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Have you seen this alleged Nutley burglar?

NUTLEY — Police say they are investigating a diversion burglary that allegedly occurred on Fischer Ave. on Dec. 9. An elderly resident told police that a man banged on her front door at 3 p.m., Dec. 9, claiming there was […]


Help sought in cold case

By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent  KEARNY –  Somebody knows something. Six years ago, an 87-year-old man was deliberately run down by a car in a South Kearny parking lot and robbed while he lay helpless on the ground. He died of his injuries the next day. Authorities ruled the death […]

100G for Arena tax case

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  HARRISON –  Now that the state Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether the New York Red Bulls professional soccer team should pay taxes on the stadium and the land it occupies in Harrison, the town has hired an outside law firm to […]


Staffing Skyway fire-watch

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  KEARNY – For the first time, members of the Kearny Fire Department will have a shot at off-duty pay, much like their counterparts at the Police Department have enjoyed for many years, although there is a sunset provision for the privilege. This opportunity […]


New No. 2 has seen it all

By Ron Leir  Observer Correspondent  LYNDHURST –  The Lyndhurst Board of Education has revived the position of assistant superintendent, albeit on an interim basis, with the hiring of 50-year educator Jeffrey P. Feifer. Feifer, who came aboard Sept. 25, was appointed to serve “no more than 120 days,” to […]


Nutley resident: Door was open, and I didn’t open it


Jan. 31
At 6:05 p.m., a Kingsland Ave. homeowner near Alexander Ave. notified police that they’d arrived home and discovered the front door wide open. Police said it appeared that entry was made through the back door and that all bedrooms had been ransacked.

Feb. 1
The victim of a theft told police they went to a bank ATM at Vreeland and Franklin Aves. to withdraw $50 but, after having trouble getting money from the machine, went inside to get the money. After checking their account later, they noticed that someone had withdrawn $400 from their account. Police said the victim believed that they had failed to clear the ATM and that the person waiting in line behind them took the money out of the account. The victim described the suspected robber as a Latina woman, about 5-feet-five, about 115 pounds, wearing a wool cap and shoulder-length hair, driving an SUV parked in a bus stop. Read more »

Harrison police: 16-year-old had pot, heroin on him


Feb. 1

At 10:58 a.m., police said a patrol officer in an unmarked car near Hamilton St. and Davis Ave. observed a male and female participate in what appeared to be a drug transaction, with the female allegedly passing cash to a 16-year-old boy who handed the female an unknown object and quickly walked away east on Hamilton. After calling for backup, the officer approached the teen and briefly struggled with him before taking him into custody. Searching the boy, police said they found a prescription bottle containing five clear plastic baggies of suspected marijuana and three glassine bags of suspected heroin which they seized. After getting the boy’s mother’s consent to search the boy’s bedroom, police said they recovered drug paraphernalia and multiple small empty clear plastic baggies intended for distribution. The teen was later released to his parent by county juvenile authorities, pending charges being filed. Read more »

Likely storm cancels NA Lifeline screening


The borough health department has announced that due to the pending snow storm, the Lifeline Screening that was scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday, Feb.13) at the senior center will be canceled.

Loyal civil servant kept his finger on town’s pulse


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent


After nearly four decades as a Health Department employee, the last 17 as the chief, John Sarnas, 64, will be retiring on April 1.

Mayor Alberto Santos said the town is soliciting applications for a replacement. Submission deadline is Feb. 21.

“We have a need for a full-time person – not someone to share with another town – who will be asked, since our staff is limited, not only to oversee the many services provided to the public but also, in some cases, to implement them,” the mayor said.

The list of health-related programs in Kearny is many and varied, including from infant vaccinations, flu and rabies shots, Women Infants & Children (WIC), Meals on Wheels, sanitation inspections, dog licensing, animal control, coordinating with the county on mosquito control and other health issues, among others. Sarnas also chairs the N.J. Mosquito Commission.

