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February 14, 2018 • • Vol. CXXX, No. 40

HIGHLIGHTS To all who celebrate, we wish you a happy St. Valentine’s Day and a blessed Ash Wednesday.



Not all who get help need help, social media reveals By Kevin Canessa

Photo by Lisa Feorenzo

Last month, a massive fire took place at 238-240 Maple St. The residents of the building were helped by countless people in the area. But it appears some, who were not directly affected by the fire, have also asked for help — have been given help — yet still want more help.

Residents beware — when people take to social media after a tragedy looking for help, you have to do your due diligence before offering a helping hand. Here’s a local example. A woman who once lived next door to the home destroyed by fire at 238-240 Maple St. early last month has been using the fire to get help from an unsuspecting public — only her home was not fully damaged in the fire, according to representatives at the See SCAM, Page 26

Kearny cop is cleared in 2016 shooting By Karen Zautyk KEARNY — Following a lengthy and comprehensive investigation into a Kearny police officer’s shooting of a shoplifting suspect at Walmart in 2016, the Hudson County Prosecu-

tor’s Office last week announced it has determined that “the use of deadly force was legally justified” and the case will not be presented to a grand jury. Additionally, Prosecutor Esther Suarez’s statement noted, the results of the investigation and the legal

conclusions reached were reviewed by the state Attorney General’s Office, which agreed with the HCPO’s conclusions. The officer in question reportedly has been on administrative leave pending resolution of the investigation. He has not been publicly identi-

fied. The incident occurred the morning of Sept. 16, 2016, when the officer, in full uniform and driving a marked patrol car, was dispatched to the store on a call “of a shoplifter engaged See CLEARED, Page 24

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KEARNY’S COURTOOM Courts issued a directive to all municipal courts to upgrade security and then pretty much left the means of doing that up to the individual local jurisdictions. “I believe I can now say that all of Hudson County is 100% in compliance,” said Frank Carpenter III, the county’s Presiding Municipal

By Ron Leir KEARNY — It took 12 years but now, finally, the Kearny Municipal Court is truly in safe hands ... from the state’s perspective, anyway. In 2006, the N.J. Administrative Office of the

Court Judge, in whom the state entrusted carrying out its directive in the Hudson Vicinage. Kearny, he said, is, essentially, the last of Hudson’s 12 municipalities to fall into place, with tiny East Newark having been given a sort of exemption due to the borough’s limited resources

Photo by Ron Leir

Retired KPD Lt. Anthony Gouveia, right, prepares to wand someone who is heading into the Kearny Municipal Court.

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property code and health violations, DWI cases and the like? On the surface, maybe not, but there’s a lot of human traffic that passes through the portals of local courts — Carpenter pointed out that 1.2 million cases, or 20% of the entire state’s municipal docket — are handled by Hudson courts, so they’re extraordinarily busy and anything can happen. For the past several weeks, Kearny has had in place a new court security protocol that directs visitors — on days when court is in session — to an elevator in the south wing of Town Hall. A stairwell that leads to the court chambers upstairs is cordoned off to prevent access that way.

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and the court’s relative physical isolation. Many communities were hesitant, Carpenter said, some because the structures housing the courts were “ancient” — presenting the issue of “how do you retrofit modern technology to old buildings?” North Bergen, for example, abandoned its century-old court space after a ceiling collapsed and relocated to a former bank building. Elsewhere, some officials objected to the local costs involved. But ultimately, all found a way. Should a judge and court staff really be worried about safety in a place that typically handles matters like parking tickets, motor vehicle summonses,

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Opinion....................................................................8 Food & Dining Directory.............................................12 Sports & Recreation...................................................13 Health & Wellness Directory.......................................18 Real Estate..............................................................19 Real Estate Directory................................................19 Obituaries...............................................................21 Classifieds...............................................................22 Tax Time.................................................................25 Business Directory....................................................26



IS NOW WELL SECURED People take the lift to the upstairs landing where, immediately upon exiting, they are met by a civilian court attendant who asks them to empty their pockets and purses of any change, jewelry, etc., into a plastic tray. Then, they are directed to walk through the detector to be scanned. If the scanner starts beeping, the attendant deploys a sensor wand to check the visitor’s clothing and check for a metallic source that triggered the alarm. Assuming no weapon is discovered in the process – so far, none has been – the visitor is permitted to enter the corridor leading to the courtroom – and to the violations bureau where tickets/fines may be paid. Meanwhile, a second court attendant is stationed at the landing at the top of the stairwell to guard against any possible intrusions by unauthorized persons and/or to quell any hostile behavior. At the same time, a uniformed member of the KPD is assigned to the courtroom to keep order there. Before the start of each court session – in Kearny, that’s every Thursday, two Monday evenings per month and two sessions monthly for DWI cases exclusively – a

court attendant sweeps the chambers with a concave round inspector mirror attached to an elongated pole to check under benches, seats and desks for any weapons or potentially harmful items. Robert Smith, the town business administrator, said the metal detector — which can run in the $3,000 to $4,000 range — was secured at no cost from the Municipal Division of the County Court Vicinage. He said the Kearny Police Department had access to two sensor wands which retail for under $100 each and the mirror. Smith said the town plans to add yet another security feature with the acquisition and installation of a surveillance camera inside the courtroom Estimated cost: $2,300. That should be in place within two to four weeks, he said. “We’re looking at two other locations for cameras in Town Hall,” he added, but declined to say where. Kearny’s two court attendants — retained as part-time employees — are both former municipal police officers — former Lt. Anthony Gouveia of the KPD and former Jersey City Police Officer Mark Muldoon — both of whom retired last year. Muldoon was assigned

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to the Jersey City Municipal Court for many years. KPD Deputy Chief Scott Macfie said there was a delay in lining up security personnel. “We had advertised originally for Class 2 (armed) special police officers, but we didn’t get any,” he said. “Then we finally hired someone but we lost him when he got a job with the fire department.” Part of the problem recruiting was a state law limiting such employment to one community, he said. Photo by Ron Leir So the switch to civilian KPD Deputy Chief Scott MacFie, left, with Gouveia, prior to a court employees was made. session last week.

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Coffee lovers rejoice: Starbucks is coming to Kearny By Ron Leir KEARNY — A brand name coffee shop and a beauty store chain are targeted for part of Kearny’s Passaic Ave. Redevelopment Area. On Feb. 6, the municipal governing body designated Kearny Holding UE (Urban Edge) LLC as the redeveloper of 175 Passaic Ave., on the river side of the county roadway and referred the redevelopment proposal to the Planning Board for review.

James Turteltaub, an attorney with the Florham Park law firm Carlin & Ward, and Paul Anderson, a consulting engineer based in Boonton, represented the redeveloper at last Tuesday’s meeting and briefly outlined the project. Kearny Holding proposes to place a 2,000 square foot Starbuck’s coffee shop with drive-thru at the southern edge of the L.A. Fitness parking lot, just off Passaic Ave., and to build a 20,000 square foot, single-level addition to the

existing Marshalls discount department store, they said. About half of that new space, at the north end of Marshalls, would house an Ulta Beauty cosmetics and fragrance store and the rest would be earmarked for a not-yet-selected commercial use, they added. As part of the project, Kearny Holding plans to demolish a vacant car wash building on the redevelopment site, south of Bergen Ave., and install an 8-to-10-foot-wide riverfront walkway behind the addition


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and a pedestrian access to Passaic Ave. Fourth Ward Councilman Michael Landy said he was concerned that the northeastern tip of the proposed walkway would be “ending very close to a [municipal] archery range,” thereby potentially jeopardizing the safety of people using the walkway. Mayor Alberto Santos agreed, suggesting, “we will need some type of buffer” to prevent the possibility of stray arrows reaching and harming pedestrians. The town’s consulting engineer Michael Neglia said he would “look at those details” at the appropriate time. And, Santos said, the redeveloper should explore installation of “signage” or “bollards” to help steer

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pedestrians to the walkway which, otherwise, would likely remain hidden to the casual passerby. Neglia advised the governing body that Kearny Holding would “work with us to resolve a drainage issue at Bergen and Passaic.” As of last week, Kearny Holding had yet to file an application for site plan review and/or land use variance applications with the town Planning Board for the project. In its resolution appointing Kearny Holding redeveloper for the site, the mayor and Town Council stipulated that designation “may be withdrawn by the Town if Kearny Holding has See STARBUCKS, Page 25

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Kearny cops cited in fire rescues 3 patrolmen were first on scene at Belgrove Drive blaze

By Karen Zautyk KEARNY — In last week’s issue of The Observer, we reported on a Feb. 3 fire that temporarily displaced 14 people from their home on Belgrove Drive. What we didn’t know at press time was the role three Kearny police officers — Alan Stickno, Matthew Lopez and Victor Girdwood — had played in rescuing the victims. Hopefully, we can rectify this by relaying a KPD memo that was sent to Chief George King. Noting that the trio were “the first emergency personnel on scene” — prior to KFD arrival — it notes that they immediately observed “that the building was occupied by at least one small child on the third floor. The flames were

also immediately observed to be coming out of the front of the house on the second floor and there was a heavy smoke condition.” It continues: “These officers entered the building without concern for their own safety and began to search/clear occupants … and did in fact save the lives of three occupants of the building, who were located on all three floors … [and were] apparently unaware of the working fire. A small dog was also rescued from the first-floor apartment at the time. “The incident passed without injury to all officers and occupants of the residence due to, in my opinion, the bravery and high competence of all officers involved and their quick response and

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POLICE & FIRE NEWS actions.” The memo writer, Lt. Joseph Lauer, added that it gave him “great pride” to send the message, especially since Lopez “is still in his field training stage” and Stickno and Girdwood “are still relatively new additions” to the KPD. The lieutenant also urged “some form of acknowledgement” from the department for what “was certainly conduct above and beyond the normal call of duty.” (Editor’s note: When that happens — and we hope it does soon — we will let you know.)

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First appearance for former KBOE clerk By Ron Leir KEARNY – A payroll bookkeeper accused of stealing about $190,000 during a sevenyear period from the Kearny Board of Education made her first court appearance last week. Gina Neri, 50, of North Arlington, appeared Feb. 6 in Hudson County Central Judicial Processing Court in Jersey City where she was formally charged with theft by deception, a seconddegree crime, on a summons complaint issued by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. Her next court appearance is scheduled for March 5 before Hudson County Superior Court Judge Paul M. Depascale in Jersey City. The HCPO has alleged Neri, who has worked for the Kearny school district since 2007, was “unlawfully negotiating checks from the district bank account between 2011 and 2017” and cashing them for personal use. An internal investigation

by district officials last fall reportedly led to the discovery in October 2017 that the BOE’s payroll account had been compromised and the district contacted the HCPO whose detectives – after their own probe – subsequently arrested Neri. After she was initially placed on administrative leave, Neri resigned from her job which paid more than $61,000 a year. A source familiar with the investigation told The Observer that the district business administrator – who had arranged for the installation of a new software system last year – was reviewing monthly reports that generated lists of employees’ canceled checks and noticed what appeared to be an out of the ordinary number of payroll checks issued to – and cashed by – Neri. Further review showed a pattern of these apparent inconsistencies stretching back, at least to 2011, with the amounts of excess cash increasing each year, the source said, with the overages


Gina Neri

reportedly covered by voiding supplemental checks and drawing money from various accounts. Whether the software program was the key that helped bring to light the apparent discrepancies isn’t clear but no mention of anything amiss in the district payroll account was contained in any of the district’s annual audits, at least through Dec. 31, 2016. Since the investigation, the superintendent’s office said,








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the district has instituted new internal policies and procedures in the finance office resulting in a subdivision of job duties and responsibilities among existing personnel that was to include the assignment of a new employee to payroll. Superintendent of Schools Patricia Blood said Neri “was bonded for theft and it is expected that any and all losses will be fully reimbursed to the district by the bonding company.” Asked the status of that undertaking, Board Counsel Kenneth Lindenfelser said last week, “We have filed a claim with the bond company. We have provided additional information to the company at our insurance company’s request and we are waiting for a response.” Lindenfelser said it’s his understanding that the district is insured against employee theft for up to $500,000 which, he added, should offer sufficient coverage, given the amount of the loss reported in this case. In the 23 years he’s been associated with the district, Lindenfelser said he was unaware of any prior claims

made to recoup funds illegally taken from the district. As for the legal proceedings involving the accused employee, Lindenfelser said his expectation was that the HCPO would “schedule a pre-indictment conference,” at which, typically, the prosecutor would make a “plea offer” to the defendant to save the office the cost of preparing an indictment and, possibly, trial. “My understanding is that the Board of Education will be given the opportunity to be involved in those discussions,” the attorney said, “but any such plea would have to include [provision for] restitution to the insurance company. “The stronger the case against the [accused], the more likely it is that the defendant will accept that plea offer.” Following her arrest, Neri’s attorney, Nicholas Poberezhsky, with the Fairfield law firm of Caruso Smith Picini, said his client would plead not guilty. He said Neri has no prior criminal record, is a “loving mother devoted to her family and friends” and “extremely well-respected her in her community.”

