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Relief for commuters

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  LYNDHURST –  After what Lyndhurst Mayor Robert Giangeruso characterized as “33 years of starts and stops,” the township – with help from Bergen County – is finally beginning to see the start of improvements to the intersection at Kingsland and Riverside Aves. The changes […]

Convicted in mortgage swindle

A Belleville man was among three defendants convicted earlier this month in federal court for their roles in a $15 million mortgage fraud scheme involving condominiums in New Jersey and Florida, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman reported. Last month, another Belleville resident pleaded guilty in the same scam. According to […]

Walmart is keeping cops busy

By Karen Zautyk  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  The Walmart in Kearny is conveniently located on Harrison Ave., with easy access to Rt. 280, the N.J. Turnpike and feeder roads to Newark and Jersey City. This is a boon for shoppers. However, according to Kearny police, it is […]

2011 layoffs affirmed

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY – Four former Kearny workers, including a union chief, have lost the first round of a bid to reverse their New Year’s Eve dismissals nearly three years ago. In a 21-page ruling issued Sept. 3, the state Office of Administrative Law […]

Go pink at St. Michael’s

Don your favorite pink attire and join St. Michael’s Medical Center for a Breast Cancer Awareness Month event — Breast Health & You — on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at SMMC’s Connie Dwyer Breast Center, 111 Central Ave., Newark. Dr. Nadine Pappas, director of […]

 
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When a house is not a home

House1_web

By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

Nobody lives on either side of Carol Pavolic but her absentee neighbors still drive her batty. The Kearny resident, who lives between two abandoned 2-story homes at 365 and 369 Forest St., has had her fill of issues from those buildings in recent years and she unloaded a litany of complaints at a recent meeting of the town’s governing body.

“The grass at 369 is three feet high – it’s a mess,” Pavolic said. “Now there’s no roof, no chimney – the tarp on the roof is ripping out, it’s all over our alleyways. We’ve got to sweep it every day.”

With the house empty for the past seven years, termites have been busy inside, according to Pavolic. “There’s nothing in there but beams. It’s all rotted.”

Meanwhile, she said, “The back door is blowing back and forth. It’s right by my bedroom. I can’t sleep at night.”

On the other side of her property, at 365 Forest, Pavolic said, “There’s a broken drainpipe in the alley. You got possums, everything, back there.” On weekends, she added, “The wise guys come drinking. They burned two trees in front of the house.”

Town Administrator/Construction Code Official Michael Martello said that, “365 Forest is in foreclosure; 369 is not in foreclosure yet.”

“When I call the bank [about the maintenance problems],” Pavolic told the local lawmakers, “they say, ‘Call your town.’ ’’

That comment prompted Mayor Alberto Santos to respond: “More and more we see banks want to spread out their losses so they don’t foreclose right away …. We have ‘zombie’ foreclosures where properties just sit there.” But some, he added, “are slowly coming back.”

Because the taxes are being paid, the town is limited as to what it can do to ensure that the property is well maintained if the owner is laggard, other than to have the work done and place a tax lien on the property.

Santos assured the frustrated resident that the town would follow up on her complaints, along with similar maintenance issues with “other properties on both sides of the street.”

In the meantime, Pavolic said, “I cut the grass, I pay for shoveling snow [on the neighboring properties]. It’s a shame we got to live there.”

Complaints about property maintenance are directed to the town’s Board of Health and The Observer checked with local health officials for a history on the Forest St. properties causing Pavolic distress.

Photos by Michael Martello  365 Forest.

Photos by Michael Martello
365 Forest.

 

For 369 Forest:

• July 28, 2006: Complaint  is received about holes in a wooden fence. Termites are suspected as the cause.

• Aug. 3, 2006: A new owner  appears on the scene and has overgrown grass cut.

• March 30, 2007: Complaint  is received about “refrigerator, old furniture, debris in yard.” Owner removes refrigerator. A summons is issued but is dismissed on May 24, 2007,  after property is cleared.

• June 25, 2010: Complaint  is received about “high grass, weeds, construction debris and wood” on the property. Summons is issued but no court appearance after mail is returned as undeliverable, resulting in dismissal of summons by court.

• April 28, 2011: Complaint  received about “high grass.” Property placed on list for town to hire landscaper to deal with but, in the meantime, neighbor arranges to cut lawn. Town has backyard shed sealed up.

• May 30, 2014: Notation  that property is “still vacant” and that “locks changed by bank.”

For 365 Forest:

• May 2, 2011: Complaint  received about overgrown weeds and grass. Notation  that “owner moved out one to two months ago.” Town arranges to have grass and weeds cut.

• May 30, 2012: Complaint  received about high weeds. Notation that Bank of America now holds mortgage on property. Complaint addressed.

• May 16, 2013: Complaint  received about dead branches in rear yard. Town hires contractor to remove the tree limbs. May 30, 2014: Complaint  received about overgrown weeds on “abandoned property.” No violation notice issued.

• On Sept. 15, Martello  advised The Observer that “the town is cleaning up the properties and placing liens on them for the cleanup. In addition, the town will be securing the property.”

Blood: ‘Enrollment up, class size stable’

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By Ron Leir 

Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

As she starts her first full year as acting head of the Kearny public school system in the new Board of Education administrative office center on Midland Ave., Superintendent Patricia Blood is optimistic that students and staff will fare well.

That’s not to say that the district won’t be facing any challenges, she said, noting that since June 30, enrollment has climbed from a bit over 5,800 to the current level of about 6,000 and could go higher – which is what a demographer retained by the district predicted would happen over the next few years.

