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4th of July thoughts

The Fourth of July has always been a huge holiday, with millions across the nation enjoying summer weather and barbecues. This year, the big summer holiday has thrown everyone for a loop, falling on a Wednesday.

If there was any indication that many were thrown for a loop with the day of the week the Fourth falls on, many towns celebrated the Fourth of July as early as June 29. Fireworks could be heard going up all over the area throughout the weekend. A week before, I overheard one man say, “Why are they celebrating it so early? It’s not celebrating the Fourth of July if it’s held on June 30.” At that moment, I explained to him that many towns in the area were probably trying to ensure themselves that residents would go out for the multi-million dollar displays if they weren’t held the night before they had to go to work.

Now… I sort of agree with him.

The Fourth of July isn’t like Thanksgiving, where you celebrate it on different calendar days of the year. It’s the Fourth of July and the birthday of America. You wouldn’t tell someone Happy Birthday a week and a half before it occured. If so, can someone please start wishing me a Happy Birthday two months ahead of time?

Regardless of the original subject of this rant, the purpose of the Fourth isn’t to celebrate a day off, it’s a day to celebrate all the freedoms living in this country has given us.

With that in mind, let me wish a Happy Fourth of July from all of us at The Observer to you and your families.

– Anthony J. Machcinski


Belleville man indicted

By Jeff Bahr 

Wakir Bryant, 28, of Belleville was indicted on June 25 for his alleged role in the death of two-year-old Mikhy Robinson, the son of a woman who he was dating.

A five-count indictment charges Bryant with reckless manslaughter, according to Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray. It also charges Bryant with hindering apprehension, endangering the welfare of a child, and two weapons offenses.

The indictment alleges that Bryant recklessly killed the boy in the child’s home on December 30, 2011 and then fled the scene.

Mikhy’s mother, who hasn’t been publicly identifi ed by authorities or singled out for any wrongdoing in the incident, claimed in a Star Ledger report that she awoke that morning to the sound of a gunshot. Moments later she saw her fatally wounded son and Bryant both stained red with blood. Bryant reportedly declared, “I’m so sorry,” repeatedly as he and the woman took the mortally wounded child to a hospital. Shortly thereafter, Bryant fled the scene. He was arrested later that evening.

Bryant’s original charge of aggravated manslaughter was downgraded to a reckless manslaughter count by the grand jury.

Bryant is currently incarcerated on $250,000 bail.

News in brief


Kearny Job Fair successful

Some 750 people turned out June 27 for a Job Fair, co-sponsored by the town and the North Hudson Community Action Corp., and hosted by the Kearny Public Library.

“The line stretched from the front door of the library around to Garfield (Ave.),” Mayor Alberto Santos recalled, “and it took about an hour for everybody to get inside but once they started, the line kept moving.”

Inside, representatives of 34 prospective employers, including corporations, big retailers, banks, hotels, home health care agencies and employment firms, were ready to welcome them at tables set up and down the library hallways, accept their resumes and enlighten them about job prospects.

Some got advice on how to apply for jobs – mostly entry-level – the companies were looking to fill.

Santos said there were Kearny residents and outof- towners, alike, among the job seekers. “We didn’t turn anyone away,” he said.

“It was a good community service we provided and we’re hoping we can do another one next year,” the mayor said. He commended Library Director Josh Humphrey for doing “a tremendous amount of work” to accommodate the throng that attended the event.

But before the town makes a commitment to schedule a follow-up fair, Santos said, “We first have to evaluate how this one went” so officials will know whether to retain the same format or to tweak it to handle things any differently.

As of press time, the mayor said it would be “too soon to know how many, if any, were actually placed in jobs.”

Asked whether Kearny itself was in a position to do any hirings, Santos said that the town found that possibility “still very challenging. In our Recreation Department, for example, we’re down to two individuals but, because an employee is out on sick leave, we need a part-time person.”

Government, in general, “is still in retrenchment” mode, Santos said. And, in harsh economic times like the present, “government lags behind the private sector,” he said.

In fact, as a potential cost-saving move, Santos said that town officials are “looking at contracting out fire dispatch services,” which has been done by three uniformed Fire Department employees, all of whom are retiring. “We thought that with these personnel leaving, it would be an opportunity to explore privatizing this area,” he said.

– Ron Leir

Streetscape taking shape

Neglia Engineering representative Kevin O’ Sullivan reported to the Kearny Town Council that some of the amenities for the Kearny Urban Enterprise Zone (KUEZ) Streetscape have started to arrive on site. Some of these amenities include decorative benches and trash receptacles that will line Kearny Ave.

The amenities are part of Phase V of the Kearny Ave.Streetscape that will extend the streetscape on Kearny Ave. from Midland Ave. to the railroad bridge just south of Columbia Ave.

