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1.7B to clean Passaic’s lower 8 miles

  NEWARK – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last Friday, April 11, that it plans to undertake the most costly public waterway cleanup in its 43-year history. At a press conference held at Newark Riverfront Park, EPA Regional […]

Lost medal recovered from Pa.

  By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent KEARNY – For more than two decades, it sat – carefully preserved – in a Pennsylvania residence. Next month, however, the Purple Heart medal awarded posthumously to a long-dead Kearny serviceman will be returned […]

Feds won’t pay for more firefighters

Two neighboring West Hudson communities have been shut out in their bids to snag federal funding to hire more firefighters. Kearny Fire Dept. and Harrison Fire Dept. each applied for a share of SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency […]

Tribute to a teacher

  By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent KEARNY – Fred Kuhrt died doing what he loved best – giving of himself to others. His former employer, the Kearny Board of Education, is honoring the automotive technology instructor’s selflessness by establishing the […]

Play ball! (and politics, too)

  By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent NORTH ARLINGTON – Saturday’s opening ceremony for the North Arlington Recreation Girls’ Softball season took on a political twist. Mayor Peter Massa, a Democrat, complained that he was snubbed by League President Mike Tetto […]

News in brief

HARRISON – Harrison Mayor James Fife, 73, is spending time in St. Michael’s Medical Center, Newark, where he is recovering from surgery. The hospital declined to provide any information but Councilman James Doran, who is serving as Fife’s campaign manager […]


Around town

Game night for adults and young adults will begin on Wednesday, July 13, at 6 p.m., at the Bloomfield Public Library. There will be a variety of games available, including chess, checkers, Chinese checkers and Scrabble. Bring your own game and bring a friend!  Game night will be held Wednesdays at 6 p.m. for the summer (and beyond if interest continues). For more information, call 973-566-6200, ext. 502.
The B4L (Books for Life) Book Club is open to anyone with a passionate interest in reading. The next meeting is July 14 at the library at 1 p.m. The group is organized by teens from Bloomfield High School, but anyone can join. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/groups/b4lbookclub.
On Friday, July 22, magician Mark Zacharia will visit the library’s Children’s Department. The first program, a magic show, is for children ages 4 and up and will run from 2 to 2:45 p.m. The second program will be a “Magic of the Mind” workshop, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., and will be limited to students age 10 and up. There is no charge for either program.
The next meeting of the BPL Book Club will be on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. in the conference room.  The topic of discussion will be “Cat’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut.  Interested patrons may call the reference desk at 973-566-6200, ext. 502 or email reference@bplnj.org for help in locating a copy of the book club selection.  To join the Book Club email notification list, please contact Linda Esler at lesler@bplnj.org.
The Essex County SummerMusic Series will present the Jumpers Orchestra and The Shirelles in concert Thursday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m. at Brookdale Park in Bloomfield.
Jumpers Orchestra is a big band that combines the musical styles of swing, jazz and rock. Recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Shirelles are universally credited as the originators of the Girl Group Sound that is beloved by the Baby Boomer generation and inspired a legion of female groups.
Bloomfield PBA Local #32 is hosting its 10th Annual Golf Tournament on Aug. 2 at the Crystal Springs Golf Course in Hardyston.  This event is open to the public, and registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The cost is $150 per person, which includes green fees, golf carts, continental breakfast, door prizes, lunch and refreshments as well as range balls. Contact Officer Joe Corio at 973-680-4116 or fax your requests to 973-680-4102. The local’s website is  www.bloomfieldpba32.com.

