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Bergen County Blogs

Big Jungle Adventure, a faith journey for kids, in August at Trinity Lutheran, Cliffside Park


It's a jungle in here at Big Jungle Adventure, a Vacation Bible school with free admission for kids and young people of all ages, which will be held from 9:00 A.M. to 12 noon on Monday, August 15th to Thursday, August 18th at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church on 238 Columbia Avenue in Cliffside Park.  Children, youth, parents, and families are invited to come on this faith adventure and meet new friends, including Ranger Morgan and her brave adventurers and Humphrey the Hippo, Bobo the gorilla, Flash the cheetah, Kiki the Ugandan kob and Ruby the jewel-colored turaco bird.  As young people go on this fun faith journey through the jungle, they do fun activities, sing great songs, make awesome crafts and pictures, watch videos, play games, eat yummy snacks, and explore Bible stories and take Bible challenges as they learn how they're protected and guided by God through all of their lives.  Registration for Big Jungle Adventure is open now.  To register or to ask for more information regarding Big Jungle Adventure, call (201) 943-0088 or (201) 941-4161, or visit or mail the church at its 238 Columbia Avenue address in Cliffside Park, or e-mail Rev. John Schroter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Hope to see you there!


Ridgefield Memorial High School Students Got All Wrapped-up For Companion Animal Advocates

Companion Animal Advocates (CAA) recently received a generous donation of pet food from the students of the STRIVE program at Ridgefield Memorial High School.  A car-load of food, treats and other gifts were donated by the group and dispersed to the Center for Food Action locations in Mahwah and Elmwood Park as well as Social Service Association of Ridgewood and Vicinity through CAA’s Operation Feed-A-Pet program. 


The STRIVE program at Ridgefield Memorial High School focuses on everyday life functioning skills. As a holiday fundraising benefit, the students decided to raise money for Companion Animal Advocates by having a  "wrap-a-thon" in the classroom. With the money raised from staff and faculty bringing in their gifts to be wrapped by the students, the students then purchased dog and cat food to help those who are having trouble feeding their family pets this season. As a life skills assignment, the class also called to receive the $2 coupon for Purina, which they also donated to the organization.


“We are so proud of these students and the hard work and dedication that they provided to CAA and its mission to keep pets with their families,” said Christine McIndoe, Vice President of Companion Animal Advocates.  “In this day and age, so many people are struggling and doing without.  Many of them have pets and are trying not to surrender them to a shelter.  This is where CAA comes in and tries to make life a little easier by providing the nutritious food that the pets need, therefore, eliminating the financial burden on these families,” she continued. 


Please visit our Web site, www.CompanionAnimalAdvocates.org, for more details on how you can raise funds or host a pet food drive for Companion Animal Advocates or simply sign up for our newsletter.  Please call  (201) 706-7666 with any questions.

About Companion Animal Advocates:

Companion Animal Advocates (CAA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Bergen County, NJ. CAA is dedicated to the welfare of companion animals within our community through programs designed to keep pets in their homes and reduce pet overpopulation. For more information on Companion Animal Advocates or how you can help, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone at (201) 706-7666. Please visit our Web site www.CompanionAnimalAdvocates.org to sign up for our newsletter.


Looking for Chris Morse...last known address Geoge Road, Cliffside Park

Your long lost Mississippi cousins are seeking Chris, Steve & Michael for Carolyn's 90th birthday & we want to re-connect.
Judy -- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 601.955.1956

Am going to delete my membership on this page now......


Great home hints



 Exciting and new ~ come aboard we’re expecting you!

Where is Julie the cruise ship director when you need her!!

We are indeed living in some whacked out times. The economy, da weather, so high tech that I can google earth your ass and find out where are.

Yet the oldest thing in the world is still the hardest - L O V E …

I have a friend ( whom shall remain nameless ) that is always in some kind of drama or in flux.

The people she meets all lie. Now come on peeps, why would you put up a photo of you that was taken 10 years ago? This includes da Women too!

What happens when someone wants to meet cha?

Why lie and pretend you are not married?

Oh I see, you wanna get a little !!!   Minga….


What happened to that magic moment when you meet someone across a crowed room and fall deeply in love. I’ll tell ya what happened! The room’s aint that crowded any more and the room was replaced by your computer. Ahhhhhh High-Tech love…  Skype me Baby….


