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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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]

Jr Police_web

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 […]


Three local squads head to state football playofs

Photo by Jim Hague/ Lyndhurst running back Danny Nahra.


By Jim Hague

Before the high school football season began, Lyndhurst head football coach Scott
Rubinetti called his good friend, Rutherford head coach Andy Howell, and joked about the future.

“I called him and told him that since they dropped down to Group I, maybe we could meet in the state playoffs,” Rubinetti said.

After all, at the time, it was a little bit of a stretch, considering Rutherford had been a fixture in the North 1, Group II bracket. With the dip in enrollment, Rutherford was placed in the same bracket with Lyndhurst in North Section 2, Group I.

But the Golden Bears had not been a state playoff participant since the 2004 season, so Rubinetti’s words to Howell didn’t exactly have a lot of steam behind them.

However, as it turns out, Rubinetti was more like a prophet than anything. That’s because the Golden Bears did qualify for the North 2, Group I playoffs and who do the Golden Bears get as a firstround opponent Friday night? None other than the neighboring Bulldogs.

“I think it’s pretty ironic,” Rubinetti said. “I never thought we’d end up facing them in the playoffs. When I said it to Andy, it was more like a joke.”

Lyndhurst is one of three local teams headed to the postseason and all three will have to be road warriors. Nutley, which made it all the way to the North Section 2, Group III finals last year, has qualified once again and will travel to Parsippany to take on Parsippany Hills in the first round of the state playoffs on Saturday.

Queen of Peace, which had not qualified for the states since 2005, makes a return
appearance in the Non-Public Group 2 bracket. The Golden Griffins will face Montclair Kimberley Academy in Montclair, more than likely on Saturday as well.

The NJSIAA had not made the official statement about days and times for the first round playoff matchups by press time Monday.

For many years, Rutherford- Lyndhurst was a long standing rivalry, because of their general proximity.

“It brings back an old football rivalry,” Rubinetti said. “I told our kids that Rutherford and Lyndhurst was once more of a rivalry than what we have with North Arlington. There was a trophy that went to the winner of the game every year.”

Rubinetti, whose team lost to Garfield last Friday night in their final game before the playoffs to drop to 7-2 overall, doesn’t mind facing the old foe and his good friend in the first round.

“I can’t think of us having a better situation in the playoffs,” Rubinetti said. “We’re not traveling far to a place like New Providence. We’re happy to be playing Rutherford. It’s
a nice, easy commute for us and our fans. It’s going to be exciting. I know they’re a very good football team, but we’re ready for the challenge. The kids are excited and the town is excited. It’s going to be a great night.”

Rubinetti isn’t worried that his team enters the playoffs off a loss.

“I wish we could have executed a little better,” Rubinetti said. “I would have liked to
see us play a little better going into the playoffs. It was a little bit of an emotional letdown, knowing we were already in the playoffs. Not making any excuses, we would have liked to win the game. But Rutherford is coming off two losses, so maybe we can catch them being a little down.”

The Golden Bears had been receiving great play from quarterback Danny Kesack
and running back Danny Nahra of late. The Danny and Danny Show had led the Golden Bears to the state playoff berth and will have to be at top performance this weekend against Rutherford.

“We’re looking at it as a onegame season,” Rubinetti said. “We just want to play well and live to play another day. It’s been a great experience.”

Rubinetti said that he didn’t fully realize the Golden Bears were indeed in the state playoffs until he saw the bracket posted on the bulletin board.

“Then it hit me,” Rubinetti said. “The bracket looked awesome with our name on it.”

Rubinetti has enjoyed the state playoffs before, as a head coach at Northern Valley/ Demarest and as an assistant coach at Ramapo, but this is special because it’s his high school alma mater. Rubinetti played in the state playoffs for Lyndhurst and now gets to take a Lyndhurst team there as head coach.

For Nutley, the Maroon Raiders earned the fifth and last spot in the North 2, Group
III bracket. Only five teams qualified with .500 records or better. The top three teams, West Morris, Colonia and Cranford, all earned byes in the first round.

