web analytics

UPDATE: Missing Nutley woman found safely in Newark

Nutley Police have located Juilia Dellaguzzo, the 85-year-old missing woman who wandered off  yesterday. Police say it appears she walked several miles south into Newark, and was found sitting inside a parked vehicle near her childhood home. She appears to […]


Koppers developer picked

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  Hopes by Kearny to secure a developer for the old Koppers Coke Peninsula Redevelopment site have taken one step forward and two steps back. Kearny and Tierra Solutions, the owners of two of the three parcels in the South Kearny meadows area targeted […]

EN School_web1

School getting facelift

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  EAST NEWARK –  As summer’s clock winds down to the start of classes for the fall term, East Newark Public School is making all kinds of preparations to welcome students and staff back in style. Newly installed Superintendent/ Principal Patrick Martin recently ticked […]


Too many birds of a feather flock to Nutley

By Karen Zautyk  Observer Correspondent  NUTLEY –  Fire hoses didn’t work. Boom-boxes didn’t work. Will “fogging” do the job? Only time will tell. The “job” is to drive the starlings from DeMuro Park, where they reportedly have been roosting in massive numbers. Roosting and pooping. It’s the pooping […]


To catch a raccoon

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  On an early August night, a few weeks ago, Kearny’s Julie Kelley recalls her husband Ed calling her to the window of the couple’s Morgan Place home and inviting her to look next door where the beacon from his flash light was […]


BREAKING NEWS: Only two weeks left to register with FEMA for disaster assistance

New Jersey residents whose homes and properties sustained damage in Hurricane Irene have only two weeks left to register for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The deadline is Nov. 30.

Even if an insurance settlement has not been determined, individuals must register before the Nov. 30 deadline or face losing the opportunity to be considered for federal assistance. Though FEMA will not duplicate insurance benefits, expenses not covered by insurance may be eligible for federal grants after the claim has been paid.

The deadline to submit loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is also Nov. 30. Completing and returning the SBA application is an essential step in the process.  If you are a homeowner or renter and SBA determines you cannot afford a loan, you may be referred for other possible assistance. Additional information is available at www.sba.gov or 800-659-2955.

To register or to contact FEMA: Go to www.disasterassistance.gov, m.fema.gov or call FEMA toll-free, 800-621-3362 (FEMA).  Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY may call 800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service to call 800-621-3362. Telephone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET; multilingual operators are available.

Applicants are reminded to keep their FEMA information updated, but not to register more than once. Duplicate registrations will delay processing an application.




Kearny captures first NJSIAA sectional title since 2004

Photo courtesy of Christopher Brooks./ The Kearny boys’ soccer team captured the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group IV championship last Friday by defeating Randolph, 1-0, at Harvey Field in Kearny.



Action photos set by Jim Hague/ Randolph’s Joseph Dobbins (11, left) hops over the ball with Kearny’s Abdellah Bouzidi (2, right) in pursuit during the 1-0 Kearny win that gave the school the NJSIAA North 1, Group IV state sectional championship.



Kearny’s Michael Dias (13) and Abdellah Bouzidi (2) battle Randolph’s Oscar Coreas (21) and James Urban (13) for a loose ball in Kearny’s 1-0 win over Randolph for the NJSIAA North 1, Group IV state sectional title.



Kearny senior forward Junior Batista (9) makes his way past two Randolph defenders during the Kearny 1-0 victory that gave the school its first NJSIAA North 1, Group IV state sectional title since 2004.





