to communicating and healing with angels, lead by Maria Ferrara Weinert of www.earthdream.biz. Space is limited. To register, please call Library Director Donna Romeo at 201-804-2478, ext. 7 or email romeo@bccls.org.

“Favorite Food and Libations of Past Presidential Families” will be held at the Lyndhurst Public Library on Saturday, April 14, from 11 a.m. to noon, presented by Food Historian Judith Krall-Russo. Learn how American Presidents entertained at State dinners and how they entertained friends and families. Space is limited. To register, please call Library Director Donna Romeo at 201- 804-2478,ext. 7 or email romeo@bccls.org.

The Woman’s Club of Lyndhurst will host “Spring Into Fashion” Sunday Brunch and Fashion Show fundraiser on Sunday, April 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Graycliff, 122 Moonachie Ave., Moonachie. There will also be a tricky tray with great prizes and a 50/50 raffle. A full brunch will be served. Tickets are $35. For tickets, please call Rosemary at 201-935-4836 or Marge at 201-694-5976. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Special April Fools Bird Walk with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and the Bergen County Audubon Society, will be held at DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst on Sunday, April 1, from 10 a.m. – noon and will feature a new birding challenge: Birders can quietly make note of any decoys they see along the way – and ID them if possible. Winner may receive a prize. Check meadowblog. net for last-minute weather updates. You will have to sign a standard liability release that is good for NJMC/BCAS events throughout the year. To R.S.V.P., contact Don Torino of the BCAS at greatauk4@ aol.com or 201-230-4983.

The Lyndhurst Health Department will hold its bi-annual Women’s Health Clinic on Thursday, April 5, at 5:30 p.m. This free event, made possible through a partnership with Clara Maass Medical Center, includes education on breast self-examination and a pelvic exam. The clinic is open to all female Lyndhurst residents aged 18 years and over. Please call 201-804-2500 to make an appointment.

North Arlington

The American Legion Alexander Stover Post 37, 222 River Rd North Arlington will hold it’s monthly meeting on Monday April 2, at 8 p.m. All veterans are welcome. For more information call 201-214-8253.


The Township of Nutley is inviting residents to join Autism Speaks in celebrating World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 and Light It Up Blue to help shine a light on autism. Whether it’s your front porch or your local business, an office party or a banquet, the whole world is going blue to increase awareness about autism. Nutley Mayor Mauro G. Tucci has personally purchased 100 blue bulbs to distribute free to residents on a first come basis. Bulbs will be available at the Department of Parks and Recreation located at 44 Park Ave., Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Bulbs may also be purchased at local stores.

Nutley Department of Parks and Recreation announces its 7th annual Great Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled for Thursday, April 5, beginning at dusk.

Nutley youngsters grades 2 through 6 are invited to bring their flashlights along to search for over 1,500 toy or candy filled eggs scattered throughout Reinheimer Park on Bloomfield Avenue across from the recreation Annex Building. Children are asked to meet by the playground equipment to begin the festivities.

A golden egg will be hidden and the lucky winner will receive a large chocolate filled basket. Parents are encouraged to stay with the children during this event.

A rain date has been set for Saturday, April 7. This event is open to Nutley residents only. For more information, please contact the Nutley Recreation Department at (973) 284-4966, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Nutley Public Library will have photography by Kathryn Marano until April 30.

Pajama Story Time for children of all ages is held at the library on Mondays at 7 p.m. . Registration is not required.

Patrons can play bridge at the library on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. Experienced and non-experienced players welcomed. No registration required.

Tuesday Evening Knitting Club will meet at the library on Tuesday, April 3, from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Come share your love of knitting and crocheting with both beginning and experienced knitters. Please bring your own supplies. This group meets the first Tuesday of every month.

Come meet Rick Mikula The Butterfly Guy at the library on Wednesday, April 4, at 11 a.m. Learn about and see some beautiful live butterflies. Registration is not required

Kardinals have new field, new coach, same philosophy

Photo by Jim Hague/ The Kearny baseball team will look to its solid senior contingency to lead the way under new head coach Frank Bifulco. Front row, from left, are Ramon Cadiz, Alex Potvin, Eric Cruz and Paul Matta. Back row, from left, are Bifulco, Dave Bush, Brian Colon, Nick Beauchene and Dylan Schalago.