Now look I am a huge fan of the Internet and all it has to offer. I even met my Honey on da net. However at some point when you finally get dat Face to Face with your potential new lover all of a sudden da thrill is gone?

Your imagination and the fantasy of it all can be so intoxicating that you are lead into a drug induced feeling of Loveness. But da face to face snaps your ass right out of it and you then find yourself on dat roller coaster doing a downward spiral. You’re sayin – do I meet the height requirement for this ride?

At times my friends have even said, well yeah I met him and I did not have that – ahhhhhhhh connection but I think I need to give it a little time. Before ya know it, da holidays are coming and you think well – I’m just gonna give it a little more time. WHY!!


Sometimes the holidays came make you do some dumb things! Like stay with someone you met at Halloween just because the season is on the way.


Lying - restraining orders – Oh My ~~~ and so it goes !!!

Whether you are the Hunter or the Huntress, Da Goombah or da Gomada -speak the truth! Dare to be different.

Meeting people is hard enough. Let alone going on the quest to find the love of your life.

If you’re lucky you can see through al the shit by the 2nd date. Sometimes it takes 6 months before you can see through the shit.

Stats prove that people can change their behavior for 6 months then after that they will go back to who they really are.. When someone shows you their true colors the first time, believe them. It is truly what it is.

We all have enough drama do we really need someone else’s? And don’t fall into that “ I don’t wana be alone BS!” Because after 6 months when u are having morning coffee and you look at the Mook across the table you will wanna beat your own ass with a stick..

Here is the road map of what to look for….

Someone who is present!

Someone that can give you love, mutual respect and who is considerate.

Someone that supports who and what you are.

Someone that knows a relationship means compromise and finding the middle of the road.

Someone you don’t settle for.

Someone you don’t have to fix or change, cuz guess what? Ya Can’t!

Now that you have a lot to bring to the table and that you deserve to feel all that passion and fire.


Look for understanding instead of miscommunication and frustration. Instead of friction and competition have mutual support and cooperation.

Continue to keep your heart open and hold on to an optimistic view of the future.

“For true partnership is achieved only by separate and whole beings who retain their separateness even as the unite. Remember to let the winds of Heaven dance between you”! So says the Rune of partnership.


Get back what you give and give what you get back. All that just to say balance and respect.

Once you have all that, the Passion, romance and spontaneity go hand and hand.

So promise yourself that you will no longer fool yourself with your own enchantment and expectation but be more vigilant in your quest.

Now isn’t that RomanticJ


So hang on to your Hat’s kid cause Valentine’s Day is right around da corner. Ahhhhh da pressure of it all… Your crew asks you~   you gotta date?

 You think OMG what if I am alone on Valentines Day!!


Look the last thing you want to do is settle for da Mook who asks ya out and then have that tortured decision to make!


Ok if he buys me a really nice gift do I haf’ta BANG him?




Her name does not matter; only her story does. She was three years old in the fall of 2005 when her mother asked if I could watch her at my house. She did not ask me to watch her daughter because there were errands to run, or appointments to be met.  No, she asked me to care for her three-year-old daughter because her only son would die that day.  He was 16 years old. He had cancer. “He has a weed growing inside of him that’s poison,” this little girl explained to me that day, “and he will be an angel soon.” She told this to me while nodding her head very matter-of-factly between licks of a cherry red Blow Pop; her red-stained lips pursed together in solemn contemplation. I, of course, had to turn away from her to hide my tears while she and my children ran into the living room to watch Dora the Explorer and dance spasmodically to the addictive Latin beat. 
          I tried to hold myself together as I bent over the kitchen sink scrubbing it for no other reason than I could run the water to diffuse the sound of my sobs.  I could think of nothing but this girl’s mother, my friend.  Here I am in my cozy little house where just a few hours ago I was completely unnerved by the fact that the free turkey from Shop Rite would not be enough to feed the 25 people coming to my house for Thanksgiving dinner.  While I was losing my mind, she was losing her child.
Time has passed, and days gone by, but from that day forward, every Thanksgiving this is what I remember—a child smiling and laughing and playing unaware that something of great value had been taken from her. Some part of her is gone and will forever be missing. I just wish that I could tell her that when her brother died, the moment his spirit fled his body, she was playing, she was laughing, she was happy, she was whole. I like to think that when her brother’s spirit left his body he came to be with her, here, in the dim autumn light that seeped through the paned glass of my living room windows. I wish that I could tell her how from that day forward her belief in better angels inspired me to be a stronger, more thoughtful person. She may not remember what is was like to have had him as her brother, but she knows with the certainty that only a child possesses that he is her guardian angel, and he will never abandon her.  And I give thanks for my own life, for the health of my children, and for the grace of being with this precious little girl on that day, and gaining a lifetime of strength from the unwavering courage of her belief in heavenly angels.
 I know what she did not, and what she may never come to understand; that the day her brother died was a crushingly sad day; a day of massive loss; a day she will probably neverever remember, but question for the rest of her life. And I want to tell her that she was okay, that she was loved, that she was protected. I want to tell her that on that day, at thatmoment, she was not alone because every mother in the universe gathered together to hold her in their arms to protect and comfort her.  Because that is what we mothers do—we put aside our collective differences to gather together to protect the child of every mother in the time of her greatest need.  
To all of you who take the time to read this column every week I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. And I ask you to gather together all the people you love this Thanksgiving and take a moment to remember every mother who has an empty seat at her table, and an empty place in her heart, this day and every day.  


