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1.7B to clean Passaic’s lower 8 miles

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

Lost medal recovered from Pa.

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

Feds won’t pay for more firefighters

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

Tribute to a teacher

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

Play ball! (and politics, too)

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

News in brief

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


Around Town


Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., offers the following programs:

• Thursday Afternoon at the Movies: Nov. 7 – “Behind the Candalabra,” (Michael Douglas) (NR); Nov. 14 – “The Way, Way Back” (Toni Collette) (PG-13); and Nov. 21 –“Blame it on Rio” (Michael Caine) (R). Films start at 12:15 p.m. Admission is free.

• Monday Afternoon at the Movies: Nov. 11 – Library closed for Veteran’s Day; Nov. 18 – “Arabesque” (Gregory Peck) (NR); and Nov. 25 – “Ship of Fools” (Simone Signoret) (NR). Films start at 12:15 p.m. Admission is free.

Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center, 240 Belleville Ave., hosts an afternoon of chamber music with Patrick Burns on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 3 p.m. The concert will feature musicians from New Jersey City University, Montclair State University and Bloomfield High School. Proceeds will benefit ongoing operations at Oakeside.

Tickets are $10 per person, and may be purchased at the door. A reception with the artists will follow the musical program. For more information, call Oakeside at 973-429-0960.


Harrison American Legion hosts its 75th anniversary celebration and awards dinner on Nov. 9 at the Harrison-East Newark Elks, 406 Harrison Ave. Mayor Raymond McDonough, Elks Exalted Ruler Larry Bennett and Councilman Victor Villalta will be feted for the work they do for veterans. For information or reservations, call Ed Marshman at 201-998-0662.

Holy Cross Church sponsors an Atlantic City bus trip on Sunday, Nov. 10, to Taj Mahal and outlet shopping for Christmas. Coffee and refreshments will be served starting at 9:15 a.m. The bus leaves at 10 a.m. from Holy Cross School,15 Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. Cost is $30 ($25 in slot play). For reservations, call Joan at 973-481-2434 or Marie (Spanish) 973-481-1799. Leave name, phone number and number attending.


Kearny’s annual Veterans Day ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at Memorial Park on Kearny Ave., just north of Quincy Ave. After the program, the public is invited to American Legion Post 99, 314 Belgrove Drive, for refreshments.

A fundraising bus trip for Kearny High School’s Project Graduation is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., to Sands Casino and Outlet Mall. The bus leaves from Kearny Federal Savings Bank, 614 Kearny Ave. Cost is $30 (receive $20 in slot dollars and $5 food voucher). For tickets or more information contact Judy at 201-991-5812 or e-mail her at jh519@aol.com or call Sandy at 551-265-8969.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 7, Hudson County, meets on the second Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at the Irish American Association, 95 Kearny Ave. Kearny High School Baseball Booster Club hosts a comedy night fundraiser on Friday, Nov. 8, at 6:30 p.m., at Copestone Ophir Masonic Lodge, 225 Kearny Ave. Tickets are $30 (BYOB and snack). For tickets or to make a donation, contact Carolyn Girdwood at 551-208-6227, Sandy Hyde at 551-265-8969, Clarence Hicks at 201-283-0515 or Wayne Walley at 201-376-4882.

The Kearny High School Class of 1983 will hold a 30- year reunion on Nov. 30. For more information, contact Reunion Central at 888-333- 6569 or e-mail kearny83@ reunioncentral.com.

The Rosary Society of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 136 Davis Ave., meets Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in the church basement. Margaret Abrahams, coordinator of the Domestic Violence Response Team of Hudson County, will speak.

The Salvation Army of Greater Kearny, 443 Chestnut St., offers these programs:

* Annual Kettle Kick-Off – Thursday, Nov. 14, at noon, at Kearny Town Hall.

* Computer classes – Basic computer skills, e-mail and Microsoft Office Suite, Mondays and Tuesdays, from 10 a.m. to noon. Fee is $30 per 12 hours of instruction. For information, call the Salvation Army at 201-991-1115.

The Arlington Woman’s Club meets Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. at the Arlington Players Club, 12 Washington Pl., Kearny. This meeting includes the annual Thanksgiving luncheon. Participants are asked to bring donations for the food pantry. For more information, call Moira Crowell at 201-997-2781.

The group meets on the second Tuesday of each month. New members, ages 18 and older, are welcome. For information on membership, call club secretary Teddie Jablonski at 973-248-6500.

The Scots American Club, 40 Patterson St., will participate in the Blood Center of N.J.’s Super Community Blood Drive on Tuesday, Nov. 19, from 2:30 to 8 p.m. Donors can schedule an appointment or walk in. To schedule an appointment online, visit https://www.membersforlife. org/bcnj/schedule.php Donors will be entered in a sweepstakes to win two tickets to the Super Bowl at Met Life Stadium in February and receive a Super Community Blood Drive wristband. The Super Bowl Host Committee kicks off the Super Community Blood Drive to raise awareness about the critical need for blood donations.


