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Farewell to a brother in blue

On Friday afternoon, regular traffic came to a halt on the Belleville Pike and Ridge Road to open the route for the funeral procession of slain Jersey City Police Detective Melvin Santiago. The 23-year-old rookie, promoted posthumously to detective, had been ambushed early Sunday, July 13, when he […]


State eyes raising part of Pike

By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent  KEARNY – The Rt. 7/Belleville Turnpike corridor which runs through Kearny’s meadows area and beyond is getting a lot of attention these days from state and federal transit agencies. For the past couple of years, contractors hired by the state Department of Transportation have […]

2014-07-16 09_41_31-428 Kearny Ave - Google Maps

Taxes up on average by $244

By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  Now that Trenton – even without a gubernatorial endorsement by the town’s Democratic mayor – has gifted Kearny $2.5 million in transitional aid and reduced its pension obligations by nearly $435,000, Kearny property owners can know what to expect. They’re still getting […]


Wild pursuit ends with 3 arrests

LYNDHURST – It started as an alleged speeding incident and led to a frantic chase that ended in three arrests. Here’s the account given by Lyndhurst Police: Shortly after 2 p.m. on July 14, Patrol Officer James Goral pulled over a 2008 BMW traveling east on Page […]


Builder targets eyesore

By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent  NUTLEY –  A 36-unit residential development being pitched to the Nutley Zoning Board of Adjustment has township and school officials on the edge of their seats wondering how many schoolage kids the project may generate if approved. Mayor Alphonse Petracco is blunt about it. […]


Bad things happen in threes


By Karen Zautyk

Two lanes on Rt. 21 South had to be shut down last Thursday afternoon after a car became disabled and two subsequent accidents occurred in virtually the same spot on the highway, just south of Park Ave.
Traffic was backed up for about an hour until the roadway was reopened.
Nutley Det. Anthony Montanari said it all started when an auto lost a front wheel and axle after reportedly hitting a pothole and the driver stopped her damaged car in the fast lane.
Police were alerted, but before they could get there, they received a second call that there had been a three-car accident at the scene.
A southbound van had apparently slowed to avoid ramming the disabled auto and was hit from behind by another vehicle, which was hit by another. The disabled car was not struck, though.

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


Mansion hosts musicians

Photo by Anthony Machcinski/ Daryl Glenn (l.) is accompanied by pianist/vocalist Karen Dwyer.

By Anthony J. Machcinski

A warm sunshine filled the large windowed room at the Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center on Sunday as an intimate crowd of about 50 people attended the most recent Music at the Mansion concert.
The event featured several performers, including Daryl Glenn, Garry Novikoff, and D.C. Anderson. All who played for the audience at Oakeside did so as volunteers, taking time to promote their music and entertain the crowd.
Playing for the smaller-sized crowd was no issue for Glenn, who sang and played the guitar for the audience.
“I really like being able to look into people’s eyes,” Glenn explained. “That’s something because I really had to learn how to do since I was used to playing in large musicals on stage.”
Glenn, a former resident of Lexington, Ky., has been in musicals since he was in sixth grade, performing at a dinner theatre in Lexington. Thirty years later, Glenn is still performing.
On Sept. 18, Glenn, Jo Lynn Burkes, and others will be featured in the musical “Nashville,” based on the 1975 film of the same title by director Robert Altman. The group will perform at Feinstein’s at the Loews Regency Hotel in Uptown Manhattan.

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

Around town

Do you knit, crochet, needlepoint, quilt? Then come to the Bloomfield Public Library Fridays at 10 a.m., beginning Sept. 2, and share your interests, patterns and techniques with other crafters!  If you have supplies (needles, thread, yarn, patterns), bring them. For information, call 973-566-6200, ext. 502.
The library’s Poetry Club meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 1 p.m. in the conference room, 90 Broad St.  No registration required; all are welcome to attend.  Come and share your work! For more information, call 973-566-6200, ext. 502 or email reference@bplnj.org.
The library’s Children’s Department hosts a book club for students in grades 4-6 on Tuesdays from 4 to 5 p.m. Students do not have to have read a book before they come and weekly attendance is not mandatory. For more information, call (973) 566-6200, ext. 502.

East Newark
West Hudson Brave Women Fighting Breast Cancer meets on the last Friday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. at the East Newark Senior Center, 37 President St. The group will provide an atmosphere of warmth and comfort for patients and family. For more information, call Emma at 201-998-6828, Rosa 201-246-7750, Fatima 973-485-4236 or email emidura2@yahoo.com. Together we will fight this disease.