“We’re reading growth across the district,” Blood said, “and we’ve tried to anticipate that with our new middle school planning and re-drawing school boundary lines to create better-balanced class size in every school building.

“This was feasible because we worked as a team – administrators, teachers, custodial personnel and staff – to get it done.”

It was also accomplished, Blood said, despite having lost 28 teachers from last school year through retirements. At this point, she said, “we have 11 fewer teachers district-wide,” but the system absorbed the loss and still managed to even out class size by reconfiguring the number of class sections and redistributing assignment of teachers.

And Blood said she’ll continue to tweak the system as needed to maintain that continuity. For example, she said, “we may hire a new science teacher for the middle school to reduce class size in that subject.”

As part of the new middle school program for grades 7 and 8 at Lincoln School, Blood said all students will be getting computer classes plus 15 days of swim instruction, parceled out in 64-minute sessions per day.

“We’re also introducing intramural programs in volleyball, indoor soccer and basketball,” she said. “And for our 400 seventh-graders, 60 have signed up for instrumental music as an elective, 75 will be taking vocal instruction and the rest will be in art.”

As a district-wide safety measure, Blood said, “We’ve been putting in key swipes at all elementary school facilities for staff access under a state contract. We want to make sure every door is secured and locked. At the high school, we have security guards who control access.”

On the academic front, Blood said students at various grade levels are being exposed to new approaches to language arts (reading and writing) and math mastery skills.

Currently, for example, 60 teachers of kindergarten, first and second grades and special education aligned with those levels are undergoing 30 hours of training in the Orton & Gillingham reading program which, Blood said, “we felt was best suited to our needs to create a good reading foundation for our students.”

And this month, teachers in grades 6, 7 and 8 will begin training in Larson’s Big Ideas Math program, supplementing the Go Math instructional program in elementary school grades and Algebra in middle school grades.

Students in grades 6 through 8 are being exposed to the Harcourt Collections Anthology in a new language arts program while kids in kindergarten through grade 5 will be honing their language arts skills through the Being A Writer methodology.

“We’ll be piloting a new social studies series involving three different instructional companies for grades 6 through 8,” Blood said. “We’ll be continuing to use the Achieve 3000 computer-based interdisciplinary reading comprehension program for grades 2 through 8 and for high school special education students,” she said. “I’m seeing significant gains in reading performance in the last two years using this program.”

Blood said she’ll be seeking Board of Education approval to secure the use of Interactive Achievement, a system that collects and analyzes student performance data, to provide middle school teachers with another resource to better assess students’ strengths and weaknesses, as measured by the state-mandated Common Core standards.

A fish story

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While contemplating topics for this week’s column, I considered our President’s abysmally belated response to the ISIS threat.

I considered the renewed debate over climate change.

I considered our governor’s increasing wanderlust, which appears to be in direct correlation to his decreasing waistline.

I considered the $17.9 trillion national debt.

And then I decided: Enough with the serious stuff. This week’s column will be about goldfish.

Initially, the idea stemmed from a news item about an Australian goldfish named George whose owner paid for brain surgery on the aquatic pet when it was diagnosed with a tumor.

Yes, brain surgery.

The veterinarian who performed the 45-minute operation in Melbourne noted: “George had a quite large tumor . . . and it was beginning to affect his quality of life.”

The BBC reported that the 10-year-old fish was sedated during the surgery and afterwards was given antibiotics and painkillers. The vet said that all went well and the next day George “was up and swimming around.”

At first, I was going to make mock of all this. However, according to the BBC, “Experts say the $200 procedure may have bought George another 20 years of life.”

What? Goldfish can live to be 30? Mine lived an average of 30 days. I’d come home from school to find them belly-up in the bowl, or they’d commit suicide by leaping out of the water when no one was around to rescue them. I began to wonder if Woolworth’s was selling depressed fish.

Now I wonder if I had made them depressed. They always had clean water and sufficient food, but their bowl was small and lacked accoutrements, such as one of those tiny castles. They were probably bored to tears.

Researching goldfish for this column, I have learned many things, including that, in some places, goldfish bowls (the same kind I had) have been banned “on animal cruelty grounds.” Because the fish have both high oxygen needs and a high waste output, “such bowls are no longer considered appropriate housing.”

From Wikipedia, I also learned the following:

• Goldfish “have a memory- span of at least three months and can distinguish different shapes, colors and sounds.”

• Goldfish are gregarious and can respond to their reflection in a mirror. • Their behavior can be conditioned by their owners.

• They can distinguish between individual humans. When their owners approach, some may “react favorably (swimming to the front of the glass, swimming rapidly around the tank, or going to the surface, mouthing for food).” When strangers approach, they may hide.

• Goldfish that have “constant visual contact with humans stop considering them to be a threat. After a time, it becomes possible to hand-feed a goldfish without it shying away.”

• By using positive reinforcement, goldfish can be trained to perform tricks.

(Tricks? What tricks? Playing dead? Uh-oh.)

And:

• “Very rarely does a goldfish harm another goldfish.” (Which makes them superior to some humans, especially certain NFL players.)

I found no reference to 30-year lives. However, Wikipedia says “the lifespan of goldfish in captivity can extend beyond 10 years.”

Which is nine years and 11 months longer than mine lived.

I realize now that they really were depressed. I treated my goldfish as a form of aquatic decor, and I could have been teaching them tricks. They were starved for attention, not food. And they were confined in a bowl. They had no quality of life. I should write a song: “My Goldfish Has the Blues.” I cod call it sole music. For either a bass or an Irish tuna.