The lone first-round game in that bracket is the Maroon Raiders facing the Vikings of Parsippany Hills.

It’s the fourth straight NJSIAA playoff appearance for the Maroon Raiders and head coach Steve DiGregorio, who is also coaching at his alma mater. The Maroon Raiders enter the tourney on a bit of a roll, having defeated Barringer and Irvington in consecutive weeks after three straight losses.

The Golden Griffins of Queen of Peace, who lost a tough one to St. Mary’s of Rutherford over the weekend, make their return to the state playoffs, hoping that Torre Johnson can perform some of his magic in the postseason. Johnson had another 200-yard performance against St. Mary’s and now has an amazing 1,667 yards and 13 touchdowns for the season.

It won’t be easy, considering MKA is 8-1 this season and defeated rival Montclair Immaculate, 49-7, last weekend.

But there are three local squads with the hope of being crowned a state champion
come the first week of December.

Lyndhurst boys’ cross country fails to repeat at state sectionals

Photo by Jim Hague/ Lyndhurst senior Thiago Fernandes pushes it as he crosses the finish line at the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group I championships at Warinanco Park in Elizabeth. Fernandes finished ninth overall and the Golden Bears finished second as a team.


By Jim Hague

The Lyndhurst boys’ cross country team headed to Warninaco Park Saturday morning with the hopes of successfully defending the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group I state championship the Golden Bears won a year ago.
Unfortunately, they didn’t win.
It wasn’t that the Golden Bears performed poorly. In fact, they ran fairly well as a team. It was just that another team, in this case McNair Academic of Jersey City, ran better.
“We got beat by a better team,” Lyndhurst head coach Michael Picardo said. “I thought we had a chance to win again and our guys ran well. You can’t ask for anything else. It is what it is. Sure, we’re bummed out and disappointed, because our goal was to win again. We just weren’t good enough and just got beat. That’s what it really came down to.”
The Golden Bears lost to McNair by 19 points, 43-69. Palisades Park, which also had hopes of winning the title, finished third, seven points behind Lyndhurst.
McNair had the individual winner in Kevin Ratigan and the runner-up as well in Omar Lopez. That was tough for the Golden Bears to overcome.
Senior Dan Gaspar led the way for the Golden Bears, finishing fifth in 17:51.73.
“I’m really pleased with him,” Picardo said of Gaspar. “He ran a great race.”
Fellow senior Thiago Fernandes finished ninth overall in 18:07.38. It was another solid performance.
Ricky Suarez was 14th overall and Max Estevez was 15th, both crossing the finish line within three seconds of each other.
The next three finishers for the Golden Bears were all freshmen, showing the immense future of the program.
Andre Francisco, 21st overall, followed by Stephen Covello (29th overall) and Kane McDermott (45th overall) are all first-year harriers, a point that Picardo pointed out.
“We ran three freshmen today,” Picardo said. “It’s a sign of things to come. Our kids were able to beat some people out there.”
Picardo said that McNair Academic, which previously finished second three years in a row, including last year to his team, just wanted it a little more this time around.
“Their kids were hungry today and you could see it,” Picardo said. “When you see that kind of determination, it’s tough to beat.”
Picardo made no excuses. Sure, the Golden Bears no longer have three-time defending sectional champ Patrick Rono, since last year’s Observer Male Athlete of the Year has moved on to the University of Arkansas.
“Sometimes, things like this happen,” Picardo said. “Somebody is better than you. But we’re excited where we are. It’s amazing to see where this program has come to, compared to where we were a few years ago.”
Led by Brittany Levario, who finished 14th overall, the Lyndhurst girls’ cross country team finished fourth in the section, so both the boys’ and girls’ teams will head to Holmdel this weekend to compete in the overall Group I championships at Holmdel Park.
Emily Prieto was 17th overall, Lexus Lopez, definitely the most diversified athlete in the school right now, was 18th and Alexandra Karowski was 19th overall, all crossing the line within 30 seconds of each other.
“The girls were fourth, the boys were second,” Picardo said. “And they both get to go to Holmdel. That’s not bad at all. I’m happy we got second with the boys. We knew that if we were going to win, it would take a Herculean effort. It didn’t happen. It is what it is. We got beat.”
And yes, in sports, sometimes you can’t beat the opponent, especially if they’re better.