By Jim Hague

Frank Bifulco hasn’t noticed much of a difference in his first days as the new head baseball coach at Kearny High School.

It’s not like Bifulco is a total stranger to the Kardinals. He did serve as an assistant to the now-retired Jim Sickinger for the last few years and he is a product of the Kearny baseball program.

But he’s the new head honcho, so things are just a little different.

“The transition has been pretty good,” Bifulco said. “It’s now up to me to be able to read each player. I’m the guy who has to make the decisions now. I’m manning the coaching staff. It’s only been a month in so far, so it hasn’t been bad. The biggest thing I have to do is know the team and try to find what’s going to make us click. It’s everything I’ve expected and more.”

Bifulco inherits a basically young team, with only a handful of players back from the Kardinal squad that won 17 games last year.

“We have to work hard and the kids have to buy into what we’re doing,” Bifulco said. “They realize they have a lot to do as a young team. But they’re improving every single day.”

Leading the way is senior pitcher/third baseman Nick Beauchene. The hardthrowing Beauchene won four games last year.

“He’s going to be our workhorse,” Bifulco said of Beauchene. “We have all the confidence in the world that he’s going to shut people down and we expect to win when he’s on the mound. He’s also a very good hitter and we’re looking for him to crush the ball.”

Another solid hurler is senior right-hander Dave Bush, who won three games last season.

Photo by Jim Hague/ Senior right-hander Dave Bush, who won three games last year, is counted upon to be a big-game pitcher this season for Kearny.


“Dave has to come out with a bulldog mentality every time he pitches,” Bifulco said of the three-sport standout. “He’s looked very good on the mound.”

Junior Eric Greenlee, the starting quarterback on the Kardinal football team in the fall, is another quality hurler and the team’s lone lefthander.

“He saw some spot time with the varsity last year and looked good,” Bifulco said. “He gives us good balance.”

The rest of the pitching staff will be comprised of senior Dylan Schalago, junior Kyle Macconchie and sophomore Bryan Rowe.

“They’re all right-handed and all can throw,” Bifulco said. “Schalago is going to be our closer and we’re counting on him to come in and shut the door. He’s been an excellent worker so far.”

The Kardinals’ catching duties are currently being shared by a pair of juniors in Ryan Michaels and Anthony Oliveira.

“It’s a totally open position and they’re battling for it,” Bifulco said. “They’re both doing a nice job. I think the competition between the two just breeds success.”

First base responsibilities will be shared by Beauchene, Oliveira and sophomore Steven Dyl, the younger brother of former Observer Female Athlete of the Year Allyson Dyl, who played college soccer at Pace University.

Sophomore Rowe has been a find and he earns the starting nod at second base.

“He’s been phenomenal defensively and keeps improving leaps and bounds,” Bifulco said. “He’s going to be a battler in the batter’s box and I think he’s going to be fun to watch.”

Schalago will be the shortstop when he’s not pitching. When Schalago takes the hill, senior Eric Cruz will be the shortstop. Cruz handles all the middle infield duties.

“Schalago is doing a great job as the everyday shortstop,” Bifulco said.

Third base will be shared by Beauchene and Bush. When one is pitching, the other will play third, although Beauchene may also see time at first. It’s like mixing and matching players with positions for Bifulco.

Junior Brandon Vilar will be the left fielder.

“I hate to say it, but he reminds me of me,” Bifulco said. “He gets on base, makes contact, works hard. He’s a fireball.”

Senior Alex Potvin is the centerfielder. Potvin saw some varsity playing time at the end of last season.

“He has a strong arm and goes after the ball,” Bifulco said.

Greenlee will be in right field when he’s not pitching. Michaels and Oliveira will handle designated hitter duties as well when one is not catching.

