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2014-12-21 18_18_32-Greenshot

Clerks tied up, shots fired at Belleville Radio Shack armed robbery Sunday morning

BELLEVILLE — The following report was issued by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday (Dec. 21): At 11:22 this morning, officers from the Belleville Police Department were summoned by a 911 caller to a possible armed robbery at the […]


Have you seen this alleged Nutley burglar?

NUTLEY — Police say they are investigating a diversion burglary that allegedly occurred on Fischer Ave. on Dec. 9. An elderly resident told police that a man banged on her front door at 3 p.m., Dec. 9, claiming there was […]


Help sought in cold case

By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  Somebody knows something. Six years ago, an 87-year-old man was deliberately run down by a car in a South Kearny parking lot and robbed while he lay helpless on the ground. He died of his injuries the next day. Authorities ruled the death […]

100G for Arena tax case

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  HARRISON –  Now that the state Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether the New York Red Bulls professional soccer team should pay taxes on the stadium and the land it occupies in Harrison, the town has hired an outside law firm to […]


Staffing Skyway fire-watch

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY – For the first time, members of the Kearny Fire Department will have a shot at off-duty pay, much like their counterparts at the Police Department have enjoyed for many years, although there is a sunset provision for the privilege. This opportunity […]


Blue Tide looks to build on last year’s success

Pitcher/slugger Ferriero returns for another season

Photo by Jim Hague/ The Harrison Blue Tide baseball team will rely heavily on their “Core Four,” namely from left Felipe Flores, Sean Byrne, head coach Sean Dolaghan, Jairo Quintanilla and Anthony Ferriero.

By Jim Hague

The Harrison High School baseball team did a lot of eye opening last season. Led by diligent coach Sean Dolaghan, the Blue Tide rolled to 14 wins, including a shocking upset of St. Peter’s Prep in the Hudson County Tournament and wins in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group I state playoffs.

After losing just two starters to graduation, Dolaghan hopes to build on that successful season.

“It definitely put us on the map,” Dolaghan said. “It was good to see us get recognized for how well we did. We won some games last year, like St. Peter’s Prep and St. Mary’s, teams we never beat before. It gave our kids a lot of confidence and now we have high hopes for this season. You could tell from Day One that these kids are ready to compete this season.”

To get his team ready, Dolaghan scheduled some tough opponents in preseason scrimmages, foes like Dayton Regional, Park Ridge and neighboring rival Kearny.

“We want to be able to play the better teams,” Dolaghan said.

It must have worked, because the Blue Tide came out smoking in their first regular season game last Saturday, defeating St. Benedict’s Prep, 10-0. Not a bad way to start the new campaign.

“The kids were definitely ready,” Dolaghan said.

Leading the returnees is senior right-handed pitcher/infielder Anthony Ferriero. The ace of the pitching staff, Ferriero had an impressive 7-2 record with an earned run average just a hair above 2.00 last season. It was Ferriero who earned the win in their historic upset of Prep.

Ferriero is also a sensational hitter, batting .500 with five homers and 38 RBI, earning All-Hudson County honors.

“When Anthony is on the mound, we know we can beat just about anyone,” Dolaghan said. “It’s a different confidence level for everyone when Anthony is pitching. He can definitely do better this season, but if he gives us just half of what he did last year, we’ll be fine. He had a special year. If he comes close to that again, we’ll be a good team.”

Senior Sean Byrne also returns to the mound corps, although Dolaghan is so impressed with his pitching staff, he may leave Byrne at shortstop for the entire season, even though Byrne was impressive as a pitcher last year, winning three games.

“He’s much better at shortstop and when he’s at shortstop, we’re a much better team,” Dolaghan said of Byrne, who hit close to .400 last season. “He’s a very good shortstop.”

Byrne might be called upon to serve as the team’s closer, becoming like the Mariano Rivera of Harrison.

Senior Felipe Flores also returns. Flores was the team’s catcher last year, earning All-NJIC Meadowlands Division honors last season. This year, Dolaghan converted the hard-throwing Flores into a full-time starting pitcher and it’s already paid dividends, as Flores fanned 13 in the shutout win over St. Benedict’s last Saturday.

“I was concerned that Felipe might have a tough time going seven innings, but he proved me wrong,” Dolaghan said. “He looked strong.”

The Blue Tide pitching staff also features senior Jairo Quintanilla and sophomore Sebastian Sanchez.

What gave Dolaghan the ability to move Flores from behind the plate came when junior Emil Zorillo transferred into Harrison from the Dominican Republic. Zorillo has been a major find behind the dish.

