By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent The statistics are mind-boggling. From 2004 to 2013, 1.4 million motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey were linked to distracted driving. Repeat: 1.4 million. In New Jersey alone. From 2003 to 2012, more than 1,600 people were killed […]
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent KEARNY – Even Steven Shalom, who has run Discount City in Kearny since 1992, concedes that sprucing up the Passaic Ave. mall with BJ’s Wholesale Club as a new anchor store, will be “a good […]
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent HARRISON – You could say Ron Shields’ career as a Harrison educator was preordained, given that both his parents taught at Harrison High School. His dad, Fred Shields, a 1936 soccer Olympian, was a physical […]
By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent KEARNY– Plastic lawn chairs, propane tanks, wrought iron railings, pipes, dead shrubbery, pieces of street signs, and innumerable plastic shopping bags and plastic bottles — but no groundhogs. The groundhogs who burrow along the banks […]
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent Harrison’s Blanca Alvarez was sick with the flu the morning of the big race. “But I decided to run anyway,” she said. Still, Alvarez had something to brag about: Her time of 1:08:44.96 was good […]
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent HARRISON – The Harrison American Legion Post 282 salutes Joseph Moscinski as 2013 Firefighter of the Year and Corey Karas as Police Officer of the Year on April 26 at 4 p.m. at the […]
Harrison Mayor James Fife, 73, is spending time in St. Michael’s Medical Center, Newark, where he is recovering from surgery.
The hospital declined to provide any information but Councilman James Doran, who is serving as Fife’s campaign manager for this year’s municipal election season, said that Fife was experiencing chest pain early last week and went for tests.
“An echocardiogram showed that his aortic valv e was blocked,” Doran said. So Fife had an operation last Thursday to replace that valve, he said.
Doran said Fife was expected to remain in the hospital for five days and then undergo outpatient cardiac therapy for a few weeks.
“He should be a new man in about six weeks,” Doran said.
Until Fife is ready to return to duty, Doran said that Town Council President Michael Dolaghan and the various municipal department heads will look after town business.
The state has awarded Nutley $2.75 million in transitional aid this year that Revenue & Finance Commissioner Tom Evans said would somewhat offset the pain of a municipal tax increase triggered by a devaluation of the Roche property.
Evans said that the special compensation corresponds to the diminished share of municipal, school and county taxes that Nutley will realize as a result of demolition at the Roche site, which its owners plan to vacate by sometime in 2015.
Had Nutley not received the aid package, the owner of an “average” house assessed at $314,000 would have faced a municipal tax increase of $109 but, with the aid, the tax impact is reduced to a projected $72 increase just on the municipal portion of the 2014 tax bill, Evans said.
This is expected, he said, despite the fact that overall municipal spending is up by less than 2%.
Because the aid is a “special category” of transitional aid — designed to offer tax relief to a municipality that experiences an extraordinary loss of property value by providing a “partial adjustment” to cover that lost value – Nutley won’t be saddled with the fiscal monitoring by the state that normally accompanies the granting of transitional aid, Evans said.
“The state recognizes that Nutley ranks in the 96th percentile of the state’s Best Practices checklist so for that reason we won’t be included in the traditional fiscal oversight program,” he said. “We’re seen as a wellmanaged municipality.”
Evans said that Nutley would have to reapply in 2015 for the special aid as the township continues to transition to a future without Roche.
The property owners have hired a marketing firm to find a buyer for its property, which overlaps Nutley and Clifton.
A Franklin School sixth-grader in Kearny faced disciplining in the wake of an incident that happened outside the Davis Ave. school last Thursday.
Sources said that two sixth-graders, best of friends, were waiting for classes to start that morning. After one of them reportedly hid the other’s cellular phone, her friend allegedly removed a kitchen knife from a backpack and displayed it.
At that point, sources said, other students reported the incident to teachers. The Juvenile Aid Bureau responded, but sources said there was no threat made and no one had been injured.
There was no lockdown of the school and police worked with school administrators to calm everyone. Administrators were pleased with the police response. A school resource officer was temporarily reassigned to Franklin from Kearny High.