(Stop groaning. At least I didn’t say I wrote this just for the halibut.)

– Karen Zautyk 

He preyed on dementia victim

vaughn_web

BLOOMFIELD – 

A routine traffic stop by Bloomfield police earlier this year played a role in the investigation of, and guilty plea by, an East Orange man who stole $50,000 from a 90-year-old, dementia-stricken friend, authorities reported.

On Friday, in Essex County Superior Court, defendant Gilbert Vaughn, 64, pleaded guilty to second-degree insurance fraud, third-degree unlawful theft by taking and fourth-degree identity theft.

Vaughn and his victim reportedly were residents of the same senior citizens housing facility.

According to New Jersey acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and Ronald Chillemi, prosecutor for the Office of Insurance Fraud, Vaughn had coerced the victim into withdrawing the money from an annuity account when the state Office of the Public Guardian for the Elderly began protecting the man’s finances.

In July 2013, the 90-year-old was placed into state guardianship. In August 2013, the $50,000 was cashed out before the company holding his annuity froze the account.

On June 3 of this year, Bloomfield Police Officer Anthony Piccinno and Sgt. Thomas Fano pulled Vaughn over on Bloomfield Ave. for a motor vehicle violation. Authorities said he was operating the victim’s Toyota and, when asked for identity, produced victim’s driver’s license. A fraud investigation followed.

“Vaughn was well-aware of the victim’s diminished capacity and had followed the public guardian’s legal proceedings closely,” said Chillemi, adding, “His crimes are disturbing, especially given that he exploited a susceptible man with dementia.”

Hoffman said, “Some in New Jersey’s elderly population are able to rely on their family or friends to assist them with their financial affairs. The victim in this case, sadly, was not that fortunate.” The AG called Vaughn “a criminal who viewed the victim as easy prey.”

Sentencing is set for Nov. 14. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend a five-year term in state prison.

– Karen Zautyk 

KPD drug busts: It’s all relative

Two Harrison men were arrested separately on drug charges last week, one while he was driving into the town, one at his home. Police said the accused are brothers.

At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 24, Kearny Vice Squad officers spotted a Toyota Camry traveling from Kearny into Harrison on Harrison Ave. and were aware that the driver had a suspended license and a contempt-ofcourt warrant from North Arlington, KPD Chief John Dowie said.

After Dino Bermudez, 30, was taken into custody, a search incident to arrest revealed he was in possession of 30 Oxycontin tablets, police reported. He was charged with possession of a CDS, possession with intent to distribute, possession of a CDS in a motor vehicle and in/near a school zone.

Several hours later, Vice cops, armed with a search warrant, visited the Bermudez residence and reported recovering 50 glassine bags of heroin, stamped “Sin City”; 50 folds of heroin, stamped “Superman”; $149 in currency and several cell phones.

Marcos Bermudez, 31, was charged with possession and distribution of the drug, distribution in a school zone and possession of drug paraphernalia.

•••

Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:

 Sept. 19 

At 9 a.m., School Resource Officer Steven Montanino, assigned to Kearny High School, advised headquarters he had arrested a 15-year-old student who was involved in a physical altercation with school security officers. When Montanino interceded, police said, the youth continued to be aggressive and had to be forcibly handcuffed. He was charged with aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and was later released to the custody of his father.

Sept. 20 

At 9 p.m., Officer John Fabula responded to Walmart on a report of a man assaulting his girlfriend in the parking lot. Police said the officer stopped the suspect’s SUV as it was leaving the property and found that the driver, Luis Diaz, 24, of Elizabeth, had a Newark warrant for possession of drug paraphernalia.

The woman, whom Diaz had left behind in the lot, was advised of her rights but reportedly would not press charges, and since she had no visible injuries, Diaz could not be arrested for domestic violence. He was arrested on the warrant.

Sept. 22 

Shortly after midnight, Officers Chris Medina and Ben Wuelfing went to Walmart when store security reported that two men were using a knife to cut open packages. The officers located the suspects near the jewelry department and took into custody Lawrence Roland, 22, and Michael Jones, 25, both of Newark, They were charged with shoplifting, conspiracy, possession of a weapon and possession of burglar tools.

•••

Officers Chris Levchak and Daniel Esteves, patrolling on the Belleville Pike at 7:45 p.m., saw an eastbound car swerving in the roadway, nearly hitting another vehicle and a concrete divider, police said. After FSTs and an Alcotest, driver Carlos Escaleira, 52, of Garfield was charged with DWI and careless driving.

Sept. 23 

Chapter 1: At 2 p.m., after concerned citizens reported an individual entering backyards and driveways on the 200 block of Ivy St., units converged on the area. Near Hickory St. and Oakwood Ave., Chief Dowie spotted and detained the suspect, a 16-year-old Kearny male who reportedly became confrontational under questioning. When backup officers Det. Lt. Anthony Gouveia, Det. Marc McCaffrey and P.O. Philip Finch arrived, McCaffrey recognized the youth from a prior encounter, police said. One of the Ivy St. residents identified the suspect, who was charged with trespassing and obstruction of justice — for allegedly failing to provide ID information. The teen was released to his father’s custody.

Sept. 24

Chapter 2: Officers John Travelino and Jordenson Jean were assigned to monitor dismissal at Kearny High School after “threats of unrest” were made following the earlier ejection of a student from the building. At 2 p.m., they observed the same 16-yearold who had been taken into custody the previous day. (He was not the student who had been ejected.) As they approached the youth, he reportedly ran and appeared to be clutching something in his pocket.