Lyndhurst Library Children’s Room, 355 Valley Brook Ave., will sponsor these events:

• Thanksgiving Turkey Craft, for grades 1 to 4, Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Registration is required.

• Native American Headband Craft, for grades Pre-K to 3, on Monday, Nov. 18, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Registration is required.

The Polish American Citizens Club, 730 New Jersey Ave., hosts its 90th anniversary celebration on Sunday, Nov. 17, from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $65. For more information, call 201-438-9723.

Lyndhurst Health Department, 601 Riverside Ave., hosts a stroke, aneurysm, osteoporosis and vascular disease screening provided by Life Line Screening on Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Price varies with each screening. Pre-registration is required. For appointments, call Life Line at 1-888-653-6450 or visit www.lifelinescreening.com/community-partners. Mention this press release and receive a $10 discount off your package.

Judith Russo presents “New Jersey Swine – Bringing Home the Bacon” on Thursday, Nov. 7, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 DeKorte Park Plaza. Admission is $5/person; $4 for MEC members. Find out why New Jersey pigs, or swine, were much sought-after in colonial and early America for their lard and meat. For more information, call 201-460-8300 or visit www.njmeadowlands. gov/ec.

The Woman’s Club of Lyndhurst is accepting donations for the local food pantry, 253 Stuyvesant Ave. Desired items include non-perishable food items, plus turkeys, hams and lasagne as well as gift cards for Shop Rite or Stop and Shop. Monetary donations can be sent to: Diane Cichino, 481 Roosevelt Ave., Lyndhurst, N.J. 07071. For more information on membership in the Woman’s Club, contact Marilyn Falcone at 201-933-6459.

The club will hold a Pizza Contest on Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Lyndhurst Senior Building, 250 Cleveland Ave. Many local pizzerias are donating pizzas to be judged. Cost is $5 per person. The winning pizzeria will receive a banner to display in their front window. Money raised for this event will benefit the club’s charitable projects. For tickets, call Janet Ricigliano at 201-935- 1208.

North Arlington

North Arlington Woman’s Club sponsors a bus trip to Sands Casino, Bethlehem, Pa., on Saturday, Nov. 16. The bus departs from Borough Hall at 9 a.m. Cost is $30 ($20 slot credit and $5 food credit). Contact Eileen at 201-998-2501 for tickets.

The Senior Harmony Club of North Arlington announces the following trips:

• Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Call Florence for more information at 201-991-3173.

• Overnight trip to Pennsylvania to see the Christmas show “Sight and Sound,” National Christmas Museum, Koziars Christmas Village and Country Kettle Village, Dec. 5-6. For information, call Anna at 201-939-2960.

North Arlington Senior Activity Center, 11 York Rd., hosts a holiday party on Friday, Dec. 6, starting at 10 a.m. with bingo, lunch at noon, gift raffle at 1 p.m. and dancing from 2 to 3:30 p.m. For information and reservation, call 201-998- 5636.

North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Rd., will offer these programs:

• Storytime for ages 2 to 5 is held on Wednesdays, Nov. 6, 13 and 20 at 11:45 a.m. There will be no Storytime on Wednesday, Nov. 27.

• Harvest Craft, sponsored by the N.A. Women’s Club, is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 6:30 p.m. for grades K to 5.

• Bedtime Storytime, for ages 4 to 6, is held on Thursdays, Nov. 7 and 21, at 6 p.m.

• Origami Club, for grades 4 and up, is held on Friday, Nov. 15, at 3:30 p.m.

Registration is recommended for the above programs. Call the library at 201-955- 5640.

• Children’s author Katherine Rizzuto will discuss and sign her new book “Poodles Don’t Play Tennis” on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m. Meet one of the dogs from her story. Books will be on sale for $10 each. (Exact change is greatly appreciated.) Kids in Pre-K to grade 3 are welcome and registration is strongly recommended. Call 201-955-5640, ext.126, and leave a message with the name or names of those registering and how many copies of the book are desired.


Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Dr., hosts the following events:

• Saturday Drop-in Craft – Nov. 9, 16, 23. Drop by the children’s room between 10 a.m. and noon to make a craft and take it home (while supplies last). No registration is required.

• Babygarten – Tuesdays, Nov. 12 and 19, at 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Registration is required. Participants must be Nutley residents. For more information on programs or to register, call the library at 973-667-0405.

• Play Bridge on Tuesdays, Nov. 12, 19, 26 at 1 p.m. No registration required.

• Biennial Nutley Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – Sunday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. The intent is “to recognize Nutley people who have achieved outstanding accomplishments beyond the boundaries of Nutley.” Tickets are $40. Call 973-284-4929 for information.