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Mill St. Bridge work kicking off this week By Ron Leir BELLEVILLE – Another town, another bad bridge that needs fixing … and is getting help. Reconstruction of the Mill St. bridge in Belleville was scheduled to start Thursday, Feb. 15, according to Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. Plans for repairs to Nutley’s Center St. bridge are in preparation by the county. Meanwhile, in Belleville, DiVincenzo said it’s expected to take about six months to finish work on the Mill St. span, located

“The Mill St. bridge provides vital access to residential neighborhoods, industrial properties and a commercial district,” DiVincenzo said. “Providing the most up to date infrastructure is important to maintaining the safety and quality of life for our residents, and making sure we are able to meet the demands of motorists and pedestrians. “Closing Mill St. creates a temporary inconvenience. We will monitor the progress of the project to minimize any disruptions,” he said. Here is the vehicular

Program. Mill St. bridge is slated to reopen July 1. Other infrastructure projects the county has done in Belleville include: the repaving of the Branch Brook Park roadway, from

Mill St. to Washington Ave.; the modernization of the Belleville and Franklin Aves. intersection with new traffic signals, striping and signage; and the repaving of Franklin Ave., from Franklin St. in Newark to Joralemon Ave. in

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Belleville. The county has received a grant from the N.J. Transportation Planning Authority to modernize the intersection of Mill and Franklin Sts. with new traffic signals, striping and signage.


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Work on the Mill St. Bridge, Belleville, kicks off Thursday, Feb. 15.

near the Montgomery St. intersection. The county says engineers have described the concrete and steel structure, built in 1942, as “functionally obsolete because the dimensions of the bridge are too small to meet current design standards.” To comply with those standards, the roadway of the bridge – which crosses the Second River – will be widened to create 16-footwide travel lanes in both directions, the county said. The new bridge will be equipped with steel stringers and a reinforced concrete deck, sidewalks and parapets. During construction, motorists will be detoured around the area and a temporary pedestrian bridge will be installed.

rerouting plan: Eastbound traffic on Mill St. coming from Belleville Ave. will be detoured to the right onto Montgomery St., to the left onto Berkeley Ave., to the left onto Newark Ave. and to the left onto Harrison St. Westbound traffic from Franklin Ave. will be detoured by turning left onto Harrison St. and then following the above route in the reverse direction. All driveways to area homes and businesses will remain open. The county awarded a $235,000 design contract to Area Engineering of Hopewell and will pay $633,092 to Sparwick Contracting Inc. of Lafayette to rebuild the bridge. Funding is from the N.J. Department of Transportation’s Local Bridges Future Needs Grant

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On Starbucks, Santana and more By Kevin Canessa

In Memoriam Mary Tortoreti 1942-2016 Lisa Feorenzo Co-owner/Advertising Director Tina Feorenzo Co-owner/Advertising Robert Pezzolla General Manager Kevin Canessa Editorial, Web, Social Media Ron Leir Karen Zautyk Journalists Jim Hague Sportswriter Michelle Rybeck Graphic Designer Kim Pezzolla Sales

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This is one of those weeks where I get to do a column for the second time in two weeks. Occasionally, hodgepodge columns present themselves — and this is one of those weeks. So, here it goes. Starbucks … Starbucks … Starbucks Two weeks ago, the Kearny Town Council announced plans for a Starbucks to come to town, near the old PathMark on Passaic Avenue. The café will be one that has a drivethru. There was a time I had to go to Starbucks at least once a day. And of course, during those days, my waistline grew exponentially. Still, that Starbucks, which does not franchise its locations, wants to open a store in Kearny, is a great sign of the economic future here. One never hears about Starbucks closing locations, because the company studies the economic viability of its locations. With so much redevelopment happening — in Kearny and Harrison — it’s clear the company knows just how huge this redevelopment is. It spells great news for Harrison and Kearny. And it spells great news for lovers of café mochas, caramel macchiatos, etc. A full year for Santana Peter Santana, the Second Ward Kearny Councilman, has been on board for a full year now. Seems like he’s been through 20 elections already. In that one year, Santana has shown himself to be extremely dedicated. There are very few town-wide events he doesn’t attend. And most importantly, he’s there for the people of the Second Ward. Well done, Councilman. And thank you for all you do for us at this newspaper. Olympics? Not this year I always enjoy the Winter Olympics, mostly because of the chance we get to watch American superstars battle for a gold medal. But this year, the NHL decided not to allow its players to take a break from the season to send the athletes. The Gold Medal Game in 2010 was one of the best hockey games I’ve ever seen. But with amateur athletes there, it’s hard to find any interest in

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Dr. Younan Nowzaradan has saved hundreds of lives with bariatric surgery.

the games. I always thought the idea was to send the best athletes in each of the sports played. That isn’t happening this year for hockey — for Americans or Canadians. Indeed, it would be nice if the American kids won a gold. Just not sure I could ever find a way to be into it. ‘9-1-1’ & ‘The Resident’ haven’t disappointed … at all It’s been a while since the Fox broadcasting network had a show worth watching, but this season, they’ve found two. For fans of “ER,” new show “The Resident” might be the first show that actually offers an alternative medical drama. “9-1-1” involves a hybrid show involving “members” of the F.D.L.A. and L.A.P.D. Some of the storylines have been so brilliant, it’s hard to believe they were actually written by human beings. If you like medical or cop/fire dramas, give these two a shot. “The Resident” airs Mondays at Mondays at 9 p.m. on Channel 5 (Fox) and “91-1” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m., same channel. ‘My 600 Pound Life’ Speaking of TV shows, there’s one on TLC called “My 600 Pound Life.” It follows people whose weight has grown to 600 or more pounds, and the journey they take with bariatric surgeon Younan Nowzaradan, of Houston. The storylines are riveting because they’re real. It’s remarkable to see what extreme weight does to human beings and their bodies.

Nowzaradan is a remarkably patient man, who often has to deal with countless issues the weight-loss surgery candidates face, including relapsing (over-eating after surgery), the underlying issues that caused the weight gain (there are often numerous psychological reasons behind the gain) and so much more. While the show can be graphic — it shows actual surgical procedures — it’s often great to see when candidates successfully lose the weight. Note the word “when,” because there are times it just doesn’t work. There’s a notion the surgery leads to miracles. However, it’s all about the people — and whether they’re able to change their ways. Sadly, some just can’t change. Check it out for yourself. The show airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on TLC. Catch me live Tuesdays at noon If you haven’t yet seen it, be sure to join me every Tuesday at noon (ET for those out of the area) when I break down the current week’s news live, on-the-air, online. Visit www. and give us a like. By doing so, you’ll be alerted every time we go live. (We often go live with breaking news and late-developing stories.) Other shows are coming later this month. See you back here in a few weeks! The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the writer, Kevin Canessa, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Observer’s management. Feedback is welcome and encouraged. Contact Canessa at



KPD: In jail, cameras are for mugshots By Karen Zautyk KEARNY — Interesting shoplifting case last week: At 4:44 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, KPD Officers Kyle Plaugic and Matthew Knighton were called to a Kearny Avenue liquor store whose manager reported that three “customers” had just stolen one bottle of Hennessy cognac and one bottle of Ciroc Pineapple vodka, worth a total of $74.98. [Do cognac and pineapple vodka mix? We couldn’t find any recipes on Google.] The suspects were last seen walking south on the avenue, and “within five minutes,” were found on the 600 block. Police said two were let go when the third member of the trio — Jose Sanchez, 21, of Kearny — admitted that he had taken the bottles. Sanchez was brought to headquarters, and during processing, police said, was found to be in possession

of a digital camera bearing a Rite Aid sticker, which he reportedly admitted having stolen earlier that day. The booze and camera ended up in the evidence room; Sanchez, in the Hudson County Jail. ••• Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following: Feb. 4 At 5:24 a.m., Officers Kevin Carvalho and Sean Podolski reportedly found Hector Britoolivo, 37, of Kearny, passed out behind the wheel of a still-running Acura in the middle of the intersection of Dukes Street and Schuyler Avenue. Luckily, police said, his foot was on the brake. Britoolivo reportedly failed field sobriety tests and an Alcotest and was summonsed for DWI, careless driving and obstructing the flow of traffic.

allegedly was found on the front passenger seat, and Luis Torres, 27, of Newark, was charged with: eluding, obstructing the administration of law and possession of CDS and drug paraphernalia. He was released on summonses. According to police, Torres said he had a medical-marijuana card but admitted that the weed was not from a licensed dispensary. ••• Feb. 8 Feb. 5 Offi cer Podolski responded On patrol at 10:05 p.m., Officers Richard Poplaski to QuickChek at 8:47 p.m. on Officers Carvalho and David Jr. and Christopher Montes, an accident report and enBush noticed a silver Ford — on a medical-assistance call countered Rolando Caballero, its engine running and winat Walmart at 5:44 p.m., were 58, of Kearny, who reportedly dows fogged — parked in the flagged down by the store explained that he had been permanently closed Stewart’s manager, who reported that a trying to park his 2013 Toyota, lot on Passaic Avenue. When shoplifter was in the custody but the space “was too small.” of security. Police said the sus- they approached and asked Apparently, he pulled in the sole occupant to lower the pect — Raquan Hicks, 22, of anyway and hit a 2011 Honda. window, he reportedly shook Newark — was in possession He was subsequently charged his head “no” and started of $551 worth of merchandise, with: DWI, careless driving, to back away. Fortunately, after namely: watches, knives and driving with a suspended several commands to stop, he Trojan condoms. [No editolicense, failure to surrender a rial comment.] He was booked finally complied, police said, suspended license and failure at HQ for shoplifting and was and the officers detected the to have an insurance card. He odor of pot. released on a summons. was released on summonses. A plastic bag of the drug

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Ex-LHS coach banned from public schools cording to the State Board of Examiners. In revoking his substituteLYNDHURST — A former teaching license, the Board of full-time substitute teacher, Examiners, on Jan. 19, said it in-school suspension coor“reviewed an affidavit that the dinator and coach at LyndBergen County Prosecutor’s hurst High School, who pled Office had forwarded regardguilty to exchanging sexually ing” Jonathan H. Jasinski, charged photos with underafter he pled guilty to endanage girls, has forfeited his gering the welfare of school teaching credentials and will children/sexual conduct never serve as a public-school and endangering the welfare educator or coach again, acof children/possessing and By Kevin Canessa

viewing of child pornography on Sept. 28 last year. As such, the plea disqualified him from holding publicschool employment. On Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at Jasinski’s home during the course of an investigation related to alleged sexual conduct with juveniles under his control while employed Jonathan H. Jasinski

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in-school suspension officer and assistant coach of the hockey and baseball teams, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office said at the time. An investigation revealed Jasinski used the Internet and social media apps to communicate with several girls, the BCPO said. He also reportedly exchanged sexually explicit videos and photographs with these juveniles. Jasinski had resigned from his positions with Lyndhurst High School prior to his arrest, the BCPO said. He has received a 5-year suspended sentence.

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Professional actors provide an entertaining lesson on recycling to Belleville students.