“He has a cannon for an arm,” Dolaghan said. “He’s one of the best I’ve seen. He hit at least three homers during our scrimmages.”

And Zorillo started off the season in fine fashion with a homer, triple and four RBI. He’s a player to watch.

The first base duties are being shared by Ferriero when he’s not on the mound and senior Luis Velasquez.

Dolaghan has a pair of sophomores to man second base, namely his cousin, Tommy Dolaghan, and Moises Roque.

“Tommy knows the game and he’s a good player,” the head coach said of his cousin. “He’s a nice fielder and has a very good future. Moises is also a good player. They have a nice little competition going and they push each other.”

Byrne is a mainstay at shortstop and should be one of the top performers in the NJIC Meadowlands Division this season. Quintanilla plays third, but the versatile Ferriero might see time there as well.

Photo by Jim Hague/ Senior Sean Byrne won three games last season and is a mainstay for the Harrison Blue Tide at shortstop.

Sophomore Adam Huseinovic, who started every game last year as a freshman, returns to his slot in left field.

“Adam hits the ball and hits it hard,” Dolaghan said.

Flores has been shifted from catcher to centerfield when he’s not pitching. When Flores is on the hill, senior Justin Agosto is in center.

The Blue Tide’s right fielder is senior Christian Otero.

Harrison will get to know how good it is in a hurry, as the Blue Tide faces league rivals Becton Regional and Lyndhurst this week. Talk fire.

But Dolaghan thinks his team will be ready. His coaching staff, consisting of Charlie Comprelli, Jimmy Morais and former Kearny High and Montclair State pitching ace Jairo Mendez, feel good about the prospects.

“Our team is based on our pitching and defense,” Dolaghan said. “We’re going to be a good team no matter what because of that. But if we can hit, we can be a great team. We have to be able to push some runs across this season. A lot of these kids are back from last year and the confi dence is there. We have a ‘Core Four’ of seniors (Ferriero, Flores, Byrne, Quintanilla) who have been through a lot and want to do well again this year.”

Chances are that they will.

Better times ahead for Kearny softball squad

Photos by Jim Hague/ The hopes of a successful softball season at Kearny lie with senior pitcher Ashleigh Amadeo (left) and senior shortstop Sarah O’Neill (right), two standout veterans who have to lead the way.


By Jim Hague

A year ago, the Kearny High School softball team had to endure some troubled times. The Kardinals started off the season with six straight losses and eventually saw their record stand at 2-9.

There were also chemistry and camaraderie woes with the team. Some players didn’t show up regularly. Others went on family vacations in the middle of the season. It caused a ton of discord among the Kardinals.

Eventually, the team all got together and won their share of games, finishing with a more respectable 10-14 record.

But as Jimmy Pickel begins his third season as the Kardinals’ head coach, he’s vowing that the same troubles that plagued the Kards last year will not return this season.
“We definitely should be better, because we’re all on the same page, definitely more than last year,” Pickel said. “This should be the best team we’ve had in my three years.”

The Kardinals went on a week’s trip to Myrtle Beach to partake in spring training at the Ripken  Experience, the facility owned by Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. The Kards played six scrimmage games in South Carolina, but they also got to know themselves a little better and grew as a team.

“We saw top quality pitching in those six games and we won’t see anything like that in the regular season,” Pickel said. “It definitely got us ready.”

It’s also refreshing to know that Pickel has a deep and versatile team, beginning with a pitching staff that goes three-deep.

Senior Ashleigh Amadeo is definitely the team’s top returning pitcher and should get the bulk of the pitching duty this season, but she has ample help from juniors Kim Campbell and Nicole Stankus.

“We’re going to try to mix and match a little,” Pickel said. “We’ll use Ashleigh as our starter, but we’ll have the others ready in relief if we need them. It’s a good thing to have that much pitching. You don’t have to rely on one.”

Junior Kristen Stankus, one of three Stankus triplets in the Kearny program, is the team’s new catcher. Kristen Stankus played first base last year.

“She’s been pretty solid, considering she didn’t play there last year,” Pickel said. “She’s coming along.”

First base duties will be shared by Amadeo, when she’s not pitching, along with juniors Christina Rivera and Emily Papa.

Second base will be handled by senior Stephanie Murphy.

“She’s an outstanding second baseman who has really stepped up this year,” Pickel said.

Senior Sarah O’Neill, who was an All-Hudson County centerfielder last year, has been moved to shortstop this season.

“She’s played everywhere for us, pitched, played third, played center,” Pickel said. “She’s handled the move to shortstop well. I really think she could play any position.”