“I’m happy to see that the amenities are almost here and that this project is finally getting closer to completion,” said KUEZ Director John Peneda. “I hope that the UEZ project fund will be restored by the governor and his administration, so that we could have the funds to complete the Kearny Ave. Streetscape for the remaining blocks.

Manufacturers for the project, according to O’ Sullivan, said that many of the other amenities are either currently in production or are in the process of being shipped.

-Anthony J. Machcinski

Radley St. hits ‘home stretch’

A challenging portion of the Radley St. renovation has finally been completed according to Neglia Engineering representative Kevin O’Sullivan. As of June 26, a concrete crew had been authorized to mobilize and begin work the following week. A tentative date for the projects completion has been set for the end of the summer.

Radley St. had been torn up to repair a sewer line. According to O’Sullivan, that sewer line has been finished and the contractor “had pumps running 24 hours a day” to test the new line. O’ Sullivan also said that the sewer “is functioning in its new state.”

- Anthony J. Machcinski

Cali gets new contract

The town council passed a resolution authorizing a two-year extension with Cali Carting for the collection of waste and recyclables for the town. The extension will run through June 30, 2013 at the cost of $1.35 million. The town and Cali Carting agreed upon a contract three years ago, with a town option for two more years at the $1.35 million rate.

“This is a very fair price. I’ve done some research and I doubt we would do much better,” Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos explained at the meeting. The $1.35 million is a $200,000 increase from the previous three years of the contract. Santos explained to the public that the amount of increase was written into the original contract.

- Anthony J. Machcinski

The brains behind the boom

Photos courtesy Garden State Fireworks


By Anthony J. Machcinski

This week, millions of Americans will take to their local hillside or open field in order to celebrate the 236th birthday of America to watch an aerial spectacle as big as the birthday it honors.

Fireworks date back as far as possibly the Han dynasty in China around 200 B.C., but the Americanized version celebrating our country dates to America’s first birthday in 1777. According to history.com, Founding Father John Adams said that the Fourth of July “ought to be solemnized with pop and parade…bonfires and illuminations (a term for fireworks)…from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Fast forward 236 years and the art of fireworks is as vibrant as ever, with aerial displays that artists of the 1700s couldn’t even dream of.

Photos courtesy Garden State Fireworks


Even technology, as simple as black powder and other formulas, has become so advanced, that even 20-minute pyrotechnics (the average time of many such events in the area), will take several days to perfect.

“Timing is everything,” explains third-generation fireworks expert Nunzio Santore, whose family has been in the business of creating displays for the past 123 years.

Garden State Fireworks, where Santore is the coowner, will be orchestrating the Fourth of July celebration for State Fair Meadowlands on July 3 and 4. The event is another challenge for the company that has won awards in Canada, France, and Spain.

Creating these fireworks is an art form in its own right, and could stack up with many other forms of art in its beauty and brilliance. As Santore explained, it’s not just throwing everything together. “You have to back-choreograph it (working from the back of the display to the beginning) in order to make sure that the shells will explode into the air at the right time.”

The average time spent on preparing displays depends on the type of display it is. Some displays, described as the traditional style by Santore, are organized around an opening, where different effects and displays are used, and a finale, which “always has to be the strongest part of the show.”

Other displays, and often the more time consuming of the styles, are musicals. Musicals combine music with the firework display. Timing is even more crucial during these shows in order to correctly line up the moment in the song with its aerial barrage. These displays rely on computers paired with back-choreographing in order to provide the precision needed to wow an audience.

Photos courtesy Garden State Fireworks


Along with the timing goes the creation of the actual firework as well. While every display and firework is different, the construction of the firework is generally the same. Each firework contains a bursting charge, stars, a fuse, and a delay, along with a black powder charge to propel the shell into the air.

The shell of a firework is a strong casing that protects the inside of the firework, a delay ignites the burst charge at the right time, then the burst charge ignites the stars, or effects, which are placed in the exact order that the producer wants them to explode.

Different colors are created by adding a chemical to the formula. Santore explained that among other colors, blues are formulated from a copper base and silvers, from a titanium or aluminum base.

While the technology has advanced since Augustine Santore first opened his fireworks plant in 1890, his descendants still keep many of his original formulas.

“Our formulations are very old, but are much safer than when (my grandfather) used them,” Santore explained.

Over the years, fireworks have become not only a celebration of America, but a metaphor for what America is – an ethnically diverse nation where everyone has his or her own part in the larger display. When watching the several displays across our area, appreciate the artistic freedom each group has, and most of all, celebrate the freedom we have as a nation to put on these displays.

Farmer’s Market is back for 7th season


By Anthony J. Machcinski

Kearny residents were treated to some of the culinary benefits of rural New Jersey when the Kearny Farmer’s Market returned to town on June 28. The annual event is currently in its seventh year as a main attraction for area residents.

“Anytime you can bring in fresh vegetables to the area it’s a good idea,” said Kearny Councilwoman Susan Mc- Currie, who helped bring the event into town.