The Kardinals open the 2012 season April 3 against Hudson Catholic, then will face Clifton to christen their new field at Franklin School on Saturday, April 7 at 11 a.m. The field’s renovations are now complete and the Kardinals will have a home to play on this season after spending the entire 2011 season as road warriors.

“We’re just trying to get back to what we used to do,” Bifulco said.

“We’re trying to get to that regular routine. They have to understand that we don’t usually lose games at home. Plus, everyone comes out to watch us at home. It’s amazing the support we get, even for scrimmage games. We have to keep doing well so the fans keep coming out.”

Bifulco is fortunate to have the town’s resident baseball guru Doug Gogal back to serve as an assistant, along with Dave Smart, who was with the freshman team last year.

“We have three different personalities, but all have the same mindset,” Bifulco said. “The goals are the same.”

And the goals this season will be like any other. Win as many games as possible, earn a berth in the NJSIAA North 1, Group IV playoffs and contend for a Hudson County Tournament title. Those are all viable goals for the Kardinals this season under their new head coach.

Meara: The unlikeliest of Red Bulls heroes

Photos by Jim Hague/ Red Bulls’ rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara, a dead ringer for basketball superstar Larry Bird, has earned the improbable job of being the team’s starting goalkeeper.



Ryan Meara was already making plans for the rest of his life. A Fordham University degree in tow, the 21-year-old had just recently taken both the New York City and Yonkers fire department tests.

“My father was a fireman and so was my uncle,” Meara said. “It’s something I always wanted to do.”

But Meara also had another dream in mind.

“Yeah, that’s what I was going to do if soccer wasn’t a part of my life,” Meara said.

Incredibly, almost miraculously, soccer is a major part of the young man’s life these days, as he’s gone from a Fordham student to the starting goalkeeper for the New York Red Bulls almost overnight.

Meara was drafted as an afterthought by the Red Bulls in January’s MLS Draft and he worked his way through the preseason and some veteran competition to earn the starting nod to begin the 2012 campaign.

“It’s been a crazy couple of months,” Meara said. “I never thought this was possible. It seems like it was only a couple of minutes ago that I was watching these guys on television. I had to get over that pretty quickly. The whole process, from going to the (MLS) combine to the draft to the preseason, has been hectic and pretty unbelievable. I’m just trying to enjoy it all, take it all in.”

That’s the way Meara was last Thursday, as the Red Bulls held their annual media day festivities at Red Bull Arena, a few days prior to the team’s home opener Sunday.

In one corner of the room, Thierry Henry was holding court. In another, Rafa Marquez commanded attention, much like the way superstars in soccer do.

And there was young Meara, still young enough to be battling a case of acne and looking like a dead ringer for basketball superstar Larry Bird.

“I’ve been getting that one since I was about seven or eight years old,” Meara said. “Especially when I was playing basketball. I guess I do look like him.”

Meara grew up in Crestwood, N.Y. and was a big fan of the old MetroStars and now Red Bulls.

“It was something I always dreamed of, playing for this franchise,” Meara said. “I never expected it could actually happen. It was always my dream to play professional soccer. It’s even better to do it so close to home. I’m excited to be here and a little nervous.”

Meara hasn’t shown much nerve in his first three professional games, allowing a total of five goals in those games. He might have had a shutout Sunday, but Omar Cummings’ rocket shot sailed over Meara’s head in the 77th minute, in the Red Bulls’ 4-1 win over Colorado.

Still, it appears as if Meara has found a permanent home, manning the net for one of the most recognizable teams in the MLS.

“It was a crazy first couple of days, meeting guys I watched all the time and now I’m playing with them,” Meara said. “I didn’t want to look too far in front of me. I just wanted to work hard and maybe I’d get a chance to play. I just wanted to improve. I just had to be confident, have faith in my ability. Those are the keys to success. I never take anything for granted.”

Marquez, who was suspended for three games for throwing the ball at Landon Donovan and starting a brawl in last year’s MLS Cup playoffs, came back and vowed he was a changed man. He knows that he has to change his reputation this season, a reputation that was tarnished last year by poor play and even worse behavior, like badmouthing his teammates.

