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State eyes raising part of Pike

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY – The Rt. 7/Belleville Turnpike corridor which runs through Kearny’s meadows area and beyond is getting a lot of attention these days from state and federal transit agencies. For the past couple of years, contractors hired by the state Department of Transportation have […]

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Taxes up on average by $244

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  Now that Trenton – even without a gubernatorial endorsement by the town’s Democratic mayor – has gifted Kearny $2.5 million in transitional aid and reduced its pension obligations by nearly $435,000, Kearny property owners can know what to expect. They’re still getting […]

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Wild pursuit ends with 3 arrests

LYNDHURST – It started as an alleged speeding incident and led to a frantic chase that ended in three arrests. Here’s the account given by Lyndhurst Police: Shortly after 2 p.m. on July 14, Patrol Officer James Goral pulled over a 2008 BMW traveling east on Page […]

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Builder targets eyesore

  By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  NUTLEY –  A 36-unit residential development being pitched to the Nutley Zoning Board of Adjustment has township and school officials on the edge of their seats wondering how many schoolage kids the project may generate if approved. Mayor Alphonse Petracco is blunt about […]

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Learning to protect & serve

By Karen Zautyk  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  Last Friday, in a ceremony at Lincoln School, 36 youngsters graduated from the Kearny Police Department’s Junior Police Academy following two weeks of intensive, but fun, training. This marks the academy’s sixth graduating class. We have been privileged to attend various sessions […]

 
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Former North Arlington Resident Runs for Awareness

Photo by Debbie Melamed/ Gunnery sergeant Dacey poses with his dog Isti on Blue Star Memorial Highway, Honoring Armed forces who served in WW2.

 

By Anthony J. Machcinski

It was Mohandas Ghandi who once said, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” Gunnery Sergeant James J. Dacey, a former North Arlington resident, has the indomitable will Ghandi was speaking of.
Dacey is in the middle of a 345-mile run from Camp LeJeune, N.C. to Bethesda, Md. in order to raise awareness and support for the Wounded Warrior Project.
“It’s my way of giving back to fellow service members who have been wounded,” explains Dacey.
The idea for this run started when Dacey was on duty in Afghanistan. The original plan was for Dacey to run across the nation, but after realizing the estimated time it would take, and the amount of time off he could take from the Marines, he decided to do a smaller run.
It was in Afghanistan that Dacey saw first hand what he would be running for.
“Some of the stories just blow your mind,” Dacey said, talking about different men he had met, including one who had a bullet sever his jugular vein, but luckily survived. It is these stories that keep Dacey driven to continue running.
“(When running), I think about where I’m at on the run and what I’m doing,” Dacey said.

 

 

Gunnery sergeant Dacey, pictured above, as he passes some landmarks on his 345 mile journey.

Dacey began training for the run while in Afghanistan. He started training by running 5-6 miles a day while pulling a tire along with him. When his unit returned home, Dacey went from a 185-pound tire up to a 225-pound one.
“My own belief is that you can train your body to do anything,” remarked Dacey, who runs about 17-20 miles every day during the run.
Even before the run began, many of Dacey’s friends doubted him. “Most people didn’t think it was possible,” explained Dacey. “Most people said to me, ‘You know your body isn’t going to be able to handle the abuse every day.’”
It was this doubt that continued to drive Dacey.
“Sometimes when people tell you that you can’t do something, you want to do it even more,” Dacey believes.
Even with all the motivation of thousands of wounded warriors behind him, running 17 to 20 miles per day has to get slightly monotonous. To combat the boredom that could make Dacey focus on the pain of the run instead of its main objective, he looks to older technology to help him.
“I don’t use an iPod, I use a cassette deck,” Dacey said. “It’s got the music I listened to when I grew up. I also brought pre-recorded books, a lot of Zig Ziglar and documentaries on Abraham Lincoln – anything to keep my mind off the people driving. They can be dangerous.”
With his own safety in mind, Dacey brought his mother, Debbie Melamed, with him for the long journey. While Dacey runs, Melamed drives a car a couple of miles ahead, scouting the road and letting Dacey know, via personal radio, what may lie ahead.
“I’ll wait maybe until he is on the run depending on the road to see that he’s going ok,” explained Melamed. “I’m like a mile or two ahead of him. We have radios if there is something he should come up to.”
While the terrain and sheer punishment on the body is enough of a challenge for Dacey, there has been one unexpected challenge.
“We’ve had a couple instances with dogs,” Melamed said. “It’s a learning experience.”
Wounded Warrior Project began when several veterans and friends created a program to provide items to wounded veterans as they recover from injuries incurred in the war. Thousands of wounded warriors are helped by the funds that the program raises each year. These programs not only help them recover physically, but mentally as well.
Dacey hopes to gain support for the cause by raising money for the project. As someone makes a donation, there is a count that shows how much money he has been able to make. As of November 6, Dacey has raised over $16,000 for the cause.
As Dacey continues his run, his mother, who has been able to watch the process first hand, continues to be moved by his actions.
“It’s hard for me to fathom the strength,” explained Melamed. “It’s been amazing to watch the whole process. I’ve had a front row seat and that’s been an amazing gift.”
Dacey will finish his run on Veterans Day in Bethesda, Md. To donate to the Wounded Warrior Project, go to wwpproudsupporter.kintera.org/gunnydacey.