A disability insurance cure


A recent column warned of the dangers of disability. It gave some statistics, the most interesting of which stated that disabilities are not often the result of freak accidents or injuries on the job, but rather illnesses like cancer, heart attacks and diabetes. To make a medical analogy, these are the symptoms and the cure is disability insurance. This column is about finding the cure.
The first place to look is through your employer. What are the benefits of buying a policy through your employer? It’s usually cheaper than buying an individual policy, and the underwriting for the policy is usually easier because of the law of large numbers. Often, the company will share the premium expense with you. Lastly, you may be able to pay the premiums through payroll deduction and have part of the premium tax deductible.
Do not do this. This will make the premiums (or part of them), the short end of the stick, deductible. However, it will make the benefits, the long end of the stick, taxable. You do not want that result.
So, do your homework and review the plan available through your employer, for they may be able to offer you a better deal than you can find through an individual policy. If, not, here’s what to look for when buying a disability insurance policy.
Number one, top of the heap, most important is the company’s “definition” of disability. The best policies are based on your “Own Occupation,” known as “Own Occ” in the business.
They will have a definition that says something like this: You will be paid a benefit if you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your regular occupation, i.e., the occupation that you are engaged in when you became disabled. You will be paid a benefit even though you are working in another capacity.
As an example, you are a surgeon and, for some reason, you cannot perform surgeries, so instead you practice medicine as a primary care physician. The insurance company would have to pay you a benefit even though you are “gainfully employed.”
A less advantageous (to the policyholder) definition of disability is found in an “Income Replacement” policy. The definition of disability in such a policy is: Because of sickness or injury you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your occupation, and not engaged in any other occupation. So, in the above example, the insurance company could reduce or eliminate the benefit in our surgeon’s situation.
Another definition of disability found in a “Gainful Occupation Coverage” policy says: Because of sickness or injury you are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your occupation, or any occupation for which you are deemed reasonably qualified by education, training or experience. Using this definition, an insurance company might say to the surgeon, “you have medical training; therefore, work as a nurse or we won’t pay you.” They would probably face litigation, but I’m sure you get the point of differing definitions of disability.
Other things to look for in a disability insurance policy include the elimination period. Think of this as a deductible. The elimination period is the period during which you don’t get paid. A common example would be 30, 60, or 90 days. However, there are some contracts that wraparound existing coverage and might begin payments after two or five years.
Another important benefit is the benefit period. This is the period of time for which you get paid if you file a claim. Typically, this will be two years, five years or to age 65. Additionally, if you work up to age 65 and want to continue coverage, most companies will extend the benefit with the payment of additional premiums.
The next area to examine is partial or, as it’s known in the trade, residual benefits. Often, people are not totally disabled; instead they are partially disabled. Residual riders will say, “If you are disabled and are working 50 percent of the time, you will receive a 50 percent benefit.”
Because there are a myriad of other benefits available, you can make a disability insurance policy look like a Christmas tree. You can add a Cost of Living Adjustment Rider (COLA) that would increase annual benefits by a factor. Additionally, a Future Increase Option will automatically increase your coverage by a factor to keep up with your salary increases.
Well, that’s the skinny on disability income insurance. Make sure you have it – you just might need it.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for the individual. Randy Neumann CFP® is a registered representative with securities and insurance offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. He can be reached at 12 Route 17N, Suite 115, Paramus, 201-291-9000.