McCurrie got the idea from surrounding towns such as Rutherford and Hoboken, who have their own farmer’s markets. When researching how to bring this event to town, McCurrie realized that Kearny posed its own unique challenges.

“Unlike other communities that have transportation hubs and train stations, we don’t have them,” McCurrie explained. “Our challenge was to find a way to put the market in a place with good foot traffic without having the extra boost provided by transportation hubs.”

While the town explored several options, one suggestion struck town officials as the best way to go.

“We started in front of Town Hall,” McCurrie said. Then it moved to a larger space in the parking lot across from Mandee Shops at Kearny and Bergen Aves. once the event “got big and successful,” she said.

Locating the event at the Kearny Ave. location benefited not only from foot traffic into the market, but it was good for area businesses as well.

“Residents from other areas such as Harrison and North Arlington are aware that we have a farmer’s market and they do some shopping around,” Kearny Urban Enterprise Zone (KUEZ) Director John Peneda said. “This creates more foot traffic for other businesses on Kearny Ave. It’s really a win-win situation.”

The track record built from previous years has generated excitement for this year’s event, which, in turn, led to the creation of a cookbook aptly titled, “The Kearny Farmer’s Market Cookbook,” an 81-page culinary anthology in which residents provided their own recipes to incorporate the numerous ingredients found at the market. Proceeds from cookbook sales benefit both the KUEZ and the Friends of the Kearny Public Library. The cookbook retails for $9.95.

Residents’ enthusiasm stems from the quality of the product they receive at the market.

“The produce is freshly picked, sometimes that morning, by the vendors who sell them so you know that it’s fresh,” Peneda said.

Vendors for the event come from Union Hill Farms, of Denville, and Alsteade Farms, of Chester. Kearny officials found them through the New Jersey Council of Farmers and Communities (NJCFC), a non-profit organization that serves as a liaison between farmers and market communities.

“It’s more than just providing healthy food,” McCurrie said. “It’s also helping support New jersey farmers.”

While the event has been financially viable, McCurrie believes that the market’s real success comes from the involvement of members of the community.

“You’ll find that the same people come here every year,” McCurrie said. “There’s a group of dedicated individuals that come here every year and see each other. It truly becomes a community event.”

The Kearny Farmer’s Market takes place every Thursday from noon until 6 p.m. in the parking lot across from Mandee on Kearny Ave. from now until mid-October. The fruits and vegetables offered vary according to the season, but include berries, peaches, lettuce, cabbage, and squash, summer staples such as corn, tomatoes, and melons, and early fall classics such as apples and pumpkins.

Around Town


• The Belleville Irish American Association is sponsoring a trip to Wildwood/ Smithville/Ocean City/Atlantic City/Cape May from Sept. 9 to 13. Cost is $448 per person double occupancy, includes hotel, transportation, four breakfasts, four lunches and four dinners. Open to everyone. For itinerary or information, call Pat at 973- 751-5308.


• The Rosary Society of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 136 Davis Ave., Kearny, is running a bus trip to Harrah’s Casino, Atlantic City, on Thursday, July 26. Cost is $10. The bus will leave from the corner of Bergen Avenue and Ivy Street at 9 a.m. Parking is available in the lot on Ivy Street. For seats and information, call Lucille at 201-997-3781 or Jean at 201- 991-4732.

• Art by students ages 5 to 12 is on display at Applebee’s Restaurant, Kearny. The display began on July 2 and will continue through July 8. The colorful content includes abstract art in the style of Piet Mondrain and challenging one point perspective drawing of a giant taking over the city. The artwork is by students in art classes, taught by Mrs. Mills, who also teaches free art classes for children ages 5 and up at the Kearny Main and Branch libraries. For upcoming classes at Kearny Public Library, check the library’s website, www.kearnylibrary. org or call 201-998-2666.

• Kearny Recreation Department’s annual July 4th fireworks and band concert begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4, with a rain date of July 5. Please bring your own chair or blanket to Veteran’s Field. Children’s activities commence at 6:30 p.m. with pony rides, inflatable bouncers, face painting, sand art, strolling clowns performing mime and balloon art, and an array of some famous cartoon characters. Let’s all celebrate our nation’s Independence Day in a grand old fashion this Fourth of July!

• The Presbyterian Boys- Girls Club, 663 Kearny Ave., will open during July and August on Tuesday and Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. Most members and guests are between the ages of 8 and 15. The summer program offers basketball, dodge ball, wiffle ball, kick ball, gymnastics, bowling bumper pool, air hockey, foozball, arts and crafts, ping pong and electronic games. Summer trips have been scheduled to the Mountain Creek Water Park (July 11), Red Bulls vs. Chicago soccer (July 18), Tornadoes vs. Jackals baseball (July 25), Bowcraft Amusement and Miniature Golf (Aug. 1), pro wrestling (Aug. 17). All trips are chaperoned by Kearny teachers. The club will be supervised this summer by a professional staff including Tom Fraser, former Lincoln School guidance counselor and members of the P.B.G.C. Board of Directors.