As rumors spread through the community about the incident – especially with it happening the day after multiple students had been stabbed by another student at a school near Pittsburgh, – phones reportedly were ringing off the hook around town.
– Ron Leir
By Karen Zautyk
The temperature was bone-chilling and the rain was falling in torrents, but undeterred by the nasty weather, members of the Nutley Volunteer Emergency & Rescue Squad were out in the storm, turning a Lincoln Town Car into a heap of scrap metal.
They had to, for inside the vehicle, a man was trapped.
For 45 minutes, using the “Jaws of Life” and other extrication devices, they worked diligently at their task, smashing windows, ripping off the roof and doors and otherwise dismantling the auto, until they could safely secure the victim with a neck brace, move him onto a backboard and then gently lift him onto a gurney for transfer to the waiting ambulance.
Even though he had no injuries whatsoever.
It was all part of a simulated heavy-rescue drill, played out before an appreciative audience of Boy Scouts, who watched the entire procedure protected by a large canopy, graciously provided by the squad. (We weren’t kidding about the rain; it was like something out of “Noah.”)
The drill was held the night of April 7 in the lot behind the EMS headquarters on Chestnut St., just east of Passaic Ave.
The Scouts, members of Nutley Troop 142, had volunteered to serve as “victims” for a first-responder training course, and the squad was happy to comply, utilizing a car from an anonymous donor. (Poor car. It went from four-door sedan to no-door convertible in under an hour.)
We had expected that the kids might be lying scattered around on the ground, but if that were ever in the plans, the downpour put an end to any such scenario.
The Scouts, aged 11 to 16, still got to be “victims,” though. Inside the HQ building, they were bandaged and fitted with various splints and braces — and they received instruction on how to use first aid equipment.
Their first lesson was on how to secure someone to a backboard. The Town Car “driver,” probationary Squad member Daniel Randall, still immobile on the gurney, had spent nearly an hour in the car covered head-to-toe by an aluminum blanket — to protect him from glass and sparks during the rescue. But his job wasn’t over.
The boys, supervised by training officer Henry Meola, got busy retying Randall to the backboard, using long strips of heavy cloth and any sort of knots they wanted. (Being Boy Scouts, they know a lot of knots.)
When the task was done, Squad members lifted the board and flipped it over, so that Randall was suspended in air, face down. He remained safely immobile, despite the force of gravity. Good work, kids!
Although the evening’s experiences were fun, the underlying purpose was quite serious.
Troop 142 is trying to earn the “Messengers of Peace” award that will be presented in May at the N.J. State Police/ National Guard Camporee in Sea Girt.
According to the Camporee website, gardenstatescouting. org, “Messengers of Peace,” launched in September 2011, is a “global initiative designed to inspire millions of young men and women .. . to work towards peace.”
Using social media, “the initiative lets Scouts from around the world share what they have done and inspire fellow Scouts to undertake similar efforts in their own communities, encouraging the completion of a Good Turn in your community and helping others.”
As their community service project, the local Scouts wanted to help the Rescue Squad.
The Scouts learned much and the Squad members had the opportunity to continue to perfect their already impressive skills.
The drill also provided learning opportunities in other ways. While the Scouts were outside, watching the first responders’ rescue efforts at the car wreck, we heard one of the Scout leaders say, “This is what happens when you drink and drive . . . or when you text and drive.”
Hopefully, that message will be imprinted upon all of them. Forever.
In the movie, “The Misfits,” Gay, the cowboy character played by Clark Gable (in what would turn out to be his last film) tries to persuade two buddies to join in a “mustanging” enterprise.
“Beats wages, don’t it?” Gay asserts.
The implication is that you get to keep your freedom by living life on your own terms.
Hearing that phrase echo in my mind, just a few days later, I thought of Jeff Bahr, my former Observer colleague and friend from Bloomfield who was killed April 10 while riding his beloved 2012 Triumph Explorer motorcycle in West Buffalo Township, Pa.