New look for Broad St. in the making

 

Photos by James Ribaudo/ A planning consultant outlines the route of the proposed Broad St. streetscape project.

 

Visitors to a township open house check out renderings of the plan.

 

By Ron Leir

Coming soon to a shopping district on Broad St. in Bloomfield … it’s the North Center Streetscape project.
The township plans to spruce up part of its downtown retail corridor, stretching nearly three blocks, from the intersection of Pitt and Jones Sts. to Hoover Ave., encompassing a municipal parking lot on Pitt St. and about 40 shops.
Township Administrator Yoshi Manale said this section was picked for the improvements because, “it’s an area that’s grown organically, with store owners putting money into new facades and the owners felt a further investment by the township could help make it an even better place for residents and visitors to shop and eat.”
Manale said the township plans to spend $250,000 in local capital funds, supplemented by up to $100,000 in a discretionary grant from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to pay for design and engineering costs.
On Oct. 19 township residents were invited to an open house at the Bloomfield Public Library on Broad St. to get a preview of coming attractions from the planning consultants, Arterial Streets of Montclair.
Arterial has previously designed streetscape improvements along Broad St. in Newark, including the Broad St. Station Plaza and Penn Station exterior circulation improvements, Somerset County Regional Center Greenway, and Connecticut Convention Center Plaza & Streetscape.
Arterial Streets associate James Ribaudo explains some facets of the planned improvements, such as “corner and mid-block bump-outs,” curbside indentations that provide room for things like planters, benches and bicycle racks.
Asked about the proposed bike stands, Ribaudo says that members of the consulting team assigned to the streetscape project spotted “more than 50” bicyclists riding up and down that stretch of Broad St., some with baskets attached, going to and from the various shops.
And so, given the presence of 2-wheel traffic flow, another proposal is for “sharrows,” shared-lane markers designating a separate curbside lane for bicycles and an outer lane reserved for 4-wheel vehicles.
Installation of these lane markings, however, would require prior approval from Essex County since Broad St. is a county roadway, Ribaudo notes.
Then there’s the concept of “parklets”— mini-parks created by replacing several parallel parking spaces with space reserved for a patio, café tables and chairs, planters, trees, benches, sometimes decorated with artwork and/or sculptures.
San Francisco has made extensive use of this concept, with success, according to Ribaudo.
Ribaudo says these parklets would be designed as “temporary” setups keyed to seasonal use.
Because they’d likely be positioned in front of retail establishments, “we’d have to work out who pays for them,” Ribaudo says.
There has been some concern voiced by community members about the loss of parking spaces from implementation of the parklets and that would be taken under advisement, Manale said.
Folks who came to the open house were asked for their feedback on the project and one – Broad St. resident Geoff Gove – had a suggestion that the planners incorporate free short-term parking spaces at the U.S. Postal Annex just north of Baldwin St.
Resident Elizabeth Walsh said she was “excited” about the streetscape plan because “there’s a lot of potential not only to improve the quality of life for people living here but also to show people visiting that Bloomfield isn’t what they think it is.”
Walsh’s husband, Brian Nolan, agreed, adding that, “We plan to live here a long time and these improvements should make it even more likeable.”
The township hopes to begin work in spring 2012 and complete the job in several months and, if it’s deemed a benefit to the neighborhood, Bloomfield would likely look to expand the program, Manale said.
Meanwhile, the public has been treated to a mostly completed improvement geared to younger residents by the Bloomfield Board of Education with the Foley Field project: demolition of old bleachers; removal and remediation of contaminated soil; and installation of a new 8-lane, artificial turf track and field complex that allows the school district to host track and field events for the first time in a quarter century.
Bloomfield voters cleared the way for the project by approving a referendum authorizing the spending of $2,914,160 for the improvements this past April. Work began in June and is now done, except for a new “punch list,” items such as repainting lines on the track and evening out field gates, according to Michael Derderian, the district’s school business administrator.

Photo by Ron Leir/ A view of the new, improved Foley Field athletic complex.

Biggest of the change orders, approved by the school board on Oct. 4, was $69,523 for a new perimeter walkway. Derderian said that when the contractor pulled out old fencing bordering the walkway, workers had to extract footings for that fencing embedded under the walkway concrete and that, in turn, ripped up the concrete.
Other unanticipated work, Derderian said, included digging out deep footings for the old bleachers; drilling into bedrock to install sports lighting poles; installing an extra telephone pole on the berm between Foley and Memorial Fields to protect a future concession stand from power lines; installing a new steel scoreboard and supplying power to it; replacing topsoil with stone for the temporary bleachers site; restaking the north parking lot; installing additional field gates to ensure quicker egress; additional paving over heavy mud at the field’s south end to expand service road; and placing additional stone at the south end to mitigate heavy mud and/or soft soil conditions.
Still, despite nearly $188,000 in contract change orders approved, the project has come in close to the original budget projection, Derderian said.
The final portion of the project will be installation of new bleachers, concession stand and bathrooms, which, according to Derderian, will be done by the township with the aid of $750,000 in state Green Acres funding. The township will be responsible for maintaining those facilities under a newly signed 25-year lease agreement with the district, Derderian said.

‘The play’s the thing,’ in West Hudson

 

Photo by Ron Leir/ Gerald Ficeto (l.) and Mark Morchel anticipate the upcoming curtain-raiser for West Hudson Arts & Theater Company at the Arlington Players Club.

