This week’s e-Edition and classifieds are now posted. We apologize for the delay.
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent KEARNY – Take away the “acting” title: the Kearny Board of Education has formally installed Patricia Blood as its official superintendent of schools. The board took the action at a special meeting held last Thursday night at the Lincoln School. The vote was […]
By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent KEARNY – On May 27, 1922, an estimated 25,000 people gathered in the streets around the small park where Kearny Ave. and Beech St. meet, to witness Gen. John J. Pershing personally dedicate the towering granite monument honoring the Kearny men who died […]
A photo (above) of the suspect van was released Nov. 19 by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. NUTLEY – Nutley police are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating the motor vehicle that struck and killed a 77-year-old woman on Centre St. on […]
By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent HARRISON – At Washington Middle School in Harrison, nearly 75% of the more than 400 enrolled are just as busy with school-related projects after 3 p.m. as they are during their regular day of classes. And that’s partly by design of the school […]
The West Hudson Arts Theater Company (W.H.A.T.), 65 Oakwood Ave., Kearny, continues its run of family theater stage performances with Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.” Performances are Friday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 8, at 1 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 15, at 1 and 4 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 16, at 1 p.m.
Young theater-goers are encouraged to wear their best Prince and Princess costumes to the performances.
All tickets are $8. Group rates are available. Tickets are available online at www.whatco.org or by calling 201- 467-8624.
Gilbert R. Anderson Sr.
Gilbert R. Anderson Sr. died peacefully at the home of his daughter on Oct. 28. He was 73.
Gilbert lived in Glen Ridge before moving to North Carolina nine years ago.
Arrangements are by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral service was held at Christ Episcopal Church, Glen Ridge, followed by a private cremation.
Gilbert is survived by his wife Mary Ellen (nee Wayte), his children and their spouses Elizabeth Ann and John A. Anderson, Jr., Kristen L. and Simon J. Hamill and Gilbert R. Jr. and Caitlin Anderson. He was the brother of Norman (Beverly), George M. Jr. (Judith), Kathleen Hall (Fred), John (Catherine), James (Joeann), Mary (Richard) McClusky and Elizabeth Jean Anderson. Also surviving are his grandchildren Jack, Charlie, Liam, Aiden, Kayleigh and Jenna. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to www.fisherhouse.org or www.WoundedWarriorproject/donate.org.
Gloria P. Bornako
Gloria P. Bornako (nee Lambert) 90, of Virginia Beach, Va., formerly of North Arlington and Kearny, died on Oct. 24.
Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A Mass of Christian burial was held at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington, followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery.
Born in Newark, Mrs. Bornako lived in Kearny and North Arlington before moving to Virginia Beach, two years ago. She was a systems control coordinator with Prudential Insurance in Roseland for 25 years, retiring in 1998.
She was the beloved wife of the late Louis Bornako and dear mother of Gregory (Susan) and Richard (Maria) Bornako and the late Louise Tweedus and Michael Bornako.; mother-in-law of Rob (Linda) Tweedus; sister of the late Ruth Augustyniak; grandmother of Kristoffer, Richard Louis and Erik Peter Bornako and Louiseann Cameron; great-grandmother of Courtney and Syke and aunt of Frances Hansen, Ruth Larkin and Gloria Szynal.
Malachy Joseph Byrne
Malachy Joseph Byrne “Mack” died suddenly on Oct. 31 at Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark. He was only 2 years and 7 months old.
Arrangements are through the Armitage Wiggins Funeral Home in Kearny www.armitagewiggins.com His funeral Mass will be on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny and he will be laid to rest in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Following the cemetery service, all are welcome to gather at Manor Park across from their home at the corners of W. Bennett Ave. and Hamilton Ave. in Kearny to release balloons in the park that Mack loved so much.
Mack is the beloved son of Gary (JCFD) and Alyson (nee Levinson) Byrne. He was the favorite little brother of Zachary and was the grandson of Irene and Joseph LaGreca, the late Gary Byrne (BFD), the late Mary “Mimi” and the late Jay Levinson. Greatgrandson of Edna “Nana” and the late Augie “Papa” Byrne, he is also survived by his aunts and uncle, Cheryl and Russell de Moose and Michele Matos and his cousins Jessica and Shannon.