• The Masonic Club of Lyndhurst, 316 Riverside Ave., will present a course on boating safety on July 8. There will be a course on boating and N.J. Jet Ski Certification. Walk-ins are welcome. All classes start at 8 p.m. and will run to 4 p.m. The cost is $70 per person and everyone must complete eight hours of classroom time. For more information, call 862-686-3478.

• The Humane Society of Bergen County 221 Stuyvesant Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ 201-896-9300, has a supply of all brands of dog food (FREE OF CHARGE) available to anyone who, due to unemployment, disability or any other financial difficulty cannot afford to feel their dog. Just stop by or call for more information. Hours Monday and Saturday, 10-4 p.m., Tuesday to Friday 10- 5:30 p.m., Sunday 11-2pm.

• Knights of Columbus Communion breakfast will be held on Sunday, July 29, at the Lyndhurst Senior Building, 250 Cleveland Ave., Lyndhurst. Breakfast will be served from 10-11 a.m. Tickets are $7 each. No tickets will be sold at the door. Pick up tickets at Sacred Heart Rectory, 324 Ridge Road, Lyndhurst, or call (201) 438 1147 or contact: Sal Russo at (201) 446 7244.

• Landscapes Transformed – Stories of Lost Landscapes of the Meadowlands, a program for seniors, will be held on Tuesday, July 10, at 2p.m. at the Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 De- Korte Park, Lyndhurst. From Glacial Lake Hackensack to The Meadow Primeval, the Meadowlands landscape has transformed through history. Using the interpretive signs created for the NJMC’s new River Barge Park as a starting point, Meadowlands Commission Parks Supervisor Katy Weidel will highlight lost stories of the Meadowlands. Pre-registration required: 201-777-2431. Note: Due to railroad repairs, visitors will not be able to access DeKorte Park via Valley Brook Avenue. Please visit www.njmeadowlands. gov or call 201-460-1700 for an alternate route.

• NJMC Pontoon Boat Tour will be held on July 10 and 11 at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $15 per person. Get an up-close view of the Meadowlands District’s spectacular scenic beauty and wildlife with a two-hour guided pontoon boat cruise of the Hackensack River and its surrounding marshes. Experienced NJMC staff will discuss the region’s human and environmental history and point out birds and other wildlife along the way. Pontoon boat cruises depart from River Barge Park, 260 Outwater Lane, Carlstadt. For ages 10 and up. Pre-registration required. For a complete schedule, directions and to register visit www.njmeadowlands.gov or call 201-460- 4640.

• The Lyndhurst Masonic Club, 316 Riverside Ave.,is having a spaghetti dinner on Friday, July 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. Donation is $8 per person. For information, please call the Club: 201-933-1330.

• Readers of all ages will explore the night this summer as Lyndhurst Public Library presents “Dream Big –READ!” during its summer reading program. Activities may include programs of magical happening, artistic events, a cultural exhibit, trips through space and more. • The 2012 Summer Reading program offers Lyndhurst preschoolers to 6th grade crafts, story times, a reading club, and more. Families are invited to join the Read-to- Me portion of the program. Registration for “Dream Big-READ” is currently running through July 11. For more information, visit the library. All programs are free of charge.


• Gail’s Angels Foundation will hold a night of fun, food, drink and bocce at Diamond Spring Beach Club, 35 Evergreen Ave., Nutley, on Thursday, July 12, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the Gail’s Angels Foundation, which is a 501C non-profit charity dedicated to supporting women with breast cancer who have an autistic or special needs child. The “all you can eat menu includes ribs, sausage, chicken, hamburgers, cheeseburgers and hot dogs. There will also be bocce, 50/50’s, and a drawing for the “Ultimate Sports Fantasy Raffle” where one lucky winner will receive tickets to attend a game for all the major NY/NJ sports teams, including Yankees, Mets, Jets, Giants, Rangers, Devils and more. The event will be held outdoors, rain or shine. Tickets can be purchased for $40 from Jim McGuire by calling 973-626-4385 or email jmcguire7@gmail.com or Jim Babai at 973-868-1282 or email jrbabai@gailsangels.org. Plus, if you preorder tickets you will be entered into an exclusive drawing for a gift basket worth over $200. For more information about Gail’s Angels, visit www. gailsangels.org • Nutley Public Library patrons are invited to play Bridge on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. No registration required.

• Matinee Fridays: Classic Films will be shown at the library every week at 2 p.m. Please check the monthly calendar, flyer or Facebook for the titles of the films.

• P.J. Story Time will be held at the library on Monday, July 9 and 23, at 7 p.m.- no registration required.