 

By Ron Leir

Citizens of West Hudson: Give me your ears! List’ and you shall hear of great plans to revive the state of public revels in the Town of Kearny.
And so, look to the West Hudson Arts & Theater Company (W.H.A.T., for short) for inspiration.
This group of volunteers is taking the lead in a public-spirited effort to return the performing – and allied – arts to a prominent place in the region.
Gerald Ficeto, a member of the W.H.A.T. founding committee who is a veteran area music educator (he’s directed Kearny High School spring musicals for the past decade) and professional percussionist with 45 years’ experience in the performing arts, says he and his colleagues “had a mutual goal of bringing live theater back to our towns (East Newark, Harrison and Kearny, in particular).”
Kearny has enjoyed a tradition of adult theater – dating from the old Half Penny Playhouse on Midland Ave. and the Arlington Players Club on Washington Place – and, in more recent years, the annual Kearny High School shows and Teen Drama summer theater program for younger participants.
The Half Penny has helped launch several noted thespians on their careers: Ken Jennings, who originated the role of Tobias in the Broadway production of Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd,” and Nathan Lane, featured in “The Producers” and “The Addams Family,” among other Broadway shows; are examples.
Arlington Players Club was converted to a private tennis club and Half Penny Playhouse expired around the mid-1980s.
W.H.A.T. has filed incorporation papers for nonprofit status with the state Treasury Department’s Division of Taxation and is awaiting certification from the IRS as a 501(C) (3) tax-exempt organization, according to committee member and attorney Mark Morchel.
Morchel, who performed at the Half Penny, will be directing the group’s inaugural venture, “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Arlington Players Club, 12 Washington Place, Kearny.
The production is based on Frank Capra’s beloved holiday movie classic, with script adapted by Liz Zazz and original music by Jason Neri.
“The show will be presented as a 1940s-style live (simulated) radio broadcast in front of the audience, complete with live sound effects, microphones and a dozen actors playing a variety of different roles,” Morchel said.
There will be only one performance and tickets are very limited.
“This is quite a special event and we are hoping it turns into an annual tradition for W.H.A.T.,” Morchel said.
W.H.A.T. is currently in the process of planning its 2012 season.
The group is hoping to incorporate both adult and teen theatrical components, and eventually one for children, as well, possibly including a theater camp and/or theater workshops for kids. Additionally, the group plans to display works by West Hudson-based visual artists wherever it has its future performances. Poetry readings and musical recitals are also being contemplated.
Other W.H.A.T. founding committee members are: Margaret Berko, Kearny school nurse; Leo daSilva, Harrison High School music teacher and musical director; Linda Kraus D’Isa, public relations and marketing specialist; Joseph Ferriero, Teen Drama co-director; attorney Cecilia Lindenfelser, W.H.A.T. treasurer; Michele Sarnoski, Teen Drama co-director; Mary Pat Shields, Harrison High School fine arts teacher, and Kearny Councilwoman Carol Jean Doyle.
Also helping as volunteers are Maureen Morchel, as registered agent, and attorney Thomas McKeon.
Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos called the group “an incredibly talented” array and said that the town would assist in helping find a permanent home. Reintroducing Community Theater in Kearny will be a welcome plus, the mayor said.
Doors open for “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at 7 p.m. for a pre-theater Wine and Sweets reception. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. To purchase tickets or to make a donation to the group, call (201) 467-8624 or email info@whatco.org.
“In the fast paced world of today, there really is no better time than now to lend a hand and help the rapidly shrinking and under-funded world of the arts – it’s an investment in the community,” Ficeto said.

 

W.H.A.T. Factsheet Mission Statement:

To be a cultural resource that will enrich and invigorate the West Hudson community as a whole, while embracing, educating and entertaining people of all ages, cultures and abilities.
To stimulate, celebrate and enhance the understanding of theater, while fostering and inspiring growth and creativity in our members through a range of quality theatrical productions.
To act as a resource for the residents and businesses of the greater West Hudson area, and to enrich the cultural depth, education and vitality of the community at large.
Goals:
To enliven and enhance the cultural life of the community and its visitors.
To contribute to the economic vitality of the East Newark, Harrison and Kearny downtown regions.
To secure a local facility/building to better facilitate W.H.A.T.’s performance and educational goals, and to provide fiscal and housing security for the future.
To develop an educational program to help potential performers and crew to increase self-confidence; to enrich their understanding and appreciation of the arts, and to prepare them for future opportunities at W.H.A.T. and elsewhere.
Vision:
W.H.A.T. hopes to emerge as a significant arts facility known best for quality productions that seek to enhance the community as a whole, and foster a caring approach to theater and theatrical education within the West Hudson community.

In the dark

publisher@theobserver.com

 

By Lisa Pezzolla

Last week brought us back in time as we brought out battery-operated radios (if you own one), candles, flashlights, and used wood and gas fireplaces to keep warm. It gave families time to talk face-to-face without the distractions of the television, cell phones and all the technology that we use on a daily basis. The storm brought kids out of the bedroom, game boards took the place of computer games, and the postal service became our e-mail.  What a culture shock? Each day we use our phones, computers and televisions in order to get news, forgetting the simple things in life like a book or a newspaper. Once again, technology shows us that without it, daily life comes to a stop. We need to remember the basics. One thing for sure we were all able to do was go out and pick up a newspaper to catch up with what was going on around town or read up on current news. It shows the strength of the newspaper. Even with our advances in technology, we can still reach you the old fashioned way!

