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State eyes raising part of Pike

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY – The Rt. 7/Belleville Turnpike corridor which runs through Kearny’s meadows area and beyond is getting a lot of attention these days from state and federal transit agencies. For the past couple of years, contractors hired by the state Department of Transportation have […]

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Taxes up on average by $244

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  Now that Trenton – even without a gubernatorial endorsement by the town’s Democratic mayor – has gifted Kearny $2.5 million in transitional aid and reduced its pension obligations by nearly $435,000, Kearny property owners can know what to expect. They’re still getting […]

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Wild pursuit ends with 3 arrests

LYNDHURST – It started as an alleged speeding incident and led to a frantic chase that ended in three arrests. Here’s the account given by Lyndhurst Police: Shortly after 2 p.m. on July 14, Patrol Officer James Goral pulled over a 2008 BMW traveling east on Page […]

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Builder targets eyesore

  By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  NUTLEY –  A 36-unit residential development being pitched to the Nutley Zoning Board of Adjustment has township and school officials on the edge of their seats wondering how many schoolage kids the project may generate if approved. Mayor Alphonse Petracco is blunt about […]

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Learning to protect & serve

By Karen Zautyk  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  Last Friday, in a ceremony at Lincoln School, 36 youngsters graduated from the Kearny Police Department’s Junior Police Academy following two weeks of intensive, but fun, training. This marks the academy’s sixth graduating class. We have been privileged to attend various sessions […]

 
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Around Town

Belleville

Belleville Public Library and Information Center, 221 Washington Ave., hosts:

• The Mad Scientist’s Laboratory on Tuesdays at 2:30 p.m., offers crafts and activities, open to all ages. Topics covered for  July will be: Planet Earth on July 8, The Seasons on July 15, Rocks  on July 22 and Water on July 29.

• School-Age Children’s Storytime is open to K to grade  6, every Wednesday, beginning July 9.

• Children’s films will be screened Fridays at 2 p.m. Here’s the schedule: July 11 – “Frozen,” July 18 – “Wall-e” and July 25 – “Finding Nemo.”

For more information on these programs, call the library at 973-450-3434.

Belleville Dutch Reformed Church, 171 Main St., kicks off Independence Day festivities at 10 a.m. July 4 at the church’s cemetery. The annual event honors Belleville’s first troops, the 66 Revolutionary War  soldiers buried there, one of the largest group of 1776 patriots buried at any one site in the U.S. To participate or for more information, call Michael at 973-780- 7852 or email bell1776patriots@  yahoo.com. After the ceremony, the Belleville Historical Commission and Historical Society  host the designation of the former Dutch Reformed Church, which is now known as Iglesia Pentecostal “ La Senda Antigua” C.L.A. as a historic landmark.

Bloomfield 

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

Adult Programs:

• Summer Yoga Class is held  for one hour on the second and fourth Mondays at 6 p.m. on July 14 and 28 and Aug 11 and 25. Registration is required. To register, call 973-566-6200, ext. 602, or visit http://www.bplnj. org/programs/.

• Author Rick Wright dis cusses his newly-released birding field guide on Tuesday, July 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. Books will be available for purchase.

• The library Board of Trustees meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. The public is welcome.

• Monday and Thursday movies are screened at 12:15 p.m. The schedule: July 3 – “White House Down,” July 7 – “Nebraska,” July 10 – “Lone Ranger,” July 14 – “Wolf of Wall Street,” July 17 – “Prometheus,” July 21 – “American Hustle,” July 25 – “Book Thief,” July 28 – “Catching Fire” and July 31 – “Saving Mr. Banks.” Children’s programs:

•Kids ages 10 and up can learn cartooning skills and make a comic on July 16 at 4 p.m. Participants can register online at www.bplnj.org/programs.html for this program.

• Kids in Pre-K and up can meet Ronald McDonald  on Wednesday, July 9, at 2 p.m. Registration is required.

• The Essex County Environment Center presents a pro gram on “Drummer Birds” for children ages 5 to 8 on Wednesday July 16 at 2 p.m. Registration is required.