• 1990’s Trivia Night for Adults – Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. Winners will each receive a $10 Starbucks gift card. Register at http://nutleylibrary90strivia.eventbrite.com.

• Dr. Who Celebration – Thursday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. – Dr. Who costume contest and trivia and British foods. Register online at http://nutleypubliclibraryforteens.wordpress.com.

Kearny firefighter Boyle takes on NYC Marathon

Photo by Jim Hague Kearny firefighter Doug Boyle trains near his home in Kearny, preparing for the New York City Marathon.

Photo by Jim Hague
Kearny firefighter Doug Boyle trains near his home in Kearny, preparing for the New York City Marathon.


By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

Doug Boyle has never been one to back down from a challenge. When he was a teenager, the lifelong Kearny resident was asked by a family member what he wanted to do with his life.

“I said I wanted to join the Marine Corps,” Boyle said.

The response raised some eyebrows with his family members.

“But all the men in my family were in the military,” Boyle said. “My great grandfather, my grandfather, my father, all were in the military. It was absolutely what I wanted to do.”

So when the former Kearny High football defensive end graduated from Kearny in 1989, Boyle enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.

Boyle was deployed to the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. In 1991, he was part of the platoon that enacted Operation Eastern Exit, which enabled the members of the United States Embassy in Somalia to evacuate safely.

When Boyle left the Marine Corps as a corporal in 1993, he needed another challenge in his life. So he took the Civil Service exam to become a Kearny firefighter. In 1996, Boyle joined the Kearny Fire Department and has been a member ever since.

“I was very happy when the Kearny Fire Department called,” Boyle said. “It was always something that I wanted to do.”

A few years ago, Boyle needed yet another challenge. He became a road runner.

“I always ran in the Marine Corps, but I stopped running when I joined the fire department,” Boyle said. “One day, I woke up and I just didn’t feel good. I had put on some weight and was tired. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I just didn’t feel right.”

Boyle’s doctor suggested some change of lifestyle, which included more exercise. Boyle then decided to find his running shoes and head back to the roads.

“I bought a joggling stroller so I could run with my daughter Jillian when she was little,” Boyle said. “People would always see me running with the stroller. Soon after, I took running more seriously.”

In 2009, Boyle decided he was ready for his biggest challenge. He wanted to run a marathon.

“Of course, I had to make my first one the Marine Corps Marathon (Washington, D.C.),” Boyle said. “My sister Michelle ran in the Marine Corps Marathon in 2000, so she knew what she was doing. She gave me a training schedule to get ready.”

Boyle had to build up his endurance before taking on the streets of the nation’s capital.

“It was a 16 week schedule,” Boyle said. “I had to work my way up.” So the leisurely strolls became longer, to five miles, then 10, then 15. “I had to be able to run five miles a day, three days a week,” Boyle said. “That’s how I started. After it got longer, it got tougher. The first time I did 13 miles, I thought that this was nuts. I took my shoes off, hit my bed and collapsed. I wondered, ‘How can I do this?’ It’s never easy. But I wasn’t going to quit. I never quit. I’m figured I was going to finish it or die trying.”

Boyle had never competed in a shorter race, like the traditional five or 10 kilometer road races that are popular throughout the area. He was determined to train for a marathon or bust.

“I told everyone that I was going for a marathon,” Boyle said. “I was going to finish or be humiliated for the rest of my life. Everyone thought I was crazy.”

True to his nature, Boyle finished the Marine Corps Marathon in 2009 in four hours and 20 minutes.

“It was right near the Iwo Jima Memorial,” Boyle said. “I was exhausted. I couldn’t walk right for a week. Right there and then, I thought that was it. I thought, `Who would want to do this again?’”

But Boyle did it again. He competed in the New Jersey Marathon in 2010 in Long Branch and finished in 4:05. He was getting better at it.

Boyle also ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 2010 and 2011. He hasn’t competed in a marathon since.

Four years ago, Boyle applied to run in the New York City Marathon, the biggest marathon in the world, with nearly 50,000 runners.

“It’s a lottery to get in,” Boyle said. “I didn’t think I’d get in.”

This year, Boyle received news that he was accepted for the NYC Marathon.

“It’s always been my goal to run New York,” Boyle said. “If you’re a runner, who doesn’t want to run New York? When you hear about marathons, the best one is New York. I’m very excited about it.”

Boyle said that it’s especially important this year, because the New York City Marathon was cancelled last year in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

“I think that makes it even more exciting,” Boyle said. “The race starts in Staten Island and the island was destroyed by the storm. I think this shows everyone that we’re back and getting better.”

Boyle remembers that he was on duty with the Kearny Fire Department for 40 hours straight last year due to the storm.

Boyle said that he’s in the best shape of his life now. He changed his training regimen.

