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Relief for commuters

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  LYNDHURST –  After what Lyndhurst Mayor Robert Giangeruso characterized as “33 years of starts and stops,” the township – with help from Bergen County – is finally beginning to see the start of improvements to the intersection at Kingsland and Riverside Aves. The changes […]

Convicted in mortgage swindle

A Belleville man was among three defendants convicted earlier this month in federal court for their roles in a $15 million mortgage fraud scheme involving condominiums in New Jersey and Florida, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman reported. Last month, another Belleville resident pleaded guilty in the same scam. According to […]

Walmart is keeping cops busy

By Karen Zautyk  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  The Walmart in Kearny is conveniently located on Harrison Ave., with easy access to Rt. 280, the N.J. Turnpike and feeder roads to Newark and Jersey City. This is a boon for shoppers. However, according to Kearny police, it is […]

2011 layoffs affirmed

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY – Four former Kearny workers, including a union chief, have lost the first round of a bid to reverse their New Year’s Eve dismissals nearly three years ago. In a 21-page ruling issued Sept. 3, the state Office of Administrative Law […]

Go pink at St. Michael’s

Don your favorite pink attire and join St. Michael’s Medical Center for a Breast Cancer Awareness Month event — Breast Health & You — on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at SMMC’s Connie Dwyer Breast Center, 111 Central Ave., Newark. Dr. Nadine Pappas, director of […]


Nutley Police recover proceeds from recent bank robbery

Michael Evans


By Jeff Bahr

In a follow-up report to the November 5 bank robbery at TD Bank, 277 Franklin Ave., Nutley, Police Detective Anthony Montanari told The Observer that police have recovered “almost all proceeds stolen” during the robbery. Describing the recovered proceeds only as “considerable,” Montanari refrained from any specifics as to the actual dollar amount. Suspect Michael Evans is being held on $275,000 bail at the Essex County Jail.
According to Montanari, Nutley Police were able to fast-track this case compliments of the added assistance received by “several cooperating authorities,” and the “quick thinking and actions of TD Bank employees.”
Highlighting these combined efforts, Police Director Alphonse Petracco explained how the investigation went off like clockwork.
“The cooperation, communication and quick responses from the Nutley Police Patrol Division, to the Detective Division, Communication Control Center down to Newark Police, Essex County Prosecutors Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigations could not have happened with any more precision than it did,” said Petracco.
Nutley police have now teamed up with Jersey City Police to determine if Evans was responsible for a similar TD Bank robbery that occurred in Jersey City on October 30, 2011.

Kardinals prove to be kream of the krop

Photo by Jim Hague/ Kearny goalkeeper Tyler Anderson made 11 saves in goal for his fourth straight shutout in the NJSIAA state tournament, helping his team collect the North Jersey Section 1, Group IV championship last Friday.