To register, call 973-566-6200, ext. 212. Participants must  be Bloomfield residents and library cardholder for programs where registration is required. All other programs are open.

Kearny 

Kearny Health Department, 645 Kearny Ave., offers the following programs for Kearny  senior citizens:

• Vouchers for the Kearny Farmers Market are now avail able for low-income senior citizens. Vouchers are limited  and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants must be age 60 and over, show proof of residency and of limited income. Applications will be accepted until all vouchers have been distributed. All applicants  must also sign statements attesting to their income qualifi cations for the vouchers. Each qualified senior will receive four $5 vouchers to be used  only with the farmers signed up with the voucher program. Interested seniors may apply at the Health Department, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. For more  information, call the Health Department at 201-997-0600.

• Cruise aboard the Spirit of New Jersey on the Hudson River. Tickets are limited and advance sign-up is required. Buses will depart from the  Henrietta Benstead Senior Citizens Center, 60 Columbia Ave., at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, July 30. Lunch is included. Tickets  will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 9 a.m. Monday, July 7, at the Kearny Health Center. Anyone unable to walk unassisted is  advised that there is a long two-block walk from the bus parking area to the ship’s docking area.  For more information, call the Health Department.

Lyndhurst

New Jersey Meadowlands  Commission hosts the following:

• First Sunday-of-the-Month Bird Walk, with the NJMC and Bergen County Audubon So ciety, features a free two-hour guided nature walk in DeKorte Park on Sunday, July 6, at 10 a.m.

• Butterflies for Beginners, with the NJMC and BCAS, is a 30-minute talk and slide show about butterflies, and a walk around DeKorte Park, set for Sunday, July 6, at 1 p.m. For both these programs, check meadowblog.net for last-minute updates and weather  advisories. Guests must sign a standard liability release. To R.S.V.P., contact Don Torino of the BCAS at greatawk4@ aol.com or call 201-230-4983.

• Pontoon boat rides for  seniors, offering two-hour cruises along the Hackensack River, depart from River Barge Park, Carlstadt, Monday, July 7, at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (Rain date – July 15). Admission is $7 . Bring cameras and sneakers. Note: The boats cannot accom modate wheelchairs. Advance registration and payment are required. To register, call 201- 777-2431.

• Seniors are invited to join staff from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC)  and learn about the mysterious lives of marine mammals and sea turtles, and the problems  facing these creatures and their environment Thursday, July 10, at 7 p.m., at the NJMC Science Center, 3 DeKorte Park. Reg istration is recommended and appreciated. To register, call 201-777-2431 or 201-460-8300.

The Lyndhurst Public Library Children’s Room, 355 Valley Brook Ave., hosts the following  events during July:

• Children in pre-k to grade  2 are invited to hear a story and do some coloring Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. No registration is required.

• Children in pre-k to grade 6 can learn how to make origami every Monday and some  Wednesdays (July 2, 7, 9, 21 and 30), from 3 to 4 p.m. No registration is required. Registration is required for the following programs. Call the library at 201-804-2478 to  register.

• Children of all ages may  register for a screening of the Disney movie “Finding Nemo,” set for Tuesday, July 8, 2:15 to 4 p.m.

• Children ages 7 to 14 will  get a chance to become a scientist as they erupt volcanos, examine a geode mineral and more at Art Kids Academy Thursday, July 10, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

• Children in grades 2 to 6 get some insider tips on playing checkers Tuesday, July 1, Thursday, July 3 and Monday, July 7, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

• Children in grades 2 to 6, can be part of a checkers tournament and must be committed to all three rounds. Tournament schedule: First round – Wednesday, July 9; semifinal round – Tuesday, July 22; and the final round – Tuesday, July 29, 2 to 4 p.m. each day. A prize  will be awarded to the champion Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2 to 4 p.m.

North Arlington 

Chief Louis M. Ghione of the North Arlington Police Department announces that applications are available for residents to sign up for a block party during National Night Out, Tuesday, Aug. 5. That evening,  residents are encouraged to meet their neighbors and leave a porch light on overnight as a  show of unity against crime.

Stop by the Police Department, 214 Ridge Road, for an application. The Police Department will seek borough approval for closing down a street to traffic from 5 to 9 p.m.