Nine enshrined in Hall

Photos courtesy of Nutley Public Library/Benko






By Chris Neidenberg

Without a doubt, the nine 2011 Nutley Hall of Fame inductees honored at Sunday’s public library event achieved fame on stages much bigger than the township itself.
Their visibility was achieved in a variety of ways, including legislating from the chambers of the U.S. Capitol, inventing a drug which comforts psychiatric patients around the world, reaching the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and reporting major sporting events from such hallowed grounds as Fenway Park and Madison Square Garden.
Still, speakers accepting the honors promised never to forget that the seeds for such far-flung successes were indeed planted in Nutley – the inductees’ cherished hometown.
The simple values of home, family and friendship, acquired through their Nutley experience before moving on to bigger things, emerged as a recurring theme during the three-hour festivities.
About 170 persons attended the ceremony, held on the second floor of the Booth Drive building. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Friends of the Nutley Library. The facility has hosted the event since its 2003 inception.
On this occasion, the hall’s fifth bi-annual ceremony, its committee bestowed honors upon: business executive Cathleen A. Benko; heralded pro-motorcycle racer Larry “Drums” Brancaccio; MSG Network, FOX 5 and NFL TV sports reporter Tina Cervasio; Columbia University Professor of dermatology and genetics Angela M. Christiano, Ph.D.; the late American art historian and museum director Lloyd Goodrich; U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.); deceased Hoffman-LaRoche scientist and valium inventor Earl Reeder; Rutgers University professor and mediator Linda Lautenschlaeger Stamato, and adventurer, scoutmaster and teacher Al C. Welenofsky.
A Nutley Museum representative accepted Goodrich’s award; Reeder’s widow, Helene, represented her husband.







Each received plaques and will forever be memorialized through placement of brass leaves, inscribed with their names, on a painted tree display in the library.
Additionally, they will have biographies including photos published in a large reference book, currently placed on a special lectern. There, the public can learn more about the 50 honorees enshrined to date.
A panel of judges, separate from the hall’s committee, reviews nominations. Candidates are considered after meeting any of the following criteria: They were born in Nutley; resided in the township for at least 10 years, or graduated from Nutley High School (NHS).
According to the committee’s introduction in its event program, inclusion “is based on outstanding accomplishment beyond our borders on a statewide, national or international level.”
“The achievements of the honorees make us, as Nutley citizens, proud of their association with Nutley,” the committee’s joint statement continues. “They serve as inspirational examples for our young people to emulate.”
“This one (induction ceremony) is a little bit more special to me,” conceded Mayor Joanne Cocchiola, during her welcoming remarks.
Cocchiola cited the honorees’ diverse professional backgrounds and significant achievements, and the fact that she actually grew up with some of the inductees.
“The people being presented awards today, as I read about them, are people I respect and I am very proud of their accomplishments,” the mayor added.
Stamato, a 1958 NHS graduate, told audience members she – and her fellow honorees – should be equally proud of their association with Nutley.
“Is there anyone who comes from Nutley who can say he or she doesn’t love Nutley?” asked Stamato, a Morristown resident who grew up on Highfield Lane. “Nutley is a very, very special place. I was very happy to be here today, to be among all of you, and to be with these inductees.”