BELLEVILLE – Show business was featured in a recent lesson on recycling in Belleville. “The Grand Falloons,” an ensemble of theater, circus and design professionals who create educational and thematic theatrics for museums, schools and theaters across the U.S., appeared at Schools 7 and 10 on Jan. 19. Their performances integrated dance and song with a lesson plan designed to drive home the importance of incorporating going green into everyday living. That lesson also teaches children to care about the environment and how they can make an impact that will only

increase as they get older, township officials said. The event was sponsored by Mayor Raymond Kimble, the Municipal Council, along with DPW Superintendent Bill Gilbert, Assistant DPW Superintendent Rocco Balsamo and Clean Communities Coordinator Robert Welter. “It was important to enlighten the younger generation about recycling,” Welter said. “The Grand Falloons did an excellent job displaying the importance of recycling as it will benefit our community and the earth.” For more information about the township’s Clean Communities program, email Welter at




At the library The Belleville Public Library & Information Center, 221 Washington Ave., hosts these programs during the upcoming week: Adult Classes & Events: AARP Tax Preparation Help, Thursday, Feb. 15, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., AARP Foundation TaxAide offers free help to anyone who can’t afford a tax prep service and AARP membership is not required — call 973450-3434 for more information; Basic Computer Skills Series for Seniors, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 10-11 a.m., discover computer components, develop online search skills and learn the basics of Microsoft Word & Excel; ShopRite Cooking Demo, Thursday, Feb. 15, 6:307:30 p.m., ShopRite dieticians feature healthy, cost-effective and time-efficient meals with seasonal grocery choices – call 973-450-3434 to register for this free event; SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Friday, Feb. 16, 9:30-11 a.m., SNAP helps low-income individuals and families buy the food needed to stay healthy – meet with a SNAP representative oneon-one and walk through the application step by step; Essex County Outreach, Saturday, Feb. 17, 9-11:30 a.m., Essex County Clerk’s Office schedules weekend hours to process passports and notary public

oaths only – call the county clerk at 973-621-4920 for more information and arrive at the library by 11 a.m. Children’s Room Classes & Events: Kids Coloring Club, Friday, Feb. 16, 3-4 p.m., supplies provided, for ages 4-11; Wii Free Play, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 3-6 p.m., for ages 5-11 to play Nintendo Wii gaming system; Storybook Friends, Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 10 a.m., for ages 2-6 to share stories, songs & theme-related crafts; Children’s Reading Club, Thursday, Feb. 15, 5-6 p.m., pick a new book to read or bring your own; Saturday Play Day, Feb. 17, 10 a.m.-noon, for ages 5-11 to play board games and Legos.

Game show night The Friends of the Belleville Library presents a mind reading game show and lunch Friday, March 16, at 12:30 p.m., at 221 Washington Ave. For more information, or pricing, call 973-450-3434.

Spanish.) All guests must have photo ID. American Legion meeting upcoming The next meeting of the American Legion Harrison Post 282 takes place Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 7 pm., in the Harrison-East Newark Elks, 406 Harrison Ave. All local members are encouraged to attend.

Kearny UNICO hosts fish & chips dinner Kearny UNICO sponsors a fish & chips dinner, Friday, March 9, from 6 to 8 p.m., at American Legion Post 99, Belgrove Drive, Kearny. Chicken and broiled fish will also be available. The event is being catered by the Thistle. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children under 10. For tickets, contact either Annamarie at 201-998-2368 or Judy at 201991-5812. Monies raised will benefit the chapter’s scholarship fund.


booth and more. Dress for the time period is optional. The event is for adults and KHS alumni only. Alcohol will not be served. Contact Ronize Paszkiewicz at 973-489-6453 or to reserve tickets. Project Graduation fundraising trip Kearny’s Project Graduation sponsors a trip to Sands Casino, Bethlehem, Pa., on Sunday, Feb. 25. The $35 fee helps defray the cost of a safe night for graduating KHS seniors in June — and includes $20 back in slot play plus a $5 food voucher. A bus departs from Kearny Bank, 614 Kearny Ave. For more details, email Register for GED prep course Literacy NJ hosts GED prep course registration Feb. 20 at 6 p.m., at the Kearny Library, 318 Kearny Ave. Registration includes an application and placement test.


Cancer League hosting AC trip The Harrison Cancer League hosts a trip to Caesar’s Atlantic City Sunday, Feb. 25, with a bus departing Holy Cross School, 15 S. Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard at 10 a.m. The cost is $35. Call Joan at 973-481-2434 for reservations (in English) or Maria at 973481-1799 for reservations (in

KHS girls’ crew host fundraiser The Kearny High School girls’ crew team hosts a ’50’60s fundraiser dinner-dance Friday, March 9, from 6:30 to 10 p.m., in the KHS café and atrium. Cost is $40. All tickets must be purchased in advance to ensure a spot and proper headcount. The event includes a full dinner, dancing with DJ Jimmy Hempel, a photo

Trip to Broadway Lyndhurst Parks & Recreation has a limited number of tickets for the April 3 production of the Broadway play “Escape to Margaritaville.” The musical comedy features both original songs and Jimmy Buffett classics including “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” The $110 tickets include trans-


portation to and from the 7 p.m. show. A bus leaves from the Parks & Rec office at 5 p.m. Those interested should call 201-804-2482 to reserve a seat. There is a 4-ticket per person limit. St. Patrick’s Day Wake-Party The Lyndhurst Polish American Citizens Club, 730 New Jersey Ave., hosts a St. Patrick’s Day Wake/Party on March 17 at 7 p.m. Admission includes a corned beef and cabbage dinner, beer, wine, soda and music all night. For tickets, and pricing information, send an email to MarkShabunia@ or call 201-543-9297.

North Arlington Ash Wednesday fish fry The North Arlington Elks host a fish fry dinner Wednesday, Feb. 14, from 4 to 7 p.m., at 129 Ridge Road. The cost is $12 and includes broiled, fried or shrimp dinner with soup, shrimp cocktail or clams on the half shell.

Nutley AC bus trip The Old Guard of Nutley sponsors a bus trip to Resorts Casino, Atlantic City, on Tuesday, March 20, at 9 a.m. A bus leaves from the Nutley Parks and Recreation Building, 44 Park Ave. Call Ray Norbut for details or pricing at 973-7514732.

Kearny student places 3rd in Bee Dedicated educators feted A local boy is among the top-3 finishers of the NJ State Federation of Women’s Clubs Liberty District Spelling Bee, which took place Saturday, Feb. 3, at the Woman’s Club of Upper Montclair . The first place finisher was Esme McLaughlin (5th grade, Holy Trinity School); Junior Woman’s Club of Westfield. In second place was Stella Lemkau (4th grade, Lincoln Hubbard

School); Summit Junior Fortnightly Club. In third Place was John Lydeker (4th grade, Franklin School); Junior Woman’s Club of Arlington. The bee lasted 25 rounds. The tiebreaking word was “atmosphere” and the winning word was “January.” Lydeker advances to the NJ State Federation of Women’s Clubs of GFWC State Spelling Bee March 3 in New Brunswick.

The Bee winners are, from left, Stella Lemkau (second place), Esme Lemkau (first place), John Lydeker, of Kearny (third place).

The North Arlington Board of Education recognized five Teachers of the Year and one Educational Services Professional of the Year at a meeting on Jan. 22. Pictured, from left, standing, are Michele Higgins, board vice president, Heather Gilgallon, board member; George McDermott, board president, Stephen Yurchak, superintendent of schools; Edward Smith, board member and Robert Dorsett, board member. Seated, from left, are Donna Hennessy, Teacher of the Year at Roosevelt School; Jennifer D’Aries, Teacher of

the Year at Jefferson School; Leanne Fisher, Teacher of the Year at NAMS; Tracy Dillon, Teacher of the Year at Washington School; Judith Kommer, Educational Services Professional of the Year and Patricia Tomko, Teacher of the Year at North Arlington High School.



Guilty plea in Kearny robbery NEWARK – A Passaic man last week pleaded guilty to three counts of bank robbery -including one heist in Kearny -- during a spree in June and July of 2016, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced. Quentin Morales (a/k/a Quinton Morales), 27, entered the plea Feb. 6 before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton Federal Court. Authorities said he has also admitted robbing two additional banks and attempting to rob another. Authorities said last week’s plea covered robberies at three Wells Fargo banks: in Kearny on June 24, 2016, approximately

$2,500 taken; Kenilworth, June 30, $2,120; and Union, July 25, $2,122. The other 2016 crimes cited in the case were an attempted heist, June 27, at a Capital One Bank in Elizabeth, and robberies at Wells Fargo in Linden, July 6, and in Clifton, July 13. According to Carpenito’s office: At each bank, Morales handed tellers a note demanding cash. For example, during the Kearny crime, he presented one stating, “You are being robbed. Give me all the large bills you have, no alarms, no noise.” On at least two occasions, he allegedly said he had a gun.

Prior to his arrest Aug. 2, 2016, by officers of the N.J. State Parole Board, Morales was one of the Newark FBI’s Most Wanted bank robbers. The charges to which he pleaded guilty each carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for May 14. Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and officers of the Parole Board and local police departments, including Kearny, for their aid in the investigation and apprehension. — Karen Zautyk

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4 steps to a healthier you (StatePoint) Want to make improvements to your health and wellness? Think simple, sustainable changes. Follow these four steps for a healthier you, inside and out. Stick to your workout Incorporating an exercise routine into your life requires commitment. After the novelty of a new gym membership wears off and life gets in the way, how do you continue to motivate yourself to keep at it? Instead of jumping from no routine to a seven-days-aweek commitment, introduce workouts to your schedule in small doses. Dread cardio or weight machines? Find something that you’ll look forward to, like a cycling class, yoga or outdoor pursuits. Choosing activities that you enjoy will increase your chances of sticking to your resolution.

etables in resealable bags to create quick and delicious smoothies each morning in a high-powered blender, such as the Vitamix E310 Explorian Series machine. For a satisfying, energy-boosting snack, use your blender to pre-make Dried Fruit Chia Bars or White Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls.

Stress less Stress can have adverse effects on minds and bodies, as insomnia, weight gain, anxiety and depression are all potential related risks. While it isn’t always avoidable, simple changes will help you manage tension. Sometimes, stress can be solved with some “me time.” Treat yourself to a massage or manicure, soak in a hot bath, or unwind with a nature walk. Connecting with others can help, too. Plan a brunch with your best friend or a date night with your significant Eat smarter other. According to the Centers for Feeling overwhelmed with Disease Control and Prevenwork and family life? Build out tion, most Americans are a to-do list or calendar to feel falling short of their fruit and more in control of your busy vegetable intake goals, and schedule, then cross items off most eat only half the recomthe list when completed. mended amount of fiber. To increase your consumption Practice positivity of essential nutrients, create a A sunny outlook can affect grocery list packed with fruits, your well-being. Keep a grativegetables, protein and whole tude journal by writing down grains. something good that happens Plan meals for the week to each day. On bad days, you’ll ensure you stick to a wholebe forced to focus on the posifood menu. Keep ingredients tive aspects of your life. on hand for meals you can One of the best ways to make in a pinch so you’re not improve your own happiness tempted by fast food on a is by giving others a boost. busy day. Try frozen salmon Volunteer with a charitable fillets, which you can cook organization or donate to a without thawing, or eggs, low- favorite cause. Practice doing fat cheese and veggies for a something kind daily. quick-baking frittata. To make positive, long-term Freeze individual servings changes to health and wellof chopped fruits and vegness, consider small steps.