By Jim Hague

The Kearny High School boys’ soccer team suffered a heartbreaking loss to Union City in the semifinals of the Hudson County Tournament last week, ending all hope of repeating as county champs and getting another chance to face rival Harrison.
But Kearny head coach Bill Galka knew that the loss to Union City wasn’t exactly the end of the world, that the Kardinals had bigger fish to fry in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group IV tournament.
“Honestly, we put that loss away quickly,” Galka said. “We didn’t dwell on it. It was over and we had to move on. I told them that the state playoffs represented a new season and we weren’t done yet.”
Sure enough, Galka was right, as his Kardinals won a more important championship instead – claiming their first state sectional championship in seven years.
Junior Batista scored a first-half goal in just the 12th minute of the game and goalkeeper Tyler Anderson made the goal stand up by collecting 11 saves, as the Kardinals defeated Randolph, 1-0, last Friday afternoon at Harvey Field to win the North 1, Group IV state crown.
“We hadn’t made a run in a while,” said Galka, who claimed his first state sectional title since he took over for the legendary John Millar six years ago. “Of course, when it doesn’t happen for a while, you begin to put pressure on yourself. You want to do well with the excitement that comes at this time of the year. We haven’t had it in a while. It’s been too long to have this pressure. But we came through.”
Batista, whose goal enabled him to tie former All-American Sergio Ulloa for the school’s career scoring mark, made a brilliant play to get the Kardinals (18-5) on the board.
Batista moved past two defenders and made it look like he was going to unleash a patented right-footed shot. But at the last minute, Batista changed to his left foot and lifted the shot over the sprawling Randolph goalkeeper Michael Lansing for the first and only goal of the game.
“In the state tournament, scoring early in games has really helped us, so that was an important play,” said Batista, who scored his 25th goal of the season. “I knew I couldn’t hit it with my right foot. I never shoot with my left, but I had to do something, so I tried lifting it and it beat the goalie.”
“It was a sweet goal,” Galka said. “We wanted him just to hit it in front to see if we could get anything out of it, but he pulled it across his body and then put it high with his left foot. It was a tremendous goal and got us going.”
The Kardinals tried to put the pressure on the visiting Rams (13-6-1) by scoring a second goal, but there weren’t a lot of chances.
It wasn’t because of a lack of effort from center midfielder Abdellah Bouzidi, who is the Kardinals’ version of the Energizer Bunny. He just keeps going and going and going. His energy is beyond amazing.
Bouzidi ran the length of Harvey Field all day and never appeared to get tired.
“I guess it’s part of my African heritage,” said Bouzidi, who was born in Morocco. “My father always had my sister (Salma, who plays for the Kearny girls’ soccer team) and me running since we were little. I guess it paid off. I think a lot of it just comes from the heart. I always give it all I have.”
“It’s a credit to him,” Galka said. “He asked if he could be the center midfielder this year. So we gave him a shot and he’s come into his own. He plays with so much energy and he has the ability to win balls. He gets us where we want to be. He’s played well all year.”
The Kardinals controlled play in the first half, allowing Randolph to have two decent scoring chances. Sweeper Ryan Wilson was a stalwart in the back line, maintaining the play.
However, knowing that their season was in jeopardy, the Rams turned up the heat in the second half and took control away from the Kardinals, winning many loose ball battles and keeping the action on the Kearny side of the field.
Anderson came up huge with two big saves early in the second half, but Randolph had other chances, including one with less than eight minutes left that just sailed wide right of the goal while Anderson came out to try to make a play.
“It was the longest 15 minutes of my life,” Bouzidi said of the waning moments of the game. “I just kept trying to clear the ball, but the wind kept it on our side. It was crazy. They’re an excellent team and kept putting the pressure on us. But we stood together and made sure we were going to win.”
“I thought we would need more than one goal, but our defense has been outstanding,” Batista said. “I kept asking the referee how much time was left. It felt like the clock wasn’t moving fast enough.”
But the Kardinals had the shutout, and incredibly have won all four state playoff games via a shutout, defeating Memorial, Montclair, West Orange and now Randolph without allowing a single goal. Quite impressive.
“We did what we had to do to win the game,” Batista said. “We have a lot of seniors who don’t want to lose and end it.”
Bouzidi was asked what it was like to be a state champion.
“Oh, my God, I can’t believe this,” Bouzidi said. “We’ve been working so hard for this day. I’ve been dreaming about this day since I first came to Kearny. It’s been a long time, but it’s like a dream come true.”
Galka looked like he had the weight of the world off his shoulders.
“It’s always nail biting at the end of state playoff games, especially with us winning by one goal,” Galka said. “We just held on. For the most part, we defended well again and that’s a key. We have a good goal scorer and a good goalkeeper. You just want to have a chance to win these games.”
Now, it’s on to Watchung Hills to face Bridgewater-Raritan and the chance to capture the school’s 18th overall Group IV state championship. Winning the sectional was the first part of that quest.

Kearny Champs

Senior forward Junior Batista scored a pretty left-footed goal in the 12th minute and senior goalkeeper Tyler Anderson made it stand up, by making 11 saves, leading the Kearny High School boys’ soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Randolph last Friday afternoon at Harvey Field, giving the Kardinals their first state sectional championship since 2004.
The Kardinals (18-5) survived some scary moments down the stretch, as the Rams (13-6-1) had several chances to score in the second half, but the Kardinals’ defense, spearheaded by players like Anderson, sweeper Ryan Wilson and workhorse center midfielder Abdellah Bouzidi, kept the Morris County invaders at bay to collect the state sectional trophy.
It was the fourth straight win in the state playoffs that the Kardinals won via shutout. They had previously defeated Memorial, West Orange and Montclair, all without allowing a single goal.
“That’s how championships are won,” said Kearny head coach Bill Galka, who claimed his first state sectional title as the head coach. “If you don’t give up a goal, you have a shot to win.”
Batista’s goal was the 25th of the season and the 65th of his career, tying the school record set by Sergio Ulloa 11 years ago.
The Kardinals now move on to the overall Group IV semifinals, where they are scheduled to face North 2, Group IV champion Bridgewater-Raritan, which defeated Elizabeth, 1-0, to capture the sectional title. The winner of that match would then move on to the overall Group IV title at the College of New Jersey in Ewing over the weekend.
The Kardinals are in pursuit of the 18th overall state title in the school’s history, trailing only Harrison’s 23 state championships. Kearny won state titles in 1946, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1975, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1999, 2002 and finally 2004.
– Jim Hague

After tough road, Pope returns for Seton Hall, finally healthy

Photo by Jim Hague/ Seton Hall senior Herb Pope scored 21 points and had 14 rebounds in his first game of the season Saturday night. He’s coming off a year where he underwent open heart surgery.