• Preschool Story Time will be held at the library on Tuesday, July 10 and 24, at 10 a.m.. Registration required.

• An Environmental Workshop for pre-k-2nd grade will be held at the library on Tuesday, July 10, at 2 p.m. Registration required.

• The library’s Second Grade Reading Club will meet on Wednesday, July 11 at 1 p.m. Registration required. ( Preschool Story Time will be held at the library on Thursday, July 12 and 26, at 10 a.m. Registration required.

• The library will have Two Year Old Story Time on Friday, July 13 and 27, at 10 a.m. Registration Required.

• The library’s Lego Reading Club will meet on Saturday, July 14 and 28, at 1 p.m. Registration required. For more information on Nutley Public Library programs, call 973-667-0405 or visit nutley.bccls.org.

North Arlington’s Krychkowski named Observer Male Athlete of Year

Three-sport standout becomes third Viking honoree in last five years

Photo by Jim Hague/ North Arlington graduate Tyler Krychkowki (center, right) receives The Observer Male Athlete of the Year award from Observer general manager Robert Pezzolla (center, left). Flanking them are soccer coach Jesse Dembowski and Maureen Krychkowski, Tyler’s mother.


By Jim Hague

Tyler Krychkowski has been involved in sports for as long as he can remember. In fact, it’s probably even before that.

The recent North Arlington High School graduate began to play soccer in his hometown’s recreation program when he was still a toddler, just about able to walk, never mind run.

“I think I was about 4 years old,” Krychkowski said. “I really don’t remember exactly. But I remember that I was pretty good right away and that everyone wanted to play against me. I just spent a lot of time watching and learning.”

Krychkowski came from an athletic family, so that had to help. His late father, Steve, was a highly respected high school and college basketball offi cial who also worked for three decades with the game staff at all St. Peter’s College athletic events. His older brother, Tom, was a fi ne soccer player at North Arlington, who went on to play at New Jersey City University.

When Krychkowski was 8 years old, he added basketball to his repertoire. Again, he enjoyed almost instant success.

“I was pretty good at basketball right away,” Krychkowski said. “I loved how it came so natural to me. That defi nitely helped me later on down the road.”

His involvement in track and fi eld had to wait a bit, until he enrolled at North Arlington High.

“I was a freshman and I wanted to keep in shape for soccer,” Krychkowski said. “It’s the only reason why I joined the track team was to stay ready for soccer. But the more I did it, the better I got. By the time I was a junior, I realized I was getting pretty decent and decided to stay with it.”

Put all three together and you have the makings of one of the fi nest all-around careers in the history of North Arlington High School.



During his tenure as a Viking athlete, Krychkowski became one of the school’s all-time leading goal scorers in soccer, reached the 1,000-point plateau in basketball and broke two school records in track and field.

“Absolutely, I did more than I could have ever dreamed of,” Krychkowski said. “I always wanted to do well, but I never thought I could do this well. It was always a goal for me.”

For his efforts, Krychkowski has been selected as The Observer Male Athlete of the Year for the 2011-2012 scholastic sports year. Krychkowski is the 10th recipient of the award, dating back to fi rst honoree Hugh MacDonald of Kearny in 2003.

Krychkowski is the third North Arlington athlete to receive the honor in the last fi ve years, joining Mike Gross (2007-2008) and Peter Santos (2009-2010).

Krychkowski received his award recently from Observer general manager Robert Pezzolla.

“It’s a good feeling,” Krychkowski said upon receiving the award. “At the start of the season, I was hopeful that I could get the award at the end of the year. When I played with Peter Santos, I thought maybe I could fill his shoes if I worked at it and I could do what he did.”

Krychkowski was the Vikings’ leading scorer in soccer in each of the last two seasons, scoring 21 goals as a junior and an astounding 26 as a senior.

“He always worked hard and was always the leader,” said North Arlington head boys’ soccer coach Jesse Dembowski. “No doubt, his passion for the game was better than most. He was always just a phenomenal athlete. I knew he had the passion right away. He dominated the action 100 percent and always gave 100 percent effort all the time. It was always nice to know that when you needed Tyler, he was there. He did everything we asked of him. He was really the coach’s dream.”

Dembowski marveled at Krychkowski’s ability to score, even after he became a known commodity.

“He was being marked by two, sometimes three people and still broke away and scored,” Dembowski said. “It was amazing the way he was able to score with the way everyone was marking him. Besides being our best player, he was the one who fueled everyone else and helped them give the extra effort. It’s going to be very hard to replace someone like him.”

Krychkowski ended his soccer career with more than 90 goals scored in his four years.

North Arlington basketball coach Dave Walsh, who also coached Gross and Santos during their basketball careers, liked the way Krychkowski developed into a 1,000-point performer.

