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Easing the way over

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent LYNDHURST – State officials are still pondering what to do about the century-old DeJessa Bridge which links Lyndhurst and Nutley across the Passaic River but, in the meantime, Bergen County has done its part to try and relieve congestion there. At the urging […]

Last chance to sound off on dog park

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent KEARNY –  The town is preparing to let the dogs out but first it wants the owners in. For a public meeting, that is, on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m., in the second floor Town Council chambers at Town Hall […]

Ice storm took its toll on local roads

By Karen Zautyk  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  By the time you read this, we all may be trapped inside by a blizzard — if the current weather forecasts are correct. But it doesn’t necessarily take heavy snow to create havoc. Sometimes, a coating of ice is sufficient. […]


Bracing for funding shift

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  For the past 37 years, the Kearny nonprofit Pathways to Independence Inc. has helped those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live independently in their communities. Currently, from its 3-level, 18,000 square foot headquarters at Kingsland and Bergen Aves., it offers on-site […]


A new ‘acquisition’

Tim Bixler, of The Bixler Group Real Estate and Insurance and his wife, Charissa Bixler, welcomed their daughter, Addison Paige Bixler, on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 1:20 p.m. Big brother Brayden is beyond excited. Only a few more years until […]


Aiming to help veterans

Photo by Ron Leir/ Commissioner Steven Rogers at work.


By Ron Leir


The newest member of the township governing body was just getting his feet wet but he’d already lined up a three-pronged priority plan of action.

Steven Rogers, 60, who garnered 2,078 votes in the May 8 non-partisan municipal election – good enough to capture the only seat on the five-member Township Commission not reclaimed by incumbents.

“I spent $6,500 on my campaign,” said Rogers, a diehard Republican. That’s hardly a princely sum for election expenses, these days. “I walked in every neighborhood, knocked on every door,” he said. “And the people of Nutley gave me the honor to serve.”

At a township reorganization meeting May 15, Commissioner Alphonse Petracco – topping all candidates with 3,727 votes – was installed as the new mayor of Nutley.

As the new boy on the block, Rogers – a retired Nutley Police lieutenant who served one 4-year term on the Nutley school board – is known as a gadfly but he has pledged to be a sharing partner as a member of his new team.

In his first week on the job, the freshman lawmaker said he’s been impressed by the “passion” shown by employees at the Public Affairs Department (which he oversees) “to serve the common good of the people.”

“It’s an awesome responsibility to be in government,” Rogers said, during a recent interview at his township office. He said he hopes to use the skills he acquired as a U.S. Navy intelligence officer and 38-year police veteran “to help shape the future of Nutley.” To that end, Rogers said he wants to work with his fellow commissioners to achieve three goals in particular.

First, he said, “We’re going to roll out what we believe will be a national model for offering the best possible services to every active and retired member of the military and their families. We want to make this department a one-stop shop for veterans,” whether that involves medical assistance, help with securing veterans’ benefits, etc.

Rogers said he plans to appoint a community member with military background as a volunteer “director of military and veterans’ affairs” to serve as a liaison between the Public Affairs Dept. and every veteran in Nutley. He declined to name the prospective appointee.

“I’m getting a list of every Nutley veteran and they’re going to be getting a personal visit from me during the summer to see what their needs are,” Rogers said. “Our veterans are heroes and the (federal) V.A. (Veterans Administration) is not effective delivering services to our veterans. It needs a top-tobottom reform.”

That’s why action on the local level is required, Rogers said.

Rogers’ expectation is that the Township Commission will be voting on a resolution in June to start the program, which he sees as a one-year pilot, after which the program would be evaluated to determine if it should continue, be tweaked or scrapped.

Second, Rogers is offering a “Meet the Commissioner” opportunity by inviting residents to stop by his office at 149 Chestnut St. “every Saturday,” from 8:30 a.m. to noon, to solicit advice, give suggestions or just chat. He launched the new venture last Saturday.