Stamato co-directs Rutgers University’s Center for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, and is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of negotiation and mediation. The former dean of Rutgers’ Douglass College has emerged as a powerful figure within the university this year. She is one of only two appointees who will lead a replacement search for retiring RU President Richard McCormick.
Yet possibly the most visible and powerful figure in the entire room was Lautenberg.
He is New Jersey’s longest-serving U.S. senator (five terms) and a 1941 NHS graduate, who left Nutley to enlist in the Army during World War II.
Before joining the senate, where he prides himself on his work in areas including transportation and environmental improvement, Lautenberg and two boyhood pals founded Automatic Data Processing, the nation’s first payroll company. It now employs 45,000 people, and has grown into one of the largest computing service companies in the world.
“I’m really excited to be back in Nutley,” said the 87-year-old senator, generating loud laughter when he then asked,  “As I look at this group here, I wonder if any of my classmates from 1941 are here?”
“I guess they didn’t want to come,” he cracked, after receiving no replies.
After moving with his parents – Polish and Russian immigrants – from Paterson, Lautenberg settled in a second-floor apartment at Church St. and Franklin Ave. across from the current NHS. Event narrator, WABC radio morning traffic reporter Debbie DuHaime, noted that during Lautenberg’s days in the township, the high school was located in the current Walker Middle School across the street.  Lautenberg started in business working in his parents’ candy store on Church St.
He praised Nutley for teaching him, “about working hard, about paying your dues and about what you had to do to get a start in life.”
Perhaps the second most visible inductee was Cervasio, described by Duhaime as, “one of the most recognizable sports reporters in the New York metropolitan area.”
For Cervasio, it all started when she began rabidly following Maroon Raiders football.
She eventually broke into tears after recalling how much her interest in the local Nutley-Belleville sports scene helped her achieve her dreams. Cervasio cited strong familial ties in both municipalities.
“We didn’t go to Yankee Stadium or Giants Stadium,” she recalled. “We’d go back to Belleville to watch our relatives’ beloved sports teams.”
A 1992 NHS graduate who attended Washington Elementary School, Cervasio attended the University of Maryland. Cervasio counts herself as blessed for making, “some crazy friends in Nutley.”
She got her first big break as a pre and post-game TV host for Boston Red Sox games on the New England Sports Network before returning to the New York area.
Though she cannot cover the Knicks due to the NBA lockout, Cervasio expressed excitement about working her first national NFL telecast for the Fox Network on Nov. 27 as a sideline reporter.
The TV/radio personality said she hopes her induction serves as a role model for today’s Nutley youth.
“I had a passion for sports,” Cervasio noted, thanking her father for encouraging her to pursue sports broadcasting. “If you have a dream, if you have a passion and if you set goals, you can get to them.”
Brancaccio and Welenofsky made their marks participating in sports, but certainly not the type Cervasio covered.
Brancaccio, a 1975 NHS graduate, started with the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) in 1979. He eventually competed simultaneously on other bike drag racing circuits, including the East Coast Racing Association.
The eventual results? Ninety-five national wins, setting various speed records and becoming the reigning National Top Fuel Champion in the American Motorcycle Racing Association.
“In registering for events, I’d always put my name and then ‘Nutley, New Jersey’ next to it,” a beaming Brancaccio recounted, adding that he also puts Nutley decals on certain event vehicles. “I’m very proud of Nutley.”
Welenofsky is a senior citizen who still pursues rigorous athletic endeavors on land and across mighty waters. Such pursuits have taken him around the world.
Welenofsky has climbed 49 of the 50 highest points in each of the United States; climbed 50 mountains in 2010 despite hip replacement surgery; scaled Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, in 2001, and canoed the entire length of the Mississippi River and all of the Great Lakes. In addition, Welenofsky is a decorated Boy Scout and longtime scoutmaster.
Recalling how he was cautioned in 1960 that marriage would change him, Welenofsky joked, “I’ve been adventuring for over 50 years, but I never married, so nobody changed me. 50 years later I’m proving it’s still okay to do things when you’re past your prime,” he joked.
As for the other honorees:
Benko – Now chairwoman of DeLoitte, LLP, the 1976 NHS graduate was honored for distinguishing herself in the business world. Her official profile describes her as, “a leading authority in business strategy and transformational change.” Benko said her success might never have happened when, not sure if she wanted to continue past high school, she earned a $500 scholarship from the Nutley Lions Club.
“Thank you all. I’m proud to be from Nutley because we are the best,” she said.
Christiano – after suffering hair loss, the researcher actually detected an important gene believed to contribute to baldness. The former Paterson Ave. resident and 1983 NHS grad likened her story to that of the kids’ fantasy tale, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” when, as an NHS senior, she was admitted into a study program at Hoffman-LaRoche. It furthered her interest in science.
“If you want to find out what’s going on in town, just go to the ShopRite,” Christiano joked, drawing a few laughs. “If you go to the ShopRite, you’ll find out everything.”
Goodrich – Cited for helping greatly expand appreciation for American artists upon founding the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan, with philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. He grew up on Nutley Ave. and died at the ripe age of 90 in 1987.
Reeder – A Nutley resident from 1959 until his death in 2003, discovered Valium, by happenstance, as a potent muscle relaxant after finding an untested derivative while cleaning out a closet. Upon successful tests, Valium was approved as a drug and became America’s highest-selling pharmaceutical from 1969-1982.

Playtime priorities for borough kids

Photo by Lisa Pezzolla

Rendering by General Recreation, Inc./ Washington School playground as it is now (top) and how it will look in future.