Junior Kelsey French is the third baseman.

“Kelsey is a solid player who did well at the end of last year,” Pickel said. “She became comfortable at the end of last season and that has carried over.”

Senior Vanessa DaSilva, the standout point guard on the basketball team, has returned to playing softball after a two-year absence.

“She was a little behind at first because she had been away for so long, but she’s caught up now,” said Pickel of DaSilva, who is the team’s starter in left field.

Sophomore Nicole Kelly has taken over the responsibilities in center field.

“She’s very athletic out there,” Pickel said. “The one good thing is that we have a very athletic team.”

Right field is being shared by sophomore Spiridoula Dimou, senior Kaitlyn Lima and Campbell.

“Finding playing time for all of them might be tough, but they’re all productive,” Pickel said. “It’s good to have a deep team.”

Senior Ashley Dunwoodie, who missed some time due to injury, is working her way back into playing form.

“She’s coming back now, but she will have to catch up to match the others,” Pickel said. “Ashley can be more of a DP (designated player), but she can also play the outfield.”

Junior Kerry Sweeney is the team’s resident jack-of-all-trades, playing all of the infield positions.

“She has good versatility,” Pickel said. “I think the team is also very versatile and that helps.”

The Kardinals open their season with Hudson County league contests against Bayonne and Ferris. The big test will come next week when they face North Bergen.

But Pickel knows one thing for sure. There will not be a repeat performance of a year ago.

“That’s not expected at all this year,” Pickel said. “We know we have the ability to do good things this year. We want to get off to a good start this year.”

Count on it.

Golden Bears softball squad looking to shine

Photo by Jim Hague/ The Lyndhurst High School softball team is ready to build on last year’s successful campaign. From left are assistant coach Diana Auteri, Jenna Latino, Brianna Montalvo, head coach Elaine Catanese, Nicole Baratta and Lauren Vendola.


By Jim Hague

The Lyndhurst High School softball team set high goals last year – and managed to reach some of them, like qualifying for the Bergen County Tournament and the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group I playoffs.

“We’re trying to build on the success we had last year,” Lyndhurst head coach Elaine Catanese said. “It was the first time that we went to both the county and state playoffs in several years. We were one game away from winning the league (the NJIC Meadowlands A Division). It was not a bad year at all.”

Sensing that the Golden Bears were going to be highly competitive again this season, Catanese went out and scheduled independent games against quality competition.

“Because of what we did last year, we wanted to play the tougher competition to make us a better team,” Catanese said.

If the Golden Bears are going to be better than a 14-win team this spring, they will need another big season from junior Casey Zdanek, who did a little bit of everything last year. Zdanek was the Golden Bears’ top pitcher, but she was also the team’s cleanup hitter, batting .500 with eight homers and 32 RBI.

“I really hope she can do better than last year,” Catanese said. “If she does, that would be great. She’s really pivotal to us when she’s in the circle. It’s up to the rest of the team to back her up. I’m hoping Casey takes more of a leadership role this season.”

Zdanek’s backstop, Julieann Schneidenbach, also returns. Schneidenbach has been a two-year starter for the Golden Bears and she’s an excellent defensive backstop.

“She’s great at pitches in the dirt,” Catanese said. “She really can block anything. That’s her strongest asset. You hardly ever see a ball get past her. She’s also our No. 3 hitter who can hit with power.”

Everyone knows that the strength to a high school softball team lies with having a solid pitcher and catcher – and the Golden Bears have both.

Sophomore Alyssa Pipon is the team’s first baseman. Pipon came on strong at the end of last season after she had knee surgery that kept her out for the first half of the year. With Pipon back on track, Catanese expects big things from the first-sacker. Senior Jenna Latino is the team’s starting second baseman. Latino is an excellent fielder up the middle for the Golden Bears.

As the season approaches, Catanese has not settled on her starting shortstop or third baseman, but she knows what two players are going to be there.

Sophomore Grace Tomko and freshman Jennifer Tellifsen are going to play, but it’s not known what positions yet.

“They’re going to flip flop between short and third,” Catanese said. “They’re both good players and good hitters.”

Sophomore Jenna DiTomasso is the left fielder. DiTomasso is one of the finest all-around athletes in the school.

Senior Nicole Baratta returns to her familiar spot in centerfield. Baratta is also a great athlete, playing soccer and basketball.

“She does everything,” Catanese said. “She just needs to take charge this year. Having her in centerfield is great, because she’s able to cover a lot of ground out there. She’s also our lead-off hitter and is very fast.”