“I definitely have a different approach this year,” said Marquez, who has been moved up to midfield from defender where he played last year. “It’s a position that benefits me. I know that I have to demonstrate some things on the field to win the fans back. I’m not worried about that. What happened was in the past and there’s no need to talk about it. I have to be able to fit in better.”

The Red Bulls started off the season with two straight losses, but came back Sunday a more determined team.

“You could see in the warm-ups that everyone was more focused,” Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe said. “You could see the difference. We lost the first two games and we were under pressure to get a win. We need to perform well and dig in, because we have to be almost unbeatable here. That has to be the theory, not just talk.”

Superstar team captain Henry saw to that, scoring two goals and assisting on a score by Kenny Cooper.

Cooper also had two goals, giving the team a lethal combination up front while teenaged sensation Juan Agudelo recovers from knee surgery.

Cooper is just enjoying his time with Henry.

“He’s just amazing,” said Cooper, who was acquired in a January trade with Portland. “He can score. He creates. He has great field vision. He’s someone who has been a hero of mine and I’m privileged to be on the field with him. Anyone would love to be on the field with him or this incredibly talented team.”

The talented team is 1-2 now.

Things are better. And the young goalkeeper has a win under his belt. He can hold off taking any firefighter’s test for a while.

Things looking up for scrappy Blue Tide softball squad gals


Photos by Jim Hague/ Senior pitcher/third baseman Shannon Mattern (l.) and senior shortstop Briana O’Donnell (r.) are the two key members of the Harrison softball team this spring.

By Jim Hague 

The 2012 high school softball season arrives next week and it’s not a moment too soon for Harrison High School.

“We’re definitely in a better situation now,” said Harrison head coach Dave Nankivell, who guided the Blue Tide to a 10-15 record last year. “For the most part, we’re in better shape. We did graduate four key senior starters, but the players we have coming back are all improved. They have a good level of experience and maturity. There’s also excellent chemistry.”

It’s safe to say that the Blue Tide softball program has come a long way.

“When I first started, the girls had a total lack of understanding about the game,” Nankivell said. “The first practice that first year, we had 20 girls and only one had a glove. Now, the expectations are much higher and the girls understand what they’re doing.”

It means that the Blue Tide group is expected to do better things this season.

Senior Shannon Mattern is a key component to the Blue Tide’s success. Mattern was the team’s No. 2 pitcher last year and she may see some action on the mound again this year, but she’s more valuable as a third baseman.

“We’re fortunate enough to have a good player at third, so we don’t want to jeopardize that,” Nankivell said. “For now, she’s going to split the time between third base and pitcher. She didn’t even know how to pitch before she came to us.”

Mattern will share the pitching duties with freshman Fiona Slattery.

“She’s done a nice job,” Nankivell said. “We’re going to give her a few chances to pitch. If Fiona can function well, then that makes us a much stronger team.”

The catching duties are being handled by sophomore Alexandria Hidrovo, who got to start about six games behind the plate last year to get ready for this season. Hidrovo is a student at High Tech in North Bergen, but commutes back to her hometown in time to play softball.

“She gets her bat on the ball and she’s evolving as a catcher,” Nankivell said.

Bianca Martinez, one of the best all-around female athletes in the area, plays first base. She’s been a three-year starter for the Blue Tide in softball.

“She’s a very good athlete who is becoming a pretty good first baseman,” Nankivell said. “Her bat is beginning to come around.”

Junior Genevie Andujar is the second baseman. Andujar, up from the junior varsity, is handling the duties well.

“This is her first year as a starter,” Nankivell said. “She got her feet wet last year as a pinch hitter in a few games. She’s doing well now.”

The shortstop is senior Briana O’Donnell, who is one of the finest players in the NJIC-Meadowlands Division. O’Donnell batted better than .400 last year and has been a fixture at shortstop for all four seasons.

“Briana and Shannon Mattern make us go,” Nankivell said. “If we can get people on base in front of them, they’ll drive them in. Briana hits well and she also hits for power.”

