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Nutley police arrest suspicious man who had warrants

During the past week, the Nutley Police Department responded to 120 calls for service, including 14 motor vehicle crashes and 38 medical calls. Among those responses were these incidents: Aug. 23 Officers on patrol came across a man walking north […]


Kearny man collared in Lyndhurst home invasion

LYNDHURST – A suspect in a home invasion incident in Lyndhurst has been placed under arrest, according to the Lyndhurst Police Department. Evanalain Sieberkrob-Hershman, 24, of Kearny, has been charged in connection with the incident, which happened Friday, Aug. 29, […]


UPDATE: Missing Nutley woman found safely in Newark

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


Koppers developer picked

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

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School getting facelift

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


New Kearny entry; borough war

Photo courtesy Jonathan Giordano Jonathan Giordano

Photo courtesy Jonathan Giordano
Jonathan Giordano

Here are the latest political developments for other upcoming municipal elections in West Hudson:

In Kearny, longtime Town Council incumbent Laura Cifelli-Pettigrew, a Democrat, will be calling it quits when her term expires on Dec. 31. Running in her stead for a Second Ward council seat is newcomer Jonathan Giordano, a local businessman and a member of the Kearny Planning Board.

Giordano will be on the same Democratic ticket as Town Council incumbents Albino Cardoso (First Ward), Eileen Eckel (Third Ward) and Susan McCurrie (Fourth Ward). All are running under the banner Regular Democratic Organization of Kearny.

No Republicans filed nominating petitions to run. Independents, if any, don’t file until Primary Day, June 3. Mayor Alberto Santos, a Democrat, won’t be up for reelection until 2017.

Asked why she chose not to run again, Cifelli-Pettigrew, a teacher at Harrison’s Washington Middle School, said: “I’m just done. Fourteen years on the council, and before that, four years on the school board, and prior to that, several years at St. Cecilia on the parish council, school board and food pantry. I’m done with meetings. I was fully extended. And now, my son and his wife just had twins, my daughter bought a new home. I’m going to stay home and cook and be happy.

Photo courtesy Laura Cifelli-Pettigrew Laura Cifelli-Pettigrew

Photo courtesy Laura Cifelli-Pettigrew
Laura Cifelli-Pettigrew

Cifelli-Pettigrew, who has been in the classroom 25 years, said she plans to “continuing teaching a few more years.” And she plans to continue attending Board of Education meetings but she says there’s “no truth to the rumors about me running for school board.” Looking back on her council tenure, she said she takes pride in playing a role in returning control of the previously outsourced water department to Kearny and persuading Rich Ferraioli to come back from the private sector and run it. Her biggest disappointment is not seeing development of a train station off Bergen Ave. which, she said, could have resulted in an influx of new residents to Kearny.

Giordano, a lifelong Kearny resident, is owner/operator of a family carpentry business on Arlington Ave., has served on the Planning Board for the past five years.

“The mayor had asked me to consider running a few years ago,” Giordano said, “and I respectfully declined. This time it’s after the [Sandy-triggered] flood, I’m trying to rebuild my shop and I figured I could probably manage that. I have no plans of leaving this town. I want to see what I can do to try and make it better and inject the opinion of the business owner.”

Photos courtesy Michael Magliotti Gianni Donates (l.) and Michael Magliotti

Photos courtesy Michael Magliotti
Gianni Donates (l.) and Michael Magliotti

Santos said that Giordano “is very aware of the core issues involving the Second Ward,” and, in particular, the problem of flooding.

A year ago, Giordano’s business was approved for a loan from the Kearny Urban Enterprise Zone Corp. for improvements related to a proposed conversion of a vacant property to accommodate an indoor gun range but the loan application has since been amended to fund a reconstruction of a portion of Arlington Ave. owned by the business, according to Santos.

If Giordano is elected, and “should any matter relating to his business come before the council for deliberation, [Giordano] would recuse himself from voting,” Santos said.