Submit News To submit a press release to The Observer, send all pertinent information (text, photos, etc.) by email to We cannot guarantee placement in the newspaper, but we will do our best to publish your news.



sports&recreation Kearny track standouts Calcano, Laverde crowned Hudson County champions



Add the NJSIAA state sectional title to NA’s bowling champs Before the high school bowling season began in earnest in December, North Arlington High School head coach Dan Farinola put a list of goals in the heads of his team. Farinola wanted the Vikings to win the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference championship, the small schools’ division of the Bergen County championships and the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1A, Group I title. It was asking a lot, but Farinola knew that he had the makings of a dominant group. “It is a lot,” Farinola admitted. “And we were never looking past anyone. We didn’t want to get too excited. We set high goals for this team.” The Vikings had already achieved the first two steps in Farinola’s plan, capturing the league and county titles, before heading to the NJSIAA state sectional tourney last week at Bowler City in Hackensack. In the league, the Vikings were undefeated, posting an obscene record of 112-0. “You can’t get more consistent than that,” Farinola laughed. “They didn’t drop a single game all year.” Early on, things weren’t exactly going in the Vi-

kings’ favor. They trailed Leonia by almost 200 pins after the first game. “Leonia got off to a good start,” Farinola explained. “We were down 170 pins after the first game and 107 after the second. But we kept focus. We knew we could come back. It was the first time this year that we had to come from behind. We bowled the best game of the season.” Kenny Bennett is a senior who was part of the NA team that captured the school’s firstever state sectional title in 2016. Bennett wanted to be able to experience the joy of a state sectional title one more time. “We were definitely focused,” Bennett said. “We just had to go for it.” Bennett was certainly at the top of his game. Bennett, who has adopted the unconventional approach of bowling with two hands instead of the more traditional onehanded style, knew that this was his last chance to experience a state title. “Honestly, I was tremendously nervous,” Bennett said. Bennett simply went out and rolled 10 straight strikes to start the final game. “I was really focused on See VIEW, Page 15

Photo by Jim Hague Senior Daniris Calcano (left) and freshman Maria Laverde (right) were crowned champions at the recent Hudson County Track Coaches Association meet at the New York Armory. It was the first time Kearny had two different county champions in the same meet since 1984.

By Jim Hague A year ago, Daniris Calcano was an unsure junior on the Kearny High School track and field team, still trying to get comfortable being a hurdler after suffering a horrific fall as a sophomore, severely breaking her wrist. At the same time, Maria Laverde was attending school in Queens, not knowing what her future held. Today, the two are very close friends on the Kearny track team, but more importantly, they are both Hudson County Track Coaches Association indoor track champions. Last week at the New York Armory in Harlem, Calcano and Laverde were crowned as Hudson County champions in their respective events – Calcano in the 55-meter hurdles and Laverde in the 3,200-meter

run. It marked the second time in the history of the HCTCA Indoor Championships, dating back to 1981, that Kearny had two different county champions in the same meet. Kearny has had its share of champions in the past, including some like Liz Duarte (1986, 1987 and 1989) who have won three county championships in two events. Duarte won both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs in those aforementioned years. But only back in 1984, when Laura Wronski won gold in both the 400 and 800-meter runs and June Sisenis in the 1,600-meter run, had Kearny crowned two county champs in the same meet. So history was made last week. Calcano became the first Kearny hurdler to win the county championship since Haley Durning won two consecutive titles in 2012 and 2013.

Durning was also the county champ in the high jump in her senior season of 2013. Laverde continued a long line of champion distance runners and was the first to capture gold since Cayleigh Solano won the 1,600-meter run in 2011. Solano won both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs in 2010. Other Kardinal county distance champs include Uloopi Desai (1988), Annmarie Richard (1991 and 1992), Denise Arocho (2005 and 2006) and Dariza Betances (2008), so Laverde falls into line with those all-time Kardinal greats. So it was a memorable day for the two current Kardinal standouts. “Winning the county championship is something we value very high,” said Kearny head track and field coach Al Perez. “Once you’re crowned See KEARNY, next page



needed to practice. I was a sprinter before that and I still do those events. Being honest, Continued from Page 13 being a hurdler is not easy to do. But after a while, it came the county champion, it’s alnaturally.” ways going to be there. No one However, while practicing can take it away.” before a meet as a sophomore, Calcano first became a Calcano suffered a serious fall, hurdler as a freshman at the fracturing her wrist and endencouragement of current ing her season. Kearny athletic director Vin “I never thought I’d be good Almeida, then an assistant at the hurdles ever again,” Caltrack coach. cano said. “I never saw myself “I never say I can’t do as being a county champ. I anything,” Calcano said. “I’m never thought I could achieve always open to try new things. anything. But once I broke my But it was something that I


wrist, it inspired me.” Calcano surprised herself by winning the 55-meter hurdles in 8.98 seconds. “It was the first time I broke nine seconds,” Calcano said. “I felt good coming into the meet. I took it easy in the trials and then in the finals, it just felt like a practice. I felt real good.” A week later, Calcano broke Durning’s school record in the event, clocking 8.85 at the New York Invitational in Staten Island. Calcano comes from a

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single family background. Her mother, Ana Gomez, raised three daughters alone. There’s older sister Liyeira, who attends Rutgers-Newark and little sister Milan Olivo, who is four years old, but wants to become a track star like her older sister. “When I run, it makes me forget about other stuff,” said Calcano, who hopes to major in biology in college and study pre-med to eventually become an orthopedic doctor. Calcano has to train mostly outdoors, so she has to set up the hurdles on the school’s main track despite the wicked winter weather. “I love it,” Calcano said. “I love the winter. It doesn’t bother me. It’s become a routine now. Every Monday and Wednesday, we hurdle. I’ve gotten used to it. This is a rewarding feeling.” Calcano and Laverde have become very close buddies on the track team. “When I first met her, I knew that she was someone special,” Calcano said. “I knew she was a good athlete.” “When she won, I think that motivated me,” said Laverde, who was second in the HCTCA cross country championships last fall. “She pushes me a lot. I learn a lot from her. She makes me work hard.” Laverde was taking on rival Weeshamar Senatus of Hudson Catholic, the same girl who defeated Laverde in the cross country championships last October. “I wanted to finish ahead of Weeshamar,” Laverde said. “I wanted that. I wanted to finish first. I went out pretty slow. I was fourth or fifth after the first four laps. But I saw her ahead of me.” At that point, the impromptu coach took over. Calcano, already holding her county champion gold medal, ran to the track infield at the New York Armory to coach Laverde home. “She was screaming at me,” Laverde said. “She told me I had to close the gap. I only hear Daniris and (Coach)

Perez when I run. About the 10th lap, I saw Weeshamar and then I passed her.” The drama wasn’t over, as Senatus regained the lead from Laverde, only to get it back from the reigning county champ with only two laps to go. “In the final lap, I heard Daniris again, telling me that Weeshamar was catching up,” Laverde said. “I then saw Weeshamar’s white jersey shining right next to me. I then had to give it my all. She almost got me, but I wasn’t going to let her beat me. Daniris pushed me home. That last sprint happened because of her.” Laverde crossed the finish line in 11:41.44, just a hair ahead of Senatus. “It was really cool to beat her,” Laverde said. “She gives me good competition. She makes me work hard. I respect her a lot and respect that she came up to me after the race to congratulate me.” And now the two friends are county champs together. “Daniris always makes it a point of finding out when Maria runs,” Perez said. “It’s great that Maria has someone to model herself after.” “She told me we could do this,” Calcano said of Laverde. “She said she had a plan for us. It’s a major accomplishment for us, to be honest.” “Daniris deserves this,” Laverde said. “She works hard. It’s really nice to have two county champs at the school in two totally different events. (Coach) Perez kept running back and forth to the different events. “We help each other,” Calcano said. “We had that connection. It helps us both at the end of the day.” And Kearny has two county champions. “It’s very promising,” Perez said. “Maria wasn’t even in the picture before this year and I didn’t know what to expect from Daniris. They fulfilled all expectations. They have such a mutual respect for each other.”

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nett said. “I will never go back to bowling one-handed.” The Vikings’ trio of non-traContinued from Page 13 ditionalists is doing quite well. McKenna has been the getting the 300 (a perfect Vikings’ top bowler all season, game,” Bennett said. “This posting a 198 average. McKwas the closest I ever got.” enna is one of the best athletes Bennett left a few pins standin the school, if not the very ing, but still ended with a best. He’s a well respected score of 283, which was the soccer player, earning Allimpetus of the Vikings stormNJIC honors in the fall and is ing past Leonia to capture also a standout baseball player the state sectional championin the spring. Baseball remains ship. Bennett’s 283 was the McKenna’s favorite sport, high game of the entire state but he won’t argue with the tournament. success he’s enjoyed with the Bennett is not the only Viother two sports. king bowler to implement the “I think I want to do bettwo-handed approach. Senior ter in the sport than I did the Brandon Barth and junior Eric previous season,” McKenna McKenna are also two-handed said. “I knew I had a good bowlers. It’s a style that is soccer season, so that means I becoming more and more wanted to do better in bowling popular with younger bowlers. and now I’ll want to do better The traditionalists hate the in baseball. I definitely apidea, but you can’t argue with preciate having my teammates the success. pick me up and they know I’m “More and more, you see there for them. It works both kids going two-handed now,” ways.” Farinola said. McKenna didn’t have a great Bennett said that he never day at the state sectionals, but bowled with two hands Bennett more than made up until two years ago, when he for it. McKenna had a 583 sewatched teammate Luis Davio ries, a little below his seasonal tackle the lanes with two average. hands. “He gutted his way through “I tried it with two hands it,” Farinola said. “He brings and just excelled with it,” Ben-




member. The Vikings will now try to capture the overall Group I state championship at Carolier Lanes on Monday, then Bennett and Barth will return Wednesday for the individual championships in the Tournament of Champions. “We’re definitely a contender,” Farinola said of the Vikings, who will challenge front-runner Matawan for the Photo courtesy of Dan Farinola Group I title. “I feel pretty North Arlington won the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1A, Group I confident that we can do it. I state championship last week at Bowler City in Hackensack. From think we can be competitive left are Liam Henkel, Kenny Bennett, Brandon Barth, Eric McKenna, with anybody.” Trent Petito and head coach Dan Farinola. McKenna agrees. “I think we have a good that sense of competitiveness We’re solid one through five.” shot,” McKenna said. “We to the team that we need.” Barth is also a two-sport know what we can do.” Barth had a 677 series, athlete. He plays centerfield “We defi nitely have the which was good for seventh for the Vikings in the spring. mindset to make a little hisplace overall among all Group Bennett ended up with a tory,” Bennett said. “I’m so I bowlers. He, along with 640 series with his high game impressed with what this Bennett, will get the chance of 283. team has accomplished. It’s to compete in the individual “Kenny is our clutch guy to been so much fun to do what Group I state championships come up in big spots,” Farinola we’ve done. It’s a little humat Bowlero Carolier Lanes in said. “He’s one of those guys bling that we won the state North Brunswick Wednesday. that can go on a great run. Barth also had a high game of When he’s rolling well, he can sectional again. But we have the confidence to take this a 245. go on a streak like that.” little further this time. We just “I think on any given game, Junior Liam Henkel had a any one of our bowlers could 220 high game and a 559 series. have to stay focused and keep be the high scorer,” Farinola Sophomore Trent Petito had a rolling well.” And apparently, keep two said. “They’re all that close. 213 high game and a 517 series. hands on the ball. It’s a nice luxury to have. It was definitely a day to re-

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NA’s DeGrace proves that hard work does pay off By Jim Hague The losses simply kept piling up for the North Arlington High School boys’ basketball team. Five setbacks became eight and nine became 12 and then 13 turned into 16. One loss after another without a single win. No team anywhere wants to go 0-16. “Honestly, it has been the toughest season I’ve ever been a part of,” said Vikings senior guard Nick DeGrace. “I’ve been playing since sixth

grade and I was always on a winning team. But now, it’s my senior year and I’m 0-16? It was awful. Day in and day out, I was trying to stay confident. It’s hard to stay focused when you’re losing all the time.” DeGrace couldn’t believe what was happening. “North Arlington is a school that is used to having success,” DeGrace said. “It was hard going into school and having people come up to you and say, ‘Hey, when are you going to win a game?’ I tried hard not to fall apart.” According to North Ar-

lington head coach Marcello D’Andrea, who is in his first full year as the head coach of the Vikings, the positive process between coach and player began during the summer months. “I would go to the middle school every morning and told the kids that they could come and shoot,” D’Andrea said. “I told Nick that he could come meet me up there and he could work on his game. To his credit, he was there every single day. The majority of the time, it was just Nick alone. We would shoot and

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North Arlington senior guard Nick DeGrace.