Be willing to go the distance for a job

By Anthony J. Machcinski

Everyone talks about the economy and how bad it is on businesses and on whole communities. For once, I want to speak for a demographic that isn’t talked about – college aged kids.
As a just-graduated 22-year-old journalism major, I know how blessed I am to be able to get a job in the industry I want to be in for the rest of my life; however, I know that I am the exception, not the rule.
In the six months since I got my diploma, I have talked to countless friends who have gone to hundreds of interviews and have not gotten callbacks. Are these students under-qualified? No. These are kids with multiple internships, MBAs, and years in valuable student organizations.
Many of us have gotten calls asking us to pay our student loans.
I can’t help in times like these but think of the popular Everlast song, “What It’s Like”, and some of the song’s strong lyrics.
“He ask the man for what he could spare with shame in his eyes. ‘Get a job you (explitive) slob is all he replied.’”
The song cautions people not to judge others on the way they look because the time could come when you could be “in their shoes.”
I’ve seen the judgment these young adults receive and the shame these students feel when telling others they don’t have a job. These students feel like they didn’t do enough in school, or that they simply aren’t good enough for the working world, all because someone older, who’s had a job for years, thinks they’re lazy.
While some of us may be lazy, living off our parent’s dime, some of us have been dying to work since graduation.
For those my age and hopefully for others who need the help, I have some advice; don’t be confined to where you currently live.
When I started looking for writing jobs, I knew I needed experience. I wasn’t applying to the New York Times, I was applying to The Villages (Fla.) Daily Sun. I sent resumes, cover letters and writing samples to places like Texas, Missouri and Wisconsin. While I ultimately was hired by my hometown newspaper, The Observer, being willing to move (and having the ability to), made the job search a bit easier.
For all those selling your guitars just to make a rent payment, hope is out there; you just have to search for it.


Irene E. Otto
Irene E. Otto, 84, died on Oct. 28 at the Belgrove Post Acute Care Center, Kearny.
Born in Bronx, N.Y., she lived in North Arlington for the past 45 years.
She worked as the manager of the systems department for the Handy and Harman Company in New York City for 40 years before retiring 20 years ago.
She was a member of the North Arlington Women’s Club, North Arlington Senior Citizen Harmony Club and the Altar Guild and Ladies Guild of the Grace Lutheran Church, North Arlington.
She was the beloved daughter of the late Ewald and Efrieda Otto, the cherished sister of the late Randolph and the loving aunt Frederick, Maxine, Sarah and Hope.
The funeral was from the Parow Funeral Home, 185 Ridge Road, North Arlington, on Monday, Oct. 31, with a funeral service at Grace Lutheran Church, North Arlington. Interment followed in Arlington Cemetery, Kearny.

Theresa Nash
Theresa Nash (nee Gennace) of Kearny died on Nov. 4.
Theresa was the daughter of the late Rev. Anthony Gennace and Jennie Gennace. She worked for Western Electric and later AT&T. In retirement, she continued to work for Accutemps of Kearny. Fluent in Italian, she loved history, art, music and had tremendous flair for style. She loved spending her Saturdays “on the road” with her sister Jeanne.
Mrs. Nash was the loving wife of the late William Butler Nash, beloved mother of Steven M. and David J. Nash, step-mother of Cheryll Nash Heggins, dear sister of Jeanne Cure and Gloria Robertson, and the late Natale and Timothy Gennace. She is also survived by her grandchildren William, Jacob, Melissa, Steven Jr., Brittani and David.
Arrangements are by the Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral service will be on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 10 a.m. in the funeral home. Condolences may be left for the family at www.armitagewiggins.com.

Roman Yaworsky
Roman Yaworsky, 86, of Newark, formerly of Ukraine, died on Oct. 25.
A memorial gathering was held at the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison, on Friday, Nov. 4. For information, or to send condolences please visit mulliganfuneralhome.org.
He is survived by his loving family.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in memory of Roman to the Alzheimer’s Association in care of the funeral home.