Apprehended, he was found to be in possession of a “large folding knife,” police said. He was charged with obstruction and with unlawful possession of a weapon.

And he was again released to the custody of his father.

– Karen Zautyk 

Learn ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Thursday nights on ABC

murder_web

By Kevin Canessa Jr. 

Observer Correspondent 

If you’ve been a fan of “Grey’s Anatomy” at any point during its now 10-season run, chances are you migrated over to “Scandal.” If you then became a fan of “Scandal,” combined with “Grey’s Anatomy,” chances are you’re going to migrate also to Shonda Rhimes’ new ABC Thursday-night drama, “How to Get Away With Murder.”

And in combination, ABC has, perhaps, TV’s biggest powerhouse of three-consecutive shows airing from 8 to 11 p.m. every Thursday night. The suits at ABC are so certain “How to” (we’ll shorten it to “How to” since the name is otherwise annoying to type over and over) will be successful, they’ve already adopted the slogan “Thank God It’s Thursday” for “Grey’s,” “Scandal” and “How to.”

And there’s no question, “How to” got off to a splendid beginning.

It’s the story of a law professor, who also has a private practice, whose philosophy on teaching the law requires law students to learn how to get their clients off — including when they are, frankly, guilty of committing murder.

Perhaps a bit unethically, in the very first episode, she charges her students to come up with a defense for a case she’s currently working on. She and two of her colleagues then chose the four law students they believe came up with the best defenses.

The caveat? All four of the best students then get hired to work for her law firm, in what appears to be a research capacity.

But there are numerous twists along the way from the get-go.

In one scene, after coming up with a possible defense scenario, one of the students hops out of his own bed, leaves his apartment and cycles over to the professor’s office. Thing is, the student walks into the office and finds the married professor (who is a woman, by the way), having sex with a man we later learn is a cop involved in her current case.

There are also numerous flash-forwards to the four law students doing their best to hide the body of a dead man.

It appears to the be the body of the professor’s husband.

But this leaves open the door to many possibilities.

Did the professor kill her own husband and then force the kids to get rid of the body to help her get away with murder?

Is it all a farce?

Is one or more of the law students involved in killing the prof ’s husband? It’s all part of the brilliance that is the writing of Rhimes. It’s evident in the new show. It’s clear in “Scandal.” And for a decade, we’ve been treated to more plane crashes, love affairs, loused-up medical procedures and more on “Grey’s Anatomy.”

So here’s the bottom line.

If you’re a fan of “Grey’s Anatomy” or “Scandal” — and let’s face it, you should be a fan of one or both of them — you’re naturally going to like the progression from “Grey’s” at 8 p.m., to “Scandal” at 9 p.m., and now to “How to” at 10 p.m. on ABC.

With Rhimes, nothing ever seems to be off limits. Nothing is too taboo. And if you really get into this troika of shows on Thursday nights, chances are, too, that nothing will be off limits with “How to Get Away With Murder.”

And perhaps when all is said and done, that’s exactly what you learn how to do.

Contact Kevin Canessa Jr. at kevincanessa@gmail.com with ideas for entertainment stories, including review of shows, bands, books, movies and the like. We’re especially looking for local talents to showcase. 

News from the Nutley police blotter

During the past week, Nutley PD responded to six suspicious incidents, eight disputes, 14 motor vehicle accidents and 40 medical calls, in addition to the following logged incidents:

Sept. 20 

Roger Maldonado-Melgar, 20, of Newark, was charged with eluding and resisting arrest after police said he refused orders to pull over while reportedly reaching a speed of 74 mph traveling south on Rt. 21. Police said he was finally stopped in Newark. He was also ticketed for alleged violations of DUI, speeding, unlicensed, careless driving and failure to keep right on highway with marked lanes. He was released pending a court date.

•••

Two separate incidents of identity theft were reported. In the first, someone opened an AT&T Wireless account in the victim’s name and ordered two iPhones and service, for which the victim was billed $229. The defrauder used the victim’s driver’s license and Social Security number to open the account. Police said the suspect who made the transaction was described as a light-skinned white or Hispanic male, with close-cropped brown hair, between 5-feeteight and 5-feet-10, in his early to late 40s.

In the second incident, the victim was fraudulently billed by Credit Collection Services, Newton, Mass., for a past due amount of $3,837 owed to Verizon. The victim had no outstanding Verizon balance and was told that Verizon retains no collection agencies, police said.

•••

Michael Montero, 19, of Belleville, was arrested while parked in Flora Louden Park off Hancox Ave. after police said he was found to have a green leafy substance consistent with marijuana, an “Entourage” cigar which is commonly used to smoke marijuana, a green water bong and a bag of burnt “roaches.” He was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and issued motor vehicle summonses for possession of CDS in a motor vehicle and uninsured vehicle. He was released pending a court appearance.

Sept. 21 

Someone entered a vehicle parked on Warren St. Police said the ignition had been broken. It was unclear whether this was a forced entry.

•••

Two Belleville men were apprehended at 2 a.m. at Walnut St. and Nutley Ave. after police learned they had outstanding warrants. Police said Joshua Garcia, 22, had two active warrants from Belleville and Christopher Gallo, 21, had an active warrant from Paramus. Garcia was turned over to Belleville PD after declining to post bail while Gallo was released after he posted bail.