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shoot and much to his credit, he worked hard every day. He took advantage of those workouts.” So when the 2017-18 season began in December, DeGrace

was ready to make it a senior year to remember. There was only that one major problem – the losing. Continued on the next page

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just felt it and put the idea in DeGrace’s head. Last Tuesday, the winless “Even through warm-ups, Vikings were preparing to face I just had the mentality that Wood-Ridge and DeGrace it was going to be my night,” believed that that was finally DeGrace said. “I was just going going to be the day to end the to let the game come to me.” losing streak. DeGrace’s pre-game ritual “I felt really confident going usually includes listening into the game,” DeGrace said. to music through his head“My confidence was really phones. DeGrace is a big rap high. I knew that Wood-Ridge fan, so he had a little Kendrick was struggling too and we Lamar and J. Cole going for were playing at home, so him. we had a chance. We always As the game started, Decompeted well in our gym. Grace wasn’t super hot from We played Wood-Ridge close the floor. the first time we played them “I usually get going by mak(an 81-62 loss Jan. 19 at Wood- ing threes [3-point shots], but Ridge), so we definitely felt we I missed the first three I took,” could get the win.” DeGrace said. “I had a few Before the game, North steals that led to layups and Arlington head baseball coach that got me going.” Paul Marcantuono approached DeGrace had 10 points in the DeGrace with a prediction. first quarter and tallied 16 by “He said to me, ‘I got a halftime. feeling you’re going to score “In the third quarter, I 40 tonight,’” DeGrace said. “I started hitting my mid-range honestly said to him, ‘Can you jump shots,” DeGrace said. “In be a little more realistic?’ I the fourth quarter, I just went would have settled for 20 and nuts. The game was close, so a win. That’s all I wanted.” I knew that if I got going ofDeGrace’s career best was fensively, we had a chance to 30 points earlier in the season, win.” so reaching 40 was a little bit DeGrace made three consecof a stretch. Marcantuono utive 3-pointers in the fourth Continued from previous page

quarter and sealed off his night to remember with four straight free throws that sealed the Vikings’ 76-68 win. The streak was over. And DeGrace finished with an astounding 40 points. “It felt like we had just won a championship,” DeGrace said. “It was amazing. That’s how excited I was. I was pumped that we got a win. I knew I had a breakout game, but I didn’t expect 40. It was definitely a good feeling. It was good for our team, because we were struggling to get that first win.” Although the Vikings couldn’t continue the winning ways with their other two games last week against Hasbrouck Heights and Paterson Charter, DeGrace continued his torrid scoring, tossing in 33 against Hasbrouck Heights and 19 against Paterson Charter. And for his efforts, DeGrace has been selected as The Observer Athlete of the Week for the past week. D’Andrea said that he was happy for DeGrace to enjoy a little success and a scoring splurge.

“I wanted him to take good shots and that’s what he’s doing,” D’Andrea said. “He’s getting better looks because he’s taking better shots. Any senior wants to go out with a bang and that’s what he’s doing. Nick has grown and matured. He’s gotten better as a player because he put the work in.” There’s another aspect to DeGrace’s game that has shown remarkable improvement this season — and that’s his overall demeanor. In the past, DeGrace would express himself in a negative manner when things didn’t exactly go his way. The pouting and demonstrative actions were detrimental to DeGrace and the Vikings. It overshadowed his obvious talent. “He’s curtailed his attitude a lot,” D’Andrea said. “I wanted him to be able to take a leadership role this year and he’s worked hard. He’s really progressed as a person and as a player. I told him if he worked hard, things would fall into place. It’s been a trying year for all of us, but Nick has worked hard, He’s a hardnosed kid who has worked through things. He’s done


everything I’ve asked of him. He’s now seeing the fruits of his labor. Added D’Andrea, “He has a strong passion for basketball. There was the willingness to learn this year and he put in a lot of time during the offseason. I did gain a better appreciation for him.” D’Andrea believes that DeGrace can play college basketball at the right school, but for now, DeGrace might want to go to a trade school to learn how to be a carpenter. “My Dad (John) is a plumber, so I might go for my carpentry certification,” DeGrace said. “And then we could work together. But playing in college is not completely out of the question right now.” The Vikings have a handful of games left, so DeGrace wants to make the most of them. “I know that I’ll never get a chance to play basketball ever again,” DeGrace said. “I want to make it memorable.” Last week certainly created a few memories. DeGrace wants to acquire a few more. “If we could just get a couple more wins,” DeGrace said. “That’s all I can ask for.”

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HCCC offers SAT Prep It’s no secret that higher Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores can give students a better chance at merit-based financial aid, open scholarship opportunities, and provide an overall edge in college admissions. A successful academic future begins with preparation. It’s reported that a SAT prep course can boost scores by an average of more than 50 points. A higher score can even help balance out a low high school GPA. Hudson County Community College’s Department of

with test samples from actual SAT exams. Students will need to purchase the College Board SAT textbook, and other materials that may be required. The list will be included at time of registration. Competition to get into top colleges can be fierce. Most education institutions emphasize standardized test schools in their admissions criteria, and the SAT is universally accepted and respected. For more information about the HCCC SAT Prep courses, call 201-360-4246 or email

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Need a passport? Fee to process rising soon Hudson County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado advises Hudson County residents that the U.S. State Department is raising the passport execution fee from $25 to $35, effective April 2. The fee applies to passport applications submitted to an authorized agent, including a Post Office, county clerk or other government offices. Passport applications submitted to the State Department by mail are not subject to the fee increase. “The fee increase on April 2 provides an extra incentive to obtain or update a passport now instead of waiting,” Maldonado said. “By completing passport transactions during this time of year, Hudson County residents can avoid the

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To submit an obituary: fax: 201-991-8941 John A. Wiggins John A. Wiggins died Feb. 5, 2018. He was 58. Born and raised in Kearny, he spent his early married life in Toms River before moving to Richmond Va. Visiting was Friday, Feb. 9, at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. Mass was celebrated at St. Cecilia Church, Kearny, with burial in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. John was the son of Margaret (Radford) Wiggins Johnston and the late Charles T. Wiggins and Frank Johnston. Former husband of Caryn Weir, he was the father of Carly Herzing (Shelley), Amanda Wiggins and Chelsea Wiggins. He was the brother of Claire Korzon (Bob) and Mark G. Wiggins (Noreen) and the late Margaret, Charlie and Patti. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Denise Wiggins and his grandchildren Kyla, Zeke and Mazie along with his loving companion Pat Damiano. John had been a special education teacher at the Chesterfield County (Va.) Public School System. In Virginia, he was an active volunteer with Meals on Wheels, he loved being involved with his church and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. Always a music lover, John was the quintessential “Deadhead” and enjoyed the Asbury Park, NJ Jamily immensely. He was a proud member of AA and especially loved his brothers and sisters at Camp David. His mother, Marge, wants to acknowledge the Beachwood police and EMTs for their incredible attempt to save John’s life. Their commitment to their work and the compassionate way they treated John’s mother will never be forgotten.

Most Holy St. Jude, Thank you for answering my prayer. L. B.


In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to www. John’s granddaughter Mazie’s first hearing aid came from this amazing organization.

Paul M. Schlagenhaft Paul M. Schlagenhaft, of Kearny, passed away at home on Feb. 4, 2018. He was 64. Visiting was at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. The funeral was at the funeral home. Burial was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Paul was the husband of Katherine (Schulze) and the son of the late William and Madeline Schlagenhaft. He was the brother of William Schlagenhaft and Ruth Ellen Mack. Also surviving are many loving members of the Schulze and Dillon families. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the MS Foundation. Vincent Rooney Sr. Vincent Rooney Sr. passed away on Feb. 5, 2018.

He was 93. Born in Scotland, he lived many years in Kearny. Visiting was at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. Mass was celebrated at St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny. Cremation was private. Vincent was an engineer at Otis Elevator. He had a great passion for martial arts and held various black belts in several disciplines. The wife of the late Susan (nee Hayes), he was the father of Vincent (Gale), Michael (Sally) and Paul Rooney. Also surviving are his grandchildren Stephen (Nicole), Michael, Ian, Patrick and Kevin.

Richard C. Kruk Richard C. Kruk, 63, of Hope, passed away peacefully on Feb. 5, 2018, at home with his loved ones by his side. Richard was born in Kearny on May 30, 1954, to John and Edna Kruk (Herud). Richard graduated from Kearny High School in 1972. He delivered The Observer, worked at Tully’s ShopRite, Kearny, Standard Tool in Lyndhurst, Lawter


To submit an obituary: fax: 201-991-8941

Chemical and Driver Harris before beginning a 30+ year career at Bell Atlantic & Verizon in various locations in North Jersey. After retiring, he worked for several trucking companies before truly retiring to enjoy family, the arts and various hobbies near to his heart. Richard was a 20-year member of the Hope Volunteer Fire Department, having served as an assistant chief. He was a life member of the NRA and a 20+ year member of the Shongum Sportsmen Association in Mansfield. He is survived by his son John Kruk and his wife April of Hope and his son Daniel Twist and his wife Laurie of Liberty; and four grandchildren, Adam, Ryan, Candice and Tyler. He is also survived by his brother

John and sister-in-law Linda, and his brother Buddy and sister-in-law Christine, all of Nutley. He was predeceased by his loving wife, Jeanine, in 2012. Donations in his memory may be made to the Hope Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 170, Hope, N.J. 07844. Funeral arrangements are private and under the direction of Scala Memorial Home, Hackettstown. To send an online condolence, please visit www. Rosemarie Mumm Rosemarie “Chickie” Mumm passed away Feb. 11, 2018. She was 72. Born in Jersey City, she lived many years in Nutley, Lyndhurst and Rutherford See OBITS, Page 25

HAPPY BIRTHDAY & VALENTINE’S DAY IN HEAVEN Dolores A. Sullivan Feb 12, 1931 - April 17, 2002

“My One True Friend”

Mom, it’s been 16 years since you left my arms and it feels so much longer than that. I never had imagined how lonely life would be without your smile knowing that you hear me, keeps me so alive. A breath away is not far from where you are.

“You are the wind beneath my wings” & Always My Hero

“Till we meet again 143”

Love Always, Michele

Mulligan Funeral Home 331 Cleveland Avenue, Harrison

Licensed Funeral Director serving your needs:

Frank X. Mulligan III, Manager, NJ Lic. 4221 Private Parking at 10 Frank Rodgers Blvd. North

973-481-4333 visit us at:

Shaw-Buyus Home for Services

Mario Teixeira, IV, Manager, NJ Lic. #3757

Mario Teixeira, Jr. Director, NJ Lic. #2542 • Monique Teixeira, Director, NJ Lic. #4048 Newly renovated family owned and operated funeral home with multiple locations. Fluent in Portuguese and Spanish. Handicapped Accessible.

138 DAVIS AVE. • KEARNY, NJ 07032

(201) 991-2265

WILFRED ARMITAGE & WIGGINS FUNERAL HOME Mark G. Wiggins, Manager N.J. Lic. #3916

You will feel as if friends of family have taken over when you entrust funeral arrangements to the Wilfred Armitage Funeral Home. The family-owned firm has been in business for 100 years, serving generations in West Hudson and South Bergen. Its beautiful facilities, in a setting reminiscent of a colonial mansion, reflect the graciousness and tact of its understanding personnel.

Wilfred Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home

596 Belgrove Dr. • Kearny, NJ 07032 (201) 991-0657



The Observer is not responsible for typographical errors. Credit for errors will not be granted after the next week’s publication. No changes or refunds. Deadline for classifieds is Monday by 3 00 PM.














E.NEWARK 442 John St. 2 BR, LR, Kitchen, hardwood floors, Parking space for 1 car. $1300/mth. Avl. March 1st. (862)279-4814 or (973)465-0166 40W3

HARRISON 1st Floor, 3 BR, Newly renovated Kitch. HW floors, H/HW included, indoor garage & driveway, backyard, Small Pets, $2200 + 1 1/2 month security, Avail. Now (732)423-8730 39W3

KEARNY 2fl. 2 BR, EIK, DR/LR, 1 bath. NO pets, NO laundry, NO smoking $1300/month + 1 1/2 months security. Utilities separate. Avl Mar 1st. (201)532-9696. 39W3

KEARNY 1 BR . HT/HW included. From $1,100/ month. See super 6 Woodland Ave. Apt. 1, or call after 5pm 917-8588246 for appointment.