“I believe in transparency in government,” Rogers said. “So, I’ll be here on the weekend to listen to my constituents, see how my department can offer help or be a conduit to my fellow commissioners if it turns out that their departments can be of help. We’re stressing teamwork in Nutley.”

Third, Rogers said he wants to do his part to help keep a lid on local property taxes by “talking to our county and state representatives about unfunded mandates.” There are instances, Rogers said, where the state and/or federal levels of government dictate that municipalities carry out certain required functions but don’t provide money for staffing and/or equipment that may be needed to satisfy those mandates.

As an example, Rogers said the state requires local police officers to attend periodic domestic violence and firearms training sessions, typically at locations not easily accessible to Nutley cops but provides no reimbursement for travel and related expenses.

Another example, Rogers said, is the state’s directive to local school boards to institute an anti-bullying program as part of the district’s curriculum but, here again, without any state compensation to facilitate the program.

Despite the financial pressures faced by many municipalities in recent years, Rogers said Nutley’s commissioners “have done well in controlling the local tax rate. We’re not as bad off as other communities. Our parks are pristine, our crime rate is low, our schools are in great shape, and our public works department did an extraordinary job with the storm cleanup last year.”

And, while he acknowledges that “we still have a lot to do,” such as upgrading roads and revitalizing the downtown sector through a vehicle like a Small Business & Economic Development Council working with Main St. USA, Rogers said he has faith in Nutley’s future.

“I want to market our township as one of the best places to live and work – an American oasis,” he said.

Up-close & personal to learn about jobs

By Jeff Bahr


A mix of specially selected juniors and sophomores from Bloomfield High School took part in Bloomfield Youth Day on May 21. The annual event, designed to bring students up-close-and-personal with vocational opportunities in the township, was a few minutes late in getting started, but after event leaders ironed out the small details, the event progressed without a hitch.

The idea behind the day is straightforward. If the mystery of each job is removed, and the steps involved to reach each position are revealed, there is that much more likelihood that a student will consider it as a potential vocational goal.

During Youth Day, students visit with various municipal departments including administrative, legal, police and fi re. They listen to an overview of each job by the people who hold the positions, and are encouraged to follow up each presentation with questions. In this way, the students discover the requirements necessary to obtain each job, as well as the day-to-day intricacies involved in performing each task.

The event got underway with an orientation held in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building. “We know that you have this special thing about you,” Mayor Raymond McCarthy told the students, “because you’ve been chosen by your peers and by the teachers – which means that you are leaders in this community.”

The mayor then described the electoral process governing Bloomfi eld’s mayoralty and Township Council and pointed out how the township is “a lot different” from most communities in New Jersey since it operates under a “no commission form of government.”

District Assemblyman Ralph R. Caputo (D) elaborated, explaining that, “Our form of government was produced by a special charter. We are one of 16 of the 566 communities in the state of New Jersey that have a special charter. Back in 1953, the people of Bloomfield decided that they wanted to change their form of government… And they changed it. It was a commission form of government like Nutley is now. So they (the citizens) filed a petition with the state of New Jersey, put it on the ballot and it won overwhelmingly.”

Caputo catalogued the differences between the two forms of government, noting that Bloomfi eld has “three-year terms” for its elected offi cials versus four for most other municipalities statewide. “The other thing that’s signifi cantly different (about Bloomfi eld) is the fact that the township is run by our township administrator, said Caputo. “The people back in 1953 didn’t like the commission form of government because each elected offi cial ran his/her own department.”

Bloomfield Second Ward Councilman Nicholas Joanow spoke of the importance of knowing the different levels of government. “When we talk about government, we talk about the many layers of government,” said Joanow. “It’s like making a sandwich. We’ve got the local municipal level; we’ve got the county level; the state and the federal (levels). The mayor, council and assemblyman are your first line of defense… So it starts with the grass roots when there are concerns.”

Before the students moved out of the municipal building to begin their tour, they posed questions to the department heads and administrators. “What was your most interesting case?” Christine Dino asked Municipal Court Judge Vincent A. Pirone.