After undergoing heart surgery 15 months ago and struggling to gain a full recovery afterwards, Seton Hall senior forward Herb Pope has now declared himself healthy and ready to return to the premier status he enjoyed with the Pirates two seasons ago.
“I feel like I’m a little better than 100 percent,” Pope said recently. “My ultimate goal this year is to be the Big East Player of the Year. I totally respect the others in the league, but I now feel like I am one of the best power forwards in the country.”
Pope started off his season in fine fashion Saturday night, scoring 21 points and grabbing 14 rebounds, helping the Pirates capture a 75-71 overtime victory over St. Francis (N.Y.), a game where the Pirates trailed for most of the contest.
If Pope can continue the play he showed Saturday, then it would be a complete resurrection. Pope, who was a mere shell of himself last season, averaged 9.8 points and 7.9 rebounds, a year after averaging 11.5 points and leading the Big East in rebounding with 10.7 average, the first Seton Hall player to lead the league in rebounding since Glenn Mosley in 1976-77.
In April of 2010, Pope collapsed during off-season workouts at Seton Hall and was found by the school’s training staff without a pulse or a heartbeat. After being rushed to the hospital, still unconscious, it was determined that he had an anomalous right coronary artery, a condition Pope was born with. Surgery repaired the problem, but it took a while for Pope to regain the strength and endurance he once had.
Thus, the struggles Pope had to endure last season. At times, he looked overweight and out of shape. His once-potent short range jump shot was gone and he had a tough time getting shots off down low against players he dominated the year prior.
“Sure, it was frustrating,” Pope said. “I knew I wasn’t playing well and it hurt me. But thankfully, Coach (Kevin) Willard was on my side and stuck with me. He helped me get through it.”
After the season was over, a year where the Pirates finished 13-18 and lost to Rutgers in the opening round of the Big East Tournament in overtime, Pope faced the crossroads. He could either pursue a professional career, which was highly unlikely due to his sub-par performance, or return to Seton Hall to continue his education, get his degree and play one final season.
“I had no choice but to come back,” said Pope, who had the extra year of eligibility after transferring to Seton Hall from the New Mexico State three years ago. “I had the chance to graduate and I had the opportunity to play again.”
In the offseason, Pope traveled to Houston to play and train under the guidance of former NBA head coach John Lucas for seven weeks. Pope had been friendly with Lucas’ son, Jai, who is currently at the University of Texas, so he gained the elder Lucas’ confidence through his son.
“Coach Lucas extended his hand and invited me to come,” Pope said. “Coach Willard gave help in setting it up. It was great.”
During his seven weeks in Houston, Pope worked out with several NBA players.
“I played well down there and proved to be one of the top power forwards in the camp,” Pope said. “It definitely helped me and helped me gain respect from a lot of people and my opponents.”
Now, Pope feels ready for the challenge ahead.
“This is really the first time in my life that I’ve ever been really healthy,” said Pope, who survived being shot five times in an incident near his home in Aliquippa, PA a few years ago. “I was never really healthy, because I never knew that the heart disease was there.”
Willard has high hopes for Pope.
“Herb will be honest and the first one to tell you that he’s right and doing all the right things,” said Willard, who began his second season as the head coach of the Pirates. “No one comes back from what he went through and is healthy right away. He had a whole summer to work on getting back and everything we saw of him on film two years ago is back now. His skill level is back and I think he’s a first or second team All-Big East player this year.”
Pope is one of two Pirate seniors with experience, the other being point guard Jordan Theodore, who looks to improve on his 11 point-per-game average and four assists per game that he had last year.
Theodore had a career-high 25 against St. Francis, including a clutch driving shot with 1.1 seconds remaining in regulation, sending the game to overtime.
Willard was a little concerned with Theodore’s performance.
“He has to pick and choose his shots better,” Willard said. “I think Jordan grew up a lot tonight. He’s going to be the one who is responsible with the ball down the stretch and he might have to be the one doing the scoring. He wanted the ball down the stretch, so we gave him the ball. He wants to be the guy, but he has to learn how to be that guy. He took a lot of bad shots early. He has to keep control.”
A lot of people might have been concerned that the Pirates struggled mightily against a team that was projected to be toward the bottom of the Northeast Conference.
Willard is keeping his head up.
“I think this team has great potential for growth,” Willard said. “Once they understand their roles, they’ll be fine.”
One role is for certain, that being the starting power forward. Herb Pope proved he’s back Saturday night, which is remarkable considering where he’s been.


Lyndhurst’s Nahra overcomes injury to lead Golden Bears to huge state win

Photo by Jim Hague/ Lyndhurst senior running back Danny Nahra.