Don’t discount Occupy Wall Street protests

The Occupy Wall Street (O.W.S) protests have affected individuals in wildly different ways.  If we take the nation’s pulse and describe the prevailing mindsets in their simplest terms, it becomes apparent that right-leaning types tend to question the movement, while those to the left generally welcome its emergence. But that’s the problem with oversimplification and blindly aligning with any single ideology. Such lazy thinking stifles compromise, allows for little nuance, and rarely gets at the truth.
If the message of the O.W.S. activists sounds jumbled and lacking in focus, the impetus behind the action seems valid. Not many will argue that the quality of life in these United States has decreased sharply over the past few decades. Lower salaries, dwindling benefits and vanishing overtime have now become the sad norm for the vast majority of working Americans. Unemployment now flirts with or tops the dreaded 10% figure nationwide, and this excludes the underemployed and those defeated souls who have given up the work search entirely. A demoralizing number of home foreclosures have sent many good, honest people back to square one, and the average college loan weighs in as heavily as a home mortgage – without the benefit of said dwelling when the balance is finally paid off.
To many, the situation seems bizarrely incongruent with the America that they once knew, or at least thought that they knew. Could this really be happening here in the richest of all nations, where the streets were once said to be paved with gold? The disparity seems all the more curious when it’s learned that only a few hundred individuals hold nearly half of the nation’s accumulated wealth. It’s not too much of a stretch for some to imagine such fat-cats – “one-per centers” in protester-speak – peering down at the struggling masses from their lofty mansions and arrogantly declaring, “Let them eat cake.”
In a country that has long stood for fairness, it’s easy to see why people have grown suspicious. Republicans and Democrats alike took part in the great bank bailout, yet hordes of middle-class citizens – the hard-working, self-sacrificing “cogs” that drive our nation’s economy in the first place – were allowed to go belly-up when they couldn’t make their mortgage payments. Sound a bit lopsided? It certainly does to the protesters. In fact, this is one of their favorite battle cries.
Those who lived during the Vietnam era may feel a sense of déjà vu these days. Back then, scruffy hippies in tie-died shirts decried the ongoing war in Southeast Asia on a number of grounds. To say that their brazen movement was questioned by the establishment would be like saying that Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman – a member of the infamous “Chicago Seven” – was a rebel. In fact, many were labeled cowards, bums, or traitors for questioning America’s role in the war. Now, nearly four decades  later, we realize that our nation was indeed involved in a politically questionable and highly unwinnable effort, just as the protesters had asserted. What if, this time around, the protesters have it right again?
Recently I overheard a group of middle-aged men discussing the O.W.S. protests. One man denounced the activists as nothing more than “spoiled brats.” Another said that the protesters “should get off their lazy butts and find a job.” Then, a more reasonable man spoke up.  “Come on guys, let’s be honest about this,” he said to his friends. “This thing [the movement] goes well beyond some punk college kids looking for attention. Life in America has eroded for most people since we went looking for our first jobs – you guys know that! If it keeps going like this, I doubt that a middle-class will exist much longer.”
To a rag-tag, disenchanted group that sleep in tents and refer to themselves as the “99%,” more valid words have never been spoken.

— Jeff Bahr

WE’VE GOT MAIL

The Veteran

Let us never forget their sacrifices.
It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.
It is the veteran, who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag.
Oh Lord, grant eternal rest to them and let the perpetual light shine upon them.

(Submitted on behalf of the North Arlington Elks)
Pete Blair,
North Arlington

Nutley Blotter: Under the Influence, Under Arrest

October 28
10.58 a.m. – Police stopped a vehicle on River Rd. that was attempting to get onto Route 21 South The officer observed the vehicle driving haphazardly and conducted a traffic stop. The officer found that 32-year-old Jennifer Tuscano of Nutley was unable to perform field sobriety tests and was subsequently arrested. Tuscano was found to be in possession of prescription medication without a valid prescription and was charged for possession of CDS. She was transported to an area hospital for a blood sample.
12:39 p.m.– A Nutley resident who had reported to the police that he had lost his ATM card later discovered that over $4,000 was missing from the account. Police are investigating.
1:45 – p.m. A Franklin Ave. resident reported that he paid a service man $6,500 for a boiler installation on October 17th, and that work has yet to commence. The resident asked for his money back, but was told the serviceman no longer had it and that the parts were on order. The resident was advised how to proceed with charges.

October 29
12:35 a.m. – Two Nutley juveniles being questioned reported that they were involved in a motor vehicle accident along Rt. 21 in Passaic. The two youths told Police that another motorist brandishing a handgun caused them to crash and that they fled in fear of the motorist. The incident was turned over to the Passaic County Prosecutors Office for further investigation. It’s unknown if it relates to the shooting involving the Nutley Police officer.
1:32 a.m. – Police were dispatched to a Cleveland Ave. residence after a woman called to report that her two daughters hadn’t returned home from school that day. After a short police investigation, officers were told that the 14 and 16-year-old returned home unharmed.
4:16 a.m. – Police questioned three young men who were spotted amongst the power lines between Milton Ave. and Wilson St. All parties checked out and were released on scene.
10:35 a.m. – A Franklin Ave. tenant entered into a shoving match with his landlord. Police called to the scene were able to diffuse the situation and advised each party how to proceed with the signing of complaints.
12:24 p.m.– A Hopper Ave. resident allegedly tapped into another tenant’s electric meter. Police arrested 56-year-old Thomas Stanley and charged him with theft of service.  Stanley carried a $5,000 outstanding Newark warrant and a $500 warrant from East Orange. He was subsequently turned over to Newark Police.