The judge recalled an amusing case wherein a man, who was appearing before the court on motor vehicle related charges, claimed sovereignty. “He never referred to his car as a car,” said Pirone, chuckling. “He referred to it as his vessel. When he asked the offi cer (in court), ‘Did you see me in my vessel?’, (the officer) looked at him like a deer in the headlights!”

Another student asked the judge about the temperament that the job requires. “Attorneys will push you to the wall,” said Pirone. “They’ll try to get your goat. You can’t let them get your goat ‘cause once you do that you give away all your marbles. I didn’t know whether I had the disposition or temperament to sit here and basically conduct court in the manner in which it should be conducted, so I really had to think about it.” After seeking the council of friends and law colleagues, Pirone ultimately decided to give it try.

Bloomfield Police Chief Christopher Goul made a fi nal comment before the students continued on with Youth Day. “I give you guys credit,” said Goul. “(When I was your age) I had no idea what I was going to do. Back in 1980, I was going to open a pizzeria. But then my father said, ‘Have you ever seen a Polish pizzeria?’ It was the wisest thing he ever told me… Have fun, and I’ll see you all later!”

Red letter day for men in blue

Photos by Ron Leir/ Lt. David Feldhan (c.) is sworn in by Mayor Alberto Santos as Feldhan’s wife Donna holds bible.

Photos by Ron Leir/ promoted officers beam. From L. are Sgt. Peter Gleason, Capt. John Gouveia, Chief John Dowie, Lt. Timothy Wagner, Lt. David Feldhan and Sgt. Patrick Sweeney. Sgt. Paul Bershefski was away on vacation.

By Ron Leir 


For six lucky men in blue, it was a day to celebrate … for now at least. Following an agreement between the local police unions and the town, the Kearny Town Council voted last Tuesday, May 22, to authorize promotions in the ranks, effective immediately.

The beneficiaries are: Capt. John Gouveia; Lts. David Feldhan and Timothy Wagner; and Sgts. Peter Gleason, Paul Bershefski and Patrick Sweeney.

The promotions came about after the Kearny Patrolman’s Benevolent Association’s Local 21 and the Kearny Police Superior Officers Association had filed grievances over certain of their members doing jobs in a higher rank but not getting higher pay appropriate to that rank. The town asserted it had a “managerial prerogative” to assign anyone to a job.

But after many hours of negotiations, with lawyers involved on both sides, the governing body has seemingly remedied that inequity by appointing those cops to “permanent” positions and pay levels appropriate to their ranks.

However, there’s one sticky point: As explained by Mayor Alberto Santos, “Our labor contracts with the police unions expire Dec. 31, 2012, and we have money in the 2012 budget to pay the incremental increases covering the promotions. We don’t know what our (police) costs are going to be in 2013 so the agreement provides that unless there’s a new contract in place by Jan. 1, 2013, those individuals who were promoted will revert back to their old (previous rank) salaries.”

So the apparent solution could end up causing some grief for the unions – and six of their members – if no new labor agreement can be negotiated by year’s end.

A captain’s base pay is currently $145,645 a year; a lieutenant makes $129,462; and a sergeant receives $115,076.

Santos said that the town was able to “satisfy the department’s supervisory needs while staying within its budgetary restraints.”

Three of the promotions were made to fi ll vacancies created by retirements, while the rest were done to “backfill” vacancies left in lower ranks, Santos said.

Santos said an “unexpected retirement” – which came about when a Kearny police officer opted to take a job in Austin, Texas, for job security reasons – gave the town about $73,000 in savings to help accommodate the promotions for 2012.

But the Police Department “is still undermanned,” said Councilwoman Laura Cifelli- Pettigrew.