By Jim Hague
A little more than a year ago, Danny Nahra was destined for high school football stardom. He was a standout running back and defensive back for the Lyndhurst High School football team, a rising junior with a ton of promise and a boat load of potential.
But all of those high hopes came to a crashing halt in the third game of the 2010 season, when Nahra suffered a serious knee injury. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, an injury that required massive reconstructive surgery.
Not only did the injury end Nahra’s junior season, but it also put his once-promising football career in complete jeopardy.
“At first, it really didn’t faze me at all,” Nahra said. “But then, when I realized that my season was completely over and I had a tough road to get back, it was very tough for me. It was tough for me to see my teammates play and I couldn’t do anything to help them. It was very heartbreaking.”
Doctors told Nahra that the rehabilitation after the surgery took about nine months to complete. But there’s never a guarantee that a teenager can recover fully from a devastating injury.
“You always about worry knee injuries,” Lyndhurst head football coach Scott Rubinetti said. “It’s also a mental thing as well, how the kid goes about it. Danny took a very proactive approach from the minute he was hurt. He was determined to make it back.”
“The knee was so swollen for eight months,” Nahra said. “But I was going to make it back. I always knew it.”
Nahra went to physical therapy three times a week to strengthen the knee. Getting the knee healthy again was the main priority every single day.
“I just knew I had to come back and make an impact on the team for my senior year,” Nahra said. “There definitely was a mental aspect to it.”
Nahra also went to Gold’s Gym in Teterboro religiously and instilled the help of Lyndhurst assistant coach Danny Goodman, who has helped several other Lyndhurst athletes rehabilitate their serious injuries in the past.
“Danny knows the specific knee rehab stuff,” Rubinetti said of his offensive line coach. “He gave Danny the constant thought process needed to get better.”
After a while, Nahra saw some dramatic improvement.
“The knee started to gradually heal and I began to feel better about myself,” Nahra said. “Coach Goodman helped me a lot to get my leg in shape. It was really tough. I had to work my tail off to get my knee back.”
When the 2011 high school football season was ready to begin preparations last August, Nahra was all set to make a triumphant comeback. His knee was fine. However, there were still some doubts.
“Danny really had to prove himself,” Rubinetti said. “We really had to be concerned, because we didn’t know how well he could come back. Can he be able to run like he did? What can he be able to give us? Maybe we have to split him out more. All of these questions ran through our heads. But once we saw Danny run, he answered the questions and more. He had prepared himself to get ready to play.”
However, disaster struck again. Right as the Golden Bears were beginning to start two-a-day practice sessions in late August, Nahra took a tumble down a flight of stairs and suffered a high ankle sprain.
“I had to wear a boot for three weeks,” Nahra said. “I was so excited to be back, then I fell down the stairs and the ankle swelled up. I was so upset because I missed so much.”
At least, the ankle wasn’t on the same leg as the knee injury.
“Right knee, left ankle,” Nahra said. “It was just bad luck.”
“He didn’t get a chance to play until the last scrimmage,” Rubinetti said. “We were wondering how he would handle it all. But Danny hit the field running. He was awesome from the first day. After his first run, we knew he was good to go.”
Nahra has been a perfect compliment in the backfield to junior quarterback Danny Kesack.
“Sure, I would say that Kesack has been the major part of our offense, but we’re still a running football team and what we do is based on what the tailback can do. It’s a huge part of our team. We like to get Danny Nahra the ball and watch him make plays. He makes us better.”
Last Friday night, the Golden Bears took on Rutherford in the first round of the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group I state playoffs, Lyndhurst’s first appearance in the playoffs since 2004.
The Golden Bears were pumped up to face a neighboring opponent, even if Rutherford was the top seed and Lyndhurst was the eighth seed.
“It’s a big rivalry in my book,” Nahra said. “We were all looking forward to the game.”
Nahra was more than ready for Rutherford, rushing for 124 yards on 19 carries, including a touchdown, leading the Golden Bears to a huge 38-13 upset win over Rutherford to advance to the state sectional semifinals.
For his efforts, Nahra has been selected as The Observer Athlete of the Week for the past week.
Nahra received help in the win over Rutherford, as Kesack rushed for 154 yards, scored three touchdowns and threw for two more.
But Nahra played a huge role in the Golden Bears’ first state playoff victory since the Golden Bears captured the North Jersey Section 1, Group II championship in 1983.
“A win like this totally boosts our confidence,” said Nahra, who will lead his teammates against Weequahic of Newark Saturday in the 1 p.m. sectional semifinal in Newark, with the winner moving on to the state championship game at MetLife Stadium the first week of December. “It’s just amazing to be in this position.”
Nahra is also a fine defender who has lined up at several different positions this year including linebacker, defensive end, safety and cornerback.
“He gives us a lot of versatility defensively,” Rubinetti said. “He’s just a very good football player. He’s also done a good job as a leader, keeping the team focused. It’s been awesome to see it all come together like this.”
The Golden Bears are familiar with Weequahic, having lost to the Newark school, 15-14, in last year’s consolation round. Now, the stakes are much higher.
One thing is for sure: Danny Nahra will be ready. The knee injury is a distant memory.
“It’s definitely made me more determined than ever,” said Nahra, who hopes to play college football next fall, but doesn’t know where yet. “It’s definitely made me grow up. I’ve matured a lot because of it. There was a point where I didn’t know if I would be able to play ever again, but I’ve been able to come back and do well.”