“We also have a lot of work to do on health education,” Santos added. Sarnas, who began his long career with Kearny as a health inspector on May 1, 1974, is only the fourth health officer in the town’s history since the title came into being. His predecessors were: Edward Grosvenor (1978-1997), Walter Nicol (1954-1978) and Amos Field (1939-1954).

“The profession has advanced greatly,” Sarnas said. “When I started, all you needed was a bachelor’s degree but [since then], the state has required you to have a master’s degree in public health. Even the requirements for sanitarians have been upgraded.” Sarnas got his master’s of science degree in health administration from the former Jersey City State College. Read more »

Pleads to bank fraud

Old scale

A Lyndhurst woman faces 30 years in prison after admitting to her role in what federal prosecutors described as a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme that caused at least $2 million in losses.

Klary (a/k/a/ “Patty”) Arcentales, 45, pleaded guilty last week in Federal Court, Newark, to an indictment charging her with four counts of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

According to the documents filed in the case and statements made in court, from about 2007 until 2012, Arcentales engaged in the conspiracy through a Woodbridge- based company called Premier Mortgage Services, where she was employed as a loan officer.

Authorities said she provided false and fraudulent documents to financial institutions in connection with mortgage applications on behalf of “straw buyers,” individuals recruited by co-conspirators and known to have no means of paying the mortgages and no intention of residing at the properties in question.

The conspirators used false bank statements and other documents “to make it appear as though the straw buyers possessed far more assets, and earned far more income, than they actually did,” the indictment read. Read more »

Portuguese monument in preparation


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent


The Portuguese Cultural Association, headed by Jose Maria Matos, will be donating to the Town of Kearny a monument intended as a tribute to the contributions of the Portuguese-American community to the town.

And that monument will be placed in the Frank M. Cardoza Park (actually an extension of Riverbank Park), just north of the intersection of Passaic Ave. and Stevenson Place, west of the benches opposite the on-site parking area.

On Jan. 28, Mayor Alberto Santos and the Town Council voted to accept the gift and agreed to take on the responsibility for its maintenance and upkeep once it has been installed at the park.

The park, developed on the site of the former Maguilian Oil Co., was dedicated Oct. 22, 2013, and named for the late Frank M. Cardoza, a founding member of the old Portuguese Club of Kearny who was deputy mayor from 2000 to 2012 and served as a commissioner on the Board of Health and Urban Enterprise Zone board. He was also a past commander of the American Legion post and United Veterans Organization of West Hudson. Read more »

Delays foreseen in Roche transition


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent


A mixed-use development consisting of light industry, offices, a bio-tech campus, hotel and residential units – all in varying combinations – is being pitched as a conceptual scenario for redeveloping the 118-acre Roche property straddling Nutley and Clifton.

The plan, devised by Perkins Eastman, an international planning and design consultant, and the Princeton- based RESGroup, which provides real estate advisory services, was released late last month by the Joint Repurposing Committee (JRC), consisting of representatives of both communities working with Roche to devise the optimal way to transition the site.

Ultimately, Roche – as the owner of the property – will have final say on the ultimate buyer(s) but wants to work with Nutley and Clifton on achieving the best use or uses for the property.

To that end, the consultants’ plan recommends that the two municipalities consider creating a “Special Zoning District” targeting their respective portions of the Roche campus to accommodate the proposed land uses for the site.

“The Special Zoning District will need to be flexible enough to allow for market demand to be accommodated for each identified proposed use, Light Industrial and Manufacturing, Bio Tech Research, Commercial Office and Continuous Care Retirement Community,” the consultants advise. “The zoning will also have to be specifically developed to limit the types of retail and residential development based upon the municipalities’ requirements.”

Potential impacts on existing retail establishments and on residential density and on public school facilities could be factors that local officials would weigh in their deliberations on the project. Read more »

Reports from the KPD blotter


The pursuit of a stolen vehicle – a chase Kearny police aborted when the thieves started travelling the wrong way on Rt. 280 — came to an end in Newark, where sheriff’s officers caught the car, but, unfortunately, not the culprits.