Mattern is at third, but she’ll allow sophomore Jennifer Ferriero a chance to play some at third as well.

“Ferriero is a real tough kid who is going to be good,” Nankivell said.

Senior Nicole Cunha is the left fielder. Nankivell raves about the contributions of Cunha.

“She’s started almost every single game since she’s been with us and I’ve moved her all around the lineup,” Nankivell said. “She hits at the top of our lineup and she’s lightning fast. The more she gets on base, the better we’ll be. And she has so much energy that she’s like the Energizer Bunny. She just keeps going and going. She’s a real smart kid who pays attention.”

Freshman Amber O’Donnell, the younger sister of Briana, is the centerfielder. She’s the third of a line of three O’Donnell sisters.

“She potentially could be the best of the three,” Nankivell said. “She is doing well, because it’s a big adjustment coming from recreation softball to varsity. She’s very competitive and pushes herself.”

The right field slot is being contested by three players, seniors Ashley Rodriguez and Tara Mitchell and freshman Kayla Montilla, who has also shown promise.

The Blue Tide opens the 2012 season Saturday against Passaic and plays its first league game next week against Becton Regional.

“I think we’re going to be able to hit the ball,” Nankivell said. “We’re going to get our share of hits. If our defense can be solid and our pitchers get good location, keeping hitters off balance, then we can be pretty good. We have to throw strikes and play defense behind our pitchers. But we’re going to hit the ball.”

And in that respect, the Blue Tide should be much better this spring.

Message for the Soul

Determination makes dreams come true

Have you ever felt that you have more potential within you and that you are capable of achieving a lot more than what you already have? Within you is the power to make all dreams come true; but that is only possible if you decide to work towards them. At this point, I am not talking about your skills, education or your experience, but what I am really talking about is your will power and what is really possible for you. Yes, some may argue that there exists some element of luck to being successful, but over the years I have learned that luck only favors those who are committed to their goal; so, in consideration of that premise, then are you still ready to take that plunge and make a decision that can change your life forever? Realistically you are; don’t let any doubts cause you to waver from your goals. Be an optimist and see how all things come together in an unexplainable way to help you reach your destination. When you make a decision and decide to stick with it in spite of the many hurdles you may face, the entire universe starts the process of making it happen for you. Determination is the magic word here. When doubt, hatred or fear start to creep up on you, you need to re-focus your energies on the outcome you have desired all along. When desire meets effort, results start taking shape. Hence by this principle, you can achieve most things. Don’t let your thoughts make you think that certain tasks may be impossible and not worth the time and energy you may put into it. Like any bird preparing for its first flight, you need to master courage, stretch your wings and push yourself off the cliff in order to fl y. Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Assertive thoughts attract assertive outcomes. Tell yourself that you can do it and see how roads open up before you and your angels come to guide you on your path. Pessimism has helped no one get far, so give yourself another chance, believe in the unknown powers each one of us is blessed with and watch yourself soar and take to the skies for that ultimate flight. It is possible but only you can make it happen!



Visit Shweta Punjabi at her website solutionsbyshweta.com for more information or email her at magictaara@yahoo.com

How long should you keep your statements


By Randy Neumann

Rumor has it that you should retain copies of your federal tax returns for 7 years. Is that true or is it just a myth? For how long should you keep the quarterly and annual statements you receive regarding your investment accounts? And, how long should you keep bank statements before tossing them?

Let’s begin with tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service urges you to keep federal tax returns until the period of limitations runs out – that is, the time frame that you have to claim a credit or refund, or the time frame in which the IRS can levy additional taxes on you. This is a good guideline for state returns as well.

If you file a claim for a credit or refund after you file your tax return, the IRS would like you to keep the relevant tax records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. If you claim a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction, you are advised to hang onto those records for 7 years. If you filed a fraudulent return or no return, you should keep related/relevant documents for 7 years.

The IRS also advises you to retain employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid – again, whichever is later. Some tax and financial consultants advise people to keep their tax returns forever, but concede that canceled checks, receipts and other documents supplemental to returns can usually be safely discarded after 3 years. (The standard IRS audit goes back three years.)