Finding a fitting financial plan


What is a safe number to withdraw from your retirement portfolio?
That is an open-ended question.  Is it $1 million?  It might be, if your portfolio is worth many millions.  Or is it 8% annually?  That would be pretty aggressive unless your portfolio is steadily earning 12 percent.  Why do I say that?
Well, if your retirement portfolio is earning 12%, and we assume inflation is 3%, then it would be safe to withdraw 8% leaving a cushion of 1%.
But who is earning 12% on their portfolio over a sustainable period of time.  Not many people (or institutions) that I know.  So, what is a good number to withdraw from a retirement portfolio?  Drum roll…and the number is: 4%!
Where did that number come from?  Not from out of the blue, but from an academic study done at the Trinity College in San Antonio, Texas.  The study is well known and respected in the financial planning industry.  It was done in 1998 by three professors, Cooley, Hubbard & Walz.
According to a summary of their report on Wikipedia, “Four percent is a safe withdrawal rate rule-of-thumb.  The context is one of annual withdrawals from a retirement portfolio containing a mix of stocks and bonds.  The 4% refers to the portion of the portfolio withdrawn during the first year; it’s assumed that the portion withdrawn in subsequent years will increase with the CPI index to keep pace with the cost of living.
The withdrawals may exceed the income earned by the portfolio, and the total value of the portfolio may well shrink during periods when the stock market performs poorly.  It’s assumed that the portfolio needs to last 30 years.  The withdrawal regime is deemed to have failed if the portfolio is exhausted in less than thirty years and to have succeeded if there are unspent assets at the end of the period.”
The authors back tested a number of stock/bond mixes and withdrawal rates against market data compiled by Ibbotson Associates covering the period from 1925 to 1995.  They examined payout periods from 15 to 30 years, and withdrawals that stayed level or increased with inflation.  For level payouts, they stated that if history is any guide for the future, then withdrawal rates of 3% and 4% are extremely unlikely to exhaust any portfolio of stocks and bonds during any of the payout periods.  In those cases, portfolio success seems close to being assured.  For payouts increasing to keep pace with inflation, they stated that withdrawal rates of 3% to 4% continue to produce high portfolio success rates for stock-dominated portfolios.
There are dissenters from the “4 percent” rule.  One of them is economic heavyweight, William F. Sharpe, who won a Nobel Prize in Economics in 1990 for being one of the creators of Modern Portfolio Theory, which is heartily embraced by institutional investors.  Sharpe published an article in the Journal of Investment Management contending that “it is time to replace the 4 percent rule with approaches better grounded in fundamental economic analysis.”  Sharpe thinks that the “4 percent rule’s approach to spending and investing wastes a significant portion of a retiree’s savings and is thus prima facie inefficient.”  If a portfolio underperforms, he notes, you have a spending shortfall; and if it surpasses performance expectations, you end up with a “wasted surplus.”
So, in Sharpe’s view, by adhering to a 4 percent rule, you either risk living too large or short-changing yourself.  Therefore, it would be better to constantly fine-tune a withdrawal rate according to time horizon and market conditions.
Another dissenter is Peter Lynch, the storied manager of the Fidelity Magellan fund who achieved an average rate of return of 29.2 percent between 1977 and 1990.  In 1995, he wrote an article in Worth Magazine stating that, based on his professional experience and knowledge of the markets, a retirement portfolio with at least a 50% equity allocation would generally be able to sustain a 7% annual withdrawal rate.
To wind things up, I believe that rules of thumb depend on the size and type of the owner’s thumb, so the wise thing to do is to draw up a financial plan that fits you like a glove.

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.

Nutley Police Blotter: burglary wave

Police responded to several township burglaries this week and have implemented a series of operations adding to an already heightened police presence. Police Commissioner Alphonse Petracco would not elaborate on what measures are being taken.

November 5
9:00 a.m. — A Terrace Ave. resident reported his 2004 Black Infinity stolen from his driveway. The owner parked the vehicle at 10:00 p.m. the night before and awoke to find it missing. Police are investigating.
3:06 p.m. — Police responded to Yantacaw Park in response to a dispute between an umpire and a parent at a sporting event. When the police arrived, the incident had de-escalated.
8:42 p.m. — A Hope St. resident reported that the landlord had entered resident’s apartment on three separate occasions without making proper notification in advance. Police advised the tenant on how to proceed if needed.