E.NEWARK 2nd floor, KEARNY 2 BR, LR, EIK, Close to TRANS, $1400 + 1 month security, H/HW included, Smoke free environment, KEARNY 1 BR, LR, EIK, No Pets. Available March Bath. No Pets, No Smok1st. (973)803-1685 38W3 ing. $900 includes all utilities. 1 month security. Avail. April 1st call 201988-1671 40W3

KEARNY completely renovated apt. in quiet and peaceful area, 4 BR, 1 bath on 2nd fl. Close to school and bus station. (646) 456-7313 Available inmediately 40W3

E.NEWARK 2 BR, LR, DR, Kitchen w/refridgerator and stove New. $1,300/ month. Utilities seperate. KEARNY 1st floor & BaseNo pets. Close to TRANS. ment. 2 BR, 1 1/2 Baths, Avl. March. 1st. (973) 715LR, EIK, Parking Avail. 3829 38W3 $1375 + 1 month security. Utilities negotable, Avail Feb, Backyard Avail. Small Pets, No SmokHARRISON ing, Close to TRANS & Schools, References. Call (201)888-7794 after HARRISON 1st fl. 3 BR’s, 5:30PM 38W3 LR, DR, Bathroom, EIK. Close to TRANS. access to Yard. 1 1/2 months security. Seperate utilities. Avl. March 1st. (201) 628KEARNY Arlington sec2365. 40W1 tion. Basment apt. 1 BR, LR, refrigerator, sink, Toaster oven only. No stove top. No Pets. HARRISON Small 1 BR Perfect for single perapt. Recently renovated, son,.$700/month. UtiliH/W floors, Tiled Kitchen ties included. Avl. March. & Bath, $1,100/month. 1st. (201) 362-2264. 38W3 Avl. March 1st. (732) 4847169. 38W3

KEARNY 2nd Fl., 2 family house, 4 BR, 2 Bath, Kitchen, Family room. No pets. $1,800/month + utilities. 1 1/2 months security. Avail. March 1st(201) 3105757. 39W3

KEARNY 2nd floor 2 BR, in apartment building on kearny Ave, steps to Bus stop, No Pets, $1490 + utilitities, available March 1st, Leave detailed message (973) 951-7385 39W3

KEARNY 2 BR, LR, EIK, Hardwood Floors, Laundry on Premises, Close to TRANS, Heat included. $1250 + 1 month securtiy, Small pets, (201)376-3184 38W3


LYNDHURST - Large 1 N.ARLINGTON Apt. for BR, Convenient Loca- rent No pets. No smoktion. 1 1/2 months secu- ing. (201) 997-6666. 39W3 rity. Semi-Furnished. No Smoking. No pets. Call evenings until 9pm. (201) 933-1970. 40W1 N.ARLINGTON 1 BR garden apt. $1,100/month. BELLEVILLE 2 BR garden Apt. $1400. both HT/HW included. BELLEVILLE 2ND FL, 2 Parking space. No pets. BR APT. HT/HW INCLUD- (201) 342- 2206. 39W3

KEARNY 355 Kearny Ave. 1 BR, LR, kitchen, hardwood floors, HT/HW inc. $1,000/mth. Avl. March. 1st.(201) 283-2729 or ED. 1 MONTH SECURITY. (973)465-0166. 40W3 NO PETS. NO SMOKING. AVL.February 15. Call MaKEARNY 3rd fl. 2 BR, 1 NUTLEY ria (973) 759-7077 39W3 bath. $1,300/month. 1 month security. Avl. Immediately. Call Carmen NUTLEY 3 Large rooms. 201-622-8315 40W3 1 bedroom, LR, EIK, acBELLEVILLE Nice Area, cess to the yard ; $1200 KEARNY Remodeled 3 BR, $1,450/month. 1 + 1 month security. 2 BR, EIK, LR, HW Floors month security. No pets. Separate utilities, $50 throughout. $1400/ Backyard and parking background and credit month security & utilities. space Avl. Available Feb- application fee. Contact No Pets. (201) 991-6942 ruary 1. (201) 889-8112. Sam (201) 341-2620 . Ap39W3 40W1 pointments only. 40w3 KEARNY – Large 1 BR apt. Loft style. Featuring open floor plan, high ceiling, large windows, H/W floors throughout, New ceramic tile in bath. New kitchen, Ceiling fans in each room. $1200/ month + security & utilities. No pets. (201) 9916942. 40W1

BLOOMFIELD 3rd floor. 1 BR, LR, DR, EIK, Hardwood Floors, C/A, Close to TRANS. No Pets, No Smoking. $1100 + 1 1/2 months security, Available March 1st (862)2185151 39W3

HARRISON 721 Harrison Ave 3 BR, LR, kitchen, 2 bathrooms. Laundry. $2,000/month Available Now. (862) 588-4864 40W3

HARRISON Beautiful spacious 2 BR, LR, DR, Kitch, Full bath. 1st Floor. 10 min Walk to PATH, Major highways & Stores. No Pets, 1 month Security deposit. Call (917)9922293 40W3

HARRISON 2nd floor, 3/4 BR’s, LR, DR, EIK, Close to TRANS & PATH, $1800 + 1 1/2 month security. No Pets Avl. Now (973)517-6544 or (973)207-7796 39W3

KEARNY 1st floor 2 BR,LR,DR,EIK & yard. $1600 + 1.5 month security. utilities not included. Credit check. No Pets, No Smoking. Close to TRANS (973)886-9818 39W3

KEARNY 1 BR apt. HT/ HW included.New Kitchen & Bath Elevated building. Laundry facility on premises. from $1,150/month,. Call Sofia after 3pm 201998-3516 or see super after 3pm 654 Elm St. Apt Basement 1. 40W3

BLOOMFIELD 2 BR, LR, LYNDHURST 1 BR, Large Kitchen. 1 1/2 month seLR, EIK, H/W Floors, Close curity. No pets. Avl. Now. to TRANS, Schools, Res- (201)240-3841 39W3 turants. $1200 + 1 month security. Avail. March 1st call (201)460-0119 40W3

KEARNY Arlington Section, 3 modern room apt, 1 BR, Close to NY TRANS, Laundry facilities, $1200. H/H water supplied, No Pets. Call (908)240-9302 38W3

LYNDHURST 1st Floor, 1 BR, LR, EIK, Laundry on Premises, No Smoking, No Pets. $1200 + 1 1/2 months security, Utilities not Included. Credit/ Background check. Call (201)991-9107 38W3


Call Mary Ann

Office Assistant- F/T Position available. Must be fluent in English & Portuguese. Have experience in Quick Books and MS Excel. Must have excellent organizational skills & be motivated. Lusamer Auto Body 27 Austin Street, Newark NJ 07114 (973)824-0113 40W3

201-805-9023 40W6

Hall Available Family Affairs Mid week special. Call for info (201) 991-9865 or (203) 864-8243 Max 80 people. 34W9


N.ARLINGTON Studio apt with seperate kitchen in Garden apartment complex. 2nd floor $975/mth with H/HW included 1 month security. No pets. parking space Avail. Laundry Facility. Credit check. Avl. Now. Call btw. 10am7pm only. (201) 997-2341. 40W3

repairing and maintaining trucks, forklift and material handling equiphydraulic repair. Valid DL and own on experience, medical, 401K, paid holidays and vacation. Job Is Full-Time Please submit resume to applica-


KEARNY - Commercial space for lease - 2,000 sq. ft. refrigerator cooler with 1,000 sq. ft. dry and office with 3 loading docks. Call 201-997-1500 39W4


KEARNY — Room for rent all included. $640 month. Available now. Female preferred. No pets. 201-772-7427

(South Kearny)- 3 years experience

tools. Compensation is hourly based

E.NEWARK Room for rent. Male preferred. Shared Kitchen & Bath. NORTH ARLINGTON All utilities included. Avl Apartment sale, used 2nd floor, 2 BR,LR, Bath, Feb 15th. 973-464-4329 Clothes, shoes, Kitchen EIK + Computer work area. Stuff. Some Furniture, 38W3 $1500 + 1 month security. Toys, and Bedding. By ApAvailable Now. Call 201pointment only (201)355889-4564 40W3 7296 39W3 NORTH ARLINGTON two floors. 2nd Floor & 3rd floor with 3 bedrooms & 2 full bathrooms in sought after North Arlington. $2050 + 1 month security. No Pets , No Smoking Avail. Now For more information call 347601-9418 39W3

Equipment Repair Mechanic Needed

ment. Proficient in mechanical and



LYNDHURST 1 BR $1,295/month & 2 BR KEARNY - Remodeled 4 $1,495/month &, HT/HW BR, 2 Bath, W/D hook-up, included. Section 8 ok. Garage/Driveway. $2250. (973) 760-4877 39W3 No Smoking. Avail.March 1st call (201)968-6344 LYNDHURST 1st Floor, 2 39W3 BR, 2 Baths,LR, DR, Modern EIK, W/W carpeting, 9ft ceilings, C/A, Washer/ Dryer, 2 blocks from NY KEARNY Arlington sec- Trans or bus/shopping, tion. Basment apt. 1 BR, LR, No Pets, Off street Parking refrigerator, sink, Toaster $1750+utilities,1 1/2 seoven only. No stove top. curity Avail.Now (973)715No Pets. Perfect for single 4220 or (732)793-6540 person,.$700/month. Utili- 39W3 ties included. Avl. Feb. 1st. (201) 362-2264. 38W3


KEARNY Professional office space on Kearny Ave. $1500 + 1 1/2 months security. 900 sq.ft. Proximity to PATH & Bus lines. call (201) 889-3118. 39W3



KEARNY 3 BR, LR, Kitchen, Bathroom. $1,500/ month + 1 month security. No Smoking. No pets. Avl Now (201) 279-8427 or (201) 819-7064. 38W3

To place an ad call: 201-991-1600 classified or call 973–589-4100 ext.1225 to schedule interview 38W3

Auto Body Shop Needs mechanic helper. Must speak/write English, must have valid drivers license. Call (973) 589-6274 www. (Ironbound) Newark. 38W3

F/T Position Food Distributor Company in Kearny is looking Receiving, shipping, stock just to name some. Company offers health benefits, paid vacation and holidays. Bilingual in Spanish A+, $10.50/hour to start Qualified individuals apply in person 969 Newark Turnpike, Kearny Or call (201) 997-7689 x1104 38W3


Mechanics F/T Position. Must have experience in domestic and foreign cars. Must have own tools. Salary according to experience. Lusamer Auto Body 27 Austin Street Newark NJ 07114 (973)824-0113 40W3

Lost in December. White gold necklace with 1 carat diamond. Reward if returned. Family heirloom. 201280-9237

Prep Person- Detailer, Parts Assembly Person, Frame & Auto Body man for auto shop. Must have experience & own tools. Good working conditions. Lusamer Auto Body 27 Austin Street Newark NJ 07114 (973)824-0113 40W3



Parking for 25ft. trucks, SUVs or Small vans, Offices (201) 997-1500. 40W4


The The Observer Observer isis not not responsible responsible for for typographical typographical errors. errors. Credit Credit for for errors errors will will not not be be granted granted after after the the next week’s publication. No changes next week’s publication. No changes or or refunds. refunds. Deadline for classifieds is Monday by 3:00 PM. Deadline for classifieds is Monday by 3:00 PM.