“I used to run five days a week, but then I’d always have an ache or a pain that stopped me,” Boyle said. “Now, I run three days and the others, I cross train, either on a bike or something. I’m pretty much pain free now.”

Boyle said that he’s been doing 20 miles in training. He said he was physically prepared for the jaunt through the five boroughs.

“But who is really ever ready to run 26.2 miles?” Boyle asked. “But I’m going to finish. No question about that. Unless I break a leg, then I can’t. But at this point, it’s more mental than anything. I know I can finish, even with a year off. I have that determination on my side.”

Boyle finished the race Sunday in 4:30.29. He did it. He completed the NYC Marathon in his first attempt.

Boyle said that he will continue to train for future marathons. He’s already registered for the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon next October.

“I tell people that I’m running marathons and they say, ‘Why?’” Boyle said. “Most people don’t even like to drive 26.2 miles. I do it to say that I can. Obviously, fitness is important with what I do for a living.”

Boyle said that he has good support from his colleagues.

“They always support me,” Boyle said. “Jed Schappert (a fellow Kearny firefighter) ran the Marine Corps Marathon with me in 2009. So that’s good to have.”

It’s also good to know that Boyle has tackled yet another challenge in his life.

Kearny girls’ cross country team captures county crown

LEFT: The Kearny girls’ cross country team captured the Hudson County Championship last week, the program’s fi rst since 2009. RIGHT: Senior Erika Alzamora, shown here at the NJSIAA state sectionals a year ago, fi nished second at the Hudson County Track Coaches Association meet last week.

LEFT: The Kearny girls’ cross country team captured the Hudson County Championship last week, the program’s first since 2009. RIGHT: Senior Erika Alzamora, shown here at the NJSIAA state sectionals a year ago, fi nished second at the Hudson County Track Coaches Association meet last week.


By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

Before the girls’ high school cross country season started, veteran Kearny head coach Jim Cifelli set some standards for his team to reach.

One of those was the championship of the Hudson County Track Coaches Association.

“This was definitely a goal,” Cifelli said. “Last year, at the county meet, they really felt like they could win and afterwards, they felt like they gave it away. So they wanted to make amends.”

Mission accomplished.

The Kardinals recently dominated the HCTCA meet, taking home the team title for the first time since 2009. “In the beginning of the year, we set those goals and we were confident that we should be there,” Cifelli said after his team outdistanced runner-up Secaucus by 14 points. “That being said, we were not running well early on and that was pretty obvious.”

But there was a turning point in the Kardinals’ season.

The team raised funds to go to the Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic in Orlando in mid-October.

“The funny thing, they had good workouts since Day One and right prior to Disney, but were really not racing well,” Cifelli said. “They were lackluster racing and you could see it. Maybe they were looking forward to Disney.”

Of the 33 teams from throughout the country in the race in Orlando, the Kardinals placed ninth.

The Kardinals then came home and competed in the Lancer Invitational in Livingston, where Cifelli saw more signs of life.

“Once we got to the counties, we sort of loosened up,” Cifelli said.

Senior Erika Alzamora led the way for the Kardinals, finishing second to overall winner Brittany Gibson of McNair Academic. Alzamora crossed the line in a solid 19:18.10.

Teammate Aislinn Sroczynski was right behind her close friend, finishing third overall in 19:44.70.

“They didn’t run well, but they competed well,” Cifelli said. “I thought Erika and Aislinn could have run better.”

Mariah Davila was 10th overall in 20:59.50.

“She was 16th at one point and ended up 10th, so she finished well,” Cifelli said.

Wendy Carranza was trailing the pack as well, but she made up a lot of places in the final strides to finish 16th overall in 21:24.30.

“We were actually losing the meet at one point,” Cifelli said. “But in the last quarter mile, Wendy and Mariah came through and ran PR (personal records).”

Noemi Campos, who had been battling a back injury, fought through the pain and finished 21st overall.

“Noemi really rallied late in the race and she also posted a PR,” Cifelli said.

Campos crossed the finish line in 21:53.20.

“It was a good race for Noemi,” Cifelli said.

Melissa Castaneda (51st overall) and Jessica Cavalier (52nd) rounded out the Kearny contingent.

“It was pretty impressive, considering we were without two girls, Anna Czykier and Julia Coppola, who have stress fractures,” Cifelli said. “The girls were very excited. It was good to see them come together. They got a chance to show what they got. It’s a good group of kids.”

Sroczynski already received her first college offer. The University of Tampa offered Sroczynski a scholarship. Alzamora is receiving some lukewarm attention.

The Kardinals now move on to the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group IV state sectionals at Garret Mountain. Randolph and Ridgewood are the two favorites, but Cifelli believes that third place at the sectionals is achievable.

“We’ve competed well with the other teams contending,” Cifelli said.