November 6
1:25 a.m. — Police responded to a Harrison St. home in response to a father and son altercation. Police were able to restore the peace.
1:01 p.m. — Police took a report from a Park Dr. resident who reported a side view mirror had been stolen off the resident’s 2002 Kia Wagon. It appears the glass was carefully taken and the wires cleanly cut. Police are investigating.
2:57 p.m. — Police responded to a local gas station when an irate customer reported that the station was advertising one price, and the pump was charging more. The attendant claimed it was an oversight.
6:42 p.m. — Police and Fire responded to an Adams St. Apartment complex in response to a strong odor in the hall that activated the building’s alarm system. A short investigation found a resident barbequing on a small grill inside with a charcoal grill intended for outdoor use only. Nutley Code Enforcement was advised.

November 7
7:49 a.m. — the Washington Ave. VFW was burglarized over the evening hours. The perpetrator gained entry through a rear door, entered, and burglarized the establishment. Police Detectives were called to the scene and are actively investigating the crime.
9:00 a.m. — Police took a noise complaint report from a River Rd. resident, after a downstairs tenant allegedly banged on the ceiling in an effort to quiet the upstairs tenant. Both parties were advised of their rights to sign complaint.
11:26 a.m. — 31-year-old Michael Ritacco of Belleville was stopped for an invalid inspection sticker. The Police Officer determined that Ritacco was also wanted for an outstanding warrant out of Montclair. The vehicle was impounded and Ritacco arrested. He was issued summonses in Nutley and later turned over to Montclair Police.
2:01 p.m. — A Police Officer monitoring speed along Rt. 21 stopped a speeding motorist and found 19-year-old Daniel Defilippo of Belleville to be driving with a suspended license. An active warrant out of Kenilworth was also discovered. He was arrested, issued summonses and released after posting $500 bail.
6:18 p.m. — Police responded to Duncan Pl. to take a report from a woman who had invited a couple she met at a local bar back to her home. She later discovered that she was missing items from her purse, but couldn’t remember details about the couple. Police are investigating.
7:57 p.m. — A Manhattan Ct. resident reported that several juveniles placed a couch on his front lawn with cushions scattered about.
8:57 p.m. — Police responding to a suspicious vehicle call behind the Nutley Tennis Club. There, they discovered 18-year-old Peter Lemma of Nutley in the vehicle with alcohol. One of three juveniles on scene was charged with possession of marijuana. Lemma was charged with possession of alcohol under the legal age, issued a summons and released. The juveniles were turned over to their parents.

November 8
Police responded to a Franklin Ave. business in response to a “Smash and Grab” burglary; one of several that have been committed over the past few weeks. The front door of the establishment was shattered, and an undisclosed amount of proceeds taken. Police are investigating.
Related: Police urge business owners to remove or properly secure valuables when business is unattended. Also, Commissioner Alphonse Petracco urges business owners to make certain their surveillance and anti-theft devices are in good working order. He recommends that video surveillance systems be installed for deterring thieves as well as apprehending them. He added it provides law enforcement with a useful tool as well as key evidence if available.
9:17 a.m. — A Whitford Ave. resident reported that someone had thrown toilet paper all over her home.  They reported that a lawn light was broken in the process.
11:02 a.m. — Police took a report of theft from a Washington Ave. man who advised police that a check was missing from his check book and that he suspected a visitor of the crime. Charges are pending.
2:59 p.m.– A White Ave. resident called 911 when a meat solicitor came to his door. The resident then yelled at the solicitor and chased him from his home, allegedly with a baseball bat. Police were able to speak with the solicitor. He produced proper permits and was checked-out with negative results.

November 9
12:02 a.m. — Police responded to a Chestnut St. location in response to a parked vehicle with four flat tires. Police are investigating.
1:52 a.m. — Police stopped a motor vehicle for a violation and it was discovered that the driver, Anthony Vicaro, age 50, of Florida, carried an outstanding warrant out of Newark.  Mr. Vicaro was placed under arrest and transported to headquarters. Newark Police later released him on his own recognizance.
6:47 a.m. — A motor vehicle stop resulted in the arrest of Michael Crowley, age 21, of Newark, for an outstanding warrant out of Irvington.  He was transported to headquarters without incident where he satisfied the warrant.  He was released with two motor vehicle summonses.
3:30 p.m. — A homeowner living near Friedland Rd. reported that three antique chairs were taken from the residence shortly after they were cleaned.  Police are investigating.

November 10
12:37 p.m. — Police were called to a dispute in the vicinity of New St.  Upon arrival it was revealed that a landscaping vehicle had parked blocking the driveway of the homeowner.  The truck was moved. All parties involved were advised to have no future contact with each other.
3:12 p.m.– Police were called to Yantacaw County Park on a report of criminal mischief.  Upon arrival, the officer discovered over 15 plastic fence caps lying on the ground.  The caps were reinstalled without incident.
A Franklin Ave. delicatessen’s front door was shattered allowing the perpetrator to gain entry. A number of undisclosed items were stolen. Police also believe that this perpetrator may be responsible for the Passaic Ave. burglary of a Chinese Restaurant, and possibly a Verizon retailer on Franklin Ave.

