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August 28, 2013 • • Vol CXXVI, No. 14 COVERING: BELLEVILLE • BLOOMFIELD Drilling to check toxin flow • EAST NEWARK • HARRISON • KEARNY • LYNDHURST • NORTH ARLINGTON • NUTLEY Remembering USS Juneau By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent NUTLEY – Representatives of the Roche Co. offered apologies to the Nutley community last week for not being as forthcoming as they might have been in drilling test wells outside their property in residential areas. The work is part of an environmental checkup being undertaken – onsite and off – by the company to gauge the extent of groundwater contamination that may be flowing from the sprawling Roche site. Roche, which is in the process of shedding its longtime Essex County operations, wants to complete a cleanup before disposing of the 119-acre property off Rt. 3 which overlaps Nutley and neighboring Clifton by 2015. Roche Diagnostics is looking to leave its 18.7-acre Belleville location. For an hour prior to last Tuesday night’s meeting, members of the township governing body quizzed Roche’s Vice President Tom Lyon, Director of Health & Safety Chandra Patel and Senior Counsel Tom Ruby, along with John Trela, senior vice president of TRC Companies, a national environmental/energy/ infrastructure consulting firm retained by Roche, about the company’s recent actions. see ROCHE page 21 Photos courtesy Raymond Testa USS Juneau at its launching from old Federal Shipyard in Kearny. Among the crew was Harrison’s William Meeker, seen here with his mother (inset), before setting sail on an ill-fated voyage. By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent KEARNY – or nine months, two Harrison neighbors kept up a steady correspondence while one remained stateside and the other was F aboard the USS Juneau, sailing in the Pacific during World War II. The sailor was Seaman 2nd Class William G. Meeker Jr., 18, a product of Holy Cross grammar school and Harrison High School’s Class of 1941, who’d enlisted in the Navy right after graduation. And the civilian he was writing to was Winefride L. Blohm, who lived on the same block as Meeker on Jersey St. in Harrison. “The last letter she got was dated Nov. 6, 1942,” said her son-in-law, Raymond Testa, of Royce, Texas, “which was a week before [his] ship went down.” USS anti-aircraft cruiser Juneau was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on Friday, Nov. 13, 1942, in the see JUNEAUpage 08 Pondering future of Gunnell Oval By Ron Leir Observer Correspondent marsh. Earlier this season, based on preliminary findings by Excel KEARNY – Environmental Resources of The fate of Gunnell Oval, North Brunswick showing Kearny’s largest public recrea- materials containing hydrotion complex, is hanging in carbons at scattered locations the balance as the town awaits where soil sampling was done, a consultant’s report on the the town put three playing extent of pollutants found on areas off limits. the sprawling site which lies As a result, the West and between Schuyler Ave. and the North Little League fields and Oval 2, the smaller of two soccer fields at the north end of the complex closest to residential rear yards, were shut down. Signs have been posted warning people to stay off the fields which are enclosed by locked gates. Still available for play were the Little League E field at the southernmost point of the complex, the Pony League 201-991-1300 KEARNY OFFICE 213 Kearny Ave, Kearny, New Jersey field, the softball field and the main soccer field. Still, that status could soon change, if Excel – as its representative recently told the town’s governing body – proceeds with more thorough sampling. But the consensus among town officials is that further testing could simply drag on see GUNNELL page 10 201-460-8000 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. 28, 2013 Edition of The Observer

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