Jeff was the kind of fellow who liked to go his own way, carve out his own path – (he loved to play drums but never for a band and he ran like the wind but never went out for the school track team) – and the entertaining and instructive “One-Tank” trip columns he wrote for The Observer evidenced two of his lifelong passions: writing and motorcycling.
If Jeff were writing about the day trip he’d made to the Keystone State that fateful day, he’d be sure to point out, for example, that West Buffalo Township was a rural 38-square mile area of Union County, Pa., pocketed by dairy farms and a population of 2,795 (as of the 2000 Census) and featuring as a unique attraction, the 63-foot-long, King-post truss Hayes Covered Bridge, built in 1882 and named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Longtime associates and loving friends of Jeff, including fiancée Maria Cirasella, reminisced about their fallen comrade Sunday during visitation at the Levandoski Funeral Home, Bloomfield.
Lifelong friend Joe Appleton, who attended the same kindergarten class in Oak View School, Bloomfield, said that, already at age 10, Jeff had accumulated an astounding vocabulary, reinforced by a voracious appetite for reading.
Jim McDowell, now a resident of Dingmans Ferry, Pa., who met Jeff as a teen, remembered Jeff confiding that he was thinking of quitting school. “He told me, ‘The teachers just don’t get me,’ so I asked him what he intended to do with himself and he thought about it and finally he said, ‘I’ll just become a wordsmith.’ ‘’
And so he did.
“The way he processed things was amazing,” McDowell said. “The angle through which he viewed things had a perspective like no one else. And he could find humor in everything. He could always find a way to make you laugh.”
Jeff ’s writing career started by accident, Appleton said, when he was working for an environmental lab and his employer asked him to write something about the company. He went on to write for local newspapers, magazines and book series.
He was a contributor to “Weird NJ” and “Weird Virginia,” the “Armchair Reader,” “Amazing & Unusual USA: Hundreds of Extraordinary Sights” and Backroads: Motorcycles, Travel & Adventure magazine, a monthly publication that circulates on the East Coast.
Brian Rathjen, who, with his wife Shira Kamil, publishes Backroads, has enjoyed reading Jeff ’s prose for more than a quarter century. “We’ve been friends and biking pals,” he said. “Last August, when Jeff had his cancer – and I had had cancer myself – we were a mutual support team. We kind of lifted up each other.”
As for the articles Jeff submitted, Rathjen said the author’s copy “had a fresh and vibrant style” and invariably featured “a wealth of bizarre and interesting knowledge.” And, Rathjen added, “If we needed to fill space at the last minute, you could always rely on Jeff to provide something. He was always upbeat, positive, one of the most unique guys I’ve met.”
Jeff ’s ability to draw people out amplified his story-telling talent. As McDowell put it, “People fascinated him. He got them to open up.” And that probably explained why he was a CB radio operator. And why he outfitted his motorcycle helmets with radio units so he could carry on conversations with bike buddies while he was riding to share his adventures on the road with them.
Jeff ’s fixation with bikes began officially in 1985 when, according to biker buddy and Netcong resident Paul Alesi, he got his first cycle, a Nighthawk 950. “He kept it for a year, sold it and got a 550E Suzuki. And then he went to a Suzuki Intruder 700,” Alesi said. “He’d take that up to New Hampshire to visit his sister.”
Warwick, N.Y. resident Dave Erfer, who rode with Jeff for the past 15 years after they met at a Backroads rally, figures his pal went through “eight or nine” bikes in his lifetime.
“The bike he was using when he was killed he’d had only two weeks,” Erfer said. “He said it was ‘close to perfect’ because it had anti-lock brakes, traction control and cruise control.” “The biggest thing about Jeff was, he always knew his history about the places he visited,” Erfer said. “We used to say that riding with Jeff was like riding with Google because of all the facts he could recite.”
“I’m going to miss our morning wake-up calls. In fact, he called me at 9:10 [a.m.] the morning he died on his helmet intercom to tell me he was on his day ride to Pennsylvania. I was enroute to work. An hour later, he was dead.”