November 11
12:18 a.m. — Police responded to a Centre St. establishment after two parties left without paying. Police were able to stop the couple. They claimed that they didn’t eat the food and didn’t have enough to cover the tab. Both were advised not to return. Management reserves the right to sign a complaint.
Police responded to a Bloomfield Ave. gas station where a determined thief dislodged a floor safe from its concrete base and carried it off. Police believe this may be the same person responsible for two other gas station burglaries that recently occurred on Centre St.
Police Director Alphonse Petracco, and Chief John Holland urge Township residents to be aware and report any suspicious incidents or actors to Police immediately. Anyone with information about any of the recent burglaries are asked to contact the Nutley Police Department at 973-284-4940.


Helen Del Guercio
Helen Del Guercio, (nee Pienciak), 79, of East Newark, died on Nov. 6.
Arrangements were by the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave, Harrison.  A funeral Mass was held at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Harrison, followed by interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.
For information or to send condolences, please visit mulliganfuneralhome.org.
Born in Massachusetts, she graduated from nursing school at City Hospital in Newark.  She spent her career as a nurse working at City Hospital and West Hudson Hospital in Kearny.
Helen is survived by her daughters Tricia (Patricia) Fox and her husband Patrick and Sally Ann Craig and her husband Robert; her grandchildren Samantha, Gregory, Suzanne, Nicole and Robert; her great-grandchildren Elianna, Luis, Anthony and Brianna.  She is also survived by her sisters Jane and her husband Joe Bator, Gladys Neidenberg, Vicky Maki and her husband Joe, her brother-in-law Patsy Del Guercio and many nieces and nephews and their families.
She was predeceased by her husband Samuel, her sons Walter and Samuel J., her sister Mary Kuziel and her husband Steve, her brothers-in-law Richard Neidenberg, Joey and Tommy.

Jack Kowaleski
Jack Kowaleski died on Nov. 10 in Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville. He was 61.
Born in Jersey City, he moved to Kearny 35 years ago.
He is a retired U.S. Postal Clerk.
Jack is survived by his former wife Janice (Wood) and his sons Jack and Mike Kowaleski.
Arrangements are by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass was held in St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny, followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery. To send condolences, visit  armitagewiggins.com.

Violet G. McCartney
Violet G. McCartney, a lifelong resident of Kearny, died on Tuesday, Nov. 8. She was 85.
The funeral Mass was held in St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny, with interment in Holy Cross Cemetery.
Mrs. McCartney was a member of the Kearny chapter of AARP.
She predeceased by her husband Michael P. McCartney and is survived by her daughters Kathleen Ponte and her husband Gary and Marianne Chich and her husband Adem. Also surviving are her children GeriAnne McEvoy and Adem M. Chich.
The family requests donations in Violet’s memory to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, Tenn. 38148 or www.stjude.org/tribute.

Mary T. Mooney
Mary T. Mooney (Fitzgerald), 77, passed away suddenly on Oct. 29 at her home in Kearny.
Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral liturgy was offered in St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny, followed by interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com.
Mary was born in Kearny and was a lifelong resident.
She graduated from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Paterson in 1955. Mary then practiced nursing as an R.N. at West Hudson Hospital in Kearny for 50 years. For many of those years she was the nursing supervisor. After West Hudson Hospital closed, she continued to serve in the same capacity one day a week as nursing supervisor at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville.
Mrs. Mooney is survived by her beloved husband John “Jack” R.; her children Catherine Mooney (Michael Hodge), Robert M., John R. (Nancy), and Michael J. (Julie); sisters Helen Mason, Claire Leary and Catherine Zayas; and her grandchildren Elizabeth, Jack, Christopher, Clare, Julia Rose and Rebecca. She also leaves many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at www.stjude.org or to the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.

Thomas O’Neill
Thomas O’Neill, 75, passed away on Nov. 4 at his home in Kearny.
Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral liturgy was offered in St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny, followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com.
Mr. O’Neill was born in Greenock, Scotland. He came to this country in 1963, settling in Kearny.
He was employed as a waiter at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark for many years, retiring 20 years ago. He was a proud member of the Celtic Supporters Club as well as the Irish American Association of Kearny. In 2004, he was named Irishman of the Year.
He is survived by his sister Jane Dornan of Scotland as well as his niece Kerry Carty of Parsippany. He also leaves behind many loving nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews.