First Presbyterian Church, 663 Kearny Ave., has opened the “Heaven Cent Thrift Shop.” Hours are Wednesday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The shop features good quality clothing for everyone in the family, household items, toys, books, CD’s. Donations of new or gently used clothing and small household items are welcome. Entrance is on Laurel Ave.
Calvary United Methodist Church, 342 Elm St., will host Vacation Bible School, from July 17 to 21, 6 to 8:30 p.m. On July 22, a special program will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. The program will include snacks, Bible stories, songs and crafts. Call Larie or Pat at 201-997-4375.
A “Draw Your Inner Lizard Bookmark” contest will be held at Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., from July 25 – 27, to go with the movie of the week, “Rango.” Children are invited to draw their inner lizards during those three days. Bookmark forms will be available in the main library’s children’s room. All contest entries must be returned no later than 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27. For more information, visit www.kearnylibrary.org or call 201-998-2666.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 10-02 will present a boating safety course on Wednesday, July 20, and Thursday, July 21, from 6 to 10 p.m., at the Lyndhurst Masonic Club, 316 Riverside Ave. Cost is $70 per person. Upon passing the test, participants will be entitled to operate a jet ski in New Jersey waters. Those interested must attend both sessions. For more information and to pre-register, call 201-933-1330.
The N.J. Meadowlands Commission’s Hackensack River two-hour pontoon boat cruises will be offered at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 13, Tuesday, July 19, Thursday, July 21, and Friday, July 22; at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, July 16; and at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 20.  For ages 10 and up. Suggested donation: $15 per person.
Registration required: 201-460-4640 or  www.njmeadowlands.gov/environment/tours.html
On Friday, July 15, at 7 p.m., a program for special-needs children, adolescents and their parents will be presented by  Meadowlands Environment Center educator Laura Venner. In the lecture, “2012: A parent’s guide to addressing their children’s concerns,” Venner will highlight the most common questions she’s been asked about “the end of the world” and unravel the misconceptions and myths associated with 2012.  $20 per adult, 12 cents per child. Registration is limited and required. To register, go to http://www.rst2.edu/meadowlands/marshaccess/Observatory2.html and click on the link on the left side of the page, or call 201-460-4623.
A two-hour pontoon boat birding cruise on the Hackensack will sail Tuesday, July 19, at 10 a.m.
The guided trip has a suggested donation of $15 per person. Nature photographers are welcome, but you must be unobtrusive (no tripods). For ages 10 and up. Registration required; contact Gaby Bennett-Meany at 201-460-4640.
A free senior citizens’ program, “A Virtual Tour of Mayan Astronomy,” is set for 2 p.m., July 19, at the Environment Center in DeKorte Park.    Dr. Richard Russo will guide you through the vast mysteries in the cosmology of the pre-Columbian Maya. Seating limited; registration required.
To register call 201-460-8300, or to register online go to www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec,  click on “Community Programs” and select “register for a program.”
On Wednesday, July 20, at 8:30 a.m., the NJMC will offer a three-hour guided canoe tour of Mill Creek, Secaucus.  For ages 10 and up.
$15 per person. Registration required: 201-460-4640 or www.njmeadowlands.gov/environment/tours.html.

The Nutley Department of Parks & Recreation will present The Cameos oldies group in concert on Wednesday, July 13, at Memorial Park I (the Mud Hole) at 6:30 p.m. (Rain date July 27.) Bring your lawn chair or a blanket. Food items will be available for purchase.  For further information, contact the Recreation Department at (973) 284-4966, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Nutley Public Library’s Pen to Prose Writer’s Group will meet on Monday, July 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The group was formed to read works-in-progress, share accomplishments, critique works, give writing instruction and provide encouragement and inspiration to aspiring authors. The group is free and open to the public.
“Stretch Your Imagination” at the library with summer reading storytellers Carol Titus and Ken Galipeau on Tuesday, July 19, at 10:30 a.m. This program is open to all ages. No registration is required.
A program on book making, sponsored by the Friends of the Nutley Public Library, will be held on Saturday, July 23, at 1 p.m. This program is recommended for children in grades 3 to 6. Registration is required.
The World Habitats, a program for children in kindergarten to second grade, is scheduled at the library for Wednesday, July 27, at 11 a.m. Registration is required.
Wii Bowling for seniors is scheduled for Friday, July 29, at 2 p.m. at the library. Bowling shoes are not required. Please call, come in or email library@nutley.nj.org to register.
Ravenous Readers, a reading club for third and fourth graders, will meet at the library on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. At each monthly meeting the group will discuss a book, cook or create food, and share refreshments. Copies of each selection will be available at the front desk. Next month’s book is to be decided.


Items for Around Town must be received by 3 p.m. Friday. Please send them to editorial@theobserver.com. We cannot  promise that everything submitted will appear.


Nutley native Cervasio makes mark as big-time sportscaster

Photo courtesy of MSG Network./Nutley native Tina Cervasio has worked her way up the ranks to become a regular sportscaster and reporter on the MSG Network and sports anchor on FOX5 New York.


By Jim Hague

For as long as she can remember, Tina Cervasio, a rising star in sports television broadcasting, has always been involved with sports.
“I remember being a little girl and going to the University of Delaware football games to see my uncle, Alan Cervasio, play,” said Cervasio, a native of Nutley. “My father (Joseph, a native of Belleville) played football for Cornell. I remember going up to Cornell for games as well. I was always surrounded by sports.”
Some of Cervasio’s noted relatives include former Belleville High School softball coach Carl Corino and current Caldwell College athletic director and men’s basketball coach Mark Corino. Former Nutley superintendent of schools Joe Zarra is Tina’s uncle.
“It’s all in the family,” she laughs.
“I would always go to games and I was always surrounded with sports,” Cervasio said. “I just loved it and developed a passion for it. I didn’t have any professional heroes growing up. My heroes were the local ones, the members of my family.”

