Campaign’s over: you can breathe easy new (or can you)?

By Kevin Canessa Jr.

By the time you’re reading this, Election Day 2016 will either be in full-swing – or it’ll be completely over. And for any of you who followed this election process for the last 1 ½ years, if that’s not a welcome notion, I’m not sure what would or could be. But I’m not going to write about the election – all that is to be said has been said, hopefully. Unless, of course, there’s a 2000-like recount – but you can get that news anywhere else if it happens.

With that said, this week, instead, I’ll write about a hodgepodge of things happening both locally and nationally.

What was with that back page?

Got several emails over the last week asking about Page 28 of last week’s edition of The Observer. I want to clarify that that page was a paid-for advertisement by a private citizen who also occupies that same page every other week of the year with a business ad. We were asked why we, The Observer, endorsed Donald Trump – and the answer is simply that we did not endorse Trump or any other candidate for the presidency.

We were also asked if we’d accept ads from groups such as the KKK or the Westboro Baptist Church – and the answer to that question is very likely “no.” The management of this newspaper reserves the right to accept or reject any advertising. For any reason. In last week’s case, the ad was paid for by a long-time advertiser who is well-respected in our community. Had he wanted an ad to support another candidate, we’d have run that ad, too.

But the KKK and the Westboro Baptist Church – no.


Those blue lines?

If you’ve driven along Kearny Ave., near Town Hall lately, you’ve no doubt seen a blue line painted in-between the solid double yellow lines. The blue was placed there as a way to show support to local police for the incredibly difficult and dangerous work they do. Lyndhurst has done the same – and we’ve heard other towns in our readership may follow suit. Well done. Meanwhile, in Harrison and Lyndhurst, several private citizens have paid for and distributed lawn signs that read: “We Support our Police” or something similar.

PAWrade was great

The 2016 PAWrade, organized for the last three years by the Kearny Urban Enterprise Zone and its coordinator John Peneda was tremendous. I want to thank Peneda and Linda D’Isa for allowing me the judge the parade alongside Barbara Cifelli-Sherry and Donna McClure. It was a great day that brought many people to Kearny from other towns.

Halloween parade was, too

The day after the PAWrade, Ralph Cattafi pulled of a great Kearny Halloween parade. With weather in the 70s that day, the crowd was fantastic. As usual, the mayor and Town Council dressed up. For a few hours, Fred Flintstone ruled Kearny. And aside from a few performances at the review stand by Town Hall that went just a bit too long, the parade was otherwise flawless. Nicely done, Ralph and crew.

‘This Is Us’ is a must

If you haven’t yet seen the new NBC drama “This Is Us,” you really should check it out. The show wasn’t on my radar at all leading up to the fall, but my dear friend Carmela Antonelli basically made me watch the pilot episode – and I’ve been hooked ever since. The premise: A young couple in 1981 are about to have triplets, but one of the three babies dies at birth. While they’re in hospital, a young boy is dropped off by his birth father at a fire house – and the couple learns he’s in need of a home. Devastated by the loss of one of the triplets, the couple ultimately adopts the boy.

The twist: The couple and their two surviving babies are white – and the boy they adopt is black. It all leads to some incredible storylines as the show flashes back and forth from the 80s to the present.

Check it out if you get a chance – you won’t be disappointed. The first few episodes are available now onDemand (at least they are on Comcast – not sure about FiOS or DirecTV). The show airs regularly at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC (but not Tuesday, Nov. 8 – something somewhat important is preempting the show this week).

Lowe on ‘Code Black’

Continuing on TV shows, Rob Lowe has joined the cast of “Code Black,” which is finally the medical drama all “ER” fans have been longing for since the show ended in 2009. The show takes place in a hospital that mirrors a real one in Los Angeles (it was featured in a documentary a few years ago) – and that more days than not enters into “Code Black,” a term used to describe when the number of patients far exceeds a hospital’s capacity.

Lowe has been a tremendous addition to the show – and for fans of “The West Wing,” his presence has been more than welcome.

“Code Black” airs 10 p.m. Wednesdays on CBS.

That’s all for now. Happy Election Week! See you back here in three weeks.

The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the writer. Reach Kevin Canessa Jr. by email at or at

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.