Calixto E. Marques
Calixto E. Marques, 74, of Harrison, owner and founder of Plaque Art Creations in Harrison, died on Oct. 30.
He was a U.S. Army Veteran of the Korean War and a member of  Cubanas Unidas, Cuban American Veterans Association, Americans for Democratic Cuba, Miami Medical Team Foundation, Lobbying Committee United Cuban Organization and Cuban American Military Council.
He is urvived by his wife Minerva (nee Espinosa), daughter Belinda and her husband David and two grandchildren David and Krysten.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Diabetes Foundation.

Leaf collection on Essex Co. roads

Belleville residents whose properties are on Essex County roads are advised that the county has scheduled leaf pickups on those streets on the following dates: Monday, Nov. 14, to Friday, Nov. 18; Monday, Dec. 12, to Friday, Dec. 16; and Monday, Jan. 9, to Friday, Jan. 13.  (The last pickup will be made only if needed).

Residents are asked to coordinate their fall cleanup activities with the county and rake or place leaves at the curb the weekend before the scheduled pickup. They may place their leaves in biodegradable bags or sweep the loose leaves into piles at the curb.

In Nutley and Bloomfield, the county has entered into shared-services agreements, with the towns collecting the leaves. If your property is located on a county road in one of these communities, consult your municipal Public Works Department for more information or to obtain a schedule.

Residents who have general questions about the leaf collection may call the Essex County Department of Public Works at 973-239-3366, ext. 2220.

Santa’s Express Mailbox available Nov. 25

Nutley Mayor Joanne Cocchiola recently announced her plans to once again collect letters written to Santa by children in the township and forward them directly to Santa Claus in the North Pole.

Now in its sixth year, the special Santa Express Mailbox will be placed at the Nutley Park Oval entrance on Chestnut Street where children can deliver their letters starting on Friday, Nov. 25, in conjunction with Santa’s Arrival in the Oval, which is sponsored by the Nutley Chamber of Commerce.  The last day of collection will be Tuesday, Dec. 20, allowing Santa enough time to respond to each letter by Christmas.

Parents are asked to please remember to have children include their age and return address on each letter to Santa.  The address is really important since Santa doesn’t always have the luxury of time to look up addresses during the busy holiday season.

For more information, please contact Kim Russomanno at 973-284-4976, or krussomanno@nutleynj.org.  Remember to visitwww.nutleynj.org for the latest on township news, programs and events.






Snowstorm creates havoc

Photo by Karen Zautyk/ Downed wires are draped dangerously close to roadway at Washington Ave. and Fairview Place, Kearny.


By Karen Zautyk

On Friday night, perhaps for the first time in living memory, local TV weather forecasters provided information the viewers could actually use.
Because the leaves were still on the trees, they warned, snow from the approaching storm would weigh heavily on the branches – more so than in a normal winter snowfall – and those branches, and maybe entire trees, would fall.
There was nothing anyone could do about that, but at least we were warned. And,
starting on Saturday, evidence of the accuracy of this prediction was all over the
After Hurricane Irene, we wrote that Kearny looked like one big crime scene,
with yellow tape blocking off fallen limbs and downed wires on streets throughout
the community.
This weekend, the scene was even more devastating.
Entire blocks were closed. And there were branches everywhere, along with wires
draped over autos, sidewalks and lawns.
“This storm was 100% worse than Hurricane Irene,” said Kearny Police Sgt. John
Manley, deputy coordinator of the town’s Office of Emergency Management. “The
trees still had leaves, and the wet snow, the weight of the snow,” combined to make
conditions extremely hazardous, he noted.

Photos by Karen Zautyk & Anthony J. Machcinski





Post-storm scenes of downed trees and wires, and one resident sawing up a fallen tree (from top): Oakwood Ave., Kearny; Edgar Place, Nutley; Kearny Ave. at Washington Ave., Kearny; River Road, Nutley, and South Midland Ave., Kearny.