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.

3,000-hit man Jeter once roamed NA field

Photo by Jim Hague/Yankee great Derek Jeter reached the 3,000-hit plateau last Saturday, causing some to reflect on the days when he used to mow the lawn at the Queen of Peace practice field, shown here.


By Jim Hague

Ed Abromaitis sat in Yankee Stadium Saturday afternoon to witness a piece of baseball history. A while ago, the former Queen of Peace athletic director and long-time Kearny resident procured tickets to see his beloved New York Yankees play the Tampa Bay Rays.
How could have Abromaitis predict that it would be the same day that someone he knew since he was a little boy would carve his place in baseball immorality?
“I never could have dreamed it,” Abromaitis said. “I never could have thought it would have happened now.”
Abromaitis was one of the thousands of Yankee fans who were in attendance Saturday to watch the Yankee captain, Derek Jeter, become the first Yankee ever to reach the 3,000-hit plateau and just the 28th player in Major League Baseball history to ever reach the milestone.

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.

Lyndhurst Post 139 preps for another American Legion postseason

Harrison’s Anthony Ferriero has been a godsend for the Lyndhurst Post 139 American Legion baseball team, pitching and playing the corner positions.

By Jim Hague

One of the most storied and successful summer baseball programs has been the traditionally strong Lyndhurst Post 139 Senior American Legion squad. In 2008, Lyndhurst Post 139 won the New Jersey state championship and headed to the Northeast Region tourney in Connecticut.
Every year, Post 139 has a solid team, one that contends for postseason honors.
This year is no exception.
Veteran manager Jerry Sparta has assembled an excellent team, one that has posted a 12-4 record and heads to the Bergen Area American Legion league tournament this weekend as the No. 2 seed behind Park Ridge.
The regular season performance has assured Post 139 a berth in next week’s District tournament, either in Union or North Brunswick.
Mike Voza, a member of the American Legion who once played for the team when he was younger, has taken over the reins as head coach.

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.

Taxing the rich


By Randy Neumann

Tax the rich, feed the poor till there are no rich no more.  I’d love to change the world, but I don’t know what to do, so I’ll leave it up to you.
Lyrics from “I’d Love To Change The World”
Ten Years After

This song was sung by a blues/rock band from Nottingham, England, where Robin Hood allegedly stole from the rich to give to the poor.  They took their name because it was 10 years after what lead singer, Alvin Lee, considered the birth of rock ’n’ roll due to the great year that Elvis Presley had in 1956.  They played at Woodstock, and “I’d Love To Change The World” made it to the Top 40 chart here in the U.S.
On Oct. 14, 2008, candidate Barack Obama met Joe Wurzelbacher, a big, bald man with a goatee, a.k.a., Joe the plumber.  Joe said to Obama, “I’m getting ready to buy a company that makes $250,000 to $280,000 a year.  Your new tax plan is going to cost me more, isn’t it?”
Candidate Obama’s answer – which lasted five minutes 46 seconds – mentioned a 50% tax credit that will entitle the taxpayer to a tax cut for health care costs.  Taxes would go from 36% to 39%, which is what it was during Bill Clinton’s administration, along with many other things.  He ended with, “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
In 2013, “wealthy” Americans will pay extra Medicare taxes.  Congress, President Obama and the IRS are putting a surcharge on the wealthy to help fund the health care reforms.
1.  Beginning in 2013, joint filers with adjusted gross incomes of $250,000 or greater and single filers with adjusted gross income (AGI) of $200,000 or greater will have to pay 0.9% extra in FICA taxes (that is, Social Security and Medicare taxes).  The employers of these taxpayers do not face an increase.
2.  Joint filers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of $250,000 or more and single filers with MAGI of $200,000 or more will be docked with a 3.8% tax on investment income.  (Even estates and trusts will be subject to this new 3.8 percent levy.)
What might the dollar impact be?  The Tax Foundation thinks that the richest 1% of American families will pay an average of $52,000 more in federal taxes by 2016.
What are the chances of these tax hikes being repealed?  Think slim and none.  Basically, you’d have to repeal the health care reforms to make it happen.
How can you avoid the 3.8% tax on dividends, capital gains & interest?  It won’t be easy.  Real estate investors may luck out the most because federal law characterizes rental income as “active” rather than “passive.”  On the other hand, if you sell a home you’ve owned for decades and see a taxable gain above the home sale exclusion ($250,000 single/ $500,000 married), you’ll face the 3.8% tax.
Some forms of unearned income won’t be slapped with the tax.  IRA distributions and income distributions from 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans will be exempt.  The same goes for pension income and Social Security income.  Annuities that are part of a pension plan will be exempt.  Business income won’t be hit with the 3.8% tax either.  Veterans’ benefits, life insurance payouts and interest earned by municipal bonds will also be spared.
As a result of this tax, you might start to see subtle shifts in financial strategy.  You might see more muni bond purchases, more interest in life insurance and more installment sales.  As qualified Roth IRA distributions don’t boost AGI, you might be looking at another factor promoting Roth IRA conversions.  Also, everyone might think about taking some capital gains prior to 2013.  (Restrictions, penalties, and taxes may apply.  Unless certain criteria are met, Roth IRA owners must be 591/2 or older and have the IRA for five years before tax-free withdrawals are permitted.)
According to Wealth for the Common Good, the wealthiest Americans have paid less tax in recent decades.  A press release from the group notes that “America’s highest earners — the top 400 — have seen their share of income paid in federal income tax plummet from 51.2% in 1955 to 16.6% in 2007, the most recent year with top 400 statistics available.”
So, how can you reduce your taxes in 2013?  It is not too early to think about it.  You might want to meet with a financial planner to discuss this topic, or read up on your options.
World pollution, there’s no solution.  Institution, electrocution.  Just black and white, rich and poor.  Them and us, stop the war.
More lyrics from “I’d Love To Change The World”
Ten Years After

