Teens head to camp this week and will bring positive message back to peers

By Kevin Canessa

This week, a group of Kearny teenagers head out to a camp in Warren County — it’s called the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute — and whilst there, they will strategize ways to “create positive changes in themselves, their schools and their communities.”

The teens’ participation is sponsored by the Kearny Coalition, under the leadership of Jack Corbett Sr., Jane Mackesy and Cathy Santos. Upon return, the teens will work with their adult counterparts to develop an “action plan to help divert at-risk youth from falling prey to potentially addictive drug habits.”

In a story my colleague Ron Leir wrote a few weeks ago, Mackesy told him it’ll be a work-in-progress as the teens will survey their peers in the fall to get their thoughts on substance abuse.

No matter what happens, these teens are doing a tremendous service for our town and for their schools. And this is just another instance of the exemplary work the coalition continues to do. These teens could be doing anything, really — it’s the penultimate week of summer vacation, after all — and they’re giving up their own time to ensure addiction doesn’t spiral out of control among their peers and at their high schools.

In my mind, it doesn’t get much better than that. At all. Great job, campers, and great job, Kearny Coalition.

An excellent concert in NA

Last week, I had a chance to go to one of North Arlington’s summer concerts at Riverside Park off of River Road. This one featured The Mahoney Brothers, who put on a show called “Jukebox Heroes Live.” While I wasn’t sure what to expect from the show, I left having seen a great show.

The group — somehow — had people on the stage who looked and sounded a lot like Neil Diamond, Willie Nelson and several other acts from the ‘70s and ‘80s. And they didn’t disappoint — at all. The Diamond and Nelson look-a-likes were so good that if you closed your eyes and simply listened to “Sweet Caroline” or “On the Road Again,” you would have thought you were listening to the real singers.

This was a great night — suitable for all ages — and I am very glad I was there. (The next and final concert is at 7 p.m., Aug. 28 — same location, featuring a band called Garden State Radio, that features tunes from the ‘80s. ‘90s and ‘00s.) And it didn’t cost concert-goers a penny.

Perhaps the most intriguing element of the concert was that a local group of Sikh Americans set up a canopy where they were giving out free lemonade, iced tea and other cool refreshments for concert-goers to drink to keep hydrated on a somewhat warm and humid night.

The group, as part of its faith, is known to do things to better their home community. And a concert organizer told me they wanted to make the concert even better for the attendees. It was absolutely great to see — and it certainly did make the concert better. Bravo.

Here comes the fall

Don’t want to be a downer to all you summer lovers out there, but one month from today, it will officially be autumn — the greatest season of the year. Did this summer fly by or what?

That’s all for now. Here’s wishing everyone a great week ahead. See you back here in this space soon.

The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the writer, Kevin Canessa, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Observer, its owners or its management. Feedback is welcome and encouraged. Contact Canessa by email at kc@theobserver.com.

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.