October 30
6:47 a.m. – A Franklin Ave. b usiness that was using a generator to support itself told police that the unit had been stolen. Police are investigating.
8:00 a.m. – Police were able to track down a fleeing motorist that allegedly struck several items, including a planter, street sign and garbage can at the intersection of Franklin Ave. and Harrison St. The driver was issued a summons for failure to report an accident.
10:52 a.m. – Police were called to an E. Centre St. residence in response to a burglary. Detectives are investigating.
11:36 a.m. – Police responded to a Harrison St. residence as a follow-up to a past burglary. The investigation continues.

October 31
9:35 a.m. – A Columbia Ave. resident reported that his 2008 Toyota had been damaged over the evening hours. Police are investigating.
10:58 a.m. – A Nutley Ave. resident reported the theft of a $500 ladder.
11:14 a.m. – Police responded to a Passaic Ave. location after a resident dropped an air conditioner out of the window onto a parked motor vehicle.  No injuries were reported.
11:57 a.m. – Nutley officers stopped a speeding motorist on Rt. 21. She was found to have a suspended driver’s license and was operating an unregistered vehicle. The car was impounded and she was issued several summonses.
1:21 p.m. – A traffic stop for a speeding motorist resulted in the vehicle being impounded for lack of registration, and the driver, 31-year-old Kareem Jefferson of Harrison, was taken into custody for an outstanding $500 warrant out of Ridgefield Park. He was later released with summonses after posting bail.

November 2
12:28 a.m. – Police were called to a King St. residence in response to a missing 15-year-old juvenile. She was finally located at a Belleville location with a friend and was removed from the missing person database on November 3 at 6 p.m.

Message for the Soul

 

Shweta Panjabi’s credits are as numerous as they are varied. In addition to her skills as a renowned Tarot Card reader, Panjabi has also prepared daily horoscopes for Mid-Day, DNA, and Yuva newspapers, and Seventeen India magazine. Panjabi has also functioned as a television host for Walt Disney Television, India. Ms. Panjabi’s offerings will include horoscope and dream interpretation, principles of numerology and color therapy, in short just about anything and everything that currently carries an “alternative” tag. Visit Shweta at her website solutionsbyshweta.com for more information or email her at magictaara@ yahoo.com

The Observer is proud to welcome Swetta Panjabi as our newest columnist. Hailing from India, Ms. Panjabi is well versed in a host of alternative living/healing philosophies and concepts. With this column, she hopes to share these lesser known (by American standards) but promising principles with Observer readers.
It’s our pleasure to welcome her aboard!

Here is her first column:
Every day gives us a choice to either live it in a fulfilling way or end it feeling all so distressed and lonely. If we choose to smile and brave the storm we are only giving ourselves ‘Hope’ that we can survive through the day and live for a better day tomorrow.
Things always have a way of working themselves out. We may not realize it while we are amidst the pain but as all things in the universe, we know that it will pass! A new chapter shall begin.
In times of recession and increasing unemployment, keeping a positive frame of mind may be difficult indeed, but by focusing on making every day count and living it right today, the cosmic universe will reward us with its bounty tomorrow.
I truly believe in having the positive attitude. It may not miraculously change things in a minute, but it surely helps you focus what needs to be done right. As my great-grandfather used to say, “Believe! And it will happen!”
And for me personally, it did! It’s been a long journey coming from India to a foreign land—America—and then to make this country my own. But amidst the hurdles and the hardships one faces of adapting to any new country, I knew that this phase would pass too. There will come a time when everything will fall in its place once again. I believed in it… And it happened. So I recommend you try it just once. In doing so, you are giving yourself another chance at life, at living your life just right!

Shweta Punjabi is a motivational speaker who believes in alternative healing. You can visit her website www.solutionsbyshweta.com for more information.

Around Town

Belleville
It’s time for the second annual Belleville Rotary Club Chocolate Turkey Hunt on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 9:30 a.m. at the Clermont Field, Belleville School #8, 183 Union Ave.  Join Rotary for this free event.  It is just like an Easter egg hunt, but you will be looking for as many chocolate turkeys as you can find.  There will be music, prizes and more as the Rotary Club of Belleville celebrates its 90th anniversary.
Free informational seminars on bariatric (weight-loss) surgery are offered the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Clara Maass Medical Center Founders Room (located off the main lobby), 1 Clara Maass Drive, Belleville. The next session is scheduled for Nov. 16. Dr. Naveen Ballem, medical director of the Weight Loss Institute of New Jersey, will discuss what to expect before and after surgery.  At 7 p.m., following the seminar, there is a support group for post-bariatric patients. For more info or to register, call Kathrine Berdebes at 973-289-7127 or e-mail kberdebes@barnabashealth.org.