The first 10 blocks organized  will receive a free barbecue package, courtesy of the Borough’s Crime Prevention Unit.

Police officers and elected officials will visit block parties  with giveaways.

Nutley 

Total Soul takes the stage at Memorial Park I (Mud Hole) July 17 for a Recreation Department sizzling summer concert. The free show, which begins at 6:30 p.m., includes everything from Motown, to today’s pop and R&B, to the jazz/Big Band standards of the 1940s. The rain  date is July 28. For further information, call 973-284-4966 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Nutley Public Library, 93  Booth Dr., announces the following programs:

For children:

• Babygarten is available only to township residents  who can register children ages 23 months and under for this program, set for Tuesdays, starting July 8, at 10 a.m.

• For “Lego Movie,” children of all ages can make a movie-themed craft (while supplies last) Tuesday, July 8, at 2 p.m. No registration is required.

• For Preschool Storytime, registration is open for Nutley residents only, ages 3 to 5. The program will be held Wednesdays, starting July 9, at 10 a.m.

• Tech Workshop: “Lego Robots” for ages 3 to 6 is set for Wednesday, July 9, at 2:30 p.m. Kids ages 3 to 6 may be registered for this program.

• Essex Environmental Workshop on “Drummer Birds” is open to ages 5 to 8  who must be registered to participate in the program scheduled for Thursday, July 10, at 11 a.m. • Science Workshop: “Magnets” is open to ages 8 and up and will be offered Thursday, July 10, at 2:30 p.m. Registration is required.

• Two-Year Old Story Time is for Nutley residents only, ages 24 to 35 months, Fridays, starting July 11, at 10 a.m. Registration is required.

• Play Fridays, with Legos,  tech gear, toys and video game, is held Fridays, starting July 11, at 1 p.m.

• Science Scavenger Hunt, with registration open to library patrons ages 4 and up, is set for Monday, July 14, at 2 p.m.

For adults, the library offers First Friday Films, with a new film shown the first Friday of each month, opening  with a screening of “Philomena” Friday, July 11, at 2 p.m. Check the library’s event  calendar for a schedule.

Nutley’s Montgomery named Observer Female Co-Athlete of the Year

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By Jim Hague 

Observer Sports Writer 

Grace Montgomery never thought she was doing anything special. The recent Nutley High School graduate just gravitated from soccer in the fall to basketball in the winter and outdoor track, particularly the javelin, in the spring. Just one after another. No big thing.

“During that season, whatever the sport was, I put my whole heart and soul into that sport,” Montgomery said. “In the summer, we would have captains’ practice for soccer, then I’d go play basketball in the summer league and then do running and workouts for track. Sure, it was difficult, but I had fun. I loved all three sports I played. It wasn’t that big of a deal because I had been doing them all my whole life. I couldn’t imagine just doing one of them.”

Soccer was the first sport in Montgomery’s life. Along with twin sister Meghan, the two formed a terrific twosome playing defense from a very young age, like from kindergarten on.

“They called them the ‘Twin Towers,’” said their father, William. “They were so tall and strong back there.”

“I think I was pretty good in soccer right away,” Grace Montgomery said.

Basketball then followed a year later.

“I guess I was pretty good in basketball as well,” Grace Montgomery said. “My parents were both good athletes, so that helped.”

William Montgomery played baseball and track and field at Bayonne High School, while mom Ellen played basketball at Secaucus High School and later was part of the swim team at St. Peter’s College.

“It helped that they were both into sports and got us into sports,” Montgomery said.

The javelin was the last of the Montgomery trifecta.

“I didn’t start throwing the javelin until the end of my sophomore year,” Montgomery said. “My uncle sort of mentioned that if I became good in the javelin, it would help me get into college.”

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The results were staggering. Montgomery was a standout defender on the Nutley girls’ soccer team that went undefeated in league play and won the Super Essex Conference- -Liberty Division title. She also averaged 13 points per game for the Nutley girls’ basketball team that posted a 10-2 SEC Liberty Division mark, good for second in the league.