As he was working his way through his recovery from throat cancer, Jeff would work out in the basement of Appleton’s home. And, a week before the fatal accident, Appleton recalled, Jeff “rode his bicycle eight miles to try and get his wind back. He was so overwhelmed that he could do that, he pulled over and cried.”
For some reason, Appleton said, Jeff had a fascination for skyscrapers and high structures. “He’d drive anywhere to find one of those huge radio towers.”
Maybe now, Jeff is looking down from the ultimate height and realizing that he’s achieved all that he set out to do and that those he’s left behind appreciated – and were inspired by – the effort.
– Ron Leir
Kenneth Pincus is Kearny’s new health officer.
Pincus, a resident of Warren, was hired last Tuesday night by the local governing body at an annual salary of $99,500, effective May 1. He replaces John Sarnas, who retired April 1 after a four-decade- plus career in the health department.
Pincus has worked since 2006 as principal registered environmental health specialist for the Westfield Regional Health Department in Westfield. Before that, he was registered environmental health specialist for the Edison Department of Health from 1995 to 2006. And, prior, he was a part-time registered environmental health specialist for the Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission in Green Brook from 2004 to 2010.
This will mark Pincus’s first time serving as a certified municipal health officer.
Still, Mayor Alberto Santos said he’s persuaded that Pincus is a good choice for the job.
“We had nine applicants of whom all but one had a municipal health officer license and extensive experience in local health departments,” Santos said. “We interviewed two with the most experience.”
“We feel Ken is highly credentialed, who, in addition to possessing a license, has other certifications related to the health care field and is a seasoned health professional who will continue the tradition established by John Sarnas during his more than 40 years with the department,” Santos said.
Santos said that Sarnas will make himself available on a volunteer basis to help with the administrative transition.
Pincus’s professional resume lists him as licensed by the state Department of Health as a registered environmental health specialist, lead inspector/risk assessor and certified retail food standardized trainer. He’s also listed as licensed by the state Department of Environmental Protection as a commercial pesticide applicator and a certified community noise enforcement officer.
He has also completed FEMA courses on bio-terrorism modules and he is an adjunct professor with the University of Phoenix’s College of Health Sciences and Nursing, teaching health law.
He has a B.S. degree in environmental management from the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, R.I., and an M.S. in health administration from New Jersey City University, Jersey City.
Working in the health field “has been my passion,” Pincus told The Observer last week.
While he has had no prior work-related experience in Kearny, Pincus said he has driven through the West Hudson area many times.
In his previous job, Pincus said he introduced a standardization program for local restaurant inspections in the Westfield region, which took in the communities of Fanwood, Cranford and Garwood, ensuring that appropriate steps were being taken to protect food from potential contamination and, especially, during flood conditions.
– Ron Leir
By Karen Zautyk
Kearny police reported last week that they have closed two cases dating to 2012, “one crime solved through DNA, the other, the old-fashioned way,” said KPD Chief John Dowie.
The latter involved the Sept. 30, 2012, armed hold-up of a liquor store at Seeley and Kearny Aves. At about 8 p.m. on that date, a lone bandit, wielding an automatic handgun, robbed the shop and then fled on foot, running east on Seeley.
The investigating officer, Det. Scott Traynor, reviewed surveillance tapes, noting the type of weapon used and the gunman’s clothing — a dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt and a black ski mask — and later linked these details to a similar crime in Bayonne, Dowie said. Traynor kept up with the case, working with police in that city and developing information from his street sources. He subsequently identified a possible suspect — 25-year-old Bayonne resident Jonathan Jeffery.
Last month, after evidence was presented to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, warrants were issued for Jeffery’s arrest on weapons and armed robbery charges in Kearny.
The alleged perp, already lodged in the Hudson County Jail in connection with his Bayonne arrest, was brought to KPD headquarters on April 4 for formal processing and was then returned to his secure habitat.
The second case concerned the Nov. 1, 2012, burglary of a gas station at Belgrove Drive and Passaic Ave. The culprit, Dowie noted, had taken advantage of the fact that the station had no electrical power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, broke in through a garage window and absconded with cigarettes, lottery tickets and cash.
