Nutley, New JerseyPage OneJanuary 31, 2015

Message Board Will Continue

NJHometown News Closes Midnight Today

Woman's Group Fuels Controversy

Question of Board President's Residence Secured

- Despite assurances that Board of Education President Thomas Sposato was properly and legally elected to the leadership post in early January, the validity of his serving continues to be challenged by a group of women voters demanding proof of his residency in Nutley.

School advocate Terri Quirk this week heightened the challenge

demanding to see proof of Sposato's residency in Nutley. Another woman asked that such proof be provided on the spot: "prove it to us right now," she said.

Proof of residency documents have been provided to trustees, admin- istration officials and to the press [at least to NJHometown News].

But the controversy has continued

including on NJHometown's message board where this week one woman incorrectly stated that Sposato refused to immediately, on the spot, produce residency documents. The Message Board conversations continue to fuel the controversy.

Recently re-married to a Bloom- field woman, Sposato's residency in Nutley has not changed.

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Jaycees Will Honor Winners at April 9 Dinner

Nominations Open for Distinguished Service Awards

- The Nutley Jaycees today announced they are actively seeking nominations from the community for the upcoming 44th annual Distinguished Service Awards Program.

Five individuals who live or work in Nutley will be honored for their outstanding contributions to the quality of life in Nutley.

The Awards are presented for

commitment and excellence in the areas of (1) Business, (2) Education, (3) Civic Affairs, (4) Public Health and Safety and (5) to the one Outstanding Individual between the ages of 21 and 40. Deadline for the nominations is March 9.

The awards will be presented at the Nutley Jaycees Distinguished Service Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 9, 2014 at the Valley Regency

in Clifton on Valley Road. Last year's affair attracted four-hundred Nutley residents.

Reservations for the dinner can be purchased for $45 per person. Presently, there remains availability for advertisements in the event's Program Book. For further information, contact Andy Garruto at (973) 661-4455 or Dr. Steven Clarke (973) 235-1515.

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Suffers Broken Nose; 20-Year-Old Is Jailed

Nutley Resident Assaulted While Sleeping at Home

- A bloodied Nutley man with a broken nose and injuries to his face and body was found wandering in the area of Church Street around 11 p.m. yesterday where he was spotted by a Nutley policemen who rushed him to the hospital while learning his passenger had been assaulted while sleeping at home in his own bed.

The Nutley resident, in a state- ment to police detectives, said he was asleep when his daughter's

boyfriend entered his apartment where he committed the assault while making threats to his life.

The boyfriend later was identified as 20-year-old Andrew Duval, a resident of Clifton.

Made Terrorist Threats

Duval was arrested by Nutley police officers and charged with burglary, making terrorist threats, aggravated assault and robbery.

Duval was taken to the Essex County Jail where he is being held

in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Nutley Police Chief Thomas Strumolo called the arrest "an isolated incident" noting the two men apparently knew one another.

"We suspect the 20-year-old was defending the victim's live-in girlfriend after an earlier argument."

Event Resolved Quickly

The investigating detectives were commended for their quick investigation that lead to Duval's arrest.

18-Year-Old in Essex County Jail

Belleville Teens Caught Minutes After Nutley Robbery

- Three Belleville teenagers were caught minutes after assaulting and robbing a 17-year-old Nutley youth shortly before 1 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 18.

An observant Nutley patrolman noticed the three young men fleeing a Whitford Avenue location. The trio entered a black Sibaro which was pulled over by the patrolman. At

about the same time police headquarters in Nutley was transmitting a radio bulletin notifying area patrol cars of the incident on Whitford Avenue.

Minutes later at Nutley Police Headquarters the 17-year-old victim made a positive identification of the three Belleville youths, Carlos Vidreiro, 18, and two juveniles.

Vidreiro couldn't post set at $75,000 and was transported to the Essex County Jail. The two youths were taken to the Juvenile Detention Center in Newark pending a court appearance.

Nutley Police Chief Thomas Strumolo said the charges were serious and warranted the severe consequences.

Blizzard Busted, Snow Emergency Ended

Nutley Was Prepared for A Record Storm

- Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura issued a snow emergency affecting Nutley and the surrounding area that was in effect Monday, from 4 p.m. until 9 a.m. today.

Nutley Public Works crews began snow emergency preparations in full force over the weekend.

"Weather forecasts called for a blizzard with record snow accumulation reaching 30 inches. DiVincenzo and Fontoura are asking motorists to avoid parking their vehicles on county roadways so Public Works crews can
remove snow more efficiently. "As a matter of public safety, we ask that motorists do not park their vehicles on County roads from Monday, January 26th at 4 p.m. to Wednesday, January 28th at 9 a.m. This will enable us to clear snow and spread salt from curb to curb so our roads are passable," DiVincenzo said.