But the cherry on the sundae was the latest. Montgomery came from way back in the pack to unleash a monstrous throw of 136 feet, two inches to become the overall state champion at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions last month. Montgomery entered the last day of competition as the 10th  seed in the entire state, saving her career best throw for last, capturing the gold. A week later, Montgomery went to the United States Track and Field High School Nationals in Charlotte, N.C., and Montgomery finished 14th out of 60 competitors nationwide.

For her efforts, Montgomery has been selected as the 2013-2014 Observer Female Co- Athlete of the Year, becoming only the second Nutley girl to receive the honor.

Former softball standout Kelly Rauco was the only other former Maroon Raider great to receive the award, getting the nod in 2006.

Montgomery is one of two recipients for the award given to the top local female high school athlete. The other Female Co-Athlete of the Year will be revealed in next week’s editions of The Observer.

“It’s incredible,” Montgomery said. “I’m pretty impressed. It’s a pretty huge deal. It’s all still pretty crazy to me. I worked so hard to get there.”

Her coaches all knew that Montgomery was someone special.

“She was a lock down defender for a team that won 18 games and won a league title,” said Nutley girls’ soccer coach Mike DiPiano. “We also reached the top 20 in the state for the first time. She never shied away from a tackle and always played a physical game. She was the stopper her sophomore year and we moved her to outside back and she never once complained about the move.”

DiPiano was asked what he would always remember about Montgomery.

“I think it’s her toughness,” DiPiano said. “She was banged up most of the time and yet, she was a three-sport athlete. I don’t know how many true three-sport athletes there are anymore. It’s a dying breed. She’s one of the last true three-sport athletes.”

Nutley girls’ basketball coach Larry Mitschow agreed.

“Grace was an unbelievable leader for us, both on and off the court,” Mitschow said. “She did a whole bunch of things for us.

She brought the ball up the floor. She was our second leading scorer. She was our top defender and she played injured for most of the season. She managed to work her way through it. She would defensively play the top player on the other team. She really was an important player for us.” Mitschow was asked what he would remember about Montgomery.

“Her personality,” Mitschow said. “She was just a joy to coach. I loved talking to her, being able to speak to her as an adult, speaking freely about anything and everything. There were no barriers between us. We jelled well right away. She was easy to talk to.”

Track coach Robert O’Dell raved about Montgomery’s accomplishments.

“She had an outstanding career,” O’Dell said. “She’s the first Meet of Champions winner we’ve had in 39 years and just the second in school history. It was a perfect ending to a great career, with the drama of the last throw. She had an outstanding season that won’t be replicated for a long while.”

O’Dell was also asked what he would remember.

“Her ability to compete,” O’Dell said. “She competed and competed and was able to pull out that clutch throw.”

Montgomery will now take her immense talents to Rowan University, where she will solely compete in the javelin. Her soccer and basketball careers seem to be over.

“It’s going to be pretty different, competing in just one sport,” Montgomery said. “But I know that if I concentrated the whole year on one sport, I could be really good. It was always about three sports, but now, I’m excited to focus on just the javelin the whole time.”

Montgomery is still undecided about a major at Rowan, but one thing is for sure: She left Nutley High School with a legacy of greatness, of determination, of playing through pain and never giving up. That’s the reason she has been selected as the area’s top female athlete – or at the very least, a share of the top billing.

We’ll learn about the other Female Athlete of the Year next week.

Local MMA fighter wins her first bout in debut as a pro

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By Jim Hague 

Observer Sports Writer 

Kearny resident Katlyn Chookagian spends most of her time working as a bartender at Lulu’s, the nightclub inside the W Hotel in Hoboken.

Four days a week, you’ll find Chookagian mixing cocktails at the popular bar in the Mile Square City.

During the rest of her time, she’s busy training at the All-Star BJJ in Kenilworth, working with five other mixed martial arts fighters who are part of Team Renzo Gracie.

“He comes and runs the classes sometimes,” Chookagian said of the legendary mixed martial arts master. “I’m generally training six days a week. It’s hard, because I go to bed at 4:30 a.m. after bartending and I’m up at 6 a.m. to train. Sometimes, I get yelled at, because I’m overtraining, but that’s what I do. If I’m not training, what else am I going to do? I like it. It keeps me prepared.”