By Ron Leir

Children in this borough can expect to be having a swinging time by next spring and summer.
That’s because North Arlington will be replacing park and playground equipment at least a decade or more old with what Mayor Peter Massa and Borough Administrator Terence Wall describe as new state of the art play equipment.
The borough will be tapping Bergen County’s Open Space Trust Fund for half the cost of the project, they said.
Councilman Joseph Bianchi, in charge of parks and recreation, estimated that the new equipment would run around $214,000.
“We have paid into the (open space) fund for a long time and I am very pleased that we can now access some of that money to help improve recreation for youngsters and lessen the cost to taxpayers,” Bianchi said.
“These upgrades of our recreational facilities will be welcome quality of life improvements to our community,” he added.
Applying the open space funding to make life more enjoyable for borough youngsters was determined to be “the most appropriate place to invest,” the mayor said.
Two municipal parks off Schuyler Ave. – Zadroga Park north of Carrie Road and Allan Park between Stratford Place and Vanderbilt Place – are due for play facelifts.
Additionally, parking facilities at Allan Park will be restructured to provide better access to residents.
Playgrounds at Washington School, on High St. between Albert and Biltmore Sts.; Jefferson School, at Hedden Terrace and Prospect Ave.; and Roosevelt School, at Canterbury Ave. and Webster St., will see makeovers.

Jefferson School playground (top) will get new equipment.



Roosevelt School play area (top) will benefit from improved facilities (bottom).


All of these play areas “get used routinely and all need maintenance and repair,” Massa said.
The new play equipment “will be accessible for children of all abilities” and will include such playground staples as swings, slides, climbing equipment, chutes and ladders, according to Wall.
Bid specifications for the project are expected to be completed within a month, Wall said.
Wall said the borough is also reviewing the possibility of installing a spray park at Macaluso Park, at Riverside Ave. and Eagle St.
“This is the proposed location due to availability of space and proximity to water,” Wall said.
In other recreation developments, the borough has posted on its web site an announcement that environmental testing of post-flooding soil conditions at the borough Little League field at Hendel Ave., high school football field and Riverside Park soccer and baseball fields show that these playing surfaces “pose no risk to children.”
The soil studies were conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Birdsall Services Group, an engineering firm retained by the borough.
At the Little League field, Birdsall found below-risk levels of fecal coliform bacteria in the soil which the engineers attributed to goose droppings on the field. Birdsall believes that those levels will drop over time and that the borough can expedite that process by applying lime to the field.
At all sites, EPA reported that levels of contaminants such as dioxin and PCBs were “all below levels of concern.”
“Based on the analysis, the EPA does not plan to do further sampling and deems that cleanup actions are not warranted at this time,” the borough’s announcement said.
Also: North Arlington continues to anticipate the county’s completion improvements to its portion of Riverside Park.
This project is to provide a better drainage system that will more efficiently protect the condition of the ball fields on the site and thereby give North Arlington kids more playing opportunities there.
Two facing girls’ softball fields, a multi-purpose field suitable for soccer and football, and 6-lane track, plus a new baseball diamond geared for Babe Ruth and/or high school play, are projected.
The county has talked about turf fields and a synthetic track; lighting for the fields is uncertain.
New bathroom facilities and improved pedestrian walkways through the park are also on the improvement list.

Clean sweep for Harrison Dems

Photo courtesy of Victor Villalta


Photo courtesy of Maria McCormick/ Victor Villalta unseated incumbent Maria McCormick on Nov. 8.


Photo courtesy of Angela Alday-Pfleger/ Angela Alday-Pfleger mounted an unsuccessful bid for a Third Ward council seat.


