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August 21, 2013 • • Vol CXXVI, No. 13 COVERING: BELLEVILLE • BLOOMFIELD Dark day in Kearny history • EAST NEWARK • HARRISON • KEARNY • LYNDHURST • NORTH ARLINGTON • NUTLEY ‘All aboard’ for new PATH station By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent By Karen Zautyk Observer Correspondent KEARNY – “At 5:50 p.m., this date, August 19 . . .” the police report reads, “a terrific explosion was heard in Kearny and about the same time an alarm of fire was sent in over Fire Box 121, located at Belgrove Dr. and Passaic Ave.” If you didn’t hear anything on Aug. 19, don’t be concerned; the sound of the “terrific explosion” echoes now only through history. The date was Aug. 19, 1943. This Monday marked the 70th anniversary of a local tragedy that claimed the lives of 13 people and injured many more. A few older folk remember the day, some of their children recall hearing stories about it, however, most people in this town and the surrounding communities apparently have no knowledge of the event. This included your correspondent. I was enlightened last week by Officer Tom Wilgus of the Kearny Police Department who works in the Records Bureau and who came across the 70-year-old police file on the case --- which, as far as we know, could still be an open case on the federal level. Early this year, Sgt. Pat Sweeney, who heads the bureau, was going through some see BLAST page 07 Photo by Ron Leir; inset image courtesy Port Authority of N.Y. & N.J. Harrison Mayor Ray McDonough (l.) thanks Gov. Chris Christie for helping expedite work on new PATH station, reflected in conceptual rendering below. HARRISON – Gov. Chris Christie made it official. Last Friday, welcomed by cheers from a partisan crowd, the governor came to Harrison to declare that the long-awaited $256 million upgrade of the Harrison PATH station has begun. That was music to the ears of Harrison Mayor Ray McDonough, local developers and organized labor, all of whom attended the gubernatorial announcement, held on the east side of Frank E. Rodgers Blvd. South where the new station will rise. McDonough called the commuter rail project “the cornerstone” of the town’s $1 billion makeover of its waterfront redevelopment area and insisted that the overhaul of the existing 77-year-old station “wouldn’t have happened without Gov. Christie.” Earlier this year, McDonough, a longtime Democrat, said he was supporting the GOP governor’s bid see PATH page 10 Trailers at the ready at KMUA site By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent they can move into temporary quarters. In late April, the KMUA KEARNY – hired Daskal General ConThe office trailers are on tractors of Wallington to tear site but so far, they’re sitting down its existing offices, empty. replace a water main and Such is the situation at the build new offices at a cost of Kearny Municipal Utilities Au- $668,900. thority at the end of Central Daskal was the lowest of Ave. where its five employees five bidders, with prices rangawait utility hookups before ing up to a high of $1.3 million. The existing KMUA facility is a cramped space compromised by leaks and seepage from the elements – a condition exacerbated by superstorm Sandy – that has outlived its usefulness, officials said. Initially, KMUA Executive Director Kevin O’Sullivan said, there was a delay moving the job ahead in “getting 201-991-1300 KEARNY OFFICE 213 Kearny Ave, Kearny, New Jersey the contract executed and the insurance bond secured, so we held off on signing until we got all the documents.” Now, O’Sullivan said, “we’re working on our temporary utility connections for the trailers.” Last week, hookups for plumbing and electrical outlets were due to be completed. see KMUA page 05 201-460-8000 LYNDHURST OFFICE Semiao & Associates TO SEECENTURY OUR AD THIS PLEASEMOBILE! TURN TO PAGE 24 23 21WEEK, HAS GONE 761 Ridge Road, Lyndhurst, New Jersey Get CENTURY 21 Real Estate Mobile App. Visit

Aug. 21, 2013 Edition of The Observer

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