"We encourage our residents to remain safe during these upcoming snow events and only travel if it is absolutely necessary," he added. According to weather forecasts utilized by the County, the blizzard will bring more than two feet of snow and high winds.

Thanked for His Many Years of Volunteer Service

Zoning Board's Ralph Pastore Is Retiring

- Ralph Pastore, a resident of Columbia Avenue who resides in a home he built more than a century ago, was honored by township commissioners Jan. 20 for "his invaluable dedication and commitment as a member of the Nutley Zoning Board. Pastore, who is retiring, was first appointed to the Zoning Board in 1999 by then Mayor Peter Scarpelli "who recognized Ralph's keen knowledge in the building construction field."

Pastore retired after 40 years as vice president in charge of construction and sales for the Damon G. Douglas Company. He also headed the Drug Awareness initiative for the state's construction industry.

"I very much would like to thank Mayor Petracco and the Board of Commissions for this honor."

Photo by NJHometown

Ralph Pastore, retiring from the Nutley Zoning Board, is pictured with (l-r) Dr. Joseph Scarpelli, Mayor Alphonse Petracco,Commissioners Mauro Tucci and Finance Commissioner Tom Evans.

Gov. Christie in Nutley to Announce the Good News

4-Year Medical School Will Occupy Roche Property

- Governor Christie joined Nutley and Clifton officials on the vacated Roche property shortly after 10 a.m. today to witness a "memorandum of understanding" to fill two of the empty buildings with a four-year private medical school. Plans call for the new educational facility to graduate its first class in 2017.

Officials from Essex, Passaic and Bergen counties joined the Governor in predicting success for the venture which expects to graduate its first class in 2017.

"This is not just a homerun, it's a grand slam," Christie who is a 1984 Seton Hall graduate said.

Nutley Mayor Alphonse Petracco was equally enthusiastic. Petracco along with Nutley Commissioner Mauro Tucci worked especially close the past two years with Clifton on a "re-purposing" committee dedicated to attracting new enterprises to the vacated Roche property.

Gov. Christie was joined by Mayor Petracco and and a long list of state and county leaders at today's announcement. All five Nutley Commissioners and several Clifton councilmen were at the celebration enhancing the likelihood for the vacated Roche property's future success.

Photo by Snapshot Sam

Key players leading to today's success in finalizing a new four-year medical school in Nutley included (l-r) Nutley Commissioner Mauro Tucci; Robert Garrett, president of the Hackensack University Network; Dr. Gabriel Esteban, president of Seton Hall University; Tom Lyons, site head for Hoffman-LaRoche, and Mayor Alphonse Petracco of Nutley.

The Governor's remarks were applauded by the more than 200 state and local leaders at this morning's event. No one was happier today than Mayor Petracco. "Today wasn't a home run; it's a grand slam," Petracco said.

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Town's Prestigious Honor Is Based on Volunteer Community Service

Search Underway for Recipient of 2015 Mattia Award

- Nominations opened today for the 43th Annual Dr. Virginius D. Mattia Award for volunteer community service. The award, based on long years of distinguished of volunteer service to the community, will be presented at a testimonial dinner on Wednesday, May 6, at Nanina's in the Park in Belleville.

Forms to assist the public in the nomination procedure are available at several locations in Nutley, including the Library, Town Hall, the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Nutley High School office.

"We really want to ensure that everyone in Nutley is reminded of the nomination process that brings to the committee's attention the work of individuals or organizations that are deserving of this prestigious community honor, "said Phil White, the retiring president of the Mattia committee.

Once a nomination form is received, White noted, the persons nominated will be considered for all future years as well. However, a note reminding the committee of nominations already submitted will always be welcomed.

In lieu of a nomination form, a letter addressed to the Mattia Committee may be sent to Franklin Reformed Church, Hillside Crescent, Nutley New Jersey 07110 detailing how the nominee meets the following criteria:

• Long years of community service to Nutley as an individual and/or through association with one or more organizations.

• Someone who simply does an outstanding job in his/her profession is generally not considered to be eligible because the key component of the award is volunteerism.

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Town Honors Ralph Pastore, William Wuebben

NJHometown News Will Shutdown After Many Years

- Proclamations honoring Ralph Pastore, veteran member of the Nutley Zoning Board, and William Wuebben, an A-student at Lincoln School, highlighted last night's Board of Commissioner's session.

Mayor Alphonse Petracco and the commissioners also learned that Nutley's NJHometown News web site will soon be shuttered ending several years of news reporting in the community.

Pastore, was honored for his 16 years of voluntary service as a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. He recently retired after 40 years as vice president of the construction company Damon G. Douglas.

Also honored last night was William Wuebben, an A-student in

the fourth grade at Lincoln School. Young William at the age of one was diagnosed with Mobius Syndrome, a rare disease characterized by facial paralysis and other neurological issues. After three years of special education, William was mainstreamed into a third grade class at Lincoln School where he is an A student.