Trinity Episcopal Church will hold a car wash in its parking lot at 575 Kearny Ave., Kearny, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27.  The fee will be $5 per car.
VFW Wilson-Gugelman Post 1302 of Kearny is hosting a “Summer’s End” barbecue on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 2 to 7 p.m. for all members, their families and friends. The cost is $20 for adults, $10 for children 11 and older and free for children 10 and under.  Ticket includes food, beer and soda. There will be games and prizes for children.  Please sign up and purchase your ticket by Sept. 1 at the VFW post, 300 Belgrove Drive, Kearny.
Cecilian Seniors announce a trip to Resorts Casino in Atlantic City on Sept. 16. Cost is $30. The bus will leave at 9:30 a.m. from in front of St. Cecilia’s Church. If interested, call Johnnie B., at 201-997-9552, from 6 to 9 p.m.
A bus trip to Showboat Casino in Atlantic City, sponsored by Kearny Rotary Club, is set for Saturday, Sept. 18, at 8 a.m. The price is $40 and each person will receive $30 back from Showboat. The bus will leave from Kearny Federal Savings Bank, 614 Kearny Ave., Kearny. For more information, contact Jose Fernandez at 201-736-5821.
The Kearny Rotary Club meets every Wednesday afternoon at 12:15 at La Fiamma Restaurant, 440 Harrison Ave., in Harrison. Business leaders from Harrison are invited to attend to learn about the work that Rotary International accomplishes around the world and in local communities. For more information about the Kearny Rotary Club or to join them for a meeting, call Joe D’Arco at 201-955- 7400 or Jose Fernandez at 201-991-1040.
The West Hudson Detachment of the Marine Corps League invites all former and active duty Marines and FMF Corpsmen to attend an open house, which will be held every Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. at 286 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. Guests are welcome.
Library patrons can now set-up a one-on-one half-hour session with professional librarians for help with putting together and typing a resume and applying for a job online. The sessions will be held at the main library. To sign up, call (201) 998-2666.

Two-hour guided Hackensack River pontoon boat cruises will be offered by the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 24-25, both departing at 5:30 p.m. For ages 10 and up. Suggested donation: $15 per person. Registration required: 201-460-4640 or www.njmeadowlands.gov/
The library is collecting nonperishable food items for the Lyndhurst Health Department’s Food Pantry. The drop-off box is located inside  the library’s back entrance and it will remain there year-round. For questions regarding the Food Pantry, call the Lyndhurst Health Department at 201-804-2500.
The Lyndhurst High School Class of 1971 is planning a 40th class reunion Saturday, Oct. 15, at Michael’s Riverside, 525 Riverside Ave., Lyndhurst. All graduates and guests of the Class of  ’71 are invited to attend. For more details, contact the reunion committee at jhjazz@aol.com or check the class Facebook wall. If anyone knows of a class member’s location/email address, they are asked to forward it to the above email address.
The Polish American Citizens Club of Lyndhurst announces a trip to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular on Saturday, Nov. 19, with lunch at Carmine’s, 44th St. and Broadway. The bus will leave the club, 730 New Jersey Ave., Lyndhurst, at 8:30 a.m. Tickets are $125. All tickets must be paid for ASAP. For tickets, call Alice at 201-935-3830.

North Arlington
The North Arlington Woman’s Club holds monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the North Arlington Senior Center, behind Borough Hall.  Guests are welcome.
Queen of Peace Class of 1981 will have a reunion on Saturday, Nov. 19, at LaReggia in Secaucus. For more information, email qpclassof1981@yahoo.com.

Nutley Public Library will host a children’s breakfast with author Gail Kahn on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 10:30 a.m. in celebration of Library Card Month. Mini-bagels and juice will be provided. Tickets are required for this event through the library’s Children’s Page at nutley.bccls.org.
The first annual Golf For a Cure outing by the Nutley Football Alumni will be held on Monday, Oct. 3, at Hendricks Field Golf Course in Belleville.  October is National Prostate Cancer month, so the proceeds of this golf outing will be donated to benefit prostate cancer research.  In addition, the occasion will honor the memory of Nutley High School Head Football Coach Sandy Phillips (1955 to 1964) who led the school football team to a State Championship in 1960.
The event will have an 8 a.m. shotgun start and will be followed by a luncheon, with details to be announced. Anyone who wishes to participate is welcome.  Any business or individual wishing to be “hole sponsor” or make a contribution to this cause, is encouraged to do so.  For details and reservations, call Mario Cocchiola at 973-634-1240.