“You really have to be willing to make huge sacrifices to be able to do well in all three sports,” Walsh said. “I happen to know what that’s like (Walsh played football, basketball and baseball during his days at North Arlington). It’s not easy. Most kids now play soccer all year round, but Tyler was with us when we went to team camp at William Paterson in the summer. He gave it his all. He just evolved and got better.

Added Walsh, “He was a nice player, but like the fourth option when he was a sophomore, but then quickly became the main option his junior and senior year. That had to be difficult for him, because we had different players each time, but he changed the way he played to fit the team each year. He became a better all-around player and learned to pass instead of just shooting it.”

When Joe Cioffi became the head boys’ track and field coach at North Arlington two years ago, he didn’t know much about Krychkowski’s ability in track.

“But the one thing I did know about Tyler is that he was a pleasure to have,” Cioffi said. “I knew he was a leader. He brought a high level of energy and it was amazing to see, to have someone who could do that from August to June and never stopped. I never had to worry about where he was at. He always worked hard. Every event he did for two years, he got better.”

Krychkowski ended up setting new school records in the triple jump and in two relays. He competed in the long jump, triple jump and 400-meter intermediate hurdles – an event he tried for the first time at the Bergen County meet and finished third in his first attempt.

“He even started throwing the javelin by the end of the year,” Cioffi said. “He was just a tremendous athlete. I think a lot of what he was able to do comes with his maturity. He just took charge and did what he had to do every time. It was a remarkable thing to watch, seeing a kid work so hard and do so well. He’s just an exceptional kid.”

Walsh marveled at Krychkowski’s development.

“He really maximized his potential,” Walsh said. “I think it takes a special kid to be willing to be part of all three sports, but then to do that well? He’s a popular kid. He was good in all three. I think it’s one thing to be a part-time player in three sports, but it’s another to be good enough to contribute in all three. It’s pretty remarkable. We’ve been fortunate at North Arlington to have a few like that. Santos and Tyler had very similar careers.”

Krychkowski will now go on to attend New Jersey City University like his older brother. He will definitely play soccer there and may try out for the basketball team, depending on his schedule.

He was asked if losing his father early was a motivation.

“I think it made me work harder and push myself more,” Krychkowski said. “I know he would be very proud. I just wanted to be good at something. I didn’t know how good I’d become.”

Good enough to be The Observer Male Athlete of the Year.

Lyndhurst Legion baseball rolls along at 10-3

Photo by Jim Hague/ Harrison graduate Anthony Ferriero has been a solid performer as both a pitcher and first baseman for the Lyndhurst Post 139 American Legion baseball team that owns a 10-3 record and sits in second place in the Bergen County American Legion league.


By Jim Hague

The Lyndhurst American Legion Post 139 baseball team has a 10-3 record right now, but it’s a mark that doesn’t surprise head coach Mike Voza, even though the team is fi lled with newcomers to the roster.

“I don’t think I’m surprised with being 10-3,” said Voza, who began his second season as the head coach. “I’m surprised how we got to 10-3. We threw one game away to Clifton early on. We’ve had to play Bergenfi eld three times already. It’s been a good start and I’m happy where we are.”

Voza believes that his Post 139 squad is primed and ready for the postseason.

“We built this team to win a double-elimination tournament,” Voza said.

“We needed to get pitching and you can’t have enough pitching in those tournaments.”

With that in mind, the Lyndhurst squad is loaded with quality pitching.

“I couldn’t be happier with the pitching,” Voza said. “We need to hit a little better, but our pitching has been sensational.”

Post 139 posted three straight shutout victories last week, with Bryan Kelly and Anthony Ferriero combining for one three-hit 4-0 whitewash of Bergenfield Saturday.

“Kelly has been tremendous,” Voza said of the recent Rutherford High School graduate. “We want to be able to keep both pitchers fresh. Ferreiro is a workhorse. He would pitch every day if we gave him the chance. We’re fortunate to have a stable of pitchers, much like what you would find in the major leagues. We have at least 10 kids we can go to who can pitch.”

Kevin Rehbein, the former Lyndhurst High School standout headed to Rutgers- Newark in the fall, is another quality hurler. Rehbein fired a one-hitter last week against Kearny, striking out 15 in the process.

Elvis Soriano, a product of Wallington High, pitched a shutout as well against Bergenfield earlier in the week.

“At this level, to get three straight shutouts, is pretty remarkable,” Voza said. “It certainly makes things easier when you have that much quality pitching.”

Handling all that stellar pitching is catcher Danny Bielitz, a product of St. Mary’s High in Rutherford. Bielitz is not the biggest guy in the world, standing just 5-foot-6, but he’s done a great job defensively.

“He’s a tremendous (athlete). (He’s) received and blocks every pitch in the dirt.” Voza said. “He calls a great game and lately, he’s started to hit.”

First base duties are shared by Ferriero and Max Herrmann, the younger brother of Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Frank Herrmann. The younger Herrmann went to Montclair Kimberley Academy and resides in Rutherford.