In East Newark, political newcomers Gianni Donates and Michael Magliotti, who are aligned under the slogan, “Put East Newark First,” will be opposing incumbents Hans Peter Lucas and Jeanne Zincavage for Borough Council seats in the June Democratic Primary.

Zincavage has been on the council since 2001 while Lucas served initially from January 1983 to December 1985 and was re-elected in November 1993. They are running under the banner of the Hudson County Regular Democratic Organization.

Magliotti, who has owned and operated a local contracting business for the past four years, said he and Donates, a CPA, aim to cut “wasteful spending” by the borough and provide more transparency.

“The borough website isn’t updated, there are lawsuits by former police officers suing over money owed them, we had to pay outside contractors for snow removal this winter, there’s no recreation for our kids and what little play area we have gets too crowded, our kids are not prepared to go into high school, and yet we’re facing a 7% [municipal] tax increase,” Magliotti said.

– Ron Leir


Beatriz DaSilva

Beatriz DaSilva died April 4 in Clara Maass Hospital. She was 87.

Born in Portugal, she lived in Newark and many years in Harrison.

Arrangements are by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral Mass was set for Tuesday, April 8, at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony Church, East Newark, with burial to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. To leave online condolences, please visit www. armitagewiggins.com.

Wife of the late Julio, she is survived by her sons Julio, Antonio and Manuel DaSilva. She is also survived by six grand and seven great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the Harrison Cancer League c/o the funeral home.

Peter G. Drofiak

Peter (“Lineman Pete”) George Drofiak, 65, of Kearny, passed away on Saturday, April 5, at Alaris on Belgrove Drive, Kearny.

Peter was born in Penley Hall, England, and was a longtime resident of Kearny. Peter graduated from Kearny High School, served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged. He was a lineman for the Kearny Fire Department for 26 years.

Peter was the loving son of the late Stefan and Eva Drofiak, brother of John Drofiak and devoted uncle of Eve Holiday Drofiak and Samantha Drofiak.

Services were by the Shaw- Buyus Home for Services, 138 Davis Ave. , Kearny.

Mildred S. Ferreira

Mildred S. Ferreira died April 1. She was 78.

Born in Newark, she moved to Kearny 45 years ago.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral Mass was held at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington, followed by burial in Holy Cross Cemetery. To leave online condolences, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com

Mildred, along with her husband Luciano, owned and helped manage their family business, L. Ferreira and Son Fuel Oil in Kearny.

Wife of Luciano Ferreira Jr., she is also survived by her children and their spouses Mary and Vincent Abbott, Viola and Rick Diebold, Rosemarie and Alan Masters and Luciano Ferreira III. She was the sister of Fran Pfluger, Helen DaCruz, Suzanne Taskowitz, Teresa Raimondi, Kathy Stolte and Thomas Reagan. Also surviving are her grandchildren Annmarie Grenga, Danielle and Vincent Abbott, Craig, Cyndi and Samantha Dieck, Alan, Michael and Kimberly Masters and Kerri Ferreira and six great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Leukemia Lymphoma Foundation.

Margaret M. Fitzgerald

Margaret M. Fitzgerald (nee Sweeney), 98, died April 6 at her home in North Arlington.

Born in Jersey City, she moved to North Arlington in 1958.

She worked as an administrative assistant for the RETS Electronic School in Nutley for 20 years before retiring 28 years ago.

She was the beloved wife of the late John J. Fitzgerald, the cherished mother of Dennis Fitzgerald and his wife Doris of North Arlington, Geraldine Bleach and her husband Thomas of Brick, Peter Fitzgerald and his wife Nancy of Massachusetts, and the late Robert Fitzgerald, the adored grandmother of Shane, Jamie, John and Joey, and the loving aunt of many nieces and nephews.

Viewing will be at the Parow Funeral Home, 185 Ridge Rd., North Arlington on Tuesday, April 8, from 4 to 8 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, April 9, at 10 a.m., at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington, followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Alfred J. Glowacki

Alfred J. Glowacki, 91, of North Arlington, and formerly of Jersey City, died on April 2.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. Interment was in The Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Cemetery, Wrightstown.

