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Category: News

Ice storm took its toll on local roads

By Karen Zautyk
Observer Correspondent 


By the time you read this, we all may be trapped inside by a blizzard — if the current weather forecasts are correct. But it doesn’t necessarily take heavy snow to create havoc. Sometimes, a coating of ice is sufficient.

Last week began with an ice storm on Sunday. By the end of the day, there were news reports of more than 400 motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey.

That’s frightening enough, but consider this: That tally of 400, law enforcement told us, was likely just the number recorded by the State Police. It would not have taken into account all the accidents reported by the local police departments in all the communities throughout New Jersey.

In Kearny, on Sunday, Jan. 18, there were 48 reported MV accidents between 7:16 a.m. and 5:11 p.m. Repeat: 48. The first was on Fish House Road; the last, on Hackensack Ave. Those were both in South Kearny, but don’t think the residential area of town was spared. Read more »

Bracing for funding shift


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 


For the past 37 years, the Kearny nonprofit Pathways to Independence Inc. has helped those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live independently in their communities.

Currently, from its 3-level, 18,000 square foot headquarters at Kingsland and Bergen Aves., it offers on-site adult training skills for 78 clients, along with job skills, extended employment and paid sub-contract work for 66 individuals, said Pathways Executive Director Alvin Cox.

It also arranged for the placement of 12 clients at “supportive employment” opportunities at job sites in the community, he added.

And, “within the next year,” Cox said that Pathways hopes to be expanding to afford more on-site day training “for those not ready to get a job in the community.” Read more »

A new ‘acquisition’


Tim Bixler, of The Bixler Group Real Estate and Insurance and his wife, Charissa Bixler, welcomed their daughter, Addison Paige Bixler, on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 1:20 p.m. Big brother Brayden is beyond excited. Only a few more years until she will be able to help you with your real estate and insurance needs.

3 nominees vie for vacant council seat


By Ron Leir
Observer Correspondent 


Three political novices – all women – were under consideration for appointment to the First Ward seat on the Kearny Town Council that was left vacant Jan. 5 by the resignation of Alexa Arce.

A decision was expected by the council at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 27. The council was due to interview the nominees, before the meeting, at 6 p.m., in the council chambers.

“These are three good candidates,” Mayor Alberto Santos told The Observer last week after local members of the county Democratic Committee (chaired by Santos) convened Jan. 20 at the American Legion post to choose three people whose names would be presented to the council for its review.

“This will be difficult to choose,” the mayor added, referring to the list of nominees selected by the committee. “They are all First Ward residents and all involved with the community.”

They were: Marytrine DeCastro, Sonia Hill and Jenny Mach. Read more »


A story in the Jan. 13 issue of The Observer about a fire at Plaque Art Creations in Harrison incorrectly reported what the factory made. It has manufactured plaster moldings.

around town


Belleville Public Library and Information Center’s Children’s Room, 221 Washington Ave., announces the following activities:

  • A Hibernation Party kicks off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7. Children are invited to create a wintry craft and enjoy hot chocolate and other treats. Children should come in their pajamas and bring your favorite stuffed friend.
  • Pajama Storytime is set for Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m.

For more information, call 973-450-3434.


Bloomfield Public Library, 90 Broad St., hosts a Book Club meeting Feb. 2, 6:45 to 7:45 p.m., in the conference room to discuss “The Shack” by William P. Young. For more information or for help in locating a copy of the book, call the reference desk at 973-566- 6200, ext. 219 or 220. Admission is free.

East Newark 

West Hudson Brave Women Fighting Breast Cancer meets the last Friday of every month, 7 to 9 p.m., at the East Newark Senior Center, 37 President St. For more information, call Emma at 201-998-6828, Rosa at 201-246-7750, Fatima at 973- 485-4236 or email emidura2@ yahoo.com.


The Salvation Army, 443 Chestnut St., offers computer classes Mondays and Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to noon. The fee is $30 for 12 hours of instruction. The course includes instruction in basic computer skills plus Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. For more information, call the office at 201-991-1115 or Pete at 201-889- 1352.

Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave., announces free programs for children in February:

  • Preschool Play and Story Time, for ages up to 5 with adult participation, take place Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to noon. Classes repeat Thursdays, 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. There will be no 11:45 a.m. classes on Feb. 12 and 26.
  • At the Branch library, 759 Kearny Ave., Preschool Play and Story Time will be held Thursdays, 10:15 to 11 a.m. There is no class on Feb. 12.

The Presbyterian Boys-Girls Club, 663 Kearny Ave., hosts the East Coast Professional Wrestlers on Friday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m. The show’s main event features hometown hero Jason Cage in a street fight against Draven West. A battle royal will also be held, with wrestlers Colossus, Rocky Jones, Sunny Kiss and Mike Capp.

Advance tickets are available for $12 at the PBGC; Sunset Deli, 680 Kearny Ave.; and Big Nick’s Pizza, 72 Davis Ave. Or call Tom Fraser at 201-991- 6734.


The Humane Society of Bergen County, 221-223 Stuyvesant Ave., is offering a supply of dog food, both canned and dry, to those unable to feed their dog, due to unemployment, disability or any other financial difficulty. Just stop by or call 201-896-9300 for more information. Hours are: Mondays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays to Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Knights of Columbus Council 2396 has rescheduled a Tricky Tray, originally set for Friday, Jan. 16, to Friday, Feb. 20, at the Senior Center, 250 Cleveland Ave. The $10 admission includes coffee plus one prize sheet of tickets. No alcohol is permitted. No tickets will be sold at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, call Steve Cortese at 201-657-0800 or Sal Russo at 201-446-7244.

Lyndhurst Police Emergency Squad holds its annual Tricky Tray fundraiser Feb. 19 at The Fiesta, 255 Rt. 17 S, Wood- Ridge. Doors open at 7 p.m. Drawing starts at 8 p.m. A variety of ticket packages are available at different prices. For more information, call 201- 804-2469, email trickytray@ emergencysquad.com or visit lyndhurstnj.org.

Lyndhurst Department of Parks and Recreation sponsors a trip to Caesar’s Casino, Atlantic City, Friday, Jan. 30. Tickets are $22. To purchase tickets, visit the Parks Department or call 201-804- 2482 to reserve a seat.

New Jersey Meadowlands Commission announces its sixth annual Free Super Bird Sunday walk Sunday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m. to noon, at the Meadowlands Environment Center, 2 DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst. The walk is held in conjunction with the Bergen County Audubon Society. Prizes will be awarded to any participant who is the first to spot a bird that has the same name as an NFL team – raven, falcon, eagle, cardinal, (wood)packer and seahawk (osprey).

To register, call Don Torino of the BCAS at 201-230- 4983 or go to www.njmeadowlands.gov and click on “Events.”

For more information, call 201-777-2431.

Lyndhurst Public Library’s Winter/Spring Storytime, for ages 3 to 4 1/2, is available for two sessions at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and will be offered every Thursday from Feb. 19 to May 14 in the children’s room at the library, 355 Valley Brook Ave. Registration deadline is Feb. 13.

To register, call the library at 201-804-2478.

North Arlington 

North Arlington Seniors Inc. (Tuesday Club) sponsors a trip to Sands Casino in Pennsylvania Feb. 5. The bus leaves at 9 a.m. Non-members are welcome. Call Rose Florio at 201-991-2423.

The American Legion Alexander Stover Post 37, 222 River Road, meets Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. All veterans are invited to attend. For more information, call 201- 214-8253.

3 arrested in Nutley robbery



At 12:50 a.m., Jan. 18, a Nutley police officer noticed three young men fleeing a Whitford Ave. location. Police said the three entered a black Subaru, which the officer felt was suspicious and stopped the vehicle. It was shortly after this that headquarters received and transmitted a call reporting, that a 17-year-old boy had just been assaulted and robbed, near Tennis Place.