•••

In an apparent fraud incident, the victim made a purchase at an unidentified store via a card swipe on a phone and, two days later, learned that several unauthorized transactions totaling more than $400 had been made to their card. Sept. 23  Someone smashed the rear window of a van parked on Plymouth Road, police said.

•••

Police responded to Holy Family Church on Brookline Ave. on a criminal mischief report. The parish’s Good Shepherd Academy school custodian told police that a man he described as white, with blond-brown hair and no shirt, was roller blading and hitting flowers with a stick. Police said several flowers had been uprooted. A check of the area was negative, police said. A day later, a school official notified police that someone had damaged seven plants and defaced a plaque on the north side of the older church near the sidewalk, causing $100 in damages.

•••

Police made a motor vehicle stop on Washington Ave. after discovering that the driver had active warrants from Clifton, Montclair and Belleville. Joseph Geraldo, 25, of Nutley, was also charged with possession of CDS, possession with intent to distribute and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school (Washington) after police said a search of Geraldo revealed a pill bottle containing Xanax and a folded dollar bill holding seven pills identified as oxycodone. Geraldo was taken to Essex County Jail after failing to post bail set at $25,000 with a 10% cash option.

Sept. 24 

A Centre St. store owner called police to report that a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt had swiped the pile of newspapers delivered to the front of the store.

Sept. 25 

Police responded to a 9-1-1 call from a Myrtle Ave. residence on a report of a prowler. The resident told police that while watching TV, they heard a car door close outside their window and saw a young white female with long dark-colored hair, wearing a dark-colored dress with a wave pattern checking out the vehicles parked in their driveway. After realizing that she was being watched, the female slipped into the passenger seat of a dark-colored SUV parked with its lights off which then drove away onto Park Ave.

•••

Someone stole a silver mountain bike valued at $60 from the side of a residence on Prospect St., the owner told police.

•••

Two cases of identity fraud were reported. In the first, someone opened a Verizon Wireless account using the victim’s name and Social Security number. In the second incident, someone charged an item to the victim’s credit card via Lord & Taylor Online but subsequently canceled the order, then made a subsequent attempt to charge an item at a Pennsylvania store. The victim closed their account and received a new card, police said.

Sept. 26 

Police received a report of a case of identity theft involving a victim who applied for unemployment insurance but was declined on the basis of the unemployment office having a record of the victim currently working in Virginia. The office advised the victim that someone was working under their social security number but wasn’t sure what name they were using.

– Ron Leir 

In this economy, local businesses need advertising to survive

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By Ryan Sloan 

Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

Some economic experts say we’re well on the road to recovering from the Great Recession of a few years ago. Others say we’re nowhere near recovered.

Regardless, one thing has stood the test of time for more than 125 years — through the Great Depression, numerous recessions and all sorts of other economic issues — and that is The Observer newspaper as a place where local business owners can showcase themselves to attract maximum exposure and the clientele needed for survival.

The Observer newspaper boasts a robust print circulation of more than 30,000 newspapers a week with around 100,000 estimated readers in West Hudson, South Bergen and part of Essex County.

But the newspaper’s reach goes well beyond the tri-county area with our e-Edition, which is an exact replica of the print edition — and with www.TheObserver.com.

The website is read, each week, on average, by some 30,000 people not just locally, but in Jersey City, Newark, New York City, many cities in Florida (where locals have gone to retire) other places in North America — and across the globe, with heavy readership in England, Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, Brazil and other countries in Europe and South America.

And for our advertisers, the e-Edition is an added bonus. Each week, an estimated 12,000 people across the country and globe read the e-Edition. And what’s more, there is no additional charge for ads bring run in the e-Edition.

Businesses that advertise with The Observer — especially new businesses — are more likely to succeed in the long run, according to Bob Pezzolla, who has been The Observer’s general manager since 2002. In his experience, he says ones that commit succeed — and ones that don’t are much less likely to succeed.

To achieve that success, Pezzolla estimates that new business must budget at least 10% of start-up capital for advertising.

“Too many times over the years, I’ve seen so many great people start a business that folds after six months,” Pezzolla said. “What happens is they have great intentions, have a few customers, but don’t understand that, without getting the word out that they’re there, they’re likely not going to succeed. So I’d definitely say 10% of the kick-off capital has to be for advertising.”

Meanwhile, business can opt to advertise on www.TheObserver. com alone. Presently, attorney Anthony Riposta, Better Homes and Gardens | Coccia Realty, Mid-Realty, Brady, Brady & Reilly and the Kearny Family Health Center all have prominent ads on The Observer’s website.

Each ad includes a direct link to each business’ website.

“While many other publications have refused to embrace the online versions of newspapers, we’ve embraced it,” Pezzolla said. “And considering how many people visit our site each week, our advertisers are able to showcase their businesses not just locally, but across the country and the globe. There aren’t many weekly newspapers that can boast that as we can.”

Lastly, businesses that have remained with The Observer for a long period of time are featured in this space regularly — The Business Review section. It’s here that a member of the newspaper’s staff writes a complete, one-page review on the advertisers. Additionally, a banner ad is placed along with the editorial. It’s one of many ways The Observer gives back to those who have been loyal.

And of course, if you’re a new business owner — or have never advertised before — The Observer’s professional art staff will create and design an ad for you, completely as you want it to appear.

So what are you waiting for? Contact a member of the sales staff today by calling 201-991-1600, by sending an email to advertising@theobserver. com or by stopping by our office at 39 Seeley Ave., Kearny, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. As The Observer continues to grow, let us help your business grow with us.