Commissioners proclaimed this coming Saturday as "Mobius Syndrome Day – to show the world that through determination, hard work and perseverance that anything and everything is achievable."

The planned closing of Nutley's NJHometown News was first announced yesterday by editor Phil White during a meeting of the Dr. Mattia Awards Committee. White

also stepped down yesterday after several years as president of the Mattia Awards Committee.

Nutley Attorney John Gizzo was elected the new president of the Mattia Committee. Unanimously, White was named as a honorary life-time member.

The closing date of NJHometown News has not yet been announced but is expected in the coming weeks. The Board of Commissioners last night also learned of the pending shutdown.

Mayor Alphonse Petracco said he hoped the town's popular website "somehow can be maintained."

The planned shutdown does not include Hometown's "Message Board."

Kickoff Meeting Thursday, Feb. 5

Plans Underway for 9th Annual Relay for Life

- Nutley's "Relay for Life," which already has raised more than $775,000 for research and patient services for cancer victims and their families, has scheduled a Thursday, Feb. 5 "kickoff celebration" at the Parks and Recreation facility on Park Avenue. The 9th annual relay event itself will be held overnight at DeMuro Park on May 15-16.

"We anticipate 2015 will be

our biggest fundraising year yet," Nutley Commissioner Mauro Tucci said today. Doors open Thursday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m.

"I would like to personally thank Ralph's for donating the all of the delicious food for this event and for their continued support of our community and Nutley Parks and Recreation Programs" Commissioner Tucci said. "The Kick Off is a great

way to rally together and create an excitement within the community about this event and Make a positive impact in the lives of others," Commissioner Tucci said. All are welcome to attend the February event. Live entertainment and refreshments will be available. Registration for May's 15-16 event is already open. Teams can register at

Other Top Stories

Tom Sposato Is the New School Board President

  •  Charles Kucinski Steps Aside from Top Position

- Veteran Board of Education trustee Tom Sposato this week was elected the new president of the Nutley school board succeeding Charles W. Kucinski who steps down a notch to serve as vice president. Sposato has been one of the board's most active members but had never served as president.

Sposato's election Monday night would have been unanimous were it not for an opposing vote by trustee Lisa Danchak-Martin who told NJHometown she was concerned with Sposato's missing "too many" of the Board of Education's work sessions.

Tom Sposato
School Board President

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Programs Offered to Keep Residents In Shape

  •  Adult Exercises Will Start February 24

- A new intensive exercise program for adults will begin on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 6:45-7:45 p.m. Tuesdays and 6-7 p.m. Wednesdays beginning February 24 -25 at the Parks and Recreation annex at 65 Bloomfield Avenue. The program will be taught by Mary Wilde and offers "an intense exercise program focusing on increasing core strength while burning fat and increasing cardiovascular stamina."

Boot camp, kickboxing, plyometrics and resistance training are included and the last 15 minutes of each session will feature a new component "All Out Abs."

Classes are adaptable to fit a spectrum of fitness levels with the goal of achieving maximum results in 60 minutes.

Hand weights 3-5 pounds and a floor mat are required. Classes are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday evenings beginning February 24.

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Recreation Softball Registration Open for 2015

  • Tryouts Are Required for Senior Team

- Applications opened today for the 2015 girls softball program sponsored by the Nutley Recreation Dept.

Both an in-town softball league and and a travel program are planned. Deadline to register for the recreation team is March 13. An earlier February 17 deadline was set for the girls travel team.

"Both these programs will create a positive softball experience for the girls through the education of the

support along with stressing the importance of teamwork, good sportsmanship and fun," Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci said.

"The young ladies participating will learn to set goals, learn discipline in doing the work to meet those goals, and yes, how to handle defeat and victory in acceptable manners." The fee for the Recreation Softball Program is $40 per youngster. Fee for the Travel Softball Program is $65.00 per youngster.

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Summer Pre-K Recreation Program Outlined

  •  Applications Now Open at Parks Department

- Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci invites youngsters who are eligible to enter kindergarten this September to participate in a summer Pre-K recreation program designed to introduce youngsters to a school atmosphere.

"Our educational goal is to prepare children for their first year in school," Tucci said. Certified teachers with elementary and kindergarten experience will supervise the activities that will combine the indoor and outdoor facilities at the Washington elementary school.

The program is designed as an

introduction to the basic hands-on curriculum of early education. Children's skills introduced at the kindergarten level have proven to have a significant impact on their later achievements.

"This program allows children to become familiar with a new environment in a gradual process and as they become prepared for that exciting first day of school," Tucci said. "Curriculum will cover all the necessary readiness standards to successfully and confidently enter your kindergartener in the fall."

The program will run from June 29 through July 24, 2015.