Baratta batted .378 last year at the top of the Golden Bears’ lineup.

Sophomore Bianca Fata is the right fielder. Fata is part of the Golden Bears’ younger group that serves a purpose as the program continues to build.

“We have a young team that will be strong this year and even stronger next year,” Catanese said. “This is really one of the best times of my life, because we have a young team, but we have a family bond with this team. We go to dinner together as a team. We are really close and do things together. I like that about this team. I like the way they all get along.”

The Golden Bears were set to face Queen of Peace and Harrison to begin their 2012 season.

“Of course, we have high hopes and expectations,” Catanese said. “We set five goals before first practice and the pursuit of those goals has brought this team together. We need to accomplish those five goals in order to move forward.”

And the five goals?

“I’m not about to tell you,” Catanese said with a laugh. It should be a very interesting season for the Golden Bears.

Dollar cost averaging

 Does it work in a down market?


Here’s a novel idea, buy low and sell high. This is perhaps the oldest saw in the stock market. However, in the wake of the recent sell-off, dollar cost averaging may provide you with the opportunity to capture lower prices today. Although dollar cost averaging can’t protect you against market loss or guarantee investment gain, it does eliminate the need to time the market.

How does it work? Dollar cost averaging (DCA) is a long-term investment strategy. It means investing in small increments. Through scheduled investments of as little as $50 or $100 per month, you buy investment shares over time, as opposed to pouring a big lump sum into the market. This method of investing is often recommended to younger investors with longer time horizons, and investors who don’t yet have great wealth.

But it can work for everyone. Also, some investments have a minimum requirement of $1,000 or more but will allow a small purchase if you invest on a periodic basis.

Why is it worthwhile in a bear market? First of all, when the market drops, the investor practicing dollar cost averaging may not experience as big of a decline as the lump sum investor – as the lump sum investor holds many more shares of the declining fund or stock. The volatility that drives investors crazy, as they see the value of their portfolios plummet, is a friend of the DCA investor.

Second, a stock market downturn produces a kind of “clearance sale” environment. Picture Wall Street as a department store, with signs everywhere announcing 20 percent or 30 percent off. You have a chance to buy into some top-quality companies “on sale.” As a result of dollar cost averaging, you can now buy in at a lower price – and buy more shares for your money.

Another advantage of DCA is that by buying shares at different prices over time, your purchase price is below the average share price.

So what happens when the market recovers? As the market rebounds, you can pat yourself on the back. You were able to buy big at the bottom of the market, and as the market rises, you will have a lower cost basis. All the while, you continue contributing to a winning fund or stock. (Of course, the fact is that a lump sum investor may profit even more from a market rebound, as he or she may hold comparatively more shares than you.)

Perhaps most importantly, you stay invested. Dollar cost averaging gives you a regular, passive investment strategy as opposed to market timing. In a volatile market, the active investor can quickly become a frustrated casualty of his or her impulses – and foolishly “abandon ship.”

Think of a tortoise-and–hare analogy. The active investor sprinting all over the place for spectacular gains is the hare: You, through dollar cost averaging, emulate the tortoise. It may not be the “sexiest” way to invest, but in a down market, it is a long-term approach well worth considering.

We have witnessed huge downturns in stocks. The question is, “How are you positioning yourself to potentially take advantage of the markets when things rebound?” This is a good time to review or rebalance your portfolio, to look past the headlines of the moment and toward your long-term objectives. If you’re not currently practicing dollar cost averaging, you may want to consider the concept. (Dollar cost averaging does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.)

Declining prices do not assure that they will recover and increase. Dollar cost averaging involves continuous investment in securities regardless of fluctuation in price levels of such securities. An investor should consider their ability to continue purchasing through fluctuating price levels. Such a plan does not assure a profit and does not protect against loss in declining markets.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for the individual. Randy Neumann, CFP® is a registered representative with and securities and insurance offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. He can be reached at 600 East Crescent Avenue, Suite 104, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458, 201-291-9000.

Humor blossoming at N. Arlington nursery

Photo by Anthony J. Machcinski/ Joe (l.) and Nick DiDonna in front of Charlie’s.


By Anthony J. Machcinski

After nearly four decades of existence, Charlie’s Nursery & Garden Center in North Arlington, will finally get its chance to shine.

Charlie’s will host an episode of TruTV’s hit show “Impractical Jokers,” a TV show in which a team of comedians pulls pranks on unsuspecting customers. The episode featuring Charlie’s will debut on April 5 at 10 p.m.