Judith H. Webb
Judith H. Webb, 82, died on Nov. 11 at Milford Manor Nursing Home in West Milford.
Born in Staten Island, she lived in Vermont before moving to Hamburg 21 years ago.  Before retiring, she was a nurse for Wayne Haven Nursing Home in Wayne. She was an elected Passaic County Republican Committeewoman, she was a member The Community Fire Dept. #1 Auxillary in Wayne for 25 years, active in the Mountainview School P.T.A. and was past president of the Hamburg Desert Storm Support.
She is predeceased by her husband Leslie J. Webb. She is survived by her children and their spouses Stacey E. Gennace (Dr. Ronald), Melissa L. Paicer (the late Kevin), Bradford L. Webb, and Jennifer J. Brennan (Karl); also surviving are her 11 grandchildren John, Gregory, Philip, and Lesleigh Gennace, Kim Paicer, Lauren McTigue, Sara and Tracy Webb, Erin Boucher, Amanda and Rachel Brennan; along with 10 great-grandchildren Christian, Gabriel, Victoria, Isabella, Wesley, Helena, Giovanna, and Téa Gennace and Joseph and Joshua Paicer. Also surviving are her beloved cats Sam, Zoey, and Oreo all of whom, have been adopted by family members.
Private Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your local Animal Rescue. Condolences may be sent to the family on www.armitagewiggins.com.

Janet M. Speirs
Janet M. Speirs 79, died on Nov.10, at Care One Nursing Home in Wall Township. A lifelong resident of Kearny, she was a clerk/typist for the Town of Kearny.
She is predeceased by her husband John Speirs and her two sisters Mary Lang and Nan Bennett. She is survived by her daughter Janet “Susie” McGeehan and her grandchildren Alyson (Brian Cole), Jaclyn (Shawn MacDonald) and Kara Lyn McGeehan.
Arrangements were by Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral service was held in the funeral home, followed by interment in Arlington Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Clara Maass Foundation, c/o funeral home. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.armitagewiggins.com.

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.


Honoring Our Fallen Heroes

Photo by Lisa Pezzolla

Arrest in Bank Robbery

Michael Evans



By Ron Leir

At Nutley High School on Saturday, the Maroon Raiders were banging heads with the Irvington team on the gridiron but just across the street, another kind of activity was happening that had plenty of potential for violence.
At 12:05 p.m., Nutley Police responded to a silent alarm at the TD Bank on Franklin Ave., between Church and William Sts., and learned that a man had just robbed the bank and fled the scene.
Based on interviews with the several employees and at least one customer inside at the time, police determined that the robber drove into the bank parking lot, walked inside, grabbed a withdrawal slip and wrote on it, “Give me all your money.”
The man, who made no effort to conceal his face, then walked to a teller window and placed the slip under the glass window for the teller to read and then told her not to panic, police said.
“When the teller read the note, she gasped for air,” said Det. Anthony Montanari, the lead investigator in the case. “So the man again told her not to panic.”
At the same time, Montanari said, the man reached down to his pants, as if to suggest that he had a weapon.
The teller then gave the robber an undisclosed amount of cash and he left the bank, driving away in a beige Honda, after which, the teller activated a silent alarm, bringing police to the scene.
No weapon was shown during the incident, Montanari said.
“With the cooperation of witnesses, and with surveillance video, we were able to ascertain the make, model and registration of the vehicle,” Montanari said.
Assisted by Newark Police, Essex County Prosecutor’s investigators and federal agents, Nutley police officers and detectives located a 1995 beige Honda, believed to be the vehicle used by the robber, on Alexander St. in Newark.
Newark PD impounded the Honda.
A short time later, police arrested the suspect, Michael Evans, 49, hiding in a nearby rear yard. Police said Evans had cash stuffed in plastic bags and other items reportedly linking Evans to the robbery.
Montanari declined to say how much money was in Evans’ possession, nor would be identify the items found on the suspect.
“At the time of his arrest, Evans was dressed in a shirt very similar to the one seen in the (surveillance) video,” Montanari said.
The Honda has been transferred to the Nutley PD crime scene laboratory and police are seeking a search warrant to check the vehicle for possible evidence, Montanari said.
“No weapon has been recovered as of yet,” he added.
After complaining of chest pains, Evans was taken to Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville, for observation and was later released to Nutley PD.
Evans’ capture was achieved within an hour of the robbery, according to Montanari.
Evans has been charged with robbery and theft, second degree crimes that are indictable. He is being held at the Essex County Jail on $275,000 bail.
Montanari described Evans as “a family man, self-employed owner/operator driver, who had financial difficulties and acted in desperation. He was very remorseful about how he had frightened the teller.”
Nutley Police Det. Sgt. Pete LoCurto, Det. Robert McDermott and Patrol Sgt. Pete Teine all played key roles in the investigation, Montanari said.
Nutley Police Chief John Holland said that police are trying to recover all the stolen proceeds from the robbery. He said he was thankful that none of the bank’s employees, customers or police were hurt as a result of a crime “that could have gone terribly wrong.”
And Nutley Police Commissioner Alphonse Petracco commended the department’s officers and community members for their actions and thanked Newark PD, FBI and Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for their help.