Van Drivers $9.50/hr Van Aides $8.88/hr (or $9.50 w/license) Pathways to Independence in Kearny, NJ is seeking candidates to transport and work with individuals with developmental disabilities. Position is approx 25 hrs per wk, M-F (6:45AM-9AM & 2:15PM-4:30PM), split shift. Must have a valid driver’s license & good driving record. Experience driving vans preferred, not required. We offer PAID Holidays, Sick time, Vacation & Personal days & potential growth opportunities. A great work environment and a place you can make a difference for the disabled. Applicants fill out an application at our main office M-F 8:30A-4:00P located at 60 Kingsland Ave, Kearny, NJ 07032 or email resume to 40W1





•Concrete, • Brick



JR Trucking Moving and Delivery Service Inc. We can Save Time & Money Commercial & Residential Free Estimate. Ask for Will (973) 477-1848.34W9


Childcare located in Kearny is seeking FT teacher in infant class. Must have prior infant experience in licensed childcare as well as speak fluently in English. Apply at 545 Kearny Ave or email, sangels1@outlook. com 39W3

Part Time Night Crew (Over Night) Grocery Clerk. Experience necessary in a high volume atmosphere. Kearny Shop Rite 100 Passaic Ave, Kearny, NJ Please apply in person. 36W12

Insurance Customer Service We are a fast paced environment that needs a team player, with the ability to multi-task. Must have minimum of 2 years experience. Must be Bilingual English/ Spanish. Portuguese a plus. email to Lorenachique@allstate. com 38W3

Property Inspectors FT/PT in your area. Free training provided. msangelabove@ (732)766-4425 36W6


Experienced Short order cook/kitchen help and cleaning needed. Exp waitress for restaurant in N.Arlington. FT/PT flexible hours (917) 816-2419 40W3

Dental office in Kearny is Looking for Dental Assistant ! FULL TIME. We are looking for a responsible person, Bilingual English/Spanish. Minimum 1 Year Experience.Great Personal Skills is a must. Please send your Curriculum Vitae at : hudsonparkdental@ 38W3





work • steps • Stone Walls • Drywall • Tiles, • Painting • Sheetrock • Drywall • Plastering ALL types of Masonry Free Estimates (973) 943-2254 38W6



LABORER - Part-time Weekend laborer needed for Department of Public Works street/ sewer repairs, line painting, truck washing, maintenance/ cleanup of parks and playgrounds, garage and shade tree maintenance & other related duties. Valid NJ driver’s license required Friday, Saturday and Sunday 24.5 hours per week $12—$18 per hour Application available on line at www.kearnynj. org application deadline 2/23/18. 39W3


Proffesional and Reliable. We specialize in small offices, homes and apartments. References available. Over 14 yrs experience call (973)519-4822 39W4

Eliane Cleaning Services Apartments, Houses. References Available. -Efficient Reliable - Affordable. Free Estimates (973) 534-5949 39W4

Couple from Poland will clean houses, apartments, offices. References. (201) 997-4932 Leave message. 37W6

Quality - Dependable Honest Service - 17 Years of Experience Daily-Weekly-Monthly Rates Available Free Estimates Maria 443-454-9802 38W6

Intelligent, Independent, attractive female, Blonde 5’8” seeks Fatima Cleaning Services male 55-69, for friendApartments, Houses, ship/relationship. Offices. Kearny area. Please call References Available. Efficient - Reliable (201) 246- 1036. If no Affordable. Free Estianswer please leave mates (201) 428-7147 message. 38W3 35W6

Classifieds in The Observer get results ... but don’t just take our word for it ‘I have been very happy with the results from the classified ad we placed in The Observer. We had approximately 60 responses from the ad we placed, which we consider tremendous results. We have also placed prior ads for hiring staff and have always found an employee due to the large pool of people that read your paper. The customer service at The Observer is excellent. We have always been able to reach someone on the phone who was knowledgeable and courteous. The pricing is extremely reasonable and our ads have always run correctly.’ — Sue Meyers, Manna & Associates LLC

Call 201-991-1600 to place your classified today!

HEATING & COOLING Courageous Plumbing HVAC LLC LIC .#11103 • Air Conditioning • Hot Air Furnaces • Central Air, Humidifier, UV Light,Duck Cleaning,Visa & Master Card, Finances offer with up to 24 payments, no interest (201) 206-4845


DO IT ALL Interior/Exterior new & repairs. All types of carpentry. Reasonable rates, quality work, reliable, experienced. 13VH06620900 (201) 991-3223. 39W4

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To To place place an an ad ad call: call: 201-991-1600 201-991-1600 PLUMBING & HEATING


Courageous Plumbing HVAC LLC LIC. # 11103 • Plumbing • (town inspections), violations corrected, steam boilers and hot water boilers, oil to gas conversions, Sewer Drain Cleaning, excavations. Visa & MC, Finances up to 24 payments, no interest (201) 206-4845

JOSEPH V. FERRIERO Plumbing & Heating Kitchen and bath remodelling. Carpentry. Hot Water Heaters. Fully Ins. Lic# 165

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Seamless Gutters Installed LLC • Gutters Cleaned • Yankee Gutters Repaired & Relined • Slate Roofs Repaired • Flat Roofs Sealed & Coated “Save Plenty Call Dennie” 1-800-479-3262 40W12


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G & R Builders

A1 Affordable Rubbish Removal Attics, Basements, Yard Cleaning. We Haul or You Can Rent 10-15 Cubic Yard Containers. We Accept Visa/ MasterCard (201) 998-1262. 35W6


FOR SALE BY OWNER Bar/Restaurant liquor license for sale in Kearny. Contact Juan at (201) 939-1639



Andriello Cleanouts Joseph V. Ferriero Spring Removal, Yards, Plumbing Plumbing & Garages, Basements, Heating Kitchen and bath Attics, Real Estate, remodelling. Carpentry. Rubbish Removal/DemoHot Water Heaters. lition. Lic13VH04443200 Fully Ins. Lic# 165 (201) 726-0287. 38W4 (201)637-1775 37W6

SEAMLESS GUTTERS Kevin’s Home Improvements Professional Painting , Sheetrock, plastering, wallpapering,Kitchens and Bath. Tile work,Very neat and clean. We give affordable prices. Dont miss out. senior Discount. Fully insured (201) 565-6393. 35W6


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Continued from Page 1 with Walmart’s security staff,” the HCPO statement said. Shortly before the officer’s arrival, the suspect fled the store and entered a silver Honda Accord in the parking lot, which a Walmart manager pointed out to the cop. According to the HCPO, the officer stopped his patrol unit near the parked Honda and approached it on foot, “repeatedly ordering the driver out of the vehicle” and unholstering his firearm

“in a display of constructive authority.” As the officer walked toward it, the Honda reversed out of its spot and struck the vehicle parked directly behind it. At this point, the HCPO noted, the officer was positioned in a small area between his patrol car and the front of the Honda, which then accelerated toward him. It was then that the officer fired — three shots. The Honda turned away, the officer ceased firing, and the car fled the lot. “The police officer was visibly shaken following the

‘After a thorough review of all the evidence, the HCPO has concluded that the officer’s use of force was justified.’ — Hudson Prosecutor Esther Suarez episode and remained at the scene,” the HCPO noted. Multiple KPD units

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subsequently arrived, as did the HCPO and its Shooting Response Team. Suarez’s statement noted that her office “conducted an independent investigation into the entire incident,” including individually interviewing all five civilian witnesses to what had occurred and canvassing the scene for physical evidence. The HCPO also took possession of the officer’s duty weapon and magazine, and photographs were taken of the spent shell casings and of the scene. HCPO investigators also obtained Walmart video surveillance footage showing the parking lot “and the complete interaction between the officer and the Honda.” In addition, all KPD radio transmissions and phone calls related to the investigation were obtained and reviewed. “The sworn statements given by the civilian witnesses corroborated the physical evidence, as well as the surveillance video and radio transmissions made and received by law enforcement,” the HCPO reported. “After a thorough review of all the evidence, the HCPO has concluded that

the officer’s use of force was justified” under the attorney general’s Use of Force Policy and the applicable law, which permit the use of deadly force when an officer “reasonably believes such action is immediately necessary to protect the officer from imminent death or serious bodily harm.” “Due to the small area between two cars with no clear avenue of escape,” the HCPO concluded, the officer did reasonably believe “he did not have sufficient time to safely move out of the Honda’s path” and his “fear of death or serious bodily injury was reasonable.” And what of the fleeing suspect? Police said he, and his Honda, were located later that morning in Newark — by a KPD detective. The suspect, identified as Ramon Martinez, 43, of Newark, reportedly had wounds to his left arm and right shoulder and was treated at an area hospital. At the time of his arrest, it was reported that Martinez was charged with eluding police, receiving stolen property and shoplifting, but the status of that prosecution is not known.

To place a classified ad, please call




Continued from Page 21 before moving to Vernon last year. Visiting will be Tuesday, Feb. 13, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A service will take place Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the funeral home. Burial will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Chickie, the “matriarch of her family,” was the loving companion of Bob Kasak, cherished mother of Marcella Berrios (Frank Alvira) and sister of James Mumm and Ellen Ponczek. She is also survived by loving nieces and nephews along with their families. She was a member of the NJ Ski Club, loved golf, dancing and boating. She truly embraced the fun side of life and enjoyed her family and friends to the fullest.

Fernandez branches out with new business


ose Fernandez has spent the last 20 years working as an accountant — mostly in North Arlington. The St. Peter’s College (now University) graduate and his friend, Sandra Castro, also an accountant, decided, however, that the time was right to build their own business — and that’s exactly what they’re doing now, in Lyndhurst, under the banner Vista Services Group, LLC., at 290 Stuyvesant Ave. The one thing that hasn’t changed is what Fernandez — and Castro — deliver: excellence and attention to each customer’s needs. “We do taxes for individuals and small businesses and we treat every person who we work with like they were family,” Fernandez said. “We take the time to get to know each client ... what their needs are. We want to be sure we get things done right.” And do they ever

get it done right. Fernandez and Castro are, of course, accepting new clients — but don’t think just because the business is new that you won’t be getting the best service imaginable. “Sandra and I both have over 20 years of experience,” Fernandez said. “We’re looking forward to working with new clients.” The company also assists new businesses owners in setting up their corporations. And, they also do bookkeeping for nonprofits. As for Fernandez, accounting is hardly all he does. His roots are in Kearny — and he’s the former president of the now-defunct Kearny Rotary. He’s about to become the vice president of the Rutherford Rotary, too. Fernandez is also the treasurer of the Roosevelt School (Kearny) PTA. For more information, call Vista at 201340-4376.


Continued from Page 4 not demolished the car wash building and commenced construction of the new retail space within one year of [Feb. 6] or is not diligently pursuing completion of the project thereafter.” In other infrastructure news, Santos disclosed he has recommended that the town construction code official add

64 Laurel Ave., a boarded-up residential structure that has been vacant for the past five years, to the list of “abandoned properties” in Kearny. The mayor said the building’s condition “was brought to my attention by a resident” and definitely merited inclusion on the list of properties whose maintenance has been sorely neglected by their owners. In November 2016, Kearny passed an ordinance that


provided for a public listing of properties that qualified as “abandoned” and gave the owner, lien-holder or responsible party a fixed amount of time to pay all outstanding taxes and bring the building up to code or post a bond for that cost. Or, if that cost rises to a certain threshold, the town can “take” the property. So far, Santos said, by the “public shaming” process, the town has seen one property sold.

VISTA SERVICES GROUP, LLC • Income Tax • Personal • Business Please come in for a FREE review of your prior return and projection of the new tax law.

20 YEARS EXPERIENCE! Jose Fernandez | Sandra Castro

201-340-4376 290 Stuyvesant Ave • Lyndhurst, NJ

Deonysios Kalevas

Nicholas J. Coco


Income Tax Preparation

Certified Public Accountant “Serving financial needs of small business and individuals since 1998”

• Personal • Corporate • Reliable & Professional Service

Tax Preparation • Financial Planning Budgeting • Bookkeeping

230 Belleville Tpke. Kearny, N.J.

(Corner of Stuyvesant Ave.)