“The tops of the trees were splitting and branches were falling everywhere,” he said.
Kearny Police Chief John Dowie told The Observer that, from noon Saturday until noon Sunday, the KPD logged 454 calls.  “As you can imagine, they were mainly downed trees, wires, road closures, flooding, accidents, etc.”
To deal with the 911 deluge, the department held over the morning shift into the afternoon.
Manley  noted that the Kearny Fire Department was also “running from call to call.”  These, he said, involved” downed wires, wires arcing, wires on fire, trees on fire.”
On Saturday, while the snow was still falling, the responders faced particularly perilous conditions. “As we were out there checking things out, trees and branches were falling all around us,” Manley said. “During the storm, it was too dangerous for anyone to work under the trees.”
He could only guess, but he speculated that thousands of branches and perhaps several hundred trees were down all over town.
Clean-up began in full on Sunday, and PSEG, which was on the scene during the storm, was to bring in extra manpower this week to deal with the power outages, which were affecting various neighborhoods.
The OEM was also assessing the damage along with the utility and the Department of Public Works.
The storm even forced the cancellation of the annual Halloween parade, which had been scheduled for Sunday along Kearny Ave.
Mayor Alberto Santos explained that, even though the storm had passed, conditions in town were “unsafe.” The Washington School playground, where costumed children were to gather, had not been cleared and “many sidewalks were not clear.” Add to that the downed trees and fallen power lines.
“We assessed the situation and decided it was much more prudent to cancel,” the mayor said.
The destruction in Kearny was repeated throughout Hudson, South Bergen and Essex counties.
A drive through Nutley on Sunday showed that it appeared to have been especially hard hit. We saw damage on every block we passed. The streets were a carpet of wet foliage. Branches were down on most streets, and there were also limbs covering the railroad tracks. Entire trees had been split, as if some giant lumberjack had taken an ax to them.
Throughout our region, homes were still without power at press time Monday, and some residents had been cautioned that electricity might not be restored until Wednesday.
PSEG was reportedly bringing in utility workers from as far away as  Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi to bolster its own work crews.

Hell hath no fury like . . .

By Karen Zautyk

A 42-year-old township woman was arrested last Wednesday for allegedly trying
to hire a hitman to kill her ex-boyfriend’s current love interest, authorities reported.
The suspect was identified as Nicole Faccenda, 42, of Olive St., Lyndhurst. The identities of the former boyfriend, with whom Faccenda reportedly has a child, and the new girlfriend, were not made public.
According to authorities, the ex also has a child with his new paramour. The longterm
relationship between Faccenda and the man reportedly ended about three months ago.
According to the criminal complaint, as released by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in Newark, Faccenda, seeking help in finding an assassin, phoned a friend in Florida on or about Oct. 19 and explained what she wanted done. She reportedly commented that she had already bought a black outfit to wear to the girlfriend’s funeral and was ready to pay $10,000- $20,000 for the hit.
Later, the complaint states, Faccenda told the supposed hired gun that she wanted to
“spit on the casket.”
She also allegedly “stated that she did not want her ex-boyfriend dead but that he can be shot in the foot, but the victim’s girlfriend has to be shot in the head, ‘gone, gone to the moon’ and that her happiest day will be” when she gets the phone call that the job is done.
According to the complaint, Faccenda also said that she did not want the girlfriend’s children killed, “but if something happens to one of them, ‘Oh, well, I’m sorry.’ ”
The individual Faccenda had called in Florida immediately contacted federal authorities, Fishman’s office said, and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began recording conversations between the two.
On Oct. 21, the complaint charges, Faccenda met with the supposed hitman for the first time, in an A&P parking lot in Mahwah. At the initial meet-up,  authorities said, Faccenda stated she had “watched a lot of Lifetime movies”  and wanted to make sure the man was not a cop.  Unbeknownst to the suspect, he was a “cop,” or, more specifically,  an undercover ATF agent.
Subsequent meetings with her friend reportedly took place in the lot of the Red Robin restaurant in Clifton on Oct. 22 and at an Exxon station next to the Olive Garden restaurant in Secaucus on Oct. 24.
Faccenda reportedly agreed on a  $10,000 price for the job – $5,000 up front and the balance when the deed was done.
During the negotiations with the hitman/agent, the complaint says,  the suspect was told she had to be sure of her decision, and she allegedly responded, “That’s not even an issue.”
At the Secaucus meeting, Fishman’s office stated, Faccenda gave her friend an envelope containing $2,000 and later that night and into the early hours of Oct. 25, via phone and text messages, allegedly provided the  intended victim’s name, photo and license plate number.
On Oct. 26, the friend phoned her to report  the victim had been shot in the head and it had been made to look like a robbery, Fishman’s office said.
Faccenda was arrested the same day by ATF agents at her place of work in Mahwah.
“This was a cold and calculated plan to end the life of another person,” Fishman said.  “It failed because of the actions of a private citizen, who immediately contacted authorities, and the diligence and hard work of federal investigators. Because of their quick  action, a life was saved.”
Faccenda appeared in Federal Court in Newark on the 26th and was remanded on a  charge of using the mail and facilities of commerce with the intent that a murder be committed for payment.
If convicted, she faces a maximum prison term of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.
Fishman’s office noted that the charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Nab 1, hunt 2 in store holdup