“We were on the road doing a delivery and they just randomly called the store and asked us if we wanted to be a part of it,” said Charlie’s co-manager Nick DiDonna. “My dad thought it was a joke or that it was a prank call, but we said yes and a week or two later a producer and a field scout came to eye the area.”

Once committed, shooting took place during late October and early November for the show, which made its TV debut on Dec. 15.

“(The TV crew) came the first morning at like 6 a.m. to set up,” recalled Joe DiDonna, Nick’s older brother and co-manager of Charlie’s.

For the elder DiDonna, however, it was the life behind the camera lens that got him really interested in the show.

“I was more excited to see the back part of it,” said Joe, who, like his younger brother, attended William Patterson University pursuing a communications degree. “It was amazing to see the preparation they put in to each show. It wasn’t just setting up five cameras. It was everything else, from audio guys and technicians that really showed how hard the crew worked.”

The brothers got into the floral business after attempting to get into the construction business.

“We went into (the floral business) with our father to build townhouses,” said Joe. “That one year plan turned into a couple of years and then this opportunity (to buy Charlie’s nursery from its original owner) occurred and we turned it into a career.”

“It was just a job to get us through college,” Nick added. “At one point, we really started to like it and the more we began to know about it, the more we liked it.”

With nearly five years of experience under their belts, Nick and Joe DiDonna have been able to keep up the tradition that has been associated with Charlie’s.

Charlie’s Nursery & Garden Center, located at 275 River Road in North Arlington, is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and opens at 8 a.m. on the weekend. For more information, visit www.charliesnurserynj.com.


She and her patients see eye to eye

Photo by Anthony J. Machcinski/ Dr. Maria Domingues


By Anthony J. Machcinski

With a kind heart and a jovial personality, Dr. Maria Domingues can be seen moving about her office caring for patients of all ages, making what could be a nuisance of a visit to the eye doctor into a pleasant experience.

However, her journey into the world of optometry wasn’t along a conventional path. She enrolled at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), intending to pursue engineering, but the young woman realized that her choice of major had lost its luster and looked for something different.

“I had a friend that suggested that I would be good with patients,” Domingues explained. “I was looking for different graduate programs and optometry just caught my eye.”

After receiving her optometry degree from NJIT, Domingues took her revitalized passion to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where she would receive her doctor of optometry degree in 2009 from Nova Southeastern College of Optometry.

About a year ago, the Kearny native returned to New Jersey, seeing patients in Irvington. It was during her time in Irvington that Domingues was able to see some of her hard work pay off.

“When I opened my first practice in Irvington, the patients had many (eye-disease related) problems,” Domingues explained. “I was finally able to see why I did the things I did during optometry school. It was a really good preparation for what was to come.”

From Irvington, Domingues was able to partner with her brother-in-law and open a second office in Lyndhurst, allowing her to practice even closer to her hometown.

“Dr. (Matthew) Zeiler was retiring,” Domingues said, when asked about how she arrived in Lyndhurst. “When he retired, it just happened to be a good fit. I had a few days off and this just fit right in.”

In the near future, Domingues hopes to enlarge her business by bringing in her sister, who is currently in optometry school herself.

“When my sister graduates, we can try to expand,” Domingues explained. “Maybe, we can build up a chain one day. I’m just really fortunate.”

Regardless of how many offices she has, Domingues’ focus is on one aspect of the business she loves more than anything.

“The interaction with the people that I meet day-to-day,” Domingues said. “Everyone has a different story. You really can make an impact on people’s lives.”

Dr. Maria Domingues and Pink Vision Associates are located at 348 Ridge Road in Lyndhurst and at 1068 Clinton Ave. in Irvington.


Joseph Domerstad

Joseph Domerstad, 66, died on Saturday March 31, in the Community Medical Center, Toms River.

Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral service will be held at the funeral home, followed by a private cremation. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com.

Joseph was born in Newark and lived in Kearny for many years before moving to Toms River one year ago.

Along with his beloved wife Judy, Joe owned and operated Judy and Joe’s Cleaning Company of Kearny for 30 years.

He is survived by his wife Judy (Mercuro); his loving children Jody, Nancy and Brian Domerstad and his godchildren Nicole and Melissa Bannon.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions to DRIVE4COPD at www.drive4copd.org.


Catherine M. Kaman

Catherine M. Kaman (nee Knapp) died on March 31 in St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic. She was 53. Born in Hackensack, she lived in Union City before moving to Lyndhurst 35 years ago.