Make the call today!

Around Town

Belleville

Belleville Public Library and Information Center, 221 Washington Ave., offers storytime for toddlers and preschoolers beginning Oct. 8 and every Wednesday at 11 a.m. No registration is required. For more information, call the library at 973-450-3434.

All civic associations, classic cars and motorcycle clubs are invited to participate in the Belleville Veterans Day Parade slated for Sunday, Nov. 9, at 1 p.m. Those interested may contact Bill Steimel at 973-759- 4692 (home) or 973-955-7211 (cell) no later than Oct. 17.

Bloomfield 

Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., hosts the following events:

  • Join certified Hypnocounselor Kathy Lindert and learn more about using hypnosis to help manage stress, lose weight and more on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 6 p.m.
  • Movie Screenings: “Jobs” (Ashton Kutcher) (PG-13) on Oct. 2, “Olympus Has Fallen” (Aaron Eckhart) (R) on Oct. 6, “What Maisie Knew” (Julianne Moore) (R) on Oct. 9, “Labor Day” (Kate Winslet) (PG-13) on Oct. 16, “Noah” (Jennifer Connelly) (PG-13) on Oct. 20, “The Spectacular Now” (Miles Teller) (R) on Oct. 23, “About Time” (Domhnall Gleeson) (R) on Oct. 27, “The Haunting” (Richard Johnson) (NR) on Oct. 30. All films start at 12:15 p.m.

Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center, 240 Belleville Ave., announces the following events. For tickets, reservations or more information, call the Oakeside office 973-429-0960.

  • Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra performs a selection of traditional Italian music on Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15.
  • Garden of Pink Dedication celebrates the center’s “Sponsor a Tulip” program for its Breast Cancer Awareness garden on Oct. 18 at 10 a.m.
  • Kids ages 3 to 9 are invited to Party with the Great Pumpkin and enjoy snacks, crafts and a chance to take a picture with the pumpkin on Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. Reservations are required.

Harrison 

Harrison Lions Club will conduct its White Cane fundraiser from Thursday, Oct. 2 to Saturday, Oct. 5, at various locations throughout Harrison. Club members will be in front of Red Bull Stadium from 4 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 5, accepting donations and old eyeglasses. For more information, visit http://e-clubhouse.org/ sites/harrisonnj/index.php or e-mail harrisonlionsclub@ yahoo.com.

Kearny

The annual Blessing of the Animals, marking the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, will be held Saturday, Oct. 4, at 10 a.m. at the Archdiocesan Youth Retreat Center (formerly Boystown), 499 Belgrove Drive. The pets (cats, dogs, birds, goldfish, etc.) will be gathered on the front lawn by the St. Francis statue. For more information, call 201-998-0088.

Trinity Church, 575 Kearny Ave., hosts a fish, chicken and chips dinner Friday, Oct. 3, 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and two for $30. Take-out will also be available. Tricky Tray will be held 8 to 9 p.m. For tickets, call Annamarie at 201-998- 2368 after 5:30 p.m. or the parish office at 201-991-5894.

Grace United Methodist Church, 380 Kearny Ave., sponsors a fair on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The church’s tea room will be open all day. For more information, call the church office at 201-991-1132.

Good Shepherd Church, 780 Kearny Ave., holds a blood drive, in conjunction with New Jersey Blood Services on Oct. 12, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Rosary Society of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 136 Davis Ave., sponsors an Oktoberfest on Friday, Oct. 24, in the church basement. The event includes live music and food. (BYOB). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $25. For tickets, call 201-991-2808 or the rectory at 201-998-4616.

Kearny UNICO hosts “Wheels for Vic,” a fundraiser to purchase a power wheelchair for Kearny resident Victor Muniz, Sunday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m., in the former Boystown gym, 499 Belgrove Drive. The $30 admission covers a raffle, lunch and live music. Muniz was paralyzed after a tree branch fell on him during a 2008 summer storm. For tickets or more information, contact Lou Pandolfi at 201-368-2409, Joseph Sgalia at 201- 998-6879, Rossana McLaughlin at 201-407-7262, or Judy Hyde at 201-991-5812. The committee also welcomes both monetary and/or gift donations for this event.

Pathways to Independence sponsors its 13th annual Walk-a- Thon Saturday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m. to noon, at West Hudson Park, Schuyler Ave. entrance. All are welcome. Proceeds benefit adults with disabilities who attend Pathways programs. Registration forms are available at Pathways, 60 Kingsland Ave. or before the walk, starting at 9 a.m. This event includes refreshments, raffles, a free T-shirt for participants donating $100 or more in pledges and much more. For more information, call Pathways Executive Director Alvin Cox at 201-997-9371, ext. 18.

A Doggie Halloween Parade and Festival, sponsored by KUEZ, is set for Saturday, Oct. 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Arlington Depot Park, off Midland Ave. between Forest and Elm Sts. Dogs can be registered to participate in a costume contest. Current dog license and proof of rabies vaccine are required. Forms are available at www.kearnynj.org, KUEZ, 410 Kearny Ave. or K-9 corner, 169 Midland Ave. For more information, call 201-955-7985 or email Halloweenpawrade@ kearnynj. org. All dogs either attending or participating in the festival must be leashed.

Presbyterian Boys-Girls Club, 663 Kearny Ave., is open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays from 7 to 9 p.m. Children ages 8 to 17 are welcome to use the club’s gym, pool tables, electronic games and more. The club also plans to offer a teen basketball league and monthly dances, among other activities. For more information, call 201- 991-6734.