Bloomfield
The Bloomfield Public Library , 90 Broad St.,  is pleased to present Financial Aid and Admission Workshop/Express College Tune-Up Workshop on Nov. 16 from  5 to 6:30 p.m. The Urban League of Essex County will provide current high school students with tips and advice for the admission process with the assistance of college admission representatives.
For more information on this event or upcoming programs please call (973) 566-6200, ext. 502.
The Bloomfield Public Library will host a seminar on personal finance on Tuesday Nov. 15, at 3 p.m.  The seminar will be presented by Nutley’s Citibank. For more information on this event or upcoming programs please call (973) 566-6200, ext. 502.
On Saturday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m., the library will present a concert featuring award-winning saxophonist Shenole Latimer. The program is entitled “Our Music, Our Culture,” a journey through jazz history from the early 1900’s to today, exploring the lives and struggles of many jazz artists including Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane.  Visit the African American roots of jazz.  Learn why jazz has been called, “America’s Classical Music.”
The Bloomfield Public Library will celebrate all superheroes on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m.  After sharing a superhero story, Superheros ages 4 and up will design their own super logo, make and race their superhero figures, then enjoy face painting and refreshments. Come in costume! Remember that pillowcases and old sheets make great capes! Please register at the children’s desk or by phone at 973-566-6200, ext. 507.
Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center, 240 Belleville Ave., Bloomfield, will host “Murder under the Mistletoe” on Friday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. Toy company owner Harry Humbug has been murdered and it will be up to the audience to help the detective figure it out as they form mini CSI teams at each table and try to win clues before time runs out. Tickets are $64.95 per person and includes dinner, show, tax and gratuity. A cash bar will be available. Call 973-429-0960 for reservations or more information.
Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center is hosting “Tea with Mrs. Claus” on Saturday, Dec. 3. Participants will enjoy a story, tea and finger sandwiches, cookies, and more with Mrs. Claus. There will be two seatings: at noon and at 3 p.m. The event will include arts and crafts, while each child will receive a framed picture with Mrs. Claus. The event is recommended for children ages 2 to 8. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Seating is limited. Tickets are $12 for adults and $15 for children. Payment must be received within five days of reservation. For more information or to make reservations, call Oakeside at 973-429-0960.
A Veterans Day celebration will be held on Friday, Nov. 11, in Bloomfield at the Township Hall at 10 a.m. The group assembled will march to the Veterans Monument at Broad and Liberty Sts. for the ceremony.

East Newark
The East Newark Senior Club will meet on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Senior Center, 37 President St., East Newark, at 1 p.m. The following topics will be discussed: identity theft prevention, medical identity theft and senior fraud. All seniors are invited to attend.

Harrison
Harrison Cancer League is holding a Thanksgiving pie sale fundraiser with fresh-baked 10-inch-deep dish pies by Harvest House Brick Oven Bakery. Choice of apple, cherry, blueberry, lemon meringue, three-berry, peach, key lime, pumpkin and coconut custard. (All fruit pies are available with crumb topping). Pies are $12 each. All pie orders and payments must be received by Wednesday, Nov. 16. Mail orders must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 14. Checks should be mailed to: Harrison Cancer League, PO Box 741, Harrison, N.J. 07029. For more information, call Maria Bradley at (973) 485-5143 or (862) 763-0047. Pies will be available for pick-up on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at the Harrison Senior Citizens Center, 221 Harrison Ave., Harrison, from 2 to 5:30 p.m.
Harrison Cancer League is sponsoring a toy drive for The Valerie Fund, for young people (infants to age 21) who have been diagnosed with cancer and are undergoing treatment. Donations of unwrapped new gifts and gift cards can be dropped off at the following locations, Monday through Friday, now through Nov. 30: Harrison Community Center, 401 Warren St., 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Harrison Board of Health, 318 Harrison Ave. Annex, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Harrison Senior Center, 221 Harrison Ave., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Harrison Veterans Association will hold its Veterans Day tribute on Friday, Nov. 11, beginning at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Plaza on Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. South. The program will include Mayor Raymond McDonough and Town Council members, VFW Post 340, American Legion Post 282, Harrison/East Newark Elks Lodge and members of the community.

Kearny
Pathways to Independence is sponsoring a flea market and collectible show on  Sunday, Nov. 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., outdoors, at Frank V. Marina, 205 Passaic Ave., Kearny (next to Applebee’s and Burger King). Admission is free.
The Kearny Public Library Children’s Room announces free events for children in November:
At the main library, 318 Kearny Ave., Play/Story Times for preschool age children will continue on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to noon, and also on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Branch library, 759 Kearny Ave., will have Play/Story Times for preschool age children on Thursdays from 10:15 to 11 a.m.
Children are invited to hear a Thanksgiving story and design a Thanksgiving art project to take home for the holiday. The library will provide the materials. This program will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, in the lower level of the main library.
On Thursday, Nov. 17, at 5 p.m. the library will host a special Thanksgiving placemat art project for children ages 4 and up at the branch library, 759 Kearny Ave.  The program will be free of charge and supplies will be provided by the library.  However, space is limited.  Please call the main library children’s room at (201) 998-2666 to reserve your spot. Check the library’s website www.kearnylibrary.org for more program information.
A musical puppet show will be held from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the main library. Uncle John of Uncle John’s Puppets will perform with his puppet friends, Hershey the Chocolate Lab, Ollie the Owl and characters from Sesame Street. Enjoy music and comedy to warm the heart on a chilly day. Registration is not needed.
For more information, visit www.kearnylibrary.org or call 201-998-2666.
The Rotary Club of Kearny will have Richard Dwyer of PSE&G at its meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 12:15 p.m. to speak about PSE&G’s investments in the replacement and upgrade of electric transmission systems. Come join us to find out more about the grid that powers your businesses and homes and how PSE&G wants to make it better for the future. Kearny Rotary meets at La Fiamma Italian Restaurant Bar and Grill at 440 Harrison Ave., Harrison (Corner of 5th Street). Call President José Fernandez at 201-991-1040 to let him know you are coming or for additional information about Kearny Rotary.
Trinity Episcopal Church, 575 Kearny Ave., Kearny will hold a flea market on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Tables are still available at a cost of $15 each or two for $25.  For more information, call the church office at 201-991-5894.
Kearny UNICO will meet on Monday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m.  Anyone interested in attending the meeting and/or learning more about Kearny UNICO should contact Chapter President Lou Pandolfi at 201-368-2409.  New members are welcome.