Third place would mean that the entire team would advance to next week’s Group championships at Holmdel Park in Holmdel.

“That’s another goal,” Cifelli said.

So far, the goals have been attained, like winning the first county title in four years.

Call Harrison’s Villanueva an assist machine

Photo by Jim Hague Harrison senior center midfielder Kevin Villanueva

Photo by Jim Hague
Harrison senior center midfielder Kevin Villanueva



By Jim Hague

Observer Sports Writer

Most soccer players dream of being the goal scorer, the one who blasts the ball into the back of the net, then can do a leap of joy into the arms of a waiting teammate.

But Kevin Villanueva isn’t like most players.

The Harrison senior center midfielder is much happier making the pass that leads to the goals for his Blue Tide teammates. Villanueva would rather collect an assist than score the goal, a complete rarity.

“It’s just the way that I was taught to play,” Villanueva said. “I want my friends to be the ones who get the ball. It’s just the way I grew up. My favorite team is Barcelona and that’s the way they play. They’re all unselfish and that’s the way I want to play.”

It’s an approach that pleases Harrison head coach Mike Rusek.

“I think that just speaks a lot about the type of kid he is,” Rusek said of Villanueva. “I feel that he would have the ability to score 20 goals, but that’s not his nature. We’re lucky to have a player like Kevin. We have a lot of unselfish players and that’s the reason why we’ve had such great success this season. But Kevin is the leader.”

The Blue Tide, already the winner of the Hudson County Tournament championship, currently owns an impressive unbeaten 19-0-1 record as they begin the next step, the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group II state tournament this week.

And there’s no question that Villanueva is a major reason why Harrison is ranked among the top 20 in the state (No. 11 overall) and the top seed in the sectional. The Blue Tide will play host to Ridgefield Park on Wednesday in the first round.

“He is our captain,” Rusek said. “I think our team gets a lot of its traits from its leader. It’s a very unselfish team and that comes from him. Kevin just wants to win and he wants the team to succeed. I don’t think we could do what we have done without Kevin and the way he plays.”

Villanueva has scored six goals this season, but has amassed an incredible 24 assists. He’s just three assists shy of the school record set by All-State superstar Cristhian Acuna when Acuna was the state Player of the Year in 2004.

In the last week alone, Villanueva registered eight assists in three games, all Harrison victories.

For his efforts, Villanueva has been selected as The Observer Athlete of the Week for the past week.

Villanueva loves his role with the team, collecting assist after assist as the Blue Tide collects win after win.

“I don’t really pay attention to who gets the assists,” Villanueva said. “I just play for the team. As long as we get the job done and win, nothing else matters. I believe I’m an unselfish player and I don’t mind, because I know I couldn’t get the job done without the rest of the team.”

Villanueva said that his teammates are very grateful that he supplies great setups for goals.

“They always come up to me and say that it was half my goal,” Villanueva said. “I don’t see it that way. I know it’s their goal. Whoever finishes gets the goal.”

But Rusek realizes the importance of Villanueva and the unique approach he provides.

“Really, in all the players I’ve ever coached, I don’t I’ve ever had a player like Kevin,” Rusek said. “He’s very unique in that he concentrates on his passing more than any other aspect on the field.”

Rusek believes that Villanueva can make any kind of pass _ as has been proven in the last few weeks.

For example, it was Villanueva who provided the assists on both of Jose Neto’s goals in the 2-0 victory over Memorial in the county championship game two weeks ago.

“Kevin put the ball low so that Jose could make the play on both goals,” Rusek said.

But Villanueva also precisely puts the ball high at times so that multi-talented center back Modou Sowe can get his head on the pass in order to score off set pieces.

“Kevin is special because he can make the adjustments on his passing to the type of team we have,” Rusek said. “I think it’s because he’s so intelligent as a soccer player. It’s remarkable what he’s been able to do.”

It’s also no fluke, considering that Villanueva contributed 25 assists last season.

“We really didn’t know what we were getting from him,” Rusek said. “So last year he was a surprise. Now, as a senior, we could only hope he could match what he did, but he’s going to do better.”

Plus, the team is better overall because of his solid play.

“It’s amazing,” Villanueva said. “I’ve never been a part of something like this. I love being able to help my team. It’s really fun to celebrate their goals.”

Villanueva would love to be able to continue his soccer career on the next level.

“I have my fingers crossed that someone will notice me,” said Villanueva, who considers himself a “decent student.”

Rusek believes Villanueva would be a good college player.

“He has to find a coach and a program that fits his style,” Rusek said. “He wants to become a teacher, so he needs to find the right school.”

For now, Villanueva will look to lead the Blue Tide to another title.

“He’s the type of kid who you don’t realize how important he is until he’s gone,” Rusek said. “He’s going to be missed. He’s very special.”

And if the Blue Tide scores a goal, chances are that it is Villanueva who made the perfect pass.