Visiting will be on Wednesday, April 4, at the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny, beginning at 9 a.m., followed by a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. in Queen of Peace Church and burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. To leave an online condolence please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Cathy is survived by her husband Michael Kaman, her parents John and Gloria Knapp, her children Michael J., Robert A. and Melissa C. Kaman her brothers and sisters John, Barbara and Michael Knapp and Debbie Paparelli and her grandson Mason. She was predeceased by her brother Richard Knapp.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the charity of your choice.


Lidia Naranjo

Lidia Naranjo, (nee Palacios), 88, of Harrison, passed away on Thursday, March 29. The funeral will be conducted from the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison, on Thursday, April 5, at 10:30 a.m. with a prayer service at the funeral home, followed by interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Friends may call on Wednesday, April 4, from 4 to 7 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m.

For directions, information to send condolences to the family please visit: www.mulliganfuneralhome.org.

Lidia was born in Cuba, the daughter of the late Ramon and Maria and beloved wife of the late Carlos (2004).

She is survived by her sons Carlos and her daughter-in-law Clara, and Gilbert and his wife Fanny, and her cherished grandsons Carlos and his wife Lisa and Alex and his wife Michelle. She is also a great-grandmother to five great-grandchildren

Please omit flowers and make donations to the family in care of the funeral home for services in memory of Lidia.


Vincent J. Pierandozzi

Vincent J. Pierandozzi died on March 25 in North Broward Hospital in Pompino, Fla. He was 80. Born in Bristol, Pa., he lived in North Arlington before moving to Florida in 1997.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A service was held on Friday, March 30, at the funeral home, followed by a private cremation. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Vincent enlisted in the U.S Army during the Korean War. He was a self-employed furniture repair technician in Kearny and currently worked in security for Allegiance in Boca Roton, Fla.

He is survived by his wife Carole Pierandozzi and children Vincent and Rita Pierandozzi and Lisa Ciccia. He was the brother of Linda, Laura and Peter Pierandozzi, Rita Lo Presti, Josephine Cavalie and Beatrice Dunlap; also surviving are many grand and great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, kindly make a donation to the American Cancer Society.

 John R. Smith

John R. Smith died on March 31at home. He was 77. Born in Glasgow, Scotland he immigrated to Canada and moved to Kearny 40 years ago.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral Mass  was held at St. Cecilia’s Church, Kearny, followed by a private cremation. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

John was a retired machine mechanic from Kleer Kast in Kearny. He was also a member of the Scots American Club. John is the husband of Sadie (nee Shivers), father of Donna Woups and the late Helen Smith; brother of the late Donald, he is also survived by his grandchildren Mandi, Chelsie, Ross and Sarah.

Message for the Soul: Value Your Relationships

How many of us are always running behind time? Even though we may wish to plan ahead and make time for everything that is on our mind, very few succeed in accomplishing all their tasks. As we continue to live in stressful times, we often tend to neglect delicate relationships. As much as we all hate to accept the fact that over a period of time we start taking our loved ones for granted; many will agree that it is true. We hear many wise men say that one must live their life as if it were their last day and even though we agree with that; not many of us are able to live by that principle and hence continue to hold grudges against people who shouldn’t matter. Instead we must appreciate the beauty in loving relationships and count our blessings for having them in our lives. Take time out to spend a quiet evening with your parents who probably sacrificed a lot for you, or bring some simple joys to your siblings and children by coming home in a nice mood and greeting them with a smile. It isn’t important to spend a fortune time and again to express how much you value those in your life, but just a good positive vibration exuberating from you is a gift enough. Put your thoughts into words. Don’t just assume your partner knows how much you love them; expressing it verbally occasionally will do no harm and in fact it will only help blossom the love you both share. I am sure this is common knowledge for everyone, but the reason I bring it up again is because even though we know it, not many of us apply it. I suggest you take a token of love; which can be anything that symbolizes love for you, such as a poster or a wall hanging and hang it in the most prominent and visible part of your home where you can see it every day as a reminder. Take a moment and hug someone. Comfort others when you see them in pain. A kind word, a helping hand and an encouraging word can go a long way in spreading happiness amongst people who we love dearly. They deserve it and you do too. You deserve to be nurtured, loved and respected. In the end all that really matters is how well you have lived your life. Remember, it is our family and friends that make our lives beautiful. So let’s hold these people close to our hearts now and forever.


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

Nutley Police Blotter

March 23

After getting off a bus, a Nutley resident was walking on Park Ave. near River Road at 12:39 a.m. when he was assaulted by three people and robbed of money and a cellular phone.