Lyndhurst
The Polish American Club, 730 New Jersey Ave., Lyndhurst, will hold a beer pong tournament on Friday, Nov. 25. All players must be signed in by 9:15 p.m.  The price is $20 per person to play. The first 16 teams will be guaranteed a spot to play. Call Amy at 201-927-0833.
The Polish American Club of Lyndhurst, 730 New Jersey Ave., will host Lunch with Santa on Dec. 11 from 1 to 4 p.m. Those attending are requested to bring a wrapped gift with your child’s name on it. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children. For tickets, call Amy at 201-927-0833 or call the club at 201-438-9723.
The Lyndhurst Health Department will offer a blood screening on Saturday, Dec. 3, beginning at 8 a.m.  This program is open to all Lyndhurst residents age 18 and over.  There is a $20 fee, payable by cash or check, to cover lab costs.  Please call 201-804-2500 to make an appointment.
Join Clara Maass Medical Center (CMMC) nutritional and medical experts for a heart healthy holiday cooking demonstration on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. at the Lyndhurst Health Department, 253 Stuyvesant Ave. Bring your appetites to sample the chef’s heart healthy creations and questions for a heart health discussion with a panel of CMMC medical experts. There is no cost to attend this event. Registration is suggested. Please visit www.barnabashealthcalendar.org or call 1-888-724-7123, prompt 4, to register.
The Meadowlands Environment Center, DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst will host “Astrobiology: The Search For Life” on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m.  This lecture will introduce audience members to some amazing creatures that would make good spacefaring candidates and will delve into some of the planetary objects that may have the right stuff to support life. Admission is $5 per person and $4 for NJMC members. For more information, call 201-460-8300 or visit www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec.
“Planting by the Stars: Bio-dynamic Gardening And Plants of the Zodiac” will be held at the Meadowlands Environment Center, DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m.  Food historian Judith Krall Russo will lead the discussion. Admission is $5 per person and $4 for NJMC members. For more information, call 201-460-8300 or visit www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec.
The Third-Tuesday-of-the Month nature walk, with the NJ Meadowlands Center and the Bergen County Audubon Society, is set for Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 10 a.m., at Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus. The group will meet at the trail’s entrance or at the visitor’s parking lot at DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst at 9:30 a.m. Check meadowblog.net for last-minute updates and weather advisories. You will have to sign a standard liability release for 2011 if you haven’t already. To R.S.V.P., contact Don Torino of the BCAS at greatauk4@aol.com or 201-230-4983.
Meadowlands Environment Center, DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst, will host Art of the Heavens with Dr. Victoria Madden on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m.  Learn how early humans created art from inspiration from the cosmos.  Admission is $5 per person and $4 for MEC members. For more information, call 201-460-8300 or visit www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec.

North Arlington
Join Clara Maass Medical Center (CMMC) medical experts for a diabetes education series to be held at North Arlington Health Department, 10 Beaver Ave.  You may register for one or both of the classes, scheduled for Thursdays, Nov. 10 (Control Your Blood Sugar) and 17 (Diabetes Medication Management) at 10 a.m. Light breakfast will be served at each event. There is no cost to attend these events. Registration is suggested. Please visit www.barnabashealthcalendar.org or call 1-888-724-7123, prompt 4, to register.
North Arlington High School Varsity cheerleaders are hosting an event to celebrate cheering on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. at North Arlington High School. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Participating along with the cheerleaders will be the North Arlington Junior Vikings. All of the teams will be performing their routines. Members of the community are invited.
Queen of Peace CYO is sponsoring its second annual alumni basketball game to benefit the Timothy Nolan CYO Scholarship Fund on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. in the Sonny Connors Gymnasium at Queen of Peace High School.  Doors open at 6 p.m.   All CYO basketball alumni of the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s are welcome to participate in the basketball game.  The $30 admission covers entry to participate in game, T-shirt and post-game party.  This will be a co-ed game and any monetary donation would be greatly appreciated.   For registration information, contact the Rev. Scott Attanasio at Queen of Peace Church at 201-997-0700 or Ed Foster at 201-991-3280. Visit www.qpgs.org/cyo for additional details.

Nutley
A program on navigating through Nutley Public Library’s BCCLS website will be held at the library on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. Do you want to improve your library catalog search or renew your borrowed items from home? Get answers to these and other questions as we help you navigate through the BCCLS catalog and site. Registration is not required.