Tax records relating to real property or “real assets” should be kept for as long as you hold the asset (and, for at least 7 years after you sell, exchange or liquidate the asset). These records can help you figure appreciation, depreciation, amortization or depletion of assets with regard to the property. You also might want to keep receipts and tax records related to major home improvements so that if you sell your home, you can show tomorrow’s buyer how much money you put into the house.

What about mutual fund statements? The annual statement is the one that counts. When you get your yearly statement, you can toss quarterly or monthly statements. You might want to quickly glance and make sure your annual statement truly reflects changes of the past four quarters.

You want to keep any records showing your original investment in a fund or a stock for capital gain or loss purposes. Your annual statement will show you the dividend or capital gains distribution from your fund or stock, as you may be reinvesting that money.

How about IRA and 401(k) statements? You get a new one each month or quarter; but how many do you really need? The annual statement is the most relevant. Additionally, you want to hang onto your Form 8606, Form 5498, and Form 1099-R.

Form 8606 is the one you use to report non-deductible contributions to traditional IRAs. Form 5498 is the one your IRA custodian sends to you. It is sometimes called the “IRA Contribution Information” or “Fair Market Value Information” form, and it usually arrives in May. It details a) contributions to your traditional or Roth IRA, and b) the fair-market value of that IRA at the end of the previous year. Form 1099-R is the one you get from your IRA custodian showing your withdrawals (income distributions).

Bank statements: The rule of thumb is 3 years; just in case you are audited. Some people shred them after a year or immediately, fearing that such information could be stolen. In certain cases, it may be wise to hang onto them longer; in the event of a divorce, for example. If someone tries to take you to court in the future or if a creditor comes knocking, you may want to refer to them. Your bank may provide you with archived statements online or on paper.

Credit card statements: You don’t need each and every monthly statement, but you may want to keep credit card statements that contain tax-related purchases for up to 7 years.

Mortgage statements: The really crucial records are most likely on file at the County Recorder’s office, but it is recommended that you retain your statewments for up to 7 years after you sell or pay off the mortgaged property.

Life insurance: Keep policy information for the life of the policy, plus 3 years.

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.


James David Graham

James “Jimmy” Graham, 52, lifelong resident of East Newark, entered into eternal rest on March 20 and is now joined with his mother the late Joan (1995).

Arrangements were by the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison. A funeral service was held at Christ Church, Harrison. Interment was at Arlington Cemetery, Kearny. For information or to send condolences please visit mulliganfuneralhome.org.

James graduated from Harrison High School in 1977 and was employed at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital as the assistant fire chief for the facility.

He is a member and former trustee of the Harrison East Newark Elks (who held services at 7:30 p.m. Friday) and past President of the Ray Graham Association. He also served on the East Newark Volunteer Fire Department for many years and was one of the youngest members of the N.J. State Fireman Exempt Association. He is survived by his loving father Raymond D., Sr. and his brothers and sisters and their spouses, Raymond, Jr. and his wife Monica, Kathleen Ahearn and her husband James, Thomas and his wife Maura, Linda Carson and her husband Robert, Joseph and his wife Daphne. Kenneth and his wife Dawn. He is also survived by his nieces Danielle and Kelsey.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to Christ Episcopal Church, Harrison.

Ann Kostrzewski

Mrs. Ann Kostrzewski, (nee Yesalavich), 97 of Harrison, passed away on Wednesday, March 21.

Arrangements were by the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison. A funeral Mass was held on Monday, March 26, at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Harrison, followed by entombment at Holy Cross Chapel Mausoleum. For information or to send condolences to the family please visit: www.mulliganfuneralhome.org

Born in Eynon, Pa., Ann (Rhea) moved to New York City before settling permanently in Harrison. She was employed by Hyatt’s in Harrison and General Motors in Clark before her retirement.