VH1's Meatball King of New Jersey


Johnny “Meatballs”

A Chat With VH1’s Johnny “Meatballs”

By Anthony Carrea


As a pot of gravy simmers on the stove, a fresh batch of Italian meatballs has just finished cooking.  The aroma of the meatballs and gravy is a reminder to everyone that another big Italian Sunday dinner is coming their way.  Luckily for them, it is being prepared by the most famous meatball of all.  His name is John Michael “Meatballs” DeCarlo, and he is “The Meatball King of New Jersey.” 


Meatballs is a husband and father first but he didn’t get the name “The Meatball King” for nothing. He can cook, there’s no doubt about that, but he also looks the part. 


He has Italian features with dark eyes and spiky black hair and usually sports an Italian horn or a black leather jacket.  He’s a cook, writer and even singer but more importantly he is an entrepreneur. Every day “Meatballs,” or JM as his family calls him, does something to build up the Johnny Meatballs Empire, and today is no different.


It was the first day of filming for Johnny’s reality show “My Big Friggin Wedding”.  All of Johnny’s immediate family attended and were greeted by an array of cameras and microphones when they first walked in.  If they didn’t know better, they would think they just walked onto a movie set. 


After everyone arrived the smorgasbord of Italian food was laid out on the table. The crowd then took their seats with the cameras looming over head.  “Mangi!” chimed in Johnny as the sausage, meatballs and chicken marsala spewed with steam.


These cameras and microphones would hang over “Meatballs,” shoulder for the entire summer.  Every hour in his life would be closely documented, but so far it’s all worth it.  “My Big Friggin Wedding” aired on Monday, Nov. 1 and it is already helping him achieve some of his goals.


Thanks to Lucas Prada, Angelo Venuto and a cigar roller, he threw the ultimate “Jersey Italian” wedding, which he always wanted.  Recording a song, writing a book and having his frozen meatballs available on store shelves are also in his sights. 


“I was only in a recording studio once when I sang ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ down in Disney World when I was 6,” Johnny said.  He would continue where he left off on Monday recording a song of his own called “The Meatball Song.”


He worked with a highly successful dance music star named L.P. and his producer, who helped transform what was once a fun song about meatballs he would sing to himself while he sculpted his round creations. From the moment Johnny walked in the studio, he knew L.P. would help him spice up the song just like his meatballs.


I walked into L.P.’s studio with a hot tray of meatballs in hand (of course).  Although L.P. is a die-hard Mets fan and I bleed Yankee pinstripes, we were on the same page with how we could kick things up a notch or two.”


As the process began, Johnny was surprised that it took well over an hour of singing to record a three-minute track and that did not even count the before and after process.  An hour in his life Monday was recording a song, but if you check back on Friday, maybe he’ll be writing a book or even flying to the moon – with him you never know. 


It was interesting that before the producer even hit play there was a lengthy collaborating process.  Ideas are bounced off each other like meatballs being flipped on the frying pan. 


When the recording process actually starts, much of it is singing verses over and over so they can take the best ones and combine them so it sounds perfect.  That’s the main reason why singers never seem like they are gasping for air on any recorded songs.  “I’m no Sinatra and I found myself out of breath a number of times,” said ‘The Meatball King.’”