Kearny girls capture third straight Hudson County tourney title

 

Photo by Jim Hague/ Kearny’s Nicole Kelly (23) moves her way up the field against West Orange’s Barbara Balanos (12) during Kearny’s 2-1 win in the North 1, Group IV state playoffs last Friday. Kearny’s girls also won the Hudson County Tournament, their third straight, over the weekend.

 

By Jim Hague

There’s nothing like the championship season in high school soccer. The intensity builds with every play. The fans get to a fever pitch and the players can actually
taste the tension. It creates an atmosphere not found in any other local sport.

And it was definitely evident over the weekend, especially with the NJSIAA state and Hudson County Tournaments taking center stage.

On Friday and Sunday, both Harrison High School’s field and Kearny’s Harvey Field were locations of such passion and emotion, as both fields were the setting for both the state and county tournaments.

On Friday, it was a tripleheader of success for the local teams, as the Kearny girls started the day at Harvey Field with a very physically demanding North Jersey Section
1, Group IV quarterfinal contest against West Orange, a game the Kardinals won, 2-1, thanks to a highlight-film variety goal from Stefanie Gomes with about five minutes to play. Brianne Nieto also scored for Kearny.

Almost at the same time, the Harrison boys were defeating a very stubborn North Arlington squad, 2-0, in their first round North Jersey Section 2, Group I state playoff game at Harrison High. Joao Conceicao and Michael Barbosa scored for the Blue Tide.

Then, it was time to hop back to Harvey, where the Kearny boys were defeating Montclair, 2-0, to advance in the North Jersey Section I, Group IV bracket. Junior Batista and Abdellah Bouzidi each scored a goal in the win.

However, on Sunday, the success rate was not the same, as both the Harrison and Kearny boys’ teams, perhaps anticipating a rematch in the title game, both lost shockingly in the Hudson County tourney semifinals.

Photo by Jim Hague/ Harrison’s Leandro Gonzalez (18, right), tries to make a move on North Arlington’s Kevin Geofredo (20, left) during the Harrison 2-0 win over the Vikings in the North 2, Group I state playoffs last Friday.

 

The Kearny boys lost to upstart Union City, 1-0, in their semifinal, knocking the top-seeded and defending champion Kardinals out of the tourney. Harrison, the third seed, lost to St. Peter’s Prep, 1-0, in the other semifinal match.

Harrison coach Mike Rusek was not sure whether both teams were looking ahead to a
possible rematch of the two neighboring rivals.

“It’s always on your mind, but we played a very good team in St. Peter’s,” Rusek
said. “We gave it everything we have. It was a really good game. We had some scoring
chances. I can’t say we didn’t play well.”

However, the Kearny girls did manage to play well on Sunday, defeating St. Dominic
Academy of Jersey City, 3-0, to capture their third straight Hudson County Tournament championship.

Mercedes Lois, Ashleigh Amadeo and Melisssa Pineda all scored goals for the Kardinals, who won for the 20th time this season against just three losses.

Kearny girls’ head coach Vin Almeida was a little concerned about how his team
would do, especially after seeing the boys get stunned by Union City.

“It was very shocking,” Almeida said. “I was worried about having a little hangover after the big win against West Orange. It was very dangerous, facing St. Dominic, a team that we beat only 2-1 the first time we played them. So we were concerned about the possibility of being flat. It was a little scary. There (the boys’ team loss) was proof that anything could happen.”

But the Kardinals took care of business and won the county trophy for a third straight year.

“I give credit to the girls for staying focused and having the discipline needed to stay
successful,” Almeida said. “I was concerned about them coming back and not being
focused, but they picked it up from the start.”

Almeida said that winning a third straight county crown is something to behold, simply because you can never predict what might happen during the championship season.

“If you let someone stay in the game, after a while, it gets scary,” Almeida said. “But our girls wouldn’t let that happen.”

Almeida credits the play of his seniors who carried the team down the stretch.

“Ashleigh Amadeo has done a great job,” Almeida said. “Mercedes Lois has been exceptional. Stefanie’s goal against West Orange was just incredible. Sometimes, she
just wows you with the things she does. At any point of the game, she can strike a dagger into the opponent. It really looked like an impossible angle, but she nailed it. It was incredible.”

Almeida also credited the play of Haley Durning, who has been unflappable in net.
Durning, who started the season as a forward, managed to convince Almeida to become a goalie.

“It’s amazing in today’s day and age to find someone so unselfish to want to stand up and say she could be the goalie,” Almeida said. “She saw that we had a need and she was the one who suggested it. She’s been fantastic and keeps getting better and better each day.”

All three teams live on in the state tournament. The Kearny girls were slated to face Livingston Monday afternoon, which meant that they would have played three games in four days.

“We were hoping to face Livingston on Tuesday, but that didn’t work out,” Almeida said. “Sometimes, things in life just don’t work out. We gave them the day off on Saturday to let them try to recuperate, because they do need rest. We have to go with the flow, even when times are tough.”

The Kearny boys were set to face West Orange in the North 1, Group IV semifinals on
Tuesday. The same for Harrison, facing Whippany Park in the North 2, Group I semis.

“We’re still right on pace to contend for a state championship,” Rusek said. “It’s what
we always hope to do. If we play with the same intensity we had against St. Peter’s, we should be alright.”

Intensity. Championship season soccer. Those two terms are almost synonymous, certainly in these parts. No better proof than last Friday, with three championship-style do-or-die playoff games were played about a quarter-mile apart in two soccer-rabid locations.

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