By Ron Leir

Harrison -
And then there were none.
Mayor Ray McDonough’s Democratic team solidified its hold on the Harrison Town Council when the remaining Independent on the governing body was voted out of office last Tuesday, Nov. 8.
With the defeat of Second Ward Councilwoman Maria McCormick by McDonough ally Victor Villalta, the Democrats take an 8-0 clean sweep on the council.
Last year, the only other Independent on the council – Steve McCormick (Maria’s spouse) – lost his Second Ward seat to Anselmo Millan.
In last week’s election, Villalta narrowly outpolled Maria McCormick by a machine tally of 209 to 175; Villalta extended his lead with 12 mail-in ballots to McCormick’s four. Provisional and military ballots weren’t yet counted at press time.
In the Third Ward, efforts by challenger Angela Alday-Pfleger, running as an Independent, to dislodge incumbent Democrat Francisco Nascimento fell short by about 100 votes, and in the First Ward, Independent Joe Nelson, opposing incumbent Dem Caroline Mandaglio, dropped out of the race for personal reasons.  Fourth Ward Councilman Michael Dolaghan, a Dem, ran unopposed.
The four other ward council members and the mayor are up for re-election in 2014.
McCormick said she was considering challenging the results but, as of press time, she hadn’t decided whether to pursue that route.
It was tough campaigning when the odds were stacked against her, Steve McCormick reasoned. “They (the Harrison Democrats) spent many thousands and we spent a couple hundred dollars; they had 200 workers while we had 10,” he said. “People listened to their propaganda.”
Relaxing with her family the day after the election, Maria said: “I feel pretty good. I gave it my all. I stayed responsible.”
In her four years on the council, McCormick said she “tried to accomplish many things by working together as a team but I couldn’t. I felt I was not included in anything. I became the other side of the tracks.”
As a former clothing retailer, McCormick said she’d hoped to get the town to promote the local businesses – “not just inviting people to come to a ball game (at the new soccer stadium)” instead of focusing solely on prospective redevelopers – “but I didn’t get any help.”
“I would have liked to have a state of the art parking meter system with kiosks with lots of advertising,” she said. “Our neighbor Kearny does well because it’s business-friendly.”
“I wish we didn’t force people out of town to accommodate redevelopment,” McCormick added. The town could’ve made more of an effort to get the redevelopers to fit in more of the existing businesses “and not just, ‘well, we don’t need you anymore,’ ’’ she said. “I had approached the Red Bulls three years ago about helping our Little League field but I was told they were soccer-specific.”
“Somebody’s got to fight for the common people,” McCormick said. “So now, Harrison’s lost a voice (on the council) but I’m still going to be a voice at the meetings. I’m proud to be a Harrisonian.”
Villalta, who lost his Second Ward council seat to McCormick four years ago and has now won it back, said he’s already spoken to the mayor about lining up funding to fix certain ripped-up roads in the ward – particularly the “100 block to 200 block of Bergen St.”
“By next June, it’s going to happen,” Villalta asserted.
He also wants to devote more attention to programs at the Harrison Senior Center. “Maybe some more trips to movies,” he said. “I know money’s tight. We’ll see what we can do.”
No doubt real estate taxes are a big headache for Harrison homeowners, Villalta conceded. “But the mayor has a plan for redevelopment: 9/11 set us back and then we got hit with the recession. But now we’ve got more than 200 new apartments built near the PATH station and between 80 and 90 are already rented. And we’ve got another developer ready to break ground in six months on the Advance property (near the stadium).”
The Third Ward council race featured first-time office seeker Alday-Pfleger, president of the Harrison public housing tenants association and a private teacher aide, battling Nascimento, public school administrator of Harrison and Hudson County. Another Independent candidate, Robert Villanueva, circulated a letter in the ward asking residents to vote for Alday-Pfleger.
In a letter to Third Ward residents, Alday-Pfleger, wrote: “Currently Harrison is facing unprecedented economic problems including our poor credit-rating, large debt service, taxes, cuts in services and stalled redevelopment. I believe I will being a fresh approach with fresh ideas and a fresh outlook to help solve these problems.”
She advocated holding council meetings in the Third Ward where residents could get “more than five minutes” to talk about issues in the ward, switching to an elective Board of Education to encourage more parental involvement, getting the Red Bulls to help subsidize town recreation, restoring the Halloween Parade, and saving some of the town-owned parking lots in the ward that the town has put up for sale. Promises by the town to pave the area along the railroad tracks off Kingsland Ave. and to put in lights have never been kept, she said.
Her post-election message was: “I’m coming after (Nascimento) next time.” Until then, though, she plans to stay active politically.
For his part, Nascimento says he’s pledged to walk the mayor’s path. “Forty percent of our town is being redeveloped,” he said. “That’s the plan that was set by the mayor …. We have to continue in that direction. That’s our best alternative. On Nov. 17, a developer will start demolition of the old Hartz property. We’re going to create a new road behind the Red Bull stadium to alleviate traffic congestion. I’m very optimistic about our future. … The mayor has good relationships with Sen. (Nick) Sacco and the county executive (Tom DeGise) – he has the connections. We don’t need any new revolution.”
Elsewhere in the region:
North Arlington Borough Council incumbents Steve Tanelli and Mark Yampaglia, both Democrats, defeated GOP challengers Kirk Del Russo and Gary Burns. Tanelli was top vote getter with 1,508; Yampaglia had 1,359; Del Russo, 1,263; and Burns, 1,227, all by machine vote.
East Newark Borough Council incumbents Hans Peter Lucas and Jeanne Zincavage, both Democrats, were uncontested, as was Belleville Councilman Vincent Cozzarelli, an Independent.
In Bloomfield, Democrats captured all three seats up for grabs on the Township Council: In the First Ward, Elias N. Chalet beat Robert Goworek, 1,009 to 662; in the Second Ward, it was incumbent Nicholas Joanow over Kent A. Weisert, 1,383 to 833; and in the Third Ward, Carlos Bernard bested Sue Ann Penna, 973 to 502, all by machine vote. First Ward incumbent Dem Janice Letterio didn’t seek re-election and Third Ward incumbent Dem Robert Ruane lost to Bernard in the June primary.