Besides what he hopes to be a new hit single, it sure has been an eventful week.  He interviewed with the newspaper the Bergen Record and the show The Inside Edition and that is all while busy writing for his weekly blog “The Cugine Corner,” doing video segments at restaurants and taking care of his 4-month-old son Christian. 


Every part of his business revolves around meatballs, so let’s not forget that he actually has to make them.  He has teamed up with Star Ravioli in order to mass produce the balls of veal, pork and beef.  His frozen dinners, called “Johnny’s Meatballs In Sunday Gravy,” are sold at Corrado’s Market so Johnny must spend days upon end rolling and cooking meatballs at his warehouse in Moonachie, NJ. 


The meatballs are more than just rolled up fried meat with a touch of his secret spices.  They are building blocks that will help him achieve his lifelong goal of having his own cooking show on the food network.  With each meatball rolled, he gets one step closer to self-actualization. 


The radio tour on 10 different stations nationwide doesn’t hurt the cause, either. 


Johnny “Meatballs” is someone that can be a great role model for anyone because of his determination and relentless pursuit of his dream.  So many people give up on what they REALLY want to do. 


He has created meatball mania through his excellent self marketing skills and by attacking all the mediums.  He’s on the TV and radio, has columns in newspapers and on the internet, but the easiest way to find the self proclaimed “Jersey Goumba” is to follow the trail of meatballs.



Fond Memories of Days Gone By

Fond Memories of Days Gone By

The Little Ferry Public Library will host a fun-filled lecture about the renowned Palisades Amusement Park on October 28.

Little Ferry, NJ“Palisades has the rides, Palisades has the fun…” Ask any New Jersey Baby Boomer to sing the next line from this classic 1960s jingle and they will quickly chant “Come on over.”

It has been nearly 50 years since that tune filled the airwaves of radio and television stations throughout the tri-state area. But the memories of the legendary Palisades Amusement Park are still as vivid today in the minds of the over-50 crowd as they were back in the park’s heyday.

In 1898, a New Jersey picnic grove became the catalyst for one of the greatest amusement parks of the 20th century. What would later be known as Palisades Amusement Park, started out as an attraction for the local trolley company, designed to increase weekend ridership. The park stood proudly on the Palisades cliffs, in the towns of Cliffside Park, Fort Lee and Edgewater. Thousands flocked to the park daily to partake in the games, the food, the shows and the rides. It grew to be one of the world's most famous fun centers, achieving national prominence through the Freddy Cannon song, Palisades Park.

Next year marks the 40-year anniversary since the closing of Bergen County's most famous landmark. To mark the occasion, the Little Ferry Public Library will be presenting an informative lecture about the famed amusement park. The event will take place on Thursday, October 28 at 6:30PM. The library is located at 239 Liberty Street in Little Ferry. For further information about the event or directions to the library, call (201) 641-3721. Admission is free but the seating is limited.

The lecture is a comprehensive history of the Park beginning with its inception in the late 1800s, continuing through its rather checkered history, until its ultimate demise in the early 70s. For those who ever visited Palisades Amusement Park, this lecture is sure to bring back those cherished remembrances. And for those never lucky enough to have entered its colorful gates, the Palisades Amusement Park lecture will recreate the thrills, laughter and joy that was Palisades. The park historian, Vince Gargiulo, hosts the multimedia lecture which features images, videos and sounds of Palisades.

Since 1995, Vince Gargiulo has been traveling around New Jersey speaking about this classic fun center. Vince is the author of the book Palisades Amusement Park: A Century of Fond Memories, and Producer of the PBS documentary of the same name. His most recent work includes the Arcadia book, Palisades Amusement Park: Postcard History Series. Books and DVDs will be available at the event.

More information about Palisades Amusement Park is available online at www.PalisadesPark.com.




(This Column was censored by Doug Hall, editor of The Bergen News, because he found it unfit to print. He saw nothing in it that "his readership" would enjoy or connect with. So here is the offensive piece.)

In 1972, George Carlin immortalized himself through his “7 Words You Can’t Say…” monologue and talk of it trickled down to the schoolyard as a topic of conversation at recess. I remember the outrage provoked by George’s monologue, but none of the older kids would let me in on what exactly those seven words were. I pleaded, I begged, I eavesdropped on the upper classes at recess. Nothing. I mean, even in my Tween years, words were my bag, man. The good, the bad, but most especially, the ugly. If only someone would tell me what they were!