The hard work paid off last weekend, as Chookagian, who stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 115 pounds, won her professional debut, taking a three-round unanimous decision over Rebecca Heintzman at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia in the Cage Fury Fighting Championship series.

Chookagian’s bout was the lone female bout in the 11-bout card Saturday night.

Chookagian, a native of Quakertown, Pa., attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, graduating in 2011 with a degree in business management.

But getting in the cage was always something that Chookagian dreamed of doing.

“I always did martial arts,” Chookagian said. “I started doing karate when I was four years old. I then did a lot of kick boxing as part of staying in shape, so I always had it in me.”

She also had the boxing down pat, winning the Pennsylvania Golden Gloves when she was 16 years old.

“I’m a very competitive person,” Chookagian said. “About a year and a half ago, I put it all together and got involved in mixed martial arts. There weren’t that many girls involved at that time, but the numbers of women in the sport are growing. My goal was always to do MMA.”

In 2012, Chookagian was spotted by manager Jamal Patterson, who took Chookagian under his wing.

“He helped me get to where I’m at,” Chookagian said. “I was having trouble finding fights and it was hard for me to develop in the sport. Jamal planned out my career and gave me a strong path to build it up.”

There were seven amateur MMA fights, all of which the 25-year-old Chookagian won.

“He saw me right away and took the extra time to help me,” Chookagian said. “I improved a lot in a short period.”

So Chookagian was ready for her pro debut last weekend.

“I was really excited to get my first pro fight,” Chookagian said. “This is what I wanted. When I started, it seemed so far away. I remember seeing a girl fighting MMA and saying, ‘This is what I want to do.’ I never thought I would actually do it. It’s crazy.”

Chookagian, who used to live in Jersey City before moving to Kearny a few months ago, doesn’t know how long she will continue in the mixed martial arts world. She’s only 25, so she has a very bright future.

“I have done everything to prepare for this first fight,” Chookagian said. “There’s no better time than now to get this career going. I do think the maturity is going to help me a little bit, because I’ve been through a lot.”

Chookagian is not going to let one win get to her head.

“I’m always trying to get better,” Chookagian said. “That’s all I think about when I get into the cage. I’m looking to get better. But I definitely like this.”

As long as she keeps winning, then Katlyn Chookagian will like MMA fighting almost as much as she likes bartending.

Katlyn Chookagian can be followed on Twitter @ blondefighter.

Farinola takes over as girls’ soccer coach at North Arlington

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By Jim Hague 

Observer Sports Writer 

Dan Farinola already had been one of the busiest coaches around, coaching bowling, golf and soccer all year long, so when the opportunity to take over the girls’ soccer program at North Arlington High School, where Farinola is a teacher, he had to jump at it.

Former coach Sharon O’Brien Romer stepped down at the end of last season to attend to her growing family, leaving the vacancy at the helm of the girls’ soccer squad.

Farinola, who coaches bowling and golf at North Arlington, had been the head boys’ soccer coach at Secaucus for the past six seasons. Farinola is a graduate of Secaucus and spent 10 years with the boys’ soccer program there.

“For a while, I always wanted to coach soccer where I was teaching,” said Farinola, who guided the Secaucus boys to a 10-10-2 record last season. “If ever the opportunity came around, I wanted to be considered. I spent 10 years at Secaucus and I left them in a good situation. It was tough to leave. I felt bad for the seniors that I coached for three years. I had mixed emotions about leaving. But I’m looking forward to the new challenge.”

Farinola said that the transition becoming the new girls’ soccer coach has been smooth.

“The girls really listened to me right away,” said Farinola, who has already entered his team in the Kearny summer league. “Sharon was very gracious and helpful in the transition. She reserved the spot in the Kearny league for us. We are good friends. She’s the one who got this started. I owe a lot to her.”

The 30-year-old Farinola said that the returning players have been receptive to the new coach.

“They’ve been very responsive to me,” Farinola said. “There is a certain way I’m going to coach the team. In terms of fitness, in terms of conditioning, they are going through walls so far. They’ve done everything I’ve asked of them.”