“I think the whole team goes insane every time we score a goal,” Villanueva said. “We celebrate every goal with such emotion. If I had something to do with it, then it’s fine with me. It’s all fun for me.”

Harrison Police Blotter

Nov. 1

At 4:41 p.m., police were dispatched to a Manor Ave. residence on a report of an assault. After determining that the incident involved an alleged case of domestic assault, police arrested a 24-year-old female in connection with the incident.

Oct. 30

At 5:46 p.m., police went to Harrison High School gym on a report of a fight at a girls volleyball match. After investigation by police and school officials, police charged two juveniles with simple assault. No further details were provided by police.

Oct. 29

At 8:39 a.m., police responded to 310 Passaic Ave. on a burglary report. Police said the apartment owner told them that on Oct. 28, a stranger entered the premises through an unsecured living room door and, once inside, took an engagement and wedding ring from the top of a mini-bar in the living room, about four feet from the door.

Oct. 28

A resident of the 600 block of Bergen St. came to headquarters at 8 p.m. to report a theft of mail. The resident told police he received two packages, delivered by the USPS, at around noon on Oct. 17, containing parts for a motorcycle valued at $89. The resident told police he had surveillance video showing an individual walking up the stairs to his residence, picking up the packages, and walking away with them. The suspected thief was described as a Latino, in his 20s, with tattoos on his arms.

At 6:40 a.m., police responded to Seventh St. and Harrison Ave. on a report of a stolen vehicle. The owner told police he’d parked a white 2001 Ford F250 van, with J.S. Construction written on the van’s doors and body, at that location at around 4 p.m. on Oct. 27.

– Ron Leir


Robert Boni

Robert Boni died on Nov. 2 at home. He was 82.

Born in Pennsylvania, he lived most of his life in Kearny. Visiting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 4 to 8 p.m., at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. His service will be on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 10 a.m. in the Christian Apostolic Church, 219 Laurel Ave., Kearny. Burial will follow at Arlington Cemetery. To leave an online condolence please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Bob was in the Army during the Korean Conflict and was a retired letter carrier in Kearny.

He is survived by his wife Carol J. (nee Marotti), his children and their spouses Robert Jr. and Linda Boni and Mary Lynn and Tim Girgan, his brother and sister-in-law Gene and Marian Boni and his grandchildren Bobby and his wife Silvia and Jason and Kyle.

Thomas Mollica

Thomas Mollica died on Nov. 1. He was 76.

He lived many years in East Newark before moving to Kearny 20 years ago.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington, followed by entombment in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Son of the late Lena (Foti) and John Mollica. Tom is survived by his wife Antoinette and his children and their spouses Marie and Mike Hickey, Diana and Marty Miller, and John and June Mollica. Brother of Mary Cinardo, Richard Mollica, Josephine McCann, Frank Mollica and the late Nicholas, Joseph and Anthony Mollica. He is also survived by his grandchildren Michael, Shawn, Jason and Ryan and his great-grandchildren Madison, Shawn and Jaydon. Sadly, he was predeceased by his grandson Justin.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to Hackensack Medical Center/Child Life somens@humed.com,

Lorraine V. Quitto

Lorraine V. Quitto died suddenly at home on Nov. 3. She was 48. Born in Newark, she lived in Kearny before moving to North Arlington eight years ago. Visiting will be on Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., at the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. The funeral will be on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 10 a.m., at St. Peter’s Church, 155 William St., Belleville. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Lorraine is survived by her husband Marco and her children and their spouses Marco, Jr., Kathryn and Ben Lamela, Lori Quitto, Kimberly and Robert Quitto and Christopher Quitto. She is also survived by her grandchildren Logan and Layla.

Richard E. Salisbury Sr.

Richard E. Salisbury Sr. died on Nov. 1 in Mountainside Hospital. He was 77.

Born in Orange, he lived most of his life in Kearny.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral service was held at the funeral home, followed by a private cremation. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Mr. Salisbury was an Army veteran and a member of the American Legion. He was also a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington. He was a retired school bus driver.

Husband of Linda (nee Floyd), he was the father of Patricia, Richard Jr., Joyce, Arthur, Dwayne, Lori, Roberta, Douglas and the late Deborah and Michelle; brother of Robert Salisbury, he is also survived by 20 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to Wounded Warriors Project.

Alice E. Schaufele

Alice E. Schaufele (nee Davies) died on Oct. 31 at St. Michael’s Hospital. She was 90.

Born in Kearny, she moved to North Arlington in 1971.

Private cremation was arranged through the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. A memorial service will be scheduled in the near future at The Living Gospel Baptist Church in Rutherford. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Wife of the late Walter Schaufele, Alice is survived by her daughter Alice Tooker, her grandsons Thomas, Kevin and Stephen Docherty and Michael Tooker and her great grandchildren Meghan, Kiera, Madeline, Caylin and Evelyn.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to The Mission Fund at the Living Gospel Baptist Church, 23 West Passaic Ave., Rutherford, N.J. 07070.