And so is the Kearny Fire Department, FMBA President Jim Carey warned, as he called the council’s attention to the department’s recent trimming of minimum manning levels, from 17 to 15 per shift. “The FMBA will not condone this reduction,” he said. The lives of civilians and firefighters, alike, are being endangered, Carey asserted. Fire Chief Steve Dyl said he’s had to shut down a ladder company at the Kearny Ave. firehouse for lack of personnel. And, he warned, “This will be the wave of the future until we get (more) staffing.” Santos conceded that, “we don’t meet NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) minimum staffing standards” but, at the same time, he said the town needs to review the Fire Department’s “salary structure.” Carey called for a referendum on firefighter hirings.

Meanwhile, the Police Department has lost 16 members through retirement since 2011 and “about half” were superior offi cers, according to Police Chief John Dowie. Even with the promotions, the department will still fall one lieutenant and one sergeant short of what its Table of Organization allows, Santos said.

This is happening, “while police calls are at a record number,” Santos conceded. In 2011, police responded to more than 31,000 calls for assistance, he said.

Also, as a result of the downsizing, Dowie said he’s deploying single offi cer patrols, instead of paired, during the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift. Still, Dowie said, “This will put more cars on the street overnight which helps cut our response time and gives more visibility which, naturally, results in crime deterrence. It also enables us to cover a wider area which allow us to devote more time to some of our growing outlying areas such as the Harrison Ave. and Belleville Pike areas where we … have experienced crime….”

At least, the mayor said, the town should realize some savings in overtime as a result of the promotions. So far this year, the department has spent about $390,000 in overtime pay, according to Kearny CFO Schuaib Firozvi. Probably half of that amount was for superior officers, Santos said.

John Gouveia, whose brother, Anthony, is a Kearny Police lieutenant, is a law school graduate, the department’s computer expert and a runner who placed fifth in a recent 5-K race in Washington, D.C., to honor police officers who died in the line of duty during the past year.

David Feldhan, son of a retired Hudson County police offi cer and a former teacher, is the department’s accident specialist who was singled out for commendation by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 2005. He was credited for capturing a Newark homicide suspect in 2004.

Timothy Wagner was chosen Policeman of the Year in 2002, just a year after he was appointed to the department, in recognition of “several high-profi le jobs.” He’s earned three merit service bars and serves as a medic on the Tactical Services Unit. Most recently, he led the Community Police Unit.

Peter Gleason, a detective, was credited for his actions in 1999 for defusing a potentially dangerous situation when he disarmed a suicidal gunman in 1999. He scored second highest in the state in the Civil Service exam for sergeant. Gleason has served in the warrant and vice squads.

Paul Bershefski, son of a retired New Jersey State Police trooper, got kudos for reviving a choking man several years ago while serving with the Tactical Services Unit. Bershefski has been a stalwart supporter of the Police Unity Tour four-day bicycle riding fundraiser with proceeds going to the National Law Enforcement Offi cers’ Memorial and Museum.

Patrick Sweeney, a former Paramus police offi cer, was credited with bringing order and accountability to the department’s record room, the repository for all types of criminal evidence. An accomplished bagpiper and golfer, he organized a local “Adopt the Block” program.

“We may be downsized, but we’re not down,” Dowie said, getting cheers from a packed-house audience of family and friends of the newly promoted officers at last week’s Town Hall meeting. “Every man here is up to the task.”

Memorial Day memories


In recent times, Memorial Day has become the unofficial start of summer, with area residents making their treks down the shore to celebrate the holiday.

Unfortunately, many people have actually forgotten that Memorial Day is really about celebrating the veterans who passed away – having made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy our freedom.

Still, to me, Memorial Day isn’t just about remembering those who passed but also honoring all those who have served and currently are serving.

For me, that inspires mention of two special people: Sgt. Thomas Geraghty and Gunners Mate 3rd Class Anthony T. Machcinski.

My grandfather, Anthony T. Machcinski, saw action in World War II, beginning in 1943 and completing his service on the destroyer USS Lyman K. Swenson in 1946.

While I could recount several hundred stories my grandfather told about his wartime experience, one in particular comes to mind.

