The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey on March 29, 2004 · 3
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The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey · 3

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Hackensack, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Monday, March 29, 2004
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3
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"if MONDAY, MARCH 29, 2004 THE RECORD A-3 New TODAY'S SECTIONS A - News F - The Mix (Features) L-Local S - Sports ERSEY I ft-- 2 Act - f 5 L. 'V.,. .H.I . 1 ..i...airM. - Mil STAFF PHOTOS BY DANIELLE P. RICHARDS From left, Hafiz Butt of Fort Lee, Kosar Khawaja of Fair Lawn, and Ishrat Khalid of Palisades Park praying at interfaith service. D) weirsnt By BARBARA WILLIAMS STAFF WRITER TEANECK - The differences were stark in clothing, food, and demeanor. Yet this was the cause for celebration. About 600 people gathered Sunday afternoon for the 18th annual Interfaith Brotherhood-Sisterhood Brunch to recognize and embrace the diversity of people and religions found in North Jersey. The ballroom in the Marriott Glenpointe was a sea of turbans, skullcaps, saris, white collars on black shirts, and hijabs mixed with business suits and conservative dresses. Many of the religious leaders and lay people from Baha'i, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jain, Jewish, and Sikh faiths attending the event wore theirtraditional clothing and ate their customary food. "Seeing this is believing," said Pat Kinney, from the Baha'i Community. "One of the rooms we were going to use for pictures was being used by Muslims for their midday prayers - it's so wonderful to have everyone together and learn and celebrate so many different religions." Hosted this year by theDarul Islah Muslim Community of Bergen County with the American Muslim Union, the event provided four types of meals -traditional, vegetarian, kosher, and halal - to respect the cultural and religious traditions of the guests. Ingrid Mattson, professor of Islamic Studies at the MacDon-ald Center for Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, was the keynote speaker. Her talk, which centered on Interfaith service draws 600 of many religions m2 Keynote speaker Dr. Ingrid Mattson listening to closing remarks at an interfaith service Sunday along with Dr. Khaja Moinuddin of the Muslim community, center, and the Rev. Donald P. Sheehan. the theme "Religion, Ethnicity, Nationality - Overcoming Our Differences," focused on how God and goodness are associated with truth, and evil is the result of lying. "Lying has gotten a lot of attention in the media, and it is up to the religious leaders and ethi-cists to lead people from untruths to the truth," Mattson said. "Lies have been passed down through history - people writing about Africans in the 19th century, about Catholics when they started to take over more positions than just manual labor in the early 20th century, or about Jews in the 1930s. Satan uses the same bag of tricks over and over. We must learn the truth about others ourselves and not just accept what has been written or passed down." Mattson joins a distinguished list of guest speakers who have addressed this gathering through the years. Among those featured previously were Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the Rev. James Forbes, Rabbi James Rudi, Dr. Thelma Adair, Sulay-man S. Nyang, the Rev. Gregory J. Jackson, and Swami Ag-nivesh. "This is my fifth or sixth year, and this event is wonderful in bringing the diversity of Bergen County together," said the Rev. Lynne Bleich Weber, from the Episcopal Diocese of Newark. "This highlights how ..we all have the same values and belief in God." Several of the other participants also spoke about how religious, cultural, and national diversity appears so different, yet at the core, people are basically the same. "Our gathering here says that we all sojourn under the same God and we are interested in each other's faiths," said the Rev. Donald Sheehan, a Roman Catholic priest from Englewood. "Knowledge gives us the ability to dispel fear, something we must all do." Rabbi Michael Chernick, who belongs to several synagogues in Teaneck, referred to today's turbulent times and the perception that religion is not unifying but rather keeps people apart j ; "This opportunity to pull all different faiths together is probably more important than ever because people sometimes feel that religion is more divisive than part of a community," Chernick said. "This is a way to show how much alike we are, rather than how different" Mattson ended her speech by reminding the attendees it is the job of religious leaders - not politicians - to help people get along. And the way to do that, she said, is through truth. "We must make sure the differences we see are spoken about with truth and honesty, and we must let people speak for themselves instead of listening to lies others have made up," Mattson said. E-mail: williamsbnorthjersey.com Williams defense hammers at probe Expert returns to the witness stand By JEFFREY GOLD THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SOMERVILLE - The Jayson Williams defense team has used its first two witnesses to reinforce one of its main themes: that law enforcement performed a slipshod and incomplete investigation. The jury in the manslaughter trial heard from two defense experts last week. Both raised questions about the competence of state and Hunterdon County agents who investigated the fatal shooting of a chauffeur at the estate of the retired Nets star. The trial enters its eighth week today, with one of the experts, Richard N. Ernest, still on the witness stand. The defense case is expected to take at least the entire week. It is to be followed by a short prosecution rebuttal before deliberations can begin. The trial had originally been scheduled to take eight weeks, but much of one week was scrapped when the mother of a defense lawyer died. Further delay is possible: Williams' wife, Tanya, is due to deliver their second child early in April. 