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Wild Game Charity Dinner Saturday, Feb. 7

  •  Benefit for Nutley's Special Children and Local Veterans

The 5th Annual Wild Game Charity Dinner benefiting Nutley's special children and veteran's committees has been scheduled for Saturday, Feb 7, at the Nutley Elks Lodge on Chestnut Street.

An exotic menu of meats, soups and stuffed breads as well as several non-game dishes will be featured.

The 6-10 p.m. event includes a menu designed and prepared by the the Jernick Brothers, Tony and Anthony Dragos of the Washington

Park Tavern, chefs from Luna Wood Fire Pizza, the New Man Hing Restaurant in Nutley along with Vin Festa and Tom Bolcato.

Open Bar for the Evening

Buffet style seating is planned as patrons choose from a menu featuring more than 20 dishes. An open bar is included for the evening.

Tickets are $50 for adults and $15 for those 12 years and under. Reservations can be secured by contacting Adam Jernick at 973-580-4246.

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All Around Town

Flag Football Opens
Registration Today

- Today marks the opening for registrations in the Parks and Recreation's spring season of Flag Football.

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci reports league plan begins in April and is open to boys and girls in grades 1-6. Fee is $40 per child. Registration deadline March 2. Online registration is available at

Comedy 'Art of Murder'
Coming to Little Theatre

  Auditions Feb 15-16

- Nutley Little Theatre has scheduled auditions for the mystery comedy, "Art of Murder" at the NLT Barn, 47 Erie Place, at 7:30 on the evenings of Sunday, Feb. 15, and Monday, Feb. 16.

Written by Joe DiPietro, the author of "Over the River and Through the Woods" and "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," this play won the 2000 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Play.

"Hilarious, suspenseful, surprising and dazzling in every way," one critic said. DiPietro's blend of comedy with his acute appreciation of the mystery genre will keep you guessing and laughing at every turn."

Evening performances will be on April 10, 11, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25. Matinee performances are on April 12, 19 and 25.

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Photo by Nutley Little Theatre

'The First Silent Night'
Jan. 27 at Holy Family

- The Music Ministry at Holy Family Church is sponsoring a showing of the award-winning film "The First Silent Night" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27.

The film, which features actor Simon Callow, will be presented at the church, 28 Brookline Ave.

New Liquor License
For Masonic Temple

-- The Nutley Masonic Temple Association has been awarded a "club" liquor license, Mayor Alphonse Petracco reports. The license for the temple's property at 175 Chestnut Street was approved at the Dec. 31 session of the Board of Commissioners.

A series of inspections by the Nutley police and fire departments preceded the approval of the new license

Weekly Church Schedules

Church secretaries: Send updated weekly schedules of Church and religious events along with current and upcoming activities to

Sunday Listing
for All Nutley Churches

Nutley Police Blotter
Week Ending Jan. 2

Holiday Gift Cards
   Paid With Counterfeit $$

Jan. 1, 2015 -- Police are investigating an incident in which a woman this week defrauded a local business owner of $900.

The woman entered a Franklin Ave. business and purchased $900 worth of gift cards and then proceeded to pay the clerk with counterfeit $100 bills. After receiving the cards, the woman quickly exited the establishment.

Nutley Detectives were able to use a piece of scratch paper left by the woman to identify her as 51-year old Wineoka Jordan of Newark. Officer John Mecka, assigned to the Detective Bureau, followed the the cratch-paper lead to positively identified the woman who is has been charged, is being sought by police but has yet to be apprehended.

Other police blotter reports for the past week follow:

Click Here for Police Blotter

$15,000 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' Gift Adopted by Town

- Commisioners this week took advantage of a $7,500 "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" grant made available by the Division of Local Government services in Trenton. A matching amount was appropriated from the town's police salaries and wages account which served to double the Trenton offer.

The overall $15,000 appropriation was coordinated by Mayor Alphonse Petracco.

Town's Dental Plan
At $335,000 for 2015

- Nutley Commis- sioners have approved a 2005 dental service plan for town employees at a cost not to exceed $335,000 annually. The plan reflects a 3 percent increase over current dental costs, Commis- sioner Mauro Tucci said.

The town shopped for lower rates "but none of the quotes were comparable to the benefits the township currently has with Delta Dental, Tucci said.

Gentley Used Sports
Equipment Offered
By S.E.E.K. Program

- Sports equipment that's only been "gently used" by student athletes is again being offered by the Nutley S.E.E.K. program for "Sports Equipment Encourages Kids." Families in need of equipment for both high school and Nutley recreation programs are eligible for the program.

Equipment for all grade levels including high school may contact the Department of Public Safety at 973-284-4929. All requests will be kept confidential.

New and "gently used" sports equipment such as gloves, bats, baseball pants, sliding shorts, cleats, soccer shorts, socks, shin guards, cleats, lacrosse sticks and many other types of equipment are available at no charge.

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