Farinola knows that he lost a number of players from last year’s team that won eight matches.

“I know we’ve lost a lot of girls numbers-wise,” Farinola said. “But we have a good group that has a lot of good varsity experience.”

High-scoring midfielder Joanna Seca, forward Taylor Barth and standout defender Sarah Palma all return this season for the Vikings.

“They are the captains and they give us good leadership,” Farinola said. “We do have a lot of pieces to fill, but I’m optimistic from what I’ve seen. I think we can be competitive right away. The biggest thing for me right now is trying to find a goalie. I have some girls in mind for the defense. But we can be competitive this year. I definitely believe that.” Farinola said that it will be a big help to him that he will be in the building every day as a teacher.

“I think it’s going to make a big difference for me,” said Farinola, who guided the NA golf team to a berth in the NJSIAA state sectionals for the first time two months ago. “I can see the kids during the day. I will see them excited in the building. I’m really excited to be able to coach the girls.”

Farinola said that it also helps that he knows most of the girls already from being a teacher at the school for the past few years.

“I think that is a big asset,” Farinola said. “It took me so long at Secaucus to get to know the kids. That’s half the battle. If I can get along with the players and they trust me and have trust in the system, that’s a big step. I feel I’m already there with these girls. They trust me and want to learn.”

Farinola already has reached out to the North Arlington Recreation soccer program and had a clinic for seventh and eighth graders.

“We had a good turnout for that,” Farinola said. “I’m looking forward to doing more, so the kids could make a commitment to come to North Arlington High School and play soccer for us. We’re also looking forward to getting kids who never played soccer before and turning them into soccer players. It’s a big challenge to get girls to commit to playing soccer. One thing I’ve been talking to the girls about was having three-sport athletes.

Added Farinola, “I know we have a lot of girls who played soccer in town and maybe lost interest. It’s up to me to get them back.”

Farinola said that he already has received a commitment from veteran coach Gino De- Pinto to serve as his assistant. DePinto was the long-time girls’ soccer coach at Secaucus who retired two years ago.

“He’s going to be a big asset,” Farinola said. “His background in coaching is big and he knows the league well.”

So Farinola will continue to coach bowling in the winter and golf in the spring, but he now adds a third sport, like many of the athletes do, at North Arlington High School.

Missing girl returns/ NPD blotter

A Nutley teen reported missing on Thursday, June 26, is back safe, police said.

Eva Simon, 14, returned home on Friday to get some clothes and officers picked her up on Washington Ave., according to Sgt. Anthony Montanari.

June 22 

Someone removed the rear bumper from a 2004 silver Subaru Impreza parked on Stager St. and left it on the steps next to the front entrance of the victim’s residence during the night. Police said there were handprints on the vehicle’s roof and small dents on the hood.

June 23 

At 1:29 a.m., police responded to the New Jersey Transit Garage on Washington Ave. on a report of criminal mischief. At the location, police found a homeless man with several big cuts to his face and pieces of glass in his hair and luggage cart and a broken glass pane at the bus stop waiting area. The man told police he was resting in the bus stop, heard the sound of glass breaking and noticed he was bleeding.

A San Antonio Ave. resident reported that, since May, the block has experienced several incidents of flat, punctured and slashed tires on parked vehicles. Police said they have no suspects at this time.

June 24 

A Washington Ave. resident reported an illegal dumping incident. The resident told police that for the second straight week, during the late hours on Monday into Tuesday, someone has been tossing garbage at their curbside. In the most recent episode, Police said they found multiple empty boxes of Dixie Belle peaches and Del Monte Gold pineapples at the location.

At 1:01 p.m., police were sent to a Franklin Ave. business where the front door window had been shattered from the outside, causing an estimated $500 in damage.

June 25 

An intruder broke into a Passaic Ave. apartment and, once inside, pushed the thermostat all the way up for high heat, the tenant told police. Police surmised that the burglar entered through a window near the rear door of the building. Police said they found two clear handprints on the window, indicating that the intruder pushed it open, breaking both panes, reached through and unlocked a storm window to gain entry. It appeared that nothing was missing and it’s unclear how the intruder got out, police said. The incident was logged at 1:33 a.m.