A lucky escape from carjackers

This past Sunday, at 2:39 p.m., a Belleville man and his infant son had a close encounter with a suspected carjacker who apparently thought better of the crime when he saw the baby.
Nutley Det. Anthony Montanari said the Belleville resident  was parked outside a laundry at Franklin Ave. and Harrison St. and was tending to his son in the rear seat of his new Jeep.
He had left the driver door wide open and the engine running.
Montanari  said  a dark-colored or grey Nissan Altima pulled over on Harrison St., and a tall, thin, black man with dreadlocks, wearing shorts and a white T-shirt jumped in the Jeep’s front seat.
When he saw father and baby in the rear, he appeared startled, jumped out and reentered  the Altima, which was being driven by another man.
The near-victim told police that the Altima did not have a license plate and he was unsure if there was a temporary registration in the rear window.

– Karen Zautyk

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

Phishers seem to have netted 2

By Karen Zautyk

In what appears to be sheer coincidence, Nutley police took two separate reports of apparent craigslist-connected fraud on Aug. 18, within 11 minutes of each other.
The victims included one buyer and one seller who had used the online marketplace.
The first report was filed at 10:02 a.m. and involved a Nutley resident who had been attempting to relocate within the town and had found a Corsay Road rental posted on craigslist.
She said she had sent the reputed landlord, who was located in the United Kingdom, a $600 rental fee and was told she would be mailed the keys to the apartment.
When that didn’t happen, police said, she reported the incident to authorities, suspecting she had been defrauded.
The same day, at 10:13 a.m., police were called to a local bank, where a customer was allegedly attempting to cash fraudulent checks. That customer turned out to be an apparent victim.

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

Nutley gridders give back to coach’s hometown

Travel to Tuscaloosa to aid in tornado recovery

Photo by Jim Hague/ The Nutley High School football players, who went to help the victims of the Alabama tornado, get together after their intra-squad scrimmage last Saturday. Front row from left are John Mulici, Mike Hovan and Jordan Yuppa. Back row from left are Ryan Goudie, Matt Kelly, Mike Goudie and assistant coach J.D. Vick.

By Jim Hague

How do a bunch of kids from Nutley have a connection with the people who were devastated by the deadly tornadoes that ravaged Tuscaloosa, Ala., three months ago?
It’s simple.
Nutley High School football assistant coach J.D. Vick is a native of Tuscaloosa, having lived there until moving to Essex County two years ago to continue his work toward a master’s degree.
Vick was home in Alabama when the vicious tornadoes struck in May and while his family and friends were saved from the devastation, it still was an emotional time.
“I grew up there and lived my whole life there,” Vick said. “The tornado struck just north of where I was. I couldn’t believe the damage. It was so widespread. There were landmarks that I used to use to get around and they were totally gone. Things I had seen my whole life and they’re now gone. It was unbelievable.”
Vick was able to remain in Tuscaloosa and helped with the cleanup and recovery for a while.

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


Kearny football looks to build on Llaneza’s first season

Photo by Jim Hague/ The Kearny High School football team begins its season Sept. 9 at home against Columbia. From left are Ryan Michaels, Winder Pasache, Nick Belotti, head coach Pete Llaneza, Owen Nee, Kyle Griffin and Claudio Lagos.



By Jim Hague

It’s the second year of the Pete Llaneza regime as head football coach at Kearny High School and he’s definitely prepared to build on a fairly successful 4-6 first campaign.
“It’s a lot easier for me in a lot of ways,” Llaneza said. “All the guys who played last year have a good sense of what to expect. They know the systems and understand what we’re looking for in terms of practice and preparation.”
Llaneza knows that coaching at Kearny provides a host of challenges, being a football team in a town and school where soccer is king. However, there is a lot of new interest in football in Kearny.
“We have a lot of first-year football players this year, so that’s a big challenge,” Llaneza said. “A lot of them are now finding out that playing football is hard. They had no idea how hard it really is. The core group we have are committed to us and have a lot of energy. We’re a lot faster along this year than we were last year.”

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

Belleville football looks to new future with new coach Dubuque

Photo by Jim Hague/ Belleville welcomes a new head coach in John Dubuque (center). He is joined by his offensive line, from left, Armando Ramos, Dwight Pitts, Daniel Giangrande, Dubuque, David Morton and Pierre Renard.


By Jim Hague

There’s a new head football coach at Belleville High School, but he’s not exactly a total newcomer or a stranger.
John Dubuque, who spent several years as an assistant coach at Belleville before moving on in 2009 to become the head coach at Boonton in Morris County, has returned to his Essex County roots to become the head coach of the Buccaneers, replacing Chris Strumolo.
“Since I worked here for many years, I didn’t skip a beat in coming back,” said Dubuque, a native of Glen Ridge who worked under both Joe Fischer and Strumolo. “That was one of the issues I thought I might have, since I got the job so late (in June). I thought that we might be behind the eight-ball just a little. It did take a little time, but the kids responded well to me.”
In fact, Dubuque feels that the Buccaneers are moving forward already.