Mrs. Kostrzewski was predeceased by her parents, Martin and Ewa Yesalavich, her first husband Nicholas Moraites, and her second husband of 54 years, Stanley Kostrzewski, her sisters Mary Prebula, June Houser and Nellie Wraga and her brothers John, Frank and Edward. She is survived by many nieces and nephews. Ann requested that a special thank you be given to her nephew John Prebula, for the many years of loving care shown to her and her late husband Stanley.

She will be remembered by her family and friends for her love of gourmet cooking. We will miss you. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Wounded Warrior’s in memory of Ann in c/o the funeral home.

Vincent P. Kozlusky

Vincent P. Kozlusky, 80, of Harrison, formerly of Kearny, passed away on Wednesday, March 21.

The funeral service was held at the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave, Harrison, on Saturday, March 24, followed by interment to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. For information or to send condolences, please visit mulliganfuneralhome.org.

Vincent was born in Pennsylvania, the son of the late William and Mary and the husband of the late Joan (1995).

He worked 26 years for the U.S. Postal Office, Kearny Branch and retired in 1986.

He is survived by his nephew Robert P. Kozlusky.

Vincent is predeceased by his brother Robert J. Kozlusky.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the American Cancer Society in memory of Vincent c/o the funeral home.

Frederick J. Listwan

Frederick J. Listwan, 87, a lifelong resident of Harrison, passed away on Thursday, March 22, at home.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 63 years, Marion (nee:Wasowski) and loving children, Judith, Joseph, Eugene and his wife Patricia and Kenneth. He was the cherished grandfather to Kristen and Eugene Bryant and dear uncle to many nieces, nephews, grand and great-grand nieces and nephews.

He was a communicant of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish and a member of the Parish Honor Guard, and former member of the parish choir. He was also a Life Member of Our Lady of Grace Council # 402, and the Monsignor Doane, General Assembly, Knights of Columbus.

Fred was born in Readington Township to the late John and Felicia Listwan and was an honorably discharged Army Veteran who served in the Pacific Theater in World War II. He retired from ITT Federal Avionics and later retired from Harrison Housing Authority.

Fred was an avid sportsman who played soccer and softball in many leagues. He also enjoyed bowling and golf.

Fred was predeceased by his brothers, Edward, Albert, Charles, Theodore and George; his sisters Agnes Adamkiewicz and Marie.

Arrangements were by the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison. A funeral Mass was held at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Harrison. Interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery. For information or to send condolences, please visit mulliganfuneralhome.org.

For those desiring, the family request contributions to the Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Retirement Fund or Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish, in memory of Fred c/o Mulligan Funeral Home.

Margaret Manley

Margaret Manley died on March 23 in Belgrove Post Acute Center in Kearny. She was 87.

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

Margaret was a member of the Woman’s Army Corps during World War II and was trained as a registered nurse. She worked at St. Michael’s Medical Center for 55 years.

She is survived by her children Margaret Wassong and Daniel J. Manley; her sister-in-law Cathy Malloy, grandchildren Michael, Kirk Jr., and Jennifer Wassong, Daniel L. Manley, Donna Lee Ford and Tiffany Garcia; her great-grandchildren A.J., Lexi, Mary and Frances; aunt of Buddy, Danny and Michael Malloy. She was predeceased by her brothers and sister John, Daniel and Dorothy Malloy.

Rose M. Sturchio

Rose M. Sturchio (nee Landi) died on March 24 in Jersey Shore Medical Center. She was 88. Rose was born and lived in Harrison for most of her life. She moved to Middletown eight years ago.

Arrangements are by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, March 28, at 10 a.m. in Holy Cross Church, Harrison. Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com

Mrs. Sturchio worked in sales for Macy’s, Gloria Vanderbilt and The Clover Shop. She was a member of The St. Anthony Choir in East Newark and was a past president of The Essex Catholic Prep Mother’s Club.

Wife of the late Harry, she is survived by her children and their spouses Val and Janice Sturchio, David and Barri Sturchio, Rita and Billy Gerris and Thomas and Cheryl Sturchio and her grandchildren Tina, Jessica, David, Daniel, Kimberly, Lauren and Thomas and his wife Jacklyn; also surviving is Rose’s niece Josephine Sturchio Williams, along with several other nieces and nephews.