A resident parked their vehicle in a High St. lot and, upon returning, noticed that a tire rim was bent, leading the resident to suspect that someone tried to pry off the hubcab. Police received the report at 11:50 a.m.

At 5:30 p.m., a Hagert St. tenant called police about a burglary. Upon returning home, the resident said they found their bedroom closet door open and a guitar and case, both valued at more than $2,000, missing. Police believe the thief got in through the apartment’s rear window. Detectives are investigating.

While on patrol, at 10:48 p.m., police noticed a water fountain in Flora Louden Park on Hancox Ave. spouting water. After discovering that the spigot had been damaged, police alerted Parks Department personnel responded to shut off the water.

June 26 

At 6:27 a.m., patrol units found that someone had used what appeared to be blue spray paint to write graffiti in various locations of Yanticaw Park off Vincent Place. Police said that words they described as “foul, discriminatory, and too distasteful to print” were painted on the pedestrian bridge, the bridge wall, park benches and a concrete pad. Police notified the Essex County Sheriff’s Office of the incident.

At 11:14 a.m., police responded to the AT&T site on Cook Road on a report of theft. A company employee told police that while making his rounds, noticed that two copper ground plates, valued at $100 apiece, had been stolen. Police said the equipment is surrounded by a fence and a gate, which was locked when the employee arrived to conduct his check.

At 7:38 p.m., a Stager St. resident reported the theft of a white iPad Mini, a black Samsung Galaxy phone and a black iPod Touch, with a combined value of about $1,182, from their home.

 June 27 

Between 2:15 and 2:50 a.m., police received reports of car alarms set off along Cathedral, Glendale and Grant Aves. A Grant Ave. resident told police they saw two individuals running from behind their vehicle after the alarm had sounded. One was described as a heavyset black male, bald and wearing a dark-colored T-shirt and light-colored shorts. Police said they noticed no damage to any of the vehicles whose alarms had sounded and no entry was made to the car parked on Grant.

– Ron Leir

Then & Now

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The ‘Then’ photo, from what was apparently a local postcard, is not dated, but those postcards usually come from the pre-World War I years. The view is of Stuyvesant Ave. from Grand Place in Kearny. When first seeing it, we wondered how we could figure out the precise perspective so we could take a current photo. We shouldn’t have worried. Look at the house on the far left. A century later, it still stands on the northeast corner. The home now is a pretty cream color, and wrought iron has replaced the wooden porch pillars, but little else on the exterior has changed. Architectural details like the shutters and the bay window have been preserved.

The view is looking east, past Kearny Ave. to the meadows beyond. We can’t be sure, but along the curb are what could be hitching posts and mounting blocks, accoutrements for horses and riders. We also can’t tell if the street is paved, but that hardly mattered since there’s no traffic, equine or otherwise.

– Karen Zautyk

Breast cancer survivor celebrates with SMMC patients

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Newark resident Elsie Best celebrated five years cancer-free this June by bringing presents to those undergoing cancer treatments at St. Michael’s Medical Center (SMMC) from her church group, the Missionary Society at Philemon Missionary Baptist Church, Newark. Patients received gift bags filled with toiletries, warm socks, peppermint candies and Bibles. Best also presented the SMMC Foundation with a check for $100 designated to The Cancer Center.

“God kept me here for a reason: to be an advocate for cancer survivorship,” said Best. “I am truly blessed to share this gift and to be able to come back and see all of the wonderful people who cared for me.”

After her diagnosis, Best sought treatment at the Cancer Center at SMMC and The Connie Dwyer Breast Center. While undergoing treatment, she sat on the Cancer Center’s Quality Improvement subcommittee, representing patients and offering input on process improvement. She also attended the SMMC Breast Cancer Support Group, which inspired to her to start her own support group at her church.

“Talking to someone who has been through this before makes it easier to relate,” said Best of her support group. “We’re seeing more and more people find the strength to reach out and be proactive in getting the help they need.”