Lyndhurst

Registration is open for a walk to benefit the American Diabetes Association set for Sunday, Oct. 5, at Riverside County Park, Riverside Ave. (entrance on Valley Brook Ave.) Participants must check in at 9 a.m. and the walk begins at 11 a.m. The event will include vendors, health seminars and activities for kids. To register, visit www.diabetes.org/lyndhurstwalk.

The first Sunday of the month free two-hour nature walk with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and the Bergen County Audubon Society, is set for Sunday, Oct. 5, at 10 a.m., at the Mill Creek Marsh, Secaucus. Check meadowblog. net for last-minute weather updates. You will have to sign a standard liability release that is good for NJMC/BCAS events throughout the year. To R.S.V.P., contact Don Torino of the BCAS or call 201-230-4983.

American Legion Post 139, 217 Webster Ave., announces its eighth annual Clam Lover’s Family Barbecue is slated for Oct. 4, 1 to 6 p.m. Advance tickets cost $25. Includes all-you- can-eat clams steamed and on the half-shell and much more. For tickets or more information, call the Post at 201-933-4120.

Lyndhurst Public Library, 353 Valley Brook Ave., hosts the following events:

  • Walk-in Story is open to kids in pre-k to grade 2 every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. No registration is required.
  • Fit4Kids Magic Show for children ages 3 to 10 is offered Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 3:30 p.m. Registration is required. Call the library at 201-804-2478.

The Woman’s Club of Lyndhurst sponsors a children’s Tricky Tray on Oct. 18, at the Senior Building, 250 Cleveland Ave., at noon. Tickets are $5. For tickets, call Janet at 201- 935-1208.

Lyndhurst Health Department, 601 Riverside Ave., hosts a dinner and osteoporosis seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 6 p.m., at the Senior Center, 250 Cleveland Ave. Call the department at 201- 804-2500 to register.

North Arlington

American Legion Alexander Stover Post 37 meets on Monday, Oct. 6, at 8 p.m. at the VFW hall, 222 River Road. For more information, call 201-214- 8253,

North Arlington High School Competition Cheer Squad sponsors a clothing drive on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the high school’s front entrance on Ridge Road. Clothes, coats, shoes, handbags, linens, towels, comforters, curtains and toys will be accepted.

Queen of Peace Rosary Society sponsors a Tricky Tray on Friday, Oct. 17, at 6 p.m., at San Carlo Fine Caterers, Lyndhurst. Admission is $40 and includes four-course dinner and one sheet of small prize tickets. Prizes include gift baskets, gift certificates and more. Grand prize values start at $500, which includes an iPad and much more. For more information and tickets, call Betsy at 201-997-3914 or Pegeen at 201-246-1030.

North Arlington Public Library, 210 Ridge Road, offers the following programs. For more information, call the library at 201-955-5640

  • Carole King tribute show is set for Saturday, Oct. 4, at noon.
  • The annual Friends of the Library Attic Treasures Sale is set for Saturday, Oct. 4 and Sunday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Senior Center, located behind the library.
  • Learn all about self-publishing on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m.
  • Attend a lecture on coin collection on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 11 a.m. • SAT practice test is open to grades 9 and up on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 1 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.formstack.com/ forms/?1774866-DWur9MjZPt.

North Arlington Elks, 129 Ridge Road, hosts a fish fry on Oct. 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. Cost is $12. Shrimp cocktail and clams on the half-shell will also be available for $5 for a half-dozen and $8 for a dozen.

The Senior Harmony Club of North Arlington sponsors a trip to Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, Tuesday, Oct. 21. Cost of the trip is $25. Attendees will receive $30 in slot play and $5 for food. Non-members are welcome to attend. For reservations or more information, call Florence at 201-991-3173.

North Arlington Woman’s Club sponsors a beefsteak fundraiser Friday, Oct. 24, 7 to 11 p.m., at the Knights of Columbus hall, 194 River Road. Tickets are $40. Proceeds benefit various local charities. For tickets and more information, call Christine at 201-577-1088 or Fran Sardoni at 973-818-6421.

Nutley

Nutley Public Library, 93 Booth Drive, offers the following programs. For more information, call 973-667-0405.

  • For children: • Preschool Story Time,  featuring picture books and crafts, is held Wednesday, Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, at 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Registration  required.
  • Two-Year-Old Story Time  meets Friday, Oct.3, 10, 17, 24, at 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Registration is required. • Play Fridays is open to all  ages to play board and video games on Oct. 3 at 3 p.m. No registration required.
  • Manga/Anime Teen Club  for grades 7 to 12 meets Friday, Oct. 3 and 17, at 3 p.m.
  • Lego Tech Club for grades  2 to 6 meets Monday, Oct. 6 at 3:30 p.m. • P.J. Story Time is open to  all ages on Monday, Oct. 6 and 20, at 7 p.m. Registration is not required.
  • Babygarten is open to 23  months and under, every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. and includes books,  nursery rhymes and playtime. Registration is required. Only residents may attend.

For adults:

  • First Friday Films presents  “Heaven Is for Real” Oct. 3 at 2 p.m.
  • Meet Nutley’s Catherine  Greenfeder, author of “Wildflowers,” a western historical romance, on Monday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.
  • A Touch of Sinatra, a musical show about the life and music of Frank Sinatra is set for Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. Seating is limited.