About 3 p.m. on Jan. 31, the owner of a 2001 Dodge reported it had just been stolen by a group of young males in the vicinity of Stevenson Place and S. Midland Ave. and was heading toward Belgrove Drive.

The KPD issued a BOLO, and soon afterward the car was spotted by Sgt. Robert Maguire near Washington School.

School was just letting out, and the area was filled with children and parents, so Maguire “wisely decided not to pursue,” noted Police Chief John Dowie. But the sergeant did radio a description and direction of flight, southbound on Belgrove.

At Passaic Ave., the car was seen by Officer Jack Corbett, who tried to stop it in East Newark, “but it accelerated and continued into Harrison,” Dowie said.

Corbett pursued it across the Bridge St. bridge and south on Rt. 21 but terminated the chase when the driver entered the Spring St. exit ramp from Rt. 280, heading against the flow of traffic, police said.

The KPD alerted surrounding jurisdictions, and Essex County Sheriff›s officers picked up the pursuit on Central Ave. in Newark, where the auto finally “screeched to a halt” and the four occupants – believed to be in their late teens — scattered, police said. T

he car was returned to its owner. The hunt for the thieves goes on.

Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following: Read more »

Get your kids ready for allergy season!

Dr. Sean Flynn

Dr. Sean Flynn

By Sean Flynn, MD
Guest Columnist

Although it may not seem like it with the barrage of winter weather we’ve received here in New Jersey, allergy season is quickly approaching. And as this cold winter begins to shift into a slightly warmer spring, you can surely expect that pollen and mold will begin to increase in the environment, which means a lot of sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and runny, stuffy, or itchy noses for your little ones (or big ones for your teens). If you want your children to get a jump on allergy season and try to make it more enjoyable, there are a few things you should do, as suggested by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI):

Visit your pediatrician or allergist. It’s always best to be prepared with all the right medications before the season starts, whether that means non-drowsy antihistamines or prescription nasal sprays (nasal steroids). Typically, these medicines should be started at least a week prior to the start of allergy season.

Know your children’s triggers. If your child suffers during the allergy season, the best way to avoid allergy symptoms is to avoid their triggers. A visit to their pediatrician or allergist for an allergy skin test or a blood test can tell you what your child is allergic to whether it’s tree pollen, grass, mold, weeds, dust mites, pet allergens, or all of the above.

Keep your windows and doors closed. Pollen and mold can be carried right into your homes in that nice breeze you might feel through that open window or door, getting right into your children’s eyes and noses.

Check the pollen and mold counts. Check your local weather channels or go online to see how high the levels are. This may make the difference between taking that trip to the playground, and having a family fun day at home.

Time your kids’ activities. Pollen counts are highest in the early and mid-morning so the best bet would be to have the kids wait until the afternoon to go outside and play.

Consider washing out their noses. Rinsing out the nasal passages with normal saline can help reduce their allergy symptoms. Read more »

‘Sprung from cages on Highway 9’




Just twice in my life have I been frozen in my tracks because of music — music so unlike anything I had heard before that it was stunning.

Later in this column, I’ll get to the first time it happened. But I’m starting with the second.

That occurred on a Friday (Saturday?) night in 1975, and I was getting ready to go out. (I ended up being late for the party.)

WNEW-FM was broadcasting a live performance from the Bottom Line in N.Y.C. — some group that was new to me (and a lot of other people, as it turned out).

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine would cite the show as one of the “50 Moments That Changed Rock and Roll.”

When the music started, I stopped — standing in the middle of the room, mesmerized. Who was performing? Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

I have been a fan ever since — although not nearly as big as Chris Christie.

I love Springsteen’s music, but I do not always agree with his political stance. To everything, though, there is an exception, and I am still laughing at the Springsteen- Jimmy Fallon duet on the latter’s show last month. If you missed it, just go to Google or YouTube; the video is all over the web.

Fallon and The Boss took the spotlight about a week after the governor’s two-hour Bridgegate press conference, with a rewrite of “Born to Run.” Below are the lyrics, so you can sing along. Enjoy! Read more »