Ava Jolene Schwamberger

Ava Jolene Schwamberger was born on June 10, 2013. Sadly, she entered gently into eternal rest on October 28, 2013. She was cradled by her loving Mom and Dad.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Ava leaves behind many loving family members and friends who cared and prayed very hard for her during these last four months, especially her Mom and Dad, Brian Schwamberger and Starlette Pace and her grandparents John and Marion Schwamberger, Dawn Burke and Myrna and Benjamin Pace.

Ava was laid to rest in The Holy Innocence section of the mausoleum at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to www.chargesyndrome.org.

Amelia Cherry Shields



Mrs. Amelia Cherry Shields, 99, was the wife of the late Fred J. Shields, a 1936 Olympian in the sport of soccer.

She was also the sister of the late Chester P. Cherry and Edward F. Cherry. Amelia was the daughter of the late Walter and Cecelia (Nowak) Cherry. Mrs. Shields taught at Hillside Senior High School for 10 years and at Harrison High School for 28 years. She retired in 1982.

A Trenton State College graduate with a B.S. degree, Amelia also attended Rutgers University for her Master’s Degree. She was a member of the NJEA and NJREA. Amelia was named “Senior of the Year” by the Town of Harrison in 2009.

Born in Freeland, Pa., on April 2, 1914, she lived most of her life in Harrison.

Mrs. Shields died peacefully at home on Nov. 3. She was the mother of twins, Susan and Frederick (deceased) and a son, Ronald. She is survived by seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Viewing will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 2 to 8 p.m., at the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison. Interment will be on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover, following a 10 a.m. prayer service at the Mulligan Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Christina Zarrillo

Christina Zarrillo (nee Garippa), died Nov. 1 at home. She was 53.

Born in Newark, she lived many years in Kearny before moving to Harrison two years ago.

Visiting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. Relatives and friends are invited to return Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 10 a.m., and her service will begin at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Arlington Cemetery, Kearny. To leave an online condolence, please visit www. armitagewiggins.com.

Tina was married to Peter Zarrillo and has two daughters Jessica and Nicole. Daughter of Catherine (nee Martin) and the late Philip Garippa, she is survived by her brothers Michael and Joseph Garippa. She was predeceased by her sister Catherine Leadbeater.

Election results will be posted on our Facebook page tonight around 9



There are numerous local elections today — and we’ll be posting results on our Facebook page. Not connected to us yet on Facebook? Click here to get to our page — and be sure to “LIKE” us.

Belleville boy found, is fine

The 12-year-old Belleville boy who went missing earlier today has been found — and he’s fine, police say. No more details are available, however.

Belleville, State police looking for missing 12-year-old boy


Charlie Castillo, above, has not been seen since 7 a.m. Thursday morning in his Belleville home.

The Belleville Police Department and the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit are seeking the public’s assistance in locating missing Belleville boy Charlie Castillo.

Castillo, 12, is 5’3″, 100 pounds with black hair, and brown eyes and was last seen 7 a.m. this morning at his home in Belleville.

He suffers from allergies and asthma and is known to wear plastic and thread bracelets.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Belleville Police Department at (973)450-3334 or the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit at (800) 709-7090.

Local real estate market ready to move?


Photo by Ron Leir Walgreens is eyeing the old Lynn Chevy dealership as a new location.

Photo by Ron Leir
Walgreens is eyeing the old Lynn Chevy dealership as a new location.


By Ron Leir

Observer Correspondent


Signs of the beginning of a Kearny recovery from the national recession’s grip are suggested by movement on four local fronts to upgrade real estate.

First, there is the meadows-area property known as Jeryl Industrial Park at 590 Belleville Turnpike which, in June 2012, the Kearny Planning Board voted to designate as an area in need of redevelopment after hearing Red Bank consultant Susan Gruel describe the 31-acre tract as a “dilapidated, deteriorated area with a significant number of vacant buildings and outdoor storage.”

Because many of the buildings on the site are riddled by fire and structure code violations, the town Construction Enforcement office has denied certificates of occupancy to some existing and prospective tenants.

Plus, there are environmental issues still to be dealt with, notably the presence of chromium at various portions of the site, for some of which a company called Tierra Solutions has agreed to take cleanup responsibilities.

And the private street – Turvan Road – that winds through the tract is compromised by cracked asphalt and gaping potholes that fill with water during rainstorms.

But of late, there are indications that some positive steps may be undertaken by a potential successor owner, according to Town Administrator Michael Martello. Martello said he met Oct. 10 with principals of Alessi Organization Management LLC of Bayonne, who, he said, are currently leasing the Jeryl property and have a contract to purchase the site to renovate it.