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.


Samuel Brady
Samuel Brady, 75, passed away peacefully at home on July 1.
Born in Danville, Pa., he moved to Kearny 46 years ago. He served in the United States Navy as a machinist 1st Class from 1954-1958. Before retiring, he was a mechanical engineer for World Yacht, Clifton.
Predeceased by his father William Brady, he is survived by his mother Bertha Brady and his loving wife Connie Brady; his cherished children Donna Portuesi, David, Danny and Darrin Brady and his grandchildren Marco, Carlo, Jennifer, Marisa, Ryan, Amanda, Andrew and Sean.
Private arrangements were handled by the Wilfred Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny.

Kenneth E. “Keek” Sloan Jr.
Kenneth E. “Keek” Sloan Jr., 59, of South Amboy, passed away peacefully on July 3 at his home with his family at his side.
Born in San Diego, Calif., he resided in Kearny before moving to South Amboy 11 years ago. Mr. Sloan was employed for nine years as a plumber assistant for Tom’s Plumbing in Edison, retiring three years ago. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War.
Surviving are his wife, the former Donna Vicidomini Sloan; his son Kiko Doran of Hudson, Wis.; his daughters Randi Osorio and her husband Dave of Matthews, N.C., and Shayna Sloan of Toms River; his grandchildren Isabel, Rachel, Jayden, Justin and Jordan; his parents Kenneth E. Sloan Sr. of Ft. Mill, S.C., and Beverly Donovan Padovano of Cedar Grove; and his siblings Deborah Smith of Manalapan, Cynthia and Bob Maass of Kearny, James Sloan of Florida, Gina and Dave Basso of Cedar Grove and Darren and Gene Sloan of South Carolina. Kenneth was also the cherished uncle of many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held at the Carmen F. Spezzi Funeral Home, 15 Cherry Lane, Parlin, with burial to follow at Holy Cross Burial Park, South Brunswick.

Helen DiNardo
Mrs. Helen DiNardo, of Kearny, died on July 4 in Edison. She was 77.
The funeral Mass was celebrated in St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny, on July 8, followed by a private cremation.
Born in Jersey City, she lived in Kearny for many years.
She attended Jersey City State Teachers College and loved cooking, music and spending time with her family.
Predeceased by her husband Joseph DiNardo and her sister Mary Mayka, she is survived by her sons and their wives: Joseph V. and Gail DiNardo and Christopher T. and Kim DiNardo; also surviving are her grandchildren Katie, Joseph, Olivia, Alexa, and Marissa and her sister Bernadette Grzesik.

Dorothy M. Dell
Dorothy M. Dell (nee Brown), 91, died on July 7 at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair.
Born in Rhode Island, she was a North Arlington resident for most of her life. She was a longtime member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, North Arlington.
She is survived by her loving children Martha and Robert Dell. She is predeceased by her husband Robert H. Dell and her two brothers Duncan and Donald Brown.
Arrangements were by the Wilfred Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral service was held in the funeral home. Interment was at East Ridge Lawn Cemetery in Clifton. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Trinity Episcopal Church, Kearny, c/o the funeral home.