By Lisa Pezzolla

The holidays are a time for joy and sharing and making those special moments last a lifetime to pass on at gatherings with our families and friends.
Unfortunately for some, the holidays also mean confronting grief head on, as they cope with the loss of their loved ones. During these times, we recall the many happy times we had together while they were here. What we need to be thankful for are the times we shared and to cherish those special moments with the people who are around us now.
With the holidays now approaching us, our stress levels rise and for others, depression becomes overbearing. During these hard times with job loss and financial difficulties we need to communicate with our family and friends and those who don’t have someone to lean on should consider getting involved with volunteering your time.
If you are experiencing depression and you’re just unable to cope contact your local Mental Health Association or the National Mental Health Association at 800-969-NMHA (6642) or www.nmha.org.
No one should be alone dealing with grief, particularly during holiday time.

‘JoePa’ brought himself down

On Nov. 9, a group of Penn State University students staged a riot. They were reacting in protest to the firing of long-time Penn State Nittany Lions football coach Joe “JoePa” Paterno. The back story to this has gone viral, but in case you missed it, here’s the condensed version.
In 2002, Penn State Assistant Coach Mike McQueary witnessed the alleged rape of a 10-year-old boy by 58-year-old Jerry Sandusky, a former coach under Paterno. Instead of summoning police or intervening after he witnessed Sandusky in an allegedly compromising position with a boy in a shower facility, strapping 28-year-old McQueary went home and told his dad about the incident. The following day, he notified coach Paterno. Paterno, in turn, punted this disturbing information up to Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley. After this double-handoff, no further action was taken.
Details are sketchy and change by the hour, but the stench behind this apparent cover-up is worse than the Lions’ locker room after drills. Not one of these men saw fit to call the cops or alert Child Services. Nor did they even trouble themselves to learn the fate of the molested child. In fact, not one of these gridiron “heroes” did the decent thing; the proper thing; the moral thing; the right thing. They did, however, continue to win football games– a favored pursuit that crams Penn State’s coffers with millions of dollars annually.  Apparently, they were more concerned with guarding the sanctity of the organization – and their posts within it – than saving an innocent child, and potentially many others from a determined sexual predator.
Last week, Penn State honchos finally caved in to the war drums sounding for Paterno’s release. In a protectionist move, they unceremoniously canned Paterno after 46 years as their head football coach without as much as a thanks-for-the-memories handshake. That’s hardly surprising. Penn State is a business first and foremost; all the rest is simple window dressing. Anything that hurts the brand has to go–even Paterno. When a group of loyal students caught wind of this perceived injustice they went on a tear, flipping over a news van and committing other acts of vandalism. They had unwavering faith in JoePa to the bitter end. Blind faith.
A strange brain-fog sometimes engulfs sport fans. Who can forget O.J. Simpson and the infamous slow-speed car chase? During the pursuit a desperate and repentant O.J. nearly confessed to the horrendous crimes for which he would soon be charged. But even as it appeared almost certain that the “Juice” was a murderer, rabid football fans still cheered him on from overpasses as he ran from the law. From their perspective, O.J. was like a god, only swifter-footed. So what if he had a dark side. He still had that Heisman!
The JoePa scandal has triggered a similar response in some fans. Paterno, like Simpson, seems larger than life. His tenure and win record at Penn State is without peer. He is a living icon, plain and simple. But this icon, like Simpson, is in reality just a man and a flawed one at that. When presented an opportunity to become a real hero by turning over an alleged vicious child molester over to authorities, Paterno cowered.
No matter what his supporters say or do, no matter how many news vans they flip over, it’s a sad fact that they simply cannot escape. Paterno earned this fate as surely as he earned his bowl victories. Only time will tell what his legacy will be.
 — Jeff Bahr

Belleville resident hopes to save lives with new invention


Images by Invention Resource Art/ Silveria’s potentially life-saving device used for children and pets.