In prior months, Martello said, “we had to go to court to remove illegal tenants.” But recently, he said, the Alessi contingent “has removed some [tenants] and intends to remove all of them” as soon as those buildings are demolished.

Martello said that the Alessi group assured him that they will hire security personnel to “patrol the site to prevent illegal dumping of concrete and dirt” on the grounds. The group has filed an application with the town for permits to install road barriers to block unwanted vehicles, he said.

Martello said Alessi plans to tear down Buildings 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 18A, 18B, 19, 23 and 26. He said the firm wants to try to relocate one of the tenants, a truck parts & service company, which now occupies Buildings 20A and 20C and 22 into Building 30 and move another tenant, a wine distributor, from Building 26 into Building 29.

Building 30, which the owners got local approvals to put up as a warehouse distribution facility in 2007-2008, was only partly constructed and left incomplete, Martello said. “It currently complies with mandated flood elevation levels.” Building 29 is an approved office/warehouse structure, he said.

Martello said that the structures that comprise Building 18 are tainted by chromium and that testing has detected heavy metals elsewhere on the site and “the only way we can do a cleanup is to demolish the buildings involved.” He said the owners “already have an LSRP (Licensed Site Remediation Professional) assigned to the site.”

Once the environmental cleanup and demolition are done – and it’s unclear how long that would take – then the Alessi group would put up “eight to 10 new buildings” of the type characterizing an “industrial/ warehouse district,” Martello said.

And before that could happen, the town would first have to “adopt a redevelopment plan” for the site, Martello said. The plan would go to the Kearny Planning Board for a public hearing, he said.

Efforts to reach members of the Alessi Organization to get their version of what they are planning for the industrial park property were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, along part of the uptown central business district, there are plans to convert the old Lynn Chevrolet showroom/ sales office at 461 Kearny Ave. to a chain pharmacy, according to Martello.

No plans have yet been filed but Martello said that if those plans hold, Kearny would get its first Walgreens at the site.

To facilitate that, Martello said the old auto center structure – which became a casualty of the 2008 recession – would be taken down, along with two commercial buildings just north of the old showroom, the Irish Quality Shop and the former Teddy’s Lounge.

Additionally, he said, two houses on Quincy Ave., southwest of the showroom, would also be demolished to accommodate a drive-thru option for the drug store, with an entrance off Kearny Ave. and exit via Quincy.

And there is activity afoot in South Kearny’s industrial section, both involving sections of the sprawling River Terminal property, each now owned by different members of the Neu family.

RTC Properties, located off the Passaic River shoreline, was granted approval by the Planning Board in August to construct a 65,728 square foot building with a 10,000 square foot mezzanine at 170 Central Ave. as a connection between previously board-approved and partly-constructed buildings at 50 Cable Drive and 120 Central Ave.

In its application to the board, RTC said the proposed building was needed to more effectively house one of its tenants, Fedway wholesale liquor distributors, which required a “large warehouse above the flood stage,” particularly since – as testimony disclosed – the tenant “lost 60% of their product and all of its telecommunications and computers” during Superstorm Sandy.

Photo by Ron Leir A largely ramshackle Jeryl Industrial Park may be in line for a huge upgrade.

Photo by Ron Leir
A largely ramshackle Jeryl Industrial Park may be in line for a huge upgrade.



However, as Fedway Executive Vice President Robert Sansone advised the board at the Aug. 7 hearing, Fedway – with 228 employees, 85 truck routes and 25 trailers – has recovered from that loss and has recently signed a 25-year lease to stay in Kearny because its new building, after being raised to a higher elevation to prevent flooding, will be insurable. The buildings need to be connected “to provide the necessary square footage and accessibility,” the application said. The board approved a parking variance for the project.

Finally, RTL Services Inc. (now known as Kearny Point Industrial Park), based off the Hackensack River side of the Peninsula, successfully petitioned the mayor and Town Council to vote Oct. 9 to direct the Planning Board to investigate whether the area containing 77 and 90 S. Hackensack Ave. “and nearby property, if necessary” qualifies as a redevelopment area.

The property, part of the old Federal Shipyard area, “was hurt very badly by Sandy,” said Andrew Feuerstein, an attorney for Kearny Point, and now the new FEMA flood elevation maps mandate higher building elevations in the area as a precaution against possible future flooding.

So, Feuerstein said, his clients “want to build a first class facility at Kearny Point Industrial Park,” a warehousing/distribution center comprising 2 million square feet of space spread among 24 buildings with 26 employees. “Now we want to grow,” he said.

Asked for more details, however, Feuerstein said it would be “premature to talk about what we’re doing there while the planning process is going on. We have engaged a consultant to assist with that planning. Our hope is to attract first class tenants.”