However brief Mack’s life was, he will live on through the courageous and loving decision of his parents to donate his organs. This selfless act has saved the lives of eight little babies.
In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to The New Jersey Sharing Network or Make a Wish Foundation.
Evelyn A. Fitzsimmons
Evelyn A. Fitzsimmons, 73, of Kearny, died on Oct. 30.
Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A Mass of Christian burial was held at St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny, followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery.
Born in Newark, Mrs. Fitzsimmons moved to Kearny in 1971.
She was the daughter of the late Evelyn Arnold Carlin; beloved wife of the late Leo Fitzsimmons; dear mother of Mary DaSilva, Bernedette Marques, Kathy Murphy, Terry Fitzsimmons and the late Evelyn A. Fitzsimmons and Leo Fitzsimmons, Jr.; sister of Barbara Muelli and the late Patricia Kmon; grandmother of Candice DaSilva Yaacobi, Leo Ryan Fitzsimmons, Crystal DaSilva, Samantha Marques, Matthew, Rebecca and Sarah Murphy; and aunt of Kimberly Delvecchio and her children David and Veronica.
Jean King (Siwick), 91, died on Oct. 19 at home in Kearny.
Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass was offered at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Kearny, followed by interment in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thielereid.com.
Mrs. King was born and raised in Bloomfield and lived in Kearny for the last 70 years.
She was a quality inspector for R.C.A. in Harrison for 30 years, retiring in 1976.
Jean was a proud member of the Senior Citizens Club of Kearny, Inc., the Henrietta Benstead Friendship and Harmony Club of Kearny and the Golden 60 Plus Club of Our Lady of Sorrows Church.
She is survived by her daughters Patricia DeVita and Diane Drucker and two granddaughters Christine De- Vita and Donna Joy Drucker.
She was predeceased by her husband Peter in 1992.
Stephen A. Lipyanek
Stephen A. Lipyanek died Nov. 1. He was 69.
Born in Newark, he moved to Kearny 37 years ago.
Visiting will be on Wednesday, Nov. 5, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Armitage Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass will be offered on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 9:30 a.m. in St. Stephen’s Church. Cremation will follow at Rosedale Crematory in Orange. To leave online condolences, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.
Stephen is survived by his devoted wife of 35 years Maria (nee Lourdes). Brother in law of Domingo Ela Jr., he is also survived by many loving and cherished friends.
George McCarthy, of San Francisco, Calif., passed away on Oct. 16 at age 64 from metastatic cancer.
He was born to George and Edna McCarthy (nee Conley) in Kearny, where he graduated from St. Cecilia’s High School. He attended Rutgers Newark University where he majored in sociology.
He was predeceased by his parents and brother Daniel. He is survived by five siblings: Marianne Petriello (Robert), Eugene (Patricia), Kathleen (Craig Geis), Edward, and Michael (Nancy MacDonald) and 15 nieces and nephews.
George was employed by several well-known San Francisco companies, Western Can and Winterland Productions, for many years in computer support. Donations in George’s memory can be made to the Tom Waddell Urban Clinic, 230 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco, Calif. 94102 or to KQED, 2601 Mariposa St., San Francisco, Calif. 94110.
Gwen Rodgers, of Bradenton, Fla., formerly of Harrison, entered eternal rest on Aug. 14. Gwen was the widow of Jack Rodgers, the deceased Harrison fire chief. She was 81.
Gwen was an active member of the American Legion Post 24 in Bradenton. She was only the second female commander of the post since its inception 90 years ago. Gwen was a veteran of the Korean War and served in the Women’s Army Corps.
Gwen is survived by her brother, Robert Parslow, a daughter Karen Mauriello and granddaughters Kim Mauriello, Nicki Montcalvo. She is also survived by three great-granddaughters, Kaitlyn, Skyla and Annabella, great-grandson Vincenzo, all from Bradenton, Fla.
Gwen is also survived by her extended family in New Jersey: Sharon Holmes of Morristown, Jack Rodgers of Harrison, Elaine Gage and husband Alan of Roxbury, Mike Rodgers of Brick. She was also survived by grandchildren Colleen Holmes Luzaj, Robert Holmes, John Colasanti, Brian Gage, Sarah Gage and all their children.