Responding to the scene were Det. Michael Gonzalez and Det. Stephen Podolski, who recovered probable DNA evidence. This was sent to the State Police lab for processing, and last month a probable suspect was ID’d, Dowie said.
That suspect, Brian Kinney, 30, of Kearny, had also been linked to a series of robberies at Payless shoe stores in Kearny and Newark, police said, and was incarcerated at the Essex County Jail. On April 4, he was processed there on the additional Kearny charges of burglary and theft.
By Anthony J. Machcinski
Music lovers looking to cherish the oldies will have their opportunity on April 25 when the band Park Avenue plays at the brand new Riva Blue in Lyndhurst.
Park Avenue was created three years ago and consists of keyboard player John Lepore, drummer Mark Sole, bassist Mike Cardinale, guitarist Orlando Sanzari and singers Bob D’Angelo, George Kistner, Joe Caporella and Mike Fede.
While the band itself is green in terms of experience playing as a group, the individuals who make up the band all benefit from decades of performing throughout the area. Members of the group have played with such bands as Sidewalk Symphony, Jersey Sound, and the Russ Marlow Show Band.
“We perform music from the ’40s through the ’70s,” said D’Angelo, adding that the group features songs from bands such as The Duprees, The Four Seasons and even some Motown hits.
D’Angelo fell in love with music at a young age, carrying on his dad’s passion.
“My father played the guitar, and he used to come to my school and play,” D’Angelo said. “I played the guitar in Natural High (the younger D’Angelo’s first band) and I used to sing on the corner when I was young.”
D’Angelo became a singer after listening to much of the music of the ’60s and ’70s.
“I said to myself, ‘I want to learn these harmony parts,’” D’Angelo said. “I used to sing the harmony parts in the record. I’ve always heard music since I was a tot. It was just in the blood.”
D’Angelo’s career continued to grow and by 1974, he had started his first band, Natural High, and began singing at several local venues including the Jetty and Big Joe’s Pub, both in Bloomfield.
“I just love singing and I love music,” D’Angelo said. “I just love entertaining.”
The band has played at many of the area’s best locations, including the Whiskey Café in Lyndhurst, The Chandelier in Belleville and will open Riva Blue.
“You really have to hear us to appreciate (our harmonies),” D’Angelo said. “People come up to us after shows and thank us and tell us that we were really great.”
The band’s harmonies have the power to send lovers of the oldies back in time on a musical adventure.
On the band’s cover of Mel Carter’s “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me,” D’Angelo, Fede and Kistner all harmonize behind the vocals of Caporella, creating the soothing, romantic croon that Carter intended the song to hold.
The band also thrills on Jackie Wilson’s ’50s classic “Lonely Teardrops.”
During Park Avenue’s cover, D’Angelo takes the lead while Fede, Kistner and Caporella harmonize behind him. Even with the passing of decades since Wilson released “Lonely Teardrops,” Park Avenue helps breathe life into a song that may have fallen by the wayside over time.
For D’Angelo, getting out and performing in front of large crowds is the ultimate pleasure.
“There’s nothing like getting yourself out there,” D’Angelo explained. “We prefer the larger crowds, naturally, but we just like being out there singing.”
D’Angelo said the band has several tour dates already booked throughout the summer and will continue to perform songs from their most recent CD, “Back in the Day.”
D’Angelo hopes that the band will continue to expand its horizons and perform at new venues, including some outside the state.
“We’re working on trying to get up to the Poconos,” D’Angelo said. “They just opened up a few new places up there. Atlantic City is always another possibility.”
Park Avenue will play Riva Blue in Lyndhurst on Friday, April 25, at 9 p.m., and will follow that up with several performances at The Whiskey Café in Lyndhurst and The Essex Bar & Grill in Bloomfield.
Riva Blue is located at 525 Riverside Ave. in Lyndhurst above King’s Court. For more information on Park Avenue, including its CD “Back in the Day,” visit the band’s website at www.parkavenj.com.