Ph: 201-991-8470 Ask for Dennis

Fax 201-991-8471 Adam Urdang, CPA President

752 Kearny Ave., Kearny NJ Office: 201-955-3100 Fax: 201-955-3339 Email:



FREE 30 Minute Consultation Exp. 2/15/18

10 Stuyvesant Ave. | Lyndhurst, NJ | Phone: (201) 438-1040 |

• Member of the National Society of Accountants • The National Society of Tax Professionals • The NJ and National Society Brianna Antonelli EA, MST

Bernadette Antonelli EA, ATA, ATP

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Continued from Page 1 Kearny Health Department. The woman, whose name The Observer is withholding now to protect the identity of her three children, has taken to Facebook and in postings, says she and her kids lost everything they had. “Please anyone who is renting an apartment in Kearny and will allow pets. I am trying to get my family back together,” the woman wrote in a Feb. 6 Facebook posting. “We are separated do (sic) to a fire from the apartment next to us. My kids are now living with my brother and sister in law (sic) and I’m bouncing from place to place and so is my fiancé. “I am wanting to pay an extra fee for animals which would be nonrefundable. My did (dog) is 15 years old and if he lives another year we are lucky and two cats. My kids are 17 yrs. 12 yrs. And 4 yrs. They know how to take care of their animals. Someone please help us get back to a normal life. Trying to keep my kids in Kearny with their animals. So anyone please help.” This newspaper also received a similar email message from the same woman. “We went from a happy family to a separated one in one day. This happened because of a fire in the apartment next to us,” she wrote. “We lost everything. The only thing my kids held onto were there (sic) pets. This was their security blanket. They are now staying with my brother and his family my fiancé and I have been bouncing from place to place not even together. “I am begging anyone in Kearny willing to allow my children to come home to me with their pets and allow us to be a family again please open your hearts to us and allow us to rent one of your homes. The dog is 15 yrs old and is 7 lbs. If he survives another year we will be lucky. Trying to stay in Kearny for the kids to stay with friends and in a school they know. Sincerely A desperate parent.” According to Nelly Albizu, a

social worker at the Kearny Board of Health who worked tirelessly to help families who were affected by the fire, while some of the things the woman owned sustained some damage from water, she didn’t lose it all as she’s said she has on social media. “Her landlord stated she has her stuff in the basement,” Albizu told The Observer. “(Some) stuff got water damaged, but not all.” Albizu also said the landlord is looking to renovate his building. Whether the renovation is connected to the fire is unclear. “Her situation is that she had to move because the landlord needs to renovate the place so he returned the deposits and (last) month’s rent to everyone in the building so he can shut it down and do his claims and renovate,” Albizu said. The woman has also been telling people she’s had to live in her car. “I was living in my car, but have been bouncing from place to place,” she said. “I’m now kind of stable between my friends and my aunts. My kids are at my brother’s house and my fiancé is in-between his mom’s and his sister’s.” Not entirely true, Albizu says. “That is not true that she was in the car,” Albizu said. Albizu, who has helped mostly all of the residents who lived in the actual fire building, says she’s disturbed that someone would use the fire in an exploitive way. “That (disturbing) part is the people that were really affected by the fire haven’t even bothered,” she said. Lisa Feorenzo, co-owner of The Observer, says she doesn’t want this story to hurt and one person. However, she does want to note that at times of tragedy, there are people out there willing to take advantage of people’s generosity — and as a community, it’s necessary to remain vigilant when it comes to helping those truly in need. “By no means is this story meant to hurt anyone,” Feorenzo said. “But at times like this, people need to be very careful when helping others. It’s just too easy to not get things right.”





“Celebrating Our 45th Anniversary”










Lease per mo/ 24 mos*

$ NEW 2018 CHEVY




Gray, 4-Dr, 4-Cyl, 1.4L, FRWD, Auto, TC, P/S/ABS, A/C w/Clim Cntrl, Dual/Side Curtain Impact Air Bags, P/Winds/Lcks/Mrrs, Tilt, Cruise, Alloys, Sec Sys, Keyless Entry, CD/Satellite, Nav, OnStar, Rr Camera, Bluetooth, Stk#18-1116, VIN#J7113851, MSRP: $22,325. Based on 24 Mo Closed End Lease. $3,244 due at delivery includes $2,495 down payment, 1st Payment & $650 bank fee. 10,000 mi/yr excess mi @ $.25 thereafter. Total payments: $2,376. Residual Value: $13,395. Includes Lease Conquest if qualified.




White, SUV, 4-Cyl, Turbo, 1.4L, FRWD, Auto w/OD, A/C w/Clim Cntrl, Dual/Side Impact Air Bags, P/Winds/Lcks/Mrrs, Tilt, Telescopic, Cruise, Ally Whls, T/Gls, Sec Sys, Keyless Entry, AM/FM/Satellite, OnStar, Nav, Stk#18-120, VIN#JB554633, MSRP:$25,360. Based on 39 Mo Closed End Lease. $2,174 due at delivery includes $1,995 down payment & 1st Payment. No up front bank fee. 10,000 mi/yr excess mi @ $.25 thereafter. Total payments: $6,981. Residual Value: $13,695. Includes Lease Loyalty if qualified.














Stk#16117, VIN#B7126446, 1.4L, 4-Cyl, FWD, Auto, CD/MP3, AC, Daul Air Bags, P/S/ABS, P/Winds/Lcks, Sec Sys, 7” Color Touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, USB, Rr Camera, T/Gls, 11,541.

2016 GMC




Blue, Stk#16067, VIN#G6200185, 2.4L, 4-Cyl, FWD, Auto, TC, AC, atellite/MP3/USB, Pioneer Premium Sound, Rear Camera, Rf Rails, Sec Sys, T/Gls, 7” Color Touchscreen, 22,050mi.





Stk#16159, VIN#B6384946, 2.4L, 4-Cyl, AWD, Auto, CD/USB/Satellite Radio, Nav, Cruise, Htd Sts/Mrrs, R/Cam, Remote Start, Sec Sys, TC, 70,096mi.



GM Executive Demo



White, Stk#15733, VIN#HJ145431, 3.6L, 6-Cyl, Auto, AWD, 6.5’ Touch Display, AM/FM, Satellite, Bluetooth, Back Up Cam, Cruise, P/S/ABS, 12,986mi.

$ NEW 2017 BUICK


Lease per mo/ 39 mos*


Black, 4-Dr, 4-Cyl, 2.0L, Turbo, FRWD, Auto, P/S/ABS, A/C w/Clim Cntrl, Dual/Side Curtain Impact Air Bags, P/Htd Sts, Lthr, P/Winds/Lcks/Mrrs, Cruise, Heated Seats, Alloys, T/Gls, Sec Sys, Keyless Entry, Satellite, OnStar, Nav, Bluetooth, R/Camera, Remote Start, Stk#17-486, VIN#H9183884, MSRP: $30,360. Based on 39 Mo Closed End Lease. $3,884 due at delivery incl $2,995 down pymnt & 1st Pymnt. $650 bank fee. 10,000 mi/yr excess mi @ $.25 thereafter. Ttl pymnts: $9,321. Residual Value: $14,270. Includes Lease Conquest if qualified.



Silver, Stk#16064, VIN#HF184657, 1.5L, 4-Cyl, FWD, Auto, 7” Color Touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apply CarPlay, AC, PS/ABS, P/Winds/Lcks/Htd Mrrs, R/Camera, Sec Sys, TC, T/Gls, 15,253mi.



GM Executive Demo



Black, Stk#16703, VIN#H1187093, Crew Cab, 2.8L, 4-Cyl, Auto, Turbo Diesel, 4WD, 8” Color Touchscreen, /USB, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, AC, P/S/ABS, Rear Camera, TC, 10,774mi.




199 Rt.17 South, E.Rutherford, NJ 201.939.6800

2014 BUICK

2010 BUICK





Lease per mo/ 39 mos*

Cajun Red Tintcoat, SUV, 4-Cyl, FRWD, Auto w/OD, TC, P/S/ABS, Dual Side Impact Air Bags, P/Winds/Lcks/Mrrs, Tilt, Telescopic, Cruise, Sec Sys, AM/FM, Rr Camera, OnStar, Nav, Stk#18-1246, VIN#JS560066, MSRP: $28,140. Based on 39 Mo Closed End Lease. $3,144 due at delivery includes $2,995 down payment, 1st payment. No up front bank fee. 10,000 mi/yr excess mi @ $.25 thereafter. Total payments: $5,811. Residual value: $16,040. Includes Lease Conquest if qualified.


Lease per mo/ 39 mos*



White, Stk#15938, VIN#AU119690, 3.9L, 6-Cyl, FRWD, Auto, CD/MP3/Satellite, P/S/ABS, Cruise, Fog Lights, Remote Start, Sec Sys, TC, 11,878mi.

2014 BUICK




Red, Stk#15962, VIN#B572738, 1.4L, 4-Cyl, AWD, Auto, /Satellite/USB/MP3, 7” LCD Color Display, AC, Cargo Cover, Cruise, Liftgate Window, Rf Rack/Rails, Remote Start, TC, 21,007mi.



Brown, Stk#15976, VINE4227171, 2.4L, 4-Cyl, Auto, Satellite/MP3/USB, 7” Touchscreen, iPod Connect, Bluetooth, AC, Cruise, Fog Lights, P/S/ABS, Remote Start, Sec Sys, 36,624mi.

2015 BUICK



2014 BUICK




Stk#15974, VIN#E9304497, 2.0L, 4-Cyl, FWD, Auto, CD/USB/ Satellite/MP3, Bluetooth, 7-Speaker Sys, A/C, Fog Lights, Htd Steering Whl, Remote Start, Sec Sys, 32,332mi.

2017 GMC


GM Executive Demo




Stk#15910, VIN#FF143786, 3.6L, 6-Cyl, FWD, Auto, Lthr, CD/USB, 8” Color LCD Display, Bluetooth, iPod Connect, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, TC, P/S/ABS, Sec Sys, A/C w/ Clim Cntrl, Htd Sts, 21,078mi.

Stk#15838, VIN#HJ166198, 3.6L, 6-Cyl, AWD, Auto, CD/USB/Satellite 6.5”Color Touchscreen, Clim/TracCntrl, OnStar, Nav, Blind Spot Sens, R/Cam, Remote Start, 16,434mi.

Financing thru GM Financial. Not all buyers will qualify. See dlr for details. **Free Maintenance includes 2 oil changes within the first 24,000 miles. ^0% APR for up to 72 mos, on select models. *Actual mileage will vary. Lessee resp for excess wear, tear, & mileage charges as stated. All price(s) incl(s) all costs to be paid by consumer, except for tax, title, lic costs, reg fees, dlr fees & optional equipment extra. Other restrictions may apply. Pics are illustrative only. Offers end 2/28/18. ©2017


Coccia_COEAd_Observer_020118.qxp 10:29 AM Page 1 THE OBSERVER | WEDNESDAY,2/1/18 FEBRUARY 14, 2018

Whenselling selling your your home, trust our When our top top 2017NJ NJRealtors Realtors Circle Circle of Excellence 2017 Excellence Awardees and and the the area’s area’s #1 broker! Awardees broker! Circle of Excellence Sales Award


Circle of Excellence Sales Award®


"I am very proud of our agents accomplishments!" Jan R. Kwapniewski President

We had over 336 sales in the NJMLS in 2017 with over $136,000,000 in sales!

KEARNY 201-997-7000 LYNDHURST 201-939-8900 RUTHERFORD 201-939-0001 SECAUCUS 201-867-2100


Silvana Abrantes 201.606.1110

Maria Bonsignore-DiMaulo 917.364.4944

Dorota Chojnacki 201.888.4969

Bobby Ristovski 201.923.7768

Luis Rodriguez 201.679.8929

George Rosko 201.218.0841

Helen Rzegocki 908.451.6023

Marianne Von Cappeln 201.280.4275


Zoraida Alonso 201.736.4712

Raymond Ciampaglia 201.456.4839

Carol Marra 201.723.0528

Daniela Cifelli 973.901.4496

Doreen Martens 201.320.291

Florence Ferrandino 201.719.0755

Erin Quinones 201.615.9184

Katrina Iwinski 973.626.1355

Tracey Waters 201.240.5479

*Statistics based on information derived from NJMLS for all sales transactions in East Rutherford, Lyndhurst, North Arlington, Rutherford, Wallington, Wood Ridge, Secaucus, Hasbrouck Heights, Harrison, Kearny, made from 1/1/17 to 12/31/2017, deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Better Homes and Gardens® is a registered trademark of Meredith corporation licensed to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. Equal Opportunity Employer. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Franchise is Independently Owned and Operated.

2018 02 14 o1  
2018 02 14 o1