Gwen will also be missed by all her friends in the Harrison area.
Her immediate family requests that any donations in Gwen’s memory can be made to the Veteran’s Relief Fund at American Legion Post 24, Bradenton, Fla. 34207.
Mildred P. Ward
Mrs. Mildred P. Ward (nee Wittek) of Kearny passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 28. She was 85.
The funeral Mass was offered on Friday, Oct. 31, at St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny, Entombment followed in Holy Cross Chapel Mausoleum. Condon Funeral Home (condonfuneralhome.com) 684 Kearny Ave., Kearny, was entrusted with the arrangements.
Mrs. Ward had been a clerk for Prudential Insurance Co. in Newark before retiring many years ago.
Wife of the late Joseph P. Ward, she is survived by her children Bernadette McDonald and her husband, Stephen, Patrick Ward and his wife, Judith and Claire Wiggins and her husband, John. Also surviving are her grandchildren Erin, John, Christopher, Stephen, Julia and Kelly.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Barnabas Hospice or St. Stephen’s Church. Envelopes will be available in the funeral home.
ShopRite of Lyndhurst, an Inserra Supermarkets store, recently partnered with Cabot Creamery Cooperative to raise hunger awareness, with store associates and customers competing to win 200 pounds of Cabot cheese for a local food pantry.
“Pedal Out Hunger” is part of the ShopRite Partners-In- Caring Program. Since its inception in 1999, more than $27 million has been donated to 1,700 hunger relief agencies in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
By Ron Leir
After months of wrangling with his employer, the Kearny Board of Education, Frank Ferraro has tendered his resignation as Kearny superintendent of schools, effective Nov. 1.
Ferraro, who was facing the threat of being fired after the board had brought tenure charges against him, decided to walk away from his $167,500 a year job following a settlement agreement approved by the board at its Oct. 20 meeting.
Ferraro’s contract ran through June 30, 2016, but he will receive no salary for any part of 2015 or 2016.
Under that agreement, in return for voluntarily stepping down from the post, Ferraro will receive nearly $70,000, representing the equivalent of a combined total of about four months’ in salary plus accrued vacation payments.
A 13-year school employee has been promoted to vice principal assigned to Kearny High School.
Paul Measso, 37, was appointed to his new job Oct. 20 at an annual salary of $128,163 (pro-rated), pending receipt of his principal certificate of eligibility from Trenton. He completed a master’s degree in education leadership at St. Peter’s College.
Measso will be filling one of two vice principal slots left vacant this school year with the retirement of Michael Barbone and the transfer of Patrick Ragnoni to Lincoln Middle School. William Gaydos, formerly science department chairman, is filling the other slot. A third vice principal John Millar is also athletic director.
Until he’s cleared to make the move, Measso will continue working as a high school guidance counselor, a job he’s performed for the last eight years.
By Ron Leir
The town’s first affordable residence for senior citizens at 774 Harrison Ave. is getting ever closer to reality.
As construction of the 15-unit building nears completion, the sponsor, Domus Corp., the housing arm of Catholic Charities of Newark, has begun the process of soliciting applications from prospective tenants.
John Westervelt, CEO of Catholic Charities and Domus president, said that a lottery system will be used to make the final selections from the applicant pool which, judging from interest shown, could reach “over 100.”
To be eligible for consideration, an applicant must be age 62 or older and must meet U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) income limits.
By Karen Zautyk
When Kearny Vice Squad detectives busted a Newark man for drug possession/distribution Oct. 17 on Maple St., they reported recovering 135 folds of heroin. While the suspect was languishing in the Hudson County Jail on $40,000 bail, the KPD obtained a search warrant for his impounded car. The result? A reported 365 additional folds — for a total of 500 — plus a fully-loaded .357 Magnum.
The accused, Gilberto Rivera, 32, is now being held on an added $150,000 bail, cash only, no 10% option. Authorities said he has a record of 11 prior arrests — including charges of kidnapping, drug distribution and gun possession — and eight felony convictions.
Rivera’s latest encounter with law began at 2 p.m., Oct. 17, when KPD Vice observed what appeared to be a hand-to- hand drug transaction in a 2006 Chevy Impala he had been driving on Maple St. near Liberty St.