March 22

A burglar got into a Coyeman Ave. residence, sometime between 5 and 8:23 p.m., by shattering a rear glass door and removed undisclosed items from the house. Detectives are also investigating an attempted burglary, reported at the same time, at a Margaret Ave. home where someone broke the glass in the rear door while muffling the sound with a drop cloth. Nutley Police and the Essex County Sheriff’s K-9 unit attempted to track a scent detected at the Margaret Ave. location.

A teen attending track practice at DeMuro Park reported that someone stole his cellular phone, valued at more than $400, from an unsecured locker at that location. The theft was reported at 5:42 p.m.

Rhett Ellis, 47, of East Orange, was arrested at 4:40 p.m. at a Harrison St. business where Ellis was found to be concealing hair products without paying for them. Ellis was ticketed for shoplifting and possession of drugs and released pending a court appearance.

Police pulled over a vehicle operated by Angel Mendez, 39 of East Orange for a traffic stop on E. Passaic Ave. at 11:25 a.m. and discovered he had outstanding warrants totaling more than $1,500  from Union City, Bloomfield and Newark. Police said Mendez tried to avoid arresting officers. He was charged with resisting arrest and eluding and was detained on $500 Nutley bail pending payment.

March 21

A mother got separated from her 9-year-old child at a Passaic Ave. convenience store at 7:49 p.m. but officers managed to find the missing youngster walking a block away. Police said the child, who was confused and frightened, was reunited with the mother.

Aika Chaudhary, 35, of Nutley, was in Nutley Municipal Court at 11:32 a.m. when an alert police officer recognized her as someone who was wanted by the Morris County Sheriff’s Department. She was taken into custody and turned over to Morris County authorities.

March 20

At 8:37 p.m. police arrested Robert Christian, 45, of Belleville, on a theft charge as he was about to get into a car outside a Franklin Ave. business. Management identified Christian as the individual who took items from the shop without paying. Police recovered all the merchandise. After giving officers a false identity, Christian was also charged with hindering apprehension. Police learned that Christian had several outstanding warrants: $325 from Newark, $500 from Linden and $658 from Springfield. He was turned over to Linden Police.

Police were called to a private school on Park Ave. at 7:03 p.m. to mediate a dispute. Police calmed the people quarreling and advised them of their right to sign complaints.

March 19

A Milton Ave. resident called police at 3:09 p.m. to report that someone had entered the resident’s vehicle and removed a number of items.

A vandal slashed the front tire of a Harrison St. resident’s vehicle while it was parked on Monsignor Deluca Place. The incident was logged in at 11:03 a.m.

A frantic Linn Road resident called police at 10:55 a.m. to report her two-year-old child missing. When officers arrived, they found the mother running down Craig Place in search of the toddler who, police quickly discovered, was hiding inside the resident’s home.

Someone damaged cement bags and discharged three fire extinguishers inside a Washington Ave. business, the owner told police at 7:30 a.m.

March 18

An arrest resulted from a motor vehicle accident on Rt. 21 at 6:15 a.m. in which one car was spun around. A bystander told police that a man involved in the accident claimed he didn’t have a driver’s license and was trying to flee. Disregarding a police order to halt, that man leaped over a barrier and continued running. But police managed to track down the man, identified as Todd Goodwin, 23, of Paterson, bleeding from the nose and lip, walking along River Road. He denied being in the accident but officers found that he had keys that fit the vehicle left behind at the accident scene. He was a relative of the car’s registered owner, police said. Goodwin was provided medical treatment and was charged with obstruction, leaving the scene of an accident and other charges.

A speeding motorist was stopped on Rt. 21 at 4 a.m. and ticketed for the violation. Police didn’t release the driver’s name.

March 17

An out-of-state motorist with a suspended license was traveling in excess of 100 mph on Rt. 21 at 1:09 a.m. when stopped by police. Randy Debblay, 22, of Norristown, Pa., was charged with driving with suspended licenses issued by Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Debblay also had an outstanding warrant for $1,000 from Burlington City. He was released after posting the required bail.

March 16

A juvenile on Franklin Ave. was taken into custody at 10:41 p.m. after Manalapan Police alerted Nutley authorities that the girl was in Nutley without parental consent. The girl was turned over to her parents’ custody without incident.

Police were called to a Kingsland Ave. gas station at 3:49 p.m. to intervene in a dispute between an attendant and a customer who said he asked for only $15 worth of gas but was given $25.

Police are investigating a burglary of a maintenance room at a Hillside Ave. apartment complex, reported at 9:25 a.m., resulting in the disappearance of power tools. It was the second burglary reported over the past few weeks.