During his shipboard service in the Pacific, my grandfather typically sat with his feet hanging off the side of the ship while en route to his next destination. One day, out in the water, he saw two white trails of wake. While this would mean nothing to you or me today, white wakes in parallel straight patterns usually meant torpedoes from a submarine.

My grandfather sat, frozen, with not much time to react to the alarming sight.

Finally, as the trails got closer they took a sharp hook towards the front of the ship. Scanning the side of the ship, my grandfather got the surprise of his life, discovering that the pair of white trails had not been from Japanese torpedoes, but rather, from two dolphins who wanted to swim next to the ship.

I tell that story to explain this point: Appreciate our veterans. Three years ago December, my grandfather passed away, and after years of retelling his stories, I can’t think of one time I fully appreciated their worth. Sure, I understood that my grandfather helped protect our country, serving in some of the nastiest battles World War II had conjured up, but I never really could thank him for what he did.

With that experience in mind, and with several more years of life experience under my belt, I think of Sgt. Thomas Geraghty.

Tom and I went to school together at St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, playing rugby and football together. He became like a brother to me. Since entering the Army a couple of years ago, Tom has put in two tours overseas, one to Iraq and one to Afghanistan, and is already anticipating a third trip back over.

Now more than ever, I can appreciate Tom’s sacrifices to continue providing me the opportunity to write articles like the ones you see this week. I’ll never forget when I talked to Tom before he left for Fort Riley in Kansas in January. I asked him why he was so gung-ho about getting back to Iraq. His reply: “Why would I want someone with a family to sacrifice what they have, when I don’t have those same responsibilities?”

With that in mind, I want to thank all the veterans, both living and deceased, for everything they have sacrificed. I hope you had a happy and healthy Memorial Day.

– Anthony J. Machcinski


To the Publisher:

Four of the six Civil War fatalities from Belleville and Nutley occurred 150 years ago.

From Belleville (Second River), two soldiers died in the Seven Days’ Battle (Peninsula Campaign) as Thomas Stevens (or Stephens) was killed in action June 27, 1862, and Captain Henry Benson was wounded July 1, and died August 11, 1862.

From Nutley (Franklin), then part of Belleville, Sgt. John Donaldson died May 17, 1862, in the first pitched battle of the Peninsula Campaign, known as the Battle of Williamsburg, Va., and the battle of Fort Magruder.

Nutley’s Byron Lawton was killed in action September 14, 1862, in the Battle of South Mountain, or the Battle of Burkittsville in Central Maryland during the Maryland Campaign.

James H. Cunningham of Nutley was killed in action on May 3, 1863, in the Second Battle of Fredericksburg, also known as the Second Battle of Marye’s Heights.

John Rogers (or Rodgers) of Belleville was killed in action on April 8, 1865, at Fort Davis while defending Washington, D.C., shortly before the war ended.

Anthony Buccino

Author of Belleville and Nutley In The Civil War, A Brief History

Lyndhurst Chemical Spill

Photo Courtesy of Google Maps/ Polyurethane Specialties, Schuyler Ave, Lyndhurst, source of chemical spill.

By Ron Leir


What will stand out in Dan Nicolette’s memory about last Sunday’s chemical spill across the street from his Schuyler Ave. apartment is his 2-yearold daughter bursting into tears because she couldn’t sleep in her own bed.

“When she was crying, ‘I want to go home,’ the pain for me was absolutely horrible,” the Lyndhurst resident said. “That hurt more than anything.”

Sometime that afternoon, there was an unexpected release of a substance, identified by officials as adipic acid, from Polyurethane Specialties, 624 Schuyler Ave., makers of polyester and urethane products.

And, coincidentally, around the same time, another spill – of anhydrous ammonia – happened in neighboring North Arlington at the Temperature Processing plant, 220 River Road, whose operations involve the heat-treating of metals, according to a company web site. Some 25 homes were evacuated in a one-to two-block area around the plant, according to Mayor Peter Massa. One volunteer firefighter suffered what Massa characterized as a “slight burning of the eyes.”