Tax return help available in Kearny

By Anthony J. Machcinski

During this time of year, many people are burdened with the hassle that goes into getting your taxes done. With the burden of deciphering language more complicated than the contents of a quantum physics textbook, tax season can be one of the most stressful times of the year. With that in mind, HOPES CAP, Inc. hopes to alleviate some of that stress.

“From a personal perspective, I know how hard it is to get taxes done correctly and not being able to afford it,” said Evelyn Mercado, Community Services Manager for HOPES CAP, Inc. “Especially with those who don’t speak English, they’re always doubtful but once you show them compassion, you get a sense of gratitude back.”

HOPES CAP, Inc. has helped lower income families to do their taxes, all for no cost, giving the families a sense of relief to many families in the community.

This is the first year that HOPES CAP, Inc. has extended its tax service to Kearny residents.

“We went to a community network association meeting and met up with (Mercado) while we were there and talked about the resources needed and we collaborated,” said NalaEvy Ortiz, director of the West Hudson Family Assistance Center.

Mercado said that HOPES CAP had been researching ways of expanding to Kearny. “The people in the town don’t get the services that they should be getting,” she said. HOPES CAP, Inc. is a service that helps low -income families – households with incomes lower than $51,000 – do their taxes. All volunteers are certified to do tax returns. HOPES CAP, Inc. is the only Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site in the area and can also help out with the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) program.

While HOPES CAP, Inc. has only been operating in Kearny just a few days, even so, it has still seen a great deal of success, staffers said.

“We originally set for two dates but had to work two more on top of that,” Ortiz said.

Being able to help out those in the community has been one of the benefits of the job for Ortiz.

“The language barrier, the intimidation factor, the fear, misinformation… there’s a large number of contributing factors,” Ortiz explained. “Our families feel very comfortable to speak to someone in their own language. It’s a very family friendly and environment.”

Even with the added dates this season, Ortiz is already looking to the future.

“We were very fortunate to establish a base in our community,” Ortiz said. “I’m looking forward to next year.”

This year’s current success would not have been possible without the volunteers in the Center who help run HOPES CAP, Inc.

“Mary Caldwell and Shereth Martin have been my right hand ladies,” Mercado said.

HOPES CAP, Inc. will be at the West Hudson Family Assistance Center at 655 Kearny Ave., Suite 103, on Thursday, March 29, and Thursday, April 12.

This year, April 17 is the filing deadline for tax returns.

Harrison Police Blotter

Mario Dagraca was arrested on March 14 after he was observed smashing the window of a vehicle parked on Ann St. The 32-year-old Harrison resident was issued a summons and released.

Also on March 14, Jose Elizondo was arrested after he was found asleep at the wheel of a motor vehicle on N. Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard. Elizondo, a 21 year old male from Orange, received medical attention and was released with summonses for Driving While Intoxicated and being an unlicensed driver.

Here are other items from the Harrison Police Blotter



A Cleveland Ave. residence was burglarized. Cash and jewelry were stolen from the home.

Packages delievered to a Passaic Ave. residence were stolen from the interior hallway.

A 1998 Jeep was broken into over night while it was parked at Third and Bergen Sts. Once inside, the actor damaged the ignition cylinder in a failed attempt to steal the Jeep.



David Jackson, a 49-year-old male currently homeless, was arrested for an outstanding Newark warrant. He was turned over to the Newark Police Department.

A vehicle parked in the municipal parking lot on Essex St. was broken into. A labtop computer and a portable GPS unit were stolen from the vehicle.



Elmer Sarango was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated. The 42-year-old man from Newark was arrested after he was involved in an accident with another vehicle at 200 Harrison Ave.



A vehicle parked on Sussex St. beneath Rte. 280 was broken into but nothing was reported stolen.

A 2000 Audi A6 was stolen while it was parked overnight on Essex St.

A vehicle parked at First and Sussex Sts. was broken into and an iPod and cash were reportedly stolen.