The Department of Parks and Recreation, 44 Park Ave., offers an art workshop open to grades 1 to 6. This eight-week program resumes Oct. 11. Classes will be held Saturdays at the department. The fee is $30 per child. Class size is limited and applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Online registration is available at https://nutleynj.my.govi. com/recreation. For more information, call 973-284-4966, between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Department of Public Affairs, in collaboration with the Fine Art Alliance of Nutley, hosts the Kingsland Manor Experience on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Kingsland Manor, 3 Kingsland Road. Artists will be creating new work using various media as patrons walk the grounds of the manor. A suggested donation of $5 per person will be collected at the door, with all of the proceeds going to the Kingsland Manor.

Former goalie Najarro leads Kearny over Harrison

Eduardo Najarro_web

Scores crucial goal in 3-1 win at Red Bull Arena

By Jim Hague 

Observer Sports Writer

When the high school soccer season began in early August, Edgar Najarro was simply a backup goalkeeper to Kearny High School’s celebrated net minder Sebastian Ferreira, one of the best goalies in the entire state.

Najarro knew that there wasn’t going to be much playing time in net with the Kardinals.

“I was a goalie on the club level this summer, but I’ve always been a field player,” Najarro explained. “I was the leading goal scorer on the JV (junior varsity) team the last two years. I just wanted to get a chance to play.”

Two weeks ago, Najarro got a chance to play on the forward line as a reserve.

Last week, Najarro scored a huge goal in overtime, giving the Kardinals a tough 3-2 victory over North Bergen. Last Saturday, the Kardinals faced neighboring rival Harrison at Red Bull Arena, with approximately 5,000 avid soccer fans in attendance.

Najarro was hoping to make his mark.

“I woke up in the morning and realized that I had to go out there and prove myself, if I got a chance to play,” Najarro said.

Najarro did just that. Inserted into the game after halftime, Najarro got himself in perfect position to score a gigantic goal.

“I just put him in the game,” Kearny head coach Bill Galka said. “And he made a beautiful chip to the goal from 20 yards out. It was as beautiful of a goal as you’re going to see.”

On his first touch of the game, Najarro got his foot on the ball and fired it.

“Matthew Neto had the ball, but he just ran out of space, so I got it,” Najarro said. “I hit it well and it went to the top left corner of the net.”

Najarro’s goal in the 53rd minute snapped a 1-1 tie and propelled Kearny to a 3-1 victory in the showdown of the area’s top two clubs.

It was the first time that the two teams had played in Red Bull Arena in three years. Kearny won that game as well by a 2-1 score.

Galka was not pleased with his team at halftime with the game deadlocked.

“I came off a little upset at half,” Galka said. “We were a little outnumbered in the midfield and they had too much possession of the ball. So we talked about it and made some adjustments. We were able to defend better and counter their play. We were able to get more control of the ball. We picked our game up in the second half.”

Ferreira was outstanding in net for the Kards. He made nine saves, several of which were sprawling stops.

Photo by Jim Hague Daniel Vicente scored Kearny’s first goal two minutes into the showdown with Harrison, won by Kearny at Red Bull Arena, 3-1.

Photo by Jim Hague
Daniel Vicente scored Kearny’s first goal two minutes into the showdown with
Harrison, won by Kearny at Red Bull Arena, 3-1.

 

“He was big all game for us, stopping shots from a long distance,” Galka said. “He made some tremendous saves to keep us in it. He showed good poise, because it was a back and forth game.”

Daniel Vicente, who returned to the Kearny program this season, got the Kardinals going with an early goal in just the second minute of the game. It looked like Kearny was ready to run the Blue Tide right out of Red Bull Arena.

But Christian Restrepo’s header in the 20th minute tied the game for Harrison, which is the way the game stayed through halftime.

It was soon to be Najarro time.

“It meant a lot to me that my mom (Diane) and dad (Rolando) were there to see it,” Najarro said. “I also have the game on tape, too. I’ve scored some big goals, like the North Bergen one, but not quite as big as this one. Especially on that stage, in front of all those people.” And against the dreaded rival, who had a tough week. Everyone in Harrison was concerned about the health and well being of former Harrison All-State great Modou Sowe, who collapsed during a Ramapo College game last week and was rushed to a hospital. Sowe was later released after it was learned he was suffering from the ill effects of a concussion, but there was a ton of concern for Sowe, even at the game Saturday.

Najarro made sure that it was going to be a frightful Saturday afternoon for the Blue Tide.

“It was definitely the experience of a lifetime,” Najarro said. “From the minute we got off the bus to the minute we went back home, everything was professional. I’m absolutely going to remember it for the rest of my life.”

Arturo Sanchez capped the scoring with a goal with about seven minutes left to play, giving Kearny the twogoal advantage.

“Anytime you play at Red Bull Arena, it’s a thrill,” Galka said. “I know both teams like playing there and the towns like it as well. There was great fan support for both teams. The faculty, administration, students, local fans, you name it, they were there. It was a great atmosphere and a great experience for the kids.”

Galka’s team now owns a state ranking (No. 16 overall) and an undefeated mark at 6-0-2, with ties against St. Peter’s Prep and Union.

“We’re playing well,” Galka said. “We just got some players back. (Marcelo) Matta just got back from a concussion. He was big for us in the second half. He only had two days of practice. Alexi Velasquez was also injured and couldn’t practice all week, but he played well. I think we’re finding our way.”

Just like the former goalie found the net – and created a memory of a lifetime.

The Kearny girls completed the sweep of the doubleheader, handling the Harrison girls in easy fashion, 6-0.

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