Asked about the Lyndhurst incident, Anthony Decandi, coordinator for Bergen County Haz-Mat, said that an “unpermitted discharge” took the form of a “particulate fine powder” that “spread around” the plant and environs and, when exposed to human skin, can be a “mild irritant” which can cause a rash and lead to “scratching and itching” but is “not life threatening.”

How the release happened Decandi couldn’t say but Lyndhurst Police Chief James O’Connor, who also serves as emergency management coordinator, traced the cause to a “broken coupling on the roof on a 3-inch feeder pipe.”

Police first learned about the incident at about 2:30 p.m. when neighbors reported seeing what looked like white smoke spiraling from the roof of the plant, O’Connor said.

Lyndhurst Volunteer Fire Department and EMS units responded, along with Bergen County Haz-Mat, and learned from nearby residents of TM Gardens condominiums, 619-635 Schuyler Ave., that the powder had gotten inside their units through their windows which they’d left open due to the warm temperatures. Many had left their homes to enjoy the fine weather, as had the Nicolette family.

“My windows on the west side of the building were wide open,” Nicolette said. “We’d been out all day in the park; then we come home to find our street being closed. The Fire Department said, ‘Don’t take your daughter out of your car.’ We were not permitted into our residence. I took my wife and daughter to my in-laws.”

Residents were directed to a nearby self-storage unit which police had commandeered as a staging area for a mobile command post where, O’Connor said, they sought to inform residents about the situation.

“We wanted to make sure no one panicked,” the chief said.

“I believe only one person went to a hospital but I think it was more stress-related than environmental,” O’Connor said.

It wasn’t until “three or four hours” after the Nicolettes first drove up the driveway to their condo that the Fire Department allowed him to enter his second-floor apartment, where he detected traces of a film-like material that “looked like fiberglass” on his windows, Nicolette said. “It smelled sweet – like candy cane. … I was told that it was not going to burn my skin off.”

Emergency workers advised him not to take anything left out in the open so Nicolette “packed up some clothes from closed drawers,” and drove to his in-laws.

By 8 or 9 p.m., by Nicolette’s recollection, Polyurethane Specialties had arranged for Servpro, a Middlesex County cleaning/ restoration firm, to come to the plant to check out the situation and devise a cleanup strategy.

At 12:15 a.m. Nicolette got a call from Lyndhurst Police advising him to report to the command post at 8:30 a.m. along with other residents which he did. Nicolette said residents were told they’d have to contact their private home insurance companies to arrange for their units to be cleaned. But, several hours later, those instructions were changed: Servpro would do the job, after all. “There was no time frame but it was going to happen,” he said.

Later, Lyndhurst Police alerted residents of Elizabeth Ave., Louise Court, Olive St., First St. and Schuyler Ave. (between Kingsland and Union Aves.) and Ten Eyck Ave. (between Lewandowski and Schuyler Aves.) impacted by the chemical plume that the plant owners have arranged for Servpro to clean their homes. Residents were advised to call Servpro at (201) 445-5588 to arrange appointments.

Despite having to take a day off from work on Monday, with all the uncertainty, and having booked a hotel room in the process, Nicolette said he was impressed by Lyndhurst police and firefighters. “They were very cordial – they had compassion, empathy for us – especially the chief of police,” he said.

By 3 p.m. Monday, Servpro had begun the cleanup process, Nicolette recalled. Company personnel, wearing masks and gloves, worked until 6 p.m. and returned on Tuesday morning to continue cleaning. Nicolette, his wife Stephanie and daughter Dani Rose were finally allowed back by the following day.

Asked about the state of his health since the brief visit to his condo, Nicolette said: “Am I feeling any ill effects? Absolutely not.”

As of last week, Nicolette was more concerned about getting new toys and stuffed animals for his daughter to replace the potentially tainted ones from the condo.

‘Aim’ing for success

Photos Courtesy of Steve Egoavil


Anthony J. Machcinski

Artists from all over the area will converge on the Lithuanian Catholic Community Club on June 2 for “Together”. “Together” is a fundraiser for the “AIM Foundation” put together by North Arlington resident Steve Egoavil.