Ridge Road resident Steven Cappiello, 41, was informed by police of several outstanding warrants pending against him. He was taken to headquarters where he posted the required $1,725 and was released pending court hearings in Livingston, Kinnelon and Lyndhurst.

Bloomfield Man’s a fool to do woman’s dirty work

Belleville Police responded to a forged check call at The Bank of America, 321 Franklin Ave., at 12:19 p.m. on March 20.  Upon arrival, the bank manger told police that a man had entered the bank with a check made out in his name in the amount of $3500. The man, who seemed quite nervous, piqued the teller’s suspicions and the bank manager was then notified. Upon closer examination, the manager noticed a “discrepancy in the ink” on the check. When the bank called the listed account holder, they were told that he didn’t know the man and had never made out a check for $3500.  He also said that a cleaning service had been inside his home in Brielle, N.J. the previous day, and that someone might have stolen one of his checks at that time.  Police asked the suspect where he had gotten the check.  He finally cracked and stated, “Some girl (named) Angela was going to give him $500 dollars if he cashed that check” and added, “She left in a cab outside.” The suspect also mentioned that the woman “worked for a cleaning service.” The man, Selionel Orama, 19, of Bloomfield was charged with forgery and receiving stolen property. He posted bond on a $5000 bail and was released.



In other Belleville police happenings:


March 23


At 3:33 a.m., officers on patrol observed two males standing on the side of a used car dealership at 79 Washington Ave.  When they asked the men their reason for being there, they became agitated, defensive and loud toward the officers. After they calmed down they told police they were headed for McDonalds, which sounded suspicious since it’s located at the other end of the avenue. As police continued to question the two, one of the men became irate and started screaming and yelling while walking away. The other began to videotape the stop on his IPod. At this point, one of the officers noticed a large bulge near the right pocket of one of the men. He asked the men to place their hands on the vehicle. Neither complied and their disorderly demeanor continued. The pair, Fabio Fabian Laguer, 18, and Elio S. Valentine, 18, both from Belleville were arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and transported to headquarters.  They were later released on their own recognizance.


March 22


Officers were patrolling the area around Belleville Ave. and Union Ave.  at 10:55 when they spotted an individual walking along Belleville Ave. near Williams St. whom they had first encountered on March 19.  During their original meeting, the individual had used an alias. Afterwards, police discovered the man’s real name and learned that he had several outstanding warrants. When the man was stopped this time, he was also found to be in possession of a metal dagger. James Lios, 45, of Belleville was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a weapon. His warrants included the following: Irvington $1,058, Rahway $780, South Bound Brook $285, and Newark $145.


March 21


During a patrol of Washington Ave. at 11:46 a.m., officers noticed a man and a woman arguing. The woman was then seen peering into vehicles parked along the avenue as the man stood behind her. Police stopped the two near 196 Washington Ave. and asked them for identification. They noticed that both began shaking and were hesitant to make eye contact. When police spoke with the female, her nervousness escalated and she appeared to hide something in her handbag. When officers asked what she had placed inside, the woman said, “Oh nothing, I just have a few things.” When she again reached into her purse, police stopped her. They uncovered eighteen wax folds commonly used to distribute controlled dangerous substances (C.D.S.). The woman was placed under arrest for possession of C.D.S. The man checked out clean and was released. While processing the woman at headquarters, 20 more wax folds were found on her person, along with four glass vials filled with a white rocky substance believed to be crack cocaine.  The woman also carried a warrant out of Hackensack for $1500.  Kimberly Ann Elcheikhali, 29, of Lyndhurst was charged with possession of C.D.S. (heroin) and possession of C.D.S. (crack cocaine) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bail was set at $5000.


Police were sent to 75 Mt. Prospect Ave. at 5:51 p.m. on a burglary and theft call. Upon arrival the woman told them that sometime between Saturday March 17 and Sunday March 18 her apartment had been burglarized. Police couldn’t find any signs of forced entry.  A Bank of American envelope containing $2300 was found missing from the woman’s dresser. She later noticed that two gold rings were missing from her nightstand. Police are investigating.


March 20

A stolen 2001 green Honda Civic was recovered at 10 Cuozzo St. at 12:47 p.m. The car had been reported stolen from Belleville.


March 19


A woman admitted to Clara Maass Hospital at 8:19 p.m. as an overdose patient was found to be in possession of C.D.S. when a nurse discovered a “clear plastic bag protruding from her vagina.” Upon further investigation, the bag was found to contain a chalky powder residue and loose pills believed to be Xanax. The woman, Evette Mercado, 35, of Newark was charged with possession of C.D.S. and released on her own recognizance.


Jeff Bahr