On April 4, at 6 p.m., pursuant to an ongoing narcotics investigation and armed with a search warrant from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Kearny vice detectives paid a visit to an apartment on the 300 block of Kearny Ave.
When the occupants refused to open the door, the officers employed a battering ram (a/k/a “knock, knock tool”) to gain entrance. Police said a search of the premises produced 96 grams of marijuana, a batch of marijuana cookies, a half-dozen psilocybin (psychedelic) mushrooms, 17 Xanax tablets, numerous empty plastic bags, a digital scale and $638 in cash.
Arrested were Christopher Reyes, 36, and Randy Valverde, 25, both of whom were charged with possession of more than 50 grams of pot, possession with intent to distribute, intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school (Kearny High) and 500 feet of a public library, possession of the mushrooms and prescription drug with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In addition, police said, Valverde had outstanding warrants from East Newark, Belleville and West Caldwell. His bail was set at $10,000; Reyes’, at $5,000.
Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:
Officer Ben Wuelfing, on patrol at 4 a.m., saw a Jeep make an illegal turn at Kearny and Bergen Aves. and stopped the vehicle at Halstead St. Police said the driver, Max Salazar, 41, of Kearny, was found to have a suspended license. He was also reportedly found to have a strong odor of alcohol about his person and to be unsteady on his feet. While Wuelfing was conducting field sobriety tests, back-up Officer Chris Medina observed an open bottle of beer in the Jeep, police said.
When Salazar “violently resisted arrest,” Wuelfing employed OC spray, to no effect, police said. Salazar then allegedly elbowed Medina in the chest, threw the bottle at him and kicked Wuelfing. When the cops had to wrestle the belligerent man to the ground, which was covered in shattered beer-bottle glass, Medina suffered lacerations to his hand, police said.
Salazar, who reportedly refused to take an Alcotest, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, DWI, driving while suspended, possession of a weapon (the bottle) and having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.
Officers Jordenson Jean and John Fabula, patrolling on the 200 block of Brighton Ave. at 3:15 p.m., observed Ruthann Hatfield, 48, whom they knew to be wanted and confirmed she had outstanding warrants from Cinnaminson and Moorestown. She was taken to headquarters for processing and the other jurisdictions were notified.
At 5 p.m., vice detectives saw Nestor Carr, 25, of Kearny operating a motor vehicle at Wilson and Highland Aves., confirmed that he had a suspended license and also learned he was the subject of a North Arlington warrant, police said. Carr was accompanied by Stacey Perez, 22, of Kearny, who reportedly had a warrant out of Kearny. Both were taken into custody.
By Anthony J. Machcinski
Tim and Scott Bixler may not have been alive when their great-grandfather helped develop Kearny’s Manor section in 1926, but the twin brothers and co-owners of The Bixler Group have taken up the family real estate business.
Originally born in Kearny, the brothers joined their great uncle at The Bixler Group in 2002 after graduating from St. Lawrence University.
“At the time, there weren’t many corporate jobs and it was an opportunity for (my brother and I) to work together,” said Scott Bixler. “So after college, my brother and I decided to talk to my great uncle about coming back to Kearny.”
The Bixler Group, besides being a family business, was a great spot for the brothers to settle. With Scott’s background in real estate and Tim’s insurance background, the pair could work in their field under the same roof.
“It has always been real estate and insurance,” Scott said. “My brother tends to do about 90% of the insurance and I handle about the same amount of real estate.”
Scott said the real estate market was something that always intrigued him, but the chance to help someone achieve his or her dreams keeps him motivated.
“I love working with people within the community,” Scott explained. “It’s great to walk away from a closing table, but even better to know you just fulfilled someone’s dream.”
With 115 years of service to Hudson and Bergen County over five generations, Scott believes that the family’s history separates them from other realtors in the area.
“Within the community, we’ve been around so long that people knew my dad and my uncle,” Scott said. “There’s just a lot of history with us in town.”
Scott explained that families have bought their homes from the twins’ father or grandfather, then sold them later in life through them.