“The Art in Motion Foundation originated two years ago with a premise that anyone can make a difference,” Egoavil explained. “It was this idea and seeing what was going on in our world from a local to global point of view that I decided to get started in my quest to make a positive difference in the world.”

Since its inception, the AIM Foundation has been able to raise funds for the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge, Wounded Warrior Project, and several other groups and foundations.

A few months ago, Egoavil started thinking of doing another fundraiser after the outpouring of support after the last event.

“I had so many people offer to help me feed and cloth the homeless on one of our annual street cookouts,” Egoavil explained.

Egoavil saw this response as a sign to take the foundation to the next level, saying, “I knew it was time to prepare and make a move towards taking it all to the next level to a real non-profit organization.”

For this fundraiser, Egoavil has been able to collect a menagerie of artistic talent, from DJs, Musicians, Artists, and everything in between.

When asked what he was most excited to see, Egoavil said, “ To be honest, there are so many artists and musicians that will be there, so I’m actually just excited for it all. I’m curious to see how we interact with each other as well as how the guests soak in all the art and entertainment provided.”

One of those artists who will showcase his material is Justin Carty. Carty, an animator and graphic artist from New York City, will cross the Hudson with two large 36’’ by 84’’ oil on canvas paintings.

“Steve asked me if I wanted to be a part of it about three weeks ago,” Carty said on how he got involved. “Steve is a great guy and he said it was for a good cause so I said yes right away.”

Despite taking time out of his busy schedule to set up the event, Egoavil will also take part in the showcase, showing off some of his own work.

“I will be showing off some of the artwork I’ve been working on, (including) a painting, a few photographs, and a drawing, as well as a portfolio of Tattoo Art that I’ve done,” Egoavil explained.

Local band I Am Fighting will also be a part of the fundraiser.

While many of the artists are just happy to showcase their work in such a forum, one simple idea rings true throughout the participants.

“I think it’s for a very good cause and I enjoy contributing to causes that I know will directly help people,” Carty explained.

“The more people that get involved, the bigger the positive impact we make on what we decide to get involved in,” Egoavil added.

The fundraiser will take place on June 2 at the Lithuanian Catholic Community Club at 6 Davis Ave. in Kearny. A suggested donation of $20 will be collected at the door. The fundraiser will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Art comes in many forms in E. Newark

Photos courtesy of Wendy Born Hollander/ First Grade 3-D artwork based on the book “Bugs in a Blanket”


Photos courtesy of Wendy Born Hollander/ Fourth-grade projects from “Rainbow Star Books” suspended in the East Newark School stairwell.


By Anthony J. Machcinski

A variety of student projects will be featured on May 30 when the East Newark Public School hosts its annual Spring Art Show. The artwork, created by students from the school, will be featured from 5 to 7 p.m. at the school on 501 N. Third St.

“It’s a good way for parents and people in the community to come see what’s happening,” explained East Newark art teacher Wendy Born Hollander.

The art show features a variety of pieces from students from kindergarten through eighth. Some of these projects include Tropical Bird paintings by third-graders, Rainbow Star Books by fourth and fifthgraders, and 3-D landscapes by sixth graders.

The variety of work incorporates what the students are learning in school.

“A lot of times with elementary students, we tie our pieces into books,” Hollander explained. “I can capture their attention.”

For Hollander, who started her art career as an illustrator of children’s books, teaching slowly became part of her life.

“I started working parttime and then found that I liked it,” Hollander said. “I decided to transition from illustration to teaching full time. Being an illustrator, there is never an off-button in trying to find work.”

Now organizing the School’s Art Show, Hollander is looking forward to one thing from the event — “meeting the parents.” “I’ve only met a few parents here and there. The art show is very well attended.”

One special feature about this year’s art show will be the availability of the work online.

“I think it’s great that even relatives in far away locations can see the beautiful work students are doing by just logging onto the website,” Hollander explained.