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

The bull in the East vs. the bear in the West


By Randy Neumann

Last October, I traveled to Newport Beach, Calif., (where, by the way, a Mercedes is barely an acceptable car) to attend a due diligence meeting in the offices of Allianz Global Investors.
What is a due diligence meeting and who are Allianz Global Investors?
In my financial planning practice, I do not manage money, e.g., pick stocks, bonds and other securities for clients. Instead, I select money managers, such as Allianz Global Investors, to do that. A due diligence meeting is one in which you meet the managers and learn about the system they use to manage money.
A few years ago, Allianz Global Investors, a large international company based in Germany, bought PIMCO, a bond manager with $247,898 in millions in assets under management. Bill Gross, the longtime manager of the PIMCO Total Return Fund, the largest bond fund in the world, has been named the “Fixed Income Manager of the Year” three times.
In the trade, bond pickers are usually dour folks. Why? Stocks make money on good news, bonds make money on bad news, so it stands to reason that bond managers like bad news.
But Bill Gross brings misery to a subterranean level. His concept, “The New Normal,” can be described as making Armageddon look attractive.
In a nutshell, he believes that all the bad things that have been happening in the economy will continue to happen; i.e., we will never come out of the economic funk in which we currently find ourselves.
Here are a few of Gross’ comments: “China doesn’t need any carriers to do damage. All they need to do is cash in some of our bonds that they hold.” He continued, “If I were to sell a lot of bonds, that would put a lot of pressure on the economy.”
Needless to say, I didn’t leave that meeting as a happy camper.
A week later, I came back to the right coast, to Manhattan for a due diligence meeting at the offices of BlackRock, a large international money manager with $3.19 billion under management.
Bob Doll is a vice chairman and chief equity strategist at BlackRock. Since the 1990s, Doll has published a series of economic and market predictions at the beginning of each year. He is more often right than wrong, and, in 2007, he was 7 out of 10, for which he received media kudos.
These were his predictions for 2010:
1) U.S. equities experience high single-digit percentage total returns after the worst decade since the 1930s. Yes, folks, the S&P (a measure of the broad market) lost money over the past 10 years. This is the first time this has happened since the Great Depression. The silver lining is that 10 years of negative annual stock market returns has invariably produced attractive returns over the subsequent 10 years. Score one for Doll. Take one from Gross who sees nothing improving.
2) Recessions occur more frequently during this decade than only once a decade as occurred in the last 20 years; since 1910, three recessions at an average frequency of 3.8 years and since 1990, three recessions at an average frequency of every eight years (BlackRock Inc.). We’ll call this a tie as Gross agrees.
3) Health care, information technology and energy alternatives are leading growth areas for the United States. Gross, being a bond guy, did not have much to say about this.
4) The U.S. dollar continues to become less dominant as the decade progresses. Both would agree on this, with Gross being more didactic.
5) Interest rates move more irregularly higher in the developed world.
6) Country self-interest leads to more trade and political conflicts. Gross would agree on this.
7) An aging and declining population gives Europe some of Japan’s problems. Gross would agree.
8) World growth is led by emerging-market consumers. Gross would agree.
9) Emerging markets weighting in global indices rise significantly. Gross would agree on this also.
10) China’s economic and political ascent continues. Based on his carrier comment, Gross agrees.
Interestingly, one would not expect that a bull and a bear would agree on so much. However, the real difference between the two comes in the actions taken by each party.
For example, Doll’s tips for long-term investors were as follows:
• Overweighting stocks and other risk assets versus treasuries and cash. Gross sees the stock market continuing to be in a funk and would not put a nickel in it.
• Overweight U.S. stocks versus other developed market equities. Doll says, “Although we are predicting a slower growth environment in the United States marked by more frequent recessions, on a comparative basis, U.S. growth should still be stronger than that of other developed markets.”
• Focusing on opportunities in emerging markets.
• Allocating to better positioned sectors.
Who’s right and who’s wrong? It really doesn’t matter as long as they both continue to make money for their investors.

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.

The party ended in a cell

By Karen Zautyk

Advice to partygoers: If the neighbors complain about the noise and the cops show up, just turn down the music.
At 12:30 a.m., Aug. 16, Kearny Police Officers Joe Martinez and Ben Wuelfing responded to complaints about a loud party at Kearny and Stewart Aves. Outside, a 21-year-old man from Kearny attempted to prevent the cops from entering, Police Chief John Dowie said.
To stop Martin from opening the gate, the man reportedly grabbed the cop’s arm and shoved him. A struggle ensued, Dowie said, and another local 21-year-old male joined the fray. While Martin was attempting to cuff the combative pair, Wuelfing tried to pacify them with OC spray.
At that point, the chief said, Wuelfing was jumped from behind by a 19-year-old female from Lodi. She got sprayed, too.

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