“My grandfather sold a customer a house and we have those files still in the basement,” Scott said. “I can walk in the basement and put our hands on a file from the 1940s.”
Scott believes that having the extensive history of the home on file is not only an advantage, but also an important piece to show to prospective home buyers.
“We can take (the file) to a listing and show them what the house looked like in the 1940s,” Scott said. “It’s a niche that we have.”
Scott believes that The Bixler Group’s success stems from its long history and hands-on ownership.
“I think a lot of it has to do with that we’re a familyowned business that’s been around a long time,” Scott said. “We’re a smaller mom and pop where we, as the owners, are constantly hands on.”
He continued, “My great uncle sold someone a house in the ‘60s and now they’re looking to sell it and they came to us because they remember the service he gave them.”
However, things weren’t always easy for the twins.
“When the market crashed in 2008, it was a struggle,” Scott said. “It made us work harder. We figured that if we could make it through that, we could make it through anything and we’ve built it back up since then. We’ve brought our name back to the strength it always was.”
As for the future of The Bixler Group, Scott hopes to continue to strengthen the family business.
“We’re trying to stay small, but surround ourselves with other good agents,” Scott said. “We’d like to get a few more strong agents and not make it huge, but keep it small and strong.”
The Bixler Group is located at 758 Kearny Ave. in Kearny. For more information, including area listings, visit their website at www.bixlerest1891.com or call their office at 201- 991-0032.
Photos by Ron Leir
A NJ Transit bus emerging from the company’s Washington Ave. terminal at Hancox Ave. in Nutley and turning south was in collision with a southbound passenger car. Emergency responders extracted
a 28-year-old Belleville woman from the vehicle and a Nutley ambulance took her to Clara Maass Medical Center for observation.. No summonses were issued, police said.
Belleville Public Library and Information Center, 221 Washington Ave., holds a Teddy Bear Tea Party for children on Saturday, May 3, at 2 p.m. Registration closes April 28.
Belleville Irish American Association sponsors a trip to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Boston and Mohegan Sun Casino, June 2-6. Cost is $485. For an itinerary or more information, call Pat at 973-751-5308 or email email@example.com.
Belleville Elks Lodge 1123, 254 Washington Ave.. hosts a blood drive on Saturday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donors must be at least age 17, weigh at least 120 pounds, bring a signed form of ID and know their social security number. For more information, call the New Jersey Blood Center at 973-676-4700.
Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., announces:
• Egg Hunt for kids ages 18 months to 5 only on April 16 at 11 a.m.
• Book Club on Monday, May 5, from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m., to discuss Ha Jin’s novel “Waiting.” For more information or for help in locating a copy of the book club selection, call the Reference Desk at 973-566- 6200, ext 502.
Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center, 240 Belleville Ave., hosts a Tricky Tray fundraiser on Friday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets, available only in advance, are $25. To purchase tickets, call 973-429-0960.
The Peruvians United of Harrison will conduct a food drive on April 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Harrison Town Hall. All of the food will be donated to Holy Cross Church.
Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., announces:
• Uncle John’s Puppets performance will be held Thursday, April 17, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
• There’ll be a screening of a Disney Double Feature of “The Jungle Book” at 1 p.m. and “The Jungle Book 2” at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16. Registration is not required for these programs, but seating is limited.
• A book sale continues through Thursday, April 17, during normal library hours. Patrons will find a huge selection of donated and discarded hardcover and paperback books. Books are a quarter each or five for $1.
Kearny High School’s Project Graduation sponsors a Volleyball Tournament on Friday, April 25, in the school’s gymnasium, 336 Devon St. Contact Melissa Dyl for information at 201-978-8257. There will be a 50/50 raffle Friday, June 20, after graduation ceremonies. The winner need not be present. Tickets are $10. To purchase or sell tickets, contact Sandy Hyde at 551-265-8969.
Kearny UNICO sponsors a fundraising bus trip to the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City on Sunday, April 27, leaving from the parking lot of Kearny Federal Savings Bank at 8:30 a.m. Tickets are $30 and can be obtained by calling Lou Pandolfi at 201-368-2409.