With the Art Show slowly approaching, Hollander has one main goal for the event.

“I hope that student’s families and friends are able to attend this special event,” Hollander said. “Everyone in the community is invited to come see the creative and exciting art projects students have completed. I’m really proud of what they’ve accomplished.”

The East Newark School Spring Art Show will take place on May 30, 5-7 p.m. at the East Newark School at 501 N. Third St. To view the students work visit http:// www.artsonia.com/schools/ school.asp?id=110876.

Kearny markets new cookbook

Councilwoman Susan McCurrie displays The Kearny Farmer’s Market Cookbook.



Soon there’ll be a new book on the market that’s completely home grown.

The Kearny Farmer’s Market Cookbook boasts 81 pages chock-full of Kearny residents’ recipes which incorporate the use of fresh produce available at the open air market held in town during the summer months.

Proceeds from sale of the book go to Friends of the Kearny Public Library and the Kearny Urban Enterprise Zone.

Library Board President Jennifer Cullen, who also heads up the Friends group, the library’s fundraising arm, said the cookbook was the brainchild of Fourth Ward Councilwoman Susan McCurrie, who has been looking for a way to promote the Farmer’s Market and figured a cookbook was the way to go.

Cullen said the lawmaker “approached different service organizations (including the Friends and several local women’s clubs) to make it happen.” Of the 147 recipes for main dishes, sides and desserts, more than half came from members of those groups, she said. Individual contributors were limited to no more than five entries.

But it didn’t happen overnight. “It took two years to get this to fruition,” Cullen said.

McCurrie said she discovered that a lot of people resisted, jealously guarding the ingredients making up their favorite dishes.

But, eventually, sufficient numbers of folks could be persuaded to part with their favorite food formulas to share with the general public and the cookbook is the proof of the pudding, so to speak. “We were fortunate to get the participation we did,” McCurrie said.

Lynn Oelz, owner of Signs By Lynn, a local shop specializing in signs and graphics, contributed the art work for the book and Morris Press Cookbooks handled the printing. Carol Puchyr and Cullen handled the logistics of putting together the final product.

The book, which sells for $9.95, comes with a free stand you can use to support your book while you prepare your dish of choice.

The Kearny Public Library will host a cookbook launch party on June 8 at 7 p.m. and tickets are only $5 but limited to 100 attendees. Guests will sample Jane Mackesy’s recipe for “chopped veggie and corn salad.”

After the event, people can obtain copies of the book from the library or by contacting Town Hall.

The seventh annual Jersey Fresh Farmer’s Market resumes this season on June 21 and continues every Thursday, from noon to 6 p.m., in the parking lot across from Mandee Shops, Kearny and Bergen Aves., through mid- October. Union Hill Farms, of Denville, and Alsteade Farms, of Chester, supply the fresh produce, jams and jellies.

Typically, the season starts with a selection of berries, followed by peaches, lettuce, cabbage and squash; then come corn, tomatoes and melons; early fall brings apples, pears, pumpkins, fruit pies, jams and jellies.

– Ron Leir

‘Choked-up’ by charger cord


Well, this certainly broadens the usage of a phone charger cord.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office reported on May 22 that 32-year-old Thomas Cieslick, of Union, was arrested and jailed after he allegedly choked his North Arlington girlfriend with a cell phone charger cord.

According to Senior Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Catherine Fantuzzi, Cieslick allegedly “threw her off the bed. She tried to use a cell phone to call police, but it was dead, so she tried to plug in the phone charger.” Cieslick then allegedly wrapped the phone cord around her neck until she blacked out.

After reviving, the woman went to North Arlington Police Headquarters to file a criminal complaint.

North Arlington Police Chief Louis Ghione told The Cliffview Pilot that Cieslick turned himself in after learning that he was wanted.

Bail was originally set at $300,000 before being raised to $500,000 by Superior Court Assignment Judge Liliana S. Deavila-Silebi.

– Anthony J. Machcinski