          Unfortunately for me, I was born into a house where swearing was less a part of the vernacular and more an inadvertent slip of the tongue. The dropping of potent potables were limited to emphasizing physical pain, as in “son of a ***** my toe!” or, to exhibit frustration “********* listen to your mother!” or, the trigger that released airbags of anger “Wipe that ******* smirk off your face right now!” There was an occasional slip of a ****, or a temperate ***-******, but nothing operatic or symphonic.

          On the other hand, my friend’s mother, who was a waitress at the Fort Lee Diner, crafted curse words with the same artistic precision that Michelangelo carved his masterpiece, the Statue of David. Her accomplished and pointed tongue demonstrated extraordinary technical skill that displayed the strength of her symbolic imagination. I would spend hours at my friend’s house following her mother around, my ears the tuning fork for her *-*’s and her go **** **** ****’s that she tatted into her conversation like finely webbed heirloom lace.

          So, imagine my surprise when while visiting the newsroom last week, my editor took me aside and informed me that I could not use the word **** in my columns anymore. Frankly, I don’t even remember typing ****, but it sounded like me. And I never considered **** to be an expletive especially since a priest I know regularly peppers his conversations with it. However, he said, there were complaints. People were offended. Really? Complaints? Well, I’ll be—that means somebody other than my mother is reading! (Wait. Mom, did you lodge a complaint?)

Standing there I felt like I was back in Junior year at Paramus Catholic Girls Regional High School being publicly excoriated by Sr. Lawrence wishing she’d just give me the demerit for whatever archaic rule I had violated and save the “Hell hath no fury” sermon for a Freshman. Here’s the rub: no one can curse quite like a Catholic School girl can. Some of the girls in my class could hold their own with any salty sailor; in fact, most our tongues were tinged with Tourette’s. We could profanely roll our tongues as adeptly as we could roll our skirts. And with the same minimal amount of effort.

If he thought the word **** was a profanity, he should spend an afternoon with me or any overworked, overtired, overstressed, underpaid mom on her way to pick up this kid from his friend’s house, drop that kid off at soccer, and take another kid and his friends to the movies at the same time her husband is calling to ask what she’s cooking for dinner. Better yet, stand next to a mom at the check-out line at Shop Rite when she finds out her debit card has been declined and she has 18 bags of groceries sitting in her shopping cart and her screaming toddler is poised to impale himself onto the pointed bag of frozen shoestring French fries. Or accompany a mom to Model’s and witness her reaction when while purchasing her son’s cleats, socks, and shin guards is informed by the 17-year-old sales clerk that she is no longer the Master of her Card when he announces to the entire store, “Oh great! Your card is no good!” I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m going to guess that “darn-it” isn’t quite the descriptive word these moms are reaching for.    

          So, from mom-to-mom, I apologize if I’ve linguistically offended any of you. I’m going to **** (hint: that’s the word that got me into trouble!) on a bar of LifeBoy to clean up my language. But for old times’ sake, here’s a final “*!@??%%??%??@??@?%****” to all my saucy-tongued stressed-out sisters!



The Palisades Amusement Park Billboard

After nearly 40 years, an original Palisades Amusement Park billboard has returned home.

It started when I received an email back in March from Janet Strom at the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. She wrote to tell me that a man had dropped off an original Palisades 14-part billboard and another Palisades subway poster that he wanted to have a good, safe home. Janet called me since she was aware of the PAP Historical Society and felt I could supply the "good home" for the artwork.

I called the generous donor, who turned out to be Richard Patterson from South Jersey. He told me how he had acquired it after the park's closing. At that time, Rich, a member of the class of 1969, was a resident of the town of Palisades Park. He and a friend had been walking the grounds of the former amusement park the year after it closed. There they found an open building that housed an assortment of advertising posters and materials that the park had used annually to promote the fun center. He grabbed a poster and a billboard and kept it in storage all these years.

Richard, a retired US postal worker, now decided the time had come that he find a good home for the posters. He contacted the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs since these pieces certainly fit the definition of "historic." That was when Janet had the idea to contact me about housing the collection.

Thank you, Richard. Your generosity will forever be appreciated by myself and by the countless fans of Palisades Amusement Park.