After the victim identified the three as the assailants, detectives were able to recover the robbery proceeds from the suspect vehicle that belonged to the victim, police said.

The three suspects were identified as Carlos Vidreiro, 18, of Belleville along with two other juveniles, report said. All three were charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, with Vidreiro getting an additional charge for employing a juvenile in the commission of a crime, according to police.

Police said Vidreiro was transported to the Essex County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail, while the two juveniles were transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Newark, pending a court appearance.

The victim, although visibly upset, sustained minor injuries.

Chief Thomas Strumolo said that if not for the quick actions of this patrol officer, the actors may have gotten away. He commended the officer, and added that these are very serious charges with serious consequences.

Mayor/Police Director Alphonse Petracco said he was grateful the juvenile wasn’t seriously injured, and feared what could’ve happened. He said when young people from another town come into Nutley to commit crimes, it is a crime against everyone in the town and it will not be tolerated.

3 displaced, 1 injured in Belleville fire



Three township residents were displaced and one was injured by a fire that heavily damaged a King St. dwelling on Sunday, Jan. 25, according to the Belleville Fire Department.

Battalion Fire Chief Martin Lutz said township fire personnel responded to an alarm of fire at a two-story brick residence at 27 King St. at about 10 a.m.

Lutz said the first units to arrive spotted heavy smoke coming from the second floor.

“When they tried going up the stairwell, they were pushed back by the heavy volume of fire,” Lutz said.

A look at a fire that heavily damaged a King St. dwelling on Sunday, Jan. 25, in Belleville.

Belleville Fire Dept. photos

A look at a fire that heavily damaged a King St. dwelling on Sunday, Jan. 25, in Belleville.

A look at a fire that heavily damaged a King St. dwelling on Sunday, Jan. 25, in Belleville.
Windows on the King St. and Cross Place sides of the building burst as a result of the interior build-up of heat inside, allowing fire and smoke to vent, he said.

With flames extending from the second floor through the cockloft to the roof, firefighters trained streams of water from an aerial truck and three pumpers on to the building, he said.

Lutz said the tenant on the second floor – where the fire originated – managed to get out on his own power but received second- and third-degree burns to his hands and was transported to St. Barnabas Hospital’s Burn Unit, where he was treated and released later that day.

Read more »

From Kearny Mayor Alberto Santos … RE: the snow emergency

2014-07-16 09_41_31-428 Kearny Ave - Google Maps

The Kearny Office of Emergency Management, in coordination with the Kearny Police and Fire departments, Kearny Emergency Rescue Squad, Office of Mayor Alberto G. Santos, Town Administrator Michael Martello, the Kearny School District, Kearny Health and Public Works Departments, and the South Kearny Municipal Utilities Authority are preparing for the major winter storm expected to impact the region tonight and tomorrow.  Residents are advised of the following:

1. The Town’s main roadways will take priority, so do not leave parked vehicles on the following streets during the storm or they will be towed Monday evening:

entire length of Kearny Ave;

entire length of Belgrove Drive;

Midland Ave from Belgrove Drive to Schuyler Ave;

south side of Afton St from Belgrove Drive to Passaic Ave;

Davis Ave from Midland to Dukes;

Elm St from Midland Ave to the Belleville Pike; and

Bergen Ave from Passaic Ave to the DPW garage.

Read more »

Closures for Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 26 & 27 (ongoing list)

closed sign

Here’s an ongoing list of local closures as of 5:39 p.m., Jan. 26. We’ll update this post as new information is available to us.

• North Arlington Public Schools, closed Jan. 27.
• North Arlington Borough Hall, closed Jan. 27
• State offices, closed now and Jan. 27.
• Nutley Library, closed Jan. 26 at 1 p.m.; unknown whether it will open tomorrow.
• Kearny Public Schools, closed Jan. 27
• The last NJ Transit trains and buses will depart at 8 p.m., Monday, Jan. 26. Reports say NJ Transit buses may return Wednesday — and trains will not return to service until Thursday.