The buyer, described as a “known drug violator,” was identified as Carol Enright, 37, of Kearny, who reportedly discarded several folds of suspected heroin within the car as the officers approached.
A woman who had worked as a receptionist at a Kearny medical office pleaded guilty last week to embezzling nearly a half-million dollars from her employer, as well as using fraudulent credit cards to make more than $200,000 in personal purchases, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Gwendolyn Muller, 53, faces up to 25 years in prison when she is sentenced in February.
Muller was said to be a former resident of Kearny. Authorities revealed neither her current address nor the identity of the medical practice where she had been employed.
She pleaded guilty Oct. 20 before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court to one count each of embezzlement, credit card fraud and tax evasion.
According to prosecutors, Muller worked for a Kearny physician from 2007 through 2011, during which time she used her position to obtain and cash more than $446,000 in checks that had been paid to the medical practice by patients’ insurance companies.
Court documents noted that, as the receptionist, she handled the mail and had unsupervised access to the office computer system, which she used to conceal the embezzlement.
In addition, she fraudulently obtained 10 credit cards in the name of a principal of the practice and used these to charge at least $218,000 in goods and personal services. Muller also admitted to filing a false tax return to evade the payment of taxes on the illegally obtained income.
The embezzlement and credit card counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison; the tax count, five years in prison.
All three counts are also punishable by a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross loss or gain caused by the offense.
Under terms of the plea agreement, Muller is required to forfeit $556,000 to the United States.
Fishman credited special agents of the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.
– Karen Zautyk
It’s not often that I agree with Chris Christie, but on the issue of mandatory isolation for certain persons returning to the U.S. from Ebola-afflicted countries, he is 1,000% correct. Or maybe I should say, was correct.
Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that the White House was “pushing” Christie and N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo “to reverse their decision ordering all medical workers returning from West Africa who had contact with Ebola patients to be quarantined” for 21 days.
On Monday morning came word that that the nurse quarantined at UMDNJ in Newark, who was raising a stink and threatening a lawsuit, would be released. As of press time, details were sparse, so I do not know if Christie himself had a change of heart.
At the same time, in New York, Cuomo was said to be “revising” the quarantine rule there.
So much for steadfastness.
Like everything else in the Ebola situation, uncertainty and confusion dominate.
Thus far, the Obama administration, and the Centers for Disease Control, appear to be completely clueless about how to manage, limit, prevent, whatever, the potential dangers of this disease to the American public.
Consider, for instance, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden’s statement during a press briefing that it was not possible to catch Ebola from sitting next to an infected person on a bus, but that such infected persons should avoid public transportation because they could spread the disease there.
The next day, another CDC spokesperson clarified (if that’s the right word) that it was “not impossible” to contract Ebola on a bus.
For weeks, the public has been assured that to contract Ebola, one must come into contact with a sick person’s “bodily fluids.” According to the CDC’s website, these include “but [are] not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen.”
The same site says “Ebola is not spread through the air . . .”
Okay. But what about the mucus/phlegm from a sneeze or a cough? The reason we are supposed to cover our noses and mouths when sneezing/ coughing is because the germs can spread a fair distance. Through the air. Isn’t mucus a bodily fluid? Maybe I missed it, but have these questions been addressed?
Let me state that I in no way wish to promote some sort of Ebola panic, which some news reports appear to be flirting with. We are far from a pandemic’s threatening our shores. But I’d like to keep it that way.
My point is that we simply do not know, or have not been told, enough.
Remember the adage “Better safe than sorry”?
A 21-day mandatory quarantine, be it in an American hospital or in one’s own home, is neither cruel and unusual punishment nor a violation of one’s civil rights. I would think that any of these health-care workers returning from West Africa would gladly agree to a quarantine, or do they care less about the health of Americans than they do about others’?
Yes, they are heroes for the risks they have taken to help the stricken. But I’d think a hero wouldn’t mind 21 days – which isn’t much time at all – in a secure environment. It’s not like they’re being sent to Guantanamo.
As we have seen, voluntary isolation hasn’t worked. As Cuomo commented last week: “’Voluntary quarantine’? No. That’s almost an oxymoron to me.”
But that was last week.
Word has come that Florida and Illinois have now instituted mandatory quarantine rules.
Let’s see how long those last.
– Karen Zautyk