By Anthony J. Machcinski

Thirty to forty children die each year after parents forget their child, or leave their child unattended in cars while they make quick stops. Even the creation of several laws that carry jail time for parents who leave their children in cars hasn’t been able to curb their deaths each year.
Belleville inventor Orlando Silveria hopes he can remedy that trend.
“I first got the idea when I was on vacation in Brazil and I saw the news about a mother who lost her son after she forgot him in the car,” explained Silveria, a Belleville resident who has spent the last 18 years working as a construction worker. “The temperature outside that day was about 92 degrees.”
The aptly named Forget Me Not! is an alarm device that can be attached to a child’s safety seat or to a pet’s collar. It reminds the parent or caretaker that the child or pet is still in the car.
The alarm works in conjunction with a sensor that the adult can put on a key ring. The alarm will sound when the vehicle’s ignition is turned off.
Silveria is optimistic that his device will help reduce the number of deaths caused each year from heat exhaustion.
“I think the invention will have success because it’s a safe protector and can save many lives,” explained Silveria.
Currently, the product is going through the early stages of the patent process. To learn more about Forget Me Not!, check out the website at www.sellidea.com

Gunny makes it to Bethesda


Moments from Gunnery Sgt. Jim Dacey’s run from North Carolina to Maryland.


By Anthony J. Machcinski

Last week, The Observer wrote about Gunnery Sgt. Jim Dacey, who was in the process of running 345 miles from Camp LeJeune, N.C. to Bethesda Md.
On Friday afternoon, Dacey finished his run, arriving in Bethesda at the entrance to the National Naval Medical Center. It was here that Dacey experienced the true goal of his run. On Veterans Day, Dacey was able to meet with several injured soldiers and some of their families.
On the final day of his run, Dacey ran 13.29 miles, according to the Garmin GPS he was wearing during the run. Even on the 21st day of the run, Dacey was still able to keep an impressive pace of 9:14 minute mile average. During an early part of that day’s run, he clocked a 5:26 minute mile..
Throughout  his 345-mile journey, Dacey has been successful in his main goal, raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project. So far, Dacey has raised $17,380 for the cause, which supports wounded soldiers and their families.
As of Sunday morning, Dacey made it back to Camp LeJeune with his dog Isti. According to his Facebook entry, Dacey plans to do a lot of relaxing, including watching football and possibly cutting the lawn.
For those still interested in contributing to the cause, the website is still accepting donations. To donate, view the webpage at wwpproudsupporter.kintera.org/gunnydacey.

Keeping Tradition for Thanksgiving


By Anthony J. Machcinski

It wasn’t too long ago that Thanksgiving was a meaningful holiday where families would get together for a big dinner. Now, for many people, Thanksgiving is just another day in the run-up to Christmas.
Thanksgiving used to be about preparing food days before, with family coming in a few days early, and football games enjoyed with friends who just came back from school. Now even the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade seems a lot less hyped than in past years.
Where is the tradition? When did Thanksgiving go from a day to remember everything to be thankful for, to becoming an excuse for a day off and another Facebook status?
With the assumption that time is at a premium this holiday season, we at the Observer put together a few simple Thanksgiving recipes. These recipes make it quick and easy to prepare a meaningful holiday meal for your loved ones, while not requiring exceptional skills (for those of us who lack talent in the kitchen, myself included).
While these recipes will help you put a meal together, they alone will not bring back the meaning and tradition of the holiday. Its understandable that there is a lot to be negative about this Thanksgiving, with jobs and money harder to find than Waldo, but we should be appreciative of what we do have, whether it’s our children, our health, a roof over our heads, or just being able to spend time with our families. In the end, this is what Thanksgiving is all about.