Mr. Glowacki was a teacher at Dickinson High School in Jersey City for 32 years, retiring in 1980. He was a sergeant in the United States Army during World War II. He was a member of the Polish National Alliance.

He was the beloved husband of the late Stella Olchowa Glowacki, father of Patricia Caulfield and grandfather of Andrew and Steven.

In lieu of flowers, donations to The Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org) P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kan. 66675 would be appreciated.

Anthony Palumbo

Anthony J Palumbo, 74, died on April 3 in the N.J. Veterans Home, Paramus.

Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral service was held at the funeral home, followed by interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com.

Mr. Palumbo was born in Newark and lived in Kearny for many years before moving to Paramus 17 years ago.

He served in the Navy from 1957 until 1960.

Anthony was a police officer for the town of Kearny for 31 years, retiring 21 years ago. He proudly served two terms as president of the Residence Council at the Veterans Home.

Mr. Palumbo is survived by his wife Marie G. Palumbo (nee Ostroman); three children; Mark B. Graham and his wife Patricia, Lisa M. Donabauer and her husband Joseph and John G. Graham and his wife Judy; one sister Patricia Giangerelli and her husband George; grandchildren Mark B. Graham, Kristen L. Graham, Kyle C. Graham and his wife Amber, Kelly A. Graham, Sean G. Graham, Evan P. Graham, Gina Marie Donabauer and Samantha N. Donabauer and one great-grandchild Bradley C. Graham.

He was the uncle of Janine Cerreto (nee Giangerelli) and her husband Carmen and their children Christina and Anthony.

Anthony was predeceased by his parents Thomas and Clara (DeVivo) Palumbo and his sister Virginia Laterza and her husband Joseph.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the N.J. Veterans Home Paramus, 1 Veterans Dr., Paramus, N.J. 07652 or to a charity of your choice.

Orlando Suarez

Orlando Suarez died April 5. He was 83.

Born in Havana, Cuba, he lived in Belleville before moving to Lyndhurst a year ago.

Visiting will be on Tuesday, April 8, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. A funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, April 9, at 11 a.m. at Queen of Peace Church, followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery. To leave online condolences, please visit www.armitagewigins.com.

Orlando is survived by his wife Argelia and his daughters Teresita and Vivian Suarez and his grandchildren Ivannah, Ariana, Kayla, and Demi.

Dorothy Theiss

Dorothy Theiss, of North Arlington, passed away on April 3 at home. She was 76.

Born in Tennessee, she lived in Dedham, Mass., before moving to North Arlington 52 years ago. She was an R.N. at Clara Maass Medical Center for many years.

She was predeceased by her husband Thomas in 1978.

She is survived by four daughters, Kathleen Postal (Collin), Cheryl Ann Moran (William), Christine Fitzgerald and Karolyn Theiss, one son Brian Theiss (Christina), and one sister Jane Walker. She is also survived by her dear friend Judith Roemer, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr., Kearny. www.armitagewiggins.com.

William J. Thompson

William J. Thompson died March 31. He was 85.

Born in Kearny, he was a lifelong resident and also spent his winters in Sarasota, Fla.

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 online condolences, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Bill served in the Army and was part of U.S. occupying forces in Japan during World War II. He was a retired detective sergeant from the Kearny Police Department. He was a member of Copestone- Ophir F.&A.M., the West Hudson South Bergen Optimist Club, the Tatum Ridge Golf Club and had worked and played for years at Crestmont Country Club.

Husband of Barbara (nee Nicolls), he is survived by his children and their spouses Jeffrey and Meg Thompson and Dorine and John Pomponio. Brother of the late David Thompson and Gladys Smith, he was also the devoted Pop Pop to Travis Thompson, Allison Fisher, Lindsey Link, Jessica and Tucker Thompson and Joshua, Kaitlyn and Sara Pomponio. Also surviving are his great grandchildren Molly, Jack, Cooper and James.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to Grace United Methodist Church, Kearny.