By Karen Zautyk

One suspect was apprehended and two were being hunted by police following an armed robbery at the Quick Chek on Kearny Ave. last week.
“An intense follow-up investigation is underway, and we have substantial leads to
the identity of the cohorts,“ Kearny Police Chief John Dowie told The Observer.
At 12:45 a.m. Thursday, Officers Rich Pawlowski and Pat Walsh were on patrol when they noticed a couple arguing outside the convenience store. When the cops stopped their squad car, the woman ran over and told them there was a suspicious group inside. (Dowie said the argument apparently was about whether or not to report this, with the woman wanting to call police and her male companion preferring to just leave.)
Through the window, the officers could see a man atop the store counter. After advising headquarters that there was a probable robbery in progress and requesting back-up, they drew their weapons and took cover positions to watch the door, Dowie said.
Before the additional units could arrive, three males exited the store. The cops ordered them to the ground, but the suspects took flight, running east on Bergen Ave. Two broke off and turned north on Chestnut St., while the third headed to Devon and ran south.
While Pawlowski and Walsh were engaged in the foot pursuit, other KPD units set up a containment perimeter. Officers Tom Sumowski and Tom Floyd spotted the pair who were on Chestnut and began a chase, but the suspects “went to ground” in the backyards and managed to elude the officers. Later, the Hudson County K-9 unit joined the search, but the two culprits had escaped.
Meanwhile, Walsh encountered a pedestrian, not one of the suspects, who told the officer that a running man had stopped him and asked to use his cell phone, “and the guy let him,” said Dowie.
Det. Sgt. John View and Det. Ray Lopez had joined the search, and at Chestnut and Boyd Sts., Lopez stopped a man who fit the physical description of the phone-borrower. He could not give a legitimate answer as to what he was doing there, but neither was he wearing the black hat, black hoodie and black sneakers that all three suspects had worn, the chief noted.
But at the same time, Dowie said, Officers Glenn Reed and Jay Balogh, who were also searching the area, found the clothing in question discarded on the ground. And, in a garbage can nearby, Lopez found a handgun.
The quick-change artist, an 18-year-old from Newark, was arrested on robbery, conspiracy and weapons charges and eluding police.
The search for his companions is continuing.
Dowie commended all the responding officers for securing the area and finding the evidence. “That was key,” he noted.
Dowie added: “This was a very good job on the part of all the officers involved, especially the first two responding officers, who came upon a crime in progress, who didn’t overreact, but took a good position and displayed a lot of restraint.”
This, the chief noted, “was a three-on-two confrontation.” He also commended Pawlowski and Walsh “for having the courage to engage in the foot pursuit of the suspects, all of whom were possibly armed.”
Dowie said no one in the store was hurt during the holdup. An undetermined amount of cash was removed from the registers.