Robert Miskura, another Rutherford product, is the team’s second baseman. He bats third in the lineup and has become the team’s main RBI producer. Miskura can also pitch as well.

Rehbein handles the shortstop duties when he’s not on the mound. Rehbein’s bat has begun to heat up in recent weeks.

Willie Krajnik, a Lyndhurst resident who attends St. Mary’s of Rutherford, is the third baseman. Krajnik is the team’s leadoff hitter.

Mike Rosamilia, another Rutherford High product, is the left fielder.

“Mike runs down everything in left field,” Voza said. “He covers a lot of ground.”

Felipe Flores, who enjoyed a breakthrough season at Harrison High in the spring, is the team’s centerfielder. Flores is also a quality pitcher.

“He’s been swinging the bat well for us,” Voza said. “It’s a nice luxury to have someone like Felipe who can play the outfield and pitch.”

Jimmy Fitzgerald, a recent graduate of Lyndhurst High, is the starting right fielder. Fitzgerald has caught fire recently, delivering five hits in his last nine at-bats with four runs scored.

The Post 139 unit has been getting solid play from utility players Walter Lazorczyk, who will return to St. Mary’s next fall, and Sean Byrne, a product of Harrison.

Voza likes the fact that he has three Harrison products in Ferriero, Flores and Byrne. All three of the former Blue Tide standouts can pitch and play the field, giving the Post 139 unit depth and versatility.

“All three have been great for us,” Voza said. “They’re there all the time. Byrne can play anywhere I need him. They’re good ballplayers who have all contributed.”

The team will improve when Anthony Dapuzzo returns to action. Dapuzzo missed a lot of time after having his tonsils taken out, but he’s set to come back later this week.

The Lyndhurst Post 139 squad currently sits in second place in the Bergen County American Legion league, trailing frontrunning Park Ridge. They are preparing for a berth in the upcoming league playoffs that begin July 18.

“We have a good chance,” Voza said. “I think we’re built to win that tournament. We’re playing well. All the kids are playing and contributing. We have a bunch of really good kids who are a pleasure to coach. It’s a good feeling all around.”

And all that should makefor an interesting rest of the summer f or the Lyndhurst Post 139 team.

Harrison hoop legend McDonough-Huaranga named new athletic director

Photo by Jim Hague/ Kim McDonough-Huaranga, the all-time leading scorer in Hudson County basketball history during her playing days at Harrison High School, has been named as the school’s new athletic director.


By Jim Hague

Kim McDonough-Huaranga has been a trend setter, a history maker for most of her life – even as a history teacher.

As a high school basketball player at Harrison High School, graduating in 1998, McDonough became the alltime leading scorer in the history of Hudson County high school basketball – among both boys and girls – totaling an astounding 2,760 points, earning All-State honors twice.

After playing at St. Peter’s College and eventually earning a Master’s degree in administration, McDonough returned home to Harrison to become a teacher and more importantly, to become the first woman to coach the boys’ varsity basketball team at her alma mater.

Now, McDonough-Huaranga has another distinction, another first. She was recently appointed as the new Vice- Principal in charge of athletics, serving as the school’s athletic director, the first female to hold the position.

The 32-year-old Huaranga replaces the recently retired Alan Doffont, who held the position for the last two years.

“I’m very excited for this great opportunity,” said Huaranga, who took over the responsibilities Monday. “I’m happy to come back to Harrison High School and work with the fine student/athletes, as well as working with the other teachers and faculty.”

For the past nine years, Huaranga has been a history teacher in the Harrison school system, working at Washington Middle School.

But when the district posted the position upon news of Doffont’s retirement, Huaranga acted quickly and applied for the job.

“I do love teaching and I had a great experience in the classroom, but I did want to eventually move to athletic administration,” Huaranga said.

After taking a few years away from coaching to have two children – son Anthony, 3, and daughter Giuliana, 1 – Huaranga returned to the coaching duties at Washington Middle School while her friend and teammate Kim Nicosia was on maternity leave.

“I did get back into the coaching field and got a little taste of what I was missing,” Huaranga said.

She said that she never really wanted to be one to be a trend setter.

“It was never really the objective to be the first in anything,” said Huaranga, the niece of Harrison Mayor Raymond McDonough. “I’m proud of what I was able to do and my accomplishments in basketball, whether I was playing or coaching. I just always wanted to do my best. That was the main goal. I’m happy with what I’ve done.”

However, being the first female athletic director – and the lone female administrator in the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference – will provide somewhat of a challenge.

“I hope I can bring a new perspective to the program,” Huaranga said. “That we can instill the pride and sportsmanship that has always been a part of the Blue Tide.”

Huaranga, whose husband Alfredo is a Harrison native who played football at St. Peter’s Prep, has not attended a meeting yet as the Harrison AD, but she’s ready to enter the all-boys’ network of athletic administration.