Frances May Robbins
Frances May Robbins, 67, died at home on July 8.
Born in Binghamton, N.Y., she lived most of her life in Jersey City. She was a staff accountant for Prudential Insurance in Newark since 1972.
She was the sister of James Dennis Robbins, Earl John Robbins, Laura Jane Tirone, Marian Della Wroczynski and the late Robert Louis Robbins, Clifford H. Robbins and Paul Douglas Robbins.
A private funeral was arranged by the Wilfred Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home in Kearny. In lieu of flowers, donations to your own favorite charity would be appreciated.

BREAKING NEWS: Robbery on River Road, Nutley

Police were dispatched to the Regency Apartments on River Road in Nutley at 10:40 p.m. Thursday, July 7, in response to a robbery.

The victim, a West Orange woman visiting her mother, told officers that as she was exiting her car in the parking lot, she was approached by a black male, approximately 5’8” to 5’ 9” and of average build, short hair or shaved, wearing a white t-shirt, cargo pants and white sneakers.

She said the man pointed both hands at her, making a gun gesture, as he demanded two bags she was carrying. He then ripped her purse from her and fled south on River Road.

Police are hunting for the mugger.

She played her cards all wrong

By Karen Zautyk

A Kearny woman who used the hopes and dreams – and money – of immigrants to satisfy her taste for casino gambling, fur coats and designer clothes pleaded guilty last week  in Federal Court to wire fraud, money laundering and impersonating a government official.
The defendant, 55-year-old Rosa Blake, who also went by the names “Mafalda”  and “Rosa Vareiro,”  had “orchestrated a scheme to defraud dozens of immigrants out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by pretending she could help them become United States citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Paul A. Fishman.
Blake, reportedly a native of Portugal and a legal resident of the U.S., had been arrested at her Kearny home in December 2009 by special agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and of the Internal Revenue Service.
Although in reality a self-employed housekeeper, she had – from at least May 2004 until April 2009 – posed as a federal official who could help expedite approval of immigrants’ paperwork, including applications for permanent residency “green cards”  and employment authorization.
In exchange for her “services,” her victims would pay thousands in fees, either in cash or by wiring money to her in the Atlantic City area or via a bank account in Ilhavo, Portugal.

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.




Town bleeds red & blue

By Ron Leir

This town won’t be letting go any of its public safety employees after all – thanks to 11th-hour concessions extracted from the police and firefighter unions.
But both the Police and Fire Departments will see their ranks thinned via demotions and attrition, and the town is going ahead with plans to take ambulance services out of the hands of the Fire Department.
Mayor Ray McDonough said the town and unions came to the agreement last Wednesday after many hours of negotiations.
Previously, Harrison had sent notices to 11 Fire Department employees and eight Police Department members that they would be laid off, effective July 1 – this,  to help close a budget gap of more than $1 million.
As outlined by Town Attorney Paul Zarbetski and Harrison’s labor counsel Robert Murray, here is the deal that has been struck:
In the long run, the Fire Department will take the harder hit. It is losing 12 of its 42 members through retirements, and none will be replaced.

Those leaving, as of July 1, are: Battalion Chiefs Thomas Rodgers, James Woods and Michael Greene; Capts. Anthony Cruz, John Carey, James Lawless (who was promoted nine months ago) and James Cappuccino; and Firefighters James Wolinger, Donald Donohue, James Dolaghan, Thomas Dougher and Thomas Murphy.

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.

Firms to pay 15M for site cleanups

By Karen Zautyk

Back in the mid-20th century, Hudson County was a center for the production of chromium chemicals, with three of the nation’s six manufacturers of them located here – two in Jersey City and one, the Diamond Alkali Co., at 1015 Belleville Tpke., Kearny.
Diamond Alkali, later Diamond Shamrock, operated there from 1948 until 1976, producing the chromium used, as the state Department of  Environmental Protection explains, in “a variety of industrial applications including metal plating, the manufacture of stainless steel and the production of colored glass.”
But, as the DEP also notes, the chromium process produced something else: large quantities of waste, including “chromate ore processing residue, plus other contaminant byproducts.” One element of chromate ore waste, the agency says, was “a highly toxic heavy metal that has been linked to a variety of health problems.”
Additionally, as alleged in a lawsuit filed by the State of New Jersey in 2005, chromate ore processing waste “was sold to entrepreneurs who in turn sold it to construction companies for use as fill in sewer line installation and other projects,” and that toxic waste “has lingered at a variety of sites throughout Hudson County and, over time, has created serious environmental and public health concerns.”

To read the full story, see this week’s issue of The Observer.