The Humane Society of Bergen County, 221-223 Stuyvesant Ave., meets April 22 at 7 p.m. to elect officers.The public is invited to see the shelter and meet the board of directors. For more information, call 201- 896-9300.
The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission will hold a free Earth Day concert, featuring Spook Handy, Tuesday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 DeKorte Park Plaza. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. To register, contact Don Torino of the BCAS at greatauk4@aol. com or 201-230-4983.
Learn how the N.J. Invasive Strike Team is working to address the spread of non-native species that threaten the environment and natural resources on Wednesday, April 23, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the MEC. It’s open to all ages. Admission is $5; $4 for MEC members. Registration is recommended and appreciated. To register, visit www.njmeadowlands.gov/ec.
Registration is required for a Ladybug craft program for grades 1 to 4 at Lyndhurst Public Library, 355 Valley Brook Ave., on Monday, April 28, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Call the library at 201-804-2478 to register.
Lyndhurst Health Department, 601 Riverside Avenue, Suite 1, hosts a free Women’s Health Clinic, in partnership with Clara Maass Medical Center, on April 25, at 9 a.m. The clinic will provide education on breast self-examination and a pap smear. This event is open to female township residents age 18 and older. For appointments, call 201-804- 2500.
Dr. John Favetta will conduct free eye screening Wednesday, May 7, at 10 a.m., at the Health Dept. He will test for vision acuity, visual field and glaucoma. Call for an appointment.
Polish American Citizens Club, 730 New Jersey Ave., presents a Polka Mass dinner dance on Saturday, April 26, from 6 to 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $35. For tickets, call Alice at 201-935-3830 or Loretta at 201- 438-3513.
Lyndhurst Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3549, 527 Valley Brook Ave., hosts a Karaoke party on Friday, April 25, at 7 p.m. The VFW hall is available to rent for all occasions. For more information, call the post at 201-939-3080.
North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Road, offers:
• ESL Group Class on Tuesdays starts April 22. Visit or call for more information. • Historical Fact and Fiction Club meets Thursday, April 24, at 10 a.m.
• Saturday Afternoon Poets celebrate National Poetry Month April 26 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with a poetry reading and music performance. All ages are welcome.
• YA Movie Day for grades 6 and up will be held Friday, April 25, at 3 p.m.
• Comics Club for grades 6 and up meets Wednesday, April 30, at 3:30 p.m.
• Origami for grades 4 and up is held Monday, April 28, at 3:30 p.m.
• Woman’s Club Craft is available for grades K to 5 Tuesday, April 22, at 6 p.m. Registration is required. Call 201-955-5640, ext. 126. To register, just leave a message.
Senior Harmony Club announces the following trips:
• Sands Casino, Thursday, April 24. For reservations or information, call Florence at 201-991-3173.
• Westchester Broadway Theater to see the musical “Ragtime,” Thursday, May 1. Reservations must be made ASAP. Call Anna at 201-939- 2960.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 120 Prospect St., hosts a Home-made Pasta Dinner Saturday, May 3, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $6 for children ages 12 and younger. Visit the rectory to purchase tickets. All proceeds benefit the church’s CCD program.
Registration is open for the Nutley Parks and Recreation Department’s “Let’s Get Moving,” for ages 3 to 5, to refine motor skills and increase balance. Classes begin April 22. Two sessions are available: Tuesdays at 1 p.m. or Thursdays at 9:15 a.m. Online registration is available at nutleynj.my.gov-i.com/recreation or at the Recreation Department, 44 Park Ave, reachable at 973-284-4966.
Nutley Police Department holds its next Neighborhood Watch meeting April 24 at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building on the third floor. This meeting will focus on identity theft and learning about common scams.
Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Drive, announces:
• Earth Day Story Time, Monday, April 21, at 7 p.m.
• Friends of the Library book sale, April 24 to 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Stock up on hardcover books, paperbacks, CDs and DVDs. Donations will be collected April 21 to 23.