4 Williams is accused of recklessly snapping shut a shotgun, which then discharged, killing limo driver Costas "Gus" Chrisotofi. The shooting happened in the master bedroom of Williams' mansion in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2002, while Williams was giving a tour to friends. Williams also is charged with attempting to make Christofi's death look like a suicide and with persuading others to lie that they were downstairs when the shot was fired. Ernest has challenged testimony from state police Detective Sgt James Ryan, the prosecution expert who tested Williams' gun. Ryan said the weapon operated properly, firing only when the trigger was pressed and the safety was off. Ernest insisted the worn and fouled firing mechanism was liable to malfunction, and raised questions about Ryan's competence. He testified that Ryan was unaware of testing procedures in place for two decades, and suggested the officer did not know how to disassemble the weapon. Ernest's testimony also has given the jury the impression that investigators tried to derail his inspection of the weapon. During argument without the jury, defense lawyer Billy Martin told the judge that such testimony ' addresses the integrity of the investigation and would show that law enforcement "had blinders on" and did not wish to reassess how the shooting happened. First Assistant Hunterdon County Prosecutor Steven C. Lember objected, saying it was not relevant and it would mislead the jury to suggest any "nefarious purpose" by investigators. Superior Court Judge Edward M. Coleman permitted the inquiry. The first defense expert, Dr. Michael Baden, a noted forensic pathologist, said investigators erred by leaving Christofi's body in the bedroom for too long, some 12 hours. By then, rigor mortis set in, and the stiffened body had to be manipulated so it could fit in the body bag, he said. As a result, evidence was altered, including the transfer of blood to other parts of Christofi's shirt, said Baden, medical examiner for the New York State Police. . Woman dies saving son after canoe flips in lake THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FRANKFORD - A Sussex County woman saved her 5-year-old son from a capsized canoe in chilly lake waters before slipping beneath the surface and drowning Sunday, state police said. The body of Debbie Snook, 33, was pulled from Culvers Lake about two hours after the 12:40 p.m. incident State police said the child, Dylan Snook, and his father, Chris Snook, 34, had been fishing from a dock at their lakeside home when a lure became snagged. They paddled out in a canoe to free it, but the vessel capsized. The father was able to pull the child onto the overturned canoe, but as Snook tried to make their way ashore, his son lost his grip. Debbie Snook, watching from the dock, saw her son slip off and rushed into the 40- to 45-degree water to save him. A neighbor, Mario Spagnola, who was also watching, then paddled his rowboat out to the mother and son and retrieved the child, who was revived on the shore, then taken to a hospital. Chris Snook was able to swim ashore, but his wife disappeared. Dylan was listed in stable condition at Newton Memorial Hospital. His father was not injured. West Orange student dies in D.C. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON - Police are investigating the death of a George Washington University student from New Jersey who witnesses say jumped into the Tidal Basin. According to police, Philip R. Augustine, 19, of West Orange was walking near the Tidal Basin on Saturday night when he said something to two of his friends and then jumped into the water. Police spokesman Sgt Joe Gentile said investigators do not know why Augustine went into the water, and he declined to say what Augustine said to his friends. Romance writer regales fans Lawyer crafted tale of tough cookie who flips for vampire By NICOLA M. WHITE SPECIAL TO THE RECORD CLIFTON - In "Darkness Calls," FBI agent Diana Reyes is on the hunt for a serial killer who finds victims in a Manhattan nightclub. In the process, she falls for the eerily handsome club owner. He turns out to be a vampire. This is the story line of Edison resident Caridad Pineiro's latest novel, a romanccthrillerfantasy story published by Silhouette Intimate Moments. On Sunday afternoon, the writer chatted with a group of fans and curious passers-by at Clifton's Barnes & Noble Booksellers. It's her seventh book - and her seventh novel in which the heroine isn't the love-struck softie of typical glossy novel fare. Pineiro pndes herself, she said, in crafting strong protagonists. "I write intelligent romances," she said to the group of mostly women assembled at the book store. "What we write now is nothing compared to the romance of 20, 30, 40 years ago." Pineiro's protagonist Reyes is a gun-toting FBI agent. She doesn't need a man to get by. But she's human, so she falls in love. And thus follow the steamy scenes. "In old traditional romances, she the heroine is the nurse who falls in love with the doctor. I wanted to create women that were in control of their own lives," she said. She also wanted to have His-panics represented in her work. "Where do you see Latinas except for on the 'George Lopez Show'?" she said. "They're the gardener, the landscapcr. They're always portrayed as laborers." Pineiro fled her native Cuba when she was 3 years old. Her family moved to Levittown, N.Y., where they were the only Hispanic family in the neighborhood. Pineiro attended Villanova University and then St. John's Uni versity in New York for law school. By day, she's a patent and intellectual property attorney - and partner - at a midtown Manhattan law firm. "My clients get a kick out of it," she said. But on her commute from Edison every morning, she's crafting story ideas and chapters and characters for her latest book. To her mostly female audience, she said her best advice to aspiring romance writers was to join a writer's group or take a fiction writing class. Two of Pineiro's writing group friends - Patt Mihailoft of Hillsborough and Irene Peterson of Bridgewatcr - rooted for their pal. Both are romance writers. "When people hear the word 'romance,' they turn away, but in every book you read, there's a modicum of romance," Mihailoft said. E-mail: whltenfflnorthjersey.com ; 'V 'f '''l''-V ELIZABETH LARASPECIAL TO THE RECORD Caridad Pineiro, author of "Darkness Calls," signing books at Barnes & Noble In Clifton: "I write Intelligent romances. What we write now Is nothing compared to the romance of 20, 30, 40 years ago." ; f ' r.l

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