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Bidding farewell


By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent


In 1955, the USS Forrestal was commissioned as America’s first post-World War II aircraft carrier — a 1,067-foot “supercarrier.” For nearly four decades, it sailed the seas, serving this nation in peace and in war — and surviving a disastrous 1967 accident in which 134 crewmen died and more than 160 were injured.

In 1993, it was decommissioned and put in “storage,” first at Newport, R.I., and then at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.

And where is this historic vessel now? Being torn asunder and turned into scrap metal in Brownsville, Texas. Read more »

It’s Bianchi vs. Massa for mayor


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent


A pair of septuagenarians will square off against each other for the borough’s highest office in this year’s municipal election in North Arlington.

It’ll be Democratic incumbent Peter Massa, seeking a third term, facing Republican Councilman Joseph Bianchi for mayor.

This is Bianchi’s first try for the mayoralty. Since his 3-year term on the council runs through 2016, he can reclaim his seat if he’s unsuccessful in the mayoralty race.

Bianchi’s GOP running mates for Borough Council will be incumbent Dan Pronti, a retired cop who works now as a realtor, and newcomer Kerry Anne Cruz, a realtor, while, on the Democratic side, Massa’s ticket will include incumbent Councilman Mark Yampaglia, an attorney, and Dan Castro, who ran unsuccessfully in 2013. Read more »

Sewer rehab nightmare for locals



You can’t blame people living along the eastern stretch of Hamilton St., between Kingsland and Schuyler Aves., for feeling like they’re in a sort of war zone.

For many months, the area has been inundated with a tangle of above-ground pipes and barricades blocking traffic flow and uprooting curbside parking for the entire block.

Harrison Gardens, the sprawling public housing complex, sits on the south side of Hamilton and Harrison High School fronts on the north side.

The issue is a massive infrastructure project being tackled by the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC) which has dragged on since last summer, seemingly with no end in sight. Read more »

Move to create middle school


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent


The Kearny Board of Education is on record endorsing a middle school campus.

The board voted 6-0 at a special meeting last Monday, March 24, to get the ball rollling. Missing from the scene were Vice President John Leadbeater and members John Plaugic and Dan Esteves.

On the subject of the middle school (grades 6, 7 and 8 combined into a centralized “campus”), the board authorized district officials to begin formal negotiations with the owners of the St. Stephen’s School (or, as it was most recently known, Mater Dei Academy) on Midland Ave. for its purchase and/or lease. Read more »

Brushfires plague meadows


By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent

Last week’s windy weather, combined with dry conditions in the meadowlands, kept local firefighters busy with brushfires, including three within one day.

On Wednesday, the first blaze was reported at 12:30 p.m. along the N.J. Turnpike in Kearny. Kearny Fire Chief Steve Dyl noted that it was a small one and, despite the winds, was “under control quickly.”

But as soon as that was quenched, a much larger brushfire was reported at 12:46 p.m. near Rt. 280 along the Harrison-Kearny border — and there, Dyl noted, “the wind played a major role,” with 35-45 mph gusts spreading the flames.

Crews from Harrison, Kearny, East Newark and Secaucus responded. Read more »

Guard smuggled drugs into prison



A former corrections officer at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center satellite unit in Kearny was sentenced to state prison Friday for smuggling heroin and marijuana into the facility, which houses sex offenders.

Acting N.J. Attorney General John J. Hoffman reported that Bobby Singletary, 55, of Paterson, was sentenced to seven years in state prison, including five years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Mitzy Galis-Menendez in Hudson County.

Singletary was also ordered to forfeit his entire pension and is permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey. Read more »

Is N.J. going to pot? Cops hope not



By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent

Even if the state legislature legalizes the possession and personal use of small amounts of marijuana for people age 21 and older, it appears that several area communities would still look to ban the practice.

And that’s an option that municipalities could exercise, through the passage of a local ordinance, under the proposed law.

The bill, S1896, as introduced March 27 by State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), with a companion bill in the Assembly, has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for further debate. Read more »