In the future, Best says she plans to continue speaking to those who are undergoing cancer treatment and share her experience, faith and experience of survivorship.

To see more photos from Best’s visit to SMMC, visit www.facebook.com/SaintMichaelsMedicalCenter. To learn more about The Cancer Center at SMMC or The Connie Dwyer Breast Center, visit www.smmcnj.org or call 973-877-5000.

Third Wave Café marks grand opening

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Third Wave Café, 525 Riverside Ave., Lyndhurst (near King’s Court), celebrated its grand opening on June 28, with Mayor Robert Giangeruso performing the ribbon cutting. Open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Third Wave Café’s menu includes savory and sweet crepes, paninis, organic coffee and teas and fresh squeezed juices. Third Wave Café offers a curbside pick-up service. Patrons may call in advance and pick-up their orders curbside and have it delivered to their car. For more information, call Third Wave Café at 201-528- 8163.

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Ready to handle dental emergency?

Little Johnny comes running in from the backyard, his brand-new permanent tooth in his hand. What do you do? Your husband arrives home early from his baseball game, with only a swollen face and a broken tooth to show for his sporting efforts. How do you cope?

You awaken early one morning with a nagging pain that can only signal a toothache – and it promises to get worse as the day goes on. You are planning to leave on vacation soon. Yipes!

Most of us recognize the importance of knowing some first aid procedures for emergency situations. Yet dental emergencies are frequently overlooked, perhaps because they are generally not life-threatening. Of course, that doesn’t make them any less painful, a fact acknowledged by the doctors of The Smile and Implant Center, 837 Kearny Ave. Many people don’t realize that, in each of these dental emergencies, there are simple but effective steps to take which can minimize both the discomfort involved and the chance of lasting damage. And as you might expect, the first step in any dental emergency is not to panic. Try to react as calmly as possible, especially if you’re dealing with a child who may already be frightened.

Each of the emergencies given above requires a specific approach. With little Johnny, for example, speed is essential. If the tooth is dirty, it’s okay to rinse it gently, but don’t scrub it. Try to place the tooth in its socket and hold it there. If that’s not possible, place it in a container of milk or cool water. Go to your dentist right away, preferably within 30 minutes. If you’re quick, there’s a good chance it can be re-implanted. A similar approach is needed when a tooth is broken. Use warm water to gently clean the injured area, and go to the dentist immediately. In addition, cold compresses may be useful to reduce swelling.

Finally, there’s the ominous toothache. It may help to keep irritants away from the tooth. Rinse with warm water, and use dental floss to remove any food trapped in the area. Do not use heat; cold compresses on the outside of the cheek may reduce swelling. And never place aspirin on or near the aching tooth, as some folk remedies suggest. That does much more harm than good. Again, see your dentist as soon as possible.

The Smile and Implant Center in Kearny welcomes new patients on an emergency basis or otherwise. Emergency patients are seen the same day. For more information or a complimentary consultation, call 201-991-1055 or visit their website at www.TheSmileandImplantCenter.com to learn more about The Smile and Implant Center and the unique services they offer to their patients.

Obituaries

Bret Allan Shugrue 

Bret Allan Shugrue, 54, of Honesdale, Pa., formerly of Kearny and Florida, died unexpectedly June 21 at his home. Born Sept. 15, 1959, in Newark, Bret was the son of the late William and Florence Marie Beck Shugrue. A hard worker, Bret held many jobs over the years. While living in Florida, he was a foreman at a Walmart warehouse. He enjoyed motorcycles and riding his motorcycle. Bret also enjoyed boxing and watching it on television.

Surviving are his sons Bret Shugrue of Denver, Col., and Brad Shugrue of North Arlington; his brother Willliam Shugrue Jr. and girlfriend Barbara of Kearny; his aunt Genevieve Hyl of Spotswood; nieces and nephews Laura Kirst of Manalapan, William R. Shugrue of Beckett, Mass., Christa Toro of Sherman Oaks, Calif., Kelly Richie of Maple Shade and Bryan Shugrue of Kearny.

Private cremation services were held at the convenience of his family. Arrangements were by Hessling Funeral Home, Inc., Honesdale, Pa.

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