“The gender issue doesn’t bother me at all,” Huaranga said. “Being the only woman in the room won’t be an issue at all. I think we’re all going to work together and help each other out. I’ve received a great welcome from the other ADs.

I’ve received a lot of calls and e-mails, congratulating me and offering me help. I’m really looking forward to working with the other ADs.” Huaranga said that she had a good initiation from Doffont before he retired. The two worked together last week going over the details, making it an easy transition.

“Mr. Doffont was more than helpful,” Huaranga said.

Huaranga was asked if it would be a little funny, sitting in the same seat once occupied by her former high school coach and mentor Jack Rodgers, who was the longtime Harrison AD before he retired two years ago.

“He did reach out to me and congratulate me,” Huaranga said. “When I was at St. Peter’s, I did my internship with Rodg. I had a lot of meetings with him and he made me work. He said that he hoped I remembered everything I learned from him and that internship. I would say that I take the position he had with pride and take the things I learned from him by paying for him and put it in the job. I’m glad I’m able to come back and now do the same with this current group of athletes.”

Huaranga said that she will keep Rodgers’ phone number handy in case she needs some advice.

“It’s a great place and a great opportunity,” Huaranga said. “Harrison is a place where the student/athletes and coaches work well together. I’m just there to hope that they continue to excel in the classroom and in their respective sports.”

The necessity of strategy


By Randy Neumann

No matter what investors do with their money, there are risks involved that can derail their financial goals. If they invest, they can suffer losses. If they don’t, inflation can erode the value of their savings. For investors to reach their goals, all of these risks need to be anticipated and managed through a solid financial plan.

Building such a plan – one that can endure over the years – doesn’t happen by accident. Investors need a solid understanding of every investment in their portfolio, and the risks they carry. They need a strategy that prepares them for a variety of economic environments.

I recently attended a seminar titled “Rethinking Risk,” presented by Invesco, one of the largest money management firms in the world. The presentation, which had some interesting insights into investing, began with five myths offset by five truths followed by five actions.

Here they are.

Myth 1

Myth: “My portfolio will be in fine shape if it has more up years than down years.”

Truth: The magnitude of gains and losses counts more than their frequency. Action: Understand the market scoring system and design an investment strategy accordingly.

Myth 2

Myth: “Missing the market’s best days is the worst thing I could do to my portfolio.”

Truth: The market’s worst days are just as important as its best days (and maybe even more). Action: Remain invested, but seek to avoid catastrophic losses.

Myth 3

Myth: “Market returns are the key to my portfolio’s value.”

Truth: Contributions form the foundation of a portfolio’s value. Action: Maximize contributions, and build goals based on realistic savings assumptions.

Myth 4

Myth: “If there’s no sign of recession (or recovery) on the horizon, I don’t need to prepare for one.”

Truth: Prudential risk management means always being prepared. Action: Be prepared for the unexpected.

Myth 5

Myth: “I’m diversified – my portfolio has lots of different stocks.”

Truth: True diversification is based on sources of risks, not returns. Action: Diversify investment portfolios by sources of risks, not returns.

Let’s begin by separating the myth from the truth in number 1. It’s true that from 1926 to 2010, the S&P 500 Index has posted 61 positive years and only 24 negative years. That would be good news for an investment portfolio – if it were scored by “match play” rules, like tennis. In that scenario, investors would be winners, if the up years outnumber the down years. How well they performed in each of those years wouldn’t matter.

However, in reality, portfolios are scored under “stroke play” rules – like golf. In stroke play, it doesn’t matter how many individual holes you win, it’s the total score that counts. Mistakes on just one hole or two can ruin an otherwise well-played game. Likewise, in investing, it may take just one or two exceptionally bad years to push an investor off the path to victory.

As we saw during the 2000s, it’s possible for the market to have more up years than down years, yet still lose money on average.

Last Decade’s Scorecard: Winner or Loser

The tennis player would consider this a victory. The golfer – and the investor – would not.

Average annual returns of the S&P 500 index (in percentages): 2000, -9.10; 2001, -11.88, 2002, -22.09; 2003, 28.67; 2004, 10.87; 2005, 4.91; 2006, 15.78; 2007, 5.49; 2008, -36.99; 2009, 26.47.

The total return for the decade (cumulative) was -9.10 percent, with 6 up years and 4 down years. (Source: Lipper Inc. The S & P 500 index is an unmanaged index considered representative of the US stock market. An investment cannot be made directly in an index. Past performance is no guarantee of comparable future results.)

Now that we know the market keeps score, an important question remains: In investing, how is victory achieved?

Many investors believe if their portfolio makes money during their investment lifetime, they’ve achieved victory. Once again, we’re mixing myth and reality.

Investment results are one thing; financial goals are another. You have only achieved victory when your investment portfolio generates enough income to provide you with a comfortable retirement, and, if it is your goal, to provide a nest egg for the next generation.

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.